Washable Workwear Wednesday: Ponte Bell Sleeve Top

I was just about to link to this highly rated (and machine washable) bell-sleeve blouse at Nordstrom when I looked at some of the images and thought, hmmn, that bell sleeve is WAY too dramatic for work. By contrast, this Lands’ End top is just right — it’s got a ruffle detail in a nod to the trend, it’s machine washable, it’s flattering in that classic way — and it’s less than $50. Nice. Pictured: Ponte Bell Sleeve Top

Two plus-size options are at Nordstrom and Lord & Taylor.

Looking for other washable workwear? See all of our recent recommendations for washable clothes for work, or check out our roundup of the best brands for washable workwear.

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  1. Personally I don’t really see a difference between the N0rdstrom one and this one in terms of looking professional. The other one is a large bell, but it doesn’t seem to stick out as much.

  2. Any recommendations for getting old bath crayon stains off our tub? We recently bought a house where I think they just didn’t clean the tub much. With elbow grease, comet, magic eraser, and a scrub sponge, I pulled up some crazy old scum that I thought were permanent stains, but I really can’t get some of these crayon marks off. Some are in chips in the enamel so I get that those won’t come out, but there are some that are just long crayon markings that seem like they should come off. I tried scraping with my thumbnail and that didn’t work either.

    • mascot says:

      Have you tried BarKeepers Friend- the powder, not the liquid?

    • Carine says:

      The fact that the magic eraser didn’t work is discouraging! Did you try making a paste with the Comet powder or baking soda and letting it sit for a while?

      • I know! I thought ME cleaned everything. Would you recommend doing 50/50 with water for that paste?

        • Carine says:

          That’s probably what I’d start with and add powder if needed to get it to the right consistency so that it will really stick on the wall if you’re talking vertical surfaces. Otherwise…if that and bar keepers friend fail, maybe price out a reglazing (for now or maybe later if you have kids who might add their own crayon marks!) I think it can be as low as a couple hundred dollars, which might be worth it if it really bothers you.

    • old house? says:

      Depending how old the house/ tub is, you might want to consider re-finishing. We bought our house from people who had never used the bathtub (no kids and a separate stall shower in the master), and we learned that the dingy color/ grime was actually set in to scratches in the tub surface. I know bath crayons might be different from general grime, but we were really impressed with refinishing– it was around $120 and our 1950’s original tub looked brand new!

    • Our house had some stains on the tub that I thought were permanent because they didn’t come off with the magic eraser or Bon Ami, but they did come off after a few times of cleaning with Soft Scrub bleach. It took 4 or 5 cleanings, doing it once a week. I’m not sure if they time between cleanings made a difference. I would give that a try and make sure that sunlight is hitting the tub if at all possible, as I’ve noticed that sunlight can fade stains like that, especially if you are using a bleach cleaner.

    • Have you tried coloring over it with fresh bath crayon? This works for white boards and often works for my rouge bath crayon issues as well. The crayon is never more than a few days old, though…

    • Awesome! Thanks for all these ideas. We are definitely nowhere near being able to refinish this bathroom, as much as I’d like to (not until daycare costs are over), so I like the idea of potentially being able to reglaze it if needed. I’m going to try a few of these other methods and I’ll report back if there is anyone else with stubborn crayon marks!

    • Anonymous says:

      Can’t speak for crayons, but our bath seems to attract a really hard to clean scum or something. I had tried everything (Comet, vinegar, Bar Keepers Friend, Fantastic, 409, etc.) until I came across the Deadspin series Ask a Clean Person. They recommended X-14 which has cleaned the scum and kept it from coming back. God only knows what’s in it, but it worked when nothing else did.

  3. Carine says:

    I like this shape but I wonder how it looks in person. Looks kind of cheap to me.

    I’m wondering if anyone has suggestions for sitting in a low-to-the-ground car comfortably in the third trimester. My last pregnancy I needed to switch from my car to my husband’s SUV because the latter’s seat angle and space accommodated my belly much better. That was right near the end, though, and I still have twelve weeks to go! I can reach the steering wheel fine right now – it’s more that the tops of my legs are pushing my belly into my chest and it’s uncomfortable (I think this time I’m carrying lower…and maybe a little bigger). I’ve adjusted the seat as much as I can but wondering if I could try sitting on a pillow or a yoga block to get a bit more height. Curious to know if anyone else had a creative hack for this problem!

  4. Legally Brunette says:

    Taking my kids (ages 3 and 5) skiing for the first time this weekend! They are signed up for half day lessons. We bought them snow pants, and they have their winter hats, coats, and mittens already. Any tips for a first time outing?

    • anne-on says:

      Do you also have turtle fur scarves or balaclavas along with goggles? We go in VT, so heavy duty layers are a must, but I can see skipping those if you’re somewhere warmer. I’d also suggest getting (or renting) them helmets. Kids that age definitely fall when learning and I wanted ours to be used to wearing helmets for snow sports (skiing, skating, etc.).

      • Maddie Ross says:

        Most places make helmets mandatory for children if they are taking ski lessons.

      • Legally Brunette says:

        Thank you! Just bought the turtle scarves from Amazon. We will be in Western Maryland, would you recommend goggles? I have never skied with googles but I skied 15+ years ago.

    • What is your plan for the rest of the day? Are you going to ski with them? Are you doing a weekend trip or a day trip?

      We have recently started skiing with our kids (4 and 6). We watched you tube videos before our first trip to help them see what a magic carpet looks like, a chair lift, etc. We talked about what to expect and that falling is a good thing and means you are learning. DH and I went in with the attitude that just getting out was the goal for us, no real skiing would happen when we were with the kids and that we may only last an hour or two. We expected (and had many) tantrums and the older kid accusing me of making it harder than it was. Setting realistic expectations really helped.

      I found two products to be really helpful: (1) the edgie wedgie (available on amazon) is like a bungee that you attach to the tips of the skis that helps kids form the snow plow and keep their tips from crossing, and (2) the launchpad harness. I don’t actually hold onto my kids with the straps on the harness when they are skiing but the strap across the back that helps you pull them up when they fall is really helpful.

      I also bring lots of snacks, including snacks that I can keep in my pocket and refuel at the top of a run (like mini m&ms). We also bring a change of clothes and change into pjs for the ride home because by the time we get home we want to collapse. We order food on the way home. If you are skiing with your kids, bring motrin for you on the ride home. Any way you do it, there is picking a frustrated kid with skis off of the ground, which taxes muscles and patience. We have been multiple times now, and we all have a great time!

      • Legally Brunette says:

        Thanks so much! Just bought the edgie wedgie through Amazon. Can you send a link to the launchpad harness? That’s now showing up for me when I search.

        Also really good to have them see a few videos and set expectations low. DH has never been skiing and I’ve only been a few times, we’re going more to expose the kids to lessons and to see how they like it (my older one has really been wanting to go for a while now).

        And in case anyone has skied in Deep Creek Lake, would love to hear feedback. I know it won’t be Tahoe but we were looking for someplace that was an easy drive from DC.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Warm socks! And a change of socks and mittens if you plan to go out again after the lesson, in case they get wet. And I always carry warm slippers in my coat pockets so I can warm up my feet if we stop at a chalet between runs…my feet get really cold.

      • anne-on says:

        +1 – we usually bring extra scarves and mittens, nothing worse than having to stop early because of cold hands/feet. And loooots of tissues and food.

  5. Patty Mayonnaise says:

    Anyone have advice on pumping on Amtrak? I have a day trip to NYC (from DC) coming up and I think my best option is likely to pump on the train both ways. But of course, I’m super nervous about it.

    • Cornellian says:

      I have used a handpump in those situations. It can take a bit longer but it’s so much easier to travel with and you don’t have to worry about finding outlets or batteries or covering the sound. I would just take a shawl, wear a low-cut top and nursing bra, and use a handpump.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’ve pumped in the large bathrooms, without much regard for how long it was taking. I might have been more considerate on a really full train, but it always seems like there are plenty of other bathrooms for those that need it. Not the best place I’ve pumped, but it got the job done. I’d definitely recommend bringing a battery pack, if you do, though. The bathrooms do have outlets, but the power supply is uneven and didn’t consistently power my pump.

    • AwayEmily says:

      Another option is to leave early, pump or hand-express just enough on the train so you’re not uncomfortable (maybe even directly into the sink), and then plan on having your “real” pumping session immediately upon arrival– maybe whoever is coordinating the meeting can set aside a room for you? This is what I ended up doing after a couple of stressful attempts at travel pumping and I found that it was ultimately better for both my supply and my sanity than trying to pump in less-than-ideal (and less-than-clean) circumstances.

    • Yes! I have done this many times. Here are your options:

      Best case scenario: Pump in seat.
      You are with someone you know. Get in that boarding line EARLY and find seats together. You take the window seat. Bring a big nursing scarf and wear a button-down shirt or a shirt where your boobs are otherwise easily accessible. Set up the pump and tubes on the tray table; use the scarf to cover and slip on the parts underneath the scarf. Pump.
      If you are on the less self-conscious side, you can also put on a pumping bra and get the flanges in place in the bathroom, then put on a coat and big scarf to cover them and walk back to your seat.

      Option #2: Pump in bathroom.
      Set up the pump on the diaper-changing table; pump.

      Option #3: Pump in vestibule outside of bathroom.
      On some trains, there is a bathroom in the front of the train between the conductor and the passenger car (there is a door between the passenger car and the bathroom). There is a little vestibule that looks almost like a closet before the bathroom with a chair and outlet. You can sit in the chair, face the wall, and pump with a cover.

      Option #4: Pump before and after.
      This is especially do-able if you’re on the Acela. There isn’t a great place to pump at Union Station, but you could pump in your car in the garage, then when you get to NY find a department store dressing room (or office or wherever your final destination is) to pump.

      Good luck!

    • Lizochka says:

      I have done this many times and was definitely nervous before the first time, so I understand how you feel! Pumping in seat isn’t bad at all, but I always had the most luck doing one side at a time. That way I could be sure that I was really well covered up. The Acela is extremely bumpy so be very careful when it comes time to remove the bottle and store the milk! Make sure you have spare napkins or wipes or something in your purse to clean up any droplets, which I found to be inevitable.

      If you are on Acela and have any upgrade coupons, for the love of pete, use them! You can get single seats in first class this way. No funny looks, no elbowing a stranger as you fumble around with your pump. Being alone (or next to someone you know) is about a thousand times better than being next to a stranger. No one has ever said boo to me about it but once an older man in the seat next to me was physically recoiling, which was obviously his problem, not mine.

      • Lizochka says:

        Also! Provided you have access, both the Club Acela lounges in NY and DC have small conference rooms that you could totally use to pump. Just be super sweet to the attendants and they will be sweet to you. They deal with unbearable jerks all day, so I have found over the years of Acela business travel that a little kindness and friendliness go a long way. They found private space for me to pump there, they let me bring in outside food while I was heavily pregnant and *required* a milkshake (and had forgotten about the rule), and they have even held a train for a few minutes when they knew I was waddling as fast as I could.

        Good luck you to, mama – you can do this!!

  6. AnonMomChi says:

    Hello virtual friends!

    Do any of you live in small condos with kids? We have a small 2 bedroom, 1 bath condo (around 800 s.ft.) and plenty of parks nearby. We want to buy a house in a good school district. The prices in those areas are very high now and the property taxes are insane but still cheaper than private school. DD is less than two and is being cared by a nanny now. I do not think we can afford the house and a good daycare (plus back-up nanny) so it would be safe to stay here a few more years. The baby stuff is piling up and I stopped organizing/decluttering because weekends are crazy with a high energy toddler. Where do I start? Do any of you make it work in small places?

    • Anonymous says:

      Is it just the one kid? Any plans for a second? I’m in a slightly larger place (1000 sq ft) with a 2 year old and newborn (and a nanny). The baby stuff takes up SO much room (swing! bassinet! rock and play!) but I keep reminding myself it’s temporary and will be gone very soon.

      I’d start decluttering, you’ll feel much better if you get that done. We got rid of several large storage bins in one closet. Can DH take your daughter out for a full day so you can tackle that project (or vice versa)?

    • AwayEmily says:

      We also used to live in a 2-BR, 1-bath apartment with an almost-2-year-old (we recently moved to a house). We decluttered before we moved, and my strategy was to spend some time up-front thinking about very specific categories, so that the actual sorting process took less mental energy. For instance, since we knew we would try to have another kid, I had the following categories:

      – Newborn supplies (pump, K’Tan wrap, breastfeeding stuff, bottles, etc)
      – Clothes to keep, sorted by age (I was pretty ruthless here — anything that we didn’t LOVE and wear frequently I gave away)
      – Explicitly girly clothes to give away
      – Boy/gender neutral clothes to give away
      – Toys, sorted by age, to keep (this ended up being a pretty small box since babies don’t really need many toys)
      – Toys to give away

      The system turned out great — I just had our second, and a couple weeks before she was born I took down the newborn bin from the attic and everything was right there waiting!

      It also helped to remember that I can always get something again if we need it. For instance, a friend gave us a suction cup placemat that we NEVER used with my first. I thought “well, should I keep it to use for my second?” I felt bad getting rid of it but figured if for some reason we needed a suction cup placemat I could order one from $5 from amazon, and that was worth the extra space in my cupboard.

      Finally, I will say that in terms of the “big” baby stuff, it might be worth keeping even things that your first didn’t like. For example, we had one of those baby docking pillows that my first HATED and so far this new baby adores it. Glad I didn’t get rid of it.

    • Anonymous says:

      We only have 1 kid, but when he was a baby we lived in a 1 bedroom apartment. Now we are in a larger 2 bedroom duplex (more like 1000 sq ft.). And we are in NYC, and know a fair number of people with 2 kids in a 1 bedroom apartment, so it is definitely possible. My biggest tip is, go vertical for storage. Install shelves so every inch of closet is used. Use space under the bed. Add extra shelves in the vanity in the bathroom. Get rid of baby clothes that don’t fit at the end of every season. In terms of where to start, just pick a spot and work out from that. Give yourself a time limit if it is overwhelming, like I’ll work on this for 30 minutes. Just get started.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I live in an apartment about that size (2 bed, 1 bath, about 750-800 sq ft.). I’ve lived in apartments for my entire adult life, ranging from about 600 sq ft to 1100 sq ft. We do a few things.

      1) we have storage in our building, so large and/or extra things that we need ready access to go down there (like, suitcases, extra shampoo/toothpaste/toiletries, set of guest sheets/towels).

      2) we pay for a storage unit. Living in apartments, we’ve always paid for extra storage. We moved a few months ago and are planning on doing some renovations in the coming months, so right now we’re using a larger storage unit than we ever have before. Depending on the proximity to where you live/how often you plan to access it, this can be great for things like holiday decorations, that set of china that you got for your wedding that you use 3x a year, old baby gear that you’re not ready to get rid of, etc. If it’s super close to your apartment, you can store stuff that you’ll need more regular access to.

      3) we have “invested” in organizational systems (the elfa system from the Container Store) to make use of small spaces. You can take measurements of whatever space you want to organize, bring it into the store, and someone will help you design a storage system that works for your space. We’ve used their pieces in the bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom for years. As a bonus, you can take it with you and they will work with you to adapt it to your new space. I’m an evangelist for their stuff.

      4) Ruthlessly purge. This is one of the hardest for me to do / I get overwhelmed. But when I’m really on top of it, it’s obviously the most effective. What’s hard now is that my daughter (2.5) notices when something has gone “missing,” even if it’s something she hasn’t played with for months.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I purge a lot. And make use of every inch of storage space; my closets have organizers all the way to the ceiling, my cabinets have internal organization so I can stack things up without having to reorganize every time I need something, and I have storage under every bed. I also have a storage unit on premises and one off premises (which I should purge but that’s a different story).

      And be ruthless about gifts. If it’s going to take up a lot of space, it might get stored and only come out once in a while, or it might be donated. Or it might live at the gifter’s house (ahem, grandma and grandpa).

      • I have a friend that makes about 900 square feet work for her, her spouse and her 2 kids. I think the ruthless purging is her secret. As soon as something is not needed, it is donated or thrown out. It seems that she purges at least once a month to stay on top of things, and maybe does a major purge twice a year. She has a good circle of friends that circulate used things and is also comfortable financially, so I think she has let go of any fear of not having something she needs, which helps her let go of all the stuff.

        • NewMomAnon says:

          My biggest issue is feeling like I’m “wasting” stuff or creating extra trash. I don’t have a good solution to that yet, except….it’s no less trash sitting in a pile in my house than it is sitting in a pile in someone else’s house.

  7. Traveling moms: What do you tell your kids before you go out of town for a few days?

    I am going on a much-needed 4-day vacation with friends and the kids are staying with my husband. I have a 4-year old who has a tough time with babysitters, and I am not sure exactly what to say to prepare her. Usually when we get a babysitter, we keep it vague– we have an appointment outside of the house, babysitter will take care of you, we will be back when you are sleeping, WE ALWAYS COME BACK. We sometimes leave her crying. I am thinking of telling her the night before I leave, or maybe even the morning that I leave to minimize her anxiety. Should I tell her it’s a vacation or keep it vague? Should I FaceTime her every night or avoid it? Any other tips for extended time away from this age?

    • Anonymous says:

      If asked by kid or husband, I will do a Facetime or call, but I’ve never had a standing commitment. My kid doesn’t seem to mind either way. I think it’s fine to say that mom is going on a trip with her friends because mom likes to have fun playdates with her friends just like little redux does. Daddy and kids will have fun too.

    • Carine says:

      This is different than a babysitter situation because she’s going to be with dad, right? I take a yearly trip with my girlfriends and my daughter misses me but she has a great time going out for breakfast, visiting the children’s museum, etc with dad. She knows I’m going to visit with my friends, her “aunts,” and I usually talk to her a little about where we’re staying, what we’ll do. She can tend to get a little anxious and emotional in general and I find that she does better knowing what to expect. I would not wait until the day of with my daughter – at least in our case I don’t think that’s enough time to process and could make the transition harder. Re: facetime, I don’t do a standing commitment either – sometimes it helps and sometimes it can throw off the fun they’re having at home so we just play it by ear.

      When my daughter was 3 and 4 another thing I did that seemed to ease my absence was take a stuffed friend of hers with me and take photos of the friend in cool spots that I’d send to my husband. We had these mini Anna and Elsa dolls and I propped them in the plane window, or by some cool public art, tucked them into the hotel bed, etc. She LOVED it.

    • CPA Lady says:

      Tell her you’re going on vacation. I personally think it’s really important for girls to see their moms making themselves a priority every once in a while.

      As far as crying, my kid cries all the time. She cries when I tear her dinner roll the wrong way. She cries when it’s time to stop watching Peppa pig. She cries when I put the wrong color ponytail holder on her hair. Sometimes she cries when I drop her off at daycare. Sometimes she cries when I pick her up at daycare. She cries when I go out with my friends and she can’t come. She would cry if I brought her along and made her sit still at the restaurant for three hours while a bunch of grown ups sat around talking. Just because a kid is crying doesn’t mean you’re doing the wrong thing or even that she’s anxious. Half the time I think my kid is anxious, she’s fine and stops crying in two minutes. I’m the one who’s anxious.

      Go, have fun. :)

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m the daughter of the flight attendant who posted last week. Obv, lots of experience with a mom going away ;) I often cried when she left when I was very little, but generally within 15-20 minutes, I was happily settled into some activity. I think it’s important to have something fun as a distraction for the actual time of leaving. Favorite movie? Stickers? Stickers AND her favorite movie?

      I think it’s healthy to tell her, “Mom’s going on a vacation. I’m going to go play with my friends for a few days. You know how much you enjoy going to Susie’s house? It’s like that for me, too! I love you and will miss you very much. Dad knows my phone number and you can call me *anytime you want*. I’ll be back before you know it.” (My mom’s speech growing up was much like that – “I’m going to work now so we can have a house and food and clothes and toys. I’ll be gone for a couple days, but you know I’ll always come back to you. Judy has the hotel numbers where I’ll be staying. You can call anytime and leave a message for me at the hotel if I’m not in yet, ok? I love you.”)

      Oftentimes, my mom would call home from the hotel and she wanted to talk to me more than I wanted to talk to her. I was off playing or doing something. You can call if you want to and she’ll call if she wants to.

    • Everlong says:

      Thanks for asking this! I’ll be taking a trip with my closest friend for the same length of time when my oldest is 3 and my youngest is 1. I cannot wait, but yet also feel some hesitation about leaving. It’s helpful to see others prioritizing time on their own.

    • Late last year my husband was away for a month, and then a week and a half later I was away for a week, both work trips. Kid is 2.5 so what he comprehends is more limited than at 4.5, but we did a countdown calendar with stickers for each day that a parent was away and he seemed to enjoy that. (I think he mostly enjoyed the stickers, which I let him pick from a large sheet; he didn’t really get the day-by-day aspect, because by the end of the month the entire calendar page was plastered with stickers, sometimes multiple per day.)

      Anyway, what we said was ‘Daddy/ Mommy has gone on a trip and will be back in X days’. We didn’t Skype with my husband because he was halfway around the world with very little internet access, and I only called once because of the time difference, but the parent at home recorded plenty of videos, and the travelling parent took photos of the cool things they were doing (in my case, the ‘cool thing’ was riding around on the UK train system…)

    • NewMomAnon says:

      My perspective is a little different than this advice – kiddo goes to her dad’s house for two nights each week, and sometimes stays with him for longer periods so I can travel for work or fun. My message to her is always that SHE is getting to do something Awesome! and Fun! and Exciting! with her dad, and that I will miss her but I’ve got cool plans too. I always check with him about his plans so I can tee up the cool thing in advance.

      She likes to do things on her own terms, so I find that if I make it about a special privilege that she gets to have, she’s generally OK with it. If I make it about a special thing that I am doing without her, waterworks.

      Can your husband put together a cool plan? Like a trip to the zoo, or a movie in a movie theater, or something else unusual and fun that kiddo can look forward to while you’re away?

    • MomAnon4This says:

      There is a book about this – the Owl book, where they miss their Mommy but she always comes back.

      I draw an airplane taking off on our big paper calendar on the day I leave, with an arm out the window, that’s me waving goodbye. And on the day the kid will see me (not nec. the day I arrive) draw a big smiley face. This helps them learn concept of time if 1 day = 1 day without Mommy, but look, there’s the end in sight! you can even write the numbers on the calendar – 4 days until Mom comes back, 3, 2, 1, 0!

      It helps.

  8. shortperson says:

    you guys, my second and last maternity leave is over :-(

  9. My husband is having a vasectomy next week. Is there an appropriate gift for this occasion? While I don’t feel particularly like this is a huge deal after having 2 children via C-section myself, but I also know this isn’t exactly a walk in the park for him. I’ve also been a crazy, challenging wife lately so would like to do something that says “I actually like and appreciate you.” He likes practical things, hockey, and doesn’t do much for himself.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Did he give you a gift after your C-sections? I’d take his cues on this….

    • Get him a brand new bag of peas and a bottle of advil. Find a blanket and pillow for laying on the couch. Literally that’s it, he’ll be just fine in a day or two.

      If you want to go overboard because men need extra catering to, buy him a new video game to play in his downtime. Or a new book to read, whatever is his preferred time waster when couch-sitting.

      If you don’t want to go overboard because hello two c-sections, find a video of a c-section and have him watch it. Then have him watch a breastfeeding video, maybe while you actively pull and mash his nipples. Then sweetly remind him he has only 2 more hours until he can take his next two regular-strength advil.

      • Momata says:

        Yeah this. I brought up a V to my husband the other day now that he has finally come to grips with the fact that we can’t deal with a third. I was offended that he started wincing and didn’t want to do it. Um. Two V births, one unmedicated by accident. Two solid years of bfeeding. And decades of artificial hormones being inserted into my bloodstream. Suck it up, buttercup.

        • Momata says:

          Plus IUD insertion and eventual removal. PLUS my LEEP and numerous rechecks after he gave me HPV. It is literally the only thing he has had to do other than enjoy himself to create or not create children.

      • I’d get a six pack of his favorite beer, and that’s about it. If I’m feeling generous I’d give him an afternoon free of children vying for the remote control. I would do both of those things (probably, maybe) if he had a minor dental procedure, or a bad cold.

      • MomAnon4This says:

        Ha. My husband was so excited about the unplanned C-section and watched youtube videos of those operations while I was recuperating, then told me all about how bad my IUD was going to hurt (it didn’t). Men suck, even the cute/smart/otherwise supportive ones.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I’d make him a nice meal or his favorite dessert, and just tell him that you appreciate him. I don’t really think a physical gift is necessary in this scenario.

    • I totally understand some of this reaction because obviously this is NOTHING in comparison to what I’ve been through; however, he also understands that this is the least he can do and has always done everything he can to show me he values and appreciates me. I think these are great suggestions. A nice meal and a post above gave me the idea of slippers. Thank you!!

    • I am always a crazy and challenging wife. That’s my gift to my husband :)

  10. anonanon says:

    I think it’s a really nice idea to do something for him, not because you need to, but just because it’s nice. I don’t quite understand the comments above. You said that you want to do something nice also because you’ve been crazy and challenging (we’ve all been there!).

    I think the book, video game ideas are great. Maybe get a date on the calendar for future date night you plan, like a concert or couple massage or new restaurant you’ve been wanting to try. I think a card that says how grateful you are he’s your husband and for the life you’ve built together etc. is always nice.

    None of this is JUST because he’s getting a vasectomy, but it’s just nice thing to do and I’m sure he’d appreciate it.

    • I’m the snarky Anon above, it’s more about how men are catered to much more than women are. Do women get a present or extra date night or kid-free afternoon on the couch every time you refill your pills, or after an IUD insertion, or after every gyno visit? Most likely, no. Yes, it would be a nice thing for him to do as well, and you would definitely appreciate it, but no man thinks of it and there are no forums of men asking for ideas from fellow men.

      Especially when this is literally a 10 minute outpatient procedure with mild discomfort for about 24 hours. It’s less uncomfortable than most women’s monthly periods. As a culture, we’ve somehow built it up to be some Big Thing you ask a guy to do, but we give a cramping teenager a Motrin and send her to school anyway. So sure, do something nice for a husband, of course. But tying it to a minor procedure is what is driving the comments above.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I also commented above. I hate it when women feel the need to apologize for who they are, or thank someone for being with them through all their messy humanity. If your man needs you to apologize for being your own crazy, working, maternal self with too much on your plate, then ditch him. If he doesn’t need it, then he doesn’t need it and you should proceed to be unapologetically you.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        *caveat: I am also officially OVER IT with humanity and likely will change my mind after a full night of sleep. I don’t actually mean you should automatically ditch an entitled husband, but….it’s on the list of options.

    • I’m the original Anon. I totally understand this perspective. I absolutely lost my crap on him the other week when I broke a glass. I woke him up screaming at him. It was not his fault. He calmly got out of bed and took care of it. He told me he knew that it was work stress, not him or the glass. I came home to flowers and card that night. For my encore, I absolutely flipped out when a few of my dresses were ruined when he did the wash. He would never speak to me the way I spoke to him. I couldn’t handle him speaking that way to me. He took it in stride and actually managed to fix the dresses. So, procedure or not, I am just appreciative of who he is. It’s not that he NEEDS anything. He would never notice if I didn’t get him anything. To be fair, upon reflection, it’s a gift to make me feel better!

      • Anon in NYC says:

        I get it. Sometimes it’s nice to do things for our spouse because we love them and appreciate them, and sometimes even more so when we can recognize that we’re being horrible and they’re taking it in stride. So, do something nice for him. And if you want to tie it to the procedure, go for it, and if you don’t want to tie it to the procedure, don’t.

    • mascot says:

      I’ll play. My husband is also ready/willing to go down this route in the next few months. I don’t have a problem giving him some extra attention and consideration and maybe picking up his favorite food/drink. Even though it’s a minor procedure, he may feel a little tender given the location. He was equally considerate when I was crampy and cranky after my IUD insertion.
      But, even though we’ve talked about it a lot and totally agree that this is the best decision for us as a family, I’m still sensitive to the fact that this is a permanent decision and it’s his body. I’d expect the same sensitivity and deference to asking me to make a permanent decision. So I understand the sentiment that you want to recognize and appreciate that choice. And no, these aren’t always reversible. We have a friend who had an unsuccessful attempt at reversal and he and his wife ended up having to pursue IVF to have a child.

  11. avocado says:

    Do I want an Instant Pot? I have a slow cooker that I use only to make boneless, skinless chicken thighs in various sauces. I like the texture of the chicken, but I don’t like the overcooked, vaguely metallic taste the slow cooker gives it. Will chicken cooked in the Instant Pot taste any fresher?

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve note experienced a metallic taste with a slow cooker – but I do love my Instant Pot and do not notice an off flavor. You can make thighs in the IP in 12 minutes (at pressure, not including time to pressure up or down). I usually make a mix of breast and thighs. However, I don’t shred the chicken, I cut it in to small pieces before putting it back into the sauce. I find the texture of shredded chicken off putting.

      Oddly though – I do not like to use the IP as a slow cooker. Someone on the main board mentioned it is set at a really low setting for slow cook?

  12. Didn’t love my job before maternity leave and definitely don’t love it after being a month back. Was thinking of starting the job search in the late summer/early fall after my baby is 1 and pumping is over and her immune system has somewhat adjusted to daycare and I don’t have to worry about taking multiple days off at a new job.

    But I’m ready to start something new and more days/weeks/months of this make me feel ughhhh. Am I crazy to think of applying to other jobs? Did anyone else start a job search so soon after returning from leave?

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      I had to do a job search during my “leave” as my old company went through financial difficulties and I was out of a job. This was not fun, and the first year was tough, but I got through it so it’s definitely feasible! I pumped at my new job – that shouldn’t be a problem with a reasonable company. If you decide to start a new job, make sure you have back-up care in place, or a spouse who can take off the sick days.

      It can’t hurt to see what else is out there, especially if you don’t have time pressures right now. I would definitely start looking and once you go on interviews, you can evaluate then.

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