How do I deal w/my mom?

Sorry, I just need to vent about this and I don't know what to do. My mom is driving me CRAZY! There is so much tension between us. We've even sat down and had talks about it, but still nothing has changed. Ever since the whole planning process started, we have been butting heads. We're usually fairly close and don't have problems, but I don't know what her deal is. I think that since she's helping pay for the wedding, she wants us to spend the money exactly how she thinks it should be spent. We're really trying to save, and there are a lot of things that I don't like and just don't think are necessary, and other things that I just have completely different ideas about. But she's going crazy about it. She even told me today that planning my wedding was "her dream ever since I was a little girl." I had to tell her that this was MY wedding! That just made her even more mad. She tried telling me that she knows that, but it doesn't seem like it!
I really am trying to compromise on things with her, but it's just never enough. Am I being selfish by wanting to plan all the details of my own wedding?
Posted on March 26, 2008 at 9:55 am
jhuffman22
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jess143
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I too have had some family issues. The first thing my mother asked when I told her I was engaged was "Who did you tell first?" Are ya freaking kidding me?!?!

Needless to say she and I aren't all that close, I am however very close to my grandmother. (The person that I actually told first lol.) She has been driving me nuts. SHe tells me "I don't like that idea" for everything!!

I told her I felt like I didn't even have a say in my own wedding, she backed off a little bit....

But the ONE thing I'm 200% sold on are the flowers. I KNOW the bouquet that I wants and she hates it. I finally had to call her sister to talk some sense into her. My great aunt told her to back off regarding the flowers. Next time she brings up the flowers I'm gonna tell her (per my AUn't suggestion) "It's either those of I carry a freaking handful of candy canes down the isle"

See my grandmother is very passive in the way she says things-while I was showing my aunt all the images I pick-my grandmother says" well, you still have time to decide on flowers" I took a deep breathe! although my grandmother is paying for it, I want to plan it! You aren't alone in feeling this way, FI keeps reminding me that she's just excited for me and this is the first wedding she gets to help with...be flexible.

I understand this is easier said than done! ONe of my ideas was to tell her "fine...whatever. You plan the wedding-just tell me what time to be there because it doesn't even matter what I want" This would work with my family, might or might not work for yours
Posted on March 26, 2008 at 10:11 am
abattyref
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10/06/2007
abattyref

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I don't think your being selfish at all, it is your wedding, not hers. Her monetary contribution shouldn't change that. It sounds like your mom is living her wedding dreams through you. Did she not get to plan her own wedding?



I had to deal with this on a smaller scale with my mom too. Her wedding 35 years ago was at her parents house with 50 people, no dancing, and a store bought cake. When we first got engaged she got all crazy about over planning and booking all sorts of things. She was going to start booking vendors without consulting me because she thought she was doing me a favor. More than once I had to gently remind her that this wasn't her wedding, and that we would have different tastes and opinions on many things. It was frustrating because I felt like a total bridezilla whenever I talked to her.



What finally made things click in my mom's head was that we had drastically different opinions on the wedding cake topper. (kind of trivial, I know) She wanted us to use the cake topper from her wedding which is fragile blown glass with birds. It's really beautiful, but I wanted something more fun, that reflected DH and myself. I know that it hurt her feelings, but she finally realized that our wedding needed to reflect us, not her. My dad had to step in and tell her that too, along with my brothers. I think hearing it from someone other than me, really helped change her mind. The last few months of planning, she was awesome.



I don't know what advice to offer you except to try and get your family to help persuade your mom that no matter who's paying, it's your and your FI's wedding, not hers. And that you are eternally grateful for her love and support, but that she needs to back off a bit.

Sorry this ended up so long. Good luck!
Posted on March 26, 2008 at 10:29 am
jersey
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04/25/2008
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I think it is weird if you are not going through something like this.I have the same prob,my mother and I have always been bestfriends and now I cant even stand when she calls me.It all started when I wanted a beach wedding and started planing it and she gave me the worse anxiety about weather,parking ect.I didnt get my dream gown because she turned her nose up while looking at me in it,she has this disgusted face at eveything I want! I didnt want my future stepdaughter to wear the dress my mother picked out,but yet she got her way and I hate it!!! Every dress I showed her after she found the one she liked she turned her nose up at it and acted like it was the uglest thing she has ever seen.It got to the point that I said just get it...and I hate it. I started just getting things (she isnt paying for any of the wedding)when she isnt with me because I couldnt stand it anymore the faces,the "are you serious",the "ewws". She even made me get the silver bells for the name cards,and I didnt want them at all....I didnt want anything to hold the card so really I would have saved money.The list goes on and on and it is driving me crazy she made me really just wish I didnt have to have a wedding anymore because everything I pick out she makes me feel like it is sooo gross.
Posted on March 26, 2008 at 11:26 am
champagnecholly
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champagnecholly

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jhuffman, I had this experience. My mother was very hands off and FI's family was "hands off" per se but they made it very clear that there were expectations for a level of grandeur/formality when we were initially thinking backyard bbq... I think while it is your wedding, compromise is underrated. By making small concessions here and there she feels happy and important, but just make sure the "vision" is still yours. That was the advice some past pw.com posts offered me and I've really found it to be true and helpful. So you have a raspberry filled cake instead of lemon - it doesn't change your vision you know? Maybe with things like that, give her tasks, things that are not important to you. Like are you really particular about food? I know for us I was not, as long as it was good, so if FMIL insists on vicchyssoise, okay! I think parents can become overbearing when they are trying to "help" as abattyref said. Also when she starts stepping on your toes about important things, you have an arsenal of "well, you did this already so I would really like to personalize that detail." And per past posts, I think having an impartial third party can be invaluable.
Posted on March 26, 2008 at 11:48 am
jhuffman22
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Thanks for all the great advice. It just really gets frustrating at times. And no, she didn't get to really plan her wedding, so I guess that's a big part of why she's wanting to plan mine now. The main reason we're not just eloping is because I want my mom and dad can be there, but when she was giving us her list of people to invite, it turned into such a huge ordeal! Much bigger than we ever wanted. So we're just having a very small wedding with our closest family and friends, but that's definitely not what she wants! Oh well. I think I'll try taking champagne's advice about letting her have control over a few areas that I don't really care about too much. Hopefully that'll calm her down some. :)
Thanks again everyone for all you help.
Posted on March 26, 2008 at 6:04 pm
smilkova
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05/31/2008
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JHuffman, you are not being selfish! If anyone is being a little selfish, it's your mother. I am really sorry for saying it and I apologize, but she is thinking of herself and how she sees your wedding. Maybe you can negotiate so that she organizes one aspect of the wedding however she sees fit - and in this way all her energy would be invested in planning that part. Find her a seemingly important job to do and remind her that you count on her to do it. How about creating a timeline for the wedding? Ha ha that must be the most challenging task (or so it seems to me).
Posted on March 26, 2008 at 6:10 pm
pinkgerbers
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07/26/2008
pinkgerbers

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Thank you to everyone for this post. I flew home for my spring break to work on wedding stuff, am frustrated too, and really needed to hear your advice. I appreciate your words!
Posted on March 26, 2008 at 8:33 pm
jess143
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09/19/2009
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My grandmother has her heart set on a certain cake style which I dont like to much, but FH does. Well, I'm waiting to tell her that we'll go with her style for when I need her off my back. Keep an Ace in the Hole!
Posted on March 27, 2008 at 3:43 am
theDame
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01/01/2008
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I'm going to give you Brides a bit of an opposite view: My mother is not involved.

When I show her pictures she doesn't really seem that interested and her attention wanders quickly. I asked for addresses and she directed me to another relative.

My mother- both my parents - love me but they've always been a bit hands-off in the parenting department. When I was younger, I certainly had a tough time with this but I had to see that the result is that they have raised a very independent, self-sufficient daughter. I learned to be grateful for it. I'm so used to it now that I am not hurt that she's not involved; I've learned to be grateful that she's not getting in the way! I know - as this thread proves- that most mothers do....

I just say this in the hopes that everyone can take a deep breath and change their perspectives. I think that if most of you read this and ask yourselves: " what if my mother didn't really care/help?" that it might take the edge off.

what i've learned about this process it's a compromise between what you want, what you can afford, what the groom wants, the families' desires. I even have friends saying "you have to" "you should" etc It's a minefield of negotiation and the only way to stay sane is to keep it in perspective. There are some things I have accepted as things I'm going to have to do and some things that are going to be "my way". The key for me has been to not expect perfection, to focus on not being judged.
Posted on March 27, 2008 at 4:18 am
smilkova
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TheDame, thank you for this timely and wise perspective! I completely agree with you.
Posted on March 27, 2008 at 5:16 am
jersey
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Dame,thank you for helping us see the other side and think about that.I am sorry your mom seems distant with it and can imagin that it is just as upsetting.I guess we all are really just thrown what we can handle.
Posted on March 27, 2008 at 5:41 am
theDame
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ah thanks Jersey and Smil : )

I'm not upset by it anymore, I've known her all of my life! So I knew what to expect; that she'd just be along for the ride. People are who they are, recognizing that only helps you to deal. and trust me, that advice is for myself. ( My FI has been driving me nuts !)
Posted on March 27, 2008 at 6:13 am
married2mrwright
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09/29/2007
married2mrwright

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TheDame--I was in the same boat you are...my mom loves me but was very uninterested in my wedding plans. Just kind of "ho-hum", "very nice dear".... but I didn't take it personally because I know that she has issues with marriage that have absolutely nothing to do with me. That said, she had a wonderful time at our wedding and loved everything I did.
It was tough on me at first...my DH on the road and my mom checked out, I was really on my own. My BFF was engaged at the same time too, but her wedding was first, so she was in her wedding la-la land. Once I got over it, I embraced the solitude and was happy to plan the whole thing myself. Once DH came home, he was very excited and supportive too.

For those of you who are having a tug-o-war with your moms. This is part of the process of detaching from your parents and preparing for your "new" family with your husband. Some parents have a tougher time of it than others. I also suspect that the younger you are (early 20's, let's say) the tougher it is for them. I am 33 and a newlywed, but detached from my parents about 10 years ago. BY detaching I mean, evolving the relationship from that of parent-child to more of a friendship. They're still my parents, but they no longer are "parenting" me. I hope I am making sense.

Anyway, some advice....TALK, TALK and TALK some more. If you feel that your mothers are living vicariously through you, you need to nip it in the bud. Also, did their mothers take over their wedding plans? If so, they might feel like it's their turn now with their own daughter. Some of it can be cultural. And, unfortunately, when they are paying for all or part of it, they feel entitled to excercise control.

One tip I give all my brides...if your parents and/or families are contributing to paying for the wedding, get the money upfront. Put it in a Wedding Account and then be responsible for sticking to the budget and paying for everything from that fund. That way you avoid the whole "I don't want to pay for THAT!" or "Since I am paying, I want THESE". Also just as ost brides go into sticker shock in the early stages of planning so do parents. Even more so, since they're not really doing the research. So they hear $1K for a cake and freak out! Or the opposite...mom hears that your planning a picnic-in-the-park reception and decides she'd rather spend the money on the banquet room at the nearest hotel.

So if your folks pledge $5K...ask that they make deposits to your account or write one big check. Then, as the process happens, you can share your plans/vision. Or not. It's up to you. If you have someone in your life that is a complainer and cannot be happy for you, no matter what you do, I wouldn't share much of your planning with them. It will only lead to strife. For what it's worth, I have seen this time and again, the MOST difficult family member (MOB, MOG, SIL, whomever) during the planning process is USUALLY the most proud of the plans on the wedding day. I don't know why, but I swear, 90% of the time, this is the case.

Hang in there!
Posted on March 27, 2008 at 7:14 am
d1rtymart1n1
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12/04/2009
d1rtymart1n1

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I'm so jealous of all of you who are "having a tough time" with your moms - but here's some perspective - my mom passed away in 2004 and her beautiful smiling face will not be in any pictures, nor will i get to give her a big fat hug and thank her for being such an inspiration...

instead, i am carrying her rosary and bible instead of a bouquet and will be wearing her clustered diamond earrings on my wedding day, those earrings had been given to her from my grandmother, and given to my grandmother from her mother...

weddings and funerals bring out all kinds of emotions in people... yes this is is YOUR wedding, but you are her baby and she thinks she is just being your mom.. cut her some slack - she has to deal with you being all grown up now.

hang in there!
Posted on March 30, 2008 at 9:24 pm
jhuffman22
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jhuffman22

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Thank you so much everyone for all of your input. This has really given me a different perspective on things! d1rty, I'm so sorry to hear that about you mom. I can't imagine what that would be like. But I do think that it's awesome how you'll still be honoring and remembering her at your wedding.
Posted on March 31, 2008 at 3:45 am

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