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anoki

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Ok, so Mom and I were away for a week, and we came home to find part of the house changed.....

My sister, Jess, was there when Mom walked in the house.....let's just say she wasn't too impressed. My other sister & brother-in-law came shortly after we got home.....my b-i-l had made and installed new kitchen cabinets for Mom, my Jess had spent MANY hours putting things back in the cupboards. The construction on them is gorgeous, but it is not a colour (or design) that Mom would have picked for her kitchen (which, I agree...but it's not *my* choice anyway). Also, there were certain things done with her old cabinets for a reason, and that stuff is all changed now......which, yes, she will get used to, but on first seeing it, it's one of those things that you say something before you think about it.

Anyway, my b-i-l ended up leaving to walk home (they live in town which is, I don't know, about 10-15 kms away), so my sister drove after him and took him home. THEN when she got back, Jess left in tears. I also got reamed out for not telling her it was happening....I knew they were measuring for them a couple of months ago, but I have had soo much other things on my mind lately, that I honestly COMPLETELY forgot. My Mom had NO idea that this was going to happen while we were gone....now she has to completely redo her kitchen, and she really wasn't planning on it yet. She's not upset with the thought and the amount of work that went into it, she's upset that ALL that work went into it, and it wasn't something that she would have picked for her kitchen...now she HAS to do something with the kitchen because the cupboards stand out against the rest of the kitchen. Mom babysits for my sister & b-i-l so she's seen that sister a few times this week (plus she took Mom counter and knob shopping the other day...which she said my b-i-l would be out to put the knobs on all the drawers and cupboards....he hasn't been here yet). My other sister that left in tears, well I tried calling her that night, and she wouldn't answer the phone. Mom left a message tonight, and she hasn't returned the call (and I know she's home, she sent an email after Mom called her). My Mom has been in tears EVERY night since we got back about this....she doesn't know what to do....knows my b-i-l will never forgive her because she said she didn't like it....and she doesn't know what is up with my other sister.

I started to write an email to both of my sisters, but I'm not sure that is the answer.....but I don't think they realize how much Mom wasn't looking forward to coming home for OTHER reasons, then to walk in and find her kitchen completely changed...I don't think they realize she had a LOT of other things going on before she walked through the door....and when she saw the cupboards changed, and not in a way she would have done them, that was just the straw that broke the camel's back......I know I can't get ahold of my one sister unless I email her, since she's not answering her phone when we call....but I just don't want to come off witchy in it.....but I'm tired of getting the brunt of the situation from Mom....

thoughts??

and sorry this kinda rambled on....

~kathryn
 

Marty

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Oh my gosh one time when my parents went away I was like 18 or so and I decided to re-do their bedroom........and I had no money. So I got white paint we had laying around and for some reason came up with this RED shag carpet that was absolutely HORRID, dyed their bedspread RED, painted their sitting chair which was solid gorgeous mahogany white and oh my gosh....WHAT WAS I THINKING???????


Mom didn't cry....well not exactly, and dad.......well dad grabbed a beer or two or more.......

and actually they commented me on working so darn hard and praised me a lot for doing that for them. They changed nothing. Not for a couple of months anyhow. They did leave the white walls and dad brought the antique chair to be fixed back and that carpet ended up in the dump I guess. But they did it all very suttle as not to hurt my feelings.

Now that I am the mom and have watched Trading Spaces, I realize this is MY domain and I don't want anyone assuming what I would like to have done in my house. I feel after the initial shock is gone, maybe your mom will do what my parents did and find a way to utilize at least part of their very hard work and appreciate their efforts. I know how hard it is to install cabinets for one thing and that is no walk in the park. So ok, thing have to be put back up in them, how hard can that be? Come on now..... Help her find a way she can integrate some of their ideas into hers and do a blend of both. Surely somethings can be worked out here. These were very good intentions and I hate that feelings are being so hurt. Life is just so short. I hope you all cheer up!
 

Jill

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Oh, man


I don't know of any advice, but I feel bad for everyone. It seems like your BIL wanted to do something nice and has hurt feelings, but on the other hand... I can't imagine how I'd feel if someone replaced my cabinets with something I didn't like.

Is there a way to paint the cabinets to help them tie in with the rest of the kitchen?
 

anoki

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Yes, after seeing them for a couple of days, they aren't as bad, and she does appreciate the work my bil did, as well as my sister who we know spent hours putting everything back in the cupboards....but they don't see why she was upset about them when she came in. The drawers are half the size they were because of the way they are made (but they are gorgeous and Mom has even said that), the cupboard doors open a different way than they used to, and they were opening the way they were before for a reason....they can't be changed. They are solid oak cupboards, and the colour can't be changed unless you sand them down and re-stain them...which is a major pain now that they are up. Mom said something to me commenting on the amount of work they did, she just wishes it was put into something that she wanted in the first place....and now that she's said something about it, she's worried the rest won't get finished (which is Dad's claim to fame....do something not the way Mom was wanting it done, but if she says something, Dad never comes back to finish what was started). Mom is just upset at ALL the hard work they put into it, when it wasn't something she would have picked....and there are tons of other things around here that need to be done before that......she just doesn't know what to do to help patch things up now. My sisters don't seem to see her point of view (though when she talked to my brother about it, he knew what she was meaning)....and maybe all they need is time....but Mom is really upset about the whole aftermath. She didn't mean to hurt their feelings, but it was a major shock (even to me) to walk into the kitchen and see it.....

~kathryn
 

sfmini

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I can imagine what a shock that must have been for your poor Mom! Sometimes, you say things out of shock, especially when there has been a major change like that when you weren't expecting it.

Like Jill said, can they be repainted to something more agreeable, or is it worse than that? Another option would be to replace the doors with something more to her taste.

I am sure your sisters will get over it, but I am sure they were so excited to be doing something so 'wonderful' for your Mom for all she does for your family.

So, I am afraid to ask, where was your Dad during this, did he have any input to the choices?

boy, what a mess. Don't take her personally, you just happen to be the handy whipping post.
 

anoki

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I can imagine what a shock that must have been for your poor Mom! Sometimes, you say things out of shock, especially when there has been a major change like that when you weren't expecting it.

Like Jill said, can they be repainted to something more agreeable, or is it worse than that? Another option would be to replace the doors with something more to her taste.

I am sure your sisters will get over it, but I am sure they were so excited to be doing something so 'wonderful' for your Mom for all she does for your family.

So, I am afraid to ask, where was your Dad during this, did he have any input to the choices?

boy, what a mess. Don't take her personally, you just happen to be the handy whipping post.
Dad was in the field getting planting done, picking stones...the usually spring/good weather stuff.....he knew the cupboards were coming, but had no idea on colour or anything else. And yes, I am pretty sure that is why my one sister is soo upset, because they were doing something nice for her (my bil said that too).....

I just hate seeing Mom soo torn up over it.....she's got enough going on without this.....

~kathryn
 

Bunnylady

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A dozen years ago, my sil called, and in the course of the conversation, told me that she was pregnant (her second.) She had tons of health and financial issues, the first pregnancy had been rough, so I knew that this was not going to be a cakewalk. Somehow I managed to restrain my usual habit of "shooting from the lip" and said "Congratulations!" She was thrilled to hear that word, she'd gotten nothing but grief from the other family members she'd told. I still remember the hurt in her voice when she told me. . .

What a shame your mother hadn't the self-control at that moment, I bet she'd give anything to take it back and say something nicer. Now she needs to say "I'm sorry." If they know about the rest of what's going on with her, they'll understand, and forgive her.

As my Dad likes to say, "Be very careful when you set out to surprise somebody. You may be the one who gets surprised!" :DOH!
 

Marsha Cassada

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I have 3 sisters. Sometimes what I find works for me in dealing with them and our mother, is to write a note, and say nothing about the hot topic. Just little newsy things--anything to keep in touch and the door of communication open. A letter in the mail is usually better than email. Talking in person can be dangerous--words once said cannot be UNsaid. Sometimes it takes a few months for the hot topic to settle down and defuse, but "Least said soonest mended" is often a good way.

I've never had your particular thing happen (wow, I'd hate to come home and find MY kitchen redecorated) but we've had other stressful things occur, and somehow we have survived them all as a family.

Just keep loving each other.
 

anoki

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Thanks Marsha, actually this is what I have ended up doing. I sent a note to my one sister that won't pick up the phone last night via email (she only lives about 20 mins away, and if I sent a letter, she would DEFINITELY find that odd.....). I know she hasn't checked her email yet....but I was also talking to my other sister on the phone today, and everything seemed fine with her.....Mom asked her if she'd been talking to my other sister, and so did I, but she hadn't either. She did tell us that she had a ton of work due this coming Monday....so I hope that is the only reason she is not picking up her phone....this could also be why she was soo upset on the weekend. She'd spent hours putting Mom's kitchen back together instead of getting her own work done....I'd still like to tell them both what kind of state Mom was in on our way home, but I might wait for a bit before I bring up the subject....

~kathryn
 

Miniv

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This is all NEW HURT for everyone involved..........It's going to take some time for feelings to settle. And I'm sure they will.

I think hand written notes to everyone involved is a wonderful idea. Your mother should do the same.
 
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