Life Advice



Ask Amy: First pregnancy ups the ante with tough love

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Important life events may trigger your mother to act out. I won’t attempt to diagnose her (I have some theories), but you should assume that regardless of how you behave, she might not ever behave within bounds.

For instance, you tell her about your pregnancy, and she blames and shames you for not telling her earlier. She may then punish you by initiating an estrangement – and blaming you for it. Expect this.

The difference now is that you will be more in control. The way to do this is to be prepared to always say a calm and swift “no” whenever her manipulation or behavior crosses the line. You say “no” and you (figuratively) show her the door.

I believe it is possible to have your mother somewhat in your life – if you want – but the relationship will only be stable if she is stable. Urge and encourage her to get professional help.

Dear Amy: My father has been asking what should become of a model railroad set he gave to me as a kid.

I've never been passionate about the hobby, and the set has mostly remained in its original packaging at my parents' house in Texas.


As my father enters his mid-70s, I think he's seeking closure on some of these memories. I don't live nearby or usually visit for long enough to build it with him. (It's more like a few starting pieces than a self-contained set.)

Even if I did have the space in my California apartment, I'm not sure my interest in model trains extends beyond the connection to my father.

Is there a way to have him feel appreciated for the gift without accepting the equipment? Is there an opportunity to connect with him over this without committing myself to a hobby?

– HO Scale


swipe to next page




Jack Ohman Sarah's Scribbles Fort Knox Zack Hill Dinette Set Jeff Danziger