Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Being Mother-of-the-Bride

You're engaged and soon to be married. You have never been happier. Everyone around you is excited and you're energized and ready to begin planning the wedding you've always dreamed of. There is only one problem. Your mother.

You are sure she is going to want to take control over everything. After all, she has been that way for as long as you can remember. Or maybe your mother has always been the supportive type, but all of the sudden she has her own ideas and isn't as understanding as she seemed to be prior to your engagement. And if you're fortunate, maybe your mom wants you to have your wedding as you envision it and is agreeable to whatever you decide. Like all people, every bride's mother is different. Acknowledging that and understanding what's going through mom's head can help ease some of the emotional drama that comes along with planning a wedding.

Like other attitudes, needing or wanting control has it's place and reasons. It is quite common for brides to experience this with their mothers; so know that your are not alone. There are a number of explanations. Here are a few to consider:
If you and your mother had a good relationship in the past, mom might now feel as if she is "losing you." Her baby girl is moving on and out and what's left for her to hold onto, but the wedding? By grasping at ways to stay involved in your plans and life, it might give her the sense that she doesn't have to "let go" just yet. If that might be the case, talk to her about your feelings, expectations, and relationship. Give her some pointed tasks, so she knows you still need her. Also, remind her that regardless of your relationship with your soon to be husband, you'll always love her.

Another possibility is that your mother had hopes about her own wedding. She can be trying to recreate them through you or right some past wrong she may have done while planning her wedding. This is more of a delicate situation and may be better handled if brought up by a third party. Similarly, if a mother has her own emotional challenges or a controlling personality, it can be harder to deal with on your own. In these cases, mom wants everything to be perfect, may be concerned what her friends will think, or simply feels she knows what's best. Emotions run higher in these instances and trying to talk to her about it, may not get you anywhere, but more frustrated. Professional help may be warranted if you feel at your wit's end or your relationship is becoming more strained.

Finally, maybe your mother doesn't know what to feel or what her role is in your wedding. Being proactive and directive in this case helps. Give your mother a role, a job she will enjoy and that helps you. This gives her something to focus on, rather than to try and tackle it all. These are just some examples of what mothers of the bride might be thinking. There are a myriad of other possibilities too. Remember that all mothers are unique and respond differently to various situations. Use your best judgment to determine what might work best with your mother. Happy Mother's Day!

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