Yay it's Wednesday (argh, where ARE the weeks going?!) and here is today's wedding woe:
Just wondering you have any advice for how to deal with a Mumzilla?
My mum is a real sweetie but ever since my partner and I got engaged, she's become moody, distant and really critical about our plans for the big day. I get on really well with my partner's family and I think she feels a bit stink about that.
I've tried having the 'we love you very much and I'm not abandoning you' talk with her, but it didn't go too well and things are just awkward as ar*e!
Any thoughts on how we can sort this?
Eek, this is a toughie because I don't personally have any experience with this specific subject!
The relationship between my mum and me is by no means perfect (is any mother/daughter's?) but the one thing we seem to be gelling on is my and future husband's wedding. (When we first got engaged it was her idea for us to elope etc, something that many would dream their mum would support! Alas, no eloping here...)
So while mum hasn't morphed into mumzilla yet - and there are still a few months for that to occur but at this stage, touch wood, we're doing good - I have heard numerous horror stories from friends and readers.
Now I think the best way to look at it is to try to get to the same point where your mum is seeing things from. Does she want you in the frou-frou dress because hers was second-hand? Is she critical about your plans because in her mind's eye she always had something else in her vision for you? Is her own marriage under a bit of strain and all the wedding talk is emphasising it? Or does she feel as though she's being "replaced" by the mother-in-law-to-be?
I think (by the sounds of your email) that the last point is probably the most poignant, with a scattering of some of the other potential issues thrown in for good measure.
You only get one mum in this life and having another figure that is at the same "level" could be seen as intimidating. (A way of looking at it is how you would feel if you had a brother, he married a girl and suddenly your mum was forming a closer bond with her daughter-in-law than you. You'd probs feel a teensy bit stink about that, and no one would blame you!)
It's because of this that you do have to reassure your mum that she is still your mum and even though you are very fond of your MIL, she is just that. Reassurance can take many forms, and it sounds as though you've done the verbal sit-down chat with her. But what about something more permanent and olive-branch-esque; whether it's including her in the ceremony in some way (having her as your witness, maybe?) or making a special way to acknowledge the job she's done in raising you. Some mothers would prefer a small gesture; some require a bit of a song and a dance.
I think the main thing is to really think about the root of the issue, and to treat that rather than try to deal with the moods and bizarre, out-of-character behaviour. Remember that, yes, she's your mum, but she's prone to acting up just like any other person - she IS human. And jealousy, which it sounds as though it is a form of, is a real human condition and one that you can't just say "Don't be jealous!" and everything is fixed. Sometimes it requires action.
When it all feels a bit tough, just take a moment, breathe, and think about how much tougher it must be for girls who don't have their mum around for their big day. A little bit of perspective always helps.
Did or do you have to deal with a mumzilla? Got any advice on how you can include your mum in your special day?
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