Budget Thursday: Faux Leather Trim Cotton Poplin Sheath Dress

This dress from eShakti is completely customizable — if you don’t like the cap sleeves, for example, you can change them (as I might) to sleeveless, short sleeves, or elbow-length sleeves; you can change the length of the skirt; and you can get every single dimension customized. It does not have pockets, but it does have a concealed back zip, bodice darts, and bra-strap keeps, and it’s machine washable. It just looks like a great basic dress and a nice budget option. I always feel like eShakti is a font of affordable workwear if you can get your measurements right and put in the time and effort to figure it out — I haven’t done it yet myself. (You can also choose one of the standard sizes of 0–36W.) For $55, this definitely seems worth a try! Faux Leather Trim Cotton Poplin Sheath Dress

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  1. MLM response advice?

    I know it’s been discussed a ton, but I’m having trouble figuring out how to respond to solicitations from very good, out of town friend to buy essential oils (full time working mom, has a professional degree…one of the last people I would have expected to sell this stuff). Yesterday I received a sample package in the mail (didn’t request it) followed up by a personal email inviting me to join an online party. For FB solicitations or group emails, I have no problem ignoring or just saying “not interested but good luck!” — but for some reason this seems to require a more personal response. I really, really do not want to damage our relationship. Would love any suggestions…

    • Anonymous says:

      “not interested but good luck” is totally fine as a response in this situation as well.

      If the oils happen to be Young Living you can be snarky and point out that you’d rather not support a company that illegally uses endangered flora species in its products (recently plead guilty after being charged by DOJ).

    • Strategy mom says:

      I hate lying, but what about saying that you bought some from a neighbor and will let her know next time you are in the market (and then if she follows through in a few months, you can say that your family must be really sensitive to the oils bc you didn’t react well). Chances are she will have lost interest in a few months (or at least that is the trend with the people I know who have done MLM)

      • Non Mom says:

        This might make the friend follow up more aggressively in the future. If she really is a good friend, she should be fine with something like “Thanks for thinking of me, but I’m not interested in this and would hate to waste your time/samples in the future”.

    • If she’s a very good friend, you can just tell her outright that essential oils aren’t for you and you don’t want to waste her time and effort… no? I wouldn’t lie to her even to preserve her feelings, that runs the risk of damaging the relationship too.

      If it’s something I might actually use (Lularoe skirts, Usborne books), and I’m not on the market for anything right now, I tell them ‘I’m not looking to buy __ product right now, but I’ll think of you first if I need anything.’

    • Thanks, all. I like the “thanks for thinking of me but…” approach. And yeah, the company is Young Living so I definitely do not want to support after reading about their practices.

    • CPA Lady says:

      I would ignore until she presses the issue. Then I’d say “I’m not interested, but thanks for thinking of me.”

      I have a very good friend who aggressively sells MLM stuff. She has been there for me in a major way during some of the hardest times of my life, and I am not willing to lose the friendship… so I ignore. I occasionally buy stuff from her because I actually really like the product (R&F Soothe), but I ignore her every time she gets really aggressive with me (usually after attending a training), and then she backs off.

      During the seminars and training for MLMs, they teach the women to “step outside their comfort zone”, which is a nice way to say “ignore social norms by aggressively badgering your friends”. I think any of these women who are at least remotely socially aware must know that what they are doing is uncomfortable for a reason. Only the most clueless will keep pushing.

    • ElisaR says:

      i find it so awkward when approached with these pyramid schemes…..i hate it. but not enough to actually buy anything. i wouldn’t bother saying you bought from someone else recently – it just brands you as a target. I think it’s fine to say “thanks for thinking of me but i’m not interested” with no further elaboration.

      when is this painful trend going to die out??

      • EB0220 says:

        Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only parent in the world that doesn’t like Usborne books. I can’t be…right? right?

        • Ha, they’re the only musical/ nursery rhyme ones I *can* stand.

        • Anonymous says:

          Definitely not. I can’t stand Usborne – it’s so twee and try hard.

          • ok, now I’m really curious which ones y’all loathe, because we only have the standard nursery-rhyme sort.

          • Anonymous says:

            The whole ‘That’s not my dinosaur/bunny/horse/duck” etc series drives me batty. My mom seems to think my kids need every single one in the series- it’s basically the same GD book again and again and again.

  2. Cookie says:

    Has anyone has experience with eShakti? Seems a bit too good to be true.

    • a friend of mine ordered a dress from there for a wedding and really liked how it turned out. I can’t speak to quality though, as she was only needing to wear it once.

    • Non Mom says:

      I was thinking the same thing – full customization for $55?

    • Jeffiner says:

      I have a shirt from eShakti that I love. I’ve had it about a year. The fabric is very thick, the color hasn’t faded, and the stitching never frayed. I thought it was a little tight when I tried it on, but it is very flattering on me.

    • I think they’re really great for the price, but I’ve only ordered them in a pre-made size, not done totally custom. I did change sleeves, length, etc. and it worked out well! They can take a very long time to ship, so be aware.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      I don’t like their stuff that much. The cotton poplin fabric wrinkles like that’s its job. It feels like too much to spend on a dress with a shirred back (not this one, necessarily, but lots of their dresses have that). Honestly, their products seem a bit too ‘home sewn’ for my tastes.

    • octagon says:

      I’ve had decent luck. The quality seems similar to Anthro to me — it’s not the best made, but you can get things that are fairly interesting.

      Be aware that sizing is extremely important. You need to understand not only your body measurements but how much ease you want something to have. If you have a 36″ chest, you probably want a 37-38″ chest or more on a dress so that it hangs appropriately and doesn’t look painted on. An easy way to tell is to measure something you already own that you like the fit of.

  3. Strategy mom says:

    Inducing baby 2: had my 38 week appointment and my doctor started talking about the option to induce next week (at 39 weeks) – I’m only 2cm dialated, so the optimism that I’ll deliver early is starting to fade. I think I want to hold out till my due date at a minimum, but wondering if any of you delivered #2 after your due date, and if so, did you induce? How many days after due date did you wait? With number 2, I don’t feel the need to wait until 41 weeks, but I don’t know what to do – I didn’t expect to have so much control over timing!

    • POSITA says:

      Is there a medical reason that you are considering induction? If not, I’d just wait it out.

      My first was induced at 41 weeks. My second came precisely on her due date in a 3 hour labor.

      • +1 I’d just wait unless there’s some reason they want to induce earlier. My first was induced at 41 weeks, second came at 40w3d. Waiting was uncomfortable but labor was very quick (3hrs).

    • Anonymous says:

      This is such an individual issue. Some women want an elective c-section, some women prioritize an intervention-free birth. Many women end up somewhere in between.

      Personally, I would never consent to an induction without a specific medical reason that it was required. Induction increase your risk of complications and interventions. 39 weeks is the absolute minimum for elective inductions per ACOG (https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Labor-Induction) Inductions are rarely offered before 40 weeks in Canada and inductions are rarely done before 41 weeks in Europe unless specific evidence of fetal distress.

      • anon for this says:

        I absolutely agree. Unless there is a medical reason (like low levels of fluid in the amniotic sac, for example), I’m not sure why you would be induced at 39 weeks. I was induced for medical reasons and ultimately ended up with an emergency c-section. Lots and lots of studies showing that induction leads to a greater chance of a csection, which means longer recovery, potentially harder time nursing, etc. After my c-section my body didn’t realize I had given birth it seems and my milk didn’t come in for some time which was hugely anxiety inducing. Then baby couldn’t nurse and I EP for 13 months. Long story short, if you don’t need to be induced don’t do it. I was only induced at 40.5 weeks, FYI and only then for medical reasons.

        • ElisaR says:

          now you have me wondering – i was able to breastfeed (mostly) normally with my first after a c section, but my water broke on it’s own….. does that mean my body knew i was giving birth? after my scheduled c section in a few weeks will my milk come in? interesting to think about!

          sorry just made it about me. my advice on induction – unless there’s a reason for it everything I have heard is that its best to let nature take its course….

          • Anonymous says:

            If your water broke before your section, then your body being ‘ready’ to give birth probably helped your ability to BF. That said, milk usually comes in easier the second time around, but it doesn’t hurt to read up on tips of how to help your milk come in, especially if your section is before your due date (your body being more likely to be closer to being ‘ready’ a week or so after your due date).

          • NOVA Anon says:

            I had an emergency C-section at 32 weeks (and was not in labor), and starting pumping about 5 hours after the section at the instruction of the L&D nurse, and every 3-4 hours after that around the clock. I’m a little hazy on the details, but I seem to recall getting actual milk after the first couple pumping sessions. Pregnant again and having a scheduled C-section this time, and I’m hoping for a similar experience of my milk coming in quickly but with baby feeding normally. I could be making this up, but I think there is something about the hormones of getting the baby out (however it comes out) that gives your body the signal to produce the milk.

          • Carine says:

            I have had two scheduled C-sections and my milk came in right away – I hadn’t even thought it would or could work differently.

    • bluefield says:

      I would absolutely take this option if offered. I’m 36 weeks now and if someone offered to induce me I’d jump on it.

    • My doctor will let you go up to two weeks past your due date before inducing. I wouldn’t do it early as the induction process can be unpleasant and difficult. All the better if things get going naturally. If they don’t, it’s great to have modern medicine to help!

    • PregLawyer says:

      I was induced with my first at 39 weeks because my blood pressure went up to threshold levels for preeclampsia concerns. I didn’t have any complications, but it wasn’t an ideal experience (but what really is?). The induction took about 24 hours, so that’s an extra night in the hospital with no sleep. But that was really the only difficult thing. I was pretty exhausted when it came time to push, but I got that baby out!

    • Strategy mom says:

      I think this is enough to convince me to be patient!! It was so tempting to take her up on the offer, but a c section is the LAST thing I want…. Thank you all!

      • octagon says:

        In my circle it is common to plan for an induction or a c-section for baby #2 so that you can have child care lined up for baby #1.

        • Yes, absolutely. I was induced for number 2 (I was scheduled on my due date, but it got pushed a couple days because the hospital was busy). It went fine. My in-laws were there to pick up baby #1 from day care. For number 3, I decided not to be induced, and I went into labor at 10:30 at night. We had a stressful 45 min waiting for MIL to drive down in the middle of the night. Also, I didn’t have time for an epidural.

          I did not find the experience of delivering without induction/epidural any better than delivering with induction/epidural. I was up and moving around within the same amount of time, and no real difficulties nursing with the induction (actually, it was harder with number 3). With number 1, my induction was particularly long and difficult and nursing was more difficult, but that was because I was induced at 36 weeks for medical reasons (and also I had no idea what was going on).

          • Oh – I was induced with Pitocin, and they also broke my water both times to get things going. My water did not break with #3 until I was pushing, so I guess my water just breaks late.

    • I think this is all very individual. I haven’t had no. 2 yet, but was a week and 1 day late with no. 1, was induced (but not with drugs, just had water broken) and couldn’t be happier in retrospect. As someone posted below, it was great to go to the hospital in the morning, having slept, had breakfast, and then being done by evening etc. Also, while I was super nervous about it at the time, it really was essential that I had baby when I did because my fluid had a slight green tint to it and that meant she would have been swimming in it if we hadn’t done it when we did. I read all the same stats about inductions and panicked ahead of time but keep in mind that inductions are not all the same. So an induction that’s done with drugs because you are otherwise not having contractions or whatever is different. And inductions as a whole tend to be done in more complicated situations which results in higher complications. It’s not just a simple matter of induction = inevitable c section, which is how the internet tends to present it.

      All that said, I wouldn’t get induced before due date without a medical reason and I wouldn’t go more than a week past due date either. I know some doctors allow 2 weeks but I have seen too many complications with friends who went two weeks late to be comfortable taking that chance (whether that was meconium or just a giant baby that was hard to get out or something else).

    • FTMinFL says:

      I was induced with my second after an uncomplicated [email protected] delivery of my first. There was some discrepancy in dating the pregnancy – on the induction date my OB claimed I was 39w3d and I believed I was 40w3d. Regardless, the induction was for “social circumstances” (cringe) because of childcare issues for my oldest, husband traveling, and insurance changes. My OB told me that a previous uncomplicated delivery plus a favorable Bishop’s score made me a good candidate for an uncomplicated induction. She shared that many inductions that end in c-sections do so when the Bishop’s score is not favorable, but labor must be induced due to a medical issue (e.g., preeclampsia). Have you discussed this with your OB?

      FWIW, my claims that baby #2 was a big baby and that my dating was probably correct was validated when she was born at 9 pounds. She had shoulder dystocia which probably would have been worse if we had waited to induce for two more weeks.

    • Katarina says:

      I was induced at 39 weeks for my second due to suspected large size, and my induction was much easier than my first delivery, and required fewer interventions. I think an induction after a previous vaginal birth is much more likely to be successful than an induction for a first delivery. It was really nice to be delivered by my OB instead of the on call OB (from the same practice, who I had never met). It was nice to plan the end of my work. It was nice to deliver during the week when the hospital had a lactation consultant available. Pitocin was started in the early morning, I delivered in the evening, which was so much nicer than waking up in the middle of the night in labor. I had slightly more pain, but only because I got my epidural later (8 cm vs. 6 cm).

    • Anonymous says:

      I was induced at 38w6d because my blood pressure was very high, so there were concerns of developing preeclampsia.

      It was fantastic. 3 hours and 15 minutes from pitocin and breaking my water to a baby in my arms. This was my second, and I was already 4 cm dialated (for two weeks!) and 80% effaced. The doctor actually said it was a good thing I was induced—because everything was so fast, there is a chance I wouldn’t have made it to the hospital in time.

  4. Winter is coming... says:

    Anyone know of a footmuff or other solution for a kiddo that will ride in the front seat of a Joovy Caboose? I don’t think the J Cole Urban Me that I have for my regular stroller will work here. Toddler will surely not keep a blanket on, and I would rather avoid having to rely on snow pants for extra layers as that is just another thing that I’ll have to do and pick up/drop off.

    • bluefield says:

      I have the 7am Enfant 212 blanket. Not sure if it will work with your stroller. I thought they were all pretty universal?

      • Winter is coming... says:

        The front seat on this stroller is more like a chair, so there isn’t really something for the on the market things I’ve come across to zipper around. If you google the Joovy Caboose, you’ll see what I mean.

  5. LTD Question says:

    posted on the main site yesterday, but was hoping to get some additional info. I’m newly pregnant and we are trying to plan financially for kids.

    My DH has LTD insurance through work, which covers 60%, so we applied for supplemental My husband suffers from anxiety and has seen therapists/taken medication, so I was not surprised when the insurance company came back and said they would not insure us for mental health issues, but they also put a two year limit on the policy and refuse to consider reevaluating the amount when his income goes up. I know that this is totally legal, but we are trying to figure out what to do so we are prepared just in case.

    – What can/should we do to be prepared if something g-d forbid were to happen if we are unable to secure supplemental LTD for more than 2 years? Should we have more than one 2 year policy?
    – Has anyone ever successfully appealed a company’s initial decision about granting insurance?
    – Is it worth trying to apply with another company?

    hopefully we never need to use any of this, but i’m risk averse and have a parent with health issues so i’ve seen the toll it can take, so i want us to be prepared. I work, but earn very little and husband is the primary breadwinner.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I don’t know if this addresses the coverage issue, but have you considered going outside your husband’s employer for insurance? When I was employed at a law firm the LTD coverage wasn’t great, so I wound up purchasing a more generous policy through the same place where I had life insurance. I’m not sure if the same applies to supplemental coverage rather than a straight LTD policy.

      Btw, if you don’t already have life insurance (and are not currently pregnant), I’d recommend you do that soon. Most insurers won’t issue you a new policy when you are pregnant, so you’d have to wait until you’re PP.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Unless something has changed in the last few years, they won’t give a new policy after week 12 of a pregnancy. I got mine at 11 weeks at 5 days…

      • LTD Question says:

        OP here. Yes – we already have life insurance for both of us. We also have the LTD through my husband’s employer which did not require any kind of health information, which would give us 60% of his income should we ever need to use it.

        Our current issue has to do with coverage we applied for outside of the employer coverage bc we want more coverage than the employer provides.

      • Strategy mom says:

        I got life insurance coverage mid pregnancy. I think the big risk is that your medical numbers might be elevated, putting you in a more expensive bucket (my numbers were ok so not an issue)

    • Spirograph says:

      What are you trying to protect against here? What’s your husband’s career field? If his work requires physical strength or manual dexterity and a physical injury could significantly impact his ability to work in his current field, but might allow him to do a desk job, that’s a different situation than an injury that could prevent someone from holding a desk job with accommodations. An injury that would prevent someone from having a desk job (I’m thinking, worst case scenario, like a brain injury) is going to significantly change your life in many more ways than just not having his income. Some life insurance policies will give partial payouts in the event of a major injury like paralysis or loss of limbs. That might be another avenue to explore.

      FWIW, my husband and I both have about 60% LTD coverage with no supplemental. Our incomes are fairly equal, though, and also pretty high. We could live very comfortably in most of the US on 60% of one salary. If a LTD-triggering injury happened to either of us, we’d almost certainly move to be closer to family in a LCOL area.

      • LTD Question says:

        My husband is in finance. I guess I am thinking worst case scenario of some kind of brain injury, or brain tumor (i have a relative with one and it has affected their ability to do their work and use a computer bc it also effects their ability to use their hands). Obviously something like that would have a huge impact on our lives and i guess if g-d forbid it were to happen i’d at least like to not worry too much about money, since i’m sure i would have plenty of other things to worry about…. maybe i’m being overly paranoid?

        • Spirograph says:

          I don’t think you’re being overly paranoid at all! I’m just saying (making a lot of assumptions here) if you live in, say, NYC because your husband is in finance, and husband can no longer work, you don’t necessarily need to continue living in an expensive major metro area if your career is more portable. There’s probably a 3-6 month exclusion period on the LTD policy where you’ll be receiving a heftier STD payment, burning through his full-pay leave, etc. In that period, you can make a lot of changes. Nothing about that situation would be ideal, and not having to worry about money as much would be nice, but like mascot said below, it might be better to save or invest the premiums if you can identify other ways to support yourself either by reducing expenses or relying on other assets. LTD needs to cover the gap between what you’re able to earn and your expenses in the scenario where your husband can’t work at all and still has a long life. What changes would you make to your lifestyle in that case? Base your insurance needs on that, not on your current expenses.

          You’re smart to think of this, though. One of my doctors survived a brain aneurysm and I remember his macabre comment that it’s lucky for his family that he didn’t lose any brain function, because if he’d ended up with brain damage, he’d be worth much more to them dead than alive. *shudder*

          • LTD Question says:

            good points. we live in a MCOL area far from family, so we would probably end up moving, though family lives in HCOL areas. the thing we probably spend the most money on currently is vacations (though that will change with kids) and flying to visit family. We are in our low 30s and our net worth is around 500k, which I know isn’t terrible, but still less than many other people who most around here. My husband got his MBA less than 2 years ago and fortunately, we’ve already paid off all of that. We don’t own a house yet and own one car, but might need to get a second with a baby on the way. We should find out his 2017 bonus in a few weeks, though it doesn’t get paid out until early 2018, but maybe we could use that to start some sort of separate in-case of disability emergency fund (as opposed to our emergency fund in case he gets laid off, etc.)

            it really is crazy how families can end up better off almost if the parent dies rather than becomes disabled!

          • NewMomAnon says:

            Better off financially, not emotionally – kiddo’s dad has a life insurance policy that would make our lives very comfortable if he died. But her life would be so much smaller without him. Now, that doesn’t hold true if he is brain dead or something absolutely debilitating, but I would rather be financially pinched and maintain her relationship with a dad who couldn’t work because of a tremor or anxiety or something, than be without any financial worries and have her fatherless.

          • Anonymous says:

            Exactly how I feel, too, NewMomAnon, and I’m sure that’s how the OP meant it. One of my uncles was in a bad accident decades ago when his kids and I were very young. His injuries are similar to a stroke victim’s, with limited mobility for limbs on one side, speech trouble, and loss of the mental quickness he apparently used to have.

            He was not able to continue in the same career, and basically has done odd jobs ever since, making nowhere near as much money. His wife had to get a job, her mom moved in with them to care for the kids, life changed a lot. Regardless, everyone’s certainly happy he survived! He’s a different person that he probably would have been, but of course his presence still adds value to his family’s life.

      • ElisaR says:

        My close friend was very happy she had supplemental LTD when she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. It eased a major mental burden in the last year of her life when she could not work and did not have to rely on her family to pay her bills.

    • mascot says:

      How does the rest of your financial house look? Can you take the money you would pay in supplemental premiums and invest it in some sort of emergency fund? Do you have a lot of equity in your home that you could use? Retirement or other investment accounts? Does your life insurance have any coverage for disability?

  6. Anon for now at least says:

    I’m newly pregnant and am going crazy because I don’t really have any symptoms. With my first I was exhausted with achy bosoms two days before I even missed my period, and now I’m 5 weeks and feel perfectly fine. I had a positive result two days before my missed period and kept testing for several days as the line got increasingly dark, apparently because I just like peeing on stuff. Anyone else have a similar experience who can reassure me?

    • Jeffiner says:

      My husband said it was likely that because I felt so miserable the first time, I had forgotten that pregnancy != puking. My doctor says symptoms typically don’t show up until 6 weeks or so. Also, your body may just be responding to the hormones differently. The first time I was pregnant it was all morning sickness and exhaustion. The second time was sore b**bs, diarrhea, and sore muscles.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I would say enjoy it while it lasts? If this is your second kid, it’s possible you just don’t have time/capacity to notice the little symptoms that seemed so huge the first time around.

    • Anonymous says:

      My second pregnancy has been SO MUCH EASIER than my first. Almost no first-tri symptoms until 10-12 weeks. Every pregnancy is different–try not to stress!

    • Two Cents says:

      With my second, I had NO morning sickness and barely even felt pregnant until 5 months or so, when baby started kicking. Enjoy it while it lasts!

    • I had no symptoms with either pregnancy. I was so paranoid with no. 1 until the 1st doctor’s visit. I thought somehow I imagined or misread the test and the doctor would laugh at me and say “why do you think you’re pregnant?!” It was all fine. Some people just don’t have symptoms.

      • Same. My only pregnancy symptom, both times, was my expanding belly. One of my coworkers, whose wife had had three miserable pregnancies involving best rest and hospitalizations, half-joked that I should be a surrogate bc my body handled pregnancies so well (yah, no). All that to say, no symptoms does not mean there’s a problem! Enjoy!

    • My symptoms arrived right at the 5 week mark. After I’d made some delicious food for the work week lunches and then they made me nauseated.

    • Katarina says:

      My symptoms started later and were much more mild in my second pregnancy.

    • Anon for this says:

      May be opposite sex this time! My symptoms varied a lot and I partially attributed it to that.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      I remember crying, sobbing, to my husband about how I didn’t have any pregnancy symptoms and surely that meant something was wrong. (Uh I hope this isn’t inappropriate, but a friend got accidentally pregnant at the same time I got intentionally pregnant, and she was going to terminate, and she also had a ton of symptoms and I was wildly jealous/insecure/hormonal/??? I guess.) Of course the next week I was nauseated and exhausted and I felt that way the rest of the pregnancy. So I think that (1) perhaps your focus on this *is* a pregnancy symptom, of the emotional variety, and (2) you’ll probably feel gross soon.

  7. on inducing (threading….)-
    I was way late with my first, and she came at 41+6 which was the morning of my scheduled induction.

    #2 was a week late and my OB pushed for induction. I was so nervous and SO HAPPY I did it. It was way easier than my first delivery. I would go this route again in an instant: slept well the night before, showed up at 7, got drugs at 8, had breakfast, walked around for a bit while contractions started, got an epi at 11:45 and baby was born at 1:15. Ordered lunch.

    i felt *great* and the whole thing was way less taxing on my body than the water breaking in the middle of the night experience I had the first time around.

    • FTMinFL says:

      Oh! I posted before, but I totally agree with recovering SO much faster with the induction. The story was the same – slept well, hospital at 6, water broken at 7, epi at 7:10 because I don’t mess around, pitocin at 7:30, baby at 3, holding BOTH of my babies (cue all the happy tears!) at 4.

    • Anonymous says:

      I was also induced and it was equally awesome. Especially the part where I got to sleep.

    • Strategy mom says:

      love this

  8. PregLawyer says:

    Any solution to avoid the line across the center of my pregnant belly when I’m wearing tights under dresses? Are there any maternity tights that actually stay up over the belly?

    • A camisole mostly solves that issue but some dresses are thin so you just have it where the cami ends. I have maternity tights from Spanx and Old Navy and both stay up fine but Spanx are prob more supportive and, fyi, the ON run super huge.

    • ElisaR says:

      i’m kind of passive aggressive and would probably respond “yes, thanks for noticing Sandra!” (i don’t know why her name is Sandra in my head…..) or maybe I would say “yes, not every day can be a 10 hour workday for me!”

      but that whole passive aggressive thing is something i’m working on.

  9. Guys, I haaaaaate it when one of my coworkers comments on my arrival or departure time. I work so much. Like, longer hours than any other staff person. Only the director works later than me every evening and he arrives a good 2-3 hours later than I do. Yesterday I left at 3:30 to take my kid to an appointment. The admin assistant said, “You’re leaving? I’t s 3:30! Mmmmokay…” It took everything in my power not to rail on her about how she leaves at 5 on the dot every day and that she says nothing when I clock 10 hour days every single day. She does this without fail any time I arrive later or leave earlier (which is so rare). I know part of this is my own hangup about working more than I care to with two little kids at home, and she punches a clock and cannot make her own hours, but it makes me so so ragey. Like I am still mad at her.

    • avocado says:

      Solidarity. I have a co-worker who comes in later than I do and leaves earlier, and routinely makes comments such as “It must be nice to have kids so you never have to work.”

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I feel you. The other day I woke up a 6 a.m. and didn’t get to my office until 10:15. During the intervening time, I dealt with getting myself ready, getting kid ready (cue meltdowns), dealing with the dog (plus kid meltdowns), meltdowns at drop off, and train problems. It took me FOUR HOURS to get to work, and then my boss saw me slinking in late. I was ready to go back to bed when I finally walked in the door.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Ok, I guess I didn’t see anything malicious in Redux’s account; my assistant will sometimes encourage me to step away early if things are busy and I’m clocking lots of hours. And if I do leave early, she’ll say, “Leaving early? Ok.” Like – oh, this is surprising information from the hardworking lawyer I support.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think it’s pretty hard to convey tone online. I’m assuming it wasn’t just what was said but how it was said that made her feel like she was getting side eyed about skipping work instead of it being seen as normal because she works late a lot, so of course sometimes she will leave early.

      • Oh, she is not MY assistant. She is the department’s assistant and definitely does not see herself in a supportive-to-me role. And trust me when I say the delivery was snarky, not encouraging or even surprising.

    • I would be ragey too! I always want to say something snarky like “well I’ve been doing my other job since 4:30AM…what time did you get up this morning?” but there’s no point. These people don’t get it.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      I have to admit that I used to think like this pre-kid and now I hate these kinds of comments. I had someone say “leaving already” yesterday when I left at around 5:45pm. It’s our busy season but I still have a kid at home who I have a responsibility toward.

      There is a definite culture of hard worker = stays late at the office, regardless of how much work actually gets done and how much work people with other responsibilities actually do outside of the office. Plus, you are working when you are doing childcare too, it’s just undervalued. Anne Marie Slaughter’s book Unfinished Business always sticks in my mind on this point.

      You have my sympathy. I feel like I’m in a lose lose situation – either I don’t see my kid or I’m not seen as a hard worker.

  10. Delta Dawn says:

    Any suggestions for how to document/keep up with funny or cute things your kids say? My 2 yo has just started communicating enough to say things that I want to remember. When I was little, my mom had a little notebook and would jot things down as they happened. That seems simple and may be the easiest way.

    For photos, I print all our pictures and put them in old-school albums every year. Maybe a little quote-notebook is the equivalent. I had aspirations of doing a snapfish book every year, and that would be perfect to put both pictures and funny quotes, but I know I’m never going to actually do that. Maybe I can tuck the quote pages in the back of the yearly photo albums. Any more elegant suggestions?

    • So my kid has her own gmail address (her full name) that I send things like that to, and I’ll give her the password when she’s older. She can either use that or whatever the cool new email is. But it’s an easy way, and something I can do right in the moment before I forget. I don’t worry too much about pictures since we have them all digitally, but it’s so handy for other little things.

    • Frozen Peach says:

      I send myself a quick email and use “Kid’s name baby book” as the subject line. As long as Gmail continues to live on, I can just search for that and it pulls them all up.

    • album? says:

      No suggestions, although I have heard lots of people suggesting the gmail address as suggested above. But is there a specific photo album you get? I have a toddler a bit younger than yours and also get pictures printed, and now I just have stacks of them! I need simple old-school albums to slip them into, and they seem surprisingly hard to find. TIA!

      • Delta Dawn says:

        I use the Pioneer albums. They are the kind that come in hunter green/burgundy/navy and have the gold lines on the spine– my parents have tons of them from the 80s and you can buy them online. They have the “magnetic” sticky pages where the clear layer just lies on top of the pictures. They make several sizes depending on what size prints you usually get. They have them on Amazon, but the cheapest ones I have found are through a website called Unique Photo.

      • ElisaR says:

        they are hard to find – i actually purchased a nice one that holds a lot of photos at HomeGoods about 2 wks ago

    • Momata says:

      Each of my kids has a Moleskine notebook that I started as their “baby book” of sorts. Advantage is that I can also use it as a scrapbook. I keep them in my desk drawer and document things I want to remember as a little 5 min break from work.

    • I use one of those “Moms One Line a Day” for each of my kids. (Although I make DH write in it too, because I HATE the name.) They’re just a few blank lines for each day for five years. I don’t write every day, just 2-3x/week when they say something memorable or milestone-y or we do something big like attend a friend’s bday party.

      I’ve kept it up for 3 years for my oldest, and it’s so interesting to look back and remember “Oh yeah, remember when she threw her milk at the kid in the next booth over at the restaurant?” For my youngest, I’m just starting to lap the first year of use and it’s fun to remember him in the just-starting-to-babble stage.

  11. avocado says:

    I just learned that my husband has volunteered for a “mom” job with our horrible sexist PTA. I don’t know whether to be amused at the consternation and gossip this will cause, proud of him for breaking gender barriers, or annoyed that the PTA moms are going to think I am a horrible uninvolved working mom who lets my husband step in to cover things I ought to be doing. Ugh. I hate the PTA.

    • bravo to mr. avocado! It might change their minds. Maybe.

    • Embrace the horrible mom stereotype. I responded to a request for nut-free candy for Halloween with an email saying “I will stop by the store tonight, do you have any suggestions on go-to brands that are safe?” And apparently that caused QUITE the stir within the PTA. Apparently they meant to bake treats yourself. Ummmm no. You’re getting a couple bags of Twizzlers or nothing from this household, sorry.

      • Good grief, that’s ridiculous. And then the PTA wonders why more parents don’t get involved!

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Good for him! And I think the best you can do is laugh (and silently gloat that your husband is secure enough that this nonsense doesn’t faze him).

      • avocado says:

        It’s not really that the nonsense doesn’t faze him, it’s that he doesn’t even notice it. He steadfastly denies that there are any gender issues going on with the PTA, despite the fact that the best volunteer job for working parents is explicitly labeled “dads only.” He didn’t even realize that setting up breakfast for the teachers was a mom job, and he insists that there will be plenty of dads there. He thinks I am being ridiculous about the whole thing.

        • Anonymous says:

          Just be proud of him for breaking gender barriers. This experience will open his eyes to the gendered expectations that you face as a working mom.

    • EB0220 says:

      I would be 100% proud of my husband on this and pretty amused by whatever consternation he caused.

  12. Re: LTD Question says:

    60% is the standard LTD coverage, and bear in mind that there is a good chance that the 60% has a two year limitations for mental and nervous conditions (I.e. Only 2 years of benefits would be paid for disabling depression without a physical condition). I would also check to see whether your husband’s LTD policy offsets for social security disability income or has any additional benefits (return to work, workplace modification, etc.).

    You can appeal the decision to deny, and I would push your broker, if you used one, or any contact at the company or your employer. If you try other companies for supplemental, ask whether they offer a benefit without having to go through evidence of insurability, as that would be your best bet. Can your husband ask his employer to offer voluntary supplemental LTD (would cost the employer nothing).

  13. Tell me oversupply gets better? LO has been sleeping longer for a few weeks now but my b–bs still haven’t gotten the memo. As suggested here I stopped pumping for a freezer stash, which wasbizarrely difficult emotionally – it felt so productive and like an insurance policy against the unforeseen to see the bags pile up.

    I still wake up engorged a lot. I don’t get to sleep longer than four hours because my b–bs wake me up! LC suggested pumping just a tiny bit when that happens (I use my haakaa to siphon off an oz or so) but sometimes I can’t stand it and dreamfeed.

    Please tell me this gets better and I will sleep through the night without pain someday! I go back to work in a month and I can’t be waking up twice a night like this. Plus I worry it’s going to mess with LOs sleep long term, since he’s still nursing to sleep and not learning to self soothe.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I had a massive oversupply, and my supply finally stabilized at around 6 months. I agree with the advice to pump just enough to relieve pressure, and just sort of live with the discomfort for a little bit (I mean, that’s basically what you do when you try to wean/reduce your supply). It does get better!

    • It does get better, both times it typically took 2-3 weeks for my body to adjust to a new sleep schedule. Everything leveled out around 6 months and I didn’t notice oversupply issues anymore, even when their sleep changed.

      And it will not mess with LOs long term sleep. My kids both nursed to sleep and were never “taught” to self-sooth, but sleep perfectly fine now without me or being rocked (in fact my 21 month old REFUSES to be rocked at bedtime, even for a few minutes, and it makes me very sad). With my first my husband took over half of night feedings with a pumped milk bottle around 6 months, with my second we co-slept. You find a way to make it work.

      The first year is SO HARD for sleep, and milk, and adjusting to everything. You will sleep normally again, don’t loose hope!!

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      I had lots of oversupply issues, including constant clogged ducts and even mastitis once. I remember waking up feeling really full after going longer between feedings but my body did eventually adjust. I think it took a few days with schedule shifts. You will most definitely sleep through the night without pain again!

      I’m happy I BF my son but man oh man are things so much easier now that nursing and pumping are done! There are different challenges of course, but I feel like husband and I are on more of an even playing field now in terms of dealing with them. And I can work out without having to worry about pumping first. All this to say is that this is a really hard time but it’s so short-lived.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would stick with the pumping off just enough to relieve discomfort vs. dreamfeeding. BM can stay at room temp for 6 hours so you can just leave the pumped milk on the nightstand if it’s close to morning or you can leave a cooler by your bed and just toss the whole hand pump in there with an ice pack so you don’t even have to get out of bed. 3-4 days of just pumping off enough to relieve discomfort and your supply with even out.

  14. Bath Robes says:

    Any ideas for where I can get a bath robe for my son? I’d love a flannel or even terry robe. All I am seeing are plush/fleece ones and it’s just not that cold where we live.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Just did this search for my own kids who asked for a bathrobe for Xmas! We went w Company Kids (The Company Store). Caught them on sale w free monogram and shipping – $38 all in. Went w them over cheaper options from Am zon bc of the reputation of TCS. The robes came today and they are…fine. Definitely not worth 60 or whatever the regular price is. But 100% cotton was nice and I think the sizing is such that they will grow w my kids for several years.

    PB kids and RH baby & kids also had some if I recall correctly but possibly only fleece.

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