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Ask Lisi: Be happy for woman who seems to have it all

Everyone’s lives are different. You can’t compare.
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Advice columnist Lisi Tesher.

Dear Lisi: I recently had twins and I just started taking them to baby groups and activities. I met another mom of twins and we have been commiserating on all things double trouble.

I come to these groups dishevelled, even if I thought I was looking good when I left the house. One of the babies has inevitably pulled my hair, drooled on my shoulder or sucked on my clothing. This woman shows up every time looking impeccable.

She’s down to earth, really cool and has the best sense of humour. But something doesn’t add up. She’s super fit, never looks tired, always has her hair done and makeup on, though nothing extravagant.

Last week, she invited me and another woman over with our babies for a playdate. Her house is unbelievable! You would never believe that babies live there! The whole thing is white! And the place was enormous! When we arrived, she had a whole lunch spread, enough for 20. She made it seem as though she just whipped up the frittata, the burrata-tomato salad and the other dishes.

When I took a quick escape to the bathroom, leaving my babies in an enclosed area for the moment, I bumped into two nannies doing laundry.

I don’t care that she clearly has money and help, but why pretend you don’t?

Secrets and Pretence

It doesn’t sound to me like she was pretending that she doesn’t have help. She’s just not mentioning it or throwing it in your face. Perhaps you just assumed that when you didn’t see her help upon arrival at her home. What made you think she “does it all herself” was the food. But maybe she did make the food. Granted, having help to look after her babies, clean the house, and set up for your playdate allowed her the time and opportunity to cook, but still. She may have done it on her own.

My take is that she doesn’t talk about the help she has — for whatever reason — but isn’t hiding it, either. Perhaps that’s her way of showing humility. Who knows?

I get why it’s annoying to you to see someone clean and put together, in a clean house, with fancy food displayed, when it feels like it’s all you can do to shower and boil water for instant coffee because you have your hands full with two babies and no help.

I get it. Just be happy for her. Everyone’s lives are different. You can’t compare.

Dear Lisi: I’m in my first year at university, and I’m just not loving the school I chose. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is…. I live on my own, in a single room with my own bathroom, which I thought I wanted because EVERYONE said it was the best. But I hate it. I’m lonely. I have two sisters and a brother, and I’m not used to the solitude.

My good friend lives across the hall, so we leave our doors open a lot. She shares a bathroom with her neighbour, and even that seems more fun. They leave each other little notes, look out for each other and have become good friends.

I’ve decided to switch schools. I’m happy with my decision, but it’s now really late to find a place to live. All the people I know at my new school have their apartments and roommates already lined up for next year. I don’t want to live alone again. What do I do?

Lonely Lady

Join the school’s Facebook group and post an ad looking for a place to live. Do the same at the schools’ social centre. Have a friend vet the person and the place. You could even do it live over the phone. Get proactive, but don’t panic.

FEEDBACK Regarding the birthday girl (Jan. 1):

Reader – “Just take one day at a time. I fully agree with what you said, to ‘… spend some time alone, reflecting on your last year.’ I find nothing better than going for a nice walk, preferably in nature, or along the lakeshore or a river…. there is just something about flowing water or rustling leaves that I find very relaxing. It’s good for both your mental and physical well-being.

“Plus take care of the basics, such as getting good sleep, eating healthy, and taking care of one’s hygiene.

“Avoid the trap of turning to alcohol or drugs.”

Lisi – And I reiterate that it’s important to surround yourself with people who love you, especially when you’re feeling low and anxious. You just need to get out of your own head.

Love and laughter are the best remedies for anxiety.

Ellie Tesher and Lisi Tesher are advice columnists for the Star and based in Toronto. Send your relationship questions via email: ellie@thestar.ca or lisi@thestar.ca