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Health & Fit: My Mother-in-Law Violated My Privacy in the Worst Way

What Kyle Richards' Relationship With Her Mom Was Really Like

  What Kyle Richards' Relationship With Her Mom Was Really Like Here's an inside look at what "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Kyle Richards' relationship with her late mother, Kathleen Richards, was really like.In 2020, Richards shared a heartfelt Instagram message on the 18th anniversary of her mother's passing. "Not a day goes by that I don't think about her," Richards wrote alongside a black and white image of her mother. "I wonder what she's thinking looking down upon our family. Wish she was here to be a part of it all in person." Other statements Kyle has made show how strong her connection with her late mother was.

Care and Feeding is Slate’s parenting advice column. Have a question for Care and Feeding? Submit it here or post it in the Slate Parenting Facebook group.

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Dear Care and Feeding,

I recently had a miscarriage at 15 weeks. It was our second pregnancy (we have an 11-month-old) and we hadn’t told anyone but my MIL, who saw an ultrasound before we got it put away, so we hadn’t even really planned on telling her when we did. We were waiting to tell everyone after our anatomy scan at 20 weeks. The pregnancy was unplanned, but very welcome. I’m devastated, as is my husband. I was very glad we’d only told his mother, as it means not having to tell everyone about the loss. The problem is, MIL is also devastated about the loss and is very public with her feelings and issues. She’s told my husband’s family, and they keep reaching out to ask me how we’re feeling, or to provide support.

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He asked his mother about it, and she said she really needed to discuss the loss with someone, so she told her sisters about it on their weekly video call. They’ve obviously gotten the word out to others. MIL told us that talking to them all really helped and she’s feeling more at peace with what happened. Well I’m not! Now I’m still devastated, but I’m also angry with her and being bombarded by people wanting to “support” me when that’s the exact opposite of what I find helpful. I’m a very private person, and I don’t want anyone else involved right now. Honestly, this to me could be a (MIL) relationship-ending thing for me. Would I be overreacting if I cut her off, at least for now?

—Just Want to Hurt In Private

Dear Just Want to Hurt In Private,

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I know you’re not looking for this, but I want to offer my condolences. Miscarriages are absolutely brutal and coming from someone who was involved with two of them, I wouldn’t wish that type of anguish on anyone.

think it’s incredibly self-centered of your MIL to tell others about something as deeply personal as this, but I’m unsure about something: Did you tell your MIL not to tell anyone but she betrayed your wishes and did it anyway? If so, that’s absolutely a reason to cut her off because she clearly doesn’t respect you.

If you didn’t tell her that you wanted to keep your miscarriage private, then you should be a little more forgiving. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be angry with her, but you could say something like, “I noticed that you’ve shared my miscarriage with other people and I really don’t appreciate it. This isn’t your story to tell and it’s making matters worse since I want to grieve in private. If this continues or happens again, I will have no choice but to cut you out of my life.” Be firm and unapologetic about your boundaries.

Bride Annuls Marriage After Mom-in-Law's 'Freakout' Over Wedding Dress

  Bride Annuls Marriage After Mom-in-Law's 'Freakout' Over Wedding Dress "Your wedding dress is such a special element of your wedding and should be the one thing you can choose without any arguments," a wedding expert told Newsweek.In a post shared on Reddit's Am I The A****** (AITA) subforum under the username aita-wedding12345, the woman said she recently got married.

If she loves you then she’ll put her feelings before your own and let you deal with your loss on your terms. Regarding everyone else, you should simply ignore their messages or have your husband be the gatekeeper for you. Don’t let anyone dictate how you should feel or react to this situation.

Submit your questions about parenting and family life here. It’s anonymous! (Questions may be edited for publication.)

Dear Care and Feeding,

Our oldest just turned 12 a few weeks ago and is in seventh grade. She does well in school, and since last year has a close group of friends who I think are lovely kids. She has always had an extremely active imagination, loves to read fantasy novels (age appropriate), and overall has expressed a lack of enthusiasm for growing up, saying she loves being a kid and wishes she could stay that way for longer. She still enjoys playing with dolls, though she only does this with her younger sister. Here’s my concern: I thought this year for sure she would start to doubt Santa Claus. Instead, she seems to have become more calcified in her belief that not only Santa, but also the Elf on the Shelf, are real. Her closest friends are from other faith traditions that do not celebrate Christmas, so I suspect that might make it less likely that these beliefs would come up in conversation with her friends. I am so loathe to crush the magic that she continues to extract from the season, but my wife thinks we must be frank with her at this age. I do hear that argument; I think I just assumed it would come naturally as it did for me and my siblings growing up. What is your advice on this topic?

‘The past 2 months have been filled with turmoil and heartache’: My stepfather has dementia, and his sister is badgering him for money. How can I protect him?

  ‘The past 2 months have been filled with turmoil and heartache’: My stepfather has dementia, and his sister is badgering him for money. How can I protect him? ‘She has since started to harass me and my mother by phone and text and has had other family members call or text seeking information.’His and my mother’s wills were made more than 30 years ago. They consulted with a certified elder attorney in June 2022, and they did not want to make any changes. In September 2022, my mom was admitted to the hospital via air-ambulance service, and my stepdad was worried that he could lose her. (She is alive and well today.

—Time To Tell the Truth?

Dear Time,

Christmas will be over by the time you read this, but the sentiment still remains the same.

America is a proverbial dumpster fire right now with political division, gun violence, and racism, for starters. That’s not to say we shouldn’t talk to our kids about the aforementioned ills, because we absolutely should (that’s a column for another day)—but what’s the harm in having a middle schooler who believes in Santa Claus? Maybe it’s just me, but I think we should let our kids be kids for as long as humanly possible.

My suggestion is that your daughter find out the truth organically instead of deciding the time for her. That can happen through conversations with her peers or if she flat out asks you—and if she does ask you, be truthful. My 11-year-old daughter confronted me a few months ago and asked if I was playing the role of Santa, and I told her yes. There were no tears, disappointment, or therapy sessions —just an, “I knew it!” and that was it. I think if I presented the news to her in an unsolicited manner, the results would’ve been different. In other words, she found out when she was ready to find out.

Obviously your daughter has no control over what other kids at school may say about the topic — but even if a classmate blurts out the truth in front of her, she can choose to believe it, deny it, or ignore it. Your role in this is to let her navigate through it in her own way, but be available to present the facts if called upon.

My Big Fat Fabulous Life star Whitney Thore's mom Barbara dies at 76

  My Big Fat Fabulous Life star Whitney Thore's mom Barbara dies at 76 Barbara Thore, the mother of My Big Fat Fabulous Life star Whitney Thore, has died at age 76. She struggled with cerebral amyloid angiopathy and repeated strokes in her final years.Whitney shared the somber news of her mother's death in an Instagram post on Thursday that featured a slide show of loving photos of the two, along with a recording to the mother–daughter duo speaking.

Dear Care and Feeding,

My husband and I are in an unpleasant emotional stand-off, and I don’t know how to end or change it. For most of our lives together (20 years) our dynamic was that he stated his needs, and I rushed around to make them happen—this ranged from partnering with him on his start-up business, to purchasing elaborate Christmas presents for his family so he could get a big reaction on Christmas morning. Once we had kids it became untenable, and after a lot of couples therapy I made some changes. I now have my own job, advocate for my own interests better, and let him handle the things he feels compelled to do for his extended family. Our kids are thriving and my career is going well, and I think my husband hates me now! He complains constantly about how much work he does around the house (it’s mostly 50/50), talks a lot about how I’m the “kind of person who just hates the holidays,” and when I ask him to do anything for the kids, he tells me he doesn’t have time since I left him to run his start-up alone. (For the record, we absolutely need me to work for health insurance, and the start-up is doing fine without me.) I love my kids and our home, but this is miserable—I can’t go back to focusing all my attention on him! What do I do?

—Weary Wife

Dear Weary Wife,

What I’m about to say will be unpopular with some readers, but that’s never stopped me.

There comes a point in marriages where you have to be at peace with giving up and moving on. I’m not saying that’s the case here, and I’m not saying one should give up easily—but if the writing is on the wall, you should read it.

Woman Leaves Fake Pregnancy Test In Her Bedroom To Catch 'Snooping' Mother-In-Law

  Woman Leaves Fake Pregnancy Test In Her Bedroom To Catch 'Snooping' Mother-In-Law Don't snoop through people's things!She posted about the entire debacle to the subreddit "r/AmItheA--hole" (AITA), a forum where users try to figure out if they were wrong or not in an argument that has been bothering them.

You mentioned that you went through extensive couples counseling which didn’t do much to fix your marital woes, and now that you’ve taken the steps to improve your life, he resents you. The question you should ask yourself is if you’re willing to give up your own happiness in order to please him. Obviously I can’t answer that for you, but I have a feeling the answer is “no.”

To be clear, I’m not saying you should file for divorce right now—but I do think you need to tell him how serious your state of unhappiness is, and that divorce is a real option. Maybe that will be the wake-up call he needs to change his ways or become more supportive of your personal dreams—and that would be great if that is the case. If it’s not the case, then you may have to make a very difficult decision.

People in a marriage rarely remain the same as they were when they exchanged vows. If one person grows and the other doesn’t, or if a person becomes resentful of the growth of their spouse, the marriage is doomed to fail.

Again, you should absolutely give every effort you can to save your marriage, but there’s zero shame in saying, “This ain’t for me” and starting fresh if it’s not working.

Catch Up on Care and Feeding

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Dear Care and Feeding,

When I was growing up, my mom really enjoyed the idea that her kids believed in Santa. When I was four, I started to have suspicions. Every time I did, my mom would insist he was real and go out of her way to make sure I believed: boot prints in the snow, missing cookies, etc. By the time I was ten, my mom and siblings thought it was so funny that I believed for as long as I did, but I felt humiliated. I’m the youngest so I was the last to find out, and I felt like the butt of a joke. I would have preferred to find out when the other kids did. Nearly 30 years later, they still tease me about it. I’m not traumatized, but Santa doesn’t sit right with me.

Protocols to stop mass school shootings are spreading. Are students' right being violated?

  Protocols to stop mass school shootings are spreading. Are students' right being violated? Behavioral threat assessments are spreading to help stop mass school shootings, but advocates say they are used to remove students who pose no danger.Born with a traumatic brain injury, he had been diagnosed in kindergarten with a serious emotional disability and severe ADHD. Stuck at home during the early months of the pandemic, his mental health declined.

Now that I have kids, my mom doesn’t like that my husband and I don’t perpetuate Santa. We don’t say Santa isn’t real, but we don’t go out of our way to insist that he is. My mom thinks my five-year-old is “too young” not to believe. When she’s around, she tries to push the Santa nonsense. Every year, my mom brings it up. Last night I snapped at her, “When I was a kid and I knew something was up, you went out of your way to make me not trust my instincts all because me believing in Santa made YOU happy. Then when I found out the truth after I was too old to still believe, you and everyone else laughed *at* me (and still do) about how naive I was to believe what you insisted that I believe. That’s really messed up.” She didn’t say anything. Part of me thinks I could have handled it better and part of me thinks I’m being overly sensitive. Is there a better way?

—Stop The Santa Stupidity

Dear Stop,

As I said in a previous letter, I think it’s best for kids to find out the truth about Santa Claus organically. From what you described, it seems like you’re onboard with that if you aren’t forcing your ill feelings on your child, so that’s a good thing.

The problem clearly stems from your mom’s behavior, and I hate to break it to you, but you are traumatized by what happened to you in the past. I mean, you clearly aren’t over it 30 years later and it has gotten to the point where you wrote a letter to address it. I’m not shaming you at all for this, but I want you to understand there’s no shame in your feelings.

So, no—you’re not being overly sensitive. You reacted in a way that indicates you had 30 years of pain bottled up, and it exploded in your mom’s face. That’s completely normal stuff. If you want to be nice about it, you can offer up an apology, but also be firm in your boundaries for the following year by saying something along the lines of, “Mom, I’m sorry that I blew up on you, but as you now know, this Santa thing has been bothering me for a long time. I know you have strong feelings about it, but next year I do not want you to push the Santa myth on my daughter. If you do, then I’ll have no choice but to not invite you for Christmas.”

That may seem harsh, but your mom needs to understand this isn’t about what she wants. If she pushes back and asks why, you can use the parenting line that I’m sure you heard while growing up: “Because I said so.” You don’t need to offer an explanation for your parenting choices to anyone, including her.

Running the risk of playing arm-chair psychologist, I have a feeling this isn’t the only issue you have with your mom. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to sit down with a therapist to get everything out on the table for your own peace of mind.

—Doyin

I have an 8-year-old son who is really, really smart but really, really stubborn. Although he gets good grades, we fight all the time over schoolwork. He is constantly saying that he doesn’t see the point of some simple task, that it’s stupid and easy, that he hates it. When he does the work, he’s lazy, resents having to do multiple steps on things, and doesn’t follow directions well. I’ve tried incentives, but he was never reward-oriented. He’s always been a grouchy kid, but school is just turning him into an angry kid. Parent-teacher conferences are this week, and I’m going to bring all of this up, but I would love some ideas.

Protocols to stop mass school shootings are spreading. Are students' right being violated? .
Behavioral threat assessments are spreading to help stop mass school shootings, but advocates say they are used to remove students who pose no danger.Born with a traumatic brain injury, he had been diagnosed in kindergarten with a serious emotional disability and severe ADHD. Stuck at home during the early months of the pandemic, his mental health declined.

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