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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:09 pm 
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Tofulish, at this point you have told us that your partner has said he didn't choose to share his life with his daughter or his dog, and that he never wants to come home. He threatened to take your shared pet to the shelter without your consent. The only information I have is what you present, but my interpretation of what you have described is that his behaviour is abusive. It's way beyond him being stressed and not wanting to fulfill his committments. He threatened to take your dog to the shelter. Not being responsible is one thing- threatening to remove a member of your family is a whole other level.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:26 am 
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do you assume that this is him acting out as a result of the stress he's facing about his health? is there anything positive on that front? because if he's going to be like this indefinitely, and possibly face a health challenge too, it doesn't sound good for any of you.
i wish i were nearby, i'd be happy to walk your dog, our pitties could run rampant together (by which i mean look sadly at ice cream til someone gives them some). for your own sanity, i'm so glad you have friends you can spend time with. it doesn't make it any easier to do the stuff that needs to be done but at least you have a bit of support.
hang in there man.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:34 am 
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Thanks Torque! It was superhelpful to read your post, because we had a conversation about his Business. I hadn't been worried, because he's been doing pretty well. But I hadn't realized how much he's been working - I've always had cushy office jobs, but he is shifting hundreds of pounds of furniture in 100+F storage units and has been putting himself under this crazy pressure to make enough money for me to not have to go back to work.

I've been thinking I'd go back at a year, but he wants me to have the option to stay out for longer, just because "you are just so fantastic with her and I can't imagine anything better than having her get to stay home with you for as long as possible." But that would mean him taking over nearly all the bills, which he has never done in our relationship - I've always supported us and recently its been about 50-50. And I've always made a solid 6 figure income and he's never made more than 5 figures, so he worries about what he can give us (esp Leela).

So we sat down and talked about how we could save some more money and maybe make it work, but also about the fact that its probably fine for me if I do go back - we have a cushion for at least another year if I need it and I wouldn't go back to an 80+hr week job again anyway. Yes it'd be an adjustment, but probably not a bad one for any of us. I think he has a lot of fear about her being in a daycare etc, because he is worried about her getting hurt. This is so irrational, but he knows so many people who were molested as kids, and it is this giant fear for him that if she isn't with me, someone might hurt her....

I think its tough when you talk about your feelings and your spouse keeps them so bottled up, that you only hear about them once they are at explosion time.

On the good news front, he now has insurance and it goes into effect 8/15 so he gets medical tests after then and we can find out what has been going on.

And separately a friend's mom's Stage 3B lung cancer responded to chemo and she is disease free, so he at least sees that its not always fatal...

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:56 am 
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i'm so glad to hear that you guys got things out on the table. personally, it's been such a relief, even if it ain't all good news, just to bring it all out in the open.

i hear you on the bottle up thing. i often feel like it's stinky to be "the therapist" but when it works, it makes everything much more bearable.
keep up the good work, champ!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:09 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
Thanks Torque! It was superhelpful to read your post, because we had a conversation about his Business. I hadn't been worried, because he's been doing pretty well. But I hadn't realized how much he's been working - I've always had cushy office jobs, but he is shifting hundreds of pounds of furniture in 100+F storage units and has been putting himself under this crazy pressure to make enough money for me to not have to go back to work.

I've been thinking I'd go back at a year, but he wants me to have the option to stay out for longer, just because "you are just so fantastic with her and I can't imagine anything better than having her get to stay home with you for as long as possible." But that would mean him taking over nearly all the bills, which he has never done in our relationship - I've always supported us and recently its been about 50-50. And I've always made a solid 6 figure income and he's never made more than 5 figures, so he worries about what he can give us (esp Leela).

So we sat down and talked about how we could save some more money and maybe make it work, but also about the fact that its probably fine for me if I do go back - we have a cushion for at least another year if I need it and I wouldn't go back to an 80+hr week job again anyway. Yes it'd be an adjustment, but probably not a bad one for any of us. I think he has a lot of fear about her being in a daycare etc, because he is worried about her getting hurt. This is so irrational, but he knows so many people who were molested as kids, and it is this giant fear for him that if she isn't with me, someone might hurt her....

I think its tough when you talk about your feelings and your spouse keeps them so bottled up, that you only hear about them once they are at explosion time.

On the good news front, he now has insurance and it goes into effect 8/15 so he gets medical tests after then and we can find out what has been going on.

And separately a friend's mom's Stage 3B lung cancer responded to chemo and she is disease free, so he at least sees that its not always fatal...

I am glad you guys are talking. I know that sometimes with Nate and I things feel out of control and we have a conversation and everything seems so much clearer, even if it isn't perfect we can get a plan together.

We had always planned that I would be a stay at home mom indefinitely, I was excited at the prospect, now I am thinking about going back part time so grey can go to daycare at least a few times a week, he responds so well to it! You guys may find that too, grey learns so much from older kids and I am so glad I took the leap and enrolled him one morning a week because it changed my perspective on it so much!

The other thing, but the fears...I never went to daycare really, my mom stayed at home and eventually I went to nursery school and whatnot but I was molested, it was by a family member and had nothing to do with daycare. I am not trying to scare you and I know the less opportunity for something like that to happen the better, but I think my point is that no matter what you do to protect your child there are things that will happen to them in life that will suck and at the end of the day being there for them is more important than sheltering them from every What If.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:29 am 
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No totally! Itsn't rational to be so focused on a fear of Stranger Danger when most kids are far more at risk from family members and friends. And fear can't run your life without it taking a huge toll on your ability to enjoy life and develop appropriately. I think Brett has been struggling with a need to keep L safe from everything since she was born. She'd be in a full body helmet if it were up to him. I feel like the fact that I spend so much time with her makes me feel way more confident in her ability to cope with falls and bumps, and I can also see that socialization would be really beneficial to her.

And OMG torque, I so hear you on the needing to be the therapist. Or at least the one person processing like an adult, and that is where getting a safe space to vent with great people giving you feedback can give you space to resource and then keep going. I also think that B hasn't been doing a lot of the emotional health maintainance he needs bc he's been focused on other things. Seriously, when we met and got married, he was the least reactive person ever. He could take anything in stride and I loved that, but I guess feeling so overwhelmed these days is taking a toll on that nonreactiveness.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:03 am 
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Just chiming in on the daycare thing - I would LOOOOOVE for Malka to go to daycare. I think it would make my marriage a million times more functional because my husband wouldn't be totally burnt out on the baby all the time and it would be so good for her, too. She absolutely loves being with other kids and being in an environment where there are lots of new things to manipulate and explore. I also think it's so good for her to be exposed to more adults because honestly Mr. A and I run out of things to say to her. In my ideal world, I would find a Hebrew-speaking daycare, but that hasn't materialized yet and anyway, we can't afford daycare unless Mr. A goes back to work and he can't go back to work until we have a daycare lined up....I'm not sure how to get out of that problem, honestly. Anyway, I think daycare can be really great for everybody's mental and physical health in the long run, even if you're not going back to the labor force or only going back part-time. Tofulish, I don't know if you've actually looked into job possibilities, are you thinking of going back to your old employer in a different capacity or doing something completely different? I wonder if there's a way for you to carve out an intermediate solution like part-time work?

And to echo what others said - kids are WAY more likely to be molested or otherwise abused at home or with relatives or close friends (I'm another example). Except for the huge germ factor of daycare (and as you already know, babies can get plenty sick out of daycare, too), it's probably one of the safest places for her to be - a place where certifying agencies have come in and established a place is baby-safe and that the caregivers are trained appropriately.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:28 am 
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The Emperor going to daycare was a revelation to me. I love the hell out of my kid but when you're on call 24/7 without any breaks, it can be hard to remember just how much you LIKE your kid. I think it made me a better parent to him and it freed up more energy (physically and mentally) for me to be present in my relationship with my partner.

It IS a scary leap to take at first. I hate talking about it on the Internet, but I too was abused as a kid. As with so many issues, it is a challenge to constantly remind myself that I need to let my kids have a chance to live outside of the shadow of my experiences and anxieties.

Anyway, I just wanted to chime in and agree, having one full time stay at home parent is not the ideal for every family.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:54 am 
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No I absolutely agree that daycare is great and in fact research shows that your kids are safer in a daycare setting with licensed professionals who have structures in place to avoid burnout than with a single caregiver who may get overwhelmed by the demands of a kidlet or several kidlets. Like many fears, this isn't a reasonable one, but still one we need to deal with. None of us live a risk free life, and at the end of the day it is all about trade-offs.

Thank you all so much for the feedback! Sometimes it gets really tough being alone at home with a kid without your usual support network of time to yourself etc, and it does help to vent!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:21 pm 
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i have really changed my mind since having a kid about the wisdom of having a SAH parent. i used to be totally 100% sure i was going to stay home with my kids. that's how i was raised, and i pitied families who both worked full time and their poor children who were in daycare 8-10 hours a day.

but, i slowly came to realize that it's a pretty major decision to stay out of the workforce, even if one partner's income can support the family and i think it's one that people* don't really understand the impact of. especially in the current climate, even a few years out to raise young kids can essentially make you obsolete. it first hit me when mr. bird quit his job to come to korea with me for a year. despite having years of experience, despite having left "for a reason" and having a really in demand set of skills, he was set back by far more than a year when he looked for jobs on our return. his peers who'd remained had mostly moved up to team leader, he ended up in a new job at a slightly lower level than what he'd had when he left. it happened to coincide with the economic collapse too, but basically, employers don't like gaps.

i worry a lot about my own future. i have no fears that mr bird and i will divorce, but it's happened to better people than us. i currently could not support myself on my income, and i am at least 2-3 years away from being able to do so, based on my current skills and experience level. i've gotten the impression, tofulish, that you would not suffer from this problem (i will probably never ever make 6 figures!) but i still think that if i were you, i'd be job searching now, even if you don't intend to take anything in the near future.

divorce and cataclysmic events aside, i found that working and having tzipi in daycare did wonders for my marriage in general. suddenly, we were splitting housework and chores 50/50, i wasn't doing all the baby related work, i wasn't trying to get him to agree that his life wasn't harder than mine! things felt so much more balanced and equitable, and i know his stress levels went down considerably as well... not being the ONLY income was a huge weight off his shoulders. and how quickly it's changed since being on preventative leave! suddenly i'm home, so i'm responsible for the cleaning, food, kid stuff and everything else.

i am a fully reformed modern woman! haha... i really thought that all i wanted in life was to stay home and sew little crafts and play with my kids and bake things. you know, i'd do some art on the side and maybe teach part-time when they were all in school. well, my reality was not like that at all. i was done done done with staying home by the time tzipi was 18 months.

* i'm really not assuming that the parents here have NOT done that, just that i didn't, my partner didn't, and a lot of people i know in real life and on the internet have not (and have said as much, after the fact).


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:07 pm 
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I really appreciate the feedback LB!!! I can see how the shift in roles makes things a lot harder, and yes, we definitely have a lot of that going on.

Quote:
i've gotten the impression, tofulish, that you would not suffer from this problem


No, I would. I think anyone would. But besides that point, I also don't want to go back to doing what I used to do, because its insanely demanding. I used to structure derivative products and provide bankruptcy advice to financial institutions. I don't want another job that creeps into your weekend, holidays and nights. I regularly missed Christmas, Thanksgiving, and other holidays, didn't have weekends and came home at 2 or 3 in the am to shower and head back out to work when we had big deals closing. I worked from the hospital as my mom was dying because a client had a board meeting the next day. I would miss seeing Leela and honestly, it took such a toll on my health.

The thing is that I need to do a complete retool. And I've been looking at C&S's path with interest - I could go back to grad school and find another path that way. But honestly, I have no idea what I want to do besides hang out with Leela a lot.

I might be a reformed career person. I didn't marry my amazing ex-partner because there was no way I was going to give up on having a career and I couldn't do that with him, because he had a big career that wasn't compatible with mine. I've loved living out of hotels in foreign countries, doing crazy deals, having lots of adrenaline packed meetings as you struggle to close a billion dollar deal. I've loved eating in amazing restaurants and meeting cool people. But now, I love my mom friends way more, I could give a toss about expensive restaurants and I am happy for a full night sleep, and to wake up and make breakfast from scratch and feed it to a very appreciative baby. I will never be crafty however :)

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Last edited by Tofulish on Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:12 pm 
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well, you are still in the "aw, baby!" stage. i was horrified at the thought of leaving tzipi before 12-14 months or so. haha, but you might be there by 18 months and it would probably be a good idea to at least have an idea of the path you want to take before you get there.

and while you don't want your old life and job back, if you HAD to, like it was that or the streets, you'd be able to get a similar kind of job? because that's a good kind of security to have, if you do have it. certain fields are impossible to get back into after a couple years, some are more flexible.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:16 pm 
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That is definitely good advice.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:11 pm 
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I find it fascinating how people respond to having kids. I always thought I'd love to stay home but not be able to afford it. While I love my children dearly, I would go bat-shit crazy if I had to stay home with them 24/7. Plus, daycare has been amazing for Lucy. She's learned so much that I would never have thought to teach her. Again, it's whatever works for you!

Tofulish - there is also a lot you could do with your degree that might give you some work-life balance while not having to start over (not that there's anything wrong with path either). I practiced law for a couple years before moving to an equity office at a large university. I love it. I work hard but have lots of flexibility, and the hours are nothing like my former legal practice. So, anyway, you obviously have to think about what to do, but there are definitely options for lawyers who don't want to practice law. (Sorry if this is a thread derail!)

ETA : Ariann, that sucks. I think my husband said the same thing to me when Lucy was younger. You're working full-time too, right? I found that I was away from the baby so long that I really wanted to spend all my time at home with the baby/family. It's a hard balance to strike. I will say that things have gotten so much better as Lucy got older and less dependent on me. I hope things get better for you guys too.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:02 pm 
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Thanks sofrito! I definitely would love to do something else with my law degree, but am still a bit emotionally hung up on (1) the money and (2) letting go 15 years of professional experience. It sucks to have done bankruptcy too because if I'd done straight corporate, I could be doing what most of my friends are - a nice 9 to 5 in a general counsel's office for a major US corporation.

I do need to start redoing my resume and getting my information out there.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:36 am 
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This thread is getting kind of funny to me because I had always kind of thought about going back to work (when I was an engineer, which was not for long, I had planned to have my husband be the stay-at-home one)and then when I had Beetroot, even after a year of maternity leave, I was all, "SAHM for life!" I'm even going to homeschool. (Who am I?!)

Tofulish wrote:
he's never made more than 5 figures, so he worries about what he can give us (esp Leela).

Do you guys live in a horribly expensive area or something? I really feel like unless you're in NYC or San Francisco and such, a decent 5-figure salary is fine for 3 people. I feel like the lone voice of dissent, but I think with some lifestyle changes, it's totally possible for a family to live on a one-person salary, even a lower one. My husband doesn't make much money at all (he is going to Uni part-time, too), but we are debt-free and have enough to take care of ourselves. We've made some sacrifices and definitely have to be frugal about things, but I don't feel like we are missing out on a rich life or anything and there are a lot more corners we could cut if things got really awful. I know money can be a big stressor for families, though, and not everybody wants to live as simply as we do, and I understand not everybody wants to stay at home with their kids and not work and that some people really love their jobs. I'm totally not trying to sound like a martyr here or a braggart or anything, so please don't take any of this the wrong way. I've just seen these families (not you guys) where both parents have good incomes, but have no savings because they spend unwisely or feel like they have to lead such ambitious lifestyles that neither of them can stay at home with the kids, even when one of them really wants to.

Ariann wrote:
Mr. A told me, basically, that he's jealous of the baby and thinks I love her more than I love him.

I actually told my husband I love my kids more than I love him! It's not that I don't love my husband, I just love the kids more. I like them even more than I like myself and I like myself an awful lot. ;p

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:37 am 
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littlebear wrote:
I never went to daycare... but I was molested

me too.

littlebear wrote:
no matter what you do to protect your child there are things that will happen to them in life that will suck and at the end of the day being there for them is more important than sheltering them from every What If.

This is without a doubt the BEST PARENTING ADVICE I have ever heard. I have been lucky enough to hear this from several sources, and all of them deserve Sage status. At the end of the day you cannot protect your child, or yourself, or anyone. But you can be there for them and help them through whatever happens.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:09 am 
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We do live in an expensive area, but I will say, that the US is so much tougher than Europe (having lived in France, Germany and Austria for years) because there is a very thin social safety net, so you're on the edge of more financial insecurity as a matter of course, and also we pay for our own insurance and you pay So Much Money for college (and you're under so much pressure to go to college because it supposedly makes such a difference to your prospects, where in Europe I feel like you can still have a job without going to college that lets you own a home and live pretty well) etc. Insurance is so expensive in NJ. It costs us $1,500 for a bare bones coverage. We have a $2,500 deductible per person before insurance starts to pay. But for us, not having insurance isn't an option. I have always been a saver, so that part is good and we have zero debt (no mortgage!). Its just that when you work for yourself, you can have a few months of making no money or barely enough and then things get stressful, where if you get a paycheck you always know there is going to be enough for bills.

We can cut in a bunch of places - we overspend terribly for groceries, mostly because we both shop for our own. But you also want to be able to give your kids some of the nice experiences too - swim classes, activities, vacations, dinner out with friends etc. And those end up getting pricey quickly, at least here in the US. I dream about taking Leela on a lovely vacation for our mutual 1st and 41st birthdays, for example.

Its always a balance between time and money, and its hard to know what is right at this point.

And I just wanted to say that just because you're going through a rough patch doesn't mean that you don't love one another. Brett and I have been through his rheumatoid arthritis (where he couldn't move his body without pain for a few months), my mother's death from breast cancer, getting him out of debt, 2.5 years of infertility and the associated sadness I had, and we're in another transition as parents now as well as looking at our own messed up communications patterns (thanks Mom and Dad!). But we do love each other and Leela, and are in it for the long haul.

Its funny how much stress falls away once you know what you're dealing with, and that it isn't a lack of love.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:19 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
Its funny how much stress falls away once you know what you're dealing with, and that it isn't a lack of love.

Alright, if we don't stop with the deep, sage advice soon we're going to start getting to Yoda-like profundity status. Quick, someone, post a lolcat or something about poop.
<3

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:14 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
We do live in an expensive area, but I will say, that the US is so much tougher than Europe (having lived in France, Germany and Austria for years) because there is a very thin social safety net, so you're on the edge of more financial insecurity as a matter of course, and also we pay for our own insurance and you pay So Much Money for college (and you're under so much pressure to go to college because it supposedly makes such a difference to your prospects, where in Europe I feel like you can still have a job without going to college that lets you own a home and live pretty well) etc. Insurance is so expensive in NJ. It costs us $1,500 for a bare bones coverage. We have a $2,500 deductible per person before insurance starts to pay. But for us, not having insurance isn't an option. I have always been a saver, so that part is good and we have zero debt (no mortgage!). Its just that when you work for yourself, you can have a few months of making no money or barely enough and then things get stressful, where if you get a paycheck you always know there is going to be enough for bills.

OMG, I grew up in America and think it's so much cheaper there!! Everyone from the US who comes to visit me complains constantly about how expensive everything is here in the UK. I am pretty sure most of continental Europe is a lot cheaper than here. Houses are horribly expensive here, too (we rent). (Great job having no debt and no mortgage, by the way!!! We're debt-free, too, and I don't really know too many people who are.)
Your health insurance sounds insanely expensive! I used to pay $350/month (with a huge deductible like yours) for my husband and I and thought that was criminal. When I worked at SBUX, it was only $20 a month for us with a pretty low deductible and my friend worked at Whole Foods and she only had to pay $6 a month!
They are starting to charge more for college here, too. My husband is doing OU, which is not so expensive, but he is thinking if he wants to get his master's, we'd have to do it in another country because we couldn't afford it here.

Tofulish wrote:
But you also want to be able to give your kids some of the nice experiences too - swim classes, activities, vacations, dinner out with friends etc.

Yeah, we don't do any of that. I'll never be able to afford to give my kids all the lessons I had growing up (especially if I have as many kids as I'd like to) and we won't be able to go on the fancy vacations I had, but we still have a lot of fun and we do go on fun wee Travelodge vacations when they have their £12/night specials, so please don't think I'm complaining. Like I said, the way we live was a very deliberate choice and I know most people don't want to live as simply as we do.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:38 pm 
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***LIES!!!***
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My husband and I could easily afford to live on one salary if he wasn't paying back 100K in student loans and I wasn't paying back about 40K. Our insurance through my work comes out to around $200/month for all of us, including co-pays, deductible, etc. (because we switched to an HSA plan and my work is paying into the HSA as well as premiums - I am in the lucky situation of having my work-based insurance improve over the past year, which is pretty uncommon). When we were paying on our own, it was $1000/month for just my husband and me. As it is, we are barely inching our way out of what feels like massive, crushing debt and we can't afford to move to the area we would much prefer to live in, which means I spend about an hour in the car each day I go to work and can never be home for dinner when I have an evening meeting. We still live quite simply in comparison to friends who are at similar life moments and I often wonder where they get the money to do the things they do and buy the things they buy (like giant cars and sending kids to day care when one parent isn't working). We rent a two bedroom apartment, we own one small car (which I bought outright 6 years ago - I can't imagine ever being able to do that again!), we've been fairly tight fisted about baby classes and such. We could certainly spend less - we don't HAVE to belong to a gym, we shouldn't spend nearly as much on groceries as we do, we don't need to own so many books.

I've been much poorer and been just as happy, if not happier, living much more simply. But I don't think I want to do that now and money stress is a major issue in my relationship. If it were possible for my husband to work a job with humane hours that would just pay for child care, his transportation costs, and debt repayment, we would feel so, so much freer. And that wouldn't even need to be such a high paying job for his field, but humane hours are the hardest thing to find in his field it seems.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:37 pm 
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Semen Strong
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TheCrabbyCrafter wrote:
[OMG, I grew up in America and think it's so much cheaper there!! Everyone from the US who comes to visit me complains constantly about how expensive everything is here in the UK. I am pretty sure most of continental Europe is a lot cheaper than here. Houses are horribly expensive here, too (we rent).


I definitely think that you can tell what the US subsidizes (food and gas (we pay per gallon what people in Europe pay per liter!)) and what European countries subsidize (education, social safety net and healthcare). And of course we have rock-bottom prices on lots of plastic junk that is made in China, sold through Walmart, and that ends up in landfills, because we don't have tariffs or real safety regulations on what we allow to be sold here :)

And yes, houses are a lot cheaper here, because its a suburban culture of home-ownership, where people drive an hour or two to get to work and have a house and a yard instead of living in a smaller apartments. As you say though, with the exception of pockets like NYC and SF... My 1br in NYC was $600,000 when I sold it in 2007....

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:16 pm 
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Seriously, healthcare costs in the US can get so horrible -- Tofulish, you are (were?) paying almost as much for healthcare in dollars as we earn in pounds! I don't think socialised healthcare is necessarily the answer, but the healthcare system in the US seems really forked up.
And Ariann, student loans are horrible! I had $30k of student loans (at almost 10% interest!!) 12-ish years ago. I paid them off in 2 years, but I lived like a pauper and didn't have kids at the time (and was an engineer for one of those years (I got laid off)). Student loans loom over you like a dark angry cloud.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:28 pm 
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I think this is the best thread for this.

I'm having a really hard time with non-hard and fast boundaries for Vi with my husband. It's pretty clear that he's way more laid back about stuff like nutrition and toys and safety. I don't want to be Mean Mom, but I find myself having to be the one that sets boundaries. We can generally agree about the big things, but it's extra tough when I don't want to say "she can't have that" outright but rather "that's a special occasion treat." Things like crackers, tortilla chips, sugary snacks.. I mean, she's 12 months old, it doesn't really seem to me like she needs any of that stuff, and I want to keep it to a minimum. Maybe as a small part of a meal, but not just random snacks, and not every day. I don't want to ban anything outright but that seems to slip into my husband (and MIL when she was here) giving Vi crackers, chips, or cookies whenever he's eating some. ("I can't eat in front of the baby and not share!") Since my husband shovels crepe into his maw after every dinner regardless of how much he enjoyed it or how much he ate* this means it's become pretty frequent, and I can sense her being less interested in eating more healthful foods simultaneously.

I don't want to fight over it and I don't want to always be the one saying no, so I wish he'd back me up on it, but he just simply doesn't agree that there's anything bad happening. How do we get on the same page?

The same struggle happens with letting her play with stuff that I don't think is safe - like plastic bags, or forks, or whatever.. She's gotten into a real independence asserting phase right now at 12 months (I thought I had a while before dealing with that!) and will cry if anything's taken away from her. I also feel like he's not very careful about where he leaves things. I consider leaving anything lower than 3 feet above the ground to be tantamount to giving it to the baby, he doesn't see it that way. This makes my (and our, when he's home) lives much more difficult, since once she gets something it's hard to get her to give it up. I'm tired of arguing about this but it seems like we just simply disagree on what should be left within her reach and the response when she inevitably grabs those things.

Anyway, I guess I'm mostly just venting. I am really getting tired of always having to be the hardass taking stuff away and making the baby cry, or giving her non-empty carbohydrate based foods to have them spat back out at me, but we just seem to have a fundamental philosophical difference on how things should be done. He also gets really judgmental if anything happens to the baby during the several weeks he's gone in a row at sea (this last underway she hit her head and had to go to urgent care for bandaging, no stitches but yes of course I feel awful about it already, thanks) but I try very hard not to be judgmental about it when, for example, yesterday I put her in his care for 5 minutes while I finished dinner and he let go of her when she didn't have steady footing and she nosedived into the fairly hard arm of the sofa, and then I went on a 20 minute cat food run and she slipped walking around in on wet tile after her bath and smacked a shin into a tiled part of the bathroom. He doesn't seem to connect this to the possibility that I might prevent several dozen incidents like this a day, the one time I don't and she falls, he's very blaming.

* I mean sorry, but that's what happens. I made chilaquiles last night and he loved it and ate 2/3 of the large rectangular casserole pan to finish it off and then he just grabbed a bag of tortilla chips out of the pantry and started eating them out of the bag, probably polishing off at least half a pound of chips. And, of course, offering the baby some. Which got into random nooks of the living room and of course she finds them this morning and is eating..more chips. Also, the other day I gave him a rubber spatula with some dough left on it from making peanut butter cookies thinking he might enjoy it and he fed the cookie dough to the baby.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:26 pm 
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I am sorry annak, and I think the blaming stuff is just so rough. Babies get into stuff and hurt themselves like its their job, and yes, you prevent them from killing themselves 24/7 and once in a while they still manage to injure themselves. And when you feel shitty and awful, you're really vulnerable, so piling on the blame is just kicking someone when they are down.

With the food, Brett and I are on the same page and we got there because he was really overweight as a kid, because he was allowed to gorge on cake and cookies. So he is really on the same page that we need to foster Leela having healthier eating habits, because he doesn't want her to have the same experience he did of being mocked and made fun of constantly until HS when he lost all the weight.

He doesn't eat junk in front of her and neither do I, because at 9 months she is really impossible to fool any more. I used to give her veggies or a fruit pop and eat ice cream and pretend it was the same stuff or hide it, but that doesn't fly any more unless you want a very insistent small person staring at you in anger and betrayal apparently completely unable to blink due to her overwhelming outrage.

Is there something that would have your Mr B see the value of modeling healthy eating for Vi? Or agree that chips, cookies etc get eaten only after Vi is in bed or in a separate room and not shared?

And OMG I hear you on the getting into everything. We can leave stuff on the dining room table, the kitchen counters and the mantle and TV. Everything else (couch, coffee table) is like giving it to L and she has an unerring knack for destruction - pouring water on everything, eating our mail, etc.

Tons of commiseration and good thoughts!

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