My mother is driving me crazy!!!

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mrssummer09 Posts : 17 Registered: 9/23/08
My mother is driving me crazy!!!
Posted: Feb 28, 2009 3:10 PM

What do you do about a mother who complains about everything that you plan for your own wedding?! My fiance and I are both graduate students and we are paying for the wedding ourselves. I asked her that she could pay for the band as her gift to us and she said that she would give me $2000. The band actually cost $1750 and I told her that. After I booked the band, she decided that she could only give me $1000. When I asked her if she had any plans to make up the additional amount, she said if she can she would. Well, let me mention that my mother quit her job that she previously had without any money saved in the bank! She just quits with no cushion! She pursues her home-based job with hardly no clientele. This is her 4th or 5th time starting her own business might I add. And, she lives at my grandparents house so she has no rent, mortgage, or utilities to pay. Even if she gets a part-time job with consistent income, she could pay me the remaining money that she originally offered to pay.

She said that she refuses to even try to get a part-time job even doing retail. She thinks she's too good to do it. Anyway, I just told her that I had made a contract with the band to pay them the money and that I would appreciate if she takes things like that into consideration, instead of just backing out on the money that she originally promised me. She told me that I was being selfish! Anyway, I am going to pay the remaining amount, but that's putting us over our budget and we're students! Now, I've tried to forget about that, so I decided to involve her in going to bridal shows with me or going with me to find a dress. She acts like she's in a rush whenever we went to the bridal show, when I told her before the bridal show that I like to take my time and visit every booth at the shows. She clearly forgot that.

As for the dress thing, she was way too opinionated about almost every dress that I tried on. This was just the first time that we went. She complained about some dresses being to plain and not fancy enough, my train not being long enough, the material looking too cheap...everything! By the 2nd store, she's trying on MOB dresses when I told her way beforehand that I have not made a decision on what color dress that I would want her to wear! After that, we're in the car, and she stopped at another store that did not sell wedding dresses, but MOB dresses. She even said that whatever color dress that I decide for her should make her stand out!

She also complained about the type of food that I want (because it wouldn't be fancy enough), the champagne that my fiance and I chose being too cheap to toast to, the type of ribbon that I wrap around MY bouquet, and she even tried to invite people that we don't even know to OUR wedding! Just so she can show off at our expense. She wants to control everything sooo bad, but whenever I tell her that if she has a problem with anything, to pay for it. She only looks at me and tells me that she can say whatever she wants too. I just stopped involving her in the plans and I began keeping it between myself and my fiance. My aunt decided to pay for the wedding night hotel and my mother was in the room when my aunt said something about it. I just told her we could talk about it later. Then my mother says, "Fine if you want to keep secrets! I can keep a secret too. That's why I'm going to wear whatever color I want for the wedding, and you'll find out when you see it at the wedding." I remained calm, but I told her that all I ask is for her to respect me and my fiance's wishes. She's single, and she can plan whatever she wants for her own wedding if she wants to get married so bad. But that doesn't help! She just wants to control everything and she's not paying! Everything that she wants involves a budget increase. Why does she think that my fiance and I are made of money when we're graduate students!

I tried to ignore her and her nagging last night and I am so happy I did. But we've only been engaged 1 1/2 months and the wedding is in July. Do you think that she'll eventually get better? Is this normal for MOBs to act like this? Am I doing the right thing by continuing to not keep her involved anymore? I'm the only daughter that she has, and I'm the last to get married. My brother's wife really didn't involve her in his planning. So she always makes these little comments about how she thought that she would be involved more since I'm her daughter, and how pathetic it is that I'm acting the way I am by trying to disagree with everything she suggests. Why can't she get it that it's my wedding and she already had her own wedding to plan?

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: My mother is driving me crazy!!!
Posted: Feb 28, 2009 3:52 PM Go to message in response to: mrssummer09

Ok, first things first. Don't count your chickens before they're hatched. A promise of money means nothing - unless someone has physically given you the money, you shouldn't count on getting it. Hopefully you've learned something from this issue with the band.

Secondly, it was WAY over the line for you to suggest that your mom get a part-time job in order to 'make up the difference' for the band. Her finances are not your concern, nor does she have a responsibility to give you a cent towards this wedding. Sure, she probably has the time to take a second job, but she chooses not to. How she earns her money and how she spends the money she has is HER business, not yours.

On the band, you have two choices: you can either come up with the cash for the remaining balance yourselves, or you can cancel the band and lose whatever deposit you gave them. I'd weigh my options and do whichever one is cheaper for me. You could probably pay whatever cancellation fee they require AND hire a DJ for less than the cost of the band. I'd go that route, if I was a poor student.

On the bridal show issue, I don't blame her for being a little rushed. Bridal shows are BORING! And the big ones are torturous, since you're constantly on your feet for the length of time it takes to visit all the vendors. Given that she's never helped anyone plan a wedding before, she wouldn't have known this in advance. I'm willing to bet that she had no idea what she was getting in for when she agreed to go with you and to visit every booth. I probably would have let her leave, continued on my own, and called someone for a ride when I was ready to leave.

On the dress issue, if her comments bother you so much, just shop without her. In her defense, she's probably just trying to provide you with some constructive criticism so that you end up buying the right dress for you. Of course, it's also possible that you simply have different taste. In that case, ask a friend to come shopping with you instead. Once you've narrowed your choices down to a few, she may be more helpful than you think. (My mom picked the most God-awful dresses for me to try on...but when I showed her my two favorites, she was really helpful in pointing out the pros and cons of each and helping me decide which one was more 'me.' Given that she's known me my whole life, it doesn't surprise me that she zeroed right in on the one that was more my style, even though my friends liked the other one better. She was able to pinpoint exactly what I couldn't articulate about my feelings for both gowns).

On the issue of her dress, I think you're overreacting about her trying on gowns. OF COURSE she's going to be excited to try on dresses, and you should support that. If she wants to stand out - fine. Ask her to wear a complimentary color rather than a different shade of the same color that your WP is wearing. I'm sure this 'I'm picking out my own dress with no help from you' will die down. Right now, focus on finding your own dress and choosing your BMs gowns. Once you've made those decisions, go shopping with your mom. Or, in the worst-case scenario, she picks out something herself and looks stupid. Note that I said that SHE will look stupid, not you. This isn't worth stressing over.

Overall, I think you're right to do most of the planning without her. She's not being helpful, so there's no reason she needs to be involved in every single decision. As a peace-offering, however, I'd give her a special task to complete herself. Make it something that isn't particularly important to you, and something that you won't miss if it doesn't ever get done - something like favors. Give her complete control over the task. That will make her feel involved and she'll feel like you trust her opinion (little does she know that you couldn't care less about favors). If she can't work within the budget that you give her for the task, she can make up the difference with her own funds.

I did something similar with my mom. I love my mom and wanted her help, but we have very different taste and she cares more about details than I do. If my mom had her way, we'd probably STILL be debating whether the linens should be white or off-white. I can't stand putting that much thought into a simple decision. ('Who cares, mom? White's fine!') Anyway, my mom was obsessed with the chair covers. She wanted to tie bows around the chair covers to add color - but she wanted the bows to match the BM dresses EXACTLY. Not wanting to spend three months receiving fabric swatches in the mail every day and getting a long phone from her to discuss the merits of each swatch, I said, 'Ok Mom - why don't you handle that? I trust your judgement.' She happily went to tons of fabric stores and probably looked at hundreds of swatches - but she did it without bothering me, which was important to me. In the end, she found a perfect match. She was happy that they matched, she was happy that I trusted her with this 'important' task, and I was happy that I didn't have to do it myself. Everybody wins.

Anyway, this tactic may be a good way to get your mom involved and to mend the peace without sacrificing anything that you particuarly care about.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Vice President and Guardian of the Toilet Brush of POOP: People Offended by Offended People

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: My mother is driving me crazy!!!
Posted: Feb 28, 2009 4:47 PM Go to message in response to: mrssummer09

Dear Mrs S,

"Do you think that she'll eventually get better? Is this normal for MOBs to act like this? Am I doing the right thing by continuing to not keep her involved anymore?"

No. No. Yes.

Figure on her going on exactly as she is now. People can change, but only if they see a need to change. Besides that, the change might not be in a direction you want.

No, it's not normal for the MOB, but believe me you are in good company. Plenty of people have crazy moms out there. Your only course of action is to go back in time and get conceived by different people. Since that's impossible, you are pretty much stuck with the crazy mother you have.

You are totally doing the right thing by taking the responsibility of wedding planning on yourself. You already have ample proof that she is not reliable. Thus, don't depend on her for anything. Not a penny of contribution, nothing. If you don't expect anything from her, then anything she does come up with will be a welcome surprise.

Seriously, you are best off looking at what money you have in hand that is your own and making your plans based on that sum.

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mrssummer09 Posts : 17 Registered: 9/23/08
Re: My mother is driving me crazy!!!
Posted: Feb 28, 2009 5:25 PM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

Thanks for your reply!

(1) I have learned a lesson and you're totally right. This won't be happening again.

(2) Her business does become my business if a legal contract is involved and if it's something that she was in charge of paying for...No I can't make her payup but I have every right to know what's going on if she said she was going to give me something that coould possibly inconvenience me.

(3) I have decided to pay for it since we had to pay 50% down to reserve our spot and that is non-refundable. A DJ may cost $500 so we might as well pay for the entertainment who we knew had a good reputation.

(4) I feel that if my child asked me to come to a bridal show for support, then I would offer her support, no matter how boring it is to me. I would take myself out of it, and go to every booth that she wanted to go to. I've been to many things that weren't my style, but I was there to support my friends and family, and they appreciated it. It wasn't a mega bridal show so there weren't that many vendors. If my child is paying for a wedding herself and all she wanted me to do was walk around and eat food samples, I would do it without any complaints. I didn't force her to go to it, I only asked. She could've turned it down. But she could've called her own ride since I drove to it...

Overall, I think that I've already asked her to do the non-important things like helping me find a dress and going to the bridal shows. My fiance and I have already purchased the party favors, and those are important to me as well. I would feel horrible if my guests don't even have a thank you from us. So, she will not be on that committee. It seems like everything about this whole wedding thing is about accomodating the guests, so we want to do that without anyone feeling neglected. As for me finding a dress, that was going to happen anyway, with or without her approval. It just got under my skin that she can't even do that right when she knows that she got pissed off when my cousin told her that she didn't like the color of a certain dress that she tried on. I'm not stressing over her getting a dress or what color it is. I just wanted her to respect me since that's not what she has done in anything task that I've given her. So the dress could be zebra print if I'm concerned. If I gave her a color, and if she does what she wantsto do anyway, she's disrespectful...and nobody likes to be disrespected.

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MrsM2009 Posts : 422 Registered: 3/16/08
Re: My mother is driving me crazy!!!
Posted: Feb 28, 2009 6:12 PM Go to message in response to: mrssummer09

(2) Her business does become my business if a legal contract is involved and if it's something that she was in charge of paying for...No I can't make her payup but I have every right to know what's going on if she said she was going to give me something that coould possibly inconvenience me.

I disagree with you 100% on this point. Your mom said she would give you money, but Art is right - don't count your chickens before they are hatched. Until you physically had a check for 1750 in your hand, you were gambling by assuming that this money would show up. The details you gave about your mom's past attempts to start her own company and living situation indicate to me that this isn't the first time she has had money issues, which should have made you even more wary until you had the cash. For example, My FMIL set her rehearsal dinner budget and told FH that we could have whatever money out of that budget that she doesn't spend for to the wedding. If she gives us the money (and I'm actually pretty confident that she will), that's fantastic. However, FH and I have planned our whole wedding budget without this money, so we won't be left short if she backs out - which is what happened to you.

Even if you feel like your mom "owes" you this money, you are absolutely out of line telling her to get a part time job to pony it up. On top of that, the fact that you're encouraging her to take a job that she feels is beneath her (which may or may not be true, but if it's how she feels there's nothing you can do about it) is flat out insulting. I have an idea - if you think that getting a part time retail job can make up your $750 shortfall, why don't YOU get one. And I fully understand that you and FH are students, but I was a student once too, and I worked a variety of full time and part time jobs throughout college and law school. It's completely possible to do so. You said you feel like your mom is being disrespectful to you about the MOB dress. I agree that she's being a little difficult, but I think you asking her to get a part time job is WAY more disrespectful than her wanting to wear a color that makes her stand out and feel comfortable.

I'm sorry, but everything you've said about the band money has rubbed me completely the wrong way. And to tell you the truth, if I were in your situation I wouldn't just be thinking about how to cover the $750 shortfall that you're looking at now - I'd be making sure I could afford the full $1750 if your mom ends up giving you nothing.

P.O.O.P. - People Offended by Offended People

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Nalamienea Posts : 2,924 Registered: 6/13/08
Re: My mother is driving me crazy!!!
Posted: Feb 28, 2009 6:17 PM Go to message in response to: mrssummer09

Mrs. Summer - some how I don't think that this is the first time that your mother has been a tad flaky. So when she SAID she would give you the $2000 to pay for the band, you went out and put 50% down before you actually physically had the cash. I'm sorry, but that's a mistake on your part. Incredibly annoying on her part, yes, but I would have a tough time believing that you couldn't have anticipated this happening.

You do have a great attitude about her dress though, let her pick whatever she wants. I dont' think I would put it to the level of "disrepect" necessarily if she comes in zebra print or something that isn't what you told her to wear.

I think you might be letting this all get to you a little too much. Time to take some deeeeep breaths and relax and try not to let your mother ruin the whole wedding planning experience for you.

 

IMG_7463.jpg picture by sarahandchris2008

10/26/08 

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mrssummer09 Posts : 17 Registered: 9/23/08
Re: My mother is driving me crazy!!!
Posted: Feb 28, 2009 6:32 PM Go to message in response to: MrsM2009

Thank you for your comment.

I've already admitted that it was my mistake for even listening to my mother, and we all make mistakes. I have gotten a part-time job to make up for what she did not give me. It's unfortunate, and it's hard, but that's life, and that's why I said that I'm over that situation. and I was over that situation when it happened a month ago. I 'm getting my phd in engineering so if you've done law school, we both know that we already have crazy hours to work. So the part-time job is how we're able to pay for the extra expenses. I said in the first post that we were making up the money for the band. It has to come from somewhere so I took up a job right after it happened...But the real issue was never the band...it's the million and 1 other things that she has done and been selfish about, like suggesting all of these budget increases when she couldn't even give me the original amount that she said she would give me. the band issue was just the 1st example that i listed...the real question was, is it normal for MOBs to act this way; and am I wrong for choosing to not involve her in anything else we do...

I also should add that I never asked her to get a job. But I asked if she had planned on getting something with consistent income to help make up what the new amount would be or if $1000 was what I was getting altogether. The part-time retail job thing was my example that I used since I knew she wanted to pursue her home-job. She said no, I'm not getting a job, not even a retail job. This isn't the first time that we've had this convo. We've talked about her job situation before I even got engaged. She would rather struggle financially than to even attempt to find a job to give her extra money in her pocket. I insisted that she not even give me the $1000 at all, but she said that I'm so independent that I can't even take a gift from her. I never really meant for this particular issue to be the focus of the thread.

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mrssummer09 Posts : 17 Registered: 9/23/08
Re: My mother is driving me crazy!!!
Posted: Feb 28, 2009 6:42 PM Go to message in response to: Nalamienea

Yeah, you're right...about everything. I just want peace and happiness, but I may only get this even if it takes to push aside my own mother...just hurts to do so...

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Nalamienea Posts : 2,924 Registered: 6/13/08
Re: My mother is driving me crazy!!!
Posted: Feb 28, 2009 9:11 PM Go to message in response to: mrssummer09

MrsSummer - I can understand that it's hurtful for you to not have your mother excited about being a part of your day and wanting to do things with you. I think, though, that the reason you're dissapointed is because of an expectation that you had of what a Mother of the Bride should be. I know it's hard, but sometimes we have those ideals in our heads and when they don't come true we think it's unfair that we didn't get our "dream."

Your mom is who is she is, unfortunately. I think you're doing the right things in how you're dealing with her. When she suggests something that will cost more than you have to spend, you're telling her that's out of your budget. I did a very small budget wedding because I too am still in school and working part time, so I understand how hurtful it would be for someone to keep pointing out things I can't have instead of trying to be helpful and suggest ways to spend the money I DO have effectively.

I also know what it feels like to plan completely on your own. My mom and my maid of honour was my sister, both live thousands of miles away, so I did everything on my own. It was sad and it was a blessing at the same time. I hope it works for you.

 

IMG_7463.jpg picture by sarahandchris2008

10/26/08 

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mrssummer09 Posts : 17 Registered: 9/23/08
Re: My mother is driving me crazy!!!
Posted: Feb 28, 2009 9:21 PM Go to message in response to: Nalamienea

You are so right again! TV and the Bridal magazines telling you what roles that the people in your wedding party should play or what the bride and groom's family should pay for really messes you up. Reality is something tooooootalllly different!!! You just have to roll with the real life situations the way you can and not compare it with how "society" or even "wedding experts" tell you it should be.

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Nalamienea Posts : 2,924 Registered: 6/13/08
Re: My mother is driving me crazy!!!
Posted: Feb 28, 2009 10:17 PM Go to message in response to: mrssummer09

I think the wedding experts are really good at telling you how it's supposed to work traditionally, but so often now families are not traditional, so weddings aren't traditional either. This economy is screwing everyone up too because people start planning their wedding based on X amount of dollars, but then their parents lose a bunch in the stock market and maybe one of them loses their job and it it's really creating havok on anyone trying to save for anything. You are certainly not alone in having a budget!

If you want to hear my wedding story, I can tell you. :) I had a beautiful day for about $3500.

 

IMG_7463.jpg picture by sarahandchris2008

10/26/08 

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SoonToBeMrsDodge Posts : 70 Registered: 2/7/09
Re: My mother is driving me crazy!!!
Posted: Mar 1, 2009 8:06 PM Go to message in response to: mrssummer09

We're paying for our wedding for the majority by ourselves. My mother always says she "has no money" and my dad (from what I hear from my sister) is house broke. My sister and I think it's so funny that my mom always says she's broke when she has enough money to buy things we can't buy like a new truck which is a secondary vehicle, an addition on her house that only she lives in (I mean seriously how much space does one person need in a 3 bedroom, 2 level with a full basement?! hahaha), and she is constantly buying new stuff for her home and the house is only 2 years old! Like she recently told me she just bought a new stove because the last one "burnt things" hahaha. But the real reason I think is because she wants to retire in a couple years so she couldn't possibly redirect a little of her finances to help us out with the wedding...like her and my father did for my sister, but I guess it's different since I'm getting married 2 years after my parents divorced. Bitter? maybe a little. Enough to hold a grudge? nah. My mom has said she's going to try to set aside $1000 for the wedding which I'm very grateful for, but I'm not counting on that money as a definite. My fiance's mother makes probably a 3rd of what my mother makes and has already started putting money away for the wedding like months ago without us even asking her to. It really touched me when she told me that because I wasn't even expecting his side to help out with what the bride's family is traditionally supposed to pay for. I just wished my mom was a little more like his mom in that way...she's thoughtful and really cares about us having the things that we want for our wedding (within reason of course! haha). My mom got defensive when I casually inquired about if she thought she'd be able to put anything towards the wedding! It was as though I was asking her to pay for the whole thing. I too wish the MOB was a little different in my story as well, but all I can do is love her for who she is and try to include her where I know she won't be a problem. Thank goodness I invited people to come with me to tried on dresses 2 different times, 1st with my MOH and sister and second time with my mom, MOH and another friend. I hadn't even gotten done trying on all the dresses I wanted to try on and she was off trying to find her MOB dress lol. Atleast your mom waited until you were done trying on dresses! hahaha. If I didn't know my mother well enough I would have been upset, but I truely expected this of her and that is so sad that it's true! lol. I was just trying to calm the sales consultant who was getting flustered by all the questions about my mom wanting to know if she could try on her dresses next and what she thought about all of her dresses. They work on a time schedule so I was trying to help her out as much as I could. Love my MOB (and FMIL for that matter), but this is my wedding so I'm keeping the money responsiblities to myself and FH.

Understand how you could be upset for getting the band when she offered to help, but it was smart of you to decide to not rely on her any further for the money and got a part time job for the difference. It'll all work out I hope! Good luck hun...you are not alone! haha. Just gotta laugh things off and remember that at the end of the day it'll still just be about you and your FH no matter what craziness goes down with your MOB....Mine is probably going to invite a random "boyfriend" in the hopes of making my dad jealous I'm sure (even though he could care less because he's had the same GF for 7 months now). I hope the poor guy doesn't think I'm the one who invited him and comes to thank me because I'd probably tell him to thank my mom for making him her accessory for the night HAHA...just kidding, but it would be priceless!
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mrssummer09 Posts : 17 Registered: 9/23/08
Re: My mother is driving me crazy!!!
Posted: Mar 19, 2009 11:32 AM Go to message in response to: SoonToBeMrsDodge

finally someone that understands me! lol...the situation is the same with my future in-laws too. The jobs that they have (which are retail related) may appear on the outside as a job that doesn't make much money. But his parents work for their children, even when they're out of the house until they are married! They recently gave us enough money to pay for our entire wedding for our wedding gift and his mother turned around and gave me another $1000 to help out with the wedding! We are going to use that gift as a down payment on a house instead of spending it on a 1 day event. but I was extremely grateful and felt so blessed to have them contribute like that. I too agree that I wish that my parents shared my future in-laws same beliefs on the importance of parents contributing to their kids wedding, b/c traditionally it is the bride's family responsibility. and they are contributing the most and are giving us the freedom to do whatever we want to do. my mother is contributing the least and she wants to act the most difficult and try to control everything. i don't get it. i agree that we do have to love them for who they are, but it's funny how people would feel "insulted" if they got a certain type of job that society doesn't feel is glamorous. My take is, you need to do what you gotta to get the job done. It's only temporary. But maybe others don't agree and they have that right. But you're right, in the end, the only thing that matters is that me and FH are uniting as one and that's a beautiful thing!

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kennysoldwife Posts : 3,859 Registered: 4/28/07
Re: My mother is driving me crazy!!!
Posted: Mar 19, 2009 12:52 PM Go to message in response to: mrssummer09

I have to agree with Artbride here. Your mother's fund are not your business. If she did not sign the contract then it is not her problem, it is yours. Yes, she said she was giving you the money but she didn't. The fact that you counted on it before you had it in your hand is really your fault not hers. Do you write checks to pay your bills based on money you think you will have or on money you know is there? Same thing with wedding planning make your plans based on the money you have not the money promised to you.


She is not disrespecting you by buying the dress she wants. That is probably the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. She is expressing herself buying what is most comfortable for her. You are concerned about your guest and their feelings but not your mother and her feelings seems strange to me.


I guess as a mother I see her side of things and as a person who didn't have a mother to be involved in my wedding planning I can't see yours. I think your are making more of it than needs to be but that's just me I don't believe in drama of any kind.


 

 

 

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Sucks to be you, So glad I am me

Proud Member of P.O.O.P,  People Offended by Offended People

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: My mother is driving me crazy!!!
Posted: Mar 19, 2009 1:27 PM Go to message in response to: kennysoldwife

Summerbride: while it's true what everyone is saying (shouldn't count money chickens before they hatch :P ) I also understand that it's not exactly ridiculous to expect that your own parent will follow through on their promise. So I understand you being hurt (I certainly booked stuff with my parents promise to pay for it without blinking an eye).


In the future, if she offers to pay for anything else (wedding-related or not)...you know now to either turn her down OR have her put HER name on the contracts.


We've had to learn the hard way, though, about money with my husband's parents. They told him that they would buy him ______ for his birthday. For him to buy it, and let them know how much it cost. He told them AHEAD of time how much it costs, and they said that was fine. They had NO history of not following through.


Of course, he bought it, and they ended up giving him a small amount of money for it, nothing else. They said that they "changed their minds".


So all we can do is NOT trust what they say about money again...and be firm about it. I figure people can't get mad when you don't trust them when they have given you a REASON to not trust them.

Hope that helps.


Lilypie Expecting a baby Ticker

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