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What would you do?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I have a neighbor who just put her son in daycare after staying home for only 3 months after she gave birth. She is miserable. I have talked directly to her husband who makes the claim that after this week, if she still feels so bad, they'll reconsider her need to work. I am so completely torn because I see what is happening to them. I know I don't know all the specifics of their financial needs, but I see them taking expensive trips, having 3 cars, a TV in every room of their 2000+ sq house and nice clothes to boot and I can't imagine that something can't give in order for her to be with her child, which she obviously wants considering how much suffering she is outwardly showing.

I've purposely stayed away from her because I don't think I can contain my feelings. She's an adorable person and loves her baby, but I think her husband is forcing the issue of her working because they are just too comfortable with the financial security they've obtained with two people working. I hate to see a woman torn from her child like this and I can't stand not to see a woman stand up for what her heart is screaming out to her

What would you do? Should I say something? Should I jeopardize putting a strain on our relationship? uggghhh--help :
post #2 of 22
Personally, I don't know if I would say anything to her about it. Because
sometime's people take it the wrong way and might think you are butting into
there business, but if she is a friend of your and know's that the only reason
you spoke to her about the situation is because you are concerned, if you dont think she will get upset at you, then, if you feel you have to say something then I think you should. I dont know if ive read the post correctly
but I think that if she wanted to say at home with her child I think she would have. Some people just love that highclass life style and just cant give it up. But I dont know what there situation is. If it was me and I wanted
to stay at home with my kids. I would have just came out front and told my husband, and he just would have to deal with that.But i dont have that problem because my husband wanted to me stay at home with the kids from the start. But if you feel you have to say something and if you dont think she
will get mad, then i guess you should speak with her.
post #3 of 22
How close are you to this woman? If she's just a neighbor, I wouldn't say anything unless it comes up in conversation.
post #4 of 22
What are you thinking about saying? Having one person stay at home and one person work is such a huge, very personal, decision...I'm not sure I would say anything unless she specifically ASKED me about my experience.
post #5 of 22
Tell her about how you live on one income. Tell her it is worth sacrificing a few luxeries. She told you she is miserable. It's not like she is a happy working mom and you are lecturing her about how she is wrong. She wants to be a stay-at-home Mom. I think you could be a support to her.
post #6 of 22
I probably wouldn't say much about it because it is between her and her dh to make the decision. I would give what support I could but not advice unless they ask for it. It sounds like they might reconsider her working already. Give them a chance to work it out.
If she tells you she doesn't want to work and is miserable I think you could at that time ask if she wants ideas on how to manage being a SAHM.
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by CinnamonDeMarco
Tell her about how you live on one income. Tell her it is worth sacrificing a few luxeries. She told you she is miserable. It's not like she is a happy working mom and you are lecturing her about how she is wrong. She wants to be a stay-at-home Mom. I think you could be a support to her.
ITA.
post #8 of 22
I haven't read any responses yet but I have to say that it seems there already is a strain if you are concerned about being around her and say too much. I would say it with love. If its easier, write it. Tell her how wonderful her desire to be with her baby is and if she wants to be home she should. She can always go back to work later.

I would say something. I might be careful not to point out all the things they have and ridiculousness of it all but to encourage her in a different way. If it comes to a head where you HAVE to mention the discrepency then mention it sweetly and risk the new friendship. You might just save a mother child relationship at the risk of your own. Know what I'm saying. It would be worth having them mad at you for a while if they ultimately decided to keep their child home with its sweet mother.


ETA: Read the responses. Ooops. I still feel I would say something but that's just me. Do what you feel comfy with though.
post #9 of 22
Well, I'd say this is a case where you can be empowering to her by helping her think of ways to handle the situation, since she's not happy going back to work.

You could mention that SAH doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing proposition... she can continue working part-time. Kind of feel her out on the subject to see what is most important to her.

And know that all that "stuff" may have bills rolling in that seem quite insurmountable-- it may look like they're financially rolling in the dough, but lots of people have spent years ahead of themselves, never anticipating that someday their income may go down. Makes for a nice trap, eh? If you suggest, "but why not sell some of that stuff???" she may realize that she owes more on it than it's worth. And that she can't get out of that anytime soon. This will make her defensive.

But really, it would all have to be handled very tactfully. Obviously.
post #10 of 22
Say nothing.

That being said I opened my yapper when my husband's best friend put their 6 week old in day care so that he could work as a waiter.... doh. I understand.
post #11 of 22
It sounds like they're working it out themselves. If she truly is unhappy, hopefully they'll have an open, honest discussion. Has she said that the reason she works is so they can afford "TVs in every room", etc? I don't think I'd assume that. Perhaps you could have them/her over for desert some night or something and find out why she's working if she's so miserable.
post #12 of 22
Maybe just "I hope you're able to get your working situation sorted out, I know it's been tough for you."?
post #13 of 22
I'd put the ball in her field. Say something like, "It was tough for us to cut back to one income as well, if you need any advice or are looking for ideas feel free to ask anytime." This way she knows you are trying to help her out but also respect her privacy and space.
post #14 of 22
I would stay out of it. Really, it's no ones business but theirs. And if she is unhappy, she needs to change that, not you. I understand you feel sorry for her, and I would to, but you don't want to meddle.
post #15 of 22
I guess it all depends on how close you two are. If you are just casual neighbors, I might not say much. If you are good friends, I would deffinetly say something.

I don't think it would be butting in if you said something like "you know my dh and I had the same issues when ___ was born. I felt torn and didn't know what to do. But in the end we downgraded our cable, and sold my cute BMW, which I miss, but I really don't mind now. I'm so glad I made those sacrifices now, but I know what you are going through. If you need someone to talk to or some advise, I've been through it, and I'm here."

Or something like that. I have a friend who is kind of going through the same thing, and I said something similar to the above. She actually took it very well and is now in the process of looking at her finances and seeing what she can afford to do.
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your thoughtful replies. We are more neighbors then close friends, hang out every once in a while, cookouts, etc. but what's bugging me so much is that I feel like her husband is the one who is "forcing" her to work. He commented to me the other day that "This is rough on _______ (his wife), but they (people at day care) are good to him.": : I just wanted to barf. I can't believe how detached people can be from their own infants. It's the most foreign thing in the world to me! Plus, he's totally not supporting his wife. If she feels terrible every day, then why not suggest that it's not worth it. I just would have no part of that if it was my husband. Maybe that's another reason I'm so bothered...I feel like I want to help this woman get some courage to stand up for herself and her baby since her husband obviously isn't making them a priority.
post #17 of 22
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatKirkwood
I feel like a ding dong...what does that mean?
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dswmom
Thank you all for your thoughtful replies. We are more neighbors then close friends, hang out every once in a while, cookouts, etc. but what's bugging me so much is that I feel like her husband is the one who is "forcing" her to work. He commented to me the other day that "This is rough on _______ (his wife), but they (people at day care) are good to him.": : I just wanted to barf. I can't believe how detached people can be from their own infants. It's the most foreign thing in the world to me! Plus, he's totally not supporting his wife. If she feels terrible every day, then why not suggest that it's not worth it. I just would have no part of that if it was my husband. Maybe that's another reason I'm so bothered...I feel like I want to help this woman get some courage to stand up for herself and her baby since her husband obviously isn't making them a priority.
I don't know. It seems as if you are making a lot of assumptions.

You are assuming he is somehow forcing or coercing her to work against her will.

You are assuming that she wants to come home and he "won't let" her.

You are assuming that she hasn't had the courage to stand up for herself.

You are assuming that the husband isn't making his wife and child a priority.

The thing is, you don't know. The only way you will know is to cultivate a friendship with her and ask. Good luck!
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
You're right. I am making some assumptions---I didn't mention that my husband speaks to her husband regularly though and more information about how things are going is passed along through him.
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