I am going to take a big risk here and say a few things (that I've been bottling up), so before I begin, please my dear Janet, do not take offense. This is simply the voice of an outside part observing some intricate family dynamics. So please do keep that in mind, above all, I would absolutely never want to hurt you (if anything, I suppose I feel a bit more protective of you because you're the one who's trusting us with sharing your thoughts). Okay? Alright. Here we go (and in no particular order). Take them with a grain of salt.
1) It sounds like your Mom is pretty home-bound and quite reliant on those around her to accomplish those things that she cannot or will not do herself.
2) Any "stirring of the pot" of these established interfamilial roles is akin to stirring in such things as fear of abandonment, not caring, ignoring, being replaced, losing a contact (however rare) that she had claims on.
3) The parakeets are just a metaphor. If it weren't the birds, my guess is she would find something else to complain about
and make a scene about
. it's not the birds, it's what they represent,--something else, again, that will get care and loving that she sees as taking over her place. Eventually it'll be the dog, the cat, and then the baby.
4) Please remember this is not her business, nor is it yours. It is up to no one but the couple to decide if they want pets. Your Mom has no way (even if she yells her opinions across the table), nor do you. This is between your niece and her husband. Period.
5) A hard concept to grapple with is wedding dresses. To some women, it's the biggest day of their life. But to people like me, a "wedding" is not a "marriage." Once again, your place is to be nice and support her choice, not try to change her mind. There is no room for "logic" or "pragmatism" on a bride's wedding day.
6) My guess is that your mom is mourning the loss of EB. Regardless of how much time she did or didn't spend with her, now that she's married, your mom just got moved down a peg, and she's sad, she's hurt, she doesn't know what this will mean or how it will play out. She is scared, and a common reaction to being frightened is to make it with anger and/or disapproval.
Give your mom room to be as negative and cranky as she feels she needs to be, and what'll really cause a twist in her knickers, is if you do NOT, absolutely do NOT engage her in ANY of these conversation (she's looking for another person to argue with, to feel "right.") Instead, be a little saccharine, be sweet beyond measure, if she gets a bee in her bonnet, the best reply is, "Hmm....that's interesting." See? No question, no reply,.....
I've got 50 years of a severely malfunctioning "relationship" under my belt!! You're not alone honey! :)
"My time for tears will be at my Victory...not at the start of the War." ~~Vickie
Post Edited (Merrida) : 1/21/2014 2:13:23 AM (GMT-7)