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I Am Constantly Judged By My Mom

Discussion in 'Parents & Siblings' started by SGBV, Nov 6, 2023.

  1. SGBV

    SGBV IL Hall of Fame

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    I have a unique problem, which is eating up my peace these days. I feel disappointed, used and insulted. Perhaps I am overreacting, or my hormones are playing with my mood. But, honestly I am so sad, and feeling very bad right now. One of those days :(

    Of late, I am witnessing a pattern in which my mom takes the opposite stand to whatever I do, I decide or I chose.
    She finds fault in everything i do. Literally I had to fight my lungs out, take risky decisions without support, and stand all by myself against her to do what I want.
    This has been the norm since the beginning.
    I can't recall anytime where I had her fullest support or even a neutral stand. She has always stayed against me in the past.

    But, our relationship is kind of love hate relationship. We do fight or argue every single week, but we reconcile and love each other.

    She loves me so dearly. She chose me over my siblings, she loves my children so much. She still cooks for me, makes dishes I love, helps a lot selflessly and think about my future all the time.

    However, she doesn't like me. She doesn't like the way I look, the way I style myself, my career, my husband, my life style, my decisions, my pride... She doesnt respect any of the above and always criticizes them harshly.

    She is never proud of my success, always sees the problems I have, and openly says she would have been happier had I chosen a simple, happy life than this life.

    Well, initially I thought it is her love, over protectiveness and fear about my future that is making her act weird this way, and hence she is being too critical. But lately I am seeing this pattern in her of putting me down in front of my family, my own kids and finding narcissistic pleasure in them.

    The whole family is proud about me for my career success, and there are younger cousins who aspire to be like me. There are neighboring kids who consider me as a role model.
    But my mom still criticise my work, and thinks it was pure luck that I earn good. She openly say she won't recommend any kid to chose my career path. Instead, she encourage my own children to be like their mama (my bro).

    I look much younger to my age, and I maintain a healthy lifestyle and sincere care on my body to look young. I take pride when someone complements on my looks. But my mom often compare me to some random X, Y, Z and always put me down for whatever I lack.

    It has been the case since childhood. Those days, she would compare me to some 10 different girls, for each with different qualities.
    Like X's hair is better than yours, learn to tie your hair like X.
    Y looks fair, you are too dark.
    Z scores better in English, why not you.
    C has a silent character, where as you are too loud.
    I was forced to grow long hair like X, maintain clear fair skin like Y, speak softly like C while studying hard to score like Z. That's too much, but whenever I do, I get zero appreciation.
    When I demand appreciation, she would attribute all my success to luck or her prayers, and never ever allow me to celebrate anything. If I ever say something in self appraisal, she would warn me to watch out or sometimes say my head weight is the cause of my suffering.

    Over these years, I have become super grounded, and overtly concerned about everything, which in a positive manner helped me in many ways.

    But, my inner self yearn for her appreciation, her approval and liking towards me.

    I feel like a puppy in her life. She likes me dearly, loves to keep me around her, but she never consider myself as someone worthy enough to discuss, ask opinion or even make decisions.

    These days, I have witnessed her search history in her Tablet, which shows videos/articles against some of my recent decisions.

    Recently I have decided to invest in a property in Sri Lanka, and I have almost zeroed in with a good one.
    She has been voicing against this, and I see a lot of videos in her tab, talking against such investment.

    If I support a certain actor or a cricketer, she would search vigorously to find articles against them only to put me and my choices down in front of the family... Like... Look at who your mom likes, he is a fool, he/she is good for nothing... Why does your mom makes such lose choices etc...

    Despite of me trying to prove myself and disregarding her supportive videos (to validate what she says) she goes on to argue, and fight that often ends in silent treatments and heartache for both.

    Sometimes I feel silly to argue with a 75 year old, that too my dear mom for simplest matters that have no worth. But then, I worry, because my pre teen kids are watching us and at times I worry they might think their mom is not right. It hurts.

    I already have a dysfunctional family, I call it unique, and make this normal in front of the kids. Which itself a lot of multi tasking. I have NP energy to fight and keep proving myself to everyone. Especially to my mom and kids.

    My siblings, their spouses and extended family see me as a super star. They look up to me for advice and guidance.

    My colleagues think I am the best.

    The other day, my manager appreciated that I am the most balanced person she has ever worked with in the past.

    My staff, maid and driver too think I am good.

    I barely do anything extra to these people, yet they are by my side.

    But, I give my heart and soul to my family. I die a million times to ensure my immediate family including my mom are living comfortable.

    I even risked my love life for her. My heart still races fast whenever my mom and H are at home, thinking what would be their next fight. In order to ensure they mind their business, I had to take extreme care in every aspect of life, and this is NOT EASY. Yet, my family show no gratitude, no love, no respect.

    Especially, when mom takes time to dig through and fault finding just to make me inferior kills me.

    I am loosing my patience, loosing my happiness and these days I feel guilt after reacting heavily. Especially considering mom's age and stuff.

    Why can't she support me or take a neutral stand and stay calm instead of making a sincere effort to put me down every single time, that too for 40 long years.

    Does she think o don't recognise this?
    Come on... I told her that I know this, and I am hurt. She says, I am dilutional. She knows, I have no one except her to support.
    My H doesn't care, and my kids are unsure which side to take, and my siblings would always support mom, else she would emotionally threaten them (age factor, their rivelry on me etc...)
    So, I feel I am unnecessarily picked, poked criticized... Even though I always stay away from everyone.

    I have no privacy as I live with mom, whom we consider as part of our family, but she acts as if she is a judge.

    I am sorry for this long vent, and typo as I type from my mobile.

  2. beautifullife30

    beautifullife30 Platinum IL'ite

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    Its ok ra...all of us go through them. Sit tight ang fight it through and this too shall pass soon.

    Welcome to the club :) . I believe i had a similar issue and i remember you guiding me to just let go of stuff which doesnt matter. I started practising that and let me tell you it is giving me immense peace of mind.

    Exactly my mom does the same. She does all this but...there is always a but. To an outside it seems like i am ungrateful for whatever she does for me. Heck, even i feel like i am being ungrateful for the help she does.

    But at the end of the day i feel like i am constantly judged, criticized and well in short everything you feel above. I feel that given a chance she would just be with anyone else than be with me. Honestly Had my sister's home was welcome enough, she wouldnt be with me, had my grandparent's home was near enough, maybe i will be alone with my kids. But she chose me coz she felt safest with me.

    My mom doesnt think highly of me too. Infact i am the highest earner in my family circle but i am still looked down as the lady who doesnt know to cook properly, cant manage her kids, doesnt manage finances properly well the list goes on....

    I feel that similar to my mom, your mom also feels safest with you. Yes, she would be happy with your sister and brother also, but she knows that unlike them, with you she can have more space, more leverage with things. She can easily get away doing and saying things to you than them coz they probably wont tolerate as much as you do!

    And she also knows that your need for her is the most. And this dependency of yours is what makes her feel all important and powerful and makes her want to put you down. She wants to show others that she is an integral part of your family and that your family cant survive without her.

    This is the only way she can validate her staying with you and make herself and others believe that if she leaves, your house would crumble. She wants everyone to believe that. And i feel that she putting you down is the only way she can make you believe that she, not you have the full control of your house and your family. Yes, the truth is far from it. Husband is not ok she staying and kids would get used to grandma leaving for s

    :) sorry i smiled coz i heard the same form my mother too.....

    Yes, these comments are probably her way of taking out her frustration.

    I am gonna talk about my mom, see if it helps tackle your problem. My mom is a meek personality as in she has trouble expressing displeasure with others. Be it my sister, her brothers, her sister. She keeps mum when they put her down or say thing to her.

    When i say anything remotely unkind in her opinion or use a a little weird tone, thats it. All hell breaks loose. I am this and i am that. i felt that she feels i am easily accessible to her for taking out her frustrations on me.

    If i go out and talk about this to others, nobody would believe that my mom is capable of talking such things but trust me she does and she does it only to me. So i have chalked it all up to she being lonely and me being the only available scape goat for her frustrations.

    Don't. I had a similar issue when i was expecting and she was just taking it out on me for god knows what reason. That day i lost my cool and told her this is no longer her house and that it was my house. Yes, i felt bad for talking such things. I felt horrible and like a monster to myself for thinking such stuff actually.

    The point is now she knows i wont hesitate to talk and probably act on that. I know i wont send her away but she thinks i might. So she is now keeping her critisism to a minimum. I dont mind getting scolding for things i really deserve but unfairly treating me or my child for taking out her frustrations are not right and i wont and didnt want to be ok with those things.

    Life is short. Yes, i love my mom and yes, i would love my mom to stay with me but not at the cost of my happiness. That is what propelled me to talk back to her and put her in her place.

    You know, i used to wonder the same. But i have come to realise that even mom's have their own shortcomings and expecting her/ anyone to be supportive of us when we are in need of support is a waste a time and energy.

    My advice to you is to let it go! Does staying in her good books matter a lot you? Why? Why do you need validation for your achievements from her. From what you said, it looks like most of the people you meet are in awe of your achievements. So bask in that and let this just go!

    I know she is your mom. But i have come to realise that moms have baggage too. They also feel jealous of things. Why they should feel jealous of a daughter is beyond me but yeah, those feelings do exist. After all, all of us are humans. So leave it be and let it go.

    You are what you are. Be proud, stand tall, pat yourself on your back. Keep rewarding yourself! Enjoy a solo day by shopping or eating or whatever it is that you like doing and keep moving forward.
    SGBV likes this.
  3. kavikuyil

    kavikuyil Bronze IL'ite

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    A 3rd person opinion for whatever its worth:
    I feel your mom didn't choose to be here because she loves you. She chose to be with you for all the comfort your life brings her and the fact that you let her overpower you ... the you that she is probably jealous of .. this constant putting you down probably gives her a high - that she's bigger than the you, that she's jealous of.

    Send her to your siblings house for a year or two or forever ... hire a cook and take a break from this constant source of negativity... you don't need this.
  4. Divyasaravanan

    Divyasaravanan Silver IL'ite

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    In tamil there is a proverb, kaicha maram thaan kalladi padum, I think she is commenting about you only because you are really successful and perfect compared to your siblings! I can totally understand how much your heart yearns for appreciation from your loved ones, but sometimes we dont get everything in life. So just dont bother about them and keep marching forward. People who criticize you will be standing at the same place and you'll reach a point where their criticisms don't even reach you anymore! You go girl!!
    And btw, you are an inspiration to me and I am sure to a lot of other ILs too! You are a perfect example of how far a woman can go in her career and lead her family as well if she has the determination and will!
  5. HariLakhera

    HariLakhera Platinum IL'ite

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    Have you ever tried to look back and honestly assess the failures in life (certainly there might be some) where you feel the results would have been positive had you listened to your mother? If you find none, which is most unlikely, then you can continue ignoring what your mom says. If you find otherwise, then listen to her for a change. Success in life is not without cost and possibly that is what she tries to tell you because she cares.
  6. SGBV

    SGBV IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for responding. Now i remember your post and my response. See the roles are reversed now, and i can very well relate to what you went through.

    If I remember correctly, my mom never planned to stay with me. She always wanted to live in her own fortress/which was her own home where she lived like a queen before. She shared a very positive relationship with my sister rather than myself or my brother as we were very strong characters in nature, and acted rebellious while growing up, but our sister was much calm and composed and always obeyed parents.

    Both myself and my brother ended up being self dependents, grew in our respective career, and made own choices in life though they were seemingly riskier, but we navigated through towards success. Whereas our sister chose to settle with a "normal' 9-5 clerical level job, and married through the arranged way. Hence she ended up living in a middle class life, and needed further support from parents then and there.

    So, mom chose to gift our family home to our sister, and chose to live with her. This was agreed by all, and they started living under one roof after our sister's marriage in 2011.

    Within 3 months into sharing the house after sister's marriage, my mom felt uncomfortable and unwanted in her own house. She would come to my place to complain and feel very sad thinking about her future.

    As most of you know, I was going through hell in my marriage like back in 2011, with minimum support from my mom/FOO as it was an inter-religious love marriage against their wish. That time, I was looking to get back to my job, and moving away from my in laws. But I needed support from a reliable family member (as my H wasn't supportive then) to take care of my 9 month old son while I focus on work in a different city.

    It was a win-win for both myself and mom that time, and we both agreed to proceed with this plan.

    Knowing that both won't get along well (different characters), my brother warned mom to re-think the idea. Besides, he wasn't married then and felt so lonely to live at our home, which is now given to sister after her marriage. He insisted mom to come back after one month, so we decided mom would train my nanny for one month and then go back to her home.

    That one month was the game changer for all. I felt immensely relieved when mom was with me, especially the love and care she showed on my son and myself after all that I went through in my marriage. This support helped me to focus and grow in my career. My in laws and H backed off and reduced the amount of torture they gave me when my mom stayed with me.

    On the other hand, my mom felt home at my place and felt very comfortable and useful in her old age compared to that of my sister's place. So, she informed my brother that she would prefer to stay back and continue the support, mainly for the child who is in need of good care.

    Since both my brother and sister loved my child, and knew that I need mom more than them at that time, allowed her to continue her stay for a few more months.

    During this time my sister became pregnant, needed care and found it difficult to manage the home and host/cook for my brother as well. So, again the entire family suggested that my mom go back to her home to take care of my sister and support my unmarried brother back then.

    Reluctantly my mom returned, but she missed my son more than anything and yearned to be with him. On the other hand, I also found it difficult to manage my child without mom's care as I could not settle with a reliable nanny. However, I did not ask for any help.

    Mom and my brother later offered to take the child, who is now 1.5 years with them back to our native place, and provide better care due to the fact that my job involve plenty of travelling and I can't always carry my child along. Also, there was no support from my H then.

    I half heartedly agreed to this solution on a temporary basis while I was on a 2 weeks trip to Thailand, but during then I understood a huge fight evoke between my mom and sister; hence my mom moved out of the house with my 1.5 year old son, and rented a house nearby to live. My brother also moved in with mom, and they both took better care of my child there. I used to visit there during weekends and long holidays, and eventually it became my home when I decided to bring another child in the family.

    So, when we constructed our own home back in 2013, the same people moved in, and this time my H also joined. The next year, my brother got married and moved out of my house to the house he created with his spouse. My mom was welcomed there, and she found it hard to leave my 2 kids, who were under her responsibility then.

    Again, we had issues where my brother expected my mom to come and help his wife who was pregnant. None of us expected mom to physically help, as we all had maids and nannies to support. But we really wanted her moral support by being with us and overseeing the maids and nannies.

    Mom briefly moved in with my brother after I had taken sabbatical to release her in 2014, but she did not feel home at my brother's place due to SIL's nature. There were obvious difference of opinion and mom was scared of even speaking up in front of her DIL fearing what if she manipulates and change her son against her. So, she preferred to be back with me.

    However, she never communicated the real reason, but always said my life is in danger, I should go back to work, my kids miss her blah blah... so my brother, sister and SIL think mom favors me over them, and she is being partial.
    They did not like this, however they also know my vulnerable situation; hence allowed mom to chose wherever she wants to stay.

    During then, mom would always pretend that she is not happy in my place due to my H and his parents' interferences, but she still chose to stay with me to protect me and the kids. Everyone believed that, including myself; hence I was so thankful to mom for taking this extra mile to be with me.
    Her presence in my place back then was so important for me to live peacefully and concentrate in my career, although she has created a lot of problems due to her issues with my H and his family.

    In 2020, I received a very good offer to move to a foreign country, but unfortunately that offer did not cover my mother. When we were planning to migrate, we thought mom is finally free to live wherever she want. Either she can go back to her own home/which is now sister's home or live with her son/my brother as she pleases. But she created a drama and accused me for leaving her behind in the hands of my sister and SIL (both inconvenienced her stay at their places) knowing that she can't live with them. Although she did not explicitly told these to my brother or sister (but told them that she can't live without my kids blah blah) she expressed her shock on how easily I could replace her etc. To which my SIL fueled the fire and said, I had used my mother.

    That's when I rejected the offer against all the odds, and at the cost of fighting with my H to tell the world that I was not selfish and I do care for my mother. In fact, I realized my mom could not live without me, and it is my duty to take care of her for the rest of my life. However, I wanted this to be told loud and clear and made sure my mom tells this to my siblings.

    Now that everyone knows very clearly that it is not me, but my mom who choses this and they don't play the blame game anymore. Even during our bi-annual vacation to Sri Lanka, my mom never spend a day at my siblings' home. She always stay with me.

    However, I can very well understand her social insecurities and the reasons behind all the fights despite of her love she has for me. She just wants to prove to the world as well as to me and to her self that her presence in my home is inevitable. She will create situations where it will be evident that she is not replicable, and she finds happiness in them.

    I am all ok if these situations can make her happy and content during the rest of her stay with me. I will make sure that she is comfortable no matter what, but at the same time I am also a human being with all the emotions. My heart yearn for her appreciation.

    Unlike before, my mom has accepted me these days. She has discussed how lucky she is to have a DD like me, and how successful I am, and how happy she is to live with me etc... She has told my siblings that she would be nothing without me. I know all these, but she has never shared the same with me or with my children ever.
    Unfortunately all I hear from her is how uncomfortable it is for her to live with me for the sake of my stupidity (marriage and choice of career) and for the sake of my not so good kids.

    She is 75, so I can't fight with her. But venting here is the only solution. Sorry guys
  7. paru123

    paru123 Gold IL'ite

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    My moms behavior is also more or less the same like your mom. She finds fault in the things i do. My cooking, habits, parenting style, etc etc. She keeps nagging for silly things. She feels that i should listen to her likea 5 year old girl. Sometimes i feel she is still stuck in the previous times. I tell her often, times have changed and we have to keep up with the current era. She wants to dictate to me at what time i should be doing what activity. If i tell her anything for her benefit, like any health tip or exercise, she would plainly refuse to do that and question me as to when did I become a doctor.
    I give maximum liberty to my daughter. She is against that too. She always wants to see the child study or do some activity. Just the next day after her exams were over, she started telling me to teach her next portion so that it would be easier for the child for the next exams. I had to very harshly tell her that the child needs some break from the exam stress.
    This fault finding is only restricted to me. She would never say anthing to my sibling though his manners and habits are fully derailed. She says she doesnt want to give more stress by advising him though he very badly needs some advice. She has a good rapport with all relatives through phone and never pin point anyones mistake. Only her daughter is the biggest rule breaker in the whole world. Rest everyone is perfect.
    I feel scary that my daughter would judge me wrong.
  8. EverydayBloom

    EverydayBloom Gold IL'ite

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    Hi @SGBV

    I have seen your journey right from abusive in-laws to successful women in her carrer or path that you have taken. I admire your courage right from taking challenges in every stage of life to giving your FOO the best.

    From my experience I understand/experience complete strangers/people who knew us very less are the ones who appreciate/congratulate/take us as inspiration than who support us(physically/mentally/financially) in our day-to-day life that is none other than spouse/children/parents/siblings/in-laws.

    The best way to get through this is to accept their opinions/blames/suggestions with grain of salt and appreciate the blessings/wishes/proud moments you are getting from outside world. I am not saying your own FOO is not realizing what you are doing for them in the best way possible, only thing is they take us for granted, as they know we don't stop anything we doing with our heart.

    This thought process gave me peace over time as we can't force anyone after all they are human too!!
  9. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    Sometimes, 75 year olds need some recognition. She probably feel left alone at home as you are too busy with work. Her mind has to be kept busy at this age as she has not facing the same problems you are encountering. You work hard to solve your problems as opposed to her watching it handled.

    My feeling is she is seeking an appreciation from you. The environment around her is such that everything happening are due to your careful planning and execution. Perhaps, your sibilings and their spouses appreciate you in every conversation she had with them.

    I would simply recommend a slight change in your conversations with her. Begin to tell her that what you are today is because of your parents upbringing of you. Tell her more often that you are so successful because she is there for you and take care of your family. Sometimes, mothers can compete for attention when you naturally get it from everyone. Also, anything you decide about the family, begin to discuss with her before you make a final decision without telling your decision first. For a woman of her age, it is hard for her to digest someone much younger than her (her daughter in this case) can make wise decisions that helps the family. A couple of decisions you take, you attribute to the discussions you had with your mother and her able counsel. She simply needs attention and recognition. How does it matter who gets credit for every decision as long as the family is taken care well?

    Hopefully, this step would help you resolve this issue over a period of time.
  10. SGBV

    SGBV IL Hall of Fame

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    Unfortunately, this is not an option. I may cry, vent here and even argue a bit with her, but I can't send her anywhere knowing she will not be comfortable there. I can't bear the pain and guilt afterwards. She is 75, and how many more years she is going to live?

    I know... I learned this the hard way.

    Of course, 100%.
    I have faced hundreds of failures if not thousands, and I know some of them would have been turned positive had I listened to my mom. But on the other had, I wouldn't be here today if I dreaded those failures earlier. My mom always wanted me to aim small, chose simple path, and live content with what I have. But that's not my inbuild nature.
    I always wanted to aim big, try hard for success, and I feel so satisfied when I am successful, rather than living in a simple content life. We are simply different characters.

    It is not that I ignore my mom, but I continue to try to prove her that my way of life is also not bad. Just let me live and accept. Because I did not fail, even if I fail I did not complain.

    When my brother takes risky decisions, she supports. Out of genuine care, she says something here and there, but after knowing that he is determined to do, she will back off. She will change her mind and start supporting him, so that he won't fail.

    When my sister takes risky decisions, she will complain to me, she will keep her comments very basic, and after that she will say it is their life, let them face it. Of course if my sister fails the burden will be on myself and my brother. Because we are a close knit family and we will not leave one of us to suffer for life. But mom still chose to give them the space.

    However, since she is living with me since my birth, I have been seeing this pattern of rejection, complain, prevention, and whatever it takes to ensure that I don't do anything that is not considered normal/regular/mundane in the family.
    This rejection itself shatters my base, and I will lose the confidence to some extend. But I will still pursue as my drive was so much, that I really wanted to do certain things in life to progress.
    Once I become successful, the entire world will congratulate me except for my mom, who will still find fault and justifies why she rejected this idea from the beginning. This has become an ego clash between us these days.

    I can very well remember the cycle of emotions from the past. In fact, as a child I yearned for her appreciation and support, but as I grew up I stopped expecting anything, but just her blessings. Later I was content with whatever I received and stopped expecting further.
    Now at this stage of life, I see my children are looking up at me, and growing and their personalities are forming in this pre-teen age.
    Unlike us, they open up several discussions with us, and I could see the rebellious nature in them, which indicates that they will not settle with little. I appreciate this, and I want to stand by their decisions no matter what to regulate them with my experience. I believe their path to success and happiness would be less complicated compared to mine with all the guidance, appreciation and support they receive from parents.

    However, I am worried that my mom might ruin this at the nip of it. She tells them that being rebellious made me suffer a lot in life, and it was my mistake that I chose this path. But my children should be raised differently to ensure they have better life. My mom compares myself to some of my friends with subtle life style, and asks my children to be like them. This makes me furious, because like any other mother, I also want to be a hero in front my kids, and I feel I deserve to be one.

    My mom have so munch influence on my kids. She raises them, and live with them full time. Honestly, she believes I am at the wrong end. This is her belief, and she will not change her views. But this should not affect our family dynamics.
    HariLakhera likes this.

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