$500 on a wedding? I barely know you!

My cousin's getting married. I'm happy for him, but I barely know him. I've met his bride twice. I'd love to be a part of their big day, but the wedding is six hours away by car, and I'm a single mom to a two year old son.

Here's my problem. If I don't go, my parents and other family members will be incredibly disappointed in me.

If I leave my son with a sitter overnight and fly in, it will cost me at least $560 for the flight, sitter and gift.

If I drive, the cost falls to $385 for gas, sitter and gift.

If I drive and take my son with me to save on the sitter, I will arrive exhausted and frazzled from driving alone for seven hours with a toddler screaming in the back seat. This option will cost about $185.

It seems like no matter what I do, I'm screwed. Not to mention that I don't even have the $500 to spend.

What would you do?

Let my kid pull my hair?

I’m a guy with below the ear curly hair. I have a 6mo LO who loves to pull on my hair, and even pull my face to hers to give me a “kiss.” I love it.
But, I’m afraid this is setting a bad norm for her. She’s starting to pull everyone’s hair! What should I do?

I don't want to get my sister a Christmas present

So, my relationship with my younger sister (she's 22 and I'm 25) has never been great but recently it's been an absolute nightmare. The last time she texted me was on my 23rd birthday asking to borrow my ID so she could get into a bar, and the last time we spoke in person she told me to "F*ck off." My parents have always tried to push us together and force us to have a relationship, but it just doesn't seem to be in the cards for us. We're all getting together for Christmas this year and it's expected that we all get each other gifts, but I really don't want to get anything for my sister. She has a 6-year-old daughter, so I'm thinking I'll get them a gift that they can enjoy together as a compromise, but it still makes me a little salty to get her anything at all.

Worst Thanksgiving Ever

This Thanksgiving was the absolute worst holiday I've ever had. I got to my family's house in the morning and heard screaming from inside before I even opened the door. My mom and my sister (who's 22) have been known to go at it every once in a while, but this was next level. Apparently, my mom deleted some Facebook messages from her phone and my sister apparently thought that was really suspicious. The screaming went on for 30 minutes before I couldn't take it anymore. My sixteen-year-old sister was in the kitchen while they were fighting and no one seemed to think that it was inappropriate to be doing that in front of her. I grabbed my sister and took her out for coffee after yelling at them to pull themselves together before we got home. We didn't even end up having a Thanksgiving dinner. I'm still so angry at them for being so selfish and immature that I haven't spoken to any of them since Thanksgiving. What should I do?

The Grinch Who Stole Xmas

I have 5 kids and Christmas time can get pretty expensive. My second oldest child does a lot of extracurricular activities with his school that cost a ton of money. Trips to Boston, Montreal and Chicago are just some of the places he has gone. I have spent thousands of dollars to support these activities. Is it OK if I spend a lot less on him for Christmas than I do for my other children?

Missing my mom

So, my husband and I moved to a completley different state about 4 hours away from home and I really miss my mom, like, a ton. She's my best friend. We talk 4 times a day even if we have nothing to say. I resent my husband for moving us so far away, especially since I protested it for a long time. Now I'm in a completley different sapce (I grew up in the city and now we're in farmland), with no friends and no mom. It's not the same talking to her on the phone and sometimes I cry because it's been so long since I've seen her. I know it sounds clinggy, but I have a great relationship with her that my husband just doesn't understand. Any tips on how to manage this?

Dealing with Racist Grandpa at Thanksgiving

Let me just start off by saying that I love my family. My cousins and I are all around the same age and we always have such a fun time when we're hanging out together. Holidays with my fam are usually nice and chill as long as the conversation stays away from political topics, which isn't always easy. The cousins and I are all somewhere on the liberal scale, while our parents mostly lean conservative. The parents aren't usually the problem, though. It's grandpa who ends up taking things too far and making sweeping generalizations about entire races of people. It's the kind of ingrained racism that can't be argued away with patience or logic and it always makes the rest of us very uncomfortable. I almost want to skip Thanksgiving this year and throw a Friendsgiving or something, but I know it would really disappoint my parents and cousins.

Monster-in-law

My mother in law and I have never, ever gotten along. We are polar opposites on every spectrum from money to fashion to family, etc. Even my husband and the rest of our family understands that 80% of the time we just can't be in the same room with each other. When it starts we just can't stop screaming until one of us storms out of the room. Lately, however, she's been really plesant, but I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop and she'll come back with avengance. I'm not sure what the deal is, but I'm still having trouble looking past the no-good things she's done to me in the past, thoughts?

Cousin Making Dangerous Choices

My cousin (who is like a sister to me) is 24 years old and has a 5 year old son. She's an amazing single mom and has always put her son first, but she recently disclosed to my mom that she intends to travel all the way to the Philippines with her 5 year old. She told my mom that it's part of a teaching experience for her online college degree, but she keeps calling it a vacation, and the facts aren't adding up. There's a guy from the Philippines on her Facebook, and his profile says he's dating her, but her profile doesn't say she's dating him. She's never mentioned him, and it's really concerning.

She also said she won't tell her dad she's going until 2 days before she plans to leave. It's all extremely suspicious, and I'm worried she's being lured to a foreign country by a guy she's never met before. Even the best case scenario is she is going down there on a legitimate "teaching experience," but she's an anti-vaxxer, so her 5 year old son is going to be exposed to foreign diseases in another country that he doesn't have the immune system to fight off.

She's 24 years old and there's no way to stop her from doing whatever she wants, but my mom and I don't feel it's right to do and say nothing when there are so many red flags going off. We're the only ones in the family who know, because she doesn't trust anyone else. If we break her trust, we're concerned she will have no one left in the family that she trusts, and she won't come to us anymore if she needs help. But we can't do nothing, right?

How can I get my mom to stop over sharing?

My mom and I have had a very close relationship since I was a kid. I know I can tell her anything, I mean anything, but I like to keep some things private. She, on the other hand, tells me every little detail about every part of her life. This was fine until she started going through what I'm pretty sure is a midlife crisis (I'm not trying to be mean. She's just having trouble with her marriage, dealing with my troublemaking sister, and generally just realizing that she's not living her life the way she wanted). Now she's having an affair and experiencing a sexual awakening of sorts. I'm happy for her, in a complicated way, but I don't need to hear the details of her newfound sex life. How do I nicely let her know that I'm uncomfortable with the topic?

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