Accessory Tuesday: Sharna Cross Strap

These shoes from Rockport are very highly rated at Zappos, and they’re on sale, too (for $55.99 from $80). They look like they’d be great shoes for running around after your kiddo, but they’re also flattering, particularly because the crossed straps dip below the line where the typical ankle strap would go. Rockport Sharna Cross Strap

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  1. Love the early morning post!

    Question: I now have a 2 y.o. and a newborn. We have a Cruz stroller with the ride along board and the coordinating car seat so if I want to take both kids out my options are (a) use infant car seat and let toddler walk/ride along or use stroller as normal and wear baby. Both are fine for quick trips to the corner store but not optimal for anything longer. My 2 y.o. still gets tired pretty easily and I never got into baby wearing with her and not sure I will with the new little guy. Our original plan was to just get a double u Breslau stroller at some point since we’d probably need it if we wanted to go to places like the zoo, etc.. but comparing options I’m wondering if I should just get a regular double stroller. Specifically looking at the baby jogger city mini double and the UB glink double… they weight almost the same and are about as wide. The one downside of the CitiMini seems to be that you can’t use it w/o car seat till baby is able to sit up so I would have to figure out if I could even get an adapter for the Mesa car seat whereas the UB seems ok from birth.

    We’re in NYC so a good stroller is important, and we don’t want anything too wide b/c we need to navigate a lot of narrow spaces and doors. But I also don’t want one of those strollers where one kid is low to the ground. Does anyone have any experience/thoughts about either of these strollers? What’s better?

    • Ugh, sleepless nights… didn’t proofread … original plan was to get a double umbrella stroller, not sure how auto correct got where it did :-)

    • I saw a baby and a toddler in a Mountain Buggy double the other day that looked quite sensible. It had a lay-flat design so it was usable from birth (although I’d probably put one of the bugaboo nest things in there).

      The buggies where one is practically on the ground look terrible!

    • lawsuited says:

      I have 2 friends who have the CitiMini and they love it. It is narrower than the UB Cruz, so better for crowded city streets and transit. Assuming you can get an adapter, I don’t think using the infant seat until your youngest can sit is a problem – I far preferred being able to plonk the car seat onto the stroller and not having to transfer baby between car seat and stroller. And your LO will be sitting around 4 months, so even if it’s not your preference it’s a short term thing.

    • Anonymous says:

      I had the Stroll Air Duo with my twins + older kid and loved it. Seats can both rearface, or both front face, or one rear, one front. Takes car seats as well. I could also put my oldest’s push bike or scooter in the basket underneath for trips to the park.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not sure if you’re referring to the City Mini tandem or side-by-side, but the side-by-side is too wide to fit through standard doorways, so you might have some issues there.

      We have the Mountain Buggy duet for our twins and love it. You could get a car seat adapter for one seat. The only downside is that to achieve its narrow width, the seats are narrower than most, so depending on whether your toddler runs big or small, the lifespan might be short for you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh, correction – I see on the City Mini site that the side-by-side is supposed to fit through standard doorways. But I know people who have had problems with it not fitting places in NYC.

        The UB GLink double looks great. We know a twin mom who uses it exclusively around the city.

      • POSITA says:

        I bought a used CitiMini side-by-side at a garage sale on a whim for $25. It was already pretty beat up, but I didn’t expect to use it much. We’ve used it a ton. It pushes so nicely and both kids are happy to ride in it. It fits through most normal doors without too much trouble.

        As far as an infant, I wouldn’t put a really little one in it, but we started using it fully reclined once the baby had some head control. By 3 or 4 months, we could prop the baby up in it pretty well with it partially reclined. Now at 1 and 4 the kids can climb in and out by themselves–yay! It’s really nice when you don’t want to deal with dawdling and just want to walk.

    • Walnut says:

      We have a Baby Jogger City Select Double for our infant and 2 year old. It’s been worth every penny spent.

      • +1, the fact that it can go from single to double is awesome. We used it as seat + car seat when baby was young, double seat once he was older, and now single with rider board (unless we are going somewhere where we want them both to sit).

    • We put our twins in our double City Mini from about 2 weeks on. The seats recline all the way flat, so it actually works really well for newborns (and even as a double stroller was much lighter to push than all of our friends’ single stroller + carseat combos).

      • this — you can also use a head support like a noggin nest to keep them from slumping until they are sitting better. by 3 mo you should be fine in city mini — mine outgrew the infant carseat/bassinet by then anyway and was fine with a bit of extra support in our city mini GT

    • Lucie’s List has great reviews/comparisons of side by side double strollers. She talks about things such as width of stroller, weight, which are good for urban areas, etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      AIMS, you and I have been on the same page with strollers. I have a just-over-two year old and a 3-month old and we were also doing the Cruz + piggyback or Cruz + babywearing. It’s been too cold for my toddler to hold onto the stroller, though (we haven’t been able to find gloves that fit him well and are warm, so he’s wearing warm ones that are too big. Fine for running around the park, bad for holding on to one thing for a long time). I caved and bought the Vista and I’m so, so glad I did. I really love it.

  2. I went to the doctor last week (for the first time since my 6-week post-partum appointment) and found out that my blood pressure is insanely high. Like 170/120 high. He told me a could stroke out anytime with readings like that. My doctor wouldn’t let me leave the office without BP medication, so I’m taking that now but I took some home readings and they are still 150/100. I feel like, if my blood pressure is this high at age 31 WTH is it going to be like when I’m 51? My BP was on the higher end of normal before I got pregnant (around 125/80), high during pregnancy (but controlled by medication) and seemed to return to normal after birth and during my mat leave (the last time it would have been measured was at my post-partum appointment) but obviously has increased a lot since then. I’ve been back at work for 8 months, my husband went back to work in January (meaning baby started daycare and is sick all the time), we moved to a new city in December so are now dealing with a new commute but we’re in temporary accommodation as the building of our home was delayed. I feel like this stressful stage of life is spiking my BP. Does anyone have experience with this, and did your BP ever return to normal?

    TLDR: Between my litigation job and a lot of life changes, my life is stressful and I don’t think I can change that. I don’t want to be on BP medication at age 31 and definitely not longterm. Any good news stories from people who’ve experienced something similar?

    • Moms Solo says:

      I don’t have first hand experience, but my husband’s side all has BP issues and very stressful jobs/lives. A few of them went on really aggressive heart healthy diets and were able to control BP without medication. Oatmeal for breakfast was the biggest game-changer it seemed. Worth a shot? I have a condition treated with medication that *allegedly* diet can improve, but I can’t focus on diet right now lol – so no shame if it’s not for you.

      • Thanks for your sensitive reply. I really want to beat this down with exercise and diet changes but also feel like “WHEN?”

        • Anonymous says:

          I started with small stuff – take the stairs at work (or even just for a couple flights), park a bit further away, print from the copier down the hall. You’re in a super stressful period but you can make choices that will add up. Try to choose healthier options when you eat out. Oatmeal for breakfast, salad with protein for lunch and you’re already at 2/3 meals being healthy. You can do this.

        • Anonymous says:

          Even ten minutes a day of aerobic activity helps significantly with blood pressure!

      • Anon in NYC says:

        I’ve never had BP issues specifically, but I have a family history of high BP/cholesterol so I try to be cognizant of those issues. I noticed a marked improvement in my stats when I was eating healthier and exercising regularly. I hear you on the lack of time and general stress though. The biggest changes to my diet, that also don’t require a lot of time/effort, that I made were:

        (1) drastically reduce the amount of dairy in my diet. I didn’t eliminate it entirely, but I went from regularly eating cheese to more of an occasional eater. Small changes, like getting a sandwich for lunch but omitting the cheese. I love cheese so I thought this was going to be so hard, but it honestly wasn’t.

        (2) drastically reducing the amount of red meat in my diet. Again, I still eat it, but I eat a burger or steak once a month, at most. I eat mostly chicken, eggs, and occasionally pork.

        (3) increasing the amount of non-starchy vegetables in my diet. So, salad or vegetable with lunch and dinner. If we’re getting takeout, we now order a vegetable side too. If I’m packing lunch for work, I set aside a portion of leftover vegetables in a container for me.

        (4) I stopped eating a lot of processed snacks (which are often high in sodium). I just don’t buy it any more (although I will definitely eat it if my husband brings it home!). I eat a lot more nuts/fruit as snacks now.

        These were diet changes that I made to be healthier overall, not specifically to address BP issues, and I was combining all of this with exercise. But I had blood drawn before I made these changes and after, and I noticed an overall improvement afterwards. (btw, I hope this doesn’t come across as sanctimonious. It just seems like you have a lot of real stress going on and sometimes when I am in that situation it’s hard to see easy actionable steps that I can take.) Good luck! You got this.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am not a doctor but have you tried a baby aspirin each morning? I had super high blood pressure during my first pregnancy and started taking low dose aspirin, and it has helped immensely. Not sure if it would work for you, but worth asking about. I too come from a family with high blood pressure and I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’ll just have to be extra careful about what I eat, ensuring I get exercise each day, etc. It does seem like a long slog when you think about all of the years in front of you but those healthy habits have a lot of additional benefits!

    • Mama Llama says:

      Can I ask why you don’t want to be on BP medication for life? Are there side effects that bother you?

      • Yeah, I’m on medication for life for similar reasons and… I’m mostly grateful I’m aware of the problem and am addressing it! It’s not ideal, but it becomes ingrained in you. Really doesn’t affect my life much at all.

        That being said, mine was an issue that I couldn’t address with diet/exercise. I might have tried that if I could.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not OP but I think it’s pretty common that people want to cure an illness not just treat it. Clearly there are situations when medication is required – my HS math teacher was the only male in his family to live past age 40 so he had been taking BP medication since his 20s and was super fit/healthy and still needed it.

      • I have a family history of high blood pressure, so I expected I’d need to take medication later in life like other family members, but my readings being this high at such a young age are an indicator to me that, aside from any genetic proclivity, I’m putting a lot of stress on my body. My preference if to have a healthy body rather than an ill body that is made functional by medication. Trying to decide whether I just accept that I have an ill body (much easier but maybe not better?) or whether I try to make it healthy again (very difficult in my current stage of life) is weird.

    • This is anecdotal but my husband has been able to control his blood pressure by eating a salad every day for lunch. Sounds crazy but it’s completely helped. So these things can be controlled by diet if you’re willing to go that route! Sorry you’re dealing with this.

    • POSITA says:

      My husband had a crazy spike in blood pressure when our first was about that age. He had blurry vision, went to urgent care and ended up on bp meds. He was really stressed out from the new baby and the big transition. By the end of her first year things were easier and his high blood pressure hasn’t returned. He’s been off meds for about 3 years now.

      In part, I think him stressing about his high blood pressure was also contributing to his high blood pressure. I would try not to panic–this could just be symptom of a transition period in your life. Take bp meds now, do what you can to take care of your health, and reevaluate as you go.

    • Did they rule out post-partum pre-eclampsia? Last year, there were a bunch of stories in the news about how pre-eclampsia can happen post-partum, but isn’t always caught by doctors because it isn’t always on their radar. I’m not sure how late that can happen after having a baby, but I’d want to bring it up just to make sure it was ruled out. Not to freak you out with other news, but better safe than sorry.

    • Did your doctor consider whether there might be an underlying condition causing high blood pressure? In young adults (ages 19-39), it makes sense to check for other causes: thyroid disorders, hormonal disorders (especially postpartum), sleep apnea, renal artery stenosis (narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys…this tricks the kidneys into thinking that the whole body is seeing reduced blood flow, so the kidneys release hormones to elevate the blood pressure), medications (oral contraceptives, NSAIDs, cold medicines, some antidepressants, etc).

      Also, this is not to freak you out at all! These are all treatable problems, and once they’re identified, BP will typically normalize.

    • Knope says:

      If you think that diet/exercise can solve it, I’m happy to provide suggestions on how to do that. Is it just time that is the obstacle, or also money, or other health issues? BIG caveat though that I don’t want to give the impression that diet/exercise is always the answer – as JDMD says, there may be other causes.

  3. Funny story: We celebrate mother’s day in March in the UK but I’m American so it doesn’t register on my radar until May and I realise I can’t buy a card to send to my mom. We were driving home from work and my husband said, “Oh mother’s day is coming up…we’ll have to have a think about that.’ Cue me grumbling about emotional labour, he looks after his mum, I’ll look after mine…

    I didn’t register that mother’s day applied for me this year!

  4. Self Employment Transition (with kids) says:

    Cross posting from the other site because there’s a four and two year old in the mix as well:

    Those of you who have hung out your own shingles/are self employed, and those of you who are married to self employed people – can you help me with this transition? My husband quit his day job three weeks ago to focus full time on his business, and we’re on just my salary but the demands of two full time careers right now. I am really struggling with self care, care for my marriage, support of his endeavor, and getting my own side hustle off the ground. Any tips? Any ideas for any of the above that cost literally $0? My salary is enough to cover the bills, but only just.

    I feel like I am having a constant low grade panic attack and am snappier and angrier with people than I generally wish to be.

    • mascot says:

      This sounds like a hard transition and it may be that only time will really fix it. I realize that throwing money at problems and outsourcing everything isn’t an option. But, can you lower your expectations for a little while? The kids will be fine with really simple, repetitive meals and probably don’t care if the house is in perfect order. Continue to have regular date times with your husband. Set a cut-off time a few times a week where you shut down the computers and phones and don’t worry about work or the side hustle. Use that time to reconnect, do some self-care, whatever. We also like lunch dates. They are less expensive than dinner out, we are both awake, and they mesh nicely with flexible schedules and kids being in school.
      And maybe this isn’t the time to also be trying to get your own side-hustle off the ground. Not saying that there won’t ever be the time or that you will always play second fiddle to your husband’s endeavor. Just recognizing that sometimes you can’t both be going 100mph simultaneously.

      • This. I think it’s important to take turns with careers with kids this age, truthfully. Does the side hustle have to happen now? With his being self employed, will he have the flexiblity to support you if you really want to aggressively pursue it down the line?

    • We almost did this before reversing course at the last minute. Before we switched gears early this year, my husband was working his regular day job and working on his business in the evening. It was tough. The biggest thing that helped me through was focusing on a) how it was contributing to our long-term vision of what we wanted life to be like and b) how much happier he was while running his business. In terms of financial anxiety, it helped me to be very clear on the budget for the month, and also to have some plans in place if needed (sell car, move to smaller house, etc.) For self-care, I’ve actually found that working on my own side-hustle (well, blog in my case) is free and so rewarding. When I need to space out, I do library e-books or kindle prime (aka free) books. Good luck! Keep your eye on your long-term goals while also being aware of your short-term needs!

    • FTMinFL says:

      We did this about five years ago when my husband started his law firm. The best thing we did was set clear boundaries on time: Saturday mornings were for hanging out at the house (I’m a major homebody and crave time to do nothing at home). He was not to ask me to do anything productive, nor was he to go to the office. 12-6pm on Saturday were for errands and law firm work like setting up/organizing office space. After 6pm was time to focus on the family. I use Saturday as an example because it is a large chunk of unscheduled time, but we worked out schedules like this for all non-work hours. Obviously your timelines/boundaries will be different, but this helped me to feel like the important things were kept sacred and it kept me from resenting his business. Lunch dates are great for looking forward to the coming week and agreeing on this kind of schedule.

  5. Weaning says:

    Looking (unabashedly) for some encouragement. I’m in the process of mother-led-weaning my 12 month old, mostly motivated by some time pressure to get going on number two and still no cycle. We were down to morning and evening, and last night I put LO to bed the first time without nursing. Then I watched a movie where the protagonist leads a successful but tortured life and offs himself when he’s at his prime. COMPLETELY LOST IT and cried for about an hour. I wanted to whip LO out of the crib, latch him on and keep him safe forever. I know objectively it’s probably weaning hormones and mourning the end of the true baby era. I do want to wean though and am excited for the next stage. How long should this mopey period last? Tips for letting go?

    • Oh I’m not there yet (baby is 6 months old) but I want to give you a hug. That’s really tough.

      My baby started crying and reaching out for me when I left today (stupidly came back into the room to get something, he was happily chatting to grandpa) and I almost had my husband let me out of the car so I could go home.

    • Anonymous says:

      Give yourself some space to find the change hard even if you are ready for it. The weaning hormonal changes can be rough so be gentle on yourself. You may get your period back once you’re only nursing one or two times a day for a few weeks.

    • lawsuited says:

      I weaned my baby at 4.5 mo because I returned to work at 3 mo and could not handle the pumping. Most of what you’re feeling is hormones. Now that I’m on the other side of it, I occasionally feel a twinge of nostalgia for nursing, but mostly I feel happy to have ornamental rather than working b00bs again.

      I do believe in marking the “lasts” as well as the “firsts” though, so try to be present in your last nursing sessions accepting that each one might be the last one. I think you’ll find that you feel more closure when it does come to an end if you’ve said a slow goodbye.

    • Momata says:

      I hate to say it, but I am not sure it will end. I’m 18 months done with weaning and the other day I had a complete emotional meltdown when washing dishes because “Candle in the Wind” came on and I started thinking about Princess Di. Once I had children, tragedy just seemed … bigger. Even if a child wasn’t directly involved. Not because of hormones or exhaustion, but because the world’s tragedy seems bigger now that I appreciate these little innocent souls that are in it.

      • Another “maybe it never ends” thought – my friend told me a story yesterday about coming home from a trip after her son was in bed and she knew he was sick. She went in to put her hand on his head and feel his temp and he didn’t even wake up he was so out of it. She dosed him up with advil the next day and came into work but was feeling torn and awful about the whole thing.

        He’s 16. The kid in this story is a teenager. And she STILL wanted to scoop him up and magically make him better. I really don’t think this feeling ends. I think nursing gives us the illusion that we CAN make it all better, and losing that must hurt (haven’t weaned yet but am tearing up thinking about it).

        • I’m pretty sure at the age of 33 and with a child of my own, my mom still wants to make everything all better. She can’t, so instead she makes us pancakes.

      • Jeffiner says:

        I agree, it won’t end. I stopped nursing my LO 2.5 years ago. Last night I was reading her “Love You Forever” at bedtime, and I could barely finish I was sobbing so hard. My husband noticed the same change in himself after she was born, so its not our hormones.

        • Mama Llama says:

          This is me with Llama Llama Red Pajama (hence my user name). No matter how many times I read the “Little Llama, don’t you know? Mama Llama loves you so” part, I get choked up.

        • Edna Mazur says:

          I will never read that book to my kids. We used to laugh when my mom cried EVERY time. I would be a sobbing mess now that I have kids of my own. I’m am tearing up just thinking about it. You are a brave woman.

    • Pregnant with #2 says:

      My experience – stopped pumping and got my cycle back at the same time – 13 months. From 13-23 months we nursed morning and evening but NOT on-demand. Bedtime and morning only. This helped me slowly wean off the hormones and I didn’t have a huge crash – though of course was pregnant when I weaned so was a hormonal wreck anyway. But I think a) your cycle may surprise you if you cut back instead of totally weaning, and b) the hormones are real, suck, and may get you whether or not (or if and how) you wean. Good luck and agreed with whoever above recommended savoring those last sessions – such a bittersweet time.

    • Katala says:

      I stopped pumping with #2 at about 6 months, then reduced nursing to 1-2x/day for a while and tapered off right around 12 months. Even with that sloooow transition, the hormones were real. Like the worst PMS ever, for weeks. My cycle came back after like 2 or 3 months. My first period after weaning was bad hormonally, but I feel a lot better now that it’s over. So getting your cycle back might help! Good luck.

  6. I had a different weaning experience than yours (my son pretty much was too busy for the b00b at 14 months and never looked back), but I wanted to say that the hormonal roller coaster from weaning is real. We had the most relaxed, stretched out weaning you could imagine, and I still had really crazy hormone/emotion experiences to the extent that I actually went to my OB GYN. They suggested low dose of SSRIs if it didn’t get better, but it did. Just wanted to put that on your radar because I legitimately thought I was having some sort of breakdown and did not know that is pretty common.

    • (Sorry! Obviously for Weaning above)

    • Anonymous says:

      This. I was weaning was like my worst PMS ever, combined with some rage. I remember weeping (like the racked, heaving kind) to my husband that I felt so bad and my b**bs hurt so bad and life was so awful at that moment that I didn’t think I could possibly bear having another child because of it. Of course I did, and now I’m afraid to wean her for that very reason… But on the upside it only took about a month for me to stabilize and feel totally normal, emotionally and physically.

  7. Second baby says:

    When will I start to love my second baby? He’s almost two weeks old and I like him quite a bit. He’s an easy baby and I’m definitely glad we had him. But with his sister (who’s now two), I remember feeling this intense immediate bond with her, and I just…don’t have that with my son.

    Everything I read about second babies was along the lines of “I never thought I could love my second kid as much as the first but the second he was born my heart expanded and filled with all this love.” That has not been my experience at all — so far, I still am a million times more attached to his older sister, who is adorable and frustrating and charming and wonderful.

    It’ll happen, right?

    • IT WILL HAPPEN. And don’t feel bad. You’ve had two years to get to know his sister and she has a personality and gives love back. Of course two years olds are more fun and rewarding! (at least to me).
      I think your relationship with your daughter now is coloring your memory a bit too.

      I have a girl then boy, same age difference. Youngest is now 18 months. He is a joy. He has the most awesome personality. I love them both so much. I occasionally feel a preference for one or the other on a day by day basis but overall love them equally. But it takes time to get to know this new little person. You will have so much fun with two. Promise.

      • me too says:

        Same girl first, boy second. First was a bit older when the second was born, though. Took me a little while to feel strong love for him and I still have a deeper attachment to the older kid but I tell myself that’s reasonable because I’ve known her longer.

    • lawsuited says:

      With my LO was born I immediately felt a very strong biological imperative to care for him, but my feelings about him were largely characterized by stress, worry and fear. Until he smiled at me when he was 5 weeks old and I immediately felt strong “happy” love feelings. As his personality grows, I love him more and more, so I’m not surprised to hear that you feel so strongly about your toddler. I think getting to know your baby is important to bonding, and that will take a little more time with your attention divided. You’re only 2 weeks out, cut yourself some slack, mama!

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      I don’t have a second yet but with my first, I don’t remember feeling that intense bond right away. I feel my love grow everyday now that he is a bit older, especially as I see his personality come out and he becomes more interactive. Honestly, newborns just don’t do much other than eat or sleep, and it’s hard to form relationships with them at the beginning.

      • Mrs. Jones says:


      • Anon in NYC says:

        +1 It took me about 6 weeks to feel that bond with my daughter.

      • Anonanonanon says:

        this. about to have my second, but with my first I didn’t have that immediate rush. i too felt like it took about 6 weeks to feel bonded

      • avocado says:

        +1. I didn’t feel that magical connection with my daughter until she was pretty interactive, I was getting a reasonable amount of sleep, and I was back at work/school so I could eat and use the bathroom when I needed to. The bond continued to grow slowly and steadily over time.

    • It will totally happen, but it happened differently for me. With my first, I felt an intense rush of bonding the day she was born (although not immediately) when she had a potential health issue. Since I’d never felt that way before, the feeling was really obvious. With my second, I already knew how to feel like a mom (if that makes sense). So I felt more attached to her from the start but not in that really intense way I did with my first. I’d say my love for her grew slowly and steadily rather than coming in one rush like my oldest. I’ve talked to my mom and sister about this and they both felt the same.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is hard, and I was there. I say tongue in cheek (sorta) that I love my newborns, but I fall in love with my toddlers. I have a first child who has some unique needs that require a degree of intervention. They were really showing up when my second was born, and I tend to be his primary advocate. It makes him very attached to me and vice versa. I couldn’t imagine having that bond with another person, and I remember wondering how I could replicate that bond with another child. Second baby is now 3, and the bond started maybe as a flicker and became stronger and stronger – arguably just as strong but different. It helps that the two kids have the sweetest, strongest bond (I recommend siblings without rivalry, and starting early). It helps that their personalities could not be more different, and second child brought an element of joy to our family that was sorely missing. It helps that the older child started to go through a natural maturation that resulted in some degree of independence from me, etc.

      Basically, a million little things, but really just time helped. At the very early stage where you are, I found a few things helped with a newborn . I realized my exhaustion made me feel worse about everything, so I tried to take all the self-care I could. I was more comfortable with babysitters, and called in a sitter for the second far earlier than i did with the first. I supplemented almost right away if I needed a break from nursing. I also realized spending more time with my older made me feel better, so I did that without guilt (I remember thinking that the baby wouldn’t necessarily know whether he was being cared for by me or someone else, but the oldder child would). All the self-care translated into being better able to take care of my second child.

    • It absolutely will happen, and it may look differently than it did with your first. My oldest was a high needs, intense baby, and I felt a quick surge of love and protection for him. My second, including when I was pregnant, felt different. I was already a mom, my world had already been rocked, and she was a laid back baby and I knew more of what I was doing. It took quite a while to have those pangs of absolute, overwhelming love. Instead, it felt like she was just a natural part of me, like I suddenly had a limb that I hadn’t before but that always belonged there. I can’t even pinpoint when it happened, but it did and it will for you too.

    • Second baby says:

      THANK YOU! These are exactly the stories I needed to hear — I had been feeling like there was something wrong with me, so it is super reassuring to hear that it will happen eventually. And EBO220, you describe it really well. With my first, my feelings for her were magnified by the “OMG I am a parent now” revelation. But with the second, I already *am* a parent so it’s just a much calmer set of emotions altogether.

      • I think some of this is also expectations. I think that a large part of how we feel about something has to do with how we expect it to be. The way motherhood and bonding is portrayed is so often this incomparable, intense love that the real thing can feel underwhelming. I actually think some mild PPD maybe has a bit to do with this or is exarbated by it because everyone keeps telling how happy you must be that feeling anything other than intense joy makes you feel like something is wrong with you.

        I also agree that no matter how much you think you love your newborn, that feeling will only grow so comparing the two is tough. One of my daughter’s baby books (Ten Tiny Toes?) has a line in it about a ‘love that grows and grows’ and while I understood it conceptually when she was 3 mos. old , I get it in an entirely different way now that she is two.

        That said, I am in the same boat with a toddler and newborn, and I can already see the reverse happening too when my oldest is being demanding for no reason and the little baby just wants to eat and be held and I think, ‘he’s so sweet, I just wish I could focus on him right now.’ But these feelings are all transient and evolving so I try not to feel guilty about any of it.

        • 2 Cents says:

          “because everyone keeps telling how happy you must be that feeling anything other than intense joy makes you feel like something is wrong with you.”

          ^I feel like that applies to being pregnant too. I’m 30 weeks with my first, and while very excited and looking forward to baby, pregnancy hasn’t been an all-flowers-and-rainbows-singing-from-the-rooftops experience. So whenever someone say to me, “you must be so happy,” yes, I am, but also terrified. And nauseous.

      • Sabba says:

        I just wanted to gently chime in here that sometimes mild PPD can present as feeling as if it is difficult to bond with your baby. You didn’t mention anything that makes me think you might have PPD–as others have mentioned, what you are going through sounds totally normal. I just gently wanted to encourage you to lean on your support network if you need it and to talk to your doctor if you think you could use some help. Being a mom of two is so tough, so please reach out for the help if you need it. Even mild PPD deserves to be treated and it can be so common even though many well educated people miss the signs. In any case, I agree with the others that you will likely be feeling better about things soon and that you will fall just as madly in love with this child as with your first.

    • It will happen! My second is a true hellion, was a terrible sleeper from day 1, and pretty much turned all of our lives (inc. my older kid) upside down. But my god we love her. And she’s still a hellion at 18 months, but she is also my older daughter’s best friend, my husband’s late night TV buddy (late = 8-9m when everyone else is asleep…), my early morning buddy and the one that has figured out how to make us all laugh hysterically.

      I’m pregnant with my 3rd and honestly, my second was such a life adjustment (1–> 2 for us was so, so much harder than 0 –>1) that I told DH it was now or never– if I didn’t get pregnant and have another IMMEDIATELY I’d never want to go back to sleepless nights and poop filled diapers. 1 and 2 are 3 years apart, 2 and 3 will be 23 months apart. AND WE ARE DONE.

  8. Drowning says:

    Just wanted to say thank you for all the thoughtful responses yesterday to my post about being overwhelmed as a working mom of a baby and toddler. I read the replies with tears streaming down my face, while holding my sick, sleeping baby. I’m still completely underwater, but it really does help to know I’m not alone and this is all normal. I really appreciate the wonderful women in this community.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Bedtime HELP. I have two kids: 3.5 and 5.5. The 3.5 is clearly ready to give up his nap, but there is no other “option” for kids his age to go in lieu of a napping room at school. Unfortunately, that means he simply cannot settle at night, and is routinely staying up until like 9 or 9:30. He is up like clockwork at like 6:45. I hate this, in part because I feel like it’s a really late bedtime for a 3.5 year old – but honestly, mostly because I am ready to be DONE by 8PM. We have a rock solid bedtime routine that we’ve had since my kids were little, and I’ve been striving to have them in bed with the lights out by 7:30. That way, they can have some time to talk before they go down (and are clearly exhausted), but they just end up winding each other up. They share a room, so he is also often keeping up his brother (who definitely would fall asleep by 8). But, as soon as I leave the room, they are laughing and talking and carrying on. It drives me crazy — I’m usually upstairs like four or five times before they finally pass out around 9:30.

    I am solo parenting a bunch right now while my husband travels internationally, and I can’t figure out what to do. Bedtime used to be my favorite time with my kids, but they just get so wound up and I can’t figure out how to calm them down without resorting to punishment, which I don’t love and also doesn’t work. Thoughts? Separating them is an option, but not ideal.

    • Anonymous says:

      How is the 3.5 year old with books? One of my twins still naps and the other doesn’t so I keep the lights low and give the non-napper a stack of books. He doesn’t have to sleep but there’s no talking allowed. Could the 3.5 year old look at books either at nap time at daycare or after bedtime? Small size ‘seek and find’ books seem to work particularly well. Or ones like ‘go dog go’ where the pictures tell the story.

      Another option would be to let the 3.5 year old listen to music or audio books with headphones at daycare or after bedtime while resting.

      • Anonymous says:

        headphones with audio books are a great idea. He loves books, but he gets WILD at bedtime. I feel like he’s chronically overtired, but I can’t ever get him to bed early enough to go to bed without him turning into a wild child. He just can’t wind down. Should I try earlier bedtimes? Reading back through my post, I realize I’m also wondering if my bedtime expectations are off, or what time most other 3 yr olds are going to bed.

        • Anonymous says:

          my three year old twins go to bed between 8-8:30pm but so does their 6 year old sibling.

    • We allow books in bed (and this carries over to nap time at school too – we got the teachers to allow them to have books in their cot if they’re not tired). They can have up to their age in board books, although sometimes they sneak more. I don’t mind.

      We set a rule, which we repeat every night, that if someone is tired, you need to lay down and be quiet. We tell it to their dolls, then also say it to each other “If A is tired, you need to lay down and be quiet so she can rest.” “A, if B is tired, YOU need to lay down and be quiet so she can rest.”

      Other than that, we don’t stress about mild noise coming from the bedroom. If they get too rowdy or I start to hear big thumps, or if one says they’re tired and the other isn’t being quiet, then they get one warning before I start taking dolls or books or blankets away. I take one item away each time I have to go in. One night we got down to a bare mattress for both, and I haven’t gotten past an initial take-away since then.

      Also at that age, they want to grow and be big. I remind them that sleep is when their body grows and gets energy for the next day, and if they don’t get enough sleep then they’ll never get bigger and they’ll be too tired to do show and tell in the morning (or music class or whatever fun thing is happening the next day).

      • Anonymous says:

        This is all really helpful. What time is bedtime and what time are yours actually falling asleep?

        • Bedtime is at 8pm and they fall asleep anywhere from 8:30-9:30. Most nights it’s right around 8:45. They wake up at 6:30. My almost-3 naps sometimes at school, maybe for an hour?, my 5 never does. They’ve always been on the lower end of “recommended sleep” for their ages and dropped naps earlier than most of their peers.

    • Lorelai Gilmore says:

      This happened to me and we could not fix it, so we just rolled with it. Basically, the 3.5 year old was napping every day at daycare, and then staying up until 9:30. He wasn’t overtired or cranky – he was just AWAKE. So we ended up doing this: the older child went to bed at the regular time of 8 PM. And the 3.5 year old just stayed awake with me. We would watch grown up TV (usually a documentary or something child safe but NOT child appealing). I would read a book on the couch while he looked at books. I would work on my laptop while he watched me.

      Obviously, I would have preferred bedtime and sleeping at 8. But that wasn’t a choice. So between keeping him up a bit later, and spending an hour and a half every night trying to get him to sleep before his body was ready, I chose keeping him up later. Better for my sanity, better for my happiness.

      Also, I know you want them in the same room, but separating them might be a really useful tool around this time, especially if you adopt the later bedtime for the napper.

      • avocado says:

        My kid was also a night owl who didn’t really need to nap after age 2. We also just rolled with a later bedtime because it was easier and more conducive to sleep for everyone. She went to bed when we did, around 9:30, until she was in first grade and there was no more naptime at school. From there we gradually moved bedtime earlier and earlier until it hit 8:30. (Which is pretty much impossible to maintain with a sixth-grader who has activities until 8:00, but I digress…)

      • +1 Exact same thing going down at our house right now, minus the room sharing. I just put 3.5 year old back in bed without fanfare every one of the million times she gets up. Eventually she goes so sleep, and since I don’t engage I don’t get worked up. She goes right to sleep on no-nap weekend days so I know she’s ready to drop the nap. Soo…just rolling with it over here and figuring that to everything there is a season.

    • Anonymous says:

      A little off topic, but not totally, but can I just tell everyone that forced naptime at daycare is going to be the death of me!?!!? Kids of this age (3.5+) do not need to nap. ARGH,

      • avocado says:

        I always thought that nappers and non-nappers should be allowed to go to separate rooms during naptime. Years later, my kid still complains about being forced to lie down and pretend to sleep for two hours every day.

        • shortperson says:

          i still remember being forced to nap in preschool and kindergarten and being SO BORED. and mad at the “babies” in my class who needed to nap and caused my boredom.

          • Moms Solo says:

            same! I remember pretending to sleep in preschool and getting whacked on the bum for having my eyes open.

        • My parents pulled me out of my first daycare over napping. In pre-K (so 4 years old), the school was still making us nap. I didn’t need it, and I would (a) cause all sorts of problems at daycare, so the teachers didn’t like me much, and (b) stay up half the night, tossing and turning and playing in bed and singing to myself. My dad had a tough job, and my mom was a medical resident who also was on call for the medical examiner’s office (moonlighting), so they were miserable when I wouldn’t sleep. They tried to negotiate an alternative for nap time for kindergarten (which seems SO old for napping), and the school was completely inflexible. So they pulled me out of that school, which apparently meant there was no kindergarten class at all—this school preferred to have NO kindergarten class rather than negotiate an alternative for nap time for 5 year olds.

          My almost-3-year-old is starting to drop his nap on the weekends. DH isn’t ready to give up on it, but I feel bad for Kiddo because he’s clearly not tired, and I remember adults getting mad at me for not being sleepy. Apparently, he’s still napping at school, but I can see bedtime creeping later and later.

      • agree. my oldest dropped her nap at 2.5 and she ended up being Teacher’s Helper. She helped clean the classroom, organize books, play quietly (puzzles, books, dolls), sometimes help prep snack for the class, etc.

        I could not believe she was the only one that didn’t nap. She’s 4.5 now and an AWESOME sleeper, and sleeps 7-8am every single day and has since the day she dropped her nap.

      • Legally Brunette says:

        Tell that to my 5 year old who still naps for 2.5 hours on weekends! :) Not at school though.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks all — I think I needed a little bit of a re-set on realistic bedtimes, but I’m also going to try audio-books playing in the room after lights out to give myself a little break and hopefully keep the antics to a minmium.

  10. Hitting says:

    My almost-3 year old, while generally a very happy and extremely easy kid, has always had a lot of anger and trouble dealing with it — i.e., started knocking over furniture when mad at 18 months, rips the houseplants, looks around for something to destroy, yells/gnashes teeth, etc. He also tries to hit us ALL the time and will try (but never succeed/follow through) to bite us. Time-outs have worked well for throwing toys, damaging inanimate objects, etc., but have never worked for hitting, so we eventually stopped them for hitting and just ignore him or say “I won’t let you hurt me, I’m going over here fora while.” (This doesn’t work very well either.) Sending him to go play music for a while or snuggle his lovies is really the only thing that helps him calm down. We read “hands are not for hitting” a few times a week. Spanking is out.
    Now he’s hitting/yelling/gnashing teeth at preschool too and I am just beside myself (pregnancy hormones?). Preschool is being great but I think they’re also running out of ideas — sending him to go stomp his feet sometimes works, and they have some lovies he can snuggle, they’ve taught him to stomp his feet and take a break etc., but man, you don’t like to hear that your preschool is out of ideas. Can someone just reassure me that yes, he will grow out of this, he will learn to manage his feelings, and he’s not going to be still hitting his friends and screaming in their faces when he’s in fifth grade? And any other ideas? FWIW my husband remembers having this kind of all-encompassing anger he didn’t know what to do with when he was small.

    • Not exactly what you’re looking for, but we deal with the same exact issues with my almost-3-year-old. I could have written the first half of your post. My Kiddo’s preschool teachers say he doesn’t do it too much at school, and they catch it early and help him work through his feelings before he escalates. That seems to work better for them at school than it does for us at home. Also, Kiddo has his own lovey at school (which he always uses during naps), and it is in his cubby and available for him to go get at any time.

      We talked to a different preschool teacher this past weekend (at a party). She said we should do exactly what you’re doing in response to hitting—say “I don’t like that” and either turn away or walk away.

      Besides “Hands are not for hitting,” we read books about feelings, including “The Way I Feel” and “Monkey Calms Down.” Monkey Calms Down is really good at walking through some ways to feel better. Kiddo loves that it ends in the monkey and his parents going to have a “fun day.”

      We try to praise Kiddo whenever he DOESN’T throw a toy, hit us, etc. We can sometimes see him think about it, or even wind up, and then he doesn’t. We’ve been giving a lot of positive reinforcement to any sign that he controlled his feelings.

      We try to get Kiddo to talk about his feelings, which he really resists. This past weekend, we finally saw a little bit of progress where we asked him how he was feeling, and he said, “Pain and ANGRY” (so sad!). DH was a total pro and said, “Pain, and angry. Those are really good words!” Kiddo immediately calmed down, and he seemed so relieved. DH followed up with, “Are you proud of yourself for saying how you feel?” And Kiddo said, “Yeah!” We’re certainly not all the way through this yet.

  11. Hitting says:

    Posted but it got swallowed, so apologize if this is a duplicate. Short version: can someone please reassure me that my almost-3 year old will at some point learn how to deal with his anger/emotions and stop hitting/yelling/gnashing his teeth at people? I feel like we’re FINALLY making some progress at home (going on since about 18 mo) but it’s just getting worse at preschool, and they’re running out of ideas. We have a whole library of strategies that sometimes work, but up till now I’ve basically been thinking “this too shall pass,” only… it hasn’t yet. It will, eventually, right??

    • mascot says:

      Yes, it will pass. He will eventually have the words to articulate all of his feelings and also gain the maturity to control and regulate his emotions. Keep going with your library of strategies. They make a difference even when it seems like they aren’t working.

  12. Pro tip says:

    OK YOU GUYS I need to share this. I just found out my health plan offers what are essentially skype appointments with a doctor 24/7. They are legitimate doctor’s appointments, super fast to arrange, and very cost effective. I just used this this morning when one of my kids woke up with pinkeye. While I waited in the “line” to see the doctor I was getting things ready in the kitchen while kiddos played. Actual conversation w/doctor took only a few minutes (we chatted and he looked at kid’s eyes), and they sent the script to the pharmacy immediately. AND, most importantly, avoided going to the doctor’s office with flu germs floating around. This was so incredibly helpful to me. Wouldn’t use this for a more serious/complex issue, but for run of the mill stuff it was so helpful. Call your benefits/hr office and find out if this is something you can take advantage of. Seriously a life saver today!

    • i know every plan is different, but who is your provider?

    • Pro tip says:

      I have Cigna.

      • Pro tip says:

        Me again. Our benefits person was saying that many large health plans have them. So hopefully yours might too. Or, this could be something to ask your HR office to offer as a benefit. I just can’t believe what a help it was.

    • My company has Mercer Marketplace and they offer this. It’s a $10 copay versus the $50 for an office visit.

    • PSA my doctor’s office will diagnose pinkeye over the phone if you’ve had it before in the family. I knew she had it, knew she needed the drops, and did NOT want to bring her to sit in a crowded waiting room!
      No copay, just the nurse on the line. Rx was called into the pharmacy down the road and we were good to go.

      So if you can’t get a televisit, try the nurse line- you never know!

      • There’s a company called Teladoc (they might have been acquired by a health plan by now, not sure) that does this. Saved me an urgent care visit when I was travelling on business and got strep. Online visit, diagnosis confirmed, meds called into the pharmacy down the road from my hotel.

        I believe it was a benefit outside my actual health plan-like a wellness type benefit- with my employer. So check that route as well.

    • Anonymous says:

      Jumping in to add that if you ever have to travel to Canada on business (or vacation), stop into a pharmacy and stock up on drops. Pinkeye drops are sold in pharmacies like advil and tylenol here.

    • octagon says:

      OneMedical does something similar to this.

  13. frustrated parent-not so frustrated right now says:

    Hi Ladies! Thanks for all the support I got when I posted earlier about my defiant tantruming little kindergartener. Things have been going better for the last week or so and it’s amazing how much better it feels. Combo of good work from school and both my husband and I, and frankly, good effort from him. We still have an appointment for parent-child interaction therapy later this month and I have an individual counseling appointment (long in the making) for this Friday. Light-I see you at the end of this tunnel!

    • that’s great! i love when people come back to share updates

    • Love it!! Make sure you tell him you’ve noticed the hard work. My 5 yr old hates being wrong, and after a lot o f hard work on this, last week, he retaliated against his brother for an unintentional act. As soon as he realized what happened, I watched him physically swallow his words, and without ANY prompting from me and with silent tears streaming down his face, he choked out the words “I’m really sorry I did [Y]. I’m sorry I g0t so mad at you – can I get you a new [Z].” It still kind of chokes me up…..and I got to watch him light up when I told him how proud he made me in that moment, and that I saw how hard that was for him. He didn’t get in trouble for the incident, he got praised for his solution, and I really think he was proud o f himself too.

  14. Knope says:

    Sort of along the same lines as the conversation above, but…lately I have really, really been missing my 11-month-old when I’m at work. I went back to work when he was 3.5 months, a few weeks earlier than I had planned to, because I was REALLY bored being on leave. When I got back to work, everyone kept checking in with me, and saying how hard it was to go back to work for all moms…except I didn’t feel that way. I loved being at work during the day and seeing DS in the morning/evening and on weekends. But now that DS is more interactive and learning new things every day, I find myself really missing him during work, looking at my phone for pics from the nanny, etc. I know I wouldn’t be happy as a SAHM and I love my job, but it’s been rough lately. I don’t think there’s anything to be done, but just venting my sad feelings today :(

    • Mama Llama says:

      I remember feeling the same way. Try to remind yourself that as they get older, they also sleep less so you will have more awake time with them. 11 months is bad spot of increased interactivity but usually still a lot of naps.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      I hear ya – my son seems to be learning about 5 new words each day now, and I sometimes wish I could be around that more. But then I would also witness more tantrums, have to deal with feeding a very picky toddler and deal with any sleep issues. Oh and also find ways to entertain him, which our daycare just does automatically! By Sunday night, after two full days together as a family, I’m usually wiped out and ready for work on Monday.

  15. ADHD and more says:

    After several years of our school-age son being on behavioral plans and still struggling with issues related to impulse control and attention, we’re pursuing an evaluation for ADHD. So many of the signs seem to fit what he’s going through, and the social interactions are getting harder for him all the time. He’s a bundle of energy who doesn’t know when to quit, and many of his peers have just had it with him. Breaks my heart. Emotionally, I’m all over the place. I’ve been trying to get my DH on board for testing for awhile now and he just didn’t see it until very recently. So I’m a little angry at him, and me, for not pushing harder. I feel relief that my DS might finally be able to get the help he needs. But I feel so ill-equipped for dealing with this. If ADHD is the verdict, he’s going to need more behavioral counseling, and possibly a different setup for before/aftercare.

    Any tips for navigating the testing process, and working with the school? And how do you manage a behavioral diagnosis as a working parent?

    On top of dealing with kid stuff, I’ve spent half my workday calling around to assisted living places for my grandpa, who is recovering from a car accident and is going to need more hands-on care when he’s finished rehab from the accident.

    I feel pulled in a million directions and like I’m failing everyone. Let’s just say work is not my highest priority right now.

    • hang in there! repost in the morning since it is late in the day in many parts of the country/world.

  16. I definitely do want to try and address it with diet and exercise. Time is the biggest obstacle, but money is a factor too, with us building a new house.

    The current plan for diet is joining WW this week to become more mindful of eating habits and shed some lbs. The online WW program doesn’t require me to spend a weekday evening or weekend morning attending a meeting and is cheaper so I’m happy about that. I’m going the implement the advice about oatmeal for breakfast and salad for lunch immediately.

    For exercise, I’m going to try to walk on weekday evenings for an hour after baby goes to bed and before logging back on to finish work. I’m also looking for a yoga class that I can do with baby on the weekend.

    I’m very open to all suggestions!

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