Dear Abby: I am 44, and my husband of 20 years is 48. On a recent second honeymoon, I became pregnant. We already have two beautiful, intelligent daughters, 17 and 14. One just started at a university, while the other is a high school sophomore.
My problem is not so much the high-risk pregnancy, but rather that both of my girls strongly oppose the idea of us keeping the baby. Not only were they not thrilled when I broke the news to them, but they also cried.
My younger daughter is now giving me the cold shoulder. She doesn’t like change and thinks that having a sibling will disrupt our lives. My older girl said she is glad she will be away so she won’t have to have anything to do with the baby. I am deeply hurt by their reactions. Please give me some advice.
– Expecting in Canada
Dear Expecting: Far more important than how your immature, self-centered daughters feel about your pregnancy is how you and your husband feel. Teenagers don’t like to consider their parents as sexual beings, which may partly explain their reaction.
Not knowing your girls, I’m not sure what they need to hear other than that you love them and hope at some point that they will become mature enough to accept the situation. But don’t let them put you on the defensive. You don’t owe them an apology. As a matter of fact, they owe one to you and their father.
Mother-in-law acts helpless
Dear Abby: My mother-in-law was in a car accident a few months ago, and her car was totaled. Since then, my husband takes her food shopping and wherever else she has to go. She has made no effort to buy a new car. She’s content with calling him for every need.
She wasn’t injured, and she isn’t disabled, but she makes us feel as if our family has to do everything for her.
This has been an issue for a while, and I’m sick of it. I suggested that she do her grocery shopping online and have it delivered to her house. I think she needs a man so I can have my husband back. What do you think?
– Over It in Philadelphia
Dear Over It: From the tone of your last remark, it’s clear you and your mother-in-law aren’t close and probably never were. Philadelphia has a large transit system. Surely, there is alternative transportation. If she was so traumatized by the accident that she’s afraid to get behind the wheel again, she may need a therapist to overcome it.
Whatever the reason, this won’t stop until you and your husband quit enabling her. Give her a list of what’s available and “suggest” she use it the next time she calls wanting a ride. If she needs groceries, offer to order them online for her yourself if she isn’t computer literate.
And your husband should also offer to help her find a new car.