April 2, 2010
Dear Amy: My husband and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary this past summer. Our four children came with their families, and everyone seemed to have a great time. Shortly after the party, our daughter e-mailed us to say that she thought she had forgiven me for something I did when she was in high school, but apparently she hasn't and she does not want any more contact with me. She does not answer the phone when we call or respond to e-mails. I was the best mother that I knew how to be when she was growing up. The three other children say, "She's being ridiculous -- forget about it," but I would like to have some contact with my only daughter.
April 11, 2010
Dear Amy: My parents own a beach house that is the site of our annual family vacation. Our family has grown, the house has not. There are now five couples, four singles and three children who are planning on being there this summer. There are nowhere near enough beds or couches. I've decided to rent a two-bedroom condo about a half-mile away for the overflow. The issue we're having is how to pay for it. I think that everyone, including those who stay at my parents' home, should help, although I'm flexible in how to divide the cost.
March 28, 2010
Dear Amy: I'm in a carpool with two other people. The owner of the car drives every day, and the other rider and I calculate the cost of gas and split it. However, after work we must leave the parking lot at a specific time to avoid getting parking tickets. Sometimes, we leave late and get ticketed. Is it appropriate for the passengers to pick up the cost of the ticket? Wondering Dear Wondering: This is an issue for all of you to discuss openly and work out among the three of you. However, you asked, so I think you should split the cost three ways, depending on the frequency of the ticketing.
December 13, 2009
Dear Amy: My mother has suddenly turned against drinking. I am hosting a 60th birthday party for myself. My mother will not go if there is one glass of alcohol served. How I should handle this? Julia Dear Julia: You are not the cause of your mother's distress, but you should do your best to reassure her without letting her unreasonably control you. You should also make sure her health is stable because she doesn't sound completely rational. I suggest you lovingly dodge dwelling on this.
March 24, 2010
Dear Amy: I'm a 23-year-old mother of two. My husband, "Mitchell," was laid off, so I went to work full-time. Mitchell feels that just being home with the kids is all he needs to do. I come home every day to a house that is a disaster. Day care is not an option because of one child's health needs. Please help. Distressed Dear Distressed: You and your husband should review responsibilities in your household and develop an organizational chart (the kids should also be given reasonable duties)
February 22, 2010
Dear Amy: My mother is a beloved member of our family. Because Mom is so great and such a fun person to be around, whenever one of my siblings or I travel with our families, we will often invite Mom and pay her way. My father, who has no interest in coming along on these trips, has a problem with this arrangement. He says that we are being disrespectful and that we are treating Mom like a glorified nanny, especially if we take her up on her offer to watch the kids one night so we can go to dinner with our spouses.
February 24, 2010
Dear Amy: Later this year I will wed the love of my life. This is his first marriage and my third; it will be a small, intimate affair. We are both pushing 50, and neither of us has children, but we both like kids. I have four couples who are friends with small children. After some lengthy conversations among us, we would like to have our day with adults only. Most of these couples will welcome the chance to get a baby sitter and party for a few hours. However, other couples will be offended, and that worries me. Should I call these couples before I send out the invitations and explain that our wedding is adults-only?
March 2, 2010
Dear Amy: We recently learned that my husband would likely be laid off within a month. My husband is devastated; in addition to the impact this has had on his professional ego, he feels he's letting his family down by not being able to support us until he finds another job. I have tried to reassure him that this is a chance to get a job he will love. His paycheck is not what makes him the amazing father and husband he is. Is there anything else I could do? Concerned Wife Dear Wife: One unfortunate aspect of the current unemployment situation is that men are losing their jobs at a disproportionally high rate.
March 14, 2010
Dear Amy: My buddy and I have been good friends for more than 20 years, but recently one of his country club pals said some nasty things about me. My friend, "James," was present, and he is still on very friendly terms with his neighbor. I asked him about this, and he said he has a right to be friends with each of us and not take sides. Shouldn't a friend stand up for his good friend? Barry Dear Barry: I agree with your friend that he has a right to be friends with whomever he wants.
March 15, 2010
Dear Amy: A 16-month-old toddler relative has screaming tantrums when she cannot get her way. When this happens at home, the girl's parents call a "timeout." Being in a public place poses more challenges. Someone suggested that the person who was with the toddler should strap her into her car seat and wait outside in the car until she was done screaming. However, this little girl is strong and stiffened her body to avoid sitting in the seat. Any ideas? Wondering Dear Wondering: As much as I dislike the idea of one person physically controlling another, there are times when adults do need to restrain or simply force a young child to yield -- when their basic safety or well being is at stake.