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Annie's Mailbox

Ask Amy column

Q. I am the grandmother of three beautiful children, ages 4, 6, and 10, whom I live with and help raise.

Their mother (my daughter) has been involved in approximately six relationships over the past three years, with a two- to three-week interval between relationships.

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I am wondering if it is a good idea for her to have these men sleeping in her bed every night, visible to the kids, and also whether it is OK for the kids to sleep with her and the men.

A. It is not good for the children to have six different men in their lives and living in the home with them. I also think it is a terrible idea to have children sleeping alongside two adults who I presume are sexually active. Having men unrelated to the children passing through the home places them at risk. This is also emotionally confusing.

You are also living in the home. I assume you have raised this issue and that your daughter either does not agree with your opinion or does not care what you think.

You are essentially co-parenting the children with your daughter but have no say in a very basic issue such as who lives in the house with you. Nor do the children have a say.

You and your daughter could benefit from attending parenting classes together. That way you could both receive objective in-person opinions (and perhaps mediation) on what is best for the children. I hope you can continue to advocate for the children.

Q. A week and a half ago I went on a first date with a great guy. We spent a long lunch getting to know each other — the date lasted five hours! We’ve seen each other a few more times since, and I really like him. Not five days later, a friend of a friend asked me on a date, and we also had a great time.

Now I have two awesome men in my life, but I’m feeling guilty for dating two people at the same time!

What should I do? I really don’t know either of them well enough yet to decide whom I like better or whom I would be a better woman/girlfriend/wife for. I don’t want either to feel rejected, and I don’t want to be callous with their feelings.

A. It’s called “dating” for a reason — you are getting to know people. You can tamp down your guilt by being honest with both men, even though at this early stage it’s really not their business whom else you are seeing (they may also be seeing other people). Nor at this stage should you worry too much about what they want in a woman/girlfriend/wife. Your job is to focus on what you want.

Otherwise, the most logical thing to do is to follow your gut and stop seeing both of these men at the same time. Resort to the time-honored technique of partner choosing: Interview each to see which man is “relationship-worthy” and take it from there.

Q. I’m responding to the letter from “Joan,” the 50-year-old who received money from her mother and can’t decide whether to take a trip to India or bank the money for retirement.

When faced with two equally valid paths, I choose both. Perhaps there is a tour group to India that may cost less or she could go during the offseason. This way she could still go on the trip and at the same time, put some money away for her future.

A. Very wise! Thank you.

Send questions via e-mail to askamy@tribune.com or by mail to Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.

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