Q: My deceased husband’s daughter keeps showing up with her kids to stay at my house, uninvited. I can’t say no because I don’t want them out on the streets. But, I don’t want them here either. She’s my step-daughter and has nowhere to go and if I tell her she can’t stay with me, I’ll feel terrible and I can’t bear to see my grandsons out on the street. — I’m Ready for a Really Empty Nest
A: Dear Ready Empty Nester: Boy, are you in a bind. You love your stepdaughter (and you really loved her dad before he died) and you want do the right thing by her and her kids. But you hate having her stay with you because it’s disruptive. You let her do it, get resentful, feel bad about your resentment, beat yourself up, hold it in and act out against her in passive/aggressive ways.
It’s a vicious cycle and you’d love to get out of it. You’ve got three options:
- Get okay with being thought of as “selfish” (it can actually be a good thing), tell her you do not want her there and trust that she’ll be just fine one way or another;
- Let her stay and find the way to be glad she is there. Relish the time with the boys, enjoy having a full time house sitter available, travel, relax, trust the perfection of her journey; OR
- Do nothing, seethe when she’s there, worry and judge her when she’s not there, and tear yourself up with resentment, judgment and stress.
Here’s the best part:
You get to choose which three of these is right for you and behave accordingly. The way you create your reality (you’ve heard of manifestation and law of attraction, right? this is how it starts) is to behave in alignment with the outcome you want to experience. If you want stress, do nothing. Things will stay as they are. If you want ease, either tell her to go and revel in it OR let her stay and enjoy her as much as you can.