The Planner’s Guide to Pregnancy: What to Know Before You TTC

Preparing for Pregnancy: The Type A, Planner's Guide to Pregnancy and What to Know Before You TTC | CorporetteWhat are the most important steps to take as you’re preparing for pregnancy and planning to have a baby?  If you’re a Type A, planner type of woman, what should you know ahead of time? Readers discuss this often, but I don’t think we’ve ever rounded up everyone’s advice.  So: if  you wanted to start trying to conceive (“TTC”) in six months, what would you want to check off your to do list? Are there certain things you’d focus on in your career, personal life, or health? For those of us who are Type A, planner types, this is an important question — what should you know before you TTC?

We’ve talked about financially preparing for a baby in our Tales from the Wallet series, as well as Kat’s advice on planning your career for babies, but we haven’t talked about the more general aspects of planning for a baby in a while. We’ve collected the most helpful reader advice here — what would you add? What would you tell a planner asking how to plan for her pregnancy?

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Dating at Work

Dating at WorkLadies, what are your thoughts on dating at work? Have you ever dated a coworker? What do you think are the rules for dating officemates? With Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought we’d have a nice open thread about the pros and cons of dating at the office. (For those of you already happily coupled, let’s hear how you met, whether at the office or beyond!)

For my $.02: I never dated a coworker, although I had crushes on a few of them over the years — at the time I was very worried about being viewed as someone who saw the office as a dating pool. Looking back, this was probably silly — in Big Law so many people churn through the lower ranks it’s almost like another grad school, and there are always more people to work with if a relationship ends poorly. Indeed, I know several happily married couples who met as coworkers at BigLaw — although all of them kept it a secret, even from good friends, until the relationship was pretty serious. (In fact, a number of readers noted in our last open thread about dating at the office that they had dated at work, and discretion was the name of the game, as well as paying attention to the “don’t date assholes” rule that, you know, is a pretty good one for dating in general. I also agree with the other little rule that readers noted in that thread, though: Summer associates or interns should not date at the office.)

As for how I met my husband — I went through a phase where, fighting my introverted ways, I said “yes” to pretty much any activity that would take me out of the house. For about a year and a half I went to political fundraisers, soccer games, and trivia nights — and I also joined museum groups like the Young Lions (at the New York Public Library) and the American Museum of Natural History’s Junior Council. And just when I was about to give up my little “dating project,” I met my husband. We met at a friend-of-a-friend’s birthday party in a bar on the Lower East Side; Mr. G also did not know the birthday girl well and in fact had to be dragged to the party (by our future best man!). Our circles really didn’t intersect at all, so it’s really lucky that fate took us both to that party.

All right, ladies, over to you — have you dated at the office? Share your stories (and your rules)! If you’re happily coupled, how did you meet your partner, whether at work or beyond? 

Psst: we’ve also talked about finding time to date when you’re busyhow to date a really busy guy, and how to date someone with more time or less money

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Tales from the Wallet: Who Manages the Money In Your House?

Kate Spade New York Glitterball Coin PurseWho manages the money in your house — you? your partner? everyone?  This came up recently with a friend, and I thought it might be an interesting open thread.  For those of you without a partner, do you want to stay in charge of your finances — or will you be happy to give that drudgery over? (Pictured: Kate Spade Glitterball Coin Purse, available at Zappos in pink and black for $50.)

For my $.02: In our household, I’m the primary one in charge of our finances, both day-to-day and long-term.  (We tried when we were first married to put 80% of our income into a joint account and 20% into separate accounts for spending money, but we simplified everything and have totally joint accounts now.)  I give my husband a “State of the Union” summary about twice a year (or whenever the mood strikes) — what the balances are, how the investments are doing, how we’re doing on our goals for the year, the good news (how much debt we’ve paid down/savings we’ve banked), the bad news (if we had to dip into savings to pay any bills, how much, when, etc).  He also gets the weekly summary emails from Mint, as well as text messages when our accounts drop below a certain balance (I think that’s another Mint feature, but it may be through our bank, Chase.)  In all honesty, I think it’s easiest to have one person manage everything, but that’s just what I know.  (Especially in our situation, where I occasionally write about personal finance and so I’m reading about it more, whereas my husband just was never into it that much.)

I think it’s funny how sometimes this is seen as a “gendered” family role — I think it’s usually seen as “the man’s job,” but my mother was the primary one in charge of day-to-day finances while I was growing up, as were both my grandmothers before her.

Ladies, who manages the money in your house? If you’re not the primary person, do you get “reports” from your partner?  Was this something you negotiated before you intermingled finances, or did you just fall into your roles?

Navigating the Murky Waters of Being Friendly With Staffers

can-you-be-friends-with-your-secretary

2016 Update: We still stand by the advice in this post, but you may also want to check out our latest discussion of whether you can be friends with your secretary

Can you be friends with your secretary?  We got this e-mail from Reader A and it raises a lot of interesting questions, such as how to treat your assistants, how to behave in a male-dominated field where you’re one of the only women who isn’t a secretary, and so forth….

I’m wondering how one is friendly with colleagues at work without becoming friends with colleagues at work. I’m an attorney and have recently moved to a firm where I’m the only female attorney, and the staff is comprised almost entirely of women. I was warned in a joking manner by one of the partners when taking the job to beware – previous female attorneys at the firm have fallen victim to being ‘friends’ with staff (regular lunches, after-work drinks, etc) and then later suffer the wrath should someone need to be called on the carpet for job performance or with claims of favoritism.

So far, I’ve gone to lunch with only a couple of people who have initiated the invitation, and I avoid discussing others in the office and steer conversation away from that topic. However, I plan on being here a long time, and I wonder if you or your readers have insight that might help me or have found themselves in similar situations.

Right? Great e-mail. So far, what reader A is doing sounds great to us. Here are some further tips:

  • There’s nothing wrong with finding a friend who happens to be a staffer. Like our advice for dating at the office a few weeks ago, though, we would not recommend looking for a best friend at the office (really, among the staffers or elsewhere). Aim for collegiality. You’re all in this together, and you all have your own jobs to do, and it’s often best if emotions are kept out of it.  Friendship can be harder with people you supervise directly —  it’s important to see both their skills and weaknesses as clearly as possible, so you can compensate and better manage, either by delegating things in certain respects, or knowing to phrase your requests in a certain way.

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