Post # 1
I’ve been stewing over this for a while and wanted to ask your opinions. My bridal shower was last month and it was lovely. My stepmom and bridesmaids threw me a surprise Mexican fiesta. Later that day, I asked my stepmom for an extra invitation for my scrapbook. I read the invitation and noticed at the bottom that it said “Hosted by the bridesmaids and mother of the bride”.
Now, my parents divorced when I was little. My dad remarried when I was pretty young and I’ve always been close to my stepmom. I call her by her first name and never felt comfortable calling her “mom” because I HAVE a mom. She’s still alive, I talk to her several times a week and we have a good relationship. My mom has not been able to contribute financially to the shower or the wedding because she’s on disability (I’m totally OK with this, just mentioning it b/c of the “hosting” thing). My mom has a lot of bouts of depression and my stepmom has a very strong personality.
I feel really bad that my stepmom went ahead and referred to herself as “mother of the bride” on my invitations. And I know for sure that my stepmom was the one who designed and paid for the invitations. I know this does not reflect on me, but I feel bad for my mom. I haven’t brought it up to either of them since the shower. WWYD? It’s too late to change anything but I don’t want my mom to feel “replaced” or sad because of this.
Post # 3
Did your Mom see this invitation? If so, did she mention anything to you about what was stated?
I would feel the exact same way if I were in your shoes. Is there anyway you can politely talk this over with your stepmom? Just so you’re able to get your feelings out?
Post # 4
Yes, my mom received an invitation in the mail with the rest of the guests. No one has mentioned anything to me at all. I don’t know if they think I didn’t notice or what? I would have thought my sister/MOH would have mentioned it but she hasnt’ either.
Post # 5
@sboston06: I would suggest that you have a conversation with your step-mom. Explain it to her just as you did here. You value your relationship with her, and appreciate what she brings to your life, but that you have a mother and you are uncomfortable with her referring to herself as your mother when she is not.
Or you can go in a totally different direction and say, I noticed that you put the BMs and mother of the bride as hosts. It was nice of you to give my mom the credit when you put so much work into everything…and thank her profusely I bet she will get the point then.
Post # 6
I am both a mom and a stepmom to teenage girls…so I see both sides of this. If my daughter’s stepmother did this, I wouldn’t like it much. Yes, she is her stepmother, but I am my daughter’s mother..and that’s not a title I like to share. I won’t lie to you, it would hurt. I can’t guarantee your mom would feel the same, but I’m guessing she might. Now, our situation is a bit different than yours. My daughter’s stepmother has only been married to my ex-husband for a year, so it’s not like she helped raised my daughter or that my daughter would consider her to be her mother, On the other hand, she is VERY good to my daughter and I can honestly say that I am glad that she is in my daughter’s life. I think there the more loving adults that are in my child’s life, the better.
However, as a stepmother, things are always a bit touchy. I can tell you that I truly love my stepdaugther and DO think of her as my own daughter. But it’s hard to know what to call her sometimes. I tend to use “my girls” to describe her and my biological daughter together. I don’t feel like getting into an explanation of which daughter is mine and which is my husband’s with everyone I meet. Also, I don’t like to single my stepdaughter out as a stepdaughter…as if she is somehow less than a “real” daughter. On the other hand, I’m always afraid of overstepping when I call her my daughter…because she does have a mother of her own.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that is a difficult thing even when everyone means well. I tend to call my stepdaughter “my daughter” most of the time, but make a point NOT to do so when we are doing anything where her mother is involved, so as not to offend her. I’ve talked to my husband and stepdaughter about this and for us, we agree this is the best compromise. She also will occasionally call me mom…but not in front of her mother.
I would talk to your dad about this. Let him know that while you are happy that your stepmother considers you to be her daughter (which is a good thing!), you are a bit uncomfortable about how seeing it in writing might make your mom feel. Let him be the one to talk to his wife about maybe being a bit more careful of your mom’s feelings in the future.
As for your mom, I’d not bring it up unless you are sure she has seen the invitation. If she has, I think I’d explain to her that stepmom meant well, but make it clear that YOU had nothing to do with it, that YOU were not comfortable with it, and that you are ensuring that it won’t happen again.
Post # 7
Is there any chance that they were actually referring to your mother even though she did not contribute financially to the shower? It may have been a nice gesture that you are mis-interpreting.
Post # 8
Well I’d maybe mention to your mom casually something about how nice the shower was and you’re making a scrapbook… but did you notice on the invite she called herself mom? How weird! I always call her Jane.
If your mom got the invite there is 0% chance she didn’t notice, and by you just mentioning it like that it would probably make her feel good like she isn’t being replaced in your eyes.
With regards to your step-mom, unless she is going to have another opportunity to call herself your mom, I’d let it go. I mean from here on out you’re doing the paper right? (invites, programs, whatever), so you can call her whatever you want.
Post # 9
@neva and @jamaicabride – very good points made. It won’t be an easy conversation but I would still have it. (with your stepmom).
Post # 10
My mothers feelings would be extremely hurt if she saw my step mom refer to herself as Mother of the Bride. Your step mom should understand that even though she holds an important place she is not your mother and should not try to be perceived as so. Was the guest list mainly your fathers side of the family or both sides? If someone your mother is related to saw that I would bet it will get back to her and could cause issues. I think you should let your dad know your stepmom addressed herself as so and you do not want people to think that your mother hosted the party when your stepmom put all that work into it. Also, let him know that it makes you uncomfortable because she is not your mother and you do not refer to her as so. Maybe he can just let her know that if there is a next time to put hosted by Mrs. Stepmom Dads’ Last Name or Brides’ stepmother. I know how tricky this whole issue is and I hope your step mother doesn’t become offended but understands why this may have hurt feelings.
Post # 11
I don’t know…on the one hand, I agree it’s kind of offensive to your mom for your stepmom to call herself mom…on the other hand, ‘hosted by the bridesmaids and Bride’s Stepmom’ might be a bit awkwardly worded. It might have just been an offhand choice of wording without any deeper meaning behind it. Honestly, I would let it go. If your mother wasn’t bothered by it, I don’t see any harm done.
Post # 12
Wow – that was really quite cruel and insensitive of your step-mother. I think you should definitely mention it to your Mom – she had to have been upset. It also speaks highly of her that she didn’t come to you to complain about it or make it an issue but you should reassure her that there is only one mother of the bride and that its her.
As for your stepmother, I don’t know. If you think this could be an issue again, then I think you must speak up but if not, you may just want to let it go if only to avoid drama prior to your wedding.
Post # 13
@Neva: Thanks for your perspective. I feel very lucky to have both of these women in my life. They have contributed to it in different but equally special ways. I honestly don’t mind it when my stepmom introduces me as her daughter or “these are my kids” (she has 2 kids, plus 2 stepkids). But when it is put out there in my mom’s “face” that’s when I react. I feel like this was a blatant slap in the face to my mom.
@LGenz: Not a chance. My mom was not even able to give me a shower gift because her finances are so tight. Her only income comes from Social Security which is very very little.
@MsBrooklynA: My mom’s side of the family is very small so it did go to her “side” but it was only a handful of people. I only have one shower so it was all my family, friends, FI’s family, etc. My mom and maternal grandmother were both there.
I think I will definitely talk to my dad about this and see if he can prevent it from going further in the future. She does intimidate me and I’m afraid of how she will react if I bring it up to her. In the meanwhile I can mention it to my mom and try to make her feel better about it.
Post # 14
I have a similar situtation, a step-mom with a stronger personality (and the funds) and a mom that struggles with depression (and financial issues). I would expain the situation to my mom and say that I was sorry that it had happened, I never think of my step-mom as my mother, and I have never referred to her as such. My mom and stepmom have never gotten along and my mom would understand I think. I wouldn’t say anything to my stepmom unless something similar happens again and then I would talk to my dad first. (My stepmom and I have a strained relationship at times) My sister and I are my stepmom’s only children and I don’t object to being called her daughter.
Is there anything in your wedding that is really important to your mom? Is there a DIY project that she could do? In my case, my mom is professional seamstress and former professional cake decorator. So, she is making my wedding dress because she wanted to and decorating the cake. My dad and stepmom are paying for everything else. (As for my dress, I bought the materials becasuse Mom couldn’t afford them…what Dad and Stepmom don’t know doesn’t hurt them!) The wedding invitations will be worded “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith request the honor …at the marriage of their daughter”. Kind of ironic because I take great pains to never refer to a married woman as Mrs. Husband’s Name and hope to never be called Mrs. Husband’s Name.
Post # 15
@Hokie-Bride-To-Be: I think that’s so nice that you asked your mom to make your dress for you! There isnt’ really anything my mom is especially talented at, but I have included her in everything since the engagement..from bridesmaids, to dresses, to flowers. She was even my first phone call when we got engaged since I know how important it was for her to be the first to know.
I talked to my sister/MOH about this and apparently my mom never received her invitation. Blessing in disguise maybe. My sister told her the info over the phone because her invitation got lost in the mail. So unless someone told her (which I doubt) she probably doesn’t know about the “Mother of the Bride” debacle.
I will try to keep her front and center at the wedding and hope the problem doesn’t carry over to that.