DEAR FIONA: I've fallen in love with my stepmother's ex-husband
Our agony aunt is back to answer your questions.
Q - My stepmother and her ex-husband parted amicably.
When she married my dad, he came along to the wedding. That’s where I met him, and I have been going out with him ever since.
I never intended for this to happen, especially as he’s 15 years older than me, but we fell in love and now we want to get married too. I’ve been keeping it a secret from my family, because I thought they would disapprove.
If I’m going to get married, I want my dad there, so I have to tell him and I’m dreading it.
A - The longer you leave this, the harder it will be, and there’s no easy way to do it I’m afraid – you simply have to tell them.
The next time you see your father, choose a quiet moment and tell him; you might find he’s more upset that you’ve been dating in secret than your choice of husband. You should also be prepared for some sort of strong reaction from your stepmother
It is not going to be easy for her to come to terms with the fact her ex-husband is going to be her son-in-law.
Q - I’m due to return to work in a couple of months, after an extended period of maternity leave, but my son is 11 months old and I’d much rather stay at home with him.
The truth is we need the money; the job is well-paid and I was always the main breadwinner in our family. Going back to work means we won’t be struggling to make ends meet, as we are now.
I hate the thought of leaving our baby with a stranger. It seems every other week there is a story in the news about someone abusing children and I know I’d never forgive myself if something like this were to happen.
A - It can be a hugely emotional transition and you’re right to be concerned about finding the right care. While news headlines can be worrying, it is important to realise that these incidents are isolated - that is what makes them headlines.
Most child care services must be registered with Ofsted.
You can do your own checks by visiting the nursery or childminder and chatting with other parents. You could also request references if that’s appropriate.