Moms and Maids

My mother and the distance

My mom and I haven't ever been close. Sometimes I think it's because maybe we are so similarly stubborn that we clash, but other times I really just think we have nothing in common. This post will be kind of long, rant/vent, but I welcome any advice on fixing things.

My parents were born and raised in NYC. All of their family and friends were always within walking distance. They decided to move their family (my brother and I) to a small backwoods PA town when we were very young. I went away to college and then traveled with no plans to return. My mom would bounce back and forth between being happy/proud of me for doing my own thing; to devastated I was so far away. I spent time living in Australia, Nepal, and Ecuador. I found a job that I loved in my field in Pittsburgh (5 hours from my parents’ home, and where I currently live). This distance is drive-able in a day. We can visit for the weekend. I think my mom expected me to be over for dinner twice a week, so this isn't ideal for her.

My mom only ever talks about how far away I am, and all of her friends and family have their children close to them. She constantly asks me to look for jobs closer to her, and insists I'm not making an effort to do so. Which is true, because I have no interest in moving back to the small town I grew up in, and there are limited job opportunities there. I have been called selfish, careless, and distant. If I don't go to every family event, function, or holiday, she gets very upset and claims don't make an effort.

My fiancé was raised in the south and has family mainly in Texas and Tennessee. We met in Pittsburgh and are hosting the wedding here. When I tried to talk to my mother, she was very hurt and kept suggesting we get married in her country club community. I tried to explain that our location is central to all family (his and mine), our friends are here, and that it would be easiest for me to plan a wedding where I live. She got very upset and said she felt that she wouldn't be involved in the wedding because it is so far away. 

I understand her only daughter getting married is very stressful and emotional. I have made an effort to call her often, email her pictures, and ask her opinion on as much as possible. I invited her to stay with us this week, and together we went to look at hotels, flowers, and other wedding related plans. We also spent time together just catching up. I thought it was a relatively successful trip, until this morning. 

This morning she brought up a bridal shower. I told her that my MOH had already said she wanted to host a shower here in Pittsburgh. My mom said that was unfair, that the wedding would be here so the shower should be in her town. I said that traditionally the MOH hosts a shower, and if she would like to host a second one in her town, we could talk about it. She was very emotional and insisted I’m trying to exclude my family. I again said to my mom, that I am fine with her hosting a second shower if she would like to host one for my extended family and family friends. She then said “okay, I guess we could have two showers, if mine is first.” I thought this was childish, but I agreed that her shower could be hosted earlier than the MOH shower if that’s so important.

She then implied that her shower would be the “real” shower for families, and the shower hosted by my MOH would be a “lesser” shower for my coworkers. I explained that I felt that was rude. My local friends, coworkers, and my fiancés family are not going to travel to my mom’s small town for a bridal shower and then have to pay for hotels and other expenses. I explained that I understood why she wanted to host a shower closer to her, but it’s my wedding and my MOH had already decided to plan a shower, so we can compromise and do two showers.

My mom and I haven't ever been close. Sometimes I think it's because maybe we are so similarly stubborn that we clash, but other times I really just think we have nothing in common. This post will be kind of long, rant/vent, but I welcome any advice on fixing things.
My parents were born and raised in NYC. All of their family and friends were always within walking distance. They decided to move their family (my brother and I) to a small backwoods PA town when we were very young. I went away to college and then traveled with no plans to return. My mom would bounce back and forth between being happy/proud of me for doing my own thing to devastated I was so far away. I found a job that I loved in my field in Pittsburgh (5 hours from my parents home, and where I currently live).
All my mom ever talks about is how far away I am, and how all of her friends and family have their children close to them. She constantly asks me to look for jobs closer to her, and insists I'm not making an effort to do so. Which is true, because I have no interest in moving back to the small town I grew up in, and there are limited job opportunities there. I have been called selfish, careless, and distant. If I don't go to every family event, function, or holiday, she gets very upset and claims don't make an effort.

My fiance was raised in the south and has family mainly in Texas and Tennessee. We met in Pittsburgh and are hosting the wedding here. When I tried to talk to my mother, she was very hurt and kept suggesting we get married in her country club community. I tried to explain that our location is central to all family (his and mine), our friends are here, and that it would be easiest for me to plan a wedding where I live. She got very upset and said she felt that she wouldn't be involved in the wedding because it is so far away. 

I understand her only daughter getting married is very stressful and emotional. I have made an effort to call her often, email her pictures, and ask her opinion on as much as possible. I invited her to stay with us this week, and together we went to look at hotels, flowers, and other wedding related plans. We also spent time together just catching up. I thought it was a relatively successful trip, until this morning. 

My mom insisted it would be “weird” if any of my fiancé’s family (including my MIL who lives 45 mins from me) came to my Pittsburgh shower and she wasn’t there. I said she was more than welcome to come to the shower and she went off about how it’s all about my interests and that it’s not ideal for her to host a shower and attend a shower in Pittsburgh. I explained it’s my wedding, and that it’s unfair to expect my fiancé’s family to make a longer trip to go to the shower she is hosting, if there will be a second shower that is more accessible to them. Honestly, I could care less if I even had one shower. But I feel since my MOH asked me to host one before my mom did, and that traditionally the MOH does host, I don’t want to ask her to not host one. I also would prefer my MOH’s shower where I live, with people I care about. My mom’s shower will most likely include extended family I don’t often see, and her friends.

I tried to talk calmly about this and my mom got very upset and was basically throwing a childish fit. She was clearly stressed, but I just don’t know how to handle it. She said “you know, it’s not my fault you live so far away and chose to marry someone who’s from so far away too.” I honestly think my mom forgets she left NYC. It’s as if she expected me to move a few houses away, marry someone local, and live next door to her my entire life.

It feels good to let out that rant, but I’m also looking for suggestions or advice on dealing with this distance drama. I don’t plan on EVER living closer than I do right now. My fiancé and I have discussed moving to NC or TX in the next two-three years. My mom is so wrapped up in fighting me about the distance, I feel she can’t move past it and enjoy planning with wedding with me. I was hoping planning a wedding would help fix my relationship with my mother and allow us to bond, but it seems to be further accentuating the fact that we disagree on everything. 

Re: My mother and the distance

  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    My mom and I haven't ever been close. Sometimes I think it's because maybe we are so similarly stubborn that we clash, but other times I really just think we have nothing in common. This post will be kind of long, rant/vent, but I welcome any advice on fixing things.<?xml:namespace prefix = o />

    My parents were born and raised in NYC. All of their family and friends were always within walking distance. They decided to move their family (my brother and I) to a small backwoods PA town when we were very young. I went away to college and then traveled with no plans to return. My mom would bounce back and forth between being happy/proud of me for doing my own thing; to devastated I was so far away. I spent time living in Australia, Nepal, and Ecuador. I found a job that I loved in my field in Pittsburgh (5 hours from my parents’ home, and where I currently live). This distance is drive-able in a day. We can visit for the weekend. I think my mom expected me to be over for dinner twice a week, so this isn't ideal for her.

    My mom only ever talks about how far away I am, and all of her friends and family have their children close to them. She constantly asks me to look for jobs closer to her, and insists I'm not making an effort to do so. Which is true, because I have no interest in moving back to the small town I grew up in, and there are limited job opportunities there. I have been called selfish, careless, and distant. If I don't go to every family event, function, or holiday, she gets very upset and claims don't make an effort.

    My fiancé was raised in the south and has family mainly in Texas and Tennessee. We met in Pittsburgh and are hosting the wedding here. When I tried to talk to my mother, she was very hurt and kept suggesting we get married in her country club community. I tried to explain that our location is central to all family (his and mine), our friends are here, and that it would be easiest for me to plan a wedding where I live. She got very upset and said she felt that she wouldn't be involved in the wedding because it is so far away. 

    I understand her only daughter getting married is very stressful and emotional. I have made an effort to call her often, email her pictures, and ask her opinion on as much as possible. I invited her to stay with us this week, and together we went to look at hotels, flowers, and other wedding related plans. We also spent time together just catching up. I thought it was a relatively successful trip, until this morning. 

    This morning she brought up a bridal shower. I told her that my MOH had already said she wanted to host a shower here in Pittsburgh. My mom said that was unfair, that the wedding would be here so the shower should be in her town. I said that traditionally the MOH hosts a shower, and if she would like to host a second one in her town, we could talk about it. She was very emotional and insisted I’m trying to exclude my family. I again said to my mom, that I am fine with her hosting a second shower if she would like to host one for my extended family and family friends. She then said “okay, I guess we could have two showers, if mine is first.” I thought this was childish, but I agreed that her shower could be hosted earlier than the MOH shower if that’s so important.

    She then implied that her shower would be the “real” shower for families, and the shower hosted by my MOH would be a “lesser” shower for my coworkers. I explained that I felt that was rude. My local friends, coworkers, and my fiancés family are not going to travel to my mom’s small town for a bridal shower and then have to pay for hotels and other expenses. I explained that I understood why she wanted to host a shower closer to her, but it’s my wedding and my MOH had already decided to plan a shower, so we can compromise and do two showers.

    My mom and I haven't ever been close. Sometimes I think it's because maybe we are so similarly stubborn that we clash, but other times I really just think we have nothing in common. This post will be kind of long, rant/vent, but I welcome any advice on fixing things.
    My parents were born and raised in NYC. All of their family and friends were always within walking distance. They decided to move their family (my brother and I) to a small backwoods PA town when we were very young. I went away to college and then traveled with no plans to return. My mom would bounce back and forth between being happy/proud of me for doing my own thing to devastated I was so far away. I found a job that I loved in my field in Pittsburgh (5 hours from my parents home, and where I currently live).
    All my mom ever talks about is how far away I am, and how all of her friends and family have their children close to them. She constantly asks me to look for jobs closer to her, and insists I'm not making an effort to do so. Which is true, because I have no interest in moving back to the small town I grew up in, and there are limited job opportunities there. I have been called selfish, careless, and distant. If I don't go to every family event, function, or holiday, she gets very upset and claims don't make an effort.

    My fiance was raised in the south and has family mainly in Texas and Tennessee. We met in Pittsburgh and are hosting the wedding here. When I tried to talk to my mother, she was very hurt and kept suggesting we get married in her country club community. I tried to explain that our location is central to all family (his and mine), our friends are here, and that it would be easiest for me to plan a wedding where I live. She got very upset and said she felt that she wouldn't be involved in the wedding because it is so far away. 

    I understand her only daughter getting married is very stressful and emotional. I have made an effort to call her often, email her pictures, and ask her opinion on as much as possible. I invited her to stay with us this week, and together we went to look at hotels, flowers, and other wedding related plans. We also spent time together just catching up. I thought it was a relatively successful trip, until this morning. 

    My mom insisted it would be “weird” if any of my fiancé’s family (including my MIL who lives 45 mins from me) came to my Pittsburgh shower and she wasn’t there. I said she was more than welcome to come to the shower and she went off about how it’s all about my interests and that it’s not ideal for her to host a shower and attend a shower in Pittsburgh. I explained it’s my wedding, and that it’s unfair to expect my fiancé’s family to make a longer trip to go to the shower she is hosting, if there will be a second shower that is more accessible to them. Honestly, I could care less if I even had one shower. But I feel since my MOH asked me to host one before my mom did, and that traditionally the MOH does host, I don’t want to ask her to not host one. I also would prefer my MOH’s shower where I live, with people I care about. My mom’s shower will most likely include extended family I don’t often see, and her friends.

    I tried to talk calmly about this and my mom got very upset and was basically throwing a childish fit. She was clearly stressed, but I just don’t know how to handle it. She said “you know, it’s not my fault you live so far away and chose to marry someone who’s from so far away too.” I honestly think my mom forgets she left NYC. It’s as if she expected me to move a few houses away, marry someone local, and live next door to her my entire life.

    It feels good to let out that rant, but I’m also looking for suggestions or advice on dealing with this distance drama. I don’t plan on EVER living closer than I do right now. My fiancé and I have discussed moving to NC or TX in the next two-three years. My mom is so wrapped up in fighting me about the distance, I feel she can’t move past it and enjoy planning with wedding with me. I was hoping planning a wedding would help fix my relationship with my mother and allow us to bond, but it seems to be further accentuating the fact that we disagree on everything. 

    kmmssg is wise.  Listen to her.  I agree that you need to confront your mom head on, for certain topics.  Especially like when she wants you to move back to her small town.  Tell her that you don't want to hurt her, but you have no interest in moving back home.
  • I second @kmmssg.
    Anniversary

    image
    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • Thanks everyone. I have tried to talk to my mom about these issues, she usually cries and I feel guilty. I guess I've got to be more direct.
  • Her guilt works because she knows if she turns on the waterworks you will feel guilty and cave in.  Stop playing into her hands.  I was raised by an aunt who was the Queen of the universe when it came to guilt trips.  If it is really bad then I encourage you to go to counseling.  It worked wonders for me.  As long as she knows you will react to her guilt trip you are giving  her a lot of power.
    charlottesmom0626OliveOilsMom
  • @kmmssg is so wise. Your mother plays the guilt card with you because she knows it work. She does it to get a reaction, and it works.

    If you stop giving her the reaction, it will change her behaviour. 

    And I know it's going to be hard -- you have my sympathies. 

    DH's grandmother is a master manipulator, always playing people off each other and using the guilt card and playing the 'Well, I don't know how much longer I have....' card. It used to work on him, and then she tried it on me, and it didn't work, and he (slowly) saw how toxic it was.

    Now when she tries it on him (or anyone in the family) they just say, 'Well, if you're going to try to guilt-trip me, this conversation is over, so I'll talk to you later, bye.' And then they hang up the phone. 

    It's working, slowly, at modifying her behaviour. (Of course, we're also still dealing with the fall-out from BIL and SIL's wedding, but that's another story.)
    Anniversary

    image
    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
    OliveOilsMomkmmssg
  • mysticlmysticl member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    Don't leave Pittsburgh.  I left in 2002 and miss it terribly.  Though if I hadn't left I wouldn't have met my husband.  So leaving wasn't all horrible.  Ok, think long and hard and do what's best for you and your FI but just remember there is no where else in the world quite like it.  

    Oh, and have a Smiley Cookie for me.  :)

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    charlottesmom0626
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