A Mom At 18

Dear Sara,

I am eighteen years old and have a six-month-old baby. I got pregnant in high school and married right after graduation. My husband and I rent a house and are very happy. My problem is my mother. She still sees me as a child. She comes over every morning. I am just barely out of bed. The baby goes to bed late and so I sleep until she wakes up. My Mom thinks she has to dishes, clean the house and take care of my baby. How can I get my Mom to let me run my own life?

Dear Jamie,

It feels like your Mom doesn’t have much confidence in your ability to take care of yourself. Up until now have you been really dependent on her? Getting married and having a baby is a really big step for you and your Mom may still see you as a child. You may have to have a plan to make your Mom see you as a competent grown-up. You may be tired in the mornings but maybe you could get up an hour earlier and have the dishes done, the house picked up and the baby dressed and ready for the day. This way your Mom will see that you are capable of caring for your own family.

You might also think about what your Mom has gone through. You launched into adulthood very quickly and she hasn’t had much time to adjust to the change. Let her know that you don’t need her daily visits but give her some time with you and the baby. Maybe you could consider going to visit Mom and spend time with her at her house. That way you can control how long your visit will be and how often. It’s your home and your life and it’s OK for you to be in charge of it.

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