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home : columns : dear harriette November 29, 2020

10/22/2020 8:06:00 AM
Mom wants to withhold information from adopted son

DEAR HARRIETTE: I adopted my son as a baby. When he was still young, we explained to him how we were brought together as a family, and he understood. Now he is in college. Through the years, he has asked about his birth parents but never expressed any interest in meeting them. He says nothing will change who his family is.

Last week, I received notification from our agency that my son's birth mother has been trying to locate him and meet him. This instantly freaked me out. I knew that this could happen, but when he became an adult, I figured my worst nightmare had passed. Now that it has happened, I am tempted to contact them to deny the request. I know my son says he doesn't want to meet her, but now that she wants to meet him, will he feel the same? I don't want to tell him anything because I am scared of losing him. Am I a horrible person if I pretend I didn't see it? I've always had a transparent relationship with my son and tell it like it is, but this time feels different, and I don't know if I can do this. Should I tell him? -- I'm His Mother

DEAR I'M HIS MOTHER: Of course you should tell your son that his birth mother is looking for him. You would never forgive yourself -- and he may never forgive you -- for withholding that information. Rest assured that your son loves you and knows that you are his mother. He is a young man now and deserves to gain whatever resolution he needs by meeting the woman who brought him into the world. Tell him.

DEAR HARRIETT: My wife and I have gone through about three maids. Every time we hire a maid, my wife fires them after only a month. She complains about how things are not being done the way she has explained to them. She definitely wants a maid. We have five kids and both work from home while the kids are learning virtually. We are home all the time but find it hard to keep up with housework, so a maid is needed.

But my wife has high demands, and I feel bad that we are continually firing someone each month. It is a difficult time, and people are looking for work. To hire them and fire them so quickly, I can imagine, puts them in a tough position. Not to mention, reviewing candidates to hire every single month is becoming an extra job. I have tried to tell my wife how unreasonable she is, but if she's unhappy with the housework, then she is going to find someone else. I am getting exhausted in this pattern. I believe in the idea "If you want something done right, then you have to do it yourself," but we are drowning in work. We need to compromise to accept help. I need my wife to stop criticizing every single thing. Any suggestions to get her to pull back? -- Wife Runs the House

DEAR WIFE RUNS THE HOUSE: Get your wife to agree to give the next maid space to get the job done without her overseeing every step. Have your wife provide a written list of duties that the maid checks off each time they come. Convince your wife to let you manage this process for three months. Just like probation at work, give this employee 90 days to get it right.

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