Wednesday’s TPS Report: Wool Dress

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

Adrienne Vittadini Wool DressI gotta say: I love a good sale. This Adrienne Vittadini dress looks like a great one — wool knit, classic styling, modest hem and neckline — and it’s on a pretty deep discount: was $355, now $124. According to the (mostly positive) reviews it runs large, so FYI — Neiman Marcus has the purple in S/M/L, while the red is only left in L/XL. Adrienne Vittadini Wool Dress

P.S. Also in this price range: Last Call has a number of interesting pieces from Lafayette 148 New York on deep discount, including an interesting-yet-basic silk tee available in white, black and navy for $132 (down from $348).

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

Comments

  1. Love this!

    • Anon in NYC :

      Me too! Sadly, it seems like Neiman Marcus no longer has a medium size in purple. But it’s good for my wallet, since I’m on a semi-shopping ban.

      • I love VITTADINI! And in purple, even tho it looks tight, I am goeing to ORDER it in SMALL today from Neiman Marcus! YAY!

        Philip texted me a picture of him holding a fish on a boat. He looks a little chubby, but that is OK, b/c I am also. I could ONLY hope he does NOT have fish breathe–UGH! I texted him that I could meet him tomorow if he is availeable and we could go to Grand Central. Let’s see if he takes me for FISH CHOWDER or to Micheal Jordan’s? This will be the test, if he can aford me. I do have some MINIMUM standard’s when it comes to a husband and I will NOT eat (or cook) fish chowder for HIM (or me, or the baby). FOOEY!

        David is also texteing me, but for now, I have to focus on Philip b/c he is the one with the money and the good job. If I can get him to MARRY me, I will not need David or Fish Breathe. DOUBEL FOOEY! Myrna still is pusheing for fish breathe. I realy don’t know why, but I have NOT dismised him yet, mainley b/c he can take me to the MET’s games and he know’s Myrna’s family.

    • I love the color of this dress but not the neckline. Has anybody tried the halogen seamed shheath dress? Is it the skirt in dress form? http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/halogen-seamed-sheath-dress/3519641?origin=keywordsearch&contextualcategoryid=2375500&fashionColor=Blue+Horizon&resultback=262

  2. momentsofabsurdity :

    This has been making the social media rounds but I don’t think I’ve seen it posted here — sorry if it has been!

    Dove asked women to describe themselves to an FBI sketch artist. Then the company asked random strangers to describe the women to the artist. The results of the two pictures are startling and a good reminder that we are always (by far) our worst critics.

    http://realbeautysketches.dove.us/

    • This is so awesome.

    • Famouscait :

      This was so neat – thanks for sharing! Regardless of the outcome, it’s an interesting look through someone else’s eyes.

    • Wow, that’s really powerful. Made me think about how I would describe myself!

    • So cool! I’ve changed quite a bit recently and am struggling to update the image in my head. I keep buying things too big.

    • Just an opposing view, for the sake of conversation:

      http://www.policymic.com/articles/35593/can-this-new-dove-campaign-make-you-believe-you-re-more-beautiful-than-you-think

      (I found the polymic link from here – http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/marketing/watch-doves-latest-on-beauty-perceptions/article11267769/ )

      The last couple paragraphs are the most critical, where the author basically says “yeah, this is great, but we, as ladies, really shouldn’t be relying on others for validation”.

      And honestly, the constant pressure to be “attractive” as a lady, has personally been pretty crushing, as of late (even though objectively, I’m relatively cute), and I just keep trying to remember, as somone on this site pointed out once, that I don’t “owe” it to anyone to be pretty.

        • This article completely reflects how I felt when I viewed the video. Beauty encompasses all ages, sizes and races, but this video reinforces the societal message that there is only a narrow ideal of beauty (slim, young, light/white) and the closer you are to that ideal, the more beautiful you are.

      • I enjoyed that article. I think it sums up the feelings I had but wasn’t able to articulate about the video.

        It also p*sses me off that Dove also owns Axe. I’ve always felt like this “real beauty” campaign is actually just a marketing ploy but now it’s clear. They’re telling women what they want to hear, and they’re telling men that women are just objects.

        • I don’t get it — why would it be anything other than “just a marketing ploy”? Legally, a corporation like Unilever must act in a way to maximize shareholder value. Corporations are excellent tools for the promotion of business and economic prosperity. But if you want a charity or non-profit, go find a charity or non-profit.

          • I get your point, and I was okay with it when I didn’t realize they also own Axe. It’s just the hypocrisy of it. It was also that everyone acted like they should buy Dove just because they were really making a social statement, etc. People acted like Dove is just doing a good thing, when actually they don’t care whether people see true beauty, they’re just trying to get you to buy their products. But like I said, I was fine with it until I just learned they own Axe. There are ways to market products to males without teaching all (especially young) males that women are objects. Their ads are disgusting.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          To clarify –

          Dove does not “also own” Axe. They are both owned by a larger parent company (Unilever). As someone who once worked for a company bought by a bigger conglomerate type company – one of the things the bigger company is buying is the human capital, internal systems, and overall brand of the product. Dove and Axe almost certainly have very little to do with each other on a day to day basis. It’s possible (though not necessarily probable) they commonly negotiate or combine manufacturing or distribution contracts, have merged some HR/payroll systems and employees get a discount on products under the Unilever brand.

          But it’s really, REALLY not like one day they’re coming up with an Axe campaign, and the next day it’s a Dove campaign. It’s different people, different teams, different systems, different HR, different ethos, and most probably completely different locations.

        • Speaking of Axe, something funny happened in our house last weekend. My professional, grown up, enlightened husband bought new hair gel. It was Axe. He put it in and then came to find me and had me smell him. He said “do you like it? Will I get some?” I thought it was funny that a middle age man is paying attention to those commercials and thought it would help :)

      • Interesting. And I agree re not needing external validation. It’s a losing battle anyway: if we’re lucky, we will all outlive our conventional beauty by decades. I actually asked mr. Monday not to stop telling me that I’m hotter than so-and-so, because at some point it just won’t be true anymore and I don’t want to notice either that he stopped saying it, or that he keeps saying it but must be fibbing. I feel like challenging the need for praise is a better strategy than making sure you get the praise.

        • Er typo. I asked him to stop, not to not-stop.

          • Really? I think in the eyes of a loved one, you are always beautiful. Even knowing that my BF probably finds me more beautiful than maybe I objectively am, I wouldn’t want him to stop. Maybe in your husband’s eyes you will always be more beautiful and hotter than so-and-so.

            I guess it’s that “external validation” that we are not supposed to need, but it makes me feel more confident and I actually care less about external validation from other sources. Maybe external validation, even from just a small number of truly genuine sources, builds internal validation?

          • @PollyD, I don’t think beauty and hotness are the same thing. I would hope a SO would always find me beautiful, but I recognize as I get older my hotness will decrease. I’m fine with this – I don’t care about hotness, but I will always care about being beautiful.

      • The Globe’s been publishing inflammatory articles lately, likely to stir up angry debate in their comments section since readership has declined. I miss the the old Globe, it used to be a great paper. Now it’s a desperate rag.

        • Oh, I totally agree that the G&M is generally a awful, and I really dislike Margaret Wente, in particular, with a passion, but…I had this reaction to the Dove campaign regardless, and linking the G&M article was easier than writing out a novella post.

          And, it’s not like our other news media options are all that stellar either, so am I really picking the worst of the worst by linking to the G&M? I just sort of read them all, with a critical eye, which I’m pretty sure is how you’re supposed to approach media generally. The only national content I truly enjoy is CBC, but it’s not extensive enough. I still wish we had an equivalent to the NYT.

          • No kidding. I’ve been trying to figure out whether to subscribe to the Globe or to the National Post, but am so skeptical of both that I’ve been paralyzed with indecision for 6 months.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        I agree that tying our “worth” to beauty is problematic. I see the criticism of the campaign. But at the same time – as much as I want to say “yes, it doesn’t matter to me if I’m pretty or not” — it does. I have internalized the pressure, to some degree, and it’s nice to be reminded that even though there are so, so, so many things that are so, so, so much more important than “beauty” as a measurement of my worth – even my personal beauty is not so very nonexistant as it seems some days when I look in the mirror.

        Of course, it is a marketing stunt. Whoever is running Dove social media and marketing is pretty smart. The campaign pushes buttons and makes people think – but yes, ultimately, it’s to sell product. It’s still nice to see a campaign that isn’t in general about a very very specific subset of a certain type of beauty.

        But I think we turn a critical eye on ourselves generally. I think if it were possible, for example, to do this experiment with personality – if I described my personality to someone, and then after speaking with a stranger briefly, had them describe me — there would be similar results. I’d say some nice things, but mostly focus on my flaws – since those are the things I spend most of my time thinking about, I don’t walk around thinking “Wow, I’m so incredibly awesome!” (Sheryl Sandberg would probably say that men do) while strangers would probably describe my better qualities (the video hints at this with some of the descriptions — “Her eyes light up when she smiles” etc). Whether tied to beauty or not – I think it’s good to remind ourselves that yes — we can give ourselves a break. We’re not nearly so awful as we sometimes feel we are.

        • Oh, I agree with you MOA, I very much wish I didn’t care whether I was pretty, but I do care, and I should be easier on myself and remember that I am my worst critic.

          I care how I look to others a lot, in fact, much more than I should, which is why I thought it was worth pointing out the criticisms – because if I don’t remind myself that I don’t have to be pretty, it’s basically a perpetuating cycle where I continue to internalize the pressure and I feel worse and worse about myself, and less and less valuable as a person, and unnecessarily so.

          I’m sure many of the readers here are, like myself, quite “Type-A”, and very self-critical, and so…instead of reminding myself to give myself a break from the pressure to be “pretty” (which I do frequently), sometimes I need to take a step back and think about the framework and why I even feel like I need to give myself a break, because the pressure shouldn’t be there at all. I’m more than just how I look, and remembering that, even if I’m not blonde, tall, etc, I am still “valuable”.

      • RussiaRepeat :

        Agreed. I clicked on one of the videos and it featured an incredibly thin, beautiful white woman with blond hair, so I clicked right back off. How is that pushing the boundaries of what we already see?

        Also I think it’s BS that feeling attractive to strangers is supposedly so important.

      • lawsuited :

        “Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a spot marked “female”.”

    • Also, did anybody else notice that all of the self-described sketches looked scary/angry because they didn’t have a smile on their expressions vs. the other-described sketches had smiles–which probably made a world of a difference in making the sketch look more/less “beautiful”??

      That could have easily been manipulated by the sketch artist. Unless each person described the stranger as “having a pleasant smile.” But I think it was too uniform to not be his conscious decision.

      • Agree that I thought it was totally manipulated by the sketch artist. 1. Some of them weren’t a stricking difference to me, but two. even if both yourself and a stranger described you as round face, blue eyes, etc, the sketch artist has a lot of leeway on what that comes out as.

  3. Just found out that I am going to be an aunt again around Christmas! Happy happy happy!

  4. I need to rant. I was hired to start a new program at a mid-sized non-profit. The new program is my expertise. However, since I am “young” (gasp, 28!) and only have 3 years of experience outside of research management (which adds another 5 years) they refused to hire me as a director. I took the job anyway, but they put me under a director of a different program who doesn’t understand my topic area and is really messing up my messaging. He is preventing me from doing my job effectively and I am having to correct errors he is making. I really wish they’d just let me run my own program!!

    • Can you run it without running it? That is, you do everything you’d do as director, then just get his stamp on it? If he’s already the director of another program, he might appreciate basically not having to worry about actually directing your program. You won’t get the credit initially, but if you keep track of what you’re doing, you can lobby for a promotion there or use your experience to get a director-level job elsewhere in a year or two.

      • Problem is, he sees my program as merely a vehicle to promote his program whereas I (and the president of the org I will add) see it as much bigger than his program. He’s a road block and makes it really difficult to actually get my program out the door.

    • I know it feels really frustrating but as someone who works in the same sector, I would think of 3 years as still somewhat inexperienced (I realize it’s a total of 8 years but seems like only 3 of those were in this area?). Nonprofits often see so many new initiatives and new people coming in wanting to try new things that they sometimes (rightly) get wary of allowing someone to drive their vision until they have tested them a bit. When performance is not measured by profits, it’s harder to ensure alignment with culture, vision and mission right away. I urge you not to get angry or get defensive about this… if you do, they will only feel like they were right not to let you run your own thing. Maybe this manager has not had any conversations about the vision of your program and you may need to invest him in your vision. And if you can do that, it will prove that you can invest others in your vision too. And once you have proven you can do it, I am sure you will get more independence but I really urge you to approach this with maybe just a little bit less entitlement.

  5. networking question :

    I just got an email at the account I used to use for everything–now it’s private stuff and ads only, with a more professional-sounding account for work stuff–saying that someone invited me to Twitter. I’m not on Twitter, think Facebook and LinkedIn are enough social networking for me. BUT she sounds really interesting, if she’s who I think she is (I googled her name; one of the first entries is someone I’d love to get to know). How do I respond to this? I see that replying to the link send her a message through Twitter. If I just say “I’m not on Twitter. Are you at [organization]”, does that sound off-putting? What do I say and how can I work this into a positive networking experience for me?

    She’s in the field I want to be in and one of my top desired geographic locations.

    • networking question :

      Is this any better?

      Hi!
      Are you the [full name] who’s at [organization]?
      I’m not on Twitter. What other social media do you do?

    • Not familiar with Twitter at all, but I’ve received “invitations to Facebook” from cursory acquaintances that must have been the result of Facebook raiding the person’s address book. This individual might not even be aware of Twitter sending messages on their behalf.
      That said, if you really want to connect with this person, seek her out on LinkedIn.

      • Agree- this isn’t her personally reaching out to you. You are in her address book. But no harm sending her a linked in invite

        • Anonymous :

          That makes it even more strange, because I’ve never heard of her. I assumed she’d gotten my name from a publication or conference program. Hmm..

          • Anonymous :

            maybe you are both on the same email list for something. But you just can’t type into twitter “request that Mary SoandSo join twitter” she has to have your email address. And no one, if they had your email address, would ask you to join twitter instead of sending the email. So she must have emailed you for something, but perhaps she sent it through a newsletter

  6. Jacket recs? :

    Can anyone help me shop for a springtime jacket? Looking for something to wear in the SF Bay area that’s warmer than a cardigan but not a full-on coat.

    Preferably something on the nicer side of casual that I could wear with jeans or a skirt.

    I’m finding it surprisingly difficult to find options, so any help is appreciated!

  7. I *wish* I could get rid of the poochy tummy so I could wear that.

    Then again, wool allergy…it’s not meant to be.

  8. Dieting and socializing :

    Hey ladies. Need some advice. How do you all handle dieting and socializing? What I mean is: how can one effectively diet and also have a social life? I’m trying to lose a few pounds, and sticking to a calorie-counting diet works well for me. I’m not so intense about it that I can’t cut loose once a week–but I’d like to see my friends more than that. Trouble is, the only way people seem to socialize is through eating or drinking. Does anyone have any ideas of how to regularly see friends without eating out several times a week?

    • Reg. Anon. :

      Dude, I have no clue, but I also have the problem. I’ve tried cutting out food on days that I drink alcohol to keep within a range of calories, but…last friday was a disaster, and I missed a saturday morning workout because of that plan, so it was a fail. Add in work lunches, dinners with friends, etc., it’s no wonder I’m not losing weight faster.

      I have one friend that is a “gym buddy”, and it works really well, but none of my other friends are into it. Maybe when the weather gets better? Sigh.

    • I meet friends to walk/stroll after work. It’s not a power walk intended for exercise. But rather a time we can get together, stop sitting on our butts (after doing so all day at the office), and catch up. Not only does it help me not eat/drink out so often, it’s also free so it’s good for my bank account too.
      I’ve had a couple friends tell me they love it that they can get together with me for something other than a meal.

      Meeting at a coffee shop and having coffee or tea is another option.

    • Diana Barry :

      When I was dieting I would still go out, but I would eat (1) salad with dressing on the side; (2) diet coke; (3) shrimp c-tail; and a few other things (if you post the type of food I can give suggestions). Since the weather is getting nicer, you could organize a group walk/outdoor hangout instead.

    • Here are a couple ideas:

      It’s springtime! Can you get together to play frisbee or hang out in the park? The recent conversation on here about apples vs. cupcakes suggests that if you give dieting as a reason, people will take offense & think you mean them. But you could use nice weather as a reason to get outside (& away from food)

      Have everybody over to your place for a cookout–grilled food doesn’t have a lot of fat or calories, and a fresh green or fruit salad is an easy side that happens to fit most diets. Even if you don’t serve exactly that menu, you still have more control if you’re doing the work.

      get together someplace that requires everyone to bring their own food, like a concert in the park. Don’t trade bites.

      standard boring advice: figure out your order ahead of time, get sauces on the side, etc.

      Good luck!

    • I did Weight Watchers last year and lost 20 lbs, so I kind of know where you’re coming from. Do you all typically plan ahead where you’re going? One of the things I would do was check the restaurant’s menu ahead of time online and get an idea of what they offered and make a mental list of what was and was not ok for me (a lot of chain restaurants now offer detailed dietary info of their meals on their website). Another option is if you know of places that have a good selection of foods that jive with your diet plan, suggest them to your friends. Also, never be afraid to ask that small changes be made to your meal to make it more inline with your diet (dressing on the side, no mayo on the sandwich, veggies or salad instead of fries, etc).

      • Anon in NYC :

        I agree with the advice about suggesting restaurants with healthier options. So often there are restaurants that simply do not have anything that fit with my eating plan. It’s so much easier to make healthy choices when there are actually healthier choices on the menu.

        Also, something that I’ve recently noticed (in my own calorie counting), is that home cooking really is just better for you. Everyone says this, but I had a few days where I was eating out for every meal back-to-back with some days where I ate home cooked meals for every meal, and I was amazed at how much more I could eat with home cooked food (and also how satisfied I was with fewer calories). I could eat 3 meals out, and go over my allotted calories for the day, or I could eat 3 home cooked meals and a snack and still be under my calories. Volume matters to me, so this was really eye opening.

        Point being: maybe entertain at home a little more frequently.

      • MaggieLizer :

        I’ve found it really helpful to pick out what I want to eat ahead of time, too. If I go to a restaurant, even if there are healthy options, I see and smell all the fatty stuff and WANT SO BADLY! But if I’ve already made up my mind that I’m having X, or Y if they’re out of X, I’m not as tempted. I do the same thing with drinks; just decide ahead of time that I’m having a gin and tonic and then I don’t even open the drink list.

    • Seconding the walk and talk. We also have people over to play board games (geeky stuff and more social games like Taboo), and we generally put out some healthier snacks (veggies and low fat ranch dressing). I think socializing around food at someone’s house is generally easier to keep healthy, plus it’s cheaper (especially for alcohol).

    • There are some great suggestions here, so I’ll just say, I hear you! I put on about 10 lbs post-marriage/post-turning 30 and I just hate how social events, which are supposed to be fun and stress-relieving, become incredibly stress-provoking.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Doing physical activity is a good one (and relatively inexpensive) – hiking, going on a walk or run, taking a yoga class, etc. Plus, usually after some sort of workout, people don’t want to indulge in a lot of alcohol or calorie dense foods.

      Other options, depending on your location, include museums, plays, movies. I’ve also found that brunch or lunch can be a good meal option – people are less likely to drink (or drink excessively), and you have an easier time controlling your food compared to a dive bar at 11pm.

      And, also, another option is to just not match your friends drink for drink. Drink more slowly, alternate drinks with water, etc. If your friends ask you about it, just say that you’re trying to drink less or that you have an early morning gym glass the next morning. Hold a glass of water (or whatever) in your hand so you don’t feel awkward.

    • My friends and I joined a rec league last year in our city. We now play dodgeball, kickball, softball and flag football throughout the year. It gives us a chance to hang out throughout the week sans alcohol. I’m not sure if they have similar leagues in your area, but it’s an idea!

    • I still go out to eat with friends but just watch what I eat. Just because the group orders nachos, does not mean that I have to eat them. I usually look up the menu earlier to know my options and often box up half of my meal.

      • Ugh, but this is exactly what makes things so difficult. I don’t know about you, but I LOOOVE nachos! So I’d be sitting there, not really able to fully engage in the conversation because part of my brain is busy saying “no-nachos-no-nachos-no-nachos” then another part says “okay, TWO nacho chips” then focuses on “mmmm, one nacho, mmmm, last nacho, enjoy the nacho” and then my brain has to go back to “no-more-nachos-no-more-nachos-no-more-nachos.” It’s just really a huge pain in @ss when I’m trying to unwind with friends.

        • I just go ahead, eat the nachos, and eat less the next day. It isn’t everyday that I get to sit around chatting with my friends and eating nachos.

          And FWIW, I am using My Fitness Pal, and experiencing success with my current method!

    • I also wouldn’t hesitate to suggest another activity with friends. When I reach out to hang out with someone I usually suggest drinks/coffee/dinner because those are basics, I would be totally game if someone suggested a walk/museum visit/whatever instead. Likely the other person doesn’t know that your dieting and would be totally amenable taking part in another activity instead if you suggested it.

    • big dipper :

      All of the above suggestions are good. I think the big hurdle for me when I was in your shoes was suggesting alternate activities. My friends are fairly entrenched in the dinner/bar scene and rarely do anything else, so I felt weird suggesting alternate activities. But ultimately, everyone liked it when I started planning more fun activities.

      – Coffee or tea instead of meals (as suggested above)
      – Walks (as suggested above)
      – Visiting a museum
      – Hosting a potluck at my apartment
      – Cooking dinner for friends at my apartment (so I control what is served/what I eat)
      – Wine tastings or brewery tours (I just drink the samples, don’t eat any snacks served)
      – If you have a bike, or live in a city with bike paths, or have bike rentals like Hubway, biking around your city or to a new place
      – Organizing some type of fun, mildly competitve outdoor activity (dodgeball, kickball, spud, frisbee, etc)
      – See a movie in theaters
      – Movie night in your apt or at a friends ($1 red box dvds are good for this, homemade popcorn is a healthy snack)
      – Have a picnic somewhere outside (everyone brings their own meal)
      – Attending a sporting event (minor or major league baseball, basketball, etc) – can eat before hand and budget calories for drinks
      – Going to see a concert (either free outdoors because its summer, or elsewhere) – usually involves less intensive drinking
      – Shopping trips for something you & a friend both need (I went shopping for sunglasses with a friend last weekend)
      – Farmers market visits
      – Look for day trips in and outside of your city that are’t drinking intensive such as amusement parks, beach days, renting a boat on a lake or river nearby, skiing, etc.

      Hopefully that helps! Also, this is nearly impossible for me because I have major FOMO [fear of missing out] but try to set a drink limit and actually stick to it. You can stay out late and continue having fun even after you’ve switched to water/diet soda.

  9. Does anyone else have any mental health issues that are a challenge to balance with work sometimes? I have anxiety problems and although I am on medication/in treatment, I still have struggles. Today is one of those days. What do you do?

    • Anon for this :

      No advice, but I can commiserate. My depression and anxiety have been pretty crippling lately, and my job has been extremely stressful (consistent 300 hour months since late last year) and therapy isn’t doing it for me. I’ll be following this thread to see the advice you get.

    • A lot of times it helps just to do what you’ve just done–figure out what the problem is and acknowledge it clearly.

      Other times, I have to shift my plans to fit my energy. When I’m depressed (I have an anniversary coming up Fri that’s a problem every year), I drop things, forget simple words, and have trouble stringing ideas into logical order. But I can usually still methodically carry a stack of boxes from here to there, and can usually do alphabetical order at those times. Can you find similar things?

      Still other times, I’m worthless and just want to cry under a blanket. For those days, I over-prepare for any times I have to meet with people; write out what I’m meeting my supervisor about, give students a test or show a video or have them do a group project in class. It’s too late for that today, but if there’s any predictability to your anxiety, you might want to do that next time.

      Good luck!

      • Today is a meeting lite day, so I’m just working on writing/emails, which is low-stress stuff. trying to keep my interactions to people with a minimum. I also have an “emergency” pill that I’ve taken. It’s just very difficult to keep it a secret from HR or whomever.

        • You’re getting through today. Excellent!

        • Do you have to keep it a secret from HR or whoever? If you are in treatment, you could tell them you are “going through some medical issues” and let them know that you may have some bad days where side effects make it difficult to be at 100%, but that you are going to do your best and that if you have to leave work for appointments or due to side effects you will make up the time later that night/on the weekend etc (if you have the kind of job where you can do tasks from home on a laptop, etc). If you’ve been a good performer in the past, its probably better for them to know you’re going through something than to think that you’re just getting lax or your performance is slipping.

          • My mentor advised me never to tell HR about any mental health issues, becuase it will make it impossible for me to move up the ladder. Scared me pretty badly. Not sure if is good advice but I’m afraid of making it known.

          • Meg Murry :

            Well don’t say mental health – just say health. Mental health is health – and anyone who is prescribing you medications is a medical doctor.
            And do you have a team you work with? Tell them about the health issues (not details, just like I said above that sometimes you have bad days or side effects and may need their help). Or just tell them you are really busy or are having some personal or family issues and ask if they can help with tasks.
            I wonder if part of your anxiety is fear of being “found out”. I bet if you took a survey you would find out that quite a few of your colleagues either are currently being treated for mental health or have been in the past, but don’t talk about it.

            Last, if the bad days are few and far between, just acknowledge it as “a bad day” or even “a headache” or “a stomach bug” and shut the door to your office, if you have one, or even take a sick day if its that bad. Everyone has bad days, the trick is not to let them spiral into bad weeks/months.

          • saacnmama :

            Meg, I think that’s really great advice & am taking mental notes.

    • CrimsonClover :

      I am by no means a doctor (clearly), but as someone who suffers the same all the time (by choice without meds and treatment) I’d recommend taking just a few moments to center yourself. It’s OK; this too shall pass.
      Do a brief breathing exercise (I can’t recommend Ujjayi Pranayama strongly enough; it’s a yoga breath meant to strengthen and ground. Inhale through the nose for a long breath, hold it at the top briefly (you can create more distance between breaths as the rounds continue) and when you exhale try for the same amount of time, though the nose, with a slight constriction in the back of the throat so that you should make the faint sound of the ocean churning. Pause, and repeat.) It might not help the first few times you do it, but after that it should create kind of an instant grounding; BOOM, you’re right where you need to be mentally whenever you sync into this breath.

      We breath unconsciously allllll day long, and when we’re stressed/anxiety ridden we forget that that’s affected too. It’s a simple thing, but I’ve found it can really bring you back from the brink.

      Know you’re not alone.

    • Ditto to you not being alone!

      I don’t know that I have any good advice but on those kind of days I usually keep my door shut and tell people I’m feeling like I might be coming down with something or that I’m just having “one of those days” and they don’t generally assume that I actually mean “crippling anxiety with a touch of depression.” Then I cancel any plans for after work (unless those plans happen to be therapy) so that I know that if I can just slog through the work day then I can go home and curl up on the couch and do nothing or cry or whatever.

      Also, as saacnmama said, recognizing it and your symptoms are half the battle. I know that I am easily irritated when anxious and that I make careless mistakes, so I will keep my interaction with others to a minimum and work on being incredibly polite and telling myself that I am filtering everything they say through my irritation lens so don’t get upset. I will also put off any written product that I can (or keep working on it and put off turning it in) until the next day in hopes that I will be in better spirits and can focus on proofreading it.

      Hang in there!

  10. Diana Barry :

    I just went to the dentist and then to sephora to get a few things. I got a new color of the Tarte lipsurgence stick (sheer red, v flattering), the naked palette, Diorshow mascara, sephora facewash/makeup remover and exfoliating mask/scrub, and a new origins SPF moisturizer. Woohoo!

    I know I asked this before, but for those of you who use a separate makeup remover and then cleanser, how does it work? I used my regular almay pads last night and then washed my face, and then did that again this morning (because I had missed some mascara somehow), and my eyes STILL feel all goopy. Am I not doing enough cleanser after the remover? What else is going on? :-0

    • Famouscait :

      I use the Sephora brand eye makeup remover for waterproof products (even if I’m not wearing waterproof). It removes even my Bobbi Brown Long Wear eye liner. Then I wash my face with a Neutrogena product I’ve loved for years. In the morning, I wash my face with Cetaphil. If it’s been a rough day for my skin, or it’s feeling overly junky, I’ll use a swipe of Burt’s Bees tomato toner (morning or night).

      When removing eye makeup, I find it helpful to allow the product to sit on my closed eyelashes/lid for a few seconds. Then it is magically on the cotton pad, an I don’t have to tug at my eyes.

    • I wash my face first then use eye makeup remover to take off what remains.

    • Ohhh I really love the naked palette! I got it about a month ago. Love the colors and the pigmentation. I have a separate eye makeup remover (I also use the almay pads for eyes), so I wash my face first, then I use the almay pads on my eyes. And then I do a good rinse with cold water. Have you tried doing a final rinse on your face after you’ve washed it and taken off the makeup? I feel like that helps. Even taking a cotton ball and dabbing it in water and then around your eyes.

    • Maybe switch eye makeup remover? I never had much luck with the almay pads, they leave my eyes greasy and never get all the make up off either. Now I use Neutrogena cream eye makeup remover, follower by regular cleanser and I have no troubles.

  11. I believe this has been discussed before, but I can’t find the old thread. Can you ladies give me some positive stories about getting back into shape after having a baby? I have never had a weight issue and it bothers me that I have these extra 15 pounds on my frame. I am happy to be a mom for sure, but want my old body back. :( The weight is all in my stomach, hips, and thighs (and b**bs too, but that’s ok). It is hard for me to go to the gym because DH often goes out of town for work, and I can’t bring the baby to the gym. So my exercise mostly consists of walking outside, which I enjoy, but it’s not enough for me to lose the pounds.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    • I am not a mommy but one of my best friends has 2 children and she got into fantastic shape after both babies. She did a lot of running with the stroller – is that something you can do instead of walking outside?

    • I see a lot of people running (and passing me!) in central park pushing baby strollers. is that something you can do? it seems like it would be really hard–but what a workout! you’d probably need a really good stroller.

      Also, remember that weight loss has more to do with diet than with exercise.

      • That really depends on the person!
        Dieting does not work for me, any more than hours and hours of cardio.
        What does help is resistance work that revs up the metabolism long after my short little workouts. BetterU has some good body weight exercises on their website, and I like Shapeshifter too.

    • Diana Barry :

      How old is your baby? I found that after my first my body was all uneven and it took a LONG time (more than a year) before I felt like my body had settled where it wanted to be. After my second it didn’t take as long, maybe 9 months. Same after #3. I don’t try to exercise a lot until the baby is about a year old, so that I can maintain a good milk supply and I’m not too exhausted all the time.

    • goldribbons :

      I don’t know what your time restrictions for your workout are, but my aunt has lost a ton of weight just by walking. She had a treadmill in her basement and ran consistently for years but couldn’t take off the weight. She started walking outside instead when her basement flooded (5-7 miles, 2-3 times per week) and the weight has been dropping off. Alternatively, there are lots of free online workouts – everything from videos to podcasts for cardio, weights, yoga, or whatever you’re interested in. I personally enjoy Yoga to the People free podcasts; I think there are 9 available.

    • Join a new gym?

    • Walking and running are both great. Also, get thee a yoga mat or towel, and start streaming post-natal video exercises at home. There are many affordable (and free trial) websites that offer this, even netflix. Or a good old fashioned workout dvd. Any time you can, right in the convenience of your home. If you can afford it, have a private yoga teacher come to your home a few times a week or a personal trainer (having informed them you are in a post-natal stage…).

    • Can you just dance around at home? Maybe get some playlists arranged by a high beats-per-minute level?

      And throw a dumbell into your stroller — if you can’t up the time, up the resistance :)

      • Or skip the stroller and strap the baby in a carrier for some extra weight. One thing that made a difference to me was that if I wanted the walk to do some thing I had to walk quickly for at least part of the walk – a slow gentle stroll didn’t really do much. So do something to get your heart rate up (either by doing intervals of brisk pace vs strolling) or do some jogging in place or jumping jacks or something else for a couple of minutes before heading out on your walks, then they will be more effective.
        I would also add that if you used to be a gym regular pre-baby that you may still be eating like a gym regular – so if you can’t find a way to burn the same number of calories you used to at the gym, you need to cut that many calories from your diet. I’ve found myfitnesspal to be great for calorie tracking.
        Also be aware that even if you get back to your prebaby weight, your body will probably be shaped slightly differently. Instead of worrying about being back to your pre-baby self, focus instead on being in shape and feeling good in your body – if that means losing weight, doing some muscle toning or eating more fruits and veggies to feel healthier, or buying a few new outfits in cuts that are more flattering to your new shape, do what works for you.
        And don’t let those 15 lbs stop you from letting people take pictures of you with the baby. I feel really bad when I look through the photos from when my first son was a baby and there are photos of him with his father, grandparents, aunts, etc – but very few of him with me.

    • How about Insanity or another exercise series? Doesn’t require much equipment, only some floor space. It took a while for my body to get back to normal after a baby. Also, if you are nursing, your body may hold a few extra pounds until you wean.

      • Hollis Doyle :

        This is what I was going to suggest. I did Insanity several times pre-baby and then again when baby was 9 months old, while still nursing. I just surrounded her by toys and made sure there was nothing she could get hurt on if she crawled around. It’s the only thing that gets me in phenomenal shape, and as long as you make sure you eat enough (healthy) food to maintain energy and milk supply, it should work like a charm. Insanity is really intense though, so maybe you could start with another video. I’ve heard good things about Jillian Michaels’ videos. Also, I second the suggestion to get a jogging stroller and run with your baby in the stroller. My baby loved being outside, we got to spend time together, and I got a workout in. Win-win!

    • I noticed my body held onto about 5 extra pounds the whole time I was breast feeding. As soon as the baby weaned, it dropped right off. When I was on maternity leave, I did exercise videos while the baby napped. Maybe you could do that if you can’t go to the gym. Now that my kid is old enough for the jogging stroller, I run with him on weekends.

    • Well, this advice is only applicable if you’re not breastfeeding, but I just had a baby in December and was stuck with the same 15 pounds that were not just “melting off” like everyone kept telling me. So I joined Weight Watchers and it has been awesome. I started in the beginning of February and am now only 2 pounds from my pre-prego weight (and would be even better but I slacked off a bit last week). I thought it would be silly to join when I only had to lose 15 pounds – I thought it was more for people that have a lot to lose – but it’s really worked great for me. Bonus that I convinced my husband to join with me, who needs to lose 100 lbs, and he’s already lost 20 pounds which is even better.

      Point being, that perhaps when you finish breastfeeding, or if you have already, consider whatever diet might work for you. My problem was clearly that I had spent my pregnancy enjoying a nightly slushee (yep) and I needed to readjust to what a normal caloric intake is.

      • Weight Watchers allows you to adjust your points to accommodate for BF – so its still applicable. I did WW after my first son was 1 and I still needed to lose a lot of weight and it worked -but I also did it with my sister, and we went to meetings which helped a lot. I tried in again online only and it wasn’t enough motivation for me – so finding a weight loss partner may help you.
        Do you currently work and take the baby to daycare? Could you take the baby earlier and go to the gym or a workout class before work? Or do you have any friends with kids that you could trade off childcare with – they watch your baby on Wednesday nights while you go to the gym, you watch their kids on Tuesdays while they go to basketweaving?

    • A friend of mine has fitbit which monitors activity throughout the day and sends it to you computer. For her, it’s turned increasing activity in everyday life into a game. She’s lost 12 lb.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      I’d let go of getting old body back. (you may lose the weight but you may not have same shape etc…)
      embrace new, powerful amazing body that created another human being body…..

      • Divaliscious11 :

        To be clear – I am not suggesting not losing the weight etc…, just that the number and shape may not end up the same.

        • saacnmama :

          I’ve been there–when we moved back to the US, I came across an old pair of capris that I know I looked *awesome* in. I was startled to find that I could zip them easily, though they were a teeny bit tight. But…they looked sad. Droopy. Empty fabric where a butt should be.

          And now I’m too fat for them again (side effect of living in the US for me)

    • Why do people insist on perpetuating the myth that exercise leads to weight loss? It has been shown in study after study that exercise does not take off weight, although it’sgreat for maintaining weight. You have to eat better and eat less, period. Exercise is great for your health— but you didn’t ask about your health, you asked about your body. Not having access to a gym sounds like an excuse.

      • yes, yes, yes times a million.

        Weight loss is primarily a function of consuming fewer calories than are expended. Exercise, of course, helps to expend more calories–but it only leads to weight loss if one’s caloric intake remains constant. And there’s the rub: most people increase caloric intake when they increase their exercise. Thus, the only way to be sure that you are burning more calories than you consume is to monitor your daily caloric intake. (I know this will provoke reactions such as “but this doesn’t work for me” or “it’s not just about calories in/calories out because what/when you eat affects your metabolism.” I generally disagree.)

        Additionally, it takes a great amount of exercise to achieve a signficant caloric deficient. A chocolate cake is 600 calories. You can cut that out, or you can run six miles.

      • Every body is different, and what works for me or you won’t work for every person.

        But realtalk? For me, exercise, over the course of two decades, became my eating disorder. Thinking that “no problem, this pint of Haagen Dazs = a ten mile run” effed up my brain and my body. It was my way of purging. Eff all of that.

        Eating differently–after learning that it’s not straight Calories In/Calories Out, because (for me) different kinds of calories have a dramatically different impact on how I look and feel–had a profound impact on me in ways that changing my activity level could never, ever approach.

        • KE, I’m not talking about what works for me. Scientific studies have produced general propositions that are not about Kelly’s body.

          The exercise = weight loss myth is so destructive; it’s why so many people think they just can’t lose weight. No one can lose weight through exercise! It sells lots of Self Magazines but it’s total BS. My obese father is frustrated that he has lost no weight despite “walking every day”…seriously?! Just like all these people advising the poor OP, who just got tons of exercise advice that has nothing to do with losing weight.

          (Again, I’m not saying exercise isn’t healthy. Of course it is. But it’s not a weight loss tool. It’s a *health* tool. )

          Anyway, I also totally agree with you KE about types of calories being as important or more important than total calories. That’s been my experience, too.

          • Totally agree. Studies have shown that diet influences initial weight loss more than exercise. However, exercise is important to weight loss maintenance.

          • Anonymous :

            I generally agree, but with a couple of very big caveats. First, excercising does change a body’s shape, so while perhaps not the same as weight loss, it can achieve some of what people are actually trying to accomplish when they say “lose weight”. Second, there have been recent studies that show that while calories in to calories out is the key to weight loss, the information we are getting about calories is rather misleading. According to those studies, eating a processed food labeled “100 calories”, and eating a fibrous fruit or vegetable with the same 100 calories, will result in the body actually taking in more calories from the processed food because the foods are handled differently by the body. We will expel/never absorb some number of the calories in the fruit/vegetable, but absorb most of the 100 calories in the processed food.

          • saacnmama :
      • saacnmama :

        Sorry. Wrong. Long, slow cardi like the walking every day nonsense you mention isn’t effective, but other types of exercise (interval training, resistance training/weights) certainly can be. The extreme example is fitness competitors who build up muscle with weights, and do other weight routines to lose the last bit of fat before a competition. You just have to do a little bit of research and be smart about the kind you choose.

        • SoCalAtty :

          Agree with saacnmama – when I gained 15, I thought that getting back on the spin bike 3-4x per week would take care of it. WRONG! In fact, by doing that and not paying attention, I gained 5 more!

          I signed on with a personal trainer at my gym, and while it is really expensive, in 4 weeks I have gone from about 42% body fat to 38% body fat. I’ve only lost like 1-2 pounds, but my measurements are shrinking. It is really really hard to work this hard (training 1 hour 2x per week, assigned various cardio for the other 3x per week) and not see pounds coming off, but trainer assures me that some point I’ll hit a critical mass of gained muscle v burned fat and start seeing pounds come off.

          The other part of it is watching food intake – my gym provides us with something like my fitness pal, but much more detailed, where we log in every exercise and food we eat, and the trainer can log in and tell us to make changes as needed. I was sticking to 1200 cal/day, but the program actually bumped me up to 1400 cal / day and changes according to my measurements and weigh ins every 3 weeks.

          So it is both diet and exercise, but maybe not in the way we have always been “taught” or maybe “conditioned ” is a better word.

    • Thanks so much for the feedback. My son is only 10 weeks, so I need to be patient with myself. He’s too young for me to use a jogging stroller, but I’ll try incorporating the work out videos at home. I have never used videos (and really like the gym) so it will be a challenge but we’ll see. I can’t change gyms right now, I have a free one in my building. And yes, I’m BF’ing right now and perhaps eating things I should not be (chocolate, anyone?). :) So that will have to change too.

      I think it’s just a big adjustment for me because I’ve been lucky to have been slim all my life and only gained the minimum during pregnancy and worked out the day before I went into labor! I guess I thought I would be one of those lucky women who lost all the weight through BF’ing….nope.

      • Diana Barry :

        10 weeks! Good grief, give yourself a break for a while. :)

      • Just 10 weeks! My goodness, it’s still very early days! You STILL might be one of those women who lose it all through BF-ing – but that can still take 9 months or more!! Please go easy on yourself, I found it took a full year before my body settled back into it’s pre-pregnancy shape (or a close approximation, anyway; things weren’t ever exactly the same as before in my experience, which I think you have to expect and accept!)

      • Kerrycontrary :

        Yes give yourself a break! Doctors always say 9 months on 9 months off. Don’t compare yourself to celebrities or anyone else you’ve seen who has lost the baby weight in like 3 months. If you were slim and toned before pregnancy you will most likely be after pregnancy. Keep up daily walks (you could even do longer ones–3-5 miles if your body and baby’s schedule can handle it) and do some workout videos. Just listen to your body and you’ll be fine.

      • Meg Murry :

        Definitely give yourself some slack! it took you 9 months to put the weight on, it will take some time to take it off – some of the extra jiggle is still probably loose skin, so try wearing lightweight shaping garments (like spanx in a size too big, or just a pair of bike shorts) to hold in some of the jiggle – that might make you feel better.
        But if you love using equipment in your gym in your building, if you are still on maternity leave, could you load up your baby in his stroller, take him on a walk until he falls asleep, then take the stroller into the gym? Chances are you’d have it to yourself mid-day, and if he wakes up you can just take him back home only a quick walk away. Or heck, if you have the gym to yourself, you could probably put him awake on a play gym or in a bouncy seat.

        And if you don’t want to take him down to the gym, does your building have a bulletin board where you could post “looking for someone to look after a baby for an hour in the mornings or evenings while I go to the gym” – there might be a teenager in the building willing to babysit cheap, especially if its probably just going to be reading or watching tv while the baby sleeps, or another mom in the building willing to trade off time with you.

        But be kind to yourself and your extra 15 pounds. After all, your body makes tiny humans and milk to nourish them – isn’t that an awesome superpower?

    • I’m actually shocked to be able to say this, because I have struggled with my weight my entire life, but I am honestly happier with my [14-month) post-baby body now than I have been since my wedding 7 years ago. Breastfeeding was the ticket for me, I think…around the 9-month mark, I started making an effort to count my calories (using MyFitness pal), and cut out alcohol and desserts for a couple of weeks, and I dropped 10 pounds with shockingly little effort. I just have had to be very conscious to take into account my reduced calorie needs since I weaned a couple of months ago (now that I am not burning those extra breastfeeding calories anymore) in order to maintain my new weight. As far as exercise goes, I tried to walk with the baby in the stroller or on my lunch break a few times per week, and I have just recently started doing the Couch to 5K program to try to lose those last 5 pounds. You can do it, but realistically, I think the old wisdom that it takes 9 months to put the weight on and at least 9 months to take it off again is probably pretty accurate.

  12. Does anyone have a recommendation for someone who could give skin product advice? I feel like I read the magazines and blogs, etc, but really have no idea what I should be using and what would work best for me. I know that I could try out a bunch of things or ask someone at a store, but I don’t want to pay to try lots of products and want an unbiased opinion (e.g., not the lady at the Saks counter). I’m in the New York area, if that helps, and any advice would be much appreciated!

    • A lot of people here recommend Paula’s Choice, so I gave them a try. I contacted them to ask what products they would recommend given my skin care concerns, and they sent me a bunch of free samples to try. I have been fairly happy with their stuff, although I didn’t buy all the things they suggested, just a cleanser and a toner.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Sephora salespeople can be hit or miss, but many times they will give you free samples of products.

      I’ve started using Paula’s Choice and really like it. I got the 2-week trial kit for something like $12.50, so if you’re willing to pay a little money to try something that can be worth it.

    • If there is a Bluemercury near you, I find they tend to have well-educated salespeople who are less likely to push a particular brand. They also are generous with samples to take home and try.

  13. Anon for this :

    TJ: I’m a sr associate in biglaw and have been told I’m considered a “very strong” candidate for partner. I’m also pregnant with my first child, and the pregnancy has had many complications. A week and a half ago, my dr diagnosed a potentially life-threatening complication (for me and for baby) and put me on be rest but said I could work from home to facilitate transition of my active matters. (I’m still 6 weeks out from my due date, so transition plans were in the works but not finalized — they will induce well before then but are hoping to buy a few more weeks with the bed rest.)

    I can’t handle it. The junior associates I work with are churning out terrible work, and I’m doing what I can to check it, but I can’t just re-do the same brainless tasks I asked them to do. I feel like I’m on the worst of all possible positions: since I’m still online, I’m still technically responsible, and everything that goes wrong reflects poorly on me. But since I’m put of the office (and frequently at a dr appt or in the hospital for monitoring), I can’t micro-manage everything, and instead of other team members stepping up and taking more responsibility, they are half-a$$ing things and poor wok product is being churned out. I feel like I shoul just go ahead and start my leave early, but I’m under pressure to remain available, bc the new teams really aren’t ready to take over everything.

    I don’t know how to handle this in a way that preserves my reputation. And the hormones/stress have me absolutely flipping out. Need advice, please.

    • I can tell you from the receiving end that my advisor once said to me “who do you think you’re handing this in to anyway? Who do you think I am? I don’t have time to read garbage” or something along those lines. Yes, he totally pulled a power/ego trip, but he’s got the international reputation to back it up. Only took one time.
      If you decide to give them a similar dressing-down, remember that they will look for easy outs, so you’ve got to make it clear the preggo hormones are not the problem–their work product is.

    • I’m not as senior as you so I can’t even imagine the pressure you’re under but I just wanted to say that as much as your career is important to you, the health of you and your baby is #1. The transition to leave can be very difficult for anyone, especially us type-As who like to be in control of everything. But you may want to consider just letting go in the interest of eliminating this source of stress and anxiety. Once the new team is in place without you to babysit them and cover their mistakes they may rally knowing that it’s their responsibility now. But the worst thing you can do is put your own health in jeopardy by keeping yourself in a high-stress situation. Work is work. There’s only one you.

      • What would your team be doing in you were in a coma or otherwise absolutely couldn’t work right now? Is there someone at your level that would have been overseeing your team? Or is there a junior who ISN’T half assing? Tell them the work they are producing isn’t acceptable, and 1) they need to step up and only send you things that are totally ready to go, not half done 2) they need to send things to [senior person who will be overseeing the project] or [junior person you trust to do proofreading and send back half-done work] and you should only see the final product for a rubber stamp.
        You should also be clear with them that your condition could change and TOMORROW you might be in the hospital having the baby, so they need start acting as if you aren’t there already.
        Last, are they turning in half-assed work because their workloads just increased by multiples when you left unexpectedly? Is there any way you can get the work spread out a little bit if that’s the case, so you have people on the job that have time to do it right?

        Good luck to you and your little one, and I hope you both come out of this bedrest situation safe, happy, and healthy.

      • Diana Barry :

        +1. Go ahead and start your leave early.

    • I am not at a firm, but I would say that you need a plan for other people on the team to take over your responsibilities. The health of you and your baby is the number one priority here, and if the team is not willing to step up early, remind them that the delivery could happen any time, and they need to prioritize the transition now (to me, this shows that you’re considering the firm’s interests by trying to make the transition as smooth as possible since you know it’s likely you will be induced before your due date). Plus, if your doctor said you could keep working from bed rest to finalize the transition, that sounds different to me than keep supervising as usual–can you clarify what you can do with your doctor, so it’s your doctor’s orders?

    • Anon biglaw partner :

      Partner here.

      Your job is never to proofread for junior associates, much less ones doing crap work, much less when you’ve got a medical situation to attend to. You need to transition up to your partner and let the partner call the shots (after getting over some shock perhaps about how bad the associates are). You’re not a solo practitioner and it’s time to take advantage of that.

      • Senior Attorney :

        This. This times a million.

        You are having a medical emergency, you are not available, your responsibility begins and ends with conveying that information to the partner in charge and transitioning the work up to him/her.

    • Do you have a partner on these matters above you? If so (and if your relationship with the partner can handle it), I would enlist him/her in assisting you in reading the riot act to the junior associates. Crappy work isn’t acceptable for any reason and apparently they need to be reminded.

      Otherwise, I also recommend a clean break. I had an early labor scare at 35 weeks with my last pregnancy and had to immediately hand off one of cases that was blowing up to another associate. I had been running the case with minimal partner assistance and I know he didn’t do as good of a job as I would have (he has since left the firm…), but it was something where I realized the stress of keeping up with that was worse than the stress of a clean break. If necessary, involve your HR dept with this because it is a medical issue.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Can you re-allocate? If not, I’d kick the work back to them marked up and remind them that even drafts should be as close to final submissions….

      Who is managing your workload when you are out? Loop them in early so the transition is smoother, and make sure they are copied on the work now…

    • OP here. Thanks for all the comments. I essentially function as the partner on these cases — there are partners assigned (different ones for each case), but I handle client contact and deal with opposing counsel – largely unsupervised. I did request that junior partners be brought on to at least some of these cases, so they can do a bit more heavy oversight. As long as I’m online, though, the junior partners are just as happy not to supervise, which means if I don’t do it, it just won’t get done. I’ve been worried that starting my leave early would reflect poorly on me — I don’t want to leave anyone with a crisis or mess on their hands, and I don’t want my clients’ cases to suffer — but I think I may have to just give it up. It really is on doctor’s orders — I’m not supposed to do anything that could elevate my blood pressure, and dealing with attitude from junior associates who do sloppy work definitely is not keeping me calm.

      • Meg Murry :

        Could you step back to the point where you setup a time to call in to the junior partners and answer any questions that they have (1/2 to 1 hr, once a day or every other day) and otherwise just be gone. I think you are right that the junior partners aren’t going to step up until they have to, so tell them they have to now. Your doctor wants you to transition these projects, and that means being available to answer questions, not doing just as much work or more, only from your bed.

        I should also add that a lot of people don’t understand bed rest being partially to keep your blood pressure down, and don’t understand why you can’t still do computer work as long as you stay in bed, since it isn’t physical labor. If you don’t tell them explicitly that you’ll only be calling in to answer questions and then you will be stepping out completely as of [date], they won’t get it.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        you could frame it for your junior partner that there seems to be a problem brewing, and since your being out is an opportunity for them, you don’t want them to inherit the problem. It may also be that the juniors are slacking off because you are headed out, but if they know there is another set of eyes paying attention, they may pull it together…

      • I read this and feel strongly that you need to talk to your doctor. Tell him/her: this working from home is causing me stress and anxiety. They need to take you out full time. You can’t do this half way.

        And. This might hurt your run at partner. It may put you behind a year, or who knows, it might ruin your chances. But it’s your health, and your baby’s health. It s*cks, but you need to do what is right for you and your body. It’s so hard, when you are used to being in control, to give up that control and acknoweldge that you are not omnipotent and able to keep it all together all the time. But you can’t. You need to step up and step out, and let the chips fall. Who knows, maybe people will get their act together when you aren’t solving their problems for them?

        • Silvercurls :

          +1 for everything EC MD said. Also, since you’ve come this far professionally and personally, have faith that you’ll be able to handle whatever else life hands you, short-term or long-term.

      • If you’re not supposed to elevate your blood pressure, I’m guessing you have pre-eclampsia. That could be fine until whenever they plan to induce, or you could be having an emergency c-section tomorrow if it suddenly gets worse. I think it honestly should reflect well on you (not that it necessarily will, but that’s why I’m not in biglaw) if you calmly and constructively explain to the partners that for the sake of everyone involved (yourself, your baby, your clients, and the firm) your cases need to be transitioned now. Junior associates not doing their work up to standards? Don’t just throw them under the bus, but manage the situation. This is an opportunity to show your management skills by getting these cases transitioned as quickly as possible and as smoothly as possible. Be prepared to update them on the status of each case, who is working on what, deadlines, etc. and then get out. Make it clear that you are no longer responsible for these cases until you return from leave. If you want to still be available for questions, go for it. But you’re not proofreading documents or whatever. You’re answering questions that others with less background on the case can’t answer. And if you start to feel guilty, ask yourself what would happen if a male almost-partner was in a car accident or was suddenly diagnosed with cancer or had a stroke. Would they be expected to continue doing their work from the hospital or from their bed at home? Would they do that? If the answer is no, then you should not be expected to do it either. I really hope everything goes well with your last few weeks of pregnancy and that you and your baby are both healthy and can spend your leave time snuggling and not sleeping enough instead of putting out work fires or worrying about health issues.

  14. Anyone have any recommendations for an eyeshadow palette for dark (non white) skin tones? I see people recommending the naked palette all the time, but I’m not sure how many of those shadows would work for me. My skin is probably someplace in between Freido Pinto and Gabrielle Union.

  15. I like this dress, but I cannot unsee Barney.

  16. recent grad :

    I feel stupid asking this, but what is the purpose of a toner? And what type of skin needs to use one?

    • Anonymous :

      Toners help remove any residue from face wash (or if you’re someone who just rinses your face with water in the morning, it can pick up some stuff the water didn’t without doing a total wash) and also should have ingredients suited to your skin to complement the rest of your routine. It also helps with application of moisturizer. IMO, all skin types can benefit from a toner, since there are so many different kinds. I have sensitive skin so I use one with rose and lavender (which are soothing). When my skin was more oily and break-out prone, I used a tea tree toner.

  17. Rural Juror :

    Someone I work for constantly asks me to ask his assistant to do things. Like he will email me and say “Rural Juror, can you ask Assistant to get these closing books printed for me by Friday.” It is always in reference to a project we are both working on, but it makes me so frustrated. It wastes my time to compose an email to her or go tell her, when instead of emailing me he could have emailed her directly. Should I say something to him or just learn to live with it?

    • I always hated this, too. My solution? Forward to Assistant, copying person you work for who made the request in the first place, and simply write “see below.” Passive aggressive? Yes, but works every time.

    • My boss does the same thing…. If he asks via email, I usually just forward his message to the assistant with an FYI or such.

    • If it’s a simple task, I agree that you can just forward the email. For more complex or important tasks, though, I would be more active than a forward with “See below” because I would interpret the partner’s email as making me responsible for the task but making his assistant available for the project. I would make sure the secretary knew exactly what went in the binders, give myself time to make sure the closing binders were exactly right, check in with the secretary to make sure things were running smoothly and that Friday would not be a problem, etc. (Note I am in litigation so have no idea what making a closing binder entails, but you get the gist.)

  18. We love this simple dress- an easy classic dress to style and create a fashion statement. We would add one of our ADA Collection Wrap Belts! It would look so great! Or even a skinny belt would look great. You can find our belts over 1,500 retailers (Nordstrom, Garnet Hill, etc…) and online at http://www.adacollection.com
    We love to offer fashion advice, so feel free to ask any questions!

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