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Dahgts

United States

#1 Jun 17, 2013
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have five kids, all under 6 years of age. The youngest are 7-month-old twins. A family in our church has offered to watch them so my husband and I can go out on a date. We haven't been alone together in a year. We have no family or friends nearby to offer respite.

I would like to accept their kind offer, but two things are holding me back. First, I don't think they realize the enormity of the task, and it feels like we might be imposing.

Second, I don't have anything to say to my husband. A date would be awkward and most likely consist of "relations." I like my husband, but I'd rather be left alone. What would you do?-- FRAZZLED MOM WITH NO SUPPORT

DEAR FRAZZLED: Before placing your small children in the care of others, invite the family over to see exactly how much work would be involved in watching them. Then discuss with your husband what date night will entail and see if you can agree on what would be a fun night out.

You definitely need a break, and some alone time should be something to look forward to. That it isn't is of concern to me. It's possible you could benefit from marriage counseling to help re-establish a line of verbal communication. And equally important, because you suspect the evening "might" result in relations, make sure you have birth control to prevent an accidental pregnancy.

DEAR ABBY: In this season of graduations and weddings, I would like to urge the honorees to send proper thank-you notes to friends and family who give them gifts and money. Time, money and preparation are put into these events, and the effect is spoiled when guests have to contact stores or scrutinize their bank statements to learn if their gifts were, indeed, received but simply not acknowledged.
Thank-yous aren't difficult. Some "rules": Rather than text or email, write a note on paper and mail it with a stamp via the U.S. mail. If you do, you will be forever known as "that polite young couple" or "the young man/woman who sent the nice note."

Three lines are all that are needed: "Thank you for the ----. I look forward to using/enjoying it when we entertain/grill/vacation/walk the dog, etc. Again, I appreciate your thoughtfulness." That's it!

If showing good manners isn't incentive enough, remember this: These are the people you will be inviting to weddings, baby showers, and your own children's graduations and weddings in the not-so-distant future. A little courtesy goes a long way.-- APPRECIATIVE IN HITCHCOCK, TEXAS

DEAR APPRECIATIVE: While letter-writing may always seem like a chore to some people, there are occasions when a written message is the proper means of communication. Acknowledging the generosity of others is one of those times. Failure to do so indicates that the person's gesture was of so little importance that it was not noticed by the recipient. And frankly, it also indicates a distinct lack of manners.

DEAR ABBY: How do you politely tell friends and relatives who are guests in your home that your computer and TV are off-limits? Once they take control of the remote or the computer, they seem to go crazy and change all the settings to their preferences and never put the settings back when they leave! What can I do, Abby?-- FRUSTRATED IN LEWIS RUN, PA.

DEAR FRUSTRATED: "Remind" any guest who uses your electronic equipment that it must be returned to your original settings before the person leaves your house. If you have already done that and it hasn't worked, then you must find the courage to say, "I'm not letting anyone use my computer or remote control because I have a hard time getting the settings back to where I put them after you leave."

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#2 Jun 17, 2013
L1: Not only do you need date night, but you need some day time relief. You sound tired from being a baby factory. Get on some birth control if you're not already on it, and give your mind and body a break for a while.

L2: And remember that it's as much the husband's obligation as it is the wife's.

L3: TV is off limits? I have a universal remote and can't imagine what changes could be made. There aren't any pre-sets. But the computer? Password protect it and don't let them on. It's that simple.

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#3 Jun 17, 2013
L1: You don't have anything to say to your husband? Sounds like you should spend "date night" in counseling, learning how to (re)build your relationship. Aside from making children, that is.

L2: Blah blah blah.

L3: Use your words. "Don't change the settings" or "stay in a hotel" would both work.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#4 Jun 17, 2013
One one of the websites recently there was an article about re-introducing teaching cursive handwriting. I didn't know the schools had stopped doing that, but if that is accurate, sending a personal handwritten note may not be as easy as it once was. Then we would hear gripes about typed or printed notes.

No family, no friends , 5 kids under 6 and no respite? Seriously, I thought "Barefoot, pregnant and chained to the stove" was old in the 1960's.At least they get to church.

I am visualizing one of the those Depression era black and white photographs from the Dustbowl.

FWIW, this LW sounds like a bit of a martyr. She is reluctant to take the offer, in part, because she thinks someone else can't handle the kids.
tiredofit

Los Angeles, CA

#5 Jun 17, 2013
L1: That poor mother. 5 kids in 6 years, wow! I can guess that the family offering help knows what they are capable of. They probably have it all planned out. You take two, I'll take two, etc. But back to the mother, birth control now.

And, the twist to this letter is the one on Dear Amy where the newlyweds haven't consummated their wedding yet. Takes all kinds to make the world go round.
Renee J

United States

#6 Jun 17, 2013
LW1- I bet they are religiously against birth control. She should probably rethink that.
pde

Palatine, IL

#7 Jun 17, 2013
PEllen wrote:
No family, no friends , 5 kids under 6 and no respite? Seriously, I thought "Barefoot, pregnant and chained to the stove" was old in the 1960's.At least they get to church.
I suspect church is probably the reason behind that as well.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#8 Jun 17, 2013
1 I get that they are against birth control, so oral is definitely got to come into play here.

2 The world is changing, and you stick in the muds have to change with it. Years ago, people were illiterate and could not even write thank you notes at all.

3 The remote? WTF. Just hide the damn thing.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Darby, PA

#9 Jun 17, 2013
1- Your bigger problem is you have nothing to easy to your husband whom you've had five kids in five years with. Forget date night, you need therapy and marriage counseling.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#10 Jun 17, 2013
LW1 - You need couples' counseling. And stop making babies. Are you auditioning for your own reality show or something?

LW3 - Password-protect the computer. Hide the remote. Problem solved.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#11 Jun 17, 2013
LW1: If you want some alone time, then why can't your husband watch the kids for a few hours?

LW2: F*ck you.

LW3: Password protect the computer, or if it's a laptop just hide the dang thing. And I know that my remote has a child safety setting that requires a password, use that too.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#12 Jun 17, 2013
L1: I don't think they believe in birth control either. Abby, what good is that advice? She is probably frightened, at this point. to have sex. She probably thinks oral is "dirty". Don't know -- guessing.

L2: PSA

L3: Most computers you can have a different login for guests. Do that.

TV problems? Hide the remote and just say "no".

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

#13 Jun 17, 2013
1: You are now experiencing the downside of being a strict Catholic.......

2: Yawn, yeah Grandpa, those whipper-snappers should be better at writing thank you notes, next!

3: I've never had this problem, I declare that thou art a doofus.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#14 Jun 17, 2013
Saluki Rod wrote:
1: You are now experiencing the downside of being a strict Catholic.......
2: Yawn, yeah Grandpa, those whipper-snappers should be better at writing thank you notes, next!
3: I've never had this problem, I declare that thou art a doofus.
(Good to see you. Don't be a stranger)

Since: May 13

Marina, CA

#15 Jun 17, 2013
LW1: Wow. You "like your husband but you'd rather be left alone." This is the father of your FIVE children. I totally understand that you are exhausted with all of these little ones and no help, but you and your husband seriously need to work on your marriage. I'm with edog on this one.

LW2: I am so over the thank-you note letters.

LW3: HA! One of my roommates once switched my TV controller to GAME, and it took me a few minutes to figure out how he'd done that. Yes, please tell them to remember to switch it back to the way it was when they are done.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#16 Jun 17, 2013
A boyfriend and I house/cat sat for friends while they were on their honeymoon. We had so much trouble trying to figure out how to watch TV on their convoluted system (the husband is a total tech geek), no one else who house sat could figure out how to get the TV and cable to work after us. Husband had to figure it out when he got back from the honeymoon (and honestly, he seemed awfully amused that so many people were disappointed that they weren't able to enjoy his big screen surround sound den) (they'd told all of us we were welcome to hang out and watch movies, etc.).

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#17 Jun 17, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
A boyfriend and I house/cat sat for friends while they were on their honeymoon. We had so much trouble trying to figure out how to watch TV on their convoluted system (the husband is a total tech geek), no one else who house sat could figure out how to get the TV and cable to work after us. Husband had to figure it out when he got back from the honeymoon (and honestly, he seemed awfully amused that so many people were disappointed that they weren't able to enjoy his big screen surround sound den)(they'd told all of us we were welcome to hang out and watch movies, etc.).
Well, at least that was the only thing you "broke." While I was on my first honeymoon, we had friends lined up to take in the mail and instead they just moved in for two weeks. Totally trashed the place and melted the b0ng that we had hidden in the oven.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#18 Jun 17, 2013
squishymama wrote:
Totally trashed the place and melted the b0ng that we had hidden in the oven.
That's why it's never a good idea to "hide" things in an oven.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#19 Jun 17, 2013
LW1: Most of you have this one covered.

LW2: "the effect is spoiled when guests have to contact stores or scrutinize their bank statements to learn if their gifts were, indeed, received but simply not acknowledged."

"Some "rules": Rather than text or email, write a note on paper and mail it with a stamp via the U.S. mail."

Fluck you and anyone who looks like you, you annoying POS. If you're big gripe is not knowing if the gift was received, then an email or text will satisfy your need to know. Take your thank you note rules and shove them up your ass.

"If showing good manners isn't incentive enough, remember this: These are the people you will be inviting to weddings, baby showers, and your own children's graduations and weddings in the not-so-distant future."

Don't be too sure about that.

LW3: "How do you politely tell friends and relatives who are guests in your home that your computer and TV are off-limits?"
Use these words: " You are not welcome in my home"

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#20 Jun 17, 2013
j_m_w wrote:
L2: Blah blah blah.
squishymama wrote:
LW2: F*ck you.
<double fist bump>

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