Post # 1
I have a great relationship with my Mother-In-Law. She lives about 90 minutes away and we see each other every month or so. Granted, there are things about her that bug me but for the most part we get along great.
My mom lives across the country. She’s my best friend and I miss her all the time being so far away. We see each other twice a year, three max. She’s flying out for the weekend on Feb 8th and we have an appointment at a bridal dress shop here in the city. I’ve been really looking forward to having her all to myself since the last few times we’ve hung out it’s been with my fiance and dad, or with my in-laws. We haven’t had a lot of one on one girl time together. I have the whole day planned—brunch, dress shopping, pedicures, movie.
I was going to simply not mention her brief visit to the city to my Mother-In-Law, but my fiance dropped it into conversation before I’d told him that I was looking forward to some alone time with my mom. He mentioned to my Mother-In-Law that we’re doing wedding things and now she wants to come dress shopping–asking me for the name of the shop and appointment time. If she comes to the appointment she will likely also come to lunch, and mom and I will lose out on the whole day together.
What do you think, bees? Am I resigned to inviting her now? Or is there a way to navigate this so I can still have the special day with my mom whom I never get to see? I would like to have a few wedding memories be special/just between my parents and I. My MIL’s presence, while not a burden, changes the entire dynamic.
ETA–My mom just returned from two weeks in Washington with her sister who has a fatal brain tumor. She’s going through a lot right now and I also know that she needs/would appreciate some downtime with just me. So that’s also a factor.
Post # 3
@Buttercupmcgee: You know, I would tell my Mother-In-Law that you are so happy to hear she wants to get together with you and your Mom, instead of the bridal shop, how about lunch at a local place that afternoon so you can all get to know each other without the distraction of dress shopping?
Post # 4
You are absolutely entitled to alone time with your mom!! I would just explain to her that your mom is going through a lot and is looking forward to some mother-daughter time. Let her know that there are lots of other wedding planning days ahead and that you’ll definitely let her know the next time there’s something to be done but this day needs to be just you and mom. Hopefully she’ll understand!
Post # 5
@jny1179: Sorry I think I left out one of the most important parts—when my fiance mentioned the plans to her we were at dinner and, in my shock I was like “Oh! Yeah! Awesome!” *slaps forehead*
I just panicked and couldn’t find a way to be like “nope! not invited!” haha.
So basically I need to backpeddle now.
Post # 6
It depends how close you are with Mother-In-Law. I’m on pretty good terms with mine so I’d probably say something like “MIL I’d love to have you join us at the dress shopping at ____oclock. I’m not sure on our plans for the rest of the day, but I know my Mom has been having a rough time, and I’d like to have some time for just her and I. We don’t get much time together since she lives so far away. I hope you wouldn’t be offended if she and I sneak away after the dress appointment for some quality time for just the two of us!”
I might also offer to do something with just Mother-In-Law at a later point or before Mom gets there, so Mother-In-Law doesn’t feel left out.
But like I said I’m on good terms with my In laws, and if I let them know I wanted some just Mom time they’d be fine with it. I know not everyone would be comfortable with this approach.
Post # 7
Just tell your mil that your mom has a lot going on right now and it would be best if it was just the two of you.
maybe make plans to meet up with her for lunch the following weekend? That way you walk out of the conversation with plans to hang out and she’ll take it better?
I wouldn’t tell her the date/time/place of the appointment, she sounds like the type that would just show up!
theres absolutely nothing wrong with wanting one on one time with your mom. I can’t imagine living so far from your mom, I would miss her so much! your mil should understand that. And clue in your fiancé so he doesn’t tell her!
Post # 8
Does your Fiance have any sisters? Maybe if you approach it more like her having that time alone when its HER daughter’s time, she’ll understand it and back out gracefully.
I’m pretty blunt,tho, and would really just tell her the truth. It isn’t a slight against her, but something you two have decided to do alone.
Good luck. She’ll be fine.
Post # 9
@ItWasntMe: Ah, alas he does not, but that’s a good approach. I feel like she’s really reveling in the girl side of all this planning since she only has two boys. It makes me feel guilty!
@PinkPinstripes: Good call. Do you think this is possible even if I said at the time that it would be great if she came? Gah!
@nikkialys: I like the idea of adding an activity for just the two of us, good call
Post # 10
@Buttercupmcgee: it’s perfectly ok to back peddle, but just do it sooner than later. I would just say that some family stuff has come up but you’d love to meet up with her a different time and talk about flowers/ favors/ whatever.
Post # 11
You could also tell your mil that you will probably need her help with future dress appointments when your mom isn’t visiting,
Post # 12
@PinkPinstripes: +1 to both of your comments
Post # 13
@Buttercupmcgee: Why not just explain the situation? Say that you were really hoping that you could have some time alone with your mum and arrange to do something with your Mother-In-Law another day.
Post # 15
- Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House
I would just straight up tell her that you see your mom very infrequently and were looking forward to some alone time with her, but you would love if you Future Mother-In-Law could come dress shopping with you another time.
Post # 16
OP just be really nice, and honest. Tell her you like her being around, that you love spending time with her, but that you need some time with your mum, and that your mum needs some time with just you. And maybe add that you wouldn’t ask her to give you that time if it wasn’t so rare that you got to see your mum.