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11:25 PM Wed, Dec. 12th

Dear Abby | Mom makes travel plans without being invited to visit

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 “dog-sit” 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. 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: When she made the comments she did when she came to “help” after the delivery, did you tell her how offended you were? If you didn’t tell her how you felt, you have a communication problem. 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: My husband and I are reaching advanced years, and know we will soon have to downsize to a senior living facility. In anticipation, we began distributing keepsakes. 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? – 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.