Wednesday’s TPS Report: Seamed Panel Pencil Skirt

Reiss 'Verdi' Seamed Panel Pencil Skirt | CorporetteOur daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices. This week, we welcome an old friend back to the blog — Belle from Capitol Hill Style, who was also good enough to take a week of TPS reports during my first maternity leave (and has guest posted about how to maximize a chance meeting with a VIP).

As you may have noticed, I am currently obsessed with tailored pieces for the office. This seamed navy pencil skirt has a high waist and side details that should shape the body beautifully. However, if you’re pear-shaped, I recommend ordering one size up and taking in the waist to ensure proper fit over your hips and thighs. Also, remember that pieces by UK designers tend to run small, you may need to size up regardless of shape. This skirt is $124 at Reiss, marked down from $210. Reiss “Verdi” Seamed Panel Pencil Skirt

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

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Comments

  1. Baby related TJ – (don’t hate me, there is no action on the MOMS site)
    When did your partner take paternity leave? My mom will staying with us for a month after the birth, so to spread out our resources, I was thinking that DH should take his three weeks off after she leaves. But he thinks it will be weird for him to go back to work immediately after the birth. That means that the three of us will be at home at the same time to take care of a sleeping baby. Any advice?

    • Can he take 2-3 days off after baby is born, and then 2-3 weeks off after your mom leaves? I agree with you that it seems like the most efficient use of everyone’s time. Explain to your husband that if you go along with his plan, that’s 3 weeks earlier that you have to be alone at home with the baby with no help. Doesn’t seem fair to me!

      • I am 35 weeks along with my second, and I agree with this. Our plan is for me to take my leave immediately, and then for DH to take his parental leave and accrued vacation when I have to go back to work. He will also take off a few days to a week immediately after the birth, but it seemed most efficient for us to take our leave separately. Plus this way we each get our own baby time. Worked the first time around, and no reason for us to think it won’t work for this baby as well. Obviously, YMMV.

        On a related note, I am glad you posted this question here. I find it really frustrating to have to segregate my baby-related questions from my other family questions and my fashion, work, social and other questions — and to have a more limited pool of responses as a result (or to have to direct people here to answer my question elsewhere). Same thing when I am reading and responding to other people’s comments (and at this point I don’t bother responding on the moms site — subject matter is too narrow for me to read regularly, and since comments are blocked at work, it is too much of a pain to type responses to two corpor e t t e sites on my Android).

        • Spirograph :

          This is what we did with my first. DH took about two weeks off right when baby was born (if I’m remembering right. It was all kind of a haze, honestly), but took a few months after I went back to work. DH has since said that he wouldn’t take as much time initially for any subsequent kidlets, because he felt like he couldn’t really do very much to help. I was BFing, and my mom came to visit for a week or so, too. It was nice to have him around, and I definitely think the first week is very important, but I think the bulk of leave is better spent a bit later.

          I have to add, I think it was fantastic for all of us that he had a big block of time alone with the baby after I went back to work. He gained a lot of confidence in his ability to take care of baby by himself, understood the stress and exhaustion involved with all-day childcare much better (which helped us relate better), they had good boding time, and I felt better sending a 6 month old to day care for the first time than I would have sending a 3 month old.

        • Coach Laura :

          This is by no means an insult to Kat, but I love baby/maternity leave/infant management questions on this board. I like to think of us as a community to support one another and though there are people (like me) who are done having kids as well as those who don’t have kids yet or don’t even want kids, I think this type of question is important for the working lives of (some) women and impacts all working adults.

          Anon DC, I recommend that he take a few days after the birth and the remainder of the leave after your mom leaves. But if he thinks he’s going to miss out, be flexible. Sometimes the first weeks at home are boring but they are memorable and working when you want to be home is tough.

    • I would have him take paternity leave right away. The whole experience is so profound and life changing that you’re going to want to have him around with you during those first few weeks. It’s not even about needing extra hands, necessarily. It’s about spending time with the baby and figuring out what he/she is all about, while each learning how to take care of the baby. It’s one of the most intense life experiences ever, and it is very powerful to go through it together.

      I don’t think it will be overkill with your mom their either. She can help cook and clean and let you and your husband catch up on sleep. It’ll be great.

      • I sign on to this 100%. Having him home immediately and having your mom at the same time will be better than you know, for all the reasons CHJ states.

    • Anne Shirley :

      I think it’s his child and he should be there for the first few weeks if he wants. This isn’t just about practicality. If you want help for longer ask your mom to reschedule her visit. Kicking him back to work because his help isn’t necessary sets a terrible precedent.

    • if he really wants to be there those first few weeks, can your mom bump her visit back? Or can he take his leave in smaller chunks? My husband took a few days off after our child was born and we had local family to help. But, then he had some flexibility to come home early, take off the occasional Friday, meet us for doctor’s appts, etc. which was nice.

      • This seems like the best compromise to me.

        We’re trying to figure out the logistics of his leave and my mom’s open ended visit to help as well. Assuming there aren’t any extreme circumstances, I think what we’ll do is have my mom come out about a week after the baby gets here, so DH and I can have some time with the baby alone.

        After my mom leaves I’d like DH to take Fridays off for a month or two – either to just hang out with us or to be on baby duty so I can get other things done, like sleep.

    • How hands-on do you think your mom will be? Mine came for 2-3 weeks after DS was born and she did everything — did night feedings, changed diapers, made sure I was eating, drinking water, etc. (She is insane. I would find her randomly sweeping the floor because, you know, it needed sweeping.) DH was home for most of that and actually got a lot of sleep and did a lot of stuff around the house that we hadn’t gotten to yet (we had just moved). If your mom is like mine, I would go with anon’s idea of having him take a few days immediately and then take it a few weeks later. Also after DH went back, he “worked from home” on Fridays for the rest of the summer, which was great — it meant an extra pair of hands so that I could go to the doctor, or even just nap, and even if he really was working, I wasn’t home alone for 5 days straight. DH’s office (Biglaw) was totally fine with this — he was entitled to 4 weeks, and they appreciated that he didn’t take it all at once.

      • I’m sure what your husband did was perfectly fine with his firm, but the phrase “even if he really was working” combined with “working from home” makes me shudder. A lot of people view working from home as not working, and it gives those of us who work remotely, even only occasionally, a bad name.

        • Anonymous :

          A lot of people who “work from home” aren’t “really working”. Like the ones simultaneously “working” and “caring for newborns.” Be offended if you want, but not every comment on the internets is a personal attack at your special situation.

        • I read this as, “he’s at home, but available to work if necessary.” Or “on vacation, but checking emails and taking the occasional conference call” If the firm was viewing these days out of office as part of his leave and subject to those conditions, then I’d think it is different from people who consistently/formally working remotely.

          • Totally. Working a bit on a vacation day is entirely different from working a bit on a “work from home” day.

          • Wildkitten :

            But if he was taking his 4 weeks spread out across Fridays it sounds like he was taking his FMLA days, and still doing some work. So he was working from home on a day off of work.

        • Seriously? She’s happy to have had company in the house while she was home with a newborn that she was caring for, and you have to make a point about it giving people who work from home a bad name? I think you are reaching to find things to be negative about now.

          • Eh, I can see how people talking about “working from home” gives people the impression that telecommuters do not actually work. I don’t see any harm in discussing it – perhaps you are also reaching for things to be negative about.

        • Wow – you really need to get a life if you are offended by this comment. You must feel insecure about the lack of work you do while at home – classic overcompensation.

          • Wildkitten :

            You need to get a handle if you are going to insult people. You must feel insecure if you want to insult people from “Anon” – classic trolling.

          • How does posting as “Wildkitten” while insulting people give you any more moral superiority than someone posting as “Anon” while insulting people? I’m truly curious as to how you justify this in your head. Do you understand that you are also anonymous? Are you better because I can now identify you as a person who is generally a little rude, as opposed to an anon that is always a surprise?

          • Wildkitten :

            Asked and answered.

          • Oh, are we not supposed to make the same comment more than once? Beating a dead horse and all that? Good to know.

          • Posting as “Wildkitten” gives her comments credibility because it conveys that she has a degree from one of many fine or not-so-fine institutions of higher learning with that mascot. Or New Trier high school, ew.

          • Wildkitten :

            Go Trevians!

          • I should clarify, my handle is Anon meaning “soon, presently” not “anonymous”.

    • Definitely have him take the time immediately. It is more important for him to be around than your mom. Plenty of dads mean to take the time later, and then it just doesn’t seem as urgent and pressing anymore and they keep pushing it back, and never actually take the time off.

    • I would also go with having him take a week right away and then two weeks after your mom leaves. If he takes it all at the same time, while your mom is there, you’ll have lots of support at home right away but then suddenly no one else home during the day when they both leave/go back to work, which could be tough.

    • Medic Maggie :

      My DH took off once I went into labor. I didn’t have any bedrest so I worked until I went into labor. DH stayed home for a full week, then everyone from the extended family came to visit when he went back to work. He has a flexible job anyway, so he was able to pop in and out during the day, when family wasn’t around.

      I was off for a full 3 months with each kid, but went back to work A) part-time (half days) for about a month, and B) didn’t go back to work (part time or fulltime) until a Wednesday. I think that both of those variables were key in easing the transition.

      Also, this idea you posted is an unlikely scenario (unless this is not your first)
      That means that the three of us will be at home at the same time to take care of a sleeping baby

      Yes, there would be 3 adults in your house, but you all won’t be sitting around waiting for the baby to wake up. I promise. You will need help using the bathroom (regardless of your method of delivery), cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, potentially bathing yourself, getting up and down stairs…There are PLENTY of household things to do that can easily be absorbed by 2.5 adults (I’m putting you as the 0.5, as you will unlikely be 100%)

      I also agree wholeheartedly with this statement:
      I would have him take paternity leave right away. The whole experience is so profound and life changing that you’re going to want to have him around with you during those first few weeks. It’s not even about needing extra hands, necessarily. It’s about spending time with the baby and figuring out what he/she is all about, while each learning how to take care of the baby. It’s one of the most intense life experiences ever, and it is very powerful to go through it together.

    • Anon for family issues :

      Will you be going back to work full time? If so, would he want to take on full-time childcare for a couple of weeks after you go back to work? Or as a time to ease into having a nanny/daycare? I would have him take 1-2 weeks at first, then use flex time as others have suggested (Fridays, or doctor appointment days, or even Wednesdays to break up the week a little).
      There is a big growth spurt at 3 weeks and another at around 6 weeks that can be absolutely exhausting – if nothing else, I’d try to have him or your mom there to help you at those times.

      • Thank you for all of your thoughtful responses so far. There are so many things I had not considered!
        I will return to full time work after 3 months of leave. My mom is super hands on (slightly overbearing) but I think she will be really helpful. After she leaves, my mother-in-law will stay with us for a month or so, both of them live out of state. Also, all of our families are planning to be here for the birth – so I think I am just a bit overwhelmed by all of the people-management.

        • Something else to consider – your mom is there to help you and H transition. That means helping you figure out how to do things, not just doing them herself (which may be me reading into the overbearing comment just a bit). I think its really important to not let dad (or you!) feel sidetracked on learning how to care for the kid, just because someone else can do it better, which may be another reason to have some time that is the the 3 of you (mom, dad, baby) without anyone else.

          • Lorelai Gilmore :

            +1,000,000

          • Flying Squirrel :

            This is a great point. And I was actually really shocked at how well my otherwise extremely over-bearing mom handled this (not perfect, but way better than expected). I was in bad shape, and I think my mom’s own maternal instincts kicked in. Her baby (me) needed help, and by taking care of things like keeping me fed or allowing me to take the occasional shower she provided it. I don’t think there is anyone else, not even your spouse who is learning to take care of his own child, can really do that for you…assuming, of course, you have a mom who would.

          • Agree. This is a “know your mom” situation. My mom came and was 25% helpful, 70% neutral, 5% annoying the cr@p out of me.
            Helpful: bought and brought me new clothes in 2 sizes (same things, but one in my old size and one in a size up). I hand’t really thought through what I’d wear after the baby was born. All my maternity clothes were summer/early fall, but I had the baby at the end of the fall so needed cold weather clothes. None of my pre-preg clothes fit, and any that did weren’t nursing friendly
            Neutral: snuggled baby. fed baby. slept in our house and cooked (but only half cleaned up. Meaning she did it but not up to my standards or would like, wash but not dry the dishes…which would be fine except left to my own devices I would have gotten take-out and thrown the whole mess away leaving no net dishes, clean or dirty!)

            My in-laws came to visit for a week and stayed at a hotel. They mostly annoyed me because they didn’t do ANYTHING but snuggle the baby. IE clean, cook/buy dinner, keep themselves amused while I slept, etc.

      • This seems to be the trend with my friends. People both take off for a bit of time immediately after the baby is born. Then usually the partner who had the baby stays home for the duration of their maternity leave and returns to work and then the partner who did not have the baby take off the duration of their maternity/paternity leave.

        This seems good because they can often wait until the baby is 6 months until putting him into childcare and that both partners have individual one-on-one time to bond with the baby and really get used to taking care of ALL of the babies needs, instead of just having most of the tasks fall to one partner.

    • Not advice on your issue but I wanted to say don’t feel bad about posting here with baby related issues. I don’t have kids and won’t (the ship sailed) but my friends do and so do my coworkers and seeing the issues they face helps me be more understanding. I’m glad the moms board is dead.

    • With my first two (twins), I staggered it. My husband was home for two weeks, and then my mom came after two weeks and stayed from weeks 2-4. There was a roughly 3 day overlap when they were both there, and it was a little weird. Then my SIL came for a week, but by then I was fine and she was more annoying than anything. When I went back to work at 8 weeks, my husband took another two weeks of paternity leave to give the babies a little more time before starting daycare.

      With my third, my mom stayed with the older two while I was in the hospital after giving birth, but otherwise went home when we came home. My husband stayed home for two weeks again.

      It obviously depends on your relationships, but I wanted my husband and only my husband at our house for the first few weeks. Then I really appreciated having my mom to help when he went back to work.

    • Maddie Ross :

      Just a quick comment, but if your husband is the one who is planning to stay home with you for the first couple of weeks, followed by your mom, for the love all that is good and holy, make sure your husband really truly means he is taking off completely. That’s what our plan had been originally (husband first two weeks, mom next two weeks), but in my husband’s mind that meant working “lighter” hours and coming home early. It did not actually mean being home all day and a 100% available (or really, even 50%). It all worked out – and certainly if you need to be home by yourself for all of maternity leave, you can do it – but it wasn’t what I expected and once we were down in the trenches, having the conversation was hard.

      • This is insane. You sound remarkably un-upset about this.

        • I think this is a common issue with paternity leave – especially if men are out only a couple weeks, there isn’t the “off-ramping” that occurs when women leave for multiple months of maternity leave so men feel like they need to keep in the loop with work. My husband’s employer was terrible about respecting his paternity leave; he ended up driving around with the baby in a carseat so he could take conference calls while she slept. I struggled with whether to be upset with him for not setting boundaries, or upset with his employer for not honoring their own paternity leave policy, but ultimately felt like it was still good for him and the baby to have those weeks together.

    • this is exactly why I’ve asked my mym to wait 2-3 weeks before she comes, so my husband can have some special time bonding with the baby too

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      Two pieces of advice from the trenches:
      1) If breastfeeding isn’t working, you will really really need support from your spouse. Your mom may be great but your spouse has to be there and be involved.
      2) For my babies, weeks 2-4 were absolutely the hardest, and that was always when I had less support. That might be a good time for your mom to be around.

      Good luck.

    • Flying Squirrel :

      Despite a not too terrible pregnancy, I was a wreck in the immediate aftermath of the baby’s birth. I really needed both my mom and DH. My mom handled more of the household stuff, and DH handled the baby stuff. Between nursing and recovering, I don’t think I even changed a diaper until Baby Squirrel was a week old. Everyone’s birth is different, so this may not be you. I think just to hedge, though, I would have DH take a few weeks off right away. It’s also really important bonding time for him (the baby will always bond, but you do need to account for adults’ bonding)…and I think in our case it really set the stage for him to be a more hands-on dad.

  2. Big sale over at Boden…some decent deals on their cashmere cardis, which I love!

  3. This is a beautiful Pencil Skirt, and it is not to expensive, either! I will show the manageing partner and I am SURE I can get it reimbursed. Dad say’s that I have saved over $3000 thru the reimbursement’s, but I realy did NOT need all of the clotheing I have bought. He is also mad that I gave so much clotheing to NY Cares, but he is WRONG b/c the peeople who get that realy do use the clotheing, even if I dont. So there is another example where giveing to NY Cares, and other charatie’s are good for society. YAY!!

    I wonder if Kat is considereing doeing a column on giveing away clotheing? She may have, but I just missed it. I think it would be good for the websight to have peeople give away the clotheing they are NOT useing so that they will have more room in their closet’s for NEW clotheing. That is my theory and it also will help the economy by ENCOURAGEING ladie’s like us to go out and increase the GDP. (This means GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT, according to Myrna). Myrna does NOT even wear that fashionable clotheing like me but she is goeing to put something in place where she works, both for MEN and WOMEN, tho I think this sight should just focus on us giveing our clotheing to NY Cares or whatever charaty is in your citie’s.

    BTW, I asked mom about the car we had when I was young, and it was a MERCURY SABEL. I remember it was a very funny lookeing car, but Dad kept driveing it when Rosa was a baby so I am sure Mom must have changed her diaper’s in that car while Dad drove. Mom said Dad did NOT yell at her when either Rosa or me had to be changed, and Mom said we had to be changed ALOT! So I just think Dad is getting cranky now that there is another generation of poopie to be dealt with, but Mom said he was heading out afterward’s to meet some of his freinds at the Country Club afterward and could NOT take them in the car because of Sari. I say that is life. To bad. The car survived. So just say FOOEY and move on, Dad, and everyone else that has a fit when thier baby need’s to go to the bathroom. FOOEY!

  4. So I’ve been given permission to move to a nicer, bigger office in a quieter area of the firm. But I don’t want to make a big deal of this and do it during the day in plain sight of everyone else. Also one of the clerks has started stacking boxes in that office because it’s been empty for a couple weeks. Any advice on how to make the transition? My firm is small so much of this will need to be done on my initiative (i.e. we don’t really have an office manager to coordinate things like this)

    • Perhaps make arrangements to move over the weekend or at the beginning/end of a day. This shouldn’t be that big of a deal. Just ask the clerk to remove the boxes, coordinate who needs to move your computer and phone, and ask if there is a staff person who can help with your files.

    • Medic Maggie :

      I would streamline as much as you can during the day just to get stuff easy and ready to move, and then, if you can, just commence with your SO or a good friend on a weekend. If anyone asks, just say that “Mr/Ms. Manager thought that I would be more effective at my job in a different area closer to XYZ/where I won’t be disturbed by as much walk-by traffic/whatever” and leave it at that.

      If the boxes being stacked are not for your use, then you should be able to ask that clerk (or ask his/her superior, I don’t know how those politics work) to remove them. If they need a place to stage, they could use your soon-to-be-vacated office.

  5. Famouscait :

    I’d like to jump on the maternity/paternity leave planning wagon with another question , if I may…

    I’m having our first kiddo mid-Novemeber. Both sets of grandparents are within a few hours driving distance, and I anticipate that they’ll be there for birth but not sure exactly how long afterwards. (DH doesn’t get a paternity leave, but will be able to be around quite a bit.) Thanksgiving will be approximately 2 weeks later, and I’m inclined to say who ever wants to come to us for that holiday is welcome to cook a big meal in my kitchen, but we will not be traveling. Fast forward to Christmas in another 4 weeks, and we’re planning to be at my parent’s house to see my sister and her family from overseas. (There’s also a chance that an overseas aunt will come in for a week or so to our home between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which would also bring my in-laws back).

    I’m thinking that once we return to our house right after New Year’s, we put a halt to all travel and guests? My concern is that when I go back to work in late-February, we need to have spent some amount of time, just the two (well, three) of us, in our own home, figuring out how the heck to care for this baby. Thoughts?

    • I don’t think you need to consider this in terms of “putting a halt to all travel and guests” and you certainly shouldn’t be telling either set of grandparents that. You simply sont need to make a big plan ahead of time. I can see talking about what you will do for the holidays, but after they are over, you just live your lives. If people ask to visit and you don’t want them to, say no. If you want to go see someone do it.

      Trying to set plans in stone post baby is an exercise in futility.

      And FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. It’s called Corporette Moms. If you all just start using it people will go there.

      • I understand why some people are frustrated, but I’m sure many of these posters have posted on the Moms site and gotten no responses. I, for one, don’t mind at all reading the relationship/mom stuff on the regular site.

        • Random thought for Kat-
          What if instead of having a separate C-Moms site you did an open thread aimed at maternity/post work wear every day-few days here on the main site? That might corral some of the mom talk to a whole thread where people who weren’t interested could skip it.
          In fact, I first got hooked on this site by using it on my phone during pumping breaks – and I suspect there are others like me out there who might appreciate a “pumping break” post like the Coffee Breaks.

          • I think that’s a great idea Meg Murry. Not because people can’t just scroll past the maternity/kid posts but I think people will also feel free to ask questions that may be TMI on the general thread.

          • aaammmmmeeeeennnnn

        • Not a Mom Either but More Power to Ya! :

          I absolutely agree. I think the mom issues, particularly the mom-dealing-with-work issues but all of them really, are entirely relevant to this board even though I’m not a mom myself. I can offer whatever support I can even if I can’t offer personal experience advice.

      • Ugh, shut up about Corpor*tte Moms. Please. It doesn’t really exist. And you can skip anything here that you don’t want to read. Stop patrolling people’s posts. It’s tedious and not your job.

      • workingmomz :

        Why do you care so much if people post mom-related things here? Can’t you just scroll?

      • I like the parenting questions — this site is what its users make of it. So if people want to ask those questions and other people want to respond to them here…then that’s what this site is!

    • Medic Maggie :

      That is tricky. But I think you are absolutely right to say: come to thanksgiving, cook at my house.

      What is “a few hours” distance? Could you all stay at your house for most of Christmas, but visit the family/extended family just for CE/CD? Offer up some room back at your house for your sister?

      Sounds like you might be at your house more than you think–from mid-November until late-February will give you most of December at your house, all of January, and all of February.

      As far as “figuring out the baby” you can do that as much or as little as you want when you have family around. It is probably more important for you (especially if you’re going to nurse) to just let the other adults in the house exist around you, while you wrap yourself up in a little isolation bubble with the baby. Honestly, the first 2-4 weeks are really when you’re going to need the figuring out. And, since you’re going to be home from birth through Christmas, you should have plenty of that time. Even with the other family coming to visit. Plus, having the extra adults will allow you to also pass off the baby, and the housework, and let you do some things that remind you that you’re a human too. Maybe you like cooking–pass off the baby for a few hours and really cook. I find that cathartic (especially if it has been a while since I really cooked–it helps to re-ground me and re-energizes me) Or maybe it’s exercising. Or whatever.

      • Famouscait :

        Thanksgiving/cooking is not so much of an issue – my parents would totally understand and my in-laws are not American and don’t really celebrate the holiday. In-laws are 4 hours by car and my parents are 7 hours. We’re planning to spend a week +/- a few days at Christmas at my parent’s house, and I’m not so concerned about that either… It’s a really big house with enough space for all and lots of kid-friendly features (a benefit of not producing the first grand kids).

        I guess when I think about it, what I’m actually concerned about is too many people at my house, and specifically my in-laws at my house… It’s a small house. There’s only one guest room, and so if both sets of parents or in-laws + aunt come for a visit, I think someone would have to stay in a hotel (which would likely cause my in-laws to put up a fuss and threaten not to come). My parents are pretty all-hands-on-deck in terms of pitching in to help cook, clean, baby care, etc. My in-laws, on the other hand, tend to need to be entertained. This will be the first grand kid on their side, so I’m just not sure what to expect in terms of them providing baby or household help.

        I realize no one else can predict their behavior either, so I guess a thank you to the Hive for listening to me worry this one out myself…. =)

        • Medic Maggie :

          How about this for consolation: If your inlaws need a little more guidance, let them stay at your house for a FEW days over new years or whatever. 3 days tops. Bring your parents in for the remainder (if you wish) when they can do more of the heavy lifting.

          As an aside, my father & SM were more hands-off when the babies were tiny, and they chose to stay in a hotel. However, when they were around, they did nice, little thoughtful things. Dad would get pastries (his thing), and provide breakfast & lunch for us. My SM would hold the baby. Don’t have any kind of expectations set up for your ILs. If they offer, let them provide. Even if it’s just getting coffee and the newspaper.

          My mother likes to think she is helpful, but she is not, and her visits are often very stressful for me, but I am not about to rock the boat. One of the things my sister and I told my mom (on more than one occasion), who needs more guidance, is that she has been an adult for a long time. She has (successfully) run a household. She should not need us to tell her where to pitch in. Floor looks dirty? Sweep it. Laundry piling up? Wash it. We weren’t barking orders, but we were basically providing an open end to tasks that needed to be done, and she could contribute as much or as little as she wanted. I never have any expectations about her visits anymore, because I can’t count on them to live up to my expectations. So, I expect that she is going to come to our house and read her library book. Yes, my kids are 4 and 6. She could easily be doing things with them, (or to the house) but she often prefers not, and then later wonders why we’re so exasperated with her. This has turned into a much bigger vent than I expected! Anyway, you’re probably putting way more stock into this than it deserves. I am sure it will be fine.

        • It’s perfectly acceptable to not let people overrun your house two weeks after you give birth. I didn’t even let most people visit us for a week after I had my 3rd (my mom met her because she was staying with the older kids, and my dad met her because my mom was staying with the older kids). If it were me, I’d probably just do a quiet Thanksgiving at home by ourselves. I was in no place to have lots of people at my house for any length of time (even a few hours) two weeks after my first were born. It made me crazy with stress. At one point when my sisters in law visited for just a couple hours after the twins were born, I retreated to the basement and made my husband make them leave my house. Obviously, not great behavior on a normal day, but two weeks post-partum moms get a pass. I was really emotional and just couldn’t handle most people for the first few weeks after birth. More so with my first two, but even with my third (second pregnancy). I think you have to allow for the possibility of something similar, even though some women are totally fine with lots of company right after.

          Maybe tell everyone to make whatever plans they want, assuming you guys are out this year, but you’ll let them know if you want to change the game time decision?

        • Diana Barry :

          I second having ILs visit for only a few days if they aren’t going to be helpful.

          Also, be prepared for the trip to/from your parent’s house to take a LONG time. My ILs live 3 hrs away. We drove there with our first, who took forever to feed, and we had to pack a ton of stuff in the car, so the trip out there took 6 hours.

          • Famouscait :

            Your first sentence sums it up perfectly and I am going to try to remember this – thank you.

            Thanks to all for the helpful feedback. And I’d like to echo Nelly’s post farther upstream (in response to the first maternity leave Q). I appreciate having a wide range of people on this site to get feedback from.

          • Anastasia :

            To echo the “know your family” comments. If you want to keep family peace, you can’t really tell granpdarents not to come visit their grandkid. But you can say “we ‘d love for you to come for these [TWO] days.” If they turn out to be helpful, invite them for a longer visit the next time. My mom and MIL are welcome in my house for open ended visits any time. My dad and FIL are welcome for a weekend, but then I need a break to recover from entertaining them. (both sets of parents are obviously divorced)

            Separately, I want to throw this story out there: My family had a can’t-miss family event when my son was a couple months old, and even though there were a bunch of people crammed in a little house, it was SO relaxing for me, because there was always someone who wanted to hold the baby, and plenty of other people to help cook and clean. I pitched in when I felt up to it, but no one counted on me to do anything, and it was pure bliss. A couple months postpartum and a couple weeks postpartum are too very different things, though. YMMV

        • Are you in an area where you could rent a condo/vacation home near-ish your place for either your parents, in-laws or both? It might be similarly priced to a hotel room, but with an actual kitchen, living room, bathroom etc? We have friends that run rental properties on VRBO dot com, and getting a house for family Thanksgiving/Christmas/new baby/wedding is the majority of their business. Just something else to look in to.

        • I have a TJ on this TJ... :

          I’d be curious to know how those of you who have NO guest rooms, and out-of-the-area parents, have dealt with visits once the baby was born. We have a small one bedroom apartment, with a dog and soon a baby. We have a fold out couch, but it would be way too cramped to have family stay. But the family is all across the country. I’m wondering what others in this situation have done. Have parents stayed in hotels? Rented a VRBO? How long have they visited? Did you make an extra effort to visit them before parental leave was up?

          We personally can’t rent a place for the parents (I mean, if our monthly budget was bigger, we’d rent a 2-bedroom!), unless I guess we did it after going back to work and they took care of childcare, thus balancing costs. I’m just curious in regards to the experiences of others.

          • Lorelai Gilmore :

            We had this situation (though no dog, thank God) for several years. We did various things:
            1) We made friends with all of our neighbors; when they went out of town, we’d have our parents house-sit. This works if your parents are flexible with their travel schedules – your neighbors say, “Hey, we’re going out of town for the weekend,” and your parents jump on a flight.
            2) Air BnB.
            3) Ask people at your church, your gym, your whatever, if they have space for your parents. We ended up developing an amazing friendship with a woman from our church who had extra space and didn’t mind sharing it.

            Eventually, you will have to move. This is a short-term problem, so just get through it the best you can.

          • I have a TJ on this TJ... :

            Thanks, this is really helpful. We’re hoping to move (back to our parents’ side of the country, actually) in 6 months to a year, but this is the first grandchild on both sides of the family (and only grandchild for the foreseeable future)…

    • My son was due 4 days before Thanksgiving, and so, we planned to have family come knowing that if there may or may not be a baby there. If there was a baby, I would not help cook. If there was not a baby, I would help. I also volunteered to buy a honey baked ham if no one wanted to be in charge of the turkey. My brother-in-law agreed to be on turkey duty.

      When I went into labor Tuesday night before Thanksgiving, in a panic, I dragged my husband to the grocery store to shop for Thanksgiving. My son was born 10:30 pm on Wednesday. My family had arrived at my home, and they showed up early the next morning with bagels. Then, they brought pizza for dinner. We postponed Thanksgiving until Friday afternoon/evening when we had arrived home, and it was wonderful.

      My in-laws came for two weeks at Christmas, along with my little brother (who ended up staying just short of a month). It was great to have the extra help. I was able to take naps while leaving the baby in good hands. I also had the perfect excuse to have “alone time” when the baby needed to be fed. I was surprised, but I loved having everyone there.

      I enjoyed time with no company in January and February. We had an easy baby, and so, my husband and I went out to dinners and hung out with friends. It was really nice. We also took trips to accompany my husband on work conferences to Hawaii and PR. The baby traveled really easily, and we had a great time.

      The only time that I wish we had not had company was the week before I went back to work. My son was having trouble taking a bottle, and my mother-in-law was acting out. It was a really stressful time to have company, and in retrospect, I wish that I had not allowed it. (Granted, I was a mom that loved going back to work.)

    • You don’t need to set aside time for ” just the two (well, three) of us, in our own home, figuring out how the heck to care for this baby.” It will start happening from day 1 and every day, the three of you (your baby, too, will be telling you) will be figuring out how to relate as a family.
      Instead, I would think of it as “down time” which will be nice to have after all the visits.

      One additional suggestion – consider catering some thanksgiving items maybe, or having your folks cook at their place and bring food over as a option. I’d be worried that you’d get roped into the cooking and there will be tons of cleaning afterward that may stress you out or prevent you getting needed rest.

    • Anonymama :

      Be aware that if your due date is mid-November, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the baby comes in mid-November (unless you are being induced early for some reason). Realistically baby could come in beginning of November, in which case having everyone over would be fine and dandy, or just before or even on Thanksgiving, in which case that might be a little more complicated.

      While it’s good to try to think things out ahead of time, you also will want to be a little flexible, because it’s hard to predict how you will be feeling, how baby will be feeling, etc. You may be bored out of your mind in January and glad to have things to do, or you may be struggling with colic and want to have some extra help, or you may want everyone out of your hair and to just be alone with your husband and baby.

  6. "dating my daughter" :

    I just need to vent. I don’t have a daughter, in fact I have 2 sons. I have seen some things surface on my facebook feed lately that have made me really angry. I want to know if I am unreasonable, or if it’s not just me.

    So, there was a post the other day that was written, tongue-in-cheek, from a woman who was positing to men that surely they MUST know what they’re “doing” to women (as regards our unpure thoughts) when they’re wearing a suit. It basically said, that the MAN should be cognizant of the image he is putting out there so as not to tempt the impure thoughts of women. It was a great piece, because I am so tired of the onus being put on women/girls about dressing modestly because heaven forbid, someone else (a boy? a girl?) should have s3xual thoughts based on appearance. All this stuff about girls not showing chest (not boobs, but chest), shoulders, knees, etc, because the exposure of these parts will lead others to unpure thoughts. Why should this burden be placed on the woman? It’s like bre@stfeeding in public. If you’re offended, don’t look.

    Anyway, the post I read was great. It was finally someone turning the tables and saying, “Men, you have no idea what kind of thoughts I have when I see you in that dashing suit. You should be ashamed for conjuring these s3xual images in my head.”

    It was perfect, basically. And, then I read something about the stereotypical “rules for dating my daughter” and it made me equally mad. The global message of these posts is a good one: act responsibly, respect each other, and be nice. That doesn’t seem so bad. But the perpetuating message in these is that ALL S3XUAL ENCOUNTERS ARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE MALE which is BS. It is basically saying that these girls are innocent, and the future of all s3xual encounters hinge on their non-action and the unpure thoughts of their suitors. Are these same bloggers posting equally embarrassing and demeaning/patronizing posts for their daughters about the way that they should act on a date? What if you were that young man, greeted by a father with a shotgun, only to find out that his daughter is the one who wants to jump your bones??

    It is irksome, and not something I have to deal with now (my boys are 4 and 6), but I want my boys to be as well-prepared for DATING BEING A TWO WAY STREET rather than placing this unfair burden on them that defines the purity of any of the girls they may come across. I don’t know. I’m rambling.

    • I don’t think men will be impugned for dressing in a suit, and instead women will be judged for having impure thoughts. It seems to me that, unfortunately, men and women do not have equal sexual rights in our society. Men having sexual thoughts (or commiting sexual violence against women) because women dressed in short dress? Blame women. Women having sexual thoughts because men dressed in suit? Blame women.

      • "dating my daughter" :

        I agree–and that’s the problem. Makes me very sad. I just want to be able to raise my boys to YES! Have respect for Women! And Men! And everything in between! But also know that they are just as responsible for their actions as the girls (or guys) they date are for their own. I hate the undue pressure put on both boys and girls during formative years. I guess what I’m most afraid of is the scenario I laid out: what if my kid wants to hang out with a girl (whose father has a shotgun) and she is the instigator?!?!? My son would be to blame because the shotgun-toting father will undoubtedly never think his daughter is capable of making her own decisions, be they good or bad.

        • Well, you don’t know that that particular scenario will come to pass. Your boys might prefer video games to dating. I tend to think of the shotgun-toting father as more of a trope than an actual thing, anyway. In any case, I haven’t really ever heard of this happening in real life. I think you are right to raise your boys to respect everyone in their lives, male or female, and to act with respect and integrity in their dating relationships. And then I think you have to trust them to do that, in spite of whatever cultural messages they might be receiving on Facebook (or whatever has taken Facebook’s place by the time you are teenagers). I think you also have to teach them to choose companions who are going to take responsibility for themselves and treat them with respect, too (so, you know, if your son finds a girl who is the instigator who then gets pregnant, she’s not going to run off and tell daddy it was that awful boy’s fault).

        • I think the shotgun-toting father is ultimately concerned his little girl is happy (and I’ve known several). He may set rules (like time to be home and stuff) or appear threatening, but I’ve never known of a dad actually getting mad if his daughter “jumps” the boy’s bones. Typically dad doesn’t know and doesn’t care as long as his daughter is happy when she comes home at night. By the time the girl isn’t happy with the boy (and the dad would make good on his threats), the dad either liked the boy or is just happy to be done with him.

          Also, every dad that actually sets out rules for dating his daughter has put equally strict rules on his daughter. If she tends to rebel, he knew it before the boy came along.

          • +1 to “every dad that actually sets out rules for dating his daughter has put equally strict rules on his daughter.”

            My parents were super strict about dating, and the rules definitely applied to both parties involved.

          • Agree with this completely. I had a shotgun-toting Dad and I can confirm that I had equally strict rules. And I can promise that he did not view my dating habits with rose-colored glasses and blame the boys for everything. He just wanted to make sure I was happy (and safe…which goes back to the rules that also applied to me).

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I think what you are looking for is “sex positive parenting.” I’ve heard of it but haven’t read up much about it. The idea is to move away from the “sex is bad and dirty” lectures and more to “sex is normal but you should wait until you are prepared to deal with the consequences or are responsible enough to avoid consequences.” This message would be directed towards both sexes with the idea that it is normal to want to have sex.

    • There’s a great thing going around FB lately that’s a spin on those “rules for dating my daughter” things. It’s basically something like, 1. I don’t make the rules. 2. You don’t make the rules. 3. She makes the rules. 4. Her body, her rules.

  7. It’s called CorporetteMoms. They only way to start using it is by not posting your 75 extremely urgent mommy freak outs on here, and instead post them over there. We get it. Babies are hard for Type A women. Fortunately, there is a place for you.

    • It’s called patience, or empathy, or understanding, or the ability to scroll past, or whatever you need to call upon in order to get over it.

    • Honestly, I feel bad for people that feel the need to leave comments like this. I’m sorry that we sit behind you and force you to read every comment left on this website. Oh, we don’t? Never mind, then.

    • Good Grief :

      Here’s a PSA for you: No one likes you, and no one wants you here. Go away, and your frustrations with people posting about WORK LIFE issues on a BLOG FOR WORKING WOMEN will also go away.

    • I’m trying not to focus on the offensive characterization of all mommy related questions as “freak outs.” I think the comments sections benefits when there is as much activity as possible. Trying to preemptively edit any topic from discussion is a disservice to everyone who ever posts comments.

      • +1 to both those points.

        Maybe we should have a CorporetteMARRIAGE site. And a CorporetteFRIENDDRAMA site. And a CorporetteWHATDOICOOKFORAPARTY site. Or, you know, instead of dividing our lives into little silos so no one gets offended that they don’t have Silo X, or want Silo Y, or whatever, we could all just keep chatting about the things that preoccupy us day by day, and ignore whatever is not relevant or interesting!

      • Spirograph :

        +1 to both from me too.

        The fact that there is a separate site dedicated to discussion of XYZ topic doesn’t mean it can’t also be discussed here. I’m sure there are blogs out there on the interwebz specifically about online dating and make-up, but those are often discussed (personally, I scroll past most of them) and no one throws a fit. I just don’t understand why parenthood and work-life balance are different. The fact that you don’t find value in reading a particular conversation doesn’t mean the conversation shouldn’t exist here, it means you shouldn’t spend time reading it.

        That said, I’m pretty sure there are trolls who have made this particular complaint their pet project because they know it gets people fired up…

    • Wildkitten :

      I think this is a good point. If your critique of Moms is that nobody is using it, the way to fix that is by using it.

      • No one is using it that way because that’s not how it’s set up. It’s a weekly newsletter. There is no way to “use it” for questions.

      • My critique of Corporette Moms runs deeper than that no one is using it. But, regardless, I’m unlikely to use it. I’ve got three kids. I’ve mostly got the baby stuff figured out. So, I’m not going there. But, I am here. I may have advice to give to people. And I think people should be able to give and receive advice here on a wide range of topics. Regardless, you don’t make the rules. It’s not against the rules to post on parenting or any other topic here, and it’s ridiculous to continue to try to freeze people out because you aren’t interested. I’m not interested in probably 75% of what people post here. It doesn’t hurt me. I just skip it. Or I read it and realize it is interesting. Or I read it and continue to not be interested. But regardless, I move on and don’t feel the need to try to make other people feel bad because they aren’t interesting to me all.the.time. People need to get over it.

        • This is where I fit in. I have kids. I had a troublesome c-section and an equally troublesom VBAC. And a lot of BFing issues. And a (now sober) alcoholic husband. And have lost 50 pounds through exercise. And have been laid off from a job, and am now trying to climb the public sector ladder.

          What I find appealing most about corpor3tt3 is that it is a whole bunch of women in a room together, without being in a room together, comparing notes, and sharing experiences. Period. If I have a question, 9/10 times, someone here has had it, and has a pretty good perspective on it.

    • I am one of the people who was feeling really overwhelmed by how parenting-heavy the comments section had become, but honestly, I really don’t like the level of hostility in this comment. People tried to use the moms site and it wasn’t a good solution. Given that, I’d rather our commenters bring their questions to the community this way than not at all.

    • @PSA – I am not a mom, but I have a lot of friends who are, and, well, I like to read about their issues and prep myself for when I might be a mom. This blog has always had a lot of “juggling” content, and it’s not up to you to tell folks what to post.

      Moms, please don’t feel that you are not welcome here. That’s not the case.

      • mintberrycrunch :

        +1 from another person who does not have kids, but often finds the kids/juggling/working mom posts interesting. And if not, I just keep moving. NBD. I hope comments like the OP’s don’t discourage commenters from a wide variety of experiences from posting. That’s what I like best about this place.

        • +2. I think it’s always valuable to understand experiences that others have even if you don’t have them yourself. Plus, a lot of things that are called “parenting” are really “family management” and not about parenting at all (like how to deal with IL visits, above).

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I like reading some of the baby posts even though I don’t anticipate a baby in my future. However, there was one comment against such posts awhile back that resonated with me. It was from someone with a long history of problems TTC and she found a site dedicated to women who were career focused a respite from the women=mom world. Seeing all the mom posts made this a less safe place for her and she had to back off coming here because of it. I don’ t think the two sites need to be bifurcated. I think the baby questions that relate to working women specifically and couldn’t equally be posted to SAHMs should be welcome here. But if a question is one that could be answered on a million baby sites (like, at what age did you start solids?) then that could go on the moms site exclusively. I think that would be a fair compromise but I really don’t have a dog (or desired baby) in this fight.

      • You know, I want to be sympathetic to that argument (& the reading XYZ triggers ABC” arguments in general) but I’m not and here’s why; any topic is potentially triggering for people and the solution is to self-monitor what you read not to stop people from writing/putting information out there. If something starts to make you feel bad, turn it off, don’t police the content.

        • +1

        • So if I don’t want to see people acting like $sh!theads, I should stay off the internet, because it’s my fault I exposed myself to $sh!thead behavior, and I’m out of line if I say people shouldn’t act like $sh!theads?

          • I don’t understand this comment – the discussion is about censoring “triggering” conversations (like kids for those with fertility issues) not being mean/jerky, etc.

      • I don’t really agree with this. Babies and children are a part of life. If you have fertility problems (which I do), you’re going to have to avoid a lot of the world to avoid conversations about it. I don’t agree that people should have to curtail general comments/questions about kids because some people want a kid-free space, though I do think people should be sensitive to the fact that not all people are on equal footing in this realm (which I think people here are).

      • IDK, I see your point, and I commend you for being sensitive to it. And I get it, really. It took us 7 years and ultimately a couple rounds of IVF/ICSI to conceive. But the problem there isn’t what people are posting on this site. It’s that she’s going through something awful and others’ good news is going to constantly bombard her. In those situations, it’s okay to excuse yourself from the painful situation. But the constant attacks on pregnant women and new moms, which undoubtedly make them feel bad, aren’t justified to avoid making someone else feel bad.

        And I’ve been to other pregnancy/mom sites. They are scary places where I don’t want to loiter.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      Why is this such a big deal? I don’t have kids and these posts don’t bother me. Why do we have to have a mom-ghetto?

      • Enough with the mom shaming! Big shocker, I know, but working women are also sometimes moms as well. I appreciate these discussions just as much as I appreciate the travel/friendship/wardrobe discussions and feel like I am genuinely learning new things all the time from this site and the variety of topics that come up.

        Keep posting, mamas!

    • Actually, I agree with you. I’ve been reading this site for four or five years, but I can’t take it any more. Too much of the content is about babies or rude comments to each other. I’m out.

  8. TJ – I am on Team Pantyhose, and I need a recommendation for hose that are both control top and reinforced toe. Without the reinforced toes, hose are becoming single-use for me, and it’s expensive.

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      I’ve had good luck with the Via Spiga brand – I can usually find them in Marshall’s or TJMaxx for $5-6/pair.

    • Anon in NYC :

      If you are willing to spend the money, I can’t say enough good things about Wolford. I buy non-control top non-reinforced toe, and their sheer hose lasts several wears (maybe even an entire season).

    • Buy a size larger than you need and make sure to file your toenails. I find that a larger size looks the same but is more comfortable and durable because I’m not pulling it up against my toes so much. JCPenney has cheap hose that come in lots of sizes and lengths. I have pairs from there that I’ve had for years. Spanx also hold up pretty well, if you’re looking for that level of control.

    • Second attempt to post:

      I have worn Hanes Silk Reflections (control top, reinforced toe) since the mid-1980s, and they are great. I buy them bulk from the Hanes outlet website.

    • In the Pink :

      I have worn an Italian brand – Filodoro – for over 15 years now. The 15 denier weights last 2 weeks and maybe 3, in the office, file cabinets, being klutzy, and all other hazards included.

      I usually go to a lower # in the denier for more sheer for going out.

      The site I have used lo these many years is in Canada and they ship via snail mail to the USA.

      shapings dot com

      Lots of brands, styles, colors, combinations. Even fab “toe less” panty hose that go horizontally across the foot and another style that slips on basically like you’d do with flip flops.

      They have thigh highs, fab European thick and soft tights, all sorts of things.

      Hope you find what you are looking for, surely you will!

      Regards, Sargent at Legs

    • Go to OneHanesPlace.com — then you can buy in bulk. Their Silk Reflection hose last several wears for me and they come in a super-wide range of sizes. And cosign the size up recommendation–it puts less stress on the fibers, so they get less tired, and therefore last longer.

    • Anonymous :

      Nordstrom. $10/pair, and they wash well in the machine (I don’t even put them in a delicates bag). I think I’ve even put them in the dryer on accident and nothing happened.

      For the ultimate compliment to this brand: a co-worker once pinched onto them and yanked hard (while saying, “why do you always wear these”) and they didn’t run or stretch or otherwise show a mark. (Yay for Nordstrom. Boo to mean, immature co-workers.)

  9. My boyfriend and I are moving in together in September, into a rental, and will start looking for apartments soon. He’s in much better financial shape than me – owns a house (in a separate city) and has significant savings. Meanwhile, due to ongoing debts/poor choices, I have no savings whatsoever. We both make similar, relatively high salaries and have good credit, but I worry my lack of savings makes me an unattractive rental candidate.

    My boyfriend offered to loan me some money to pad my savings account – around 6k. We’d make some kind of written agreement that this money would be returned to him by a certain date, although we do plan on eventually getting married/having joint savings. Is this a bad idea? It feels unethical, but since he’ll be a co-renter, it’s not like getting a random loan from a friend.

    • I think this is not unethical but unnecessary. Landlords are more concerned with proof of income, which clearly you have, than with proof of savings. Plus, if both names are on the lease, it shouldn’t matter that the same amount of money is split differently between accounts.

      • Killer Kitten Heels :

        +1 to this. I had less than zero savings (just finished law school, hadn’t started my BigLaw job yet) when my then-b/f, now H and I first moved in together, and the only thing landlords asked for was a letter or similar from my soon-to-start job confirming my start date and salary. They didn’t even ask to see our savings/bank records.

      • +1 – I’ve been a landlord and savings accounts aren’t part of a credit check. Income/being employed is what they’re looking for.

    • turquoise dress :

      Is the separate city close to where you guys are now? Living in that house might be an easier option than finding a new place and applying for a lease, etc.

      Do they look at your savings when you apply to rent an apartment? I thought it was just credit score.

      • I’ve never heard of a landlord looking at a prospective tenant’s savings. That seems really, really odd.

        • I’ve been asked for bank statements.

        • Mine requested the information, along with salary and amount of debt. To the extent anecdata are helpful, when I moved into my current place, we had very little savings outside of our retirement accounts because I had just emptied my bank account to pay off my law school loans and my landlord didn’t care. We also had high salaries and no debt, which may have made up for the lack of savings.

        • AnonLawMom :

          Not odd at all. For the last two places I rented I had to give bank statements, securities account statements, etc. that showed we had adequate savings on top of income. I think it depends on what you are renting. $2K apartment in a complex – proof of income probably okay. $5K house – need more information.

    • First Year Anon :

      Can’t your BF just apply for the apartment on his own? I didn’t know savings were a factor in getting a rental.

    • In my rental experience, all landlords cared about was credit score and proof of income. If you stop paying, they can evict you in a matter of months and re-rent so they aren’t that worried about the property being tied up like it would be with a mortgage. I didn’t have to outline all of my assets until I bought a house.

    • MaggieLizer :

      Has a realtor or landlord or some other real estate professional told you that your savings is an important factor in your market? It’s been a while, but I’m not sure I’ve ever even been asked about savings in a rental application. If your boyfriend is the one telling you this is important, he may be thinking back to his mortgage application, which is nothing AT ALL like a rental application. Talk to a professional before you and BF start contemplating loans that will probably be unnecessary. And congrats on moving in together!

  10. I recently bought my first house and have started receiving questions about the cost of my home, down payment, mortgage terms, etc. How do I defer such questions when people really try to press for answers? I don’t want to be rude since these are my friends but at the same time I don’t feel the need to explain everything.

    • “Sorry, but I’d rather not share that.” Smile. Repeat.

      I really don’t understand how some people think it’s OK to ask such questions.

      • On a related note- some of my friends constantly make comments about how much money I must have saved, I’m never going to buy, I’ll just wait until I have the cash to buy outright har har…it makes me very uncomfortable to have them talk about how much money I have (which, isn’t true- and if it was, so what? It’s my life. I am very private about my finances.). I just try to deflect and move on to other topics, but they won’t stop, and even talk about it with other people while I’m at the other side of the room.

        Am I being ridiculous for finding this pretty darn rude?

    • Some of them may be nosy, and some of them may be interested in buying houses themselves and just gathering information. Either way, you have the right to remain silent. I’d speak in vague terms (such as, “rates are generally X% these days”, or, “most people put Y% down”, or “the average sales price in my neighborhood is about $Z”). In any event, sale prices are a matter of public record, so they can always look up the sale price themselves if they absolutely MUST know.

    • This happened to me, too! People can be nosy. I’d ‘answer’ their questions by not really answering- think the politician’s answer and then change topics. So someone would ask “wow, how much did you pay for it?” and I’d return with something like “Oh, it made me nervous to plunk down so much money at once, but now of course it’s all my responsibility and now I worry about water leaking and who’s going to change my lightbulbs and all sorts of problems your super takes care of in an apartment. Hey, how is your new job going??”

    • I got the same questions after I bought my house. Most were from friends who were considering buying, so I just said that down payments and loan terms are really different for everyone and my advice wouldn’t be very helpful. I also offered them the name of the bank representative who handled my loan since she did a great job.

    • Medic Maggie :

      At some point, it will be public knowledge on your jurisdiction’s GIS database. Kind of a snarky reply, but you are right–they have no right to know unless they look for themselves.

      “We got a steal from a falling-out divorce FSBO” is our reply. Yeah, we paid peanuts for our house, on the surface of things, but we put it tens-of-thousands-of-dollars worth of work into the house before we moved.

    • Keep in mind that anyone can see how much you paid. It’s like the first information that comes up when you search an address. So, you might want to meet a rude question with no answer, but it doesn’t mean that answer won’t be public anyway.

      As for your loan, I think it’s natural and helpful information to share what kind of interest rates are out there, even if it varies by borrower. As for how much you borrowed, that’s just a MYOB.

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      It depends, I think – for some friends, I’m close enough to them that if they were asking as research in their own home-buying process (rather than out of sheer nosiness), I’d probably share some or all of that information, so before shutting them down, I might try “why do you ask?” to gauge which place they’re coming from.

      If it’s someone I wouldn’t share that info with under any circumstances, or someone I might share with but they’re only asking to be nosy, the polite shut-downs suggested by others above would all work.

    • You can always use the good answer “Why do you ask?”. I love that answer for nosy questions – it puts the onus back on the asker to think about why they are asking such a nosy question, and most of the time they realize it’s none of their business.

      • +1

      • If someone asks you about dollar amounts (price of house/amount of dp/mortgage payment), then absolutely it’s fine to shut down those rude questions. But the other questions OP mentions seem more like requests for advice. I’d be pretty put off if I said to a friend, “I’m hoping to buy a house soon and I know nothing about the process; could you share your experience with me to help me understand what I’m in for?” and she shut me down and suggested I was being rude. Of course OP doesn’t have to share details she doesn’t want to, but I like SW’s more gentle approach above for those kinds of questions.

      • Wildkitten :

        Except that the answer is “Because I am interested in some day buying a house and want to know how people have made it work for them so I can plan accordingly!” And it shouldn’t be so rude to have conversations about money. That’s how Lilly Ledbetter ended up screwed.

      • Does “why do you ask” work for this situation. I feel like the “why” is obvious. They want to know how much you spent.

    • Tinkerbell :

      I honestly don’t understand this culture of financial prudeness. We don’t talk about how much a house costs, what our salaries are, retirement, nothing. WHY.

      • Especially with house costs, since the information is easily, publicly available, I have no problem telling people how much we paid.

      • AnonLawMom :

        Agree. Especially in the real estate context I don’t get this. $$ information on real estate is so public now. You only have to zillow someone’s address to know what they paid. Why is it so rude to talk about it and share information with friends who may be trying to figure out how they can buy a house, etc? My friendsand colleagues and I talk about this stuff all of the time and it’s really no big deal. Maybe it’s an attorney/biglaw thing though – our salaries are basically public so we are just sort of used to everyone knowing our financial business, at least at a high level.

      • Lorelai Gilmore :

        In many states, including that of my mother-in-law, you can be fired for discussing your salary with co-workers. She’s worked at her place of employment for 40 years, and when she recently started talking to a colleague about salaries and wages (which are ridiculously low), she got hauled into the manager’s office for a lecture on how she wasn’t allowed to discuss this. It makes me absolutely furious.

        • That likely violates the national labor relations act. Workers are allowed to discuss salary and wages because they are allowed to use that information to unionize.

          • Lorelai Gilmore :

            When this happened (several years ago), I did some research and identified the part of the NLRA that explicitly allows workers to discuss salary and wages. But it looked like state law didn’t all conform – perhaps that’s now changed. I hope the Paycheck Fairness Act does pass, because it’s imperative for employees (like my mother in law!) to be able to talk about these things. Information is power.

          • Anonymous :

            NLRA only covers workers. If you are a supervisor (and that is a broadly drawn definition), it doesn’t cover you. Even if you’re just one level up from “worker” in a large organization.

        • It is illegal to fire people for discussing their salary. In fact, the proposed Paycheck Fairness Act will punish companies that take action against their employees for doing so.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Yup, ask a manager has done many a post on this. Employers are not allowed to prohibit salary and wage discussions.

          • Among employees that are subject the NLRA. Which isn’t everyone, so that’s not a blanket prohibition. But, yes, will apply to just about everyone with an hourly wage and eligible for OT.

      • I agree with this…. I am totally clueless about many of these financial issues and just learn on my own. To have input from my peers is utterly priceless, as I am often embarrassed by some of my own questions and lack of perspective.

        While I admit I hated it when my father’s secret mistress asked me my income and other personal financial questions during our first encounters…. there is part of me that would be so grateful to have a peer that I could ask some of the same questions! Of course, context is everything…

        Speaking as a woman who has never had the nerve to ask for a raise, and probably never will.

      • Thank you for saying it better than I could. Perhaps some people are trying to avoid judgment, whether others will see them as spending too much or too little. It’s common for people with high incomes or high net worth to not discuss money because when people find out, they may start asking for loans or gifts. It can also reveal that some people are not as independent as they look, because they received a down payment from their parents as a wedding gift, or an inheritence from a grandparent. Maybe because information is power, and some people do not want to give others an upper hand. It can be challenging to find un- or minimally biased financial advice for a newbie, as not everyone grows up with a family portfolio manager.

    • Cost of my home: “too much, ha!” If they press you, i suppose they could always just google it.
      Down payment: “an arm and a leg.” I wouldn’t necessarily share this, but if I knew the asker was just trying to get a sense for what kind of deal they could get with <20% down, I might talk to them.
      Loan rate: this, I'd disclose, only because I don't care. If you don't want to share, you could say "rates are in the [low 4s, high 3s, whatever] last I checked."

      • Anonymous :

        This is how I would handle it. Just find a lighthearted/funny way to brush off the questions.

        I’m very private about money, so I totally understand being uncomfortable. Even if my closest friends asked me this, I would avoid answering unless maybe they were genuinely seeking advice.

  11. Just reading through documents at work today – wish I had a non traditional office and could do it somewhere not in my distracting cubicle!

  12. It is so cold in my office that I’m freezing even though I’m wearing a sweater, have a blanket draped around my legs and the space heater is running on full blast. This is utterly ridiculous.

  13. A question/comment: has anyone tried Club Monaco pants & if yes, how do they fit?
    They have a lined gray wool pair on clearance for about $15 but I have no idea how the sizing runs. Thanks.
    FYI – if anyone is interested, http://www.clubmonaco.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12473764
    Lots of other good sales items, too.

  14. Supporting in-laws :

    Due to their dwindling resources and imminent financial implosion, it is likely that my soon-to-be inlaws will need to either move in with us in the next couple of years, or be largely supported by us (pay for a small apartment vs. having them move into an inlaw suite, for example).

    Any words of wisdom or things to think about from those who have been there? FWIW, I get along with both of them, and my partner and I are equally frustrated with them for not taking better care of their own financial situation but committed to making sure that we help them out (to the extent we can w/o hurting our own financial picture and sanity).

    • Hildegarde :

      Is their situation due to an ongoing inability to manage money, or their prior bad decisions? If it’s the latter, you might consider giving them a monthly allowance so they can deal with finding their own apartment, budget, etc. If they would blow any allowance you gave them and not use it to pay rent, though, obviously that wouldn’t work.

      When this process begins, I would set out with your future in-laws clearly what you can do for them, so they don’t (or at least shouldn’t) have unrealistic expectations that you will just support in whatever manner they choose. I would also have your husband do most of the talking, so it can’t seem to them like their evil daughter-in-law wants to starve them (I realize you said you have a good relationship with them, which is great, but these situations can bring up all sorts of problems).

      I would not waste time berating them for their past mistakes. If you think they would be open to learning about financial management, that’s one thing, but doing someone a favor and using that opportunity to lecture them, when they have to listen to you because they’re over a barrel, will not help the situation. I think basically no adults would be open to hearing that in a meaningful way.

      I’m sorry you and your fiance are in this situation, but it seems honorable for you to be handling it this way. Good luck.

      • Supporting in-laws :

        Thank you for your response!

        It’s a combination of factors – unexpected job loss and life-long (it appears) inability to manage money that never came to light prior to the job loss due to the high earning power. A lot of bad decisions (mounting credit card debt and they figured they’d just pay it off when they sold the house – which they’ve been unable to sell, and many other examples).

        I’ll definitely let my future husband take point on setting out what we can (and can’t) do for them. Neither of us wants to berate them for past mistakes because that ship has sailed, but we do think that having them sit down with a financial professional to help them figure out a budget going forward would be helpful (because they can’t do it on their own, and it’d end up seeming like a lecture coming from us).

        I know they are embarrassed and sad. How do I deal with those emotions w/o seeming patronizing?

        • AnonLawMom :

          I would let your husband handle their emotions and try to be involved only on the back end with your husband only to the extent possible. There was a post similar to this on this site a few months back and someone suggested agreeing to pay for a specific bill or bills. Like, paying rent directly to the landlord, for example. This way you know where your money is going and that it will not be spent on frivolous things or otherwise in ways that will just continue to keep them dependent on you. You might also want to structure it as decreasing gradually over time. Like for 6 months you pay full rent and then every quarter after that you reduce by 10% or something. This will keep you from feeling like it will never end and will reduce the “They bought that?!” moments.

        • Same situation with my parents. They had some utterly incomprehensible spending patterns that got them to the point that even though they bring in more than I do every month, they can’t pay all their bills. I took over utilities and insurance. We had some of the same sadness and embarrassment, but I pay those bills with a credit card that earns airline reward miles, and it cheers them up somewhat to know that I’m getting a future trip out of helping them. Since I’m paying off that credit card in full every month, it works out to everyone’s advantage.

          Just a thought.

          • Anonymous :

            Just wanted to chime in to say – you all are way better daughters than I am. I feel pretty selfish to say it, but there is no way I would financially help either of my parents as long as they’re still capable of working (regardless of their income). Their failure to budget is not my problem. I’m kind of in awe of how close other people must be to their parents to feel so charitable toward them.

        • Lorelai Gilmore :

          Is there anything you can do to help them sell their house? (Find a better agent, help them with repairs and maintenance around the house, do some yardwork, whatever?) That might be a good first step.

          • Supporting in-laws :

            Unfortunately, not without being a HUGE a-hole, because future MIL is a real estate agent and listed the house herself. So any suggestion/advice would be akin to telling her that she doesn’t know how to do her job. It’s actually mind-boggling. You know those articles that tell you the top 10 tips on how to show your house well for a quicker sale (neutral walls, curb appeal, minimize clutter, etc). It’s like she read a spoof article written by the Onion instead (bright, contrasting colors on all the walls, no yard maintenance, etc). And it’s not like potential shoppers are looking for a fixer upper either, b/c the house is in the $1M range.

          • Lorelai Gilmore :

            That’s complicated. But I have to say – given what you’ve said about how the finances are predicated on the home sale, I might ask your future husband to push this issue with his mom. Maybe he could offer to spring for a staging company to come in and do an overhaul. I understand it’s tricky, but honestly, this might be a place where it’s worth it to dig in. Would she rather be offended about her real estate skills, or be living on her son’s dime?

          • Clementine :

            This is a suggestion that deals with a tiny sliver of the solution, not the whole big picture.

            Would it be possible to do the ‘OMG, my coworker/friend/neighbor’s uncle’s cat-sitter just had this fabulous experience with a house stager who came in and painted the walls and brought in new furniture and the place just flew off the market! I didn’t even know they could do so much! I think bringing someone in could really take some of the pressure off of you.’ Obviously, know your audience and how much to soften this, but I like the idea of a home stager, especially for someone in the $1M range.

            Also, remember to be protective and nurturing of your relationship. Family is hard and there are snake pits everywhere.

      • AnonLawMom :

        Their house is in the $1M range? This seems so inconsistent with their need for money. Can they get an equity line or something? I am really failing to see how it is reasonable for you, as a young couple that is probably dealing with your own financial issues, to support them when they have this kind of an asset.

        • Supporting in-laws :

          It is heavily mortgaged, they have many other debts, and not much income. And it has been on the market for several years.

          Absolutely not trying to justify their behavior – just trying to paint a more complete picture. It is unfortunately not just as simply as sell the house/get an equity line. I wish it were.

    • Meg Murry :

      As an FYI from someone who’s been helping the parents support the grandparents, if the parents are anywhere near Medicare age or Medicaid need/income levels, you should talk to a social worker at the Medicaid office. From what we were told by the social workers, if they are receiving Medicaid, you can not pay their medical bills or buy any medical devices for them like hearing aids or glasses (and paying their housing bills may be a sticky situation). Again, not a professional, but what we were told was that if someone (anyone) else can and did pay medical bills, the person is considered to be not needy and therefore committing Medicaid fraud. In our case, said grandmother was in a nursing home (paid by Medicaid once her money ran out), and needed 2 hearing aids, but Medicaid/care was only going to pay for one. My MIL offered to buy the other one and was told by the nursing home social worker that she COULD NOT do so under any circumstances.

      Along the same lines, if you do ever wind up buying a house for them to live in, it should be in your name, not theirs (although they could “rent” it from you for a song). Same with cars, etc. If there is ever a major medical situation and the property was in their name, it would have to be sold before Medicaid would pay the bills.

    • Regarding the “move in with us or pay for their rent” decision here, I would strongly advise you to choose the latter. Having family move in with you can be such a huge stress on your relationship, even if you get along wonderfully. My parents’ divorce resulted from a similar situation, and my brother-in-law currently lives with us for similar reasons. We’re close and get along wonderfully, but it’s such an enormous stress on my marriage and has introduced some issues into my relationships with my in laws that I didn’t expect. You can love them and get along great, but I find that usually it’s better and easier to do so from a distance.

  15. Beautiful skirt.

    Quick question about legal writing samples:

    Do I use the copy that was filed/served with the court? If the case is still active/pending, do I need to redact names? I’m sure this has been discussed here before, but I can never figure out how to use the search function of this site. TIA!

    • I prefer to see file copies, because there’s no need to redact and no possible work product or other issues that can come with drafts. I just need a clear statement about how much of the finished product is your work if it is signed by more than one attorney.

      • Thanks, all!

        I signed it and I added my boss, but I did not include her electronic signature. Does this mean that she also signed it? As for the real issue (how much of it is mine), how do I determine this? I spoke about the format and structure with my boss, and she added about two sentences, 3 words, and cut-out about four paragraphs of a response that is 8 pages long. Does this sound like mine alone?

        • Sounds like you can fairly represent that you drafted the brief and that it was lightly edited by a supervisor. I don’t think it is fair to say that work is “yours alone” but it is primarily yours and perfectly in line with what would be expected of a finished, filed brief.

    • If you can use the copy filed with the court, fine, that’s public record. If the sample is supposed to be unedited work and the filed copy does not fit the bill, then redact names and other identifying information with a footnote indicating that you did so. Realize that an early draft of a legal document is protected work product. Tread very carefully to make sure that no one would be able to identify the work product based on your sample. If someone *possibly* could, then I think you are obligated to find another sample.

    • On pleadings filed with the court, I always used a file-stamped copy, to ensure it was obviously a public record. If it’s a public record, I don’t see the need to redact even if the case is active. Make sure it’s not something filed under seal, of course. If it was a memo or something not public record, I would always go through and change the names to something generic, like Corporation A and John Doe.

  16. Heat protectant for hair :

    Any good recommendations? My hair’s a little dry and I’m worried heat damaged. Looking for a spray or something to use before blowdrying and (once in a while) curling. Also good if protects against UV rays (that’s a thing, right?).

  17. Anon in Minnesota :

    Just noticed that it’s Nordstrom’s designer clearance sale right now. http://shop.nordstrom.com/c/sale-designer?origin=leftnav

    Not much in my size (fortunately?), but there are some great St. John’s jackets. And these shoes!

    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/prada-asymmetrical-sling-sandal/3668987?origin=category-personalizedsort&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=&resultback=570&cm_sp=personalizedsort-_-browseresults-_-1_3_C

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