COLUMNIST and trained counsellor Fiona Caine answers another set of reader dilemmas.


I was so looking forward to having a baby. Since our daughter was born six months ago though, I feel so different, and I have really let myself go. I’ve no energy to get dressed up any more and my house is a shambles. I’m always in my dressing gown when my husband goes to work in the morning, and more often than not, that’s how I stay. He works long hours, but usually has to cook when he gets home.

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I know he’s getting fed up with the fact I am so miserable and washed out. I burst into tears at the slightest criticism.

I love my daughter, but I’m beginning to wish she had never been born. I was a successful career woman before she arrived, now I can’t even manage myself, let alone staff.


Coping with a new baby is hard, and most mums have felt like you at some point. Your baby makes demands on you constantly; you don’t get enough sleep; your body has changed and your hormones are all over the place.

Getting up, dressed and out is a real achievement - indeed, just getting through the day is. If you can even walk around the block, it will help. If you have a garden, get out and just breathe. Every thing you do to change the pattern will help lift you out of your slump.

Has anyone mentioned the possibility of post-natal depression, a genuine illness that affects a lot of mothers?

Talk to your doctor about how you feel. Interacting with other new mums would help too.


My husband and I have just moved into a housing association flat in a small block with three other families. We share a communal hallway which we have cleaned up since moving in.

We weren’t expecting thanks, but we’ve had to put up with abuse from one of the other familie who seem to resent what we have done. We wanted to ask for a lose tile on the roof to be fixed but they said approaching the landlord would be a waste of time.

I don’t understand their attitude - if the landlord doesn’t know there’s a problem, how can it be fixed? I really like my new home, but these people are making life so unpleasant.

Daily Echo:


You’ve moved in to a place where people have been ‘putting up’ with things. Perhaps they’ve tried and failed in the past to improve their environment, but by coming in and sorting things out for yourselves, you’ve pointed out their failings. Obviously, you’ve not done that deliberately, but I suspect that’s how they feel.

Getting off on the wrong foot isn’t going to make it easy for you to win them round, but it can be done. It might mean making yourself look a little vulnerable. Ask their help getting a spider out of the bath or run out of milk. People like to be needed and will warm to people who ask for help.

Carry on as you have been - and tell the landlord about the lose tile.

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