DEAR FIONA: I’m glad the holidays are over – should I feel bad? 

Fiona says you should not feel bad if you're relieved that the summer holidays are over.
Fiona says you should not feel bad if you're relieved that the summer holidays are over.

Our agony aunt solves your personal problems. 

Question: I'm so glad the summer is over and my kids have gone back to school. The holidays have been difficult and I've been at the end of my tether.

I have three children. My husband works very long hours and he helps when he can, but not often. I've been so exhausted that I've often resorted to screaming at them to behave.

Although I've never hit them, I've come close to it a few times recently.

They've gone back to school but I still feel that I'm very close to losing it. I've become a bad mother and wonder if my children might be better off in care?

Answer: Looking after a large family is stressful and exhausting. I'm not surprised you've lost your temper on occasion - that doesn't make you a bad parent, it simply makes you human.

I know you're exhausted, but now try to make more time available for things you enjoy doing.

Also, start forward planning for trips out so your children will know what to expect. 

Please consider contacting Family Lives (familylives.org.uk) who provide advice and support. 

WHY DOES MY BOYFRIEND ALWAYS TALK ABOUT HIS EX?

Question: My boyfriend keeps talking about his ex-girlfriend and how wonderful she was. I've told him that I am not interested and that it upsets me, but he keeps doing it.

I've also asked if he wants to go back to her, but he assured me that it's me he loves... so why does he need to talk about her all the time?

I've had boyfriends in the past and they didn't feel the need to talk constantly about their exes, so I know that this isn't normal. How do I get through to him and make him stop?

Answer: His behaviour suggests to me that he's insecure and, for reasons unknown, wants you to see that someone else once loved him. However, what he's also got to understand is that he is hurting you in the process and, if he genuinely loves you, this must stop.

He might realise just how hurtful it is if you start talking about old boyfriends. If that doesn't work, you may have to consider an ultimatum along the lines of, "Stop talking about her or go back to her".

Stress that you love him and want to make this work, but that you're not prepared to let this continue to hurt you.