Dear Janice, my daughter announced she was pregnant with her first child, and I was heartbroken. In a split second, all my aspirations for her future were gone.

She’s a bright girl with a brilliant future and is on the first step of a fantastic career, but now whilst she changes nappies, someone else will climb the ladder in her place.

She hasn’t spoken to me since my outburst, and I don’t know what she expects me to say as I won’t change my mind.

How do we compromise? Jean.

Dear Jean, there is no compromise. She is having a baby, and you need to accept it.

You can’t enforce your aspirations on anyone, and if she is happy to have a child now, that is her choice.

Being pregnant or on maternity leave will have no bearing on your daughter’s future career, so whether she has kids now or in 10 years’ time her options and safeguards will be the same.

In fact, the younger she is when she has her family, the less exhausted she will be as an older working mum.

You need a better understanding of how working life has changed since you had your daughter, so apologise for your ignorance, and ask her to explain to you about her paid time off for appointments, maternity pay, return to work rights (flexible working etc), which I am sure you never had, and you will feel a whole lot better.

Afterwards, hopefully you’ll be excited and ready to welcome your first grandchild.


Dear Janice, I’ve got a date for weight loss surgery abroad next month but since I booked, all I read about is tragic outcomes when it has sadly gone wrong.

I am really nervous and am having second thoughts.

My friend says it’s natural to feel anxious and that I have nothing to worry about, but I’m getting more anxious as time goes on.

I’m so miserable with how I look and feel, and realise I can’t continue to gain weight, so I opted for this procedure.

But now I’m not so sure? Louise.

Dear Louise, unfortunately endless social media before and after images following successful surgery make it seem like it’s a readily available quick fix.

Countless surgical procedures do take place successfully, but there are risks with every procedure. I’m sure your friend only wants what’s best for you, but she is not qualified to assess your health, or compatibility for any type of surgery.

If your weight is seriously affecting your health, then you must take action immediately, but your GP, and not your friend, can advise on the benefits of surgery versus the risk.

It is crucial to talk through every single option with a medical professional before you go ahead with this.

Don’t lose heart. List all your options with surgery as the last option and only then reconsider it.

I hope you get the help you need.

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