Are you in need of advice? Do you, perhaps, have something that’s bothering you which you can’t share with your friends and family? Write to Aunty Pat and she will answer in her no-nonsense style, just like one of your own aunties. Feel free to write in with a pseudonym if you’d like to remain anonymous.
Dear Aunty Pat,
I’m a 24-year-old girl. I was a bit plump in school. I have become very careful with my weight and I exercise a lot and really watch what I eat. Recently, my close friends all told me that they think I’m overdoing it all and that I’m too thin. They also told me that they feel I’m falling sick all the time because they feel I’m weak. They pointed out that I might be reacting to my dad’s death, because he died suddenly of a heart attack. Should I take note of what they say?
You are lucky to have such caring friends. Maybe they are accurate in pinning your weight loss to your dad’s death. Everything is all right in moderation. If you are falling ill often, that means you aren’t healthy. So why don’t you consult a doctor and then a dietician so you can put all your fears to rest? They will monitor you and tell you if you are actually overdoing anything. So, thank your friends and I’m sure they will volunteer to go along with you to see the doctor.
Dear Aunty Pat,
My wife is a housewife and mother. We have 3 kids ranging from 3 to 10 years. I have started either working late or going out with a friend after work because of the chaotic atmosphere when I go home. I want a bit of peace and quiet after a hectic day at the office, but it’s impossible at home. My wife keeps shouting at the kids and there is total bedlam until she manages to put them to bed. When I return later, they are either in bed or just getting ready for it. Am I being too selfish?
Dear quiet man,
Of course you are really being selfish. Imagine your wife at home having to cope with all this the whole day through, and you are just talking about a few hours! You should be there to help take their studies, maybe take everyone for a little outing or treat. Of course your wife will be tired at the end of the day and be snappy with the kids, it’s only human. So do things together as a family, and please do take your wife out alone without the kids at least once a week, twice if possible. Two people are definitely better at controlling 3 hyperactive kids! I’m sure your entire family will be happy to have you around, and you can do your relaxing once the kids are in bed.
Dear Aunty Pat,
My husband is an only child and his parents are very close to him. We have been living with them after marriage because of economic reasons. But now we are both earning enough to move out on our own. My husband says it’s a waste of money. I find we have hardly any privacy and I’m thinking once we start a family we’ll definitely have issues because already they have different opinions on lots of things we do. My husband says I’m being childish and unreasonable and these are his parents. What is your opinion on this situation?
I must say I agree with you. It’s always better to have your own home. You will have to be tactful about this without antagonizing anybody. Why don’t you say you’re longing for a place of your own, maybe something close to his parents? You could say that the two of you could visit them often. Also point out that entertaining your friends would be in a more relaxed atmosphere. You could say when you have kids you want the two of you to bring them up according to your views. Don’t expect him to give in immediately, but work on it slowly and surely. Never get into an argument over this issue, but discuss it rationally, and if you feel he’s getting irritated, change the subject. Hope you are successful!
Dear Aunty Pat,
I go to an international school. I really like a girl who is in the class junior to me. My parents don’t like me having special girlfriends and say I should concentrate on my studies. She’s really nice and smart too. So I have to meet up with her at my other friends’ houses. We talk and chat on the computer a lot. She keeps asking me why my parents don’t like her and I say they are very strict. What do I do, how shall I show them I really like her?
Why don’t you ask her over with a group of friends? If she’s as nice as you say, after a while they will notice it too. Ask other girls too. Mention her name and tell them some nice things about her. Keep your grades up, and tell her also to keep up with her studies. Show that you are responsible and capable of making good decisions. By this, you will show that you can handle situations by yourself. I’m sure they will want you to be happy. Make your actions speak louder than words!