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New Decisions, What Next???

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by SGBV, Jun 17, 2020.

  1. SGBV

    SGBV Finest Post Winner

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    Hi all,

    How have you all been? I am good, despite the craziness of this COVID19 pandemic & lock down situation.

    I need some help, though I am not sure whether my query belongs here or not. Just found some relevance as it is anyway related to my married life.

    A little background :
    I've been married for 11 years, with 2 amazing kids. Life was a bit roller coaster ride initially because of parental interference due to our inter faith marriage. However, we have learnt to overcome almost all these problems to lay a strong foundation to our marriage now. Life's good since then.

    I am the primary bread-winner of our family. Since my I have got a perfect career, with a promising future I decided to hang on it firmly. On the other hand, my H has been struggling with his career ever since he has started. And, he doesn't prioritize his career either.
    Apart from this role reversal in terms of our career, nothing else has changed in our marital life. I mean, still I am the hands on parent, with multi-tasking role at home as a wife, daughter and momma. Whereas, my H comfortably plays a secondary role in everything.
    In a nut shell, I wish if he becomes a dotting house-husband by taking control of everything relaeted to the home, so that I could fully focus on my career & grow as the sky is my limit.
    But, in reality things are very different. Even if my H comes down to do everything for us, there are so many things that prevents him from doing it.

    The current issue:
    As you all know that I have been working away from my home town since the past decade. Either I traveled daily or weekly or sometimes spent 6 weeks at a stretch in different continents for work & met my family only for 2-3 weeks in between etc... But I never had the luxury of working between 9-5 in the same town where my family lives.
    Having said that, I missed my family very badly during all these while. Though my mom replaced me pretty much at home, being a second mom to my kids, and a care-taker at home while there were many paid helpers to assist her such as a maid, teacher, driver & gardener working on full/part time basis at our home.
    We also had our in laws living in the next door, and a great neighbor who was our long time family friend too. And an uncle, my brother and a couple of on-call assistants to coordinate and help my mom & kids during my absence to run the home. It was a luxury, that kept my unusual work & life somewhat balanced during the past decade.

    However, 2020 was a disaster for us.
    Due to some misunderstanding, we had to cut ties with our inlaws and they no longer exist for us.
    On the other hand, my brother's family moved to Singapore for his daughter's treatments. It was a sudden unexpected move; hence we lost their support completely.
    My mom is completely lost, as she is no longer my strong support system, but a fragile depressed elderly woman all of a sudden. Blame her health, the family issues, her age and so on....
    That friendly neighbor has moved to a different locality, and their new tenant is no longer friendly with us.
    All those paid helpers have slowly left us, and no one is currently with us during this pandemic. Looks like, we will not recruit anyone till the situation backs to normalcy.

    At the beginning of this covid19 pandemic, I was under immense pressure to leave my job despite so much financial commitments. But, thankfully this lockdown situation favored me. I was asked to work from home, which allowed me to handle both my family & career responsibilities at my own pace.
    Nevertheless, things have slowly picked up, and the work pressure is now very very high on me.
    It is partly because I have been promoted to a much higher position with a huge responsibility to manage a team comprised of South Asian region. Hence I am expected to fully focus on my work, give my 100% effort and time for it.

    Here at home, I cook 3 fresh meals. Each meal takes at least 1.5 hrs for the making. The cleaning part comes next.
    Besides, ours is a 2 story building with many rooms. There are kids who make messes every now and then; hence I need to sweep at least twice daily, and mop twice a week as a routine. Washing, folding cloths, arranging and re-arranging the stuffs every now and then makes me too busy and tired. Its just too much for a woman who has never worked this much at home before.

    Amidst this, I need to teach my kids. These on-line classes are too much for a mom. I need to prepare the kids before hand, arrange for their zoom classes, and do the home-work with them regularly. I have 2 kids, and elder one is sitting for an important exam at grade 5 this year. So the pressure is high.
    Besides, teachers expect us to take videos of the younger child (grade 2) reading, poem regularly, and pictures of elder child's papers. Oh... that's too much work.

    On top of it, my bro has returned back for work and currently stays with us as his family still resides abroad. So the onus of giving him food, washing his cloth etc..etc.. is on us. I am 100% OK to give him a pleasant stay at my place as he is my dear brother. But, meeting my mom's expectation to give him a 5 star stay is a bit too much for me, when I have so much on my plate.

    My H and kids are very much adjusting. They don't expect me to die in kitchen for a hot meal. But my mom is really stressed when I heat up the curry for my brother's dinner as she expects me to serve him fresh. If not, she jumps in the kitchen to make him a fresh chapatis and curries.
    Her reasoning is that he is alone, and sad, which I understand. On the other hand, she wants to give him healthy diet as he is diabetic.
    But I would be happy if she also cooks 3 more chapatis for my H, as he too diabetic.
    When my bro eats fresh chapatis, I feel bad to serve left over rice and curry (from lunch time) as dinner for my H, who is also diabetic. This way, I am forced to cook chapatis or whatever diabetic friendly for my H, and then normal food for myself and the kids. Because they are not used to eat anything brown.
    Cooking 3 meals is already a problem for a full time working woman. So can you imagine, cooking 2-3 different menus for 3 times????

    My mom and H dont gel well. Earlier they had issues, but they managed during my absence. My mom expects me to be bossy and suppress my H as he has misbehaved with her in the past, when he was under the heavy influence of in laws. She keeps the grudges, and want to use my upper hand in the family/finances to take revenge.
    Earlier, she used to find faults on my H everytime, and threatens me by saying that she would leave our house if things repeated. While I work outside, I was completely dependent on mom for child care, as she wouldn't allow me to send them to day care or bring in a permanent nanny (I mean, she would heavily criticize the day care and nanny as if it was a life threatening matter for the child, that too when I was away from them. So, ultimately I had to leave them under her care to feel safe when I am away).
    During those times, I would fight with H, and in fact make him apologize with her each time when there was a problem. It was partly because of my H's bad manners, and carelessness, that my mom blows those problems out of proportion.

    Now that, since I stay home, I don't find those complaints are valid for a fight. I request mom to adjust or let go of these small differences as they are not intentional. But she forces me to fight, and when I chose not to fight, she makes faces. She gives me silent treatment, and behaves like a depressed person by avoiding food and making dramas. This makes us fight almost daily for nothing.

    But this time, I have been firm that I shall not fight with H, rather work together with him to build our home. Because fighting or emotionally distancing from each other further damages my life and that of our kids. Besides, I've learnt a good lesson for depending on someone else rather than my spouse all these while.

    All said and done, I feel really abused at my own home (the home I build, and the luxuries that I provided for my family).
    I cry almost daily, skip my meals, lose my bond with my H as I feel depressed all the nights, and unnecessarily argue with my kids when I am expected to enjoy this precious time with them.
    I could also sense that I lose heavily on my work front, as sleepless nights and overloaded work affects my efficiency in office work.

    While I am struggling like this, I've got an offer to work in Bangladesh for 1 year. If I accept this offer, I would be expected to leave in 2-3 months when situation comes back to normalcy (it is almost normal in SL)
    It is a family station, with a great remuneration package where I could take my family.
    Kids are too young, so I am not at all bothered about their school matter. It is important that they live with mom than go to better schools.
    I & H are really looking forward to a change, and to be away from all the negativeness around us. (from both sets of parents)

    But at this stage, if I invite mom to join us she would say NO.
    She has always said NO in the past, so out of no choice I had to leave the kids with her back at home, and live alone. 1. Because I was not confident that I could handle kids in an alien land without mom's support. Those days H wasn't reliable. 2. I didn't want to leave mom alone at this old age, specially after all her helps in the past. During the last couple of months, H is back on track and I could have gone with him & the kids. But I didn't want to leave mom alone as i felt guilty doing so.

    Now that, I must make a decision.
    I can't leave kids as I have witnessed how much it affects them. How much they misses me. How much we misses our precious time together.
    I can't travel frequently, and I don't want to be a money machine anymore. I just want to work and live with family like everyone else.
    My H too likes the same, and believes this change would bring positivity to our marriage. In fact, we both do really well. Shower each other with love, care for each other and are happy with the kids we are blessed with.
    Just that, either my mom or his mom puts guilt on us on a daily basis, with an intention to take revenge, and it seems like they are using us. We either get easily carried away with their motherly drama or feel guilt when we chose not to dance as per their tune. Both badly affect our mental health; hence the fraction in our marriage despite our strong bond.

    I believe, if mom comes with us, she would try to conduct herself good as it would be an alien land for her, and she would be our dependent there.
    Here, she feels more powerful as she has also a home, family and all living in this locality, and we are also depending on her for the child care as I always work away from home.

    If she chose to not to come, our life would be peaceful. But only with a condition that she is happy and comfortable wherever she chose to live.
    It could be with my brother at his home or our home. With domestic helpers around, it wouldn't be a problem. But I am afraid about the kind of drama she may stage around that time when we leave. That may put us on guilt mode forever. Besides, she is already 70, with ailments. Now if something happens to her at our absence, that can kill us forever. Because she has always been with us, and helped us in the past, so the responsibility is now on our shoulder to take care of her.

    We are 100% ready to help her either way. We would be happy if she joins us as the kids too needs her. We would get maid, and H would be home to do the rest, as we won't expect much other than love from a 70 yr old now.
    But her revenge taking dramas against my H, and her expectation on me to punish my H everytime she feels so is a bit sadistic. When I chose to say NO, she even goes worst in self punishing, which puts me on guilt mode by collapsing all my emotional well-being.

    I feel like I need to live, battle this, and live peacefully at least now. Earlier I had problems, and I fought them with a hope that one day my life would turn as I wanted. Now that, my life has become perfect in everything. I have got my dream job, colorful salary, great kids, and understanding and adjusting H, no more ties with PILs, and what not.
    But the mom who has always been my pillar of support during my dark times has now changed as my biggest problem. She alone is equal to all the tragedy that I have faced in the past decade. I feel so down, so vulnerable and feels like I need to vent my heart out.

    Some one please please read this post, help me and guide me.

    Its been 2 weeks since I've heard the good news about my promotion and bangladesh offer. I am yet to share them with my mom though she lives in the same home. Hence, I am unable to share it with my siblings or friends as I am afraid mom will get to know from them, and punish me emotionally for not sharing with her this good news.
    But I know, she would spoil my mood and the happiness if I share with her as it happened previously. She doesn't like if I get a promotion or great salary as it would give my H a free ride. She would get jealous on him for being able to enjoy his life while his son and other men are suffering with family responsibilities. Hence she would brain wash me to reject this offer, and stage dramas like she wouldn't join, she wouldn't let the kids to join citing many practical issues from the negative side as she did before. This would eventually spoil our mood and happiness altogether.

    Keeping it within me really affects me as I am an extrovert and I need to speak out to feel good.

  2. Angela123

    Angela123 Gold IL'ite

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    I think you should take the job pack up with kids and H and move. Let your mom decide what she wants to do. You know better what is good with your job. If I were you, I would prefer and tell my mom that she should stay away for that one year, but make any necessary arrangements to make her life better when you are away. IMO, you shouldn't feel guilty about having to move for your job and taking care of the kids and H. It is natural that when one of the spouses have a really good job, it is natural the other spouse's job take a back seat. In most families it is the situation. In my home DH has a very good job, where he gets to travel and talk and be "famous" in his area. He and I have the same qualification, I could take up a job that is very intensive and demanding, but we do not have a support system (we have no family in the country where we live, and friends cannot be relied for everyday help), so one of us should be home every evening. A full time nanny is not affordable where we live. You get the idea-I work full time, and I am a homemaker. So any opportunity for him to grow career wise and earn more money, we embrace it. So should you. I will take care of everything at home, plus my job and kid/s (we have one on the way) if the money is coming. So IMHO you shouldn't shy away from this opportunity!!!
    I is always stressful when you have to choose between kids and H, and your own parents. The thing is parents lived their life for majority of the part, kids and you have the life left and only you have to live it. It is better to live for kids and H, helping our parents. It shouldn't be the other way around.
    msm and hridhaya like this.
  3. hridhaya

    hridhaya Gold IL'ite

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    Hi @SGBV,
    I too think you should consider this opportunity and move away from your mom. you really don't deserve this mental torture.

    But 1 year seems to be very short term. What will you do after that? Would you return to your home country? Once you leave your mom and go, your relationship with her will get worse given her immaturity. you cannot patch up with her if she holds on to the grudge. you must prepare to lead your life ahead without her help. Hope you will be able to do so.
  4. SGBV

    SGBV Finest Post Winner

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    Hi dears,

    Thanks for your replies. I really appreciate your advice!

    Regarding my job!
    It is a fixed term contract for 1 year, renewable if both parties are in agreement.
    Generally it goes up to 2-4 years, and then the staff member is chosen for another country.
    I have been working like this for the past 16 years, so i can be sure about it.
    Kids study in international school, in English medium. So it won't affect their studies at least for now.
    This kind of opportunities are rare, and people consider me extremely lucky to have gotten them at this stage of my career.
    So if i let go of this, like i did in the past, it would be considered most foolish decision.

    Regarding mom's help!
    She has been helpful initially like a strong pillar.
    But with each passing days, she proves me wrong for my perception about her.
    Yes, she did help. But she made me vulnerable & helpless by kicking away all my support system when i was fully focussing on my career a decade back. I was too naive or perhaps i trusted her too much to understand this politics behind.
    I just chose to completely depend on her for my own comforts.

    Initially she chased my in-laws & H'side friends away from us. Then my side of the relatives who loved me so much.
    Then slowly distanced my siblings from me.
    She created lot of fuss with each maid & nanny that they all left me finally.
    She made me believe that all day care centers around us are very mean, unhygienic, and not child friendly by blowing up stories related to my kid's safety when i really stayed away for work during day time.
    In fact, she made me believe my H isn't reliable with the kids as he is careless.
    So, at the end of the day, I had to bear complete burden related to kids, finances (same story for financial matters too) and at the end of the day, as and when i travel i depend on her.

    Lately, during this 3 months stay at home i realized how much i have been used & brainwashed during all these while.

    She doesn't like our stay at home as she feels uncomfortable around us. She forces me & H to go back to work though it is still unsafe around.

    So much to say..... It is understandable that she used my vulnerability.

    Now that o believe i can handle everything. Kids are not too small. H is reliable, and there are ample support system.
    I shall use any of these.

    I will still keep her with me, take care of her and all. But i have decided not to depend on her or not to make any major decision in life completely based on her advice anymore.
    Because they don't seem to be fair, or helpful anymore.
    Perhaps this might hurt her. But this is what right i guess
  5. ashima10

    ashima10 Platinum IL'ite

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    i have read your previous post as well.

    I would say go ahead with new offer and live with your family. Its high time for that too.

    tell mom that once the ocvid situation is fine you are anyways expected to travel back hence wont be staying with your kids and you miss them so much.

    Tell her you cant stay away from your kids. Keep her option open...let her know that you would love to be with her and the kids in new place but its always her choice.

    Hope things works in favor of you.
  6. KashmirFlower

    KashmirFlower IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi @SGBV ,
    Good to know Srilanka is out of Covid. Bangladesh may be not. Can you still work from home and office based on the situation when you in Bangladesh? Can kids do online learning if not safe? Your DH is okay to move to Bangladesh and can he find one as per his career path?
    You should take-up, and try and see how it goes with: living with kids and DH and make home where you work.
    Tell your mom it is only for year and make arrangements for her smooth life, when you are away from her. It will give her also some time to re-think or free time, she may like it.

    She have her own thinking and she can't change her view, you can listen and say I understand.
  7. startinganew

    startinganew Finest Post Winner

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    Hi @SGBV
    I have been following some (may not be all) of your previous posts and I have been amazed by the straightforward and articulate expression of your feelings and thoughts at all times.

    I am so happy to hear about your promotion/opportunity to a new post - there is somehow a sense of pride in me (!) :) when another woman juggles so much that life throws at her and emerges with a feather in her cap - if you take it up or not - just that you were offered this - is a big deal! Celebrate that! And I send you virtual cheers from all my heart! Congratulations, celebrations and jubilations are all in order!

    I just wanted to share a couple of things that stood out to me:

    1. Your current conclusions on your mother's possible motives on all that she has said/done in the past many years - please do tell yourself - that everything you are interpreting now is with your current state of mind and her condition right now. At the back of your mind, give her a little bit of benefit of doubt.

    a. For the last decade she was an integral and critical part of your life and family, and now suddenly without home helpers, outside help and her help - your family is staying afloat and thriving - and her position of importance in running the household isn't there anymore. Just this insecurity might be causing her behavior.

    b. you might have considered any mental condition she *might be* suffering from - and it's really hard to diagnose any mild condition. what if she is mild depressed because of her grandkid's condition, her son now going through one of the hardest situations to handle as a parent, etc.

    2. Home chores: I am saddened to hear how much you have to do in addition to having a full-time hectic job. 1.5 hours meal preparation - three times a day, home cleaning, laundry, mopping, remote learning - everything by yourself?! etc. Please kindly gradually try getting your H, mother and kids to actively participate in all this - it might be the smallest of contributions but it would be good for the adult's mental health and for the kids development. Maybe mother can only make the dal everyday - or just chop onions/tomatoes for you everyday. Something small but some contribution. H could help with clothes folding and kids can help put them back. Or dad is responsible for taking photos of HW. I know you might say you cannot depend on him 100% - but you have to start to delegate now - keep the task simple and look over it at the end. Kids can help with flour kneading for chapati and you can finish up the last round to make it smooth - etc.

    I like your decision and other suggestions that you take up the job in Bangladesh and at the same time give mother a whole-hearted welcome to join you all. In case she is in a bad place in her mind, leaving her behind alone in SL might make it much worse for her. The change of place and the joys of a new life - hopefully give her a renewed purpose in life.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2020
    msm likes this.
  8. shainy

    shainy Silver IL'ite

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    I think we have something in common..a sadistic mother when it comes to Son in law. Sorry to use such a strong word. I had tough time accepting it as well.

    Tell your mom that you are obligated to move to Bangladesh and it's not at your will. Otherwise you are at the risk of losing job. Explain her how hard it will be to get a new job given the current pandemic. Give her the options either to come with you or stay back in the home country. Arrange the help she might need.

    Sometimes you need to look after your own happiness. Then only you can keep your family happy. What's point of earning more money when you can't spend quality time with your own kids.

    Congratulations on the promotion and good luck with your decision.
  9. swiss

    swiss Gold IL'ite

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    When you talk to your mom, dont talk as if you have a choice. Tell her that you have been transferred and you will definitely need to move at so and so date.
    Since your brother is in Sri Lanka now, she has a choice to stay with him and it will give some mom-son time. She will also have lot of privacy since his family is not there. You can arrange a maid for her if necessary. You can revisit this decision in a year. Maybe this break will make your mom realize her mistakes and you all can live happily together when you return to SriLanka.
  10. SGBV

    SGBV Finest Post Winner

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    Thanks a lot dears....

    Its been a while since I logged in here. So much have happened, but for God's grace all is well.

    I have announced my promotion and transfer (to Bangladesh) to mom gradually. That too tactfully when she was in her best mood.
    This time, I handled it maturely. I didn't request her permission. I didn't pretend as if I have an option. Just that, I told her that I am being transfered and I am rather forced to travel.
    Now, I don't wanna go alone, as I can't do that anymore. Besides, my little ones can't live away from me any further. So, I told mom that we have decided to leave and hence I invited her.
    Not as formal invitation, but told her that I've sought apartment with a comfortable room, TV and all for her. So that she could enjoy her time in the new land.
    Surprisingly she said yes, and started preparing for the move.

    Thankfully, over the past few weeks, she had negative encounters with my SIL (bro's wife who has recently returned home with her sick kid). Mom visited there only to find out that she has no special place in their home, as SIL's parents and siblings have taken that place in the name of offering lots and lots of helps to my bro's family.
    (I too believe that they should continue to stay with them, as it eases my bro's life at the time of trouble).
    So, this might have given mom some insights that she must focus on her stay with us!!!

    Nevertheless, I figured out the root cause of her problems, and started acting towards it.
    Basically she has a long grudge against my H and in laws who were so mean in the past. She feels powerful now to give them back. But she refuses to see what harm it can cause to my marriage, as well as my mental health during this complicated time if she starts any of her fights (even if that means revenge).

    Now that, I've clearly told her to stay away from my personal matters.
    I've given her all the comforts, so that she doesn't have to depend on my H or anyone anymore.
    And I've decided to stay with family ( no more long distance work or travel ). So, I could solve whatever the problems then and there.
    Even I've got her a new TV and all new facilities to kill her boredom on her own.
    Things are moving great for now.

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