Every now and then, I get an email from a distraught bride fretting over such a universal topic, that I feel like I would be missing out on an opportunity to educate all of you brideys, so today I am sharing it on Bitchless Bride. Below, you will see an email which I received from "Bridget" regarding her mother's obsession with her iPhone. Bridget is asking for some advice on how to handle her MOB's addiction with said phone, and wants to be sure that mama is present, both physically and mentally, for the big day.
I am getting married in about six weeks. While my mother and I don't have the perfect relationship, she has been phenomenal through the planning process. She has kept her personal opinions to herself and aimed to give my fiance and I the wedding we desire. She has been key to planning the event from 1,500 miles away.
The problem? My mother is addicted to her iPhone. She is constantly texting, emailing, Facebooking and often during very important times. Much of this is because she runs her own business and doesn't have normal hours (I am sure you can relate), but she has yet to set boundaries. For instance, when I come home to visit, she is often on her phone during family dinner and movie night. I am afraid my wedding will be a victim of her addiction too.
I am very worried that my mom will miss a momentous event in her and my life because she is so concerned with taking pictures she can text or post to Facebook. She has worked very hard and waited a long time (8 years of us dating) for this day and I want her to be fully present. I know I can't tell her what to do, not that would I consider that, but is there a tactful way to let her know I would like her to be engaged in the day and not so concerned with her virtual presence?
My very first thought, is that while it would be inapprorate to tell her what do to, you certainly CAN tell her how you feel. You don't have to be nasty about it, bridey, but you should definitely have a candid conversation about how you are feeling. Tell her how integral she has been in the planning process and that you could not have done it without her, but you need her to do one more thing for you. Remind her that the biggest and best day of your life is quickly approaching, and while you respect her business (and what she has built), you are worried that she is going to miss it.
When there's an awkward pause because she's unsure as to why you would ever mention that she miss your wedding day, tell her the truth.
"Mom, I am concerned that your head will be down for much of my wedding day as you browse your email, etc., and keep up with your business. And if you can't promise me that you will be present for my wedding, body and soul, then to me... it's as if you won't be there at all."
And then, SHUT UP. Don't talk. Let her digest this bold statement and make a choice. At that point, you've said what you need to say, and now it's up to her to really hear you. And you know what, Bridget? She may not listen to you because she can't. In some respects, she's an addict and for her to stop (even on your wedding day) is asking a lot. But, at least you said your peace, and no matter what happens on your wedding day, YOU will be present, body and soul, even if she's not.
Brideys!! What do you think? Any MOB's out there who can offer some advice?
Image via Book More Brides