Q: My husband and I made this decision five years ago. I work at home — toddler and baby in day care — and it is tough to be isolated in a community where we haven't had the time or opportunity to establish bonds. It has strained our marriage, and we're having to seriously re-evaluate if this decision is the right one for us now. When I share any of these feelings, we've received several of the same comments. I don't understand the strong judgment.
A: I think this issue hits squarely on a common bias, the I-did-it-and-I-was-fine-so-what's-your-problem? tendency that so commonly encroaches on child-rearing questions. What worked for one family, marriage, career or child does not work for all. There are too many variables for one "Oh, just shut up and move" answer to fit all.
It's no less than a "What's the meaning of life?" question, and I doubt anyone would want to live by someone else's answer to that.
To give or not to give wedding present: The choice is yours
Q: Do I buy the bride-to-be family member a wedding gift, even though she owes me — and others — money she borrowed and never paid back? It's like we're paying for her wedding because she's kept the money and it rankles to have to fork out more cash to buy a gift. Is there a polite way to say the gift is that she doesn't have to pay me back?
A: The way you'd want to hear it if you were in her shoes is the polite way to say it. So, no. Right?
You don't have to buy a gift, though. No matter what people tell you, gift giving is purely at the giver's discretion.