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Sales of Note…
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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?
Can someone explain why we are opening bars, gyms and restaurants, but schools, summer camps and playgrounds remain closed? Surely adults could all survive on take out, workout outdoors and drink less. My kids really need school and socialization with peers, as zoom just doesn’t cut it for their ages. As a parent, I really need child care.
Why are kids the lowest priority in every single reopening plan? Gah.
It is so, so frustrating. I feel like parents need to hire the lobbyists the alcohol and entertainment industries are using. Playparks are open here and children under 11 can play together without social distancing, but still no update on nurseries. Schools expected to reopen as “normal” but honestly, who knows.
Boston Legal Eagle says
$$$. Short-term economic gains are a higher priority for this administration than the long-term societal benefits of having an educated, supported younger generation. An emphasis on individualism vs. the need for government support.
Although I will say that in MA, daycares and summer camps were reopened before gyms and other indoor places. Where are you located?
Northern Virginia. All of our local summer camps closed, though I hear that there are a couple further out in VA that did open at exorbitant prices and for limited numbers.
Playgrounds have now opened, but at least two phases after the first bars and restaurants.
Most daycares are talking about opening in August. Daycares are also actively reducing the numbers of students on their rosters so they can meet capacity constraints, further increasing the childcare shortage.
Schools are planning 2 days in person a week, but there are strong rumors that we will likely be 100% remote after the first few weeks.
Meanwhile, bars, restaurants and gyms are open at 75% capacity.
The momentum now from the AAP, my state’s government (which has otherwise been very cautious and guided by science), and the adminsitration (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8495951/Trump-demands-SCHOOLS-OPEN-FALL.html) seems to be for a full reopening of schools this fall at any cost, with no mask mandates or other safety measures.
We have teacher unions that are pushing for 100% remote. Even if we open at 2 days per week, I strongly suspect that we’ll go to 100% remote with even a single COVID case.
I just discovered this tool from Georgia Tech that allows you to view the probability of an infected person’s being at a gathering, given your state and the size of the gathering.
There are some obvious limitations (e.g., it uses the overall infection rate rather than the rate for the population attending the gathering), but it’s still useful.
My state is in better shape than most right now. If every infection shows up in the official counts, there is still an 82% chance that at least one kid at my daughter’s school is infected. If the true infection rate is 5 times the official rate, that chance is greater than 99%. The numbers will only get worse by fall.
Bottom line: there is simply no way that schools will remain open for more than a week or two this fall.
According to you. Who does not run a school or make these decisions. Stop stating this as a fact when it isn’t.
Our school district will not risk opening if there is one snowflake on the ground anywhere in the county. I do not see how they would take a different approach to the coronavirus.
Your statement wasn’t “I can’t see how my school district will be open.” It was “there is simply no way schools will remain open more than a week or true.” As a fact.
That is untrue. You do not know this. Please stop.
Okay, how about this if it makes you feel better. Is there anyone here who believes their school district would keep schools open with confirmed infections?
Yes!! That’s my point. My district is planning to. That’s the whole purpose of cohort ing the kids. Classroom 2a might be out for two weeks but the 4th graders on another floor can keep going. I fully agree it’s going to be imperfect and disruptive but I don’t think my district is just going to close.
I guess we will all have to wait and see because none of us actually know for sure what fall will bring.
Our district is cohorting to try to prevent an outbreak from being catastrophically large (i.e., a whole elementary school at once), but they will still close with an outbreak. They’ve already said as much. We get two days a week until someone gets sick.
Yes, I’m in NYC and think schools will be “open” in some hybrid capacity with some infections still active. We have a very strong union but teachers have kids too, and the schools are too much of a safety net here to stay completely shut. (And as a reminder, some stayed open as remote learning facilities all spring – we never shut down 100%). And an overwhelming majority of parents that responded to a survey want them to reopen.
I live in Iowa. Daycares never closed, and the guidance (which I admittedly haven’t read – just news reports) from the Department of Education is pretty non-strict, allowing individual school districts to weigh their own risk (which I think makes a lot of sense in this state). But folks are going crazy that the the whole state will be in danger because school is allowed. I agree with OP that school is high priority, only behind basic needs like food (not restaurant food) and housing. But just throwing out there that I live in a state that I think is handling all this pro-parent, and they’re getting SO. MUCH. GRIEF.
But are bars, gyms and restaurants open? I feel like some states are ignoring the virus and that will inevitably lead to an outbreak that will cause schools to close. I am not aware of a state with open schools and closed bars/gyms/indoor restaurants.
Iowa poster from above. No, and you’re right. But I’m just surprised that there is so much outrage specific to schools and not articulated in the way that you say it.
Our playgrounds are supposed to be open, but parks and rec is taking their sweet time removing the orange fences and hasn’t gotten to my neighborhood yet. But restaurants are seating indoors! Trump tweeted yesterday that schools need to open in the fall, which may be his first tweet ever that I agree with.
Related: My oldest is in summer camp this week. It’s “adventure camp” which basically means they have pods of mask-clad kids and take them to a park or activity outside the county to play only with their own pod. He is a CHANGED PERSON, you guys. One day of camp, and the brooding, angry 7 year old I’ve been worried about since April is gone, and I have my son back. DH and I actually cried from relief last night.
Yes, brooding and angry is the exact description for my almost 7 yo. I’ve done everything I can to try to make her life better, but she really needs friends and school. I really worry about doing lasting damage to her self image and personality. Camps aren’t open here and school is only a maybe.
Gosh, now I’m crying as she screams in the background for the upteenth time while I try to work. This sucks. I want my sweet girl back.
PP here. Hugs, I know exactly how you feel. It’s so hard to know what your kids need and just not be able to give it to them. We had done outdoor play dates with just one or two friends, and it helped a little but didn’t meet the need for being part of a group, being away from parents, etc. How he acted yesterday afternoon and evening showed me that it’s likely he’ll turn around once normal kid social life resumes. Kids are resilient, and here’s hoping that summer camps near you can start operating soon.
So I live in MoCo outside of DC and our parks and rec is also taking their sweet time..,well someone just took scissors to the orange fences haha. I mean they’re legally open. So…
MoCo here too. My husband was all set to go cat-burgle the fences one night and roll them up neatly for parks and rec to pick up. But then I went for a walk to case things out and the park police were prowling around our playground with flashlights, so… orange fences are still up. Your scissors person is a hero.
Also in MoCo – seriously can’t the park police take down the fences? Its not rocket science!
I’m also very frustrated that our state’s deadline for school districts to publish their plan is August 14. School stats August 31. I would really like to have more than 2 weeks notice, since I suspect I’m going to need to find backup care for at lest 3 days a week, if not more.
Similar here… state deadline aug 15, school starts September 1…
Just to be clear, I am on team let’s go back to school. And I’ve posted similar to my response before so sorry for the repeat but:
The difference is people can make a personal choice to opt out of going to a bar or restaurant if they don’t feel safe, and the govt is not obligated to provide adequate, safe bars and restaurants to people.
The govt IS obligated to provide adequate, safe schooling for everyone and everyone DOES have to attend elementary+ (or go to extreme, set up their own homeschool measures) so they need to be more thoughtful and careful about how they do it.
Not saying it’s not frustrating, but that’s the answer.
I would get this if it wasn’t just schools. Here, daycares and other non-school kid activities are still closed but bars/restaurants are open and other clearly-non-essential businesses are slotted to open before that changes. Also I would argue that the government is failing its obligation to provide safe schools by allowing non-essential businesses to open first. Having bars open has been shown to be a huge cause of spread, which makes everything riskier (including schools)
Here in MA playgrounds, daycare and summer camps are open–with lots of extra rules and regulations. Bars are not open yet, and restaurants are limited too.
I would love to blame the federal govt for this, but aren’t states largely in charge of education?
Cuomo has schools opening in phase 4, yet somehow parents are supposed return to the office in phase 2. It’s insane, but what do I know. I also don’t understand how we are supposed to work if school is part time or one week on and two weeks off. I get that generally in this country childcare is seen as an individual problem but how is the economy ever going to recover if one half of two working parent households can’t work?
This was probably already discussed, but the Deb Perlman (Smitten Kitchen) op ed on this in the NYT is both fantastic and enraging.
The Federal govt may not be the final decision maker for local municipalities, but it certainly could have taken on a leadership role, setting guidelines and coordinating a unified national response. Instead, the president has made it worse by casting the virus as a racial issue (Klung-flu), calling it a hoax and refusing to support masks.
I agree, however, that states are getting it wrong. I don’t know why blue state governors (i.e., those who aren’t buying in to the hoax narrative) are prioritizing bars and gyms over children and parents. It’s so wrong.
Yes, this is my frustration. I live in New York and it’s enraging to see bars and restaurants open but daycare still closed.
Playgrounds are still closed in Seattle and a spike in cases is unlikely to change that. There were police officers sitting at the closed gate of one of our favorites this weekend to enforce it.
We’re now finding obscure playgrounds In unincorporated areas to let our kids run around and burn off pent up energy.
anon in nyc says
It’s beyond infuriating. Supposedly the Board of Health is voting to open daycares in NYC today but the fact there was no communication about it at all until today is baffling. Plus I’ve heard nothing about how they will handle covid cases (close down the classroom? the whole daycare?) which makes it tough to decide to pay the $2K with no real guarantee of care and for how long.
Hoping you wise ladies can share some parenting wisdom and apologies in advance for the novel. I have 27 month old twins and the tantrums and sibling challenges with Twin A are getting a bit out of control. I At dinner, when DH asks them how their day was, Twin B often says that Twin A was screaming/crying, which makes me so sad. We have a nanny and they are generally much better for her, though still some issues with Twin A not liking to take turns/not have things go their way. We were going to start them in part time school, but due to Covid we aren’t going to (the school where we were going to send them has already opened and reclosed and the disruptions/risks make it not worth it).
Here are examples of some situations that have caused crying/tantrums/sibling challenges:
– we have 2 blue buckets or two bottles with pom poms, Twin B who is very verbal and narrates everything, announces that he wants a blue bucket or pom poms or whatever Before Twin B can get to the bucket, Twin A grabs alland starts running around like it is a game. (this happens with all sorts of things, where Twin A has many/multiple of something and does not want to give any to Twin B). We generally are into the taking turns concept, except when there is multiple of something that is the exact same, the reason for that is so that they can each have one. Like we have two doll strollers, it seems kind of wrong for one child to use both while one has none?
– Took them for a walk in the stroller, Twin A touches Twin B’s arms, leg, hair, etc. (how do you get kids to keep their hands to themselves when you can’t really separate them)
– Yesterday I tried a sensory bin activity with Tupperware that we’ve used many times and Twin A wanted the rim, (which doesn’t come off as it is part of the container…) taken off..lots of screaming and crying
– just this morning Twin B had a book Twin A wanted…hysterics
– In the morning after waking up, we put their sleepsacks on the chairs in their room, and one sleep sack was partially on/partially off – crying/tantrum, toy that is usually in the playroom is in their bedroom near naptime – crying/tantrum
‘ve read How to Talk So LIttle Kids Will Listen, Siblings Without Rivals and have listened to some Janet Lansbury. We’ve shown them the Daniel Tiger episodes about what to do when you are mad, taking turns, etc. Any ideas so I don’t lose my mind and my children don’t grow up resenting each other are greatly appreciated!
Your children are fine. They are not going to grow up scarred because of totally normal sibling squabbles. To you, this is one twin being mean to the other. But that’s not reality. This is just Twin A being kind of a lot! Like most children that age are!
Boston Legal Eagle says
Yes, this all sounds totally normal. They are 2. They’re not going to remember this, much less resent each other (at least not for this!) 2 year olds are a lot and are not easy for the parents. Ala Janet Lansbury, would it help to reframe the crying and tantrums as really positive expressions of their emotions? You can’t really prevent a 2 year from tantruming and getting upset, and it’s not your job to make sure they’re happy all the time. If there’s physical behavior like hitting or throwing, then you step in, but all of these behaviors are totally normal and will keep happening.
The tantrums are fine and normal for Twin A, but the behavior is a lot to ask Twin B to put up with.
I disagree. I was not a twin, but was Sibling B in this scenario. I still resent it. I can only imagine that it would be worse with twins because they are the same age and spend all their time together.
Twin B needs to be given a safe space and time away from Twin A’s aggression. I would start with separate bedrooms and one-on-one parent time. When possible, I’d also put them in separate classes at school.
This is easier said than done! My twins have to share a bedroom because that’s how many rooms we have in the house. Ditto their preschool divides classes by age, so until they go to kindergarten they will be in the same class. (Their teachers make sure to put them in separate groups for activities, but they almost always choose to play together during free play time or on the playground.) In covid times, it’s really hard to give them one-on-one parent time because you can’t bring them on errands or to the grocery store any more.
So yes, giving them time away from their twin is a good idea, OP, but don’t feel bad that they are sleeping in the same room.
I was also Twin B in this scenario, which is part of why I posted. I have a lot of resentment towards my sibling, though maybe it should have been directed towards my parents. Unfortunately, we do not have space for separate bedrooms as we live in a two bedroom apartment. and as i mentioned, they are not yet in school. We are trying to give them more individual attention. I also think it would maybe help if they had some of their own items, but i don’t know if that will just create more drama at this point and i am not sure how to facilitate this
Another twin mom says
Do they have anything that is just theirs? My twins have some personal stuffed animals and also each have a small box where they can put anything they want and their twin isn’t allowed to touch it. It’s not a perfect solution, but helps cut down on the feeling that they have to share absolutely everything.
Extreme example here, but I’m Sibling B and Sibling A got worse with time.
It is so bad that I once was canned from a job interview because someone who knew Sibling A wanted nothing to do with anyone who could be like Sibling A. A family member was working with a service individual in Sibling A’s profession (think, insurance), in a branch of a company Sibling A had once been affiliated with, had enormous headaches because Sibling A’s reputation was so bad. Those headaches went away when the family member said that s/he was estranged from Sibling A.
As I said, extreme. Some of it is just… some people are evil. (Almost certainly not what is going on with your kid.) Some of it was years of parents saying “this is normal” and “you two have to figure it out between yourselves.”
This might all be normal for age 2. Please remember Sibling B is *also only two* and therefore not equipped to set boundaries. You have to set those boundaries, clearly and consistently each time.
My twins are 3 now, but this sounds so familiar! Their daycare teachers report that they are delightful at sharing with other kids, but will end up in a pile on top of each other on the floor when they want something their twin has.
When there are two of the same toy, one child is not allowed to have both, full stop (unless her sister doesn’t want it, then it’s fine). In your situation, we’d take one away from A to give to B and just let A scream about it. If she keeps trying to grab it back from B, she gets moved to a different room (with an adult) until she’s ready to share.
When they both want the same single toy/book, we set timers. Now they’re pretty good about asking when they can have a turn and their sister will give it to them when she’s done, but before we’d set a time for 2 minutes and then the second twin got the coveted object.
For the stroller, if it’s side-by-side there’s really no way to keep them from poking each other, sorry. We usually just repeat “keep your hands and feet to yourself” and try to distract them with narration about what we can see. It’s totally just attention-seeking, so if they get interested in something else they’ll usually stop.
And the tantrums because things aren’t exactly the way they want is totally a 2yo thing, not a twin thing. This is why the collections of ‘reasons my kid is crying’ exist!
Also, as I mentioned, my twins squabble/fight but also love having a built-in playmate. They go through phases where one is more aggressive than the other, but definitely don’t resent each other. So I suspect your kids will turn out fine. :)
I do not have two kids, so I cannot speak to that perspective. However, when my child was 2, he pushed boundaries in many of the same ways you describe. Firm boundaries were helpful in reigning in the chaos.
Also, I have a twin. From stories I have heard, we fought like you describe when we were little. Yet, I have no recollection of this. This is a very stressful and anxious time. Kids pick up on it and use it to their advantage. That does not mean that you will damage them forever by making them learn to share and take turns. Honestly, I can think of several adults that still need those lessons. Parenting is a long road and the lessons you teach them now will help you (and them) in the future.
are you friendly with your twin? As someone who doesn’t have the best relationship with their sibling, I am very cognizant of sibling issues and would love to do what I can to facilitate a more positive relationship between my two, though I also know that much of it is outside of my control
I’m a twin and my parents always put us in separate classes starting in preschool so we would not be codependent. It may also have helped limit fighting and rivalry. Something to consider for the future when that becomes a possibility.
Way late to the game here but I have kids that are not twins, but 20 months apart and are very much A and B. I also have C, who is the oldest but in Before Times at school all day.
A is my middle. She was born that way. She has pushed very button there is to push with everyone in the family. She’s the smartest kid, but also a manipulator and a drama llama. She screams instead of using words, still, at age 4.5 (sorry). On the bright side, her preschool teachers say she is a precocious delight. My youngest is B here, and the problem is we have to balance spoiling her with helping her stick up for herself around our middle (who is older).
B-Day gift suggestion for friend’s 2 year old, whose home is bursting at the seams with toys? Ordinarily I’d do an activity gift card, but covid has limited our options. Thanks all !!
Balloons are a great gift for a 2 year old
I’d do bubbles and some of those wax gel crayons, things that get used up.
Water beads are fun and disposable. Playdough and bubbles are also always a hit.
I like to give consumable bath stuff–bubble bath, bath paint/crayons, and bath bombs.
Agreed with bath paint. Not only consumable, but gets used up fast so less time it’s kicking around if they really don’t want more stuff. And huge hit with my kids.
Have any of you who considered taking leave or quitting your job due to Covid and childcare gone ahead with it? If so, could you report back how it’s going? Are you satisfied with the difficult decision you made?
My spouse did this, but as a freelancer it’s a little bit different since they can pick up work again once childcare resumes. Honestly, it’s been great for our family’s sanity, since we tried juggling 2 full-time jobs and 2 preschoolers for a while and found it exhausting. The major downside is that we only have one income now, but we’re also not paying $1800/month for daycare, so it evens out.
I’m taking a 6 week sabbatical this summer to cover the gap between our au pair leaving and school starting (and a part-time baby sitter hopefully starting in September). I’m fully expecting to work for part of that time (it is half paid, half unpaid) but I feel like I’ll be accumulating goodwill by working when I can instead of gradually drowning by trying to half work and half take care of our son during that time we’re in flux.
I’m NOT thrilled about this break as honestly I’d rather be working and have good childcare in place but I feel this is the best solution to an impossible problem. I am also giving my firm a TON of credit for making this break available and allowing people to take it with very few restrictions/penalties.
I’d also like to hear from people with male partners whose male partners are taking or have taken the leave and whether they experienced any blow back at work.
My husband has not taken any leave, but is continuing to work from home even though most of his colleagues are back in the office because we are sharing childcare responsibilities. He has not gotten any specific criticism yet, but he feels that time is running out before his boss will ask us to make other childcare arrangements so he can be in the office full time. We are looking into a different daycare (the one we used to use is still closed for the foreseeable future) and also potentially hiring a nanny.
I’d also be interested in this.
We’re expecting our first baby in a few months, and already worried about the childcare shortage (we’re planning on a nanny, which was the plan pre-Covid anyway). My husband has indicated willingness to reduce his hours at work (academia) if we are struggling to find someone, since I’m the breadwinner.
DH took 2.5 mos off from mid-March, returning to work after Memorial Day. It was a lifesaver because I was slammed at work and daycare was closed. He did not get any negative comments or blowback for this. Not to undermine that awesome fact, but that is helped in large part because (a) he’s technically self employed but is part of a group (physician) and is not yet a partner, so there are still important group dynamics and others in charge, but not in the same way as a regular office, and (b) more importantly, the group’s work slowed way down so they didn’t have as much need for people and actively solicited volunteers to step back from taking cases. I did not ever ask him, but now I’m curious how many of the folks who stepped back from work were men vs women. I know of a few of his female colleagues who took the same break, but it’s possible he was the only guy in a group of ~40.
I asked DH, and there were at least 3 guys in the group who took a similar amount of leave, which is encouraging to hear. A lot of other factors at play, not all have kids, some were just wanting a break from the crazy that was coming to the hospital.
Not COVID-related but my husband took 12 weeks of paternity leave with both kids. He was the first in his office to do it with our first and several folks had done it by the time we had our second. He did not receive pushback (and is an attorney so able to leave and come back pretty easily). When you have the conversation about who stays home, I would factor in the importance of that kind of culture change.
Not quite leave, but my husband quit his job a month ago to do full time childcare for the foreseeable future. Most in his group were shocked but he got quite a lot of pats on the back for “stepping up to care for his family.” TBH that irritated me even more because I feel like the reaction to me doing the same would’ve been vastly different. But it made sense for us because I have a new job I like that pays more than his old job (which he hated anyway and had been looking to get out of for a while). And so far it’s working pretty well for us! It has not changed things as much as I had hoped because I’m still working from home so there is still a lot of togetherness. But I am getting so much more work done now that he’s able to focus on the kid during the day.
Second Child? says
I posted this yesterday but later in the afternoon, so reposting for more thoughts. I’m particularly interested in two big job couples with 2 kids and how you decided to have kid number 2.
I’ve searched the archives and there are lots of good threads on deciding whether to have a second kid. DH and I were probably in the no kids camp, but maybe 1 kid. We had our daughter just over a year ago. I had a pretty easy pregnancy overall I think mostly marked by 1st trimester exhaustion and some late pregnancy issues that required a lot of time to monitor (saw the doctor 2-3 times a week for 1-2 hours each time the last month of pregnancy) but weren’t otherwise hard to manage or scary. I had an unscheduled C-section, but my recovery was easy. Daughter was a really easy baby after some early eating struggles (not sure I would breastfeed again) and has always been a good sleeper and seems to have an easygoing temperament. DH and I recently both wondered if we might like a second. We both enjoy being parents more than we thought we would. We never thought about a second before and I can’t imagine we would have such an easy pregnancy this time or such an easy baby. (We feel like we hit the baby jackpot with our first). We both have big careers and routinely work 50-60+ hours a week. We manage with one but I can’t see that continuing for me with a second. I’m not sure I could scale back at my current job, so I’d probably need to find something different. I have mixed feelings about that. I love my job most of the time but it does have real limitations and I’m not certain that I have a long term future there either. I’m an only; DH is the older of 2. No local family and the family we do have for a variety of health reasons really can’t help much. I’m 37, almost 38 and DH is 40 almost 41. I have a really hard time imagining being pregnant during Covid, but if we did have a second I think I’d prefer them closer together and obviously age is a factor. Any recent articles or books on how to decide that anyone found helpful? Things to think about? General musings?
Both Big(ish) law lawyers and we have two. I thought adding the second was actually way easier than the first. It can be a bit logistically difficult at times (i.e., once the oldest started elem. we had to think about two drop offs and two picks), but you’re already in kid mode, so it didn’t do much overall.
Your comment doesn’t share any reasons for why you would want a second child and only focuses on logistics. I would think about what another child might add to your life and your family. It’s not just a practical decision, it’s emotional. Talk to your spouse about your dreams for the future and what you envision beyond just the pregnancy and childcare and job demands pieces you mentioned.
Second Child? says
If there were no practical considerations or logistics or career impacts we would both want a second child. (So like if we were independently wealthy and we could have a household manager (or 2) to always be there in the background for any time we needed said person, we’d have a second child). However, that isn’t real life. I’m trying to figure out how I balance what would theoretically be wonderful with what the reality of having that thing would be.
I’m a believer in having the number of kids that makes you happy (assuming you are able to provide for their basic physical and emotional needs) and figuring out the rest as you go.
If you both have big careers, I assume you have enough money to outsource. Pay for housecleaning, yard work, laundry, and meal prep, and you will have plenty of time for your kids, even working 50-60 hours/week. You don’t need a household manager, you just need reliable childcare and a willingness to throw money at domestic time sucks.
Also, when it comes to fitting in kid stuff, the flexibility of your job is more important than the average # of hours/week.
Everything about this comment is so so so true. I don’t disagree with a single word. This is especially true: “Also, when it comes to fitting in kid stuff, the flexibility of your job is more important than the average # of hours/week.”
Most people in the world who have more than one kid are not independently wealthy or have a household manager. And that’s real life….
Of course people have more than one kid in real life without being independently wealthy or having a household manager but how many people in real life have more than one kid when both parents have big careers that they want to continue?
To OPs question, I think there’s a lot of room between household manager and having no outsourcing. I would take a serious look at what tasks are your biggest time sucks that you don’t enjoy doing and see how much it would cost to outsource. When you start doing the math, especially if you have big careers that generate big-ish salaries, it may be less expensive than you think and the cost per hour you buy back of your time is likely a lot bigger than you think. My husband was super against outsourcing for such a long time but got on board once we put it in those terms. Also looking at comparable “fun” spending in your budget – would you rather go to a restaurant for date night or pick up sandwiches and picnic and also free up your Saturday morning to not spend cleaning?
I’m so sick of the phrase “big careers” — so self-important, like poor people don’t also work overtime while raising kids.
I thought going from 1 to 2 was much easier than 0 to 1 or 2 to 3. We both work I’d say 50 hours a week, but I went part-time after 2 (so I worked like 40-45 hours, gotta love Biglaw). For us 2 was never a question (and 3 happened before we could seriously think about it). In terms of balance, we worked off-setting schedules (we did daycare when the kids were younger, so we had all three in day care for one year). DH would go in early and leave earlier (say, 7-5) to get the kids and make dinner; I did breakfast and drop off (say, 9-6) and got home, had dinner and then picked up another hour at home. He travels quite a bit, which was also a drain for me. We ended up getting a nanny (part-time for a few years, and now full-time), and that’s been a real help. Mine are two years apart in school, which is really nice – they are close but not too close.
I would not have a second kid if you work this much. I found two kids much much harder than one, particularly with a 2 year age gap. There is never a break. Don’t ruin this happy parenting moment you’re having.
My husband and I both work 50 hours in normal life and had 2 less than 2 years apart. Our own personal experience was a) the work hours were doable, but a lot due to my working off hours. We have never had a nanny but have prioritized daycares and preschools based on length of open hours; b) 60+ sounds like a lot though, and we did not do that; c) I’m one of those that found going from 1 to 2 much harder than 0 to 1 for a good couple of years. It was hard because they were so close (but that was by design by us and for the bigger picture I’m glad we did it). But now that they are older, I think they *might* be easier than just one at times as they really do occupy each other’s time a lot; d) our first as a baby was also super easy, and our second (on a stand-alone basis as a baby) was as well…could go either way of course, but I remember also worrying that there was no way we could duplicate the first in that regard.
Good luck! Unfortunately no one can tell you what to do here. We didn’t know if we were going to have kids at all, but we did know if we ended up having one we were going to have two (assuming all went well with pregnancy etc).
Hi – this is something that I think about a fair deal, so perhaps just hearing someone else think out loud about the same issues is helpful. My son is 2 and a half. It was a pretty long road to getting pregnant (repeated IVF plus a whole lot of supplemental treatments) but we do have embryos banked, which adds a layer of ambivalence. Son was a relatively easy baby, so we feel like we hit the jackpot – good sleeper, good eater, happy.
I think we are one and done for a variety of reasons:
– the emotional struggle to get pregnant and the realization that starting that process again might not end in success
– my husband and I don’t have big law level jobs, but still pretty demanding. I think we’ve established a balance right now, even in COVID times, that allows us time to work, time with family, and (extremely limited) time to ourselves as adults — I don’t see how that balance could continue with another baby. Grandparents are extremely helpful with our one, but I don’t know that they could handle two.
– Neither of us had siblings close in age, so there isn’t a childhood experience we are trying to replicate.
– No one feels “missing” from our family (although I do look at other people’s little babies and feel a desire to hold them – and then hand them back).
At the end of the day, all of our reasons (not saying they would be yours) for a second child turn out to be fear based: fear of leaving our kid alone when we age, fear of the only child stigma, fear that something would happen to our son. I don’t think fear is a reason to procreate, so even though it’s been a difficult decision, I think we’re just going to love our one and do our best to expand his definition of “family”.
Re: grandparents, completely agree that while both sets of parents are happy to help with one kid, ours absolutely cannot handle two at 2 years apart.
Second Child? says
Thanks this is helpful. I do think I am a little worried about the future for an only. I am an only and there are definitely times when it has been extremely challenging. That said I’m not sure that having a sibling necessarily would have made it better. And I agree, fear is absolutely not a good reason to have another kid.
There is no guarantee that siblings will be close or have a good relationship.
Someone always makes this comment whenever someone says they are considering having a second child and that one of the reasons for considering a second child is the hope that the two children have a good relationship with each other. Of course there is no guarantee that siblings will be close. There is no guarantee of anything so I am not sure what this type of comment is supposed to offer the OP. People’s choices in life should reflect their hopes, not their fears. Hoping that siblings have a good relationship is a good reason to consider having a child. Not having a child because you fear that s/he may not get along with others is a poor reason to not have a child.
CPA Lady says
Unfortunately, no matter what you do as a parent you get “well meaning” (rude) comments from people who made different choices who think you are going to damage your child for life.
The “helpful” comment I get the most, by far, as the mother of an only, is one that implies that I’m going to ruin my child’s life by not providing a sibling for her to be best friends with. So my hypothesis is that parents of onlies like to point out that it’s not a guarantee that your kids are going to be best friends, because its the thing that gets thrown in our face as a guarantee all the time. And it’s just not a guarantee! Plenty of people have terrible relationships with their siblings. Plenty of people have great relationships. A second child is not a pet or a best friend or something you “owe” to your first child. In my opinion, anyway. But a lot of people don’t think that way– they think that if you have one, you need to have two.
We are a one-big-job (mine) and one -medium-job (his) family. No local family or really any reliable family assistance. We were really on the fence about kids in the first place, had our first, found we really enjoyed being parents, went through this same thought process as you (although our ages were not as much of a factor) – and we now have a second kid, born almost 5 years after the first. For me, it came down to a deep longing to have a second kid. Not so much to provide a sibling for my first kid but just because I felt our family wasn’t complete. (I will admit to being a little concerned about my older child’s dependence on us, but I think we could have mitigated that in other ways and also it will be a long time before our kids can play together given the age gap.)
Practically speaking, we just throw money at childcare and other help. The disruption to our life from 1 kid to 2 is less than from 0 to 1, and I’m way less anxious this go round. But the second kid is a different baby from the first – some things are better, some things are worse. Obviously in COVID times having two kids made for a much more chaotic WFH situation, but who could have counted on that (it was also weird to go back from maternity leave for about a month and then be back at home…but now working). And finally – it has been a true pleasure to see my older child obviously enjoy and love the baby. I’m sure their relationship will grow and change over time (at times for the worse) but it’s really been wonderful.
As for books/articles – the Ghost Ship was helpful to me in sorting out my feelings. I also read siblings without rivalry. I read a bunch of books about only children.
Anon in DC says
Just wanted to add my 2 cents here – my husband and i were both in biglaw before we had our first. I ended up leaving biglaw for an in-house gig when my first was about 6 months, not b/c it was unworkable but b/c a great opportunity came up. With one, it was definitely doable – my husband travels a lot for work and our first was in daycare and we could mostly manage that b/c my schedule was flexible and my in-laws helped out as well. We had our 2nd almost 3 years later and it was SO MUCH HARDER. Just the logistics of having two is tough, especially when the youngest was a baby. It’s slowly getting easier but i find the daily grind of two so much harder than with one, especially b/c my oldest was starting to become more self-sufficient before my youngest was born so i could just barely see the light at the end of the tunnel (somewhat). I love my two and would never trade the youngest for anything but for me, two was infinitely harder than me. We used daycare for both but i have family close-by and have and continue to heavily lean on them.
I dont say this to scare you off from having two but now that im on the other side of biglaw, i cannot imagine two biglaw attorneys having two kids with no extra help. I do think exploring other professional opportunities at this point may be a good move – for me, moving in-house was the best move (professionally and personally) and it made having two much more doable.
I have 3 under 4 and my husband and I both work 50-60 hours in tech. We don’t have local family.
My keys to success is rock solid 6:30am-6pm daycare coverage and full buy in from my husband and I to balance parenting workload with work workload. My days trend earlier, his go later and we both put in evening/weekend hours. Neither job has face time requirements, but we both travel for work which ebbs and flows.
10/10 would do it again.
Any good suggestions on where to start with toddler discipline (if that’s even the correct word) for a 13 month old? Overall, DS is an excellent baby. However, lately there’s been a lot of throwing food on the floor (which I know is
not an unusual behavior) and pulling my hair when I hold him. I am not expecting some magical cure all, and I know there will continue to be hair pulled and food thrown. However, I am looking for suggestions on various philosophies to read up on, with techniques, so that husband and I can figure out what we want to do and be on the same page for how we teach what is acceptable and not acceptable in the house. I’ve heard generally that using “No” isn’t good? TIA!
I think How to Talk so Little Kids is a bit too old but I read it around that age and I find it helpful to get into the habit of using that positive language early. Ie. rather than ‘don’t pull my hair’ where your child only hears the last bit, you say ‘touch my hair gently’ and demonstrate what a gentle touch looks like.
My nearly 3 year old remains obsessed with my hair. He will occasionally give it a tug when he’s snuggling aggressively, but it’s mostly twirling and stroking. He will occasionally sneak a foot into it, I never imagined one of our house rules would be ‘no feet in mama’s hair!’ I think it’s some sort of sensory seeking behaviour.
At around a year we started using warning and time outs. We tell her not to do something, if she repeats it we count 3-2-1 and if we make it to 0, then she got put in time out for a minute (originally in the PNP, then when she climbed out of that at 18 months, on the stairs). Separating her seemed to be the best (vs. the “time-ins” you will hear about which did not work at all for her). We use “no” a lot (but we have a very stubborn, bright, mischievous little gremlin), and often as a standalone sentence now that kiddo is almost 3. My view is that saying no is fine, as long as you are also saying yes in other instances. The world contains a lot of no’s, so my view is that it’s best to start enforcing boundaries early. Perhaps the advice you’ve heard is that a bare “no” isn’t helpful – you need to articulate what the behavior is. “No, we don’t pull hair, we gently touch hair” is one solution (no, thing that is wrong, replacement action – in my case this is typically, no, we don’t use brooms as swords, we use them to sweep). “No, little dinos don’t bite, little dinos give hugs and kisses” was a common refrain for a good 12 months.
when my son that age pulled my hair or my earrings or something, i would take his hand and use it to gently stroke my cheek and repeated “nice to mama, nice to mama.” it helped! i think it helped him understand a gentle touch vs. an aggressive touch.
I will say that kids are different. What works for your kid might not work for another kid.
My first kid is immune to time outs. Doesn’t see them as punishment – will just sit there singing at the top of his lungs. Losing priviliges is HUGE for him though. Tried time outs (gentle, I talk to the kid about choices while they’re in time out) with the Toddler, it worked EXACTLY like people always said it would.
With regards to ‘No’ though, with a kid that young, I use 2 word sentences and redirect. “No throwing. All done?” “No Hitting. Gentle.” I encourage them to use their words/signs and that really helps with food throwing.
I know that this is a very personal decision, but my husband and I are struggling with whether to send our 4.5 year old and almost two year old back to daycare or to find a nanny. My parents have been here from out of state for the past two weeks to help with childcare, and it has been beyond helpful to be able to finally work a whole workday without having to start before the kids wake up and finish after they’ve gone to sleep and it’s really crystallized that we need help.
I’m in the camp that thinks that maybe the center is a better choice because they are hyper-vigilant about their hygiene and cleaning, but worry about the potential exposure to so many people. My husband thinks a nanny (or nanny share) is safer because the boys won’t be exposed to as many people, especially if we can find someone who is sticking to social distancing measures. We aren’t in a hotspot, but the biggest city near us is. Cases aren’t rising, but they aren’t declining either.
We’re at an impasse – but need to find a solution that allows us to get a full workday in while still keeping everyone safe. Is there some middle ground that I’m missing? How did you decide what to do? Is this just a situation where there are no good choices, just options that are less bad?
There have been some articles lately saying that covid is spreading among daycares in my southern state, just another source of spread not anywhere like bars or parties etc. I just think people on cmoms only quote that daycares aren’t a source of spread but I think it’s perfectly to send them while being realistic that it’s a source of spread and could be necessary like grocery shopping etc. We will not be sending my 3 year old back to daycare though this year, we see our parents too much and it’s not worth the risk to us.
“I just think people on cmoms only quote that daycares aren’t a source of spread but I think it’s perfectly to send them while being realistic that it’s a source of spread and could be necessary like grocery shopping etc.”
+1 million to this. It’s convenient to convince yourself that the thing you want to do is safe. We need to face the reality that all of our choices have risks. It is reasonable to choose to send your child to day care. It’s probably a lot safer than going to a concert, but the fact that you need day care in order to do your job doesn’t make it risk-free. It just means that you’ve decided that the benefits outweigh the risks. Emily Oster is so popular here that I’m surprised at the reluctance to admit that it’s a balancing act.
Unleash the flamethrowers.
I don’t think anyone is saying it’s totally risk free. But the degree of risk may be lower than many assume, given the level of hysteria among some circles of protective moms.
Yeah, this. We know it’s not risk-free, but also don’t think it’s a death sentence. We’ve weighed our options and are choosing to use daycare part-time for the good of our family and are willing to take on that risk.
Honestly, daycare is probably safer than public school, just in terms of the number of people in the building.
Thank you for saying this so well. 10000% agree.
Boston Legal Eagle says
I’ve seen lots of comments here stating that people are making risk assessments and deciding that the risk from daycares is lower than the risk of mental health implications for their kids (not all kids) or the risk of losing their jobs. I don’t see anyone arguing that it’s perfectly safe, and also have seen lots of discussions on Emily Oster’s risk calculations. I really appreciate this group for these links and discussions.
I think there is a difference between Covid spreading in daycares in states that have no or very few precautions in the daycare and elsewhere (because that increases community spread and increases the liklihood someone in the daycare bubble has or is exposed to Covid) and daycare in states with robust precautions in the daycare and in the community at large. So its entirely reasonable that each person’s calculus will be different because of everything from geographic location, to personal risk tolerance, to availability of other alternatives, etc.
+1 I have been following the news on this and day are spread among adults is not uncommon (so teachers), but the only place it seems like it is common for kids to get it is Texas where it sounds like daycares were open with almost no precautions.
We don’t live in Texas and send our kids and know it’s not risk free. Our center is being really cautious and we feel it is a safe option. In our case, it’s our one thing. We don’t see family, have play dates, go to the grocery store (only pickup/delivery), eat out, get haircuts, etc. The only other thing we do is the occasional doctor’s visit (well child) to keep on the vaccine schedule.
Boston Legal Eagle says
I have a 4 year old and a 1.5 year old. They just went back to daycare this week. For us, the decision centered mostly on our desire to have the 4 year old socializing and with peers, in addition to cost considerations and lack of desire on our part to be employers. I would still want our 4 year old in some sort of pre-K program, so with a nanny, I’m not sure how it would work to get him the socialization that he needs. In terms of exposure, so far, our center requires masks on all parents and teachers, and parents are only allowed to enter this small lobby and only kids + teachers are actually in the school. They’re keeping the kids “distanced” and smaller classrooms for now. Lots of hand washing and sanitizing. Personally, I think the risk is pretty low for kids anyway and even lower with the new requirements, and there doesn’t seem to be much of a risk of adults interacting.
If we get to a situation where they have to close and reopen a lot, then we might reevaluate but for now this seems to be the best option.
I think cost is a huge factor quite frankly. IF you can afford it (even for the short term, say 2 years until the older is in school) then I think a nanny would be the ‘safest’ option. There are likely going to be more shut downs, rising cases, etc. and there is probably a growing contingent of daycare teachers hoping to swap to nanny-ing short term (we’re seeing that currently in our area – lots of older moms who are also caring for parents and who are NOT able to go back to working in day-cares/schools).
We sent out 3yos back to daycare. Our logic is that a) they desperately need interaction with some kids other than their twin and b) daycare is adding some risk, so we’re making sure not to increase risk in other areas of our life (still only grocery shopping every 2 weeks and not going into other retail stores, to playgrounds, to restaurants, etc).
Honestly, at the moment I’m not that concerned about daycare. They’re screening all the adults and kids for symptoms, only the teachers and kids are allowed in the building, hygiene protocols have been stepped up, etc. Pre-covid our daycare had 45-50 kids; currently they have 12 from 9 families. My kids are in a class with 2 teachers and 2 other children. This level of enrollment obviously isn’t sustainable, so the risk will go up as more kids join, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
We just pulled 2 yo out of daycare and hired a full time nanny. 100% driving the decision is the fact that we cannot afford daycare to shutter, whether it be days or weeks at a time, because someone has a sniffly nose, or a fever or the flu this winter, even. DD was sick every other week in her first year thanks to standard daycare germs and that put so much undue stress on our respective jobs that we cannot afford to open ourselves up to that again.
When age and public health appropriate, we’ll put her in a part time prek program. We are also excited to sign her up for tumbling and other toddler-centric classes that will hopefully give her some of the socialization she’s now not getting. Also, Nanny is well connected and has other nanny friends that she will sometimes do trips to the playground with (not no risk for spread, but a level of risk we’re ok with).
Interesting! I totally agree that a nanny (if affordable) is the way to go to have guarenteed care. On the other hand, I think that daycare with a set ‘pod’ of 11 other kids that kiddo interacts with is way safer than indoor toddler classes with different kids each time.
I’ll add/edit, maybe 80% driving the decision was the threat of daycare shutting down. 20% was the fact that we are TTC/in fertility treatments for #2 and the cost of two in daycare is roughly the same as one nanny. It’s a cost we’d be incurring anyway so we just bit the bullet and decided to do it now.
I don’t think there is a good answer, and it is about your personal risk. I did see that daycares in Texas are a source of many new cases, which was concerning to me as I hadn’t heard this before. I just know that right now full time working and trying to cobble together childcare was not sustainable for us. We feel comfortable with the level of risk at our small in-home right now, but that could change. I am prioritizing childcare as the only ‘exposure’ my son has – we don’t take him anywhere indoors, and the only playgrounds I’ve taken him to have been empty. He has been to the beach and some other outdoor spaces (parks etc) where we can stay 6ft+ away from others. Husband and I only go out for necessities like food, medicine and home goods. That’s the approach we’re taking right now in a spot where cases are declining, but I could certainly change my mind.
Decision factors for me:
– Kid personality — 2 of my kids are perfectly happy playing with each other or with a couple neighbors. One is a pack animal and does much better in a group childcare setting.
– My own work situation – my office is closed, so I am wfh full time. I am MUCH more productive if I’m home alone.
– Health – none of our close contacts have extra risk factors. If I were worried about grandparents seeing us every day or an underlying condition, that would tip the scales heavily in favor of nanny.
– Ease of use- I find daycare so. much. easier than a nanny. It’s a less complicated relationship and requires much less mental effort from me.
We’re doing a babysitter for the summer, but the youngest will be back in daycare in the fall if there is space. (TBD what we do with the elementary kids if school isn’t open)
We can afford a nanny but the I agree that you should know your kid. My older one (almost 4) needs his peers. Our younger one would be fine at home with us forever (well, maybe until he gets older!). We sent them back and it’s been amazing for our older kid.
Daycare has been a god send for us. There are many reputable studies showing that young children do not contract or spread COVID as easily as adults. One of my best friends works in public health and has a graduate degree in the field, and she’s been willingly sending her kids this entire time, even during lockdown. She said as long as the daycare is taking precautions and understands this isn’t business as usual, it makes sense to go for it. But honestly, I could never afford a nanny. If that were an option for me, I might consider it, although I care about the socialization at daycare too.
Anon for this says
We sent ours to daycare this week for the first time. Similar restrictions as above, masks for all kids (over 2) + teachers, fewer children, no floaters or combining rooms, parents called in one at a time from the car for drop off/pick up and not allowed past the lobby. The kids are encouraged not to hug, wrestle, etc but are allowed to play together. They are spaced out a lot for lunch when they don’t wear masks.
Our 7 month old started in the infant room and there are only 3 babies total, with 3 teachers. I’m not sure how sustainable this is for them. I think he’ll benefit from the dedicated attention he’ll get vs. being in a pack and play next to me working. My husband has been required to return to his job (hands on work) and we also have a 3yo.
We’re in the midwest in a state that has had a strong gubernatorial response.
To me a nanny would be safer because it is one person you are in touch with rather than a group of people (both adults and kids). From what I have read, the primary mode of transmission is now though to be via respiratory droplets, not touching surfaces, so hygiene and cleaning are much less important than minimizing exposure to other humans indoors and at close range. Either way, you are going to have to take the providers or nanny at their word that their own personal choices outside of working hours are minimizing risk.
Fwiw, we have a 2 and 4 year old and just decided to keep them home for the foreseeable future. We have local family who can help us watch them during the day (not full coverage, but about 75% coverage) and we can make it work. We decided to do it because we had the resources (i.e. family) to make it work, were worried about the risk of getting covid (ourselves or the kids) and the long term impact of the disease (which I think we still don’t fully understand), and our kids seemed to be managing well enough with one another without additional socialization. Is it a loss to not have them in daycare? Absolutely. The cons just didn’t outweigh the pros for us. I hope to have them back by spring – sooner if something major changes.
thank you to whoever recommended the skort from Target. it is my first time wearing one and i love it!
My almost seven-year old lost her first tooth last night! She was so excited! However, she appears to have swallowed it overnight, as it’s not in her mouth or bed (as far as we can tell), and now she’s sad the toothfairy won’t visit. I told her to write a letter explaining what happened and the tootfairy would understand and maybe still leave her a treat. Any other ideas?
Audrey III says
If you have a color printer at home, take a picture of her smiling so it’s clear the tooth is missing. Print it out (possibly along with a recent pic of her smiling with the tooth) and put that under the pillow as “photographic evidence” that the tooth is missing, that the tooth fairy could use in exchange for a treat.
Or, Tooth Fairy could respond to note you suggested by saying “I came by last night and got the tooth but I was so surprised it happened in the middle of the night I was out of treats; here’s your treat tonight.”
These are very cute ideas!
I told my kids the (true) story that I once swallowed one of my own loose teeth while eating a hot dog and the tooth fairy came anyway. I never had to write a note—she just knew to come. However, if you’re also looking to encourage writing a note can’t hurt! I also told them I didn’t have to look for the tooth when it came out the other end (ew), and the tooth fairy knew and came and I got the same amount (a quarter back then), and all was fine. I think that alleviated some concern, but I’m sure if it actually happens to them it will be traumatic.
We did this when my son lost his tooth at school and then *lost* his tooth before he got home. The tooth fairy is very understanding, she just needed a note from the kid signed by the parent.
tell her the tooth fairy already took it! that sneaky fairy!
same here. My 6.5 y/o lost her first tooth a few weeks ago and then lost it between then and bedtime. She wrote the tooth fairy a note. The tooth fairy left a coin and wrote back that she sometimes lets kids keep their teeth if they want to, but she loves teeth and would love a drawn picture next time a tooth isn’t available.
Thanks, y’all! Note is written; now just have to remember to play tooth fairy tonight :)
Attempting to buy my almost walking 10 month old a pair of shoes and I have a few questions: 1) Why are baby shoes $40-$50 a pair !?!?! I can afford them but it seems a bit ridiculous 2) Any recommendations other than Stride Rite, See Kai Run, Pediped, Robeez, Bobux? I was looking at places like Target and Kohl’s but it seemed like first walker shoes only came in teeny tiny sizes that my kid won’t fit in (needs a 5.5-6 according to my attempted measurement though it admittedly did not go well) 3) Is it even worth it to buy shoes at this point or should I wait?
When my baby was first born I bought a used changing table off someone and she insisted on giving me a pair of toddler sneakers with it. I was like ok lady, but now I realize that she was probably just frustrated that her kid immediately grew out of a pair of $50 sneakers.
You can’t get some at Walmart for around $10. They last as long as others that cost five times as much. I’d look there. You will only use them for a few months anyway.
I would get a pair of stride rite (avail online or at Target) sandal type shoes or some see kai run sneakers and largely let your kid run barefoot before that.
You might want to get kiddo measured. I have 3 kids and they are all medium tall. None of them wore a size 5.5-6 until age 2 or older. In fact, my 2 year old is a 5.5 right now.
He wears 24 month clothing, so maybe that’s right? He’s a tall baby. I feel weird taking him in to a store with the Covid situation.
My tall 13 month old daughter is in size 5 shoes and 24 month clothes. So its possible your measurement is correct. DD started walking at 10.5 months and we didn’t get shoes until 12 months. Unless you are walking outside a lot you can probably wait 1-2 months for shoes.
Similar – I think my daughter started real shoes at 14 months in a size 5.5 – she was probably in 2T at that point for clothes. She is now in a size 10-11 shoe at almost 3 (and also wearing a girls size 6-7 clothes).
Wow! I’m a tall woman with size 11 feet and tall kids – but my 4 y/o is not quite a 10 yet. My 7 y/o is a 1.
DH shared your sticker shock reaction at the cost of kids shoes; my friends had warned me. We did not buy shoes until DD was walking reasonably well. Note that she gets new shoes based on growth every 4-5 months. She initially had one pair of shoes but when it got to summer we added water friendly sandals to the rotation and once she discovered puddles we added rain boots (Totes Cirrus brand from Target). For shoes that are worn infrequently (dress shoes for example), I typically go with the Target Cat and Jack line, but for primary shoes I like Tsukihoshi (kiddo’s main shoes), pediped and the See Kai Run Basics line at Target. Kiddo has hard to fit feet and propoer fit is important for foot development. Highly recommend looking for a pair that are machine washable once your kid is fully mobile. In the DC area we have a fabulous kids shoe store (Fit Right Kids), and I always go there to have my kid fitted. I recently guessed and bought kiddo the same pair of shoes two sizes up online due to COVID when they were closed, but I recently got an announcement they are doing appointment-based fittings right now as things have reopened a bit.
It is frustrating, but kids wear sneakers into the ground and cost per wear is extremely low. While you are figuring out your kid’s size, brand preference and how quickly his feet grow you may need to pay full price, but soon you can start buying a size up during sales. I bought my son a pair of See Kai Run sandals and sneakers for $25/each last night. As others have said, my kids have just 2 pairs per season (sneaker and either a sandal/water shoe in the summer and boots in the winter; dress shoes can usually be passed down, but new everyday shoes are critical for each kid).
Buy shoes when baby is walking. You can get Robeez for now. Yes, they are that expensive. I do buy $45-50 pairs of shoes for my kids because you only get one pair of feet. Plus baby/toddlers feet may hurt from ill fitting shoes but they don’t have the language to say so and then they’re just crabby. We take our kids to an independent children’s shoe store. We buy one “good” pair per size of sneakers or solid sandals in the summer. Other pairs like dress shoes etc..are bought secondhand
Lana Del Raygun says
I have been buying all my toddler shoes on 6 pm. My daughter has small feet for her age (still wearing Size 3 at 19 months) and we’ve been able to find small sizes. I bought one full price pair at a kids shoe store to determine my fav brands (I love Old Soles) and I’ve been able to find Old Soles and Stride Rite in various sizes for around $15. I don’t mind shoe shopping so I look probably once every 2 weeks and buy as needed, including sizes that she doesnt fit into yet :) We have about 2-3 pairs in each size so she can rotate, also bc they are so cute! But at $15/pair I don’t feel like I’m spending too much.
We bought our kids’ first shoes from a store so they could be measured (pre covid…) but now I sort by size and price on Zappos and buy whatever random color is on sale. They’re currently sporting Stride Rite Made 2 Play sneakers that were <$20.
6pm is a treasure trove of kids’ shoes if you’re familiar with how various brands fit your particular kiddo. I wouldn’t start there, but something to consider in the future.
And, take it from someone whose kids are quite a bit older: the sticker shock is real, but anytime I’ve bought cheaper shoes, I’ve regretted it. Not only are discount shoes not that cheap, but they fall apart faster and usually have some fatal flaw, like velcro that never stays put. Comfort also has been an issue with the Walmart/Target pairs. (Looking at you, Elsa sneakers that I regretted instantly.)
DSW, or buy them on sale at one of the department stores during a clearance.
Does anyone know of a good place to donate stuffed animals? Does anyone actually WANT stuffed animals or should I just recycle them in the textiles bins?
No organization wants used stuffed animals
I remember searching and finding somewhere that wanted them, but I am blanking now. I would try Google and your city.
Emily S. says
My Goodwill will take them if they are clean, but I believe each store or region sets their preference, so you probably want to call the store or search online before hauling them to donate.
Our local EMS takes them and gives them out to kids when an ambulance shows up at their house for whatever reason. You could ask your local fire station/ EMS.
Wow, I never heard/thought of us. Good to know. I will definitely try there and police stations, pet the rec below.
Try your local police department – ours takes them to give to kids in traumatic situations.
yup. My 6.5 y/o went to summer camp and they are basically doing what you describe: mask clad groups of 10 doing activities in isolation. She is back to her own self. These kids don’t get a f*ck about masks. She will wear one if it means she can play with other kids all day long.
In my observation, the parents are definitely making a bigger deal out of masks than the kids are.
Masks for labor? says
Okay y’all, this is a very specifically strange question, but —- any recommendations for very very comfortable face masks to wear during labor? I’m due in a couple weeks and have to wear a mask 24/7 in the hospital. I’m very pro-mask, but the idea of wearing one while in labor and while sleeping is giving even me a bit of a panic attack. But since it’s necessary, I want to make it as comfortable as possible. Ideas?
Would a buff pulled over your face be acceptable? Otherwise I might look for one made of natural silk. And bring two and supplies to hand wash in case one gets gross.
Weighing in late, but we ordered them from SwimSpot for the kids and they seem very comfortable, stretchy, and lightweight. They come in adult sizes too. They’re only single thickness so they won’t offer you much protection / filtering but hopefully checks the box for wearing one. (24/7 seems crazy if it includes labor and sleeping!)
The thread above got me thinking (with the huge caveat that I have no biological children): do any of you feel like your family won’t be complete without…a lot of kids? I have one adopted son. When people ask if my family is complete, my gut reaction is “Heck no. I could easily have six more kids around.” But I usually smile and say something vague like “we’ll see!” I come from a family of six, DH comes from a family of nine, so is this just my big family talking? Neither of us is close to our families – emotionally nor physically. I don’t know. Having two kids just seems lame to me. Not that I think anyone who chooses to have one or two kids is lame. It’s just not the life I envisioned for myself. Maybe this is part of grieving infertility?
I really do not understand your statement “Having two kids just see lame to me.”
Sounds like something my younger sister once said: “Well, they stopped at two kids because they wanted to be one of those ‘perfect families.'” She is pretty vocal about wanting a big family, and with 2 under age 3, she’s well on her way. But it really hurt my feelings at the time, because we had to fight pretty hard to have that second child. :(
OP, I can’t get inside your head, so no, I don’t know exactly what you mean. But I do think we have a tendency to attempt to recreate the family situation we know and are familiar with. For you and your husband, that means having lots of kids. I am the oldest of four and knew I could never handle that many kids, so that same drive wasn’t there.
Think carefully about what it REALLY means to have a big family. Not the fantasy scenario; the actual reality of your individual situation.
That’s the kind of thing my sister would say. I don’t get hurt feelings about it anymore because I don’t think she understands how hurtful it is. And if she’s unwilling to engage in understanding my feelings, I am just going to ignore her.
That feels shitty, but I am just unable to deal with it.
My husband is one of six; neither he nor any of his siblings seems to want a larger-than-average family. (I am the elder of two.) We have two kids and our family is complete. But it’s a very personal decision that is of course affected by biology. Regardless of how you got your child, many people don’t feel their family is complete at one child – we did not, but are happy with two. I’m sorry you haven’t yet built the family you envisioned for yourself and I don’t know any of your other circumstances beyond infertility, but I hope you can make it work if you really want to, whether that means two children, four, or six.
Some people want big families. Nothing wrong with that.
I don’t think wanting more kids is a part of grieving infertility for everyone. Perhaps for OP because she envisioned a large family, but it’s certainly not universal. The challenges in having our first child are one of the reasons I was sure I didn’t want another.
layered bob says
Absolutely, if we could swing it we’d have 6 children. I have medically complex deliveries though so we’re currently taking a pause after three, although a fourth is on the table depending what my body does, and three definitely does not feel “complete” to me.
DH has one sibling and I have two, so it’s not that we came from big families. We just… love parenting, I guess. We’re in a cultural/religious environment where bigger (3-6) families are fairly common, so that helps.
I just feel like the economies of scale really play out in favor of more kids – after 2, we already have all the “stuff,” our lives and cars and vacations and everything are already set up to accommodate children, so more kids just means more fun, more joy, rather than more work. (I totally get that not everyone sees it this way!) We’ve done some foster care (although we currently do not have any foster children) and will probably do more.
My parenting skills are also improving – I have more tools, approaches, and experience to bring and it feels like a waste (again, to me!) to not “use” it on more kids. I’m a corporate lawyer so I explain it as – for me, having only one or two children would be like doing two stock purchase agreements and then quitting. It’d be quitting before it gets fun!
Re. your last paragraph, I feel the opposite way. If we were to have more children, I’d feel that I was betraying my first in many ways, including by giving her siblings a better, more experienced mother than she had.
This is a really unhealthy thought process.
Nah. I’m a better mom to toddlers now with my 3rd, but my oldest gets to help me! She plays babysitter and mini mom happily. My youngest got the more seasoned mom, but my oldest got 100% of my attention as I figured it out. My middle is probably the one with the short end of the stick but genetics have favored her so I’m calling even ;). She has a trim, muscular build with killer hair, straight teeth and perfect vision. She’s by far the smartest and most athletic person in our entire family.
Man, I wish I thought more like you. But I really feel like having more than two kids would wreck me. I literally do not understand how people have the stamina to take care of more, much as I admire it. :(
Lame is a bad word to use. It’s ableist and insulting to people with two kids. Please try harder.
It’s part of the defensiveness everyone gets around how many kids they have. If you have zero, you’re selfish; if you have one, you’re denying your child the benefits of a sibling and only children are weird; if you have two, it’s because you want a perfect family; if you have four or more, you need a lesson in how to use birth control/hate the environment/etc.
The big families, like yours, beat the drum that they are better at family-ing than other people are. This is not the case.