Happy Holidays, everyone! You know how it goes: your brother and your dad aren’t on speaking terms. Your mom is “just concerned” that if you don’t get pregnant soon she’ll never have grandkids. Your uncle genuinely believes that a covert team of communist Kenyan hackers stole the election for Barack Obama. Oh sweet mercy, how are you supposed to deal with all the drama? Read on for 5 strategies that may or may not help at all, and most importantly, good luck!
In America, we don’t have even have nationwide paid maternal leave. We just have the Family And Medical Leave Act, which ensures three months of unpaid job-protected leave for a new mom. Look and learn, folks, because Australia is putting us all to shame: starting in 2013, Aussies will have the Dad And Partner Leave plan, which guarantees two weeks of paid leave at minimum wage (around $630) for the father or same-sex partner after a baby is born. Australia already has paid parental leave which gives 18 weeks of paid leave at minimum wage for one parent.
Although the minimum wage aspect is not ideal for either plan, it’s so commendable that the country is helping to make it possible for parents to both be at home during those early new-baby days. Why, just look at how overwhelmed this mommy koala is at having to do all the childcare work herself! Keep reading »
This is Emily Finch, a mother of six who traded in her gas-guzzling Suburban for a thigh-burning family bike. Apparently a full load of kids, gear, and groceries can weigh up to 550 pounds, but Finch keeps pedaling away in her cute wedge sandals, making sure to “rotate kids into pumping position to keep them fresh.” Would anyone be surprised if I told you she lives in Portland? Anyone? Anyone? That’s what I thought. [Bike Portland]
According to a new study, the happiest families have exactly 2.0 daughters. No more, no less. While two girls is heaven, double the number of girls, and parents report being in hell. Four girls is the worst brood combination to get stuck with. Hell hath no fury like sisters scorned. The next best child combo is one boy and one girl, who rarely fight over toys, but don’t bond quite as much. I found this to be a nice combination growing up, especially when my brother agreed to let me put makeup on him. I’m sorry, Adam. How about you, where does your sibling combo rank, and do you agree with its ranking? [Daily Mail UK] Keep reading »
A woman wrote in to the Guardian this week seeking advice in dealing with her jackass of a husband who makes her feel “deeply inadequate as a wife” because her parents aren’t rich like his. She writes that she and her husband are both in their late 20s and come from Indian backgrounds. “It is a very Indian tradition for a woman’s parents to provide anything their sons-in-law ask for and treat them as princes. It is an old custom dating back to the days when women were not independent,” she writes, but explains: “My parents are from much humbler origins with very limited means compared to my in-laws.”
Her husband wants to begin his own business and her parents aren’t in a position to provide the capital he needs, “although they would probably mortgage their home to help him if they were asked to.” She says her husband has berated her on several occasions for her parents’ “lack of wealth, education and polish,” and though they love each other a lot, but his obscene jerkiness is putting a strain on their two-year marriage.
Keep reading »
As I said in a previous column, I have anxiety about people having fun and getting along, not just at my wedding, but in life. I’m a little uptight, to say the least. I worry terribly about what people close to me think — though I don’t care too much what people who don’t know me think (for example, yesterday I was wearing a dress which just exposed a teeny bit of my albeit lacy bra, and the only people whose opinion about that I was concerned with were my coworkers, not, like, the lady who makes my salad at Au Bon Pain). I really want everyone to have a blast at my wedding, but this whole engagement situation has brought up another issue that is causing me some anxiety — having M.’s parents meet mine. The whole notion gives me such butterflies, you’d think my parents and his parents were horrible freaks that should never mesh. That’s hardly true, of course. I’m going to have to get over this neurosis soon, because it’s about time everyone meets — our families are about to be blended, after all. Keep reading »