Dear Berry,

This has to be a joke or something. My husband used to disappear into the bathroom with his newspaper - ok - bad enough - lots of people do it. We had 1 child then so not such a burden. However, now he disappears into the bathroom with his NEW BlackBerry, which seems to be NEW every couple of months. I know of course because of the shear time he spends in there (no he is not sick in any way) and also it's funny, later that same evening he will show me these new fun things he learned on his BlackBerry (like I can't put 2+2 together - ha!). The issue is that we have 4 children now and one is under two years old. He is either at work or in the bathroom with his BlackBerry. Not helping me as you can see. How do I throw this thing out the window before I kick him out on the porch?

- "Pulling out my Hair" in Texas

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Dear "Pulling out my Hair in Texas",

I completely understand your frustration. How awful! And being a BlackBerry addict myself, I must say, your husband's addiction is way over the top and his priorities are completely wrong!

A few things:

1. Have a long talk with him about how you appreciate his 5th child, his BlackBerry however, you just can't go it alone with 4 children and the baby and really, truly need his support.
Give him a time limit in the bathroom (seriously-unless he is sick)
Let him know that he isn't fooling you and that family time isn't BlackBerry time. That you know he isn't in the bathroom with some emergent parasite on a regular basis. And if he needs more time with his BlackBerry it's going to have to be on his own time when you don't need his help.
They're his children as well and you can suggest you swap roles. He can take over dinner and chores and you can disappear with your favorite book or magazine or whatever. Believe me that will get through loud and clear quickly.
People First, Then Things (to partially quote Suze Orman).

I hope these help.

- Best Regards, Berry
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