Your Laziest Mom Hacks

lazy-mom-hacksWhat are your laziest/smartest mom hacks?  What are your best tips for getting stuff done around the house in “unperfect” ways? 

Some readers seemed miffed by my posts on photo organization and organizing kids’ clothes — but I am faaaar from perfect, and hate to give that impression.  (Sorry, ladies!)  Of course I’m going to write a post about the things that I feel like I’ve figured out, while skipping posts about the piles of laundry around my house (and lo, there are many).  So I thought we’d do a post about some of our laziest mom hacks — what are your imperfect systems for Getting Stuff Done?  Of course, some of these “lazy” things below are also some of the smartest things I’ve done. It’s like folding underwear (which I haven’t done in a LOOONG time, well before kids). Once you stop, you’re never going back.

For my $.02:
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How Do You Share Parenting Duties with Your Spouse?

maternal gatekeeping

2017 update: We still stand by the advice below on how to share parenting duties with your spouse; you may also want to check out our more recent post on how to get your husband to care about the little things, as well as our “Do, Delegate or Nope” edition full of holiday delegating ideas.

Are you an “equal parent” with your partner? What steps did you take to make that happen — and what happened organically? Do you foresee times when your partnership won’t be equal — and how do you feel about that? If your roles are not equal, how much of that is due to maternal gatekeeping — as in, you take on a certain task because you’re the only one who does it “right”? (Sandberg defined maternal gatekeeping in Lean In as women discouraging their husbands from doing their share at home by being too controlling or too critical.)how to share parenting duties - tasks and tips for working moms to consider - image of a business woman coming home with groceries to a messy house

There was an interesting article in Daily Worth a while ago with suggestions for how to equalize your parenting, so I thought we’d discuss here as well. I always get frustrated when I read articles like this that exclusively focus on housekeeping (the easiest thing to outsource!) and dismiss what I like to call the “cruise director duties” (meaning the mom’s role is cruise director for the family, explained in this HuffPo piece as the “default parent”), so let’s try to discuss the following topics:

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Registry: Baby Clothes

registry-for-working-moms

2017 Update: We still stand by this advice on what should moms register for baby clothes— links have also been updated below.

Welcome to installment three of our registry for working moms: general baby clothes. What should new moms register for clothes for their baby? Which are your favorite brands and types of baby clothing — and have they changed through the months and years with kids? We’ve already talked about carseats and strollers, cribs and sleeping gear, and now: baby clothes for the registry. As I mentioned last time, I envision the entire series going through these categories (stay tuned!):

  1. Carseat — necessary from coming home from the hospital!
  2. Stroller — how many have you tried? How many do you keep? (e.g., big stroller, umbrella stroller, jogging stroller)
  3. Cribs and sleeping gear — crib and bassinet rocker, if necessary
  4. Clothes — daytime clothes, baby socks
  5. Babywearing carrier — infant and 15-lb.+
  6. Baby toys — swings, seats, and other Big Things to register for (Exersaucers, etc)
  7. Essential books
  8. Diaper bag
  9. Nursing clothes
  10. Breastfeeding pillow
  11. And one final category: The Biggest Flops (stuff you hated).

 

First, some general tips on baby clothes:

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Pumping When You’re Traveling for Work

pumping traveling for workI am far from an expert on traveling for work — particularly while pumping. In fact, I’ve done it exactly twice: once with Jack (for a whirlwind trip to Seattle for a speaking engagement) and once with Harry (for a whirlwind trip to Chicago for an alumni conference). And: what a PITA. Both times, the pump took up almost my entire carry-on bag, and both times I was absolutely wracked with fear, as I boarded the plane, that I had forgotten some essential pump part at home. The first time I flew I was determined to save the breast milk I pumped — liquid gold! — and I traveled with a freezer bag, ice packs, and had all of the relevant TSA and airline printouts with me in my carry-ons. The second time I decided to dump it because, eh, the kid is fine with formula. (Both times I had started the weaning process, so we had already replaced a nursing session with a bottle of formula. I’ll admit that for the second time, I dropped from three feeds a day down to two in anticipation of the travel.)

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Hiding a Baby Bump — The Second Time Around

hiding-baby-bump

2017 Update: We still stand by this advice on how to hide a baby bump the second time round— links have also been updated below.

What clothes best hide a baby bump — particularly if it’s your second child and you feel like you’re showing earlier?  We’ve talked here about how to work through your first trimester — and over at Corporette we’ve talked about ways to hide a baby bump — but it’s been far too long in either place since we’ve talked about work outfits for the first trimester. Kat’s picked a few pieces particularly for the early days of pregnancy (for example here, here, here, here) — but what are YOUR favorite pieces?  We’ve rounded up a few tips that readers have shared in the past — what are your best tips for how to hide a baby bump?

(Pictured: Tahari A-Line seamed dress — non-binding at the waist, with pockets to boot! It’s available for $128 from Nordstrom.)

 

 

 

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Secondary Infertility: Dealing with Your Emotions at Work

secondary-infertility-emotionsIf you’ve planned on adding a second child to your family but have had trouble conceiving (also known as secondary infertility), how do you deal with your emotions at work when no one in your office knows what you’re going through? Reader A wonders…

I am dealing with a difficult situation and I was wondering if you would consider posting something on it. I had my son 2 yrs ago and have been hoping to have another child soon after. We started trying when my son was 9 months old and have been unsuccessful for over a year now. We are finally going to a fertility clinic but the process is grueling and I find myself crying all the time. The other aspect I can’t seem to be able to control is insane jealousy towards current pregnant women or those with 2 kids (including you:). I am trying to deal with these emotions and be thankful for my son but most days it is very hard to act like everything is fine. Would love to have yours and other’s perspectives on this.

I’m so sorry you’re having a rough time of it, A; big hugs to you. I debated whether to post this question at Corporette proper, or here at CorporetteMoms, and ultimately decided that there are important differences between a conversation about this among moms versus non-moms.  So let’s discuss. (Note that over at Corporette, we’ve talked about miscarriages and the office and handling frequent doctors’ appointments (including pregnancy-related ones), as well as how to deal with hormones at the office.) [Read more…]