Maternity Monday: ‘Nouveau’ Sheath Maternity Dress

I always like Leota sheath dresses. This one, I’ll grant you, has an unusual print, but I kind of like it — it’s a fun, spring-y plaid and it’s a nice change from the typical maternity dresses. Sizes are XS–L, and the dress is machine washable (lay flat to dry). You can find it at Nordstrom for $98, and Amazon has it in different patterns (sizes include XL, which is sold out at Nordstrom) as well as the plus-size version‘Nouveau’ Sheath Maternity Dress

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Building a maternity wardrobe for work? Check out our page with more suggestions along both classic and trendy/seasonal lines.


  1. Books says:

    What are your best book recommendations for TTC and pregnancy?

    We’re just starting out and i’m in my first “two week wait”. The internet seems to polarize itself between “live life as normal” and “sit quietly no chocolate no baths no exercise omg don’t let yourself stress!!” and it’s be nice to have a balanced, scientific approach.

    • Good luck! Honestly, for that two-week wait, I’d say a bunch of light reading – Curtis Sittenfeld, thrillers/ mysteries/ horror novels/ romance/ whatever, that new release you’ve been dying to read – maybe get it from the library so you have to return it within two weeks…

      For when actually pregnant, I cannot recommend Expecting Better enough.

    • anne-on says:

      I’d read Taking Charge of your Fertility and then Expecting Better. TCOYF was key in helping me realize that my cycles are much longer than normal (but very regular) which helped a ton with timing.

    • Mama Llama says:

      I like GCA’s suggestion of reading to take your mind off things, but once you are looking for a pregnancy book I recommend the Mayo clinic book for basic medical information and Expecting Better for a skeptical look at the typical medical recommendations. Also, How Not to Hate Your Husband After Having a Baby.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Expecting better is great.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      I’m in the same boat for the next week or so! I agree with everyone else on Expecting Better, I read it when pregnant with my first and it reassured me that I didn’t have to completely change my life around for 9 months, and that most of what happens with pregnancy is beyond my control anyway. Try to stay away from baby blogs as much as you can (other than here) – most of the info will just stress you out unnecessarily.

  2. Leatty says:

    Expecting Better, hands down.

  3. avocado says:

    Some nice person hit my car in the gym parking lot this morning and didn’t leave a note. Just the way I wanted to start my week.

  4. Drowning says:

    I feel like I’m messing everything up as a working mom. My 2 year old (always a bad sleeper) woke up at 4:30am this morning and wouldn’t go back to sleep. So by the time we dropped him at daycare at 8:00, he was a mess, and he just has to push through till nap at 1pm, which makes me feel so guilty. And I just got a call that I have to go pick up our 5 month old because he’s sick. For the second time in 2 weeks. Meanwhile I’m behind on everything at work and really just barely holding on to my sanity.

    How do people do this?? Being a working mom with one kid was tough enough, I’m not sure we’re going to make it through these years with two. My husband is an equal co-parent in every way. Short of one of us quitting our jobs, what do we do to get through this phase? I just feel like we’re failing these poor kids who are sick and tired so often.

    (I suspect many of you will suggest a nanny, but I have always had serious concerns about my childcare being wholly dependent on one single person. Plus my two year old is so used to daycare, we’d need to enroll him in some sort of preschool, and you can’t just do that mid year our very crowded and competitive area, and in fact i think we’ve missed most of the deadlines for next fall as well. So a nanny is not an easy answer to our problems.)

    • Mama Llama says:

      “How do people do this?” Unfortunately, I think people do this while feeling like they are drowning a lot of the time. I don’t have any practical advice for you, but I hope you realize you are far from alone. Hugs.

      • avocado says:

        “Unfortunately, I think people do this while feeling like they are drowning a lot of the time. ”

        This x 1 million. Being a working mom is just rough, and it can really help to remember that you are not the only one just getting through by the skin of your teeth. Hang in there and keep in mind that:

        – 2 y/o will get through the day somehow. Having him home all day would not necessarily fix anything with respect to sleep.
        – Every kid goes through a period of about two years of constant illnesses when he or she first starts in a group setting, either in day care or in school. Getting a nanny would only postpone the illness phase until preschool or kindergarten.
        – Coffee is the elixir of life.

        Internet hugs to you. Just put one foot in front of the other and keep going!

      • Katala says:

        +1 to feeling like you’re drowning a lot of the time. And then just doing it anyway.

        Mine are 12 months and almost 3, so I was where you are only a short time ago. We almost didn’t make it – marriage/mental health/job-wise. But we got through, somehow. And it is SO much better now that the baby is a little bit older, and we can see a light at the end of this difficult tunnel (and trying not to think about the other ways it will get more difficult).

        We make it work by DH cutting waaay back on hours and becoming self-employed with only very flexible projects. Plus full time daycare and 1-5 days/month of backup care (some through my work benefits, but that’s 12 days a year, so we also have a babysitting service that we use for date nights and backup days). Until a couple of months ago, I thought I was on the verge of getting fired (I’m sure that wasn’t the case, but it felt like it). Eventually I got into a groove at work, baby started sleeping a little better, and we got used to how hard it is.

        Hugs! Put your head down and get through however you can – it will get easier.

      • Anonymous says:

        Late to this party, but here to be another +1 for feeling like you’re drowning a lot of the time. There are moments I feel like “yes! I’ve got this adulting thing down, I’m a mom and still killing it at work, hear me roar!” But there are still a lot more when I want to throw up my hands, move somewhere LCOL and be a SAHM.

        You have to just let things go. Some wise person here said a few weeks ago that your career is long, and you don’t make decisions based on the bad days/months/years when you have young kids. Just do your best, and you’ll make it through. I’ve used 3 sick days already this year, and spent several more (including half of today and tomorrow because yay, 24 hour rule!) teleworking with a sick kid watching TV. It is what it is…drink coffee, say no to things that don’t matter, and vent here as needed. There are lots of us in the same boat! This is way harder on you than on your kids, so don’t worry for a minute that you’re not doing right by them.

    • Clementine says:

      Everything is a season. Right now, you are in a hard one.

      Take it day by day. Is it possible for one of you to bring sick baby home and get at least half a day of WFH in? Any local family/SAH parent friends that would be willing to watch baby tomorrow that you can arrange for?

      I honestly suggest just taking a deep breath, taking it day by day, and drinking a lot of hot herbal tea and taking long showers.

    • Momata says:

      Right now sucks. You don’t “do it” – you flounder through each day and you do the best you can and you make choices about which balls to drop when. But in six weeks, flu and cold season will be over. The days will be longer and you’ll be able to get your kids outside more which will in turn help them sleep.

    • FTMinFL says:

      Commenting to say I’m right there with you – My two-year-old and six-month-old have combined to make me thoroughly sleep-deprived, I picked everyone’s clothes out of the dryer (at least they were clean?) this morning, did not pack my lunch, put make up on in the car, and feel like I am positively drowning at work. There are no groceries in the house and it is only sort of clean because we had someone clean it a week ago. This is a season and we will get through it. I’m wishing you strong coffee and supernaturally restorative sleep (when you get it)!

      On the childcare topic, we have a nanny and it has improved things over daycare, but only because I LOVE our nanny as a person and had an impossible time getting to know daycare teachers in spite of my best efforts. Nannies still come with pressure to be home on time and have the right supplies for kiddos, but add on the pressure of ensuring your kids have appropriate levels of stimulation and education. It is the blessing and curse of motherhood that nothing can take concern for your children off your mind. If you are happy with your childcare situation, don’t let anyone make you think that the grass is greener somewhere else!

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      Hugs. You are doing great and you are not failing your kids. If it helps, you can keep reminding yourself that you are in the thick of it now and it is hard (so, so hard) but that it won’t last forever. For practical solutions in the meantime, any local grandparents available to watch your youngest? Babysitters you can hire to watch the youngest, while one of you works from home? Mother’s helpers-type people to come over a couple of nights a week while one or both of you gets a break? I truly believe that a village is so necessary, especially when the kids are little and you have more than one.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Unfortunately I think it’s normal.
      I realized after reading many suggestions here to do things like “pick up the sick baby and get some work in at home” that I was not in a job that supported/allowed for that sort of flexibility. Too often I was burning up leave AND working from home just to tread water, due to an extreme lack of flexibility/telework options in my current job. I’m definitely not compensated at a level where that is fair.
      After some reflection (and with #2 on the way) I’m about to accept a position with more telework options, that will allow me more flexibility for things like sick/snow days. This way, I can arrange coverage for the times I need to go in-person for meetings, which is a lot easier than arranging coverage for an entire day just to make sure I’m sitting at my desk at the appointed time…whether it’s work I could be doing from home or not. I obviously still need full-time childcare, but if a kid has a rough night and wants to sleep in I’ll have more freedom to drop them off at daycare at 8am instead of 6:30 am, for example. I’ll be sacrificing some job satisfaction (I love my job!) but would rather be kind of underwhelmed with job enthusiasm than completely overwhelmed with home/life.

      tl;dr maybe a change to a more flexible job is all I can think of. There’s really no solution though, we’re all just doing our best to get through the day!

      • anonanon says:

        SO so many hugs. It is so hard. SO many of us are right there with you. I just tell myself a lot that the days are long and the years are short and to just put one foot in front of another and there will be easier seasons.

      • Ugh, all the hugs! If you get an exit interview, PLEASE tell them why you are leaving. True facetime requirements should be for things like, ‘we need a technically proficient human to be present to oversee this nuclear reactor/ oil refinery/ particle accelerator/ medical setting where people will literally die if not enough staff are present’.

        • +1 million to this. Agreed – definitely share that you are leaving a job that you LOVE due to lack of flexibility/face time requirements

      • I agree that it is so helpful if one or both partners have flexwork. I commented this recently on another thread, but DH and I both “only” put in about 40 hours/week in the office and the rest is at home. It is so, so nice to be able to work from home when necessary. It allows us to keep things sort of under control.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cleaning help – biweekly cleaners for deeper clean plus more limited weekly service to change sheets, vaccum and wash main floor, fold and put away kids laundry.

      I do not make a special lunch for myself. I either bring leftovers (put in container when clearing table), eat something from the granola bar/soup stash in my office, or buy lunch (1-2xweek).

      Suppers are mealplanned in a two week rotation – a list of things we can make in about 20 minutes (pad thai, pasta with jar of tomato sauce, homemade burgers, roast chicken and rice etc). Sometimes we eat the same thing on a certain day every week).

      My kids are older and in daycare, but with a 5 month old you will have a lot of sick days ahead of you. I would look at nanny as a good option. You may be able to go part-time at your present daycare. If older child is at daycare 2-3 days a week, then you can definitely outsource some other stuff to the nanny like washing and folding kids clothes and cleaning playroom and prepping kid food.

    • Sarabeth says:

      It’s really hard. My only suggestion is to see if there’s a backup nanny service in your area that you can register with. We have one through work, and it’s been a lifesaver. I just call a centralized number and, a few hours later, someone shows up at my door. runs it, but I think they may only do corporate contracts? In any case, I know there are equivalents that are available in some markets. It is not cheap at all, but sometimes it’s nonetheless worth it.

      • avocado says:

        Also look into backup day care centers specifically for sick kids. This is an actual thing where I live.

        • Also where I live

        • Anonanonanon says:

          There’s one of these in our area, though I’ve always been worried my kid would show up with pink eye and leave with pink eye AND a stomach virus

          • Katala says:

            Same. I don’t understand how my kid wouldn’t get end up with multiple illnesses at one of these centers…

    • Just wanted to add one more comment for solidarity. My 4.5 yr old has not slept through the night since our 10 month old was born (she always needs to use the bathroom, or loses her teddy, something), and we found out yesterday the baby has his fifth ear infection in a little over three months (at least that explains his sh!tty sleeping the past few nights after we’d finally turned a corner with sleep training). I have come down with a bad cold that feels like it’s turning into a sinus infection, I haven’t slept in two days, and I feel like I’m at the end of my rope. And I am a remote employee — so no commute or getting ready for work hassles! — so I feel like I have it so much better than many working moms!
      Anyway, my one piece of practical advice is to get a care dot com account if you don’t have reliable backup care. I know it’s hit or miss, but I’m in a college town (so, lots of young women willing to hang out with a cute baby) and it’s been a lifesaver for the couple times the baby’s been sent home from daycare and husband is traveling and I can’t take off work.
      Hang in there. The pediatrician, who we now see on a weekly basis (see, ear infections) says we just gotta make it through March. Sounds like a long time, but I know it’ll go quickly. Big hugs.

      • Have you discussed ear tubes with your pediatrician? Both of my kids had frequently recurring ear infections and they had to get tubes. It made a world of difference. Ear infections can damage your kid’s hearing, so maybe ask your pediatrician for a referral to an ENT.

        • anne-on says:

          +1 – tubes made my life as a working parent like 50% easier. That and a tonsil/appendectomy which knocked out the worst of the recurring viral throat infections/snoring/sleep issues.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          I wish I would’ve pushed harder for ear tubes for kiddo – I understand why doctors push back, but each ear infection inevitably meant a 2-3 weeks of disrupted sleep for kiddo (and me!), and she had 4-5 diagnosed ear infections a year for the first three years. Parenting would have been more manageable without that uncertainty.

        • Anonanonanon says:

          ear tubes and adenoid removal helped my child soooo much. We did it in kindergarten and my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner

          • Thanks, y’all — yeah, we’ve got a referral to an ENT later this month (earliest available, unfortunately). I hate the idea of a baby less than a year old going under general anesthesia but the string of infections has GOT to end. I’ll probably be asking this group for advice if/when we move forward!

        • + Ear tubes changed our kid’s life. She did get them at 13 months and it was a little nerve-wracking with the anesthesia but ultimately worth it.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Hugs. I don’t think a nanny would solve your problems, if that makes you feel better. The only way out is through; take it one day at a time. I’m amazed at how much more predictable life is now that kiddo is out of the newborn/toddler stages. You’ll get there in a few years.

      And – I’d twist the toddler situation this way; you handled the early wake up and now you have some relief to help with the inevitable cranky morning! That you wouldn’t have if you were a stay-at-home parent! And daycare is paid and trained to handle exactly that kind of behavior! Hooray for help. You got this.

      • AwayEmily says:

        This is a great way of thinking about it. You’re dropping him off with people who he loves, who love him, and who are experts at taking care of kids. This is a good thing!

      • Yes! And daycare wasn’t up at 4:30 (and any other times you were awake) and they won’t be tonight either.

    • Hugs.

    • lawsuited says:

      You’re not failing at all. You are doing so well. You and your husband are both working hard at home and outside the home to create a safe, comfortable and happy life for your 2 children. It’s a very hard thing to do, and you are getting up each day (or night) and doing it. This isn’t the feeling of failure, it’s just the feeling of this challenging stage of life and you’re actually doing as well as any parent ever does.

      Your kids aren’t tired or sick because you’ve failed. They’re just tired and sick because they’re kids and their little bodies are still working a lot of stuff out. Even when they’re tired or sick, they’re still the lucky ones who have a loving parent to soothe them or pick them up from daycare.

      I think it can be hard for overachieving women who are used to feeling competent to adapt to motherhood for which you have no training and no objective measures. It feels like a crazy lopsided mess in comparison to the success you’re used to and it’s hard to believe that that’s how it’s supposed to be, but it is and it’ll pass.

    • Anonymous says:

      Add me to the chorus saying “it’s normal.”

      And I agree a nanny wouldn’t solve your problems (we have one, and while she’s wonderful, we still have days like yours), but a backup nanny/sitter/mother’s helper could go a long way. We realized recently that we needed to diversify our childcare options and hired a young person who works part-time at an afterschool program but is available until 2pm and looking to pick up extra jobs. She doesn’t work set days, but she can pitch in as needed.
      Kiddo is sick and you need to work from home? Mother’s helper can pitch in for a few hours while you hop on conference calls, run to the store, take a nap.

    • Carine says:

      I felt like this almost constantly up until my second was about 10-12 months old (also in daycare, no family nearby, husband also works full time). It was intermittent after that, and got markedly better once he finally was well for longer than a week or two at a time, when he was around 18 months.

      But in those earlier months, I was just barely hanging on. I mean, I knew reentry would be hard, I knew two kids would be hard, but it was so much worse than I imagined. I felt incredibly guilty that he was sick all the time and I couldn’t keep my head above water at work. At one point I told myself I couldn’t quit my job until I’d been back six months – recognizing that I wasn’t really in a good mental/emotional place to make a decision that could affect my career forever. Having that date in mind was actually helpful when I just wanted to get up from my desk and go give my notice (and when I was hiding underneath it sobbing, which actually happened!). I told myself I would truly reevaluate at that point, and when I did, things were a little bit easier and I felt like I could hold out a little longer.

      All that’s to say – it’s just really, really hard and I have been there and I am sorry! I do think it mostly takes time, but a couple other things that did help:
      -Stopping pumping a little earlier than I probably “had” to. It was just too much and I was less stressed after I gave it up. Baby still nursed in the mornings and evenings for a while and life was easier.
      -Signing up for an on-call babysitter service. We ended up using it for date nights, never actually for daytime back-up coverage, but I think knowing that it was an option helped a lot.
      -Reading “I Know How She Does It” by Laura Vanderkam. It was incredibly helpful to read about other professional women juggling everything and actually see their schedules. What really struck me was how most of them didn’t have a “typical” week – there was always something coming up, e.g., a doctor’s appointment, a kid sick, working late for a deadline and flexing another day to take care of errands, etc. It helped put my situation in perspective and made me feel better about trying to prioritize and meet the various demands of work and home life.
      -Reminding myself that there are just hard seasons in life, and that was one of them, and it was a relatively short period of time in the overall timeline of my career.

      He’s 2 now and I’m glad I hung in there. It gets better and easier in a lot of ways (getting more sleep and the kids being healthy helps!). They’re still little and I still have hard days and weeks, but there are really good days and weeks, too. Hugs to you – I hope spring brings some healthy weeks for you and things get better!

  5. Ugh, forgot one of the horns for my double pump so my already annoying pumping sessions are now even longer. Feeling a bit stressed about supply, down to a day reserve in the freezer so I’m going to try some power pumping.

    • FTMinFL says:

      Don’t forget to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! I also really like the Oat Mama lactation teas on Amazon – the chai and green teas are delicious and have actually seemed to make a difference. Happy Monday!

    • Anonymous says:

      At least you have 1/2! You might be doing this already but try oatmeal for supply. I had it for breakfast every morning while nursing and it noticeably helped my supply. I also kept a bag in the office kitchen because it’s great for a snack when you’re starving in the middle of the afternoon.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        Same. Oatmeal had a huge effect for me.

      • +2. Oatmeal was huge for me. I had oatmeal for breakfast and saw a huge difference. Then I added a Lactation cookie (Milkmakers) after lunch and saw another jump in output.

      • Katala says:

        +3, oatmeal is the only thing I noticed working (and brought my supply back after attempting a Whole30 for a couple of days that ruined my supply). I eat it for breakfast and also add it to smoothies.

    • Anonymous says:

      FWIW, I never saw a difference from anything I ate, drank, etc. The only thing that helped me pump more was..pumping more. That said, power pumping did help. You got this!

      • Same, sort of. I saw a difference when I made sure I got PLENTY of calories. But it really didn’t matter what they were.

    • Oh hugs. I live in fear of forgetting any parts or bottles.

      • Right? Debated having my dad bring baby in. I normally have the haakaa in my bag but had forgotten that as well.

      • rosie says:

        But really, this is a problem that can be solved by money, and not even that much, relatively speaking (versus a $98 maternity dress, e.g….). Do yourselves a favor and keep an extra set at the office. I realize that won’t help you today , Cb, but it will help in the future and it is one fear we can totally get in front of. You can buy off-brands from Amazon, or if you have Spectra, I’ve had some success fb messaging them and asking nicely when I need some spares.

  6. CapHIllAnon says:

    The very best pre-pregnancy read:

    It Starts With the Egg by Rebecca Fett

    I found this much more useful than Taking Charge of Your Fertility, Impatient Women’s Guide…, etc. I attribute my third successful pregnancy to this book.

  7. Overnight my (just about to turn 3 year old) went from well-behaved to a defiant little rule breaker who has all sorts of arbitrary demands (not the blue cup! the red cup! (after requesting the blue cup)) and basically has us all twisted in knots.

    Is this just three? How long did this phase last for you all?

    We had more tantrums this weekend then we usually have across several weeks, and I think she’s feeling fine!

    • CPA Lady says:

      My kid did that right before she turned 3. It lasted 2-3 weeks, I think? It was so horrible I’ve blocked it out. After those weeks were over she went back to her normal tantrum schedule.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Yep, I remember having exactly the same feeling a few weeks before kiddo turned 3. It was the first time we did time-outs, and they were painful (sooo painful) but I think it helped her feel safer to know that there were hard boundaries and that she could learn those boundaries without the world falling apart?

      Also – it passes. And I really enjoyed the transition to three. It was more intellectually challenging and stretched me to be a more self-aware human, rather than just a constant grueling grind of meeting physical needs of a helpless tiny person.

    • Anonymous says:

      Throw away the different colored cups. Seriously. Pre-eliminate any struggles you see coming down the pike.

      My two year old uses a clear glass at home, salad size plates and bowls that match all our dishes and stainless steel silverware (cocktail silverware from World Market). I’m sort of Montessori, but mostly it’s because I refuse to ever, ever, ever have a fight with a kid over the color of a [email protected] plate.

      I’m also working on paring down her wardrobe for next year (more duplicates, fewer options) but grandparents buy her a lot of clothes, so we’ll see how that goes.

    • Thanks all, each of these responses was helpful.

      We pretty much let her dress herself and just shrug, but the idea of limiting her options is… intriguing… same with different sippy cup tops! I should simplify!

      She’s really delightful ordinarily so this has definitely thrown us for a loop. I hope it’s a short phase!

  8. childspacing says:

    I know this is a deeply personal decision, but I’d love to get people’s thoughts on how they picked the child spacing.

    In my circle, the most common age difference between kids seems to be 18 months to two years. I have a 9 month old that’s still not a great sleeper and so so active, so I just can’t imagine right now (not to mention I don’t even have my period back). I always thought we’d start trying after she turns 2, hoping for a 3 year age difference?

    I think having them 18 months or 2 years apart is fantastic for their relationship as they get older, but it just seems impossibly challenging until the youngest turns 1 or 2? I’m not sure if its any better with a 3 year age difference though.. gah.

    I’m also having to factor in that I really want to get a new job for many reasons. If I want a 2ish age difference, I need to stay put here, but if I want 3, I’ve got ~6 months to see if I can find a new job, prove myself there for a year, and then start trying?

    I know this is a crazy amount of planning and things rarely work according to plan, but just trying to factor in what I can see as issues to consider.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think this is a crazy amount of planning, especially for this board! I always thought I wanted kids 2 years apart, and then I had a kid :) DD is 11 months and right now we are planning on having another (born) by the time she’s 3, but if I leave the workforce (for a few various reasons right now), we’ll have another sooner rather than later so I’m out of work for less time. It really comes down to what works best for your family. But scientifically speaking – siblings of any age gap usually benefit your children (unless they positively hate each other as adults). You’ll find many people who have an 18 month, 3 year, 5 year, 7 year, and 10 year difference between siblings. There are pluses and minuses to all of them. My sister is 10 years older than me, but now that we’re both in the young kids stage (her a little later than normal, me a little earlier), we have so much in common. Don’t have another kid sooner than you’re ready just because people tell you that it’s “better.” Whatever fits your family is best!

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Honestly, our primary consideration for spacing right now is waiting to try for a second until we have enough of an age gap that our kid can go to free pre-k (at 4) because we absolutely cannot afford to have 2 kids in daycare at the same time. She’s 2.5 right now, so we have a little bit of time. Ideally, we’d have a second when she’s about 3.5. A few secondary considerations at this point are: I want to make a job move (internally, but there is still the obligation to prove myself, etc.), I have an upcoming family wedding and don’t want to be on the verge of giving birth at their wedding in a different state, etc.

      • I’m the poster from a few days/weeks (?) ago that was asking about twins while evaluating my risks during IF treatment. I have to admit that I completely over looked that twins would mean double the cost of child care! That’s a huge thing to take into consideration. I’m not trying to threadjack OP, I just want to thank Anon in NYC for raising this issue for my consideration.

        • Anon in NYC says:

          No problem! You might find that (if you had twins) a nanny would be more cost effective. We ran the math and paying a nanny on the books in our area for the amount of time we’d need (somewhere in the range of 50 hours/week), it was less expensive to use daycare. But the incremental hourly cost of a second kid with a nanny was less expensive than 2 in daycare. If/when we have a second, we’d seriously consider getting a nanny because s/he could handle the baby and then pick up the older kid from school rather than having to juggle after care programs.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      This time last year, my son was 10 months and I was NOT ready to go through TTCing, pregnancy, breastfeeding, etc. again so. Especially since I had just weaned and wanted my body back for a bit. Now, my son is a year older and I feel way more ready, so if all goes well, they’ll be about 2.5-3 years apart in age. I’ve heard that 3 years is a great age difference as they’re still close enough in age to do similar activities but far enough that they won’t necessarily be in the same schools at all times, will have their own friends and the parents get a (small) break in between! It’ll be hard no matter what when you have two littles – see post above – but I think a longer spacing is a bit easier.

      As far as whether they’re close friends, I think that will really depend on their personalities. I don’t have any siblings, but I know lots of people who have 1-2 year age gaps with siblings and are not close, and others with similar age gaps or longer and who are close. That part is not really up to us!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I always assumed I wanted kids spaced really close together, but kiddo was a challenging newborn and a very active toddler, and didn’t sleep through the night consistently until age 3. Even if I hadn’t found myself unexpectedly single, I don’t think I would’ve been able to handle a pregnancy until she was 3.5.

      • avocado says:

        Yep, ours is an only but I would not even have been able to consider having another until she was in kindergarten.

    • Mama Llama says:

      My kiddo is very challenging in many ways. She didn’t sleep through the night until she was well-over a year. She is stubborn and opinionated and just requires a LOT of parenting. I would have died if I had gotten pregnant when she was 18 months. Every family is different and has different considerations going into their family planning. Don’t let the age gap that other families have make you feel inadequate for choosing something else if that’s what’s right for you.

    • I wanted mine really close together so I could get out of the diapering/newborn phase as fast as possible and so they’d have similar interests at roughly similar times (I solo parent a lot). Miscarriages changed the plan, so mine are 2.5 years apart. Turns out, even at 2.5 and 5, they are best friends and still can flex into each other’s interests. Sports/ activities will likely be challenging as they get older, but that would be true for any age gap, I assume.

      All you can do is make a choice that works for you, and then nature may have different plans anyway. My formerly Type A self got some hard lessons throughout pregnancy and motherhood, I assume I have many more coming my way.

    • Echoing a lot of previous posters to say we would not have been able to handle a 2-year age gap. The first trimester has basically knocked me out, but it seems so much easier to handle now that kiddo is 2.5 and fairly independent. #2 will arrive when #1 is 3 and a few months. My rule of thumb was ‘no two in diapers at the same time’, plus financial considerations. I know there’s a school of thought that goes something like ‘we have a terrible sleeper anyway so what’s another 1.5 years of sleep deprivation?’ and ‘let’s get the childbearing over and done with in one bloc’, but you have to do what feels right for you and your family!

    • Anonymous says:

      This thread is so interesting to me! Our twins are almost 2 and I would love to have more, but I agreed with my husband to discuss it after we see how potty training goes. I cannot stomach the idea of 3 (or 4, if it is twins again…) in diapers, I would lose my mind. My sibling and I are almost 5 years apart, and though I don’t think my parents planned it that way, we are close now as adults.

      • twins too says:

        Oh my god, I have two year old twins and cannot even begin to imagine a third. I don’t even think mine are difficult kids… they’re just toddlers, and that’s totally as much as I can handle!

        • I have a coworker whose wife got pregnant when their twins were 11 months old. I am in awe of that woman. I’d have officially lost my mind.

          • Anonymous says:

            Yes, the only other people we know with twins have a third who is about 15 months younger. I have no idea how she did it. Day care cost is definitely a consideration as well. We can afford the twins in day care– barely– but I’d have to stay home with a third. We have to wait until they’re in kindergarten.

    • FTMinFL says:

      It seems like most posters are echoing the thought that an 18-24 month age gap would be tough, so I’ll chime in. My kiddos are 21 months apart and I would like to have our third and probably last around the same gap from my second. My oldest was young enough that the transition really didn’t rock his world. The baby is a novelty and he loves getting to “teach” her things that he has recently learns. Having two this young is certainly a lot of work, but it is also so joyful. We have a nanny which is more cost-effective than having two in daycare in our area and that cuts down on workday logistics. I would definitely do it this way again.

      • Katala says:

        #2 was a total surprise and we ended up with a 20 month difference. It was tough, but is getting better by the day now that he’s 1. I love having them so close together. #1 hardly noticed the new baby at first and didn’t start getting jealous until baby became more mobile and got into his stuff, by which time we’d adjusted more or less to having 2.

        I started a new job pregnant with #2 (see total surprise), and while it was hard and took me >1 year to prove myself because I wasn’t 100% during pregnancy or right after mat leave, it’s now totally fine and no one really remembers. If you move jobs you don’t necessarily need to be there for a year before you get pregnant.

        I’m starting to get baby fever again (WHY?!) but we’re not at all sure we want/could handle a third. I would love to have a theoretical third close in age to the other 2 but it would just be too much for us. 3-4 years between #2 and #3 would be nice, I think, but I’m too old for that.

    • Anonymous says:

      I was an older first-time parent (38) and felt like it was now or never for having another. Never tried to prevent #2. Would up pg again so that spacing would be 15 months, then had a m/c, then pg again a month later, so kids are 20 months apart.

      After kid 2 was born, I didn’t get my period back until 15 months later, so I didn’t want to try for more at that point.

      Had I had the luxury of time, I’d like to have a third IF they could be 18-20 months apart but I wouldn’t want two close together and then a third who would be much different in age. I don’t think I would have spaced more widely; I think I would have the same spacing but have (maybe) enjoyed having more energy and/or younger eggs so skipping the m/c.

    • Betty says:

      We struggled to get pregnant with our oldest. Ideally, I wanted about a 3-4 year age gap between my kids for many of the reasons cited here. (Our oldest was a REALLY tough baby. I don’t think I realized how tough he was until his younger sister, the most laid back of babies, arrived. ) We started trying when the age gap would be 2.5 years, figuring that it would take a while and interventions to get pregnant. Surprise! My kids are 2 years, 7 months apart. All of this is to say that the best planning didn’t exactly pan out. It was tough having a three year old and six month old, and it was 100% survival mode for multiple years (and still is in many ways). Now that they are 7 and 4, I would not change it for the world. She is in public PreK at his school. They ride the bus together, go to after-care together and sleep in the same room. They are on one schedule, at one school and have similar interests.

      • Anonymous says:

        “They are on one schedule, at one school and have similar interests.”

        #1 and #2 on this list is why I had my kids as close together as I could. My job easily equals 1-2 more kids of scheduling drama and it is really only do-able by able to go to the same swim lessons, the same school, the same summer camps, etc. We survived having 2 schools for 1 year, but they were only 1/4 mile away. In our city, middle school will add in 10 miles a day of extra driving for drop-off/pickup and/or bell and bus schedules that are off by 1:15 (which means I will have to check our state’s laws on leaving kids alone / latchkey kids b/c I can’t be missing that much work every day and/or we get an afternoon nanny).

    • EP-er says:

      I was shooting for three years apart…. the first year with my son was so traumatic, I couldn’t even wrap my head around getting pregnant again so soon. So we started trying when he was two. Secondary infertility + miscarriage = 4 year age gap. Honestly — I’m loving it. Yes, the years with little sleep are longer, but my son was communicating & self sufficient when the baby showed up.

    • most of my friends growing up had a 2.5-3.5 year age gap with their siblings. I think that as people have waited longer to have kids, more people dealing with infertility issues, etc. the 18 months-2 years has become more common. as everyone else has said there is no “right” answer. i wanted to have kids 4+ years apart, but we ended up waiting a bit longer than we might have liked, had some fertility issues and instead are having twins. i think the fact that i didnt get pregnant exactly when i wanted and having a due date not in the month i really wanted, was a good lesson in helping my type A planner self realize how much you can’t plan with kids

    • This was so interesting to read all the responses! I would also ask your OB their thoughts given how your previous pregnancy and delivery went – I think in some cases longer spacing between pregnancies correlates with better outcomes. I had a relatively easy time compared to friends whose pelvic floor took over a year to get back to normal, for example – I know their OBs wouldn’t have wanted them to get pregnant again really soon (prolapse and all that is no joke).

      We want ours to be 3 years apart, but who knows how it’ll actually work out. I think if we are leaning towards 3 we might go for a 2 or 2.5 year gap so I’m not pushing 40 when #3 is in the works.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is a good point. I was told after my twins not to get pregnant again for 18 months so that my body could recover; apparently it takes that long to replace something in your own system. Vitamins? Calcium? I can’t remember, I was not going to have another that soon anyway!

    • Momata says:

      Mine are 20 months apart. They are 4 and 2.5 now. The older one was an incredibly easy pregnancy, delivery, and baby – she slept through the night at 6 weeks old and I had to wake her to feed her. But she was still just a baby herself when her brother was born. For that first 18 months it was incredibly challenging for one parent to take care of both kids for any extended period of time. So this meant 18 months with basically no break during waking hours. I would not recommend it unless your partner is a true partner and you split responsibilities 50/50. The next six months were easier as far as supervision – one parent could do it. Now, as of a few weeks ago, we find that the kids are often off in another room playing and both of us actually get a little break! For maybe 20 minutes! When we can talk to each other! They are each others’ best friends and I think the narrow age gap facilitates that. I’m really excited to encourage their little relationship.

      • Katala says:

        Oh, this is such a good point. It’s very rare that one of us watches both kids for more than an hour (we do have a sitter who can do it now, but wouldn’t have felt comfortable until youngest was 10 or so months). Looking forward to being able to do overnight work trips and such, which seems impossible right now.

    • We waited to start trying until we would have a 3 year difference. Both of us were in brand new jobs at the same time and needed to establish ourselves (and be eligible for FMLA), for one thing. I did not feel fully healed from childbirth for at least 18 months, maybe closer to 2 years. And I have a 3.5 year difference with my own sibling, which I loved; my husband is 2 years apart from his sibling and they always had more rivalry. Plus I just couldn’t handle the thought of a toddler and a baby. We had to weigh all of this against the fact that we had our first child about 3 years later than we’d hoped because of health issues, fertility issues, miscarriage, etc., but still decided to wait. Currently 12 weeks pregnant and they’ll be 3.5 years apart.

    • biglawanon says:

      I am sure I never would have chose to do so, but it was actually great to have a large gap between my youngest and my two older boys. We have two adopted kids, brothers who are not 14 y/o and 12 y/o. I accidentally got pregnant in my 40s, with an IUD, and with twins to boot. I was in a panic mode when I found out that I was going to have four sons, but I got over it, rolled with it, and the twins are now 6. I liked how my older boys were old enough to know what was going on, and they really cared about their little brothers. They are great role models for the little dudes now, too.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have 3, with 20ish months in between each. I wanted to have them close together so they’d play together better, and have similar interests/abilities at the same time. I also selfishly wanted to get through the baby phase as quickly as possible, and since I wanted 3+ and want them out of the house before I’m too much over 50, I had to pack them in a bit. :) Its exhausting, but getting easier all the time (youngest is now 1.5 and DH is done). The older two are best friends and it’s adorable, and it’s nice that we can easily pick activities that are engaging and appropriate for all of them in a way I think is more difficult with a wider age spread.

      I do feel like this is the first time I’m really experiencing a kid being a toddler, though. I was very pregnant when each of the older ones was 1.5, and I have basically no memory of them at this age, which is a little sad.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I have a 3 year age gap. When I was growing up the 2 year age gap was by far most common. In Canada, since I was a kid the leave period has increased to one year and it seems that the 3 year age gap is now the most common. A lot of people seem to do one year off, 9 months or a year back to work before starting to try and then it’s close to two years back at work by the time the second baby arrives. The longer period off for leave makes people feel like they have to be back to work for longer in between leaves. I love the 3 year age gap – they play together tons and my oldest was old enough at 3 years old to be patient when I needed to help the baby.

    Only thing I wish I did differently is start trying a bit early to have earlier birthdays. My kids are all late fall birthdays and they hate being the youngest in their classes. DH and I are spring birthdays so we didn’t even think of this. Avoid a November/December birthday if you can. If I had my time back I would have taken a month or two off from trying but these things are so hard to predict, I could have planned for a January birthday and ended up with a November preemie.

    • Anonymous says:

      argh – for childspacing

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      Just a note on this – in the U.S., a lot of states have school cut-off in September now, so the late fall/early winter babies will actually be the oldest. End of December is rough because of Christmas, but I think fall is great time to have a birthday, especially in New England!

      • Anonymous says:

        NYC has a Jan 1 – Dec 31 schedule, so fall babies are the youngest. It’s gonna be tough on my active November girl in a couple years.

  10. New Mom says:

    Has anyone had PPD manifest itself as irritability/anger and/or mood swings? I don’t feel sad or hopeless or anxious, nor do I worry or think about hurting myself or my baby. However, the slightest little things send me into a crying fit or an emotional outburst (normally directed at my husband), even if I was emotionally happy or fine a few minutes before.

    I’ve been depressed and I have generalized anxiety disorder, and this doesn’t feel like either of those, though I know something is off. I am calling my therapist today but am looking for first person experiences, if anyone is willing to share.

    • anne-on says:

      YUP. Sudden, intense RAGE (usually at my husband) was my number one symptom of depression (which really turned out to be PMDD). I still know that I’ve missed my window to start taking my meds if the sound of my husband clearing his throat makes me see red….

    • Anonanonanon says:

      Yes. for me it definitely manifested as intense rage at times, resulting in angry tears eventually.

    • YES! I thought I was going crazy, and then talked to a few other moms I know who have had a similar experience. I know several women (both recent mothers with this issue and non-mothers) who have gone on very low doses of SSRIs. One takes only around her period. One takes low doses all month long. This is something I have considered though it evened out for me after two cycles. (For me it wasn’t when I first got my period back, it was after weaning.) Definitely consider talking to your doc about SSRIs – apparently this is becoming a more common prescription for this reason and helping lots of women.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Yep! I remember getting a huge wave of adrenaline rage when kiddo would start crying in the middle of the night, and a few times wanting to just scream at ex-DH. I would be fascinated if somebody were to do a study on sleep deprivation versus PPD; I suspect my issue was never getting more than 2 hours of sleep at a time, for months and months on end.

      But regardless, talk to your OB, and if you don’t get a good answer, talk to your GP.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        And I meant to add – talk to your OB or GP about an SSRI. Therapy will be helpful, but it’s also a lot of work and if there are hormones involved, might not be enough.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is such a good point. I am a sleeper. When I don’t get enough sleep, I get ragey. That is just what I know about myself now, and that’s why the first year after a baby was so hard on my marriage…I was a monster. I don’t know that SSRIs would have worked for me (I never asked…I never thought to get professional help…I just knew I needed sleep, and it’s hard to outsource that.)

    • Yes. I never had anxiety before my son was born. Now, I will snap and lash out at my husband when I’m feeling very anxious. I’m better with the uncontrollable sobbing after I upped my SSRI – my anxiety would get so bad I would have these crying fits when I was on maternity leave.

      For the snapping, I do try to deep breathe, and I journal. Journaling helps because everything with babies is so temporary, it helps me to read back through and see “oh wow remember when I thought I literally couldn’t survive another night and then I did, and baby did that super cute thing”. And naming your anxieties takes away their power.

      Therapy has been helpful for me as well in working through this and coming up with ideas. Hugs. It is very hard.

  11. Does anyone here have advice for “leaning out” while keeping your foot in the door in your field? I hate the thought of it but I will probably be winding down my law practice (already went to of counsel at my firm but will probably completely exit) due to some serious health issues for our kid. I know this is the necessary and best decision for us but how can I keep my foot in the door for the future?

    • Anonymous says:

      Would you consider to some contract work for your old firm? Research memos or briefing writing on occasion? Set up a legal service inc. and do limited work as your schedule allows. Maintain practicing status and do some CLE teaching from time to time? Teach a course at a local university or college?

      If you are about to be the primary caregiver for your child, do not underestimate your need for intellectual stimulation or a life outside that role. Don’t hestiate to use paid caregivers to support you as maintaining your own health is one of the best ways you can support your child’s health.

    • My state has a pro bono program that covers your malpractice insurance if you are doing pro bono cases for them. I’d take a few of those. I’d also stay involved in any specialty groups I’m currently in like an employment lawyers group that meets monthly. If you are on a board, try to keep up with that too since that exposes you to a wider range of people in the community than just other lawyers at other firms. Good luck!

    • Anonymous says:

      Keep your CLEs current. Pro Bono work or advocacy / board work (if you can make it very clear what your availability is). Is there some sort of seasonal aspect to what you do (like taxes) where you could make yourself available to your old firm once a year for “crunch time”?

  12. BabyBoom says:

    Has anyone here cut the cord and cancelled cable? We tried it in 2007, but it was hard. Technology has come a long way and there are enough options now that I think it would be easy. I currently have two toddlers who watch limited tv – and what they do watch is on netflix or amazon. But I worry that as the kids get older they would miss it.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I didn’t have cable growing up. I was fine. Sure, it kind of stunk sometimes when there was a show on cable that my friends talked about, but it makes tv a special treat at a friend’s house. Also, it’s not an irreversible decision.

    • avocado says:

      We cancelled cable in 2006 and never missed it because we could never find anything we wanted to watch anyway. We were perfectly happy with a digital antenna for broadcast TV and then Hulu and free streaming from the TV networks when those became available. We got cable back recently because cable + phone + internet ends up being cheaper than just phone + internet. I think the cable gets used for about an hour a week while my husband is doing laundry.

      From my perspective it was an advantage not to have Nickelodeon, the Disney channel, etc. available when my kid was little. She was stuck with PBS, which has much better shows.

      • Anonymous says:

        This. PBS is much better television for kids. You can get DVDs or stream any Disney or Nick Jr stuff that they get obessessed with instead of having the whole channel.

        Plus it’s not a permanent decision. You can cut cable for a year and if it’s not working for you, hook up again.

    • We talk about it every 6 months. Right now, it’s cheaper for us to have the bundle that includes cable, but we rarely use it. Your kids won’t miss it until they are closer to tween age, because kids’ shows don’t really rely on weekly plots. Once you know the characters in PJ Masks or Jessie, you’re set even if you’ve only seen the first season on Netflix. If there’s something they’re dying to see, it’s still cheaper than cable to buy a season on Amazon (or maybe even to get a sub to DisneyNOW) to let them watch it.

      I think my DH is secretly happy we still have cable, just in case he wants to watch sports. But we’ve had live sports on TV maybe 10 times in the past year, not nearly worth it imo. We’ll see what happens if it’s ever cheaper to cut it.

    • Yes. We may add it back later, who knows. This is what works for us right now: we pay for Netflix, HBO, Amazon Video (we are prime members and would pay for it regardless of the video app) and a Plex server/subscription that allows us to watch/record live cable TV (no premium channels, but NBC/CBS/ABC etc.). We used to pay for Hulu, but found we weren’t using it very much. We also use a number of free apps (Nick Jr., PBS Kids, Disney Junior) that have a limited number of shows available for streaming.

      Disney is reportedly coming out with a streaming app in 2019 that we will probably subscribe to. So is ESPN (we aren’t sports people, but I know that’s why a lot of people have a hard time cutting the cord).

    • Yup, we did back in 2008, right when Netflix was taking off. It went really well. We didn’t spend nearly as much time in front of the tv which was great. I also didn’t have cable growing up so I think that made it a little easier for me.

    • Anonanonanon says:

      We went without cable until fairly recently, and then we got it because it was cheaper with our bundle/I wanted to watch cable shows.
      My son is almost 8 and doesn’t seem to have any desire to watch cable. It doesn’t seem like kids in elementary school discuss TV shows at all like we used to. He honestly gets kind of irritated that he can’t choose what’s on cable like he can with netflix/hulu etc.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      My kiddo is 4 and doesn’t understand broadcast/cable TV – she is so used to streaming services that she wants us to skip all the commercials and expects to be able to find the show she wants to watch at any time. I miss it a little bit because I enjoyed HGTV and there aren’t many good alternatives except! PBS has an app and you can stream This Old House for free.

      The other thing I miss is sports; my antenna reception is so-so, and I can’t consistently get the sports stuff I like watching. Otherwise, everything is available via streaming services. And if you have an Amazon Prime membership, their streaming service has a lot of good stuff included.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep, got rid of it last year in favor of Amazon/Netflix/Hulu. There’s some shows that are tough (anything on FX) and basically if the Mets hadn’t had a horrible year and my husband hadn’t given up on football because of CTE, not sure we could have swung it.

    • I haven’t had cable since 2009. I don’t miss it.

      As everyone has said, between Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc – there’s plenty to watch. We also have a digital antenna for broadcast. It is a giant beast of a thing that is in our attic, and DH read up on like, which corner of the house to put it in to get the best reception – so it works very well.

      Sports are tough. Luckily we are not big sports people (DH watches European sports that he pays for subscriptions to and streams). In the US, broadcast contracts blackout your zip code if there is a cable carrier in your area for the game. Proxy servers can get around this, but I’ve never personally tried it because I’m too law abiding.

      If there is a game we want to watch that is only on cable, we go to a bar or a friends’ house.

    • In House Lobbyist says:

      I canceled in in 2012 and its been wonderful. We have a digital antenna so we get local channels. My kids have about outgrown PBS Kids but have found MeTV which has Leave it To Beaver on a 7 am every morning that they like to watch. We have Netflix and Amazon. I only miss cable when its a big event – like a presidential election but even then we just cue up the internet on the tv and essentially watch the cable new shows that way.

    • We did a few months ago! I must admit, I panicked a little about the Superbowl around 5:30 last night. Turned out that it was available on the NBC Sports app. It wasn’t perfect, but it was good enough. That’s the first time I’ve even thought about potentially missing cable. We don’t watch sports in general, though, and if we really want to watch something we go to a bar/restaurant/in-laws house.

      • Carine says:

        Have you looked into an HD antenna? Ours was pretty cheap – about $30, and we get some over the air channels, including NBC in HD. There are websites where you can put in your address and see the channels that you’d likely be able to pick up. We don’t really watch sports either but I like to have it for things like the Super Bowl, the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade, Oscars, etc.

        OP, we haven’t had cable in ten years. We do Netflix, Amazon, and added the aforementioned antenna for some live TV a couple of years ago. My husband also subscribes to the HBO streaming service when GOT is airing. My kids don’t really know any differently and like a previous poster, they get frustrated with cable and the commercials when they do watch it.

  13. Momata says:

    Wondering if any of you have tried a certain childcare arrangement and if so, how it worked for you. My daughter starts kindergarten in fall 2019 and my son will be 3 at that time. We were thinking of getting an au pair. A very very close friend in her 60s is a WFH consultant who is broke because she cashed in her retirement to pay her sister in law’s medical bills (cancer in America is a b!tch) and who is also basically homeless because she gave up her rental in LA to couchsurf and support family while her sister in law and father both battled terminal illness. We are toying with the idea of having that friend live with us and do the morning dropoff and after school pickup. She loves our kids and is very interested in the idea. She could keep doing her mostly-WFH consultant work while the kids are at school. She travels occasionally for meetings – like a couple days a month – and I think if she had to travel, my husband’s and my schedule is flexible enough that we could do our own pickup and dropoff that day as long as we knew in advance. Our house setup is good – back stairs to a two room suite over the garage with en suite bath. So she’d have her own private full bathroom, bedroom, and sitting room/office that is separated from the rest of our bedrooms.

    Has anyone done anything like this, and how did it work, and do you have any pointers or questions we should think about? The idea is very freeform and we can speak frankly and freely with this friend. She has stayed with us for days on end before, and lived with some other friends for a while as well and they found her to be a delightful addition to the household. Our initial thought was to pay her what we would pay an au pair for the child care time. Her initial reaction was to refuse payment. We are going to keep talking about it over the next few months.

    • shortperson says:

      sounds like a great arrangement but i would make the expectations very clear and have a written contract. as part of writing that contract i would also consult a landlord/tenant lawyer to make sure you will be able to evict her if things go south.

    • Seconding shortperson’s recs above. Also, I’d encourage settling on some sort of payment. Payment can make it seem more like a job, which I think is helpful for setting expectations around how you want this to be treated. I’d definitely have a heart to heart before diving in to make sure you both have a plan to exit gracefully and preserve the friendship if it goes south. Some things to consider are how you’ll handle communication on things like carseat safety, food choices, etc., which I find easier to navigate in the employer/employee relationship but could be harder to tackle if the relationship is more that of friends helping one another.

  14. Anon in NYC says:

    Yet another sleep question (sorry). My 2.5 year old is going through a very long stretch of terrible sleep. It’s been months. She’s up multiple times a night and it immediately escalates into her yelling for us for mundane things like putting her blanket back on her. I do not believe it’s nightmares. I think she wants the interaction / to know we’re there / her blanket is too small / she might possibly be hungry. We’ve purchased a weighted blanket (waiting for it to be delivered), and I’m going to give her a spoonful of peanut butter tonight before bed. We’re literally just throwing everything we can think of at this and hoping that something sticks.

    But… is it also crazy to take a side off her crib at this point too? I realize how disruptive that can be in an ordinary situation, but right now nothing has worked and I really don’t want to get to a point where her sleeping is better only to just mess it up again.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Kiddo went through a very bad sleep patch at 2.5, and a friend wisely said, “Sounds like she has a chronic case of being two and a half.” Honestly, for kiddo it was 100% FOMO; she was sure I was having wild parties after she went to sleep and didn’t want to miss out on any of it.

      Have you tried the OK to Wake clock? I ended up telling kiddo that she couldn’t leave her room until the clock turned green, and then installed a baby gate over her bedroom door (the monkey lock didn’t work with our molding, or it would’ve been my first choice). We had some rough nights (which were witnessed and commented upon unfavorably by my neighbor, natch), but it passed.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        We just bought the OK to Wake clock… I don’t think it’s working. Principally because she can’t actually get out of her bed/room yet. It’s not stopping her from calling for us to come into her room. So true that this probably just her being 2.5. I just…. need to not wake up 4x a night before my alarm actually goes off.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          I hate to do this to you, but it’s OK to just not respond when a kid is calling for you and it’s clearly not an emergency. Kiddo is of the opinion that if mom gives an inch once in the middle of the night, she should ask for more and more inches each subsequent night. Accordingly, I have a rule that I will tuck her in one more time after our good night kiss; she almost always makes use of that right away, and then I don’t give any more tuck-ins and she stopped asking after the first night of refusals.

    • Momata says:

      OH lordy don’t take the crib side off. She is testing boundaries and finding there are none because you respond to the “mundane” as you put it. She definitely wants the interaction. So you have to assure her you are there without giving in to the mundane. We just got through the same thing and had success with a modified Sleep Lady Shuffle. I would lie on my son’s floor (stashed a sleeping bag under his crib) and then would sneak out after he fell asleep. Then I would just sit in his doorway. Then I just come in and tuck him back in and say goodnight. A bigger blanket might help (not sure about weighted?) but there is no reason to take the crib side off.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        lol, this is what my sleep deprived mind tells me is a good idea! I will look into the Sleep Lady Shuffle. For us it’s less about falling asleep (although that is sometimes the problem). It’s really the wake ups at 1am, 3am, 4am, and 5:30am. And honestly, it’s like, we go in there, put her blanket back on, and she’s absolutely fine for another 1-2 hours. But we’re zombies.

        • So, for our kid, around 2.5 he started sleeping with a blanket/covers, and he just honestly didn’t know how to put the blanket back on by himself for a few months. We just went in, covered him up, and left, because hey, I don’t want to be cold at night either. I just noticed now, at 2 years 11 mo, that he seems to have figured it out and can get his own covers back on and go back to sleep. And he’s generally a little behind about skills like putting on/taking off his own clothes, so yours may figure it out sooner!

    • No advice, but solidarity. This has just started in our household (with no significant change in routine) after kiddo was sleeping fairly well for several weeks. Is a 2.5-year sleep regression a thing? If we don’t settle him after the wakeups, it escalates into whinging, yelling, crying…argh.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        YES. It immediately escalates to wailing within seconds after she wakes up. We might have to do a form of CIO like NewMomAnon mentions.

    • Lorelai Gilmore says:

      Not recommending this, necessarily, but giving one more data point. We took the side off our daughter’s crib when she was about 18 months old. It immediately improved her sleep. Turned out she was so mad about being put in a crib that she was too busy screaming to sleep.

  15. No cable for almost 10 years. We stream Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Pbs, HBO, Comedy Central etc etc through a Roku box these days. $99 for the Roku and maybe $35/mo combined for all programs we utilize? It’s great.

  16. Onlyworkingmomintulsa says:

    My five year old daughter is making her first trip to the eye doctor today after failing a screening at the pediatrician and at her school. Anyone have any tips for kids with new glasses? Are there specific brands that are pretty durable? Also wondering if she will need more than one pair. And of course, I did not opt for vision insurance for this year since I’ve had lasik and didn’t expect my kids to need glasses this year!

    • Mine has had glasses since 18 months. There’s a FB group, For Little Eyes, that has a ton of support and recommendations. As with any mommy group, there are some very obsessive people in there, but the non-faddish best brand seems to be Dilli Dalli since they have bendable flexible arms. You’ll need to get the arms shaped to curve around their ears though.

      We got a backup pair at Walmart or Visionworks, I forget which, but they were still fairly expensive since we needed to get special lenses (so they wouldn’t be so thick) plus polycarbonate (which makes them less likely to shatter, pretty necessary for toddlers/young kids). You’ll want the second pair for when they break an arm or scratch a lens or lose them at school and need a backup until they find them.

      Set mini goals for wearing the glasses, like 15 minutes (with screentime) the first day, 30 min the next, 1 hour the next, etc, so your kid can get used to wearing them and also seeing herself in them. She might get headaches at first as her eyes adjust, and it’s pretty jarring to suddenly see something different on your face. If you or your DH or teachers or anyone regularly in her life wears contacts, switch to your glasses so she can see that LOTS of other people wear glasses too.

      Even though mine was young, he still had a hard time adjusting to glasses. I had given his teachers a heads up, and then let them know beforehand when we were finally going to try having him wear them at daycare. Almost every single teacher in the whole daycare wore glasses that week so he wouldn’t be alone. They even put glasses on some of the cut-out faces around the classroom. (And yes I cried at the kindness, I am tearing up thinking about it even now.) It won’t be easy, but keep at it (and go easy on the kid, it’s a hard adjustment) and it’ll eventually be okay.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hate to break it to you, but glasses aren’t really “brands.” Basically there is Luxottica pretending to be lots of companies. (Check out their wikipedia!)

      Since you don’t have insurance, I’d try your nearest Wal-Mart with a vision center. It’s fine. (They got me an emergency pair in a couple hours by swapping in old lenses — saved my life.)

      But supposedly Warby Parker will be coming out with junior sizes, so maybe by the time she’s a tween there will be more options.

    • She may be too old for it, but Arlo Needs Glasses is a fun book!

    • There is a facebook group called “little four eyes – a group for parents of young kids in glasses” and it is great! I’d recommend it. Cheapest glasses are from Zenni online or Walmart–both have durable options. A lot of glasses have one year warranty on the frames, so they can be replaced for any reason–my optician replaced my daughter’s glasses twice last year. If you child is particularly rough on things, they do make really bendy frames that might still come in her size.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I’m interested in doing some parenting-related writing and am wondering what traditional parenting outlets you all read (NYT Well Family, WaPo On Parenting, etc.). Where should I be looking to pitch? TIA!

    • I read well parent and anything that pops up on twitter and a few Mom blogs and podcasts but I do think there is a huge gap in the market for content for and by working moms.

    • You could possibly check out Working Moms Against Guilt. I do read the NYT family column occasionally, and Scary Mommy some (not sure if that’s traditional). FWIW I just started my own parenting- and work-related blog (last week!) to do my own writing and scope out what people seem to be interested in. The link is in my username. I did a good amount of looking online and I really didn’t find a ton of good resources for/by working parents, or for in-depth parenting research. Like Cb, I think there is a real gap in the market in this niche. Good luck! And if you have any interest in collaboration or talking about this topic, let me know. I’ll post an anon email!

    • mascot says:

      Also check out BrainChild and Motherwell. I really like both of those magazines.

    • You could also try here – Kat posted a link yesterday.

  18. bladder issues? says:

    I’m 36 weeks pregnant with my second and recovering from the flu, which means a lot of lingering coughing. I’m having…bladder issues when I cough. I’d say it’s more than a leak and less than full on wetting myself.
    I NEVER experienced this during or after my first pregnancy/birth. Does this mean I’ll have issues after birth too? Is this worth mentioning at my next checkup, or just a normal part of being super pregnant and coughing all the time?

    • shortperson says:

      it’s probably related to a weak pelvic floor and very well could continue after birth. you can ask for a pt referral after birth. if your dr is like mine they will not volunteer this rec. my pt was covered by insurance.

    • Edna Mazur says:

      Anecda, but I had that problem before and for a little while after birth. I still kind of have to watch myself if I have a full bladder and I sneeze, but it mostly resolved itself by the time I returned to work.

      • Katala says:

        +1, lasted for a while after birth, mostly resolved by the end of leave, but def. need to watch sneezing/coughing hard on a full bladder. I try to work on pelvic floor strengthening when I remember. The issue was much more noticeable, especially a year later, than it was with my first.

  19. For age gap says:

    My first was an easy baby. We wanted a 2-3 year gap so started trying when first was 18 months and got pregnant two days after her 2nd birthday. They are 2.9 years apart but 2 school years due to birthdays.

    My second threw us all in a tailspin. She was (and is) a handful. I told DH I wasn’t going to put my body in shock again, so if we were having another it had to be NOW while I was still not sleeping well and up to my eyeballs in diapers. We started trying when our second was 1 and got pregnant a few months later. There are 23 months (two school years) between the two of them (and 4.9 years between the oldest and youngest). My oldest is such a little mama hen, and around the time the 2nd was 18 months, she and my oldest started to be BFFs and give me peace.

  20. Anonymous says:

    My coworkers sweetly threw me an office shower with food (lunch + desserts), games and a small group gift. I don’t know if the boss covered all the costs or if they divided it, but I imagine if they split it up it was on the order of $20 per person. Do I send written thank you cards? If so individual cards to everyone (or just to the organizer, who is not the boss) or a group card? I’m very appreciative and don’t want to be rude but I feel a bit awkward writing formal thank you notes to my colleagues.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would do a written card to the organizer if it is very clear who that person was, and a group email to everyone who attended or signed the card/gift to you.

    • Anonymous says:

      I recently was in a similar situation. I asked the organizer if everyone chipped in for the gifts (which were generous). Since they did, I wrote individual thank yous (~20). Not sure if I needed to do that, but I figured I’d rather err on that side. I tried to find a clear etiquette answer on it and could not.

    • Redux says:

      I think it depends how many people are in your office. I would do individual notes for up to 15 people. More than that I would follow 4:28’s advice.

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