Maternity Monday: Floral Maternity Sheath Dress

Floral maternity sheath dressEver have one of those days where it feels like you’re moving underwater? Yeah, that’s my Monday. So: Macy’s has a ton of cute maternity dresses on sale (plus free shipping over $49, which is better than their usual minimum, I believe) — this gray and blue floral one seems interesting and fun while also being work-appropriate and versatile. It was $88, but is now $49, available in sizes S-L. Maternity Sheath Dress

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  1. ifiknew says:

    Reposting from weekend thread!

    We sleep trained (Ferber) this past Friday. Our baby girl is almost 5 months old. She’s 67% for weight and 90% for height and our pediatrician recommended we try.

    It went remarkably well in terms of crying. She cried for 15 minutes the first day, I went in at 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and she was asleep before I could go in at 10 minutes. She cried for 30 seconds the past two nights, so that piece, where she’s learning to sleep independently, is fantastic.

    What has been still hard is that she’s getting up every 2 hours throughout the night (better than the 45 minutes before), but still 2 hours. Last night was every 1.5 hours. I think it’s because she’s not eating enough during the day and I feel bad letting her CIO if she’s actually hungry. She’s EBF. She only drinks about 3 oz at a time. I basically feed her on demand, which ends up being a little bit basically every hour when I’m home. She eats for <5 minutes each time night and day.

    I'm not sure if my B**** just have low milk storage capacity or if I just need to really get her on an eating schedule, so she will nurse for 10-15 minutes and hopefully drink closer to 6 oz each time during the day, so she eats less at night.

    I know she's too little to night wean, but I'm hoping for maybe 1-2 feedings rather than 4-5? Unrealistic? Any and all advice is appreciated!

    • ElisaR says:

      I don’t think it’s unrealistic to hope for 1-2 night feedings at all. I think my son was at 1 by 5 months old. He was EBF until I went back to work at 4 months when he started getting breast milk in bottles. He took 4-6 ounces from a bottle and its hard to say how much he got from me. But I feel like the amount of time he spent at the br*st decreased as he got more and more efficient. Have you tried anything to increase your production? I’m not sure if its a gimmick, but I ate those mothersmilk cookies from amazon, ate oatmeal and most importantly: drank a TON of water to increase production. Also, you will probably be starting food in the next month or so – so things may change then. A lot of babies sleep better once they are getting food in addition to b-milk. Good luck!

      • ifiknew says:

        Thanks so much. Maybe I should try something to increase my milk production. I’m only pumping about 13 oz for her in my 9-4 workday. I didn’t think I had low supply, given she’s growing really well, but maybe I do. Were you pumping 16-20 oz at work? Do people pump this much?

        • ElisaR says:

          I was kind of an anomaly in that I only fed my son from one br*st (I called it my superb**b). I would get about 12 ounces over 2 pump sessions at work. That might have been different if I was in a more traditional situation…. so I can’t really comment on that. 13 oz sounds like a normal amount to pump to me – I just suggested the possibility of increasing supply in light of the baby having 3 oz bottles at a time…. but you are right – if she is growing well that is all that matters!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      No advice, just hugs. It will get better. I remember going through periods like that and pulling my hair out, and now I have no memory of what I did or how long it took to resolve.

      • ifiknew says:

        Thank you, so funny how that happens! I’ve heard a lot of moms say that, hopefully I will be that way too :) I can’t fathom one more until I forget how it feels to have never slept 4+ hours in one stretch in nearly 5 months ha!

    • Momata says:

      I would definitely recommend an eating schedule. It sounds like she is used to snacking during the day and so wants to keep snacking at night. I did the “EASY” (ha) method with both kids and it worked well for me — spacing out feedings and putting them at reliable and routine intervals that would let them really tank up (and nurse both sides to completion). I would feed them right when they got up (“Eat”) – sleepy enough to power through a nursing session. then “Awake” – playtime, errand, etc. then “Sleep” – I did su(kle to sleep but they really weren’t getting much before naps. Then feed again when they wake up. By this system they ate every 4 hours or so ,which I think let them tank up during the day and expand their bellies. I also swore by a dreamfeed – so, nurse kid to sleep around 7pm (a real meal that time) and then barely wake kid to feed again at 10:30 or so before I went to bed. Hope this helps. Good luck!

    • I’d recommend trying a lactation consultant to see if there is a reason she’s eating so little at a time. We night weaned right when we did CIO at 4 1/2 months and it worked very well for us.

    • anonymama says:

      Before assuming there is a problem, I’d suggest just trying to stretch out her feedings a bit… it sounds like she may just be used to sort of grazing all day long, so isn’t eating that much at a time because she knows she can eat again in an hour or two. I noticed with mine that when there was a lot going on, if we were out and about or otherwise busy, they would go a lot longer between feedings, so I realized they may not have actually been all that hungry every time I was feeding them. So instead of going for the boob immediately I would try to soothe in other ways, or take them outside to look at the light through the trees, until it was clear that they were actually really hungry and couldn’t be distracted from it. If you can wait to feed her until she’s actually really hungry, hopefully she will eat more and that will hold her off for longer until the next feeding. I wouldn’t really worry about your milk production.

    • Anonymous says:

      My kiddo night weaned (on her own) at 9 weeks. We did the Le Pause a la Bringing Up Bebe — she cluster fed every evening, but slept 9 hours straight. So “too little” is pretty subjective.

  2. Last minute request – anyone have a sitter they can recommend in the Alexandria, VA area? We need someone this Friday night. It is my brother’s wedding, and the child care that was arranged fell through. It would be for one 15mo in our hotel room. If you have any leads, I would be really grateful! You can email me at the following address.

  3. Tfor22 says:

    Hi everyone, I am experimenting with a new dinner routine and thought I would share how it is going. This may not be relevant to most because of the way our household is set up but could be fun.

    I enjoy cooking and meal planning but in this super-busy phase of life I kept running out of ideas and energy by Wednesday. I tried to make Wednesday a theme night (breakfast for dinner!) but that was tough also. My other thought was to have Thursday be the kiddo’s night–he helps plan the menu and cook. (He is 12.) Over the summer he let me know he wanted to do Blue Apron for his night. It turns out you have to order at least 2 nights. So here is our plan:

    Sunday–husband cooks, often a roast chicken. I may help with a salad or a side.

    Monday–something easy since we have to leave the house at 640 to get to Scouts by 7. I make burritos, taquitos, soup, pasta or something in the slow cooker. (Tonight it is chicken tikka masala.) Somehow having that short list of options has been super-helpful. It narrows down the universe of choices just enough. Hubs works late on Mondays.

    Tuesday–I am at the soup kitchen. Husband cooks. They often have burgers or pierogi or leftovers from Sunday. Sometimes they go out.

    Wednesday–Blue Apron #1. Since the lad picks I have no idea what is coming. The lad may help me cook, and we make the 2 servings stretch to 3. We have to work fast since wrestling practice is at 630. Hubs again works late this night each week.

    Thursday–Blue Apron #2. Some combination of all three of us work on the cooking.

    Friday–We make or buy pizza. I’ll make the dough, they help spread it out and do the toppings.

    Saturday–I make whatever I feel like. (My favorite!)

    I have enjoyed Blue Apron more than I expected. It takes away a bunch of decisions around menu planning and shopping. It is great to come home and have every single ingredient for the recipe in the house. Because the lad picks the menus he tries everything, and we have found a few items he likes.

    • Thanks! I am about a decade away from this being possible, but it gives me hope for logistics in the coming years. (Both my parents worked full-time; all my extracurriculars were, by necessity, at school…)

  4. Can we talk about the article on Oprah about the New Midlife Crisis (link to follow)? It’s such a depressing read and yet so accurate. Born in 1981, so part of the Oregon Trail combo generation. I’m particularly hit by this quote:

    “And 24/7 they’re on their smartphones (which, remember, have only been around for 10 years), flooded with friends’ Instagram-tastic vacation photos and Twitter posts by frenemies bragging about promotions. They’re watching breaking news alerts of nuclear threat escalations, end-times weather catastrophes, terrifying mass violence. They’re waking up to see what else has gone wrong and wondering how to help. They’re fielding long 10 p.m. emails from bosses that end with “Thoughts?” The cumulative effect is the feeling that they will never catch up, on any level, ever.”

    I believe I literally said those words to my DH this weekend. I will never catch up at this point, ever. I will die with so much still on my todo list. And that is just an awful awful feeling.

    • I haven’t read the article yet (another thing I’ll add to my to-do list, ha), but I totally agree with the feeling of never catching up. And I agree that smart phones and technology has created some of that. Using my phone less helps, but I think the feeling is also exacerbated by the billable hour environment. I constantly feel like I should be billing or working (especially since technology makes it so you can work anywhere theoretically!), and I wish I could just get away.

    • 1981 also. I didn’t entirely relate but a lot of it seemed like emotional possibilities for the near future. The part about possibilities is actually the part that resonated the most. I think the biggest adjustment in my mid 30s has been acknowledging all the roads not taken which will not be taken at this point. I used to look at people in the news and think of them as ‘older’ and now they are my age and the comparison is inevitable. I think it helps that I’m not on social media though and I’m generally pretty cynical about people’s self curated images. But it’s hard and, as the article points out, knowing you are lucky in some ways makes it harder to acknowledge all these feelings without also feeling guilty and ungrateful.

    • I read it and wanted to cry. Born in 1980 and a lot of it feels so true to me. Every day, the feeling like I’ll never catch up and that I’m failing at something … it’s crippling sometimes. It’s hard to feel like I’m doing anything well.

      The article mentioned it very briefly, but the massive amount of information (mostly contradictory) we have about how to raise a child these days is crazy making and adds to this “what is this all for?” feeling. I envy my mom’s generation because they didn’t overthink how they parented. They wanted to raise good kids and pass on their values, of course, but they mostly did what worked for them. They might’ve occasionally picked up a parenting magazine, but they didn’t have the onslaught of information that’s available to us. There wasn’t such a wide range in how people did things. There were downsides to this, of course, but I think they felt less stressed by motherhood than we do. My mom has told my sisters and me several times that she feels sorry for us because our generation has total information overload, plus a heaping load of judgment that she never dealt with.

      • Anonymous says:

        My mom has said the same thing.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        My mom was a C-level executive in the 80’s, and I have distinct memories of my friends’ SAHMs saying the worst, most horrible things about her when I visited their houses. I remember one woman saying that I probably didn’t have any siblings because the stress of working had dried up my mom’s v*g*na. Or that my dad probably traveled so much because he got better food on the road than he did at home. Moms were judgy in the 80’s, it was just a more private, in-person judginess. I can’t imagine anyone short of an old white dinosaur on the right saying something that offensive now.

        • Redux says:

          WHAT. that is awful that people said these things to you about your mother! b!+ches. (sorry, is that allowed? feels warranted here.)

    • Pretty Primadonna says:

      Also a 1981 baby. #wedabest

      I read the article when a law school classmate posted it on Facebook. It was super-depressing and that particular passage stood out to me as well. Also, I am not stressed about retirement savings, but sometimes I get stressed about NOT being stressed! (OMG! Everyone else is panicking! I haven’t saved much! Why am *I* not panicking?!) And the part about mourning the lives not taken. I mourned that even in my 20s, but especially now that I can look back ten years and think of how I wanted life to go and compare it to how it has gone. And the climbing the career ladder part. Still not where I want to be, and 40 is so, so close.

    • CPA Lady says:

      What a stressful article. What I came away with was the feeling that this level of misery is more about unfulfilled expectations than anything. Like, if you *expect* life to be easy and *expect* to be personally fulfilled by your job, children, partner, activities, scrubbing the toilet, etc. while merrily skipping to the top of the corporate ladder, chairing the PTA, and getting that organic, low-carb dinner on the table, well …. that’s just not realistic and is only going to drive you crazy.

      One of the few good parts about growing up in a very troubled family was that I never believed that life was about 24/7 personal happiness. And it made me a lot more pragmatic too– when you know what an actual bad situation is, you don’t spend time stressing about the non-issues of the “mommy wars”. Bad situation: seeing your parent passed out on the floor, possibly ODing on a daily basis. Not bad situation: feeding your infant formula.

      That article actually really reminded me of some of the points brought up in All Joy and No Fun. Like, parenting/childhood wasn’t even a THING before the 1950s. And parents weren’t expected to meet their children’s emotional needs (or any needs really, beyond feed them, put a roof over their head, and don’t beat them too much) until the 1980s or 1990s, maybe? And now the expectations have exploded past the point of what any human being is capable of. Add to that increasing expectations from employers and the constant inflammatory barrage of internet click-bait and the 24 hour news cycle, and it’s easy to feel like everything is horrible and spinning out of control… when really, life is the same as it’s always been. Actually better in a lot of ways.

      I’m not saying I never get overwhelmed….but I try to remember that happiness is good and important, but there is more to life than that– service to others, honest work, discipline, sacrifice, and LOWER EXPECTATIONS.

      • I would agree with this. I don’t think it’s entirely the cause of women’s unhappiness but the idea that you can have it all and that you should always be happy definitely doesn’t help. I have a good friend who always says things like ‘I can’t believe this is my life, I’m a good person ..’ whenever she’s faced with bad things and I always want to ask in what world is being a ‘good person’ a guarantee of anything? But it seems to be in the culture.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Favorite toys without small pieces for two year olds? I just realized my son has been playing with the same toys he got for his almost a year ago, and with his birthday and Christmas coming up, looking for ideas to send to family who want to gift him something. We live in an apartment, so not a lot of free space, and have a sibling on the way, so trying to avoid choking hazards. Magnatiles, a play kitchen and balance bike are on my list (I realize play kitchens are huge, but he loves playing in the real kitchen, so I think it’d be worth it). Other ideas? Less expensive ideas for rounding out the price bracket?

    • Along with the play kitchen, nice play food from Learning Resources. They have a ton of sets, including a coffee set and healthy breakfast and backyard grilling. You can store them all in one of those cloth cube bins if you don’t have room in the play kitchen.

      Lego Duplos are a good toy – especially the “my first” sets. Also the Little People, like a farm set or a firetruck or airplane, and some bonus characters like the 7 superheros.

      • Walnut says:

        The Learning Resources Farmers Market set and Duplos are a huge hit with my two year old.

    • Wooden blocks were the biggest hit of DD1’s Christmas right after she turned 2. We got the Melissa and Doug set which technically all fits back in the wooden box it came in, but we store it in a plastic bin and the wooden box is currently a stuffed animal bed. DD still plays with them at least weekly, sometimes daily, which is pretty good in my book for an almost 2 year old toy.
      Consider some kind of pop up tent or tunnel. They store pretty small, but make a big impact when they do come out.

    • Blueberry says:

      All three of those toys are great and are probably my 2-year-old’s favorite things. In addition to high-quality toy food for the kitchen, you could add a bike helmet as a lower price-point item to go along with the balance bike. If he loves spending time with you in the kitchen, you may also consider a learning tower. This has been on our wish list for a while…

    • Momata says:

      The intro M&D puzzles were great at this age, and the pieces are thick enough that they can be used for fun play (like, we play “farm” with the pieces from the farm puzzle). M&D “Pull Back Construction Vehicles” have been surprising huge hits. They are soft so they don’t damage walls when they crash – and they have held up to almost daily use for over a year.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks very much everyone!

    • Anything with wheels! My LO (almost 3) loves vehicles, all sizes. Favorites include a cement truck, monster truck, and fire truck.

    • Anonymous says:

      I just sorted all my almost 2 y-olds toys so I could 1) clean up my tiny apartment 2) get rid of the baby stuff 3) tell the grandparents what might be needed/wanted for birthday/holidays. We’re looking at a couple of different kinds of building sets (the blocks that look like branches & duplos). A few cars, a few small costume pieces (masks, hats, maybe a cape?), some play food, and some more baby doll clothes. We’re big board game people, so the thinkfun roll and play toddler board game. She has some peg puzzles, so maybe some of the Melissa and Doug two piece puzzles.

      I have a long list of practical things too (place setting place mat, toddler zip on gloves, batter bowl with spout) and I’m hoping to reorganize part of my kitchen so she can have a cupboard with her plates and bowls at her level, but that may not happen until 2.5.

    • JDJDTX says:

      My daughter (2.5) loves the Water WOW books which are basically painting with water. There are several versions of them, and it isn’t messy and no choking hazards. They are very portable for sitting at restaurants, etc. They are fairly cheap ($5 ea.) and pretty self-contained.

    • Magnatiles! He’s maybe a little young for it but will grow into it in a few months. My 2.5 year old can play with a set for a good hour.

  6. Anon for this says:

    UGH. Super bad, screamy morning with my 4 yo who blatantly didn’t listen (did something she knows she’s not supposed to do) and then lied about it. I flew off the handle. I know it’s in part because I’m stressed about work and in part because I am PMS-ing (which shouldn’t be an excuse, but darn it I don’t feel good), but I am sitting here at work now just feeling terrible. And even worse because we have a sitter coming tonight because H and I both have work events that cannot be skipped. Just UGH. I want to run home and scoop her up and hug her.

    • Momata says:

      Been there. It makes me feel better if I plan a special outing later in the week and try to make that a really happy time, just the two of us.

    • rakma says:

      Yeah, been there too. I make sure to apologize, and name my feelings (which is exactly what we’re asking DD1 to do when she’s mad).
      The lying thing is killing me. I know it’s a developmentally appropriate thing, but it just sends me through the roof. She’s so obvious about it too (don’t look behind my back! I don’t have anything in my hands! The baby just fell over, I didn’t touch her on her belly just like this!) but I”m pretty sure that teaching her to lie convincingly isn’t really going to help me in the long run.

      • Anon for this says:

        Oh man, that makes me feel a little better about the lying thing. The ones she tells are exactly the same (no I didn’t take that book, I don’t know how it got in my bed, it must have been someone else that put it there…). Knowing it’s an age thing and not that I am (necessarily) raising a sociopath is helpful.

        • mascot says:

          We have a zero tolerance for lying policy that started around age 5 (once we got past the developmental wishful thinking/deceit is fun stage). Mostly, we made the lying the punishable offense and let the small things slide. If he got in trouble at school and owned up to at home, then we wouldn’t double down on punishment at home-school had already taken care of it. But, if he lied about school and we found out, which we almost always did, then he got in really big trouble at home. We also repeatedly praise truth telling- even when it is scary or you know you did something wrong.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      I got MAD at my kiddo this weekend (she lost her sh*t in Target and I made the call to carry her out, abandoning the *cookie ingredients* we were there to buy because we were going to make cookies before she broke down because I wouldn’t buy her an alarm clock…) and it was embarrassing to be the mom holding a big writhing two year old under her arm and hissing “I am so disappointed in you!!!” while sprinting to the car. (Big props to the rotten lady who was making snide critical comments at me as I made my escape. I hope your grandchildren draw with markers on your couch!)

      ANYWAY, when I feel bad about getting mad at her after that kind of stuff — like I wish I could just let it roll off my back better? — I try to make it into a learning opportunity. Like, “Honey, when you started screaming at Target, I felt very frustrated and angry. I am sorry I used a mean voice with you — that’s not OK for me to do.” etc.

      It’s hard to do, though, because I want to apologize for getting heated, but I still think the consequence (not making cookies) was totally fair.

      • Mom to Littles says:

        “I hope your grandchildren draw with markers on your couch!” I am cry-laughing at this!

        It’s so hard for me to pull that trigger sometimes – taking the kid out and canceling the fun thing. I wanted to do the fun thing, too! The other day I was struggling to get my two-year-old in his car seat and making all kinds of threats. A lady getting into her car nearby smiled and said, “Been there, Mama. You’re doing great.” That helped. So, I’ve been there, Mama Rainbow Hair. You’re doing great.

        • Rainbow Hair says:

          Thank you! I try to give knowing looks of consolation to other moms.

          And yeah! I had to cancel our regular Sunday AM coffee date because she wouldn’t stop kicking me in the stomach (and I really wanted that macchiato!) and then I didn’t get to bake (eat) cookies! BOO!

  7. Momata says:

    Does anyone else suffer from anxiety about family outings? We took the kids (3 and 2) on an overnight adventure this weekend. The drive there was TERRIBLE because the kids didn’t take their car nap like I had intended, and my mind spiraled out of control to the point of certainty that we should cancel the (nonrefundable) trip because they would be overtired in the afternoon, not sleep in the strange place and disturb all the other people there, and be disasters the following morning. This caused me to be very harsh with my 3yo who was crying in the car and not napping. (The kids ended up doing great.) Husband was (understandably) upset with me. He told me he is just more optimistic than I am — this made me realize I actually am having horrible anxiety about these things. I do not have a therapist right now and am not sure that this small issue merits taking one on. I do not have any other kind of anxiety. So I am hoping you all have some tips for dealing with this issue. I do not want my anxiety to make these adventures horrible for my family. Thanks in advance!

  8. Momata says:

    Wrote a long post but it got eaten — apologies if this double-posts. Anyone have any tips for pre-family trip anxiety, specifically about the kids falling apart? I do not have any other kind of anxiety so this is new to me. This weekend we went on an overnight adventure. Kids are 3 and 2. The plan was for them to take their naps in the car. When this did not happen (because toddlers) my anxiety spiraled totally out of control and I was convinced the trip would be ruined because they would be overtired disasters, ruining both the activity and the accommodations (for both us and everyone around us). I really flipped out on my 3yo and was convinced we should forfeit our deposit and cancel the trip. Husband was justifiably upset and put my problem in terms of “optimism.” It hit me that it is anxiety like nothing else I have ever experienced. I don’t have a therapist and (honestly) don’t think I need one in any other area of my life. So helpful hints from you all would be greatly appreciated.

    (In just the time I’ve tried to post this, so many have posted about flipping out on kids and anxiety . . . thanks for making me feel less alone and incompetent.)

    • rakma says:

      So when I find myself getting anxious about things that haven’t happened yet, I ask myself what outcome I’m afraid of.
      Will my kids be screaming and hard to deal with? Sure, but that’s just a regular Tuesday around here.
      Will people judge my parenting because my kids are screaming and hard to deal with? Maybe, but likely I will also find kind people who’ve been through it and understand. Also, f*ck other people. They don’t know me, I’ll probably never see them again. Let them judge.
      Are my kids ungrateful brats who don’t appreciate the opportunities they have? Well, no, they’re kids and don’t really understand much beyond ‘this is different and exciting’.

      Trying to walk though these rational thoughts in the moment isn’t easy, and it helps that DH and I are both prone to this kind of thinking, and can work though these together.

      It helps me to voice some of these concerns early in the planning process (I’m an advance worrier) and we have adjusted (or scrapped) some of our plans based on knowing that a missed nap, forgetting juice boxes, or random kid body fluids would tank an entire plan. It also helps for me to be over prepared for some eventualities so that even if one or three things goes wrong, we can fix parts of it.

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        Traveling is one of the few places that the whole “spiral out the worst case scenario” thing is actually quite comforting to me. Because nothing could really really be that bad (or if it would be, we don’t do it — like the 5 hour boat trip my parents suggested we take with the toddler). And sometimes it does help, because I think to do things like… “kid could get car sick. ok well I’ve got three changes of clothes easily accessible. oh but kid could barf on me! i better add a change of clothes for myself to that bag!”

        Also… it helps to have things go wrong and then see that it’s still ok. Kid barfed in the car on the day we were supposed to do a fun activity that required a drive. The timing of the barfing made it completely impossible to do that thing (and I did cry a tiny bit). BUT we ended up doing other fun things that didn’t require driving and we had a totally great day. So, y’know, silver linings.

    • I think for trips with toddlers, you have to set very low expectations. Plan things you don’t mind missing if things don’t go as planned.

  9. To ifiknew says:

    Can’t thread from phone — It may not be a supply issue. I have a definite over supply and my bub has been falling asleep independently after sleep training for 3 months and still wakes up usually twice to eat at 8.5 months. The main recommendations I’ve received — 1) space out feedings during day so they are used to going longer in between feedings and eating more at each feeding and 2) move up nursing to beginning of night time routine so there is at least a 20 min gap between nursing and falling asleep. I’ve done both and he still wakes up to eat 2 times over 12.5-13 hours of sleep so take all that for what it’s worth.

  10. Super Anon says:

    What do you say to an astute 3-year old when their Dad has been admitted to an inpatient program for alcoholism? I’ve already tried, “Daddy’s sick and needs to spend some time with some special doctors,” but that hasn’t sopped the “why,” nor provided an adequate response to why DS’s “favorite friend” isn’t allowed to see or talk to him right now.

    I’m so glad DH is finally getting the help he needs … and I obviously can’t explain the complexities of addiction and recovery to a toddler … but I also don’t want to perpetuate my own pattern of covering up for / lying about the reality of living with an addict. Are there books or resources out there to help with this conversation?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Oh, hugs… I’d be (a) honest and (b) tell the kiddo only things you would be OK hearing come out of his mouth to strangers later. Not necessarily “feel great about kiddo saying to strangers later,” because that’s way too high a bar for something this painful.

      When I’ve thought about what I’d tell kiddo if her dad fell down the depression rabbit hole again, it’s always been something along these lines: “Kiddo, sometimes your dad feels really [sad/scared/angry]. And that’s such a big feeling, sometimes he doesn’t feel like he can handle it. When he feels like that, he [uses too much medicine/needs help getting the right medicines/needs help staying safe], and right now he is staying at the hospital where he will be safe and where the doctors can help him learn to manage his big feelings better. I’m sorry, I know it’s hard to have him be far away.”

      Are you part of any of the support groups for families of addicts? I bet there is a lot of collective wisdom in there.

      As far as the friend not being able to see or talk to your kiddo – ouch. But your kiddo is 3, and probably won’t remember that hurt later. That seems like a relatively minor thing in bigger picture right now.

    • Anonymous says:

      You should reach out to Al Anon, both for yourself and for your kid. Someone there can direct you to better resources than I can.

      That said, my favorite trick for dealing with “Whys” is to ask the child why do they think. Your answer sounds age appropriate and correct and I bet the Whys are just him hoping to get a different answer eventually.

      Something you could do with your kid when they start asking about dad is to make a “journal” with him. Tell him, Daddy will be so excited to see you when he comes home and will want to hear all about the things you have done! Have him draw a picture every day (or two) and then you write down the date and what happened /what the picture is about on the back (at child’s direction). You can even hole punch them and put them in a binder. Try to get kid to focus on a fun thing that happened at school or something else positive (you don’t want a stack of “Timmy missing Daddy” pics to hand your alcoholic in recovery husband). He can make angry or sad pictures too, just don’t add them to the journal.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      I think I would talk about how doctors can *help* a lot. “Daddy is sick and needs to spend time with doctors. Everyone needs help from a doctor sometimes [and I’m proud of Daddy for asking for help when he needed it].” And then possibly connecting to conversations about when you/kiddo have needed help?

      (I think about this question w/r/t my therapy and antidepressants — like I don’t want it to be stigmatized at ALL for her, but also I really don’t want to talk about it with my parents, so I can’t really tell her until she’s learned not to blab everything to everyone…?)

      Sending good thoughts your direction!

    • ElisaR says:

      as the child of an alcoholic who went through treatment, i want to echo reaching out for advice from al anon. I never was taken to al anon meetings, but my mom went. I was 8 years old when my dad got sober for good (yay) so a lot of our conversations were more advanced. But up until age 8 I was witness to a lot of the negative aspects of the disease. Also – at age 3 you’re going to get “but why” as a result to most explanations…. (ie. that worker is filling the bucket with water — “but why?” conversation i had this weekend). Wishing you and your family lots of love, positivity and success on this journey.

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        Ha good point about the “but why?”
        “Mama I can have a granola bar?” “Sure, you can have a granola bar.” “Why?!”

    • A child life specialist at a local children’s hospital may be able to give you some suggestions. I don’t know if they work with non-patients, but based on a friend’s experience explaining the chronic illness of a sibling to a toddler, the child life specialists at the hospital seemed to be life savers.

  11. also To ifiknew says:

    Does LO fall asleep while nursing? Or does she just do really short sessions, always? Does she bottle strike at daycare?

    I think at 5 mos every two hours is a bit much – she should be able to eat more and sleep longer. As others said tho how much you pump is not necessarily indicative of how much LO gets while nursing, and since she is gaining well, I wouldn’t worry about supply – but never getting a long stretch of sleep is hard on you!

    If sleepiness is the issue, try burping/changing between b0obs, and also compressions to keep the milk flowing to encourage her to eat more.

    If she bottle strikes, she might be looking for the comfort of nursing too – can you try wearing her in the evening so she gets that?

    Could you try to encourage a cluster feed in the evening? Hang out on the couch and let her snack continuously (so even if she only does 5min per b0ob, you keep rotating her back from one to the other to try and get her to tank up?)

    Could also try topping her off with a bottle if you’re able to pump extra and she will take a bottle in the evenings.

    Hugs. Baby sleep is hard.

  12. anon for this says:

    I know this is super petty… My SIL is pregnant, and her shower is coming up. I went to her registry to shop for a gift, and it seems like everything on there is super expensive. For example, she’s registered for a $770 stroller, a $300 infant carseat with a $120 base, the “premium” rock-n-play that’s $120 instead of $40-60 (what does it even do?), a $115 bouncer, a $200 bassinet, and the $286 mammaroo (why does the baby need so many expensive places to be?). It seems like every single thing is a “deluxe” version of that type of item. She and her husband are not at all wealthy, and it rubs me the wrong way that everything on the registry is so expensive.

    I’m sure I can find an assortment of small stuff to buy. But I wanted to buy something nice that I know she’ll actually use because I know they’re struggling financially. Grumble, grumble, grumble.

    • rakma says:

      I have two thoughts about this, one generous and one not.
      First, if they’re struggling financially, could this be a way of trying to do right by the baby? Maybe they’re channeling anxiety into making sure they get the “best” they can for the baby, without spending limited funds.
      Second, could they be planning on returning the deluxe versions for more basic versions + cash/gift cards?

      Could you just give them a gift card either way? I know it’s impersonal, but you could always include something small and meaningful or practical, or something they’ll need later down the line, like toddler plates + utensils.

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