Washable Workwear Wednesday: Fitted Crop Heathered Blazer

Banana Republic has a line of machine washable suits in a polyester/viscose rayon/spandex blend. A suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning, and I have a few really nice ones that I’d love to put into the rotation more often — but what keeps me from doing so is the annoyance of having to dry clean them if I stain them, or worrying that they’re going to look too rumpled if I wear them too many times between dry cleans. Also, I’ll be honest, picking up and dropping off dry cleaning has become one of the many things that have fallen through the cracks since having a baby. Any extra steps between the train and the daycare, I just can’t suffer. I like gray as a neutral, and I also happen to like three quarter sleeves because then I don’t have to worry about hemming the arms, but I know they’re not everyone’s cup of tea. Since it’s from Banana, you can mix and match the pants style (and the product page recommends the Avery Straight-Fit Heathered Pant). The blazer is $178 and comes in regular, tall, and petite sizes. Fitted Crop Heathered Blazer

Looking for other washable workwear? See all of our recent recommendations for washable clothes for work, or check out our roundup of the best brands for washable workwear.

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Comments

  1. First, a rant — then offer your advice if it’s kind. :)

    I’m in a mom funk. Just generally feeling underappreciated and taken for granted. I know expecting young kids (8 and 3) to show tons of gratitude and appreciation is not realistic, but geez, kids. Help me out here. Today the 8-year-old was whining and complaining about what I packed in his school lunch and asking if he could swap stuff out. I had to bite my tongue from losing it — I’d been up since 5 a.m. to workout, hadn’t eaten breakfast myself yet, and had to go back into his room several times to wake him up, while getting the 3-year-old ready and fed. (I’ve realized that I need DH to get out of bed earlier, but that’s beside the point.) Son is lucky he got a packed lunch at all. DH gave him a hard no on swapping lunchbox items and talked to him about being grateful for what he had and why it would be disrespectful to undo what I’d already done. This is one small example, but I am just so sick of the whining and begging and his general attitude. And trust me, we don’t give in to this stuff , but I’m wondering what’s the point of holding strong when it doesn’t seem to make a difference anyway? Three-year-old is in a super whiny phase and I’m just frustrated with the lack of peace in our house lately, especially during the morning routine.

    And Mother’s Day kind of sucked this year. I didn’t expect a gift or even to do something special. I just wanted some freaking gratitude and appreciation, and really didn’t even get that. I sound like SUCH a mom martyr and don’t want to be, but COME ON, PEOPLE. Sometimes I feel like the family workhorse and not much else.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your kids arent going to be grateful for like a solid decade. Get used to it. Def keep trying but it’s not going to happen consistently. You’re Mom. This is the job.

      Your husband needs to step it up. The talking to is nice. So would him taking full responsibility for packing lunches.

      You’re not doing anything wrong! This is just how it is, and you’re right. It’s pretty hard.

      • Artemis says:

        +1 MILLION to the OP and actually, this response made me feel better. In the moment is SO hard, and I HAVE to remember that I’m playing the long game as a Mom.

        BTW, I have three kids who are 8, 5, and 2.5. The 2.5 year old is super whiny but at least I know that’s age appropriate. My 8 year old is STILL so whiny and tantrumy sometimes! WTF? I’m weirdly happy to hear about another whiny 8 year old!

        Also, I’ve had to have a chat with my DH about getting up earlier on school mornings. Dude, just because you have to do dropoff (I do pickup) does not mean you get to luxuriate in bed for an extra 30 minutes.

        • I’m the OP, and OMG, yes. I have realized that I’ve let my DH have it way too easy in the mornings. Yes, he does dropoff. Yes, I still need help before that!

    • CPA Lady says:

      Can you let your kid pack his own lunches within some type of parameters (like one dairy, one fruit, one blah blah whatever)? I know that if my mom packed something I didn’t like, I just threw it away at school.

      That said, I didn’t appreciate what my mom did for me until I had my own child. I at least wasn’t openly rude and hostile once I got into my later teen years, but true gratitude and appreciation didn’t hit until I realized from firsthand experience how thankless this whole motherhood thing is.

      I halfway think moms need to take care of each other, because we are the only ones who understand. So if you need a pep talk, here one is: You are doing great. You are working so hard, you care so much, you try your best, and it is a huge act of service and love. Thank you for doing what you do.

      • Totally agree that we need to take care of each other! Thank you for the kindness this morning.

        • Agreed. My mom friends (and this community) take far better care of me and one another than DH and kids.

          We are all rocking this thing. And it is hard.

      • lawsuited says:

        +1 It might help to give your kids some of the age-appropriate chores that you do for them unappreciated. When I was 9 I was making school lunches for me and my sister (and unpacking the dishwasher and folding laundry and ironing my school uniform). I don’t know why we expect children to understand and appreciate all that goes into running a household when they don’t participate in it. Share the load – it’ll help you and your kids!

        • Artemis says:

          I have just started giving my 8 year old more chores, and I can see the difference it’s making in his maturity already (despite my earlier complaints, valid, about whining). I’m trying to think of more to foist off on his plate!

    • Anonymous says:

      Your H needs to haul his butt out of bed at the same time you do.

      And no gift or anything to mark Mother’s Day? Your need to raise your expectations.

      • “Your H needs to haul his butt out of bed at the same time you do.”

        Hard disagree on this one. What I would recommend if you feel like you need help with mornings is that you have a discussion about him handling more of the tasks the must be done before you leave in the mornings. I get up at 5:00 or earlier nearly every weekday, but I’m in bed by 9:30. My husband doesn’t get up until 7:00, but he goes to bed at 11:30. He would rather do tasks like pack lunches, etc. late at night. I respect that. It just needs to get done, not done when I would do it. Spouses need to respect each other’s body clocks when feasible. Moreover, we both like our quiet, alone time when the rest of the family is sleeping to get our stuff done.

    • ElisaR says:

      I read your post and thought “Man I bet I was a total jerk to my mom as a kid. In fact, I know I was.” And I wasn’t an especially jerky kid…..but I think teaching them to be grateful is tough. You’re more likely to get them to appreciate food but volunteering as a family at a soup kitchen — but I doubt they’re going to appreciate the Mom-work you do.

      Maybe lean on your husband more. Make him show more gratitude and model it for the kids? Even hearing what may be hollow appreciation (if they are saying it at his direction) might help.

      Hang in there, this mom-life is not easy! Hopefully they thank us before the age of 30 but I wouldn’t count on it.

      • You know, saying thank you was really hard for me. It was never drilled into me by my parents, even though I absolutely was grateful for things; I just didn’t express it out loud. When DH and I moved in together, he’d say thank you for the must mundane things – unloading the dishwasher, wiping down the table, making a grocery list, etc. I thought it was so weird because I had never been exposed to that.

      • avocado says:

        +1 on modeling appreciation. Ever since we were dating, my husband and I have always made a point of saying “thank you” for the things we do for each other–making dinner, doing dishes, laundry, etc. We also make a big deal of thanking our daughter when she does chores or considerate things. She has naturally picked up on this and is starting to remember to say “Thank you for dinner” (but usually only if she likes what is being served).

        And hang in there!

        • Anon in NYC says:

          I agree – me and DH still thank each other for basic tasks that are every day chores (dishes, laundry, picking up lunch, etc.), and we thank our daughter for doing appropriate things. Maybe it doesn’t inherently teach gratitude, but I agree that it models appreciation.

      • Boston Legal Eagle says:

        I agree with the modeling gratitude with your spouse. You two are the adults and the only ones who really get how hard this and how much you’re actually doing for your kids, so lean on each other, and let your husband know that it’s important to hear that from him. You’re unlikely to get much of that from your kids for a long time – not because of anything you’re not doing, just because they’re kids.

    • Oof, my kids are similar ages and I had a similarly rough morning. When my kids complain about stuff like that, I typically put it in their hands. Kids really aren’t appreciative of all the stuff we do for them. It’s not a deficiency or anything, they’re just not mature enough to do it. So we have to protect our own selves. If that means having them pack their own lunch or buy it, so be it. We need to identify the limits of our sanity and respect them, because we definitely can’t expect a kid to help us. So my advice is: if your 8 year old keeps complaining about lunch, he is now in charge of lunch. If he doesn’t get up and misses breakfast, he misses breakfast. etc. etc. It is really tough. Hugs. I’m at my desk with a cappuccino and my morning is looking up. Hope yours is too.

      • mascot says:

        +1. I also think it’s the age. My kid is almost 8 and the general uptick in attitude and smart mouthed comments is maddening. I’ve talked to other moms and they say their kids are doing the same thing. So solidarity, my friend.

    • Mama Llama says:

      I feel like I’m always quoting them, but the One Bad Mother podcast has a saying – “This is really hard. And no one gives a sh1t.” And it’s really true. Mothering is really hard! And there is very little appreciation or acknowledgement from our own families and from society in general. Our kids will likely NEVER know or truly understand all the big and small sacrifices we make for them, but we keep on doing it because that’s what we do. And I agree with the others – that kid can make his own lunch! Have him do it the night before if he won’t get up in the morning. Or he can have school lunch.

    • Hard nope. My 4.5 year old started complaining about her preschool lunches. Now she helps pack them.

      If your 8 y/o doesn’t like it, he packs it. Night before.

    • This is really hard, so I have commiseration. For the lunches, the option I’ve seen my sister take that has worked best for all of her kids is that kid can either pack his own or buy school lunch. Most end up just buying school lunch and it’s easier on everyone. Just a thought. Hang in there, and I agree your DH needs to help more.

    • Aunt Jamesina says:

      Oof, sounds like a rough morning! When I criticized the way my mom folded my laundry when I was 7, she let me know it was time to do my own :-). Lesson learned! I also started packing my lunch at 6, with parameters about what I could pack. This is definitely on the earlier end, but MAN would I roll my eyes at my high school classmates who whined about what their moms packed them for lunch!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Can your kid pack his own lunch? I feel like I did that around age 8, although it probably wasn’t very healthy.

    • He can, and he sometimes does — but that also would require him to get out of bed the first time!

      • Anonymous says:

        ok so, if he doesn’t get out of bed to pack his own lunch, he doesn’t get to whine about what’s in his lunch.

      • Anonymous says:

        Get into the habit of making him do it the night before. It makes morning so much easier.

        • Anon in NYC says:

          +1 – make your 8 year old pack them at night. I agree with CPA Lady – give him whatever parameters you currently follow: 1 main, 1 fruit/vegetable, 1 treat.

          And you’re doing great, OP! ps – tell your husband to get out of bed earlier!

    • anonanon says:

      I know others will say the same, but I wanted to bring my lunch from a young age and my mom made me make it every. single. day. From like 4th grade to 12th grade. it had to be done the night before. I think this could solve some of your problems, at least by making the choice his. Whether it’s leftovers, a sandwich, finger foods – whatever.

  3. Mama Llama says:

    Can anyone help me with some travel logistics? A good friend is getting married in Prospect Park in Brooklyn this fall with a dinner to follow in Williamsburg (not walking distance). We will be coming from DC with a 2.5 month old and a 4 year old. How do we pull this off? Go up on a train and get around via subway with a stroller and ergo? Drive so we can have car seats and take taxis? Somehow try to schlep two car seats on the train and then take taxis? I’m assuming we will get an Airbnb near the park, hopefully one with a crib or pack and play so we don’t have bring a travel crib for the baby. Maybe it would be easier for my husband to stay home with the 4 yo and I just go with the baby? As you can probably tell, I’m an anxious traveler, and I tend to over-pack. My 4 yo has never been to NYC for this reason, although she’s done plenty of flights to visit family.

    • Anonymous says:

      since the 2.5 month old is still in an infant car seat, I would bring whatever stroller you have that allows the infant car seat to clip in. then order Uber carseat or another “family” car service (NYC has a few) to get to/from the ceremony reception. they’ll have a convertible car seat that the 4 y.o. can use, and baby will already have their own.

      • Anonymous says:

        also, unless you’re going to be out and about all day or anticipate miles of walking, there may be no need for the 4 y.o to be in the stroller. on short jaunts we don’t bring it for my 2.5 y.o.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your 4 year old walks like a big boy. Your baby goes in a stroller with a snap in car seat

    • Anonymous says:

      The 4 year old doesn’t need a stroller, does he?

    • Anonymous says:

      A combo of Uber car seat and subway. Four year old doesn’t get a stroller.

    • No stroller for the 4 y/o unless you are doing miles of walking. Ergo for baby. Snap in bucket for baby if you must bring a stroller/for when you really need it.

    • Mama Llama says:

      I was thinking stroller for 4 yo in case we end up having to walk across Prospect Park. I’m not sure where in the park the ceremony will be in relation to subway stops and/or our Airbnb.

      Has anyone actually used the Ubers with the carseats in Brooklyn? Every time I’ve tried it in DC there is a really long wait, but maybe they are more plentiful in New York?

      • Anon in NYC says:

        if you don’t mind sharing, where is the ceremony? Parts of Prospect Park can be really far from the subway, and to get to Williamsburg via subway you’ll need to take the G train, and that’s a kind of far walk from even the most NW corner of the park. I would definitely take a cab.

        There are car services that you can order (rather than uber) that have car seats. You might pay more, but at least you can be assured that they’ll have one available for you. See this list: http://www.parkslopeparents.com/list/415_Car-Services-with-With-Car-Seats-and-Boosters.html

        • Mama Llama says:

          Thanks! I don’t know the exact location in the park yet – they are still waiting on the permit, but that’s part of what’s making me nervous. It’s a huge park! I will definitely bookmark that list.

          • Anon in NYC says:

            I’m pretty sure the park is closed to traffic on weekends now (if not all the time), so the best solution would probably be to find the nearest intersection near an exit and ask the car to meet you there at a set time. Once you have the location, it should be pretty easy to figure out a meeting point!

      • Anonymous says:

        I do it all the time (Uber with car seat). Normal Uber is a 2-4 minute wait, with car seat can be as much as 15 minutes, but sometimes as low as the normal 2-3. This is what I would do. Any chance the happy couple will be providing transportation from the ceremony to reception site? This is what we did at my city wedding.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why would a four year old need a stroller? My kiddo was climbing mountains in New England at that age (small ones, but still…)

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Eh, I don’t know. Kids are different – some kids can climb mountains and walk for miles and others can’t/won’t. If her 4 year old isn’t used to walking a lot, it can be tough. And it certainly wouldn’t be the hill I wanted to die on during a weekend where I’m trying to haul my kids around a new city for a wedding.

      • Anonymous says:

        Depends on when the walking is and how long the day is. I can see not wanting an exhausted and grumpy 4 year old at the ceremony or dinner. Just being in NYC will likely be overwhelming/overstimulating and tiring for 4 year old if he’s not used to cities.

        I vote infant carseat+ stroller combo, plus baby carrier (ergo or whatever) in case baby is fussy and you need to walk them around. 4 year old can get a piggy back or shoulder ride from dad if exhausted – pro tip is to pop off shoes so dad’s suit doesn’t get messy. Or if baby is in ergo, 4 year old can ride in stroller, just pop off car seat.

      • Mama Llama says:

        Because said 4 year old has a penchant for throwing herself on the ground and whining that she’s tiiiiiirrrrreed when walking more than a few blocks, and I really can’t/don’t want to deal with that while also dealing with an infant, a wedding, and being in a different city. She hasn’t ridden in a stroller for a long time, but I would make an exception for this.

        • Anonymous says:

          It’s months away. She’ll grow up.

          • Mama Llama says:

            I really don’t understand the attacking tone here. Kids are different. People are different. I know my kid, and I know myself. Maybe some 4 yos are treking up mountains and all over cities. Mine isn’t. During a wedding weekend out of town with a 10 week old, 10 weeks post c-section is not going to be the time and place I want to take a hard line on the issue of walking long distances.

          • Different anon says:

            The comments on here have been so strange today and yesterday. Not all kids are the same, and different things work for different people! My 5 yo still rides in a stroller sometimes because it’s easier on us parents. Personally, I would take a collapsible stroller for 4 yo and ergo or similar for baby.

          • Jeffiner says:

            I thought I was the only one noticing the different tone of comments today and yesterday. Its getting similar to the main page, which I stopped visiting because of all the negativity.

        • Anonymous says:

          I think you’re letting your anxiety make this more complicated than it has to be.

          • Anonymous says:

            Way more complicated. The reason we are “attacking” the stroller is because it’s going to be really hard to wrangle a stroller and a 4 year old and a baby on the subway, and if you can’t use the subway at all then you’re relaying in car services which are fine from ceremony to reception but annoying as the only option.

        • Pigpen's Mama says:

          What about a running board on your infant stroller?

          Commiseration here, I have an almost 4 yr old who draaaags her feet or dashes around when were walking anywhere and wants to be carried if possible. Sadly she’s anti-stroller at this point.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        Can we not just trust that OP knows whether or not her child is likely to need a stroller?

        I’ve been away from this group for almost 3 months (while home with the new baby) and I don’t know if today is an off day or what but WOW the tone has changed!!

      • Anonanonanon says:

        The mountain climbing comment literally made me lol, so thanks for that
        (reminded me of that episode in the last season of 30 Rock where Tina Fey’s character is not working for the first time, and gets into the fight on the mommy message boards. This comment was up there with the ridiculous things they had on the message board in the episode)

    • We got a small umbrella stroller for my 4 yo when we were traveling last summer. It could be folded and stuck into the basked of the baby’s stroller if the 4 yo wanted to walk. (We stuck the wheels in the basket and used a bungey cord to hold it to the stroller frame.) It was a life saver on numerous occasions.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        ^that’s a really good idea!

      • Anonanonanon says:

        I just noticed you said you’d be post-csection, and I support the umbrella stroller for 4yo + regular stroller for baby option even more. I’m 11 weeks out, and I don’t think I could handle the Ergo for extended periods of time yet. Of course your husband could wear the baby in the Ergo and you could push older child in the stroller, but I personally wouldn’t rely on myself wearing a baby in the Ergo for a long time, it irritates the incision site (and my incision site still gets bruised when that happens)

    • Anonymous says:

      I live in Brooklyn and would avoid trying to get from anywhere near Prospect Park to Williamsburg via subway – going north to south in Brooklyn via subway takes forever and limits you to the mercurial little G train. If it were me, I would probably drive from DC so I could bring everything and hope for the best with street parking. It can be tough to street park in Park Slope, will be easier in Windsor Terrace (I’m sure because I live there) and Prospect-Lefferts Gardens (I’m guessing). There are a few garages in Park Slope. If you don’t like driving in Brooklyn you can certainly get a car service. I have never adopted Uber but use Eastern Luxury car service when I need one. They have car seats for different ages and have been very reliable for me. I think they are based in Park Slope. I can totally understand bringing a stroller for a 4 year old just in case. At that age we used a scooter a lot as an alternative when we were going to be out for a long period of time.

      Aside from getting to/from the wedding, I certainly endorse using public transit once you are here, and agree that traveling light will help. If necessary check in advance to see which subway stations have elevators or escalators – most do not. Also, keep in mind the 4th and 9th street transfer between the F/G lines and R train in Brooklyn is particularly brutal – at least 5 flights of stairs.

      If the wedding is indoors, in one of the park’s official venues, I think there are only 2 choices – the Audubon center and the picnic house.

      • Mama Llama says:

        Thank you, this is extremely helpful!

      • +1 to all of this. I spent a bunch of years living in Park Slope and Williamsburg (pre-kids) and it’s a huge pain in the butt to get between the two on a weekend (harder now, from what I’ve heard). I would personally find an airbnb in Brooklyn, drive up with the kids in their carseats, and then either drive to the wedding and in between or use the carseats for a car service like Eastern or Uber. And Prospect Park is huge and you could do lots of walking with your kids so I don’t think a stroller is a bad idea at all. I used to live right in front of Prospect Park and parking can be tough on weekends, but one of you could drop the other off with the kids and the strollers at the park while the other looks for parking and walks back. Might take a bit of time, but I think that’s what I would probably do. Easier than dealing with moving carseats in my opinion.

        • I used to live in Park Slope and my parents loved staying at this great B&B called At Home in Brooklyn. It is literally across the street from the park. Super cute and family-friendly. The manager has two little kids who sometimes stop by and the whole management team is really lovely. I’d recommend Uber or one of the car services with a car seat. I’m also in the minority here, but um, I occasionally don’t use a car seat for my kid when traveling short distances in the city. Stroller isn’t a bad idea because the park is definitely huge. Maybe your SO can take the baby in a carrier and if it isn’t far from the park entrance you could have the four-year old walk. But 100% take a car to the dinner in Williamsburg. So not worth it to take public transportation.

    • Meg Murry says:

      Will she be the only non-infant kid there? Are these friends of both you and H or mostly just you? If so, leaving 4 year old and dad at home honestly isn’t a terrible option. Or having them do only the ceremony OR dinner, not both.

      As far as carseat options go, what about a folding booster seat for the 4 year old like the mifold to use if you absolutely have to take a car at some point during the trip?

  4. AwayEmily says:

    Our house cleaners (MCOL city) just raised their price to $209 for bimonthly cleanings (we are in a 2000-square foot house, 1.5 bathrooms). This is too much, right? I really like them personally but am reluctant to spend more than $400 a month on cleaning.

    • That seems high to me.

    • Anonymous says:

      It seems a little high to me – we pay $150 and we have a similar square footage but 2.5 bathrooms (and I think bathrooms take longer to clean than anything else).

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s reasonable to me.

    • Anonymous says:

      Seems high for MCOL city. I pay less than that in HCOL city.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m not sure cleaning services are significantly cheaper in L/MCOL areas. I think it may be one of those “more demand, lower prices” kind of things and, unlike stuff like housing and daycare costs, it’s not tied to the price of land. I paid less per square foot for cleaning in the Bay Area than I do in my LCOL Midwestern city. Groceries also aren’t cheaper here.

    • Leatty says:

      That’s high. We pay $130 biweekly in a MCOL for a 2100 sq ft house with 2.5 bathrooms and 3 pets.

    • Anonymous says:

      High to me but totally depends on what they do. Different cleaners include different services. I pay $100 but I have a pretty basic service.

    • That seems high. We have similar sq footage and 3 full baths. We pay $100 for biweekly cleanings in a close-in DC suburb.

    • We pay $130 for bi-monthly cleanings, 2200 sq ft., 3 bathrooms, and 3 pets (LCOL though).

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Depends on what they’re doing. I’ve paid more than that for a smaller house in the DC-area, but it was a company that brought in 4 people and did EVERYTHING (wiped down all my kitchen cabinets, cleaned the sliding glass door track, inside the oven… etc.). For more basic services that’s way too high, especially if you’re regularly booking.

    • AwayEmily says:

      thanks, all. This is helpful — I think we are going to tell them we are looking for something cheaper and see if they’ll come down on the price.

  5. This morning Marketplace had an interview with a Wharton professor on work friendships, specifically the downsides (link to follow). It made me curious: how many of you working moms have work friends? I am friendly with my coworkers, but I have a 45 minute commute and my littlest goes to bed very early, so I never hang out after work or come back to town on the weekends.

    Related, how do you feel about the term “work wife/ husband?”

    • Anonymous says:

      I am friendly with my coworkers and we do lunches fairly regularly (and they threw me an office baby shower, which was so sweet) but we don’t socialize outside work hours. I don’t think any of them really do but I definitely don’t.

      • This is me. I have a couple of confidants I talk to almost every day, but we don’t really hang out outside of work. At my old job though, I really clicked with quite a few people and we hung out quite a bit outside of work hours. But that was a few years ago and we didn’t have children.

        I hate the term work wife/work husband.

      • NYCer says:

        This is me too. I am friendly with lots of people in my office (regularly chat throughout the day, know details of wedding planning/honeymoons. hear about the kids and vacations, etc.), but I never hang out with them outside of work. I have never even met anyone’s significant other or kids, nor have they met mine. I am totally OK with this separation.

    • lawsuited says:

      I have very good work friends (we socialize outside of work, often with our families, and have attended each other’s milestone events like weddings, baptisms, housewarmings) but I forged those friendships before kids when I was totally up for long lunches and happy hours which meant working nights/weekends to make up for it.

      I would feel very uncomfortable being referred to as someone’s “work wife” because I think it implies a relationship that is inappropriately close and romantic. I have so many strong, supportive, nourishing friendships and find the comparison of any close relationship to a romantic relationship small-minded.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      I have people I talk to on a regular basis at work, usually other parents, and share pretty personal details about life/our kids. However, I’ve worked here 2 years and we’ve never met up outside of work. We’ve talked about it before, but it’s never happened. I also have around a 40-minute commute, so I’m not very motivated to make an effort to come out to this area on the weekends, and of course the fact we all have children means life gets in the way.
      We all have the same supervisor (the Director) and we all supervise staff, but we are in/head up different work units and our work doesn’t overlap. I probably wouldn’t “blur the lines” with folks I have to have work conversations with.

    • This article is different from my experience in law. I came from a small law firm where most of us were close friends and honestly it made it very difficult to leave. I’m still close friends with some of them but for others they haven’t gotten over it. Fast forward to my current firm, where there’s far less socializing than the norm, which honestly can be just as hard because there’s less opportunity to build those mentor and sponsor relationships where every one is just grinding out hours with their doors closed.

      I hate the term work wife or work husband.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Term “work husband/wife” is gross and unnecessary.

      I’m somewhere between ‘friends’ and ‘work friends’ with my boss (and I’m becoming ‘real friends’ with his wife). It helps because at a lot of meeting things, Boss and I are both fishes out of water (demography, career, interests, politics), so it can be really refreshing to go get a beer after the thing and decompress.

      One of my best friends is a former colleague — but our friendship did get easier when we stopped working together.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t mind the term “work husband/wife” in theory, but I apply it to a very specific type of work relationship (think Jim and Pam in the first season of The Office) that I wouldn’t have at this point in my life or career. I had a work husband in my early 20s when I was unmarried and in a boring, easy, entry-level job. There was nothing inappropriate going on (if either of us was attracted to the other in a romantic sense we certainly never acted or talked about it), but I’m sure people thought there was. We’re still good friends.

      I had a small group of great friends at that job, we socialized outside of work all the time, and it was definitely a clique. We still keep in touch, 10+ years later. At my next job, there was a really wonderful convivial atmosphere and happy hour culture. I would loosely use the term “friend” to apply to most people there. At my current job, I’m friendly with my coworkers, but wouldn’t consider any of them friends. I’m not sure how much is attributable to me having no time/energy for developing friendships (both at work and outside of it), how much that I’m a manager and trying to avoid perception of favoritism, and how much that my boss just doesn’t encourage team-building the way my previous ones did. In any case, it makes me a little sad.

  6. anonanon says:

    Has anyone tried the new Uppababy Minu??

    • Anonanonanon says:

      No but now that I’m looking at it I wish I had!
      I have the Cruz and have been very happy with it. One factor was, when I asked about it on this board, multiple people shared that Uppababy has great customer service.

      As a random FYI: I ordered it directly from Uppababy instead of Buy Buy Baby etc., and it was sent by Fedex and required a signature. This was annoying because my husband and I both work out of the home, and for some reason it took a lot of phone calls to arrange to go pick it up in-person on a Saturday directly from the FedEx facility. I’d suggest ordering through a third party if you don’t want to mess with that.

  7. I’m friendly with coworkers, but I wouldn’t call them true friends. I am real friends with a former boss, but we didn’t start doing friend things outside of work until she left the organization. And, that friendship wouldn’t have happened at all if we didn’t have a lot of common, non-work interests.

    In my husband’s office, there are a lot of younger women who mix work and friendships, even going as far as traveling together for fun, not work. It gets messy, especially when any sort of work conflict arises, and has created a very cliquey environment. People have left because of that. I interviewed for a job there (dream job scenario) and now I’m grateful I didn’t get the position, because I wouldn’t have fit into the social scene at all. I think his coworkers knew it, too, and sometimes wonder if that factored into the hiring decision.

  8. Anonymous says:

    B/c you can confine them and push if they are too tired (plus use stroller to schlep stuff). Not ideal, but good to have the option (my older kid was a runner and does not pay attention on busy streets in a way that puts the fear of g-d in me; was fine with one kid/ dodgy if you have a moment of 2:1 with a floppy-headed baby in an ergo).

    • Anonymous says:

      A 4 year old walks.

      • Anonymous says:

        and the parent has to walk with holding onto the kid’s wrist the whole time which is no fun for anyone.

        My oldest and middle kid would have been fine. And I totally would make them walk. My youngest is runner with no fear. I have to hold his wrist or confine him in a stroller anytime he is near a flame or street. And yes he’s already been burnt in a campfire so previous injury is apparently no deterrent.

    • anonforthis says:

      This anon rude troll needs to go away. I feel like its one person making all these unhelpful comments.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know if I need advice or just a pep talk, but how do your babies do with daycare dropoff? My 6 month old has never really been a huge fan of daycare, but lately she bawls when I hand her off in the morning. Possibly exacerbating the problem is that the teacher tries to get her settled on the floor or in a jumper right away where my instinct would be to hold her for a bit and talk to get her settled (she does cry even when the teacher holds her when I leave though so it isn’t an easy fix).

    Will she outgrow this? Is it just part of daycare? Should I worry that this is a sign that there is a problem with the situation and I need a new provider? Like I mentioned, baby is not a huge fan but I don’t know if it’s that she wouldn’t like any care that isn’t me or if it’s provider specific.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would expect to see a caregiver holding and soothing baby at drop off not immediately putting them on the floor. Can you ask them to try that instead?

    • Don’t overthink it. Unless there are other signs that point to this daycare being a bad fit, I wouldn’t take your daughter’s reaction at dropoff to be anything other than separation anxiety, which is a totally normal (but hard) phase.

      I agree that it would be nice if the teacher held her a bit, but that may not be possible if others are arriving at the same time. Keep your departure short and sweet. If you linger for extra cuddles and kisses, that’s going to make things harder on both of you.

    • My kids have always gone through phases of tough drop-offs. My oldest especially had a really hard time with drop-off when she was a baby. She just did not like transitions. I haaated leaving my crying baby on the floor/in a bouncer. If the teachers weren’t in a position to hold her when I arrived I would stay a few minutes until they were ready. If your provider isn’t willing to hold your crying baby until you leave the room, I would reconsider the situation. But if she’s willing to work with you I think there are some things you can do to ease the transition and at the very least help you feel better about it.

      • +1. My 2.5 year old is going through this phase again right now. The teachers are pros at distraction, but sometimes the kid is just determined to cry. He also cries at pickup when I make him leave daycare, so I know it’s not that the school is a bad fit, he just hates transitions right now.

        Ask the teachers for help and ideas to make it better. Mine were willing, for a week or two, to text me later in the morning (after the dropoff rush) to say “He was happily eating a banana 2 minutes after you left!” or “Five minutes later, Friend X came in and DS was running around shrieking!” or whatever status update would help me realize he was fine basically as soon as I left. Once I had several days of this reassurance that he was fine no matter the amount of waterworks, I felt better about leaving him mid-breakdown.

        And yes to keeping the dropoff short and sweet. Get in, unpack, and go. No multiple hugs/ kisses/ goodbyes/ etc. You lingering just encourages them to act up more.

        It’s hard for sure. I treat myself to a latte on particularly rough mornings. But soon they’ll be 6 and can’t jump out of the car fast enough in the mornings, like my oldest.

    • lawsuited says:

      I think your baby’s mood at pick-up is more indicative of what kind of a day they’re having at daycare. For the first 3 months, he would race over to me and cry if I didn’t pick him up quickly enough. I could tell that the daycare staff were kind and attentive to him, detailing his day to me and describing behaviours I recognized, so I figured he was just taking his time adjusting. Now after 5 months, he smiles at me when I arrive and continues playing so I have to convince him to leave!

      I do agree with other posters who have said that your daughter might do well being held for a bit when you drop her off. My LO doesn’t cry at drop-off and the daycare staff still carry him around for a bit to ease the parting.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        Agreed that the staff’s ability to recount your child’s activities/attitudes during the day, and how those recollections line up with your knowledge of your child’s interests and personality, are a better indicator than the child’s attitude at dropoff. I would certainly not hesitate to ask them to try holding her a bit to ease the transition, though.
        It’s a hard phase though, hang in there mama!

        • Anonymous says:

          Thanks! I will say she is usually eager to have me pick her up and will cry if I take too long gathering her things when I show up at the end of the day lately although that hasn’t always been the case.

          As for caregiver reports, it almost seems to depend more on the teacher when I pick her up. Some are much cheerier about how she was during the day than others. Her lead teacher is usually there in the morning but not in the afternoon so it’s hard to get her input in the moment but she tends to take a hard line (verbally at least) about holding the babies “all day long”. I know she can’t do it all day but at least at dropoff to help acclimate her? I’m having a hard time recognizing whether I’m being an unrealistic parent though.

          • I don’t think it’s unrealistic to ask that a baby who is having a tough day for whatever reason be held a little bit! 6 months is so young. Maybe I’m a wimp though, I can’t stand seeing my little guy cry.

          • Anonymous says:

            But isn’t her job kind of ‘to hold babies all day long’? I get that she can’t hold your baby all the time but I would expect in that age range that she has the different babies up in arms multiple times throughout the day.

          • Anonymous says:

            The daycares in my area definitely don’t hold the babies all day long. The ratio in our state is 4 infants per teacher and the babies spend most of the day on playmats/bouncers on the floor. It’s a large part of why we decided to go with a nanny until kiddo is older. I don’t think you’re going to get a lot of personal attention at daycare unless you go with a home daycare where the provider only watches one or two kids.

    • Agreeing with everyone else that crying at drop-off is normal and to see if you can work with the teacher to make the transition easier. My twins go through phases on crying in the morning and it’s totally related to not being want to be put down on the floor. If a teacher holds them, they could care less that I leave and are willing to be put down to play 2 minutes later. However, since there are only 2 teachers there in the morning it’s not always possible for one to take each twin, so sometimes I do end up just leaving them fussing on the floor with a teacher sitting next to them. It’s hard, but it really helps to know they do chill out a few minutes later.

  10. Any recommendations for good water bottles for summer camp that will actually keep drinks cold for more than 30 minutes? Would prefer not to spend a ton, because he’ll need several and chances are he’ll lose it at some point!

  11. Anonanonanon says:

    Hi all-
    I wanted to share that someone here recommended Ann Taylor Infinite Style to me a few months ago and I’ve given it a shot and LOVE it.
    I may reconsider the monthly cost in the future, but for now (post-partum) it has been totally worth it. I have 13 more pounds to lose, so I don’t want to buy new work clothes just yet, but it’s been nice to have something that feels “new” to put on for work. Multiple people have commented that I look “too put-together” to have a 10-week-old baby at home. I’ve also been selecting dresses, so it’s been easier to throw a dress on and get out the door than consider an entire outfit. I’ve also elected to keep two pieces at a greatly discounted price (one of the dresses I have for this week I’m going to keep, I love it and it’s only $17.50 if I keep it!)
    Anyway, thanks to whoever recommended it! I’m about to have a month between jobs and I will say I wish they had better options for “weekend” clothes, since I don’t want to buy jeans until my weight stabilizes either.

    • I tried to reply, but I think it got lost.

      Are you finding the turn-around time is getting slower and slower? My most recent shipment took an entire week, when it used to take 3 days.

  12. Per recs from this site I got the spectra pump. I ended up delivering early bc i developed preeclampsia and gave birth to two premies. One is home with me, one in nicu. I did not have the chance to play around with the pump in advance and i am SO confused about the diff buttons and cycle vs volume levels. Any tips or best practices?

    • AwayEmily says:

      First, congratulations!

      I am pumping on my Spectra at this very moment. The most important thing: it starts on “expression mode” and then to switch it to regular pumping you need to press the button with the little wavy lines. I found the default settings to work fine for me but this site seems to have a lot of tips for how to fiddle with it if it’s not working for you:

      https://livingwithlowmilksupply.com/how-to-use-spectra-s1-breast-pump

    • Anonanonanon says:

      I got one per the recs here and loved it. Did you get the one with the battery? It stays charged forever.

      OK so I realized after a couple of weeks that I was trying to use it like a Medela symphony and I was pumping in letdown mode the whole time (oops). I was frustrated I couldn’t change the cycle speed, and that was why.

      If you see the wavy lines over the cycle number on the display, you’re in letdown mode. the number on the left (below the wavy lines, I think the default for it is 70) is the “cycle speed”. That’s how often it’s “sucking”. The other number, on the right, is the Vacuum setting and is how HARD it’s sucking.

      So, when you turn it on, press the button with the wavy lines to put it in letdown mode. The standard one worked fine for me. Once milk starts coming out, press the wavy lines button to move in to “expression mode”, and you can adjust the speed/strength from there.
      I did some googling and the page that made the most sense to me was called “living with low milk supply” and had good pictures/explanations of the buttons, regardless of whether or not you actually have low milk supply.

      • AwayEmily says:

        Yes! What Anonanonanon said. I mixed up letdown and expression mode in my response, sorry. It starts on letdown mode.

    • Anonymous says:

      No pump advice but sending hugs – NICU stays are tough. I hope yours is mercifully brief!

    • I’m 34 weeks with twins – how early were you? I’m no help with advice but I also got the Spectra – you’ve inspired me to make sure I know how it works. Wishing you and the babies the best!

    • consultant's wife says:

      Love my Spectra! I pump on letdown mode at 70 (speed) and 2 (suction) for approximately 2 minutes until milk starts flowing, then use the button with wavy lines to switch to expression mode at 50 (speed) and 6 (suction) until the timer hits about 15 minutes. I recommend following lactation consultant Shari Criso on facebook. She advertises a different pump but I generally follow the pinned post at the top of her page on what mode/speed/suction to use.

    • We had a NICU stay too. It’s so hard. I pump on expression mode at 54 (speed) and 4 (suction) for 15 minutes every 3 hours. I didn’t use letdown mode. Pumping at bedside (if allowed in the NICU) helped, as was watching videos of your baby.

  13. anne-on says:

    Wondering if anyone saw this? I am the light sleeper (though I snore with allergies/cold) and my husband snores, jerks, and is just generally kind of disruptive to my sleep. I would LOVE a separate bed to myself. Sigh, one day.
    https://www.refinery29.com/sleep-divorce

    • Anonymous says:

      We do the Scandanavian one bed two duvets thing which I love. DH actually sleeps with just the duvet cover, no duvet inserted in the summer and I still have my goose down duvet.

      In Europe they also commonly have a king bed that is actually two twin beds right next to each other within the same king bed frame. I can see how that would dramatically improve the disruptions from a partner tossing and turning at night.

    • avocado says:

      I would love nothing better than to sleep alone. My husband’s snoring woke me up at least twelve times last night. But it hurts his feelings when I sleep elsewhere, even if I wait until he’s asleep before sneaking off to the couch. When we sleep in the same room, I am miserable and resentful because I never get a good night’s sleep. If I sleep alone, he gets resentful because he thinks I am selfish and uncaring. It is a no-win situation.

      • ElisaR says:

        earplugs? i’m the snoring one in the relationship and my husband uses them every night…..

      • Anonymous says:

        Has he been tested for sleep apnea?

      • Mama Llama says:

        You are waking up 12 times??? That’s unacceptable. He thinks it’s selfish and uncaring of you to want to sleep? Then what is it to deny your partner sleep just to make yourself feel good? Do what you need to do to do to get sleep and eff your husband’s feelings.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yeah. Who cares if he’s resentful. Long term sleep deprivation can have serious consequences to your mental and physical health. It’s increasingly being linked to all sorts of diseases, from Alzheimer’s to heart disease. You need to take care of your body and if your husband can’t accept that, then maybe you need to DTMF.

      • lawsuited says:

        Going to bed in the same room so that you don’t lose the intimacy of that ritual, and then retiring to another room so sleep is a very reasonable response to waking up 12 times a night. That’s probably twice an hour so you’re basically never getting a full sleep cycle in. I think this is a sensitive subjective, because a lot of snorers feel self-conscious about it, but if you approach it in a kind, loving way then I think your partner should respond in kind and be concerned with your well-being and preferences rather than exclusively his own.

    • Anonymous says:

      DH and I are sleep divorced except when we have guests staying in our guest bedroom. I’m a light sleeper and he’s noisy and we also have an incredibly neurotic dog who barks at everything. So I sleep in one room with the baby and he sleeps in the other room with the dog. Luckily we’re both happy with this arrangement because I would not sleep well at all with all four of us in one room. Both our master and guest beds are kings and having a king bed to yourself is so glorious.

    • I do enjoy when husband is out of town and I have the bed to myself. I wouldn’t sleep divorce because I really like the going to bed together, snuggling and pillow talk etc and the waking up together part. But everything in between, nope.

  14. Paging Layered Bob re: Hypnobabies says:

    I didn’t see the post yesterday but want to weigh in on Hypnobabies as birth prep. I did the full, instructor-led course with my first and really liked it. Did it work like magic when the time came? No, but I felt very prepared, confident, and informed. Compared to friends who prepared in other ways, I feel like I had much more information about my options and choices both leading up to and during the birth.

    The course was also really beneficial for my husband. It gave him a very active role in the preparation process and also gave us focused time to be together to think about and prepare for the birth which was great for both of us.

    Let me know if you have any other questions!

    • I also didn’t get to respond yesterday but I read the book and listened to the CD. I didn’t fully buy in but I’m pretty scientific and I just can’t believe that you can meditate away the pain. However, it was helpful to learn the breathing exercises and just to mentally prepare myself.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s not so much that these types of courses will help you ‘meditate away the pain’ but more that it’s prep work to deal with the pain. For me childbirth is like running a marathon or rock climbing a hard wall. It’s tough and requires a lot of concentration in the moment, you know your body will be exhausted tomorrow but you have to figure out a way to push through doubts/fears/fatigue if you want to finish the marathon or get to the top of the wall.

        • Paging Layered Bob re: Hypnobabies says:

          Exactly. There was no meditating the pain away for me but I felt prepared if that makes sense. I was also really lucky in that I have had easy, short births.

          I think the other big takeaway for me was trying to stay positive about the pregnancy and birth. It emphasizes reframing a lot of the experience to use more positive language. Some of it is definitely a little too woo-woo (sorry, I can’t think of a better word) but it was still very helpful. I should note that I still had a traditional OB, delivered in a hospital, etc. I felt I knew my options but also that the care was there should I or the baby need intervention.

          I’m a very practical person and felt like I was able to walk the middle ground. It also didn’t feel so different from Bradley or other methods that focus on breathing, relaxing, etc.

        • shortperson says:

          or take the meds and have a lovely baby anyway.

          • Anonymous says:

            Not helpful. You seem to be looking for the main page.

            And FWIW – I’ve had both and vastly preferred my intervention-free second birth. As any athlete will tell you, just because something is painful or difficult doesn’t mean it’s not an experience worth having.

          • I’m disappointed that the tone of this site seems to have changed in the last few days.

          • Anonymous says:

            LOL at Anon @ 1:27. I experienced birth just fine with my epidural, thanks. I was conscious the entire time, I was mostly relaxed and comfortable and I felt my daughter come out. Just because I wasn’t in any pain doesn’t mean I didn’t experience it.
            I find the whole concept of “natural birth” so misogynistic. I’ll consider it when men start having “natural” vasectomies.

          • shortperson says:

            i think it is helpful to the many women who try to have med free births and end up with all kinds of medical interventions. i’ve been dealing with a friend who had a baby three weeks ago and is still extremely upset that her plans for an unmedicated and amazing birth ended with a csection. personally i would have died in childbirth without an emergency csection. that is not an experience that i consider worth having.

            if you can get through birth with hypnobirth, treating it as a marathon, etc., wonderful. i’m happy that you had a wonderful birth. but asserting that natural childbirth is just a matter of having an athletic mindset and if you choose anything else, you are less than is hurtful to many people.

          • to be clear, I was responding to anon at 1:27. I always really appreciated that this site wasn’t the kind of place to shame women for needing medical interventions, or for choosing formula for their baby, etc. This was actually the exact mindset I was trying to respond to from yesterday’s OP who was interested in hypnobirthing.

            fwiw, I was an elite athlete for years (saying which sport would out me) and having a baby to me was harder than any athletic pursuit because there are some things you just can’t control no matter how much you would like. Kara Goucher blogged her birth story (she ended up needing a vacuum assisted birth) and it spoke to it so much better than I could do here. Saying this to echo shortperson that just because you need medication or assistance in giving birth doesn’t mean you can’t be a dedicated athlete as well!

          • Anonymous says:

            To Anon @ 1:27, just as women should be allowed to opt for pain medications, they should also be supported if that’s not what they want. I wanted a natural birth not for any girl-power reason, but for my own selfish comfort. I don’t trust doctors and don’t like needles or drugs, and the idea of an epidural or narcotics was much more frightening to me than the idea of an unmedicated labor and delivery. The idea of natural birth isn’t misogynistic. It’s the idea that there is only One Right Way to do things, whether that’s the medical model or the Hypnobabies model, that is truly misogynistic.

          • Anonymous says:

            Sorry, I meant Anonymous at 1:43, not Anonymous at 1:27.

        • I was just speaking to OP’s concerns about not fully buying into Hypnobabies (which teaches you that if you don’t fully believe, you will feel pain, and any pain you feel is you not relaxing enough to “breathe your baby down”). I think it has value even if you don’t buy in and even if you do find childbirth painful, which objectively, it is.

          • Paging Layered Bob re: Hypnobabies says:

            Whoa. This veered way of course. My intention was never to say that any particular kind of birth was bad or better than another. I totally get wanting meds and I also fully understand that not every experience is free from complication, trauma, etc. But I was offering some insight into what was asked yesterday about a specific program. In no way did I say it was better/the only.

          • Yeah, sorry, I didn’t mean to get into this either. I was honestly trying to support the OP.

      • Anon 12:48 and 1:27 says:

        I am so sick of this page, posters putting words in my mouth, and the judgment. Sorry not sorry that I recovered from a borderline PTSD inducing first birth and had a fantastic birth experience the second time around.

        I spoke only of my own experiences and I NEVER said that there is anything wrong with an emergency csection, an elective csection or an epidural or asserted that “natural childbirth is just a matter of having an athletic mindset and if, you choose anything else, you are less than”. Don’t put words in my mouth.

        • Anonymous says:

          Ok…but then why get snarky and tell someone else “you seem to be looking for the main page.” Nothing about shortperson’s comment was rude. She just said having meds is perfectly fine too.

          • Anonymous says:

            The fact that shortperson made that comment in the context of a thread that was meant to be informative about a specific type of birth preparation and in which all the previous comments had been objective descriptions of how the training had/had not helped previous posters – that’s what made shortperson’s comment rude. No one had said this was the only way nor had made any negative comments about any choice to just be medicated and done. If you don’t have something helpful to contribute, just stay out of the conversation.

          • Anon2 says:

            Because this was a question about a strategy for med-free birth so it seemed tone deaf to just tell someone to “get the meds”. It’d be like a commenter saying they wanted to try going vegetarian and someone replying “or just eat meat.” No one is shaming people who use medications; if anything, people are being shamed for desiring and choose med-free births, like the commenter above calling it misogynistic.

    • I didn’t do a class but tried to listen to the cd in the month leading up to birth. But I found it too relaxing and kept falling asleep. In retrospect, I wish I had done a class as myepidural didn’t work so I was unintentionally unmedicated (with the exception of a bit of gas and air)

    • I did the class for my second and loved how it prepared me for birth. FWIW, I think the meditating and self cheering I learned in prenatal yoga helped me more, but I still like hypnobabies and would absolutely do it again. I did the self study because it was my second and I didn’t fee the need for a full class again (we did Bradley with my first).

      I had a really bad epidural experience with my first, which is what really motivated me to go natural with my second. Do I think I win some kind of award for it? Absolutely not. It is what was best for me based on my history with epidurals.

      And I agree that there are a few people that are completely changing the tone of this site lately, and it is really disappointing.

  15. Anonanonanon says:

    Hi all
    I am starting a new job in a month, with a significant raise ($35K). I, of course, need to up my contributions to my retirement plans and to our savings (we have about 4 months of living in an emergency fund, but our other “savings” for car emergencies etc. could use some beefing up), but other than that I want to use this money to buy time with my family.
    What would you recommend to buy “time”? We don’t really have much yard, but I’d like regular cleaning and laundry service. Any other recs? There’s a lot of competition for grocery delivery in my area so it’s not that expensive, and it’s already something we utilize on occasion.
    This is the first time I’ve had the financial flexibility to responsibly “outsource”, so I’m hoping you all can share what you’ve done and which services are “worth it” to you!

    • mascot says:

      Weekly house cleaning has bought us so much more time. And, because the house stays relatively clean and picked up, we are comfortable entertaining on very short notice because we don’t have to worry about the state of the house. Congrats on the raise.

    • Anonymous says:

      Congrats on the raise and new job! It sounds like you have your priorities clear. Here’s where we throw money at things for our sanity:

      – Housecleaning
      – Morning help for ~2 hours to drive kids to school (they start earlier than I need to be ready to go, and in the opposite direction) & tidy up breakfast dishes (and sometimes dinner / evening playing stuff that didn’t get done) – this has helped minimize the need for weekly cleaning, even though my toilets could really use a scrubbing after 7 days.
      – After school babysitter to pick up kids (this is necessary because who is done working at 2:15?? but also has been sanity saving in terms of driving to music lessons and another activity); also sometimes picks up baby from daycare, which even though is at my workplace, gives me another 20-30 minutes of focus time during my peak productive time. Also frees up DH to get dinner prepped. I think a better scenario for DH would be a babysitter who liked to cook, so she/he could do dinner while DH played with kids, but we’ll take the reliable and trustworthy one we’ve got.
      – Babysitters for date nights
      – Memberships to things so that perceived cost isn’t a barrier to doing an adventure (this comes with tax write-offs too!)

    • Mama Llama says:

      Pre-made dinners are the best. We sometimes get them from a local chef who does delivery, and being able to just heat something up makes my evening 100% more enjoyable.

  16. Definitely housecleaning. We only do it 2x/month but I am able to let go of so much stress knowing it will get done.

    What are your other pain points? Do you hate doing laundry? Packing lunches? Making dinner? I would look at what chores/tasks you dread and then see if you can throw some money at those first.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Husband rant. I made Mother’s Day so easy for him. I told him what I wanted: brunch with the family, IF it wasn’t too much of a pain (e.g., if no one had reservations after 10am or before 3pm, fine not to do it), a gift the kids (3 and 5) picked out — anything as long as it was what they thought I might want (i expected it to be hilarious, and sweet), and to sleep until I woke up, which would likely still be about 7:30am because with small kids, my internal clock is now on early time all the time. On Tuesday, I say “so what’s the plan for brunch?” He claims he thought we had something we were waiting on before nailing down brunch. Nope-o. But once he figures that out, does he scramble to try to get a reservation? Nope. He does…nothing. Friday night he says “so, ,the Mother’s Day planning hasn’t really gotten off the ground.” Okay, so I figure he at least lets me sleep in, and maybe I add in a solo trip to the gym. Saturday, I took the kids out of the house so he could get some work done. Instead he played video games and napped. Then when I got home, he said he thought he’d just go into work Sunday morning early and bang out the work then. Apparently he thought since he hadn’t planned anything, Mother’s Day was just not happening at all, or would happen in some form some other time and so he was free to go to work. Nope, again. Since then, he spent Monday evening in a grouchy mood because he’s stressed at work, and then lashed out at me all of out of proportion to what was really going on. Set his alarm super early this morning, to “get up and get things done,” which woke me up but not him. He proceeded to snooze for another hour, then was annoyed that I was in the bathroom putting on make up when he wanted to shower (I’d been waiting on him to shower, but finally was like eff it). Ugh. He’s apologized about Mother’s Day, and then told me Tuesday that he’d been a jerk on Monday. And agreed I was right to be annoyed this morning. So I’m not angry because we all have rough patches where we’re not our best selves, but man, he has been NOT his best self this week! And it’s only Wednesday.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ugh I’d be mad too, especially about the fact that he just thought the day was cancelled since he didn’t make any plans! Why are dudes so dumb!?

      This is not excusing his behavior AT ALL, because he should be able to follow through on your simple request, but have you thought about just making the reservations yourself? In my case, DH would try if I asked him to, but he’s pretty helpless at this stuff and would ask me a million questions about it and it’s so much quicker and easier to just do it myself. It sometimes bums me out for a minute when I’m making the booking that I have to do it myself, but then I always have a nice time on the actual day (Mother’s Day, my birthday, whatever) and I think that’s more important to me in the long run.

      • Anonymous says:

        I would be furious… and he owes you big time. I’d honestly try spelling out what this week was like in a discussion similar to your post, while pointing out that he’s been prioritizing himself exclusively for about five days now and you’re about to do the same thing.

        And I get why moms make reservations themselves instead of their husbands never getting it done because sometimes you choose what you need to do to be happy but… it is a brunch. reservation. Not freaking rocket science. How can you hold down any job in any capacity and be unable to call a restaurant and say “Hi do you have any space remaining for a reservation for four on Saturday?”

        I did tell my husband exactly what I wanted for Mother’s Day… a picnic by the lake with him and the kids. He hates picnics. He asked what cheese I wanted and cut the cheese into cubes, found the Boursin in the fancy cheese section, cut the grapes, bought the sparkly apple juice and the crackers and the baguette, found the paper plates, found the picnic blanket, and drove us all to the lake. And changed all the poopy diapers on the twins. Because he is an adult and also didn’t pick that particular day to be a selfish ahole. I mean, I’m not like DIVORCE HIM IMMEDIATELY but there isn’t any reason he can’t prioritize your sleep/morning schedule/work equally with yours and I’d be having a talk about why he thinks his wants and needs come first.

        • Anonymous says:

          +1000

          A grown person can make a damn reservation. OP’s husband chose not to and that says a lot about how much he respects her.

      • lawsuited says:

        The brunch reservation is NOT the main problem here. If OP’s husband had flubbed the reservation, but let her sleep in, prepared a family breakfast and home, and helped her 2 kids pick out gifts for her, I think we’d be reading a very different post (if any at all) and be giving very different responses.

        Her husband cancelled Mother’s Day to have a solo afternoon of playing video games and taking a nap. It’s offensive.

        • Anonymous says:

          Absolutely. He just unilaterally decided Mothers Day didn’t matter and didn’t even prioritize work when it would interfere with his wants (napping/gaming), only when it interfered with her wants/needs (mother’s day anything/sleep).

    • lawsuited says:

      I would be furious about Mother’s Day. I cannot think of any acceptable reason not to try and follow through on your very reasonable expectations which had been clearly communicated to him ahead of time. He needs to make amends, and I think the “redo” has got to be way better than the original plan to make up for the fact that he wanted *to make you look after the kids while he went into work on Mother’s Day because he napped and played video games instead of working the day before while you were looking after the kids for him*. Like a full Saturday off to go to the gym/spa/movies/girls night AND brunch the next morning AND diamonds.

      Also, tell him that he’s damn lucky to have you because reading this makes me so angry that I want to throw something…at his head.

      Re: being a grouch on Monday and apologizing on Tuesday, I don’t think you have to accept every apology that’s offered particularly where you don’t think there’s actual remorse/remedial action. In this situation, I would say: “Don’t apologize, do better”.

      • Anonymous says:

        This x1000. If he is smart enough to know he’s been a tool but not proactive enough to say “I need to make this up to you, you deserve a relaxing mothers day and I bungled this week,” then he’s just looking for a get out of jail free card… like “I SAID I was sorry!” And if he tries to make you feel bad for making him feel bad I swear I will drive out to where you live and just punch him straight in the teeth.

        My husband is getting a lot of appreciation sx purely because of the husbands I hear about on here. I am not even kidding.

    • imo there is no defense for this behavior. when my husband has acted like this it’s because he’s really mad about something else or just in a selfish phase. no defensible excuse. talking him about the specific issue that brought it to a head did not help because that made him angrier. i would consider whether there are ways you could reconnect — i.e. a weekend away? a few long dates? — or whether you should start counseling. letting this kind of attitude fester in a marriage for years could be destructive.

  18. layered bob says:

    Re: hypnobabies

    I can’t post here from my work computer and can’t reply/thread from my phone (…) but wanted to say thanks for the responses/feedback on hypnobabies and the sugggestions of other programs, which I didn’t realize were out there. I’m on week 3 of hypnobabies and not sure I want to pay for another program, but looking at the blissborn website and some of the other resources was really helpful to see their framing and just decide that I can say “contraction” if I want to and not worry that it will ruin everything.

    I’m still pretty frustrated with the program and will definitely talk to my doula and therapist about just doing some basic self-hypnosis techniques instead.

    I don’t really need the childbirth education portion of the program as I have plenty of training and background in that, and I’m certainly not opposed to using the medical tools/resources at my disposal – hypnobabies was specifically suggested for dealing with ramifications from a prior birth experience (which was unusual and traumatic in a variety of life-threatening ways, not just “I wanted a “natural” birth and got a c-section” although that is certainly difficult enough to deal with in itself).

    Anyway, just wanted to reiterate thanks for the feedback and perspective received – it’s helpful to know at least some of you found the prep work valuable even if you didn’t fully “buy in,” which I am just never going to do.

    • Paging Layered Bob re: Hypnobabies says:

      Best of luck!

    • Yes, I think it’s helpful. That’s all I was trying to say, didn’t mean to start a riot.

      I think if you’re in a hospital they’ll say “contraction” regardless but I did find it helpful that my doula referred to them as waves and would say “now let it go” when the contraction was ending, or something like “the waves come in, and they go out”. It definitely sounds woo woo but it really did help me, because it helped me remember that I could relax and let go of the wave (contraction) rather than tensing and holding onto it. I also did the breathing they teach, and if nothing else counting helps you focus on something during the wave (contraction).

  19. PreLawyer says:

    Random thought re hypnobabies vs medicated delivery above: my first labor was somewhat traumatic, induced, with epidural that wasn’t all that effective. It more or less sucked. I felt a lot of the pain and pressure and was exhausted. Second labor was zenlike, relaxing, and fairly fast because I had a fully effective epidural. I felt about 3 hours of contractions, then got my epidural and felt just some slight pressure during pushing. This meant that I got to take a nap while I dilated from 5 to 10 cms, which was awesome. I also got to engage fully in the birth process by feeling my daughter’s head with my hands as I was pushing her out, looking calmly into my husband’s eyes while I was pushing, and just feeling this strange flow of calm and peace during the delivery. This was absolutely eye-opening for me. I had no idea childbirth could be like this after my first delivery. It was all due to the epidural and a very skilled anesthesiologist who made it work correctly. It was an amazing experience and I would highly recommend the epidural to any woman going forward. I know it’s not for everyone, but it was magical for me.

    • Anonymous says:

      I had a similar experience with my epidural. The early cervical checks were actually the most painful part of labor for me (apparently the baby’s head was really low and blocking it). I got the epidural at 5 cm when my contractions (even though I was induced and on Pitocin) still felt like bad menstrual cramps. After the epidural I was in no pain at all. I could have slept, except I was way too excited to meet my daughter. I ended up dilating super quickly, which the doctors chalked up to how relaxed I was. A little over an hour after the epi I was fully dilated and ready to push, but I hung out for a couple hours since I was in no pain and they wanted the baby to work her way down naturally. I could tell when to push and I felt her coming out but it was completely painless (and it took a REALLY long time to wear off – I didn’t start feeling sore down there until almost 24 hours after I’d given birth! I thought I was just recovering super well…and then the epidural finally wore off. Haha). My hospital is absolutely adamant that if you’re still in pain after the epidural it needs to be adjusted/redone. I was worried about the epi not working and my OB said “we don’t let that happen.” It was honestly 100 times better than I expected birth to be. And fwiw, my daughter was insanely alert after birth and basically didn’t sleep for the entire time we were in the hospital, so anecdotally I didn’t experience that “epidural anesthesia leads to a lethargic baby” stuff people talk about.

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