Accessory Tuesday: Cap Toe Ballet Flat

Cap Toe Ballet FlatThe AGL ballet flat has been a reader favorite for about a thousand years — and I’ve remained impressed by how many colors and sizes it comes out in, as well as how many readers sing the praises of the comfort and quality of these flats (including doctors!). If you’re on the hunt for comfortable flats that will go the distance, do check these out. Nordstrom has about a zillion colors right now (fine, 9) for $298 in half sizes 4-12. Cap Toe Ballet Flat

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  1. Anon for this says:

    My husband doesn’t like my job. He frequently makes comments about other men’s wives having more impressive jobs than I do. The latest was a response to my pointing out that some guy he’d been talking to was an IT guy with a lawyer wife, just like him: “No, HIS wife is general counsel of a company.” He has zero comprehension of what it is I do, how challenging it is, or why it is important to society. I think he’s always felt cheated because I didn’t go into Biglaw and make a ton of money, even though that was never the plan and he expects me to do all the traditional wife and mom stuff while also earning a salary. Lately he has been complaining that I don’t earn enough money and that I travel too much. To earn more and reduce my travel, I’d have to start over in what would be my third career, and I’d have to give up the meaningful work I do to join a for-profit company and deal with subject matter I find uninteresting at best. I don’t know what to do here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Couples counselling. He is being super rude. You don’t owe him a career that brings him a lot of prestige or one that earns him a lot of money. And ridiculous that he expects you to handle all the household/kid stuff on your own. If he won’t do couples counselling, I’d be tempted to start making snide remarks about how Susie’s husband does so much around the house, she never has to cook/clean and Lisa’s husband plans all the birthday parties and takes care of all the daycare pick ups and drop offs and if only he could be more like them.

      • Anon for this says:

        To clarify, he is good about handling some household and kid stuff but the bulk of it still falls on me, and he is completely unwilling to hire any household help unless it’s to do one of “his” tasks.

        • Anonymous says:

          Ha! I hired cleaners b/c I’d be d*mned if I was the only one cleaning (or was the one doing 80% of the cleaning).

          +1 counseling –> I sense a gratitude deficit on a grand scale

    • Marilla says:

      Your husband is being a jerk. Don’t let him criticize you into changing careers. I agree with the recommendation for couples counselling plus a really straightforward talk: I like my job, and it allows me to do a lot of the mom and house stuff that is important to us as a family. (As tempting as it would be, I wouldn’t go for snide remarks about other husbands since those just create bad feeling.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry you are dealing with this.

      My guess is that the root of this is his feeling insecure about himself (he is not that good of a provider; he doesn’t feel that good about himself for only having attracted a lawyer spouse, not a GC of a company spouse).

      I wonder if some of the men of the 60s/70s have a sense of this — wives nagging husbands to earn more.

      I can assure you that you are not the problem (e.g., even if you were GC, you wouldn’t be GC at a Fortune 200 company; if then, not at a Fortune 100 company, etc.).

    • It doesn’t sound like he’s treating you like a person. The way you’ve described it, he sees you as solely an extension of himself . Kinda like when you were a kid and wished for a clone that could do your homework so you could play outside – he sees you as that clone, who exists just to let him get the most out of life.

      That’s obviously not a path to happiness for yourself. People will recommend couples counseling, but I’d say spend some time with yourself deciding just how much respect you want to have in your own home, and what kind of example you want to set for your kids. A kickass independent mom who takes pride in her work and her self is a way better role model for young men and women than an “intact” household with a dad who doesn’t see mom as an actual person.

    • anne-on says:

      Ha, I’m one of the (very) few working moms/wives we know, so my husband’s comments tend to focus more on how grateful he is we BOTH work and contribute to household expenses. We still have a lot of negotiation on sick days/snow days/ kid tasks, but we’re consciously trying to work on that.
      +1,000,000 to couples counseling. Our relationship has gotten SO MUCH better from my spouse going to counseling on his own. If your husband is displaying this much outward, obvious disregard for your career, preferences, and household contributions I doubt it’d really ever be ‘fixed’ if you magically found a way to make more $$.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mine was the same way – I’m also in a meaningful to me but not lucrative career track. I went to therapy for years and then we did couples counseling. We are now getting a divorce. I can’t tell you what the right thing for YOU to do is, but this is unacceptable and you do not have to live this way.

    • Mama Llama says:

      I’m going to say skip couples counseling for now and go to individual counseling for you. This dude is shockingly awful. Anyone who is OK with tearing you down for lack of “impressiveness” (what?!) while saddling you with more than your fair share of household labor and refusing to consider ways to lighten your load is not approaching your marriage in good faith. I would work with a therapist to untangle some of this on your own, figuring out what you want and how you got here before trying couples counseling. And, I’m sorry he’s putting you through this. This working mom life is tough enough with a partner that supports you – you don’t deserve to have someone tearing you down.

      • Yeah, this. Do not discount how much mental damage this constant refrain might be harming you. Life is hard enough without the one person who is supposed to build you up constantly undermining you and your worth (financial, or otherwise).

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I’m really sorry you’re dealing with this. You absolutely need couples counseling. One of my friends dealt with something similar with her husband. She just never made a lot of money (he did), and he made tons of snide comments about her salary and also expected her to fill a very traditional role. TBH, I’m not sure why he ever expected her to be super domestic. She wasn’t in the years they dated/lived together before marriage. On top of that, they were dealing with the financial stress of a very ill parent who needed outrageously expensive round-the-clock medical care. Eventually they wound up going to counseling because it was that or get divorced. She couldn’t envision having kids with him because she was never going to be a SAHM mom or whatever it was that he expected, and she was sick of being disrespected. Long story short, it helped, they’re still together and seem happy, and they have beautiful kids.

    • Anonymous says:

      Divorce him.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you all having financial trouble? If he’s thinking that a path out of your financial issues (or even just a path to additional financial freedom) would be for you to have a higher paying job, he’s not handling it correctly (nor is it fair) but I understand the point.

      • Anon for this says:

        No, we are doing quite well by any objective standard. He is obsessed with money, though, and no matter how much we save it’s never enough. He believes we need to have all of the money we will ever need for college and retirement saved right now, even though those things are years or decades in the future and we are on track to achieve our goals.

        • Anon in NYC says:

          Do you think he has anxiety? My husband gets anxious about money, even though we objectively are fine financially. Your husband’s expectations are unreasonable, and even if he does/doesn’t have anxiety about money, he’s handling this very poorly. If he does have anxiety, I think individual therapy for him would be helpful.

          • Anon for this says:

            He has other issues that may be manifesting as anxiety. These are currently being treated medically, and I don’t think there’s much more that can be done. Individual counseling for him did more harm than good. The first therapist actually encouraged his obsessions, and the second was a train wreck who couldn’t even keep his own life together.

        • Anonynous says:

          Did you ever read Sam Polk’s article in the New York Times? About how money can be an addiction?

          Something about your story reminds me of that. Like your husband has an addiction and he’s maxed out how quickly he can feed it, so now he needs to start on you doing things to feed it.

        • Did you marry my ex? Ugh… he’s building himself up at your expense. In my case, he had no desire to work together to fix the problem, so I left.

    • anonforthis says:

      My ex-fiance was like this. He was super critical that I went to a smaller firm that was more diverse and where I felt more comfortable as a WOC rather than a V10 firm (mid you, they pay the same). And made offhand comments that only X and Y firms were good at my specialty. He was abusive in a variety of ways though, so this was one of the many reasons we broke up. And whoever said it wouldn’t matter if you were a GC and a Fortune 200 company is right. Then it wouldn’t be good enough because it isn’t a Forture 100 company, or because you aren’t a VP, or SVP, etc.

      I think you need to consider whether this is an isolated issue or if he is generally a jerkface to you, and go from there.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      The problem is not your job, it’s your husband.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Are these shoes really as good as reported? B/c of the random gewgaws like the buckle on this one, they scream Early Bird Special to me (and I otherwise love orthopedic-ish footwear, as do my feet).

    • Yeah, I’m not a fan either….

      • Yep, third. But I did try them and they were very comfy. Similar to Gentle Souls, which I’ve been able to find without any do-dads.

    • I have a pair in black that don’t really have the flashy knick knacks and LOVED them before pregnancy changed my feet in an imperceptible way that make half of my shoes uncomfortable. I wish they had less goofy colors and styles because I actually really like the shoes. Their smoking slipper style is also super comfortable.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have a pair that are all the same color (beige on beige) and while I like them, I dont like them $300 worth, and wouldn’t buy another pair. I got mine on sale for $200 and still think that was a bit steep.

    • Legally Brunette says:

      These are the most comfortable shoes I have ever tried on, like walking on clouds. With that said, the price is too steep and I do find the style slightly frumpy, so I have never repurchased. Dr. Scholls makes a very plain pointy toe flat that is super comfortable and a fifth of the price as the AGL ones.

    • biglawanon says:

      Yeah, I am with you – there are pretty frumpy.

    • I have a pair of AGL pumps with a block heel. They’re nude patent leather with no embellishments, and they’re only a little frumpy. They are the most comfortable work shoes I own, even more comfortable than my (non-AGL) flats. I’ve had them for probably 5-7 years, can’t remember exactly, and I’ve had them resoled once, but they’ve held up amazingly well. They were a gift from my mother, so I didn’t pay (and can’t afford them), but I’d say they’re worth the money if you can afford them.

      Speaking of my mom, about 7 or 8 years ago, she broke her foot. After the boot came off, AGL flats were the only work shoes she could wear for about a year. So, yeah, they really are that comfortable–but I feel like the fact that an almost 60 year old woman with a broken foot would wear them reinforces the “early bird special” vibe.

    • astrodome says:

      I have a pair of AGL flats in dark purple. They magically dress up very casual clothing (leggings and tunic suddenly look chic). I think it’s the decoration on the shoe that does it (mine have a shiny toe and buckle). I’ve never been able to wear them with fancier clothes, though, because the frumpy shape of the shoe suddenly becomes noticeable. They are super-comfy though.

  3. I just got a hard-earned promotion at work! I need some ideas on ways to celebrate. We can’t find a sitter for this weekend (there’s a big high school dance), so going out to eat as adults is out of the question. The kids are 3 and 5 and very hit-and-miss in restaurants. Staying in and ordering sushi just feels like a regular day. Any fun ideas that will make it feel like a celebration even with young kids in tow?

    • Anonymous says:

      Cake + congrats balloons with the kids. Have DH make fancy cocktails after kids are in bed. Getting the kids excited will make it seem special. Have the store put ‘Congrats Mommy! You did a great job! on the cake.

      • I love this idea! It’s important for the kids to see you achieving and celebrate your achievements outside the home. Have a little party!

        • Agreed! Your kids will benefit from knowing you have an outside life and are awesome at it! And congrats!

      • Tfor22 says:

        That is such a good idea! I got an award at work and we did nothing. My husband kind of forgot and then asked why I had two deposits in my account on payday. That is not typical of him, it is more of a sign of how overwhelmed we both were at that time. I wish we had celebrated but we felt like we were too busy.

        • Is it too late to celebrate?

        • Anonymous says:

          Celebrate it now! Your kids have no idea when it happened and it’s still an accomplishment worth celebrating regardless of when it happened.

          Don’t be afraid to show your kids that you are proud of yourself for working hard and that successes are worth celebrating. It’s great modeling for them – plus cake!

        • Yes celebrate now!!

    • mascot says:

      How about something indulgent for dinner that you don’t normally do? Fondue? Ice Cream for dinner? Fancy takeout and have a picnic while the kids run around? Sparklers and bubbles in the driveway? Kids love party themes so they should be happy to celebrate even if they don’t understand what exactly they are celebrating. Then get a nice bottle of champagne for you to enjoy after kids go to bed.

    • Maybe a day on your own? Schedule a massage and a mani/pedi followed by a trip to the mall (or your laptop) to buy a first day outfit? Pop open some bubbly after the kiddos go to bed? Order in a fancier meal complete with apps and dessert and bubbly for you and sparkling juice for the kiddos? Ask your husband to handle all the kid duties for the meal (in or out) while you sip a drink? Order a special cake?

    • Marilla says:

      Can you order in a fancy dinner for after bedtime? Easy dinner for kids, straight to bed, set up candles and open wine and have a dinner just you?

    • Rather than your typical take-out, see if any of the nicer restaurants close by do take-out. I have been surprised at the number of restaurants I go into that have the “bitesquad” sticker on the door.

      I like the idea of a little party with the kids plus nicer take out for you and DH once they are in bed!

      We are also fans of getting all of the fixing for a nice charcuterie board and enjoying that with wine once the kids are in bed.

    • Thanks all! I love the idea of cake and champagne/sparkling juice, then a fancier take out after they’re in bed. Different and fun, and I love the points about involving the kids in my achievements.

  4. Preganon says:

    I’m only 6 weeks pregnant and am so distracted I can’t do anything. Plus nausea kicked in today (so much salivating) and I’m exhausted. I’m just thinking All Things Baby. Tomorrow I have my first midwife appointment. I’m surprised they’re seeing me so early and worry they won’t see a heartbeat yet – which will make me so anxious!

    Today’s random baby topic is cloth diapers. It’s not something I ever considered (gross) but read all morning about a diaper service in Brooklyn called DiaperKind. It’s $32/week, for 180 cloth diapers. They pickup/drop off and sanitize in ultra high heat industrial washers. That price to me seem really reasonable and I like the environmental aspects. I hate waste and trash in general, and this seems really cool. Any thoughts on this? (Or on how to feel less distracted! Or on first doc appt!)

    • Congratulations! Sorry about the nausea. You probably know the drill: ginger candy, Sea Bands, Altoids, anything sour, Unisom + B6, if all else fails get a script for Zofran…

      We cloth diapered for a few months till kid went to daycare. We didn’t have a diaper service nearby, but I would use one in a heartbeat. Things to consider:
      – Do they offer a variety of different kinds of diapers, in case your kid doesn’t take to one? We had some lovely all in ones but they kept leaking because baby’s legs were too skinny, and eventually I settled on a combination of flat diapers and prefolds. It’s really hard to know what will work for your specific baby until they’re actually out in the world and needing a diaper. Cloth diapers may not work at all. Or you may love them.
      – How flexible are they if you need to cancel after a week or two? Will they bill you by the month, or by the week?
      – How does your childcare provider (daycare, nanny, other caregiver) handle cloth diapers? Daycares may have rules that they need to use a fresh diaper cover for every change, which would have bankrupted us in both covers and laundry.

      • +1 to your first point about cloth diapers. I was lucky in that I got hand me downs from SIL so I got to try different brands and didn’t have to commit. Service might be a good way to try different brands! BumGenius didn’t work for us early on like GCA explains – the liquid poo literally leaked out the edges by his skinny legs. But now that he’s older and chunkier they work fine.

        I also know some kids (like mine) who do great on cloth and never have a rash, and other kids who can’t use cloth BECAUSE they get a rash. It is really hard to know until you try, so the service might be a great way to do that and not fully commit to cloth.

    • I say embrace All Things Baby. It’s such a fun time and really so short in the end, I really enjoyed the time I spent daydreaming about the nursery and baby stuff. I mean, I still did my work but… I also thought about baby stuff. all the time.

      Re: cloth diapers! I cloth diaper partly for environmental (though I’ve read it’s sort of a toss up because the extra water/energy to clean them isn’t exactly a positive for the environment, at least you’re not putting stuff in a landfill) reasons but also to save money. I’m not sure how $32/week stacks up against disposables, and depending on how long you cloth diaper that might be cheaper than doing your own.

      If it’s the ‘ew’ factor that’s keeping you from doing your own, I swear it’s not that bad!! You don’t touch the poop! When they are EBF, you just toss the whole diaper in the wash because it’s totally biodegradable. If baby is formula fed or starting solids, you rinse with a diaper sprayer. Once baby is totally on solids, you just shake the poop into the toilet. The gross part to me is when you open the diaper and it’s everywhere and baby starts kicking and suddenly poop is flying. And that’s the same no matter what kind of diapers you use :)

      • I also think it’s a bit of a wash, esp. when you factor in the fact that the service is driving to pick up the diapers, etc. and cost is substantially less with disposables. One middle ground, potentially: reusable diapers with disposable inserts. Not sure how well that works IRL, but I have friends that are happy with it.

        • Environmentally it’s absolutely not a wash. Americans throw out approximately 50 million disposable diapers PER DAY, which then sit in landfills for 400+ years. The water used to wash them is minimal compared to the amount of water required to manufacture disposables (something like 9 gal per diaper), plus all the chemicals. I am a cloth diaper convert and I say go for it.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I think I know someone who uses DiaperKind. I think they think it’s a good service, but they also supplement with disposables, principally because their kid is extremely sensitive and freaks out overnight if she’s the slightest bit wet.

    • Anonymous says:

      $32/week seems like a fortune to me for one kid. And even a newborn won’t go through 180 diapers/week (I’d guesstimate 10/day during the newborn phase and closer to 5/day for an older infant or toddler). You can get a month’s supply of disposables for $40-50 on Amazon.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      I loved cloth diapering… as much as anyone can love anything diaper related. Our service was just over $100/month, so see if you can find a better deal, maybe? (That was in Chicago and the LA area.) We did the add on wipes service too, so basically everything was reusable. It was really painless and I never had to think about running out of diapers or any of that stuff. We even convinced the daycare to do it (they sent diapers home in a sealed container that we dumped into the diaper hamper).

    • Redux says:

      We had a diaper service with our first and no service with our second. Cloth diapered our first til she potty trained and are in month 14 with the second. I LOVE cloth diapers (and do not think it’s a wash in terms of environmental impact– in addition to the obvious landfill issues, disposables are very water and energy intensive to manufacture– but that is a debate for another forum!). We did use disposables at night, when traveling out of town, and if the kiddo ever got a bad rash.

      When we had the service (in Boston) we paid 22$/week for 70 diapers, and we never needed more than 70 in a week. Maybe check to see if they offer fewer diapers at a reduced rate?

      We always used prefolds and diaper covers because that is what our service provided and with the second kid it is what we ended up liking best (in part because of our familiarity from the first time around). Prefolds are waaaaay cheap and easy to use. I have used All-in-ones (AIOs) I inherited and some gDiapers, but prefer the prefolds and always recommend them, especially for a first-time cloth diaperer who isn’t sure if they will like it or not. And for those who are washing at home (like we are now)– prefolds are easiest to clean, in my opinion.

      Speaking of which, it is really not a big deal to wash at home if you have a washer and dryer (I would not do it at a laundromat). For my first, I’m glad I went with the service because it was one less thing to worry about. With the second we didn’t have the service option but have not found it to be at all difficult (or gross).

    • KateMiddletown says:

      Is this your first? I am 9 weeks w/ #2 and #1 is 8 y/o so take this with a grain of ancient history… but we had a diaper service in town which was the only way I could fathom getting all the laundry done while NOT on maternity leave. We stuck with it for a few months, but the ultimate dealbreaker was our childcare provider (my mother) didn’t buy into it. Eventually I stopped the service, kept a pack of the cloth inserts, and switched to the chlorine-free Earth’s Best diapers. (Subscribe and save FTW.)

  5. Folks who have been in similar situations: what would you do?
    I’ve been working all year on the programme, speakers, etc for a major event my company is contracted to coordinate – so it’s more than just logistics. Event is in September (think something akin to the World Economic Forum meetings) in another country. I’m leading the programme development portion, so this event is kind of my baby. However, I’m also pregnant with kid #2…and real baby is due in early August. I haven’t informed work yet, but I want to put together a solid plan and backup plans before I do.

    Would you feel lucid enough, 6 weeks postpartum, to: *not* fly to event location (which may work for other people, but from experience I know the international travel and the pumping would be too much stress for me), but be involved remotely in other ways (brief speakers via conference call, take notes, write communications material and post-event reports)? I’d be asking if I can work X hours a week (eg 25% or 50% time, as needed), but not full-time. WWYD?

    • Baby #1, no I would not have been able to do that. Baby #2 went a little better and I could have maybe done some minor things but wouldn’t have wanted real responsibility on my shoulders – listening on a conference call would have had a high likelihood of putting me to sleep.

      If I were you, I would put a full backup plan in place as if I wouldn’t be there. That would be Plan A. Then, if Baby is early or if things go exceptionally well, I would have a Plan B that would involve all of Plan A, but me doing minor responsibilities X, Y, Z, so I can still feel involved during the actual event but not creating any output that someone would depend on. And I would definitely go back on leave afterwards if it was available to me.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would not work. If baby is due in early August and you go late, you could easily be only 4 weeks PP in mid-September. If you have a c-section, it would possibly be the end of September before you could work. I would plan to not work at all but be available to sit in on conference calls etc IF possible with the understanding that it may not be possible. If you do spend any time working, make sure it is deducted from your FMLA allotment so you have FMLA left over.

    • I would not do it since it’s a major time-sensitive event. It’s not like it’s writing work or research that can be done any time. After both of my babies, I was firmly in the no work until I’m back for real camp. I just didn’t feel mentally up to it. I know it’s tough but I think you have to rely on others to make it happen at the event. I think it’s fine to stay in the loop for your information, but I would not commit to any tasks.

    • Based on your spelling I think you might be in Canada? So not sure how it works there with leave, but in the US you can’t legally work while on disability, which you probably still would be at 6 weeks. Would definitely plan to have a full backup in place.

      However if you’re on some other kind of leave and you’re ok to just check in as much as you feel comfortable (big IF – would you get sucked into to basically working full time during the event?), I would consider it. I would have been fine to do so at 6w PP, but would have needed someone there with me full time to bring baby to me and take him away after feedings (which were still every 2 hours at that time). Also, mine didn’t have colic. That could drastically impact things.

      No matter what, don’t tell work until you’ve decided after baby what you’re doing. I came into work for a few things PP (after FMLA and STD were over and I was on maternity leave/vacation) but I kept it to myself until right beforehand. I didn’t want them counting on me unless I knew I was going to come.

      • Anonymous says:

        If you are in Canada – you can’t work that much while drawing down your Employment Insurance for the birth mom portion of your maternity leave so check into the hours limits. Your DH may be able to take part of the new 6 weeks for dads they just announced without affecting your overall entitlement to the any parent 8 months so that might help with childcare in that period. If you’re getting top-up on your EI from your employer, you should check how that might be affected as well. Stopping and restarting that might be a huge pain.

      • I’m in the US, not Canada, but am in British spelling mode for client today, heh. Good point on not being able to legally work while on disability – will have to check on that. But you all are right, I don’t want them *counting* on me for any time-sensitive work.

        • I totally understand not being able to unplug from something you worked really hard on! I made an appearance 3 times during my leave. But I was really able to judge the situation and know that I wasn’t going to be called on to actually delivery serious work product – it was more of checking in, general catching up. It sounds like this event would be heavier lifting than that, so I’d just be cautious.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you aren’t going to be there, don’t be there. Stay on leave and don’t work.

    • MomAnon4This says:

      For baby #2 the lack-of-sleep was so much worse, even on maternity leave, because I had to be 100% for baby #1, even with him in daycare. So I was doing the every-3-hours-wake-up thing, but couldn’t really nap or just fall asleep with baby on on me in between. There is no way I could’ve worked at 6 weeks post-partum, (unless I had a nanny and was formula feeding a lot… idea for if you DO want to try and travel to conference….)

    • Thanks all. Lots of good points for me to consider. I couldn’t have done it at that point with kid #1 (in part because of the sense of ‘help! I have no idea what I’m doing here’) and in part because he was not a great sleeper at all. By 2 months pp with kid #1 I was fine doing small freelance projects which didn’t have tight deadlines – but every pregnancy and every baby is different…

    • KateMiddletown says:

      Can you and another employee partner? You can do all the pre-prep together and they would take on all the work during mat leave? It sounds like a lot to handle by yourself, while ostensibly on mat leave, and especially if you’re feeding on demand, not sleeping, etc.

  6. Potty training a 16 month old – am I crazy? The kid has expressed interest in it aka running to the toilet before pooping and indicating that they want on. This has happened more than once, so I figure we should capitalize on this interest. Any resources to recommend? I assume I need to purchase a separate potty as the kid nearly falls into the bowl unless I hold over top.

    • I think it’s OK to practice but I think it’s a little early to try it for real. If your kiddo is in daycare, they’re not usually too enthusiastic about helping with potty-training before 2. And, anecdotally, my older child potty trained day and night at 2.5, whereas I pushed my youngest to potty-training in the daytime around 20 months but she still wears a diaper at night (she’s now 3.5).

    • avocado says:

      Instead of a little potty, consider a toilet seat with flip-down kid seat. Home Depot has some. You will also need a step stool tall enough for kiddo to put her feet on while sitting on the toilet.

      • +1 to the flip-down lid and one of those two-step stools.

        Personally I wouldn’t potty train until at least 2. Dealing with outfit changes and potty stops every time you leave the house is annoying, particularly when they’re so little so you have to crouch in any stall and hold them over the toilet (and if they’re a boy, you’re also trying to help aim while holding them up and balancing yourself).

        I would take the passive approach – have the seat and stool, and if they ask, let them do it, but don’t actively train them. If they train themselves, great, stock up on cheap pants and undies. If they don’t, no big and you know they’ll understand the concepts when it’s time. I’d get through the summer (so you can go to the park without having to find a port-a-potty or having to carry your own) and then plan to train at Labor Day if it’s going well.

      • Spirograph says:

        yes to all of this. We have a flip-down lid for one toilet, my kids love it, and it so much better than cleaning a little potty or one of those set-on-top seats. Definitely get a step, though, otherwise you might have messy scooting to get down off the seat.

        I wouldn’t encourage potty training for a 16 month old in the sense of switching to pull ups, but maybe let him/her sit on the potty before bath time or other times the diaper is off anyway. And +a million to a toddler in diapers being easier than a potty-training one when you’re out and about.

        Anecdotally, my daughter was interested in potty training around 18 months, and had to switch to pull-ups when she went into the 2 year old daycare class, but wasn’t actually potty trained for months and months because she apparently isn’t bothered by being soaked in her own urine and pull-ups are convenient. She is not nighttime trained yet (at 3) and will regularly pee in her pull up before bed or in the morning because she doesn’t feel like taking a bathroom break. In contrast, my son showed very little interest in potty training and we did basically nothing until daycare peer pressured him into it at 2.5. He was full daytime trained in only a few weeks.

        All that to say, interest only goes so far. Good luck!

    • mascot says:

      Agreed that it’s probably early. But, you can go ahead and get ready if you want. We loved the 2in1 toilet seats that had a kid size seat built in (you can get them at Home Depot) for our regular toilets. We had one on each floor. Easy to install and clean. You’ll need a little stool so they can get up there. So much better than the little potty which my kid wanted to play with and which I hated cleaning.

    • Anonynous says:

      I would capitalize on it. We’re taking a pretty low pressure approach to our kid (inviting them to use the potty whenever one of us goes to the bathroom) and encouraging first thing in the morning and post nap potty breaks. We say “good try” not “good going to the potty” (after the two year old insisted on trying for twenty minutes).

      We’ve been doing this for a while and plan on doing this until this summer. She’ll be 2.5 then and I think we’ll try ditching diapers at some point over the summer.

      As long as your expectations are, “if you want to” it should be fine.

  7. For many of the reasons articulated in yesterday’s discussion of why it is ok to only have one kid, DH and I were not sure if we wanted to have 1 or 2. Neither of us are particularly close with our siblings, we each had a sibling who caused our parents a lot of grief and while we can afford to have two, we liked some of the decreased financial and logistical stress of only having one. We are also a bit older than we would’ve liked to be when having our first. But we are having twins, so 2 it is. Please tell me that there are also benefits to having 2 kids.

    • I love having twins and the way they are buddies. Yes, it’s way more work than one kid would be, but there are lots of efficiencies that we wouldn’t have if we had 2 at different ages. For instance, mine are 4 and they are always on the same schedule. There is no dealing with two separate drop-offs or pick-ups. And the same activities/ family trips/ books/ movies are age-appropriate for both of them. Obviously, they each have preferences, but it isn’t as much of a juggling act.

    • Everlong says:

      Congratulations! I have two that are two years apart. I had been on the fence about a second but it’s awesome having two. You have so much love for them as individuals, and then there’s this crazy, intense different love when you see them interacting together. It’s really awesome and not something I could have imagined or articulated before there were two.

    • I have 2 boys, who are 2 and 4. They are best friends and playmates. They just love each other so, so much. As they get older, I can see that having two kids to entertain each other makes certain things easier (the kids can play together while I work on my laptop or clean or whatever). They learn to cooperate, resolve fights, and be a good sport (not saying single kids don’t also learn this at daycare or with friends, but your kids will practice it every day).

      Also, they will have each other even if something terrible happens to you and/or your husband.

    • Anonymous says:

      Twins are great! It’s true that two babies are more work than one baby, but logistically speaking, they’re easier than a baby plus a toddler since they’re on the same schedule. And as they get older, they can be easier than having one kid. A parent on my local twins listserv recently described having twins as holding a lottery ticket that you will cash in when they are 3/4 and can entertain each other instead of relying on you to entertain them. Congrats!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I posted yesterday and didn’t get any responses; maybe no one fits the bill here? Curious if anyone can share if they seriously considered having another child and ultimately decided not to. I would especially appreciate hearing how you feel/felt after making that decision, if you would be comfortable sharing.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I haven’t firmly decided, but…I think I’m done? I had always thought I would have two kids. After having one kid, I’m surprised that I have no desire to have another. I’m also not coupled so maybe it’s purely theoretical, but any future romantic partner would have an uphill battle to convince me to have another. I have the emotional and physical energy to be very present for kiddo. I’m not stretched as thin as I’m sure I would be with two, the daycare bills are manageable and getting smaller, I generally get enough sleep at night, I can drag her along to grown up events and be only half distracted. My whole world doesn’t have to be kid things. I feel like I have the time and energy to be more fully myself.

    • mascot says:

      I know it’s been discussed here previously and the book One and Only gets brought up a lot so maybe try that as a search term. But yes, we thought we wanted 2 and then decided to stop at one. A couple of things that led to that decision in no real order- both of us have careers that we like and that we wanted to remain committed to. I had PPD and had no interest in replicating that experience. Our kid is wonderful, but a highly spirited/intense child- I don’t think we’d be able to handle another one like that and the fear of getting a second handful was significant. We like being able to devote time and resources to just one kid without worrying about fairly allocating everything. Another issue that gets mentioned a lot is loneliness and the gift of siblings. My husband and both our moms are only children and our dads had multiple siblings so we had first hand experience in how this plays out in adulthood. There are no guarantees that you will be friends with your siblings or that they will be helpful with aging parents. As an only, all the responsibility falls on you, but also, no one is second guessing you. I don’t know that any of them felt any more lonely than kids with siblings growing up. Every kid gets bored.
      That being said, I do look at my friends with bigger families and all the noise and sometimes I wish we had that. Things are a little quieter at our house and you notice that at times like holidays.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        The struggle of having a spirited/intense child is so real – my mom often said that if my younger brother had been their first child, they would have stopped at one. I got that kid first. It’s like living with a tiny revolutionary, wrapped in a hurricane. It’s exhausting.

        • Spirited Mom says:

          +1. I come from a family of three and my mother said that the youngest would have been an only if they had come first. I had that one first. It took over 3 years for DH and I to even start talking about the idea of maybe a second. The thought of getting another intense child is sobering. I am getting older and we may just end up having an only.

          One of my clearest memories from my new mother days is attending a new moms group and after talking about my struggles with my baby, another mom came up to me holding her 7 week old and she told me “Trust me, there is a very good reason my first child is 7 years older than this one. He was a handful and sounds a lot like your baby. It is tough and it will be tough for awhile, but you can get through this. The ones like this end up being so fun and so smart when they are older anyway. Ask for help often. You may need it and there is nothing wrong with that.” Then she gave me a hug. I am forever thankful to her and how supported she made me feel that day.

          • Anonymous says:

            This was us also. 2 years of fertility treatment, hyperemesis, threatened miscarriage at 12 and 19 weeks, then he was born three weeks early by emergency C. Then he had a birth defect and was in physical and occupational therapy, and ALSO he was high needs/high energy. Just never quit. Couldn’t put him down. He never slept. Tantrums tantrums tantrums. I love him, but my God. My husband and I didn’t even think about a second child until he was 4 and by then – we both felt like, we can’t do this again. We had been relatively sure when we started trying that our child would be an only (my husband is an only) and our experiences with conception, pregnancy, birth and infancy/early childhood sealed it. My mom was the best about the whole thing, she was like “honey, whatever you might think you want – think twice. If I had been through what you’ve been through, you would have been an only child too.”

        • avocado says:

          I had a difficult, high-needs baby who grew into a delightful little person. She is still quite intense, but she has turned out to be surprisingly mature and adaptable and has mostly learned to channel her intensity for useful purposes.

    • We have 1.5 right now (stepchild with us part time). My husband is like 70% leaning towards no, I am leaning 60% yes…it feels like it would be an easier decision in some ways if one of us felt more strongly. I feel like there will be a sense of loss either way and I’m struggling with how we make this decision!

      • Sometimes you just have to start not trying. I firmly believe if it’s in the cards, it’s going to happen, if you let it. If you’re not entirely convinced NO, you can switch to a bc with a less reliable track record, and see how it feels to play it a little risky. This is really bad advice, but think about how you’d feel if you found out you were pregnant tomorrow.

        Also, I’ve never heard anyone say they regret having a baby. There are difficulties to be sure, but there is much joy.

    • Anonymous says:

      I tend to think that the lifestyle sacrifices I might have to make or stress I might feel would be more than outweighed by the joy imaginary future kid would bring me over his or her life. But some people feel differently (like my husband) and that’s OK, too. There’s no good answer to this, you just have to weigh your options and learn to sit with the decision you make.

      This isn’t a great match for your situation, but I have 3 kids, would really like a 4th. For a lot of practical reasons, it’s probably best to be done, and the ship is sailing. I’m still sad about it. Accepting, but sad. You feel how you feel.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      It’s weird, I’ve been the one who says “nope, not having another kid” in my relationship, but today my husband texted me that he was going to give away the high chair and I nearly cried. Somehow that one feels like, “now we really are done with babies.” And moments later my sister texted me about her two girls fighting over who got a bigger half of a tangerine, so maybe I like my choice after all.

      I never never though I’d have an only child. Then again, I didn’t know what pregnancy would be like (for me, just debilitating exhaustion and continuous anxiety — like legit a ‘fine’ pregnancy but not something I want to do again), didn’t know how awful birth could be, didn’t fathom what PPD could look like… and with that knowledge, I’m tapping out.

      Yes, there’s a part of me that’s nostalgic or something for the family I though I would have, and if we could miraculously, for no $, make a newborn appear, maybe I’d go for it… but I am not willing to do what it takes to have another, so… yeah, there’s some sadness there, wistfulness.

      • mascot says:

        I’d posted a reply earlier that got eaten (grrr) about the wistfulness that comes with the passing of each stage with a kid and the feelings of being done, regardless of number of kids. There are some stages I miss so much and several things that I would do-over. But, that’s no guarantee that a subsequent child would have the same ups and downs as the one before it so maybe I’d be in the same position all over again. The finality of it can be heavy. It has taken us years to be ready to make the choice to permanently shutter the baby factory although we decided pretty quickly to stop after one kid.
        OP, I’d also note that things are different now that our kid is older and we are surrounded by “completed” families. A lot of my feelings were about being sad that a time in my life has passed, not necessarily feelings that I wanted to re-live that time (ie, have another kid).

      • I have a long post below about not wanting another. But I cry every time I clean out Kiddo’s dresser.

    • This may sound awfully selfish, but I don’t think I understood how much sacrifice and responsibility was involved or how tired I would be. I had a traumatic childhood and was excited to have a kids as a second chance to have a happy family. And while it has provided that and I’m very happy to give my child a stable, bountiful life, I’ve also decided not to put off my own happiness for 20 years, which is what I would have to do if I had multiple children. I don’t believe I have the emotional capacity to parent how I would like to parent if I had multiple kids. So one it is.

    • Anonynous says:

      I have two siblings and my mom still talks about how she wishes she’d had two more. There’s literally NO WAY my parents could have done that (one of my siblings has some pretty severe learning disabilities) and my mom had tons of help from her mom, both my parents had school-based schedules, we grew up in a low cost of living area and it was almost too much for them.

      But she’s almost 70 and is still sad about it.

    • Butter says:

      I have been surprised by how relieved and content I feel with the decision to have just one, after assuming we’d have another for several years. We are planning big trips again (really big ones! multiple trips in one year!), getting back into personal hobbies and interests, making plans for the future with a bit more financial freedom in the picture with one kid vs. two. We never have to juggle to handle pickups/dropoffs/sick days/special events. Logistical nightmares just aren’t a thing. We are both present and participatory for kiddo. There are a thousand different factors at work, but so far, it’s pretty great.

    • I’ve posted this before, for long-time readers, but here I go again. I haven’t firmly decided–I haven’t used any permanent form of birth control, I don’t announce that I’m done, and I haven’t even cleaned baby stuff out of my garage. I am leaning strongly toward “one and only” for several reasons that are all interconnected.

      First, I had a terrible pregnancy, which negatively impacted my job, my reputation, etc. I lost my job and was unemployed for 6 months. I am back on my feet in a different and better job and almost up to the salary I had before I got pregnant (but with worse benefits, see below). I don’t want to risk it again. (I know every pregnancy is different and nothing is certain and blah blah blah–that just makes me think it could be worse, not better). In my small community, I don’t think I’d recover professionally a second time.

      Second, we can’t swing it financially. Short-term, I have a high-deductible health plan. I get 6 sick days per year and 12 vacation days. I have no paid maternity leave. We have substantial savings in retirement but haven’t finished rebuilding our emergency fund since my unemployment. My work doesn’t offer a short-term disability policy (and I haven’t looked into getting one independently). DH is unemployed and isn’t looking for another job. (He is busy and productive and a great SAHD right now.) If he started doing something different, he’d want to go back to school or start his own business (with funds he had before we got married), so I’m not optimistic that we’ll see a salary-equivalent income coming in anytime soon. We live in a small, 2-bedroom apartment and can’t afford a larger one on my salary. (The rent from the triplex we own pays for most of our housing expenses, so it’s not just a matter of moving to a cheaper neighborhood, etc.) We couldn’t afford the same daycare for a second kid, and we don’t want to move Kiddo or send them to different daycares.

      Third, I don’t feel the need for another child. A good friend of mine described wanting to have a second child as feeling as though her family was not complete. I get that. I don’t feel it about mine. I love our little trio. At this point, I feel like having a baby would be going “backwards”–back to diapers (we’re potty training Kiddo), back to sleepless nights, back to nursing and pumping (or not), etc. I love babies and have lots of baby nieces and nephews, but I don’t miss my own kid being in the baby stage. It probably matters that I was an only child and see lots of advantages to it.

      Fourth, Kiddo is almost 3 and has some behavioral issues that are requiring a lot of resources from us. Some of these are financial (therapist). Some is just time and attention. He wears us down. He needs a lot, more than his cousin who’s the same age. I don’t want to take anything away from him at what feels like an important stage. (And not just with a newborn–I would not be able to parent my toddler if I had another pregnancy like my last one.)

      • I relate to you says:

        Thank you for being upfront about your limitations, including corporate policies and finances, as well as child’s special needs, and the pros/cons of husband’s choices. You are not alone with any of your burdens.

        • Thanks for saying this :-)

          To clarify, I recognize that there are many, many choices here. When I was ready to have Kiddo, I felt an intense, desperate longing for him. (It was very cliche, I could have been in a rom com.) I would have done anything to make it happen. If I felt the same way about a second, I’d make it happen.

          • avocado says:

            Right there with you. I desperately wanted my kid for several years before I got pregnant. After she was born, I never felt that longing again. When she was about two years old I realized that every vision I’d ever had of myself as a mother had included only one child, who happened to be exactly her. Once she arrived, I had the child I was meant to parent and didn’t need or want any more.

            There are plenty of other reasons she is an only. I remember the exact moment when I first realized I didn’t have what it took to be pregnant again. It was a hot summer day when I was about four months pregnant. I was sitting down in the middle of the staircase in tears because I was too sick and tired to walk all the way down without stopping to rest, and my husband was yelling at me because he was so frustrated with the constant vomiting and exhaustion. In that moment, I knew that baby was going to be an only child.

          • avocado, your first paragraph made me tear up a little bit. I’ve never thought about it, but I don’t think I ever envisioned myself with more than one. It also makes me a little more empathetic to my husband, who I know always envisioned himself with two (a boy and a girl).

  9. When did you switch from an infant to a convertible carseat? Our 1 y/o is 17 lbs, but his infant car seat expires in September, which will probably be before he reaches the 30 lb weight limit. I realize I could do nothing for a while, but I’m trying to figure out if the one year mark is significant or just seems to coincide with most infant seat limits of 20 lbs.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I switched when I couldn’t comfortably lift kiddo in her infant carrier anymore. She was maybe 10 months old? Our convertible carseat was safe for kiddos down to 7 lbs, so it wasn’t a safety thing so much as a “what gear works for my life” thing.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      We made the switch when my daughter grew too long for her infant seat, so maybe at around 11 or 12 months.

    • Anonymous says:

      Around 9 months. My daughter was out of her car seat on height months before she would have been out based on weight. Make sure you check the height maximum as they can vary by as much as 5cm.

    • Anonymous says:

      The 1-year mark is significant because Consumer Reports found a convertible seat is safer at that point (based on the assumption that the average 1-year-old weights 22 lbs).

      And ditto to checking the height limit. My 18.5 lb daughter is too tall for her infant seat even though it’s supposedly good up to 30 lbs.

      • Redux says:

        Can you link to the Consumer Reports finding? I hadn’t heard that. We have kept our two kiddos in infant seats until 18 months or so. We use the kind that goes up to 30lbs, which most kids grown out of by length before they grow out of by height.

      • Yep, this. There is a significantly increased risk for head/neck injuries for child over 12 months when they are still in an infant seat vs a convertible.

    • I think most kids will out grow in height before weight. My first needed a new seat at 9months (he’s tall), my second around 1 year.

    • Thanks everyone! He’s in the 3rd percentile for height but I will check the limit anyway.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I’m divorced with a 4 year old, and recently started dating a great guy. I’m trying to figure out how and when to introduce the two of them, and I don’t know where to start. He is pro-kid and excited to meet my kid, but also understands that it is a big step and isn’t pushing. I would appreciate the wisdom of this group, or any resources you’ve found.

    • Anonymous says:

      When you’ve decided that you are in a serious committed monogamous long term relationship. At least three months.

      • I was thinking of introducing them in a group setting of other friends so my kid can get used to new guy as a friend, without the pressure of “this is mom’s new boyfriend.” I think kid would like him, but will hate him if he’s introduced immediately as boyfriend.

      • Anonymous says:


        I would do the introduction by including BF in an regularly scheduled activity. Like if kid usually has soccer practice and lunch at McDonalds on Saturday then BF comes to watch soccer practice and joins for lunch at McDonalds. I would avoid starting any new activities with BF and kid because if it doesn’t work out, kid will be upset at loss of not just BF but also at loss of new activity.

    • +1 to the “at least 3 months” part, and I would suggest closer to 6 months, esp for younger kids.

      My dad would introduce every new person to us within the first month or two, and while he called them “friends” we knew even at an early age that it was more than that. We had to be nice and there was so much pressure for us to like them. And as dating tends to go, there were several “friends” who would suddenly disappear and Dad would act pained if we asked about them.

      My mom only introduced two people to us, and I’m pretty sure both were something like six months into the relationship. We still had the like/dislike pressure, but didn’t have the rotating cast that we had with our dad. And when the first one went south, they had a dinner together with us and explained we probably wouldn’t see him anymore but he thought we’d grow up to be cool people. At the time it was awkward, but in retrospect it was nice to get our own “closure” on the breakup and not feel like we were forgotten in the whole thing.

      All of this to say, maybe have a convo with Great Guy and get 100% buy-in on how you want your Kid to be treated throughout this. Kid is part of your relationship too, so think of the best ways to treat him with respect, even if you hate each other after a break up. Know the Guy well enough to have a non-rosy-feel for how he acts at his worst. And then have a separate convo with Kid so Kid knows you always have his back, and if he doesn’t like Guy he can always tell you honestly.

  11. Paging ADHD from yesterday says:

    I just read your post from yesterday and could have written it myself. I just went through this process with my son. I felt just like you – I almost felt like not getting a diagnosis was going to be worse than getting one. We did get an ADHD diagnosis and have start meds. We have experienced a bit of trial and error and I still feel conflicted about it. Anyway, if you want to commiserate with an internet stranger who is feeling the same feelings and dealing with the same behaviors, you can email me at a big orange drink at the mail of g. no spaces.

    • Thank you; I really appreciate it. I think we’ll end up with a diagnosis eventually, but it’s going to awhile to sort out. While I’m grateful that we’re looking at this carefully, I am having a lot of sleepless nights. I just want to be able to help my kid, whatever that looks like.

  12. Profesora says:

    This is for Aly on early potty training (can’t get reply to work on mobile). We had something similar around 18 months and went for it. I really liked the book “diaper free before three” combined with some “oh crap” methods. We also read the daniel tiger potty book with the flush and the leslie patronelli potty book pretty much every time we went. We had a baby bjorn potty on each floor. He just turned two and has been fully trained including nights for several months. If it feels right to you, go for it!

  13. How do you and SO come to an agreement when you disagree on a budget for a major purchase? Specifically, a house or car? For background, I’m usually the one who wants to spend more. And I usually just let it go, because I’m not willing to spend a bunch of money without knowing husband is comfortable with it. It’s all very amicable – there’s no big fighting or drama, and husband is a great guy. He’s just less comfortable spending money than me. Usually, I have no problem letting it go or compromising more than him. I’m kind of thinking about standing my ground for my next car purchase. However, I feel greedy knowing husband isn’t truly on board. First world problems, I know. But I’d kind of like to hear how other couples sort this out.

    • Not sure if this helps says:

      We are looking at a new car purchase soon. For reference, the car my husband is driving is ancient and well-used and we last bought a car together about a decade ago.

      I bring a knowledgable third-party to the table. Real estate broker for the house. And… a friend’s husband is basically a car broker. He hunts down cars and haggles for fun. He knows all the web sites. To us, (obviously not car people) he is like our own edition of CarTalk on NPR, where people would call in and ask what kind of car is best for their lifestyle, or to convince their spouse to get. We have no idea where to start or what to spend, and this guy does. So he’s going to be in our car purchase, I promise you that.

      • Redux says:

        This is my strategy, too. My husband will hear something from me and consider it, then hear the same thing from an “expert” and believe it. It is truly maddening. We have the opposite dynamic from you and your husband– I am the saver and he is the spender– and I routinely have our financial advisor, or real estate agent, or smart friend run interference to bring DH back to reality.

        • AlsoAnon says:

          Dh does this to me too and it drives me bonkers. How (other than calling in a 3rd party) do you stop it?

    • AlsoAnon says:

      I think house and car are different discussions, but here’s my advice for car buying based on recent experience. Play the long game. I did my research, had a set budget, and gave very specific reasons for wanting what I did. I started floating the idea of a new car two years before I actually got the car. I waited until I had a complete budget saved to start seriously discussing buying one. For every “why does that matter to you?” I had a concrete answer “It’s safter”, “Statistically this color car is cheaper in this area.”, etc. Good luck! Don’t feel selfish. Your DH seems reasonable and I think it’s justifiable to want to spend more on something that you will have for years.

    • Everlong says:

      This is a great question. I think we end up just talking until we’re both on the same page. Often, we end up changing roles by the end. If there’s a purchase he wanted to spend more on than I did, by the end I’ll be rooting to spend and he’ll be against it. With big things, we consider how the purchase fits in with our life goals and values. For example, we bought a new car a few months ago. We ended up spending about half of what we were going to spend because we realized that we were paying for a larger vehicle we didn’t need for a convenience a few days a year. We also realized that we were being influenced by the area in which we live – we’re used to seeing luxury SUVs. That’s not really something we value, we were just going with the flow. This is nothing against luxury vehicles, it just didn’t make sense for us and our finances. In that discussion, we flopped roles several times.

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