Originally Published: August 3, 2017 6:01 a.m.
Dear Annie: I am overwhelmed by life right now, and I’m hoping you can help.
My wife and I have demanding jobs and two small children. We are dedicated to our jobs and to our children, and we excel in our careers and in parenting.
Because almost all of our time is spent working or paying attention to our kids, all of life’s other responsibilities have started adding up. For example, though we have plenty of money, sometimes we get behind on bills because we file them away for when we have a minute to take care of them, and then forget about paying them. Things that need to get fixed go unfixed for long periods of time. We would like to cook healthful meals for the family, but it’s very hard to find the time to do so.
We have about an hour and a half each night between the time the kids go to sleep and the time we should go to bed to get a good night’s rest. I find it hard to do chores during that time because I want to decompress — have a drink and watch TV.
I fantasize about being able to afford a personal assistant, but that’s not an option. Can you help? — Trying to Stay Afloat
Dear Trying to Stay Afloat: Technology can be a lifesaver for young parents on the go, and anyone else who is feeling overwhelmed. Try a finance-management app, such as Mint, which can remind you of upcoming bills or be set up to automatically pay them. As for healthful meals, you might consider trying a meal-kit delivery service, such as Blue Apron or Green Chef. These companies will deliver a cooler to you each week containing ingredients and recipes for delicious, healthful dinners. They subtract a lot of time and stress from cooking, and you’ll feel proud of having prepared a gourmet meal.
Dear Annie: I’m having a hard time. My soon-to-be husband’s family hates me. Well, it’s actually just his aunt. I don’t understand what I have done to her, but she treats me like dirt. She spreads lies about me. I’ve done everything in my power to get her to like me and treat me with respect, and I can’t think of anything else to do. She is pushing me away, and I’ve not done anything to her. — Confused
Dear Confused: I’m willing to bet your fiance’s aunt had that mean streak in her long before you ever arrived on the scene. If she weren’t chewing you out, it would be something or somebody else. Talk to your fiance and let him know how his aunt’s behavior has hurt your feelings. He can (and should) talk to her on your behalf. Perhaps he can get clarity on what, if anything, sparked this animosity. But at the end of the day, she might never like you — and that’s OK. She doesn’t have to. What matters is that you and your fiance love each other.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.