Mom makes travel plans with­out be­ing in­vited to visit

The Day - - HEALTHY LIVING - By Abi­gail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I gave birth to my daugh­ter three months ago, after 44 gru­el­ing hours of la­bor. My mother, as­sum­ing I would want her in the de­liv­ery room, booked her flight, flew across the coun­try and stayed at my house with­out ask­ing when I’d like her to come to help me.

Dur­ing her stay, she made com­ments about how she had flown 2,000 miles to “dogsit” for me, that she knew she wasn’t wanted, and had she known my daugh­ter wasn’t go­ing to come on time (I was in­duced), she wouldn’t have “wasted her va­ca­tion” to fly in early. The en­tire visit was mis­er­able.

With­out con­sult­ing my hus­band and me, she has now booked a flight to come and stay with us for Christ­mas. Christ­mas is my fa­vorite hol­i­day, and I’m dread­ing the thought of her be­ing here and wor­ried this visit will be just as aw­ful as the last. I’d like my daugh­ter’s first Christ­mas to be a happy oc­ca­sion.

I asked my mother to change her flights and come in after the hol­i­day, only to be met with the ac­cu­sa­tion “you’re be­ing self­ish” from her and my step­fa­ther. How do I tell them that I don’t want them here for Christ­mas while min­i­miz­ing hurt feel­ings?

— PUSHED TOO FAR IN PENN­SYL­VA­NIA

DEAR PUSHED: It ap­pears you not only have a pushy mother, but also one who has no fil­ter. When she made the com­ments she did when she came to “help” after the de­liv­ery, did you tell her how of­fended you were? Or were you so weak from the strug­gle to give life that you wilted? If you didn’t tell her how you felt, you have a com­mu­ni­ca­tion prob­lem.

Give your mother one more chance. Wel­come her and your step­fa­ther at Christ­mas and, if she makes a de­mean­ing or un­kind com­ment, CALL her on it! And when you do, tell her that in the fu­ture you and your hus­band pre­fer to in­vite your house­guests rather than have them de­scend upon you.

DEAR ABBY: Be­cause my hus­band and I are reach­ing ad­vanced years, we know we will soon have to down­size to a se­nior liv­ing fa­cil­ity. In an­tic­i­pa­tion, we have be­gun dis­tribut­ing keep­sakes we have ac­cu­mu­lated over the years. Many were gifts with spe­cial mean­ing. Some are heir­looms that have been passed down from pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions.

When I helped my son with his garage sale re­cently, I was shocked to dis­cover sev­eral of the keep­sakes on dis­play. I didn’t know how to re­act, but I did speak to him about it. Ap­par­ently, he doesn’t value them! How should I han­dle fu­ture distri­bu­tion of keep­sakes, as there are more of them, some of which I had in­tended for him and his fam­ily? Ap­par­ently, his wife and son also have no in­ter­est in them.

— SEN­TI­MEN­TAL IN WIS­CON­SIN

DEAR SEN­TI­MEN­TAL: You now have two choices. You can ei­ther give the items as gifts to other fam­ily mem­bers, after first en­sur­ing that they will be ap­pre­ci­ated and trea­sured, or sell them and use the money to cover any ex­penses that may come up in the fu­ture.

P.S. If they have his­tor­i­cal value, con­sider do­nat­ing them to a mu­seum or your state his­tor­i­cal so­ci­ety.

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