2/22/2021 8:22:00 AM After losing job, mom wants to stay home with kids
DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband and I have been married for six years and have two beautiful children (ages 2 and 3). About a year ago -- around the time the pandemic started -- I lost my job. At first, my husband was extremely sympathetic and supportive about my struggle to find new work, but now it seems his patience is wearing thin. He makes passive aggressive remarks about being "the only one who pays the bills" and gets angry with me when I spend "too much money" on groceries.
I think he's looking at it the wrong way. Because of the virus, our kids have not resumed school, and I think it's convenient that I am able to take care of them during the day. If I were working right now, we'd be spending thousands per month on child care. I've had no luck in finding a new job, and, honestly, I do not really want to do anything but stay home and care for my kids. What should I do? -- Mom of Two
DEAR MOM OF TWO: Sadly, women have fared the worst during the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions have lost their jobs. According to a McKinsey report (bit.ly/372FpV3), women are 1.8 times more likely to lose their jobs during the pandemic than men and currently represent 54% of the current job losses in our country. Moms of young children have it especially hard, as you see, because of child care challenges.
You and your husband need to talk openly and honestly about life as it is today. The stress is real for both of you. Together, you have to figure out a way forward. Make a budget that is as lean as possible. Get support if you need it, including visiting a local food bank. Agree to work through this together. You can also look for online work, like telemarketing or data entry, with flexible hours that you can do from home.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a feeling that my best friend is lying to me about still seeing her ex. They were together for quite some time, and while he did several awful things to her over the course of their relationship, the final straw for her was when she found out he was cheating with one of her classmates. She cried over him for days and swore she would never speak to him again. That was about two months ago.
We each have access to location services on the other's phone, so I can see everywhere she goes. Most nights -- when she leaves her location on -- I can see that she's at his apartment complex. I understand that in the grand scheme of things, it isn't really my business, but that's not how our friendship works. We're always supposed to be 100% honest with each other and promise not to judge. While I wouldn't approve of them being back together, it does hurt that she doesn't think she can tell me about it. Should I ask her directly? I'm scared to overstep and cause a rift. -- Suspicious
DEAR SUSPICIOUS: Your friend is probably worried that you will judge her. Ask her if she is OK. Ask if she is seeing her ex again. Encourage her to talk about what's going on in her life. Suggest that she spend some time alone so she can sort through her feelings. Remind her that you are there for her -- always.
Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.