ADVICE columnist Fiona Caine offers her perspective on family dramas and emotional issues
I WANT A NORMAL FAMILY HOLIDAY
Q I really want my family to go on holiday, but I expect my husband will leave it to the last moment and then decide he doesn’t want to go.
He doesn’t like spending money on holidays and rejects even the cheapest ones I find.
This year I’m not going to tell him but I am going to book something and if he won’t come with us, the children and I will go without him.
Am I being unfair?
A Have you tried to find out why your husband doesn’t like the idea of a family holiday?
Is there something from his childhood that makes the whole experience painful for him? Holidays are important, so I think you and your children should get away, as long as it doesn’t cause any financial strain. But why keep it a secret?
Tell your husband now that this is what you’re going to do and then he’s got plenty of time to adjust to the idea of coming with you or not.
Let him know that if he would like to come, he will be very welcome, but if he doesn’t want to, that’s fine as well.
I’M CONCERNED FOR MY DAUGHTER’S CHILDREN
Q My 25-year-old daughter is a single, working mum.
I look after my two grandsons quite frequently, but I’m not sure my daughter is taking care of them properly.
They rush into my home like a pair of puppies and they always seem to be hungry and their clothes are often dirty and unpressed.
They’re always laughing and happy enough but money is tight and now my daughter is seeing yet another man who’s unemployed.
I wish she could see that she’s setting a poor example to her sons, but whenever I try to talk to her, she just laughs and says I shouldn’t worry.
A You seem to find it easy to criticise your daughter, but any single mum bringing up two boys and holding down a job deserves admiration, in my view.
Boys are always ravenous – even after a four-course meal, they can usually wolf down a plate of sandwiches. Plus their clothes don’t usually stay clean for more than five minutes. The fact that they are happy and healthy is far more important than any amount of ironing.
Your daughter needs your love and support, not your criticism.
I’M DESPERATE FOR A BABY
Q I’m 24 years old and I am desperate to have a baby. But my husband says we can’t afford it until he’s earning more and we have a place of our own.
We’re living with his mum and dad, who would love a grandchild, so I don’t think that’s important. We’ve talked about it many times and while I can agree with him logically, the emotional side of me just wants our baby. Why does he insist that we wait?
A Probably because he feels that bringing a baby to live with his parents would make it more difficult than ever to establish a home of his own.
Bringing a child into the world before you are emotionally and financially able to support one is irresponsible. This shouldn’t be your decision, and it certainly shouldn’t be his parents’. It’s something that you decide as a couple. He’s not asking you to give up on the idea of motherhood for good, he’s just asking you to wait a little while.