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Help me think through this situation I have with my dad. He’s 70, in generally good health (or was, until recently) and has a girlfriend/companion and many friends in his city. My mom died several years ago, and he’s been pretty self sufficient since then. I’m an only child, and I live several states away. Apparently in November he developed an arrhythmia, and had an outpatient procedure to shock his heart back into rhythm. He didn’t tell me about it until afterwards, and not until I asked him based on some information I got from my uncle (who didn’t know that I didn’t know anything about it). Now, he’s having another outpatient procedure for his heart, and again I had to ask him about it after he mentioned an operation in passing in an email. We used to text each other every few days, to share a joke or a funny anecdote, but he hasn’t responded to my texts since Christmas. He will (on and off) respond to emails though. Mainly I’m wondering — should I just let him have his privacy, or should I be pushing for more communication?
I think you should set up a visit to see your dad for a weekend. I find with my dad especially an in-person visit does a lot to improve the overall communication, including jump-starting text exchanges. It’s also a good time to express- in person- that if he’s comfortable with it you’d like to be in the loop if he is going under.
To be fair, unless you are his healthcare proxy, he may not feel it’s really your business to get involved and therefore only relevant as a “hey FYI.” My husband had (outpatient, no general anesthesia) hernia repair surgery and didn’t tell his parents; they acted like he got a brain transplant and didn’t tell them. They live across the country, he has a support network here, and also happens to be 42! It wasn’t a secret or anything but never came up in the once-a-month chats they have.
On balance, in person visits are a terrible idea with my mom (they’re divorced).
Have you tried calling him? Maybe you can set up a once weekly call during your commute or something like that (or whatever frequency both of you are comfortable with). I know a lot of people on this board hate phone calls, but I find it the best way to keep up with out of town family and friends.
You’re thinking of Ask a Manager 🤣 That crowd would text the fire department to report a burning building.
I second the call to pick up the phone, though. Some people do not do well relaying complicated information over text. It will also give you a more consistent chance to hear how he sounds.
Agreed, call him and things like this are more likely to come up, but I also agree with the poster above who said he may not really think it’s any of your business or a big deal. He’s managing his own health, and that might involve more doctor interaction than it did at 30, but it doesn’t mean those interactions are remarkable. I don’t find my routine or outpatient healthcare newsworthy for anyone other than people it directly impacts (work to the extent they need to know I’ll be ooo, my husband or other person tapped to drive me to/from if needed) although I might mention it in passing to a parent after the fact.
In general, while I do think it’s important to know about advanced directives, long term care insurance & preferences etc in case your parent becomes incapacitated and can’t give you the info when you need it… my family is pretty private. I take what info my parents volunteer, but I wouldn’t press them to share anything with me beyond that. They’re adults, not my children, and as long as they seem mentally competent to make their own decisions, I’m going to stay out of their personal & health business.
Even though he’s generally in good health, at 70 this would be a good time to have some convos and start thinking about what he wants in the future, if you haven’t already. Does he have a will? Medical power of attorney? If he has more serious health issues down the road, would he consider moving closer to you/do you want that?
Fwiw, these might be easier conversations to have in person. When I asked my parents about updating their wills (their current will still lists guardians for the ‘kids’ who are all over 35), healthcare directives/proxies, and their preferences for end of life care. It did NOT go well. My dad started with the usual ‘I want to die in my sleep and leave my house toes first’, like, ok dad that happened for NONE of your relatives and that’s not a plan. It quickly devolved into tears, yelling, and me being accused of ‘only caring about their money’ (FYI, I don’t need your money, I just want to know where you want to be buried!!).
I dropped it after we all were in bad moods but I then heard that when my mom ranted about it to her sister (who works in healthcare) she agreed with me that this was normal and necessary estate planning and that it was a BIG pain when they had to get their mom (my grandma) to make a will so get on with it already. So even if the conversation goes badly it may at least get your dad to start thinking about it?
I’ve been trying to get my parents to write an estate plan and medical directives for more than a decade. I started at a time when I could bill it as “planning for way out in the future.” But they are now in their 70s and it’s past time that they had a plan.
My mom similarly rants that she wants no life extending care, when I know that’s not what she means. She doesn’t want to be a vegetable, but she also doesn’t want to die imminently. She expects doctors to treat her. She needs to write down what she wants.
I’ve pretty much given up. I’m an attorney and the only kid that lives nearby. I’ve told my parents that if sh!t hits the fan and they haven’t done the paperwork, I’m not helping. They can ask my siblings (who aren’t good with legal paperwork) to sort it out. I’m not going to wade into that mess.
Did you post about this on the main page the other day? If it wasn’t you, someone asked a similar question and the responses might be helpful.
Yes, that was also me. Thanks!
not to stir the pot here but I agree working vs sahm with kids under age 5 is challenging in its own ways. however, there a lot of sahm at my daughter’s school where all 2 or 3 kids are at elementary school from 8 am to 3 pm. that IS easier than being a working mom, you have all that time to cook,clean, do errands that most working parents have to squeeze in.
It’s easier to get things done if you can spend that time at home. I work part time and the second that my kids mentioned that at school, I was getting messages asking about volunteering. Way more pressure on that front vs when I could say I was working. Totally caught me off guard how pushy the school has been and how low key shady some of the other working moms have been with the comments that assume I will volunteer on my two days off every week. I have a friend who works 7-3 instead of part time and honestly that’s a million times better (we can’t because of DH’s schedule).
I do agree that it’s different once all your kids are in school, but most SAHMs I know have at least one child under 5.
I wrote something more judgmental and deleted it.
Wow, I’m really struggling with being compassionate for a friend who is complaining about not enough hours of childcare when her kids are in 1/2 day daycare and she’s a SAHM. I find myself kind of wanting to scream ‘all my childcare hours plus some are spent working and I would kill to have the amount of child free time that you do.’
Today I want to quit my job.
I get where you’re coming from but I don’t think her life is easy. I personally find working easier than childcare on some (many) days. My toddler is unbelievably wonderful but the tantrums have started and it wears my patience down more than my job. Half day daycare means that half of her day is spent doing housework and chores and the other half on childcare- I personally would be drained by that.
My kid is only in daycare 9-3 (I work FT but from home, and I flextime a ton) and I relish the quiet hours, even though I’m working. The SAHM life wouldn’t be for me. I suspect it’s not for a lot of SAHMs either but it’s tough to admit.
Boston Legal Eagle says
Right, I think the majority of SAHMs/SAHPs are doing the work of running a house in their “off” time – I don’t think most can afford to just do tennis or lunch when the kids are watched by someone else. I don’t like doing that kind of work (housework or endless childcare) so I’m happy to have my office job where I can talk to other adults. Not to mention the financial freedom and not being dependent on my spouse.
+1 does it help to reframe it as her “job” being cooking and keeping a clean house as well as childcare? Because that’s how I think of SAHMs (I know some very wealthy ones have meal delivery and cleaning services but that’s not at all the norm where I live) and I would hate that. It sounds harder than working to me.
This right here. I took time off with my twins and now I’m “stuck” being a SAHM because I can’t just jump back into working 50 hours a week because I don’t have any good will built up for sick days and doctor appointments and all the stuff that comes with rubbing a house. Furthermore, I don’t have child care for that many hours. And anyway, I’d still have to be the household manager. Sure I could outsource bathroom cleaning and laundry, but who’s going to clean up breakfast and meal plan and buy the kids’ clothes and GET THEM INTO SUMMER CAMP? I definitely don’t think I have it harder than working moms: I’m very lucky that we can afford for me to stay home and still send the kids to part time care, but yeah I haven’t been to lunch ever and tennis is a joke. If I get done at the doctor’s office today and get groceries picked up I might have time to work out. That’s not what I want to do in my “free time” but it is what it is. I get up at 6AM every effing day of the week and literally don’t sit down until my kids are in bed at 8:30 each night. We all have it hard. Let’s support each other.
+1. I was unemployed for about 6 months, and my one toddler had childcare about 35 hours a week (sort of). I got up at 6 AM, did the morning routine, came back and took a 30-45 minute break with coffee and a book, and then generally worked until at least 8 PM. I did all the housework, cooking, shopping, and yardwork. I did stuff to save us money long-term like finding an insurance broker and filing our homestead exemption. I did all the childcare outside of daycare hours, including many, many sick days and doctors’ appointments because it was his first year in daycare and he kept getting ear infections (eventually got tubes). I even managed a renovation of our downstairs rental unit, hiring a contractor and choosing and buying the paint and flooring and fixtures.
One of the biggest fights I’ve ever had with DH, and one that I still have trouble letting go of, was when, on his way to work, DH saw me with a coffee and a book and asked if I was going to do anything that day. At that point, I had been up for 3 hours, had made our toddler breakfast and gotten him dressed and taken him to daycare, and had probably unloaded the dishwasher and wiped down counters. DH had slept later and then spent 1.5 hours getting ready for work.
Op here. Absolutely. I’ve been here to be an understand ear to this friend. I totally get it.
Which is why I actively deleted my first post (which was frankly catty and dumb) and instead just am acknowledging that some days the grass is greener.
We all have bad days.
i feel ya. I have a SAHM friend that I was speaking to the other day about weekends. She said something like “we don’t like to have any plans or doing anything on the weekends, just stay home.” meanwhile i’m running to the grocery story, attempting to work out, scheduling play dates for my kids because i can’t do any of that during the week. I kinda said that to her and she said “wow, that must be nice. like you’re forced to enjoy the weekend and i’m just lazy.” it made me realize that the grass is truly always greener on the other side. i can’t believe she was envying my hectic weekends. everything i do on the weekends she does during the week. and we both want it the other way.
so no advice but just try to nod and smile and don’t absorb her complaints.
I used to think like your friend – I thought the best weekend was one that wasn’t “overscheduled” and that a sunny Saturday spent on the couch was “relaxing.” Luckily, I learned that it’s the exact opposite – I do best when I plan fun adventures in the outdoors, like hiking a peak or going skiing for a day, even though it IS more tiring to plan and it forces me to cram all of those household duties into the week after a full workday. It’s been so, so worth it though. I get 52 Saturdays a year and I want to make some memories with them.
Oh man, hugs, and I would REALLY struggle with biting my tongue on that one. It’s ok to step back from the friendship a bit if it’s making you feel badly about yourself! Or maybe let her know that you’re struggling right now and you would appreciate talking about non-kid topics?
It also sounds like you can use a break – is there any way you can schedule kid-free time one night (or weekend day soon?)
You are kind for even trying to be compassionate; I am a SAHM and would give this major side-eye, too. (My 5 & 7 are in school, but my 1.5 is always home with me, and all three are home in the summer apart from maybe 15 hours of day camp total.) It would never cross my mind to pay for day care when I am home and I think it’s strange. I’m owning my judgement there.
At the base of it there is probably some jealously for both of us, as well as the tendency to think that the way you/I do things is the “best” way. I also think that having time without kids at home makes you want more, even if you objectively have a lot…but her comments are pretty tone-deaf.
Ugh. I get it. Read the room, people! But at the same time, she hasn’t set up her childcare situation *at* you…
[in case you’re looking for solutions vs just a listening ear] Are there ways for you to get more childfree leisure hours? If there’s a spouse/ partner in the picture, can they take on some bedtimes or parent in shifts on weekends? How can you create more space for yourself?
With the caveat that I think many of us try not to be judgmental of other moms, I hear you. I think there are two big groups of working moms: those that work big enough or high-paying enough jobs that they outsource a ton, so they are either working or spending time with family or doing enjoyable things in what little spare time they have, and those (like me) who are paid well and have full time jobs but can’t/don’t outsource everything.
I think that’s the issue for me sometimes—I absolutely do have a house cleaner every two weeks. I want to work. But I also do the cooking, and the pickup, and the homework monitoring, and the bill paying, and the errand running, and the laundry, and the in-between cleaning, and and and. Believe me I have a participatory husband but the fact remains that I sometimes joke to myself that I’m a working mom and a SAHM—I have most of the obligations of both somehow.
This right here is why many of us on this board are so stressed. I have a good job with a lot of flexibility and I make more than my parents did at my age…but college costs are insane, housing is more expensive, healthcare is more expensive, I don’t expect to get social security, etc. etc. so I work full time while also organizing almost all of our home life. We do have cleaners, and a part time sitter who runs errands (and does pick up!) but managing her and delegating those errands is also on me. The added fun of aging parents with health crises is about to be the straw that breaks my back, I swear.
I dunno, I work full time and have no paid help except daycare and a biweekly cleaning service and I don’t relate at all to “I have most of the obligations of a SAHM.”
For one, most SAHMs (in my area at least) can’t afford a cleaning service, and that’s a huge factor IMO. But also I think I lower my standards and let stuff go in a way SAHMs can’t? Like SAHMs have to have a nice house because it’s their literal job, but as a working mom I’m lazy and I mostly just work and spend time with my family and don’t really do a ton of housework.
NLD in NYC says
This. Re Anon @ 10:55 am, I think “I have most of the obligations of a SAHM” refers more to the mental load of motherhood (organizing, scheduling the play dates, summer camps in January, remembering if you need to change the filter, etc/ad nauseum) rather than the physical load of cooking, cleaning, etc.
I guess I don’t feel that way because I share that load with my husband in a way SAHMs don’t. If you’re a stay at home mom the house and mental load are yours. Sure your husband might do dishes or whatever but at the end of the day the person responsible for everything related to house and kids is the SAHM. But in my marriage since we both work we share that responsibility and mental load equally. And I know I’m fortunate in that way. But being a SAHM sounds horrible to me because I would hate for the house and kids to be solely my responsibility.
NLD in NYC says
Got it, appreciate the kind clarification.
I acknowledge this is 100% a me problem, but part of the reason I haven’t gone back to work is I know all the household management stuff will still fall to me. Don’t get me wrong: DH still takes care of college funding and long term plans. That is his forte. Making sure my kids have an asthma plan and shoes that fit is mine. With one kid, we were able to fight our way to a pretty equitable partnership where we both worked and both took care of household stuff. But with three small kids, I just don’t think we can get there. TBH some things are high enough priority for me that I’m kind of sacrificing my working life right now to prioritize those things. I don’t think it will be this way forever but it’s the choice I’ve made. I definitely don’t expect anyone else to choose the same. But I also don’t need side eye.
Yes, the mental load is a lot and you’ll have that either way, but the physical load of caring for kids and home (during working hours) is massive. The house gets extra messy when people are in it all the time and need all their meals there and there’s no budget for cleaning help or takeout. And you are completely responsible for the potty training, the nap schedule, the feeding and diaper changes ad nauseam, without a child care provider to tag team (or lead). I think it’s a “pick your hard” situation; each brings its own burdens and freedoms.
Kindly, if you’ve never been a SAHM, you really don’t know what it’s like. I was a SAHM to a toddler for 2 years (during the first 2 years of COVID). I am now a full time working mom who does not outsource anything. I personally found being a SAHM harder in a lot of ways. The day-in, day-out responsibility to plan enriching activities for the kids, plus the constant cleaning involved with being home ALL the time with a small child, and literally being needed by someone every moment of every day was emotionally exhausting in a way that working full time is not. You are severely underestimating the value/service your daycare/nanny is providing to your children if you think you have all the obligations of a SAHM.
This is not to say being a working mom is easy! It’s all hard. I get NO time to rest during the week now because I am taking care of kids and the house from the time I get home until I crash in bed at night. Weekends are far too short and it is so much harder to find time to fit in errands than it was when I wasn’t working. But overall, I feel less exhausted being able to sit at my desk and think about legal issues rather than doing the physical and emotional work of caring for and educating my child all day every day.
I’ve never been a SAHM except involuntarily during 2020 when I also had a full time job but I agree with you. I think it’s crazypants to say a working mom has all the obligations of a SAHM, plus a job. That was my situation during Covid shutdowns but it was horrible and not sustainable. In normal times we pay daycare or a nanny to educate and care for our kids and we don’t have anywhere near the childcare and household obligations of a SAHM with kids too young for K-12 school.
And yes there is SO much less cleaning when the family is out of the house at least 9-3. I learned that the hard way from March to August 2020.
I feel this post. Like some of the other commentators, I also don’t want to be a SAHM. However, I work in biglaw and often don’t have control of my time. I posted the other week about my friend who is a SAHM whose husband abs a job that reports to the c-suite of a fortune 50 company and she was complaining about how he has to work at nights and on weekends sometimes. It’s still hard for me to bite my tongue when she had brought this up or be sympathetic. He husband makes $400k plus a year… there are just not many (any?) jobs out there that pay this that are only 40 hours a week.
This. I was offered a job which directly reported into the C-suite a few years ago and thought seriously about taking it. After a very frank conversation with my family (and therapist) we realized that the demands wouldn’t work for our family life. I know (tangentially) the person who took the role and sure enough he gets calls nights/weekends/at all hours and no, he can’t really turn those down. It’s the downside of the big role/big money jobs.
Yeah, I’m a couple layers down from the c-suite in a F50 and still work too many hours. It’s kind of crept up on me over the last few years, but has become a real drag on my quality of life. DH and I are both kinda burnt out and taking a hard look at lifestyle & life goals, how much money we really need, and what trade-offs are worth it.
+1 I’m at a similar level at a large org and also feel the same. There are some org changes happening and
I won’t be surprised if my role is changed/minimized, which will suck but I also was going through a lot of tough life stuff (on top of pandemic) in 2020 and 2021, and I think I’ve never really redeemed myself in my boss’s eyes.
It sucks because I’ve worked hard, long hours, and tbqh probably put up with some crap I shouldn’t have – but the latter is on me.
Are people who make a lot of money not allowed to complain? The way I see it, as Dr Becky would say, two things can be true – she can be lucky that her husband makes so much money AND dislike that it means he has less time for the family.
It’s also not her choice for him to be working that much. I get that if she were complaining about her own job, it would be like “duh, quit and find a more laidback job that pays you less” but since it’s her spouse’s job that’s not really her call. Particularly when she doesn’t work outside the home.
Yes, they are allowed to complain. I mentioned salary and position because part of the deal when you get paid that much money and are working at that big a company and reporting to the c suite directly is that you do sometimes have to work nights and weekends. My response would be different if his job was different. She is allowed to complain that her husband has to answer emails sometimes on vacation. I was saying that it is hard for me to feel empathetic about this when I don’t have much control over my time due to the job I work. So her husband working one Saturday a month and a few other nights a month until 8 is hard for me to understand why that is difficult for her to manage. So she is allowed to complain and I’m allowed to not think there’s really any grounds to complain as much as she does. I don’t say this to her, I am just not the target audience for sympathy on this particular point. She does want him to take a job that is only 40 hours a week, has 6 plus weeks of vacation and still pays $400k a year and has been looking for him but came to the conclusion that there doesn’t seem to be many jobs with these parameters out there.
Today I want to quit my job, too. Kudos to you for trying to be compassionate, it would be hard for me to hear a friend complain about this too. That’s probably why I don’t have many … any? close friend who are SAHM. The devil is always in the details, and I know SAHMs – especially with kids younger than school age – have a tough job, but I wouldn’t trust myself to respond kindly to one this week.
I feel this. Not just about SAHM, but even broader. My mom had covid and I felt like an ahole because I found her (rightfully) complaining grating because I felt horrible when I had it and still had to take care of sick kids. But it doesn’t mean she never gets to complain about being sick! She did her share of this when I was a kid too. Logical brain knows this, tired brain not always. Or when people without kids complain to me about being tired I want to yell “you don’t know what tired is!” I think we all have those moments where it is hard to have empathy. So, you have to bite your tongue sometimes and pick back up when you feel more empathetic. I try to look at what my unmet needs are (do I just need a night out!?) so I can be a better friend/daughter/sister etc? And, remind myself that if I want my friends to listen to me I have to do the same. I also try to remind myself of the grace and empathy my single mom friend shows me, even though I am sure some of my complaints sound ridiculous and spoiled to her sometimes, and I’d like to be more like her.
I think you’re handling that problem maturely and sensitively – I wish more people would. That dynamic where parents say “you don’t know what tired is” to single people gets REALLY toxic, really fast. I had a good friend with a baby who said that to a childless friend undergoing a major health problem that left her exhausted and it was…not pretty. She apologized in the end and actually ended up getting mental health treatment a few months later. For her, lashing out was a sign of PPA.
Op here. Thanks for letting me vent and all the thoughts.
The challenge I’m having is the tone deafness my friend has when she looks to me for ‘how hard it is’ when a kid is home from daycare and she has to miss an exercise class. Lots of understanding and empathy in general that all of our choices have trade offs.
Today though, I’m coming off a busy week of work when all my ‘handoff time’ where partner is running point on kids has been used to do more work, when a kid is home sick and partner and I are having to play hot potato with meetings and childcare.
Thanks for letting me vent anonymously. What I actually said to friend was, ‘ugh, that’s super annoying.’
I think it depends on whether exercise class is ‘fun activity I like to do’ or ‘my only chance to talk to other adults this week and I’m gonna be a mental health wreck if keep skipping yoga’
I’m a person for whom working out at home does not work at all so I’d be struggling in a week where I missed my exercise classes. Exercise routines can be really important for mental health. If she was venting about not being able to go shopping at Target by herself I’d feel differently.
This. So I’m a SAHM, we homeschool, so my kids are with me ALL the time. Oh and my husband is overseas for a while. So I have a weekly babysitter once a week. If I missed my weekly time out of the house (replace that with exercise class) I’d freak out too.
I’m former biglaw and now work so part-time that I’m basically a SAHM, and I talk about how hard it is to get anything done between school schedules and sick days with friends who have similar schedules. Just like I try to read the room for every other type of conversation.
I’m not going to go on and on about an expensive vacation with someone who has a very limited budget, or complain about my children to a friend with infertility.
I sometimes make mistakes, but I feel like reading the room is essential for anyone.
I’m a sahm who commented earlier. I feel like I piled on a little bit and that’s not what I meant to do. So I’m sorry if I said something that made you feel like “oh I have it worse.” I think a lot, maybe most, working moms have it harder than I do. And my kids drain me in a way I never realized was possible. But her comment would have annoyed me too. Like, for me, part of the reason I stay home is so I don’t have to do the Tetris game of who’s picking up the kids/staying home when they’re sick/etc. But I too would have been annoyed to have to listen to her complain that she had to miss her fun thing when you feel like you never get to do anything that’s fun or just for you. I think it’s a societal problem, not a working moms vs sahms problem.
NLD in NYC says
No worries. I think we can all agree that life is hard no matter what type of mom you are. We’ll all mess up at one point or another. The best we can do is be gracious with ourselves and others. And giving each other virtual hugs over the interwebs.
Has anyone watched “Fleishman is in Trouble?” Probably my favorite scene is the one where Claire Danes, the high-powered working mom, is having wine with her SAHM “friends.” Basically the punchline is that they can all laugh and complain about how hard their lives are b/c everyone knows that the REAL hardest job in the world is being a working mom. Highly recommend.
So, get where you’re coming from, but they really may have decided this is best for her and the kids. She may not want to be a SAHM but is stuck doing it now that she’s been out of the workforce. I’m a SAHM and I enjoy it but I meet a lot of unhappy SAHMs out and about. I’d rather someone put their kids in daycare part time than be wildly unhappy and yelling at their kids all the time. And I will tell you that this happens. There are SAHMs out there who are emotionally drowning and very unhappy. It sounds like your friend is trying to do the best she can, but didn’t read the room. We all put our foot in our mouth sometimes.
I agree with this. People need to do what they can to stay sane and take good care of their families, whether or not they shoulder the full burden themselves or get help. Not everyone has the option of daycare but I don’t think you should look down on her or scoff. Read the book “Mommy Burnout.” It’s full of stories of moms who become semi-abusive to their kids because they are so desperately unhappy. Although many of these women seek therapy, I think a lot of them just need regular time alone when they aren’t dealing with the frustrations of parenting.
I want to quit my job too, but I would hate to be financially dependent on my husband. We’re both generally responsible with money but I definitely spend more of it and I like being able to book a nice vacation or treat myself to a massage and if he grumbles I just remind him that I work so we have discretionary income for stuff like this. The only way I’ll be quitting my job is if my wealthy parents die and leave me a substantial inheritance and I hope that doesn’t happen (at least not for a very long time), so for now I just have to suck it up and work.
Recs for potty training books to read to my toddler?
There is one with Elmo and it has little flaps to lift up. My daughter enjoyed that.
And there is always the original, Everybody Poops.
+1 to the Elmo one. We have probably the same one, just with musical buttons. That’s been a big hit. My toddler can now basically read the book to herself “go baby David, go”.
My kid calls him Baby Daybed and we find it quite charming! Also, there is a Sesame Street movie about using the potty that has gotten a lot of play in our house. I think it was on Amazon Prime.
Amazing! Need to check this movie out. Thanks all for the recs!
there is a daniel tiger one with sounds that was a huge hit (and the only one we read) in our house
Echo the recommendation for the lift the flap Elmo book (featuring Elmo at a playdate at Abby’s house) and we also really liked the book “Where’s the Poop?” It’s kind of gross in a funny way. I loved hearing my 2-year old walking around saying “where’s the pewwwwp? constantly.
My only child is turning 5 in a couple weeks and I’m feeling very melancholy about it. Normally her birthdays don’t make me sad, but there’s something about this one that is hitting differently. I guess because it feels like it’s officially the end of the little kid era and it’s weird to no longer be in that stage of life. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love this age and am so excited for all the big kid travel and adventures to come! But I feel very blue about the fact that I don’t have a little kid anymore. I also can’t believe how fast it’s gone. I know, I know, it’s a cliche, but it feels like 5 years were just a blink and she’s going to be in college before I know it. I guess this is one of the pitfalls of having an only child, but I don’t want a second baby, just a little more time with the one I have. Any advice/commiseration?
My son (also an only) turned 5 in August (and started school a week later) and I felt similarly. I LOVE this stage, but still, it feels like a milestone. I’ve leaned in hard to having really high-quality focused time, even 10 minutes a day (when I’m home) just immersed in whatever his world is, and that’s brought me a lot of satisfaction.
My youngest turns five in a few months. This last one hits different. I’m glad I am able to soak in the last couple of months with her before she goes off to K like the rest of the pack. It helps that of all my kids my youngest is the most affectionate and frankly, most fun to be around. She doesn’t have PK on Fridays (my choice) and we have been skiing every week at a local hill. Once the older two get on the bus, she, DH and I have “fancy breakfast” from 7:15-8am. on days she gets home before the older kids, we try and have a fun thing planned. Today she’s getting a haircut.
Maybe it’s that I have other kids, but I am so beyond done with the baby/toddler years. I love this age (4/5) when the kids are old enough to wipe their own butts and not drink glue, but still have wild imaginations and love you to bits. I look at the other parents carting around babies and toddlers at preschool dropoff and have a reaction somewhere between PTSD and deep empathy for that really hard time.
My advice about your feelings is to recognize that you still have 6 months before kindergarten! that’s like 1/10th of her lifetime! Live it up! Take a few days off to really soak in her awesomeness. Plan a party for her and her PK buddies “just because.” (good excuses: valentine’s day, st patrick’s day, first day of spring). Plant flowers together. pet animals together. You have a lot of time left!
I get it, 5 is big! So many things have happened since my DD turned 5 last spring – riding a bike, monkey bars, learning to read! Whenever I feel this I just let myself. I cried my eyes out when we got rid of DS’s crib last year.
Kid2 is 4.5 and I feel this! She’s string-bean gangly with long legs and big feet, losing the baby cheeks and toddler belly, and hitting all sorts of milestones (cartwheels! recognizing words in the environment! standing in the shower and washing herself with my help! I can take her to the art museum and have real conversations!) It does hit different. She is my last baby as well, fwiw. Give yourself permission to feel it! That’s a normal parenting milestone. Oh, and pat yourself on the back for the work and luck to raise this awesome little person.
Instant oatmeal says
My 2.5 year olds twins are obsessed with the Quaker instant oatmeal packets. They want them every meal. We limit them to breakfast and maybe dinner a free they try the other food. any ideas on to make them a tiny bit healthier? Or just let this go as they are extremely easy to prepare and the kids reliably eat them?
Buy a box of plain packets (or a carton of plain oats) and mix them together. Give each kid a portion that is half and half.
Easy food your kids will reliably eat? It’s a win. Throw some frozen fruit on it and absolve yourself of all guilt.
+ one million.
More Sleep Would Be Nice says
+1 to this.
If you’re worried about the sugar – I’d say overnight oats are your friend. Also, I make my kids oatmeal with rolled oats in the microwave – I add cinnamon, banana, and top with something crunchy like granola – and they gobble it up.
+1 to overnight oats! I make them with rolled oats, chia seeds, oat milk and a few chocolate chips and it satisfies kid 2’s morning sweet tooth. If the kids want hot oatmeal, you can also warm up overnight oats in the microwave for a bit.
More Sleep Would Be Nice says
GCA – we are food twins, I swear!
Oh, and overnight oats are ALWAYS warmed up in our house, too!
I think oatmeal is pretty healthy? But we have desserts and sweet breakfasts like pancakes pretty regularly and I’ve been known to let my kid eat (gasp!) two pieces of pizza so ymmv.
If you have the time/energy maybe grab some frozen berries and cook them down with some maple sugar and then blitz them up and let your kids swirl them into the oatmeal? Or cook down apples with a bit of butter/sugar to make an apple butter/apple compote. Canned peaches (I know) were my childhood favorite breakfast ‘treat’ so for a dead simple healthy add on I’d slice those up and offer those?
Buy it plain – not flavored (my kids don’t even know there’s such a thing as flavored oatmeal lol) and add fruit.
I think it’s a pretty healthy choice!
You can even do this with regular old fashioned oats. Pour boiling water over them, let it sit 5 min or so, add raisins, eat.
Add chia seeds. Instant oatmeal has way less fiber than regular, but chia seeds can take care of that problem really easily.
Perfect timing for this. I just made an oatmeal bake last night for the first time in a while, and still have the recipe sitting here. So good, kids and I all loved it. It’ll keep for about a week in the fridge, and microwaves well. You could make it fairly sweet the first time to mimic the instant packs, and then change up the ingredients the next time. My old af recipe is tried and true. Preheat oven to 400, coat 3Q casserole with cooking spray. Combine ing in a bowl, and transfer to the baking dish. Bake 45 min. Ingredients: 2C old fashioned oats; 4C Milk; 1/2 t almond extract/flavoring; 1/4 C brown sugar (I used slightly less than that and swapped maple syrup – plenty sweet); 1/2 C sliced almonds, 1/2 C dried cherries; 1 large apple peeled and grated.
team oatmeal says
Oooh making this tonight but for dinner & with frozen berries. TY!
team oatmeal says
Mine love this too, some riffs:
– Add peanutbutter for a protein ++
– Add frozen berries (if small blueberries I use them instead of ice cubes), otherwise just micro with the oatmeal
– Mix a plain packet with a flavored one
– Make it a parfait, add greek yogurt and fresh fruit in a layer. Bonus points if this is in a clear bowl/cup so they can see layers
I count this as pretty healthy, lately they’ve gotten into the fruit and cream variety and crave extra fresh/frozen fruit with it.
I definitely think oatmeal packs are totally fine even twice a day. I have noticed my twins just really like packaged food. They like the sound of it. They like having an individual portion that they don’t have to share. Unfortunately I can’t think of a packaged food you could pivot to that is “healthier” than oatmeal. Maybe pouches? In your shoes I’d probably just keep giving them oatmeal packs and spice them up different ways.
I would just dump in a few extra oats while you’re making it to dilute the sugar and call it a day. Maybe some flaxseed sprinkled on top.
Oatmeal OP says
Thank you so much for these ideas. Definitely trying the fruit mix in and diluting the sugar packet with a plain packet. Great ideas!!
You can put fruit in oatmeal bowls to make oatmeal sundaes. Maybe also add nuts if age appropriate or a dollop of vanilla yogurt (“whipped cream”).
Too funny, my 2.5 year old is obsessed with oatmeal too. I premix a big batch of one-minute oats with chia seeds, flax seed, and powdered peanut butter. Then in the mornings I just have to mix it with whole milk, a little maple syrup, and some coconut oil for extra fat and nuke for 90 seconds. Our kiddo is on the very skinny side so I just try to cram as many calories into the oatmeal as possible.
What have you done that has helped your child with being afraid of the dark? My daughter (5.5) has been saying she is scared of the dark when we finish doing our bedtime routine and get ready to turn off the overhead light in her room. She has a Hatch light/sound machine with the nightlight on, and a little light she keeps on her nightstand (its the Munchkin owl one that turns off after 20 minutes, and she can turn it back on if she wants it). When she says she is scared, I remind her that she has her nightlights and her stuffed buddies and that she is safe. She doesn’t give a huge protest, but I’m wondering if I should be doing more. I also wanted to be prepared in case it gets worse and she gets more scared.
Leave the door open and the hall light on until you go to bed? We also have a Zenimal and turn on calming music for one of my sons
We have gone through phases where my oldest slept with all the lights on. Baffled me, but it was just a phase. A few months later and we have a normal nightlight situation.
We also talk about how his stuffed animal is there to help him be brave.
I think what you’re doing sounds fine, but if you end up looking for another tool, consider the yoto player. We didn’t buy it because of fear of the dark, but 6 yo was having trouble winding down and falling asleep – she knew she was tired, would lie there and be stressed that she couldn’t fall asleep (I can so relate), so we got a yoto player with one of the calming sleep cards. I don’t remember which one but a woman with a british accent talks about floating and balloons and mermaids and it seems to really help her fall asleep.
Mine has a disco light so her bedroom looks like a migraine-inducing rave. I couldn’t sleep through it but she does and it solved the “I’m scared of the dark” complaints. I turn it off once I go to bed because the light bounces all the way down the hall.
I slept with the light fully on for years as a kid. I think your approach is fine.
My daughter has never articulated “fear of the dark” but about a year ago (shortly after turning 4) she started asking us to leave her bedroom door open after tucking her in. We were skeptical at first but she slept better with the door open. We close it after she’s gone to sleep (which she knows).
My oldest is adopted and I recently found out lots of adopted kids struggle with fear of the dark. We have a dimmer switch so he sleeps with the overhead light on the lowest setting. He also has a night light on. Tbh his room is almost as bright as daylight at night but it doesn’t seem to affect his sleep. He’s been using a night light since he was 2.5 and I have not really found that his fear gets worse over time. I have also not found the “you are safe” conversations to help much, though I do try to reassure him when he seems particularly scared. It doesn’t really affect me to leave his lights on so I just leaned into it. Good luck!
after yesterday’s discussion i think we’re interested in visiting Dutch Wonderland this summer. For those who’ve been – any tips? Is there a hotel nearby to stay at? Thinking of combining it with the Turkey Hill Experience.
I’ve been a few times, but caveat all pre-pandemic so my info is dated. We stayed at the Doubletree nearby, which I highly recommend. It has a nice indoor pool and splash park, and a pretty trail around a pond outside that was good for general running around when we weren’t at the park. It’s also across the street from a little mom-and-pop pizza and ice cream place and made dinner very easy.
thanks! wish it was easier to search this site, bc i recall last spring/summer someone making a post with lots of tips and i meant to save it, but didn’t and of course now cannot find it
You can search by entering “s1te:[cmoms dot com] [search terms]” in the big search engines.
I found a few threads about it, including this one: https://corporettemoms.com/maternity-mermaid-dress/#comment-320516
I have a comment in m0d about how to search (it’s easy if you know how) but here’s a thread about Dutch Wonderland: https://corporettemoms.com/maternity-mermaid-dress/#comment-320516
Blergh, my comments keep going to m-d but it’s pretty easy to search if you know how and I found some prior discussion of that topic here. Hopefully they’ll post today, if not check back tomorrow.
Maybe it was the l-nk that was sending my prior comments to m-d? The way you search is by entering “s-te:[cmoms dot com] [search terms]” in the big search engines.
Dutch Wonderland does a weird thing with your tickets so you can go the day before your ticket too, as a sort of pre-visit. It’s really nice for allowing you to break the park visit over two, less overwhelming days.
Consider that option when booking travel.
Looking for suggestions for accommodation near Lisbon. We have flight routing that might required a layover in Lisbon so looking at turning that into a 3 day weekend (arrive early Friday, leave early Monday). Hoping for something on the beach at a resort with apartments (to have a kitchen) but an hour or less from Lisbon. I’ve looked around a bit but getting overwhelmed with the options/amount of accommodations to wade through. I love the Martinhal property in Sagres but it’s too far for a few days. Kids are 9 +11 so don’t need littler kid amenities.
Try Cascais. Nazare is gorgeous, a bit further but I’m not sure there is a resort there? I feel like that part of Portugal doesn’t have a lot of resorts. My parents live slightly inland, and there’s golf resorts but not beach resorts?
Political post, you’ve been warned.
I’m a Democrat, but the news on Nikkie Haley set to announce a challenge to Trump is really interesting. My knee-jerk reaction is frankly that this is brave of her, and political differences aside, it’s good to see a woman from the GOP taking him on boldly. Thoughts?
It’s very Aunt Lydia of her.
Haha this is spot on. Like, good for you for finally kind of realizing you’ve been tacitly (or explicitly) supporting evil?
LMAO ok true, true.
(Who is Aunt Lydia?)
It reminds me of the former WH staffers at the Jan 6th hearings. Oh THAT is what made you realize 45 was not fit for POTUS…not all the million of other things beforehand?
It also reminds me of what one of my DC friend’s boss predicted – “Nikkie Haley will be the first woman POTUS.”
As a woman, and a South Asian…just ick. I know a lot of the Trump supporters in the Indian community (yes, there are MANY – especially those who are immigrants themselves…) will be 100% onboard with her.
I’m glad for anyone who takes on Trump, and Nikki Haley seems more reasonable than many (ahem, DeSantis). But selfishly I’d be sad if she was the first woman president, and sad for my Indian-American BFF and her dauhters if Haley were the first president of South Asian descent.
I think it takes a lot of bravery to run for any political office, and more to run for President, but I don’t think it is particularly brave to challenge Trump at this point. She supported Trump for years and was part of his administration. She’s changed her rhetoric about Trump multiple times even since January 6. And after saying she wouldn’t run against Trump, she’s running only because it’s pretty clear that his campaign is a disaster.