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Help me handle a tricky family situation.

My sister-in-law is doesn't hang out with my kids and my mother-in-law thinks it's my fault. How do I defuse the situation? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 29, 2013 - 31 answers

Wow, it's beautiful, please can I take it back?

For a sentimental family occasion, my inlaws got me a very sweet present of some expensive jewelry-- after being told very clearly that I don't like expensive jewelry and don't really wear it. How terrible would it be (politically, ethically, relationally) if I were to return the item in question to the store? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 24, 2013 - 60 answers

Need a Seattle family photographer

Looking for a Seattle photographer than can shoot some quirky outdoor family photos for us. [more inside]
posted by dw on Sep 23, 2013 - 6 answers

How to not let a mean family member (and people in general) get to me?

I have an extended family member that likes to poke fun at me - I consider the fun to be mean spirited, he doesn't. He doesn't let up, and it makes me dread family gatherings, because I know that I will get peppered with rude comments (about what I'm wearing, my sexuality, etc.). I have a hard time knowing what to say in response, and I find this to be the case when dealing with many people that I would consider to be "assholes". How to cope and not let myself get scared away from events by people like him? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 21, 2013 - 62 answers

Please stop making me take sides

How can I navigate the breakup of my close friend with my sister, which is still causing problems years later? I’m caught in the middle trying to be friends with both and it’s very frustrating! [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 20, 2013 - 44 answers

How can I help my brother?

A few years ago I posted here to ask for help after having my identity stolen by my mother. It turns out that this has now happened to my younger brother as well, but he isn't being smart about it. How can I help him? [more inside]
posted by delicate_dahlias on Sep 17, 2013 - 12 answers

Looking for a simple divorce solution in PDX area

Paperwork makes me droolingly stupid. I have taken a stab at doing the divorce paperwork myself, but it always ends up crumpled up on the floor. The parenting plan business (required by Multnomah county) was the easy part. I am looking for someone who will handle the paperwork and filing and just get it done with. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 16, 2013 - 3 answers

We have the budget. Now let's analyze.

Last year, my SO posted this question about making a budget for our family. Your answers were very helpful. August 31 was the last day of our first budget year, and we did pretty well. But we wondered what are good ratios or metrics to gauge just how well we did and where we need to improve. [more inside]
posted by 5845(f)(1)(D) on Sep 6, 2013 - 4 answers

Selling my car without getting any money.. How to protect myself?

For reasons that were mutually beneficial at face value, I sold my car to my SO's parent. However, therein lies the problem.. any way to get myself in a better situation than the one I've inadvertently gotten myself into without realizing the full ramifications of my decision? [more inside]
posted by lunastellasol on Sep 5, 2013 - 23 answers

How can I make my mother see she needs to see a psychologist?

Hi all, I don't live at home anymore, as I studied abroad, but frequently come home during holidays. During such return visit, and the ocassional visit by my family, I always get a good taste of my mother's uglier side. I dont want to diagnose her myself, but can say that her bipolar and control freakish behaviour is affecting the whole family (my father and brother) for as long as I can remember. I would dare to even describe it as abusive; minor problems like a dirty plate forgotten on a kitchen counter can escalate into agressive full blown shout out, and in general there were moments where I really had to remind myself that, whoa, this is my mother. [more inside]
posted by ahtlast93 on Aug 31, 2013 - 13 answers

Treating for Lice

Daycare texted that son has nits. He was itching his head so much she took him to the doc office, and he most definitely tested positive. Best and fastest treatment possible, especially for a kid incredibly sensory defensive about his head? [more inside]
posted by zizzle on Aug 29, 2013 - 34 answers

What to do if the “butt out, do nothing" is not the right answer?

What’s the best way to sensitively encourage someone with (potential) mental and financial difficulties to get help? Complex family situation – snowflake inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 28, 2013 - 7 answers

how can an introvert infiltrate a tight-knit group of super-socializers?

my SO of about a year has a very large family that is heavily into socializing, and i'm an introvert. can we peacefully coexist? [more inside]
posted by humiliated_grape on Aug 28, 2013 - 20 answers

Mom, I'm breaking up with you.

I grew up in an abusive household, and severed ties with my abusive father after moving out. Over the years, I cut off more of the family because they didn't understand why I couldn't forgive and make up with my father. (They also had their own drama). But I've staying in touch with my mother, though at arm's length. I'm now seeing she wasn't the "good guy" in all this, or maybe a lifetime of being in a terrible relationship made her unbearable. I've made the decision I don't want her in my life, but I'm not sure what the best way to make it happen. [more inside]
posted by [insert clever name here] on Aug 26, 2013 - 20 answers

Do you know any California vacation rental spots in modest locations?

My large family (it's going to be between 10 and 14 people - not sure yet) wants to gather for a few days at Christmastime. Money is an issue for some of us and so we can't do more than three nights. Understandably, most of the available rentals that would accommodate a group our size are in high demand areas, and they want a longer holiday stay than we can afford (and in many cases more money per night.) The thing is, we can be totally flexible with location. Anywhere in California between, say, Santa Rosa and San Luis Obispo would be fine, as long as it isn't snowy in December (ruling out the Tahoe area.) [more inside]
posted by fingersandtoes on Aug 24, 2013 - 11 answers

Family drama plus holidays = awesome.

I come from a generally easygoing family which lately has developed a schism between a family member and his immediate family, and because of this a holiday invitation has created drama. [more inside]
posted by ricochet biscuit on Aug 21, 2013 - 13 answers

Baby Maybe?

Considering starting a family but what happens when baby comes? Do I stay home and he works? Does he stay home and I work? Snowflake details inside, basically help me evaluate my options. [more inside]
posted by quietta on Aug 18, 2013 - 29 answers

How do I reduce my feelings of guilt and anxiety?

These feelings are with food and my mother mainly. My eating disorder started in 2010 when I was living with my alcoholic mum and her abusive boyfriend for a few months to try to get her to leave and start a new life elsewhere. Since then it has gotten out of hand, I lost around 20 pounds and gained almost 40 in a year. [more inside]
posted by lovisa91 on Aug 18, 2013 - 16 answers

Stop calling me, dad

How do I discourage my needy dad's constant texts and phone calls? And / or how do I stop feeling pressured by them? Difficulty: Without having a heart to heart conversation about it. [more inside]
posted by Omnomnom on Aug 12, 2013 - 46 answers

Han I explain social anxiety to my parents?

My significant other has social anxiety. I think my parents take it personally. How can I explain this is not about them? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 11, 2013 - 20 answers

Resources to help my SO deal with emotionally abusive parents

I'm a Northern American living in a southern European country and married with a child to a local. My husband is a wonderful partner and father, and the textbook definition of someone who will give you the shirt off his back if you need it. Said Southern European country is very much family orientated. For all intents and purposes I think that's generally a fine thing. My in-laws are a horrible source of counterpoint ancedata and their latest outburst has been the proverbial straw across my back. I need resources and information to help me support my SO as well as help him take the final few steps to admitting to himself that they are abusing his sense of familial responsibility and overall caring nature. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 8, 2013 - 13 answers

How do I teach my kid to smile for pictures?

My child is 7 and when he was younger, had no trouble smiling (or looking serious) for pictures. But now he gives a horrible grimace...thing. He's been at camp all summer and they take pictures of the kids and post them on Flickr. Paging through it is painful. Cute kid, cute kid...oh hey, my kid with a frightening stretched-face chimp-grimace and slitted eyes. Every fucking picture. It looks like a sneer. [more inside]
posted by emjaybee on Aug 3, 2013 - 34 answers

Find my family

Mom just passed away and we've lost touch with her brother's family (my cousins). I know their home town and their names but not much else. How do you find lost family?
posted by jabo on Jul 30, 2013 - 13 answers

Younger brother being a jerk or I am overly sensitive?

Younger brother being a jerk or I am overly sensitive? We are four siblings. Two sisters. Two brothers. All married. With children. I am the oldest sibling. The behaviour of my younger brother the past few years are really irked me. I have refrained from confronting him about it because I'd rather be a good guy and not rock the boat. We also work together in a family business. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 28, 2013 - 12 answers

Transitioning peacefully from home ownership to renting?

After owning three, freestanding houses over the course of the last 15 years, we're moving to an apartment in a midrise. How do we keep from walking on eggshells about bothering the neighbors and breaking stuff? [more inside]
posted by Quizicalcoatl on Jul 26, 2013 - 18 answers

Jealousy over the ignorance of others

I'm a very deliberate, risk-averse individual when it comes to big decisions. I make pro/con lists and spend days researching topics only to be stifled with indecision when I think the future is unpredictable. I see people who make the same decision easily, but when I question them about it, it's clear they haven't even thought about any of the factors I did. They seem to be blissfully ignorant over the possible ramifications of their decisions, and in some ways I am jealous that they can go through life so easily. Does this feeling have a name, and how can I get over it? [more inside]
posted by RobotNinja on Jul 25, 2013 - 41 answers

How can I help a loved one who is abusing laxatives?

A family member I am very close to has been abusing laxatives, probably for a very long time (maybe a decade or even more, possibly to the point that it's a miracle she is still alive). She is now gravely ill. It's all very complicated, I'll try to hit the major points without being too lengthy. [more inside]
posted by upatree on Jul 25, 2013 - 16 answers

What, if any, contact should my children have with their absent mother?

My ex-wife suddenly vanished over 2 years ago to her native Asian country, leaving behind a son (then 1, now 3) and daughter (then 6, now 8). Contact was intermittent (sometimes once a week and sometimes every three months). I asked her to commit to a regularly scheduled call and she refused to do so. I also found the phone calls to be borderline abusive to my daughter (the daughter would ask, "Mommy when are you coming back," and the mother would reply, "When are you going to come see me?" which caused the daughter to feel responsible for her absence - or the Skype video chats where the daughter would have the camera on but the mother refused to do so). I have since cut off contact with the mother in order to protect my daughter, though wonder if it is the correct decision. [more inside]
posted by b_thinky on Jul 24, 2013 - 45 answers

Every unhappy family .. how do I resolve my aversion to conflict?

I am the eldest child, have always been seen and portrayed by my family as attention-seeking, self-centred, a worrier, over-sensitive, over-serious etc. I thought I had got over this. However, the other night I had a discussion with my partner where he told me he feels hurt that I don't defend him or even believe him when he feels attacked/misunderstood by my family (My sister can be snooty and dismissive and self-absorbed like every-other 20something and my dad has zero social skills, and they have sometimes said things to him that I cringe at but I think he is being slightly paranoid - to complicate things, he also suffers from depression). This has made me realise that I try to avoid conflict with my family at all costs. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 24, 2013 - 6 answers

What should my MIL do with this money to ensure a steady retirement?

After the untimely death of my soon-to-be-father-in-law, my future mother-in-law is expecting to receive a fairly large life insurance pay out. What should she do with this money to ensure a comfortable retirement without her husband? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 24, 2013 - 7 answers

What is there to do in Pascagoula this weekend?

I'm going to Pascagoula this weekend to see some family. What are some interesting, 10-year-old-kid-friendly things to do there?
posted by jcatus on Jul 19, 2013 - 5 answers

I love my wife AND my parents...so...HELP!

My parents are both getting older and it seems likely that their health will continue to deteriorate over the next few years. This means that I (and my lovely wife) are being called upon more and more frequently to help. So....the good news (depending on your point of view) is that we have successfully convinced them that they really need to 1. move to a one-level home that is more suitable to their lifestyle AND 2. move closer to us so that we can help more. Special snowflake details after the jump... [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 17, 2013 - 16 answers

Looking for some kind of California/Nevada resort that has baby care

So I'm dating this single mom with a 6 month old. It's been going well but all our dates end with her rushing to take care of her baby - as a mom should. But she clearly needs a rest and I'm trying to figure out if I can take her on a vacation anywhere. Is there somewhere in the Northern California/Nevada area that is some kind of resort with stuff to do AND offers babysitting for a six month old as part of the package? Is there a name for resorts or vacations or recreation options like this? As a single guy with no kids I have no idea what the options are here. So please...educate me.
posted by rileyray3000 on Jul 16, 2013 - 14 answers

Crazy aunt and a sick house.

My aunt wants to charge me rent on a house that has black mold in it that has caused me to have seizures. It also has no running water, and the kitchen and half of the house is unusable. Snowstorm inside. [more inside]
posted by squirbel on Jul 13, 2013 - 20 answers

How do I support a loved one with cancer, from far away?

My dad was just diagnosed with Large B Cell Lymphoma. The prognosis is good. He begins chemotherapy (R-CHOP) in a week - 6 cycles every 3 weeks, for a total of 18 weeks. I am a 7 1/2 hour drive away, and I don't own a car. What can I do to help? [more inside]
posted by Isingthebodyelectric on Jul 10, 2013 - 8 answers

How do I help my sister whose marriage is on the rocks?

Ten year marriage that includes a 4 yr old kid is about to fall apart. How can I help directly or help them help themselves through this rocky period? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 7, 2013 - 8 answers

My brother's wife just came out

How do I support my brother, his wife, and myself through my sister-in-law coming out as a lesbian? [more inside]
posted by katie521 on Jul 5, 2013 - 47 answers

Organize my family life

Help me organize my family life. I've seen previous questions and don't think that Cozi is the solution. Maybe it's not an App but Apps I'm looking for, or are we simply not making the most of the tools we have available on our iPhones. How do you keep your family life organized? If you can give examples of how you use the tools vs. just the names that would be even more super-helpful. Details and specific criteria below the fold, but we need to manage and sync multiple calendars, shopping lists, to do lists, etc. Both wife and I have iPhones (me: 4s, her 3gs), she also has an iPad which she will use, also she isn't very techie so the more straightforward the better, and I need to sync an Outlook work calendar from a work PC that doesn't play nice with Outlook add-ons (other than Google calendar). [more inside]
posted by dismitree on Jul 2, 2013 - 6 answers

How to best deal with and/or avoid estranged parents at a wedding?

I went "no contact" with my birth family years ago, but I will have to see and likely interact with all of them for the first time since then at my sister's wedding, which is happening soon. How can I make sure that I can ably address whatever might come up with ease and clarity? I am not looking to re-establish any sort of regular communication with them at all, I am just trying to figure out how to gracefully handle encountering them at a single event. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 2, 2013 - 50 answers

father daughter exposure limits

Is it necessary for a father or step father to completely avoid exposure of private parts (penis) to a 5 year old daughter? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 1, 2013 - 43 answers

Friend just gave birth. Leaving her husband. What does she need to know?

Not the happiest circumstances to bring a new child into this world. After years of supporting her husband, financially and emotionally, she's reached her limit. He's dealing with some addiction issues, and has become increasingly hostile with the birth of this baby. Maybe they'll work this out one day, but right now she doesn't feel safe, has filled her car with personal belongings and is staying with family. She left him a lengthy note, but does not want to talk to him in the next few days. This has been a long time coming, and while I don't imagine it will be a surprise—his family has actually encouraged her to do this—he won't react well. What sort of legal precautions should she begin taking? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 29, 2013 - 19 answers

Please Help Me Decide If I Need Help

I am struggling with my relationship with my family. My parents are older (in their 70's) and things are not as bad as they were when I was young, but I still struggle with issues of blame and anger over what I consider to have been their borderline abusive treatment of myself and one of my siblings. I don't want to cut my family off, and I would dearly love to be free of these negative thoughts and feelings for once and for all, but every visit with them (and the weeks leading up to and following them) are a minefield for me. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 26, 2013 - 20 answers

July 4th without a BBQ?

My mom, my brother and I will be celebrating July 4th by ourselves in my small apartment. I'd like to have a nice comfort food meal with them, but I don't have a barbeque or grill available. Here's what I do have: [more inside]
posted by nickhb on Jun 24, 2013 - 18 answers

What to say to my alcoholic dad

I feel compelled to say something to my dad about his drinking, after he hurt himself while drunk recently. I don't know if I should even bother. [more inside]
posted by DayTripper on Jun 20, 2013 - 27 answers

Mummies and Daddies, Ghouls and Boys

Please help me come up with a - clever name- for a local parents with kids meet-up group. We're goths, we don't have special snowflakes, we have coal dust... [more inside]
posted by _paegan_ on Jun 20, 2013 - 32 answers

Wedding and controlling parents-- how to cope

I'm getting married in 10 days, and it's stressful for everybody involved, mostly because I have controlling parents who are intricately involved with every part of this. Any tips/advice for coping with this situation? Lots of culture-specific snowflake details inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 18, 2013 - 45 answers

Need help processing social/familial obligations for funeral

My mother is 75 now, has Parkinson's, and is likely not going to be around in another year or two. I will feel no personal need to go to the funeral, when that time comes, and would like help processing that. The following information may or may not be pertinent and may be a summer blizzard. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 16, 2013 - 48 answers

Don't want to send my kid sister to jail...

My sister told me about some pretty disturbing and illegal things that she is doing. She clearly needs some kind of help or intervention, but I have no idea how to go about doing that without putting her in jail. I feel totally lost and conflicted. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 12, 2013 - 44 answers

How to help my lonely brother who I suspect is drinking alone?

I don't think I'll sleep at all tonight because I just got off the phone with my brother and was pretty sure he was alone and drunk. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 11, 2013 - 25 answers

First World Problems: Academic edition

Academic sabbatical +/- having a baby: how does that work? What is the most "logical" time frame for either of these to occur? Is this a bad idea altogether? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 4, 2013 - 11 answers

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