This dress looks like a simple but well designed maternity dress that will last you throughout your pregnancy. My favorite part is the way the dress is folded and then drapes over the “bump.”
I like how the neck is modest and the sleeves are three-quarter length. I can see this looking nice under a blazer, or it can be dressed down too. It also seems to be seasonless, so it would be a great investment for all year or through multiple pregnancies.
The dress is available at Nordstrom for $139 in black and raspberry and is on sale at A Pea in the Pod for $111. Ivybridge Jersey Maternity Dress
Psst: this $65 dress looks like a great dupe.
Building a maternity wardrobe for work? Check out our page with more suggestions along both classic and trendy/seasonal lines.
This post contains affiliate links and CorporetteMoms may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!
This post contains affiliate links and CorporetteMoms may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Sales of Note…
(See all of the latest workwear sales at Corporette!)
- Nordstrom – The Half-Yearly Sale has started! See our thoughts here.
- Ann Taylor – $50 off $150; $100 off $250+; extra 30% off all sale styles
- Banana Republic Factory – Up to 50% off everything + extra 25% off purchase
- Eloquii – 60% off all tops
- J.Crew – Up to 50% off “dressed up” styles (lots of cute dresses!); extra 50% off select sale
- J.Crew Factory – Up to 60% off everything; 60% off 100s of summer faves; extra 60% off clearance
- Loft – 40% off tops; 30% off full-price styles
- Lands’ End – 30% off full-price styles
- Talbots – 25-40% off select styles
- Zappos – 28,000+ sale items (for women)! Check out these reader-favorite workwear brands on sale, and some of our favorite kid shoe brands on sale.
- J.Crew – Up to 50% off kids’ camp styles; extra 50% off select sale
- Lands’ End – 30% off full-price styles
- Hanna Andersson – Up to 50% off summer pajamas; up to 50% off all baby styles (semi-annual baby event!)
- Carter’s – Summer deals from $5; up to 60% off swim
- Old Navy – 30% off your order; kid/toddler/baby tees $4
- Target – Kids’ swim from $8; summer accessories from $10
See some of our latest articles on CorporetteMoms:
Click here to see our top posts!
And — here are some of our latest threadjacks of interest – working mom questions asked by the commenters!
- If you’re a working parent of an infant with low sleep needs, how do you function at work when you’re in the throes of baby’s sleep regression?
- Should I cut my childcare down to 12 hours a month if I work from home?
- Will my baby have speech delays if we raise her bilingual?
- Has anyone given birth in a teaching hospital?
- My child eats everything, and my friends’ kids do not – how should I handle? In general, what is the best way to handle when your child has some skill/ability and your friend’s child doesn’t have that skill/ability?
- ADHD moms, give me your tips to help with things like behavior in the classroom, attention to detail, etc?
- I think I suffer from mom rage…
- My husband and kids are gone this weekend – how should I enjoy my free time?
- I’m struggling to be compassionate with a SAHM friend who complains she doesn’t have enough hours of childcare.
- If you exclusively formula fed, what tips do you have for in the hospital and coming home?
- Could I take my 4-yo and 8-yo on a 7-8 day trip to Paris, Lyon, and Madrid?
I had this dress a few years ago while pregnant and wore it both to work and to events I had throughout the pregnancy! Worth every penny. Good pick.
Same. I had it in a blue. Only maternity piece I was mildly sad to be done with. It really is pretty and versatile.
I totally agree. I had this dress when pregnant and wore it to death. What I like about it most is that it was appropriate and flattering from the time I had a little “baby bump” to when I was well into my third trimester. I believe it’s also machine-washable.
Super Anon For This says
Hello internet strangers! Super Anon for this, but yesterday morning, I had a positive HPT! Getting blood confirmation this morning. This is after our 8th round of fertility treatment and after years of trying. I’m terrified that it isn’t real, but overjoyed that it might be!
Also, this dress is beautiful – I’m half-tempted to buy it right now, but i don’t want to jinx myself.
Congratulations!!! So happy for you!!!! Yeah:)
Congrats from one internet stranger to you! So happy to hear this! I’m hoping to see you around much more on this board :)
so happy for you – I don’t even know you and I shed a tear. Congratulations.
Super Anon For This says
OP here —- it’s real! Fingers crossed that it sticks around – and I will be sure to hang around the board more, thank you for the great welcome.
super anon says
This is a crazy question that I never thought I would be asking, but I value all of the input here.
I’m scheduled to deliver kid 2 later this week. We’re close to my family – we live very close and have family businesses tied up together. A few weeks ago my dad told me he was leaving my mom and their 50 yr marriage for a woman he met two weeks prior. My mom is somewhat physically handicapped so in addition to this being emotionally devastating it’s also frustrating as it places a burden on us. At our urging, my dad has started to see a therapist and claims to have stopped seeing the woman. He moved out of their house though. We appreciate that he’s taking steps we’ve asked him to take but remain mad that he’s just decided to abandon his frail spouse in their 70s. Throughout this he’s made comments like he deserves to be happy and he wants to travel and do things he can’t do with my mom. It feels very midlife crisis (but at an older age).
We’re debating not allowing him to come to the hospital when kid 2 is born. I appreciate that he’s going to therapy like we asked, but it doesn’t feel like enough. IMO, you don’t get to pick and choose being part of a family – you don’t get the fun parts like a birth if you want to avoid responsibility for the harder parts like commitment to your aging spouse. Looking for advice or experience from anyone who put up boundaries regarding their kid’s birth.
It’s totally fine. Many people don’t have any visitors at the hospital, let alone family members with a difficult relationship. You take care of you. Whatever makes you feel most at peace and most happy on that day is the right answer. Just tell him “The situation you have caused recently is very stressful for me and I don’t want the time around the birth and afterwards to be stressful.” or whatever short, simple answer you want to provide. He may be unhappy about this decision, but that doesn’t mean it is the wrong decision.
You are a patient in the hospital after birth. Just because a baby is involved doesn’t mean you forego the right to dictate who does and does not get to come into your hospital room. I don’t even think you have to get into why. It’s totally fine to say “We’re not having a lot of visitors in the hospital this time around, but we’ll reach out when we’re home and settled. Thanks for checking in!”
I’m so sorry you are going through this especially while pregnant. Please just remember your dad isn’t leaving you, he wants to leave your mom. It absolutely does not excuse his behavior but he can still be an amazing dad and grandfather and be a horrible husband. However given how fresh everything is, I would just say you don’t want the stressful dynamics of him and your mom both in the same room. Therefore I would make arrangements for him to come when she is not there rather than him not come at all. Just remember ultimately this moment is about you, your partner and child so do what makes you happy.
Oh yeah def. “dad, no way. You just walked out on mom.”
I agree with this anon. Actions have consequences. I don’t agree it means you’re cutting ties with your dad. It means you can’t deal with it right at this moment given the immediacy and your own physical and family needs.
Irish Midori says
That’s super crappy of him! Do you have any siblings who can help manage the crisis? It sounds like he needs help caring for your mom, and is manifesting it in the worst way possible.
As for the birth, I dunno, I didn’t want anyone at the hospital, so I don’t think it’s weird at all to ask for privacy for any reason or no reason. You don’t have to explain if you don’t want to.
I would allow him at the hospital. If your parents’ marriage ultimately dissolves would you cut ties with your father? Barring him from the hospital says that his relationship with his grandchildren is contingent on maintaining his marriage. While I agree wanting to leave your spouse for a 2 week fling is crazy, it doesn’t seem fair to your kids to deny them access to their grandfather.
Also, your note seems very focused on your father’s utility as a caregiver to your mother (which I get – parents of small children are overwhelmed with caregiving). I don’t see any consideration of his needs in your post. It sounds like he could really use a break. Could you take care of your mother, or hire help, or something so that your father can travel and get some time off? It sounds like he’s at the end of his rope, and that’s what causing this erratic behavior.
What?!? You are seriously suggesting that OP take care of her mother and a new baby at the same time, or spend her own money to hire a caregiver, so her selfish father can travel?
OP, you are totally within your rights to set limits on anyone’s visitation, at the hospital or at home, for whatever reason you choose.
I don’t think OP taking care of mother is the right answer, but I do think you’ve hit the nail on the head here in terms of him clearly being overwhelmed and needing help. Caregiving is tough (as all parents know) but it’s especially tough to care for an elderly person when you yourself are getting older. Depending on the type of physical handicap she has, he may be physically unable to help with some of her needs any more, but is scared/ ashamed/ nervous to admit it maybe even to himself.
Obviously this isn’t something you’re going to solve this week, but your siblings or spouse might need to put the Plan B into action for your parents – assisted living, moving to a smaller house, in-home care a few hours a day, etc.
(And yes OP, you’re totally fine saying this is more drama than you can handle this week, and keep all their marital issues out of your delivery and recovery rooms.)
This. OP, your dad’s actions could be an indication that he is not in a good mental place. It’s manifesting in ways that are really disruptive, destructive, and hurtful to the rest of the family, and you are absolutely justified in being angry about that, but unless he has a history of being a terrible human being, it seems like he’s hurting. This is not your problem to solve while you’re about to have a baby, and you shouldn’t feel obligated to have anyone visit you in the hospital who will not be a net benefit to your happiness. But long term, it sounds like a family discussion may be in order about how to balance everyone’s physical and emotional needs. Aging is tough.
She’s not saying she’s denying access to grandkids or cutting off her dad. She’s dealing with a hugely difficult and emotional situation and it’s understandable that she wants to push pause on dealing with the difficult dynamics around the situation during and shortly after an emotional event like childbirth.
super anon OP says
OP here. The answer to the first question is I don’t know and that has more to do with the fact that we have family business tied up together. There’s a need to have a cordial relationship that is complicating how DH and I are processing this. We had a close relationship before this so he expects to be able to visit.
But, I want to clarify he doesn’t seem to need a break (already travels and has an active social life without my mom or he takes her places and leaves her in a corner while he socializes). It’s less day-to-day caregiving at this point but we know that’s in her near future. And a lot of that was already falling to us anyway with his travel and social calendar. We already have a kid with special medical needs so we don’t have a ton of sympathy for him just wanting to have an unattached life so he can go to bars or travel (these are the things he brings up).
This.. is a different situation. I wrote what I did because your post reminded me of a difficult time in my own family. We got through it with time and lots of forgiveness. Our situations are different but my impulse is to recommend forgiveness and understanding, since they helped my family heal. You are the best judge of whether or not it is the correct remedy, and what is the root cause of your father’s behavior. I should add that on reflection I agree with previous commentators and that you should remember to take care of yourself. If that means excluding your father from the hospital, so be it.
You have a right to decide who and who will not be at the hospital, full stop.
HOWEVER – one thing I urge you to seriously consider is whether your dad actually might be suffering from an illness himself. I know this is scary and may absolutely not be what’s going on here, but radical personality changes/impulsive behavior can be an early sign of dementia. I’m not sure there is much you can do at this point if that is what’s going on, but I just want to make sure that was on your radar, particularly if it seems like your dad is acting very irrationally throughout this.
+1 – this was my first thought. OP, best of luck to you and your family; this sounds really difficult.
super anon OP says
Thanks and this is something we’ve thought of, which is why we urged him to see a psychologist. I don’t know if there is much we can do but I figure it doesn’t hurt to have him seeing a professional who may be attuned to these things.
I’m so so sorry you are going through this. Do whatever you need to do to take care of you.
I don’t have any advice but just wanted to echo commiseration and also that who is there in the hospital is 100% your call–whether or not this added drama was going on, you’d be fully within your bounds to circle the wagons and just focus on your immediate family (or your immediate family plus whomever you wanted to be there). You are the patient and your dad–or anyone–doesn’t get to automatically visit on their terms in the hospital when they want to. Also, the grandparent relationship does not hinge in any way on when/where/how soon they meet their grandchild.
Otherwise, just wanted to say that this sounds very stressful and I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with it.
How do you deal with violent tantrums? My 2 year old threw the worst tantrum this morning because I wouldn’t let her take a toy inside daycare. Not only was she screaming and running/crawling back to the car, but every time I picked her up to carry her inside, she repeatedly hit me in the face. Yesterday she did something similar when she grabbed my cheeks/hair really hard because I wouldn’t let her have any more ice cream.
it’s the worst. Totally age-appropriate behavior but still. I try to follow a Magda Gerber/Lansbury approach. For the violent/ hitting tantrums I will hold down their arms and say “I’m not going to let you hit me.” and just try to keep myself calm and appear to be calm to my child. The good thing is that at 2 years old you can sort of physically contain them.
+1 we use this phrase or something like “we don’t behave that way in this house.” You more than likely aren’t going to hold them down so forcefully that they hurt themselves (even though it feels like it). I posted the other week about my 2yr old going through a spurt of intense tantrums. We drastically reduced sugar (no more popsicles even though it’s hot) and it helped a lot.
Irish Midori says
I’m so sorry. It could be normal and age-appropriate. It could also be a bit over the time for normal–I have one that was like that. More rage and intensity and frequency of tantrums than your average 2yo, and they lasted well into, well, now (he’s 9). They’re better, and therapy has helped a TON. I wish I had pushed my pediatrician sooner for a recommendation for a therapist. Play therapy can start really young and can really help for kids who have SO MANY FEELINGS they don’t know how to handle them.
Not saying to rush to a therapist now, just don’t be shy if it seems out of range for normal, or you are overwhelmed. Short of pressing for professional help, some books and blogs on parenting with autism helped me, even though my kid is not autistic. I think some of his inability to express ALL THE FEELINGS and need for order sometimes manifests in similar ways.
DH and I are due in December with our first baby. I will be taking the standard 12 weeks FMLA leave, so likely going back to work in early March How far in advance should we be looking into finding a nanny? We would be looking for 3-4 days a week, not full-time.
A month or two. Part time nannies can be really hard to find though. I would have a backup option or be prepared to pay someone for 40 hours/week even if you need less care (we did the latter).
MIL committed to watch the baby one day a week. DH thinks he can “work from home and watch the baby” another day a week, which I am skeptical about, even though he owns his own company and works for himself.
You will definitely need the nanny at least a half day on the day your DH is planning to have the baby if he wants to get any work done at all.
Irish Midori says
Heh. You probably have to let DH try, but yeah, likely gonna need a backup plan for that one.
Buddy Holly says
+1 on needing a backup plan for this. If you have a very easy baby that sleeps a lot, this *might* work out OK for DH for a few months. But trying to get any work done with a normal infant at home will be difficult, and is completely laughable if the baby has colic or is otherwise very active.
+1. My ‘baby’ is now 1 year old. He takes one nap a day (~90 minutes) and spends the rest of the time exploring electrical plugs and stairs (or so it sometimes feels).
Boston Legal Eagle says
Not sure about the nanny question but I would strongly discourage your husband from doing this, unless he plans to take most of that day off work. It’ll probably lead to more stress for everyone than if you just have a set caregiver for that day set in place. 4 days for a nanny will probably work better anyway, as you can get them for 10 hours per day for a full time schedule.
I’d start looking a month or two out.
Also, just another idea: would you consider a share situation? I think that is what I would do if was my other-two-day-of-the-week-plan. It’s easier to find a nanny looking for fulltime and if you could find another family that needs 5 days a week, you could then have a rate you pay most weeks for 3 days shared with that other family (with a rate negotiated of what you pay should you need 5 days a week or 4 days a week). This would give your MIL and husband the option of occasionally traveling or being sick or otherwise not able to watch the baby (after all–I think your skepticism over your husband’s ability to work from home and also watch your baby is well placed–especially as your baby becomes older and naps less and less). (Full disclosure–we did a share for a year like this where we were the 5 day a week family and the other family had a similar situation where grandma committed to 2 days a week–but needed the flexibility to sometimes have 4 days or 5 days a week of care–it worked out awesome for all involved)
For how long? DH worked from home while taking care of our daughter full time from ages 3 months to 9 months. It was very easy at 3 months (she was asleep a lot and happy to just sit on an activity mat while he worked when she was awake). It got much harder by 9 months when she was a lot more mobile and had to be watched more closely, but he was still able to get in a ~6 hour workday most days. It would have been impossible past about a year for him to do any work while she was awake, so his workday would have been limited to her naps (~3 hours total).
Emily S. says
Oh, man, that was us 4 years ago. On day 1 of my return to work (at 8 weeks, bc I had just started a new job), when I got home, DH said, I can’t do it. He, too, thought he could be the self-employed freelancer consultant writer full time AND be a full time stay at home dad. One day convinced him otherwise, but like Irish Midori said, I had to let him do it and figure it out. We had already lined up a nanny share (about a month before baby was born) for part-time short-time, and then had to scramble for daycare (we ultimately landed on nanny share for 4 weeks, then daycare 3 days a week and home with Dad or Grandparents 2 days a week, FWIW.) For my DH, the problem was that his schedule isn’t the same from day to day, as he meets clients on site, has multiple clients, etc. So if your spouse is working a 9-5 at the same place every day, it might be possible to work while the baby sleeps and log back on after you get home… But I will also say, gently, that if you go the route of having one parent be both full time worker and stay at home caregiver, lower your expectations about household chores. Being both the full time caregiver and worker is a lot, and there really isn’t time in the day to run laundry, pick up groceries, etc.
Buddy Holly says
Are you working with a nanny placement service? If so, I think you could contact them early, say September, to give them your timeline and discuss the process. That way they can notify you if a potential good fit comes up early, such as a nanny who knows she will lose her job due to a planned change in her family (such as the mom staying home after the birth of a third child or whatever).
If you happen to be out and about with the baby and meet some good nannies over your leave, be sure to talk with them. Most of the nannies in my community know each other and you may find a nanny through word of mouth. If you really want a part time nanny, you may find a family that is willing to do a nanny share if you talk to other nannies.
Another approach is to potentially ask a stay at home mom to watch your child. In my b*feeding group that met with our newborns, another mom found her part-time childcare that way. She and the other mom clicked, and the other mom was happy to watch her baby for a few days a week alongside her own infant. In my state that type of arrangement does not require a license or insurance or anything, so you have to really trust the other mom, but it seemed to work out for them and was one way to find elusive part time care.
Otherwise, I think 2 to 6 weeks before you need the nanny is a good time to start interviews, as suggested by Anon. Four weeks gives you more time, but if another nanny is being let go she may only get 2 weeks notice. Of course, you would have to find out why she was getting let go, but not everyone will have 4+ weeks lead time on finding employment.
If you consider an au pair, the lead time could be longer, so be sure to look into that early if you think it might be a good fit for your family. I think au pairs can be cheaper than nannies and could be a good choice for a part time schedule. I think most of the time their hours are capped at 36 hours, but I’m not sure because we’ve never had one. But you have to be ok with them living with you.
Possible DC Trip says
My husband is going to DC in mid September for a Monday-Wednesday conference. We are thinking that me and my 2.9 year old son may all go Friday from the Boston area fly down and spend the weekend there. I think there are a number of people on this site that live in the area. Looking to see if you think it would be enjoyable for a 2.9 year old, etc. Also is it still crazy hot in mid September? Also looking for recommendations on where to stay. I looked on Airbnb a little bit but not sure of good locations, etc.
Thanks in advance!
Yes, absolutely there is tons of stuff for an almost-3 y.o. to do in DC. Literally any of the Smithsonian museums, the Zoo, running around on the Mall, visiting the monuments. Weather is hit or miss in September (and, well, always. It was 100 degrees all weekend and will be 75 tomorrow), but it likely to be fine for walking around outside.
Where to stay depends a lot on what you want to do, but if you’re interested in seeing the stuff around the Mall, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a quick, easy metro trip from VA or MD. Especially on the weekend, the schedule isn’t great.
Agree, lots to do for a little one! Here is the Smithsonian’s calendar of weekly events: https://www.si.edu/Events/Calendar/?trumbaEmbed=date%3D20190703. I’d say MOST of the stuff on there is kid-friendly! If you are here on a weekend I’d also encourage you to take your kid to a farmer’s market – they can be really fun. The one at Dupont Circle on Sundays is great.
I would try to stay relatively close to the mall if you’re planning on doing Smithsonian stuff. Lots of hotels in/near Penn Quarter, though some tend to be expensive. If you’re looking at AirBnB, Capitol Hill could be a good option, though I wouldn’t go further east than Eastern Market. Any of the large apartment buildings in Navy Yard (near the Nats stadium) could work too, and there is a DC Circulator bus that runs from that area to L’Enfant Plaza, which is near the mall. There are certainly other nice neighborhoods to stay in for AirBnB, they just aren’t quite as convenient to the mall.
I would recommend staying someplace close to the Metro so you don’t have to deal with carseats/uber.
At that age (and still), my kiddo loved the Wonderplace at the National Museum of American History. Protip: Get there a few minutes before it opens at 10, and it’s not very crowded. Later in the day they control for capacity so you might have to wait a bit. We go from 10-11, then wander the museum for 30-45 minutes (the transportation exhibit is great, you can climb on buses etc). Then lunch and to a nap, if yours is still napping.
Highly recommend the Building Museum for a 3 year old. They have a large room filled with giant foam building blocks that is a blast for kids. My daughter goes every week with her nanny.
Weather is a mixed bag that time of year. Sometimes mid-September is the absolute perfect weather, sometimes it gets boiling hot, sometimes it is rainy. It’s pretty much impossible to predict.
As far as where to stay– I agree somewhere convenient to the mall would be best. I would probably look close to Capitol South, Eastern Market, or Union Station as far as AirBnB goes, personally, because they have more of a neighborhood feel. If you like more of a dense urban feel, I would recommend Navy Yard or Penn Quarter.
^building museum was going to be my rec as well!
This weekend my husband and I tried to install floating wall shelves in the nursery (baby due in 10 days!) and it was a total bust. We could not find studs, one whole wall might be a metal column (screws would not go in at all), and so we gave up. Should we hire some sort of handyman to figure this out? Give up and buy a bookcase? Thanks for any suggestions!
Yes, I’d hire a handyman, and have a back-up task for him/her to do in case the shelves aren’t feasible.
Give up and buy a bookcase. You don’t have studs to drill into based on your description.
Thanks, all. Was hoping for a magical fix but yeah, I think our walls are just weird.
But you should anchor the bookcase to the wall when the kid gets mobile, so you may need a handyman anyway.
Before you go for a handyman, look into whether wall anchors would work for you. We bought floating cat shelves for our old apartment. The first time we placed them, we skipped the anchors and a shelf fell. But we installed the anchors (took a lot of elbow grease but worked) and they remained up for at least five years. Not sure if I have the right terminology, but it’s a hollow plastic screw that goes into the wall and the screw goes into the anchor.
Yes, you can hang floating shelves in drywall using anchors. I have many times. There are even more heavy-duty anchors that look like a little metal clip that opens when you insert it through the hole in the wall (called a toggle bolt or butterfly anchor), which I would probably recommend for a nursery. If the wall is made of concrete or masonry, there are special anchors for that as well. I would be surprised if a whole wall is a metal column, but I don’t have experience living in ultra-modern buildings. Overall, this should be a pretty simple job for a handy man.
^this, but have a handyman figure out what he needs and go and buy it and get it installed for you. With a baby coming any minute, this is definitely on the “outsource” list!
I don’t have an answer from you… but my son is nearly 3.5 years old and I still have some floating shelves sitting around that I bought pregnant thinking they would look perfect in the nursery…. those things are tough to install!
A handyman did this for us for about $10. I definitely think it’s worth asking a handyman to try.
PSA don’t forget that a bookcase should be secured to the wall! ASAP in earthquake country, and I think but am not sure that the rec is to secure when the kid gets mobile for other areas of the country.
One of my husband’s employees just delivered via emergency C at around 29w, and due to baby’s complications, they’re now in different hospitals. He and his team sent flowers initially, but is there anything else he could/should do? Any preemie moms have suggestions of anything that helped when you unexpectedly went on leave? The team is covering her clients and work, so no problems there. I suppose the answer is nothing, he’s her boss and there’s no more expected from him but to leave her alone right now, but I just feel so bad. It sounds like a really tough situation and I wish there was something we could do.
Gift card for food delivery service is great for any new mom. Especially one who may be spending lots of hours at a hospital.
Irish Midori says
My NICU experience wasn’t nearly so intense as this, but one of my favorite gifts in the hospital was a basket of homemade cookies. The hospital food wasn’t bad, but some little treats and snacks were sure nice. A pretty journal and nice pen would be thoughtful. The hours can be long, and thoughts hard. Everyone is different, but I find writing out the feelings helpful to processing. Also, a record of the thoughts and happenings of these days may one day be significant to them.
Send her a gift card and leave her alone.
I would encourage your husband to work with his employee (to the extent he can) on any type of flexible work arrangement she might find helpful. An acquaintance of mine had a premie, and once she was out of the hospital, her employer allowed her to work part-time for two months until baby came home, and then she took maternity leave. She worked in the mornings, then went to the NICU in the afternoons. Of course, your husband’s employee may prefer a different arrangement, depending on the details of her situation, but she will definitely appreciate any flexibility and understanding he can give/ can convince his higher-ups to give.
I was thinking this, too. I can only imagine how hard this would be on the family to have to balance precious time off between spending time with your newborn in the NICU (plus physical recovery from birth) and saving time for once the baby is home. Any flexibility or generosity here would be key.
Preemie mom here. If he or anyone else wants to help—agree re gift card for food delivery. Even better is actual food delivery—ie dropping off food at their house for her partner now (if she has one), and for them both when she gets out of the hospital. Once things hopefully stabilize with the baby, maybe in a month or 6 weeks, my favorite gift besides food was adorable, soft preemie outfits. When your baby starts to get to wear clothes at the hospital, it is a very big deal, and it feels great to be able to put them in something really nice. Also just a tip if you or he ever get to see the baby (or for anyone taking this who comes into contact with preemies)—just say how cute they are :) please don’t point out their size, their parents know they’re tiny! Once baby is stable and they are playing the waiting game to take them home, they will probably want to feel like any parent with a new baby and just have people fawn over how cute they are. Also since your husband is her boss, anything he can do to assure her work is covered and not to think about work at all is awesome. I didn’t have the capacity to think about anything but the baby for a long time and it was good to know my job was taken care of. Also, thank you for asking, they will appreciate anything that’s done for them in this time. It really is extremely difficult.
Yes to all of this from another preemie mom.
similar to an above poster, any flexibility the office can offer in terms of time off, etc is huge. When you leave the NICU, you basically have a small newborn so it can be really tough when all/most of your leaf was taken up by NICU time.
I appreciated periodic check in’s from people so long as they were prefaced with there being no expectation to respond. It was nice knowing people were thinking of us.
Thanks for the ideas re: leave. They don’t know how long baby will be in the NICU right now, but that’s a great point if her leave is mostly eaten up by NICU time to offer flex work. I think that’s definitely something he can be an advocate for. Right now she is the one reaching out to update, and I think part of that is the immense shock she must be in to go from thinking you have a totally normal pregnancy and still have a couple months to go to overnight to having preemie with complications.
I’ll have him suggest to his admin about food delivery or food gift card of some kind, and some cute preemie outfits.
Gas gift cards are also great, if the NICU is far away.
I was a preemie mom too. The biggest thing your husband can do is somehow give her more time away from the office. I received the standard 12 weeks of leave, and I felt that the first 3 weeks of my baby’s life in the NICU was time stolen from me. Time other moms had to bond with their babies at home while I sat in the NICU and fed my baby through a feeding tube. My husband went back to work right after I delivered so he could save his leave for when the baby came home. To the extent she can work from home 1/2 day or something during the time the baby is in the NICU, that would be awesome.
Food, always food.
Also, if she had a c-section she probably will be on driving restrictions for a time after she is released, not to mention that he needs to be in multiple places. A gift card for uber/lyft might help too.
If they have pets, offering to set up a sitter or someone who can help feed/walk dogs could be helpful too (if you have that kind of closer relationship).
Hi wise hive! My oldest is starting kindergarten this fall and I am sort of nervous. She is excited and totally ready. I am also excited, I think I am just a bit sad about her getting older. Anyway, is there anything I should be doing to prep for kindergarten? The school has an orientation the week before school starts. I was just hoping for some advice from parents that have already been there. We’re going from pre-k4 (which is run more like a daycare) to a new school for K.
Yoga and meditation to calm yourself down. Go to the orientation, figure out a back pack and what the lunch routine is going to be, figure out how she’s getting there and back.
Take your own advice. OP had a standard question for a first time K parent.
Huh? Kindergarten is hard. I found soothing self care helpful for me. And then the only other things I needed to do were figure out logistics.
A case of tone not coming across well online then – I read it as ‘take a chill pill, it’s NBD’ but you clearly are indicating that it was intended in a supportive manner. Will try not to jump to conclusions next time
Sorry! Did not at all mean it to sound dismissive!
It did not sound snarky to me at all. Just matter of fact.
Adjust her sleep schedule a few weeks ahead of time to whatever it will be during the school year. If she will be taking lunch, come up with a few ideas for meals. Encourage independence in putting on clothes/shoes, bathroom and hand-washing, opening lunch containers, learning to tie shoes, etc. Don’t make it a big thing because they will work on many of these skills in K too.
It will be ok! They sent us home from orientation with all kinds of flashcards about numbers and letters, and stressed the high expectations for reading achievement (44 sight words! Level 6!) by the end of the year, but the things they expect as far as “readiness” are things a reasonably intelligent kid with reasonably educated and engaged parents, and a experience in full time preK is not going to need any special prep work on.
If your daughter still naps regularly and school doesn’t have rest time, think about weaning her off of naps. Or don’t, and let her enjoy the last couple months of being a carefree, well-rested kid.
Otherwise, I agree you’ll need to have a plan for lunch and for making sure everything ends up in the backpack every morning, and then just brace yourself for potentially a lot of BIG FEELINGS from your daughter about the adjustment.
Oooh and since you mentioned this is your oldest… If you are newly going to have a different drop-off schedule or two different drop-off locations, add at least 10 min to your estimate of how much longer that will take, and adjust your morning routine and/or work schedule appropriately.
Yes to your last sentence. Be prepared for meltdowns at night over the course of the first couple of months. Being at “real” school is an adjustment at first and sitting still, following rules, paying attention all day, etc. is tiring and hard for a 5 yo. Patience, snacks, and sleep definitely helped.
FWIW to this day we have a set ‘kid favorite’ meal on Thursday and order pizza on Fridays. My kid is TOAST by Thursday and knowing what dinner is, that he likes it, and not having to fight to get him to eat on those nights is huge for me.
We also try to front-load homework to the beginning of the week (if the teacher allows) and do quite a lot of the ‘weekly’ work (for us, 20-minutes of reading a night) on the weekends – ie – we may read an hour on Sundays and skip it on Thursday/Friday.
Irish Midori says
Oh, that’s a good idea about dinner meals. My kids get major meal anxiety, and you’re right about them done with emotional reserves by Thursday. I need to start doing this.
FWIW, thankfully our kids had no-homework in kindergarten philosophies. We read books before bed, but were not required to do anything formal. I think homework in elementary school is a travesty.
Ooh, I love the idea of a “kid favorite” Thursday night dinner! To be honest, I am TOAST every Thursday night, and I love the idea of just knowing what dinner will be and not having to think/plan. (I always rebound by Friday because it’s a quieter day in the office, plus I’m excited about the weekend. But Thursday nights are the absolute worst.)
Go to orientation and figure out logistics listed above. Also, be prepared to get very little day-to-day info from the school. Coming from full-time private daycare/pre-K, we were used to getting daily reports, chatting with teachers at pickup/drop off, and getting lots of art projects, etc. sent home. In contrast, we got VERY little info from my kid’s kindergarten class (which may or may not be typical) and it was a difficult adjustment for us parents not to know what was going on in the classroom! (And of course, kid told us nothing!)
^this was the biggest adjustment for me.
My oldest just finished kindergarten and all the above advice is really good. If possible, try to visit the school and play on the playground a few times over the summer. This made kiddo excited about school ex) I can’t wait to play with my new friends on the slide on the upper playground or the swings on the lower playground.
Who knows if it made a difference, but it made me feel more comfortable that at least everything wouldn’t be new on the first day. Good luck!
If there are kindergarten play dates, I would go and meet some of the other parents and kids. Or if you have a neighborhood listserv, you can post asking if there are other rising kindergarteners who live near you who would want to get together. It’s nice (for you and your daughter) to have a familiar face on the first day. also I found that making friends with some of the other families helped me feel less like like I was sending my child to school in a vacuum- I could ask them if they were having the same experiences, or we could swap tips- especially if they were on the PTA or were room parents (I don’t have time for that, but I always felt in the loop because I could ask them about things). Also, it was helpful on days when I was running late to pick up that I could text the other parents and someone would wait with my child until I got there.
Think through the morning and evening processes, whatever those are (including bus and before/after care). If you are relying on the bus for any leg, know that it’s not always on time! Make sure your kiddo’s backpack is big enough for a file folder + water bottle + lunchbox. You may need a larger backpack than you think. Mark random days off on your calendar – there are more than daycare and sometimes they sneak up. Look into camps and other care for days off – if everyone is off those days can be challenging. Search for a FB group for your school and try to join it…those are usually pretty helpful. Or ask neighbors with older kids if they have any advice. Definitely the lack of information is a big change from daycare but you’ll adjust. Your child will probably be pretty tired for the first couple of months as they are adjusting.That’s my stream of consciousness!
My oldest is going to K also! Most of her. Friends have older siblings so at least in my district the advice is:
1. Limit activities for the first month or so.
2. Pack tons of food. Tons. Like a big filling lunch but also a billion snacks. There aren’t “snack times” but it’s good to have food for the bus or whatever.
3. If you can, organize or go to a few meet ups. Our town and PTOs do them. My kid goes to one of the big preschools in town so even though her buddies are spread across the 4 elementary schools and 3 sections at each school, she knows 10 or so kids in her school and all the neighborhood kids that will be at her bus stop.
Rug care says
How do others with kids and pets handle rug care? We have hardwood floors under rugs and we have basically just been spot cleaning as necessary (in other words, cleaning up visible spots from things that end up on the floor and moving on). I noticed that they are starting to look kind of dirty overall. Has anyone had a rug shampooed or done it yourself? Or is it better to just get a new rug?
We have a cleaning service but they just vacuum which helps but doesn’t seem to get everything.
i had a fancy Stark rug I bought before kids…. I had it cleaned recently. The company came to my house, picked it up and cleaned it at their warehouse. I would only do this every 2-3 years or so. It looked like a brand new rug upon it’s return…. and my kids have dumped all kinds of stuff all over it again.
I have rented a rug shampoo machine before for another rug. It worked well but I had to bring everything outside to do it and it was kind of a pain. I guess it kind of depends on the size of the rug and your willingness to do it.
We have our rugs professionally cleaned, but we buy vintage from estate sales. Once they’ve been professionally cleaned, we just spot clean and vacuum so far. Also, we roll up our rugs when our kids are potty training (we don’t have dogs).
Rug care says
Thanks! Do you take them somewhere to be cleaned or do they come to you?
We always take them in. We have huge rugs, but rolled up they fit in our subaru with the seats down.
We bought a beautiful cream and brown rug that was a bit of a splurge, but my husband and I both loved it (we were delusional idiots). We have four dogs, in addition to our toddler, as well as a caravan of foster animals that come through the house, so the rug was annihilated in a year even though we had it sealed when we bought it. We had it professionally cleaned and re-sealed at the one year mark for around $200 and will likely need to do this every 12-18 months to keep it looking decent. We own a carpet shampooer (because dogs) and it doesn’t work very well on our rug – definitely not as well as the professional cleaning did.
Rug care says
We made a similar delusional purchase – I love it so much though. Sigh. Did you take it somewhere to be professionally cleaned?
We just called the guy we use to have our carpets professionally cleaned and he came and did it (he has one of the machines on a truck).
This seems ridiculous but… how do I teach my 3.5-yo to get dressed and undressed? Underwear and pants are no problem but she cannot figure out how to get a shirt on and off. When I’ve tried to show her, she stretches a t-shirt beyond recognition. She can get socks off but not on. Her fine motor skills are generally okay but I am stumped. And would love to be able to let her get dressed without help.
Mine started with tank tops, which were easier — I just let her stretch them a ton; I think that’s part of the process. Then eventually she got it.
Not what you want to hear, but she might still be a little young. My 4 year old still needs help getting some shirts off, and regularly ends up putting them on backward (although she can usually take her arms out and twist the shirt around by herself). Daycare taught her to lay the shirt flat with the front down, and then sticks her arms in first and then kind of flap them down to her side to start pulling it down over her head. Socks are tricky, my kids can get them on, but the heel often ends up on the top of their foot.
My 6.5 year old boy still struggles with putting on socks!
Irish Midori says
Same! And they never match. And the shirt is backward 90% of the time. Oh well.
Thanks for that! Her friends can largely dress themselves, but it’s reassuring to hear. I won’t push it.
Ditto, tight long socks (like ski socks) are still tricky for my 7.5 yr old. Daycare also taught the ‘lay out flat and flip it on’ method for shirts/coats- maybe try that to start?
Emily S. says
My DD didn’t really get this until age 4. It was hit or miss in the 6 months between 3.5 and 4, and then like a light switch. Occasionally, I have to demonstrate on a new shirt or one that is simply sewn weird, but I think it just comes with time.
Also, I swear dressing and undressing dolls/animals helps A TON with this. May be worth getting some functional skills dolls with the zipper/snaps/string ties on their vests?
To this day I am excellent at tying teeny tiny bows thanks to the minuscule aprons on calico critter clothing…
Janet Lansbury had an episode on her podcast which I found helpful on this subject. Basically she advocates a lot of narrating as you go and also telling your child wha to do physically in order to be helpful as you dress them.
Thank you for asking. My 4.5 year old really struggles with dressing himself (partially just wants us to do it for him but also legit struggles). I was under the impression that all other kids have been self dressing for at least a year at this point.
Same impression here – 4.5 year old sometimes can dress himself, sometimes refuses to do it or takes a really long time to do it and goofs off, and sometimes legitimately can’t do it (especially socks and swimsuits with liners). I thought every other kid was self-sufficient by this point – nice to know that we’re not alone :)
My 4 year old still struggles with dressing himself. He can put on his underwear and pull-on shorts, but he cannot manipulate snaps or buttons well. He can put on a t-shirt about 25% of the time, if I lay it out for him. He struggles with socks but can do it. His shoes have velcro. The whole process together takes him so long that he either avoids doing it completely, loses focus, or has a melt-down about some aspect. I try not to do it for him completely, just sit near him and chat/direct/encourage and give him an occasional assist (for example, a small tug down on the shirt). It still takes 5-10 minutes on a good day.
Carry-on Stroller says
Does anyone have experience with strollers that fold small enough to fit in an overhead airline compartment? I’m looking at the pockit and yoyo specifically but would love to hear any positive recommendations for other brands! This would be for a third child (only one who needs a stroller) to take along on family trips. Thanks!
Bitsy Contours. It was not in the running for me until I saw it in the store, and we have traveled on several international and domestic flights with it now, all in the overhead bin. Very reasonably priced and it’s become our “go to” travel stroller.
Thank you, hadn’t come across that option and will check it out.
Is there a reason not to gate-check? We’ve always gate-checked ours and it is waiting right at the airplane door within a few minutes of exiting.
Not OP but gate checked strollers can get damaged, not show up,or get put in with regular checked luggage (Heathrow is notorious for this) . Our youngest is 2 so we’re done investing in strollers but we’ve had a lot of gate checking drama and if I had a time machine I’d invest in one of these folding ones.
Yes, this is it exactly, our previous gate-checking experiences were terrible. Damage to strollers, long delays waiting for the stroller, etc.
Yikes! Sounds like we’ve just been lucky so far — good to know for the future. Some friends of ours loved their yoyo.
This. We were once connecting onwards from Heathrow to Zurich. Not only was our stroller not at the gate – even though we had a toddler plus twins, but no one knew where it was. Eventually they found it on the baggage carousel. DH had to enter the UK to claim it while I stayed inside security with the three kids (and no stroller!). It was the worst.
We’ve used mountain buggy nanos every since then and we bring them on every single time. But, I bought them just before the yoyo came out and I would get the smallest one possible now as the nanos are a bit unwieldy when folded. They are fanastic in use including at the beach.
Heathrow point blank doesn’t give strollers back at the gate, ditto CDG in Paris. It’s super annoying if you’re traveling with multiple small kids.
You can gate check strollers as long as they’re reasonably light/compact, like an umbrella stroller. That said, I have friends to love their Babyzen Yoyo stroller.
We’ve also never had a problem (domestically or internationally) with our Britax B-Agile.
We have the yo-yo and LOVE it for travel. It really is as light and easy to fold/carry as advertised and it fits easily in the overhead bin. And for a travel stroller, it feels relatively sturdy and has a decent basket and sunshade. I highly recommend getting the car seat adapters if you have a compatible infant car seat. Our nuna snaps in easily and it still folds the same with the adapters attached.
I will add that we have friends who rave about the mountain buggy nano. I think it might be slightly cheaper than the yo-yo.
We loved our Yoyo. It’s not ideal if you’ve got a kid who wakes at the slightest bounce as the wheels are smaller than some of the big jobs our friends have had, but it folds easily and has held up well through multiple trips across the Atlantic. Get the optional clips (second hand if you can) and you can pop a carseat onto it as well, which has been great when we’ve been travelling somewhere we’d be driving on the other end. It also takes up less space in our entryway and means I don’t worry about getting early to daycare (or our local pub…) to get one of the few non-collapsible buggy spots!
our mountain buggy nano is a workhorse. it is tiny and has been on dozens of flights. it is small enough for the overhead but we usually gatecheck. my large 4 yo can usually hop in wiht the baby as well.
there’s also the minu which looks promising.
^This. Our mountain buggy nano is the best. We originally bought it just for travel but it’s our full-time stroller now (it usurped the uppababy cruz in our house). We’ve flown with it loads of times and it has done well. We also used it for a recent NYC trip where it was easier to babywear in the subway and use the stroller on the streets. Folded easily and was easy for one of us to carry/hold through the subway system while the other wore the toddler. Highly recommend.
I love our Minu. Super easy fold and really lightweight. I just wish they had more car seat adapter options…
I LOVE OUR MINU. Unlike the above commenters, we had and despised the Nano. It just didn’t work for us. The folding was unwieldy and it didn’t feel sturdy at all. We sold it and bought the Minu last year and it’s going strong.
We had the pockit and liked it for travel. It folded up enough to be put under the seat. It was lightweight and easy to use. It doesn’t seem very durable–we only used it occasionally for about a year, and it didn’t break, but it started becoming difficult to fold. (We only stopped using it because Kiddo refuses to sit in a stroller, or anywhere really.)
CPA Lady says
Sorry in advance for the novel… I’m having the age old freak out about whether or not we should move to a more expensive neighborhood with a better school district (School A) vs taking the gamble that the mediocre elementary school (School B) we’re zoned for will continue to improve. Kiddo starts Kindergarten in a year. Kiddo goes to daycare in the better school district, so we know that neighborhood well, and already know a bunch of people who live there. This neighborhood is one over from ours. I love it. It’s very social and safe, kids walk to school in packs, parents are very involved in School A.
School B went from being ranked one of the worst in the entire state five years ago, to solidly mediocre/average due to a variety of factors that have changed over the last few years– open enrollment, being focused on for improvement by the school board, new principal, change in curriculum, renovations, more young families moving into our neighborhood after being priced out of the adjacent neighborhood, etc.
We have the resources to move to School A, but we really love our house and our neighborhood and our cheaper lifestyle. School B is a lot smaller than School A, which I like. Also, the kindergarten teacher at School B used to teach pre-k at my kid’s daycare and she’s wonderful. I also like that School B is more diverse, both racially and economically. Especially since she’s going to be going to an absurdly expensive private school later on and I’d like for her to get an idea that there are other kinds of people in this world besides rich white people.
We could always start her out in School B and switch her to private elementary school if it turns out to be bad. Or move. Ugh. My main concern is that she will not be academically prepared to go to private middle/high school.
If we moved to the better school district, we have the option to do public middle school as well, since their middle school is amazing and the one we’re zoned for is one of the worst in the state. She’ll go to private high school no matter what, since our neighborhood and the expensive neighborhood are both zoned for the same really awful high school.
For reference, the stats are as follows:
Good elementary school =
Ranked in the top 10% in the state, 20% free lunch, 90%+ test scores & academic performance
Diversity – 80%W/10%AA/6%H/4%A
Mediocre elementary school =
Ranked in the bottom 40%, 80% free lunch, 40% test scores & academic performance
Diversity – 55%W/30%AA/15%H
Can you open enroll in School A? That is an option in some places, although you may have to pay some “transfer tuition,” it’s nothing like private school tuition. Barring that, I would probably start her in School B and see how it goes. Especially in K-3 you don’t need to worry about academic preparation that much, and you can probably supplement at home. If in a couple years you feel like the school isn’t meeting her academic needs, you can consider private school or moving before upper elementary. All of this is assuming School B is safe. If you have any concerns about her safety there, I would move/go private from the beginning.
Agree – safety is the hard line I draw. If the school isn’t as good because of ESL/wealth/parental involvement, many many studies have shown that kids from wealthier families with involved parents still do just as well.
I would say (and I don’t know how competitive your area is) that in our HCOL area it is MUCH easier to test into a competitive private school young (K/1st) than it is in 4th grade and above, you aren’t the only parent trying to ‘save on tuition when it doesn’t matter as much’. You may want to look into what the testing looks like for older kids and if you might need a tutor (yes, I realize a tutor to get your kid into private school sounds insane but it is a thing).
I would move the the better district and keep her there through grade 12. Skip the unnecessary private school tuition. I live in an urban district, I know it well professionally, and I would never put my kids in school here. My parents valued me getting a good education above all else and I want that for my kids.
I tried the mediocre school approach once and realized it’s really difficult for families with two working parents. I kept getting reassurances that it’s fine as long as you’re “involved”, but I realized I do not have the type of career where I can be “involved”. I can ensure homework is done and permission slips are signed, but I (and our household) do not have the bandwidth to basically homeschool my kid in the evenings to pick up the slack of a mediocre school. It’s fine if your kid is coming home at 2:45 every day and you’re doing extra worksheets/activities, but when you’re walking in the door at 5:30 PM or later with an exhausted 5-year-old, neither one of you is in the headspace to do additional worksheets/workbooks etc.
I don’t think a 5 year old needs additional worksheets to learn well in a mediocre school. Maybe if you’re talking about third or fourth graders and a very deficient curriculum, they would need actual work outside of school to remain on grade level. I think when people talk about kids of “involved” parents doing better they mean parents who spend time with their kids, who talk to their kids in an age-appropriate way, who read to their kids, etc. Totally possible to do without any worksheets and even if you don’t get home until 5:30.
Personally, I would stay put for elementary school. From what I’ve read and heard from a friend who is in education, elementary doesn’t matter that much really. Middle school is all about study habits and then high school is where they focus on the “real” learning, I guess? She may struggle a little bit in middle school but that doesn’t seem like such a big deal to me. You can always hire a tutor and work on study skills with her then.
Our kids are currently enrolled in a school with extremely similar stats as your School B. We went into it with the idea that if it didn’t work, we could always switch. There are tough parts but the exposure to diversity (economic, racial) has been so so worth it, both for the kids and for us. We are friends with different types of people than we would be otherwise, and so are our kids. Our School B is also really small and we love that — it’s really contributed to feeling part of a community.
We’re also in an equivalent to your School B, and both work full time so have little effort to pour into our kid’s schooling. Our middle school is also “awful”, and the high school is too (they get horrible scores primarily due to the diversity of languages and backgrounds, as well as an inequity in school funding between the neighborhoods). We started in the elementary, with the idea that a lot can change by the time they got to middle school age. And it’s bearing out – the middle school is improving while still maintaining the diversity. Our neighbors say the high school is also great, although we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. The elementary has been fantastic so far – the curriculum is the same between the two districts and I’ve found that the teachers are just as passionate, if not more so, in our smaller school.
I feel strongly AGAINST putting my kids in the top ranked school district and actively avoided it for a couple reasons. 1) We believe there’s more to life than academics and college prep, which is blasphemy to those in that district. 2) We make well into the six figures. We are not poor and I refuse to live somewhere that implies we are. 3) Having friends, good friends, with different backgrounds and experiences is the biggest key to success in life (at least how we define it). 4) The pressure cooker atmosphere and corresponding drug/ anxiety problem in that school is not anything I want my kids exposed to.
Thank you for your second paragraph, which I could have written if I were that articulate about it. My husband sometimes talks about moving to a better school district/sending the kids to private school, and the best I’ve been able to say to him is that I don’t want to have to work 3x as hard to make sure my kids turn out well-adjusted and not snobs.
Our middle school and high school are actually very good by 95% of the country’s standards, it’s just that the homogeneously extremely wealthy (instead of just medium-wealthy/mixed, like where we live) pockets of the DC suburbs have schools that are even better.
I 100% agree with your second paragraph and sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who feels that way. Thanks for reaffirming that I’m not alone!
I’m so happy to hear responses that say I’m not alone! I was worried as we often feel like outliers and bad parents. But yes, we’re in the Chicago area and it’s similar to DC – those homogeneous extremely wealthy suburbs have top-notch schools, but at (what I perceive as) a very very high cost in the items I listed.
We chose option B as well- for all the reasons you describe- and couldn’t be happier. Like the OP, I was always pretty sure that we would eventually send our kids to private school because my husband and I were private school kids and value the smaller classes, etc at the middle and high school years. It made no sense to us to spend more on housing and property taxes and feel poor in comparison to our neighbors (instead of profoundly grateful for what we have as we are in our economically diverse neighborhood). Our older daughter just got in to one of the most “selective” private day schools in the city for middle school, so she’s done just fine academically, and she’s so much more comfortable with people from other backgrounds than I was at her age.
School B for sure.
So much of test scores reflects the demographics of parents. Assuming school B is safe, I would have no concerns about sending my kid there. Based on what you have said, I think its test scores is largely a factor of the lower-income student population reflected in the 80% free lunch program
A friend had a bad experience in a school that sounds like your School B, but it wasn’t because of the quality of the education. As one of the only affluent, educated, dual white collar career families in the school, they were ostracized socially and it spilled over and resulted in their kids being ostracized socially too. Diversity is good, but if your kid is the minority in the socioeconomic sense that can be tough too.
What do your neighbors say about the school? Safety is a hard line, but test scores reflect demographics more than anything. Our elementary is very evenly split W/B/H, and has 40% English language learners and 50% free lunch, and the test scores correlate very closely. The school’s zone includes my neighborhood of single-family homes, and a high-rise apartment building where a lot of working class families, including many recent immigrants, live. All of the (majority upper middle class professional) neighbors I’ve talked to love the school and the experience their kids have there.
I was so happy when my son recently asked, “can I go back to [school] for 1st grade? I really like it there.” For elementary school, that’s the most important thing for me.
Coach Laura says
I would focus on middle school and where you want to be. Yes, it’s 6-7 years, but at that point you may not want to move or your daughter may not want to leave her friends.
My kids went to a great elementary school. I don’t know about stats but it was much better liked than the next school over (same district) solely because the new principal was so dedicated and inspired and really fought for her teachers. Therefore, the good teachers clamored to get to this school and it was fabulous for the 8 years we were there. The other school had a so-so principal and so-so results.
But where it was really important was middle school. My daughter went to a school with low scores and lots of stress similar to the low-achievement school you mentioned. She was in a magnet small-class program within the school. But I was not able to protect my daughter from things like books, phones and jackets being stolen when she was in the cafeteria, gym or hallways. In elementary school, personal safety is not much of an issue but bullying and theft are in middle school. Think Lord of the Flies.
My son went to the same elementary school but a different middle school because he was in the gifted program. The middle school was general population otherwise with about the same demographics but again the principal was fabulous and the school was well-run in a way my daughter’s wasn’t. He didn’t have any problems with theft or bullying and he was an 80 pound weakling.
Since you can’t control much (principal or teachers) I’d move to the place with the good middle school now if possible. And then make the decision about high school later.
I would move and take advantage of a great elementary and (free) middle school. You love that neighborhood, it’s social, safe, and you an afford it. I say this as a person of color — a diverse school is great, but it needs to be grounded in strong academics. I went to a low ranked school and for all of its diversity, I was not academically prepared later on.
Anyone know where I can get a Bed Bath and Beyond coupon? I have thrown more of these away in my lifetime than I can count, and now that I actually want to use one I can’t find one. Aside from digging through my neighbor’s recycling bins, is there a way to download a code or something?
usually I just google “bed bath and beyond coupon” while in line at check out and find something to show the cashier :)
RetailMeNot always has online coupons
Yes, I suppose it was only a matter of time before they got me on their email list!
I posted about this on the main site weekend thread but am hoping for additional responses. Also, after thinking about it a little more, I think my real issue is a bit different than I originally put it.
How do you navigate the mental shift between work and home, especially during particularly demanding periods at work? DH has recently taken on a LOT of the responsibility/emotional labor at home so that I can truly focus on giving it 110% at work (I’m the primary breadwinner), which has been going really well. The only problem is that I feel so disconnected from our family and my life outside of work. Suddenly, I’m able to work much longer hours, which I really need to do, and devote my full attention to work, but that means I’m physically absent at home a lot more and somewhat mentally, too. I want to make the most of my time with my DH and kiddos (4 and almost 2) but feel like I’m in lawyer-mode all the time right now. On the one hand, I’m killing it at work; on the other, I’m feeling incredibly guilty/nervous about not being more involved at home. So, I think my real question is how to maintain this new dynamic, which is objectively working well for everyone, and still feel connected/fulfilled at home? TIA!
Is this just for a busy period or are you guys making this the new default?
My husband and I seem to take turns leaning in/out professionally, and when I’m in “lean in” mode it helps me to remember that it’s temporary. It’s just for 6-12 months, this is what partners/spouses do-support each other- and I shouldn’t’ feel guilty about it because one day it will be my turn to lean out a bit. I remind myself that it’s AWESOME that I have such a great marriage and teammate that I get to have that option!
In terms of making it work, I also try to be conscious of just how hard it is to be home with kids and do the evening routine etc. Even if I’ve had a hard day, I do try to walk in the door and say “I’m going to change out of my work clothes quickly, then I’ll be RIGHT back down if you need to go to the bathroom or take a minute or anything”. Or, if I walk in right at the end of dinner, I’ll immediately say “OK I’ll go ahead and run toddler’s bath and get PJs laid out. Elementary schooler- come up with me while I do that and let’s chat about your day!”. Jumping straight into a task when I walk into the door helps me shift from “high strung bossy anonanonanon” to “patient at home anonanonanon”.
It’s interesting that you said that jumping in helps you to transition, because I’m the opposite. I need a little ritual to switch from one mode to the other. The physical act of putting away my work bag, getting changed, and putting my hair up helps me to transition to at-home mode, and I need to do it alone if at all possible. It only takes 5 minutes, but I need that transition time, and then I can jump into the tasks.
When I have these times, it really helps for me to see photos and get updates. That’s sort of a personal preference, I know some people feel like it makes them miss their kiddo more. But I like to just see what he’s up to, and it keeps me in the loop – like if I see a picture from dinner I’ll comment (we use photo share on the phones of the I) “wow, looks like we’re eating chicken again?!” or something.
Something else we have done, not sure how possible this is, is set up a call or quick meeting (café etc) during the day where DH and I can connect on logistics. I’m particularly bad about being able to discuss ordering more wipes or planning birthday parties at 11pm after a long day. DH is better, but that’s also because he has to have a decompression period even if he gets home at 11pm – he’ll stay up and watch TV to wind down. I need to be in bed ASAP after a long day and have no mental capacity left, so a daytime chat is really helpful for me to stay in the loop when times are busy.
Lana Del Raygun says
I think it helps to have some kind of ritual for transitioning to home mode, like Mr Rogers changing his shoes and putting on his cardigan. Not that I’m always on top of this habit, but when I get home I’m supposed to take off my shoes and hang up my coat, give everyone a kiss, and put my lunch tupperware in the dishwasher. It helps me feel like I’m putting work away and I can shift to paying attention to home things.
I tell myself to “be present when present” So during the evening routine, try to put the phone/laptop down and focus on your home life. Your kids are still pretty young so bedtime is probably early and you can jump back online if needed. Similar to how you made some changes at home so you can focus 100% on work while you are there, you may need to make some changes at work to protect your home time. I realize that there are demanding times where you need to be immediately available to your clients/co-workers, but try not to let the habit of being glued to your phone make it seem like that is always the case. So block out evening time or weekend mornings as out of pocket time and tell people you will get back to them after 9pm or whatever.
I’m with Pogo- lunch dates or daytime logistics call help so much. I’m much more alert and able to focus during daylight than at 9:30 at night when I’m crashing.
Emily S. says
I may be projecting here, because I have kids of the same age, but you may also be feeling a bit disconnected because your kids are growing more independent. Age 3 to 4 has been a big leap in our house, and DD can now dress herself, get stuff from the fridge, etc. and really likes to play by herself now. So, there are fewer moments when we can connect or talk. Same for almost 2 year old: she now likes to assert her independence, even though she isn’t capable, so there are few moments of physical and emotional connection. That transition was pleasant at first — fewer “mom! mom! I need you!” — but now I miss that chance to give the milk cup, carry her down the stairs, just be needed. Could that be happening in your family, too?
Like others have said, things that help me are staying plugged in during the day (with pictures from caregivers and check in calls or emails with DH), jumping right in when I get home, and really making weekends count. (For me, that’s leaving my phone out of reach on Saturdays and Sundays, not doing any work, bring the kids along on any errands, play with them, bake brownies, etc., just with them.) As for DH and I, lunch once a week really helps (especially if you don’t talk about the kids; use text or email or a phone call to talk boring logistics.) Also, I think that viewing this as a season of life may help a little.
One thing that helps me is that I never do work on the commute home. That gives me time to switch gears.
Rehab Ideas says
One of my friends had surgery for a mass on her brain last week – she has a 2.5 year old and a 6 month old. She hasn’t been able to walk yet b/c of the swelling. She is in a rehab for at least as week – I want to send her some sort of uplifting package potentially from amazon as I won’t be able to drop it off. Any ideas???
I think this might be a case for flowers and a card, if she’s going to be in an a hospital or hospital like setting for a week, something bright and cheerful might be uplifting.
Vera Bradley travel blanket. Cheerful, warm, soft. Great for rest and recovery. Easy to get from Amazon.
Coach Laura says
I’d send an eye mask (easier to sleep in hospital – hated being woken up when they turned on the light to check me). I have NMM Global Mulberry Natural Silk Sleep Mask for Women & Men with Elastic Strap, Super Soft Sleeping Eye Mask for Adults 9 Color Options (Navy Blue) from amazon. In blue it might be better than a light color in case she bleeds on it.
I like the blanket idea. If you know her size and style well enough you could get a long cardigan or cozy sweater that tunic length. I hated wearing hospital gowns while walking around but this would be cozy and could cover her butt. She could wear it later while recovering and at home.
If she likes teas, a sampler of flavored teas would be good and the nurses aides can get her hot water. Maybe a sampler with a pretty mug she can take home.
A portable cell phone charger was a godsend because it’s hard to plug the phone into the wall to charge. Portable is nice and easy.
School starts in 3 weeks, and I am NOT READY for that transition. There is so much more I want to do as a family this summer! Evening swims, day trips, etc. Time is running out. (I can’t breathe a word of this to my SAHM friends, who are more than ready to be done with summer.) The good news is that since both kids are in a summer program, they’re pretty much forced to maintain a bedtime/morning routine. But I have not missed the homework, nor the extracurricular activities.