Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tiredmommy, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Duckie is a pretty insightful person. She brought up the subject of my mother today. She has noticed that we don't talk to her or see her anymore. She also overheard my brother and I talking. She wanted to know why and, specifically, if it's because mom is mentally ill. :(

    I assured her that mom's bipolar plays only a small part in her problems and behavior and added that many people lead happy, normal lives while living with mental illness. We talked about the drinking and drug use and how they became more important than the people that love mom. And her behaviors make me uncomfortable. They also make Duckie uncomfortable. She said she never knew what to expect when mom is around. I also made it clear that, despite her addictions and behaviors, that my mother was still her grandmother and is to be treated with respect and dignity even if we don't go out of our way to interact with her.

    She asked me why, if my mother had been this way for years, husband and I stopped dealing with her now and not before? I told her that I was concerned about how my mother might affect her. She told me that I'm not a lot like my mother, that I'm a good mommy for wanting to keep her safe. :crying:
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow, what incredible insight out of one so young. You have done a far better job than I have done. I just kept my parents problems away from my kids so they didnt know that they had problems so they thought that they were disneyland grandparents. Every thing was perfect in their eyes. I dont think I did them any favors to be honest.
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Duckie is fortunate to have such an open and loving relationship with YOU. That's something you can rejoice in knowing, even if it wasn't something you had with your own mom. I find solace in knowing that my kids will have a better father than I ever had -- and I only hope I can be as helpful to them as my mom has been for me. All we can do as parents is try to improve a little on the previous generation, really. If we can avoid repeating their mistakes, then that is a huge victory in my book.

  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    She really does have amazing insight for one so young. It warms my heart to see that you and Duckie have such a close relationship. Hugs.
  5. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Thanks for the replies.

    Janet- It's pretty obvious when you meet my mom that there is something (or multiple somethings) going on. I don't think I truly could keep anything from Duckie, if you Know what I mean?.

    Gcv- I try not to compare my childhood to Duckie's. I don't want her to feel guilty that she has it better than I did... it's certainly not her fault that I was exposed to so much as a kid. And husband and I provide what we do because she has a right to a safe and happy home life. I really try to keep it separate.

    Sharon- I truly hope our relationship can stay this close. She's really a wonderful person despite her ODD. :thumbsup:
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Awww, what a sweetie! Yes, she is insightful. The fact that she asked, "Why now?" really sends it home.
  7. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Funny timing for me, reading this post of yours this morning. First, kudos for the way you explained things about your mom. It's a tricky thing to balance truth with wanting to preserve a sense of a respect from the kids towards their grandmother.

    I say funny timing because it is Thanksgiving here in Canada this coming weekend. My difficult child older brother has 2 of his kids with him for the holiday. He has asked (begged) me to bring S/O and the kids to his house for a big family meal. I had to say no. Not because he is a difficult child. Actually at holiday's, he is a delight and goes all out and loves to be part of things. He makes holidays wonderful for his kids, and I miss spending time with his children. They are adorable (and love their Aunty Melissa lol). BUT! He lives exactly 8 doors away from my mother. I have seen her once in two years. They both live about a 15 minute drive or 25 minute city bus ride away from me.

    We said no because my mother would be there. She is bipolar but has so many personality issues, I'm positive if she was honest with a doctor she would be diagnosed further. She is also hateful. She's well medicated (well, I'd change the medications but she won't, so long as she doesn't swing wildly in her moods she thinks she is fine). I cannot be around her any longer. The rub? The kids. However difficult child is now 16 and he has seen on his own what she can be like and though he loves her, he can't bring himself to be around her either. easy child is 10 now. She could walk past my mother on the street and not know it was grandma unless I pointed it out.

    I do not talk about my mothers problems in front of easy child. She has asked the past couple years why we don't see grandma since she lives so close. I have talked to her when she asks about mental illness and that we all love her but sometimes it is hard to spend time around her. She has picked up things on her own and is very perceptive. She told me last night that she hopes we don't go to her uncle's for Thanksgiving because it is a special day to her and she'd be afraid and sad all day if she was around my mother. :(

    It's such a sad state for a family isn't it? I too have discussed how MANY people do live wonderful happy and fulfilling lives with mental illness. I don't want easy child terrified that anybody with a diagnosis of a mental illness is like my mother. It rots.

    You's a good mama! And that's a smart cookie you are raising.
  8. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Duckie is really a little marvel. Sometimes the things she says...

    You've done a good job. Congrats.
  9. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Duckie is a sharp little girl. It's good that you are thinking about her needs. I agree it's important to not let our kids feel guilty for having a good, stable life. I remind them as they get older that once they choose to have a child that their needs are second to the child's needs. Hopefully, I'm planting the seeds of adult behavior vs the self indulgency that is a child's personality.

    It's unfortunate that your mom is ill and dysfunctional but everyone has something in their lives. No one gets through life without something being less than perfect. When easy child was struggling with having a less than n/t brother, we had this conversation about how life isn't 2 dimensional but more of a tapestry with different textures and colors.I can't give him a perfect fairy tale life. Having a difficult child sibling/parent/grandparent makes some of those colors richer and deeper and certainly more complex. In the end, it will be to easy child's advantage to have had the experience of a unique brother. I think Duckie will have that experience of a grandmother who isn't very kind or thoughtful to her own daughter let alone grand daughter. It will make her more sensitive and a more empathetic person. She will probably be great in the grandmother dept when it's her turn.

    She is a very special little girl and she is fortunate to have parents who recognize what she needs to grow into the sort of person you know she can be.
  10. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    MM- How ironic is it that my mom and brother live in Canada & will also be celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend? I've already decided that we will see my brother at Christmas even if that means seeing my mother. I'm certain she will be asked to leave if she starts in on anyone.

    Shari- I'm learning to be ever-so-slightly hopeful that she may end up okay... but I don't want to invoke the board jinx.

    Fran- I stress how my mother treats her family poorly as the reason for the lack of contact. While I certainly sympathize with my mother for all the issues she is facing I don't want Duckie to believe that how someone treats you shouldn't matter if you love them. I want her to be able to cut loose people that hurt her (not just act a little different). I believe it's good for her self-esteem to know that ultimately she has choice in whether or not she continues to participate in a relationship. Even if that relationship is the one with her grandmother.