Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mom Wants Key to Offspring's New House

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mom Wants Key to Offspring's New House

Article excerpt

DEAR NATALIE:

I'm in the process of building my first house down the street from my parents; the lot was a good deal. Recently, my mom implied that she would like a key so that she and my dad could have access to my house in case of severe weather. We live in the Midwest in tornado country, and the layout and foundation style of my house is sturdier than theirs.When I let her know that I didn't want anyone to have a key, she got really offended and said, "Fine, then, I guess I'll just be blown away since no one gives a damn about me, anyway."Hearing this made me feel awful, but this is my first house, and I feel like if I have to give a key to anyone when I don't want to, then it defeats the whole purpose of having my own house in the first place.

This isn't the first time that she has used a guilt trip to get her own way, which usually works. I'm living with my parents to save up. My sister and brother-in-law say that I should not give in to her, but I feel like a horrible daughter for refusing. She's not the type to snoop, but there have been instances when I'm in my room and she enters without knocking. Am I wrong, or should I stick to my guns and refuse to give her a key?

-- DAUGHTER IN A DILEMMA

DEAR DAUGHTER IN A DILEMMA:

This is a tricky one because mom guilt is a very real thing. But is this really about the key, or is this about proving a point? You did choose to buy a lot down the street. So, it is only natural that she would inquire about having a spare key. Yet, this is your house and your decision.

Part of me thinks you are just so ready to move out having lived with them for a while that the idea of your mom having access to your new place is making you cringe.

Instead, why not just let this simmer for a bit? Wait until you are settled into your new home before you make any decisions. After having some physical distance from them, you may feel differently. In any case, someone you trust should have a spare key for emergencies, whether it is your mom, sister or best friend - in case of a twister! …

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