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Sales of Note…
(See all of the latest workwear sales at Corporette!)
- Nordstrom – The Half-Yearly Sale has started! See our thoughts here.
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And — here are some of our latest threadjacks of interest – working mom questions asked by the commenters!
- If you’re a working parent of an infant with low sleep needs, how do you function at work when you’re in the throes of baby’s sleep regression?
- Should I cut my childcare down to 12 hours a month if I work from home?
- Will my baby have speech delays if we raise her bilingual?
- Has anyone given birth in a teaching hospital?
- My child eats everything, and my friends’ kids do not – how should I handle? In general, what is the best way to handle when your child has some skill/ability and your friend’s child doesn’t have that skill/ability?
- ADHD moms, give me your tips to help with things like behavior in the classroom, attention to detail, etc?
- I think I suffer from mom rage…
- My husband and kids are gone this weekend – how should I enjoy my free time?
- I’m struggling to be compassionate with a SAHM friend who complains she doesn’t have enough hours of childcare.
- If you exclusively formula fed, what tips do you have for in the hospital and coming home?
- Could I take my 4-yo and 8-yo on a 7-8 day trip to Paris, Lyon, and Madrid?
Anon for this says
Well, one week into daycare being open and we have a teacher with symptoms. Closed until we get results. I am basically numb at this point and taking it minute by minute.
How are we going to survive until there’s a vaccine? I’m not even joking. DH suggested quitting his job yesterday and like… maybe that is the call. I don’t see how you can truly do this with two full time working parents.
Talk me down, people.
Ugh, it’s horrible. Does it help to set a deadline in your head? Like let’s see how things go over the next 2 months and then reevluate the plans.
Ours has had that happen twice, but stays open until the test results come back.
But speaking of this awfulness, our school district just switched to going all-virtual next year. We’re not affected (yet, my daughter goes to K next year) but it’s horrible. Awful. I don’t know what people are going to do.
Eeek! By the time the test results are back, it’s too late.
You asked to be talked down so here are my two cents. I’m not yet a parent so I want to throw that caveat out there first since you can decide how much credibility to give my advice. All my friends and clients have kids so I read here to understand them better and in case I end up having a kid someday.
My initial thought is you are not alone. Soooooo many people are in the same boat as you. Something is going to have to change in this society to accommodate this mess, right? Maybe it doesn’t. Maybe we as a society keep saying your kids, your problem (which I disagree with, btw.) If that’s how it shakes out, then sure, your husband can quit his job then.
But when we think of the economy I don’t think we can lose 35%+ of our workforce. (Totally guessing at the number of 2 parents working households in the workforce. Accounting for people pre-kids and empty nesters is how I came to this guesstimate.
I think its worth seeing what solutions we as a society come up with before pulling the plug.
This is a really interesting point. I have one kid, and have been working on plans for school, after-school care, daycare, virtual school, etc. I think it is definitely a failing of our society that the only solution is to make parents figure this out on their own. But what solutions should we have as a society?
As a society, we should have taken advantage of lockdown to build testing and tracing capacity so we could implement a containment strategy. It’s too late for that now.
One day at a time. Just get through today.
Boston Legal Eagle says
This sucks and I’m sorry. It’s so hard to have any certainty right now because things keep changing and it’s hard to trust that certain leaders are looking out for you.
But honestly, I think we need more dads to quit/go part time before everyone will take this seriously. Because it’s almost expected that moms will be doing this and if their careers are ruined, then oh well. I’m not saying he should do this now. But if this keeps happening with daycare, I think your choices will be to look for a full-time nanny, have both parents scale back at work and switch off caretaking duties or have one parent completely step back. None of which are ideal but it is where we are.
This absolutely blows. But you asked to be talked down, so here’s my perspective: don’t (you or your husband) quit until you have to. What I mean by that is most employers are going to have to continue to find ways to deal with this. Don’t let your guilt over not being the employee you were in the past sabotage you if your employer is understanding (if your employer isn’t, I concede then it’s a different calculus). I spent March through May in such a heightened state of guilt and stress and so much of it was self-imposed. I know it’s easier said than done but give yourself grace and see what happens.
I think this is a really good perspective
This. If his employer is willing to keep paying him, keep taking the money.
I get the guilt part, but keep reminding myself that me at 60-70% productivity is still better than most mediocre white guys who worked half as hard as I did to get to where I am. I’m sure they’re not sweating their own loss of productivity – grit your teeth and try to do the same, at least for as long as you can.
More Sleep Would Be Nice says
+1. Similar situation as OP for me (started DS back at daycare in early June after being home for ~2.5 months, within 2 weeks there were cases at his school). We’ve pulled him out for now. Cases are spiking in our state/city. Mayor is begging Gov to let us shutdown again.
Have reconciled myself that we will constantly be in a state of re-assessment, but we are not alone….most of the workforce is, too. Not saying we don’t need MAJOR CHANGES systematically, across MULTIPLE fronts…but right now it’s day-by-day/hour-by-hour.
Day by day. All we can do is the best we can, and count every day that ends with everyone still employed and healthy as a huge, huge win.
We hired a part time nanny and she (and we) plan to up her to 8hrs day and form a quarantine bubble with her small family if schools shut down. Our au pair leaves in 3 or so weeks and that extra help is the only reason we made it through the first round with our sanity mostly intact.
Hugs. All the hugs. Where are you located?
Are you able to do a nanny or nanny share with another family to help bridge this period of uncertainty?
Not OP, but in a current hot spot. Respectfully, and I know folks on this board disagree, but bringing in PT help/joining with another family isn’t the band-aid for everyone that it could usually is right now.
For me, bringing in a new nanny that I don’t know well (and thus wouldn’t know her social distancing ability/practices) would not be a fit. Additionally, we’re new to our city/neighborhood and can’t just quickly join with another family. Even for our friends with kids here, everyone’s situation/risk tolerance is so different. Just writing to share a different POV – no answer is wrong/right at this crazy time.
With you on that, Anon4This, and I say that as a person in a family pod/ nanny share with another family for the summer. Our pod/PT nanny will dissolve once school starts – the kids will be in different schools and the nanny will be back at her school.
I honestly don’t understand the suggestions on nannies for daycare/school closures. If you’re staying home because you might have been exposed, what nanny is going to choose to come into your house and possibly expose themselves?
The suggestion is to give up on day care if it is frequently closed and just have a nanny.
Thank you all for these comments and the much needed perspective. All super valid points. Both DH and I need re-frame our expectations for ourselves at work, which like all the c-moms is so tough when you’re Type A, overacheiver, etc. We talked about this last night and this morning and we both *know* intellectually that’s what we have to do, but it goes against our normal work ethic and just feels so tough to do.
The biggest thing I struggle with in all of this (see type A above) is the uncertainty. Even hiring a nanny through an agency is not a silver bullet, though it’s looking like a better option if all this craziness continues. I’m hot-spot-adjacent, though in an area where cases are declining (Northeast) so it’s feeling like a bit of a gut punch to have a potential case so close by.
I appreciate this community so much on days like this. I know you are all in roughly the same place as parents of mostly young kids who are in the point in your career where everything feels make or break (I think this is what stresses DH and I out the most – we’re needing to prove ourselves right at the time when it is categorically the most inconvenient time possible on the personal front!).
They closed the whole center? Most daycares where I am are just sending home individual classes, which seems more sustainable (and isn’t that the reason they have to be in small stable classes?) Ugh, this is hard.
At what point in time is it critical (vs. nice to have) your child be with kid his own age? Also, how did your kids (especially only children) make friends? Background – I have a 13 month old. When I was pregnant, the plan was that our son (who we are 99% sure will be an only child) would go to daycare. What a laugh that was, as any decent daycare that is also close to where we live or work has an 18 month wait list. So, due to the fact we couldn’t get into a daycare, we have a (wonderful, amazing) nanny instead. Then we applied and got into a local Montessori school with a full day program, which was set to start in August. But, right before we had to give them notice as to whether we were going to accept our spot at the school, my husband got a bit of cold feet about our son being the youngest in his class at school and not being “ready”, decided that he wanted to do the nanny for another year, plus COVID was starting to be a bit of a concern. Our plan then shifted to been to keeping our nanny, and also start having her take our son to story time at the library, music class, maybe a swim class, or possibly our nanny plus a morning daycare 2-3 mornings a week. We were going to start activities in March, but all the activity classes have stopped, and I am reluctant to put our kid in a daycare since cases are rising in our area (Charlotte). Also, I only have one friend in town who has a kid close to my kid’s age, and she’s a SAHM so she already hangs out with the other SAHM moms in her neighborhood. I tried a mom’s group thing when I was on maternity leave, but all of the other people in the group semi-knew each other (all teachers) and despite being billed as a group for my neighborhood/ general area of town, they all came from 30-45 minutes away, so I haven’t seen them again. My son sees all four of his grandparents on a regular basis, but I just feel like he’s missing out on not not being around peers his own age. I feel like I have an “indoor” baby like people have “indoor cats”. TIA!
It doesn’t matter at all at this age.
+1. Like, literally, at all.
To answer your follow up questions, my kids have made all of their friends at school (preschool and elementary), but older than your son.
If it makes you feel better, I was in a mom’s group where most did live near by and I’m friends with the moms – even some years later. And in the beginning it’s fun to think your babies are all going to be life long friends, and I’m sure for some moms groups they are. In my case though, life sets in and they all went to different pre schools etc. and so while I still see some of the moms for nights out, our kids have basically no memory of each other – in our kid’s worlds it’s just hard to “compete” with the kids they see all day every day at school as a friend insert, and there are only so many kids a 4 or whatever year old can maintain a friendship with. I would say similar for our large group of pre-kid friends that live in our general area but not neighborhood, some of which have kids our kid’s ages. Our kids are aware of those kids, and they play fine when they see them. But I wouldn’t say they consider those kids their close friends, bc there is just no way we will see them often enough for that to be how the kids will feel with their shorter memory spans and lack of other methods of keeping up that the adults have.
I say this only to take the pressure off if you feel like you need to figure out a mom group or otherwise force kid friends somehow…when you do eventually go to school, my experience is those school kids will trump any kid friend effort you made, with one or two exceptions maybe.
Boston Legal Eagle says
He’s 13 months now? I’m not an early childhood expert but I think you’re fine for another year even if he doesn’t interact with peers on a daily basis. I’d say closer to preschool/age 3ish is when socialization becomes more important. My kids have been in daycare since 4/5 months so it’s not that early peer socialization is detrimental or anything at the early years, I just don’t think it’s absolutely necessary.
One other option would be to consider a nanny share, if you find a family you’re comfortable with and the nanny is willing. That may get him some relatively safe socialization. But again, I don’t think it’s necessary.
Our pediatrician (so only 1 person) said it makes pretty much zero difference prior to age 2, a small difference between age 2-3, and then by 3 you should be trying to get consistent social interaction with peers a few days a week for half a day or so.
I’d say 2? Maybe even later? I’m hoping to send my 17 month old to a little church mothers day out this fall just because I think she’ll enjoy it (who knows if that’ll happen), but it’s mostly for her to have fun with new toys and the adults rather than make friends. They don’t actually play with each other until closer to 3. Now she does have siblings, so that makes it easier for me to say that.
Oldest started mothers day out type program at 18 months. She started playing with other kids truly at around 3 and making real friends at 3.5. Her brother’s more outgoing so he was kind of the king of the babies class, but I just wouldn’t worry about it!
Lana Del Raygun says
I mean, if you had sent him to Montessori pre-K it’s not like he would be playing the other kids anyway. They just work next to each other. So I really wouldn’t worry about the socialization at all. Since you say he’s an indoor baby, though, is there a park you can take him too safely, or do you have room (in or out) for some kind of climbing structure, so he can get gross motor exercise?
That’s a really weird way to describe Montessori. They aren’t robots never interacting.
Not sure how other Montessori schools are but my youngest went to one until she started K. There is a lot of independent work but her school did: frequent pair work or parallel work (2 kids doing the same thing next to each other), they had family style lunch, their afternoon “free choice” time was usually with a buddy and of course they played outside a couple of times a day. So plenty of socialization. However, I will say that my eldest attended traditional daycare and is MUCH more social. I think it’s just her personality, though.
I don’t think this is Montessori only… developmentally, kids do parallel play at that age. 3-4 is when they start really playing together. Even in our traditional daycare, the kids might be at the same center/station, but they largely do their own thing.
Agree with others that social interaction is not that important until at least age 2.
If you’re concerned, once you get closer to 2 or 3 I highly recommend a part-day preschool program. The COVID risk to me seems lower with a consistent cohort of kids and a program that is subject to licensing and oversight (vs. drop-in activities). I personally don’t believe kids need formal school-like socialization until 4 (i.e., the year before kindergarten), but I would start consistent playdates (or something else) around 3. At least in our area though, most preschools do not start until 2-2.5 and a number (not all) require potty training, so keep that in mind. My daughter (currently an only but we’re trying for #2) had very little peer interaction – DH is a SAHD and is very much not into playdates (also around here we are the minority, most families are both working parents, so it’s hard to find mid-week playdates and weekends are for family time). We started a 2x a week part-day preschool program at 2 (they let her in the 2.5YO class even though she was too young) last September to help with her speech delay (it did not). That of course ended in March with COVID. We plan to put her back into her preschool (hopefully 3x a week) when (if?) they open in the fall because she is an extrovert and really thrives on the social aspects of preschool. I will say that DH is one of the few parents that does pick-up and drop-off, most of the others are either grandparents (as caregivers) or nannies.
No Face says
To answer your question, I think it becomes critical around age 3. Occasional access to peers is nice before then, but they don’t really directly interact like older kid. Before going to preschool, my oldest saw other kids at church (Sunday school), at the YMCA childcare when I was working out, and when we hung out with friends who also had kids.
I think your kid will make actual friends through school when the time comes. I do not have any separate mom friends, nor do I think I need them. I started attending the “moms night out” events pre-covid to start getting to know people as it’s public and I will see some of these people over the next 20 years.
OP here – thanks all for the responses! We switched out the infant car seat with our convertible car seat this weekend (only because we went to see my mom for her birthday, first time in 6 weeks we used the car seat) and my husband and I both commented that we expected to use the infant car seat a lot more. We just…. don’t really go very many places, and I think we both envisioned a more “going places with an infant” lifestyle. But, our nanny comes to us, so no daily daycare car trips, we generally have one parent or the other running errands (rather than both of us at the same time), and we live in urban neighborhood so we walk to a lot of places and don’t use the car seat with the stroller. That plus not taking our son to any public places since the beginning of March to due COVID…. and it just feels like other people’s kids are more out and social and we’re falling behind.
So, a lot of FOMO based on social media and mom guilt that I’m doing something “wrong”.
Probably somewhere in the 2ish neighborhood, but I’ve met perfectly normal preschoolers (3-4) that have never been to school and only done occasional play dates.
Don’t give it another thought for a year.
It’s not at all important at this age. The general rule of thumb I’ve heard from my pediatrician and others is not necessary at all before age 2, nice to have but still pretty optional starting at age 2, critical at age 3. I will tell you that my only child 2.5 year old has not any interaction with peers since March except for kids she sees occasionally at playgrounds (and she has very much absorbed the social distancing rules so she will not get close to them or let them get close to her, although she does talk and wave to them). It would not be our choice to have this extended isolation, but daycares are closed, we don’t have friends close enough to form a “pod” with us, and right now I am not comfortable with drop-in activities which are almost all indoors and don’t have the same group of people attending every time like a daycare does (and at least in our area, the people that put their kids in optional toddler classes tend to be covid deniers who are taking the virus way less seriously than the families at our daycare and in our social circle). I am a huge pessimist about this situation and don’t believe she’ll get to attend school again until fall 2021 at the earliest, when she’ll be 3.5, and even that doesn’t feel guaranteed to me. It sucks and I worry about it all the time, but I also try to remind myself that if the worst thing that happens to our family in the pandemic is that her social skills suffer a bit, we’re still doing better than a lot of people.
Do any of you keep a record of cute or funny things your kids have said, and if so, where? Google docs? That seems simplest but just polling the audience. Also, since it’s Monday, feel free to chime in with cute things your kid(s) said/did this weekend.
I tried exactly this in Google docs. I think it’s been 3 years since I updated. May you be more motivated than I!
Lana Del Raygun says
My parents kept a collection of composition books in a cupboard, which I think I’m going to do as well once my kid starts saying funny things, since I’m already on my phone too much around her. :(
I’m not this organized, but I know people who have created email addresses for their kids and email that stuff to the address.
Boston Legal Eagle says
Google docs, with a separate doc per year, per kid. We started this when our oldest was around 1.5 (and started doing memorable cute things besides being a baby) and it’s really nice to look back on and remember these moments that we otherwise might have forgotten. We also include first words, or things like, so and so can now point to all his face body parts (for our 1.5 year old). We like google docs because we can both edit and it’s simple without having to find the exact place to write something like a typical baby book. We incorporate some of the memories in our annual photobook.
I got a “line a day” journal for this exact purpose. Not always something they said, sometimes a nice memory or moment that I want to remember. It’s 5 years worth of spaces, i’m hoping I’ll still be writing in it five years from now and it’ll be fun to look back and see the silly things my kids said or did on that same day five years ago.
+1 I was able to keep this up for two years (for two kids). It was a SLOG to remember every day. After two years, I told my DH he could continue it for the next two, and he lasted all of a week. But hey, they have two years and honestly the likelihood of them even looking at the book when they’re older is pretty small.
Now I do yearbooks. We have a joint Google Photos album that we stick a few pictures in each month. If the kids said/did something cute, we’ll add it as a comment to the photo. Then over Christmas break I turn it into a Shutterfly book and add a few of the comments to the book too. It takes me a full day to do each year, but I find the exercise itself is a good reflection of the year I’ve had, and the kids actually do flip through the yearbooks every month or so.
I love this idea of combining the comment with the photos in an ongoing way!
I have a five year journal- not specifically for the kids, mostly for me, and i do love seeing what was going through my head on this date last year and the year before. The one I use actually just went on sale ($39 instead of $55 at Levenger). So I stocked up and bought three. Which it’s weird thinking that I just bought something that I will be using in 15 years! (Although part of me is now wondering if I should have bought even more!)
Boston Legal Eagle says
My longer comment disappeared but short answer, yes, Google docs, a separate one for each year, for each kid. We like that it’s straightforward and we can both edit.
My almost two year old says “Sanks” for thanks and “nacoom” (rhymes with raccoon) for “you’re welcome.” It’s adorable.
Amelia bedelia says
I subscribe to Chatbooks. It’s through my Instagram. I have a “private” Instagram, so no friends, and I just randomly post funny things the kiddos say with pictures of them from my phone. That way I have a diary of cute things they say and updated child photo albums. I’ve been doing this about three years. Some Months are heavy and some are light. But we all really enjoy pulling out the albums and looking at them.
And I randomly erase old Instagram posts so it isn’t kept online forever. Not sure how much good that does, but I’m not too worried. I stay away from naked pictures of the kids just in case.
I also do Chatbooks but don’t have it hooked up to an Instagram — instead, every photo I “favorite” on my phone gets added to the Chatbooks. Just in the last few months I started adding “text pages” with some cute stuff they say.
We have an ongoing email thread, which is Nice because it also has the date.
Yes, I keep a journal on my nightstand to write these types of things before I go to bed.
I just use the notes app on my phone, and when my phone isn’t around, I write it down- usually on our family whiteboard, which then I transfer to notes. I keep it super simple – just the quote, kid’s name and date. I should probably remember to email it to myself in case something ever happens to my phone.
This weekend, my 3 year old has been running around with a stick calling it his “pewmer”. As in he points it at people and goes “pew pew”.
I think this is what I’m going to do by virtue of the fact that I already started it there. A “pewmer” makes total sense to me, as in our house we do “boop bap” which is our onomatopoeia for boxing. 3 y/o also referred to the dining room as the “diamond room” this weekend, so that’s what we’re going to call it now. Kids are so funny.
I use google docs, but would rather do a line-a-day. We also established email addresses and send them notes, thoughts, etc as we think about it.
We’re focusing on diversity and she is 3, in some books we have children using wheelchairs and she will say “some people don’t use wheel chairs and that’s okay.” Which is really a refreshing point of view to be honest.
She also just learned about twins and saw a wedding save-the-date on the counter and asked if they were twins.
When I was doing it, I used the Notes app on my phone, since it was virtually always within reach to record stuff before I forgot.
But also, give yourself grace not to do this if you don’t want to or can’t keep up with it. It’s a cute idea, but it’s also just another thing moms “should” be doing for us to feel guilty about skipping IMO.
Has anyone considered a live in part time nanny as backup? I’m considering the following scenario and would love any advice from others. Last summer we had a wonderful summer nanny for our toddler while we waited to get into daycare. Nanny just graduated from the local university and plans to go to grad school after a year of prereqs. Our daycare is setup so you can either go 3 days a week or 5 days a week, with an optional aftercare after 3 pm. We have already had one two-week shutdown when a teacher tested positive, so I see the writing on the wall that daycare will not be reliable. Meanwhile, in checking in with our old nanny, she’s considering taking the prereqs for grad school online for this upcoming year and would be open to working part time for us, and being a full-time backup if daycare closes. We have extra space (this would use up our guest room and guest bath in a separate area of the house… but no one is coming to visit anytime soon), and she would be open to living with us. Am I crazy to think this could be a solution? We would have backup care, she would get to stay in town rent-free and do her online classes while working two days a week, and my kids could continue part-time daycare 3 days a week as long as it’s open. We trusted her fully last summer and I am trying to look at this with all perspectives. This would only be a one year situation, assuming that by spring 2021 things are looking much more normal.
The only issue I see is if day care is closed and she still has classes to attend
Agreed – and from what I understand, it’s a part-time class load for both fall and spring. Her original plan was to go home to her parents and take them online there. My husband and I both have fairly flexible jobs so I feel like we can round it out if she needs to be online for a lecture for an hour or two during the day.
Then I think it’s a great plan
No Face says
This is an excellent plan. The fact of the matter is, daycares and schools are not going to be consistent, reliable sources of childcare this year.
i don’t think you’re crazy at all, except for needing to be on the same page re social distancing. like if she is staying in town is she going to go out to parties and bars with her friends, etc.?
This sounds like an amazing plan! Even if she did have class on a day daycare was closed, it would mean taking two hours off versus a whole week.
We just did this. We hired a college student who has decided to take a gap year because her major requires lots of labs and she’s convinced the school will shut down this fall. She’s going to live in our guest room and work 35-45 hours a week, depending on if there is in person school. She’s still on her parent’s health insurance. She’s also agreed to socially distance.
Were you worried about moving to a live-in nanny, especially since we are all home ALL THE TIME now? Also, do you mind sharing how you are paying her? I am torn on over- or under- the table. I don’t think she cares either way and her hours will range from 20-40 hours a week depending on daycare closures.
We’ve had an au pair for three years now so we’re used to live in. It’s fine. Young people tend to disappear into their room to play on their phone and watch Netflix when they’re not working. They get enough kid time on the job, so it works out.
We pay over the table because we have a security clearance. I dont know if we’ll do the withholding ourselves or use a payroll processor, but it will be 100% legal.
Other things to think through would be: (1) How will you handle food / meals/ cooking; (2) where will she hang out/relax in the house?; (3) In terms of social distancing if your family is ok with drinks outside is she welcome to invite a friend to do that?; (4) Can she set her off hours? Basically think back to living with room mates and go through that list with her to make sure you’re all on the same page.
As someone who has had au pairs for 4 years I’d also think HARD about the house rules. Our first au pair was a great sitter and a total disaster as a roommate- entitled, unreliable, messy, rude, etc. – we should have re-matched but stuck it out instead because we didn’t know better. If you’re going to have someone living with you make sure you BOTH agree on ground rules first. I cannot even tell you the number of whisper yelling my husband and I have done over random bad roommate behavior an au pair pulled (hiding oreos in a desk drawer that we only noticed when there were ants all over the place, getting into an accident in our car after taking it without permission, blaring music when we’re trying to work and she’s ‘off’, getting hair dye all over the bathroom and not cleaning it, etc.).
We’ve had au pairs for several years and have never had these sorts of issues. We expect them to be nice people and so far it’s been good. They may not always take out the trash when full or let us know when they use the end of the milk, but it’s really minor. Nothing egregious.
If you’re not interested – you can send her our way. If you already trust her, your kids have a relationship, and you have the space…. this is a no brainer.
I HIGHLY recommend the Innisfree apple seed cleansing oil – it’s about $13, works well and doesn’t sting, and is cheap enough that I have like 5 bottles in our house at all times. We are all pasty people with a tendency towards skin cancer and coat ourselves in sunblock. This stuff removes it from arms/legs quickly and easily and smells nice (again – and doesn’t sting!). Even my kiddo uses it as it’s SO much easier than trying to get him to scrub waterproof sunblock off properly after camp/outdoors.
Recommendations for comfortable t-shirts to wear with running shorts? A lot of the ones I’m seeing online are longer, which is great for leggings but need it to be on the shorter side so it doesn’t look silly with shorts. Thanks!
(Former) Clueless Summer says
Lululemon has some of their shirts in what they call race-length, which I assume hits around the shorts line/high hip. Not sure if you want to spend that much, but worth a look.
I ordered some from Uniqlo that are super comfortable, they are long but they had a shorter version. AIRism.
Patagonia has good UPF ones.
Has everyone written to their governors and state representatives yet? Given the lack of Federal leadership, now is the time to push your state government. Please consider sending an email or making a call.
I just emailed our governor asking him to shut down non-essential social activities so that we can increase the likelihood of opening schools. Why on earth is Six Flags open when schools will likely be closed this fall? Bars? Tattoo parlors? Race tracks? Casinos? Indoor shooting ranges? Massage parlors? Nail salons? Tasting rooms? Literally all of these activities are high risk with either (1) indoor, close proximity interactions or (2) which involve large crowds of unrelated people who cannot be contact traced. We need to reduce community spread so we can protect students and teachers. Literally no one needs a tattoo more than kids need to be in school.
THANK YOU!!! More parents need to be doing this. There’s been all this hemming and hawing on our local parents email list about writing a letter to city officials, but no one can agree on the language. It’s absolutely infuriating to watch the momentum to say something die in slow motion. JUST WRITE YOUR OWN DAMN LETTER. TODAY.
Yes, I contacted my reps in Congress as well as the state legislature. I have little faith in Congress but some of the local moms in my area are somewhat involved in state government at an advocacy level (or volunteer for town govt etc) and know the reps personally. They assured me that someone in his/her office would actually read my email and that they do pay attention if at least 6-10 constituents press on the same issue in a short period of time (during normal circumstances of course!).
Things in my community have become TENSE. A few weeks ago, covid was relatively contained and cases were decreasing. Now they’re spiking, and we’re in the “orange” zone instead of yellow. And man, oh man, has the debate heated up about whether school should happen. The district announced in mid-June that students would be going back, in-person, full time. Parents have an option of choosing all-remote if they want. The teachers are fighting this hard. Disappointingly, the district has been very cagey about what they’ll do to make it a safe situation, other than requiring masks for all.
Look, I desperately need my kids to be back in school, for a variety of reasons. But the longer this goes on and the worse things get here, the less sure I feel about anything, really. Should we be sending kids back to school? Is it as “safe” as we’ve been led to believe? I feel terrible for the teachers, and the stupid leadership decisions made at every level have basically pitted parents and teachers against each other.
I want to voice my concerns to the school board, but I don’t even know what I’m advocating for at this point!
See post above. Advocate at your state and local level for measures to reduce community spread. Ask leaders to prioritize kids over social activities for grown ups.
It isn’t safe. Reopening schools mean accepting that it isn’t safe for teachers and kids. It’s a big group inside. You can’t both push for in person school and maximal safety.
I think if we as a society prioritized our children more we could find a way to make this safer closer to the CDC original guidelines. If you throw money at it, you rent portable classrooms and hire more teachers so kids can be in smaller groups and seated socially distanced. They stay in their pods all day with teachers rotating instead of kids. They eat in their classroom.
This gets more complicated in high school where kids have electives or may be in Honors for one class and remedial in another.
The other idea I thought sounded complicated but promising was the one where kids 13+ schooled from home and that opened space and staff to spread out the kiddos under 13. I also realize though not everyone’s 13+ kid can be trusted to do virtual school home alone all day. Where this was proposed, it would be live instruction with an already in existence online school.
You can, but it requires testing and contact tracing. If every kid and parents, plus teachers and staff, got a test every week, or — even better — twice a week, you would have a lot higher confidence in sending your kid.
Pro sports teams are testing their athletes regularly. The missing piece for kids is funding and a supply chain to make that possible as well.
And subjecting kids to medical testing. If it’s the simple nasal swab that’s not too bad but if it’s the full nasal/pharangyal test, that’s asking a lot of children, let alone adults, on a frequent basis. I’m putting off a medical procedure I need because they will only accent the nasal-pharangyal and I’m not willing to do that yet.
No Face says
I have nothing but commiseration. It is so hard to watch how the USA is just effing this up. We are doing this the worst possible way!
Schools are vital. Employment is vital. The way to reopen schools and the economy successfully was to have an evidence-based plan to build testing/tracing capability, and reopen after cases were low. Yet, 45 and his ilk downplayed the threat and muzzled the CDC, idiots like my governor reopened before cases were low, and cases are out of control. The school districts, the teachers, the parents, the kids are all left with different types of bad choices.
Our country has so much wealth! We have so many resources! The federal government employs a bunch of incredibly smart and hardworking scientists and the President won’t even meet with them! This is such a disaster.
Preach. What infuriated me over the weekend was 45’s tweet that European countries have reopened their schools with “NO PROBLEMS.” Holy false equivalence! Those European countries contained their outbreak through actual government action and leadership, then invested in reopening schools safely. The situation on the ground there is in no way analogous to what is happening across large swaths of the US right now.
Our school district’s draft plan came out over the weekend, and has zero in-person instruction at first, followed by a phase in beginning with “transition grades” so by the end of November everyone is back in school 2 days a week, 1 day of independent study (laughable for K-3 at least), and 2 days of remote learning. I don’t have a better idea, but I do know I’m going to be doing backflips trying to make this work for my family, and it’s still going to be very sub-optimal for my kids from both a social-emotional and academic standpoint.
Boston Legal Eagle says
100% It’s like he’s trying to lose. I am so so sad to think that half the country will still vote for him again. I truly hope I’m wrong.
I’m struggling with how to even frame this in my head. On the one hand, I want everyone to be safe and appreciate everyone working so find options. On the other, I absolutely consider school an essential service and while I empathize with teacher concerns, my truck driver father with several risk factors was deemed essential and given even fewer protections than teachers will get.
My children are in a dual language immersion program (and major extroverts), so we decided this weekend that we’ll be sending them in person for as long as that is an option (zoom calls in a learning language are almost impossible for early elementary kids). We’ll mask up and send as many disinfectant wipes/ hand sanitizers as we can find between now and then.
I just want to say that as a teacher, my school is doing no masks and no social distancing and regular school schedule. Not all schools are providing protections and that is shaping this whole debate right now too.
I want us to go back and I agree that school is pretty essential, but what my area is considering is not safe at all.
That sounds scary. I’m sorry, and I hope more science-based ideas prevail before the school year starts.
Where is that????
No one knows for sure what is safe. There is preliminary data from schools in Europe and elsewhere in the world, but the data doesn’t all agree, conditions at the schools studied aren’t uniform, and conditions in the US are definitely different than in the countries studied (and in different parts of the US). I’m in NYC, my husband is a teacher, and I feel okay about schools reopening here but might feel differently if I was in an area with increasing community spread and inadequate testing capacity.
I do think we as parents should be doing more advocacy to demand our governments put more money and effort into addressing the problem of childcare and education. I would push for increase testing capacity and establish a plan for testing in schools, increase contact testing capacity and establish a plan for tracing in schools, mandatory masks, physical distancing, closing non-essential businesses that are likely contributing to spread (in-person dining and bars, gyms, movie theaters, etc).
And then we have to demand that our governments throw money at this problem – Education and child care are critical to stabilizing the economy long term. Some of this is going to need to come from the Federal government
– municipalities, particularly in hard hit areas, need funding to make this work. We need to step up our advocacy for more funding. If we can build field hospitals, we can build tent schools and retrofit school HVAC systems.
PS – I also think we need to start differentiating between elementary, middle, and high schools. From what I have ready younger kids do seem to be a lot less likely to transmit the virus. High school students are more like adults. And of course they need less supervision. So the same plans don’t make sense for all age groups.
European schools were open when there was way less community spread than the US currently has in many places. And even then most of them were not open full times – either half classes with week on week off or only certain years went back. I don’t know any places thinking of keeping schools open with Florida levels of spread.
Yeah that’s my point – the limited data that exists from Europe isn’t necessarily that helpful given the context in the US
Vanity Fair’s podcast Inside the Hive’s most recent episode is an interview with a rep from the American Federation of Teachers and it was a really good listen. She framed everything really well and put eloquent words to thoughts I’ve been trying to form and communicate. I have so much less time for podcasts now (never thought I’d miss my commute) but I recommend it if you get a chance.
A while ago (2 months? 2 weeks? who knows) I got some of those vacuum bags and packed up most of my work clothes, vacuumed the air out, and put them in a storage bin under my bed. At the time, I left some work clothes out “just in case”. Apparently, I thought I needed 2 gray pencil skirts, a pair of navy work slacks, a pair of black work slacks, and a pair of grey work slacks “just in case”, with 4 button-up blouses and 3 blazers. What did I think I was going to need to do, suddenly pack for a week-long business trip?!
Anyway, this weekend I finally vacuum-packed everything but my “every day” clothes that are currently seasonally-appropriate. I have so much closet/dresser space, now! Highly recommend as an easy, relatively-inexpensive (just the cost of the bags) project that will make a huge difference in your space. I feel like a minimalist Instagram influencer with my organized closet that has a capsule wardrobe hanging in it. Nevermind the bags and bags of clothes vacuum packed and hiding under my bed….
I love this idea. My capsule wardrobe would be sweatpants, pj bottoms, joggers and exercise shorts.
lol, hey you never know what you may need! pencil skirts can solve a lot of problems! :)
Ladies – we are down to the wire between choosing between a new to us but great local daycare or a yet-to-be found nanny (competition is stiff for nannies right now and we’ve been looking but not found yet when these daycare slots opened up). It’s for our preschooler and toddler. Ugh. This feels sooooo hard. The preschooler could desperately use some social interaction and structure and we lean to the daycare for that reason for a least the next few months but are scared of the risk and of the next shut down. We’re in an apartment and both wfh until we’re told not to at some unknown time in the future and so a nanny would pack five of us into this space. We’re in DC which was a hot spot but now has very low cases and is not in exponential growth if that helps. Thoughts?
Have you confirmed with daycare the procedures for a suspected exposure and/or a positive test in the daycare? Our daycare (also in DC) won’t give us anything beyond “we’ll assess on case by case basis and use our judgment” and that’s not acceptable to me. They also won’t / can’t take the kids outside because they don’t have private outdoor space. We had been super excited to go back but I think those are deal breakers for us. We are still mulling it over but its not looking great. So just make sure you have answers to your deal breakers before you commit to daycare.
Yes – they’ll shut down and they have a dedicated outdoor space and their own entrance. Those two were dealbreakers for me which is why we’re switching.
What about a nanny share? It may marginally increase your risk, but less so than daycare and it would give your preschooler socialization opportunities. Your nanny would also make more, which would help with finding a good candidate.
Forgive me if I’m misunderstanding but since you don’t have a nanny lined up, it seems like the choice is between whatever you’re doing currently and the new day care.
Yes but it’s a big transition that we wouldn’t do if we get a nanny.
Boston Legal Eagle says
I will tell you our decision with also a preschooler and toddler (4 and 1.5) in a former hot spot. We went back to daycare for: 1. socialization and learning, primarily for the 4 year old; 2. cost; 3. convenience to us of having a quiet house (I imagine this is even more important in an apartment!); 4. our state is also doing well for now and the daycare is taking all safety precautions; 5. I want daycares and their teachers to survive this and if I can support them financially this way, I will. If we end up with a lot of shutdowns, then we might reevaluate, but this is where we are now. I have to say that I think my 4 year old is doing a lot better being around his friends again.
Thanks! Really helpful.
Also made the same calculation with similarly aged kids, also in the DC area, for what that’s worth. Our daycare is actually in VA, so subject to the what seem to be very stringent VA Board of Health guidelines. We’ve only been open for a short time but it’s been glorious- I think both my kids are happier. Our house is too small for all of us in one space, which I why I really do not want a nanny, particularly when the weather turns and it’s harder to spend a lot of time outside.
+1 to Boston Legal Eagle analysis
Our kids are back in daycare in Seattle and the impact is huge.
More covid contingency planning! My kid would be in prek next year (he’s 4) but I am increasingly convinced his preschool will not be open and am trying to contingency plan. For prek, does it make sense for me to try to hire a tutor? It seems ridiculous in some ways but I don’t want him to fall behind. What did folks do in shut down zones last year who had kids in prek? FWIW he does not love video school so wondering whether I should try to lock in an in person tutor now….
I don’t think a tutor could teach a 4-year-old anything children’s TV couldn’t. Dead serious.
Hooked On Phonics is also a classic for a reason.
+1 million to all of this. Pre-K is absolutely not necessary from an academic standpoint. If your child has already been in day care and can handle himself in a group setting, he’ll be fine in K. To be ready for K, a kid needs to be able to
-Sit still, be quiet, and pay attention for short periods of time
-Follow directions, take turns, line up, and avoid aggressive behavior towards other kids
-Use the bathroom and put on a coat independently
-Recognize letters, numbers, colors, and shapes
-Use scissors, a pencil, and glue sticks
-Understand how a book works (but plenty of kids still don’t get this–my friend who teaches K says that she spends the first half of the year teaching some of her students that when you write in your notebook you don’t just open to some random page in the middle, you go to the first blank page)
Most kids will learn all of this at home or in any kind of preschool program. My daughter did not even attend pre-K and was still bored out of her mind in K.
A tutor is definitely not necessary. For reading, let the TV do it for you with Sesame Street and Hooked on Phonics (we used the Learn to Read series of kits and didn’t even need all of them). For fine motor skills, tracing books, dot-to-dots, mazes, and cut-and-paste activities will do the trick. If you really want to go all out with math, get some two-color counters, fraction towers, and Base-10 blocks and go to town, but that’s definitely not necessary at this age.
I would not hire a tutor. My 4 year old loves Khan Academy – online but not a video, so that might work better. And I also ordered a couple preschool workbooks that were really good. We lived on those (and Sesame Street) during the daycare shutdown.
An in person tutor is over kill for a 4 yo. Just work with him on letters, letter sounds, counting, and read to him. Have him practice cutting and coloring. Turn on some kid music for singing and dancing. Let him play in the backyard or a park to explore. Consider finding a bubble family so he can practice socializing. If you need childcare, get a nanny or sitter. No need for a nanny.
My 5yo is starting K this year so it’s a different decision, but if he was back in 4yo preschool I would totally NOT hire a tutor. I’d pay for a year of ABCMouse, buy the Brain Quest PreK workbook to work on writing skills, and read 20 min/day to him. That would be enough even if he doesn’t go to preK at all. Kindergarten teachers are literally trained in how to deal with kids who didn’t go to preschool, so anything you do beyond sitting in front of a TV all day is going to be a bonus.
Our child is in the same situation. We can choose between pre-K or continuing at our current daycare next year. Our school is supposed to release more information on schedules by the end of July. We’ll decide then.
With a kid that age, I would not consider a tutor. I honestly think the main thing most pre-K kids need is more time to play and be outside, so I’d focus on figuring out a plan for someone to watch him and give him a chance to try different things and even run wild a little bit. Give him some opportunities to work on fine motor skills too – small toys like Legos, scissors, etc. He will be fine. The social aspect of school is harder to replicate but a tutor won’t change that.
Omg no you do not need a tutor that is just beyond over the top. He needs enough childcare that he isn’t being raised by wolves. That’s it. If you feel like lighting your money on fire by all means hire a tutor.
I mean if the wolves have 3 references and food is provided honestly I’m fine with it at this point.
It worked for Romulus and Remus…
3 references? Just tell me it’s been a bit since you’ve eaten a kid and you know how to dial 911 and open a box of cereal, you’re hired!
This comment just made my day!
I’m still laughing about this comment…. :)
This feels a little harsh – I guess since I’ve raised money for headstart programs and early education opportunities for kids I believe prek is important. You don’t, that’s fine, but the insult feels unnecessary.
I agree that this comment is over the top, but we are not talking about Head Start here. The benefit of any pre-K program, including Head Start, is the group setting, not the official pre-K curriculum. A child who has been in day care or preschool for several years already will do just fine in K if pre-K is unavailable due to the pandemic. There is no need to pay a tutor to make him do pre-K worksheets. The kids missing out on Head Start are the ones we should worry about.
Don’t hire a tutor. Schedule socially appropriate play dates given your COVID environment. Like, maybe find a family with a kid the same age and agree to LO comes social interaction but let the kids play.
Watch Sesame Street, Daniel Tiger and/or let them play abc mouse.
My K kid could read and wrote going into K. Her peers could not. They all did by the end of the year and are moving into first.
DH is WFH again from our apartment after briefly being back in the office. We live in one of the states where the numbers are soaring and he has an open concept floor plan at work (though his office is still open). He got promoted last year, was told earlier this year by a mentor that he should sort of coast this year anyway, but he is the type A overachiever type, but doesn’t know how to not push himself. We have a nanny who is really wonderful and tries to take our twin 2 year olds outside, but it is a million and one degrees here and DH is struggling bc he says the kids cry off and on all day (i think he is exaggerating a bit, but they are 2, and are still learning to “use their words” and get frustrated over everything…as they are 2) and it is getting hard to work at home. (I am going into an office, but i am the only one here). i want to be supportive to DH, but also want to convince him that it is ok to not be at the most productive ever and to be mediocre for a bit.
Omg don’t be supportive he’s being a whiny child. He can put headphones in and cope.
Geez, I think this is an overblown reaction. He’s allowed to have feelings about his kids being upset! Also, a Type A person is not going to slow down on the turn of a dime. If that’s something he even *wants* to do, it is going to take some time.
OP, when he starts spiraling, it’s OK to remind him (once) that he doesn’t need to be at his best right now. But don’t harp on it, nor put yourself in the position of “convincing” him. He has to get there on his own.
Is he venting or considering going back into the office? If it’s the former, I’d let him vent and not try to fix it or try to talk him out of his feelings. He will figure out his own solutions quickly I’m sure (noise cancelling headphones FTW!) – and honestly, the situation is really frustrating so he’s entitled to be frustrated.
Perhaps its time for DH to buy nice noise cancelling headphones?
Yeah. Bose headphones and a classical music spotify premium playlist seems to solve this problem.
If you’re the only one in the office, is there a spot there your husband can work? Would your employer be OK with that?
You don’t have to be a Type A to find the sound of a typical 2 year old (x2!) throwing fits/crying/etc to be overwhelming, especially when you are trying to work from home and already feel like your performance is subpar. This is the same thing almost everyone here has been complaining about (myself included) for the past four months. I strongly disagree with the poster above who instructed you not to be supportive. I also agree that noise-canceling headphones playing white noise may be the solution here.