Dear Readers: I’ve stepped away from the Ask Amy column for two weeks to work on a new writing project. I hope you enjoy these edited “best of” columns in my absence. All of these questions and answers were first published 10 years ago. Today’s topic is: Petty is as petty does.
Dear Amy: I had a child before I met my husband. When we got married, my husband adopted my daughter, who was a year old at the time. We then had three more children together. Now they’re all grown and have children of their own.
– Confused and Hurt
It is somewhat surprising that all of your children are now adults and yet your mother-in-law persists in differentiating among them. You and your husband should have set her straight on this many years ago. If you didn’t, or if she has forgotten what makes a family, now is the perfect time to educate her on the subject. I completely agree with your conditions regarding this family photo. (April, 2009)
We have a staff member who had a baby nine months ago. She leaves her desk to pump three times a day for 20 minutes each (that’s one hour a day). I had no problem with this – until she told people that her son stopped breast-feeding two months ago, but she wasn’t ready to give up her “mommy-time.”
She continues to pump because it’s good birth control, and to continue to lose the baby weight.
None of us would be allowed to leave our desk an hour a day to exercise, so why should she be allowed to pump to lose weight?
– Fairness for All
Dear Fairness: I applaud your college’s commitment to supporting the ne of mothers who want to work and/or further their educations, while continuing to feed their babies naturally. But let’s clear up a few things: Your co-worker’s baby might have stopped breast-feeding, but her child could still be consuming breast milk through a bottle, necessitating her pumping during the day.
Lactation does not provide consistent birth control. If your co-worker believes this commonly held misconception (excuse the pun), it could lead to an unexpected pregnancy – not to mention your further resentment regarding her lactation breaks. Also, breast-feeding does not necessarily hasten weight loss after a baby’s birth.
If your co-worker’s pumping schedule is interfering with her work to the extent that it impinges on your (or her) ability to do your – or disrupts the functioning of the office, then you should bring this up with your supervisor. Otherwise, stick to your own knitting. (May, 2009)
Several years ago, I was visiting for Thanksgiving, and so was my stepmother’s sister. The room choices were to stay in either my room, or a guest/craft room.
– Displaced in VA
Dear Readers: Are you curious about my background and life outside of the confines of this space? Read my two memoirs: “The Mighty Queens of Freeville” and “Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things,” available wherever books are sold or borrowed.
You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: ASKAMYamydickinson.com. Readers may send postal mail to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter askingamy or “like” her on Facebook.