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Old 15.12.2009, 10:10
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My mom: The Nagging Queen

Bless her heart, she doesn't mean bad.

I believe she was the Queen of Nagging Prom 1967 when she graduated.

Beside the fact she nags on almost every little details in life, she is driving me nuts right now with the guilt card.

You see, I left the country almost 6 years ago. Back than, it wasn't such a problem until I gave birth to my daughter.

I do understand my parents. It must be aweful to have your first grand-child and being so far away. They don't have the chance to see her growing. I really really feel for them.

The thing is she makes me feel really guilty about it. I can't move back because of my hubby's job and I don't want to move back either. I want to go somewhere else but not going back to Quebec. And my husband is not from there anyway.

We went last summer and we spend a whole lot of money. We saw the family, they had a good time with my daughter but it's not what we can call vacation for us.

This year, we decided to not go in this next summer. With the money, we could go around Europe. I never had the chance yet to go to Paris, Milan, Barcelona, South, North....

Of course it doesn't make them happy to know we are not coming. And the nagging start.... How dare we spend money to go around, how dare we deprive them to see their grand-daughter. How selfish are we? According to them, WE are the one who lives far away, so WE are the one who should come. And WE should spend our vacations and vacation budget to go to see them.

I feel really bad about it but I also feel it is not fair on me either.

How is it with your family? How do you deal with it?
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Old 15.12.2009, 10:19
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Re: My mom: The Nagging Queen

Well my parents never made me feel that i MUST go and see them when i go on vacation. But since i am still single it feels better to take vacation time in major holidays and spend it with my family.

And yes i feel a bit guilty if i dont go but thats just me
Or maybe its because holidays are so much fun with my family
Or maybe its because now that i left home i feel im missing my family

But you shouldnt feel guilty

Maybe sent them a ticket so they can visit you some other time instead?
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Old 15.12.2009, 10:24
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Re: My mom: The Nagging Queen

My mum only lives a hop, skip and a jump away in the UK but we seem to go over there more than they come over here, which is a bit of a pain with a toddler.

Both their dogs died of old age earlier this year so this has now given them one less excuse to make the trip over here (before the demise of the dogs they "had to consider the cost of the kennels").

You have made the trip over the Quebec to see your family; fair's fair and now they should make the trip over to you. It's not fair to get you to do all the travelling AND lay a guilt trip on you.
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Old 15.12.2009, 10:24
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Re: My mom: The Nagging Queen

My Mother visits my Sis and baby regularly. But a shorter trip for them (4 hrs max).

Why doesn't your Mum visit come for 2/3 extended visits a year? Or even better, babysit while you and hubby travel around Europe?

Modern scattered familes do have this one downside. I only get to see my nephew once a year.
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Old 15.12.2009, 10:25
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Re: My mom: The Nagging Queen

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Bless her heart, she doesn't mean bad.

I believe she was the Queen of Nagging Prom 1967 when she graduated.

Beside the fact she nags on almost every little details in life, she is driving me nuts right now with the guilt card.

You see, I left the country almost 6 years ago. Back than, it wasn't such a problem until I gave birth to my daughter.

I do understand my parents. It must be aweful to have your first grand-child and being so far away. They don't have the chance to see her growing. I really really feel for them.

The thing is she makes me feel really guilty about it. I can't move back because of my hubby's job and I don't want to move back either. I want to go somewhere else but not going back to Quebec. And my husband is not from there anyway.

We went last summer and we spend a whole lot of money. We saw the family, they had a good time with my daughter but it's not what we can call vacation for us.

This year, we decided to not go in this next summer. With the money, we could go around Europe. I never had the chance yet to go to Paris, Milan, Barcelona, South, North....

Of course it doesn't make them happy to know we are not coming. And the nagging start.... How dare we spend money to go around, how dare we deprive them to see their grand-daughter. How selfish are we? According to them, WE are the one who lives far away, so WE are the one who should come. And WE should spend our vacations and vacation budget to go to see them.

I feel really bad about it but I also feel it is not fair on me either.

How is it with your family? How do you deal with it?
Tough one, been through it... Older folks become firmly planted and expect kin to come and visit them, for many reasons. I suppose travelling far is quite daunting for them , and if you aren't going to them, then they feel quite lonely. On the other hand, you have a life and you come first etc. I am away from my kids at the moment, and two weeks can be very hard, years at a time in unthinkable. Is it within their means and ability for them to come and visit you ? If not, then the onus, regrettably falls on you to go to them, how often you do that is probably the issue at hand.

Of course, the poor substitutes are webcams, emails with loads of pictures, regular phone calls... Get them PC literate and at least they will have regular snapshots of their grandchild growing up... Teach your child how to use the technology , free them both up to create their own channels of communication. Again, it's a poor substitute but it makes a huge difference.

Sorry, not much of a solution, senior parents send us on guilt trips, am being subjected to one now because I want an xmas with just the kids and the inlaws are mortified that they can only see their kids after xmas lunch. Forgive them, understand them and you wont feel so bad about it all.
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Old 15.12.2009, 10:26
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Re: My mom: The Nagging Queen

Nil, in a few years from now, it'll be your turn to be the Nagging Queen
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Old 15.12.2009, 10:27
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Re: My mom: The Nagging Queen

Depending on the age of your daughter, how about setting regular times e.g. every two weeks for your daughter and your mom to talk and see each other on Skype or whatever. Then she could see her regularly, catch up on small things and might not feel so deprived.
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Old 15.12.2009, 10:29
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Re: My mom: The Nagging Queen

Sweetie, a mother's job is to be annoying. Anyways, we can connect your mom and my mom and maybe they can annoy eachother?
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Old 15.12.2009, 10:31
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Re: My mom: The Nagging Queen

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Depending on the age of your daughter, how about setting regular times e.g. every two weeks for your daughter and your mom to talk and see each other on Skype or whatever. Then she could see her regularly, catch up on small things and might not feel so deprived.
That is a very good idea, that is what my in laws do. Download Skype or something similar!
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Old 15.12.2009, 10:33
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Re: My mom: The Nagging Queen

my dads the annoying one lol! I know what you mean though I get it all the time my parents are in South Africa!
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Old 15.12.2009, 10:34
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Re: My mom: The Nagging Queen

You are describing a frequent scenario, I believe..Especially for expats. My folks are not this way, they come here anytime they can, kinda risking getting fired back home from their jobs, they have to see their first child. So, I would not put up with the guilt trip, I have a feeling if you ignored the nagging (if your mom didn't think it's working) she might actually drop it? Maybe??

It really gets down to cash, afterall, I think (and a comfort, having you arrive at their doorstep). In my book a young family with a small child, living in one of the most expensive country in the world, cannot frequently travel to please their family. If your family have the income and no real expenditures, have them come to you? It got such a b*tch to travel with a toddler, too, tantrums on a plane, ick. Flying more than one flight and more than 2 hours is not really fair, to a toddler.

I also realized my folks (1st time grandparents) really want to prance around with their grandkid, so their friends and social circle see them. It is silly but somehow important, validates their new status. They are so proud. So, if you allowed them to do that every now and then, they will be so happy.

Maybe if your mom didn't nag so much and guilt trip you wouldn't actually mind going there?

It's rough as it is, living away from folks and have a baby (for both sides), it is silly people make it even harder on you..

Have you thought about daily (weekly) Skype sessions? Make the child draw, paint for your folks, sending enlarged photos, etc..Keep them up to date with all the little info of progress, involving them.

Also, families split between continents is such a normal thing for so many people, I found it helps me talking to my folks about my friends here, so they see it is not only a whim decision on our part, but a daily bread for all the expats we know here.

It might also be, that the naggin' and guilt trips have nothing to do with you, just a result of boredom or your mom's siutation that you would easily see if you were around. My folks are so proud to admit sometimes that they are aging and would love to have all their loved ones around. Remind her also, how nice it is this way, she has time for her hobbies and friends instead of being "used" as a free sitter all the time

Good luck, I hear you.
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Old 15.12.2009, 10:40
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Re: My mom: The Nagging Queen

My mom is very technology geek. She has a computer at home AND a laptop. They live half of the year in Florida.

We speak on webcam and I send them loads of pictures and videos.

They used to travel a lot but since my dads retirement, they go down to Florida. She also like to complain she doesn't have money

They are young. My mom is not 60 yet. They are in good shape.

I spend 4 years in Istanbul, they never came to visit. I am here since almost 2 years, they came at the birth of my daughter, once!

I told her about our plans to go to Italy for a weekend and she makes comments saying it's money spend not on a trip to see them. I tell her we saw my husband's family (they live in Germany) and she goes in a speach how lucky they are, she is jealous of their chance to see my daughter more often.... She doesn't want to know when I see them because it hurts her....



And I feel like ****...
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Old 15.12.2009, 10:59
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Re: My mom: The Nagging Queen

Hmmm, the comparison between your and your hubby's family is silly and she should realize that. How is her geography? Germany is a few hours away while Canada, uhm. Haha. Well, sounds like your mom might also be jelous that you get to travel around Europe so much. What stops her? Ignore her guiltripping and ask her if she wants to be filled in on your travelling or if you should stop, so it does not rub in even more.

You are not "hurting" her, by the way, you just live your life the way it is important to you. It does sound like she would nag no matter what. If you lived in CA she would nag that you don't go to FLA for a half of the year with her.

Ask her if she is seeing anyone about the unhappiness, inability to take facts and reality without feeling hurt. I know it sounds mean, but - post menopause hormonal adjustment is hard, for majority of women. Becoming a grandparent is also a mark of a finished phase for them, the last one is ahead. It can be depressing. Makes my parents workoholics, so they do not feel so old Most grandparents actually deal with it much better when the grandchild is near them and it makes them forget. Also, you becoming a mom might translate to your mom that she is not your "priority" sort of speak. Some grandparents feel, irrationally, replaced by the new child. My mom did for a tiny bit. She also feels this way when her kids get partners, it is silly but it is a fact. Maybe she needs you to notice her more. I realized how much my mom likes comments like "now I really appreciate what you did for us when we were small, since I have a child on my own, I can finally trully see how much work and dedication it was from you..".

Now, what I would do is ask her to instead of a few months in FLA spend it with her grandkid. And you and your hubby travel and have a break. Have her finally bond. She will be so exhausted, might remember how demanding it can be to take care of a young child. Grandparents forget. It is not "jump on a plane" but days and weeks of packing ahead, checklists, alternative scenarios, money, health issues, etc.

Has she thought about getting a part time job? Becoming active in some other way? You could talk to your dad, maybe, and find out what's really happening. He might be so busy and she might be really lonely and not know what to do with it. I'd also try to boost her ego, wow, how nice it is for your kid to have such a young, vital and active grandparents...
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Old 15.12.2009, 11:12
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Re: My mom: The Nagging Queen

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How is it with your family? How do you deal with it?
This is a problem for expats, particularly when the grandparents and extended family are not living in the same country. Everyone has a different solution.

If your parents are well enough to travel, you could buy them a ticket to visit you. It's not a vacation, it's actually a lot of work having guests. But after they visit, I think they have a better idea of how you live and why you like living here. It can be fun being a tourist. You could also take them on vacation with you in Europe.

If they are not well enough to travel, I am going to say that your parents are not going to be around forever. Until you have lost a parent you will not know the gap this leaves in your life. You will miss the nagging. They nag because they care. Go and see them. Europe can wait.

You will have years to take vacations around Europe, perhaps without your daughter. As she gets older she may have other plans (school trip, camp etc). Your daughter will be old enough one day to travel alone to see your family which will be very special for them.

But for now, I say go and see them. Once a year is really no so much to ask for.
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Old 15.12.2009, 11:13
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Re: My mom: The Nagging Queen

Bless their cotton socks, mums seem to have perfected the art of emotional blackmail dont they?

I dont have a kid but mine uses other ways to make me feel bad for being far away. Both she and my dad hate flying, and 13-14 hours on the plane just to visit will kill them. On the other hand, its expensive for me to fly back ever so often as well. I get the same from her whenever I mention about an impending trip. She'll moan that the money used for the trip can be saved up towards a longer holiday back home blah blah blah. After a while, I just learnt not to mention stuff like that.

Have you tried getting a VOIP phone and subscribe to a VOIP line? You will be able to obtain a local number from a country of your choice and they can just dial for local rates on their end. All it costs on your end is a monthly subscription. After installing that, my mum has admitted that it sort of softens the blow that I am so far away as she is able to pick up the phone to call me for a natter without racking up massive phone bills.
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Old 15.12.2009, 11:15
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Re: My mom: The Nagging Queen

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My mom is very technology geek. She has a computer at home AND a laptop. They live half of the year in Florida.

We speak on webcam and I send them loads of pictures and videos.

They used to travel a lot but since my dads retirement, they go down to Florida. She also like to complain she doesn't have money

They are young. My mom is not 60 yet. They are in good shape.

I spend 4 years in Istanbul, they never came to visit. I am here since almost 2 years, they came at the birth of my daughter, once!

I told her about our plans to go to Italy for a weekend and she makes comments saying it's money spend not on a trip to see them. I tell her we saw my husband's family (they live in Germany) and she goes in a speach how lucky they are, she is jealous of their chance to see my daughter more often.... She doesn't want to know when I see them because it hurts her....



And I feel like ****...
I think you should tell them to come, you can use this guilt trip backwards! I did it once (sort of worked)...
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Old 15.12.2009, 11:16
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Re: My mom: The Nagging Queen

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My mom is very technology geek. She has a computer at home AND a laptop. They live half of the year in Florida.

We speak on webcam and I send them loads of pictures and videos.
You cannot give a hug on Skype or with a webcam.
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Old 15.12.2009, 11:22
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Re: My mom: The Nagging Queen

Funny the problems we have. I am pretty much "out of sight, out of mind" with my family, although we were never a "traditional" one in any sense of the word! Typical Americans

Here is what I would say: try as hard as you can not to let it bother you, keep your chin up, and send them a "gift certificate" (ie, via email or something) this Christmas for two tix to come visit you in the New Year during a time that works for everyone. If they have time to get to Florida for half a year, they have time to pop over here to see you and their grandkid(s).

I know it's probably hard, but don't let her words get you down. She's laying on a major guilt trip, which seems to be working. That's her goal and it sounds like she's being a bit selfish, if I may say....
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Old 15.12.2009, 11:24
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Re: My mom: The Nagging Queen

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Bless their cotton socks, mums seem to have perfected the art of emotional blackmail dont they?

I dont have a kid but mine uses other ways to make me feel bad for being far away. Both she and my dad hate flying, and 13-14 hours on the plane just to visit will kill them. On the other hand, its expensive for me to fly back ever so often as well. I get the same from her whenever I mention about an impending trip. She'll moan that the money used for the trip can be saved up towards a longer holiday back home blah blah blah. After a while, I just learnt not to mention stuff like that.

Have you tried getting a VOIP phone and subscribe to a VOIP line? You will be able to obtain a local number from a country of your choice and they can just dial for local rates on their end. All it costs on your end is a monthly subscription. After installing that, my mum has admitted that it sort of softens the blow that I am so far away as she is able to pick up the phone to call me for a natter without racking up massive phone bills.
I have that! I left the country with a VOIP in my luggage. They've always been able to talk to me everyday since day 1.
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Old 15.12.2009, 11:26
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Re: My mom: The Nagging Queen

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I have that! I left the country with a VOIP in my luggage. They've always been able to talk to me everyday since day 1.
Ahhh...dont know what else to suggest then but to not let the emotional blackmail get to you. Easier said than done I know.
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