Adjusting to DD's marriage

PatchATLJuly 15, 2004

My daughter has been married since last October. We were extremely close and she was my only DD I have a 20 yr old son who is never home. I love her DH to death and we are very close friends of his parents. Christmas was difficult for me because I was adjusting to not having her at home any more, and then having to also change a lot of family traditions so that they could spend time with both families. They live 45 minutes away so I see them a lot of weekends, but not always. Her birthday is Tuesday, and because we all work that day, and her husband has a softball game that night, I assumed we would spend time with her this weekend to celebrate. Turns out they have a wedding to go to Saturday (his parents will also be at the wedding), and Sunday one of his brother's has planned a family get together at his house to celebrate their parents' anniversary. So, they get her all weekend and what that left us with was that my DD and her DH are going to meet my husband and I halfway between our homes to eat dinner Monday night at a restaurant, then both go our separate ways. We've always made really big deals out of our children's birthday and to only get to spend maybe an hour with her at a restaurant has left me feeling broken hearted. I can't stop crying about this. After all, wasn't it me that brought her in to this world on that day. I know I'm being silly. I know it's just the way life is, but I feel so bad. For those of you out there that have been inlaws for a long time, does this ever get easier?

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I can't answer this for you. You might post this at the Kitchen Table or another forum. Most of the people who respond to this forum are parents or grandparents of minor children.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2004 at 1:23AM
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My kids are still young so take this advice for what it's worth. :-) But I do have an idea for you.

I know you miss her terribly. But one thing you said inspired me - wasn't it you that brought her into the world? Why not, instead of showering attention upon your daughter, have an "I gave birth today" party for yourself?

After a certain age, I've suspected that it's more appropriate for a mom to be celebrated than a kid on the kid's birthday. I heard once about a sweet son-in-law who always presented a bouquet to his wife's mom on his wife's birthday, as "thanks for bringing her into the world."

Be a little selfish for a change. Tell her how you feel, and if she can't change her schedule, treat yourself as if it's your own birthday.

It'll get better, though. Chances are she's merely putting on a brave front, and she'll miss getting pampered by mamma on her big day. You can either make it up to her later, or start making plans now for next year.

And when she gives you grandkids, please remember that it's even MORE important then to celebrate her birthday, because that kind of thing just tends to fade into the background when little ones come around.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2004 at 1:02AM
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I could be totally off base, but perhaps you are experiencing some clinical depression. When my youngest DD (now 10) started kindergarten, I just cried all the time. I was just sure my time as a Mommy was over, whatever shall I do... When I didn't snap out of it after a couple weeks I talked to my Dr. and was put on a mild anti-depressant. I am a person that doesn't like change, and DD going to school meant changing the way I lived my everyday life. When your DD got married, everyone recognized the big change in her life, they probably didn't recognize what a huge change it would be in your life. It really doesn't matter what the initial cause of depression is, it is treatable. I felt sort of silly telling my Dr. how depressed I was that my DD is in kindergarten! Anyway, I stayed on the anti-depressant for about 9 months. Within a couple days of taking them I started to feel better. I hope you get to feeling better, too.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2004 at 9:52PM
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I can't really answer your questions because I'm haven't gotten to that point of your experience. I'm not trying to be rude at all, but your daughter now is in the beginning stages of making her own life and family. I know you're hurting, but she will become busier and busier as her life progresses and this is something that will happen more than once. She now has two families to be with for certain occasions. Not every birthday she will want to spend w/her mother or maybe she will but her dh would like her to himself on that day. All I'm saying is at some point, please make sure that your sadness over things like this does not overflow into her new life w/her and her new dh. It'll cause a marital riff for her between you and her or between her and her dh. And I know that you want her to be happy. I would guess after she's been married a while... a trip to the spa with mom/grandma will be a heavenly treat. But for now, I would grin and bear it and like Jamielovescoffee says...treat yourself to something special on that day.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2004 at 6:33PM
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I have 3 step children and 2 of my own. I realised when they all got married that they were torn about who to spend holidays with. I backed off and let them make their own decisions and never put pressure on them. The demanding parents got most of their time, but that was ok with us. The only demand I made was at Christmas time. I wanted ours to be the first celebration/party. If it couldn't be Christmas eve, it would be the night before or the night before that. I wanted them fresh, excited, not tired of hitting all of the homes, dinners, etc..

    Bookmark   August 17, 2004 at 8:45PM
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What a change, hm? Our DD got married a month ago, and already I see some changes. I realize I can't be THE MOM anymore...I'm not the most important person in her life, anymore. But I'm sure, like me, you know she loves you with all her heart, and that if life were perfect, she'd want to be with you for all the important occasions, but she is torn in other directions now. I'm trying to be understanding, at the side-lines, available when she needs me (and surprisingly, she does ;-), but not demanding. I try to remember what it was like when my DH and I were first married...gosh...the decisions..who to have dinner with, when..who would be less offended...heavens! I recall my complacent Mom....ready for Christmas brunch or dinner..whichever we chose to spend with them..whenever we could celebrate a birthday with them...and I made that time special.

Send flowers to their home for her birthday...send a gift basket...and do lunch with her when her time and yours permit. Dates on a calendar are far less important than your understanding.....Love her when she's with you and Bless her when she's not.

Hope this helps a little...!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2004 at 12:08AM
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It is very hard to know that there are other people in your DD's life, but it is also hard for her. Don't make it harder for her. Don't let on how hurt you are and do as Glitter53 above says and meet her for lunch and have a special time with her. Next year call at least a month ahead and set up the celebration. A nice touch would be if you included her in-laws also. Would help her so much, and she would be so grateful to you for making life easier for her.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2004 at 8:21PM
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