My friend of over 15 years recently made the decision it was time for her and her mother to live together again. After her father died, her mom never could really handle remaining in the childhood home and all the responsibilities that go along with it, so they decided it would be best for financial and health reasons if they sold the house and moved in together. A little over a year ago, she and her mom purchased a beautiful home and as far as she is concerned, all is well. But if you asked me, I’d have to disagree. The problem is, now her mother goes everywhere with us. When we go on a girls’ getaway weekend, to a friend’s weddings or to a baby shower and even to the club. She even went with us to go see Charlie Wilson! Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends’ mother, but I don’t want to party with her or always have her around. I’ve become hesitant when making plans with my friend as she always assumes our plans include her mother. What can I do? How can I explain to her, her mother is not “always” invited?
Three’s a crowd
Dear Three’s a crowd,
Heavens to Hezekiah, girl, say it ain’t so! When ya’ll hanging out, her mama can’t go! From what I’ve read, here’s my take: when it comes to her mama, that’s not really your choice or decision to make.
Stay with me now and hear me out. I think this situation is on overload, because it gives them both an opportunity to reconnect at a different phase of life. Two grown up women forming an adult-to-adult friendship as appose to the usual “I’m the mother, you’re the child” relationship. Be that as it may, I don’t anticipate it will last forever. Her father has died, both are grieving and serving as the rock each one needs at this time. Sooner or later her mother will settle into a more independent space.
Does your friend have family in the area, any siblings? Maybe you could encourage her to make plans for her mom to visit extended family for the weekend, alone. Maybe she can spend time with a sister, cousin or childhood friend in a neighboring city. It sounds like her mom was used to having someone around, probably her deceased husband, and now she needs her daughter to fill that void. Your friend, obviously operating to be the best daughter she can, is ready, willing and able to do what’s necessary to make her mother happy. There’s nothing wrong with that. I can say for sure, your friend will never regret it. Any time we take or commitments we make, devoted to our parents at any age, is priceless.
You miss your BFF, Sweetpea and I totally understand. But she’s the one experiencing this life change, you should cut her a break. Try to understand how her life has been rearranged. As much at this irritates you right now, the best part about it is – it ain’t your mama, LOL. Don’t make her pick, don’t make her choose. When it comes to her mama, you’re sure to lose. It’s not your place to dismantle this threesome, pull up a chair and rest in it. I’m sure your friend has enough room in her heart and space on her plate for the both of you.
Alma Gill’s newsroom experience spans more than 25 years, including various roles at USA Today, Newsday and the Washington Post. Email questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Facebook at “Ask Alma” and Twitter @almaaskalma.