Unable to Set Boundaries with Mom Who Smokes Near My Baby

Modern Parent

I live in a foreign country with my partner and our 18-month-old daughter, and my relationship with my mother has been difficult. Due to her own mistakes in motherhood with me, I tried to set boundaries when she came to visit during my pregnancy, but she refused to respect them.

My mother's manipulative and blackmail tactics made me feel like I couldn't handle a newborn with just my partner's help, so I let her stay longer than I wanted. She ended up doing whatever she wanted in our house, including smoking in her bedroom where our baby's clothes were stored, and making a mess while cooking.

I'm a minimalist, and my mother's clutter and disrespect for my boundaries caused many arguments and negatively impacted my mental health. She stayed with us for ten months due to COVID, but I was relieved when she finally went back to her country.

Despite setting boundaries regarding my daughter, my mother still tries to interfere and ignores my wishes. Recently, she bought a bulky outdoor swing for my daughter without consulting me, causing me to get upset and regret talking to her again.

I don't trust my mother due to her previous actions, and I resent her for her past behavior. I fear she may try to say or do something against me to my daughter. I'm unsure how to approach this situation and don't want her to be part of our lives. Moving to another country would be ideal, but not an option right now. Any advice would be appreciated.

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