Washable Workwear Wednesday: Sally Petal-Print Wrap Dress

I always like Hobbs for machine-washable options, and I always say a print is great for hiding all the surprise stains that come with little kids (especially if you’re nursing and pumping). And one of the readers’ favorite tricks for nursing is to wear a wrap dress — so this dress has a lot going for it. If your size is sold out, check out Leota wrap dresses, which have many of the same qualities. The pictured dress is $195 at Bloomingdale’s. Sally Petal-Print Wrap Dress

Speaking of Leota, here’s a plus-size option with a few prints to choose from.

Psst: there’s a bunch of Hobbs workwear on sale at Rue La La through the end of today.

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. BabyBoom says:

    Any tips on getting the 2.5 year old in the car seat at daycare pick up? He either wants lots of snuggles, or to explore the car. I’ve tried saying we will hug for 1 minute (or he can play for 1 minute) but then he has to get in. It doesn’t help that an older cousin got to ride in the space between the 2 car seats and he now thinks that is where he should sit.

    • Bribes.

      Small piece of candy or fruit snacks, but only after he’s in the seat and buckled in.

    • EP-er says:

      The mom voice + consistency. “We don’t mess around in parking lots. It isn’t safe & it isn’t considerate to others who want to park next to us. Get in, get buckled.” And then maybe some bribes! And thanking them for being safe & good listeners.

      I really said this (or some variation) every time we got in the car — at day care, at the grocery store, at Target. Parking lots aren’t the place to mess around. And cars aren’t for playing in. (I have issues with my MIL on this all the time. She lets them climb & play every where in the car.) We talk a lot about car safety and why seat belts/car seats are so important while we are driving around.

      • Last year my then-2 year old was playing in the front seat of my husband’s (parked, off) car and managed to unlatch the hood without anyone noticing. Next morning, when husband was on his way to work, hood flew up and smashed the windshield. Miraculously no one was hurt.

        Tell your MIL that this is why we don’t let kids play in the car.

        • EP-er says:

          How scary! I’m glad that your husband was okay after that! Cars aren’t toys I remember my sister was playing in the car and burned herself on the cigarette lighter.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        Mine is 7 1/2 (but very small so still in a booster with a back) and I feel like I still have the “OK we’re in a parking lot please just focus on getting buckled and in your seat and then we’ll talk about ______” conversation every day

    • Anonymous says:

      As soon as my child gets in the car, I start saying “Seat belt!” and we don’t talk about anything or do anything until her seat belt is buckled.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I’m the opposite – I try to make the car seat itself fun. Like, “I bet you can’t get into your car seat before I finish singing [SONG]!” Or “I’m the tickle monster! Get to your car seat quick before I tickle you!” I’ve found that the more I make something seem important and stressful, the more kiddo avoids it or delays.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’m home with a sick baby for the third time this week. I barely have enough PTO to get through the holidays. This is when I wish I could be a SAHM so sick days weren’t a crisis. I know you all feel me!

    • anne-on says:

      Hugs. It really does get better after the first few years of daycare. I took so much PTO my kiddos first 3 years I thought for sure I’d either get fired or have to quit. It got SO MUCH better once he got a bit older (and stopped sticking everything in his mouth like babies/toddlers do). If you’re truly at your wits end I found having the spouse who didn’t stay home take over ASAP at 5/6 (or as soon as they come home) helped me knock out a really good chunk of work in the evenings.

    • I’m so sorry. It is so hard. Good luck!

    • On a similar note, my 13 month old has been in day care for three months. When will I see less snot? She’s had a runny nose for pretty much the whole time since her second week.

      • avocado says:

        Our pediatrician told us to expect two illnesses a month for the first two years of day care or school, and that turned out to be spot on.

        In terms of general snottiness, some kids are just drippy. I think there were still kids with perpetually messy faces in my kid’s class until about age 4.

        • *sigh* The nurse had said during her first sick visit, “Welcome to day care! It will be a rough three months.” I was hoping she wasn’t being optimistic.

      • ElisaR says:

        sadly….. she will probably have a runny nose of some sort for the next 2 years.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Ugh. No advice, but I feel you. Sick days are stressful. It also stinks to feel compelled to continue working when you’re home. I hate the feeling of simultaneously burning leave and working, but sometimes we have to do what we have to do to make ourselves feel better about the absences. Sigh.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Ugh, but being a SAHM would mean that you could never take time off if you were sick/at wits end/exhausted. This too shall pass. Knock on wood, but kiddo has spent less than 5 days home sick from school over the last 2 years. The first year was bad, the second year was better but still hard, and now….magic.

      • ^ this! One of my friends is a SAHM and all three of her kids just fell ill in rapid succession – I do not envy her. Either way, it’s hard (although the deadlines element is less of an issue for SAHMs, and that’s my primary non-kid stressor when kid is sick). It does seem to get better as they get older though! Think of it as investing in their immune system…

        • avocado says:

          You are definitely investing in their immune systems. If they don’t go through the constant illnesses in day care or preschool, it happens when they get to kindergarten. And that is even worse, because then you have to deal with attendance requirements and make-up work.

          • yes! i just read an article which said that kids who go to daycare are less likely to get childhood cancers due to stronger immune systems.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks – she’s 9 months. It’ll be better next year when I can take unpaid FMLA if necessary!

  4. Redux says:

    What is the best strategy for dealing with a child’s fake illness? My nearly 4 year old has started to invent maladies because she wants to go to the doctor. I suspect this is her modeling other kids at daycare who get special treatment (and get to stay home/ go home early). On the one hand, I want her to know I trust her and that I want her to listen to and take care of her body. On the other hand, I obviously cannot take her to the doctor when she says she has broken her arm or that her hair hurts (two real life examples from yesterday). I have tried telling her that we only go to the doctor when we have serious sicknesses because the doctor is very busy and needs to see the sickest kids first, but that is both not working and not exactly the trust/positive message I really want to send. How do you handle this?

    • I would make being fake sick really un-fun instead of a fun thing that warrants special treatment, and emphasize that we don’t go to the doctor right away unless it’s a real emergency. So when you suspect she is fake sick, tell her that when we are sick we need to rest, so she has to rest in bed and only eat bland food (no screen time, playing outside, other fun things, etc.) for at least 48 hours, and if she still feels sick after 48 hours you can discuss going to the doctor. If she feels well enough to do the fun things, then she doesn’t need to go to the doctor. Most 4 years olds don’t have the dedication to fake the sickness for that long.

      • +1. When my 4 year old fakes sick, I say “Oh no! I’m so sorry you don’t feel well! Ok let’s eat just a piece of toast for breakfast, and I’ll make sure to tell your teachers that you shouldn’t play outside or do music class today (her favorite) because you’re sick. If you still don’t feel better tonight, we’ll have rice (which she hates) and beans, and make sure to put you to bed with no TV or playing with your brother. If that doesn’t fix it, then we’ll call the doctor tomorrow.” Usually by the end of this, she’s trying to tell me she’s sick, but she can still play and go to music. So then I just say okay we’ll see how you feel tonight then. And by the end of the day, she’s miraculously recovered enough to watch Super Why.

    • My youngest has been sick a bunch (yay preschool germs coming home to the baby) and the older one was looking for some attention in the form of fake coughs and inventing injuries. So I’m responding as if they’re ‘real’ complaints. Oh, your throat hurts, here, sit on the couch and I’l make you a cold drink, that will help. You hurt your foot? Ok, here’s an ice pack, go rest. That’s usually enough for her to realize being sick is boring, and she wants to go do other things. When she asks to go to the doctor, I say we’ll try x y and z, and then we’ll call the doctor, and we usually don’t get past the first step before her miraculous recovery.

      This isn’t far off from our usual routine when she’s actually sick, so it’s still a response that doesn’t doubt her autonomy, but also gives her what she’s actually looking for, which is undivided attention.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Have you taken your kid in to get a flu shot yet? Because that magically “cured” all of kiddo’s fake illnesses. She kept begging to go to the doctor, so we took her to the doctor for a flu shot. Never wants to go again.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Love it. My 2.5 year old said she needed to go to the doctor because her foot itched. Hilarious.

      • Redux says:

        My kid is weirdly impervious to the pain of shots. She did already get a flu shot this year and like her other shots was tear-free– she didn’t even flinch. (Compare to my husband who faints at the sight of the needle, poor guy). She has a positive association with the doctor as we talk about the doctor a lot (she is a latina woman, which describes us, too, so I like to lay it on thick how she is a scientist and how awesome that is) and they have fish and stickers. I definitely don’t want to swing wide making her afraid of the doctor but perhaps I am endearing her to the doctor too much!

        • NewMomAnon says:

          How old is your kiddo, Redux? Kiddo wasn’t really bothered by shots until the second measles shot we did earlier this year, when she was 3-ish. And now shots are cause for great consternation, both before and after. Her ped said that’s really normal; apparently ages 3-5 are the worst for shots.

          On the other hand, it’s so stinking cute to hear her talk woefully about her “weasels” shot that it’s almost worth the half hour of sadness it caused.

    • Redux says:

      This is great advice, thank you! I will try “nursing” her at home and expect that boredom will be the magic cure! Thanks, all.

  5. Anon for this says:

    Non-kid-question.

    Is it ‘not done’ to first ask a recruiter about compensation for an in house position? I was sent something that is mildly interesting, timing and location-wise isn’t what I’m looking for, but mostly because I hadn’t considered it as a possibility and am curious about salary.

    • anne-on says:

      I think if they contacted you it is certainly reasonable to ask them what the salary range is for the position. Push back HARD on any attempts to get you to give them your salary – Ask a Manager has scripts for this – but you’re in the driver’s seat here – something along the lines of ‘I’m not actively looking, and so I’d like to ensure the position’s compensation would make sense for me, could you share the salary range?’.

    • mascot says:

      What’s the worst that could happen if you asked? Salary is as important a consideration as location, no?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      You should ask the range. I chatted with a recruiter about a semi-interesting position, but when I found out that the top of the salary range was $20K lower than the lowest possible salary I would accept, I was able to gracefully decline and save us both the time and energy.

    • Anon for this says:

      Thanks, all — and Jen below!

  6. @ Anon for this:

    It’s done. Just phrase it right. If the recruiter reaches out, you can either ask what the comp range is/budget for the position is, or you can say “I’m looking for something in the ballpark of $X to consider a move- would that work with your client’s budget?”

  7. AnonMomPhi says:

    My boss told me last week that I seem not to like being an attorney because I am not confrontational or aggressive enough to pursue what we need from clients or opposing counsel. I work in transactional law and do mostly drafting. I feel like crap and now wish I had gone to beauty school instead of law school. I am also underpaid so my motivation to do a good job is low. How do I bounce back??Do you have any books, articles, TED talks, suggestions, advice?

    For those of you in management positions, how do you stay strong and firm?Thanks.

  8. Have a job interview on Monday for a dream job– scheduled for an hour so it’s more than just a screen. It is in a different city/state, which is a separate discussion but not a problem. But it means that my interview is via Skype. And I am 6mo pregnant (with #2). Smart moms, how would you handle this? Pregnancy will not be immediately apparent on video, and I want to balance remaining a competitive candidate with not actively concealing information. In person, this would obviously not be a problem– it’s pretty apparent these days– but with the Skype connection I’m going to have to be the one to bring it up if, indeed, it is brought up at this point. (Note: yes, in a ideal world an ideal workplace would be looking at me as a long-term investment and it wouldn’t matter, etc. I know that. But I also know that people are human and jobs are competitive and it’s not exactly a plus.)

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Is this a job that has a potentially long lead time before your hire date? Do you anticipate more than one interview? If yes, I would hold off on initiating any sort of discussion about it now.

      If an interviewer asks about a potential start date, I think you can say that you’re pregnant and due in 3 months. But a start date will be dependent on what your ideal situation is: starting now, being on the job for about 2-3 months, taking a short and likely unpaid maternity leave. Or delaying a start until after maternity leave from your current job (but realistically, it may still be unpaid/short because your current job likely wouldn’t give you paid leave if you’re planning to leave).

      • Great questions– thanks. Lead time on the position is unknown at this point, as is interview schedule. Think more idiosyncratic nonprofit process than large company/firm. My ideal would be to start soon and get in 2-3 months of work before baby, as I’m currently consulting and could make the switch ASAP, and either way leave is likely to be officially unpaid.

        • Anonanonanon says:

          I wouldn’t bring up being pregnant at all until the offer stage, at which point you may want to confirm how much unpaid leave they’ll allow when you give birth

          • NewMomAnon says:

            Yeah, I wouldn’t bring it up until the offer stage. The one caveat is that I’d like to know whether an office is the kind of office that would make an offer to a pregnant woman, or the kind of office that would think of a pregnant employee as a burden; if you don’t mind smoking out the latter, it might be worth taking the risk.

    • Anonymous says:

      I recently interviewed via Skype at 5 months pregnant. I hid it by wearing oversized, professional clothing instead of skintight bump-show-off clothing (just in case), and ‘surprised’ them at the offer stage by saying I was pregnant and asking about maternity leave. It probably makes a difference that this is an internal / overseas job offer with my multinational company, but they didn’t seem very fussed about it when I told them (except wondering about logistics – moving, timelines, etc, due to fly date).

    • Thanks for your thoughts, all. In line with mine but helpful in clarifying.

  9. My DH is responsible for packing daycare food and our lunch boxes are falling apart. I would like to upgrade them as a Christmas present (I know, how lame). Anything you love?? Kids are 2.5 and 0.5, so one of them has to fit 4 Dr Brown bottles + purees. It would be ideal if they have a shoulder strap, because I know his hands will be full when he does drop off and pick up.

    • Legally Brunette says:

      No advice for the baby, but we just started using Easy Lunchboxes, which is a bento style container with three compartments. This has been a HUGE hit with my kids and my 2.5 year old is eating a LOT better now that he only opens one container. Available on Amazon.

      • AwayEmily says:

        We also recently started using a bento-style box (the Bentgo kids) and I love it. It has made my life so much easier to not have to wash a million tiny containers. Also, because there are 4 different little places to put stuff, I feel comfortable putting in one riskier food and knowing that there will still be plenty for her to eat.

  10. AnonMomPhi says:

    My boss told me last week that I seem not to like being an attorney because I am not confrontational or aggressive enough to pursue what we need from clients or opposing counsel. I work in transactional law and do mostly drafting. I feel like crap and now wish I had gone to beauty school instead of law school. I am also underpaid so my motivation to do a good job is low. How do I bounce back??Do you have any books, articles, TED talks, suggestions, advice?

    For those of you in management positions, how do you stay strong and firm?

    Thanks a lot!

    • Anonanonanon says:

      I don’t have much advice on reaching out to clients, but in terms of being a manager and being more upfront with my staff etc. I have found ask a manager dot org to be a good resource, she even covers dealing with clients etc. sometimes. She has a amazing, straightforward (but still polite/acceptable), non-apologetic scripts for situations in her replies. I’m a religious reader and have found it really helps me be direct and clear without feeling guilty about it.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        Also, in terms of motivation, don’t think of it as a professional development endeavor as much as personal development. I’ve found honing these skills to be useful in my personal life as well. Being able to communicate expectations clearly, provide corrective feedback, hold people to their deadlines, and follow-up with people who aren’t getting your information is useful outside of work. For example, we’ve been having a lot of work done on our house (new floors, etc) and I’ve found those skills useful when communicating with contractors/companies

    • NewMomAnon says:

      All right, I’m going to push back against the criticism you received – I’ve had senior (male) attorneys tell me that I’m not a “strong advocate” for the client, and have come to realize that’s a load of sh*t. I get really good outcomes for my clients, and clients’ return on my time is high. No, I don’t shout and draw lines in the sand; I can see why someone who treats every negotiation as a confrontation would think that I’m not advocating, but they are wrong. I do my due diligence and prepare a negotiation strategy prior to every meeting with opposing counsel or markup of a document; I know what asks are consistent with market terms; I estimate the economics of the asks I make both for my clients and the other side. And then I strategically cooperate to maximize everyone’s benefits.

      Sometimes that means sharing what I’ve learned with the other side to get their buy-in. Sometimes it means preparing a strategic agenda and circulating it prior to the meeting so that we cover topics in a way that I find advantageous. Sometimes it means knowing the items I’ll horse-trade to get what matters to my client. I don’t lie, cheat, shout, bully, or manipulate; I’m pleasant, honest, and willing to take my time to get things right, even if the client wants it done yesterday.

      So – don’t accept that criticism without thinking hard about your style and the value you believe you bring to these encounters. And then show your boss how well you can handle confrontation by confronting him with your side of the story.

      • D. Meagle says:

        This is great. There is something to be said about transactional attorneys who fight what needs to be fought but generally look for consensus as opposed to making everything a pissing contest. I get it – you can shout louder than me, but I can get the same result faster (and therefor cheaper).

      • Blueberries says:

        Transactional lawyer here. I don’t get why, as outside counsel, confrontational or aggressive would be helpful.

        Certainly not with clients—I’d fire outside counsel if their general approach was confrontational or aggressive with me. Sometimes you have to be persistent if you really need direction on xyz and the client isn’t getting back to you, but that’s done super politely and somewhat apologetically for bothering the client.

        With the folks on the other side of the deal, your role is to pursue what your client wants. Often, that’s not super aggressive, but getting to some reasonable place—clients often want the deal done and don’t want to risk it for aggressive legal terms (they might risk it for aggressive commercial terms, but only in rare circumstances should lawyers sink a deal).

  11. i hate being interrupted says:

    I hate being interrupted at work, and I fear I’m coming off as a jerk and making people feel bad. I work in a very research/analytical based role, requiring me to immerse myself in things, and when people come over every 20 minutes it takes me out of the zone and I get totally thrown off and, when busy, deeply, deeply irritated. And it’s usually questions on complex things that require me to put on a totally different hat and recall whatever analysis it involved. I wish they would just email me instead. Is there a non-jerky way of requesting this? Also – am I a jerk?!

    • avocado says:

      Don’t answer immediately. Write down the question and then tell the person “I’ll have to look back at those data and get back to you with the answer. I will e-mail you in an hour/this afternoon/tomorrow.” This may train people not to expect you to drop everything to give them an immediate response, and the fact that they know they won’t get one may lead them to start e-mailing instead of dropping by. If they continue dropping by, at least it will be less disruptive.

      • i hate being interrupted says:

        Love this. Thank you.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        Wonderful response. I’m assuming you don’t have a door to close etc. so I 100% agree with avocado’s suggestion to say “I’m in the middle of a different project right now, but if you’ll email me your question I’ll make sure I flag it and get you the answer by _________”

        • R Anon says:

          I work in an office with a lot of cubes. Those who do have offices and doors often experience knock and enter from others. Many people have made a small sign they sit at edge of desk, on door, or somewhere visible in the cube that says, ” Please do not interrupt. I am currently working on a time sensitive project. Please feel free to send me an email or schedule time with me.”

          I have found this to be helpful for myself and also when I walk up to others.

          • Anonanonanon says:

            I do this with my office door, it’ll say something like “working on project- please email!” and I can decide when to check my emails.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I would not offer to get back to them in an hour/day/whatever. I would say, “Hey, I’m in the middle of something until [time]; can you check my calendar and put a meeting on there for later today, when I can focus on you?” Make them do the follow up. That will clear your headspace for the task you’re working on.

      A beloved supervisor trained me to put meetings on his calendar, and it’s been great. I don’t worry about interrupting him anymore and I get his full attention. I’m training my juniors to do the same.

      • avocado says:

        Ooh, I like this.

        • avocado says:

          … except if the people interrupting OP are senior to her, they might not be so receptive. I could see this backfiring with a couple of my senior colleagues.

          • NewMomAnon says:

            I could see it backfiring with senior colleagues too, but I know that my unfettered irritation at being interrupted goes over even worse…*introverts unite* *but quietly, in very small groups* *with time for a nap afterward*

      • i hate being interrupted says:

        This is all extremely helpful, and even better, validating! Cracking up at introverts unite – and then immediately disband….

        I get irritated by interruptions on a good day, and on a day like this, legitimately enraged. The worst part about my interruption today was that we actually HAVE A meeting scheduled for this afternoon on the thing he was asking me about. He said he wanted to “get ahead of it” — even though it’s just him, me, and one other person.

  12. On the ledge says:

    REPOST FROM YESTERDAYS THREAD: (similar to the discussion of sick days/SAHM above)
    Can someone talk me off the proverbial ledge here? I am considering quitting my job to stay at home with my 10 month old. I am a lawyer who works at a nonprofit type job, commuting from a nearby suburb into a large city.
    The pros of quitting:
    My baby is in daycare. He is sick literally all the time. I think I can remember a two week period last month where he was not the least bit sick. Otherwise, there’s a constant stuffy nose and cough. This Thanksgiving weekend he had RSV and an ear infection. The other babies in the daycare are also coughing with runny noses most of the time. I don’t doubt that the daycare disinfects everything at the end of the day, but I’m wondering if anyone else has experience in daycare where their child is ALWAYS sick. I feel like I’m torturing him, listening to him cough on the monitor or wiping his nose 100x per day. The doctors and nurses at the pediatrician see us about an average of every two weeks. I’ve ruled out a nanny for several reasons, so the options I’m weighing are staying at home, or keeping him in daycare. My husband is extremely supportive and has a ton of childcare responsibility with me, but his job is way more demanding and he can’t leave at the drop of a hat if our kid is sick, and in general his workplace is a lot less understanding of him taking off/leaving early. He is also the breadwinner. I don’t make very much money, especially for a lawyer.

    The cons of quitting:
    I like my job. I’m not sure I’m cut out for the stay at home lifestyle. I don’t want to make it hard on myself to re-enter the workforce later. My income, while not very much, helps our family. My health insurance, which covers my family, is FREE. I have student loans (though we can technically afford paying them on one income). We like our lifestyle and are not going to enjoy pinching pennies or budget living. We want to buy a new house in a different suburb eventually. Me not working will most likely change the dynamic of our marriage.

    I guess I’m trying to square the emotional and the logical here. I guess I’m looking for someone to say: my baby was sick all the time too, it gets better, just power through it, all of this is temporary. Anyone? Has anyone given up their income and job and felt like they made the right choice?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      OMG, a nurse at the pediatrician asked me when kiddo was about a year old, “Is the runny nose new, or is she just one of those perpetually stuffy daycare babies?” and I was like, there are others like me! You know us!

      Yeah, kiddo had 5 ear infections, three rounds of “bronchiolitis” (actually RAD, precursor to asthma), and a nasty stomach bug that lingered for 10 days, all in her first year of daycare. Also various colds, and two rounds of HFM. If you think about that, she was sick with something serious enough to visit the pediatrician almost every month of her first year, on top of well-baby visits. And rocked a virtually perpetual cold the entire first year.

      The second year of daycare, we had one round of strep, three ear infections, pink-eye and various colds. Roughly quarterly illness! Huzzah!

      The third year – pink eye. Just one round of pink eye. Probably a couple colds too, because obviously.

      So – hang in there. If you like your job, and you want to continue working in the future, and your marriage works as things are now, and you need the money from your job, grit out this winter. It’s a short-term sacrifice for long-term financial well-being. Your kiddo will be OK; he will remember none of this.

    • I know you said you’ve ruled out a nanny for several reasons but i’m sort of curious as to why. if the main pro of quitting is that your kid gets sick all the time from daycare, it seems like a nanny could really really help with that?

      are there any other pros of quitting that don’t have to do with a sick kid? as people wrote above, at some point your kid is going to stop getting sick all the time and then will you wish you were back at work? also, maybe you just have a kid who is more susceptible to colds and whether you are home with him or not, might still get sick just as much. especially if you ever take your kid to a music class or any other kind of class where kid interacts with other kids. if g-d forbid your kid had a terrible chronic illness and you had to go to a lot of specialists and specialized doctors appointments that was making it logistically impossible and too stressful to work.

      you also sound kind of burnt out. is there anything you can do in terms of self care for yourself to rejuvenate a bit? multiple people told me not to make any big life decisions in the first 12-18 months after having a kid because you are exhausted, still hormonal, and it’s a lot of adjustments.

      hang in there and good luck!

      • avocado says:

        There is really no way to spare yourself the constant illness phase. If you kept the kid in a bubble until he started kindergarten, he’d just catch it all then. My nephew, who is in first grade and never attended day care or preschool, is currently going through this and the whole family is miserable.

        +1 on no major life decisions until at least 18 months. It is really brutal, but one day you will suddenly realize that wow, kiddo hasn’t been sick in a whole month and I don’t feel like a zombie on a hamster wheel! This day will come sooner than you think, I promise. Hang in there.

    • Anonymous says:

      Our ped said a runny nose all winter is 100% normal, because each cold takes several weeks to blow over. So in my book, runny nose and cough does not equal sick, it’s just normal winter baby conditions. (Sick means a fever or vomiting). My son is now 5 and still gets sick some (crossing fingers and knocking on wood) but it absolutely gets better. You also get better at distinguishing between major illness and garden variety colds.

      I also think that sometimes spring and fall are worse than the real coldest part of the year. Maybe I’m making that up but it feels like that has been true for us and you can hold out hope. If you like your job, hang in there. Your child is going to catch all of these colds anyway, it’s just a question of whether he does it now or when he starts preschool or kindergarten (or when he becomes a teacher).

      • Anonymous says:

        PS – babies are more dramatic about their colds since they can’t blow their noses, which means more mucus is running down their throats and making them cough, or dripping down their faces. So they may look and sound worse than they feel.

    • Anonymous says:

      The sickness get better. As a data point: I have a 2 1/2 year old. He was in daycare starting at 3 1/2 months and was sick often until around 18 months. He has been fairly healthy the past year. I have a co-worker with a child the same age. That child stayed home with a nanny and just started daycare. My co-worker is now having the same issues with illness, likely because the child was not around as many germs at a young age.

  13. anyone have recs for secular holiday books for a toddler? she’s only 14 mos, so i don’t have high hopes for retention here, but she adores books and i think it would be nice to get a couple of simple xmas stories in front of her that she could (maybe?) connect to the holiday things she’ll see around our home like tree, stockings, etc. so far i have little blue truck’s christmas in my cart – any other ideas?

    • avocado says:

      First Ballet by Deanna Caswell, about a little girl’s first trip to see the Nutcracker. And of course, The Night Before Christmas.

    • Anonymous says:

      Llama Llama Holiday Drama?

      • Omg, this sounds perfect for my holidays. I was informed this morning that all 13 of us (DH’s family) will be wearing matching Christmas pajamas and taking a selfie.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Merry Christmas, Ernest and Celestine by Gabrielle Vincent – super sweet, about a bear and a mouse (I think?) who are too broke to celebrate Christmas but manage to pull together a DIY holiday party anyway

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Oh! And “Before Morning” by Beth Krommes and Joyce Sidman. It’s may not have the icons of Christmas, but the illustrations are beautiful and it’s a very peaceful “invocation” for bedtime reading.

      • Anonymous says:

        There is a sweet, sweet movie about Ernest and Celestine!! I didn’t know it was a movie. The mouse is a tooth mouse and his family of tooth-collecting mice are terrified of the bears and the above-ground world.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      I think Polar Express is relatively secular, right? I mean it’s about christmas/believing in Santa but I don’t remember anything religious about it, and the illustrations are just so gorgeous

    • Anonymous says:

      I really like Jan Brett’s books; some which are not even specifically holiday themed (“The Mitten”) are set in snowy Norway/Sweden area and are very holiday-ish.

      Christmas Trolls / The Wild Christmas Reindeer / Home for Christmas are two of Jan’s holiday books.

    • Thanks ladies! Great suggestions, I’ll be grabbing a few of these.

  14. Any advice for what to do while you’re waiting to start maternity leave? I’m currently due in the next two weeks and recently started working from home in this final stretch. As of yesterday, I’m 90% prepped and ready to transition out for a few months (I have a few small things to do and a few outstanding items that I’m waiting for client responses on, but nothing major). Any advice on making the most of this time pre-leave, or anything I should consider doing that I may have forgotten?

    • Anonymous says:

      Any professional development requirements you can get ahead on to save yourself the hassle when you get back? We have CLE requirements but can account for 2 of the hours with ‘self study’ but we have to specify what we studied. That would be an easy one to knock off.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      This may sound dumb, but write down your login info for all of the different platforms/websites you use for work, your voicemail password, etc. Right now it seems like you would never forget those things, but 12 weeks of sleep deprivation later… it’s possible. And you don’t want to have to spend your first week back asking IT how to get into your voicemail.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Clean your office so you come back to all your filing done, prepare transition or reminder memos describing the status of each open matter (key players, deadlines, open issues as of X date), and have all your time entered if that’s a thing you need to do. If any professional licenses need to be renewed while you’re on leave, tee up those renewals now.

      Other helpful things: get autopay set up for all your bills, if you haven’t already. Have the paperwork ready to add baby to whatever insurance baby will go on. Get a pedicure, prenatal massage, and have some dates with your husband.

    • Big +1 to the transition/reminder memo. I also made sure to include clients that go through dormant periods in case they decided to resurface while I was out.

      If you have a secretary, consider granting full access to mail, calendar, phone, etc. to him/her if you haven’t already (assuming trust is there).

      Lastly, in addition to keeping track of your passwords as noted above, make sure none is going to expire soon. I had to log in for something a few weeks into leave, and found out my login had expired and I needed tech support to override. Not fun.

      Oh and of course enjoy sleep and time hanging alone with DH!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Prepping for maternity leave – I had an out of office message drafted in Outlook so all I had to do was switch it to “on” while I was in the hospital recovering. Example “I’m out of the office on maternity leave. Please contact Colleague A or Colleague B for assistance”

    • Anonanonanon says:

      ^this. Also, I tend to over-prepare (a hazard of my profession), but I would script out my outgoing voicemail so it’s not difficult to record at the time

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