Budget Thursday: Wool-Blended Jersey Volume Skirt

I just popped into Uniqlo the other day when I was in Chicago because it was freezing there and I had forgotten a hat. (Here’s the hat I bought.) I also had the opportunity to check out this skirt, which feels really nice and substantial and warm in person. If you prefer a fuller style to a pencil skirt look, do consider this one. It comes in the pictured red as well as gray, navy, and a nice brown color. (Check out the Corporette post on which tights to wear with navy skirts.) It’s available in sizes XS–XXL and is labeled hand wash cold, which means you can choose to take your chances with the hand-wash cycle on your machine. It’s $39 at Uniqlo. Wool-Blended Jersey Volume Skirt

Here’s a plus-size option from Lands’ End.

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Comments

  1. Stati says:

    For those of you with nannies, how much PTO are you offering them? Also, do you dictate when they take vacation time? How many holidays are you offering?

    We are using a full time nanny for the first time. We offer 3 weeks vacation – 1 week between Jan – June at our choosing, 1 week between July-December at their choosing, and then 1 week for sick, personal time, etc. We also offer federal holidays and give them the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, and a holiday of their choosing (ie Good Friday, their birthday, etc).

    I think this is fair…maybe bordering generous. We actually had one nanny, whom we were pretty serious about, request 6 weeks of PTO. … I don’t even get that much time.

    Looking for a reality check here – what are you offering??
    Thanks :)

    • 6 weeks paid? That’s nuts. 6 weeks of time off might be a bargaining conversation, presuming it was unpaid and preplanned. We could probably find some short-term coverage for the right nanny, if she was using the time to, for example, have a baby or fly to visit relatives in another country. Again, though, unpaid.

      We did 2 weeks vacation (one we choose, one she got to choose), plus we almost often–but didn’t guarantee–gave her the week between Christmas and new years because either DH or I or both took it off. Federal holidays. We did 3 additional PTO days but really, we told her to just work it out with us if she had to do appointments etc. and we could cover. In reality, she probably had 40+ additional hours of paid time off.

    • Clementine says:

      6 weeks of PTO is a LOT. Like enough to merit lowering the salary.

      I think that sounds really reasonable – if nanny asked for another week of time off, one option would be offering it unpaid.

    • Anonymous says:

      We did about the same as you. Didn’t think of the one week per 6 months though, that would have been smart.

      I would consider an additional block of unpaid time for the right candidate in they wanted to travel to their home country. Like a month in the summer when I could hire a high school or college student to substitute.

      • Anonymous says:

        For the nanny that asked for 6 weeks, is she from Europe? 6 weeks is standard vacation there so she might not have thought of it as a big ask.

        • She’s not from Europe. I think she was guessing how much vacation I got with my job and was trying to get the same. She also asked for the contract to specifically state all of her meals were comped.. when I asked what she meant by that (we have a white board on the fridge where babysitter/nanny already writes whatever groceries she wants us to pick up for her, and we gladly do so), she wanted any carry-out or delivered meals from the restaurant down the street included. We took the vacation request and the comped food request as evidence she wasn’t that interested in working for us :)

      • Ah, this is a good idea too. I didn’t consider that backup care in the summer should be easier to secure. Thanks!

    • POSITA says:

      This sounds generous. We did 2 weeks of vacation (she picked one and we picked one) plus 10 holidays (not exactly Federal holidays, but mostly) and 3 sick days. She also got off on any day that we didn’t need her and we tried to give her as much warning as possible so she could take advantage of the time off. We also tried to work with her if she had person errands, like a dr appointment, but this was informal. As long as she scheduled around our jobs, we tried to be flexible.

      In my experience we seemed to do better if we made the “obligation” days off fewer, but then were generous with “extra” days off. If it was an obligation, we didn’t get an credit for offering her the time. If we opted to give her time of our own accord, she would be thrilled and happy.

    • #mouse4lyfe says:

      You might find the Park Slope Parents annual nanny survey results helpful, at least if you want to know what Brooklyn families are offering.

    • For those with part-time nannies, what do you see? We have a nanny who works 25-30 hours/week. We have never given her PTO, although I give her paid days off from time to time.

      • We’re transitioning from a part time nanny to a new full time nanny. We didn’t have a contract spelling everything out with our part time nanny, and we were lucky that the relationship was as positive as it was. We gave her holidays, no paid vacation/sick time, but we also made a point never to cancel hours on her. So – if she took vacation, it was unpaid, but if we were on vacation on a day when she was scheduled to work, we paid her for that day.

        She took a fair amount of (unpaid) time off, but always gave about a month’s notice. At the time my work schedule was more flexible so it worked out.

        • Also, she was working about 15-20 hours a week for us. When you start getting up to 30, I feel like spelled-out PTO is a good thing. :)

    • We don’t have a nanny at the moment, but when we did, she earned one day of PTO per month, so 12 days a year, plus 10 holidays that coincided with our work schedules. She was paid overtime if she worked a holiday and we also paid overtime for any day that exceeded 8 hours even if she did not work over 40 hours that week. For using the PTO, we had her take one week off when we went on vacation in the summer, and the rest she could use with advance planning unless it was sick time. I had a flexible schedule, and we also paid her for any scheduled time even if I could come home early.

    • Blueberries says:

      Six weeks PTO sounds about right if it was standard in the US to have that much PTO generally (which would be great!). However, given that six weeks is above US market, your offer sounds at the high end of market assuming that you’re also paying for any days you don’t need the candidate beyond the week you select. I agree that six weeks of PTO plus (daily?) restaurant delivery sounds like the candidate is pretty far apart from what the typical family on this board would be willing to provide unless there are exceptional circumstances.

    • D. Meagle says:

      Our nanny technically gets 2 weeks PTO plus a bunch of holidays (federal). But in practice its more like 3 weeks PTO (we sync our summer vacation week, but she picks her non-summer week, and then she gets off the winter week we go to visit family) and more holidays (our religious and her religious), plus some randoms. Best advice someone gave me was that your nanny is taking care of your children, so you want to make the nanny happy. Be as flexible as you can be to earn loyalty.

    • rosie says:

      We just hired a FT nanny for a share in DC. 2 weeks paid vacation (1 the families choose, 1 the nanny chooses) plus 6 federal holidays (the ones we get off ourselves from work), and then of course any days we end up not needing her. We decided to offer unlimited sick, because we trust that the nanny will not abuse it & we do not want her to feel that she has to come to work sick.

    • When we had a nanny, we paid hourly + overtime. We didn’t give her any paid vacation–neither of us had any vacation time after maternity leave/DH using his vacation for Baby’s arrival, so we had to pay for backup care any time our nanny went out of town. She worked 4 days a week, Tuesday-Friday, so she was already off any federal holiday that landed on a Monday. She was off for other holidays, but it was unpaid.

      Nanny’s hourly rate was about $15% over market rate, and there was a fair amount of OT, so hopefully that made up for the lack of paid vacation. We were really flexible with unpaid time off and just used backup care if she wanted to take a vacation.

  2. October says:

    Opinions on the Cat & Jack or Surprize by Stride Rite toddler sneakers at Target? I’ve had great luck with regular Stride Rite brand sneakers for my two yr old thus far, but now that the stores have closed I’m browsing online and the Target shoes are cheaper and look cute. Do they hold up? He’s a boy and very active.

    • We’ve used the Surprize – they’re fine. I don’t like them as well as the regular Stride Ride (they’re stiffer) but my two-year old hasn’t had a problem with them. Can’t speak to lasting yet – she’s only been wearing them for a month or so, but they look fine. Mainly indoor wear, with outside time at daycare.

    • Following because I was just looking at these yesterday and wondering the same thing.

    • BabyKicks says:

      I’ve had my 15 month old in Surprize sneakers for the past 6 months or so and they’ve held up well to a rough and tumble toddler. I feel like kids this age grow out of shoes so fast, they can’t really wear out too much.

  3. Sleeping Arrangements says:

    Thanks for all the thoughts yesterday, ladies. I think mini crib on wheels is probably how we’ll deal.

  4. Lilliet says:

    I’m the mystery reader in my daughter’s kindergarten class tomorrow. She’s really into “The Chupacabra Ate the Candelabra,” and I love how much she loves it and it will be the first book I read. But do you all have any additional suggestions for off-the-beaten path funny/great read aloud books? I know the Andrea Beaty books and B.J. Novak’s “Book With No Pictures” have been read. I have a few of the Jolly Roger Bradfield books, but she’s not super into them (must be generational, I loved them as a kid).

    • We did Dragons Love Tacos when I was the mystery reader in my 4 y/o’s preschool class last week and it was an unbelievably huge hit. You might want something longer, I don’t know how much time you have in Kindy.

    • anne-on says:

      I like ‘Stuck’ by Oliver Jeffers for that age group, short, funny, and great pictures. The crayon books, incredible book eating boy, and a child of books by the same author are also good.
      The Rosie Revere/Iggie Peck/Ada Twist books are all popular and great for school kids IMHO.
      The night gardener, and after the fall are two other recent favorites of ours – enjoy!

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m heard good things about Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.

    • We have so many books, I would just pick whatever looked good off of our book shelf that day that I knew kiddo likes…. But what about some Shel Silverstein? I was just reading some of Where the Sidewalk Ends to my kids at lunch yesterday – you can read a few or many, depending on the time. (Darn those half days! Right after Halloween! And Conferences last week!) I still love “Peanut Butter Sandwich!”

      • ElisaR says:

        “i cannot go to school to day said little peggy ann mckay…. i have a fever and a rash, the mumps….”ok i’m going from memory since i haven’t read that book in about 35 years but you just brought back a great memory for me.

        and i just put “where the sidewalk ends” in my amazon cart, thank you!

        • EP-er says:

          It Saturday! Let’s go out to play!

        • Spiprograph says:

          I have a fever and the mumps, a gash, a rash, and purple bumps!

          I used to have that entire poem memorized, but now I can only think of snippets. I also just put in an order for some Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky. :)

          Another one of my favorites is:

          My dad gave me one dollar bill, ‘cuz I’m his smartest son
          I swapped it for two shiny quarters, and two is more than one!
          (and it keeps going until he has 5 pennies and his dad is too proud of him to speak).

    • EB0220 says:

      Dragons Love Tacos is always great, and the crayon strike book is good too. My kids (5 and 3) also love Frog & Toad. They’re short, sweet and funny with surprisingly insightful messages.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        My daughter loves Frog & Toad, but I sometimes find them sort of… off, I guess? Some of the messages are great, and others seem strange. But maybe it’s just because they’re older books so they’re not current norms.

    • Lilliet says:

      Thank you for these! The teacher specifically stated several times to bring multiple books. So I’m guessing if the kids are liking them she’ll let me fill my 15min spot.

    • Clementine says:

      Any of the Skippyjon Jones books are good (about a Siamese cat who thinks he’s a Chihuahua). Very fun to read with voices.

      There was an old dragon who swallowed a Knight. Very fun to read with a rhythm.

    • Interrupting Chicken is a favorite at our house.

    • It is a board book so I’m not sure if it is a little young, but DH and I love to read Sandra Boynton’s Hippos Go Berserk. I think kindergartner’s may like it and it is really fun to read aloud.

    • I read Mean Jean the Recess Queen to my daughter’s kindergarten class last year.

    • Anonymous says:

      Two suggestions:
      Olivia and the Missing Toy (Olivia, BTW sounds like Katherine Hepburn and this book really brings that out). 17 Things I’m Not Allowed to Do Anymore (hysterical).

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sort of teething question.DD is 7 almost 8 months with no teeth in sight. I’m starting to get an irrational fear that she’s never going to have teeth. Please tell me about your late teethers!?

    • My oldest got her first tooth at 13.5 months. She basically didn’t teeth because her teeth came in so late she could use words and ask for ice packs (she got her first molars, which come 13-18 months, at like, 2+).

      My younger daughter started teething at 6 months and has not stopped (she’s 15 months now, and has just cut her 1 of her molars).

      Older daughter has exceptionally healthy teeth, which her dentist attributes to their late arrival. It also never stopped her from eating- she was gumming tiny pieces of steak at 11 months. Only thing she couldn’t really eat was slices of apples. Once she got her front teeth she was super into those.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t worry about it. My kid started at 5 months but my nephew was 10 months before he had a single tooth. His tended to come fast and furious – like 3 within a week. I was jealous of my sister – trying to BF with teeth isn’t always easy. 8 months and no teeth isn’t that late.

    • My kid didn’t have a single tooth until 9 months plus. He got four within a few weeks. At 15 months, he still only has seven and has been stuck at that number for several months. We did BLW and he had no trouble chowing down on all sorts of food!

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Kiddo was toothless at ONE. First one was around 14 months. She’s got a normal-looking mouth full of teeth now, at 2.5.

    • bluefield says:

      My ped told me that teeth are not a milestone. We all have all our teeth. When they actually come out is unimportant.

    • Edna Mazur says:

      I had late teethers too, I think around one yearish for both so far. Super happy plus side if you are still nursing- bites don’t hurt nearly as much! And those gummy smiles are so cute.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Yes we are still breastfeeding so I guess it’s a blessing in disguise. I’m a first time mom and I’m usually not that concerned with milestones, this one just has me anxious!

    • Lilliet says:

      Don’t worry! The teeth will come. If it’s something that is reeeeally bothering you, you can always call the pediatrician for the guidance on when it’s actually a concern. I do that for things I know I shouldn’t be worried about but am. For example, my second kid was a late talker (a loquacious older sister is mostly to blame) and I let my pediatrician know that I know it’s probably not a problem but am still worried about it. Knowing when the pediatrician was going to be concerned with all the context really helped ease my fears. Or at least let me rationalize them away when I noticed them taking hold of me.

  7. Katarina says:

    What do I wear to a bachelorette party? We are going to a trendy restaurant and bar hopping after, in Austin (very casual but trendy). I don’t want to be frumpy, but I also don’t want to buy something new. I have some dresses I could wear, but nothing really clubby. I could wear skinny jeans and a top. I have a pull on skirt I could roll up the waist band to make into a miniskirt, but it is a little loose and doesn’t quite look right, but at least it shows some skin.

    • Sabba says:

      What are the other girls wearing? I would lean towards skinny jeans and a nice top, or a simple black dress with statement jewelry. Don’t roll the waistband on the skirt–that just sounds like you would be checking it all the time and possibly uncomfortable during the event. Maybe I’m just old, but I don’t think that you have to look “clubby.” Just put on something that makes you feel like you look nice and that is comfortable to wear.

  8. Birthday Help says:

    Help me plan my two year old’s bday party. Small party. Just family and one friend. Dozen or so people total. Bday is on a weekend, so I was thinking to do an easy brunch – bagels, lox, some other morning items but the hang up is the earliest everyone could get to us is 11 and really 1130 and kiddo usually naps at noon.

    If we do it after the nap, it’s logistically easier for kiddo because yay, naps, but the issue becomes what to serve for lunch. Seating is somewhat limited and we’d prefer to keep it informal which is why bagels, etc., seem so appealing. But DH thinks it’s weird to serve bagels to people at 2 p.m.

    One possible solution is to just say ‘to h3ll with the nap’ and let kiddo nap later, which sometimes works out but I don’t want to have it throw the whole day off either for kiddo or us, and I’m not sure when people will be likely to leave if they arrive around 1130/12. Having kiddo nap while grandparents and cousins are there isn’t realistic. I certainly don’t want to push anyone out the door so I’m thinking it will be around 3 before we have a quiet house again.

    • When would kiddo be awake for a party? If I were attending a 2pm party, I would not expect lunch (and would have already eaten lunch), maybe just heavy appetizers and cake. And maybe coffee, but optional.

    • I don’t think it is a problem to plan around kiddo’s nap – people want to see your kid and it’s probably better if kiddo is not cranky. I agree that at 2pm you can just serve some snacks and cake. That almost makes it even easier for you.

    • Delta Dawn says:

      Another vote for having the party after nap. Pick some snacks that are just as easy as bagels. Chip and dip tray? Something handheld from the freezer section? BBQ sliders if you are really ambitious– can make the BBQ in the crock pot and put on little dinner rolls. Cake or cookies and done!

    • Legally Brunette says:

      I have been to a few kids’ parties starting at 3 pm. It’s been a lot of appetizers (fruits, chips/dip, bruschetta, sliders, tea sandwiches, etc.) and cake. No need to provide a full meal but it is nice to have a decent amount of food.

      I hosted a baby shower once starting around 2 pm and offered bagels. No one ate them!

    • EB0220 says:

      If I did a mid-afternoon party, I’d probably lean more toward cheese, hummus, fruit, crackers. People won’t expect anything more than light snacks, something to drink and cake.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      We did an early morning party because of the nap (in our case, 1pm). I think we had people arrive at around 10am, served bagels + some other stuff, had cake at around noon, and then she took a nap at around the normal time.

      But with the earlier nap, and the fact that people can’t arrive until around 11am, I think you’re better off with an afternoon party, say from 3-5pm. I’d have veggie trays + dip, fruit salad, a tray of deli sandwiches. Nothing too elaborate. Plus cake.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve started avoiding providing full meals at birthdays. I avoid mealtimes and manage expectations on the invitation, e.g., cake and snacks will be served.

    • +1 to planning around the nap (so 2 pm? 3 pm?) and providing light snacks. Nobody expects a full meal at 2 or 3 pm.

  9. Girl on Fire says:

    Okay hive, I’m taking you up on the offers of support. My husband has been at home for a week now, and while in general things are peaceful, I’m carrying around a giant overflowing bucket of vulnerable feelings today. There’s just a lot of uncertainty and change, all for the better in both cases, leaving me kind of weepy and sad and wanting to sleep and sleep. I’ve got some kind of virus and am just exhausted but obviously can’t miss any more work. Waaaah.

    A friend of mine is going out of town this weekend to a mountain house and invited me and kiddo along. I don’t know if it’s the best idea or the worst idea. The thought of packing/schlepping and not having time to address laundry and other house stuff this weekend is exhausting. But the thought of having a break, a change of scenery, and a break from my husband’s emotions, which are just taking up a ton of space right now, sounds marvelous. I think I’m going to err on the side of quiet and stay home, mostly because it sounds like the path of least resistance and I ain’t got much resistance left in me right now. I’m just really, really tired.

    DH has discovered the concept of codependency (which is definitely something I own having a problem with , as I think y’all have picked up on), and I’m hearing a lot of coaching me and otherwise treating me like I’m the one who needs treatment. I think it’s pretty normal projection, but I’m so tired right now that my fuse is short. I’m tired of feeling blamed for everything, especially my husband’s problems. So even when he’s right and I am being codependent, I just feel so wearied by it all. Running away to the woods appeals.

    I’m trying to strategize about ways to take care of myself and give myself some space this weekend, and I welcome suggestions.

    • mascot says:

      Put on your own oxygen mask first. You won’t be able to help anyone if you aren’t helping yourself. If that means going to the mountains and letting the laundry pile up, so be it. Maybe you can do a small loard tonight and a small load next week to get your through. Or let husband pick up some slack on the house front. It sounds like a short break will do you some good and give you some space to recharge.

    • Is she aware of what’s been going on? If so, would she be willing to drive up together and take care of food organization, so you need to just back clothes/toddler gear. If so, I’d probably go for the change of scenery and escape.

    • Anonymous says:

      Staycation – take kiddo to visit a friend for a playdate. Friend doesn’t have to actually have kids. You can let your kid watch Mother Goose club on YouTube on an Ipad while you lie on friend’s couch and drink tea. Then when you have to come home for kiddo’s naptime, put her down and go out again. Go to a coffee shop, have a hot tea with lemon/honey and read a magazine for like an hour. Book a massage for kiddo’s nap time on the other day.

      Use your village. Call your friends. I would love to have a friend come hang out on my couch and drink tea while I folded laundry and we chatted about whatever. Heaven.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is there drop-off laundry anywhere near you? Drop off all the laundry from your house as you leave for the mountains this weekend, and pick it up (folded!) when you return. H3ll, if you’re in my city, I’ll do your laundry.

      +100 to putting on your own oxygen mask first.

      • Yes or also why cant your husband do the laundry?

      • Legally Brunette says:

        I learned about drop off laundry through this community and I haven’t looked back since. :) We don’t have a laundry in unit and it is sooooo much easier and worth the money for us. And I don’t even mind doing laundry (I weirdly kind of like it) but I’m happy to have one less thing to do on my list.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Agree with all the recommendations for drop-off laundry, if that is available to you (although, I do think your husband should just do it!). Honestly, I feel like you’ve hit a point where I would just start throwing money at the little things (laundry, house cleaning) just until I got to a point of equilibrium. You can’t carry all of the emotions and all of the responsibility all of the time!!

      You have to do what is best for you, and if staying home is going to be best, do that. But I would seriously consider getting away. And, maybe your friend has a washer and dryer and you can literally pack dirty laundry, do it all there, and that is what you and kiddo wear this weekend (not kidding – I would do that!).

      • EB0220 says:

        Anon in NYC, you are a genius.

      • Mrs. Jones says:

        +1

      • We have an aunt (now in her 70s) who has a condo in Florida. Her daughter (now in her 40s) is single and rents an apartment with in-building laundry. Every time she goes to the condo in Florida, she takes a bag of dirty laundry to was there.

    • Legally Brunette says:

      I would seriously consider going away for the weekend, unless your virus worsens and you feel really sick. I find that a staycation never ever works for me — all I see are the piles of dishes and toys and laundry and mess and feel stressed. You can pack the minimum (you can always do laundry there) and go! Virtual hugs.

    • Anon for this says:

      Having been there myself, I say throw some clothes and toiletries in the car and go. Make it clear to your friend that you are exhausted and just need a lazy weekend to recuperate. Ask her to drive if possible. Arrange things so you will be home in the early afternoon on Sunday to allow time to unpack and organize things at home a little.

      Living with someone who has just come home from this type of hospitalization is exhausting. You need some time and space to decompress away from all the criticism, the pressure to make sure your child is always acting perfectly for fear of setting off your spouse, and the pressure to protect your spouse from stress.

      EB220’s suggestion to take the laundry with you is a good one. Or leave it for your husband.

    • Is this a friend who will be understanding of your need to decompress? If so, I’d say go. Pack the bare minimum (there’s almost always a Target or Walmart on the way to wherever you’ll be if you need an extra set of pants for kiddo or shampoo)

      For me, when my fuse is short, even when the logical side of me knows why, it’s hard to contain my reactions. If your husband’s feelings work (which is important and needs to happen) is wearing on you, some space to decompress might allow you to respond better to him, or prevent you from responding in a negative way.

    • Girl on Fire says:

      Thank you all for your suggestions! This was like flipping a coin to see what kind of takeout to order. Turns out the thought of traveling with a toddler is just. too. much. The friend is under her own set of stresses right now, so Anon at 11:25 pm really nailed it– a staycation sounds delightful.

      Husband is definitely carrying his weight around the house. Things got really behind– when he was in the hospital both the hot water heater and the dishwasher stopped working because of course. He fixed the dishwasher and did ALL THE DISHES so I really can’t complain. The laundry project is actually kind of stress-relieving for me. I’m trying to get all the summer stuff out and weed out a lot of stuff that no longer fits from my own rotation and my kiddo’s too. As of last night, my closet only has things that currently fit and that I like, and I have clean everything– which has been a rarity lately and feels so good.

      But I really hear everyone about the idea of a lazy weekend and taking time to put on my own oxygen mask. And it’s so validating to hear that it’s normal for it to be exhausting to live with my husband right now. Thank you. I just lined up a babysitter for after naptime on Saturday, and I think I’m going to try to make some pre-naptime plans with a girlfriend so I know I’ll be getting some time out of the house.

      • Anon for this says:

        Great news that you’ve booked the babysitter and are working on plans to get out of the house. It will be so helpful to have a few hours just to be yourself and not worry about anyone else’s needs and big feelings.

        I hear you on the organization as relaxation. I am the same way–in times of stress I want to clean and organize everything because it takes at least some of the chaos out of the environment and lets me feel like I’m on top of at least one thing.

        Keep posting! We are here for you.

  10. 2 Cents says:

    Just wondering: Does everyone feel like a slab of meat on the sonogram/ultrasound table, or is it just me? I went in for a 16-week early anatomy scan this morning. At one point, the person running the exam laid her checklist on top of my chest while she was reviewing the images she needed. So now I’m a table. I’m sure I’m just overreacting (thanks, hormones!), but I nearly burst into tears because I felt like I was just a slab, not a person, laying there for 90 minutes.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is rude, I think you have a right to be annoyed. I didn’t have that experience with the few ultrasounds I had (I did learn that I lying on my back while pregnant made me feel faint). But in general, various medical care providers have made me feel that way in their quest for efficiency at different points in my life. I think chatting helps – remind them you are a person, even if you don’t have the energy to figure out a good way to point out they are being inconsiderate.

    • Anonymous says:

      My medical care during pregnancy has generally made me feel like nothing more or less than a vessel for my unborn child. But even then, the checklist thing is weird and rude and beyond the pale.

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        I agree with this exactly. There was only one medical professional who made me feel like a person through my whole pregnancy (love you forever, Dr. Parker!) and the rest made me feel weird and detached and awful. But the clipboard thing is the worst.

        (I also feel this way at gyn appointments, like after each one I cry, because it’s so weirdly un-human and I feel so vulnerable and blah blah.)

    • Carine says:

      I think that’s really inappropriate and I don’t think you’re overreacting! I think sonograms/ultrasounds are fraught and I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people feel the way you do. I always feel a little anxious because while I can see what they’re doing, it’s not always clear what exactly it means, and of course there’s always the possibility that something will be wrong. It’s all kind of mysterious and, yes, sometimes impersonal if the technician isn’t chatty or warm. I’m so sorry you had an upsetting experience! I would consider telling your doctor or the practice manager.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep, “Beyond the pale” is the right term. I actually chatted a LOT with my sonogram people. It wasn’t until post-birth that I felt like a non-entity. (I did not get my stitches checked ONCE at the hospital and in fact tore some out sitting cross-legged and healed weird. I’m still p*ssed at my doctor.)

  11. Hi all, I’m looking for some advice on extending maternity leave. My company offers 18 weeks paid leave and allows you to take up to six months (with everything after 18 weeks unpaid). I started my leave in September and at the time expected (and told my group) that I would only be taking 18 weeks. Now, about eight weeks in, it’s looking like I might want to go ahead and take the full six months. I know I should let people know sooner rather than later, but how should I approach this? Reach out to HR, or directly to the partners I work for? Provide a reason other than “turns out this new guy is really cute and I’d like to stay home longer”? I don’t want to come off as flaky for changing my mind but really, pre-baby 18 weeks sounded like a lot. And it just doesn’t anymore.

    Thank you for any thoughts/advice!

    • Anonymous says:

      I’d probably do both. I don’t think you need to give a reason.

    • I’d do both. But I think you could wait until the 12-week mark. I had different feelings at 12 weeks than I did at 8, and I know others here have said the same thing. That’s not to say you will change your mind, but you might, and 6 weeks in advance is plenty of time to say you’d like to extend your leave.

      • avocado says:

        +1 on waiting to declare your intentions. I had planned a one-year leave, and at around 10 or 12 weeks I’d had enough and was ready to go back (which I did when a day care spot opened up at something like 18 weeks). I don’t think I was quite there at 8 weeks.

  12. Parent of the Year says:

    Apparently, today was a half day.

    I found this out when I got a call from the school district that nobody was there to pick kiddo up off the bus. We’re switching afterschool programs and this is kind of a gap week, but h0ly cow. Husband was WFH so it shouldn’t have been a big deal… except that the time when the bus went to drop her off was literally exactly when he had run out to do an errand.

    The school was great – acted like it was NBD and just brought kid back to the elementary school where husband retrieved her.

    Please reassure me I’m not the only one this has happened to… right?

    • Anonymous says:

      My mom’s work schedule changed once and she literally just forgot to pick me up from elementary school. I still think she was and is the best mom ever, so I think you are okay. Yikes, though — sorry that happened!

    • avocado says:

      Taking kids back to school is standard practice in our district when no one’s there to meet them at the bus, and I have heard that it does happen on occasion. You are not the only one.

      And thank you for reminding me to call the after-school program about the half-day we are having tomorrow!

    • Our school district tells us to remember that *multiple* missed pick ups may need to be “addressed”. So sounds like the odd missed pick-up is a Thing That Happens.

    • CPA Lady says:

      There was a half day when my mom didn’t realize one time. The bus dropped me off and drove away. I went up the driveway and the house was locked. My dad was at work. My mom was in town (45 minutes away) running errands. I was 6 and had no way to contact anyone. I sat in the yard for hours waiting for my mom to get home. I survived and lived to tell the tale. It felt like a fun little adventure to be unsupervised for that long.

    • ElisaR says:

      You’re not the only one! In first grade I was supposed to “go home for lunch”. I walked out of school to meet my mom and didn’t see her so I just kept walking until I got home (clearly this wouldn’t happen today). When I got home, the door was locked and my mom wasn’t home because she forgot…. I went a trusted neighbor’s house and lived to tell about it!

    • Spiprograph says:

      Maybe this is a stupid question, but is it mandatory to pick kids up at the bus stop everywhere? Has it always been so? I can’t imagine a kid going back to school instead of to his house just because there was no parent there as an escort! My oldest starts kindergarten next year, but I have noticed lots of parents hanging out at bus stops in my neighborhood and thought they were just clingy.

      I’m almost certain my mom never met me at the bus stop (which, granted, was at the end of my driveway) except maaaaaybe the first week of school. I don’t think my neighbors who got off at the same stop were met by their parents either. We all just got off the bus and ran to our respective house. But this was in the freewheeling late 80s/early 90s, of course…

  13. Re nannies says:

    Can’t reply on my phone.
    We give a week in summer that we try to plan for mutual vacations (although this year, our first with a nanny, we took two weeks back to back and paid her for both), the week between Christmas and NY, and five personal/sick days. we give about half the federal holidays outside of Christmas/NY; if my office is open, we have her work, and I don’t get MLK, Presidents, Vets or Columbus Day.

  14. Does anyone else feel like it just never ends? That getting a full week of work, uninterrupted is completely elusive? I figured since it was the school year and we have preschool plus an au pair, we’d be rolling in the childcare. Haa! October was a s—storm. Partly just converging things — au pair vacation, husband on lots of travel, MIL sick and so not available for back-up. But this week I’ve had one kid out sick for three days (and missing the autism eval appointment it took SEVEN months to get, as the last step in a two year process; we’re now on for first week of March), then my other one has been fighting a nasty cold but did get to school today, only to be stung by a yellowjacket and sent home. My amazing au pair cut short her morning off to pick him up and schlep him to the CVS for treatment, but I was counting on her working late this evening so I could catch up on the pile of stuff I haven’t gotten to. Nope! Now I’ll have to be home close to normal time, after taking half the morning trading texts about yellowjacket stings. Did I mention the dog was throwing up red crayons all over the carpet all day Sunday and Monday? Oh, must have missed that one.

    • Oh, man. I was doing some dishes before work this morning and reflecting that it seems like the balance in our life is very delicate. If one thing in our routine changes, there’s a ripple effect, and all of a sudden, it’s a s–storm. (Right now, we’re in a s–storm phase.) I can’t imagine what it’s like with more people to take care of and more moving parts.

      • Pigpen's Mama says:

        +1

        Except we’re not in a s-storm case, but are one work trip or more than one day illness away from it. And winter, and the resulting germs, are coming…

    • anne-on says:

      Yup. We’ve had three UTIs between the dog and the cat (who of course took turns peeing on allllll the things), a combined 30 days of work trips for husband and I, various random kid crud sickness and an ongoing household renovation since late August. Plus it’s my busy season at work, and ditto for my husband. I am DYING for a vacation. The best I’m likely to get is the days I’m taking off to prep for Thanksgiving (which we host) and Xmas shopping. At this point just a trip to the mall solo sounds luxurious!

    • octagon says:

      It’s not just you. I was lamenting this morning that I can’t remember the last time I had a full week in the office, without work travel, sick kid or other personal appointment/crisis. It’s been at least six months, maybe more.

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