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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?
Summer maternity leave uniform? says
I’ll be on maternity leave most of the summer with twins. With my first, I was on maternity leave in the fall/winter and I lived in yoga pants, nursing tanks, and cardigans or zip-up hoodies. I plan on spending most of my time in nursing tanks again, but I’m assuming the cardigans/hoodies will be too warm, and going without would make me feel pretty exposed (38H right now). I’ve seen a few short-sleeved zip-up hoodies, but otherwise I’m thinking oversized tshirts over the nursing tanks. Other suggestions?
This might not work if you have a toddler you need to be wrestling, but I think tunics/sundresses might be workable and be usable post-nursing. Maybe put on leggings if you want to leave the house.
When I was pregnant in summer of 2015, I had a super lightweight cotton hoodie I loved from Old Navy. I’d probably wear shorts or capri leggings, tanks, and a lightweight hoodie if I needed some more coverage while nursing. If I wasn’t nursing and it was hot, I’d probably take the hoodie off. What I just described was my summer pregnancy uniform. I didn’t use nursing tanks after I left the hospital. I just bought the regular cheap Target tanks with wider straps. I don’t like spaghetti straps. And I didn’t give a rats a$$ what my stomach looked like. I’d just had a baby. People get it. The few times I did care, I wore my belly band. And I didn’t wear tanks at all much after birth. I wore the Target v-neck tees. But that’s just my preference in general, maternity/nursing or not.
Really lightweight cotton or linen buttondowns (potentially in a size larger than you usually wear) — I had a few from H&M but I’m sure you can find them at Old Navy, etc. I had three of them and lived in them during my summer nursing period — I just rolled up the sleeves on hot days. Honestly I felt much more fashionable and put-together than I do now in my winter nursing hoodies.
Oops, that wasn’t the OP (would be weird if she answered her own question) — username leftover from another comment a few weeks ago. Sorry!
+1 I found these workable in NYC summer (fairly hot) but not as great in Texas (ridiculously hot/humid). I layered a loose tank over nursing tank and it was still pretty hot. But you can’t expect to not be pretty hot here in the summer.
Anon in NYC says
I was on maternity leave over the summer. I wore nursing bras and then a tank top over that. I usually wore shorts, or cropped yoga pants.
I spent a lot of time in a nursing cami and either a Target v-neck t-shirt or one of these shirts from Amazon: “Free to Live Women’s Lightweight Short Sleeve Criss Cross Nursing Tops”. They are super lightweight so don’t add much warmth and I felt a little more covered and put together. And cheap – 3 pack for $30.
Summer maternity leave uniform? says
Oooh, this could be perfect, thanks!
My first maternity leave was during the summer. I had a few Jcrew linen cardigans that were great!
maxi dresses with loose enough straps you can slide them down to nurse (if you’re nursing), maxi skirts + nursing friendly tops, and for around the house/yard/when I didn’t GAF (most times), I rocked some cool looking maternity shorts/yoga crops.
Also, a maternity bathing suit.
not really a uniform, but i love the rosie pope anita dress. and bun maternity nursing tanks from nordstrom, which are nice enough to be actual shirts and not just camis under something.
Hi All. Can we talk about retirement savings? Hubby and I max out our 401ks each year and each get a couple thousand from our employers beyond that. Our financial planner doesn’t think we need to do anything beyond that. They also assume in their projections that social security will exist in some form when we retire. We’re 34 and 35 now. Do others agree/receive the same advice? Any thoughts appreciated and probably happy to provide more information if needed ;)
That’s what, $35,000+/year you are stashing away? I think you are fine unless you plan to retire early or have a super expensive retirement. We figure that our 2 biggest expenses (house payment and tuition) will be gone by then.
Have you seen the detailed calculations and the assumptions on which they are based? It all depends on how much you want to spend each year in retirement (in terms of $$ as well as % of assets), the rate of return, and the rate of inflation. If you use an on-line calculator, you can run a sensitivity analysis by plugging in a range of assumptions for inflation and returns to see what the various results are.
For us what you’re doing would be plenty, even assuming social security evaporated, but your preferences may vary.
My advice is always to fund retirement just enough to get the employer match first, but then work on “now” savings. Do you have a healthy emergency fund? Are your loans paid off, at least the higher-interest ones? If those are in place, then you can max your 401k. Once you have that in place, then you can look at other savings vehicles, which depends on your amount and finances and risk tolerance, but I wouldn’t do more retirement-specific saving.
I don’t think it’s smart for a thirtysomething to count on SSI for retirement. But I probably wouldn’t save more in a retirement-specific account (beyond a 401k or equivalent) since the world is so volatile and jobs aren’t as secure as they once were. I’d invest in a more liquid account so you have access to the money if something unexpected happens and you need the money at age 55 instead. Did your planner have suggestions for other ways you can save? Do you have kids or plan on kids, and want to start a college savings account? Could you beef up your “now” savings? Could you pay off your mortgage or your cars (or save so that your next purchase can be in cash)?
CPA Lady says
I think we’re in this weird in-between stage as a country where we can’t decide whether or not we want to be “socialist” (I use that term loosely) like European countries with huge social safety nets and tax rates to pay for it. It’s really hard to plan for such an uncertain future and I think we’re in for a day of financial reckoning as all the (vastly financially unprepared) boomers age and die and wrack up insane medical and elder care bills along the way.
All that paranoia aside, we’re saving 15% of our gross income at the moment, paying off our house rapidly, and generally staying out of debt. We could be doing more, and probably will ramp up our saving in the future once our big expenses are out of the way. Other than that, I try not to worry about it. I think some Social Security will be available when we retire, but I would guess that the retirement age will be high and the benefits will be low. But as long as there are people working and paying into it, there should be something coming out. I certainly am not relying on it as my sole source of income for the future though.
So we are probably too conservative, but DH and I are pretty debt averse and have basically always worked only to get to the point where we could walk away from work. His job has fluctuated and he goes through periods of hating and wanting to quit and periods of tolerating it for the $ (and honestly for lack of imagination / nerve to do something else). We are in our 40s now and have enough saved that we don’t need to work high-powered jobs anymore. That is incredibly freeing and really helps with work stress (more for him than for me, because even though I don’t HAVE to work, I am a professor who loves her job and I WANT tenure!).
All that to say that our approach has been to maximize every pre-tax opportunity, after paying school loans (UG only loans for both of us; paid off before we met); saving emergency fund (6 months expenses), and saving cash for replacing cars/whatever we need (about 50k liquid).
Now we keep maxing out retirement because it’s a tax saving strategy, especially as our incomes have increased. I’m actually eligible to save in 2 401k type funds so we max those (36k/year), plus DH’s 401k (18k), plus mandatory pre-tax contribution to my pension (about 7k), plus DH contributes 10% to his ESPP, plus 5k each to Traditional IRAs that get covered to Roths…and all of that is on top of being eligible for a state-sponsored pension that will pay almost all my salary after 30 years.
We also have about 250k saved for college in 529 plans for 3 kids, but have stopped contributing because the kids are young and the $ should grow, and we should also be able to cash flow any extra.
We haven’t prioritized paying off our house because we haven’t figured out if we are staying in the area and the interest rate is so low that it doesn’t bother us to have that debt.
So, we don’t need to keep saving for retirement but it’s hard to go from being frugal to spending all the money we do have. We are slowly but surely starting to throw money at problems, like more housekeeping and child care, and we are getting used to more expensive types of travel (hello, hotel snobs!), but there is only so much that I think is reasonable to spend, so we have also increased our charitable giving.
I realize we are incredibly, incredibly fortunate to be where we are financially, but also that we sacrificed when we were younger to get to this point and it was 100% worth it to have this freedom and peace of mind now.
Interesting. We don’t have a financial planner, but we do the following:
– Max 401k
– 12k/year to our investment account
– 10k/year to college savings for 2 kids (grandparents also contributing to college savings)
– Keep husband’s stock grants in our investment portfolio (keep them in company stock or sell and buy other stock)
We don’t count on any social security FWIW.
Boston Legal Eagle says
Isn’t this why we’re having kids – so the next generation can keep paying into SS? #payitforward. Only partly kidding, but I do think it will be interesting to see what happens to all the retiring boomers. A lot of our policies regarding work, particularly working parents, don’t make sense now because if you want as many people out there working as possible to pay for your “entitlements,” you really should be putting in place better working conditions so that fewer people quit out of sheer impossibility of making it all work. But that’s another thread for another day! I do think these policies will change (slooooowly), as millenials get into power.
As for retirement, I put in the max into my 401K + an employer match and my husband puts in a little less than the max and also gets a match that puts his yearly total around $19,000. We have a small mutual fund in place for extra savings and are also putting in money into a 529. We’re also saving for a house right now and paying for daycare so there’s not a lot of extra money floating around. I figure we are ok for retirement savings assuming nothing catastrophic medically happens (which is out of our hands).
We max out 401k and then aim to save an additional 10% or so per year to a taxable investment account. We have our paychecks setup to auto-contribute to that account and try to bump up the percentage if we’re coming in consistently under our budget.
FWIW, this is our plan after paying off debt, funding an emergency fund and refinancing into a 15 year mortgage.
I contribute 8% of my salary to my 401k, because my company matches 150% up to 8%. I also have a Roth IRA, but I paused that for a while, because day care plus our mortgage is making things a bit tight. My husband will have a pension. He has a small 401k at work but he doesn’t contribute to it right now (his company contributes 3%). My goal is to contribute the max to my Roth IRA and the max to my 401k at some point, but that point is not right now.
Before the divorce, ex-husband and I used to max out our 401(k)’s, contribute the max each year to a Roth (via IRA rollovers), got our employer contributions to 401(k)s, and socked away 10% of our gross earnings in an investment account each year, plus building home equity. Now I don’t even come close to maxing out my 401(k), although I do still get the employer contribution, I don’t have equity in a house, and I don’t contribute to my Roth anymore. And this is the first year I’ve been able to start adding to my liquid savings again, after a couple years of dipping into it as I learned to live on my post-divorce budget. Having said that – I had 7 years of big retirement contributions that will grow significantly over the course of my career, and my Roth is almost six figures. I may not be able to retire at 55 the way I had hoped, but I’ll hopefully have the flexibility to extend my career as long as I need to make my savings last.
We’re not saving enough for retirement. We’re maxing our Roths, which is a little over 10% of our HHI. Neither of us is eligible for a 401K right now, although I will be next month. My firm contributes a set percentage regardless of our contributions.
We’re paying our mortgage on our (owner-occupied) triplex, which is certainly part of our retirement plan. Rental income from 2 units pays for property taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc., so once the house is paid off, we will be able to either live there with no housing expenses or rent out all 3 units for a stream of income.
I’d like to be able to save more, but daycare + mortgage + health insurance + Roth contributions is 2/3 of my take-home pay and leaves us with about $2000 for groceries, gas, OOP healthcare expenses, clothing, and any entertainment.
We also max out our 401ks, but I think of basically all savings and equity in our condo as savings for retirement. We want to retire ASAP.
Both max 401ks, no match
Husband pays 4k a month to student loans, which will be gone soon so then we can save that too
Save 6-8k a month in a taxable investment account
4k mortgage payment, about 70% going to equity at this point
Not counting of social security
We had our daughter’s annual IEP meeting this morning. I read the report last night, so there was no “news” at the meeting, but, man, those meetings are draining and tough! I’m working from home today and just want to do exactly nothing.
I could use some words of encouragement: She is getting ready to enter K. Her speech delay last year was moderate, and while her speech has not worsened, it is that she has made little to no progress. As a result, her speech delay is now considered severe. They are increasing her speech services. Her challenge is articulation, not understanding language.
At the meeting, they asked whether we (her parents) noticed or had trouble understanding her. I said that I do have trouble, but I don’t notice it very much because I am used to the way she speaks. They asked us to start practicing with her at home. I can absolutely do that, but I feel overwhelmed at taking on that role with her and balancing that with the limited time I have with her. I just want to call the day a loss and watch mindless tv/escape, but I know I should be working.
No encouragement as we haven’t been there yet (still in the IFSP world, not IEP yet), but I just wanted to let you know I get it! DD has significant delays and we’re juggling a lot of therapies. So your comment about feeling overwhelmed about doing more with her while also balancing that limited time really hits home for me. So just sending you virtual hugs! I’m sorry, but know that you’re doing an amazing job!
This will be okay. We started speech therapy 4 years ago for an articulation issue. We couldn’t understand a portion of what our 3 year old said, the general public could understand even less. I got so used to people looking at us to translate when he talked to them, he was so frustrated that he couldn’t be understood. It was heartbreaking. It has been a slow process and we still have work to do, but now you can understand him. He can talk to his friends, he can order his own meal when we are out to dinner. He still gets tongue tied because he speaks so quickly, but now his teachers and friends and family all know that asking him to slow down and try again fixes a lot of it. And yes, there are still words and moments that we have to ask several times what he is trying to say (I can’t remember what last night’s word was). Now his vocabulary is bigger so he can find a synonym or description and we can figure out the problem word together. We do speech therapy 2x/week and have homework. It doesn’t take very long to do and we know enough now to be able to work with him at non-homework times too. I’m sure they’ve told you, but speech issues can be slow to resolve because some of these sounds come later than others even with normal child development. Hang in there.
I grew up with siblings with varying levels of speech delays from mild to severe. The worksheets sent home from the speech therapist were critical. Those sheets were always at an arms reach and it was everyone’s responsibility to run through them once a day. I was a significantly older sibling, so I did a run through as well as Mom and Dad. Eating dinner together was important to my Mom, so the sheet came along to the dinner table and she would do a run through then. We’d do the words in the car, while getting ready for bed, while putting shoes on.
If setting aside a half hour to do words sounds stressful, try to just sprinkle it in during every interaction. The effort is worth it, trust me.
Set yourself a realistic goal – even 5 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening will make a difference.
My BFF is a speech pathologist and she says that daily practice at home is a huge factor in success. It’s the frequency, not just the duration that helps. If you can’t manage a half hour, start with 5 minutes and go from there.
Aww, hugs! My daughter also has an articulation issue. It’s tough to think about taking on another thing on top of an already busy schedule. Like Walnut said, I found it easier to fit the work in throughout our day. Our speech therapist would give us a big packet each week, and we would work through as time allowed (but rarely finish it). I typically focused on helping my daughter practice whatever sound she had worked on with the Speech Therapist that week. My kiddo is in K now and she has improved significantly over the year. We think it’s related to her improved understanding of letters and sounds.
Still, it’s tough. I distinctly remember how horrible I felt when the school speech therapist told me that my hearing loss probably means that I don’t perfectly hear when my daughter speaks incorrectly, so I don’t correct her. Which is probably true, but of course I internalized that it’s all my fault. Sigh….
Thank you, truly, for your understanding and support. I think setting the small goals may be the way to go for us. Part of what is daunting is just figuring out how to do this with her. I know how to pronounce words, but I’m not sure I can show her or can explain what I am doing. I guess I’m concerned about doing it “wrong,” especially given that I don’t necessarily notice when her pronunciation is off. And I know that I speak very quickly (I blame biglaw for that!), so I feel ill-equipped to work with her.
Our homework is broken down to one or two letter sounds/blends to focus on. We also check in with the therapist who can demonstrate what to model with our mouths and what to listen for. As for talking fast, that’s something the whole family can work on. It doesn’t take special skills. When you listen to yourself speak, you should sound (to your ear) like you are talking really slowly. That’s about the right pace for speech. My son now corrects both of us for talking fast. Even my drawling husband tends to speak rapidly when he’s on the phone and doing something like giving his address or name. I make a point to tell him to slow down. Even the simple awareness of your pace can help a lot.
If you’re not sure what activities to do, definitely ask the speech pathologist for specific instructions or info sheets on what to do.
Family hand-me-down obligations says
I’m about to have my 3rd. This is our last. We are done. DONE DONE DONE. Did I mention we are done? :)
I have two younger siblings. My sister is married, but separated and may be divorcing. She’s early 30s and long ago was in team Having Kids, but has since waffled and really doesn’t think she’ll be having any (much to our mother’s Great and Annoyingly Obvious Disappointment). My brother is a “failure to launch” and is also early 30s, with a life dream to charter yachts. Which he does. He has miscellaneous girlfriends from time to time, but IF he has kids, I will be shocked if it’s any time in the next decade. He’s just not there (but he’s a fab uncle!).
DH has a half sister who has her own kids and who is DONE DONE DONE as well.
Do I have any obligation whatsoever to hold on to any baby items that I don’t specifically want ask keepsakes/for my own kids to be burdened with some day? No? Good! Tell me what you kept and what you got rid of. My mom thinks I’m a monster for wanting to get rid of our crib (which was a pottery barn craigslist find, used to us and now used for 3 kids. It’s fine, but it wasn’t like, handmade by DH…), “crazy” for not keeping our high chair or pack and play (again– in at best ‘good used’ condition and complete commodities) selfish for not holding onto things for “my sister… or other friends that might want them.”
I have used exactly none of the stuff my mom saved of mine when I was a baby, and none of the stuff DH’s mom keeps sending us (also, we have girls. DH was not a girl. Yes, those overalls are cute but my girls don’t want to rock 1982 boys overalls, thanks.)
What say ye? And what have you kept/ possibly regretted not keeping?
I personally saved a few sentimental pieces of clothing. We still have their muslin swaddle blankets, but use them for play now. We also still have the chair and ottoman I nursed #2 in but they’re functional outside of baby use. So – I really don’t think you need to keep anything except a few small sentimental things. My kids are 3 and 6 and I haven’t regretted getting rid of anything yet. A crib…just…no. The one and only thing my parents kept that we use daily is a wooden stepstool/chair. My in-laws have a kid-sized rocking chair and kid table and chairs that we use when we visit. That’s it!
To the extent you need it – you have permission to NOT KEEP all of the mounds of baby/small kid stuff. If your sibs want the stuff, they can store it. Things that we are keeping 1. pack n play (folds up small and good for visiting family, friends who are all rotating through the baby phase to use when they visit) – only if you have the room! 2. Will probably keep some of the good quality wooden toys – my parents pull out our old toys when we visit and my kids love them and I would like to be able to do the same (I’m talking a set of wooden blocks, some trains, and maybe a doll or two), 3. some keepsake clothing.
Definitely keep the pack n play! It is such a blessing when we visit someone who’s like, “Oh and I have a pack n play” and we don’t need to lug ours with us on our trip.
My brother and his wife are probably 6-8 years behind me in child-bearing. And despite that, I kept nothing except a few items of clothes that I loved or had sewed for kiddo! The minute kiddo outgrew a thing or clothes, I passed it right along to someone else who would use it now, or consigned it, or trashed it (my crib slats and rails had bowed out and it didn’t feel safe anymore). I just passed along a beloved scooter that kiddo outgrew. We have a ton of pictures of her using it, I don’t need to find room for the thing into perpetuity.
My parents bought some things they are storing for other eventual grandkids – a crib, pack and play, booster seat, some big toys, etc. That’s fine; it’s their stuff, they can do whatever they want. I’m not sure my SIL will allow her (eventual) baby to use them, because she’s a bit of a control freak and the stuff will not be the latest and safest technology by then, but that’s not my problem!
100% don’t keep big items. If your mom wants to keep it for possible future grandkid visits, she can keep it at her house.
For baby clothes/small toys – I have one 40 L box for each kid. I’ve used a few things that my mom saved for me or MIL saved for DH- a quilt my grandma made for me that my daughter now uses or a hat that DH’s grandma knit for him. Keep a few special things but not the day to day stuff.
Oh man, I plan on getting rid of everything. I’m 25 weeks pregnant and already getting rid of the maternity clothes that I know I won’t wear again. I kept all the clothes from my first because I figured we’d have another, but now I’m ruthlessly purging anything that I know won’t work size/seasonally for the new babies.
This is where I would tell (and have told) my mom that she can keep whatever of mine she wants as long as she stores it. All I care is that it’s out of my house.
Boston Legal Eagle says
I think you can keep a few sentimental things (first blanket maybe, favorite stuffed animal, etc.) and donate/throw away everything else you won’t need and won’t have space for. My MIL kept a bunch of my husband’s baby stuff that he really doesn’t care about now, except maybe one security blanket that he remembers from his childhood. She’s given us a few of my husband’s old baby clothes for our son and, to be honest, they’re our least favorite clothes because they are not our style. With cribs and car seats, safety standards/styles can change so much in a few years that there’s really no reason to keep those around vs. just donating them to someone who can use them now. Better to have these items go to use for real kids now whose parents actually need them instead of holding on to them for some hypothetical kids your siblings might have.
Nope. I am you, except we stopped at 2. We have several younger siblings between H and I. None of them have kids. One sister is married, but still a year or two away from kids. I am saving NOTHING with the intent of passing it down. If one of them gets pregnant here in the next year before I manage to purge it all, they’re welcome to look, but I am not holding anything for them.
I should mention that none of them live in the same town as us anyway, and I cannot imagine that the cost of either shipping or traveling to get any of these items makes it worthwhile either.
Vote for donating after offering it to family if they want to ship/store. The safety standards seem to change so frequently that it will save many awkward conversations where the heirloom is offered to new parents-to-be.
In terms of sentimental stuff, I like the limits of one bin of toys (basement or attic), one box of memory items (coming home outfit, announcement, etc) and lots of digital storage for all the photos.
With the exception if you have local friends who are a year or two behind you, it may be worth keeping a few things that enable them to come over and visit more easily (pac n’ play, a few toys your kids have developmentally outgrown, etc)
Get rid of it all and never think of this again.
This! I couldn’t wait to get rid of all the clutter.
Another one for Team Donate. Hey, if someone wants it then THEY can store it for you. We keep a small box of sentimental items per child. I also somehow ended up with two pack ‘n’ plays; gave one to a friend and kept the other for friends/family who might need it when staying with us in the future (but we have a 3600 sq. ft. house so it’s NBD to stash it somewhere).
If it were me, I would keep a few sentimental outfits and favorite toys. I’d give the rest away or maybe try to sell some via Facebook marketplace (Craigslist isn’t used much in my area). The one piece of “gear” I might keep, and it is a BIG MIGHT, is the pack and play as a convenience to future overnight guests with a young child.
In addition to the pack ‘n play, if you have one of those big play yards that’s essentially a folding plastic fence it can come in very handy with guests once you start un-babyproofing your house. We didn’t keep ours, and whenever a baby or toddler visits us I wish we had.
Get rid of all of it! Donate and think of how much of a difference it could make to a mom that needs them. When/if you have grandkids, you’ll want new things anyway, since by then they’ll have discovered all kinds of new safety info or tricks. Unless there’s a stuffed animal or two that your kids were super attached to as babies, I’d happily pass on the clothes, furniture, gear, etc etc. Photos and memories are way more valuable than the actual stuff.
I have one kid and I gave away everything except a small box of keepsakes when I got divorced. I’m still young enough that it’s not outside the realm of possibility that I could remarry and have another kid, or that my sister who adamantly doesn’t want kids changes her mind, but it feels GREAT to have all that stuff out. This stuff is easily replaceable.
CPA Lady says
I’ve gotten rid of nearly everything. The clothing keepsakes live in a plastic box in her closet and the “art” keepsakes live in a paper accordian file box. Everything else goes. I take pictures of her nicer looking art and put the pictures of the art in the annual photo book as a compromise.
FWIW, I told one of my coworkers I was selling my kids crib and she was appalled. She said she still has her kid’s crib in her garage. Her kids are my age. I think the longer you hold onto something the harder it is to get rid of. After she finished being appalled she told me I was smart to get rid of it.
LOL at your coworker. My mom is the same. “[Audible gasp!] You are not saving all the finger paintings granddaughter makes?! [several minutes elapse…] You’re right not to save those things; they just take up room in the garage and no one looks at them.”
In general, I’m on team donate. BUT — as we were growing up and donating/giving away toys, my mom occasionally snagged/kept toys as “Grandma’s House Toys.” They were HER favorites of the ones we played with and were labeled in a specific box that would never be given away. (And this was instituted way before we were able to have kids of our own, so it was not a pressure point to provide grandbabies.) Now that I have my own kids who visit Grandma, that box of toys is treasured. All that to say, within reasonable limits, keep some toys (just like the pack n play, they’re helpful for visitors) and have them be special toys that are only at your house when grandkids/friends with small kids visit some day.
I have used “Grandma’s house toys” as a way to convince my kid to let go of some outgrown items that she never played with but didn’t want to give away just because they were really cool toys (not sentimental). So far Grandma has welcomed them, and the little cousins get a lot of use out of them.
Oops, misread your message. Our Grandma’s house toys go to current Grandma’s house. They do not get saved at our house for the next generation.
annoyed boss says
I just started a new job and everything I do seems to annoy my manager. I wrote last week – it’s a very trying time (we’re undergoing an audit that she’s unexpectedly leading) and so my tasks are very different, very administrative, from what presumably I’ll be doing once it’s over. I’ve had a good attitude and have been trying to be helpful and doing everything that’s asked of me.
Without going into detail – I just seem to have gotten on her bad side. She’s snappish with me in a way she’s not with other people. Questions that would reasonably be perceived as neutral and even reflecting that I’m trying to help are instead registering as annoying. And I’m not asking a lot or anything unreasonable. For example – I was tasked with something yesterday that included a folder with samples. I don’t have access to that network folder – it’s sensitive- so I asked today by email if I could request permission to access it. The response was general irritation at being interrupted (there is a huge deadline today, and the task I asked about doesn’t start until next week ). I honestly think now that basically anything I do is going to be seen as annoying. And I’ve never experienced this! I’ve seen it with other people in other jobs/capacities– where they’re held to an unreasonable standard, or the threshold of annoyance is just lower – and always felt bad for them, realizing even then that such things are arbitrary, generally. Now it is me and it feels terrible. Any advice? There really is a difference in how I’m treated versus other people, so it’s hard to attribute it to just the stress of the moment.
Oh, hugs. I had a boss flip on me like this, and it was brutal. I remember getting chewed out for 45 minutes about using a comma in a way that she didn’t like….
Do you have a robust HR department, or is there someone over your boss’s head? It might be that your boss is struggling with something you don’t know about, and HR or boss’s supervisor have insight into that thing and can help shuffle responsibilities around. Or it might be a pattern with your boss that someone already knows about. Get on it fast though; if it is as bad as it sounds, it will escalate without action, and could be super toxic. Good luck. Please feel free to come on here to vent or ask for help.
annoyed boss says
You are so kind. This made me feel a lot better. And gave me some great direction, and validation. :)
Thank you so much.
I am leaving on a last minute business trip. Help!
Luckily I have enough frozen breastmilk for my son when I’m gone, but how do I bring home the milk I pump while
I’m away? It is a 6 hour plus flight, in case that matters. I will be gone for four nights.
I did, but I understand some people are not as comfortable with my approach to the storage of breastmilk. Most times I pumped throughout the day then took to the hotel freezer at night (arranged with front desk; no problem). I then traveled home with all the frozen milk plus my frozen ice packs and refroze when I got home. I had very little thawing with a cooler and adding ice at the airport. (Again, BM police, I know this is not recommended.)
Also, good luck! You got this!
We had an electrical issue with our freezer with frozen BM in it. At that time, the official recommendation was that if there was ice crystals still in the milk, it was considered frozen and not thawed. It could be put back in the freezer and totally refrozen without worry. I think (but am certainly not an expert) that in such a case the milk doesn’t “go bad” as much as some of the materials become less effective or bioavailable. We marked the milk that went through the freezer emergency as “use as a last resort” because it made us feel better. But you don’t have to. I would absolutely carry all of mine. And print out the TSA rules stating what your rights are to take with you just in case. Alternatively, I would consider shipping it if I already had a healthy freezer supply. You might be able to convince your employer to pay for it.
Thanks for this!
To be more official about it: https://kellymom.com/hot-topics/frozen-milk-power-outage/
I kind of think my husband might have found something from the USDA or CDC, too. But I don’t see anything linked on that page, so we probably just relied on Kellymom. I always think of it as a reputable source.
store it in medela bags, ask your hotel to freeze it for you every night, and bring along a soft little cooler (i used a free one i got from enfamil, ironically) to transport it home. a big bag of frozen stuff will stay pretty cold. when i did this it got a little unfrozen but we all survived.
or you could skip the hassle and just dump it.
This is what I do – regularly. Never had an issue getting it through TSA other than a little extra time.
Also – the best advice on this I got from the book Work. Pump. Repeat was to view any milk you bring home from a business trip as *bonus. That way I’ve given myself permission not to worry about how much makes it home and if I think its gotten too warm I’ll toss it with no hard feelings.
I didn’t aim for frozen, since milk is good for 6? days in the fridge. I brought a big cooler (Polar 6-pack, or something) and several gallon-sized ziplocs. I filled the ziplocs about 1/3 full of ice, 1/3 full of water, and 1/3 full of individually bagged milks. Kept this setup in the hotel minifridge during the week (it didn’t seem super cold to me). Change out ice as necessary during the week, and again right before leaving (and ditch the water right before leaving). If you mix the ice and milk so they’re layered, everything stays super cold. If TSA makes you dump the ice/water mix (once they did, once they didn’t for me), you can refill at a restaurant at the airport.
Paging the anon looking for budgets says
To the anon poster from yesterday inquiring about paying off student loans and looking for sample budgets… I posted a very brief breakdown of our monthly household budget on the thread.
I love seeing these things too if others want to share. I often feel like we can’t afford our lives even though we don’t live frivolously. Our daycare bills kill us.
I’ll bite on the budget –
Single working mom, so my two income sources are wages and child support. I rent, and I paid off my student loans several years ago before having a kid (thank you, past me). I’m including only my portion of kid-related expenses; kiddo’s dad and I don’t track this to the penny, but we divide up the big items so I pay about 1/3 (he makes twice what I do).
My biggest monthly payment is about $2K for rent. I also struggled with mental health issues during pregnancy and afterward and continue to pay…a lot…to my therapist, out of pocket (I have an HSA and could refund myself some of it, but I’m saving those bills so I can use the funds for later). It’s about the same as my monthly student loan payments were when I still had those.
I have a car payment of $400, and I pay about $300 per month in childcare expenses. Insurance (car, renters, umbrella, life) is about $150. Convenience stuff – cable, internet, data plan, house cleaner, a storage unit is about $650. And I put daily purchases (lunch out, groceries, Amazon, clothes purchases, entertainment, travel etc) on a credit card, which I pay in full each month; that usually runs to about $1,500 to $2,000. In a good month, I have about $200 extra to sock in savings. I also contribute to an HSA and a 401(k), and pay for health insurance on a pre-tax basis so I don’t even factor those into my budget.
I sometimes cringe that I spend $1,500-$2K per month on day to day “frivolous” expenses, but when I look at it – $100 per week for groceries, another $200-$300 per month for consumables like toothpaste and kleenex and diapers, some co-pays and medication expenses, and kiddo outgrows clothes like it’s her job….plus work reimburses me for some of the lunches and entertainment when I have a client with me, so it’s really only $500 a month or so of unreimbursed entertainment, gifts or personal clothing expenses. Which is pretty good.
Paging the anon looking for budgets says
All those purchases add up. $500/month is amazing, honestly.
My husband and I have always had a joint account and then separate accounts for our more frivolous spending. I am a control freak and would like to get my hands on his expenditures so that I can track them. I have such a good handle on my own expenses and the household budget. I am a diehard believer in a good Excel spreadsheet for tracking this stuff.
I used to try to track things down to the penny, and it was overwhelming. My financial adviser suggested using my checking account for set expenses and credit card for day-to-day expenses, and setting a bogey for the monthly credit card tab rather than tracking each purchase. It’s been much easier for me to keep on track that way. I check the credit card a few times a week, make sure I’m on track to hit my bogey, and if I’m over, I make some adjustments.
Paging the anon looking for budgets says
Here is my post on the thread from yesterday…
Our fixed household costs are around $6000/month with two kids in a MCOL area. We each have some individual expenditures that are kept separate (403b contributions, drinks out with friends, lunches, savings, clothes, etc). Combined Gross HHI: $165k
Approx Monthly Budget:
Daycare for 2 kids: $3k
Groceries & Restaurants: $1k
Kid Stuff + Incidentals: $350
We aim to save $5k/year/kid in a college fund but we also usually pull this from our individual accounts. We have a good emergency fund and solid savings but month to month feels crushing with $3k in daycare costs.
Wow, I’m impressed that you can keep the “groceries/restaurants/kid stuff/incidentals” to less than $1,400 per month with two adults and two kids. And yeah, with $3K in daycare expenses….not a lot of excess to trim from that.
FWIW, I finally realized that it was easier to negotiate a raise than to try to trim nickles and dimes from my budget. I pushed hard and got a $10K raise last year, and it eased my budget so much. Do you have two earners in the house? You could split the raise out between your salaries, it might not be that big of an ask.
Paging the anon looking for budgets says
We don’t really eat out much as a family right now so restaurant spending comes from our individual accounts but is still pretty minimal (I have been trying to have no-spend days as much as possible in the new year – I like it). With the high daycare costs we don’t really do any activities for the kids yet (a one year old and four year old).
Congrats on the raise. That is a really smart approach. I recently changed jobs and took a pay cut – worth it but hard to swallow. We are in non-profit/education so significant raises are few and far between. I have actually been trying to make some extra cash here and there and it has been fun to sock away those scraps for my fun, personal purchases.
I'm that Anon! says
I love this, thank you! Sadly, this isn’t really a day at work where I can give the amount of thought to this that I should. I’d sort of like to lay it out there and let everyone attack it. LOL. Maybe Monday-ish. I still need to finish up our taxes (no judging!!!) so really don’t have some of the info I need anyway.
FWIW, I think the $1400 would be about right for us for food, restaurants, and what I call “misc shopping”, basically anything non-grocery or non-clothes that you’d get from Walmart/Target/Amazon. I budget $750 for groceries (family of 3), which is admittedly high in my geographic area but it’s one area of spending where I’m not willing to cheap out. I like quality food. $170 for restaurants. $350 for misc shopping. It seems like we constantly go over the $350. They all seem like reasonable purchases, but man it adds up.
Paging the anon looking for budgets says
Let’s circle back around on Monday. I would love to know how budgets evolve as kids grow too. I am looking forward to having one in K next year. I know there will still be significant expenses (day camps, break camps, after care) but our daycare budget just seems insane.
And we spend a lot on groceries too. If possible, I highly recommend really tracking expenses month to month in categories that work for you. If you want to send me your em@il, I would be happy to send you my spreadsheet.
In terms of how budgets evolve as kids grow:
We went from $850/month for day care to $500/month for after-school care when our kid hit public school. We added what started out as $325/month (if I remember correctly) in activity fees that same year. We are now at around $500/month for activities (part of which which actually displaces some child care at a lower per-hour cost) plus $250/month for after-school care, but this is dependent upon a carpool that will probably dissolve next year. If we don’t find a carpool, we may have to hire an after-school nanny/driver.
We have paid anywhere from $150/week to $400/week for summer day camp. Oh, and then there was the $650/week enrichment program we did twice that only ran from 9:00 to 4:00 and was a total waste. We also send her to a week of cheapo sleepaway camp each year at a cost of $250 – 600. For next year we are looking at a fancy camp that costs upwards of $1,000 for one week, plus airfare and $400 in unaccompanied minor fees. On top of that, she usually flies alone to visit relatives once during the summer.
The bottom line is that we have found having a big kid to be much more expensive than having a baby. Child care is more costly, and the diaper savings are more than offset by more expensive clothing, more sophisticated tastes in food (sushi and Canadian cheddar aged at least 24 months, please!), endless trips to Michael’s for school projects, allowance, all the books we buy because our public library is lame, cell phone, etc.
As a counterpoint, my husband commented recently on how our almost 12 year old (his daughter, my SD) costs so much less than our son (20 months) at this point. We are lucky that she is not very picky with clothes and things like that – she gets some for holidays/birthdays, she sometimes go thrifting with her mom, and we shop with her when needed. Her phone is on the family plan. (I don’t looove her having a phone – she got it recently because it really helps with her mom picking her up at our place.) She buses to our house every day after school, and either is home for 2 hours alone or takes the late activity bus and gets home at the same time as me. She gets breakfast and lunch at school. She’s not a huge eater for dinner and snacks (certainly eats less for dinner than my husband or me).
Summers are more expensive, but we are lucky to have my husband’s parents fairly close. She is old enough that she *could* be home alone all day, but that’s not what we (or she!) want. We have done a combo of camps (we pay for these) and family time. Last year she spent two days a week with my husband’s parents, which was very, very awesome for us and for her.
Obviously, this is with a caveat that she is with her mom several nights a week. She is with us every day after school and half nights.
Also a family of three (DH, toddler, and me) and this is comparable to what we spend on food each month. I cringe when it happens, but feel better knowing that others are similar. Eating well (delicious and healthy) is not cheap.
We make almost $300k (before my bonus) gross. This is off the top of my head, but
$50-70k to taxes? Not sure, haven’t done them yet this year, but in this ballpark
$50k to daycare (3kids)
$36k to 401ks
$30k to mortgage +insurance
$12k ish to healthcare for us and pets (incl insurance premiums)
$15k in utilities, phones and internet
$15k in car payments + insurance + gas
$25k in food including groceries, fast food (lunch), real restaurants and alcohol (this is a guess, but I know it’s a lot and def somewhere we could cut back)
10-15k on hobbies and fun (eg YMCA membership, sports teams, music lessons, hosting parties, activities for adults and kids, tickets to shows/sporting events)
$5-10k on vacations
$5-15k on house maintenance, minor improvements, housecleaner and yardwork (biweekly for both, seasonal for yardwork)
The rest on random crap I have no idea, but we usually only save about the amount of my bonus every year(in the $20-30k range), above and beyond retirement savings.
I am not good at budgeting these days. My husband is a bit of a spendthrift, and I just don’t have the energy to rein it in. We have plenty of money…but could we be saving more? Without a doubt.
Upon further reflection, my daycare math is off. We pay 4600/month so $55k/year. Hooray
appx $37K per month income (pretax)
daycare for two: $3200
401ks: $4500 (two 401ks and a 403b)
529 contribution for #2: $500 (we were more aggressive with #1 and our advisor told us to stop at $50k)
car payment: $900
various insurances: ~$1200
babysitters, restaurants, groceries: i am afraid to calculate. but a lot.
i get a biglaw bonus each year on top of this which we use for taxes, maxing out (backdoor) roth contributions, usually one big fixed expense (i.e. yard renovation, car down payment), and put the rest if any in pretax savings.
before my loans were paid off, our income was about $19k/month pretax and we spent $4000 per month and all bonuses on my loans. at the time we had no fixed expenses other than rent and a $600 car payment.
I was wondering how you did that on a $37K income and then I realised it was monthly, lol.
At the other end:
$100K pre-tax annual HHI (I work full-time, husband is a grad student on a stipend, I make a bit doing some freelance work)
Daycare and kid activities: $1950
Groceries and restaurants: $600. Cooking at home is the default; lunch each day is leftovers; we rarely eat out.
Incidentals (kid clothing, grownups’ clothing from eBay or ThredUp to replace what’s worn out, kid birthday party stuff, household items): $200
Insurance (husband is covered as a student, but we top up for dependents, plus car insurance): $600ish
Car is paid off. We do, somehow, have savings.
We’re having a second kid in August. We’ve saved to cover some of the daycare costs, but I’m having a tiny panic attack about not being able to save anything from the start of next year till husband graduates (and hopefully gets a raise – being the primary breadwinner is so, so exhausting) and kid #1 goes to public school.
PS I should add this is in a HCOL area, and we’re here because husband got into a top school for what he’s doing…
i think you should not worry about saving now if his income will go up later. his education is your savings, if that makes sense.
True! It will, if he is very lucky, be 1.5-2x initially (but often, in many postdoc positions, without the benefits), then triple later on in a tenure-track job. Not that there are all that many tenure-track jobs out there, and some of them are in places where it’ll be much harder for me to find a job. (Academics. I swear. There’s a fetishization of tenure-track roles that’s akin to the biglaw ‘partner or nothing’ mindset.) I haven’t run the numbers, but I suspect that the sharp rise in income is not quite sufficient to offset the lost returns from not being able to save much in early career.