Maternity Monday: Empire Waist Maternity Maxi Dress

This dress looks great if you’re expecting and you’ve got spring break or babymoon plans coming up — and I feel like a maxi dress is always flattering on pregnant ladies! This one is available in navy (pictured), black, and a fun hot pink, in sizes XS-L, for $118. Empire Waist Maternity Maxi Dress

Here’s an option in plus sizes.

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Comments

  1. Moving says:

    Looking for big city life tips. We live in a mid-sized town in Maine. Husband works in Boston, commutes 2x a week. We (including our 1yo son and 50lb dog) are going to move to the outskirts of Boston in the next 6 months or so. Any tips for the transition, or making daily life easier? I seem to be getting stuck on the little things: How do I bring the bags of groceries and a 1yo from the car to the (maybe?) condo when DH is not there? Currently I bring in DS, leave him in the kitchen and run to the car, but I can see him through the window the whole time. That obviously wouldn’t work in a condo. How do I take the dog for a walk when DH is at work and its cold/raining/snowing out? Drag DS out too? Currently I’d just let the dog out into the yard. I’ll also be looking for a job, no family nearby. TIA

    • Anonymous says:

      Definitely try to get something where you have a yard – even a very small one so you don’t have to take baby out everytume the dog has to pee. For groceries, I put baby on my back in the ergo and just make a couple trips.

    • Betty says:

      What communities are you considering outside of Boston? We’ve bounced between Boston and Maine several times and lived both downtown in Boston and out more in the burbs. We moved out of Boston when our oldest was 18 mos.

      Regarding all the little things: It seems overwhelming now, and it probably will be the first time you have to figure it out, but it really is manageable. For groceries, I’d do the same that you do now except strap DS into a highchair with a snack. For walking the dog, I took our son with us when we lived downtown, even in the rain and snow. We had a stroller that had big nubby tires that worked great is snow and on the cobblestones. In the burbs, we actually had a fenced in yard in the condo that we rented.

      WAIT! There is another corporette mom on here in Maine???? HI!

    • These sounds like issues with parenting solo rather than as a team, no suburb v/ city. If you’re anticipating doing everything with DS alone, it will be tough but here are some ideas that have worked for me when my usually co-partner DH is in trial or otherwise unavailable:
      – get a wagon to pull both DS and groceries in from the car
      – take dog for walks with DS in tow, or arrange for dog daycare / dog-walker
      – order grocery delivery (Amazon prime for everything else)
      – get groceries on your lunch break and keep in the work fridge until after work.

      Typically, since we both work full time and neither expects the other to be a default parent/ maintain the household, we either wait until the weekend when everyone can go together or one parent can stay home while the other shops. Dog walking occurs only when both parents are home, or you’ll need to bundle up DS and take with.

    • bluefield says:

      I go grocery shopping with just my toddler frequently. If you can walk to the grocery store, go with a stroller with a lot of under-basket storage (I use Uppababy Cruz) and put the groceries there. If you’re driving and would prefer a smaller stroller, just load the bags onto the handles. If there are too many groceries, baby goes in a carrier and groceries go in the stroller.

    • Butter says:

      Depends on where in the outskirts you’ll be – ie will you have a driveway? sidewalks? or street parking? what floor will the condo be on? If possible I’d really recommend a first floor with baby and dog. While there’s a lot to be said for being on a top floor, getting out the door with baby and dog together is sooo much easier on the first floor. Same for bringing groceries in, etc. I also use the carrier a lot when dog walking. Will you be able to leave stroller on front porch or something similar, or will it be parked in condo? Something to look for. Will you be able to walk to any stores? If so, get a big stroller (Cruz or Vista) and use your stroller for grocery shopping.

      Embrace the services available to you in a big city – for example, instacart, taskrabbit, and ordering some ready-to-heat meals for the week, like from the Foodery (my fav in Boston).

    • Where in Boston are you looking to live? Some parts of the city (Somerville/Cambridge/Boston proper) are urban like you’re describing, but lots of other areas are more suburban where you would have a driveway and a small yard.

      I lived in Cambridge with a baby and a dog, and I usually ran errands on foot. So I would take the baby in a carrier, walk to the store, and carry the groceries home. We lived 3 blocks from Whole Foods, so I never had to do huge shopping trips. Or if I did, DH and I would do them together. And same with walking the dog – I would take the baby and the dog out together for good walks or trips to the park.

      We live in the suburbs now, and our dog can go out in the yard by himself, which is nice!

      • Agree, totally depends on your town. Medford/Arlington is a lot different in terms of setup than Cambridge/Brookline.

        We now live in the true burbs (concord/Lexington/Lincoln) but did south Boston and Cambridge with an dog and baby.

        • At the risk of outing myself, where do you live? We live in Lincoln, and I feel like no one mentions Lincoln unless they actually live there!

        • I need more local mom friends, y’all. Everyone moves out of Cambridge when they no longer want to rent and the kids get older…

        • Ha, I’m near-ish Lincoln as well. We go to DeCordova!!

          • Not the OP says:

            I’m in Sudbury and have a ‘r e t t e friend in Weston. Who knew!

      • Yep, and where you land decides whether or not you’ll have a walkup (pretty much 100% guaranteed in Cambridge/Somerville) vs an elevator which changes the answer to the groceries and dog questions.

        When I was in Somerville with a walkup, I do remember groceries being a pain – I’d do multiple trips, lock the car in between each time, etc. But I was also paranoid. When I was in Boston and had an elevator, I’d load everything into the elevator at once. In Arlington/Medford, our driveway was close such that I felt fine making multiple trips and leaving the door open like you would in a suburb. Which is funny because that was the place I lived where I had my car broken into… hmm.

        And the Arlington/Medford place definitely had enough of a yard to let out a dog if you fenced it in, and even if you lived on the top floors could potentially work things out with the landlord to have a doggie door, etc. The other places I lived you’d absolutely need to take the dog on a leash down every time it needed to go out, and bring kiddo with you.

        • You do get an elevator in the newer fancy condos in Kendall/ Alewife, but it’s $$$! (Though, honestly, not that big of a difference compared to rents in the rest of Cambridge/ Somerville/ Arlington. Don’t write off the fancy condos without getting an actual quote. Lifesaver.)

          In any case, it’s a temporary issue – kiddo will be able to walk to the building by himself soon enough. Sometimes I leave half the stuff in the car and just do two trips.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Our solution is that grocery shopping is a joint activity on weekends. If that’s not possible, my first preference is grocery delivery. My second choice is getting all of the groceries into the vestibule of my building, bringing my kid into the apartment and sticking her in her crib while I run up and down stairs to get all of the groceries in the apartment.

      As for dog walking, yes, the solution is to either babywear or put your kid in the stroller. Honestly, when DH has to travel for a week, I try to get my mom or my in-laws to watch our dog. It’s a challenge. My biggest issue has been my dog’s 10:30 pm pee, when my daughter is already asleep. I don’t love this solution, but I only live one flight up, so I take the baby monitor and run my dog out. My dog will go quickly and right in front of my building. I wouldn’t do this if she needed to be walked down the street. Depending on your situation, you might want to pay for a dog walker.

      • Anon for this says:

        I don’t think there is anything wrong with what you do. I think the reality is, the situation is just as safe with a house and yard as it is with a condo and sidewalk but we just don’t feel like it is. Really, we just worry about being judged by others. I would just hide a key somewhere outside as a backup so that you can’t ever lock yourself outside with the kiddo inside. Or kiddo can’t lock you out either! I wouldn’t go blocks away from the house but if you have a parking lot behind your condo and you need to run in and out to the car and your kiddo is safe in a crib or pack and play or any other baby containment system I think you are doing just fine.

        • bluefield says:

          I agree with all of this. I think it’s fine too, mostly worry about other people calling child protective services on me.

      • I’ve done that before. No judgment. The way I see it is the distance is no more than if I had laundry in the basement and kid was sleeping in a big house upstairs. I think the tougher thing will be when kid is not in the crib.

        For OP: I think some of the logistics are just different and/or require different planning. I live in a city with a dog and a kid and it’s fine. If I was moving to the suburbs I’d be panicked over the fact that not everything is a 5 min walk, open 24 hrs., and can’t be delivered. But I would just plan accordingly. You will figure it out, too. A lot of it is just small adjustments.

      • suburbia says:

        I don’t have a dog but live in townhouse development (think 20-30 townhouses in a small area) but I go outside (100 yards or so) to get the mail while the baby is sleeping in their crib and I take the video monitor. If I knew my neighbors well enough I’d even go to dinner at their house so long as the video monitor had good service. It never occurred to me that this would be an issue. I can get to them just as quickly as if I was in the shower in the other floor or in the basement getting something.

    • I don’t know exactly where you’re looking to move, but house w/driveway & yard is not off the table (w/public transit commute). I totally get if you want to try out a more city-living lifestyle, but I don’t think you have to just because you are doing this move.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have two kids and a dog. I live in a single family house.

      When my husband is not home and the dog needs to be walked: if the kids are asleep, I will walk a few hundred yards down the street in either direction with the dog. I keep within sight of the house. If the kids are awake, I take them with me. I try to subscribe to the belief that there’s no such thing as bad weather if you have the appropriate outdoor gear.

      When I’m coming home from grocery shopping alone, I’ve left the kids in the car (still running if it’s at all hot or cold out), strapped in their seats while I’ve brought in the groceries. I’ve also brought them into the house first, then made trips back to the car for the groceries. One kid is trustworthy, one is not – the untrustworthy kid went in a pack n’ play during this time until she learned to climb out.

      I would do the same things if I lived in a condo with dedicated parking.

      Spend some time thinking through the logistics of various situations. Moreover, spend some time thinking through any anxiety you may have. If it’s rational anxiety, work on the logistics. If it’s not, work on the anxiety.

    • Anon in NOVA says:

      Is it somewhere where you’ll have a car? when I was a single mom living in an apartment and had to shop with my kid (and haul groceries into the apartment etc.) my solutions were:
      1. a collapsible rolling cart that I kept in my trunk to push the groceries into the apartment in one trip. Either wear your child or if they’re old enough to walk have them hold on the cart to “help” aka not run off
      2. A grocery delivery service is sometimes a good call (peapod by giant is one in our area).
      3. Reusable shopping bags make it easier, as well. they can be carried on your shoulder easier than the plastic bags from the store and fit more. One of those bad boys on each shoulder and a collapsible cart full of groceries is plenty.

      I don’t have any advice for the dog, as I’ve never had that situation. I will say that, if you go for an apartment/condo building, go for one where the hallways are enclosed and the mailboxes etc. are all inside and you don’t have to walk outside to get to the front office. It really stinks to have to bundle up yourself and your kid just to walk to the trash chute or just to walk to the front office to pick up a package.

    • Moving says:

      Thanks all for the advice. We’re not sure quite where we’ll land just yet, although eventually it will be in a house with a yard, etc. Until then, I guess we figure it out as we go.

      • If DH truly works in downtown Boston, really consider Arlington or West Medford. The West Meford commuter rail is literally 10 minutes into the city, and it costs the same as the regular T because it’s zone 1A.

        If instead he’s in Seaport or towards Brookline ignore that advice, because then you have the hassle of another T or bus ride once you get into North Station and living in the city would be easier commute-wise. If you can afford to live in the city in a building with a doorman, that would probably be the easiest thing – a friend lives in a great building near Downtown Crossing where the doorman definitely helps out with groceries and dogs if he can!

    • Meg Murry says:

      Even with my own private house with driveway, since we don’t have an attached garage and have to park just far enough for it to be a pain to haul things in, I tend to triage the hauling in of kids+groceries. When I load up the car in the grocery store parking lot, I separate into all the things that *have* to go inside on the first trip (frozen food, raw meat, etc) in one section, things that I’d prefer to take in the first trip (produce that I would like to put in the fridge, tonight’s dinner, etc) and then set aside things that can wait (toilet paper, pretzels and crackers, etc). Then I haul in the kids and all the first priority stuff, and go back for the rest as I can. Of course, weather also plays a factor in this – when it was 10 degrees outside prioritize different things for the “first trip in” than when it’s 95 degrees outside. Sometimes I will also text my husband and ask him to grab the last couple grocery bags on his way in the house – otherwise some of it stays in my trunk until I haul it in after bedtime, or sometimes the next day for non-persishables.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m in Brooklyn and only walk places (no car), but I grocery shop every day (or every other day). Groceries and supplies have to fit into a backpack or the bottom of the stroller. When the weather is nicer and I’m not wearing a coat, babywearing helps. I buy one big item (12 rolls of paper towels, box of diapers, 36 rolls of PT) per Target trip, maybe every other week (Amazon deliveries get “lost” at our local Post Office.) I see lots of baby wearing while dog walking, but I don’t have a dog. I knew a family that had their dog walker come on weekends in case they were out of town/the weather was bad (they didn’t have to schedule and I think it worked out that they only “overpaid” by one weekend a month).

    • Anonymous says:

      (1) Try to do the grocery shopping while baby is at daycare, especially the big loads.
      (2) Baby wear for all cargo trips back and forth.
      (3) When you can’t, bring baby in, put in a PNP, then get cargo.

  2. Happy Monday fellow working moms! Those of you who do not outsource chores at home (i.e. no cleaning lady and cooking healthy meals at home) could you please share your time management tips? My husband does the grocery shopping; cleans the kitchen here and there; and generally helps with the baby stuff. For some reason I am literally drained at the end of the weekend because I always find something to do around the house. A pot needs washing; more vacuuming because baby is crawling, etc. We have a small place and I like to clean on Saturday morning; then laundry; then cooking, then more cleaning… How do you pause and just breathe and enjoy your children? I cannot sit still for a minute and never find time for myself. My guess is that my problem is that I am a perfectionist and I do not know when to stop.

    My schedule is decent (I get home at 6) and we are trying to save for a big downpayment in the dream suburb. So no outsourcing for now.

    I have been thinking to force myself to do chores for 4 hours for example and then stop and relax with baby (cook for baby; read with him; play etc). I was also thinking to do a load of laundry every day. How do you stay sane?

    • You sound like my mom – she can’t sit still. My husband calls her the “constant tidier.” If you have a small place (even if you didn’t), I think four hours every Saturday is a LOT of cleaning. What about breaking it up into smaller chunks throughout the week? For us, 10 minutes/week on each bathroom is plenty (and is more than my bathrooms see these days). Can you cook to minimize the mess/dishes used? Find one-pan roasting/skillet meals? We really only vacuum once a week, occasionally do the stairs, and that’s still more than we did pre-baby. It’s the only thing I clean more often now. I think I might be in the minority that laundry just doesn’t seem like a time-suck to me if I’m home over the weekend – I did 7 or 8 loads of laundry the last three days and it just didn’t take up much time. My husband’s underwear still needs put away but he’ll get it soon.

      I think you just need to let more things slide. Don’t clean the kitchen in the morning if you plan to use a lot of dishes shortly thereafter. We leave dishes that need handwashed by the sink until we collect enough of them to justify filling the sink, and I think that saves a lot of time over washing 1-2 things every day. Relax your expectations/standards and just enjoy your time with your baby. You can clean forever.

      • Thank you for this! “You can clean forever”. You are so right. A little dust will not harm the baby. My son needs me, he does not care that the house is not sparkly clean. I am afraid I am about turn into a lunatic mom who spends more time doing chores than with the baby. Can you recommend a good roasting pan/skillet? Great idea to save time and still eat healthy.

        • I’m not the picture of healthy cooking by any means, but we’ve been trying to do better since our daughter eats what we do. For a relatively speedy but homemade dinner I’ve seared meat on the stove in a large stainless steel skillet, then added the (previously chopped) veggies/potatoes to the pan and then stuck the whole thing in the oven to roast. It took me awhile to get a handle on how long certain things took, so there’s a learning curve, but it’s great to have everything done at once. We have a two-handled large Calphalon skillet so we can go from stovetop to oven, but I’ve also seen recipes that don’t require any searing/browning and you just stick everything in the oven on any lipped pan – just google sheet-pan dinners for a ton of recipes.

      • Butter says:

        +1 to letting things slide, if you can. We do little things along the way throughout the week – dishwasher, wipe up the floor/surfaces/etc, some laundry as needed, but by no means is it four hours worth on a Saturday morning. Almost any time kiddo is home and awake, we’re hanging out with him, not doing chores. We do those when he naps, after he goes to sleep, or not at all. This might change when he gets bigger but for now we embrace the mess.

        On the cooking front, this is more of a struggle because I do value (and enjoy) cooking, and balancing that with time is difficult as kiddo is too young to cook with me. But he can be in the carrier while I do some prep, so some of it we do together, then husband and I take turns playing with him while the other cooks. On a good week we aim to have 4 meals a week made from scratch, the rest coming together from leftovers, frozens, or takeout.

    • Agree with HSAL about relaxing expectations. Your home does not need to look 100% all the time. Can you wait until baby is in bed for the night to do some of those chores? That’s what DH and I do. Also, what about taking the baby out of the house when you get home so all of the things you think you should be doing aren’t staring you in the face? Take baby on a walk or to the park with a blanket, etc. Or go meet a friend or husband for dinner (with the baby).

      • Brilliant idea. I will start taking the baby out after work now that the weather is getting better.

    • CPA Lady says:

      1. Lower your expectations
      2. Don’t own any dishes or pots that can’t go into the dishwasher
      3. Get a roomba and program it to run every day
      4. Have cleaning supplies in every bathroom so you don’t have to waste time carting stuff from room to room.
      5. Anxiety pills or therapy or that “A Year to Clear” program that I’m always going on about.

      I do not do laundry every day. I do it twice a week– usually Wednesday and Sunday. Laundry is never-ending.

      FWIW, I find weekends more exhausting than work and I’m relieved when Monday morning comes along. I think that’s just the nature of having small children.

      • CPA Lady says:

        BTW, I don’t mean to be flip about the anxiety pills or therapy. I used to be constantly in motion, and anxiety pills and therapy helped me slow down and calm down.

        • I was actually thinking to see a doctor about anxiety pills. In reality I need to lower my expectations and focus on the baby and myself as opposed to spending all my free time “working”. I realize now that I have a big problem and I need to tackle it before I go nuts. I do not mind being exhausted from doing stuff with the baby; but I am frustrated because I do not spend enough time with him. Thanks for all your tips.

        • mascot says:

          What is the Year to Clear program? I couldn’t get into Kondo’s life changing magic of tidying

          • CPA Lady says:

            https://www.dailyom.com/cgi-bin/courses/courseoverview.cgi?cid=532

            Someone either here or the main s i t e recommended it, and I love it. I’m a few months in. They send you an email with a link each day for a year. You click the link and do the reading. You can journal if you like, either in a paper journal or their online discussion group. It’s not about de-cluttering, per se, it’s about clearing, which is more like letting go of thoughts, belonging, etc that no longer serve you. I like it because the readings are short and manageable and they dont expect you to be able to spend days touching every thing in your house to see if it sparks joy or not. It has let me made small but fairly profound changes in how I live in my house. It’s a lot tidier, I’ve gotten rid of a bunch of crap, and I am more conscious and thoughtful.

      • I adopt a survival of the fittest approach to dishes and laundry. If they can’t survive the dishwasher or washing machine, they don’t deserve a spot in my cupboards. I have high dirt and low clutter tolerance though so YMMV.

        • Rainbow Hair says:

          This is my husband’s approach to clothing, and it took me a while to come around to it, but now I’m on board. “What if the washing machine destroys it?!” “Well then I guess that’s not a kind of shirt I can own.”

    • Anonymous says:

      +1 to just letting things slide and not spending valuable kid time cleaning. I’ve only ever vacuumed 1x week (tops!) and neither of my kids has suffered any adverse consequences.

      That said, I am guilty of this too. Not that there’s anything wrong with letting kids play independently, but I often find myself sitting down to focus on playing and being present with the kids only to find myself distracted by something that needs cleaning that I can do while they are playing. So maybe sort of treat it like the phone? Put away the phone and the cleaning drive while you’re on the floor focused on playing with your kid? Emails can be responded to and the house tidied when baby naps.

      • Yes, this. I was raised by a “constant tidier” mom and I can always find something else to clean or put away. It’s my addicition, so I treat it like my DH treats his work phone: put away while the children are awake. I get done only what I can get done while they’re sleeping, everything else just has to wait.

        We also divided the house into 12 zones/rooms and are deep-cleaning one a month. This month is the kitchen, so I focus my efforts on the fridge and shelves and stuff. Yes, I also want to re-organize the garage, but that’s not for another two months.

        I don’t want to spend my life “ignoring” my kids but with a Pinterest garage. I’d rather sit with them while they color and tell me about their favorite toys. The garage SHOULD wait, so it does.

    • Running Numbers says:

      You’ve gotten a lot of great advice! I can’t relax when there are things on the counters or toys not put away so I focus on those areas, not on the dust that must be there on top of the door frame but that I can’t see anyway. Husband and I will both do household chores during the week when son is asleep or really engaged in another activity. On the weekends, we share if there is any area of the house that is particularly bothering either of us, we attack those areas as a family and any others that need done, and then we go enjoy our life.

    • An alternate thought…sometimes when I feel guilty for not “doing enough” with the baby, I remind myself that she won’t remember this time. So, I have a couple years(:) to figure out what the new normal ought to look like. You don’t have to go from perfect clean and neat to super lax overnight. You have time to figure out a healthy balance between clean and present with your child.

      Also, Roomba ftw.

    • Anon in NOVA says:

      I agree, I can be a bit of a perfectionist about this stuff too. It was really bad when my son was a baby. In retrospect, I think it was part of my PPD/anxiety at the time. That is definitely worth looking into.

      I know evenings are a bit of a rush when you get home at six, but I do try to clean for a bit every weekend to free up my weekends. Daily I:
      -Do a quick wipedown of the countertops/outside of the toilet (including under the lid) of our mainfloor 1/2 bath
      -swiffer the hardwood floors, follow up with a swiffer wet cloth. I use those on the 1/2 bath bathroom floor as well
      -wipe down the counters/stove at the end of the night
      -Do a quick dusting of big surfaces every 2 days or so
      -vaccuum the carpeted areas every 2 days or so with a cordless dyson
      -straighten up

      It looks like a lot, but it really if you do it every day and it keeps stuff from building up and turning into scrubbing projects for the weekends. The upper floor (bedrooms, other bathrooms, etc) gets largely neglected during the workweek and is only deep cleaned on the weekends if there’s time. Since people don’t see it, I try to let it go. My husband ensures the sink is empty of dishes every night before we go to bed, which helps.

      Also, I try to multi-task. for example, my son brings home a book every single night we’re supposed to sit and read with him. We like to read chapter books as a family (harry potter, narnia, etc.) at bed time every night, so those are our family reading time adn the school ones are looked at more as homework. Sometimes he’ll sit next to me on a stool and read it out loud so I can glance over his shoulder while I cook, etc.

      I had a neato botvac (similar to a roomba) and it was wonderful while it lasted. Set it to run while you’re at work, it’s so nice to come home to a house that’s cleaner than you left it.

    • Meg Murry says:

      In addition to all the other good advice you’ve gotten here: right now, when you are cleaning/cooking/tidying for 4 hours, what is the kiddo doing? To find a bit more of a balance, can you separate it into chores/tasks that you can do with the kid near or “helping” you vs those that he has to be in a baby containing device, another room or with another adult for?

      I think it also makes a big difference whether when you say “1 year old” you mean like 12-14 months or more like 18+ months as to how valid this advice is, but it’s worth considering for when the kid gets older.

      For instance, if you can wash that pot or cut up veggies for the week while the kid is on the floor near you banging on tupperware and you can talk to him? Narrating what you are doing and commenting on what he is doing definitely counts as a medium to high level of “quality time” to me in my book. Whereas cooking something involved that you can’t leave the stove for while he is in a pack & play with a pile of toys or screen time for an hour would be less ideal.

      I am a slob and have trouble making myself clean, but maybe you can use my techniques and flip them? For instance, I put on a timer and force myself to clean for a set period of time (for instance,15 concentrated minutes on straightening the kitchen before bed). Could you instead set the timer and do 15-30 minutes of concentrated cleaning, get done what you can in that time, then turn “off” that part and focus on your kid (and husband, if he’s around then)?

    • See if your grocery store offers an online shopping option. I input my order literally from my bed (on my phone) on Sunday morning, and then in the afternoon, my husband drives up and they load the order into the car. It takes him 15 min total. If your husband is doing the shopping right now, you could switch to this, and free up an hour or more of his time to help you with other things. We pay a $100 annual fee for unlimited orders. So, yes, it’s a little bit of an expense, but because I’m not going into the store, it saves money in the long run because there are no impulse buys.

    • Anonymous says:

      my main tactics are lowering standards – we often clean floors and bathrooms every other weekend rather than weekly, and don’t do dishes daily, cooking only on weekends or sometimes weeknights after son is in bed (eat leftovers during the week), and doing all the laundry at once (4 loads at a time, doable in an apartment building with multiple machines). And I still feel exhausted at the end of the weekend and get enraged when the floors look dirty 10 minutes after I finish cleaning them.

  3. Crib bumpers says:

    I know this is a heated topic but would love everyone’s thoughts on either mesh or vertical crib bumpers for our son’s crib (I will NOT buy a traditional crib bumper, no worries). He is almost 7 months, so actively moving around and rolling over (thus, risk of SIDS is significantly decreased). My husband is very concerned that he’s going to hurt himself by getting a limb stuck in between the slats, and while I don’t think it’s that big of a deal, I agreed to at least research the mesh or vertical crib bumper options. Did any of you use a mesh or vertical bumper? Did you have any issues with it, either with kiddo getting stuck in it, or using it to pull himself up? Any other options for keeping kiddo’s legs/hands inside the crib that I’m not thinking of? I’ve looked at the AAP research on this issue (which is inconclusive on the question of mesh/vertical bumpers) so I’m looking for more anecdotal advice. Thanks!

  4. Do you cut your cuticles? I recently read that it is bad for your nails and that they actually look better if they are pushed back and constantly moisturized.

    • ElisaR says:

      I think you are right – that it’s better to push back and moisturize but I am a picker…..if I don’t cut them or have them cut then I wind up with a bloody mess. Which I figure is worse, so I continue to cut. But if you can refrain – I think it’s better to push back and lube up!

      • This is exactly my problem! I pick them until they sometimes bleed; so I cut them every week. They would look much nicer if I didn’t but oh well…

    • October says:

      No. I used to, but then learned that cutting them also increases risk of infectionand. Pushing them back works fine — maybe not always so “perfect” looking, but that doesn’t bother me.

      • How did you stop cutting them? Just let them grow and moisturize? Any product recommendation? Thanks!

        • October says:

          I used to be much more diligent about it before kids lol. I used a special cuticle oil from Sally Hanson for a while (from CVS), but then just switched to olive or coconut oil. When I thought of it, I’d put it on while watching tv and massage it in for about 10 min, then wash off the excess. Now I mainly try to keep my hands moisturized (lotion) and push back the cuticles with one of those little metal tools when I trim my nails.

  5. CPA Lady says:

    Just gotta get this out somewhere. My husband found out today that he got a job that’s 50% travel. I have such mixed feelings.

    On one hand, he’s been so miserable at his current job and it’s affected a lot of things in our life. He’s so so excited about this new opportunity, so I’m excited and happy for him. I haven’t seen him excited in a long time. It’s definitely a step in the right direction for his career.

    On the other hand, I have to solo parent a lot. Again. And I’m so apprehensive. Because this time it’s with a toddler, not a baby. Ugh, it’s going to be okay right? I kind of think maybe it will. Maybe we can go to the playground every night after daycare and eat a picnic there or something.

    On the third hand we agreed that if he got this job, I could get cable to “keep me company”. We haven’t had cable in 5 years, and I am SO EXCITED to watch HGTV and TCM and the cooking channel until my eyes fall out.

    Ugh, so many conflicting feelings.

    • Solo parenting is hard. Take time together to identify every household thing he can do while he’s traveling since you’ll be doing more of the childcare. Grocery lists, making dr appts, paying bills, researching kid activities in your area, etc. Figure out Skype or FaceTime so he can watch kiddo color at the table, while you just mentally check out for a few minutes.

      The good news is that it’ll be summer soon. Hooray for parks and walks and fresh air. Extra physical activity after daycare means my toddlers sleep better at night, which means I get more rest and patience.

      • Anonymous says:

        Can we piggy-back on this rec and have a conversation about what tasks our travelling partners take care of while traveling? My husband travels an average of 2 days/week, with some weeks 3-4 nights in a row. I am starting to begrudge it, because when he’s gone, I’m taking care of the kids then staying up till late working and taking care of the house, while he’s finished with work at 5 pm and then going out for dinner or working out in peace. So what are concrete things I should be asking him to do?

        When he’s home, I’m sort of the organizer, and he’s the executor (e.g., I buy all the kids’ stuff online, sign them up for classes, generally stay on top of kid-related stuff in town, etc., and he picks up the kids and does dinner/bedtime if I’m working late, as is often the case), which is a dynamic I know many of us are familiar with. I’m not sure if I’m in a great position to ask for more, since when he is home, he pulls more weight than I do, and maybe he deserves a bit of a break. But then, I have a much more challenging job, hours wise, than he does — I’m in big law, and he’s in a “regular” corporate job. Also, to be fair, my parents help out a bunch when he is gone, so it’s not like I’m shouldering everything.

        • avocado says:

          I am more often than not the traveling partner. Before I leave, I plan and prep meals and leave a schedule of what’s going on at school and in extracurriculars. While I’m gone, I don’t do anything extra that I’m not already doing while I’m home. I handle all the finances/insurance/home repair appointments/etc., arrange child care and extracurriculars, do on-line shopping, etc. The only extra work my husband has to do is to feed the kid the pre-made dinners or take her out to dinner and then check her homework. Sometimes I even check the homework from the road. When he travels, he doesn’t do anything extra to make up for being gone. It’s actually less work for me because I don’t have to pack his lunch, make a real dinner, or spend the evening being an attentive listener.

          Life on the road is actually not all fun and freedom. In my job, it’s usually a team breakfast at 7:00 a.m., then leading meetings all day, then a required team dinner that lasts until about 8:30 before phoning home and then collapsing from exhaustion in the hotel room. There is no working out or relaxing going on unless I am traveling solo for training, which only happens about once a year.

          • +1 What job has you travelling and someone done at 5pm so you can go work out in peace?!?

            My only advice would be to shift some planner type responsibilities to the travelling partner that they can handle on the road – for example, bill paying. You can do that from your phone anywhere. Dealing with insurance – can take calls in the car, submit things online from your phone. You can even manage home repairs from the road, selecting a plumber and setting up a time for them to come that you know partner at home can make.

        • mascot says:

          Can he take care of dinner? Have him plan/prep it so that all you have to do is heat it up when you get home. Also, can he make the arrangements for pick-up coverage/ sports practice, etc?
          And, yes, I get it. Our labor division is similar except that I am the cook. My husband has a low hours work from home job which is awesome on the weeks he isn’t traveling and he can handle all kid fetching and activities. My law firm job isn’t so forgiving. But when he does travel, we can barely keep our heads above water.

        • I hear what avocado says about life on the road not being fun. But there’s always a little bit of downtime, or that short break, or those team dinners where you can cut out a little early. It’s not pleasant, but it’s doable. And honestly, it’s just as much “on time” when you’re the working parent at home. This stuff has to get done, and the traveling partner doesn’t get a pass. Both parents are “on” from 6:00am-9:30pm all day every day, they have to divide and conquer to keep the house running.

          Stuff in our house:
          – Pretty much everything can be bought online. So my DH is the designated “buyer.” If we’re out of toilet paper, if we need diapers, if Kid X needs new pants/ shoes/ pencils for school, I text him and he buys it and Amazon delivers it.
          – All bills and financial stuff, everything that can be done online. Even updating our budget spreadsheet (we follow YNAB in theory, where last month’s income determines this month’s budget, so there are slight tweaks each month.)
          – All household management stuff, like keeping track of filters and smoke detectors and whatnot. I get a text like “hey sometime this week we need to replace the filter in the furnace, the new one is on the left side.”
          – All doctor and dentist appointments. These are perfectly handled in airports – he just calls and gets them scheduled and puts them on our shared Google calendar for the kids.
          – Coordinating kids sports/ arts activities and practices. My schedule isn’t as variable, so he tracks all the activity times and makes sure we have coverage. He calls for babysitters if we don’t.
          – Meal planning. We use a shared Google document for our monthly meal plan. He goes in each week and makes the grocery list, and goes in each month to update the plan. We also keep a running list of frozen meals in the freezer, and will plan time for when he’s home to restock as needed.
          – He plans and coordinates all the summer camps.
          – He plans and books all vacations (once we’ve decided where we’re going.)
          – And like I mentioned, Skype/ Facetime chats when I get to mentally check out for a few minutes.

          This stuff adds up, but doesn’t take much more than a half hour each day. But man, those 2.5 hours (and infinite brainspace) are such a lifesaver when I’m in Hour 2 of Bedtime Negotiations or when I’m cleaning up yet another spot of dog puke at 3am and have a Very Important Meeting at 8am the next morning.

          • avocado says:

            Hmm, I guess the difference is that I am already doing all those things whether I’m home or on the road, so all that’s left for my husband to do while I am gone is the physical labor that I would otherwise do. When my husband travels, I don’t ask him to take over the logistical tasks because they don’t transfer well. If you are renegotiating roles based on new travel requirements, it makes sense to put the traveling partner in charge of the things that can be done remotely, but I would have the same person in charge of those tasks 100% of the time.

    • JayJay says:

      Re travel: you can do it! My husband’s job is roughly 50-60% travel. It does take a LOT of coordination between the two of us. And having a reliable back-up care option is key. We’re lucky that we have both sets of grandparents in town. But you can make it work.

      Once we get in a routine, I like when my husband has relatively short business trips. Sometimes it’s nice to put the kids to bed, then get in my bed with dinner and a glass of wine, watch some crappy TV, and call it a night.

    • avocado says:

      It will be more than okay. Solo parenting is difficult because you are always “on,” but honestly (at least with one kid) I find it easier. When you are the only adult at home, you get to set the priorities. You want to take a picnic to the park every day? Then that’s what happens. And you only have to be “present” for your kid, not your spouse too. You’ll figure out a routine that works for you, and it will be great.

      • CPA Lady says:

        And, actually, my husband and I had very different work schedules for the first 8 years of our marriage. This year is the only year we’ve ever worked roughly the same schedule. Never seeing each other is kinda what we do. And it’s always worked out in the past. We’re both very independent. It’s been great getting to see him all the time, but it’s also been weird. Like… what do you people who see each other every day talk about?

    • Anon in NOVA says:

      I wouldn’t have thought of it, to be honest, but the suggestions to have him still take care of things (paying bills, scheduling appointments, etc.) to the extent possible while he’s out of town are great ones! It will relieve you of some of the “emotional burden” we talk about so much here.
      In my last marriage, my husband was gone for long stretches of time a lot. To be honest, it got easier to parent WITHOUT him around than with. I could take my toddler to the park when I picked him up without feeling like my husband would be at home “missing out”, eat a sandwich for dinner instead of cooking, change straight into sweats and watch whatever I wanted as soon as he went to bed at 7, etc. We had a lot of larger issues, but the feeling of “hey this is easier and more enjoyable without you around” and “I’m doing everything on my own all the time anyway so why are you here” contributed to the ultimate divorce I’m sure. I think having your husband still contribute in the ways described above while gone will help prevent some of those feelings.

    • Meg Murry says:

      Does the job come with enough of a pay boost that in addition to cable, you could also work a parent’s helper into your budget? For instance, hire a local college student for 4-8 hours a week to help out in the evenings – do daycare pickup, start dinner, etc. Or just to be another adult in the house with you a couple of evenings to either play with the kid, or do some chores so you can focus on the kid.

      When my husband travels, I have to pull in some extra help to keep me sane, and even more so if something goes wrong (sick kid on a day I *can’t* miss work, or the time I got the flu and a fever of 103+ for 3 days while solo parenting, or the time the fridge decided to die as soon as my husband left time). If he’s going to have 50% travel, it will be important for you to have rock solid backup options, because chances are you’ll burn through all your PTO/flexibility/goodwill handling it just on your own. Having the backup baked into your everyday routine (ok, we already have helper scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday nights, so I can do X then) makes a big difference.

    • Lurker says:

      Could your husband read a bedtime story over Facetime? My friend’s toddler is easier to parent believe it or not when dad is traveling because she knows she has to be all done with the bedroom routine and laying in bed for daddy to read the bedtime story over the phone. If it isn’t all done, she doesn’t get to talk to Dad that night. It’s like having to be in bed in time for santa.

    • EB0220 says:

      I did this with a toddler (80% travel for husband’s job). I think it’s completely doable. We outsourced everything we hate doing (cleaning, minor repairs around the house, yardwork, grocery shopping). I made very very simple meals (think guac, rotisserie chicken and black beans that would take us through 3 evenings). I started doing a special outing with kiddo once a week (usually Chick Fil A and park/visiting horses/similar). I also had a babysitter once a week in the later evening to do something for myself. A few things to watch out for – make sure you are incorporating your husband’s parenting goals even while he is gone so things are consistent when he’s there. Don’t fall into the trap of just making decisions about your kid without consulting him. Don’t let him off the hook for those annoying little things that go into running a house just because he’s not there physically.

    • I hear you. My husband is starting a new job that’s about 30-40% travel next week. The first week is a 10-day international business trip, but that’s only once a year, and the rest is mostly 3-day domestic trips, 2-3 times per month. I’ve taken a pay cut for a more balanced schedule, and his new job doesn’t pay that much more than the old one, although there is much more growth potential in the next few years.

      My husband is really good at being “present” when he’s around, which I have always loved about him, and terrible about it when he’s away. So, our plan is for him to be the default parent during the weeks he’s home (and will be working from home), and to help prepare as much as possible on the weekends before he travels (food, laundry, etc.). Then during the week, I plan to be in “survival” mode, eat dinner with Toddler, do the bedtime routine, run the dishwasher, and go to bed (or read or whatever) myself.

  6. GrayZone says:

    MORNINGS!

    Last week was my first week back at work after maternity leave and I’ve already almost forgotten the baby’s bottles for school twice and today forgot the delicious and amazing lunch I managed to make myself this weekend. Other than just taping a list to the door (which I’m going to do the second I get home), looking for some good ideas for morning organization/ not forgetting things. Or maybe just assurance that our routine will get easier. FWIW, Husband takes the baby to daycare and I pick him up.

    (P.S. I’ve been lurking here for awhile and posted some anonymously and finally just going to choose a name. )

    • NewMomAnon says:

      – Pack your pumping bag (if you carry one) and work bag at night and set them by the door.
      – Hang all your keys on pegs (or one of the Command hook strips) by the door; get in the habit of hanging your keys up the minute you walk in the house.
      – At night, put all the refrigerated stuff (your lunch, baby’s bottles) in cooler bags in the front of the fridge; make sure your breakfast includes something from the fridge, and when you prep breakfast, also slip the ice packs into the cooler bags and move the cooler bags to the door by your pumping bag and work bag.

      I have come to the realization that I can remember only four things in the morning. Usually it’s (a) my bag (b) my kid (c) my kid’s bag and (d) one “extra” thing like garbage or my lunch.

    • BTanon says:

      Oh my goodness, the adjustment to the new routine post-leave is so hard! It will get so much easier with a few weeks of practice.

      In the meantime, try to gather as much as possible the night before so there are fewer things to remember. I also like to use a wunderlist-type app to check off each item as it gets packed – especially helpful since there are things that really can’t be packed until the morning, like bottles with milk. Hang in there!

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      It WILL get easier! For me what it took was just getting used to that new routine, that mental checklist that used to be like “keys, wallet, sunglasses” and now is “pumping stuff, bottles, baby, diapers, etc. etc. forever.”

      I also agree with NewMomAnon… the way I think of it is that I can only remember one thing that isn’t the usual things: on Friday I remembered to dress kiddo and myself in green, but forgot to grab my badge that wasn’t in the normal place because blah blah reasons. And I just try to laugh at myself about it!

      Sincerely,
      Rainbow Hair Who Didn’t Even Try to Pack a Lunch for Herself This Morning Because It Was Too Chaotic

    • It definitely gets easier! The best lifehack I used was — if you’re pumping — to leave your pump at work (either buy a second or wing it) and only ferry parts to and fro. Do as much prep/packing/loading of the car the night before. Yes to a list that you can keep by the door.

      • Edna Mazur says:

        Yup. And I actually kept a full set of parts, which I would wash in the sink, and freezer bags at work too. That way if I forgot bottles, or bottle caps (why can I never remember those stupid caps?), NBD. Second pump and three total sets or parts is the best pumping investment I’ve ever made.

    • Meg Murry says:

      I set alarms for myself at 9 pm the night before to deal with the out of the ordinary things – for instance, put the check I want to deposit today at lunchtime in my work bag (and then set another alarm at 11:45 to remind me to go deal with it). Things I can’t add to my normal routine by putting in/on top of my work bag or kids bags get post-it notes on the door (like items that are in the fridge). I also have a post-it dispenser on my visor in my car, and my steering wheel gets notes like “get gas on the way home!”

      I’m with everyone else that the only way I get through it is by dealing with it in bigger chunks. So for me, when I walk out the door, my check is “wallet, keys, phone, work bag, lunch bag.” When I was nursing it was “purse, pump bag, cooler/lunchbag” and I had already pre-checked that everything that was supposed to be in there was in the purse, pump bag and cooler separately.

      One good “life hack” I saw was to put lists in luggage tags on the bags – so a list on the diaper bag of that said “Diapers, wipes, changing pad, wetbag, spare outfit” and another on your pump bag that said “Pump motor, tubing, power cord, flanges, bottles, caps, horns, flanges, yellow pieces, white pieces” etc.

      FWIW, if husband takes baby to daycare, can HE be in charge of the bottles? After a while, the 2 of you will develop a system and you’ll find yourself able to go through the routine in your half asleep glazed over state.

    • So this is something I find hilariously adorable, but my husband has a rhyme to make sure he remembers everything when he leaves the house in the morning. “Wallet, keys, flash drive, phone, headphones, badge, and glasses. Bag with lunchbox and computer, time to kick some a$$es!” He added to it when he started doing daycare dropoffs – “greatest baby, I can brag, milk and bottles in her bag!”

      Totally silly but it works!

    • Anonymous says:

      I make a “don’t forget!” list every night on an index card (paper was too flimsy) and stick it in my glasses case. (I am blind, glasses are last off/first on every day). When I wake up I take the list with me to the bathroom. If necessary I can stick it on the mirror, but I usually keep it in my robe pocket and review it a couple times before I get out of the house.

      It helps with those things you think of right before you fall asleep.

      Also, try reorganizing your fridge. A fridge box (or empty plastic shoe box) in the same place every day with the baby’s bottles and lunches can be super helpful.

  7. Toddler slippers says:

    Does anyone have a recommendation for slippers for toddlers? Not too clunky (my guy still trips over his feet), and preferably with something cute on them (like an animal face, not a character). The Eater Bunny has been looking and is striking out. Thanks!

  8. Looking for flying tips. We’ve flown with baby when she was really little and it was easy. Now she’s 15 months and I’m wondering how different it will be. Short flight of around 2.5 hrs. All tips welcome.

    • Anonymous says:

      How is she with the iphone/ipad? We let screen time rules fly out the window on flights. DS (same age) can play Peekaboo Barn for a good chunk of time and loves looking at pictures of himself and mama and dada. Stickers are lots of fun, as are his favorite books. I brought a bunch of his foam letters from the bath and a storage container and let him sort the letters in and out of the container and onto my lap. Basically all the things he likes doing at home.

      Sometimes he’s an angel, sometimes he screams the whole way until he wears himself out and passes out (lucky for me, he picked a trip when he was flying just with DH for that behavior..)

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I flew with my daughter at around 15-16 months. The in-seat screen will be amazing. My daughter watched the same 2 episodes of a show – sans sound – for, like, 2 hours before getting really fidgety. If she wants to get up and walk, let her. Most people will be okay if she touches their legs. I heard somewhere (maybe here?) that dad should get up and walk with a fussy baby because people are more likely to think “aw, that guy is being a really good dad” versus “ugh that mom can’t shut her kid up.” My kiddo was not that into the activities that we brought. She was more happy to sit on my lap and look at pictures/videos of herself, although I think favorite books are always a good idea. Maybe crayons and paper too (at least I would bring that now, at 21 months). Snacks that you can dole out are good.

      Oh! The airline that I was on didn’t have milk for her sippy cup – or, they only had enough to keep for people’s coffee/tea. So plan on buying milk before you get on the plane. One TSA agent said that they’ll let you through security with cups of milk/water for a kid.

      • Momata says:

        And also be prepared for the Hudson News Shops to also not have milk. I had to buy it at an exorbitant price from a coffee shop and they just gave it to me in a to-go cup.

    • Anonymous says:

      Snacks, snacks, snacks. And more snacks. Good snacks too – stuff you normally might not have or might limit at home. Something with a screen, though my kids weren’t interested at that age unless they were watching videos/looking at pictures of themselves. If that works for you, load up all those pics!

      +1 on the stickers. And other art stuff with minimal mess like pipe cleaners.

      • +1
        Cocoa Puffs have gotten me through some long car trips with my kids. Fruit Loops would probably do the trick, too. Minimal mess, but the kids know this is super special because those things do not otherwise exist in our house.

        • Butter says:

          Agree on the snacks, although within reason. We loaded kiddo up once because he seemed hungry and it was distracting him and then he barfed all over me on the bumpy landing. An epic amount, all down my shirt, down my legs, down the seat, everything. On the upshot I’ve never had so many strangers throw me packets of wipes and tissues at once in my life.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Surprises! I did a dollar store run and got a bunch of dumb stuff: notepads that became “sticker books” and stickers to stick in them; a koosh-like monster that lights up when you smack it, zipped into a little container that came with headphones (“the monster house!”); those Mellisa&Doug paint with water dealies (those were from Amazon, get the reusable ones); anything else that is a little active. Everything was in a container so opening it/taking it out became part of the fun. I waited until she was really bored with the first thing to bust out the second thing, and some things were saved for the flight home.

      • Legally Brunette says:

        + 1

        The 1 dollar packs from Target are great. I would bust one out every 20 minutes or so. THe kids were thrilled to get a new gift and were on their best behavior. I agree on the snacks and you might also get some board books from the library, if she is into reading/looking at the pictures.

      • My kids (ranging in age from 3-7) are OBSESSED with those Melissa & Doug water paint deals. I bought a bunch more so my toddler (20 months) also has one to her name on an upcoming flight. Who knew?

    • Know your child — at that age, neither of my stinkers cared a lick about screens, and wouldn’t sit still or be carried for ANYTHING. We had our best luck with the wonder color markers (it was a big deal for our kids to have markers at that age), sticker books (so you aren’t dealing with a thousand wrappers on the floor), and snacks, snacks, snacks.

      If your kid is like mine were, I also always fly with an ergo (still do, even for my 2.5 year old daughter). At some point, the excitement of other people and buttons and stuff was too much, and my kids made a break for the aisle. Or, they’d try to climb the seat in front of them. If I picked them up, they’d slither out of my arms and head for the cockpit (this was universal behavior – they both hated being held or sitting, still do, really). They can’t really fight you once they are in the ergo, and I found it easier to walk the aisles with kiddo securely confined than to struggle to hold an angry, limp worm. I also found other passengers react more kindly when you have a baby snuggled to you, than if you are struggling with an angry child. You can’t wear them on take off or landing, but sometimes you’ll get lucky and the flight attendant will let you congregate in the back for a bit.

      • Butter says:

        Also agreeing to this. My kiddo was not impressed with the things we loaded up onto the iPad for him for the last flight, including Peekaboo Farm. All he wants to do is Facetime various people I work with or haven’t talked to in 12 years and need to delete from my phone.

        HOWEVER that Friskies app that someone mentioned a few weeks ago was awesome and held his attention the longest (10 minutes, ha).

    • Anon in NOVA says:

      Sometimes when I flew with my son when he was young, I’d carry the carseat all the way through to ‘gate check” it and the stroller, and the attendants would see that I had a child in a carseat and seat me next to an empty seat, even though I only paid for one. So you may get lucky!
      Breaking the flight into chunks, helps. (JetBlue is really good at this in how they structure their flights and it helps with my flying anxiety). For a kiddo, first it’s all of the excitement of taking off etc. Then maybe it’s snack time! yay! then special activity you brought as a surprise time, woo hoo! One option at a time draws it out. If tehy’re into screen time, save that for last.

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        Yup! Before kiddo moved into you-have-to-buy-her-a-seat age, I’d lug the car seat to the check in counter and ask if there was any way I could be seated next to an empty seat so I could put baby there. About 1/2 the time the answer was yes.

    • shortperson says:

      we fly a lot. 15 months was definitely the hardest age for flying. at that point, my go to toys were a roll of masking or painters tape, a few crayons, and a few silicon muffin cups. then i’d ask for a few pieces of ice from the flight attendant. that would be enough for a 2 hour flight for us at that point. but bring extra clothes for ice experiments gone bad!

    • We always bought a seat for our daughter, no matter the age. Our daughter was not the type who ever would have sat still on our laps for more than a few minutes, but was completely fine in her car seat, since it was something she was used to being in for longer periods of time.

      For a flight that distance, we’d only bring a snack or two (nothing too messy) – something like Cheerios or blueberries that we could dole out one at a time. For activities, M&D water wow books, M&D reusable sticker packs, board books, those Crayola markers that only work on the special paper. We didn’t break out the phone much, mostly just to look at photos/videos of herself, but she didn’t really do screen time at all at that age so wouldn’t have been familiar with most apps.

    • I found traveling waaaay easier with a baby of 15 months than a younger baby. It’s easier to figure out what they want, and to communicate with them as a way of entertainment. We did a lot of books, coloring books and snacks. Nothing was quite as mesmerizing as the airline magazine, though…go figure. We don’t do screen time and never felt like we had to resort to it.

  9. Cross-posted on main s i t e —

    Can I get some feedback from posters who work or have worked from home? I’m considering a consulting job with tremendous flexibility in where I work, and to a slightly lesser degree, when I work. I’m currently in a position where I have very rigid hours, and I have a lot of anxiety around daycare drop-off and getting to the office before my start time. I really enjoy my boss and the work, but there also is not a lot of flexibility to take time off for kid sick days or school stuff.

    Eliminating the commute and a structured schedule seems like it would eliminate a lot of stress from my day, but I know a lot of people who have struggled with working from home. Also, I would be client facing and billing in the new job (I’m not in law, but it’s consulting work). If it matters, the new consulting job would be part time, so I’d be aiming to bill between 3 and 5 hours per day.

    • I have not worked from home since I’ve had my son, but I was in an academic graduate program in a prior life and was always working from home as I didn’t have an office to go to on campus. I loved the flexibility (and could see how it would be even more beneficial with a kid) but with that flexibility to do chores, etc found myself not getting much actual work done which was anxiety producing, and the isolation was killer.

      If you have structure to your day most days (i.e., meetings, client calls, deadlines) and don’t mind being by yourself all day, every day, it might work out well. As crazy as it sounds, I much, much prefer my long hours in the office now simply because I feel productive and like part of a team even though my day-to-day is more stressful. I think a lot of it depends on your personality and work style.

      • Thanks – that’s really helpful. In grad school, I drifted a little when I had full days to fill, and I’m a little worried about that. I’m hoping to combat the isolation with client lunch meetings, which they encourage. I’m also a little worried about the siren call of being at home with distractions present, but there is shared office space near my kids’ daycare – maybe I’ll look into that.

        • Client lunches + shared office space + convenient commute sounds like a lovely way to structure a work life. I guess one other thing to consider is if there’s the possibility for this gig to grow if you want more hours in the future, or if you can transition back to an office.

          • Yes – I definitely think there is room for growth, which is another reason I’m excited about the opportunity.

            I have to admit, I’m starting to let myself get extremely excited about the possibility. I love the organization and the people that I’ve met so far, and it could be an amazing fit for our family. I like what I’m doing now, however, so I’m a little afraid to give it up.

    • I’ve worked from home for around three years (in house lawyer). I love it and would have a hard time going back into a traditional office setting.
      Pros: no commute means I can work 8:30-6:15/6:30; no need for dogwalker; can accomplish small tasks around the house during the day (e.g., run / empty diswasher, load of laundry, start dinner); flexibility to run short errands if needed.
      Cons: lack of social interaction; however, my department and clients are located worldwide so even when I was in the office, I often had my door closed and was in teleconferences all day. In the end, working from home has not been all that different from being in an office givent that I did not have a on s i t e team. The only other con is the beautiful office wardrobe I spent many years building, which is now unused in my closet.
      Must haves: dedicated office space, landline phone, high quality printer/scanner, enough discipline to sit at desk and work; (for me), full time daycare, i.e., nanny would be too distracting.
      I will say, at first, working from home felt like a real treat and I had trouble being productive. But now I would say I am more productive at home than I am was in an office setting because there are fewer distractions in my current setup.

      • I’m really glad to hear that. I want this to work because I feel like it would be a great set-up as my kids age. I work on a really discrete issue for my company, so I typically only interact with my boss once a day. We usually meet in the morning to walk through upcoming company projects, then I’m on my own the rest of the day. Daycare will stay in place, although my older daughter starts K in the fall. I’m also hopeful to use some of the extra time I’ll get back by going part time to get more involved in the kids’ school, which may combat the isolation part?

    • I’ve worked from home full-time for about two and a half years now. Kid is almost 2 and goes to daycare about 8.30-5.

      Pros: I’m distinctly more productive at home. I like the flexibility of being able to throw a load of laundry into the washer and start dinner prep ahead of time, even if it’s just chopping veggies at lunch.

      Cons: lack of social interaction, but like PPs above, my team and clients are all over the world anyway.

      One option, by the way, is to look into memberships at coworking spaces, if there are any near you. (There may be more than you think, even in smaller cities!) Some will let you go there part-time, five or ten days per month. I have a five day/ mth coworking membership and go there when I have a lot of client calls or really need to focus on something. It may be cheaper than renting a shared office space by the month.

    • EB0220 says:

      I’ve been in consulting for 7 years and worked from home for 4 of those years. I’ve now been in the office for almost 3 years (still consulting).

      Benefits of WFH: You don’t have to dress professionally/put a lot of effort into your appearance. You are MUCH more flexible to do small things around the house, like keeping the laundry going and packing for trips. Starting dinner – eating a nice healthy lunch – fitting in a workout. All easier WFH.

      Cons: Depending on where your daycare is, your commute could actually be longer (drive there, drop off, drive home). And you have to do it twice a day, so keep that in mind. If you’re the type of person who is easily bothered by unwashed dishes or unfolded clothes, you will need to have a dedicated workspace to avoid getting sucked in to housework.

      My company has a lot of onsite benefits (gym, snacks, massages etc.) that I really missed out on when I worked from home. So I really like that aspect of being at the office. We also have really good, healthy, subsidized food, so that’s actually easier from me than buying and making something at home. I do really miss the ability to run/bike at lunch and shower whenever convenient. I had much more flexibility when I worked from home.

      • That’s really helpful!! My life will get much smaller b/c daycare, shopping, public schools, etc. are all less than a mile away from my house. I will gain so much time by not commuting. I’m going to have to be careful about housework creep, though, so that’s something good to know going in. I’m in a very no frills office now, so no real losses there (but something really good to consider).

        Any suggestions for a really good printer/scanner?

      • shortperson says:

        i work from home and yeah the time saved by just throwing on leggings in the morning really adds up. working from home makes biglaw and kid totally doable.

        i also could not do this without a dedicated office space with a door to close.

        my daughter still goes to daycare but another big beneficiary is my dog. he is a family dog but since he spends so much time curled up at my feet he’s really my dog. i still hire a dogwalker but i can be here to hand over the pup and my dogwalker can change times at the last minute so that makes it easy to find a student.

  10. We find out this week whether the low level intervention for my son’s Crohn’s disease is working or whether we need to go to the next, more aggressive treatment. I’m nervous and trying not to show it, especially to my son. I think he is doing really well, but I completely missed the fact that he had the disease so I don’t trust my own perception of this issue. Ugh.

    Is it appropriate for me to ask the doctor’s office to call me with the results of the lab test before the appointment? I want to have time to process before the appointment and outside of the view of my son.

    • Anonymous says:

      I like that idea. Worth a shot.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Fingers crossed that it’s working! I think it’s absolutely appropriate to call the doctor’s office and ask. Worst they can say is no.

      Also, I know it’s hard not to, but please don’t beat yourself about not recognizing that your son had Crohn’s disease. You’re not a doctor! From what you’ve posted, it sounds like you and your husband were doing everything you could in terms of talking with your pediatrician while also simultaneously dealing with your husband’s severe medical crisis.

      • Anon for this says:

        I had symptoms of Crohn’s starting at age 13 and even though my parents took me to many doctors, I was not diagnosed until age 23 when I moved to a new state, got new doctors, and started advocating for myself far beyond what any patient should be expected to do. It is a very very hard to diagnose disease. Do not beat yourself up! It’s amazing that he is diagnosed so young.

    • Absolutely call – and you are a great mom to even think of this. You’ll also have time to think of questions, if you need to ask them.

    • Carine says:

      Does your provider have a patient portal? Often lab results show up there as soon as they’re received by the provider. I think it’s a great idea and absolutely fine to ask them to call you, but if they have the web resource I really recommend getting signed up. It’s so convenient.

      Best wishes for a good result.

    • Meg Murry says:

      If it isn’t possible (at my doctor’s office they would probably say yes but then I wouldn’t actually get the call – perhaps you’d have better luck asking if *you* can call the day before?) could you take 2 adults to the appointment – one to focus on the kid, and perhaps even stay in the waiting room with the kid until their part, and the other to be able to focus on the doctor and ask the appropriate questions? Or even ask if the kid needs to be there for the follow-up – are they going to look at the kid at all, or will the appointment be just going over the results and the kid doesn’t even need to be there for it at all?

      Best of luck to you and I hope the interventions are working!

  11. Crib bumpers says:

    Wrote a long post this morning that appears to be caught in moderation so I’m trying again: looking for anecdotes on mesh or vertical crib bumpers for my 7 month old baby. He’s fully able to roll over and is very active. I have done all of the research on safety, etc. but my husband is convinced he’s going to lose a limb from it getting caught in between the slats so I agreed to research the issue. I won’t buy a traditional (padded or full cloth) crib bumper, no worries – I’m just interested in anecdotes about the “safer” iterations.

  12. AwayEmily says:

    First day not pumping at work — YAY! Daughter turns one in a week; this is my early present to myself. I’m going to try to keep BFing in the AM and PM; we’ll see how it goes. I headed out the door with only a purse today and it was SO EXCITING!!! (of course, in the excitement I also forgot to bring my lunch. oh well.)

    • Hooray, congratulations!! Treat yourself to a nice lunch, too.

    • Anon in NOVA says:

      I second what GCA said, even if you just go get some drivethru and enjoy the quiet time in your car, treat yoself!

    • Awesome! Jealous! Let me know how continuing to BF goes, sounds like you are living the life I’d like to live in a few months! Congrats on making it so far.

      • AwayEmily says:

        thanks!!! and if you are a few months behind me, then one piece of totally unsolicited advice that you should of course feel free to ignore…I really wish I’d dropped to 1 pump a day (and supplemented w formula at daycare) much earlier, maybe at around 7-8 months. Dropping from 3x a day to 2x a day didn’t really make my life any easier, but when she was 10 months I switched from 2x to 1x and it was AMAZING. Not having to rinse or wash anything plus having a much bigger time window in which to pump because you don’t have to schedule 2 different sessions. It also didn’t seem to affect my supply on weekends.

        • Thanks! I am currently doing 2-3 at 8.5 months. We recently went on a 4-night trip (without babe) so I am pumping to replace freezer stash and keep my supply up (oh, and my period just returned yesterday, great) but I would really love to drop down to 1x soon.

        • Anonymous says:

          I never rinsed between pumps, just put everything in a ziploc in the fridge (inside a cooler).

    • Anonymous says:

      Congrats! This is what I did with all three of my kids and they nursed for another 6 months each.

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        Same — she nursed about 4 months longer after I stopped pumping entirely, and then it gradually became just snuggle time.

    • quail says:

      Woohoo! Congrats!

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      Good for you! I hated pumping at work SO MUCH.

    • AwayEmily says:

      Thanks everyone!! I already felt pretty great about all this, but reading your comments made me feel even better! (and I did treat myself to a nice lunch)

    • Anonymous says:

      Hooray!!! That is the best milestone by far.

      Ditto that my kiddos continued to nurse when we were together until I weaned them completely.

  13. Anonymous says:

    My son is just past two and he’s always gone to a variety of baby programs. In the last four months there has been a rapid decline with him in terms of listening and participating in class. He’s usually the one kid trying to steal the ipod from dance class or doing his own thing entirely at swim class. He’s perfectly fine at home, plays nicely on playdates and on his own he just doesn’t seem to be able to participate in classes. We’ve tried mixing up the times, no dice.

    • I think he’s still kind of young to be able to pay attention and focus. My son went through something similar at that age. When he was a baby/young toddler, he would sit and watch anything. And now as an older toddler (3.5) he’s actually interested in the activity itself and will pay attention and follow instructions. But there was a period in the middle there where he would wander off and create his own fun.

    • Are you sure it isn’t just you paying more attention to him than to the other kids? I’ve often felt like kiddo just goes and does his own thing at swim class (which consists mostly of him clinging to me and going ‘all done’ till I let him play on the wall, or splash around with a toy, or something), but the other parents all say they feel like that sometimes. (I swear though, my son is about 3x more adventurous than other kids his age – he’d be happy to wander clear across the mall from me with nary a backward glance if I let him.)

      If it’s real and there’s been a rapid decline in his attention span in class, what I’ve discovered with toddlers is there is often an equally rapid recovery as they develop a little more…this too shall pass!

  14. Anonymous says:

    This is maybe a silly question, but what do you do about car seats if you and your partner each have your own car and are going to split daycare drop-offs and pick-ups? Probably it will work out that that one person is doing both pick-up and drop-off MWF and the other person doing everything T/R although that might change. A car seat for each car seems excessive to me, but moving the seat back and forth seems like a huge pain. I guess we could have one “baby-equipped car” and rotate who drives that one but I can see that leading to problems (i.e, the person who’s not on baby duty leaves the house earlier and drives off in the baby-equipped car leaving the other parent and baby at home with no car seat…). Curious what people do.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have three kids and three car seats in each car. It’s totally worth the money to have the flexibility with drop offs and pick ups. I can’t imagine the logistics with only one set of seats.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1

        I know families who try to maneuver the seats around, and I honestly think it’s insane. Those extra three (even Britax) seats were WELL WORTH THE $$$.

        If it’s your first child, you just need the infant base in both cars. The seat itself lives with baby at daycare.

        • I was wondering about this – is it pretty common to be able to leave the infant car seat at day care? That seems like the most convenient option for us, but I didn’t think it would be possible. Where would they store all the car seats?

          • Meg Murry says:

            Since kids only are in them for the first year (or less, for many kids it’s only the first 6-9 months before they outgrow it or they get too heavy to comfortably lug the seat around), most daycares find a spot for them. Our daycare just had us put them on top of or in front of the cubbies where they kept coats, shoes and spare clothes – my sister’s kids daycare has a big set of wooden cubbies out in the hallway just the right size for one seat per spot.

          • Under/near the baby’s crib. And I will third buying the extra car seat.

    • We have car seats in both cars. And fwiw, we bought a lightweight car seat for travel and that’s what we have installed in the car that we use less often for kid transport. But it doubles as our go-to car seat for traveling, so it doesn’t feel like a waste.

    • mascot says:

      We have a seat in each car. When we used the infant seat, we had a base in each car and the seat stayed at daycare with the baby. Another thing to think about is what happens if you need to pick up a sick kid, someone has to stay late at the office, or an emergency pops up. You’ll appreciate the flexibility of both of you have a carseat.

    • Moving says:

      We have a car seat in each car for my 1yo. With my first DS, we tried just the “baby equipped car” but after a few times of one of us leaving with that car while the other was now stuck at home with the baby, that just didn’t work. I’d worry about transferring a car seat often, of an increased chance of it not being installed properly. Of course, I worry about pretty much everything…

    • Meg Murry says:

      If you are using the infant carrier seats, one base per car and the seat itself stays wherever the kid is (most daycares have cubbies or a spot to put your kid’s seat). Once they outgrow the infant seat, one seat per car is a must – car seats do *not* come in and out easily. But that doesn’t mean you both need really fancy seats – the $50 seats are just as safe as the many hundreds of dollar seats, they just don’t have quite as many bells and whistles. At a minimum, I would recommend one seat in the main car, and a cheaper seat at least in the trunk of the second car.

      We have local family, so in addition to seats in each of our cars, we got carseats for each of the Grandma’s cars as well, since they have the kids at least 1X per week.

      • This. We have 2 kids, so 2 car seats in each car. One car (the “family trip” car) has the nicer seats, one car has a much cheaper but still safe set.

        One tip: Babies R Us has a car-seat trade in thing twice a year. If you get a hand-me-down seat, or if you find one at a garage sale for super cheap, save it and use it to get a discount (I think 25% off??) at the sale. We used this to get a backup set for the grandparents as well.

        • Oh, also forgot to say. If you can wait til then, Black Friday usually has decent deals on car seats as well. We got our convertible Britaxes on a pretty good Amazon sale a few years ago. We bought them about 6 months before we needed them, but saved about $100 all in.

      • Anonymous says:

        A note on the convertible seats not moving… So true, especially since we seem to always need to belt install. However, the sole exception is the Britax Click-Tight, which are AH MAZING. (I’ve owned a LOT of seats, so believe me that are worth every penny). They are so, so easy to install and uninstall.

        But, they are crazy heavy so they aren’t exactly transportable either. For one week, husband and I did need to shuffle our seats between cars (ie, I did drop-off, left the seats at daycare, and he did pick up) and carrying them every day was miserable. A regular install seat would have been worse, but I don’t recommend it as a permanent plan.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yep the $50 seats are the way to go when babies get bigger. Especially if you ever do end up in an accident — tossing the $50 one is easy. (Let me tell you about throwing away a $250 car seat!)

    • EB0220 says:

      With the infant seat, we had a base in each car but just one seat. For convertible and booster seats, one in each car. No question. Local grandparents have a set, too, and this has come in handy more times than I can count.

    • Lurker says:

      I was wondering the same thing about emergency contacts. I’m still in the TTC stage. We have no local family so we will list a friend or two as an emergency contact figuring that they would only be called in if there was a national disaster or something that prevented me and my husband from getting there. In that situation though, what do you do about car seats? Seems silly to buy car seats for the friends when they will likely never even have the kid in their car. But, if they do get called in an emergency, what then?

      • Anonymous says:

        My parents have carseats in one of their cars, but they are more than emergency contacts and pick up the kids from daycare at least a few times a month. I think if your emergency contacts are only expected to show up in a true emergency, like if there’s been a terrorist attack or something, then everyone has bigger fish to fry. If it’s a more run of the mill emergency, like, kiddo needs to go to the hospital for an emergency not necessitating an ambulance and you can’t be there for some reason, they could get an Uber with a carseat. I wouldn’t bother getting them carseats because (1) it is an imposition to have them permanently installed, and (2) if they aren’t permanently installed, your friends will likely not have time and/or will freak out about installing them in case they have to pick up the kid in an emergency. (Or ask someone who already has kids and carseats to be the contact!

      • Anonymous says:

        Ditto, in a major natural disaster, the carseat is not the biggest issue. If kiddo has a true medical emergency, the ambulance will take them.

        So really it’s a matter of needing to pick up kid because they are sick and parents can’t get there or a traffic jam preventing you to get there on time. Infant seats can be installed without the base, so you’re fine there since seats usually stay at daycare. Most of the people who are emergency contacts have a seat (ie, my parents have one because they often take the kids – and others have kids of their own).

        You may consider having a cheapo seat (your travel seat, etc) live at your house and give your emergency contacts a key to your home or the garage code. They could just swing by on their way, but you don’t have to supply everyone with their own seat or have them store it.

        FWIW, I’ve had three kids in daycare and never needed someone without a carseat to pick up my kids over the ~12 person-years.

      • In every daycare we’ve used, they have had a seat or two for exactly this purpose. We got stuck once and apparently it happens a lot.

        My guess is preschools have them as well.

    • We have a seat in both parents’ cars and one in grandparents’ car. Expensive? Sure. But the last thing you need to complicate an already complicated last-minute daycare pick up because of illness, emergency, working late etc. is having to also figure out some kind of car seat exchange.

      My poor sister was surprised with a pregnancy when her boys were 3 and 5, still in cars seats, and they couldn’t fit three seats across in their car. They had to buy SIX NEW SEATS with smaller bases, 3 for each parents’ car.

      • Betty says:

        We do this too. We actually have a set in my car, my husband’s car, the au pair’s car and my mom’s car. It is expensive but it is worth the piece of mind to be able to have anyone do pick-up drop off without the logistics of car seat coordination. The more expensive seats are in my car and the au pair’s car because we do most of the kid driving.

    • Right now, we have a car seat in one car and none in the other. We switch cars based on who’s doing drop-off and pick-up.

      But we only do this because I drive a 15-year-old, 2-door sports car with 85,000 miles on it that runs really well but has a Bluebook value of about $4000. We were going to replace it after Baby arrived, but our other, 9-year-old car broke down on a road trip and wasn’t fixable (broken fan led to overheated/melted everything), so we had to replace that car. A year later, we were just about ready to replace the 2-door car, but I lost my job and was unemployed for 6 months, so we blew through our savings.

      When our son was an infant, we had an extra base in the 2-door car, and that worked well enough. For the past year, we’ve switched cars based on who drives Kiddo. When Kiddo turns 2, we’ll probably install a small front-facing car seat in the 2-door car to use in emergencies but not regularly since rear-facing is safer up to whatever weight. DH is starting a new job next week where he’s either working from home or traveling, so it shouldn’t really an issue very often.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone had a kid diagnosed as having autistic tendencies, but not autism? My son just turned 3. He has a speech delay and seems to have some sensory issues. For example, he doesn’t like wearing shirts, but really likes soft fleece blankets. (Although he’ll put on a shirt to go out, and wears a shirt two mornings/week at preschool.) He only just started putting a few words together, and only in the last 2 months or so has been using language to ask for things. But still it’s just one word — like “cheese?”. He makes good eye contact, is very snuggly, often brings us toys to show us, asks us to sing songs with him, has zero trouble with transitions (well, not zero, but much much less than most kids at that age), is not at all picky in his eating, rarely has tantrums. But he doesn’t really obey any commands, doesn’t often respond to his name (we’ve had his hearing tested — it’s fine). We can’t really get any more of a diagnosis than we have, but it’s frustrating because no one can tell me what any of this means. We’ve had him seen by a developmental specialist (and an appointment for that kind of doctor takes a YEAR in our area, literally) and he has speech therapy and occupational therapy. So we’re doing everything we need to do. But just frustrated that I don’t really know what this means long term. Wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you tried your county’s early intervention services? I don’t think anyone can tell you with certainty what this means over the long run for your child, but you should be getting some type of explanation of the range of possibilities. I believe it’s very common for parents to pursue services through multiple channels, including early intervention and private services.

      I have a niece who was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum but not what would traditionally be thought of as “autistic.” She started out with some sensory and expressive language issues. She received services through early intervention and is now attending public school without an IEP.

    • mascot says:

      From what I’ve seen with friends with kids who are on the spectrum, each individual is different and it’s hard to predict the future. (If you’ve met one kid with ASD, then you’ve met one kid with ASD kind of explanation). I know that one of them started with intense early intervention services and eventually transitioned out of the special needs pathway by the end of elementary school. Another had some concurrent medical issues that complicated matters.
      From my experience with a kid who has a mild speech delay, progress can be slow and the professionals can’t always tell you how fast the therapy will work and how long it will continue. If a child doesn’t normally develop certain sounds until age 5, you won’t know until you get to that age if it is one of the sounds that your child has a delay in. But, you hopefully will see some benefits of the therapies he is receiving now even if its not readily apparent.. Also, some of what you’re seeing could be age appropriate still- three year olds are willful creatures. It’s hard to make predictions for kids because they have so much developing left to do and it’s not always in a straight line.

    • Meg Murry says:

      Have you had his hearing tested again recently? Unfortunately, some of the early hearing tests really only will pick up the very most severe cases of hearing loss (kids that can’t hear anything at all), and/or don’t pick up if they have an auditory processing disorder – so it can show that the physical structure of the ear is working and receiving sounds, but taht doesn’t mean that the child is “hearing” what you are saying in a way that they can process and understand. Or it could be like my younger son – his hearing was all over the place, and apparently he had fluids in his ears anytime he had the slightest cold or allergy – but no other ear infection symptoms. Which meant that he’d be fine at one doctor’s appointment and then a week later did not respond to us calling his name at all until we tapped him on the shoulder – which was a pattern we saw over and over. My oldest has severe hearing loss in one ear (wears a hearing aid now) and we didn’t catch it until kindergarten screening, when he was old enough to follow the directions about lifting his left hand when he heard beeps in his left ear, and right hand for right ear. Until then, we thought he was just ignoring us or very into his building blocks or whatever – not realizing that he honestly didn’t hear us when we called his name if there was any other noise going on.

      When you say “doesn’t obey commands” do you mean if you get his attention and then say “put on your shirt” he just doesn’t respond at all? Or is it that he doesn’t follow commands like “where’s your nose?” or “go get your shoes” if he doesn’t care about it right then, but if you say “time for preschool” or “we have to put on a shirt to go play outside” he will cooperate?

      Chances are the people you see for speech and OT have seen similar cases to his before and may be able to point you to more resources. Or it also may be that he wasn’t far enough behind for early intervention before, but now at 3 he has fallen further behind. In my area, at age 3 it shifts from being early intervention run by the county to special ed services provided by the local school system (or the school system outsources to the county special needs services) – again, your speech therapist or OT may know. At a minimum, can you take him to his 3 year old checkup and ask them to check him on the 36 month “Ages and Stages” questionaire? Becuase if he’s even further behind than last time you were referred, maybe you can get more priority?

      Last, even if he isn’t actually diagnosed as autistic, it might be worth doing some reading on techniques parents use with kids on the spectrum – because a lot of it is actually pretty good advice for most kids. The difference I’ve found is that for my (mostly) typically developing kids, it is kind of a “best practices” thing that makes our lives smoother, whereas for my friend who has one child on the spectrum and another with severe autism, those have moved from “tips to make life smoother” to “the day falls apart into complete chaos if she doesn’t follow those techniques to the letter”. For instance, teaching my kids baby sign language helped us communicate better with less tantrums – for her kids it was 100% the difference between communicating and not.

    • We used early intervention for awhile but the county was incredibly frustrating. The therapist was terrible (would ask my au pair what she wanted to work on — um, I thought you were the expert, and why are you asking the au pair?) and the country seriously screwed up billing, leading to us getting reported to a collection agency. Meanwhile my husband’s health insurance covers unlimited speech and occupational therapy so we’re going private. And the people from the county had absolutely no information about what long term could look like. It’s just been incredibly frustrating. And he’s not on the spectrum, though. He was specifically found to be not autistic. But to have autistic tendencies.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Have you considered sensory processing disorders? I’m sorry that I don’t really have advice, but in case you haven’t looked into them before, it might be helpful. I didn’t realize that SPDs can also be auditory, for example.

        • I’ve tried looking into all of these things. The problem is that there’s really very little on SPD that isn’t also about autism. There’s a lot out there about autism itself. Very little about something that’s like autism, but not autism.

  16. EB0220 says:

    Sadly, my time with my current awesome boss (who is a working mom) is coming to an end due to a reorg. This made me wonder – would you rather work for a man without children or a man with children and a SAH partner, all other things being equal?

    • avocado says:

      I work closely with one childless man and one man with a child and a SAH wife. The one with the kid and the SAH wife is more understanding. The childless one is a jerk who requires more accommodations for his workouts than I do for my kid.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ugh… the one who isn’t a jerk.

      Honestly, the information you’ve provided isn’t adequate. Either one could still well understand the realties of a duel-working-parent (or solo parent) household.

      But based on general assumptions, I would be biased towards the man with the SAH wife having a better understanding. I’ve definitely known childless people who totally get it, but I’d say it’s more rare.

    • EP-er says:

      I would much, much rather work for someone who had a child. I once had a childless manager say — with a straight face — “I have a dog. Honestly, I think a dog is more work than a baby is!” That person was a peach to work for! I think that even with a SAH spouse, you have some idea of the sleepless nights and illnesses and what it really means to have children be so dependent on you.

    • I have a boss who has (now-adult) children and a SAH wife. He is very understanding of dual-working-parent households. He’s also understanding of how the mom is often the “default” parent unless you constantly push back.

      I’ve also had a male boss with a high-powered-attorney spouse. One day my (male) co-worker came in late because he took his kid to the doctor, and the boss said, “Can’t your nanny do that?” Co-worker’s wife was a teacher, their kid was in daycare, and I doubt they could have afforded a nanny. So, yeah, people in all kinds of situations can be sympathetic or not.

    • Anon in NOVA says:

      It would honestly depend on the people. I’ve worked with men who are childless etc. but who “get it” at least. They may have an aging parent, even a dog (I know that’s not the same, but that brings at least some understanding of sometimes a living thing vomits all over your house or swallows something and has to be rushed to the doctor or whatever), or are just reasonably intelligent enough to understand that if you don’t pick your child up from daycare they will call the police so no you cannot just stay until 9pm. The man with a SAH Wife may not truly understand what it is like to not have that backup in place. You just never know

  17. Not a Sir says:

    Am I right to be a bit miffed?
    I’m currently the hiring manager for a position, and a gentleman started his cover letter with “Dear Sirs”. I’m not a sir! and my name is on the announcement as the hiring manager!! Grrr. (regular commentor but changed my name for this)

    • blueberries says:

      I’d consider this a significant error, like getting the company name wrong.

      • Not a Sir says:

        Right?! That was my first instinct, too. Unfortunately, this is government hiring and they have other designations that give them a “preferred” status so they must be interviewed. This miffed me, though. If you missed my name in the announcement, at least say Sir or Madam, or Dear Hiring Manager, or ANYTHING else but Sirs

    • Another Mommy says:

      Be miffed all you want. This is a pretty bad error and would disqualify most candidates, in my opinion. It is pretty presumptuous if the candidate doesn’t know the gender of the addressee, and even worse if you are listed as the hiring manager (assuming that you have a feminine name).

    • bluefield says:

      I’d be peeved even if your name wasn’t prominent, or if you had a gender neutral name. That’s just sexist. In my state practice some litigation-related papers have been traditionally addressed to “SIRS” and I am always, always angry when I get something addressed to “SIRS.” Is it so hard to remember that there are lady lawyers now and switch it to “COUNSELORS”? Or “SIRS/MADAMS”? No, no it is not. People are sexist and lazy.

    • Anonymous says:

      It sounds extremely old fashioned to me at best, and potentially a serious problem depending on the nature of the job. I’m in a fundraising job that depends on persuasive writing, so if you are applying to work for me, you better get your cover letter close to perfect.

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