How to handle unsupportive family members?

Sep 2, 2020

    1. So I recently got my first doll after wanting one since I was a teenager. She’s perfect to me, but my mother in particular is causing a problem about her.
      When I first got her, she said she didn’t understand why I’d pay so much for her (understandable, as not everyone gets the hobby) then later, when she saw I was happy and passionate about making my doll clothes, she showed some interest, even offering to help me make some clothes for her.
      However, today, when I showed her the IG of the artist I wanted to paint my doll’s face up, she said it was basically a waste of money and to just do it myself. I think I could probably do a decent job, but not to a professional standard, and I really like supporting doll artists (I just paid €70 for a custom wig for example), but it’s so confusing and disheartening to have my mother support me and then quickly change her mind, it’s giving me a lot of guilt for spending money on something I enjoy. Any advice for how to handle this moving forward?
       
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    2. You could try showing her the cost of proper faceup materials, which basically comes out to the cost of having someone else do the faceup for you. Even 'doing your own' isn't cheap and using cheap materials won't yield good results.
       
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    3. If it was me, I just wouldn't talk about dolls with her unless she brings them up. And even if she does I wouldn't talk about money and prices, that seem to be a sore subject and as long as you're paying your bills its nobodies business but yours what you spend your extra money on.
       
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    4. Just adding this here. The price breaks pretty even going on estimates. The price of buying the materials is around £61 and the face up is around £52 + shipping.
      It’s just the thing of I could pay someone to do it for me around the same price of the materials, but my mum was arguing that by having someone else do it for me, it makes her less of ‘my doll’ and more like a store bought one...
       
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    5. You wouldn't be sending the doll off to a store to be painted though. It's an actual artist, not a factory worker or a machine. There's tons of faceup videos online if she wants to watch just how long and how much effort artists put into the faceup work. Plus that price is a custom faceup. Meaning you choose how it looks.
       
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    6. I would just not talk to her about money. If the money are yours, and not coming from her, you can do what you wish with them. If that’s what bothers her (the money), just talk to her about your doll without mentioning the prices of the stuff for it. Of course you could even try to make her understand that how you spend is your business, but I have no idea about your family situation so I can’t offer practical advice on that.
      I think most parents have this thing about being busybodies with their daughter/sons wallet, which can be understandable if you are kid, but not if you are an adult. If you are, and you can afford your doll expenses without bothering anyone about the money, I don’t see why you should feel bad! You are enjoying your doll and aren’t hurting anyone!
       
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    7. My answer would be: The doll hobby is filled with artist. Artists who make the dolls, clothes, wigs, paint the faces, and take the pictures. A doll has the potential to express many kinds of art. Supporting artists by purchasing their services and good are a "thank you" for their hard work. You're not just getting a face that "anyone could paint". This artist is someone you admire, their work is something you want. They've developed that skill over years and that price is more than fair.

      As stated by others above, you'd spend that same money on supplies. Supplies don't just take money, it takes space. Also purchasing storage compartments for supplies has to be considered.

      In all honesty though, I would just argue it isn't her business. I wouldn't say it to be rude or anything of course. These dolls are not toys, they are a legitimate hobby that has persisted for decades now. This doll is not a waste of money, this doll is potential for you to discover and express your own creativity.

      If it's an issue of money (just assuming maybe this is the problem), save and only use your own money for the hobby. That may already be the situation, I don't know, so it's even more your own choice what to do with the doll.
       
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    8. You shouldn't feel guilty for something like this. It's a hobby.
      My suggestion if this topic is brought up again, just try to explain it from a different hobby view...Like how this is similar to photography- you buy a camera (a couple hundred there)... you have to get a memory card to transfer those photos, there's different types of lens that cost just as much, if not more, than the camera. A tripod, different flashes, and all sorts of accessories.

      Look at make-up, painting, cooking, cars... Why do them? Some people either get or don't get all those hobbies and that's ok. As long as you enjoy it, why should it be other people's concern?
      Don't let it discourage you. Just do you.

      When someone goes to get their car customized (decal, color, new interior) does that make it less your car and more of a car sale lot one?
      Sure you COULD customize it yourself... but that would require a lot of work hours and like a lot of people said on here... space.
       
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    9. Does she have any hobbies or interests she spends her money on?

      If so, start telling her that she's wasting her money on her hobbies and interests. If she doesn't like it, point out that she's doing exactly the same thing to you about your BJD hobby.

      Teddy
       
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    10. To be honest, on one hand I get this feeling she tries to be weirdly supportive of you doing it yourself.
      She clearly has that, somewhat ridiculous, idea that you could easily do the same job as someone who does it professionally. Which in one way undermines the skill of the person who's been doing that for quite some time now, but also elevates what she thinks of your skill level to something that is equally as good.
      She completely ignores the fact though that you need to spend money, time and resources to do something, not to mention need to keep doing it for some time to actually reach a decent quality level at what you are doing. Until you're at that point you have spend so, so much more money than just having commissioned a face-up would have ever cost you.

      On the other hand, the way she does it is just plain rude and uncomfortable.
      It's obvious she's okay with the hobby as long as you are creative with it yourself, everything else is still just money down the drain to her. I agree with the others saying that you a) should not talk about this to her unless asked and b) to completely avoid the money topic altogether.
      She doesn't understand it's like buying a piece of art, on your doll's face, nor how the hobby works.
       
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    11. i always see it similar to using your money to get any sort of custom service done, like some other users have said. Nail artists, hair stylists, etc... i privately call them “normie” services :XD: i don’t ever go to them. but that money that i would spend on a very nice manicure/pedicure or hair styling + tip if i did, would probably amount to the same amount that i spend on the hobby. People balk at the idea of a large amount of money being spent at once ($400 for a doll at once), but don’t realize the amount of money they might spend regularly on things (some other hobby, like gardening supplies, or fees for a golf club, etc) might seem like less in the moment but ends up being the same over time as one doll purchase.

      if your mom is an artist or creative in some capacity then i’d try approaching it from that angle. Yes, maybe you can do it yourself, but having another artist do it means you’re supporting an artist and it’s custom. If you have no interest in doing it yourself (which is fine, and if you do, it’s fine too) then it makes sense to have someone else do it. If you’re not a nail tech or a car repairman and don’t have the knowledge or time or heck, want to, you’d take your business there, right???

      I always just compare it to those kinds of services or a hobby that they might partake in. Good luck!
       
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    12. I’m quoting the price the artist gave me for her work. She said a face up would be $70. I was comparing the price she gave me against the cost of buying the materials

      edit - I realise I miss read the post. Yes, I don’t think she sees the difference though, it’s quite frustrating because I’m able to have anything I want on her face even if I don’t do it myself.

      This is the thing, I have artistic ability, I’ve been a commissioned artist for years, but that’s a completely different skill set to painting a 3D object. I think she assumes I have the skills to transfer my work from a 2D to 3D canvas... I’m sure what I do wouldn’t be terrible but it wouldn’t be the same level as who I’m asking to do a face up for me.
       
    13. Massive hug xoxo
      I'm really sorry to hear about your situation. From what I've read I kinda get the vibe maybe it isn't about the hobby, is it possible your mom has other stuff going on causing her stress. That may be a reason she wanted to help and then changed her mind?
      What matters is that you are happy, sometimes it is a good idea to do what feels best for you, get the custom faceup etc don't feel bad. Your family will come around eventually. Having balance in life is really important as specially in stressful times like now. Xo best of luck, don't take other peoples negative comments to heart.
       
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    14. I'm going to send my two cents, keeping in mind I have no idea what your situation is.

      I think a lot of doll owners at one point in their hobby, money was a big factor. This cost of hobby adds up fast! Assuming you're still young, Your mom probably struggled with bills and big responsibilities, so this hobby may seem extravagant to her. Make it clear to her that you understand where she's coming from and that you're responsible with your finances. If you are an adult and you worked hard for your money, at the end of the day, it's your decision. I'm the same as you in the sense I really value my mother's opinion because we have a close relationship, but remember that she's not you. My mom freaked out at first too, but she acknowledged I'm seriously a full on adult and learned not nitpick everything I spend on everything. As long as I don't go into debt or go flat broke, she's fine.

      At one point when I had a minimum wage job, I spent what I had to buy stuff to make my own face ups, trust me, it's not as easy as it looks. It takes a lot of practice and it needs those specific matte fixing sprays for you to even get started. I gave up. After 5 or 6 years, I finished school and got my myself a job and I was able to afford two professional commissions. Shipping was expensive and actually, sometimes the face up artist will not understand what you're looking for! So just because you call in an artist, doesn't mean you'll like what you get. I'm actually considering trying again at face ups, because deep down I somehow know I can do them too and capture the look that I want but it's a lot of hassle and money. As long as you do your research and plan everything you do deliberately, and spend responsibly, your mother honestly has no say in your hobby.
       
      #14 Ephemeral_Dream, Sep 3, 2020
      Last edited: Sep 3, 2020
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    15. I've heard once that everyone has an expensive hobby, whether they realise it or not. Clothes, eating out...drugs.

      If she said that just once, I would let it pass, but if it's a daily occurrence, I would put my foot down and tell her that to each its own...and perhaps compare the price of the custom faceup, made by an artist, to the expense dress/meal/whatever she just indulged herself in and that you couldn't understand but won't judge.

      Barring this, I did say this to my mother when I was a teenager buying a fair amount of crafting supplies: "better this than drugs!" XD
       
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    16. Lots of great advice above. I just wanted to add one thought:

      In the end, regardless of how hard you try, you can't make someone get excited about the dolls or love them like you do. All you can really do is ask them to respect that you're funding a hobby that makes you happy and hurts no one.
       
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    17. It sort of depends on the relationship with your mum, I think. I don't want to ask your age for privacy reasons, but that's an important factor.

      If you can, put your mum on an "information diet" - she doesn't have to know the cost, it'll cause friction if you tell her, so just don't. It's not lying, no one is harmed, it's just avoiding difficult topics to keep the peace. You do not need her approval or agreement, you probably won't get it, so don't look for it. Just do your thing.

      (Being able to put family members on an info diet is a really good life skill. Esp if you're planning a wedding, or your inlaws don't like how you're raising your child, or your parent doesn't want you to be in a band but become a doctor instead, or you're transitioning and your family don't want you to...so many good scenarios where it's essential to be able to detach your sense of self & self esteem from someone else's approval. "We don't see eye to eye on this, but that's OK", "I don't need your agreement, and your opinion has no power over me", "I make my own decisions and will tell you what I've done only when/if you need to know"...phrases to keep in your heart)

      The difficulty is, if you're still in a situation where you are living in your mum's house and she's supporting you financially. If that's the case, think critically about whether she's taking advantage of your dependency to control how you spend & taking out her insecurity about money on you by imposing her values. OR whether she might have a point. Spending £50 on custom artwork is a luxury purchase, and it's a dark time for a lot of people right now - a lot of job loss and future uncertainty. If you're younger, its possible that your mum is shielding you from the family's financial situation; or that she's applying her past knowledge of living through recessions to anticipating how long it will be until the world is back to normal.

      So, tldr:

      • Be honest with yrself about whether you think she's worried about the financial future, or just being weird and insecure about money being spent on something she doesn't understand the value of
      • If the latter, cut back on what parts of your hobby you share with her, and do not discuss what you spend your luxury budget on in future
      • If the former, hold back on ordering the face-up for now & make do with a blank doll, focusing on other parts of the hobby.
       
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    18. This makes sense to me, but I think the issue is that your mum doesn't "get" what this hobby is because she's not a part of it. She has some ideas based on what she's seen, and she's not wholly wrong - some people like making their own things - but ordering other people's custom work is part of the hobby culture too. I suppose, perhaps, what's happened is she's specifically drawn to that idea of you making costumes for the doll, and so she sees it as a "peach makes her own doll" hobby.

      Possibly also, her values around money mean she feels positively about "peach's arts and crafts hobby" but very negatively about "peach's buying things hobby". Arts means creativity, imagination, skill, achievement - all these "positive" values, whereas ordering a faceup might come under the category of "shopping", with all the condescension people can have for that (acquisitive, materialist, wasteful, etc)

      I guess you want to introduce the concept of curation. Comparison points might be - getting a haircut, where you choose the style but someone else does the labour. Or styling an outfit or interior design, where you didn't make the tables and handbags and wallpaper yourself, but the way you combine these elements is the essence of the art. Or even making a movie, where the director doesn't do every job on set, but she guides the overall vision, selecting the elements and determining how they work together harmoniously.
       
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    19. I definitely think you’re right. She is an artist herself, so she likes the creativity, and although she thought it was a bit strange at first, she supports that side of it. I think she’s just worried about the cost, and thinks I’m able to do it myself. From what I’ve seen here, I think it’s best I keep the cost out of conversation with her when discussing my dolls!
       
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    20. I think it’s the best decision for now! Anyway how you spend is your issue, she doesn’t really need to know. It was iust you trying to be open with her, but didn't work so just do what’s more comfortable and let the money issue stay in the closet.
      I kinda had the same issue with my mom, but I understood she won’t complain about my “weird” hobbies as soon as she doesn’t know the money I spend for them! So I just stopped to tell her my expensive (for her standard) purchases prices, and she’s far more supportive like that. I just tell her when I spend little or get some deal, since for that she won’t make a fuss.
       
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