Budget Thursday: Metro Luggage Leather Strap Watch

Every so often there will be a discussion on this site and on Corporette about watches. Some readers think that watches have gone the way of the dinosaurs while others would look down upon a potential new hire if they didn’t wear one to a job interview. Some readers see watches as a reward for a big bonus check and will spend thousands on a classic piece. Others don’t view watches as an investment and feel that as long as they tell accurate time, they’re good enough. Personally, I love wearing a watch but have never felt that I had enough disposable income to invest in a really pricey one. This watch from Kate Spade is fun, inexpensive enough to be an accessory that you can swap depending on your outfit, and yet still professional. I like the combination of the gold with the tan leather, and the easy to read face. It’s currently on sale for $146 at Macy’s. Kate Spade Metro Luggage Leather Strap Watch

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  1. Waterproof watch says:

    It’s that time of the year where I need a waterproof watch. And last year’s watch is foggy inside, so it’s time to replace. I just need a basic watch, digital is OK. If anything, prefer no complex features. Any recommendations? My office watch is a Skaggen, which I love.

    • To be honest, I always just buy a super cheap waterproof one from Wal-Mart. Nothing fancy, but it works for my needs since it’s not my main watch. I also love Skagen watch for work/non-athletic weekend times.

    • My husband wears G-Shock watches when he needs something waterproof or if he’s not wearing his Fitbit. They are waterproof and great. More expensive though.

      I wear an older, black Fitbit charge. It has the time and is water resistant but not waterproof.

    • Anonymous says:

      I love the old school gold casio. They have them in rose gold now too. https://www.casio.com/products/watches/classic

    • The Withings watch is waterproof! You just have to get cute band that is also waterproof. I have magnetic metallic one from amazon that I love.

    • I have a Victorinox Swiss Army watch I got years ago from Overstock that is water resistant to 100 m.

  2. CPA Lady says:

    Just wanted to follow up and say thank you to those of you who encouraged me to email my husband who did nothing other than text me for mother’s day. He has promised to redeem himself once he gets back in town. He usually gets defensive if I call him on something, but I think in this situation he realized he messed up so badly that he was just like “you’re right, we will have a full do over”.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Couple pumping questions: 1) how do you take the clean pump parts into work every day? I’ve heard Ziploc bag, but is the inside of a Ziploc bag really that sterile? 2) I haven’t built up a freezer stash and plan to just pump the next day’s milk each day, so what do I do on my first day? I feel like the baby is emptying both my breasts every time she nurses so I’m not sure how to add a pumping session unless I get up in the middle of the night and pump while she’s sleeping,which I really don’t want to do.

    • I use those microwaveable sterilizer bags to transport parts. If I forget to run the sterilizer, I’m able to just pop it into the microwave at the office.

      I started with a 1 or 2 day stash. I think you’ll probably need to do a late night pumping session for a few days to give you enough for the first day. Or do you have a haakaa? You could wear it on one side while nursing on the other – it kind of passively collects milk that gets letdown. You might find that you don’t need that much for the first day or two. My baby refused a bottle for the first week.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1 to the advice to pump but I would do it first thing in the morning when you are fullest.

        I found that my baby drank more at daycare that first day than I expected because she wanted milk for comfort. So plan on baby drinking, and if she doesn’t you can save it for the next day.

        As for transporting pump parts, I use a wet/dry bag because it felt more sustainable than a Ziploc and I didn’t like having my pump parts visible in the office fridge (it was a mother’s room fridge, but still, it was shared and I just like my opaque bag).

    • I pumped about an hour after the first feeding in the mornings for about the last week of my maternity leave to have some for that first day. I kept it up on weekends or other days off work during the first year to have some extra. Otherwise I wouldn’t have had any milk to put any in the freezer for an emergency. I was very full in the mornings, so this worked great for me. My baby didn’t empty me out, so within an hour I could pump quite a bit and still have enough for her to feed again a few hours later.

      • *didn’t empty me out at that time of day. Extra pumping at night wouldn’t have worked very well for me. I was pretty empty when I went to bed.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1 most women are fullest in the morning, so i would try pumping after the morning feeding.

      • +1 I pumped after first morning feed during mat. leave and eventually built up some to use. It also gave me some buffer milk on the days I had lower productions. I think I kept up this extra session for a few months into working.

        I just threw my parts into my pump bag or ziplock bag. If you’re worried about them being sterile, maybe get one of those microwave sterilizing bags to use before pumping?

      • consultant's wife says:

        +1 to pumping right after the first morning feeding for a couple of weeks before going back to work. I don’t worry about sterilizing pump parts daily. I wash with soap every night and refrigerate pump parts (in a ziploc inside a lunch bag) between pumping sessions. My babe was not a preemie and is getting all.the.germs. at daycare, so I try not to stress about it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks – I do have a hakaa and have been using it for a few days at the first morning feed. I’m a big leaker and I get a couple ounces that way, which DH then tries to give her in a bottle later in the day. She’s refusing so far :( Well…I’m not sure “refusing” is the right term. She acts like she wants to eat, but she seems to have forgotten how to suck from the bottle. I use nipple shields when I nurse, so I wouldn’t think it’s all that different but she seems totally confused by the bottle nipple. He can get it into her mouth by squirting and then she’ll swallow, but she won’t actively suck. I guess I could start saving the hakaa milk, but I wasn’t sure if it’s ok to combine milk from a bunch of different days into one bottle.

      • It is okay to combine as long as it’s all the same temperature when you combine it. I think the CDC (? some governmental agency) has guidelines on this if you Google it. Medela and Kellymom are also good resources.

      • Try a spoon and then offering the bottle. My baby was convinced the bottle was poison but by spoonfeeding him and then offering the bottle, we got him to take it.

    • AwayEmily says:

      A general thought on things being sterile/etc…I’ve definitely relaxed a lot on all this stuff. Part of it is second baby and part of it is realizing that we very, very rarely (if ever) hear about babies getting sick from contaminated breastmilk. It’s definitely possible but I decided that I could probably stand to be a bit less compulsive about everything. After all, I don’t sterilize my nipples, and they are touching my non-sterile clothes all day. And when I dry a bottle part on a rack…there are contaminants floating around in the air, right? Anyway, just some thoughts that helped me when I started going down a Sterilization Spiral.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yep. I leave my pump parts at work all week, in the fridge, in a ziploc bag within a small non-clear bag. It’s not super fun to put cold flanges on every time I pump, but better than hauling them around all week. On Friday, I bring home all the milk I pumped that week, plus the pump parts. Run pump parts through dishwasher (except the hand-wash-only pieces), bring back on Monday. Repeat. I reuse the same ziploc several weeks in a row to cut back on plastic waste. I just put some dishwashing soap in it, full it 1/3 full of water, and slosh it around with the zip shut. Works for me.

        As for building up stash, depending how often your baby is waking up at night, I could fit in a pumping session right before I went to bed (kiddo slept long stretches pretty early on), and then pumped the side she wasn’t nursing in the first feed of the morning. Be careful with just use the extra let down as a bottle– it doesn’t have much or any fat in it, and won’t keep your baby sated.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, I’m pretty relaxed about sterilization too. My best friend still boils EVERYTHING for her 1 year old after every use and was horrified to hear that I just ran bottles through the dishwasher and then offered them to my baby. But 1) my dishwasher has a 160 degree sanitize setting and 2) you can’t boil your hands, right? All you can do is wash them with soap and hot water. And you have to use your hands to assemble the bottles, so it’s not like the bottles are going to be completely sterile by the end of the process any way. And like I said, I’ve been using nipple shields and all I do is wash those with soap and water, so I have no doubt baby has been exposed to plenty of germs already. And now that she’s almost 4 months, I worry about it a lot less than I did with a newborn.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1. My son spent the first week of his life in the NICU. While I was still in the hospital, I needed to wash pump parts there between pumping, and the nurses directed me to use hand soap and the bathroom sink. That’s it. I figured if that was clean enough for a newborn in the NICU, I maybe didn’t need to worry about keeping everything sterile at all times after we left. Our pediatrician said we could sterilize “once a week or so” and seemed unconcerned.

        To actually answer your question #1, I used a ziplock bag that I reused – I rinsed it out and let it dry over night as needed. It was not sterile.

        • Anonymous says:

          Ditto. My twins spent the first month in the NICU. We washed the pump parts with dishwashing liquid and warm water. My husband would remember to throw some stuff in that microwave sterilizing bag about once per month. I threw all my pump parts into my Medela pump n go bag every day, loose. Washed them in the dishwasher at night. Threw them back in the next day. It was like… super important that my kids not get sick (and we religiously followed the rules about how long breast milk was good for), but no one emphasized obsessive bottle cleanliness for that. Just hand washing.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1. I actually connect my pump parts to the bottles I will pump in, and I bring the whole thing to work in my little insulated bag. I also pump warm milk into my cooled milk if I have a second session during the day (still working out timing of pumping…). I really can’t see how that’s unsafe, provided that I don’t leave the milk sitting around for long on either end of a session. (I probably wouldn’t have done this for a really young or compromised baby, but mine is 5 months and seems pretty robust…)

      • Spirograph says:

        I always just packed them in the cooler bag, too. I literally never sterilized my pump parts, other than when I first bought them, and when I pulled them out of storage for the next kid. I put them in the fridge with the milk in between pumping sessions, and washed them with soap and water and air dried every night.

        I fudged a lot of the “rules” about milk, including putting an unfinished bottle back in the fridge if the baby fell asleep 3 sips in, pouring freshly pumped milk into half-bottles in the fridge, etc. Everyone’s tolerance for this varies, but FWIW, my babies were all fine.

      • Anon in NYC says:


      • Anonymous says:

        +1. I refrigerated pump parts in between sessions at work. We washed/sterilized every night but that’s only because my mom bought me a huge dr brown’s bottle sterilizer (without asking me first). I also never cared if they were totally air dried before using them again…

    • I take my pump parts back and forth in a skip hop wet dry bag (leave the pump at work), and then just throw the bags in the washer once a week (I only use them once for clean parts and once for dirty). I also caved and bought 6 sets of pump parts (3 sets for each day) so that I wasn’t washing at work and wasn’t pumping into cold flanges and it wasn’t a major crisis if I forgot to run the dishwasher. I also only dishwash pump parts and bottles with the sani-rinse setting. You probably only need 12-15 oz for the first day and if your child is anything like mine she will take at most 3 oz. the first day you’re gone out of sheer stubbornness.

    • Double Jogger says:

      I found that a 1 quart plastic takeout container (like the kind you get wonton soup in) perfectly fit my medela pump parts AND fit into my cooler. I didn’t like a ziplock because it felt wasteful to use a new one daily and I hate washing them out. These were my perfect solution.

      I had a NICU baby and I kept them in my cooler bag (unzipped) in a fridge between pumpings, then brought home and washed at night, sterilized if I thought, ‘Huh. I haven’t sterilized these in a while.’ Honestly, I ended up putting the plastic container in the fridge at home so it didn’t get stinky and then I just had to wash my pump parts every couple days.

      I also used the Medela pump and save connectors to pump directly into Lanisoh bags. YouTube it. Saved SO MUCH TIME and space.

      Although – worth all the money to keep a spare set of pump parts at work.

  4. Yikes! Just got email about settling in dates for nursery – baby T will be 11 months when he starts. Any tips for starting nursery? Tricks for getting out of the house in the am?

    Logistically, it seems stupidly complicated. Nursery is midway between our house and our offices (we work 5 min apart). We’ve arranged for early dropoff but will still have a 15 minute wait between when my husband can drop us off (due to his start time) and the nursery opens. Thought I’d just use the sling and take baby for a walk beforehand. I’ll then have a 40 min walk to work. Husband will do pick up in the evening and I’ll take the bus home a bit later.

    Nursery provides milk/food/wipes but we’ll working with them to use our cloth nappies.

    • CPA Lady says:

      Everything seems daunting in the beginning, but you will figure it out very quickly, I promise! :) If they’re providing all that stuff, you will really not have much to worry about once you get into the swing of things.

      • Thanks! For their daily rate, they should collect him in a golden chariot from our home but it does seem like a very cheerful, active nursery. Just logistically complicated as close-to-home nursery is grubby and close-to-work nursery has a 2 year waitlist!

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you want to walk? Do you have to? That’s just a lot better f time. Your husband can’t start 15 minutes later? Does he need to drop you off?

      • My husband has to be in for 8 and to get a parking spot, he has to be in the vicinity at 7:30 (nursery opening time). I could get the bus from nursery but it’s probably only 10-15 minutes quicker (only goes about halfway, quite bad traffic) so I figure the walk would at least let me squeeze in some exercise time. A razor scooter has been proposed as a potential time saver but not sure if my dignity could handle it.

        • Sarabeth says:

          Do you bike? I’d get a beater bike and park it by daycare overnight, if biking is remotely feasible in your area.

    • Anonymous says:

      It feels really overwhelming for the first couple weeks and then it gets easier! I found getting up and getting ready before baby wakes was the easiest for me at first so I could just focus on getting her ready and out the door before we had to leave. I get all my work stuff together the night before, and I guess in your case all the diapering things as well.
      The only thing I’d think about in your plan is what happens if it’s raining? You’ll just still wait outside for 15 minutes? Is there a shop or something nearby you could pop in if needed?

    • octagon says:

      The best advice someone gave me was to start as you mean to go on, and to keep the getting-out-of-the-house routine as short as possible. For us, that means that I am up and dressed and (usually) have eaten breakfast before I wake up kiddo. He gets dressed, and we are out the door. He has some milk en route (breakfast at daycare) but there is basically no time to get distracted or do anything else but leave after wakeup.

      Also, keep an eye out for the other early dropper-offers, and lobby the director together to see about an earlier opening. My daycare had so many people waiting outside the door at 7 a.m. last year that they stretched their hours to open 30 minutes earlier, at 6:30.

  5. I have a question about baby/toddler bedtimes. I have a five month old who is currently sleeping roughly 9 pm to 7 am (we don’t wake her, she wakes naturally). This works perfectly for me because I can nurse her once before work and twice after work. Our pediatrician told us 9 pm is too late and encouraged us to put her down at 7 pm. We tried that and she woke up naturally at 5 am after the same amount of sleep, so we switched back to 9 pm bedtime because 9-7 is a more convenient overnight for us than 7-5. But the doctor says at some point she’s going to want to sleep 12-13 hours and will need to go down by 7-8 pm so she can wake naturally by 8 am (I need her up by 8 so I can nurse and get to work). 8 pm bedtime seems doable, but 7 pm just seems insane – I work pretty normal hours but I’m not normally home until 5:30 and I feel like we’d have to start the bedtime routine basically the second I walk in the door, especially once she’s crawling and needs a bath every day (we’re currently only doing 2-3 baths per week). Can anyone shed light on what your routine looks like with a 7 pm bedtime? Do you eat dinner after the baby’s in bed?

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, dinner after baby goes to bed.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Yes. That will also naturally push back a little once your kid gets a little older.

        FWIW, we set a 7:30 pm bedtime from the get-go because 7pm was impossible for us. My almost 3 yo now goes to bed sometime in the vicinity of 7:45/8pm.

        At 5 months, we were getting home at around 6:30-ish, kiddo ate dinner, and then we started bedtime at around 7. We have never bathed our kid every day (a wipe of hands + face was sufficient!), so I don’t think you need to do that.

    • Green with envy over here. I would not tinker with that sleep schedule until you absolutely need to.

      Our current schedule:
      4:45-5: Husband and I arrive home, I feed baby, husband does bath or playtime while I prep dinner, prep bottles etc
      5:45-6:15: Dinner for everyone
      6:15-6:45: Shower for me, playtime with baby, baby into PJs
      6:45-7:30/7:45: Nursing and baby to bed
      3:00: baby wakes up for nurse and goes back in his own bed
      5:30: baby wakes up, nurses, and falls back asleep in our bed
      7:00: baby wakes up, breakfast, etc.

      He doesn’t seem interested in any sort of bedtime routine so we do songs and stories at other points during the day. He just wants to nurse and go to sleep.

      • Agreed! so jealous here! If your baby is sleeping from 9 to 7 at five months, you have a winner on your hands. FWIW, our 4.5 month old goes to bed between 7 and 8, wakes up at 8:30pm for another feeding, then sometimes again at 10:30, sometimes at 12:30, and then again between 2am and 4am. I get that the pediatrician is trying to be helpful, but I say go with baby’s natural rhythm.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have a 7pm bedtime for our daughter (and it used to be 6:30!). She just can’t stay up any later. So basically yes sometimes bedtime starts right when I walk in the door (particularly on the nights I get home at 6:15). It sucks, but it is what it is. She’s 14 months old now, but it just used to be me coming home, nursing/bottle, and then bed. Now DD picks her up, she may or may not have a little snack, I get home, we all eat dinner (usually only takes 15 mins to eat), wash her hands and change into Jammies, her and I play a little/read books, then bottle and bed. If it helps, we still only do 3 baths a week. I don’t think kids need daily baths, but that may change in the summer depending on sunscreen/pool days.

      It helps that I do a lot of crockpot dinners or stuff that can be made in 15 mins or less. Sometimes it means I cook the next nights dinner at 8pm and then we just heat it up in the microwave.

      FWIW – I think if your child seems to get enough sleep (not cranky, growing fine, etc..), then just keep with your current schedule. Some kids just need less or more sleep than others. My one nephew is 2 years old and goes on 7 hours of sleep just fine, and has since he was about a year old.

      • Meg Murry says:

        Another FWIW – my kids never really slept for 12-13 hours straight, but they were excellent daycare nappers (and tended to fall asleep in the car on the way to/from daycare). So I think you should wait and see – you *might* find yourself needing to push bedtime earlier, or you might find that 9:00 works for you for a while.

        I think our earliest start to bedtime routine was probably 7:15-7:30 – and in order to make that happen I was typically something in the car on the way home from work, in the late afternoon at work or one handed while I nursed the baby, and then I’d eat something more substantial (but not necessarily real “dinner”) after the baby was in bed.

    • Anon2 says:

      If it’s not broken, don’t fix it! There will be a lot of changes (regressions, teething, different nap schedule) that will take place before your baby sleeps 12 hours and you can adjust your schedule then. Plus, every kid is different and your kid may not ever need 12-13 hours at night, as long as she is getting enough nap time, etc. I say enjoy this stage while it lasts!

      • AwayEmily says:

        Agree. We are a VERY strict 7pm bedtime family but that’s because it’s what our kid wanted (and what worked given the daycare’s nap schedule). I know plenty of families with lovely, well-adjusted, non-tired kids who go to bed later and sleep later. I’d say just keep watching your kid’s signals…if she seems to be getting tired earlier or sleep-deprived in general you can readjust if necessary. But it sounds like this is working great for you.

    • If I were you, I would not change the schedule at all right now. It sounds great for a 5 month old to me. When my pediatrician starts pushing these sorts of things (no pacifier, sleep training, etc.) I say “I appreciate you opinion and thoughts, but this is what works for our family right now”. I am happy to discuss the pros and cons with her, especially when it comes to medical things. Fortunately she is very gracious about these interactions and not at all pushy.

      We’ve never mastered the 7pm bedtime, but do aim to start bedtime at 7pm. We get home earlier, which I think helps a lot. I also start work a lot earlier so I can leave at 4 every day, and have a very flexible schedule, so that helps too.

      Here’s our schedule:
      4:45 arrive home, boys play while I make dinner
      5:15 dinner, DH is typically home and we eat together. Then we play until 7pm.
      7pm start bedtime. boys are usually in bed by 7:30/8.

    • avocado says:

      I have gotten flak for this before, but we never ever put our child to bed before 9:00 as a baby. We didn’t even get home until well after 6:00, and she was a night owl who resisted an earlier bedtime but slept long and well if we put her down later. I don’t think she’s ever slept 12-13 hours at a stretch in her entire life. Every baby is different. Just go with the flow and try gradually shifting bedtime earlier if there are signs she needs more sleep. I certainly wouldn’t go straight from 9:00 to 7:00 all at once.

      Crawling babies don’t really need a bath every day. We had to drop back from daily baths to bathing every other day because of eczema, and she stayed plenty clean enough even in the toddler room where they spent 2 hours outdoors every day. Just be sure to keep the diaper area clean and wash her hands and face with a washcloth every day.

      • Agree on the bath. We do baths 2-3 times a week during non-sunscreen season. We do daily baths during sunscreen season because kiddo’s is super thick and sticky. But even then, we still only wash hair a few times a week. The others are a quick dip or even a sponge bath type thing if she’ll let us.

    • Anonymous says:

      If your baby has a third nap, that is probably what is allowing the late bedtime – naps are the other sleep variable.

      Memories are foggy but I think at that age our bedtime “routine” was change diaper and clothes, sit down and watch TV while baby immediately nurses to sleep. I couldn’t keep him awake much later than 6:30 if I wanted to, but he woke up much earlier than your baby and wasn’t taking a third nap. We did a bath maybe 1-2x a week. (Crawling didn’t cause a major mess, but solid foods certainly can). We ate after he went to sleep. When he started eating more solids we started doing a family dinner, but that was probably closer to 12 – 18 months? Foggy memories.

    • Sarabeth says:

      We have 7 pm bedtime for our 1 year-old. We eat beforehand, but it’s tight, and only works because my husband works from home and so can start dinner the second he gets off work at 5:30. I pick up kids from daycare at 5:45, get home just after 6. We eat together immediately, then one of us plays with the kids for 30 minutes before bedtime starts, while the other one cleans up from dinner. Our older kid has an 8:30 bedtime (actually asleep around 9:15), so it would be equally tight to eat together after the toddler’s bedtime. And the toddler often is awake before 6, so I want to be able to get in bed more or less as soon as the older kid is asleep, which means that all the household chores need to be done by 9:30. So for us, getting everything done early works best. That said, I’m sure dinner would be more relaxing after the 1 year-old’s bedtime!

    • Just to throw this out there, but our (happy, thriving, excelling) 9 month old sleeps 10ish-8ish. She has had a late bedtime since she was an infant and no amount of cajoling, napping, rocking, nursing, etc. has been able to shift that. Our pediatrician is 100% okay with that. As long as your child is getting the rest she needs, I would say do what works for your family. You know your child best and can tell if she’s sleepy. I get home from work on average around 8ish and we eat dinner then.

    • Don’t mess with it. Kid is only 5 months. Stuff will change over time- naps get dropped, starting solids drags out dinner, etc.

      I have a 5 y/o and a 2 y/o and one on the way. Right now toddler goes to bed at 8:30 and wakes at 6:30 [naps 2 hours during the day], preschooler goes to bed at 7:30 and wakes at 7:30. They’ve had bedtimes as late as 9pm [when older kid was 2.5 and still napping, she’d go to bed 8:30/9 and wake up at 7:30/8], and as early as 6pm [when older kid dropped her nap, when babies went from 3 to 2 naps, etc].

      By the time you work on “fixing” bedtime, your kid will have a new bedtime.

    • Anonymous says:

      As naps consolidate the baby will likely want yo sleep earlier, but I wouldn’t worry about it for now. Ours indicated pretty clearly when he was ready for an earlier bedtime. It was rough for a while because we all got home at 6:45 pm and needed to start bedtime routine by 7:15, but we managed. We still only bathe our toddler 2-3x a week though so ymmv. Now that we get home at 5:30, we eat at 6 and start bedtime routine at 7. I think he slept 12 hours a few times but generally has been 11 at night plus nap.

  6. My husband is a VP (department head) at his company, and I think his corporate persona is absolutely hilarious/such a double standard. I’ve decided to lean in and exploit it rather than be bitter.

    DH has had to take a bunch of time off/WFH/skip a big work event recently to do Parent Stuff for our kids (we have 2 under 5 and one due shortly). Yesterday he worked from home all afternoon so I could take my 4 y/o to her mid-day dance recital. He took a half day Monday to get our 2 y/o to her checkup. He has been leaving early to be home in time to do childcare pickup because my consulting work has me on the road more than expected.

    Instead of his peers rolling their eyes, his peers are smitten with the idea that peer/boss/coworker is Super Dad to 3 girls. He’s taking 3 full weeks of paternity leave and nobody is batting an eye.

    The reaction to my taking this kind of time is so, so different. So instead of being bitter, I’m making DH do more. It’s amazing. He’s going to the preschool parent-teacher conference this AM :-).

    • anne-on says:

      Good for him both doing more and you for offloading! It also sets an excellent example for the other fathers (and men) underneath him that this is all normal, and expected in his company. I have seen SUCH a change in my Big 4 company over the last 5-6 years with more and more men finally taking the excellent leave we give and making use of the PTO for family members to take care of sick kids. The more men do it the more it is normalized, AND it makes it SO much easier on their spouses.

    • A male law school classmate of mine once told me that having a wife (and later kids) was a huge career booster for him. I totally see it now that I’ve been around for a while. In my husband’s office, dads are often home with sick kids because his company’s sick leave policy is way more generous than average.

      • I saw this happen with a male colleague, who happened to have kids around the same time I did. We have a fairly generous leave policy — more generous than his wife’s employer by far. Also, daycare was a stone’s throw away from his office. He gets so many kudos for doing dropoff/pickup and being the default parent for sick days. Do I? Of course not, and I split sick days 50/50 with my husband. It makes me so angry.

      • Somewhat related, the unofficial advice for job interviews when I was a law student was that men should wear wedding bands and women should take theirs off. The men look more stable with a band and the women look like liabilities. UUGGHH.

        • I was once asked about my wedding ring during an interview with a true a#$. It was wildly inappropriate. I think the interview was on a Monday or something. He called on Thursday to offer me the job. It was far from ideal, but it was in a target area when jobs were really tough to come by for new grads (class of 2011 here). I told him I would let him know Monday. He emailed Friday to tell me that he didn’t expect me to need time to make my decision and was no longer comfortable offering me the job. I emailed back and said I thought it was for the best. Definitely was – I have the best job ever now.

    • Good for him, but the double standard makes me so ragey. When DH takes off to be home with sick kids, people swoon and act like he is the Most Amazing Parent Ever. When I do it, people roll their eyes and say “Jeez your kid is sick AGAIN!?” We split the sick days pretty much 50-50.

      • avocado says:

        +1. On the few occasions when my husband takes off of work or works from home for kid-related reasons, everyone at work fawns over him for being such a great dad. I, on the other hand, get the comment “Must be nice to have kids so you never have to work.”

      • see that’s it. I *am* ragey about it. But now, I just have DH do > 50/50 of the sick days because it’s good for his career and bad for mine. I’d say he does more like 80%.

    • I’m impressed that you’re able to be not bitter about it. :)

      I’ve noticed the same thing with my husband. People fawn all over anything he does for our kids. Don’t get me wrong, I love that he’s a hands-on dad and he’s stepped it up a bunch since I moved into a leadership role of my own, but it still rankles me a bit that he gets heaps of praise for being an involved parent. Whereas that’s the expectation for moms, and we still get criticized for taking time off. As a leader, I’m trying really hard to find that balance between setting an example that family is important (thus letting them feel OK about prioritizing their families) while not coming across that I’m all about my kids and I’m slacking off work. That’s … impossible, really.

      Having men in leadership positions demonstrate that they care about being hands-on fathers, too, is probably what will move the needle on workplace norms for both genders. We do need men like your DH, and mine, to set an example.

    • Good for him (and yes, the double standard also enrages me). And good on you for capitalizing on it!

      First, it’s great that he’s doing this because it gets normalized. But hopefully he is also using his leadership position to speak up on behalf of women for whom this is the day-to-day normal baseline expectation and ensure they aren’t sidelined because of it; and also ensuring that men under him who aren’t in leadership positions yet also feel like they can make their families a priority.

      • Doubtful. And not in any way my place to suggest. Man can’t even get his expense reports in. Doubt he’s out there advocating for the women of his workplace.

        I do now that his female direct reports love him. But they, as well as his other direct reports, have significantly older kids and when he accommodates them it’s totally different. His reports are taking time off for graduations and snow days, not daycare pickups and vomit fests.

    • Before my husband gets some kind of un-deserved reputation on this board as a Super Dad, let me be very clear: the only reason he started being so hands-on/involved is because I forced it. He did NOT say “oh, I’ll take dance recital coverage today!” It was a process where I’d ask what he could cover, he’d tell me he couldn’t help out, and so I did it. And then I woke up one day (I think it was a day where everyone was vomiting) and informed him that he WOULD BE covering X,Y, Z. And things evolved from there as I realized I am only one person, and we have 2.5 needy little people to care for. I still assign him coverage, but he’s much better than he used to be about just making it work with his work schedule. He will now move meetings if he needs to vs before, when he’d say he couldn’t do something because X. Guess what, DH, I have X too but I managed to make it work.

      I’m putting this out there *because* it makes me so ragey that he gets super dad status at work. It still infuriates me if I think about it too long, but I’m simply suggesting y’all consider making it work in your favor. Kid has a dr appt? Super Dad can take her. Kid has to stay home? Good, Super Dad, you can WFH while I go into work. Super Dad, you are the guest reader at preschool next week. Here, bring this art work to work to display on your desk. Oh, you promised your team you’d bring in pictures of Kiddo from her dance recital as they were praising your Super Dadness? I’ll text you some. Tonight is your night to figure out dinner. I don’t care what we have, but it has to be here by 6 and please pick up some wine on the way home.

    • I so feel you on the ragey-ness of this situation. My DH is an elem principal, which you would think would be a “family-friendly” job, but its not, especially when DH abdicates any responsibility or control over his schedule (anyone can make an appointment on his calendar and he hates to say no to parents and his staff). He has so many sick days (18 per school year) but hates to use them. I have five. I’ve also started telling him: we have an appointment at 3:30 on Friday, and you are expected to be there. He gets lauded for being such a family friendly boss, little do they know how much I’ve had to stand ground.

      • Meg Murry says:

        Not to be passive aggressive and b!tchy, but I would be sorely tempted to start emailing his secretary to add appointments to his calendar for family stuff. Can you add things to your calendar and then “invite” his work email address so it shows on his work calendar when you need him?

        My husband gets lauded for being such an involved father, but it is also from me 90% prodding him from behind the scenes – our split is that he’ll take the kids to appointments but I have to be the one to schedule them and add them to the calendar (and remind him, and write the notes to the teachers letting them know about the appointment, and remember that they even needed an appointment in the first place and make sure he has the current insurance cards in his wallet and ….).

    • BigLaw Sr Assoc says:

      I feel you on all of this, but cannot stop thinking “why was there a mid-day dance recital on a Wednesday”?

      • It was a rehearsal for the recital this weekend. But yes, it was 2pm-6pm, and since our kid is preschool, hers was the 2pm time slot. Grade school kids started more like 3, I think.

    • The double standard makes me ragey too, and it isn’t just at work. When DH takes Kiddo anywhere, people around him are SO nice and act like he’s the best father ever for spending time with his kid. Last week, a nice lady bought Kiddo ice cream because DH had forgotten his wallet and Kiddo was (understandably) upset that they were going to have to go home without ice cream. People rush to help DH with stuff. Total strangers smile and say what a great dad he is. The cashiers at the grocery store are smitten with both of them.

      Meanwhile, if I dare to take Kiddo anywhere, strangers act like I’m a complete monster for bringing him into a public place. Even DH notices that people react differently when it’s just him vs the two of us with Kiddo.

      • Anonymous says:

        So much this. My husband wore my kids in a baby bjorn to A BAR with his friends a couple times. Apparently people thought it was adorable, and he got loads of positive attention. Can you imagine the judge-y comments to a mom in a bar with a baby-wearing apparatus?

        • When Kiddo was 8 months old, we had a large Christmas Eve dinner at a fancy hotel downtown with our extended family. We got kicked out of the hotel bar because Kiddo and my nephew (who’s 6 weeks younger) were not 21. However, it was fine to have family members buy drinks and drink them out in the lobby. So much about that does not make sense.

  7. We had a really bizarre experience last night and I’m hoping someone can shed light on what might be going on or convince me that it’s a complete coincidence. My 14 mo woke up crying at 4 AM, which is unusual (he normally sleeps through the night) but it’s happened from time to time. I go in to comfort him, and he has a bit of a runny nose and a little bit of an intermittent cough. Normally we are able to do 5-10 mins of holding and patting and he will go right back down, but in this instance he would not go back to sleep for over an hour. My husband and I tagged-teamed, and as we were dealing with him all of a sudden our noses got stuffy and we got a little sneezy too. My husband also has asthma and needed a puff of an inhaler. When we woke up in the morning, everyone seemed to be better.

    My question is…wtf?! These were all allergy-like symptoms, but the pollen count outside was pretty low yesterday. My worst fear is that we have some kind of mold issue, particularly because we have had some roofing problems and it was raining last night, but we searched the attic and found no evidence of moisture, let alone mold (and our symptoms didn’t seem to get worse when we were in the attic, and they were better this morning). Did we all have some kind of brief cold? Weird coincidence? Help!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I can’t imagine a reaction to mold would be so brief. It really sounds like pollen to me. The pollen counts are off the charts in my area right now but I sometimes have a reaction even when the internet says the pollen counts are low to moderate. I think in some people it takes a while to build up and then you react at a seemingly random time. My allergies also tend to be worst shortly before dawn, so the 4 am timing would be consistent with pollen allergies for me.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Sometimes when I’m inside my house, my nose will get really stuffed up and I’ll have to go breathe in air from outside. I definitely think this just a coincidence!

    • Anonymous says:

      Ghost! Just kidding, mostly. When first reading it sounded like your son was teething. DD gets a cough from all the saliva and more congestion when she’s teething.

      • DD also gets coughs from teething. They are awful in the middle of the night, but honestly she mostly sleeps through it. We’ll go in to offer her water or check on her when it gets bad, and she is clearly still asleep even though she is sometimes whimpering. It is crazy. Luckily we’re almost through the second year molars!

      • Anon in NYC says:

        That’s true. I’m pretty sure my kid got her first year molars around that age.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I have a two year old and one on the way. I’ve always worked full time but have been thinking lately of trying to go reduced hours/part time when I go back after baby 2. My husband is very into financial planning and pursuing financial independence. He feels that if we keep going on our current path we could be there in the next 7-8 years, so oldest would be around 10 and younger 7. Reducing my hours now would delay that. Does anyone have any input in whether it’s more beneficial to be part time or just generally working less when your kids are little or when they are elementary /middle school age? I feel like I’m missing out now but my child likes daycare and seems to be doing great. I wonder if my kids might “need” me more when they are a bit older. I know plans and careers can change and 7-8 years is a long time. I like my job a lot and have a lot of flexibility, but I do have full time billing requirements which is tough. I’m also fearful that going part time before I reach partner level might prevent me from getting there ever (at least at my current firm). Part of me feels like being home more now would really just be for me (which is okay!) but being around more later would help kids more.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      I’ve heard it here before and I feel that it’s true that daycare is a lot easier for working parents than elementary school/middle school + the juggle of before/after care and summer schedules. I think having more flexibility later on will be much more useful.

      I know a lot of people go part time when the kids are young because they just need so much attention, but personally, I find it very hard to take care of a toddler all day, much less by myself, much less with a baby to deal with too! I’d rather have more time with elementary school kids and above, but I know others who enjoy the infant/toddler stages a lot more.

      • avocado says:

        In my experience, day care was SO much easier logistically than elementary school and middle school, and emotionally my kid would have benefited much more from having me home during elementary school than she would have during the early years. YMMV may vary based on quality of child care. We had an amazing day care/preschool situation and a string of suboptimal after school/summer situations. I might have felt differently if our day care had not been so incredibly wonderful, or if we’d been able to hire Mary Poppins as an after-school nanny.

    • In the long run, you may be better off financially if you wait until the kids are older. More time to save for retirement and let that nest egg accumulate while you have more earning power.

      That’s the rational argument. I completely understand the pull of wanting to work part-time while your kids are little. Personally, I couldn’t make it work, but I’m hoping that by putting in the time now, I’ll be able to have more flexibility in freedom once my son hits middle school. (Before/after care can be a hard slog in elementary, especially compared to daycare, but what I’m observing my friends deal with in the middle school years looks even harder.)

    • I feel like a broken record, but I am a big proponent of living the life you want now (usual caveats of doing that responsibly apply). Your kids are only young once and you have no idea what life or your family or the state of this country will look like in 7-8 years. Rather than being “financially independent” then, could you go part time now and just continue working part time longer so you can have flexibility both now and later? Saving tons of money for the future is great I guess, but not if it comes at the expense of being fulfilled in the present.

    • BigLaw Sr Assoc says:

      I have never been part-time, but I have kids ranging from 6-14. I would much rather have more time when they are older than when they are babies.

  9. Talk to me about weaning. My 18 month still loves nursing. I’m okay with it, but interested in getting pregnant and think this may be interfering. She nurses morning, after work and before bed right now. How do you get the kid to wean that doesn’t want to?

    To complicate this, I went away for a week last month and thought it was weaning time. But my body rebelled. I had clogged ducts (despite pumping) and very nearly courted mastitis. The pain was excruciating. When I got home, it was all I could do just to get her nursing again to help me with the pain. I had an horrible oversupply when she was little.

    Any tips, tricks or how-tos would be appreciated! I’m going away for a week again in a month and would like to her to be weaned at that time.

    • (Accidentally posted below)…How often are you nursing? Is she good at drinking from a cup and eating solids too? My answer will change depending on that.

      • She’s a very good eater and drinks from a cup easily. She spent a week with the grands and drank cow’s milk from a cup with meals. Totally fine without nursing.

    • I mean, I’m a lazy 2nd and almost 3rd time mom…but just do it. She’ll cry. Replacing nursing time with something fun(ner). Stickers, story, snuggles. Mommy’s [whatever you call nursing] is closed now, remember? Here’s a sippy of milk (maybe very diluted chocolate milk if you are feeling especially bad for her and it’s the PM one) and LOOK! I got you a brand new book! (BTW, the latest and greatest hit for my not quite 2 y/o has been this “All Better Book” which has band-aids you stick on animals with boo-boos, highly recommend).

      if that doesn’t work, have her dad do bedtime and morning wake-up. In fact, remove yourself for a weekend and let dad do it all. He can deal with the crying and develop his own routine with your kiddo that doesn’t involve boobs.

      BEST OF LUCK and I give you a million points for nursing this long. Mine were both done ~9 months and I did nothing to discourage their disinterest. I cannot imagine how clingy my almost 2-y/o would be if she were still nursing. She’s up my butt as it is :)

    • Good luck!! I had to cut my son off at 19-20 months because I was completely over it (he was a dedicated clinger), but we substituted snuggles for nursing – every time he wanted to nurse I would say something like ‘mama milk is all done, but would you like your sippy of fridge milk (daytime) / binky (night) and snuggles?’ It took about a week, and was emotionally hard for us both, but he’s definitely forgotten it all. And of course, from about 15 months on, he was totally fine without nursing when I traveled for work.

      As for the physical supply aspect, Sudafed and sage will help dry you up, and if need be you can pump a tiny bit to take the edge off and lower the risk of mastitis.

    • Anonymous says:

      My son was nursing less when we stopped around 2, but FWIW, I thought he was really into it and it would be a big deal and it was a non-event. I explained we weren’t going to do it anymore, he asked once at bedtime and I reminded him about the plan, and then he was like, okay. And went to bed. So hopefully you will be pleasantly surprised!

      I did eliminate the morning nurse first, and I would usually cut short his evening sessions due to, uh, my impatience basically, so I don’t think he was getting much milk at all at the end. It sounds like your daughter is getting more, but you could start reducing the length of the sessions to help wind down production more slowly. And then drop them one at a time.

    • Meg Murry says:

      One of my friends was in a similar place to you where she was done nursing but her kid wasn’t, so she put bandaids over her n!pples and told the kid that they couldn’t nurse because mama had boo boos – and then did lots of snuggling, distraction and dad attention during the typical nursing times. So if you are willing to go cold turkey, that might work.

      • Anonymous says:

        Haha…I’m nowhere near weaning but this just made me laugh out loud. Such a funny visual.

  10. How often are you nursing? Is she good at drinking from a cup and eating solids too? My answer will change depending on that.

  11. Just coming to rant. My husband bought our toddler son pink shoes because he loves pink. I was on an important work call and daycare called both my work phone and my cell phone, so I texted my husband to call them and see what they needed. They just wanted to know what shoes we had sent my son with, because there were only pink ones in his cubby.

    • I mean…were they labelled with his name? if not, they probably wanted to make sure that someone didn’t put their shoes in his cubby.

      “Yup those are his. Thanks for checking and have a great day.”

      You know if your son was put in someone else’s shoes you’d be annoyed, too.

    • avocado says:

      I would be super annoyed if day care called me about shoes for any reason.

      • This made me laugh out loud, avocado.

        I am a little confused why shoes are sent to daycare and not worn. Why was this even an issue?

        • Probably because the kid insisted on wearing his rain boots again despite the fact that rain hasn’t been in the forecast for a fortnight, and nearly threw a tantrum that morning because he first DID want his shoes and then DIDN’T want his shoes, until you stuffed them in the bag and threatened to go to daycare without him — wait, sorry, that’s just a scene from my life.

        • Anonymous says:

          Some places are shoes off inside.

          • Yes, shoes off inside. We have sent 7 different pairs of shoes since he has been there, none with his name on them, and there has never been a question about whether or not they were his.

      • BigLaw Sr Assoc says:

        Ha, yes this.

  12. NewMomAnon says:

    Sigh. I just got back from a conference, during which I was working for 14-16 hours a day including responding to work e-mails. Several people at the office have now asked me about my vacation, with one even making a snide remark about how nice it is for me to be able to “take time off.”

    In the meantime – I’m exhausted, overwhelmed with work backlog, and irritated. This too shall pass, right?

    • What? “I was at [conference]; it was the opposite of vacation.” End of story.

      I had a client in Hawaii once. I live on the East Coast. I was 10 shades of ragey every time I heard “must be nice to *have* to see that client again.” And then…I informed them of my total airport time, the fact that I spent a grand total of 14 hours on island, and that all marriots look the same to me. Cheap company couldn’t even spring for a good view! Shockingly nobody took me up on my offer to switch clients.

    • avocado says:

      Do these people never go to conferences themselves?!?

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Of course they do! I suspect it’s a product of my flex time arrangement – because I am ostensibly “part time,” it means if I’m not in the office, I’m not working. Which is wrong.

        • avocado says:

          That is totally obnoxious. Next time they come back from a conference, you should innocently ask them how their vacation was.

  13. Reading the bedtime/schedule discussion above made me realize just how much I’ve forgotten/blacked out from my first kid, and she’s only 2 1/2! I’m expecting twins in the next month and I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, and will be relearning everything as I go. Will it come back to me? I feel like even if it does, I’ll still have to adjust it all because there will be two babies and a toddler.

    • Yes!!! I read the third nap advice and suddenly remembered our child was the same way. Late bedtime when she would snooze after daycare and then we dropped that for an early bedtime. But seriously, I would have never recalled that on my own without the prompt.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      You and me both! I have a two year and have forgotten those early days with more than 1 nap at various times, and then a super early bedtime. It’s been nice to have our weekends more or less planned out, as our son has a pretty consistent nap schedule, so we know exactly when we’ll have our 2-3 hour break. Adding a baby to the mix will change that, for sure! At least now we know that everything is a phase, right? They will eventually get older.

  14. I hate everyone's husbands says:


    If I see one more article like this I am going to SCREAM. Why. are. people. marrying. these. people. They are always described in these letters as “great guys.” ARE THEY? I just ranted to my mom friends on FB: “Like IS he great? IS HE???! Is the reason he can’t do the GD effing laundry because he is gently nursing a baby squirrel back to health with a dropper of milk? Or because he is so overwhelmed doing the laundry at the ORPHANAGE???”

    I admit I do the “management” of the household: doctor’s appointments; vet appointments; getting our son screened for speech delays; the majority of the meal planning; seasonal clothing swapouts; making sure we take family pictures and do memory-making activities; haircuts; car maintenance; any phone call that has ever had to be made.

    In return, my husband does: all the laundry; all the cooking; all the dishes; all the bill paying; 95% of the cleaning; 80% of the yardwork; EXACTLY 50% of the parenting (we have twins– I do a poop, he does next poop, we each dress one, I do day care dropoff, he does daycare pickup, I rant a lot about maternal gatekeeping so he got to learn how to do our daughter’s hair and does it one weekend day). Sick days from day care mean we each take a half a day. I am a bean counter.

    We are both fairly low-paid government employees so we can’t outsource anything, but we both work 40-50 hour weeks, so we… split it. It blows my mind that anyone– ESPECIALLY working moms– puts up with doing all of this stuff! But I see it all the time on Facebook, on here… what is this nonsense. I almost blew a gasket over Anon’s mother’s day rant yesterday (I am the one who offered to punch him in the teeth FWIW).

    I know part of it is faulty data– like people whose husbands are doing enough are not complaining about them on forums. But still. I just want to note for anyone struggling with this… you can demand more. Other husbands are doing more. This does not have to be your normal…

    • Anonymous says:

      (former) preg 3L here, and I AM 100% HERE FOR THIS!!!! SO MANY women don’t believe they deserve better, and honey, YOU DO. Everyone does. Your husbands are NOT DOING ENOUGH. My wonderful husband: still not doing enough! I have gratefully accepted the “management” portion of housework and we have agreed that he will do anything I ask – to the point where he has been packing MY lunches lately.

      • I hate everyone's husbands says:

        My friends are all “I hope you thank him so much” and I DO thank him because I am big on modeling gratitude to the toddlers and I don’t want them to think supper just appears by magic but I’m not like “ooooh, sweetie, thank you sooooo much for contributing equally to this equal partnership in our jointly owned house and the two children we both made together and which I had to very uncomfortably grow in my body and then surgically remove.” In my view he is doing the minimum (and so am I). When he makes a phone call on his own and it bumps him up to 60% I’ll say thank you. SHEESH.

    • My mom was like this. My dad had a (slightly) more demanding job than my mom, yet he did no housework/cooking/very little kid logistics. Granted it was a different era, but if both of you are working, both of you need to split all of the other duties. Kudos to my mom for never complaining, though, at least in front of us.

      • I hate everyone's husbands says:

        I think I grew up a bit unusual because (in the mid-eighties) my Dad was the stay-at-home parent. So he did all cleaning/day meals/PTA/yardwork/driving about to dance lessons and whatnot. But my mom still came home and cooked dinner every night, did a ton of crafts with us (Dad might have been home but he was not maternal), wallpapered the bathroom… I know my husband’s family grew up a lot more stereotypically, his mom was a SAHM and she gushes over FIL because he bathed the kids and mowed the lawn. She is over the moon that my husband is soooo helpful. The nurses in the NICU when the twins were born were just AMAZED that my husband was there changing one’s diaper while I did the other and feeding one a bottle while I did the other. They were constantly taking me aside and oooohing and aaahing over how involved he was. I was aghast. Like what other ahole dads are in this NICU anyway??! Are they just hanging out in the recliner all day? Maybe they were all at work. I don’t even know.

    • CPA Lady says:

      I’m also here for this. I almost posted a novel length enraged rant on facebook earlier today because there was some hand wringing article on the NY times wondering why the birth rate is going down. If you need a study for that, you clearly have no clue what the reality of most women’s lives are like, and how right now the absolute most that has ever been expected of women is coming at the time when we have the absolute least amount of support.

      And yet somehow, these men who are completely incapable of the most minor household or planning tasks are in charge of every corporation and county on the entire planet? It blows my mind. If my husband gets run over by a bus, I’m taking the life insurance money and joining a feminist commune or something.

      • Mama Llama says:

        The same NYT article that also failed to mention the lack of paid family leave, the cost of child care, falling real wages, increasing housing costs, and student loan debt? Yeah, HUGE eye roll at that.

        • Spirograph says:

          Yup, I read that this morning with a massive eyeroll for all the same reasons. Then I clicked through to the linked article about how women who have their first child between 25 and 35 suffer the biggest losses in the gender pay gap and never make them up. I had my first at 28, so that’s a big fail.

    • Redux says:

      Ha! Well, as a sometimes-poster about annoying things my husband does (including a post Monday about mothers’ day) I will acknowledge that he does 100% of the pickup and dropoff, 100% of the meal planning, shopping, and cooking, and cleanup, 100% of the nighttime wake-ups, and 100% of the yardwork and house maintenance. We have a great co-parenting relationship and we’re on the same page about most things. That doesn’t mean I don’t get to complain when he doesn’t let me sleep in on Mothers’ Day.

    • avocado says:

      I think a big part of the problem is the invisibility of many of the tasks that moms tend to take on because we are the ones who actually have to give birth to the children, feed them from our bodies, and take maternity leave. Mom is nursing the baby and is on maternity leave, so naturally she is the one who starts out taking the baby to doctor’s appointments, and the pattern is set. Mom is the one who can’t go back to work without having child care lined up, so she is the one who is motivated to research day care. Once the pattern is established, it’s hard to break. Even if the visible, physical labor of running the household and raising a child is divided equally, that still leaves a lot of invisible tasks for mom that take much more time and effort than dad could ever realize.

      • Delta Dawn says:

        Agree with this so much. My husband is great– and I think in his mind, he believes he does half of the work. But that’s because he doesn’t see the rest of the iceberg under the water. He does half of anything related to hands-on childcare (diapers, entertaining the toddler, dinnertime, night wakings, etc), but if does not physically involve a kid, he’s not doing it.

        Appointments, buying shoes (and knowing what shoe size everyone wears), laundry, noticing the toddler’s pants are too short, replacing all the pants with new ones, remembering not to buy Sesame Street granola bars because now we are into Daniel Tiger instead, teacher appreciation day gifts, packing for a trip, unpacking after the trip…. nope nope nope. And I think he doesn’t really even know these things get done. (By me.)

        It only becomes visible when he needs something– where’s the teething medicine? (You mean the teething medicine I bought? That I researched to avoid recalls? That I keep in the same drawer in the same place that ALL THE MEDICINE has been since they were born?) WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME THIS?? Because I’m in charge of procurement and organization and storage and and and. Thanks for getting up with the teething baby, but at least be aware of all the background work. You make a great point that mom ends up doing it all while on maternity leave, which is one reason why equal paternity leave is so important.

      • I struggle with this so much. I am a very Type A Planny McPlannerton and DH is very go with the flow figure it out. We are expecting our first. He will generally do anything I tell/ask him to and come to anything I sent a calendar invite for. My career is more demanding and I make more but I still always (especially pre-pregnancy) handle all the hidden/emotional labor. If I told him to research daycare options and choose one, he would, but I would be anxious about it. This is 100% my issue to let go and let him take more on without questioning it. I expect him to be very hands on and do 50%+ of things when baby comes. He appreciates me and shows in in numerous ways (speaks it, buys gift, etc), but I still get so annoyed at him.
        A recent example, he fell and injured his wrist in August. After I told him explicitly which Dr he should go see, he went elsewhere. They drug their feet on treatment and care and after month of PT he finally went to where I told him to. Surgery is scheduled for next week. When I asked what anesthesia, care, and recovery would be, he shrugged saying I dunno, I didn’t ask. Cue my eye rolling and requiring a three way call with the facility so I could understand what surgery was all about since you know we are going to have baby in two weeks.

        TL:DR I am in a pregnant rage today and needed to vent on this topic.

        • avocado says:

          I am right there with you on all of this, down to the cavalier attitude towards medical care.

          But why on earth is your husband having surgery next week if you are due in two weeks and he’s been waiting on surgery for 9 months already? Can’t he wait a few more months?

          • Anonymous says:

            FWIW, I think doing it now is probably better, actually. He can sit still and hold a newborn with his arm in cast/sling in a way that is probably impossible with a larger/more mobile baby.

            But ridiculous that your husband didn’t even think to ask about what additional demands there will be on you if he can’t take care of normal household tasks…

            my husband had knee surgery a few weeks ago, couldn’t walk without crutches or drive for 2 weeks, and we have three kids under 5, all of whom can now out-run him. It is SO FUN.

          • Anon from 2:29 says:

            Its on his wrist and as baby grows and gets heavier, he will be more limited. As a newborn Dad he can do all of the things with his non dominant hand. Had he gone to the care provider I suggested, it would have been done. I work in a healthcare adjacent field so I know what I am talking about yet he doesn’t listen to me.

            Oh Anon above, I would want to kick his other knee with these hormones :)

            Today at my growth scan they told me my baby could be 11-12 lbs if I go full term. I am asking to be induced June 1!!!! so close now!

    • I'm having a bad day... says:

      Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much you demand it, it won’t change.

      I’m married to one of those ‘great guys.’ Here’s the catch — he’s a great guy to everyone but me. Seriously. Neighbor needs help, he’s right there. Co-worker needs some convoluted favor, he’s your guy. But stuff at home, nope. I’m sure there were signs of this before we got married and had a kid, but I foolishly ignored them.

      He claims he does all the outdoor stuff (we’re in a town home with no grass), mail sorting, and picture hanging. He’s also really good about complaining about how messy the house is because I’m not doing enough. Sure, he probably does more than his dad did, and definitely does more than what my dad did. But both our moms were SAHMs, whereas my income is greater than his. I manage to leave my office 9 out of 10 days to make daycare pickup in time and do most of the evening routine solo, the 1 time every two weeks he does it, it’s nothing but complaints about how hard it is. He does drop-off the majority of the time, but 95% of the time, I’m the one who gets our pre-schooler ready.

      I’ve tried to have reasonable discussions with him about this, but it really just devolves into him complaining about my housekeeping and lack of fitness and doesn’t change. One of the things I found totally un-relatable in “Drop the Ball” was how she just managed to sit down with her husband and a spreadsheet and poof, he started taking on tasks.

      As a result, on bad days, like today, I’m tired, cranky, and feel incompetent at life and debating divorce because I’ve become a bitter bean-counter.

      • Anonymous says:

        “I’m married to one of those ‘great guys.’ Here’s the catch — he’s a great guy to everyone but me. Seriously. ”

        Ohhh I SO relate to this – not so much when it comes to doing chores, but I feel like my husband treats everyone better than he treats me. My parents are absolutely in love with him. They see him doing so much work around the household and he is so sweet and kind to them and everyone else. But privately to me, he sometimes says hurtful things. Like the other day I commented to my husband that I missed our daughter when I’m at work (my maternity leave just ended and he’s currently on paternity leave) – it was in no way a criticism of him, just an idle “oh yeah I like my job, but I miss her sweet face all day, this working mom thing is tough.” And he got all snarky and said “Wow, you could have fooled me, you make me take care of her all the time even when you’re home.” Obviously he’s doing way more childcare than me right now because he’s on leave and he watches her for a little while every evening so I can do super exciting stuff like shower, but I feel like I’m with her 95% of the time I’m not at work. But I guess he doesn’t agree. And it’s just hard because I feel like I have no one on my team…when I try to tell my mom or my friends they just immediately start talking about what an AMAZING person he is and how he does so much and it’s so incredible that he’s taking this long paternity leave and yadda yadda yadda. And he definitely does many things right but he’s not perfect and it’s frustrating that I can’t vent about him to anyone.

      • Tfor22 says:

        You aren’t bean counting. Not only is he not pulling his weight, he is putting you down when you try to address his behavior.

      • Anonymous says:

        The question I always ask myself (since my divorce) is: would my life be easier without this 220-lbs man to drag around? If so, GET THE H3LL OUT. I have zero tolerance for this. If something happens and the thought even occurs to me that “today would be easier without him” — he’s in for a looooong conversation when he gets home about how he better start pulling more weight. I read once that a partnership is only successful when EACH PERSON is putting in 100% effort.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yep all these women like “he’s more like my child”– well, without him would you have 25% fewer dishes and 25% less laundry and otherwise the same amount of work? I don’t take divorce lightly but if my husband was a drain on me instead of a support for me I’d rather just live by myself.

        • I'm having a bad day... says:

          Thanks — I am seriously considering it. There is significant dysfunction in our relationship, some of it my fault, some of it his. We do have good days, but they seem less and less worth it.

          On a day to day basis, I think it would be easier sometimes, but I’m still scared — of not seeing my daughter everyday, of trying to manage work travel and what will most likely be a tough custody situation, being unable to move to another job due to custody issues, of feeling like a failure. I’m also stupidly hopeful that this will pass when he’s in a happier point in his career. And part of me just wants him to admit I’m right and he’s wrong.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m like you. I do almost all the logistical and managerial tasks (including taxes and bills) but my husband does the grocery shopping, most of the cooking and dishes, more than half the pet care and 50% of the laundry and childcare. I’m exclusively breastfeeding now so he does more diapers, but I expect when I’m done breastfeeding we will divide each child-related task pretty much evenly.

      I will say that people (including my husband) believe he does well more than half overall. Even my own mom tells me I don’t pull my weight. And I think it’s largely because his chores are so visible and mine are not as visible – but they still require time and mental energy. Someone either here or on the main page suggested keeping a diary for a week and showing it to him to help make my chores more visible. I did that but I’m not sure it helped because he took issue with a lot of the things as “optional.” I did this experiment when I was pregnant and he said he thinks things like researching what to buy for the baby, touring lots of different daycares, sending thank you cards for baby gifts, etc. are optional. A bunch of his friends and family members sent us gifts the week after the baby was born when I was incredibly sore and sleep-deprived and so even though stuff like this is normally my chore, I asked him to write the thank yous. But he basically said ‘I don’t think they’re necessary, I’m not going to do them,’ and the sad (sexist) reality is that I knew his friends and family would blame me for the lack of thank you card. So I did them. But I still get annoyed thinking about it.

      • avocado says:

        My husband is like this too–many of the things I think are important (e.g., cleaning the house) are “optional” in his eyes. He doesn’t just refuse to do them, he also resents that I spend time doing them because it keeps us from “having fun” as a family. “Fun” which, of course, I would have to orchestrate.

  15. Word. I’m a bean counter, too, and I think our marriage is more equal because of that insistence that we’re both going to pull our weight.

    I thought the columnists gave a great response to the question.

  16. Oh yes. I work less than DH, and therefore do more of the household management, but he is very much in the game. Every time my parents come over, they remark at how “present” he is. “Oh, your father would NEVER change a diaper!” says mom. “Oh, yeah, I never really did that.” says dad.

    But you know what? It was my Mom’s Thing. She was largely a SAHM and to this day (she’s 62) she takes a lot of pride in her child rearing and maintains that my father “couldn’t possibly have done it without me.” But you know what? Nobody ever asked Dad to change a diaper or put the kids to bed. Or, my mom in a moment of bitterness/sheer desperation would hand off a kid to my dad and then be annoyed that he didn’t know what to do. Dude never had to change a diaper or give a bottle before, OF COURSE he might not get it exactly right.

    I ask. I work with DH to set expectations (his and mine). Our kids don’t see Daddy as the “fun one” and Mom as the “mean boring one.” our kids go through mom and dad phases, but it all evens out. Sometimes I pull the “I’m going to tell your father about this…” line, but just as often, DH says “You’re going to have to go tell your mother what you did…” and both of those phrases elicit equal fear.

    My mom was one time ranting about how little my dad helped with the kids, so I straight up asked: did you ever ASK dad to be a cub scout leader/take us to the doctor/take a day off so you could have a day to yourself/put the kids to bed/whatever? “No, he couldn’t have done it.” (meaning, “he was not competent enough to do it”) was the reply, to which I call BS. Everyone learns this stuff.

    • I hate everyone's husbands says:

      Totally agree– and I do think maternal gatekeeping is a really important half of this equation. It isn’t limited to SAHMs for sure but I see it a lot with those friends– like you get so attuned to what you know works for you and works for the child that you just think it’s easier to do it yourself than to watch your husband struggle or fight with the kids when you know what would stop the tantrum or get everyone moving out the door. I have to restrain myself from fixing the ill-placed pigtails on my husband’s weekend hair day and I’m the one who complained about all this in the first place! One SAHM friend just had surgery and needed her husband/parents/in-laws to care for her son for a few weeks and she had a really hard time with people not doing things the way she would do them. Being a perfectionist is why I’m good at my job and it’s hard not to let that spill over into the parenting.

      • Mama Llama says:

        I agree, but I think there’s an important difference between “gate-keeping” and dudes doing such a [email protected] job that it’s easier for the mom to just do it herself.

        • I'm having a bad day... says:

          This — it’s the difference between wonky hairclips and no sunscreen in June.

          • I hate everyone's husbands says:

            Excellent point! I always tell my gatekeepier friends that the difference between them and me is that I’d ALWAYS rather not have the thing done than do the thing myself. Kitchen isn’t mopped because husband didn’t get around to it? I’d literally rather have sticky floors than mop myself so I am just willing to let things go undone till he does his part than to resentfully do them. But if that came to the actual safety of the kids and I couldn’t trust him with that… no, I’d step up (resentfully). You’re right– I leave the pigtails alone but I’d do the sunscreen before I’d let them burn, keep the extra eye on them at the water park… I was the one that did all the car seat research/installation because I wanted to do extended rear-facing and he didn’t care. But it’s true that for a self-proclaimed perfectionist, there are a LOT of household/kid things I’m totally fine with having done crappily.

      • I needed this.

        -Ranty Anon from 2:29

  17. Anonymous says:

    We get home by 6pm and feed baby immediately. Baby takes around 30 minutes to eat and then he either has a bath or plays with his toys for 15 minutes. At 6:45 we head upstairs to get ready for bed and he’s down at around 7pm.

    You didn’t ask, but our morning routine is. Everyone wakes at 6am. I get baby while husband showers. Baby drinks milk in bed next to me while I do my make up. Baby toddles around our room while my husband and I get dressed. Husband dresses baby while I do my hair. We leave the house around 7am.

  18. sleep issues says:

    I have a 1 year old that cries, sobs, screams nightly before bed for 10 to 15 mins. Is there anything I could do? Does this ever pass? she’s always done this with us, but sleeps with no crying with the nanny for naps, even though she always cries even at naps with us. it’s just horrible and I feel awful about this.

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