DEAR ABBY: I'm a teen mom who feels like I am being taken advantage of by my newborn's grandmother. (I'll call her "Liz.") My baby's father, "Todd," lives with her. They provide no financial support.
Liz puts me on the spot constantly and makes me feel bad if I tell her she can't have the baby that day or take her to a certain place. Since day one, she has wanted to take my baby out of town. That bothers me because I don't want my daughter going out of town unless I am with her.
I feel obligated to let Todd's mother see the baby all the time to avoid the drama she would cause in my life if I don't. I don't want to be mean, but I need to let her know how I feel. How do I approach her? -- YOUNG MOM IN RICHMOND, IND.
DEAR YOUNG MOM: No one can be taken advantage of unless she (or he) allows it. Do not allow anyone -- no matter how well-intentioned -- to do anything with your baby that makes you uncomfortable. You may be young, but as a mother you are responsible for your child's welfare.
Do not "approach" Liz; let her approach you. When she does, be polite, firm and stand your ground. If she tries to turn it into a power struggle, end the conversation. Do not allow her to make you lose your temper.