Washable Workwear Wednesday: Cotton Knit Bateau Neck Sheath Dress

We recommended a similar washable, customizable dress last Friday on Corporette and readers really seemed to love the style, which was more of a fit and flare, and also noted that eShakti’s quality has greatly improved over the years. So, if you haven’t ordered from the site yet but want to, this would be a great time to do it. Note that, as with a lot of other eShakti styles, you can customize the dress (free of charge) according to your height, 15 different necklines, 7 different sleeve lengths, and 5 different skirt lengths. You can even remove the pocket and/or add a side zip. There’s a lot to like here, and if you’re looking for a dress you can customize, you should definitely check out eShakti. This one is available in standard sizes XS-6X — or give your measurements and order a custom size for an additional $9.95. Cotton Knit Bateau Neck Sheath Dress

Looking for other washable workwear? See all of our recent recommendations for washable clothes for work, or check out our roundup of the best brands for washable workwear.

This post contains affiliate links and CorporetteMoms may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support! 


  1. What products do you use to clean, specifically counters/bathrooms etc.? We currently use a whole lot of Lysol, with a little vinegar mixed in for cleaning items where bleach isn’t appropriate (changing pad, pet cage, etc.). I am considering switching the Lysol out for something less toxic. Presumably something like Lysol is still necessary for some clean ups, like raw meat on counters?

    • Method. I really like it.

    • October says:

      You’ve made me realize that I’ve never used any type of cleaning agent on my kitchen counters. Should I be? Soap and water seems to have worked up to this point lol!

      • mascot says:

        Soap is a cleaning agent, no? Growing up my mom wiped down the counters after meals with a soapy dishcloth. My spray bottles of Method/Seventh Generation cleaner are more for convenience. We don’t use much anti-bacterial stuff either. I keep Lysol wipes on hand if someone in the house is sick or if there is something gross on the counter. Bathrooms get cleaned weekly with bathroom cleaner and I use SoftScrub on the kitchen sink if it is looking really dingy.

      • PinkKeyboard says:

        We are also team soapy wipe down and no one has died yet.

      • Ditto, soap and water in the kitchen. Maybe bleach on occasion, but that’s rare.

        We use the standard scrubbing bubbles and windex type stuff in the bathrooms, but I’m not that worried about toxicity/chemicals/whathaveyou.

    • We really like 7th Generation cleaning products – less toxic, better for the environment and work basically as well as non-natural products.

      • +1. I think we usually use their cleanser with thyme oil for counters and general all-purpose cleaning.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Puracy all purpose cleaner for counters/mirrors.

    • We like 7th Generation as well. Until a stomach virus hits, then it is bleach and bleach containing products all the way.

    • JayJay says:

      I’ve used Method and really liked it. Our new house has black granite counter tops (UGH – they show everything) and the only cleaner I’ve found that doesn’t streak is Mrs. Meyers Countertop Spray. I’ll probably do a once-over with a Lysol wipe, then follow up with countertop spray to get rid of the streaks.

    • avocado says:

      I like the Seventh Generation Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner for countertops (not granite) and the Method glass cleaner for windows and mirrors. Other 7th Gen products and Method products I’ve tried have not done a good job.

    • In House Lobbyist says:

      Look at the website stop the stomach flu. She is a scientist and has done tons of experiments on how good cleaning products kill germs. She says Lysol and Lysol wipes really do not kill germs that cause stomach flu and that is a big scare for me. I mostly use Lysol for spraying out trashcans. She uses peroxide for daily cleaning and that is what I use. She also has some posts on hand sanitizers too.

  2. Recently discovered that virtually all of my 2yo’s pants have holes in the knees. He wears (seemingly) thick khakis/chinos most of the time. What do you all do about this? All I can think of are A) buy more pants, B) send him to daycare with raggedly clothes, or C) take up sewing or ironing on patches. I’m really not interested in C; A seems wasteful and I’m a little ashamed to continue along with B. Also thought of D – pay a SAHM to patch/fix but not sure that’s really cost effective when most are from carters or similar. Thoughts? Is patching less labor intensive than I imagine and I should just give it a shot?

    • Marilla says:

      I think paying someone to iron on patches would cost more than buying new patches, probably. Try the iron on patches for a pair or two – looks pretty easy and quick and if it works, it’s less wasteful than buying new pants while the old ones are still good. If it works for one, I think you could probably do a whole batch in about half an hour – taking out and setting up the iron would take the most time. I wouldn’t have patience for sew-on patches, probably.

    • If you don’t count heating up the iron, ironing a patch takes like 45 seconds. You could do a dozen pairs in less than 15 minutes. That said, iron-on patches are not the most durable (this is probably particularly true if your son already wore holes in the knees), but they may buy your an extra month or two.

    • Famouscait says:

      I personally would be (am?) all over the option of sending him to school with holy knees. If your kiddo comes home with as much fun and gunk on him as mine does, it would never be noticed!

      • avocado says:

        This. All the kids at my kid’s day care were always a horrible mess. Keep one or two pairs of non-holey pants for weekends if you can’t stand the holes, and try the pants with double knees next time around.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I took a vastly leaned-out, part-time job a few years ago. At the time, it was a glorious and much needed step back from BigLaw. There are parts of it I don’t love, but overall it’s been a really good step to keep me practicing but still have lots of great kid time. It was a huge, HUGE pay cut. There is no possibility for more money here, given the type of organization.

    Three years and another kid later, and my husband and I have to be realistic about what it’s doing to our savings. We’ve been able to keep contributing to retirement, and we have a pretty solid chunk in invested savings, but man, we have drawn down our emergency fund to a shockingly low level this year (our first year with two in daycare). On paper, the budget should work, but whenever we have an extra expense, we have to siphon away from the money going into savings. We’ve also had to dip into the fund for things like home repair. We are now at the point where a big expense would mean we’d have to cash out investments (not retirement, but still), which is scary and not something we had ever planned to touch.

    I know we can cut back some (more) discretionary items from the budget, but I’m feeling a little overwhelmed and just disappointed. The reality with kids and owning a house is that unexpected expenses come up. Husband’s job varies from year to year, and he didn’t have a great year last year (not law). I know he’s frustrated b/c he’s been working like crazy, but he just hasn’t secured the accounts he expected to. I’m feeling guilty because I could ramp back up (and there are a few jobs out there in my specific field), and we’d sail through the next few years. I just…don’t want to. I like having extra time with my kids – who won’t be young forever, I like having time to exercise and take care of our family “administrative” logistics, and I like myself better when I’m not constantly stressed about work. Husband also loves all these things, and is putting exactly zero pressure on me to make a change. But, he is super stressed about making his numbers at his job, and I don’t feel like it’s fair to him. Also, I know he’d love to be able to do some more things to the house, and have a healthy security net in the bank. I don’t know what I’m looking for — I’m torn between figuring out how to gut through the next year and half until my daughter is in public school (I can structure my day so that we wouldn’t have to pay for any extra care for her once she starts), and starting to look for maybe an intermediate job that will help us financially but not send me back to BigLaw days. Commiseration?

    • Anonymous says:

      “I’m torn between figuring out how to gut through the next year and half until my daughter is in public school (I can structure my day so that we wouldn’t have to pay for any extra care for her once she starts)”

      I would be inclined to do this. The main thing that shone through for me in your post is how happy you are right now about your work life balance. If you had said you are 3-4 years out from a cut in your childcare expenses, I might have suggested something else.

      Take a hard look at how much you can dial things back in the short term. We have the most basic cable package possible, my phone is 3 years old, my car is almost 7 years old, I rarely buy new clothes for myself and think hard about what the kids really need in terms of clothes. We’re doing a stay-cation this year at a relative’s lake house instead of our usual trip to Europe. There are lots of changes you can make for a year or two that won’t seem like a big sacrifice but might be unpalatable if you had to stick with them in the long term. It sounds like it would be worth it to you to find a way to make it work for the next year, even if you have to hold off on retirement savings etc for a year.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you. I keep looking at job postings that are a good fit professionally, but I just can’t imagine how much life would change. I currently work a shortened day, so commuting traffic is never an issue. Even if I didn’t work BigLaw hours, I’d still lose so much daily time because my commute would go from 20 mins to an hour plus. I never log in after hours, and I really enjoy my boss. I just….like where I am.

        Argh! But we’re already so thinned out – same thing, no cable, old phones, one car, and vacations have been to our parent’s homes or not at all. It doesn’t help that our friends – all of whom are dual income lawyers with big jobs – have been able to put away huge amounts of money. I don’t envy the new homes or cars, but I regret the extra funds sent to retirement, their children’s 529s, and bulked up savings. That said, I’ve never been more thankful or appreciative that we have excellent health insurance, and recognize that I’m still insanely privileged to be in this position.

        • Anonymous says:

          I would just dip into your savings to get through the next year. Once you’ve dropped the additional child care expense, it sounds like that will remove some of the financial pressure.

          Separately, is your DH enjoying his job? Maybe it’s not that you need to ramp up but that he needs a change? If he’s unhappy in his current job, you changing your job won’t fix that. Sometimes men get very focused on their role as financial provider and forget how important their caretaking role is. Maybe focus on reminding him how much he means to the kids? Kids don’t remember how much stuff you bought them, they remember how you made them feel.

        • Two Cents says:

          If this continues to nag you, there’s nothing wrong with interviewing for jobs that look interesting and just going through the process. You don’t have to accept the offers if granted, and it might give you some perspective on what you’re willing to do/not to do. Personally, I would stay put and ride it through until your child is in public school and you’re then saving all that money that once went toward day care tuition. If you still feel strapped then, perhaps it’s time to look for a new job. Also remember that your friends with the dual income Big Law salaries are making a lot of sacrifices in terms of how much they’re spending time with their kids. So yes, they are socking away for retirement but I have to think they are losing out on some quality time in the interim. And even if they’re spending time with kids, I found it hard to be fully “present” when I was in Big Law because I had to check my email constantly every time that stupid Blackberry went off.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks all – the commiseration is helpful! I know I live in a bubble of high earners, and I really appreciate how skewed my perspective is. Also, even though we feel financially insecure right now — we still have a safety net sort of, and things will eventually be okay. A year and a half feels like forever from a financial perspective, but it’s also the last year and a half before we leave the wonderful world of daycare and start the school cycle.

        Good thoughts on my husband as well. He’s in a quirky spot. He left a long tenure with one employer to go into consulting. I think he objectively loves the work and the “chase” of getting clients, but has been lately frustrated that solid, deep connections and really good work doesn’t translate into a huge book of business immediately. He also knows that there is a lot of money potentially to be made where he is, and I think his frustration is part his own competitiveness/part reality of our current situation that he’s not there yet. Overall, I think we’re both happy with where we are, and things really could be a lot better in a few years without any big movements from either of us — but life keeps happening!! We just have to pray the roof doesn’t go this year!!!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I work with a financial planner (fee based, not commission) and talked through similar worries – it’s the first time in my life that I’m regularly taking from savings, and never adding to savings (other than 401(k)). She said that was totally normal for this stage of life, with daycare expenses and inflection points in careers. She helped me walk through planning out how I’m going to draw down my savings so I know how long it will bridge me, and when I’ll probably be able to start saving more.

      Honestly, I’d take the quality of life over the hefty bank account. You have savings for a reason, and it sounds like you’re using the funds consistently with that reason – home repairs, emergencies, etc. I’d just enjoy the opportunity your savings is affording you right now.

      • Spirograph says:

        This is good to hear from a pro, because it’s in line with both my personal experience and anecdotal evidence from my peers. I got a big salary bump last year (basically the amount of 3 kids worth of daycare) with a new job, but until then our savings were in children-induced downward spiral. We’re almost back to where we were pre-kid #1, so one flush year to recover from 3.5 lean ones. If you have enough to get you through til public school, I’d stay put!

    • Oh yes says:

      I think many of us are in this exact same situation. I left BigLaw, could a took huge pay cut, but I love my life now and have so much more time with my kids. I’m the lucky parent who gets to chaperone field trips and work from home at times and leave early for various appointments AND I don’t have to make up my hours at night! But like you, it’s very very hard to save anything signficant. Just our rent and daycare expenses alone amounts to $9500.

      I expressed this to our financial planner and he reiterated that things will be so much better in another year or two once my older child is in public school. This too will pass. In the meantime, I would check out Mr. Money Mustache — his ways of saving are fairly extreme but I have found some of the tips to be pretty useful.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think the biggest potential problem with your current situation, barring unforeseen catastrophe, is how it is impacting your husband. I know he’s not pressuring you, but have you really talked it through with him? If not, get it out on the table so you can see how he feels. If he is really okay with it, then you can stop worrying about how it is impacting him and gut it out. Even just having the talk and letting him know you are open to change if this isn’t feeling sustainable to him might be enough to keep him happy – letting him know you are considering his needs too. (And I applaud you for doing so – you sound like a great wife!) Keep in mind he is also benefiting from your current schedule, although the benefits may be less obvious than the lack of $$$. You could also start casually looking for other jobs to get a sense of what is out there between BigLaw and your current position – feeling like I have choices always makes me feel less trapped about living with the decisions I’ve made.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Right there with you. I left Biglaw right before having a kid and while I love having a 9-5, the financial crunch is so hard. I think I want to have a second in the near-term, and I have literally no idea how to make this work. We can’t buy a place in our current location, my husband doesn’t want to buy a place in less developed areas of the city, and if we bought a place in the suburbs I’d be looking at a 2+ hour round trip commute every day. Plus I have no idea what our childcare situation would look like. No real solutions, but definitely commiseration.

    • EBMom says:

      It sounds like you may have a great skillset. Could you possibly open your own business and make more than you do now on the same amount of hours? Maybe not, but just wanted to throw the idea out there. I just gave notice at my job and am starting up my own thing. I hope to have your work/life balance while making about the same amount of money that I was making at my “part time” (legal) job.

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s my dream! And yes, that’s the goal. I haven’t wanted to give up my job quite yet because at least a part-time income is coming in, regardless. I’m trying not to let my risk averse self wait too long, but I wanted that solid security net before I made the leap (if nothing else, I don’t want husband to go even crazier because my income is unknown and our savings are down). Good for you!! I really hope that someday soon I’m there too! Keep us posted on how it goes.

      • Frozen Peach says:

        What about a side hustle? I’m a big believer in gradually easing into those leaps anyway…

    • ChiLaw says:

      Since there’s an end in sight, very soon, I think you can push through. In the meantime, can you strategize about how you can use your extra time and energy to cut expenses? When I think of it as a “job” of mine to come up with cheap dinner options or go through the monthly expenses and see where we can cut back, it feels sort of empowering: I can’t help by bringing in more $, but I can help by making sure less is going out.

  4. Kat — administrative issue/quirk! — I keep my browser at half page so that this s i t e doesn’t take up my full screen, and the social media buttons cover up the text box. Is there any way to push them down to the bottom of the screen so it doesn’t cover up what I’m typing? Happy to have them on the screen, just don’t like that I keep accidentally clicking on them when trying to type (I don’t social media at work).

  5. Anon Friendship Mourner says:

    Can we chat about friendship breakups? I haven’t talked to my best friend of 15+ years for several months. We had a volatile friendship for a long time and talked things to death a number of times over the years, but it was not a friendship that was working for us. Technically, she just didn’t answer a text one day when we were having a normal conversation, so in some ways I feel like she cut me out but I know I did plenty of things that helped put the final nail in the coffin in the months leading up to the final text.

    There’s no way our friendship should continue. We weren’t good for each other. I miss the friend that I thought I had, not her. I am happier without her. My husband has even commented on how much better things are now.

    So, I am confused as to why I am so hung up on this breakup. It bothers me at random times. We used to talk way too much via email and text, heavily oversharing everything. I get actually mad when I think about things I’d like to text her. I get mad and sad thinking about major life events for both of us that the other is missing. But I don’t think it would be beneficial in any way for us to reconcile. I’ve been chalking up my feelings to the mourning process. Is this normal? When does this get better?

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Totally normal. I had a very good friend in college who became a less-good friend over time and now is just a mostly social media/holiday card/birthday text friend. The change in our friendship took some time, but even after we mostly stopped talking I would periodically get sad about the friendship that we had had. I’m now in a place where I mostly don’t think about her unless I see a social media post or I get my calendar alert that it’s her birthday so I should text her. But that took a while – years. Give yourself time and just know that your feelings are completely normal!

    • This sounds like my best friend in grad school. We spent all our time together (often she would third wheel with my now husband), and when we weren’t together we were texting/iming/etc. We had a huge falling out over a relationship she had with a guy (specifically that he tried to cut her off from all her friends, including me) and didn’t talk for 6 months. The end of that friendship felt like a really bad breakup and the mourning period was almost exactly like a bad breakup. We reconnected about 6 months later, but the relationship was never remotely the same. We are mainly FB friends and text a couple times a year. In retrospect, I’m not sure the friendship was healthy, in that I should not have allowed myself to become that emotionally reliant on a single person.

    • rosie says:

      You said “I miss the friend that I thought I had,” and I think that’s a huge part of it. You think you know yourself and how you form friendships, and then when it turns out that someone is not the friend you thought they were, it can make you doubt yourself. I agree that it’s normal and will get better with time.

    • Normal. It gets better with time.

  6. Any book recommendations for preparing for childbirth? Planning to do the class that is run by a group loosely affiliated with my OB practice (so they will probably include some stuff specific to the hospital), but it’s not going to be Lamaze, etc. Not sure I can handle more classes right now. Ideally I’d like something that will give me tools for pain management and talk through breathing stuff, positions, etc. without too much preaching/judgment re: natural birth (which sounds good in theory to me, but my #1 priority far above and beyond anything else is healthy mom/healthy baby, and plus I’ve never done this before, I don’t know what I will want).

    • Anonymous says:

      I really like ‘Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds’ by Cynthia Gabriel.

      Just FYI – wanting a natural childbirth doesn’t mean you don’t view mom and baby health as a priority. Many interventions can lead to further interventions/complications so it’s good to know whether what is being suggested is necessary in your specific case or just something the hospital does as standard – for example I labored and birthed in my favorite maxi dress (tossed it afterwards) because I felt super tense and medicalized in the papery hospital gown.

      Also, some practices such as delayed cord clamping or no bath in the first 24 hours were considered crunchy/natural a few years ago and are now standard practice at my hospital (aka least crunchy place ever).

      • Thanks, and thanks for your FYI. I kind of debated what to say about that point (whether to put that in or not, whether to elaborate, etc.). Totally agree that wanting a natural childbirth does not mean mom/baby health is not #1 priority. Based on the other classes I’ve done so far with this group, I think that the class I am taking on childbirth prep will cover well what is standard versus required at the hospital (and what interventions/complications can come up and what they mean), skewing on the crunchier side of things. I have been through a lot to hopefully get to the point where I get a take home baby–not meant to diminish or otherwise speak to anyone else’s experience, just to say purely where I am coming from going into this.

        • Anonymous says:

          “I have been through a lot to hopefully get to the point where I get a take home baby”

          If this is your first child, maybe a doula might be helpful? Look for someone who specifically promotes that they are certified and assist in all kinds of births, including planned c-sections as well as someone that provides post-partum care. Some moms who have struggled to get and stay pregnant can find themselves struggling after birth if they don’t feel the immediate bonding and joy that they expected and it can be great to have someone to support you in that process.

          If you’ve really struggled to get pregnant and stay pregnant, be open to the fact that you may be more inclined to accept interventions or may be more worried/cautious about baby (e.g. if heart rate fluctuates), than other moms during the birth process. That’s totally okay. There’s no right or wrong in the journey through pregnancy and childbirth, it’s just about figuring out what you want/hope for, best preparing yourself to achieve that, and accepting that things don’t always go as planned.

          • +1 to all of this. Recommend a doula, especially with post-partum care.

          • avocado says:

            +1 on the recommendation to hire a good doula. If you have gone through a lot to get here, the last thing you want is to feel steamrolled by decisions that have to be made quickly during labor, often under a lot of pressure from the doctor and nurses. A doula can help you learn about the potential interventions before you go into labor, think through your possible responses ahead of time if something unexpected happens (e.g., plan to ask informed consent questions such as “what if we wait?”), and process what’s happening in the labor room. In my case, the doula was also useful in protecting me against my husband’s tendency to blindly accept whatever a doctor recommends without even understanding what is being recommended or why.

            I also agree that wanting a natural birth and prioritizing the baby’s safety are not mutually exclusive. One of my primary reasons for having a natural birth was to reduce the risks to myself and to the baby. I would not have hesitated to agree to an intervention that was truly necessary, but in the case of my very routine labor, pitocin or an epidural would actually have increased the chances of fetal distress and a c-section, with all the concomitant risks to mother and baby.

          • rosie says:

            Ok, I have been on the fence about looking for a doula–mostly an issue of how to best maximize my capability for rational thought on this before the anxiety of living outside of the “today I am pregnant” one-day-at-a-time mentality takes over (yes, therapy)–so these points are all really useful.

    • Anonymous says:

      Penny Simpkin’s Pregnancy Childbirth and the Newborn and The Birth Partner

    • I really think you should take more time to research and think about what your birth preferences are. You’re going to need vastly more preparation if you want to attempt natural childbirth than if you want an epidural. And you want to make those preferences known to your provider in advance. If you just kind of roll with it, unless you have a very very short labor, chances are you’re going to reach a point where you will feel like you need an epidural.

      All that said, I did the Blissborn classes and think the “self-hypnosis” (really more like guided meditation) techniques I learned could be useful no matter what kind of birth you have. I did in-person classes but you can do a home study program too. The class primarily revolves around listening to recordings and learning the techniques for pain management. There’s not too much to learn for breathing and positions – breathe deeply, and if you are doing natural birth, move in positions that are comfortable for you (if you get an epidural, you’re kind of stuck in bed, so not much to learn there).

    • EB0220 says:

      Honestly, I would skip the book and hire a doula. She’ll meet with you a few times before your due date to show you some ideas/coping strategies. I doubt you will remember anything you read in a book in the throes of labor. In both labors, by the time I was in active labor, it was all instinct and no thought – and that’s where the doula can help support you and your partner. Expecting Better has a section on childbirth which will give you the basic information on interventions, etc.

    • CPA Lady says:

      You might check to see if your hospital has an online class. Ours did. I ended up having a planned c-section so that all went out the window.

      Something I didn’t see anywhere in the reading I did before I knew my daughter was breech is what to expect if you do end up having a c-section. Even in my mayo clinic book it was like “they make an incision on your lower abdomen and pull out the baby.” That was it. No duh, I know what a c-section *is*, I want to know what to *expect*. Something like one third of all births in the U.S. are c-sections. Just on the off chance you end up having one, you may want to read up on that too so you’re prepared. I didn’t have any of the “worry” and “guilt” mentioned in the beginning of this article, but the rest of it was a very realistic description of a c-section:


      • avocado says:

        This is another place a doula can help! My doula actually attended c-sections for several women in my birthing class and was able to help them prepare and guide them through the process.

    • I liked Rachel Yellin’s hypnosis podcasts (recommended to me by my midwife). Also our local yoga studio offered some great natural birthing classes. You might also be a candidate for a doula who can both prepare you and support you during labor. I had lots of interventions with my first (induction, epidural, forceps, etc.) and it was kind of a miserable experience, but I took home a baby at the end. My 2nd came in like 3 hours and just basically popped out (10lbs). I think the hardest part is that it’s kind of unpredictable and there’s very few things that are like it for us “high achievers” in that you can only prepare so much.

    • My husband thought the Birth Partner was good. I thought the Ina May Garten books were really, really useful just for their graphic descriptions of labor (ignore the crunchy parts as you wish, though I found the visualization very useful – to each her own) . I also watched youtube videos of births. And made my husband watch them.

      When are you due? We took a class very late in my pregnancy and were actually glad because we would have forgotten everything (rather than just most) of the techniques. I ended up with a very short labor so we didn’t have time to really experiment with what worked, and it turned out I’m a solo, don’t-talk-to-me laborer so that worked out fine. I also found taking the hospital tour to be really useful.

      • ElisaR says:

        +1 in the Ina May Garten books – I had to ignore some of the parts I found ridiculous (an orgasm during labor) but reading so many birthing stories really gave me a sense of the wide spectrum of possibilities and helped me get in the mindset of giving birth. Which I was forced to do via c-section.

    • rosie says:

      I really appreciate all of these thoughtful responses. I tried to give a little more background about where I’m coming from in one of my replies. My thought process on this has just been really difficult because of history & anxieties, so this has all been helpful.

      • Anonymous says:

        I recommended a doula above. If you’re in a larger area, you’ll likely be able to find a doula with post-loss experience – if you’re comfortable posting a location you might get some specific suggestions. My doula was a part time social worker with a MSW who was a huge help when there was a sudden death in my family not long after my baby was born. I remember at some point post-partum after we were at home, I told DH that I just wanted him and my mom to leave me alone and I wanted my doula because she was the only one totally focused on me (hormones much?). My secondary health insurance (Canada) covered part of the cost so if you get a doula who is also an RN or MSW, you might get it partially paid for depending on your insurance.

        • rosie says:

          Great points, thanks. I have sent a few inquiries to doulas since I first posted :)
          I am in a larger area (DC), so there seem to be lots of options–would welcome suggestions.

    • How far along are you? Prenatal yoga did more for me with regards to breathing and meditation than the 1 day childbirth class I took. Personally, I didn’t learn anything new from the class, but it was great for my husband.

      • rosie says:

        Sadly prenatal yoga has brought back my nausea (or at least correlation, can’t say if there’s causation). I have been thinking of trying a different time of day for the class or of doing less in the class. I’m just starting 3rd tri.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          I had to drink all the water during prenatal yoga in the third tri, or I would get nauseous. I used to show up with a huge water bottle.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I found out last week that my second baby is going to be a boy (I already have a girl). I feel horrible, but I’m really disappointed. Google tells me I am not alone in this, but I still feel terrible for being sad. I love having a little girl, and I really wanted my daughter to have a sister. I worry my kids won’t be as close. I am an only child, so sibling dynamics kind of mystify me as it is.

    Can anyone else relate? Were you disappointed but then thrilled with how things turned out? Any great stories of how close a brother and sister can be?

    Again, I already feel terrible for feeling sad. I know how lucky I am to have a healthy baby on the way. I just can’t stop being sad about this. And faking being happy every time I tell a new person that this is a boy is exhausting. I just go home and cry. Pregnancy hormones are no joke.

    • We had a girl and then a boy. Totally wanted boy to be a girl for the same reason.

      BOYS ARE AWESOME. And sister is obsessed with brother and brother is obsessed with sister. The baby’s favorite person in the whole world is his big sister (don’t forget to take his feelings into account here!) We are still in the first year but they are closer than any sibling pairs among any of my friends so far, FWIW. I think it’s entirely driven by the older kid’s attitude. And she doesn’t know that a brother or sister will be more or less fun.

      Also, he is just the cutest and you will have so much fun with boy. I loved having a girl, but boys are a delight. Couldn’t be more excited for you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you so much for this! You’re right–my almost two year old has no preference for a sister or a brother. Hopefully she will have a good attitude about a new baby too!

      • I was disappointed when I found out our first (and only, so far) was a boy, especially when my friend who was also pregnant found out she was having a girl. I felt like it was going to be a girl, and honestly, since I’m a girl I was like oh this baby must be a girl because how would I raise a boy? BUT I love having a little boy. And same sex siblings does not mean they would have been close. I think it’s ultimately individual personalities.

        But your feelings are totally normal and it’s ok to feel sad. Before I had my son I had no idea what babies or kids were like, so it was easy to project myself onto him. If I have another, I will probably assume that the second would be like the first, sex or otherwise. But of course every baby is different and once he’s here, you will appreciate him for being who he is, I expect!

    • I have two boys, was disappointed that the oldest would not have a sister, because I love the relationship I have with my brother :) Don’t beat yourself up, but trust that things will work out and they will love each other!!

    • My brother and I are crazy close and we’ve never had the kind of rivalry that same-gender siblings can have.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I fully expected to be having a boy and was both surprised and a little disappointed to be having a girl. What was weird is that pre-preg I had always wanted a girl. But given my husband’s family history of all boys, I had just assumed that I would never have a girl so I had started to envision a little boy in our family and having to adjust to a new scenario was jarring. And I’m crazy about my kid and was just saying to my husband that I sort of hope we have another girl.

      Also, my friend who had a boy first wanted another boy and was disappointed when she found out it was a girl. Of course she totally loves her daughter now.

    • Anonymous says:

      This happened to me as well. Except in my case it was twin boys! I had two! How could at least one not be a girl!

      2 years later, I love it. All three kids are so close and love playing with each other. I never say myself as ‘boy’ mom but they are the cutest little guys. You just have to re-think some things. I was sad about the idea of not being able to do matching pyjamas like my sister and I used to have, so I still did matching pyjamas by buying my older daughter ones from the boys section (fire trucks/astronauts/dinosaurs) (separate rant: why can’t they just sell pyjamas? why do they have to be gendered?). She loves matching her brothers.

      Since you have just one boy, there will be more comparison of personality differences as gendered traits (Boy is such a boy he loves trains). With twins, we have more ability to head that off by pointing out that each child is different and how the boys are different from each other. One of the twins loves to dress up in his sister’s old shoes and costumes but also loves trains, the other twin loves to sit and ‘read’ like his sister but isn’t interested in dress up games. Both love to push around their sister’s doll stroller so Santa brought them both doll strollers for Christmas (as requested by big sister who was tired of sharing). One twin went off to daycare today wearing his train t-shirt and his sister’s pink headband. They don’t know the ‘rules’ around gender, so we are careful to say that colors are for everyone etc. I think it’s opened my DH’s eyes to how gendered things can be – like everyone giving them balls, trains and legos for their 2nd birthday when my daughter was given dolls and dress up clothes at that age.

    • FTMinFL says:

      Congratulations! I’m in the middle of the opposite experience – I had a boy and now we are expecting a girl. I know nothing about having a girl, but I will second Cate and say that boys are so wonderful! The way they love mama is very special.

      As for brother-sister relationship stories, I am one of six children and one of the closest sibling relationships among us is my sister and brother who are 26 months apart. As adults they still talk on the phone all the time, swapping relationship/job/adulting advice. I think age proximity and shared experiences probably have more to do with closeness than gender.

    • Momata says:

      First- you are allowed to feel however you feel, all the time and especially while rolling in pregnancy hormones. But — I have a 3yo girl and 18mo boy. And they are inseparable. They miss each other when they are apart and visibly light up when they reunite. Girl looks out for boy and makes sure he is included in whatever she is doing and has whatever she has. Boy wants nothing more than to be with girl and do what she is doing (which half the time he doesn’t understand). The dynamic may change if they become more gendered — right now I just think of them as nongendered Toddlers, but that might just be my girl’s personality. They love each other to bits.

    • Betty says:

      Our oldest is a boy and our second (and last) is a girl. I have an older sister who is my best friend, hands down, so I though that having two of the same s e x would be the best recipe for that close bond. I don’t think its the s e x or gender of the kids that determines their closeness though. Rather much is pure luck. As it turns out, my kids (now 6 and 3) are the best playmates they have. I know that they will have rough patches (my sister and I fought like crazy for about a 4 year span while she was in high school), and who knows what the future will hold for my kids. But, we do a lot to try and foster their relationship. We build them up in each other’s eyes and let them work out their own challenges. I highly recommend the book “Siblings without Rivalry.” They share a bedroom, and at least half of the time, we find them in the morning in the same bed because someone wanted a sleep over or got scared. My daughter cries when her big brother isn’t home to play with, and my son can’t wait until she gets to join him at his school next year. He has promised to sit next to her on the bus, which he found to be the scary part of public school. They absolutely fight, but they are also the first to defend the other against an enemy, real or pretend. It is awesome to watch.

    • Just two days again a friend confessed she cried when the sonographer told her it was a boy. She is one and done so it was extra hard. She also confessed how you feel – that she felt so guilty and terrible, but … you cant help how you feel!

      Fwiw, she loves her little dude now and wouldn’t have it any other way.

      I can’t comment on siblings either, because I’m also an only child… so I feel you on that.

    • I come from a family with one brother and me, and it has been awesome! We are very close now, and were close growing up (with some requisite fighting from being only 18 m and one school grade apart). I guess having a sister would be cool? But having a brother is awesome and I love him.

      I also have a baby boy right now with a big sister (my stepdaughter). She is 10 so she is much older than him, but she could NOT love him more.

      Pregnancy hormones are no joke. Hugs.

    • Man, so glad you asked this!

    • Thank you all so much for responding and sharing. I am seriously sitting here crying happy tears–both at feeling understood and from hearing great things about brother/sister combos and boys in general.

      Also thank you for not judging me and instead offering such compassion and encouragement. There is so much judgement and shaming out there–this is a truly wonderful community.

      • hugs!! hormones are so real! I find out the gender of my baby on Monday – eeeeek!!!

      • big orange drink says:

        Chiming in late to say that I had a boy first and when we got pregnant again, I definitely wanted it to be a boy. But we have a little girl and it’s turning out to be a fun ride. I’m not gonna lie – my son is insanely jealous of her and the transition to two kids has been challenging. However, I don’t think it would have been any different if we’d had another boy. She adores him and loves to play with his dinos more than anything else.

        My brother and I are 10 years apart so that didn’t lend itself to us being close as kids. I thought he was the coolest person on the planet and to him, I was the annoying little sister. But we are much closer as adults.

      • Spirograph says:

        I have 2 boys and a girl in the middle. I was a little sad my first wasn’t a girl, my second wasn’t another boy, and most sad that my third (and probably last) wasn’t another girl. I think in any case there’s a little part of you mourning what won’t be. Totally normal. Fwiw, my kids all love each other. The older two are best friends and both dote on the baby. Who knows how well they’ll get along when they’re older, but so far so good.

    • twin mom says:

      Not exactly the same things but I was very upset to learn I was expecting twins. I mostly came around by the end of my pregnancy, but in the end it didn’t really matter. I’m in love with my kids and so glad to have twins. So maybe just realize that how you feel about the idea of your child being a boy doesn’t have much to do with how you will feel about it when there is an actual baby?

      • twin mom says:

        also, they are both boys and I am now the one to comfort any friends who wanted a girl and are expecting a boy because they are so amazingly awesome. Boys are wonderful, and I always think boys with sisters grow into really great men.

    • Anonymous says:

      DH and I were absolutely convinced that #2 would be a girl (like #1). Took a while to process the timy baby boy! I worried about our attitudes for a while (was he getting the short end bc we were disappointed, etc) but OMG it is great. He and big sister get along wonderfully although a lot of it is age and blind luck. Seriously he calls me his sister’s name sometimes :-) and let me tell you how wonderful it was to buzz his hair last summer!

    • Anonymous says:

      I am so much closer to my brother than either of my two sisters. Their are lots of reasons, but mostly we like the same nerdy stuff.

  8. Famouscait says:

    Same as so much above, I went to pieces when I found out I was having a boy. It was by far the worst and most dramatic breakdown of my life, not just my pregnancy. I cried all these ridiculous things, like how I didn’t know how to parent a boy (still don’t! =) and what would I do with him, etc. It took me a while to come to terms with it myself, and so for that period we didn’t disclose the gender outside of our immediate family. By the time I delivered, I was cautiously excited for a boy. Of course now I love him and wouldn’t change him for the world. Also, little boys are adorable in overalls. There’s a cute image to stash away in your brain. It also helped me to imagine a boy that would resemble my husband.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      They are also adorable in sweater vests, or suspenders and bow ties. Oh for cute.

      My family used to play a game in church when I was a teenager where we would identify a little boy’s father based only on similarity of apparel. Next time you’re in a place where numerous little boys are in attendance with their dads, check to see how many boys are dressed the same way their dad is dressed (i.e., polo shirt and khakis, button down and jeans, turtleneck and cords). It’s very amusing.

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