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My Mom has the key to our house...

I made the mistake of giving my Mom the key to our house for emergencies, but instead of using the key for emergencies, she shows up constantly. Sometimes she doesn't even knock before she comes in. We have almost no privacy anymore. She lives in the same town and my Dad is not alive, so she's lonely. I hate to hurt her feelings. Does anyone have any ideas about how I can approach the subject?

Tue. Jan 28, 9:15pm

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Maybe you can change the lock, and tell her that you lost your keys so had to get the lock changed. Then when she asks for the keys to the new lock, just keep putting her off. Not the best way to handle it, but ...
And in the mean time, maybe you can get her involved in some social activities so she'll have more things to occupy her time.

This is why I never gave my in-laws the keys to our house even though they complained that all their friends' children give them the keys to their houses.

Thursday, January 30, 2014, 11:45 AM

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I think it's your house and you tell her that you have a lot going on but you love seeing her too. Or you should just put up with it. She is your mother.

Friday, January 31, 2014, 2:09 PM

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I'm sure there will be some reaction - hurt feelings, defensiveness, something…people who have a healthy regard for boundaries won't just let themselves into someone else's home. From week to week does she know when she's able to see you or talk to you (i.e., do you talk regularly, have her over for dinner, go to her home, etc.) If you're caught up with life and days and weeks go by without any contact it might help to establish a regular schedule of calls and visits so she feels less an urge to help herself to your home. LIke you said - she could be very lonely.

"Mom, I hope this doesn't hurt your feelings, when I gave you that key it was meant for emergencies. I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear. I love having you over, but I need you to call first to see if it's a good time. Letting yourself in without notice isn't working for us."

Sunday, February 02, 2014, 2:41 PM

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