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How easy is it to love the stepchildren that came as a package?

“I believe it is totally unrealistic for any woman to be expected to feel love for a child she hadn’t carried through pregnancy and brought into the world”. Declares Serah, a 48-year old school proprietress, six years into a second marriage to Nathan. They both had two children each from their previous marriage. She continues: “If you haven’t cared for them when they were helpless babies, or kissed a toddler’s graze better, how can you be expected to love them the same way as your own flesh and blood?

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Warning: Energy drinks are dangerous to your health!

A study last year showed that energy drinks can change heart rhythms. A team of researchers at the University of Bonn in Germany scanned the hearts of 17 people an hour after they’d consumed an energy drink. They found the left ventricle of the heart, which pumps blood around the body, was contracting harder after the drink. Frane’s public health agency has said young people who drink energy drinks are at risk of sleep disorders, daytime drowsiness and developing addiction to other substances.

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Being a step-mother can be an increasingly thankless task!

Thousands of children live in step-families all over the country as divorce has made fractured homes commonplace. Yet behind the facade of normality, it’s rarely plain sailing. Getting the brunt of the flak is the ‘wicked’ step-mother, Oyinda, a 45-year-old mother of three who re-married a few years ago. Ade, her new husband was a dad of one daughter, Ibi, who was thoroughly spoilt by Christy, her dotting silver-spoon mother.

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Warning: An interfering granny can wreck your marriage!

Three days after she had her first child, Halimat’s husband, Doja, brought mother and child home – with Doja’s mother happily ensconce in the family home. “Shortly after we arrived, I put my son in the Moses’ basket we already had ready for him”, Halimat said. “All of a sudden, the sound of my newborn son’s cries filtered through to the living room, stinging my ears and piercing my heart. I rushed to where he was but I was too late. He was already in the possessive grasp of my mother-in-law who’d placed an exclusion zone of fierce grand-motherly love around him, barring all from going near.

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How many affairs are you willing to forgive?

Even if there was a blue print for having a healthy relationship, chances are it wouldn’t work for each individual the same way. Man meets woman, a relationship develops and within weeks, you are in seventh heaven. Your man is the ‘soul mate’ you have always dreamt of – you virtually live in each other’s pockets and you can’t stop pinching yourself on how lucky you are.

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When you drink for two, your child becomes damaged

Imagine when your pregnancy is scanned for the first time so you could see your precious baby growing in the womb, suddenly its whole body gives a shudder and the foetus appears to jump. Such a movement is known as the startle reflex, and the scan described above are from photographs from scans that were taken by Peter Hepper, a professor of psychology at Queens University, Belfast and an expert on the effects of alcohol on unborn babies.

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Men are such bad losers!

Isn’t it amazing how some people rejoice widely when their perceived enemies die? Some years back, when I was still an eight-to-five staff of a financial institution, I was in the office when I heard these peals of laughter coming from a colleague in the next office. I hurried to investigate and found him clinging to a friend of his, both screaming their heads off with glee. “What happened,” I asked excitedly, “did you win something?”

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The baby she couldn’t pass off as premature

If I’d known that Lola would resort to flirting, and eventually be put in the family way by a first School Leaving Certificate holder, when she fully knew that my undertaking a postgraduate course was to better our lot, I would have waited until I’d completed my course before I plunged into marriage.” Yomi declared sadly, narrating to me the story of his broken marriage, the shock from which he has not yet recovered.

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Saving face after lying to net a lover

A person desperate to have a relationship would swallow any lies dished out by an opportunist out to have a good time and nothing else. Often times though, you get trapped in the web of lies you weave and what happens? “Towards the end of last year, I put myself in a bit of trouble,” recalled Boye, a technician with a big IT company that specialises in installations of highly-sophisticated satellite products.

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New pregnancy aids: Could they work for you?

Getting pregnant seems like a lottery sometimes where anxious people dying for a child come up with the booby price. For close to six years, Rele and her husband had been desperately seeking for a child. “We tried everything”, they said, “Lawrence, my husband, had the right sperm count but I had a blockage in one of my fallopian tubes and there was no reason why the other one shouldn’t work. In desperation, I relocated abroad and was able to go through two cycles of IVF on the National Health. It wasn’t a pleasant experience, believe me, yet nothing happened.

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