DEAR ABBY: My son, a widower with two boys, ages 6 and 9, has just informed me that his 33-year-old girlfriend, "Karen," is pregnant and due in five months. He started seeing her three months after his wife died, and they have been an item for eight months. She has been staying at his house every weekend, and plans to move in with him soon.
Karen has never been married and has no children, so she will become a stepmom and a new mom in a short period of time. Neither my son nor Karen seems to realize how difficult it will be to bring a stepparent into this situation, especially with a new baby on the way. One of the boys will have to give up his bedroom when the baby arrives. I'm concerned that the boys will be overwhelmed by this, when they have not yet been able to effectively deal with the death of their mother.
I think this relationship has moved too fast and they are clueless about how all this will affect the boys. My son has told me I need to "get over it, it's his life and his kids." Is there anything I can do to help the boys process all of this and adjust to the new situation? -- WISE LADY IN THE SOUTH
DEAR WISE LADY: Nowhere in your letter have you mentioned that the boys are depressed or acting out. They probably like Karen or the relationship wouldn't have lasted as long as it has.
It appears that in trying to be helpful you may have come across as negative or judgmental. If that's true, apologize to your son and suggest that if the adjustment becomes difficult for his boys, a family therapist could help to nip any problems in the bud. Then cross your fingers and hope it isn't necessary.