Finally Friday: Signature Diaper Bag

C.Wonder Signature Diaper Bag | CorporetteMomsOoh: this C. Wonder diaper bag looks kind of perfect. I like the large patch pockets on the outside, a side compartment for the changing mat, and a detachable zip pouch and spring-lock key ring… all nice. I’m also a fan of the muted, almost somber black — our main one is black also, which I secretly think makes it easier for my husband to carry it. (He never seems to want to carry the other smaller/crazier diaper bags.) This one is $102.40 (was $128) at ShopBop; you can find the same in navy at C.Wonder. C. Wonder Signature Diaper Bag

An Ideal Maternity Leave

ideal maternity leaveWhat would an ideal maternity leave look like?  If you could design your own maternity leave, how would you do it?  Reader E wonders:

I am currently 6 months pregnant. Anyways, next week I am having a meeting with my supervisor/team to plan out my leave. I luckily work for a very flexible company and will be getting 12 weeks fully paid right off the bat. Beyond that, it is pretty much entirely my choice on how much time I’d like to take off… I can take off up to 6 months total without anyone having any hesitation. Anyways, I don’t know exactly what I want to do. It is my first child, I plan on breastfeeding, and I just don’t know how much time to take off, do you know of any resources out there to help me with this? Also, I was curious if there is a post about navigating the process of discussing maternity leave with bosses. What should I be prepared with besides how much time off I plan on taking and also a plan for who will cover what work while I am done. Do I need anything else?

Great question, E (and congratulations!).  It’s awesome that you have such flexibility with your job and your boss. We’ve talked a bit about what a family-friendly job truly is, pondered (over at Corporette) whether to negotiate future maternity leave at the job interview stage, and I’ve written before about how I planned my blogger maternity leave, but not this.  I’m curious what the readers will say, but here are some of my ideas right off the bat, sort of in chronological order: [Read more…]

The Best Blogs, Newsletters, and More for Mamas-To-Be

The Best Resources for Moms-to-Be | CorporetteMomsThis post is from the early days of CorporetteMoms, when most of the content was in the form of email newsletters. We’re sharing this one again so that more moms and moms-to-be can weigh in and share tips!

I’ve already rounded up some of my favorite pregnancy books — but it took me longer to find blogs, newsletters, and other resources to help me with the lifestyle changes that were coming. These are some of my favorite, must-read resources — some for maternity/mom fashion, some for registry prep, and some for just general working-mom-lifestyle thoughts. Readers, which resources have you found to help you through this life transition?

  • BabyCenter – Put in your due date, get a weekly email telling you how your baby is growing. The site has other helpful resources, like a pregnancy weight-gain tracker (should you dare).
  • Baby Bargains – This is a great book as you’re setting up your registry and nursery — be sure to get the latest edition. There are reviews on specific products, stores, even the registry process — and the authors are very up-to-date on the latest product recalls. (The website offers additional information and tools, most available at no charge.)
  • Baby Cheapskate – Great deals! I’m particularly a huge fan of her “toys that actually get played with” lists, updated regularly.
  • Hellobee – Multiple mamas blog about their experiences. There are SAHMs, WAHMs, WOHMs… There’s also a great forum section filled with smart ladies.
  • Lucie’s List – I only found this one during my second pregnancy, but her week-by-week emails are super helpful to give you the real mom’s approach to pregnancy issues and registry issues.
  • The Mom Edit (formerly Ain’t No Mom Jeans) – The bloggers here are mostly past the baby years, but there are still some great posts in maternity/postpartum fashion in the archives. The fashion aesthetic is much more casual, but it’s fun to see real mamas putting kid-friendly looks together with a laid-back approach.
  • Motherlode – The NYT’s blog — excellent.
  • PopSugar Moms – I liked the news roundups here the best.
  • Pregnant Fashionista – This blog has a great, fashion-focused approach to pregnancy. The author of this blog has a great eye, a rich taste, and details on all of the haute lines of maternity wear. She bore four children in six years, so she definitely knows her stuff.
  • Working Mother – I started getting this magazine before I was pregnant, and highly recommend it to every working mother.

Readers, which favorite blogs, newsletters, and more have you found to help you through your early motherhood planning?

—————

N.B. PLEASE KEEP YOUR COMMENTS ON TOPIC; threadjacks will be deleted at our sole discretion and convenience. These substantive posts are intended to be a source of community comment on a particular topic, which readers can browse through without having to sift out a lot of unrelated comments. And so, although of course I highly value all comments by my readers, I’m going ask you to please respect some boundaries on substantive posts like this one. Thank you for your understanding!

Feeding Tuesday: Zoli Straw Sippy Cup (OR: Which Sippy Cups and Bottles Are Your Favorites?)

ZoLi Bot Straw Sippy Cup Blue I was going to feature a bottle for today’s feeding post — we’ve started supplementing a bit so they’re on my mind. I have yet to find a brand that I truly like, though, so I’m punting and posting something we did really like: the ZoLi sippy cup/bottle, which is pretty much what we went to immediately when Jack started drinking regular milk. It’s generally great — it doesn’t leak, is easily held, and as far as I understand it, avoids some of the dental issues sometimes associated with sippy cups. Which bottles or sippy cups are/were your favorites? This one is $12 at Amazon. ZoLi Bot Straw Sippy Cup Blue

(Also great, and a bit more budget friendly: The First Years Take and Toss Straw Cups, 4 for $2.68 as an add-on item at Amazon.)

Here’s another general Q: does your child have the day “off” today from school or daycare? Do you? What arrangements did you make?

Childcare Arrangements: Pros + Cons

childcare arrangementsWhat are the pros and cons of different types of childcare arrangements? How do you decide on whether to hire a nanny, choose daycare, ask for help from family members, etc.? We’ve talked about taking business trips as a mom, but we haven’t had a conversation about this yet. How did you decide what was best for your family? Or, if you’re pregnant, how are you evaluating the options for how your child will be cared for when you’re working? Let me start by saying: Whatever you end up doing is the right choice. Truly, there are pros and cons to everything, so try not to listen to people (online or otherwise) who feel super strongly about the issue. Here are some key differences among childcare options that I’ve noticed:

Nanny

The Pros: Your child gets individualized attention, in your home; you can be very specific about what you want re diet, activities, feeding, and more. You can negotiate for housekeeping and cooking as well.

The Cons: Hiring a nanny is expensive. Interviewing and payment can be a headache (especially if you are trying to figure out the “nanny tax”). If the nanny gets sick or is unreliable, you’re SOL. Even if you are specific with your guidelines, there’s no guarantee the nanny is doing what you ask (e.g., serving carrots instead of cookies, limiting TV time, etc.). By the time your kid is 3 or 4 you’ll probably want to pay for preschool on top of nanny services for socialization/school readiness.

Nanny share: This setup has many of the same pros and cons as above, but with added pro of socialization and added con of finding a suitable family and dealing with tricky conversations such as the extent to which they’ve baby proofed their home.

[Read more…]

Business Travel – As a Mom

mom business travelHow do you handle business trips as a mom? Is there anything you can do to prepare your kids for your business travel? How do you balance everything? Reader A wonders:

I am a working, single mom and happen to be taking my first of quite a few “extended” business trips next week. My sister and parents are helping out with my lovely 4-y/o for the 4 days/3 nights I’ll be gone, but I want some tips on how to make the whole thing easier. I’ve read the pieces on business trips on Corporette, but haven’t been able to find one on the Moms side of things. Can you help?

Interesting! Whenever I have to travel away from my family there is a mix of dread (I have to leave them for X days!) as well as eagerness (I get to leave them for X days!). I’m curious to hear what the readers have to say, but here are a few tips:

[Read more…]