One relationship you really don’t want to start off on the wrong foot? You and your mother-in-law’s. She probably means the world to your partner, so you want to stay on stellar terms with her when planning your big day (and beyond that!). If you’re dealing with an overbearing mother-in-law and she starts taking over wedding-related tasks without asking, you may get a bit annoyed (totally understandable). Instead of letting your emotions get the best of you, just take some deep breaths and follow these rules.
Here are a few tips for dealing with an overbearing mother-in-law.
Know that it’s probably coming from a good place
Even though she’s acting like one, your mother-in-law probably doesn’t want to be a monster-in-law. If she spends a day meeting with your wedding planner or messing around with your menu, it’s because she wants the best for her child and you - not because she wants to ruin your wedding. When things get tough, tell yourself that even though she may make you want to rip your hair out, she means well.
Know your boundaries
There are some wedding-related things that you just won’t be able to handle criticisms on. Everybody has a breaking point, and you should be well aware of yours. If there are tasks you really don’t want to involve your mother-in-law in, you totally don’t have to - just be strategic about it. If she constantly judges your outfit choices, dress shopping with her may be a nightmare. So, on the day of your appointment you may want to task her with something equally important - like tasting cakes with her son or daughter.
Involve her in the process
Your mother-in-law may be being overbearing because she feels iced out of the wedding planning process. The best way to get her to stop? Give her stuff to do! If she makes it known that she wants to be involved, ask for her opinions on invitation design, linens and favours. Or, go the extra mile and invite her to come along on venue scouting missions and decoration shopping adventures. Chances are, the more you involve her, the less overbearing she’ll become.
Make some basic rules
Letting her know the ground rules up front will keep an overbearing mother-in-law from overstepping boundaries. Get the feeling that she wants to invite about a million of her own friends to your big day? Kindly let her know soon after your engagement that the number of guests isn’t up for discussion. Or, maybe she really wants to help out with the food, but you’ve got totally different tastes? Tell her that while you’d love for her to come try cakes with you, your side of the family will be working on the menu. It’s all about compassion and compromise.
Communication is key
Wedding planning is emotionally, mentally and physically draining. All of that stress coupled with an overbearing mother-in-law can lead to trouble, so be aware of your emotions at all times (you definitely don’t want to snap on her mere weeks before joining her family). If you feel something bubbling up, don’t wait for a snide comment to push you over the edge. Collect your feelings, take a few deep breaths and tell her how she’s making you feel. Remember to stay cool, calm and collected while relaying your feelings, you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.