Maternity Monday: Scallop Dress with Short Sleeves

I like this dress because it does double duty. You can wear it as a maternity dress while pregnant, and then postpartum it’s also a nursing dress. I actually did wear a lot of my maternity clothes while I was on maternity leave for a few reasons. They were comfortable and they accommodated my waistline while it slowly returned to somewhat of a pre-pregnancy shape — and I had no time to transition my closet from all of my maternity clothes to my regular wardrobe. I like that this dress looks comfortable but also is modest enough for an office, and that the nursing part of it looks like part of the design. It’s $48 at ASOS in sizes 2–16 and also comes in pink. Pictured: Nursing Scallop Dress With Short Sleeves

Reflecting the fact that maternity wear in plus sizes is not exactly abundant, here is a maternity dress at Kohl’s that goes up to size XXL and is not quite as subtle with its nursing style.

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

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m on the struggle bus today. I took Thursday and Friday off so I had five straight days at home with my husband and 5 month old baby (my first long weekend since going back to work). It was blissful and this morning was so hard.

  2. Turtle says:

    I’m sure this has been discussed but I can’t find it for the life of me..

    I have a beautiful 10 week old. I’m due to go back to work August 1. She’s EBF. DD was sleeping >7 hour stretches in her rock n play as young as 6 weeks. I know this is super rare and we were incredibly lucky. It wasn’t every night but was regular enough. We transitioned her to the crib at 9 weeks. She’s falling asleep quickly (yay) but won’t sleep longer than 3-4 hour stretches. I also think this is normal for the age.

    Mentally I’m ready to get back to work, but how in gods name do you go back to work when you’re getting up frequently overnight? What can I do to improve quality of life come August 1? So much noise about sleep methods and training that I’m overwhelmed and unsure what to believe, trust and try. I know she’s a little young for formal “training” but I’m looking for any insights you might have to ease the transition.

    Current night schedule is 8ish bedtime routine starting with feed. Usually put in crib by 8:45. Then she’s waking up between 1-2. Then again 4-4:30. I’d kill to ditch the 1-2am wake up. Feedingnevery 3 hours during the day, about 3-4 ounces per feed.

    SOS. Tell me this is a normal schedule at this stage and it will all work out? Because right now this feels doomed for failure.

    • mascot says:

      We replaced the 1 am feed with a dream feed around 11 pm. Try that for a couple of nights (you may need to adjust the bedtime feed to slightly earlier) and see if that circumvents one wake-up.

    • Anonymous says:

      Put her to bed at 7. 8:45 is way too late.

      • + 1 and then go to be very early. Much earlier than you actually want to.

        • I went to bed right after baby for the first many months and definitely actually wanted to ;)

      • Meg Murry says:

        Not necessarily – it depends how late her last nap is. My kids tended to take an evening nap around dinnertime – especially once they were in daycare, they would fall asleep on the way home and often stay asleep for at least an hour – so then bedtime would be closer to 9:00. I know a lot of people are evangelists about early bedtimes, but it isn’t the answer for every single baby.

        But I give a big +1 to a dream feed just before you go to sleep. Or if you are willing to introduce one formula bottle a day, let your spouse handle one of the wakeups with a bottle, and you take the other.

        As for how you survive – some nights you will go to bed almost as soon as you get home out of pure exhaustion. I learned to shut my eyes and go into a half-sleep during my pumping breaks and/or my lunch breaks. Allow for lots of down time on the weekends for the first few months when you go back – don’t over schedule yourself, and allow yourself to nap when baby naps or when your spouse can take care of her. I wound up basically “taking to my bed” with the baby about 1 Sunday every 3-4 weeks where we would just nurse and doze for most of the day in order to get caught up on the bone tired exhaustion.

        • I’m so glad I’m not the only one with a nigh owl baby! Our bedtime at 12 weeks was around 11pm (started nursing at 10:30pm.) He slept on and off in the bouncy seat before then, but his long stretch in the crib wasn’t until around 11pm.

          We didn’t get regular naps until about 9 months…but he was up to 7-8 hour stretches at night way before then.

      • Anonymous says:

        Babies can’t read a clock. There’s no arbitrary bedtime that babies “need” – it only matters in relation to their wakeup time and their nap schedule. If the baby is allowed to sleep as late as she wants in the morning and takes a late nap (ending around 6:30 or later) there’s absolutely nothing wrong with an 8:45 bedtime.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not necessarily…my 4 mo goes to bed between 9 and 9:30. Unless the baby is very fussy in the evenings or acting obviously tired (yawning, rubbing their eyes) I wouldn’t assume they’re overtired. If you’re only getting one 4-5 hour stretch, it isn’t practical to put the baby to bed at 7. Most adults can’t fall asleep at 7 pm.

        • I think in this instance the benefit of an earlier bedtime would be that the 1 am feed would be earlier too and could coincide with OP going to sleep around 11, let’s say.

          • Anonymous says:

            I guess. But most babies will have their first stretch of sleep be their longest and deepest. If the baby is waking up regularly, it seems to me to make the most sense to time the first stretch with a time the parent can reasonably go to bed, so they can take full advantage of it. That’s actually how we got our daughter on a 9 pm bedtime – because when she started sleeping 5 hours at the first stretch, I wanted that stretch to be 9 to 2 instead of 7 to midnight, so that I could actually get 5 hours straight before she started waking up every 2 hours.

      • ElisaR says:

        i agree. My son goes to bed at 6:30 which sounds shockingly early but he sleeps 12 hours now at 7 months. The research I’ve done says an earlier bedtime ensures more sleep… “Sleep begets sleep”. I know it sounds counterintuitive.

        Also, unfortunately at this age — she probably won’t be sleeping through the night for awhile. Yeah it stinks. Going back to work stinks. At 7 months we just recently starting getting in a better sleep pattern and its still not perfect.

        hang in there!

    • Anonymous says:

      Sound like you have a second kid in the picture? Have DH do bedtime with that kid. Put the baby to sleep at 7;39 and put yourself to bed by 9. Then the 1am wakeup won’t be so bad. And/or get DH to do the first wakeup with a bottle.

    • This was our schedule until about 6 months, unfortunately, when that 1 am feed dropped naturally and a month later the 4am dropped as well. In fact, the four month sleep regression means he actually got worse for a bit before he got better.

      How did I survive? Coffee. Going to bed at 9.

    • Yeah, unfortunately this sounds like a pretty normal schedule for that age – and keep in mind that by the time you go back to work it may all have changed again! At that age we also put baby to bed around 8.30 as he would usually take a 3rd (or 4th) late nap. I often just went to sleep when baby did, out of exhaustion. It does kill your family life and social life for a while but my waking hours were so much more pleasant and productive.

    • I think this sounds really normal. I think a lot of new moms go back to work sleep deprived, and unfortunately that is the way it is for a couple of months. If you have a job that absolutely requires sleep (surgeon, etc.) then I would see if baby will take pumped milk from a bottle so your DH can take over some nights.

      We never did any sleep training that required crying, but here’s how we started transitioning them to less wake-ups: DH was the one who would wake up with them. He would rock and soothe to see if they would go back to sleep without eating. Eventually this allowed us to see what times they were waking up for hunger, and when they were just waking up for comfort. They typically dropped one wake up with this method as their belly adjusted to no eating at the 1-2am wake up (for us this would be around 6-7 months).

      The final wake up was eliminated by me declaring that I was done nursing at night (typically around 10-11 months). DH was now on duty full time with a pumped bottle (oversupply sucks, but for having tons of extra milk in the freezer it was awesome). He eventually switched the bottle to water, and then slowly lowered the ounces. Typically within a month, our kids were sleeping through the night.

      So, there’s out method.

      this is such a hard stage, with whatever you decide. But please know that it is a short stage and a year from now it will be a distant memory!

    • AwayEmily says:

      I echo the “put the baby to bed early and go to bed early” advice. Starting at 4 months, ours switched to about a 6pm – 5:30am schedule, which has worked great. Dream feeds can also work well depending on the baby (one of ours loved them, the other would wake up and be annoyed).

      If she’s not eating much at the 1:30am feeding and you feel comfortable with it, you could consider CIO. We did that with both of ours at around 10 weeks (both of them were just barely snacking at their 1am feeds so it was clear they weren’t hungry). Obviously not a great idea if she’s still getting tons of calories at night but if she’s just waking up out of habit then it’s at least an option. For us it worked wonderfully — our first almost immediately started sleeping ~11 hours a night. Our second kept his 4:30am feeding for another month or so but then dropped that as well.

      But yes, definitely an early bedtime for you and baby. Mine still goes to bed at 6 and I try to be asleep by 8:30.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is probably an unpopular opinion, but not all 10 week olds need to eat every 3-4 hours. Some do, some don’t. Mine was sleeping 12 hours straight at that age. Because she slept 7 hours in the RNP, you know she can go at least that long without eating. I’d try soothing her at the wake-ups without offering food and see if you can break the habit of waking up.

      Also how much does she weigh? My ped told me that 12 lbs is sort of a magic weight at which babies start sleeping through the night. Our DD reached that weight and almost instantly started sleeping much longer stretches. If she’s on the small side, this may resolve naturally in a couple of weeks.

      • Echozing moving up the last feed of the day, a dream feed around 10/11 and not offering food for that 1am wake up. Your baby is clearly capable of going 7 hours without eating at night and now might be waking up out of habit. I have twin 8 week olds and at least right now (fingers crossed it stays this way), they don’t get fed more than once in the middle of the night. This doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t wake up at all before they are fed, but we try to soothe them back to sleep, give a pacifier if needed. For example, last night they were fed around 7pm, 10pm and one woke up around 3am, but she went back and I fed her at 5. This does not mean that I’m well rested since i have a lot of trouble falling back asleep, but this at least takes less time than a feed.

    • Anonymous says:

      In the worst-case scenario that you need to keep feeding a lot, take heart that you will be AMAZED at how much you can do on incredibly small amounts of sleep. We had twins that we were ordered by the ped to feed every 3 hours for 4 months straight so they’d gain weight. I went back to work when they were 3 months. After that we were allowed to switch to feeding “on demand” which we just scheduled ourselves at 3am, then I’d get back up again at 6 to go to work. That lasted until they were about 7 months old. I was so profoundly tired but I just kept… going? Like I don’t know that my work quality was 100% my first month back but I was doing stuff on about four hours of sleep for at least 6 weeks. A little slower than normal, but I didn’t get fired or anything.

      • +1 I am amazed at how my body has handled our worst-case scenario. I’m at 11 months (and down to one wake-up most nights, thank goodness, but that has really only been the last month). 5 months of sleeping in 3-4 hour chunks while working 60 hour weeks is nearly over. You will be amazed at what your body can do. Somehow it magically works out, and on only 1 cup of coffee a day because BFing and a sensitive babe. We’re in the late bedtime camp (my child usually sleeps from 10pm-8am, now with one wakeup), with a child for whom CIO is not an option – she makes herself sick crying and can scream for 6+ hours straight (I can’t imagine where she got her stubbornness from).

    • Delta Dawn says:

      I’m sorry. Disrupted sleep is the worst. Unfortunately, this sounds really normal for her age. A few scattered thoughts:

      Will she go to daycare? Both of mine started sleeping way longer the very day they came home from daycare. I think it wore them out, they didn’t nap as well at school, or something… anyway, daycare helped them sleep a lot better at night.

      I see both sides of whether you want to “train” her out of the midnight feeding. On the one hand, she has shown you that she can sleep that long without eating, so you can try just comforting/consoling without feeding to see if she will learn that’s not a time to eat anymore. (I have found it works better if DH goes in, not you.) On the other hand, ten weeks might feel pretty early to do that. Does she eat a lot at that feeding? If she usually seems genuinely hungry at that feeding, I might not try to drop it yet. If she just has a little snack and falls back to sleep, my ped has said they do sometimes wake up for that out of habit, not hunger… (he did not tell me that until our recent six month checkup, though.)

      I would consider an earlier bedtime, if not now, then maybe when you go back to work. What time is her latest nap of the day? Could you push that back a little and convert it into bedtime? Maybe baby can go to bed at 7:00, and then even though it’s earlier than you normally would, can you go to bed at 9:00? I found this very helpful when I went back to work with a 3 month old that was still waking up like yours.

      If all else fails… I echo the above advice that you can do A LOT on very little sleep. My youngest is six months and (I don’t mean to scare you) still wakes up to eat at 3-4 am. Then goes back to sleep until about 6:30. And this is a BIG improvement from what he was doing before… he woke up every three hours until he was five months old. With EBF, that meant I too was up every. three. hours. for five entire months. It’s miserable, but you can do it.

    • Moms Solo says:

      FWIW, We didn’t fall into the early bedtime routine until more like 5ish months, which is around the time the late afternoon nap was dropped. Then started with a 6:30 p.m. bedtime with three wakeups, then to two wake ups, then to one, and then by 11 months I had a 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. sleep with no wakeups. He was “sleep-trained” in the sense that we put him down awake with no soothers, but he still woke up to eat until he just didn’t anymore one day.

      You’ll survive. We just do somehow. I’m convinced there’s some yet-to-be-discovered mom superpower that keeps us from literally dying. My brain function was definitely diminished, but that is starting to come back a bit too.

      • That’s when we transitioned to the earlier bedtime too. It all came together in response to the 4 month regression and dropping the late nap. And moving to the crib.

    • In House Lobbyist says:

      I would feed the baby around 10 pm and hand them off to my husband to change and put to sleep. Usually that got me until 4 am which seemed to help. I usually napped on the couch from 8 -10 pm too.

    • (former) 3L mama says:

      my first daughter woke 1-8x/night to nurse until she was 20 months old (less as she got older, obviously). During that time, I finished law school, passed the bar, and got a great mid-year review during my first year of biglaw. It is SO NICE to be sleeping again, but you can handle going back to work even if she doesn’t sleep any more than this for another year! I clearly have no advice on the sleeping part… my second child is just a “better” sleeper so /shrug.

    • Sarabeth says:

      Perhaps not what you want to hear, but that is actually on the good side of infant sleep, my kids woke up much more frequently at that age.

      We survived by putting an adult bed in the nursery, and an extra bassinet in the master bedroom. I went to sleep in the nursery as soon as I could after baby did, and did all feeds until 1 am. The first time baby woke up after 1, I fed her and put her back to sleep in the bassinet in the master bedroom, where my husband was asleep. He handled everything for the rest of the night, and let me sleep until 7:30 am. He gave her pumped milk during those hours; I was an overproducer, so had no worries about maintaining supply. But I would have done formula if necessary to get the sleep. That way, we each got about 5-6 hours of solid sleep, plus another 4-5 hours of broken sleep. Moving the baby was key to this plan. I didn’t have to wake my husband up to tell him that he was on baby duty, he just knew that if there was an awake baby in his room, it was his job to deal with. So he would go to sleep around 10, and the baby wouldn’t usually wake him up until after 3, even though baby came into his room to sleep around 1:30. Our blocks of solid sleep could overlap, because I’d go back to the nursery to start mine before 2.

      Since your baby is sleeping a bit better, I’d just do the first wakeup yourself, then take her to your husband for the rest of the night.

    • lawsuited says:

      I went back to work at 12 weeks just as the 4 month sleep regression hit (early). For 2 months my son woke up 3-6 times a night. We tried absolutely everything we could think of/find on the internet/was recommended to us (earlier bedtime, later bedtime, dream feeds, cluster feeding, introducing formula, introducing solid food, sound machine, blackout shades, sleeping in our bedroom, sleeping in his own bedroom, and on and on) and nothing we tried made him sleep through the night. My husband I took turns getting up to feed baby, but I still woke up every time because I’m a light sleeper so was very, very tired for 2 months. We sleep-trained at 5 months and life became good again.

  3. I hear you! I cried this morning when saying goodbye to my husband and baby.

  4. LegalBeagle says:

    Pregnant with my third (end of first trimester) and I am about to make a major ask at work- to work remote to move closer to my parents and also switch to our business unit which has a longer maternity leave policy. Has anyone had experience having this kind of discussion at work? I’m very apprehensive about even asking and have been putting it off. We formally have a no remote work policy on paper but its subject to manager discretion. I have been the top performer in our department every year. But no one else has gotten this kind of “special treatment” so I’m cognizant of the effect it will have on group dynamics too. I manage a team of 2. My boss told me last week we may have another layoff this quarter. I was also slated to hire a third employee and that has been put on hold. I am hoping to make the move before my third trimester.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you prepared for the fact that they might say no and you might be that person laid off?

    • Anonymous says:

      Good luck, that’s a lot to ask at once! Would your manager stay the same even with the switch to supporting a different business unit, or would you be asking a new manager to also approve the remote arrangement?

      Re: working remotely, I have no experience asking for myself, but I did support one of my employees who had this request. My boss was very resistant at first, but we eventually worked it out — it was only authorized for up to 6 months, to help smooth the employee’s out-of-state move and the transition of his work to a new employee. He was expected to be on-site at least once per month. My best advice is to come prepared with solutions to any manager’s concerns. It’s great that you’ve been the top performer, but I actually don’t think that’s a strong argument — you need to outline why you believe you can continue to be a top performer while working remotely. Your manager will almost certainly view this as setting a precedent. Even if your work is exceptional, if you are allowed to be full-time remote, the same consideration may need to be given to others, and that’s a big reason my boss was reluctant to allow an open-ended telework situation.
      – Do you telework at all now? How much telework already exists in your company? Is there a face-to-face culture, or are most meetings virtual anyway?
      – How are virtual meetings supported (standard apps for telecon /videocon, tech support for the same)?
      – What aspects of your job are better done “in person” and what is your plan for those?
      – Are you able to travel to the same location as your team if needed? How often?
      – Consider proposing a “trial period” maybe increasing your telework time before the move, scheduling regular check-ins specifically to discuss how the arrangement is working for everyone.

    • lawsuited says:

      I think your top performer status will help you get a discretionary remote work pass, but it will be tougher to get that if you move to a new department where you haven’t proved yourself yet and really won’t be able to prove yourself seeing as you’ll be there 6 months or less before you go on maternity leave. I think your manager will be impressed if you can talk about how you’ll address changes in the group dynamic so that it’s clear you aren’t expecting them to deal with the fallout of you working remotely.

  5. AwayEmily says:

    Another lifejacket question — I’ve looked through the archives but most of the discussions seem to be about lifejackets for swimming rather than boating. We are renting a house on a lake this summer with some friends and plan to spend a fair amount of time on the pontoon boat with our 2.5 year old and our 6-month old. We’ll get an infant one with neck support for the baby (any recommendations are welcome) but I’m confused about what to do with the 2.5 year old. I assume an infant one also? She’s comfortable in the water but can’t swim. But she is RIGHT on the weight limit edge (she’s around 29 pounds) so I’m worried that they will not work properly for her.

    When she is actually playing in the water/swimming (by the shore, not off the boat) we are not planning on using a lifejacket at all; one of us will be holding her. So this is just for the boat.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are toddler life jackets for your older kiddo. Fwiw the Coast Guard says infant life vests aren’t safe unless the baby is 18 pounds.

      • AwayEmily says:

        He’s 18 pounds now so fingers crossed he’ll be at least that much when we go on vacation next month! And do you have specific recommendations for toddler life jackets? Basically, most of the “infant” ones seem to max out at 30 pounds, and then there are a whole range that are meant for kids 30+ pounds…so I’m confused about where to put my 29.5 lb toddler.

    • For a boat, especially for kids who can’t swim, I’d want a type II with some head support. Like that orange one at the bottom. https://www.lucieslist.com/lucies-list-blog/2014/06/18/best-life-jackets-for-infants-toddlers-and-preschoolers/

      • AwayEmily says:

        Yes! I definitely want one with some neck support. My worry about that one is that it is minimum 30 pounds, and from what I read, you really want a life jacket to have a snug fit/not be too big…but she is just barely 30 pounds. I want a unicorn life vest that has neck support and is for kids like 20 – 40 pounds, but I guess that doesn’t exist.

      • I was about to say the exact same thing–type II w/head support & this Lucie’s List post is a great resource.

        I think the Lucie’s List post has tips on fit. Would it be an option to go somewhere (REI, West Marine) where she could try on? Or maybe order a couple & return what doesn’t work?

        • Yes, try it on at a local outdoor supply store. If you can get it tight enough, then the 8ozs shouldn’t matter that much. If you were trying to fit a kids jacket on a 20lb toddler, then that might be different.

    • AwayEmily says:

      Thanks all. Annoyingly we live in an outdoor store desert, but we do have a brick-and-mortar Target and LLBean so I am going to order a few options from there and then I can return to store if they don’t work out.

      I’m somewhat sketched out by a lot of the ones on Amazon — in particular, nervous about whether the ones that claim they are a particular brand are actually knock-offs (or used, or something) so I feel a bit better ordering from a “real” store.

      • Meg Murry says:

        Is there a sporting goods store? Or perhaps something that caters to hunters/fishers (Cabelas/Gander Mountain/Bass Pro Shops, etc). We’ve gotten life jackets from places like Dick’s Sporting Goods in the past, but we also live near a lot of lakes and watersports are pretty popular in our area

      • AwayEmily says:

        Also — am I crazy or do they not make a life jacket for kids 30-50 lbs that is officially classified as Type II? I’ve found (and ordered to test out) a couple of ones with neck support (including from LL Bean and Stohlquist) but they are all technically labeled as “Type III.”

        • rosie says:

          West Marine lets you filter by type (I’ll post a link in a reply). I need a lifejacket for my toddler and I was planning to get a Stohlquist (my kid is younger so needs the < 30 lbs one), but the $23 West Marine branded 0-50 lb one looks interesting.

    • Meg Murry says:

      I’ve never used this particular life vest, but we’ve had good experiences with other styles of Sterns life jackets, so I’d trust them, as long as it fits your daughter properly. If you put it on her, tighten the straps and lift her up by the shoulders, you want the life jacket to remain under her chin and ears – if it goes up to her chin or ears, it won’t properly keep her head above water.

      https://www.amazon.com/Stearns-Heads-Up-Child-Vest/dp/B07DXFL7LN

  6. There’s a lot of discussion on her about kiddos with ADD but do any of you moms have ADD? What behavioral strategies help manage your ADD? Mine had been managed ok with medication but a few months ago I started experiencing scary side effects and stopped taking the medication. I’m going to see my pysch to get a new medication but it takes 6 months to get in. So in the meantime would love to hear others’ strategies for maintaining some focus.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nah. That’s not acceptable. Go see your GP.

    • Can you get in earlier with a social worker/psychologist/therapist with a focus on ADD in their practice?

    • Meg Murry says:

      Did you tell them about the side effects and that you aren’t currently taking your medication when you asked for an appointment? Call back and ask to be put on the cancelation list, at least. Or depending on the side effects and medication, you may be able to get a prescription for a lower dose without a full appointment if you are willing to consider that.

      I have ADHD as well as a history of depression and anxiety, and medication makes a huge difference for me. Other things that also help:

      -I do much better when I make myself take the time to exercise, even though I don’t really like it.
      -I am terrible about bedtime, so I set “get ready for bed”, “no really, go to bed” and then a silent “are you still on your phone, if so put it down and go to bed!” alarms.
      -Everything important (keys, wallet, phone, purse, work badge) has to have a home that is easy for me to put away. No optimistic “I’ll neatly tuck everything away in these cabinets far from the main door” places either, but rather a hook right next to the door, etc so I can’t be distracted on my way to putting them away and set them down. A Tile tracker for my keys (that can ring my phone and vice versa) is also very helpful.
      -Everything goes in Google Calendar. Everything. If something is more than 15 minutes away, I also put an appointment before the main appointment to account for the travel time so I don’t double book myself when I’m supposed to be on the road.
      -Figure out what your good times of day are, and do as much to prep yourself for the bad times as possible. I’m a night owl and totally a zombie in the mornings, so I try to make myself do as much as possible in the evening before bed: laying out my clothes (down to the undergarments, accessories and shoes), prepping my breakfast and lunch, etc. Someone here once posted with the great idea to have at least one “completely ready to go” outfit prepped in your closet for days when you oversleep or discover you have a problem with your planned outfit, and I’ve tried to make myself keep up with that.
      -Limiting your wardrobe to only a few colors that all go together can really help too – for instance, even though I like brown and navy, it was too chaotic to find the appropriate socks/shoes/accessories in the morning, so I got rid of almost everything that wasn’t black or grey or went with black or grey. Limiting my kids clothes to only neutral bottoms and keeping colors/stripes/patterns to only tops also has helped. Either that or just not caring when they decide they want to wear purple plaid shorts with a green and yellow striped shirt.

    • Sarabeth says:

      I’m currently off my ADD meds also. Um, coffee is helping a bit?

      Agree on a super streamlined wardrobe, and anything else that can just be standardized so you don’t have to make decisions. For example, I buy three kinds of frozen meals for my work lunches and just rotate. I subscribe to a meal planning service so I can just make the things they tell me to make. Whole family eats the same breakfast every day.

      I have a big, brightly colored wallet that has space for my phone, and for my keychain to clip on the side, so I only have to find one thing to leave the house. And yes, it has a Tile tracker.

      All my kids’ clothes can be worn together. I don’t care about color coordination, I just mean that I don’t buy (for example) rompers, because it disrupts the one top + one bottom + underwear pattern. Bonus, this makes it easier for my daughter, who may or may not also be showing her own signs of ADD, to get dressed on her own.

      And also yes to exercise, it does help. For me, ADD can lead to my life feeling out of control, and then I develop symptoms of anxiety as well, which in turn makes the ADD worse. Exercise doesn’t fix the underlying ADD stuff, but it helps with the anxiety, which makes everything more manageable.

  7. ElisaR says:

    hive help: I want to get a ballet themed gift for my niece for her 4th birthday. Her mother is getting her a leotard and the all the actual ballet-gear for class and I don’t want to overshadow that.

    I was thinking a cute ballet shirt for regular-wear. Has anybody seen anything cute? I’m hoping for something gap, mini boden, hanna anderssen, that kind of thing…..and maybe i’ll get her a ballet book too so any suggestions on that would be great!

    • Anonymous says:

      Angelina Ballerina

      • Awww, my mom gave me my copy of this book from when I was a child. My 3.5 year old son loves reading it. I think he likes that it was mine and has some of my scribbles in it.

    • Clementine says:

      Angelina Ballerina is a classic and always a winner. I remember having The Silver Slippers and that was a good one.

    • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      Old Navy has some tshirt options, links in M o d e r a t i o n.

    • Check JCrew and their factory store. Usually lots of ballet themed tees there.

    • avocado says:

      Put Your Best Foot Forward is a cute book with lots of photos of young dancers that talks about how to apply lessons from ballet class to real life. American Girl just came out with a book about Misty Copeland–I haven’t read it, but it looks promising.

      If her mom hasn’t already bought one, a cute dance bag would be a fun gift. Little ones in pre-ballet also tend to like fancy bun covers, but check on the school’s dress code and hair requirements first. Justice sometimes has ballet-themed t-shirts and sweats, but the general aesthetic is very glittery and not little-girl adorable. If you have a local dance shop, it will probably also have some t-shirts and gift options. Avoid legwarmers, sweaters, skirts, and other items designed to be worn during class unless you are sure they are permitted and mom hasn’t already purchased them.

    • Seconding Angelina Ballerina books – maybe a box set if you can find it. Or offer to take her to a ballet performance – she might be old enough to sit through the Nutcracker this Christmas. (Related: can anyone recommend ballet books or shows with boys as main characters? My 3yo loves his dance classes, and we’ve already seen clips from Billy Elliot, though the whole movie might have too much conflict/ go over his head.)

      • Peter and the Wolf.
        If you can find it, the ABT Nutcracker (Ratmansky version) has an adorable little boy dance the part of one of the mice – steals the whole show – your son may enjoy that. It’s by far my favorite Nutcracker, but I should think especially fun for smaller kids.

      • shortperson says:

        i said this below as a general rec, but dogs dont do ballet centers around a male dog who keeps being told he cant do ballet.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dance bag? Hair elastics? Leg warmers? An extra tutu?

    • shortperson says:

      our favorite ballet books are firebird and dogs dont do ballet.

    • ElisaR says:

      Thanks Everyone! Great ideas.

    • Sarabeth says:

      One more book rec – my daughter loved Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova.

    • Diane C. says:

      More book recs approved by my six year old: The Tallulah series (girl named Tallulah loves dancing, learns some life lessons along the way), Lili Backstage (We like it because I work backstage and it goes around the theatre talking about the various people backstage), Brontorina (Dinosuar wants to learn ballet)

  8. Must be Monday says:

    Sunburn + hangover from winery visit yesterday. Work email not working on phone this morning. Conversation with my mother on the drive in that we joined a nice gym so my husband could work out and I could enjoy the (outdoor, yes!!!) pool. “Well, you really need to start exercising.” “Mom, I’m very happy with my functional fitness – I can and do walk 2 miles to the park and back at a decent clip pushing a stroller regularly and I can bench press and otherwise heft around my 25 pound kid (while carrying a purse, diaper bag and cooler) with ease. There is nothing in my life I struggle to do physically. I work 60-70 hours a week, am still barely sleeping, and what little time I have left I like to spend with my family, not at the gym. Oh, and I’m 25 pounds down from my pre-pregnancy weight.” “Well, you gained a lot of weight before your wedding and pregnancy. You really should get in better shape before you get pregnant again.” “Mom, I’m in the best shape of my life since when I was a high school athlete.” “You need to lose that spare tire.” “Mom, I have never had a flat stomach in my life, I had a c-section, so the poufy pouch is pretty much here to stay, and also I wore a bikini to the pool last weekend and looked relatively fine compared to all the other mom’s with similarly aged kids.” “You need to do better, but enough said, how’s the weather?”

    • Oof. Definitely a Monday. Have a glass of wine tonight!

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I’m amazed that you didn’t lose it on your mom, because I definitely would have even without the sunburn or hangover. Kudos to you.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      Wow. Is this how your mom normally talks? She sounds absolutely toxic. I’m sorry you have to deal with that and I hope you limit your interaction with her as much as you can. I also hope you know that her words are not about you and are about her own insecurities, so really there’s no point in defending (not that you have anything to defend). Hugs.

    • Mama Llama says:

      Wowwwww. I know you didn’t ask for advice, but I just wanted to affirm a couple of things for you. 1) You don’t have to justify your body, your fitness, or your exercise routine to your mom or anyone else. This is true no matter what you weigh, how you look, or what your fitness level is. 2) You do not have to listen to this. It’s completely OK to say, “Mom, I don’t want to discuss this with you.” It’s completely OK to hang up the phone or walk out of the room if she won’t respect your boundaries. 3) You do not deserve to be spoken to like that! No one does!

      • +1 to all of this. Your mother is not showing concern, she is being actively hurtful. It’s good that you pushed back in your conversation, but that kind of stuff shouldn’t be up for discussion. I would set a firm boundary — no weight talk — and if she keep pushing it, excuse yourself from the conversation.

        If my mother EVER said I need to lose my “spare tire,” I’d probably hang up on her.

    • Yikes. She’s projecting. I would definitely limit my conversations after this.

    • Thanks for the support – day has definitely improved – my phone is working after a 2-hour visit to our IT lady’s office, had a good client meeting and will actually get some work done this afternoon. My mom is not normally like this (and I know she regrets not losing all the baby weight (100 lbs by the time she was done) after her three kids, so probably projecting). I’m going to just chalk it up to this being her low point in her chemo (and maybe chemo caused a lack of filter she normally uses?) and get on with my day, but good lord.

    • lawsuited says:

      Oooof. I’m sorry you had to hear this from anyone and especially your mom. It did hit me in the heart though that you feel better about your body because you reckon you look fine compared to the other moms at the pool who presumably look worse? I get that you were in a tough conversation, but it would be so much better if we didn’t have to judge other moms to feel better about ourselves.

  9. Tired of Work says:

    I am having a hard time and just want some advice and commiseration. I am 30 weeks with my second. DS is 22 months and just an absolute joy. I am so excited for the second one and am really looking forward to my maternity leave, when I won’t have to commute to work and can spend more time with both my kids. The problem is this excitement about the future means work feels miserable now. I used to love my job. I was promoted to January to a position with a lot more responsibility and, at the same time, was in the first trimester. I have not felt caught up at work since then and I feel overwhelmed with all I need to do (both at work and home). On weekends, I have completely cut out doing work and just focus on family and getting ready for the baby, but I don’t come back feeling refreshed. I resent having so much to do at work and how much time I spend here. I probably need a vacation, but I am saving up my time off for my otherwise unpaid maternity leave (which I also resent my employer about).
    I want to like my job when I go out so I am excited to return, like I was with my first. Any advice on what I should do?

    • I know you’re saving vacation, but consider just one weekday off – esp if kiddo #1 is in childcare away from the home, it can be super restorative to take a random Thursday to yourself and either do things around the house or just take a long bath, go to gym, etc. Also right there with you pregnant with 22-month old, and I think that non-refreshing weekends are unfortunately the norm if the whole family hangs out together (fun, but tiring). Consider asking DH to solo parent one day so you can get in some time for yourself. YMMV, but by the end of my leave with first kiddo, I was excited to go back to work because I was tired of staying home with baby, so maybe the “excited to return” part will come naturally later?

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      I personally don’t think you need to be excited to go to work for it to be worth it and for it to provide you certain benefits, i.e. financial, stability, some camaraderie with coworkers. So maybe you can give it your best for these last few weeks, go out on leave and then how you feel when you come back. I’ve heard that you shouldn’t make any major decisions for the first 6 months or so back, so if possible, give it some time after you get back and then reevaluate. Nothing is forever, you don’t have to commit to this job forever. For having too much at work, can you start transitioning some of your projects now, as you’ll need to do that when you’re on leave anyway.

      I’m also pregnant with a 2 year old at home and while I love our weekends as a family, they are exhausting! I look forward to those quiet hours at the office on Mondays. So perhaps for now, you can also focus on those little moments that are good at work, like having lunch in peace or going to the bathroom when you want to!

    • If it is at all possible, schedule your last day. I was also hoarding my days off for leave and trying to work until the very last minute. I sounded exactly like you. If I had a scheduled last day, in advance of my due date, I think it would have really helped me have something to work towards.

      So my advice would be, pick a day at 38 or 39 weeks or so and say that’s it. Tell work you will get done whatever you can ahead of that date and prioritize accordingly. To me that would have really, really helped. Instead, I broke down from exhaustion and stress at 39w2d and begged my OB to put me on disability (“all you had to do was ask sweetie! I’m faxing it right now!”)

      However caveat is my employer let me take as much unpaid time as I wanted, and I was financially able to swing it. So because the clock started on my STD/FMLA “early” I made up for it by taking extra unpaid time at the other side that wasn’t actually protected by FMLA. I understand I got lucky in this regard that my employer was flexible. And also, we need real maternity leave in this country.

      • DCMomAnon says:

        Yeah, be careful about this, as you don’t want to use too much time upfront and then have to go back to work too quickly after the baby is born. Especially think twice about it if your first came late.

        -Mom of two kids that both came almost two weeks after their due dates

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes a good friend went on leave at 38 weeks. Baby came at 42 and her maternity leave was already 1/3 over. I worked until my induction at 41 weeks and was so glad I did even though the last few weeks weren’t fun.

    • Any chance you could take a weekend day or maybe a Friday afternoon + Saturday (maybe without having to take vacation depending on your office) to focus on some you time? Pedicure, meal out, a little shopping, massage, pool time?

  10. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure this has been asked before, but: Best shoes for a baby who crawls but is likely a few months away from walking? He is starting day care, and they have an outside area full of mulch etc. and recommend that he not go barefoot, which makes sense. Neither of my other kids ever had shoes before they started walking. I think I need something slipper-like? Recommendations?

    • AwayEmily says:

      Roobeez worked well for us. They often have them for less money on 6pm.

    • The little baby converse are adorable and relatively affordable.

    • lawsuited says:

      Search for “crib shoes”. They are like toddler shoes but have a soft, non-slip sole rather than a rubber sole so they’re easy to crawl in but also provide some stability for early standing/walking.

    • Anonymous says:

      We loved the freshly picked moccasins – soft leather, and they stayed on my daughter’s feet.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Reality check: even if I can’t stop thinking about how awful my kid was on our flight home yesterday all the other passengers have probably forgotten, right?

    Most of the flight was fine, but about 20 minutes from landing one toddler started crying and was not willing to be pacified with books, toys, snacks, songs, snuggles, or the usually forbidden phone and basically just cried until we got off the plane. I know that people don’t like when kids cry, but we just got so many dirty looks even though we had one 15-month-old happily sitting in his carseat and were actively trying to calm down the other twin.

    • Anonymous says:

      20 minutes is NOTHING! And people cut you a lot of slack if you’re trying. I’ve been on 10 hour transatlantic flights with babies who cried the entire time and parents who ignored them. I guarantee you know one is whining about a toddler crying for the last 20 minutes, especially if that toddler had attentive parents.

    • Anonymous says:

      Reality check: who cares? It was clearly annoying, and? You did what you could. Move on.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      Yep, it’s done. They probably complained when someone asked how their flight was, but they’ve all moved past it at this point.

    • rosies says:

      Toddlers are toddlers. I’d dwell on nasty looks/comments from adults (people who you would expect to show a little understanding/compassion) a lot longer than I’d be thinking about one crying kid who is acting age-appropriate.

    • Anonymous says:

      Even if they haven’t forgotten and tell all their friends and family about That Awful Family…who cares? You’ll never see them again. And you tried.

    • People are awful to parents on planes. We flew this weekend with my 5 month old and she was an angel 95% of the time but cried for *maybe* 5 minutes on descent. We tried everything we could, including a bottle, but she was clearly just in pain from the pressure changes and wanted to complain about it the only way she knows how. We heard people b!tching about the “crying baby” when we were getting off the plane. She cried so briefly and it wasn’t a redeye or long flight where people expect to sleep, I really don’t know what more they could want.

      • People really are awful to parents on planes. The last plane trip DH and I took (without Kiddo), there was a toddler behind us who slept basically the whole time. There was a group of 9 adults and teenagers around us who were absolutely obnoxious–yelling back and forth across rows, getting up constantly, and generally acting like the plane was party central. It’s not that I like listening to babies crying, but it’s a lot more understandable than listening to a bunch of adults acting inappropriately for 3 hours.

        • Anonymous says:

          If I was the parent of the sleeping toddler, I would have been so mad that they were being so loud while my child was actually sleeping on the plane.

    • Anonymous says:

      If they were upset, that’s totally their problem. You’re an amazing parent.

    • My friends just got back from a trip and he said a toddler ran down the airplane aisle and vomited all over their phones which were sitting on an open trey. You’re fine.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      LOL. You flew with twin toddlers and had 20 minutes of crying. That’s a huge accomplishment, even if you thought you saw a few dirty looks (which might have been idiots, or might have been empathetic “I’ve been there, sister” looks – just sayin’). You deserve a big high five.

    • Rainbow Hair says:

      I’ve been really trying to think about why something my kid does elicits [whatever big emotional reaction] from me. She’s a three-year-old, so her fussing is pretty honed. But here’s the thing! Usually when I’m (over?)reacting to her and I ask myself why, it’s like, “I’m worried people are thinking I’m a bad mom because my overtired kid is melting down. But hey, I know [whatever background] and that I’m doing my best to help her! If they’re seriously being as judgy as I’m worried they’re being, turns out they are the a-hole in this situation!”

      I hope that helps. Sorry people on planes are jerks. <3

  12. Patty Mayonnaise says:

    Highly recommend Softstar shoes!

  13. Please tell me this will get better. We just moved (only a few miles, but still) – this means new house and new childcare for 22-mo DD. She’s taking to the new house amazingly, plays happily, sleeps well, all around champ. New daycare is a different story – her old place was a large center, this is an in-home (there are no large centers where we moved to – all in-home style). She used to love going to “school”, and really thrived there. Now she screams at drop-off and clings to me screaming. Also doesn’t eat there other than fruit and crackers (new place makes food, which is awesome for us but means she gets offered lots of things that are new to her). I get that this is to be expected after only a week and I know I need to give it time. But it should get better eventually, right? I don’t love that the teachers basically pick her up and try to distract her…as she’s gotten older we’ve tried to move away from distraction and let her feel her feelings and work it out, but they’re so up in her business here and I’m finding it impossible not to compare to her old place, and worry about whether she’s going to be scarred by this. Also doesn’t help that I’m 24 weeks pregnant and the a/c at new place went out during our record setting heat wave over the weekend, so I’ll admit I’m on edge from other things!

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Aww. Changes are hard. And I remember kiddo (who is the happiest daycare kid ever) going through some weird clingy daycare drop offs around that age, with no changes. I’d give it time, find ways to calm your own stress, and see if kiddo chills out.

    • We switched daycares when my son was a bit older (33 months) and it was center to center, but the transition was really really hard for him. I felt like such a terrible mother for the entire transition period (it lasted about a month I believe), but now he is thriving and we LOVE the new place, so I am glad we did it. Things that helped in the transition:
      1) Have a drop off routine. “we put our shoes away, I give you a hug, and then I’m going to work. I will come back after naptime when you are outside!”. Something short and sweet that you do every single time.
      2) Remind her that you are coming back and about the routine while you are driving there, at home, etc.
      3) Keep your confidence at drop off. I read somewhere that if we show confidence when we drop off, it sends our kids the message that we are confident in their care providers. So instead of getting sad and giving in to “just one more hug” “don’t go mommy” etc. I just stick to the routine as confidently as I can and then leave.

      I would also talk to your provider about your concerns with their approach. maybe something like “when we have a babysitter confirming her emotions and letting her work through them has helped a lot!”

      Good luck, transitions are hard!

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Oh! One more thought – the book “Llama Llama Misses Mama” was very comforting to kiddo during her clingy periods. There is a line toward the end when Mama comes to pick up Llama Llama from school, and he shouts, “Mama Llama, you came back!” Kiddo would shout that at me every time I came to pick her up.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yikes, the AC at new daycare went out? I would have a problem with that.

      • Ha, no a/c at new house we just moved into. Thankfully daycare a few minutes away is nice and cool still, though DD seems to be the only one at home who neither notices nor cares that it’s 80+ degrees inside.

        Thanks all for the reminders – and support!

  14. KateMiddletown says:

    Looking for a cute nursing nightgown that I can wear now (@ 7ish mos) which will accommodate ridiculously large nursing bo0b$. Sleeveless, soft, and cute is a bonus.

    • shortperson says:

      i’ve had good luck with nursing nightgowns at the gap and figure8 maternity

    • I love the ones from Gap–I wore them exclusively from about 7 mos until LO was about 5 mo. Super soft, sleeveless, and washes well. I wore my pre-pregnancy size despite going up 3 cup sizes and it fit great (with room to spare).

      • KateMiddletown says:

        By wore them exclusively I hope you mean you wore them literally everywhere, all the time, no work clothes :) Sounds like my DREAM!

    • aimees nursing gowns — nursinggowns d-o-t com
      soft, wash well, snug enough to hold nursing pads without being restrictive, no clips or weird fabric maneuvering.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Found out today that I am having a little GIRL! Had the anatomy scan and everything was measuring on target. It’s a good day :)

  16. When did you take your baby to swim in a swimming pool? I have a 5 month old and a swimming pool at home. Husband is itching to dip him in t by e pool, but I am worried about chemicals in the pool… any thoughts or experience on this issue?

    • Spirograph says:

      It literally never occurred to me to be worried about pool chemicals. I am certain I took my first child to the pool before he was 6 months old, he was born in the spring, and I definitely spent time in the outdoor baby pool that summer. Just rinse him off in a clean shower afterward.

    • He should be fine, but maybe you can you adjust the chemical levels in your pool a bit? make sure the chlorine is lower (under 10ppm) and the pH is closer to 7.2 than 8? I always rinse off my daughter (now 1 year) after a swim and moisturize. She’s never had a problem. She’s also never really had sensitive skin though.

    • We put our baby in (indoor) baby and me swim class at 2 months, and she’s been in the pool pretty regularly since. She’s developing normally, despite her love of lapping up pool water like a puppy. Just rinse off, make sure you moisturize, and try to minimize the pool drinking. I’d be more worried about sunburn, so shade is your friend (even if you have to sink an umbrella in the pool), get a baby rashguard and UPF hat (recommend iplay brand for the hat; rashguards I suggest a full or half zip kind if your kid’s head is as big as my LO’s because they are hard enough to wrestle in and out of with the zip) and do early morning or late evening, because I think they recommend no sunscreen until about 6 months. We double diaper – huggies little swimmer disposable under the iplay reusable swim diaper, as that is what all of our pools require.

      • We use a wetsuit for kiddo. It doesn’t really fit like a wetsuit should (a bit loose) but it keeps her warmer and covered up.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yup he’ll be fine, just rinse after. If he gets a rash or something you can reconsider. I recommend the aerosol sunscreens because babies HAAAATE having sunscreen smeared on them. Sun hats also good.

      • ElisaR says:

        yes, getting sunscreen on them can be tough before they are used to it….but I would have more concerns about aerosol sunscreens around a baby due to the inhalation of the spray

      • CLMom says:

        Aerosol sunscreen made my 2.5yo daughter break out in a terrible rash. So beware if your child has sensitive skin.

  17. Anonymous says:

    It’s a little late in the day so I’m not sure how many people will see this, but I would love any thoughts or advice. My husband and I have been talking about having another baby and we’re just not on the same page. He told me last night he feels that our family is complete. My best way to describe what I’m feeling is to say I feel like I have more love to give. And that I would love our son to have a closer-in-age sibling. (He has a sister, my SD, who he loves and loves him back but is ten years older than him.) I don’t feel like my life is over if we can’t have another, and he says he could be convinced, but I think we are coming from such opposite corners, someone will have to compromise. Can anyone reflect from the other side?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      So…I’m dating a guy who wants “kids,” and I have a kiddo (who would be his SD if we married) and I’m not at all sure I want to have plural more children. In part because pregnancies and babies are disruptive, and I expected to only go through that disruption twice in my life; adding 50% more (or even more than 50% more) disruption seems really unpleasant. Your husband has already gone through it twice, and has gone through a divorce or spouse death (which was probably disruptive) and a new relationship while being a single parent (also disruptive). It might be that he has maxed his appetite for major life changes, while you still have capacity for a few more.

      But also, I really like my life. I’m not stretched too thin emotionally, I have me-time, I get enough sleep, I’m financially secure and I know I can provide for kiddo. I have deep, healthy relationships with a number of important people. I like my career trajectory and can see myself moving further along that path. Adding another kid would destabilize that, but I think I could handle it. Going through two pregnancies and two baby phases would mean probably 4-5 years of constant destabilization and….I’m not sure I could get back to this happy place. I don’t know that any spouse could reassure me enough to get past that, unless they were very rich and we could afford a bunch of live-in nannies and a full-time driver.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m married to my daughters father but the second paragraph is basically how I feel. I LOVE my daughter and being a mom, but I also love traveling and having plenty of money and having lots of alone time (introvert here) and all those things would be much harder if we had a second. I also think it’s easier to keep the marital relationship a priority with only one child, and that’s important to me too.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is a super helpful perspective and I really appreciate it!

      • This is exactly how I feel. I have had one child whom I wanted and love so much and do so much with. But the amount of havoc it wreaked in my world was eye-opening. I think I am truly traumatized by the experience as even now 3 years later I absolutely do not want to do this again. Now, if my husband could get pregnant and look for childcare and cook enough food for two months ahead of baby so he doesn’t have to rely on me to cook while BFing which I would not be able to do without asking him a thousand questions and pump milk and schedule and take himself and the child to all those appointments and talk to family, I might be open to it. But as is, with me being the primary breadwinner and having to add all of the above to my workload I just cannot and this is what I have told my husband who really wants a second child.

        So back to your question – what are the things that your husband may find daunting about having another baby? I would focus on concrete items and see if you can eliminate or work through some of the concerns. With my concerns outlined above, I told DH we can have another baby if we make enough money to hire a nanny, who must be live-in for the first 4 months. So it’s on him to catch up the earnings or learn how to do more of the stuff we call “emotional labor” here which translates into real life hours and intense stress.

    • Anonymous says:

      He doesn’t want another kid so don’t have one. That’s the compromise

      • What? Absolutely disagree. Why is his opinion the one that “wins” automatically? Nope, there are many more discussions to be had. It may result in not having more babies, but it’s not an automatic “husband gets his way” decision.

        • Anonymous says:

          I’m not Anon at 5:06, but I don’t think it’s ‘husband gets his way’ so much as ‘person who wants less kids gets their way’. I’m not saying they can’t keep discussing it, but ultimately if he can’t get fully, enthusiastically on board with a second kid they shouldn’t have one.

    • Delta Dawn says:

      If your DH says he could be convinced, you may not be coming from THAT opposite of viewpoints necessarily. You said he told you last night that he feels your family is complete– is this the first Big Conversation you’ve had about this, specifically? Did he know, before last night, that you would like to have another baby? Because he may sit with that knowledge for a little while and gradually realize that he would like to have another, especially if you would. Is it possible he thought you might have only wanted one, and so he just never thought another one was a serious possibility? I’m just tossing out scenarios, not to say that any of this is correct or incorrect.

      For example, I have known since we got married that my DH was Team Two Kids, full stop… but on the flip side, I’ve never been sure if I would maybe want a third. And he knows that I might want a third. And I know that he probably will not be talked into a third. :) But we’ve been having that conversation gradually over a period of several years. So if last night was the first big, cards-on-table discussion, maybe there is more ground to cover?

  18. CPA Lady says:

    After the post on the main s i te about summer camps, I’ve been doing some research on summer camps and was wonder what your plans are? I went to sleepaway camp for a week at a time here or there during every summer as a kid, and loved it. Would you ever send your kid to one of the multiple weeks long ones? At what age? Did you go to one like that? Some of them are pretty expensive, but it just sounds so great to not have to do the mad planning scramble that parents of school aged kids have to do.

    • KateMiddletown says:

      I think we’re going to try a 1-week camp done by the YMCA next summer. Typically we do day camps almost every week except a few stays with grandparents. I haven’t looked into the cost yet! I have an 8 y/o girl, fwiw

    • Sarabeth says:

      I am really, really hoping to be able to afford to send my kids to sleepaway camp when the time comes. I think my daughter will thrive on it (son is still too young for me to have a sense of how it will play with his personality). And being able to spend that much kid-free time with my husband sounds amazing. That said, we wouldn’t do one of the all-summer ones, at least until kids are much older. I’m sure I’ll miss them when they are at camp, and I also love getting to do all the summer stuff with them, so I don’t think I’d want to give that up for more than three weeks.

      It’s going to be $$$, but assuming public school works out for our kids and our careers remain stable, we should be able to swing the money.

    • Anonymous says:

      I was a shy introverted kid and would have hated it. I did an odd week or two here and there but would have considered 8 weeks of camp torture. On the other hand, DH went all summer and loved it. Gently. I don’t think it’s a good plan to do this as childcare. It will make your kid feel like she’s being shipped off because her parents don’t want to deal with the logistics of arranging childcare and that’s not a fun feeling. If it’s something she wants to do and she’s the one pushing to go all summer I think it’s a different story. At the very least I’d start with one or two weeks and then see if she’s enthusiastic about going for longer.

      • CPA Lady says:

        Oh, I’m not thinking about doing it because childcare is a hassle, I genuinely loved going to summer camp. It was the high point of my summer. If she hated it, I wouldn’t make her go, but it was an amazing positive experience for me and I would hope it would be for her too. The not having to plan thing is just a huge added bonus.

        • Anonymous says:

          I think whether kids feel like they are being sent away depends a bit on peers/social context. It was really common for my school classmates to go away for 6-8 weeks and a formative experience for a lot of my friends. I don’t think they interpreted it as their parents trying to offload them for the summer (even if for the parents it really did come down to childcare logistics!). It was just considered a normal thing to do in the summer. I only went for 2 weeks because that was all my parents could afford but loved it. If anything I was a bit envious that my friends got to go for the whole summer.

          Where I live now, the norm seems to go for 1-2 weeks, so perhaps a kid might be less excited about staying for longer or feel bad with their friends leaving in the middle.

    • Spirograph says:

      I grew up going to sleep away YMCA summer camp for a week every summer, and worked at the same camp as a counselor & lifeguard for a few full summers in high school and college. LOVED it. I will absolutely start sending my kids to the local Y sleep away camp around 7 or 8, but only for one week at a time.

      If the camp session itself is more than one week, I would consider that, but if it’s just an option to stay for 2 or more sessions, I’d pass. I remember the handful of stay-over kids being SO sad and homesick when parents came to pick up all their friends. They had a great time the second week, but the day/night before the next group of campers arrived was rough.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I went to sleepaway camp for about one week for a few summers when I was around tween age / early teens. At the time it was great to have a little bit of space from my family. I don’t know that I would have liked to have gone for weeks at a time. I don’t think that my week away was transformative in the sense that I definitely want to send my kids to sleepaway camp for any period of time, but I’d definitely be open to it if they really wanted to go or if there was one that seemed really interesting. I’d probably balk at the all-summer thing, since I’m sure that’s insanely expensive.

    • Anonymous says:

      I loved it as a kid. I didn’t go the whole summer, but I do remember that by the time I was old enough to go to overnight camp (10? I think?) my mom also let me stay home by myself, so she wasn’t arranging childcare anyway.

      I guess that’s probably illegal now… And the crazier part was she left me home with my brand new puppy that year! I was in charge of housebreaking the puppy and training it. It did keep me very busy.

    • Mrs. Jones says:

      I definitely want to send our child to sleepaway camp when he’s at least 9 years old. I wouldn’t send him to camp for more than a week or two though. That’s the most I went away to camp, and I didn’t want to be away longer than that.

    • Anonymous says:

      I sent my daughter to a one-week session of camp for the first time when she was 6. A weeklong session (5 – 7 days) is perfect for a first camp experience. If they are homesick, they can spend a couple of days adjusting and still have a few days left to really engage before camp ends, but it’s short enough that the end is always clearly in sight.

      I agree with Spirograph that if you want to send your kid for more than one week, a multi-week session is vastly preferable to staying over for multiple one-week sessions.

      My parents were overprotective and controlling and refused to let me go to sleepaway camp until I was 11, several years after I started begging. That first one-week session at Girl Scout camp was fun but not life-chaging. Amazingly, they did allow me to go to two three-week academic camps at age 12 and 13. These were held on college campuses, where we lived in the dorms, did our own laundry, and were allowed limited freedom to roam the campus and town at specified times. This, plus the excellent academic instruction and being together with other kids like me, was transformative. It helped me begin to envision an independent life as a young adult and really made me look forward to college. In contrast, my sister only tried going to camp once and demanded that my parents pick her up after the first night because she was homesick. She went on to have a lot of difficulty functioning as an independent young adult during college and afterwards.

      I strongly believe that all kids need to spend time away from their parents. I would not send a kid younger than 10 to camp unless she wanted to go, but I would absolutely force a reluctant 10-year-old to choose a weeklong camp and go.

      Now that my daughter is 11, I would absolutely send her to a multi-week camp if she wanted to go, but she is very serious about her sport and is not willing to miss more than a week of practice at a time for anything. I understand and respect this decision, but going somewhere on her own for a few days (camp or to visit out-of-state relatives) is still a requirement every summer.

    • I went to summer camp for 4 weeks every summer starting at 8 years old. I went for 9 summers, stayed 6 weeks my last summer, and worked as a junior counselor my 10th summer. Obviously, I loved it, and I don’t think I could untangle all the ways it was formative for me (I mean, it was basically 1/12th of my life during 10 of my most formative years). I can say that some of the friends I made were really, really important in my teen years (thanks aol instant messenger), and I believe they’d say the same.

      I absolutely would send my kid to summer camp, but I’m not planning to one way or the other. Like so many things, it really depends on the kid. I was/am an extreme extrovert and an only child, and nothing made me happier than being crammed into a cabin with 9 other girls plus 2 counselors and having activities planned all the time and always having someone to talk to. I was also extremely independent–going to summer camp was entirely my idea at 8 years old, going for 4 weeks was my request, and I was never homesick. Every summer, I sobbed when I had to leave, and I was down for weeks. BUT I can see that it wouldn’t be the best experience for an introvert, or for someone committed to a particular sport or activity, or for someone more used to being around family members (because, let’s be honest, I didn’t see my parents all that much anyways).

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