Dear Barb – Dealing with the “Kids”

Dear Barb:

My boyfriend and I are in our early twenties and we had our first child three months ago. She was not planned, but we are ecstatic she is here. We had been dating only six months when I got pregnant and I can’t believe how much our lives have changed since our daughter was born. We have gone from being single, then going into a relationship and then becoming parents all within a short period of time and I am finding it all really hard to manage. Even my relationships with my family and friends have changed. It’s all a bit overwhelming for me. I haven’t discussed how I feel with my boyfriend, as I feel he is overwhelmed too, so I don’t want to add more onto his shoulders. Are we just immature, or is what we are feeling pretty normal? Stressed in Edmonton.

Hi Stressed in Edmonton:

What you are feeling is pretty normal. Becoming parents is stressful, even when a pregnancy is planned. You both are fairly young, possibly just out of school, or maybe you are still in school. You have gone from a carefree lifestyle of freedom and fun, to suddenly being responsible parents. It’s important that you and your boyfriend make time for each other, even if it’s only to go for a walk or a quick dinner together. Take advantage of the help offered by family and friends. Grandparents are usually more than willing to care for a new grandchild, as this gives them an opportunity to get to know the new member of the family, one on one. It is essential that you and your partner share childcare and household responsibilities. In many cases these responsibilities are left to the mother early on and then it becomes more difficult to change at a later time. Also you need to spend time with your girlfriends and your partner needs to spend time with his buddies. If one person is left home alone with the baby all the time, resentment will simmer and eventually erupt and cause major problems within your relationship. Being parents requires adjustment and sacrifice, but the rewards are immense. Thanks for your excellent question.

Dear Barb:

I have a friend who has five cats! No kidding, five cats, all living in the house! I really like her she is a great friend, but I can barely tolerate these cats. Every time I go to her house, these cats are all over me. They sit on my lap and get hair all over me, or lay on the back of the sofa behind my neck. I just find them kind of creepy. I try to shush then away, but they keep coming back. My friend keeps saying “oh they love you.” How can I get her to realize that I do not want these cats all over me? Help! Holly.

Hi Holly:

I hear you! I love cats, but not five all at once. You are going to have to tell your friend exactly how you feel. Gently tell her that you understand she loves cats and you love cats as well, it’s just that you don’t feel comfortable with five cats on you all at once, plus the hair is difficult to get off your clothes. I’m going to take a chance and assume that you are not the first person to mention this to your friend. There is no other way around this. If you don’t explain how you feel, then you are going to have to put up with these cats. The choice is yours. Good Luck Holly.

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

%d bloggers like this: