How do i deal with a controlling, over-sensitive mother?

My mother keeps crossing the line with me, trying to control every aspect of my life with forced and unwanted advice. She is extremely giving and self-sacrificing, but she undermines all my decisions. Since my children were born, she plays favorites with my oldest (3yrs) and is constantly interfering in my parenting to the point where she criticizes the children's programming I choose for them on TV. She always contradicts me and argues in front of the kids. I have on occasion asked her to leave when she physically stepped in to stop me from picking up my baby or do other such things. She gets very hurt and angry when I don't do exactly as she says and she is the queen of "I told you so". Lately, I am very stressed around her and feel that I can never be myself or parent my children as I see fit . Family members and friends who have observed her behavior and commented on it have been barred from her life as sworn "enemies". She has no other life outside me & my brother and she does not want one. She says her happiness depends on us and walks around with a chip on her shoulder because we are never grateful enough or obedient enough to her "advice". So when she's unhappy, it's because of us! I feel like the bad guy whenever I assert myself and like a pushover whenever I don't. I have had it with her emotional manipulation and martyr act. What more can I do?

5 answers

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ANSWER #1 of 5

Stop feeling like the bad guy! Sit down with her one day and telll her how you feel about the whole situation, and make sure you get the point across that she is making your life uneasy. IN the end tell her that if she doesn't stop that you will cut her off from your children and yourself. Then she is forced to go and make a life for herself.
It will be hard if it leads to that, but she needs to learn more respect for you. And if it does lead to that then don't give into her, make her know you are serous.
the best of luck to you!


ANSWER #2 of 5

What would you do if she were doing this to YOUR kids? You'd forbid her from seeing them. You'd stop her from tormenting them. You'd see to it that she didn't make them feel guilty and that they weren't under her thumb.

So why is it that you feel YOU have to endure this control and abuse? You're a grown woman now. You have the right not to be put down in front of your own children! You have the right to respect. Your children WILL pick up on the fact that you're constantly undermined and overruled. It's harder to regain respect and control than it is to lose it as far as your kids go...

I would recommend a phone conversation, that way you can censor what she says from your children. And you don't have to 'throw her out' because she won't be there. It'll be less awkward. I think you should tell her exactly what you told us and if she interrupts you, give her one more chance to listen and then politely end the call if she doesn't.

She isn't going to want you out of her life, TRUST me on that. As much as it sounds like she loves your kids and, yes, you (people don't butt in all the time if they don't love you- however misguided their actions are), she's not going to want to be away for too long. You're her daughter- I think she'll pout for a while but then she'll try to be on her best behavior. Of course, you may have to endure some guilt trips- but stand your ground! You are a mom now, you have to start being assertive. You DESERVE to be assertive. :)

Good luck with everything.

mother-in-law and the sister-in-law

ANSWER #3 of 5

Thanks for all the good advice. I have done all of those things. The problem is, whenever her life feels empty, she gets worse with her behavior. She will flare up until I Ireach my breaking point, I'll push back and take my space, there will be bad blood for a while and then things will start up again. She'll be careful at first and then she'll evolve into a monster again. I'm just really tired of this cycle. It's extremely stressful. I don't know how many times I have to assert myself before she stops it for good.

How can I treat my mother better?
ANSWER #4 of 5

I would try doing public meetings. Maybe get together for an hour or so at a playground once every few weeks so she can see the kids. If she oversteps her boundaries, leave. Let her know you're serious about this (again). If it still doesn't sink in, I think you're going to just have to let her life be empty then. She may not ever stop it... I would send her photos of the children at Christmas, and school photos every school year with a cordial letter. And that would be the extent of it.

Should I kick my 23-year-old daughter out?

ANSWER #5 of 5

I agree with kdsmm. You're old enough to take care of your own issues, you're an adult and a father, so there's nothing your mother has to control anymore. The one who has to control now it's you. As for her unhappiness being because of you, well, if she seriously says that she's not being wise. Parents are supposed to help us become worthy men and women, once that is done, there's nothing for them to do anymore. They can only observe us when as we grow.

Why would my sister in law be so horrible to me?

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