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by Abigail Van Buren

Daughter Balks At Sharing Her Time Alone With Mom

DEAR ABBY: Once a year I invite my mother, who lives in Arizona, to visit me in California. This year, Mom has decided to bring one of my sisters along because "she really needs a vacation."

My sisters live in the same city as Mom and can visit her anytime they please. I see Mom once a year at most, and I do not want to share my limited time with her. How do I let my sisters know they're not welcome without causing a family rift? -- WANTS QUALITY TIME WITH MOM

DEAR WANTS: You shouldn't have to tell your sisters. The person you need to tell is your mother, who should not have invited anyone without clearing it with you first. Because you're having trouble with what to say to her, read her the second paragraph of your letter to me. She may have been well-meaning, but she was misguided.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Etiquette & Ethics