How to drop the manual for my family

My sister is about to arrive to visit me for a week.

I’ve been working on my thoughts about this visit through the model, like this is going to be stressful as she’ll be triggering me a lot. I felt very on top of things and super excited about her arrival. Yesterday evening she called me to have a quick chat as she’s coming today.

The conversation went fine up until the moment I mentioned that my son would be going to nursery next week for three days of her six-day visit. Immediately, she asked when exactly he was going and why and whether I couldn’t keep him home as she will be around. Each time I calmly stated that we would see what the week would bring, we didn’t need to decide now, and that I had thought about it too, but that I also didn’t want to mess with his routine. Each time she topped it with another why/reason why he should stay. I kept feeling more and more wound up as I usually do when I’m being questioned by my family (this has been going on for as long as I remember).

I’m the youngest of three kids and my thought about this is that I ‘never’ had a say in anything. I was (and am) little (my description) and even now with two kids I’m still just overridden as if my opinion doesn’t matter.

Doing the work upfront has meant my thoughts changed from anxiety and stress to actually looking forward to her visit; however, the moment I was challenged I couldn’t cling to those positive thoughts. I even tried to make space for what was coming, but that space vanished the moment I was questioned.

Could you help me spin this some more?