Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Friday Links: March 8

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

“How to get along for 500 days alone together” [via BBC]

“Three Huge Mistakes We Make Leading Kids…and How to Correct Them” [via Growing Leaders]

“Is Gratitude the Antidote to Relationship Failure?” [via Psychology Today]

“Pregnant in Medical School” [via NYTimes]

“When motherhood becomes a nightmare” [via CNN]

“There’s No Perfect Age to Find a Husband” [via The Atlantic]

This one’s just funny and I’m sure many of you can probably relate: “Obnoxious Friend Won’t Stop Attaining Major Life Milestones” [via The Onion]

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to wendy@dearwendy.com and if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

You can follow me on Facebook here and sign up for my weekly newsletter here.

48 comments… add one
  • iwannatalktosampson

    Iwannatalktosampson March 8, 2013, 12:22 pm

    God I love the onion – that article is hilarious.

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    quixoticbeatnik March 8, 2013, 12:28 pm

    LOL! The Onion article is hilarious. I feel this way sometime about people on Facebook – like, can you please stop being so successful?!

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle March 8, 2013, 12:31 pm

    “And now I hear she’s an aunt too. I mean, come the fuck on.” <–That killed me.

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      Megan_A_Mess March 8, 2013, 2:53 pm

      My favorite was: “Hey, Ashley,” Wilkins continued, “do me a favor and give it a goddamn rest.”

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    GatorGirl March 8, 2013, 12:39 pm

    Ha, I love the Onion. I should read it more often. I often feel like everyone else is buying houses and I’m stuck in this damn apartment for at least another year. It makes no sense to buy since we’re probably moving out of state in the middle of 2014 but still, I want a damn house!

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    • theattack

      theattack March 8, 2013, 12:46 pm

      What about renting a house? That’s likely our next step, because I’m sick of not having a yard or a porch or a dog or some woods in the back. It’s a nice way to get what you want without making a stupid commitment.

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        GatorGirl March 8, 2013, 1:18 pm

        We could, but we’d be either paying double or triple what we’re spending now OR be way out of town. Living out side of town isn’t really an option since he uses the public transportation to get to campus daily so, apartment living it is. I too hate being so close to people and not having a yard (not to mention hearing neighbors all the time.)

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom March 8, 2013, 1:24 pm

        But you can use this time to save for a house so that when you move you’re ready for the house you want.

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        GatorGirl March 8, 2013, 1:49 pm

        We are going to start saving as soon as this wedding is over. I just have very little patience for anything so I want my house now. Just a little 2 or 3 bedroom 1.5 bath bungalo, but I want it now!

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom March 8, 2013, 3:44 pm

        That means you’ll really appreciate it when you get it.

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    bethany March 8, 2013, 12:44 pm

    The Onion article was amazing! Loved every bit of it!

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    *HmC* March 8, 2013, 1:01 pm

    The article about the pregnant med student… *sigh*… what are we going to do about this? I mean seriously, having kids once you’ve established your career seems like the way everyone thinks society should go, but really, fertility starts dropping so young. And honestly, no time is the perfect time to have kids anyway. Maybe we should just pop them out when we’re young and fertile and before we psyche ourselves out too much about them (I’m not talking 16 or something, maybe more like 24 or 25). I dunno.. I’m 32 and my mom was 32 when she had me, and it feels like this clock is just ticking my face off but I can’t force my life circumstances and everyone in my social sphere is just now starting to have them. Major medical interventions are amazing, but wouldn’t it be ideal to avoid them, especially when age is such an avoidable issue? I wonder how this issue will be shaped in the future.

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      bethany March 8, 2013, 1:21 pm

      I read that as Pregnant in MIDDLE SCHOOL, for some reason… Then I started reading the article and got confused.

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        rachel March 8, 2013, 1:44 pm

        Me too!

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        GatorGirl March 8, 2013, 1:48 pm

        Yeah, I read middle school too. Haha.

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      • Copa

        Copa March 8, 2013, 2:00 pm

        Same!

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom March 8, 2013, 1:23 pm

      I think that determining when to have kids is one of the hardest things a couple can do. It seems like there is never a good time and it will almost always have an adverse affect an a woman’s career. I was 29 when our son was born and then when we tried to have another baby four years later nothing happened. It took five years to have our second baby. Five years without birth control for one pregnancy. I was surprised but very pleased to find myself pregnant. I was 38 when our daughter was born and I was surprised at how much harder it was to take care of a baby at 38 than at 29. I has less stamina and it was more exhausting.

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      kerrycontrary March 8, 2013, 1:27 pm

      I was talking to my sister about this. She’s pregnant with her first at 35 (will be 36 this summer). She argued that they weren’t financially ready for a kid when they first got married (they were both just out of law school), which I agree with. But they could’ve been ready at 32? Or 33? Now I know my boyfriend and I won’t have as much saved up when we TTC at 28 or 29 as they do, but I want time on my side if there are fertility issues. Plus a lot of women who are married but hold off on kids do it because of their career. But then a lot of women say in hindset that “eh, it wouldn’t have changed my path much”. So I think if you are married and financially stable then you should go for it as soon as possible, because you’re right, there is never a perfect time to have a kid and there is always a reason to put it off.

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        *HmC* March 8, 2013, 2:57 pm

        I don’t know… even this whole issue of financial stability is something I’m questioning. As long as you’re on the right path to stability (being in a graduate program, being in the low levels of a career you like), maybe that’s enough? It’s like this ubiquitous roar of “get your financial ducks in a row!” before marriage, before kids… maybe we are putting too much pressure to do everything exactly at the right time. And maybe that’s putting too much pressure on people to do things in an exact perfect way that’s sometimes not possible. WHY must you be so perfectly stable first? Why can’t you continue working on that with a baby and/or spouse? Once you meet the person that you want to be with forever, maybe that should be enough. It’s a promise to go through life’s ups and downs together, not to make yourself perfect so that you can then have a perfect marriage.

        It’s like the other article “There’s no perfect age to find a husband”. Telling women that from 21-29 they are too young and then from 31-up they are too old to get married is just as restrictive as what we used to do… telling women to get married at 20, right? Maybe we should be focused more on the context of our lives and what works for us as individuals than on arbitrary timelines set by people that think they know what’s right for everyone.

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        kerrycontrary March 8, 2013, 3:59 pm

        ” As long as you’re on the right path to stability (being in a graduate program, being in the low levels of a career you like), maybe that’s enough? ” I don’t think that is enough. Because when people have babies when they don’t have money, they get on public assistance. And criticism be damned, I do not think you should have a child if you can’t afford to care for them on a daily basis. Clearly this medical student did have money as they were considering IVF and other medical treatments, so I would guess her husband worked. But being in a graduate program doesn’t guarantee income. I have a masters and I was unemployed for 2 months, and then temping until my FT job started. How would I care for a child? I don’t think you need to have the perfect dream house, car, and 50K in the bank to have a kid, but I think you need to be able to support yourself and afford the kid.

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        kerrycontrary March 8, 2013, 4:01 pm

        Also, I’m not disagreeing with your point totally so sorry if that came off super-critical. I more think that you don’t need to be set up financially 100% (which is what I discussed with my sister), but you do need to have a steady source of income with your partner. So you don’t need to have all of your ducks in a row, but they need to be in a wavy line.

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        *HmC* March 8, 2013, 4:23 pm

        Yeah I don’t think we’re disagreeing with each other, just discussing. I am definitely not one of those pie in the sky people that thinks you don’t need money to have kids. Of course you do! I think it comes down to how you define stability. I mean, the kids not going to college tomorrow.

        I agree with your point about masters degrees not guaranteeing anything. Heaven knows that’s true! And I definitely don’t think you should plan on kids if public assistance is part of that plan.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson March 8, 2013, 4:25 pm

        I agree – you don’t need to have a lot but you do need to have enough for yourself and the child and an emergency fund.

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      bethany March 8, 2013, 1:38 pm

      I’ve been struggling with this decision, too. I want kids in theory, but I’m not ready yet. I’m going to be 32 soon, and I feel like I need to make this decision ASAP, because you never really know how it’s going to go. What if I’m not “ready” until I’m 34, but then it takes 2 years to conceive and then I’m 37 by the time the kid is actually born?! If I want more than 1 kid before I’m 40, it seems like I need to start trying yesterday.

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      • Copa

        Copa March 8, 2013, 2:07 pm

        You sound like one of my co-workers! She’s turning 32 also and seems to be feeling a LOT of pressure about having kids because (in her words), “I want a family. I want kids, in theory, but when I see a baby, all I think is, ‘Oh, that’s a baby,’ not ‘Wow, I want one now!'” I really feel for her because I understand the dilemma even if I’m not quite there yet. In your 20s, you may not be ready emotionally or financially. In your 30s, you may be ready emotionally OR financially, but perhaps not both. By the time everything aligns, is it getting too late?

        I assume this something that I’ll struggle with in just a handful of years. Scary how my ideal life timeline is creeping up on me and may soon begin to pass me by. 😮

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow March 8, 2013, 2:17 pm

        Don’t worry! My boss got pregnant for the first time at 34 and just got pregnant again at 37. Naturally. I think IF I ever have kids (big if), I want to wait until I’m in my mid- to late-thirties. Of course, I have to because I’m not married or dating and I’m going to be in school for the next few years anyway, haha.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle March 8, 2013, 2:15 pm

      I don’t know, guys. I mean—yes, the reality is that fertility drops after a certain age, but I feel like…there’s no need to panic just yet? My mother had me when she was 35, so there’s a real life example. (And also—Wendy!)

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        kerrycontrary March 8, 2013, 4:02 pm

        There’s a lot of real life examples of women having babies in their mid-late thirties, but women drastically over-estimate their fertility (due to this sort of anecdotal evidence and the celebrities we see having babies into their 40s). http://www.npr.org/2011/12/01/142725547/many-women-underestimate-fertility-clocks-clang

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        GatorGirl March 8, 2013, 4:12 pm

        Wait- do people really think it’s that easy to get pregnant at 40? Thats a real life thought? (Sorry if that sounds rude…it just baffles me.)

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        MJ March 11, 2013, 9:03 am

        And have you noticed how many celebrities, especially older ones, have twins? Like a disproportionate number? That’s most likely a result of fertility treatments or IVF, even though they don’t talk about it or deny it.

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    Kris_ March 8, 2013, 1:38 pm

    Ugh, the Onion article is how I feel about everyone right now, except my best friend. Thank goodness for her or I’d probably lose my sanity at all of the marriage’s and babies and happy blah blah blah in the last year. Instead I’m recently single, have a chronic illness that’s gotten worse, can’t have kids because of the medicine needed for the illness, and most likely will be having surgery in the next month. Yay?

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  • sobriquet

    sobriquet March 8, 2013, 3:33 pm

    I just read and agree with many of the points made in the article about mistakes raising kids, but… and this goes back to the whole ’80’s baby’ argument… I’m 26- born in 1986- and I definitely remember going door-to-door delivering girl scout cookies to complete strangers and jumping off the high-dive with my brothers and trouncing through the scary woods as a child. I lost soccer games, accepted bad grades, and spent a lot of time as a tomboy running around outdoors without a leash. As an adult, I would never expect my parents to take care of my problems for me (which has taught me the value of paying bills on time and not quitting a job until I have another one).

    I am around 20 year old’s all day and I don’t know how anyone could lump me into a category with them.

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      GatorGirl March 8, 2013, 3:38 pm

      I was born in ’85 and did all of the things you list. I wasn’t coddled. I do think there are a fair number of children born in the past 10 years that would fit into this article better- not so much as golden child 80’s babies.

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      bethany March 8, 2013, 3:53 pm

      I agree. I was born in 81. I walked to school almost every day. And without parental supervision, I might add!

      When I used to leave the house as a kid my dad always gave me the same speech- “have fun, be careful, don’t take any unnecessary chances and remember who loves you”. And then he sent me off into the world to fend for myself.

      Isn’t the whole point of parenting to teach your child to be able to live successfully on their own?!

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        dwfan March 8, 2013, 4:11 pm

        Yes! All of this! I was born in 81 myself. I don’t have kids so no one ever listens to me on the topic but I have major opinions on raising kids since everyone I know has them. I have actually had to say to a co-worker that’s raising her last kid that’s in the nest “If they have the confidence to go out into the world and move away from you, then you did a good job!” But I’ll quit here because if I were to get into it, it would really make me boil.

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    • LK7889

      LK7889 March 8, 2013, 4:32 pm

      I agree with you. I don’t think a lot of the things that author is complaining about started happening until I was in high school (I was born in 1984, btw). I mean, I started seeing a lot of it then and with my younger brother (born in ’90) but not in my own childhood. But I was allowed to ride my bike without a helmet, jump on a trampoline without those ridiculous nets, wasn’t given awards for “participating,” was punished if I didn’t make at least a B in school, etc, etc.

      That being said, pretty much everyone that I know under the age of 25 is practically useless (no offense to not useless people younger than 25 – I’m sure that at least some of you aren’t useless!).

      I also wonder if everyone thinks that about the generations younger than them though…

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson March 8, 2013, 4:33 pm

        Ha! I made the cut off – suck it ’88 babies.

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      • LK7889

        LK7889 March 8, 2013, 4:38 pm

        Haha, no one would ever think you were useless IWTTS. Clearly you know what’s up based on your DW commentary. 😉

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        Grilledcheesecalliope March 8, 2013, 6:28 pm

        Booo, thats all

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      Iwannatalktosampson March 8, 2013, 4:32 pm

      Yeah I grew up similar to you. I was allowed to ride my bike all around the neighborhood with my boy best friend when we were 4! That’s unheard of now. I think it actually should apply to 90’s babies because my sister-in-law is 15 and she’s not allowed to WALK TO 7-ELEVEN BY HERSELF. It makes me want to scream at my MIL – but you know – people don’t take criticism well – her especially – but I am genuinely afraid about what will happen when she goes off to college. Although they’re already talking about having her live at their house in college “to save money” even though they could afford to send her to anywhere for any cost – I think they are just raising her to be so co-dependent that she won’t want to leave.

      Maybe every generation feels this way but I feel like the way I was raised and the way she is being raised are so insanely different it’s mind boggling. I might as well be 30 years older than her.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow March 8, 2013, 4:48 pm

        Yeah, what’s it like to be a kid these days? I grew up on a street with tons of other kids my age and all the neighbors knew each other so we were always just outside together playing in someone’s yard, or climbing someone’s tree. We also had a cornfield directly behind our back yard so we’d play in it all the time, or ride our bikes all over the neighborhood, or go sledding in the nearby field, or spend summers trying to catch the frog in the creek down the road. I remember when I lost my first tooth, I knocked on everyone’s door to show them, haha. That’s how close everyone on our street was. There were lots of neighborhood cookouts, and 4ths of July were always fun. We also walked to the nearby theater and shopping center once we got a bit older. Are there still neighborhoods like that? I feel like those times are long gone. Do I sound like an 80-year-old??

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      • mandalee

        mandalee March 8, 2013, 5:00 pm

        No, you are not an 80-year old! Or if you are, I am too. lol I grew up in the same kind of neighborhood. All my memories from childhood are being outside or over my neighbor’s house or walking and biking everyone by myself with friends. My town was small, so it was like the entire town was my neighborhood. I remember walking to school by myself when I was 8 and being able to wander where ever I wanted during the day as long as I checked in at some point to let my parents know I was still okay. I just can’t imagine a childhood where I’m locked up in my house all day and I can’t go anywhere alone or encounter any kind of problem by myself.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson March 8, 2013, 6:09 pm

        Holy crap our childhoods were the exact same – even down to the cornfield!!

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      Megan_A_Mess March 8, 2013, 8:40 pm

      I was raised much like most of you ladies. (’84 baby here.) I was raised the way my mom was, because she was doing it all on her own. That meant she had to trust us (my older brother (’83) and I) at an earlier age, and we had to grow up really fast. But we still got to ride bikes with no helmets, skin our knees, make messes, learn mistakes the hard way. We had to come in when the street lights came on, we accepted our grades without complaining about teachers, we learned early if we wanted something, we had to work hard for it, because nothing was EVER handed to us. I was self sufficient by the time I was eight. I was too afraid to use the oven, however, I could still use the toaster, microwave, I could clean EVERYTHING in the house, and I did all of my own laundry. I graduated with kids who didn’t even know how to wash their own clothes.

      In an odd twist of fate, the whole reason I moved back in with my mother was to help her, not for her to help me. And I’m still taking care of her today! I took care of her so much when I was growing up, it’s the reason I don’t want kids. As you can see, I’m SO over the tired label of the “spoiled 80’s kids”.

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  • thewriteway

    thewriteway March 8, 2013, 6:00 pm

    Haha when I first posted The Onion article to my Facebook, I said it was hilarious but I didn’t know anyone like that. Then I realized I DID and I just deleted her off my page. She was one of those sanctimonious types who bragged about how AWESOME she was at being a single mom and working (like you’re supposed to do, amirite?) and how she owned a house and TWO cars. And she made sure to rub it in and speak less of people who did not have these things at her age. Needless to say, I couldn’t take it anymore. I mean obviously, being a single mom is tough, but one of my friends is married and pretty much cares for her kids on her own but does not act like she is some sort of martyr. I don’t know. Am I missing the point? Probably.

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      Rachel March 8, 2013, 11:32 pm

      What? Why would a single mom ever own 2 cars?? I’m glad you defriended her.

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    Aksumite March 10, 2013, 1:50 am

    I absolutely loved the article that outlined the contrasting expectations of marriage and childbearing for young and older women. I am 20 years old and I already see the hoards of friends engaged, getting married, and having children [or having children w/o marriage]. What scares me is the sense of urgency— seeing so many people my age jump the broom while I am still an undergraduate. Not to mention personal aims towards professional degrees, and the need to establish a sense of inner peace. I won’t personally be ready for marriage until my 30’s, because by then I’ll have the financial stability and [aiming for] the personal happiness, which sounds like a lot of men and women. We’re all driven by the need for financial stability and then personal happiness, because this is partly the communities we live in that can help foster this attitude.

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    scattol March 10, 2013, 3:18 pm

    When I suggest that you should have kid younger rather than later I get creamed. When a med student writes in the NYT it’s a revelation. You girls are one tough crowd.

    Now assuming that you are in a stable relationship you are happy with I would say there are three things to remember:
    – babies aren’t free but they aren’t that expensive either. They get more expensive later.
    – Babies don’t remember their first 3 years and don’t go far. It won’t matter if it was in a cramped apartment before the forever home.
    – You want to be able to push them out of the house. Presuming that this is after college. That’s 21 years after the last born is born (which itself can be 2 or 5 years after the first one is born). From the “Let’s make babies” to getting your love nest back, it can easily be close to 30 years, and that can makes you in your 60’s. Here the health risk are real, of chronic or sudden diseases and you would prefer avoiding these problems creeping up when your kids are still depending on you. As a parent, you don’t want your health to getting in the way of giving your kids the best start you can give them in life.

    One final note. It’s been interesting to see Wendy the mother evolve in her writing. Certainly I find her advice has gotten more compassionate. Let’s see what change Jackson’s little sister will bring 🙂

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