Washable Workwear Wednesday: Silky Printed Dress

Washable Dress for Work: The Limited Silky Printed DressObviously, this print won’t be everyone’s cup of tea — but I like it, as well as the general flattering shape of the dress. It also feels rare to see machine-washable clothing be described as “silky” — and yet this one is. It’s $89.95 full price but on sale for $62 today, sizes 0-18 still available. The Limited Silky Printed Dress

Here’s a washable plus-size option.

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Comments

  1. Suburban says:

    I like the dress but I’d have see the material in person. It could look gorgeous or cheesy, you know?

    Thread jacking to vent immediately. It’s my second week back at work. My son is at a daycare near work and so far, so good. I’m really confident he’s happy and in great hands. But, everyone keeps asking me “who is watching him”and then looking all crushed and sympathetic when I say “daycare.” Several people have asked me if I cry when I drop him off. I know some moms do cry the first day, but that’s a weird thing to a ask a colleague about, right? I’m starting to wonder whether this is sympathy or some kind of subtle mom-shaming. I’m probably being too sensitive. Anyone else deal with this?

    • Anon in NYC says:

      You are probably being a little too sensitive and reading a little too much into it, but it is a weird thing to say to a colleague. I assume they are probably trying to make conversation and also seem sympathetic to the cultural narrative that a mother is devastated by leaving her child/returning to work. I would just respond with a cheery, “Nope! He’s having a great time at daycare and his teachers are wonderful.”

      • Suburban says:

        Yeah there’s definitely a cultural narrative there. Thank you-that’s what I was itching at.
        Also, I have been joking that it’s not hard for me because I just hit my breaks and toss him out the window outside his daycare. That sounds so horrible now that I wrote it down. I guess the joke is, on some level, a response to any suggestion that I don’t love him enough. Because again, too sensitive.

    • mascot says:

      I think people are trying to be sympathetic/make conversation so I wouldn’t read too much into it. Either they’ve never had a child in daycare so they don’t really have a concept what it’s like OR they have walked this road before and are bringing their own emotions into it. I mean, they are all at work without their children so presumably someone is watching those kids. If you want to shut down some of the questions, volunteer that he is at a great daycare with loving teachers, you are happy that it seems to be a such a good fit for every and see him happy makes you happy, etc.
      I feel like this is one of those things where there is no winning since everyone’s experience is personal and different.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, my mother- and sister-in-law often make a similar comment about daycare (literally, “poor things”!) I think these are often a mix of judgment and sympathy (especially from the secretaries or other folks who don’t work crazy hours like me). Maybe also comes from people who don’t realize that good daycares are really awesome, loving, stimulating places. To me, this is just another thing to not waste energy ruminating over and to develop thick skin about. I respond, if at all, along the lines of Anon in NYC’s suggestion.

    • I am younger than most of the people in my company and I found the guys, especially, feel the need to ask me about my kid, daycare (if I cried/wanted to stay home), etc. and relate it to their wive’s experience when she gave birth, took their baby to daycare (and wanted to stay home!!!!), etc. It is super annoying and a little weird but I just change the subject. This is not something to feel guilty about.

      FWIW, I didn’t cry when I dropped my son off at daycare the first time.

      • Suburban says:

        Thank you! This is actually happening a lot: men relaying their wives’ experiences.

        • Depending on who it is, I will sometimes make a point to mention that I love my son but have no desire to be a SAHM. Some of them are just making conversation but some of them clearly think that all women have (or should have) this desire so I like to do my part to push back on this attitude.

        • Men’s whose wives don’t work are the worst in terms of relating about work/life balance and childcare. The men I work with are all the type who think watching their kids is “babysitting” and they should get some kind of gold star, and say things like “if I have to miss another piano recital [wife]’ll kill me” like they’re being tortured to spend time with their own children instead of working til 8pm.

          In response to OP I did find the comments weird because almost every woman at my office has their kid in daycare. I can’t imagine someone feigning sympathy or something over it, because it’s just what you do.

      • I was so relieved to be going back to work and didn’t cry when I dropped my daughter off for the first time either.

        However, as I was driving by the school she’ll be going to for middle/high school, I thought to myself “before I know it I’ll be dropping her off here” and completely lost it. It’s pretty hilarious in retrospect, considering she was 11.5 weeks old at the time.

        • Anonymous says:

          This totally happened to me, when we drove past my old high school (where I hope she will go). On the way home from the hospital. Oh, hormones!! :)

    • Spirograph says:

      You could probably head this off by expanding a little on your initial response so it’s clear you aren’t upset by the situation. “He’s at a great daycare nearby, and seems to be adjusting really well to his new routine. It’s good to be back.”

      But yes, I think people are just trying to be sensitive and sympathetic. My two older kids love their daycare and I love having a job and talking to adults during the day, but I still get the pitying looks and noises when people are making pregnancy small talk and I say the new baby will be going to daycare.

    • Meg Murry says:

      I also suspect it’s meant more as sympathy than mom shaming, because lots of people have stories of crying at the first drop off.

      You also may be able to head it off by adding some superlatives, so instead of just saying “daycare” you could say “oh, we found a really great childcare center that’s only 10 minutes from here” – frame it more as “we are choosing this daycare and are happy with it” as opposed to “we’re settling for daycare because we couldn’t make the ideal of a SAHP/nanny/grandma/etc work” (not that those things are ideal, but a lot of people seem to think they are, with daycare being a last resort that people have to settle on). Or even head it off with “yeah, it wasn’t easy at first, but we’re happy now that we’re getting to know the teachers and staff. So, how’s your house/dog/kid/project going?”

    • Anonymous says:

      This is totally standard at my workplace when moms are talking to someone immediately post mat leave. Basically the equivalent of saying ‘how was your weekend?’ to others. Not common from older male colleagues though.

      Come up with a polite standard answer to use ad nauseum “He’s at a great daycare I found. I miss him like crazy but easier knowing that he’s at a great spot. Glad to be back too. How was your weekend?”

    • BTanon says:

      Agree with the other responses about this being a super common way t0 make conversation post-mat leave (which I also found kind of uncomfortable, and tried to head off with a proactive positive statement).

      One additional thought – you don’t mention how old your baby is, but I think people who take longer leaves sometimes have a harder transition with daycare because the baby is old enough clearly recognize the change, and to have separation anxiety at drop-off. Some coworkers were surprised that I wasn’t more emotional about the whole thing, but my kid is well cared for and happy at pickup, it works for my family, and that’s enough for right now.

    • I think it’s mainly conversation/sympathy like other commenters suggested, but here’s some real mom-shaming for you: I travel at least a few times a year for work, and on my first post-partum worktrip, a woman (late 50s) asked how old my baby was. When I told her seven months, she said “Oh, I never would have left.” Thanks. Thanks a lot. Of course, she also asked “who’s taking care of her, your mother?” and looked shocked when I said “uh, her father….?”

      Also, daycare is amazing. So much better than I would do as a SAHM, even if the cost makes me barf. I will defend daycare to everyone I meet.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        I picked up my kid early one day last week (like, 3 hours early) and I was DONE by her bedtime. I said to my husband that evening that those 3 hours just proved to me that I wouldn’t be a good SAHM.

        • Anonymous says:

          Story of my life most weekends. :)

          HSAL, I went on a work trip literally to the other side of the world when my baby was 7 months old (It was glorious. There’s no way I was going to pass up a trip to Russia!), and got remarks like that from so many people I lost count. I adore occasional work trips. Especially the little 1-2 night ones where I just get to enjoy some peace and quiet and am not gone long enough to really start missing my kids. To each her own, but my kids are independent, my husband is a great dad, and I think we’re all happier with some time apart from each other.

      • Suburban says:

        Thanks for this! Lots of family friends have assumed my mother watches him. She runs her own business and they know that. She’s an amazing grandma but why would she quit to watch him? Why would I want her to?

        • Suburban says:

          Also, I think he’s really happy at daycare. His teachers’ eyes light up when I drop him off and all the other babies are so adorable. They play and sing and read all day. I, on the other hand, watched a lot of keeping up with the kardashians.

        • Ooh…grandma shaming. I swear this is a thing! If a grandmother lives in town, she pretty much has to drop everything in her life and become a full time nanny to her grandchildren. FOR FREE. Anything less than this gets lots of eyerolls and judgement about how she should be spending her time.

          I think once we hit grandma age, we’re going to cycle through this child-care BS again. No matter what her age, every woman is supposed to be avidly interested in her children first and foremost. It’s very weird.

          • lucy stone says:

            Yes! My dad is going to do daycare for us as I transition back to work part-time and people seem completely boggled by the fact that my mom will be working and my dad will be watching the baby. He helped raise me and I think I turned out okay, so I don’t get it!

    • You’re fine. Everyone expects working mothers to have “mom guilt”. I think there was a discussion on here once about that. Some people are guilty about working and some people aren’t. I was in the latter category; it was actually nice to have a little freedom when you come back to work! But of course you miss your baby. It just sucks because then you feel guilty about not feeling guilty. But don’t worry about it. If you are happy and satisfied with you baby’s care, focus on working. You can just say no, I don’t cry, I miss him, but I know he’s in good hands.

      • Suburban says:

        Thank you and thanks to everyone for your responses!

        • ditto this. also you can occasionally indulge in reminding yourself that a few of these parents will be kicking themselves a few years down the road for NOT using daycare when theirs is the kid at the birthday party who can’t follow directions or interact with other children appropriately. just sayin’ — there’s pros and cons to all of the options.

          • Anonymous says:

            so true. I always feel like an awful person for thinking this, but one of my friends has a 4 year old daughter she has literally never spent the night away from, who is an only child cared for by an smothering nanny, and has never attended preschool. The girl is a spoiled brat and just miserable to be around. At my kid’s birthday party recently, her lack of…resilience, for lack of a better word… and experience in group settings was painfully obvious. 15 preschoolers running around and having a great time together despite occasional bumps, one hanging on her parent’s leg and screaming because she didn’t get the exact cupcake she wanted.

    • Momanon4this says:

      Call it “school” not daycare.
      Reminds me of 2008 and Sarah Palin wouldn’t answer about her baby’s childcare arrangements during the campaign because if he was at home, people would say she abandoned him, and if he was with her on the campaign trail, people would say the travel wasn’t good for him.
      Can’t win.

    • Carrie M says:

      I agree with everyone else, but just wanted to add: I’ve been guilty of this myself – asking returning moms if they’re emotionally ok, if they cried, etc. But it’s been in the context of reminding them it can be hard to transition back, they should be kind to themselves, etc. Hopefully that empathy has come across, and it doesn’t seem like mom shaming!

      I had a tough transition back to work, and I just want people to know it can take time for some parents to work out all the kinks. I love working (full time, lawyer) and I love the daycare my child is in, but I still had all the hormones and felt all the guilt when I first came back to work.

      • Carrie, I almost mentioned that it could be asked in a supportive fashion by other women who have been through the same situation and want to make sure you are emotionally ok. I am lucky to work in an office with a couple other attorneys who are working moms and are SO attuned to the challenges that come with it. Unfortunately the obnoxious men make up 98% of the questions/comments I received so I assumed that was the situation the OP was referencing.

        • Suburban says:

          Carrie-you sound like a really caring coworker. I think issue is more specific to the idea that a daycare is somehow sadder than a nanny or family member watching him.

    • I agree with others who said they’re probably trying to be nice and that it’s a common cultural narrative. My kids have all gone to a Bright Horizons center where the caregivers do a fabulous job — much better than I would!

      My favorite: a clueless early 20’s direct report who was talking about a job she once had as a nanny and how she felt “Soooooooo bad” for babies who had to go to daycare in those rooms full of cribs! Um, honey, where do you think my kids hang out during the day?

      • Suburban says:

        My kid is at a bright horizons too and I’ve said the same thing! I feel so happy and lucky we’re able to send him there-it’s just strange to me that I get looks of pity like is sad to send a kid to daycare.

  2. Baby shower indecision says:

    Baby shower dilemma. On one hand, I generally loathe baby showers and the “no boys allowed” vibe/Pinterest-perfect/making people sit and watch while you open presents thing…plus, I’m Jewish, and there’s a lot of superstitions about doing anything to prepare for the baby before its arrival. BUT we had a very long and painful journey to get and stay pregnant, so the other part of me feels like we have waited so long to be this happy that I am tired of postponing joy and just want to celebrate our impending parenthood with our families and friends. So our tentative compromise–we’d like to host a pre-baby party at our house, to celebrate and to thank everyone for being there for us and being so supportive through the hardest period of our lives. But then it seems weird to also have people bring gifts like they would to a shower hosted by someone else (and, tbh, the gifts would be very welcome–rather than us buying things ourselves to have at the beginning, when someone would have happily bought it for us). If you were hosting this party, how would you bill it on the invite? Or if you were me, would you just let your friends plan a baby shower and suck up the discomfort for a day?

    • Let your friends plan a baby shower and let them know that you want it to be coed and really chill – suggest like a backyard barbecue or something. Your friends will get it and you’ll have the best of both worlds. Alternatively, host a party to celebrate your arrival/see your friends before your social life goes on pause, but you really can’t register/suggest people bring gifts to a party you are throwing for yourself. Luckily, your friends will buy you gifts anyway. :)

    • Maddie Ross says:

      I don’t think a “baby shower” has to be the traditional multi-generations of women sitting around in pastels drinking punch anymore – it can be whatever you make it. I’ve been to several co-ed baby showers and they are IMO even more fun, as it’s more of just a party/excuse to get together and celebrating the parents and baby are sort of a side event. I would probably schedule it in the evening (as opposed to a tea or brunch, which are more “traditional” shower times) and make it co-ed. Because I hate games, I wouldn’t do any (i.e., bring a box of diapers for a beer or something) — I would just provide apps and munchies, wine/beer/drinks of choice along with a variety of sparkling sodas or something non-alcoholic and more fun — and have everyone over. No need to say anything about gifts IME (i.e., don’t mention the registry, but don’t say no gifts). If you really don’t care, just let people interpret at will. Maybe bill it as celebrating the “soon to be parents” or the “impending arrival”…

    • Momata says:

      I don’t know how much you enjoy entertaining, but I love it and really miss it now that I don’t have the time to throw a big elaborate dinner party. If I were you I’d throw a final bash – maybe billed as “The End Of The World As We Know It, And We Feel Fine.” Then you can just thank your guests in your toast. People will bring gifts no matter what you do – if you don’t have any party, they will mail them to you or bring them when they come to see the baby.

    • Momanon4this says:

      There’s two Jewish pregnancy books that had great prenatal traditions for Moms to be and her circle of friends. One is The New Jewish Baby Book, green cover, by Anita Diament, and the other is purple cover, by a rabbi & ob/gyne married couple, more focused on pregnancy.

      One thing I did at a shower was a blessing necklace, each friend had a bead and said a blessing as it was strung onto a necklace. I love that beautiful necklace (the beads were pricey)

    • Famouscait says:

      I love your idea of a pre-baby party, done your way, in lieu of a traditional shower. I think I would still go ahead and register at the usual suspects – Target, etc. and those people (like me!) who want to google for that info and figure it out for themselves will do that. Other folks will likely show up with some gift for you and/or the baby. People like to be generous to new parents (which is wonderful) and you are very gracious for wanting to use this opportunity to thank your family and friends along the journey. And frankly, anyone who sees the registry will probably assume its for some other event, so I wouldn’t perceive it as “grabby”.

      For comparison, about a year ago I got the “go ahead” here to host my own triple birthday party/yay we survived the first year of parenthood (my husband, son and I all have our birthdays within the span of a week). It was a fantastic event that we now plan to do annually. People brought gifts for the kiddo, adults, and/or no gifts at all. I imagine somewhat the same response at your party. Have fun! And congrats on your impeding parenthood!

    • Totally fine. I’ve been to coed showers with no game playing or gift opening and it’s refreshing. Agree that you should register and most if not all people will chose to buy you gifts even if it’s not a “shower”. I don’t think it’s gift-grabby; it’s just a way to organize what you need for baby and allow those who want to gift you to know what you want.

      I didn’t know that re: Judaism, and I think that actually helps your case to do it your way/not have it hosted by Mom. In my family that would not fly, but that’s because MIL and Mom would be gutted if they couldn’t host something for me with all the traditional trappings.

    • Baby shower indecision says:

      Thanks everyone! Love these ideas.

  3. Chi Squared says:

    I need a pep talk this morning…

    I’m a junior partner at a Biglaw firm. I came back to work three weeks ago from my 2nd maternity leave. I have no work to do, and haven’t since about this time last year. Going on maternity leave twice has definitely adversely affected my career and compensation because my department has been very slow for the past 2+ years. There just hasn’t been enough work to go around, or work has been directed to other people/offices due to politics and/or quirks of the partners who have business.

    I am worried that I’m going to be laid off by the end of the year if things don’t pick up. I’ve been browsing for jobs, but the in-house opportunities that are a good fit for me are in states that my DH would absolutely refuse to relocate too. And what law firm wants a junior partner with no business?? I just feel like a failure all around. I don’t work enough, I don’t see my kids enough – I’m basically useless.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      And you are hormonal and sleep deprived and in the roughest period of re-entry! I can’t tell you that you’re fine and won’t be laid off, but I can tell you that letting this worry go will probably have really good effects long term.

      If you’re that slow, spend the time doing a bunch of “professional” things that aren’t billing. Network. Go to CLEs, write and publish papers, do pro bono, offer to sit at a client’s facility off the clock once a week as a “goodwill” thing, do a “reach” pitch that stretches your expertise in a good way. Do the parts of your nonbillable job that are the most fun and energizing. They won’t necessarily help you keep that job, but they’ll build up your firepower and expertise if you need/want to move onto the next thing.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      And I meant to say – hugs. We’ll all be pulling for you to land on your feet.

      • Katala says:

        +1 Hugs. Sounds really hard right now and we’re all hoping things turn around for you soon, one way or another.

    • Anonymous says:

      You made partner at BigLaw firm, plus you’ve managed to have two kids and stay married. That’s not useless – that’s rockstar.

      I work 40 hours a week in a govt job with a 10 minute commute and long mat leaves. Most days I feel like I’m barely surviving – so impressed with what you’ve accomplished so far.

      Continue looking for other opportunities, spend some time working on publications/presentations to get your name out there again in the practice area and build some new business.

      Mostly be kind to yourself. You got yourself this far – you’ll be fine.

      • THIS: You made partner at BigLaw firm, plus you’ve managed to have two kids and stay married. That’s not useless – that’s rockstar.

        Times one million.

        No advice – just – congrats. Lots of accomplishments in that sentence.

    • You aren’t useless! As everyone else has pointed out, you are a rockstar for juggling all of this so far. Are you in a golden handcuffs situation? If not, is it an option to make a career shift even if that means a pay cut. That could also give you more time to spend with your kids. Take NewMomAnon’s advice to stay busy currently, which will also help you feel productive. It sounds like this could be an opportunity (however inconveniently presented) to move on to something that is a better fit for your family.

      • Maddie Ross says:

        Just out of curiosity, what part of her question made you jump to thinking that she “wants to spend more time her kids” or needs to find something that is a “better fit for her family”? I read her as being only concerned about lack of work, and therefore whether her firm would keep her around. Not that she needed some type of different career. It is totally acceptable to be a Big Law Mom.

        • Anonymous says:

          +1

          It was probably meant well, more about different opportunities having different benefits, but I hate the assumption that when looking at a career change, working moms are always looking for an option to work less.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          I think this is a trap that many people fall into when talking to moms with tiny babies – they assume that spending time with the baby is “self care” for the mom. I almost fell into it too; I had typed something like, “Leave early and spend time with your kids.” And then I realized that “spending time with your kids” isn’t a helpful way to assuage guilt/worry about being slow at work so I deleted it.

          I also need to remember that for me, spending time at work doing things that made me feel smart and challenged was better self care than spending time with an infant. It’s still true sometimes now that kiddo is a toddler.

        • Closet Redux says:

          Not Em, but OP did say that she felt like a failure because she’s not working enough and not spending enough time with her kids. I get the defensive posture here, but half of her reasoning was about not spending enough time with her kids, so I think it’s a fair conclusion that she, well, “wants to spend more time with her kids.”

        • The part where she said “I don’t see my kids enough.” I guess I might have read into that, but I assumed that meant she wanted to see her kids more often.

        • Meg Murry says:

          Not Em, I got that from the “I just feel like a failure all around. I don’t work enough, I don’t see my kids enough – I’m basically useless.” As in, OP either wants more work so at least the time away from her kids is well spent/worth it, or she wants to be able to spend less time at work and more with the kids without feeling guilty that she isn’t getting hours because she isn’t working enough.

          But overall, it does sound like OP wants to stay at Big Law/as a partner, not lean out, but that doesn’t mean that she couldn’t/shouldn’t consider that option.

          It sounds to me like OP has a case of exhaustion/mom guilt blended with a work downturn and a heavy dose of imposter syndrome. I’m not a lawyer, but from what everyone else posts here, it sure seems like you don’t make it to junior partner without having been a rock star – and even more so juggling it with 2 kids. If I’m not mistaken, don’t you have to be voted/nominated to be put up as a junior partner? OP, what do you think your supporters

    • I’m not a lawyer, so no real advice, but I also wanted to say it sounds like you’re doing awesome! Have you thought about looking into government jobs in addition to in-house? Hang in there, we’re all pulling for you.

    • pockets says:

      You are not useless! Seriously women like you make me feel bad about my own lifestyle choices. You’re a partner at a biglaw firm with two small kids and a husband. I work 21 hrs a week at a gov’t job. You could always turn yourself around and be me – I could never ever be you.

      You have accomplished so much, and where you are shows that you are smart, hardworking, and talented. Whatever happens I am sure you will land on your feet. It’s hard when your whole life is goal-oriented and then there’s no clear goal or path to get there. If there’s not enough work to go around there is almost nothing you can do about that, and stressing is going to make things worse, not better.

      You are a female partner at a biglaw firm with two small children. That’s huge, and way more than most people will ever accomplish.

  4. Did anyone catch the NYTimes piece on the impact of Hillary’s breadwinner status in the family motivating her choices that seem to be antithetical to her public minded narrative (i.e. working as a corporate lawyer, speaking fees from banks, etc)? Link to follow.
    I’m not sure I have a grand takeaway from it, although I certainly sympathize with that mindset. I’m not sure it will make a difference to those who hate her anyway, but it does humanize.

  5. lucy stone says:

    That plus size option looks great! I have another scuba dress from Vince Camuto and I reach for it regularly.

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