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Dear Rosanna Davison: How can I stop the baby queries?

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 Rosanna Davison. Photo: Brian McEvoy

Rosanna Davison. Photo: Brian McEvoy

Rosanna Davison. Photo: Brian McEvoy

Question: I got married almost three years ago and the questions still come regularly about when we will start a family.

I swat them away expertly at this stage, but I'm tired of the whole charade - most of these people don't actually care if we have kids or not, gossiping about the reasons why we have not yet reproduced perhaps keeps some of them amused.

There will be lots of family time over Christmas and they will ask the baby question. How do I shut this topic down once and for all without causing offence?

Rosanna answers: To a certain extent, I can understand why people always ask you this question. It seems like they can't think of anything else to ask, yet your husband probably doesn't get put under the same levels of pressure.

As a newlywed, I get it all the time, too, but I just smile politely and tell them that it's a decision for me and my husband to make when the time is right. I'm always nice but firm about it and then I move on from the topic.

It's so personal and absolutely nobody else's business but you and your husband's.

My advice is to smile sweetly but tell them that it's your choice and you're very much enjoying life as it is.

Don't sound apologetic or make excuses for your situation. Be confident, direct and then ask them questions about what they're up to.

 

Question: I come from a close family and I love that but there are times when I just need to be left alone. A weekend here or there normally does it for me - but you nearly have to ask permission not to come down for the family dinners or at the very least explain in advance that you will not be around.

Is this normal? Why do I sometimes find myself making up excuses about having to be somewhere else or do something for work.

I am old enough to be fully independent but my parents act like there must be something wrong with me to crave this time alone.

Rosanna answers: We spend so much time around other people that I fully appreciate how important it is to have our time alone.

It's healthy to feel happy and comfortable in your own company, and it helps us to order our thoughts and form our own opinions.

It's lovely that you have such a close bond with your family, so you will need to explain how you feel in a very gentle way to avoid hurting their feelings. But they do need to know that you're not a child anymore, and time to yourself is a necessity. I think that being totally honest with them is the best way to approach this

 

Question: A friend of mine borrowed two thousand euro from me over a year ago. It is from a savings account that I do not touch and I don't need it urgently, but I worked hard and saved hard to accumulate it.

My pal was in dire straits and needed to get a new car for work so I was happy to help - but she was to pay me back in instalments over a 12-month period, so far she has not paid back a cent.

After the first six months I asked her what the story was but she fobbed me off and promised she would have a grand in a couple of months' time - then she stopped staying in touch and slowly but surely disappeared.

I've texted and emailed her a few times to arrange to meet for coffee but she fobs me off all the time - I assume because of the debt.

Last week, I wrote her a note asking her to meet me and discuss the money - she has started bad-mouthing me to some mutual friends.

They know she has behaved in a wrong manner towards me and our friendships are not suffering from her lies, but I do not know what to do next. I now just want the money back.

Rosanna answers: By the sounds of it, you have been badly taken advantage of by somebody who lied to you about her intentions to pay you back. This is your hard-earned money and how dare she take it from you and then speak about you badly to others.

She is completely in the wrong here, which I've no doubt your friends can see. Most people would have gone to far more extreme lengths than you have so far, as you have actually been polite and reserved.

Perhaps she targeted you because she saw you as a gentle person who wouldn't demand it back immediately. But you really must not let her get away with it.

If I was you, I would contact her regularly until she responds, and even knock on her door so she can't hide from you.

Don't let it slip any longer because she'll have a chance to come up with more excuses.

Give her a date to have the money to you by or you will have to examine more extreme options.


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