Moms and Maids

Mom vs FMIL

Let me start by saying I know I'm not a mother, but I just need a little feedback. Background: I'm from PA, moved to SC to be with BF now FI. Wedding is July 2011 in PA, but I am planning from SC. FI and I got engaged in May, and decided to wait 2 years to get married to save $$. My parents came down to SC to meet the future in laws and the meeting seemed to go well. We went out to dinner and nobody yell at each other (which is really good! :o)). I find out a few weeks later from my sister in law (bro's wife) that my mom is all put out because my FMIL and FFIL didn't call them when we got engaged. Apparently, its proper etiquette for them to make first contact (I've never heard of that, but meh...whatever). I let that go because its in the past. I also find out that mom feels FILs were rude and all that at the dinner because they wore flip flops to the restaurant (I wore flip flops!!), which is totally acceptable in Charleston. Fast forward a few months. FMIL was out at a store and started looking at dresses for the wedding (they were have a really good sale). She comes home and I was at their house and she has a really pretty dress, and she's really excited. I love the dress, and I'm happy for her, yes the wedding is 2 years out, but she's happy! I'm on the phone with mom a few days later and I tell her that FMIL found a dress and I hear silence. Well, apparently MOG is not supposed to buy a dress before MOB, which I've also never heard before. Sooo, I said mom, its ok, its not in the color you were thinking about, its pink (fuschia). Again, I hear silence, and mom says, "Oh, I was kind of thinking about pink." Last I had heard Mom was thinking about mocha-brownish color, so I told her, and she said, "Well, I was getting dressed this morning and put on a pink shirt and thought it was such a nice color on me." I love my mom, and my FMIL. They are just totally opposite people. My parents are very conservative, but my FILs are very relaxed and chill. I want my mom to be happy, but I would also like both sets of parents to get along. I apologize for this being so long, I just needed to vent. I would love a little feedback from you ladies. Am I wrong? Is FMIL wrong? is mom wrong? Thanks in advance!

Re: Mom vs FMIL

  • kmmssgkmmssg mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    3 time MOB here.  Your mom is looking at VERY old school etiquette. None of my SILs' parents called me when the kids got engaged.  That idea was written 60 years ago when the bride's parents hosted everything and the bride and groom showed up to whatever the MOG had planned.  No one does that anymore. The dress thing?  In my eyes that is very dated also.  I actually (politely) refused to run and get my dress and then tell the MOG all about it.  I find it very disrespectful to the MOG.  It is treating her like a second class citizen in my eyes.  She is an adult and can dress herself beautifully.  I would never treat one of my girls' FMIL's in such  a manner.  Again - a reflection of the times gone by when the wedding was really the MOB's shindig so the MOG deferred to her as to what to wear. It almost looks to me like your mom is looking for things to complain about?  It was rude for them to wear flip flops to dinner, but fine for you? Might be time to have a chat with her.  Are you her only daughter?  First to get married?  Last to get married?  Sometimes it is very hard to let go of your children and I'm wondering if she is picking things apart like flip flops at dinner because she is having some problems with that. What do you think?
  • edited December 2011
    Thank you thank you for taking the time to answer! I am the baby of the family, but the second to get married. My sister (middle child) is most likely getting engaged soon, so hopefully mom'll have something/somebody else to pick at. I'm glad to know that I'm not crazy, and the etiquette my mom is using is dated. I know I should talk to my mom about it, but I don't want to hurt her (or have her mad at me). I know its hard for her because I'm 700 miles away, its also hard for me to plan a lot without her. I just feel like I can't win sometimes! My SIL told me that she really wasn't like this with her and my brother's wedding (6 yrs ago), but that was because she didn't tell my mom that many details. I want my mom involved because I trust her taste (well, sometimes), and because I know that this means a lot to her.
  • kmmssgkmmssg mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    First off, " the bride and groom showed up to whatever the MOG had planned. No one does that anymore" was a typo.  MOG should have read MOB.Find your balance in all of this.  If she is difficult about everything you need to call her on it, but in a gentle way.  She is far away and I'm betting she feels left out because she isn't here to help you plan..and FMIL is local.  I'm thinking your mom is feeling a little threatened because your FMIL is right here as you plan and mom is 700 miles away.  I'm sure I would have some insecurities in that and I'm very very close to my girls!Find ways to assure your mom that you value her opinions and want her involved and hopefully she will get very comfortable and easy to get along with as you plan.  If she knit picks everything, you may have to sit down and gently tell her that you love her, value her input, and want to include her, but if she is going to pick everything apart or find things to complain about (like the flip flops) then you will move along on your own to get things done so you don't have to deal with it.  If it comes down to it, be quiet and respectful in your approach, but set a boundary that gets her to stop picking at little things and support you.
  • edited December 2011
    While I agree with most of what kmmssg wrote, some people do still have the MOG call the MOB.  I insisted on it because she was the last to know.  I wasn't going to call her all excited before her son told her the good news.  Most of the etiquette rules do have a reason.  But it is all about people getting along, not about critizing others for doing things a little differently.  You are dealing with a number of issues.  First girl to get married.  You moved so far away.  FMIL is right there.  Will she be the second class grandma...
  • edited December 2011
    Just think for a moment...she's up there 700 miles away.  You are down there with the cool, relaxed, chill FIL's.  It would be hard not to be a little jealous :)Liten, call often, share thoughts and feelings and every five minutes tell her how MUCH you wish that you could be together to plan and how much you miss her EVERY day.
    My baby girl is a married woman...and now my baby girl HAS a baby girl. Time unfolds in such an amazing way. I've been blessed!
  • trix1223trix1223 member
    5000 Comments 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    katy, I've been MOG and MOB, and I could have written kmm's post. Things have change A LOT and it sounds like you mom is hanging on to really old school etiquette. Do you think it might help to sit down with your mom and talk to her directly instead of getting the info second hand from your SIL. Let her know as gently as possible that things have changed and what she's remembering are not necessarily typical today? Another thought, I'm with kmm's answer on an earlier post. When I started knotting, it was because my DD had gotten engaged, and I was hoping to find out more about the whole planning process, trends, ideas, etc. Is there any chance that you might convince your mom to come here and ask her questions or could you get her a "modern" wedding etiquette book so that she can see the changes (which I think are for the better, personally). One last thought: I agree with you completely that you'd like your parents and your FI's parents to get along, and it's only right that they should. But keep it at that level for the time being. I don't particularly care for my DD's new in-laws. I can be, and was very cordial to them at anything pre-wedding and wedding day. But we'll never be friends. GL.
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • Kristin789Kristin789 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Your mom lives in Charleston - which is pretty much the heart of the old south. You'll need to learn more about wedding etiquette, because here in the south, families hold tight to all of it. Yeah, some of the other Nesties live in more modern, cosmopolitan cities where some of the etiquette is no longer followed. But here... here in the south, it really is. Example: I was in a group of four people planning a shower. I wanted to have it in November because that's before everyone gets crazy with the holidays and then started up again in January with school (we're all teachers). But the other three women shared with me in most memorable ways that a shower must occur in a 6-week window prior to the event. No exceptions. And they used special sentences to drive home their point, like this: "We know you're not really from the south, but HERE we really DO follow etiquette."
  • handfast4mehandfast4me member
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Yes, I think your mom needs a reality check--lots of these etiquette rules are a little dated (have you checked out the second weddings board, and how many of us second timers are wearing white/ivory gowns to our second wedding? Heck, there it is in a nutshell.)  I'm the MOB, and a recent bride myself.  I was reared in Boston, but my folks were from Idaho and Alabama.  I live in Atlanta now.  Yes, the Southerners do throw it up in your face "we do follow etiquette"--but I'm finding that only when it suits them. For example, I had to call the MOG first when the kids got engaged.  I was a little miffed, but got past it.  Then she tried to take over the wedding completely--she wanted it at HER church, HER way, blah, blah, blah.  End result--the kids ran off and got married at the JOP, and the reception will be held at my house.  Maybe your mom should take that as a lesson--if she keeps it up, she may not be involved at all. 
    image Don't mess with the old dogs; age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill! BS and brilliance only come with age and experience.
  • edited December 2011
    I think it's time to tell your mom "Mom- I respect that you have a set of etiquette rules that you are holding tight to. However, I need to ask that you realize that not everyone follows those same rules anymore - including FIL's and quite honestly- me too. I can't change you, but you can't change them either. I'm going to be marrying into his family and I really want for you all to get along, and I think a part of that is going to need to include you respecting THEIR ways of doing things too. Otherwise, you're just going to continue to get mad at them over stuff that they are going to have no clue why you are mad. It only makes things harder for me." And I also fully agree that I think some jealousy may be the issue too.
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  • edited December 2011
    I really appreciate all of your advice, and I can definitely tell that I came to the right place (P & E scares me!). I know that I need to have a chat with mom, and I definitely am going to! Thank you all so much!
  • TruchanaTruchana member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I think as someone else said, people follow the etiquette rules they want to follow.  Your mom just sounds old fashioned and maybe this is what happened during the wedding they planned with your sister so they expected to follow.  While some of the etiquette rules may be slightly dated, it is nice to follow some by suiting your needs.  I know my parents were annoyed that my fiance's parents never told them what they'd be willing to pay for in the wedding.  We were left guessing and finally I made my fiance talk to them after pleading. They still never mentioned it.  The etiquette is there more for respect for the parents.  Typically, the brides family pays for more of the wedding, they help out more with their time and resourcecs, etc, that it is just respectful to them to follow some of the etiquette.That being said..the flip flop comment seems rather childish and I agree that she is just picking at straws right now for reasons to complain.  On the one hand, she is so excited for you, but on the other, you are living closer to the inlaws, etc.  She is probably slightly jealous.
  • dianenjnjdianenjnj member
    Knottie Warrior 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    your mother sounds like a pill.  it seems as though she's looking for an excuse to be mad...maybe jealous because you are close to fmil...don't know.give your mom a call and perhaps plan a nice visit...just you two.  i think she needs a little reassurance that she's no 1.  let her know how you feel and if you can't get through...you'll just have to ignore the complaints.
  • edited December 2011
    Get a copy of the "Everything Mother-of-the -Bride book". Updated etiquette etc, but most important---reminds her to try to NOT be THAT MOB. Over and over again! I agree though that maybe she's a little jealous. The FMIL is there, she's not. She might think you're being "absorbed" by his family and she's on the sidelines. Anything you can include her in from a distance? Email photos of venues? Tell her you can't decide between two types of china/glassware? Shoes? Ask her to pick a couple songs for the reception, if there's anything special she'd like to hear? My mom's gift is 2 Springsteen songs at the reception LOL. Two! I thought I'd be lucky to get one (I've already heard how weird that is from many people, thank you). Anyway, there could be a song that she associates with you somehow.
  • edited December 2011
    WAY outdated etiquette. And as for the pink.....seriously. Does it matter if they wear the same color? That little detail is something that never crossed my mind. If your parents are very conservative, that could be where the etiquette things are coming from. Could she also be afraid that you're being "absorbed" by his family, and she's on the sidelines? Can you include her in some decisions by long-distance? Email photos of venues, china, shoes? Ask her if she can do the "something old"? Sorry, that's one tradition that seems to stick around. Maybe ask her if there's something she'd like to hear at the reception---song that she associates with you in some way?
  • edited December 2011
    Traditionally, the MOB gets to pick her dress first. The MOG really jumped the gun on this one, since the wedding is still two years away. But it should not be that big of a deal. MOB should just disregard and buy whatever dress she likes.Who calls who first? Traditionally the Grooms parents make the first move, but if they don't it's up to the couple to get everyone together. Sounds like your mom needs a big hug and some reassurance that she is very important in your life and your wedding planning.
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