DEAR HARRIETTE: I don’t find the jokes my husband makes about our children funny.
He jokes about the need to get away from our kids all the time. I heard him “joke” about how fun his life would be if he wasn’t a dad.
I know he loves our children. He’s a great dad to our young kids, but his jokes don’t make me laugh much.
I’m afraid a part of him really regrets having children. Should I confront him with these “jokes”?
— Hurtful jokes
Dear hurtful jokes: You should definitely talk to your husband about it — mainly for the kids.
If they hear him say that, which they surely will, they might think he’s serious.
By the way, what people say is usually a reflection of what they believe, even when they’re joking. So you are right. Something deep down in your husband is uncomfortable about being a father. It could be the responsibility of being in this role, the cost of childcare, the changed dynamic of your relationship with him or something else.
Ask him how he really feels. Try to get him to talk to you about his concerns. By bringing them to the surface in a serious conversation, you may be able to get to the root of his problems and work together to resolve them.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I started working in nightlife, and it makes perfect sense for my schedule. I’m a full-time student during the week and rack up a lot of tips on the weekends working the bar at a popular nightclub.
I need to have a job to help pay my expenses. But it’s a bit tricky. When my parents ask me what I do to earn money, I tell them that I am a waitress. It’s hard for me to be honest with them.
As much as I hate to admit it, I would like them to approve of what I do. I don’t see them approving of that. Should I tell them about my nightclub job?
— Lateral Scramble
DEAR SIDE HUSTLE: First, let me ask you: what are you not saying?
What does it mean to “work at the bar”? What do you think will embarrass your parents?
I can imagine that they might not like you working in a nightclub, but they can also understand if you explain it to them.
Still, I suspect there’s more to the story than what you’ve revealed. Is this a strip club? What should you wear? Do? Also, do you feel like you’re compromising your integrity to be there and work there?
If you don’t feel like you’re compromising your integrity, you can tell him that, even if you think he doesn’t like the idea. If you share the context of your work, at least it will help them understand.
Harriette Cole is a life stylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send your questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.