The Punxsutawney Spirit

Student afraid to tell parents about side job

- COLE

DEAR HARRIETTE:

I've started working in nightlife, and it makes perfect sense for my schedule. I'm a fulltime student during the week, and I rack up a lot of tips on the weekend by working the bar at a popular nightclub. I need to have a job to help pay for my expenses. But it's a little tricky. When my parents ask me what I'm doing to make money, I tell them that I am a waitress. It is hard for me to be honest with them. As much as I hate to admit it, I would like them to approve of what I do. I don't see them approving of this. Should I tell them about my nightclub job? — Side Hustle

DEAR SIDE HUSTLE:

First, let me ask: What aren't you saying? What does "working the bar" mean? What exactly do you think will embarrass your parents? I can imagine they may not prefer you to work at a nightclub, but they also may understand if you explain it to them. Yet I suspect there is more to the story than you have revealed. Is it a strip club? What do you have to wear? Do? More, do you feel that you are compromisi­ng your integrity to be and work there?

If you do not feel like you are compromisi­ng your integrity, you can tell them, even if you think they may not love the idea. If you share the context for your job, at least it will help them to understand.

DEAR HARRIETTE:

I don't find the jokes that my husband makes about our children to be funny. My husband jokes about needing to get away from our kids all the time. I have overheard him "joking" about how fun his life would be if he weren't a dad. I know that he loves our kids. He is a great father to our young children, but his jokes aren't very funny to me. I fear that part of him really does regret having children. Should I confront him about these "jokes"? — Hurtful Jokes

DEAR HURTFUL JOKES:

You absolutely should talk to your husband about this — primarily for the children. If they overhear him saying this, which they surely will, they may grow to believe that he is serious. By the way, what people say usually is a reflection of what they believe, even when they are joking. So you are right. Something deep inside your husband is uncomforta­ble about his role as a father. It could be the responsibi­lity of being in that role, the cost of caring for children, the changed dynamics of your relationsh­ip with him or something else. Ask him what he's really feeling. Attempt to get him to talk to you about his concerns. By bringing them to the surface in a serious conversati­on, you may be able to get to the root of his issues and work together to address them.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylis­t and founder of DREAMLEAPE­RS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriet­te@harriettec­ole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndicatio­n, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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