Dear Annie: My son and daughter-in-law just had their third baby, a little girl after two boys. She is our sixth grandchild and only the second girl. I was thrilled and had great fun buying newborn clothing appropriate for the season. I wrapped the gifts with care and love and gave them to my daughter-in-law. She seemed truly appreciative of the gift. But so far, none of my gift clothing has been put on the baby.
They were newborn-size and seasonal, so time is running out for them to be worn. The problem is that this is making me sad! How can I deal with my feelings of hurt and disappointment? I know this must sound childish, but I am struggling not to say something to her about the baby not wearing any of my gifts. Do I just need to grow up? – Sad Grandma
Dear Sad Grandma: I understand that your feelings are hurt, but try to look at where your son and daughter-in-law are in their lives. Having three young children can be very busy and demanding, and I’m sure that if your daughter-in-law did not put the outfit on your new granddaughter, it was not intentional. You could ask your son to see if they did in fact like the clothes. You could also request a photo from your son of your infant granddaughter in her new clothes, should they decide to dress her in them.
Remember, however, that it’s not about the clothes; it’s about the love and closeness you feel for your granddaughter. So go make a visit and snuggle up to your new granddaughter in whatever she is wearing. I promise you the baby doesn’t know clothes, only love. And a grandma’s love is something more special than anything money can buy.
Dear Annie: I’m a 23-year-old woman living with my parents because the cost of housing is so high. This is creating problems, especially in my relationship with my father. He has been disrespectful to me for a long time, at least since I was 18. He makes disparaging comments about my weight, my friends and my life choices.
This in turn has created a situation in which most of my childhood friends have basically abandoned me. I can’t make any new friends because I’m forced to be around him. If I protest, he gets upset and huffy at me. And since therapy is out of the question, is there any advice you could give me? – Stressful Father
Dear Stressful Father: Domestic abuse is not just physical; it can also be emotional. It sounds like your father is verbally abusing you, and that is not OK. The National Domestic Violence Hotline website will help you find resources to free you from this prison: https://www.thehotline.org.
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