What about help WITH parents?

plasticgardenSeptember 23, 2007

This isnt a parenting question,rather a I need help with MY parent.

Please do not flame me either,this is a geniune problem I need advice for.

My mom is turning 50 in a few months.She's had a rough time after seperating from my stepdad this summer.

I have tried to be there for her as best as I can,but there isnt much you can say to help someone's heartache after a break-up.

Anyways,she has always gone out alot to this bar (couple times a week,also part of her problem with her husband~he was an alcoholic)

Now she has been going there almost everyday (which in some ways I can understand cuz she's lonely and single)

She wants me to throw her a fiftith birthday bash at this bar and even gave me a list of people to invite.She said she wants a stripper too and would pay for some of it.

Here is my problem: I dont want to plan this event! I dont go to bars,especially the one she hangs out at.I'll have my daughter,so obviously she cant be there if my mom wants a stripper and I'm not trying to find a sitter.So,I dont even want to be there!

She has lots of other friends who hang out at this bar,and I dont understand why,me,her DAUGHTER should have to plan this.

I'd have no problem planning something small like a dinner,but she has made it clear that she HAS to have a big bash and a stripper.

Secondly,I'am not wasting my money on a stripper! Not even to pay half or a portion!

She kind of just ambushed me into this and I'm starting to fume over it. I have REAL problems like with my child and school and really dont need to be burdened with crap like this right now.I know if I tell her she will just be mad at me though. She's been so depressed every day so I kinda feel like have too.

Any suggestions?

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Don't let your Mother bully you into doing this. She is hurting right now but this is not her answer. If she wants a bar party, let her friends do it for her. I sure didn't exprct my daughters to throw me a party of any kind. Tell her what you are willing to do and let the rest up to her. If she gets mad, she will get glad again.. My children have been mad at me but they eventually cool down.. We are all adults, just respect each other.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 7:53PM
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Sounds like she's at a crossroads... Getting divorced, at a 'mid-life' age, having to start all over again -- and pi$$ed off and depressed about it. But as you well know, hanging out at a bar every night isn't a great idea.

It's easy for an objective person to look at this situation and see that it has the potential to turn very bad -- either gradually or fairly quickly. Or, it could be some relatively harmless 'blowing off steam' that works its way out of her system and leaves her only a few dead brain cells worse for wear. Any chance you could have a *non-judgemental* discussion with her about this subject so that she ends up essentially setting her own limit for how much time she'll spend there? It would be a pretty delicate conversation...

Do you know any of her bar friends? I think you could get by telling Mom you'll help 'Mary' plan the party, but can only stay a little while because of your kids. Then tell 'Mary' you're a little uncomfortable with the bar and stripper scene and ask if she could pick up the lion's share of the planning.

But the real priority is not the night of the party -- its how your mother moves on with her life.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 9:38PM
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Thanks for support. She has been saying that because she is moving in with a family member who she views as "strict" that that is why she is going out so much.She says once she moves she wont be able to do the things she wants to do.
I think and hope the family member will be a good influence and a positive person for her to be around through this time.

This bar though,has been sort of a focal point in her life since I was a teen.She is fixated with the drama that goes on there and even worked there part time on the weekends on and off. Everytime her and her husband (my stepdad) went there they got into a fight over something.(usually jealousy issues)

I have been telling her for a while it's not a healthy place to hang out if you're married.She would always say she knows but never stopped going there.She always wants me to go there as well and I feel myself constantly having to make excuses to say no.

That is a good idea about asking one of her friends to throw her the party. She gave me a list of like twenty people to call. I'd much rather take her to dinner or something.
I'am worried about her as well though.I've been feeling like I'm the parent and she's the child because I'm constantly checking up on her to make sure she is ok...that she got home safely.She has made a few nonchalant comments about being so drunk she's not sure how she got home.
I'll feel better after she moves and isnt staying alone anymore.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 12:02AM
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Gee your Mum is acting like your child.

I think you are in a corner, here, you certainly MUST set up your boundaries. Only do what you are comfortable with. Your priority is your child. But choose your words very diplomatically. Sweeby always comes up with good suggestions, so follow her advice.

That said, you are going to weather a storm of complaints from her, by the sounds of it. But you can do that. Things will eventually cool down.

It is a worry for you that she is drinking so much. Always leads to trouble, doesn't it !

Take care, let us know what you end up doing.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 3:41AM
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Just don't do it. You know having the party will avoid one conflict, but result in others. So do what your gut says. She's putting you in a bad position asking you to do something you feel is not right. It's not right for her to ask you to sell out your values for her.

Plan what you think is right, a few friends and a bbq, whatever. Maybe a compromise. It should be about the good things in her life, friends and family.

Be honest with her. Tell her you're not comfortable with planning a party at a bar, but you'd like to plan something her friends and family, including granddaughter, can enjoy with her. If she still demands the bar, tell her she'll have to find a friend to plan in then and ask when she can go to dinner with you and your daughter.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 10:04AM
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Ok,I just left her a message about it because she wasnt home.(You can probably guess where she is)
I said that I've been doing some thinking,and I dont feel comfortable planning this party.
I said that I really didnt want to be there,and that I didnt want my daughter being there either.I said I'm sure my husband would not approve of me seeing a stripper,or having me spend our money on one.
I said I think if she wants to have this party,she should go ahead and have it.That's her business.I told her I would love to take her out to dinner or something so we can all spend time as a family....
So,I guess I'll know whether or not she is mad in a little while after she gets home!
Whew! I already feel better just getting the words out there.
Thank you very much for your helpfulness regarding this topic! Hopefully she will understand.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 7:15PM
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Didnt go as well as I had hoped.
She said she would "pass" on me taking her out to dinner.When I asked why she said that if she wasnt having her party she was going to just skip her birthday this year.

Then she said she wasnt moving in with the family member because of last night.She said she went over there last night and was asked if that was vodka on her breath.She said yes,so what?
The family member said there would be rules when she moved in.She said she's a 5o year old woman and isnt following any rules.
So I asked her what she was going to do since she has to be out of her place by this weekend.She said stay in a hotel! Then she started crying and said she wasnt in a good mood and had to go.
Now of course,I feel really bad...I'm begining to wonder if she isnt an alcoholic.She would have only had to not go out and drink for a few months while living rent free at the family members until she got back on her feet.And,she doesnt even want to quit for that.
I guess saying I'm worried is an understatement...

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 9:07PM
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Oh dear... Well, I can see why she would feel offended at the idea of having to follow someone else's rules. But at the same time, if she were only a 'light social drinker,' the rule probably wouldn't even be there because there would be no reason for concern.

Sounds like it's time for your mom to take time out for a good examination of her life -- where she is, where she's heading, where she wants to go. Is this something she could do, do you think? And is there anyone else who could help her through this process? (Sometimes it's hard given the parent-child dynamic.)

Is there anything else she likes to do that could be used to lure her away from this bar? Maybe taking some classes in the evening? A church or civic group? Volunteer work?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 9:42AM
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If it goes against your values, you have to say no. Your child may think, WOW, this if fun and you don't want that. LOL

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 12:54PM
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Ok,sorry I havent updated but I have been busy.

She IS still moving in with the family member after all.So I'am very confident things will get better because this particular person really has their act together and is a positive and spiritual person to be around.
Also,I contacted one of her friends from the list she gave me,and she is more than willing to take the lead and plan this party.
Sweeby~my mom actually had two weeks of out patient care for depression about a month ago.When she first got out she seemed positive and ready to re-assess her life.Until recently when contact with her seperated husband (my stepdad) has left her feeling blue again.
It seems as though she has some really good days and then stumbles and gets real depressed again.I guess this is normal for any break up.Especially after 12 years of marriage.
Thanks so much for all the advice and help.Things are starting to look up and now I dont have to plan the party.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 5:56PM
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Glad to hear it worked out for you.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 10:51AM
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