Maternity Tuesday: Dolman-Sleeve Bodycon Dress

This Old Navy dress, which is available only online, looks great. Note that the blue and red are almost all sold out (and the green is gone), but there are still a lot of sizes left in the black and “longstocking red” (which looks orange on my screen, at least). They’re all on sale right now, from $12.97 to $19.97, and even better, another 30% will be taken off when you add one to your cart (today only), meaning you could potentially get a maternity dress for $9. It’s made from a soft, slightly-stretchy jersey, and the reviews say it’s comfortable and flattering. Maternity Dolman-Sleeve Bodycon Dress

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  1. 1st Bday food ideas? says:

    Hi ladies! I’m having my daughter’s first birthday party in a couple weeks and at a loss for what to serve. It will be over the lunch hour on St. Patrick’s Day so I was thinking it would be fun to do something green/festive but I can’t think of anything. It may be on the bigger side so I was thinking of getting it catered but here in the DC area that’s so expensive! Anyone have ideas? Thanks so much!!

    • Finger sandwiches and cupcakes with green icing? You can spread the green theme to the sandwiches, too, and do some cucumber or arugula and ricotta, etc. Add some chips and a salad and you’re done.

      Cost effective-wise, it may be easier to order pizza or do sandwich platters from Costco, and then just do green sweets for the ‘theme’.

    • Not sure what “on the bigger side” means, but I find brunch is often an easier thing to do. You could cut up fruit and lettuce salads ahead of time. Maybe set out a spiral cut ham (or cut it up yourself ahead of time) and put out buns if people want a sandwich. If you want something green, maybe you could make some green eggs at the last minute. That would tie in St. Patrick’s Day and Dr. Seuss. And birthday cake of course ;)

    • KateMiddletown says:

      Favorites for our crowd are chicken nuggets and mac n cheese. Chick Fil A tray (or those cute perdue ones) and Stauffers, easy to make in your home oven if you have room/time.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Can you serve sliced corned beef and sandwich buns, with fruit and a salad?

      • I went to a kid’s birthday where they had chipotle catering and it was awesome. Everyone could make their own bowls and add chips and guac.

        • anne-on says:

          +1 – we do this for our family party after the bounce house madness and it is always very well received.

  2. St patty’s bday says:

    Beunch or lunch? Could do green bagels, ham, eggs, quiche (green or normal), a green adult beverage, Irish soda bread, coffee & Baileys, a big salad, kid/non alcoholic beverage (lemonade colored green?), green beer, etc. maybe some lucky charms if there will be kids around.

    Maybe do a rainbow theme for desserts? Or gold/treasure?

    • Ooh, a tall white cake with rainbow sprinkles. That’s on my baby’s first birthday pinterest board.

  3. This may be a dumb question, but has anyone who is naturally prone to overthinking things figured out how to spend less time on things that ultimately don’t matter? I spent way too much time this past weekend thinking about which stroller color to get and still find myself wondering if I made the richt choice, which is just absurd.

    Sometimes I’m good about just making a decision, but then other times when i just try to be ‘quick’ or decide it doesn’t matter, I am unhappy with the result and find myself being annoyed by it. I feel like the times I regret a choice and the times I’m happy I took my time to find, e.g., the perfect electric tea kettle just reinforce this behavior, but ultimately it may be more unproductive than is worth. FWIW, I don’t have this problem making choices at work, where a lot of my job requires me to be decisive.

    • Do you have decision fatigue? I’m great at big life decisions but crap at small ones. I’m a maximizer and like to make the best decision. I still haven’t chosen a paint colour and it’s been a year.I had so much pram angst and I’ve used it 5 times in 6 months!

      One thing I’ve found helpful is to stop looking as soon as I’ve made a decision. I also tell myself that if I hate it, I can change it. This allows my cheapskate and my maximizer to battle it out. Normally the cheapskate wins.

    • avocado says:

      I am the same way. I figure it’s harmless unless it takes over your life, causes anxiety, uses up all the time you should be spending on something else, etc. If using your perfect teakettle gives you joy every day, then wasn’t choosing it a good investment of your time? You will also end up spending less money and buying less stuff if you get it right the first time.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Sometimes I’m that way more than others. When I’m very overwhelmed with work/life I tend to obsess less over personal life decisions (aka buying art for the wall, picking a paint color for something, etc.) due to exhaustion and it’s very freeing.

    • I am like this too. It is my type A/perfectionist tendencies and also my desire not to waste money. DH on the other hand is much more of an impulse shopper/decides quickly, which drives me nuts because I wish he would do more research first. Are you currently pregnant? I am too, with my first and I’ve found myself obsessing over all the gear because I want to make sure I choose the “right” thing.

      • mumumum says:

        I can definitely relate to this. As a new mum, I can also tell you that as you go you’ll realize that your baby hates the bouncer that came so highly recommended or you hate the stroller you picked out because it’s not comfortable to push for 2 hours or you both hate baby-wearing even though you got the super deluxe baby carrier. It’s not because you planned poorly or made a mistake, it’s just because the nature of motherhood is figuring out a lot of stuff on the fly. I still obsess about the best sippy cup and diaper inventory and a perfectly packed diaper bag, but if it doesn’t work I manage to let it go.

        The fact that you care this much about a stroller is great – you’ll be a great mum regardless of whether the stroller works or doesn’t.

        • I’m just a few weeks post partum, but I’ve always been this way to some extent. Whenever I say we need to get X, Mr. AIMS jokes about how he looks forward to seeing what I pick out next year.

          I think I do have some decision fatigue as well as mild anxiety and perfectionist tendencies. I think I get a lot of satisfaction from things looking ‘just so’ sometimes and so I tend to want things to always ‘spark joy’ or whatever, which is impossible really. I also have a tendency to get fed up and sometimes give up and just randomly pick something but then the practical part of me will just insist on, e.g., living with the ugly light fixture rather than change it… I’m going to try to be more accepting of the thing that just need a do over. Thanks for all the insights, ladies!

          • mumumum says:

            Sending you lots of love, mama! The first few weeks are a trip, and no doubt you’re dealing with every kind of fatigue – not just decision fatigue – right now.

            The great thing that is because mums everywhere misjudge their needs or their needs change on a dime there is a huge market for second-hand baby stuff. I’ve sold a lot of stuff I ended up not liking and bought a lot of stuff to try out before committing to a brand new one. Obviously you don’t actually recoup what you spent on a brand new item, but it reduces my guilt about trading in an item I don’t like for a different version.

          • Weighing in late, but I was also going to suggest buying used. It has reduced my decision anxiety a lot to realize that we can try out a bouncer/carrier/toy/whatever at a steep discount by getting it used. Lots of those used things turn into treasures and I love the fact that I found them for cheap; lots of others don’t work out and I re-sell them without guilt. Sometimes I recoup the whole cost, other times I’ll sell for less and just consider it a rental or trial fee. This has reduced the amount of research I feel the need to do before buying.

    • mumumum says:

      You definitely made the right choice about your stroller colour, because there is no “wrong” choice. Whoop whoop for new strollers!

    • CPA Lady says:

      I typically research things to death when I’m anxious about something outside my control. When I was dealing with a family health crisis, I spent so much time researching toddler leggings that I almost drove myself crazy. Like I made a spreadsheet of my daughter’s sweater dresses and had to get the appropriate mix and match leggings and it was just completely absurd. And it was all for naught because she started potty training right around that time and stopped wearing dresses to daycare because it was harder to deal with them while trying to get on the toilet.

      In these situations when I’m going crazy with a decisions, I have two things I think about:

      1. I remind myself that I can trust myself.
      2. I play out in my mind “What’s the worst that can happen if this decision is the wrong one?”

      For instance, I just HAD to get this one stroller. I got it and I hated it immediately. The first time I put my daughter into it, she spit up on it so I couldn’t return it. So I used it a handful of times, then I got a different stroller that I actually liked on a really good sale. Yeah, making a mistake sucked and I felt bad for wasting my money, but it wasn’t the end of the world. I sold the crappy stroller on craigslist, and the world kept on turning.

      You can trust yourself to make good decisions and you can trust yourself to deal with it if things don’t turn out as you’d like them to.

    • AIMS, I did the exact same thing when I got a double stroller with my second baby, too! And I also obssessed a little bit over the cost (SO expensive!), so I bought a used stroller off Craigslist. Guess what — I hated what I bought and gave it away within two weeks. (I also didn’t like the color.) Bottom line is: It’s not you; the double stroller decision is just a tough one. :)

  4. Oversupply says:

    Thought I would share what helped me with my oversupply, since it seemed counterintuitive – I took a vacation where LO nursed on demand. Since everything I’d been told/read made it sound like pumping actually removes less milk than nursing, I always thought it would only be worse if I were actually nursing him most of the time (since the more milk that gets removed, the more milk you make). When I went back to work after maternity leave I dropped a session almost immediately, but with two sessions was still overproducing. Still battling engorgement, plugged ducts, etc. Running out of room in the freezer.

    However, after a week with LO nursing when he needed and how much he needed, I was pleasantly surprised to go back to work and find my supply regulated to match what he drinks every day! There was actually an uptick in engorgement and plugs the first few days of vacation as things evened out, but I could let LO nurse a tiny bit to take the edge off.

    I know taking a vacation is not an option for everyone, but I was so surprised with how much it helped with my oversupply!

    • Oh that’s good to know. I’m coming up a few ounces short and I’m hoping some time off with baby (we’re going on strike – no salary but some baby snuggles as compensation) plus some extra pumping sessions will help boost things a bit.

    • I don’t think the idea that pumping removes less milk than baby is necessarily correct. It’s that baby has the ability to remove more milk should baby desire. If your baby doesn’t desire to remove as much as your pump removes, then you’ll keep up an oversupply. Of course removing the pump from the equation will return the situation to a better supply and demand. But once production goes down, then if you can’t remove as much milk with the pump, you’re going to have problems. For me (and nearly every other woman I know), if you’re pumping, a bit of an oversupply is beneficial.

      • mumumum says:

        +1 Babe’s appetite waxed and waned, but when pumping I pumped until I got 6 oz regardless so I think I artificially kept up my supply when I returned to work and was pumping almost exclusively. At one point I was pumping 30 oz a day while babe was only drinking 12 oz during the hours I was away and I was freaking out that he was malnourished when in fact he was totally fine and gaining weight (just enjoying solid food and water more than milk).

      • Oversupply says:

        You’re correct, I phrased it wrong. A little oversupply is helpful I’m sure, but I was dealing with lots of extra milk and painful engorgement.

  5. avocado says:

    “Dolman-sleeve” and “bodycon” do not belong in the same sentence or the same dress.

    • KateMiddletown says:

      Normally I’d agree, but it’s maternity, so pretty much everything becomes bodycon over the course of the pregnancy haha

      • Ha! also dresses become tunics, tunics become shirts, shirts become crop tops -it’s amazing how versatile a wardrobe can get.

        • 2 Cents says:

          Seriously. I’ve been fortunate in that I can wear a lot of pre-maternity stuff now (guess that’s one benefit of being plus size? Everything’s stretchy.) But man, some tunics are now in the crop top territory lol

    • Anonanonanon says:

      “maternity” and “bodycon” rarely do but EVERYTHING maternity is marketed as bodycon these days. Discouraging for someone who was already a skinny pear/bottom heavy BEFORE pregnancy (and my bum tends to get as pregnant as my belly).
      I’m 39 weeks and down to one dress that’s not straight up obscene for work meetings.

    • Maddie Ross says:

      I actually loved this dress while pregnant in 2016 (and that’s generally a good sign for ON too that the same style has stuck around for so long). It’ not really a true “dolman-sleeve” as it doesn’t have that bat-wing effect. It’s more like the sleeves are a little drapey. (I’d say more of a drapey cap sleeve actually if that makes sense). It was flattering and useful for both casual and work with a sweater over it.

      • Good to know, thanks! How does it fare for the 2nd trimester? I’m still at the ‘ate too many burritos’ phase and it will be a couple of months before I get to the ‘swallowed a basketball’ phase. Last time round during this phase I was too big for my regular clothes but swimming in the maternity clothes…

        • Maddie Ross says:

          I didn’t buy it until well into the second tri when I was clearly “showing”, though not quite at basketball stage. Honestly, I’m not sure it was super flattering until I had a pronounced bump, but it was comfy.

        • Ranon says:

          Im 23 weeks and really showing. I have it in three colors because it is cheap, comfy, and looked good over tights with boots for winter but is long enough to wear with bare legs spring and summer. I wear it to work with a open cardigan or blazer and I wore it Sunday to a casual dinner with friends paired with some chuck taylor sneakers. I get compliments any time I wear it.

      • I also had this dress in 2016 and loved it. By the end it was a bit too tight but isn’t everything then?

      • I also had this dress in 2016 and got compliments every time I wore it. Dressed it up for a rehearsal dinner, wore it to my baby shower, threw a blazer over it during week 39 — I lived in this thing.

  6. My husband and I both have full time jobs but happen to live in a suburb populated with a large percentage of stay at home moms. I have always felt “to each their own” and never thought much about it but I think I’m getting to an age where the differences in lifestyle are more pronounced and it’s started to really bother me. All of the comments about how glad they are that their kids don’t have to go to daycare, and how they can “be there” for their kids, and how happy they are to be able to volunteer in classrooms, etc. This all feels like a personal dig, even though I truly don’t think it is. I guess these feelings mean I’m jealous or doubting my parenting in some way which is maybe true. I had a particular conversation this weekend with a friend who went on and on about how wonderful it was to stay home with her baby and I just can’t shake it. I know this is nothing new and the grass is always greener, just wondering if anyone has found a good way to still relate to your stay at home friends and neighbors without it feeling like a competition.

    • Ugh, no personal experience with this, beyond the sad faces I get that I’m back to work at 6 months postpartum (early for the UK).

      However, I think my mom still feels conflicted about working a lot when I was a kid. As her kid, I don’t at all. My mom didn’t get to go on field trips but I got to go to her work and visit, we had money for camps and books and activities, I saw a strong working mom. All our SAHM neighbours had much tighter budgets and many of them ended up feeling lost once the kids left and struggled to regain the workforce.

      I think you need to find your working mom tribe. And prioritize, what is really important for your kid? How can you make that happen?

      • Anonanonanon says:

        ^this. I have a working mom tribe through my previous and current workplace. Our kids don’t necessarily hang out or anything, but I have the support. My son gets plenty of socializing during school and before/after school care.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I focus on talking about the kids rather than about your parenting choices. Moms generally like talking about their kids and sharing funny/cute/depressing kid stories, or getting help about developmental milestones or gear choices. And I try to remember that just like I don’t really understand their lifestyle, they don’t really understand mine and we’re both a bit insecure about that.

    • Ugh, I completely understand this. It is hard to encounter such tone-deafness, and at least in my area, I think SAHMs are considered the “default” even though quite a few moms work. Focus on the friendships that DON’T revolve around the kids. If all you’re doing is talking about your children, these sort of comparisons are almost inevitable. That isn’t to say that I don’t have SAHM friends, because I do, but our friendship has other common interests besides our kids. TBH, I have pulled back on friendships in which I felt like my choices (if they can even be called that) were being judged, overtly or not. Now that I have a kid in elementary school, I’ve sort of self-selected out of the mom crowd in my neighborhood because it generally makes me feel bad and less involved — even if I know deep down that it’s horse s h i t and I’m doing fine. (I say “sort of” because moms who work are left out anyway because of lack of interaction/proximity, and I’m not taking great measures to change that.)

      I’m sorry. Hang in there; you’re doing awesome.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      This probably isn’t very encouraging, but I’ve found it’s just really difficult to bridge that gap, at least for me. My son is in second grade now and I’ve never figured it out. The biggest hurdle for us is that stay-at-home moms seem to be unwilling to do playdates etc. on the weekends because “that’s their only chance for family time” since dad works all week, and of course for us weekends are the only time we’re available. I made an effort the first few years of elementary school to get off work to go to things like class parties, and volunteer at PTA events in the evenings etc. and did meet one or two SAHMs I at least have contact info for and can ask questions about school events to, so that’s helpful.
      I actually spoke to a therapist about my guilt surrounding wanting to be a working mother before I entered the workforce when my son was young, and he made an excellent point- PLENTY of women work and have children and are wonderful mothers, you just don’t meet them because they’re at work during the day!

      • Could you do weekday playdates if the SAHM picked up your kid at daycare or school and then you picked up your kid there after work? My mom was a SAHM and then a teacher and that’s how she kept me socialized during the week. She’d just pick up my friends who had working parents and we’d hang out at my house until the parent got out of work. This wasn’t in lieu of child care but for an occasional play date.

        • Anonanonanon says:

          We’ve done this before, but it’s tough to reciprocate and I hesitate to put myself in a position where a SAHM friend could feel like we’re in a one-sided relationship.

          • That makes sense. My family had less money than my friends so they reciprocated by bringing me on some of their weekend outings like to Six Flags or skiing, things my parents weren’t keen on doing.

      • I also have a 2nd grader and still haven’t figured it out! Sometimes I feel guilty for being out of the mom information loop, but there are other times when I realize it might not be a bad thing. I have a kiddo with special needs — trust me, I’m plenty connected to his teachers, just not the other parents! I’ve accepted that’s part of the tradeoff of working

        Kiddo is in a few activities, where I’ve met other school parents, but the parents of boys seem to be less into the social scene than the moms of girls. No idea what’s up with that.

      • avocado says:

        I have to agree with you. Where we live SAHMs are the norm, and most of the moms who do work are teachers or nurses who are mostly off of work when their kids are off. Scheduling isn’t the only issue–there is a deeper disconnect. Most of the SAHM families have less education and have lived here their entire lives, which gives many of them a very narrow perspective on life that makes it hard to connect with them. My husband has a hard time connecting with the dads from the SAHM families too, because they don’t get why he is spending all his time doing laundry and chauffeuring the kid all over the place or why he has to take over everything when I travel.

        My primary mom friends are a mom with a doctorate who works in a high-powered job and whose husband home-schools their kids, a mom who is a busy doctor whose husband is also a doctor but with easier hours, and a SAHM who is ABD in an academic field and volunteers to run three different programs for each of her two kids. I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

        • Anonanonanon says:

          The husband thing is part of it for me as well now that you mention it. The few SAHMs I talk to from my son’s school lament about things like “my husband has never watched all 4 kids by himself!” or lamenting that they do all of the chores etc, and give an awkward “wow you mean husbands can do dishes? haha” if I mention my husband doing anything. It puts me in an uncomfortable position because I can’t exactly agree/commiserate but there’s no polite way to be like “well MY husband helps so I don’t have that problem!”

      • So I live in a community where many of the moms cannot legally work in the US, being international; another portion choose not to work; a scant few of us work outside the home. Most are as educated and informed as their spouses who are earning PhDs or MBAs. And still my closest friends are the working moms – it’s more timing and scheduling issues than anything else. I’ll pop over to a friend’s house with kiddo for a weekend playdate while the dads work/ clean/ cook dinner, and vice versa; the SAHMs are less open to that. But I do connect with the other mothers, mostly about our kids, or whatever’s going on in the world (the Winter Olympics is a fun conversation starter right now), or whatever they’ve read recently.

        I even had my own ‘life is too short not to do what I want’ moment the other day when I skipped a Friday 5pm baby sprinkle (hosted and organised by SAHMs who were all going ‘yay girls night out!’) because ‘it’s been a long week and I don’t want to sacrifice relaxed family time with my kid’. (Which is literally what I said. My friend understood!)

    • It’s hard. I have a few mentors that I talk to on Facebook or over the phone who are in similarly demanding positions and have young kids. Locally I have not met anyone whose position really mirrors mine.

      Agree that when you’re with your SAHM friends, that’s not the time to talk about parenting in a way that highlights your differences – instead try to find common ground. I think it also helps to be generous to their position, because they are probably feeling insecure too. Many of the SAHMs in my area did work before having kids and I think they often feel a little FOMO/jealousy just like we do about staying home.

    • I’m in a tightly knit hobby related facebook group populated mostly by SAHMs. My sister and my best friend are both SAHMs. I feel like I have a pretty clear picture of the less rosy sides of SAHMhood– Financial struggles. Troubling power dynamics in the marriage. Having to deal with whiny, ungrateful, disobedient children whose main hobbies are fighting with each other and refusing to eat what you cooked them. Being totally scr&wed if your husband cheats on you or divorces you or loses his job. Of course there are lots of good parts to being a SAHM too. Which is what they talk about with you.

      Maybe this is a little bit Pollyanna of me, but remembering that we’re all struggling with something behind the scenes while putting our best face into the world helps me remain compassionate and open when I would otherwise be defensive.

    • I agree with nearly all that was said above. It’s really hard. One of my best friends is a SAHM, but we live across the country from each other. I think that has actually helped in a lot of ways. She confided to me one time that she feels inferior when she is behind or not getting things done at home or whatever, because working moms stay on top of home plus a job. It has stuck with me. She also has insecurities about being financially dependent on her husband, even with some small lingering student loans she has. While I do think many SAHM moms are often oblivious and arrogant, it is possible that they’re actually insecure and intimidated by your awesomeness and the dynamic of household duties at your house. That brings out rude, defensive comments. So if you’re on the fence about a comment here and there or by a SAHM who is usually kind, it might be helpful to think about that.

    • Also, some of it is ignorance rather than malice. I have to admit that before I put my kid in daycare I thought it was basically a cold war orphanage with rows of cribs because that’s what my SAHM mother thought it was like.

      Instead its a loving, nurturing environment led by people with degrees in early childhood development with lots of fun toys and activities that I would never think to do.

    • I live in DC in a community where pretty much all of the moms work, so no direct experience with this. But every time I spend long weekends with my kids (whom I adore), I’m extra happy to go to work on Monday. :) When I was returning to work after maternity leave my mom (who always worked full time but in a clerical/low wage job) said, “Don’t you feel sad going back to work when your baby is so little”? and I honestly responded — nope! I love my job and my life and don’t feel the least bit guilty. I think the glass is always greener. Personally I would go insane being a SAHM.

      My sister is a SAHM and never makes comments like this, but perhaps the difference is that she worked for many years before and has lots of outside interests — volunteering, working out, reading tons of newspapers/books, etc. I feel like for some SAHMs it is all the time.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      Ugh, this is one of my fears about moving out to the suburbs. Or really, the move to the suburbs + exiting the world of dual working parents in daycare land and moving toward the school years. I really enjoy our little network of other working parents from my kid’s daycare – all the bday parties are planned at appropriate times on the weekends and no one says anything negative about working. For those of you who have moved out to the burbs for more space, better schools, etc. – have you been able to figure out which neighborhoods are more working parent friendly?

      As for the comments, I am not sure whether they are coming from a place of insecurity or if they are genuinely trying to share their happiness but I would try to just remain confident in your own decisions and talk about what you have in common versus different parenting styles.

  7. Baby talk says:

    Thanks everyone who commented last week about my concerns about my 16 month old who wasn’t really saying words! We’ve tried to pay more attention to what she does verbalize and when, and while she is not very consistent I do think we’re getting there. It was very reassuring hearing everyone’s stories, so thank you!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hi everyone – does anyone have any recommendations for books or blogs that helped them get through a divorce with small children? Thanks!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Mom’s House, Dad’s House was a good book that helped me, although it wasn’t specific to small children. For determining parenting time arrangements, look at some of the county judicial parenting time recommendations; I think I found a good one from Los Angeles (?). They were counter-intuitive; I assumed the courts would automatically give each of us 50% of the time with kiddo, but the recommendations actually suggest one primary parent for children under 3 or 4 with short, regular visits with the other parent, and generally limiting overnights with the non-primary parent. We followed that advice, and kiddo’s dad resented it, but I think it was the right arrangement for kiddo. I’ll try to find a link and post it below.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Depends on how amicable the divorce is/the reasons. Chump Lady’s “leave a cheater gain a life” and her blog are pretty great and she provides some insight into coparenting with someone you don’t get along very well with.

      Also, it’s corny, but when I found myself feeling guilty or doubting, I’d remember what Dr. Phil says: “children would rather be FROM a broken home than LIVE IN one”

      Good luck

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Also – there are a few of us on here who did it, with different stories. Not to toot our own horn, but we’re a decent resource too.

      One thing I found helpful was “fake it till you make it.” I paid lip service to the importance of a relationship between kiddo and her dad, and pretended that we would eventually move to a 50-50 parenting time split while secretly believing it would be better if he disappeared and I had full control. Now they have a great relationship and we are moving toward a 50-50 split, and it turns out that is amazing.

      • avocado says:

        Your story is so inspiring. Through my work I only see/hear about the ugly, messy, high-conflict cases, and it’s so easy to forget that there are plenty of people who make it work even though it’s difficult.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks everyone! I should have said the split is very amicable and we both would like to do 50/50 custody because we are both very involved parents and want to remain that way. I’ll check back later. I’m sure I will be asking many more questions here in the future as well!

  9. Nursing tops? says:

    Hi all! Any recs for favorite nursing tops? I’d prefer some looser tops with sleeves (short or long). I am mostly seeing maternity/nursing combo tops, which I’d like to avoid, particularly the ones with ruching. I may still look a little pregnant, but I’d prefer not to highlight that :). Also looking for some good high-waisted pants…..thanks!

  10. First Birthday at a Wedding? says:

    Another first birthday question – we’re only at 8 months, so I’ve got plenty of time to worry about it but today’s first poster triggered the question for me.

    My little sister is getting married on DS’s first birthday. Awesome – I’ll never forget her anniversary. This is part great, part challenging. Right now we live approximately 12 hours from all of our family but we’re moving this summer (probably 2 weeks or so before the weeding) to be much closer (but still far) just 6 hours from my parents, 3 hours from my in-laws. Sister is getting married in her current city which requires a flight for all of our people. I’m super excited that we’ll get to celebrate DS’s birthday with my parents which otherwise likely wouldn’t work because of distance. But sad because in-laws won’t get to participate which I think will bum them out quite a bit.

    Sister is pretty excited / game to celebrate his birthday that weekend – DS is the first baby in our family so she’s a first time aunt. So I think we will do something that weekend to celebrate, but I have no idea what/when. Birthday is Saturday; wedding is Saturday evening but I assume I’ll be busy most of the day Saturday with bridesmaid stuff.

    Any thoughts on how we celebrate a 1st birthday amidst wedding hullabaloo and how do I make that happen in a city 1400 miles from my current home without burdening sister who is already overwhelmed with wedding stuff? Do we need to do something afterwards so that in-laws get to celebrate locally – maybe just invite them for lunch the next weekend? I know that 1st birthday is mostly for me – he’s obviously not going to know what’s going on / remember any of it, but I think I’ll regret not having those memories if we don’t find some sort of special way to celebrate.

    (And look for future posts on managing a cross-country move / relocation with a baby – it’s going to be a SUPER fun spring at our house. Ugh. But yay – driving distance to family!)

    • We celebrated my daughter’s 1st bday with just her dad and me and then had a family party the next day. You could do something fun together in the morning and then plan a party for next weekend? What time was he born? If it’s early in the day,maybe you can do something around that?
      Also, how much do you have to do day of the wedding? Can you get away to a petting zoo for an hour or two that morning? Take him out to a big pancake breakfast? It is mostly for you, but I like the idea of starting a fun tradition that you can carry on for other bdays, like pancakes or going somewhere.

    • What about doing a small, family-only birthday celebration on Sunday, after the wedding craziness is over (no one will be able to focus before that anyway)? Say Sunday early dinner before you head home? And then another celebration with your in-laws the following weekend?

    • Will you be in town on Thursday or Friday? That’s when I’d do something. Things get so frenzied as the wedding gets closer, and then even Sunday after a wedding can be hectic depending on when people are flying out.

      Since it’ll be Spring/Summer, can you do something outside? Does the wedding hotel have an outdoor space or pool where you could host a low key get together with family on the Friday afternoon? It would be more $$ than a BBQ at your own house of course, but the event coordinator at the hotel would be happy to help in my experience. Ditto for the actual venue depending on what it is – if sister is getting married at a country club, for example, I think they would also be helpful in booking a smaller event on the Friday before. These places always love business and may be open for discounts since daytime bookings are slim, and your sister is already giving them lots of business from the wedding!

    • mumumum says:

      A family meal the Sunday after the wedding would be least stressful. But if you want to celebrate on his actual birthday, bridesmaid stuff doesn’t have to take all day and you could have a family brunch with cupcakes. Maybe your sister’s photographer would be willing to combine a “cake smash” shoot for your son with your sister’s “getting ready” shoot? Your sister could feature in some of the photographs as a memory that the two events happened on the same day.

      Also, maybe plan a birthday party at your home after his birthday which your in-laws could attend?

      • Oooh, I would not co-opt wedding day photos with a first birthday photo shoot. That’s setting up a lot of stress for everyone, and if I were the bride, I wouldn’t be thrilled at all. She’s paying good money for a day of wedding photography; do not jump in with kid-only photos.

        • Maddie Ross says:

          This. Have the photog take a sweet clean photo of your sister and your son. Leave the cake smash for another day.

          Honestly, I would leave the day of your son’s birthday totally to your sister. Pretend like it’s not his birthday at all. Do a birthday brunch with cake on Sunday. Or a lunch on Friday if enough family will be there already. As I’m typing this, I am remembering we actually celebrated my oldest’s first birthday a few days early, as it was easier schedule-wise. I literally never think about this fact nor does it actually matter. Do a second celebration with your in-laws later if they care. I’m sure your son will happily smash a second cake.

          • avocado says:

            If I were your sister, I’d offer to have birthday cake at the rehearsal dinner.

            +1 on no birthday celebration on Saturday.

      • Anonymous says:

        So. Rude. No. Her wedding day is not for your baby to steal the photographer. Shockingly tone deaf.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think you should celebrate at your sister’s wedding or during her wedding weekend. Pick a different weekend. Celebrate at home. Your baby has no idea. Give her the weekend.

  11. Thoughts on a Disney Cruise with very young children (they will have just turned 1 and 3 at time of cruise)? We’re Disney people, and plan to take the kids to Disney World in another couple years, but we’ve never done the cruise (or any cruise, for that matter). Some extended family are going and we’re considering whether to join. On the one hand, we’re Disney people so of course I want to go!! But on the other hand, the thought of spending 5 nights at sea in a small cramped room with my two kids who don’t sleep well even in the best of circumstances, and who aren’t old enough to take advantage of much anyway, doesn’t seem worth it for the gigantic sum of money it would cost us. Plus much of what I love about Disney World is the rides and shows, so obviously we wouldn’t get that same experience on the ship.

    But maybe I’m overestimating how hard this would be? So far we’ve fallen in the camp of “take a few years off from major vacations since I don’t want to be stressed out and exhausted the entire vacation because of the little ones,” but I know plenty of people with kids the same ages that are much more adventurous and seem to have a good time. And this cruise is obviously family friendly. Thoughts?

    • If you haven’t been on a cruise before, I’m not sure I’d attempt the first one with little ones! I thought I’d love a cruise, but DH seriously hated our experience. There was nothing “wrong,” per se, but it was our least favorite vacation by far. Too much time stuck in one place; not enough time to explore any particular area.

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      We just got back from a 3-day Disney Cruise and I loved it — BUT, I think it’s very kid/parent dependent. We just have one 3 yr old who is a pretty good sleeper and has done a good amount of traveling and is in daycare. So she’s used to being around gobs of other kids and is comfortable sleeping in new places.

      My parents were with us and even though they didn’t watch her, it meant she had the attention of four adults, so it was relaxing for us. All the adults had been on cruises and have enjoyed them for what they are (a floating all inclusive where you don’t have to think about anything too much).

      My kid really enjoyed herself — she did well in the kids’ club (and I was comfortable leaving her there) and enjoyed walking around the ship, playing on the beach, etc. The shows were good and she liked them, but they were a bit too late in the evening for her. She napped a few hours each day, which was fine with me, who ever was with her just sat on the balcony and read and the other went and got a massage.

      The kids’ club was great — we went in with her a few times during open play sessions and then she was totally fine on her own for an hour and a half or so. Kids have to be potty trained, and they do have a nursery for the under 3-set, but you have to reserve that.

      With your situation the main concern I’d have is the sleep situation. If you don’t think they’d sleep it would be awful.

      • Anonymous says:

        I went on a Disney cruise this past year. I learned I am not I am not a Disney person or a cruise person. You said you were a Disney person so you may love it. I did like the ease of planning, as we were lazy and booked all excursions through Disney. Remember you can book nursery time for your 1 year old. I cannot remember if a 3 year is in the kids club or nursery still. We had no problems with booking nursery time for our 2 year old and they went out of there way to accommodate small children. It was the least stressful vacations I have taken since having a child. However, I was not happy with the amount of screen time my child had in the nursery. They had a small wading pool for the non potty trained kids.

  12. I’m pretty sure the non-potty trained kids aren’t allowed to swim in the on ship pools. This alone is enough to put us off. My almost 2 yo would be beyond pissed if she didn’t get to swim. It would ruin the trip for us.

    • Amelia Bedelia says:

      the Disney cruises have special toddler “pools” that are swim-diaper friendly. But, no, she can’t swim int he deep pool.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I am 4 months post partum with my second and thinking I might need to get PPD treatment, but can’t tell if I’m feeling normal baby blues or something more serious. I’m unsure because my mood changes quite a bit every few days– I’ll go for several days or even a week of feeling great and like my normal self, then settle into a really rough few days that feel like a cloud is over me. When I’m down, I’m extremely irritable, sad, tired, unable to concentrate, and don’t look forward to things I normally love (seeing friends, exercising). Just when I think “OK, self, call your doctor, or a therapist” things turn around and I feel good again. The ups and downs are tough, especially on my husband, who is the recipient of most of my nastiness on my bad days. Thankfully, nothing seems to affect how I do with my kids too horribly– I lose patience faster with my toddler, but seeing his sad face when I snap at him is usually enough to get me to take a step back. I’m getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising a few times a week, none of that is the problem– I wish I could blame it on sleep.

    • mumumum says:

      I think you need to change your criteria for getting help from “do I feel depressed/anxious every day?” to “are my feelings of depression/anxiety impacting my functioning and relationships?” That’s a far better measure of whether you have a problem that needs addressing.

      (And, with a lot of love, it sounds like it is affecting your functioning and relationships. You and your family really deserve the best chance at happy family life. Make a call today and take it from there.)

    • rosie says:

      I want to gently suggest that it would be worth making an appointment with a therapist. There is no threshold for how bad you have to be feeling before you go.

    • Yes, it’s worth discussing with your PCP and/or therapist. I have been on this rollercoaster that you describe, and trust me, it can do a number on your self-worth and prolong the pain. (“If some days are good, why can’t I snap out of it on harder days?”) I wish someone had given me the litmus test that mumumum describes — if it’s impacting your life, seek help. Even if the bad days don’t happen every day.

    • I also think this is worth raising with your PCP or OB. The form you get at your six week checkup asks how many times within a week (or a month? I can’t remember exactly) you’ve felt various symptoms — so it seems they anticipate that some days you’ll feel fine, but other days you might not be. I hope you’re feeling like yourself again soon.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      One of my biggest regrets around the birth, early months of my first child is that I didn’t seek help for PPD sooner. I highly encourage you to raise it with your doctor when you get the chance

  14. CapHIllAnon says:

    For Nursing Tops:
    I love, love, love the long-sleeved luxe nursing top from Udderly Hot mama (hate the company name, though!). It is ruched but not tight. It pulls down from the top to nurse, and it is really flattering. My friend gave me one when I had my baby, I ended up buying 3 more (including just recently, since at 21 months it seems we are going to do extended BF, ha).

  15. I had a networking lunch on Friday with a couple of older men. They have grown children and I have a toddler, and somehow the lunch turned into a lot of parenting advice (despite my efforts to steer back to business), including the phrase “it’s not quality, it’s quantity” re: the importance of time spent with your kiddos. This was a few minutes after I had stated that my daughter was in daycare all day. Face palm. I tried to respectfully disagree, but in retrospect I was way too polite and I just came away from the whole thing feeling gross. We’re happy with daycare, DD loves it, and I have no desire to be a SAHM, but I still hate the judgment even though I don’t value his opinion, and wish I had spoken up more forcefully. Just, ugh.

    • shortperson says:

      id like to know more about the quantity of time these older men spent with their toddlers.

    • Not the exact same situation, but the least understanding people I work with are middle aged and older men whose wives were SAHMs. They don’t understand that not everyone has a stay at home spouse and that some parents actually want to spend their evenings and weekends with their kids. I get a bit more of a pass since I am female. The working dads at my office have it even worse.

  16. Vent OP says:

    Thanks for all the comments above on my SAHM Mom rant, my phone does not allow me to reply to any threads for some reason. So many of your comments resonated with me…particularly about this feeling among the sahm’s I know that their husbands can’t. do. anything. And the comment that the conversation always revolves around the kids. I think you’re right that there’s no way to deal with this except to try and focus on commonalities and be confident in my own choices. Easier said than done!

  17. Nursing tops? says:

    Thanks all! And FYI—those jojo maman tops are on sale!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Not sure if this will go in the right place but the discussion about connecting w SAHMs was really helpful for me. My sister is a SAHM and we are very close but sometimes I feel like there is a disconnect and that no one in my family really “gets” me and the type of family my husband and I are trying to have (both being equally involved in our kids’ life). Also I get the sense that it’s okay if I work but only if my husband works harder so i always have the option of staying home. No one gets that one of the best things about both spouses working is that we can both support each other and both have less stress and pressure to be working all the time and never seeing our kids. I don’t want that and I wouldn’t want the kind of life where my husband had to do it.

  19. For Vent: this won’t thread because I’m on my phone, but ps: every time I get a comment about the joys of staying home with kids, I think of all the times I’ve been at the park or playspace, romping around and actually having fun with my kiddo, while all the sahms are on their phones, and I think…no. no, I would rather not be home full-time.

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