DEAR ABBY: I am a 31-year-old wife and mother. My husband, "Jake," works 40-plus hours a week, while I am a stay-at-home mom. My daughter, who is almost 3, keeps me on my toes.
In the evenings and on weekends, Jake does yard work or works in the garden. I hate it because I'm with our daughter all day, every day, and he expects me to watch her while he's outside working.
I dislike yard and garden work and don't like being outside unless I am completely comfortable. I also have health/physical issues that keep me from being as active as I would like. Every weekend I feel my resentment and anger growing over this issue.
Jake says it is necessary for us to have a garden, and I agree. But why must I have all the responsibility of caring for our daughter even on weekends? I'd like it if Jake would stay in with us and give up on some of the outside activities. This is something we argue about at least once a week. What do you suggest? -- SECOND TO A SHRUB IN OREGON
DEAR SECOND TO A SHRUB: While tending to the yard and the garden may be necessary, it is also very important for your husband to devote some time to nurturing his relationship with his daughter. Mention that fact to him, and while you're at it, tell him she should be at least as important to him as the tomato plants and the zinnias. You should not be saddled with all the child care responsibilities 24/7. Marriages are like gardens. If they're not given care and feeding, they will wither as yours appears to be doing.