Dear Amy: I am 46 years old and married.
My wife and I have two wonderful daughters, ages 8 and 10.
We both have full-time careers and sports with our kids every Friday and Saturday, as well as practice one to two days weekly.
My mother has recently voiced her disapproval whenever we can’t or don’t attend a family function on her side of the family.
Most recently was my cousin’s son’s graduation party.
She also told me that she is very hurt that I did not attend the funerals of two people on my aunt’s side that I am not related to at all and did not know well.
We have a good relationship with my mother, but it feels strained at times due to her not communicating clearly with us and acting hurt and disrespected when we don’t or can’t attend functions.
Please point me in the right direction as to how we should deal with this going forward. I appreciate it.
Dear J: You and your immediate family are immersed in the busiest and most exhausting years of parenthood when you basically live in the car, scooting between school events, practices, and games. (I assume you have a “go bag” in your car, front-loaded with sideline chairs and snacks.)
Don’t blame your mother for not communicating when she is actually communicating, quite clearly but you just don’t like what she is saying.
I honestly wish youth sports’ leagues took holidays and family commitments more into consideration, as they so often strain families who miss holidays because they are traveling to games and tournaments.
In my opinion, you would be demonstrating important values to your children if you occasionally missed their practices or games to attend funerals and other family-oriented events that are important to others, but if you can’t (or don’t want to), you should be kindly patient toward your mother when she expresses her own disappointment in your choices.
Dear Amy: My husband and I have been married for 30 years, and he has always put gas in my car and taken care of the maintenance, even when we each had a car. I am grateful and have always said thank you for every tank of gas and every maintenance and repair!
Two years ago, his car was totaled and he didn’t replace it. Shortly after that, he had an acute medical condition that restricted him from driving, so I drove him around for six months.
My vehicle was already 15 years old by then and I was no longer able to make long-distance trips in it! I purchased another vehicle, and my husband drove my old car around town until it gave up the ghost.
Now he won’t buy a vehicle for himself to drive around town. He uses mine without asking ahead of time, and I have to leave one of my weekly church services early in order to get him to his church service on time.
Am I wrong to feel put upon by all of this, and to feel like he should split the monthly payment with me if he is going to continue to use the car as if it is his?
– Feeling Petty in P-Town
Dear Feeling Petty: When your husband was paying for gas and maintenance for your car, you considered your sincere gratitude to be adequate compensation.
My point is that couples don’t always split every expense down the middle.
You don’t say why your husband refuses to buy a car for himself, but you can certainly discuss his sharing car payments with you, or, if you are able, you might want to purchase an older, affordable car for him to use for his in-town travels.
Dear Amy: As a 26-year veteran teacher of eighth-grade English, I was horrified by this recent letter from “Sad Colorado Mother,” whose child’s teacher conducted a classroom vote “leadership contest.”
This teacher’s actions were cruel and completely unjustified. I cannot imagine any of my colleagues or my own children’s teachers doing something as heartless as this.
I would suggest that this mother write down a few points on an index card and call the teacher to request a meeting with him/her AND an administrator. She should emphasize that her son was one of only three students who was excluded and devastated by this “popularity contest.”
This educator (and I use that term loosely) needs to apologize and face the consequences of his/her actions.
Dear Horrified: I agree.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)
Source: Read Full Article