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Publication: Dear Abby
Supermom Has Given Her All To Everyone Except Herself

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      DEAR ABBY - April 11, 2008 
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ABBY: I am a 50-year-old mom with three grown daughters. I 
gave up my whole life to be a stay-at-home parent. I was a 
room mother at school and a bus driver, and did everything 
I could to be the best mom my kids could have. Now they are 
grown with children of their own. I help with the grandkids, 
but I never feel appreciated.

I tried to do everything the opposite of how my parents 
raised me. My mother was absent, and my dad was a drunk who 
abused us. I'm beginning to wonder -- have all the sacrifices 
I made mattered? Or have I wasted my life trying to be a good 
mom and no one cares?

SUPERMOM: You were a diligent parent when your daughters were 
growing up, and you have continued generously giving of your 
time with your grandchildren. But it seems you forgot 
completely about yourself during those years. 

Rather than looking for "appreciation" from your daughters, 
don't you think it's time you started devoting some time to 
yourself and your own interests? I do. Take some time for 
yourself. You have earned it. And, perhaps, if you're less 
available, you will be more appreciated.

ABBY: After reading the columns you printed with letters 
from readers describing what they think is wrong with 
American society, I think it's time to talk about what is 
RIGHT in our society. I, for one, would like to mention the 
endless compassion we are capable of giving, and how, in 
times of some of our greatest tragedies, we have come 
together in spite of our differences to support and help 
one another.

Yes, there are many negatives that can easily be listed 
about problems in our society, but wouldn't the greater 
challenge -- and a more productive one -- be to list the 
positives about it? 

REBECCA: I received a great deal of feedback regarding not 
only the question I posed to readers -- "What is society's 
greatest problem?" -- but also some of the thought-provoking 
responses that appeared in my column (Feb. 5 and 6). While 
many people told me they enjoyed the intellectual exercise, 
others felt that those columns were uncharacteristically 
negative. (My feeling is that finding solutions to problems
entails first identifying them.)

However, your point is well taken. So, readers, pick up your 
pens or head for your keyboards, and share with me -- and 
each other -- your thoughts on what is right in our society.


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ABBY: I recently won a local vocabulary contest. In school, 
I am called "the walking dictionary." People often approach 
me to find out the meaning of words.

Since winning the contest, I have become more popular, and 
my boyfriend has been trying to use big words when he talks 
to me or to our friends. The problem is, he uses them 
incorrectly or mispronounces them. I know he's trying to 
impress me, but it's embarrassing. How can I tell him to stop 
without hurting his feelings? 

WALKING DICTIONARY: People sometimes mispronounce words 
because they learned them by reading them rather than 
hearing them used. Give your boyfriend points for being 
intellectually acquisitive. 

The next time he uses a word incorrectly or mispronounces 
it, offer a gentle correction -- but be sure to do it in 
private. That way, he won't be embarrassed.

ABBY is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as 
Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline 
Phillips. Write ABBY at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box  
69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. 

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