A mother is a special thing. She is the first one that loved you, and probably the first person you loved. She cared for you and did everything she could to create a well-rounded, happy person. So, when you proudly announce that you have decided to get married, it is no wonder that her reaction may be somewhat dramatic. While she likely wants you to be happy, it is difficult for a mom to settle on anybody that will ever be good enough for you. It has always been her job to open your eyes to imminent danger.
More than a few mothers have displayed extreme reactions upon receiving their wedding invitation. There have been stories of moms taking over the wedding planning altogether, refusing to come if one or more of their demands are not met, wailing throughout the vows and even pitching up feigning illness to upstage the bride and get some sympathy. These may sound like the manipulations of a crazy person but are, in fact, quite common amongst mothers coming to terms with the wedding of one of their children.
This can be for a variety of reasons. In addition to their being worried about losing a child (whether they think the new spouse-to-be deserves them or not), some mothers can also suffer from jealousy or resentment at the attention and youthful vigour of the new bride. Others start to panic about the amount of money they have contributed towards the wedding and feel that they should have more say about what that money is spent on. How they feel is sometimes not within their control and children need to be aware of this fact and try not to make it too personal.
Still, having a stressed out, bossy or just plain nasty mother on your back while you are trying to plan the wedding of your dreams is never easy. To try and prevent the situation altogether, decide on one or two aspects of the wedding for which she can be completely responsible. These should be things that you are not that worried about organising yourself and that you know she can handle (such as tasting, organising and fetching the cake, coordinating and recording RSVP’s or making sure that programmes are printed, delivered and distributed correctly). This will give her a sense of purpose and significance, making her feel involved and meaningful. Another tip is to ask her what she thinks of certain designs, colours, flavours or ideas instead of just informing her that you plan to do X, Y and Z. You should seriously consider her feedback and make a concerted effort not to let her opinion turn into an argument. If, after these efforts, she remains difficult, it is appropriate to sit her down and lovingly explain to her that this is your wedding day and that, while you appreciate her advice and / or financial contribution, she needs to take a step back.
By handling the situation tactfully and gently, you enable both of you to continue planning the perfect wedding in a mutually understanding and pleasant environment.
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