Moms and Maids

How to involve MIL?

MRDCleMRDCle
100 Love Its 10 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
member
edited October 11 in Moms and Maids

My FMIL asked to chat with me when I picked up our son last night about the wedding. She got pretty teary and kind of let me know that she was feeling left out of wedding planning - honestly, I feel like we've barely done anything so far. We have a venue (food and drink included), a dress, photographer, DJ, and after party planned.

This is her last child out of 4 to get married - I know she was heavily involved in SILs wedding planning last year, so I don't know if the comparison between this and that is getting to her? I know she is upset that we aren't having a Catholic ceremony, so maybe that's also bothering her? I want to have a way to involve her, but I don't want to just pass off a task to her - and honestly, I don't even know WHAT I would pass off to her.  Any ideas on how to involve her?

ETF: MIL to FMIL - getting ahead of myself :D

Re: How to involve MIL?

  • Ditto everything @OliveOilsMom said. 
  • She is not a Pintrest person at all @oliveoilsmom - really not tech savvy at all. All our centerpiece items I'm borrowing from a couple friends, but maybe I could have her help arrange it? I tried to let her know last night, hey we haven't done much, and update her on what we DID do, but I felt awkward. Sigh. I really love her and I don't want her to feel guilty. She told me to apologize to my mom, and tell her that she's sorry if it seemed like she didn't care. SIL just had  a baby today and we've all been moving her and her husband into a new house that needed a lot of work, so she was devoting a lot of time to that, but I don't know - I didn't EXPECT her to be crazy involved.
  • I'll try to think of things to get her input on.
  • MRDCle said:
    She is not a Pintrest person at all @oliveoilsmom - really not tech savvy at all. All our centerpiece items I'm borrowing from a couple friends, but maybe I could have her help arrange it? I tried to let her know last night, hey we haven't done much, and update her on what we DID do, but I felt awkward. Sigh. I really love her and I don't want her to feel guilty. She told me to apologize to my mom, and tell her that she's sorry if it seemed like she didn't care. SIL just had  a baby today and we've all been moving her and her husband into a new house that needed a lot of work, so she was devoting a lot of time to that, but I don't know - I didn't EXPECT her to be crazy involved.
    MRDCle said:
    I'll try to think of things to get her input on.
    I wouldn't. I would first ask her what she wants to be involved in and then move from there. She may think being "involved" is X but you ask her to do Y.
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    charlotte989875
  • Is she financially contributing to anything? If so, you could let her loose on whatever that may be (getting florist quotes, looking for RD venues, etc.).

    If not, I would just say: "FMIL, we have the big stuff out of the way and we aren't planning anything at the moment. So I got this monkey costume for (son's name) for Halloween - look how cute!" 

    Personally, I wouldn't make any promises to involve her at this point - there's nothing to do! Things that she might enjoy down the road: being invited to your dress fitting, being invited to any tastings, going shopping for her MOG dress together and going out to lunch, asking if she wants a wrist or pin-on corsage, asking who she wants to escort her during the processional (if not the groom), offering to have her come and get her hair done with the bridal party, encouraging your FI to let her choose their spotlight dance song, etc. There are lots of ways to involve her without getting her involved in anything that has to do with money if she is opinionated, but not paying.
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    image
  • That's a good point @Justsie. I just hate that she thinks we're either leaving her out or thinking she's not trying hard enough.

    @Southernbelle0915 when we first got engaged she mentioned to FI that she would be contributing a certain amount, but hasn't mentioned it since, so we haven't really planned anything with that amount in mind. She brought up the RD last night, but since the venue is on the other side of town (though only 30 minutes away from her/us), she mentioned that she had no idea what restaurants are over there.  
  • MRDCle said:
    That's a good point @Justsie. I just hate that she thinks we're either leaving her out or thinking she's not trying hard enough.

    @Southernbelle0915 when we first got engaged she mentioned to FI that she would be contributing a certain amount, but hasn't mentioned it since, so we haven't really planned anything with that amount in mind. She brought up the RD last night, but since the venue is on the other side of town (though only 30 minutes away from her/us), she mentioned that she had no idea what restaurants are over there.  
    If she mentioned hosting the RD and she wants to be involved, let her loose on researching venues.

    Just keep in mind that until the money is in your bank account, YOU make the decisions (e.g. "we need a venue with a private room that can accommodate XX people, is within XX minutes of the rehearsal venue, comes with tables/chairs, and is under $XX per person, including drinks."). Then ask her to forward the information she finds. 
    *********************************************************************************

    image
    charlotte989875
  • MRDCle said:
    That's a good point @Justsie. I just hate that she thinks we're either leaving her out or thinking she's not trying hard enough.

    @Southernbelle0915 when we first got engaged she mentioned to FI that she would be contributing a certain amount, but hasn't mentioned it since, so we haven't really planned anything with that amount in mind. She brought up the RD last night, but since the venue is on the other side of town (though only 30 minutes away from her/us), she mentioned that she had no idea what restaurants are over there.  
    If she mentioned hosting the RD and she wants to be involved, let her loose on researching venues.

    Just keep in mind that until the money is in your bank account, YOU make the decisions (e.g. "we need a venue with a private room that can accommodate XX people, is within XX minutes of the rehearsal venue, comes with tables/chairs, and is under $XX per person, including drinks."). Then ask her to forward the information she finds. 
    That’s what I meant by planning without that number in mind, ha. I can definitely give her some parameters for the RD! And I would also LOVE to not have to think about that, ha. 
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    H and I offered to host DS1's RD. They aren't having a rehearsal so no dinner. If we were hosting a dinner, I would have expected to be told the time of the rehearsal and to be given fairly free rein with planning - with final approval of the couple. Could you do that? Just say "FMIL the rehearsal will be at x time and will last for x amount of time. Could you plan the dinner to start at y? Just let me know what you come up with." I agree with @southernbelle0915 as far as include her in other non-paying kind of activities. Also, just keep her in the loop about decisions. I know my son hasn't really told us much of anything about their wedding. I feel totally left out. I'm talking about sharing the guest list, music choice, venue details, menu etc. That could go a long way to make her feel included.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    member
    Did your FMIL indicate what would make her feel "involved" ? I agree that it wouldn't be a good idea to just pass off a chore to her, but I think at this point that I would ask her this question and see how she answers before I go further. I wouldn't make her any promises at this point.

    If she indicates that she wants absolute input into something in order to feel "involved" that you're not comfortable giving her, I'd respond, "Well, thanks for bringing that to my attention. FI and I have already made decisions about that, but we appreciate your interest. If there's another area of the wedding that you'd like to be involved in, by all means let us know, and we can talk it over."
  • SP29SP29
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    Ask her what she would like to be involved in.

    Some parents go crazy and try to take things over from the B&G, where as for other, being involved means they just want to know what's going on, and the little details, even if they aren't making the decisions.

    If there is something in particular she'd like to do, and it's something you don't care much about, hand it over to her and let her enjoy! Otherwise, be careful before committing to things if you think she would take over or make too much fuss (the Catholic ceremony comes to mind- good on you to not have such a ceremony if you are not practicing the faith).
  • Like PP's said, ask what she wants to be involved in.

    When we got married, MIL and sFIL were paying for venue but we had them plus my mum come to see the venue - so no one felt left out.

    Even if you're doing something small, maybe even an offer? Like the day you pick up something, say "oh I'm picking up such-and-such today, did you want to come along?" Even if she says no, you've offered and she'll feel like you want her around.
    SP29
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    edited October 12
    H and I offered to host DS1's RD. They aren't having a rehearsal so no dinner. If we were hosting a dinner, I would have expected to be told the time of the rehearsal and to be given fairly free rein with planning - with final approval of the couple. Could you do that? Just say "FMIL the rehearsal will be at x time and will last for x amount of time. Could you plan the dinner to start at y? Just let me know what you come up with." I agree with @southernbelle0915 as far as include her in other non-paying kind of activities. Also, just keep her in the loop about decisions. I know my son hasn't really told us much of anything about their wedding. I feel totally left out. I'm talking about sharing the guest list, music choice, venue details, menu etc. That could go a long way to make her feel included.
    I get that this is about feelings, and how to help when she's feeling the feelings, but this expectation would annoy me so much. I'm not one to gush about stuff that's already been decided, and I wouldn't necessarily want to invite input if we're the ones making the decision.

    Guest list makes sense to me - may as well clue the parents in on who you are and are not inviting. Could help with social interaction with those people.

    Music choice, venue details, menu, though - what does it matter? Just knowing those things doesn't make you actually any more included, and so to me it doesn't and shouldn't matter if you know them. If you want to ask, I'm happy to share, but I don't understand why there's any sort of familial hope for your son or FDIL to volunteer that information to all who may want to feel "included." Once they make the decision, they'er probably happy not to have to think or talk about it anymore.

    I mean, MIL is like this too - she likes to be in possession of all the information in order to feel in the inner circle - but she also asks, rather than expecting everyone to just tell her everything they've ever decided and that she might possibly want to know.

    ETA - "If we were really close, you'd share this with me" (which I think is the typical excuse for feeling hurt over this stuff) is a fallacy - I don't share the details of everything I do with the people I consider myself close with. Wedding planning details would not be something that would normally come up in my regular conversations with my mom or with friends.

    I would hope it would go in reverse, too - no one would get annoyed with me for not asking enough about their specific wedding details and taking that as a sign that I somehow don't care about them. If I ask "What's going on with you lately?" and their wedding planning details are what's important to them right now, then I'm happy to hear. If it's something else that's important to them right now, I'm happy to and would rather hear about that.

    Anniversary

    SP29
  • I felt like it was hard to involve my MIL too, partly because we planned most of it with quick decisions, but also she's not....very helpful, so I didn't want to ask her to do anything. She did come dress shopping (just me, her & my mom), and I'd show her pictures of what I had made, we told her about the venue, etc. They did also pay for the RD, and I gave her free reign over that with one exception (she wanted a photo slide show then, we wanted to have it for the reception). I think she really liked being in charge of that one aspect, and was otherwise happy to just be kept in the loop. We got married at the science museum, so we also took my IL's there for a day and walked them through how things were going to go, which they also enjoyed but I realize isn't possible with every situation.
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    H and I offered to host DS1's RD. They aren't having a rehearsal so no dinner. If we were hosting a dinner, I would have expected to be told the time of the rehearsal and to be given fairly free rein with planning - with final approval of the couple. Could you do that? Just say "FMIL the rehearsal will be at x time and will last for x amount of time. Could you plan the dinner to start at y? Just let me know what you come up with." I agree with @southernbelle0915 as far as include her in other non-paying kind of activities. Also, just keep her in the loop about decisions. I know my son hasn't really told us much of anything about their wedding. I feel totally left out. I'm talking about sharing the guest list, music choice, venue details, menu etc. That could go a long way to make her feel included.
    I get that this is about feelings, and how to help when she's feeling the feelings, but this expectation would annoy me so much. I'm not one to gush about stuff that's already been decided, and I wouldn't necessarily want to invite input if we're the ones making the decision.

    Guest list makes sense to me - may as well clue the parents in on who you are and are not inviting. Could help with social interaction with those people.

    Music choice, venue details, menu, though - what does it matter? Just knowing those things doesn't make you actually any more included, and so to me it doesn't and shouldn't matter if you know them. If you want to ask, I'm happy to share, but I don't understand why there's any sort of familial hope for your son or FDIL to volunteer that information to all who may want to feel "included." Once they make the decision, they'er probably happy not to have to think or talk about it anymore.

    I mean, MIL is like this too - she likes to be in possession of all the information in order to feel in the inner circle - but she also asks, rather than expecting everyone to just tell her everything they've ever decided and that she might possibly want to know.

    ETA - "If we were really close, you'd share this with me" (which I think is the typical excuse for feeling hurt over this stuff) is a fallacy - I don't share the details of everything I do with the people I consider myself close with. Wedding planning details would not be something that would normally come up in my regular conversations with my mom or with friends.

    I would hope it would go in reverse, too - no one would get annoyed with me for not asking enough about their specific wedding details and taking that as a sign that I somehow don't care about them. If I ask "What's going on with you lately?" and their wedding planning details are what's important to them right now, then I'm happy to hear. If it's something else that's important to them right now, I'm happy to and would rather hear about that.
    OP asked for suggestions on how to make her FMIL feel included. As a MOG I gave her suggestions from my point of view. You obviously have another. For the record, in my instance, I did ask but was told everything was being taken care of and given no details - ok then.
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    H and I offered to host DS1's RD. They aren't having a rehearsal so no dinner. If we were hosting a dinner, I would have expected to be told the time of the rehearsal and to be given fairly free rein with planning - with final approval of the couple. Could you do that? Just say "FMIL the rehearsal will be at x time and will last for x amount of time. Could you plan the dinner to start at y? Just let me know what you come up with." I agree with @southernbelle0915 as far as include her in other non-paying kind of activities. Also, just keep her in the loop about decisions. I know my son hasn't really told us much of anything about their wedding. I feel totally left out. I'm talking about sharing the guest list, music choice, venue details, menu etc. That could go a long way to make her feel included.
    I get that this is about feelings, and how to help when she's feeling the feelings, but this expectation would annoy me so much. I'm not one to gush about stuff that's already been decided, and I wouldn't necessarily want to invite input if we're the ones making the decision.

    Guest list makes sense to me - may as well clue the parents in on who you are and are not inviting. Could help with social interaction with those people.

    Music choice, venue details, menu, though - what does it matter? Just knowing those things doesn't make you actually any more included, and so to me it doesn't and shouldn't matter if you know them. If you want to ask, I'm happy to share, but I don't understand why there's any sort of familial hope for your son or FDIL to volunteer that information to all who may want to feel "included." Once they make the decision, they'er probably happy not to have to think or talk about it anymore.

    I mean, MIL is like this too - she likes to be in possession of all the information in order to feel in the inner circle - but she also asks, rather than expecting everyone to just tell her everything they've ever decided and that she might possibly want to know.

    ETA - "If we were really close, you'd share this with me" (which I think is the typical excuse for feeling hurt over this stuff) is a fallacy - I don't share the details of everything I do with the people I consider myself close with. Wedding planning details would not be something that would normally come up in my regular conversations with my mom or with friends.

    I would hope it would go in reverse, too - no one would get annoyed with me for not asking enough about their specific wedding details and taking that as a sign that I somehow don't care about them. If I ask "What's going on with you lately?" and their wedding planning details are what's important to them right now, then I'm happy to hear. If it's something else that's important to them right now, I'm happy to and would rather hear about that.
    OP asked for suggestions on how to make her FMIL feel included. As a MOG I gave her suggestions from my point of view. You obviously have another. For the record, in my instance, I did ask but was told everything was being taken care of and given no details - ok then.

    I don't have a different suggestion. I think it's probably the best option if she wants to make MIL feel included, because MIL's feelings are what they are. However, I think the way MIL feels is probably a little silly and MIL is just being too passive, and I want to validate the OP in that she has to deal with something that could be avoided if MIL would just realize that when you want to know something specific, you should ask.

    If you asked something specific (i.e. "Hey, what did you guys decide for a first dance?" instead of "Hey, how's the wedding planning going?") then I understand being hurt that you were essentially shut down, having taken the appropriate step you needed to take in asking for the information you were interested in.

    Anniversary

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