Sense & Sen­si­tiv­ity



DEAR HAR­RI­ETTE: All of the moms at my son’s school talk about “the help” they have for ev­ery­thing. Many of them have cooks and house­keep­ers and lawn main­te­nance peo­ple, you name it. I think it’s great that they can af­ford all of th­ese ser­vices. We can­not. We pay for tu­ition, which is hefty. And that’s it. My hus­band works, and I am a home­maker. We fig­ured out this was a cost-ef­fec­tive way to get our son the best ed­u­ca­tion and be able to par­ent him. He and I do lots of things to­gether at home and in town. Usu­ally I feel good about our choices, but it’s hard when th­ese women go on and on about how they spend their wealth. Some of them work, but many do not. I don’t think any of them spend as much time with their chil­dren as I do with mine. Baby sit­ters typ­i­cally fill that void. How can I re­lax about this? Some­times they re­ally get un­der my skin. -- Have Not, Syra­cuse, New York

DEAR HAVE NOT: Change your per­spec­tive. Just as you teach your son not to covet oth­ers’ things or ex­pe­ri­ences, you must do the same. In place of that dan­ger­ous, en­vi­ous po­si­tion, count your bless­ings. Re­mem­ber why you and your hus­band made the choices that are cur­rently guid­ing your steps. Re­flect on spe­cific mo­ments you have shared with your son that are mean­ing­ful for you both.

You can also in­tro­duce other top­ics into the con­ver­sa­tion with th­ese moms. Talk about your chil­dren and how they are grow­ing up. When you dis­cover a great ac­tiv­ity in town, share it with the oth­ers. Be a cat­a­lyst for broad­en­ing the con­ver­sa­tion.

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