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Ask Coach Jen K. Your Own Question

Coach Jen K.
Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1723
Experience:  Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Life Coach
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Ive recently been told by my daughters future mother-n-law

Resolved Question:

I've recently been told by my daughters future mother-n-law that I am highmaintenance and stress her out. I've never been told that before, and was very upset by it. Because most people I know see me as very calm, steady, etc. She said that shortly after we both recently discovered we were going to be in-laws. Her son asked us the other day if he could marry our daughter. So I've been trying to analyse myself, and wonder if you could help me sort through some things?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.

CoachJenK :

Hi. Welcome back.

CoachJenK :

I think it is a bit odd that she would come out and say that. What was going on at that moment in the conversation about the kids getting married?

Customer:

Well, she is a very direct person. And, she was coming over to bring her wedding ring over, because my husband had wanted to see it. She was giving it to her son, to give to our daughter - however, it was outdated and she was okay with allowing them to use the stones. So, my husband who is a designer said he would look at it. And, as she walked in she said you are high maintenance and stress me out, and I'm like really, why? I said is it about the ring, and she said no. She said that she shouldnt have said it but that maybe she was picking up on something her daughter was feeling. Because her daughter is getting married, and she is a single mom with four kids. So, she basically was implying that I'm high maintenance because I do everything over the top - and I think she was comparing what her daughters wedding was going to be like to what our daughters wedding was going to be like. And, she used the example of my daughters 18th bday - I took her and a few friends, and her boyfriend and his mom and brother to NY - to see lion king, and she was like why would you bring someone you hardly know. And, I guess I wanted to do something really nice for them, and include them - because my daughter also wanted them to come....I know this might be confusing . . . and hard to follow

CoachJenK :

No I am following. To me...i wouldnt even take what she said into your head...it sounds like her own issues and beong all over the plce a bit

CoachJenK :

she may also have some jealousy and that is how she handled those feelings as she may not have direct access to them.

CoachJenK :

She may see that you are able to give more in every sense and she is threatened by it.

CoachJenK :

If at all possible i would not take it to heart.

CoachJenK :

nor would I engage with her around it...let it go in one ear and out the other.

CoachJenK :

And you going to NYC and taking them to Lion King was lovely!

Customer:

Thank you - I appreciate that. . . so then today - my future son-n-law and I were communicating about his proposal. I am a planner by nature, so I offered to assist him with it, and since we are doing the proposal on our vacation I was working through details. So I was sharing with his mom some of the details, and had mentioned I was feeling stressed - but it was an accumulation of other things going on. So, she went and told her son I was stressed, and pressed him to change some of the proposal plans. I then told him, not to do that, that I was stressed about other stuff, and was bugged his mom told him anything. I love to plan things and do what I can to make people in my life happy, and Im very thorough with details - but I'm wondering if it's annoying to people, once I start working through the process. My husband agreed with her and told me that I do things over the top, and I was really hurt by that. I see it more that I notice details that no one else does, to try to make something be better . . . . does this make any sense . .

CoachJenK :

It all makes sense. You have these great qualities but maybe you can pull back a bit here and let them figure it out and how he wants to handle it.

CoachJenK :

it is not to slight your abilities but maybe they can figure this one out on their own. also you now know that he goes back to her to share things and this will also prevent her from stepping in and taking over which is what she is accusing you of.

CoachJenK :

sometimes all the in laws to be do better by taking that step back even when they come and ask things...help but let them do some stuff.

CoachJenK :

Clearly this woman has some jealousy issues and maybe you are over the top...but so what? You are a Mom and your daughter is getting engaged...that is exciting!

Customer:

Well, I'm trying to do that - so today he had a general idea of what he wanted to do - and I was in the process of talking to the concierge at our hotel and he was making the reservations, etc. for me - but in the process he discovered some flaws in the plan, and offered some other recommendations. So, I emailed Phil (our future son-n-law) and explained what the hotel clerk said. He then says, sounds great - thank you so much, let's do it! So, this was after his mother called and said I was stressed out - so then I felt like was he just appeasing me and it's not really what he wants to do, and I so badly want to not being an interfering mother-n-law. So, I asked him if he was sure - and that I was fine - that just because I sent over other info. it was basically up to him. So, is it better for me not to second guess him - and just take his answer for what it is - because maybe my response to him is becoming irritating because I'm trying to hard . . . :(

CoachJenK :

You are trying hard because you want it all to be great...dont be hard on yourself for that. I think you did the right thing by telling him what the clerk said...you didnt tell him what he had to do you gave him info

CoachJenK :

I think it is this woman that has caused you to second guess yourself.

CoachJenK :

do what feels natural while maintaining a boundary and let them (him) figure it out and ignore her...sounds like noise to me.

Customer:

I honestly just want it to be special, and I want the kids to do whatever they want, but because I'm helping plan - I find flaws and need to communicate - but then maybe thats just irritating ....but then I think when it happens will they be disappointed because it didn't go the way they wanted, and so I try to prevent those things if I can . . . I tried to stay out if, but honestly he kept trying to include me which was sweet. For example, he invited me to go ring shopping with my daughters best friend and his mom. My husband told me not to go, that if my daughter found out I was involved she would not be happy, so I did not go.

CoachJenK :

I think if you could take a bit of a backseat.

CoachJenK :

even if its not perfect it will still be great.

CoachJenK :

I know you want it to be the best and that is loving of you but maybe now try and sit back a bit

Customer:

Your probably right - I will try. Phil did not respond to my earlier email, about r u sure this is what you want - should I just accept this answer and just go ahead and tell concierge to arrange it. Then I will scoot out of it -

CoachJenK :

yes I think that is fine and then step out. I feel even with your good intentions here you will get burned somehow, so be cautious.

Customer:

I know - should I have him work with concierge guy instead at this point, or just finish for him....

CoachJenK :

step out means step out. :-)

Customer:

please note he is only 18 - and is a little lost in all of this, which is why I offered to help . . .

CoachJenK :

see you are still working it all.

CoachJenK :

yes I remember him how you described him. So help but tread lightly. Does that make sense?

Customer:

okay - I think I'm going to just give him the name of the guy and number and he can work the rest out from here on out - does that seem good?

CoachJenK :

yes that seems excellent! Good job!

CoachJenK :

and remember you are allowed to be excited and wanting to help....that is why you are a great and loving mom.

Customer:

okay - thanks :) I'm good! for now . ... I'm sure I'll be back to talk about mother-n-law, in-laws or whatever again). Have a nice night!

CoachJenK :

and you as well. My pleasure. Please take a moment to click on the ratings tab and offer a positive rating.

CoachJenK :

Can I support you further?

Customer:

All good!

CoachJenK :

ok great.

Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1723
Experience: Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Life Coach
Coach Jen K. and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Coach Jen - my daughter that is getting married, has been having trouble dealing with stress to the point that she just sits there and can not do anything. She says she doesn't know how to control it, she can't think or do anything when she gets like that. She won't talk to anyone or change her commitments, so not sure how to advise her.

Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Welcome back. I am sorry to hear about this for her. What she is going through is not all that uncommon. but what is troubling is if she is unable to do anything. When you say she won't talk to anyone does that also mean going to a therapist? That would be the most helpful in dealing with this stress and anxiety that she is experiencing. If she refuses then be as supportive as you can to her during this time and without forcing her to make any decisions, just let her feel free to talk of her fears. LEave your feelings out of it and only listen to hers and encourage her to just talk freely and remind her that she will not have any judgment from you and you will not suggest what she needs to do.

The goal is for her to feel safe enough to express her feelings whatever they may be.

I will be back in my office around 11am EST so if you write back, i hope you can wait for a reply from me then. If you need help locating a therapist i am happy to do that as well. Just provide me with your zip code. Let me know your thoughts about my suggestions above.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have to run out too - so we can continue our chat later. Part of the problem is she is working on a project for us - that is very important and we are paying her well. We told her we could release her from it, and she could go get a regular job, keep in mind she is starting college in a week (first year) and getting married in December. So, we were pushing her to put more time into this project as she was getting behind, but she becomes frozen and can't do anything. She gets overwhelmed, and doesnt know how to push through, and shes also been more tired then normal. She can't seem to get up in the morning. We told her a regular job, she would need to get up - we have told her we wanted her to work a more structured schedule, and that any other employee we have, would not be allowed to work the way she is. We offered to take the project away if its too much and give to another person, but she wants to finish it, but on her own terms, she has put a lot of personal passion into it. So, basically she stresses out about all the things she has to do, people who want her time (friends), and can't do anything - which becomes a circular problem. I agree she has a large load, and getting married on top of that is huge. But, she feels strongly this is what they are supposed to do, and want to do. I am helping her as much as she would like me to. Any advise I could tell her from you - I told her she should talk to you, but she said no, of what she could do to help herself deal with stress.

Running to dentist, so will connect with you later.

Thank you :)
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 1 year ago.
I agree with you that she has so much going on and it seems to be taking a huge toll on her. Removing the project would further damage her self-esteem so that may not be the best option.

I wish she would talk with me too that would be wonderful. As best you can remove the pressure without taking away the project if that is possible. It also sounds like there could be some depression developing and i want you to keep an eye on that because she would need to see someone if things get worse. In the meantime take a look at this relaxation and self-hypnosis CD on depression. She can listen to it at night before bed and it is very soothing and helpful. Let me know what you think. http://www.stevegjones.com/enddepressionhypnotherapycdmp3.htm
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay, I will check it out and talk to her futher. Thank you :)
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 1 year ago.
My pleasure.
Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1723
Experience: Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Life Coach
Coach Jen K. and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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