I have been lucky to be the mother of our son for the last five years. She is in school this year.
Given the unpredictability of the academic year (possible virtual schooling, quarantine, etc.) and my husband’s job requirements, we agreed that I should stay home this year.
I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease late last year and we agreed that it would be good for me to have some time to focus on my health.
Over the past few weeks, I have been plagued by numerous calls / texts from friends because their child is either suddenly entering virtual school because they have COVID cases in the classroom or because of fever or cold / flu. Sent home from day care. Like the signs.
These mothers are telling me to raise their children for the whole or part of the day so that they can go to work or participate in pre-arranged activities.
I am reluctant to spend long hours with children who are sick or who have been around other sick children. Therefore, my policy is to help only if the child has an existing negative COVID test.
I have received some vague answers: (“No problem,” and, “I have no intention of taking any exams, because they were not exposed”).
He asked me if I was irrational.
I think some of my friends think that since I have all this “free time”, I will make a great free nanny. Ultimately, I know they are under pressure, and I want to help them, but I also want to keep my family safe.
What are your thoughts?
A faithful reader.
Dear Faithful: You do not have to justify your choice to reject childcare for children who are home from school because they are sick, or possibly exposed to coyotes.
Nor do you have to justify your choice to serve the child, no matter what the circumstances. All you need to keep in mind is that parents exchange favors for their children over time, and you may one day be in a position to ask.
Now that you have refused and received a cold response, these parents may have realized that you will not be available to back them up.
Dear Amy: My husband and I are in our late 60’s. We have no children.
We are usually invited by nieces and nephews to join them for Thanksgiving dinner.
My problem is with my brother “Jack” who inevitably brings up topics we don’t agree on (he believes that covid is just a mild flu, vaccines are not useful, last election was stolen, the current president is stupid Yes, climate change is a hoax, etc.).
In the last election, most families supported the former president. We are probably the only ones in the family who voted for the Democrats.
At one of the last family gatherings, Jack and another family member were arguing in front of my husband, saying that most Democrats don’t go to church and don’t have morals.
My husband said nothing, but he was angry.
Although we wanted to see family members, we thought we would be home just for Thanksgiving.
When and if we are invited I can say that we have other plans, but someone will inevitably ask what we are doing.
Should I just tell Jack I’m tired of bringing up provocative topics, and I’m staying home?
I know he will not shy away from raising these issues, and he is very stubborn in his views.
Dear tired: Aside from political divisions, you have described an incident where your husband was angry (for good reason), but did not respond.
You look very inactive in the face of this attack, perhaps because it’s too much at the moment, but I don’t think these family members are starting arguments – because they all agree.
It’s all the same – it’s annoying to lecture him, especially since your son is in the White House.
You don’t have to come up with an excuse to cancel this year. Just let them know that you have decided to take a break from politics.
Dear Amy: You said a father who refused to address his child with his new “non-binary” identity. Was “disgusting”
Just because the cultural pattern has changed, reality and science have not.
Amy, you are isolating and marginalizing a significant portion of the population.
Dear SB: Ironically, “separation and backwardness” was exactly what this father was doing.