I completely forgot about belts during the past year and a half. Now, I remember why they’re one of my favorite accessories — even the simplest one can completely transform or complete
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And — here are some of our latest threadjacks of interest – working mom questions asked by the commenters!
- If you’re a working parent of an infant with low sleep needs, how do you function at work when you’re in the throes of baby’s sleep regression?
- Should I cut my childcare down to 12 hours a month if I work from home?
- Will my baby have speech delays if we raise her bilingual?
- Has anyone given birth in a teaching hospital?
- My child eats everything, and my friends’ kids do not – how should I handle? In general, what is the best way to handle when your child has some skill/ability and your friend’s child doesn’t have that skill/ability?
- ADHD moms, give me your tips to help with things like behavior in the classroom, attention to detail, etc?
- I think I suffer from mom rage…
- My husband and kids are gone this weekend – how should I enjoy my free time?
- I’m struggling to be compassionate with a SAHM friend who complains she doesn’t have enough hours of childcare.
- If you exclusively formula fed, what tips do you have for in the hospital and coming home?
- Could I take my 4-yo and 8-yo on a 7-8 day trip to Paris, Lyon, and Madrid?
We have an upcoming 9 hour drive with the 1yo. I think I have everything prepped as much as possible for in-car entertainment for kid but am looking for some podcasts for me and DH. It doesn’t need to be kid friendly as long as there isn’t a ton of violence, cussing, etc. In the past, we’ve enjoyed stuff you missed in history class and armchair expert.
Related to kid- is there a show like Cocomelon but that doesn’t make you want to gouge your eyes and ears out? Kid is definitely interested in it, but I cannot stomach it for more than 15 minutes.
I kind of like the Coilbook videos on YT, if the kid in question is interested in trucks.
I would recommend the new Sharon Says So podcast!
Sharon says so just released a history/ government podcast that is kid safe! She’s a former government teacher from Minnesota who does a lot of things you missed in history class, dispelling misinformation about the government, etc.
Gimlet put out a series called The Habitat a few years ago (?) that was about a Mars simulation mission and it was so interesting! My husband and I binged it on a road trip
A different feel, but Nice White Parents was well-done and thought provoking
How do you make part time or flex time work as a transactional attorney (with lots of deal work)? Are you able to sign off at xyz time and come back after bedtime? Knowing we have grandparent backup care ready for those really crazy deals, would I be able to make this work? (And if so, any suggestions on percentage I should ask for? I have a firm that is very flexible on stuff like this) I have two little ones and ideally we’d like to send them to a preschool ending at 3.
You need childcare past 3 unless you’re going to be working very part time.
This is so firm, partner, and client specific that it’s hard to give advice. Are there any others who’ve gone part-time in your practice group who can tell you how it works for them? At my old firm, we had one counsel who made this sort of schedule work for her by focusing on a very niche aspect of deals (a regulatory piece that most deals need but that can be easily broken off with its own timeline). Others who tried to go part-time for family reasons just ended up working as much as before but with shifted hours and regretted taking a pay cut.
You can’t make ending your day at 3 work. This is a set up where after 3 months you’re a stay at home mom
Is this why they say it’s not really possible to go part-time?
Part time in a law firm is more than 40 hours per week instead of whatever crazy hours you’re working now. Whether or not you can actually successfully cut back and limit your hours is a different question, but you need normal 9-5 childcare even on a part time schedule.
Boston Legal Eagle says
Even if it were possible to split your day to 8-3 and then after bedtime to whenever (and I doubt it would be in a law firm if a deal is hot, even in house we have deadlines that makes certain days longer), I think you will be very very tired working that much! Taking care of your little kids from 3-7:30 when they go to bed, and then having to log on and finish many hours of work would just leave me exhausted.
I think what you can try is a reduced hour schedule, with childcare coverage until 6 or so, to cover you for the busy days, and then for the slow days, you can spend more time with your kids. Having a hard stop at 3 every day is going to be too stressful I think.
+1 Lockdown convinced me I never want to be trying to work without childcare on a routine basis. On an occasional emergency basis, sure, especially if you have grandparents for backup. But having to log back on every evening after the kids are in bed feels like it’s defeating the entire purpose of going part-time. Get full-time childcare and then when you have a light week, pick them up early one or two days and do something special together. I do that (and I’m not officially part time).
I sometimes do projects with Europe. This puts me on a schedule where I start early (4 or 5 AM) and end by early afternoon. If you could find a regular source of European work, this might be possible.
I think that this is possible for my permanent clerk friends (most days), ALJ friends, and government regulatory friends (tax, banking things), where there is a standard workday, weekends, and vacations. The other attorneys I know are more like ERISA people where if you do it all Monday or some spills to Tuesday, it’s NBD.
I am transactional and technically FT b/c while I often do less than FT work, sometimes I do a bit more and it averages out to be a bit low (so I’m at the bottom of the scale and not a rock star). I’d love 50%, but I know that that’s never really going to happen (and when it does, it will be weeks of 0, 0, 0, 80+ billables). It’s like working in real estate — you do the work when the work needs to be done, not when you want to do it :(
This doesn’t strike me as possible. I think you’d at least need a mother’s helper from 3-6pm everyday so that you could be available if needed. Also how would you do pickup? Is preschool close enough that a mother’s helper could do pickup? In terms of percentage, I think you’d need to be around 60% if your firm will go that low. I have a couple regulatory colleagues at 60% and they still have 9-6pm childcare, but they have flexibility when it is slow you can just play with your kids and not worry about hours and do things like take a random Friday off or enjoy school vacations with your kids.
This may be nutty, but could you live/work in separate time zones? I agree that 3pm in the time zone you work is not realistic. Perhaps working 3-4 days/week?
But if you live on the west coast and work east coast deals/clients, or live east coast and work europe it could be doable.
I agree with this. I work from the west coast for an east coast-based company, and *generally* can end my day by 3ish, when my daughter’s school day ends. However, even in-house, my day doesn’t always end right at 3, I often have work to catch up on in the late afternoon/evening, AND my daughter is almost 8 so she can entertain herself if needed while I do a bit of work. I leave my younger one in daycare until 5ish so that I can work a full day. I also start working at ~6, and I’m tired all the time, haha.
I do this as a transactional lawyer (80% at a big law firm) and I love it! However, I don’t end my day at a certain time or have a specific day off each week. It’s just that I work on fewer deals overall and so don’t end up with as many late, late nights and weekend work. I have a lot less stress about making hours and getting a bonus. Also, I still work more hours than my husband and many of my friends who have non-legal full time jobs.
I would absolutely not feel comfortable having preschool that ends at 3 as my only childcare unless the grandparents are on board with watching your kids every weekday until at least 5:30/6 (or whenever your husband is done working). If you really want to send them to that preschool, I’d find a nanny or at least a college student who could be mother’s helper to fill in those last couple of hours each day.
I know a transactional attorney that works for a midlaw firm with a 9-3 fixed schedule. She’s not doing the traditional attorney work but somewhere between attorney and paralegal, but she’s still getting paid six figures after many years in traditional biglaw and gets great healthcare coverage, so it’s working great for her family.
I work 9-2 after working many years in “big finance” and it works great as well at my now small finance firm. They are very respectful of my hours and I think the key here is having a firm that’s willing to work with you. I certainly respond to emails after 2 pm and sometimes take phone calls if we’re in crunch time, but it’s rare and my firm gives me zero guilt about not making calls/responding to emails/taking off many many days when my child is sick or otherwise has anything going on. I have a lot less pressure to be “on” in the ways I felt when I was full-time and while my role is intellectually engaging, I’m not the main point person running deals, which works great for me to diminish all that stress. My kids only go to preschool till 2:30 and we have grandparent help on the odd times I need the extra coverage beyond 3, but it’s incredibly rare. I also work from home mostly now after covid, but will go in 2x week starting after Labor Day.
i’d say if you find the right firm that understands your schedule and desires and wants to make it work, I’d 100% give it a try. It was either stay at home or try this and I’m so glad I tried part-time before quitting.
I think you could make this work at 60%, but prepared to call in grandparent support. I would personally hire a part time nanny and try for 80% and leave 5-6.
Is this plan because you have a specific preschool you would like your children to attend? If not, why not look into daycares that have a preschool component. I was part time in a litigation position for some time. I tried both working reduced hours and working four days a week. For my practice, four days a week worked better. I paid for full time daycare to allow me the flexibility my job required.
Poop question says
For anyone who’s used Miralax for an extended time with their kid, can you share your experience? We’ve been using it for close to a year and every time I try to taper off (while ensuring that plenty of fruit and water are being consumed), we go back to owie poops once the dose gets to a certain point. Our ped (who I usually love) has basically said eh, it takes a long time (this is via the nursing line), but a year feels like an excessively long time and it feels frustrating that we keep getting stalled out regardless of diet.
This seems like time for an in person follow up with the doctor since you aren’t satisfied with the nurse line.
+1. And I would do some internet research and come prepared with specific different options (e.g. X-rays to diagnose fecal impaction, switching to suppositories instead, diet suggestions) to get your doctor’s input on them. Maybe it’s just my nice-but-always-overwhelmed pediatricians, but I find that they are better at responding to specific questions than they are coming up with options.
We use fiber gummies and they help.
Have you changed your kid’s diet at all? My kids took it for stomach aches due to being backed up (the vowel movements themselves were normal, just the system was slow to process). We did a major diet overhaul cutting cheeses and breads and tripling fruits and veggies and other high fiber foods and being mindful to drink more water.
One of my kids still has lingering belly aches due to certain cheeses (and not ones with high lactose!) but overall is much improved.
We are also having this issue so following with interest! We’re at almost a year as well- have tried to taper off several times and every time have to ramp back up dosage. Our doctor has said once we get to the year point (at the 3 year old check-up), we’ll talk about other options. She’s also indicated she’s not concerned about the length of time and some kids colons just need “training” that miralax can help provide. But like you I am also not thrilled this is continuing for so long. Our kid actually seemed fine with going every three days or so when we would ramp down, but we/our ped wanted to see movement more often.
You might find it useful to check if anything they eat is unexpectedly fortified with iron. Cheerios is a big culprit, for example.
As an adult with GI issues, my doctors view Miralax as a great short-term quick fix, but not something to use long term (especially since I already have to worry about nutrient absorption). I’m always surprised at how much pediatricians use it compared to the advice I’ve been given as an adult patient.
I’ve also had bad experiences with primary care vs. specialist care. I personally needed to moderate dairy fat and make sure I was getting enough dietary magnesium (not laxative magnesium, but the kind that absorbs and helps smooth muscle function) and choline. And when I saw an actual gastroenterologist for actual gastroenterological testing, I was advised to lower fiber in my diet, which is the opposite of the “rule of thumb” advice my primary care provider had given.
We used it for about 6 weeks this winter to get everything back to “normal”. During this entire period kiddo ate tons of fruit / in general had what I thought was a decent diet (and ped agreed).
To get off of it:
– kiddo (approaching 4) goes poop after dinner EVERY day. It tooks us a while to get there but we do this like clockwork now
– dried fruit (on top of same amount of fruit and veggies as before) EVERY day. (dates / raisins / craisins etc). If I skip a few days…. he gets backed up again.
– in general being “careful” with his diet…. limit granola bars and processed foods to the extent practical etc. (I feel terrible saying that I am trying to keep a toddler low carb… but that is kind of the philosophy…for example: garlic bread is very limited at dinner until he has gotten through all veg. I know that this is not perfect from a “let kid decided what they eat” perspective – but it works for us.)
Can anyone who’s back to in-person court (state general jurisdiction trial court or state appellate court, any state) comment on whether and how female attorney attire has changed since everything shut down last March? I am presenting at a judicial conference next week and am not sure what to wear. My current options are black or gray sheath dress with black or gray jardigan or collarless blazer, or bright blue MMLF fit-and-flare dress with collarless white linen blazer. For shoes I have block-heel pointed-toe pumps in tan suede, tan smooth leather, or black smooth leather. I feel like the Interwebs are moving away from sheath dresses to shift dresses, but those are not terribly flattering on me and I don’t think there is time to order something and have it tailored. The blue dress is more memorable but the fit-and-flare seems more casual and younger. The goal is to look like a put-together, powerful, stylish boss lady. Thoughts?
Wear whatever you like most on you. All of that is appropriate and judicial conferences are not about cutting edge fashion.
I know that judicial conferences are not about cutting edge fashion. I need to make an impression on some senior management from my org who are also attending.
My advice stands.
Is senior mgmt men or women? I feel like women would see a blue dress white blazer and think “Well done!” Men will see it and think you’re less serious than someone dressed in black. It’s total bs and really unfair, but that’s been my experience. YMMV but for a first impression I’d go conservative. I live in a blue city in a red state in the south. This probably doesn’t apply on the east coast; I think fashion norms are different there.
I do not think court fashion has changed. I think the reason you are seeing more shift dresses is they are more forgiving of the Covid-19 than a sheath dress. Everyone in my office is still wearing the same clothes they were pre-pandemic to court. (In-office has definitely gotten more casual, however.)
Around the office it’s all jeans all the time, but to court it’s the same suits we wore pre-pandemic.
No Face says
Wear one of the sheath dresses with the collarless blazer. I have not seen court attire change one iota because of the pandemic.
I have a Kid Mystery and I’m wondering if any of you have experienced something similar or have ideas. My husband and I have both noticed that our kids (5 and 3) get along with each other *significantly* better when there is just one parent watching them as opposed to both of us. When all four of us are together they devolve into bickering/picking on each other really quickly, but when they’re with just me or just him, they largely keep it together. It’s bizarre and annoying, since in an ideal world both of us prefer to parent together. Usually I feel like I’m pretty good at decoding my kids’ weird socio-emotional tics, but this one has me stumped. Maybe they are trying to get our attention because we are talking to each other and not to them? But on the other hand when I was parenting on my own last night, they happily played together for an hour without me while I deep-cleaned the kitchen.
I have an only child but she’s definitely on good behavior when one of us is solo parenting, so maybe it’s just that? I think you’re right that kids don’t like adults talking to each other – that definitely sets my daughter off when all 3 of us are together.
I have definitely noticed the same thing. Our only child is more cooperative when only one parent (either one) is around.
It’s 100% a bid for attention.
So Anon says
Could it be a time of day thing? I’m a single parent with two kids, so I can’t comment on two parents together. However, there are definitely times of day where they are more willing to play together (after breakfast and after dinner). There is also a fine line where they are having a great time until one kid takes it too far, generally rough housing, and then someone gets hit, kicked, etc.
No advice, but I agree that it’s a bid for attention. Mine will be delightful at the dinner table if there’s only one parent, but a disaster if we’re both there and having a conversation without them. Or this weekend they played happily inside for over an hour while we were doing yardwork and magically solved all their own conflicts, but if there was a parent around they definitely would have insisted they needed parent intervention for problems.
Yes! Maybe it’s related to something else I’ve noticed, where one parent/two kids is easier than two parents/three kids. I just figured two kids was inherently easier than three regardless of number of parents. But I like the attention theory.
Why won’t my 3 year old poop on the potty? Helppppp.
We’ve done: sticker charts, poop = toy/treat, sit on the potty with a tablet for legit 45 mins, praise, shame, everything in between, peer pressure from similarly aged cousin.
She starts preschool in September 2 days/week and is supposed to be trained. I’m starting to get very anxious about this. Words of wisdom? She’s successfully done it a handful of times but it’s like 1x/week if that. We’ve seen no incremental progress in the last 60 days.
Does she poop in her underwear or is it while wearing a pull-up for nap/bedtime? It might be that she just doesn’t poop at school, depending on how part-time it is.
This might post twice – sorry!
It’s in her undies pretty consistently and almost exclusively when we’re at home vs out and about. Maybe only one time while she’s sleeping. She doesn’t have any confusion with #1 in pull up versus undies, thank god. When she does go #2, she’s very reluctant to have us change her and almost always denies that she did it/needs cleaning up. Maybe we need to use miralax to help coax it — is that a thing? We’re at a loss.
School is very part time – just 2x/week for 3 hours. Maybe we can just put her in a pull up for those hours and hope for the best.
Oh no, is she waiting for a nighttime diaper to go? Poor thing, sounds super uncomfortable. Is there anything she’ll eat to ease things up?
My kids always pooped after a pouch of prunes and a cup of water. You could try adding that to her breakfast to see if you can encourage daytime pooping attempts.
Okay, here is my theory! (I hated the militant one-size-fits-all judgment of Oh Crap!, so ymmv.) I suspect that potty training consists of 1) observing physical signs that the kid has to poop, 2) teaching them to recognize that physical sensation, then 3) training/ encouraging them to use the toilet in response.
Some kids have problems with step 2, which is connecting the sensation with the fact that pee or poop are going to come out of your body — I think that’s a physical readiness, wait until they’re ready kind of issue. Other kids have problems with step 3 and that may be physical (fear of pooping sensation) or psychological (don’t want to stop playing, they want bodily autonomy, they’re fine getting it out of their body but just dgaf whether it’s on the toilet or on your carpet…) so the solution you choose has to respond to your specific kid.
OP, what is your sense of your kid’s challenge? Is it more ‘I don’t realize I’m pooping until it comes out’ or ‘I’m playing and won’t stop to poop’? And what is your sense of her personality? My second kid just plain old would not respond to incentives or bribes, for instance – fortunately pooping was not a particular power struggle for her.
She has a very specific set of signals before she poops. She won’t sit still, runs around, frankly is a little defiant. And then she hides and poops. When we see her taking these actions we immediately start talking about pooping on the potty, potential rewards for doing it and keep a tight eye on her. But then after a while she just stops or we back off… and then boom. In a split second she’s done it and had an accident.
It used to be around dinner time, and then it was always in the morning and now it doesn’t seem to have a firm timeline so we can’t even anticipate it. We have a very supportive nanny also helping us try to figure this out.
‘Hides and poops’ sounds like she does realize she needs to go, but for whatever reason she doesn’t want to use the potty. Have you done a no-diaper/ pantsless weekend? It sounds like the no-pressure ‘poop goes in the potty, please’ approach outlined below, with a pantsless few days, could work for her.
We did and we pee trained her in like… hours. Maybe we need to revisit for poop.
I have NO idea if this will work for other people but it worked for us so I will share just in case, as I was also in these desperate straits for awhile.
We tried everything that you did, but the only thing that finally worked was backing completely off. Basically, acting like we did not care at all and were supremely confident in her. We told her periodically “we trust you to go to the potty when you feel a poop coming,” and then did nothing. Didn’t encourage her, didn’t ask her if she had to go, didn’t hover, didn’t incentivize. Of course there were accidents (including on our couch and on our bed, ew), but we would say “next time, poop goes in the potty” and clean up, then continue on as if nothing happened. It took about a week and then suddenly she just started going in the Baby Bjorn potty as if it was NBD. I will also say it was REALLY DIFFICULT to act like I did not care, and went against all of my instincts because obviously I DID care, very much.
My hypothesis: she is in general a very sensitive person who very much picks up on other people’s emotions. She was sensing our anxiety/desperation and then it was causing HER to get anxious, and then creating a bad spiral. She just needed to come to it on her own, with no pressure.
Mary Moo Cow says
This worked for us, too, after all else failed. And for me, too, it was so so so hard to pretend I didn’t care. But then one day she just started doing it, and was so proud of herself that it gave her momentum.
Yep. Same here. And yes, the hardest thing ever to pretend not to care.
Late but helpful? says
I’m so late to this but posting in case OP sees–this really resonates with me. OP’s description of the various things they’ve tried (esp. including peer pressure), plus the clear signs/accident/denial cycle was really evocative for me of my own stress/anxiety process. I think this kid feels a lot of pressure, embarrassment, etc. and the whole thing will improve when she feels less scrutiny and pressure. I’ll also say that she knows what’s going on now, so encouragement is likely to feel like pressure–the advice to 100% drop it is good.
I have 3 girls and they all struggled differently with potty retaining. My youngest was the one that wouldn’t poop in the toilet. We tried everything.
And then one day she just…did.
I have no magic secret; she literally just decided she didn’t want underwear full of poop anymore and managed to start getting to the bathroom in time. She was maybe 3 and 3 months? But she’d been potty trained for pee since like 2.5. It was easily a 6 month struggle.
Good luck, and know that she won’t poop herself in high school.
Both of my kids spent a full summer peeing in the potty but pooping in their underpants, like, every single day. Nothing worked, until we gave up, and then something clicked. I have no idea what (but highly recommend sending a full change of clothes with wet bag to preschool every day) but try not to get too frustrated.
My husband said that his mom said that he did the same thing, but was clearly the “I don’t want to stop playing” thing.
3 hrs 2* per week is NOT that high a probability that she will poop at school. Try to get her regularly pooping outside school times.
My daughter was terrified of going in the toilet. She knew she had to go and wouldn’t go in her underwear, but would only go in a diaper. We went along with it at first becuase she was still learning, we didn’t want to jeoparize potty training on the whole, and we didn’t want her to get backed up and have to deal with that. It went that way for way too long. Finally, at one point we just said no diapers. She had an uncomfortable few days, but eventually couldn’t hold it in any longer and didn’t want to have an accident, so she went in the potty – crying and holding our hands the whole time. We had her try on the little training potty first, but transitioned to the regular toilet after her first successful bowel movement on the little one. Of course after that one time, she was like “that’s no big deal, whatever” and all has been fine since then.
I’d say you need to determine whether she doesn’t realize she needs to go versus whether she does but doesn’t want to. Your response will be different. If you can tell that she needs to go, I’d just put her on the toilet for a while.
How do you think having kids affected your marriage? We are due in a few months and I am worried about what it is going to mean for our marriage. A lot of people I know seem a lot less happy as a couple after their first baby.
There is absolutely a transition period post-baby. On the other side of the transition you either end up in a position where things are balanced and good, or where one of the two parents are unhappy to a greater or lesser degree.
The balance can shift again with other life events, but don’t judge happiness by a transition period. Those are always hard.
1. The first year can just be rough.
2. I know plenty of happy parents and plenty of couples who split up after kids (but not really b/c of kids — kids magnify problems like one spouse is selfish AF and refuses to adult and wants to sleep in vs get up to change a diaper and feed a hungry kid). Parents of special needs kids usually split early or are devoted loving lifers. I think the kid is a red herring when the relationship doesn’t work out.
3. Think of various victory lines: kid goes to K, kid goes to sleep-away camp. These are really special and you will get there as a team.
So Anon says
I fall into the second camp of point 2. I am a happily divorced, if exhausted, single parent. The ex and I divorced when our kids were in K and 2nd grade. Our children did not bring the end of our marriage, but instead showed my ex’s true colors. Looking back now, I can see that he was selfish, controlling and abusive wayyy before we had kids. It wasn’t until my youngest was in K that I had enough bandwidth, and the ex had another meltdown, that I could look around and see how bad I was being treated. Our family revolved around keeping the peace for my ex, and the kids nor I could actually be who we were. Now that their dad and I are divorced, my autistic son is thriving, my daughter is her spirited and bigger than life self, and I am kicking a$$ at work and at home.
For us, pretty much all unhappiness has been tied to sleep issues. My husband and I are both people who need a full 8 hours to be functional, so the first 8 months or so with our baby were rough. But once our kid started sleeping through the night it got so much better. It is on my con list for having another one though — I’m not sure whether I want to go through that phase again.
+1, lack of sleep can make everything much harder. We sleep trained both kids at 9 weeks (with our pediatrician’s blessing) and it made a HUGE difference. For the next baby we’re planning on being strategic about this right from the start, and trading off nights in the guest room with the baby so that at least one parent is well-rested every morning.
Honestly the first two years were really hard, and we had a pretty equitable relationship before kids, and we were married for a long time before having kids (I think this really helped us). Echo the advice above not to judge a difficult period as if it will always be that way. It gets easier. Ask for what you need, advocate for yourself and your marriage. It’s a partnership. Don’t be afraid to go to therapy. We did, and things have gotten better. We’re not perfect, but so many of my friends are miserable and think therapy won’t help. Why not try it?
Boston Legal Eagle says
I think kids are a good test on how your relationship can handle challenging situations. And will show you whether you are a team or not. And may force you to confront your own assumptions about childrearing due to your own childhood experiences, gender norms, etc. Ideally, you’ll have lots of discussions about your collective goals and ideas as you go along, although it’s certainly hard in the moment when taking care of little ones!
For me personally, having kids has solidified my marriage and made me even more aware of how awesome of a person my husband is. We are a team in this and do our best to model a healthy relationship for our kids. I think a lot of people seem unhappier because there is much MUCH less time to do what you want, especially when the kids are young. And that’s hard. Especially if one parent takes on more of the childcare work while the other tries to live their pre-kid life. Which is why constant conversations about this are important. As is outside help so that you have time to reconnect as a couple every now and then. We’re lucky that my parents are willing and able to watch our kids for us, including during our once a year couples vacation.
Agree with this- I suspect a lot of unhappiness after kids is because one partner is not pulling their weight. And kids add a lot of weight to pull! I appreciate my husband more after having kids because it’s shown me what a great partner he is, even at 3AM when we’re both exhausted and trying to clean up pee on the floor or something.
Trust your partner to soothe, bathe, and feed the baby, and make sure duties are distributed equally, or as equally as possible. Despite the terrible title I thought How Not to Hate your Husband After Kids was really hysterical and interesting.
I agree with this perspective. We feel much more like a team now.
However, kids bring stressful situations. A small human screaming at you at 5am is stressful, no matter what. So it takes a lot for each parent to manage their own emotions, self-care, etc on top of relationships – with the children and other parent.
Agree with this. I do feel like having kids solidified us as a team. That doesn’t mean it was easy, but DH is very, very good at being aware of & communicating about his emotions and thought processes (he is a classic middle-child mediator…of 6 siblings!) and honestly I have learned a lot from watching him.
Also, more important than any one physical aspect or task (being the one to be pregnant, the labor of breastfeeding) is *constant* communication and adjustment to make sure you are on the same wavelength, whether it’s simply about the balance of household labor or more philosophical decisions about parenting. No one in the history of humanity has ever been able to read their spouse’s mind, and when you both are 100% responsible for the care, feeding, safety and growth of a small human being, you can’t assume anything – that communication is paramount.
Our marriage was great after the first kid but after the second it got really hard. After the third we’d sort of gotten resigned to a vaguely unsatisfying marriage. Once our youngest turned 2 though things got much, much better. Until, you know, the pandemic. Even that was much better.
It is really hard, no matter how much preparation you do. I had what seemed to be quite delayed PPA and at my son’s second birthday, was seriously questioning both my sanity and my marriage. I just felt so, so done, despite having a really great husband. I thought that if we split, I’d at least get every other week to myself. But honestly, I think it was a mix of intense exhaustion and post-weaning hormones. I finally went to the doctor, got anti-anxiety meds, and felt better about life literally within 24 hours. Which was largely because of the recognition that something wasn’t right and proactive steps to fix it.
Now as we approach my son’s 4th birthday, things are completely different. We made our way through a global pandemic with our marriage and sanity intact, and feel really confident in our ability to keep our marriage in a happy place.
I was told to not make any big life changes for a year post-baby, if you can help it. Even if you’re getting decent sleep long before the one-year mark, it’s just such a huge transition, with a lot of stresses. It will be hard. Obviously joyful as well! But hard.
Be prepared for your spouse to drive you nuts for a while. I think as a woman, your hormones kick in, and for a variety of reasons you can more easily come to terms with your new reality. (After all, it’s been quite real for you for nine months!) For men, it seems to be… a lot harder, for reasons I don’t fully understand. You’ll be the one recovering from childbirth, figuring out how to breastfeed, dealing with post-partum anxiety, etc etc, and yet your husband will be the one complaining. I say this as someone with a husband who aspires to share burdens equally.
Last thing I’d say is that your relationship will not be the same, and you should find a way to move on from that. It’s easy to feel like you’ve lost something, because you have indeed lost what your marriage was before. Just as you’ve made a new human, you need to forge a new version of your marriage.
Mary Moo Cow says
Kids affected my marriage positively and negatively, but ultimately positively. I think that’s what a lot of people have already said: after the initial hormone based bump, babies knock your marriage for a loop. And then toddlers, and preschoolers, and elementary kids, and I imagine, middle school and high schools knock your marriage for a loop. But with a good foundation, you should hopefully have the perspective that this is a phase and it will get better with time and attention.
Are you asking because you have concrete concerns or could name things that you don’t like about your marriage that you suspect a child will magnify? If you are, then maybe it is time to tackle those.
Overall, I don’t think my marriage is less happy than it was before kids. How we spend our time is a little different — we travel less, we go out a less (pandemic aside) — but we’re still best friends and on the same team. We joke that it’s us vs the kids, and “winning” is maintaining our sanity. So far we’re still ahead.
The first year is tough. First year after each new baby is tough, if you have more than one. Zero kids to one kid is a HUGE transition. The key is to not let it change who you fundamentally are, but to expand who you fundamentally are to include being a parent. You still have to make time for yourself, and make time for your spouse, and it takes a lot more effort to do that with a baby than without. For me, though, that investment in mental health is what makes everything else work. Super trite, but you can’t be happy in your marriage if you aren’t happy with yourself. At the same time, you have to recognize that you can’t maintain everything you did pre-baby. There aren’t enough hours in the day. Prioritize and know that it’s a season. Not being able to do something right now doesn’t mean you’ll never do it again. My youngest is almost 5 and I feel like I have all my marriage/hobbies/friends/work mojo back… I probably would have felt that sooner without covid.
Boston Legal Eagle says
I too like the mentality of “us v. the kids” – I love my children, but my spouse is my partner in this. This thinking can help too when kids tantrum, complain and otherwise test boundaries. The goal is to make sure you and partner are on the same wavelength and it’s your decisions that ultimately rule the house, not the kids’ preference (you two are the benevolent leaders).
A former coworker with older teenagers once relayed something he told his kids that I thought was very wise: “You’re going to grow up and move out of my house. I’ll always love you, but if you don’t like me, that’s ok. Your mom and I are planning to live together until we die, so I’m always on her team first.”
This is our dynamic as well. Every night before we go to bed we share with each other something one of the kids did that the other parent may not have seen/noticed, either positive or negative or just bizarre (“Is he doing that thing where he pinches your nose to you too? What is up with that!!”). It very much is like, wow, who are these tiny people that we created and what do we do with them.
I was in your shoes three months ago and signed us up for a Gottman Bringing Home Baby class, which focuses on preserving your relationship through the transition to parenthood. It was wonderful and reminded me how much I love my partner. I feel so much more confident now that while, yes, this will be hard, we have the tools and support to get through it.
My son is about to turn 1 and for us 6-12m has actually been harder than 0-6m on our relationship.
When my son was tiny, my husband was an ace at diapers and bottles and snuggles. 6-12m has required a lot more attention and playing and keeping him out of things which is way more emotionally exhausting. Quite literally the other day I shouted about my husband about doing something useful… good times. Work has also been completely nuts the past 3-4 months for me and has exacerbated issues and my reaction to them.
my husband is now starting to understand how to “play” with our kid which is helpful. We have also been doing the 8 dates challenge on lucies list from the Gottmans and it has been enlightening. I can feel us pulling through the worst of it, but there was a stretch where I pondered what life as a single parent would be like.
I remember reading once that the most unhappy people are married people with kids, and the happiest people are married people without kids. I can see how that could be true. Yes, kids will change your marriage. Like another poster said, your marriage will not be the same and you two will need to find a way to move on from that. The first year of parenting will reveal who each of you really are. For me, it brought out the best version of me. For my husband, it brought out his worse. That was really hard for me to witness and come to terms with.
Read “How Not To Hate Your Husband After Kids.” There is a reason the book exists. There’s also a reason the author/publisher chose to name it that — I literally googled “why do i hate my husband …” and the book was the first autofill option that popped up.
There is so much good advice in the previous posts that I won’t repeat. Here’s what I’d add:
– Expect there to be more things to disagree about, from how you feed/care for baby to things like managing behavior when they’re older. Lack of sleep will magnify everything.
– I struggled with how much I was affected by pregnancy and birth. All the physical stuff was on me, obviously, and I felt some resentment about it. It’s hard to describe what I mean, other than I felt like I was more affected by everything (pregnancy, recovery, nursing, body changes, PPD), whereas DH was able to still feel like himself. It wasn’t his fault, of course, but I struggled with the disparity of his experience vs. my experience. It felt like he got to be himself PLUS a dad, and I was “only” a mom.
– For me, the sheer exhaustion of going back to work was a big trigger for PPD and PPA. I flat-out wasn’t ready, and DH fully didn’t get it. He still feels bad and guilty about this; it took several wake-up calls for him to realize I was on the struggle bus and not just complaining.
So yeah, those are a few more reasons why people seem less happy after kids. The thing to remember is that it’s a temporary phase, and your spouse is still your teammate. Prioritize your own mental health; don’t expect that anyone else will, even your spouse. Not because he’s a bad person or uncaring, but because he is having a different experience than you are.
This will not be a popular take, but I think refusing to BF would have greatly benefited my marriage. It necessarily makes the division of labor so much more unequal, especially at night, and it’s hard to break that pattern even after weaning. Pumping at work is stressful and exhausting. I also found the whole thing incredibly dehumanizing, which made me touched-out and resentful.
+1. Some people love it, and that’s awesome, but it can be such a source of stress. Don’t be afraid to switch to formula if you’ve had enough!
More Sleep Would Be Nice says
Yup. I know folks on this board have partners that did all the bottle/pump part prep and cleaning while they breastfed/pumped, but we could never get that division of labor right with DS #1, and I felt like it was all on me.
With DS #2, we have a lot more help, and I am starting the weaning process now (he is 7 months). I recently asked DH what he thought when he saw me constantly nursing, pumping, managing, and he was like “I think you’re a bad*ss”, which was a nice consolation :)
+1 I ended up switching to formula early on due to low supply, which was really hard at the time, but in retrospect, it has been so much better for us. When I was attempting to breastfeed, I was doing so much more work than my husband, which he really didn’t get and wasn’t able to share in. We’re able to split things much more evenly without breastfeeding.
+1 I had to switch and it was great for us. It also helped that trying to get my supply up got him super engaged in what was up and we made the decision to stop breastfeeding together (well, he was ready for me to stop first!).
I agree with you. I wouldn’t say I regret BFing, because I loved the closeness of it, but I do think it made things much, much harder on me and established some patterns in our parenting relationship that were hard to break.
Yep. Combo feeding was a huge help for us. Once my supply stabilized, it was glorious just to nope out of a feeding. I think it made weaning way easier too. A lot less guilt for me because it was mostly normal at that point.
I would amend this to exclusive breastfeeding, but otherwise I agree. I happily nursed for almost 2 years and never felt like it affected my marriage, but we combo fed so DH was able to do night feedings with an infant. And I quit pumping as soon as I discovered I hated it, because there was no pressure on me to be our child’s exclusive food source. Exclusive BFing and combo feeding (or BFing + supplementing if necessary) are worlds apart, at least based on what I observed from friends who pressured themselves to EBF.
Coach Laura says
I (not entirely, some bottles) BF both kids but agree that it really does tip the balance, especially when pumping and going back to work are added in. My feeling (which didn’t happen in my house, despite my trying) is that the non-BF partner should do ~90% of everything else to make up for the strain on the BF’ing body. Extra sleep, extra rest, extra pampering, extra downtime.
One of my high-powered friends had an awful time and her husband agreed to have #2 only if she promised not to BF. Type A and it was just too much for her to handle. She said that was key to keeping her sanity. He was also a SAHD for both kids and that worked well for them.
Also, I recommend that the non-birthing partner go on paternity/family leave when the birthing parent goes back to work. That removes a lot of the return-to-work stress off the one who has just given birth and lessens the morning drop-off/afternoon pickup stress until the mom is used to working and being a parent both.
I think of kids as something that shines a light on the good and improvement opportunities. I always wanted kids, DH was on the fence. We agreed to have one, and then re-assess for more. After DS #1 was born, I had PPA and PPD (undiagnosed) started internalizing everything and just trying to do everything I could on my own so not to “add stress” to his plate. From that, came resentment on my end, that ended up manifesting in non-productive ways. This made DH resentful as well. We were in this pattern for a long time, and I felt like I had to walk on eggshells with him. Then, the sh*t hit the fan (hello, 2020), and we got therapy, and I got on a SSRI.
It’s taken a long time (including the birth of DS #2), but now I can say we are best friends, work as a team, and can talk honestly in a way we couldn’t before. If it weren’t for me getting unexpectedly pregnant with DS #2, I don’t think we would have faced these issues. I just wish we had more time and energy for gardening, but we have a 3.5 year old, a 7 month old, and two very demanding jobs…it’s just a season where we’re heads down on other things.
I think generally (and social media does not help) it’s great that we think about our actual happiness, but it’s hard not to compare. “Oh X and Y seem so much happier with (or without) kids.” Also, whatever reality you are in…that’s it. You have no idea if the alternative would be any better/if you’d be happier because it’s a moot point.
CPA Lady says
It was a crucible. It forced us to deal with some issues. It forced us to learn to communicate our needs better. It forced me to grow up and start directly asking for what I needed rather than waiting around for my husband to read my mind, and then seething when he didn’t. Because we worked through these issues, I am the happiest in my marriage I have ever been. Kiddo is almost 7 and we’ve been married for 14 years.
A few pieces of unsolicited advice:
– feeding w both formula and breast milk from nearly the beginning was great to get us on equal footing, and allowed me to rest.
– You can’t control your kid’s personality, sleep needs, etc. and that is harder to accept and more stressful for some people than others.
– consider leaving your husband alone with the baby for a weekend with instructions of not to call unless there is an emergency. I did this when my kid was ~6 months old and it helped my husband so much in gaining confidence in his ability as a parent, which made my life easier.
– As your child grows there will be shifts in routines. This happens frequently in the first few years. Proactively re-negotiate each one. Or at least bring it up the INSTANT you start to feel angry about something. Not once it’s festered and you’re boiling with righteous indignation. Clear and frequent communication will keep resentment at bay.
– what works for some people doesn’t have to work for you. Hobbies, vacations, amounts of alone time, solo parenting vs team parenting, etc. You and your spouse get to decide what works for you. My husband and I switch off parenting duties a lot and spend a lot of time on our own pursuits. It works for us. Other people prefer to parent with their spouse all the time. It doesn’t really matter what page you’re on, as long as it’s the same one.
Boston Legal Eagle says
To follow up on one of your points (all good advice!), I’d highly highly recommend your husband take part of his paternity leave when you go back to work. I think you’ll hear from a lot of us here how helpful that is in setting up a more equal parenting dynamic from the beginning. Nothing like learning how to take care of another human being than just being on your own and doing it.
+ a million to this
My husband took 10 weeks after I went back wi the each kid and it was GREAT for him as a parent and our relationship.
Agree with everyone else, this is really good for an equal parenting dynamic if you can do it. It was also a lot easier on me to separate “going back to work” from “dropping the baby off with an unfamiliar caregiver.” Both can be hard transitions and it was nice to take them one at a time.
+ a million
Having a child negatively affected my marriage, but not in the way I expected. Our transition to parenthood was smooth, although that was likely in no small part due to having a child who slept through the night very early and not suffering the bad sleep deprivation some others experience. We do not bicker or fight more than we do pre-kids, and our first year of parenthood was actually pretty great. We’re a great parenting team and both love being parents and it was nice discovering our new roles together. The thing is that we didn’t prioritize our marriage, and have basically lost our spousal connection and become co-parents and roommates. One thing I did not fully appreciate until I became a parent is that childless couples default to spending time together – when you’re not at work or out with your individual friends you’re pretty much always together – but couples with kids have to very intentionally carve out solo or couple time. The default is family time and if you don’t very deliberately plan to do a different activity, you will spend all your time as a family. I’ve been pretty good at carving out solo time (with my husband’s full support) but we have been terrible at doing anything as a couple without a child. In the beginning, it was a failure on both our parts due to the exhaustion of early parenthood but lately I feel like he is primarily responsible because as our child gets older and more fun to be around he does not want to do any date nights or kid-free travel. The pandemic is also probably a factor here too. We were just emerging from the thick of the “little kid” years (0-3) when the whole world went into lockdown and forced us into 24/7 family time. I think my husband is at the extreme end of the spectrum in terms of wanting to spend ALL our time as a family, but I do think it’s fairly common for one partner (more stereotypically, the wife) to lose herself in the kids and prioritize them above the marriage, so it’s something to be aware of.
In contrast to some above who say the first year is the hardest, for me it feels like our marriage gets worse each passing year, which is obviously not a great feeling. It’s normal to feel disconnected from your spouse and not have date nights when you have an infant; it’s not so normal when your only child is about to enter elementary school. But despite that background sadness, I’m actually not unhappy on a daily basis. We are a great family unit and I find a lot of joy in our family life, and have never seriously considered divorce. But I know our marriage is objectively not good and we, especially my husband, have made a choice to put our child above our relationship, which all the books and experts say don’t do. I wouldn’t be surprised if we separate when our child moves out of our home because it feels like we’re only connected to each other through our child. On the other hand, I think my parents had a similar dynamic and they seemed to reconnect and become much happier together one they were empty-nesters.
Sorry to be the negative nelly, but since you asked I thought I would answer truthfully. And maybe it makes me sound super naive but I really didn’t realize that marriages could crumble this way. I had this idea in my mind that either we’d be constantly at each others throats or we’d have a blissful marriage. I didn’t realize there was this big middle ground where I could love and respect and deeply appreciate him as an equal partner in parenting and running a household, but not feel connected as spouses anymore.
Thank you for posting. This is something I struggle with. Raising my kids is a part of who I am in that gives me purpose and meaning and it’s a part of my identity in the way being a wife is not.
This is an important perspective. You must intentionally carve out you + spouse time and reconnect about things other than the kids. The pandemic made this insanely hard. We didn’t go on a date for.. how long? Like 8 months or something? We had my parents watch our toddler while we ate takeout in a park.
We get a date night box subscription which is super corny but it does help. We have a show we are always watching together. We have started actually doing real dates at night now that we’re vaxxed. When we are really pressed we take the kids in the stroller, it allows us to connect and ensures neither of us are on our phone. So true that the coparents/roommates vibe can be really tough to break.
This is a really good point. Thank you for sharing, and I’m really sorry you are going through this.
We went through a really stressful year right before the pandemic – our second kid was just turning 1 and not sleeping through the night; DH was finishing a PhD, with all the attendant stresses; and financially we were just scraping by with just barely enough to pay for housing and childcare, and nothing left over for extra childcare or date nights. One way we coped was by taking time off on a weekday, with childcare, and doing something together that wasn’t about kids — getting a cheap burrito and bubble tea, or going for a hike, or playing a board game. But yes, agree that you have to be really intentional about reconnecting as a couple (on top of everything else! I acknowledge that it can feel like A Lot.)
If you can at all swing it have your partner take a month or more paternity leave solo when you go back to work. That one month is paying dividends in our marriage years later.
It threw our marriage for a loop with both kids, for sure. I never considered leaving my husband or anything, but could definitely get more irritated with him than ever before. 90% of this is hormones and sleep deprivation. We were SO much happier after DD started sleeping alone through the night. I will say…I’m not one who believes the purpose of my life is giddy happiness. Kids bring purpose and JOY and pride to our lives that was not present before. And my DH is the only person who feels the same way about my kids that I do. We’re in this together and it’s bonded us more (we were together 7 years before kids). Sometimes it’s hilarious trauma bonding though like when the toddler poops in the bath and it’s awful and the only thing you can do is laugh.
It made our marriage better, but I’ll also say that we have more traditional gender roles in our family. So I expected that I would take lead on the day to day work of childrearing. I definitely do more of that work than he does, and I always have, but I think maybe that since I knew that going in, it didn’t breed anger and resentment in the way that I think it does for a lot of couples. In contrast, he works a much more demanding job than I do and the burden of taking lead in that area of our communal life falls more on him.
He is a very committed family guy and when he’s not working, it’s all about the five of us. We have a lot of fun, and he’s a great partner, and while I was happy before kids I love this side of him so much and before kids I didn’t even know it existed.
I am studying for my psychology licensing exam and it includes a random section related to this, so I thought I would copy and paste if it’s useful: The research has found that, for most couples, the transition to parenthood is accompanied by a decline in relationship satisfaction and an increase in relationship conflict (e.g., Kuther, 2017). One factor that lessens the stress associated with the transition to parenthood is the availability of support from family members and friends. Another factor is the degree to which the parents share parenting responsibilities, with greater declines in relationship satisfaction (especially for women) being associated with greater disparities in responsibilities.
I would say for us (and this is with #2 because #1 was a lifetime ago and I chonestly cna’t remember!) Ieveyrthing is super consistent with the research. I was a lot less happy with our marriage than pre-#2 the first year because I was resentful on doing more and because we spent very little time together. rThe moment we fixed both issues (made a list and split everything fairly+ made it a priority to hang 1-2 hours each nights catching up and then watching a show etc) I became a lot happier (in fact, I think since the pandemic we have been the happiest we have ever been.. even happier than pre-kids). Just wanted to share my perspective! and what worked for us! My mom always said that she knows sooo many ffriends who got divorced the first 5 -7 years post #1 and she is convinced that if they waited out the tough years ithey ould have been just fine. I also think having a nanny added to our happiness too (again, like the research! having help is huge)
Re: splitting at 5-7 years post kid #1 (which I agree is super common), my theory is that couples who aren’t happy tough it out thinking that having little kids is the source of their problems and things will improve once kids are sleeping through the night/getting themselves dressed/going on sleepovers/[insert independence milestone of your choice], and when the youngest hits elementary school and becomes more independent they come up for air and realize it’s not about having little kids, they just don’t have a great marriage. Just my theory!
Paging the poster whose husband kept finding reasons to avoid childcare, including building you a piece of furniture in the garage as a gift.
I recall recommending “How Not To Hate Your Husband After Kids” to you. Any chance a you read it? Any updates? I just recommended it to the poster above wondering if her marriage will change after her baby is born. I’m sure she would love to hear from you.
Hi there, that was me! I have been swamped at work and haven’t had time for extra reading, but this book is certainly at the top of my list for when I do. Thank you for the recommendation and for sharing your experiences, it’s certainly nice to know I’m not the only person who is struggling with this new dynamic. One thing that has been helping lately is being intentional and clear in advance with how we’re dividing up our time on weekends. Planning certain activities to do together with the kiddo, and planning when we will each take the kiddo and give one another some time off. If husband wants to use his set aside time for garage hobbies or running, that’s fine, but no more assumptions that I will just be hanging with the kid all day so that he can go off and do whatever he wants.
Hi! I’m glad to hear things are doing better for you two, and that you found a way to get more of what you need in your relationship.
I live in the NE and was invited to a wedding in Missouri for a good friend (but not best friend) on Labor Day weekend. I am so torn on whether to attend, mainly because of covid and because my children are not vaccinated. I would go by myself, but still don’t want to bring anything back. My friend would 100% understand if I didn’t attend, but I have known her for a decade and would like to be there. I was planning to attend, but now hearing of more and more people who got covid even if vaccinated so second guessing.
I’m sorry, this is tough. Do you think you could still enjoy yourself if you went to the wedding wearing a really pretty formal mask? That would be my first choice, but it depends on whether the other guests are likely to give you a hard time and how much that would bother you, if so.
I would go, wear a mask, and get a rapid Covid test after I leave the airport on the way home. It’s not 100%, but it’s good enough for me. I also DGAF if other people want to give me a hard time for wearing a mask when I’m not requiring them to do so, though…
What part of Missouri? We just canceled a family vacation there because the specific area we were going to was a den of covid. Other parts, like St. Louis, didn’t look nearly as bad.
I wouldn’t go. Not because of Missouri specifically, I just wouldn’t go to a large wedding right now, especially if it wasn’t for a BFF. I know a lot of vaccinated people who got (mild) infections with Delta, and I don’t think we have enough data yet to say that vaccinated people with mild illness don’t transmit to others. I think it’s pretty clear that vaccinated people who are asymptomatic are very unlikely to transmit, but with Delta being a lot more likely to make vaccinated people mildly ill (some estimates are ~60% effectiveness against symptomatic illness vs 95% with Alpha), my family is all going to continue being pretty cautious until our kids can get vaccinated. It’s annoying but it’s hopefully only another 6-12 months. You’ll have to take a mask off to eat and drink, so that doesn’t seem to do much, particularly if the wedding is indoors.
Husband just came back from an outdoor wedding on the west coast where five vaccinated people (and counting! Some tests are still pending!) have tested positive for covid. He has thankfully tested negative, likely in part because he wore a mask for the riskier parts.
Important to note that the vaccines are working in a real sense, because all those five people were symptomatic or had mild symptoms. But i will tell you that because we, like you, have unvaccinated children in our household, we will not be attending any further large gatherings for the foreseeable future. The delta variant is very real.
This is the thing that confuses me about Delta. The studies say it’s 80% effective, even the “scary” data from Israel say it’s over 60% effective. But I’ve heard (in real life and from media) so many reports about a gathering of 12 vaccinated people where 11 end up testing positive or whatever like that, where the overwhelming majority of vaccinated people who got exposed ended up infected. I just don’t understand how we’re supposed to square that with 80% efficacy. And these are mostly younger people who got second doses in April and May, so Israel’s explanation about the vaccine effectiveness gradually diminishing over time doesn’t even make sense. I’m very worried about what the rest of the summer and fall will look like.
School Lunches says
How much do I need to care if the lunch I send to school with kiddo smells? She will be starting kindergarten in the fall, and I’d like to come up with a list of options to pull from throughout the schoolyear. I sent a lot of lunches when she was in preK last year, but I omitted things like hard boiled egges that she’d happily eat. Because of Covid, they were eating in classrooms, and I didn’t want to make it smelly for everyone. They’re planning to be back in the cafeteria this year, so I don’t need to worry right? Will she get to a point where friends make fun of food that smells? Feel free to tell me that I am way overthinking this ;) Last year she asked to take her lunch about 70% of the time.
She will definitely let you know if anyone comments on her lunches.
The smell of the cafeteria should overpower most other odors.