I need control of my life again

Solve your life dilemmas with expert advice from Maura O’Neill
Looking after kids by yourself is tough

Looking after kids by yourself is tough

Dear Maura: I have two children and feel I spend more time in my car than I do anywhere else. I drop the kids to school, then I’m in work, home, pick them up from the childminder and after dinner there’s piano practice and football. My husband drives for a living and is away a lot so I’m on my own. To be fair when he’s home he helps out but I’m beginning to feel the weight of this routine.

A few weeks ago, the kids got told off for not finishing their homework and I felt guilty. I let them down by not checking their work. All of this adds to my anxiety.

I went to my doctor and he wanted to prescribe something but I decided to not go down this road just yet. He suggested counselling and I’m thinking about that. People expect me to do stuff for them and I’m on that conveyor belt and can’t get off. My confidence is thin because all I see is a pale face, bags under my eyes looking older than I am. I’m 37. I want to be in control of my life again but I’m too tired to work for that. Answer: I think you’ve been waiting a long time to say all of these things about your life. You want to be heard and for people to see you — not the ‘you’ who is always there when they need something.

Let today mark the beginning of changing your life to look more like the life you want. Little steps, changes of attitude, learning to be more self-centred and of course, saying no. None of this will happen overnight but if you can do one thing every week, big or small, to help you focus on you, then you have embarked on building a new life for yourself.

Get your family involved, talk to your husband about how you feel. Open up to change in as many ways as possible and you will soon see a difference.

My friend isn’t reciprocating any loyalty

Dear Maura: I’ve only one friend and we’ve known each other since school. We’re both 21.

I’m always the one organising stuff for us to do or just being there if she needs to talk like when her boyfriend dumped her.

I was helping her get over him for weeks then ended up having a massive row with my boyfriend and she didn’t want to know. She saw me crying and just handed me a tissue, never asking what happened or anything.

I only have her as a close friend and don’t want to let her go but she makes me feel bad about myself more than anything. Any advice Maura?

Answer: You are loyal to your friend, to this friendship and I admire you for that. However, sometimes staying in a situation that isn’t supporting you becomes more a habit and there is no depth or substance to it.

I think it’s important to reconsider all the time you spend with this friend guiding her through difficult situations.

You’re in college and I’m sure there are potential ‘close or best’ pals waiting for you to develop a friendship with them over time. Let this friend go, not in any dramatic way, just try not to be always available for her.

Then you will spend more time with people who are genuinely interested in you. Sometimes we can just outgrow friends.

Email your problems to Dr Angela Brokmann dr.angela@sundayworld.com Maura O’Neill maura.oneill@sundayworld.com All pictures are posed by models

Today's Headlines

More Ask the Experts

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices