This post contains affiliate links and CorporetteMoms may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Sales of Note…
(See all of the latest workwear sales at Corporette!)
- Ann Taylor – 30% off full-price tops and sweaters; up to 40% off all sale styles
- Banana Republic Factory – 50% off everything; extra 15% off purchase
- Eloquii – 50% off select styles; up to 40% off everything else
- J.Crew – 40% off your purchase
- J.Crew Factory – Up to 50% off everything; up to 50% off clearance; extra 15% off orders $100+; extra 20% off orders $125+
- Lands’ End – 30% off full-price styles
- Talbots – 30% off entire purchase
- Zappos – 24,000+ sale items (for women)! Check out these reader-favorite workwear brands on sale, and some of our favorite kid shoe brands on sale.
- J.Crew – 40% off your purchase
- Lands’ End – 30% off full-price styles
- Hanna Andersson – 100s of new markdowns; up to 30% off Easter
- Carter’s – Swim 50% off; up to 50% off sandals; up to 50% off spring break deals
- buybuyBaby – Major clearance markdowns
See some of our latest articles on CorporetteMoms:
Click here to see our top posts!
And — here are some of our latest threadjacks of interest – working mom questions asked by the commenters!
- If you’re a working parent of an infant with low sleep needs, how do you function at work when you’re in the throes of baby’s sleep regression?
- Should I cut my childcare down to 12 hours a month if I work from home?
- Will my baby have speech delays if we raise her bilingual?
- Has anyone given birth in a teaching hospital?
- My child eats everything, and my friends’ kids do not – how should I handle? In general, what is the best way to handle when your child has some skill/ability and your friend’s child doesn’t have that skill/ability?
- ADHD moms, give me your tips to help with things like behavior in the classroom, attention to detail, etc?
- I think I suffer from mom rage…
- My husband and kids are gone this weekend – how should I enjoy my free time?
- I’m struggling to be compassionate with a SAHM friend who complains she doesn’t have enough hours of childcare.
- If you exclusively formula fed, what tips do you have for in the hospital and coming home?
- Could I take my 4-yo and 8-yo on a 7-8 day trip to Paris, Lyon, and Madrid?
Is this week over yet? So far, I’ve had a giant work crisis, a vomiting child (they always get sick in the middle of the night right? Adding a lack of sleep to the illness makes everything better) and my MIL, who is our childcare, injured herself. Today, DH and I basically tossed a coin to see who’d stay home. I won? lost? and am at work, feeling just a little guilty that I can try to clean up this mess while DH’s work is being sidelined. (He’d feel just as guilty if it were the other way around, so yay for equality?)
The only upside is DD doesn’t know who the Easter Bunny is, and won’t be disappointed that she’s not decorating eggs today, or that the Easter Bunny is phoning it in and tossing out some cereal and raisin filled eggs Sunday morning (breakfast! an activity! maybe 5 min of peace and quiet).
Anyone else having a week that needs to end already?
OMG yes. Everyone in the house has been sick (including me, who seems to have gotten it the worst), my five month old is still not sleeping so we started sleep training which is going disastrously, and my in-laws are coming for a ten day visit starting Saturday. We are hosting Easter, and then my son’s birthday party a week later, neither of which I am prepared for. And, of course, I am behind on a million deadlines at work. Still looking forward to the weekend, even though it won’t bring mush of a respite.
I had heart palpitations just reading this. A ten day visit???? Godspeed.
I know, its brutal. We always give them dates, and then they push the dates out on either side because the flights were supposedly cheaper. They live 3,000 miles away though and they are only here one or two times a year.
If it makes you feel better my MIL comes once a year for a three week block – this year my husband is hoping she “stays longer”. And we visit them for a three week block as well. FML.
I’m the anon with heart palpitations. My inlaws, who by inlaw standards are quite neutral, are also 2000+ miles away. They visit 1-2x/year for 4 days, max. Even that pushes the limits…and we have ample space to host them.
We do visit them 2x/year as well.
I feel your pain. MIL visits 1-2x a year, and almost always stays 2 weeks at a time. We visit her every other year for a week or so.
By day 3 I require alcohol and a cave to hide in.
So much sympathy. My husband has been out of town all week and is finally getting home late tonight… just in time for FIL to come tomorrow and stay for a week, according to the original plan. But I literally just got a phone call from my husband that his dad cancelled the trip because his cat is very sick and dying and he doesn’t want to be away. I’m sad about the cat, but this is the first thing that has gone right for me this week. It’s just delaying the inevitable (and actually the reschedule will probably include FIL’s wife, which will be more stressful in the long run), but right now I am just so, so relieved.
Anon in NYC says
I’m right there with you. My daughter is going through the 10-month sleep regression and every night/every other night she’s up for about an hour at a time and screams when we put her back in her crib. Last night she was up for 2.5 hours, at which point we just gave up and put her in our bed (which calmed her down immediately but is something that we don’t want to become a habit), and then this morning she woke up a full hour earlier than she normally does and wanted to play (by doing things like touching my face and grabbing at my shirt). Then she spit up all over my work clothes and sneezed in my face as I was trying to give her a kiss goodbye. I’m so over today.
Yes! My husband’s out of town all week, and it’s been crazy at work, so I’ve been constantly stressed about leaving early enough to pick up the kids/getting the kids to daycare early enough for my meetings. Then we had crazy storms last night and I had to wake up both boys and bring them to our “tornado shelter” (aka our kitchen pantry) at 10 pm to wait out the tornado warning and huge hail storm. Then had to get both boys back to bed after that mess was over, walk the dogs, and try and fall asleep after my adrenaline had been pumping. And work is crazy again today. Today is the kids’ Easter party at school, which meant bringing Easter baskets, cookies, and candy, as well.
I need a glass of wine tonight.
Dear God Yes. We are on round two of a stomach bug. (The first time my daughter puked on/in my face.) This time no vomiting… so far. Yay for little victories? I’m solo parenting, so taking immodium so I can take kids to the doctor, make dinner, work from home. Utterly exhausted. And I’m fending off my inlaws who want to come “help” but are the opposite of help when they visit.
On that note, any suggestions on how to really get the point across that I don’t want my inlaws here? So far, I’ve tried: “I don’t have the resources to have you visit.” “I really can’t handle a visit right now. Please respect my constraints on that front.” And yet I fear they are just going to show up. Ugh.
In what way(s) do they fail to help? More specifics would help craft a better message.
Are they far away enough that they become needy house guests instead of helpers?
Close but load the kids with sugar and mess up routines?
I always try the “I would feel terrible if you got sick, please come when the kids are feeling better”
This. Even when we’re not contagious, I tell my in-laws that we have a horribly virulent, contagious disease.
They insist that they are coming to help, but then sit on the couch and need to be fed and entertained. My father in law likes to lecture or just talk at you, without realizing that there are other things going on in the house. My mother in law loves to heap on the guilt and is hard of hearing so pouts that she isn’t involved in the conversations (she has a hearing aid but it doesn’t work). They are both very needy, but in different ways. In short, they become two additional people to take care of at a time when that is the opposite of what I can handle.
Can your spouse run interference? Usually whoever’s family it is has to put a stop to the unwelcome suggestions. Can your spouse just shut it down?
Meg Murry says
Ugh, I would definitely go with the “don’t want to make you sick” line then. If they are local, could they actually be helpful by you dropping the kids off at their place for a few hours? Otherwise, I’ve decided that if my in-laws say they want to help, I’m going to take them at their word and send the kids into the living room to show Grandma and Grandpa their favorite toys or give them a pile of books to read together, and I go about my business cleaning the kitchen or doing laundry, etc. If they are around at a meal time I only offer what I would be making the kids (macaroni and cheese or PB&J anyone?) and I don’t wait on them.
Am I rude? Maybe. But they now know that if they offer to help, I’m going to expect them to actually help (and my MIL is at least a decent kid-entertainer, I’ll give her that), not be entertained and fed by me beyond maybe 15 minutes of socializing and chit-chat.
Try the “it’s so exciting for the kids when you visit it’s hard to keep them on routine” + “staying on routine makes things easier when DH is away” +”wouldn’t want you to get sick”
I once successfully fended off a parental visit “to help” by e-mailing a lengthy list of items that needed to be done, with names next to each item. But the “we’re all contagious, would hate for you to get sick” line is remarkably effective and probably more courteous.
Ha! then you get to “enjoy” that they said they’d help, but refused to, too! (I have a mental list of all the times my parents have done this to me. It is the WORST.)
I’m sick, I spilled a cup of coffee on my laptop so it’s out of commission, husband has been out of town for work and will continue to be away for another month and the phones aren’t working right now, so i can’t even whine to him.
I forgot my wallet on my way to work. Only realized when I got to train station (8 mins away) and reached for my Metrocard. And I was carrying two huge bags of clothing to donate to a clothing drive at the office. But after hearing all your stories…maybe my morning wasn’t so bad.
Meg Murry says
I was planning to take a vacation day to myself in order to get some of the things done that I’ve been putting off like a haircut and thorough grocery restocking and cleaning up after my house fell into a disaster zone when I was sick, plus Easter basket shopping.
However, I just finished a round of antibiotics for strep, and now I have the worst yeast infection of my life and feel so so gross. Things exploded at work so now I’m trying to get some things done so I’m not too far behind, negating at least half the vacation day. And my youngest woke me up at 3 am because he has a cold and his ear hurt – but no fever, thank goodness, and he went back to sleep after some ibuprofen. He said it was OK this morning (and still no fever) so I sent him to daycare/preschool but I won’t be surprised if we get a call sending him home.
Sorry for everyone’s rough week! I’ve been feeling sorry for myself because my mom is visiting (from afar) to help out while my husband is out of town, and I couldn’t take time off from work to hang with her during the day so I only see her as I fly thru the morning & evening toddler routines. Plus it’s cold and rainy and threatening to snow later. But it sounds like some of you all have it FAR worse this week, so I’ll count my blessings.
We need to find Shots, Shots, Shots maybe?
Yes! I’ll join the chorus of posters whose husbands are traveling and who have had a heck of a week with a toddler. Work has been crazy due to quarter end approaching. And I am still bleeding two weeks (!!) after taking the pill to induce miscarriage after blighted ovum. Looking forward to my date with Shots Shots Shots (or really, Wine Wine Wine) tomorrow at 5 pm!
Meg Murry says
I wish I could handle Shots, Shots, Shots, but I’m pretty sure it would go more like: Shot, Shot, pass out from exhaustion and wake up with a headache and hangover.
But I’ll raise my glass of post-bedtime wine (or possibly secret hidden in the back of the freezee ice cream) to all of you tonight
This is making me feel better. At least I’m not the only one having a shitty week!!!
Strep + work sucks + big week at work next week and not sure I’ll be better enough for it + baby developing separation anxiety + baby still not sleeping + the usual. I’m a tired, stressed, sick mess. But I’m not the only one! Yey!!! :(
Oh, man. Mine isn’t so bad, but I’ll chime in anyways. Due to husband’s work crisis, I was supposed to take my son to my MIL’s house this morning. As I was getting the diaper bag together, my son crawled into the laundry room, which has a baby gate that we accidentally left open, and started playing in the cats’ water dish. So then I had to take my son away from his favorite toy and change his soaking-wet clothes, which resulted in a tantrum. When I picked my son up from the water dish, my work dress got dirty, and still is because I didn’t have time to change myself. Also, my phone is missing, and I didn’t have time for coffee. The only silver lining is that all this took long enough that my husband came back from his morning meeting and took my son to my MIL’s house himself before he went into work.
Tonight, my husband is working until 9:30 or 10:00, so I have to put our son to bed, make dinner, and pack for an out-of-town trip. And the weather here sucks, so I’m going to miss my run and will have to workout in the living room instead. Fortunately, son and husband are mostly packed, so I mostly just have to worry about me.
I just learned my daycare has been giving my son formula when he finished his bottles. Not the end of the world, but I’m feeling pretty town up about it because I’d been so proud of myself for pumping as much as he needs, and that the way we found out was then saying “oh he is out of formula, please bring more” and not letting us know the first time they had to dip into the bottle we left for emergencies.
You’re a great mom — THAT is the kind of thing they should’ve been telling you!
Eating issues are HUGE to me with my 10monthold at daycare. I LOVE the place and it’s great but come ON teachers get IT TOGETHER
Yeah, I’d be really, really annoyed that my daycare didn’t give me a head’s up on something like that. That sucks.
Yeah. My daycare did this too….I think they realize that all the moms freak out and just don’t want to deal with confrontation. It sucks though. :/ You are doing great mama!
Yes! As I posted yesterday, I have a sick baby who is worrying me to no end. His fever hit 105 this morning. Thank god ibuprofen brings it right down but still. I have never seen that number on a thermometer! I’m starting to suspect this kid just tends toward very high temps, though his previous high was 103.8 in january. And husband is working long hours this week.
I actually invited my mother in law to come babysit tomorrow (a rare occurrence) so I can go to work for a few hours and get out of the house/try to salvage some of this lost week at the office.
Maybe also try a second thermometer, just to make sure the reading is accurate.
My older son had a 104-105 fever when he had roseola – it was terrifying. Hope your LO gets better soon!
My son’s was upwards of 104 with roseola (though of course we didn’t know it was roseola at the time), too. Luckily it was just a couple days of fever and lethargy, then he was OK, but it really freaked me out. I hope your little guy feels better soon, and you get some relief tomorrow!
I wonder about roseola. But I guess we won’t know until/unless he gets rash.
Ugh, here’s to friday everyone.
Anon for this says
This week my cousin got the results of her biopsy and it turns out that she has cancer. The day before that she found out that one of her heart valves isn’t working properly and she needs to have heart surgery ASAP. Now all her doctors have to figure out which one is the priority and gets treated first. She’s 21 and in her third year of university. I hate this whole week.
Ugh. I’m so sorry.
Oh wow. So sorry. That is definitely a crappy week.
Ugh, ladies. Sounds like we all need a nap and a glass of wine.
it IS a stupid week. we are moving and baby has been sick, so my husband (stay at home dad) has had his hands full with her instead of packing/moving, and… sigh, i told him that he should go out tonight to watch some sportsgame that is important to him, and i’m kind of regretting it. but he really deserves a break. but baby’s remaining symptom is that she won’t sleep except next to a parent, so while husband is at the bar, i’ll be trying to get baby to watch hulu with me, i guess. no wine for me. but i’m looking forward to tomorrow morning — therapy and then the gym (other therapy!) and then taking baby to grandma’s to get some damn adult time to get packing and moving things done.
Kiddo is in the throes of a wicked asthma attack and threw up at 4 am this morning – I chalked it up to gagging from the asthma, but could get a call from daycare at any time. And did I mention we’re getting on an airplane tomorrow? Oh yeah, always fun to fly with the imminent threat of either an asthma attack or puke. And potty training, which had been going really well, is now falling off a cliff but kiddo will not allow diapers anywhere near her body. Add “imminent threat of poop” to the list of airplane hazards.
Oh man. Good luck. Not that you asked, but I’d bring a ton of spare outfits (for everyone) that you can just throw away, baby wipes and Ziploc bags.
That is a great idea. I have some casual skirts I’ve been thinking of donating; maybe I’ll wear one of those so it can be tossed if needed.
Pull-ups? Padded underwear?
Also — for airplanes, as much as possible, we try to put 1 diaper on forewards and 1 on backwards. Because they (the kid) always seem to explode on airplanes. I don’t know if it’s pressure changes or stress or my stress or the teeny tiny bathroom or what. Good luck.
Re-post from main s!te:
Are there any legal jobs that are truly part-time? I have been in litigation for the past 6-7 years. Last year, before my second child was born, I went on a reduced hours schedule at my firm. Unfortunately, I still have to bill 32.5 hours per week (on average), which means I am in the office almost 40 hours per week. So the position is not really “part-time.” My husband and I are both so exhausted and frustrated that he has been encouraging me to quit my job to be a stay-at-home mom (more because he thinks that will make me happy). I think I owe it to myself (and my family) to try a step down before I quit the workforce completely. Unfortunately, it seems like true part-time legal positions are almost non-existent. Any ideas?
I’m not sure if there are practicing lawyer jobs that are truly part time, but quasi-legal jobs have that possibility. I work in labor relations now and it is the type of job that is conducive to true part-time or job-sharing. I can’t imagine how litigation would work as true PT. :(
Tell me more about this labor relations job. I have a fair amount of employment experience, but no labor. Still sounds super interesting though. Are you employed by a private employer or the government? What type of background do you have? Thanks.
Anon @ 12:37 says
I’m in government, but my LinkedIn emails tell me that there appear to be a fair number of these jobs in the private sector as well. My background is also in employment law (9 years litigation, 7.5 solely in employment) – I had some labor experience during law school, but I don’t think it was given much consideration. While I think they always prefer labor-related experience, in my interviews I was able to emphasize the depth and breadth of my employment law knowledge, my experience in analyzing cases (knowing when to settle, when to push forward), mediation experience, experience in making my client feel heard while guiding them toward the best choice, experience in getting along with difficult people on a repeat basis. They also asked me about practicing before administrative agencies, writing position statements, and performing workplace investigations. I hadn’t done the latter but I do have a lot of experience in seeing botched investigations, for example, so I think you can spin a lot of your experience to conform to the job. I have trial and arbitration experience, so that was a plus for me, too.
I think the specific rules and union contracts are both easy to learn and will almost always vary workplace to workplace, but the overarching skills are more important.
Hope this is helpful! I’m not PT but I work many fewer hours than I did in litigation, am less stressed, and don’t take much home with me at night or on the weekend.
Companies with unionized workforces often have labor relations positions that are quasi-legal. It’s a lot of analyzing CBAs, negotiating with the union reps, etc. I have a lot of friends that have gone that route.
I’m in a PT litigation job. I practice law. They exist. If you’re in a job where you’d handling your own cases, you get a commensurately reduced caseload, and you schedule things for days you’re working. If things absolutely must happen on a day you’re not working (like a court conference), you get someone else to cover for you (obviously you need an office culture where people do this).
I replied to you on the main site. General points: I have a permanent part time job. It’s gov’t, so my 21 hrs is 21 hrs sitting in my chair, not billing. Money = bad, health insurance & career future = good. I don’t have that much more free time than I’d have if I worked ft, but I do get to spend more time with kid and I can do a lot more housework than I could otherwise do.
Thanks for the replies!
Late response but there is a part time position in my government office for an attorney who just handles administrative hearings. Those are much more predictable and, at least in my state, it’s pretty easy to say you only schedule admin hearings on say tues/thurs. We also have some contract attorneys who pick up overflow cases. They solo practitioners who just give their availability week by week.
Unexpectedly Expecting - update! says
So on a different note than today’s other threads….Some happy news!
I had my big ultrasound this week and found out….IT’S A GIRL!!!!!
This is baby #3 and was a huge surprise…I posted here when I found out and had lots of mixed feelings about the pregnancy. It looks like baby is healthy and although I am feeling like a truck has run over me, I am starting to get excited about a new baby. Anyway, I had prepared myself for another boy – I was genuinely excited, we weren’t going to have another baby, and although a couple of years ago I had thought a third child would be awesome, DH really wanted a girl and would only go for it if we could be guaranteed a girl. We actually thought about adoption briefly. But, anyway, I was not expecting nor, I think, allowing myself to think about having a daughter. I think when I had my first son it was such a shock – I had always imagined myself a mother of girls – that I just sort of didn’t want to think that I was disappointed and OF COURSE I absolutely adore my two sweet boys and I would never want them to think I would have preferred girls. So I kept thinking I didn’t want DH and both sides of the families disappointed that it would be another boy…I was going to love this third boy even more because no one else would be excited about him.
But finding out yesterday…I just lost it. I am so, so excited! Sorry for the rambling…we aren’t sharing in real life yet but I cannot keep a secret! :)
Unexpectedly Expecting - update! says
I want to add that I really enjoyed the thread here or on the main site about IVF for sex selection. We would never have considered that and I think for us it was about having variety and yes, having that mother-daughter and dad-daughter relationship even though neither DH’s sister nor I have those particular kinds of relationships with our opposite-sex parents. And of course kids will turn out however they turn out and a child born a girl could be not at all like what we expect and that is fine – really I just wanted this baby to be healthy. But I’m still excited!
Aw, girls are fun. DH and I always thought we’d be better parents to boys, but it turns out our 2 girls are just hilarious carbon copies of us. As in, my 4 year old is into boat building and robots, and my 2 year old loves books, painting, and blocks. There is limited interest in pink or princesses in our house, despite my moms best efforts.
They both like make-up though ;)
Anon in NYC says
YAY! I’m so excited for you! Congratulations!
Congratulations! I love my toddler boy to death, but I’ve got to say, it is really fun to have a baby girl. I wouldn’t even say that I’m much of a girly girl, but all my inner dressy-dresses, bows, and pretty pink everything has come spilling out on her. It’s cheesy as heck, but I love it. (Yes, I’ll restrain it when she’s old enough to have a say, but for now.)
Unexpectedly Expecting - update! says
YES! Bows and pretty pink! I am so not girly as a grown woman but I was a girly girl and I LOVE little girl dresses!
Congratulations! My first is a boy and my second is a girl. I adore them each for the wonderful little people that they are. Having a daughter is wonderful for us, and I simply adore her. I am astonished by my daughter’s caretaking instincts (or perhaps she picked it up from me/society/who knows). At the same time, she is the bada$$ of our family. She is my mini-me, my unvarnished me (she acts like I would if I didn’t have to be an adult) and I get to pick out adorable outfits that she then refuses to wear.
Aw, congratulations!! Little girls are so fun! I have an older boy and younger girl and obviously love both of them. My daughter is so sassy, opinionated, and tough compared to my son. I dress her up in every adorable outfit, and she twirls around and flounces her skirt, then goes and climbs up the tallest thing she can get to, stomps in every puddle she can find, and just blinks and shakes her head when her brother shoves her down. The dichotomy of her looking so frilly and being such a [email protected]$$ cracks me up.
In total contradiction to the last post, I think we are two boys and done. I sometimes really want a third baby, but realize that my parenting skills seems to deteriorate with chaos. more than I’d admit in real-life. Sometimes I think the hardest part of being done (or even if we went for three and had a boy), is realizing that we will always be the “in-laws.” I realize I’m assuming a lot here (assuming our boys marry girls and have kids, and recognizing that many women do not get along with their mothers), but if they do marry women who have strong familial connections (which I would love for these hypothetical DILs and my boys), we’ll always be second.
Even just reading the posts above, husband’s parents are not often than the primary – or even welcome – support, even when there is a good relationship there. My mom came and stayed with me for a few weeks after my kids were born, and she only visited for a long weekend after my brother’s child was born (and they have a great relationship with my sister-in-law). I am not immune from it! I love my mother in law, and only want her present for short periods of time in my house.
Not looking for a solution – just commiseration and venting about something I try not to dwell on in real life.
If it makes you feel better, I was one of the posters venting about MILs above and part of the reason my relationship with my MIL is challenged is because in her eyes, I will always be the one that ‘took away her son’.
This is in sharp contract to my mom’s relationship with her MIL where her MIL was so delighted to have a ‘bonus daughter’. It took me a long time to accept that my MIL wasn’t interested in that kind of relationship with me and viewed me as competition.
So you may well gain a daughter down the road without having to suffer through the teenage years!
Also in contrast, my brother and his wife are much close to my parents than hers (physically and emotionally).
Unexpectedly Expecting - update! says
I could have written this…#3 was a surprise because we had decided basically for the reasons of my sanity and our marriage that 2 were enough.
Yes, the mourning was a lot about imagining a future where my grown-up sons were married and less in my life, just like my DH is from his family (although frankly it was true before we were married). I used to joke that they would be only allowed to marry orphans. (Horrible, I know!). So I commiserate with you. And also share in the awesomeness that it turns out two little boys can be.
As a counterpoint — my MIL is seriously awesome! I look at her & how she approached the relationship versus how my mother acts around her sons’ families — and us, for that matter! — and I think that it is equal parts your daughter-in-law and you. You can’t undermine your son’s wife and resent her for “taking away your baby” — you’ll drive them away. But if you are respectful of the relationship and genuine & honest in your interactions, it can go really well! All hope is not lost. :)
Love the anecedata and good stories – keep them coming! I think I’d be a good MIL – if only b/c we have a strong network of close friends who are treated as family, which feels relevant somehow? We are good at making people feel welcome? We like people? Hopefully a DIL would feel the same?
I really, really want to feel done. Husband really does. I really would go into a third baby expecting it to be a son, and knowing a daughter is no kill shot to my future grandbaby access issues (can’t believe I just typed that). But, it sits in the back of my head as a worry and wonder.
To make you feel better, maybe —
I love my parents, and I love my inlaws. But my parents live on the opposite coast, so we spend much more time with our inlaws. Once we have children, I am sure that trend will continue, just due to logistics. It breaks my parents’ hearts (I can tell), but there’s no way around geography. But it’s been over a decade since I’ve been welcomed into my husband’s family, and they are just as much my family as my parents are.
My brother, in contrast, stayed much closer to home. He and his wife also had a very close relationship with my parents, and truly brought her family and his family together as a single unit, even without children. His wife passed away last year (breast cancer, f*&K you) and the family still operates essentially as one unit. It’s beautiful.
The people that marry your children can be in your life for so long that if you welcome them with open arms and treat them like your family, odds are, they will be. Drawing lines and distinctions will only build distance. Blood is no guarantee of closeness (maybe your sons will marry people with familial tensions of their own), and traditional roles don’t have to be adhered to.
Yes, to this. My in laws and I were close until the day that we moved away (north) to really start our adult lives together and my MIL cornered my husband and said that he doesn’t like cold weather and was moving away to abandon her and be with me. Shortly thereafter, while I was at their house, she flung herself on DH, sobbing that it won’t be the same without him being close to home. Ten years later and this type of behavior continues. Wonder why I don’t want them to visit?
Yup. I grew up with my mom’s parents attending holiday dinners hosted by my dad’s extended family and vice versa. Both sets of grandparents were within an hour from my house, so we also split a lot of holidays. Geography really helped.
My MIL never hosts or invites us to her for holidays because she “doesn’t want to impose.” I’ve invited them (and my family) to Big Fat Holidays at our home, and they don’t come. So….eh. FWIW DH and his parents were never very close, and he is an only child.
My mom is not afraid of imposing. We get a lot of “is there a weekend in March I could come visit?” We can (and do) say no, but she will ask again later. She sort of pushes the visit on us (we run in 9000 directions and never think “gee let’s have Mom up!”- not because we dislike her), and my kids love to see her.
My MIL is fantastic. When she is visiting, she makes my life so much easier. She gets up in the morning with my older son, does dishes, laundry, cooking, and cleaning. She retreats to the guest room shortly after dinner to give DH and I time alone.
My in-laws are our primary day-to-day support. My husband has a very large family, with divorced and remarried parents and siblings and step-siblings and their spouses and kids, all of whom live in town. My MIL babysits at least once a week, and my FIL babysits probably twice a month. Because the holidays are my husband’s busy season, we spend every Thanksgiving and Christmas with his family. Of course there are things that bug me about my in-laws, but I love them.
Also, my husband’s dad and stepmom have 4 kids, 2 boys and 2 girls, between them. Both sons have moved “home” with their spouses and children. One daughter lives here and met someone whose family also lives here, so I wouldn’t say they have a primary family. And the other daughter has, since she got married, spent significantly more time with her husband’s family. But she’s graduating from medical school and matched here, so they’re about to move here for her residency, and where they end up long-term is obviously still undetermined.
My parents live out of town, about a 1-hour plane ride or 10-hour drive away. They are wonderful, and they visit semi-frequently and for-real help whenever they are here. Seriously, they are nonstop, and the hardest thing for me is making a long enough list to keep them busy (because if they run out of things to do, my mom badgers me to find more). So even if you’re not the day-to-day family who lives down the street, you can still be close with your children and their families.
frustrated academic says
To add on, my husband is one of two boys and his mother has always been very vocal about how God was smart enough to give her two boys and two lovely grown daughters-in-law. I have a lovely relationship with her–I think, in part, because there is less baggage in that relationship than there is in the one I have with my mother. She is a great grand-mother, and actually took over the first floor apartment in our building so that she can visit more often without imposing–best tenant ever. We are actually heading off to holiday with her and that side of the family this weekend. I have a son and will try to embrace his partner in the same way that my MIL embraced me!
My cousin seems to favor her MIL – probably for the reason that there isn’t the baggage there with her own mom!
Honestly, I think that if you raise your boys to be fully equal partners and coparents, you have better chances of a good relationship with your future (speculative) daughters in law. In straight couples that I know, when the mother’s parents are closer to the family, it’s often because there’s an imbalance in the married couple. The woman is doing more childcare, and she’s more comfortable around her own parents, so that’s who gets the call to do backup childcare. The woman is doing more of the housework, and she’s more willing to let her own parents come over when the house is messy, so they get more invites. The woman is handling all of the social calendar, and she has closer connections to her own family than to her inlaws, so the whole family’s social life drifts in that direction. If your sons grow up to do the childcare and the housework and the social planning (and you are genuinely accepting of their partners), I think you’ve got much better odds of a close relationship with their future families.
FWIW – this is reasonably true in my own marriage. We see my parents more for geographic reasons, but we are close to both sides (we fly intercontinentally to see my husband’s family 1-2 times/year), and it’s possible in large part because my husband will actually do the work to make those things happen.
Wow….I hadn’t even drawn that connection. My ex used to harp on me about how we always defaulted to spending time with my family, and it’s true – my family was the default because I was the default planner, cleaner, cook, everything. His parents were invited only when they reached out to us (not that often) or when I felt confident enough in my plans to reach out to them.
This is way late so I doubt anyone will read, but +1 million to this.
My in-laws have two sons, and are just as involved in our respective lives, but I think because both marriages are very equal. I really do not think of my parents as “default in-laws” at all! And fwiw, my husband and BIL have the same “ugh, the in-laws” feelings about my and my SIL’s parents when they come to stay – so it’s not like having a daughter means no one will ever find you the annoying in-law :)
But overall we are a small, close family, with fairly equal roles in all generations, and everyone is pretty positive or neutral about everybody else. We even do holidays with all three sets of parents, and we all take part in everybody’s kids’ stuff, weddings, funerals, etc. It’s pretty cool.
Meg Murry says
I could have written this post (I think I basically have on other threads), and I am making a conscious effort to be kinder to my MIL in the hope that the karma will come back around and someday I will have a kind DIL or 2.
I’ve also realized that what she really wants is to see/play with the grandkids, and I try to facilitate that happening without worrying so much about me having to hang out/entertain her. Since she’s local, I also encourage my husband to take the kids over there and hang out, so they get Grandparent time and I get some time to myself – a double win. My ILs annoy me sometime (more so my FIL than MIL) but they are never cruel or judgemental, they just aren’t “my” people. And they love us and my kids, and that is most important of all.
How much staff turnover is normal for daycare? My son was at a daycare for his first two years, and assistant teachers seemed to come and go every 2-3 months, but each room was anchored by a primary teacher who rarely changed. We moved him to a new daycare six months ago to be closer to home, and his classroom has already had two main teachers come and go. It’s frustrating for me and it seems hard on him (this morning he didn’t know his teacher at all and was very clingy). At the same time, I hate to move him again only to have more high turnover no matter where he goes, and he really likes his pack of friends right now. Any advice/commiseration?
First daycare- about 3 teachers in the school (infant thru kindy) in the 13 months we were there. Couple of moves (i.e. Toddler teacher moved to infant 2).
Second daycare- lots. But also movement. So one of the 2 young toddler teachers left, one of the older toddler teachers left (and her replacement also quickly left/was fired…unclear) and the other moved back to infant 1 when the infant teacher left. The floaters change constantly- I am good at names but can’t keep them straight.
Our director told us that they are moving to hiring more credentialed teachers (and it came with a tuition hike) but it is a welcome and noticeable change. My daughters toddler teachers are actual educators (at least the lead is). When these ladies were hired it was the difference between an experienced and trustworthy babysitter, and a teacher.
Oh, man, that’s a lot of changes for a little guy!
It’s been about one main teacher every 6 months, but that’s for the entire building (and with three kids there in different rooms, I’m probably abnormally aware). No one child has had more than one main teacher change in the ~18 mo they have been there, if that makes sense. So far as I can tell, the teachers left for personal and not workplace reasons (ie, moved, got married, wanted to stay home with their own new baby). And the main teachers usually rotate mid-day, so the kids aren’t completely with someone unfamiliar. Having essentially two main teachers is a drag for holiday gifting, but it is definitely a plus when there is (inevitable) turnover.
As for advice, I’d figure out if there have been changes recently in other classrooms (which may indicate a widespread issue with retention). I’d also wait a bit longer. What I understand happened is that the main teacher left soon after you started there, then the replacement teacher left soon after they started. I’m wondering if the first teacher left for personal reasons and the replacement didn’t work out for some reason (which could be personal or workplace related).
But if teacher #3 leaves quickly, I’d seek a new daycare.
My experience has been that a well-managed center may have a big wave of teacher turnover, but it should stabilize and stay stable for long periods of time. When a teacher leaves, schools scramble the remaining teachers between classrooms or even between centers (if in a multi location system) and do some temporary ratio patches with uneven results. Our center also hires teachers who are pursuing masters degrees, and so we get some turnover at graduation as graduating teachers leave for better paying jobs. Usually there is enough time to plan for that; it’s the unexpected departures that cause problems.
We had three complete sets of infant teachers in the 12 months my kiddo was in infants, and it felt like a constantly rotating cast of floaters and aides. I felt bad by the last set; I knew the names of both of her main teachers (who kiddo loved) but didn’t know which was which. I didn’t like the situation at all and thought of switching schools. It was jarring to drop off my preverbal infant with a completely new person on a regular basis, and to have inconsistency in feeding schedules, diapering instructions, nap instructions.
Toddlers has been such a better experience (same school). Two of the teachers left, but three stayed the same. The school left one slot unfilled and filled in the remaining slot with someone from the infant classroom who we already knew. They just brought back one of the teachers who left. Meaning, in 12 months, we have had no new teachers. Having that level of consistency for the last year has been AMAZING. I trust her teachers, I always know at least two of the teachers on duty (there are still sometimes other floaters to maintain ratios), they keep a very consistent routine.
Advice: wait it out a bit, and maybe spend a half hour sitting on the floor with your son’s class so you can get to know his current teacher(s) better. If there is another turnover in the next 3-6 months, consider a shift unless you have other concerns about the center.
Our experience in both rooms (infant and toddler) has been 3 out of 4 teachers in the room were there all year with the fourth swapped out twice. (In the infant room, the new person hired had a major car accident like 2 mos later and couldn’t come back to work, so was replaced again. In the toddler room I’m not sure what the reason for the quick switch was.) ‘Floaters’ (the people who fill in at the beginning/end of the day) vary a lot.
Not sure how many responses I’ll get today, but here goes. We have two year old twins through IVF. We have two more embryos currently on ice. I know we were in some ways willfully blind at the time we did IVF to the fact that we might have more embryos than we needed. No matter how things work out, I don’t regret what we did because I have two beautiful children when I thought I’d have none. Our clinic has sent us a letter saying we need to start paying a yearly fee to keep the embryos or decide what to do with them. We live in a HCOL area and have a tiny 3 br house. It’s big enough — just — for the four of us and we had decided we wouldn’t plan to move (even though when we bought the house we thought it was a “starter”; we were trying for a baby at the time but hadn’t started fertility treatments, and kind of figured we’d size up when we had a second baby). We’re in our late 30s and had kind of made peace with having just the twins. But now that we’re facing possibly giving up the option of having any more kids at all, we’re wondering if we really do want a third. And if so how we’d ever make that work (we can’t really afford a bigger house in our area and would probably have to look at 1 hr or more commutes if we moved). Added to that is the fact that we don’t really agree on what we would do with the embryos if we didn’t use them. My husband wants to donate them to another couple. He is uncomfortable with destroying them and feels that it would be a good thing to give them to someone who might otherwise have no children. I admire that and wish I felt the same way. Instead, the thought of someone else giving birth to and raising “our” baby just makes me cry. I know, I know that it wouldn’t be “our” baby. But it would be. And the thought of it being anonymous and never knowing whether there was a child out there makes me as miserable as the thought of it not being anonymous and seeing photos of some little one who looks like us but isn’t ours (but could have been). I feel that if that baby were out there, I would want it and knowing it wasn’t mine would make me profoundly sad. My husband respects and understands this feeling. For now, I think we plan to pay the fee and give ourselves another year to think it over. (And to see if our situation changes — there are some potential career changes for me that could substantially boost our income and make having a third more feasible.) I just don’t know how to reach a resolution on this if we don’t wind up having a third (or trying for one). I think we’d probably wind up doing what I want, partly because my husband hates to see me cry and tends to do whatever he can to make me happy, even if it’s at his own expense. But I don’t want him to do something that he’s profoundly uneasy about.
You’ll figure out what’s right.
I never expected to need ivf- first kid was conceived with no problems. I know that if we choose to have another bio kid, it will need to be through a gestational surrogate which will require embryo creation. Husband and I have decided that if we do go that direction, we will donate any unused embryos. Our logic is this: knowing what we’ve gone through and how helpless you feel when you realize you can’t have children on your own- if we can help someone else going through those same feelings, that would be incredible.
We would choose an open donation, because we think that it’s important for kids to be able to ask questions. That’s what we think is right for us. What’s right for you might be totally different:
Thank you for saying that. I hope that with a year to think on it, we’ll know the right answer when the time comes. I would really like to get to the point of being okay with donation. I’ve thought about it, but I still have trouble getting there. Maybe because I want another child myself. But thank you.
No experience with this, but FWIW depending on how much it is, I would just pay the fee to put off such a tough decision. I see you’re doing that which sounds really smart at this point. You could consider just doing that indefinitely or until you’re more clearly in the no more babies stage and see if that affects how you feel about it. Also, is there a middle ground? E.g., donate to science which would not result in a child but would still help other couples going through infertility? Of course you may have other feelings about that, but just a thought. I’m sure you’ll figure it out, but it does not sound easy.