I am a middle-aged man. About one year ago, my mother, whom I was very close to all my life, and who I did not want to leave behind when I immigrated to Canada, passed away. Ever since her death, I don’t have any motivation to do anything. I stopped playing with my kids, and have no desire to smile at work. I spend most of my time sleeping. My wife says that I have stopped feeling. How can I be happy again? – Grieving Loss
Family

I am a middle-aged man. About one year ago, my mother, whom I was very close to all my life, and who I did not want to leave behind when I immigrated to Canada, passed away. Ever since her death, I don’t have any motivation to do anything. I stopped playing with my kids, and have no desire to smile at work. I spend most of my time sleeping. My wife says that I have stopped feeling. How can I be happy again? – Grieving Loss

Dear Grieving, Losing a loved-one is a challenging experience, and the resulting feelings, like sadness, anger and guilt, must be dealt with functionally for mourning…

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I can’t keep my plants alive. I forget to water them, or water them too much. Somehow, I always manage to kill my plants. It seems like such an easy job. Why can’t I do it right? Is something wrong with me? If I can’t even keep a cactus alive, how could I ever be a good mother? Plants should be easier to manage than babies, right? My friends always joke about this but I’m starting to think that maybe there’s some truth to that? – Motherhood Undetermined
Family

I can’t keep my plants alive. I forget to water them, or water them too much. Somehow, I always manage to kill my plants. It seems like such an easy job. Why can’t I do it right? Is something wrong with me? If I can’t even keep a cactus alive, how could I ever be a good mother? Plants should be easier to manage than babies, right? My friends always joke about this but I’m starting to think that maybe there’s some truth to that? – Motherhood Undetermined

Dear Motherhood, Simply put, to care for plants, you could go online and acquire information on proper watering etiquette, make a watering schedule and hang…

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My family always celebrated Christmas with fervor. We always bought the biggest tree and bought our children lots of presents. Earlier this year, I lost my full-time and part-time jobs, and have been living off my investments, which are almost depleted. How can I tell my kids that there will not be a Christmas this year? – Christmas Blues
Family

My family always celebrated Christmas with fervor. We always bought the biggest tree and bought our children lots of presents. Earlier this year, I lost my full-time and part-time jobs, and have been living off my investments, which are almost depleted. How can I tell my kids that there will not be a Christmas this year? – Christmas Blues

Dear Christmas, You have been very fortunate to have celebrated Christmas in the past with such financial “fervor.” In today’s society, most people associate one’s…

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My husband and I both want children. The only thing is that his family has a strong history of mental illness which makes me nervous to get pregnant. I’m scared to bring this up with him because I don’t want to hurt his feelings. At the same time, I know we need to talk and make an informed decision. It’s hard because I’ve always wanted to have children, and I know adopting would still be wonderful, but I’ve always wanted to carry my own baby. I’m really stuck. Please help. – We Need to Talk
Family

My husband and I both want children. The only thing is that his family has a strong history of mental illness which makes me nervous to get pregnant. I’m scared to bring this up with him because I don’t want to hurt his feelings. At the same time, I know we need to talk and make an informed decision. It’s hard because I’ve always wanted to have children, and I know adopting would still be wonderful, but I’ve always wanted to carry my own baby. I’m really stuck. Please help. – We Need to Talk

Dear We, Being a proud father of two beautiful girls myself, I appreciate you and your husband want children of your own. One important role…

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I just got laid off. I’m an immigrant single mom and I’m feeling very stressed. I was in a very reputable office job in my home country where I was managing a team of 10, but when I came to Canada, I was either “over-qualified” for some jobs, or lacked formal certification in Canada. I have to support my kid and I don’t have time or money for education. So, I ended up working at fast food restaurants but now I’m laid off and really don’t know what to do. – Immigrant mom
Family

I just got laid off. I’m an immigrant single mom and I’m feeling very stressed. I was in a very reputable office job in my home country where I was managing a team of 10, but when I came to Canada, I was either “over-qualified” for some jobs, or lacked formal certification in Canada. I have to support my kid and I don’t have time or money for education. So, I ended up working at fast food restaurants but now I’m laid off and really don’t know what to do. – Immigrant mom

Dear Immigrant, I hear your frustration and appreciate the quandary that you believe you’re in. Being a single mother, without a job, in a new…

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I am a 30-year-old man who lives in his parents’ basement. I know how that sounds but I am not a loser. I do pay rent but my problem is my mom. She doesn’t give me any space and still treats me like a child. She cooks for me, even if I don’t want her to, cleans my room and I hate that! I am moving out next month but have not told my parents yet because I want to avoid confronting my mom. I don’t want to make her upset but I really do need my space. How do I deal with this? – Guilty Son
Family

I am a 30-year-old man who lives in his parents’ basement. I know how that sounds but I am not a loser. I do pay rent but my problem is my mom. She doesn’t give me any space and still treats me like a child. She cooks for me, even if I don’t want her to, cleans my room and I hate that! I am moving out next month but have not told my parents yet because I want to avoid confronting my mom. I don’t want to make her upset but I really do need my space. How do I deal with this? – Guilty Son

Dear Guilty, Some people would consider your lifestyle ideal. I mean you have your own suite (at, what I’m presuming is a reasonable rent), your…

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My mom walked out on my twin brother, younger sister and I when were very young. She was married to our father but wasn’t ready for the responsibilities of a mother. With our dad off to work, we were practically raised by our grandparents. Now, when I’m 25 years old, our mother wants to come back! She says she missed us and wants to be a part of our lives. I feel guilty for being mad at her, because she is my mother after all but I can’t forgive her for abandoning my siblings and I. I don’t know what to do. – Abandoned Children
Family

My mom walked out on my twin brother, younger sister and I when were very young. She was married to our father but wasn’t ready for the responsibilities of a mother. With our dad off to work, we were practically raised by our grandparents. Now, when I’m 25 years old, our mother wants to come back! She says she missed us and wants to be a part of our lives. I feel guilty for being mad at her, because she is my mother after all but I can’t forgive her for abandoning my siblings and I. I don’t know what to do. – Abandoned Children

Dear Abandoned, Most women can give birth, but mothering, and all the responsibilities that accompany it, happens after a child is born. When these responsibilities…

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I am a 43-year-old woman with two teenagers and an unhelpful husband. I work as a care aid at a hospital and on most days, I come home quite tired. My traditional-minded husband has an easy admin job but still doesn’t help me with any daily chores or the kids. He’s always on the phone, talking to his friends and he thinks that house chores are meant for women! I have to do all the house work, get the kids from school, take them to soccer practices and what not. I complain about it but it doesn’t affect him. I am tired of his attitude and have even contemplated divorce. What should I do? – Tired Wife
Family

I am a 43-year-old woman with two teenagers and an unhelpful husband. I work as a care aid at a hospital and on most days, I come home quite tired. My traditional-minded husband has an easy admin job but still doesn’t help me with any daily chores or the kids. He’s always on the phone, talking to his friends and he thinks that house chores are meant for women! I have to do all the house work, get the kids from school, take them to soccer practices and what not. I complain about it but it doesn’t affect him. I am tired of his attitude and have even contemplated divorce. What should I do? – Tired Wife

Dear Tired Wife, I commend you for all the hard work you are doing – both inside and outside the home – for the sake…

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My 14-year-old daughter has a friend who often has depression and suicidal thoughts. It becomes very hard for us as parents to be able to support our daughter and to know how to react in some situations. How can my husband and I assess if a depressed message is a farewell note and if we should reach out to her or should we involve a therapist? Our daughter takes these situations very privately and she feels it is not for her to discuss or share, so she doesn’t want us to get involved. I am afraid that any intervention could lead to our daughter to stop sharing with us. On the other hand, I feel we shouldn’t ignore the situation as it could be very serious. How can we help without losing our daughter’s trust? – Confused Mom
Family

My 14-year-old daughter has a friend who often has depression and suicidal thoughts. It becomes very hard for us as parents to be able to support our daughter and to know how to react in some situations. How can my husband and I assess if a depressed message is a farewell note and if we should reach out to her or should we involve a therapist? Our daughter takes these situations very privately and she feels it is not for her to discuss or share, so she doesn’t want us to get involved. I am afraid that any intervention could lead to our daughter to stop sharing with us. On the other hand, I feel we shouldn’t ignore the situation as it could be very serious. How can we help without losing our daughter’s trust? – Confused Mom

Dear Confused Mom, Your concern in this situation shows your competence as a mother and moral awareness as a citizen. This is a delicate space…

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My wife and I have decided to get a divorce. We were not who we used to be and have been unhappy for a while, so we both saw it coming. I’m worried about telling my children though. I have two kids, a boy (9) and a girl (14) and I am terrified to break the news to them. I love my kids, but my wife seems to have a deeper bond with them. I don’t want to lose my kids or hurt them. What should I do? How should my wife and I go about telling them about our decision? – Ex-husband, loving father
Family

My wife and I have decided to get a divorce. We were not who we used to be and have been unhappy for a while, so we both saw it coming. I’m worried about telling my children though. I have two kids, a boy (9) and a girl (14) and I am terrified to break the news to them. I love my kids, but my wife seems to have a deeper bond with them. I don’t want to lose my kids or hurt them. What should I do? How should my wife and I go about telling them about our decision? – Ex-husband, loving father

Dear Ex-husband, loving father, In today’s society, there are many people who choose to divorce when they realize that their marriage is not working and…

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