Q – I’m a concerned mother whose single daughter, 29, is pregnant (early stage) from an ex-boyfriend she no longer even likes.
She plans to travel to exotic parts of the world with her baby just a few months after its born.
My daughter is a sweet, loving person but not very practical. She’s a steady, responsible worker and has some savings, so she can only rely for extras on her maternity leave income. We’re not rich parents.
But she has already told me that she’d be expecting hands-on help from me and her father, with no realization that his serious health problems will limit him from helping with a newborn.
She also wants us to travel to meet her and the infant in the different countries she plans to visit.
The pregnancy is still very early. I told her to have an abortion. She has already done so with past pregnancies, so she said she’ll have to think about it.
But there’s a limit on how long she can take, if she’s to have a legal abortion.
She’s seeing a doctor soon. What should I do to get her to give up this pregnancy? Would you tell her to get an abortion?
Very Worried Mother
A - The decision to have or not have an abortion is not one I’d ever advise from this column which deals with relationships, not the religious factors nor medical issues nor human values that may be involved in that decision.
But there are other issues regarding your daughter’s life involved here which you as her mother are close to and can/should discuss with her.
One is her lack of personal responsibility regarding sex. At 29, and having already had unwanted pregnancies, she has apparently not bothered to prevent them.
She also seems to envision an infant as a doll that she can easily transport in a backpack along with her other portable belongings.
If your daughter is as offhand, casual, impetuous and free-spirited as she sounds, she needs a lot of input from you about getting informed on infant care, necessary precautions regarding tropical diseases, travel restrictions due to the pandemic if it hasn’t disappeared, etc.
While I won’t tell her to have an abortion, I will tell her this: It takes a lot more than pregnancy to be a mother.
She needs to start acting like one now – by discussing her plans with her doctor, taking pre-natal courses, talking to a tropical disease specialist about the advisability of taking an infant on such a trip, etc., etc.
Q - On a vacation last year, my husband was always eager to go to the lobby to access free WIFI there.
I once caught him texting a friend’s girlfriend about what she was wearing. Confronted, he said she was talking about what she planned to wear to a wedding. He was short with me.
We’ve been married for 30 years with three kids and five grandkids.
I’ve caught him in a couple of lies. When confronted, he’d change his stories. He’ll go on and on – still lying but being abrupt with me.
His family’s so dysfunctional. Two brothers are cheaters and the sister’s husband is questionable.
A – You’ve put up with him for 30 years and known his family’s flaws likely as long.
You mention “a couple of lies” and his texting with a friend’s girlfriend. Annoying stuff, yes, but not affairs.
You stayed with him. Tell him his lies are foolish. But if he cheats, he gets counselling or must leave.
Q - Help! I’ve become the neighbourhood Grump. I have a pre-schooler and a one-year-old baby since the pandemic isolation started. My husband’s working from our small home. I’m with our kids all day.
The baby has one daily nap, just when the four kids next door are on lunch break from home-schooling. The boys play basketball in the backyard, the girls watch TikTok videos and hoot with laughter.
Also, construction across the road in front is noisy all day.
I love our street of families, close to shopping and our neighbours. My husband says I’m irrational about the noise, but my baby needs to sleep!
Should We Move?
A - A move would be far more disruptive to all. This is normal life in a city neighbourhood.
You’re stressed, also normal during a pandemic. The baby will adjust to familiar sounds, so long as you adjust. Your husband should take a break with the boy, when the baby and you both nap.
Ellie’s tip of the day: A new baby is a responsibility which can be joyous but requires realistic preparation.