Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Mom's passing makes birthday difficult

Q: It's my birthday today, and my first since my mom passed away last year. I am lucky to have a lot of friends and family, so I've been getting birthday messages all morning, but every time I get one I'm feeling a pang because I know I won't hear from my mom today.

I know you've lost a parent yourself; do you have any tips as to how to keep appreciating those things and people I do have today? I'm afraid I'm letting the pain outweigh all the good things.

Not-So-Happy Birthday

A: Sometimes the pain outweighs the good things. It's okay. You don't have to remain in balance every minute of every day. The time to fight the push-pull of it is when you get stuck on the floor or when you hit such extremes that you're having a difficult time keeping your life in reasonable order. If today is just a sad-reminder day, then be sad. And grateful, too, for your lovely friends, even though they're stirring up sadness today.

Wife not down with mother-in-law's frets

Q: I'm recently married, and we're living with his parents for a few months. My mother-in-law worries as a hobby. Sometimes it takes the form of criticizing her son to me.

When he was first applying for jobs she tried to enlist me in haranguing him. I've refused, and generally say something mild like, "Well, I think all people struggle with this." But this kind of criticism is very demoralizing to my husband. What can I say?

Not in Cahoots

A: In lieu of mildness, there's always, "I've found that fretting to him backfires, and demoralizes him more than it motivates." Or just: "I'm not worried."

If she responds along the lines of, "He's my son, I think I know what works," then you smile and say you hope she's right.

Otherwise, though, I suggest not trying to fix this.

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Tell Me About It: Play up challenged child’s strengths

Q: One of my children has a challenging personality. Within my family, we are aware of it, and deal with it, and love him oh-so-much. As he is getting older, I can see how the outside world (teachers, coaches, neighbors) favors him less than my other...
Published: 02/20/18

Tell Me About It: DNA results reveal 52-year-old secret

Q: I am in the middle of a growing crisis in my extended family because of revelations from a DNA match. After getting my results, I was contacted by a woman looking for her biological family. It quickly became apparent she was the child my sister ga...
Published: 02/20/18

Tell Me About It: Don’t expect help from careless grandma

Q: My mother moved to be closer to us when we had a baby, who’s now 2. She’s not responsible with him. She gives him anything he points to and grunts. Just in the past month, this has included a lighter ("He doesn’t know how to use it"), garden shear...
Published: 02/19/18
Ordinary dogs take to the Derby Lane greyhound track for the Mutt Derby

Ordinary dogs take to the Derby Lane greyhound track for the Mutt Derby

Some stopped midway, some turned around and ran the wrong way and some dashed to the arms of their owners as more than 300 average house pets took to the track at Derby Lane on Sunday for the Mutt Derby. The popular fundraiser for the Jaycees died o...
Published: 02/18/18

Tell Me About It: Doubts creep in to six-year relationship

Q: I have been with my partner for six years and have just graduated from college. I love my partner and could see myself happily married to them for the long haul. However, I am beginning to feel wistful about never having dated anyone else — or kis...
Published: 02/18/18

Tell Me About It: Vacation opens dialogue about money

Vacation opens dialogue about moneyQ: My girlfriend and I just went on our first vacation together. I thought it went well, but after we were home she told me she felt I had been cheap because I wanted to split all costs 50-50.I think cheap would be ...
Published: 02/16/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Feb. 19-25

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Feb. 19-25

Gasparilla Distance Classic: One of Tampa’s best known road races returns to downtown, with a 5K and 15K Saturday and an 8K and half marathon on Sunday. The chief attraction is the 15K on Saturday, which takes runners out and back along the man...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/18/18
Dance Moms star Chloe Lukasiak to appear at Florida State Fair on Saturday

Dance Moms star Chloe Lukasiak to appear at Florida State Fair on Saturday

TAMPA — Chloe Lukasiak will take on a different role than she is accustomed when she stops by the Florida State Fair this weekend.After all, the 16-year-old Pennsylvania-native and resident rose to fame on Seasons 1 through 4 of Lifetime’s reality te...
Published: 02/15/18

Tell Me About It: Past eating disorder affects food choices

Q: My wife refuses to change her diet and grocery shopping to accommodate my health needs and those of our kids. Everything she gets is processed grains and sugar. My doctor recently recommended losing weight, and exercise won’t cut it. But because s...
Published: 02/15/18
Top things to do this weekend: Florida State Fair, Mutt Derby at Derby Lane

Top things to do this weekend: Florida State Fair, Mutt Derby at Derby Lane

GO, DOG, GO: Mutt DerbyOne of the most hilarious days at the races is Sunday, when ordinary house pets get a chance to run on the Derby Lane greyhound track. Mutt Derby registration begins at 11 a.m., but you can register in advance at greyhoundpets...
Published: 02/14/18