Mum’s the Word

Mum’s the Word

Agony aunt Sandi, the Jewish News and Channel 4 Jewish mum of the yearoffers a shoulder you can rely on

With Sandi Firth


My New Man Wants Kids But I am Not Broody

Sandi Firth

Dear Sandi

I’m 42-years-old and have finally found the man of my dreams! I can’t believe it and I would do anything for him, but he is 45 and has two children by his first wife. I have never married and have no children. This wonderful man has asked me to marry him, but he wants us to have a child together. Here’s the rub. I have never felt broody and am frightened to death to have a child.  I’m afraid if he knows how I feel he will leave me. What shall I do?



Dear Sarah

First and foremost , I can see how torn you are and true love is so hard to find so I do understand your dilemma.  However, let’s get straight to the nitty gritty. He obviously feels the same way about you and if the relationship is as strong as it sounds you just have to talk to him.  I know it’s easy for me to say, but at least there is one thing in your favour and you haven’t left this subject till after your wedding.  There’s no time like the present.  I would try to go somewhere quiet or make a meal at home, but don’t use too many candles!

Tell him how you feel.  Here I go again with food! I feel sure you’ll be able to sort this and perhaps talk to your G P as well about how frightened you are regarding giving birth. Trust me, it’s perfectly natural to feel like this and I am sure that with all this love around you and some medical guidance you will both arrive at the same destination! Some journeys are well worth taking!


What Is Wrong With Being A ‘Tiger Mum’?

Dear Sandi

I’ve been reading and hearing so much about ‘Tiger Mums’ recently that I’m beginning to feel guilty in that I may, without realising it , be one myself!  Obviously I want my children to do well – they’re aged seven and five – but everyone around me seem to be involved with the same activities and we share the same ideas, so it can’t be bad, can it?  What’s wrong in wanting my children to do well and succeed in life?  It’s a tough old world out there!



Dear Martina

You’re quite right. There’s been a lot of publicity about this lately and I’m sure you’re not alone in wondering how far to go with guiding your children. What worries me is that you may all be jumping in the same big pool and some of you are going to drown.  All children are different, and all siblings are different and what may be ideal for one child – say learning to play the piano – may not be right for another just because their friend does it.

As you seem to be having second thoughts about this, why not write down all the out of school activities they do – there’s no question that the younger we introduce our children to a new experience, the quicker they’ll lap it up.

But – and it’s a big but – not too much at one time.  At their age they’ll be very excited about learning to play a new instrument or play a new sport or dance – but they’re young and their enthusiasm may wane quickly. You then have to decide whether it’s worth pushing them or leading them into another direction, just not too much at once.  A simple play in the garden or the park works well too. Fresh air is invigorating and it’s free, because I suspect all these activities put a financial strain on most families! The most important thing you can give your children is time and love. Anything else can be worked out between you.


My Husband Watches TV And It Bores Me

Dear Sandi,

I find the company of my husband boring. He’s always watching TV and never talks to me. We are both nearing retirement, the children have left home and the thought of spending the rest of my life like this is more than worrying.  I do love him, but what can I do to bring some light into what seems to a very dark place.



Dear Tina.

Ooh, you’ve really hit a nerve there and I’m so glad you were able to put pen to paper.  First of all, you’re both busy people and I guess your husband may feel tired and not want to disturb you. In this situation, watching television is the easy way out. Communication is the word here – you’ve been together so long that you’re used to not speaking and may I at least point out how lucky you are to still be together!  When you sit down for your next meal together, which I assume you do, make him something he likes and ask what he would like to do when you’re both retired.  If he doesn’t really answer, then why not suggest a short break or holiday, somewhere you would both like and then leave it to him to organise it, even though you may have always done that.

Keep him busy and I don’t mean DIY in case he not into that – but switch off the TV, don’t answer the phone, sit down with him and try to put some ideas together about how you’re going to spend your retirement.  Truth is, he’s probably as worried as you about it.  It’s a funny thing. For years we run around after our kids, acting as supervisors and taxis and goodness knows what and we can’t wait for the day when they leave home.  Then bang, they’re gone and it’s too quiet.  You can’t have all your cake, but now you can take a slice at a time and enjoy the taste slowly, in your own time and most important of all, together.


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