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Monday, December 5, 2022
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A FATHER AND MOTHER IN THEIR 60s & 70s ARGUES OVER MONEY ALL THE TIME

Emotionally unavailable mum

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Pardon for my long rant.

My mum is in her 60s, and dad is in his 70s. They live together but fights (quarrels) so every now and then that it spills over to their children (me, my sister and brother in 30s who moved out with our own families abroad and locally).

We grew up in a mid-low working class family and we appreciate our parents for doing their best to get us all to tertiary education.

Their fights are always about money, my mum is constantly on about how they have no money, and constantly unhappy about how other people around her is more “well off” judging by the type of residence they live in, and by how much their children gives. She’s also very sensitive and constantly thinks that people are disrespecting her, negative about society, inferior about her chinese education background.

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My retired dad is tired of her unhappiness and negativity, and so turns a deaf ear to her ramblings in seek for a more peaceful life, in other words, “Bo chup “ (Side note, they have reached that point in life that they are open to part ways but financially not viable)

As children, we tried and are still trying our best to make things better for them, because seeing them happy makes us happy (and be at peace too). Since my mum is very financially insecured, we try our best to chip in monthly. We asked her, what exactly is making her unhappy? She says money, and so we ask how much? And she will beat around the entire bush but not answering the question. We tried to ask her to go socialise with the community and all and she will say “such activities need money one”. Thing is, there are always activities that are less on money like volunteering and all.

She doesnt reach out to us children often (and little grandchildren), saying that because we are busy and so we should call the folks instead. We have a common family group chat and we keep in touch with photos and all for those abroad, but she doesn’t respond to them claiming “wait I say something wrong you all will say again so I just keep quiet la” – thing is we sometimes try to correct her mentality, voice out our thinkings but to her we shouldn’t be disrespecting her.

Thing is, I would love to call her, but if I call her in the wrong timing (when she’s not in the right mood) she will end up saying nasty things and will end up destroying my day too. She says things like “we should live our own lives don’t interfere”, “husband is you choose one etc”, “I have no time for you all, I’m very busy”, “you all Uni grads so now talk like as if you guys know it”, “if I wasn’t a stay home mum looking after you kids last time I would so much more financially stable”…. And the list goes on.

One instance, She made a fuss when my sister in law didn’t call her to announce the birth of her granddaughter before calling her own mother. (They wanted both sets of in-laws to come in diff days to the hospital so it’s easier to handle, but contacted them both on the same day.) little tantrums like these do wreck happy occasions and random days.

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Us children talked to her about seeking professional help on her psychological well being, to be at better peace with herself and to count blessings, and also anger management. We’ve managed to get her an appointment And so she’s obviously very displeased with us labelling her, but we’ve told her many times -falling to deaf ears, we children are hoping to help her be happier and are behind her to support.

It really bothers me and makes me sad because she doesn’t see how much we kids love her.

On my side, I’m trying my best to not inherit her behaviour and to be a better mum, to raise my toddler son a different way to how I was raised.

Sometimes I just wish I have happier parents and parents that I can talk to productively and look up to?

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