Dear Abby

Responsibilities start to pile up

Jeanne Phillips, syndicated columnist

DEAR ABBY: My daughter is pregnant with her second child. Her first, my granddaughter, is 2, and the light of my life. I lovingly offered to take care of her when it’s time for my daughter to have the baby. She’s having a C-section, so she may be in the hospital for a couple days.

My daughter wants me to come to her house one day out of every weekend to learn my granddaughter’s routine. I have spent several weekends at her house doing this, but not every weekend, as I work full time from home and also have a full-time rental business (30 rental units) that I manage with my fiance.

Recently, my fiance has taken ill and is bedridden. Everything, including his care, has fallen on me. When I called my daughter to tell her I wouldn’t be able to come for the weekends because of his illness and my other responsibilities, she lost it and became hateful and confrontational. I tried explaining that this is, hopefully, a temporary situation and that I will still be able to do what I promised, to no avail. Nothing I said appeased her. We are not talking, and I really cannot endure another confrontation with her. I am at a loss as to what to do. — SIDELINED IN FLORIDA

DEAR SIDELINED: Give your pregnant, possibly hormonal, daughter time to cool off, and then contact her again. See if the two of you can work out an arrangement that’s sensible. You already have your hands full, and the additional responsibilities because of your fiance’s illness may prevent you from caring for your grandchild as you had planned. If she unloads on you again, tell her you know she’s disappointed and so are you, but you can’t handle another abusive confrontation and end the conversation. She will manage. Trust me.

Editor’s note: 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.


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