Makeup Monday: EcoBrow Eyebrow Defining Wax

EcoBrow ReviewI picked up this eyebrow defining wax in one of those two-second decisions at the end of a threading appointment at Shobha Salon in Soho (along with the little defining brush, which I really like). I kind of worried I spent too much and that I wasn’t going to use it (and I didn’t try it for months), but I really like it. It’s a little darker than I would normally use, but as long as I use a light application, it’s fine. (There are six shades.) You can find it at Amazon for $30 (eligible for Prime), and it’s also available at FreePeopleEcoBrow All Natural Eyebrow Defining Wax

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. POSITA says:

    Does anyone have suggestions for how to deal with defiance in a 4.5 yo? My daughter is smart and sweet, but can be as stubborn as they come. Recently she has started getting kicked out of her activities for not listening/failure to cooperate. We’ve had lots of talks before and after about her behavior (with some strong consequences), but nothing seems to be doing the trick. The consequences bring tears in the moment, but no improvement the next time. The defiance spans across all aspects of her life so pulling her from activities won’t solve the problem; it’s just a clear example of the escalating problem. She’s just as difficult, if not more so, at home.

    Typical scenario: The kids are finishing up stations in gymnastics and the coach asks all of the kids to come and sit on the mat for the next activity. My daughter sees that the other kid has left the rope swing (her favorite activity) so she beelines for it and starts swinging. The coach asks her to come to the mat. She ignores the coach. The coach walks over and again asks her again to get down and come over. She ignores the coach, but looks through the window at me with a big smile. I mouth for her to get down. She smiles bigger. The coach starts ignoring her and moves on with the rest of the kids. I poke my head in and call her name to come to me. She ignores me. The coach tells her to go to me. She ignores the coach. I finally take off my shoes, march across the gym and pull her out of class, screaming like a maniac.

    • Anonymous says:

      Probably not what you are looking for, but I’d pull her out of the activities for now and maybe replace with more free play? Though our defiance started a little younger, my son just needed more time to be the master and commander of his ship, so to speak. Since he goes to daycare, the addition of structured activities at nights or on the weekends swere just too much for him. We also pulled him out of a preschool program that was pretty structured — kids could pick their activities, but had to get lessons and had to do the activities a certain way — and put him in play based program. At home, we try to say “yes” if possible, even if inconvenient for us. Face paint at 9:30AM? Sure, as long as you clean it up after. Turns out, he just needed some more time to pick what he wanted to do, and be expressive and imaginative. Although he “liked” the activities we choose for him, it was just too much listening over the course of a week.

      When we do need to put out limits, we explain it’s for safety, and “no” is not an option. We apply to things like dressing for the weather, and behavior in the streets, etc. He now goes to K in some wildly odd outfits, but gets dressed happily. We also have him in ONE activity a week that he LOVES, and will go to willingly and happily. It’s not what I would have picked, but he does it enthusiastically. We see diminishing returns on everything when we add much more structure to his week.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1 to limited activities outside of structured child care (dayhome/daycare)

        We switched my daughter to private swimming lessons so it can be a bit more freeflow and she had a one hour dance class. No other activities until kindergarten when we added one more activity (gymnastics).

        Is she one of the youngest in the class? My kids are late in the year birthdays and I factor in their age compared to their classmates to decide their activities. So while my son could start skating lessons now because he turns 4 before December 31, I’m not starting him until September.

      • POSITA says:

        We actually had added a few activities this winter because she’s home with our au pair most of the time. We wanted her to have a couple of physical activities a week so that she’d be less crazy at home. When she gets bored at home, she spends 100% of her energy thinking of ways to push boundaries and torture her little sister. The weather has been so terrible, they’ve been inside more than usual. Usually she gets tons of playground time.

        She is one of the youngest in her cohort with a Labor Day weekend birthday. She’ll be one of the youngest in kindergarten next fall (end of Sept cutoff), so this is likely to be an ongoing issue for her.

        • Anonymous says:

          In that case it seems like it’s part of the learning curve of being outside an au-pair or parental environment. Does she attend preschool? If she has kindergarten in the fall and she hasn’t attended preschool before, I would add a part-time preschool component, otherwise I think it may be a rough start to kindergarten.

          • POSITA says:

            She was in FT daycare until she turned 4. They were long days for her, so now she does preschool 4 mornings a week and is home the rest of the time. But with snow days, holidays and teacher in service days, she hasn’t had much preschool since mid-December. She’s in two 45 minute a week classes on non-school days, plus private swim lessons (which go fine with heavy parental arm twisting).

          • Anon 10:38 says:

            Sounds like about as good a schedule as I can imagine for a 4.5 year old. Are there any big changes going on in her life? We had a lot of challenges when my work hours got busier. My youngest acts up more then he gets less time with he and lots of time with DH. He’s doing it for the attention so I try to lean into it and give lots of positive attention and snuggles. If there’s a change in her schedule, maybe she’s trying to get kicked out of the class because she wants to be with you instead.

            She’s old enough to understand that if she wants to do the activity, she has to listen to the coach. If she doesn’t want to do the activity, pull her out of the classes entirely.

        • Anonymous @ 10:16 says:

          That’s so frustrating! I understand the need for physical play, but have to balance with enough free play. Can you look into indoor play areas where she can still run unstructured? Or a play based daycare she can go to a few times a week? In our area, we have a bunch of churches that offer mother’s day out style play time a few mornings a week.

          We also found removing ourselves as the primary authority source from activities helped…if that makes sense. So, he was better at activities where he was dropped off and we didn’t stay and watch/intervene. Or, if we stay, we stay on the sidelines and don’t interfere unless we have to for a physical reason. We had a similar experience with a sports class, and we just…..smiled and waved through the glass. If the coach gets mad because she’s not listening, well, that’s on her, and a consequence from a coach tends to carry more weight than one from us.

          We’ve done a better job of staying on the sidelines over the last year, and we’ve seen a remarkable difference in participation. We also did this out of the gate with our second, and the difference is remarkable. He never looks to us for help or if he’s not listening, only the coach. I’ve also noticed it with other parents who stand right there while their kid is doing the activity — soccer, in particular. The kids don’t pay attention to the coach if their parent is right there helping discipline or teach. When I backed off, both of my kids did a much better job of actually participating.

          • Anonymous says:

            Dropping off or making yourself invisible during activities is key. If you are required to stay, make it look to your child as if you aren’t watching (look at your phone or Kindle or chat with the other parents), and don’t engage with your child unless you are asked to by the coach.

            In my kid’s sport, many of the kids whose parents interact with them during practice end up quitting at an early age. Her current club allows parental observation but explicitly prohibits interaction. Very few parents actually watch. This club has a much lower attrition rate than her first club, where parents were often overly involved during practice.

          • avocado says:

            Anon at 11:03 was me!

          • POSITA says:

            Her preschool is entirely play based with tons of outdoor time. I don’t think there is a less structured environment available.

            I started intervening in classes because she’s been kicked out of class so many times recently. She was asked not to come back to one class at the end of December. I’m not sure exactly what happened in that circumstance because the au pair was with her, but it involved defiance and spitting. The class stuff has gotten much worse in the past 1-2 months. Prior to that she wasn’t perfect, but didn’t push boundaries in the same way. I think we will probably take a break from classes in exchange for less structured activities for now. I hope this is a short lived phase or Kindergarten is going to be miserable. It’s already making home stuff pretty miserable.

          • Anonymous @ 10:16 says:

            Yes!! I love this Avocado — I was talking to my dad over Christmas, and apparently I told him when I was a high school athlete competing at an elite level that I “didn’t want him to be my coach, only my dad.” I have no recollection of this, but it made a HUGE impact on him and he backed way off. I remember how much I *hated* getting into the car after games and having to recap the whole thing (good or bad) with my dad. I read an article that struck a nerve — bottom line, the best thing to say to a kid after a game is “I Loved watching you play!!” I.e., my enjoyment was all about enjoying you, my kid, not a value judgment on how good/bad you are. Even recapping the “good” apparently has all these negative effects.

            Since adopting our sideline policy and remembering the feeling as a kid (it was, and still is, all about control for me — I hated being controlled then and still do, as do both of my kids), our kids have done so much better. I realize my intervention in their activities was all about ME — I didn’t want my kid to be misbehaving, or for the coach or other parents to think my kid wasn’t a good listener, and I wanted them to do a good job! But after backing off, man they do SO MUCH BETTER, and we all enjoy activities so much more now. It was a chicken/egg thing for us — my crazy 2 year old was the only kid in his class who could follow his soccer coach, and we were the only parents who didn’t stand next to him during his class but stayed in the bleachers (and he’d never played soccer before/seen anyone play soccer, so it wasn’t conditioning).

          • Anonymous @ 10:16 says:

            POSITA — I think I’m officially on a tangent from your OP!! This is clearly a sensitive place for me because I competed a lot from elementary school through college, but I realize much of it is not applicable to your question. Based on your answers, I agree that pulling her for now makes sense, and just revisit. I saw so much change between 3.5 and 5, so you have tons of time before K. I wouldn’t borrow those worries now, but my guess is that she’ll always be a little stubborn — which isn’t a bad thing!! but it will taper off from where you are now.

          • avocado says:

            @Anonymous @ 10:16–Yes, “I love watching you play” is the sports parent mantra! In my kid’s sport we also say “The parent’s job is to pay the bills and get the kid to practice well-fed and well-rested” and “The parent’s job is to be a soft place to land.” It is so very, very hard not to ask “How was practice? Did you work on your [new skill]? How is your [other new skill] coming?” especially when you know they are doing all kinds of cool new stuff and are curious. It’s hard to avoid the temptation to be analytical and involved, but you are absolutely right–the less involved the parent is, the more fun it is for everyone.

            For OP, though, it may be time to have a talk with the instructors so you can all be on the same team regarding discipline, or even to take a step back from organized activities for a while. It may not be worth the stress at this point!

        • Mama Llama says:

          Are there indoor places to let off steam in a less structured way near you? Indoor play area, trampoline place, bounce house – something along those lines? Maybe she would respond better to that than to structured activities.

          • POSITA says:

            We do these as often as we can afford in bad weather. She LOVES the places, although she still gets in trouble for being too rough . We often have major issues with her body slamming and shoving littler kids if you don’t stay right on top of her.

          • Anon 10:38 says:

            Would marital arts be a good fit for her? I don’t have personal experience but I’ve heard karate can be good for kids who have a hard time channeling phyiscal aggression. Maybe gymnastics isn’t the right fit.

          • Anonymous says:

            Martial arts is a great idea because it explicitly teaches self-discipline. Gymnastics can actually be quite difficult for headstrong kids because it requires a high level of focus and self-discipline, but just assumes that kids come to the sport already possessing these attributes. And preschool gymnastics instructors are often high school kids who don’t have much training in how to manage rambunctious little kids.

          • POSITA says:

            It might be and I looked into it, but the 4 yo classes at the local place don’t work for our schedule at all. I’ll check again once she’s 5–those classes may fit our schedule better.

          • EB0220 says:

            FWIW my extremely headstrong 3 year old does really well in martial arts class.

    • mascot says:

      We found the 123 Magic strategy worked well with our headstrong kid. Basically, you give them a 3 count and then immediately remove them from the sitaution or put them in timeout. Once that time out is over, everything resets and you start again. We got the video from our library and it was helpful to see sample scripts/actions. Consequences need to be swift and consistent. Once you start implementing this at home, it should carry over mentally for her to other authority figures, although it may take a while. Her coach or whoever may not be in a position to use the 123 count so have a discussion with him as to what the best way to handle this is. It may seem initally disrupting to swooop in and physcailly remove her, but sometimes those big, embarrasing moments have enough of a deterrent effect to lessen the behavior in the long run. And honestly, sometimes you can do all of this ( and see results, but not perfection) and the solution ends up being giving your kid the time to mature. It took my son a while to learn to hold it together during soccer and not play around with his friends. Once he matured into that, it’s been much easier. We still use the 123 tactic at 7 because he just doesn’t know when to quit sometimes with the talking back.

      • POSITA says:

        I wish that she felt even the slightest bit of embarrassment at being removed. She doesn’t seem to care in the least other than that she wants to go back to whatever she was doing that got her in trouble in the first place.

    • Mama Llama says:

      So, this might not be that helpful, but I was a really defiant kid. It’s just the way I was, and I drove my poor mother insane. She tried so many different systems of punishment and rewards to get me to as I was told, and I pretty much defied all of them. For example, when I was older, she would say I was grounded until I completed a certain chore, so I would just be grounded for months on end. I’m not telling you this to discourage you, but to give you a heads up that there might not be a solution that solves this problem, but things to try to manage it and muddle through the best you can. (By the way, despite my refusal to do chores or homework or attend school on a regular basis, I turned out perfectly fine and successful and now I have a stubborn, defiant daughter of my own to torment me, much to my mother’s delight)

      • POSITA says:

        The hilarious thing is that she’s just like me. I was this kid too and always knew better than authority figures. But at the same time, I can’t ignore the behavior. At least part of the time she’s doing things that are objectively unsafe.

        For me, I also was the kid who NEVER wanted to get in trouble at school, so I was a rule follower. My daughter doesn’t care at all if she gets in trouble. It’s not even a blip on her radar. I don’t know how to deal with that. She gets in trouble all the time.

        • Mama Llama says:

          Yep, that was me. I think I had detention after school nearly every day of 6th grade. My mom got a pager so I could just beep her a certain code to let her know I had detention and would be staying late at school. I just did not care at all. Even looking back as an adult and a parent, I really have no idea what anyone could have done differently to get me to straighten up.

        • I was going to come here today to post about the epic humiliating tantrum my 4.5 pulled this weekend and how to deal with his sub-par behavior. Any you beat me to it! And, yes, he has zero shame about it.

    • My son (almost 4) is like this, and we’ve found that reward incentives are much more effective (for him) than punishment. He was having trouble at daycare with lining up with the other kids, sitting during meals, following rules, etc. (I get it, he’s a mini-me – I’ve never been great at coloring in the lines either.) For a week we tried punishment (e.g., no t.v. after school if teachers tell us you did a bad job listening) but that just resulted in a long meltdown every afternoon. Plus some heartbreaking conversations where he told us, “I’m just a bad kid.”

      So we flipped it, and focused the conversation around the behaviors we wanted to see rather than on the ones we don’t. We made him a little chart on an index card for his teachers to fill with a sticker: “lines up when asked, sits down during lunch, etc.” When he filled up the card (it took a week or so) he got to pick a new toy at the dollar store. Huge difference. We no longer do the sticker chart, but we reinforce good behavior with a small treat or a 1/2 hour of t.v. when his teachers confirm he’s done a good job that day.

      There are still meltdowns when he doesn’t earn his special treat, but he understands why and he’s able to articulate the rule.

      • Momata says:

        This also worked for my headstrong 4yo. Bedtime was turning into a disaster. Instead of negative consequences for not staying in bed, we started doing a small bit of chocolate with breakfast if the DID stay in bed. it took a couple weeks for the idea to stick (because she never earned the award), but once she “got it” we are headed into week two of going to bed and staying in bed. Added bonus of her being happy and voicing that she is proud of herself. I was previously of the school that kids should not be rewarded for following directions because, well, they’re kids and they have to follow directions. I am also aware there is not much space between this and a bribe. But it works for us.

    • Anonymous says:

      How does her preschool teacher manage this behavior – have you asked them for advice?

  2. Anon for this says:

    Regular poster, anon for this.

    I’m back at work after baby #1. It seems to be going as well as can be (read: I constantly feel behind and have to bow out of meetings to pump and am too exhausted to log back on after kiddo is in bed even when I swear I’m going to do it). Totally expected and par for the course, but I don’t feel like I’m shining particular brightly in my current role.

    Despite that, my director reached out to me last week and told me that he has me in mind for a big promotion (a new role he’s creating for me), reporting directly to him. Career wise, I 100% want to take it.

    But I’m worried I’m not even doing that well as is, and I’m nervous to jump into something in the first year of kiddo’s life. Has anybody been there? How did it work out? Am I setting myself up for failure?

    I know, LeanIn and all that but I’m scareddddd

    • regular poster - anon here says:

      I did this. I took a huge promotion and substantive area change when my second was 5 months old (and my first had just turned 3). It was hard, and I had very little confidence in how I was doing given the sleep deprivation. But, the excitement and challenge was so stimulating that it made it easier to focus and concentrate than if I’d just been showing up exhausted to the same job I’d been doing before. Also, it took a few months for the new job to really get rolling, so by the time I had to be on point all day, my kid was 7 months and sleeping better and I was down to just two pumping sessions per day. It was a little awkward to show up to a new job and explain pumping etc, but that awkwardness faded after about a week.

      Look at the long view. You’ll be sleeping more and pumping less in a matter of months. Sounds like this promotion will have lasting effects for your family and your career trajectory for years. Go for it, and congratulations!

      • FTMinFL says:

        I also did this and had a similar experience. Looking back, the new role was just what I needed to help me remember that I am valuable and valued in ways that have nothing to do with motherhood. We are so often our own worst critics and your director has seen something in you that he believes is special, unique to you, and valuable to your company. Transitioning to a new role is always a little awkward, so if you stumble a little at first no one is going to attribute it to sleep deprivation, just to getting your feet under you.

        Regardless of whether you take this opportunity, as regular poster says above, this is not your reality forever nor even for another year. Things will get better and easier quickly.

        Congratulations! I hope you take time to celebrate the compliment you have been paid!

      • That’s a good point – I will be pumping less and sleeping more very soon. It feels like forever, but I know (because everyone constantly tells me) the first year of baby’s life will fly by.

    • lawsuited says:

      Also, just in case you need it, I’m giving you permission to stop pumping. I EBFed until I went back to work at 12 weeks and then pumped until 20 weeks. Thankfully at 20 weeks babe started refusing the [email protected] so I decided to wean. I felt like a different person after we weaned. I had more time back in my workday, didn’t feel stressed about offsite appointments, felt more emotionally stable and had way more energy.

      • biglawanon says:

        Seconding this. I gave up pumping (and BFing) shortly after I went back to work because pumping was so hard for me to fit in, and doing so was very stressful. I was also much less tired after I stopped pumping so I could be a happier mom.

    • Congratulations! I wouldn’t worry. People understand what it is like to be back at work after a baby, especially baby #1. Your boss is judging you based on your previous rockstar performance and your potential going forward, even if you don’t think you’re operating at your best right now. Your boss trusts that you will get into a groove and excel at the new position. It could be a little rocky to start, but your boss is likely thinking long term. It is also very possible that you’re being too hard on yourself and are doing very well at work even right now.

      Also, if you’re worried about balance, maybe this is opening the door for a discussion on a flexible work arrangement. Maybe you want 1-2 days per week working from home to help balance the increased work duties and stress. If nothing else, you can be upfront. Clearly you are well-liked, and an open and honest discussion about your concerns and what your company can do to alleviate those concerns is fair game.

    • Yes, I did this too. You’ll be fine. You’re still adjusting to your new life and you probably haven’t found your groove yet, but you will. You are probably doing better than you think you are and your boss knows what you are capable of. And it is always fun to learn something new. I say do it!

  3. Newly Preggo says:

    I posted few weeks ago about being newly pregnant. I’m at 8 weeks and went in for my first sonogram today and they couldn’t find the fetus and so it is most likely a miscarriage. I’m a very practical/logical person and I kept saying to my family (including my husband) to not get too excited, it’s too early, anything can happen but I just feel so sad today at the potential loss. We also got pregnant super quickly so I just find this totally shocking. I also didn’t really feel anything like morning sickness or more fatigue than usual and thought I was just having an easy pregnancy and now I just feel like such an idiot. I know I just need to take it easy today at work but just posting here to cry/vent just not ready to tell my family yet and can’t tell anyone else.

    • Hugs. Some pregnancies are easy, so don’t beat yourself up over no morning sickness or fatigue. Even as a practical/logical person, you are still entitled to grieve.

      • Definitely. I had super-easy but healthy pregnancies, so that doesn’t mean anything at all. You did have a loss, and it’s entirely reasonable to feel it. This is very much grounds for a sick day; go home early if at all possible. I’m sorry.

    • Anonymous says:

      Echoing hugs.

    • lawsuited says:

      Sending you lots of love! You’re not an idiot. There’s a biological imperative to feel bonded to and protective of a fetus right from the outset, so your reaction is completely normal even for a logical person. Take some time to grieve, and involve your partner if you feel you can.

      • Sending you warm hugs and thoughts. Children are not logical nor practical. We lost oou first also and it really stinks. I know you are hurting. Take time to grieve. Its okay to feel sad or angry or thirsty. I drank immediately after just because I could.

    • Been there (as have most women). It sucks. If its any consolation I had a mc under basically the exact circumstances as you, got pg two months later and had an easy pregnancy and perfect baby. This happens all the time and in all likelihood means nothing for your future fertility.

      • Anonymous says:

        I had the same type of miscarriage after over a year of trying and it was just devastating. I’m really sorry that you’re going through it. I would encourage you to just tell people or not tell them at your own pace. We found out at 7 weeks that I’d likely miscarry but it didn’t happen naturally until 10 weeks, and I was glad that I had those two weeks to process what was happening with just my husband. We just called our parents when it was actually happening, and by then I was much less weepy. You may not have that grace period in between, but either way, don’t feel bad about prioritizing what you need emotionally over other people’s non-right to know what’s going on or talk about it.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Oh, hugs. Whatever you are feeling about this loss is OK – grief, relief, anger, whatever. The best thing you can do for yourself is embrace the feeling, name it, sit with it for a while, and understand that it won’t be permanent. So sorry.

    • rosie says:

      Hugs. Feel whatever you are feeling, know that it is all normal. And although m/c still feels like a taboo subject, it is very, very common. Tell whoever you want, whenever you want–your needs come first. I really liked some of the articles at www [dot] verilymag [dot] com–just search for miscarriage.

    • More internet hugs. Miscarriage is a loss, regardless of how early, how long it took you to conceive, etc. It sucks. Like others, I went through this, too. I also now have 2 little people wondering around in the world. My boss at the time of my MC was wise enough to tell me grieve and encouraged me to take time off to do so. I encourage you to take a few days off if you can. Otherwise, just hugs.

    • I miscarried literally a week after I saw the positive pregnancy test. There were moments when I didn’t feel that upset because I was barely pregnant, but others when I felt absolutely devastated, which a part of me thought was crazy because I’d only been pregnant for about 10 minutes. It is ok to feel upset. I’m a planner, and I was so excited about the month when my baby was going to be due because we always wanted a baby born in the winter (I actually would’ve been due right about now) and all of my friends were pregnant and announcing pregnancies. While we hadn’t physically been trying for that long when we got pregnant (3-4 months), we had put our plans to try on hold for a bit due to life circumstances and so emotionally it felt like we’d been trying forever. Miscarrying sucks. A lot. I have sooo many friends who’ve miscarried who’ve gone on to have successful pregnancies. Hang in there!

    • Newly Preggo says:

      Ladies, thank you so much for your kind words, support and advice. And thank you to those who shared similar stories. Not that I would want anyone else to go through this but at least I feel less alone hearing that others went through this. I’m just taking it easy and should be able to leave early today–was hoping work would distract me but my mind will wander back to this and I start tearing up. I want a drink so bad (you spoke to me, Ranon) but since I haven’t technically miscarried yet, my doctor wants me to keep doing what I’m doing and I have to go back in 2 weeks for another sonogram and basically wait for it to happen since he expects it will. I hate that it’s such a taboo subject and no one talks about it. I may just tell people in the next few days and just be open about it. I don’t really know anybody who this has happened to and statistically I should know somebody and maybe if I did, I wouldn’t be so shocked about it. I don’t know. Just going through a lot I guess right now. But thanks again ladies. Really appreciate your kind words, support and advice on this day.

      • Momata says:

        You absolutely know somebody. This exact thing happened to me, too. Feel your feelings and take care of yourself. I pretty much guarantee that if you open up about it, somebody will say it happened to them, too. I think it’s only taboo because people don’t want their employers to find out or their mothers-in-law to be all up in their business. But among similarly situated real life women — I think it’s totally fine and should be shared more widely. I know after I opened up I got a lot of solidarity, and friends to whom it happened after me came to me to talk about it. Hugs.

  4. Colicky Baby says:

    The article linked to on Friday about colic 100% hit the mark for me, except ours screamed non-stop, inconsolably from about 6pm until midnight on a good night and 4 am on a bad one. We’re now out of it at 6 months and dealing with “regular” extreme gas – current suspects are momma eating salad and/or bread, which triggered a horrific weekend that brought flashbacks to the colic days. I definitely think her colic was gut-related, given her current gas woes. After screaming all day though, last night she slept from 11:30-5:30 and 6-8:30 and my husband and I woke up and looked at each other and said “wow, this must be what it feels like to have a normal baby”. I feel like we went though a war zone, and if one more person told me “babies just cry” I probably would have started crying myself.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s so hard. One of my twins was colic and it was the hardest six months of my life after he was born. Quinoa and green peas and lentils were his triggers – even if I ate them and he just nursed. He wasn’t allergic, his digestive system just couldn’t (and still can’t) handle those without truly awful gas.

      • i’m impressed you managed to figure out those were his triggers!

        • Anonymous says:

          Thanks – mostly it was just writing down what I ate and then noting how he was in terms of fussiness/gassiness everyday- usually 12 to 24 hours afterwards I would see an effect because it had to make it into my milk and then into him and his digestive system. I kept the food and behavior notes separate and talked to DH about the behavior notes because I didn’t want to make assumptions about what it was.

    • Also Colicky Baby says:

      Solidarity. I’m so glad you got through it. Colic is so hard. On the plus side, it makes the toddler years much easier. We have had the normal amount of challenges with our toddler (now 4yo), and I secretly found it fun to see other parents freaking out about this “difficult” toddler stage. I’m like, you want to talk about difficult? At least now my kid sleeps and isn’t screaming at me 4 to 8 hours a day. I’m winning at life! I can handle the boundary pushing and toddler tantrums just fine after surviving colic.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s late so I hope you see this but I had a colicky baby for my first and I think even 10 years and 2 more kids later, I still have PTSD. You WILL make it through. Mine lasted close to a year, and there were days that I really don’t think I know how I survived. The lack of sleep combined with the fact that this little human that you are totally responsible for just.won’t.stop.wailing….I mean, I wanted to walk away from it frequently. I don’t know how my marriage survived either. I’m sharing to let you know that you are not alone and that yes, it is that bad, and you should absolutely ask for help.

      But also, know that you will get through this and will 100% agree that it makes the toddler years seem like a picnic! (I hope).

      I have a theory that moms have to “pay” for motherhood one way or the other. Some pay early on, through infertility or loss, some through rough pregnancies or deliveries, and some get to deal with colicky babies or defiant toddlers, while others sail through all the early stages but have horrors to deal with teenagers. I’m kind of kidding, but it did help me to think about this as my personal motherhood challenge to make it through (not even overcome – there’s no solution). Anyway, solidarity, and good thoughts to you.

  5. frustrated parent says:

    Oh, ladies, had the worst weekend in terms of explosive tantrums with my 5.5 yro. Friday night and two on Sunday. I should be grateful for Saturday, right? Violent, hitting, pinching slapping, taking his clothes off, trying to destroy stuff, screaming that he hates us/hates his teacher/hates our home. He’s remorseful and sweet afterwards but it is scary. And I feel for him. Reading the Explosive Child as well as the Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids book. I had talked to his counselor at school about possible services and she recommended parent-child interaction therapy, which I know some about. Going to call insurance/providers today to see what we can set up. Working at home this morning to let him sleep as there is a late start today and I don’t feel like sending him to the before school program. This is so hard and isolating.

    • Mama Llama says:

      It sounds like you are taking all the right steps to deal with this, so I will just offer hugs and say I’m sorry you are dealing with this. How frustrating. Maybe when you are talking to people about services you can ask if there are any good support groups, either local or online, for parents going through similar issues.

    • Hugs. Good for you for dealing with this head on. I know it can feel embarrassing and like people are viewing you as a bad parent, but it is so easy for people to judge when they haven’t been in a situation themselves. You are a good parent and you are doing what you can for your kid! Would love for you to report back in a month or two to share how things are going.

  6. 2 Cents says:

    Does anyone know of a checklist of things I should be considering / remembering as I prepare for my maternity leave and subsequent return to work? I feel like I need a written plan, if only for my own sanity, and am not sure where to start. TIA

    • Do you mean like a written transition/leave plan for work? If so, starting about three weeks before my due date, I updated a document in my shared folder listing all of my ongoing clients/matters, any outstanding items, and who would be handling those items when I went on leave. I made sure everyone was aware of this document so I wouldn’t have to worry about things falling through the cracks when I went into labor.

      If you mean a written plan for what to do/things to accomplish with your baby while on maternity leave…uh…well I wouldn’t recommend that. Babies don’t like plans. You’ll stress yourself out by trying (and inevitably failing) to adhere to said plan. Just go with the flow and adjust as you feel out your baby’s rhythms and temperament.

      • Meant to say that I updated that document at the end of each day until the day I went into labor!

      • 2 Cents says:

        Thanks! No, I totally meant for work, not baby, like “the Pensky file is here, I’ll be gone x number of weeks starting at this day, I’ll be returning on this day,” stuff like that. I just didn’t know if it had to be more official. I guess I’m stressing about my return (forget that I haven’t had the baby yet — why worry about something that soon when I can worry about something 6+ months away!), and if I want to do part-time or whatever. I’m probably just overthinking…everything.

    • Write down all of your job duties and projects in one column. Write down how they’ll be covered in another column. Give the list to whoever needs it. Done.

      • 2 Cents says:

        I started a “brain dump” file already, so I probably just need to finalize it. Thanks!

    • I started this about a month before I was due, because you never know, and it made me feel more in control. You’ll know what format works best for your line of work, but for me, that was a memo by client of status of any current deals/projects, reference to where to find latest correspondence with client, any looming deadlines, and any other info I thought was important. I updated this every few days, almost daily near the end, made sure my secretary knew where it was as well as anyone who would be filling my shoes (which was a combo of a few people taking on different clients). This was not only helpful for my colleagues but super helpful for me upon my return. I also started copying the applicable replacement colleague on all material correspondence about 3 weeks before my due date so that they could more seamlessly take over.

      Unrelated to client matters, I also found it helpful to have a brief talk with my secretary on expectations as well as the few people who were taking over my work, along the lines of, I’m not disappearing, but I’m also not planning on weeding through email every day. If someone really needs to reach me, totally fine, but just text me, I’m not monitoring email. Also, my login expired while I was out, and since I wasn’t logging on I didn’t get warnings, which meant that when I finally tried to log in to check a few things, I had to wait for IT to override and let me back on – so, I’d recommend making sure passwords are updated. I wouldn’t provide exact return date but until you get closer to actually returning.

      Enjoy this anticipation time! And remember if you forget something, the world won’t end. Your colleagues can figure it out.

  7. I found the Fifth Trimester really helpful.

  8. Would anyone who has used an au pair recommend the company they went through? (Cross posted from other s*te). TIA!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I am a partner at a law firm. My daughter is a Brownie and it is Girl Scout Cookie Season!!! (Exclamation points are probably required by the Girl Scout Cookie Mafia.) Interested in views on whether it is ok to have a kid come sell cookies in my office (NB: BigLaw, but relatively informal, on the West Coast). What activities would be OK?
    1) Having her go door to door to friendly colleagues to pitch them cookies.
    2) Putting an order form in the break room.
    3) Sending an email to the whole office asking if anyone wants Girl Scouts.

    Colleagues have done this before, but I am cognizant that I am a partner and I don’t want staff or associates to feel pressured. On the other hand, when I was an associate, I loved getting to see partners’ kids and bought many, many boxes of cookies. Thoughts?

    • Mama Llama says:

      If you are going to do this, I would say the lowest pressure way would be to send an email that says, “My daughter Arya will be in the break room taking cookie orders from 12-1 on Thursday. If anyone is interested, please come by.” That way it’s not putting anyone on the spot, and she gets to do the selling herself. I’m in government, so no one can sell anything here, but I’d be delighted to have to opportunity to buy cookies at work!

    • anon8 says:

      Putting an order form in the break room or sending an email. I don’t think going door to door at an office is appropriate. A person may not want to order cookies for a number of reasons and it’s really awkward to say no to a child.

    • A colleague of mine just sent out an email about her daughter selling Girl Scout cookies. I have no issue with that; however, I also feel like having the parent do all the work defeats the actual purpose behind having kids sell Girl Scout cookies. I think any of the activities you suggested are ok. If you are going to put a letter in the break room or send an email, have your daughter draft a note that goes along with your sign/email so at least on some level she is involved in selling the cookies at your office.

    • lawsuited says:

      I think an appropriately FYI-but-not-sales-pitchy email advising that cookies are for sale and the order form is in the breakroom is okay. I think I’d feel pressured to buy stuff from my boss’ kid if she sent her door to door making personal entreaties.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for asking!! I felt more pressure when the partners’ kids actually came to the office. I feel like an order form in a public setting is the least obtrusive, or a note that you have an order form in your office for interested parties.

      And….because I am grinchy and do not yet have kids old enough for scouts…I have recently seen tons of posts on FB with electronic ordering options, in addition to seeing office order forms. I mean this globally – not directed at you – but what happened to door to door sales? My parents would never put up forms for me in their offices, and my guess is that FB posts would have been a non-starter. It is universal enough that i’m sure the kids are encouraged to have their parents do this, but isn’t the point for the kids to get the experience of going out and soliciting on their own? I am FB friends with an incredibly powerful executive and saw him post on behalf of his daughter. That girl will rack up the sales, but not really through her own efforts? Meanwhile, I have not gotten any door to door sales kids, and I am genuinely curious if this is just expected any more.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks all – this is so helpful. I really appreciate the input.

        Kids are now strongly discouraged from going door to door. They can do it, but it has to be with a parent and usually with another Girl Scout as well – so that makes it more complicated. The main ways they recommend selling are to personal contacts, through the website, and in booth sales.

        I agree with you about the grinchiness. I have been trying to walk the line of having her do the work, but she’s 7, so it’s not like I allow her to be on Facebook herself. That’s part of the problem with work – I want her to do the work herself and actually practice standing up, making eye contact, shaking hands, etc., but I don’t want people to feel pressured.

        • Anonymous says:

          That makes sense! In that case, yeah, I actually agree that maybe posting your daughter in your office’s common area not during lunch would be the best of both worlds. She gets the experience of the deal, and people can elect to visit her “shop” or not. Even better if she did it without you present (or you could set up a laptop within earshot but not involve yourself in her dealings with the colleagues — it sorta removes the pressure for underlings and gives her experience?) Don’t know if 7 is too young for that, but if she came on a Friday around 3, she’d probably sell out*

          *it is important to note I wrote both of these messages while eating GSA Shortbread cookies that were shipped directly to my house that I ordered from a friend’s daughter online :)

        • NewMomAnon says:

          I know they shifted to a new ordering system, but is there still an “order and receive delivery later” option? If so, you could definitely have your kiddo come in and deliver the cookies to people who ordered them. That would be a great opportunity for her to learn to shake hands, etc.

          • Anonymous says:

            I love this! Definitely going to start this with my daughter.

            No pressure for colleagues to order but kid still learns customer service skills like making sure everyone gets their correct order/thanking them for their order.

    • In our (east coast relatively informal BigLaw) office, break/lunch room is where the partners put them. The associates’ kids aren’t really old enough to be selling cookies yet, but I assume it would be the same. I also like the suggestion from Mama Llama above, but I would have her do it during a non-lunch hour, so people generally eating in there don’t feel pressured if they ignore the kid and/or don’t want cookies.

    • Anonymous says:

      I vote order form in breakroom and maybe a quick/short FYI email. It’s a lot more pressure to say no to an actual kid – like who is going to say no to the partner’s kid?

      My worst fundraiser story is the annual walk about by my manager’s boss who comes around to everyone’s door asking if they want to buy tickets on a raffle for his university age kid’s choir. After he’s sent like three emails in two weeks. Like no, I don’t want tickets but of course I have to say yes if you’re standing in my office.

    • I’m a paralegal. I think option 2 is the best option. I like girl scout cookies and would buy them willingly off a piece of paper in the break room, but I’d feel somewhat uncomfortable being asked to buy them by a partner’s child.

      • I would also take care that there is no other order form in the break room. At my biglaw office, admins/staff put out order forms in the break rooms, but I’ve never seen one for a lawyer’s kid. I wouldn’t want to take sales away from another kid due to people feeling pressured to order from their boss’s kid vs. a PA’s.

  10. Just needed to share . . . says:

    I have pumped for the last time ever at work as of last Thursday. It feels freeing but I also feel bad, despite trying not to. With my older child I EBF’d and pumped until 11 months, then nursed at night until 15 months. My baby is almost 10 months old and has gotten a mixture of formula and pumped milk at daycare, formula (usually in bottle from dad) before bed, and then nursing during the night. I’m relieved to be done with pumping but am sad and afraid that I won’t be able to nurse anymore soon. If it was summer time I wouldn’t feel so bad about it, but I keep reading about the flu and freaking out. I don’t know what the point of this is, except to mark the closure of one chapter and to say that I feel afraid another chapter might close, too. I guess I could try to start nursing instead of doing bottle before bedtime, but I don’t think baby would get enough that way. Sigh. I’m trying to remember that I did the best I could and that’s all I can ask.

  11. Mama Llama says:

    PSA for my fellow pregnant people: Panera is issuing a recall of their cream cheese due to listeria concerns. Guess what I’ve been eating every day for breakfast since I stopped being able to stomach protein in the mornings? If you guessed a Panera bagel with cream cheese, you are correct. :(

    • Mama Llama says:
    • try not to freak out too much. i’m pregnant also, and last week ate tofu twice, but apparently you are supposed to limit the amount of soy you consume. (granted, the idiot dietitian my obgyn sent me to did not seem to be aware of soy limitations in pregnancy). i also ate half a piece of swordfish when i was about 6 weeks pregnant bc i didn’t realize swordfish was on the do not consume list. i also freaked out then, my doctor told me i would be fine. i know it is SO hard not to freak out. maybe message your doctor and ask if there are certain symptoms you should be on the look out for. Hugs. Pregnancy has made me crazy about food and germs :-) . Last week I attended an event and I am so nervous about the flu, I told people that my doctor told me not to shake hands due to the terrible flu epidemic

  12. Anonymous says:

    You did amazing! Zero guilt and all the high fives!

    You can definitely keep nursing for a few more months if you want. As your supply is likely to still be higher from pumping, try nursing before bed if you want but not because you feel obligated. As long as you are still nursing 2-3 times a day, you should have no supply issues at all.

  13. AwayEmily says:

    I had a baby on Wednesday yay! He’s awesome. All went well, though because of an incompetent nurse I missed the window for the epidural. Having now had both a medicated and unmedicated birth I have to say I MUCH prefer the former. Even aside from the pain, that feeling of being out of control was terrifying.

    Feeding question: unlike my first, this one took to nursing right away. He was back at his birthweight within 48 hours of being born. Annoyingly he also would love to just snack lightly every 45 minutes all day and night long. However, the rare times when he does eat a full meal he seems happier and naps for longer. Any thoughts on whether it is worth trying to get him to space out his meals a bit more, or is it too early for that and should I just be following his cues completely?

    • Anonymous says:

      Is he cluster feeding in the evening? I got the longest stretches of sleep when I would sit in front of the TV and nurse frequently between after supper and 10pm approx. Baby might feed every half hour or 45 minutes then I would just let him nap on the nursing pillow in between feeds. Once he finished filling up, I often got a good 3-4 hour stretch.

      Also, try feeding on both sides at each feed – feed one side and then change diaper or use a cool cloth to keep him awake to feed on the other side.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Congrats! No real advice on the nursing, but I feel like light snacking is fairly normal at this stage. I could be wrong, but I remember a period where my daughter nursed for 10 minutes at a time every hour. Eventually she got better about eating more in one sitting.

  14. Help! My 11 month old is head banging and he loves it! He prefers hard surfaces: tile floor, granite countertop (he can reach it by standing on our couch), my forehead, etc. Any advice? This is what I get for silently judging my SIL when my 18 month old nephew was head banging.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t have suggestions for you but my 22 month old just started doing the same thing… happily? Like he laughs while he does it. I can’t figure out if I should get him to cut it out or just tolerate it as a phase. He does occasionally do it on the floor when he’s angry, but mostly just seems to think it’s hilarious. What on earth.

    • Katala says:

      Following! My 12 month old does the same. It started when he began solids and he would bang his head against his high chair (in protest? because it made the chair scoot? who knows). Also does it when being held. I’ve gotten more than one fat lip and once honestly thought he might of broken my nose. He is unreasonably strong! He’s doing it some in the crib and against walls now. I was hoping it was just a phase but it’s been a few months…

    • My kid did it a lot in anger or frustration or when he felt scolded/yelled at, and he legitimately hurt himself several times. When he did it, he was out of control, not manipulating us or trying to get a reaction or laughing. We also discussed it with two family members who have PhDs in child psychology and a social worker who works with our kid’s daycare. Anyways, I’m not sure if this applies to the just-for-fun or experimental head-banging that doesn’t really hurt, but our “experts” told us to try our best to not let him do it. Apparently, there’s a positive reinforcement to the self-harming behavior (similar to cutting in older kids and teenagers). We (and his teachers) learned to read his warning signs and get a hand under his head quickly, then redirect him to comfort items (a lovey, a chew toy on a necklace) and help him calm down. He eventually started to grab his comfort items on his own, and later dropped the chew toy altogether. It took about a year to work through it, but now he very rarely hits his head when he throws a tantrum.

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