Accessory Tuesday: Livi Heather Flat

I’m always impressed by how many great reviews Hush Puppies get on Zappos — I don’t think I’ve worn them myself since my grade school days! This flat looks kind of adorable, though, and I like the little folded detail at the front. It comes in four colors at Zappos in medium and wide sizes 5–12 for just $62, and it’s also available at Nordstrom and AmazonLivi Heather Flat

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!


  1. Did anyone here purposefully try to have kids pretty close together (or by accident, but you were happy about the timing)? I hear a lot about timing certain age gaps. Daughter is 6 months and is an easy kiddo. Originally we discussed waiting until 1 year to pull the goalie but we’re both anxious to start now. It took 2+ years to conceive our daughter. Are we just nuts? I figure it will be crazy no matter the ages so why wait, especially if we struggle like last time. Appreciate any comments from those who have been there!

    • Walnut says:

      I’m 38 weeks pregnant and have a 19 month old at home. We didn’t really plan it, but I think it’ll work out pretty well. In the back of my head, I think I’d like similar timing between #2 and #3, but that’s a decision for in about a year.

    • Amelia Bedelia says:

      My kids are 17 months apart. It was SO HARD the first year. My youngest is now 18 mos old and it is getting really fun! sharing isn’t always the easiest, but I love how they interact with each other and am now happy they are so close in age.

    • Momata says:

      We were successful in our attempt to have our kids less than two years apart. They are now 3.5 and almost 2. It was full on man to man defense there for a while – extremely difficult for one parent to have both kids. This meant no downtime for anyone ever, and that was very hard. But we can take shifts now, and the kids are each other’s best friend. I love that they play with the same toys and have basically the same interests, capacities, and schedules, and I suspect those advantages will only grow. My favorite thing right now is that they continue to play together on the playground after dropoff even though their little friends are also there.

      TLDR: The first year to 18 months was really hard. But worth it!

      • Katala says:

        We unexpectedly got pregnant right when #1 turned 1, and while we are happy about the age gap – and wouldn’t have been brave enough to try for it – agree with Momata that it is hard. #2 is 5 months and it’s man to man all the time. Being back at work during summer recruiting means H has had to do bedtime alone a couple times and I think it’s harder for him than he’ll say. BUT – we can see that it will improve as the baby gains independence in another year or so. Then I think it’ll be really fun. It’s already super adorable to see how much the baby loves to watch his brother and when the toddler is nice to baby.

        If you feel ready-ish, go for it! Good luck!

      • LegalMomma says:

        Echoing everyone else. Accidentally/on purpose got pregnant with number 2 just before number 1 turned 1. They are 19 months apart and now 26 months and almost 7 months. It is SO hard right now, but also super worth it. Also agree bed time is hardest. Baby and Big Sis adore each other and it is so wonderful to watch them together.

    • Spirograph says:

      Mine aren’t quite that close in age, but I got pregnant a little before each of my older kids’ first birthdays. The physical exhaustion of being in the first trimester with a young toddler is no joke, and especially if you nursed straight through, your body really doesn’t recover completely. I have literally been either pregnant or breastfeeding for about 5 years and I don’t even remember what it feels like to have my body to myself. Also, I feel like I kind of missed a few months of my older kids’ lives because it was hard to focus on/enjoy them in the same way when I was either 1tri exhausted or 3tri super pregnant or “4tri” dealing with a newborn. I probably did a lot of stuff with them, I just don’t remember — it’s all a fog of exhaustion.

      But I’d definitely do it again. My two older kids play together so well, and in a few months when the baby is steadier on his feet, he will join in.. And we’re minimizing the time we have to deal with diapers and other baby logistics. I think of it as ripping off a band-aid.

      I have cousins who are <1 year apart. They're in elementary school now and are only one grade apart. They're best friends, but my aunt is very candid about how hard the first year or two were. She said she didn't think she could have done it without doing 100% formula feeding after the first month, because she really needed my uncle to take on at least half of the physical care-taking.

    • Us: 3-4 years sounds like a good gap between kids to aim for

      Universe: Hahaha, how about twins?!

    • My kids are 17.5 months apart and I love it. We’re still in the thick of things too, so I imagine I’ll just come to love it even more.

      We were talking about doing a three year gap before number 3 but now thinking more like 2!

    • Edna Mazur says:

      My first two are 15 months apart (accidentally) and my third will be 25 months younger than my second (kind of on purpose…). It is both really hard and really great.

      It can be exhausting, sleep is mostly a distant memory, my house is chaos and the thing that surprised me is logistically, it can be hard wrangling them. Some places (a hem, children’s museums) require two adults. I just can’t take them both on my own, whereas we have grocery shopping and the zoo down pat.

      On the plus side, they are best friends. They are reaching the age where they play together and have little conversations that are just hilarious. Toys-wise and activity wise it works well because they are into the same thing, we don’t have to worry about someone being too old and someone else being too young. They will be able to be on the same T-Ball and soccer teams next year, which I am really excited about. I don’t have to worry about packing up oldest’s clothes, just move them to the other’s drawers :)

      I just recently figured out all three will probably be in college at the same time, which was a blow…

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah the college thing… how are any of you planning on paying for it? My parents saved for us, but didn’t take a single vacation/do anything when I was in college (my brother did co-op at engineering school, so they had a bit more space when he was there) I figure we HAVE to wait fro DD to turn 4 so collegge is possibly doable.

        • Edna Mazur says:

          No clue. We need to start saving but haven’t yet. I’m hoping either our earnings increase and our expenses go down, and they should, our house should be paid off by the time the oldest hits high school, and my husband will go back to full-time work. Hopefully once those two things happen we can start saving aggressively and also just have more ability to bank-roll a lot of it.

        • Spirograph says:

          Compounding interest. :)

          Also scholarships, military, financial aid, work-study, community college vs immediate 4-year university, trade school, etc. We’ll divert some daycare tuition as it is freed up, but I don’t feel the need to save enough to fully finance my kids’ higher education. Our goal will be to save the equivalent of tuition at a State U for each kid, and teach our kids cost-benefit analysis and to live within their means or find a way to make more money. If they want something we can’t afford, they can figure out a way to make up the difference or adjust their expectations.

    • Anonymous says:

      We had our first two 18 months apart and love that they are so close. Number 2 was sort of a surprise, but we were purposefully being open to having them close together… staying in “baby jail” in the words of one of my husband’s colleagues. I had a harder pregnancy with #2 (gestational diabetes) and with two under two, two law firms (one BigLaw, one medium…but both in a smaller market than where we started pre-kids), then two under three, still billing time…I feel like I just woke up a week ago and realized that if we want the third I have to get pregnant like, now!

      Anyone have thoughts about two really close together and then a bigger gap before the third? We love the fact that our first two are now best buds (4.5 and 3) and that they’ll be in roughly the same developmental place for a while. So it’s kind of hard to simultaneously see the upside to an almost 4 year gap before number 3. Both my husband and I are totally torn on this…we always pictured 3 kids, but the lack of sleep alone nearly killed us multiple times in the past 3 years, maybe we should quit while we are ahead?

      • Anonymous says:

        First 2 are 24 mos apart (accidentally on purpose) and we love it. Same gender. We were ambivalent about a third and then when little one was 3 life got significantly easier, we all started sleeping, and we realized we were ready to call our family of four complete.

        And then G d laughed! And we got our little surprise when the older ones were 5 and 7. Baby is so different from big sibs- way mellower, better sleeper, etc…it’s a totally different experience and one that we are relishing because now we KNOW it’s the last baby and also we feel like we’ve got this parenting thing down (most days anyway!). The big kids are at awesome ages and adore the baby; they are helpful and loving.

        So…this isn’t how I thought our family would look but I love it and I say go for it if you want a third.

  2. CPA Lady says:

    Found the race/class convo yesterday very interesting… and now I’m wondering if “white trash” means something different in different parts of the country. The way I grew up hearing it used had little to do with someone’s socio-economic class, and much more to do with their moral character. To the point where it was preceded by either the word “poor” or “rich” to distinguish between poor white trash and rich white trash.

    • avocado says:

      I grew up in the west and did not hear the phrase “white trash” much, but it was always used to denote a combination of low SES + lack of education and sophistication + generally obnoxious behavior. Trashy rich white people were just called “trashy” or sometimes “celebrities.”

      • Anon in NYC says:

        I grew up in the NE and this was how I always understood it as well – combo of manners/education/sophistication + lower SES.

    • Walnut says:

      White trash in my area designated socio-economic class. Within a particular town it was usually based on where you lived and what your last name was, but it was also common to classify entire neighboring towns as white trash based on that town’s general socio-economic class and the type of jobs in that town. Towns with a processing plant rather than general farming were more white trash, while towns with manufacturing jobs were looked upon higher.

      The reality is that all of us from this area trend closer to white trash than white privilege once we moved away from our tiny home towns.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m with you, the term had more to do with manners, etc. than it did with socioeconomic status (I’m from the Midwest). We definitely had “rich white trash” kids at our high school. I now live in the south and it’s definitely used as an economic indicator – and my husband (who is not white) claims I can’t use the term because it’s a racially-charged term (I’m white). I agree that it’s not a term I would use in mixed company, and it’s certainly my lazy way of describing Trump voters.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree. I think of it as being tacky and boorish, regardless of the amount of money the people have. I try not to use the term, but I’d apply it equally to drunk, rowdy, loud people living in a trailer park and the sunburned drunk, rowdy, loud people that seem to populate the swim-up bar at a lot of all-inclusive resorts. Only for Americans, though. I don’t think I’d ever apply the term to a white European.

      I’m from the Midwest, for context.

    • I’ve always heard it as a combination of SES status + behavior + lack of sophistication.

      When my MIL used it on our vacation, I asked her why she said it, if somebody did something offensive or obnoxious (not that that makes it an OK term). She couldn’t point to anything specific. My impression is that she heard people’s accents, which were mostly from the rural South, and assumed they were less sophisticated than she is. The main thing, for me, is that she was annoyed by the mere presence of people who were enjoying themselves and not affecting anyone else because she thought she was better than them, and then she insulted them with a pejorative term that assumed things about them based on one tiny fact.

  3. Strategy mom says:

    Advice for finding maternity swimsuits for really big boobs? Like in the G part of the alphabet :( Can’t be a bikini.

    • I found a halter tankini at Old Navy online in either a XXL or XXXL. It held everything in. Not what I would ideally wear, but I’m 31 weeks pregnant and it’s hot and I’m not in the pool that often because it is still too hot.

      –Signed 38J who doesn’t tolerate temperatures over 75.

    • Edna Mazur says:

      I got two decent tankinis from Motherhood Maternity awhile ago. I have along torso so one pieces don’t work. I’m almost to my due date and still wearing them and they worked in my first trimester too. I’m currently and E and not popping out.

    • Anonymous says:

      H cup here. I just wore my regular Target tankinis (even as late as 36 weeks). It wasn’t perfect, but I didn’t want to spend a fortune on something I’d hardly use.

  4. Pregnant and... Lazy? says:

    I’m about 8 weeks pregnant with my second and I just feel so exhausted. I work a straight 9-5 job, as does DH, and we have a 2 year old. DH takes care of most of the house errands (laundry, groceries, etc.) and we outsource most of the cleaning. I feel terrible coming home from work and just wanting to lay in bed. I am now easily agitated with DS because I just want to be alone and sleep. DH has been great, but I feel SO guilty having him take over childcare duties every weeknight. It doesn’t seem fair since he doesn’t get a break either. I don’t remember being this tired during my pregnancy with DS 1. I don’t have nausea or morning sickness, so that adds to my guilt.

    • AwayEmily says:

      I’m nine weeks with my second (first is 15 months) and I feel the exact same way. I’m single-parenting this week while DH is at a conference and I am just. so. tired. I think I do remember feeling super tired last time around, but it was just…easier to be tired. Like, it was NBD if you came home from work and took a nap because there wasn’t a toddler hurling herself onto your torso. I totally get feeling guilty but just remember: (1) this is temporary! You will feel SO much better soon! and (2) think about if DH was carrying a baby — I bet you’d be happy to take on some extra chores so he could rest. He almost certainly feels the same way — grateful that you are doing this hard physical work and glad to do what he can to help.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        This is what all of my friends who had a second kid said – pregnancy just seems harder the second time around because you have a kid and can’t take naps whenever you need one!

    • Anonymous says:

      Totally normal, and should subside in the next 4-6 weeks. You are growing a human, cut yourself some slack!

      • Anonymous says:


        I was off work at that stage and basically just slept and ate. No guilt – you’re growing a person.

    • To give you hope – this was me for months. I had morning sickness until 23 weeks. I’m now 35 weeks and the third tri has been a revelation. I’m a bit achy but in general, I feel amazing.

    • Blueberry says:

      I’m here in my glowing (heh) second trimester to tell you that your energy ought to return soon! I think I billed 20 hours/week for that terribly exhausted period in the first trimester, but I’m now back to feeling normal-ish, and normal now feels amazing. Carry on with what you’re doing — your husband is not growing a baby, so don’t feel guilty about shifting extra responsibility onto him. My only advice is to the extent you haven’t made clear to your husband that this is just what you are doing for now because it’s the best way to handle 1st trimester exhaustion, make sure you have that chat to make sure expectations are aligned rather than getting snippy with him on a regular basis.

    • anne-on says:

      Totally normal. I had hyperemesis, but on top of that I also just felt like I was hit by a mack truck up until month 4 or so. I pushed through as much as I could (did 5 work trips pregnant) and landed myself in the hospital at 5.5 months due to elevated blood pressure/difficulty breathing after my 2nd cross country flight. Don’t be me! Rest as much as possible! You are growing a person – it is HARD WORK.
      This is the time to embrace the ‘couch parenting’ – have your kid get used to playing solo with you on a couch (as you’ll need to be when nursing). Encourage your kiddo to color and show you his drawings, cover you with a blanket and sing you songs, do silly dances/put on a ‘play’ while you’re the audience, etc.

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      You are creating a person. It is normal to be exhausted. You (and everyone else) should cut you some slack. I remember barely being able to hold my head above my desk at work for 3 months. SO TIRED.
      It will pass!!

    • Currently 31 weeks, first pregnancy. I was mindnumbingly exhausted on top of constant nausea. Still nauseated (and now on Diclegis which helps immensely), but the hit by a truck exhaustion ended by the end of the first trimester. I couldn’t even make it through the day at work and had to nap in the office. I just kept telling myself that all I had to do was “just be”. I would come home from work, think about dinner, puke, and rest on the couch while my husband had dinner/watched TV before I fell asleep at 8/9 every night and he would wake me up to go upstairs to bed.

    • 14 Weeks says:

      I’m now at 14 weeks, but you’d best believe that the first 12 weeks of pregnancy I got home, collapsed on the couch, and “helped” my husband with our 2 yo at bedtime two hours later. No cooking got done, very little cleaning. For me, mornings were the best time, so I tried to give DH a break every Sat and Sun until ~2pm when I fell into my slump.

      I, too, experienced a much easier first pregnancy, so I was unprepared for how terrible I felt this go around. It’s rough out there while you’re growing a fetus. Hope it turns around for you soon!

    • From a Modern Family episode: JAY: “You just woke up. How are you tired?” GLORIA: “Because I’m turning food into a human!!”

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      The exhaustion is real. No lie, it’s a lot of why I’m not even willing to consider gestating a second. I don’t think I’d be safe to drive, let alone parent, if I was as tired as I was the first time around.

  5. Walnut says:

    Two feeding questions for my 19 month old.

    1. He’s started to throw his fork at us when he wants us to feed him a bite instead of using it himself. Should this result in a loss of fork or should we remove him from the table briefly? We currently take the fork away for a couple minutes and then give it back so he continues to eat. He then throws it again a few minutes later. Down side is if he doesn’t sufficiently eat his supper, he’ll wake up around 1AM for a snack.

    2. The current fork he uses is barely sharp enough to stab anything, so he spends a lot of time just trying to get food on his fork. What is the “next size” for kid utensils? I gave him the salad sized fork and spoon from my regular set last night for supper and they were awkwardly large.

    • AwayEmily says:

      Re: your second question — Daycare uses disposable plastic forks, which we have started doing as well. They are smaller and slightly less stabby than regular forks (but much more stabby those lame baby forks). We bought a pack and just wash them in the dishwasher.

    • Blueberry says:

      At that age, my kids would get taken away from the table for throwing a utensil, because that is dangerous. They caught on pretty quickly, and on the rare occasions my toddler does it now, dinner is over for him. I’d make sure to give the kid a big cup of milk before bed to fill his belly. We have metal kids’ forks that we got on amazon that seem to be as sharp as adult forks but more ergodynamic for little kids. Can’t remember the brand, but they were pretty generic. I’d think these would be easier than disposable forks, as they aren’t bendy.

    • We give thrown items a time out, then give them back later. They grow out of this phase if you wait it out.
      Is there a reason you’re not just giving him a regular fork or a salad fork? Salad forks work great.

      • Ha, should have read more carefully that you’ve already tried the salad fork. I would keep trying even if it’s big. We never had a kid fork so he was on salad fork from the outset, and he got the hang of it pretty quickly.

    • Anonymous says:

      We use “c*cktail silverware.” World Market I think? I got butter knives, “soup” spoons and forks. You might not want the knives, but they’re especially great for putting in a lunch bag for spreading things onto crackers.

  6. This is a public service announcement: I love my maternity bra, the the Melinda G.

    I spent a pretty penny on it but compared to the cheaper versions I wore with my first, this one is amazing. It is structured enough to wear to work under blouses and dresses but soft enough (and no underwire) that I actually fell asleep with it overnight last night. It’s got wide v-cut cups, and I don’t feel overly va-va-voom in it. It’s got a nice wide band and is supportive and doesn’t pinch. In a word, brilliant.

    I highly recommend getting fitted in-store, I wear a totally different size than I ever imagined (and way different from what I was fitted for the first time around). Link to follow.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Catching up on yesterday’s reading, and wanted to recommend the podcast Longest Shortest Time, episode 116, “How to Not (Accidentally) Raise a Racist” to the mom looking for resources on how to talk to kids curious about race. Scrolling through my feed to find that one, episode 94 is titled “Raising a Transgender Child” and while I haven’t listened to that one yet, I really like this podcast generally and it might be helpful for the poster whose child she suspected could be trans.

    • Thank you! I will check it out.

    • I’m so glad you posted this about episode 94! I missed the thread yesterday but went back to read it today and was thinking what a great resource that would be for the OP. I think the mom in that podcast also had a blog, as well.

    • Thank you from one of the OPs!

  8. Yelling as Discipline says:

    My DH grew up in a family where yelling was considered appropriate, normal discipline. He’s the primary caregiver to our toddler and I am struggling with how to handle this issue.

    example– our daughter knows not to pull objects down off our kitchen counters, because she could get very hurt. Ongoing limit -testing arena because she knows not to but there are tempting objects on counters. She tried it again this morning and I watched him stand there and calmly yell (truly, he was calm but his voice was raised and his tone was strident) “bad, bad, bad, we don’t do that, you know better, that’s bad!”

    Our daughter stood and listened and hung her head and then ran away and cried with her face on her bed. Surely this isn’t the most effective way to teach her things. I know this and it makes me super uncomfortable. But my husband’s upbringing was very different than mine, and he got beaten until he was bleeding for stuff like this– so to him, this really is calm, measured discipline. I do not want this to become a triangulated issue between us and our kid, and I am treading very carefully because he takes a lot of pride in his role as a SAHD– but it’s fragile.

    I have had success modeling different ways to handle things, and in the moment I went back, comforted her, talked about how everyone makes mistakes, the behavior is bad but she isn’t, we love her no matter what. Big hugs and dad participated in that conversation and the hugs. But I’m worried about her little psyche, and shame, and fear. Has anyone else handled this issue?

    Please don’t tell me to sit down and talk it out with him, or leave because he is just so terrible. Direct confrontation and talking is not the right approach, largely because I know from experience that it won’t be effective. And I’m not going anywhere– kiddo and dad have a solid relationship and so do dad and I– and in the grand math of childhood trauma, I’ve decided that this problem is by far the lesser of evils than dad and I splitting up. There are a lot of loaded issues present — my husband’s background of abuse and fear that he’ll repeat it/sensitivity to being called a “bad parent”, class differences in upbringing (lots of things that I consider standard parenting– swim and piano lessons, for example, he considers incredible luxuries and not “necessary”, a marriage just now really recovering from severe PPD.

    Thanks in advance. I know there are good ways to teach different discipline by example and participation– looking for resources or your own experiences. I’m reading a lot of Janet Lansbury and talking a lot to DH about what I’m learning and that has really helped us already.

    • Blueberry says:

      It sounds to me like you’re beating yourself and your husband up over something that is not a huge deal. In my opinion, we sometimes need to be forceful with kids when their safety is at stake. It sounds like he scared your daughter, but I think getting scared about doing dangerous things is not bad. Honestly, the only thing I would really have changed about this interaction would be to replace the word bad with “dangerous” or something. Like, make sure the kid knows she’s not bad, but there are some things she just can’t do. I’ve definitely yelled at my kids when they’ve tried to test the limits in the kitchen with respect to the stove — not out of anger, but to make sure they grasp the gravity of the limit. I’m okay if they get scared and cry about it in the moment — if they’ve done something dangerous, it makes sense that they get scared. It sounds like communication around this issue is tricky (which is a bit of another issue — if you guys are a team, you need to be able to have heart-to-hearts about this kind of thing). Maybe you guys can both read the book about how to talk so kids listen and how to listen so kids talk? I find that if I can convince my husband to read something from an expert, he internalizes it more than when I tell him something I’ve read about parenting from an expert! My husband and I both struggle with yelling at our kids too much sometimes. We sometimes need to talk about it and press a reset button.

      • Mrs. Jones says:


      • Anonanonanon says:

        “we sometimes need to be forceful with kids when their safety is at stake” I came to say the same thing :). Running off in a parking lot, trying to climb furniture, etc. are situations where it’s appropriate to give them a loud “NO!” that may startle them. They aren’t necessarily old enough to understand why it’s dangerous/what the risk is, but their baby brains can remember that someone yelled “NO!” at them when they did it and they didn’t like it.

      • Blueberry says:

        PS – My husband also grew up in a house where beatings (not as bad as you’re talking about) were okay, and we’re very in very clear agreement that we are not raising our kids that way. He is more okay than I am with yelling at the kids generally, and this is an ongoing conversation and struggle. I am also in a situation like you where my husband spends more time on childcare than I do, so it’s extra difficult, because I realize that if I’m alone with them for extended periods of time, I also find myself yelling more than I should, and I don’t want to be the pot calling the kettle black. Parenting is hard, and parenting as a team requires work and frank, ongoing discussion, just like anything else worth doing as a team. The situation you find yourself in is more normal than you may think.

      • Spirograph says:

        Yup, I’m in this camp, too. I avoid the word “bad” in general, but loudly and forcefully telling kids “NO” or “STOP” is definitely in my wheelhouse. If she’s just reaching up on an empty counter, I’d probably redirect and remind her that she’s not to do that. If she’s reaching up and there’s a knife or something heavy that she could pull down on herself, I would say “NO!” loudly and probably also grab her to physically stop her. I’d follow that up like you did with a hug and a calm explanation that I love her and have rules because I don’t want to her to get hurt, but I’d absolutely yell in the moment. I don’t think shame is lasting in an instance like this, and fear is appropriate!

        I get what you’re saying, though, OP. I feel like my husband raises his voice in situations that don’t warrant it. My problems with this are twofold: It contributes unnecessarily to the noise level in my house (which is already high with 3 little kids), and I think it also desensitizes them to yelling. I want yelling to be an attention-getting shock that’s reserved for truly dangerous situations — not something my kids learn to tune out because of overuse.

      • Rainbow Hair says:

        I bought “1 2 3 Magic” and have been really glad to have it around. It provided a good, cool-headed explanation about why getting into a battle of wills is a losing proposition. And it gives this alternative that is ridiculously easy to implement, and more or less ensures that the kid will be getting the same kind of discipline from each parent. I even taught it to our babysitter.

    • Strategy mom says:

      My husband wouldn’t read any of the parenting books I bought so we went to a toddler parenting seminar together that talked about a specific discipline approach – then we could both align on using that approach to drive consistency. It helped to have something that we were coming together on and agreeing to both adhere to so that our kiddo would see the same discipline from both of us. They might have online seminars – moms on call. It isn’t necessarily the very best, but it was the only one that didn’t involve a book and was in person.

    • I agree that this doesn’t seem like that big of a deal in the scheme of things, in the grand scheme of childhood traumas. But I’m not sure what you’re asking for. You and your husband have a disagreement about how to approach parenting. Your choices are to find some way to communicate about this or let it go. Even if you let this one thing go, there will be future disagreements, and you can’t walk on eggshells forever because your husband is sensitive about his parenting. So, whatever you decide to do here, I’d work on getting to a place where you and your husband can effectively deal with parenting issues by talking about them directly.

      • Yelling as Discipline says:

        OP here– I should have been clearer. We can communicate effectively and easily about all sorts of parenting issues. This particular one is hugely emotionally charged for a plethora of reasons that have very little to do with our relationship or our kid. I had one of the most privileged upbringings imaginable for someone who isn’t extremely wealthy, at least on the surface, and his was the opposite in almost every way. My family was very resistant to our relationship (still is) because of said opposite socioeconomic background and his family (who are amazing and wonderful, but were not the inlaws mine were hoping for). My family LOVES to criticize his parenting and generally imply that his upbringing makes him unfit to parent their precious granddaughter. So this whole class-family-parenting-trauma-abuse smoothie emerges around certain very specific issues, and this is probably the biggest one.

    • I hear ya when you say yelling is his calm way. Due to his upbringing, he probably won’t listen to ideas like yelling is hurting her self-esteem. Could you phrase that kids just hear noise and don’t listen long enough to hear why the act isn’t good? Like when someone yells at me (cough, my DH), I immediately stop listening and call them an idiot in my head. Probably not the result he’s looking for.

      I *try* to talk to my kids about why they’re doing a thing, and then we discuss ways it could be done differently. E.g., instead of pulling it down on their head, why not getting a chair to stand on? It may lead to her problem solving herself. As in, less work for him.

      And then the whole idea of him not listening to your ideas. So many spouses take advice better from someone outside the family. Many churches and community centers have parenting classes, complete with childcare.

    • Anonymous says:

      Gottman has good stuff.

    • Yelling as Discipline says:

      OP– thank you to everyone who responded. This really sets my mind at ease. I have zero community of other moms to bounce this stuff off of, apart from online spaces like this. I know there are a lot of mom groups aimed at working mamas in other parts of the country, but I haven’t found any in my southern city. Just hearing that this is within the bounds of normal is amazing feedback. My parents, as you might gather from my replies above, treated me like their extremely special, fragile snowflake, so I don’t have great references re: what’s normal from my own upbringing.

  9. Talk me down please says:

    So I’m having a health issue that is scaring me. I saw my doctor yesterday and she is running tests. I just need reassurance from anyone who has had these symptoms that it can be something other than cancer. Of course I know cancer is not likely, but it helps to hear others say it.

    I’ve been having diarrhea for 11 days, with mucus, and yesterday there was blood. Lots of cramping and the sensation that I still need to go even after I’ve emptied my bowels. Some days I am going 10+ times a day. I am 40, otherwise in very good health, two young kids (one 5 month baby).

    Doctor is running stool culture plus blood tests to check for C Diff, parasites, and complete blood count. I did finish a course of antibiotics for mastitis a couple weeks before this started so C Diff risk is higher than average.

    I stupidly looked at the internet and freaked out about colon cancer and/or ulcerative colitis. These are the least likely causes, I know, but I need reassurance. Anyone else have this experience and turn out okay? Anyone want to yell at me for looking at the internet? (My brother, a doctor, already did. Okay he didn’t yell, but he scolded me.)

    • AwayEmily says:

      My husband had these exact symptoms (blood, mucus, etc), for SEVEN MONTHS before he finally went to a doctor (wtf is up with men and doctors). It did turn out to be moderate ulcerative colitis (he had a colonoscopy to confirm). It’s a sucky disease but very, very treatable (there are so many options) and definitely not cancer. He got on some meds and was much much better within a week. It’s a chronic condition but we are hoping he will be in remission for a long time.

      • Talk me down please says:

        Glad to hear the meds are working for your husband. A member of my extended family (not blood related) has ulcerative colitis and just had to have a colostomy and will be using a colostomy bag for life. So this is my picture of UC. I’m already going through a stupid “I just turned forty and I’ve birthed two children will I ever feel attractive again” thing so the thought of pooping in a bag attached to my stomach is kind of killing me right now. Sigh.

        • EB0220 says:

          This is a very extreme case, I think. My husband was super worried about this too but our research showed it isn’t a common outcome.

        • bluefield says:

          A member of my family has UC as well, as as far as I know he does not have a colostomy bag. If he does, he does a really excellent job of concealing it.

        • Anon in NYC says:

          My friend developed UC in his early 30s and does not have a colostomy bag! His case is effectively treated with medicine.

        • Strategy mom says:

          The meds are so good for this if well maintained – colostomy bags are for the reeeeeally bad cases, you shouldn’t be worried about that! Also, I had a recent GI scare (not your symptoms, but similar) and had to go through a whole line of tests, talked myself into the idea that I had pancreatic cancer (2% survival rate) after the ultrasound tech spent more time taking photos in that area. After all the tests, turns out it was just a nasty bout of acid reflux. Shrug! All that stress over nothing. Fingers crossed it’ll be nothing for you too.

    • CPA Lady says:


      1. You don’t have cancer.
      2. If you have cancer your probably caught it super early and you’re going to be fine.
      3. It sounds like some kind of infection/amoeba or something like that, based on my extensive training as a life-long hypochondriac.
      4. You’re probably bleeding because your intestines are irritated, not because you have a tumor.
      5. Hypochondriac pro tip: If you must, go to mayo clinic dot com. Webmd is much more alarmist. Do not read any message boards.
      6. Short term anxiety pills? Wine? Maybe look into one of those. Not a long term strategy, obviously.
      7. It’s totally okay to cry out of irrational anxiety. And then laugh at yourself. And then cry again.
      8. It’s going to be okay.

      • Talk me down please says:

        Thanks CPA Lady. If I wasn’t nursing I’d probably be hitting the anxiety meds/wine pretty hard. I was up worrying about it last night when I should have been sleeping. Then when I finally fell asleep I had a terrible nightmare. Blah.

    • JayJay says:

      I had these exact symptoms and I went to a doctor for all the same tests and they were all negative. It turned out to be stress and bad diet. They literally went away like magic once I started watching what I ate (and I was living on a lot of fried food and cheese at the time – see, stress) and decreased my stress load by changing jobs.

      Not to say this is you, but it completely worked for me.

      • Talk me down please says:

        Huh, interesting. I am on a BRAT diet now, just to try to calm things down. I normally have a very healthy diet but I do eat a fair amount of dairy, especially since I’m nursing. I would miss it, but it’s better than cancer!

    • EB0220 says:

      I agree it sounds like ulcerative collitis. My husband has similar symptoms. He went through a bunch of tests earlier this year to make sure it wasn’t colon cancer, so I understand how anxiety-inducing it can be.

      • EB0220 says:

        I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to alarm you further. UC is annoying but very treatable. My husband has had it for 20 years with no impact on his daily life (except maybe slightly longer bathroom trips).

        • Talk me down please says:

          No worries. There are definitely worse things than having UC. If that’s what it turns out to be, I know I will deal. I’m done having kids so at least I don’t have to think about impacts on pregnancy, etc.

    • Make sure your doc is checking for H.Pylori bacteria. I had similar symptoms (plus heartburn) and it took the regular blood tests, stool test, then endoscopy,then colonoscopy for me to finally get a doctor that tested for it. And I tested postitive for the antibodies. A few weeks of aggressive antibiotic treatment and Prilosec and I was fine. I was pretty mad to have done the scopes for no reason though.

      • Talk me down please says:

        Good tip, thank you. I’ll keep that in mind if these tests don’t turn up anything.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Also ask to have your thyroid levels checked – when my mom developed Graves disease (basically, thyroid goes into overdrive with little thyroid storms of hyper-overdrive), two of her biggest complaints were sudden, unexpected diarrhea multiple times a day with cramping, and bouts of intense anxiety. Thyroid can go wonky postpartum and nursing, so it should be on your radar.

      Hope you get some results and some relief! That sounds upsetting.

    • Anon for this says:

      I had these symptoms and thought it was my crohn’s disease and it was really e-coli! I’m dealing with something similar again and having to give stool samples again. It sucks.

    • Anonymous says:

      In case you’re in Canada check the products that are recalled under the widespread flour recall for e-coli contamination.

    • Anonymous says:

      These also sound like my husband’s (very mild) ulcerative collitis diagnosis. I also freaked out when I started reading about it but like others above, his has been managed 100 percent since he started taking the very non-scary meds.

    • Anonymous says:

      Coming to this late, but I had C Diff once and it was basically exactly like what you’re describing. The blood only came after days and days and my doctor said it was just because that region was so irritated from going to the bathroom 10 times a day (hemorrhoids, basically). To my knowledge, cancer usually doesn’t involve going many times per day. I was one of the lucky 10-20% who got “recurrent C Diff” and beating it involved four different medicine protocols over the course of almost a year (and, yes, I’m young and healthy and not otherwise immunocompromised). I still have yet to take antibiotics since then and next time I do there’s a good chance it will come back and I’ll have to do this all over again. But obviously it is a billion times better than cancer.

  10. Preggo in Japan? says:

    Long time follower but first time poster here. I am pregnant with baby #1 and just found out I will be traveling to Japan for depositions this summer at about 24-25 weeks pregnant. Any special tips? I have never visited Japan before, so curious to hear thoughts on what to wear/pack, any cultural thoughts re pregnancy in Japan, general tips for overseas travel during pregnancy, etc. I’ll be there for 2 weeks and hoping I can mix and match enough pieces to come up with acceptable “suits.” I get the sense that Japanese culture would dictate more formal dress than my (biglaw but very casual) office. Mostly I am really excited to eat sushi without being shamed for it!

    • Sushi says:

      No advice but I think you may still get shamed for eating sushi while pregnant..?

    • bluefield says:

      I eat sushi in the US while pregnant, shame be damned. It’s a stupid rule anyway. You can always order in if you don’t want weird looks :).

      • Preggo in Japan? says:

        I admit I have done this once or twice! My understanding with eating sushi in the US is whether you trust the processing and shipment channels from origin to restaurant, but I figure you can’t get much closer to the source than eating sushi in Tokyo.

      • Anonymous says:

        This reminds me… I was at Fathers Day brunch this weekend with DH and 18 month old DS. I am 6 months pregnant and got a smoked salmon tartine. DS was sharing DH’s breakfast and wanted to try a bite of mine. I asked DH, “he can have smoked salmon right? No reason he can’t?” DH: I don’t know, it’s raw fish. Me: wait, what?! Can I eat this?!
        I had no idea! We laughed and I feel fine

  11. AnonHere says:

    I feel totally sexist asking this, but….I’m looking for a babysitter for my 5 year old after school a few days a week. A neighbor boy who is 19 and going to the local community college responded to my ad. I haven’t met him or his family so no personal knowledge one way or the other. It makes me a little uncomfortable, though. Reasonable or sexist?

    • ElisaR says:

      I think anything when it comes to your gut instinct and your children is reasonable.

      I also think it is reasonable to ask anybody who responds to your advertisement for references. That could really either give you comfort with him or if doesn’t come up with anyone then it is an easy “sorry, not going to work out!”

    • Strategy mom says:

      If you have a daughter, reasonable. If you have a son, I’d at least give the guy a shot and an interview with an open mind. But I can relate to the feeling. I would also think this guy has a good reason for being interested in this job – he needs the income and has a flexible schedule. I’m unnerved when older men have an interest in hanging out with younger kids when there isn’t a good reason, and I think that’s a little different than what you are describing.

      • avocado says:

        Yes, a 19-year-old college student is different from an adult man who ought to have a normal full-time job. Regardless of gender, I prefer babysitters who are college students or grad students.

        • avocado says:

          Realizing this sounds sexist. To clarify: I am suspicious of both adult male and female part-time and temporary babysitters who are old enough to have permanent full-time jobs unless there is a logical reason (e.g., young teacher working as a nanny over the summer).

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Probably a little sexist. Does he have references?

      ps – I would probably feel the same, so no judgment here. Just important (in my mind) to acknowledge biases.

    • I have had a lot of great conversations lately with friends/acquaintances that have male aupairs or mannies and they LOVE them. I think there’s something about babysitting being a default role for young women to fall into but you have to really WANT it if you’re a boy/young man. Do your due diligence in checking references etc. but I am pro-manny at this point.

      • avocado says:

        +1. My daughter absolutely adores the young men who work at her after-school program and summer camps, and it appears that all the other little girls do too. She would love to have a properly vetted “boy babysitter.”

    • AnonHere says:

      Yes, should have said that my 5 year old is a girl. He mentioned that he doesn’t have much experience babysitting, so he probably doesn’t have references. I could ask…but…I may listen to my gut on this (even though my gut is probably a bit biased). Thanks all!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Growing up, I had two male babysitters who were neighbor boys, and they were my absolute FAVORITE. They rough-housed and played video games and teased and we did lots of running and jumping and playing that girl babysitters didn’t do.

      I would probably meet with the guy and listen to my gut after that meeting. I don’t think it’s healthy to write off every 19 year old boy as an inappropriate childcare provider, sight unseen.

      • ElisaR says:

        i should add – i agree. one of my favorite babysitters growing up was Danny and he was a teenager. he didn’t play the same way as other babysitters – he liked to do activities with me like “writing” books with stories we both came up with and he illustrated (he was a talented artist). i loved it!

    • Anonymous says:

      I’d be okay with it only if he had solid references. Probably sexist in that I’d be more flexible on number/quality of references for a female applicant.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t blame you, but objectively: sexist.

      There is a male intern (rising senior in high school) at my daycare. I was surprised and found it a little strange at first ,but he is one of my son’s favorite teachers, and I’ve talked to him a few times and he seems like a really nice kid.

      My male neighbor babysits sometimes, but I do know that whole family… so not quite the same. Again, I felt weird about it at first, but he is great with my son.

      In the same vein – wealthy friend of my husband really loves younger kids. His own kids are in college, but friend coaches youth sports, has a lot of friends with young kids (through a rec league sports team where the men range from 20-60ish) and plans & finances elaborate parties for their families occasionally. Think renting out a community center + magic show, or a “little gym” type place, etc. He also buys sporting equipment for his friends’ kids because he knows it’s expensive and they outgrow it so quickly. Money is honestly a non-issue to him, dropping a few hundred dollars is like me buying myself lunch. My husband actually made a comment like “I think he’s just trying to be nice, but sometimes I wonder if [friend] is ‘grooming’ all these kids.” I’m not going to lie, the same thought had crossed my mind, but not in a parent spidey-sense way, just in a “I’m conditioned to think this” kind of way. No one would suspect ulterior motives of a wealthy older woman doing the same thing, we’re just not used to men wanting to hold the baby or grin like a fool watching a bunch of happy kids.

    • Whether it is sexist is irrelevant. If you’re not comfortable with someone watching your child, don’t let him/her. Don’t use your child to prove some point to the world.

  12. Husband vent says:

    Please forgive in advance the seeming extreme superficiality of this post. It’s less worry about my looks (genuinely) and much more about being distressed with my husband.
    I was recently emailed a picture of my husband and me on our wedding day. I said “aww,” and showed him, and said, “so do I look much different?” He says, “well, you look older.” This really bugged me! And I’m trying to figure out if I’m being unreasonable – or how unreasonable, more accurately, because I did ask. At the same time, it’s only from 12 years ago, and frankly (and yes, pettily) he looks much more different than I do. There are plenty of things he could have said to soften it, like “but you’re just as pretty,” etc. Or even something like ‘you’re just as fit’ – after having two kids, I’ve worked to lose the baby weight, and though my body looks different, it’s fit, and I mention that only because it really would have been an easy way for him to soften it up.
    I’m bothered because he’s said this a few times. I saw a picture of myself a few months ago and said “yikes,” because it just wasn’t great, and he said, ‘your eyes do look sadder.’ The first Valentine’s day after my first child was born I commented on how sort of drawn I was looking, and he said, ‘well, having kids DOES age you.’
    From the sound of all this, it will sound like I constantly talk about/invite comment on my looks. I don’t – it’s just that it seems like whenever I do, it’s the same very unflattering response.
    To add to it – I had kids pretty late, and for years people would tell me how young I looked for my age. My husband would say it too, but then add, ‘it’s because you haven’t had kids.’ So – now that I’ve had them, I guess it’s in his head that I look older.

    I hate that I’m thinking about this. I don’t care if I look older – I should! I care that my husband seems to have so little regard for making me feel good about myself. He’s generally otherwise sweet, honestly. That’s why this is confounding, and I’m wondering if I’m being unfair and unreasonable – I am, after all, asking him.

    • Marilla says:

      I think (generalization alert) many husbands are a little dumb when it comes to stuff like this. At a time when you’re not feeling vulnerable or drawing attention to a photo, tell him: “Sometimes I feel crummy about how I look now and I need you to reassure me that I still look as beautiful to you as the day we married.” He needs instructions from you to know how to respond. If I had to guess – if you point blank asked him – of course he still thinks you are beautiful. He just doesn’t know that’s what he’s supposed to say. And he may also have the mental block of the sort of fact-focused response “of course we’re older and greyer and more wrinkled.”

      • bluefield says:

        To be frank: you’re not asking to get an honest answer – you’re basically fishing for a compliment. Which is OK! We all have needs. But you need to be upfront about this with your husband. Tell him that when you ask these questions or make these remarks, you are not looking a blunt assessment, you’re looking for reassurance.

    • mascot says:

      How does he do at spontaneous or unsolicited comments? Does he pay you compliments then? Recent story from my marriage. We were talking about bathing suits and I was saying how I needed a new one. My husband agreed and said that the one I had, a tankini, wasn’t very flattering. I asked him what specifically he thought didn’t look good and he told me. I felt a little self conscious that I had been wearing this unflattering suit for so long, but generally agreed with his assessment and was ultimately appreciative that he spoke up. I then decided that life was too short for unflattering swim suits and that the people at the pool could deal with my “mom bod.” Wore my new bikini for the first time this weekend. God bless my husband who enthusiastically told me unsolicited multiple times that day how much he liked my new suit. I think we have a negativity bias and therefore we (over)remember the negative things that were said and forget the negative ones. When I make an effort to notice all the little ways my husband shows his love, I find those far outweigh the “negative” comments that may come about from a pointed question.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Why does he keep pointing out that you look old and tired?! I’d feel hurt and also angry too. Have you told him directly how hurtful all of his comments are? Maybe he thinks that he’s just agreeing with your original comment rather than realizing he should soften the response or pay you a compliment instead. Is he otherwise complimentary / uplifting / or tell you that you’re attractive?

    • Honestly, I think asking husbands that are not born diplomats this kind of question is asking for trouble.

      I think you should be clear with him about what you want – not necessarily a 100% honest answer, but one that will make you feel good. I think my husband feels like situations like this are a trap with no good outcome for him – if he tells me a dress isn’t flattering, I’ll be hurt, and if he tells me it does (only after me asking the question and therefore prompting a comment), I won’t believe him. You are probably less crazy than me but I think it does sound like you would prefer he not be 100% candid. Also, it sounds like you need him to offer positive feedback about your appearance more often, ideally unprompted. Tell him that. Don’t assume he knows it.

      Another spin on it – he may feel you have no reason not to feel good about yourself, because he thinks you are great, and therefore doesn’t understand the need to seize these opportunities to tell you how good you look.

  13. I am so tired and sad today and missing my baby. I won’t see him tonight because I have a work event that runs until 8, so he’ll be in bed when I get back. I’m exhausted because two nights ago I couldn’t sleep (we’re closing on a house, supposed to be today but – blah – got pushed to Friday, I was really anxious) and last night Baby woke up at 1 a.m. and I nursed him back to sleep. That rarely happens these days, but of course did on a night where I was so tired. We rushed around this morning to get out before the walkthrough in anticipation of the closing that didn’t happen, so I didn’t have my baby time this morning. I’m totally swamped at work so I can’t take time off tomorrow to hang out with him, especially since closing is Friday now (so I’ll have to leave work in the middle of the day…again.)

    I just need to be sad about disappointing life events and missing my baby to people who won’t tell me something annoying about how working is making me miss the important parts of my child’s life. I already feel that, thanks.

    • Husband vent says:

      You poor thing! I feel that pain – I won’t see my own little ones tonight before they go to bed and it s*cks. No advice, just hugs and commiseration.

  14. Husband vent says:

    You are all so wonderful for responding, and with such thoughtfulness, too. Thank you. He actually is not so good at spontaneously telling me I’m beautiful, although will here and there say “you look nice” if I’m dressed up. I think I will take the advice to tell him at a non-vulnerable moment how it makes me feel. And it’s true I may be focusing more on the negative.
    I’m half considering showing him this thread but it might make him embarrassed.:)

  15. AnonMom says:

    I just saw my 9 month old baby fall on the hard wood floor from the couch in a split of second while the nanny was putting something away. Thankful now for the Nest Camera. I will not tell her anything just to see if she is honest. I am so worried about him now. They went in the park so I cannot see how he is reacting. What signs should send us to the ER?

    • mascot says:

      This article is similar to the advice we got from our pediatrician, espcially regarding falls from low heights.
      Also, does your pediatrician’s office have a nurse advice line? They are really good for things like this. You can ask them for warning signs. Also, ask them about when to wrroy about goose-eggs. I watched my kid pitch forward into the corner of a wall and the lump that he got looked horrible, although he was fine other from being a little tender.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Kiddo started walking at 10 months and for the first few months, I was pretty sure she was just testing her skull’s strength and durability. I asked the pediatrician what I should worry about in a head injury, and she said, “Kids have hard heads for a reason.” She said that if the fall is from less than 3 feet, any wounds will probably be superficial.

      And the thing that made me feel much better after kiddo fell off a changing table at 5 months old – I was madly googling for lists of symptoms, and instead ran across a whole bunch of articles and stories written by moms/caregivers whose babies had fallen off changing tables, couches, beds, etc. It’s really, really common.

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