DEAR AMY: My husband and I met five years ago. We traveled extensively, mostly out of necessity. I worked as a consultant, traveling for work. Vacations were great because my work travel gave me point status at hotels, as well as big client bonuses. I now work from home and take care of our 1-year-old. My husband and I were planning a vacation but when I told him that I didn't have status points or cash to pay for "my third" of the costs, he didn't want to go. (Previously, I always paid one-third of the costs, proportional to our incomes.) I am deeply hurt by this. He can afford it. He just does not think it is fair that he has to pay for the entire trip. I am making a huge sacrifice by staying home. I'm sacrificing my career (and my sanity). I can't believe he does not have my back! I feel like I am not a partner, but a roommate. We split our other bills evenly. So now I wonder what happens if I get sick or lose my job. Am I overreacting?
DEAR WORN OUT: I'm betting that, pre-baby, you two probably devoted more time to talking about strollers than you did about your financial future.
It evidently has never occurred to your (apparently) high-functioning husband that your income and glorious travel perks would change — even as he watched you leave your job to have his baby.
A person who clings to the concept of "fairness" has not absorbed what it really means to be a parent or a partner. Nurturing a human life requires adults to dig deep, recalibrate and surrender to the concept that life is not fair. Ideally, life should feel balanced, but no — it is not fair.
Did you expect your husband to carry half of your pregnancy? No. You did that. Is he breast-feeding, dealing with teething, singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" on a loop? No, he is at work, holding up what you assumed to be his part of the parenting and partnership bargain.
According to a much-publicized survey released by Salary.com, a stay-at-home parent works about 96 hours a week and should earn an annual salary of $162,581. This high figure reflects the multitude of roles the stay-at-home parent assumes. Have you two assigned any financial value to the unsalaried work you are doing at home?
You also seem to have entered this phase of your life with some unfounded assumptions — that you would continue to enjoy corporate-style vacations, funded by your high-earning husband, for instance.
You two need to have a lengthy and detailed heart-to-heart regarding your roles and expectations. A relationship counselor could help.
DEAR AMY: I'm a young teenager. I recently discovered that I'm bisexual, but I have homophobic parents who I know won't accept me when I come out. I can't hide it from them forever, but I can't come out either. My grandparents won't understand (they say that gays should die). I have no idea what to do! It hurts me and causes anxiety when I think about coming out. Any suggestions?
DEAR HURTING: Don't do anything right now. Your home doesn't seem like a safe environment for you to discuss your sexuality.
The young teen years are a time of growth and discovery, and you have the right to conduct this exploration among people who love and accept you for being exactly who you are.
The It Gets Better Project (itgetsbetter.org) was founded to help kids all over the globe connect with one another. You need to know that you are not alone and that — yes — it definitely gets better. The site has many resources for you. You can also text LGBTQ to my friends at Crisis Text Line (741741) 24/7 to conduct a conversation with a counselor.
DEAR AMY: "Nana" was worried about her granddaughter, who is an extremely picky eater. If the granddaughter continues her picky eating, especially if she refuses food that has even a speck of something she doesn't like on it, then Nana should print up some gentle information on ARFID for the parents. It's important to keep an eye on this childhood condition to decide whether it's just a phase or a lifetime of eating challenges. One way to tell? Present nutritious foods in fun shapes and sizes and see if that's enough to win her over.
DEAR STEPH: Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder is a diagnosed condition of extreme food restriction. Thank you for the prompt.