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A mother of a conundrum (rant and a cry for help)


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#1 Tara

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    Posted 26 July 2008 - 03:29 AM

    I have this mother situation...

    I'll try to be as brief with this as possible, but basically I am trying to look for a tactful way to tell my mother if she is coming to the wedding that she needs to mind her p's and q's.

    My mom and I have an unusual relationship. I have often played more mom to her than she to me. She has an alcohol problem and the whole family knows it, but my mother refuses to acknowledge it or accept help. Throughout my life she had difficulty holding down a job and in my teens I worked (in the evenings every single night after school) to pay our rent while she was laid off because she mouthed off at work after drinking too much.

    Anyway, originally she was not going to be able to afford Jamaica and was going to stay home with our pets. Now honestly, this should have upset me as most brides would be bothered if their moms couldn't make their wedding, but I was (everyone forgive me) a little relieved. However, she is now trying to see if she can swing it even if just a three night stay. Don't get me wrong. I do love my mom. No matter what we may have endured I would still do anything to help her, but I am worried about her behavior.

    She has a tendency to be mean when she drinks and at an all inclusive resort, I am very concerned that this will be an issue. Also, she is extremely critical of me in these situations. Everytime something positive happens for me (college graduation, first new car, townhome, engagement, promotion at work, planning the wedding) she has some underhanded comment. It has gotten so bad that I often refrain from sharing my good news with her until I absolutely have to. Fi insists that it is a jealousy issue because she is not happy with her own status in life, but that doesn't make me feel any better. She is also very critical of how I look. I have heard a lot lately about hot my hair doesn't flatter me and what am I doing to lose weight... yada yada yada.

    I understand that in her own way these things are done with the best of intentions, but I find it very hurtful.

    Basically... now that I've finished ranting I'll lay out my concerns.

    1) I am extremely concerned that she will say something inappropriate to one of our guests or staff at the resort. My fi barely tolerates her now and I am afraid that if she misbehaves at our wedding that he will snap and I do not want to take sides.

    2) She tends to be very abrasive and physical when she has been drinking and I am worried of a confrontation (with anyone).

    3) As much as she picks on me for gaining weight, she has gained quite a bit herself (beer gut) and insists on wearing these awful bikinis. Is there a way to tactfully tell her that I can help her find a more flattering swim suit or that her current apparel just ain't right?


    HELP! I won't even get into what she did when we got engaged, but I am very worried about what could happen at my wedding. Any input?

    By the way, my dad... he's a darling and I have no concerns with him. Now at least that takes a load off my mind. ::wink::

    #2 aeroo

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      Posted 26 July 2008 - 04:14 AM

      OH, I'm sorry you're going through this. I can't even imagine! From what it sounds like from your post, it seems your mother is generally unreliable, so there's a good chance she won't be able to pull things together, financially or whatever, to go even for a few days. Maybe you should not talk about the wedding in front of her, because if she sees you excited, she might try harder to go. If no one really talks about it, she might lose interest or lose focus on trying to go there. Or also tell her how much you appreciate her staying with your pets and how she is helping you out so much by doing that? Lol, who knows, she may buy it?!

      If she does go though, is there anyone that can sort of 'babysit' or keep an eye on her, like a sibling or something? I would try not to stress about it too much before she actually books because it's quite possible that she may not be able to pull things together to actually go. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!

      #3 Hartyt509

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        Posted 26 July 2008 - 07:45 AM

        I had the same concerns about FI's sister so she isn't coming lol FMIL and her new hubby like a drink 2 but unlike you i'm pretty direct so it doesn't worry me lol

        i think the only thing you can do is be straight with her, and if you upset her thats tough.

        She probs won't be able to go anyway and even if she tries I'd get the TA to tell her the prices are horrific - that might also help

        #4 Helen_S81

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          Posted 26 July 2008 - 08:01 AM

          Tara, do not feel bad because of your negative feelings towards your mothers behaviour. I can somewhat relate to your story. I had not spoken to my mom since 1999 (I live in Canada, she's in England) when she came to Mexico for my daughters wedding, and like you, I was concerned about how she would behave. Then I decided that I had been the parent in the relationship for far too long and that I was not going to be responsible for the way she behaved for the week in Mexico.

          It all worked out ok for us. We have the most wonderful best friends who came with us and basically they took her under their wing some of the time. They'd have dinner with her whilst we had dinner with my Dad, or my daughter's new in-laws etc. But they did tell me once we all got back that they were getting really annoyed with all of her negative comments :)

          I know that it is really hard but you are not responsible for the way your mom behaves. Hopefully the people around you will be as understanding as the people who were with us in Mexico and see her behaviour as hers and not yours. You can only control the way you react to her, not what she does or says.

          I hope that helps in some way.

          #5 shellb

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            Posted 26 July 2008 - 08:16 AM

            I am with Harty on this, you have to be straight with her when she is being mean to you and she probably won't come anyway.

            However, if she does go, you are not the parent, nor should you have to be. Like Helen has said, your friends and family will realize her behaviour is no reflection of you.

            #6 becks

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            Posted 26 July 2008 - 08:26 AM

            To me, it sounds like you'd rather not have her there. If that's really the case, tell her that. It can be done nicely, but it needs to be done.

            Tell her straight out that her comments and advice, while well intentioned are negative and hurtful and you don't want to hear anything negative in the days preceeding or following your wedding. Also tell her that her behavior after she's had a few is abrasive and confrontational, and that you are concerned that at an all inclusive resort, she's going to be tempted and do something to embarass herself in front of your guests.

            Are there others (siblings, your dad, aunts, uncles, etc - NOT YOUR FI) that you can enlist to help deliver the weight of this message? That may also make the message more meaningful. Worst case, even if she does come, maybe she'll think twice about things and stick with sodas...

            I wish you the best of luck and will keep my fingers crossed for you!!

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            #7 Reba2009

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              Posted 26 July 2008 - 08:32 AM

              First of all, I would wait to see if she can even get it all together to make the trip. If it looks like she may really be coming then you need to get a family member or family friend to keep an eye on her...maybe get her drinks but water them down. Keep her busy and off your back. Just a thought. I wish you the best!

              #8 kevsgirl

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                Posted 26 July 2008 - 08:46 AM

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by Tara
                1) I am extremely concerned that she will say something inappropriate to one of our guests or staff at the resort. My fi barely tolerates her now and I am afraid that if she misbehaves at our wedding that he will snap and I do not want to take sides.

                2) She tends to be very abrasive and physical when she has been drinking and I am worried of a confrontation (with anyone).

                3) As much as she picks on me for gaining weight, she has gained quite a bit herself (beer gut) and insists on wearing these awful bikinis. Is there a way to tactfully tell her that I can help her find a more flattering swim suit or that her current apparel just ain't right?
                I find it odd that the one thing that really jumped out at me was that she is hurtful to YOU and this isn't one of your 3 problems!

                I think that that is the most important issue that should swing how you deal with this situation. Whether she acts weirdly to other guests (you can't do much about that), confrontation (a resort worker will deal with), bikini (who cares? it's her body!).
                What really matters is that it's your wedding and you're the bride and damnit you should NOT be feeling like crap on your wedding! You should feel beautiful and wonderful. Anyone who is putting you down should not be there.

                Good luck - maybe she won't come. Maybe you should try to express those concerns to her.

                #9 Kelly C

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                  Posted 26 July 2008 - 08:52 AM

                  This really sucks for you. I'm so sorry. i would just si back and wait to see if she really is going to just blowing smoke. If she does me personally would sit her down and bluntly say this is your wedding and want no incidents. She probably wont be able to go if her fiancial situation is stilll the same. take a breath and see what happens.
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                  #10 Yari

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                    Posted 26 July 2008 - 11:53 AM

                    This is a toughie.

                    You are not obligated to baby sit her, she is an adult. Even though you want to help and protect her, you need to focus on yourself and your FI.

                    If she wants to embarrass herself by wearing inappropriate bikinis, drinking to much, etc...it is her burden to bare.

                    Prepare yourself now for it to not bother you. I know it is hard, but it can be done.




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