Dear Annie: I am in my mid-20s, married with children. My mother lives with us. In fact, I’ve never lived without her, and now I want my family to have a place of our own. Having Mom here has been good because it helps cut expenses and she watches our kids. I love her so much, and she is my best friend, but I am really ready to do everything on my own.
When I asked my mother about getting a separate place, it really hurt her. She cried because she wouldn’t be with her grandchildren every day. She was so upset that I gave in and said maybe we should just get a bigger house.
Annie, I don’t want a bigger house. I want a small place with just my husband and children. We thought about getting a two-family home so Mom would be close by but separate. We can’t afford a brand-new house, although we are saving for one. How can I get Mom to understand? – Lost in Mother’s Feelings
Dear Lost: You don’t need Mom to understand. You are a married woman with a family. You are entitled to have a place of your own. Mom is never going to like it, but she can get used to it. And she will still see the grandchildren as often as you permit, which we suspect will be every day. And it won’t be that easy for you, either, but it’s time to cut the apron strings.
Discuss this with your husband and form a united front. Then tell your mother that this is what you are going to do, you’re sorry if she’s upset, you love her and she is welcome to visit.