Maternity Monday: London Ponte Knit Colorblock Dress

Eva Alexander London Ponte Knit Colorblock Maternity Dress | CorporetteWhat a great maternity dress for work and beyond. It covers the bump, has a flattering but high neckline (in case you’re uncomfortable with the size of your bust while pregnant, like I was), and has sleeves. I would even wear this kind of thing to events and the like — add a sparkly statement necklace, some metallic accessories (silver clutch/shoes), and away you go. The dress is $168 at Nordstrom, available in three colors and sizes 2-12. Eva Alexander London Ponte Knit Colorblock Maternity Dress

Building a maternity wardrobe for work? Check out our page with more suggestions along both classic and trendy/seasonal lines.

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Comments

  1. Leaky says:

    Can anyone recommend reusable nursing pads that don’t show under clothes? Thanks!

    • CPA Lady says:

      I cant help you with the “reusable” part, but what I ended up doing to keep my disposable nursing pads from bunching up or showing was to stick them to a pair of those thin foam inserts that come out of sports bras, and then tucking those into my nursing bra. It just smoothed everything out. I don’t know if you could put those inserts over your reusable pads, but it might be worth a try.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Interesting idea! I’ll have to see if I have any of those lying around. The bunching is not a great look!.

    • I like Bamboobies. I registered for a giant box of disposable pads but found them so uncomfortable that I only used them a few times before giving away the rest of the box. I had a free sample of the bamboobies and found them far more comfortable and the day time ones are pretty discreet. However, I will caveat this all with the fact that I didn’t leak very often and I also tended to wear coobie bras, which have the lining CPA lady describes above. Not the most flattering, but supportive enough and worked with my ever fluctuating bust size.

      • The Bamboobies are the heart shaped ones right? If so, I second those. They are pretty thin. But I’ve never come across a reusable pad that won’t show at all through a thin bra. I just wear bras that have thick cups in order to smooth things out.

    • I got some good ones on Etsy. Can’t remember the particular seller, but there are a bunch of options for reusables on there.

    • Anonymous says:

      I got the “TL organic” ones off amazon and love them – found them way more comfortable than disposables. They aren’t super absorbent so if you leak a lot they might not work, but for a few drips they’re fine.

  2. Anon in NYC says:

    I’m returning to work next week and starting a new job. I’ll also be pumping. I’ll be in full-time training for several weeks so I don’t think that I will have the flexibility to pump like I would if it were a normal work day, and I’m not sure if I will even have a desk for the first few weeks. I bought a bag that has its own ice pack built in so I can carry around pump parts/milk. Is pumping twice a day sufficient at this stage (my daughter will be 14 weeks)? My daughter nurses every 2-3 hours, but I am hoping to stretch it so that I pump every 3.5-4 hours (or depending on when there are breaks in training) to minimize the interruptions in my day. Any other tips?

    • Meg Murry says:

      3.5-4 hours might ok, or it might be pushing it a tad. I think the real issue is that when 4 hours becomes 4.5-5 and so on.

      Pack lots of disposable nursing pads in your purse in case of leakage.

      Do you have a freezer stash built up, or are you ok with using some formula, in case you don’t get quite enough milk? I only pumped 2x a day at work, but I also pumped after the first feeding of the morning every single day (including weekends) and some weeks after the last feeding before I went to bed in order to get enough milk for daycare for the week. If it works with your schedule, arriving at the office 15 minutes early and pumping then will get you another pumping time without interrupting your training.

      Can you call HR now and ask if there is a lactation room at the site you are doing your training? There might be a place setup, but you might need keys or a passcode or something that could take some time to setup, so calling this week would help with that.

      For emergencies, a hand pump connected to a storage bag can fit in a small handbag and be used in a ladies room if you feel super full but only have a few minutes to relieve the worst of the fullness. Something like these works well for that purpose http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/products/584/pump-and-save-bags

      • Anonymous says:

        Great tip about the hand pump and arriving early. Thanks! They do have lactation room, and I’ve started the ball rolling on access to it.

        I have a good freezer stash built up right now. I seem to have a good supply and I’m just hoping that it won’t drop too much in the next few weeks/months. I’m open to formula (whatever it takes to feed her), but my preference is to EBF.

        • Meg Murry says:

          Find out if the lactation room is a single room with a lock, or if its multiple rooms, and whether it needs to be scheduled for a block of time or if it is first come first served. One place I worked had only one room, and so we all had it booked in our calendars for certain blocks of time – so that might not work so well for you if you are planning to just go as you get breaks.

          Will you have your car? Its not ideal, but if the lactation room is booked, you can always pump in your car under a cover.

          • Anon in NYC says:

            Just heard from HR that it is just one room and we need to reserve certain times. Right now the schedule is very full, so at this point I am just hoping that I will be able to have access twice a day that are less than 5 hours apart! Unfortunately no car (mass transit), but I do have a battery pack for my pump, so worst case scenario I can hunker down in a bathroom with a cover. Although that would be really awkward for pretty much everyone.

          • Meg Murry says:

            Ugh. Talk to HR and see what they can do, or if there is an alternate place you can pump (like a currently unused office?) Or at least the bathroom with the least foot traffic?

            Also, stalking the lactation room may help – I know we were horrified when someone new started and was basically told “well, the room is booked all day, so you can use it at 8:30 am and 3 pm”. We had all been booking 30 minutes slots, but 2 of us with back to back slots agreed to slide to 20 minutes so the new person could fit in in-between us – so I had had 10 am and someone else had 10:30, we switched to 10, 10:20 and 10:40. Anyone using the room understands the pain of being a new mom back to work, and will probably be sympathetic.

            Is this a brand new company, or a new role at your previous company? Are you at a different location than usual for the training, or just in a conference room a lot for the training but this is your new office location? Do you know anyone there that you can call and say “hey, so HR says its going to be very difficult for me to get into the lactation room, do you know what other people do?”

          • Anon in NYC says:

            Brand new organization. I’ve been emailing with the HR woman who handles this stuff, but I think a phone call tomorrow to her is in order since she’s slow to respond to emails and there are a few other aspects of the policy that I have questions about. It seems like I’ll have to do a lot of the legwork on my own, which is fine, but since I’m brand new it’s frustrating since I need this on Day 1.

      • Agree with the above. You can certainly push it to longer intervals, but it really depends on your goal. If you don’t mind supplementing with formula (which is a very valid option), your biggest risk is discomfort and engorgement the first few times until your supply adjusts. If you are very protective of your supply, you will probably want to continue to pump at the same frequency your baby eats. And in that case, I would set everything up with HR in advance to inform them that you will need breaks every three hours (vs phrasing it as a request) and ensure you have access. I had an irregular schedule that often involved traveling from office to office, and had to frequently lug around my pump or hand pump and expressed milk. I used ice-packs that came with a meal delivery service and stayed quite cold all day. And I always carried extra milk bags.

        • Note that “same frequency your baby eats” depends on if your baby tends to eat on only one side per feeding, or both. I was able to get away with only pumping 2x/day right from when I first went back to work (at 9 weeks) because he nursed every 90 min-3 hours, but only one one side at a time usually, so pumping once was basically the equivalent of 2 feedings.

          • Good point. I have twins, so it was always from both sides and demand was high :)

    • I think if you pump on your way to work, 2x while you’re there, and on the way home, you may be able to make it work. This assumes you (a) drive and (b) can pump and drive.

  3. Tunnel says:

    Anyone want to go shopping for me? I need a dress for a Christening, but am still carrying more weight than I like to admit around my mid-section post partrum. I think I would be a lose size 14 or tighter size 16. Halp!

  4. I’m 20 weeks pregnant with twins and have experienced a lot of “tightening” (what I think my doctor keeps calling Braxton Hicks). No other scary symptoms, and I’m in close touch with a my high risk OB (and seeing him again in a couple days). I was just wondering how common this actually is and whether it indicated anything for others…

    I’m alternating between ‘this is normal, especially due to clear rapid growth’ and borderline panic that I’m supposed to be super keyed in to my body and maybe should be doing something (though don’t know what) more. Thanks in advance!

    • Clementine says:

      Sorry you’re so stressed out!

      When in doubt, keep a journal of your symptoms and call your doctor. Mine is always happy to talk through any symptoms, as well they should be!

      Anecdotally, I’m 23 weeks into an uncomplicated singleton pregnancy and I get those too, especially if I’m exercising or right before a belly growth spurt. Dehydration can also exascerbate them, so drink water.

      My doctor told me this is part of pregnancy, but if I am noticing a pattern or if I just get a feeling something is wrong that it’s never wrong to call and talk it through with the nurse.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I had weird tightening feelings while pregnant too, like there was a balloon being inflated too big inside my stomach – mine seemed to strike in the late afternoon while I was at work. After one “false alarm” of rushing to the hospital for evaluation and finding out that they weren’t even BH contractions, I finally realized that mine were a stress reaction. Drinking water, putting on relaxing music while in the office, and reducing my workload helped.

      But I would absolutely not discount your instincts. Even though mine weren’t the problem I thought they were, they were a sign of A Problem that my doctor and I discussed and worked through. It was reassuring to know they weren’t early labor, too. Keep track of them, talk to your doctor, and good luck.

    • BH came later for me with my twins (more in the third trimester). Even though i knew it wasn’t real labor, I always dutifully called it in above a certain frequency and had to report labor and delivery 2-3 times before I actually gave birth for monitor and fluids (even though I drank a ton). Around 20 weeks, my biggest issue was round ligament pain (sharp cramps). For that, a belly brace was the most effective tool. I got the gabriella one from amazon and was able to wear it under all of my clothes without showing.

    • Anonymous says:

      With my (singleton) pregnancy, once the braxton hicks started (around 30 weeks), they continued non-stop until I delivered (at 40+2). They sucked a lot and got to be very uncomfortable and I ended up going on leave at 38 weeks as a result. But they were not an indication of any problems or complications. It did take two urgent visits to the doctor’s office for me to stop freaking out. Water (with frequent bathroom trips) and lying down helped.

      Hang in there! For me at least, pregnancy sucked but the baby was so, so, so worth it.

    • Anonymama says:

      This is pretty common, I had Braxton hicks for months before giving birth. I think they are one way your uterus sort of gets warmed up for labor. It’s no reason to stress, but if you are getting them a lot maybe try to rest a bit more, and stay hydrated.

    • Braxton Hicks are completely normal during pregnancy. I tend to get them earlier than most (13-14 weeks), and the frequency picks up as the pregnancy goes along. So I basically am having them around the clock for the last few months. Being dehydrated will exacerbate them, and having a full bladder too. So if they’re getting especially annoying/constant, I head to the bathroom and drink some water and try to rest for a few minutes. If they are too frequent and strong, they can cause labor to start, so you want to monitor them according to your docs’s guidelines (mine says for example at 32 weeks along he’d like me to call his office if I have more than 8 per hour for more than 2 hours straight).

    • Thanks, all! I”m already communicating in minute detail with my doctor, but it helps to hear from those who have lived it!

    • Anonymous says:

      I have 5 month old twins. I don’t mean to scare you but definitely watch those contractions – you don’t know if they’re Braxton hicks or real contractions that are changing your cervix. I ended up on Magnesium at 30 weeks because I was having a lot of contractions and was dilating. I just chalked them up to normal Braxton hicks. If I wouldn’t have gone in I would’ve had my babies super early. After I left the hospital 5 days later I was put on bedrest for 5 weeks until I delivered at 36 weeks.

      I started having BH contractions at 18 weeks so I thought they were no big deal and I was totally used to them.

    • It is normal, but don’t be ashamed of talking to your doctor. You can expect to have more BH with twins. With mine, I also got horrible round ligament pain, to the point that I couldn’t walk or move. I’d have to just stop, preferably to sit down, and wait it out. I never had anything like that with my 3rd child, a singleton. I also delivered at 37 1/2 weeks, so it isn’t necessarily bad. Just a lot more baby (mine were almost 14 pounds combined at birth).

  5. Clementine says:

    Would you fight this one?

    I just got my list of ‘who I would like invited to your baby shower’ from my MIL (who is a lovely person, but can be a little clueless). It includes probably 10 women I have never met… Do I invite these women??

    Part of me feels like it’s totally weird to be like ‘what up, wanna come give me a gift?’;however, they all know my husband since childhood.

    Also, part of me thinks that it’s my mil politely ‘cashing in’ on the millions of baby showers and bridal showers and such that she has been to (she has all sons too). I didn’t let her do this for my Bridal shower, so do I just let her go crazy this time??

    My friend and sister who are hosting are totally fine either way and are leaning towards just letting her have her way.

    • My mom invited two ladies I had never met to my baby shower. They were very close friends of my mom’s, but I didn’t know them since I haven’t lived in my home town for several years. On the front end, I thought it would be super weird, but it was important to her, so I didn’t fight it. It ended up being totally fine that they came. Both said they felt like they knew me (from talking about each others grown children so much). They were sincerely excited for my pregnancy, and they were very happy to be there to celebrate with my mom. One took the time to knit me a beautiful blanket for the baby, which was incredibly kind of her.

      Obviously two strangers are much more manageable than 10(!). But if they’re close friends of your MIL, and they knew your husband since childhood, they’re probably genuinely excited to celebrate this big milestone. It would probably be less awkward if it were a co-ed shower and your husband was actually there to interact with them. If it doesn’t bother you too much (and since the hosts don’t seem to mind), I might not fight it.

      On the other hand, if it will make you so uncomfortable that you don’t enjoy yourself, then you should probably speak up. You want to enjoy your baby shower…it’s a special time to celebrate with those closest to you, and you want to be at ease. It won’t be too much of a surprise to your MIL, since you said you put limitations on your bridal shower as well.

      Good luck, and congrats!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      How big is the shower? If you had wanted just a few close friends to have an intimate gathering, maybe suggest having two showers? But if it was going to be a big gathering anyway, what’s another 10 people? If they don’t want to come, they won’t.

      I found my baby showers to be really awkward and not really about me so much as an opportunity for everyone else to think about babies and have glowy (unrealistic) memories of new parenthood. I think if I had known that going in, I would have had much lower expectations of my showers and would have just agreed to do whatever the hosts wanted.

    • pockets says:

      I wouldn’t fight it. Gifts are awesome, and if it reflects poorly on anyone, it’s your MIL (and if it reflects poorly on you, who cares because you don’t even know who these women are). If she’s the mother of all boys she’s probably a little sad that she’ll never get to host a baby shower for her daughter.

    • I would not pick this battle, especially because they know your husband from childhood and people arranging the shower are okay having ten more guests. I would let her have her way.

    • Tunnel says:

      Maybe I missed something. Are you inviting people to your own baby shower? If so, that’s pretty tacky in my opinion. If MIL the host, then she gets to invite who she wants. I would not pick this battle.

      • Famouscait says:

        I disagree that it’s tacky to invite people to your own baby shower. How else would a host know who to invite if you didn’t supply info about your friends and family? For my shower, the host asked me for an invitation list; we just had a conversation beforehand about the target attendance number. I think this is a very common way to go about it.

        • Tunnel says:

          I think there is a significant difference between supplying a list of people you would like to be invited to the host (if requested) versus you hosting your own baby shower.

      • Clementine says:

        To clarify, I’m giving my hosts (sister and best friend) a list of names and addresses and they’re inviting them.

        It is a larger shower (I’m having one, some friends have 2 or 3) and I think I’m just gonna go for it.

        Re: addresses This is how it works in my circle, and

  6. Anon S says:

    I’m due to return back to work from mat leave in a couple months. I have such mixed feelings – sometimes I’m looking forward to it and I feel bored at home, other times I’m dreading it. I’m worried that I won’t have enough time with my daughter and that she will forget me! For those of you who are working moms, how did you feel when you went back to work, and do you have any regrets about anything? Anything you wish you would have done differently?

    • Working says:

      I wish I would have let go of my anxiety about facetime earlier. I wasted a lot of time angsting when I wasn’t in the office. I also spent unnecessary time at the office b/c I wasn’t used to leaving if I wasn’t busy. I wish I would have let that go, and just enjoyed the time at home I had. If someone needed me, they could have found me.

      I still struggle with anxiety when I’m not in the office, but I’m getting better at turning it off.

    • I think it’s just hard :/ I’ve been back about 5 months now and it’s now getting easier. If you have any room for flexibility at the beginning, I think that would help a lot. Can you do shorter days? Telecommute one day a week to shorten commuting time? Visit daycare at lunch? A lot depends on your circumstances but it’s worth exploring. I found that even a little thing (husband bringing baby to meet up for lunch once a week) made a big difference in my overall outlook. Good luck!

      • And your daughter will not forget you!! She will be just fine. It’s definitely harder on you than her.

      • Yes, that is another great point! I eased back in with 6 hour days instead of 8, and it was really helpful. Also, my partner stayed home with the baby for my first month back, so I transitioned back to work and then transitioned into daycare, which made it less overwhelming. If that’s something you can swing, I highly recommend it.

        • We did this also, with my spouse staying home for 6 weeks after I went back (school summer break), and it was SO GREAT not to have to be stressed about daycare at the same time I started.

      • Anon S says:

        I’m hoping to get reduced hours when I go back. I have not asked yet – I plan to ask next week. And I definitely hope to work from home at least one day a week. We would still have our nanny/MIL here when I work from home, but it would be nice to pop in and see my daughter during down time!

    • First of all, she will NOT forget you! You are the mamma and no amount of daycare will ever change that! I don’t know how old your LO will be when you go back, but at some point, she will start to light up with recognition when she sees you at the end of the day, and it will be the best feeling.

      I went back when my baby was 9 weeks, and even though I was feeling kind of antsy to get back, it was definitely a tough transition. There was a lot of crying. By me. Some little tweaks helped me feel better about things, though. Initially, I was getting to daycare about 10 minutes before it closed. I was totally stressed about getting there on time, and I would feel like a horrible mother when I arrived to find all the other teachers and babies gone for the day, and a “helper” sitting by the door with my baby waiting for me. So I changed my work schedule by half an hour, which enabled me to get there in time to chat with the teachers each day and see my baby in her regular classroom environment. This made a huge difference in how I felt about my baby being in daycare because I could see how knowledgeable and caring the teachers were and how well she did in the classroom. (My partner does the drop-off, so pick-up is my only interaction with the daycare.)

      Another really tiny change was that I got one of the those mirrors that you put in the car that lets you see your baby’s face in the carseat. This made me feel like the drive from daycare to home was a little bit of interactive time, and not just lost time.

      As she has grown and changed, I have continued to try to to make little tweaks to make the most of our limited time together in the evenings. For example, we do baths on tuesday, thursday, saturday, and sunday only. This gives me a little extra time on monday, wednesday, and friday to squeeze in a quick trip to the park or something, and makes me feel better about getting to do “activities” with her rather than just going through the dinner/bath/bedtime routine at night. These tweaks might not apply to you and your situation, but I’m giving you examples to encourage you to think about what you can do to make things easier on yourself. If you are feeling stressed or otherwise bad, it doesn’t mean that you need to quit your job or do anything drastic right away. There could be some small changes that could help. Good luck!

    • In House Lobbyist says:

      I am reading “I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time” and it might be good for you. The main takeaways that I am trying to applying is that you shouldn’t just look at one 24 hour period – you should look at the whole week when you are deciding if you have balance/sleep enough/spend enough time with your children. And has lots of real life time logs from the women that participated in her study.

      • Lorelai Gilmore says:

        That’s exactly how I think about it. I am most productive if I work a long day, and that means I don’t see much of my kids on Mondays, for example. But working longer days during the week allows me to be OFF on the weekends, which is really valuable.

      • Anon S says:

        Thank you for recommending that book, I will check it out! My work is transactional based, so there’s definitely going to be busy times and slow times, so I’ll probably have to look at it that way (i.e. maybe I don’t see her much one week but then the next week I see her a ton every day)

    • I wasn’t super anxious about it. I was kind of anxious to get into a “normal” routine, as the maternity leave felt oddly not real life to me. Your daughter will not forget you. I have 3 kids, all of whom have been in daycare since 8 weeks or 12 weeks. There has never, for one second, been any question that I am mommy and one of the two most important people in their life. I have no regrets. On the contrary, with the gift of perspective, I can see how amazingly good it has been for them. More socialization, more people in their life who love them, more learning.

  7. Two Big Law Parents says:

    I’m re-posting this from the main site…My husband and I are both 5th-year big law associates. We are both 30. I’m pregnant with our first baby — due in March. We are both really happy, but I’m starting to feel more than a little panicky about how we are going to make this work, given our long and unpredictable hours.

    Does anyone in a similar situation have advice or details on what child-care arrangements have worked for you? I assume we definitely have to have a nanny as opposed to day care, but even a nanny needs to have defined hours, right? What do you do if you suddenly both have to work really late? Should we try to come up with a system of alternating which days each of us is responsible for nights at home, or be flexible based on what deals we have going on and how busy each of us is? Any suggestions re: outsourcing or how to maximize our time with the baby? We already have a weekly cleaning lady.

    I’m planning to take the full 6 months of maternity leave, so we definitely have some time to think about this, but I think I will feel better if we start planning for my return earlier rather than later. Thanks in advance!

    • We weren’t two BigLaw parents, but I was in BigLaw and my husband had an equally demanding IT consulting job. It’s hard, but we made daycare work. We’re blessed that we have both sets of grandparents local, so we had some semblance of emergency backup care. I was able to leave the office early enough in the afternoons (5 pm, on the dot) to do daycare pick up. I’d get the kids home and fix their dinner, and husband would arrive around then. We’d tag-team putting the kids to bed, have dinner, and then both of us would do some work before bed.

      The hardest part is the unexpected: your kid is sick and can’t go to daycare (and backup care is unavailable), the nanny is sick, inclement weather, etc. Then husband and I would compare schedules and see where we could compromise on child care. We’ve had more than a couple days where I’ll “work from home” in the morning while watching the sick kid, then husband will come home at lunch, and we’ll trade off.

      I haven’t used a nanny, but just remember that if you’re paying above-board, you’ll need to pay the nanny any overtime for hours over 40 each week. If that is a huge amount, it may be worth it to get two nannies to avoid that cost.

      • Oh, and I’ll add: I say that I “was” in BigLaw because after 3 years, it was too much. I went in-house and work much more reasonable hours. Husband has also scaled back his hours, as well. The tension between crazy work hours and maximizing family time is real, and eventually you may reach a breaking point where something has to give.

    • Anon S says:

      Are you me? :) I could have written your post. I’m taking 6 months off and due back to work in a few months (I had my baby in April). I can’t speak from experience yet since I haven’t gone back to work but we have a nanny lined up for 3 days a week from 8-6 and my mother in law 2 days. Since having our daughter, my husband has been home by 6pm almost every day or also worked from home here and there. I plan to leave the office by 5pm or earlier when I go back to work, and then just log on from home after my daughter goes to bed.

    • No tips (still expecting) but I feel your pain. I’m fortunate that my husband has a flexible job and I still worry that it won’t be possible. To address the surprise late nights, a number of my colleagues use the daycare in our building specifically because it enables them to pick baby up and go back to the office. Since I refuse to use that daycare (and DH has flexibility) I’ll probably do drop off and he’ll do pick up. I am already a Blue Apron fan and the people with kids swear by Munchery and Amazon Fresh (order by midnight, get by 6 a.m.). One thing I haven’t done yet but would definitely consider is sending out all of you laundry–especially since babies generate so much but their stuff usually isn’t delicate. Good luck!

    • Lorelai Gilmore says:

      One suggestion: both my kids are in daycare, but we have an evening nanny who picks kids up from daycare and gets them home a few nights a week. It gives us two reliable nights a week to work late or go to receptions, etc., and solves the nanny overtime problem. Having done multiple forms of childcare, this works best for us and for our kids. It also feels like a better bang for the buck. On good nights, I get home in time to put kids to bed; on bad nights, the nanny gets the kids to bed. She always does dinner and packs up school lunches for the next day.

      I also think it helps for you and your husband to have a “default” schedule for who does pick up on what day. That allows you to plan in advance. But you have to be flexible!

      • Love the idea of an evening nanny. Not sure if it would be worth it (for me) with a newborn (because I’d really want to get home early enough to see him) but would definitely look into it with older kids. Not having to do daycare pick up or pack lunches sounds like a dream.

        • Lorelai Gilmore says:

          We started this model when the “baby” was about a year old. It works for us!

    • In House Lobbyist says:

      Amazon Prime Subscribe and Save for all things baby. I get all my household items this way too and haven’t been to Target in months.

    • nyc anon says:

      My husband and I are both fourth year associates in big law in NYC and had our first baby last fall. I’m not going to lie…I was very worried and to some extent that was justified. It is incredibly tough. I’m lucky that I’m in a specialist group so my hours are a little better and a little more predictable than my husband’s. I try to get in “early” in the morning and most days I leave at 6 to relieve our nanny. It’s tough because even though I may be working from home at night, my firm is pretty big on “face time” so it’s hard for me to get out at 6. My nanny is flexible in that she can occasionally work late in a pinch, but I hate to do that when I could technically work from home because it gets very expensive very quickly. I know, for example, that my September and October are going to be incredibly busy so I’ve already hired a supplemental babysitter to work nights and weekends so I can stay late/work over the weekends. My husband literally cannot help at all…he’s usually at work after midnight most weeks and works most weekends as well. My plan was to just see how long I can do this and then talk about going to 80% if it gets totally unmanageable. Sorry I don’t have a magic answer…the truth is, it’s tough but you figure it out as you go along and if it becomes untenable, you figure out an alternative.

      • Anon S says:

        How often do you get to see your baby? That is one thing I worry about (I’m going back to work in Oct after being on mat leave) . . .

  8. Smokey says:

    Our neighbors just put in a new patio, and have taken to sitting outside by their firepit three to five times a week. Unfortunately, the smoke blows directly up to my 10 month old son’s room. Even with all our windows tightly closed, the room smells oppressively of smoke. The first time I went in, the smell was so strong, I checked his closets and went up to the attic, thinking our house was on fire. He has struggled to fall asleep when the firepit is going, so putting aside the health risks, I think it bothers him.

    Our house is very close to the neighbors (think zero lot line or basically townhouses), but their patio runs across the entire back of the house. They keep their firepit on the corner of the patio closest to our house because that is where the entrance into the house is. I think if they moved the firepit over to the other side of the patio, the smoke would be able to better dissipate rather than basically going straight up to my son’s room, but my husband is reluctant to say anything.

    For now, our solution has been to put our son down into a pack and play in our room, and then transfer him to his room when we go to sleep (they don’t stay out late, so the smoke has basically dissipated by this time). Would you say anything? I expect this will become a more regular occurrence as the weather cools, and we have a friendly relationship with this family but we are not close. There is no HOA or other prohibition on use of the firepit (not that I would necessarily go that route anyway).

    • Yes tell them! If you have a friendly relationship with them, they probably have no idea this is happening and wouldn’t want to be filling a baby’s bedroom with smoke. I’d mention it to them and suggest the other corner of the patio.

      If for some reason this turns sour, I would also check your town’s fire regulations on fire pits. A lot of towns ban them outright or have regulations on smoke.

      Good luck – that would drive me completely bonkers!

      • Ditto on checking the regs – I think our county has a reg that open flames must be 15″ from structures. No one follows it, but our condo association dutifully sends out a reminder every year.

    • mascot says:

      Can you put HEPA filters in your air-handling units and/or get a HEPA air purifier for the room?

      • Smokey says:

        Last night, I was thinking about a HEPA air filter for his room, as the smell did linger a bit even after they had gone inside. But when the firepit is going in its current location, I’m not even sure if that is sufficient to keep the room smoke-free.

    • Why not let the neighbor know that the smoke is coming into your house? It sounds like this is a portable fire pit rather than part of the landscaping itself. If they are willing to move it, your problem is solved!
      Also, I wonder if you could caulk or do some other type of sealing to limit the smoky air that comes into the room.

    • Smokey says:

      I think the consensus to say something is right. I also agree that I’d happily move the firepit if the roles were reversed, and would absolutely want to know (also, there is a tree line on the other side, so it wouldn’t be pushing the problem to another neighbor).

      I think I partially feel badly because my husband and I were considering a firepit, and I’d feel hypocritical using one after this! (we would of course be super mindful of its location and the neighbors, but still).

  9. I would definitely say something. You can be polite/non-confrontational about it and offer your idea that they move it to the other side of their patio.

    If it were me with the fire pit, I would feel terrible if it were affecting my neighbor in this way. They probably have no idea that the smoke is coming into your child’s room.

  10. Winter coat suggestions for a winter mama (Dec. 1 EDD)? The ones on Nordstrom.com have very mixed reviews, but I like that they are made for maternity and carrying a newborn. I could go with wool or a tailored, long puffer.

    Thanks!

    • Anonymous says:

      I got mine from Old Navy and it wasn’t beautiful but it was inexpensive and functional. I saw other pregnant mamas with cute coats from ASOS.

    • Maddie Ross says:

      Do you live in a climate where a winter coat is a necessity? I made do with wearing one of mine open for work and borrowing my husband’s fleece or puffer on the weekend. With a 12/1 due date, you’d likely only need it a short time and would be back in your own coats (or at least standard sized coats) before January.

      • +1. I live in a 4-season climate with quite a bit of snow, and I never wanted to spend the money on a very limited-use maternity coat. I was fine wearing my normal coats open, except for taking the kids sledding or something similar, when I would borrow a parka from my husband that zipped over the belly.

      • pockets says:

        +2. I had a baby in February and I wore my husband’s fleece zipped over my belly, with my winter jacket open on top of that, and a big scarf. I wasn’t getting on any best-dressed lists, and I wasn’t the warmest I could be, but I was warm enough and it worked.

        For babywearing, look at the kowalli (or something similar). I wore that with my winter coat open. The baby keeps the front of you warm, and the fleece keeps the back of the baby warm.

      • I’m late to the game, but I totally agree with this. I was due the day before Thanksgiving, and I didn’t purchase a maternity coat. I live in DC, so it’s cold but not terrible. I think we had snow a few times. I wore my regular puffy coat unzipped, and I was totally fine. Honestly, I was running hotter than usual anyway at that point in my pregnancy, and I probably wouldn’t have wanted to be overly bundled!

        • I’ll add that I wasn’t back into my regular coats during the remainder of the winter because my b**bs were (and still are) so big from nursing. I could button/zip my regular coats halfway up, but it was a struggle fastening them over my chest. But again, I made it work with scarves and things, and I’m still glad I didn’t buy anything new.

    • Thanks, everyone! Good to here it isn’t the necessity I thought it was. I’m in Seattle and while it can get (relatively) cold, it rarely snows.

    • Anonymous says:

      I loved the Quilted Puffer Convertible Maternity Coat from Nordstrom! I am in NYC and used it last winter. I got very hot when inside, so I didn’t wear any sweaters. Since I had a light layer underneath, I needed a somewhat warm coat during the colder days. It was also good postpartum before I fit into my tailored coats!

  11. toddler/ preschool shoes? says:

    Where do you go for/ how do you buy shoes for our little ones? My 2 year old has just outgrown pretty much her shoes except for her crocs (which is good, because they are still doing water days at daycare and crocs every day is still acceptable, though they’re hideous). I don’t like the quality of shoes @ target for little kids, and stride ride just isn’t the kind of shoe I’m looking for (though we’ve gotten her sneaks there in the past). I’m looking for cute boots, maybe some kind of casual but not athletic sneaker…that sort of thing.

    She’s hard on her shoes but we are OK spending for ones that will last the full season. She’s just about a size 7 now if that impacts which stores will work.

    • I’ve had my best success getting shoes on Zappos. I search by size and then scroll through until I find options that I like. Being able to return them so easily makes it relatively painless.

      • Spirograph says:

        +1, in fact, have a box of zappos shoes for DS coming today. I am sure I could find cheaper ones at a brivk and mortar store, but the convenience is worth it. I also buy almost all of my own shoes from zappos…

    • Diana Barry says:

      I order from tiny soles dot com or from zappos. They have been wearing pedipeds – super cute and supposedly good for their feet, and cheaper than stride rite.

    • Lorelai Gilmore says:

      I love See Kai Run. My daughter is about to age out of the sizing and I’m so sad! Lots of cute Mary Janes and non-athletic sneakers.

    • Anonymama says:

      Nordstrom has a pretty good variety of kids shoes.

    • Anonymous says:

      I like amazon, they seem to have better prices than elsewhere.

    • My answer is still Stride Rite. They have non-sneakers, and I just bought my 2 year old daughter cute boots (in a size 7).

      Barring that, I agree with the Zappos and Nordstrom suggestions. They both carry cute options.

  12. Anon S says:

    Me again . . . another question for you working mamas. Did you ever consider not going back to work and being a SAHM? If you considered that, what made you decide to continue working?

    • Toward the end of my leave it was all I wanted to do, at least for the baby’s first year. And random people (like neighbors I’d never met before) would suggest it. But I make three times what my husband makes, and we are envisioning a time in the near future when neither of us will make as much as we make now, so there really wasn’t a choice. Coming back when it wasn’t by choice was hard. I read a book around that time called The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap, by Stephanie Coontz, which really helped me realize that for almost all of humanity, everyone worked (a lot more than we work now) — staying at home would really be an extreme luxury, not the historical norm. The book was really useful in getting a better perspective.

      • This may come across as more judgmental than I intended — I may very well have gone the “luxurious” route if it worked for us!

    • Anonforthis says:

      I really wanted to quit after I had my first because I hated my Biglaw job and I knew it would be a struggle getting time with my kiddo, but my husband was still a student and I was the breadwinner, and it just wasn’t feasible. When he was a little over 1, I switched to a great new (small) firm and did not consider leaving with my next 2 pregnancies because I loved by job and the people, and I had a lot of flexibility, so I knew I could make it work. I am pregnant with my last baby now and I’ve decided to take at least a year off, maybe 2. What made me decide to do it this time: I now have enough seniority and expertise in my field that I am not at all concerned about returning to practice when I want to (for this and several other reasons I won’t go into here to avoid outing myself); I used to be the main breadwinner, but now my husband’s career has caught up and we don’t need my income; this is my last baby and I know how fast it all flies by and I don’t want to miss as much of it is I did with the others.

      • Anonforthis says:

        Also, forgot to add: I’m just burned out right now after a really busy few years and need a break, and I can’t imagine keeping up with my workload right now (even at a reduced level) with a newborn.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I thought about it, but my STBX was opposed (I think because he knew he would be leaving and didn’t want to pay alimony). I fortunately decided that I could go back to work and quit later if I hated working, but it would be harder to re-enter the workforce if I quit during mat leave. So I went back to work, and realized that I was SO MUCH happier being a working mom than I had been on leave. It was this huge sense of relief that I could go to the bathroom alone, and have adult conversations, and think hard, intellectual thoughts about difficult problems.

      And now that kiddo is a toddler, I can’t even tell you how important it is for me to have the sanity break of dropping kiddo off at daycare some days. Weekends are HARD. I love my kid, but I love her more when we have some personal space.

      Signed, introverted mommy.

      • I was very sad at the end of my maternity leave and wishing I could stay home, probably not forever, but for a year or two. However, once I was back at work for a week or two, the sadness mostly passed and I really enjoyed being a professional again. Ideally, I’d love to work 4 days a week and have one day to spend with her, but that’s not a possibility.

        I think the timing was right in terms of me getting over the wish to be a SAHM. My baby was around 4 months when I got back into the groove of working, and she was starting to be MUCH more active during the day. Once she made that transition from newborn to active baby, those snuggly days we had during my maternity leave were no longer the norm. I love my weekends and occasional days off with her, but I also find them exhausting. I honestly can’t imagine being home with her all day every day. So that dose of reality made it easier for me to accept my fate as a working mom. I still sometimes miss the activities we used to do during maternity leave (baby yoga, stroller strides, etc), but overall I’m happy with my current situation.

        • I actually have this set up, more or less. I do work full time, but I am able to arrange my schedule so that I am home one day per week with my toddler. I work with clients in various countries AND I run my entire department, so I more or less control my schedule. This was easy when my kid was <5 months as she slept half the day anyway and I got work done. Now, at 2.5, she can self-entertain and in a worst-case scenario I let her watch a little TV while I knock some work out. Between 8 months and 18 months, she needed my entire focus. I got a babysitter a few hours to help with things.

          FWIW i know i'm lucky to have this setup. I got promoted twice while in this arrangement, so I can pretty safely say my performance isn't suffering.

    • CPA Lady says:

      I considered it very briefly. Having watched some of my friends drop out of work to become SAHMs was pretty eye-opening for me. That and I read an article that talked about how when you’re trying to decide whether to stay at home or go back to work that the decision should not be based on whether or not you hate your current job– If you want to stay home with your kid(s) because you enjoy spending time with infants and toddlers and think it would be great to be there for those early years, then that’s wonderful, go ahead and do it. But if you’re just running away from a job you hate, maybe just get a different job instead.

      Those sentiments really rang true for me, especially after watching friends quit to run away from jobs… those are the ones that tend to get sucked into those obnoxious MLM pyramid schemes after the kid is one and they realize that staying at home is not quite what they thought it’d be. Of course, I was also sort of traumatized by my experience growing up having a SAHM who couldn’t get out of a bad situation when she needed to because she was financially dependent on my awful dad. So I think my decision to keep working is partially based out of a fierce sense of self-preservation and independence, even though my husband is a lovely person.

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