I was frustrated to no end.

I got a call on Thursday afternoon from my mother.  I was out and about getting my hair cut and running errands, so she left a message on my cell.

“Call me back as soon as you can,” she said. “I have some news that you are going to like.”

When I called back, she said “Your father and I are coming to see you on Tuesday.  We are staying until Friday and we are bringing {your niece and nephew} with us.  Since I don’t know what to do with kids around your area, you can do Google search to figure out the entertainment.”

Now don’t get me wrong.  I like seeing my family.  Sometimes it is fun to catch up and do things together.  We sit and talk.  Occasionally we get things to decorate my house.  We go out to eat. I wanted to do all that.  Really.

I was offended that they didn’t ask me.

My family makes the same assumption that many people in society do.  They assume that because I don’t have a full-time job my plans can easily be changed without much notice.  They assume that what I have to do in my life is not as important to me as them coming to visit.  They assume I have all kinds of time to do research on the internet so that we can all be entertained when they are here.

They assume incorrectly.

To be fair, when I expressed my concern to my mother over the phone, she said “We will work around your schedule. If you have things to do in the morning, we can see you in the afternoon.  If you have things to do in the afternoon, we can see you in the morning.”

She was missing my point.  I have a very busy week next week.  I am training three new caregivers.  I have various appointments and commitments that I have made to other people.   I don’t have time for any company.  Why doesn’t it occur to anyone in my family that I might already have plans for several days where I will be busy from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.?

One of the most frustrating parts of this situation is that I know that I would never be able to turn the tables on them.  It wouldn’t be acceptable for me to call them out of the blue one day and say “I’m coming to visit in four days.  I am staying for three days.  It is up to you guys to figure out what we will do for entertainment.”

Instead of what happened, I so would have appreciated it if my mother would have called and said: “We would like to come visit next week, would that be okay with you?”  Better still would have been “What week would work for you to have us come visit?”

Their approach ticked me off, and there are some things that I am doing next week that are impossible to reschedule.  Even though I have trouble supporting my own body weight, there comes a time when I have to take a stand for what I believe is right for me.  So I told them not to come.

It means that I will miss out on some conversation.  My house will stay somewhat dull and boring for a while.  I won’t go out to eat as much.  That is all okay with me.

Because when I have firm boundaries in place, home cooking tastes a whole lot better anyway.