Looking for practical advice, relationship help or emotional support? As a mum of four, gran of eight and dear friend to many, Margaret Clayton’s years of experience make her the ideal person to turn to.
Dear Maggie, I am 18 and left school this summer to study law at university. I was so pleased to get a place on the course I wanted and I am enjoying it and have already made new friends.
I live at home with my mum and travel in by bus each day. I have made friends with two of the girls on my course and they have asked me if I’d like to flat-share with them.
I would like that very much but I have realised in the past few months that my mum has changed a lot and I am very worried about her. She is 52 years old and has always been healthy, full of energy, mentally very alert and interested in what’s going on in the world. Now she is forgetful, insecure and anxious.
I’ve asked her to talk to her doctor about it – but she just brushes me off. My dad died 10 years ago and my mum got a part-time job and brought me up on her own. We are very close and I am struggling to understand why she can’t talk to me honestly about how she feels. What should I do?
Maggie says: I can understand how frightened you must feel at seeing how your bright, capable mum has changed. There could be several reasons for this but you are right in suggesting that she should talk to her doctor honestly about this. She may be in the early stages of depression and there is a lot available to help that condition.
Perhaps you could suggest going to see her doctor with her to help explain how she’s feeling? In the meantime, suggest little treats like going out for a meal or if it’s a dry day how about going for a walk together?
Sometimes fresh air and exercise helps to lift a dark mood. Above all, remember she is still the woman she always was – and with your support you can reach and support that person still.
Dear Maggie, I love my job as a nurse in the children’s ward of my local hospital. There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing sick kids get better and able to go home again with their parents when their treatment is over.
One of the doctors here is lovely and a few weeks ago he asked me if I’d like to go out with him for a meal and I said yes. We had a lovely evening and since then have dated several times – going to see films, and enjoying long walks while talking about everything.
But he has never kissed me and I don’t know if he wants to and is shy or if he just wants to keep this as a friendship but nothing more? Should I ask the question – or just leave things and see what happens?
Maggie says: It may be that this young man is taking things slowly to see how you both feel about each other or it could be that he just wants a friendship and nothing more.
Right now I think you should let things remain as they are and enjoy each other’s company. If this is going to develop into a romantic relationship, it will in its own time.
But for now make the most of the time you spend together. Suggest places you’d like to visit and get to know each others likes and dislikes. Some relationships take time to develop.
So don’t rush things – live in the moment and enjoy it.
Are you struggling in these uncertain times? Contact Maggie for advice by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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