Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.  But first… our working mom clothing picks, below:


Pictured above:

  1. For the pregnant and nursing mama:  This looks like a great layering piece if you’re nursing — pumping friendly, nursing friendly, cardigan friendly, blazer friendly… It’s $55 at Nordstrom (available in three colors). BOOB DESIGN Organic Cotton Maternity & Nursing Tank
  2. For everyone: I got two of these last year, and loved that they were a modest but flattering length in a washable, easycare fabric.  I wore them well into my pregnancy, and am now finding that they’re great for nursing too.  Word to the wise: they definitely need a camisole underneath.  (Also, I preferred the petite fit on my 5’4″ frame, but that may be me… Lands’ End has a variety of colors and sizes on sale right now for $29-$69, in regular, tall, petite, and plus sizes. Women’s Sleeveless Pattern Cotton Modal Fit and Flare Dress
  3. For everyone (especially the nursing mama): I first got addicted to jersey cardigans when I had my first son — I wanted something very washable (nothing kills your spirit quite so much as having spit-up on a good cashmere or wool, amiright?), and something without any zippers or buttons to press against my baby’s face.  After almost three years of my addiction, my favorite type of cardigan to buy is a t-shirt (for summer) or terrycloth (for winter) cardigan — but they’re tough to find.  I’d seen these jersey cardigans on No More Rack a ton, and, drawn by the bright colors and wide variety available, finally bit and bought one a week or two ago — and I’ve been pleasantly surprised.  For $16 I got a beautiful purple cardigan (which, in my 3 years of obsession, I haven’t seen a similar color available anywhere) in a very lightweight t-shirt fabric.  It isn’t as high quality as my t-shirt cardigans from Splendid or Three Dots, but for $16 I’ll take it.  (I’m even considering going back for another color or two.)  Note that they seem to have a different variety of colors available for purchase than what is displayed — the one I got, Eggplant, is a slightly darker purple than any of the ones pictured.) Open-Front Draped Cardigan – Assorted Colors
  4. For everyone: The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is on (workwear picks here and here) and I’m ogling these low wedge heels — they look comfortable but with a bit of height, and they look like they’d be good with a sheath dress at the office or jeans on the weekend. They’re currently $230, but the price will go back up to $365 after the sale ends on August 4.  Attilio Giusti Leombruni ‘Oval’ Wedge Pump (Nordstrom Exclusive) (Women)
  5. For the pregnant / babywearing mama:  Ok, ladies, don’t judge me: I own (and like) a backpack purse.  When I started babywearing a few years ago I wanted something super-lightweight that helped me carry the few essentials I needed for myself (wallet, cell phone, tinted lip balm) plus a few things for the baby (like another outfit and diaper).  This smallish bag worked great for that purpose — it’s all nylon/canvas, has nice interior dividers, and, best of all, is very easily converted from a backpack to a shoulder bag.  Is it as attractive as anything in my beloved leather bag collection? Not by a long shot — but it is very functional.  I rediscovered it in this last pregnancy when some pelvic issues made the doctors and physical therapists all suggest I wear a light backpack instead of, say, a heavy tote bag, and now that I have a little one to babywear again it’s been great.  (Even if you are that rockstar wearing your 35 lb toddler, it’s a bit small for all the snacks/toys/outfits needed as they get older.) The bag is available at Zappos for $138 in eighteen(!) colors. Mosey Convertible Backpack


  1. Guys, how do you keep your mind off TTC? We’ve been trying for 3 months and lately all I can think about is that this may take a lot longer than we expected. Every time I see a baby my heart melts. And I am basically useless during the “two week wait” because I cannot focus. This is very out of character for me. We have been mulling over having a baby for a while and it never affected me. I use to be a strong biller at my BigLaw firm, but this month has not been a good month because of my singular focus on becoming pregnant. Any tips?

    • anonmom says:

      Stay off the internet. TTC message boards will just make you crazy!

      Sadly, I don’t have any other advice. When I was newly pregnant it was *all* I could think/worry about. That plus morning sickness made me pretty useless for a few months. Good luck!

  2. Meg Murry says:

    Ooh, love the open cardigan – ordered it! If nothing else, it will a good “leave in my office for when the AC is crazy” cardigan.

  3. I bought three of that exact Land’s End dress this summer. Post twins NONE of my regular clothes fit. This dress is perfect. It’s very forgiving in the middle and makes me feel pretty (which is something I don’t feel so often right now). Love it.

    • Agreed. I love those dresses from Lands End. Nothing easier than just throwing on a dress and necklace (and maybe a sweater) and being done with your outfit.

    • Tbk, any other post partum twin faves? At the moment, I am just hoping the babies stay on the inside another 10 days until I hit 36 weeks (I’m having super frequent BH contractions that even IV hydration makes a very little dent in) but given the size of my belly already, I know my mid section will be destroyed for a while.

      • Oh good luck on getting to 36 weeks! But being at 34 is really, really, really good. Honestly I’m still wearing my maternity jeans. It is ROUGH. But Old Navy has some linen blend pants with a knit waistband that are terrific. I don’t know if they still have them, but they were on sale for $25. I got them in khaki and black. I basically wear them and these dresses. Plus I got a knit skirt from Old Navy that has a foldover waist.

        By the way, things really do go back somewhat on their own. Even if it looks like they couldn’t possibly. I look a thousand times better than I did right after the twins were born. I really didn’t think things could shrink back as much as they have. I do have 25 lbs to loose (ugh! 35lbs if I want to go back not just to my pre-pregnancy weight but my pre-marriage weight…we’ll see how that goes) and things around the c-section scar are a bit of a mess, plus the stretch marks are intense. But it’s much better than it all was!

        • Thanks! And how funny. My maternity wardrobe is pretty limited, but I have both of those items. I bought the pants in black one size up and have been wearing them during pregnancy since they can sit below the bump. I also have one of their maternity maxi skirts that seems like it should work equally well post partum. They have been my favorite two old Navy finds as most everything else has been super itchy on the bump.
          As for recovery, I guess it’s all about patience. Did you use the hospital binder or other sort of girdle post partum? Hope all is well with the babies!

  4. Wildkitten says:

    Hi Moms! I know society requires you be ever vigilant about your listeria consumption, so FYI-
    FDA listeria recall on nectarines, peaches, plums, pluots (I don’t know what pluots are):

    • Shay-La says:

      I love the way you phrased this, “society requires you be ever vigilant about your listeria consumption.”

    • Thanks for the heads up. Upon further googling it looks like it is mostly bulk packaging of the fruit sold through the club stores (Costco, BJs and Sams) and trader joes

      • Fresh Direct too, according to an email I just received from them notifying me that I’ve bought and eaten the affected items…

        • sophia says:

          I was only saved from eating them because the peaches were still sitting in the ripening bag Fresh Direct gives you. And I’ve been craving those grilled peach splits Smitten Kitchen featured this week something fierce. Looks like I’m going to have to find new peaches.

      • Wildkitten says:

        I got a phone call from Wegmans.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m pretty sure its not “society” that dictates it. Listeria is very harmful to a fetus.

      • Spirograph says:

        eh, I like the spirit with which I think the remark was intended. My mom and grandma…and even my friend whose oldest is 14, outright laughed at all the dietary restrictions pregnant women are “supposed” to follow now on the extremely slim chance something might be contaminated. Luckily, my OB feels much the same. My first kid turned out fine, even though I ate sandwich meat, soft cheese, sushi and *gasp* had an occasional caffinated or alchoholic beverage, and I don’t see any reason to change it up this time around.

        That said, I do draw the line at eating food that’s been recalled for safety, so thanks, Wildkitten!

  5. MBA and Baby? says:

    Hi, I am new in the Corpor*tte space and love reading this site, such a helpful resource!
    I was wondering whether there are any readers here that have had a baby during MBA studies? My husband and I are trying to conceive, but I am wondering whether I should put that on hold because I will start MBA studies in the fall. Any suggestions, personal insights, encouraging stories?

    • Good luck says:

      I’ll take a stab at this. My son is 15 months old, and I was not in an MBA program, but I took night classes while working full time and pregnant, and when I was on maternity leave. It was totally fine until I went back to work. Then my life was terrible for about a month, and I took a break the next semester. I have since transitioned to a much more flexible and less stressful job, which is key… obviously I also have a very helpful and supportive husband, and I don’t see my son as much as I’d like during the week, but it’s doable. If you are “only” going to school, I don’t think it would be that different than having a full time job. You will be exhausted when the baby’s in the non-sleeping phases no matter what, but babies really do sleep a lot and most of them go to bed early enough that you’ll have plenty of time for homework in the evening.

      Keep in mind that you have basically a full school year from conception until the baby actually shows up, and ttc is no guarantee that it will happen soon. As far as birth interfering with school: I had my first about 3 weeks before final exams one semester. I missed a week of class, then with professors’ blessing, took baby to class with me the last couple of weeks because I was nursing and 4-5 hours was too long between feedings. (I have a friend who had a couple kids during med school, and she did the same thing, but her mother lived nearby and would hang out in the hall or around campus with the baby until he needed to eat. That’s a better solution if you have a helper available.) He slept in his infant car seat and one professor was thrilled to hold him for me when he woke up during the final. YMMV, but everyone was lovely to me, and happily made reasonable accomodations. Befriend a few of your classmates so you can ask them to record lectures for you, communicate early and often with the professors, and you’ll be fine.

      As far as career planning, I know there was a thread about this exact topic on the main s1te a while back… I think the concensus was that it’s way easier to have a baby during school than when you’re trying to build/establish your career afterward.

  6. So we’re going to start TTC soon, and I’d like to have some infrastructure in mind for once we do have a baby…it looks like traditionally infant care starts at about 3 months…

    If I want to start going back to work before that, what do I do? What have others done? Hire a nanny, something like that?

    I have no family (none, I know) in the area so this could get really interesting.

    • Meg Murry says:

      Call daycares and ask. Ours used to be 3 months, but they lowered it to 6 weeks a few years ago. However, they now have a crazy waiting list, so pretty much only younger siblings ever get into the infant program now, since they can only have 3 babies per staff member max, and its risky since your baby won’t have had all the most major immunizations at that point. My oldest started daycare at 7 weeks, my youngest at 10 weeks.
      Some families have the father save most of his FMLA leave until after the mother goes back to work. Another thought – would your company be ok with you going back to work less than full time initially? Like 2 days a week at 6 weeks, ramping back up to full time? And the same with your husband?

      Otherwise, yes, nannies tend to be common, but usually for longer than just until 3 months old.

    • Baby nurse? That seems to be what people do in NYC. I think they specialize in newborn/infant care. You may be able to find a nanny to take over sooner than that (8 weeks or so) or a baby nurse who will stay on as your nanny.

    • All the daycare centers I looked at accepted babies starting at 6 weeks old, so you may not have as much trouble as you’re anticipating. You could also consider in-home daycares if you’re comfortable with that environment; they may be more flexible than traditional daycare centers. The good news is that you’ve got plenty of time to explore any and all options if you’re just TTC now.

    • anonmom says:

      I went back to work at 10 weeks and day care started at 3 months. My husband took leave and stayed home with the baby for the 3 week gap.

  7. Hi all! What the heck do I wear to an interview while 24-25 weeks pregnant? I’m definitely showing, so hiding it isn’t an option. Should I purchase a maternity suit? Simply wear a nice black dress? If I wear a dress, should I wear one of my regular blazers over it, unbuttoned (and clearly too small at this stage)? Also, should I bring up the elephant in the room on my own, rather than ignoring it?

    To give a little context, I currently work for a federal government agency. The interview is with another section within the same agency, so they follow all of the same leave policies, but they are completely separate in terms of hiring. So when I ask about bringing up the fact that I’m pregnant, I don’t mean for the purpose of discussing their leave policies…more just acknowledging the fact that I would be taking some leave later this fall/winter, which would have an obvious (but temporary) impact on their own staffing needs.

  8. anonmom says:

    Whoops, this is a reply for JEB!

    I interviewed for my current job at a federal agency at 22 weeks. I wore a maternity black pencil skirt, non-maternity but over-sized silk blouse, and a regular blazer unbuttoned. I brought up the pregnancy at the end of the interview. I asked about their timeline for hiring and said something like, “I’m pregnant, due X date, planning to take Y-Z weeks of maternity leave.” I went into the interview undecided about whether to say something, but it just felt dishonest not to. They hired me and I started 2 weeks before my due date!

    • Thanks for your response! Your story gives me hope that agencies can look at the long term benefit of hiring someone and not be scared off by the immediate maternity leave!

  9. Any advice on taking pumping breaks during a deposition? I’m going to have to do it, but it seems incredibly awkward to make everyone sit around waiting for me while I go pump.

  10. NYC law says:

    I am getting very mixed opinions about when I should tell my law firm that I’m pregnant. I’m worried that if I tell too early that I will get pulled off cases and not make my hours (and other typical big law fears.) I was planning on waiting until I was 5-6 months. Friends who don’t work in law firms think I should tell earlier and that I’m not being fair to the firm and it will look bad, etc. When did everyone else tell?

    • Not in Biglaw, but I told earlier because I had a big oral argument scheduled that I would not be able to do, and I wanted to give them plenty of time to get someone else up to speed to do it. Otherwise, I would have waited until I was showing.