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Ask Sherry: Perfectionism and whether or not I trust my partner

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Do you trust your partner to stay alone with your child? Is your partner careful enough? Was there ever any accident while they two were alone? (child fell, chipped a tooth, etc.)

Oh goodness yes. He is way more protective and nervous about Little Bun than I am.

My Little Bun gets into scrapes and falls, and the other day quite badly scraped his knee on the carpet (major carpet burn) while out with his father. I came home, it was fine. He showed me and even walked with a limp for a few days with a bandaid over the scrape (whatever body part has a band-aid, he doesn’t use it).

He is super careful. More so than me. And if I didn’t trust him to stay alone with him… should probably have thought twice about having a child with him. 😛

How do you pick items when shopping online, with so many items to choose from?

You mean how do I NOT pick everything to buy and limit myself!?

For example on Amazon, but not only, do you search using the website search field or by looking into the categories? Do you filter the items and how (e.g., by rating, etc.)? Do you pick the items with the highest rating (after filtering) or the most popular (the ones displayed by the site on the first page(s)), or do you also look at the unrated items or the ones with lower rating? How long do you click “Next” when there are many pages with items? (I buy online various things and would like to know how you do it.)

Let me think.

It depends on the site, I think. On Amazon, I usually filter by ratings. Then I read through the highest rated items (and see the number of ratings too because 1 rating of 5 stars is not as good as 24 ratings with 4 stars).

I click Next about 5 times until I give up. If I have to keep clicking Next so often, I add another word to my search.

So if I am searching for: iPod Touch case

I get a whole bunch of hits, I narrow it down to “iPod Touch Case” + “Wallet” (because that is really what I want).

If I must, I add: “iPod Touch Case” + “Wallet” + “Leather” just to see what I get.

Then from there, I look at the categories, rule out anything over a price point I won’t pay for (another filter), and then sort by ratings (highest first), and slowly go through the list.

What would you choose between living in a rich country, but being far away from your relatives, culture and language, or living in a poor(er) country, but being close to your relatives? Also, could you please explain your choice?

This is a hard one to answer. I’d have to pick living in a rich country and being away from relatives, culture and language for these reasons:

  • Better opportunities for jobs, and a higher salary
  • Better healthcare, infrastructure, and general services for living
  • Better schooling opportunities for Little Bun which would translate into better jobs as he gets older
  • Safety net of having a rich country help subsidize or pay for things if I ever fall below the poverty line (YOU NEVER KNOW)

I really am torn being away from my relatives and my culture & language though. I would love to have Little Bun grow up with that sense of childhood I had, the culture I absorbed into my core, and to speak the language perfectly, but there are things you have to do to see if you can help advance your, and your children’s lot in life.

Being with relatives is a big thing though, especially with a kid. They can come over, help you raise them, help pay for things in a pinch, go in as a group rate on something, share, and basically be your emotional support. In a country where you are basically alone… it isn’t the same thing.

That said, I’d still choose #1.

How can one get rid of paralyzing perfectionism, that is, spending too much time working too slowly on things because we’d like to do them as well as possible?

Remember that nothing and no one is perfect, and if it is 95% good, it is good enough.

I do suffer a bit from perfectionism but over the years I’ve learned to give myself a deadline. If it has been revised a billion times and the deadline arrives, I do a quick once-over and off it goes.

Of course, this depends on what exactly you’re referring to, but in general, being or trying to be ‘perfect’ is a losing game because the rules for “perfect” are constantly evolving and changing. There is no definitive “perfect” that you can strive for and then be satisfied with — you’ll never be satisfied if you are reaching for “perfection”.

What can one do when partner snores? Can you have a restful sleep if your partner snores?

I elbow mine. I give him a little shove, and sometimes, I say: SHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! very loudly.

If I can, I move to another room and sleep. We have two bedrooms and I’d do this more often but Little Bun has been known to be very upset if he is not near me while sleeping or when he wakes.

I cannot, absolutely cannot sleep if my partner snores and I am unable to be tired enough to conk out and ignore it. I’m usually a very deep sleeper, and it bothers me greatly when I cannot sleep because I hear snorking and snorting.

The worst, is Little Bun is a bit of a snorker. *sigh* He gets that from his father. 😉

If you worked from home, when would you prefer your child to start and end preschool daily so that you don’t miss him?

Start at 8 a.m., stop at 4 p.m. That’s sort of the schedule I keep now. He starts a little earlier though, at 7, so that I can pick him up at 4, otherwise I have to wait until 5.

I generally don’t miss him during the day because I sometimes see them out on their morning walk (EEEP! time to duck and hide), and I have photos of him all over the place so I am always looking at him.

Hi Sherry, I feel like I may not have the best spending habits. I have no debt (yay!), affordable rent, commute to work using public transportation, bring my lunch to work, and am able to save quite a bit.

So far, a dream…..

I do spend on going out to eat, and clothes shopping when there’s a good sale, but I can’t seem to get over a mental block that’s preventing me from purchasing bigger ticket items that I’m pretty sure I need.

Oh you’re one of those “I don’t deserve this and therefore cannot justify the expense”.

My phone is 5 years old and won’t charge anymore (I switch out the battery from another old phone that I can charge). And my laptop is on it’s last legs. I’ve been wanting to replace both for a while now.

Already good enough of a reason to do it!

For the laptop, I can’t seem to make a decision. I just want a cheap one that’s reliable and not high maintenance. I’m not sure what features I need, and worry I will get the wrong one. I could buy any and sure it will be fine, but then I think I may get buyers remorse, and think about the hassle of returning or knowing there was a better deal/laptop out there.

The thing about laptops and deals is that you’re right – there is always a “better” deal and “better” laptop out there, but you need to buy the one that serves your purposes of what you need NOW.

That said, when I buy a laptop, I don’t even bother trying to compare the power of one over another, the weight, bla bla bla.. I just find the range of what I want, and take the most expensive one.



Yes, the MOST expensive one. I want all the bells and whistles. Highest processor, biggest storage… give it all to Momma.

Why? Because inevitably, in 2 years when it slows down considerably because apps and programs take more and more space and power, I will have thought: DANG IT I should have taken the one with the bigger storage/processor, etc… and will kick myself.

Then I will go out and buy another laptop and be mad I didn’t buy the best one I could so I could keep it for longer.

Also, don’t cheap out too much. I have gone from Dell to Toshiba to Sony, and each and every time, none of them have lasted even remotely close to a Macbook. I still have my old Macbook (the first one I ever bought), and I use it as a spare laptop at my parents’ house.

I also have an old Macbook 17″ when they even sold them back in 2012 (YES!!!) and it still runs very well. It’s a little slow on the startup, but that laptop is magnificent and I still use it.

Do. Not. Go. Too. Cheap. Be careful.

(Then again, I use my laptop so much, I need something that isn’t flimsy but if you just check emails like my mother, go for a tablet..)

For the phone, I use to buy the older models for a steep discount when I renewed my contract. The cell phone companies don’t do that anymore.

Ah! They do that? I see.

You either have to finance it as part of your monthly phone plan or pay full retail price. I know what phone I want and would be happy with the older models, but even those are $250+.

But you need/want it right? So buy it.

I could go on about things I would like but am not purchasing. Have you ever had a problem like that? Any advice?

Honey, have we met? LOL! I clearly have zero problems spending money.

That said, I do know what you mean in a roundabout way. I have a Kobo Glo that is perfectly acceptable.

I bought it refurbished, it works, but it is a bit slow when I turn it on and worse, I feel like it is annoying me because I go to tap on a book, I don’t think it’s working, so I tap it again, and end up having tapped on ANOTHER book which makes me have to redo the entire process of clicking back Home and clicking on the book I actually want again. #FirstWorldProblems

I would like to replace it with a Kobo AuraOne (natch.. most expensive one available), but the $250 price tag, makes me cringe especially since mine still .. sorta.. works.. and only annoys me on occasion (the pages turn slowly too. ARRRGH!!)

The only advice I can give you to get over this hurdle is:

  • Set aside budgeted amount of what you want to spend
  • Put aside said amount in a separate account
  • Once you have enough money, use that money in that account and BUY THE DAMN LAPTOP / PHONE
  • Research and set your sights on your “dream” laptop / cellphone (WHATEVER IT IS)
  • Wait for a sale, or a good deal, then POUNCE. Even at 10% off, it is still 10% off, and you get to use the laptop/phone NOW even if a better deal comes along 8 months later. You would have had 8 months of full, blissful, hassle-free usage of your electronic device….. and would have been happy on the daily

Think of how many hours, minutes, whatever you are wasting with this nonsense of a laptop not working, having to reboot, going so slow it makes you want to cry, or cutting out when you’re talking because the phone is on its last legs.






(I live by that last rule.)

With such an attitude towards bigger purchases that go over your comfort threshold (over $100? am I close?), you will never end up buying anything. NEVER.

You’ll be stuck with your crappy laptop and cellphone FOREVER, constantly in a state of indecision about the RIGHT purchase.

There is NO right purchase. NO perfect purchase. NO right time. Things will get older, deals will get better, models will churn out of factories and replace old ones… the cycle continues but you’re going to suffer while you wait for the “perfect” item.

The only right time is Now.

You obviously spend on food and clothing, so maybe what you’re dealing with is a sense of guilt because of that $100 threshhold.

A $30 top is easier to buy than a $250 cellphone (even an older model), but if you buy 8 of those tops (one a month let’s say), that is 8 months of wasted money on 8 tops you don’t need, when you could have bought the ONE item you actually do need, use constantly and cannot function without.

So… stop buying tops. Set that money for clothing or eating out aside into that laptop/cellphone account I mentioned above, and watch the $$$$$$$ pile up.

(Okay, yes. I am talking about myself. I did buy ANOTHER iPod Touch because my old one was getting too slow and annoying, and bought the maximum storage size; which I should have done with the one I now use as a backup. Jury is still out on that Kobo AuraOne, but I’m weak like a jellyfish.)

Stop feeling guilty about your money. You save a lot. You have no debt. You are frugal. OMG.

You’re like a PF unicorn, and unicorns need functioning cellphones and laptops to use without wanting to Hulk Smash out of frustration of using them.

You have my blessing (LOL).. go forth and buy!

Still have a burning question?

You can ask any question using the form here and all of my previous Ask Sherry posts are here.


  • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life

    I will never understand being in a first world country, having the choice of whom to partner with (vs being partnered by parental or other authority figure according to cultural customs), not being in an abusive relationship, and choosing to have a child with someone you can’t trust to leave them alone together. If you have reasonably free choice, that seems like a pretty important quality to vet for.

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