Colorado Life Coach: I’m the MOB

Mother of the Bride.

That’s me! For this brief period of time, I am the MOB!

Katie, my only daughter, got engaged the day after Thanksgiving. I’ve heard so many women my age lament how quickly time seems to pass. I so relate! How could my daughter’s wedding be taking place in just 10 short days? How did my little girl grow up so fast?

Enough about me. I’ve learned some things through this time of preparation.

~There’s never a better time to work on things than the present. If you wait for perfect timing to lose weight, deal with a troubling relationship, heal past hurts, move forward with a new career or hobby, there will never be a perfect time. Life just keeps moving. Sometimes we have too many things going on to take on anything new. Other times, we wait for timing to get better before we move forward. I’ve learned that even if we start slowly, it’s best to at least start. I’m so thankful I didn’t wait for my daughter to get engaged to work on my health. I started that several years ago, so now I feel great as MOB. I’m thankful I didn’t wait to work on my marriage and family issues. We had already begun, so when the engagement occurred, we handled it well and could be happy and focused on my daughter. I’m thankful that I’ve worked on my relationship with God. I can trust him and believe he loves my daughter even more than I do.

~Fear leads to controlling behaviors, and it’s ugly. I read books on how to plan a wedding, and found the biggest problems between moms and daughters occur when the MOB tries to control every detail of the wedding. I wanted to be a great MOB, and I truly want my daughter to feel loved, beautiful, and special for her wedding. For this to happen, I needed to make sure to process my fears apart from my daughter. If I have fears that I haven’t dealt with, they will come out: in snotty or cutting comments, in passive aggressive humor, by pushing for my ideas over those of my daughter’s. Some of the best advice I read while preparing reminded me that this is my daughter’s wedding, not mine. If I want to have a great relationship through the wedding planning, and in the years after, I need to remember that through each activity.

~The big day will be over quickly. Enjoy each planning activity. I’ve worked hard to be present for each phase of the planning. When we went to taste cakes, we tasted, laughed, and enjoyed each moment. Same with the flowers, caterers, and hair appointments. Each day is clear in my memory. It’s not just about the wedding. It’s about each experience leading up to the day. I’ve tried to pay attention to smells, expressions, sounds, and touches. Mindfulness is key to being present.

~Plan for the short-term, but even more for the big picture. The wedding day is so special, but will be over in an instant. The marriage will continue. It takes a higher level of thinking to be able to plan both at the same time. I’ve been so impressed with Katie and Joey (her fiancé), as I’ve watched them work with their counselor to plan for marriage. They’ve learned how to express their feelings, wants, and needs to each other. They’ve learned to disagree respectfully. They’ve talked through issues that could cause them struggles in the future. What a great lesson for all of us!

~There’s usually a let down after a big event, so plan accordingly. Another MOB warned me to plan something relaxing for myself after the wedding. She and her husband experienced huge let down after their son’s wedding and found themselves weeping at work. We were able to plan a vacation a few days after the wedding. It may not prevent the tears, but I won’t be at work when they flow!

I’m so excited for my daughter. I’m so thankful for the growth I’ve experienced over the last few years that has enabled me to experience this precious time with her. I love you so much, Katie! Here’s to your new life with Joey!

This post written by Colorado Life Coach, Carrie O’Toole, M.A.

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