Thursday’s TPS Report: Surplice Dress with Draped Tulip Skirt

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Surplice Dress with Draped Tulip Skirt AnneKlein.com has a ton of great things on sale, both from their lower line as well as their pricier Anne Klein Collection, including a ton of great dresses. I really love this black and white dress with a tulip skirt — the pleating at the bust, the draping on the skirt, the cap sleeves — it’s all so flattering. It was $129, but is now marked to $79 (limited sizes only). Anne Klein Surplice Dress with Draped Tulip Skirt

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]
(L-2)

Comments

  1. Okay, this is my new favourite dress in the whole wide world.

    *covets*

    • I think it is so pretty, too! But look at that low neckline! Could not wear that to work!

    • That was my initial reaction, too, but the more I look at the top, the more my enthusiasm for it decreases. The pleats look a little weird up top, and it seems like a deep v–not sure if a camisole would ruin the look of the pleats.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I really like it too. It’s not available in my size, but the neckline would be too low for my big chest. I think it would look amazing on other people though!

    • What a beautiful dress. I think it would look fine with a cami. The only reviewer, aged 45 to 54, gave it a 5 of 5.

    • Skippy pea :

      Gorgeous! It will work with my chest, but I suspect it will make my hippy plus booty-full behind look huge!

      I really think that maybe I should get lipo to make my butt fit into dresses like this. :))

    • I’m curious about the bust pleats too. As a mini-busted person, I think that the pleating would actually be all weird, because they would be pretending at something that’s just not there. I’m very conflicted about this dress.

      • I think it makes her boobs look like they are on her belly. As small of boob, I am leery of bust pleats as well.

        • That is ALL I need! For the manageing partner to focus in on my boobies. No thanks. Worst goes to WORST YET, the manageing already is busy stareing at me all day, includeing right NOW!!

          If you go to their web sight, they also show the back of the dress. My tush is way to big for this fit. FOOEY! Mabye next year.

          Today, I have to go meet with the nerdy guy for lunch. Evedentelly, he is still considereing workeing here. I also have to figure out if I will stay or become a NY worker’s comp JUDGE. There would NOT be any OVERTIME workeing a s a Judge there. YAY!

        • That’s it! I was trying to figure out what was off about the dress — because I liked it at first, then there was something weird. It makes her b**bs look really low, which I’m sure they are not.

    • I love this dress and have no issues with any element of it. There’s a lot of draping going in, which means you need to carry it with panache and lead with your confidence, rather than worrying about how the draping will make your boobs or butt look.

      • word.
        also, get a little bit of tailoring to make sure the waist hits in the right place, but as long as it is correctly fitted, it would look elegant.

  2. K in... Transition :

    TJ, sorry… been waiting to ask for advice here:

    I don’t know what to do here…

    A social service agency just offered me a position. I have til Monday to decide.

    Here are the facts:

    ***The work in the position is standard for my field, so details really don’t matter here and are being omitted for privacy sake, but I’m fine with them.
    ***Pay rate is in the lowest 10% for this area and skill/education levels. I tried to negotiate, they won’t budge.
    ***Though the position means no overtime options, they have a possibility for bonuses,
    based on doing extra work per week, up to $4500/yr though it’s not clear how likely it is
    that some or all of the bonuses will be attainable.
    ***medical (anthem or keiser)/dental (delta) /vision coverage (eye med), 401k match
    (amount unknown), FSA, credit union
    ***however insurance costs are $160/mo taken from paychecks (which wasn’t the case in my last position, the agency paid all premiums, but I’m not sure if this is standard in Ohio, last job was in nyc)
    ***after 90 days of working, I begin to accrue: 3 weeks vacation, 10 days sick, 5 days personal total per year
    ***required supervision for my licensure is provided, malpractice insurance provided
    ***Position is a road warrior position, with 95% of the time being either in client homes
    or on the road between them, so no micromanaging (other 5% is supervision/office meeting
    time)
    ***I’d make my own schedule based on client needs, though I’d have a minimum # of client
    contact hrs per week, so in theory, I could schedule to avoid rush hour driving and/or
    super early mornings
    ***mileage reimbursement 45cents/mile (just found out gov’t rate is 55 cents, if that matters)
    ***They provide a company netbook/internet card for use and $20/mo cell phone
    ***I’d be always on call though they say clients seldom call on off time and often don’t
    require more than talking them down from crisis mode

    The only hesitation is the money, to be honest. The number is take it or leave it. I’m
    just not sure whether it’s a smart decision to take a job that pays in the lowest 10% of
    salary for this area not including the insurance costs, but I’m not certain when I’d have another offer or what that would entail.

    In theory, I could live off the amount since I’m living where I don’t have to pay rent, but I’d been wanting to bank that difference, not lose it. I also don’t want to set myself back for future positions by coming in with a low previous salary. However, I’m super independent and a position without someone micromanaging me would be a good fit in that respect. (math also shows that, after taxes/insurance, this position would only pay me about $500/mo more than unemployment does) Remember too, the difference between the lower 10% and the upper 10% is about 6k. Not a huge difference for so many of you, but that’s big money in this industry.

    What do you think????

    • I would take the job, begin making contacts, and keep your eyes open for other opportunities that you could pursue once a decent interval has passed.

      • Agree, and don’t think this salary will tie you down for other jobs in future; you just say what your salary expectation is, not what your current salary is.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Congrats on the offer! The flexibility sounds really nice, but I understand about the money. What are your other options right now? I remember something about an advanced degree, but I’m not sure if I’m remembering correctly. If this is the only real job opportunity you have right now, then I personally would take it and make contacts like Lucy suggested. If you have other interviews though, then I’d probably be a bit more hesitant.

      How much is the amount you made at previous positions factored in when you are being offered a job somewhere else? Could you point to your NYC salary and explain this lower salary to another future employer down the road as something you took because the job was exactly what you wanted to do? Maybe you could also show what percentage of pay for the field you were in when you worked in NYC since I bet most people would assume its just cost of living differences.

    • I’d probably take it too, if nothing else because it (a) gets a local entry on your resume, (b) gets you active in the local professional community and (c) gets you working.

      But I would continue doing the other professional development, writing, and networking things you were doing before and maybe angle for a better position. Its not like you’re marrying the job.

      • Yeah. I really don’t see a downside to taking it, as the alternative is continued unemployment. At least with this job, even if it’s not ideal, you’ll be actively working in your industry (as opposed to publishing or presenting), and building up a network in your area.

      • Totally agreed with TCFKAG — you’re not signing on for life, you’re launching your career in the local area. I think it’ll be a lot easier to find a better job once you’re actively working in the local professional community than it will be from a position of unemployment.

    • The fact that they are being so stingy in the pay and mileage (the mileage!) gives me great pause about whether or not they actually ever pay bonuses, and if so, if anyone ever attains the highest rate.

      Frankly, a job where I am essentially always on call but not compensated for overtime (and not compensated well, period) feels abusive and undesirable, but I recognize that that this varies with industry.

    • I’m an attorney, but I work for an organization that is staffed primarily by LGSWs and LCSW-Cs (I think I remember from prior posts that this was your certification) so I have some familiarity with that market. Honestly, I would take it. It sound like it has high potential for professional satisfaction and the salary isn’t that far off (in dollars/not percentages) from the higher end. Would there be potential for annual raises? Also, you just moved to a new area, so this would at least help you make contacts and build a professional network. At least in my area, high turnover is pretty common for SWs, so it wouldn’t look that bad if you didn’t stay very long.

      • K in... Transition :

        I know there hasn’t been an annual raise “in several years due to the economy” when I asked.

        Mileage and salary are pre-set by the agency, they have some chart they use.

        No other option on the table right now but I can survive on unemployment for about 4 more months before I’d begin to get nervous. There are no resume gaps because I’ve continued to publish and present while unemployed.

        • One comment on mileage, if they pay less than the IRS rate (55.5 cents per gallon right now) you can deduct the difference between the two. My old employer paid about 25 cents per gallon and I got a nice bump to my tax return. Just track every single mile and keep every single repayment check stub. It’s a pain but it’s worth it.

    • Unless you have other job prospects, I’d take this job. It sounds like a great oppotunity to develop without micromanagement. When applying for future jobs, you can sell the lower salary by saying that you sacrificied for the unique work experience.

    • It sounds awesome except for the pay. How low is low? It sounds liveable, expecially in the no rent situation, but its hard to judge.

      • K in... Transition :

        low is under 40k. granted, nyc salary was just over 50k, but average in the area is about 45k according to salary dot com. yes, I could survive on it, but after taxes/insurance, it’s only about $500 more per month than my unemployment, which bugs me. I can probably go another 4ish months on unemployment before I’d start to worry financially. But I’m trying to figure out whether autonomy is worth more than a higher salary that could be a more rigid position (if I were to gain an offer elsewhere, that’d be the likely trade).

        yeah, no rent right now is great, but I was hoping to bank the difference rather than lose it.

        Also, though the time off amount is awesome, there are monthly client contact quotas, so it wouldn’t just be time off, it’d be time off before or after busting my tail extra for the rest of that month. (That feels a tad different to me than no quota and time off is just time off).

        • As a former resident of the NE Ohio area where you are (my parents are still there), I can attest that salaries are substantially lower than NY metro area (where I live now). But, on the plus side, cost of living is much less.

          Also, regarding insurance, I believe that it’s extremely rare for an employer to pay 100% of the premiums (although this might vary by industry). In my experience, $160/month is not bad.

          I also think the vacation/sick/personal time sounds generous.

          Good luck – and keep us posted on your decision!

          • 2nd on the insurance. It’s really rare to have your employer pay 100% of your premiums. I know some public sector jobs have historically done that, but in this era of budget cuts, most of them have stopped doing so.

            I’d take the job, make good contacts and parlay it into something better in a year or so.

          • Oh, also, on mileage allowance. Gas prices may be substantially lower in your state than in a high gas tax rate like CA, so it may actually work out fine for you. My sister had a similar mileage-reimbursement deal. She took out a loan on a new car at the beginning of the job and she was actually able to make her entire car payment each month with her reimbursement. At end of three years, she owned the car, basically for free.

        • As someone making 40k in DC, under 40k but in ohio sounds really good.

        • But do you have any healtth insurance now? It is annoying to pay such a large percentage and to see that you would do almost as well with unemployment. But, things happen even to healthy people and if you are withoout insurance you could be financially devastated. Sorry to be a downer, but I have a chronic illness so this is where my mind goes first.

          But seriously, congrats on the offer and your new start! And I say this as a native Ohioan (no longer there or I’d buy you a drink!)

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          I don’t know about salary.com but other calculators I’ve used have tended to skew high, because people making high salaries are more likely to report (just like people who HAVE jobs after law school are more likely to fill out the post-grad employment surveys) if that is at all a comfort.

      • Congrats! Take it.

    • DC Association :

      I agree with all others – take the job. Like others say, if it doesn’t work out, you can leave, and you will have the benefit of practicing in your new location and whatnot. You don’t want 4 months to go by and have no other options, and wish you had taken it.

      • Yes, why on earth would you turn it down, if you don’t have a better option? It’s not about this offer in a bubble- it’s in relation to what leverage or other options you have. I too just accpeted a take it or leave it offer and had to swallow some pride to do that, but a good opportunity is a good opportunity (and way better than nothing).

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I also vote to take the job, network like crazy, and use the next 6-12 months at the job as sort of a “residency” – you’ll be so independent that you can really focus not just on the job itself, but on trying out different ways to manage your cases, best practices, etc so you will be the best LGSW in Ohio when you come out of this job. This is probably a great topic to talk to experienced kick-bum older women when networking – perfect for informational interviews. You have a job, you’re not looking for another job (right now), and you’re just curious how these women manage their practice. I suspect people will be more willing to talk to you about their practices when they know you’re not just looking for work.

      As for the salary difference, I agree with another poster – easy to explain away as you moved to OH from NYC, this was your first job in Ohio, and now you’re ready to move up to better, brighter, more lucrative positions. This job will be a blip on your resume.

    • Since no one else has said it yet, congratulations ! It’s a great start for your new location, even with your doubts about the pay.

      • K in... Transition :

        aww, thank you! no one’s said that yet even among my IRL friends whom I’m consulting with on this as well… it was surprisingly lovely to hear

    • Guuuurrrrllll,

      My mom (who would kill me for putting this on the ‘net) is making less than 40K with 30 years experience living in pretty high cost of living northeast (not NY but still).

      In NE Ohio with no rent, you could have like 10 dogs!

      • K in... Transition :

        that last line… hehehe you’re using your knowledge, TCFKAG… I must learn to watch out for you and your freakishly awesome memory…

        hehehe

    • Congratulations! As a regular reader, I’ve had my fingers crossed for you.

      I’d take the job and, like a previous poster said, treat it as a “residency.” The schedule flexibility will allow you to continue to do some of the more freelance-y gigs I know you’ve pursued from time to time, and working in your area will get you into the professional mix in your geographic region. Although you’re only taking home $500 more per month than you’re getting in unemployment, you’re also getting access to health insurance, paid time off, and entry into a local professional network. I would do it! Congrats again.

    • I’d be tempted to take it and keep looking. If another job happens one short hop wont break the CV. Could you negotiate/use the flexibility to work a compressed 4 day week so you have time left for networking/writing/job applications? Working 4 days Not 5 could also be pointed at to explain the lower salary.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I was going to suggest this as well: Take the job but stay in job-search mode until you find a position with what you consider an appropriate salary.

        In the meantime, congratulations on landing a job!

      • lucy stone :

        The four not five is a great suggestion! If that is negotiable I’d definitely bring it up. It could explain the lower salary, leave you time to do your other interests, and you’d be working in the field you love.

    • Anonymous :

      I would take it. I was in a similar situation 5 years ago, took the low paying offer, and love it! I earn in the lowest 10% in my field, but I am in a city I love, I have tons of flexibility, and I like my colleagues. When I started I was horrified by the pay and felt bad about it – especially when lower performing peers were making a lot more than me in other places. But then after a year or two, every time I was offered a new position or went on the market, I realized that people making more than me hated their jobs – and that I have a good gig where I am.

      I think once you have the position and are settled in, you will figure out a way to boost the pay or you will decide it is not worth the low salary. But you might just find you like it enough to stay. Pay really isn’t everything.

    • Congratulations!

    • Solo Practitioner :

      My parents are social workers in a similar area. They’ve had “road warrior” jobs like this. I would expect salary.com isn’t realistic about the average salaries. This sounds like a good job.

      My last government job paid less than this one of our health insurance premium. But we got more vacation. (Not OH.)

  3. I just bought it – in love!

  4. Gorgeous!!

    By the way, what is the difference between Anne klein and anne Klein collection? I have some expensive dresses from this brand that are of great quality, and a couple that were cr@p quality and am really confused. The latter were very inexpensive…

  5. Love the dress, although I don’t think it would look good on me. I just wanted to mention that I got the first of the two cardigans I ordered from Friday’s TPS report. It’s the coral (still waiting for the light blue). It’s so pretty – the color is perfect and it’s soooo soft. I really like that there is elastic under the ruching at the bottom of the sleeves. Makes it really easy to pull it up or down. I wore it last night with a tank and shorts and it looked cute. My only problem is that I had hoped I could wear it with some of my skirts. I tried it this morning and it overwhelmed the outfit and made me look shapeless. The skirt I’m wearing is a little floaty so I think that’s problem. I’ll try it with other things but I’m sure I’ll wear it.

    • Oops! That was me. Don’t know how I ended up anon.

    • I’m wearing one of those today too – I ordered the charcoal gray and the light blue. When I opened the package I was surprised at how nice the fabric is for the relatively low price of the garment. I like the elastic on the sleeves too. I may order more colors.

      By the way, I wear a 14/16 sometimes misses sometimes plus, and the XL fits perfectly.

    • (PS NOLA on the floaty skirt – I’d definitely wear it with something slim on the bottom, like straight cut pants or a pencil skirt. Jean skirt on weekends would be good too.)

      • Thanks! I thought the same thing. I wish I had a jean skirt. Still on the hunt for something not too long/not too short/not too high a slit. I just sent back a cardigan I thought would be perfect for some of my newer skirts, but it turned out that it had little pockets at the bottom that made the shape look weird on me. I have one cute knit jacket that looks good with them but it’s only one.

        • Kontraktor :

          NOLA, I am very much not a jean skirt person but I recently bought one I can stand to wear. Maybe you would like it too! It’s from K ohls and it’s a very dark denim pencil skirt and has 3 seamed panels in the front, almost exactly like The Skirt. It came with a goldy/bronzy colored belt. I don’t remember the brand, but I think they should still have it online. It’s really structured and I think will be good for dressing up or down.

          • I wish we had a Kohl’s here! I’m planning on a trip to Baton Rouge during my vacation time (starting middle of next week!) so I’ll have to check it out.

  6. Rant here-I just found out my very soon to be ex-husband traded me in for a 20-something that is still in undergrad! I am only 34 and he is 40. Seriously?!

    • If he’s a 40 year old who wants to hang out with 24 year olds, than you should be a 34 year old who shouldn’t want to hang out with him! (I know, easier said than thought).

      But seriously, in a year you’ll be much happier.

    • So sorry about that. It just sucks My ex-husband met his younger now-wife while we were still married. She was blogging about this fabulous man she had just met and falling in love with. We weren’t even separated. Now 6 years later I say, good riddance and she can have him. I’m so much better off! I hope you can get to that point.

      • My word, what is it about our society that raises young women to have such low self-esteem that they’d want your exes, knowing that they’d blown up relationships with ladies like you?

        Seriously, when I was an undergrad, at certain hangouts/clubs/bars/etc. there were a bunch of older guys who I labeled as DDMAM (you could read that as Desperate Divorced Middle-Aged Men or Dreadful Divorced Middle-Aged Men) who blew up their relationships with age-peer (ex)wives and sometimes left their children to troll for 20-something girls.

        They were creepy and awful and I always thought: somewhere, those ex-wives are celebrating no longer being married to these losers. All the girls I knew had better sense than to give such guys a chance, ever.

    • Honestly? That is so, so pathetic on his part. Can you imagine being 40 years old and having conversations with an undergrad about their finals and their summer internship and their roommates? It’s cringe-worthy. He’s embarrassing and good riddance.

      • Not to mention, a 40 year old man picking her up from her DORM?? (I know she may not be in dorms anymore, but still.)

    • You are well quit of him.

      If it makes you feel better, chances are it won’t last and neither will any of his partnership relationships. My father traded in wife 1 (same age) for wife 2 (4 years younger). Then he traded in wife 2 for wife 3 (18 years younger). Then he traded in wife 3 for wife 4 (27 years younger). Net net: He has no long term partnership with any one person and, apparently, just partners because he can’t stand to be alone instead of because he really feels a connection to a particular person.

      • Was your dad Tom Hank’s father in “You’ve got mail?”

        • Tom Hanks was able to do something in that movie that I have not been able to: stay on good terms with his dad despite dad’s behavior. I am not proud of the fact that I can’t.

          • Meh. I’m a firm believer that just because someone is related by blood to you doesn’t mean you *owe* them your eternal loyalty (or even affection). He doesn’t sound like someone I’d be on very good terms with either, so I’d give yourself a break.

          • Well Quit :

            I appreciate your saying it. I do. And others have said it, too. Though, it is easier said than done. Still a work in progress and I worry that when he passes away, I will be wracked with guilt. But I digress.

          • What TCFKAG said.

            And…what Angelina Jolie said, “Family is earned.” Behave like a rotten human being and I will drop you like a burning piece of crap and wash my hands repeatedly to get rid of any trace of your stink!

    • After I broke up with a guy in law school, he started dating a 17 year old college freshman. All you can do is feel sorry for both of them.

    • phillygirlruns :

      oy. guess he’s proving that you’ve made the right move.

    • Good lord. I’m 26 and was talking to a 20 year old the other day, and she was very sweet but all I could think of was “oh my god your so young.” He can’t even take her out to get a drink!

      He didn’t trade you in, he set you free. Be free, toast a glass of wine that she can’t drink to them and to your fortune that he is a very soon ex.

    • :( that is terrible. I am really sorry. I hate when cliche things we hear about happen- it is just so gross and sad.
      My spouse has been having a bit of a freak out in my late pregnancy- I’m your age- never thought this kind of thing could happen to us but it’s amazing how focused they can become on ‘their needs’. Even when they impregnated you and wanted a baby badly.

      • Anne Shirley :

        Eww Ruby. Someone needs to club him with a clue-by-four.

      • Skippy pea :

        Ugh! Can I come over and beat some sense into him? How gross!

        • Thanks. He hasn’t done anything crossing ‘real’ lines, made a ‘friend’ at work he’s been spending some time with in public there etc. So it isn’t so bad I guess, according to a few people, but it really hurts as he has been so disengaged from me. I get that I am a mess, crabby, can’t give anything to him right now, etc.– but– it is b/c I am 8.7 mo pregnant. I figured out the ‘new friend’ thing- just occurred to me if his focus wasn’t here, it had to be somewhere. He says he’s fully committed, feels bad, etc. but I am going to have some trust and hurt issues to work through down the road even though it isn’t like he actually cheated in a physical sense. Any advice or just plain more ‘hit him on the head’ thoughts very welcome. Been in a bad place fast few days.

      • Awww, Ruby, I’m so sorry.

        If it makes you feel any better, once, my roommate and I were walking around one summer near my business school, after classes in our summer dresses and this guy who was walking with his visibly pregnant wife did a totally obviously head-turn, 2nd-head-turn, and the 3rd-head-turn to leer and grin at us. The wife saw and looked hurt and sad.

        My roommate and I did the hollaback and we were not gentle: we yelled, “stop staring at us, you f—-g pig while your beautiful wife is there. Lady, d— his loser @ss! You can do better! F—- you, @sshole! (when he glared at us)!”

        • Susan – Ha!! What happened then??

          • Ntohing, actually! They walked away (they were going one way, we were going the other), him with his tail between his legs and her looking shocked.

            I hope she left him, but I doubt she did. Sunk cost fallacy and all.

            Anti-climactic, no? But statistically, the most common outcome. Both roommate and I considered (afterwards) the possibility that he’d try to wring our necks or do something violent, but it was exactly what the Brad Pitt character said in Fight Club. (For that night’s task, he told the members to go out there, pick a fight with a random stranger, and purposely lose. He warned them that it’ll be very hard because most people don’t really want to get into a fight, especially a physical fight with someone else.)

    • As someone who was once a 20-something undergrad in a long-term relationship with a 40-something man, I can tell you it will not last. She will come to her senses eventually and wonder what took her so long to leave him.

    • Looks like we’ve found one more point on which all readers are unanimous. This is rare! But sign me on to all the eloquent comments above. Goodbye and good riddance to his grossness.

    • If this will make you feel any better – my boss (same age group) had one of his friends do this. He told us about meeting them at a bar with some other male friends, and all of them thinking ‘hot dang!’….until she opened her mouth. And then, instead of feeling like they were all young and cool and in their 20s again, they felt old and parental and glad to be going home to their wives of 30+. It wasn’t that she was dumb, it was simply that she was of such a different generation, they really didn’t have much to relate to her with. And yes, he also said that they all thought less of their friend afterwards, and didn’t enjoy hanging out with him as much. So there’s a male perspective for you! I personally think that it shows an amazing amount of insecurity on the guy’s part to date down in age like that – and I can totally understand how this would make you upset on multiple levels.

      • I agree with Penrod. This is sign of complete insecury and maybe fear of getting old. Unfortunately, I know a lot of families which have been through the same. :(
        Good riddance, though! You have a lot of good things waiting for you.

    • To anon- this has nothing to do with you. This has to do with your soon-to-be-ex feeling old. This has happened to many of my friends now that I’m in my 40s and none of the sweet-young-thing relationships their husbands left them for have worked out in the long run.

    • Thank you everyone for your kind words. Your support is very heart-warming. I am moving on and not looking back!

  7. Depressed :

    Early TJ.

    I am a rising 3L and in need of advice. I am back at the firm I spent half of last summer. I didn’t enjoy working here last summer, but everyone is very nice and I could use the money so I came back. They have told me they like me but likely won’t have a job for me when I graduate, which I expected because they are a small firm and don’t hire new associates often. I don’t mind that because I would not accept a job here anyway. I have no desire to be a lawyer and I am certain a traditional legal job is not for me (that’s another story). Back to the issue at hand- I am miserable. I don’t know why it is so much worse this summer, or maybe it is in my head, but I hate it. I cannot spend the whole summer like this. I am crying at the drop of a hat (not in the office), I am depressed, upset, and stressed. A few days in and I have already been kept late and yelled at. If I wanted to be an attorney I would understand the upside to staying, but for me this is really about a paycheck and no amount of money is worth being as upset as I am. I can barely walk back in after lunch, and I’m barely getting stuff done because I’m kind of a hot mess right now. Am I completely out if line for wanting to quit? Has anyone faced anything similar? Thanks for your wisdom in advance!

    • First of all, I’m sorry to hear that you’re in such a terrible state. I’ve been there and it’s no fun.

      Second, get thee to a therapist. If you’re in the same city as your law school see if you can use your schools counseling and psychological services (likely free to you as a student).

      Third, use said therapist to help you evaluate the pros/cons of staying for the summer. Nothing is worth your mental health but sometimes have a coping strategy can help, especially if the situation has a definitive end date.

      Good luck!

    • I am sorry that you are feeling like this. I have felt similarly–sometimes someone just asking me how I’m doing makes me want to cry.

      I have not heard of anyone who left a summer legal position–not saying it can’t be done, just that I don’t know of any classmates who did it. Do you have any ideas about what kinds of positions might interest you, post-graduation? Is there any option to pursue that sort of work on a volunteer basis, or maybe do a little work for a professor in your area of interest?

      If you need to stay at this job for the paycheck–and I’m not sure if you could find something else to do for 2L summer at this point–I would focus on getting the most you can out of it. It sounds mutual that you won’t be returning after graduation, so think about what you need–great references, an awesome writing sample, etc.–and focus on how the work you are doing now will get you to where you want to be.

    • I suspect I’ll be in the minority here, but just quit. I mean, line something else up first, but life is too short.

    • My gut reaction is to stick it out, but there is always a line. I assume you just got back there this week?? See how you feel in another couple of weeks. Also, since they have now told you that you will not be getting an offer, I think it would be appropriate to talk to them about you trying to find other experience later this summer that will be helpful in getting a job next year.

      The main thing I want to say is don’t forget how you feel. I feel like such an idiot because I pretty much felt the same way at my summer internships. They could probably tell I wasn’t that into it b/c I didn’t get offers from those places. So what did I do? Oh, I decided to go to tax school to become more marketable. Got me a job and $70,000 more in debt for that extra year. I work at a great place with great people, but I just don’t enjoy being a lawyer. Plus, I feel like I don’t even get to enjoy the paycheck I am bringing home because so much goes to loans. So…don’t be like me.

      • Why not cut your losses and move on from law school altogether? There is so nothing wrong with that- you will invest less overall if you stop now and now it isn’t for you.

    • Thanks all. I don’t think I quite need a therapist- it is completely situational. I know why I’m sad and angry (at myself for taking this job), so I’m not sure what she could do. I did see a therapist in the past and found it helpful, but probably not in this case. I have been trying to come up with reasons to stay- but can think of none except the money. I don’t need a writing sample because I’m not going into law, and I have plenty of other references. This firm is not in the community where I want to be, so they won’t be a big help with networking, either. I am already trying to line something else up for the summer, and think I’ve found something that won’t pay as well but isn’t a law firm and I won’t hate my life. I am feeling really selfish and bratty even considering quitting just because “it sucks”, but then the other half of me says life is too short to be this miserable for three months. I’m not sure I made clear the extent of my disdain for this job in my first post.

      Also, is it normal for it to be this stressful/hard? I know they are happy with my work and I am doing okay, but the stress is so intense. I feel like I can’t swim and someone threw me in a pool. I normally excel in those types of situations but I’m drowning and I don’t know why.

      You have all given me a lot to think about.

      • Can I ask why you are finishing law school? If its a significant amount of money, I would cut your losses now.

        • That’s a good question and definitely something I ask myself often. The main reason is that I’m on scholarship so my main opportunity cost is time, and at this point I feel like I should just finish. Another reason is that there are some jobs I have thought about where I would use my JD, just not traditional law jobs. The last reason is that the economy is not great here so I don’t have a full time job to take, and I plan on using my 3rd year to do non law externships arranged by contacts at my undergrad and hope they turn into jobs or at least good networking opportunities. I do have a plan, I am not despondent about life in general, just this 3 months.

      • Hey depressed…situational depression is still depression. Not seeing a therapist just because its situational is like saying “well, its okay for me to be terribly depressed for this period, because you know I almost deserve it because I’ve put myself here” — which you DON’T.

        But if you can or won’t see a therapist, you might talk to your PCP. They can also put you on a low level anti-depressant that might help get you over the hump (to be clear, I actually don’t think this is better than talk therapy with or without medication, but everyone is better). I know its really hard to take action when you feel so helpless and like there is NOTHING you can do to make a situation better, but there really are.

        In terms of the summer job, I can’t in good conscious tell you to quit. I don’t know the size of market you’re in, what you might want to do after, or how many bridges you’d really be burning. But what you can do is try to start rallying the troops OUTSIDE of work to make the days more bearable. So…make lunch dates with your friends. Plan drinks. Go to see movies after work, even if by yourself. Try to plan something everyday that you can look forward to, so that you have a reason to get out of bed, but on the big girl underroos, and earn that darn paycheck.

        As for work, are there particular attorneys there you find more tolerable than others. Perhaps you could seek out work specifically with them. Or ask if you could help doing something none legal, like with business development or article writing. (Partners LOVE to have articles written by someone else that they can stick their name on and then get some publicity for.) Deep breath, bubble bath, get a massage, and tomorrow will hopefully be better.

        • I really appreciate your response, and please dont take this personally, but all of those recommendations make me want to cry. I don’t want to write articles or do any of that. I hate law. I hate everything about it and doing any of that stuff makes me shudder. Also, I don’t have time for fun. I have a long commute, so I get up super early and by the time I get home I eat dinner, watch tv for 30 minutes to relax, and go to bed. I have NO free time, so I don’t get to recharge at all.

          I get you on the depression thing, but I do not think therapy will make this better and I don’t believe in taking medications like that for personal reasons.

          Part of me totally agrees with you about putting in the big girl underoos, but how much is too much? How miserable would I have to be for people to think it’s okay to leave?

          • Okay – tough love time.

            “I get you on the depression thing, but I do not think therapy will make this better and I don’t believe in taking medications like that for personal reasons.”

            Taking medication is a personal decision, and my opinion on whether or not you want to consider it as an option doesn’t matter. That being said, if you are not willing to try medication, and you are not willing to try therapy, and you can’t understand why you feel this way and what would make it better, than exactly how do you expect to start feeling better? And what do you have to lose by giving therapy a shot? Worst case scenario is that it doesn’t help, and then wahoo, you were right! Because I really don’t know how you expect to magically feel better if you don’t take some sort of steps (therapy? long walks at lunch? calling a friend regularly to vent?) to help.

          • Totes McGotes :

            I think you should leave. I guarantee you that there is someone out there who loves law (or is at least okay with it), needs money, and would be over the moon to have a paid job for the summer – those are few and far between lately. Maybe if you hurry up and get out the firm can hire one of those people and you won’t have to feel selfish and bratty.

          • Give yourself permission to leave and do it. The worst that will happen is that you won’t have a recommendation from the firm. Unless, you can find a way to gently leave. If you’re unhappy, sometimes its just not worth sticking out. What’s the worst case senario – can you survive with out the job? do you have other jobs to use as a reference? can you find some where to volunteer your time for the summer that you would enjoy? can you find some where eles to make some money? if so, move on. Nothing is worth being depressed.

          • I completely and totally understand where you are coming from. Trust me. I got laid off last year and the thought of getting off my couch made me want to cry. As did the thought of going to get any help whatsoever.

            I know its hard and I really really really feel for you and I kind of wish I could come and wrap you up in a blanket and hug you right now. For me, this is what depression was like:
            http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2011/10/adventures-in-depression.html

            But — if you truly believe that it is *this job* and nothing else that is causing your depression, than quit. I think that’s fine. Especially if you can find some other summer job to replace it — even at Starbucks. But you have to be prepared that sometimes what we think is situations depression isn’t as situational as we want it to be. But the best we can hope for is that in six months to a year we’ll look back on this period and shake our heads.

          • Look, it sounds like you’re decided already, and you’re just looking for someone to give you permission to go. You don’t need permission. It’s your life, you get to make that call about how much is too much.

          • OK. Personal anecdote time. I was previously in a job that probably made me depressed. Looking back, I wish I had sought help coping. I didn’t want to do anything when I was at home, didn’t want to ssee friends, etc. It was a dark place and just because it is situational (I was trying to get out of the situation) doesn’t make it any lesss painful. Now that I’m on the other side, it is better, but I see that getting help might have kept mme from getting so down.. So don’t swear off therapy or medication, especially if it is making it tough to make decisions. When I was at my worst, simple decisions were overwhelming.

            That said, here are my day to day coping tricks and how *I* surrvi ved. Get a stress ball and keep it under your desk. Squeeze when being yelled at or while reading passive aggressive emails. Try to get fresh air. Even eating my lunch outside was a help. I also kept a word doc of happy/inspiring quotes to look at. Mine ranged from movies to books to Bible verses, and everything in between. None of these will solve the underlying issue, but they did help me get through the day.

        • anon grad :

          GIRL. Just go to therapy! Seriously. As long as you like your therapist, you will get something out of it. All the references you made to trying not to cry scream to me, “therapy/meds!” Why? Because I was in a similar fragile emotional state not too long ago. I’m a grad student, and I was a hot mess. Now I go to therapy and take a low dose of meds (not trying to push that one you, total respect for your decision regarding meds), and I’m soo much less of a mess.

          Everybody’s responses about the job itself have been great, so I won’t say anything about that. Just had to throw my 2c in regarding therapy.

      • just Karen :

        You should congratulate yourself on being self-aware of what is stressing you out and being willing to make a major change to fix it. Follow the lower-paying summer job and good luck!

      • The last paragraph – “is it normal for it to be this stressful/hard?” and “I’m drowning and I don’t know why” are questions that you may be able to work out with a therapist. In short, if you chose to stay, or want to find out ways to deal with similar stressful situations in the future, a therapist may be able to help you identify those specific triggers as well as coping mechanisms. If you really don’t need the job (money wise), seriously, just bail. It sounds like a job in retail or at Starbucks would be better for your mental health, if you can manage financially. You don’t need the references/experience/network = nothing keeping you but the money.

        • Thanks, this was helpful. I have never had trouble dealing with stress before, I was just asking if it is this bad for all summer associates. I don’t know if that is normal, and I don’t think a therapist would either, I guess I should ask friends at other firms, but most haven’t started yet.

          • Does it matter? Would being this miserable be ok if other people were also miserable?

            I hated my summer associateship overall, but it wasn’t as terrible as you were describing. I didn’t have true contempt for the firm until the last few weeks. It was easy to stick it out knowing it was short term, but I definitely left on the last day with a skip in my step knowing I’d never have to see those people again.

          • “is it normal for it to be this stressful/hard?” and “I’m drowning and I don’t know why”
            I had a summer job like that, also at a small firm, and I was miserable too. I don’t know what your financial situation is, but I had to stick it out for the money. If you’ve got rent and food covered for the summer, just leave. You can fill your resume with volunteer activities in the non-trad field you like, and that will refresh you for the upcoming 3L year.
            Good luck!

          • TurtleWexler :

            “I don’t know if that is normal, and I don’t think a therapist would either”

            The purpose of a therapist isn’t to tell you whether it’s “normal” to feel like things are hard and stressful. What other people feel really isn’t relevant to your psychological and emotional state — they’re not you and you’re not them, so why bother comparing? What a therapist will do is help you develop coping mechanisms, either to get through the summer if you decide to stay or to deal with the decision to leave and how that affects you in the short- and long-term. And learning those strategies will help you down the road, too, as this will probably not be the last stressful time you ever encounter in your life. Don’t write off therapy just because the therapist doesn’t have concrete yes-or-no answers to these abstract questions (and even if the answers existed, a good therapist wouldn’t just say “yes, it’s this hard for everyone” and send you on your way); consider seeing one because he or she will help you figure out how to deal with your own actions and reactions when you’re in an unhappy place in general, and how to position yourself to get out of that hole.

      • It seems to me like you have already decided to quit because the paycheck just isn’t worth this sh*t, but you want permission to do it because you feel guilty/obligated/like you’re cheating by taking the easy way out. Permission granted.

        Maybe you can get a job waiting tables and volunteer doing something you actually like. If you already know you don’t want to do law, stop pursuing traditional legal experience (though finish the last year of school, especially if you’re on a full scholarship). Use the summer to gain experience/make connections in the field you’re actually interested in.

        • Agreed. Get the eff out of there.

          You worked at this firm last summer. Great. You don’t need to work for them twice.

          If you don’t want to be a lawyer, start working on the field you want. Network, or get a volunteer position in the field you actually want.

          It’s not this hard for everyone. Sometimes summer associateships suck. But not all of them. And for the ones that suck, they’re worth it for money or career or networking opportunities or something else. It doesn’t sound like that’s true for you.

          Leave the job.

          I won’t go to so far as to say leave law school – if it’s free, and a JD will be useful, and you won’t be miserable, then why not finish.

          Also, lots of hugs. This isn’t easy. And ‘other rettes being mean doesn’t help. Your life won’t suck like this forever.

    • I think there is a lot going on here, and would echo people’s comments about a therapist being helpful to you.

      No one should be that miserable on a daily basis, but it’s also hard to tell what’s going on with your work: you said the people were nice, but also that you have been yelled at and sound basically despondent after only a few days, and then also that people are happy with your work. Maybe this is the wrong workplace for you. I don’t know if you’ve worked before, or went straight to law school. But (and I do mean this gently, and not to minimize how bad you’re feeling right now) even in another workplace, everyone will have patches where they absolutely hate their job. That is why they call it “work.” I’m not saying this is your experience, but I have run into plenty of young associates over the years (often without prior work experience) who somehow think that every day of their professional life will be super-exciting and involve no tedium or frustrations. So, no, you shouldn’t be miserable at your job and (hopefully) you should be reasonably happy most days. But you should be prepared that even if you land what you think is your dream job, it doesn’t mean that every single day will be a dream.

      I hope you figure out a way to feel better, however you think is the best way to do that.

  8. NYC Restaurant Recs :

    My family is taking my elderly, deaf, walks-slowly-and-with-cane grandmother out for lunch this weekend. She only likes American and Italian food. Any recommendations for restaurants, especially in midtown or on the UWS? Every place I’ve found for us in the past has been too noisy or too hard to move around in, or had too few options, either for her (picky) or for other family members (vegetarian). Recommendations greatly appreciated!

    • I like Acqua on Amsterdam (around 95th). I have been there with grandparents that have mobility issues and hearing issues, and it’s generally gone smoothly. Italian food, fine for vegetarians (you would want to check about vegan, though).

    • For American, I would try Redeye Grill. It has a very extensive menu. For Italian, I would recommend Puttanesca. It is pretty basic Italian, but most people I have taken there have enjoyed it. Both restaurants do not have their tables so close together that moving around would be difficult.

    • La Vela! It’s small but the food is delicious and it should be ok to get around in.

      • Regional on Broadway between 98th and 99th Street has a great brunch (with $6 unlimited mimosas/bloody marys if you’re into daytime boozing). It’s Italian, but the brunch menu has some of your typical egg and potato items and burgers if you’re leaning more toward the American end of things. It can sometimes get busy (and thus louder) due to the aforementioned mimosas, but it’s not usually too loud and it’s easy to maneuver in there (only one bathroom though, which is again a problem due to the never-ending mimosas). If you make a reservation, request a table in the front where there is more space to maneuver.

    • pasta lovers on 49st has four steps near the entrance. but they have a solid italian food menu and i believe they accommodate special requests. they are also vegetarian-friendly. it isn’t too casual or too elegant. it’s also very very quiet over the weekends because it’s really a midtown work lunch spot. nice staff too.

    • Cesca is on 75th on the east side of the street close to Amsterdam, and my non-adventurous Italian parents like it there.

    • NYC Restaurant Recs :

      Thanks, these all look great!

  9. Hey Hel-Lo, I didn’t have time to reply, yesterday (I hate when my work live interferes with blog reading)

    You asked if I had something in particular in mind, I don’t. I just thought about it as a nice idea. But then I stumbled over this blog post from “Girl With Curves” (link follows in a reply) and I though “Oh goodness, I can’t pull that off”. I think she looks awesome, and it wouldn’t be a dress code violation. We just have a lot of old folks working for us and they told me I was a little “racy” when I wore a pencil skirt *sigh*. Not sure why I mention that, they also think a woman shouldn’t cut her hair. I should probably just ignore them.

    Several people suggested a blazer, I guess you would need a lighter fabric top to avoid bulging.

    Not sure where I am going with this post. Anyway, here is the link that made me think twice about peplum:

    • I ordered that white peplum that TCFKAG posted (from Topshop). Not for work, but I thought it was perfect for non-work.

      I had ordered one from Piperlime a few weeks back (eyelet) and its going back if the Topshop one is better.

      • Where’s my commission????? (haha.) :-P

        • Seriously. You should use affiliate links when you link things. I had been looking for the perfect white peplum top and that link [hopefully] was it.

          I don’t know how Topshop runs, though. I probably should have ordered two sizes to be sure.

          • I have no idea what an affiliate link is…haha. Plus Kat might object to me actually using this site as a business venture. ;-)

          • Affiliate link is what Kat gets when she posts links. When you click through the site, as opposed to google searching and finding it that way or just typing the store name into your browser, Kat makes money. If you click on L-2 she writes about it.

    • Actually, that exact picture was what sold me on the peplum! I wouldn’t wear it as tight as she’s wearing it in the photo, but I think the peplum shirt + pencil skirt is a great look. I’d wear it to the office for sure.

    • I think that looks great. It’s a vintage-y style, so I bet the old folks would like it. :)

      If you looked like Joan Holloway, with an ample bust and tiny waist, it might not look as appropriate as it does on the woman in the picture.

  10. Is it odd for a right handed lady to wear her watch on her right hand? I usually wear mine on my left hand, but I don’t wear it much anymore because I think it looks weird w/ my wedding rings on the same hand (they don’t clash with the watch, but don’t quite go with it either). Also, I don’t wear any jewelry on my right hand, so it seems very unbalanced to have everything on the left. I put my watch on the right hand today and I think it looks so much better!

    • phillygirlruns :

      not odd. i’d personally find it a little uncomfortable and would have a hard time getting used to looking at that arm to check the time, but i doubt i’d even notice it on anyone else.

    • a passion for fashion :

      i started wearing mine on my right when i hurt my left wrist. it took a while to get used to, but it works for me

    • Has anyone else been watching the HBO documentary series this week?

    • I am right handed and I have always worn my watch on my right wrist. It just feel like that is where it belongs.

    • I’ve always worn my watch on my right wrist and I am right handed. So to me it looks absolutely normal and I wonder at the rest of you wearings yours on your left wrist :-)

    • I have always worn my watch on my right wrist, though I am right-handed. It feels normal to me, but I recall going through an adjustment period when I got my first watch back in the day because it was a little awkward to write with a watch on the same hand. Now, I don’t have any problems and hardly notice it when writing.

      • Addendum: The reason I’ve always worn watches on my right hand is my dad told me that’s how all women wear theirs…a misspprehension he was under because my mom, a left-hander, wore hers on her right hand. Since he had only ever noticed her watch-wearing habits, he extrapolated it to apply to all women, which I find kind of adorable.

    • I do this, for exactly the same reason.

      I’ve been asked by some super-observant folks about whether I’m ambidextrous – they assume I’m a leftie from the position of my watch and then are surprised when I use my right hand.

    • I am left handed and wear my watch on my left wrist, when I wear one. I started wearing it this way in middle school to not draw attention to the fact that I was one of three left handed people in my grade. Most people don’t even notice.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’m right-handed and wear mine on my right wrist too. I’ve had people comment on it but it feels natural to me. Glad to see I’m not alone!

    • lucy stone :

      I switch mine back and forth. When I used to be a runner, I always wore my running watch on my right hand because I thought it was easier to check splits.

  11. Associette: Sorry I didn’t manage to get all of these links together for you last night; I ended up being super-busy (boys’ track team was winning a Thing, NBD). But here are a selection, posted in a couple of chunks to hopefully avoid moderation. And thanks to Anonymous last night, for picking up my slack.

    And, since you asked, I am not a doctor, but, as a high school coach and long-time runner myself, I enjoy keeping abreast of current literature in exercise science and nutrition. As far as my weight goes, although I don’t see how that’s relevant, I’ve never been overweight a day in my life. I have, however, struggled with disordered eating. Overcoming that has informed my strong, visceral reaction to anyone who tries to shame another person for his or her body. Quite frankly, it makes me sick, it makes me sad, and it makes me angry, because I know what it feels like to loathe the shape you see in the mirror with every inch of yourself—and if I can ever say anything to spare another woman (or man) one second of feeling that, I will do it.

    • Bouchard, C et al. The Response to Long-Term Overfeeding in Identical Twins. New England Journal of Medicine. 1990. {http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199005243222101}
      From abstract: “We conclude that the most likely explanation for the intrapair similarity in the adaptation to long-term overfeeding and for the variations in weight gain and fat distribution among the pairs of twins is that genetic factors are involved. These may govern the tendency to store energy as either fat or lean tissue and the various determinants of the resting expenditure of energy.”
      In English: When fed the same amounts of food, pairs of identical twins gained different amounts of weight.

      Frayling, T et al. Common Variation in the FTO Gene Alters Diabetes-Related Metabolic Traits to the Extent Expected Given Its Effect on BMI. Diabetes. 2008. {http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/57/5/1419}
      From abstract: “Common variation in the FTO gene is associated with BMI and type 2 diabetes…Our findings highlight the importance of using appropriately powered studies to assess the effects of a known diabetes or obesity variant on secondary traits correlated with these conditions.”
      In English: The FTO gene is tied to a person’s likelihood to become overweight.

    • Hainer, V et al. A twin study of weight loss and metabolic efficiency. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders. {http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11319658}
      From abstract: “The high correlation in metabolic efficiency within twin pairs in response to therapeutic weight loss suggests a strong genetic contribution.”
      In English: Can’t say it clearer than that.

      King, NA et al. Exercise, appetite and weight management: understanding the compensatory responses in eating behaviour and how they contribute to variability in exercise-induced weight loss. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2012. {http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21596715}
      From abstract: “Most of the evidence suggests that exercise is useful for improving body composition and health… However, people will vary in their [weight loss] responses to exercise…”
      In English: Even when people exercise the same amount, they don’t lose the same amount of weight. But they still get various health benefits.

    • Manson, J et al. Walking Compared with Vigorous Exercise for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Events in Women. New England Journal of Medicine. 2002. {http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa021067}
      From abstract: “These prospective data indicate that both walking and vigorous exercise are associated with substantial reductions in the incidence of cardiovascular events among postmenopausal women, irrespective of race or ethnic group, age, and body-mass index. Prolonged sitting predicts increased cardiovascular risk.”
      In English: Being active means you’re less likely to have a heart attack, even if you’re overweight.

      Sumithran, P et al. Long-Term Persistence of Hormonal Adaptations to Weight Loss. New England Journal of Medicine. 2011. {http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1105816#t=abstract}
      From abstract: “Although short-term weight loss is readily achieved through dietary restriction, only a small minority of obese people maintain diet-induced weight loss in the long term.19 A multitude of hormones, peptides, and nutrients are involved in the homeostatic regulation of body weight, many of which are perturbed after weight loss… many of these alterations persist for 12 months after weight loss, even after the onset of weight regain, suggesting that the high rate of relapse among obese people who have lost weight has a strong physiological basis and is not simply the result of the voluntary resumption of old habits.”
      In English: There are physiological reasons why obese or overweight people struggle to keep weight off, once they’ve lose it.

    • Great links. Had followed the earlier thread and agree that your weight was irrelevant to the exchange.

    • a., I just want to thank you. I also posted on that thread yesterday. I’m significantly overweight, and have been working hard to change that, now that we know that it’s a hormonal imbalance/disorder that is contributing to my problem (as well as, according to my doctor, a not-great metabolism).

      I hate the shape I see in the mirror. I’m counting calories, I’m working out, and while I’m seeing small changes, it’s a slow and painful process. I’m trying to learn to like my body how it is now, and still work toward better health and a shape I’m happier with. I’m trying not to let my desire to be thinner let me make unhealthy choices or lead me to disordered eating (though that’s hard).

      But in the end, I shame myself enough. I don’t need a stranger on the internet or a coworker or anyone else telling me I’m fat. I know I am. I don’t need to be told I’m unattractive, or have it implied that I’m lazy or that I don’t care about my health and am not trying because of my weight (all of which I felt were implied by the poster yesterday).

      It’s easy to judge others. I just wish we didn’t do it so often. You never know what someone else is struggling with, and the way to make someone healthier is never to shame them or make them feel like a second-class citizen.

      So, thank you.

      • I have a medical condition that causes weight gain and makes it very difficult to lose weight too. I’m sad to hear you say you shame yourself for your weight, and I hope you can find a way to be more at peace. You did a good job standing up for the OP in that post yesterday, so maybe you could defend yourself from your own judgments the same way? (if that makes sense at all)

        • It does make sense, and I really do try (and have improved). I’m really working on having a better relationship with my body, whatever its shape/weight happens to be at any particular moment.

          This is going to sound cheesy, but for me, the best way to combat these feelings has been to be more “present” in my body, and to focus on the things it does for me each day, and the things I’m teaching it to do, or to do more efficiently.

          • Not cheesy at all! I think doing yoga really, really helped me with my body image for that very reason.

      • ELS–one of the most powerful things I ever did for myself was to stop the self-shame. For years I would stare at myself in the mirror and nitpick every perceived flaw. I would stand on the scale and convince myself that I was worthless because I weighed two more pounds than I did the day before, and that if I could get below X I would be happy with myself. I would say to people, “I’m so fat,” even though I was anything but; I would talk about how wide my hips were, how my thighs touched, blah blah blah.

        And then I decided to stop. To just. F-ing. Quit it. First step was no longer verbalizing “I am fat.” I’d still think it, but I wouldn’t let myself say it. Second step was not permitting myself to think it. A bad thought would pop into my head, and I would not let it continue. I’d redirect, sing a catchy song to myself, give myself a compliment. Anything. I’m not going to claim that this is a magic cure for all self-shaming, but I just wanted to encourage you to examine the ways you talk about and think about yourself, because words matter. I am so, so glad that you are trying to help yourself get to a better place, and I hope that the healthy choices you are making for yourself bring you joy and pleasure.

        • I went through a similar change, and one thing that really helped me was stopping myself from judging other women. If I found myself thinking something negative about someone else’s appearence, I would force myself to notice something positive too. Like, if I thought, “Ew that dress is way to small for her,” I would catch myself and then note that she also had really pretty hair. After doing this for a while, it helped me become much gentler in the way I think about others and myself too.

        • Thanks. I’m working on it, really and truly. I do weekly weigh-ins, but have stopped the body measurements because really, for me, that road led to madness and really awful thoughts about myself.

          Instead, I’m focusing on training my body, and being present. I’ve started doing yoga again, in addition to re-staring running, and being able to connect to my body as something that DOES things and can learn things has really helped me think about it more positively (though obviously I’m not all the way there yet).

          And for now, I’ve stopped doing much mirror-looking at all, which, honestly, has really helped. I’m focusing instead on what I’m feeding my body, and what it does and how it feels.

        • I’m late to this thread, but in case anyone is reading and this could be helpful: my husband and I made a deal with baby #1 was born that we couldn’t say anything to ourselves that we wouldn’t want our son to say to himself. So no: I’m stupid, I’m fat, etc. Low self-esteem may be a condition, but negative self-talk is a habit. Our boy is about 4 now and we have pretty much broken the cycle of beating up on ourselves verbally. Second: I decided to lose a bit of weight last year and I chose Weight Watchers. I decided that whether the scale was up or down, whether I was 100% on point or had made some poor decisions, having a healthier diet and more active lifestyle is always a win. For those of you with medical conditions that make losing weight difficult, it may help to think of how well you are treating yourself when you choose healthy foods and activities. The weight thing is at least partially out of your control so focusing on the number will likely do more harm than good. Good luck, everyone. And love yourselves!

      • The hardest thing about weight and our relationship with it is that it frequently is completely divorced from science or health. Because even my skinny friends look in the mirror and see flaws. I’m not “overweight” but I don’t love everything I see in the mirror. And its not an American only phenomenon, my Italian roommates while I lived with them went on an all soup diet and hung pictures of models all around the kitchen to remind themselves not to eat.

        Its incredibly hard to separate feelings about appearance from feelings about health. I know i’d love to be a bit thinner. But because of several medical conditions, I’m really not supposed to try to lose weight. So its a struggle to feel like I would like to be a size 8 instead of a size 12, but also know its better *for me* that I stay where I am. Just like with yesterday’s poster — even if you recognize that perhaps there are health benefits to weight loss — that doesn’t mean you should tolerate a man who treats you like less for what you look like now.

        But its all so hard. And its taboo to talk about, which just makes it worse.

    • Not So Ego Bruised Anymore :

      Thanks, a. Those are interesting.

      At the risk of harping too much on DOOSH and his DOOSHY comments, after reading everyone’s helpful advice/stories/support, I had an odd epiphany after reading that so many of you lovely ladies hate or have hated the way you look (which doesn’t change my annoyance with BF or his jerkiness)…

      Even when I was -10-15 lbs heavier, I never hated or was shamed my body. I wasn’t thrilled with it, and sometimes was frustrated shopping for clothes, but it was never (and still is never) that bad. I may be frustrated with what my body can’t do physically (run fast, lift very heavy weights), but not really how it looks.

      But, he really hates the way HE looks and his extra weight. Everyday he comments on his weight gain — although he does say that people have said he’s in really good shape for his age (heh). He used to be in great shape, and now that he’s pushing 50 and has had some minor injuries, it’s harder to maintain. It drives me nuts. Because really, I didn’t care about his weight gain, until he started harping on it and I started becoming more conscious of what *I* wanted my body to look like. The complaining is unattractive, not his extra weight. I tried to be encouraging for a while, e.g. both of us signed up for Weight Watchers because HE wanted to monitor his eating, and I was the only one who did it for awhile (not for me, but it’s a good plan).

      But I realized when he does get on my case, it’s not actually about my appearance and he doesn’t say things like “your thighs are fat” — it’s about my not being as negative about myself as he is about himself. I get the feeling he wants me to hate my body and shame myself into eating better and working out more so he has company.

      Part of our discussion the other night was about his issues and his self-esteem. So while I’m mad at myself for not pushing back and/or dumping him the first time these conversations happened, I am also just really sad for him (as well as being mad at him).

    • Wow a. thank you so much for following up with this. Great articles, I’m skimming and bookmarking so I can go back! I think it’s so amazing how much misinformation is out there about this sort of thing. I do believe that part of the misinformation is that different things work for different people. But it’s also because there’s a powerful weight-loss complex out there that needs to sell their Xenadrine and Biggest Loser and etc…

      Finally, I am overweight because for the last 6 years I’ve sat on my a$$ first in law school, and then in a 70 hour/week job where at least two meals per week were required to be eaten in restaurants (“client development”), and was spent mostly on the road with never enough time to just sit down and have a healthy meal. At first lunch(and frequently dinner!) was subway, then it was taco bell. I didn’t have any “emotional issues” as insinuated by Associette, I had a work/life balance, no exercise and too much fat issue!!

      Some photographs brought reality crashing into me and I’m now a runner again, and as a result of that and being in a job where I work 40-50 hours/week and am encouraged to always brown bag my lunch…I’ve only lost 15 pounds and I wish it were more, I dislike the body I see in photographs, but I can run 6 miles in about an hour. I can run 1 mile in 9:30. You wouldn’t know it to look at me, but I’m actually getting back into pretty good shape. And YES, I’m losing weight because of that, but it’s the shape, the physicality of it all, that’s keeping me going.

      Sorry, this turned into all about exercise, but really the point is you can’t judge someone by what you see. And that’s what Associette did. Thank you for educating us all, a.

      • I couldn’t agree more on the not judging someone by what you see — I started running about 6 months ago, and although the speed and distance I can run have markedly improved, I haven’t lost a single pound (and I’m moderately overweight). I might look pretty much the same, but I know I’m fitter than I was 6 months ago, and I can feel it when I walk up stairs, bike into work, etc.

  12. Where my petite girls at? :

    I’m looking for suggestions on where to buy petite dresses (nonwork. Think brunches, bridal/baby showers, etc.). I am very short and short waisted so I typically shop at AT/Loft/Talbots (I know :)) and buy JCrew petite dresses with a fair amount of luck. But other than the coveted dress they sold out of, I’m not really seeing anything I like right now. I think perhaps I need to find some new stores and broaden my horizons. Any suggestions???

    • Most of my dresses are AT or Talbots, but I’ve had good luck with Target and Boden. You could check there. :-) (Oh…to be clear, I’m also petite.)

    • I’m borderline petite (small frame but 5’4), so I don’t know how useful this will actually be for you, but I find that a lot of Anthropologie dresses fit me well. I also love Zara. Consider giving Urban Outfitters a try as well–a lot of their stuff probably won’t be what you’re looking for, but they do have a wide selection of dresses on the website, and a lot of their stuff is geared more towards smaller people. And not to be a broken record, since I feel like I suggest this every time anyone wants to buy a piece of clothing–take a spin through TJ Maxx. I had a not-so-minor wardrobe emergency last week, and they had an absolute crapton of really cute dresses, many of which also fit (bonus!).

    • Check out the Extra Petite blog, that girl knows exactly what works on a petite frame. I follow her and I’m tall :)

    • a passion for fashion :

      Nordstrom’s petite dept

    • Other petite sizing, I do Nordstroms & Boden. Brooks Brothers (but that’s for suits).

      I also check out the blogs by extra petite and alternations needed – they are petite women who talk about their trials.

    • I’m 5’2.5″ and I just found a really cute party dress at Madewell in regular sizes. They had a few things that I think would work for petites, but I would definitely go to a store to try things on rather than ordering online.

      • Banana R, H&M too. It is tough!

        Can’t wait to be done with being petite + maternity clothes … the proportions just don’t work, haven’t been able to wear pants in weeks, have 3 dresses that can still get on and just wear my robe at home constantly.

        • I’m just starting the petite + maternity clothes! My regular pants no longer button. Where have you gone for maternity clothes? Most of the dresses I’ve tried on just look like potato sacks on me. My now 30DDDD chest isn’t helping.

          • Another anonymous :

            I mostly wore Old Navy or Gap maternity pants, though I also had some luck with JC Penney (they had petite maternity pants, at least a couple years ago) and Motherhood Maternity (since I really didn’t want to spend a lot of money on clothes I was wearing for <1 year). Also may be worthwhile looking at Target. Good luck!

          • I got nearly everything second hand at consignment shops. I had to cycle through tons of stuff and it was extremely challenging to dress corporately appropriate. Now I can’t wear pants at all (3 weeks and running), but even from the 2nd month, had pants troubles. The tops even with bands and panels are too tight of the legs fit and cause pain. If the top is big enough, the legs are swimmingly huge. EG usually wear a Gap 0. the Gap 2 and 4 mat pants- couldn’t even pull up panel 2nd trimester. So, I have a few dresses, which was tough in winter because of cold legs (tights made me too uncomfortabale to after mid-preg). And I had a few pants that worked for a while. But second hand was good for cycling through different brands, sizes, and seasons. Tops were rather easy- there are plenty of good ones out there. Ugly usually, but functional except that now that it’s warm, the prominance of synthetic materials is tough, so hot and itchy. I loved a few things I got in Vancouver at a second hand shop- from Paris and Australia! You don’t see those in the awful US market. Target has good casual stuff.
            Strangely, the only pants that worked well for me throughout are discontinued far as I can tell (wanted to get more). Tummi work pants are the only ones I can still get on (though they don’t stay up well and look like trash bag material) and a pair of sweatpants by Love21- Forever 21′s elusive maternity line. These are both the best for me. Good luck- it is a real, real challenge. Hoping to wear some of the massive stash on way back down to normal size after baby.

    • I’m 5’1″ and generally wear a 0 or 00. I’ve had luck at banana republic and at nordstroms & macy’s (particularly herald square), in addition to the stores you mentioned.

    • SpaceMountain :

      The tunics at Boden work great as comfy dresses for me. They have petite sizes, but not much selection, so I wear regular-sized tunics as dresses.

    • In addition to what others have suggested: Any dress that most commenters on here would complain is “too short for X” is usually perfect on me at 5’2.5.

      • I’m 5’2″ and wear a 6 petite. I’ve had a lot of luck with Lauren by Ralph Lauren petite dresses. I’ve bought them at both Macy’s and Lord and Taylor.

    • anon in SF :

      Also, have you checked out the blog “extra petite”? Kat links to things from it some times. Though not extra petite myself, I think the author has great style and some good ideas about where to shop.

    • another anon :

      Boden added a petite line recently. Also try Nordstrom’s petite dept.

    • I end up with AT dresses too often (because they always fit!) but I also have luck in Bloomies dress department went I search out the Ps.

  13. Law Firm Woes For Women :

    Re-posting for yesterday because I was late in the day and didn’t get many responses:

    Although this is not a new problem, I thought it would be interesting to get thoughts from “the hive.” I am new associate (graduated law school last year, started in September). I work in a large regional firm in a mid-sized city. Since I have started here, there seems to be a mass exodus of women from the firm – everyone from junior associates to partners. At least 6 (out of maybe 20 total) have left in the past year. I know this is the way of the world and an old problem (many of these women are leaving for more flexible hours because of children), but I am very concerned about my future at the firm. We basically have no women left…a couple of associates (maybe 5 or 6) and a few much older partners (3 or 4) who have been here forever. My firm has over 250 lawyers. After working here for the past months, I think the lack of women is due to the fact that the firm simply does not value things that make many women successful. My firm literally sees things only in terms of numbers and does the bare minimum to satisfy diversity requirements without really taking the issue seriously. Does anyone have any new insights on this age old dilemma? As a young woman who feels uncomfortable with this environment, what should/can I do? And finally, how can I find a more female-friendly (or maybe a more progressive, open-minded) place to work in the future?

    Read more: http://corporette.com/2012/05/16/suit-of-the-week-anne-klein-2/#ixzz1v8YjF5Tk

    • Did you see my response yesterday about the “No Glass Ceiling” initiative at the SF Bar?

    • Do you think you could go to one of the women partners to ask for her perspective?

    • I’m a banker not a lawyer, but have made my own way in a hugely male-dominated workplace. To a young analyst a year out from biz school with your question, I’d say it’s too early to worry about whether the firm’s attitude to women is your problem. At this stage, you need to get in the race to win and I’d say think more about building up experience, figuring out client dynamics and getting respect from the partners who supervise you. You need all this under your belt, even if you do leave for a more female-friendly environment in a couple of years.

      • Former MidLevel :

        I agree it’s too early to draw any meaningful conclusions. Try to learn as much as you can and build your skill set, but keep your eyes open for other opportunities in case it turns out that the firm is as bad as you fear. Good luck!

    • MaggieLizer :

      Do you work in my firm? No advice really, but I’ll be watching this thread. My impression is that firms fail to adopt diversity initiatives because they just don’t see these initiatives as having a positive impact on the bottom line. Old white men have been successful in business for a long time, so why not just maintain the boy’s club? Especially when so many young lawyers are still out of work and firms don’t have trouble recruiting more white men to take the place of the women and minorities who leave. It’s a really poor long-term business strategy; 50%+ of law school graduates are women, and nowadays many more men want to take advantage of family-friendly policies too. But some partners just don’t care about the long-term success of the firm they’ve been entrusted with as long as they’re raking in the cash today.

      As for what you can do, that depends on how pervasive these attitudes are among the partners who really have the power, and whether those partners are likely to continue to have power for the forseeable future. If they are, move firms. Keep in touch with the women who leave – I suggest happy hours where all women in your firm, past and present, are welcome – and ask them whether their firms are better and whether they have contacts at other female-friendly firms.

  14. Has anyone else been watching the HBO documentary series this week? (Posted in wrong place before.)

    • Haven’t watched, but I did read this article/critique on it. Very interesting and has had me not wanting any sugar the past few days. http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/05/06/why-the-campaign-to-stop-america-s-obesity-crisis-keeps-failing.html#comments

      • A diet similar to what that article/critique recommended is what did it for me. We had been living on pasta and we cut it out completely. We now eat meat/fish and fresh veggies. Snacks are cheese or nuts. I do have cereal for breakfast, but that’s my largest carb intake of the day. I’ve lost 50 pounds in under 6 months.

        • That is awesome! Congrats!! And glad to hear it works for you as it really does seem like the best way to eat.

          • I have a related question: Do you think that its important to cut out carbohydrates like pasta and bagels if one is at a healthy (even slightly low) weight. I eat a lot of pasta, bagels and baked goods, but I’m not overweight. I’m very active and I also eat good quantities of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, etc. I don’t really want to overhaul my diet (I like my bagels and ravioli) but I wonder if I should be cutting those things out for reasons other than weight.

          • I’ve always heard that carbs are ok if you’re exercising a ton. Because they turn into muscle. But if you’re not exercising much, then they turn into fat.

            But I’m not a doctor.

          • There is nothing wrongs with carbohydrates, and there is nothing wrong with pasta in particular.

            I am sorry if I sound annoying, but, please, no food group should ever be demonized. Please. Don’t do that to yourself.

            Speaking from years of disordered eating and obsessive eating behaviors, please believe me how much I mean it when I say that marking any food group as “bad” in only going to backfire eventually and will not make one happy. Pasta is just fine, a normal food on which certain populations’ diets have been centered for centuries. Made at home and with vegetables and whatever else you prefer, it’s a great meal.

          • Also, there is no nutrient that body turns into fat. Too many calories = fat stores. But all food groups are necessary for the body to function properly.

            I also believe that saturated fats are not “bad,” and that it’s far, far worse for a person to drink low-fat milk or cheese that has been produced from poor cows imbued with antibiotics and added hormones than natural (“ugh, hate the commercialized term, but, yes, that which is now sold as “organic”) whole milk. There is nothing better than whole, full-fat yogurt. (And, as a plus, it satisfies you and you won’t want more and more and more!)

    • I posted above, I’ve only seen the first episode but it is eye opening. I just read the first page of the daily beast article (not the whole thing) but it doesn’t jive with the first episode at all. I thought the emphasis was not on “oh eat right” but acknowledges that it is equal part hereditary and environment, and the environment is bad food, not just the amount of food. They focused on the relationship between poverty and obseity- its not just that we are eating a ton of food, but we are eating bad processed food. I don’t know I feel the daily beast article hasn’t actually seen the documentary and is just using it to write about his own research.

      But the hbo show- its shocking how overweight children are.

      • HereThere :

        It seems to me that the article is about why the miniseries is NOT going in the right direction/far enough and how his research shows that this is the real reason (as opposed to the general idea of the show/anti-obesity movement).

    • @ Supra (Obesity OP Here) :

      I have no idea, but I think that is what doctors and blood tests are for. At a certain point (where you are: healthy and good weight), it’s less about what you can observe with the naked eye and more about what the data tell your doctor. I also think that changes with age in that as you get older, you should have your bloodwork done (or done more frequently).

      • Its so rare that I go to the doctor for a healthy visit (probably haven’t done one in the last decade). I suppose it couldn’t hurt to see what my “numbers” are.

        I definitely understand the struggle to eat right all the time. I probably make healthy choices 75% of the time, but 25% of the time, I don’t want to make the healthy choice and I don’t. I’m blessed with good genes and have the time/desire/capability to be very active, so the 25% of not healthy choices don’t nescessarily show to the naked eye.

  15. Blonde Lawyer :

    To the poster with the dogs that just started peeing in the house:

    I can’t believe I just thought of this. My mother-in-law’s dog had the exact same problem. It came on out of nowhere, would go away, and then come back, also right after a move. Eventually the dog’s kidney levels were testing all out of whack and they said she had to be in kidney failure and they were on the verge of putting her down. The next day, she would be fine again. Everyone including the vets were stumped until . . .

    Someone suggested they check all their treats. Right after the move, the dog was spending some time w/ a neighbor who was giving her dog chicken jerky MADE IN CHINA. It was poisoning the dog! That is why her kidneys were out of whack and why she kept peeing in the house. It had nothing to do with the move. They stopped giving her the treats, she stopped peeing in the house and fully recovered.

    Please check all treats that your dogs may be getting from everyone! Please reply that you saw this. Other readers, if she doesn’t respond and I don’t get back to it, please repost for her on another thread!

  16. I have a ring problem–I have big knuckles and need the ring sized to get over them. However, they slide around on my fingers like crazy, and the stones get in the way when I’m typing. I usually only wear my wedding band and a small 1/4 carrat stone on my right hand. The little 1/4 carrat gets twisted between my fingers and cuts them up!

    How can I fix this?!

    • I have similar. no idea, it is annoying, but my rings have always slid due to the knuckle situation.

    • There are sizing attachments for rings that are flexible so you can flatten it out to get over the knuckle then it springs back to keep the ring in place. I am thinking of metal sizers, but I just found these plastic ones (cheap!): http://www.amazon.com/Snuggies-Sizer-Assorted-Sizes-Adjuster/dp/B00668J39Y/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1337266354&sr=8-3

    • Good Jeweler :

      Take them to a really good jeweler. The jeweler will slice open the shank on the inside (the part that is toward your palm and doesn’t show) and insert a hinge-type thing that allows you to open the ring to put it on/remove it and close the ring while you wear it so that it fits properly. This does not work, obviously, with eternity bands because there is no “inside” of the shank.

    • I’ve heard that adding sizing beads to the inside of the band can help with this — it help keeps the ring upright, while still keeping the ring big enough to get over your knuckles.

      That said, I have no personal experience with them — I have essentially carrot shaped fingers, so I have to buy my rings pretty tight or else they will slide right off my hands! At least you’re not in danger of losing your rings!

      • I’m laughing out loud right now, I never thought of any fingers as carrot shaped, but mine totally are too!! :-)

      • 2nd on the beads – I had a friend who had them put in on her ring and it totally worked. Kept her (rather heavy) ring from sliding around to the palm side of her finger.

    • I’ve never done this, but i also have big knuckles and itty bitty fingers, it isn’t as extreme as your example but it’s annoying. i once had a jeweler show me an example of a little metal ball that was welded into the inside of the ring band which allows it to be a big snugger on the finger but still be a larger size that fits your knuckles, ive seen it done before and it’s pretty clever.

    • TurtleWexler :

      I have sizing beads in my engagement ring. They’re basically two small beads of metal at about the 5:00 and 7:00 position inside the ring. They did help a lot with the spinning. But the downside is that it can hurt to carry heavy grocery bags and the like because the beads dig in pretty viciously. There is also a thing called a butterfly sizer, which attaches in the bottom center of the ring (the “body” of the butterfly) and has a small strip of tensile metal on either side (the “wings”) that bend down when you put the ring on but then spring up to hold it tighter to your finger. Sorry for the bad description, but hopefully it makes sense. Anyway, I would have preferred that type, but it can be hard to find a jeweler who does them — beads are much more common — and the warranty of my “brand name” ring would be voided if anyone else worked on it, so I was stuck with what they offered. Anyway, both of these options work best if the difference between your knuckle and the base of your finger is within a ring size or so. If its much more than that, the hinged option described above would probably be more comfortable.

    • I have this problem. I had my wedding band and engagement ring sized up, and then had small metal beads placed inside the bands to keep the rings from turning/rocking. Works perfectly! I don’t like the idea of having the band spliced open to add a hinge. That seems strange to me, unless your knuckles are so big that you’d need to size up to such a degree that the beads inside the band wouldn’t work. But, I think you’d need freakishly huge knuckles for that kind of problem.

    • lucy stone :

      I have a comfort fit band on my engagement ring to prevent this. http://www.stuller.com/products/64602/?groupId=33494

      I love it because the stone has never once turned all the way around.

  17. Suggestions? :

    I am discouraged and don’t really know where else to go. My husband and I had always discussed me going on a reduced work schedule (I’m a 4th year in Biglaw) after our first child arrives (August). Having run the numbers, we just can’t make it work without really, terribly scrimping, which isn’t realistic.

    Since we’ve been married, I have always made more money than him, but he’s in an industry with the potential to make a lot more money. To make more money in his field requires a lot of movement between jobs, however. He is much more of a “put your head down, work your tail off in your current position,” than someone likely to jump between jobs. I’m really struggling right now because I am feeling resentful that he didn’t take more risks over the last several years while we both were pulling in good salaries, and now we are in a situation where I feel like I’m going to have to deal with a lot more of the childcare (i.e., hoping to breastfeed for at least six months, and logistically, will be the primary pick-up/drop-off for childcare) but can’t reduce my schedule to do so. Also, we had always talked about me ramping down and moving to a different practice while our kids were young, and he ramps up to be primary breadwinner, so him slowing down to become primary caregiver of our baby also doesn’t make sense.

    I don’t want to diminish his contributions to our marriage, and he’s done a lot professionally over the last several years. These things just haven’t necessarily translated into a financial gain. I don’t know how to get over being angry at a situation that although it may change down the road, realistically won’t change before the baby comes. We got in a big fight about it this morning, and he knows that I’m resentful/angry, a feeling that isn’t fair to either of us. Any suggestions? Thoughts?

    • Can you afford to go to a 75% or 80% schedule if that’s an option? IME it’s that last bit that really makes it harder. That said, I’m full-time in biglaw with a 6 month old (I pump 3x a day) and a 3 year old and I’m tired most of the time, but it’s actually not so bad, and having a spouse with a less intense/more flexible job has been really, really great. I do the morning childcare transition and he does the evening.

    • I’m sorry you’re in such a frustrating situation. I would encourage you to reevaluate your career/childcare plans from a blank slate, based on where you are today. Don’t be tied to “what you had always talked about” or what your plan was 5 years ago. Neither of you could have predicted then what your future would bring.

      It seems like you really want to work less and spend more time with the kids, so it wouldn’t be satisfactory if your husband became the primary caregiver/part time worker. Not sure if true, that’s just the vibe I got. If so, you need to look at cutting back expenses to make it possible.

      If you’re currently in Biglaw, I promise there is plenty of room to cut back. Remember- you’re essentially making a value judgment that giving your kids more of your time will be more valuable to them than the extra cash. It may be that you need to make dramatic changes, like relocating geographically- somewhere closer to family who can help out and/or somewhere with a lower cost of living. If you live in a high COL area, it can feel impossible to cut expenses. Are you underwater on a mortgage or otherwise stuck financially? I mean really stuck, not “golden handcuffs” stuck.

      Either way, try to let go of the resentment before you have this conversation with your husband, to avoid it turning into another fight. This is no one’s fault. Approach it like a team, start with a blank slate, and come up with a new plan based on your current circumstances.

    • Agree with Anon 42. Without knowing more about your specific industries, facetime requirements at work, etc. I would say that an 80% schedule is much more do-able for a new mom than full time work. Alternatively, can you phase back in at the office — working 2-3 days a week to start, then after a month or two going to 3-4 days? Especially if you’re BF’ing, your body is going to appreciate not having to go back to the office full-throttle (at least, that’s my experience).

      Otherwise, if you have to go back full-time, perhaps consider a nannyshare or some other more personalized childcare experience vs. a daycare center. (I say this as someone whose kid is in a corporate-sponsored — husband’s workplace — daycare center 3x/week; Grandma watches DD the fourth day and I have one day off per week.) But if someone can come to your house — or heck, if you can drop your kid off at someone else’s house in jammies! — that alleviates a lot of childcare stress.

      • Suggestions? :

        Thanks for the responses so far. Unfortunately, we can’t make an 80% schedule work financially. I think my work would be okay with it, but it would basically eliminate our ability to save (b/c we’d still have to pay for a nannyshare, and my salary, which pays most of our expenses, would also take a hit – so, big added expense, plus lost income = no savings).

        KK is correct; I do want to spend more time with the baby. Also, my husband, though he makes less, does not really have more flexibility than I do. In other words, we are both in high stress, demanding jobs, and I had assumed I would be able to slow down and make it work. If I can’t – I just don’t see how we are going to manage this schedule with a child.

        As far as moving, I’ve been pushing for us to move to where either of us grew up (lower COL), but husband is determined to “make it” in his current field, which is specific to our high COL city. Bottom line, I just don’t think he’s being realistic about what’s going to happen when the baby comes, and I’m really, really frustrated/disappointed by it.

        • To be honest, its hard to tell how realistic you are being without knowing what your expenses are. The fact that 80% is impossible financially is hard for me to believe (on its face- not saying its not true!) with you being fourth year and he also working. When is the baby due? Is this something that is within 9 months away of you are talking about some time in the future? If the future, you have plenty of time to start saving. Also what is your definition of “terribly scrimping”

          And I hope this post doesn’t sound like rich-shaming or whatever. I’m trying to get an idea of how realistic your being, as well as your husband

          • also, keep in mind that depending on what you plan to do once baby is school age as far as public vs. private, your child care expenses will only be so high for a few years (that’s what I tell myself anyway), so not being able to save much or at all during that limited time period may be worth the trade-off of having more time.

          • I also want to add my questions about being realistic are more based on if the baby is a few years away. If its soon, obviously you have a better picture of where you will be financially

          • One compromise might be moving to a cheaper suburb for a few years. Hellish commute, but if you’re able to work less as a result, it might be worth it.

          • Ditto on the 80% of biglaw salary… this sounds more like panic/not planning/golden handcuffs more than actual financial ruin.

            I agree with the 80% part time suggestions, and also doing some budgeting. If you have a lovely, pricey apartment and many high fixed-cost items, I suggest cutting back on those and/or moving to a cheaper place before the baby comes, and perhaps talking to your student loan people for a revised payment plan. The idea that two adults and one baby cannot live on 80% of biglaw salary is mind-boggling, really.

          • Suggestions? :

            I tend to be more conservative with savings, so there may be more room than I’m really allowing for. Also, we paid two out of our three graduate degrees in full over the last four years and reduced the third degree by about $25K, so our debt is low (except our mortgage) but we don’t have a ton of liquid savings (am reconsidering right now whether it was smart to put the $130K towards educational debt, rather than in the bank!).

            Also, we have some “unique” expenses that make an already high COL even higher (terminally ill family member, which requires some support and regular airline travel). We are cutting out what we can, but if I reduce my schedule, we won’t really continue to accrue savings/investment/college, only retirement or some emergency funds.

            Ugh, I realize all of this is really saying get thee to a financial planner, which we have scheduled. It’s just that I’m working through the frustration that even though I felt like we were doing well, if I cut back, it will really hurt/forestall a lot of our financial goals. I guess I am so ashamed to admit that I can’t stop thinking that if he made my salary, and I his, then we’d be able to afford for me to slow down but still meet (many) of our financial goals. I hate that I feel that way, and I hate that he knows I feel that way. I’m so proud of him in so many other ways.

          • Suggestions? :

            Also, the baby is due in a few months :) So, yes, full-blown panic/overreaction/emotional/hormonal responses are probably accurate.

          • Your financial goals are unrealistic, given your situation. What you’re saying, basically, is that you cannot cut out (or at least drastically down) saving for college for a not-yet-born child, even if it means spending more time with said child and relieving some stress on your marriage. I think you are losing the forest for the trees, as far as life/financial planning.

            Don’t worry about college savings. That is not a necessary expense right now. If when your husband makes more or you move and cut expenses, you can ramp up savings. Ditto for investments outside of retirement. What the eff are you investing it for when you can’t make your present situation work?

            I am all about responsible finances and planning, but I think you are mortgaging the present to set up an idealistic future. It’s oddly the exact opposite of the problem most people have.

          • It sounds like you’ve been a diligent saver thus far, so taking a couple years off of general investment and extra saving won’t destroy your retirement prospects. Just keep that emergency fund full and cut back to 80%. Your baby needs YOU more than your baby needs your money.

          • Suggestions? :

            KK – I don’t disagree at all, and when it comes down to it, we will cut back on the other financial items.

            I probably should reframed my main issues as (a) being resentful at being the primary breadwinner, and (b) being disappointed in myself that I feel this way. I can hear my 25 year old self screaming when I think it – but I just keep thinking: “if our salaries were reversed, these decisions wouldn’t have nearly the same impact.”

            Thanks to everyone for the thoughts and suggestions. As we get closer to the due date, I am certainly anxious about a lot of things, and the finances are an easy proxy for a lot of upcoming uncertainty in our lives!

          • “As we get closer to the due date, I am certainly anxious about a lot of things, and the finances are an easy proxy for a lot of upcoming uncertainty in our lives!”

            I think you just hit the nail on the head here.

            Give yourself permission to be anxious. Having a baby is really really scary.

            But you don’t need to take that fear out on your husband by blaming him for not being ambitious enough in his career.

            And understand that you won’t feel this upset forever, and have faith that the two of you with be honest with each other about your worries and concerns, and that you’ll find a way to make it work.

            For what it’s worth, I agree with the others that maybe it’s ok to stop socking $$ away for a year or two if it means you can spend actual time with your baby.

        • Well is it possible for you to temporarily work 80% time? Perhaps two months @80% wouldn’t be as much of a hit as a permanent 80% schedule, and it would give you time to get your bearings. 60 days of no savings, too, wouldn’t be as big a deal as years and years of living this way.

        • Sorry — I’m all over this thread today! But I had another thought. Is moving jobs a possibility for one or both of you? When I had my daughter I was fortunate enough to get an offer (former client) for a permanent position that stemmed from some work I’d done as a consultant (I was on mat leave from my consulting job at the time the offer came through). It was totally karmic because I was worried about juggling an unpredictable consulting schedule with a newborn, and my new position (which I’m still in) is uber-flexible and close to home. Perhaps you or your husband could look to transition into a new job when your kiddo is a few months old — and look for some place that allows you a flexible schedule or telecommuting.

        • You’re too hard on yourself! This is really tough stuff. And that resentment you’re feeling is common, so is the guilt related to it. I really think there have been at least 3-4 somewhat similar posts just this week from women seeking advice on work-life-marital balance with children. That alone should tell you that you’re in good company.

          And acknowledging the resentment is the first step to dealing with it, so bravo on being able to say it out loud.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I think this is one of those you can’t have it all situations and something is going to have to give. I would make a list of all of the options with all of the consequences and see if you can agree to one that is the least painful. Do either of you have a retired parent that could stay with you while you figure some of it out?

      I’ve also noticed most lawyers don’t have set hours and just have to work enough to get it done and make hours. Could you leave the office earlier or come in later each day without any formal reduced hours arrangement?

      You also focus a lot on savings. I think you have to just focus on getting by, pay check to pay check at first. Know your necessities only. Put loans into forbearance. Stop funding the 401k if you have to. Give yourself some slack to make it work and then figure out how to get where you really want to be.

  18. The same beautiful dress (tan sheath with large pink/red florals) showed up on Courtney Cox on Cougar Town and on Paget Brewster on Criminal Minds this week. Anyone know (or has enough google-fu) what dress it is?

    See pics here: http://www.polyvore.com/what_is_this_dress/set?id=49102246

  19. All right ladies, wardrobe basics question: what is your favorite brand of white button down shirt? I love the look of a crisp white shirt with a pencil skirt or a great pair of trousers, but haven’t found one in person I adore. Bonus points for non-iron, but I’m willing to bust out the iron for this.

    Corollary: all of my white tops eventually succumb to armpit stains (ew, gross, I know). I’m an avowed Oxyclean user but somehow have not figured out how to leverage it to remove armpit stains. Thoughts from the hive?

Add a comment.

Questions? Check out our commenting policy. Tech problems? Please report it to the tech team.