I'm so angry I just don't even know where to begin! My oldest daughter, who is 21, and I have always been pretty close. We're a lot alike in personality and looks. I have always done everything I could possibly do to help her out in life, whether it be to give her financial support, advice, drop everything I'm doing and run to her in a time of crisis, whatever. She spends every weekend at my house and I always cook and clean up after her and take all the kids out when I can afford it. I have even taken in one of her ex-boyfriends in the past because he was homeless and she didn't want him in her house so she asked me to take him and I did....as a favor to her. It didn't work out. He had serious anger problems and for the safety of myself and my kids still living at home, I had to ask him to leave.
This Christmas I was sick as a dog with the flu and warned everyone that I would not be able to host the Christmas dinner like I usually do since I was so ill. Everybody showed up anyway and wound up bar-b-qing at my house. I was sick in bed while my two adult children basically used my house as party central and ate their way through everything in the kitchen with their friends. I was left with nothing but a HUGE mess! I can't even begin to describe the filth they left behind. When I got out of bed the next day and surveyed the damage, all I could do was cry. It was horrendous.
There was no food left in the kitchen. There wasn't a single clean towel left in the whole house for me to shower with. I went to throw a load of towels in the washer and found that they'd used all my laundry soap to do their laundry. There were empty soda and beer cans all over my house. Ashtrays overflowing, (I don't allow smoking inside my house but they did it anyway). The trash was overflowing in the kitchen and there was even trash thrown behind the fridge. I couldn't walk one single step without running into another mess. This would've never happened if I had not been sick in bed. They totally took advantage of my illness to destroy my house.
I tried to talk to my daughter about it and she got defensive and started screaming and crying that I'm her mother and it's my job to take care of her. She left in a huff and now will not answer her phone when I try to call and talk things out with her. I've texted her cell phone and she won't respond. She acts like I've done something wrong. I'm so pi**ed right now I just want to go to her house and tell her I hate her because she's the most selfish person I've ever known! I'd really like to slap her upside her head for the way she's acting. I'd also like to kick her husband in the groin region for being such a pompous, selfish little jerk. Who do these people think they are?
I'm also mad at myself because I've obviously made a mistake by mollycoddling my children so much that they think it's their right to walk all over me. I thought I was being a good mom but now I can see I was just making them dependent on me and I need to learn to set clear boundaries. I'm not surprised that my younger daughter did this as she has always been a problem but I'm completely taken aback that my oldest daughter is now acting this way.
The problem is that I want to talk it out with my oldest one but she won't answer the phone. I want to tell her how her behavior has hurt me and how I am going to establish some boundaries with her from now on. BUT ....It's been 3 days since our last conversation and she won't pick up the phone. Any suggestions?
I personally wouldn't try to contact her right now. It's too fresh in your mind and you're too angry. When she thinks you've "cooled off" she'll probably contact you. By then, maybe you will have a cooler head and you can tell her what you feel, and what you will and won't tolerate in the future. You'll be able to do it with more force and meaning if you're calm.
If you're really serious about setting some bounderies with her, just be prepared and be strong. She's probably going to use some of the more common tactics that people (especially children) use to "win" an argument. She'll lay the guilt on as thick as she can. If she already knows what buttons to push, and she probably does, she'll push them if she feels threatened. She'll remind you of every little mistake you've made in raising her. After all, she's a perfect mother and never makes mistakes. (?) She'll say anything to throw the blame on you and take focus off herself. She'll also try to get you to argue with her, another way to make you lose focus. You are the more mature one so don't let her turn the tables on you. You need to make yourself very clear without yelling, arguing, name calling, or exaggerating the issue in any way. Otherwise, she'll just try to take the focus off herself by involving you in petty arguments that go nowhere. The more "matter-of-fact" and calm you are, the more likely she'll take you seriously.
You both talk it out. She apoligizes. Things are great..........for a little while. Then, it's back to the same old behavior. You'll have to stick to your guns, not only for your own sake, but for that of your daughter's as well. If there are no real consequences for her actions, then there's no real reason for her to make long term changes. Your bounderies will be meaningless if you don't enforce them when she tries to cross them.
I hope you can work this out with her. I think if you can, you'll have a much better relationship with her. A little more give and take maybe, rather than "you give, she takes". Take care.
There is nothing you can do to change things with your daughter. She will change when she is ready if she does. I try to think back to when I was 21 and really was so very immature. You think as far as your nose. Only for pleasure. Now with this generation and the fast living and loving them do.
I would not call her. Wait for her to call you. You keep chasing after her like she is a china doll. That is the worse thing to do. She knows you well and knows that this is just what you are planning to do. I think girls can get more selfish than boys at this age. They owe their friends more than their family. It was more important for her showing her friends a great time on Christmas rather than take care of her family. It is just something that you are going to have to either live with or kick her out until she gives you the respect you deserve. It is very easy for me to say this as I did just the same that you are doing and got beat up like you have no idea. It is not easy raising children because in your eyes you look at her and she is any age you want to see from a baby up until her first date. As a Mother we have that special way of looking at our children .
In order to ever change her or survive you are going to have to get an outer shell and stick with it. Your rules or stay away. Seems cruel but what is worse. You being stepped on. Think twice before calling her all the time and stop chasing after her. She knows you will and then is winning the battle. Think of yourself at that age. Much luck, it is not easy.
Now stick with it my friend. I wish this Board was here years ago to help me with a problem only daughter who was spoiled so terrible that could not be controlled. Maybe if I had these wonderful people to help me go through the hell she took me through that we would now be talking and be a Mother-Daughter. Maybe if I would have been firmer instead of coddling. Who knows. You can not change yesterday. But you can change your tomorrow's. The lesson begins with you. You have to continue to teach her. I have learned in growing older that each year you age you get wiser. I can not get over how this is true. I am still learning. Every single day. Just part of life. Guess will do this until I die and am not planning on doing that for a while. You take care and remember you must change and be tough in order to make her grow up. She is not a child anymore unless you continue to make her be one. This is your call.