My Turn To Vent About My "mama Drama"....

Lounge By Shelle_75 Updated 8 Mar 2010 , 7:48pm by Shelle_75

Shelle_75 Posted 7 Mar 2010 , 7:41pm
post #1 of 20

Let me preface all of this by saying this is nothing new. I've been dealing with craziness from my mother for years, but have usually kept quiet, easily forgiven her, etc etc in the interest of still having her in my life and my kids' lives.

My mother has a parrot. She lets is roam free. Last Sunday, despite the fact that my 19 month old daughter was right next to me, it took a chunk out of her finger. The stupid thing was halfway down its cage, and I did not notice in time. My little girl simply raised her hand up and said "Pretty birdie", as she has seen her grandmother do all her life, and got bit for her trouble. I did not make a big stink of it at the time, I was too freaked out about her finger. When I got home, and after talking it out with husband, decided that "Pretty birdie" needs to go in its house while we're there. It's just too unpredictable, and despite being what I consider a great mother, with three kids I cannot be everywhere at once.

I email mom and (nicely) say that the bird needs to be in its house with the door shut from now on when we are there, which by the way, totals about 5-6 hours once a week. She says no way no how, the bird has never been locked up and she won't start now. I say fine, you can come to our house to visit from now on. She says "are you going to lock your husband up or send him away when I visit?" Which is crap, they don't get along, but they have learned to ignore each other and she's been at my house plenty of times with him there. She also says I am being stubborn, and that the bird is her child and if I can't understand that she feels sorry for me. I say I cannot believe she is going to pick a bird over me and her grandchildren, basically her only family. She then REALLY gets the claws out, saying bad stuff about virtually every aspect of me and my life, and she is done with me, goodbye.

Now, I love animals, I really do. But even my nine year old knows that you don't put animals above the safety of a human being. She never even asked if my little girl was okay. I think this time I really am done with her. I cannot take any more of her craziness. And at the same time, she's got me so, I don't know, brainwashed, I guess, from my childhood, into constantly thinking, okay, this is my fault, what did I do wrong, I just want her to love me, blah blah blah.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading. I guess I just needed some cyber hugs from my cake buddies.

19 replies
AngelaM Posted 7 Mar 2010 , 8:00pm
post #2 of 20

Tell your mother that if your husband starts biting her then you'll start locking him up when she visits. icon_lol.gif

debbek152 Posted 7 Mar 2010 , 8:00pm
post #3 of 20

Here is a big cyber hug from me icon_biggrin.gif I am very sorry you are having to deal with this. In my humble opinion, you have to do what you think is best for you and your family, no matter what. I do hope this all works out for you and I hope this helps just a little. Good Luck. thumbs_up.gif

Shelle_75 Posted 7 Mar 2010 , 8:02pm
post #4 of 20
Originally Posted by AngelaM

Tell your mother that if your husband starts biting her then you'll start locking him up when she visits. icon_lol.gif


MalibuBakinBarbie Posted 7 Mar 2010 , 8:12pm
post #5 of 20

I have a 13-year-old Moluccan cockatoo. I've had her since she was a baby (which is why I cannot have a home based food business ~ BOY! Do I love her, or what!!! icon_biggrin.gif ). Anyway, I know first hand how hard parrots can bite. So I send you and your daughter {{{{ HUGS }}}}. I hope her finger is okay and that she's able to understand that birds, like other pets, sometimes bite because they are frightened or insecure with a particular situation. ... I say this so that she's not forever afraid of birds... Whenever I have company, I always keep her in her cage with the gate closed in the locked position so that she cannot get herself out. It's for EVERYONE'S safety and protection, including hers. So that she's not too upset about being in her cage when people are over, I will often give her a new toy or a special treat that I know she enjoys (like cooked carrots). She's like my kid, yes, but safety first. I would not want someone getting bit by my bird who has many MANY HUNDREDS of pounds of pressure in her beak. icon_surprised.gif

I don't know what to say about your family situation except that I'm sorry. I hope that your mom comes around to realize that you are not in any way being unreasonable. Hope things get better. icon_smile.gif

[Edited to add: As denetteb mentions below.... I meant to include that my bird is also kept in a separate room with the door closed, so no one has to worry about wandering children. Great point! ... Maybe Mom would go for this?]

denetteb Posted 7 Mar 2010 , 8:15pm
post #6 of 20

I'm not a mom and am a great animal lover. But you should protect your children first and foremost. The bird doesn't have to be it a cage but should be at least in a room with a shut door away from your kids. I am very sorry that your mother not only is choosing her pet over you and your kids, but instead of trying to work some compromise out brings out all the past garbage. Not a very loving mother, but then you already knew that. If you want to continue a relationship with her, invite her over now and again, meet her for lunch, go for a walk but politely decline to go over to her house. I am sorry your mom isn't being very kind. Hugs to you.

Good one, AngelaM!!!

indydebi Posted 7 Mar 2010 , 8:52pm
post #7 of 20

Looks like gramma has made her choice. YOU are not the one walking away ... SHE is.

I know too many people who think they are "big and bad" because they choose their animals over people. Fine. Let them live out their old age all alone with a bird or a dog to keep them company. Their choice.

Let me repeat ...... THEIR choice.

AngelaM Posted 7 Mar 2010 , 9:00pm
post #8 of 20
Originally Posted by indydebi

YOU are not the one walking away ... SHE is.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

My advice: cut her loose and focus your attention on making sure you're a better mother than she was.

After many years of dealing with troublesome relatives I've come to learn that you need to accept that people are who they are, not who you wish they would be.

Shelle_75 Posted 7 Mar 2010 , 9:24pm
post #9 of 20

Thank you all so much.

I have been really strict with my kids over the years regarding the bird, you know, teaching them NEVER to touch, etc., but my littlest one is just too young yet to know that she can't imitate what grandma does. I just keep thinking, my Lord, what if she had tried to kiss the bird?? She would be scarred for life on her face. Her finger is healing up nicely, although I think she has a permanent extra "dent" in her fingerprint.

Like you all reinforced for me, it was her choice, not mine. I gave her two very reasonable choices, cage it, or come over here, and neither one was acceptable for her. I really think I have had enough of her. You know, "cancel my subscription, I've had enough of your issues" and all that.

Your support and kindness mean more to me than I can express. Thank you.

BlakesCakes Posted 7 Mar 2010 , 11:55pm
post #10 of 20

I reached the "cancel my subscription" point with my mom when she informed me that I was a bad, inconsistent mother and that if I would allow her to spank my boys with a yardstick, everything would be fine...........

Now, it was that exact form of discipline that apparently created such a lousy mother (me), so why would I inflict that on my kids............

It wasn't over an animal, per se, but it was definitely her choosing something that was bad for my children and myself. There was no talking it over or compromising, so I said my good-byes and never looked--or went--back.

I knew I'd done the right thing when my 3 y.o. son THANKED ME!! He told me that he didn't like "Gran" because she yelled at him and gave him nasty looks all the time and she was mean to me and his daddy.....

Sometimes, for self preservation and for the dignity and sanity of your family, you have to do something that feels unnatural.

If she wants to fix the situation, she knows what she has to do, but don't hold your breath. She's sure that she's the only reasonable one here, so you can see that the deck is short a card or two..................


OMGitsaLisa Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 12:44am
post #11 of 20

I hardly speak to a huge chunk of my family on either side, including my father. This kind of thinking is definitely not what I was raised to believe, but after seeing my mother go through that kind of drama with her own mother and always going back for more because "it's family", I decided it was never going to be for me. The way I see it, if someone can't treat me with the respect they receive from me, they probably don't need to be part of my life, family or no.

As odd as it feels to turn your back on someone you know you're not supposed to, I've gotta say that there's a reason I manage to stay as happy as I do on average. I keep the toxic people out. It sounds like your mom might be toxic.

Edit: After rereading my post, I know I come off like someone who will stop talking to anyone at the slightest provocation - I'm not. I strongly believe in talking things out and resolving conflicts and I *do* forgive easily, but not without an apology or at least acknowledging the wrongdoing. As a result, the relationships I do have are healthy and happy and the ones that are not and can't be made so are discarded. I'm not heartless or unforgiving - just happy.

mrspriss0912 Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 12:46am
post #12 of 20

Big Hugs to you and your daughter. I hope her finger is better and has little damage as a result of the bite. I am estranged from my father and know how it is when you finaly reach that point where you have to say enough is enough!
Take care of your family and leave you mom to her own choices if she comes around great if not that is one less headache you or your family will have to deal with

indydebi Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 1:03am
post #13 of 20
Originally Posted by OMGitsaLisa

...but after seeing my mother go through that kind of drama with her own mother and always going back for more because "it's family", I decided it was never going to be for me. The way I see it, if someone can't treat me with the respect they receive from me, they probably don't need to be part of my life, family or no.

As odd as it feels to turn your back on someone you know you're not supposed to, I've gotta say that there's a reason I manage to stay as happy as I do on average. I keep the toxic people out.

I'm in your corner 100%. Toxic people have been erased from my life and my family is not only happier but safer.

I always wondered how come it was a one way street. The toxic person is suppose to be allowed to do anything they want, but the people they treat like crap are suppose to just turn the other cheek because "they're family". How come it's never brought up to the toxic person how they should treat everyone else with respect because "they're family"? Hmmmm??????

Over the years, folks have learned NEVER to say to me, "But she's your mother!" because I will always ask them, "what exactly does that MEAN?" Ya know what? They never have an answer.

JustToEatCake Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 2:09am
post #14 of 20

First off I AM a huge animal lover. I mean huge BUT I would never put a person's safety behind my animal's "rights". I don't believe you did anything wrong and I agree 100%. Having said that, and I don't know your mother, perhaps the bird is like a child to her. If it's her constant companion and she feels it's her "child" then I am going to ask you to have a little understanding. NOT change anything you've said or will do. I wouldn't take a child (or another pet) to someone's home that allowed their pet to hurt me, a child, or my other pet. The least they can do it put the animal away as you requested. Not a unreasonable request to me, and yes she is making her choice. Sounds like there have been some other issues (with hubby) and perhaps some other things so I totally agree. Just perhaps take a tiny bit to understand "why" she feels that way if she has been a good mom in every other way.

You would, in my opinion, be a unfit mother if you knowingly put your child in harms way. You know this type is situation could give your child a pet phobia and that wouldn't be good either.

justducky Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 2:20am
post #15 of 20

My philosphy is if I don't let friends treat me a certain way, I won't take it from my "family".

I am very sorry your mother made this choice. I hope your daughter is doing well.

mkolmar Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 7:29am
post #16 of 20

I'm sorry your little girl got bit, those birds bite very hard. Poor little thing.

When I was a teenager we were visiting my moms cousins in TN. They had a junk yard dog that was coming after my little cousin was about 5, so I pushed her out of the way. The dog got me instead and I have the scars on my right leg to prove it. The owners laughed and I had to go to the ER. I was the 3rd person this dog bit. The 2nd person was and 85 year old woman who almost died. It was a small town so it made front page news then there was an outcry to put the dog down. My moms cousins blame me for their dog being put down. My mom has not spoke to them since and that's been probably 17 years. She said they chose a dog over family.
Sadly, this is what your mom is doing. She's choosing a bird over her granddaughter. How sad. She'll be sorry later on in life.
I'm sorry your are going though this but this should show how messed up your mom thinks. You are better off without her and so is your daughter.
No one can make you feel bad unless you let them. (((BIG HUG)))

miss_sweetstory Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 2:08pm
post #17 of 20


Michelle, I hope your little one's finger continues to heal and that she doesn't experience any long term fear of birds or other animals. You have made the right choice... putting the safety of your child first. You certainly offered your mother options. I hope she comes around one day.

Adevag Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 3:48pm
post #18 of 20
Originally Posted by indydebi

Over the years, folks have learned NEVER to say to me, "But she's your mother!" because I will always ask them, "what exactly does that MEAN?" Ya know what? They never have an answer.

When I read this I immediately heard my MIL answering this question to you. She raised her son's (my husband plus two more) with a HUGE guilt that tortures them still today (which has been a big problem for me and DH because it took years for him to open his eyes to see it -he did not know any different).
In my MIL's world she says that she gave her son's life by giving birth to them and then they owe her for the rest of their lives. (and yes she has a daughter but she went by the nick name "precious princess")

mkolmar - that was a horrible story, but you probably saved the 5-year-old's life! What a great person you are!

Shelle_75 - I'm so sorry for you and your family. You sound like a very good and responsible mother. And I hope you don't feel guilty as you have done all you can "for family." Maybe your mother needs time to realize what she has done and will apologize to you. But if not, then it is still her choice. I'm sorry she told you bad things from the past. I hope you know better than thinking she is right. Hugs!

Chickycakes Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 4:57pm
post #19 of 20

My grandparents have a super mean former alley cat like this. My kids have been very scratched by the thing several times, usually for sitting anywhere near it. They don't pet it, they don't even look at it, it just scratches them.
My grandparents will do nothing to get rid of the cat because it's my granddad's baby. We kind of joke about getting rid of it while they are on vacation. "Sorry, he just got out. Don't know how. Guess he ran away."

Shelle_75 Posted 8 Mar 2010 , 7:48pm
post #20 of 20

Thank you all for your understanding and well wishes. Sarah's finger is going to be okay, but she still holds it up once in a while and says "Birdie bite me!!" I am still thanking God it was a small bite. Bird beaks are very strong, it really could have taken the finger off at the knuckle if it wanted to.

Sadly, this is only the latest in a long line of "disown-ments" over various things from my mother. Any time there has been a conflict between her and I in the last 15 years, she stops talking to me and is "done with me". Like I said before, I'm fairly certain this is the last time.

And I totally understand about pets being like children. I really do love animals. But I have bent over backwards to include her in our lives, bringing the kids over every Saturday and holiday since my oldest was born. She seemed like she totally lived for the kids. And if the roles were reversed, she wouldn't have had to ask, I would have offered to put the bird up. Heck, it wouldn't have been loose in the first place around the kids. What really gets me is she has a wonderful little doggie, and she doesn't think twice about kenneling her whenever it is convenient for her, yet she acted like I suggesting some sort of animal abuse in asking for the bird to go in its (HUGE!) cage when we came over. I think she just didn't want to be told what to do.

What I feel the most sad about is my kids. The oldest is nine and we have explained things to him, why we might not be seeing her for a while or ever. The littler two will be missing their grandma soon. That's why this is it. I will not keep putting my kiddos through the drama.

Anyways, I can't thank you all enough for your support. Although I'm not glad for your hurting, I do feel better reading your stories, knowing that I'm not alone. I'm glad to know I'm not the crazy one in the situation. For a while there, I thought it was me.

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