A great-grandma who bosses around her own daughter, who is a grandma herself!

@much2say (39824)
United States
January 5, 2012 11:48am CST
One of my daughter's friend's mom lives with her Lebanese family. This includes herself and her husband with their 2 young daughters, her 3 siblings, her mother and father who are both 60 years old, and her mother's mother who is 80. They all seem to be happy together - for the most part. The 60 year old mom is such a sweet lady - she is a wonderful mom and grandma. But she is so nice that she cannot stand up to her own 80 year old mother. The 80 year old mother constantly tells her 60 year old daughter how to run her life - yet even at this age, she feels she cannot say anything to her. This week the youngest mom and family wanted to take a trip to the Grand Canyon. They wanted the 60 year old grandma to come too . . . so she could enjoy herself (as she can never enjoy her grandkids on her own). But great-grandmother said NO (again, for the umpteenth time they've all tried to go on a trip together). Great-grandmother won't go on such trips. She only gives guilt trips. Great-grandmother wants her daughter home - with her. She won't even have her own son in the next city come take care of her - she needs her daughter home. Other family members from Lebanon are here this month and have graciously offered to watch over her, but she refuses, making all kinds of excuses. This woman is healthy as an ox and can do things for herself - it's not like she has disabilities - so it frustrates everyone. And so the trip was called off. The young mom is so angry. She does talk to her mom about it as gently as she can as this happens all the time, but still this 60 year old woman feels she must listen to her 80 year old mother. And even the 80 year old mother says (about her daughter) "SHE was born for ME". I can't really "advise - it's not my business. What would you do or say?
1 person likes this
6 responses
• China
6 Jan 12
What a fun it is!Their four generations live under one roof just as us,now my Mum is in her 90.It seems that the great-grandma has eccentric character and is strict with her son and daughter and her daughter shows filial obedience for her.The old don't always understand young people ,even if their son or daughter has been a grandparent.Maybe that is just the generation gap.
@much2say (39824)
• United States
7 Jan 12
Oh, it's definitely a generation gap - but also a culture gap as well, in this particular situation. Perhaps that is the way in the old country, but this is in the US ... and of course the younger ones are more about American culture while trying to respect their culture - within reason. And the middle generation is stuck between the two. Wow, you have four generations too . . . do you have issues such as this in your house?
• China
8 Jan 12
although I say our four generations live under one roof-here we all say so, but we each have separate house within easy walking distance.However My Mum is an easy going person.
@much2say (39824)
• United States
13 Jan 12
Ah, well with separate houses, then at least each person or families have their private time. With my friend, they all live in one house - and I think they get on each other's nerves at times. Nice that your mom is easy going . . . that great-grandmother is not!
• Philippines
13 Jan 12
Somewhat I am not really surprise. The oldest grandma still sees her daughter (the otehr grandma) as her daughter. For her, it doesn't matter how old she is or what she has accomplished - she is still the daughter she raised and the daughter she can bosses around. Also, you have to consider the fact that these two grannies have a lifestyle that is different from the younger generation. They have their ways of doing this and they grew old living those habits. It's hard to change these kinds of relationships. I read a book about mothers and daughters and this situation clearly reflects those mentioned. The great-grandma feels that she is finally losing control of her family. In my view, she flaunts her authority as the oldest member to do things her way and to keep someone with her. Her daughter is already conditioned to accommodate her mother in every way becuase she has been living that way. If that happen to me, I would certainly be frustrated but I think I am also not in a position to advise. It's family dynamics of another family - they might not take it kindly if I intrude to their personal business.
@much2say (39824)
• United States
13 Jan 12
That sure sounds like exactly what's happening - but it's just so sad! It's quite possible the great-grandmother feels like she is losing control of her family . . . I guess the only way she feels she still has it is to be so bossy to her own daughter - who is accustomed to just giving in to her even after all this time. The situation probably can change, but they have to want to change - but often it's less heartbreaking (easier) to keep things the way they are. I doubt things will change for them. You remind me about my dad's oldest cousin. He was from the old country and he bossed EVERYONE around - not just his immediate family but every family member on my dad's side. He was mister big shot and everyone was annoyed by his antics - yet no one stood up to him. I guess control is as good as the people who alloy him to exercise this control. Yep, we talk about the situation - me and the mom - but what can I say - and she is of the younger generation in the family. She completely agrees what all of us are saying and she even tells it to her mom - but things remain the same. Yep, no one can butt into the business of another family's dynamics . . . good luck to them.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
9 Jan 12
First of all, I have to say that I think it is great that four generations of the family are all able to live together. We had that at our home for a little while when Kathryn was little. It was my grandmother, my mother, myself, Kathryn and also my siblings and my husband all living in the house together. As far as the grandmother goes, she does need to put her foot down from time to time and take some time off from her mother as long as her mother is healthy enough to be alone for a short time.
@much2say (39824)
• United States
10 Jan 12
That must have been neat to have all the generations under one roof! I think a family network can be awesome, that is, if everyone can get along. My friend does tell her mom that she needs to put her foot down, but the mom just can't get herself to do it - she knows, she knows. That great-grandmother totally does not even need someone to look after her - you would never think she is even 80. The family is convinced she just does not want her daughter having any fun on her own (a control thing) . . . she won't even let her go on day trips with the grandchildren - that's just a shame!!!
@cupkitties (7291)
• United States
6 Jan 12
Haha sorry. I'm guilty of this too to some extent though I don't obey every little order. Regardless of age, a child is still a child to the parent and the parent is still the parent. Its a hard habit to break. Also the mom is 80 so maybe her daughter is thinking that she may not be around for long.
@much2say (39824)
• United States
7 Jan 12
I was thinking the same thing too . . . the logic that the oldest mom would not be around that much longer. But she is so healthy and headstrong . . . she may actually live a great deal longer! And in the meantime the 60 year old would just not be living the life she should be living - that's just so sad - and it's making her kids sad as well to see their mom like this. Obviously it is a hard habit to break, but the line has to be drawn somewhere - especially when it has to do with allowing your daughter enjoy ONE trip with her family for just a few days.
@koperty3 (1877)
5 Jan 12
It can be serious problem sometimes to stand up against older member of the family. With age people getting more stubborn and the same time more fragile. It is very easy to offend them but in this situation is not about age is about power over someone. I think 60 years old daughter all her life was following mother with every decision mother has made. Older lady feels her weakness and uses it against her daughter. It's really hard to advise something in this situation if nothing has been done before. ^0 years old lady should enjoy her life sometimes instead of being a slave of her mother. Greetings...
@much2say (39824)
• United States
6 Jan 12
Yep, the great grandmother definitely wants to be in control. She knows her daughter is going to listen to her every whim and give in. It's actually a sad situation and I don't know how it could be remedied . . . it's up to the parties involved, really. I agree that 60 year old mom should be able to enjoy herself - she's not getting any younger herself.
@lifes97 (885)
• United Arab Emirates
5 Jan 12
she took the right decision, after all its her mother and she is too old to change her life style or the way she thinks, in this age, they cant control their minds, its something with the age, regardless if was like this before or no, with age people tend to be more stuborn and regid, as a good daughter she has to tollerate her, after all its not really a vital issue to upset her old mother for it.
@much2say (39824)
• United States
6 Jan 12
Is it really the "right" decision? I mean, I understand respecting your elders and not upsetting your mother, but is this situation "good"? I know when we get old, we get set in our ways and so on, but is it fair to the daughter who is also not getting any younger? Such a hard call . . .