Tuesday 20 February 2018

Majella O'Donnell helps to solve all of your problems

Majella O'Donnell
Majella O'Donnell

Majella O'Donnell

Dear Majella

I've been with my lovely boyfriend for the past six years and, to the outside world, all appears well. We've bought a house together and we are very committed to one another.

He is a few years younger than me and, when we first met, I was in my late 20s and quite vocal about not wanting marriage and kids. He was the same - he said they weren't high up on his list of priorities. I was very independent and that's what he liked about me.

The problem is, my feelings about marriage and babies have changed. I've watched nearly all my friends tie the knot over the past few years and I've surprised myself by being jealous. I keep wishing it was me, which is ridiculous, because it was me that said I didn't care about marriage in the first place!

I did broach the topic with my boyfriend once or twice and he's quite casual about it, saying that if I really want to get married, we can. But I don't want him to get married just because I want to. I want him to want it too. I'm surprised at myself as I thought I didn't need a ring on my finger to feel secure and loved. But I feel a knot in the pit of my stomach about it and I'm afraid if we leave it too long, we'll have missed our chance to have a family. What should I do?

Justine, Kerry



Majella: I really don't see what your problem is other than the fact that you would like everything to be on your terms. As you said, you were the one who was 'quite vocal' about not wanting marriage or a family. Your boyfriend agreed. That's all great until the years pass and your feelings change. That's fine too - it happens all the time in life. Your biological clock is ticking and your friends are going down the same road. It's only natural.

When you broach the subject with your boyfriend, he is quite happy to do what you want but the problem is that, although he is happy to get married, you think that his response was too casual. I think that you should be delighted that he agreed at all!

He could have said that it was not what he wanted and that he was honest with you from the beginning and that now, you are changing the goalposts. Now that would be a real problem.

Men react differently to women and some of them just don't get overly excited about things. Maybe he just doesn't rate marriage as highly as you do. Be happy that you have a lovely boyfriend who is listening to what you want and happy to be part of it. Of course he wants to marry you otherwise, if he had any sense, he would have said no. You are not twisting his arm.

Just because he isn't reacting the way you would have liked doesn't mean he's not committed.

I don’t have time to tackle my baby weight

Dear Majella

I'm really struggling with my appearance. I had my second baby two years ago and I really just can't find the time to exercise and shift the weight. I'm two stone overweight and I feel like all my friends and colleagues are still slim and glamorous while I've morphed into this mumsy, unattractive figure.

I know you're just going to tell me to go to the gym - but I genuinely don't have the time. My partner works at night and I'm the only one at home to mind the kids. We don't have friends or family nearby and I can't afford a babysitter. I don't feel attractive to anyone any more, least of all myself. I hate looking in the mirror.

It's really getting me down, although I know I should be happy that I've got two healthy kids and a partner who loves me, but all I can think of is I look like an elephant.

Martha, Dublin


Majella: Most mothers have felt as you do at some point or other. All of us would like to change something about ourselves. When you start having children, your body changes in so many ways. And you change mentally too.

You haven't said how old your eldest child is so I am presuming they are both toddlers. You don't need to go to any gym or spend any money getting yourself into shape. There are lots of exercises that you can do in your own home and if you go online you will definitely find something that suits you. You can do exercises with the children making it a bit of fun for them and something you can do together.

Walking every day is a wonderful way to lose weight and you can do that anywhere. But to be honest, I think it's more than the weight that's bothering you. You sound like you are a bit low in yourself. It is very common for a women in your situation to feel like that.

Doing exercise will help to improve your mental well-being enormously as well as shedding the pounds. Being as positive as you can will also help.

You have to start loving yourself again. You are a wonderful loving mother and partner and you are doing the best you can. Don't be too hard on yourself.

It might be a good idea to visit your GP and explain how you feel to him. It may take time but you can get back to a place where you feel happy about yourself again.

Irish Independent

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