DEAR ABBY: I am a stay-at-home mom to three wonderful little girls. I appreciate my husband working so I can do this, but I'm very lonely. I have no real friends.
I help my mom with all her medical needs, making appointments and getting her to them. I also help my brother with his three kids. I help everyone with everything.
In addition to running my home and taking care of our three children, I do everything for my husband. All he has to do when he comes home from work is eat and take a shower.
I haven't been anywhere by myself in a very long time. We haven't had a date night, either. Finding a baby sitter isn't easy. Mom can't watch the kids, and my grandparents do it only when I need to take her to the doctor's without the baby. I take the baby everywhere with me.
Please give me some advice on making time for myself and my marriage. I just need someone to be on MY side. -- LONELIEST MOM IN ILLINOIS
DEAR MOM: I'm on your side. You have been so helpful to everyone else that you have forgotten how to take care of yourself. Tell your husband what you need -- a date night with him every two weeks and a day or two to take care of yourself each month. It will do wonders for your spirits. When you do, ask your brother to watch your children for you. If he refuses, hiring someone to baby-sit would be money well spent.
The problem with being a martyr is that people die doing it, so recognize it's time to stand up for yourself. If you don't, by now you should understand that nobody will do it for you.