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I am a mother of two kids, aged seven and three. They are both quite handful. My husband works as a surgeon in a private hospital, and is busy most days. I alone look after them, and it gets to me as they can be quite boisterous. I recently got to know I am pregnant again. I haven’t told my husband yet, but I would like to terminate the pregnancy. I feel guilty though of wishing this. Does that make me a bad mother? I am quite torn with this thought.

Ans: The responsibility of raising kids when divided can be a joy as well. Your husband’s participation however minimal is important so that kids can connect with both of you, and get disciplined from two sources. That’s for handling the boisterous nature of kids. Your pregnancy will be impacted by your mindset about the baby. So, think thoroughly about termination after including your husband rather than mulling over it alone. You both can meet a family therapist who can mediate the conversation wherever you find difficulties communicating.

I read somewhere that people who have family history of depression are at a high risk for developing it themselves. I am quite concerned as my paternal grandfather and uncle have been diagnosed with depression. My grandfather also died by suicide a few years ago, which I got to know recently. My father seems fine, but I have seen some days that I feel low for no reason. Is there a way to know whether I might have a genetic impact and suffer from depression at a later stage in life?

Ans: Being aware is the first step in preventing something from happening. Your understanding of family history would definitely result into follow up questions. In order to find out the answers and at the same time not get spooked by the revelation, visit a psychiatrist or a psychologist who can guide you. There are tests and assessments that can help you understand yourself better as well as the professional can help you be mindful about the signs to watch out for, and not be excessively focused on slight changes in self.

I am a receptionist at a company, and for the last few months I have been getting calls from someone or the other at work on my personal number to get work done. I have no problem in doing the work, but the calls and messages invade my personal time as well, which I am not okay with. My family is also upset with this constant disturbance as it takes up my time at home as well. How do I draw boundaries without sounding rude or risk losing my job? I also fear if I speak up, it would result in conflicts, but it’s really affecting me.

Ans: The fear of losing your job or offending someone could hold you back from drawing any boundaries that you have in mind. You work there as an employee, and are required to dedicate few hours of your day to the same. In order to start drawing boundaries you need to start practising the work hours strictly yourself. Only then you will be able to apply it in your workplace. You can also ask HR to intervene. With fear of getting into bad books, suffering in silence may not help in long run.

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