We have received an extraordinary response to some of the issues featured recently on this page.

As we appreciate the time it takes to consider and share your opinion/advice, I will share some of these responses over the next week or two. Thank you, Miriam

Dear Miriam

With reference to “I don’t want to move into granny flat on the farm” (2 September edition), I would advise the young lady not to move into the flat.

She has her reservations, so that speaks volumes. She needs to create her own life with her boyfriend and get to know him with and without his family. She does not need the distraction of his family, no matter how welcoming they may be. You need that boundary. If this couple is serious about creating a future together, they need to do it without Mummy and Daddy next door.

I fell into a situation where I moved in too soon with my husband to part of the family home and was welcomed very much by my in-laws. I got on very well with my mother-in-law and truly didn’t spend the time getting to know my husband. Our marriage has fallen apart since.

Looking at it from the outside, my husband could not live apart from his primary family. I got caught up in that web while myself and my husband disconnected and I realise now how co-dependent his family are. The money you would save on renting may be an attractive offer, but try and park that up and put your needs first. You are taking a big step moving from your current home.

Regular reader

Dear Miriam

That mother-in-law who wrote this week’s letter (‘My daughter-in-law wants a gender reveal party’, 16 September edition) needs a reality check. Isn’t she so lucky to have a pregnant daughter-in-law? Think of all the young women who long to become pregnant and can’t.

What does it matter when the gender of the baby is revealed? All that matters is they have a healthy baby to fill their lives with joy.

Don’t print my name.

Dear Miriam

With regards the recent letter (‘My family bought me a hoover for my birthday’, 9 September edition) she was doing well in my book. I am married for 40 years. I have two children. I organise cards, cakes and presents for them for birthdays, Christmas and special occasions. My husband has bought me three birthday presents. I have never received an anniversary or Christmas present from him. My children’s imagination goes as far as boxes of chocolates.

I sit at the table every Christmas and watch them unwrap presents and it never dawns on them how I feel. She should count herself lucky that they bought her anything at all.

Please do not print my name.

Dear Miriam

I got a hoover for my birthday, I didn’t view it the way Anne or yourself did, I was delighted to get it. I thought my husband and children had put some thought into getting me this hoover as it was cordless and made my life a lot easier not having to drag a hoover around, flex getting caught up, and plug coming out of the wall when overstretched. I know this hoover was expensive and my family knows l wouldn’t have bought it until my other one stopped working. My policy in our house is if someone gives you a present, be very thankful. They have spent their money on it and went to the bother of shopping for it.

I would say your husband and children view you as a good wife and mother. Just be thankful.


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'My family bought me a hoover for my birthday'

'I don’t want to move into granny flat on the farm'