Friday, February 4, 2011

"Surprise" Pregnancy

Candida writes:

My husband and I talk about starting a family all the time, but can't ever commit to a start date. We've been married for over a year and the questions from family members are getting to us. Since we can't just get down and DO IT already, I would like to surprise him with a BFP. We've been having unprotected sex, but we avoid during my fertile time of the cycle and I know this because I chart. I was thinking of just going with the flow for a few months and we'll see what happens, and then he'll be super excited and surprised when I do finally become pregnant. I think the idea of actually trying makes him anxious, so that's why he's still not quite there yet physically even though he wants kids. SO anyway, when I do get pregnant, I wanted to think of fun ways to give him the news! Any ideas would be appreciative, I want him to be as happy as I am to have babies together!!!

There are so many things wrong with this I don't even know where to start. No wait, I do. The best way to make sure he's as happy as you are to have babies together is to LET HIM BE IN ON THE DECISION.

Do not--DO. NOT.--surprise him with a BFP. Wanting children is not the same thing as wanting children now. Sure, there's never really a "right" time to have kids, but there sure as hell are a lot of wrong ones. When the only way your husband can be convinced is when you don't give him the choice? Wrong time.

While we're on the topic, there are plenty of good reasons to start a family. Because the questions from family members are getting to you isn't one of them. If someone is rude enough to bring it up, smile sweetly and tell them to mind their own business.

As far as dealing with your desire to start a family, try sitting down with him and having a serious conversation about when and why and how. Maybe he's he has a particular goal he wants to reach before you start a family, such finding a better job or owning a home. Maybe there's something he's always wanted to do that he thinks will no longer be possible once kids are in the picture, like traveling the world or starting a rock band. Address his concerns calmly and rationally, and make a plan together that helps you both reach your goals.

I won't even address fun ways to give him the news, because if you do it right, it won't be news to him.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Awkward Questions from Exes.

Shannon writes:

I have been with my current boyfriend for 10 years and we plan to get married eventually, no pressure to make definite pans. We're very happy. Recently, an old flame contacted me via facebook because he's going through a divorce and I guess he needed an ego boost. This was a guy I had dated right before my current partner. I obviously did not work out and there were a multitude of reasons. 

So, old guy asked me if he could ask a personal question. He knows I am in a relationship and didn't want to offend current, but I said to go ahead and aske. He wanted to know if our sex had been any good when we were together.

SO I replied that yes, it was good, and I had no complaints when we were together. I thought that was okay to say since it was true and has no effect on my current relationship. 

Then he started to say that I was the best he ever had, and asked me if my current boyfriend was better tham him. I decided to end the conversation right there. 

But I wonder, what would have been the right thing to say? Do I tell him that current boyfriend is the best that I have ever had? Or do I tell him it's none of his business? I didn't want to hurt his feelings because he's going through a rough time, but I also don't want to hurt my current boyfriend if he were to ever find out what the old bf and I ever talked about. What do you think?

You did the right thing by ending the conversation. There is no good way to answer that question, which is why it should never be asked.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wedding Planning Rots Your Brain

Concerned Bride writes:

My wedding is coming up this September. We've found a Catholic Church and a priest to marry us. Problem? I am planning from 2500 miles away so did most of my booking via phone and email and just called priests that the church recommended (they don't have a resident priest) and said okay after chatting with the first one on the phone. 

We went and met with him when my fiance and I were home over Christmas. He is extremely old. He even made a few jokes about passing away before our wedding. Would it be inappropriate for me to get in touch with the coordinator at the church and see if there is any kind of backup plan in case our priest does, in fact, pass away close to our wedding? I imagine all the paperwork with the archdiocese will have his name on it so I'm not sure if that would be an issue...

This is a new one. Really, brides will find the silliest things to worry about when planning their weddings. I remember spending more than one sleepless night just terrified that I'd made the wrong decision when I ordered my dress in ivory instead of diamond white. I'm not exaggerating. Weddings do crazy things to people.

But calling the church to make contingency plans in case the priest dies is overboard. If his age is the only factor making you nervous, I'm going to go ahead and give you permission to move on to worrying about whether the table linens will match the bridesmaids' shoes.

Really, a 42 year-old priest could get hit by a bus next week. A 92 year old priest could live to 102 without getting so much as a head cold. Age has less to do with dying than we like to think it does. In the unfortunate event that your priest does pass away before your wedding, I'm sure there will be another priest in the area willing to fill in on short notice. In fact, my guess is it will be a lot easier to find a replacement for a priest than it would for say a photographer or DJ. Oops. Did I just stress you out again?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Time Off for Job Interviews

Sk8ter Girl writes:

I have a job, but it's not doing what I want to keep doing for my entire career. It's in the same field I want to be in but the growth opportunities are not anything I would want for my future. I want to start looking for another job but my problem is that I have very limmited vacation and sick days and it's hard to schedule my interviews. I have two places that have called me back when they saw my resume but it's going to be hard to get out of work because the times they BOTH can see me are during my normal work day. Aside from an extended lunch break, which is not allowed without a doctor's note, how can I get around this issue? Any suggestions would be great. I am afraid to let my boss know I am looing though, because I like my current job and don't want to lose my position if I am unable to find something else. 

Sacrificing a little vacation time is just part of the job hunting process. Since "limited" means different things to different people, I'm not sure if you're talking about not wanting to cut a day off your two-week trip to the south of France this summer, or if even getting a long weekend is a struggle. Either way, you need to decide for yourself whether another day off at some point this year is worth however many more months you end up stuck in a job you don't want. Another possible option could be adjusting your hours to cover the missed time. So if you're out 3 hours for an interview, come in early or skip lunch for the next three days, and you should be even.

In terms of telling your employer what you're doing on your time off, you really shouldn't owe them more than "I'm taking a half-day next Friday because I have an appointment." If they demand more, they deserve to be lied to ("the plumber's coming"). I take issue with any company that requires a doctor's note for a long lunch. They shouldn't be surprised that their employees are looking elsewhere.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Thank You Notes

Grateful asks:

Is two weeks too long to wait to send out my thank you notes for my bridal shower? I have been sick ever since my shower, and finally sent them out about 10 days later and my fiance is complaining that I may have waited too long and I should have asked him to do them if I wasn't able to get them out right away. Do you think my guests will be offended? THANKS!!

I say no. Technically, thank you notes are supposed to be written within a day of receiving the gift, but these days, so many people neglect their thank you notes completely that I'm sure your guests will just be happy to hear from you whether it's one, two, or four weeks after the shower. In general, I wouldn't consider someone delinquent on shower thank-yous until the week of the wedding. 

Kudos to your husband-to-be for offering, though. You've got a keeper. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Just. Don't.

Kissie Rose writes:

My stomach is pretty furry. I am pregnant with my second baby and realized that the hair on my tum tum is very obvious. I am getting maternity photos this time around, but am embarrassed for the amount of hair the photographer (and my husband!!!) will see! Should I get my stomach waxed or should I try a depilatory? Any suggestion is appreciated.

The best advice I can give you is not to get bare belly maternity pictures. Seriously. Don't do it. You're not even comfortable with the idea of your husband seeing your bare stomach right now. And even if you were able to get rid of the hair, how will you feel about stretch marks, varicose veins, and your inside-out belly button?

You can still get maternity pictures, just get yourself a cute maternity top (and pants!). Believe me, you will enjoy and appreciate them so much more, and you'll be able to share them with friends and family without ridicule.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Be Thankful That This Isn't Your Mom

Marie asks:

I loaned my daughter $10,000 four years ago with a repayment plan of $100-200 a month no interest. I came into a large inheritance and offered to loan her the money so she could pay for her tuition for college. She has paid back about half, but now I lost my job and need my money back. She is unable to pay more than our originally agreed amount but when we made the agreement I was gainfully employed. Sure, I made some frivolous purchases that ate up a large chunk of my savings but that never seemed like my daughter's business. She said that I should not have made certain purchases, and that if I were not able to taker her repayment deal I should not have agreed. Now I have only $6k left, no job, so now I need her to pay me back faster. How can I ask her to double her monthly payments? She claims she cannot take a personal loan to give it to me in one lump sum.

Your daughter. You have a contract, and she's honoring her end of the deal. Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on hers.

And honestly, if you have no job and only $6,000 to your name, you're focusing on the wrong thing. Even if your daughter could give you all the money back in one payment, how long would it last you? A month? Two weeks? You've already demonstrated that you're not good at handling money, and asking your daughter to go into further debt to bail you out is just plain selfish.

Go get a job. Plenty of retail stores are hiring for the holiday season. Use the money you earn to pay for necessities (food and shelter). Take whatever's left over and SAVE IT. Then, take the $1-200 per month that your daughter is paying you back and SAVE IT.

Then maybe, just maybe, the next time you find yourself in a similar situation you'll be able to take care of yourself.