Advice Columns

Dear Abby: Mom wrestles with desire to stay home full time with son

Q: I have been working for four years. I need to work to help my husband financially. However, over the last few months I’ve felt torn about not being a stay-at-home mom.

My grandmother, who is in her 70s, has been taking care of my son full time while I work, but her health isn’t the greatest now. I don’t trust any of the day care in my area and can’t afford one anyway.

I really want to be a stay-at-home mom but still feel obligated to help bring in money. How do I get over my guilt for not wanting to work outside the home full time? — Stuck in Delaware

A: You are not the only mother who feels this kind of ambivalence. Many others are as torn as you are.

Perhaps it would help if you focus harder on thinking about this rationally rather than emotionally. When your grandmother’s health no longer allows her to care for your son, you may have to cut back on your schedule to be with him, or your husband may need to take a second job. Also, some people manage to work from home, and you may want to explore those opportunities.

Q: My son is more than likely going to win a trip to the Dominican Republic through his employer. He’s planning to take his wife with him. Their two children will stay with me or their other grandma.

With the way the world is now, I wouldn’t go on a vacation with my husband, fly to another country and leave my children behind. I would let him go alone so that in case something happens, my kids would have at least one parent left.

I understand that we should not give in to fear and give up what we like to do, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take logical precautions. My children would be more important to me than a vacation. What is your opinion on this? — Living in the Real World

A: My opinion is that you should stay out of it, and let your son and daughter-in-law enjoy that hard-earned vacation. If they were visiting a country where the threat level was high, I might think differently. However, to repeat what you said in your letter, “we should not give in to fear and give up what we like to do” because we are afraid of what “might” happen. That’s not living; it is hiding.

Q: I love attending religious services on Sundays and the Communion during them. I quit drinking alcohol almost 18 months ago. Our church serves wine (not grape juice) during Communion, and I have been told not to drink ANYTHING alcoholic. How do I cope with this situation? — Sober and Proud of It

A: Congratulations on your sobriety. This is something to discuss with your clergyperson. If you have been warned that tasting the Communion wine could sabotage your sobriety, perhaps you should consider partaking only of the bread.

Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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