DEAR ABBY

The Maui News - - DATEBOOK -

DEAR

ABBY:

I am a work­ing mother of three who may be bat­tling post­par­tum de­pres­sion. I feel like I am par­ent­ing alone. I get the kids out of the house by my­self in the morn­ing be­fore my hus­band even drags him­self out of bed. I drop the kids off. I go to work.

I teach, so my day is spent deal­ing with other peo­ple’s kids, and then I pick my own kids up. I have no time to de­com­press or de­vote to my­self.

When there are school func­tions, my hus­band makes me feel guilty that I’m not spend­ing time with the kids. Now he’s start­ing to make me feel guilty be­cause the kids like him less than they do me. How do I get across to him that if he did more and was around them more, they would like him more?

I’m so tired from juggling all th­ese balls. I feel like if some­thing were to hap­pen to me, he’d have no clue what to do. How can I fix this sit­u­a­tion? I don’t want to re­sent him, but I’m start­ing to.

— Ex­hausted, hot mess Mom DEAR MOM: Post­par­tum de­pres­sion is more than be­ing tired and over­sched­uled. It’s a med­i­cal con­di­tion that, left un­treated, can have se­ri­ous con­se­quences.

It might help to dis­cuss what’s go­ing on with your physi­cian, who can then help you ex­plain to your hus­band that if he doesn’t step up, he could in­deed be left with the sole re­spon­si­bil­ity of tak­ing care of the chil­dren. You’re right. You shouldn’t be car­ry­ing the whole load, and the bonus would be the like­li­hood that your hus­band’s re­la­tion­ship with the chil­dren would im­prove.

DEAR ABBY: I have two daugh­ters, and we don’t al­ways see eye to eye. I think one of them is emo­tion­ally abu­sive be­cause she is so crit­i­cal about ev­ery­thing hav­ing to do with me.

The prob­lem is I have won­der­ful grand­kids who are very young. I would love to see them grow up, but I’m able to see them only per­haps 24 days out of the year. I feel lonely know­ing my daugh­ter and her hus­band are so close yet so far be­cause they’re too busy with their lives to let me in­ter­act with my grand­chil­dren.

I do have my own things to do and I am ac­tive, but I would love a change of scenery af­ter two mar­riages. I would love to visit new places and make new friends and build a new life for my­self. But I won­der if it would be aban­don­ing my grand­chil­dren. I could still visit them two to three times a year from wher­ever I end up.

I have sac­ri­ficed all my life do­ing the right things by putting oth­ers first, and I’m afraid that if I don’t travel now or live some­where else, I may not be well enough later on. What do you think is a good so­lu­tion for me?

— At a cross­roads in Min­nesota DEAR AT A CROSS­ROADS: I agree you should move. Ab­sence may make the heart grow fonder, but if it doesn’t, at least you will have a chance to live your dream. Take it while you’re young enough to en­joy it, and video chat with the grand­kids.

READER ALERT! If you know a stu­dent who would like to en­ter the $5,000 Dear Abby Col­lege Colum­nist Schol­ar­ship con­test, see the in­for­ma­tion on Dear­Abby.com and learn more. The dead­line is fast ap­proach­ing.

***

For ev­ery­thing you need to know about wed­ding plan­ning, or­der “How to Have a Lovely Wed­ding.” Send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wed­ding Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 61054-0447. (Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.)

Good ad­vice for ev­ery­one — teens to se­niors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To or­der, send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 61054-0447. (Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.)

Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.Dear­Abby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

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