Dilemma: my daughter is too stressed by her commute

Jo Brand / 10 July 2018

A reader turns to Jo Brand for advice on how to talk her daughter out of commuting in order to focus on her happiness.

Dilemma: my daughter is too stressed by her commute

My daughter is increasingly stressed by work, partly because she has a long commute into London. She doesn’t eat healthily and she’s often irritable with her family.

I think she should work closer to home, even if it means a big drop in salary, but she won’t hear of it.

How can I convince her that her health and happiness are more important than her career?

Jo Brand's advice

I’m afraid the answer to this is that you can’t convince anyone of anything they don’t want to hear. I have learned that people only do things they want to do. If you force them to do something with emotional blackmail and desperate entreaties, they may grudgingly do it for a bit but they will end up resenting you. 

Your daughter obviously likes her job and wants to continue doing it. She probably is tired and irritable, but what are her husband and kids doing to help? 

There are hundreds of thousands of women holding down jobs like this and trying to run families, and something’s got to give. I suggest you have a think about how she could better manage the load. As she earns decent money, maybe she could pay for a cleaner? 

Rather than trying to prevent her from doing something she enjoys, think about how you could help her. You say she’s not eating healthily… Why not prepare some meals, or buy her some nice food? Or could you give her a lie in on Saturdays, if the kids are young?

You need to be imaginative. You’re her mum, and you care about her, but you have to show your love in a less coercive way.

What advice would you give? Email us on web.editor@saga.co.uk and let us know!

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