Saturday, February 03, 2007


I've got a dilemma; maybe someone out there can help me with it.

I have this friend. Besides my hubby, she's my best friend in the whole world. She was my college roommate for one semester and we've stayed friends ever since. I'll call her T. I got to go visit T for a few days after Christmas. We don't see each other much but we talk on the phone at least weekly. She's got 5 kids and has been a lifesaver with parenting advice.

When I was visiting T we got to talking about how things might be after the birth and dealing with G and all that. At one point she suggested that her hubby might just let her come stay with me for a while to help out. I was ecstatic! At the time I thought I could fly her up here on J's travel benefits very cheaply and she was talking about staying a whole week.

The other day I started researching the travel benefits, only to find out that J would have to travel with her both ways in order for us to use them. Not very practical when I need him at home to help out. So I priced the flights. It was looking like it would only be about $300 to get her here.

She called me up yesterday and said that her hubby had agreed to let her go but she wanted to also bring her 4 year old daughter. That sounded reasonable. Price goes up to $600 but I've got help for an entire week and a playmate for G. I enthusiastically agreed. Then we started talking dates. Then she dropped the bombshell. Seems her hubby only agreed on the condition that she leaves on a Thursday and comes home the next Monday. Excuse me? That's like only really 3 days. All of a sudden, from a purely financial standpoint, that $600 is not sounding like a very good investment.

I really would like my friend to come. Her help would probably be invaluable to me. And I've already pretty much told her I will buy her a ticket and it's a go; we just have to decide on the dates. [ there's no way she could afford to pay herself so that's totally not an option ] So now I'm left with a dilemma. I can come up with the money for the ticket. I've got it in savings now; it'll just hurt more down the road when I'm trying to make my dollars stretch to stay home longer with the kids before going back to work. Do I just suck it up and go through with the plans and enjoy it while she's here and try not to think too much about the money? Or do I come clean with her and tell her what's bugging me and offer to fly her up here some other time when she might could stay longer and/or I could really enjoy her visit?

I feel like I'm being a schmuck and just looking at the bottom line. On the other hand, that bottom line is what's going to keep me at home as long as possible with my kids. What oh what do I do???


Anonymous said...

IMO, that's a lot of $$ for three days. But, help is help and so is getting the chance to see your friend. Maybe her husband would compromise and you get him to add another day, even if it's just one, it might be worth it. You might point out that flying can take a whole day sometimes so that's less time you have together.

You know you can make the $$ stretch later on even as expensive as a newborn is. I guess you just have to decide which is more important.

Not much help, am I?

Christina said...

That's tough. I'd be honest and tell her that the cost of the ticket is a lot for you to pull out of savings just for three days. Maybe ask if she could get another day or two added on, especially since she's bringing one of her kids with her. That way you really get some help, and not just a day or two of visiting.

Of course, I'm looking at it from purely a financial point of view, since I'm trying to save as much as possible to hopefully give me a little more time at home before returning to work after baby #2 is born.