Help! I’m So Mad That My Wife Secretly Wrote a Book on Her Lunch Breaks.

Jenée is online weekly to chat with readers. This week's chat was edited.

My wife is an accomplished author who also holds down a fulltime job in an unrelated field, mostly for the benefits. When we had a child last year, we agreed that she would take a break from her writing career.

She didn't stop it. She got a great idea for a novel and wrote it while on her lunch break. It is hard to be mad at someone when they casually tell you that your son's college education is paid for, and that she is free to work as she pleases. She went against our agreement. She could have been home an hour earlier every night this year if she hadn't done this project, and when I think back on all the times she's been tired or grumpy in the past year, I blame the book. How do I trust her to keep her word? How should I feel right now?

Her lunch hour is completely hers to use as she pleases. She did not break her word to you in any way. She said she would stop writing in order to focus on her baby, and that was not a ban on writing. She didn't owe you or the baby anything, even with the deal in place. I am positive that there are a lot of things that you could have avoided to be home more and less tired.

What is really upsetting you here? Are you jealous? Intimidated? Are you disappointed in your own productivity or Burnt out on parenting? Whatever it is, work it out on your own, or with the help of the therapist if that is available to you, before you ruin this moment for her and damage your relationship with a complaint that doesn't make sense.

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According to my friends, our nanny is a porn star.

We knew our nanny was doing some work. She is cheap and we couldn't understand how she was able to support herself in the city. When we did a deeper dive into her social media accounts, we discovered that she had more than one account. She is a full-on porn star. In every sense of the word.

We support someone doing what they have to do to make ends meet, but part of the ruse in which we hired her was that she told us she stayed home a lot and wasn't exposing herself to many people.

What should we be concerned about when she is touching and handling our children? Are we overreacting? Is she going somewhere? Are we? We don't know how to feel about this.

If you take the X-rated twist out of the story, you can see that you went wrong by agreeing that your nanny wouldn't have contact with many people. Did you think she would stop dating for two or more years? Date but not have sex? Do you want to have sex with one person a month? Two? I don't think having sex on camera makes her that much more of a risk to your children than having coffee with a friend in an unventilated small space. I would be more concerned about whether she wears a mask when she is indoors with your kids than I would be about the nature of her contact with the outside world. Do you want to police that? If you feel that her line of work makes her a bad influence on your children, be honest with yourself and say that instead of pretending that this is about precautions for the Pandemic.

I have a good friend of seven years. John had never been to the theater before, but he bought season tickets this year. When John invited me to a show last month, I was thrilled because I adore musical theater and it is a rare treat for me.

He invited me again this month and had an extra ticket. He and I, his mom, one of his kids, and one of my kids were together last month. He and I, one of his kids and that kid's boyfriend, were together with John's new partner "Julie". I only met John and Julie once before, but they have been dating for a couple months.

They are nice people. I was horrified by their behavior at the theater. Julie made loud exclamations like "oh no!" and "no way" during the performance. She was talking to John and then making a commotion trying to find her things. The people in front of us were looking at them. I had a hard time staying in the show because of it. John didn't seem to be intimidated and even turned on a flashlight to help look for something Julie dropped.

John told me that he was worried that I wasn't having a good time because I seemed unexpressive. I told him that I loved the show and that he brought me. He said that he was afraid that I was upset that he brought Julie. John invited me and a partner to the same show, there is no reason to be upset.

If Julie is also going, I will decline future invitations, so I don't know what to say to John. I was not upset that you brought Julie but their poor theater manners made it hard to focus on the show. I should just say that I am not upset that you brought Julie and keep the rest to myself. Even though he will probably catch on at some point, I am avoiding Julie.

If you decline invitations that include Julie, you have two options: you can either tell the truth or leave John with the impression that you hate Julie or that you secretly love him and don't want him to be dating. It doesn't look good for you either way, but I would vote for honesty. I think you can say it nicely. When you asked me why I didn't seem to have a good time at the theater, remember? I was distracted because Julie was making a lot of noise. I am sensitive to these things. I wanted to make sure you didn't think I had a problem with her, she seems really great and I just wanted to clear this up.

I don't like gifts. I don't like giving them. I don't like making lists of what I want. When I get something I don't want, I can't look excited. I hate waste and junk, I have a particular taste for certain things, and there has been a time when I didn't get something on my list and it was sold out by the time I could get it. I would rather buy most of the things I wanted. My husband is good at figuring out what to get me when I need it, and that is fine with me. My husband allows my kids to make books instead of gifts. The coupons are HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax HairMax

I hear mothers complain when they get their own coupons. My kids are very young, but I am worried that we are instilling in them a sense of giving that is not compatible with larger societal values and that this is going to be harder for them down the road. Should my husband and I teach our kids how to pick gifts? My husband loves getting gifts from his list, so my kids have some rubric to get things for him. He likes to get stuff we can all do together as a family, which I think is different from the individualized gift experience of other households. Do you have any advice?

You are giving your kids the skills of giving people what they want, not what society says they should have. The fact that other mothers complain about coupons doesn't mean that coupons are bad gifts. That is not your problem. Your kids understand that your husband gets things that he wants from his list and you take their preferences into account when buying for them. You are doing well.

I am pregnant with a baby girl. I want to honor my grandmother by naming my daughter after her. In my native language, the name means "Ivory." In the United States, where my language only has about two million speakers worldwide, we are very few people who know the meaning of the name. I am hesitant to use the name because I am concerned about the racist connotations it might carry, regardless of how many people understand it. What do you think? Is this something I am thinking about?

I don't personally know many people named "Ivory" but I do know of three people who are all black. I don't think their parents would have given them a name that they thought was racist, and I think most people wouldn't notice.

I don't think you should choose a name that makes you anxious, even if it's way off in the corner of your mind. When you announce your daughter's birth and introduce her to people, it should be a joyful experience, but if someone thinks her name is racist, it would be hard to be happy. I lean toward skipping it. Maybe you should make another choice that doesn't make you overthink.

My wife wrote a secret book about her lunch time and what she wanted to eat and write. The newborn is tired and grumpy. Writing is probably how she gets rid of stress. You trust her because you know this is not a big deal. Have you ever tried to feel proud of her for keeping a full time job, taking care of a newborn, and writing a novel that made money? You are jealous of being married to this woman.

I also had a strong whiff of jealousy. At a time when many mothers have had to leave the workforce, and many families are struggling, the letter-writer really doesn't know how good he is.

My wife wrote a secret book that sounds like she betrayed you and that you can't control how she uses her time. She felt the need to keep this from you, but maybe you should also ask yourself why she didn't tell you about it, because no one can tell you how to feel. She might have known that you wouldn't negotiate and that would hurt her idea. Do you have a history of trying to get your wife to stop writing? She is very good at it, and you told her she had to give it up to take care of your child, so consider that. Splitting hairs makes you appear controlling. Try being happy for her that she found a way to make room for her passion using time that already belonged to her, and work on some flexibility yourself.

To all of this.

Thanks to everyone! We will finish here. It is important to let your significant others know how you will spend your lunch break.

Click here to read Part 1 if you missed it.

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My 6-year-old loses his mind around holidays and birthdays. He is a smart little boy who is usually well-behaved, but when we are near Christmas or his birthday it is like he loses impulse control. He picks fights with his younger brother, screams while his baby sister is sleeping, slams doors, and generally doesn't follow our instructions.

I feel like this is due to him being overwhelmed by excitement and anticipation for an event he loves, and I am sympathetic that he is just having big feelings he can't quite manage. It is hard for us to be excited about him getting a bunch of gifts when he is making life harder for the rest of the family. It doesn't seem to get through when we do the usual stuff. How do I work with him?

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