Coffee Break – 3-Pocket Glasses Stand

Bushakan 3-Pocket Glasses StandIf you’re like me — and you have a few pairs of glasses floating around your home or workspace — I love these beautiful glass stands. Not only do they give your glasses a place to “live,” they also look gorgeous and classy. Prices range from $49-$225; the ash wood one pictured is $180 at Bushakan. 3-Pocket Glasses Stand



  1. Are these “free Southwest flights” deals that you see on Facebook legit? I’m assuming not, but just wondering because I see people post it who I wouldn’t think would fall for a farce.

  2. I’m fairly blind, so my glasses come off last thing each night and go on first thing each morning. That means they have to be right beside my bed. I currently stand them up in a mug on my nightstand. Probably not the most elegant solution, but easy for me to find when I can’t see.

    • Unfortunately, I have gone to a 2 pair system. My progressive lenses are great for distance and regular reading where I’m looking down. I have a second pair just for my computer. It was pretty disheartening that my $950 glasses wouldn’t do it all, but I was lucky enough to get a pair at Zenni Optical for the computer.

      • NOLA, interesting. I was just thinking that I should get a pair just for the computer. Especially since my stupid hubby messed up our flexible spending plan and we have oodles of money left to spend before 12/31/12. I saw some Coach frames at costco that are calling my name…i hope they’re in stock in December.

        • It was crucial for me. I could not find the middle distance on my progressives and I was miserable at work even after having them remade. My doctor wrote a different prescription for them.

          • I have the same problem. I usually don’t wear my glasses at all with the computer but I can’t see the faces of people who come to my door at my office.

    • Anon Analyst :

      Same here. I keep my glasses in the drawer of my night stand. One of my cats enjoyed knocking them off the stand when I left them out, so I had to hide them. There have been a couple of times where I’ve accidentally put my glasses in a different place and it’s not fun searching for them when when everything is blurry!

      • I *always* put my glasses in the same spot but when I don’t it’s terrible! They just blend in. I’ve never thought about putting them in a mug on the nightstand- that might make it easier to locate them when they get mixed into the piles of stuff.

    • phillygirlruns :

      my stbx-husband is quite blind as well, but he actually sleeps with his glasses on. certainly solves the problem of finding them, but it does lead to some really great crease-marks come morning. i never understood how that could be comfortable, but he’d been doing it ever since he was a kid because he hated not being able to see as soon as he opened his eyes.

      • I am his opposite number in this regard.

        I love that delicious vision of the world as if it were put through a Monet filter when I first wake up in the morning without glasses. Ordinary things can look very hazily beautiful seen this way.

        Putting on my glasses is like an alarm clock that jolts everything into stark, crystal-clear reality, full of that day’s upcoming demands and effort.

        • True fact: I get ready MUCH FASTER in the morning if I’m wearing glasses and/or contacts. It’s incredible how that works (I don’t need my glasses to get ready in the morning).

        • I generally hate waking up with the world blurry, it just adds to my morning fogginess. When I’m on a contacts wearing stint I’ll often sleep in them, but I still try to put on my glasses in my morning haze, which is a complete mess for a few minutes.
          One thing that is awesome without my glasses though is Christmas lights – they are giant balls of color. I can stare unfocused without glasses at Christmas lights for hours if I have the opportunity

      • How does this not destroy his glasses? Does he do the coffin sleep pose very well? I would think that would be hell on the temples and nose piece (based on the way I know I sleep).

        • phillygirlruns :

          he got some very flexible frames – you can twist them completely at the nosepiece without damaging them. i’m sure it was still uncomfortable, but at least the glasses weren’t destroyed.

    • As my parents told me when I got glasses at age 8, there are only two places your glasses should ever be: On your face or In the case. Truer words were never spoken.

  3. Cornellian :

    This is actually a really good idea. I finally got my first pair of sunglasses (I KNOW, I KNOW), so maybe this would help me not lose/destroy them. Plus I could store my actual glasses here, perhaps.

  4. I didn’t even know such a thing existed. Interesting.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I’m not sure that I need it (yet) but I’m glad to know such a thing exists.

      My computer pair lives on my desk at the office. My regular pair lives next to my contact case during the day or on my nightstand at night. My auxiliary (previous regular) pair live in my nightstand drawer. I do want prescription sunglasses, but I imagine they will live in my purse?

      • You might try transitions lenses instead of prescription sunglasses. They aren’t noticeably gray when you’re not in sunlight like they used to be, and they actually work.

        • Research, Not Law :

          I should look at the new ones. I have dismissed them based on the flawed earlier version.

          • I have transitions but still use my darker prescription glasses for driving and the beach. They are not progressive so I can’t read with them on.

  5. anonymous :

    suggestions on how to survive a job full of colleagues you hate, when you do not have any spare money? I am continuing to search for a different job but that is not looking likely any time soon.

    Thank you for your recommendations!

    • Research, Not Law :

      Leave it all at the door. You can do your best to let the annoying roll off you during the day, but it will still be there. Don’t take it home with you. Stop thinking about work and your coworkers the second you walk out the door. The mental block isn’t a permanent solution, but it will keep the issues dammed up so that they don’t spill into the rest of your life.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I agree with this. Don’t talk about work or anything related to work once you walk out for the day. It might be helpful to have some sort of cue to remind yourself that it is over for the day. Something like changing your clothes, or taking a shower when you get home, or listening to a particular song on your way home could help with that.

        What is it about your colleagues that you hate? There maybe more specific ways of coping that people know of for certain types of people.

    • Do you work near any of your friends? I find that when I’m super stressed about work, taking a lunch break with friends (you could still pack lunch) is very helpful. Either that or after work cocktails (again have people over if you want to save on dough) or even just a meet up to go for a walk or a yoga class or some other form of exercise…basically, just socializing with people outside of work as much as possible.

      And are you SURE that everyone at your office is irredeemable? I mean, if its true that you’re going to be stuck there for the foreseeable future could you take a few days or weeks to really examine your co-workers and try to figure out if any of them are potential acquaintance material (I’m not talking besties here, I’m talking occasional lunch and b*tch about work buddies). Absent some sort of extenuating circumstances, its really pretty rare that everyone in a situations is completely intolerable (maybe someone you wouldn’t normally consider hanging out with because they do a really different job or are older or younger than you?)

    • LadyEnginerd :

      Go for a walk at lunch, neatly avoiding pressure to eat with your colleagues and allowing you to escape and blow off steam. Find a good story as to why said exercise is non-negotiable (for stress reduction, weight loss, because you get stir crazy sitting down all day, you want to finally finish the game of thrones books before winter comes) and stick to it.

    • Sorry for the repost (said the dreaded c word). Do you work near any of your friends? I find that when I’m super stressed about work, taking a lunch break with friends (you could still pack lunch) is very helpful. Either that or after work c*cktails (again have people over if you want to save on dough) or even just a meet up to go for a walk or a yoga class or some other form of exercise…basically, just socializing with people outside of work as much as possible.
      And are you SURE that everyone at your office is irredeemable? I mean, if its true that you’re going to be stuck there for the foreseeable future could you take a few days or weeks to really examine your co-workers and try to figure out if any of them are potential acquaintance material (I’m not talking besties here, I’m talking occasional lunch and b*tch about work buddies). Absent some sort of extenuating circumstances, its really pretty rare that everyone in a situations is completely intolerable (maybe someone you wouldn’t normally consider hanging out with because they do a really different job or are older or younger than you?)

    • Have a life outside of work – volunteer, exercise, knit, etc. Something to look forward to that is *very* different from your line of work. Do it immediately after you leave work to create that mental buffer between work time and not-work time.

    • Chronical the most terrible behavior in a funny way to yourself or to friends. In the past when I have worked with someone horrible I would turn the worst incidents into a funny email to my friends and feel better. In a perverse way, I would almost be hoping he could top his previous ridiculousness so I could report it to my friends.

      Also, I haven’t read it, but people recommend the book The No A$$hold Rule all the time. Maybe that could help?

      • Addendum: I know that my friends are amenable to this because we all do it. We trade emails like, “Leather Pants is at it again, clipping his nails at his desk.” Some people might not be receptive to these types of emails. If that’s the case for you, write it all down for the hilarious David Sedaris-like memoir you will author someday.

        • My friends and family occasionally text me about this sort of thing, and it never fails to crack us all up. It’s a nice inside joke we can all share while blowing off some steam.

  6. 2 years ago I would have said- “Rich person problem”: “Oooh, I have so many glasses that cost $300 + a pair and aren’t covered by insurance. Oooh, I need a stand!”

    But, I love internet glasses! I never have to worry about losing or breaking them or about what would happen on a trip. Maybe not great for you if you have a really specific perscription but for my vanila -3.0, -3.0 I have bought from goggles4u and 39dollarglasses. If you have wondered and never tried you can start here:

    • While I wouldn’t pay $200 for something like this, I think it’s a great solution to the “blind person problem”. Having a dedicated space for your vision without having someone put a book on it or having your pet devour it is kinda genius. And I say this as someone with $600/pair and $40/pair glasses (with vision worse than yours). Right now, my glasses go to sleep with my alarm clock every night, which is very dangerous for when I’m slam down on the snooze button.

      • AnotherLadyLawyer :

        Agree; I think it’s lovely, but I’m not sure $200 is the right price for glasses security. I own a mix of expensive/internet glasses (love of the internet pairs the most, actually) and keep mine in a mason jar next to my bed. One arm goes into the mason jar, the other is folded, and the glasses sort of hang off of the lid, if that makes any sense. Definitely a way to keep them organized and not broken for less than $200.

        • Not excusing the price, but it’s $49 for a tray for 1 pair of glasses. The most expensive price ($225?) is for 5 pair.

    • Anonymous :

      I didn’t even pay attention to the price of the holder. It looks cute to me. I was more thinking that needing a holder for your glasses is like saying your wallet is to small for your $50s and your diamond shoes are too tight would have been my thought before I found out about cheap glasses.

      I know this site is almost exclusively about “first world problems.” The name is intended to attract people who have or wish to have an income. I mostly just wanted to plug Glassy eyes and give a personal endorsement of buying glasses online.

  7. My parents and I are not very close for a number of reasons. Our home environment growing up was not always supportive, and it’s difficult for me to put all those memories aside as an adult.

    We talk on the phone, and see each other 3 times a year, but in general these calls or visits are super stressful for me, so I try to limit our interactions. Recently, they have made multiple attempts to be in touch more often. It’s probably because they are getting older. Any suggestions for how to deal with the multiple calls: When can we come see you? Why don’t you call more often? Come visit for Thanksgiving! What about the holidays? MLK weekend?! I keep giving them excuses, but at this point they are upset and can’t understand why I limit my time with them so much. I would be fine with calling once a month, and a visit every 2 years, but this would absolutely break their heart. I have a feeling that they will want to visit even more when I have kids, but honestly I’m not sure I want to expose children to such a stressful environment.

    PS. Attempts at talking about growing up / forgiving / family therapy have ended up in meltdowns each time, so I’m looking more for advice on how to cope without hurting them.

    • I have a similar relationship with my family – not very close, no desire to be close, but don’t want to hurt their feelings. I’ve found that emailing does the trick. My mom (I’m even less close to my dad, so she just keeps him in the loop) emails me every couple of days or so to see what I’m up to or send me a link to something, and I try to send back short but responsive replies. I also will send her pictures from vacations and other special occasions. I think that as long as she feels like she knows what’s going on in my life, she’s better at dealing with the fact that I only visit about twice a year. She still asks sometimes to visit me or if I can take another weekend to visit them, but I think I’ve sufficiently cemented the idea that I’m too busy to go out of town anymore than I already do, so their expectations are kept in check.

    • Have you gone to individual therapy? Individual therapy might help you deal with a lot of the stress and issues you have with your parents without ever having to include them. A good therapist would also be able to help you strategize how to help you talk to them about visits and limiting your contact with them (and how to manage the contact you do have with them) so that it is healthy for you. Because at the end of the day, you don’t OWE your parents anything if its doing serious emotional damage to you — but if you want to continue your relationship with your parents you may need to figure out why you’re reacting to them the way you are. And it may have to be without them, since some people may never be receptive to figuring it out without you. (Of course, its possible you’ve done all this and I’m preaching to the choir).

      Otherwise, I guess I’d say boundaries, boundaries, boundaries and expressing those boundaries. That way you’d know what you’d expect from them and they’d know what to expect from you and hopefully hurt feelings could be kept to a minimum. You don’t have to phrase it as “you stress me out and I want to limit my contact with you” but rather as “I just want to be clear with you about what I can do…” or something like that. And then don’t renegotiate (and don’t TALK about renegotiating.)

      I know, I know, easier said then done!

      • Oldest Sister :

        I have the same issue with my father. We have had multiple attempts at “family” therapy and “dad and me” therapy. They have all failed. (I believe they have failed because he either refuses to admit he did really hurtful bad things — think: telling me not to talk to my younger half siblings or he would let their mother (his then wife) sue me — or admits that he did them but insists they were not bad. He probably believes either that the therapy “worked” (after all, I talked to him during the appointments) or that it failed because I am not obedient enough.)

        I have come to a very upsetting realization that I am not capable of having him in my life “a little.” We basically have not spoken in about three years (after he told me that he never wanted to see or talk to me again. I have taken him at his word, but he has tried to talk since anyway). He is 74 and not in the best health. He had a health scare earlier this year and I called him when he got home from the hospital, mostly because I would feel like a terrible person if I didn’t. The first three minutes of the call were polite and related to his health. The remainder of the call consisted of his making the same mean comments he always does.

        I probably am not helping you very much here. I have no good solution. My solution to not be in touch has the benefit of greatly reducing the amount of chaos and angst in my daily life, but it has the disadvantage of leaving me feeling like a bad daughter. And I am fully grown woman in her mid-40s, with a professional career and a house I bought myself and a husband and stepkids and and and. But I still feel like a bad daughter. I just don’t feel enough like a bad daughter to allow that chaos back in my life.

        If you find the answer, please tell me.

        • I know that feeling. I feel like a bad daughter to my mom. My situation is, she’s not mean but she’s extremely negative. So everything from the toys I buy my son to my decision not to come to her house to watch the debates to my career path is subjected to her negative comments, attempts to change my mind, warnings, and criticism.

          She and I get along well enough that I see her a couple times a week but never for more than an hour and I always feel exhausted afterward. My face hurts from trying not to frown. She is almost 80 though and pretty much my only family so I keep it going.

          But every time I leave her company I feel like a bad daughter because I didn’t keep a smile on my face 100% of the time I was with her or agree 100% with everything she says.

          You’re not a bad daughter and neither am I but I sure know that feeling.

  8. Lately, I’ve been feeling rather down and depressed. I turned 35 recently and I have many good things in my life, but I just can’t seem to get excited about the future. When I look ahead, all I see is my parents getting older and passing away, my pets dying, me getting older. I don’t watch the news any more b/c I find it incredibly depressing. It’s just really hard for me to have a positive outlook on life.

    I’ve also been dealing with a situation with someone close to me who is not well physically and I don’t know what’s going to happen. People have said that everything will be okay, but there’s no guarantee of that.

    The days just go by so fast – get up, go to work, come home – it’s the same old, same old every day.

    I’m sure I need to see a therapist b/c I’m pretty sure I’ve been suffering from depression for a while now. I’m just not sure how to bring it up to my husband.

    Anyway, this is the first time I’ve put these thoughts down anywhere outside my own head, so maybe that’s a start. Has anyone ever suffered from depression and come out on the other side feeling happy and peacful?

    • transition :

      How about having a casual chat with your husband about the high levels of stress you’re feeling regarding one of those topics and then say something sort of off-the-cuff about maybe you ought to go see a pro before you talk his ear off. If it doesn’t sound dire and you phrase it in a way that seems like an idea that he’ll benefit from, he might be good for it.

      Sending love!

    • Sugar Magnolia :

      Yes! I had a law school classmate who was very very depressed our 1L year. She expressed feelings of hopelessness like you have here, and was such a “downer” that most of our classmates didn’t like her. We were studying one day, and she confided that she was finally talking to a counselor, because she couldn’t stand it anymore. The change over the next 6 months was astounding.

      I would describe this woman as positive and upbeat today. She told me that she took an antidepressant and did therapy throughout our law school years to get her through that stressful rough patch. I don’t think she sees anyone today.

      I hope that you are able to find some peace by pursuing some treatment!!

    • I don’t have depression but my husband does and therapy/drugs really makes a difference. He used to feel awful about his life (which made me feel awful — I’m a big part of this “terrible life”!) and feel like he’d failed at everything and couldn’t see how his life would ever get any better. Two years later, he still has anxiety issues (mild — he’s just generally a bit of a pessimist while I’m really an optimist) but he’s happy, has some bounce, and is excited for the future (except when he’s not, and when he’s not, he’s not anywhere near as deep in his “life is terrible” hole). He doesn’t even take the meds anymore. We still keep an eye on it and if he’s had a particularly bad week or two, he’ll give me the heads up to check in with him in a week and in another week with the idea that if he’s heading down the rabbithole again, he’ll go back to the doctor. My experience is that people who suffer from depression are not likely to ever be Pollyannas, but there’s a difference between having a more skeptical view of the future and living under the crushing pallor of depression.

    • Thanks all. I’ve been sad for a long time and I can’t seem to mentally “get over things” on my own, so I would like to get some help. Good to hear that it’s possible to overcome this!

      • For a long time, I thought that I was lame if i couldn’t ‘Just get over this on my own’ but then I finally started talking to other people who had had similar periods and had gotten treatment, including some of the amazing ‘R*tt*s, who told me that there was nothing wrong with me and it was ok to ask for help (Love you all btw). And finally i realized that it was not just me and there is nothing wrong with getting help. I am now on meds, which i’d never thought i’d do, but i am feeling better already and am working on finding a therapist to see regularly. You don’t have to ‘do it on your own’ let someone help. When I told my GP that I didn’t even know what to ask for and felt bad for asking she just said: “It doesn’t matter, you don’t have to feel bad, we’re going to fix this.” And all of a sudden a huge weight disappeared from my shoulders. Don’t feel bad about telling people how you are feeling and asking for help. HUGGSSSS

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Therapy and meds FTW!!!

          • you were one of those awesome supportive people, SFBA!!! XOXOXO

          • SF Bay Associate :

            Aw, you’re welcome :). I’ll beat the therapy and meds drum all day long in the middle of our town square. Just as we have IUD evangelists, I’m an evangelist for Getting Help and/or Meds for Mental Health is A Good and Right and Smart Thing Even (Especially) for Overachieving Chicks.

    • I’m sorry you are feeling this way. I don’t really want to get into too many details, but to answer your last question: Yes. So much yes. It took a lot of hard work and a lot of setbacks and a lot of time, but yes.

    • I have an appt with my OB/GYN coming up soon, so maybe I can ask her also about reccommendations on where to start with this issue. The more I think about it, I really want to go go therapy, but I can’t get over the hurdle about telling my husband.

      The thing is, we’ve had problems in our marriage and part of the things I would want to talk about in therapy have to do with him. I feel like I’d have to come back home and report to him everything I talked about with the therapist.

      Just curious, how much if anything do you share with your SO if just one person in the relationship is in therapy?

      • e_pontellier :

        I’m in therapy and my husband isn’t. He was a huge skeptic and so I didn’t do anything about my really serious depression for a long time. I was able to find someone with evening hours who takes my insurance. He is now very supportive of my going.

        Talking with your therapist is like talking to a doctor. You don’t have to tell anyone anything you share with your therapist and you absolutely do not need to report anything to your husband. I can’t stress this enough. Sometimes, I tell my husband, “I chatted with [therapist’s name] about some tough stuff today, so I need a little quiet time” when I get home, but that’s about it. Please go, and please know you don’t need to tell your husband a single thing that you tell your therapist.

      • Oh, sweetie!! it is killing me that you aren’t taking care of yourself because you feel like you can’t tell your husband. Please be kind to yourself.

        I am not partnered, but the whole point of therapy is that its confidential, so i can’t imagine telling my spouse ANYTHING about what happened in my session. Except maybe just saying it was a good session, or emotional, or something general in talking about my day. The only thing would be if part of what my therapist was working on was giving me specific recommendations on how to work on stressful things around the house, I might discuss that with a spouse. But no, I don’t think there is any way you should feel obligated to tell him ANYTHING you talked about with your therapist unless you want to.

        Can you be a little vague and ‘not the whole truth’ with him? Say you have a lot of things stressing you out at work, and you are going to start seeing a therapist to help you come up with tools to deal with them, because you don’t want to make him listen to your venting about work all the time? Make it sound like you are doing it ‘for’ him and not ‘because’ of him?

        Well, big big huggs, i hope you are able to put yourself first a little bit and take care of yourself. And we are always here if you need to talk.

        • karenpadi :

          This. I did therapy for a while to help me define my relationship with my family. In order to face some issues, I had to articulate some very honest, but very hurtful, things about each of the people I love most in the world. I would never ever say those things to them. But articulating, exploring, and accepting those same things was very helpful in helping me define and establish the relationships I wanted with each of them.

          I’ve dated guys in therapy and I’ve dated when I was in therapy. If it was a serious enough relationship, we knew the other was in therapy and the general reason: “working through parents divorce” or “dealing with stress at work (BigLaw)”. If therapy was affecting our dinner conversation, I/he would say, “Sorry, I had a tough session today and I’m still mulling through some things.” The reply is “I’m sorry. I’m here if you need anything.” and extra, unconditional, hugs that night.

          What is said in therapy, stays in therapy. It’s kind of like Vegas.

          • “Kind of like Vegas” = LURV!!

            of COURSE you said it better than I, karenpadi ;o)

      • No, no, no, no, no you do not have to report what you talk about in therapy to *anyone*. The fact that you think this makes me think that you really could benefit from therapy, especially with regard to boundary setting. Hugs and good luck.

      • eastbaybanker :

        The whole framework of therapy is that you have a private space, and that nothing has to leave the room!

        If your husband presses you at first about how it went you can stick to general comments, like that you feel better, or relieved, or tired, or are glad you’re doing this. I second Zora’s suggestion that you reassure him you are doing it for him and for the relationship–that it’s not an escape hatch. If something comes up in therapy that you want to discuss with him, bring up the subject when you feel like you’re both in a good place to talk about it.

      • When I went to therapy I only told him the things that were relevant. Frankly, I think he got bored with hearing the details.

    • Me!!! I was terribly depressed, even went to counselling and it didn’t do the trick. The fix for me was an antidepressant. I was only on if for maybe 3 months, but apparently that was what I needed to get “over the hump” It’s been 8 years now since that and remembering how depressed I was is scary and I’m still grateful for my dr for finding me the right med.

  9. MaggieLizer :

    Speaking of weeknight meals, do we still have a Weight Watchers group? I looked up Weight Watchin C*rp*r*ttes but it looks like the group is closed. Is there a new one? I’ve been thinking about trying Weight Watchers for a long time and I think I’m ready to take the plunge!

  10. Thank you everyone who gave me advice this morning about balancing Biglaw and out-of-town wedding obligations. To answer your questions about distance, most of the things related to my wedding will be a two-hour plane ride away, though my firm does have another office in that city that I’m pretty sure I can use if I need to leave on a Friday morning or something. The other stuff is scattered around various places near and far from me. I don’t harbor any illusions that I’ll actually be able to go to all of them, I just wanted to see if there was a way to communicate to others that while I’d love to go, my schedule is too unpredictable to be able to give a firm response.

    I wish I could reduce my obligations by getting out of traditional events for my own wedding (showers, bachelorette parties, etc), but I would seriously risk ruining relationships with friends and my fiance’s family (who already aren’t all that fond of me) if I went for that option.

    • I mean this gently: you can’t be serious. No one is going to let you “work from home” on a weekday in another office in a different city in your 1st year so that you can go to a wedding.

    • Roses, I missed this morning’s post, but if you are saying you will be using your firm’s office in another city when you are presumably doing your own wedding, surely you cannot be serious (as Elle said in a different context)! I’m not married, but I find it hard to believe even BIglaw expects you to work that close to your wedding date?

    • The issue wasn’t for my actual wedding, which I am going to use vacation time for, but rather other people’s weddings and a shower for me. Like I said, I don’t plan on being able to go to every single event out of town (which I mentioned this morning would cause me to be gone about 2 weekends per month for the next 6 months), but if I end up deciding that I can go and an emergency comes up while I’m gone, my firm is based in the city I’ll be in and I know they have extra offices that associates/partners from other offices can use when they’re in town.

      • MaggieLizer :

        You didn’t ask this and maybe I’m projecting a little so feel free to disregard, but one of the hardest things about being a junior associate (for me at least) is learning to stand up for yourself socially. You’re going to have to learn to be OK with people being upset with or disappointed in you when they don’t get their way because you’re not a doormat. It’s not selfish or rude or inconsiderate or whatever label people want to put on it for you to insist on having a decent quality of life for yourself rather than running around like a chicken with your head cut off desperately trying to meet everyone else’s unreasonable expectations of you.

  11. Anon for this :

    TJ ladies: I have had a handful of panic attacks over the course of my life. I’m usually a fairly easygoing person, but when change happens (even good change!) I can get extremely anxious, and I had one last night. If you have experience with this, could you please share what you did about it, and what worked for you? I haven’t seen a therapist, but if I did it would most likely be cognitive behavioural therapy. I haven’t told my SO because I don’t want to stress him out, which would just make it worse for me. Advice?

    • lucy stone :

      Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works wonders. Also, tell your SO – I say this as a lawyer married to another lawyer. We had back to back nervous breakdowns and don’t recommend it to anyone. I will very occasionally (3-4x a year) take a Xanax if I am going to be in a panic inducing situation. I used to use Rescue Remedy drops a lot as well and found they helped. It took me longer than I would have thought to get better, but I am better now and you will be someday too. I say this as someone who was having 10+ panic attacks a day and couldn’t drive two years ago. I’m okay now, and when the panic comes on, I know how to manage it.

    • Can you identify why you were anxious and how it differed from your normal anxiety? For me that was the key. Also, being able to say out loud I am anxious and upset because of X. I will give myself 5 minutes to worry about X and then will spend 10-15 minutes doing something fun/distracting. For me, it’s putting on a good song or two and singing at the top of my lungs (plus it helps with not holding your breath which makes me panic more). I also tell myself, sometimes outloud, X is not the end of the world. For the truly awful stuff, like a sick parent, I let myself cry and scream into a pillow for a short period of time (seriously set a timer) and then I go with some form of being upset is not going to solve the problem. Being calm and collected will help X more than anything. Repeat that until you start to believe it.

      If all else fails, therapy and xanax (if short-term situational). Also a good night’s sleep and lots of water. Somehow when I start to get dry mouth, I feel more panicky.

      • This. The panic attacks and anxiety have never been “out of the blue” for me – there was always a highly distressing thought/emotion that preceded them. If I could “catch” the thought/emotion, I could head off the panic attack (as long as I worked it out). Writing it down on paper can be immensely helpful . . . “I feel angry about XX, I feel sad about XX, I feel scared about XX, etc.”

    • After posting here and getting lots of amazing responses and encouragement, I went to my normal GP and told her what was happening. I also told her i am very sensitive to substances, so she immediately started me on some very low dose anti-anxiety meds and we’ve been slowly upping the dose and communicating often about how it’s going. I am on one for everyday, and have another for those urgent moments when I am freaking out right now to help me calm down. I haven’t started therapy yet, but I plan to. but i am already feeling better day to day and haven’t had an acute attack in a while.

  12. Thoughts on giving up sugar cold turkey? Life without cake is not worth living but I realize that I often sub sugar or cereal (bran flakes, at least) for real food. I’m running off tea and sweeties lately and this should probably change before it catches up with me.

    I’m a weird eater, love fruit, veggies, and cereal, neutral on bread, meat, cheese, actively dislike nuts which is a recipe for anemia.

    • In case it’s relevant, I drink my tea black, no coffee, juice or smoothies.

    • Yes, I have done this numerous times and IT BLOWS. But so worth it. The first two weeks are going to be miserable. You *will* have sugar cravings. And it is ok to wean yourself off if you find that cold turkey isn’t working for you. Have something on hand to munch on to deal with sugar cravings (vegetables? fruits? whatever). Good luck!

      • Thanks! I had this idea that “oh, I’ll give up sugar tomorrow!” but I think I need a bit of planning (and maybe the truffle cake I’ve been eyeing at my favorite cafe.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      At the very least, you should start taking iron if you think you are anemic.

      • I would definitely ask your doctor for a test if you think you’re anemic. Always good to keep him or her in the loop if you’re starting a new supplement :)

        • Alanna of Trebond :

          This is fair. Most of my family (female) is anemic, so this was my knee jerk reaction.

          • Not a criticism of you at all! A good friend of mine thought she was anemic for years. Finally she asked her doctor about it, and it turned out she had a number of food intolerances that were related to her energy levels. Always good to keep your GP informed :)

          • Research, Not Law :

            You really should get your iron levels checked. If you are anemic and start supplementing, you’ll notice a huge increase in your energy level. You may be ‘self-medicating’ with the sugar to keep yourself going.

    • Make sure you get enough protein and eat small, frequent snacks/meals if you cut out sugar completely. Even if you intend to include natural sugars such as those in fruit, you might want to cut that out/reduce it a lot at first too. I’d say to stick with whole grains as much as possible as well. Quinoa is awesome in this respect because it has a significant amount of protein.

    • TX lawyer :

      your food habits are EXACTLY like mine. I eat toast and fruit for dinner.. followed by a sweet :)

    • hellskitchen :

      Perhaps ween off one sugar product at a time. I had to have an afternoon sugar fix everyday and would go get a brownie or a doughnut. I stopped doing that and kept fruit on hand to ward off cravings and it’s been working for a few months. Now I am trying to wean off cake but I still allow myself dark chocolate. Baby steps

  13. Diana Barry :

    WORKING MOM THREADJACK, please skip if not interesting to you:

    I am having trouble lately with stress. I feel stressed bc our nanny is not great and I don’t feel great about leaving the kids with her,. I am stressed because I don’t think we can afford a better nanny. I feel stressed about not getting enough work done (hours!!!) and not being a good enough worker. And I feel stressed about not being a good enough mom and not getting enough time with the kids. Plus I never get enough exercise, etc., which I know would help my stress level, but I am loath to give up any of my (not enough!) sleep.

    Any ideas? I often dream of throwing in the towel and becoming a SAHM – we would sell our house and move to a cheaper one. But I like work! Rrgh. I am not sure what to do about it, but I spend way too much time being stressed about everything.

    • Sorry! Have you considered selling & moving to a cheaper house so you can afford a better nanny (& a housekeeper!)? Maybe that would give you some stress relief.

      • Diana Barry :

        We’re not actually ready to sell the house. It needs more work first, but I am not sure we have enough money to do that either. Sigh.

    • Not a mom myself yet, but if you’re thinking of the SAHM route and the fact that you like work seems to be what’s stopping you (because you seem pretty sanguine about selling the house, which is a huge thing to be ready to do) could you plan to be home with the kids while they’re small (I’m assuming they are if they have a nanny instead of school) with the thought that you’d go back to work part-time once the youngest is in school? And then in the meantime, keep up with your network (get a sitter for an hour or two to go to networking lunches), read trade publications, write an article or two, and otherwise stay involved with and invested in your profession while not actually working? Not sure if this would satisfy your need for work, and not sure how workable this is for your profession (but I feel like I’ve seen you say you’re a lawyer — is that right?). Otherwise, is there something in particular about your nanny that you feel uncomfortable with? What qualities would a “better” nanny have that would make her more expensive?

      • Diana Barry :

        Thanks. A better nanny would have more education and read to the kids, and would probably be younger and more inclined to be active with them.

        I would definitely keep my foot in the door – I would have my own little practice and could probably pull in about half of what I’m making now.

    • I agree that you should look into other nannies to see if you really can’t afford someone new. I get how stressing about having good childcare can make a difference about your tolerance for work and such. When I start worrying about not getting enought time with my child, I focus on quality, not quantity. Even something as little as having a no-phone policy during meals/ play times makes a big difference. I can spend 45 minutes giving my full attention and I like to think that it makes a bigger impression than my multi-tasking for a couple of hours and doing a poor job at all those multi-tasks. I also find that I have to put the stress in a box. I can commit a certain amount of time a day to worrying about things I can’t control (like our house that is on the market) and then I have to let it go.

    • Sorry to hear about this, it sounds like you are in a tight spot right now.

      Is your husband similarly overwhelmed at work and home? If he’s not, can he pick up some of the slack (as in, keep an eye on the kids for an hour so you can get some exercise or shut-eye)?

      • Diana Barry :

        He is, unfortunately – a lot of the $$ stress came from his having to move his business over to a new platform and the associated startup costs.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I hear you.

      Some of the best advice I ever received was from a working mom superior: “If you choose to be a working mother, you will never been the perfect mother or the perfect worker. You have to accept that.” So true. I can be either at a given time, but not both all the time.

      What I’ve come to is doing my absolute best during my work day. Otherwise, I end up working in the evening, which puts off my kids – so then I stay late in the morning for some quality time, which throws of my work day – and I end up in a terrible cycle. It doesn’t solve all my problems. There are still nights when I log on after the kids are asleep and mornings when I show up late to the office. But I feel so much less stress if I feel in control, even if my overall time doesn’t change.

      I also try to focus on the days that weren’t bad. I have a rotten day at work and feel like I’m a terrible, terrible worker, and my husband helps me to remember significant progress or milestone that I reached even just a day or two before, which helps me to realize that *today* was bad, but the overall picture is not. Same with kids/family.

      Exercise: I had a good routine going when we just paid the bucks for a nice gym that positions itself and family-friendly. My preschooler loved the childcare and the baby did okay, so it didn’t feel so bad leaving them with yet another person. The cost wasn’t sustainable, so we went to evening walks as a family. While it’s not exactly vigorous exercise (although it’s more than nothing…), we all stretch our legs and get some fresh air. Unexpected bonus is that with the preschooler occupied and the baby in the carrier or stroller, husband and I actually have a moment to hold hands and look each other in the eye. Weather is going to turn soon and we’re wondering how we can continue the habit.

      Sleep: HA!

      It’s hard.

      The nanny stress is another issue entirely. That stress isn’t going to just go away. You absolutely need to address that by either assuring yourself that the nanny is good enough or by getting a nanny (or daycare) with whom you are comfortable. Are the kids happy when you arrive home? Are they safe? Maybe I set the bar too low, but that’s what I ask myself. Ultimately, if you aren’t comfortable, finding that extra money somewhere in the budget is going to be vital. You can’t handle the other stresses if you aren’t comfortable with whomever is watching your kids.

      • Diana Barry :

        Thanks. The kids are often cranky. They are safe, but the nanny doesn’t take them outside, has them watch too much tv, they are absorbing bad attitudes from the nanny’s teenager, etc. Sigh.

        • Diana Barry :

          And also, thanks for the perspective. I tend to beat myself up a LOT for not being perfect, even though I never, ever am.

        • Diana Barry :

          Sorry to reply so many times! You are totally right that the nanny stress isn’t going to go away. I sometimes think it will and then it gets worse again.

          • I agree look for a new nanny, but in the meantime remember YOU are her boss. We’ve had more than one stinker for a nanny and I’ve found that when I take over the scheduling of the day (“Today I promised the kids you’d take them to the park and the library because I think they’ve been watching too much tv”) they step up or step out. Both have been a good thing for us. Also, I’ve found that the price they charge is not related to how good they are. In my case the inverse is true. Don’t not switch because of the money.

            Not sure how old your kids are, but I also sign them up for lots of activities and buy groupons for fun activities and give her a timeframe to use them. (“I bought this for you to use this week”)

        • Research, Not Law :

          I’d look for a new nanny. Cranky could mean a lot of things, but picking up bad habits is more than I could put up with. I’m sorry. Looking for new childcare is no fun, but having good care makes all the difference.

          Glad I may have helped to keep you from beating yourself up. I’m prone to the same. This may not be helpful in law, but you could look for some mid-year review feedback. I find I’m harder on myself than anyone else. I suspect that I’m successful because I’m the kind of person who constantly fears falling behind, but it sure is stressful. Hearing from my boss that everything is good sets my mind at east. For 48 hours at least ;)

          Have you read “Just Let Me Lie Down”? It’s a good pumping read. I find that sometimes laughing about the absurdity of working motherhood helps get me over the frustrations. We’re all flawed, and sharing imperfections with others is fun and reminds me that it’s not just me.

          • Research, Not Law :

            Although this is not helping me feel more sane about our desire to have a third child!

          • Diana Barry :

            I have that book! I thought to myself several times while reading it that I could write a better one. But that’s a whole ‘nother story!

          • Diana Barry :

            Research Not Law – have a third! They are SO CUTE as babies. I find myself enjoying it more this time because I know what to do, although it is a little bittersweet if I think that I will never have a newborn again.

        • Are there any older teenagers in your neighborhood who could take your older kids out to play while you look for a nanny? Thinking afterschool mother’s helper stopgap measure…

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      It sounds like you need to cut yourself some slack. This is “know your office advice” but here is what I observed in my time at a bigger firm. Firms care if you make your hours or if you didn’t. There really doesn’t seem to be much gray area on either side. So at this time of year you can look at your hours and say “nope, not going to make it” and stop busting your butt trying to get as close as you can. They probably just won’t care. Likewise, if you make your hours, there is usually no reward for getting more so like the bar exam, just passing is fine. Along the same vein, you don’t have to be the best employee. You certainly don’t want to be the *worst* because then you are first on the chopping block. So, look around you. Get a feel for how much people are in the office, how long of a break they take, how much they bill outside of the office. I’m not talking puffing, I’m talking for real work. Then try to stay in the middle of the pack. Don’t kick yourself cause Joe down the hall worked all weekend. Smile because Bill strolled in at 11 and you were there at 10.

      If you decide you want to quit or are fairly certain you are going to get fired – stop running the rat race. Come in late, leave early, go to your kid’s play at lunch. You mentioned before you often don’t have enough work. Take advantage of those times and spend it out of the office. When you do have work, try to find a way to work late. I know another working mom that knew her firm was tanking. People were getting laid off left and right. She stayed middle of the pack. She had the benefit of everyone’s hours being public knowledge. If yours aren’t, can you access them ethically from your billing software? I can. Anyway, when she figured she was near next in line she spent the next 6 months practically being a SAHM while pulling a paycheck. She “worked from home” she came in late, left early, went to the gym at lunch, etc. Nothing she did at that point was going to change the firm’s mind so instead she just enjoyed it until she was canned. I give her a ton of credit and think it was brilliant.

      If you have been a touch worker all your time at your firm, you can probably slack off for almost a year before anyone really notices. Even more so if your hours are not public knowledge! This is a situation where you should “leave before you leave.” Stop trying to be the best and try to do “just enough” at work instead until you feel like you have more balance.

      • Diana Barry :

        Thanks. Unfortunately I am at a small firm and the only associate in my practice area, AND I already work from home a lot. But – I have never once made my hours and although my salary has been cut (!!) I haven’t been fired yet.

    • Have you had a child in the last year? Are you exhausted from newborn plus two other children? Is anyone sleeping through the night?

      The nanny issue: You cannot be happy and productive at work if you are worrying about your kids. Well, I certainly can’t. When I had a nanny crisis, I literally could not function. Like had to go home in the middle of the day, couldn’t operate, etc. So I would fix that problem first. And while I pay through the nose for my nanny, a number of my friends pay significantly less for good quality childcare. I don’t know what your current situation is, but I would research, craigslist, word of mouth, etc and see what I could do. If you need to make a change, make a change. If you are thinking about it in those terms, you probably should.

      I can’t speak to the work stuff. It sounds like you are pretty overwhelmed. Is your husband/SO aware of your feelings? Sometimes I feel this intense desire not to “burden” my husband with my concerns, so he literally has no idea I’m collapsing under the stress. Can you guys make a plan? What about making changes to work schedules so you need fewer hours from your nanny?

      Hang in there. The crushing guilt of working motherhood is something I am very familiar with. I also think it’s pretty rare to see a mother working full time with three kids unless they have a money tree in their backyard and multiple nannies. It’s a hard road to hoe.

      • Diana Barry :

        Thanks. I think I will see how much more other nannies would cost. It is a PITA to manage a nanny search on top of everything else, but I will try.

        You’re right that there is no one out there working with 3 kids FT or close to it, unless they have a really spendy nanny or a SAHD.

        • Diana Barry :

          Oh, and yes, baby is 5 months old and I am still tired. She does sleep through the night but the catching up on sleep is not happening.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Though I am in fear of outing her, the awesome woman I mentioned above is a mom of 3 and is divorced. The kids have a nanny and the nanny goes back and forth between when the kids are at moms and when they are at dads.

    • DC Association :

      I also feel your pain. I am basically a single mom (separated, th stbx is unemployed) but my son is niw in school so that helps my situation.

      Anyway, Where do you live and how old are your kids? I am sure youve said before where you are but maybe someone reading doesnt know or remember and they would have location-specific resources for you.

      Anyway, Here are some thoughts, obviously as others said, you need to find a new nanny, but until then:
      – do you have friends with similarly aged kids who have nannys? Require one playdate at the least. That way the older kids have someone to play with, the baby gets undivided attention, and maybe nannies can talk shop.
      -find free activities. There’s got to be at least one story time at the library they can attend. Find these activities, tell Nanny she is required to take kids to them.
      -limit tv time. You can go so far as to lock the tv…if you have cable there has to be a way to make it so certain channels cannot be watched.

      you have to lay down the line with nanny…similar to what anyone’s boss might do. Say, you are struggling to provide the care my kids need. If you cannot take them to one activity a day, spend at least one hour outside, limit TV to 1 hour per day, etc, you will no longer have a job and I will not provide you a reference. Can you also give her incentive to do these things? Tell her if she does them for x weeks consistently,myou will give her $x more per hour?

      can you do a nanny share at all? Perhaps for the older kids you can work out something with a other family so they are stimulated and you share the costs with somene else.

      For YOU, can you hire once a month a night nanny? I.e. someone who comes over in the evening, plays with kids, puts them to bed, stays overnight and attends to any nigh Watkins, etc? This will allow you a. Ought of really good sleep.

      Good luck to you. I have a friend with FOUR kids and both she and her husband work. They have quite an elaborate scheduling system. So it can be done!!

  14. anon for this :

    Going anon so there’s no chance this can come back to bite me.

    I’m about to finish law school, and am of course in the process of job hunting. But nothing excites me. I know a few things I don’t want to do (ahem family law) and occasionally feel excited about a project or cause I hear about, but I don’t have that omg-this-is-my-absolute-calling, do-what-you-love-and-it-doesn’t-feel-like-work feeling. I’m just kind of tossing out applications at stuff that seems even remotely interested, at this point. The sad thing is, I have good grades and all the boxes checked pretty much, so if there was something I really wanted, there’s a shot I could get it.

    So: how did you figure out what field to go into out of law school? How long/how many jobs did it take you to figure it out/get there? Or are you still looking? Any recommendations for an amazing area that is often overlooked? I suppose with the caveat of something that uses my law degree. I like the law, just don’t know what to do with it.

    And yes I know I should have planned this out before starting law school, but that ship has sailed, so please don’t berate me.

    I guess this is kind of a vent as well as a question. Thanks for reading/listening, any advice would be appreciated.

    • I’m in my field because I went to BigLaw and they stuck me in the group that needed associates, so that’s my specialty. And I pretty much like it. For your first job, my advice would be to do whatever keeps the most options open for you. That would be either BigLaw (because the prestige does help plus you’ll have fairly good contacts from the partners and from your associate classmates) or a government office where you’ll get lots of hands-on experience. After two or three years, you’ll have some very marketable skills and a professional network, but you won’t be so pigeonholed that you can’t switch fields.

      • Former MidLevel :

        This is good advice.

        And FWIW – no, you shouldn’t have figured this out before law school. It is impossible for you to know all the options available to you in the legal industry pre-law school, let alone right near/after graduation. Heck, I didn’t even know my (current) specialty existed until I’d been in practice for a few years. So don’t beat yourself up for that.

    • phillygirlruns :

      when i graduated law school i was certain i wanted to do products liability. i’d done some products work as a summer, i’d taken a couple products/drug & device classes, and my firm had a great PL group.

      and then while i was studying for the bar i got a letter notifying me that i’d been assigned to the bankruptcy group. and i almost cried. maybe i did actually cry (bar exam hormones/nerves, after all).

      i’m starting my sixth year now and really do love my practice, which is almost all commercial loan workouts with some related litigation. it’s not at all what i thought i’d be doing and definitely not what i’d planned for – i’d never taken a bankruptcy or UCC course and knew little to nothing about the financial/banking industry at all – but i learn quickly and, thankfully, no one expected me to know everything on day 1.

      all this to say the following: plenty of people graduating are in your shoes in terms of not being sure what area of law they want to practice. those that do know what they want to do are likely to end up doing something else anyway. anyone who berates you for not going into law school with a firm plan of what type of law you’d like to practice doesn’t have a handle on what the reality of starting out is like.

      • Maddie Ross :

        This. It’s one thing to go to law school because you’re ambivalent about being a lawyer. It’s another to not know the practice area on which you’d like to focus. As PhillyGirl says, so much of where you end up practice-wise is a crap shoot as a young attorney. It may be based on need, or where you’re a good “fit” as opposed to having an undying urge to be an environmental lawyer. I’d focus on areas of the state/country where’d you’d like to practice and jobs that seem like a good fit for your background and let the chips fall where they may. I pretty much knew I wanted to litigate, versus doing transaction work, but beyond that I had no focus. I applied to prosecutor jobs, legal aid jobs, clerkships and firm jobs. I clerked for a year and then went to a mid-sized firm (where I still am 8 years later). I love my mid-sized firm because it did not pigeonhole me, but has let me try a variety of things under the umbrella of litigation.

    • Firstly, I think you need to review your expectations. While there are some people out there that have an “omg-this-is-my-absolute-calling” job, many, many people just say that their job pays the bills, or offers a decent amount of intellectual challenge, or provides the flexibility that they want. When I was interviewing for my first job, I wanted a position that would allow me to learn about a large number of topics at a reputable firm, so that I kept my future options as diverse as possible.

      I work in the finance industry and really hope that no-one I work with considers this their “calling”. I really enjoy my co-workers, 90% of my work and that this job pays the bills while still letting me take vacation. Choose your priorities.

      • This. I think there’s a tendency to set our expectations too high for our careers. I look at jobs as having four piles — people, money, hours, and work. If you can get at least two out of four, that’s a good job. If you get three, it’s a great job. Most people never get four (i.e., people they love, plenty of money, great hours, and engaging, interesting work).

        • I have basically 3.5 (great people, plenty of money, good hours 75% of the time, engaging interesting work 75% of the time) and I can’t imagine it getting better than this.

    • Going anon too :

      I graduated from law school in 2010 and had the same feelings as you. I knew what I DIDN’T want to do, but had no real direction about what sounded good. Or, more accurately, knew that the chances of getting a job in the practice area I wanted, in the geographic area I needed to be in, were slim to none and nothing else really excited me. And I actually did have a particular practice area in mind that was my whole reason for going to law school, but discovered while in school that it wasn’t an area I wanted to work in after all (obviously not the same area I ended up being passionate about). I’ve been lucky to find two good jobs since then (ended up moving due to hubby’s job relocation) but unfortunately they still don’t really excite me and I know I’m going to be pigeonholed before too long. Actually, there are things I really like about the work in my current job and the hours are amazing, but the workload is just too light and I’m often pretty bored (fortunately, it’s not a job that involves billable hours and it’s relatively secure, so the light workload isn’t causing anxiety as well as boredom). It’s definitely a lifestyle job, which is so hard to find as a lawyer and especially a young lawyer, I just know that I’m not working up to my full capacity.

      Anyway, I know this isn’t helpful but I just wanted to say that you’re not alone. In some ways, maybe it’s better to be open to whatever comes along, as I think it’s still a “beggars can’t be choosers” market. If you don’t have an all-consuming passion for a particular area, it’s not so crushing if you can’t find a job in that area. On the other hand, it can be hard to come up with the proper level of energy and interest in other jobs when you interview for them, and I definitely think there’s a risk of being unfulfilled in the job you get while still not knowing how to transition into something you’d prefer. On the other hand, you could get lucky and end up in something you had no idea you were going to love…

      Sorry for the rambling. Your post struck a chord with me but I’m afraid I just don’t have any good answers, only good wishes for you that it will work out well.

  15. Warning, rant ahead.

    Did anyone see this article in Slate?

    I am so annoyed by the constant second-guessing of Marissa Mayer. As I see it, when they offered her the position at Yahoo, she had three choices: (1) do what she’s doing; (2) decline, saying she was expecting and didn’t feel she could take on the extra responsibilities at this point in her life (thereby incurring the wrath of everyone who’d say she just made it impossible for pregnant women to get hired for key positions); or (3) take the job and take several months’ leave, thereby becoming a failure as CEO as her stock tanked and everyone groused about hiring a pregnant woman. The choice that was not, was not, was NOT available to her was to accept the top position at a huge, struggling company, immediately announce that she’d be unavailable for three months, and have everyone say “oh, no worries, we can cover for you.” The thing about a highly sought after CEO is that she is not simply replaceable. Many of us may often be chided for thinking our workplaces will fall apart if we’re not there but in her case that is really true (and if it’s not, then she’s not doing her job as CEO). So either say pregnant women shouldn’t accept demanding jobs (which is a position you can have — I may disagree but I see the rationale) or accept that she’s doing what she has to do. Anything else is just a fairytale.

    End rant.

    • From an intellectual standpoint, I get your point and agree. But I’ll cop to feeling a wee bit judgmental about her choice to keep moving on like nothing ever happened. I don’t pretend to know what the answer is, but what I do know is that biology isn’t convenient. The slate author is right: That baby needs her. And selfishly, I resent the bar she’s set for other working women. I know I’m not supposed to feel this way, but there it is. In the end, Marissa Mayer doesn’t have to answer to any of us, and she’s the one who has to live with the consequences of her choices.

      • I don’t think she set the bar for anyone except CEOs of large, public, struggling companies. As for the baby, then I think the solution is that she decline the job when it was offered. And I think it’s totally, 100% okay to think she should have done that. I also think it’s okay for shareholders and the board to feel a little nervous about having a brand-new CEO who’s also pregnant. But if she’s going to be the CEO of Yahoo, this is what it’s going to have to look like. Being CEO of this company right now is fundamentally incompatible with taking a typical maternity leave.

        • LadyEnginerd :

          Exactly, re: she sets the bar for a certain level of executive, not the rest of us. As someone who is currently underpaid, I firmly believe that it is not ethical to fail to compensate an employee sufficiently to support the lifestyle required by the job. If you’re working too many hours to cook or clean, you should be paid enough to eat out/hire a maid service. If you expect someone to be back at work right after work, you’d better be willing to pay them a salary to outsource just about everything else. If you expect someone to wear designer clothes to represent your company… well, you get the point.

          By that logic, Marissa Mayer is the rare exception for whom this makes sense. She is being paid more than enough for her to hire whatever help she needs. As the boss, she can take over another office as a lactation/nap room to help her keep going, and it’s worth it to the company to do so. More power to her.

          If my job expected me to do the exact same thing at my current salary, where round-the-clock childcare is far, far out of reach, and where I don’t have a private office let alone a private space for pumping, that would be horrendously unfair and unethical. She’s a rare exception to the rule that the vast majority of us aren’t paid enough to outsource all the unpaid work that comes with a new baby, and so it would be unethical for an employer to pressure an employee to skip maternity leave.

          • LadyEnginerd :

            ah! That should read “at work after childbirth”.

          • If this is the level she’s setting for a certain level of executive, then people need to stop being so surprised when hard-working women throw up their hands and say, no way, an executive-level position is not for me.

          • Agreed, and also – this kind of thing is not even that unusual among people who have the money. Historically, wealthy people have always had nurses and nannies for their children immediately after birth and outsourced a huge amount of infant care. It’s just that, historically, the women then weren’t going to work (except in the capacity of managing the household or estate). I don’t really see why it’s different in this situation.

            I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m as happy to sit around judging the parenting of the super wealthy as anyone – good times – but let’s not pretend it’s unique to this woman.

        • I hope you’re right about who she’s setting the bar for. Many new parents already get a raw deal in terms of maternity/paternity leave, and it terrifies me to think that some managers will think it’s a grand idea to have unrealistic expectations of their employees, too.

          I agree with you that Yahoo needs a fully engaged CEO right now. The decision to take on such a monumental task at this particular point in life seems crazycakes to me, but I do recognize this was her decision to make and am glad women are at least getting the OPTION to make that choice.

          • anon for this :

            I know of a successful working mother who started working three weeks into her three month maternity leave. Reason? She was bored at home while the baby was sleeping and she felt she would much rather work than twiddle her thumbs. You have to accept that there is a range when it comes to how much support/flexibility/time new moms need. Yes managers may start having unrealistic expectations that doesn’t mean it’s incumbent upon Marissa Mayer or other women like her (who like to and can work so soon after giving birth) to set their own bar lower. Like L says, there are many women for whom taking maternity leave is not an option, but they aren’t going to be better served by Marissa Mayer using her maternity leave

        • I agree with this 100%. Plus, she is the CEO. She sets her rules and if she wants to bond with her kid while answering emails, she can because she is the boss. She has the utmost flexibility to make this work for her family and an insane amount of pressure.

          I wish the author had decided to take the approach of all the other babies out there that “need” their parents. What about the women who work 3 jobs at minimum wage? You think they get maternity leave? It sad that she’s being criticized because she’s successful and rich and “could” stay home with her baby instead of talking about the systemic workplace problems (flexibility, paid leave, benefits) that we have in this country. There is a bigger picture out there and no one seems to be using what Melissa Mayer is doing to explore it.

          • I’d say, actually, that she’s not the boss. It’s a public company, which means the shareholders are the boss and the board is the boss. As an officer of the company, she has a fiduciary duty to the shareholders, as does the board. She has a huge amount of flexibility and leeway to get her job done however she thinks is best to get her job done, but let’s not pretend she’s the boss of a privately held company. Maybe my bias is showing (my background is in securities) but there isn’t an option to, say, let the company coast for a bit while she gets back on her feet. People are going to be really, really interested in the earnings calls (which I would assume they’d want her to do — you can’t bring on a new CEO and then have her totally unavailable at the end of the quarter) and she and the company are going to have to perform.

      • Anne Shirley :

        You know, I don’t think that baby needs her. That baby needs someone to feed it, care for it, and love it, but a nanny can do all of that. With an added dose of mum and dad when they can, I think baby’s needs can be perfectly well satisfied.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          This. I firmly believe fathers can provide all of those needs just as well (assuming the baby eats from a bottle or is brought to mom to nurse.)

        • Totally agree. I had to go back to finish surgical residency 8 weeks after my son was born. If he really needed mom and only mom, we would both have been in big trouble. I was very lucky to have a nanny and a husband who basically took over child care duties while I was working nights. I’m not saying it was ideal — in fact it was awful for me, but my kid was fine. Kids need love, support, nurturing and meeting of their physical needs. They don’t actually need their mothers.

        • I agree with this. When it comes down to needs, a baby can be perfectly satisfied without a mother.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Wow. That slate essay was harsh. Such distain.

      I don’t know her. Maybe she’s a cold, heartless woman destined to be a terrible mother whose doesn’t care if her child grows up dejected and develops self-destructive behaviors. But I assume that she’s feeling at least conflicted. Talk about a rock and a hard place.

      Also, I assume that all the hoopla is over what is really some conference calls with a baby sleeping on her lap, checking her email during nursing sessions, and getting out of the house for a meeting now and then. Really not a big deal. *I* don’t want to be expected to do it, but I don’t think it’s going to damage her relationship with her child.

      • No kidding. I wouldn’t be surprised if when she got the call from Yahoo her response was “oh [email protected]&*!” I mean, to get that opportunity right when she was pregnant, what terrible timing for her.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Wow. I suppose I don’t think she did anything wrong, although I don’t have a strong opinion on it either way. It seems that many people are judging her for making a different choice than they wanted to make but couldn’t afford to do.

      I do understand the concern that companies may look to her as setting a standard for when mothers can or should come back to work. I think this is more an issue with the culture of business in this country than an issue we should put on her shoulders alone. My guess is that while many women want to be at home as much as possible for as long as possible after having a baby, that there are also women who would like to go back to work right away. I think it would be great if our business culture was one with adequate parental leave (for both parents) that also gave women the choice to go back sooner if they wanted to. I think that is something worth working toward as a society. But I don’t think we should judge mothers who want to go back to work so soon after having a baby. But I guess that the author would disagree with me since I’m “ignoring” the fact that there is a baby.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Oops, that should say that I don’t think she did anything wrong, not that I “suppose” she didn’t. That’s what I get for editing my response without double checking the entire sentence.

      • This.

        I think that there should also be more flexibility in what “coming back to work” looks like. I’m currently pregnant with #2 and am in the middle of building my surgical practice. I’m really excited that I can come back part time (assuming my health is up for it) after a month, and then slowly building from there. I am excited to work two or three mornings a week to begin with and then see how quickly I go back to full time (which in my community is 4 days a week plus call). I never had that option with my first.

        • AnnonDiva :

          I don’t have any baby plans on the horizon yet, but if my health is okay I can imagine getting bored to death changing diapers and feeding a baby for months on maternity no matter how cute the baby looks. Marissa is a new CEO at a struggling company, what else could she have done? She already gave birth, the father and rest of the support team that money can buy can take over from now on. Men come back to work after 1-2 days (my boss did that with both kids), no one raises an eyebrow. People should stop judging if/when high powered career women do put a priority on their careers, I would do the same if I was Marissa. Opportunity to run a F500 company is more important to me personally than be there for a new infant 100% of time doing stuff that can be easily done by someone else. As an ambitious career women, I believe 9 months of pregnancy and child birth is more than my fair share into the parental duties and it’s time for the dad to pitch in and pay a nanny for the rest.
          Obviously, this doesn’t apply to most of us who are not c-level executives and unfair if managers apply the same standards to rank/file employees. But if I pretend I was the CEO/CFO, this would be my reasoning.

    • If $80K/yr public interest lawyers (AKA my colleagues) have to check email, take calls, and review the occasional document or call into the occasional meeting, I cannot fathom how the CEO of Yahoo could possibly be expected to take an extended maternity leave.

      And think of all the small-business employees and hourly wage earners who don’t get maternity leave at all! Where’s the outrage about that???

  16. No Problem :

    Does anybody else have a wardrobe item that has held up extremely well over time?

    For me, this would have to be my black suede Nine West boots (ankle/mid-height) that I’m wearing today for the first time this fall. I got them probably 4-5 years ago at a DSW and wear them at least once a week for 6-7 months out of the year, yet they have no scuff marks, have never been re-heeled (still don’t need to be), and are still very comfortable. I seriously think I could wear these for the next 10 years and they would still be awesome.

    • eastbaybanker :

      Black JCrew wool pencil skirt, circa 2008. I think I’ve worn it once a week on average for 4 years now. (Thinking of removing the belt loops, which are starting to feel a little dated.)

    • Today I’m wearing black INC cigarette/ankle pants (poly) that are at least 8 years old. Scary! These are the one item I would consider having a tailor copy for me.

    • Frou Frou :

      Yes! My Ann Taylor wool, lined, and cuffed pants in three colors (black, grey, and chocolate) from 2004. Just wore a pair of them today. Granted, I didn’t wear them for about three years (before and after my son was born), but they have held up so nicely and look great/brand new. Sadly, AT doesn’t make them like this anymore. :( There were many times I thought of donating them, but I’m so glad that I’ve kept them! Oh, and my Na Na motorcycle boots from 1991. ;)

    • anon in tejas :

      wool dress from ann taylor. black, conservative. I wore it to law school graduation 6 years ago, and am still wearing to the office regularly. It pairs well with most jackets (black and other colors), and cardigans so, I get a ton of wear out of it. The only months I don’t wear it are the actual Houston winter months, because it’s a bit too cold to wear sleeveless (even with a jacket/sweater).

  17. I am sorry you are feeling stresssed. Whenever it happens to me I take 3 VERY DEEP breathes and say FOOEY and I then most of the time forget why I was thinkeing stressey thing’s to begin with. My father who is very smart told me about this and he used this tekneeque in GRADUEATE school at MIT when he was proveing some thesis to his professors.

    Frank told me I billed 84 valid hours last week on do dileigience!! Yay! And that does NOT INCLUDE travel home or the billebackes, which are NOT uplifted. If I get over 240 hours in any month, the Manageing partner gives me $200 CASH. I did NOT make it last month B/c I could not bill for my reserch

  18. Anonymous :

    I just found out I’m pregnant, which really explains my
    1) extreme fatigue and
    2) attention span of my cute dachshund
    I’ve had over the last couple of weeks and I’m just not able to concentrate at work. All I want to do is lie down and read a book and not think. I’m screwing things up badly at work. Is this normal?

    • 6 weeks along :


      Yes, this is normal. Annoying, but normal.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Normal. I’m sorry. It does get better, but expect it to continue like this (and maybe get worse…) for the next couple of months.


    • Yes! I used to go sleep in my car at lunch when I was in my 1st trimester. Congratulations!!!

      • No idea but just wanna say congrats!

      • Research, Not Law :

        LOL, I slept in the waiting room of the building nextdoor. (I commuted by public transit, so unfortunately no car).

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Not a pregnancy story but when I was in law school and also working as a paralegal I was also dealing with a medical condition and ended up pretty run down. On my lunch break one day I went and laid on a bench in a busy park near the court and fell asleep. When I woke up I recognized someone eating on the bench next to me so I said hello. She gave me this awful stare before she realized who I was and said “oh my gosh, you were just laying there, I thought you were a homeless person.” Yeah, that was fun.

  19. I’m anon for this, and it is probably too late in the day, but I have been so sick since about the 3rd week in June with stomach problems. I’ve been diagnosed with stress related IBS before, but this is something totally different. I went to a GI finally and he ordered a colonoscopy, and is checking for colitis, chron’s, giardia, celiac, and any kind of partial blockage. I’m only 30, hive, and I am totally freaked out. Started crying in the office, and at least they were very awesome about it. Hive, they want SAMPLES! And, because I’m apparently a 10 year old, I’m really grossed out.

    But I’m exhausted, resorting to naps in my car at lunch, and I feel like my brain is all fogged up. Not ok at my high responsibility busy litigation firm. I don’t want anyone to know, but I’m going to have to take a day off for the colonoscopy. I’ll use the “routine medical appointment/tests that require me to be out all day” thing, but still. Ugh. All this right before we were going to start TTC, too. Can’t do that until I rule out conditions that might require steroids or some other crazy drug.

    • Frou Frou :

      Sorry to hear that you’ve been dealing with this. I’ve had a colonoscopy, and I assure you, the worst part is the the night before. In your bathroom. On the toilet. Pooping out of your butt, but it’s more like peeing out of your butt. You won’t remember anything about the procedure (I’m assuming they are giving you at least the twilight sedation). If it makes you feel any better, remind yourself that they see butts and a-holes every day. All day. For years on end. Just butts and a-holes. Please try to think of it as getting a step closer to getting your life back. It sounds like you’ve really had a rough couple of months, and I hope it’s nothing serious! Hugs hugs and hugs. Also, lots of gossip mags and baby wipes (without alcohol in them) for the night before. :)

      • You crack me up. And it’s true. I mainly feel sympathy when people are embarrassed. I looked at three anuses today (am I going to get moderated for that?). I literally have seen worse, heard worse symptoms, thought about worse, etc. It’s totally normal to me to talk about such things as bleeding, bowel movements, an*l leakage, bloating, etc.

        I want people to feel better, and these problems are lifestyle limiting in that they can be embarrassing, make people change their lives and limit their activities in order to be close to a bathroom, painful, and anxiety producing. I’m sorry you are going through this. Your GI sounds like he or she is really trying to get to the bottom (sorry, bad pun) of your issues and hopefully the tests will come up with some results that lead to a treatment. Hang in there. And don’t worry

    • It’s late, but I just wanted to send some hugs your way. That all sounds less than pleasant, but you can do it, and good for you for taking care of yourself. I hope you get some answers about what’s going on and can feel better soon.

    • You will get through this. No one likes a colonoscopy, but as Frou Frou so elegantly put it, the only bad part is the night before. also, because I like to eat, only having a liquid diet the entire day before was no fun. You won’t remember the colonoscopy itself. I could not figure out how I got dressed and in the wheelchair!

      Hoping you feel better soon. The colonoscopy should give a very good idea of what is going on and most likely it will be something fairly easily treatable. I did a 3 month course of tapering low dose steroids for ischemic colitis (more of a one-time thing than other types of colitis) and have been fine. And I feel better than I did for years–this problem had been chronic. Be glad you are going to get some answers and get to feeling better.

    • So sorry you’re sick but you’re absolutely doing the right thing. I’ve had two colonoscopies because of my family history (my mother died at 49 of colon cancer) and they were no big deal but Frou Frou is right (and so eloquent) – the prep is the worst part. Just awful. You may need to leave work a little early the day before to start the prep. I was out completely for it and don’t remember a thing. After my first one, my neighbors had rented a jackhammer for the day and I hardly noticed. Slept all day.

      I hope you’re okay and all goes well!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      We have a little team of [reader’s of this site] with crohns, colitis and other bowel troubles that email regularly. I have Crohns so I know where you are coming from and I remember how scary it was getting diagnosed. I assure you that today I am very healthy and live a fairly normal life. I have to make some accommodations for myself here and there (like a seat on the aisle near a bathroom on a plane) but day to day life is pretty regular. Everybody poops. Some more than others. Email me at projectmundaneart at gmail dot com and I will add you to our list. I actually sent out a link to an article with a funny poop story just yesterday. Also, scroll up to my story (in reply to the newly pregnant poster above you) about sleeping on a park bench. That was crohns and a bad withdrawal from steroids. Most people have a pretty easy withdrawal. I just happened to become steroid dependent from a non-systemic steroid which is practically unheard of. Also, beware of what you read on the internet. You will learn TONS of good info but you have to keep in mind that most of the people that take the time to write articles or post on forums are very sick. The majority of the people are out working and playing and not thinking about their health problems 24/7. When you read online you are probably getting the worst case scenarios and there is a whole other spectrum of IBD out there.

    • Hugs! I know this is yesterday’s thread but in case you see this: it sounds like you’re doing exactly what you need to be doing to figure out what has you sick. I haven’t had a colonoscopy (although I have helped my husband through a few – he’s been fine) but I have had to give, um, samples. It was years ago, back when I was in college. Imagine walking into the dorm bathroom and seeing a girl sitting on the floor one of the stalls with a paper plate and plastic utensils trying to smash her sample into the collection tube thingy! That girl was me. And I survived. Hang in there!

      • Thank you ladies! Blonde Lawyer, I will email you. I can’t thank you all enough for the support!

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