From a Submariner's Perspective is a weekly column, written in response to the letters sent in to advice columnist "Prudie" at Slate.com. Each week, The Submariner responds to the letter writers in a way that Slate.com author, Emily Yoffe, probably can't (but perhaps would like to...). Each entry is headed with a link to the orginal questions and Yoffe's answers. Enjoy!

Also, if you have questions that you'd like answered by The Submariner, or anyone here at "The Fly", just write to me at smagboy1@gmail.com and I'll forward to the appropriate party/parties for an answer (or you can write to them directly via the e-mail addresses on their pages)! Once the answers are published, I'll drop you a note letting you know.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

...on Father's Day Issues Galore

http://www.slate.com/id/2257149/ (6/17/10) <---Original Prudie Questions Can Be Found There

Hey hidey-ho, Shippers! How in the hell are ya on this fine, fine Prudie Day? And, it’s a special Father’s Day edition of Prudie, too! How can you beat that?! Speaking of, I’d like to wish a happy Father’s Day to my dad, we’ll call him by the nick “SmagDad1”, both for ease of memory and to protect his privacy. I hope it’s a great day, SmagDad1! Happy Father’s Day! That said, and with today’s Father’s Day theme clearly in force, let’s get crackin’ on these letters, shall we?

LW#1: Dear Prudie,

A few years back, I married my high school sweetheart. Later, I had an affair. My husband found out, but, we decided to stay together and work through things. After that, I found out that I was pregnant with my mistertress’ child. Even though my husband was all bummed and stuff, he stood by me and has been the most bestest father ever! My question is, do we ever tell our son that his dad isn’t his real father? My ex-mistertress has kindly offered to honor whatever decision we make regarding this touchy issue.

Signed, One Too Many Baby Daddies

Dear Psychic Parentage Diviner,

Like Prudie, I’m not sure how you could know with certainty the father of this child unless you and your husband went sexless for quite awhile, before and after the affair, which, I suppose could have happened, but, if I were you, I still wouldn’t be positive unless there’s just absolutely no doubt. As in ab-so-lute-ly no doubt. So there’s that, but, you know what else? There’s even an easier way to figure out who the child’s father is. Look on the birth certificate! Find the box that says “Father”. Look at the name there. It’s your husband’s, right? And he’s the one acting and living and loving and being your child’s father? Well then, there you go. Other kids should have it so good!

(***Update:  Upon taking much flak in The Fray over this post, I'd like to add the following.  It's not a capitulation, but an addendum:  LW should sit down with her husband and come up with the best strategy to let the boy know the truth when he's ready. Whether that's at age three, thirteen or thirty, I don't care. It's not about the when or if. It's about the fact that the boy has an apparently loving and devoted father already.  That said, I do acknowledge the child's right to know.)

LW#2: Dear Prudie,

My wife and I normally agree on all things regarding rearing the children. We have a son and a daughter, 7 and 11. They play baseball and softball respectively, but, I coach my son’s baseball team and we have games on Mondays and Wednesdays. Our daughter has games on Tuesdays and Thursdays (and on alternating Fridays). Because I have to be at every single one of my son’s games (as the coach), I plan on attending only one of the two or three games per week that our daughter plays. My wife says I’m being selfish and spurning our daughter in favor of my son. I say my wife’s a bitch for even insinuating such a thing. I mean, don’t I deserve a couple of nights of freedom per week?

Signed, One Too Many Babies Daddied

Dear Selfish Bastard,

So, like, how long is baseball/softball season? Really, that’s all I have to say to you. I mean, holy shit. You chose to be coach to your son’s team, right? It’s not like you were drafted under threat of physical torture, right? So, either quit your post as coach, or, holy shit, go to your kids’ games. Jesus H. Fucking Christ on a crumb cake?! Prudie let you off way too easily, as, I guess, she’s afraid of being called a misandrist on Father’s Day, or because she skipped her own kid’s games and fears shame? I’m not saddled with either such fear. Prudie is correct to ask if you are planning to coach softball next year, though. If so, and if you plan on missing half your son’s games, I supposed you’ve got some leverage with your wife against charges of spurning your daughter, but, still, why? Ball season for your kids is all of three months. They’re kids and playing ball for, what, about ten years, max? So, three months times two extra games attended per week times ten years equals (assuming four weeks per month, carry the one) 240 extra nights in your life, “ruined” by attending games?! You want me to break down the actual hours you’re going to “lose”, jackass? Here’s hoping that instead you can do that math and figure out what’s important all on your own.

LW#3: Dear Prudie,

I’m a single mom of three teenagers. I divorced when they were very young and then shackled myself to them, sacrificing every aspect of my life in order to serve them. I’m a great mom, Prudie. Honest! And my girls love me to death. They visit their father on occasion and hate it. He plops them in front of the TV and just does what he’d normally do. They hate it. It’s torture to them. But, fact is, when they go, I like to use that time to unwind. I eat ice cream naked in the mornings! I don’t have to drive them every the fuck where! It’s great, Prudie, and I need it! They don’t want to go this summer and my sister says that I’m “destroying” them by making them. Now I’m afraid they’ll put me in a nursing home in my old age when they’re the ones who are stressed and need their naked ice cream time!

Signed, One Too Many Chick Flicks or Romance Novels Absorbed

Dear Naked Ice Cream Lady,

Teenager’s, eh? So, that means the youngest is 13 and oldest, if step ladder kids, 15. You’re one year, or less (and probably less, as I suspect they’re older than that--you did mention college) from allowing them to drive themselves places. They’ve also been old enough for years to respect your closed bedroom door (that came at about age five). You need to start taking advantage of both. As for the worries about the nursing home, I’d listen to that bit of self guilt, ‘cause I’m pretty sure you’re not telling us everything, but your subconscious knows the truth. And one last thing, because this is a personal pet peeve of mine, you aren’t “sacrificing” anything for your kids, you selfish git. I don’t care if you donate a lung and kidney and an eyeball to them, you aren’t “sacrificing” anything. Love is not a sacrifice. Look, I’m not suggesting you have to be their slave, but I am suggesting you get over the whole fucking "woe is me" victim attitude. You’re the one who opened her legs, yes? It's not like they decided to crawl up in your womb, uninvited, is it?  Had you not played hide the salami with their daddy, you could eat all the ice cream naked you want, yes? Well there you go. Live with it, Hon, because it’s all on you. Sacrifice, my ass...

LW#4: Dear Prudie,

I recently received an e-mail from my emotionally-distant, slightly unbalanced, single-for-a-reason father. He’s signed up on a dating website and would like for me to write a testimonial for him. I don’t want to. It sounds pretty icky to me, but, even if that wasn’t the case, like I say, he’s single for a reason! He really does have issues and has used them to treat me and my family terribly at times. The only problem is that if I don’t do this, I’m afraid he’ll be offended. What should I do?

Signed, One Too Many Offenses

Dear Daughter With Daddy Issues,

Boy, he’s got your wrapped around his finger, doesn’t he? He treats you like shit, is ornery, is single-for-a-reason (which I read to mean that he treated your mom like shit, too), yet, you’re worried about hurting his feelings?! I think what you need to be worried about is why you feel the need to be a victim to this man? The answer for what to do here is simple. Just say “no”. If he needs to know why, and you feel the need to tell him, you can, but, don’t listen to any of his retaliatory, emotionally manipulative bullshit. You are being gamed by a classic manipulator. You need to talk with a therapist or read up on how to get out of the cycle of being manipulated/abused by people like this. I warn you, though, it may shed some light on your marriage (here’s hoping not--that your husband is a wonderful man, but, all too often, we marry our parents)... Proceed tenderly, but do proceed. It’s important.

****
Well Shippers, that pretty much does it for this week’s letters. I have a fun weekend planned! I might even go see a movie! Or cook something exciting! Or maybe just pad around the house and just be. Plus, there’s homework. Tons and tons of homework. So, you know, it is what it is. But, regardless of that, I still plan on it being wonderful! Here’s hoping that yours is, too! ‘Til next time, fair winds and following seas to you all, Shippers!

30 comments:

  1. asking for a "friend"June 17, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    can we set up LW #1 w/ the lady from a few months ago that was telling her son about his dad not being his dad? used the phrase "something like that" and other ambiguous phrasings. :).

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  2. Ahoy, "asking for a 'friend'"!

    Unfortunately, I'm not sure to which letter you're referring? Please help enlighten us.

    Good cheer! :-)

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  3. Nice one, especially the guilt ridden single mom with three kids. I mean, c'mon... it's okay to take a break from them once in a while. Better have a refreshed happy mommy who took her time to take care of herself than a woe is me mommy who doesn.t

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  4. asking for a "friend"June 17, 2010 at 2:33 PM

    I apologize for not citing correctly. :). Here it is: LW #1 http://submarinersperspective.blogspot.com/2010/03/new-on-non-hereditary-nature-of.html

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  5. Ahoy, SB1!

    I think LW3's parents must both have attended all her soccer games.

    People are really being scrupulous about LW4. Getting him married off as quickly as possible may be her only out. And given the expertise I have acquired in the mindsets of women over the age of 70, I can testify that men a lot worse than her pappa are often considered catches.

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  6. Hey, Smagster, I just realised - I'm a dad too ! I suppose that doesn't bode well for me in the fathership competition stakes but there might just be a free cup of coffee-in-bed for me somewhere down the line and i'll take what i can get after all the sacrifices i've made over the years, you heard me.HEY YOU ! SON OF A BITCH ! 2 negative ratings and i wasn't even involved, is this the end of Smagboy ? I think so, good times, ROCK 'N' ROLL !!! No sleep til Brooklyn ! Thought i saw you in a 'nam flashback last night, turned out i was re-living an old A-Team episode, fucking hell you can catch PTSD from the TV now, no escape, i'm going to hell, I PITY THE FOOL ! I PITY THE FOOL !

    (that would be me ).

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  7. Nice job letting LW3 have it. I think her overall problem is that she turned herself into a martyr for her kids to compensate for the divorce, and ended up creating needy young adults who apparently can't entertain themselves (much less drive or cook the occasional family dinner) even though at least one is in *college.* She's worried now because the facade is slipping, and we all know the point of martyrdom while raising kids is so you can guilt them as soon as they're out of the house. What will she do with her twilight years if she can't rub all her sacrifices in their faces?

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  8. Hey SmagDaddie,

    Happy Father's Day to you and SmagPopDaddie1, cheers to a fantastic weekend of celebrating!

    It's always something...

    I learn by reading the post's...

    As in, at the age of 70 even a man who is emotionally-distant, slightly unbalanced, and single-for-a-reason is a catch for some lonely woman. I'd rather have a house full of happy cats, dip poo out of kitty litter. Ugh. I'd ignore an email from the dating company asking for a testimonial, how would he know that they asked such a question to begin with?

    Dear One Too Many Baby Daddies...Please don't write Prudie any longer. I tire of all the stupidity.

    Dear One Too Many Babies Daddied...Go to all the games or you will send a message about who is more important in your life and that's you! By not going your behavior effects three people (but I'd count yourself as well), your wife and both of your children so do the least amount of damage and buck up Daddy O...good thing you like playing ball.

    Dear Baby Mommie of Three...Three college age or headed to college age teenagers are capable of deciding how and with whom they spend their free time. It is way past the time when you control who they visit on their free weekends and pushing them towards their father at this age is useless. If you need free time, which you do deserve and as often as you need, tell them all that you want an entire weekend free from any people, that you are going to lie naked if you so choose, have some private time and down time. Trust me they will stay at a friends house, all of them will scatter! And when you do have that free weekend to do nothing and indulge your every whim, spend some time looking inside yourself and decide if you truly feel as if you have sacrificed your life in some way to fulfill the exit of their father as this is not a healthy attitude for any women with children to have. And over these coming years, best if you save some cash for your old age and no one, no one wants to live with their children or in a home, you'll need more than one free weekend for yourself if you let this happen to you in your old age.

    Happy trails...

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  9. LW1- hmmm...I too would like to know how she knows for sure the babe has a different father...and why this is such a pressing issue when he's only 3? Maybe there's something obvious like the child is a different race from his parents??
    LW3- keep sending your kids to their dad's house and use your free time to do something besides eat ice cream naked. No seriously.
    Cheers!
    J

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  10. Ahoy, Nachtmusik! How are you? It's great to see you. :-)

    Agreed, mom is allowed to take a break with the kids still "at home". I mean, come on? I have a feeling, as hbc has suggested a few posts down from yours. Oh well.

    Good cheer to you and happy weekend! :-)

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  11. Ah-ha, "asking for a 'friend'", I remember that letter now! :-) Yes, exactly, get them set up, using their experiences together, it'll be like matter and anti-matter and maybe both situations will be cured? :-) Hey, it could work!

    Good cheer, and thank you for finding that letter! :-)

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  12. hrumpole, Greetings! You have suggested an outstanding tack, and just as strategic, but wickedly more sly and intelligent than my own! I wish that I could co-opt it! :-) I hope that you're feeling better now, even though Wimbledon is still a couple of weeks off? The letters weren't quite as bad this week. ;-)

    Good cheer and have a wonderful weekend! :-)

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  13. Tarky, that was me in the 'Nam flashback! But, when, in 'Nam, you dropped some acid, you then fast-forwarded to the A-team episode on your trip. It was a pretty effed up dream, I have to say. But, I was there. You kept calling me Charlie. I don't know what that meant, but it made me feel vaguely threatened.

    As for the -2, I think that MM and Tonto were just trying to show their love. At least that's how I chose to take it. ;-)

    Good cheer, mate, and, for what it's worth, the US team just had a winner taken away on stupidity and ended up drawing, so, at least we can appreciate the whole thing from earlier when your keeper got a little stumbly and missed that dribbler for the draw. Here's hoping both teams advance and can play again without being all tense and nervous about it being the first match and all...

    Good cheer! :-)

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  14. Ahoy, hbc, and welcome! Holy smokes, I think you've nailed it right on the head! This is it in a nutshell, "What will she do with her twilight years if she can't rub all her sacrifices in their faces?" And, someone on The Fray, I think it was "ohlamb", said something to the effect that all was fine with the letter, the mom needing time and all, but when she started talking about sacrifice and the me, me, me, the letter was lost. I agree. Parents need time, sure, but, parents are adults and presumably smart enough to figure out how to close a door. ;-)

    Good stuff and welcome again! Much cheer! :-)

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  15. Ahoy, Debbie! As always, top-notch readings! I love it. You know, for me (and I didn't make this very clear), it's not even that the dad attend all games. I mean, he should, but, sure, whatever, he might miss some, but, if he does, he *definitely* needs to make it equal. So, in this case, because he's coaching the son's team, well, guess what? He should damn sure attend the daughter's games, too. If he needs time off from the grueling schedule of Little League baseball and softball, he can forgo coaching next year and just see one game apiece. Oh well.

    Anyway, good cheer to you, and have a wonderful weekend! :-)

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  16. JayJay! It's great to see you! Ahoy! I was wondering about the different skin color thing, too. But I concluded that she would have mentioned that. At least I hope she would have mentioned that? Either way, I definitely change my answer to tell the kids, in a nonchalant way, but, too, recognize that the child's "father" is already right there in the house. Unless the LW was omitting info there, too? ;-)

    And yay for LW3 advice! I love when I'm out-snarked in the comments! Makes me feel like I have to raise my game next week! :-)

    Good cheer! :-)

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  17. Ms Debbie: Maybe each rising generation will be better. And perhaps it's a sign of progress that fewer women in the 70+ bracket are all out for matrimony (though that could just be economics). I'm guessing that in part it's due to having been brought up to compete with other women for men with such an emphasis, so that, by the time they reach an age at which the F to M ratio is unfavourably high, anything with a pulse looks better, especially for those women who want a lot less than they once did from a male companion. But they were just so conditioned to have a man in their lives at any cost...

    This is not really the same sort of thing, but I do know one man of about 80 who was an absolute sweetheart and a general favourite despite being a little muddle-headed. He cared for an ailing wife for about twenty years before she died. About six weeks after he was widowed, he thought he'd go spend a couple of weeks in Florida, but he had to leave before the end of the first week; the last I'd heard of him, his friends were saying he can't set foot in Florida now because the women chase him down one coast and up the other.

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  18. Mr Hrumpole, one can hope that over time that this change will occur. I agree with each of your statements. It's an interesting concept that women compete for men, I can see this as a young women but somehow seeing this in the 70+ group I find disconcerting. I had hoped this was a behavior that women grew out of but alas it is not so. I refer to them as the Casserole Brigade, as they are a formidable group and men would be wise to identify this characteristic and wear the appropriate running shoes as they will certainly be needed. I am not surprised that your friend felt the need to escape Florida's Brigade, that's retirement central, I imagine the pickings are very good, scary good if there is such a thing...bet a man could eat without entering a kitchen for months and months. I think if a man wishes to know if a woman is one of the Brigade is to take a look at her casserole dishes, if you see her name taped to the bottom, chances are good she's a formidable woman, a woman with a plan. And you're it!

    As much as I love men just for their manliness, I don't see myself competing with a tater-tot casserole nor green beans smothered in onions ever. Somehow it comforts me to know I'll not be joining the Casserole Brigade, I'll be busy filling my days with what delights me. After all I am my own best friend and I don't see that changing anytime soon...even if I hear the patter of running feet and the clanking, clashing of dishes I'll be keeping my head down.

    Is that you I hear running past? ;o)

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  19. SmagDaddie...that is what I read. Balance is the key regardless of how many days the father plants himself at games...fair and balanced between his two children regardless of their gender. Neither child wishes to feel as lessor than, and he's a huge part of that. ;o)

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  20. herd"T"hinner joins in in the following manner:

    I was rathered bored with DP's lot this week, but pressed on. I have to know the source before coming here, to The Land of Smag the First.

    LW1 - zzzzzzzzzzzSNRKhuh? wha? You got everyone's DNA tested? No? Then shut up and go back to sleep. And he's 3. You'd have to explain where babies come from, too. Have fun!

    LW2 - actually, I was on the dad's side at first, because I'd do everything I could to get out of attending relatives' events, but then, kids are a bit more than mere "relatives," and he's coaching the boy's team, which takes hours and hours and hours and hours and hours in addition to the games themselves, and the girl's total hours for games would be a fraction of the coaching time + game time.

    Solution: don't have kids.

    UHHHH I mean attend everything, Fool! Not the Shakespearean Fool, but the Mr. T kind, like everyone's talking about here.

    LW3 - I do like Prudie's advice to announce that she'd be naked for a weekend, period, and the kids must do with that knowledge what they will. But it could also backfire. Youtube and total lack of privacy are very In these days.

    One of my sisters has one almost-11-year-old child, and from what I can determine, has no responsibilites at all, other than, I suppose, dressing herself. Barely even that. Sis still lays out the kid's bathroom items on a towel, lined up neatly, and then they do all that bathroom stuff together. Putting away dishes? Folding laundry? Preparing her own food? Fuhgeddaboudit! Ok, the last one, she gets some slack, because 11-year-olds making their own food usually means Disaster.

    Anyway, LW3 made her own bed, so she should lie in it naked!


    LW4 - A testimonial for a dating site, from a family member? What the fuck? Is this because I never use dating sites that I don't get that at all? I can understand business recommendations, but I don't get the idea of a dating site "testimonial."

    So, I could use ignorance as my reason to ignore anyone's request for one. Score!

    My mom is in her 70's and has always - ALWAYS - needed a man in her life. Period. It's not just how "society" was in her time, but also her. I'm curious about how Florida is for women, though, or is it that the ladies greatly outnumber the men? Is it like the opposite of Alaska there? I'm not in my 70's nor man-huntin'. I'm just curious.

    I only make one casserole, but hate sharing it! It's my ultimate comfort food. You can't share comfort food. So if I ever make it to my 70s, those old farts are on their own for food.

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  21. HAPPY FATHER'S DAY, SMAGGIE!

    I beg to differ about the travails of the single mom, having been one myself. I think she should put her kids to work making meals and cleaning up, and other chores.... Also, she really needs and deserves a break, but her ex isn't likely to let her have one without adding to her worries (single parents are always worried, and you know, they've have to be on duty 24/7 without a break to give their children not only material but emotional support.... even in the middle of the night to deal with nightmares, even while at work where they get worrying phones calls from their kids, or their school etc etc etc).

    A single parent (man or woman) might have had fun having the sex that conceived the children but he/she sure didn't expect to end up raising them alone....

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  22. I couldn't see anything wrong with that goal, Smaggie, so you have my sympathies. When so much rests on a single goal, I think it's high time we had some kind of video appeals system. Referees make critical mistakes all the time and it just leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

    As for England, i've a feeling we might be going home soon. In 1990, the BBC played Nessun Dorma as the theme song for the World Cup and they should use it again because England's performance so far has been a fucking tragedy.

    And yes, it was definitely a mistake for our goalkeeper to sneakily partake of the hot buttered popcorn while the ball was at the other end.

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  23. Amen, Debbie, balance is key! :-) Now, if I could balance homework with other things...! :-)

    Good cheer!

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  24. Ahoy, "T"! And greetings!

    Yepper, I think that you got it on LW#2. Especially in your Mr. T. mode! And, being "T", I'll trust that you know a thing about Mr. T. ;-)

    Also, I'm thinking, regarding your story about your sister and LW#3's situation, that that can't be heading in a good direction. By that age, they can do for themselves every bit of what you mentioned, including quite a bit of cooking, and ALL of the cleanup. But, to each his/her own, I suppose. Good luck to them all!

    Good cheer and good thoughts, all, "T"! :-)

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  25. Kati, while I agree with you 100% regarding everything you said, I took the woman's whining to mean almost mean that her children's fault that she can't have some time to herself. Almost as if she's sacrificed so much for them that she "deserves" a break. Well, of course she does, but, as you said, she needs to be one to give it to herself. She needs to share the burden with her girls. She needs to tell them about "alone time". She needs to have them respect her closed bedroom door, or allow her to have a weekend with them at friends' houses, etc. She's enjoying too much being a martyr (for my tastes), when the solution is right there in front of her.

    Thank you for the kind happy wishes!

    Good cheer! :-)

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  26. Aye, Tarky, the whole thing has been full of strangeness. How about France's team?!?! Wow! So, who knows what's next? Regardless, it always fun to find something in the day's matches to get riled about. :-)

    Good cheer! :-)

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  27. The Mom of Three...

    It does push my button's when I hear the terms, sacrifice and burden, in regards to children so I hope she isn't feeling either. And her need for alone time, I didn't read that as needing time to have sex but more of...close the door, shut off the phone, nobody ring my bell or expect me to answer for ANYTHING, where she simply would awaken when her body needed to and dressing and grooming might be optional until late in the day, if then, and she could wander about doing nothing or everything. It was that need for a moment feeling the freedom of not being needed by anyone for anything no matter how minor. Women's lives are so busy that there are days when we can't make one more decision, do one more thing. Part of this is due to many of the tasks we complete are never ending, there is no sense of accomplishment in dusting for example because you get to do it again very soon, your standing back and thinking great things about what a great job you did is very fleeting, mostly because there's more of the same to follow. And has any woman ever had someone compliment them on how dust free their furniture is...nope, not so much...or the shine on that silverware...again, not a peep. Clean sweet smelling towels to enjoy a shower, not so much either...a clean filter on your blow dryer...restocking the cotton balls & Qtips...washing the combs and brushes...again...same deal....some Fairy Princess floats though the house when no one is about and does all these odd things. This woman besides setting everyone off with her choice of words and sacrifice was it...is simply needing some time to feel free. And I've got dryer lint to deal with so there you have it. Buh-bye ;o)

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  28. At this age, there's really no reason she can't say to her kids "I'd like to take this weekend off. I'll be here, but you guys are on your own." As long as she's there to make sure they don't burn the house down, and one of them is old enough to drive for food, or to the ER, why can't they get themselves to their own activities and rustle up their own grub? It sounds like she's set the precedent for these kids to be very needy and dependent and now it's coming back to haunt her. Even at their dad's house, they sound like they expect it to be Disneyland every weekend instead of just normal life where 90% of the time you're just hanging around the house doing nothing.

    One of the first things I taught my son (right after "what a closed door means") was the concept of "Alone Time". Everybody needs it, including Mommy. I was a single mom, and my son's dad drove a big rig and wasn't there to relieve me every other weekend, for months at a time. I also had no friends or family to babysit him, so it was me and him most of the time, when we weren't at work or preschool. I knew the only way we were both going to survive is if I taught him to be as independent as possible and not depend on me for every little thing. So I did things like putting the plastic cereal bowls with the box of cereal in the low shelf in the cupboard, so if he got up early in the morning and was hungry, he could make himself something to eat without waking me up.

    But for some parents, what they enjoy most IS that "feeling needed" aspect of parenting. Which lasts until "feeling needed" morphs into "feeling used up", like in the LW's case. I think it's a hard lesson to learn for some parents, to accept the huge irony that what is best for our children, and what we should be doing at all times is preparing our children to leave us someday.

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  29. Debbie and MM, I think you've both nailed it. As MM says, I think we're supposed to work ourselves right out of a job--if we're doing it correctly. ;-) And Debbie, I do understand, honest I do. It's just that, as you noted, she said that she divorced young and decided to "sacrifice [her] personal life to make up for the loss of their father." Not just make a sacrifice. Not just sacrifice here and there. That would be fine. But no! She decided, at that young age, to basically sacrifice her young and fertile years (cue violin music and fake tear machine) so that her impressionable, precious, perfect little chickadees would never go a day without her unconditional, glowing, sacrificing love (end music).

    While I understand sacrifices as in, "Hey, I sacrificed my Friday night jack off session to go see my daughter play softball", I don't understand "I sacrificed my entire love life..." One is just every day life, the other is a guilt trip to rival mommy dearest. ;-)

    Good cheer, Debbie and MM! :-)

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