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Dear Harriette by Harriette Cole

New mom wants dad to get second job so she can stay home

DEAR HARRIETTE: I’m a new mother of a beautiful little girl. She is the light of my life, and she brings me so much joy! The more I think about going back to work, the more I feel like it is just not the right thing for me to do; I don’t want to miss any special moments. Her father and I both work full time to maintain the life we have built together.

I know both of our incomes are needed, but I want to stay home with her, at least until she’s of school age. Should I ask her dad to get a second job so I can stay home? — Aspiring SAHM

DEAR ASPIRING SAHM: The feelings you are describing are real and palpable. It is true that many new mothers feel such an incredible longing to be there for their children that they cannot imagine being separated, even if they need to work. You should discuss this with your husband, considering all angles. For starters, what will it cost for you to put your child in daycare? How much will you earn, and does that balance
the costs of childcare and other necessities? What will the financial loss
be if you stop working? What is your husband’s earning potential if he can take on another job? How can you two scale back expenses at home to make managing a one-income household possible?

Talk through everything together so that you can assess if it is possible for you to fulfill this dream of being a stay-at-home mom. You must include your husband in the discussion — do not just inform

him of your decision. This will only work if you are both on board.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a friend who means well but who is constantly in my business and judging me about every little thing. She calls and asks me a million questions, then picks at my answers. Conversely, when I ask
her questions, she deflects like crazy. We have been friends for years. This is not new, but as I grow older, my patience is wearing thin. I don’t want to have to endure her interrogations all the time. How can I draw the line when I was never successful at it in
the past? In a way, I feel like it will come as a shock to her that I don’t like her constant questioning, because I haven’t directly spoken up about it in the past. — Drawing the Line

DEAR DRAWING THE LINE: It is time to stand up for yourself. The next time this friend goes in on you, stop her. Ask her to pause for a moment. Then tell her that it bothers

you when she pounces. Admit that this may be a surprise to her because you rarely speak up. Tell her

it is time for you to speak now. Calmly explain that it bothers you when she asks so many questions and then judges you so harshly on whatever you say. Point out that she rarely answers your own questions.

Suggest that it is time
for a friendship reset.
Tell her what you want
— perhaps less judgment, more listening and more sharing on her part. For you, commit to speaking up more so that she can understand how you feel about your communication. If you haven’t told her

any of this in the past, know that this may be overwhelming for her to process, at least at first.

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