I'm a 40-year-old, stay-at-home mom with a 17-year-old and a 14-year-old. Three weeks ago, on my birthday, I found out that I am pregnant. Forty and pregnant - it is truly a miracle. My husband, who is almost 50, is in complete shock.
He has looked like a ghost since he found out. I finally had an emotional meltdown and told him I don't feel like he's very happy for our unexpected bundle. His reply? "Sorry, hon, I'm not!" He thinks he's too old.
My older child has said only one sentence to me since I told her the news: "You're going to be an old mom." They feel I have ruined their lives. I feel . . . happy. How do I get them to warm up to this new addition to the family?
- Old Mama in Washington State
DEAR "OLD" MAMA: According to the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth by the Guttmacher Institute, in 2001, 49 percent of pregnancies in the United States were unintended. Among women aged 15 to 44, the unintended pregnancy rate was 51 per 1,000 women.
So remind your husband that this pregnancy didn't happen "magically"; he was an equal partner. He may have had other plans in mind for the next 20 years than raising another child, so his feelings are understandable. While it would be nice if he felt differently about the latest addition to the family, he might perk up if you point out that there are many older dads these days, and many older moms, too.
As to your daughter's attitude, she will be out of the house and gone soon, so don't take personally that she's not over the moon about the changes that are coming. If you maintain a positive attitude, your enthusiasm will be contagious.
DEAR ABBY: I'm 53, work in an office six to eight hours a day, and then come home to cook dinner and do household chores.
My husband, "Todd," is 48. He works eight to 10 hours a day and expects sex three to four times a week. I'm exhausted and can't do it anymore!
My best friend, "Mavis," has been a widow for five years. She tells me she's going crazy because she hasn't had sex in all this time. She asked if I'd share Todd just one night a week. Mavis isn't pretty, but she has a very shapely figure. Frankly, I'm ready to agree, but I haven't mentioned it to Todd.
If my husband agrees, it would take a lot of pressure off me and I could sure use the rest. What are your thoughts on this arrangement?
- Needs a Break in Phoenix
DEAR NEEDS A BREAK: Please find another way to take a break. What you're contemplating would likely be the beginning of the end of your marriage. You may think you'd be "safe" because Mavis isn't pretty, but to quote Benjamin Franklin, "In the dark, all cats are gray." If you're tired, let Mavis help with the chores - but not this one.
DEAR ABBY: I wish there was some way to make families understand that because someone has been widowed, we don't stop caring about them. So why do they stop inviting us to family functions? Is it because they didn't care for us in the first place?
- Left Out in Iowa
DEAR LEFT OUT: There isn't a one-size-fits-all answer to your question. However, I suspect that in many cases it's because the widow's presence is a painful reminder of the family member who is "missing."
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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