Accessory Tuesday: Stella Flat

These Naturalizer flats look so fun — I love them. They only have a couple of reviews so far, but they’re very positive. I think the pictured lilac color is really cute, but note that they also come in a lighter pink and in black. This looks like a great, sophisticated, sleek flat and it’s only $99 at Nordstrom, and Naturalizer. It comes in sizes 4–11. Stella Flat

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Comments

  1. How do you make two travel jobs work with kids? My husband travels for his job, several times a month. I’m looking at a new job that is absolutely perfect and a huge step up, except for one thing – it would require several trips a month for me. Based on likely timing, we’d have 4-5 nights a month where we would need kid coverage from aftercare pickup to school dropoff the next morning, including overnight.

    We have family somewhat nearby, but I don’t think they can do 5 overnights each month at our place. We have some friends in town, who also have kids, and none have a car that could fit 4-5 kids. What are our options? I’m at a complete loss and am sick to my stomach about turning down this job, but also have palpitations about the scheduling nightmare this would be, let alone all the emergencies that would inevitably pop up. Is this just not possible at my current stage of life? Will it ever be?

    • CPA Lady says:

      The only way I would think this would not be a total nightmare is if you had at least one full time live in nanny. Probably two full time nannies. It would probably cost a fortune, but if this is a huge step up for you, perhaps that comes with a huge paycheck?

      How old are your kids? What is their school/daycare arrangement?

    • avocado says:

      As a mom in a moderate-travel (average one week a month but it varies from zero to three trips) job with a non-traveling spouse, I don’t see any way you could make this work without a live-in nanny or live-in grandparent. No matter how willing your friends and family are to pick up the slack, you won’t be able to rely on them 100%. Nanny services can also be unreliable–we used one for occasional after-school care for a while, and sometimes the nannies cancelled at the last minute without a replacement. That would be disastrous if both parents were out of town.

      How old are your kids? In my experience, my travel has gotten harder on my child and on me as she has gotten older. When she was tiny, she enjoyed having special time with daddy and eating out every night. Now that she’s in the sixth grade, she cries when I tell her I have a trip coming up, mopes around the entire time I’m gone, and texts me photos of homework assignments she wants help with because daddy doesn’t remember how to do algebra. I think now that she’s going through all the normal tween challenges she just needs mommy to be around more. Just something to consider.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      How old are your kids?
      I would imagine a live-in au pair would be the only way to make this work. They are restricted in their hours per week, and any time they’re the primary adult responsible for children it’s counted toward their hours (even if they’re asleep), so you’d also have to have some sort of preschool arrangement during the day to keep the au pair from going over her hours. If the kids are preschool-aged, you can probably find a relatively affordable 9-12 or 9-2 church-based preschool in your area that would meet those needs. That and the fact that au pairs are pretty affordable may make it possible without breaking the bank.

      • anne-on says:

        I’d say you would probably need 2 au pairs or a live in nanny. You max out at 10 consecutive hours a day, so I can’t see how you’d do after school pick up through the next morning drop off without maxing them out.

        • Anonanonanon says:

          ooooooh I wasn’t aware of the 10 hour limit. That would certainly complicate things.
          Sounds like you’d almost need preschool, au pair, and part-time after school sitter?

      • Au pairs cannot do overnights. I know many families will call on an au pair in a pinch to watch the kids overnight, but I would worry about doing it as part of the schedule. A salaried, live-in nanny would probably be the best bet.

    • Cornellian says:

      It seems like you would need an au pair or amazing nanny.

      Can your husband cut back travel requirements or switch roles if this is an amazing opportunity for you?

    • Just wanted to throw out another option, since this seems like such a good opportunity for you. Could you husband try to dial back his travel? Maybe this is a time for the two of you to prioritize your career for a bit. From this s!te and the main one it seems that parents often have to switch back and forth on whose career is in the forefront.

      • anne-on says:

        +1. I think without full time live in care one (plus a REALLY good local network for emergencies) one parent needs to be able to flex more. I travel anywhere from 1-3/month for work and it can get really difficult even with an au pair if my husband has late nights – we also won’t both travel at the same time.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Live in nanny/au pair + backup care. My friends who have 3 kids (under 3) has an au pair and a backup nanny + occasional grandparent help. They worked with an agency to find an au pair, which was a big one-time fee, but then what they pay the au pair is very reasonable. But the au pair is limited in the total number of hours she can work each week (something like 40 or 45 hours), so they stagger her schedule with a part-time nanny. And the grandparents chip in when they can.

    • Anonymous says:

      My mom was a single mom and a flight attendant. That meant she was gone from home 3-4 nights per week every week of my life. I had a nanny. Mom would send the nanny her schedule at the beginning of the month, and the nanny would come get me at after-school care and take me to school in the morning on the needed days. The nanny used the guest room in our house on the nights she came over.

      My mother was adamant about hiring grandmothers to do the job. (I had 2 – Judy from elementary school to middle school, and then Gladys from middle to high school.) She had problems with younger women not being reliable. But grandmothers were happy to supplement their income and were responsible and flexible. Gladys worked as a receptionist, so she came by after her workday (5:30), which was fine since I was in activities and such at that age. Judy was retired-retired and collected me from after school care around 4:30.

      My mom was adamant that the nannies weren’t there to cook or clean – just to keep me safe. And I was a quiet child – all I ever did was read books. So I – and the job – was pretty low maintenance and nothing a grandmother couldn’t handle. Not sure how many kids you have and how rambunctious they are.

      Oh, mom found the grandmothers through the classifieds and paid them monthly under the table (this was the ’80s and ’90s).

      • Anonanonanon says:

        I love this story for some reason. I think I have a soft spot for single moms who manage the logistics of life like this. Kudos to your mama :)

      • My mom was an army nurse who was also a single mom (which totally outs me to anyone who knows my family’s story). Early in her career, my mom had to work overnights. We had “babysitters” (i.e. nannies) who would pick us up from school, and we would spend the night at the babysitter’s house. My mom would pick us up in the morning when her shift was over and drive us to school. There were also occasions where my mom was gone for several days and it was the same type of deal. My mom seemed to prefer the grandmother type as well.

      • EB0220 says:

        This story is delightful. Because OF COURSE their names were Judy and Gladys.

      • Dude. I have a supportive husband and well paying job with benefits and loads of vacation time and an amazing daycare situation – and some days it still seems impossible. Women without any of these advantages who still managed to get it all done are seriously my heroes. I can imagine that the lessons she imparted of, “who cares that it’s hard, just figure it out” have served you well in life.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is what a live in is for. You can probably get by with a five day a week live in and an after-school sitter (especially if the after school will babysit a couple evenings a month). I knew a family who had that and grandparents occasionally covered the weekends as needed.

    • Thanks everyone. Ugh. I was afraid this would be the response.

      My kids are preschool and 1st grade, so in two different schools for the next two years (until youngest is in 1st) which complicates the logistics.

      My husband’s job literally is the travel – in order for him to scale back, he’d have to change careers, which I’m not willing to ask him to do. We don’t have enough room for a live-in, and the pay bump wouldn’t be big enough to afford multiple nannies or a bigger house. I do like the grandmother under the table thing, maybe that’s much more doable in a few years when it’s only one after care/drop off to worry about. Time to start getting to know my elderly neighbors much better…

      I was hoping there was some magic solution we weren’t thinking of. Sounds like this job just isn’t for me, given DH’s job and our situation. This is such a hard part of marriage, compromising for the sake of the family.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t see how you can swing it without a live-in situation. At a minimum you’d need a guest room available to the grandmother type nanny.

        I have kids that age and I also don’t think they would handle the insecurity of a changing schedule very well. My kids have much better behaviour when there is consistency in their schedule, and having a constantly changing routine would be too much for them.

        Have you talked to your DH about the option of him stepping back or looking for another role? I wouldn’t close that door without at least having the conversation.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        I’m sorry, those realizations are always disappointing. Sometimes it’s just not the right season of life for a certain change/job, though. I had a similar realization recently (wanted a job that would have me traveling all over the state but would start around when the child I’m currently pregnant with is three months old) and it is disappointing, and I think it’s OK to allow yourself to be a bit frustrated, but since they’re already preschool and first grade you really don’t have that long until you can re-evaluate and look for opportunities like that again.

        • anne-on says:

          +1. I would get a healthy pay bump if I was willing to travel more/go into a nearby larger city but the trade-offs are juts not worth it for me at this stage. That being said, it is sometimes REALLY hard for me to accept that I’m intentionally leaning back a bit.

      • I get that you don’t want to ask your husband to switch careers but isn’t he essentially “asking” you to not take this awesome job so that he can continue with his current career? I would look at it from a big picture/ what benefits the family most.

        • And gently, when you say it’s hard compromising for the sake of the family, it seems like you are the one doing all the compromising. Obviously we don’t know your whole situation though…

          • Thanks for this. DH is in a role, think like a flight attendant or pilot, where the travel is literally the job. It would mean a complete career change, and based on his education history, it would mean going to a minimum-wage-level or entry-level type of role.

            I struggle with trying to avoid resentment that his career requires so much sacrifice from all of us, but then I think of military families who have one of the parents gone for months on end and realize that a few weeks a month is a small sacrifice in the scheme of things. But you’re right that sometimes I feel like I’m the one doing all the compromising.

      • Anonymous says:

        Laura Vanderkam is an author who write a blog – she often mentions having her regular nanny stay overnight when both she and her husband are traveling. She has 4 kids. I think you could definitely find a sitter (or a portfolio of sitters) who could stay overnight with your kids. It would be expensive, but totally doable.

    • POSITA says:

      One suggestion I hadn’t seen yet is the possibility of using a home daycare provider. I know some folks who have made arrangements to have their kids spend the night at their home daycare when parents are traveling. The kids aren’t in their home, but they are very familiar with the babysitter and the space already. You could have the home daycare pick the kids up after school and just keep them overnight. It’s not perfect and would be expensive, but might work with the right caregiver.

      • Similarly, in my very large city, I know there are some daycare providers who cater to medical professionals that offer overnights as a regular part of their business.

    • EB0220 says:

      Thanks for asking this question. My husband just started a travel job (~50%) and I’m technically in a travel job, but thinking about changing roles because I don’t really feel like I’m doing the position justice. These answers confirm that I probably need to start thinking about the change sooner rather than later. We don’t make so much that we can afford an au pair or similar.

      • Is it just you who thinks you aren’t doing the position justice? You are probably more critical of your performance than others so if you like the role and no one else is complaining, I wouldn’t switch just because you know you can do better. I am sure you are doing better right now than some of the other people in that role and they aren’t thinking about switching.

    • Anonymous says:

      How old are your kids? When I was in high school, a friend of mine made a ton of money providing the service you need for your family. She would get out of HS, walk to the elementary school, pick up the kids, help them with homework, make dinner, and stay overnight. She got paid a per day night fee. She did not participate in any afterschool activities (e.g., no sports, etc.) because she preferred to make money babysitting so she was open to accomodate the family’s schedule. The family would send her the nights they needed at the beginning of the month and she’d block them off. She also ultimately traveled with them on vacation.

      All of this is to say it is do-able. You could look into high school or college kids who have flexible schedules and enjoy babysitting.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have a friend that is a single mom and she makes a job with travel work. She has 2 caretakers that help. They happen to both be young elementary school teachers. She gets her travel schedule a month in advance, emails both and works out coverage. The caretakers pick up the kids from school, stay at her home with the kids, and make sure the kids get to school. It can be done, but I think you will either pay 1 person a premium to be available exactly when you need her, or have multiple providers you juggle.

    • Clementine says:

      My husband travels 100% for work and is gone for 2-3 months at a time. I cannot take a job with travel. It bums me out, but that’s the answer.

      I already have an army of people who help me out when I have a late meeting and even that is barely enough to survive.

    • Someone I know has a two travel job family but the husband is pretty senior and can pick and choose his travel dates. She is more junior in her job and has less flexibility. They make it work by having their respective work assistants coordinate before booking so that their travel is always staggered by a day or two.

  2. Thanks again to everyone who chimed in yesterday about my 5mo’s night waking/nursing habit. He was up no less than 6 (!!!) times last night, but we managed to have daddy go in for half of those.

    I also timed the feedings and found he fed for less than 5min a side each of the 3 times, and 2/3 times were less than 4min. So, I think it’s really safe to say he’s not nursing for nutrition and nursing for comfort (which I knew, but somehow seeing the numbers spelled out helps). I’m going to keep track and see if his ~3am feed continues to be the most “vigorous” and if that’s the case, choose that as the one to keep and work on eliminating the others.

    Thanks again to this amazing community… just knowing there are other mamas out there who have survived at work while spending their nights caring for adorable little gremlins who refuse to sleep helps me power through!

    • Anonymous says:

      I read your thread yesterday and it was so informative! We’re TTC and I learn so much on here!

      • Oh dear I hope it wasn’t terrifying!!! Really, he is the light of my life and I love him to pieces but man. Wish the kid would sleep!

    • Mama Llama says:

      Good luck! 5-7 months was absolutely the toughest time of my child’s life for me with many nighttime wake-ups. Keep trying different things until you find something that works for you.

    • I just caught up on yesterday’s thread and wanted to lend my solidarity! After making a ton of progress a couple weeks ago on sleep, yet ANOTHER ear infection set us back. We went from six blissful nights of two predictable wakeups to wakeups every hour or two, refusal to sleep in crib, the whole nine yards. We are going to restart sleep training tonight. The frustrating thing is, like your little one, mine can put himself to sleep with no problem at the start of the night — it’s those dang MOTN wakeups that are torture! Hang in there and know you’re not alone.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ladies, no matter what you do, IT WILL GET BETTER! Hang in there!

  3. Mama Llama says:

    Regarding the featured Naturalizer shoe, it’s super cute and just the kind of thing I would wear to work, but I can’t deal with synthetic lined shoes because they make my feet sweat. It’s too bad because with wide feet I would otherwise be buying tons of Naturalizer.

    • Not sure if this would help but I wear smartwool sock liners with all my shoes. You could try that. They absorb most of the sweat from my (pretty sweaty) feet. A bonus is that wool is antimicrobial so that helps cut down on the smell too. Might be worth a try!

  4. AnonMom says:

    Hello ladies! My DD is 17 months old, and I believe it is time for me to look for another job. I am an attorney and my current job has decent hours, but I have no professional challenge, and the pay is not that great. Plus I work in a niche field so I am afraid that if I stick for too long I will not have opportunities later. I have been practicing for 2 years. Am I crazy to want something else? Should I wait until DD is over 2 and goes to daycare?

    When do you search for jobs and apply? We have a nanny so I was thinking to wake up super early-like 5.00 am and work on my resume and job applications before getting ready for work. It is impossible to do this on the weekends as my baby wants all the attention so I barely get any cooking done. Did any of you apply for jobs during your lunch hour at work? Also, if I work with a recruiter will they help me with my resume?

    Thanks!

    • Anonymous says:

      If anything, make the move before he goes to daycare so you are well established in the new job and can deal with sick days.

      We had home daycare for the first two years and then daycare near my work. Hardly ever sick at home daycare because there was only two other kids there. After starting daycare she was sick enough to have to stay home at least a few days every single month between ages 2 and 3. On the plus side, she’s had maybe one sick day in two years of elementary school.

    • I have searched for jobs at work in the past, but in cases where the job was horrific and I really didn’t feel bad about it. I would suggest taking a half day here and there while kiddo is in daycare and working at home or a coffee shop on your resume and cover letters. If you’re determined, you can bang them out pretty quickly. For me an hour in the morning wouldn’t be enough time for me to get in the groove.

      In my technical field recruiters are worthless. Their fee comes directly from any signing bonus you would get, so it’s not in your financial interest to work with one. They never understand the technical part of a job well enough to match you with anything you’d ever want. But, maybe this is different in law!

    • Katala says:

      A good legal recruiter will help you with your resume. I’m in Biglaw, so any resume for someone in my practice would be relatively similar. My recruiter send me a couple of sample experience sections which helped me think of all the things to list and how to phrase them. It’s important to work with a good recruiter, so it may be worth reaching out to contacts in your field to see if anyone has recommendations.

      What makes you think you won’t have opportunities later? An experienced recruiter should also be able to help you evaluate that assumption based on the market for your field. In some fields 2 years is the perfect time to make a move, in others more experience may be preferred.

      Recruiters should do a lot of the legwork for you. Maybe it’s different outside of biglaw, but I did a few hours of research so I would know which firms I liked best in the markets I was looking at. Then the recruiter offered up a list of openings and I gave them my top 3 or so firms, who they contacted even though they weren’t advertising openings. I also didn’t have to write cover letters, etc. but not sure if that’s the norm for non-biglaw. Good luck!

  5. Yesterday I had my anatomy scan and we were diagnosed with a single unmbilical artery resulting in a congenital defect of only one kidney. We have a follow up ECG for reassurance of no heart defects and all of the testing we have done so far shows no chromosomal disorders.

    Anyone here have any insight or experience with this? This is my second pregnancy and the first resulted in a loss at 16 weeks due to Turners. I’m scared yet trying to be optimistic and educate myself. I read many peer reviews articles yesterday and many talk about SUA but not many talk about only one kidney. I am also talking to my medical team but just looking for peer support.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t have experience with this specific issue, but hugs to you as you navigate through this.

    • Echoing hugs. Have you looked on Facebook for support groups? I have a friend whose daughter has a CHD and she found support that way.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have a friend with a teenaged son with one kidney. Other than not letting him play football, I can’t think of other physical issues that have limited him. He has been monitored for kidney function his whole life. He is a 6+ foot tall teen now.

      • Ranon says:

        Thank you for this. Exactly what I needed to hear!

      • mascot says:

        I also know an elementary school kid with one kidney. He plays sports with my child and seems to have a really normal, active life.

  6. Anonymous says:

    We have 21 month old twins and our son has recently gotten incredibly picky at lunch and dinner– turning down even toddler staples like mac and cheese/nuggets/etc. He threw a major tantrum last night in his high chair until I fed him with my fork out of my bowl… the same food that was on his tray. Then he ate everything, green veggies included. My husband is reluctant to humor him because we’ve been trying to teach them to use forks and spoons, and he could definitely just eat dinner with his hands… but dinners have been SO exhausting lately that I’m inclined to just feed him off my plate for a while longer and push this battle down the road. Any input? I don’t think he’ll be getting fed by me in kindergarten, but I see why this seems like spoiling him…

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Not really helpful, but sometimes I do the same with my 2.5 year old. She doesn’t want to sit still and eat dinner. She wants to play and run around. So I let her zoom around and I’ll feed her bites throughout the evening. I feel like this goes against most feeding advice, but I’d rather her eat and sleep more as a result than be woken up a million times because she’s hungry.

    • We had been getting so fed up with our 18 month old throwing food (and with dilly-dallying and also refusing food he likes) and have been using this method with some success:

      http://www.janetlansbury.com/2016/01/eating-isnt-ours-to-control-how-one-parent-replaced-fear-with-trust/

      It’s hard to ignore the thoughts of, “Is he getting enough to eat??” but our ped reminded us that we are looking at nutrition from a weekly more than a daily standpoint, and that toddlers go up and down and all around with their food. Hope that might help you.

      • avocado says:

        I feel compelled to warn everyone (at the risk of being a broken record) that although this type of approach works for most kids, there are some kids who will in fact starve themselves if given the opportunity. Also, once a kid stops eating, it can mess with her appetite signals so she doesn’t recognize when she needs to eat. This happened with our kid while we were doing whole the Satter thing.

        • Brown Bear says:

          Avocado, can you talk a little bit about if you have found anything that works with your kid? I think I may have a similar situation going on…

          • avocado says:

            So my kid is now 11 and still has some food issues. We believe there may be some mild sensory issues going on but have not pursued a diagnosis because she is now gaining weight appropriately and I frankly just can’t deal with the idea of the logistical nightmare of taking her to the feeding clinic on a regular basis.

            When she was in preschool, we dropped the Satter method in favor of bribery and mild coercion. It sounds horrible and is not for everyone, but for us this was a last resort and was the only thing that worked. Bribery took the form of offering dessert for people who “ate a healthy dinner so their tummies were ready for dessert” (meaning, ate a somewhat reasonable amount of some food and tried most of the things on the plate). Coercion took the form of insisting that she finish drinking her milk before leaving the table, every single time. This way we knew she was at least getting some nutrition. The bribery and coercion were useful in getting her to eat *something* so her body got out of starvation mode and started feeling hungry again.

            For her entire life, we have enthusiastically supported any interest in trying new foods. This has meant everything from buying stalks of brussels sprouts because she thought they looked like dinosaur food to feeding her sushi off my plate. Anything she even sort of likes appears again on the menu within the next few days. This has helped to expand the range of foods she will actually eat, although it has also resulted in a lot of rejected foods ending up in my lunch bag.

            We try to encourage her to eat as much as possible at breakfast because she prefers breakfast foods to dinner foods. We also allow her to buy school lunch, with the pediatrician’s blessing, because for some reason she actually likes the entrees. She won’t eat the school vegetables and fruits so I pack those.

            She has texture issues and doesn’t like a lot of foods where multiple textures are combined into a single dish. We gave up on getting her to eat a few certain foods whose texture or flavor she just can’t stand. I also serve the components of some dishes separately–for example, she will not eat a taco, but she likes a “taco plate” where the taco shell, chicken, cheese, and lettuce are separated. I have also altered my menu planning in response to her tastes. The “normal” dishes that she does like without alteration make frequent appearances, and the stuff she absolutely hates mainly gets made when she is not home.

            Tactics that have not worked for us include “the parent chooses what to serve, the child decides whether and how much to eat,” offering a set alternative if she doesn’t like what’s being served, nagging by us or her sports coaches, consultation with multiple nutritionists (they only know how to deal with kids whose parents don’t feed them the right foods, not kids who hate eating), hiding coconut oil in peanut butter sandwiches.

          • Anonymous says:

            Avocado – if it makes you feel any better, I was basically that kid but I totally grew out of it at college. Not sure what happened, I can remember hating my foods ‘touching’ other foods on my plate, and not eating foods with mulitple textures and then one day I didn’t care anymore. My sister bought me a divided plate a few years ago as a joke.

          • Agreed, I was also that kid. I think the foods that I ate up until college could be counted on one hand. My mother gave up when I was very young (<10) and let me eat cereal for all meals. This went on for YEARS. Then in high school, my dinner was faux chicken nuggets and mashed potatoes. Every day. I don't know how my mother didn't pull her hair out. I didn't eat sandwiches, so she had to send the most ridiculous things for my lunch, like a tortilla roll with honey on it. WTF, Little Pogo.

            Somehow, going to college helped. There is hope.

          • avocado says:

            @Anonymous and Pogo–thanks for the encouragement. I have hope my kid will grow out of it at college, especially because whenever she goes to college camps she proclaims that dorm food is the most delicious food ever. On the other hand, I have a 25-year-old niece who hasn’t grown out of it yet.

            Anyway, moms of super picky eaters for whom Satter and Lansbury don’t work, I just want you all to know that it is not your fault and there is hope!

          • Anonymous says:

            Avocado, thanks for sharing this. I was also super duper picky and my son is showing signs. I feel like it is my fault. But I definitely have texture issues and am verrry sensitive to bitter tastes, and I remember the anxiety of having to try new foods. I would swallow bites whole rather than chewing when forced. My parents didn’t force it. When I was a young adult I started gradually trying new things and broadening my horizons. I’m still picky but am not a complete freak anymore. On the plus side, I never learned to like alcohol or coffee at all – even wine coolers and coffee ice cream.

        • Yeah, I went on a hunger strike at age 5 myself, so I get it. My mom saw it as a battle of wills but it also created a lasting food aversion for me.

      • Anonymous says:

        OP here– thanks! This makes me feel better because we’re doing most of it already. We sit at high chairs, he has to stay until everyone is done, and he looooves saying “all done!” even when he is not yet done. We don’t let them throw food on the floor (we say “you must be done” and take the tray away… at least that worked for the girl twin). It just hadn’t occurred to me until last night that all this fuss might be because he didn’t like the fork, and if that’s the problem I’m fine with just feeding him myself for a month or so and trying again. He is the more reticent of the twins, always wanting our help to get down from a stair or get a toy, so he might just not have the independent streak his sister has.

        • I also give you total permission from an internet stranger to push this down a road for a while! He won’t be a high school graduate who can’t eat with a fork.

        • Anonymous says:

          My 5 year old is still working on using his fork. You’ve got time.

      • I have/had a food thrower (my second- my first was not!). What ended up working was to give her a bowl of her own, and tell her “if you are all done, put the food in Your Own Bowl.” Worked like a CHARM and I gave myself a small Mother of the Year award for thinking of this. As a bonus, she sometimes picks stuff out of the “discard bowl” and eats it. YMMV but it’s a free fix that took exactly 1 time to implement, plus a few occasional reminders.

    • Anonymous says:

      post lost in mod

      I have twins. One is super tired after daycare. He feeds himself all day at daycare so I help at supper by sitting next to him and pre-loading his fork or spoon for each bite and handing it to him to put in his mouth. The fine motor skills to load the food onto the fork/spoon seems to be his biggest challenge. He doesn’t have issues when he’s not tired or on weekends.

      Don’t worry about kindergarten – get through this week first.

      • Just want to add that boys typically have weaker fine motor skills than girls, so that might be part of the difference?

        My middle child has an incredibly sensitive palate. We tried all kinds of strategies, but he is very adamant, and we did not want to turn meals into a battle (especially family dinner, which is supposed to be a happy time). So, there is always a couple of things on the table that he will eat, and that’s good enough. We did not have the problem described by the earlier poster of starvation, though – he would always eat enough of something. His issues are with protein and vegetables, so he gets a lot of dairy and fruit.

    • also twins says:

      I have two year old twins and we’ve been through phases of this. A few things have worked for us, including giving whoever is having that issue one on one attention (five minutes of sitting in my lap and playing, laughing, talking and “being a baby”) before a meal. I also gave them plastic utensils to use on playdough to practice. It has made utensil skills a game and they are keen to improve, without the pressure to eat anything (and they think it’s so funny to pretend to eat it and then say “no no no”).

      Ultimately, while you don’t want to encourage bad habits, most kids eventually will want to feed themselves for control and more food :) I’d do whatever works!

    • My daughter is 27 months. We consider anything that gets to her stomach a win, whether it comes from her plate, my plate, my husband’s plate, her silverware, her hands, our silverware… We do stop at letting her eat food that has fallen on the floor. Chill out.

  7. I’m sure this issue has been raised, but I’m in crisis mode and looking for positive success stories and directions to pursue. I’m in litigation and I HATE it. I want desperately to do something else but have been doing this somehow for ten years and have done reasonably well at my small plaintiffs firm and made junior partner some time ago. But I feel like I am at a plateau right now in terms of career here, and increasingly hating my job and now lacking motivation to even continue which had never been a problem before despite my lack of enthusiasm for litigation. But to continue to pay my mortgage (in Boston suburbs) even with DH’s salary and realizing I would probably need to take a pay cut, I need to be making at least 90-100K (or with that potential) . I don’t want another litigation job, but honestly can’t figure out what else I am qualified to even do this far out. I’m also just so stressed and overwhelmed by the whole process that I’m almost paralyzed to even do anything to help myself with a job search. I think I might need a career coach at this point, but I’m also wary of that option for some reason.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      What part of litigation do you hate? Is it actually going to court? Or project management? Or writing briefs? Or the firm you work for? Or the clients? I think you need to figure that out.

      Because you could do a number of things. A friend just went into government doing lawyer ethics and discipline; you could go in-house and manage outside litigators (and probably make more than $90K); you could take a job at a law school; you could take a position at a legal publisher. But all of those use subsets of the litigation skillset, and its hard to know which subset you’d like to leave behind.

      • OP here – good point! I dislike the court aspect in part, particularly actual trials, although a motion hearing that I can prepare for does not bother me as much. I don’t mind briefing and writing, but I hate the variability in schedule so that defense files a motion and now my schedule has to completely change to make sure it is opposed in a timely fashion. Litigation is just reactive in a certain sense and I dislike the unknown. In a broader and deeper sense I just find the entire adversarial process to be at odds with my personality. To have to fight at every stage from discovery disputes to depositions to motion practice is just not me. I just kind of fell into this job after law school and for a long time could do it, maybe because I was more junior so I was just doing what I was told and those adversarial tasks were not on me to “own” if that makes sense at all.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          Groan. If there is a legal job that doesn’t require sudden, unexpected intrusions into my personal life, I would like to know about it….I’m transactional, rarely litigate, never in a court room, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a client suddenly demand an in-depth analysis of an issue they hadn’t previously raised before that MUST be done before an 8 am call the next morning. I feel like that’s life in the service economy. Maybe in-house or government would be better?

          • Katala says:

            Yep – I thought litigation was supposed to be fairly predictable compared to a transactional practice but it’s still client service, so…

            It does sound like many of your dislikes could be mitigated as an in-house manager of outside litigation counsel. It would still be adversarial, but it sounds like being a step removed from the responsibility helped you deal. I’m sure that’s not always the case, but I think you could find a position where the outside counsel owns a lot of the more adversarial aspects. Academia may also be something to explore, if you like research and writing and predictability.

          • Trusts & Estates. I have worked in biglaw for 7+ years and can count on one hand how many times I have had a true “emergency” and/or worked on the weekend. I am never going to be the highest biller at my firm, but if you find a firm that values T&E , it is an extremely forgiving practice area.

            That being said, I lucked into T&E straight out of law school so I have no advice about how to switch practice areas.

    • I went from litigation to gov’t (essentially in-house employment counsel for the state) and while I took an initial pay cut, I got so much of my life back that it was totally worth it. Some expenses (back up child care, meals out, etc.) went down as well once I had more time. I make 110 in a MCOL state and have boatloads of time off (because, gov’t.)

    • Claims analyst for an insurance company?

  8. Anonymous says:

    We had stretches like this with one of my twins. He just finds daycare much more exhausting than his brother. He’s wiped at the end of the day and it shows at dinner time. He’d sleep on the table if I let him.

    Our happy medium is that I’ll load his fork or spoon and he’ll put it in his own mouth. He will actually protest now if I try to feed him. Sometimes the fine motor skills to navigate getting the right amount of food onto the fork/spoon without it falling off is just exhausting at the end of the day. Picking up the fork and putting it in his mouth seems to be easier for him.

    They feed themselves at lunch at daycare and for two snacks at daycare so it’s not like he never gets practice. Kindergarten is a long way away. Worry about getting through this week.

  9. Does anyone have a solid sick policy in their office that makes it clear you are expected to stay home when you are sick? I work with someone who was out all last week (bedridden for 4 days) is now on antibiotics (which is a whole other conversation) but was congested and tired yesterday, left early in the afternoon and is working from home this morning, but insisting we keep our meeting this afternoon saying that she is no longer contagious. I basically refused, so I am saved for today, but wondering if there is a clear policy we can implement. I hate to pull the mom card on everything but I feel like my single colleagues are just not aware that if I get sick it’s more than just taking a few days of PTO and feeling better. It means my husband and kids get sick, too, and a whole punch of PTO to cover days away from daycare and a partner who is down for the count, etc.

    • mascot says:

      Pushing back gently, I think that they did what they were supposed to do in this case. They were out of the office for 6 days (yes some of that was the wknd), they’ve seen the doctor, presumably they aren’t still feverish, not vomiting, etc. It may take them some extra time to recover, but I don’t think that they are at the height of contagious any more. That’s usually at the beginning of the illness. A school or daycare would let them come back at this point. They wouldn’t have to wait until they were 100% clear of all symptoms or there wouldn’t be anyone at school.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree with mascot. Also, just ask to do the meeting by phone, rather than cancelling all together. I work in an office where everyone is expected to be in the office regardless of how sick they are. If I’m sick, I always let the other person know and suggest meeting by phone. If I know they are sick, I will simply suggest doing the meeting over the phone.

    • No one wants to come in to work when they’re sick. You’re being unreasonable and deeply self-involved, sorry. I say this as a fellow mom.

      • Redux says:

        I’m not sure I understand your comment (and I want to because I’ve clearly missed the mark here!). I agree that no one wants to come to work when they’re sick. This person is sick and I am wondering how to implement a policy that allows her to stay home. How is that unreasonable and self-involved?

        • I think it’s awesome you’re asking and it says alot about you (sincerely!) This made it seem like you were being critical, and it seemed pretty unfair to me:

          “I feel like my single colleagues are just not aware that if I get sick it’s more than just taking a few days of PTO and feeling better.”
          My point was that it’s not like this person wants to come in when she’s sick, so it seemed unkind to hold it against her, like she was violating a social contract to come in.

          • Redux says:

            Yes, I see that now. I suppose my real question is how to implement a real contract that reflects a social contract that I believe is valuable, namely, not coming in to work when you’re sick. In my mind, it serves two purposes: (1) as you said, no one wants to come in to work when they’re sick, and (2) no one wants to catch a virus from their coworker. But from the response to my post it seems like I am wrong about the social contract part of it.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with mascot. Also, if she had a bacterial infection she should not be contagious after 24 hours on antibiotics anyway.

    • Redux says:

      I’m so surprised with these replies! Thank you for the perspective. I suppose part of me is really spooked by the whole “one of the worst flu seasons on record” thing. I go out of my way to avoid people who are congested/sneezy/coughing/tired, but perhaps that’s over-cautious?

      • Sabba says:

        I think you can be cautious. I’m not sure that you can change policies or workplace culture, though, that sounds really hard. I think the suggestion to set up phone meetings is good Control what you can control and try not to stress about the other stuff.

    • I don’t know about a specific policy, but if it’s within your power, you might be able to change the culture by allowing and accommodating more work from home–telephone or video calls, a good remote login, flexible policies (whether formal or informal), support for working from home.

  10. Any tips on surviving nebulizer treatments for a 10-month-old? We’ll try letting him watch a video on our phone, but I’m not sure he’s old enough for that.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      My ped’s advice on nebulizer treatments was not to be a perfectionist about it; it’s OK if they don’t get the full treatment each time. It’s such a concentrated shot of medicine, some of it is usually enough.

      FWIW, I held kiddo on my lap and held the mask over or near her face while we read stories, watched TV, or listened to a podcast. And it got much better by 18 months.

    • Anonymous says:

      Try Mother Goose Club on You Tube – my kids weren’t into screen time at that age but the Mother Goose Club music videos of Wheels on the Bus etc were super popular.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Little Baby Bum is another good one that I used to call “baby crack.”

        • +1 to Little Baby Bum, and PinkFong/ Baby Shark. Also try Pocoyo – kids as young as 4 months are mesmerized. (You can watch the Spanish version if you want to call it “educational”)

          • Awesome, thanks for the list of shows to try!

          • Anon. says:

            We spent a solid 30 minutes watching PinkFong Baby Shark on repeat with my six month old during our 10 hour drive home over the holidays.

          • farrleybear says:

            This, and Hoopla Kids. We had a couple of bouts of RSV and had to nebulize every three hours for days on end when my son was around 11 months, and again at about 15 months. The videos helped immensely. Echo just holding the mask in front of face and not trying to use the strap.

        • Katala says:

          Oh gosh yes, little baby bum. Also baby einstein at that age.

    • Butter says:

      Solidarity. I just tried to point it at his mouth/nose instead of actually putting it over his head, which seemed to help. But it’s the worst.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        The contact high is unpleasant too – I think I usually got as much albuterol as kiddo did, and it made me so jittery.

        If your kiddo is still wheezing after a treatment and you think they didn’t take much in, you can do another treatment shortly afterward. I often tried to exhaust kiddo before a treatment.

        The ped also suggested that if it’s really hard to get kiddo to keep still, you can either build a little blanket tent or do the neb inside a kid’s tent with a door that closes, so you contain the medicine and kiddo together in a confined space. I never had to go that route; the promise of a dab of hot fudge at the end of a successful neb (with jar of hot fudge kept in kiddo’s line of sight) was enough to keep kiddo sitting approximately still.

    • Anonymous says:

      My child really dislikes the face mask, but does okay with the other type of attachment that is supposed to go into the mouth. While she doesn’t like putting it in her mouth, it can help to aim it at the nose/mouth area as another person suggested. It is really hard at this age. Do the best you can.

    • Hugs. Nebulizer is miserable. I actually didn’t think to offer him to watch youtube kids so that’s a good thought. What helped for us: Dad holding him during treatments (this is the one case where dad is much more comforting than mom), Dad holding the mask to his own face first, showing LO that it’s not scary (+1 that albuterol high is such a weird feeling), and just holding the mask to LO’s face the whole time, not trying to use the elastic strap. As others have said: we just tried to do it until he absolutely couldn’t stand it anymore. I don’t know how long the treatments are but they seem like an eternity. They gave us a cute little monkey nebulizer, so I tried to make it a “fun” event. “We’re going to see your monkey now! :: make monkey noises::” I think we usually went 7 out of 10 minutes and called it good. Offer a bottle or paci or soothie after. He was usually fine immediately after. I think the high feeling he got plus the scariness of a new sensation was the hardest part. You can do this!

    • Anonymous says:

      The neb! Until our youngest was about 1, the best way to get her to tolerate the treatment was to sing silly songs while I bounced her on my lap. Most of the time I wasn’t even singing words, just noises. I agree with all of the comments above (and was told by my Dr) that you don’t have to hold the mask over the nose, just near the nose/mouth. I would hold her in my lap in a hug and just sing in her ear. The Star Wars theme was a favorite. Along with folk songs. The lap holding helps if you need to hold arms down so she doesn’t swat the neb away.

      Starting at about 1 we discovered she was far more tolerant when she was in her high chair. We turn on a video, sit her in the chair, and she handles it pretty well. The current song selection is the A,B, C song. This could also work for under 1, we just didn’t think of it before then!

    • Oh, I’m a pro here. My kid is 4.5 and has been on the neb whenever she has a bad chest cold since about 10 months.

      Things that work: low expectations, play-doh (during daytime sessions), very engaging phone videos, a 2-parent approach with one being The Distractor doing things like singing songs, playing with puppets, etc.

  11. I am really feeling the working mom “bad at everything” today.

    • Anonymous says:

      When I feel like this, DH reminds me that just because I’m not gettings an ‘A’ in every area, doesn’t mean I’m failing. It’s okay to have C and D days too.

    • Seconded. Just watching my career go down slow burning flames, bit by bit every day, while my son is simultaneously deciding he prefers my nanny.

  12. Pregnant again (finally!) says:

    We just found out that our IVF treatment worked, and I’m pregnant with #2! Our first child is in elementary school so it’s been awhile since I’ve been down this road. What’s the advice on working out while pregnant these days? The nurse at the RE’s office said I’m fine to keep doing what I’ve been doing (but tone down any intense interval training or anything like that), but I seem to recall my OB during my first pregnancy saying to keep my heart rate below 130. Is that still the advice or is that outdated? I generally do a mix of cardio and weights, but nothing terribly intense like crossfit or marathon training.

    Also, where is a good place to get some quality but inexpensive [email protected]? My b00bs are already growing!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I don’t remember the heart rate advice – I remember advice to make sure my core didn’t get too hot, but I think that was more toward the second trimester. In general, the advice was that you can keep working out at the level you’ve been doing before getting pregnant, but don’t amp it up. Like, if you run a 10 minute mile and do 5Ks, now is not the time to train for a marathon, but it’s ok to keep running 5Ks. If you haven’t previously run a 5K, maybe stick to walking and yoga.

    • Anon for this says:

      Congrats!! I also just found out that I am pregnant with my second! During my first pregnancy, I had a complication which required me to stop any form of exercise so I am far from an expert on this but I recently read that some very cautious OBs recommend keeping your heart rate under 150. I have read in other places that if you can speak two sentences while working out, you are fine. Again, I am no expert but wanted to share what I have read.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Congrats! I think that’s outdated advice. I think the current advice is that it’s okay to do what you were doing, modifying the intensity as appropriate. As for sports bras, I wound up getting one expensive one (maybe Anita brand?) from a specialty store because my chest was huge (I went up at least 1 band size and 2+ cup sizes, so I needed support). But maybe order a bunch from Nordstrom and see if any of them fit?

    • Congrats!!! I was pregnant last year (but not through IVF) and the advice I got was the same as what NewMomAnon says – fine to maintain but don’t try to do anything new. Also drink more water than you would previously, and most importantly, listen to your body. I was in a Facebook group for moms/moms-to-be who run, and I had to leave it because I felt really bummed seeing all of these women post about doing marathons in their third trimester. I had been a really committed runner but my endurance took a nosedive really early on, and I was too uncomfortable to do anything but swim in my third trimester. It was really discouraging but I had to keep telling myself that every woman and every pregnancy is different, and you are only doing you and your baby harm if you feel like you are pushing beyond what is comfortable. Stay active if you can, but only you know what you are comfortable with!

    • This advice is all spot on!

      To add – I really like the Brooks Fiona bra. Not cheap, but the only thing that could contain my preggo b00bs. Only bummed that I need to size up again for nursing b00bs.

      Also on the advice from here I got a maternity support belt for running, but I also used it for walking and any time I had to be on my feet a lot near the end (I was off and on pelvic rest during my pregnancy due to various complications, so sometimes I could only walk or elliptical…..ugh). And compression socks too!

      My other workout advice is that swimming and yoga I could do up until the very very end. I eventually had too much pelvic pain to run and of course there’s the needing to pee issue. But I took power yoga classes up until two days before I went into labor. I think I swam that week as well.

    • You already received really good advice which is current from my understanding. I was too paranoid when I was pregnant with my first but with my second I kept running until it was uncomfortable. I had run 14 miles the day before I got a positive pregnancy test and ran a half marathon half way through pregnancy. He is now a happy healthy four month old.

    • Jeffiner says:

      I’ve read that the heartrate thing is really old. The new guidelines are more subjective – do what you used to do as long as you feel comfortable – but some OBs like to have a number they can provide. Some studies show that 90% of your max heartrate is fine, but those studies were done on very athletic women. I kept doing boot camp until I was 8 months, and even though I wore a heartrate monitor, I would feel when it was time to take a break.

  13. Mildly annoyed says:

    My husband has adopted this way of talking to me that’s getting on my nerves, and I don’t know if I’m being unreasonable. Instead of saying “Are you leaving soon,” he’ll say “You leaving soon?” It’s the omission of one word but I so dislike how it sounds! “You find that book?” instead of “Did you find that book” …I actually brought it up some months back and he kind of laughed it off. And started it back up again!
    In the universe of possible issues, I realize this is silly. (Do) you guys think I’m overreacting? :)

    • I noticed lately in emails that I write things like “Hope you are having a good 2018” instead of “I hope you are having a good 2018”. I wonder if it is due to texting? Seems like a let it go kind of thing though.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, you are overreacting. If the situation were reversed and it annoyed him that you say “Are you leaving soon?” would you change how you talk? It’s really hard to do even if you are willing.

      • Thanks for your perspective! He only recently started talking this way, over the last year, and it just sounds disrespectful, somehow…like he’s talking to one of his buddies or something. Like “You done with that?” instead of “Are you done with that”… it just sounds off and dismissive. But based on your guys’ replies, I’m thinking I’m reading too much into it!

    • Yes, you are overreacting. I understand why you are annoyed, though. If you have kids, you might want to tell him you don’t want them to pick up that style of speaking.

      I will commiserate. My husband frequently says things like “Does the yard need mowed?” instead of “Does the yard need to be mowed?” I did a bunch of research and apparently it is a regional thing. I was blown away the first time I heard him do it.

  14. frustrated parent says:

    Can I just say how hard it is to have a kiddo whose struggling with behavior at school? I have a bright, sweet funny 5.5 year old boy in kindergarten who has really struggled with behavior over the past few weeks (was a little bit of a struggle before break, has been worse after). He has a teacher I really like whose tried a number of different things with him and us and my husband and I have been working extra hard at being consistent, enforcing consequences and staying even with him. He can be impulsive and has tantrums that escalate quickly. He feels bad afterwards and is starting to verbalize feeling bad about himself. His teacher doesn’t think he has any diagnosis, just that he’s immature (but felt like waiting a year wouldn’t have been helpful-June b-day-because he’s doing really well academically and she felt like he would have been bored and gotten into more trouble if we’d waited). It’s just kind of a grind right now. I spend my days at work worried about how his day is going. His teacher has been good about working with the school counselor and I’ve told them that if they have ideas about outside interventions we are all for them. But I’m so used to just working and fixing problems at work and this is hard. Also my heart kind of aches for him. His teacher thinks he’s just immature and that this will get better. But right now it’s just so hard.

    • avocado says:

      Hugs, this sounds rough. It is fantastic that both you and his teachers recognize that this is just a normal stage of development and that the school is willing to be patient and help him work through it. Pretty soon you will be through this challenge and on to the next stage. Remember, the days are long but the years are short.

    • Ugh I’m so sorry.

      I’m sure you have gotten a ton of helpful advice, but my “socially immature” 5yo has really responded well to adult modeling. Every night, we have a discussion about our days, and my day almost always includes some kind of frustration. Some days I remember to handle it appropriately (I was SO MAD but then I took a deep breath and counted to four. Then I used my words and said I didn’t like that solution, I was really hoping for a different one.) but some days I get upset and don’t do the right thing so then I feel upset at myself too. (I’m trying to think of what might make me feel better. Would you hug me? I think that might help. Oh, and I’ll list three things I like about myself. Okay I’m feeling a little better. Maybe I should read a book to get my mind off of it.)

      I’ve noticed that she’s echoing some of my words on occasion, and asks me for hugs when I pick her up. It’s calmed down a bit since break, so I’m hopeful the repetition is helping. Honestly, it’s even helping me because I try to pay more attention to my days and practice good habits that I can tell my kid about later.

      • frustrated parent says:

        Thank you! I really think this is important. Both my husband and I have had (unfortunate) moments of getting frustrated with him and yelling (or with each other in moments of stress). He has been spanked in these moments but not for sometime (and I do blame our own explosiveness on his behavior right now-it’s hard to let go of feeling like this is my fault and just doing our best moving forward). We are really trying to stay even and calm to model for him and I feel like there has been a real improvement but that has been an issue in the past. I like the idea of talking about hard things during our day and how we handled it. I actually had a conversation about our change in our behavior/response to him and he told me he liked that we had not spanked him or yelled at him in a while and that just about broke my heart. This parenting business is hard. Add to that that my job is law related to child welfare and you feel extra crummy about yourself for not handling things the best.

        • mascot says:

          Oh, and if you aren’t already, give him lots of physical outlets when he’s upset. Here’s some paper to rip, go shoot baskets, whatever. I also found that organized sports have been helpful in channeling that energy and learning how to keep your temper in check. We do a mixture of team and individual sports. Martial arts and wrestling are both really good options for some self-discipline.

          • frustrated parent says:

            Thank you! I like the idea of that-especially since he likes to stomp around and kick toys with he’s mad. He’s in gymnastics once a week and it’s no coincidence that his favorite school days are the three days a week he has PE. I’ll look into martial arts. He also loved Tball last summer and it starts again this spring, which will be good. One of my younger male co-workers basically said that wrestling was the only reason he didn’t get into more trouble as a kid.

        • Anonymous says:

          YES — and also, this sounds so corny, but we have seen a remarkable improvement in our boys’ behavior by going overboard with ALL THE LOVE ALL THE TIME and thanking them for their help. They are still rough and tumble, but man, do we talk openly and often about how much we love each other, how lucky they are to have a great brother, how lucky we are that they are our kids, and how happy it makes us to see them and spend time with them. Megan Leahy from WaPo talks a lot about how connecting with your kid makes them want to cooperate with you. And I’ve really seen an uptick in our kids’ good behavior when we are just oozing with the love. It’s sometimes a little much even for me, but I’m remarkably proud of how kind my two boys are.

          Also, when my 5 year old is throwing a huge tantrum, I actually can end it quicker by asking him for a hug. And I give him a huge bear hug — I recall reading something about the pressure helping end the tantrum, and it doesn’t reinforce bad behavior = bad kid.

        • I hear you. I grew up in a household that yelled and screamed and spanked, so my anger management skills are in pretty short supply. I am trying really hard to break that pattern, but it’s so deeply ingrained in me. Especially when I’m stressed or upset.

          I watch a lot of Daniel Tiger with my kid because those adults have their ish together. There’s even a “Daniel Tiger for Parents” app that organizes the songs by topic and gives special tips on how to manage a particular skill. I’ve relied on that more than I care to admit.

          I hear you, parenting is so very hard. And it’s even harder when your instincts are so off. Just know that you’re trying your best, and hopefully laying a good foundation for your kid to build on as he grows.

          • LittleBigLaw says:

            Glad I’m not the only one getting my parenting skills from Daniel Tiger! I have a real love/hate relationship with that show (hate the corny songs stuck in my head all day, love that my two year old often sings them to herself at helpful moments – “Why yes, Sweetie, we do need to stop and go potty right away” 😂)

          • NewMomAnon says:

            “When you feel so mad that you wanna roar! Take a deep breath….and count to four!”

            *totally hummed this to myself in a meeting this morning

    • mascot says:

      Oh, mama. I’ve been there. I’m still there and my kid is 7.5. I’ve written several variations on this post. My heart breaks for my little guy when his behavior issues start to affect his social life. I’m sending you all the hugs and high-fives and comforting drinks of your choice.
      It does get better. I used to view those behavior reports as a failing on our part when what many of them were intended as was a combination of shared frustration and keeping me informed. Once I started seeing this as less of my problem to solve and more of phase to be endured, it got better. And it’s great that his teachers recognize that this little man is a very lovable handful and that you are all working together to help him mature. We saw a real difference by 6.5.
      In addition to time, it really helped us to focus on the places where our son has some strengths. He’s really independent and trustworthy so we started to play up those skills. Example- You tell my son not to leave his yard without asking us while playing and he won’t budge, even if his friends try to. Now, he may repeatedly ignore requests not to roughhouse with his friends so his impulse control and people reading aren’t great, but he’s still in the yard. So we praise him for that and realize that skill takes some real maturity. Also, don’t be afraid to expand your village. When appropriate, we are forthcoming with our friends, the teachers, coaches, etc. about his being good hearted, but immature. I think it makes people more sympathetic and patient with him and us, instead of just assuming that we are lax disciplinarians with a bratty kid.

      • frustrated parent says:

        Thank you! I really appreciate this. It is just hard and he’s such a great little guy. I like the idea of focusing on his strengths-there are definitely some areas we can do that in. I so appreciate this community-I have such a combo of anxiety and shame right now and it’s nice to know folks understand. I do think that his teacher is great about being a partner with us with the information-and I’m so grateful that she gives us good updates about when he is doing well (even yesterday’s afternoon blowup started with an update about how great a morning he had). It’s just HARD. And white Russians have been our dessert/drinks of parenting comfort choice. But now we’re out of vodka. Grocery store run at lunch!

        • Anonymous says:

          If it makes you feel any better, my husband had to spend an extra year after kindergarten in a class called “readiness” before he was moved to 1st grade — due to crying and tantrums. He ended up valedictorian of his high school, so it wasn’t a long term struggle. He just wasn’t ready for school at age 5.

    • Anonymous says:

      Our first grader acts out when she doesn’t get enough phyiscal activity, especially outside. We rearranged our schedules a bit to be able to walk her to school every morning and that helps a lot, plus she has an afterschool program that takes them outside everyday. We keep weeknight dinner simple and low key and try to get her to bed early. Minimal weeknight extracirculars.

      I ask her what her favourite thing was everyday and what the hardest thing was. And then I tell her my favourite thing and my hardest thinig. I find it’s a great way to share our challenging moments and realize that everyday has ups and downs.

      She’s one of the younger kids in her class so her executive functioning is just not at the same level. ‘Get ready to go outside’ is too general and overwhelming so her teachers now say ‘Everyone put on coats, snowpants and boots.’ then before they go outside the teachers add ‘everyone put on their hats and mittens’. She tends to max out at three steps so ‘put on coat, snowpants, boots, hat and mittens and go outside’ would just be a blur to her.

    • Anonymous says:

      I feel like winter has been really tough this year on my preschooler. She just NEEDS more time outside to run around everyday. Looking into after school nature programs for her now (for the full time, real school future). And started buying myself some long underwear so we can go out more in the evenings/when the weather is bad.

      Not sure if that’s what your kiddo needs or if those are options where you live.

      Some kids just aren’t ready for school when the calendar says they should be.

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      I was there last year with our kindergartener. It sucks! I suggest play therapy–I swear it made a huge difference for us. Good luck!

  15. To Ranon from a chd mom says:

    Hugs. It is so hard to learn about anatomy defects during pregnancy. Once you have a diagnosis, reach out to local support groups or facebook groups to connect with other parents. These will give you good resources in terms of figuring out what to expect after birth and a place to ask about doctors and hospitals as well as provide some emotional support.

  16. Any suggestions for a pre-baby long weekend in Scottsdale/Phoenix? Mostly looking to lounge by the pool and have good food, and I’m open to hiking or other low-impact pregnancy-friendly activities.

    • Sabba says:

      You might get more posts tomorrow if you post again earlier in the day. My two cents–do whatever makes you most relax. Hang by the pool, read books, enjoy good food, go shopping, take a yoga or mindfulness or cooking course. Whatever will make you feel like you took care of you.

  17. NewMomAnon says:

    Birthday party advice needed! I’m planning a 2 hour birthday party, and we’ll have 10-12 kids there. I have a small craft activity planned for the first 15 minutes to give people time to arrive, and then a 45 minute big group activity. Will cake/ice cream, a pinata, and pin-the-tail-on-the-animal take up a full remaining hour? It feels like it would….but if it doesn’t, I’d like to have a back-up activity. I suppose we could do a bit more of the main activity…or read a story.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Oh, and kids will be 3-5 years old.

    • I started to ask if it mattered if the party ended early, then I realized that the kids were probably being dropped off with parents returning at the two hour mark. I think your suggestions will probably come close to taking the full hour, but if not, if the main activity is an option, seems like a good backup plan. Reading a story would probably seem a little lame at a birthday party.

      • Anonymous says:

        IDK, drop off parties weren’t really a thing in my area for the 3-5 set. So as a parent, I’d be cool if the party ended a little early.

      • Redux says:

        Counter-point, my 4-year old would LOVE to read a story at a party.

        And I agree that at 4 I would not drop my kid off, so prepare for adult party-attendees, maybe by getting adult-friendly food/drink.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you giving the kids goody bags? Could they play with their goody bags for the last 10 minutes?

  18. If you live in the right area, a college student or graduate student could be a good fit. Someone that has free nights/late afternoons and no overnight commitments. I wouldn’t trust most high school students with an overnight, but a grad student could be perfect and a very responsible undergrad could as well. You’d have to have the kind of role (DH too) that could give a caregiver a month’s notice. When I traveled, it was sometimes “hey, WE HAVE A FIRE OVER HERE FLY OUT TOMORROW TO PUT IT OUT.” That might be trickier.

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