Hello minions. It's time to bring Dear Sara back. Part of me feels bad for being such a slacker with these posts and I adore the questions you send me. For the past few weeks I've been responding to them via email so I didn't leave you hanging forever. But I got a few this week so let's get back into it baby.
1. My son is 24 and he won't move out. He won't get a job and he basically thinks he's still 8 and I should do everything for him. How can I encourage him that kids his age should want to be out in the world and not at home with mom? I'm sorry, but it's time you cut the umbilical cord. Do you know why he is still at home? Because you're obviously willing to baby him. Why would he give up free room and board? What idiot passes that up? If this were me I would give him 30 days to find a full time job or get out. If he gets the job, give him another 30 days to find a place to live other than your house. If he fails to get a job, you kick him out and change your locks. If he does get a job and doesn't get out, you kick him out and change your locks. I think so many parents are afraid of seeing their kid struggle, suffer or fail. I get that. But that's part of growing up. And it's time he starts being self sufficient. Get hardcore on his ass.
2. I've been married for two years and I'm really struggling with my husband. He's really great but all romance is gone. No more flowers, no more dates, no more random cute things. How can I get him to start doing these things again? Bwahahahahaha!!! Sorry. Um, welcome to marriage sweet cheeks. You know why he's stopped doing this? Because he's already gotten the top prize- he married you. In a man's eyes they feel once they have reached this pinnacle, they have done their time. They've auditioned, they've interned and now they are corporate level basically. But on the other hand, it doesn't mean that you should have to suffer in silence. If it really bothers you, ask him. Communication is absolutely key in a marriage and if you can't even tell him that it's bothering you and WHY then you have bigger problems than lack of flowers.
3. My boyfriend wants to have a football party to show off our new house. We bought the house just under a month ago. It was built in 1924 and has all the old world charm you could think of. Problem is, he wants to invite his newly married cousin, J. His cousin married a girl in June, we'll call her S for privacy, who had a child from a previous relationship. Z, her child, is 4. He is a NIGHTMARE. At all family functions he has run around screaming, destroying anything in his path, hit people, bit people, tortured family pets, wet his pants on purpose, among many other things. S does not parent the child. She lets him do whatever he wants, completely ignoring his existence, leaving watching him up to whoever wants to keep their home intact. J is not allowed to parent the child, even though he is married to S (whooolllle different story there). How can I tell J that he is not allowed to bring Z to our party? I have spent hours and hours cleaning, decorating, restoring my beautiful house. I fear for my cats safety if he is in the house. Not to mention, our house is not child proof in the least. We have huge old air grates that can easily fit a little head, lots of sharp corners and steep stairs. HELP! I've had this problem. In fact I still have some friends who seriously lack in the parenting skills that really should be required and have very little idea on how to discipline their kids and quite frankly- need Super Nanny to come yell at them. But here's what you do- you do invitations and clearly state "adults only". If they question why, you just say that your house is not safe, and you don't want to have to worry about things being broken or for the child's safety. Usually people will be OK with that. If it comes down to him asking why you REALLY don't want the kid to come- be honest. Honesty hurts but sometimes it's what is needed. You can just say, "To be honest, we feel Z is a bit too rambunctious to be around a group of adults. He isn't very well disciplined and it makes a fun event into a stressful one and nobody enjoys themselves." End of story. I would absolutely put my foot down. If he shows up with the kid? Go gangsta. I've done this too and just said, "Wow I'm really sorry, but the invitation was adult only." Because think about it- it's a football game. Things can get heated, adults are drinking, grown ups start saying grown up things, it's not an environment a kid should be in. Which is probably part of the problem with this kind in the first place.
4. How did you know you were done having kids? I have three and I would like one or two more but my husband doesn't want anymore. I feel like by not having kids I would be missing out on something and I feel like he's being selfish and not looking at my point of view of it. So I'm not sure what I should do or if this is just a temporary baby craving? Well I have to really be honest with myself. I say I want more and would have a 100 (mostly because these hips and uterus? They are meant to make babies.) but it's just because it was easy for me. When I think about why I want more, I realize it's just the baby stages I miss. The diapers, the cuteness, the milestones, the clothes, the toys, etc. But when I look at the bigger picture and I realize holy shit- they grow. They get more and more expensive every year and realistically? It would be selfish for me to have more kids for those reasons because financially it would be a huge burden on our family as a whole. Other people would have less and we would struggle and for me to do that to my family because I like rocking a baby? Is selfish. Matt told me from the middle of my pregnancy with Jackson that he didn't want anymore and I was angry for awhile. But then I'm like- well.... he shouldn't have to work 80+ hours every week to support another person because I just wanted to rock a baby and teach them how to crawl or walk. So it's just something I have to get used to. And I'll be honest- it was hard the first two years after Jackson was born. I was having the major baby itch and I just had to tell myself it wasn't practical for us. Financially we couldn't do it. But now that Jackson is 3 1/2 and Olivia is in school the taste of more freedom and flexibility is making me OK with my decision. Because they will still have more milestones and they are still adorable. It's not the end of the world. But I will say- never, ever, EVER have a baby because you want one and the other doesn't. That's recipe for disaster.
OK. I hope that answered your questions and don't forget- if you have a question for me, send them to me (sarastrand9438(at)hotmail(dot)com) by Thursday evening to be included in next week's Dear Sara column.