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I don’t like my mother in law and don’t want to spend time with her on Mother’s Day. There, I said it. This will be my first Mother’s Day. MIL lives 5 minutes away and sees my husband and baby once or twice a week. She’s loud and brash and obnoxious and I simply don’t like her. How do I get out of having to see her that day? The family is extremely close and will want to do brunch.
Oof, I’m not sure you’ll get away with avoiding it entirely but could you propose a Saturday alternative, keeping Sunday for the two of you? Or say “All I want for mother’s day is a long nap and to read my book…”?
Mary Moo Cow says
Second the oof. I’m not sure you do, either, or at least, you don’t get to not see her that day and keep the peace. Would she be hurt if she couldn’t see her son on Mother’s Day? Unpopular opinion: Mother’s Day isn’t selective, in that it isn’t just about one mom. It’s her day, too. But I’m a peacemaker. My MIL also lives in my town, and I grieve that I don’t get to see my own mom on mother’s day, but I try not to let that ruin my day. What has worked for me is balance. I see MIL for one thing that day, lunch or dinner, and that’s it. (Brunch with two small kids is a comedy.) The one thing I like to do on Mother’s Day is go out for ice cream and that is strictly a nuclear family thing. Getting to do the one thing I want, the way I want it, gives me the strength to get through the rest of the day. And, over time (7 years now), it’s gotten to where I don’t mind sharing the day.
+1. I am also a peacemaker, but I really wouldn’t fight your MIL on this on. She is a mother too, after all. If you really, really don’t want to see you, you could send your husband and daughter to brunch with her, and then spend the afternoon with them. But if it were me, I would just go to brunch and be gracious and celebrate both of you. Ideally at a restaurant so it doesn’t linger too long. And then do something fun with your nuclear family in the afternoon. Or the ice cream idea like Mary Moo Cow suggested. Or a massage just for you.
I don’t think you can get out of this without a lot of consternation, but I do think you can protect part of the day for just yourself, to do exactly what you want to do. Or have your “real” Mother’s Day be on Saturday. I hear you; the endless accommodation for Mother’s Day can be exhausting. And set your expectations low. Nearly 13 years in, I can tell you that the day is not nearly as magical as one is led to believe.
Can you plan a weekend or day trip put of town? (Especially given this is your first!) You can then see MIL prior or following weekend for “Mother’s Day”.
This seems really passive aggressive to me when you basically have standing plans with your MIL.
Hugs, my first mother’s day and my own mother AND mother in law both made it all about them as grandparents while I spent the day trying to keep a fussy baby happy/quiet at brunch. I declared from then on out that Mother’s Day was for me too, and we either saw parents another weekend, OR I got an entire Saturday to myself to do with as I pleased.
Can you tell your husband explicitly what YOU want, and how he can support you during the brunch (telling his mom that you can only stay for 90 minutes due to baby’s nap schedule, or even taking the baby solo allowing you to chill at home?). Or can you split up – you take baby and see your family and he sees his mom?
Have your husband proactively plan something for his mom that doesn’t involve you.
Beware that this means he won’t be doting on you 100%. What if he took baby to see his mom and you got the morning alone?
Tell your husband for your first Mother’s Day you want to go to a spa in silence and then do just that.
Will brunch be at someone’s home or at a restaurant? If it’s not at a restaurant, you might push for that to be the plan, so that at least the experience is time-limited to 90 minutes or so. Then make a specific, can’t-break plan for you and your family right afterward, such as an event that requires tickets (museum, sports game, concert), so you can have the rest of the day for you and your family.
This is genius
Tell your husband y’all will go to brunch but you want a hard out once that is over. Tell him you want X hours to nap afterward.
I agree with others. I don’t think you have to see her, but it’s harder to block your husband from seeing her. I like the idea of him taking the baby over there for brunch while you sleep in, then you, your husband and baby doing something together in the afternoon.
Not what you asked but Mother’s Day comes every year so I wouldn’t put too much pressure on the first one. If it’s not great you’ll get another chance next year. I think sometimes hyping up holidays like this just leads to disappointment. I always enjoy Mother’s Dat and I think it’s because I have no expectations except flowers, some time to myself and some fun time with kiddo.
I’m meaner than most people here but I would send DH and baby to brunch and tell MIL you have a spa day booked and cannot make it. Whether you actually do a spa day or sit quietly on your couch (or binge tv or nap or whatever) is up to you. Growing up I thought my mom was a grinch about Mother’s Day but I get it now. It creates more emotional labor for the most stressed women: new mothers, women who aren’t grandmothers but wish they were, women experiencing pregnancy loss, infertility, etc. It’s my least favorite holiday.
yea if seeing your MIL would make you this upset, i like this idea
I would also do this. Your husband can celebrate his mother on Mother’s day, and bring the baby so she can also revel in being a grandmother. This doubles as giving you time and space to relax alone, which is the only Mother’s day gift I ever want.
Yeah I agree with this. Your MIL may still be mad but I think sending your husband and baby is a reasonable compromise.
Honestly I think you just have to s*ck it up. Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate all the moms in the family. It’s not your day any more than it’s her day. If Mother’s Day fell on or right near your birthday (as it often does with me), then I think you’d be more justified in planning a trip out of town. But without an event that’s specific to you like a birthday or anniversary, planning a trip to avoid seeing your MIL on Mother’s Day feels really petty to me.
huh, I disagree that she has to s*ck it up. To me, Mother’s Day is to celebrate your mother and the mother of your child(ren), not all mothers in general. I don’t think the OP has any obligation to celebrate with her MIL, especially if she doesn’t enjoy spending time with her. She needs to wish her MIL a Happy Mother’s Day, but any further effort should fall on her husband. In fact, it’s the husband’s job to make sure he acknowledges both his mom and the mother of his child in the way each of them prefers. And to me, OP *not* wanting to see MIL on Mother’s Day outweighs whatever MIL wants to do. I would expect my husband to handle this with his mom and convey that he and the baby will join in whatever MIL’s thing is while I relax for a few hours.
I meant that she has to deal with her husband going over there for brunch. I agree she doesn’t have to go if she doesn’t want to. But I think it’s really immature to plan a trip and take her husband out of town away from his mom.
Restaurant holiday brunch with a baby seems terrible to me (even without a baby). If that is the plan, propose having brunch on Saturday instead. If it is at someone’s house, I’m not sure it is worth the fight, but I would make it quick and have an exit plan (reservations somewhere else, not feeling well, etc.) and boogie on home.
To be honest, I don’t remember my first mother’s day, but much of that whole first year is a sleepless blur for me with a few memory highlight reels (first steps, first foods, nursing, doctor’s appointments, etc.). Maybe DH took DD and went to MIL’s house to celebrate? For me, the early years were very much a battle between this is our (nuclear) family traditions vs. what MIL had always done, and I also do not like her but managed to keep the peace for the first 7 years of our marriage. I suspect I sent DH (probably with DD, although maybe not) to see his mom either on Sunday or the day before, and then we celebrated as a nuclear family. That being said, perhaps it is not the best example as I banned MIL from my house last year and have not spoken to her in 6+ months (unrelated to mother’s day).
Typically all I want are the three of us (me, DH and DD) to eat together at a meal I didn’t cook, flowers, some alone time and some family time during the day. With such a low bar, DH usually hits it out of the park.
Depends on how old the baby is probably? We did a fancy-ish brunch buffet for my first mother’s day and it was fine, but my LO was only 2 months old at the time and just stayed in her carseat cooing at things. A 10 month old would be a different story. I think in general buffets are good for kids because there is something for everyone to eat and you can get in and out pretty quickly.
I’m honestly a little surprised that so many responses are telling you to see her. She’s not your mother, it’s not your job to celebrate her. I’d send your husband and the baby over to see her in the morning while you do whatever you want to do, and then reserve the rest of the day for you/husband/baby.
I agree. Since she lives so close, that would be an easy trip for them. You could have the hour or so to do as you please. I would love that.
Agree, especially for your first mother’s day with your baby.
Agree. My mom is SUPER resentful of the years and years she spent attending brunches in honor of her Mother in Law, where it was clear her MIL/my grandmother was the “primary” mother, and the daughters/daughters-in-law in attendance were secondary mothers – there to lavish gifts on and celebrate the MIL, while the mothers of young kids did the emotional labor of keeping kids in order during long, non-kid friendly meals.
I’m of the opinion that this is your first mother’s day, so you get to set the tone for the future. Send your husband to brunch – either with or without baby, and plan what you’d like to do for the day. Or hire a babysitter, go to brunch, and get a mimosa , then head off to a spa appointment. I agree with the others that you can’t really keep your husband from seeing his mother, if that’s the previous expectation, but you can outsource childcare or choose not to attend. Also, be clear with your husband if you want him to do something for you or with you.
Have your husband gift you a massage or other experience and book you the appointment for morning brunch time. Have him take baby to see mother during that time. And then have him plan a special surprise for you in the afternoon, just you, him and baby.
Of course, this requires him to be in on the plan but I think you can easily say this is what you want for your first mother’s day and he should understand without communicating the details of how and why to his mother. I would also send her flowers to avoid any potential miscommunication.
Caveat – I’m not a big mother’s day person. I usually sleep in and my husband + kids will make me breakfast and then we roll as if it is a normal day. I’d send your husband and kid to celebrate with MIL and stay home. Not offensive at all – just have your husband say as part of your mother’s day gift, he’s giving you the gift a morning solo.
More Sleep Would Be Nice says
Dude I totally get this. My MIL isn’t local but I would feel the same. Mine isn’t loud, brash, obnoxious but is…a martyr and deeply insecure…and I just CANNOT re-hear the same stories word-for-word about how she did so much/sacrificed so much for her kids as a single mom 25+ years ago.
I’m already annoyed that I’ll have to think of something for her (I’ll coordinate something for my Mom, who is local, so I can’t just opt out of my MIL as well).
I think there are great suggestions here, but just letting you know you’re not alone!
I have a similar situation and to complicate things – her birthday is usually right around Mother’s Day, which means it’s her day/weekend. Honestly I suck it up and just pick another day to celebrate my own family. Sometimes you just have to, and this is one of those times. My husband and kids will let me sleep in and usually bring me a fancy coffee and then we roll over to her house for the rest of the day to celebrate. I will then plan myself a spa trip or another solo afternoon/morning within a few weeks to make up for it. Sorry. I wish we had better MILs but I choose to focus on the fact that I love my husband and there’s no rule that says I can only celebrate myself as a mother on this particular day.
Thanks for all of the replies! I think I will have him go to brunch with baby while I get my nails done, and then we spend the afternoon at home just the 3 of us. I will send flowers to MIL (another great suggestion!) because she will be offended if I don’t go to brunch and flowers will soften the blow.
I’d try to have DH preempt any offense, in addition to flowers. Ex – he call his mother to confirm plans ahead of time and brag to her that he SO THOUGHTFULLY got you a nail appointment so you could have some downtime while lucky baby gets to see his beloved grandma?? Based on just your brief description above, a little flattery can guide this into MIL bragging to her friends about what a sweetheart her son is to his wife instead of creating drama about how Offended she is about your attendance. The whole MIL vs DIL dynamic, once in place, can be really difficult, and it sounds like you aren’t there yet, so might honestly be easier to pre-empt this than deal with that mess. (If I’m off and MIL is just generally horrible and you don’t really care what she thinks, please ignore – I’m not trying to say this is right for everyone, but with DH’s huge family I have found that guiding the narrative a bit can avoid a lot of tantrums. YMMV)
For the past couple of years, my husband has given me the gift of a quiet morning by taking our son to see his grandmother. I do like my MIL, but I don’t want to deal with a whole big thing on Mother’s Day (i.e., I don’t want to get dressed). This arrangement seems to have made everyone happy. It helps, probably, that we have a lot of family birthdays at that time of year, so it’s not as though I’m avoiding the in-laws in general.
Is anyone else extremely disappointed that the scarymommy confessional is no more?? After this site and the main site, it was my favorite place to mindlessly scroll. It was also incredibly reassuring to see other people screaming the same things out into the void….
My discord mom’s group has a confessional thread, which is sometimes funny, sometimes serious, always entertaining. I suspect, however, my sharing of my antipathy to my husband’s cat, might have raised some eyebrows though.
Yes! I miss it, and having an anonymous place to vent.
Boston Legal Eagle says
Ha, I wish I had known about this one! The only places I’m on consistently are this s*te and my town’s FB moms page (sometimes the FB Mom Hour page but that skews more SAHM). Where else do you all read?
Only this, plus a friend Slack that includes five other moms. And here’s the other question: how do you explain/refer to CMoms to other people? I call it my “internet moms board.” Which is not quiiiiite accurate but saying “the comments section of a website” sounds a bit suspect.
I’ve tried to describe this site to my husband a few times too. It’s a fashion blog but a mom board for mostly working moms (I know we have some sahm. No shade)
I usually just go with working mom blog commenters and he knows what I’m talking about.
“online community for working moms” (no shade to the SAHM who also participate!) But my husband knows CMoms at this point, I often tell him about conversations I found interesting here.
So Anon says
This is what I generally go with too. I consider this board part of my community and gut check on all things.
Internet moms board feels specific enough.
For the main page I call it “That Lawyer Fashion Blog I Read Comments On.” For this page I usual say “This Mom’s Forum I am On” — either way my husband gets it. He often shares something from “That British Guy I Listen To” or “That Creepy Show” or “That Lemon Lawyer” :)
Just here, mostly. The only other online space I’ve been in that feels as thoughtful, nuanced, and supportive as this page is the FB moms page for the Cambridge/ Somerville area (it proved so popular that there are offshoot pages for different kid birth years, book discussions, etc).
I read here, a moms group for alumni of my college and a FB group for local parents. I only participate in the former two and appreciate that they skew heavily pro-working mom and pro-science, including pro-vax. The latter group definitely does not, and I read out of amusement/horror but never participate.
Breaking Moms on Reddit is pretty good!
WWYD? Other daycare (montessori school) parents have organized to ask daycare employees to wear masks because of the risk of under-5s, even though it’s no longer required by local health guidelines, the daycare’s parent company, or case numbers. (IMO.) We are fine with daycare’s no-mask policy (and have an under-5 DD), but now these parents have asked for help incentivizing the teachers with treat Mondays by either bringing treats or giving them money for treats. I don’t have strong feelings either way and I don’t know any other parents at our daycare. I am leaning toward sending them some money since DD ostensibly benefits from this request, and sending a note to the organizers to say thank you for making this request. DH is annoyed with what he calls “activist parents.”
I may be biased because our university daycare seems to be one of the only ones in the US that still requires indoor masking, but I would absolutely want teachers and kids masked if I had an unvaxxed kid. I feel a little weird about bribing teachers to wear masks but I’d probably contribute.
Mine still requires masks (hospital affiliated)
So. You’re fine with their current policy. And your husband is actively opposed to changing it. Why would you even consider participating?!
this just sounds strange. like getting treats is going to get them to wear a mask all the time? seems unlikely. are all kids 2+ still in masks? even if not required by health guidelines, a private company can require employees to still wear masks. would likely be more effective to try to talk to management and have a policy implemented. are you just supposed to venmo someone money? given your position on masks, i’d maybe venmo $20 but since you don’t know any of the other parents and not sending money is unlikely to impact you in any way, i don’t know that i’d take it farther than that. i myself have no issue with these ‘activist parents’ and kind of agree with them wanting employees to mask (if the kids are too), but i don’t think their approach will accomplish their desired result
Honestly, I find it a bit weird. I would likely opt out.
I’m with your husband, this sounds gross to me, and I would not participate. The “right” way to go about it would be for the parents to approach the administration and ask them to please consider extending the school’s mask mandate for employees, assuming you’re in a state/county where private businesses can still make their own determination. Treat the teachers and the administration like they’re adults, share your concerns, make your request. Don’t bribe the teachers with money and food to wear masks. That seems … infantilizing. It smacks of, “if you can be good at the store, we can get a treat in the checkout line.” Ugh
Yes – this is everything I couldn’t articulate. I assume, but don’t know, that they tried to get the admin to re-consider the policy but since it’s a multi-school system, it was a no-go.
I think we’ll opt out, and like someone suggested below, try to go all-in for teacher appreciation week. Thank you!
Agreed. I *hate* this. This is bananas to me and I would decline participation.
I hear you and my gut reaction was that it’s super weird. But I have heard more than one teacher express that masking is basically another demand on them in an already demanding and underpaid job and if masking is going to continue, they should be compensated for the hardship. So maybe the charitable interpretation of this scenario is that a teacher or teachers made comments like this to the organizer of the charity drive.
This and also who is enforcing? Like do you have to sign up for shifts to stand there and make sure only teachers who wear masks get to grab a bagel? The whole thing is weird
Mary Moo Cow says
What’s the daycare admin’s policy on masking? I would be leery of joining a renegade effort to incentivize teachers to wear masks if the administration has made it optional. That puts teachers in a weird place: accept the gifts and rankle my bosses, don’t accept the gifts and please my bosses but watch others accept? If you are fine with the no mask policy, then why are you going to thank the organizers for making this request? Are you concerned you or your child will be ostracized if you don’t send something in?
FWIW, if it were me, I would politely decline and enthusiastically join in the schoolwide teacher appreciation week in May.
Since you asked WWYD, what *I* would do is, do nothing/not participate in this effort.
Background/reasons: We’ve personally been, and live in an area that has been, extremely conservative in terms of covid precautions. Our son’s daycare is affiliated with a hospital, so any covid shut downs means that doctors and nurses can’t work. However, the hospital recently allowed the daycare to go masks-optional FOR NOW, because case numbers are so low locally. The teachers are thrilled. They have been wearing masks for 9-10 hrs/day for nearly two years and while they’d do anything for these kids, they are just really happy for the reprieve, for however long it lasts.
I strongly disagree w/going mask optional for daycares & preschools where kids are not able to be vaccinated, but I would not do this.
I would not participate in this because it’s super patronizing and condescending to ask teachers to wear masks in return for “treat Monday.” Ick. These are grown adult professionals. Putting myself in their shoes, I would be offended. I’m not going to do something that my employer doesn’t require and that I don’t want to do in return for “treats.”
More Sleep Would Be Nice says
Not to pile on, but our daycare/pre-school went mask optional as well. As much as I am in strong favor of masking, OP’s situation feels icky to me as well. We should thank these teachers as much as possible for the challenging conditions they have had to work in a generally very tough job where they are criminally undercompensated…but the treats for masking puts them in a weird position.
I also think it is reasonable that there’s an off-road for masking, ideally tied to access to vaccinations (e.g. once kids <5 can be vaxxed, sure let's make it optional for these teachers)….but that ship has long sailed. Sigh.
This is horrifying, please do not participate. To me it feels particularly icky because these parents are essentially trying to buy off labor in order to influence management. Gross, just gross.
Plus… treats are not enough to make up for the inconvenience of wearing a mask when it’s not required. Some people genuinely hate wearing masks all day every day. Especially if your job is already very demanding and you get paid little. Treats belittles the situation.
help! we are having major potty training issues. my soon to be 4 year old was potty trained at some point and now the pee accidents are out of control. we are working with her doctor to see if it is a medical issue and she is in OT for some other things so also working with the OT on body awareness, but we aren’t sure if DD just can’t tell that she has to go or doesn’t care. She has 3+ peeing accidents a day. Even when she is home with just a dress and no undies or totally naked. When she has an accident, we tell her that she needs to try to keep her undies dry and tell us when she has to go potty. I’d consider a sticker chart, but she is a twin and twin has no issues with this and so it doesn’t seem like a fair set up, especially since there are a lot of other things that come easier to her twin and she is kind of a sensitive kid and i think it would backfire. when we try to get her to go potty before going somewhere it turns into hysterics. sometimes her underwear/pants will clearly be wet and she will insist that they aren’t and get HYSTERICAL when we try to get her to change her clothes. did anyone’s kid have a medical issue relating to this or any other tips or tricks to help her?
Is she constipated? The bladder and bowel are linked, and constipation can cause all kinds of urinary problems, including incontinence. If she’s not having a soft bowel movement at least daily I would try Miralax or Lactulose until she is.
Rather than taking her to the potty before you have to go somewhere (some kids find that to be too much pressure), I’d just do timed pottying. Every two hours seems like a good place to start. They do potty visits on a schedule for all kids in my daughter’s pre-K classroom, so it’s not unusual for this age.
Is she in school? Is she having the same issues at school? What do the teachers say?
Hugs. We didn’t have this particular issue, but I have a very sensitive, anxious, late bloomer kid who wasn’t potty trained until a month before her fourth birthday, so I feel you on how stressful and isolating it can be.
we are working with the doctor on potential constipation issues, but we dont think that is a problem. she is in school. she has accidents there as well, but less full blown peeing all over the floor and more like her undies/pants are wet. the teachers said she is really good and going to get her change of clothes from her cubby all by herself when she realizes she is wet. i have noticed that at least when she is at home, she seems to do better in the morning and then worse as the day goes on. idk if she gets tired? or i think maybe she isn’t fully emptying her bladder, but idk how to get her to do so. but like on Friday afternoon she wasn’t wearing any undies (just a dress) and peed all over the couch, then she was totally naked and peed all over the floor. And when she isn’t home, she doesn’t always tell me that she had an accident. so i noticed the liquid on the floor and saw she was wiggling and it was still a whole hoopla to get her to the potty and i try to get her to help me clean it up and she either gets hysterical or her twin jumps in and wants to help clean up too bc it is fun to use a spray bottle and I don’t always have the energy to deal with both of them wanting to clean up (which obviously creates more mess than clean). The challenge with the timed visits, is that her twin clearly does not have to go and so then the twin gets hysterical, like why are you making me go potty. We very much emphasize how everyone is different and needs different things, but this is one of those areas where it is tricky to separate the two.
Ack! Listening to all this hoopla – I would pull way back. Stop having her help clean up, stop forcing the bathroom breaks, stop trying to control it. It definitely sounds like way too much going on, and she seems like she’s super reactive to feeling like she’s being controlled. You aren’t going to get her to empty her bladder, she’s just going to have to figure it out, and will probably do so once she has some space (assuming no medical issues – which, if they are in play, mean she can’t control it anyway).
Again, this is totally coming from someone who tried to over control a kid’s bathroom and it wildly backfired, so I’ve totally been there. My kid HATES being controlled even now, so I guess it all makes sense. I strongly, strongly advise reading Meghan Leahy on this, and it will feel so counterintuitive, but will be easier on you and on her.
We had a really hard time potty training DS. We started, stopped and then started again a year later. Still, he would have “accidents” frequently and often it was very clearly NOT an accident because it was right after being told “no” to something (like, pulled his pants DOWN to pee in the living room. It was infuriating frankly). Of course, I’d check especially with a girl that it is not a UTI/body awareness, as you point out. And, keep my eyes open to any signs of CSA, like wanting to wear multiple pairs of underwear, etc. That said- what finally started working for us was buckling down on natural consequences. We really had to both be consistent in making him “help” clean it up, walk to the washing machine and “help” start it, clean the floor, get changed. And, while this sounds mean, we also stopped making getting wiped down so comfortable. Used a lukewarm cloth to wipe him down instead of a warm bath — it just became a bad incentive for “accidents” because he got play time in the tub! And, we really tried to give him as many options/control as possible over things like picking out clothes, breakfast, whatever because for him the accidents were clearly a sort of control thing. The making him clean up was not helpful nor fast, but it did stop the behaviour mostly. He’d still releapse occassionally (tbh still occassionally pees all over the bathroom for the babysitter ughhh) but not daily. Alternatively, have you considered going back to diapers/pull ups for a bit? Restarting for us was frustrating but was a necessary reset from the negativity of potty training/accidents all day.
Hang in there. It is SO hard!
I had a kid who potty trained very late, and I wish, wish, wish I would have just left it all alone. We tried every bribe, bargain, and incentive that is out there. We went to a potty training specialist. We had a therapist pulled in.
Honestly, the only thing that worked was time and backing off. If I could go back, I would just continue to clean up the accidents as they happen, but not make a big deal out of staying dry or forcing her to try to go to the bathroom. In hindsight, we were making too big of a deal out of staying dry, pushing her to use the bathroom, etc. Especially since you have a doctor weighing in on possible medical stuff and an OT for possible sensory stuff, I really and truly just wouldn’t do anything affirmative about it. Just continue to ask neutrally if she wants to go to the bathroom, and if not, no big deal – don’t ask twice, just keep on going. If she pees herself, just change her and move on. The parent coach Meghan Leahy has some good stuff on potty training that I really didn’t fully internalize until too late for our oldest.
Yeah I just put my kid in pull ups. You don’t have to use the potty, but you aren’t allowed to pee all over the place.
As a counterpoint to this, my kid potty trained very late and I think she’d still be in diapers if we hadn’t (gently) pushed it. My kid is just the kind of person that won’t do *anything* new without some level of forcing on our part. That said, we knew her issue was not physical readiness. Some kids may still not be physically ready even at almost 4, and sounds like OP’s kid could be in that boat.
Agreed completely. I have a second born kid who would still happily be in diapers at age 10. That said, in this case, sounds like pushing isn’t working, which is why I suggested backing way off. Having been in this situation, it’s counterintuitive because you start to panic that your kid will never be potty trained, so you want to Find The Solution to Fix The Problem, but pushing too hard then becomes worse than not pushing at all.
Each of kids had some of these issues, but not all together – that sounds tough! So on medical issues. Our ped would always want to rule out UTI when there were a lot of pee accidents. Never turned out to be the case.
On body awareness – our daughter would get so wrapped up in something that she would forget to pay attention to the awareness clues. So if there were accidents, we would go back to prompting her to go to the bathroom every 1.5 hours.
For the hysteria over being “forced” to go potty – our son would get really upset if we felt he was being “forced” to go. Honestly he still does get a little upset (and he is 6!) when we ask him to go before leaving the house, or before bed. What helps (some) is reminding him he has to TRY and go, he doesn’t HAVE to go. So he has to go to the bathroom and sit on the potty for two rounds of singing the ABCs. 99% of the time, he ends up peeing.
There are times we need to explain to 7 year old that it’s bad for his bladder to hold it for too long and that to stay healthy we need him to try to empty it. And we do force it before going out, if it’s been over 3 hours since he gets very cranky, before bed, and on awaking.
If she’s having lots of small pee accidents and there is no medical issue, it sounds like the thing where they are really focused on what they are doing and ignore the urge to go. They let go a little bit to reduce the pressure, so have a small accident, and then keep holding it. This happened a lot to my son in K with pee and is apparently pretty common. Given her level of hysteria about this it does seem like you need to back off, but if you want to try a bribe for checking the potty, we allowed our son to use his tablet while checking for #2 after meals. He had persistent #2 accidents for YEARS because he would try to wait–and never get constipated miraculously. Anyway, regular checking was key for him. But he was also like 7 or 8 before he really mastered this. (If you think pee accidents are annoying…it could be worse. I yes I know it is gross and unsanitary but so is constantly pooping your pants).
Advice on dog breeds?
My family and I live in a townhouse in a big city – small “garden” no yard. Two elementary school age kids. We both work outside the home but would get a dog walker to take the dog out mid morning, then kids/baby sitter could walk the dog after school as well. We are looking for a good natured dog that is fun but not bonkers energy. We’d rather have a mid-sized dog if possible — and my husband doesn’t like poodles/doodles (don’t ask me why). Thoughts? suggestions?
(I know getting a purebred dog is controversial so please ignore this request if it bothers you!)
My thought is adopt an older dog from a rescue and it’s bizarre to me you’re discounting this since it’s literally the only way to get the kind of dog you want. You don’t have time for a puppy! A good rescue can absolutely help you find a moderate energy dog who is chill and good with kids.
I’m not opposed to the idea of getting a purebred dog, but I don’t think you “need” one for what you’re looking for. Working with a rescue to get a dog who’s been fostered (meaning, personality traits are known) would probably accomplish your goal just as well, if not better. Unless you want a puppy? but if you want not bonkers energy and work outside the home… you don’t want a puppy.
+1. I’m sure rescues vary, but I reached out to one and described our lifestyle and expressed interest in a dog. They responded that the dog we were interested in was probably not a good fit for our family, but suggested we consider another dog that was being fostered. We adopted the other dog, and he is perfect! Such a joy. He came to us housetrained and so well behaved. He was just under a year old so past the early puppy stage and they had a better idea on his personality. When we picked him up (he was on one of those Southern Transports) he was one of the oldest dogs there and had been waiting to be adopted for months. I can’t believe he was overlooked, he is such a great dog and we love him so much. So I strongly endorse finding a rescue that helps you find a good fit with a foster dog.
A good rescue can tell you a lot about any dog in their care, even if they’re not placed with foster families. My parents had a very similar experience adopting my childhood dog. My mom raved for years about what a good job they’d done matching the dog to our family.
So my advice is to adopt from a shelter but it’s not because I think getting a purebred dog is morally wrong. Puppies are an insane amount of work (my boss just got one, and from his description it literally sounds like a newborn child – he and his wife get woken up multiple times per night to take the puppy outside). Plus you say you want a “good natured dog” but there’s no way to determine if a puppy is good-natured. If you adopt an adult dog from a shelter, it will be potty-trained and the shelter will be able to give you tons of info about its personality and whether it’s good with kids.
Yep, my retired parents got a golden retriever puppy four months after I had twins. After a week my mom cried that they had made a mistake and helping me overnight with the twins for days on end was less work and less stressful than the puppy.
Whenever we get a dog I’ll likely get one from a breeder, but it doesn’t sound like it’s for you right now.
I’ve had two dogs:
1. Golden Retriever, adopted when he was 4 – Best dog ever. They can run the gamut in size, and possible to find a smaller one that would be a “medium” size
2. Doodle Mix we got as a puppy – I swear a puppy was more work and less joy than a newborn. He’s 2.5 now and kiiiinda becoming a good dog.
The shedding of the golden was worth the awesome temperament.
I adopted both of our dogs as young puppies, and it is a massive pain. The youngest is 3.5 and is just becoming mellow. He’s still mischievous but that’s personality. Our older dog is 7 now and he’s so chill. He is fine laying on the back porch all day (not that we just leave him out unattended, but that’s his dream day)
Both are sporty dog mixed breeds, but puppies are hard work no matter what.
Mary Moo Cow says
Definitely not a young working dog like a Shepard, heeler, or herding dog. Bigger dogs can be lazier and need less exercise even though they take up more space (like a Great Dane. They seem like they need all the exercise, but they can be total couch potatoes.) I would look for older Golden Retrievers or mixed breeds who have been vetted by a local adoption agency or shelter. Foster families can tell you the dog’s temperament and daily needs better than a breeder who is taking an educated guess based on family heritage.
We have a 15 year old German Shepard-small dog mix and he was bonkers for about 3 years, then calmed down from 3-7 and has been a great dog for our family for the past 7: enough energy to go for a walk once a day but can be left alone for hours at a clip.
So Anon says
I adore big dogs and have a Newfoundland. Be aware that most big dogs have a span of time where they are huge and still puppies. That being said, I got my Newfie when my oldest was 18 months. She was around both of my kids as toddlers, and one as a baby. She is the gentlest giant and is now 10. If you haven’t owned a dog before, I would not start with a giant breed.
My parents had a newfie, she was the sweetest thing and great with kids!
We had a wheaten terrier growing up, and she was a great mid-sized non-shedding dog.
Plus one to a terrier. We have one and they are great in all the ways you describe. Just bear in mind that they can be very stubborn – but we like that our guy has a real personality.
Dog breed isn’t that relevant to temperament. Sure, there is some truth to the stereotypes like golden retrievers are good family dogs and chihuahuas are territorial, but dogs are individual beings like humans and you really need to know specifics about the individual dog you’re getting and not just assume it will be fine because it’s a “good” breed. A former colleague had to return a lab they got, because she was horrible with their kids, despite that breed’s reputation as a good family dog. You need to work with a rescue organization that can match you with a dog that meets your criteria. If you feel very strongly about getting a purebred dog, there are breed-specific rescues for some breeds, but I don’t know why you’d discount mutts. If you’re looking for mid-size dogs, considering mutts will greatly expand your options because there aren’t that many mid-size breeds. My childhood dog was a 40 pound golden lab/beagle mix who had the sweetest personality.
When I was growing up, my neighbors adopted two dogs from the same litter that were golden-beagle mixes. One looked like a beagle-sized golden retriever, the other could have passed for a purebred beagle. They were both delightful, I loved them almost as much as my own dog (a heinz-57 mutt).
literally the only rescue dogs in my area are pit bulls and pit bull varietals. so that is why I am not interested.
See if any Southern rescues serve your area. We had the same issue in New England and that before the pandemic. The dog we adopted came from Mississippi and is a glorious lab mutt. We had to drive an hour to pick up the dog, but it wasn’t too bad. They came up to our area about once a month.
You can probably adopt from any rescue within driving distance, possibly even beyond if you’re willing to pay a bit more. I know there are way too many rescue dogs in Hawaii and they will adopt to the mainland if the soon-to-be owner pays the cost of air transport. Have you checked PetFinder? You can filter by things like house-trained, good with kids, etc. There are tons of non-pitbull dogs that pop up there for me. Or call your local rescue organization and ask if they have any dogs that would meet your needs. I bet they do.
Plenty of pit bulls & pit bull mixes that are fun and not bonkers energy
Eh it is pretty valid to not want a pit bull IMO.
Where do you live? Gently, I doubt this if you live anywhere near a major city. Have you checked out something like petfinder that aggregates results from several rescues and also includes ones that will travel?
Anyway, to your original question, absolutely do not get a purebred herding breed. I’d look at spaniels. My childhood dog was a border collie-cocker spaniel mix, and she was the best dog ever — the spaniel toned down her energy enough that she was fun without being manic.
(Pit bulls get a bad rap that 80%+ of them don’t deserve. But since you live in a townhouse I’ll assume there’s some kind of breed restriction that keeps them off the table)
I think the pit bull issue is worse in major cities. At least it is in NYC. It really is a sea of “terrier mixes” here.
So why don’t you try rescue organizations in other areas? I understand not wanting a pitbull but nothing about your post suggests you’re prepared for a puppy. Seriously, it’s impossible to overestimate how much work they are.
Most rescues will not adopt out of the local geographic area.
That has not been my experience in the Midwest. Also like I said rescues in Hawaii will adopt to the mainland so if you’re really desperate that’s an option. Would be hard to meet the dog first though unless you feel like taking an expensive vacation.
This is not my experience in the DC area, either. Even leaving aside that “local areal” is defined very broadly in the DMV, there are many, many rescues that bring animals up from points farther South / Southwest in the US. There are also many that bring animals from international locations. My friends have a golden retriever from Turkey.
This is just one data point but I wouldn’t recommend a beagle. Our next door neighbors have one, and we can hear him howl/whine all day long. On the other hand, my husband’s family are big on poodles, and I think they are great! They don’t shed, they hardly bark, and they are fine flopped on the couch all day with a few big walks. They have a weird stigma but you don’t have to get them the classic hair style if you don’t want to (but they do need regular trims).
We adopted a min-pin/chihuahua/random mix and he is the best, hovers around 17 lbs. I really think mutts are the best dogs, our pure-bred dachshund is a never ending nightmare. I’ve heard long hairs are better. Another thing to think about with puppies is you truly don’t know how big they will get, breeders lie, and also just don’t know.
I have a chihuahua/random mix and he’s a delight. High anxiety but only in certain situations (fireworks and the vet plus he hates cars). He’s great with kids and other dogs and generally just a sweetheart. He’s 12 lbs but easy to find ones mixed with bigger breeds.
There are parts of the country where shelters are deluged with dogs like this so I would definitely look for an organization that brings dogs from elsewhere to your area.
We have a chihuahua mix (20 lbs but ideal weight is probably more like 15 lbs) and she’s ok. She’s very bonded to my husband and kind of ignores my kid and me. Apparently it’s very common for chihuahuas to only bond to one person in the family. She’s anxious which has caused some big problems (when we were moving she got so stressed out she made herself really sick and had to be hospitalized) but otherwise low maintenance. She can be left alone all day with no issues and just wants to sleep, especially now that she’s old. She is small enough to fly in the cabin of a plane, and we took her on a lot of trips with us before we had a kid. She doesn’t really shed.
Tbh I do not want to replace her when she dies. I love dogs but I love travel more and making arrangements for a dog every time you travel is a PITA when you travel as often as we do. But if we do replace her it will likely be another chihuahua mix. I do not want a big dog or a shedding dog.
If/when we get a dog, we are looking for one that is pretty similar to what you are looking for. I had a schnauzer growing up and he was the perfect dog– laid around all day during the week with no accidents, but had plenty of energy to run and play and even go on jogs with me. He also absolutely loved all people (did not particularly care for other dogs, but I attribute that to limited exposure to other dogs when he was young). I lean heavily toward getting another schnauzer since he was just so great. The other breed we’ve looked into is Boston Terrier. Known as the “gentleman dog”– they seem to have a pretty mild temperament and are good with kids/people in general. However, I have some ethical issues with the flat-faced dog breeds because that purely aesthetic trait is really bad for their health.
I wanted a dog my whole life, and I love our 4yo doodle, but it’s A LOT sometimes. The tiny puppy months were SO much work. After that, he had ongoing stress related digestive issues (i.e., constant diarrhea), which I now think was caused by the stress of being alone for so many hours a day, even with a dog-walker. Then he got seriously ill and racked up thousands in medical bills. More recently, we’ve been so busy that he gained a bunch of weight. Every time we travel, I have to book a place for him to stay or hope family can help. He’s another set of routine medical appointments and grooming appointments, in addition to all the household admin for my two kids. All of which is to say: I love dogs, “dog” was my first word, I love our dog. But really think carefully about how it will affect your life.
Yeah, having to make arrangements for the dog every time you travel can be a real inconvenience. I loved having a dog as a child but as an adult I kind of feel like it’s more trouble than it’s worth, especially as a working parent who has so much going on to begin with.
We adopted a rescue dog about a year ago. DNA testing showed she was a mix of 13 different breeds; she was with a foster family for four months before we got her, and they were able to share lots of information about her to test whether or not she would be a good fit for our family (two kids, ages 7 and 1). Dog was 18 months old at that time, and we wanted a dog who was (1) housetrained, (2) experienced and comfortable with kids, and (3) non-shedding. We did 2 or 3 home visits before a final decision was made. Highly recommend using a rescue group. We met with 3-4 other potential foster-dogs before landing on the one we adopted – one growled at our kids (an obvious no), one had some medical needs were weren’t prepared to handle, and a third was just too young / too many unknowns. There is interest from both sides in getting a good fit, as rescue agencies don’t like to get dogs back if the adoption doesn’t work out. .
I know your husband is opposed but we have a good-natured golden doodle puppy. She potty trained fast and has been great so far. The first few weeks were tiring but she went long stretches without a bathroom break pretty quickly. She is high energy but we are an active family so it hasn’t been a big deal. Either my husband or I work from home every day so she’s rarely alone.
We have not boarded her for a trip yet. We are thinking about finding a pet sitter to stay at our house. But right now, we still aren’t traveling much so she just comes with us (by car).
Any recs for dining room tables that are easy to clean and durable around toddlers? What kind of coating should I be looking for? Or do I just buy whatever is available at IKEA or elsewhere that is cheap and reassess when my toddler has left the home (for college)?? We need a new table.
Room and Board. They have so many custom options. We have a Parsons table with a quartz top and it is very easy to clean and durable. I think you could stain it with paint or superglue or something like that, but it doesn’t get water marks and it is very easy to wipe up food spills.
I have a Room & Board quartz countertop in my kitchen and it is completely indestructible and looks amazing. I also have a West Elm dining table with a marble top that looks similar to the R&B parsons table (I got mine from a friend who needed a bigger table), and it’s held up really well to kid messes and paint and “washable” markers and crayons, and tape. I even got sharpie off the legs with acetone! It definitely doesn’t look brand new but it doesn’t show damage as much as wood does.
R&B also really stands behind their quality. I had issues with the fabric on the arms of a sofa I got from them, and emailed them over 3 years after purchase and they exchanged the sofa (and let me pick a new fabric!).
Oh gosh, we got this great table handed down that survived a family of 4 kids without a scratch. But they did not tell me they always had it covered in glass! I did not do that, and now it already has a lot of marks. Maybe go for what you like, preferring rounded corners, and just plan to cover with glass? It’s too late now for me, but if I were you — especially if buying new — I would cover. Whoops. My personal preference is to buy something used and sturdy over IKEA when it comes to something that will be heavily used like a dining table (meals, homework, daily use). (My mom still has her wood table from my childhood, and my grandmother’s sturdy wood dining table is still in the family! Brings back such nice memories. Amazing quality too). FWIW, my mom’s and the one we got handed down were both Amish made and are really sturdy.
Thanks all for the recs! I totally forgot about Amish made furniture.
We bought our dining room table pre-kids; it’s a parsons table style, made with reclaimed wood and sealed with some kind of stain/sealant that makes it waterproof. We just wipe it off with a rag and water or use wood cleaner for polishing…kids’ food messes have just never been an issue (I have 8 and 5 yr olds now; the table is about 10 yrs old). I’m not sure you need a special kid-friendly table; just get what you like. Caveat that this is NOT their art table; they have a plastic IKEA table for that.
We got an Ikea table 10 years ago, with kids in mind. I’ve been happy that I never had to worry about it getting scratched or spilled on, that we can use it for painting (though I do lay down plastic for that)/Play Doh/etc. It’s held up well, minus 2 spots that have kind of bubbled up, but most people wouldn’t even notice.
So Anon says
Do I let this Sgo? My youngest – 8 – is now refusing to wear any kind of jacket outside or even a sweater over her t-shirt (sometimes short sleeved and sometimes long). We live in northern New England, and it was 34 degrees this morning. Peak winter for us is highs in the single digits, so it is comparatively warmer now, but not actually warm. School has a rule that no coats are required when the temp is 32 or greater. She claims that she is not cold. Do I care and push that she has to wear some kind of layer or just say that she’ll figure it out if she gets cold?
I would not push it. Other than maybe waiting at a bus stop, kids are exercising when they’re outdoors, and you need a LOT less clothing when you’re exercising. I was in Banff last fall and hiked in 32 degree weather. It made me understand why my kid never wants to wear a jacket outside – if you’re constantly moving, 32 and short sleeves is totally comfortable.
i’m laughing at that school rule. they really think that it is appropriate for kids to be in short sleeves in 32 degrees? granted, while i am originally from the northeast I now live in TX and have become a total wimp. anyway, what if the family rule is you don’t have to wear it, but you do have to bring it in your backpack just in case she gets cold or the weather changes throughout the day.
OP, this is the compromise I’ve landed on with my kid. She can have goosebumps and still be proclaiming that she’s SO HOT.
This was/is my approach with my older one. I am honest in saying look buddy, you don’t have to wear it but you have to take it, because I don’t want a call from the school saying I didn’t dress you appropriately.
Also- adding that because you’re divorced, I’d send the coat because I wouldn’t want to risk an over-zealous teacher or aide calling and/or documenting my kid wasn’t dressed appropriately for school and that being used against me in a custody situation at some point. But I’m paranoid about that kind of stuff even though my ex has never even had an attorney.
Paranoid or proactive? +1 for a smart thing to do tbh.
So I’d push wearing it to school because kids are not the greatest at regulating their temps. Even older kids (which is why you still have to watch for heat exhaustion in like 12 year olds). She may not feel cold but be cold and using valuable energy staying warm. I don’t care if my kid takes OFF a coat at a playground or at school, but I want them to start out with it.
My 8yo has been coming off the bus sans jacket these past few weeks, (and I’m pretty sure she’s not wearing it at recess) but wearing a jacket to school when it’s under 50 degrees is a battle I’m willing to fight. She does have the option of a few jackets, and I’d allow a sweatshirt if she wanted to go that route.
My kid is younger but goes to outdoor school in New England, where they advocate “natural consequences.” In other words, kiddo has the gear available and with her, but no one will force her to put it on. We’ve avoided a lot of battles over the past 2 years because kiddo, who usually runs hot, knows that she has the option to put on gear when she wants/needs to, and because it’s her choice, she usually will. I was skeptical at first, but it has worked out, and saved me tons of battles.
I recommend requiring her to put a coat in her backpack, but not wear it. Let the school enforce it on their end, and give her the option if she changes her mind.
So Anon says
Thank you all for your comments. I will make sure she has a jacket in her backpack, but I’m not going to insist that she wear it.
I have an 8 year old. Could you compromise with “I won’t ever tell you what to wear as long as you keep a sweatshirt in your backpack”? My kid is fine with that when we have this argument. We are in the Boston area and she has some kids in her class that are wear shorts now.
Traveling to Portland and the Columbia River Gorge with my five year old and 20m old in April. I know it’ll be rainy but we’re from LA so we get a lot of sun and beach…any recommendations? Anything I need to book in advance? TY!
Anon Lawyer says
Not really. Well, check Multnomah Falls – it’s possible they’re still requiring reservations there. There are some amazing paved trails you can take a stroller on if you want that will have amazing wildflowers that time of year like a stretch of the Old Gorge Highway. I think Boneville Dam and the fish hatchery are fun for little kids. Take quarters so you can get fish food.
OMSI, the science museum, has a great “science playground” for preschool kids. My two year old loves it and actually the whole museum. Go to Powell’s Books.
Food wise, every local will tell you Blue Star is better than Voodoo for donuts. (I’m not really a donut person though). Food cart pods are really the ultimate for eating out with small kids and a lot have covered areas with heaters. Though honestly it could be rainy or it could be beautiful. Where are you staying?
I’m not a local but we tried both on our trip to Portland and we liked Voodoo way more. I’m a fan of fluffy, yeasty donuts though.
Kids would enjoy the zoo I think.
We’re staying in two different airbnbs
Anon Lawyer says
What part of town or is one in the Gorge? Assuming you’ll have a car? I mention it because as many people will tell you, downtown is in kind of a dicey place right now with so many businesses having closed and offices not being staffed. It’s not dangerous but probably not the most fun. I actually think a lot of the fun “hanging out” neighborhoods are on the East Side which visitors might be less likely to venture to generally. But for food cart pods, I often recommend Hawthorne Asylum which is on the East Side but pretty centrally located. Of course google has them all too. Portland Mercado is further out but cool.
The Pearl District and NW 23rd areas are going to be more fun on the West Side of the river. There are nice parks and playgrounds and it’s all connected pretty well by street car etc.
the first one looks like its near Concordia. the second is in the gorge. We’ve rented a car.
Anon Lawyer says
Ok that’s right by the Alberta district I recommended so I’d definitely check that out.
Anon Lawyer says
Oh and in terms of other neighborhoods, I’d probably plan to stroll down N Mississippi (E side, close to the river) one evening. There’s family friendly places like pizza and tacos plus more food and it’s a nice scene. I like the Alberta Arts District and there’s a Salt and Straw there (you probably have that in LA now too but we do have different flavors). If your kids are early risers, you could hit up Tin Shed for breakfast before it gets crowded.
In SE Portland there’s a rhododendron garden near Reed College that is good for kids and has duckling and goslings that time of year. I think the Japanese and Chinese gardens are not ideal for kids personally. Rose Gardens are good though and have nice views of the city. Agreed that the Zoo is nice but probably not that much different than others you’ve seen.
That time of year should also overlap with the tulip festivals but I always forget to go so can’t make recommendations. There are various farms scattered around though and many will also have animals to pet etc.
I am happy to talk your ear off about gorge day trips with kids if you have a burner email. There are amazing view hikes and waterfall hikes, but some are good for little kids and some are not due to drop offs and steepness (or just less pretty post wildfires). Mosier Plateau is a nice one for views without too much steepness or drop offs. Latourell Falls or Bridal Veil falls are good shortish waterfall hikes- latourell you will definitely want a carrier; bridal veil is probably less than a mile each way. Horsetail Falls/Ponytail Falls I used to recommend a lot (less than. Mike up to walk behind a waterfall!) but it’s less scenic now post fire. Let me know if you want endless details on hiking! Hood River has a nice playground right on the river that my kids love too. In Portland I recommend Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden at that time of year with kids- my fave!
[email protected] Thanks!
Toddler fine hair says
Any recs for hair ties or barrettes for very fine toddler hair?
The baby hair ties from Target are going strong 1 year later for us. Scuni “Ponytailers” Like less than 1 inch in diameter and combo of cotton and elastic ( reminiscent of the top part of gym socks)
Does anyone else’s daycare do theme days for Week of the Young Child? I’m ok with pajama day because it’s easy but the other themes are so annoying.
We have a spirit week in the fall. I agree, it’s annoying. Thankfully my kid is too young to notice that she’s not dressed to match the theme, but I can’t imagine that I’m going to enjoy adding another thing to remember for the day.
Yes. And it’s annoying and confusing to me. Isn’t every week the Week of the Young Child at daycare? I seriously do not understand why this week exists. I’m a total Scrooge about this.
Everything is Day of ___ or Week of __ now. I got notifications from four separate local businesses about things they’re doing for “National Unicorn Day” (apparently April 9). I like unicorns as much as the next mom of a preschooler, but this is getting ridiculous.
Ours is doing it this week and I totally don’t get it either. Fortunately ours just has some special activities and not any themes that we have to participate in.
Ours did a parade, but they made hats at school, did not require parents to attend, and sent cute photos. That was much better than all the other theme days/weeks where I had to send stuff in.
Our elementary school has theme weeks probably every other month. I’m on board with Pajama Friday, but all the rest I’ve got down to a simple system to reduce the annoyance.
I have one “wacky” hairstyle for each kid that I am willing to do (Mohawk for short hair, side pony for long hair), otherwise they can pick out a hat. I try to keep a shirt of each rainbow color in their wardrobe, even if it’s a size too small, so we’re covered on color days and twin days. (Wear black leggings and a purple shirt and put your hair in a bun!) I buy the school shirt in a new size each year and keep handing down for any “spirit days”. They’ve usually got two pairs of shoes that fit so they can mismatch shoes and socks. And honestly that usually covers 3 of the 4 non-pajama days, which I consider good enough.
I wish we could buy school shirts for spirit day. They had one fundraiser but it was before Covid and my kid has long since outgrown the shirt.