Accessory Tuesday: Initial Pendant Necklace

If you’re looking for a good, faux-diamond sort of look, I always hear readers singing the praises of Nadri — and here’s one example of their offerings. This initial necklace comes in a lot of different finishes and, obviously, letters. Each letter comes in rose gold, gold, and silver (it’s actually rhodium plating) for only $45. The necklace is really highly rated at Nordstrom, too. I’m a big fan of initial pendants to celebrate my kids, or to celebrate our family name, but you could also celebrate your own name/your maiden name, etc. This just looks like a really wearable, happy little pendant. Initial Pendant Necklace

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Currently a midlevel biglaw which I have found to be relatively flexible with small kids (toddler and a baby). I am really only at my desk from 9-5:30 and then back online in the evenings after bedtime. Considering taking a job that would have more of a facetime requirement, like 8 to 6. Commute would be slightly better. I would not expect to have to work in the evenings. Oh and there is a 65 percent pay cut (it is public interest) – which we can afford.

    I’m concerned this might actually be a worse situation. Right now we have a nnnay and my kids get up at around 7:30. I also realize this is a fleeting time and pretty soon they will have to be at kindergarden early. But thats also years away. On the one hand, anything but biglaw seems good and I know I dont have a longterm future at my firm (and I am excited about this organization). On the other hand, I might be making a really irrational short-term move. Have any of you making that move been sorry you did?

    • It sounds to me like the big difference is not having to work in the evening. How much is that worth to you? For me, I am exhausted by 8 p.m. and logging back on to do more work is a non-starter. But I know a lot of people don’t mind it. Where do you fall on that spectrum? And does your current job have other on-call expectations, like weekends or dinner plans being interrupted?

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      When is bedtime? 8am start time and 7:30 wakeup probably means no time in the morning. Will either partner or nanny will be able to be there when you have to leave?

      If your commute is shorter, the time difference in the evenings probably isn’t that much different, assuming that traffic patterns aren’t worse 30 min later.

      I’m with CHJ and pretty much unable to work in the evenings unless absolutely necessary, and as your kids get older bedtime will probably get pushed back a little bit, giving you more time with them (and less time to work).

    • Blueberry says:

      I would certainly explore the option seriously. Hard to say in the abstract, but I’d probably take it if it is with an organization you are really excited about and where see a future for yourself, because I know it can be a challenge to find that.

      Do you already have the offer? Is it a sure thing that you’ll have so much face time, or is it something that can be discussed? It’s surprising to me that there would be such a strict face time requirement anywhere these days. I’m also a midlevel in biglaw, and I’d prefer to leave at some point as well, but I do like that nobody really expects me to be here at a particular time — and certainly not at 8 am. I’d be bummed not to have kid time in the morning, but all things considered, I’d probably take it over my current hours.

    • I think it would be worse, unless the commute was dramatically better. That’s such a long day, even with not having to work in the evening. I think I would continue a few years until the kids are older. Don’t underestimate the importance of flexibility. Once the kids have a later bedtime (and it’s more difficult for you to work in the evenings), the 8-6 facetime might be the better deal.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you push back on the facetime? Like ask for 8:30-5:30 and commit to logging on for an hour in the evening. A finite amount of time in the evening would be a lot easier (like 7:30-8:30). At a minimum, you could say that you currently leave at 5:30 and your childcare arrangements require you to continue to do so. How much commute time do you save?

      Big Law with two kids is possible but not easy. If you are sure you are looking to move on, I would take a hard look at how you can make it work for you.

    • As a midlevel in BigLaw myself, consider how often opportunities come up. My understanding is that as you get more senior, it gets harder to leave because people assume you are leaving because you weren’t a good fit as partner as opposed to wanting a different direction. As a 5th year going out on maternity leave in August (assuming the baby is full term), and knowing that partnership/counsel decisions start at 8th year, if I were going to leave, I would try to do it as soon as possible in my 6th year. That being said, I have good feelings about there being room for me at the firm long term (we’re not up or out), and I want to have my second baby in 2 years or so (with the BigLaw maternity leave), so I’m planning to stay for now. The flexibility you talk about is huge for me, even with the hours, and my husband is going to stay home, so the salary is helpful too since we’re going to drop to one income.

      • I definitely want to find out about their maternity leave. Biglaw maternity leave is so awesome. I can see why staying makes sense for you!

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Huh. My experience is that in-house positions cherry-pick folks right on the cusp of partnership, because they would love to get someone with that level of experience. I haven’t seen companies look askance at firm lawyers because they “weren’t a good fit” for partner; most companies recognize that if you’ve made it to years 8-10 in a law firm, you’ve got great technical expertise, good work ethic, supervisory skills, and project management experience, but maybe not sales/marketing skills, which is fine for most in-house work.

        But I’m in a regional market, so maybe it’s different.

        • Most of the people I have seen (DC market) who leave to go in-house do it in the 5-6 year range (long enough to have experience but not right on the cusp of partner/counsel) or right after making partner/counsel (easier to move out once you have the “star” so to speak) if they know that’s what they want to do.

        • (was) due in june says:

          That is definitely NOT what I am seeing as I am hunting.

    • Thanks all for the thoughtful replies! Really appreciate hearing others thoughts on this as I try to work out my own feelings!

      I actually really don’t mind evening work – what I hate about biglaw is the anxiety of always having to maybe be on call. And I hate the occasional midday weekend work I have to do. But overall, I could definitely stick around a little longer!

      I think I’m going to push back and suggest something more along the lines of 8:30-5:45, with the added commitment to some evening work. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks 8-6 sounds like a really long day!

      I know people talk about the golden handcuffs of big law. I feel like I have flexibility-handcuffs!

      • +1 on the anxiety of always having to be on call. For me, that was the absolute worst part of Biglaw. Once I moved to a job that truly didn’t expect me to be available on a dime, I felt like I reclaimed 90% of my work-life balance.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’d think really carefully about the move. I went in-house after 5 yrs in biglaw, and facetime was HUGE at my company. We had specific times we had to be at the office, and working from home was not permitted. I found it stifling and ultimately a deal-breaker as my kids got older. If you don’t mind being able to log in/log out at night, there is really something to be said for being able to have far more control over your daily schedule, which will just get busier as your kids get older. I have a 2 and 4 yr old, and they are in daycare. Right now, I juggle class events, doctor appointments, and sick kids. You can outsource some of these to your nanny of course, but think carefully about whether it will be hard to get the time off to attend the things that are important to you. I think it will only get harder as they get into elementary school.

        Long story short, I technically had a shortened schedule, but between my commute and the company culture, I really did not get that much more time with my kids. I also found myself missing more events than I was okay with missing (again, YMMV with a nanny/kids not in daycare without school events).

        • This is exactly my fear!!!

        • NYCer says:

          This exact same thing happened to a good friend of mine. She found a firm to be much, much more flexible than her in house job, especially with regards to kiddo doctor’s appointments, school events, etc.

          Perhaps there is a smaller law firm that could work better than this facetime heavy public interest job? It may be less of a pay-cut as well.

    • What do you want to do in you career. Do you want to want to do biglaw or public interest? What are your carrer goals for 5 years down the road?

      • Public Interest! I want to be somewhere mission-driven and have a day to day that feels more impactful than what I have now.

        Also, my eyes glaze over at some of the stuff I’m doing right now.

        I’m not sure on 5 years because I do feel like this position would be a step back. It’s a junior in house role. But doesn’t that often happen when you are moving between organizations? That’s what I keep telling myself.

  2. FTMinFL says:

    I just ran across this comic (link in reply) related to emotional/mental labor and household imbalances and thought it was pretty spot on. Slowly but surely we are making improvements in our household, but, man, the gendered roles we let ourselves get stuck in pre-kids are hard to break out of!

    • FTMinFL says:
      • Anonymous says:

        This is so great!

        My DH does all the dishes/supper clean up but he feels like he does ‘everything’ and I don’t do near as much. Definitely sending him this. He’s never bought an item of clothes for the kids or booked a medical appointment in his life.

        • avocado says:

          My husband is the same way. He complains about how many chores he has to do and implies that he is contributing more than his fair share, despite the fact that he spends large stretches of the weekend sitting on the couch while I run around trying to get stuff done. Lately he has sometimes been acknowledging how much I do, which is nice, but he still complains at other times.

          I don’t agree with the comic’s suggestion that paternity leave will encourage men to take a more equal role in household management. It hasn’t worked out that way in academia. Men spend their paternity leave writing articles to advance their tenure prospects, not taking care of children. Women on maternity leave are taking care of their kids and don’t have time to write articles. I think all new parents should get a limited amount of bonding time (2 weeks?) and biological mothers should get something like 6 months’ recovery time. If extended paternity leave is granted, it should only be allowed after the mother is back at work full time, to force the father to spend the time parenting.

          • NewMomAnon says:

            I hear you on the academic paternity leave, and that’s a challenge, but I think paternity leave is really a negotiation between the parents. Most of the guys in my industry either take leave to watch the older children while mom is recovering/minding newborn (if mom was a SAHM) or they take it after mom goes back to work to delay daycare. Some of them still manage to take calls, check e-mails, etc (my ex would strap the baby into her car seat and drive around town to keep her sleeping while he took calls), but they don’t get to advance their careers during leave.

            I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I think the answer is mandatory paternity leave, enforced by locking the guy out of work e-mail, electronic resources, and disabling work voicemail access. Universities should do it too. It makes me so mad that academia enables and expects men to use their *family* leave to advance their careers.

          • Sarabeth says:

            Most paternity leave policies do require that the person taking leave is the primary caregiver for the child. But in practice, that’s pretty tough to enforce without an uncomfortable amount of scrutiny of people’s private lives – at least as long as the system is run through employers rather than the government.

            But I hear you – I’m also an academic, and had a male colleague tell me blithely that I was going to be so productive on my maternity leave! Because that had been his experience.

          • My husband is in academia, and this is 100% my experience. He’s trying to figure out how to travel as much as possible during his quarter off of teaching…

          • Redux says:

            Ugh, yes. My husband is an academic and got a course relief, meaning he taught fewer courses for the semester after the baby was born. He still worked every single day, just from home a few days a week. While I did like having him around to eat lunch together or run to the pharmacy/grocery when I asked him to, he did very little infant care. I was still basically alone with the baby all day, resenting him for using his leave to work.

        • Blueberry says:

          I sent this to my husband. I’ve mentioned it here before, but I seriously “leaned out” at home for about a quarter during a really killer time at work, and my husband magically became capable of planning and executing the week’s menu, making doctor appointments and coordinating home maintenance stuff!

          I totally agree that this doesn’t get better systematically until there is real paternity leave that men actually take the way women take maternity leave.

      • Mrs. Jones says:

        I shared this on FB this morning. My husband has never bought a kid’s birthday gift or kid’s clothing. And he just doesn’t notice dirt on dishes or in the house. Sigh.

    • Haha! My husband wrote in my Mother’s Day card (‘from’ kid + dad) that ‘without you it goes without saying I’d be totally lost logistically’. Which is accurate, but at least he acknowledges it.

      Early on (about 8 months postpartum? not long after I went back to work) I exploded one morning while trying to wrangle the baby, feed and change him, prep my lunch, prep baby food, etc. and said ‘Why is this MY job?’ – in other words, questioning why each of those tasks defaulted to me. He got it.

    • bluefield says:

      I really like the “off the save capitalism” part. This is totally how my husband thinks – if he missed a day or turns in an assignment late, the entire system is going to fall apart.

      We got into a huge fight yesterday because he asked me what apartment number our daughter’s (home-based) daycare is in. We just moved but he’s dropped her off every day, and I pick her up. Why should I remember that more than he should? And why, instead of looking it up, did he feel entitled to bother me about it?

      • oh no says:

        Respectfully, this seems pretty unkind. “Entitled” to ask you about it? He’s your spouse. I’d be horrified if that was my husband’s reaction to me. In fact, I’ve often dropped off our rent and I never remember the address. I’m pretty sure when I’ve asked him he’s just laughed.
        Switch it around. I mean, maybe this is just your guys’ dynamic, but if you asked him something like that, would your husband have a similar reaction?

        • bluefield says:

          He does have that reaction. He thinks I am being unkind as well. I think expecting your partner to remember the daily, mundane facts because your head is too busy saving capitalism is also unkind. I thought the cartoon made that clear.

          • bluefield says:

            I meant to say he *does not* have that reaction.

          • oh no says:

            What a kind and even keel response to a post that could have been perceived (but was not intended) as judgmental- thank you. You’re right — the very topic of the thread should have made it kind of a safe space to share this fight.

  3. I finally accepted that my husband has a problem that is affecting our family. It is hard for me to write this. He is depressed because he stresses about everything in life and has anxiety over everything. His job is okay but he gets overwhelmed. He is always tired, mean, in a bad mood, accusing me I do not do enough when in fact I pull most of the weight at home. I know he loves our baby but he is not very involved. He plays a little with her and thats it. I love him and want our family to be happy. Did anybody experience something similar? How did you approach him? I cannot even open the discussion if he is in a bad mood. Thanks..

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Hugs. My (ex) husband had pre-existing anxiety that blew up into PPD after my kiddo was born. It was awful. The good news is that he is better now, he is an involved dad, and he has a great relationship with our kiddo. But it took a lot of work and heartache to get there.

      I have a ton of advice, all of which is way too detailed for where you are now. So my advice right now is twofold:

      First, put on your own oxygen mask. Living with someone who is depressed can do very bad things to your confidence and sense of self-worth. Get yourself a therapist, schedule regular times to be away from husband and with people who will openly value you and help you, engage in self-care (meditation, yoga, exercise, massage were and are my lifelines but you do you). We’re here for you too.

      Second, don’t expect that you can change your husband. You can’t. Let yourself drop that responsibility, and just focus on being the best person you can be.

      • Thank you so much for this advice. I need to accept that this is not my fault nor my responsibility to fix his life. He needs to get on medication but I can’t force him to do that.

    • Anon for this says:

      Yup. We did. It’s not widely discussed, but it is an acknowledged fact that men actually can experience a sort of postpartum depression as well. Obviously, it’s not the same as a woman, and it’s not hormonal, but the change in sleep patterns, the change in life patterns, and the added stress of loving and supporting a newborn can really have an impact on men. Especially those who have depressive tendencies already. For my husband, it started both times right about the time I went back to work, which is awful for me as I am already pushed to my limit with getting back to work on top of caring for a newborn (or a newborn + toddler the second time) and I need all the help I can get – not the added burden of caring for him too. I would urge you to urge him to speak to someone – even his PCP – about this. The anti-depressant my husband had been on pre-kids was just not working any more at the low level maintenance dose and we had to jigger with it. It also helped just to acknowledge it. Acknowledge it was hard. Acknowledge his life had changed too, even when it felt like only mine had.

      • Yes, I’ve noticed it all got worst after our daughter was born. But she is 7 months now, so it looks like this is a long term issue. He refuses to take anti-depressant medication. But he clearly needs it. I will need to have a conversation with him when he is in a better mood and explain this situation cannot continue.

        • mascot says:

          I wouldn’t automatically assume that this is a forver ongoing issue. FWIW, I was diagnosed with PPD at 7 months (or situational depression as my therapist called it). I’d weaned months earlier and had a normal cycle so I’m not sure that hormones were in play as much. It resolved around 12-13 months post partum. And medication was a magic bullet. Once it kicked in, I could really see where I had been and could accept this temporary blip in my life whereas before I had resigned myself to always feeling this way and being stressed out.

        • Anon for this says:

          Honestly, the time frame from about 4 months until about a year was the worst for us. Around a year, when things got more leveled out with her care it got easier. I’m waiting for it to get easier the second time. A large part of it was figuring out meds. As significant for us was him regaining some of his “me time”. He’s an introvert and has always needed time to recharge alone. When he was able to regain some of that and some control, things improved.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          Hugs. You can set boundaries, but be ready to enforce them. If he won’t get help for himself, it’s OK to tell him he’s not welcome in the family house. But know that you can’t actually change his behavior or force him to realize he’s depressed.

          And as for 7 months – my ex took it really hard shortly after my kiddo was born, stabilized for a while, and then hit another wall at about the 8 months mark. Kiddo still wasn’t sleeping well, I had been back at work for a few months and was starting to get very busy, and we were flying by the seat of our pants on the regular. This may be part of a long-term issue, but I wouldn’t assume it will always be this bad.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      Just a reminder that no one should be mean to you, especially not in your house, especially not around your daughter. It doesn’t matter that he’s your husband or her father, he is not allowed to be mean. If it’s hard to set boundaries on your own account, set them for your kid: you can start modeling now that no one has to put up with that. (I know it’s hard; I know it’s not cut and dried; I don’t think you DTMFA; but none of that means you should give him any kind of pass on cruelty. This is an attempt at a pep talk.)

      I’ve been your husband in this situation: I was depressed an anxious after my daughter was born (want to hear how my OB’s office told me that because I hadn’t sought help until baby was ~7 months I couldn’t possibly have PPD? ugh eff them!) and one of the big things that finally made me get help was seeing how *angry* I was getting. Disproportionately, unexpectedly angry. Apparently that’s a symptom!

      Since then a combo of meds and therapy have helped so so so so much. I can’t imagine that anyone would still be married to me if I had continued the way I was 18 months ago. I know there’s more stigma around men seeking help for things like this, but I think that if your husband wants to continue to be part of your family, he needs to do the hard work to get himself back on the right track.

    • TL;DR – if he isn’t willing to get help alone, consider asking him to go to couples therapy with you as a first step. You can frame it as, I can see I am not being the wife you want, so let’s go talk about it with someone who can help me/us. Obviously you will have your own agenda for these sessions, but having a third party there to reflect back to him what is his issue vs what is yours would be helpful.

      My experience with this was pre-parenthood. My husband was depressed and unemployed. He was in the midst of an unwanted career transition that unfortunately coincided with the collapse of Lehman Brothers and all that ensued. It went on for several years, during which he did a LOT of procrastinating rather than job hunting – that was the core issue for us, when he is depressed, he shuts down and avoids painful tasks. He did actually do a lot of other work around the house and on projects like sewing during this time, but he wouldn’t deal with the career issue. I grew more and more anxious and resentful. He was seeing a [fairly useless] therapist, but really didn’t want to go back on medication. Eventually, at his therapist’s suggestion, we started going to couples therapy. That led me to see how hurt and angry he was at me for my reaction to his depression – he felt like he was doing the best he could, generally pulling his weight (he did actually contribute a fair amount financially throughout most of this time), and I was not being supportive. So giving him the space to express that to me, and also for him to hear how terrified I was about staying married to him given the way he was acting, was valuable to us. Somewhere in all of this he decided to go back on some medication, and he eventually made a decision about what career path to take. Once that happened, he worked like a dog to make it happen. I am not sure if the medicine made the difference, but it certainly didn’t hurt.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        One caveat on this though – the usual advice is that if one or both spouses are experiencing mental health issues such that they cannot functionally or respectfully communicate with the other spouse, the couples therapist should refer the spouse to individual counseling before they embark on couples counseling.

        Having been through couples counseling with a seriously mentally ill spouse – it often bordered on cruelty, and we spent months and months rehashing every indignity I had ever brought upon him without getting to the true issues.

      • Sorry, just to clarify, I meant MY explanation was too long, no the original post or any of the comments. I am too old for abbreviations I think.

  4. Thanks for the pep talk yesterday, ladies! It helped. I worked a bit late and got the first 4 chapters sent away and made a bit of progressive on the rest which made me feel calmer. Going to speak to my husband tonight about what I can offload to him and got a walk at lunchtime today which helped break me out of that must sit at my desk until I finish or cry.

    • EB0220 says:

      I was on vacation yesterday and didn’t see your original post. I finished/defended my dissertation and worked full time while pregnant so I completely understand what you’re going through. I think you’re on the right track. Don’t do anything that’s optional, try to get at least a little exercise and set small goals. Just keep chipping away. You can do it!

      • Thank you! The end is so, so close but it’s tiring. I’m working late tomorrow and then heading to preggo yoga on Thursday as I know my brain (and my hips) needs it.

    • Working full time while pregnant is hard, particularly in a job that is 50-60 hours on a “good” week. I am beginning to understand why I have so much trouble finding maternity work pants at a reasonable price (finally saved by the Old Navy tall every day pant in black) – being at home in maternity yoga pants all day seems a much better way to go. Celebrate all the wins you can.

      • The midwife asked me at 24 weeks if I was “still” working. What precisely would I be doing? Sitting around staring at my belly? She then told me I should go have tea and cake after every appointment!

  5. Anon in NYC says:

    Do I need to switch my toddler to a bed asap? My almost 2 year old has shown no real interest in climbing out of her crib. But yesterday I went into her room and she stood up in her crib and put one foot on the railing of her crib. Nothing else – no efforts to pull herself out or push off her mattress, etc. She is a very cautious kid who is generally not a climber, so I don’t think she’s about to actually climb out, but the fact that she getting closer to being capable of doing so is freaking me out a little. My instinct is to just switch her, but my husband wants to wait until we get back from a vacation that we’re taking in early June (so we wouldn’t move her for ~2 more weeks). I think his concern is that her sleep is going to be really disrupted for the next 1.5 weeks, then we’ll go away, and when we come back it’ll be like starting all over again.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wouldn’t switch her. Just make sure she doesn’t have bumper pads or anything extra that she could use to help her climb out.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I was pretty sure my kiddo *could* climb out of her crib if she wanted to starting at about that age. She never tried until just before her third birthday, at which point she very stubbornly refused to stay in her crib for any reason. She had a crib that could have one side removed, so I took that off and installed a toddler rail from Target (which apparently you’re not supposed to use in crib conversions, oops). It was disruptive, sorry for the bad news.

      FWIW, if she isn’t actually throwing herself out of the crib, I would keep her in it, even if she can get a foot up on the side rail.

      • Why can’t we use toddler rails for crib conversions?

        • NewMomAnon says:

          The one I got from Target specifically said not to use it with beds less than a certain number of inches, and my crib conversion was shorter than that. My only guess is that they don’t want the mesh up against the kid’s face while they’re sleeping, so there needs to be a certain amount of clearance on either side of the rail. Dunno?

    • Blueberry says:

      Yeah, I think I agree with your husband here too.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Okay. Thanks, all! I appreciate the feedback. I won’t switch her yet.

    • avocado says:

      For a contrasting perspective, we moved our kid to a twin bed at age 2y 3mo because she was a dedicated crib escape artist, and had zero issues keeping her in the bed.

    • Edna Mazur says:

      Not to be a downer but my advice will always be if they can get out to switch them. My kiddo broke his arm at 2.5 years old while climbing out of his crib.

    • Pigpen's Mama says:

      We moved kiddo to a big girl bed a little before 2.5 (fairly recently). She was capable of getting out of the crib, or at least flinging her legs over, but only if she was fighting back about bed time. I think one day she just decided she was ready for the bed, since we had been talking it up.

      We had been using an Okay to Wake clock for a few months when she was in her crib (she couldn’t call out to us until it was on), and kept using it when she was in bed. Miraculously, she stays in bed until the light goes on. She’ll sometimes fuss a lot, but that’s waned and now only happens when she’s pooped/needs to poop.

      This might have been a factor, but her bed is actually fairly high up for a toddler (we use under the sheet bumpers, since it’s a full sized platform bed) – so I think she was a little apprehensive about getting down by herself — it took her a few weeks to get out of bed on her own — we now have a little step stool she uses, before she was using the ottoman that came with her glider.

    • The side of my son’s crib comes off, turning it into a toddler bed (sort of). Does yours do that?

      I’m paranoid enough that yes, I would switch kiddo if he started doing that.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Yes, ours does that too. We’d probably get an under the sheet bumper when we remove the side.

    • My son never tried, and after we finally switched him to a bed around 3, he still yelled at us to come get him up in the morning for a good 6 months or so. He is also very cautious.

  6. dc anon says:

    Baby #2 is coming this summer and I am concerned about the transition for toddler daughter who will be almost 3 years old. I can predict that toddler will be upset about having to sleep alone in her crib, while baby will get to sleep in a bassinet in our room. Is there anything I can add on to her crib to make it more interesting? She is already starting to resist her crib and we come up with gimmicks most nights to get her to go in, “show me how you can climb in by yourself,” or “let’s fly into the crib!” and we carry her around her room while she flaps her arms. She hasn’t climbed out by herself yet, but she does swing one leg over, so I am sure it is coming soon. I would like for her to stay in the crib for as long as possible (perhaps until new baby is 4-5 months), so I was hoping for something new to put on her crib to make it cool – maybe a tent? Any ideas?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Why do you want to keep her in the crib until she’s 3.5 years old? That’s a long time. My kiddo outgrew her crib long before then (literally, she couldn’t stretch her legs fully if she had a pillow in the crib).

      Honestly, I would switch her to a big girl bed ASAP, so she’s used to it before baby comes. If you’re worried about her jumping in the bed while baby is co-sleeping, install a really good baby gate over her bedroom door or use one of those monkey locks to keep her in her room.

      • avocado says:

        Another vote for moving her to a big girl bed now so the transition is about what a big girl she is, not about the baby usurping her crib.

        • Yes, and it’s something for her to be excited about. Plus, baby is getting all of these new things so this is something new for her.

      • Blueberry says:

        +1 – If she’s not happy about being in the crib, I’d move her. We moved my kid a month or two before our second baby was born, because it was a safety issue, and it was really not a problem. He was younger than your daughter but I don’t think it crossed his mind to be jealous of the baby sleeping in our room — that was just the way it was.

        On the other hand, I am told I happily slept in my crib until I was 5 (!!) with no ill effects, so it’s not like you’re a horrible parent for keeping her there, but it seems like she’d prefer to transition.

    • Anonymous says:

      Our oldest was in her crib until she was 4. She was/is 90th percentile. She just didn’t ask for another type of bed so we left it because she was happy and just switched her when she asked. She never expressed being uncomfortable. If she had trouble sleeping we often let her have a few books in bed. Maybe that might work? Or a sleepy sheep that you can show her how to operate so she can pick the sounds she likes.

    • Maddie Ross says:

      Our LO was happy in her crib until well after she was 3, but we moved her to a big girl bed about 2 months before her sibling arrived in hopes of separating the move from the coming baby. She was about 3.5 when we did and it worked well for us. She was super happy in the crib, slept well, and was big enough to climb out safely on her own in the mornings, but it kept her contained for her nap. She was also happy in her big girl bed and slept well in it from the beginning. She did drop her nap though, as we could no longer contain her until she gave in and slept. If you’re going to need to use the crib for the second, move her now so it’s a separate event and it’ll still be a couple months from the baby needing it. If you’re open to getting a second crib or don’t see using the crib for the baby for a while, it’s totally fine to keep her in the crib.

    • avocado says:

      Re. the crib tent–we tried one in an attempt to keep our kid in her crib, and she literally ripped her way through it. Definitely not safe.

  7. AnonHere says:

    Any advice on handling separation/divorce in the family? Husband’s brother and his wife are heading that way but still living together currently. We are not super close, but they do live within reasonable driving distance for weekend visits and their 2 kids are close in age to ours. So far,my policy is to keep my mouth shut and stay out of it. My husband talks with his brother frequently, and has, of course, told his brother to let us know if he needs anything. Beyond that – not much to do right? I don’t talk with SIL much anyway so I don’t need to say/do anything on that front. And this is a case where the major wrongdoing is on her part so I definitely “side” with BIL. Appreciate any thoughts.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I don’t think so. Stay the course. Be there for the kids.

      • Anonymous says:


        Focus on the kids. Keep up whatever regular engagement you might have with the kids. Offer to have BIL and kids over for a playdate or just the kids to give him a break.

      • Clementine says:


        When my BIL and SIL were divorcing, my in-laws developed a habit of making snarky comments in front of the kids. My husband and I did the immediate, ‘This is not an acceptable comment.’ correction and actually sat them down and said ‘We don’t care how you feel about X parent. You will NEVER make disparaging comments about them in front of their children. Ever. Never ever. You will NEVER attempt to drive your grandchildren away from one of their parents. Ever.’

        My in-laws are generally kind, decent folks, but divorce does crazy things to people. Be the kids’ safe space. Be Switzerland. Give the parents parameters of how you are willing to help; for example: ‘Hey, we would love to take the kids for a weekend. How is the first weekend in June?’ or ‘We’re going to be around on Saturday and would like to take cousins to the aquarium. How about they come hang out with us for the afternoon and you can have some kid-free time.’

        • Thisperson1 says:

          This +1000.

        • AnonHere says:

          This is great, thank you! I haven’t been super involved with the kids, but given some of what I’ve been hearing about their home life I really want to be there for them more.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Any recommendations for best breast pump? Cost is not really an issue as my insurance will pay. Thanks.

    • AwayEmily says:

      Don’t know about “best” but the nice thing about a Medela PIS is that (1) the parts are very easily available in stores and on Amazon (including cheap knockoff replacements) and (2) you are likely to be able to find extra parts for very cheap/free if you ask on whatever local parenting listservs you are on. Do not underestimate the awesomeness of having LOTS of spare pump parts. I ended up with so many (all hand-me-downs or used) that I only had to do one dishwasher load a week.*

      *actually, I had my husband do it — we kept a bin of pumping stuff/bottles next to the sink and as soon as it was full it was his responsibility to do a load. I strongly recommend setting the early precedent of “I pump, you wash” with your partner if at all possible.

      • YES. I pump and my husband washes. Otherwise there is no way I would be still pumping at 11 months.

    • Anonymous says:

      Medela Symphony – the hospital grade one – not sure how much it costs because I just rented it.

    • lucy stone says:

      The Medela PISA is junk. Absolute junk. Do not hurt your nipples like that.

      I got a Spectra S1 on the advice of ladies here and am thrilled with it. It’s much more like nursing if you plan to nurse and pump, and it’s so much gentler. Also, it doesn’t have to be plugged in. It has a rechargeable battery. Parts are a tiny bit harder to find so I just ordered spares off Amazon before baby came.

    • Anonymous says:

      Spectra! My insurance would only pay for the S2 but the S1 is nice because of the battery. I love that I don’t have to worry about backflow. It’s lighter than the medela pump in style but I think physically bigger. I would also purchase a Medela handpump (and bring it to the hospital!). It’s great for when you need something small/portable and you can really control the pressure.

  9. LALaw says:

    Might be too late to get much input, but worth a shot – favorite diaper bags? I got a very nice one from Pottery Barn Kids at my baby shower, but I feel weird committing without having done much research. (Link to the bag in comment below). I’ve seen the one I received in action – my friend uses it and it seems totally functional and like a good size. Are there any tried and true favorites that I should also look into before deciding to keep this one? I’ve always been intrigued by the Marc Jacobs quilted nylon ones, but open to any and all brands and price points up to $400. Thanks!

    • LALaw says:
    • CPA Lady says:

      Skip Hop Forma Pack & Go. Quilted Nylon, machine washable. $50 on amazon. Pretty colors too like plum and dark teal. I loved mine. My biggest priorities were machine washable and lightweight.

    • CLMom says:

      I strongly suggest a backpack style to free up your arms. I’m happy with my JuJuBe.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        If I were going to buy a new diaper bag, I’d strongly consider a backpack. I love crossbody and tote bags in my normal everyday life, and I got a diaper bag that could be both, but I do not love it. I can’t use the crossbody aspect if I’m babywearing, and the tote will slip off my shoulder so I need to use a hand to keep it in place.

        BUT, a lot of this is personal preference and a function of your lifestyle. I do a lot of walking and I prefer to have my hands free. I think the PBK one is cute.

      • +1 I had a super pretty Kate Spade one that was hard to carry. It broke and I bought a JJ Cole bag that looks like a messenger bag that can either be a back pack or a shoulder bag and I love it.

    • I just got this for my second – love that it converts into a backpack when needed –

    • I spent way too much time researching this and I can tell you that I almost don’t use mine at all. Basically most of them are too big for every day and too small for actual longer outings. Also I found that all the pockets/compartments are really annoying because you will be very unlikely to use the bag exactly “that way.” The two things I use now are a skip hop diaper changing “station” which is fantastic for either throwing into your bigger bag or being the one thing you take if you just need to have an emergency changing thing, and a giant tote that I can throw the diaper “station” and everything else into (I have a bunch of stuff that I use to corral items in there like the little foldable PackIt cooler bags for milk bottles, a wet/dry bag for clothes, etc.) It’s basically a customized diaper bag that I find much more useful than anything ready made and it’s much easier to find things quickly this way.

      FWIW, after all my research, I ended up getting a skip hop diaper bag and it’s held up great. I also considered getting a LeSportsac one but I didn’t find a print I like. I ruled out getting a “designer” diaper bag because a lot of them didn’t have the features I wanted and also in NYC everyone seems to have one and frankly to my eye they look silly somehow. But to each their own, except definitely get the changing station to put in whatever bag you use because it is so much better than whatever comes with every bag when you have to use a public restroom to change baby:

    • AwayEmily says:

      I also suggest going the backpack route. We got one of these:

      It’s big enough to fit everything we need but not so big everything gets lost, and my husband is also fine with carrying around. No pockets to speak of, but we just have some pouches inside for littler things.

    • Anonymous says:

      What is your plan? Baby wearing: backpack only. Lives in stroller? Think small (I use a LeSportSac Deluxe Everyday Crossbody, because I can still fit that and a bag of groceries under the stroller). Need something in the car? You can go really big and keep everything in there. Need a daycare bag? The LL Bean nylon one is pretty popular around here.

      I’m on my second diaper bag and I still think I don’t have it quite right. I would use the one you’ve been given, figure out what you hate about it and then get something else.

  10. LALaw says:

    Tried to comment with the link – trying again – The one I received isn’t monogrammed, so it’s returnable.

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