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Mother upset with new relationship, advice?

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I lost my abusive husband to drugs 12 years ago. Afterwards I raised my three, at the time toddlers, by myself. I lived very far from my family for 6 years and then I moved back to my hometowns as life became increasingly difficult. 


My kids are now 18, 16, and 14. My mom lives across the street and has been very involved with my kids for the past 6 years. Like co-parenting.


Now, I have a first boyfriend after 12 years. The relationship is new a very intense. I think this might become something really, really good. We text constantly though the day, every day for the past three months. We get to see each other usually once a week for 24 hours because of complicated logistics. 


Now, my mother is very upset. When I went back to work, she promised how she would take care of my household and help with everything. Occasionally, she comes to wash dishes.

Same with the boyfriend. She said how I should have fun and enjoy it. When I do, she is very upset, saying that I need to be home with my kids. Mind that I see him once a week, usually from Saturday noon to Sunday noon. Otherwise, I am at home almost every evening, occasionally, I go to a gym after work (like once week). This weekend, we are finally spending more time together - from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon and I am thrilled. My mother is furious and stopped talking to me 😕


So my question to you is - is my mother overreacting or am I being selfish? Seeing someone I really like once a week is not too much but on the other hand, it is true that I have not spend a full weekend with my kids for the past three months. When I ask my kids, they are mostly OK with it since they see I am really happy. 



Edited by Nolagirl

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Hi Nolagirl!

First let me preface that I don't have your experience, so take what I write with a grain of salt.  

There are a lot of unknowns in your post to give a simple yes or no to your question.  What I think can be said is that dating and possibly recoupling upsets the apple cart. Your mother has helped with your kids for years, and though she is happy to have you have fun with the new boyfriend, she must have had a vision of what that would look like, and what is happening is not it.  So to say she is overreacting?  Maybe. But her perception of what a new relationship for you and your kids is not matching, I bet.  Your post doesn't note how the kids feel (They are mostly OK with it).  I think your kids are certainly old enough for you to move on, and they want you happy but they are adjusting to it, too. Perhaps they voice other feelings to your mom?  Perhaps they are acting different around your mom so she feels differently about it?    Maybe your kids are OK with it but Mom is not. Teenagers are very egocentric typically, developmentally, so maybe they say they want you happy but then really feel put aside.  Or they feel both!   Mixed up feelings.


I don't think you are selfish. I think from your post, you waited a long time and took care of your kids, and now your kids are older and likely more independent as teens are meant to be.  But sharing you may still be hard.

With both, maybe a heart to heart talk about it all?  Cards on the table and then a plan to manage it all. It's tough, I tell you. I wish your the best!  


PS  I had  a MIL that helped me with my son after LH died. I limited it, though, because I didn't want her to be my coparent, and I could manage it.  I had only one child. I went to work pt. time because I could and relinquished her of some of her help.  She did not like that. I was taking care of my elderly mother, too, so part time work was so I could do both.  I waited 4 years to date and then it was fantastic, new, exciting. I did not have my MIL keep my son when I was on a date or overnight out of town.  I did not want her to have that responsibility.  I did not tell her a lot either. Felt awkward. I eventually moved my son and myself to the town where my NG was living with his kids. I had moved my mother already there for dementia care my town did not have. My MIL quickly up and moved back home, out of state, then. It changed our relationship, but I knew if I recoupled, it would.  My MIL. THis is your MOM,  so that is a whole different dynamic.  
Good luck!  

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Nola I know nothing of you but your post, but 12 years on, one night a week, with teens, following what you refer to as an abusive marriage, and widowhood? Your mum is overreacting. As has been said, she probably had a narrative about how all your lives would be, and you've upset it. A kind talk in order as also mentioned?


I was an old slapper with two young children who had a bloke staying here a couple of nights a week only a year on, not always easy times, but very good now, and we love each other and have been together eight years. I still love my husband too. Good luck with your new love,  it's always a gamble, but hope it works out.

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Your mother is overreacting.  I had the same problem but with my sister.  After lots of talking.. turns out she was low key jealous of me spending time with my boyfriend and not her along with my kids because we did everything together.  Be happy!

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