Workwear Hall of Fame: Paulina Leather Pump

We’ve included this pump from Trotters in a number of our roundups of the best low heels, but I don’t think we’ve ever highlighted it in its own post. I love this black python-print leather, the short 1.75″ heel, and the classic kitten heel look. It comes in 10 colors and five (!) widths at Nordstrom for $99-$109 and is also available at Zappos and Amazon. It’s got great reviews at all three sites! Paulina Leather Pump

2017 Update: We’re adding this heel to our Workwear Hall of Fame! Nordstrom, Amazon and Zappos all carry the shoe in a TON of colors, and it’s winning rave reviews everywhere.

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!

Looking for a COMFORTABLE low heel for work? This $99 one gets all rave reviews.

great kitten heel pump for work


  1. Anonymous :

    Cross-posted from the Moms’ page because it was late in the morning thread there:
    What do you do about kids and social media? Expecting a baby soon and if it were up to me, there would not be digital images of my daughter anywhere online until she’s old enough to post them herself, but I realize this is probably unrealistic. Husband and I will probably share a handful of photos on Facebook to announce her birth and mark subsequent milestones such as Mother’s/Father’s Day and her birthdays, but we don’t anticipate sharing photos online regularly. I’m not enthusiastic about my parents, siblings or sister-in-law putting any photos of her on their Facebook pages (parents-in-law don’t have social media pages). First grandchild/niece for all of them. It seems hypocritical to tell them not to do it if we’re doing it but a) we know exactly who can see our photos and there are no strangers on our Facebook friends list whereas I have no idea who can see our family member’s photos and even if they’re all friends-only they’re certainly visible to a lot of people my husband and I don’t know and b) we are going to be extremely selective about what we post, while I feel that my mom and SIL especially will go crazy and upload hundreds of pictures a month – giving them a blanket “you can’t post any photos” seems like an easier line to draw than “you can post one photo every three months” or whatever. And I know I don’t have to worry about this for a few years, but will I totally ostracize my kid if I ask her classmates’ parents not to put photos of her on social media?

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      No kids yet here but I suspect you will get more on-point answers if you share some of your concerns. Do you have unique safety issues? Do you just value privacy for privacy sake? Are you worried about your child ending up on an ad or a meme?

      • Anonymous :

        Nothing unique, just privacy for privacy’s sake. Two separate concerns I think –
        #1 is not wanting pics to fall into pervs hands. That’s more of an issue with Facebook and other social media and could be solved by using one of the apps suggested below. Although there’s still the issue of can we ban friends/family from putting her on Facebook?
        #2 is I’m also concerned about data mining and just the idea that anything put online is forever and could be used in the future by companies for whatever purpose, and that’s an issue with any platform, even maybe images attached to emails?

        • Anonymous :

          For #1, couldn’t you just lock down your Facebook privacy settings?

          • Anonymous (OP) :

            Facebook’s privacy settings are pretty sketchy, but yeah #1 could easily be solved by using LifeCake or one of the other apps suggested below. But family members will still take pics and want to share them on their Facebook pages.

    • My friends who had a baby three months ago have only been sharing pictures through an app called Moment Garden. It isn’t public and is only viewable by people who are invited. This allowed them to not crash their social media feeds with baby pics, keep baby pics out of the public eye, and it allows their friends and family to only see things when they want to see them. As their friend, I love it. I can like and comment on pics and turn notifications on and off depending on my preference.

      • I should add, I don’t appear to be able to download the pics from the app, so unless someone is going to screenshot it and edit it to remove the app framing, they can’t grab it and post. And, if someone is doing it without your permission, you can remove them from viewing privileges on the app.

      • LifeCake does this, too.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I’m off social media for a bunch of reasons and I’ve been using the Shutterfly Share Sites to share pics with friends. I just took a vacation with a bunch of friends and we are able to have a mutual album where we all upload our pics to one spot. It is PW protected so people can only see if if they have the link and the PW.

      • We do this through Photos on the iphone.

    • Clementine :

      I planned on being like this to some degree and then… I wasn’t. Honestly, I’m classifying this as ‘not the hill I want to die on’. My stepmother regularly takes and shares dozens of poorly focused, awkward videos and photos but I just unfollowed her on Facebook, so it doesn’t bother me.

      I am of the ‘less is more’ mentality; however, sometimes I just want to put an Instagram photo up of my kid ‘reading’ to the dog and not overthink it.

      I mean, I guess that the fact that my kid’s name was announced 100% incorrectly sort of lowered my bar… (Think ‘Welcome Bethany Julia Darcy-Bennett’ when it was actually Eliza Jane Darcy.)

      • Clementine :

        To clarify: not just the name but also the arrival of said kid. We wanted to make sure we called our inner circle so they didn’t find out on Facebook… and actually asked people not to post anything!

        And then they did…

        • Anonymous :

          Wait you called you friends to tell them you had a baby and they posted it on Facebook?? And not just “Congrats Clementine & spouse!” but they took it upon themselves to announce the birth and the name…and it was the WRONG name? I would not be friends with these people anymore.

          • Anonymous :

            My reading was that her stepmother did this, which seems crazy.

          • Clementine :

            It was a family member who did it first.

            Stepmother ‘shared’ that post within 30 seconds.

          • Thisperson1 :

            My mother posted on FB that I was pregnant, after I specifically told her we were just telling family, not ready to share with everyone yet and specifically mentioned to not post it on FB.

        • My aunt self-determined that we were public about our pregnancy (we had told family/friends on the phone/in person with a “we’re not public/on social media yet” caveat, but not further acquaintances) despite the fact that there was not a single mention of baby on fb, no pictures of me pregnant, no nothing, and posted something about babies to my wall (on the same day that a good friend who was pregnant also announced her stillbirth publicly – and we have lots of mutual friends). I lost it (my mother still doesn’t get while I was so upset) but family does weird things. Her “apology” was that “I thought it was public!” despite no evidence to indicate that. Fortunately it was a slow day at work and I saw the tag and was able to untag quickly (plus had my mother call and yell at said aunt since I was too upset and she deleted the post), so in hindsight I probably shouldn’t have had such a meltdown but, eh, pregnancy hormones.

          A friend’s aunt also posted a “Congrats – Welcome [Baby Name]” to a friend’s wall before they had a chance to announce the name/birth on facebook last year – seems more common than I would have thought.

          • Clementine :


            And this is why Stepmother didn’t know I was pregnant until I told work and was ready to tell everyone.

            And yeah… more common than expected.

      • I saw a nice image shared recently on a friend’s fbook that basically–and kindly–said “We’re so excited for the impending arrival of our newest little one. Please allow us a few days of privacy with our new arrival before talking about, congratulating us, or sharing info/pictures of the baby on Facebook. We cherish the honor of being able to do that on our own terms and on our own time. Thanks so much for respecting our wishes!”

        I hope this works for their sake…! I’m not sure this would work with folks newer to social media–my mom’s age people, “well-meaning” aunties, etc–but this plus an email might help.

        …I do mn’t and won’t be having kids so this is not a hill I have to climb, except to respect those wishes!

    • Anonymous :

      My child is 3 – and we post nothing on Facebook with his image. We’ve also told all our family members and it honestly has not been an issue.
      With technology today it is so easy to share photos with a select small group. We have close family members on an email list and send them pictures each week (which you can do more/less frequently). I also text close friends pics of special milestones (like a birthday) and only to those who I think would want to see them.
      Keeping my child off SM was the right decision for me. Do what feels right to you!

      • This is what we do. We have only had to “remind” one family member who doesn’t agree with our decision, but it is the right decision for us. For us, it’s about privacy and also it doesn’t seem right to make the choice of sharing photos available forever for a kid who has no say in the choice.

    • Obviously, you should do what you are comfortable with, but personally, I just can’t get worked up about this, at least at the ages when the kids are too young to care (mine are 4 and 2). I guess the random perv issue is sort of horrifying if you think about it, but there are so many kid pictures all over the place that it really doesn’t seem like a real issue to worry about, IMO. Same with the data mining issue, really. My thinking is that this is pretty much just normal, and generally pretty harmless, so there’s no real reason to worry about it, assuming that no one’s posting things that are genuinely private or likely to be embarrassing to the kids later in life or that sort of thing. It makes my mom happy to show off her grandkids, and that’s important to me.

      • Anonymous (OP) :

        Yeah, this is a concern. I think my parents would be deeply hurt if I told them they couldn’t share photos of their first grandchild on Facebook, and I don’t want to cause them pain. But they just went on a cruise and they literally each made a separate Facebook photo album for every. single. port. so I feel like my by daughter’s first birthday there will be 10,000 photos of her on their Facebook pages alone.

        • Anonymous :

          I think this is a hill to die on IMO. Your daughter has a right to privacy on the internet. You’re the parent, you decide the rules. Make sure your Facebook isn’t public and share only to people you’re comfortable with. Also, if someone posts a photo without your consent, you can report it and they will be taken down.

          • The thing is, you kind of don’t decide the rules. This is the world now– if your child is photographed in a public place, that’s fair game. No one has to have your consent to post that. It’s one thing to ask your family to respect your wishes and not post photos– you’re certainly within your rights to do that, although they COULD disregard your wishes. But as far as parents of other children, years down the road, and asking them not to photograph your child and not to post photos that your child is in? You really have no standing. And it’s weird. So yes, you can of course ask your family not to post– and they shouldn’t. But that doesn’t mean they won’t, and other people in the world are certainly going to, in the future.

          • Here’s the thing though, you don’t own your child and it’s not just your life – your having a kid makes someone else a grandmother/father, aunt/uncle and they have a right to share what’s happening in their life if they choose to.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      My sister mentioned something publicly about her pregnancy and I made an absurd joke about the kid’s name — a pun on her last name, like imagine the last name was Greene, and I said, “I can’t wait to meet little Candy Apple Greene!” …anyway, she received a panicked phone call from a friend like, “Your sister just put your kid’s name on Facebook!!!”

      Sorry, this hasn’t really added to the conversation. It is a hill on which I have also decided not to die, though I try to show restraint and never post something that would embarrass her.

    • We’re not on social media. Yes, random pictures will get through by way of relatives/friends but for the most part our friends and family have been very respectful of our decision and will usually ask before they post any pictures of our kid. I realize everyone has different levels of comfort with this stuff but I am supremely grateful that I had the chance to grow up with my privacy intact and I don’t want to deprive my kid of the same. If she eventually chooses to post everything about herself, that’s a choice she should be entitled to actually make, not have made for her.

      • Not the OP :

        Can you elaborate on what aspects of your privacy you would have felt were violated by being put on FB? My mom took all sorts of photos of me and made albums that she shared with family members at every holiday. Isn’t that similar to mom showing the same photos to the same people via FB? Are you more concerned about data mining and advertising?

        • It’s the fact that it’s forever. Sharing pictures in an album or even a newsletter is different because those things are physical and specific; to me this would be more like if your mom sent in your pictures to a newspaper every week and they were just always there in an archive.

          In fairness, I think that I’m probably thinking less about my baby pictures and more about my youth/adolescence – whether it’s awkward pictures of me at 10 or 12 or going through my first relationship at 15. But I think it’s hard to draw the line. I know lots of people who claim that they’ll stop posting kid pictures when their kids are older/old enough to object but I also see people with teenagers post away with little concern. I think it’s hard to draw a line once you start. And I don’t know that your kid can even appreciate the decision if it’s just always a part of your life. It’s not really informed consent if you’ve never known anything else.

        • Anonymous :

          It’s forever and it’s also very easy for people to share with other people. When your mom showed people albums of you, they saw them, but they couldn’t instantaneously share them with a thousand of their closest friends. Anyone who can view your photos on facebook can also download them.

    • WestCoast Lawyer :

      I knew someone who was determined not to post pictures of her kid’s face on FB. So she would only post shots from behind, or pictures where something was covering his face. I think they eventually caved, but it was pretty entertaining while it lasted to see how creative they got.

      • I’ve noticed that Lin-Manuel Miranda does this on Twitter. I really respect it considering how many random followers (like me) he has.

        • I think Lin-Manuel Miranda has a strong reason to do so because he’s a public figure and god knows what wacko might decide to stalk his family. Everyone is free to draw their own lines, of course, but the fear that a wacko will need a Facebook picture in order to stalk seems a little overblown to me. You know, you’re in more danger from the creepy guy behind that tree watching your kid at the zoo than you are of the photo of your kid at the zoo that your mother-in-law shares with her mah jongg friends.

    • Cornellian :

      I drew a blanket line in the sand that no one can post pictures of my now four month old online. It went over like a lead balloon with my in laws, but they eventually understood it. I would generally tend to let kids control their own image, but in my case I have a criminal estranged father with a violent history who (used to?) stalk(s) my half sister’s small children. In my case it’s not just his likeness I”m trying to hide, but his entire existence, which is sort of sad.

      I’ve encouraged sharing through google photos and via text message instead. So far so good, I think.

      I figured out that I had a facebook leak from a high school best friend whose parents my father hunted down to confirm that I had given birth. Hopefully you don’t need to be that tight on security.

    • blueberries :

      My kids (preschooler and baby) don’t exist online. We use a private app to share photos with family only. No one has said anything about having a problem with this restriction.

  2. Anonymous :

    These look great! Can anyone speak to what they feel like at the end of an 8-hour workday?

    • Anonymous :

      I bought these in chocolate brown and they’re surprisingly comfortable. I wear them at a standing desk for a few hours a day and I walk outside for lunch. I haven’t had any blistering or pain in the ball of my foot. I have bunions, but the shoes don’t rub them.

  3. Non-CBT Therapy? :

    Soooo, I am happily married, or so I thought, with several little kids. Then I met a guy, and I lost myself. Emotionally only, not physically. I became like obsessed with this guy. I didnt know what to do, how to make the thoughts stop, because, ya know, married with kids . . . So, after years of reading here, I called a therapist and went in and told him “I am here because I’m married with X kids and I am obsessed with another guy.”

    so, the therapy seems helpful (have gone twice). He is more about insight than advice (his words). Does not seem into CBT. My question is whether I should be seeking CBT or if others here have found this type of non-CBT therapy helpful.

    • If it seems helpful, I’d be more inclined to keep going to this person than trying to seek out someone else. Part of the struggle is just finding a therapist you gel with, so if you’ve got that and it’s helping, I’d stick with it.

    • Research I’ve read says the rapport with the therapist is more important than the methodology they use. CBT is popular because it’s supposed to get results measurably and quickly, but that doesn’t mean that other types of therapy aren’t also “evidence based”.

    • Shopaholic :

      FWIW, I found that kind of therapy really helpful. Her insight helped me change my thought patterns which were harmful. I stopped going but 2-3 years later, I still feel like it works/worked.

    • Anonymous :

      Eh, CBT isn’t my jam and, based on my own personal experience, I don’t think it’s the best approach for this particular life problem. Of course, YMMV, but I agree with the others that the rapport with the therapist is very important and if you are finding it helpful, don’t stress about what kind of therapy it is. All that matters is that it’s working.

    • Wildkitten :

      I wouldn’t stop seeing this guy if you find him helpful, but you can also see someone else if you want to try other approaches.

    • If you’re finding it helpful, stick with it.

      I think CBT is most helpful when you have global thought patterns that you’re trying to change, like you have issues overall with anger management, depression, OCD, etc. I have found it less helpful for specific stressors.

      It sounds like you mostly need someone who you can talk to without judgment, who will help you figure out why you’re feeling this way about this guy and what action you want to take. That doesn’t necessarily need to be CBT.

    • Cookbooks :

      I’m going to echo the above. You’ve only gone twice so far, but if you feel comfortable with your therapist (this is wicked important) and his approach, and you think this is working, then stick with it. CBT is only one method and certainly not the only one that works..

      Good luck!

    • Non-CBT Therapy :

      Thank you all for your comments. I am going to take your advice and stick with what I started since it is helping. I at least feel more in control by seeking help before my thoughts do real damage to my marriage or act on my feelings

    • I found myself in a flirtatious relationship that could have led to an affair several years ago. The thing is, the exciting part is the fantasy and the chase so I played the tape all the way forward. I literally pictured him right after the garden party, you know how it looks right after, right? I mean, they are all pretty much the same.

  4. How do Uniqlo long sleeves tshirts fit? Debating between an XS and S (ordering online for the first time). Generally a size 0 or 2 at BR/jcrew, XS in Old Navy when I’m not sized out depending on the item.

    Alternatively, I could drive an hour to the Tysons Corner store to try on in person – if I do that, any recs on other places to shop there that aren’t found in most typical suburban malls?

    • Maddie Ross :

      A lot of Uniqlo stuff runs large in IMO. I would probably order an XS given your sizes at other stores.

      • I was under the (mistaken?) idea that they actually run smaller/clingier than most places. Not sure why I thought that as I’ve never purchased from there (but am desperate for 3/4 sleeve and long sleeves shirts and no place else seems to have anything similar this season- everything seems to be very loose and flowing which does not work for me at all).

        • if you head to tysons for a shirtlike that, check out the nordstrom “juniors” selection, and also their in-house brand “hinge”. I have the BEST long sleeve shirt from them EVER. it only comes in like, black white and gray, but i love it.

        • Anonymous :

          I found their American stuff to be vanity sized, though I haven’t shopped there in a few years. I would order down.

          • Glad I’m not the only one who’s found this. When I lived in Asia I could not fit into 90% of their clothes, even if I got the XXL size!

    • It depends on the shirt for me. Their base layers ran small, and dressier tops more tts or larger.
      For example I needed a medium in their heattech baselayers, and a small fit fine in blouses and flannels.

      I haven’t tried anything this season though, so can’t speak to that.

    • Anonymous :

      I think it depends on whether the piece is supposed to be oversized or not – if you look at their sizing charts, their number sizes seem to run about 1 size smaller than comparable American sizes. But they do seem to have a lot of tops that are supposed to be very loose fitting. I generally have to size up but I have muscular arms, big boobs, and also haven’t bought anything this season.

  5. Anon for this :

    I posted a week or so ago about wanting to see if I could get a rx for progesterone to delay a period for an important vacation coming up (I’ve had my tubes tied, so am not on birth control). I was super-excited that several people commented that their doctors had done this and it was no big deal, so I called my doctor, but got a big nope. Something about if I had been on birth control, she could tweak it some (which, of course I’m not on birth control – you tied my tubes!), but she couldn’t give me anything at this point to stop it. I guess different doctors do things differently. So, boo to that. :(

    Wish me menstrual cup luck! (’cause I’m yet to figure out how to keep that stuff from leaking.)

    • Anonymous :

      This is honestly reason #1 why I love my IUD. For those who are shopping for birth control options, just think – you could potentially never have this problem again. I haven’t had a real period since 2007!

      • Anon for period talk :

        I got the IUD that is supposed to stop menstrual bleeding. A year later I’m still bleeding for 8 days with hellish migraines too. Everyone else I’ve talked to that has the IUD is period-free. I’m 36 and menopause, please hurry up!

    • Just so you know, it’s probably not an issue of your doctor being unwilling to do it so much as it wouldn’t work unless you’re a few months out– I tried this a few weeks before a camping trip as a teenager and got the same response because it takes your body a few months to acclimate such that you could skip a period. I’m on the pill now and have skipped every period for the last decade.

  6. Wealth Disparity :

    I need some perspectives on an issue that is starting to come up more and more between DH and I now that we have a baby. We probably should have had more of these convos before she arrived but didn’t, so now here we are!

    While I feel like a had a “normal” childhood, I’m now able to recognize that I grew up very very privileged. My parents definitely said no to things and the focus was never on material things, but now as an adult I realize that my parents were in the very fortunate position to say no to things because they didn’t think they were good for us, not because they couldn’t provide them. My mom read an article on the power of “transformative assets” and now feels strongly about gifting and giving me and my siblings money now rather than waiting until they pass away and having it be an inheritance. The gist of the article was that giving a dollar to someone in their thirties who is just starting a household/family has a much larger impact than giving a dollar to someone in their fifties who is presumably more established. And, with the power of medicine now, its very possible we could be 70 before our parents pass away.

    Recently, my parents gifted us a sizeable amount of money to do home renovations before we had our baby. They’re willing to pay for whatever form of childcare we decide on. They’ve put money aside for our new baby for college. They pay for our country club membership. Etc.

    DH appreciates the help, but I think is starting to feel like we’re living beyond our means. He isn’t wrong in that without their support there are certainly expenses I would cut and I would change certain parts of our lifestyle. But I don’t feel like it makes sense to reject their help just so we can say we’re living independently when they want to help and mentally have earmarked the money for us, whether now or when they pass.

    I recognize this is literally a first world problem, but I don’t want it to turn into a wedge between DH and I. Any advice for navigating this or perspective?

    • Anonymous :

      Your country club membership? Home renovations?

      I’d hate this. Those are luxuries not needs. And they are your parents dictating how you live your lives. You can accept them paying for your kids to go to college without accepting all of this.

      • Wealth Disparity :

        I fully understand that they’re luxuries and not needs. I don’t really agree that it’s my parents dictating how we live – we bought a fixer upper and had been talking about what construction we would do. My mom said construction plus a baby would be stressful and they’d be happy to cover it if we wanted to do it beforehand. Their basic thinking seems to be- don’t not do something that would be right for your family just because of cost. They want it to be a tool that helps make our lives easier and less stressful and enables us to spend more time on the things that make us happy.

        • Anonymous :

          I’ve never seen a situation where gifts like this don’t come with strings attached. You may not be able to see the strings or may be fine with them, but your DH clearly can see them and isn’t fine with it. I think you need to give his opinion more weight than your parents’ opinion.

          • Totally disagree with this – of course it’s possible for some families to give generously of their money/time/energy without attaching strings. My parents are of much more modest means, but in the past have helped me out in big ways (childcare, moving, stuff like that). No strings attached then or now, and my husband would 100% agree. They’re amazing, and always respect our independence and boundaries. I hope to do the same for my kids some day.

          • Or at least take the time to listen to what his concerns are.

        • I think there’s a big difference between something that augments wealth (and keeps it in the family) like a home renovation and a country club membership. If it were me, I’d think long and hard about accepting a gift for a renovation, but I understand why it’s appealing to both you and your parents. (and I understand why your husband is uncomfortable with it!)

          The country club membership seems insane to me unless there’s some reason other than leisure you’re not mentioning. It seems like it would be better in the long term for you and your parents for them to give you that money and you to invest it. What better gift could they give you than helping you retire early in a decade or two?

          • Wealth Disparity :

            It’s where we went to camp in the summer and provided significant after school supervision for us through activities when I was growing up and I’d love for my kids to have the same experience. Especially with all the technology now, I’d love my kids to be outside at the beach from 10am – 8pm like we were in a place where no cellphones are allowed!

          • Anonymous :

            Then make enough money to afford that? Are you so privileged you literally cannot comprehend how to make this happen without a country club?

          • Are the parents members of the club, too? It would make a lot of sense for them to pay for it if it were something that was important for the parents to share with the adult kids. Just as much of a benefit to the parents as to the OP, there.

        • Anonymous :

          “Their basic thinking seems to be- don’t not do something that would be right for your family just because of cost. ”

          Cost ought to be a major factor in decisions about what is right for your family.

          • Anonymous :


          • This is the most incredibly head up your you know what, privileged point of view you could have. Which I guess works out for OP’s parents because they have gobs of money. But think about how few financial lessons you learned, OP, and whether you want your kids to be that way, too. Do *you* have tons of money? How are you going to continue this lifestyle once your parents are gone? Do you plan on paying for everything for your *adult* children?

        • Senior Attorney :

          “Easier and less stressful” is not necessarily the be-all and end-all of life. For goodness sake. Do you really and truly WANT to have everything in life handed to you on a silver platter? And do you want that for your kids?

          It’s very old now, but get hold of a copy of “The Millionaire Next Door” and read the chapter on “economic outpatient care.”

      • Anonymous :

        +1. I would die if my husband wanted to accept money from his parents for a country club membership or a home renovation. If you had an emergency like a job layoff and were accepting money on a short-term basis, that’s a totally different scenario, but you are cool with taking money from your elderly parents to live way beyond your means. That would honestly be a dealbreaker for me in a relationship.

        • Wealth Disparity :

          Would it be easier if cash were just given outright in a lump sum? My parents want things to be equal and I have younger siblings, so they’ve been covering things as costs come up (paying for a sibling’s law school, our home renovations etc) so that it isn’t like a 22 year old boy suddenly has unfettered access to enough money to be destructive, but maybe that’s less invasive from DH’s perspective

          • I see paying for law school as materially different than paying for a country club membership – paying for law school allows your brother to graduate free from debt and gives him more flexibility in career options. I would see paying for your children’s educations (or setting aside money for it) as more equivalent. Not sure where home renovations falls, but I’d probably put it somewhere in the middle of those two.

          • Anonymous :

            Yes. I’d see an outright gift of cash as completely different. Then we, as a couple, determine how best to use that for our family. Which would likely mean living within our means and saving it.

          • Anonymous :

            I would still be personally uncomfortable with a lump sum cash gift from my in-laws, but I do see a distinction, because a lump sum gift can simply be put in the bank and that’s what my husband and I would do with it. I wonder if part of this is that he feels like your parents’ gifts are leading to lifestyle creep – home renovations may lead to higher maintenance and cleaning costs for your home, country club memberships may make him feel like he has to drive a luxury car, etc. Is that part of it?

      • Yes they are NOT must have’s, but the parents want the kids to have a nice upbringing, presumably the way they did. I spoke with Dad about this and he agrees that kid’s and grandkids should have stuff, but have to respect that it is NOT a given they get what they want. I know Dad makes sure that Rosa’s kids are provided for, as Ed’s parents are not well to do, and Ed is a hustler who sells stock legally to make money to support Rosa’s lifestyle, but if Rosa thinks this is NOT enough Dad kicks in with extras like the downpayment for their house in Chapaqua, at least 1 membership in a country club — which Ed uses to get new busness – and the cars, which Ed uses for busness and the SUV Rosa rides around town with the Kids. I think when I get MARRIED, I do NOT want to have dad fund stuff, so I am saveing now. Hopfully my husband will have enough in the bank to pay for all of this and a decent job. Otherwise Dad will do the same for me that he does for Rosa. That is NOT a bad thing, as the kids are NOT spoiled. Dad makes sure of that by warning the kids that he will spank them if he finds out they are (or get) greedy. YAY!!!!

    • Anonymous :

      I think have a frank conversation with your husband about this, followed by a conversation with your mom or both your parents. If these things have strings attached or could be pulled out from under you, I agree you could be setting yourself up for problems. The fact that your mom has discussed the article you mentioned with you and seems to have discussed the idea of giving you money candidly, it sounds like she may be receptive to a similarly candid conversation about your and your husband’s concerns (make sure you present them as shared concerns and make clear you are a united front). Since you seem to have a good relationship and the money is not unwanted, it seems premature to turn it all away until you’ve at least had these discussions.

    • No kids myself, but my parents handled this kind of thing by making it clear that they would rather money go to us kids than given to them. My grandparents contributed significantly to my college fund, and helped with other, more “luxury” expenses while I was growing up (years of music lessons were a gift from them, my grandmother bought my prom dress, etc.). Grandparents loved spending on the grandkids, parents loved that the contributions actually helped out by providing useful things that otherwise weren’t in the budget.

    • Anonymous :

      Background: I also grew up very privileged, and my parents paid for four years of private college, which I recognize was a huge gift that gave me a gigantic head start in life. But my parents haven’t given me a dime since college and I think it would wound my pride and certainly my DH’s pride if they were giving us money regularly.

      I see a big difference between setting aside money for your daughter’s college and paying for your home renovations and country club. The former seems silly to turn down and isn’t really YOU accepting a gift from them, it’s your daughter accepting a gift (or you accepting on her behalf). But I’m with your DH on the other gifts and I can see why he feels it’s inappropriate for them to be funding these aspects of your lifestyle. Could you propose that as a compromise? Drop the other gifts but continue accepting money for your daughter’s education that is earmarked for that purpose and won’t be used for ~18 years?

      To the extent that you seem to be implying that accepting money from living parents is no different than accepting an inheritance from parents who have passed away, I disagree strongly. For many people, the bulk of their spending comes in their elder years when they may need round-the-clock care. Accepting this money now means your parents won’t have it should they need it in their 80s or 90s – and you might be surprised how much this stuff can cost. My grandmother retired a millionaire and died a pauper, because she needed 10+ years of 24/7 care for her dementia. This is another reason why I see the money for your daughter’s schooling in a separate category than the money for your home renovation or country club. The former is set aside and could theoretically be given back in an emergency, the latter has been spent and can’t be given back.

      • Maybe this is their long term care planning. Spend down the assets before they hit the Medicaid look back period.

        • If this is true, then shame shame shame on them.

          I would be truly disgusted if someone is spending down in this way…… Should their children and grandchildren enjoy free college, free home renovations and country club memberships so that I AND THE REST OF THE COUNTRY can pay for their parents to live out the elderly years in a nursing home on medicaid to the tunes of thousand to millions of dollars?!?!?! No way.

          Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

          Rich people doing long term financial planning of hiding their money via their kids to get on Medicaid are as low as you can get…..

      • So many assumptions :

        Wow. OP did ask for opinions but I think many comments are pretty harsh. And it’s a huge unsupported assumption that the parents are giving away money they’ll need in their later years.

    • Hmm. I’m probably closer to your husband on this stuff, and I do also suffer from (that’s a joke) overly generous in-laws, though in our case, it’s more because they have money now but were struggling when their kids were young. For me, I like to mentally differentiate a “gift” from “support.” To use your examples, if I didn’t need the money for the home reno, but they gave it as a Christmas or birthday gift, that would be OK with me. And the college thing is OK because it’s for the kid, not me. I’d feel weirder about the country club, but it would make a difference to me if they were part of the club too – so it was more about them wanting us to be a part of it with them (similarly, I have no qualms about my in-laws taking us on vacation because I know that they really want to do a family vacation together).

      The child care, I guess, is the only thing that would really get to me, since that’s 100% something that my husband and I have responsibility for. But, like the reno, I would be OK to frame it as a gift – similarly, because my MIL has a tendency to go nuts at Christmas and buy both us and the kids tons of useless junk, my husband has floated the idea of them paying for the preschool that we’d like to start the older kid in instead of some of the stuff. (We can afford it even if they don’t; it’s just more of a strain.)

      But, I can deal a lot more because we’ve been married for a long time, and I have an understanding of how my in-laws operate and how to deal. They’re not controlling or making life choices for us, and I’ve figured out how to deal with how up in our business they can be. So, I might tell you to honestly ask whether your husband has some valid concerns about how they operate or could be operating, and be really careful that they’re not stepping on any toes in a way that you can deal with because they’re your parents but feels more controlling to him as someone who might be less comfortable with them.

    • Anonymous :

      I really don’t think this is a big deal, but I grew up similar to you. For someone who isn’t used to this kind of thing I understand how it can seem strange. It’s not like you’re not independent adults…I see these financial contributions as gifts that will improve your children’s quality of life. So few children are lucky enough to have opportunities like this. As long as there aren’t any strings attached, I think your husband needs to suck it up and be grateful.

      • Anonymous :

        Sorry, but if your parents are buying you a country club membership, a home renovation and your child’s college tuition, you are NOT an independent adult. I had someone on thiss!te once tell me I wasn’t an independent adult because my parents pay $20 a month for my cell phone on their family plan. The gifts OP is describing are orders of magnitude more.

        • Someone on this s*te saying something doesn’t make it true.

          Every family is different. Some parents can give these kinds of gifts and not expect anything in return and others expect a lot of control and deference in return. Would anyone be saying OP isn’t an independent adult if instead of paying for daycare her mom offered to watch her kid while she worked and her dad offered to help her physically fix her house? I think not (although the concerns about navigating those waters would obviously still be there. I just don’t think it would be the same conversation).

      • My upbringing sounds somewhat similar to yours, including what my parents didn’t give us and the reasons why. My parents paid for my entire education, including law school. After I got a job in BigLaw, they paid to renovate my home and then helped pay off the mortgage. They also see all of this as a way to help me save (I live a remarkably frugal life on light of my job and assets) and reduce the size of their estate when they die. There really haven’t been strings attached—they see these as gifts. My parents and I are very good friends.

        I do not have advice for you because I have not faced the tension you are. However, I’m posting to let you know you’re not alone, OP. This is an unusual dynamic but not weird. Your parents are exceedingly generous (or exceedingle manipulate, but I hope not).

      • Yeah, my upbringing was a lot less high-end than the OP’s, but I don’t see why everyone is flipping out about the club. If her parents have the money and everyone (OP, DH, and grandparents) all want the kids to have access to opportunities they can get through membership, and the grandparents are happy to pay for it–why not? Because someone on the internet thinks that means the OP isn’t an independent adult? Nah.

        The problem here is not that her parents are paying for a club membership–the problem is that she and her husband aren’t on the same page about accepting financial support from her parents.

    • I’m coming at this from the perspective of your DH. By allowing your parents to do so much for you now, does he feel like the two of you aren’t getting the opportunity to earn your own lifestyle? While your parents’ generosity is admirable, this much help would have me chafing, too. I take a great deal of pride in knowing that my hard work is making life better for my family. My DH feels the same way about his job. Our financial independence is awfully important to us. Now, I see your point about it seeming silly to reject help — but understand that for your DH, accepting this level of gifting on a regular basis may violate his values in a deep way. On some level, it also may feel controlling. Their your parents, so it probably doesn’t for you, but it might feel very different to an in-law.

    • Anonymous :

      Is the country club the same one that your parents belong to? I’m guessing yes and if that’s the case, I’d be surprised if you are the only ones of your generation who’s membership is being funded by the older generation. I think that’s pretty common actually. If they are paying for a CC in a different city, that’s a little different and I agree that it’s probably a place you could (kindly) cut back.

      • Wealth Disparity :

        It’s the same one that my grandparents, parents, all aunts and uncles, cousins and siblings belong to. My grandparents paid for my parents, my greatgrandparents paid for my grandparents etc

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah, that’s what I assumed and have seen many times over in my own experience. Was this not something of which your husband was aware when you all got married? Maybe not that your parents were intending to pay for it at that point, but that this was something of strong attachment in your family? Was he anti doing it then? Or was he willing when you got to the point of affordability?

          • Wealth Disparity :

            It’s become much more magnified in the past year because the family business was sold. Wealth went from being tied up in the business to being converted into cash. My parents recognize that they have more than they will ever need and want pass their good fortune on. DH knew my family was well off and how I grew up, but didn’t understand the magnitude of it until the business sold because I hadn’t realized either

          • Anonymous :

            This kind of thing is totally incomprehensible to those of us who did not grow up wealthy. To the non-wealthy spouse it can seem like an insult. It looks like the parents are saying, “Since your spouse is not good enough to provide this for you, we will step in and do it.” It looks like the spouse who accepts is saying, “Spouse, I am not satisfied with the lifestyle we agreed on and can provide for ourselves.”

        • Anonymous :

          Totally normal imo.

        • Well, in that case – carry on. Seems like it’s part of the family tradition.

          • Anonymous :

            But I think the problem is that the husband isn’t ok with this kind of family tradition. And I think that’s a fair concern and tradition doesn’t automatically mean OP is right and husband is wrong.

          • That’s a valid point, too. I wanted to walk back from my earlier comment that I see paying for law school and paying for a country club membership as different things, which doesn’t really address the husband’s feelings about the situation.

    • For starters, I am trusting that your parents have already funded their own needs (whether they be medical, nursing care, etc.) Don’t let internet strangers accuse you of depriving them. And many people I know accepted parental contributions to fund a down payment for a house. I see no distinction between that and paying for home renovations–it all depends on the scale of the contribution and what you and your husband are comfortable with. Your parents were able to treat your privilege mindfully as a child. You and your husband should figure out how you can do that for your own family. The rest is window dressing, if you choose to have it.

      • Anonymous :

        There’s no way to predict this though. You can burn through literal millions very fast on elder care. Any money she accepts from her parents is by definition coming out of what they have available for themselves. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that she’s intending to “deprive” her parents of anything, but unless they’re Bill and Melinda Gates (who, btw, have said they plan to give their kids nothing beyond an education) there’s really no way to know whether or not they’ll need that money someday. I have an elderly relative who lived to be 102 and in the last five-ten years of her life spent more than $200,000 a year on nursing care.

        Now, maybe OP is 100% committed to pay for that care in the event her parents can’t afford it, but that’s a financial obligation her husband has a right to express an opinion about, especially if they’re spending rather than saving the current gifts from her parents.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m interested that this got such a negative reaction from people here. I think it depends a lot on your relationship with your parents, how candidly you can discuss these things with them, to what degree they have strings attached, and to what degree it would be bad for you if you suddenly didn’t have them any more (and the likelihood of that happening). My parents don’t pay for this kind of thing for me (and it would not be financially prudent for them to do so), but if they had millions sitting in the bank, I’d probably accept them. Over the years, I have accepted hundreds of hours worth of childcare from my mom, plus thousands of dollars worth of meals that she prepares for us. Sometimes I reimburse her for the groceries, but never for the time she spends. I dunno, we have a strong relationship, and my husband and I feel grateful for but not entitled to it. My parents accepted gifts of very, very nice heirloom quality furniture and the like from my grandparents, who had more than enough money and enjoyed giving their adult children nice things.

      • Anonymous :

        It got a negative reaction because it isn’t working for her husband.

        • Even if parents were to discontinue gifting now, it’s likely there would still be inheritance coming later.

          So probably in OP’s best interest to find a solution with husband now, rather than kick the can down the road.

          • Anonymous :

            Not necessarily. Many people feel differently about inheritances than a gift from a living person for a specific purpose. I would not be ok with my in-laws buying us a home remodel or paying for our childcare. I would be fine receiving an equivalent amount as an inheritance when they pass, which my husband and I would promptly stick in the bank as a nest egg and continue living off of our own salaries. Issues of taking money from aging parents aside, accepting an inheritance that you don’t immediately spend feels far more independent to me. So it might not be an issue if the gift comes in the form of an inheritance – if they’re on the same page about what to do with it, which it sounds like they may not be.

        • Anonymous :

          I think we need to be honest with ourselves here, this got a negative reaction because 99.5% of the people on her can’t relate to it or are jealous of this 1%-er problem.

          • Anonymous :

            Nah, I think most people here can afford these expenses on their own. Her parents do sound very rich even by the standards of this s*te but it doesn’t seem like they’re giving her anything most people here don’t have the ability to buy if they wanted it. Many of us are 1%ers here, I don’t think jealousy is the issue.

        • So many assumptions :

          “DH appreciates the help, but I think is starting to feel like we’re living beyond our means.” Anonymous at 4:53 pm is possibly reading too much into it because she disapproves of the situation.

          • Anonymous :

            The entire question was prompted by the fact that she and her DH have different reactions to these gifts. He’s clearly not onboard or there wouldn’t be a question. It’s not “reading into it” to talk about her DH’s feelings.

    • the gifter :

      So, in the very near future, I might actually be in your parents’ shoes. My husband and I make significantly more than any of our siblings and our parents. We don’t plan to have kids, so we’re trying to figure out what, if anything, we want to do for our family members. This has already come up in a couple of smaller ways: giving a small loan to BIL at a REALLY cheap interest rate to allow him to pay off high-rate school loans, paying for plane tickets for siblings to come visit for a weekend, renting a car and/or paying for accommodations when we visit so parents don’t have to, etc. We’re looking at some kind of college fund/trust for our nieces and nephews. It’s interesting, because we don’t want to be the “rich” aunt and uncle, but we also don’t want something like a plane ticket to be a hardship for a family member, when it’s not a hardship for us. My dad was extremely generous with all of us, paying for college, paying for a nice wedding, etc. I want to have that same mentality, that I’d like to keep the wealth in the family or charity of my choosing vs. dying with a ton of money and the government taxing it the heck out of it. I see the difference between country club and reno vs. college tuition for your child, and I do think that you need to be on the same page as your husband. But if it’s not a hardship for them, and it doesn’t come with strings attached, I think it’s fine to let your parents help. I will say that it’s a slippery slope: my sister and I are both quite frugal, but my brother definitely takes advantage of my dad’s generosity, and has become a bit entitled (ie: I paid for my own advanced degrees, he asked my dad to pay for his unpaid internship to change careers, asked for a much nicer car, went way over budget on his wedding expenses and asked my dad to make up the difference, etc.). That would be the only other concern as it relates to your kids. How does this line up with the values you’re modeling for them? How do you want them to think about money, family involvement, etc.?

      • the gifter :

        Editing to clarify that my dad was doing quite well for a while and then life happened and knocked him back to nearly zero… hence, the generosity for the years he was doing well, and the income disparity that he’s experiencing now.

    • Touchy subject in my household. My parents and husband’s parents are probably about equally wealthy if you account for the fact that my parents’ expenses include 3 kids vs. my husband being an only child. That being said, my parents were from a Midwestern blue-collar background and very much raised us with that sensibility (despite belonging to country clubs, paying for our colleges, etc.). We were raised to know we were privileged, if that makes sense, but also with a very independent, you need to stand on your own two feet mindset once you’re out of college. When I needed a new car right out of school because my old one died, my father helped out but it was very clear it was a loan – which I repaid within 2 years and it grated heavily on me that I owed him money while it was outstanding. My husband’s mother is Latin (from Spain/Guatemala) and they (apparently) have a very different attitude he tells me is cultural – families are supposed to help each other (but apparently that only extends to financial assistance – they don’t get why someone should stay with you/visit in the hospital while you are sick/recovering from surgery vs. my family is very much a “when you need us we’ll be there” kind of attitude). My husband couldn’t understand (but ultimately acquiesced) in us buying a house as opposed to living in the condo that his parents owned – for me it is independence. He doesn’t understand when I get upset when they want to pay for stuff we are perfectly capable of affording. If we couldn’t make it on our own, I think (I hope) I would be able to accept help, but I work a BigLaw job with a BigLaw salary – we are not struggling to pay our bills! If they wanted to fund our kids’ education, I would probably be more OK with that – its for them not me. I will say that the number of fights between my husband and his parents have diminished significantly now that he is not living in “their” condo/otherwise accepting financial assistance from them – his father in particular used to wave it like a stick over their (dis)agreements (I secretly think his mother was the one pushing for “taking care of” her son). I’m in total agreement with your husband on this one.

    • I don’t agree with the posters who say that you shouldn’t be doing this period – if you parents want to help fund nice extras, it won’t hurt them financially, and it won’t cause problems with your relationship, then go for it. Spending quality time at a country club can be a perfectly nice way to connect as a family. I would, however, make sure you and your husband are both completely comfortable with the arrangement. From what you said, it doesn’t sound like he’s made overt strong statements of opposition, but maybe you should dig a little deeper and talk to him about it fully.

    • Anonymous :

      For me personally, I’m comfortable accepting gifts from my parents (or in-laws) if they’re things I could afford but choose not to spend money on because we’re frugal. So I’m fine with my parents taking us a vacation, even a luxury one, because I have $10k lying around that I could put towards vacation if I wanted. Similarly, I’d accept $10k or $20k for home maintenance because we have that money, but I wouldn’t accept $100k towards home renovations because we can’t afford to spend $100k on home renovations and then I’d feel dependent on them.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I think I’m of this mindset as well. I don’t think I would ever prioritize spending my money on a country club membership. I’d rather donate it. But if it was important to my family for me to be a member and THEY were willing to fund it, I’d accept it.

    • OP, I’ve got no real advice, just wanted to chime in and say that I’m surprised at how strongly people feel about this. My in-laws are fairly generous, my husband and I have a great relationship with them, and there are no strings attached when they give us gifts, monetary or otherwise. i recommend asking your husband why specifically the gifts make him feel uncomfortable–is it because he’s worried about your finances, or is it because his pride is wounded when he feels the two of you aren’t fully providing for your family? I’ll admit that I don’t get the latter perspective, but it sounds like this is a cultural issue in some cases, and knowing the real reason that the gifts upset him would probably be a start.

    • Senior Attorney :

      You feel like you’re living beyond your means because you are totally living beyond your means if you accept support from your parents. In addition, the support they are providing is support for you to live exactly the life they envision for you.

      I can understand why your husband feels uncomfortable with this.

      • Anonymous :

        “In addition, the support they are providing is support for you to live exactly the life they envision for you.” To those saying you can give huge sums of money without any strings attached – THIS. Your parents may not be nasty and manipulative people who are saying “Do XYZ or we’ll stop the gifts” but by giving you these gifts they have set you up with a lifestyle that is exactly the one they pictured, not one you and your DH have designed independently. That’s a string even if you don’t see it.

    • First off, sorry for all the hate you’re getting. I’m actually fairly convinced that what you’re describing is not totally unheard of (especially if you include families that pay for weddings, contribute to downpayments, etc).
      I wonder if maybe your husband wants more say in what the money is going towards? It may not be an issue, but if I felt like I was being given very generous gifts that were exactly where I’d put that quantity of money if it was my own, I’d probably be a lot more into it than if someone else was pouring large sums of money into an aspect of my life that I never wanted changed or maybe was thereafter done to their specifications rather than my own. It sounds like the country club was a family tradition that maybe he should have seen coming and the renos were already ongoing; but perhaps he felt like he lost a lot of control in terms of what his life looked like with those gifts. Maybe in the future, you could discuss with your husband more in advance – “honey, I know Mom and Dad were thinking of gifting us money this year if there’s a particular thing that would make us happy. Is there anything that that amount of cash will enable us to do that you’re really excited about, or should I have them put it in a fund for [future child]?” and then quietly relay that info back to your parents.

      On the flip side, in your shoes I would probably bristle at the suggestion that my SO got a big say in where “my inheritance” went – so definitely understand if this is not the right advice. :-)

    • Have you thought at all about what you are teaching your children by accepting this lifestyle?

      Have you and your husband talked about how to teach your children the value of money/saving etc…?

      And have you thought at all about what you are planning to do for your children? Because they are going to grow up thinking that this generosity is coming their way as well…

      • Anonymous :

        +1 this would be a major concern for me. I would not want to see my children witnessing their grandparents paying for everything for many reasons, not least of which would be that they would likely then expect me to do the same for their kids! I suppose if that’s how your family structure is set up, it works because everyone still only has to pay for one generation. But I can definitely understand how it’s jarring to someone not used to that.

    • I guess I’m in the minority here, but I really don’t see why these gifts are a problem. Of course there is the potential for problems, but OP’s post doesn’t suggest that any of these problems are arising or likely to arise. OP, so long as there are no strings attached (or you and DH are comfortable with the strings), no one is otherwise being harmed by the gifts, and you don’t come to rely on them so heavily that you would be in a financial crisis if they stopped, I really don’t see a problem. Generosity is a virtue. It sounds like your parents are good people.

    • anon for this :

      You’re taking a lot of heat for this question & I’m in a similar situation & would be happy to talk offline about how I’ve navigated it (there’s just way too much judgment from people who don’t get what this is like to discuss openly). Feel free to post an email & I’ll get in touch.

    • I’m surprised by how harsh people are being on this. Not at the same magnitude as OP, but I also had the experience of realizing as an adult that parents denied us things for our own benefit, not because they couldn’t afford them (figured this out when I didn’t have to take out loans for college.) Parents paid for my wedding and still pay for flights to family events like weddings because I’ve been in grad school till recently and literally couldn’t afford to attend family weddings without help. So yes, they are helping me and spouse live above our means, and I’m grateful for it, but don’t find anything morally wrong with it.

      OP, it sounds like you need to talk with your husband about whether he feels there are strings attached, or other concerns. Two books that might help with tricky conversations about coming from a wealthy family: The Golden Ghetto by Jessie O’Neill, and Resource Generation by the organization of the same name.

  7. Anonymous :

    I’d break the link between the money and the lifestyle. You and your DH choose the lifestyle you want to live. It may NOT include country clubs and expensive houses. Then you choose what you want to do with money over and above the lifestyle you’ve decided on. You could give the money away. You could start businesses or fund other people’s businesses. You could establish scholarships for your local highschool so other people can go to college. You could invest it with the goal of accomplishing something huge in the future.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yes, this. This, this, this.

    • Those things are great, but I don’t think it’s a sin for the OP to want to enjoy a nice country club that she and her family have fond memories of and derive a lot of enjoyment from. This post seems to imply that the only worthy uses of any extra money are to benefit someone else, but I firmly believe that spending money on experiences you love (in this case, the time spent at the country club) is beneficial to the individual and the family.

      • Senior Attorney :

        That’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that if the OP wants to join the country club, that’s fine. But the decision should be made by her and her husband, not by her parents.

        • But it sounds like they want to join the country club. The OP has said she wants her kids to enjoy the carefree summer days she had. It’s a bit unclear whether they would continue to pay for it themselves if the parents weren’t footing the bill, but I don’t really see the problem with them paying if it’s for something that everyone wants and if there isn’t a financial hardship involved.

  8. sweetknee :

    I want to second the poster above about end of life/care expenses. Unless your parents have a very good long term care insurance policy, they really need to make sure that they can fund care for themselves in their old age. My grandmother who lived until the age of 99, needed care pretty much 24/7 for the last 5 years of her life, and on in intermittent basis before that.

    Her care at the “best” facility in our town ( Mid size Southeastern city, and I question the “best” label) was almost 7,000 per month, and that did not include her co pays, her insurance, things like laundry service, haircuts, etc. Over the last 5 years, that amounted to almost $ 450,000. But for the fact that there was some family land that could be sold, she would have had to go on Medicaid.

    I would be hesitant to allow my parents to contribute to things for me or my child that are more “wants” than “needs”, especially those that are pricey, like home renovations. In your shoes, I will tell them to contribute to a college fund that can later be raided if necessary.

    • It seems a lot of commenters are overlooking the fact that the Federal Estate tax exemption is nearly $11M for a married couple. While OP didn’t state outright (only alluded), it sounds likely that another reason her parents are gifting so freely is as an estate reduction strategy.

      If they’re at that level of wealth, there’s probably little to worry about in the way of end of life care– if they’re savvy enough to be thinking through wealth transfer now, they’re likely savvy enough to have their needs planned for as well.

      In that case, I’d say enjoy the gifts while your parents are around to share that joy. It sounds like your parents would be happy to gift in a way that is consistent with the priorities you and your husband choose together if you make them known.

      • Anonymous :

        It’s true that if they have more than $11M the end of life care costs are not an issue. But she said nothing about doing this to avoid estate tax and I know many people who have a net worth much less than $11M who have given their kids gifts like this for various reasons. And federal taxes aren’t the only ones people want to avoid. In some states there are state estate taxes that kick in around $700,000.

    • Anonymous :

      Coming into this really late, but I really can’t emphasize enough the idea that people absolutely should not encourage their parents to give away money before they die. A coworker of mine spent $650,000 last year out-of-pocket for two bone marrow transplants and chemotherapy for her husband, to keep him alive after he got AML. He was perfectly healthy up until a month before the diagnosis. Anything can happen at any time. I have asked my parents to give us nothing and leave their money in their investments in case they need it. Maybe the OP’s parents have millions to spare – if so, good for them. If not, they really really REALLY should not be giving money away like water. Because if a serious need for that money arises, I know that personally, I would have tremendous guilt if I didn’t have it to give back to them.

  9. I empathize with your husband – my inlaws give us random large sums on a regular basis and it makes me SO uncomfortable because, while extra cash is always nice, we don’t actually need it and I feel like it comes with huge strings attached and an undercurrent of “you need to start living a fancier lifestyle so we aren’t ashamed of you”. They repeatedly ask why we don’t own a large car, buy a nice place, etc, and the answer is we don’t really need or want all those things. FH says there are no strings attached and it’s an equity thing – his siblings get money too, although it’s all very secretive and seems to feed into unhealthy comparisons. I wish they would just drop it and we would live in accordance with their means, although I would feel differently if they were helping out for a specific reason (like if one of us got very sick and could no longer work).
    I’m from a wealthy background too, but my parents haven’t given me a cent since I left college, apart from paying for stuff like trips together (and I always offer to pay my share). I think different families have different approaches to money and that’s something you need to work out with your husband, but it’s not unreasonable for him to feel that way.

  10. Problematic or just different? :

    Am pretty introverted most of the time and have created a career path where I can work from home, which was a long-term goal for me. Many extroverted friends think I’m a hermit or comment on how much time I spend alone. I work from home 45+ hrs/week and enjoy phone chats with friends who live far away, tv marathoning, and being in pj’s with the pets for many hours at a time. I see nothing wrong with not leaving the house for 2-3 days in a row even.

    Is this a problem I’m unaware of or is this just different personality types needing different things? Is anyone else like me on this?

    • Anonymous :

      Your lifestyle sounds like a dream to me as a fellow introvert. I say it’s totally valid if it works for you!

    • Fellow introvert and I love this. My MIL does not understand – she thinks that exposure to more people/social things will “cure” me of my distaste for large groups/public gatherings/not being a homebody. My father and 1 sister are just like me, so I was fortunate to grow up in a household where for half of us, this was “normal”, which is helpful when a certain MIL tries to steamroll you into believing your fundamental core personality is “wrong”, a “flaw”, “something to grow out of”, etc. I secretly wish/hope/would love for our pending new arrival to be an introvert like me, but my husband is the opposite end of the spectrum, so maybe she’ll come out balanced? Or have a split personality….

    • Anonymous :

      I enjoy alone time and I also work from home, but I think it’s mentally more healthy for me to leave the house more regularly. Also, physical health — maybe you exercise at home, but if you don’t leave it’s easy to become a couch potato. I try to get out once every day or two to go to the gym and see people at a class, even if I don’t really talk to them.

    • Anonymous :

      That would be my dream to work from home and barely leave the house!

    • I’m an introvert but this sounds awful. I wouldn’t want to be completely alone for days on end. I at least like to hang out with my close friends.

    • I am extremely introverted :

      and I think this sounds great. It makes me think of a tee shirt I saw: “Introverts Unite! Separately. In your own homes.”
      Sometimes it seems like It takes an introvert to understand an introvert. You do you – with no apologies, not even to yourself.

    • This is my work habit and personality disposition too. I love it! Glad it works for you too!

  11. Investment property :

    I didn’t make it back to reply this morning but I just wanted to say thank you for all the thoughtful comments. You’ve given us a lot to think through and I really appreciate it.

  12. Adult adoption? :

    I grew up in a really chaotic way and, for reasons that make sense to myself and through a lengthy therapy process throughout my life, I no longer have contact with the few biological relatives still living. I’m now in my mid 30s, single, childfree forever, and though I think/hope to someday wed, I’m nowhere near that point, so I haven’t gotten to marry into a family unit like I used to dream I would when I was a kid (at least not yet).

    Is there some sort of group or program or something for adults without families who could be paired with maybe elders whose kids have grown up and moved far away or who don’t visit often or something? I know every situation is different, but when I see people here talk about in-laws or parents who are overly involved or annoyingly overly present in their lives, I wonder if the whole family unit would be better if there was a person for those bored elders to also pay attention to and I’m admittedly envious and wishing I had a family unit.

    I don’t mean to act like family issues and annoying parents aren’t real or valid complaints, I’m sure they are, I just wonder from the other side. I mean, I’m not sure Emily Gilmore would approve of me since I didn’t grow up with the life lessons most did, but maybe it’d be a good partnership to be taught and to keep such a person happy and busy to share their wisdom with someone who’d otherwise never learn it?

    • Anonymous :

      Could you be a Visiting Angel? It is a job, but my grandfather’s angel’s job is companion care. She pretty much just hangs out and chats with him and occasionally does some light housework.

    • I think this is a tough one because people always look for ulterior motives. “Why do you want to hang out with my grandma? Do you want to take advantage of her??” and that sort of thing. That said there are lots of wonderful organizations that can pair you with seniors who are lonely. If you post where you are, maybe people will have specific recommendations (if you’re in NYC, I can share one org that gave me a very rewarding experience).

    • Betterandbetter :

      Check out LGBT centers! Social isolation of older gay men especially can be a real issue.

    • Call up your closest nursing home/assisted living facility, and ask about volunteering. I wouldn’t go into your family history/issues at all. Simply say you no longer have any relatives of the older generation, and would love to volunteer your time as a volunteer “grand-daughter” for a grandma/grandpa that perhaps have no family/visitors and need companionship. Say you would particularly enjoy working with someone who enjoys talking.

      I volunteer with hospice and see many seniors in this capacity. The relationships are profoundly intimate and enriching.

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      Lots of religious organizations do this. My mom has lots of “senior buddies” (which is funny because she is 70 and they are 90 so I guess they are all seniors but she considers her self much younger) that she goes to visit that are members of her church and she plays cribbage and cards with them or makes cookies etc.

      Your local JCC or YMCA might have a senior art club or bridge group that you could come by and help with and meet some seniors.

      Also not what you were thinking but there are lots of adult people with down syndrome that were given up to the state that want families to hang out with for holidays or their birthday. They live in a group home/nursing home but come hang out with you on weekends etc. They really are looking for families.

  13. Question for Bay Area peeps

    Are you a regular shopper at the Livermore outlet center? If so where do you park? I’ve only been ther twice but the parking situation stresses me out so badly I’ve never been back. Why didn’t they build more parking?

    I’m only interested in the Etro and Max Mara stores, though I could probably use a trip to the Tumi outlet.

  14. Sloan Sabbith :

    Going to a 2-day conference about 3 hours away from my city tomorrow/Thursday. A friend of mine from high school and college agreed to watch my dog in my apartment- now she’s just not responding to my texts, says she’s “pretty sure” she’ll be able to come let him out between 9AM and 8 PM tomorrow (?!?!) and didn’t respond at all to my text confirming she’s actually staying at my place. So, so irritated. Because I couldn’t get a straight answer out of her and am not okay with my dog being left alone for 11 hours, possibly overnight in my apartment, I just said forget it. He’s now going with me, staying in my hotel room, and going to doggy daycare both days. Ugh. It worked out, but I’m just super frustrated with her. Who does that!?

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      *Stopped responding to my texts, she was responding earlier.

      • I think you may need to be more freindly to her goeing forward. Granted that I have my own perspective b/c my freinds are always carful NOT to push me to far, you may have been to pushey with her to take care of your pooch. On the other hand, something EXTERNAL could have come up that caused your freind to change her mind about dog sitting for you. I am not sure, but let us know how this turns out. I would bring my pooch in any event, if I had a dog, so you did the right thing! YAY!!!!

    • Anonymous :

      Your friend sounds crazy, but I’m actually super jealous you get to have your dog with you at a conference. I’m sure it’s a pain, but I’m also sure you and the dog are both happier.

  15. Any advice on a budget for a junior biglaw associate? Realizing my last credit card bill is absurd (although somewhat inflated because it had a number of expensive Nordstrom dresses that have since gone back). I’d rather be putting that money towards loans/savings/retirement but without a concrete “I’ll spend x every week” it’s easy to overspend. Keeping in mind that when I’m not willing to give up dinners out/occasional seamless/ubers entirely, can someone give me an idea of what I should be spending?

    • When I was a junior in BigLaw, my monthly credit card bill was usually about $2500-3000. That included essentially all expenses except rent, a biweekly cleaning service and things that came directly out of my paycheck, like health insurance. A lot of that was restaurants and takeout, another big chunk was travel. I don’t spend much money on clothes and I live in a suburban area so I drive everywhere and don’t take Uber.

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