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Reliable Sibling Picks Up All The Slack

Harriette Cole on

DEAR HARRIETTE: My mother recently told me that the reason she has always given me so much responsibility in the house is because she does not trust my brother. She said that I am the only one she can rely on. She told me that my reliability makes her life much easier, and if it weren't for me, she'd feel completely alone in running the house. Do you think that this is enough reason for me to continue to pick up after my brother? I am, at the moment, living under my mother's roof as an adult -- as is he -- so I want to make her life as easy as I can. -- Helping Out

DEAR HELPING OUT: It is unfortunate that you find yourself in a situation where your brother is not pulling his weight. However, your mother has made it clear to you that she needs your help. Since you need to live in her home for now, you should help her in whatever ways you can. That does not mean that you become your brother's maid. You can continue to ask him to pick up after himself. You can speak to your mother about requiring him to clean his personal space -- primarily wherever he sleeps. Perhaps you can deposit his belongings in his room without being responsible for tidying them all. Do your best not to develop hostility toward your brother, as that will disrupt the peace in the house. When you cannot bear it anymore, that's the time to start looking for a new place to live.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend is upset with me for not wanting to spend the holidays at his house with his family. I made plans to visit my own grandparents this year (my first time seeing them since the pandemic), but he doesn't think it's fair that he spent time with my immediate family while I haven't spent any time with his family. I do plan on meeting them soon, but not during Christmas or Thanksgiving. Am I being unreasonable? -- Family Time

DEAR FAMILY TIME: The pandemic threw a wrench into many people's lives. Not being able to visit family, particularly elders, for more than a year in many cases, was agonizing all the way around. While it's still recommended that everyone be extremely cautious about the delta variant of COVID-19, now is a time to visit family if at all possible. This is why you are so set on seeing your grandparents, and the same is true for your boyfriend.

His urgency in having you visit his family shows you how serious he is about your relationship, so don't brush him off. Instead, make a solid plan with him for when you can meet his family. Instead of the vague soon, talk to your boyfriend about a time in early 2022 when you two can go to visit. During this holiday season, be sure to use videoconferencing to speak to them, even as you are with your family.

 

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(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

COPYRIGHT 2021 HARRIETTE COLE

DISTRIBUTED BY ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION FOR UFS

 

 

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