Family Friday: Temperature Control Ceramic Mug

I laughed when I first saw that this product existed — mostly because I will literally drink any type of coffee at anytime, anywhere. I’m not picky. However, I know there are those of us who truly care about having a great cup of coffee, and one of the most common gripes about having kids is never getting to drink a hot cup anymore. I get that — the relaxation, the ritual, the enjoyment … that all goes straight out the window upon having a baby. What this product does is keeps your coffee cup hot and even allows you to control the temperature with an app on your phone. Maybe you don’t feel like you want to treat yourself to a $79.95 mug, but this also seems like a fun gift idea for the person who truly has everything. If you’ve bought it for yourself, report back on how you like it! It’s available at Amazon and Starbucks. Ember Temperature Control Ceramic Mug

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


  1. Patty Mayonnaise says:

    I could use some advice on hiring a babysitter. This is going to sound so silly, but how does it work? Baby is ~15 months and we’ve really only had family watch him so far or friends after we’ve already put him to bed (good sleeper, so those people only had to watch tv with our monitor nearby).

    We have an event coming up, so we’ll need to hire someone to watch him and do his whole evening routine (family not in town). We have a rec from a friend, but she’s pricey. How much do we tip? Do we provide dinner since it will be in that timeframe? We’d ultimately like to get a list of people we could call if needed – how have you ladies gone about finding sitters?

    This all feels so silly – I used to babysit in high school, but in a HCOL city, everything seems so different! Thanks so much for any advice.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m just pregnant with my first, so no experience with hiring a babysitter, but my sister and some of my teacher friends still babysit on the side. I have literally never heard of tipping a babysitter. Maybe if it’s through a service and you’re not paying her directly it would make sense, but otherwise I think she set the price at what she expects to receive.

      And yes, you should absolutely provide dinner or give her some money to order delivery.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree that I wouldn’t tip unless it was a special situation. I’d also have the necessary food in the house for both child and babysitter. Delivery or takeout makes the most sense, but I definitely remember making frozen pizzas and mac and cheese when I babysat. If I had a relationship with a good sitter, I would probably do a Christmas/end of the year gift of cash. Maybe a birthday gift.

    • Anonymous says:

      You don’t tip, you round up out of laziness or pay asking. So if she’s $22/he and you’re gone 4 hrs , you can give her $90 cash, or you can Venmo her $88.

      Your kid is 15 months and presumably eats. Provide something for her to eat as well. Or leave cash for pizza (you may want to defer to the friend that made the rec here). I use high school/college kids and there are enough aversions these days that I ask in advance if they have allergies. My kids don’t so we’re a peanut/gluten filled house.

    • Don’t tip, though I usually do round up at the end of the night. I usually leave cash for dinner or a frozen pizza or some leftovers large enough for her to eat, but I find most of the time these days that my sitters pick up chipotle or something on their way.

      • Anonymous says:

        +1 rounding up

        I try to keep $20s, $10s, and $5s in the house to deal with sitter math. Many now want to be paid by Venmo, which is so much easier.

    • – No tipping, just round up to the nearest half hour/hour as others mentioned.
      – Food, definitely offer to provide food if it’s around mealtime. I usually offer to pick up Panera or leave pizza $ but lots of times they decline.
      – I do usually do an end of year extra bonus for regular babysitters.
      – In terms of “interviewing” them, I ask potential babysitters to come over for an hour or so. I let them play with the kids while I’m in the house for about 45 minutes and then I chat with them for about 15 minutes. I pay for the time.

      • Oh also, here are places I’ve found babysitters:
        – Nextdoor
        – Local childcare group on Facebook
        – Daycare teachers
        – Older kids of family friends, neighbors and co-workers

      • Anonymous says:

        Exception to no tipping – we often use a sitting service where we pay a booking fee to the service and they send a trained, vetted sitter (usually they are local college students who I wouldn’t normally be able to find). The service has an agreed hourly rate. The rate seems a bit low though, we always round up and then tip a bit, too.

    • mascot says:

      We use HS/college aged sitters. I usually ask if they have any requests for snacks (they almost always say no) and what they like to drink and make sure I have that on hand. You can leave something to make dinner like a pizza.
      Also, we leave an info sheet with all the numbers, our names and address, kid’s age, names of the dogs, wifi password, and written routine and tips.

    • I noticed amongst my friends that we have very different approaches on babysitters. Some felt very uncomfortable and so would only hire adults with significant experience (many daycare teachers babysit on the side, for example). We are on the opposite end of the spectrum and actually prefer responsible middle and high school babysitters. I paid for my first car with babysitting money – and I know I was a great babysitter. I think the responsible, slightly nerdy kids are the best. We pay $10 an hour and round up. The hardest part is that they eventually graduate and you have to find new ones.

      Places to find babysitters (all of which have resulted in sitters I have used): many areas have a neighborhood facebook group, ask colleagues with kids the right age, ask your friends who they use, see if friends have nieces or younger sisters of the right age, neighbors, friends of your babysitters.

    • -Don’t tip unless you’re paying through a service.
      -Write out the evening routine before you leave.
      -Have food for Kiddo. We usually offer dinner, but our babysitters almost always decline and bring their own.
      -If you find one good sitter, you can ask if he or she has any friends. Most of our sitters are friends of our former nanny (who, obviously, we loved).

    • Patty Mayonnaise says:

      Wow – thanks so much for the info. This is really helpful!!

    • Anon2 says:

      I also have not yet used a babysitter for my kids and am very nervous to do so, even though I was babysitting infants at age 11 (!). I think part of the reason I’m nervous is smart phones and the potential for distraction. I know how easy it is to be distracted as a grown adult who is totally invested in my kids, and I worry about a teenager on their phone. Any thoughts? Do you address this with your sitters?

  2. Neighborhood says:

    Morning, Hive. We are considering buying a new home. We’ve been low-key watching the market in our smallish town for a long time, but haven’t found anything we really liked until now. The house we are looking at checks off probably 80-90 percent of our list and is a little over $100,000 less than paying the premium of building the perfect house. The biggest negative is that it seems that my daughter (2.5) would be the only child her age in the neighborhood at the time we move in. Of course, that could change down the road, but that isn’t a given. She is an only child, and the plan is that it will stay that way. How much would this bother you? We live in a small town and would be committed to enabling her to play with friends who don’t live nearby down the road. I never went to daycare or summer camps or whatever – my mom stayed home until I was in first grade and then worked part-time. My sister is 6 years older, so if needed, she’d watch me after school and in the summer. I spent evenings, summer days, and weekends with two girls my age who lived in my neighborhood. I hate the idea that my daughter might not have those relationships. But if I work and she’s in daycare and then after school activities, maybe it won’t really matter as much? Would love to hear what others think!

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think it will matter much. We live in a neighborhood with lots of older kids but few babies and toddlers. We have a 9 month old who is very likely to be an only child. I had a similar upbringing to you with a SAHM and lots of neighbor friends, but I’m convinced our daughter will get plenty of socialization opportunities through daycare, summer camps and after school programs so I don’t worry too much that there aren’t similarly-aged kids in the neighborhood.

    • lawsuited says:

      You really, really can’t control the make up of your neighbourhood. You definitely can’t ensure that 2 other girls her age will live on your street and become her best friends. As long as the neighbourhood you’re looking at is generally family friendly, families of all ages will come and go. At 2.5, all her socializing will have be facilitated by you anyway. Once she’s school-age, her school friends will necessarily all live pretty close to her because they’ll all need to be in the same school catchment area.

      • Anon in NYC says:

        +1. I grew up with kids on my street. I played with some of them and not others. Also, if you buy on a street specifically because it has kids, what happens if those families move away?

    • octagon says:

      It won’t matter. She’ll have plenty of socialization time. And because her play dates are going to be supervised for the foreseeable future, it won’t be an inconvenience for you to drive her somewhere or for friends to be driven over.

      And while it’s true that you have no control over your neighbors, see if you can get a sense of the neighborhood’s overall demographics. When we moved a few years ago, there was only one small child on the street. Most of the homes were owned by retirees. In the years since, the retirees are moving out and lots of young families are moving in. It’s been a pleasant surprise.

      • Meg Murry says:

        +1 to “no control over the makeup of your neighborhood”

        However, I would look at whether the neighborhood is conducive to your kids playing, and getting around your small town. It was a priority to my husband and I that our kids would be able to “free range” at least once they were older and bicycle age in our small town. Starting at around 8/9, we’ve been able to allow my oldest to just ride his bike to and from friends houses (calling once he got there or the parent texting to let me know he arrived and when he was heading home), which makes a HUGE difference in me not having to be chauffeur and social director. My husband and I both grew up in the rural outskirts surrounding a small town, and we hated always having to coordinate rides everywhere, especially for things like after school sports and clubs in middle school and up.

        • Anonymous says:

          There are a ton of kids on our street, and my kid never plays with them because she has absolutely nothing in common with them other than living on the same street. She prefers to hang out with her school and sports friends who have similar interests and similar schedules, which requires coordination and transportation. But we do enjoy living in a neighborhood where, when friends do come over, she and her friends can safely walk or bike to parks, a big empty field, the corner store, etc.

          • avocado says:

            That was me. Forgot to mention that she is an only but not at all lonely. Sometimes I feel like she lives at her sports facility and just sleeps at our house anyway.

    • AwayEmily says:

      I’ll be a voice of dissent here and say that while of course it will be fine either way, I do think it’s something worth thinking about seriously as you weigh the pros and cons. Are there other neighborhoods you’re looking in that have a really high concentration of kids? Is there a reasonable chance that a place will open up there that meets your criteria in the next year or so?

      Our last two houses have been near families with similarly-aged kids and it really has been wonderful — for her, but also for us, to have parent friends nearby. I’d say it significantly improved our quality of life.

      This isn’t the hill I would die on (ie, if you think this is your only shot at getting a house you love then you should just take it) but I do think it’s a huge benefit to be around other families with kids.

      • dc anon says:

        You are so thoughtful to think of this. You have to do what works and having a nice, comfortable, and affordable house is huge. But, having friends in the neighborhood is awesome. We’re in a neighborhood that is filled with kids and young families and it is so nice to be around people in the same boat.

    • I’m inclined to say that your daughter will be fine. Have you made friends with other families at her daycare? Is it easy to get to these friends’ homes (short drive, no traffic)?

      While there are quite a few children in my neighborhood, we’ve only become friends with one other family. It is great and we hang out all of the time, but we’ve also become friends with several families at LO’s daycare. They are nearby but not in our immediate neighborhood. I live in a city where everyone is used to driving so it’s not that big of a deal for a friend to live 15 minutes away and everyone seems willing to get together periodically.

    • mascot says:

      Is it a neighborhood that families will be drawn to? There are no young kids on our street, but we very much live in a family friendly neighborhood where there are tons of kids, there is a pool, the neighborhood does family events each year. Drive around on the weekends and see who is out and about. We are lucky that several of my kid’s school and sports friends ended up living in the same neighborhood – in fact, we find ourselves almost being too insular because it’s so easy to stay local to socialize. It mattered to me that my kid can at some point hypothetically take off on a bike and ride over to a friend’s house and we house shopped based on that.

  3. Going Anon in case this is turns into a roast says:

    I am listing here because I know this may be a really stupid question. I’m here for advice, which includes “No.” so be nice!

    Anyway, we are considering hiring a nanny for the first time. Kids will be infant, 2 and 5. 2 and 5 y/o are in part time preschool/playschool.

    Is it completely out of line to either write into a contract or convey a dress code of sorts for the nanny? I don’t even know exactly what it would say, but some nanny candidates have worn:

    – super high uncomfortable heels, totally not ok for schlepping babies
    – low riding shorts that expose their butt (my preschooler noticed)
    – yoga pants so tight her thong showed (preschooler noticed)
    – low cut top where bra was visible (preschooler would have noticed but wasn’t in the room)
    – dangly jewelry (this one sounds crazy to comment on but it was really over the top)
    – almost “work” clothes- so nice they aren’t mess-around-with-kids clothes. And they weren’t interview clothes bc she came right from her current job. I asked how she kept them clean and she brushed it off like “oh I don’t get my hands dirty.”

    Are these just signs that the person is the wrong fit, or could they be perfectly good candidates with parents that were cool with butt crack in the past? We are not yet at the reference checking stage but all of these candidates have come with full resumes of experience.

    • I think a dress code would be weird unless you hire from a service that itself has a dress code. I’d chalk that up to fit and keep looking, or be a bit more flexible (the yoga pants, dangly jewelry wouldn’t have bothered me for example). Also – what do you mean your preschooler noticed? My toddler notices every time someone wears purple, or a necklace or sunglasses, so I’m not sure noticing clothes is a problem.

      • Anonymous says:

        “Why are her undies showing?” “Your pants look really tight.” :-). They were *really* tight.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yoga pants/dangly jewellry wouldn’t bother me. I’d focus on the practicality of the clothes. The nanny should be able to engage in active play like chasing a preschooler around the backyard when playing tag. When checking references you could ask if the nanny wore clothes suitable for active outdoor play with the children.

      • anoon mclean says:

        Just a gentle reminder that this was an interview- so many of your interviewees probably dressed up. Dangly jewellery/ high heels would get in the way, but if they have the perfect personality and experience would those be small considerations anyway?

    • Anonymous says:

      Dangling jewelry seems like a potential safety/choking hazard for babies and toddlers, so I think it’s reasonable to ask a nanny not to wear that stuff. The rest isn’t something I would ask someone to refrain from wearing. I think you have two options: 1) not hire someone who shows up inappropriately dressed (which is obviously your prerogative as the employer) or 2) ignoring it if you think they are otherwise a good candidate. It sounds like you’re pretty uncomfortable with this attire and in that case I think it’s fine to not hire the candidate. I don’t think it’s fine to give your nanny a dress code.

      Either way I think you probably need to have some conversations with the preschooler about not commenting on people’s bodies. S/he is going to see women in low cut tops and tight yoga pants out in the real world and the sooner s/he learns not to comment on it, the better.

    • Anonymous says:

      this feels a smidge racist and classist. Wearing tight leggings doesn’t mean you can’t take care of kids. You’re the boss. You can if you want. But good luck finding someone who will put up with you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yea and a smidge body shaming as well. This isn’t biglaw, one of the (few) perks of being a nanny is that you get to wear casual clothes and not be judged by whether everything you wear lives up to someone else’s standard of “professionalism.”

        • I agree, it isn’t biglaw – but from a philosophical standpoint I’m curious why everyone is defending the hypothetical nanny’s right to wear whatever she wants in her job, but yet we’re all here reading a blog devoted to dressing for work, where people regularly comment “oh I couldn’t wear that in my office” or “I couldn’t wear that with my body type”.

          This logic implies there’s a class of workers where modesty/professionalism matters and a class of workers where it doesn’t which seems to go against the attacks on the OP as classist.

          To the OP’s original question, if it really bothers you, I would hire someone whose style of dress you are OK with rather than putting it in the job. That definitely would lead to resentment on her part and not a great way to start a relationship.

      • Anonymous says:


        I was a pro nanny for 10 years and I would have walked out the door if someone tried to control what I was wearing. Nannies are keeping your children alive & well.

    • lawsuited says:

      Although I chose to wear yoga pants and a t-shirt when I’m looking after my toddler, I am willing to believe that other people find it possible to care for a child wearing heels or nice clothes or statement jewellery. If any of those things caused a childcare problem, I’d address the problem.

      Re: the tight or revealing clothing, I think I’d have a conversation with my preschooler about why they’re commenting on that clothing, how people are allowed to wear what they like best and why we should pay attention to who someone is on the inside rather than what they’re wearing.

    • I don’t see how you can enforce a dress code (and that would be really weird. Gently – is this driven by worry about safety/practicality around you kids or is it about having younger, scantily clad women hanging around your house and (I assume) husband? Because that might change my opinion about what you should do.

      If it were me, I don’t have concerns about my husband but also would be bothered by everything on your list except the yoga pants and low cut shirt. Esp. when I was nursing and my b**bs were huge I’m sure various parts of my bra were visible throughout the day. And pants get tight with weight fluctuations. The other stuff would just seem out of place to me for a nanny or someone who spent all day working with kids.

      • Anonymous says:

        OP here- not at all a husband concern. More of my kids finding that kind of dress normal/appropriate which IMO it is not. I’m not talking your run of the mill yoga pants + shirt getup. I rock that all day long and I am not in great shape. I’m talking about clothes that just plain don’t fit in terms of size, and tops that expose too much ((not sports) bra hanging out, boobs out of bra). I think the answer here is just move on to a different candidate.

        • Anonymous says:

          Hire whoever you want but your “concerns” are really problematic

        • Anonymous says:

          You’re being a rude snob. Your concern should be your nanny’s empathy, knowledge, experience, safety training. Not the height of her heels.

          • Spirograph says:

            This is unnecessarily strong wording, but I agree. It’s totally OK to expect your nanny to wear clothes in which she can move around and paly with your kids, and it’s totally OK for you to want to teach modesty to your kids. You need to find a nanny who shares these values rather than use a dress code as a shortcut.

            Your questions have some race and class undertones to me, as I live in an area with a huge immigrant population, and in general women from some cultures like to dress in a way that I just don’t when I’m doing kid stuff. I see them out with their own small children, so clearly it’s possible to care for children while wearing heels, revealing clothes, and lots of jewelry, but they may not be doing the running-around-at-the-park you’re hoping for from your nanny.

        • Anonymous says:

          I’m almost picturing a governess instead of a nanny when I try to imagine what you are hoping to find.

    • Anonymous says:

      In general, I think a very basic dress code to the effect of “please wear clothes that you will be able to safely and comfortably run around with pre-schoolers and toddlers in” would be fine. Some of the things you list like very high heels and business dress clothes would give me pause. However, I think a lot of the things you bring up are rather silly– low cut shirt, low riding shorts, tight yoga pants– these will very likely not affect job performance at all. It’s up to you, of course, but you might be ruling out a great nanny. I nannied while I was in college and I’m sure I had some unfortunate situations with my low rise jeans of 2005, but the kids loved me and to be a bit braggy, I was a great nanny.

      • I probably wouldn’t say anything more than was suggested above in the contract, but I would have no problem making a comment if a nanny showed up to work in non-work appropriate clothes.

        “Hey, you might want to take those earrings and necklace off. They baby loves grabbing jewelry and it’s going to get yanked on. I wouldn’t want your ears to be hurt or the necklace damaged.”

        “Hey, the kids were looking forward to a bike ride today. Did you bring tennis shoes to change into so that you can keep up? (If no) You are welcome to keep a pair here if you want a pair for walks and playground trips.”

        “Hey, I love that skirt, but I was hoping that you’d do lots of tummy time with Timmy during the day. You might want something more comfortable to wear when sitting on the floor with him.”

    • I wouldn’t say anything about the tight pants or low-cut top. I do think you ask (I wouldn’t put it in a contract) that your nanny not wear high heels because of liability reasons – something like “we do our absolute best to keep the house, driveway, etc. in good shape but we still really worry about tripping/falling.” Nice clothes to an interview wouldn’t bother me but the person’s response does if it conveys that she doesn’t really like to get dirty with the kids.

      • I’d actually worry more about her tripping and dropping or falling with the baby than about liability.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I don’t think you can do this. I think if you find the perfect candidate, her clothes will be less important. Obvious things that are choking hazards (dangly earrings) are okay to mention. But if these are glaring flaws to you, it could be a sign that these candidates are not the right fit.

    • How old are the women who are applying? Could it be that they just don’t know what’s appropriate? I didn’t in my first job and someone had to call me out before I figured it out. If someone otherwise seems like a great candidate, I think you could gently bring up how she dresses. And yes, definitely point out the things that seems hazardous for your children.

    • avocado says:

      We hired a lot of “on-call nannies” from a service, and I don’t think a single one of them showed up wearing anything other than running shorts, a baggy t-shirt, and flip-flops.

      I think it’s fine not to hire if the nanny doesn’t seem to dress in a way that facilitates the types of interaction that you want with your kid. If you want the nanny to hold your baby all the time then dangly earrings might not make sense, or if you want her running around in the park then heels are a no-go. But I wouldn’t assume that the way a candidate dresses for an interview matches the way she dresses on the job. I would check references, asking about behavior more than dress (Is she willing to get her hands dirty doing art projects? Does she get down on the floor with the kids? Does she run around with them in the backyard?) And I don’t think a dress code would solve some of your underlying concerns, because someone who will wear dangly earrings around a grabby baby is likely to have some other gaps in her understanding of infant behavior.

      I am not familiar with hiring procedures for a permanent nanny. Is there such a thing as a trial visit, where the candidate is paid to watch the kids for a few hours while the parents are home so all parties can get a feel for the dynamics of the situation? That might alleviate some of your concerns.

      • Anonymous says:

        Like, my kids go to daycare. Those teachers dress super casually but not inappropriately- that’s the level of standard I’m thinking of.

        T shirt and gym shorts and flip flops is fine/expected/appropriate. It’s more like gym shorts where when you bend over your underwear and butt show. That’s where I’m having the issue.

        • avocado says:

          My point in mentioning the casual clothes was that I’m rather surprised that nannies would wear anything else for actual work (as opposed to an interview). Because kids are messy.

      • Anonymous says:

        Former nanny here. I did have a probation period with several families I worked for, usually like 1 or 2 months. Basically a chance for them to let me go or me to quit with no hard feelings. With one family my salary went up after the probation period was over.

    • You are getting a little flamed here, so I’ll chime in with a bit of support. I think it is fine to have modesty standards for your house/family and to choose a nanny who will dress in line with that. Seems totally reasonable that if you make your kids cover their underwear in public, then you want one of the primary adults in their lives to do so, too. Your prerogative. And anything that in your mind could create a safety issue (heels, maxi dresses, whatever), whether or not the general public agrees, is going to just cause stress and distraction. It sounds to me like you haven’t found a nanny you click with yet, so I’d keep looking.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m not sure this constitutes “immodesty.” No one is dressing this way to attract anyone’s interest. They’re dressing in terrible clothes from a Wal-Mart discount bin or equivalent that don’t really fit anyone (let alone difficult-to-dress body types), and they’re choosing items that aren’t completely boring, ugly, and depressing when they can, and this is the outcome.

    • I am surprised at the roasting. I would share your concerns and move on to someone who is a better fit.

  4. AwayEmily says:

    Happy weekend! Anyone have fun plans?

    I’m solo-parenting the toddler and the 4-month-old for the first time this weekend and am totally terrified. Ideas for outdoor activities that occupy a 2-year-old are very welcome! Unfortunately taking extended trips out of the house is out of the question because she’s still in early stages of potty training, so we will be spending a lot of time in the yard.

    • lawsuited says:

      I’ve been making a DIY water table for my toddler, and he loves it. I fill a low tub (the kind you store under the bed) with water and bubbles and dump bath/beach toys into it.

    • mascot says:

      Picnic, bubbles, playing in the sprinklers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bubbles, chalk, pushing/pulling something around (we have a toy grocery cart that has made its home outside somehow), kicking around a ball (my 2.5 year old watched her cousins practice soccer a few weeks ago and is now obsessed with kicking the ball), help to push the 4 month old in the stroller, sand box (even in a tub like the water table above), plant some flowers/seeds, water every plant you can find with a watering can, put out a bird feeder and watch the birds.

  5. Anyone have advice for Hashimoto’s and TTC? I was just diagnosed by my PCP, and have an appointment with a regular endocrinologist soon. Do I need to look for a specialized OB or reproductive endo? Any other advice? Thanks!

    • I got pregnant with my second after being diagnosed with Grave’s. I did not have any other risks so I worked with my endo and a regular OB. I do highly recommend establishing a relationship with your endo as he/she will be monitoring your levels throughout pregnancy.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I have Hashimoto’s and didn’t have any trouble conceiving, although I was on a stable medication regime when we started TTC. My big issue was managing the medication levels during pregnancy. I didn’t need a specialty OB, just a regular OB and an endo. But talk with your endo about TTC and ask what you should do with your meds if you get pregnant; I didn’t know, and ended up seriously under-medicated for the first tri, which led to a lot of weight gain, probably exacerbated some depression issues, and unnecessary fatigue.

      And good luck! FWIW, I’ve had to really fight to get a personalized level of care for my thyroid issues. It seems like endocrinologists are super by the book on the TSH range recommendations, and have to be convinced that a TSH level is too high or low even if it causes lots of adverse reactions. I find the low end of the TSH recommended range to be absolutely intolerable (like….stay home sick from work for weeks intolerable), and have gotten serious runaround from a couple endos who didn’t believe it was thyroid-related.

    • Lillers says:

      I have Hashimotos. Let your endocrinologist know you are TTC. Mine gave me recommendations on how to change my dose once I got a positive pregnancy test. The fetus doesn’t make it’s own thyroid hormone at first and gets the hormone from the mother, so you need to dose adjust throughout the pregnancy.

      I get my thyroid levels drawn at my OB appointments and she faxes them over to my endo.

  6. I probably wouldn’t say anything in the contract, but I would have no problem making a comment if a nanny showed up to work in non-work appropriate clothes.

    “Hey, you might want to take those earrings and necklace off. They baby loves grabbing jewelry and it’s going to get yanked on. I wouldn’t want your ears to be hurt or the necklace damaged.”

    “Hey, the kids were looking forward to a bike ride today. Did you bring tennis shoes to change into so that you can keep up? (If no) You are welcome to keep a pair here if you want a pair for walks and playground trips.”

    “Hey, I love that skirt, but I was hoping that you’d do lots of tummy time with Timmy during the day. You might want something more comfortable to wear when sitting on the floor with him.”

  7. KateMiddletown says:

    What is your favorite place to buy men’s clothes?

    My husband has a birthday coming up (and fathers day and our anniversary all in the same two weeks), so for birthday I’m going practical since he needs a few decent polo shirts for work. (I forced him to retire some beloved v old ones.) I’d normally turn to Kohls but I don’t want to mess with the credit card game they force you to play – is there a way to get good deals w/o the membership? Same with Macy’s lately, they’ve sucked. We just joined Costco but I’ve never bought clothing there before – any thoughts about their selection?

    • octagon says:

      LL Bean for polo shirts. Good quality, good price.

      Costco is really hit or miss for clothing. When it’s a hit, it’s a standout hit — but the misses far outnumber, and the limited selection means that if it’s a miss, you likely have to go to another store. (They probably will only have one or two cotton polo styles at a time.)

    • Anonymous says:

      My hubby really prefers the performance/athletic material polos. He started wearing them for golf and now they’re pretty much all he wears in the summer. Under Armour, Nike, Adidas, Foot Joy, Travis Mathew. Outlets are good as are any sporting store. Department stores, too.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I’m recently back at work. DH is home with the baby, taking a long paternity leave. I work in a pretty relaxed, family-friendly environment (higher ed). The majority of my co-workers have kids and both moms and dads will do sick days, duck out in the middle of the day for school events, etc. I’ve been really surprised by how many people are shocked that my husband is taking a several month paternity leave and how many of my male co-workers have said “I would never do that!” And these are guys that (as far as I know) split parenting very equally, do 50% of daycare runs, packing school lunches, middle of the night wake-ups, etc. It’s just interesting to me how taking leave seems to be that last area of parenting where it’s acceptable to feel/say that the woman should be the only one who does it, or who does the vast majority of it. Our university offers 8 weeks of paid parental leave to all parents, and you can supplement it with vacation/personal days, etc., so the only difference between fathers and birth mothers is that mothers can also use sick leave. I don’t really know what my point is, I guess I just think it’s really disappointing that so few dads want to take paternity leave and I don’t know how we change that. I know the global answer is “offer better paternity leave” but in this case, it’s available and dads don’t seem to want to use it and I find that so frustrating.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I think that some of this is, to a degree, ingrained societal norms regarding gender roles. I know men who handle at least 50% of the parenting responsibilities at home, but still say that they want to earn more than their wife. It’s difficult to square with otherwise egalitarian practices.

    • avocado says:

      What I have heard about higher ed is that men take advantage of paternity leave to write articles while women spend maternity leave recovering from birth and caring for the baby, so paternity leave actually increases gender inequity as far as the tenure process goes.

      • Meg Murry says:

        Yes, I heard that too (especially 15 years ago when I was an undergrad, not sure if anything has changed). Men tended to treat paternity leave like a sabbatical, where they weren’t teaching but could spend time researching and usually had someone else doing primary daytime care for the baby (and/or a SAH wife), whereas women tended to use paternity leave to be the primary caregiver for the baby. There was talk of what could be done about it, but I don’t know if anything ever came of it.

        • avocado says:

          I have heard that it’s gotten worse over time, and that men on some campuses have actually argued for paternity leave on the ground that it’s unfair for women to have the time off to write and not them. (I am not in academia but am in an adjacent field.)

          • Anonymous says:

            …and to clarify, I point this out not to cast aspersions at OP’s husband, but as an example of how giving men paternity leave and encouraging them to take it is not necessarily enough to advance gender equality.

      • My co-workers and I are all staff, not faculty, but yes this is definitely an issue with faculty. My husband is faculty and he’s been doing a fair amount of work at home while the baby sleeps (baby is still napping for at least 3 hours of the 8-9 I’m at work) and is enjoying the extra time that comes from not having to teach, but he’s missing out on things like going to seminars, hosting research visitors and attending conferences so he can be home with the baby, so I don’t feel like he’s abusing his leave.

        • Anonymous says:

          When I was on maternity leave, I was pumping, loading/unloading the dishwasher, doing laundry, grocery shopping, baby shopping and preparing meals during naps. How are those things getting done in your household?

          • I don’t really appreciate the implication that he’s not pulling his weight around the house, because he definitely is and this wasn’t an I-hate-my-husband question. He does the baby’s laundry during naps (this takes 10 minutes, not three hours, and doesn’t have to be done more than once a week). He takes the baby with him when he goes grocery shopping, but again this is a once-per-week chore not an everyday chore. He cooks dinner and loads the dishwasher (including my pump parts) once I’m home from work and feeding/playing with the baby. He unloads it in the morning while I’m nursing the baby.

            I didn’t do any work on my maternity leave, but I spent at least 3-4 hours per day reading or watching TV when I easily could have been working so it’s not surprising to me that he can find several hours per day to work from home while taking care of a baby and still doing an appropriate amount of household chores.

            We do not have any outside childcare, and I agree it’s absolutely inappropriate for a male faculty member to take paternity leave from teaching and then send the child to daycare so he effectively has a research sabbatical. But that’s not at all what my husband is doing. If he chats with his grad students on the phone while he’s taking the baby on a walk or playing with her on her activity mat, I think that’s great.

          • OP, I also had a fair amount of free time during my maternity leave. I was super tired from nursing and pumping around the clock, so I used nap time to sleep, read and watch tv. If your husband is getting adequate sleep (because the baby is older and sleeping more now, and/or because you’re the one getting up to nurse), I can definitely see having enough time to work a few hours a day during maternity leave.

            We had a nanny after I went back to work until Kiddo was about 16 months. She took great care of our son and also did dishes and laundry and ran an occasional errand for us (usually during their walk). She still had a couple of hours a day to study or write music, and that didn’t bother me at all.

      • Anonymous says:

        How does this work? Is the baby actually at daycare or with a nanny during the paternity leave?

        • avocado says:

          I am told that there is typically someone else caring for the baby during paternity leave, at least part of the time.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      I wish there was a way to mandate paternity leave, preferably AFTER mom goes back to work. Solo parenting goes a long way in equalizing parenting duties and understanding how much work goes into taking care of a baby. My husband also took a few weeks of leave after I went back to work for our first and will take time after I’m back, in addition to leave after birth, for this next baby – I’m encouraging him to take as much time as legally available (I think 8 weeks in our state), even if it’s partially unpaid. He’s gotten some comments from his coworkers about taking a lot of leave, but I’m hoping this just normalizes that both moms and dads need (and want!) time to be with the baby.

      I think in many fields, there is a definite bias against taking leave – this affects women to a large degree, but may hurt men’s chances of promotion even more in some ways. Taking care of a baby solo goes against all social biases and norms for men, which probably scares men in the workplace, even those who are offered the leave.

      • lawsuited says:

        +1 to both parents having a period of solo parenting. The long term benefit of my husband taking paternity leave is that he learned to confidently handle everyday parenting problems alone so that I don’t have to tell him when the baby needs to eat/sleep/be changed or where we keep the X or Y which so many moms complain of. We are both completely comfortable completing any part of our LO’s care alone, and our LO is completely comfortable with either of us doing anything for him.

      • BTanon says:

        Agree with this so much – my husband took 6 weeks of paternity leave beginning when I went back to work, and it had so many benefits for our parenting partnership. Like lawsuited notes above, he figured out how to do every aspect of day to day care without me needing to explicitly delegate, and (maybe more significantly) I learned to trust him to do those things without my micromanaging.
        Our experiences as solo parents were obviously still not equivalent – he didn’t need to recover from childbirth or BF, plus he got to care for a 3+ month old with smiles and neck control vs. a brand-new newborn – but it was still huge. It was also easier for me mentally (and logistically) to go back to work knowing that baby was with dad as opposed to going straight to daycare.
        It makes me so sad when my male colleagues decline to take even the few weeks of paid paternity leave they’re offered.

    • lawsuited says:

      I hear you. My husband took a long paternity leave because I am the breadwinner and we could afford for him to be off work but not me. Some of the reactions we got:

      – From his mother: “You really shouldn’t be asking him to do this – it’s going to stunt his career growth.”
      – From his boss: “I expect to deal with maternity leaves when I hire women, but not when I hire men”
      – From his co-workers: “But you can still come in some days and help with some things, right?”
      – From our friends: “Wow! 6 months of vacation!”
      – From strangers at the grocery store: “Oh my goodness, you are just the most amazing father, your wife is so lucky to have you!”

      Everything about my mothering journey so far has confirmed that gender equality in the workplace will be a direct result of gender equality in childrearing, and we have a heck of a long way to go in both.

      • In House Lobbyist says:

        +1 My husband is treated like a king when he takes filthy children to the grocery store. If I did that, I would be lucky to only be judged silently. He stays home full time so he gets so many women falling all over him for all he does for me.

      • Anonymous says:

        My MIL constantly says to me how lucky I am that DH “helps out” with kiddo. He also took a decent leave (probably 8w total, but broken up into a chunk right after baby was born and a chunk after I went back to work at 4mos PP). His coworkers were really chill about it, but his company has a really good culture around family, plus it’s based in Europe.

        • Delta Dawn says:

          Anyone who says my husband is “helping” gets an immediate response of “Helping who? They’re HIS kids!” And a big (fake) smile. (This is also my response when anyone says he’s “babysitting.”)

      • Ugh yes. My in-laws were very upset with me too. I don’t know why they can’t understand that it was his choice.

      • Anonymous says:

        I live in a weird corner of the world (it’s a suburb of Boston) that has a surprising amount of dual career families and dads that pull an equal (or close to it) amount of weight re: childcare. There’s usually a 3rd Larry (daycare, nanny, etc) involved, but my kid’s preschool has dads doing dropoff often, in addition to the many SAH moms. We have 3 SAH dads that I know of, and I know several families where it’s dad that has the flex job/default parenting and mom doing the city commute. My daughter has two friends with really involved dads- one is a partner at a major biglaw firm in Boston, the other runs a huge portfolio for a major bank. One was at the playground this AM just back from Belgium. He gotnin this morning and spent the day with the kids.

        There are lots of SAHMs here, but I just came back from the playground where I was joined by 3 grandparents (two grandmas, one grandpa), two dads, four nannies, and about 7 moms who are a mix of 100% SAH and part time/flex job (two are real estate agents full time which is just more…flexed. They work their butts off on weekends/evenings).

    • I’m jealous of your university. I also work at a university and there is no paternity leave and maternity leave is partially paid through STD

    • Spirograph says:

      I’m not in higher ed, but my company has an extremely generous (by US standards) parental leave policy of 16 weeks fully paid for all new parents. Birth mothers get additional time because parental leave does not run concurrently with STD.

      I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how many men are taking advantage of this policy, both by taking a big chunk of leave to presumably be the primary caretaker, and by reserving some of the leave – which does not need to be taken consecutively – to cover the inevitable out of office time that comes up in a baby’s first year. My department seems to be in a perpetual baby boom for the last couple years, which a challenge to manage around, but it’s a challenge I’m happy to have.

  9. Anon looking at Boston area says:

    Would you mind sharing the suburb (or narrow down the area if want to stay anon)? Looking generally at Boston area suburbs but haven’t found the right fit!

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      So are we! I’d also be curious about which suburbs lean more dual-income couples vs. more SAH parents. I think Newton might lean more dual working couples but it’s super $$$.

      • Anonymous says:

        I haven’t lived there as a parent, but I lived in Newton a few years ago and felt like there were a TON of SAHMs. I was always amazed by how many women & strollers I saw in restaurants and grocery stories in the middle of the day on a weekday (I was a student with a flex schedule so I was often out and about at this time). I would think generally the more affluent the suburb, the more stay at home parents, and Newton is very affluent.

  10. Anonymous says:

    So…I know this is hard to answer without context…but would you spend $30-40k to do some major updating to your house with the intent that you’ll only be in the house 4-5 years and probably only get $15-20k back at sale? Our house is in dire need of some updating (like actual need, floors coming up, backsplash falling down, etc. and not just “I’d prefer wood, quartz, etc.”) It’s basically either that or move now, and we can’t find a house we like that isn’t way more money that we aren’t ready to spend.

    • Anonymous says:

      If it is that dire, how could you not recoup it at the sale? Or is that you want to go with more expensive finishes than minimum fixes needed to sell?

      That said, I would think about the cost per year and whether it is worth it to you – an extra 5K/year to live in a more pleasant home doesn’t seem nuts to me. You could also try to get a reality check from a realtor if you have any doubts about the assumptions you are making.

      • Because remodels/improvements almost never give a 100% return on investment. It just is what it is. We are working with a realtor who has given us this information.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes. Remember to include in your return on investment calculation the benefit you get by living in a house that functions the way you need it to. We have done various reno tasks in house that we have lived in for <4 years each and both times we probably didn't recoup the full investment, it was absolutely worth it for us. Also factor in how much better the house will show when you do go to show it if these things are fixed. Even if you're not getting the full cost back on sale price, the warped floors / falling down backsplash won't be there to scare away potential buyers.

      • avocado says:

        And it’s not just that the needed repairs will scare away buyers. Unless you are in a really hot market, you will have to “allow” cash at closing to fix at least some of the issues. If you have to pay for the repairs anyway, you might as well pay a little more to get what you really want and enjoy living in your house for the next few years instead of spending nearly as much to fix it up for someone else to enjoy.

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