Put negativity aside, embrace late addition to family
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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My mother came back from her boyfriend’s house in the country recently and announced she is pregnant with his child. This baby will be almost 20 years younger than its brother and sister. I am shocked, and so is my brother.
My mother says she always wanted to have another baby — as if it’s just an experience, not a responsibility! I asked if they are going to get married and my mom said, “Probably not.” I expect I will be doing a lot of the babysitting in the next few years, so my mother can work. Right now I’m training for my career and my father is paying for my education.
The bottom line is my mother is acting like a flake! I know she’s crazy about her new “boyfriend,” who’s divorced and in his 40s, but I don’t think he’s that crazy about her — certainly not enough to marry her. I don’t know how to act with my mother now. Please help, because my aunties and grandmother would not be much help.
— Lost at Sea, St. Boniface
Dear Lost: First, ground your brother and yourself with this important fact: there is a brand new life — a baby — coming into your family in nine months. Whether you like it or not, you will have a baby brother or sister. That child needs to be welcomed like any other child and not rejected by two young-adult half-siblings.
It’s not the little one’s fault and you could make life very stressful for this child if you punish them because your mother got pregnant later in life. On the other hand, this sibling could be a delight for you and your brother, and you could deal with the baby in a positive way. You might also find yourselves feeling more relaxed about finding your own mates and having children. The bottom line? No matter how much you protest this baby, when it arrives, it is time to put these negative feelings aside and embrace your new sibling.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My new work friend says it’s stupid to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Canada, and I should just be proud to be a Canadian. He put on a fake Irish accent to ask me if I’d be “going out to party to drink green beer on March 17.” I’m only half-Irish (my mother is from Ireland) and I admit the “old country” is an ocean away, although I have visited a few times.
I have to admit I love to drink green beer with cousins and crazy friends, and this will be the first time since COVID I’ll be going out to dress up in green and wear my hat, and this new workmate is trying to make me feel ashamed of saying I’m anything but Canadian! Do you think it’s wrong to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day when you live here in Canada?
— Feeling Awkward, Downtown
Dear Feeling Awkward: It’s foolish not to celebrate positive things in your ancestry, and there’s certainly nothing harmful about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. What is foolish is listening to naysayers who want to destroy your happy time, so ignore this spoilsport and enjoy an evening with real friends.
In Canada, a country composed of immigrants from countries all over the world, your ancestry does not need to be erased. It’s something to be celebrated! For instance in February, Festival du Voyageur is a two-week celebration of Franco-Manitoban culture and is open to all. In the summer, Folklorama has about 40 different cultural pavilions every year and runs two weeks.
Your co-worker is the one who needs to “get with the program” in Canada, and specifically here in Manitoba.
This March 17 you might watch the big annual New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade on TV. You could record it and have friends over to watch it after the pub. It’s the 262nd annual parade and it’s really something to see!
Please send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6.
Maureen Scurfield writes the Miss Lonelyhearts advice column.
Updated on Wednesday, March 15, 2023 7:48 AM CDT: Fixes byline