First of all, find some other ways to save the planet and switch to disposable diapers. Your in-laws will be more likely to change a disposable, and you can stop washing slop buckets of these rank things. As for your reaction to your in-laws, I think it’s reasonable. Unless there is a medical issue that’s being addressed, a 6-month-old doesn’t need classes. He is already an expert in how to be a baby. Nor does he need to spend a lot of time on the highway in order to find the most invigorating outdoor experience. A walk around the block or time on a blanket on the floor learning to roll over or shake a rattle is plenty of stimulation. What’s not good for an infant is not getting enough sleep and having a soaked bottom. It’s natural for you to not only want to know where your baby is but to have him be nearby. When you hand your baby over to his grandparents, it’s not good for anyone if you micromanage, but you’re entitled to set guidelines. I hope your husband will join you in coming up with these, and in a loving way you can explain to the in-laws that you’re both too nervous to have your child taken hither and yon. Say you’d prefer he go to the local park, and staying close will allow him to come home and get the nap time he needs. If you can afford it, keep that baby sitter and tell your in-laws that you want to use them more strategically. Since they are energetic people, they will have plenty to do while they wait for their grandson to get old enough to appreciate their adventures.
I’m an attorney with a mountain of student and credit card debt. Before I got married, I told my wife about this, but thought I owed about $100,000. It turns out to be about $170,000. When I finally added up the total eight months ago and told her, she accused me of lying previously. My job barely pays me enough to cover our monthly expenses, but I’m supposed to be moving up. I continually look for new jobs and am trying to advance in my company, but that takes time. My wife is in her early 30s and is desperate to have kids and buy our own home, but she insists we can't because of our financial situation. When I have gone to interviews and was not hired, she blamed me for doing something wrong to blow it. A few days ago she found out one of her friends had a couple interviews for a much higher paying job. She became extremely frustrated, insulted my work ethic, and now won't speak to me. I don't know what to do. Should I stay in a relationship that is this unsupportive?
—No Pots to Piss in
It’s too bad your wife is incapable of procuring one of those high-paying jobs she thinks are so easy to get. Sadly, there are so many young people in your situation—people who wonder if crushing debt will ever allow them to start families or have a normal life. When you told your then-fiancée you were one of those burdened people, the two of you should have looked closely at your finances and started figuring out a long-term plan toward solvency. If that didn’t interest her, she should have walked. Instead, you now have another burden: a punitive spouse who blames you for everything. I hope your health insurance covers couples counseling. Even if it doesn't, paying for a few sessions will clarify whether you can save a marriage in which you get the silent treatment because someone else got a job.
More Dear Prudence Columns
“A Marriage Hits a Rough Patch: Hubby’s new beard rubs me the wrong way, but he refuses to shave!” Posted Dec. 29, 2011.
“Santa Baby: A grownup throws a tantrum over changing Christmas traditions. Plus, Dear Prudence handles your holiday hassles.” Posted Dec. 22, 2011.
“Must Love Cats?: My friends are disgusted that I’d give up a beloved kitty for my boyfriend. But he’s severely allergic!” Posted Dec. 15, 2011.
“Poor Parental Activity: My husband is leaving me for my 25-year-old daughter.” Posted Dec. 8, 2011.
More Dear Prudence Chat Transcripts
“Wife’s Best Friend Is Hubby’s Worst Enemy: In a live chat, Prudie advises a man whose wife’s best buddy is out to “destroy” him.” Posted Jan. 9, 2012.
“In Love With the Nanny: In a live chat, Dear Prudence advises a woman whose ex has fallen for their sitter.” Posted Jan. 3, 2012.
“Isolated Incident?: Dear Prudence advises a teacher reluctant to report abuse for fear of fracturing a family—during a live chat at Washingtonpost.com.” Posted Dec. 19, 2011.
“Ring of Ire: Dear Prudence advises a bride who is remarrying but wants to keep wearing her old ring—during a live chat at Washingtonpost.com.” Posted Dec. 12, 2011.