Dear Barb – Exercising Freedom

Dear Barb:

I am in my twenties and just graduated from AU. I’ll be starting a full time job in July. I am so excited and anxious to get on with my life. My two-year-old daughter and I will be moving out of my parent’s home and into my own apartment soon. My mom always helped me take care of my daughter while I was going to school, so I just assumed she was going to watch her when I begin working full time. I was shocked when I asked her and she said she does not want to babysit Tara full time. She said will babysit from time to time, at her convenience! Tara’s father left shortly after she was born so I have been taking care of her by myself and now my mom is just going to leave me too. My mom says she wants to be a grandma not a full time babysitter. I can’t believe my mother would be so selfish! I tried to get my dad to talk some sense into her, but he says it’s not his decision. Don’t you think my mother is being cold and selfish! Angry Angela

Hi Angela:

You definitely sound very angry in your letter; however I don’t think you have the right to expect your mother to babysit full time. You ought to be thankful she helped you this long. Grandparents do not have an obligation to care for their grandchildren, but rather it is a choice. Some grandmothers enjoy caring for their grandchildren full time, while others do not want to be tied down to a full time commitment. Your mother is not being selfish; she has earned the right to live her life as she pleases; she has already raised her own children. This is your child, your responsibility. Your mother said she will help you out from time to time and you have to be thankful for that. It might be time to look into day care for your daughter and thank your parents for the accommodations and care they have given to both you and your daughter for the last two years. Congrats on landing a job so quickly, I can see that you are on your way to good future. Enjoy, and thanks for writing Angela.

Dear Barb:

I am in my early forties and looking for a quick exercise program that I can do before I go to work in the morning, keeping in mind I have two school age children. I am not really over weight, I just feel gravity is taking a toll on my muscle tone and I’m starting to feel limited in my movement. My kids do keep me busy, but I notice there are a lot of movements that I used to be able to do that I find difficult to do now. Do you know of any program that would fit my requirements? Thanks, Mandy.

Hey Mandy:

Thanks for writing. I have the perfect program for you, but I must advise you to confirm with your physician that you are able to undertake an exercise program. Classical Stretch by Miranda Esmonde-White, is an excellent program to reverse the effects of gravity. It only requires 20 minutes a day, which I’m sure you can manage. Her DVD’s are available on To help you understand her theories and techniques, I would suggest you begin by reading her book Aging Backwards it is available at most bookstores and online. Happy Stretching!

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