Monday 18 December 2017

Dear Mary: My unmarried daughter is expecting her third child

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Mary O’Conor

I would be very grateful if you could give your opinion on the heartbreak I feel as my daughter is expecting her third baby as a single parent.

She has a good degree, works extremely hard, has her own home but just wasn't lucky enough to have met a decent man she could marry.

As she is pro-life, she didn't consider having an abortion.

The sadness for me, Mary, is that people will think badly of her - gossip and tell lies as they did before.

She has never lived with anybody and contraception did not work for her due to medication she was on.

She has a boss who nearly destroyed her - what a way to get a break from a bully by becoming pregnant.

Could she ever meet somebody in the future Mary? That is my wish for her.

Reading Pope Francis's book, The Joy of Love, it distresses me to realise how little mention there is of families without a dad, or 'different' families.

There is very little support from the pro-life groups for single parents; no wonder young women feel the need to have abortions.

Thank you very sincerely for your compassionate and understanding replies to other people with problems.

Mary replies: People will always gossip, it doesn't matter what we do, but I know it is particularly difficult when you know they will be gossiping about your daughter without them knowing the full story.

But there is absolutely nothing that you can do about it - just know that pretty soon she will be yesterday's news and they will be gossiping about somebody else.

You sound like a very compassionate and caring mother so your daughter is very lucky to have you on her side.

Of course, she may meet somebody in the future - it has happened to others - although three children would be a lot for somebody to take on.

I haven't read The Joy of Love but you make a very good point with regard to acknowledging modern families.

You hand-wrote a letter to me so you may not have a computer, but why not get somebody to go on Twitter for you and make your views known to Pope Francis who apparently is very active on Twitter (@Pontifex).

In the meantime, I know that you will continue to be as good a mother and as good a Christian as you know how.

You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting www.dearmary.ie or email her at dearmary@independent.ie or write c/o 27-32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1. All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Mary O’Conor regrets that she is unable to answer any questions privately.

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