Posted: Thursday, March 12, 2009 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: I am 26 years old and currently live with my parents due to financial hardships. My sister, “Kate,” works a full-time job and has two boys to support. Kate recently became engaged to a co-worker, and they are expecting a baby in September. She has child care, but it seems every other week something comes up with the babysitter and I end up watching her children.
Annie, I love my nephews to death, but I just got engaged myself. Last week, I booked an appointment with a wedding planner, but Kate called at the last minute saying the babysitter was busy, so I ended up canceling my appointment. This is not the first time it’s happened. Out of the goodness of my heart, I’ve been there for Kate because I don’t want her to lose her job, especially with a new baby coming. But it seems like every time I have plans, they need to be put on the back burner for her.
I feel taken advantage of. It’s not fair that I have to put my plans on hold because my sister has an unreliable babysitter. Can you help me fix this? — Stressed Out in Connecticut
Dear Stressed: Kate takes advantage of you because you permit it. It’s nice that you help her out and you should do so when you are able. But when the babysitter cancels and you already have other plans, it’s Kate who needs to rearrange her schedule, not you. Practice saying, “I wish I could take the children, but I have an appointment that can’t be changed. Sorry.” If she becomes angry, so be it.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “S.C. in New York,” whose father died while awaiting a liver transplant. She encouraged everyone to fill out donor cards.
I would like to point out that filling out a donor card (or the back of your driver’s license) is not enough. In the unfortunate event that a person becomes brain-dead and is a potential donor, the patient’s family has the last say in whether organ donation is undertaken after death. Those who intend to be organ donors must speak with family members about their wishes, as they will be the ones who make that decision and can decline regardless of any donor card you filled out.
It has been my experience that many families have difficulty making such decisions under tragic circumstances, and by discussing your wishes beforehand, you can make it much easier. — Dr. Lori in Michigan
Dear Dr. Lori: Thank you for the reminder. Anyone who expects to be an organ donor should discuss it with family members in advance.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 3.12.09