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by Abigail Van Buren

Single Woman Can't Accept Guardianship for Three Kids

DEAR ABBY: I have a housekeeper who comes once a week for five hours. My family is calling me an ogre because I expect them to pick up their stuff before she arrives.

Abby, I want that woman's full five hours spent cleaning -- not picking up after everyone so she can get started. Whatever she doesn't get done will most likely have to be finished by me. I work full time, plus I am the one who runs errands and helps with homework. I don't need another chore added to my list.

Am I being unfair? -- FULL PLATE IN ELIZABETH CITY, N.C.

DEAR FULL PLATE: Not from my perspective. Insisting that your family learn to pick up after themselves and care for their clothing is doing them a favor. In years to come, when they are out on their own, those lessons will have become second nature and maybe they won't need a housekeeper.