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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?
Did anyone experience weight gain after reducing breast feeding? I have gained a few lbs since going to AM/PM and generally find it sooo much tougher to maintain my weight than I did while breastfeeding. I guess it makes sense bc I am burning less calories but I find myself just as hungry/ eating as much as before.
Yeah it’s super common, sorry.
Yup. My hunger did readjust after a few months, though.
YES. The first 4 months after I weaned I gained back every single one of the 35 pounds I had dropped while BFing. I am now right back at my (admittedly overweight) pre-pregnancy weight and have been holding steady there for the last 3-4 months. It’s so annoying, but we’re also TTC again, so I haven’t tried anything drastic to drop the weight again (fully expecting to spend my next pregnancy vomiting the entire time).
yes. two months later i started intermittent fasting. :-(
I found that my appetite did not go down at all until I partially weaned. I had been counting calories, and I could not drop my calories as needed. After fully weaning I was still hungry, but not so ravenous I could not concentrate at work like when I was nursing. I weaned faster the second time at least partly for this reason.
Yeah – I did Weight Watchers for a little bit just to get my snacking and portions back under control. I had just gotten accustomed to eating allllll the time.
TMI, but has anyone had problems with recurrent UTIs after having a baby? I had my first UTI at age 35 when I was a few weeks postpartum. It was a weird bacteria that’s known to be associated with catheter use, and the doctor chalked it up to that (I had an epidural). I figured that was just a one-off thing, but I’ve had numerous UTIs in the year since. Gardening isn’t that frequent with a baby and it feels like I get one almost every time we garden. I’m doing all the standard prevention things: cranberry supplement, staying very well-hydrated, taking probiotics, going to the bathroom right after gardening, and DH wears a cond*m. My doctor doesn’t seem worried about putting me on antibiotics constantly, but it’s starting to make me a little uncomfortable. Wondering if anyone else has had this experience and if you were able to find a solution for preventing them.
I believe there’s an antibiotic they can prescribe you to take after gardening as a prophylactic if you’re getting them frequently enough, rather than having to repeatedly be put on a full course.
Also, go potty (sorry, trying to avoid moderation) right after you garden. It helps flush bacteria out.
Audrey III says
I had this problem even pre-kids, and there is an antibiotic they can put you on to take every time you garden. It really helps.
Try non-latex condoms. You might be sensitive to latex and not realize it.
How much do you try to influence or control how much time your husband spends at home/with your kids? My husband has work-related or post-work activities most nights during the week, such that he gets home after the kids are in bed. I don’t mind at all for my own sake; I’m perfectly fine to get the kids and do the dinner/bedtime routine by myself. But for the sake of the kids, do they need their dad around more in the evenings? (They’re around preschool age.) Or is seeing him in the morning before work, on weekends, and on the night or two he is home in the evening enough?
Bottom line, if it’s not an issue for me or DH, do I need to make it an issue for the kids’ sake? I tell myself there are plenty of dads who work til 8-9 p.m. routinely, or who are out of town for stretches of a week or more at a time (or months in the case of military), and the kids do fine. I guess this maybe feels different because some of the activities are hobbies/discretionary, so he could cut back, but he obviously doesn’t want to of his own accord. But should I make the case to him that he should?
I would, yes. It’s not fair to you and it’s not fair to the kids.
It sounds like someone is making you feel bad about the current situation. Is it your kids? If you, your kids, and your spouse are happy, what is the problem? As your post indicated, there are plenty of parents who have inflexible or limited time to see their child. That does not automatically mean that there is an issue. We each have our own standards of what we need, what works for our child(ren), our marriages, and our families.
Thank you, that’s exactly where I am. Me, kids, and spouse are fine with it–but should I not be? The kids do ask, “Where’s Daddy?” when he’s not home, but it seems like more just for informational purposes. They’re not crying or saying, “I wish Daddy was here!” or anything like that.
Is he really involved and present with the kids when he’s home? I don’t think there’s anything magic about doing the bedtime routine on weekdays, but if your husband doesn’t want to spend time with kids, your kids will absolutely understand that and it will mess them up, even if they never complain about it. Ask me how I know.
And I think the “someone” who is making me feel bad is… society? The “studies” that show more positive outcomes for kids who sit down to family dinner nightly (even though logically I believe that’s correlation not causation — higher-SES families are more likely to have the luxury of sit-down dinners and also better outcomes for their kids).
Also I feel like there must be something wrong because of people like the above poster, i.e. moms who dislike their husbands being gone all the time and having to “do it all on their own” and that it’s not fair. TOTALLY VALID point of view, by the way! Just not one I happen to share. My attitude (as it’s evolving) is, maybe it’s not “fair” that he’s out and I’m home but… I don’t know. I prefer to be home. He prefers to be out. Does fair have to be equal/the same?
OP just said it doesn’t bother her. Unless the kids are complaining, I think it is fine for them too. The only way in which it might bother me for the sake of my kids is if they saw Dad getting to pursue his hobbies, but mom not getting to pursue hers. BUT you just said it doesn’t bother you or DH. If kids are not complaining then you guys should keep doing you!
This is a really good point. I do have my own hobbies, though they have me out of the house more like monthly, or are in conjunction with the kids’ activities. Two of my biggest hobbies are also reading and writing, which fortunately I’m able to do sitting right there in the living room with them! Maybe I should make it a point to make that clear to them, like, “I’m really enjoying reading my book right now, why don’t you guys go play over there?” or “Mommy is doing some writing right now, do you want to color next to me while I do that?”
Honestly, I think having a happy, well-balanced parent that you see fewer nights a week is a lot more healthy than a parent you see every night who resents that you’re keeping them from pursuing interests. If he needs outside hobbies and finds them fulfilling, it’s better to have a fulfilled parent/spouse around who is able to contribute fully when they are around.
Of course, my answer would change if you felt like you were handling an unfair amount of the load, or if he was going out and doing these activities even if you were feeling overwhelmed or had a really big work deadline and needed him to step in etc. But if YOU feel like it’s fair and you don’t resent him for it, I don’t see a problem. Like you said, plenty of people have schedules that cause them to miss bedtime, I don’t really think the “why” matters so much.
I don’t know, I’d be peeved about doing the bedtime routine so often but mostly because I find the daycare pick-up, bus commute, dinner scramble, pjs, stories quite exhausting. But if it doesn’t bother you, then it’s fine? Are you bearing the brunt of the housework etc as a result though?
Thankfully, we have a weekly cleaning service, but as between me and DH for what’s left, yes I definitely do the vast majority (daily dishwasher loading, laundry, cooking, etc.)
Yeah, we have a weekly cleaning service as well but the day to day stuff is probably 45-60 minutes a day. Are you getting enough time together? We go to bed quite early so that kid bedtime – our bedtime is our couple time.
CPA Lady says
My husband was gone (working, not optional activities) 75-90% of the time for 3.5 of the last 5 years. We made it happen because it was part of a purposefully temporary career strategy that paid off and has allowed him to have a great work from home job now where he can spend a ton of time with us.
3 drawbacks I can think of:
1. I am the preferred parent and my daughter is clingy with me to the point of it being something I’m considering putting her in therapy for. It’s intense and can be exhausting. It’s possible that this would have happened even if DH had been present for her whole life, but it feels related.
2. My dad was not present when I was growing up because he was busy doing optional things, and we currently have zero relationship. You can’t cats-in-the-cradle your kid and expect them to want to have a close relationship with you later.
3. If he’s very proactive about parenting and you getting to relax and go do things for yourself during times when he’s there, that’s one thing, and I would not have a problem with that set up if you’re happy with it. But if he’s not and it’s you doing 100% of everything most days, and still doing a ton when he’s there, I’d be unhappy with the message about gender roles that is sending to your kids.
Thanks, this is a really helpful comment. He and the kids have a nice, loving relationship now, for sure, based on how he does engage with them when he is around. But it’s good to keep in mind — you reap what you sow. I’m sorry to hear about you and your dad, that must be hard.
Boston Legal Eagle says
I don’t think it’s the amount of time the kids spend with either parent, it’s more about the interactions when they’re together. If dad were home every night but zoned out in front of the TV, or otherwise completely disengaged and resentful of the kids, then that’s not great for anyone (at least, it wouldn’t be for me). As long as you’re fine with your workload and amount of personal time you get and that he engages with the kids when he’s there, then it seems fine. There’s nothing magic about having family dinner every single night – it’s not the act of dinner itself, it’s more about the interaction between kids and parents, and parents as a couple, that matters most, IMHO.
+100 as anecdotal support for this my dad traveled a ton when I was a kid and even when he was in town he was working late a lot. But we knew that he loved us and when he was around he was very attentive/engaged. He helped coach sports teams, took us to run errands, talked to us on the phone when he was traveling. We have a much closer relationship than most of my friends do with their dads who were objectively physically present much more during their childhood. Dinner itself isn’t magical, it’s the idea of having even 15 minutes a day where parents can have a keyed in conversation with their kids and hear about their day, etc.
I’m really surprised that a group of women who regularly criticize SAHMs as anti-feminist are so “you do you” about this. From the perspective of modeling gender roles for your kids, I think this is no better than a SAHM arrangement. Actually, it’s worse, because her kids are learning that women work outside the home and still do the vast majority of the childcare and housework. If you have sons, how can you possibly expect them to be equal partners to their working wives when they’ve seen their working mom do everything? And if you have daughters, you’re teaching them to expect nothing of their partners.
Gender roles aside, it’s really hurtful to kids to know that their dad prioritizes hobbies over them. My dad was a lot like your husband. We had basically no relationship from the time I was a preteen until my mid-30s when I had a child. We’re gradually repairing our relationship now, because he ADORES my daughter and is being the kind of grandfather to her that he should have been father to me, but I really wish he would have just parented me better in the first place so we didn’t need a re-do.
I agree with this. A friend is dealing with this now because her DH continued his hobbies after baby because at first she didn’t care because baby was small and not interactive. Now that kiddo is older she wants DH to spend more time but now the gender roles seem sort of set and he’s being a jerk about changing.
+1 – This is what bothers me a little – what’s being modeled to the children. But if he’s available, an involved parent and they see him doing the chores in the morning and on weekends, it would concern me less.
I really appreciate this perspective — you’ve articulated well what I’m concerned about and the pressure I feel that in some abstract sense there’s some problem with this arrangement, that it falls short of the ideal. But then I struggle to define: what is the ideal? On this board, it would seem to be, two working parents, who have schedules that allow them to be home for dinner, who cover each other (or hire help) when work is more demanding and doesn’t allow that; parents equally split times when kids and work conflict (dr appts, sick days, school holidays); parents equally split house work; each parent has their own hobbies and “me time” but still gives the kids all the time/attention the kids need and supports the kids’ hobbies and interests, and they also find “couple time” either in those hours before bed or on regular date nights. I mean, as I’m describing it, that seems like an impossible standard. But are we going with the premise that that’s what we “should” be modeling?
And thinking about what DH and I are actually modeling: is it inherently bad? That’s more or less my original question. Your analysis above correctly points out that *what I’m modeling* is that DH is out of the house more often than not, engaging in his own interests and hobbies, while I handle things on the home front while working full time. But to say that therefore, it’s bad to have this arrangement *because* it’s bad to model it for my kids begs the question.
I definitely don’t think parents have to split every task equally or be home for dinner every night. DH does almost 100% of the cooking in our house, I do far more of the emotional labor; I do more of the daily drop-off and pick-ups but he is the primary sick day/snow day parent. I don’t know too many people – here or IRL – that split every task 50/50. I personally think family dinners have value, but I’ve never heard anyone here say families need to eat dinner together every night. I think we all agree date nights have value for the marriage and pursuing hobbies/meeting friends has value for an individual parent’s happiness, which in turns translates to family/kid happiness. What caused me to push back was your comment in the OP that your DH arrives home most nights after the kids are in bed and your follow-up comment you do the “vast majority” of the housework, presumably in the evenings while he’s out. There are ways for your setup to be more equitable even if he’s missing the bedtime routine most days (if for example, as someone mentioned below, he handles mornings all by himself most of the time) but it didn’t sound to me from your posts like that was the case.
I totally agree and hope I didn’t come off as defensive! This conversation has actually inspired me to look at outsourcing laundry, another of the big home tasks that I take care of that it would be a relief not to have to worry about (though obviously I would be the one arranging the laundry service and making sure the clothes are ready for pickup, ha).
I’m not trying to hammer on you and appreciate your gracious response, but I’m surprised that your takeaway from my post about gender roles is that you should outsource the laundry. Having mom do everything that isn’t outsourced is essentially the same from your kids’ perspective as having mom do everything. It’s easier on you, which is important, but it doesn’t teach your sons to step up at home or teach your daughters to expect their husbands to step up. If you want to model more equitable division of household responsibility, you need to transfer chores to your husband, not to an outside provider.
Not to be super pedantic, but mathematically, outsourcing more of my work does make the division more equitable. If DH does 2 hours of chores per week and I do 10, then I outsource an additional 2 of mine, now we’re at 2 and 8. It’s another way to skin the cat. :)
I actually think what you just described as an impossible standard sounds pretty reasonable! It’s just splitting things evenly! I would say we achieve that except we might not do well with “parents have own hobbies and ‘me time'” – I think that’s something a lot of people on this board would say has to be reduced during at least the young kids phase of life. Right now, my kids are my outside interest, and that’s true of my husband too. But he’s been picking up golf again during weekend kid naps, so maybe that’s possible too, I don’t know.
Also we do not always achieve the impossible, that’s just the goal. I think you should be asking if that’s what you want to aim for, in which case go for it! If not, no worries. But don’t write off an equal split as impossible!
I think you’re being a bit willfully obtuse here, honestly. There is a lot of space between, on the one hand, both parents splitting chores and childcare perfectly evenly and having ample time for themselves, their kids and their marriage and, on the other hand, one parent missing bedtime most nights while the other parent gets the kids fed, bathed and to bed and then does all the housework after the kids are in bed. I doubt most people achieve the former, but I think a lot of people aim for it, and it doesn’t mean the latter is ok. There’s a lot of room in between.
I will tell you as one data point that my husband is definitely more of an extrovert than I am, so he goes out more and misses the bedtime routine more than I do. On nights when I’m solely responsible for dinner and bedtime, I leave all the dishes and tidying up for him to do after he gets home. It seems like a pretty even split to me – one parent is doing the housework, one parent is doing the childcare. Having him pick up more housework on days he misses bedtime would be a start, imo.
CPA Lady says
My premise is that having two working parents with their own careers, desires, and needs is a balancing act and despite that being sometimes difficult, it’s unacceptable *to me* to teach my kid that the man gets to do whatever he wants all the time while the woman picks up the slack and does the “vast majority” of the housekeeping and childcare. Clearly, as I mentioned above, I’m okay with periods of imbalance and sacrifices being made for long term goals, but it’s not acceptable to me on a permanent basis. FWIW, my husband makes way more money than I do, and I still feel this way. It’s not about money, it’s about what I’m teaching my daughter about the value of women and what she should expect from a future partner.
I disagree. First, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a SAHM, and my husband is a SAHD (with a very part-time side gig). Second, if someone posted here feeling guilty that they do the morning routine and play with their kids on weekends but miss most nights during the week for work/hobbies they find fulfilling, most people would be supportive. Basically, just because the gender roles are NOT reversed, doesn’t mean the arrangement is inherently wrong.
OP, if you do feel like you handle an unfair amount of the load, your husband can do chores when he gets home or in the morning while the kids eat breakfast or on the weekends. My husband (again, SAHD) does almost all of the day-to-day stuff during the week. On the weekends, the division of labor is much closer to 50/50. We each also have some tasks that are more flexible on when they’re done and suit our personalities/strengths.
With respect to gender roles, you can’t equate SAHM and SAHD though – one is re-enforcing gender norms, one is flipping them on their head. Acting like they’re equally feminist decisions is really silly.
Right but is it inherently better to flip gender norms on their head versus adhering to them? What is the goal?
There’s nothing wrong with having family breakfasts. Does he take charge of, or fully participate in the mornings? It wouldn’t bother me if he generally handled mornings and you handled evenings – I know several couples who do that, mostly because one of them is a morning person and the other is a night owl.
My husband is rarely home for kiddo bedtime and we are fine with this arrangement. My job is significantly more flexible than his, and to be completely frank, he makes about 5x more money than I do, so this is just what works best for our family right now. Eventually when the kids stay up later than 7pm, he will be home before bedtime – but for now, he is usually only home early on Fridays or if I have other plans (work or personal).
He is a great dad otherwise though! Spends lots of quality time with the kids in the mornings and on the weekends, and I do not find that I am always the preferred parent. Bottom line, OP if you are happy, I would just let it go!
*hugs* Thank you, I relate to this so strongly. And yes, I didn’t mention but it seems relevant that DH makes over 2.5x what I make (which is plenty). Another way in which our family contributions are not “equal” that actually comes out in his favor. :)
Nooo. It’s not relevant. Don’t fall into this trap. If you both work full-time, and especially if your income is “plenty,” you are both the breadwinner(s). You are not a SAHM or close to it and you should not excuse him from chores just because he makes more.
I don’t know that I agree that it’s not relevant. Why is it okay for to me to earn half what he earns, but not okay for him to do half as many chores as I do?
Okay, now I am sure you live under a bridge.
Haha, I really don’t, I’m seriously asking! Why is it taken as gospel that we’re not allowed to evaluate careers/contributions to the family on the basis of income? If DH were to sit around and ask his friends, “Do you think it’s an issue that DW only makes about 40% of what I make? I don’t really have a problem with it, but on the other hand she could take a higher-paying job if she gave up more of her time at home and with the kids and we hired a nanny instead…” He’d be laughed out of the room, but why is it taboo to suggest that partners should earn equally in addition to contributing to the household equally in other ways?
Yep, I thought bridge dweller from the beginning.
Because you earn plenty to support your family yourself? How are you subservient to him if you work similar hours and your salary is more than enough to provide for your family? You’re either a bridge dweller or stuck in the 1950s.
I’m not saying the lesser-earning partner is automatically “subservient” to the greater-earning partner (whatever the gender makeup is) — I’m just pushing back against this concept that we have to completely disregard each partner’s relative income when thinking about how our lives are structured.
+1. And it’s even less relevant because he’s not always at work when he’s not at home. Making more money might justify staying late at the office (that’s how it works in my family, as I make 5x what my husband does) but it does not buy that person more leisure time. In your case, the breakdown in responsibilities just reinforces terrible gender norms (along the same lines as “my salary barely covers childcare so I might as well stay home” – no, paying for childcare allows both parents to work, not just moms!) And of course, salaries are influenced by gender – both in what careers people choose, who gets hired/promoted, and even between peers. Your kids will see that imbalance in gender, earning power, and responsibilities at home play out 1000x outside of your home. Undoing all of that requires active work, and means men taking an active, visible role in front of kids in taking care of day-to-day housework and childcare, regardless of what paycheck they bring in.
I work a super demanding job and make $300K a year plus bonus and my husband is a SAHD, and I can confirm it certainly does not buy me more leisure time. It barely buys me enough time to be able to work the long hours and late nights that my job requires without a lot of kvetching (there are tradeoffs to everything).
He shouldn’t get more leisure/social time just because he earns more! Working late in a demanding job that earns more money is an entirely different story.
But why? Take 3 possible jobs: (A) earn X and work 8-6 (B) earn 2X and work 8-8 and (C) earn 2X and work 8-6. It would be okay for DH to have job B but not to have job C then do a hobby from 6-8, instead he has to come home from 6-8 and do chores and childcare?
You start to see why it’s a stereotype that male associates with young kids at law firms bill the most hours…
I don’t get what this has to do wtih male associates and billing, that’s not a hobby.
Money does not determine your self-worth or your contribution to your family and saying it does is incredibly backwards and hurts women (who are the lower earners on average). I understand the argument that if someone’s job demands more of them, they should do less at home, so parents have equal leisure time. But if you work similar hours and he thinks he’s higher earning entitles him to more time off? Nah girl get out of here. Make him pull his weight. You are teaching your kids a terrible lesson here and I feel really bad for the women who marry your sons if you have them.
The comment about male associates is to say that, if the choice is between (1) leave work at 8 p.m. and come home to a quiet house with kids in bed and (2) go home and do chores, you can see why some men choose to do (1).
I am assuming you are one of those men who chooses to do (1) and you are looking for justification to go to happy hour instead?
“The comment about male associates is to say that, if the choice is between (1) leave work at 8 p.m. and come home to a quiet house with kids in bed and (2) go home and do chores, you can see why some men choose to do (1).”
And I would say that needs to change – especially until female associates do that exact same thing equally. And there’s option (3) – work after bedtime. Because this female associate goes home, does chores/kid work alongside her husband (at least 3 days/week, schedule depending), and then logs back on. If facetime is that important at the male associate’s firm, it’s even more incumbent on him to make it known that he is going home to take care of the house and will be available later. Not taking active steps to combat gender roles is how the patriarchy works and why we still have gender imbalance in law firm partnership.
This is us too. My job is much more flexible, and DH has a solo law practice, owns another company, and holds an elected position, so he is much busier and makes more money than I do. He is probably only home for bedtime a couple nights per week, but if I struggle getting the kids (particularly our infant) to bed, I’ll call him and he will come home and help. I don’t think we’re doing any detriment to our kids. He is otherwise involved, getting up in the night with the baby, taking the older kid out to do things, doing family things on the weekends, etc. I’m also more of a homebody than he is, so this works for us for now. If what you’re doing is working for you, I wouldn’t be too concerned about what you “should” be doing instead.
Thank you, this resonates with me. And “this works for us for now” is exactly right — nothing is forever. Just because this is how it is now, doesn’t mean it’s how it will be even a few months from now, let alone a few years once the kiddos are older and engaged in more activities that he can be involved in.
For some reason I can’t reply directly to the “what is the goal” comment so doing so here.
I don’t agree that the goal is a 50/50 split all the time, just because some couples will have imbalanced strengths and weaknesses. For me, right now, relatively early in career and family, the goal is to..maximize income AND maximize amount of time available for family and chores for both of us. For us right now this means I have the anchor job and husband works part time (we probably gave up future earnings to do it this way because he is in a career that long term is more lucrative). And in an ideal world, in NONE of this would gender be a consideration at all — you just create your equation and then move forward. So in Clara’s case her doing more housework and husband out-earning her is just part of the equation.
Except that to get to a world where gender doesn’t matter you have to go through a world where gender matters very much, and where roles are being re-defined, and so yes there’s something just all in all “good” that happens when a woman is working and not doing all of the housework. It probably just makes her happier not to do it (and I sat probably) but also because it helps redefine roles for the rest of us, and gives our children more true freedom in choosing how they’d like to organize things.
We’ve had various iterations of this. For our family it worked OK as long as:
– The kids were small and didn’t have many post-school/daycare activities
– Husband spent a lot of time with the kids in the morning
Ultimately we decided that the schedule didn’t work for our family as the kids got a little older. In your shoes, I would think about the future. Do you ever want to do things after work, either work-related or fun? Is there an avenue for that? I’m not sure how old your kids are, but how will you handle after-school activities as they get older? Will your husband change his schedule then?
Okay, I’m 100% convinced now that you do live under a bridge on some dim corner of the internet, but I’ll spell it out: the cute setup that apparently works for your individual family is bad for society, sorry. And yes, it is inherently better to question (not flip) gender norms, since you seem to be so into questioning everything.
‘Man earns more, woman works less and shoulders more of the emotional labor’ is a story that we tell about gender norms – about how societies work. This story is limiting to women, men, and society more broadly. It limits the possibilities that women and men and girls and boys envision for themselves and their families.
‘Money and work entitle you to more time off’ is another terrible story to teach your children. The flip side of that story suggests that SAHMs are worthless, which is the farthest thing from the truth – and if you agree that household labor is a significant contribution to your family, the people who put in the household labor ought to have comparative leisure time.
Thank you GCA for laying it out…. I’ve been lurking silently through this conversation thinking the same thing.
Yes, I was trying to say this above but you said it better.
People on this board make decisions all the time that benefit/prioritize their individual family over the good of society. Just think of all the threads affirming the choice to send your kids to the private schools because the public ones are not “the best” and you can’t possibly sacrifice your child. Or getting divorced even, to take the argument further, because intact families generally correlate to a more stable society. In some (many) cases it is entirely appropriate to do what works for your family and not try to make a political statement with every choice.
Thank you, glad I’m not the only one who had that thought. Also aren’t these two statements diametrically opposed:
“‘Man earns more, woman works less and shoulders more of the emotional labor’ is a story that we tell about gender norms – about how societies work.”
“The flip side of that story suggests that SAHMs are worthless, which is the farthest thing from the truth.”
So, are we being SAHMs because they are the “farthest thing from” worthless, or are we not being SAHMs because that’s a “story we tell about gender norms”? Just want to make sure I’m smashing the patriarchy in the correct way!
Actually, this is how I prefer to smash the patriarchy :)
And yet, practically every week there is a thread “Why won’t my husband pull his weight?” “Why am I doing all the emotional labor?” “How do I get my husband to be an equal partner?” Well now we know…because they were raised by women like you and the OP. Do whatever you want, but don’t pretend you’re doing something that’s objectively good, because it’s not (and I would not say the same about private vs public school or divorce, fwiw – there are lots of situations where divorce is objectively a good thing for the children).
I agree with you 100%–people who are raised in households with traditional gender roles are likely to expect and emulate that in their own marriages, both men and women. Thus, it’s smart to look at your fiance’s parents’ marriage and make sure it’s the type of marriage you want to have — because odds are, that’s what you’ll get (and your fiance should do the same with respect to your family). But to me, this isn’t a “his mom did a horrible job raising him” issue, it’s a compatibility issue. Pick someone whose approach to life lines up with what you want in a partner.
I’m struggling with how to say this, but the fact that your husband is never home in the evenings is creating space in your marriage for him to have an affair. Ask me how I know. We’re now in counseling together, and I can say firmly that we BOTH wish we had insisted on a more equitable division of child-rearing and home-based labor.
If you don’t think this could happen, I encourage you to read “Not Just Friends” by Shirley Glass. She explains how most infidelity today isn’t men out looking for sex or affairs. It’s coworkers who start out as friends, become increasingly close emotionally, and then that spills over into physical intimacy.
I’m sorry to hear that happened, and thank you for sharing when it can’t have been easy to do. What do you wish you’d done differently specifically, if you don’t mind saying more?
Basically, the division of labor you describe led to us leading separate lives. (This took years, by the way.) And ultimately created space for my spouse to have an affair. By that time, our lives were so compartmentalized that, until counseling, spouse truly believed the affair had nothing to do with me or our marriage, which was “great”.
Shirley Glass talks about the myth that spouses who have affairs cheat because they aren’t “getting enough” (love, sex, companionship) at home when, in fact, it’s spouses who aren’t “giving enough” who cheat because they are less invested in the marriage. We spent our very first counseling session together making a “mental load” schedule to try to fix that, but it’s going to take years to rebalance. I wish we had never let ourselves get so far off track.
My dad worked out of town overnight two nights a week and every Saturday starting when I was five and my brother was 1. We’re both closer to our dad than our mom, because he loved and supported us no matter what. (My mom was pretty judgmental, though I realize now she has a lot of social anxiety that drives this behavior.). So really the question is whether your husband is a good dad when he is there.
My google-fu is failing. Do you know where I can buy about 20 pairs of kids socks in a specific pattern? I’m looking for rainbow or colorful socks.
Something like this?
Oooh thanks! This is so close! I am looking for 20 socks with the same pattern (for a party).
Primary has a rainbow/striped package of 7.
Gap occasionally does single pairs but this would get expensive quickly.
They’re not that cheap, but they are identical!
my mother in law ordered these shoes in a different color and accidentally shipped them to our home. it took me a bit to figure that out, so i tried them on and they are actually quite comfortable! i’m considering ordering a pair for myself. i’m just cheap when it comes to shoes and wish they were a bit less.
Some recent book recs- There Are No Bears in This Bakery is hilarious! My just-2 year old loves it, although I suspect it is for older kids. It is long though! Also This Is Owl, we just read it this am and he got what he was supposed to do right away. Very neat interactive book.
What else is your kid loving lately?
Boston Legal Eagle says
Dragons Love Tacos – “Dragons love parties. Dragons love tacos. They especially love taco parties.” Cute, short book that is fun for everyone to read. Older son is also enjoying old school Curious George and the National Geographic kids books.
The Grufalo is my 3 year old’s favorite at the moment. Obsessed.
We love the Gruffalo, and the Gruffalo’s Child. I’ve hidden Stickman though, we love all the other Donaldson books but this one is so long and boring.
the gruffalo play is excellent. keep an eye out for when it is performed near you.
My 4-year-old has loved Make Way for Ducklings and One Morning in Maine this summer. He’s also really into What Do People Do All Day, which is great because I was pretty tired of Cars and Trucks and Things That Go (we’ve read it a LOT). And he loves the Magic Tree House books lately.
My almost 2 year old requests The Pout Pout Fish daily. We also love the Gruffalo!
4yo is stealing (well – revisiting and enjoying) baby sister’s board books (all of Sandra Boynton and the Toot Toot Beep Beep/ Little Blue Truck etc series.)
Other picture books: He loves Robert McCloskey (One Morning in Maine is looong!) and is also into Frog & Toad, Magic Tree House and Ladybug Girl series.
Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls was an unexpected hit.
Oliver Jeffries’ ‘Stuck’ and Herve Tullet’s ‘Press Here’ had him in stitches.
The 1yo – she loves the classics. Dear Zoo, Toot Toot Beep Beep, Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, and anything with pictures of vehicles, animals or babies in it.
2-yo is requesting Tiny T-Rex and the Impossible Hug every single day. It’s super random.
My three year old thinks Interrupting Chicken is super funny. Also recently received a book called Shark vs. Train (which is legitimately cute and funny) and loooves that. I feel like that could be relevant to a lot of kids interests.
Mom School/Dad School, Go to Bed Monster, and Little Cub.
Cb, we still love your recommendation from a while ago, Oh No George. (I think it was you, anyway!) My son loves it. Just bought it for a friend, too.
Currently we are reading that really fancy dinosaur pop-up book, a Cat in the Hat dinosaur book, ABC of Star Wars, Chomp Chomp Goes the Alligator, Julian Is a Mermaid, and the Thomas and Friends encyclopedia.
Reusable snack bag suggestions? I hate throwing out so many zip locks for our endless bags of goldfish and crackers. Looking for something that we can use for those snacks. Nothing seems like the obvious choice when I search amazon.
We just use ziplocs and wash/reuse them… they’re easier to wash and dry faster than any offficially reusable bags that I’ve tried.
If you are refilling the bag with the same dry snack, do you really need to wash it between uses? I reuse ziplocs to freeze bread over and over until they wear out, without ever washing it.
After grubby hands have used it — yes.
True, we don’t wash the ones with Goldfish or animals crackers in them very often, but I was thinking of things like pepper strips and cheese slices, which I don’t want to let sit forever.
I like the Bumpkins ones, although I wouldn’t leave a crunchy snack in them for more than a day or 2 as they aren’t totally airtight so stuff will get stale. Totally fine if you refill it everyday, I would guess. I throw mine in the washing machine and air dry.
+1, although we put ours in the dishawasher
For goldfish and other small dry snacks I like the skiphop snack cups (they actually have a lid unlike other snack cups, though not 100% air tight). I don’t think they would work very well for crackers though.
yes, we use the oxo containers for small dry snacks.
Stasher brand! They seal really well, hold up in the dishwasher, and come in lots of colors and sizes. Apparently you can also sous vide in them but I haven’t tried that yet.
Co-sign the Stasher recommendation. Not cheap, but seal well and we find all sorts of surprising uses for them. We haven’t been able to completely eliminate Ziploc use, but dramatically reduced it!
Dr. Brown’s Tummy Grummbles! Super easy to close.
I hate Stasher ones — the silicone crushes sandwiches and crackers and they don’t open enough to get really clean in the dishwasher.
I like the Re-zip brand with the flat bottoms. They wash and dry in the dishwasher and they don’t destroy food.
College Football Maternity Wear? says
With college football season approaching and my 20-week belly rapidly growing, any recommendations on where to find college sports team maternity wear? Seriously, I can’t find anything.
I think your best bet is just sizing up. This doesn’t work if you live in the south, but sweatshirts tend to be very forgiving. I’m normally a size M and could wear size L sweatshirts until I gave birth at almost 41 weeks.
I may have seen stuff like this on Zulily, although can’t you just size up in a non-fitted t-shirt (jersey? I don’t know, not a sports person). I wore some of my husband’s t-shirts when I was pregnant.
I wore my husband’s stuff.
Yep, size up in official fan gear or just go with maternity clothing in the right colors sans logo. You could always add an accessory scarf/hat/necklace/etc. with the team logo to pull it together.
An actual store in the college town. This worked for my big ten school.
Has anyone used a small home daycare? Besides online reviews and calling references, how did you vet the provider? I visited a home daycare/drop-in childcare provider in our neighborhood today that has stellar reviews and got a wonderful vibe from the owner and teachers. They are not licensed (this is allowed in our state for 5 or fewer kids). Has anyone used a service to background check a place like this? Does your calculus change depending on the amount of time kiddo will spend there (drop-in vs. full-time)? I had never considered a home care option until this place so I hadn’t thought through the pros and cons of in-home care.
In our state they are licensed, so I went with that + visit + word of mouth (references). But this is also not really someone’s home – no one actually lives there. Its the kind of license they have.
We used 2 in home day cares for full time care and had wonderful experiences. We didn’t do more vetting beyond visiting/interviewing the provider/calling references, but in my state they had to be licensed which mine both were. If it helps, the other things I would just consider/ask about that you don’t have to with a nanny or facility:
1) Who else lives in the home? Are they around/can you meet them/what do the references say about these people? In our state anyone who lives in an in home day care also has to be fingerprinted even if they are not involved in the care, not sure if something like that exists in your state. Who else comes and goes throughout the day?
2) Are there pets? Are they around the kids? If not, how are they consistently kept separate? How do you feel about this? Have there ever been any incidents with the pets & a kid?
The pros in my view were I liked the more “homey” vibe at an in-home vs. a center; they are the livelihood of the people who own them so ours really were passionate about the whole operation; & I just liked the set up of not being a sole employer of a nanny & figuring out all the salary/taxes etc. I would have considered a center but they were less conveniently located for us, & in-home tends to be more affordable.
If for a young infant, I’d ask a lot about how things are done and try to spend some time there. Things like back to sleep, no blankets, that are safety-related. So much has changed in the past few decades and I’d want to confirm practices are up to date (good to check for a licensed facility too, but even more important for unlicensed).
+1. My nieces have gone to an in-home daycare run by an amazing woman who has really become like another grandmother to them. However, she does a couple things like allowing infants to nap in swings/RnP, that I would not have been comfortable with (granted, my nieces actually napped at daycare and neither of my kids did as infants, so there’s that!).
In my state programs can become voluntarily licensed so I did not consider unlicensed in-home daycares. I vetted by reviewing DSS inspection reports first, then doing in-person visits. I would do a pretty thorough interview for sure.
-I would 100% conduct a background investigation on all adults living in the home, not just the individual providing care (this is a requirement for most licensed in-home daycares)
-Ask about firearms, how they’re stored, etc.
-Ask to look at all childcare areas. Look for unprotected outlets, where cleaning chemicals are stored, etc.
-If you observe a diaper change, is the caregiver washing hands before and after?
-Ask about emergency plans
-Ask for a vaccination record from the caregiver
-Ask if they have a landline phone (it is highly recommended that in-home centers have a landline phone. There are many documented cases of valuable time being wasted looking for a cell phone to call 911 in in-home daycare emergencies)
-Speak to every.single.other.kids parents if they are willing (our provider provided all of the names and numbers to us)
Honestly, I would look up inspection reports from in-home programs that ARE licensed, take note of all of the safety things they inspect, and either ask about/take a look at those things myself.
In my state they must be licensed, regardless of # of kiddos. Can you find one that is licensed, or are you into this particular one? I *might* be ok with 2-3 really good references where I could actually meet the referring parent in person, but I like using licensed providers because the state does all the work for you.
Private background checks are a thing, because I’ve had landlords do them on me (for creditworthiness, criminal history, etc), but one thing the state license also vets is how up to date the provider is on CPR and other continuing ed classes. The state also inspects the home unannounced to make sure that, for example, cleaning supplies are kept where children cannot access them. That’s a tough thing to vet out as an individual parent.
I would have the same gut instinct about wanting a license provider, but if you think about it, a nanny is not licensed and lots of people use those. I think if you have really strong references and a great feeling when you met the provider in person, that’s probably the most important thing.
How do I go about getting treatment for anxiety? Is this something I schedule with my PCP? Do I google around for a therapist? Where can I learn about the different types of therapy? And meds?
I’m just now realizing that some of my quirky over-planning and over-thinking are getting in the way of me enjoying my life. E.g. this weekend we had guests in from out of town. In an effort to release some of the resentment I feel for taking on all the tasks for things like this, I asked DH to make a menu and do the grocery shopping (we’d be 4 adults and 4 kids, plus 2 more adults one night for dinner). DH is the main cook in the house, so this is a good task for him. We got in a snippy row when I saw that he had only planned for the one big dinner, and only planned cereal for breakfasts and had no lunch plans for either day. He said he didn’t want to “overplan,” figuring we’d go out one night for dinner and play it by ear for lunches. He knows I hate playing things by ear because it makes me anxious. So I said, ok, where do you suppose we’ll be for the lunch and dinner hours– are we going out? Where? What are our plans? Part of the issue is that it was going to be rainy all weekend, so we were probably going to be home for more time than we otherwise would be if outside activities were an option. DH said he didn’t have any plans for our guests, and that we would, again, play it by ear. I made a list of possible options of things to do. On the one sunny day, we were slow to get out of the house, the teenager was still sleeping and the adults were sipping coffee and chatting. I was flitting about like a hummingbird, counting down the hours we’d have in the sunshine. Plus my toddler was the only one of the bunch who still naps, so there was a soft end-time for being out before the little one melted down and it stopped being fun for me. We finally got out of the house and I couldn’t stop ushering the group to the next thing, worried the storm could hit at any moment before we got to the things on our list of things to do while the weather was still nice. Then of course, the toddler melted down and I had to take him away from the group to distract him and entertain him until everyone was ready to head home, all the while I’m both resenting that I don’t get to enjoy the outing AND feeling relieved to get some time away. Plus that night for the big dinner, we ran out of food! Just writing this all out is giving me anxiety. Anyway, there are countless more examples from this weekend alone and the visit ended with me feeling exhausted and inadequate. I used to think this was just a characteristic of a Type A personality, but after this weekend it feels like more than that. Plus my resentment of DH is through the roof. I need help, right? Where do I start?
Yes, you need help. I mean that kindly. I’d start with calling your PCP and asking for a referral to therapy – tell them what you said here.
To answer your question, you can just make an appointment with your GP. I have done just medication, and also tried therapy before resorting to going back on medication, and both were fine options. Therapy was helpful to a point, but the medication is what really improved my life.
That said, I don’t feel like your reaction to the food situation was unreasonable or a symptom of anxiety (coming from another planner who is medicated for anxiety). Cereal for breakfast isn’t that big of a deal, but the rest of it is. It’s one thing to figure you will go out to eat for one dinner, but planning one meal out of five and “playing the rest by ear” is not a reasonable plan, unless he bought like sandwich fixings or some other food options to have on hand when the time came to figure something out. This isn’t anxiety…it’s just being a good host.
Your reaction to the plans sounds similar to how I was pre-Lexapro. I would have done the exact same thing. Now, I would have just warned everyone toddler had a hard stop and probably insisted on driving separately so I could leave when he melted down. I also have no problem using toddler as an excuse to break off from the group and move faster with my toddler. That way I can still enjoy the experience and everyone else can still do what they want. The difference is that I don’t get super stressed about it anymore.
OP here. This is really helpful, thanks. Now that I read the comments, I do think the food thing is a separate issue (objectively bad hosting) from the plans (maybe anxiety-related). Thanks.
Different approaches work for different people but FWIW I had similar issues and half a year of CBT did wonders.
anon for this says
I agree. I have had both situational anxiety that you describe here, which CBT helps with, and other more pervasive types of anxiety (related to PPD/PPA, and also to PTSD) which required medication. Not to say medication might not help you eventually in combination with therapy, or to diminish your feelings, but I think you could make some changes prior to meds that would be helpful.
Where can I read about this? I don’t know how to name my anxiety (situational/ pervasive) or the different kinds of treatments (different meds, therapies). Any suggestions on where I can learn more about this (because it helps me to learn more about a thing)?
It may be a good option for you to start with a referral to a therapist. It was helpful for me to talk through what I was experiencing and to make a decision jointly with my therapist that going back on Lexapro was a good step for me (my GP prescribed the Lexapro). A therapist would be able to help you identify what triggers your anxiety, how in manifests, and may be able to recommend some non-medication approaches for you to try (which are very effective for some people, and helped me to reduce my anxiety).I don’t know if they can offer information about medications – I specifically requested Lexapro since I had been on it before so I never broached that discussion with my therapist.
I identify with a lot of what you wrote. I think sometimes it’s just hard to be the only one who plans like this. I do think it makes sense to see a therapist to talk through your frustrations and help develop strategies for coping — whether it’s figuring out places where you can ease up on planning and talking through the consequences of not planning, or figuring out how to interact with others around it.
I have had luck searching on pscyhologytoday dot com by practice area, location, and insurance. I called and spoke with 2-3 people on the phone before selecting one to try in-person, and ended up doing really well with her.
I don’t think you necessarily have anxiety, I think your husband is a terrible planner with no regard for you or your guests. If you attempt to “play it by ear” with a large group, you will inevitably end up sitting around the house the whole day and ordering pizza or going out to eat. (Ask me how I know.) With a large group, somebody needs to take charge and at least narrow down the activity options to a manageable list from which the group can choose. Somebody needs to be keeping an eye on the weather, opening and closing times, etc. And if you’re going to improvise meals, you need to have some easy ingredient options on hand.
I think her husband sounds like a great host, actually. It’s good to give your guests input on the meals and activities and not just present them with a super detailed itinerary when they show up. They’re not cruise directors. Nowhere did she say they had no food on hand, just that everything wasn’t planned in great detail in advance.
OP here. We straight up ran out of food at the one dinner that he planned, though. And he didn’t buy any at-home lunch options– sandwich fixings or things to grill or whatever. We had food in the house, because we live there with our two kids, but not enough to present a whole meal option for all the people. I just don’t feel comfortable telling people to scrounge around the fridge or cabinets without being able to say that we have fixings to make a, b, or c. Especially since this was the first time these guests had ever stayed with us. It would be one thing if it were our parents or siblings or something (even then I wouldn’t like it but it might be more acceptable?). This set of circumstances strikes me as objectively bad planning and hosting on my DH’s part. But it sounds like you disagree. It’s helpful to get other perspectives on it.
I agree with you. It would be one thing if he said “well I bought bread, some cheeses, and some lunch meat, and we have PB&J already” but to not even have an option to offer would bug me.
Definitely sounds like he needs more specific direction in the future.
I missed that he ran out of food at the dinner he planned, that’s not good. With the caveat that everyone we host is family or good friends and we don’t tend to do a lot of cooking at home normally, we basically do what your husband did except for running out of food at the one planned dinner. We always have basic things on hand for people who get hungry between meals or before everyone is awake (eggs, cereal, cream cheese & bagels, simple sandwich ingredients). For meals, we ask people what they would like to eat, and we usually go out or order in based on the input. If we can tell our guests really prefer a home-cooked meal (rare), we will all agree on something and then send one of us out to get ingredients. I think it’s so hard to meal plan in advance, especially with kids. Even if you know all the dietary restrictions etc., kids preferences change on a whim. Most of our friends are pretty affluent and order in a lot of takeout when we stay with them. My parents usually take us out to meals half the time and do home-cooked meals that they plan in consult with us the other half the time. My in-laws do all the meal planning in advance without any input from us and it drives me up the wall, so it’s possible I’m projecting slightly onto your situation :)
Her husband didn’t have cream cheese and bagels and simple sandwich ingredients, though. Just peanut butter and tomatoes.
OP here. It would be funny if it weren’t so upsetting! Peanut butter and tomatoes. I mean good lord.
Oh, that stresses me out just reading it. But I’m a fellow over-zealous planner. I went to CBT for anxiety about 8 years ago and it was incredibly helpful.
I think I’d try and unpack what the issue was. In that situation, I’d fear being judged if people were hungry or were served something terrible. Which I’ve had to let go, everyone knows my husband will happily serve people a grilled cheese and call it a day.
Why should a person always have to “let it go” when a spouse is lazy and inconsiderate? It is entirely reasonable to want to provide, you know, actual food for your guests. OP is not talking about serving grilled cheese sandwiches–she’s talking about having no food in the house at all. If OP’s husband is not capable of handling logistics, he needs to step up to the plate somewhere else–cleaning, laundry–so she can plan and execute the meals and activities. OP shouldn’t have to “let it go” and allow herself to be starved, bored, and humiliated just because her husband doesn’t care.
Um, no. Where did she say they had no food in the house? She said they had no “plans” for lunch, not no food for lunch. TOTALLY different. It’s actually much more considerate of your guests to ask them “Should we go out or eat in for lunch?” not to just make very rigid plans without their input. I think of myself as a planner and I think OP way overreacted here.
She said he planned cereal for breakfast and nothing for lunch, which I took to mean that he didn’t have an at-home lunch option on hand.
Right, she said he PLANNED nothing for lunch, meaning he hadn’t decided “Saturday lunch is taco bar.” It would be very unusual for adults with kids to not have food in their house that people can eat and I definitely didn’t interpret the OP that way. If their house was completely devoid of food, I agree that’s rude, but I just did not get that from the OP’s post.
she said they ran out of food.
OP here. I’m not sure this is the linchpin, but to clarify on the lunch point: he said we had “peanut butter and tomatoes and probably other things,” for lunch. To which I had to walk away because I am not serving my guests peanut butter sandwiches (or tomatoes? really?) for lunch.
She said they ran out of food.
OP, I don’t think you’re being unreasonable here. We recently had a large group of family staying at our house and planned ahead to enable ourselves to play things largely by ear. We had food in the fridge for impromptu breakfasts and lunches and groceries for one dinner. We explicitly planned to discuss meals with the group each morning and left time to run out for additional groceries if necessary. We did not just assume people could scrounge together a meal from peanut butter and tomatoes.
TL/DR: Playing it by ear still requires some amount of advance planning and grocery shopping.
So much yes to your tl/dr Anonymous @ 12:07. It’s fine not to plan everything, but spontaneously eating lunch at home as a larger group doesn’t just happen. Someone has to think through several meal options and make sure there is enough of the ingredients on hand to actually make those options happen.
I’m shocked that people are calling the spouse lazy and inconsiderate when OP said “On the one sunny day, we were slow to get out of the house, the teenager was still sleeping and the adults were sipping coffee and chatting. I was flitting about like a hummingbird, counting down the hours we’d have in the sunshine.” That’s incredibly inconsiderate to her guests. Just chill and let them drink their coffee! If I were her guest, it would have been OP’s behavior bothering me, not her husband.
OP here. Yeah, this is what makes me think it’s anxiety. All the adults were mostly enjoying the long leisurely morning and I couldn’t enjoy it because of the constant countdown in my head. (And to be clear– this was in my head only. I’m not sure anyone even noticed that I was nervous since no one reacted. But of course I can’t be sure). This, and the ushering people to the next thing once we were out gave me pause this weekend to think that what I’ve always thought of as “Type A overplanning” was getting in the way of my happiness.
Yes, my let it go comment definitely applied to my own situation. We have an agreement when my in-laws visit. I’m happy to cook but I don’t want to be doing all the planning. Otherwise, he can make them grilled cheese like he did before I came along. It took me awhile to embrace this, I tried to Suzie Homemaker for the first few visits and just ended up resentful.
Boston Legal Eagle says
Try your PCP first – they should be able to prescribe you something. It typically takes a few weeks for meds to kick so give them some time and see if you feel better. And by feel better, it doesn’t mean that you’ll suddenly stop being a planner or being an organized person – to me, meds were sort of like a cloud lifting in that I got some perspective that not every single stressful, unpredictable situation is a huge deal that leads to over escalation. I still like to plan and keep a predictable schedule, but I am better able to handle to day to day life of small kids and work stress.
Just go to your regular doctor
FWIW that stresses me out just to read. Especially knowing there’s an impending toddler meltdown and that everyone is being slow and you’ll be out the door just in time for a toddler to meltdown when you arrive at your destination and you’ll be the one stuck dealing with it. I hate that.
In those situations, I’ll usually take toddler and go for a walk or something. Then, I don’t feel like I have myself and a kid dressed and ready to go and have to wait around for everyone else (who is, very reasonably, enjoying their breakfast). I find it’s best for everyone if I say “(toddler) is getting stir crazy and I’m worried we’ll hit the zoo right at nap time, so I’m going to take him out for a walk now to burn some energy. Y’all take your time and shoot me a text when you’re ready to head out!” Then, honestly, if everyone takes so long that you 100% know that you’re going to hit the activity at a time when it will just be miserable to drag a tired kid along, I might even bow out and say “I can tell (toddler) is on the verge of a meltdown and we’re all going to pay for it the rest of the day if he doesn’t get his nap. You all go on ahead and I’ll stay back and have dinner and cocktails waiting for you when you get back! Can’t wait to put kiddo to bed early and spend some grownup time with you all!” of course, if the guests are much closer to you than your spouse that plan probably won’t work.
Or, I try to have a short activity and a long activity planned. So I’ll say “well if we leave by 9am tomorrow we can hit the national zoo with plenty of time to leave before nap time/the rain. Or, if you want to take it slow in the morning and head out later, we can do (thing that is less fun but closer)”
+1 – “FWIW that stresses me out just to read. Especially knowing there’s an impending toddler meltdown and that everyone is being slow and you’ll be out the door just in time for a toddler to meltdown when you arrive at your destination and you’ll be the one stuck dealing with it. I hate that.”
I get absolutely ragey at this type of slowness when I know we have a short window before nap/meltdown.
Thanks for these specific suggestions. I do think there are things I could do differently, but it’s hard for me to parse what is a reasonable level of stress in a situation (because hosting is inherently stressful [or is it??] and parenting is inherently stressful [right??]) and what is unreasonable and needs to be managed. I really do envy my DH’s ability to not GAF in these situations– I mean, he is having a way better time than I am– but I also know that a big part of why he’s able to not GAF is because I G too many Fs all the time. Generally I find visits like these more stressful than enjoyable, and often spend the days before wishing something would come up and we’d have to cancel, and all that together makes me think something is wrong.
I relate SO MUCH to everything you’ve said here and have considered seeking therapy/medication for similar reasons. Just want you to know you’re not alone! <3
I really relate to this–” I also know that a big part of why he’s able to not GAF is because I G too many Fs all the time,” but I actually think that’s the anxiety speaking. I’ve had a LOT of conversations with my husband where he’s basically told me that he does NOT need me to control everything, and that I should just let him F it up because even that would be more fun for both of us than me stressing about it.
You haven’t told us, but what actually happened when you ran out of food? Because, yeah, that’s an issue, but was it an issue that was solved? Did people have a good time anyways?
Anyways, I’ve had to practice, but it turns out DH was right. If he’s in charge, I can be stressed but choose to say something once and then let it go. People have a good time even if things go wrong. More often than not, things go right.
Remind me about toddler feeding – my baby is almost 12 months (::sob!::) and my older kiddo is in elementary school, so it’s been awhile. Once baby stops drinking [email protected] milk in a bottle at daycare, does he just eat solid foods for breakfast and lunch (and then dinner at home) with a cup of cow’s milk? I’m still planning to BF as long as he wants to keep going, which will mostly just be at bedtime and when he wakes up in the morning. But I can’t remember how the rest of the day’s worth of eating goes. Thanks!
Yup, I think solid foods + cow’s milk with meals + any nursing sessions you want to continue is standard after age 1.
We had switched to formula during the workday long before she turned 1, but my daughter self-weaned from formula bottles around 11 months and refused to drink cow’s milk so she had no milk except during morning and evening nursing sessions. During the day, she just ate solids and drank water. The ped wasn’t concerned, because she was still nursing a little and ate a fair amount of yogurt and cheese. After she weaned completely around 18 months, she became more amenable to cow’s milk although she still tends to drink it only if she’s really hungry and hates the solid food she’s being offered.
By 9 months we had two “meals” of solids a day and at 12 months we switched to three “meals” of solids a day. We served cows milk with meals starting at 11 months and then water the rest of the time and we were still nursing evenings and mornings until about 16 months.
I visited an in-home daycare a couple of weeks ago (she takes 3 kids under 1.5 at a time – not licensed, which is allowed in my state for 3 or fewer kids). I liked her a lot, but asked for references. She hasn’t gotten them to me yet. Is this a red flag? I’m thinking I don’t need a daycare provider to be super organized and it’s okay to have to follow up, but is this kind of thing going to start driving me crazy?
It depends on your personality how much this will bug you, but I think that is probably somewhat typical for an in-home place. Either they are super busy and don’t really need your business, or somewhat disorganized, or some combination of the three. It doesn’t mean they can’t take great care of your kid, but you may need to be willing to let go of details – e.g., they may not give you detailed reports about what your baby did when, or you may not believe their reports. It could also point to a bigger issue with letting details slide such as accidentally letting their license lapse, so look at their license history and definitely check the references when you finally get them.
This probably applies less to in-home providers, who I understand to usually have shorter waitlists, but I will say that our amazing daycare center is phenomenal at communicating with current parents (and also at actually taking care of the kids), and absolutely terrible at communicating with perspective parents. They have really long waiting lists without doing any marketing and basically have a “we can’t really be bothered with you, because you need us more than we need you” attitude when communicating with perspective families. While this is honestly true, it’s not the nicest thing to experience as a stressed out hormonal pregnant lady worried about finding good childcare for your kid. Ultimately, I’m glad I looked past it though, because we’ve had the absolute best experience there as an enrolled family.
A Facebook acquaintance posted a birth announcement baby picture today. Totally unremarkable until I read the hashtags which included: #vbacsuccess and #vbacwithoutfear. Is this a bit weird or am I just projecting insecurity over my choice NOT to attempt to VBAC?
So I’m super private and would personally never announce how my kid came out to the world because I don’t want anyone thinking about my lady parts more than they already do when they see a birth announcement. That said, I think #vbacsuccess and #vbacwithoutfear aren’t judgmental hashtags – she’s expressing pride in herself and maybe encouraging other women who are interested in this that they can do it too, but I don’t read it is as judging women who don’t attempt VBAC at all. Just my two cents from someone who doesn’t know the person in question at all. If she’s normally judgy and smug, then this post is probably also judgy and smug. But if she’s normally nice, I wouldn’t read bad intent into it.
Projecting. It did not say “VBAC is the only way” or “Nothing but VBAC” or a similar sentiment. I think a lot of women get pushback from doctors on VBAC (higher risks, may have to do CS anyway); I presume she was feeling happy that she got the experience she was looking for.
Don’t worry about it! You do you! Schedule that CS!
I think it’s weird, but I would never volunteer how my birth went down with a birth announcement on social media (obviously individual conversations with friends are different for me). But I am with you and would absolutely not have a VBAC (even if I were permitted – I have to be induced for medical reasons and induction + VBAC is not OK). When they go wrong, they go horribly wrong, and I have much more confidence in my surgeon.
Damn I love this shoe so much
Same. If I didn’t already have leopard sneakers and tortoiseshell loafers…
I am 100% buying these and it’s your fault lol. If you add a Canadian affiliate link to amazon I’ll click it so you get paid :)