Life Advice



Ask Amy: Single mom wrestles with tough choices

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

The only thing is that I would need my family to help with some childcare (my child’s father isn’t around). At times it seems my family gets tired of helping out.

I know that if I stay with Larry, he will help with my son’s school drop-off and pickup, and with other miscellaneous things.

Do I leave Larry, suck it up, and ask for my family’s help again, or should I stay in this relationship?

I'm really torn. I just want to do what's best for my son.

– Confused in Texas

Dear Confused: Your question illustrates how childcare lies at the heart of concerns for all single parents.


You mention two things about “Larry”: His age, and his ability to help with your son. He likely deserves to have a partner who genuinely wants to be with him.

I can’t speak for your parents, but I do believe that most parents, given the option, would rather provide some childcare for their grandson than have their daughter dependent on her much-older partner to do it.

You should check with your son’s school and enroll him in after-school care, if at all possible. This sort of lower-cost program has been a Godsend for hard-working parents.

Talk with your parents very frankly about your needs. You should do everything possible to lessen any imposition on them.


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