DEAR ABBY: My husband, Tom, and I have three kids: One is in college, the next is in grade school and the youngest is a baby. I’m a full-time medical student, and he’s a professional athlete.

From the outside, it would seem like we have a perfect life. In reality, Tom does his own thing. He attends parties, goes to exciting social events and hobnobs with the rich and famous. I am left at home to manage all of our day-to-day responsibilities and socially restricted to family functions or kid sports.

I would like to be included in the invitations and attend some of the fun activities with my husband, but when I ask him if I can go, he says they are “work-related.” So I end up staying home to care for our kids. He thinks I should be happy with this and says I don’t understand his business responsibilities.

I’d really like the chance to interact with other adults with my husband, but I can’t seem to get him to appreciate the importance of including me. If I make a big deal about it, he opts not to attend the event at all. I’m slightly suspicious of his behavior and offended.

He’s kind to me, a good provider and cares for our kids, but how can I get him to understand it’s important for both of us to have fun together with other adults? — SPORTS WIFE IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR SPORTS WIFE: A wife is supposed to be more than a baby machine, housekeeper and nanny. She’s supposed to be her husband’s partner.

While I understand there may be some events the athletes attend without spouses, it would be interesting to know whether the other athletes’ wives are being treated the way you are.

Surely you know some of them. Talk to the ones you are closest with. Your husband may not have been entirely honest about why he insists on flying solo, so make it your business to do some checking.


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DEAR ABBY: I’m the proud grandmother of an 18-month-old girl. My daughter is an attentive mother in every way except one. My concern is that she lets the baby play alone in the bathtub.

My husband and I recently celebrated my birthday at her house. When I asked where the baby was, another guest said, “She’s playing in the bathtub.” Sure enough, the baby was in the bathroom, in the bathtub, playing and swimming around in the water by herself.

I was horrified! I can’t imagine that times have changed this much or that it could ever be OK to leave a baby unattended in the bath, no matter their dexterity or ability to walk.

I spent the next day in a panic, sending my daughter stories, news articles and other information, trying to get across to her how dangerous this is, but she didn’t want to hear it. Do you have some magic words for me? — GRANDMOTHER IN NORTH CAROLINA

DEAR GRANDMOTHER: Babies have been known to drown in as little as 2 inches of water. Your clueless daughter may not want to hear it, but what you have described is child endangerment.

The magic words you are asking for are: “parenting classes.” And if she still won’t listen, some other good ones are: “Child Protective Services.”

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at http://www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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