DEAR ABBY: I am a working mother of three who may be battling postpartum depression. I feel like I am parenting alone. I get the kids out of the house by myself in the morning before my husband even drags himself out of bed. I drop the kids off. I go to work.
I teach, so my day is spent dealing with other people's kids, and then I pick my own kids up. I have no time to decompress or devote to myself.
When there are school functions, my husband makes me feel guilty that I'm not spending time with the kids. Now he's starting to make me feel guilty because the kids like him less than they do me. How do I get across to him that if he did more and was around them more, they would like him more?
I'm so tired from juggling all these balls. I feel like if something were to happen to me, he'd have no clue what to do. How can I fix this situation? I don't want to resent him, but I'm starting to. — EXHAUSTED, HOT MESS MOM
DEAR MOM: Postpartum depression is more than being tired and overscheduled. It's a medical condition that, left untreated, can have serious consequences.
It might help to discuss what's going on with your physician, who can then help you explain to your husband that if he doesn't step up, he could indeed be left with the sole responsibility of taking care of the children. You're right. You shouldn't be carrying the whole load, and the bonus would be the likelihood that your husband's relationship with the children would improve.
DEAR ABBY: I have two daughters, and we don't always see eye to eye. I think one of them is emotionally abusive because she is so critical about everything having to do with me.
The problem is I have wonderful grandkids who are very young. I would love to see them grow up, but I'm able to see them only perhaps 24 days out of the year. I feel lonely knowing my daughter and her husband are so close yet so far because they're too busy with their lives to let me interact with my grandchildren.
I do have my own things to do and I am active, but I would love a change of scenery after two marriages. I would love to visit new places and make new friends and build a new life for myself. But I wonder if it would be abandoning my grandchildren. I could still visit them two to three times a year from wherever I end up.
I have sacrificed all my life doing the right things by putting others first, and I'm afraid that if I don't travel now or live somewhere else, I may not be well enough later on. What do you think is a good solution for me? — AT A CROSSROADS IN MINNESOTA
DEAR AT A CROSSROADS: I agree you should move. Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but if it doesn't, at least you will have a chance to live your dream. Take it while you're young enough to enjoy it, and video chat with the grandkids.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.