Now that it’s August, I’m starting to feel some back-to-school vibes. This tutu dress from Old Navy would have been on the top of my daughter’s shopping list when she was a toddler.
This dress features a stretchy wrap front, long sleeves, and a fluffy tulle skirt. It’s perfect for the first day of school or even a special party. It comes in four colors (“blush hue,” “creme de la creme,” “have a heart,” and heather gray). While the cream one is looking for a marker stain or spaghetti sauce stain, the red one will work well into the fall and (is it too early?) the holidays.
Old Navy’s Fit & Flare Wrap-Front Tutu Dress is on sale for $12.99.
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Sales of Note…
(See all of the latest workwear sales at Corporette!)
- Ann Taylor – 30% off full-price tops and sweaters; up to 40% off all sale styles
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- Lands’ End – 30% off full-price styles
- Talbots – 30% off entire purchase
- Zappos – 24,000+ sale items (for women)! Check out these reader-favorite workwear brands on sale, and some of our favorite kid shoe brands on sale.
- J.Crew – 40% off your purchase
- Lands’ End – 30% off full-price styles
- Hanna Andersson – 100s of new markdowns; up to 30% off Easter
- Carter’s – Swim 50% off; up to 50% off sandals; up to 50% off spring break deals
- buybuyBaby – Major clearance markdowns
WWYD- I was absolutely crushed by a project this week, and my mom has been watching one of my kids for the majority of the week. I would have otherwise hired a babysitter. My mom is under-employed and theoretically should have been working during the time she has been helping me out, but since she just sort of dabbles here and these with work (does some admin stuff on the side for contractors, house/baby/dogsits) it’s hard to tell if she gave up work this week- esp since she’s been with my kiddo 9/10-4ish but usually works at night anyway. Additionally, she hasn’t been Super Nanny with my kiddo. Kid has basically been hanging at grandma’s helping her sort through her basement for donations, painting the deck, weeding the yard etc with occasional breaks for the pool.
Should I get my mom some kind of gift card as a thank you? A gift? Give her some cash? If the latter, how much? What I would have otherwise paid a sitter? Money is not an issue for me and is often for her. She didn’t do this as a job, she did it to be helpful.
Thanks for your thoughts!
Sounds like a fun time with Grandma – I loved helping mine with chores back in the day, she was similarly under-employed, but always available to help with childcare in a pinch. Why hire a sitter, if kiddo was safe and loved by grandma, and if grandma was able to do it?
In my family, cash wouldn’t be accepted (even if needed) – but a practical gift card (Tar*et, Wal*art, etc.) would, for between $100 – $200.
I would do a broad appeal gift card (like Target) or if you know your mom has been thinking about getting something but maybe waiting because its expensive or not “needed” or frivolous, etc. maybe get that for her as a thank you?
Yes, a sizeable gift card (grocery store, target, home depot etc.) with a thank you card signed by you and your child. Acknowledge that she stepped in in a pinch and helped you be successful, especially if she normally doesn’t do 9/10AM-4PM.
We don’t really give gifts or money in my family, but we will often treat each other to dinner (or take out) at a favorite restaurant when we want to say Thank You.
Sometimes I get my kids to write/draw a card too. Not specifically a thank you card, but an “I love you because…”
Yeah, this is a know-your-family situation, but I think my mom would feel weird about accepting a monetary gift as a thank you for something that wasn’t transactional up front. This was quality time with grandma, timed to help you out in a pinch. I’ve mentioned before that my kids each spend a week at my mom’s house in the summer — she is my childcare solution for one child that week, but I never even considered paying her for it! (we pay her way to join us on vacations as a thank you)
I would probably send some flowers and invite her out to a nice dinner. Or, like someone else suggested, buy the frivolous thing that she has been eyeing but won’t buy for herself. Maaaaaybe I could get away with giving a gift card and saying it’s for her + partner to treat themselves to a nice night out. A practical giftcard like for groceries or target/amazon would be really awkward in my family.
Yeah we never pay my parents for childcare, and they would be pretty offended if we tried. (Once I referred to it as “babysitting” and my mom got SO offended…”It’s not babysitting, it’s time with my granddaughter!”) But my parents are more affluent than us, which seems like a very relevant fact.
As a side note – helping with chores is a completely fine kid activity in my book. Summers with my grandma growing up were full of laundry (including hanging clothes outside), grocery shopping, cooking, and TV. 1-3x/week we’d go to a playground or local amusement park. Kids usually don’t mind this stuff and enjoy being useful. So it sounds like your mom did a great job.
Aunt Jamesina says
Same here! I loved helping my grandma out. After reading Hunt, Gather, Parent I now see chores and “helping” more like enrichment activities for small children.
Just to offer a different perspective, I don’t think my mom would accept money because she doesn’t need it, but she would not be at all offended if I offered and would probably think it was a nice gesture. I got her and my MIL really fancy chocolates when they tag-teamed watching my kids when I was in the hospital giving birth.
When I babysat for my sister in a pinch, she repaid me by taking a task I was struggling with off my plate. Specifically, she set up and started filling up my baby registry for me, which I had too many feelings to do without help. Once it was set up, I was able to go through it with her and make changes.
Is there a task you could help your mom with?
I would wedge a wad of $20s in a findable spot with a note that says “Thank you so much! You saved me this week.” I’ve also dropped off my kid with an assortment of groceries “so you don’t have to buy snacks” that also has some items for my parents in it. Yogurts, sandwich fixings, some chocolate, a case of beer, box of iced coffee, etc. It’s also another good place to wedge some $20s with a note like “Wish I could join you for lunch – thanks so much for helping me out this week.”
Also, I’m not sure what you expect with your ‘Super Nanny’ comment, as that sounds like a great week of your Mom spending time with your daughter. My kids think my Mom’s basement is a treasure trove.
omg yes. At my grandparents’ house it was the “attic” (storage part of the upstairs in a cape cod style house) and there was SO MUCH COOL STUFF in there. A slide projector & slides from family vacations circa 1970! My mom’s and all her siblings’ high school year books! Clothes from the 1950s onwards! Every musical instrument anyone ever played! We spent hours exploring up there.
My MIL will give us things for our infant daughter, and then demand them back if she doesn’t think we are using them sufficiently. How do we handle this? If we tell her we don’t want something when she gives it to us, she is very huffy. She never includes a receipt. We cannot donate items because she’s over once a week and always takes stock of what we do and don’t have out. She brings a new gift each visit so they really add up. Recent “gifts” that she’s demanded back have included a 3-foot stuffed unicorn and a vtech walker for our daughter who doesn’t yet walk. (I donated both and told her, which went over extremely poorly). We do not have storage space to pretend we will use these items later. We already don’t have a great relationship and with our daughter’s first birthday coming up in the next couple of months I’m steeling myself for a mound of unwanted gifts she’ll demand back months later. My husband has accepted that this is the way she is, but his tolerance for clutter is a lot higher than mine. She likes to buy things SHE likes without regard to the recipient so past attempts to suggest certain things we actually need have gotten mixed results.
Wow this sounds awful, I’m sorry you have to deal with that. I also have a small living space and hate clutter, and it drives me nuts when we get giant kid presents with nowhere to store them. First, I think your husband should take point on dealing with her and all messaging around the presents. Second, I think you should accept that she will demand them back and just be ready to give them back with no comment if you don’t want them. Maybe he can suggest she store them for you until you’re ready for them?
The only way I can comfortably live in a small space is to be ruthless about getting rid of stuff and, more importantly, just not acquiring things.
I think your husband should run point with whatever of the following works for your family, feelings be damned because your ability to live in your home is at stake:
-no gifts, except for something small at birthdays/Christmas. you just don’t have the space.
-gifts live at grandmas
-if you receive a gift, it’s yours to dispose of as you like (probably the worst choice as a primary strategy because it puts more work on you and grandma feels hurt)
FWIW, I have relatives who have a very different approach to stuff, and stressing that we have a small home and can’t fit things has worked beautifully.
I know this isn’t a popular viewpoint, but part of having good relationships with people is being a good receiver — accepting and appreciating their gifts whether or not you would have chosen them. I know today’s culture is all about setting boundaries, and what do I know, but I think you are setting yourself for ongoing tension if you make storage space the most important thing here.
I agree. Especially with grandparents who aren’t going to be around forever.
Is Hanna still the gold standard for leggings that last through multiple kids? Or should I just accept that my children will destroy all leggings regardless of their quality and go with Target ones?
We have good luck with Hanna, Boden, and JCrew leggings. Cat & Jack and Gap are fine, but feel a bit thin and stretch out more easily. But I don’t think my kids are as hard on leggings as some other kids. If the knees or butt get grimy from a day at the playground, I try to spray them with Shout and let them sit for a while before washing, and the color tends stay pretty good. Haven’t had issues with holes in the knees or anything like that. You can get leggings with knee patches which may help (I think I’ve gotten some from JCrew before).
I have yet to meet a legging that has lasted through multiple kids. They don’t all get holes, but the knees just get so, so dirty and worn out looking.
Target ones weren’t worth it IME. Even my daughter, who’s not particularly rough and tumble, would get holes in them after a few wears. We also had trouble with Primary, though not as bad as Target. I’ll have to try Hanna.
We have Uniqlo leggings on their 4th year of wear between 2 kids!
Oh yeah, I used to have toddler Uniqlo leggings that were great. Do you know if they run small or big? My daughter is 6.5 and very average, and I’m not sure if I should get her the 5/6 or the 7/8.
Hard to say, and I bought these in 2017. I think I bought size 3 or 4 and my kids have worn them from ages 2.5-5.5.
Remember that if you buy something from Target (Cat & Jack specifically I think) and they wear out within a year, you either get your money back or get the same clothing. Might be worth it to just stick with Target and see how they do for your child.
Hanna quality has gone hugely downhill in the last few years. I only have one kid who grows pretty fast but Target quality has been completely fine for us – she’s outgrown everything before it gets damaged.
Polarn O Pyret has held up really well for us.
my 75 year old father who has diabetes contracted covid on wednesday. He has a doctor that I consider to be a wack-job. In the past this doctor advised against getting covid booster for my parents (both are 75 and both not in perfect health). Now he is advising against my father taking paxlovid. He does not give a good reason other than “it is a garbage drug”. I said “funny it was good enough for the president!” Anyway, I would be suspicious of this doctor just by reading his email newsletter but my dad also mentioned that he noticed he had One America Network in his office in the background of their visit in the past. Do we trust that he should not take paxlovid?? I asked my doctor friend and she said that it is recommended in this case but pushing back against a doctor’s recommendation feels….. wrong. I always trust them. Thoughts?
Of course he should.
Hi – not a doctor, but I work for a huge healthcare system. He needs to take the pax. Part of the reason we’re seeing better outcomes for older patients with comorbidities is due to vaccines/boosters, treatment like pax, etc. Anecdotally, a friend’s mom (~70) had some intense COVID symptoms and the pax cleared them right up.
Blindly trusting doctors is dangerous, especially when they are openly pushing right-wing anti-science propaganda and making recommendations that run counter to the standard of care. Second opinion, stat.
Signed, my grandfather died of medical malpractice
that’s my gut reaction here, thank you for confirming.
Your dad needs to switch doctors. Leaving aside politics (and it sounds like this doctor isn’t) a second recommendation is completely standard, and I would suggest that happen immediately.
How sick is your father? I think stepping way back from the politics you should evaluate your fathers condition as a whole; COVID + diabetes.
he was quite sick in the beginning. he feels better today relative to how he initially felt. my concern is that going off of that is not a good choice because my understanding is that people often start to feel better then are sick again. I don’t know that his level of sickness with covid today should determine whether or not he takes the drug. He couldn’t get out of bed or drink a sip of water the first day. On the phone, he sounds bad to me but he is able to walk around now so that is an improvement.
I do not know what meds your dad is on or if he has any meds or medical conditions that constitute contraindications for Paxlovid. But “Paxlovid is contraindicated” is really different from “Paxlovid is garbage.” Could he consult a pharmacist to ask about whether Paxlovid is an option for him? I thought that in some states, pharmacists were even allowed to prescribe it (though I’m not sure if that’s wise for patients with a complicated medical history). If he’s not ready to switch doctors (especially in this tight timeframe), he can still just consult another provider for a second opinion. Last I checked my insurance company still had telehealth options to help patients connect with timely COVID care.
You should probably revise your default policy of always trusting doctors. “Trust but verify” is maybe a better default stance. Sometimes doctors really do have good reasons for disagreeing with a standard recommendation, but they should be able to articulate those reasons. Sometimes doctors just misremember things or haven’t kept up with recommendations (remember that they’re mostly overworked both in terms of “too many patients” and “too much paperwork” these days). And yes sometimes they’re swayed by political affiliations because they’re human too.
well i wrote that i consider this doctor to be a wack job. i respect the profession, that’s why i said that try to trust doctors opinions. i trust science….. i feel like “trust but verify” is exactly what i’m doing here.
I never assume doctors are right even when they act professional and respectable. Always get a second opinion if you have any doubts or hesitation at all, or if the health problem is big even if you like the first doctor’s recommendation. You would be surprised about how much of medical practice is based on folklore instead of science, and by how different doctors’ cost-benefit calculations can be than patients’.
The fact that you are not a doctor means that it’s even more important not to accept any doctor’s recommendations without question. If you were a doctor yourself, you would have the knowledge needed to critically evaluate the doctor’s advice and make an informed decision. Since you are not a doctor, you need to ask the informed consent questions every time (why is this treatment being recommended? what are the benefits? what are the risks? what are the alternatives? what if we do nothing?) and get a second opinion when the stakes are high. Even the most science-driven doctors give advice that is biased by their specialty (e.g., if you see a surgeon they will tend to recommend surgery over other alternatives), professional norms, personal risk preferences, etc. Even if you the first doctor’s advice makes sense, the second doctor might tell you about an option that is even better that you would never have known about without the second opinion.
He should definitely get a second opinion. That being said, Paxlovid has a lot of contraindications — my husband has T1 diabetes and his doctor told him that were he to get Covid, he should take Remdesivir instead.
This is late, so I am not sure if anyone will see this, but my MIL got covid last week. She has both underlying heart and lung issues. Her GP, heart specialist, and lung specialist all advised against paxlovid, unless her symptoms got worse (she is vaxxed and boosted and at the time only had a cough–they said if she got a fever or felt worse in other ways, to call them again). They all said paxlovid is pretty rough on your body in other ways and the cost/benefit needs to be weighed out. To be honest, at first, she had called her GP and I didn’t trust this advice, but then she heard from her specialists. On the other hand, I don’t think your dad’s doctor sounds reliable and I would definitely push for a second opinion.
Weaning the bottle says
Any tips on how to stop the bedtime bottle? Just never produce it and let the baby cry it out? Switch to water instead? Baby is about ~14 months, and the bedtime routine right now includes bath, pjs, and rocking with bottle, then put in crib when either bottle is finished or kid is asleep (more often the former than the later, these days). This is the only bottle we still do.
We switched to milk in a 360 cup before bed (while reading books).
NLD in NYC says
+1 Same here
Yup, same. We just offer milk in a sippy cup during bedtime stories. DD is 18mo and still takes it sometimes.
+1 (but a straw cup)
We switched to yogurt as a bedtime snack around that time. Now kiddo knows yogurt is an option and asks for it if she’s still hungry at bedtime.
A vent but then an “I am a [email protected]” comment. Kindergarten starts next Wednesday. This past Wednesday I got a “welcome back” email from private preschool (where I had planned to send my kindergartener) that casually mentioned preschool now ends at 2:30 instead of 4:30. Excuse me, what? There was absolutely no mention of this all summer while my rising kindergartener was enrolled in preschool. So I got him registered for kindergarten in less than 24 hours and one day before the public kindergarten “deadline” to be assigned a teacher. So I feel proud of myself about that. Now I’m not sure what to do about my littles who were going to attend preschool with their older brother. All the places I’ve called are booked til 2024 (lol). I have an offer to go back to work, but I can’t work 9AM-2PM, which is how long preschool would give me coverage (accounting for commute time). I could possibly get my nanny to do aftercare, but that plus preschool would be my entire salary. Sigh. I don’t know how two working parents do it.
Do you have a nanny full time? Just don’t do pre school then.
She got a full time job that starts in September, when my kids were supposed to start full time preschool.
Um, i can’t believe a school just changed the time like that and there wasn’t a huge uproar from all the parents. We spend more than my whole salary and I’m grateful we can afford to do so bc i have no interest in being a sahm and i know it won’t be this way forever
It won’t be your entire salary. Half of it comes from your partner, half from you (I am assuming you’re married). Stop buying into the patriarchy. Go back to work if that’s what you want.
Actually, if she is the one who is considering giving up her job, then the full cost of child care actually does come out of her salary. If she didn’t work, they wouldn’t be paying for child care. If she works, they pay. It’s a joint expense that comes out of the portion of joint income that is her salary. It’s not the patriarchy, it’s math. If her husband were the one thinking about staying home with the kids, then child care would come out of his salary.
+1 yeah I’m very pro-women working even if the cost of it exceeds their salary (for benefits like financial independence and being a role model to children) but it’s just math that if the lower salary parent weren’t working, there wouldn’t be childcare expenses and the entire family would have a higher net income. It’s pretty reasonable to feel frustrated by that. I certainly did when we were in that situation.
You are wrong. Women, even ones who have lower earning capacity than their husbands, deserve to live full, fulfilled lives. Her husband, for all we know, is able to earn more than her because she takes care of the children and their home. Maybe she entertains her husband’s boss, maybe she worked to support them while he went to medical or law school. She has given years of her life to raise her children at home. If she wants to work, maybe because she enjoys it, maybe to regain skills/bolster her resume in case her marriage were ever to fail, maybe to show her kids that women have careers, then she should work and her husband should support that. Money for childcare comes out of both of their pockets, not hers. Yours is such a backwards way of thinking.
No one has said she doesn’t deserve to live a full, fulfilled life, or that she shouldn’t work even if it costs more than her salary. You’re imputing a lot of malevolent intent that’s not there. But it’s simple math to say that childcare is a net loss for the family if it exceeds the lower earner’s post-tax salary. Fwiw, I know many families where the dad is the lower earner and I feel the same way; it’s not a gender thing. The family is collectively paying for the lower earner to work. That may be a valid choice for many families, especially if it’s a temporary thing like it sounds like it is for OP, but it still sucks when you’re the lower earner and you know your spouse is literally subsidizing your choice to work.
No it isn’t. There’s no legitimate reason to allocate all of child care to one partner.
Boston Legal Eagle says
Wow, yikes Anon 1:20pm. You do realize that in a patriarchy, the work traditionally done by women is undervalued and underpaid, and shocker, a lot of women end up doing work that is paid less than their spouses and then they decide to stay home because of the “net loss” and the cycle continues. And you cannot just think of the dollars earned by a year’s salary – spouse would be giving up retirement contributions, SS credits, future earning potential and a whole host of other considerations.
Yes, women are underpaid generally and the patriarchy plays a role in that, and yes, you should count things like retirement contributions when doing this math. That doesn’t contradict anything I said. I’m not suggesting a woman (or man) has to stay home just because childcare costs exceed their salary. There are lot of valid reasons for a family to decide it’s worth paying for both parents to work. But it doesn’t change the fact that the lower earning spouse can feel pretty $hitty knowing they’re getting up and going to work every day and the family is paying for them to do that. Lily and Boston Legal Eagle, based on comments here about your finances I don’t think you’ve personally been in this situation. I have, and it feels pretty condescending to tell me how I’m supposed to feel about it when you haven’t lived it. I think OP should 1000% work if she wants to work, but I also think she’s entitled to feel sad about the fact that staying home would save her family money because paying to work SUCKS.
I think that the objective fact that the cost of child care is equal to the cost of one spouse’s salary is not the same as saying that spouse’s salary is all going towards childcare. It could be a question of priorities- like a family on one salary could choose to pay for childcare rather than vacations, particularly if one spouse were starting a business or in grad school, in which case one could say that the lower earning spouse’s money pays for vacations.
I earn much much less than my husband with my freelancer’s salary, but all our money is in one pot and together we use it to pay for the things our family prioritizes.
Just a counterpoint, I think working/salary value needs to be weighted for longer term risk, not just a straight look at the annual salary. Her not working could limit future career growth and earnings, but often people look at immediate budget for the lower earning partner. For those who argue that childcare is weighted against the lower earning spouse’s salary, it’s only fair to weight it against a 3 or 5 or 10 year, etc earnings plan.
I am confused. You have a nanny but don’t work and your kids have been in full-day preschool? What does the nanny do? Can’t you just leave the two younger ones with the nanny instead of sending them to preschool, and have the nanny do aftercare for the older one?
Will the preschool be offering aftercare?
Yes!! Go you! Sorry I feel like we all jumped into problem solving mode in a way that is blaming you. I’m very impressed you got him into public k!!
I’m sorry, that’s WILD. There would be mutiny at our school if they did that (though I do get that it’s often based on staffing issues, and I’m sympathetic to the reality of that, but that casual communication would be maddening).
I’m a first time mom to a 2 month old and I’m miserable. I have the in laws helping me at the moment (and I know I’m lucky to have the extra help) but I am terrified and anxious for when they leave because I dread being alone with the baby while husband is at work. She is an awful sleeper and I can never “sleep when the baby sleeps” because I’m anxious – about everything. I’ve scored high on the maternal depression screening and have an appointment lined up with my PCP to discuss PPD but…
When will it get better?
It will get better. How many hours does baby sleep at night in one stretch? How much sleep are you getting?
8-10 weeks postpartum was the worst period for me. I was doing the middle of the night feedings, and just the combination of doing it for so long and the changes in DS’s sleep schedule meant that I was not getting any periods of uninterrupted sleep. DS swapped with me for a few days and took those feeds, and I felt much better after a few days of sleep.
Do you feel anxious when your in-laws are not there? I felt more anxious when my in-laws were there helping because even though they were giving lots of “advice ” that seemed helpful, it was taking away from my time with the baby (which I really wanted at that point) and made me feel like I was being judged constantly.
After your PCP gives you medication.
Hugs. 2 month olds are hard, but you’ve got something else going on here too – I hope for you that your doctor is able to give you the resources to be able to enjoy this time. Exhaustion is normal, terror and the kind of anxiety you’re describing aren’t, but there’s lots of help available out there. You’re a great mom, good for you for recognizing the need to see a doctor.
“Sleep when the baby sleeps” is a joke, unless you feel rested from sleeping in twenty minute increments and being woken up by tiny shrieks. I never attempted it. That being said, I really turned a corner at ~8-10 weeks. We had an excruciatingly bad night, and I thought I would go insane and then it was never that bad again. I would definitely talk to your doctor about your own medical needs, including anxiety and whether there’s anything you can take to get more sleep. For me, I had to get a prescription for xanax because even after the baby had a nighttime routine I wasn’t sleeping because I was hearing phantom cries, and was used to waking up on a dime. Lack of sleep makes everything unbearable.
+1 to the phantom cries. I did not get a prescription for Xanax– though I probably should have– but took Calms Forte for a while. I started taking a magnesium supplement at about 6 months postpartum because I was still waking up a few times a night, and it has helped.
We had a baby who wouldn’t nap during the day, lucky to get 20 minutes after trying for an hour. The first week was so awful, and I hadn’t slept well since month 7 of pregnancy. It was better after the 1st month, better after the 2nd month. Went back to work at 3 months, and was a zombie for a few weeks, but happy to not be responsible for the baby all day. At month 5 or 6, we were consistently getting 5 hour long blocks of sleep or more at night. I finally felt like a person again, and it’s only gotten better from there. After a year, it was easy unless she’s sick.
Sometime around 1 year her naps finally consolidated, and she actually napped like a “normal” baby we heard tales about. At least she didn’t have colic.
It will get better once you start taking the meds.
It will get better!!! In the meantime see your pcp as soon as you possibly can. Can you get a mental health appointment quickly either through your insurance or EAP (sometimes faster access)? There are tools that can help!!! Have you made any big changes re nursing? When I stopped nursing my second at 6 weeks I felt exactly like you describe and it was the hormonal change. This is clearly not medical advice but adding a large coffee at noon helped me enormously at that stage too – I had been crying all afternoon, every afternoon, and seriously the coffee helped so much. It’s cheap and accessible so might be worth trying. But overall – baby will sleep more, when you can sleep more you will feel much much better, and the hormones will calm down over time. And medical help will help too!!
Around that age, if I stayed up and let the baby cluster-feed from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am, she would then sleep for 6-7 solid hours. It’s worth a try if you have a hungry night owl baby. Once you can trust that she won’t wake you up, it will be easier for you to fall asleep. Hugs. You are in the thick of it right now and it will get better.
Mine would cluster feed from 5-9 PM and I’d go to bed with the baby at 9 PM.
If you can’t sleep when the baby sleeps, at least rest. The big thing is not to be cleaning and doing laundry, etc. Put your feed up.
This was my life at that age. I would just hunker down in my spot on the couch and watch TV or read while baby endlessly nursed.
OP – It will get better. You’ve gotten great advice here so I don’t have anything else to add. But it absolutely will get better.
Aunt Jamesina says
It WILL get better! You’re in the thick of so many hard things right now. I’m so glad you reached out to your PCP. For me, the newborn craziness seemed to settle into a rhythm around three months. I’m so sorry you’re going through this.
Also, you’re doing it! Even if every day feels like a disaster. Getting through the day when you have a newborn is a win in my book. You will make it through. You’ll look back on these crazy newborn days in awe of yourself.
You are a great mom and what you are feeling completely normal. I especially felt this way with my first, and the thought of my mom leaving me alone with a tiny newborn was terrifying when she eventually did need to leave. Everyone told me to sleep when the baby slept, but I was always anticipating her crying and needing to feed so I didn’t get a lot of sleep. A super difficult time. Hang in there.
Call your OBGYN back right after you read this and ask her for a referral list to therapists. You can also go to the psychology today website and find a therapist – you can add your insurance type so you know it will be covered. Call or email every one and see who has availability. If you don’t want to leave the house, many of these people do virtual sessions so you don’t have to have the stress of getting ready. They are also perfectly fine if you have to interact or feed baby on camera, so it’s one less hurdle to getting the care you need.
If you are having a hard time sleeping at night, try to have your in-laws watch the baby so you can nap during the day a bit. Some sleep is better than no sleep. Put in ear plugs, turn on a white noise machine, and try to sleep. Whatever you used to do to feel relaxed, try to do that so you can wind down. I read or listen to classical music. Set an alarm if you need/want to.
As a mom of two small ones, try to remember that your child will be okay. This too will pass, whatever you need to do to get through it do that. It will get better. If you need your in-laws to stay longer, ask them (or have your partner ask them) until you feel more under control. Or get someone else to come stay with you a bit longer.
You can do this. It will get better.
I completely echo this post. Call your obgyn now. Many of them will prescribe meds. I felt exactly like you did after the birth of my twins. I had never been so anxious or miserable. It will get better, i promise
It will get better but you need help – agree on the suggestions to call your doctors and get relief. Don’t let them push you off. Also don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask your in laws or your family or any of your friends (esp those with older kids). Find a night nurse or a babysitter to come help when you’re in the house. See if your partner can take some leave. This is a health issue. Take care of yourself.
I recently started a very low dose of Zoloft a few months postpartum with my second kid and feel so so much better. I wish I had done this years ago, after feeling really bad after my first kid was born. It will make a huge difference for you. And around three months when baby starts smiling is very rewarding. I hope things get better and don’t be afraid to come back here for more support.
Mrs. Jones says
This sounds normal and it will get better. Rx antidepressant literally saved my life after I had a baby.
Boston Legal Eagle says
Echoing everyone to try meds – my postpartum experience with baby 1 (no meds, anxious, dealing with a lot) and baby 2 (meds, therapy) were night and day.
It’s tough. I, like many commentators on this post, ended up taking some meds and going to therapy and it made a world of difference. Also, I was incredibly anxious when my husband went back to work and I was home by myself still on leave.
What helped me, is that I set a goal to get out of my house once a day. I didn’t have to go father than my sidewalk, but I had to leave the house and get fresh air. I found a stroller strides class that was a work out class with strollers I liked and went to twice a week. Other times I just walked to my sidewalk and back. Sometimes it was in between and I walked around the block with the stroller. Getting out of the house made me feel confident that I could do it. It was so. Much. Easier. To do this when I started therapy and meds.
I actually found it easier to be by myself than have my mom or in-laws around. And I have amazing parents and in-laws and I love their company. It’s just that when it was my and my kiddo, we had our own routine that I was in control of and I didn’t have to take anyone else into account. Sending a big hug and a big “you can do this!!!” Because you absolutely can.
It will get better!! I also echo getting out of the house, preferably where you can be around other people who help you feel less alone. My doctor urged me to join a group with other moms or see a therapist. I was too overwhelmed at the time to figure it out on my own, but my husband went with me to our local recreation center, where there was a stroller class for moms. They gave us a tour and showed me where the class met. I also realized walking my baby around the indoor track was very calming and enjoyable, even if it wasn’t part of the class. Call in any friends you have in the area to set up times for you to walk together or visit together over coffee. Get outside when you can in the fresh air and sunlight. These are really crazy times and this too shall pass.
Similarly, when I was sort of in collapse with my newborn, I made myself a rule that I had to engage in some kind of self care every time he napped. That usually just meant drinking a glass of water, but sometimes included showering, laying down myself, or making an appointment (dentist, physical therapist, whatever I needed). The point was to do a thing that would make me genuinely feel better rather than just constant phone scrolling, which I’d otherwise default to, and NOT to set ambitious goals or tackle a long to-do list.
We just received an email from our head of school at our private preschool through grade 5 about the Head of School’s maternity leave plan. She is planning on taking 8-10 weeks and it’s sounds like working during much of that time. Obviously i don’t know her family’s financial situation and whether she can afford to take more time that I’m assuming would be unpaid, but this sounds ridiculous to me. I it’s not really my problem but i feel like she is setting herself up for failure and it just makes me sad
YeAh that why the good teachers go public in my state. No paid leave is probably true sk what do you expect her to do? This just feels so judgy coming from someone who is quite literally benefiting from not paying for this benefit.
Eh, I agree it’s unfortunate if she feels forced into this choice, either for financial or career reasons. But I wouldn’t assume she’s setting herself up for failure. My MIL went back to the office at less than 1 week postpartum with no lingering ill effects. I wasn’t ready to go back that soon especially into an office, but by 3-4 weeks and certainly by 5-6 weeks it would not have been hard at all for me to work part time from home. In some ways, I think working part time would have been better for my mental health than sitting around watching hours of Netflix every day. I would assume she’s going into it with the knowledge that it may be challenging. Either way, not your circus, not your monkeys.
I hope she didn’t feel pressured from someone (board, etc.) to both adopt such a terrible leave plan and to share it publicly with such a broad audience. I get the pressure she might feel … I had my kids when I was in a Big Job overseeing a 150 person department … but I took the opposite approach to try and model it for others. I announced when my leave would be and made a point to NOT be available during that time. Then I worked my as* off up until the day I left to prep people to take care of things while I was out.
If you really feel the need to say something, I’d consider a message to her something along the lines of, “I get that you’re the boss and can make these decisions for yourself but I hope there’s not an expectation that your staff adopt this same approach to their own parenting leave.”
More Sleep Would Be Nice says
Related – one of my reports is due to be out on ML Sept-Dec. It’s kid #2 for her and she keeps mentioning that she may get “bored” and “come back early” and I’ve been pushing back on hard on her not to set those expectations and to assess when she’s actually ON leave.
I may be biased because I’ve had severe PPA/life challenges after both my kids were born, and even extended my leave with Kid #2, but I agree with your sentiment.
I have a direct report saying the same thing – she’s actually brand new to my department, so I’m not sure which # kid this is, yet. I told her in no uncertain terms that I don’t want to hear from her for 12 weeks. The nature of our work is such that I need her to be as well-rested as possible as one can be with a newborn, and I don’t want her trying to learn the ropes and care for a newborn at the same time.
Eh. If this is her first, I agree that she is likely underestimating; however, if it’s a 2nd or 3rd kid… she might be right.
I still think it’s absolutely absurd that there is no paid maternity leave in the US and took 6 months with my oldest… however, since then… I’ve been a foster parent with multiple babies. Removing the ‘recovery from childbirth’ piece, I’ve actually picked up a baby from L&D and gone to work the next day. It was what had to be done to keep the wheels turning. Husband was at home with the baby during the day and I took the afternoon/night shift.
In fact, I’m writing this while listening to a training and holding a one month old in a sling. I can work when the baby is here – I absolutely can’t get stuff done with my 2 year old. I’m actually going to be taking a few months off later this year, but I actually consider it much easier to deal with a newborn than to deal with many other ages.
I will say – the reason I didn’t take parenting leave for my other babies is that I didn’t want to use all my sick and vacation time (because that’s all I could use!) and then be stuck with no sick time and kids. So. That’s a long way of saying – while it stinks that she didn’t feel like she could, I have so much more understanding than I did when I had my first.
+1 Personally, I overestimated how hard a newborn would be and underestimated how hard a toddler would be. I know everyone has a different experience and it’s very dependent on the baby as well as the mother’s personality. But I was really shocked by how much newborns slept and how much time I had on my hands. And then on the flip side, I was surprised how exhausting it was to be taking care of an active toddler.
Anon for this says
I’m just here to say that I would kill to have 8-10 weeks of maternity leave. (I don’t qualify for FMLA.)
Aunt Jamesina says
For the commenter from this morning on the previous post about MIL over-gifting and being upset about how you “use” the gifts. It wouldn’t let me post a response to your comment:
I have SO many thoughts about this. We have a similar dynamic with my MIL, down to my husband generally being more tolerant of having stuff than I am. We observed her give tons of gifts to our nieces before our daughter was born and vowed we didn’t want that to happen for a few reasons (consumerism, not wanting to overwhelm our kid, not wanting [email protected] to take over our home). She also gave things that were meant for older kids, so my BIL had to store them (like a potty when their oldest was only six months old and a huge dollhouse with tiny parts). I see a lot of people in these situations who just say you should be thankful for whatever you get, and that it’s rude to tell people what you want to be gifted, but I suspect these people mostly haven’t dealt with a grandma who comes over with a giant toy or baby gear item (or literally TWENTY TWO baby outfits, omg) every time she comes over. If it’s close family and it’s ongoing, then you have to deal with it somehow, and just keeping everything to protect her feelings at all costs isn’t the way. And really you can be genuinely thankful for the thought behind the gift without keeping it!
The big picture thing to remember is that she’s very likely doing this out of love for her grandchild, even if her expression of it is really frustrating. My MIL worries out loud about whether our kid really likes her when she cries or has normal baby reactions. Being sensitive to that is so important. I think there’s insecurity about her role since she feels like my mom has more access to our kid than she does (which isn’t true, but I think this dynamic is common in many families). Validating that our daughter feels a bond with her and commenting on how much our kid loves going on walks in the park with grandma and other activities has helped somewhat.
My MIL also grew up in another country with very little, so I know to her it’s an absolute miracle that she can go to TJ Maxx or Target and select a fun toy for $10 before she comes over. Even for a Boomer that grew up in security in the US, the plethora of cheap toys has exploded over the last 20-30 years, and I think our culture has decided that the answer to every insecurity or wish to “help” or be there for someone is to Buy Them More Stuff. It’s an uphill battle that we can’t completely win. And for all of your efforts, your MIL might still continue to give gifts like this and you really can’t control it, so there’s a certain amount of just letting it go that has to happen (but that doesn’t mean you have to keep it in your house).
While I want her to show her love for our kid, I feel just as strongly that’s it’s important to do what is best for our kid and our family. From the reading I’ve done, overwhelming kids with toys leads to less meaningful play and sets up the expectation that every time grandma comes over, she’s coming with a new toy (which has the opposite of her intended effect of bonding with kiddo). I got husband on board by framing it from an anti-consumerist perspective and really wanting our kid to engage in play with fewer, more open-ended toys. We’re generally the semi-crunchy weirdos in the family, so most seem to get it.
We set a few parameters around what we don’t want (plastic, items with batteries) and shared with our families what we DO want, which is just as important (books and secondhand items). BUT! This isn’t a mandate, and you can’t control people. When we do get the items we don’t want, we thank her. If it’s especially crazy (huge, developmentally inappropriate, and/or expensive), my husband lets her know that it doesn’t work for us because of our parameters that she has already been told multiple times. We’re both pretty blunt people, so I don’t spend time worrying about how she feels about it (because she already knew our feelings about that type of item). If she doesn’t want to take it back, we just go ahead and donate it. If she asks about it later, we’re truthful that it didn’t work for us. For smaller things, we tend to just say thank you and pass it on. While donation centers are overwhelmed with stuff, I figure a brand new item in the box is probably a welcome donation. If you’ve already let her know that you generally don’t want a certain type of item and she still goes ahead and purchases it, her feelings about that are HER responsibility. If she asks for something back and you don’t have it any more, that’s not your problem. You have to kind of get used to a bit of discomfort around that, but that’s how it goes.
Thank you so much for this thoughtful response! My post disappeared and I’m not sure why
Just to add a little levity to a serious post, our in laws emailed recently letting us know they had bought our 10 yo a tether ball set for her birthday and wanted to make sure we had concrete on hand to install it in our backyard right away after she opened it. Our kid has never ever expressed any interest in tether ball and the pole would need to be permanently installed with cement in the exact center of our small urban backyard. Totally fine, right? That was a fun conversation.
Aunt Jamesina says
OMG. How did you respond?
The first thing I did was delegate to my husband. His family. His conversation. :)
Aunt Jamesina says
Hahaha! I thought my inlaws were bad when they made us install a bird feeder on a big pole in our yard… (Note: I really don’t like birdfeeders.)
I just read this to my husband and his eyes got wide and he told me not to ever suggest this to his parents or my stepmother… they might get ideas.
I just snorted coffee all over my desk reading this. Amazing.
More Sleep Would Be Nice says
My MIL would 100% do this.
School starts in a few weeks and I am dreading it. My kiddo with ADHD has had a great summer. The school year is almost sure to bring on the drama and phone calls and I am exhausted just thinking about it. We are not new to this, and yet after all these years, it doesn’t feel like there’s a good solution. Therapy is minimally helpful. There are no private schools that are any better suited to his needs than the affluent public school he attends. His academic needs (2e) are met, but everything else is SUCH a struggle. Summer has been a good break from the grind but he’s already anxious about going back and so am I. I am not an educator and I need to work but I see why people say forget it and homeschool these kids. (I would be so terrible at being a homeschool mom so please don’t suggest that I do that.)
I wouldn’t want to homeschool either. But I would seriously consider moving or commuting for better access to private schools. Are there any forest schools in your area? One just opened in my (small, very non-crunchy) city and it sounds really amazing for ADHD kiddos.
He’s a year older. Fingers crossed that he’s gained some maturity and gets a teacher that is a good match. You never know–the year may surprise you.
FWIW, I have never seen a good outcome when parents choose to homeschool in these situations, either in my generation or my kid’s generation. It’s great that your 2e kid’s academic needs are being met. One of the issues for many gifted kids with ADHD in public school is that they are not receiving the type of instruction that’s appropriate for gifted kids, so they are even more bored and frustrated than they would be if they just had ADHD and weren’t gifted.
Have you considered medication? It can be life-changing for these kids and their families.
Yes, he’s on medication. A pretty high dose already, tbh.
I’m sorry I can’t imagine how tough it must be to parent a kid with some extra needs . So we do homeschool…Yes I’m one of the moms on here who used to be a career lady but now is not. Anyways, it can be very successful for kids with different learning needs. My child goes to an outdoor homeschool supplement once a week and there are a lot of differently abled kids there because the outdoors does wonders. BUT I would never tell anyone to homeschool who doesn’t want to. What about this summer was so great for him that you CAN replicate for him? The outdoor time? Intense physical activity? Self-directed interests? I would try to focus on those things as much as possible before/after school.
Does anyone have a foldable wagon they really like? The scenario I need this for is ‘I am going to the farmers market and have 3 small children’ or alternately ‘wow I seem to have a lot of things to drag down to the (lake) beach and now this small child is tired walking back and hanging off me begging to be carried’.
Mary Moo Cow says
I like our Radio Flyer foldable wagon. It is very comfortable for the kids to ride in because it is meant to be a riding wagon, and unfolds and opens really easily. It holds all our pool gear, too.
We have the ll bean one and love it!
We have one from Costco that’s held up shockingly well for going on five years now.
Wirecutter has reviews of them, too.