Seeing your son or daughter get married can be bittersweet. On the one hand, it’s a joyous day for the celebration that you’ve probably been long anticipating for decades. On the other, this is your child, your baby, and now you must fully admit that he or she is a full-grown adult who’s starting a new family of their own.
The former always supersedes the latter. That’s a no-brainer. Still, there will be some conflicting emotions — and that’s all perfectly normal to experience. The good news is that there are a few ways to minimize any strange feelings about it all and make sure you can have a great time — on the wedding day and beyond.
To make sure everything goes smoothly — and you can embrace this new journey rather than dwell on the past — practice the following tips to help cope with your child getting hitched.
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1. Be Open and Honest
The best way to deal with anything in life is with honesty and openness. If you’re having these feelings, let your kid know. They won’t think less of you. On the contrary, they’ll feel more loved than ever and understand more deeply that you really care about them — and will forever. This is a good thing to bring up on almost any occasion.
One great idea, though, is to enjoy brunch or a nightcap cocktail together — just the two of you — and tell your son or daughter how you feel. Let them know you realize it’s all a bit silly and that these feelings will pass, but for now, you feel a bit vulnerable as this stage of life is changing for you, too.
2. Talk to Someone
Even in 2021, many people — especially older generations — still feel embarrassed or ashamed about sharing their feelings. They would almost rather keep things bottled up and work through them alone. That isn’t always bad, but this complex issue of detachment is usually best discussed out loud.
It’s nearly universal, and something experts has been working through for a long time. If you feel most comfortable, just bring it up with your friends who have already gone through it. Better still, talk to a therapist or trusted professional who can help guide you through this time. In most cases, just voicing things out loud is all you need; the rest will just take a little time.
3. Acknowledge Their Adulthood
In some ways, your child will still feel like your baby forever, even when you’re old and gray. But it’s important to recognize they are, in fact, an adult at some point. This can be done in ways big and small by granting them the independence to make their own choices — good and bad — and find their own path.
Other small things are simpler, like staying out of their financial affairs (unless it’s necessary), not pestering them about work, and even understanding their passions and desires. A mother can show this by giving a gift like bridal lingerie for her wedding day. This is always a thoughtful, intimate, and romantic way to help celebrate her new beginning.
Coping with Your Child Tying the Knot
Your child’s wedding is a big day for both them and you. Of course, it is much bigger for the bride or groom, but you shouldn’t feel guilty experiencing a sense of loss, despite knowing you should be in a celebratory mood.
This will likely pass and only hit you hard in the months leading up to and right after the wedding itself. Soon, you’ll be 100 percent in love with not just your little one but their new life as well. And you’ll be almost as excited as they are to watch things grow and evolve for years to come.
However, before you get to that point, be open and honest, talk to someone, and try to acknowledge your child’s adulthood. This will do wonders for knocking back any strange feelings, allowing you to move forward quickly into the right mindset after this milestone occasion has passed.
Featured Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash