Blake’s Advice Column
My elderly mother lost her husband and will be moving in with me. The problem is, Mom is one of those people for whom nothing is ever good enough. One of my siblings has already informed me that Mom told her my house, my neighborhood, my town, our hospitals, etc. are not good enough for her. I’m worried that after she moves in and I hear her complain every day, I’ll lose my temper. Do you have any words of wisdom for me?
From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Your mother moving in with you will obviously require some emotional adjustments and compromising. But because it’s your home, when she gets out of line, you can use your power like an angry ogre swinging a club. I would suggest you treat your mother as if you were her parent, because that’s the way she treated you when you were growing up in her house. The first time she complains, tell her to “shut up” and go to her room. If she refuses, put all of her possessions in garbage bags and place them on the curb. When she doesn’t eat everything on her plate, remind her that people are starving all over the world, and threaten to turn off her cell phone if she does it again. Be very critical of who she is friends with, explaining that you don’t want her hanging out with gang members, or loose women who get tattoos that professes their love for the man of their dreams, that is currently incarcerated. Don’t be concerned about how angry she gets regarding the rules of your house. And if she displays any “attitude”, warn her than any form of back talk will not be tolerated, because if she does, tell her when she goes to sleep at night, you’ll take the jar that’s soaking her dentures, and run them over… twice. I hope this helps.