Washable Workwear Wednesday: Jersey Jacket

These jersey jackets, which we included in our recent Corporette post on Great Blazers under $50, are still in stock, with some of them as low as $20 right now. I think if you’re looking for an easy, wearable blazer that is very affordable, this is a good bet. It comes in sizes 2–20 in both black and this “beige melange.” Do check it out — it’s only $35 at H&M. Jersey Jacket

Here’s an option in plus sizes at H&M.

Looking for other washable workwear? See all of our recent recommendations for washable clothes for work, or check out our roundup of the best brands for washable workwear.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    I have this (or a near identical one) in a light pink which I love. I own nothing beige – any ideas on how to style it? Looking it mix up my wardrobe a bit and beige might be a good neutral addition. They have it shown with black and white but that seems dull.

    • avocado says:

      How about with grey, eggplant, or navy?

    • AwayEmily says:

      I have a blazer that’s cream-colored (sort of beigey, I guess) and it has been surprisingly versatile. I usually wear it with black skirt or pants and a solid-colored top. Also looks good over black dresses, maybe with a piece of colorful statement jewelry.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks – I do have some eggplant that looks too dark with black. Beige and eggplant might be a nice fall look. Also love the idea of wearing it over a black dress. I have a ton of black sheaths that I don’t seem to wear enough. Any suggestions for shoes with black dress/beige jacket. Maybe black booties? Would love to add a third color though.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        I know it isn’t a color, but I love the combo of black, beige and white or cream. Purple, eggplant, or dark red would also look great. Basically, any jewel tone (but maybe not gold, depending on the beige?).

  2. My twins are “graduating” from the fantastic in-home daycare where they have been enrolled for 3 years. I’d like to give the director a gift. For reference, each December, we give her $500–largely because her tuition rate is under-market– and each part-time assistant $50. It seems weird to give a wad of cash as a goodbye gift. Flowers and a card? Or something in between? Money is essentially no issue. She has done so much for our family, I just want to do what is appropriate.

    • anne-on says:

      Can you do a split – something for her and something for the daycare? Our first awesome daycare did one of those ‘sell wrapping paper/crappy candy’ fundraisers one year, and I flat out asked the director what they were hoping to buy with the funds (digital cameras for each room, and some miscellaneous kid items) and bought a digital camera for each of the three rooms in lieu of hitting up our friends/family to buy stuff they didn’t need.
      I’d do something nice like that for the center- maybe a CRIcut, a laminating machine, some photo printers, or bigger toys?
      And a nice card/flowers/gift card of some sort. If you want to go more personal maybe a restaurant gift card or one to a massage place?

      • +1. Ask for a couple big-ticket items that she’s been wanting to get for the center. You can buy one as your sort of “legacy” for the kids that come after yours.

      • EB0220 says:

        I think the big ticket item as a legacy is a great idea. We do this with books for each of my child’s classrooms and everyone loves it. I got the idea from another parent in my daughter’s infant class.

    • I would do cash and flowers. They will appreciate the money the most.

  3. Anon in NYC says:

    Does anyone know of a good website for “science” experiments (or creative indoors activity) with a toddler? My daughter’s preschool teacher made a rainbow with skittles and hot water and my daughter loved it. I’d like to get some more ideas for stuff to do on a rainy weekend day.

    • I’ve gotten some ideas from teachingmama.org A lot of her stuff seems to be for older kids, but she has a toddler section.

    • I don’t have a website to recommend, but my daughter and I have done:

      (1) freeze a plastic toy in ice
      (2) spread baking soda in a baking pan, adding drops of food coloring, then adding drops of vinegar and watching the “explosion”
      (3) making cups of water with different primary colors, then mixing the colors together to make new colors, and writing down our results (color coded, of course)
      (4) not quite science, but I let my daughter make that french yogurt cake by herself (with constant supervision by me) and it actually turned out surprisingly well; seems it is a very forgiving recipe

      Have not done it yet, but I think it is fairly easy to extract DNA from strawberries using common things in the kitchen, so I plan to do that one this winter. I’ve also been thinking of looking for a good experiment to illustrate density by adding different colored liquids to a cup to make a stacked rainbow.

      There was some sort of subscription box for science experiments, but when I browsed it too many of the experiments looked too complex for my little one. Maybe when she is older.

      • Spirograph says:

        I did the strawberry DNA extraction in a biology class and can vouch for the fact that it’s easy!

        Another thing that’s a hit with little kids is demonstrating surface tension by making a boat zoom across the water. If you put a tiny drop of soap on your finger and touch the water behind the boat, the boat moves. You can do a more complicated version by integrating a sponge with a more raft-like boat and dropping the soap on the sponge, if you want to get crafty. :)

        Just making foil boats and seeing how many coins you can put in them before they sink is probably also fun. You can try different shapes and sizes to see which ones can carry the most.

        My mom had a whole book of fun science experiments to do with kids when I was little. My oldest kids are old enough to appreciate this stuff now, so thanks, OP, for the reminder that I need to find one for myself!

      • avocado says:

        For the stacked rainbow, you can dissolve different amounts of sugar in separate containers of water to vary the density, then color each one and very carefully layer in a narrow glass (champagne flutes work well) by dripping the liquid gently down the side of the glass to avoid mixing.

        • avocado says:

          This one came from the book Kitchen Science Lab for Kids, which has tons of great activities. There are some good activities in the Science Friday archives too.

        • Spirograph says:

          oh that totally makes sense. I’ve done it with oil, water, molasses, etc, but you can make much prettier colors with sugar water. And speaking of sugar…

          Growing sugar crystals is the best science experiment ever, although not instant gratification like a lot of these others. Make a supersaturated solution of sugar and water, pour it into a container and hang a string from a pencil across the top, or lean a popsicle stick inside. In a day or two, you have rock candy!

      • Anonymous says:

        For the baking soda one: I like to use an empty water bottle, put some baking soda in the bottom with food coloring, and then let the kids pour white vinegar in. Make sure to put the water bottle in a large bowl (or the sink!) because there is a LOT of overflow, but the kids love to “make volcanoes”!

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        Oooh I’m late but we do lots of ~science~ at home.

        – ice cube tray filled with water + baking soda + food coloring –> pop out cubes and squirt with bottle filled with vinegar

        – mixing anything together. she loves to mix like, glue and water and paint and glitter. I tend to have an idea for a sensory bottle (thanks, pinterest!), and we assemble one together but she also gets a dish washing basin full of stuff to squeeze and pour and mix.

        – along the same lines, a dish washing basin with water and dish soap in it (add food coloring or paint or glitter or oil depending on your clean up tolerance) and let her squirt more dish soap, or water, or whatever, in and see what happens (bubbles are what happens!) – it can be fun for her to have a squirty bottle (like for ketchup) and also a spray bottle, to see how things happen differently.

        – making playdough. the time i made it was accidental, trying to make oobleck less ooblecky — cornstarch + water + dye + flour. it turned out great though!

        – slime with glue and borax (judge your own comfort on borax. i don’t mind it.)

        – growing water beads. i let her help me put them in a tupperware, add water –> the next day they were so big! “can we show daddy how they got so big?!”

    • One super easy thing my kids love is seeing what sinks and what floats. We give them a clear mixing bowl and random stuff and they drop it in the water. And the biggest hit are the wine corks that float.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not an inside one but my kids loved learning about evaporation by ‘painting’ the deck with water using a bucket and big paint brush on a hot day.

    • I love all of these ideas!

    • This is more exploration than experiment, but my toddler LOVES smelling spices out of our spice cabinet. We pour a small amount into our hand, and he smells it and sometimes tastes it. He makes us go through the entire spice cabinet (probably >30 spices) and asks for it again and again.

      • Blueberry says:

        Just try to make sure they don’t breath too deeply and sneeze into your spices! (Ask me how I know!) ;)

        • That’s one reason we pour them into our hand first. That, and he sometimes licks them. :-)

    • Anon in NYC says:

      These are all great ideas! Thanks! They just did a “sink or float” experiment yesterday, and I think she had fun with that too! I can totally see her having a ball dropping things in water.

      • We did this at home during a snow day earlier this year! (Kid was ~22 months and had a blast.) (Did you know playdoh sinks and then dissolves?! And then is impossible to get out of carpet?! Floam, though, floats.)

        Other fun stuff:
        Milk painting – shallow pie tin of milk, mix food coloring with dish soap solution, use eyedropper to drip it into water and watch colors swirl
        Lego/ Duplo – search for Lego Foundation’s ‘Six Bricks’ activity challenges
        Chromatography with old markers, coffee filters, and a drop of water

    • shortperson says:

      two year old hits here:

      celery or white flowers in different cups of water colored w food coloring.

      growing plants from seeds.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ooh, good one. I did not know you could use celery, I remember always being on the lookout for Queen Anne’s Lace flowers when I was a kid so we could do this!

    • Blueberry says:

      Pinterest is a good source

  4. Amelia Bedelia says:

    I need a weekender bag for a trip beginning Sunday (SO LAST MINUTE!). I love the Lo & Sons Catalina deluxe small (especially separate compartment for shoes), but I can’t get it in time because no express shipping. CURSES! any recommendations for an acceptable substitute that has express shipping?

  5. I am going back to work next week after maternity leave and UGH I’m just dreading it. It has been so lovely to take a break from the constant struggle and stress and annoyance and anxiety of working. I love my job but think every job has problems like these, so it isn’t a matter of finding something new. More a matter of leaving this peaceful little cocoon to get back to the rat race!

    • EP-er says:

      It will be okay. It can be hard to come back to work after leave. Do you have an “ease-in” period for everyone to adjust? I remember that time as being exhausting and coming back part time for a few months, then work from home was so helpful! Good luck week — and enjoy all the snuggles this week!

    • Sabba says:

      One day at a time. You can do this!

  6. How do you deal with constant fundraisers from your kid’s school? I don’t know if I’m being extra sensitive to this, but I don’t want to be That Coworker who is always peddling popcorn and wrapping paper and candy bars. I’m tempted to skip the fundraisers altogether and just give money directly, but my kid’s school has things like pizza parties for everyone who sells over X amount. (Where X is a number more than she would be able to get from neighbors and family, we don’t live in or come from a high-earning area.) Am I a horrible parent for excluding her from those just because I don’t want to sell this crap?

    They seem to have a fundraiser every other month, which just seems so excessive and ridiculous. What do you do? Do you care about the optics of a working mom selling kid crap at work?

    • I don’t think you’re being extra sensitive. My mom never brought my fundraising stuff to work, because she didn’t want to bother or pressure her co-workers. Now that I’m working, I get it and appreciate that she did that. I wouldn’t bring my kids’ fundraising stuff into work.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      We have one mom who does that in my office – sometimes it’s welcome (Girl Scout cookies, Xmas wreaths), sometimes the participation is pretty light, but nobody thinks less of her for it (she leaves the sign up in the communal cafeteria and doesn’t actively request purchases from people). FWIW, she is in an administrative support position in an office full of lawyers; I think the optics would be very different if it was a lawyer or upper management soliciting for funds.

      My mom and dad would sometimes make the purchase themselves when it was useful (who doesn’t need gift wrap at the holidays, or a box of candy bars to hand out at Halloween?), but I also remember not very many kids earning those “pizza parties” and not feeling left out when I didn’t sell enough to participate. I was also not a very entrepreneurial kid, and wasn’t exactly knocking doors to earn the prize myself….

      • ElisaR says:

        mannnnnn i get so excited when my co-workers sell girl scout cookies for their kids.

        ps. i was a girl scout and proudly sold 100 boxes one year door to door, my parents didn’t do a thing to help me….i do think it’s a little ridiculous that you never even meet the kid you’re buying from when a parent brings it to work but that’s a whole other conversation….

        • NewMomAnon says:

          In retrospect, I bet my parents had a similar policy on some of the fundraisers – if I wanted to “earn” the pizza party, I could do it myself. But they weren’t going to earn the pizza party for me.

    • shortperson says:

      if she wants to go to the party let her sell the crap. that was my parents’ approach and i was happy to skip the party. when my sister hits me up for fundraisers i tell her i will only consider buying if the child contacts me directly, and 90% of the time they dont.

      • +1 I don’t remember my parents ever helping me with these things (besides contributing a little bit themselves).

    • Delta Dawn says:

      My office has a culture of putting the info on these types of sales in the break room, and you can put your name on the list for wrapping paper, or put a dollar in the jar and take a candy bar, or whatever. My LO is too small for school fundraisers so far, but when he’s old enough, I will set the info in the break room– but that’s it. I would never consider actually discussing it with anyone at work. If it wasn’t easy to set it out, I wouldn’t do it at all, and I wouldn’t feel bad about it.

      My mom never participated in these, so we were “excluded,” I guess, from the winning pizza party or whatever it was. I always knew I would not be going to the wrapping paper pizza party… it was never that big of a deal to me, as a kid. I also knew I wasn’t buying anything at the book fair, etc.; I just always knew we didn’t participate like that. My parents were very involved with our activities, came to ballgames, etc., but they chose not to do these fundraisers, and it was never an issue to me. I plan on taking the same approach.

    • CPA Lady says:

      No, you’re right. It’s totally out of control and I don’t plan on supporting it either. The only thing I’m happy to see in the break room is girl scout cookie order forms. Maaaaybe coupon books. I would be very uncomfortable if a coworker tried to sell me anything directly. See also: all MLMs.

    • I don’t think you’re being overly sensitive. I think selling at work is a personal and know-your-office thing. In my office, people often set up fundraising items or forms in the break room but don’t pressure co-workers directly. That doesn’t bother me at all, and it doesn’t seem to bother anyone else. But it wouldn’t have gone over well at my previous job. And I’m not sure I would sell at work because it makes me uncomfortable.

      I’d ask your daughter how much she cares and if she has any ideas for fundraising/selling.

      • We do the same–everyone puts their forms in the breakroom. What I struggle with is whether to order the same from each kid, or from each family (when some families have multiple kids). I usually order the same from each kid, but I notice that a lot of my coworkers just order the same amount of items per family. I also note that some of my coworkers only order from the kids whose parents are at or above them in the organization’s hierarchy. This strikes me as really tacky. I order from everyone, whether the parent is a part-time assistant or the CEO.

    • Is there any way to go to the school / district administration and point out that fundraisers only enrich schools in already rich districts and that pay-to-play policies exclude middle-and-lower-income families? (I know, idealistic…)

      • At our school, the reason there are so many fundraisers is that’s how they let the lower-income families go on school trips. So the 6th grade trip to the state capital is funded by one of these events – the money is pooled together and used to lower the per-student cost of that trip.

        That’s why I’m considering just finding out what percentage of the fundraiser goes to the school, and just directly giving the $100 or whatever that I would have bought in crap. I don’t know if that’s allowed or if they’d even have a mechanism to allow me to do that, but it seems so much better than buying $100 worth of wrapping paper so the school can get $20 or whatever.

        • anne-on says:

          I’d check – in almost every school you can write a check directly to the teacher/principal in lieu of buying junk. Guess what – it means they get the entire amount of money instead of 60% or whatever it is from the sales!

        • Sabba says:

          That actually is frustrating. My family would need no subsidy for the trip, while I grew up with kids where even the subsidized trip would put a big strain on the family’s budget. I guess this is why I’m becoming a socialist, and I am getting so sick of everyone not wanting to fund public goods.

        • Anonymous says:

          Connecting with the PTA to find out what the fundraising is for is so helpful for reducing frustration with it. It’s still annoying to get the constant requests, but at least I know why. Our school has no budget for field trips, so they are entirely paid for by the restaurant and random fundraising. The jog-a-thon pays for one big item (new music risers, new playground swings) that wouldn’t normally happen. The fall “not Halloween” event is for the holiday gift fund for very low-income families (with students at the school).

          I also pay straight money for what I would spend in [email protected], just to support the programs. Again, inquire with the PTA of the best way to do it, because the wrong way can cause hassle and confusion. It may be easier to pay cash, send it in a different envelop than the fundraiser, write check to PTA directly, etc.

    • Spirograph says:

      My kids aren’t old enough for this yet, but yes, I do care about the optics, and I also think it’s weird for your kid to be rewarded for your effort. For things like girlscout cookies (that people want! or at least I do), I’d leave an order form in a break area but not mention it to anyone unless they ask. For random stuff, I would walk around the neighborhood with her (depending on age) and let her try to sell to neighbors if she wants to, but I would not take it to work. If she’s not motivated enough to do it, herself, she doesn’t get the prize.

      I hated selling stuff when I was a kid, and my parents would not do it for me (my mom was a SAHM and it would not have been appropriate in my dad’s workplace). The only thing I made an effort for was the fund raiser for my church youth group, and only because the cost of my participation in x fun activity was waived if I sold over y amount. My parents told me they would contribute [less than x] toward the activity either in the form of product purchased or direct payment, and I needed to either pay the rest out of my allowance or meet the remainder of the fund-raiser goal. I didn’t like it at the time, but in retrospect, I think that was a pretty good way to handle it.

    • avocado says:

      I used to put the Girl Scout cookie form in the break room because people actually want those, but stopped when the HR lady’s daughter joined Girl Scouts. Otherwise I don’t participate in any fundraisers that require me to sell stuff or solicit donations. My husband’s company prohibits employees from selling at work.

      Our elementary school PTA asked parents for donations every fall in exchange for promising not to ask parents to sell anything. The program was wildly popular and pretty much everyone made the suggested donation, which was far less than the total amount a family would spend to buy one thing from each fundraiser throughout the year. If you’re involved with the PTA, I’d suggest this.

      • Clementine says:

        My kid’s daycare does two fundraisers a year – one (surprisingly tasteful) coffee/chocolate fundraiser and a second ‘hey, we’re looking to purchase X for your kid’s classroom, care to make a donation’ fundraiser.

        I’m a big fan of the ‘just contribute towards a kitchen set’ model myself.

    • EP-er says:

      Our school does one big fundraiser in the fall, a “Fun Run.” I always give generously to that and then…. just ignore the rest guilt-free. There are so many families with kids at work, I feel like if I asked co-workers I would have to participate in theirs…vicious cycle ensues. (The only exception is GS Cookies! I will gladly buy Thin Mints from someone I know.)

      There is someone at work who put a “Box Tops for Timmy!” jar in the break room. It bothers me in a way I can’t quite articulate… like, I could use the box tops at our school and so could 50 other families who work in this building, but I would never think of just asking like that. (I might also be projecting my feelings of the parent, who is kind of pushy, on this.)

    • Anonymous says:

      We focus on just one or two each year. For our school, that’s the jog-a-thon, which is their biggest fundraiser and a big event for the kids, and maybe something else if it sounds good (See’s candy bars) or is easy (penny wars, pencil-grams, etc). We call immediate family only. (She’s a GS, so we reserve our neighborhood effort for cookie sales).

      Our oldest is a go-getter, but it didn’t take her long to figure out that winning the top prize is really hard to do and basically unrealistic. She’s fine with it. Younger sister couldn’t care less. It helps that her school also does classroom rewards (ie, the class that does the most total) and raffle rewards (so everyone who did anything has a chance).

      Tips:
      – When there’s a fundraiser that I don’t want to buy, I just write a check to the school. 100% donation. Kids get to bring in something.
      – We have agreements with a couple of other families where we’ll write a check for each other’s kiddos. The kids get to have the experience of fundraising (calling to ask, delivering), but we don’t spend more in the long run than if we’d just paid out ourselves.

  7. CPA Lady says:

    This is mainly a question for the parents of older kids, but anyone, feel free to chime in.

    Do any of you let/make your kids eat school lunch? My kid’s been eating breakfast, lunch, and snack at daycare since she was old enough to eat food and I’m dreading having to pack school lunches when that time comes. Thoughts on the quality/nutrition these days? Or is this one of those things where all the rich people pack their kids lunch and all the poor kids eat the school lunch?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      No help, but I had a funny conversation with my mom recently about this – I distinctly remember that she *made* me eat (awful, disgusting, greasy) school lunch twice a week and would pack a lunch only three days. She distinctly remembers that she *allowed* me to eat school lunch twice a week but wouldn’t let me eat it more often than that because it was so unhealthy.

      It seemed like school lunches got a bit healthier under the Obama administration, but I don’t know if those initiatives have stuck.

      • ElisaR says:

        pretty sure the current administration proudly rolled back the Michelle Obama healthy food initiative

        • NewMomAnon says:

          Is ketchup considered a vegetable again? If so, it’s probably time for me to increase my vegetable intake….

        • Sabba says:

          Yes, the initiative was rolled back. It felt very vindictive. Like, let’s just dismantle this program just because Michelle Obama supported it. A*holes.

          • ElisaR says:

            my thoughts exactly. how can someone disagree with feeding children healthy food? seems like a nonpartisan issue to me and the way they announced the rollback was petty.

          • NewMomAnon says:

            Ugh, unfortunately food lobbyists are super important in school lunch politics. There is a lot of lobbying that goes into how much dairy is in a “healthy meal” for kids, for instance, because the public schools are a big purchaser of milk. If I remember, Michelle Obama negotiated with several large food companies to gradually reduce high fructose corn syrup over time, and a big part of that gradual reduction was driven by the corn lobby – corn farmers would take a price hit if the processed food manufacturers suddenly stopped buying HFCS.

            So while her healthy meals initiative may seem innocuous, I guarantee that there were lots of very intense negotiations about how it was drafted and implemented. And I bet it was an easy win for the Trump admin to just roll those negotiated deals back, since they weren’t legislative actions.

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      At my son’s school, he likes to buy lunch, so we usually do that 2-3 times per week. His school has an outside vendor to supply lunches, and there are choices each day. It seems to be good quality.

    • EB0220 says:

      My kiddo just started K. I was going to make/let her eat the school lunch every day because I hate packing lunch. After buying for 2 days, she’s insisted on bringing her lunch and it hasn’t been too onerous. I’ve been throwing it together while our toast toasts in the morning. I’ll probably make her buy once a week but we’ll see how it goes.

    • avocado says:

      I allow my child to eat whatever components of the school lunch she will actually consume. She actually prefers many of the entrees to what I pack in her lunch box, and the food is not so terribly unhealthful as it was when I was a kid. The main problems I have with the school lunch are the fact that the chicken nuggets are overly processed, most of the fruits and vegetables are canned, the lunch has insufficient calories for an active child (500 calories including milk if the kid eats everything on the tray, which they never do), and the chocolate milk has Splenda in it. My kid hates the canned side dishes and the milk, though, so I just put other fruits and veggies and a beverage in her lunchbox and she buys one or two servings of the entree.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I grew up with a classist view that “only poor kids eat school lunch”. My son kept begging and begging to eat it and when I looked at the menu I was pleasantly surprised. They have days like orange chicken with brown rice, teryaki chicken, etc.
      We started letting him buy just on the days that he would like the entree, but then he kept forgetting that he had packed lunch the other days and would buy anyway (usually grabbing a bunch of fruit and cheese and hard boiled egg and a corn muffin from the “salad bar”). I wish he would only buy on the days he actually likes the entrees, but after about 5 instances of sending in a packed lunch to have him forget about it and buy anyway, we gave up, and he buys every day.

      • Interesting, my family didn’t want to spend the $10/week on school lunches so I actually saw it as a special treat for kids with money! I was allowed to buy on breakfast-for-lunch day and it was the best. Packing lunch is such a pain, but I just can’t get behind the garbage that is sold at school cafeterias. Eating well is one of my soapbox issues for my family, and when I’m feeling lazy I’d rather my kid eat the processed food that I’ll choose at the grocery store rather than whatever is at school.

        • Marilla says:

          +1 School hot lunches were also for rich kids, in my family. We had a simple packed lunch every day (I still pack myself a similar plain lunch every day) although I love that my daughter’s daycare provides all snacks and meals and I don’t have to think about it.

      • Anonymous says:

        My school lunch was salads, sushi, pizza, sandwiches, etc…the rich kids ate it every day! (This was at a private school.)

    • Teach your kids to make their own lunch! In kindergarten it’s a total pain and mess, but I can testify by 2nd grade they can do it on their own entirely. And because they make it, they eat it. I just keep a gin of acceptable snacks and they know the “rules” – must take fruit, no candy.

    • EP-er says:

      Our elementary school always had two entree choices or a salad bar every day. I find the nutrition adequate — it isn’t all the greasy pizza or chicken nuggets and fries. In Kindergarten we didn’t buy lunch because of time issues: Lunches aren’t that long & 5 year olds can be pokey eaters. We allow hot lunch once or twice/week now. They love breakfast for lunch options!

      Also, if packing lunch is the problem… have the kids do it. It is amazing what they are capable of when we let them do things themselves! In Kinder there was much more learning/overseeing, but now — it is just part of getting ready like getting dressed or packing your backpack!

    • Blueberry says:

      I think it depends a lot on the school district, so I’d ask around locally. The school lunches in the schools I grew up in were gross and unhealthy, but I hear the ones in my rich, dark blue, health conscious county are pretty decent.

    • AwayEmily says:

      A somewhat related vent: we just moved to a daycare that provides all food, which I thought I would love, but the food is awful! I don’t think kids need to eat healthy 100% of the time, but typical afternoon snacks include Nilla wafers, animal crackers, or cheez-its. For 16-month-olds. And breakfast is *always* carbs — bagel, pancakes, english muffin. Yesterday’s lunch was French toast (??). I don’t really want to be “that parent” who packs an extra lunch (besides which I doubt she’d eat it if all the other kids were having French toast), but it’s definitely frustrating.

      • mascot says:

        So our daycare was like this and I just rolled with it. I figured he only ate 5 meals a week at daycare so I had 16 other chances to make it healthier and that the peer influence of all eating the same thing had some positive impact. It wasn’t all junk all the time- turns out that toddlers will eat salad if they see the rest of the table eating it. I’d also send in a slightly healthier afternoon snack like string cheese which they were fine with feeding him. Plus, convenience. Oh, and another throught on snacks, our after care program in elem. school serves light snacks like goldfish. They don’t want to spoil a kids dinner, but will supplement with food from home if asked. Can you do the same for breakfast/snacks at your daycare?

    • Anonymous says:

      My kids’ elementary school does quite well. I have zero issue with them eating lunch and breakfast there. Each kiddo likes some meals and not others, so it comes out to about 50% home and 50% school. We do like the ease of both kids having a school lunch day :)

      Just as not all USDA daycare meals are equal (one daycare did a good job; the other was… unimpressive), schools/staff make different choices with the school lunch program. I’m not sure if it’s at the district level, etc, but hopefully you’ll luck out.

  8. NewMomAnon says:

    My law firm is about to announce this year’s new partners. Rationally, I know I’m not making partner (because I stepped/was pushed off the partner track gradually over the last few years) and I know that’s the right outcome financially for me, but….it’s still really painful to see people several years junior to me making partner ahead of me. And I want to congratulate them, because it’s a big accomplishment, but I also want to pretend it’s not happening? Sigh.

    • Solidarity, my friend. I’ve been in a counsel role for many years now in a couple of firms and it’s hard. My current firm has only recently started to expand the number of counsels and there seems to be a lot of individualization as to what the role means for each person.

    • ElisaR says:

      totally relate – I went through the same thing at my old firm (not law, but they still name partners). It’s frustrating… I just found it was best to congratulate them and secretly stew….. which is what I did.

      Then I found out that my firm was overachieving in terms of underpaying women. Instead of the typical 80 cents on the dollar often quoted in the media, they were paying me about 33 cents…. so I quit.

    • avocado says:

      Sending internet hugs. Go ahead and congratulate those who make partner–it can actually make you feel better about yourself. And then go home and do something awesome and fun with kiddo.

    • So much commiseration. This is likely to be me next year. 3 of my good friends at my firm are likely to make partner next year, I will not. I may in a few years time but perhaps not. I am genuinely happy for them. They are great people, have sacrificed tons, are excellent lawyers and 100% deserve to be a partner. My husband will also likely make partner at his firm. But at the same time I think I’ve worked just as hard and am just as good, but its not happening for me. Maybe it will be for the best because a step back would be welcome on some fronts but its also so hard. Internet hugs.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Hugs. I agree….I feel like I did my time and put in the same amount of work as the folks making partner. A part of me feels like my firm generally gives out the “partner” title before someone has really proved they can be viable as a partner, but is holding me to the standard of meeting partner expectations before they’ll give me that title.

        • Anon for this says:

          My firm used to promote attorneys to partner because they hit a certain point in their career without consideration for business development. Then the structure became unworkable, so they have imposed on the future an unreasonable business development component that many of the current partners could never have met. Although many of those partners are not equity partners, it still is frustrating when associates cannot achieve the same title. I am producing partner level work, but as there is no chance of making partner under the current structure, my inclination is to seek a title change. Any thoughts on the title “of counsel” in this situation?

          • anon from 1:13 says:

            So my firm used to promote everyone to partner as service partners and then I guess let business development/seniority affect compensation structure as best I can tell. But, you still had that title of partner. Now, they’ve introduced this counsel role into the mix, many of whom are experienced laterals who didn’t have a big enough book to come in as partner. Because of their seniority, counsels are expected to do partner level work and develop business, but are treated more like associates in hours requirements, firm hierarchy, and so on. It’s not the shadowlands of contract/staff attorney, but it is somewhat uncertain.
            If you decide to make that switch, be very clear about what this means for your future advancement and compensation. I took my first counsel position in firm where counsel had a defined description and advancement structure, counsel–>senior counsel. The counsel title has stuck, but it’s not quite as well-regarded in my current firm. I love my specialized area of law and like my firm a lot, so it’s not all bad, but I do have some lingering insecurity about my title.

          • NewMomAnon says:

            At my old firm, “of counsel” meant you were a specialist and were too senior to be an associate, so you were on a contract basis (generally salaried, with an hours expectation and bonus ability if you exceeded your hours and met your origination goals) and reported directly to the Executive Committee. At my current firm, “of counsel” seems to be reserved for people on a super flexible path; they are usually on a contract basis, often based out of remote work locations, and many bill less than 10 hours a week. We had been a strictly “up or out” firm until recently, and there are some things that still need to be fleshed out for those of us moving off the path, but still showing up on a daily basis.

            I would ask a lot of questions at your firm about what “of counsel” means. Here are some that I asked.
            – What benefits are offered to of counsel? Is it exactly the same package as associates, or are there different thresholds for benefits eligibility (my firm had some strange discrepancies)? (Try to get this in writing if it’s not already in your firm handbook)
            – What is your guaranteed salary?
            – What are the hours expectations? How does marketing/pro bono/etc time count toward your billing goal? (again, get this in writing)
            – How will a bonus be calculated, and when do you become eligible for a bonus?
            – Who is responsible for overseeing your performance – is it the firm’s Executive Committee or the same team that oversees associate compensation, or a different group?
            – What is the schedule for reviewing raises and billing rate changes, and how much input will you have into that process?
            – Will you get a marketing budget or be reimbursed for marketing expenses?
            – Will you be rewarded for bringing in new business? Are you expected to bring in new business?
            – Is there a way to get back on the partner track? Who decides that, and what thresholds do you have to meet?

  9. Tired Mommy says:

    Ladies, my 3.5 yr. old son has hit a phase that I am finding very difficult. Lately, when he gets upset because I said “no” or did something else to offend him, he says “I don’t love you mommy,” “you’re a bad mommy,” or “you’re rude!” Rationally, I know he asserting himself as an individual, but its SO HARD on my feelings. I try to just respond with “Well, I love you, no matter what” and move on. FWIW, he does not say these things to his father. He has a younger sibling who, admittedly, has been getting a bigger proportion of my attention (and we are working on fixing this), but other than that, I just don’t have a clue.

    • Kids are masters at figuring out your weakness and trying to use it to manipulate you. It’s part of learning how to behave in a society. He is probably picking up on your slight wince when he says it, or your soft backpedal on the next thing he asks for, and that’s why he keeps doing it. Or maybe he just wants you to feel sad because he is too.

      You can’t really control those things, so keep doing what you’re doing. Try to remind yourself that by voicing your hurt and not giving in, you’re teaching him that manipulation isn’t okay. When you both calm down, it might be worth talking to him about how we don’t say mean things or try to hurt our friend’s feelings, even if he doesn’t fully grasp the concept yet. Then model the appropriate way to express his anger or frsutration or sadness – help him name it and do something else. I think Daniel Tiger has a couple episodes if you need some ideas.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Oh man, 3.5 year olds are creative little psychopaths….for a while kiddo was on a kick of announcing that she “HATED” me. Sometimes she told me that she wanted me to die. She never said it to anyone else. The phase passed. I’m sure it will return when she is a teenager….

      FWIW, I started responding with, “Ouch! That hurts my feelings.” And then I would pout really dramatically so she would giggle at me. Now when I do something she doesn’t like, she’ll announce, “Mama, you are hurting my feelings!!” And we can have a little conversation about what thing I did, how she is feeling, and why we are still doing that thing (or not, sometimes).

    • Anonymous says:

      Hugs. Both my preschoolers are currently using, “You’re not my friend, and you’re not coming to my birthday party!!” right now when they get mad. I generally find it hilarious (although I would never laugh), and I said it to them in a fit of anger a week or two they weren’t listening the other day, and OH THE TEARS. Obviously I don’t recommend actually saying the words, “I don’t love you” to your kids EVER, but that’s probably what my kids heard when I said the birthday party line. For better or worse, it drove home the message that words can hurt much better than my saying, “that hurts my feelings” ever did, and they’ve at least started apologizing after they cool down, now.

    • Anonymous says:

      I tell my 3.5-year-old, “You’re allowed to have feelings, even angry feelings, but you’re not allowed to say mean things to Mommy.” and if she does it again, she gets a time out.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m sorry. That age can be so hard emotionally (for the kid, I imagine, but I mean for the parents!) IME, they are harder on mom, so that doesn’t surprise me. With one of my kids in particular, I’d be in tears in minutes – and I am NOT a crier. My husband once said he wasn’t even sure what he’d say or do to get me to cry in that short amount of time.

      I’ve told them “you hurt my feelings.” Sometimes they forget that I have feelings, too! It’s not a perfect fix, but I do think it helps in the long run.

      I also find walking out of the room helpful. Fight or flight.

  10. avocado says:

    Shallow rant ahead. For the past couple of months I have been on a health and fitness kick–working out more, reducing/eliminating soda, rarely eating out except when traveling for work, cutting back on sodium and refined sugars, and cutting back a bit on the usually enormous amount of healthy snacking I do to keep myself going during the workday. I have not cut calories too drastically, but these moderate changes have left me constantly hangry and exhausted. For my efforts, I have been rewarded with a not-insignificant weight gain that is definitely not all muscle. We are going on vacation soon and I’d been looking forward to sporting a bikini on the beach, but my abs are now pretty much invisible beneath pasty pale cellulite that was not previously there. I hate my tankini almost as much as I hate what the bikini reveals. Please tell me to quit being shallow and get over it and just wear the swimsuit and have fun. Ugh.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      This is totally not what you asked, but I started doing a SPF rashguard and a bikini bottom at the beach and like to think I look “sporty” rather than “mommy” but I’m also probably fooling myself. It hides my tummy a bit more and at least lets me feel less frumpy

      Either way, go have fun!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I am in a similar boat – I started counting calories (discretely, not announcing anything to kiddo) and being more focused on regular exercise/healthy food choices. The scale has not budged, and I swear my pants are getting tighter.

      BUT – I am eating less sugar! And more vegetables! And overall just eating smaller portions of a variety of different foods. And moving my body! I am sleeping better, and I have more stamina, and I’m putting my phone away when I spend time with kiddo which has improved our relationship. So I’m telling myself that the scale/pants sizing is really only one factor in a multi-factor test of success (I am a lawyer…), and that the balance of the factors suggest I’m succeeding.

      FWIW, I would rock the bikini. You may cringe at the pictures now, but I bet in 10 years you’ll look back and think that you looked incredible.

    • Legally Brunette says:

      BUY THIS BIKINI!

      The high waisted bottom covers your abs but you’re still sporting a two piece. It’s so flattering and cute. And for $25, you can’t lose! Probably the first time I have felt confident in a bikini….

      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018TRK6MC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

      Angerella has other styles as well on Amazon (one piece as well)

    • Anonymous says:

      This is not what you asked, but are you eating enough to replace the sodium/sugar/etc? I get hangry and grumpy when I don’t sub in enough protein or otherwise. Also, YES, wear the bikini! Rock the bikini! I promise no one will think poorly of you (and if they do, that is their problem) and your confidence is the only thing that matters. Your kids will notice that you are comfortable in your body and that’s so good for them to see.

    • mascot says:

      Wear the bikini. My abs are super well-insulated these days and frankly the tankini did nothing for me. Turns out a two piece or a well cut one piece is far more flattering. I also find that a little bit of color in the form of self-tanner covers a lot of imperfections and makes me feel more confident in my less than smooth skin. YMMV, of course.

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