Does my mother have the right to be upset with me?

mominsmalltownDecember 18, 2008

I've lived 5 minutes away from my mother for 7 years now. My son is 7 and my daughter is 4. We are now selling our house and moving closer to my husband's family which is about an hour and a half away.

There are reasons. One is better schools for my kids. Second, is that my husband's family misses us and wants to see us more. They are very involved with our kids when we're around. They love being with our kids and of course, our kids love being with them and their cousins. My mom is a good grandma, but she is less involved than I'd like. She doesn't come over much. She has never been much of a kid person and her grandchildren aren't an exception. She loves them dearly, but she doesn't really like "dealing" with them. She has little patience and so does my stepdad. She shows her love in other ways like presents and stuff. She does help out when I really need her like taking my son to his sporting events on occassion. I love her, but I just think distance is best for our relationship and best for our kids for many reasons.

She's very upset. She is even distancing herself from us and I see her very little now. She's cold when we're together. She also sees the kids less which was never much to begin with so now it's hardly ever.

Does she have the right to distance herself and be upset with me? She says she was hurt at first, but now she's okay. That's so obviously not true by her actions. What do I do?

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very sad situation and can't offer much as far as advice goes except to say some people are busy with their own life and it doesn't mean they don't love you or your children any less. it's hard to explain, but to me i took my responsibility as a wife and mother seriously and devoted all of my time to it. when the kids left home i missed them but not the constant worry that goes with parenting. i felt a freedom i had not felt in a long time. i have seen grandmothers so wrapped up in their kids and grand kids that they have no life of their own.

i hope your experience with your in laws works out like you expect it to.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 4:31PM
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If you told your mother that one of the reasons you are moving is that My mom is a good grandma, but she is less involved than I'd like, then, yes, she has every right to be upset. I can't think of a more effective way to alienate someone.

Is there some place halfway between that has good schools that will allow both sets of grandparents to only travel 45 minutes to see you?

What about jobs, will you and/or your husband have a longer commute? Will you be able to sell your house (houses aren't selling where I live)? What are your expectations for the other grandparents, and what will you do if they, too, "aren't as involved as you'd like"? Are you expecting them to have your kids at their house all the time. If you move closer, are the grandparents going to be overwhelmed. Are your expectations reasonable?

I can understand moving for better schools, but it's usually the grandparents that move to be closer to the grandchildren, not the other way around. Do the other grandparents not want to drive to see you?

I much prefer to visit my grandchildren in their home (which is now 2000 miles away) because all their stuff is there and it's a place they are comfortable. While I like having the kids visit, it's harder, since my home isn't childproofed and I don't have the toys, etc that they like to play with.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 11:06PM
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I don't think your mother has any right to be annoyed with you. She can be sad and miss you, but it's not like you're moving to Moscow for instance. My 23yo DD has announced she wants to move to the other side of the country. Yes, I'll miss her a lot, but it's her life and I can't live it for her. And I can visit.
Whatever your reasons, where you live is YOUR decision and NO-ONE has the right to be upset with you for it.
I do hope though, that you didn't say to your mother, "Well, I don't know why you say you'll miss the grandkids, it's not like you see much of them" or similar. That WOULD be cause for her to be upset.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 1:18AM
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If the reasons you presented to her were better schools, better job situation or something along those lines then no, she has no right to be upset. It is your life. She raised you and has to let you do what is right for you and your family. If, on the other hand, you told her the reason was "because the other grandparents are better with the grandkids" then yes, she has every right to be upset. I am sure she loves your kids - perhaps she is just the type of person who has difficulty showing it. Perhaps if you let her know that she is welcome to visit as often as she wants and that you still want her to be involved in your kids lives, that will help her adjust. She will be sad for awhile, but will, in time, get used to it. And, if it seems like she is always "visiting' you at first, those visits will get fewer as time goes on.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 10:56AM
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when my son and DIL moved to our city for better jobs she thought i would take their three boys on friday evening and keep them until sunday evening like her mother did, that's what grandmothers are suppose to do. when my son heard that he straightened her out in a hurry, he told mom's got a life.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 5:25PM
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As not all reasons for moving have been given, it's difficult to give an answer. I can understand moving for better schools but an hour and a half away? No better schools closer.
It appears more like the issue is your mother not doing what you think she should do. You stated she has helped you when needed and it wasn't any kind of hassle. That says something. What do you want her to do? Are there programs at the school you want her to show interest in? Have you told her that? Do the children want her more involved? If a program or activity, have you given her the dates and times and advised of any changes?
For the other grandparents to show lots of interest when they are around them is natural in showing love and affection. You try to be extra attentive to what they say and do and do things with them as your time is limited and you put as much as possible into that time.
I'm not convinced the other grandparents are more attentive, it's just making the most of the time they have.
I don't know what you said to your mother. It may have been hurtful.
It just sounds like the move is more for convenience than need. I'd take a step back, take a hard look at everything and then decide if a move is the best thing for everyone. I NEVER would have lived close to my inlaws as I don't feel I should have to tell them everywhere I'm going or what I'm doing and schedule around them. I would not have lived close to my parents as my mother and I are too much alike - stubborn and opinionated!! :O)
Maybe all that was needed was for her to be invited. I used to do much more for my grandchildren but age does catch up with you for all those bumps and bangs you got through the years. Sweetie, I just don't bend like I used to and with the neuropathy now, if I get on my knees, Lord help me find something to pull myself up. Mommas don't usually tell their children of their problems. Maybe she's going through something you have no clue about.
Why not think about your reasons for moving, sit down with you momma and have a good talk and go from there.
It is truly sad but we all look back on our life and say "What If". Do what you need to do but not by breaking someone's heart. Perhaps she seems distant as she's trying to prepare herself for when you, her little girl, is gone. :O(
I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 7:10AM
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Moving to be closer to your husband's family? Thats a big step and if it doesn't work out then what is step two? Your husband is not going to want to move back closer to your mother. Inlaws are really not the same as your own family and if you do make the move may I suggest that you remember not to confide in your MIL about any thing that you would not like to have repeated to everyone else in the family. I don't mean to imply that it has anything to do with her. Its just that in your family you grew up being able to be candid about a whole range of topics which may not match the exact range of opinions in another family. If she has no daughters of her own thats a big help of course. People who live far away always seem more wonderful. Sort of like thinking that you can't wait to move to Upper Michigan until you end up there in the middle of winter, and your car stalls.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 1:58AM
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the question is not does your mother have the right to be upset. Her emotions are her emotions. The questions to me are why is she acting this way and what is your response.

We don't know what you told your mom but can only go by what you said. You said that distance was the best for you and your kids. What message have you sent her? Maybe she is pulling back because she knows that you don't want to be around her and she is protecting her own feelings.

Now the only thing you can control is your response to her. Are you reaching out to her? or just letting her be? Do you discuss how great it is going to be living near your in-laws? or how you will still being seeing her?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 7:05PM
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I am wondering about the difference in the health of both your mother and mother-in-law. That could make a huge difference in the way they are able to attend the kids activities, etc. I know in my situation, that DD's MIL is in great health and is able to be very active, but I have arthritis to the point of great pain and although I would LOVE to take a more active role, I just am not able to do so. But I would be greatly hurt if the reason they are moving is that MIL is more involved.....think about it more before you make such a drastic change... How do you know if the schools would really be so much better to move? A move can drastically affect the kids if they have to leave their friends,etc.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 11:50AM
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I went to a few of my grand kids ball games, but not many of them. I hated the heat and mosquitoes. It didn't mean I loved my GKs any less.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 6:02PM
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I don't think your mother has any right to be upset with you.I mean this must upset her,because she is going to miss you and her grandchildren. She sounds like she is just hurt, that's all. Don't be too upset, she will be okay. Hope everything is okay by now. Grammah

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 11:29PM
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Of course she has the right to distance herself and be upset with you. Everyone has the "right" to feel any old way they want, regardless of whether it is logical or not. Open a dialogue with your mom. Tell her how YOU feel. Get some conversation going and see if you can work things out.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 1:58PM
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