Posted: Friday, June 19, 2009 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: I am 19 years old and in a very committed relationship. My boyfriend and I have been together two years. When we had been dating only six months, I had an abortion because we just weren’t ready for children. But I’m going to be 20 soon and feel I’m ready for a baby. I plan on being with my boyfriend for the rest of my life. I know I’m young, but all of my friends have already had a baby or are expecting one. I hear it’s hard, but that being a mother is the greatest thing in the world.
I’m ready to take on the responsibilities of motherhood. I would tell my boyfriend, but I’m afraid he’ll think I’m stupid. He absolutely adores children, and I know he’d be a great father, but I don’t think he’s ready for his own child. How can I tell him that I want a baby without upsetting him? — Baby Mama
Dear Baby: We know it’s hard to resist having a baby when all your friends have them, but that’s not a good reason. Child-rearing is a tremendous amount of work, and if you’re a halfway decent parent, nearly every waking moment will be spent dealing with your child, who must be cared for 24 hours a day. If you start having babies now, your life will change permanently and there is no going back. Also, it could be too much for your boyfriend, who obviously isn’t ready for a child, and he might leave.
Yes, children can be wonderful, but they are an enormous responsibility and expensive to raise. Before getting pregnant, why don’t you ask to babysit one of your friends’ infants for a full day and see how exhausting it can be. You might decide to give yourself a few more years of independence.
Dear Annie: My beautiful, financially secure 69-year-old mother has found the love of her life. We are pleased these two people have found each other.
His grown children, however, have badgered their father about a prenuptial agreement, have “uninvited” my mother to events, thrown fits about the upcoming wedding and been generally unsupportive. My mother’s companion has been consistent in setting boundaries with his errant children, but it has left a bitter taste for these people we haven’t even met. Making enemies is not honoring their father, and it’s causing stress. Can’t our parents have a little peace and joy in the last years they have on this earth? They might even find some new friends in our family. — Memphis Daughter
Dear Memphis: Not all children are as generous of spirit as you. As long as Dad has set boundaries, their approval, while appreciated, is not necessary. Perhaps when they get to know your mother better, they will come around. We hope so.
Dear Annie: I completely agree with your answer to “Shocked in Missouri,” who destroyed old letters from her father-in-law. Even without knowing what was in the letters, I’m not sure I could ever forgive my wife for getting rid of them. They would have been part of my life, not hers, and not her decision to make. Those letters could hold information that would fill a void in my life. I might also see things in a totally different light that would bring closure. She should have done as you suggested and put them aside for a later time.
As a genealogist, such actions are deplorable. Those histories of a family may not be replaceable, and they provide valuable information, positive or negative. We all have closet stories, but that is part of life. Hiding it is not healthy. I hope “Shocked” won’t be upset someday if her husband destroys her family letters. She would deserve it. — Shocked Even More
Dear Shocked: Most of our readers believe this showed outrageous gall on the part of the wife, but we know she did it out of love and concern — albeit misguided.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. E-mail questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.