Budget Thursday: Dolman Top

A reader at Corporette recommended these Jaclyn Smith tops for work, saying, “I recently found in Kmart (believe it or not) these short-sleeve shirts to wear under blazers. They are better than a cotton dress shirt, look nice, don’t wrinkle, and are fast-drying. They also are only $9.98.” Sounds pretty great! They come in several colors (you can see them all here and here) in sizes S-XXL, and there are other colors and patterns and slightly different styles too. These would be great if you’re traveling or need something fast-drying because you end up getting something on your blouse, whether you’re pumping or you have a toddler with sticky hands — or both. Jaclyn Smith Dolman Top

Two plus-size options are here and here.

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Comments

  1. Anonanonanon says:

    Does anyone have any recs for where to get cute (patterned, preferably) SPF rash-guard-type swimming shirt things for myself? Preferably kind of cheap because I’ll be sizing up since I’m nearing the end of first trimester. Visiting family in Florida soon and would like to wear a rash guard with a bikini bottom to minimize the constant sunscreen applications on the beach all day.

  2. This top is really cute.

  3. POSITA says:

    I’ve just finished bfeeding (yay!), but my skin is a total mess–sun damage, some acne, beginning wrinkles and dull. Now that I can finally do something about it, where do I start? Try a Clarisonic? Retinol? Some sort of toner/lotion/cleanser? I’m 36 with a very fair and freckled Irish complexion. My current routine is a face wash, CeraVe lotion with SPF and foundation with SPF. Nothing fancy. I can probably handle another step or two in my routine, but nothing too intense since I’m still chasing two little ones.

    • Blueberry says:

      Get thee to a dermatologist. (If you’re not going periodically for skin checks, you should do that anyway, says a fellow fair person.) If not, then maybe over-the-counter retinol is a good bet, but only if you are religious about sunscreen. I am guilty of spending too much money on fancy stuff I read about online, but the derm will tell you what you need vs. what is BS. As for me, I have developed serious melasma with my pregnancies despite being a sunscreen nazi and can’t wait to see what I can do about lasering that away once I’m through with this last one.

    • anne-on says:

      Dermatologist – but ask for types of products instead of their specific brands they sell. Mine suggested a good gentle cleanser, dedicated spf, light moisturizer, vitamin c serum, and a retinoid for my acne/wrinkles….and then tried to sell me a ($$$$) set from skinceuticals which I politely declined. I made my own choices with mostly asian brands plus differin OTC.

    • rakma says:

      Thirding the Dermatologist. What I thought was adult acne was actually Rosacea, which my Derm diagnosed in about 30 seconds, prescribed a cream that is working, and I’m looking forward to maybe having clear skin for the first time since I hit puberty.

      My Derm is associated with the nearby university hospital–no rebranded products, no up-sells, which was a nice change from previous experiences.

    • I would add an exfoliant at least, and you might do better with a BHA than an AHA if your skin is oily/acne prone. I like Paula’s Choice products, and her website has pretty good advice about skin care in general.

  4. Acting Up says:

    Reposting from last night…

    On a different topic, what advice do you wise women have to help my 5-year old who’s clearly going through too much change and some separation anxiety? Context: We recently moved to another city (in another state), she’s alternating between different summer camps before she starts KG in September, I had another baby 5 months ago, my husband has a new job, we’re still unpacking and doing work on our new house, and I went back to work 6 weeks ago and am starting to do some work-related travel. (About a week away every 4-6 weeks)

    My daughter is usually very talkative and opinionated and active and independent and I love that. But lately, everything is a STRUGGLE. Brushing her teeth, getting ready for camp, eating dinner…EVERYTHING. She loves her baby bro but sometimes feels bad that I spend too much time with him (I’m still bfeeding him – plan on for another 3 weeks until he’s 6 months). I know she’s going through a lot of change, and the stubbornness and temper tantrums and screaming are her way of expressing her feelings. She was mad at my MIL yesterday morning (who’s helping us out for a few days) and scratched her arm with her nails. How do I help her feel calm and safe and secure amidst all this change? Will that help with her mood swings? I’m lost.

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      Play therapy helped our son who had a hard time adjusting to kindergarten last year.

    • Spirograph says:

      Oof, that is a lot at once for all of you to be dealing with! You mention that she’s switching between summer camps — can you create some kind of home routine that stays constant through all of that? When my kids are worked up and crazy, reading a book together really helps them calm down. So maybe add morning and/or after-camp story time? Just snuggle up with her and read a story or two. You could also really play up that it’s your special time with her without the baby (if that’s possible). Good luck!

    • My son is a little younger (4), but he got like this when my father was in town for cancer treatments. I think he was absorbing all the emotions around him, plus the schedule disruptions and general lack of attention on him. We started slowing everything way, way down and spending way more time at home with few plans. Obviously weekdays had to be preschool / work, but evenings were just free play time and on weekends we spent as much time as possible at home doing nothing. So playdates, dinners out, etc. were shelved until life calmed down again. It really helped.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        I agree. Lots of unstructured time when she doesn’t have camp. And, quality time with you and DH. I’m sure your weekends are crazy right now, with the move, unpacking, and infant, but I think spending an hour or two of dedicated time with her could help (maybe even better if you can do it one-on-one).

      • Marilla says:

        +2 to this.

    • Choices and letting her do more things on her own can really help. For my kids, anger and aggression usually resulted in feeling controlled/ordered about.

      For tooth brushing, lay out two tubes of toothpaste or buy a 2nd toothbrush. Then you can say, “It’s time to brush your teeth! Which paste are you going to use? Ok. Go ahead and squeeze it on. You got this!” then walk away. It’s a big deal to go from Mom hovering to Mom trusting and moving on. I hoover in my bedroom, so I can still hear and verify that teeth ARE being brushed.

      Same thing with getting ready for camp. Offer two outfits…two pairs of shoes…two hairstyles…and then go with whatever she picks. I like to narrow it down to only two choices. It makes the whole process go faster but lets my daughter feel in charge.

      Simple things like letting the kid get their own drink of water can be a huge rite of passage at this age. The day you stop fetching and just say, “Do you want a drink? Ok. Go get a cup.” is the day they stare at you like, “Seriously? You’re letting me do this?” Big mood changer.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        This is true sometimes, but pay attention to your kiddo – sometimes when the world feels out of control, my kiddo wants to be babied and I’d get major tantrums if I suggested she act more grown up. I suspect her love language is acts of service.

        • mascot says:

          You know, the love languages thing isn’t something I’ve thought of for kids, but I guess they do have some preferences. It’s easy to overlook it sometimes given the swirl of developmental phases and immature emotional responses. Plus, I feel there is so much pressure as parents to address quality time! words of praise! acts of service! all the hugs! thoughtful but educational gifts! in equal measure

        • Perhaps my 5 year old’s is too – I was thinking he was just kind of lazy, but this is a nicer spin on it. There are very few things he’d rather do by himself.

  5. AnonMom says:

    Do you have any book recommendations for professional development for attorneys? I am doing transactional work and we are slow now. My job is generally laid back and I feel that I am missing a lot from a career perspective. However, DS is only 10 months and family is my priority now. I would like to keep a good stamina and not fall behind. Any other recommendations to improve my skills are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    • Sabba says:

      For attorneys, I think anything related to writing is going to pay off. Try a Bryan Garner book? Even if geared towards litigators, it still helps to have well crafted emails and other communications. Other things to try are to read some articles or listen to some podcasts that would be relevant to the industries that you usually work with. Clients really appreciate it when their attorneys understand their business.

  6. NewMomAnon says:

    In today’s little pleasures: kiddo asked me to put her hair in pigtails this morning. She never lets me do her hair, and today she came running with two hair ties and a handful of barrettes and asked me to “make it pretty.” Which I did, of course. Made the whole day better.

    • Spirograph says:

      Awww, this is cute. I bought a box of hair bows for my daughter, and usually she will let me do her hair if she gets to pick out two bows for it, but she has absolutely never asked me to. She just tolerates. (whyyyy, kid?! It’s almost 100 degrees outside, you will be glad I put your hair up!

  7. POSITA says:

    Are there any options to quiet her life down a bit? Perhaps she could stick with one camp for the rest of the summer? What after care will she be using this fall? Could she start with that person or setting early to minimize transitions and stress? Does she have a longstanding childcare provider who could watch her at home a bit between now and the end of the year? That sounds like a lot of changes for a 5 yo. I know childcare is really hard, but anything you could do would probably help.

    As a word of warning, my husband went on a 4 day work trip about a month after our youngest was born. My 4 yo melted down and it took us about 4 months to recover. She felt abandoned and insecure. She lashed out. She sobbed and screamed and spit and fought us. It was a terrible time for all of us. She eventually recovered but we all regret that work trip. If you can put off work travel until things calm down a bit, I would. I’d try to wait until her coping skills seem less overwhelmed.

  8. How did you decide when to stop bfeeding? Baby just turned 5 months, I exclusively pump, and am struggling to make 20 oz per day. We supplement the rest with formula, and are playing around with purees, avocado, etc. To make it to 20 oz, I have to pump 6 times per day, 3 of which are at work. I have an office door, so it’s not the worst thing, but I’ve got some work travel coming up that I do not have a stash built up for and it’s all just kind of wearing on me. Also, despite eating healthy and working out with a trainer, my weight has stayed about 20 lbs above where it should be – like my arms and legs look great, but nothing has changed with my belly and butt. Googling it suggested that maybe I’m one of the unlucky ones whose lbs do not just drop off and I am stuck with this until I stop bfeeding.

    Weight loss by itself is not a reason to stop, I know, but I’m kind of getting to the point that it is weighing on me to pump so often and it bums me out to have it be this struggle to get to 20 oz each day (an arbitrary goal I set for myself). What should I do? At what age did you stop bfeeding? I know it’s probably all across the board, but I’m mostly looking for others who have made this decision to help me feel ok with it. And if I decide to stop, how do I do it? Just start by dropping one pump?

    • avocado says:

      I quit when baby decided she was done nursing and when pumping was no longer worth the time for what I was getting.

      That said, what type of pump are you using? A hospital-grade pump might enable you to yield more and pump less often, if you would like to try reducing the hassle before stopping completely. I could never get anything with the Pump In Style and had to rent a hospital-grade pump.

      • Thank you for the response! I have a hospital grade pump at home and use a PISA at work and get about the same, sometimes more (due to time of day I presume) from the PISA.

    • Spirograph says:

      I started tapering around 6 months (to 1 pump/workday) stopped pumping at work all together around 9 months with each of my kids because I just didn’t feel like spending my time at work doing that anymore. I was not exclusively pumping, and still nursed at home and usually pumped once before bed. My supply had been naturally declining since the baby started solids, and we were supplementing with formula anyway because I wasn’t keeping up. You know this, but giving you permission: you don’t need to struggle to get to any certain amount! Any little bit is good, and none is fine too. I weaned my older kids completely around 12-13 months, and plan to do the same in a couple months with my baby.

      Yes, start by dropping one pump. If there’s one pumping time where you’ve noticed that you really don’t get much anyway, start with that one. If they’re all pretty even, try dropping by moving the time. So if you normally pump at 10am and 3pm, instead just pump once around 12:30.

    • mascot says:

      Quit when it stops working for you. For me that was around 14 weeks. We’d combo fed since birth and even with a hospital pump, I couldn’t pump enough to make it worthwhile. I know some moms are able to bf when with baby, supplement the rest of the time and not pump. I did that for a little while when I went back to work. Not sure how that would work with your supply for EP, but maybe that is a step down goal to drop the workday sessions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Stopping pumping and stopping breastfeeding are two totally different things.

      If you don’t want to pump 6 times a day, don’t. To avoid mastitis and engorgement, cut back slowly on length of each pump at work and then drop to two then one pump at work. Nurse if you want when you are with baby. If you’re nursing morning and night, pumping at lunchtime (once a day) and supplementing with formula if needed, you can continue for a while if that’s what you want.

      • It sounds like OP is feeding exclusively pumped milk, no nursing at all. OP, you are amazing for making it 5 months doing this – it is the worst of both worlds for you (not for your baby of course). I totally support whatever you decide.

        • Yes, I exclusively pump because we could not overcome latch issues. Thank you – it is amazing the guilt we (I) put ourselves through on stuff like this so it means a lot to have someone say that.

    • It’s time to stop when it is causing more stress than the benefits are worth. Right now pumping so much is taking a lot of time and mental energy, and yielding very little actual milk. In the meantime, your baby has already gotten the vast majority of the benefits of breastmilk, and has plenty of other good things to eat/drink. With your upcoming travel, it seems like the balance has shifted (or will very soon). I have no tips on how to stop, but if you are looking for “permission” to stop, you have it (at least from me). You did a lot of work over a long period of time to give your baby the benefits of breastmilk, and were successful; there’s no reason to wear yourself down for marginal benefits at this point.

      • Pigpen's Mama says:

        +1 when the stress outweighed the benefits

        I tapered off the pumping at work starting at 6 months, stopped around 7.5, then BF once a day until ~ 9 months when she decided she was done. I probably could have pushed it, but my supply was low enough and she was uninterested enough that I didn’t feel like forcing it.

        One reason I slowed down the pumping was it was taking time out of work, which meant time away from my daughter or doing something else, because I had to make up the time for work. And I figured the time I spent with my daughter or for my sanity was worth more than whatever benefit she’d get from breast milk or the bonding from nursing.

        • Pigpen's Mama says:

          Also, exclusively pumping has got to be SO MUCH HARDER than pumping and BFing. So mad props to you for doing it for as long as you have.

      • Strategy mom says:

        totally agree – stop if you want! or just nurse at home! i quit at 4 months because my child had gotten a lot of the health benefits and i was really struggling to find the time at work. I don’t regret it at all! I’m proud of myself for lasting that long!

      • +1. I pumped at work for 12 months and I regret it. It was only after i stopped that I realized how much time and energy and work productivity that I had been missing out on. You have permission!

    • anon. says:

      Stop if you want to stop. I stopped earlier than I’d planned to, have no regrets, and may not bf #2 at all.

    • Legally Brunette says:

      If you want to stop by all means you should stop, but if you are interested in increasing your supply, I highly recommend Go Lacta vitamins. I exclusively pumped with my first for 13 months and those vitamins were indispensable for increasing my supply. Also, I went down to 4 pumps a day around the 6 month mark, perhaps that’s something you could try? 6 times a day is no joke, 4 times a day is still a lot but so much better. Once before work, twice at work, and once before bed.

      With that said, 5 months of exclusive pumping is a LOT. If you ‘d rather stop altogether you absolutely should.

    • Anonymous says:

      A lot of good advice above. I stopped around 10M, although tapered to twice a day at work (from three times) around 9M. Even dropping that one session was enough to make me want to quit completely. I was still nursing a few times a day, and totally ended being a source of food for kiddo around 11-11.5M.

      Another factor I considered was time of year. I wanted to hold out and keep giving baby milk during cold and flu season, because of the antibodies. If it were summer, I might have stopped earlier!

    • Katie says:

      Another vote for stopping if it’s weighing on you too much. I quit at 6 months due to it being a non-stop struggle (the reasons for the struggle changed over time, but there was always something!), and I now wish I had stopped sooner. Over a year later, I look back now and realize there are So. Many things that are more important to me as a mother and to my son as a developing little person than the amount of breastmilk he consumed in year one. My perspective on breastfeeding has changed so much in the past couple years. I’m currently pregnant with my second, and while I plan to breastfeed again, I will not put nearly as much pressure on myself this time around and am fully prepared to combo feed from day 1 without a second of self-doubt if needed. Just one person’s opinion.

    • layered bob says:

      I agree with the others saying stop if you want to, and don’t feel guilty about it!

      But in case you don’t want to stop, I’ll just say – I struggled with nursing for the first 6-9 months – bad latch, low supply, pumping all the d * m n time, mastitis, clogged ducts, you name it I had it. And then around the six month mark, baby’s latch improved dramatically (why? no idea) and I could actually nurse vs. just pumping, and then around 9 months most of the other problems went away too. She’s almost two now and still nurses morning and night, and I’m SO GLAD I stuck it out – I never would have experienced how easy and fun nursing a toddler is if I hadn’t made it through those first interminable months. Maybe this is it for you – and that’s fine! But maybe it’s going to get better? Nearly 75% of our nursing relationship has been easy and pleasant, now, but if I had quit at 5 months it would have been 100% miserable.

      • Really interested in how you made this happen. Did you just keep trying to nurse? My baby just gets really confused and then upset when I give him the b00b. We used a n*pple shield at the outset, and then switched to the bottle, so he just has no idea why I’m putting skin in his mouth I think. Last time I tried he even refused the n*pple shield. Maybe I’ll give it a shot just to see, although I’ll admit I am concerned that if/when I try and it doesn’t work out, all those bad guilty feelings will come back (which the rational side of me knows are not reasonable but…ya know).

        • layered bob says:

          yeah, just kept trying as much as I could. I was very determined.

          I think what finally did the trick is I was pretty sick one weekend and stayed home for an extra few days, and basically just stayed in bed with the baby doing as much skin to skin as she would let me, sort of re-discovering my n * pples in a low-pressure way. But friends have tried that and had no success so? /shrug.

  9. I appreciate that this is a pretty non-judgy group, but I was reminded yesterday why we shouldn’t judge other moms (or parents generally). DH texted me in the middle of the day yesterday to say he was sick. I agreed to pick up Kiddo from daycare and pick up pizza on the way home. I left work early and got to daycare at the last possible second. I placed the pizza order, and the wait was longer than usual. I didn’t have a sippy cup, snack, diaper bag, or toys with me. Kiddo fell asleep in the car on the way to the pizza place, and I had to wake him up to take him inside. So I went in for a 15-minute wait with a hungry, thirsty, tired kid. The pizza place was too busy to offer us a table (there are chairs to the side to wait for pick-up orders), none of the staff offered water, and they were all too busy to flag down and ask. So I settled into the waiting area with Kiddo on my lap, streamed an Elmo video on my phone, and prayed to avoid a melt down. Kiddo did not melt down at that point, so I consider it a win. But even if he had had a meltdown, I was doing my best in the circumstances.

    In retrospect, it would have been a good night for delivery. But we can only get delivery from the “fast food” type pizza places, and we enjoy having good pizza if we’re going to give in and have pizza. I also didn’t anticipate how busy the pizza place would be on a Wednesday night–but it is summer!

    • avocado says:

      Anyone judging you for letting your kid watch videos under those circumstances would be a jerk! Elmo for the win.

      The one time when I did feel entitled to judge another parent was the time I was on a flight next to a couple who were purposely tickling and teasing their toddler in order to get him to shriek. For two hours straight. WHYYYYY?

      • Anonymous says:

        HAHAHA. FOR SURE judge away. I also judge parents on planes who have a head set on to watch movies the ENTIRE time while their well-past toddler age children whine for their attention, kick the seat in front of them etc. for 5 hours.

    • Anonymous says:

      I was waiting for the part where you did something like leave him in a car in the parking lot while you went in to get the pizza. Watching an elmo video in this situation is 100% appropriate! It’s not like you parked him in front of the tv for three hours every day.

    • I also kept waiting to read something bad about this post, but there was absolutely nothing wrong with anything SC did.

    • Thanks for the kind comments. I think my point was, nobody watching me or my kid in the restaurant would have known all the back story (sick dad, late pickup, no diaper bag). From another customer’s perspective, I just took Kiddo over to the waiting area and gave him a screen without even trying to engage him in something else. They wouldn’t have known that I was in there with a ticking-time-bomb-2-year-old and didn’t have a chance to gather supplies. And if Kiddo had had a meltdown, there was very little I could have done in the moment besides take him outside to calm down.

      I think there’s often an idea of, “Kids would behave if Parents just did X.” That may be true, but you never know what’s going on in the background.

  10. Paging M says:

    Hi M, who do you use in the DC area for a $125 townhouse clean? Currently looking- thanks!!

    • Not M, but we use Liz Cleaning Solutions for our $130/month cleaning in NOVA.

    • This is M in DC but not sure I wrote about $125 for a townhouse cleaning? Maybe there’s another M? Anyway, I pay $135 for cleaning the top two floors of a rowhouse in NE on a biweekly basis. We use an individual – I don’t want to post her name/number here but if you leave an email address I can send it across!

  11. ThatGirl says:

    This may be kind of a dumb question, but when your baby suddenly becomes a good eater, do you increase formula or introduce more solids? My almost 5 month old (next Monday) has become ravenous in the last 24 hours. He’s a little underweight, so we’ve been introducing cereal as per pediatrician reccomendation, but that seemed to curb his appetite for formula, so we scaled it back to one cereal feeding per day. Should we add more cereal, try pureed veggies, or just increase formula? Or should I ask the pediatrician?

    • POSITA says:

      At 5 months I’d feed the formula/milk on the normal schedule and then offer the cereal or veggies as a second course. For instance, we’d usually do a bottle at wake up around 6 AM and then breakfast with us at 7 AM, with similar splits for other meals and snacks.

    • mascot says:

      How much formula is he drinking a day? I seem to remember 32 ozs of formula in 24 hrs being the upper end of the range so if he’s way below that, then increase formula.

    • Anonymous. says:

      If you’re there – call your pediatrician. We had the same issue (famished baby, introduced rice cereal very early), and we started introducing pureed solids (because he was too young for “real” food) within a few weeks at our pediatrician’s instruction. Knowing we had the doctor’s go-ahead really helped and they’ll give you guidance on formula ounces vs food intake.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ask your pediatrician but generally all of their actual nutrition at that age should be coming from bmilk/formula and food is for exposure and development. It isn’t going to meet all the nutritional needs like milk/formula will. So all that to say, if you mean your kid seems hungrier more, then add formula. If by ‘good eater’ you mean able to eat with the spoon or using pincers (probably not yet?) then you could try adding more variety though again it’s a little early but only by a month or so maybe.

      • Anonymous says:

        Reading comprehension fail on my part. You said suddenly ravenous. Formula for the win then!

    • ThatGirl says:

      Thanks for all the advice! He’s not reached 32 oz regularly yet, so I just keep offering more formula and he’s taking it! Cheers!

  12. Looking for advice on two matters-

    1) hosting an informal get-together for friends with kids who range in age 15 months, a bunch of 2 year olds, and then a few older kids. Any snack recommendations or other suggestions to keep the kiddos happy?

    2) I am looking for a gift for someone having a scheduled c-section. I would like the gift to be for the mom-to-be as I am separately buying gifts for the baby. Any words of wisdom from moms who have had c-sections? Best gifts you received?

    TIA!

    • 1 – bagels are good for a variety of ages – little ones like to gnaw on them. Carbs in general. Whole milk, cut up fruit, cheese cubes or string cheese. For activities, if you can be outside bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and some kind of water play (plastic dishpan full of water plus cups and other things to fill and dump) will go a long way

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        These are perfect suggestions! Maybe some fun bagel toppings that can double as toddler snacks (super thinly cut cucumbers)?

        The outside play suggestions are perfect. Kids can be amused for a shockingly long time by dumping water. If you have to be inside, my two year old plays well with older kids when it’s like a playing-house type option. If you have bowls and spoons and lightweight pots and pans, that could be fun for pretend cooking.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      C-section gift: a robe with pockets? Gift card for takeout?

    • I had a C-section, but I can’t think of any gift ideas that are specific to C-sections. The best gift I got was actually from my landlord at the time – a gift basket of gourmet cheeses, crackers, dried fruit, cookies, chocolate, and wine. It was a custom order from a local place (Formaggio’s if you’re in Boston). Indulgent, good food that can be eaten with one hand and no prep.

    • 2 – a friend once told me she thought the best gift for a new mom is a pair of earrings – something pretty, just for you, and guaranteed to fit when nothing else does.

    • For 2, maybe a gift card for housecleaning service? After my c-section it was really hard to move. It’s also just hard to clean at all w/ a new baby. I would’ve loved something like that.

  13. Anon for this says:

    My daughter’s preschool JUST emailed me to tell me that they have to close for the next 2-3 weeks starting tomorrow because they’re about to be out of city regulation. They promoted a teacher to a new role, but to be in compliance they need to have a second teacher present and they can’t do that in the immediate term.

    I’m calling Bright Horizons for backup care, but any other suggestions? Thanks!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Call one of the teachers and see if they will nanny while the center is closed.

      • Blueberry says:

        +1 – Do this NOW because all the other parents are doing the same thing!

        • Yes. Also text any parent friends in the same situation and see if you can combine efforts. If the teacher can nanny 5 of the kids at one of your houses, you can probably help her make up the loss of income.

    • How old is she? Is she old enough for camp? Camp starts at age 3 around here and a lot of camps may still have last minute openings, especially for the little kids.

    • Oh that’s awful! I can’t believe they didn’t offer any solutions. Could you try to scoop the teacher up to nanny for the time being?

    • Anon for this says:

      Thanks, all! I think we are going to use her teacher as a nanny. Whew!

  14. Disclose pregnancy? says:

    Cross-posted from the main site:

    I just found out a few days ago that I am pregnant (4 weeks on Saturday). This is my third child and was not planned. I received an offer today for a job – I wasn’t pregnant when I interviewed, and I didn’t expect to become pregnant anytime soon. I want to accept and wait to disclose the pregnancy until I am past 12 weeks. Would it be better to disclose before I accept the offer, and try to negotiate maternity leave (since I won’t be covered by FMLA)? The new job is a remote staff attorney position at a very large law firm. If the pregnancy had been just a few months later, I would have been guaranteed a four-month paid maternity leave (groan).

    Any advice is appreciated!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Do you have stable employment now that would offer paid leave? If so, I would disclose to the new employer now and negotiate a paid leave arrangement outside of FMLA. If they won’t give you paid leave, you can make a choice to stay put if that’s an option.

      • Secretly pregnant OP says:

        My current job is just awful and, despite the fact that I’ve been here for 7 years, I don’t think it is particularly secure (firm in financial trouble). But yes, my current job would offer paid leave if I were still employed here when I gave birth.

    • Katarina says:

      I would try to negotiate a paid maternity leave now. I have had two unpaid maternity leaves, and they have been short and stressful.

  15. Any recommendations for a GPS tracker for a stroller that is discreet? I think my nanny is taking Baby inside other people’s houses. She says she’s not, but I want to make sure.

    • Are GPSs really that accurate? I’m only familiar with the ones on my phone (and those of people where we share locations with each other) but I’ve been sitting next to someone on a couch but it’ll show one of us in the back of the house and the other out on the street.

      Not sure what the concern is about being inside a house, but assuming you just need to get close enough, could you buy one of those kid-phone things with GPS trackers, hook it onto the stroller, and just say you wanted a watch for when you’re out on walks? Or get a tile-like tracker and say you’ve been misplacing your stroller between your two cars or something?

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think the thing you want is available at a cheap price. Do you live in a big city? You probably need something that is police grade (and possibly installed by a professional if you want it to be “discreet” the battery pack will probably be pretty big). If you have a police supply shop, a “spy” shop or a skip tracer / bail bondsman shop in your area I’d start there.

      Seriously curious why your nanny can’t take baby into people’s houses — I mean, I would be thrilled with a nanny who scheduled playdates where they wouldn’t trash my house. If it’s a safety question (her boyfriend’s house, a place with unsecured weapons or drugs) I’d fire her.

  16. CPA Lady says:

    Possibly a little late in the day for many responses, so I may repost tomorrow am.

    Yesterday my sister asked me a parenting question that has me kind of stumped. She has a almost 5 yo and a 2 yo. Our mom is in her 70s, still fairly active and sharp, but not quite as sprightly as she used to be, so she can’t go, go, go anymore. When she’s at home she has her hobbies to keep her occupied (lots of sewing and quilting) but when she travels, she tends to be on her devices a lot during down time. She has an ipad and an iphone, and has tons of pictures on them that she likes to look at with her grandkids– family members, zoo animals, etc. She also has crossword type games she lets my 5yo niece “help” with, since niece knows her alphabet and can click on the right letter if my mom tells her which one to click.

    I’m pretty lax with screen time, so I don’t really care, but my sister is more on the “screen time is the devil” end of the spectrum, and whenever my mom comes to visit her, the kids are OBSESSED with the shiny, novel, devices. They want to be on them 24/7 and my mom is happy to oblige. My sister called last night to talk about how much this bothers her and was asking if I thought she could ask our mom not to have her devices out in front of the kids.

    Any thoughts?

    I was thinking she could ask her to limit the time the kids could look at them to certain times of the day, since I think it’s kind of weird to tell your mom she can’t be on her phone. Yay, technology. (Also whoever thinks only millennials are attached to their phones is crazy).

    • So, we have a 2.5 year old and a similar situation with my in-laws (sharp, engaged, but upper 70s and not super active). My MIL in particular is on her devices a lot. I’m not super strict about screen time but I do try to limit it. I’ve decided I can live with it – in part because they live not far from us so we see them frequently but in shorter doses. If by contrast they were coming to stay for a week and the ratio of device time didn’t change, then I probably would say something, yes – just asking them to be mindful/do other activities with our toddler. They also like to read together, color, etc, so this wouldn’t be a problem. I think that the level of comfort in having that kind of conversation depends a lot on the relationship with the parent/in-law, but hopefully it shouldn’t be a big deal?

    • My mom also loves her devices and since she only sees my son 1-3 times a week I let it go. They mostly look at pictures, but she will occasionally play videos when she’s baby sitting him. He only sits still to watch a video for a minute or two so it’s pretty harmless. I also think there is a difference between looking at pictures or doing an educational game (practicing letters is educational) and watching mindless videos. He gets zero screen time with us, so I figure this is pretty moderate.

    • Does your mom even know about your sister’s stance on screen time? I think its fair to at least have a conversation about it.

      Maybe your sister can suggest alternate activities your mom can do with the kids like coloring, playdoh, stickers, read books, etc.

    • (1) Especially if your mother only visits every couple of months, this is not a lot of screen time in the grand timeline of her grandchildren’s lives
      (2) Interactive screen time is the absolute best kind. It doesn’t sounds like your mother is parking the kids in front of the TV to zone out for hours at a time, she’s talking to them and engaging them the whole time they are using screens together. That is really different and relatively valuable to them.

  17. We have explicitly told our parents not to use screens in front of our kids, period. I think we did so nicely and both sets of grandparents said ok. It hasn’t been a problem—-and I think all four of the baby boomers are ADDICTED to their screens. On the rare occasion it has happened, we just gently remind them.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      When my dad came to meet my daughter — MEET HER! she was freshly born! — I told him he couldn’t bring his computer and use the internet at my house. He somehow took that to mean, “it’s OK to tether your laptop to your iphone to check your email as long as you aren’t using my wifi” and, no joke, was swearing about some bad business news he got *the very first time* he met my kid. Like, you really can’t wait until you’re back at the AirBnB??? (Though he was worse when he met my sister’s first born. She and her husband had just moved and she had the baby earlier than expected and my dad had my sister crawling around trying to set up and hook up the printer so he could print his boarding pass at her place instead of the airport.)

      I have since given up on trying to get him under control on that front. He seldom babysits alone though — usually my much-less-phone-addicted mom is there too.

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