Dear Miss Emily:

I am a 41 year-old woman and I have been dating a 32 year-old man with 3 young kids under the age of 9.  I, myself, have a 24 year old and a 8 year old.  I have my associated degree in fashion design and work full time in medical claims.  We have had issues from day one – baby mommy drama, kids’ drama, and him leaving and coming back.  I put up with this, because I see a young man trying to be a great dad to his kids, he works two jobs, and helps me out in anyway he can.  I know he loves me and my kids.  Sometimes I will pick or drop off the kids for him when he has to work, or keep the kids when he has to work.  The kids have to be with him every other weekend.  This past weekend was my birthday, and he had not planned anything for us, and the kids had to come over, too.  He wanted me to pick them up and watch them while he was at work, Saturday morning.  I got mad that he did not even ask other people to watch the kids on my birthday weekend.  I left him at the house and went to spend the weekend with my mother in another state.  Now I need to talk to him. What do I say, and how?        
Last In Line

----------------------Miss Emily’s advice--------------------

Dear Left:                    

There is a type of woman who does too much, too well, and makes the mistake of asking for little and, consequently, gets overlooked.  This could be you.  Some men just don’t get it.  I’m not excusing them, but things like birthdays and doing unsolicited romantic gestures only cross their minds in the first two weeks of the relationship and, then, forget it.  This man seems like a hard-working stiff with a full plate. You seem like a woman with a big heart and a lot of room for forgiveness.  Swallow your pride, tell him you might have overreacted, but you were hurt that he didn’t think you needed a little consideration on your birthday. He might have felt guilty dropping the kids at a babysitter, because he’s the parent who spends less time with them and, when the chips are down, the kids usually come first.  If you want to keep this relationship together, communicating your needs and listening to his will prevent this type of unfortunate event in the future. Your time together is precious.  Don’t waste it by stewing on things that can be worked out by instigating a calm, easygoing verbal conversation.  Life is tough, and you are juggling a lot of balls.  Focus on what’s important and let the rest fall away.