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New reader poll may show that times have changed

Updated: November 16, 2011 1:30AM



Dear Abby: Many years ago an advice columnist (your mother?) posed the question to her readers, “If you had it to do over again, would you still have children?” I’m wondering when the information was collected, and what the results of that inquiry were, and if you asked the same question today, what the majority of your readers would answer.

Ready2bdone in Phoenix

Dear Ready2bdone: The columnist was Ann Landers (my mother’s twin sister) and while I remember the poll, I don’t recall the date. I do remember that the responses arrived on postcards because it predated the establishment of the Internet.

The results were considered shocking at the time because the majority of responders said they would NOT have children if they had it to do over again. I’m printing your question because it will be interesting to see if feelings have changed over the intervening years.

Dear Abby: My daughter, “Morgan,” is an intelligent, hardworking overachiever. She graduated from an Ivy League college with two degrees and academic honors. Days after graduation she was hired by a Fortune 500 company and has been promoted three times in the past four years.

Our daughter is a beautiful 28-year-old woman with a vivacious personality. Our problem is the boyfriends she chooses. She’s drawn to uneducated, jobless or part-time-employed men who talk a good game but never do anything.

Morgan’s latest boyfriend moved in with her and she is supporting him. Her mom, sister and I have tried talking to her many times about this and her future. She seems oblivious to common sense and becomes defensive and agitated.

We want the best for our daughter. We realize she’s old enough and smart enough to make her own decisions, but we’re finding it difficult to support her choices. We don’t want to alienate her. What should we do?

Paternal Voice of Reason

Dear “Pat”: Back off. All of you. These men may not be what you want for Morgan, but they obviously are filling some need she has. In time her common sense may assert itself, but even if it doesn’t, your daughter’s choice of a mate is hers, not yours, to make. These may be passing fancies, but sometimes opposites attract very successfully.

Dear Abby: My widowed 82-year-old mother will return home soon after a stay in an extended care facility. She’ll need unskilled 24/7 care for a month or so.

I’m the only family member who doesn’t work, so my siblings expect me to take care of her. Mom suggested hiring someone to stay with her and everyone thought it was a good idea. However, when I said I’d do it and Mom could pay me, everyone was outraged!

My siblings think that because I’m her daughter, I should do it for nothing. I say the deal would be between Mom and me and it’s none of their concern. What do you think?

Mind Your Own Business
in Washington State

Dear M.Y.O.B.: I’m glad you asked. If you need the money, make the deal. If you don’t need the money, then give your mother the help she needs out of love, respect and gratitude for the care she gave you when you needed it.

Dear Abby is written
by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips,
and was founded by her
mother, Pauline Phillips.



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