Dear Virginia,

My husband is an artist, and he looks after the children all day while I work to earn the money. When I get home he looks after them while I do the cooking, and then immediately after supper he washes up, and goes straight off to his studio to work. The result is that I hardly see either him or the kids.

He loves his work and would never consider giving it up. He has no qualifications to do anything else and hopes one day to get a big break. I so long to swap places with him, but how could I live with myself if he spent the rest of his life wondering about what might have been? He thinks I don't take him seriously enough; sometimes I wish I had been born 30 years earlier when women were expected to stay at home and the men went out to work. I don't like being a full-time working mother. I miss seeing my kids grow up.

How do other career mums cope? Or how could I rearrange my life in order to make things better?

Yours sincerely, Irma

All comments are welcome, and everyone who has a suggestion quoted will be sent a Dynagrip 50 ballpen from Paper:Mate. Please send your comments and suggestions to me at the Features Department, The Independent, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL; fax 0171-293-2182, by Tuesday morning. And if you have any dilemmas of your own that you would like to share with readers, let me know.