Washable Workwear Wednesday: Dotted Tweed Blazer

machine washable tweed blazer from ExpressHuh: I kind of really like this washable tweed blazer from Express — and it’s only $128, and comes in sizes 00-18. (Side note: I just got some pants from them and was happy to discover the sizing runs really big — so if you’re in the mood for some friendly vanity sizing, do check them out.) The blazer has a tiny gray/red/blue check pattern. 24 Inch Dotted Tweed Blazer

(L-all)

Comments

  1. PhilanthropyGirl says:

    Tips on a Skype/Facetime interview? I’ve done plenty of phone interviews, but this is a new one for me – and technology I don’t use very often. I know to make sure I’m “interview dressed” and to test my technology.

    Any other good tips?

    • MomAnon4This says:

      Don’t forget the background! And whatever else is going on in the audio environment…

      • PhilanthropyGirl says:

        Other than making sure things are neat/tidy – should I try to make sure I have a blank wall behind me or something like that?

        Definitely sending husband and toddler to the park…..

    • rakma says:

      Close out any program on the computer you don’t need, including things running in the background (automatic updates, itunes, etc) Be on hard-wired internet, rather than wifi, if you can.
      If you’re using an external mic/speakers, make sure any internal mic/speakers are turned off.

    • Meg Murry says:

      Can you do a test run on Skype or Facetime with a friend to make sure all your connections are working properly, and you don’t hit an “install these 27 updates now before you can use the software” glitch?

      Also, it’s weird, but if you try to make eye contact with the person on the screen, you won’t actually be looking at the camera, because it’s usually above or beside the screen. I saw somewhere the advice to put Googly eyes on the camera or somehow draw your attention to the camera to remind you to look there more often than the screen.

      As for your background, you mostly want to make sure it isn’t going to screw up your camera’s focus or have things fluttering around behind you. So, for instance, you don’t want to have a bright window behind you or curtains that are moving in the breeze. Patterns can also do odd things over video call. So a blank wall is probably your safest bet if you can make it happen, but don’t go crazy re-arranging your whole house to make that happen.

      • PhilanthropyGirl says:

        Thanks, Meg Murray. DH is going to help me test out my connections – he’s so much better at this stuff than I am.

        The eye contact thing is freaking me out – it’s part of the reason I don’t use Facetime or Skype very often. I’m distracted by my own image (how do I look? am I doing a weird thing? does my face look awkward? why am I moving my hands like that? do I always roll my eyes that way when I’m thinking?) and find it hard to look at the camera. I’ll try your googly eyes trick!

        • NewMomAnon says:

          I think you can turn off the nested feed of yourself – I did a Skype interview once and that helped me focus on the interviewer, instead of my own face. But it was years ago, so I can’t give technical details on how to do it anymore!

          • PhilanthropyGirl says:

            Oh that would be a relief. When I check things out with DH, I’ll look for the setting to do so.

      • Anonymous says:

        I had a weird glitch in a google hangout interview that prevented me from connecting to my interviewer for a while, which was very frustrating. I suggest testing things out your ability to connect with someone who isn’t already in your address book if you are using it.

        I have done: white shirt and navy jacket and matching navy dress/navy jacket; was happy with both.

    • I videoconference almost every day! Good lighting is a must – make sure you’re not against the light and that your face is well-lit. If you can, use large monitor and sit well back – minimises the weird eye contact ‘where to look’ thing. You might want to use headphones or a headset to make sure you can hear them clearly, and cut out background noise.

      • PS – Video interview garb – go for solid colors over patterns, which can sometimes do weird things on video.

        • PhilanthropyGirl says:

          Thanks – my go-to lately has been black blazer with a red/white polka dot blouse – will plan to skip the polka dots this time around.

          Working on the lighting angle – my normal spots seem under- or over- lit.

  2. No comment on what happened to the post yesterday?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Help! My two and a half year old daughter has decided that she no longer wants to be a good sleeper. She doesn’t want to sleep alone- she either wants a parent (and 75% of the time, it must be mom) to sleep on her floor- and it doesn’t work to lie there only until she falls asleep because she immediately knows when we leave. Or she wants to sleep in our bed, which is a no-go, because then none of us will get solid sleep, and we also have a baby on the way, so we can’t get her in the habit of being in our room before all the newborn wake ups. How do you get her to feel comfortable sleeping alone again?
    Notes: still in a crib, but I don’t think a bed will change things much. And she has yet to identify anything she is actually scared of.

    • Eps with a baby on they way, I vote time for the Big Girl stuff. Big girls sleep in beds. Big girls stay in their room. Big girls use the potty (if she’s not already). Big girls get in the car seat themselves/help pack lunches/whatever else you want.

      We started this when my kid was 2 and we were trying for #2. She was already in a bed but she wasn’t great about bedtime. We got her potty trained super fast and had a good 6-7 months before baby came to really lock down that she is a big! Girl! Now and (insert baby thing) is for babies, like your new sister. Cribs are for babies, diapers for babies, high chairs etc. of course we didn’t say “for babies” until she was well past using them.

    • Anonymous says:

      It sounds like she’s not scared but just missing you. Try increasing physical contact when she’s awake – make extra efforts to let her sit on your lap or rub her back. Maybe a CD on repeat with you or husband singing lullabies would help soothe her if she wakes at night. Does she have a stuffie?

      • Great advice I got here was to hug a stuffed animal and “fill it with mommy hugs” then give it to the kid. Worked like a charm for us.

        • PhilanthropyGirl says:

          Maybe read The Kissing Hand with her and try that too? Kissing hands can work at bedtime as well as for daycare/preschool/going to nana’s house.

    • AnonMN says:

      No advice, but following as this is our 2 year old right now, except we already have #2 and bed time is an utter nightmare. We basically sit in his room until he falls asleep otherwise he just screams and screams (he’s an escalator, so CIO is basically a waste, he never winds down by himself). So my evenings are out the window. I just found some good books on Kindle for my phone and sit in his room until he falls asleep, hoping it is a phase.

      We dropped his nap on the weekend and that helped immensly, but he still naps at daycare.

      • Tired Mommy says:

        I’m right there with you and getting to the end of the rope. Its so HARD to stay calm with a screaming child that will not stay in bed. Except he won’t tell us what he wants or he immediately changes his mind. He says he wants mommy to sing, so I go to his room and then he says No, I don’t want you to sing so I leave. Repeat ad nauseum until I get frustrated, tell him I’m not coming back again and he screams for an hour+ until he’s exhausted, we’re angry and then he’ll finally allow you to sing his songs and he will go to sleep. I HATE giving in after I already say I’m not coming back, but I’m at my wits end. Ugggggg!

        • When my older son went through the 2 year separation anxiety phase, I upped the bedtime routine, and made sure to end with the same thing every night (poem, then we say what we are thankful for, then in bed). I usually sit for a little while (in the dark, quietly), and then after a few minutes, tell him I need to go potty, and “I’ll be right back!”

          Of course, he cries the moment I stand up, and the whole time I’m gone, but then I come back, and sit for a few more minutes. Then, I suddenly remember I have to wash my hands, so I’ll duck out and come back again. I slowly increased the length of my “errands,” until I barely sit at all. It seems crazy, but it really helped him. The key is that you have to come back the first few times you do it! If you don’t, then their anxiety increases and they know what you are doing!

        • AnonMN says:

          That sounds exactly like our attempts to leave. I want water, not that water, no I don’t want water. I need my blankets, not the 6 I currently have, a different one that I can’t describe to you. Ugh, it’s exausting, especially when my husband is out of town and I’m bedtiming solo.

          I love the idea of the longer errands. The “i’ll check on you in 5 minutes” worked once with no crying, but now he cries when I leave. I like the idea of coming back and then leaving again to make it progressively longer. I will have to try that.

          • I also found – as silly as it sounds – it helped him to hear me doing the errand. So, I’ll go flush the toilet. Then come back. Then, when I have to leave again to wash my hands, I’ll run the water. I’m currently going through it with my 2.5 year old, and I’m up to doing the dishes. I’ll leave his door cracked and he can actually hear me doing the dishes, so it it works. When I read about the method, it talked about building up the trust in the kid to help soothe their anxiety about bedtime/you leaving. Not coming back if you say you will destroys the trust for the next bedtime, and letting them hear you actually do what you say you are doing helps bolster the trust. For whatever it’s worth, my little guy was the easiest kid ever to put to sleep ever until this regression. You’d plunk him in the crib, wave, and shut the door. Dang regressions!

            But I had perfected the routine with my older one – who needed (still needs) lots of extra handholding to fall asleep. He was an epic escalator too, and I had marathon sessions in his room waiting him out to fall asleep. For whatever it’s worth, he’s now 5, and he still likes me to sit in his room for a few minutes after he’s in bed. I’m hoping it’s a routine we’ll keep up, b/c he’ll usually confide in me during this time. I hear more about school after the lights are out than I do at any other point in his day.

          • Anonymous says:

            Coming back and leaving again worked for us. Toddler wanted to know what we were up to when she was sleeping. So usually, I’d kiss good night then – go to the bathroom, come back, clean kitchen, come back, get a shower, come back, say good night, go to bed. Usually asleep by the second stop in. Did evening activities loudly so Toddler could hear that I was still around and believe me that I wasn’t just playing with the toys after Toddler went to bed. Sometimes I’d ‘get a shower’ right after putting Toddler in bed – just left on the super loud bathroom fan.

    • We had this come up at about 27 months. I typically rely on “healthy sleep habits, healthy child” and did here too. We have simple “bed time rules”. None of those rules include you have to sleep. You must 1. Lay down 2. Be quiet 3. Close your eyes and 4. Mommy and daddy will come get you up when your clock turns green (okay to wake clock set for 630 am). If he follows the rules he gets to watch He gave tv show in the morning after breakfast. Man oh man did that work for us. He doesn’t otherwise watch tv so it is a special treat. And if he doesn’t follow the rules, no reward. And no anxiety about not being able to fall asleep. Works 6/7 nights a week, at least.

    • hoola hoopa says:

      When our kids, around that age, have sudden started being difficult to get to sleep and waking up during the night, the problem has resolved by putting them in a toddler bed.

  4. Anon4this says:

    Curious if anyone else has experienced postpartum anger? I am not sad or crying, I don’t feel depressed, but I fly off the handle at the tiniest things and then I just feel angry and stressed all day. Then I’m upset with myself because it was usually over something so insignificant. It’s like a constant feeling of frustration. I’m 4 months postpartum, not b-feeding, fwiw.

    • I did but it’s directly tied to lack of sleep, and also because my 3 year old and DH are super annoying. Right now 3 y/o is yodeling at the top of her lungs despite being asked to STFU because her 10 week old sister is sleeping. I’m hiding out so I don’t yell (again).

      • Spirograph says:

        Lol, this is me, too. Why does 3 year old suddenly need to do everything at top volume (although no yodeling here, luckily)? Or maybe I notice more when I don’t want him to wake up the baby…

        I just have a way shorter fuse at the moment. I blame sleep deprivation and hormones.

    • Anonymous4 says:

      Yes. Absolutely. I can remember days trying to change a wiggly kiddo’s diaper and just leaving him and walking out and telling DH to deal with it because I was so mad. I would get so angry it would scare me. I’ve shared before here about being treated for hormonal imbalance, low vitamin D and low-functioning thyroid.

      I’ve just found that my body doesn’t respond well to the postpartum stage – growing worse at about 6 months out. I started getting treatment for the things I mentioned above at about 12 months PP and by 18 months PP was finally feeling like myself. I wish I wouldn’t have waited so long. I just kept thinking it would go away.

      From what I read, the anger/frustration is really just another expression of PPD. The sadness or overwhelmedness is commonly discussed, but we often ignore the anger issues. But just like some people are really irritable/angry when they have PMS, the postpartum stage is similar – some of us get angry instead of depressed.

      I’d discuss it with your doctor, or even bring it up at your child’s next well-baby. Pediatricians often screen for PPD and may be able to help identify what’s going on or point you to someone who can.

      • Anon4this says:

        It does feel like really extreme PMS. Thanks for all the comments. Glad to know I’m not alone!

        • Meg Murry says:

          Have your periods come back yet? I feel like I had some super PMSs symptoms – more the emotional and annoying ones like insomnia and breakouts than cramps – that were all over the place before my cycles evened out again. It was not unlike being a teenager again with irregular cycles and crazy hormones. Are you taking hormonal birth control and is it the same as what you were using pre-kid?

          That said, since you know that you are prone to anger, I agree with talking to a doctor about it, and also making plans for yourself. Remember that you can always set your baby in his/her crib and walk away to cool off or call a friend. Saying to your spouse/parents/whoever you are prone to blow up at ‘Hey, I know I’m angrier than usual and I’m working on it, please don’t take it personally if I tell you that I need to go get some air RIGHT NOW, it’s to avoid me blowing up over something that shouldn’t be such a big deal, but is.”

          Also, hugs to you. This is a hard time, and the months of juggling while running on the bare minimum of sleep to keep you from collapsing can really take it’s toll about now. We’re hear to be your sounding board, and I hope you also have some people in real life that can help you pick up some slack. Don’t beat yourself up over this, it will only spiral worse.

          Put this in the “yes it’s normal as in it’s common and happens to a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still go talk to your doctor about it because there may be things you can do to make it less bad”.

    • Momata says:

      This is the sleep deprivation talking. I remember feeling RAGE at my husband when I would come back to bed after a night feeding and see him passed out. Hang in there. This too shall pass.

    • PhilanthropyGirl says:

      I would not consider it “free from intrusion” without a lock. Can you ask for a lock to be installed, if no locking room is available to you?

    • Co-sign that I had this, too. Mine got worse around 6-7 months post-partum and I started seeing a therapist, which helped immensely. I asked my midwife for a recommendations and also the wise ladies here.

      • ETA – my therapist didn’t formally “diagnose” it as PPD/A so I’m not sure if it qualifies as that. But it was a huge help to talk with someone about what I was going through. So I guess I’m trying to say the same as Meg Murray – normal, happens to lots of us, but also get help you think you could use it. And hugs!

    • (was) due in june says:

      Oh yes. I wasn’t a crier as much as feelings of nearly overwhelming rage, especially at my husband, and at biology for giving me so much more of the burden than he got. Particularly after I got up yet again to take care of the baby while he not only didn’t get up but slept through the whole damn thing. RAGE. Like, flames on the sides of my face I need to leave the room before I do something I will regret rage. I briefly saw a post partum therapist until she moved away and she said that’s a very common thing for new mothers and is one of the ways that postpartum depression can manifest itself. The flashes of rage are less frequent now, but they are still there. Biology is the most inequitable thing ever.

    • ChiLaw says:

      YES. It was rage as much as tears that led to me finally seeking help/meds for PPD/A. I was interested to hear my doctor say that the anger was a symptom of PPD/A. But I was also relieved, because with treatment the anger was the first thing to go. Thank god, because it was ugly.

      • Yoga pants! says:

        I wish this was more commonly known. I had major rage after both kids – probably mostly sleep deprivation related but maybe also ppa/ppd that was never diagnosed. It was always directed at DH never at kids but nearly cost me my marriage. Eventually…i.e. When kids were 3 and 5 and I had been sleeping well for a year or so and weaned it went away. But man…those were some tough years and i wish I’d had the strength/knowledge to seek help. Good luck op.

  5. pumping says:

    Lets talk pumping at work. What do you consider “Free from intrusion”?

    Does anyone else pump in a conference room? I book the room, but there is no lock and signs, door stops, and heavy furniture don’t work. I get walked in on at least 1x/day. But that is just a vent…

    If you “book” the conference room for a certain time and there is a large meeting with “important people” still in the room at your time, do you kick them out? Wait? Find somewhere else (ie the bathroom?) People in my office seem to pay no attention to the posted conference room schedule, if it is unoccupied it seems to be fair game.

    If you miss your “booked” time, due to a meeting you were in or your boss stopping by your desk… do you then just take over the room even if you didn’t book it? or find somewhere else? Or skip your time?

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m confused that door stops don’t work. Do you post a sign outside the room on the door at eye level? Even if the door stop doesn’t stop them 100% at least it should slow them down enough to read the sign.

      Try sign + door stop + pump with back to the door if possible.

      Sorry you are having to deal with this. Super frustrating.

      • pumping says:

        I don’t understand why a doorstop doesn’t seem to work. I have two of the wedged under the door and people seem to be able to open the door no problem and the stops just glide along the carpet.

        • Anonymous says:

          What if you put a child safety lock on the outside of the door? They are easily removable so you could put it on when you go in and take it off when you leave. Obviously adults can get around them but it would at least slow them down considerably and hopefully make them read the sign.

          Otherwise, office wide email reminding staff not to enter conference room if signs posted?

    • Anonymous says:

      Could you push back about not having a dedicated nursing room?
      My office uses big red stop signs as the “sign” with DO NOT ENTER written on it; would that work better than a white piece of paper, assuming that’s what you’re using?

      • Or maybe if this is the best they can come up with, you can ask for them to install a latch or lock as an accommodation. I feel like this would be an easy fix if you say this happens once a week and they need to address it.

    • This does seem super frustrating. I agree with trying a combination of door stop, sign and chair against the door for you, with back to door.
      I’m not sure I’d be able to kick people out if they are there with outside clients. Is there somewhere else you could pump? How big is your office? Are the people walking in on you the same offenders? Can you have a chat with them about why you are using the conference room – i feel like even the most oblivious person would be more careful in that situation.

      • pumping says:

        I work in a satellite office with about 50 people. It is a temporary office based on an “open plan” with literally only 2 rooms and a bathroom- no closets or anything like that. My corporate office has a nursing room, but that is too far to travel. When i was reassigned to this location, my HR rep honestly said “good luck finding somewhere to pump there” instead of helping me find somewhere. Also in NYC so pumping in a car is not an option. Everytime i bring up how bad the conference room situation is, I am offered the bathroom as an alternative. This is my 3rd kid pumping, so I’m not new to this situation, but I have always had my own office before.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          Well, if you’re feeling brave, you could just make it a Big Thing and pump in the open office for all to see. At least that would create the impetus for someone to do something….

          Alternatively, could they install a curtain rod or put up a folding screen in a corner so you could camp out with visual privacy? Everyone would still know what was happening, but maybe that would be a good deterrent to intrusions….

          Or suggest you work from home in the morning and afternoon, and try skipping the mid-day pumping session.

          Also; f*cking open concept work arrangements. As an introvert and a permanently exhausted parent with way too much human interaction, this is my worst nightmare.

          • pumping says:

            Seriously awful open office. I am one of the higher ranking people here, but since I was just reassigned, I don’t even get a cubicle. I have a desk shoved up against the end of the cubicle row in the middle of the walk way so I need to scoot in every time someone passes. Ugh. so miserable here.

        • Meg Murry says:

          Why were you reassigned to this office? Is your boss there or is there some valid business reason why you need to be based out of that office (or is it otherwise better for you other than the pumping issue)? Can you talk to your boss and explain that the current situation is 100% not workable and that you are getting walked in on *daily*? Can you escalate it to your HR rep’s boss?

          Are you salaried or hourly? Unfortunately, the “free from intrusion” and all the other pro-bf laws are part of the FLSA, which technically only applies to non-exempt (hourly) employees, but NY may have extended those laws to all employees.

          • Pumping says:

            I am salaried. I work in a type of consulting and was reassigned to a new project team on my return from leave. Part of the problem is that I have absolutely no rapport with this team. Previously I worked for a boss who was totally understanding and my new boss is totally unnaproachable.

    • AnonMN says:

      I do not think this sounds at all “free from intrusion” I would be so stressed.

      As others have said, I would for sure do the door sign. But if that doesn’t work, talk to HR about how this situation is not meeting the requirements. Future pumping moms will thank you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ugh, I’m sorry you have to use a conference room. My experience has only been with dedicated lactation rooms, but there was only one (with two stations) for the whole building, so scheduling was still an issue. Sometimes you just can’t keep your 10:00 pumping appt because work. And sometimes I’d go at 10:00 and someone else would be there because she’d been unable to keep her 9:00, and I’d have to wait. People tried to stick to the schedule, but really it was first come, first served. Eventually there were enough of us and enough scheduling problems that we successfully campaigned for a second room.

      I don’t think a conference room is a great solution. If your office/company is really small, ok, but it costs next to nothing in the grand scheme of budgets to convert a storage closet with some outlets. Mini fridge, chair, small table, maybe a shelf, done. And then they could brag about being working mom friendly. Can you propose this? And note te less-than-ideal current conference room situation. Meanwhile, I’d make a sign for the door to minimize intrusions. A really specific one, not just “do not disturb.”

    • pumping says:

      Annndddd two minutes before my scheduled time, my boss went into the room with a client and shut the door. Awesome.

      • LegalMomma says:

        It seems to be time to escalate it, they aren’t providing you with the proper accommodations. My inclination would be to start emailing HR, and detail the many issues. I would also reiterate that a bathroom is NOT the solution. Depending on how aggravated I was (and how powerful I was feeling), I may go over and knock on the conference room door right now – carrying my pumping bag, and politely inform boss and client that My apologies, but I had previously booked this room and I do need to use it right now. (of course this is easy for me to say not being in the situation).

        Good luck – I am so aggravated on your behalf!

        • Anon in NYC says:

          Yeah. They’re legally obligated to provide you with a place to pump that is not a bathroom. I would make this A Thing, starting with HR.

    • Momata says:

      This would be totally unacceptable to me. I would email HR (one up the chain from the rep) a very detailed explanation of why the current setup falls short of their responsibilities, starting with the rep’s shrugging it off when you were relocated to the office, and ending with that the bathroom is NOT acceptable. I would CC my boss on this email as well. I would offer as solutions that you WFH to cover the morning and afternoon pumping sessions, or work from the old office until you are done pumping. This sh!t’s hard enough- i’m sorry you’re going through this, and good on you for perservering.

  6. Trying again to post says:

    Not sure if this is a question or a vent. Our kid is in daycare 3 days a week and my husband and I each take a day with him. We like our daycare and currently there are no full time spots available; most of the other day cares that are remotely decent have waits too. I am able to make this schedule work with my job by working extended hours 4 days a week; my husband is a solo practioner and says he is having a hard time. He says it’s getting too hard to have to not schedule meetings for his day and sometimes court requires his presence. Getting work done though isn’t the issue – he has plenty of days when he is done at 4 or 3 and I am also willing to take charge on the weekend if he needs to get work done. We can accommodate the occasional emergency/trial/uncompromising judge with family, but now he wants to just find someone to watch the LO on his day.

    I feel very annoyed. On the one hand, I get it – he’s busy at work, business is going well, he has to keep up and this is all good for our family. On the other, I feel like if he had court or something else scheduled on “his day,” he would not think twice about proposing another time to do whatever he needs to do on his day; I feel like he just feels like he is missing work because he is home with the baby.

    I guess my question is should I push back in this situation or let it go and just find someone for one day a week? Also, how hard would it be to find a responsible person for just once a week? I’m thinking a college/grad student would probably be perfect for something like this, but not sure if I am not thinking something through.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’d push back a bit because I think it’s good for the kid. Could you compromise on a half day a week? I’d have the half day in the morning with Dad going into the office at like 1pm and college student babysitting 1-5:30 or whatever. You’d have no problem finding a college student to babysit for a half day. Wouldn’t do half day in the afternoon or Dad will always come up with an excuse to stay at the office.

      If you like Anne Marie Slaughter – she recently wrote that the only thing she’d do differently is take one day a week with her kids when they were aged 0-5. Might give your husband some food for thought. They won’t be this small for very long and soon enough kid will be in school everyday.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Having tried to do the “one day off a week” as a lawyer – it’s really hard. In fact, I found it impossible. I can’t tell you how many times I had to scramble to accommodate a Friday conference call while home alone with a loud, active baby, or even worse – try to have an in-person client meeting with make-shift child care. Even responding to a lengthy e-mail with an angry baby demanding food is challenging.

      I would try to line up either a regular nanny for “his” day, or a really good on-call babysitter. And I would not be annoyed; I don’t know what kind of job you have, but law is a service industry with increasingly challenging time demands from clients who are becoming ever more likely to jump to a new lawyer if they feel their “needs” aren’t being met. If his income is important, or if he really enjoys doing his job, make it work for him.

      • Maddie Ross says:

        This. Taking a day off a week is hard as an attorney; taking a day off as a solo is even harder. It’s one thing to have to postpone court appearances/calls/client meetings every now and again because of vacations/sick time/family issues, but doing it every week would be super hard for a litigator. And whether it’s fair or not, probably harder in some ways for a guy (esp. because he’s rescheduling with courts and opposing counsel – it’s not a question of educating co-workers, it’s the world at large).

        So long as he’s taking his fair share of parenting time, and it sounds like he is or is trying, I would not be mad. Some arrangements just don’t work for some jobs. I would probably look at a babysitter or nanny for his day, or see about other arrangements.

        • Trying again to post says:

          We’re both lawyers, so I get it. That maybe part of the frustration since I am making it work even though it isn’t always easy. But its easier to plan ahead with my job, so I’m sympathetic.
          I think part of it is that I like the idea of him having a day with our kid every week that isn’t a weekend day when we’re both there and I do the heavy lifting of putting him down for naps, bathing, etc. Also, I think part of it is that it feels like he has lots of free time on other days when he comes home early since he has no face time requirement and I can’t help but feel like he just doesn’t like the inconvenience of having to say “no, Friday is no good for me, can we do Thursday or Monday?”
          Most of the time, the stuff that comes up can be moved around. When it can’t, we deal with it.

          • Anonymous says:

            I think you’re right that them spending one on one time together will cut down on you being the default parent when you’re all together and it’s valuable for that reason alone.

          • Meg Murry says:

            Did you do all the work of finding a daycare, touring, etc? I think this is a time to push back and say “if it’s important to you to be able to work 5 days a week, you can go ahead and try to find a sitter”. Obviously you’d need to approve his picks/final choice, but I’d put “find a sitter so he can work 5 days a week” back into his court, and see if he makes it happen.

            My husband also works in a service industry and took my son 2 days a week when things were really slow so we could only pay for part time daycare, but at that point my son was a toddler and so was able to be safely left within eyesight/earshot for my husband to return phone calls, and we also have family members in the area who were able to fill in when he had a job that rolled over to one of his kid-days.

            Is his day Friday? Because that might be part of the problem – people wanting stuff done by the end of the week, and him not being able to return phone calls on a Friday could be problematic if people are waiting for him to call them back until Monday.

            As far as the “giving him a day that isn’t the weekend” – could you push back more of the kid duty to him on the weekends? Find a class at a gym during naptime, or schedule to meet up with friends for drinks and let him handle bedtime.

          • pockets says:

            I totally get this. I also don’t think it’s that hard to schedule things on the 4 days a week he is working. I work 3 days a week as a lawyer with my own caseload and I make it work (I work in gov’t so there aren’t client concerns but I still manage to schedule most court appearances, depositions, meetings, calls, etc., on my work days). Court is one thing – and even then I’m skeptical because with very few exceptions you can generally schedule court appearances around your schedule – but otherwise it comes down to priorities, and it sounds like spending that one day a week with your child is not the top priority to him (he might say it is but actions speak louder than words).

            You probably also feel like you make it work, so he should be able to, and it annoys you that he doesn’t I felt the same way at times – like I would move mountains to spend more time with my child, and my husband was not willing to go to the same lengths as I was. It’s unfair, but it’s still annoying.

            I would push back, hard. But that’s me and my situation, and you know your situation best. At minimum I agree that you should put the onus on him to figure out a solution to his childcare issues. You figured out your solution, now it’s time for him to step up.

          • Trying again to post says:

            Thanks all. Pockets, you read my thoughts exactly. He has to schedule around conflicts all the time, and when he’s got to schedule a meeting on a different day because he’s in court he doesn’t think twice about saying he can’t do that day. But when it’s because he is home, then it’s “unsustainable.”

            I think I will tell him he should find the babysitter. This is a good solution. Maybe if he has someone he can call for random stuff, he will be able to stay home a bit longer.

    • It sounds like your problems would be solved if you had full time childcare.

      • +1, I think it’s totally reasonable / normal for him to want to work 5 days a week.

        And since that’s what he wants, it should be his responsibility to find / coordinate with a sitter for “his” day.

        Fwiw, we used to have a sitter that came one day a week, and it was great. She was a sweet young college graduate, who was employed (underemployed) as a waitress, so had daytime availability.

        One note on that arrangement — even if just one day per week, the sitter would likely be a household employee in the eyes of the IRS. So you would need to pay social security tax, I think (you should check).

        • Trying again to post says:

          I don’t disagree that its reasonable or normal, but he always says that he wants to stay home one day. If he said he didn’t, it would be easier for me to accept. Instead I find myself thinking how hard is he actually trying to make this work?

    • Katala says:

      I would be annoyed too, but also recognize how difficult it probably is for him.

      Have you tried an on-call sitter/nanny service? I signed up for Seeking Sitters when we moved to a new city to cover the time before we found a permanent nanny. We ended up having a nice, responsible retired woman watch DS for a few full days, and she’s now our go-to date night sitter. The cost is really reasonable, you pay a per-booking or monthly fee to the service plus hourly which for us is a bit less than our nanny’s rate. Plus all taxes etc. are taken care of. You could probably get someone with that day regularly free or rotate between a couple of sitters.

  7. "Part-time" associate says:

    I totally get your frustration — it’s something I often have with my husband (who is always home later than he says he will be/I’d like/is useful for the evening rush) — in my mind, if he just scheduled his day better, he could get out in time to help with dinner/kid wrangling.

    BUT — I’m a ‘part-time’ associate at a big firm, and had grand plans when I went part time to regularly take a day off to spend with kiddo, or at least half a day off. Turns out that’s really hard. I don’t have the seniority to tell clients/partners that I can’t meet when it works for them (I don’t think you ever get that seniority when it comes to clients, really). So even if he gets out early some days, having a day that’s regularly off can be hard — and I as a solo practitioner, it’s not like he can hand it off to someone else.

    • "Part-time" associate says:

      meant for “Trying again to post” above!

      I like the half-day idea suggested by the other poster — and yes, morning is much better than afternoon for actually carving out time.

  8. Anonymous says:

    So glad there is a post today! A long and heavy question to start off the morning (sort of similar to a post on the main site yesterday, hopefully with fewer judgy responses since it’s nicer here on the mom’s site:-)): how do you resolve career goals that cannot be reconciled with those of your spouse?

    When my spouse and I got married, our plan was to move to current city for a few years (while he had a temporary job (I’m being deliberately vague here; it is prestigious and related to his grad degree, not like working for a temp agency)) where I would work in big law until I paid off my student loans, and then he would apply for a new job elsewhere after the end of his temporary job and I would leave private practice.

    Many years later we are still here. I am now an income partner at my firm. Husband is at a prestigious but dead-end permanent job after his one attempt to get a job elsewhere didn’t pan out. His job is not well-paying but he won’t look for other jobs because he loves what he does. We can only afford to live in the very HCOL area where we live if I stay at a firm. And even if in-house were financially doable, is very hard to do from my practice — I see an in-house opportunity pop up about one a year, never in my city.

    My job is literally killing me. Due to the stress, I have fallen back into the very serious eating disorder I suffered from when I was younger. (It was bad. Over 4 years, I spent 1.5 years hospitalized and developed a heart condition.)
    I’ve told my spouse repeatedly that I can’t take my job any more and need him to either get a different job here or elsewhere so I can do something else. I can’t sacrifice my health to work at a job I hate so we can live in a place I hate and he loves while he does a job he loves that pays next to nothing. I gave him a long timeline — told him I would stick it out for a year so he had time to find something else — and checked in monthly to see what efforts he was making to find something else. Eight months after I announced the one-year timeline, it is clear he is unwilling to make any efforts to move, either to a new city or to a new job.

    If we didn’t have kids, I would just leave. I would rather be divorced than dead. But we have kids (born years ago, before we were supposed to leave our current city). And even if I left my husband so I could live somewhere where I didn’t have to do my current job, I can’t imagine a custody arrangement that allows the kids and I to live a plane flight away from my husband.

    I feel so trapped. Part time isn’t an option in my practice group (and I don’t think it would address my issues with my job anyway). Cutting back on expenses wouldn’t make a job change financially feasible — no golden handcuffs here. I have spent tons of time in therapy and have never found it helpful, though I recognize many people do. The only solution I see is for my spouse to acknowledge that the current situation (where he gets everything he wants at great personal cost to me) is unfair and untenable and to start trying to be an equal financial partner (if he wanted to stay in our current city, he easily could quintuple his salary, while still doing the same type of work in a different setting, or he could do the same work in the same setting in cheaper cities for the same pay). What options am I missing?

    • Anonymous says:

      I’d quit your job. It isn’t worth losing your health or life over this. Please get help for your health issues.

      I’m suggesting quitting your job because if you get divorced when you’re still working, you could end up never being able to stop because you’d be stuck paying him alimony. Do not leave him while you’re still in this job. Quit and take care of your health, even if that means you have to sell your house and downsize. After you have adjusted your lifestyle to living on his income, and you have your health back, explore new career opportunities.

      You have pushed yourself to the limit and beyond. You may need to accept that he has decided that his career and wishes are more important that your health. He is not going to put you first, you need to put on your own oxygen mask. If nothing else, take care of yourself so you are able to be there to take of your kids. You can’t take care of them if you’re hospitalized.

      • MDMom says:

        Agree with all of this. I know you said cutting back financially wouldn’t make job change possible but I, anonymous internet commenter, challenge you on that. What is it that can’t be cut back?

        Bottom line, you absolutely need to quit when year is up. That is not negotiable. I would ask husband directly, do.I need to apply here or in x area (where you want to live?).

        Have you told your husband directly that youd “rather be divorced than dead?” Is it possible youve been putting on a brave face for so long that he doesn’t grasp how dire your situation is?

        • Anonymous says:

          I’d go with telling him that you’d rather be unemployed than dead. I’d avoid divorce talk until you know you’d be okay if he filed first. You don’t want him to hump the gun and get stuck with alimony based on your current job.

          • I know this is a serious topic, but “hump the gun” is probably my favorite this-site typo.

        • ChiLaw says:

          I do agree with the way MDMom is challenging you here. There must be people living where you live who don’t have high paying jobs? I know it’s hard, but it can be done. Can you downsize to a smaller place and have the kids sharing a room? Can you move to a cheaper neighborhood? Can you sell a car and commute by public transit? How much cheaper can groceries get? Can you cancel cable and netflix and your gym membership? I understand that these might be serious lifestyle changes, and I know from experience that they wouldn’t be fun, but I want you to be around for your kids — nothing is worth them potentially losing their mother. Can you try to view extreme cutbacks as empowering? You’re using your strength and ingenuity to cut back in this huge way to protect yourself and your children.

          (Hugs to you.)

          • Anonymous says:

            I appreciate the financial cutback suggestions, but please take at face value my statement that meaningful cutbacks aren’t possible. I have none of the amenities listed above (Netflix, cable, gym membership). We have one 10 year old car. I just live somewhere incredibly expensive with high fixed costs for rent and preschool (for my youngest) and morning and afternoon care (for my oldest). At other (nor simultaneous) times in my life, I supported 2 people in the SF Bay Area on $1500 per month and paid off $200k in student loans in 2 years. I say this to emphasize that I know how to be really cheap. I also know that I am not willing to give up the few things that make my life manageable, like someone to clean my house so that I don’t have to during the 15 hours a week I have with my kids that I don’t work. If I really wanted to cut expenses, I could move to the burbs and we could commute 2 hours each way, but I’m not willing to do that.

          • ChiLaw says:

            I hear you. Sometimes it’s hard to know whether someone means “I can’t cut back” as “I can’t cut back [and still live in a way that is familiar]” or “I can’t cut back [because I have already cut things back to the bare bones].” The pushback was based on the assumption that it was the former, not the latter, and I hope my suggestions didn’t add to your stress.

          • MDMom says:

            I hear ya. First plan would be to apply broadly and aggressively (in your current area if husband won’t move). Call in all connections and contacts. I was thinking along the lines of what happens if 4 months from now, you still have no new job lined up? I still say quit, move to a cheaper suburb, (no commute if no job), you won’t need before/after school care if you aren’t working and can do a part time preschool in the cheaper suburbs at probably significant savings. Take a few months to rest and reevaluate what you want to do career wise, continuing the search. Then you can figure out next steps. It’s a lot of shake up (and kids may have to change school?) but so is divorce right?

            Or how about you don’t figure it out. How about you say husband, I am quitting on x date and I don’t have another job. How shall we pay our bills? Put the pressure on him to figure it out, not you alone.

            I harp on this for 2 reasons: First, I think you really need to quit, regardless of what other opportunities you can find. You said yourself that your job is killing you. You have to find a way to quit. It’s not worth it. Second, I have no idea if divorce is the answer. But I do think that your ability to evaluate your marriage may be clouded by your misery in general due to your job. I think it would be helpful to evaluate your marriage once you’re free from the job. So I would try as much as possible to separate the job crisis from the marriage crisis.

            Good luck. This is such a difficult situation. Please let us know what you decide.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Oh, gosh. That sounds like my former situation. So many hugs. Don’t let your job kill you. Life is so much better when you start calling the shots in your own life.

      Here is my suggestion. Think of this as providing for yourself in the case of a divorce, rather than a position to support the family and accommodate your husband. If you got divorced now, you would be in so much trouble – HCOL area, need to support two households (and you might owe child support to husband), job you can’t keep but can’t lose because HCOL area, juggling custody on top of a challenging job. Not good.

      Set a firm date on which you will resign. Apply for one new position every week between now and that deadline. It may not be the “perfect” position for your current skill set, but I bet you could stretch your horizons and find something that would be less stressful and satisfactory. Could you go solo? Could you jump to the business side? Is there a client you could talk with who might bring you in-house?

      Talk about your job search regularly with husband. Make it a regular topic of conversation. He doesn’t get veto power, especially if divorce is a possibility.

      When the date comes, hand in your resignation. If a job offer comes in before that date and you want to take it, take it. If it requires a move, make it clear that he may have to stay behind if he hasn’t found his own job in the new place, or he may have to job search from the new place.

      And good luck.

    • Anonymous says:

      This sounds awful. I think your year timeline for husband to find another job was really fair, and it’s unfortunate he didn’t take it seriously. Honestly, with your health on the line and him being so selfish, I would leave. Or at least actively job search in the locations where you would like to live and then give your husband a chance to follow to the new place. With a job offer or strong prospect in hand, you may be able to get through to him in a way that the abstract can’t. Worst case, you certainly can work out a custody arrangement to live a flight away from an ex-spouse. I know people with kids in that situation. It’s not ideal, but like you said, better divorced than dead (for you and your kids!).

    • I’m so sorry you are in this position. I totally get the worry that comes with being the breadwinner that supports a life in a city you don’t love, especially when you signed up for that position on a limited term basis. I am considering taking on a similar role in my marriage and this has definitely made me reconsider (taking the higher paying job here in HCOL city to support my spouse’s choice of (temporary) low paying job when I really want to move). The difference I guess in my situation is that spouse’s job will 99% surely not become dream full time job (or if it does, it would come with acceptable pay increase.)

      I can’t think of any magical options that you haven’t laid out here. Why is he so resistant to him taking a new job in the current city? Even health issues aside, it does not seem fair that his career goals get to trump yours. Is there anyway to frame this as you’ve clipped your career wings by staying at the firm (though it may not look like that on paper, I totally get it) and you want the opportunity to have your dream job since he’s had his for so long? Would you be able to apply to dream jobs (even out-of-state) or work with a recruiter and see if you get any nibbles to just show him a more concrete option? Do you have career mentors in your dream job that you could check in with about your career options?

      And on the health issues – I have only tangential experience with eating disorders but it seems to me you should consider finding a therapist that works for you, even if it takes a long time and is a huge pain. Your work/marriage situation alone (crazy amounts of stress!!!) would be enough but with your history it seems imperative to not try to self-treat. I’m so, so sorry your husband is not more sympathetic and helpful on this front (to me, this seems to be the dealbreaker – if my spouse were ill, I would switch jobs in a second if that could help).

      Best of luck. I’m interested to see what others have to say on this one.

    • Depending on family finances and the ages of your kids, I’d consider quitting your job at the one year mark. Start telling your husband now that it’s happening, start looking for other jobs. But make it clear that on (date), you are giving notice. Talk about the family’s financial plan.

      This is a serious move but it sounds like your health is on the line. Unless you have a kid in college that you’ll have to pull out of you don’t keep your job, plan to quit.

      • Anonymous says:

        Even if you have a kid in college, don’t sacrifice your health. I would have hated to find out that my mom suffered so badly with her health just so I could avoid student loans. I’d rather have a healthy mom and loans vs. sick or worse mom and no loans.

    • No solutions, but hugs. I’m in a very watered down version of your situation where I outearn my husband by several times over, but he has a “cool” job and wants to live in “cool” places, which have the unfortunate association with also “having regular shootings” or “mostly terrible schools.” I don’t hate my job or have the health troubles that you are experiencing but it is so frustrating to feel like you’re subsidizing a situation that you don’t like. Of course all the suggestions others have made re: open communication and setting timelines, etc. are helpful but it’s hard not to feel badly that your partner is not aware of/doesn’t care about the impact their action/inaction has on their family and I empathize with you.

    • I agree with all of the above about not sacrificing yourself. One option: Have you checked to see whether you have disability insurance? If you do, perhaps you could go out and get enough breathing room to decide on next steps.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      First, hugs. This sounds like a really tough situation and I really feel for you.

      I’m not clear from your post that he truly understands how serious this is OR that your eating disorder has resurfaced in response to the situation. I know that you said therapy hasn’t been helpful, but have you done couples therapy? The fact that you’re saying that but for your kids you would divorce him and leave, that has to be enough to startle him into realizing that you’re serious, right? Even if you are not convinced that couples therapy would work, I imagine that sitting in front of a neutral third party and having you tell him all these things would force him to proactively face some of this stuff.

      Second, please take care of yourself. Perhaps a hospitalization for your eating disorder right now is in your best interest. I’m not sure that I would have the courage to quit my job without another one lined up, but your physical and mental health are more important than your income.

      • CPA Lady says:

        +1 to this. I would try to have one last very serious conversation where you really lay out exactly how deeply you feel and what you’ve been going through.

        I had a marital crisis at one point and my husband didn’t truly understand how deeply unhappy I was because I had just mentioned it in passing from time to time, but never sat down and said “hey. this is really not working. we need to make changes or I’m done.” I think I spent so much time thinking about it I felt like I talked about it more than I did and he “should have” understood but was honestly blindsided by the extent of my unhappiness.

        Also, +1,000,000 to all the advice to protect yourself from a financial standpoint so you aren’t trapped supporting him and working in that horrible job if things do go south. Hugs. It sounds awful.

    • Thanks for the empathy and suggestions. I had internally been framing it as “husband’s job is more specialized than mine, so he needs to find a new job so I can figure out where to look.” It seems obvious, but it hadn’t occurred to me that I should find a job and give him the choice to follow.

      The comments have also made me realize that I need to look at divorce planning more seriously so I don’t get tagged with huge alimony payments in a lower paying job.

      In terms of him understanding the seriousness of my illness, I think that because I am high-functioning it doesn’t really register. I will think about how he would react to a sit-down with my PCP. I’ve been very clear with him that my job is destroying my mental and physical health. He either doesn’t understand or doesn’t care. At the end of the day, I think it comes down to the fact that he loves what he does and is more passionate about it than he is about me. I can’t say I understand it, given my feelings toward my job, or that it makes me feel good, but I can’t change it.

      • (was) due in june says:

        Pretty reliable rumor has it that a Superior Court judge in the Bay Area did just what anon at 10:52 suggested in anticipation of divorce. She was totally burned out and had a deadweight husband, so she quit her job as an equity partner at a big firm, got a job as a superior court judge (and she’s great at it, I’m happy every time I draw her), and then divorced after the requisite amount of time so that alimony wouldn’t be based on her partner salary but on her judgeship.

        I’m absolutely agreed that you need to quit your job. Your job is not worth dying over. Your marriage is not worth dying over. Your children would rather have you healthy and alive than dying, even if that means their parents are separated by a state. Your husband isn’t listening to you and clearly has no intention of doing so because he’s getting everything he wants and doesn’t care about what it’s costing you. So go on EAP/disability with a note from your doctor, and sock away a bunch of money (don’t spend it, just sock it away) as your personal emergency fund if you need it.

        Consult a divorce attorney now and figure out what you need to do to protect yourself, if it comes to that. And it may.

        I’m so very sorry.

        • Anonymous says:

          And when you consult a divorce attorney, keep ALL communication with the divorce off of your cell phone (in case your husband can see the cell phone bills) and anything else your husband can access. There is a look-back period for alimony — usually last year’s tax return — so be aware of this and don’t hint that you’re ok with divorce in case he files first.

      • Lorelai Gilmore says:

        The site ate my comment, but the bottom line is:
        1) Save yourself first. Don’t wait on him taking action to get yourself the life you want. That’s a sure-fire way to get trapped. Look broadly at all options in your city (and maybe those out of your city, though I’d start with things in your home base).

        2) Divorce planning is essential.

        3) If you are in the Bay Area, then I would love nothing more than to take you out for a drink.

    • Semi-nonymous says:

      So I’m not you, and my situation wasn’t quite so bad, but it was similar. I was the breadwinner, bringing in about 3X as much as my husband and carrying the health insurance, while doing a killer commute for a job I was starting to absolutely hate. Moving to cut the commute wasn’t an option, because my husband’s job requires him to live within a certain radius. But I was starting to get resentful of the fact that he was getting to take advantage of us living in this place, while I basically just came home and slept there and could have done that anywhere, I got none of the advantages and all the negatives. And then PPD and depression reared their ugly heads, and while I managed to get it under control enough that I no longer wanted to stay in bed with my covers over my head all day or fantasized about getting into a car accident so that I wouldn’t have to go in to work, I wasn’t able to get it together enough to keep doing I job I hated. So I wound up getting let go.

      A year before that, I would have said that there was no way I could quit my job, there was no way we could make it work, I had to keep working, etc. But then the decision was made for me, and we found a way to make it work. Did it involve a lot of penny-pinching, taking help from family and financial stress? Yes. Did it have a long term impact? Yes – we’re still dealing with some of the financial fallout from that time. But we survived.

      Is there another way that you could make this work? For instance, could you afford to live on his salary if you moved out of the HCOL center of the city and into the more affordable outlying areas, even if that gives him a long commute? Or are you talking super HCOL where there is no such thing as affordable? Are the student loans paid off, but replaced with just as expensive daycare?

      Given what you say about your previous experiences with your eating disorder, is there any way you can take a medical leave of absence to do an intense outpatient program?

      I’m so sorry. I wish I had an answer for you, but I know that there really isn’t a good answer – just a series of terrible and slightly less terrible ones.

      I agree with others though that you should look at your finances and do a worst case scenario plan of “what if you quit your job at that 1 year deadline”? (4 months from now). And then present that to your husband and let him know that you’ve carried him and the stress for the past X years (5? 10?) and now it’s his turn to figure out how to keep the family afloat.

      Do you have a support system elsewhere in the country? Could you start looking for jobs there, and then let your husband know that the options are for him to step up and find a way to support your family staying in HCOL city or else if you get a job offer elsewhere you would be moving there with the kids and he can figure out whether he wants to follow you or not?

    • Navy Attorney says:

      Oh, I am so sorry. I understand a little bit about being the breadwinner in a HCOL area – that alone creates worry. You term you skills as kind of a specialized area so there aren’t many in-house jobs. I suggest you send your resume to a legal recruiter, one that specializes in placing attorneys in-house. They might see your skills in another light. For example, as a partner, you mange people and have negotiation experience. I’ve seen many in-house positions looking for someone who to manage outside counsel. Maybe you are qualified for more jobs than you realize.

      • Anonymous says:

        I would love suggestions for a recruiter who specializes in in-house moves, if you know of one.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          If you’re willing to move to the Midwest, I have a contact. Let me know if you’re interested.

          Otherwise, most of the big recruiting firms have both a “law firm” recruiter specialist and an “in house” recruiter specialist.

    • As others have said, there is truly no job worth killing yourself for. I agree with others that you must give yourself a firm resignation date and then do it. Your husband is being callous and very selfish. You say that he is more passionate about his job than he is about you — I think there’s your answer right there. I would not rush into divorce now but it’s something you need to think about seriously. And as the child of divorced parents, I assure you that your kids will be fine. More than fine, actually. They will have a mom who is happy and healthy, which is worth its weight in gold.

      I send you a warm hug and best wishes that your health improves. We’re rooting for you.

  9. Pregnant in late 30's? says:

    Hi All — Just looking for some support! For a lot of different reasons, I was not that interested in having children in my 20s and early 30s. Only just recently, in my late 30s, and with a great hubby, I am starting to really want to try for one. Even with the best of luck, I’d be looking at 38/39 to have my first, and then if I decided to go for a 2nd, it would be early 40s. Can anyone out there tell me they had kids in their late 30s and it all went ok – that it is possible (not really talking about the TTC part, talking about the having kids and taking care of it part). Thank you!

    • Anonymous says:

      Not my own kids, but my husband’s mom had him at 40 and sister at 42. There are certainly disadvantages to being older, but there are lots of advantages too, especially in terms of stability and finances. In terms of physical health, he and his sister are both very healthy and he especially is extremely smart, so no worries on that front. She has no complaints about being an older mom and I never heard her say it was physically exhausting or anything like that. For her, it came after a series of miscarriages beginning in her mid-30s so I think there was an element of gratitude that many people don’t have.

    • It’s very possible to be an older mom, but there are tradeoffs.

      My body didn’t bounce back as quickly (esp after my second) and sleepless nights are much harder on me. I still carry baby weight, several years later, and I’ll likely never have a flat stomach again. I get extremely physically exhausted when I have a marathon week at work plus a busy weekend with the kids. My kids’ friends’ parents are all younger and in a different phase of life than I am, so the whole “make friends with the parents at school” isn’t as instant as it might be. Miscarriages and trouble conceiving were more stressful, because I felt the age pressure.

      BUT. I have way more patience and perspective. I have more money than I did in my 20s, so I’m not stressed about affording their activities or paying for a babysitter when needed. My friends have older kids so I have a ton of advice and hand-me-downs. I’m well-established in my career, so I was able to get promoted during a pregnancy/mat leave. And I’m a better mom than I would have been – I see the forest for the trees and don’t stress out over a tantrum or a missed homework assignment or any other kid-related bumps in our road.

      You do you. For me, being an older mom has been awesome.

      • pockets says:

        I had a kid when I was 31 (which is practically a teenager where I live) and I will never have a flat stomach either :). I think that just comes with the territory.

        A friend of mine had her first at I want to say 37, and just had twins (naturally) at 39. They all seem OK to me.

      • Should have said my age at kids – had them at 38 and 41, I’m 43 now.

    • (was) due in june says:

      An equity partner in my firm had her two kids in her early 40s, after she had made partner. She often says it’s physically more tiring but she doesn’t regret the timing for a second.

    • Navy Attorney says:

      My mom was in her late 30s, and I was fine. I was 36 when I had my last; not too late, but on the later end. I wish I had my kids earlier when I had more energy…there’s a reason humans are biologically ready to have children at 14. It’s also nice to be farther along in my career where I have more status, so asking for things is easier (telework with zero notice, different maternity plan, cutting meetings short so I can pump).

      You’ll be fine; every age/life stage has its advantages and disadvantages.

    • Legally Brunette says:

      My sister had her kids at 37 and 42. She was very fortunate to have gotten pregnant naturally both times, and no complications at all. My nephews are awesome. She says she is more tired, naturally, but overall it has worked out extremely well. I will say that my sister, while 47, takes really really good care of herself (exercises regularly, eats well) and so she probably feels (and certainly looks) younger than her age.

      My husband is 42 and I always remind him that he needs to take care of his health so that he can live a long time for his young kids.

      Good luck!

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      I had my son at age 38, naturally, with no complications. I admit I didn’t enjoy the baby/toddler years that much, but I wouldn’t have enjoyed them in my 20’s either; I just don’t like little kids as much as bigger ones.

    • I had my 3rd at 37. Via IVF, but for male factor issues. It was fine. Super healthy pregnancy; we are all doing well.

  10. Anonymous says:

    This is probably a stupid question, but how you determine how late in your pregnancy to work? I have 12 weeks of maternity leave and I really want to spend as much of that as possible with my baby, but I don’t want to go into labor at the office. I was more than two weeks late when I was born, and my doc says with that family history + first baby, it’s extremely likely baby will be way late. I definitely don’t want to burn 1/6th of my leave at home with no baby, but do people actually work until they go into labor? What happens if your water breaks when you’re at the office? Even if it happens at home, how do you make arrangements to begin your leave? Do you just email your boss one day and say “yo i’m in labor; not coming in today”?

    • Anonymous says:

      How long is your cycle? If your cycle is closer to 23/24 days you are likely to go into labour earlier – like 38 weeks but if your cycle is longer then you’re probably fine to work longer.

      • I’d never heard that, interesting. Anyway, it’s verrrry long….like 35-38 days.

      • October says:

        I’m curious about this, too. As anecdata, I conceived my baby on cycle day 40 (following another 50 day cycle) and he was born nearly three weeks early.

    • Maddie Ross says:

      Probably depends on the office, but I planned to work up until the end and did. I went into labor over the weekend at 39.5 weeks. Just didn’t show up Monday and sent an email to my assistant with a picture of the baby and said “I won’t be in today.” (Of course, 6 hours later I had to field a dozen phone calls and emails to finish transferring my cases, but it was worth it to not waste minute of leave pre-baby.)

      • Same. I had planned to work until the very last minute. Several of my coworkers even offered to drive me to the hospital if it came to that. Starting at week 36, I really made an effort to keep things buttoned up and my coworkers informed of my work. I began taking my computer home every day just in case. I did happen to go into labor over the weekend. I sent an email after LO was born on Sunday saying I wouldn’t be in Monday.

        I think it it also depends on how you are feeling. If you are feeling crummy and not being productive, you might be better off at home.

    • I had an official start date for STD (due date) but I was late so I kept working. I ended up stopping work at 41 weeks, because I was so miserable. Went into labor at 41+4.

      Women that have worked for me have worked until the day they went into labor, or until their due date, or until a week or two before- it has varied by person/pregnancy and role. Some worked remotely the last 2 weeks and when they went into labor I got a text. I’ve never had someone’s water break in the office- it’s typically not the first sign of labor. My own water broke when labor started, but it was at 4am.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not a stupid question. I worked until I went into labor, which happened at home, not at work. I wanted to save all my days for maternity leave, as you do. My kiddo was almost 2 weeks late, so I’m really glad I didn’t stop working earlier. The worst part was the obnoxious “OH YOU’RE STILL HERE AND PREGNANT WAIT YOU DIDN’T HAVE YOUR BABY YET LOL” from (the same) dozen people every day for 3 weeks.

      It is unlikely your water will just completely break spontaneously without you knowing you are in labor first– you’re more likely to get a trickle (maybe start wearing a pad?), or to be in labor for a while before it happens. I texted my boss and said “Looks like I won’t be in today; DH will be by to get my laptop.” And that was it.

    • LegalMomma says:

      I worked up until I went into labor. I was lucky and labor started on Sunday, Monday morning – still no baby – I emailed my assistant and the partners in my practice group simply saying I won’t be in today (they all immediately knew why – I got asked by a number of them where the pic was and I just said no baby yet). Sent the baby photo the next day. Keep in mind – you will probably know that you are in labor before your water breaks, and have time to leave and go home – although I know this isn’t always true (my water never did break, the doctor had to do it manually). I have heard stories of people’s water breaking in my office, luckily I work in a place where it seems to not have been an issue other than the fact that everyone knew exactly when they went in to labor.

      As I got close I made sure that before I left for the day there was a detailed list of my active cases, and the next step on each of them, and that my office was totally organized – no random piles of case documents or research. I had also done a lot of the transferring before hand, at least in terms of getting others up to speed, so the hand-offs were fairly simple. (i.e. emailed other Associates to say X, I am now out on leave, as discussed you are taking over Y matter while I am out. The current status of the case is on the list on my desk.)

    • Spirograph says:

      Are you able to telework? I was so done with going into the office by the end, but had no telework ability the first 2 times, so I just planned to spend 39 at home for each pregnancy. First two kids were born in week 39, so I didn’t actually “waste” much leave. (And anyway it was worth it to just give up and stay home those last couple days.). 3rd pregnancy I switched to mostly telework at week 37 and still planned for my leave to start week 39. I’d go into the office for big meetings or just for a change of scenery for a few hours or so, but mostly I stayed home. It was so much better. And worked out really well when I went into labor at the beginning of week 38.

      All my kids were born in the middle of the night with labor starting after work. each time I just emailed my boss from the hospital in the am and basically said “just had a baby. See you in a few months.”

      One of my co-workers had her water break at the office. Other than becoming an office legend, it was nbd. All the childless 20 year olds freaked out thinking she was about to give birth, since that’s what happens in the movies. Luckily it was her 3rd kid, she was totally calm and just called her husband to come pick her up. I wouldn’t want it to happen to me, but I also didn’t lose sleep over the possibility.

      • AnonMN says:

        +1 to working from home. I did this with my second and it was awesome. I was still able to do my work without the obnoxious “big” “you’re still here” comments. It was great. If this is an option for you, I would totally take advantage.

        I went 2 weeks late with my first, and was out of my mind with boredom because I wasn’t working at the time (poorly timed move), which made being overdue much worse. So if you feel good, I would work for as long as possible.

    • Because I felt well and I was able, I worked past my due date and until my water broke.

    • I worked past my due date with my second. I was glad to have something to do and keep my mind occupied with thoughts other than an eviction notice to baby. Most labors don’t start with a gush of water, and most women go into labor in the late afternoon or at night.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you are able to work until you go into labor, I recommend doing so and maxing out your mat leave with your baby. Who really cares if you go into labor at the office? Especially since it’s the first, chances are there’s not going to be a mad rush or a chance of a baby being born in the office. And, if your water breaks embarrassingly, oh well? Just have your partner meet you at the hospital with your labor bag. I recommend having your OOO email ready to go and your transition plan set, but other than that proceed as normal for as long as possible. If you can work from home when things start to get uncomfortable, that’s obviously nicer

      • Momata says:

        All of this. Save your leave if you’re comfortable enough schlepping into the office. Chances are very low that your water will break in a crazy gush at the office, and the worst part will be those annoying coworkers who remark that you’re still showing up. I kept some towels, trash bags, and a change of clothes at work and in the car, and had my transition all ready to go at a moment’s notice. And then I had nothing to do so I just read on Kindle for PC and put my feet up in the air conditioning.

        • MomAnon4This says:

          With all 3 children, my water has broken VERY early in labor (after only a few painful contractions) and in only the most recent was it a true GUSH that would not stop like you see in the movies. Even if your water breaks, it won’t be that dramatic or bad for you, your baby, or your office.
          This was after a long day at the client site, in the middle of the night.

    • I worked until almost the very end. My water never broke until my doctor actually broke it. I had similar fears (what if it happened in court?!) but it was fine and fwiw, I don’t know anyone that had a mortifying experience like that.

      As you get closer to the end, you also end up going in for a lot of appointments and my doctor was pretty good about predicting if you’re close to or not. I’d play it by ear in your situation. If you can work, do it.

    • I worked past my due date (baby came at 40 + 6). I went into labor at work around 10 am and stayed the full day until around 4:45, including sitting through a meeting with high level execs (all men) in which they joked about how crazy it would be if I went into labor during the meeting and OMG they would have to “rush me to the hospital”! (insert major eye roll). I was pretty sure I was in labor but it wasn’t really that big of a deal. The contractions were uncomfortable but I have worked through way worse. My water did not break, they actually broke it at the hospital.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I went to work on a Monday with “indigestion” and realized on Wednesday night that it was early labor…stayed home from work on Thursday, went to hospital Friday morning, baby born Friday night. I think the depictions of labor in TV and movies are really misleading; it’s unlikely that your water breaking will be the first indication that you’re in labor. For the vast majority of women, water breaks after they are in labor for a while. And contractions generally don’t start at debilitating levels; they go on for a while at relatively low levels that would permit you to get home, rest for a while, and go to the hospital when they pick up.

      Which is just to say – don’t worry about “going into labor” at work unless you have a history of very fast labors.

    • mascot says:

      You know what, even if your water breaks at the office (which happened to a co-worker of mine before she joined our firm), it will be manageable. Someone found a towel and drove her to the hospital. Her husband met her there. Made for a good story and was probably less embarrassing than having a stomach bug.
      I went to work at 39w4d, felt “off” all day, started light contractions that night, water broke on its own in the wee hours of 39w5d so off to the hospital we went, baby came 7.5 hours later. Save your time for your leave.

      • My water broke in the office at 37w. I thought I had sneezed and peed myself, to give you an idea of the volume of water. I wished I had left a towel in my car, but shrug. I drove myself to the hospital, and within an hour, there was a LOT more water coming out. It was very, very much not an ideal situation, but I am now legend.

    • Meg Murry says:

      For a flip side response – I stopped working at 38 weeks with my first, and 39 weeks with my second because I had reached the point where I not getting anywhere near a decent amount of sleep at night, to the point where I either felt totally useless at work or I was terrified I was going to fall asleep on my long commute and cause an accident. We had planned to transition all my work over at that point anyway, so I was just going in to the office to help out on other projects or do “nice to have” projects, and with a doctors appointment at least once a week it just didn’t seem worth it.

      I spent that time before the baby came going to the local pool to walk/float, dealing with the backlog of household chores that hadn’t been getting done for a couple of weeks while I had been in the mode where I was only working, sleeping or going to doctors appointments, and taking mid-afternoon naps.

      In my case I had 1 week of vacation days left, and then I took 1 week unpaid. Only the 1 week unpaid counted against my FMLA time. Ask if you work at a place that requires vacation and FMLA to run concurrently, or if you are in a situation with use-it-or-lose-it vacation where you would lose the days if you don’t take them before your leave starts.

      Although this isn’t what you asked, another tip: check if you have separate sick days or if you are part of your FMLA 12 week bank. At one company, we didn’t have separate sick days, so if you took the entire 12 weeks of FMLA and then got sick shortly after that you would technically not have any sick days to take and started getting dealt with on the attendance disciplinary system. I went back to work at 10 weeks, partially for that reason and partially because I couldn’t afford to take much more time off and it worked out that there was a daycare opening for then. However, within a week of being back to work we had a nasty flu bug sweep through the whole family and I wound up having to take almost a week more FMLA/sick days to deal with that.

    • EB0220 says:

      I worked until I went into labor with both kids. I worked from home, though, so didn’t have the “water breaking in the office” concern. I would suggest working from home at 40 weeks until baby arrives.

    • PinkKeyboard says:

      I worked up until I went into labor, my water broke at 2am so I texted my boss from the hospital saying almost verbatim “yo I’m in labor, won’t be in.” Just find a nice sympathetic coworker who will drive you if you break your water. Also, it’s rarely so dramatic so if you are very concerned about the embarassement/ick factor you could wear a nice maxi pad for the last few weeks.

    • I also worked right up until the end. I had a regular OB appointment the day before my due date, and at that appointment they sent me directly to the hospital to be induced (low fluid). I was feeling a lot of anxiety about suddenly not showing up for work one day, so I took some steps in advance to get things in order. Around 34 weeks, I wrote a very detailed transfer memo that included all of my open cases/matters. I updated that memo every Friday or when something significant happened. It was very easy to add minor updates, and it was always relatively complete in the event of an emergency. I badgered my managers to assign people to cover my cases well in advance so we had time to discuss everything. They didn’t actually start working on my stuff until I went out, but they already had a briefing of the issues and upcoming responsibilities so they weren’t blindsided or peppering me with questions as soon as I went out. I picked our most responsible paralegal and showed her where all of my case files were. I also gave her some basic emergency contact information, in case I went into labor at the office. And finally, I got permission to start teleworking around 38.5 weeks. I’m so glad I did and would highly recommend it as a good middle ground if your office will approve. I can’t begin to describe how nice it was to work on my couch with my feet up and not have to contend with the metro. Even though I was still working, I felt so much more relaxed when it was go-time. Good luck!!

    • pockets says:

      Your water is probably not going to break at the office. Most (like 90%) of women don’t have their waters break until they’ve been in labor for a few hours. Even if you “go into labor” at the office, at first it’ll just be mild cramping and you’ll be good enough to go home before it gets bad. Work until you physically cannot make it into the office, then try to telework. Save up those days!

    • ChiLaw says:

      I worked until 39 weeks, and my water broke on the evening after my last day. I think my body was, on some level, like “ah, work stress is gone, now it’s time to shift gears and have this baby.” However starting at about 37 weeks I made sure that my desk was immaculate and everything was labeled and set up to transfer my cases to colleagues in case I wasn’t in the next day.

      I was one of the unusual woman whose water broke before labor started, and it was just like “oh huh my undies are wet, pregnancy is the weirdest grossest thing.” Then 15 minutes later “huh, again? maybe I should call the doula?” and then half an hour later “ok this is the real deal.” It’s not the shocking flood that movies would have you believe. To be honest dealing with that at work would’ve been a lot easier than dealing with first trimester nausea.

      • Anonymous says:

        Opposite experience here! Not in labor, then sudden huge gush from nowhere. Very dramatic, but fortunately I was sitting at home on the couch when it happened (hopped up very quick)! So it does happen.

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      I worked through week 40. On Wed., my water broke (more like peeing a little, like the poster above mentioned) and I went to the hospital, but it was such a slow flow or something that the nurse didn’t think anything had happened, so I went back to work. I worked thru Friday, went into labor Sat., and son was born Sunday, on his due date. I had planned to start my maternity leave that Monday anyway, just because I couldn’t stand work anymore, and I’d already handed over my cases.

    • PatsyStone says:

      I worked until my ob decided we needed to induce at 38w3d. I don’t have paid mat leave, so I needed to stay as long as possible. I scheduled the event on a Friday, didn’t tell anyone, and went into work early Sunday (induction day) to tie up loose ends. Told everyone Monday. I would do the same again.

      I worried a little about going into labor, but looking back, I had already had a miscarriage while at work, so on balance water breaking wouldn’t be the worst.

  11. cloth diapers says:

    We’ve been using cloth diapers for the first 6 months of our baby’s life and until now, it has worked out well. We use a diaper service that drops off clean prefolds weekly and we buy the covers (we’ve been using Rumparooz and Blueberry Coveralls).

    But now, at 6 months, our baby has started formula and solid foods and the combination seems to be causing two problems:

    1. She soaks through her diaper at night. We’ve tried layering in two prefolds instead of one but there are still leaks, and we are getting sick of changing her sheets every morning.

    2. She has way more frequent and substantial poops than she did when she was EBF and the covers get absolutely disgusting every time. It’s not that we have explosions outside of the covers — the covers do a great job of keeping everything in — but I’m just annoyed with having to deal with and wash all of these gross diaper covers. In a week this will be our nanny’s job, so maybe less of an issue, but I still feel bad giving her this task. Am I not putting the prefold in correctly? Is there any way to contain the poop within the cloth so it is not filling up the inside of the cover every time she poops?

    I’ve really liked cloth diapers until this point — zero issues with diaper rash, they feel so nice and fluffy on her bottom, and I feel better about not adding to landfill waste — so I’d like to stick with it if possible!

    • Anonymous says:

      I remember this. It is gross and gets grosser as the baby gets bigger. For the nighttime wetting, through trial and error we found that using three inserts (a mini, a regular and an overnight) together worked best. We also experimented with those pure wool over layers but found them gross.

      For poops, bum genius (I think) used to make things that looked like dryer sheets that lay inside the diaper. They can go in the toilet with the poop. Most of the time, they catch most of it and significantly reduce the mess.

      • +1 The disposable diaper liners are genius. Generic bamboo ones can be had for a few bucks on Amazon.

    • Do you fold and snappi the prefolds, or just trifold them and lay them in the covers? The latter always resulted in blowouts for us; the former contained poop better. What if you tried a couple of flats, folded and snappi’d?

      At night, if the issue is leakage, it might be a fit problem – what is ok when baby is crawling or vertical, gapes when she’s supine and horizontal. Again, try flats with a doubler. Or you might just have to resign yourself to doing a nighttime change, or use disposables at night. We did the latter.

      • October says:

        +1 to folding and snappi-ing. Sometimes a little gets on the leg gussets inside the cover, but most of it is contained. Also +1 to adding natural fiber doublers (like hemp). You can get a couple relatively cheaply at Green Mountain Diapers if your service doesn’t provide them.

        Many of the cloth diaper manufacturers have active Facebook pages, which I’ve found to be really helpful for specific questions.

    • PhilanthropyGirl says:

      I found bamboo inserts to be way more absorbent – maybe see if your diaper company can offering anything in addition to the prefolds? We eventually gave up CD at 12 months because of the night-time leaking, but found that doubling up bamboo and microfiber liners in our diapers made a huge difference for us.

      • dc mom anon says:

        At around 12 months CD got easier because the stool became more solid. Before that it could be runny/looser. The solid piece was just easy to shake out and barely left any marks on the CD. We have been using bum genius all in ones.

        • PhilanthropyGirl says:

          Agree that the solid waste was easier, but the constant leaking, wardrobe changes and bed sheet washing ended my love with CDs. I couldn’t get enough liners in to prevent leaking, and my stringbean of a child always had gaps at the legs no matter how tightly they were fastened.

    • Meg Murry says:

      Not a cloth diaper-er, but with disposable diapers blowouts sometimes meant that you had a poor fit and needed to go up a size. Not an expert, but does your service offer more than one size of prefolds and do you need to go up a size?

      Is there a cloth diapering mom’s group that you can physically go to a a meeting and ask for advice? An experienced mom there may be able to show you a better way to fold and secure the prefold, or how to tell when you need to go up a size, etc

    • ChiLaw says:

      I definitely agree with the advice to fold and snappi your prefolds. We almost never get/got poop on the covers with that technique. Also make sure none of the white of the diaper is visible anywhere once the cover is on — that will lead to wetness wicking out onto baby’s clothes and sheets. Finally, I love the flushable diaper liners (I don’t flush them because I’m paranoid, but that’s how they’re marketed) for containing poop. My diaper changing routine looks like: remove cover, set aside; remove snappi, set aside; unfold diaper; pick up liner containing poop and put in trash; put diaper in bin; wipe and put clean diaper on, using the same snappi and cover as before.

    • hoola hoopa says:

      We used a disposable for over nights. One a day didn’t give me landfill guilt and it kept baby dry.

      +1000 to disposable liners and snappi.

  12. UGH, I have third baby fever. Big time. My husband is on board, and reading the posts about going into labor, newborns, etc. is just making me want another even more.

    BUT – I’m really panicked about the reality of a third kid. In most ways, I like the kid phase better (love the newborn phase, don’t necessarily love older babies/young toddlers), but I keep hearing about how hard it is to manage three kids’ activities. We’re also on the cusp of being totally out of the baby phase (3 and 5 year old), and vacations, etc. are starting to get really fun. My two are getting to be really close (but I think they’d love another?) I’m a much more patient mom with older kids, and hate the 9 months to 15 month phase. Ugh, my husband and I joke that sometimes we make life harder for ourselves, and I can’t decide if having another baby is just needlessly complicating a life that is starting to become borderline sane. I also very much want to open my own solo practice, and throwing another baby into the mix would be … insane?

    NO idea what I’m looking for here, just enjoying the feeling of calm at home – but aching for one more.

    • I can’t speak to the reality of having a third kid because we only have one at this point, but I have the feeling that if you are aching for one more and your husband is on board, you should do it. I feel like your yearning for another child will always trump the desire for less chaos at home. You will find a way to make the logistics work once you have the third child and you won’t be able to fathom your life without him or her.

      It just seems more likely that you would regret not having another child than you would regret having that child.

      • That’s such a good point. Thank you. I’m afraid I’ll become one of those old ladies who wistfully tells the parents at the grocery store to “cherish every minute,” and not realizing until it’s too late to have another that this messy chaotic time is so relatively short. Of course, we all know that the old lady doesn’t remember the crushing daily grind of raising babies – but maybe that’s why the short-term chaos is worth sacrificing.

    • Anonymous says:

      My third is only a month old, but yes, it’s adding crazy. I felt that way when we had the second, too. Like “what have I done, we were finally getting in a groove!” I do not enjoy babies under about 5-6 months very much, and schlepping an infant along to do things that are fun for the older ones is hella annoying, plus childcare costs an arm and a leg, but it has to get better, right? I think I read here that you plan your family based on what you want Thanksgiving to look like in 20 years, and just white-knuckle through the tough periods along the way. That really rang true for me. I imagine few people regret having another kid if both parents like the idea in theory, no matter how hectic it turns out to be in practice. I hear you on the career considerations, though. I had to come to terms with tabling my “perfect” career plan to accommodate another baby, but it is what it is. To three or not to three: there’s no objectively right choice, but the choices are mutually exclusive, and that makes it hard.

      • Legally Brunette says:

        “I think I read here that you plan your family based on what you want Thanksgiving to look like in 20 years, and just white-knuckle through the tough periods along the way.”

        Ok, off to have a third….

        LOLLLL :)

        But seriously, that sentiment really hits home for me. I’ve been on the fence about a third and this really resonates with me.

        • It’s true. I hate pregnancy, nursing, and the entire newborn/infant stage. I had a 2 y/o and would have been perfectly happy never to have another baby except…i wanted my kid to have siblings. And to have a “pack.” And big holidays etc. so in nursing #2 now and having complex thoughts about how to time a third pregnancy. I would LOVE a surrogate :-).

    • Not a helpful response, but I often find myself wondering if the baby fever ever truly goes away. Like, would it come back after having your third? And your fourth? I’m 95% sure we’re one and done, for both practical and emotional reasons. But any time I see a little newborn, or talk about pregnancy/labor, I have such an ache for another baby. Part of me thinks that will always happen, so matter how many kids I had? The nostalgia is intense.

      • MDMom says:

        I’ve wondered this too. We only have 1 and plan to try for second next year but I remember immediately after giving birth doubting sincerely that I could ever do that again, and I was kind of upset about it because I always thought I’d have 3 kids. But here I am, 16 months later, and the baby fever is coming on again, even though it’s still hard and harder than I ever thought it would be. I blame hormones, and that evolutionary drive to reproduce. I do wonder if you ever get to the point, pre menopause, where there is zero urge at all.

      • It went away after my 3rd. Very definitively. I am done.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have three by accident not choice. We tried for our second and had twins. I never imagined that I would have three kids but now that the twins are almost 2, I find myself dreaming of a 4th. Never thought I’d be a mom to more than 2 kids.

      It’s way harder than I thought it would be (part of that is twins not 3) but I really really love it.

    • Betty says:

      I am in the exact same spot — down to the ages of my current kids. Things are FINALLY getting a little easier. We are out of diapers. The end of naps is around the corner. We can almost take actual vacations. In two years, we will not need full-time care (youngest will be in K). They self-entertain for a whole thirty seconds. And yet…. I just cannot shake the feeling of wanting a third. I always thought we would have three. But I’m not sure I want to start the clock over again, and now I have no disillusions of what pregnancy and the newborn/toddler stages can entail. No advice. Just you’re not alone.

      • JayJay says:

        This is me exactly. Same age kids, they’ll play together for an hour at a time in their rooms, we can go on vacations, we have an excellent routine. And yet, I really want a third. Husband would be perfectly ok with it if I got pregnant, but the idea of actually trying for a third is scary.

        Just went to a Zika country for vacation over Labor Day, so I’m using that to hold me off for at least six months from making any decisions.

    • 1anon says:

      I’ve been there. I’d listen to your gut. Started feeling like I wanted a third when my kids were about your kids ages, but kept thinking we were crazy for wanting another (why complicate a good thing). Once kids turned about 5 and 7, I decided I still REALLY wanted another so started trying and nothing happened. Then, 6 years later, after turning 40, finally opening up my own practice and with 2 middle schoolers, we have ourselves a baby. Definitely not the way I expected it to work out, but here we are. And as much as its nuts to start all over again at this point, I wouldn’t change a thing and feel like this is the way things were meant to be. Good luck with your decision!!

    • Momata says:

      I’m afraid of what I will feel like when I’m at your stage. I have two under three. Husband really wants a third, and on a good day I can imagine that maybe a third wouldn’t totally break me, and that I’d like it in the long term. I’ve only been sleeping through the night and not bfing/pregnant for a month. I told my husband I need a break of at least a year. But when we’re able to go on family vacations and leave the house for more than two hours at a time, will I definitely not want a third? So should I just pile on and get pregnant now to tie myself to the mast?

      • Anonymous says:

        I needed a break in between babies. I waited a least a year after finishing nursing before we TTC’d. Our second was 3 when the next baby was born. Love the spacing.

      • Spirograph says:

        I took the “tie myself to the mast” route and have 3 under 4. I’m exhausted. My husband is almost as exhausted. But I think we’ll all survive and I’ll be glad they’re so close in age. For me, it would be hard to go back to diapers and the baby schedule/mindset once I was free of them, so it was a now-or-never decision. Caveat, my first two kids were good sleepers and “easy” babies, and although I hate being pregnant, my body handles it well and bounces back quickly. I might have felt very differently about the timing if that hadn’t been the case.

    • The third kid is awesome. Just really an amazing blessing. I feel so much less stressed out and so much more connected and just enjoying her than I did my first two (although, my first two were twins so YMMV). Yes, we are managing activity schedules for 3 kids and it’s crazy, but having 3 is just so amazingly fun.

      • Also add: My youngest is 5.5 years younger than my twins. That was actually fabulous timing. The older two were more self-sufficient and actually helpful, and there’s more just being great big siblings than sibling rivalry with the youngest. They will also never be in school together, and I won’t have all 3 in college together. The timing was perfect for me. The only occasional slight regret is that we were at the age where we could start taking fun trips with the older two, and we had to put that off for a few years after we had the youngest. But having a 3rd was so much one of the best decisions of my life. I am a better mom to the third, and doing this again makes me a better mom to the older two as well. I can’t explain it, but that added level of crazy baby/toddler has just made all of us happier.

    • hoola hoopa says:

      I completely relate to the feelings. My husband and I went through the same hand wringing. We’d always said that we’d have more than two, but it was hard to take the plunge once we were actually there. For us, it wasn’t just hitting the ‘reset’ button by returning to newbornhood – but it also seemed financially irresponsible. Kids are so dang expensive, and we had already delayed so many things. And I hate being pregnant. So much.

      While we were hand-wringing, I had a surprise pregnancy. Timing with other events was awful. I was not happy about it. Husband was terrified.

      Baby #3 is ~1.5 years old now, and it’s just starting to get easy again. The transition to two was a breeze for us, but three kids is really hard. And when it’s just the older two kids, it’s so easy. But I have zero regrets, because we DID want another kid. We would have always had a “what if” in our minds. And, the kid is really awesome. The older two love having another kid in the family. It’s going to be great in the long run. Or at least I tell myself that. It’s daunting to think that we’ll have at least one high schooler in the house for 10 years!

      The cons are pretty obvious. Most of the pros are, too, since it’s the same pros as any new family member. But one pro that I hadn’t really expected is that three kids breaks up the dichotomy of two kid families. For example, buying a new backpack for one kid? Better buy one for the other. But now with three, it’s a totally different scenario. Kid who needed a new backpack gets one. The other two can commiserate together, but they don’t feel like the slight was personal since they both got neglected ;) We make really different decisions across the board, actually.

      And my husband got a vasectomy. We’re really done! So far, no baby fever.

    • PatsyStone says:

      Really anecdotal, but my mom had 3 kids in 6 years, and she says that three can be really chaotic. I remember feeling the strain of three kids when we had lots of activities and events in school years and there just weren’t enough parents (or drivers) to go around. I have two sisters so there was a lot of sibling rivalry and a lot of “ranking” (smartest to dumbest; fattest to thinnest). I don’t know if it would be different with different genders or number of kids, but it still exists in our relationships today.

      The good news is that my younger sister is my favorite person ever and really makes our family. And you could give your younger the gift of being a middle child, which I think confers a lot of benefits (and woe is me snark). That said, I would never no way plan to have three myself. I would need more wives and xanax.

  13. nanny q says:

    I have a full time nanny who works about 50 hours a week taking care of my two little kids. Our arrangement has always to pay her a weekly salary as opposed to hourly, with the weekly figure calculated at the rate of $X times 50 hours– no one wanted to count hours, and there is the flexibility on both ends (i.e., sometimes she stays a bit longer, sometimes she leaves early). Everyone is happy.

    My oldest has always been in nursery school, but my youngest just started attending, which means with them both in school, we are paying her on the 50 hours, but we only really need her for about 40 hours. We need/want to keep her on a full time basis – she doesn’t want part time work, and we aren’t ready to lose her (she is a great nanny, and there are always days the kids are sick or school is closed).

    Here is the issue: Trying to figure out a way to take advantage of her off time so we get value out of her full time salary, but don’t want to rock the boat and risk her leaving. We were thinking of presenting the following options:

    1. Have her come in her regular time to help me get everyone ready in the AM. I take kids to school. She spends the time the kids are in school doing laundry, grocery shopping, general housekeeping.
    2. Have her come in later in the day and stay a little later in the evenings so my husband and I don’t have to rush out to work.
    3. Have her come in later in the day but leave her regular time and “bank” the extra hours for us to use for date night babysitting.

    Ideally I would like a combination of 1 and 3, but as I mentioned, I am afraid of changing the terms of our arrangement to the extent we lose our nanny. How have people handled this? Obviously it would have been nice if we had a long term plan in place from the outset, but we didn’t and now we need to figure things out.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who drops the kids to school/picks up? Could she do drop off to save you that stop in the mornings? I’d go option #1 and enjoy an organized life. So many kid related things she could be doing – shop for and wrap birthday present for party on the weekend. Buy and wrap kids Christmas gifts. Clean/rotate toys. Etc

    • mascot says:

      I’d vote 1 and/or 2.
      I think you can offer 3 as an occasional night, but that’s probably hard to plan for everyone’s schedule. How do you handle it when she’s got 4 hours “banked” and isn’t free for a whole month of weekends?

    • It sounds like you have some good options – maybe you put it to her and see what she really wants and if there’s a way to make it work together. This also may be controversial, but having a nanny you love may be worth paying another $150 a week (or whatever it is where you are.)

      • nanny q says:

        Thanks for all the feedback! Yes, the truth is that she is totally worth it, so whatever we need to do to keep her and keep her happy, we are on board. I think that was my biggest issue – I feel like I negotiate all day at work, but in this situation I don’t feel comfortable negotiating hard because how can you negotiate hard with the person who cares for your children?!?!? Also, as my husband points out, in a few years, both kids will be in school full time and we will need to reassess our child care (likely going to a part-time situation).

        • NewMomAnon says:

          My mom always said that once the school activities kick in, she needed full-time help. She spent so much time coordinating car pools to church school, soccer, dance, etc, and the weekends were so packed, and before and after care was so spotty, that they hired a nanny when my brother and I both hit elementary school age.

          I know that’s not comforting, but just to say – this could be a longer term investment than you are assuming.

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