The neighbor who never leaves
So, I have this neighbor who stops by unannounced for at least an hour, and it’s often during the worst times. We’ll be in the middle of dinner, or my kids will be screaming. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I try to say, “Ok I have to go now,” she just doesn’t listen. She even walks right into the house unless I block the door with my body. Besides staying too long, she is very negative and gossipy. And I’ve tried not answering my door, but she peaks through our window to see if we’re home. Our kids play on the same team, and I don’t want to start a war. Is it possible to not talk to her and remain civil? -Frustrated Mommy
Hi Frustrated Mommy,
It sounds like you might need to set some pretty firm boundaries with this mom, but I understand the hesitation. You don’t want things to be awkward when your kids have games together. I think you need to weigh what causes you more stress: enduring this woman’s visits or the thought of things being awkward at games? I think number one, you need to take care of your family. If your little ones are screaming, and she is ignoring them and your cues for her to leave, there is nothing wrong with apologizing profusely but simply shutting the door and saying, “I need to feed my baby. We’ll have to talk later,” even if she is mid-sentence. This may seem incredibly harsh, but I’ve found some people will push your boundaries as far as you’ll let them. She may think you’re rude, but does it matter? What’s the worst that could happen? I have a hard time believing other moms aren’t also frustrated with her, so if she says something bad about you, maybe the mom on the receiving end will be emboldened to set equally firm boundaries. Maybe your neighbor will even leave you alone. Feel free to check back in. I’d love to know how it goes!
I have a bridesmaid who used to sleep with one of my fiancé’s groomsmen. They were together when we asked them to be in our bridal parties, but now they’re broken up. It was a whirlwind of a relationship, and it didn’t end well. He’s been pretty cool about it, but she’s making things really uncomfortable at our social functions. I’m really worried she’s going to make a scene at our wedding. She’s very sensitive, and I don’t want to hurt her feelings, but she’s really stressing me out. What do I do? -Stressed Out Bride
Hi Stressed Out Bride,
I’m so sorry you have to deal with this before your wedding! There are enough stressors right now; I’m sure you don’t need one more thing. Well, it sounds like you might need to have a little chat with your bridesmaid and maybe even the groomsman. I think it would be important to get his perspective and see if he can do anything differently to help alleviate some tension. Your bridesmaid would probably be more receptive to a conversation, if she knew she wasn’t being singled out. And depending on how she handles the conversation, you can decide whether or not she remains a bridesmaid. Remember this is your wedding. You have every right to trust your instincts about your friend and make a decision that is best for you and your soon-to-be husband. I had to have a similar conversation with some of my family members at my wedding, and I told them if they didn’t start behaving around each other at pre-wedding functions, they would both be uninvited. And I said if they caused a scene, I would ask them both to leave. They ended up doing awesome! And, in my case, I was really happy they were there. I hope this helps!
Bath Time Blues
Anyone’s kids hate bath time? Both of my kids get hysterical when it’s bath time, and it’s getting so stressful. Any tips? I will seriously do anything! -Overwhelmed Mom
Hi Overwhelmed Mom,
Have you tried adding special bath toys? I have toys specifically for the bathroom that my kids are only allowed to play with during bath time, and it makes it really special. Also, what about doing bath time outside, since it’s summer? Would a mini kids pool in the backyard create a different enough experience where they wouldn’t realize it’s bath time? And then there are always incentives. I find that forcing my kids to do things almost always going terribly, and incentivizing is the best thing in the entire world. Is there something they’ve been wanting or something they enjoy doing that you can hold in front of them like a carrot. I find that when my kids are reluctant to do something, a couple of great experiences can change almost all future experiences. I feel like you just need a couple of good bath times, and your kids might even start looking forward to them!