DEAR ABBY: I am an educated, single woman in my 30s. I'd love to be a mom one day, but because I have fertility/ovulation issues, I'll need treatments in order to conceive. I'm scared that by the time I find a husband, I may be too old.
For the last few months I have been dating a great guy, "Scott." He says he's willing to help me have a child. However, when marriage was mentioned, Scott said he won't be ready to settle down for a few more years. I understand, because he's not yet financially stable. I don't mind waiting to marry him, but I can't wait that long to have children.
My friends say I scream "desperation," but most of them are also in their 30s, married and aggressively seeking fertility treatments. Should I wait for the unknown or take a leap of faith? -- WEIGHING MY OPTIONS IN HOUSTON
DEAR WEIGHING: No one can answer that for you. But while you're pondering, let me weigh in: Before "leaping," you should be fully aware that Scott -- as nice as he may be -- may not be husband material. The baby could be in college before he's ready to settle down, so the responsibility of raising your child may be solely yours.
I assume that as an educated woman you have a good job, but it's important you discuss this with an attorney, so Scott's financial responsibility to his child will be spelled out beforehand. Children and child care are expensive. If something unforeseen were to happen to you or the child -- an accident, a physical or mental illness or disability -- the costs could skyrocket.
Also, if you're a regular reader, you may have noticed that more than a few women say that because they have a child, men shy away, which could negatively affect your chances of marrying in the future.
DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have married children. When it comes to holiday meals, we have a problem. For instance, our youngest daughter was the first to ask us for Thanksgiving dinner. I gave no answer at the time. That same day, one of our sons asked. Another son asked a day later. I told them all I'd let them know.
Well, the day after that, our oldest daughter called and invited us. We have been to all the kids' homes for holiday dinners except our oldest daughter's. Because we had never been there for a holiday, we accepted her invitation. Now our youngest daughter, who asked us first, is upset. She choked up on the phone when I told her we were going to her sister's. How do we make all our children happy? What should we have done? -- HOLIDAY DILEMMA
DEAR DILEMMA: The way you handled it was not only insensitive, but also rude. Because your youngest daughter was the first to invite you, you should have either accepted her invitation or declined -- not strung her along and kept her hanging. I don't blame her for feeling hurt because it now appears you favor her older sister.
From now on, work out a plan in which you rotate holiday dinners among your children and there will be fewer hurt feelings.
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