The hardest thing for me is that I take care of the kids 24/7. No matter how flexible I am with family / extended family (even my ex’s family) or how hard I work at forging a community, I can’t find reliable people who can help watch my kids and I can’t pay for childcare on my income. How do you do it? How do you spend all day every day with kids and not go completely insane?

Whenever I think maybe I’ve found a balance and gotten some normalcy established, everything gets upended again and I’m back to square one with little to no childcare and staying up hours past their bedtime just so my introvert self can recharge. Idk if I’m just venting or if I actually think you might have an answer I haven’t thought of yet.

A friend sent me this blog post you wrote that has studies about how poetry and empathy feed on each other. I don’t know about poetry but I’d like to learn to read it. And I’d like my teenaged daughter to have more empathy as you could imagine even though you have sons. Can you tell me books to get?

I know I can speak frankly with you since you’re not actually going to be reading this.  I found you through an internet search that went something like “what distance is too great lessons Suzuki drive”…for my six Suzuki Strings players with their myriad practices, private lessons, and group classes.

Sometimes, and especially as a musician knowing how insidiously vicarious living can hold sway in these decisions, I worry that I’m wasting time that could be better spent elsewhere or that my motives for pushing on are poor.  I was, therefore, cringing inwardly reading your post about same.

But, your unschooling philosophy also has flaws, as does your idea of channeling children away from extracurriculars that don’t fit their personality. That assumes a great deal of perspicacity on the part of the parent and seems against “delight directed learning” that unschoolers seem always to be promoting.

I also don’t believe children in general will have focus or discipline to keep at even areas of delight without training from an adult. Do children or adults even know themselves? It takes years and better personality tests.

In addition, there are some life skills that are necessary whether one is delighted by them or not – basic math, cleanliness, literacy, and (I would submit) religious training all come to mind.

Penelope, I’m rambling now. I’m going to close by thanking you once again for writing in an honest, open, approachable way about your opinions.

I’m reaching out to you and hoping you would share any insight you might have.

I’m an INFP with one toddler. I want to have more kids but my ENTJ husband doesn’t want anymore. He says we can’t afford them. So I want to go back to work (community/career college teaching) to try to set aside enough money to have more kids, but wonder if this is pointless because I think my husband just doesn’t want more kids, period. And a lack of money is just the excuse he is giving me.

I feel a little useless because I’m not working, but I still leave them for 5 hours a day to have time for myself. I’m also not very good with emotional stuff. You and my husband allude to not being good in this area, but you’re both far more real, articulate, and honest than I am. So I don’t even bring the supposed INFP strengths to our relationship. My husband is really good at the things ENTJs typically excel at — leadership, decision making, real-time crisis management, and he’s better than I am at the stuff INFPs are supposed to be good at, like reading and responding to emotions and listening. I feel the only thing I’ve ever done really well was being pregnant and giving birth. I wish I could do it again.

When I read your posts and listen to you, I feel like you could be my husband’s soul sister or something. You’re so similar, and since I’m too hurt and scared to talk to him about this (again) and I don’t want him to feel pressured, I’m wondering if you have an intuition of what I should do or how I should handle this. Go back to work? Keep doing what I’m doing and get over wanting more kids? Perhaps if I hear it from you, it will be less triggering than hearing it from him.

Thank you so much for being who you are.

I’m 25 years old and I’m angry with my mother.

She did well raising us. She came from a poor family and used her skills to create her own business. She didn’t even graduate college. Over the years, she earned money to buy us a house and several necessities. She paid for our education, she gave us allowances. She just made sure we were okay financially.

And we are okay. Until now. Or maybe it’s been a long time but I’ve just realized it now. I recently resigned from my job and while I have my savings, I don’t have to rely on them too much because I don’t really spend a lot and most of the things I need she buys (we still live in the same house). I’m grateful in that aspect.

But I’m just frustrated with my anger at her. She was never loving, never emotionally attentive. She never said “I love you”, hugged us, kissed us, not even a moment where she actively showed she appreciates us. Even though we’ve grown as respectable, responsible adults. Despite the difficulties we experienced and how we’ve overcome our struggles. She never told us she’s proud of what we’ve become.

And she gets angry when we do things wrong. Absolutely humiliates us. Undermines us for every wrong thing, even though she could simply tell us to do it right and not berate us.

I’ve confronted her about it on several occasions. Told her she’s too cruel. She should be kinder; aren’t we her kids? She would always throw the same argument: but I gave you food, money, all the things you enjoy! Which is true.

I just want to know if what I feel is valid. And if I should just move out or something. Maybe space will make her more loving? I resigned because of work stress (and maybe I’m having a quarter-life crisis? I’m just lost right now. Figuring things out. But generally okay, like I just need to rest for a while) and I don’t feel like having a job just yet, but maybe I need to find a job soon so I could interact with her less.

I have a 22-year-old that no matter what I do, it is wrong. Her memories are not what happened. I put her through 4 years of school and that was not good enough. I am a single mom who put my life on hold for my kids, which I have two.

Now I have finally found a man that I should have been with 16 years ago and we are back together. I moved in with him with my youngest daughter and everything is fine except my oldest who is 22 says and tells people I abandoned her for a guy and don’t love her. She has this attitude that I owe her anything she wants.

I want her a part of my life, I just want her to leave the attitude at the door. I have made mistakes as a parent, I am not perfect. Have I smacked her, yes. Have I punished her, yes. If I told her “I don’t like that color on you”, she took it as I called her ugly. No matter what I do or say I do nothing right. Please give me some advise. I am at my wits end and don’t know where to go.

I have decided not to go back to work after my maternity leave ends in the middle of October. I am going to be a SAHM for 2-3 years before I do any kind of contract or freelance, but likely be mostly home for 5 years before I go back fulltime.

What do I do with my linkedin profile in the meantime? Do I show that my current job ends in the middle of October, and then nothing for my current position?

I am quite proud of being a SAHM and think more women should be too.  What do you think of putting something like Managing Director, family name., and listing the work I do as a mom (advance negotiation, scheduling, budgetting, etc., etc.,) in a way that clearly says I am at home, and I am “owning it”, or “leaning into it” if you will. I don’t feel like I have anything to be ashamed of, but also think it is a safer move after I get my next job.

I have a 5 year old and a 3 1/2 month old baby and this is our first year homeschooling and I’m having a horrible time managing it.

A bit more about our family:
Both my husband and I work. My husband has to travel away from home 1-2 nights per week and sometimes more. But his job does allow him to often schedule around my commitments. I am an instructor at a community college and I have classes twice a week for half the day plus 2-3 random hour long meetings per month. The rest of my classes are online, so I can do the work when it suits my schedule. I have a month off in December/January and all summer off. Hubby watches the kids one of the days I go to work and the other day we hire a babysitter.

With the new baby and homeschooling, I am having a hard time balancing my work and the kids and I’m worried that I’m not doing enough for my kids, especially my oldest.

I’m torn because a part of me wants to quit my job, but I know that would be extremely unwise. I make a decent amount of money for the number of hours that I work, I have fantastic medical and retirement benefits and my “commute” is 5 minutes. Plus, this is my last year of tenure and assuming I make it through, it will be almost impossible for me to get fired. I also make more money than Hubby because of my education and years of experience. And I do like my job. It is interesting and engaging. If I quit, it would be almost impossible to get this job back. Ever.

But, even if I quit my job to be here for my kids, how do I choose which homeschool activities to do? All of the activities are so fun, I suspect that I would fill all of the “extra” time I would have I would just fill up with more activities for the kids and I would still feel like I was spread too thin. And we wouldn’t be able to do all of the things that we do now without my income. I worry that I would regret quitting my job.

Hubby and I have considered having him quit his job (which I would love because I would have someone home to help me get things done and to spend more time together), but I think so much of his identity and self-worth comes from his job, that he would be miserable being a stay-at-home dad. So this option is off the table.

So, what are your thoughts? I am an INFJ, if that influences your advice.

I am a self employed accountant, and I need your advice on the best way to handle my maternity leave for our first child. My clients all require face time for any hours billed and are not open to my working remotely. In anticipation of the baby, I have started looking for new clients so I can work remotely with them and let go of the clients who insist on face time only.

However there is one of my key current clients that I want to keep. The commute to their office is 20 minutes only unlike other clients and I can do the work with my eyes closed. To avoid being replaced, I want to propose taking two weeks off and then coming back to my normal working hours with them – 18 hours spread over 3 days. All the other clients who insist on face time will be given enough notice to find alternative arrangements as my due date approaches.

My husband is happy to take several months of parental leave with my family who live nearby also happy to help while I return to work part time. Our plan is to then get a nanny to come to our home 3 days a week once he returns to work.

I know going back to work 2 weeks after having the baby will be tough but I am keen for my income to not drop to zero and the money worries that will come with that. Also I think of it as a sacrifice that I will only have to make once, now that any new clients I take on will be on a remote basis.  My goal is to work a maximum of 30 hours a week so the rest of my time can be spent with my family.
Also, my personality type is INTJ,

Do you think the plan is feasible and what advice would you give so I can succeed. Thank you.

I came to US 5 years ago for school and working for a fortune 500 company in Chicago and make a decent living. My parents are in India and wanted to marry someone of the same religion, caste etc (too much for ppl here to understand) Well. I visited my parents last November and they made me meet someone. She was smart, have same views about things I care for, but something about her physical looks bother me. I said yes to my parents after meeting her for couple days I was there, thinking I will get over the fact. But I never did.  Whenever we skype, it keeps bothering me. There were twice I told her I’m not ready for the wedding w/out telling the actual reason and she convinced me everything is going to be alrite.  I have my wedding in 1 month. It’s been couple weeks I even skyped but use whatsapp and phone every day. All invitations are sent out and my entire family is excited for me to go there and get married. I’m having strong back thoughts. In my family calling off wedding means they will actually disown me.

I need your opinion on what I should be doing. Why do I need your opinion. Because I want to know what you think is the right thing to do, from a person who doesn’t know me and would tell me the truth – I could just think of you. When I ask this question to friends who know me they don’t give me a frank answer and some convince me I’ll be alrite after the wedding and some say it’s too late and will be embarrassing for the entire family if I do that.