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pschristmas
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04 Jun 2009, 8:40 am

Is it terrible of me to not be all that interested in my daughter's wedding plans? It seems like she's just brimming over with excitement and ideas and worries about money and flowers and caterers and I'm just getting tired of listening to it. I try to let her vent without interrupting, but I tend to zone out during our conversations and I'm sure it shows. The thing is, I'm just really not all that excited about it. When I mention that we're going to be doing something, like buying her gown or looking at venues, I hear: "Oh, how fun! You must be so excited!" No. Not so much, actually.

I mean, I love my kid and I'm glad she's happy. Her fiancee is a nice kid and seems to be truly fond of her and she's head over heels for him -- her words -- so, I'm happy for her there. I just don't understand all the hoopla regarding the actual ceremony. Her father and I eloped and, frankly, if I ever remarry it'll be in front of a judge at the courthouse. That's all that's really necessary, in my opinion. I'm glad she's planning a wedding that will make her happy, but I'm just not that interested in hearing about the details.

I did try to get into it. I bought a mother-of-the-bride book and a couple of magazines and tossed ideas her way, but I really just can't get into it. I looked at dress designs with her and tried to help her pick something out. Her gown is really beautiful and she'll be lovely in it. I don't really understand a lot of what the mother-of-the-bride guide said needed to be done and when I ask her about them, she says not to worry about it. I'm taking her literally, but now I worry that I'm going to do something to scar her for life. :( I feel like I must be a terrible mom for feeling this way.

Regards,

Patricia



Wombat
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04 Jun 2009, 8:56 am

I don't understand the need for some "brides" to have a huge party that costs $25,000 or $50,000.

To me a wedding means nothing. It is important that two people say "You are my chosen partner"

Do we need fancy dresses and hired cars and dinner for 200 people to say this?



lelia
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04 Jun 2009, 9:36 am

How about whenever she asks for help, you say that all you want is for her to be happy and that you love her. If she has grown up with you, she should be pretty used to you by now.



pschristmas
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04 Jun 2009, 9:52 am

I'm happy enough to help her if she has something specific she needs me to do or buy, but she just wants to bounce ideas off of me and vent her worries. That's a little tiresome, to be honest. The wedding she's planning is actually in the $7000 -- $10,000 range, which is pretty cheap these days, apparently. It's still enough to make me shake my head, though.

You're right about her being used to my quirks by now; she told me that a couple of days ago in an unrelated conversation. I guess I'm just feeling inadequate again. I wish she had a second parent to be excited with her. I keep feeling like she shouldn't have to turn to her fiancee's family for that. :(

Regards,

Patricia



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04 Jun 2009, 12:09 pm

I was one of those who loved planning my wedding. My mother stayed out of it, now that you mention it ... not sure if she just isn't that into these things, or felt it wasn't her place. Either way, if you aren't a giant party planner, you aren't a giant party planner, and your daughter surely knows that about you and loves you just the same regardless. Remember that it absolutely, 100%, beats the mom who takes over for her daughter - and there are quite a few that do - and insists on doing everything the way SHE wants instead of the way the bride wants. See, it could be much worse!

I am sure there are plenty of other people in your daughter's life who can share her excitement. Leave that job to them. Continue as you have ... you are making an effort, and that alone must show her how much you care about HER.

Every parent brings their own unique set of assets and inadequacies to the job. Having this one little thing not be perfect hardly makes you a bad mom. Remember that you surely have brought many other wonderful gifts to the relationship.


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06 Jun 2009, 2:54 am

I agree with DW_a_mom.

I had the exact opposite experience. My mom was very into planning the perfect reception for her friends. (my husband was my only friend at the time). I could have cared less and would have been just as happy eloping. It ended up being very nice. She was happy, her friends had a great time, and the only thing i had to do was show up!



pschristmas
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06 Jun 2009, 12:17 pm

DW_a_mom wrote:
...Either way, if you aren't a giant party planner, you aren't a giant party planner, and your daughter surely knows that about you and loves you just the same regardless. Remember that it absolutely, 100%, beats the mom who takes over for her daughter - and there are quite a few that do - and insists on doing everything the way SHE wants instead of the way the bride wants....

I am sure there are plenty of other people in your daughter's life who can share her excitement. Leave that job to them. Continue as you have ... you are making an effort, and that alone must show her how much you care about HER.


I've been thinking for a while about your post -- sorry, my responses take a bit of thought sometimes. Thank you for the support and for pointing me back to what I should be thinking about. Sometimes I get so caught up in what I don't do that I loose sight of what I do accomplish.

Part of it is that we've been talking and during a particular part of her adolescence she apparently didn't think I was very supportive of her. I always tried to be completely fair and rational with her and she apparently wanted someone who was always on her side. I still don't agree that that was what she needed, but am trying to understand her perspective. It has led me to try and see her perspective on this as well and to worry that she doesn't think I'm supportive of her now, even though she says she no longer feels that way. This has led me to over-analyse things that I wouldn't have even thought about before.

So, thanks for pointing me back in the correct direction. :)

Regards,

Patricia



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06 Jun 2009, 2:24 pm

Patricia,

I have to say when I read your post I thought, "sounds like an AS dad" and I presumed you must be male. :lol: Well, hopefully a recommendation from an AS dad might help... Then again, if it sounds too much like a "clueless guy trying to solve a woman's problems again" then I won't be offended at all if you disregard the idea. :)

What I have tried to do in parenting is to make my kids a "special interest" of sorts. Now there's a fine line here. I don't try to make their specific interests my own interests (let alone special interests!) Rather, I try to learn as much as I can about what they want/need in general at their current age and circumstances. Then I can more or less prepare myself to be better able to relate to them in the current circumstances, whether that might be. So far it has worked well, even though at times I feel slightly behind the curve for a few days until I figure out how to get back up to speed.

One word of warning though. It would probably be a mistake to turn the wedding itself into your special interest. My guess is that could be disastrous. But, if you could learn what it is that brides-to-be (presumably of the NT variety?) are experiencing and what they want/need in terms of emotion or other support, that might be very helpful.

If you can just get things moving in the right direction by this "special interest" method, any time you feel you are about to fall behind the curve again, then use plan B, which is what I call fake-it-till-you-make-it + CYA (cover your arse). You might expect me to post a smiley here, but I'm actually serious...

For example, let's say your daughter has this hair style and dress she wants you to think about (and you're thinking, "whatever, does it really matter?"). The fake-it-till-you-make-it part might involve saying something like, "those are really nice" or "I can see why you might like them" or something like that. This way, she knows you are interested in her and that you love her (while it is not necessary and generally not helpful to let her know you are not interested in the dress/hair topic per se at this particular moment).

It is also important sometimes to follow up with a CYA (cover your arse) statement like, "have you asked <fill in name of another person she trusts> what they think?" That way, in case its an awful hair or dress idea (which you may not have noticed or may not want to think about), you've encouraged her to get that second opinion that could prevent her from making a bad decision. :)

Now, if you are confident the hair/dress really is hideous, that's a different story. I think you just have to be upfront about that. But, based on what you've said, that doesn't sound like a problem you are worried about.


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02 Jul 2009, 8:30 am

My wife and I got married in a small community chapel in Sydney Australia. Perhaps a dozen or two friends attended.

After that we went to a Mexican restaurant owned by a friend where we all paid for our own dinner.

Our best man went outside and hired a street busker to come into the restaurant and play for us.

That was good enough for us and we have been married for 37 years.



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04 Jul 2009, 5:10 am

I think a bride planning a wedding is a lot like an aspie with a special interest :lol:

You don't need to understand why it's important to her, just that it is. She should know you well enough by now to know you're not the type to gush over flower arrangements. Just listening should be enough.

If you browse any wedding forums, you'll see pages and pages of vents from girls who are sick of their mum (or mother-in-law, grandma, sister, cousin, friend, etc) taking over their wedding. There are very few threads on mums being too disinterested - and if you've been to dress fittings then you've already shown more interest than them.

I don't know if there's any nice way of telling her when you've really had enough wedding talk and need a break. But just think, this "special interest" of hers has an expiry date. She'll have to put up with your obsessions forever :P



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04 Jul 2009, 6:31 am

Puggle wrote:
You don't need to understand why it's important to her, just that it is. She should know you well enough by now to know you're not the type to gush over flower arrangements. Just listening should be enough.


So your girlfriend would "like" to have a $50.000 party and wear a $5000 dress.

No matter if you have no money or can't afford a deposit on a house.

She "wants" and "deserves" a huge party./



Puggle
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04 Jul 2009, 9:04 am

Huh? I never said people should spend money they don't have. Getting married is a huge step in people's lives, and most people choose to celebrate it. How they celebrate it is up to the couple to decide, between the two of them, as responsible adults. It's not a question of "deserving" it.

A lot of people here don't seem to understand why weddings are a big deal, judging by other threads. I don't think this thread was intended to debate whether weddings are a waste of money or not. The OP just looked like she needed help showing her daughter she cares about her, even if they don't share the same interests.



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06 Jul 2009, 11:31 am

Wombat wrote:
Puggle wrote:
You don't need to understand why it's important to her, just that it is. She should know you well enough by now to know you're not the type to gush over flower arrangements. Just listening should be enough.


So your girlfriend would "like" to have a $50.000 party and wear a $5000 dress.

No matter if you have no money or can't afford a deposit on a house.

She "wants" and "deserves" a huge party./


I'm interested in just how you got that meaning out of Puggle's post, when Puggle did not mention anything about cost.


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10 Jul 2009, 7:30 am

pschristmas, it's good that you and your daughter have been talking about this and that you actually have been thinking about it. It goes some way towards showing that you do care, and if you've explained the difficulties you're having to her, I'm pretty sure she'll understand.

My own NT mother would never have dreamed of thinking that hard about how I felt about anything. She and my dad had a very simple wedding, less from choice than from financial reasons, so when it came to my first marriage, she wasn't having me 'outdoing' her (she especially wasn't having me wear a proper wedding dress when she had to marry in a suit), and fought so hard against most of my plans that it made the whole thing an ordeal. Second time around, I kept her well away from the planning. She was still so against the little she found out that I'm amazed she turned up at all, although she still, I'm pretty sure, managed to persuade most of my relatives not to bother coming.

Anyway. The important thing is that while your wedding was very different, and while you don't understand quite why she wants the kind of wedding she does, you're not fighting tooth and nail to make sure she doesn't get what she wants. You're OK with her making different choices. (As a non-parent, I think from what I've seen that may be the most important lesson of parenting: your kid is not you, and that's OK. Lots of people never quite learn that.)

You are supporting her, in your own way. Maybe you're not feeling emotionally involved, but that may be no bad thing; weddings can get heated, and if there's someone around who's relatively level-headed, it can be a big help. So any practical assistance you can give will, I'm sure, be hugely appreciated. (Hint: carry Rescue Remedy, spare lippy, and safety pins. Someone, at some point, always needs them. :wink: )


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Core
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12 Jul 2009, 7:23 am

Well, i hope she reads your posts and sees you care for some advice, but have you just asked her what she wants you to do?

Sounds very much like she loves you, and it seems very reasonable that if you said you've never been in a wedding like this that she'd give you good advice on how to plan and have a good time of it, after all, a happy smiling (even tearful) mom would probably go over well.

If she can express her expectations then you might feel confident you'll meet them and give her fond memories which will last longer than the gown, cake, debt, and good food.

Personally, i glad you're part of your daughter's wedding, don't bring any rain, bring some sunshine. =)