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Balancing my boyfriend and my family

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I could use some advice on balancing having a new boyfriend and spending time with my family. 

For some context, my family lives and hour and a half away. I own my own home. I'm 30 years old. I've always been super close to my family, especially my mother. 

In recent years though, I realized that my closeness with my family was hindering me having my own adult life and I put a lot of value on what my mother liked, wanted, accepted. I wasn't thinking for myself. I sought therapy. When I started therapy, I remember saying to her - I love spending all my time with my family. When I ended therapy I told my therapist- I love my family, and can spend time with them, but I want to enjoy MY life, forge one for myself, get married, have kids, do things with my own family, and be less reliant and enmeshed in my current family. 

I think I have done a decent job at setting boundaries with my family, thinking for myself, my wants and needs, and enjoying my life. My mother pushes back a bit at times. I still do what I want. My mother thinks we need to constantly be a family unit and make all decisions together. Even though my sibling and I are 30 and have boyfriend, him a girlfriend and live on our own. My mom struggles to let go. She still knows best. She criticizes me a lot and says she just wants the best for me, but it can get annoying. If I don't do things how she thinks are right, you are wrong. 

What's been really interesting is that I've been really focusing on myself the last few months. I started dating, not telling her as much. My mom and I used to talk on the phone every single day. Now, I don't answer every time. I'm busy. 

I have a boyfriend and I'm really prioritizing building a life and family with him. 

I don't visit my family as much. I used to drive and stay for whole weekends once a month. Now I visit when I can, stay for the day. My mother doesn't like this. She gets made if I call or text my boyfriend at her house. She thinks it's taking time away from her and I visiting. 

I'm trying to balance my lifestyle and working full time. 

My grandmother is sick and is dying. I've come to peace with it. She lived a long good life and is very old. I went up there to visit her one last time. 

My mom is now criticizing me saying how I don't seem upset about my grandmother. I'm not calling often. I'm not answering my phone and we don't talk often. I'm always busy. 

My work has picked up and is more busy and I spend a lot of time either talking to my boyfriend or spending time with him. I'm genuinely happy. I'm not ignoring my family. I do call, but now it's every couple days or so. I don't think this is a big deal. I even told my mom that if I had my own kids, I'd be even busier. She got mad acting like I'm not going to include her in my life. That's not true. But I have to grow up. 

I know my brother and his girlfriend are thinking of moving away and my boyfriend and I talk about moving away too. My mother got all upset one day when I mentioned it. 

My mother is just pushing me away honestly. 

I think my mother was jealous that I went away with my boyfriend and his family. Then ask us to go away with you. But my parents don't. 

For the last many years my mother acts like I need to help her. Help her organize her home, fix things there, etc

 Because she's helped me with my home. I've helped her top. But I feel like she's so needy and she's the parent. I manage my house myself without her. I shouldn't be responsible for her home. 

I'm trying to balance everything. Am I doing a bad job? 

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16 hours ago, Alex39 said:

I have to grow up. 

Giving you mad props here!!!  You have come a long way, and are doing all the right things!  Setting boundaries. Knowing what you want, and making room for it.  To be honest, your new post is amazing, and I'm glad you are seeing things clearly.  It's normal to question if you are doing the right thing, and you are.  It can be confusing when you have an emotionally abusive parent holding them being your parent over your head.  You owe you parents nothing.  They chose to have you.  And its the parents job to give you the right tools, so you can live your own life to the very best of your abilities.

Honestly, she has a husband.  You don't have to balance anything.  Even if you crawled up inside her womb, she'd still demand more of your time.  You do you.  And stick with it.  There may be a point she calls 15x in a row.  But you pick up on the 15th time, which they remember as how many times will work, or the reasons for you to call/pick up could be vague enough as a way to pique your interest, when it isn't that pressing.

Just know, emotional abuse isn't just calling you ugly and good for nothing...it's an abuse of your time with an over the top expectation of it.  Her gaslighting you is also gross.

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19 hours ago, Alex39 said:

I'm trying to balance everything. Am I doing a bad job? 

No, but be careful not to get too far ahead of yourself with the new boyfriend. 

You two are a very new couple and there have been valid concerns along the way. Don't get too carried away in talking about starting a family or moving somewhere else with him yet. I get the sense you're enjoying planting these ideas in your mom's head, and while you certianly have a point, your relationship is also far too young to hedge those bets on. 

You can still balance your family and relationship while maintaining perspective. 

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Since you are at a distance from your family and your BF is still busy with friends on weekends quite a bit there shouldn't be too many issues unless you have to hold your breath every weekend to see if he'll actually want to spend time with you. Make a schedule for yourself. Visit your mother x times a month and call x times a week and stick to it.

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Do read some books/articles on tips to establish boundaries. It sounds strange, but humans are animals and you can train them just like you train pets. It's about positive enforcement (rewarding good behavior) and negative enforcement (removing your attention/physical presence). 

Do not engage in conversations that are not in your best interest. What to do on a phone call? Say, "That topic is making me feel bad. I'll speak to you another day. Goodbye." Then hang up. What to do when in her presence? Same thing except you say you're taking a walk. You can also excuse yourself to take a walk to call your bf, because it's none of her business to know who you're calling, and you will avoid the argument of why you can spend every millisecond with her during your visit. If after the walk, she takes up again with the abusive talk. Pack up and cut your visit short.

Learn to say the word no when you don't want to help her with her house repairs. Keep your answers firm without apology. Predators see apology as a weak spot, and they will amp up their battle plan to conquer with manipulation.

The change might not happen overnight, but when you stick to your boundaries, she will learn that to have the gift of your ear and presence, she will have to treat you right.

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