Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy
I know this isn’t the usual sort of “relationship” type of question you answer, but I wanted to write to you about a topic you’ve touched on in the past from your own experience. To cut to the chase: My toddler prefers my husband and it breaks my heart. While I’m happy my husband and child have such a good relationship, it’s hard (and draining) to see this preference day in and day out. I’m the primary caregiver and responsible for a lot of the boring stuff — washing, dressing, feeding, but also a lot of the fun stuff — play dates, park visits, cuddles. My husband is also very hands-on and involved, but he has much less time with our child due to his job.

I see such a natural closeness with my other friends and their young children, and usually a strong “mommy” preference among them. And I know this is ridiculous, but I feel like since I suffer through all the night wakings, doctor appointments, worrying, etc., that I should be rewarded with Favorite Parent status, not some very distant runner-up. Anyway, I fully acknowledge that my feelings right now are a bit silly, but I can’t help but feel hurt and sad about it. It’s also a topic that none of my mother friends can relate to, making me feel like a bit of an outcast. You always write and frame your mothering experience with humour and grace, so I guess I’m just looking for some words of wisdom, or maybe just a strategy to develop a thicker skin! — Distant Runner-Up Parent

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

“America is entering a new and unknown chapter in its ongoing story. With such turbulent changes come heightened fear, anxiety and division. How do we move forward, together? Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, there are things that all Americans can do to bring us closer #toamoreperfectunion. We created this poster as a timely gift to our fellow citizens. It is a collection of truths and insights that have the strength to tear down walls and cultivate real connection. Print it out and hang it in a place where it will enter your field of vision each day. Share it with the people in your life. Let it be a frequent reminder of the power you have as a vital member of our diverse American family. Our story is still unfolding — and it’s on us to write it.” — Download here.

Trump budget threatens nutrition services for poor women and children.

Study: Having Weekly Sex Will Make You As Happy As Getting a $50k Raise

New bill takes aim at men’s masturbation habits

How funny was that “BBC Dad” interview that went viral last week? In case you’ve missed it, there’s been lots of follow-up content related to it:

Anatomy of a masterpiece: 13 reasons why the ‘funniest video of the year’ is pure comedy gold

If you saw a nanny in this BBC interview, what does that say about you? (For the record: My first thought actually was that the woman was a nanny, but it had nothing to do with her race. I was more biased by her physical posturing, trying to be as small as she could in the frame, which seemed deferential and didn’t immediately strike me as the behavior of a wife/mother. But then I noticed that the kids looked biracial, and I remembered from my years growing up in Asia how different the culture is and how expectations of women tend to be quite different than they are in the west. By the end of my second viewing, I decided the woman was likely the kids’ mom.)

What If The BBC Dad Were A Mom?

And: ‘BBC Dad’ on Going Viral: ‘This Is Now the First Line in My Obituary’

The author of that beautiful Modern Love essay, “You May Want to Marry My Husband,” that I linked to a couple weeks ago passed away on Monday.

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!

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

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I just read your response to someone who had moved into her boyfriend’s bachelor pad after about two years of dating. I’ve also recently moved into my boyfriend’s home and need some advice. When my boyfriend and I started dating (in September, 2015) after our mutual divorces, he was in the process of buying a house and moving out of a rental. I helped “Rick” paint and clean and prep to move, but I didn’t move in with him until the following August, after living with my parents for a while to get back on my feet financially. I started staying at Rick’s house when I didn’t have my kids, and then I started bringing them there on my weekends. I slowly brought clothes and a few kitchen and decor items, and I recently changed my address to his address. The majority of my things are “in storage” at my parents’ house, and that is part of the problem.

The other part of the problem is that Rick has three kids and I have three kids, and though they get along great, Rick’s house is tiny, especially for eight people, and my kids don’t have their own beds. We have three bedrooms — they are not very big — one bathroom, and a partially finished basement. On top of that, Rick is a bit of a hoarder. He loves clearance shopping and a good deal. He has TONS of boxes in the basement that haven’t been touched in the year and a half he’s lived there. I would like to integrate my kids into the home, give them actual beds. Currently, his two girls share a room and his son has his own room. I have two boys and one girl, so it’s three girls and three boys. Though the rooms aren’t big, they could accommodate three and three with bunks beds and with moving all the kids “stuff” to the area of the basement we set up for them. I’ve showed Rick ideas on Pinterest, and have brought it up gently over and over about how it would mean a lot to have my kids feel like they have a bedroom or a bed or a space that is also theirs.

Rick has been telling me for probably nine months that he would clean out more dresser space for me, but I still have one dresser drawer, a nightstand with two small drawers, and maybe a quarter or less of his small closet while he has TWO tall six-drawer dressers, the top shelf of the closet, and the majority of the closet. The man has like 200 t-shirts and doesn’t want to get rid of them because there is “nothing wrong with them.” I’ve talked about donating them, etc… but that’s his frame of mind that he doesn’t want to get rid of stuff because he might need it, it was a good deal, it’s perfectly good, no reason to get rid of it. The garage is full, the basement is full. There are four garbage bags full of little girl clothes in the basement ranging from 24-months to 4/5T that he’s been wanting to give to someone he knows that could use it, but there is no one and his youngest daughter is 8! I Just finally last week got him to donate one box of his clothes and one box of kids’ clothes.

I’m not a patient person and it’s been nine to ten months of being patient… What can I do? I’m living with only what I needed from my mom’s, with none of my furniture, and I tend to feel “homesick” now and then because this doesn’t feel like my home. It doesn’t feel like we live “together;” I just live with him. My boys sleep on a fold-out mat in his son’s room, and my daughter sleeps on a futon in the partially finished basement. We figure we’ll be living in this house for about three to five years before we buy something else. How do I help him realize that it’s necessary to get rid of stuff we don’t use or need? And without being pushy or insensitive? — Spaced-Out

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updatesIt’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today we hear from “The Unwelcome Guest” whose boyfriend made her sleep on a yoga mat on the floor next to the bed he slept on when they visited his sister. “Both Bob and I have chronic health issues, and I asked if we could stay at a hotel for the four nights, even offering to pay. Bob refused out of concern for Nina’s feelings, so I spent three nights on the floor, with resulting pain and stiffness. By the fourth night, I had had enough and reserved a room at a nearby hotel. Bob refused to join me, and he was furious that I hurt Nina’s feelings and made him feel uncomfortable in front of his family.” Keep reading for an update:

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I’m 42 years of age and have never married. Although I have had a few successful stints with women, I ALWAYS find a flaw in my partner. It is a real problem for me. It started in college. I would always have certain girls I was very attracted to and would do anything to date. However, when they showed interest in me and we started to date, I suddenly found them less attractive. I am definitely attracted to women; I just constantly struggle to stay attracted to a woman for more than a month or two. I find ridiculous flaws like their chin, their eyes, their figure, their teeth and other minuscule things. The crazy thing is that I notice my flaws just as much. (I inherited terrible posture from my father.) I know that no one is perfect on the outside.

My most recent relationship was with “Sue.” She was attractive, but her chin was abnormally large and I couldn’t help but consistently notice it. She also bit her nails. I realize these are two small flaws, but for some reason they bothered me way too much to stay with her.

I really would like some advice on this. I want to find someone perfect for me, but I realize I have to reduce my definition of perfect. Please help me on how this could happen. — Searching For My Perfect

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