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DEAR ABBY: I come from a family of seven kids that has been torn apart ever since the year our mother decided to leave our stepfather of 11 years to be with another woman.

It's not the fact that she chose to be gay; it's the distance that came along with it. She has severed her relationship with all of us kids.

Mom has changed her phone number a few times already. When she has given it out to one of us, it was only after making us promise not to share it with any other sibling or family member. The same with her address. This has caused problems between siblings. Some are hurt because they don't understand why she doesn't talk to them.

I guess some of us borrowed money and didn't pay her back -- and other similar things -- but she doesn't even give us a chance to pay her back.

A few weeks ago, I sent Mom a letter apologizing for everything I have put her through, asking for forgiveness and telling her I'll love her unconditionally. It has been more than two weeks since I mailed it, but still no reply. We live in the same city.

I'd knock on her door, but I'm afraid I'll be rejected. Everyone tells me to give up on her, but she's the only mother I've got, and I don't want to. What can you recommend I do? -- WANTS MY MOM IN SAN JOSE

DEAR WANTS MOM: Risk the rejection. It would not be more painful than what you're experiencing now. Write your mother a check for the money you owe her, buy her flowers and knock on her door.

But before you do, please understand that people do not "choose" to be gay -- and after having seven children and spending all those years with two husbands trying to be straight, at this point she deserves all the love and support she can get.

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I have a 2-month-old baby. We agreed that I'd stay home for a few months and "take care of the house." Unfortunately, with breastfeeding and the baby's sleep schedule being irregular, I never get enough rest and I constantly feel fatigued.

I know this is a common occurrence with new moms, but my boyfriend feels he should come home every day to a clean house, with dinner on the table and me ready for sex. I want to do all of these things, but the household chores are harder than I thought, and the sex -- I really have little desire for it yet.

When I try talking to him about it and explaining how I feel, he dismisses me and says that I'm the only woman in the world who can't do the "simple task" of keeping house, etc.

He insults me, calls me lazy and makes me feel awful. If I cry, he tells me to "stop feeling sorry for myself" and acting like a little girl. It's starting to make me not even want to try anymore. But I know that will only make it worse. What can I do? -- HURT IN MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF.

DEAR HURT: Your boyfriend is extremely uninformed about the changes that take place in a woman's body -- not to mention a couple's lives -- when a baby enters the picture. A talk with your pediatrician might sensitize him, but if it doesn't, then it's time for you to look into finding day-care for your baby and a job for yourself, because, as it stands, your child could reach adulthood before your boyfriend does. His expectations are unrealistic, and his attitude of entitlement should give you serious second thoughts about ever marrying him.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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