My daughter was devastated in her own six-year-old way when RBG died. As a tribute to the Notorious RBG, she wore her Piccolina Trailblazer RBG shirt.
Piccolina makes a series of trailblazer tees, sweatshirts, and long johns featuring original art depicting inspirational women. I love that they feature the famous (Amelia Earhart) and the not-so-famous-but-should-be (Mabel Ping-Hua Lee, who as a 16-year-old was already an activist and suffragist, and later became the first Chinese-American woman to get a PhD in economics).
Given it’s Black History Month, I’m checking out their female Black trailblazers for both my daughter and son.
Piccolina’s Trailblazer collection ranges from $28 (tees) to $56 (sweatshirts). They’re available in sizes 2T–14 for kids, and there are adult versions for some designs, too!
P.S. Happy Purim to those who celebrate!
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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
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And — here are some of our latest threadjacks of interest – working mom questions asked by the commenters!
- If you’re a working parent of an infant with low sleep needs, how do you function at work when you’re in the throes of baby’s sleep regression?
- Should I cut my childcare down to 12 hours a month if I work from home?
- Will my baby have speech delays if we raise her bilingual?
- Has anyone given birth in a teaching hospital?
- My child eats everything, and my friends’ kids do not – how should I handle? In general, what is the best way to handle when your child has some skill/ability and your friend’s child doesn’t have that skill/ability?
- ADHD moms, give me your tips to help with things like behavior in the classroom, attention to detail, etc?
- I think I suffer from mom rage…
- My husband and kids are gone this weekend – how should I enjoy my free time?
- I’m struggling to be compassionate with a SAHM friend who complains she doesn’t have enough hours of childcare.
- If you exclusively formula fed, what tips do you have for in the hospital and coming home?
- Could I take my 4-yo and 8-yo on a 7-8 day trip to Paris, Lyon, and Madrid?
Boston OBGYN says
Any recommendations for a Boston OB? Ideally looking for someone affiliated with Beth Israel but I will take other names too – needs to be in Boston proper since I do not have a car. Thank you very much in advance!
So with the caveat that she was my OBGYN for years but never provided me with OB care bc we moved away from Boston a few months before my first pregnancy – Allison Packard at MGH. She delivered my friend’s babies and she had a great experience with her as well.
I had a good experience with Boston OBGYN (right off the Brookline Village T stop). They are affiliated with Beth Israel and were lovely and responsive. I especially liked Brenda Baker, but all the doctors were great.
I agree with this. I saw Mimi Yum there for my first. I found Beth Israel to be a bit overwhelming to deliver as a first time mom. I wish I had looked into hiring a doula for support/advocacy – for a variety of reasons unrelated to Boston ObGyn, I didn’t have the best experience at BI.
Boston Legal Eagle says
I see doctors in various Harvard Vanguard locations and for both of my pregnancies, I went to the OB practice at the Copley location. For pregnancies, you get a team of one doctor and one midwife, which I liked (I really liked both of the midwives that I saw there). For my first, both doctor and midwives delivered at Beth Israel on Brookline Ave., but for the second only the doctors delivered at Beth Israel and the midwives at Newton Wellesley hospital. I had both of my kids at that Beth Israel (rooms are nice and spacious BTW and overall a nice experience). It didn’t really matter in the end, as I had whichever doctor was on call that day for my actual deliveries. I’m not sure what their policies are now, but I’d recommend the Harvard Vanguard network in general. If you’re closer to Kenmore, their OB practice is bigger and that’s where the big ultrasounds are.
I delivered twice at Tufts and had phenomenal experiences. They aren’t the newest or the shiniest, but the care is really top notch. I saw both Megan Evans and Laura Baecher-Lind at the Tufts clinic for prenatal care and loved them both, plus it was so convenient to be right off of the Orange Line.
A recommendation of where not to go – I was a patient at MGH for my first pregnancy. I miscarried at 11 weeks and found the doctors and nurses there to be uncaring almost to the point of being cruel. Hard stop, don’t recommend.
Think these are reasonable to tackle with a 2.5 year old? I’d make the dough and let her smash it together.
Definitely. Depending on your tolerance for mess she can help make the dough.
With a 2.5-year-old I would just use one color. If you let her knead in one color of food coloring and stop before it’s completely mixed, it will look even more like tie-dye than the recipe photo. If you do three colors and let her play with the combined dough, it will turn into a murky brown.
My solution would be to just give her a segment to make ‘her’ cookies and then you yourself make the Pinterest worthy, fun ones.
FWIW, my kids LOVE stuff like this. Pretzels are a big hit – the kids don’t care how they look or taste really. It’s a good sensory activity.
We recently made these without putting the chocolate heart on top, and the kids loved rolling the cookies in the colored sugar and helping me gently squish them flat. May be less messy to get different colors of sugar instead of food coloring if you’re interested (also, they were DELICIOUS)
Awesome thanks all! My friend and her wee one are visiting and I thought it would be nice to try and do something fun for the little one other than let her pet the kitty.
If it’s your friend’s child, I’d err on the side of colored sugar or frosting that you colored beforehand or using a variety of sprinkles to decorate. Food coloring and 2.5 year old could quickly become a dyed child that your friend has to deal with all evening!
Very very nice of you to think of a fun activity for them, you’re a great friend!
This is a great tip thanks!
+1. For a visiting preschooler, especially if you’re not used to wrangling little ones, keep it simple and easy to clean up. Food coloring + preschooler is one thing in your own house with easy access to a bathtub and a change of clothes. It’s a whole other level of stress at someone else’s house.
A simple, low-mess entertainment for this age group is a large cardboard box plus a box of washable fat crayons.
I’m going to try a cookie based activity! Most people seem to think it will be fine.
Because somebody will need to know this – whitening toothpaste will get most dye/food coloring off of skin.
(This also works for sunless tanning mishaps and hair dye problems.)
I *need* you to write a book, Clementine. I’ll edit it!
GENIUS. thank you
No Face says
I learn so much random stuff from this website. Thanks!
Lol, you guys are funny.
My book of parenting advice called, ‘No, I don’t know what I’m doing either.’
This is my favorite toddler baking recipe.
Pre measure everything into tupperware and then have the kid pour and stir. If you do it as cupcakes, it’s a bit messy, but then you can have the kid put in the cupcake liners and dip the cooled cupcakes in the ganache. My kid has been helping me make this recipe since she was two!
Awesome thank you! Baking is a real love of mine so I’m eager to share it. And my friend is pretty chill, I think she’ll be happy to not be entertaining her daughter for at least a little while.
Maybe just tell your friend that you plan to bake so she can bring a change of clothes for kiddo just in case.
To be extra, I have sewn her a toddler smock. So she can do this in a diaper and that if she turns up fancy.
OMG that’s adorable. She’s going to have a blast :)
I just wanted to say, you sound like an awesome, thoughtful friend.
Anyone on here have four kids? Tell me it’s doable?!
This is definitely the morning sickness talking (I posted the other day) but having WHAT HAVE WE DONE feelings today! I think I’m also nervous because DH has been wfh and not traveling for work and now there’s an end in sight so I think things will be getting harder already. I work full time too but closer to home and don’t travel. Love my three kids. They’re the best! Want a big family!
I’m also dreading going from getting “what a cute family!” looks to “wow that’s a big family!” looks wherever we go. It just feels like we’re jumping the shark a bit haha
Boston Legal Eagle says
Congratulations! I don’t have 4 kids but I tend to think of “big families” nowadays as anything more than 2, so I don’t know that you would get more looks. Plus, I think you may find that going from 3 to 4 is not as challenging as any of the other transitions (0 to 1, 1 to 2, 2 to 3 – all seem more significant). And your kids will now each have a buddy (nothing against families with 3, but I’ve heard that one tends to get left out). At this point, you’ll probably just need more help with logistics in terms of getting the older kids to various activities and hopefully you have room in the budget with DH travelling.
I told DH this is absolutely our last but you guys are making me think four would be great, maybe we could do it after all! Ah, pregnancy hormones.
haha i’m bringing down the whole corporettemoms board with me!
-she says as she puts a note to remind herself to speak to doctor about diclegis or zofran later today…!
I don’t have four, but pregnant with our third and I get the same feeling. It’s going so well now! What if the baby makes it 1000000x harder?! I’m comforted by your words coming from having three, and I bet someone with four would say the same to you. It will be great and it’s very normal to have these anxieties while pregnant! I actually had the same feelings with each of my first two and now can’t imagine life without them.
I think I’ve actually felt this way for every kid. FWIW, our third is a straight-up delight. She’s to blame for number four! I think you’ll love having three! Thank you for the encouragement!
My third is a straight-up delight, too. He’s now 4 and has been the easiest, happiest kid at every stage (maybe because we parented differently on take three, who knows). My husband was very on the fence about a third, but we’re both glad I “won” that negotiation.
My MIL has four children and is constantly saying that the fourth kid tipped them over into “big family” territory. It was doable and she loved it, but it required adaptation. Her kids loved it too. The fourth even grew up to have four children himself. This is not to scare you, just to encourage you to lean in to the idea that you will have a “big family.”
I think we’ll love it. We’re pretty chill parents. I’m going to lean in.
We’ve been telling people for years we might want four – hoping to go ahead and forestall all the “was it on purpose” questions!
Congratulations! I grew up in a family of four kids and wanted four myself. It wasn’t in the cards due to fertility issues, which still makes me a little sad.
Some people are always giving sideways glances for something, so if they weren’t giving you a “big family” look it would be something else probably. Ignore ignore ignore.
CPA Lady says
^ agree. It’s always something. I’ve had a few people suggest I’m not a real mom/I’m ruining my kid’s life because I have an only child. Someone will always have some “helpful” unsolicited negative input. Whatever. Ya gotta do what makes you happy.
My husband is one of 4 and it is great! 2 girls and 2 boys, so everyone got to have a brother and a sister. :)
I’m sorry it wasn’t in the cards for you – it’s always sad to have that alternate ending pass you by, no matter what.
I will probably be so busy I’ll have to ignore. Thanks for the encouragement!
It’s going to be great! I’m the eldest of four and while we’re not all bffs as adults, we have each other’s backs. Plus now we have ALL THE COUSINS. You will get a lot of comments, but my mom (who’s very dry) would shrug them off. “Yes they’re all mine. Yes, I know how to prevent it.” I know I’m an outlier, but DH and I both have 4+ kid families (DH is one of SEVEN), my bffs had four kids, four kids and six kids in their families (we’re not Catholic or Mormon). We currently have one, but we hope to have four someday.
I love cousins! We aren’t particularly close to my one sibling who has kids and the other may not have any, so that’s another reason we want a big family. I have noticed that kids who grew up with four often want four (this thread is confirming it!) and that’s got to be a good sign? I’m definitely feeling encouraged.
You’re jumping the shark, but in the best way! I only have three but I wanted four. My neighbors have four, ages 5-14, and I love their family. They lean into the big family-ness, the parents are chill and let their kids be kids, and the kids are a little self-regulating unit and an instant party when they’re all together. Both of my parents are one of four, and although the siblings are all scattered to the winds around the country, the big family holidays and reunions are great.
I hope your morning sickness resolves soon!
Love this. I envision an instant party. This is going to out me, but my kids already have a “whistle” which is just this weird tune they yell at the top of their lungs when they want the others to follow them somewhere. If that’s not self-regulating, I’m not sure what is.
The family “whistle” plus the delightful third child may have been what pushed me over the edge. Thanks for these anecdotes! Very appreciated today!
hahaha we have an actual family whistle, inherited from my husband’s family. My kids can’t whistle, yet, though, so they also yell “dooo doo dooooo!” at each other.
Family whistles are endlessly useful, though. :) Need to get someone’s attention when their back is to you outdoors, or they’re in a different room? Need to find the person you’re separated from in a store? Need to call kids home for dinner when they’re running around with the neighbors? whistle does it all, and is much less annoying to me than yelling someone’s name. I made fun of my husband so much before I saw it in action the first time, but his parents were on to something.
Captain Von Trapp was totally on to something, wasn’t he? Along with your inlaws!
Love that we aren’t the only ones with this quirk!
No Face says
I have multiple friends with four kids, and I plan to adopt myself into that family size eventually. Jump over that shark!
Love it. I am 98% sure we are done at 3, but as I told someone, “we already are outnumbered and have a minivan, why not 4?!” (Answer: I’m tired of paying for daycare and big houses are tough to find, much less afford, in our HCOL area.)
Hah! One of the best parents I know said her husband suggested fostering because ‘Well, we’re already outnumbered and the minivan has 2 extra seats.’
My DH would say this. He also loves babies (I’m more of a toddler parent) so he’s psyched.
Yep, I am 98% sure we are done at 3 (it would be a fourth c-section and my OB says nope), but I always wanted four and we already have the minivan, so we’re holding off on the snip until we’re 100% sure we’re done… I would probably be pretty excited about a surprise caboose baby (and then alternately terrified/miserable/anxious/regretful and so on until they were born).
My husband is already snipped, but I also always wanted four (husband said nope) and would have the same feelings if he were one of the vanishingly small percentage of vasectomy failures.
Yeah, i think the sign we were going to go for four was the fact that we didn’t do snip before…!
I don’t have four, but my husband and I are both one of 4 and it makes for fun holidays and siblings who have turned into incredible support systems as adults. It may be hard, but your kids will be thankful for the experience as children and especially as adults.
Thank you for this.
Mary Moo Cow says
I don’t have 4, but I grew up babysitting a family of 4 boys, all close in age, so it’s the same thing, right? I loved it. As a young women, I wanted 4 just because of that experience. If life had played out a little differently, I might have had 4. Congrats!
My uncle was one of 4. They were spread across the country but when they got together for weddings or bar mitzvahs there was a very special and awesome energy. And they each have a different relationship with each other.
Can anybody talk about the transition to having a stay at home partner? Any good resources for things we should discuss before deciding for my husband to stay home? We’ve been toying with this idea for a while, but a jump in my income is coinciding with a shuffle in my husband’s work team that’s going to give him a lot more work without any more pay, and it just no longer feels worth it for him to be miserable in a job that’s only bringing in 1/4 of what I make. He’s great with our toddler. The problem is with household work– I’m just the master of ceremonies, all the time. He does specific things I ask him to but really doesn’t “run” the house in any meaningful way. We would need to totally flip that script if he stays home and I’m not sure he gets it. Looking for conversation topics, things you wish you had discussed but didn’t, things you did when making this decision that worked out well. I asked him to come up with a suggested schedule for keeping our nanny part-time (I know, huge privilege, but we love her and can afford to do this), and a list of responsibilities on top of childcare. Thinking what else along those lines we should hash out. We have a Financial Gym membership that we use to talk about budgeting issues, so we would definitely discuss this with our advisor there, but financial topics to discuss also welcome.
Had similar conversations with my (ex) husband when he was just unemployed. Below are some of my experiences and suggestions but, keep in mind, this wasn’t a great relationship so the dynamics may not apply.
Do you/will you have any kind of cleaning service or professional? I find sometimes, with men (sorry for the generalization folks) they respond better when they feel there is–in their view–a valid reason for what they’re being asked to do. For example, Cleaners are coming Thursday, here is a list of things that they require us to do before they come so they can effectively clean (put out clean sheets; tidy so they can vacuum, dust, and mop; clean out the fridge of leftovers and expired items so they can clean inside of it; etc.).
Additionally, a checklist of items he should check weekly and order more of, or even set up for auto-delivery but still monitor. (pantry staples, paper products, laundry detergent, toiletries)
Have a frank conversation about what you will and will not continue to do that you do now and the impact of the loss of income on the ability to hire outside help. If you are normally doing the dishes at 10 PM before you go to bed, is the expectation that that will no longer be the case? If you currently spend all day Saturday doing laundry, is the expectation that he will do a load a day during the week? Don’t assume, discuss.
I’d also have a conversation about the reason for keeping the nanny and the expectations there. Is the nanny going to remain part-time so that he has more time to get household tasks done and maintain the house in a certain state? So that he has time to handle phone calls about bills etc.? So he has time to schedule the kids’ appointments or take one kid to a checkup and leave the other with the nanny? Is it so he can sit down and read a book and have a break? Some combination? If he views the nanny as someone who comes so he can nap and watch Netflix and you view it as a luxury to allow him to take care of tasks without kids underfoot, that could quickly lead to resentment on both sides.
Finally, I think a conversation about the overall goal of this transition is in order. Is the goal for you both to spend less evening/weekend time on household and administrative tasks so you can enjoy your limited downtime together? Is the goal just to get him out of a miserable job? Also, take some time to decide which battles you’re going to choose.
I think you’d both need to read Fair Play and make a list of everything that needs to be done (weekly, monthly, seasonally, yearly) and really talk about it.
And you need to decide on “wants” that tend to fall on women (family pictures, Holiday Cards, holiday parties, extended family gifts and parties, the kid’s friends birthday parties). And explain how if this stuff doesn’t happen, you will probably be socially blamed for it. And are there things within your industry (dinners with the boss, parties, etc) where a SaH Wife would be a hostess to support her husband’s job? Also, how/will he do the sort of mom networking that finds good classes or the right school for your kid? (I randomly heard about our daughter’s small non-zoned public school from a mom on the playground three years before Kindergarten.)
Even if you both decide no Holiday Cards and your industry is more chill, he should at least KNOW about this stuff.
before my husband stayed home, he “helped” but didn’t run anything. I was very anxious about the transition but he assured me that he would rise to the occasion. And it took a little while, plus some gentle conversations/hints about “you might want to try…” or “I’ve personally found it helpful to…” but once he was home all the time he completely did rise to the occasion and now plans/handles everything domestic day-to-day.
I still coordinate bigger things like summer camps, filing taxes, spring cleaning projects. This works because I am the kind of person to prepare ahead of time, he’s more figure-it-out-as-I-go. It wasn’t my style but I had to let him try and fail and figure it out and he absolutely did. I hope you have the same experience.
We also kept our every-other-week cleaner and about 10 hours of nanny care, which is time for him to run errands without kids, leave the house for a workout, and work on his somewhat-monetized hobby.
It takes time, and be patient. We kept kids in full time daycare for 6 months, then dropped to part time until kindergarten. (4 or so more years, they’re early elem now)
– Dinner was immediately husband’s job. In the beginning, husband would ask what I wanted for dinner. Finally I told him, I don’t want to think about it. Same with doc appointments. I don’t know when they go to the dentist, I don’t know when they get their flu shot, I know it gets done, he manages it all.
I do all kid and sheets/towels laundry on weekends, that’s fine with me. He grocery shops, including making the grocery list. There’s a standing joke that we have a magic pantry that replenishes without me being involved.
– Without him at home I couldn’t have taken the job I have now. It’s not tons of hours, I just can’t always plan for them. Stuff pops up at the last minute and I’m flying to NYC for 2 days. Or working a late night.
– I have two girls, and in my large urban area, husband feels lonely as a main parent dad. The rest of the grown ups at the playground are moms or nannies. Play dates are tougher to organize because some people don’t want their daughter playing at our place with only a man at home. But they do playground play dates and make it work. And as you meet families some of that wears away. But I know he was lonely in the early years.
– I used to have financial panic attacks monthly, don’t anymore. This started for us right after we bought a house and had a second kid. It was a lot. We’re 6 years in and my career has taken off and it’s all thanks to this set up.
– he’s not the maid, and you’re not allowed to ask what he did all day. If he does something fun with the kids, I tell him I’d appreciate a photo or text, but he’s in charge.
– It works for us, but I feel a bit on an island as well. Not many other women with stay at home spouses in my work.
“Play dates are tougher to organize because some people don’t want their daughter playing at our place with only a man at home.” I believe you, but how incredibly depressing that people still feel this way.
I used to worry about sending my husband to drive carpool for this reason.
What ideas is he bringing to the table? How is he proposing this work?
Anonymous OP says
I told him this morning in order to have a productive conversation I really need him to propose how this works, so, exactly on the same page as you. He’s going to do that. I’m honestly really curious to see what his list is of all the things he thinks I’m doing right now, how that compares to what I actually do, and what his proposal is.
If staying home is his idea, is it because he truly wants to be a SAHD or is he just afraid to look for a better job? I ask because my husband has been in his job so long that he is genuinely afraid of the job search process. He doesn’t know how it works at his level or in the current environment, and he doesn’t have confidence in his skills and marketability. If he had to leave his job he would be completely overwhelmed and tempted to give up and take what looked like the easy way out.
This quiz might be helpful: https://quiz.thirdshift.co.uk/
Pretty sure I learned about it from a link on here.
My husband has been a stay-at-home partner for several months a couple times (on one occasion with full salary, long story) and the biggest issue was his mental health and self esteem. He picked up a lot of the household management and kid stuff without us needing to be very deliberate about it, but WOW did he get down about 1. not having adults to talk to 2. feeling like he wasn’t using his brain 3. feeling like he wasn’t being “useful.”
We had a lot of conversations about #3, and intellectually he understands the concept of invisible work, and he knows that complaining to a woman about feeling “useless” despite doing housework, childcare etc is a bad look. I appreciated the heck out of him doing all that stuff and told him as much all the time, but unless your husband has never participated in American society or consumed American media, he has a lot of internalized ideas of his role as a man and a husband and father. These almost certainly will rear their ugly head, no matter how much either of you thinks he’s an enlightened, pragmatic feminist.
You both need to think about how he’s going to maintain his sense of self. (I know, I know, if only everyone were this intentional about moms being stay-at-home!) If he has hobbies that cost money, how will he feel about spending on them when you’re earning all the money? Would he want to do gig work to engage his brain and keep skills sharp? My husband picked up some small web dev projects that really lifted his spirits, for example.
Re. hobbies that cost money, how would *you* feel about that? When I mention SAHM friends going out to lunch or having expensive hobbies, my husband always mutters something about how if I didn’t work he would not be OK with me being out there having expensive fun with my friends while he was at work. I have to admit I’d feel the same way if the roles were reversed.
Seriously? The spouses can work the hours they do because the SAHM/SAHD is providing childcare. Because they provide childcare they aren’t allowed to spend any money on lunch or have hobbies?? The working partner is earning money for the family, not just for themselves. Think of the things they prob aren’t spending money on because of the stay at home spouse – grocery shopping/more home cooked meals, CHILDCARE, cleaning services, possibly even limited or no summer camps for the kids. Stay at home spouses contribute immensely to a family economy. They shouldn’t be like children who need a limited allowance just because they are performing probably 12-14hrs/day of unpaid work.
PP at 1:43 and this is exactly my point. You need to make sure you’re on the same page about this. Even assuming both the working partner and the stay-at-home partner know that housework and childcare have value even if they’re unpaid, it’s equally important you both ACT like you know it. It might mean fighting against your gut reaction. It might mean calling out the side-eye from friends and family.
It can be a hard mental shift to go from dual earners and dual out-of-the-house workers to one person staying home, because for better or worse there’s a lot of identity tied to employment. Make sure you plan for that too, not just the nuts and bolts of who’s doing what.
That’s absurd to me. If the couple jointly makes the decision for one partner to stay home, saving the family a lot of money on daycare/nanny costs, the person who stays home just…can’t spend any money on themselves? Maybe I have a skewed perspective because daycare for two kids is more than my salary, but if I stayed home, my attitude would be I’m saving this family over $40k/year of post-tax money I can sure as sh*t go to lunch on occasion. And I know my husband feels the same way.
Yup. And the husband prob gets lunch out at least once a week. But the SAHM is relegated to PB&J because she’s not paid? Nevermind the necessary socialization it provides.
I don’t think it’s that the SAH spouse can’t spend money on themselves at all, and I agree complaining about a lunch out is not reasonable, but I have Thoughts about the SAHMs that go out to fancy, expensive, hours-long lunches every day or have very expensive hobbies.
My DH became a SAHD by circumstance last March (contract work drying up + no daycare) and I struggle with the money he wants to spend on an expensive hobby that he dreams of being a career but realistically that is very unlikely. I get jealous because I have no time to spend on my hobbies. FWIW, we sent the kids back to daycare when it opened. Even though we had discussed him being a SAHD in the past, he’s not cut out for it. His mental health is suffering and similar to above, he feels terrible about never using his brain and “only existing to cook, clean and watch the kids”.
It’s interesting to me that those of you with SAHDs keep part or full time child care (and cleaning services). I transitioned to being a SAHM and it never crossed my mind to have childcare. I think it’s great you can swing it — I guess I’m coming at this as a “gender roles” POV/discussion point. None of the SAHMs I know have care other than part-time preschool (and I don’t even want to pay for that). I would love a bimonthly cleaning service but I guess I feel…guilty? (I’ll caveat that my husband is great, makes dinner most nights and cleans up, gives me lots of time to rest on weekends, etc. And I pay all bills and handle financials.)
But in terms of having a SAHP, I’ve found it’s greatly reduced the stress level and chaos in our house, and really helped us get through the past year especially. I agree with spelling out expectations on both sides and be willing to revisit the convo monthly (maybe have a casual budget/state of affairs meeting at the start of each month).
I agree with you that there’s a big double standard and SAHMs feel more guilty than SAHDs about outsourcing. That said, most SAHMs I know do have a cleaning service and a fair amount of childcare (either preschool or K-12 school, which at least in non-pandemic times is pretty close to full-time care). Get the biweekly cleaning service! Don’t feel guilty. You have a job too, it’s just not a paid one.
K-12 school is not “pretty close to full-time care.” It’s much more difficult than day care because in many places it’s impossible to find decent after-school care, before-school care may also be necessary depending on start times, and there is the whole issue of transportation to after-school activities.
I was responding to someone who said SAHMs don’t normally have any childcare beyond part-time preschool. I know lots of SAHMs with school age kids and in normal times our public schools are in session 35 hours/week. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that’s “pretty close” to full-time care. That doesn’t mean it’s not a hard juggle for working moms! It is, I get that. The last 5-10 hours can absolutely be the hardest to cover. But K-12 school is a lot closer to full-time care than twice a week morning preschool or something.
As a working parent I agree with you– K-12 is not full time care– school gets out a couple hours before my job lets out and we need aftercare. But for a SAHP, it is? There is no competing job, that’s kind of the point.
Anon@3:20, true, school is childcare in a sense. I wasn’t thinking that because my oldest is in kindergarten and mostly remote. Also, if you have younger kids home it’s not the “break” that having a part-time nanny or keeping kids in day care is because you are still caring for kids yourself all day long
I transitioned to being a SAHM too and good god am I thankful for it this year. We do part-time preschool. I have no guilt paying for it, my daughter loves it. I think it depends where you are financially. A lot of families I know with SAHMs did it because moms salary was less than childcare for just one kid, let alone two. I am a SAHM by choice.
We don’t have other childcare for the toddler since we don’t need it, but we do not have a cleaning service (wish we did!). I just drag my kids to all errands, I think of it as good life exposure for them, and don’t get to go to the gym. I’ll get there when my youngest is in preschool in 3.5years. I have to do the cleaning on the weekends while DH watches the kids, but I keep up with it enough that it’s only 1hr
I should add that I’m in the metro NYC area and part-time preschool is about $6,000; I have nothing against it in theory and would probably make a different choice if I lived elsewhere, but that seems excessive, and we have free public preK at age 4. Good points about regular school being a form of childcare, too. But yes, when my kids are home (and up to age 4) I take them around with me to do what needs doing, and I consider the childcare and cleaning that I can get down in the 9-5 as my “job”. When my husband is home we split everything equitably in the evenings and on weekends. (And I’m quite good about sneaking off with a book for some quiet time when I’m feeling drained – I don’t feel compelled to do all.the.things just because I’m at home.)
We had a cleaning service 1x per month when we were both working, pre-kids. Having kids just meant upping the frequency to biweekly because DH and I have very, very, very different standards of what’s clean. When DH decided to stay home when DD was around 6 months, that didn’t change. I work biglaw, we keep part-time preschool for DD (when it was open, sigh) and we (now) have weekly cleaners because an active preschooler (plus us all being home all the time) just generates so much more dirt and mess than she did as a younger kid. I would expect the same if the roles were reversed? If I were the SAHM and DH were working my hours, you all would be telling me I need to add in child-care because I shouldn’t have to provide 50-60 hours a week of childcare as a SAHM. I do a lot more house and kid stuff than my working dad did, but my SAHM had part-time preschool for my sisters and a weekly cleaning service growing up too.
My husband is a SAHD. The transition was rough at first, especially because it started after he lost his job, then transitioned to being a SAHD as we figured out the extent of our son’s special needs, so we didn’t really sit down and have conversations.
The thing that’s helped my husband the most is having things that he enjoys doing and/or that make him proud. He enjoys cooking. It’s his creative outlet. So that’s one of his daily tasks, and he spends more time on it than I would. He’s also pretty handy and tech-savvy, so he maintains the house, our rental property, the cars, and the computers. Yesterday, he fixed our sagging couch and a threshold as his main “projects” for the day. He also has taken on several one-time or occasional projects that really help us long-term–buying a house and packing/moving, DIY projects, shopping insurance rates, refinancing our mortgage, etc. Your husband may have different things he finds fulfilling, but you should definitely account for those things when you decide what he’s going to be responsible for.
That’s not to say my husband gets away with only doing fun stuff–he spend at least an hour and 20 minutes in the car everyday, which he hates. He spends a substantial amount of time everyday (1-2 hours) doing chores he doesn’t enjoy.
I have not convinced my husband of the need for a system, and I never will. Let him do things his own way. It may take some ongoing conversations. There are still times when DH doesn’t do X or Y, and I end up spending my whole weekend on housework. (I already average 10-15 hours on housework on the weekends.) The thing that helps the most is telling him what impact his decision not to do X or Y had on me, my week, my mental health, etc.
CPA Lady says
Have you ever been financially reliant on each other before? My husband and I have both had times where we were financially reliant on the other while un- or underemployed for a significant period of time, pre-kid. It was a disaster both ways for completely different reasons. Our personalities are not suited for it. We were also broke, young, and immature. Hopefully you are none of those things and you can learn from our mistakes!
It will take time and there will be some disagreements. If you do go ahead and do it, I would recommend having a follow up series of check ins about how its going every so often so nothing turns into a Big Issue. I think half the crap my husband and I had huge fights about could have been dealt with if we just clearly communicated with each other on a regular basis.
Pitfalls/things to think about:
– feelings of powerlessness – when one person is making all the money, how are big financial and other decisions made? Money is power. I have never felt that more keenly than in a situation where I am financially reliant on someone or when someone is reliant on me. It’s a very strange and unsettling feeling. Power tempts you to become more of who you are. If you’re kind of controlling, being the one in sole financial charge will tempt you to become really controlling. You just have to be really aware of this. Maybe I’m a particularly horrible person, but it happened and it was surprising and unpleasant.
– job security – how secure is your job? if you lost your job, could you get another one quickly?
– disagreements on spending – if one of you is naturally a lot more spendy than the other, this arrangement will highlight that and it may cause additional tension. I’m the spendy one and my husband was a d*&% about me spending money when I was unemployed, which made me feel hurt and resentful. When he was unemployed he was a big martyr about it and then resented me even though I never told him he “couldn’t” spend money.
– leisure time – how much leisure time is the stay at home spouse “allowed”? how much leisure time is the working spouse “allowed”? How are you going to make this happen? Will he expect you to take the kid the second you get home from work so he can get a break? Is that going to be a problem?
– how temporary is this going to be? is he going to drop out of the workforce completely and permanently? til your youngest future child is in kindergarten? is he going to work part time? or do something to keep his skills/network honed? and how will you deal with it if he doesnt or isnt able to find a job as quickly as you think he should once it’s time for him to go back to work?
– think about doing a trial period, say, six months? we tend to get stuck in inertia once we’ve made a big decision and done it. but if it’s clear in six months that this is not working, what then? this might be a good reason to keep the nanny on part time.
All good things to consider. My husband and I actually have pretty similar philosophies about spending and saving and both are very much “joint money” people who trust each other to purchase most things without approval from the other person, but there are a few things we just don’t see eye to eye on (travel is the big one) and I know those would be pain points if I stopped working. I joke that I work so we can take nice vacations, except it’s not really a joke. Whenever my husband complains about the cost or frequency of travel, I shut him down immediately with “this is why I work.” I think this would be a huge source of resentment and/or conflict if I stopped working.
These are all excellent points. Another thing to consider is the risk inherent in relying on a sole earner and the stress that goes along with that. I would like to be a SAHM and we could afford it, but my husband simply cannot handle the pressure of being the sole earner. It gives him a feeling of security to know that if he lost his job or was disabled or died, I could pay the mortgage and put food on the table, in a way that an emergency fund and life insurance and disability insurance don’t.
I think question number one is whether he actually wants to be a stay at home dad and what that means to him, or if he just wants to quit his job. It’s easy to feel like if he is not working suddenly he should be doing way more family stuff but Especially if the overall family income isn’t really changing and you aren’t forced to change lifestyle (like cooking more instead of ordering out or cancelling cleaning person), he may not feel moved to make big shifts or might prefer to use the nanny time when he isn’t watching the kid for leisure or volunteering or something. You all need to figure out if that works and you’re both okay with it.
Favorite freezable meals for a 1 year old? We bulk cook on the weekend and try to always make one dish we can freeze for our one year old (soft foods) to eat through the week. Past wins include egg muffins, black bean burgers, and quinoa patties. Any other suggestions? Feeling tired of the same recipes!
I love this website, they have great recipes: https://www.yummytoddlerfood.com/
My daughter especially loves the chicken meatballs and they freeze really well. She also loved the butter chicken recipe, and as a bonus our whole family could eat it.
Thank you! I wi check it out
Look up Inspiralized Kid’s turkey quinoa marinara – that was a hit with my oldest when she was that age. I would just make sure the ground meat pieces were really small. I also like her spinach banana oat donuts (we do muffins) and they freeze decently well too for breakfasts/snacks.
Yum! I will look for it :)
Any recipe where boneless skinless chicken thighs are cooked in the crockpot and shredded.
Butternut squash mac & cheese is a hit with mine.
Does it freeze well? My main concern is not cooking during the week!
For anyone who needs a little giggle today, the James Corden segment with Prince Harry is hilarious.
I enjoyed it, it was nice to see him have fun and I truly hope they’re happy in their new life.
Sleep Training Help says
Has anyone had a child who was essentially not sleep trainable? My oldest was a terrible sleeper as a baby but took to sleeptraining like a champ when she was ~6 months and has been a great sleep ever since. My second baby was a much better newborn sleeper but his sleep has been on a steady decline since he hit 5-6 months. He’s now 10 months and still up at least once a night to feed. I’ve tried three separate times to night wean him and get him sleeping through, but if I don’t go in, he will literally scream for hours (like last night he was awake and crying on and off between 3:30 AM – 6 AM). He’s not necessarily hungry, because he calms down the second I pick him up and doesn’t even eat that much if I do let him nurse, so it’s just for comfort. We follow age-appropriate wake times, cap naps, etc. and I’ve read every sleep book on the block (I like Precious Little Sleep the best and we generally do extinction with our kids). I’m about to hire a sleep consultant because I’m at a total loss and I NEED to sleep through the night again. Before I do, I just wanted to ask here if anyone had any guidance or advice or even simply some hope that it will get better as he gets older (because it feels like I will never sleep again).
Whenever I complained about my kids’ annoying phases, my mom would tell me, “No one goes off to college unable to sleep in their own bed / unable to go more than an hour without eating / waking up every two hours / wetting the bed every night / throwing kicking screaming tantrums every time you tell them ‘no'” and as much as that is NOT helpful, it’s also true. This is a phase. It’s an obnoxious phase, but it will end. I promise.
Some kids have a tough time with sleep, but they all get there. Do what you need to do to bridge the gap, though. Cosleeping was my answer to omg-this-baby-only-sleeps-when-I’m-holding-him-and-sleep-deprivation-is-literally-torture, fwiw.
Me! But I am not a beacon of hope for you, merely commiseration. My little gremlin (always awake after dark) just is low sleep needs and very stubborn (generally a “spirited” child in all ways). We tried every method we could think of short of hiring a sleep consultant (because I was not convinced they would be able to suggest anything we hadn’t already tried) to no avail. Fun fact, my kid cries so hard she vomits. Less fun than no sleep is no sleep plus vomit.
My only advice is to find what works for you. I night weaned around 12 months. Around 15 months, after months of me laying on the floor until kiddo fell asleep (often falling asleep myself in the middle of the night) we started co-sleeping after wakeups. By 18 months, kiddo had climbed out of her crib (so we converted) and figured out how to unlock the baby gate to her room (closed real door resulted in the aforementioned hysterical sobbing and vomit). We would get her to sleep in her bed, but she would walk down the hall and crawl in ours when she woke up in the middle of the night. At 3.5, that is still our MO as it results in the most amount of sleep for the most number of people, as (most of the time) she doesn’t wake me up when she crawls in our bed. One day, DH and I might get to sleep by ourselves again, so we’re just waiting her out. I don’t expect she will still be sleeping with us by the time she goes to college.
This strangely makes me feel better. It might just be a temperament/personality thing, I suppose, and then there isn’t much I can do about it. Unfortunately, we can’t cosleep because my husband works East Coast hours and has to be up around 4:30 AM (it’s hard enough for me to sleep through his alarm, let alone my insane baby), and we don’t have a guest room. I did email a sleep consultant this morning to be like, I will gladly pay you but first please let me describe my insanely stubborn baby and THEN you tell me if you can help me.
We had an OK/average sleeper as a baby, but we’re coming up on 1 year of severe regression (pandemic + baby brother = mommy lays in 3.5 yo’s bed every night til he falls asleep). I went and hired a sleep consultant. I will let you know how it works out (just started) but the products, ideas, scripts, and support alone has been helpful.
I will also add that both of mine were super resistant to extinction and would do similar on-and-off wailing before they finally made it longer stretches (though my first STTN around 7mos). I was always envious of those people who CIO’d for 3 days and agonized over 45 mins of sobbing of bedtime but then had little angel sleepers. That never happened with mine. Oh and Ferber just made them angrier, so I think I tried checks a total of 1 time. never again.
Neither of my kids were able to sleep through the night until 12-13 months or so. Really once I stopped nursing altogether, shortly thereafter they adjusted for some reason. I just kind of rolled with it until they stopped waking up. I know it’s a nightmare, but it’s the only thing that worked for me. i found waking up once a night for twelve minute s preferable to hours of disrupted sleep due to crying I guess.
Thanks. They just magically started sleeping through on their own once you stopped nursing? I would love to believe this is a possibility for my kid. I’d ideally wean him around 12-13 months, but also nursing is the only thing that will get him back to sleep, so I’m afraid to stop until he can sleep through the night. It’s a vicious cycle.
Anon Reader says
My 12 month old started sleeping through the night a few weeks ago.. We tried a few different approaches since he was 6 months but what ultimately worked was The Happy Sleeper. Apparently it is the approach used by the sleep clinic at the children’s hospital in my city. I liked that they gave the science behind approach and allowed me to slowly taper feeding at night. It also has a section on sleep training kids 2-6!
My nephew refused to learn to sleep on his own. His parents put a twin bed in the room with the crib and dad would go in there and co-sleep with him. They moved house when he was 2.5, and for whatever reason he magically slept through the first night and continued to do so.
My advice would be to address it because I don’t know that it gets better as they get older. I mean, eventually. But my 4.5 year old has never been a great sleeper and he still wakes up regularly. I’m not even sure it was fixable. We have three and I only sleep through the night a few nights a week… and it’s been that way or less for 6 years. So I’d address it or unfortunately just shift expectations if he’s a tough one!
yes, I have two children for whom the book advice worked (one was sort of a naturally good sleeper, and the other was less naturally inclined but being very consistent with the normal advice/schedules/techniques worked eventually). And then I have one kid who is un-sleep-trainable. It’s just her. People are who they are and at a certain point there’s no benefit from fighting it.
I co-slept (eventually on a floor bed in the baby’s room once we managed to move her out of our room/bed) until 18 months and didn’t fully night-wean until about 21 months, just nursing on demand throughout the night because that was less disruptive to my sleep than trying anything else. This was after we’d tried, like you, about three separate efforts at night-weaning/sleep training, including one horrible week where I don’t think anyone slept and she just cried all night for nights. I deeply regret that and would not try extinction again with future children.
The light at the end of the tunnel is – by the time she was 26 months she was falling asleep on her own and sleeping in her own room/own bed all night, and hasn’t slept in our bed since (she’s almost 6 now). She’s still not the world’s greatest sleeper but she handles her own night wakings (getting up to go potty, adjust her blankets, etc.) without disturbing us.
She also has ADHD and perhaps autism (we’ll be doing more testing soon) and once she was three, our pediatrician recommended a very low dose of melatonin (0.2mg) to help with her sleep-onset-insomnia, which is common among autistic kids and kids with ADHD, and that was life-changing in terms of her quality of sleep.
My advice is to stop thinking about how much or little sleep you’re getting. If you’ve done what you can for healthy sleep habits, then you’ve done what you can and this is just the situation, and obsessing about how tired you are is only going to make you more tired. I did best when I just knew that I would be up multiple times to nurse/put her back to sleep, and accepted it, and just.. went on.
fwiw, Weissbluth actually says that co-sleeping + nursing is OK from a sleep perspective because neither mom nor baby fully rouse, and thus don’t disrupt sleep. McKenna out of NotreDame has a lot of research on this as well from a physiological perspective. I just couldn’t do cosleeping from an anxiety perspective but if it works and you’re doing it safely, I don’t think people should feel bad about it. You feel like youre getting better sleep because you ARE getting better sleep.
I felt like right when they figured out sleeping, teeth started showing up. It was always an Aha moment when you saw/felt that little white in their mouth, like maybe that’s why you’ve been a bear at night the last week or two. We’d then try Tylenol, kid would sleep thru, then the cycle would repeat.
There is a facebook group called Respectful Sleep training that has a very active community and tons of advice. There might be some people on there who had untrainable kids as well who could give advice about what worked best for them.
Good luck! Lack of sleep is the worst.
Have you tried sending DH in instead of you? I was not a CIO fan but I also let DH handle wake ups even if kid wanted me. I didn’t to let them cry but I didn’t think they got to pick which parent comforted them. Even now at 6 and 9 they know which of us is ‘on’ each night so they know which parent they can wake up if they need help.
Dr Jay Gordon has a good night weaning guide for 1 year plus but you’re fine to use it with a ten month old. I think he’s also a nutty antivaxxer so ignore that stuff but his night weaning guide actually has practical effective tips.
My kids were not sleep-trainable, but once it was time to night wean, husband handled wake ups. They didn’t sleep through the night for the longest time, but not having an option of nursing helped make waking up less interesting/frequent.
Have you tried melatonin? You’d probably want to get your ped’s approval but I expect they would ok it. It can really work wonders for kids who just aren’t wired for good sleep.
This may out me to anyone who knows me but I’m thisclose to just quitting my job because I don’t see a way to repair the damage of the last year and specifically the last month. I had an outpatient surgery last month that left me sick for a couple of weeks followed by panic attacks that debilitated me for weeks (which i have no history of). I was starting to get them under control last week and my husband had a health emergency that landed him in the hospital and required major surgery this week. I was already a month behind on work and making so many excuses because the associate who supported me left at the start of the year and we haven’t replaced him. And I know things happen but clients are starting to get majorly frustrated and I get it – they need the work done at the end of the day. I completely understand that. But I’m just so drained. After a year of pandemic and childcare disruptions, my credibility is toast. I can only say “sorry, we had a health emergency” so many times. I just feel so frustrated, so drained and just needed to vent.
I’m sorry, this sounds really hard. I hope both you and your husband are OK. Health emergencies are not your fault. Unless you’re self-employed, the fact that you had a gap in the resources that should have backstopped is not your fault. But I get that it feels hard to come back from.
Are you able to bring on some temporary support to help clear the backlog, and do a kind of reset with each of the clients? As long as you managed my expectations (unless I had major strategic initiatives that were about to fail because you were late, or hard regulatory deadlines) I’d be sympathetic.
Are you taking leave?
This. Can you take FMLA or other leave and reassign clients for short term to other lawyers?
I agree about taking leave for the health issues, but I just wanted to say I feel you and am considering quitting my own job because I feel like I can’t repair the damage from the 6 months of no childcare, even though we’ve now been back to daycare for that long. I had years of good evaluations and then everything just went to h*ll when I had no childcare and I haven’t been able to catch up and get back to that place where people are happy or even satisfied with me. The vast majority of people I work with don’t have young kids and the few who do have SAHM wives, so nobody fell behind over the spring and summer like I did. Logically I know I should wait to be fired and keep the income for as long as I can, but it is so unbelievably demoralizing getting criticized almost every single day when I used to be considered a top performer. In the last month, I’ve had multiple meetings that were just people listing my inadequacies and how I’ve failed the team and organization and it’s been incredibly hard for my mental health. I’m not sure how much longer I can take it and I really feel ready to take a break from work and just be a mom for a while.
Does anyone regularly get up early (like in the 5am range) to have some super focused work time before everyone else wakes up? I’m considering it as I try to finish my book (I’m an academic) but also worried I will just end up checking email for an hour and/or be really tired all day. Has it worked for you? Tell me your inspiring story! Kids are 3 and 4, both good sleepers, up at around 6:30. I’d also have to start going to bed earlier (currently I’m usually asleep around 10:30).
Yes. I get up between 4 and 430am – which coincides with when my baby (4.5 months) wakes up for her middle of the night feeding. I nurse her and put her back down and then start my day (workout most days but not all, and then typically get in an hour or two of work, take care of the pets, misc. household tasks) before she wakes up for the day. This means that when the nanny leaves at 5pm (she’s here 9-5pm), I’ve done enough work to have put in a full day and I’m done.
I love having the early morning hours to myself! Especially when it snows – the light is magical and I feel like it just sets me off on the right foot!
I go to sleep between 9 and 930pm, so I’m getting a full night. I’ve always been a granny when it comes to bedtime, though, so shifting slightly earlier doesn’t bother me. YMMV.
This is actually kind of brilliant! I have been doing the 4am feed thing and then going back to sleep and it’s miserable. I think I may be better off going to bed early and just getting up for the day.
That’s why I started it! If i go back to sleep after the 4ish am feed, I only get another 45 min to an hour anyway, and it’s never great quality because my mind is already “up”, it takes me a while to fall back asleep, etc. etc. Staying up works out SO MUCH BETTER for me.
I did this when I was trying to finish my masters thesis while working full time before kids. Key was to have very specific goals for that time. Like the night before I would make a note that listed which two journal articles I wanted to read or five bullet points that I wanted to turn into a couple pages. Specific ‘micro’ goals helped me get a good hour in. Often I worked on paper writing by hand or avoid turning on computer and checking emails etc. Typing it up later also served as a first edit.
Saw this after I posted my reply below, but that’s funny we both said we have to have concrete goals for the next morning. I don’t know what it is, but if I don’t look up what the reading is beforehand and write it down and have it marked in the book, the act of pulling up the syllabus the next morning seems so daunting when I wake up that I snooze. I need to be able to be on autopilot for the first few minutes. Interesting that I’m not the only one!
I’m in part-time law school in the evenings with a full-time demanding job, and often that’s the only time I can knock out some of my schoolwork. These are some random tips that work for me:
-I have to have a very concrete plan of what I’m going to work on and all of my stuff out and ready. If I wake up and realize I’m going to have to hunt for my notebook, or download the syllabus to remember what pages I should be reading, I’m going to hit snooze. everything has to be ready to go. Remove all obstacles.
-I also have to really visualize it the night before for some reason. I have to think through “OK I will get up, put on my robe, make my coffee, and do my Civil Procedure reading. The assignment is written on a sticky note, and the textbook and FRCP supplement are next to my computer” to remind myself all I have to do is just stumble down there. That helps me overcome my initial “ugh I’m too tired to deal right now, sleep would be more beneficial” feeling that tries to get me to snooze.
-I like iced coffee in the morning, so I can’t program the maker ahead. BUT I fill a yeti with ice and my creamer and put it in the fridge and it stays frozen overnight, and I have the filter and coffee in the maker. I just stick the yeti in and push a button
-This sounds crazy, but two other huge barriers for me are 1. finding clothes to put on (I don’t own a lot of loungewear or sweats and often sleep in a tshirt) and 2. being cold. So get a robe or something you can throw on no matter what you slept in. I cannot stand to be cold, and I have an electric blanket plugged in at my study spot so when I go downstairs I turn it on and it warms while my coffee brews.
-It can be tempting to get sucked into the email trap. Don’t even open it. Not even for a peek at what the day holds. You would otherwise be sleeping, right? So whatever is in the inbox can wait until you’d normally start working. Similarly, make sure the space you’ll be working in and most areas you’ll pass are clean. It’s easy to procrastinate and justify it with cleaning/making a fancy breakfast/starting laundry etc.
Also, for me at least, the hardest part of this adjustment was truly losing any “down” time or time to turn off my brain and consume nonsense TV shows or podcasts that I enjoy. I’m in class until 9 or 9:30 and have to get up early, so there isn’t time during the week. Try to carve some of that out as well so you can sustain this. I have a waterproof Bluetooth speaker in my bathroom so I can listen to a podcast while I shower and get ready for bed, and that helps some.
All of this is spot-on. It is so much easier to get out of bed if you have a specific, well-defined task planned and prepped, have the coffee machine on a timer or ready to brew, etc. Proceed directly to coffee + work. Do not pass go. Do not open e-mail. Do not pick up phone.
Oh wow, THANK YOU all. I have officially gone from “maaaaybe” to legit excitement about this, and the “planning out beforehand what you will be doing” tip is genius.
Someone here once posted the tip to “point your skis downhill” and have several tasks queued up when you log on, and it has been totally life-changing for me.
Not a getting-up-early situation, but I have really leaned in to working when my body wants to be alert and productive: which, since babies, is inexplicably between 11pm and 1am. I think it’s a holdover from baby sleep cycles/ dream feeds, but if there are tasks that require deep work, I am best at that time. No one’s looking for me, no calls, no workday fires to fight. Agree with what everyone said about having a defined list of tasks you want to accomplish.
I do have at least one academic friend who gets up very early to write before her family is up and it’s been very effective for her. I suspect she follows it with an exercise chaser (imagine feeling that productive first thing in the morning!).
Yes! I do this to accommodate shorter covid daycare hours. It is a magical hour of productivity.
Things that work for me:
– get downstairs as quickly / quietly as possible (so as not to wake the gremlin). I just throw on a sweater over my PJs.
– Make coffee asap: i use the downstairs powder room to pee / put eye drops in etc while coffee is brewing (nespresso). Also chug some water.
– leave your phone upstairs / away from you and consider leaving outlook closed on your computer
– have a specific task in mind from the day before to work towards for “the deadline”
I try to be downstairs between 5:30 and 6:00 and work until 6;45 – 7:00 depending on the day.
I am TRYING to keep wake up time consistent to do workout on days where i have less urgent need to work. I think if you get up at the same time everyday, getting up early is infinitely easier.
Yes. My alarm goes off at 5:00 a.m., and I work until kiddo gets up around 7:00. I have had this schedule for years. I do it so that I can work out during the day while she is at daycare/school and still be done for the day when I pick her up. Lately work is so busy that I’m also working in the evenings, but if I didn’t wake up early, I wouldn’t be able to get in the workout that I want, and that is very important to me. I am a morning person. I am not a night person at all.
Yes – I do this frequently. I love it. I can get so much done before people wake up and the day gets away from me. Even if you do it 2 or 3 days a week it can make a difference but I find that getting up at the same time every day makes it easier. I set my alarm clock across the room. Don’t check email, don’t even turn it on. Just do your thing.
What amount of getting lost in their own world is normal for a 3 year old? My just turned 3 year old has a wonderful imagination, which of course is great, but it seems like she’s always involved in a pretend game or conversation between herself and animals/dolls. On car rides to and from school, in her bed in the evenings and mornings and lately sometimes even at meal times she will tune out the world (including any attempts at conversation) and do her own pretend play. At school she participates normally (according to her teachers) and it does seem like this behavior is more intense on weeknights so I definitely think there’s an element of using this to decompress after a long, fairly structured school day, which I respect as an introvert myself. Would appreciate a gut check about whether this is normal or not.
Better than normal! She sounds awesome and I want to come hang out in her world.
Very, very normal. My 6 year old still does this, and will regularly insist I call her by a different name or go along with her pretend play that she is a cat or that her stuffie is her sister or whatever. Bonus, you might be able to learn a lot about what’s going on in school from what conversations the stuffed animals and dolls are having.
Yup this is super normal. Sometimes a little tricky for us because our DD won’t want to stop playing for meals/get ready to leave the house. Otherwise this is an awesome quality in a child and I’d facilitate it as much as possible with pretend play toys (kitchen, dress up, dolls, building blocks, trucks, dollhouse etc…).
Boston Legal Eagle says
This sounds great! She can entertain herself! That is my ultimate goal for my kids. My older one sometimes talks to himself or his trains, some of it I can tell is stuff he said to his friends during the day, and I love it. He usually needs company to play, so whenever he can play by himself like this, I embrace it.
Oh she doesn’t entertain herself in the sense of going off and playing on her own for extended periods of time. At home she’s a barnacle to us (especially me) and does more elaborate pretend play that unfortunately always involves us. This is just something she does in a situation like a car ride when full scale pretend play isn’t available. Kind of like daydreaming but out loud if that makes sense.
This is common and also awesome.