Coffee Break: Minimal Rider Satchel

I’ve always liked Loeffler Randall and their cool-girl designs, and I’m loving this structured little satchel. I love the mix of smooth and pebbled leather, the accordion-like way it looks when opened, the convertible shoulder strap/crossbody strap, and the smallish (but not mini) size. It’s $495 at ShopBop, where it’s good to note that today is the last day of their “extra 20% off select sale styles” promotion, giving you savings up to 7% off with code TREAT20. (The pictured bag is full price, alas.) Loeffler Randall Minimal Rider Satchel

Update: Whoa: the bag is $396 at Nordstrom (20% off)!

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  1. Thinking about moving from NYC biglaw to a smaller market in a year or two. I’m trying to brainstorm all of the places I might want to live and figure out as much as I can before making the jump. Any thoughts on the legal market for M&A mid-levels in Minneapolis, Chicago, Denver and Seattle?

    I’d be open to hearing about other markets but those are the places that are highest on my list. Thanks in advance.

    • Anonymous :

      Midlevel is a great time to move as there are always spots open at other firms yet those firms don’t have to commit to making your partner yet so they’re more likely to take you. Can’t speak to M&A specifically — but just generally I’ve known a lot of people who’ve left NYC biglaw and across the board they have found Denver and Seattle to be really hard markets to lateral to. Take it for what its worth — I’ve heard from a recruiter before that those are 2 of the top 5 hardest legal markets to get into — simply bc both are small markets that already have a lot of their own lawyers AND get a ton of applications from big city lawyers who want to live there for QOL purposes. I had 2 friends take at least 2+ yrs each to move to Denver — one kept running up against the fact that he wasn’t a Univ of Colorado grad (or from any neighboring state) and had no ties to Colo; and the other had to work really really hard to get a job even though he was in a commuter marriage and his wife lived in Denver bc that is where she got her tenured academic job – even then he ran into firms that thought – well what if they just want to stay in Denver for 2 yrs and then return to NYC. I would think Minneapolis and Chicago would be MUCH easier.

      • Thanks, this is helpful. I have stronger ties to Mpls and Chicago anyway, so Denver and Seattle may just be fantasies.

        • Anonymous :

          So some of this depends on how quick you want to make a move. If you really are thinking you want to be out of NYC by Jan-Feb, Chicago will by far be the easiest market — esp. if you’re ok going from biglaw to biglaw. In that case, call up a recruiter and get the process underway. If you want to go biglaw to midlaw, that’ll take more time (but still not tons for Chicago) as you need a recruiter with relationships in Chicago, not just a national recruiter who can place you at Winston or Sidley. Minneapolis – there is some biglaw but far more midlaw/regional, so again seek out a recruiter who plays in that market. I think either of those moves is doable – with much less angst than Denver or Seattle.

          • anonymous :

            For a Chicago recruiter, check out Michelle at Atticus Recruiting. She has been in the business for over 10 years (maybe 15, 20 at this point?) and has great connections with lawyers in the city, does mock interviews, thorough resume review (tailored to each application), gives you good insider info on the lawyers/firms/practice groups before you interview, and generally gives honest feedback on your strengths, weaknesses, and your chances with certain firms.

    • Anonymous :

      Houston is always a good market to look into. A good chunk of the AmLaw 100 have at least a satellite office her. Large legal community, lots of M&A activity going on right now, especially in the consolidation of oil and gas related companies. COL is low compared to Chicago (not sure about other cities), although you’d have to get used to driving everywhere.

    • I am also hopeing to get out of NYC to Chapaqua (a suburb where my sister lives), and take up a new lifestyle, but to do so, I have to get MARRIED to a guy who is able to allow us (and our children) to live properly in Chapaqua. Given that it is expensive, I am realistic in assuming that I will have to find work in Weschester unless my husband can do it alone, which would be a stretch unless he is in investement banking. So far, the onley ones I have met are NOT up for the task, so I must continue to work. FOOEY!!!!

    • Not a lawyer, but I love love love living in Minneapolis-St. Paul. COL much lower than NYC, and lower than Chicago. Excellent food and craft beer scene, tons to do outdoors in all seasons, and travel to other places is easy out of MSP. You’d probably want a car, but if you lived and worked in downtown, you could probably get away without one.

    • Seattle has historically been an incredibly tough market to lateral to even if you have local connections (example:
      I know a guy who was a UW undergrad but grew up in another state, JD from Columbia, three years at a very prestigious firm in NYC (think, say Davis Polk) and he searched for over a year before he got a job in Seattle and it was at a small local firm paying under $100K). Without that, I think your odds of getting hired are virtually nil, unfortunately. Also, at least when I lived there (5 years ago), salaries were very significantly lower than NYC (like, a $50k-$100k paycut, depending on seniority) even at the largest firms, but the COL was still high.

    • Anonymous :

      I lateralled from very large firm in Boston to Chicago. I easily got interviews at a bunch of the places in town, but I am in a niche practice area. My husband was moving to Chicago for work. So my story was fairly easy, but at my firm, we never question when someone wants to lateral from out of state.

    • Laterally :

      Since you are coming from biglaw, you may want to check out the job search site Laterally. It is a more curated set of opportunities for candidates with biglaw or similar resumes. You need to submit resume details and be approved to browse the site/apply for jobs. I know someone who landed the bay areawithout being barred in CA through a job posting found on the site. Feel free to shoot a note to tammytwoswanson at google’s mail service and I’ll send you a referral link. Good luck!

  2. Anon litigatrix :

    Question for litigators: Did you ever reach a point where all the conflict in your work made you anxious and exhausted? I was always one to love the thrill of the fight, but all this petty fighting over stupid BS is giving me physical manifestations of anxiety that are really unpleasant. How to deal? This is the only career I’m qualified for, the hours and workload are totally reasonable, so I don’t think think it’s general burnout.

    • Yes, all the time. As a NYC lawyer and equity partner who litigates and bills hundreds of hours a month, I get anxius and exhauseted all the time. I DO love to win and am at a 95% rate in Manhattan in my WC cases, so when I loose in Manhattan, I do get depressed. I know I won’t be able to do this forever; in my mid-30’s, I want to have kids and get MARRIED so I can relax @ home, but for now, I do have to work to pay the rent. You should expect to have a similar situeation! YAY!!!!

    • babyweight :

      I’ve been there at times. When I’m in one of those phases, I try to minimize working from my home office so I don’t “contaminate” the space. I also set hard limits on checking work email, i.e., not after 8pm or before 10 am on weekends. I also started writing romance novels. I read the stew out of them, too. It’s nice to give my head a brain break and fill it with happiness and rainbows.

    • Oh yes, to the point of feeling ill and losing sleep, and I’ve been doing this for 20 years. You know what gets me through it now? I love my job, and when these bad moments come, I remember that I had them before and that eventually this case, too, will be resolved and go away. There’s really no way out but slogging through the bad parts of litigation, so I just try to visualize the future where this particular conflict will be gone. I think it’s worse with e-discovery; there is just so much more to fight about now.

    • Can you push any of the petty BS down the food chain or consider if there are other people better suited for the fight? I’ve had plenty of cases where the two leads on each side were like oil and water to each other, but mixing up who did the communicating across sides managed to get through the BS log jam.

    • Yes. I am at that point at 10 years in. Thanks for the positive reality check, AAC. I realize it will come and go and always does, but ugh I do dream of some other job where everything doesn’t revolve around a constant battle. Its just stressful and unnecessary.

    • lawsuited :

      For me, it usually happens with discreet files that are particularly acrimonious and I’m dealing with uncivil counsel. At this point it’s happened enough that I know even those files come to an end, so I look for the light at the end of the tunnel. And I joke and laugh and regale my staff with stories to lighten the atmosphere around the file, because a lawyer’s stress seeps into their staff too and good staff get you through the tough stuff.

    • I’m a second year and I’m already pretty sure litigation is not for me for precisely this reason. So much conflict, so much of it about stupid stuff and crying over spilt milk.

      It seems like such a huge uphill battle to move into a solicitor practice though. I’m feeling pretty trapped.

      I guess maybe that’s not a helpful comment, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with acknowledging that it’s really stressful (for some people) to fight other people’s battles.

  3. Cute bag. Too small for me because I basically carry my entire life with me, but if I were more of a minimalist I’d hop on this.

  4. Did anyone read the Ask a Manager letter about the person with anxiety who showed up crying and screaming at a coworker’s house because the coworker didn’t say goodbye to her? Is it just me or are the letters on that site getting way less believable?

    • Yeah some people were chatting about it last week’s Friday link post, IIRC. I get that Alison needs to make a living, but the stories are getting more and more far fetched, and wade into the comment section at your own risk.

    • Not just you! There’s definitely been a change. I guess I don’t know if they’re less believable, but they’re certainly more extreme. I definitely don’t spend as much time there as I used to because it’s not nearly as helpful to me now that only the most extreme letters get written up. Also the commenters are awful.

    • Clementine :

      …I have actually seen something like this happen, so it is 100% believable to me. Honestly, most of the letters seem to be slightly quirky versions of things I see all the time.

      I see a lot of ‘but why would they have brought me back for multiple interviews if they weren’t going to hire me’, ‘wow, some people/workplaces suck,’ and of course ‘you have to tell people with words not expect them to read your mind’ letters.

      • Agreed on this. I think there are some crazy stories, but that’s reflective of crazy situations. The commentariat are also generally pretty good there, in my experience, so I’m surprised to see the eye-rolls about it here!

        • Hm, what I don’t like is that they tend to go to extremes really quickly, and pick on other people’s comments just for the sake of picking on them. Everyone’s “omg I literally gasped” or “well that won’t work because *insert special snowflake reason here*” or “introversion should be a get out of jail free card for being a human who can interact in society.”

        • Linda from HR :

          Agreed. There are some annoying behaviors over there, sure, but I like how AAM has rules that ensure people are kind to each other and assume good intentions, and Alison steps in when someone is crossing a line and I think that helps foster a good community even if some nasty comments still show up from time to time.

    • The one about the dude ghosting HIS GIRLFRIEND HE LIVED WITH FOR 2 YEARS and then she ended up getting hired as his new boss years later was pretty jaw-dropping for me.

      • Pretty Primadonna :

        This ish was crazy. I hope and pray he sends in an update!

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        “ghosting” is suuuuuuch a kind term for what he did.

        • Linda from HR :

          They lived together, it was definitely abandonment. You “ghost” someone you’re just casually dating, and you could arguably ghost on an official relationship by ignoring their texts and removing your relationship status on social media, but don’t be surprised if someone considers his or herself your SO until you tell them otherwise, or they decide to “officially” end it.

      • Anonymous :

        That was so nuts! And not ghosting when you disappear on your long term live in girlfriend.

    • Considering an update from that letter writer was posted today, I’m inclined to believe it.

  5. (Re-posting) Child Care?? :

    Ughs from the west coast…reposting because I was too late on the morning thread I think.

    What child care arrangement works for you (in terms of finances and convenience)? Our beloved nanny had to quit and we’ve had no luck with replacements so far so I am reevaluating our arrangement/trying to thing outside the box as to what we actually need.

    I have 3 children: K, 7th and 11th. They are in school from 8am-2pm. My husband and I leave early for work so it’s been challenging to get littlest ready (she still needs help), breakfast made and lunches packed (nanny used to drop off fresh lunches around lunch time and we are [email protected] and figuring out what can sit in a lunch box for 4 hours and not taste terrible – pb is forbidden, kids don’t like lunchmeat enough to eat it every day, etc) and not have anyone be late for anything.

    After school, all kids have local activities that require being driven and dropped off.

    DH suggested finding someone (or 2 someones) to come morning, go home and come back but that plus housekeeper ends up being almost as much as just paying one person full time who also tidies up while kids are in school. I did 6 loads of laundry while working from home to try to catch up so I don’t think we can get by without cleaning help.

    I’m overwhelmed and feel like a failure at juggling this on my own. I’d love to know what others do so I can consider different/better/other options.

    • Puddlejumper :

      I would put your kids to work. That 11th grader and 7th grader can make their own breakfast and lunch and can help with the kindergarten kiddo. Also they all can be doing the laundry (yes even the kindergarten one.).

      I would not get anyone to come in the morning, and have your kids help out more.

      I would get someone to do the after school pick up and drop off. I actually would hire 2 college kids to switch days so if one is sick you can call up the other one and have that as a built in back up. And then I would hire a housecleaner to come once a week.

      • Puddlejumper :

        Here is a really handy chart that shares what chores kids can be expected to do at what ages:

        • Puddlejumper :

          Last thought – there is going of course to be a ton of rough transition going from a fully nanny to expecting your kids to make their lunches. I would probably have a house hold meeting where you talk about it and come up with inspirations on how to make mornings go smoother and in general how to get the housework done. Involve the whole family in the brainstorm session and they will more likely be on board.

          • (Re-posting) Child Care?? :

            Wow – this is impressive! Thanks for the chart!

          • Anonymous :

            A ten year old with a lawn mower though? I regularly mowed the lawn at age 14 but age 10 seems pretty young for that.

          • I started mowing the lawn around age 10. I think my dad supervised the first few times and then I did it on my own with no issues. And I was a pretty scrawny kid.

        • Its probably a know your kid type of thing. I was babysitting at age 12 in 1999 for a 4 month, 2 year old, and 4 year old…which freaks some people out but I have just been really mature always so it was less crazy.

      • Marshmallow :

        All of this. Not a mom, but I did help out a lot with my little sister from about age 12. Your 11th and 7th graders should be able to help the little one do her morning routine and pack lunches. Re lunches: try varying the types of lunch meat, having salad fixings the kids can put together themselves, cold pasta leftovers, or giving them lunch money. I also hate packing lunches for myself so I really like the “Ready Pac” salads you can buy on Amazon Fresh. They even come with a mini fork inside.

        The kids are also old enough to help with at least picking up throughout the day/week, right? I was doing full deep cleans of our kitchen and bathroom by the time I was in middle school. It annoyed me at the time but I’m glad I learned how to do that stuff and made me a much better roommate when I got to college. (I’m looking at you, first roommate I ever had who had literally never made her own bed or done her own dishes….)

        I’d put my resources into hiring someone for the afternoon to do the driving around to various activities and like, a weekly cleaning/laundry session. Once your 11th grader can drive, hopefully things get easier.

      • The older children can certainly take care of themselves but the kindergartner is not their responsibility. You had a third child so you take care of it. It’s not their child, they didn’t ask for the responsibility. In grade 7 I was making 100% of my own meals, but I would have lost my sh*t if I had to feed my brother too.

        • Anonymous :

          This. Parents are responsible for the parenting.

          • Anonymous :

            Which is why you don’t ask siblings to discipline each other or set the rules. But it’s fair to have older kiddos helping with everyone’s laundry or meals – I’d argue that actual helps the by thinking about and anticipating others needs, instead of being focused on themselves.

          • lawsuited :

            Making a lunch or doing laundry is not “parenting”, it’s housework and housework should be shared by all the people who live in a house at a level appropriate for their age.

          • Really? You’re a family – you all play a part in taking care of each other. You help each other with meals, cleaning, chores, etc. That’s what a family does.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          In my family and in my friend group, caring for a younger sibling was just part of family chores. I think it is a reasonable expectation.

        • Anonymous :

          I don’t know. I think that kids are members of the household and can be asked to chip in as needed. I’m not sure making lunch for the kindergartener every day is necessarily part of that but I don’t think it’s out of bounds to suggest it.

        • When I grew up the rule always was: “We are a team and a community. We do what we can to help the family and to support our team.” Which meant chores but no allowance. Basically if we were asked to do something we did it, but our parents would also generously donate their time to drive us around to all our activities that they were paying for.

          • Right, don’t go overboard turning teens into Cinderella, but they contribute and they certainly get stuff in return. I assume the parents pay for their phones and a lot of their social lives? It’s reasonable to help little sister make her lunch.

        • JuniorMinion :

          Worth noting that older kids usually have earlier start times / potentially early sports practice before school. By the time I was in HS I left the house before my elementary school aged brother was awake.

        • I’d draw a distinction between indirect and direct child care. I’d feel comfortable asking an older kid to prepare a small kid’s lunch. I wouldn’t ask him/her to be in charge of getting the kindergartner out of bed in the morning.

      • lawsuited :

        +1 By the time I was in 11th grade, I got my younger siblings dressed, gave them breakfast, made their lunches (and mine), took them to school, picked them up from the bus, supervised their homework, and got dinner started.

    • Anonymous :

      why are you making a lunch for your 11th grader? have the 11th grader and 7th grader be responsible for making their own lunches and their little sibling’s lunch the night before. get a “mother’s helper” for the post-school driving. The 11th grader and 7th grader can also do their own laundry.

      Stop spoiling your kids – you are not their maid or cook.

      • Anonymous :

        and, if you still have “mommy guilt” (ugh, that phrase), consider that your children will turn out to be better and more functional adults if you stop doing these very basic things for them. do you want your children to be the kind of people who get to college or adult life and don’t know how to run a load of laundry or feed themselves ?

        • Pen and Pencil :

          This. So many peers in college had no idea how to “adult”. Have a family meeting, tell them things are changing, and they are going to have more responsibilities. Parents are hurting their kids by not letting them fail. Oh, you forgot to put down what you wanted to eat for lunch? Guess they are going to have to eat meat sandwiches this week. Wanted to wear your favorite shirt today? Hoped you did your laundry this week. I promise you, they are more than capable of writing down what they really want to eat for lunch, and as soon as they have two weeks of meat sandwhiches, they will learn to monitor their own lunch supplies and get things they need on the grocery list.

          Growing up all four members of the family did laundry separate by the time I (the youngest) was in 4th grade. The kindergartener should be helping you fold, sort, and put away laundry, but probably not ready to do it by themselves yet. Yes, your kids may show up to school in jeans that haven’t been worn in a few washes. Yes, they will figure it out.

          Get someone to help with after school activities, and just let go of all the other stuff that you are freaking out about (easier said than done).

      • Anonymous :

        +1. This is a little bonkers. Your kids are getting meals delivered to them? No one helps with laundry? No wonder you’re exhausted. You/the nanny have been handling the daily life skills for at least 4 people.

        Is this normal among high earners? No wonder parents are so exhausted and “busy”.

        • “Is this normal among high earners?”

          Exactly what I was wondering. Reading here can very much be an interesting anthropological look into how the other half lives. I love/hate it.

          • (Re-posting) Child Care?? :

            It’s normal at my kids’ school anyway…there’s a cart for lunches that are dropped off. I actually think it’s the SAHMs really, I am one of the only working moms.

          • Anonymous :

            For what it’s worth, I’m a high earner without kids. I had a solid middle class upbringing complete with chores. I just can’t imagine this kind of lifestyle for my family.

          • Same solid middle class upbringing with chores. I made my own lunch in elementary school and was on my own to figure it out in MS and HS, which of course meant I ate a lot of chocolate donuts, ice cream, and bagels for lunch. I am fine and a completely healthy adult. You would have gotten so made fun of at school if you had gotten your lunch delivered by someone every day!

            I also was doing my own laundry in MS and HS. We had four people in then house and it worked fine with no schedule, but I can certainly see the benefits of one!

      • Anonymous :

        My 6th grader has been making his own lunches since 4th grade…I spot-check every few days, but we don’t buy junk food, so his lunch can only be so unhealthy. He goes grocery shopping with me so he can pick out his own lunch supplies.

        My kiddo goes to a Montessori school and they really encourage independence and having kids take over their own activities of self care as early as possible. Kids get a real sense of accomplishment when they can do things for themselves, and have opportunities to do so. It bolsters their self-esteem and helps them feel purposeful. It may sound like mumbo-jumbo, but my kid and his friends display a lot of maturity and responsibility compared to other kids their age.

        Also, to throw this out there: when I was a senior in high school, my brother was a sophomore and my parents left for work before we left for school. I was responsible for getting us both up, making sure we both got breakfast and lunches packed, getting all our stuff together and getting us both to school. That was the trade-off for my parents paying for my car, car insurance and allowance (that I used for gas money). This experience came in very handy when I started having to take my kids to daycare later in life.

        OP, there’s a difference between making your older kids into substitute parents (like the Duggars do) and giving your older kids reasonable responsibilities. Your oldest is better off learning how to adult now, while there’s still a safety net, than waiting and having to figure it all out on his/her own next year.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Have you considered an au pair? My friend has one (3 kids, all younger than your youngest), and has a backup sitter. I’m thinking of this: You could also poke around the Moms page for posts about au pairs.

      • +1 to this. Au pair to work 1-2 hours mornings then 2-4 hours evenings + one weekend day keeps you within their 45 hour limit.

        Alternatively, can your 11th grader drive him/herself, with the middle schooler to take buses to/from school and do carpool/sitter for activities and the kindy kid bus with school before and aftercare/sitter for activities? Or do schedules work for the 11th grader to drive sibs?

        On lunches, is buying at school an option? In our district, there are a number of healthy and varied options, particularly at the middle school/HS level.

        Finally, keep the housecleaner. I only have one, but cleaning help is non-negotiable at our house.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I don’t know what happened to my post, so apologies if it posts twice. But have you considered an au pair? Check out the Moms page – there are a lot of discussions there about the pros/cons.

    • Please, please teach your 11th grader (and all of your children) to do laundry before he/she goes off to college. Also, consider what everyone else in this thread is saying, too, but at the very least — laundry.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes. It is insane for you to be doing laundry for an 11th grader.

        • +1

          Heck, I was 11 years old and doing my own laundry.

        • Anonymous :

          I don’t know that it’s “insane.” It’s certainly something she doesn’t have to do, and since she’s pressed for time it makes sense to transition the older kids to doing more chores, but my working mom did my laundry (and most other chores, TBH) until I left home and I “launched” just fine and did my own laundry starting on day one of college.

        • Baconpancakes :

          My mom did generously offer to fix the blouse I washed and dried on hot like a fool, setting the ink stain in, but certainly by 9th grade I was doing all the household laundry as one of my chores.

          • Same here. Well, we all did laundry (we rotated who was responsible for it on different days), based on activities, etc. There were four of us and both me and my brother played sports, so we did laundry more than once a week as a family).

            I was also responsible for packing my lunch in middle school — sandwich, or leftovers from dinner, etc, if I didn’t purchase school lunch. I was also expected to help do dishes/picking up/etc in addition to my homework and other school activities.

            My parents were high-ish earners for the area, but prioritized making sure knew how to run a household prior to leaving home for college. I’m really grateful.

          • Anonymous :

            Yes, by high school we were cooking dinner, doing laundry, cleaning, and running the household with obviously our parents helping, but we did much of the work. A 17 year old is basically an adult, and a 13 year old is on their way there. They won’t burn down the house or die of starvation if they take over some of these responsibilities, I promise. They will probably balk, but make them do it. It’ll be good for their character development.

        • Marillenbaum :

          I knew how to do laundry, but I rarely did my own when I lived at home because my mom preferred doing a few large loads for the house instead of a bunch of smaller ones. Sometimes doing the family laundry was my job, or folding and putting away, but it’s not unreasonable–though I should add that we only had the one full bathroom in my house, and that’s where the laundry hamper lived.

      • Marshmallow :

        My ability to do household things was not only great for ME during college, but it actually helped me make friends. First off, nobody wants to hang out in your dorm room if it’s messy and smelly all the time. And being able to do laundry and cook were skills that were sort of fun to teach my dorm-mates.

        I was blown away by the parents who were paying to have somebody come once a week to clean the kid’s dorm room and wash/fold their laundry. I get that it’s driven by love, but don’t be that person!

        • pugsnbourbon :

          No – what? Parents hired a housekeeper for their kid’s dorm room? That blows my mind, too.

          • Marshmallow :

            Yep, it was totally A Thing. FWIW I went to a schmancy private school (not Ivy, just a wannabe school) with a pretty high average family income. As a scholarship kid there I felt mega out of place sometimes.

      • Anonymous :

        Isn’t everyone doing their own laundry going to result in way more laundry loads and be more time consuming? Better to have the kids help out with everything – moving it from washer to dryer or folding and putting away for all vs. 7th grader washing three pairs of jeans and 11th grader doing a separate load of three pairs and fighting over whose turn it is for the machine.

        • Won’t be more time consuming for OP because she won’t be doing the laundry. And moving the clothes from washer to dryer is not at all the same as teaching the kids how to actually do laundry.

        • Anonymous :

          then they can figure it out among themselves. it’s not rocket-science.

        • Everybody gets a day. Sally, you’re Monday. Toby, Wednesday. Mom and Dad get Sat and Sunday because they have jobs and pay for everything. Littlest gets done on the weekend with M+D, and then eventually gets own weekday when he’s able to do his own.

          If you miss your day or don’t make arrangements to switch, tough cookies. Looks like you’re wearing something you hate/that’s mildly dirty.

          Harsh, perhaps, but that’s life?

        • pugsnbourbon :

          I took on laundry duty for my family when I was in high school. Earned $2/load on top of my regular allowance. I did big loads but looking back, I probably should have done smaller loads …

      • Pretty Primadonna :

        I never did my own laundry until I went away to college. I did fold laundry a lot becuase I enjoyed it, but never actually did a load. At some point in my senior year of high school, my mom decided she needed to teach me how to do it. I turned out okay. ;-)

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah, my 11th grader reliably moves the family laundry cycle along – she does her own but also remembers to wash/dry/take out as needed. We share this task, more or less. My 8th grader is a little less skilled in this area but he’s coming along.

        My kids both make their own lunches and can reliably make dinners for themselves if necessary. I typically make their breakfast because they have to get up early and it’s easier for everyone if they can do their initial waking up at the table, then eat, then dress and so on. I get up earlier to have coffee and shower.

        I wouldn’t put the 7th grader in charge of the 6yo as a regular thing for long stretches, but if the little one needs help walking to school or getting walked home, for example, absolutely a 7th grader can do that.

        The two older can take turns with their/everyone’s bathroom, at least for light cleaning, and the littlest can fold laundry (easy and low-stakes.)

      • There’s a middle ground between you doing all the laundry and everyone in the household being individually responsible for their own laundry. You can have the kids take turns doing loads of laundry for the whole household. Maybe you don’t trust them with your clothes so you have parent and child laundry separated, but the kids can share responsibility for their collective laundry. You probably don’t want the kindergartner sorting laundry into loads, but they can help sort and fold the laundry the older kids have washed and dried.

    • Treble chef :

      Agree with other posters. Stop spoiling your kids. They can help in the AM. I also made my own lunch in Junior high etc….

      Your kids aren’t willing to eat basic lunch foods? They are spoiled…. Nanny driving fresh lunches daily is extravagant. Thank goodness your 11th grader has time to learn how to make food and do laundry before she leaves for college!

      • I’m glad I’m not the only person who thought freshly delivered lunches were extreme. There are PLENTY of options that can be kept in a lunchbox for a few hours.

    • Anonymous :

      Do you have space for an Au-Pair? Doesn’t sound like you need more than 45 hours a week. You could have them help with lunches/do laundry/pick up /drop off kids from school and activities.

      Everyone I know with three kids has either an au-pair or a nanny all the way through high school.

      • Anonymous :

        Also going to suggest you post over on the Moms page. It’s a gentler crowd over there.

        One child and three children are a completely different ballgame in terms of household management. I think many people with one child do not realize how overwhelming the schedules of three can be.

        It’s fine to say that the 11th grader has to do their own laundry but when you have 5 people and not 2-3 people sharing the machine, then you need a schedule etc. Or it’s easy to say kids can make their own lunches but that involves a degree of supervision and organization around having healthy options available. Those are not overnight solutions. And none of them solve your after school care issues.

        • Anonymous :

          Eh, I don’t think we’re being that tough. 3 kids is tough but you can make it much harder than it needs to be. The 11th grader could be doing everyone’s clothes on her own schedule. 11 and 16 year olds shouldn’t need supervision to make lunch, and shouldn’t have needed it for years.

          • Anonymous :

            I wouldn’t trust a 7th grader to reliably pack a healthy lunch with a protein and veggies/fruits everyday. You don’t want them eating pizza/fries or jam sandwich three times a week.

          • Anonymous :

            Why not? Kids will survive. We all did.

          • Anonymous :

            On the other side, the 7th grader could make a shopping list, the adults could buy the stuff they approve of during their weekly grocery shopping trip, and then the 7th grader could just pack those things. Easy peasy.

          • Anonymous :

            The majority of Americans are either overweight or obese and heart disease and diabetes are through the roof.

            So technically we ‘survived’ but I aim for parenting better than ‘kid is not dead’ level of nutrition. Especially in OP’s situation where the middle schooler is a nationally ranked athlete who likely needs a good solid eating plan to support 4+ hours of practices daily.

          • Anonymous :

            Keep enabling then! You aren’t raising my kid.

          • Anonymous :

            The kid can’t pack a bunch of junk food if the parents don’t buy it, though? Plus what kid would pack gross, cold, soggy fries?

          • Anonymous :

            It’s not just the absence of junk food – it’s the presence of healthy food. Sufficient protein. At least two veggies and one fruit. A kid making a jam sandwich on white bread vs. turkey sandwich with mustard and lettuce and tomato on whole grain. It’s also not healthy to eat luncheon meats everyday. And as a nationally ranked athlete, proper nutrition is likely very important for the 7th grader.

            Plus OP identified coming up with lunch ideas as a challenge. No wonder there is so much mommy guilt when everyone is super judgy about a mom hiring household help to provide supervision (which is different from doing it for the kid).

          • Aunt Jamesina :

            Goodness. I started packing my lunch four days a week (hot lunch was a “treat”- blech!) starting at the age of six. I remember my mom doing practice runs with me a few times in the summer before first grade. An appropriate lunch was a sandwich/main, fruit or veggie, and a small treat (in our house it was often healthy-ish options like trail mix or yogurt). It doesn’t have to be complicated, and kids being involved in preparing their own meals is exactly how you teach healthy habits.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            When I was a kid (one of 4) my mom took us to the grocery store on Sunday with a budget for the week and told us to buy stuff to make our own lunches for the week. It was honestly kind of fun, and definitely a good learning experience. We knew what we were and weren’t allowed to have (I remember pitching hard for Cactus Cooler, like trying to sell it as “juice”) so no one was just eating chips for lunch all week.

        • (Re-posting) Child Care?? :

          Thanks :) The mom’s board is a bit slower so I will take the tough responses bc I’m happy to have input ;0 We’ve thought about the au pair but it would mean giving up our only guest room and both sets of grandparents come to visit a lot.

          I am so busy with work and trying to stay above water on the home front that implementing “adulating” behaviors seems like another insurmountable challenge. BUT baby steps. First step – kids learning to do laundry.

          • Senior Attorney :

            I say this with love, but teaching your kids to be adults is the main job of parenting, and you are way behind with your 11th grader. Perhaps this is worth taking a bit of time off work and treating it as a crisis so you can get some systems in place. And, uh, where the heck is your husband in all this?

          • Anonymous :

            My mom used to say that she was not raising kids, she was raising new adults, and if the end result of her parenting was that we were dependent on her, she had failed. I know SA has an adult child so she knows what she’s talking about. There is absolutely no reason why a 17-year-old cannot be largely self-sufficient in terms of daily activities. Parental coddling – maybe from “mommy guilt”; maybe from a fear of letting go or sadness over a child growing up – is not going to help kids in the long run.

            Reiterating from above: kids can’t put stuff in their lunch that you don’t buy. The adult grocery buyer is in control of that situation. I am ROFL at this whole “the 7th grade star athlete needs a nutritionist-approved lunch” thing. I went to school with 2 guys who went to the NFL, 1 who went to the NBA, and three who played professional soccer. They ate the cafeteria food with the rest of us most of the time. There is so much privilege smacking around in those comments about the lunches that I want to die. People are not obese because their moms didn’t make their lunches until they were 18. That’s a ridiculous argument.

          • Anonymous :

            The 11th grader is a recent addition to their family.

          • I don’t have any advice but just wanted to give you a virtual hug and commiserate. Yes, I think there are always tweaks we could implement to make things run more smoothly. I’m constantly adjusting our systems myself. But, I truly believe that our society is not set up to accommodate families with children and two working parents. Barring lucky exceptions (like dedicated grandparents in the neighborhood who take over all childcare), I don’t think there is any solution where things run smoothly, you don’t feel overwhelmed, you don’t feel guilty about something. (Not to mention affordability). When I see how much easier things are in the northern European country of my husband’s birth, with their heavily subsidized high quality childcare, and expectation that a full-time job for mothers AND fathers is 4 days per week (thus only needing childcare 3 days per week), plus a general social safety net, it helps me to understand that the feeling of constant struggle and desperation to earn a living, do substantial fulfilling work, and maintain a healthy family life is NOT due to my personal failings.

          • Anonymous :

            But we shouldn’t pretend there are choices being made in all of this. your life doesn’t have to be taken over with kids activities. you can teach them how to do chores. you can decide that this is a priority for your family. Or not! Point is, just because society has certain expectations for you doesn’t mean you have to indulge it.

          • Two working parents- two teen/preteen children.

            Kids take to responsibility easier than you think. My children have been making their lunches since Kindergarten. They have been doing laundry since age 10, and are expected to help with certain household chores (vacuuming, sweeping, dishes, pet care, bathrooms, etc). They also help out with dinner cooking, as homework allows. It’s not as many chores as we did growing up, but, they at least help. Even your younger child can help. They don’t always help without grumbling, but, I am their mother, not their maid.

            Set expectations and they will rise to meet them.

            I would look for a college age student to pick up from school and deposit at home/activities. I did that for awhile in college.

    • I answered your other post:

      I kind of agree with this. My school district happens to have a great school lunch program, so from day one I told my kids, “I am not the kind of mom who packs lunches. I am the kind of mom who pays for lunches.” So they always had money on their hot lunch account, but if they wanted to pack a lunch they (not me) were free to do it. They mostly always did pack their lunches. I didn’t police what they packed but I also didn’t have a lot of junk in the house so it was mostly sandwiches or soup and crackers.

      Your kids can do this. They can all do it, even the kindergartener.

    • Baconpancakes :

      If your kids are more adventurous eaters, check out bento lunches. I get recipes at The recipes are designed to keep through the morning.

    • (Re-posting) Child Care?? :

      Thanks for all the great advice! In the interest of brevity I left out some background (7th grader is a nationally-ranked athlete who practices upwards of 4 hours a day in addition to school so there isn’t much free time there and 11th grader is actually a new add to our family, we are delighted to have her but I’m slowly working through how to help her with life skills; Kindergarten is most self-sufficient of the bunch).

      That said, I appreciate the consensus that the kids can do more, learn to do more and help out more. This is the kind of revamp I am figuring out. I think some of it is working mom guilt and also that the kids schedules are already so full.

      I also love the idea of giving them lunch money in their account and letting them figure out something else if they don’t like school lunch :)

      • Anonymous :

        (you can make the kids’ schedules less full to build in time for these life skills and downtime – you don’t have to run yourself into the ground just because they have a talent others don’t. Just a thought, not a sermon)

      • Senior Attorney :

        Okay, missed this. I take back the part about being behind. :)

        • (Re-posting) Child Care?? :

          Thanks – I maybe should have included more details in the original post. I’m delighted to have our lovely 11th grader but it’s new territory for us. I want her to feel loved and included and not like she’s pushed to take on all kinds of new things or somehow only welcome if she provides household help. I was puzzled when she admitted she needed a specific item washed for sports (only when asked) because I would otherwise have imagined she’d tell me or do it herself.

          • From the sound of it, your sensitivity and empathy for her will be remembered and cherished long after any memories of unwashed laundry fade.

          • (Re-posting) Child Care?? :

            anon, this really made me feel better – thank you :)

          • Rainbow Hair :

            Hugs, you sound like you’re doing a good job for her. Being a teen is so hard, especially with big transitions, and it sounds like she’s really lucky to have you.

          • turtletorney :

            AGREED with anon at 4:55. Your love/empathy/generosity/everything is so much more important in shaping these kids than anything else.

            Signed, a super spoiled kid who had lunch made every day through HS, never did her own laundry, was exhausted just from high school AP classes + varsity sports + clubs + everything else you need to get into college. I’m a fully functional, not remotely spoiled, super hardworking and I’d say successful 20-something. My mom was big on letting “kids be kids” and already felt bad at how hard I was pushing myself. She says she wouldn’t change this now – I didn’t turn out spoiled because I still understood hard work, and she feels like she took some things off my plate during a critical time. & i had the best example of a good mom and really good person.

      • I changed my mind, you have complex circumstances. I would go with your first instinct (partial nanny morning and evening + housekeeper). So what if it costs the same as a full time person (which you seem to be unable to find)? It suits your circumstances.

        It’s like my elderly parents not wanting to move out of their inappropriate 4 bd colonial because a condo will cost the same with less space. So what, it would meet their needs better and they don’t need the extra space. If you can afford the help you need, get it.

        It doesn’t mean you don’t even want to teach kids household tasks, but that’s an ongoing thing anyway and you need help now.

      • JuniorMinion :

        I really feel for you OP – as someone who ended up on scholarship at a really challenging high school (and loved it) there just wasn’t a ton of time for me to do chores. I got home around ~7 PM every night wolfed down some food and did homework until 11. I lived 45 minutes from my school so I had to be on the bus by 7:10 AM the next morning. Worth noting I’m a meal planning, lunch bringing adult and probably the only one of my friends who plans out my grocery shopping weekly like our grandmothers’ generation used to even though none of that was modeled / done well in my childhood (my mom went to the store every day and our meals were very much based on her whims / whatever new dietary regime she was on) and I never really did formal “chores” other than random clothes folding / sod laying / gardening as I had time.

        That being said it would probably be beneficial for you to positively involve your kids in home tasks in ways that are less pressured. Could you all cook together on a weekend – Ie have each kid chop / prep something to match skill level? Brainstorm lunch / food ideas together taking into account people’s needs / desires? This stuff is hard even as an adult and I’m still tweaking it. Stuff like emptying the dishwasher and folding clothes / putting sheets on the bed are also probably good beginner tasks.

    • Anonymous :

      Figuring out lunches needs to be a weekend project. Pick two things. Prep them. Make them. Kids who don’t like the routine can pack their own lunches or buy lunch.

    • SF in House :

      What do your finances allow? DH and I have very unpredictable schedules and often have early calls and meetings. For us, having someone come in, get them to school, walk the dog, do the laundry, and then do the afternoon schlepping is totally worth it. Our kids are in 7th and 9th and the realization that this may not make sense in 2 years makes us sad.

      • (Re-posting) Child Care?? :

        Our finances allow us to have full-time help, but the practicalities of finding someone along with the sense that I’m depriving my children of the ability to develop life skills makes me suspect I should do something different. We’ve be lucky to have the same arrangement for so long that I didn’t consider anything else until now.

        Plus we went from 2 kids to 3 when my 11th grader joined our family. Sports practice, homework, extracurricular activities, our work schedules – I’m just not putting it all together very well.

        • Anonymous :

          You might consider part time help from a college student (especially for mornings) with the mutual understanding between you and your childcare provider that part of the job is teaching life skills. If you get a grocery list (or your CP shops), then s/he can teach the kids how to make healthy lunches. S/he can teach the kids do to laundry.

          A college student who intends to work with kids (as a teacher, or coach, or therapist, etc.) would probably be bonkers good at that job.

        • JuniorMinion :

          You aren’t shortchanging your kids. We all figure it out. My husband who did enough life skilling for both he and his single mom wishes that more attention had been paid to a demanding challenging education for him because then he would have access to the work opportunities open to me. He’d trade every home skill he does better than me and then some to have had more homework and less chores.

          Life is a series of tradeoffs, and sometimes there are good reasons to not do things yourself. Added to which we all have different skills.

          • Sending a teenager out into the world without teaching them how to do laundry, even one who has just recently joined the household, is shortchanging the kid.

          • JuniorMinion :

            …I figured it out on my own in college. Its pretty plug and play. Especially with relatively easy care clothes.

          • Well good for you. But it’s not just the skill. It sounds objectively like these kids are kind of spoiled and lacking some pretty basic abilities to function as a human being. That is doing them a disservice and a disservice to everybody who is going to have to interact with them for the rest of their lives.

    • Seaporter :

      You’re not a failure! This kind of thing is complex operations. Just because it’s your family doesn’t mean it’s realistic for anyone to immediately swap in a new routine, +/- new people, that gets the job done seamlessly — much less casually sub in and cover all bases at home and work. There was a reason you had a nanny and that’s ok!

      Few potentially helpful thoughts going forward – if you were happy with the nanny arrangement in the past, not sure why it would make sense to take on new levels of housework etc. on the weekend unless your budget has also changed. This is absolutely solvable with the right person, and with a youngest in K you probably have more latitude in which caregiver options will work / the need for AM help will pass before you know it. Au pair is a good idea if you can give up the space and think a younger live-in caregiver will be overall positive for 11th grader. But, I bet with some creative planning you can have an afternoon babysitter/driver/part-time nanny (not sure what the right term is) help prep for the AM before (s)he leaves, plus a cleaning person a few days a week.

      Good luck!! And, appreciate how complex this can be and give yourself credit.

    • Anonymous :

      If you can find the before school and after school help you need, you can have them encourage the same life skills that you would if you didn’t have the help. There are many stern nannies that make the kids pick up after themselves, do their own laundry (with nanny assistance), help with dinner and pack lunches (I agree, the lunch delivery I kind of absurd). It doesn’t have to be either or.

    • FWIW, we have an after-school nanny (25 hours/week) who picks up the kids, drives them around, and also does things like empty out lunch boxes, prepare water bottles for the next day etc. We have lunches fairly streamlined, and the kids basically get variations on the same lunch, which involve a lot of yogurt and cheese and other grab and go/single serving type food. (It helps that they are younger, elementary school-aged.) I used to do a lot of prep-work (e.g., making frozen lunchables, freezing sandwiches), so that’s an idea. Another idea is individually frozen meals that get warmed up and put in a thermos, but only one of my kids likes that.

    • Anonymous :

      I would look at whether all the after-school activities are necessary, too. Children don’t need to be supervised every minute of the day. They can come home and play, or hang out. They would also have time to do laundry after school! I am not suggesting no activities but the trend has been to go overboard. Also, why not just have your kids eat lunch at school?

    • Oh good lord. It’s just a little princess-y that someone cannot eat a lunch that was packed that morning because it’s not “fresh enough” by noon. Frankly there’s zero reason that all the week’s lunches couldn’t be made on Sunday, left in the fridge and each morning the kid takes another brown bag to lunch.

  6. Puddlejumper :

    We found a place to rent! Whew!

    Its tiny so I am going to need to install a bunch of shelving options to create storage. Can anyone recommend a handyman for Brooklyn? I want more someone more certified than someone random from taskrabbit. Using them for a few days to hang pictures, install hooks, hang shelves and create a desk in a closet thing.

    While we are at it can any give me recs for: doctors (main doc, gyno, gastro, rheumatoid, dermatologist, dentist, etc), places to get hair cut, nails, therapists, tailor, dry cleaner… you know basically I will take any rec for the Cobble Hill area.

    • Anonymous :

      This is NYC – does the building have a super? Start there. Or if yours doesn’t, go across the street and ask if that building has a super. You will have to pay them what you’d pay a handyman — but lots of them will take on this type of extra work for the $. Frankly I think it’s a better idea than some random handyman who in NYC will charge you an arm and a leg to drill 4 shelves into the wall.

      • Puddlejumper :

        Good brainstorming! I hadn’t realized that would be an angle to go. I wonder if they will freak out about the level of work I am going to be adding to the place though…Its all technically okay (shelves and pictures are allowed) I just think people freak out sometimes when they realize that I am adding a bunch of shelves to a closet to turn it into a desk.

        • Anonymous :

          Tipping the super when you move in isn’t a bad idea even if you don’t hire him/her – give them an envelope with some cash inside and thank them for their help in moving in or something. They might try to refuse, weakly, but they will take it.

          • Puddlejumper :

            Thank you so much for telling me this. After 3 years in London’s no tip (or very minimal tip) culture I am clueless to stuff like this!

    • Anonymous :

      Hair salon – Danka Panka (I use Joecelyn)
      Gyno – I go to Manhattan for Judith Gershowitz
      Therapist – Dolores Cavaglia-Fischer in Brooklyn Heights

    • Anonymous :

      Pua Hana nail salon

    • I live in Cobble Hill! Here are my recs for the below:

      Main doc – I use One Medical (which has an office on Smith Street)
      Gyno – Women’s health on Maiden Lane (2 stops in on the train)
      Dermatologist -0 Dr. Dendy Engelman (midtown east, but she’s the best!)
      Nails – LL Nail Salon on Atlantic or Pua Hana (but this is small)
      Massage Place on Bergen Street between Smith and Court – great and cheap massages
      Tailor/ dry cleaner – La Tailors on Union Street (a bit further, but the guy is GREAT and it’s relatively inexpensive for the neighborhood).

      Let us know if you need restaurant or bar recs!

  7. Catastrophe :

    Does anyone have experience anonymously reporting animal hoarding? A member of my family has 16 indoor cats living in a small house. The cats are excellently cared for with plenty of food, water and clean litter boxes. The problem is that the house has been destroyed over the years (at the height they had 25 cats. All feral, brought in from outside. All were spayed/neutered and received vet care.)

    The pressing problem is now the couple is elderly and infirm. The wife falls everyday. The husband can’t take care of himself or help his wife up when she falls. They need to move into an assisted living but they refuse because of the cats. I’m considering placing an anonymous call, but my worse case scenario is that the couple get arrested for animal abuse. No one in the family wants these cats. They are feral and only like the couple. Does anyone have any advice?

    • Is there a no- kill shelter in their area? Maybe someone from there could visit and talk to them.

    • Clementine :

      I would call a local cat rescue organization – not the ASPCA but more like a mission driven org that does TNR and also fostering/adoption and ask them for assistance.

      If asked you ‘know how loved their cats are and just want to make sure they’d be taken care of if anything were to happen.’

    • Seek out social assistance specifically regarding the living conditions of the family members, not for the cats. Animal control and animal rescues are only concerned about the living conditions of the cats and usually have their hands tied if the animals’ living conditions meet a basic standard (usually food and water). They can’t usually force anyone to give up their animals if those animals are cared for. Once the appropriate social service comes in to meet with the elderly couple about the conditions of the home, the service can refer them to animal placement organization if necessary. Unfortunately, I don’t have any recs and most recs are going to be local in nature.

      • OfCounsel :

        Second this. They may have lot of cats, but unless there is a local rule about the number of animals in a single household and if the animals are being appropriate cared for, they are not violating any laws and the government is not going to take their cats away. At most, someone might suggest that they consider making arrangements to transition their cats to new homes “just in case”.

        Also – people on this site tend to talk about moving elderly relatives into assisted living as if that is their decision. I recognize it is coming from a place of love, but the cold hard reality is that competent adults gets to go to h*ll in their own way and in their own time. You can refuse to help them stay where they are; you can offer assistance in moving; you can suggest and cajole. But in the end, it is going to be their decision as long as they are competent and physically able to care for themselves. I suspect the cats are an excuse. Believe me when I say I recognize how incredibly frustrating it can be but being old does not mean they lose the right to make their own choices – even if they are not what you consider good choices.

      • Aunt Jamesina :

        Yup. Check out local elder care organizations. They’ll be able to get you in touch with the proper channels.

    • This is much more than an animal problem. In my state, the elder abuse statute includes a duty to report for suspected self-neglect. Frequent falls without having proper help and taking care of animals prior to yourself can be self-neglect. You can anonymously call your state’s Adult Protection hotline and voice your concerns. They will send a social worker to assess and the social worker will decide whether the elderly person needs additional support within the home or whether the animals are okay.

      • Catastrophe :

        I think I will pursue this option. The couple go around looking unwashed wearing filthy clothes. They smell like cat urine. Their house is indescribably disgusting. They are ride or die about keeping the cats no matter what. There is obviously mental illness at play.

    • Anonymous :

      They won’t get arrested for animal abuse because there isn’t any animal abuse happening. The cats are well cared, in good health, see a vet, and are totally fine other than there are a lot of them. No animal control officer is going to take that call seriously, sorry.

      Agreed with the others above that you need to find a rescue that will help you or you somehow need to take them to the shelter where they will end up euthanized if they are feral to all other humans. It’s going to be extremely hard for any one rescue to take sixteen adult cats who are not friendly and who cannot necessarily be ready for adoption following a vet visit. This is a really hard situation. I don’t know what else to tell you, I’m sorry.

  8. Executrix :

    Anyone do trusts & estates? I’m a lawyer but in an obscure specialty and I never even took Trusts back in law school. We met with my parents’ lawyer yesterday to begin the process of drafting their estate documents, and it appears I am to be the executor, administrator, and all the other functions that will require work. I know the lawyer is there to set it all up, but I want to learn more about this area of law & be prepared. Can anyone recommend books, websites, other training opportunities for this field for someone who knows nothing? Maybe I could take a CLE class in this area; I don’t know.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Seems like a CLE course would be the way to go. I bet your firm would even pay for it.

    • I recomend Legal Zoom dot com, b/c they can do a draft will/trust or other doucment, and if you get it done, you can use the form to copy and paste into other document’s. I used them to do my own and the manageing partner’s will, and have used the same form to provide pro bono services for free to our otherwise paying cleint’s.

    • Your local court may have some good info on their website in the “self-help” section.

      If your state licenses private professional fiduciaries, the regulatory agency/ppf association may have some good resources on their websites.

      Also, usually the atty/CPA do the heavy lifting when there’s a non-professional fiduciary involved.

  9. imposter, table for one :

    So, I need some advice for dealing with my bad case of imposter syndrome. I got put in charge of a new project at work, which I was specifically selected for. My first reaction is to want to turn it down/worry what happens if I mess it up/think I am unqualified for it. I often don’t compete for things because I am “afraid” to actually get them. I have realized that I will not be able to reach my professional goals or have the courage to explore new things if I don’t find a way to deal with this.

    • Anonymous :

      You can do it. Break it down into manageable chunks, set a schedule and go forth and conquer. You were put in charge because they believe in you.

    • Same thing happened to me a little while back (though I more proactively pursued the opportunity). Once I got it I had a little freak-out and was certain I would seriously mess it up. I took a deep breath and reminded myself that 1) I was selected because they believed in me, and 2) if not me, then who was going to make this project succeed? I made a list of everything I would need to learn/be able to do to execute the project, rolled up my sleeves, and got down to it. Proud to say that things are going great and I’ve been given progressively greater levels of responsibility to expand, deepen, and scale up this project (and have had to up my game every time–which has been an amazing growth experience).

      Even if you don’t feel like the person who can pull it off, you can become that person!

  10. BabyAssociate :

    Anyone have recommendations for short rainboots? I have Hunters, which I love, but they’re way too hot for warmer weather.

    • I keep seeing these short, low-heeled Betabrand booties in my social media feeds/ads, and they look like they are waterproof but breathable. I wouldn’t puddle jump in them, but they could work for a wet commute, possibly.

      These, or not-very-attractive but pretty comfortable/effective Crocs flats (like, not the cool non-foam Crocs; these:


    • in mod with three options: betabrand, and two crocs

    • Puddlejumper :

      I like my short Tretorn ones a lot. But for really hot weather (like when I am in Uganda) I wear crocs ( the Kadee Style) and handle the fact that my feet are going to get wet, but know that my shoes are not getting damaged, and they will dry off really quickly when I am no longer in the rain.

    • NYC biglaw :

      sebago. not “rainboots” but crocs stopped making my favorite rain flat (and they got slippery when the traction was worn down).

    • BabyAssociate :

      Thank you all, these are great suggestions!

  11. Shoe Crisis! :

    Any advice for how to remove a big wad of green gum from the back of my red patent leather ballet flat? It keeps smearing. Ugh!

  12. Travel Warning :

    I have a trip planned to Cancun and a neighboring city in a couple weeks. The state department issued a travel warning earlier this week for Mexico citing, gun fighting in the street, carjackings, kidnappings and murder. My credit card says this is not terrorism so is not covered by their insurance. What do I do?

    • Anonymous :

      What neighboring city are you talking about? Playa del Carmen? Tulum?

      Cancun will be fine, particularly if you just stay at your resort. Don’t wander off into random city neighborhoods and you will be fine.

    • Anonymous :

      I would go anyway. Tourist areas occasionally get hit with random violence, but they usually have better police protection because so much of the economy depends on tourism. And the state dept warnings tend to be a bit dramatic, in my experience.

    • Was the State Dept warning any more specific than that? Mexico’s a big country . . .

      • Travel Warning :

        Yes, there was a state by state break down and the Quintana roo area is highly effected

    • Travel Warning :

      What if I am not staying in the tourist area, but in a fishing village about 30 mins south of Cancun

      • Anonymous :

        I would still go, and exercise caution the same way you do anywhere else in the world. I’m planning trips to California, India, Germany, and France in the next year — all places where terrorism has struck recently. If you want to avoid any chance of bad outcomes, best to stay in your house at all times.

        • Terrorism is different than placing yourself in a location that is known to have daily deadly violence

      • You sound like you’re too afraid to go, so don’t go.

    • Anonymous :

      I saw headlines about that, but if you read the warning it simply says homicide is up recently in the area (which is true of many US cities too). It does NOT advise Americans to defer non-essential travel, which is what I think of as a “state department warning.” We had a wonderful trip to Cancun earlier this year and I would go again right now. Just use caution like you would in any other large city.

    • Liquid Crystal :

      I would cancel my trip based on the travel warnings coupled with the reports of both violence and tainted alcohol and all the problems and norms associated with the tainted alcohol issues. It would not be worth the risks to me, and I would not enjoy peace of mind given the current climate in Mexico.

      That being said, I would be surprised if my position is a majority.

      • Anon for this :

        Tainted alcohol would be my bigger concern. I had clients drugged at a Mexican resort. One was sexually assaulted, the other robbed. Watch your drinks carefully. Make sure you see them poured.

        • Anon for this :

          I just looked up a story about this and the hospital was demanding $10,000 up front cash to treat someone. In countries without EMTALA, do they literally let you die if you can’t fork over cash on the spot? I wouldn’t be able to instantly access that kind of money. I currently have that much in a credit limit but in the past wouldn’t have. Even with travel insurance, you usually have to be reimbursed. Should I be transferring money out of savings/investments to have accessible in my checking account when over seas in case I need medical care? My health insurance luckily covers overseas care (fed blue cross) but I’m not sure if I have the pre-pay provision or not.

          • Liquid Crystal :

            I don’t know the answer about what to do regarding insurance/cash when traveling overseas, but I don’t think having that much cash accessible is necessary.

            There have been enough news articles lately about similar things happening (hospitals demanding cash up front for medical care, tourist facility staff and police turning blind eyes to distressed or hurt tourists, etc.) that I am concerned they are norms. I don’t think these are norms in many places we would want to travel (such as but not limited to Western Europe).

      • And it’s perfectly fine that you’re not in the majority. People have different risk tolerances, and that’s fine. I would go on this trip, but it sounds like OP really doesn’t want to, so she should make other plans rather than worrying about what people on the internet think.

    • ALX emily :

      I wouldn’t be bothered (especially in Mexico, which I love and where I find the warnings sooo overstated in areas that most tourists are going to – obviously I’m not going to Sinaloa), especially since the QR warning is more along the lines of “violence is increasing,” not “certain areas are completely off limits.” But I am definitely on the more-fearless side when it comes to things like that, at home and abroad, so YMMV.

    • Anonymous :

      If you’re nervous, could you cancel your trip to the neighboring city where you say the alert is and style in Cancun the whole time? There are plenty of areas that are safe.

    • To the OP, I am sure all of these responses are well-meaning, but I would trust the research of the State Department more than the feelings of people who have been to Mexico and had a nice time.

      • But the point is that the State Dept is not saying not to go. And believe me, they do say “don’t go here” about plenty of places.

  13. College Majors :

    I missed the college majors conversation on Tuesday, but wanted to share because I think English (and other liberal arts majors) get a bad rap.

    I majored in English.

    I have no degree beyond a bachelor’s degree.

    I make ~$400K/year (exclusive of stock options and grants) — not in law, finance/banking, medicine (obviously). We are out there.

    • Anonymous :

      Right and you’re one in a million. Every doctor is making 150k+ (except pediatrics but whatever) – so you go to med school and you are guaranteed that (as much as anything can be guaranteed). Every engineering/computer science person is making in the high 5 figures – again you go to those programs, there’s a virtual guarantee. English – for every 1 of you guys making 400k, there are hundreds if not thousands stuck in 50k office jobs with no real upward trajectory. So it depends – if you’re ok with your kid playing the odds, great, let them do something like English. If you want them to end up in fields where there are certain “floor” levels in salaries, I think there are safer options.

    • Anon for this :

      What do you do? Genuinely curious. I’m a humanities grad with 3 degrees who makes 10% of your salary.

      • College Majors :

        PR in a well-paying industry.

        • Anonymous :

          Wow. I am in PR too and make slightly more than 10% what you do.

          • College Majors :

            Not sure what industry you’re in, but I learned when you’re in PR the industry matters like college majors do. :)

            If you’re eventually planning to make the jump from an agency to the corporate/client side, think about tech, finance/banks, and pharma. There’s no glamour, but there’s $$$$.

            My understanding is that fashion and consumer PR is all glamor, lots of free swag, but very low pay.

    • Anonymous :

      But what is your field and does it require a level of 1) education like CLE, apprenticeship, etc. that you can’t get from college or 2) a skill that is difficult to learn that also can’t be hone well in college (like a natural salesman, artists, etc.), or 3) are you an entrepreneur from a family of entrepreneurs, so you have mentors and guidance?

      I think it’s important for people to choose their majors based on 1) the utility of the education and 2) their strengths. You may be a successful outlier due to extraordinary traits. What does the ordinary kid do?

      If a kid has to hang his or her ability to get a job solely on education and internships, the college major really really matters.

      • College Majors :

        None of the above. I work in PR. Never had an internship in college, for various practical/logistical reasons, and have no family connections.

        • Anonymous :

          The vast majority of PR/communications jobs pay waaaaaaay less than $400k. You have to be in specific industries and also advance pretty high up, and I would guess be based in a fairly HCOL area. It sounds like you have done very well for yourself but it’s not like the average English major gets a $400k job right out of school. The average engineer can easily get a $100k job. There are huge earners in every field, but the averages look very different.

          • College Majors :

            Definitely true, and that’s why I know how freaking lucky and privileged I was to graduate with no student loan debt, so I could eke out a living on the $30K salary in a HCOL area when I was starting out.

            I know that I’m an outlier, but I wish that more smart liberal arts grads knew that PR was an option and that it can be potentially lucrative and challenging, not all Samantha on SATC party planning. I wish that especially for the percentage of liberal arts grads who go to law school because they aren’t sure what else they can do and then end up with a mountain of debt and a job they hate.

          • Anon for this :

            Moving into PR is harder for those with majors in the Humanities but not English proper. Most of the entry-level PR job postings I’ve seen want people who’ve studied Marketing and/or Communications.

        • College Majors :

          I should add that my parents are immigrants, but they are well-educated (dad is an aerospace engineer) and paid for me to attend an elite private college without student loans. So graduating without any student debt was a huge leg up.

    • Wow! Are you a C-level also? Or mid management?

    • I’m an English major with public policy masters.

      I’m 34 y/o VP level making $200k for a technology company (nothing fancy, think like, makes software for banks or grocery stores). I’m in product strategy/run product. It was a windy path but had 0 to do with my masters degree.

      I’m not saying “major in English! You’ll make millions!” Just- a liberal arts degree can still have a lot of value. Our head of marketing was a Classics major.

    • Amen! I have a Humanities major from a foreign country (not Canada, not UK) and have a title of Principal at a large company with a salary in mid-100s. I just had a conversation about majors with my boss, who studied art history in college. There is this great candidate we want to hire, who is an Anthropology major and will be paid 6 figures, too. We are in IT consulting.

  14. mini rant- why are all the men I work with/work for so incompetent? I work on two separate but extremely related teams (I’m the sole go-between). The one team is mostly men and they’re helplessly incompetent. The other team is two women and they’re so on top of their sh!t.

    Yesterday’s discussion on women thinking of all the little, yet important, details sums up my life perfectly…

  15. New Parents :

    DH and I (not lawyers) are expecting our first child later this year, and while I hate to think about it, we probably need to put some kind of will in place. We’re high earners with a significant amount of financial assets (mainly retirement and investment accounts), but we don’t own any real estate yet nor do we have any trusts set up, so I think it should be pretty straightforward (famous last words).

    If I could pick the brains of the lawyers on this board, what’s the “bare minimum” that we should put in place to ensure our child is taken care of in event we both pass away? Anything you recommend or suggest beyond that? Also, how do we get this set up and roughly what can we expect to pay for this kind of service in a HCOL area?

    • You should have a life insurance policy, if you don’t already, that will cover any debts you have and pay for the lifestyle/college you want for your kid. You should also figure out who you would want to serve as a guardian if something happened to both of you. A good lawyer can help with the specifics. It shouldn’t be prohibitively expensive.

      • PS: If you say where you are, someone may have a recommendation for an attorney.

        • New Parents :

          Good idea! We are in Los Angeles, so any recommendations for a good and reasonably priced wills/trusts attorney would be appreciated.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Yes. You actually will have a hard time getting a life insurance policy while pregnant, but you can look into doing so post partum.

        My husband and I were in similar shoes when we had our kid – we had a very basic estate and it was so easy to meet with a lawyer and have him do all of the paperwork for our will, trusts, guardianship, etc.

        • New Parents :

          Yes, we have life insurance in place already. Sorry, should have clarified that in my initial post.

    • Ask around for a recommended local lawyer. You need someone who knows state law. I would guess in the low four figures for something uncomplicated.

    • Just go see a wills/trusts/estate planning attorney. For a set fee (I think we paid $1000) they’ll set up a trust for you, which as high earners will very likely be the right thing for you too. Have in mind people you would want to be your child’s primary and backup guardians, and who you’d want to be your executor/money handler. Does not need to be the same person.

      And yes get some good term life insurance. Get high limits while you’re young and healthy.

    • Anonymous :

      Agree with the above. The most important is to get a life insurance policy for both parents in place. I live in a HCOL area (Northern VA), and I think we paid about $1500 for a lawyer to put together the basic suite of docs — will, living will, power of attorney. We have a pretty run-of-the mill, simple situation. I could probably have done it myself, being a lawyer, but wanted to pay for someone who had done it before, because it’s not like you have multiple chances to get it right! If you are on a moms and/or neighborhood listserv, you’ll probably get a good recommendation there for an attorney — the basic docs are not rocket science but it’s good to have someone who does this a lot.

    • blueberries :

      I’m a lawyer in a very different field, so all I have is bar exam knowledge of estate law. I’ve always wondered–if you have relatively straightforward assets (house, retirement accounts, savings) and agree with how intestate estates are distributed in your state, what does a will/trust get you? Couldn’t you just nominate a guardian for your kid using a simple will and call it good?

  16. Baconpancakes :

    The “cool girl” comment made me wonder – what are current cool girl things? Haircut, style, decor? I feel like the blogs I read have all had the same look for two years.

    • Flats Only :

      I think the cool girls are wearing those hideous pants that have a high waist, very wide legs and a cropped hemline. I don’t think those pants are cool at all, or flattering on anyone, but they seem to be super trendy.

    • Nothing I’m wearing, I bet. Rocking a J Crew Factory twinset over here. Antithesis of cool girl. But I’m fine with that ;-)

      I always get puzzled when I see Kat use that descriptor…

      • Yeah, me too. I don’t have the devil-may-care spontaneous effortless “cool girl” attitude (if there’s one thing I am not, it is “DGAF”) so anything designed for such individuals is guaranteed to make me look like a tryhard.

        I’ll just be over here in my ballet flats carrying a classic leather shoulder tote…

    • AnonMidwest :

      Maybe it’s my age, but I’ve long since given up trendy or “cool girl” looks in favor of a more classic style. I know what looks good on me and I’m not willing to sacrifice my self confidence to fit whatever horrid trend comes along.

      I’ll try out new looks on occasion, but few and far between. I will not be wearing high waisted, wide legged, short pants. I already feel like an amazon some days and don’t need a visual confirmation.

      • Anony Mouse :

        +1 I’m not a high-earner, so I’m selective about buying few, high-quality pieces that I’ll be able to use for years.

    • Cool girls are wearing what I find to be ugly so I tend to stay far far far away from it. Cold Shoulders, shoulder cut outs, weird cropped pants, 90s repeat stuff, norm core

      2 “cool” girls to check out are the Of a Kind duo. They have a clothing line too.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Going to a 90s concert soon and bought every piece of my outfit from the current juniors sections of various mall stores. The 90s are 100% back in. I bought overalls with ripped knees, a blue belly shirt with a cut across the chest similar to a shirt that ties up, a choker with a bow, hoop earrings. I’M SO EXCITED but definitely embarrassed to wear the outfit anywhere but the concert. I hope to rock the overalls in the fall but not with a belly shirt. And yes, one strap will be down at the concert. If only I still had a mini backpack.

    • I have a couple of pairs of Loeffler Randall shoes so maybe I qualify? (joking)

      I think for haircuts you’re supposed to have sort of messy, just above the shoulders hair, kind of like a long bob?

      For style, yes on the high waist pants, also yes on oversize denim jackets. Dingy colored tshirts are also having a moment, as is a general 90s grunge aesthetic. Now is the time to buy that slip dress and not think about what kind of bra you could possibly wear with that because you are going to wear it with a tshirt underneath anyway.

      For décor, you definitely need kilim rugs, pref. layered over each other and/or paired with sheepskin.

    • Go look at Cuyana. To me that’s 100% cool girl. At least here on the west coast.

    • Marshmallow :

      Here in NYC I’d look at Reformation, COS, Topshop for that kind of aesthetic. / Anything Alexa Chung wears.

    • Things I’d never wear in a million years, at least based on my reading of Manrepeller, which is probably the “coolest” s*te I read regularly.

  17. Went off BC last month and now my body this week constantly feels like I drank a shot of espresso and ran up 10 flights of stairs. Light headed, jittery, tons of energy, flighty, dizzy etc

    Is this what life off BC feels like?
    Am I pregnant already?
    Anyone else get this? Or am I just crazy. The moment I got off BC my gardening drive ramped up instantly…so maybe this was hiding also? I have been on it for 12 years.

    Yes. I have a doc appt but tell me I am not the only one that felt like this…

    • I think your hormones are adjusting. I wouldn’t worry about it until you’ve been off for 3-6 months. Some people get more affected than others but most people find an equilibrium eventually.

    • Marillenbaum :

      I didn’t have that feeling going off BC, but it is how I felt when I tried my first antidepressant–it was like what I imagined cocaine would feel like, but without any of the stuff people say makes cocaine fun. In my case, I switched to a medication that was also used to treat anxiety, and suddenly–poof! So while I don’t have any advice, I do have plenty of sympathy. Hope you feel better soon!

    • I went off after 15 years and had the same gardening side effect, plus a lot of behind-the-eye dull headaches and face breakouts for the first month or two. Then those second two stopped and I’m just left with the urge to garden, which is great, because we were in a drought before that!

      Also, not TTC at all (DH’s garden hose was snipped, allowing me to go off BC), so obviously different experience.

      • Question about the garden hose: what was that experience like for him? Considering our options for avoiding any more kids after kid no. 2 is born and it’s one of the appealing ones.

        • This is one of the things that so many guys do and no one talks about. Seriously get him snipped and have him talk to his guy friends about it – because they don’t talk about it so it seems like no one else is getting it done but everyone is.

        • Mrs. Jones :

          My husband also got snipped and it was no big deal, after one day to recuperate.

        • I wish I could agree with the others. My husband’s snippage was not easy for him. He had a lot of bruising and spent quite a lot of time on the couch with his bag of frozen peas.

          I swore if I had to hear “ow, my b-lls” one more time I’d shoot him.

        • Oh, god, it was a breeze. His words not mine: that’s the best 100$ I’ve ever spent (that was the after insurance cost, btw. seriously.) He was up and around right after. No frozen peas, no all-March Madness-long “wah it hurts, I’ll stay home for a week!” nothing. I understand that some people can have swelling, but his experience was fine.

          His other reaction? The most uncomfortable part was when the garden hair grew back in after being shaved. I was like, uh, yeah, tell me about it, dear (cough cough exfoliate! cough).

          He will tell any other man that listens.

          • Also, this is generally a man who gets the sniffles => acts like he’s dying. So. I was shocked. Pleased, but shocked.

          • Thanks! And thanks to others who shared. I initially thought it was no big deal, too, esp. compared to alternatives for women/the fact that up to this point I have borne most of the burden for BC, but when Mr. AIMS brought it up to a friend in a similar boat, this guy claimed that it’s a super hard recover and you’ll be sitting on a donut for a week. Mind you, friend hasn’t done it himself.

        • Anonymous :

          My husband had it done and it was not a big deal at all. The actual procedure took minutes. Then he spent that evening in the recliner with frozen peas. He did too much walking the next day and got swollen, but after icing again he was fine. He said it did not really hurt much, just had to keep an eye on the swelling and take it easy the next day. I am sooo glad he had it done!!

    • I remember going off the BCP and during my morning walk to the bus stop, which used to feel like an uphill slog, I felt like I could fly there. Like my feet barely had to touch the ground. It just made me realize how bad l had felt on hormonal BC. And yes on the return of the drive. Oh my yes.

    • It’s possible you’re pregnant. Being lightheaded and out of breath were very early pregnancy symptoms for me.

  18. Love this little satchel! It’s the perfect size to carry around when you don’t want to be lugging a huge bag! And of course black is the perfect color for all purpose bag like this.

    • Anonymous :

      You’re the worst and your link doesn’t work so it’s all for nothing.

      • Hahaha, agreed.

      • Eh … I don’t know. It’s obvious self promotion but it seems far from *the worst* and I actually clicked over to her blog a while ago and kind of liked it.

        • Anonattorney :

          I agree. I love blogs like this – real people actually wearing accessible work clothing. Plus, she looks pretty awesome in the pink New York & Co. sheath.

        • Anonymous :

          I don’t like the relentlessly cheerful co-signs of Kat’s picks on every single post. It’s annoying. In reading this b log for, like, ten minutes she should have been able to pick up on the fact that the women here are a lot of things, but relentlessly perky and cheerful aren’t one of them. Know your audience.

  19. Noisy Gym :

    I live a few blocks a gym that has recently decided to have exercise classes on its roof where they play very loud music and an instructor yells into a microphone. Even a few blocks away, and with my windows closed, it is so loud that I can identify the song and understand what the instructor is saying! I know that many people in my (usually quiet, residential) neighborhood have complained because I have talked to my neighbors and when I called the gym to complain they told me they have received “lots of complaints.” When I call, they either say they will turn it down (and don’t) or say they are within legal limits so they will not turn it down. Been going on about a week.

    Yesterday I finally called the police, and about 45 minutes after I called, the noise stopped. But then at 6:30am this morning, I was awoken by the noise – well, actually my rattling windows. I called the gym, and got the same story. I called the police again, but by the time they got there, the music stopped. It hasn’t played since then, but thought on next steps to get this to stop? Or with enough complaints and police calls will it eventually stop?

    Not sure how helpful it is, but I researched noise ordinances, and there is really no question they are in violation.

    • Anonymous :

      Could you get their class schedule and inform the police? Then they can get there while the class is in session.

    • Anonymous :

      Complain to the city and the police. Don’t call the gym anymore as they clear DNGAF, just call city or police.

    • anon a mouse :

      You have a few options. I’d probably start with calling the police precinct during the day, talking to whoever is in charge there, explaining what’s happening and asking if they can add it to their patrol. That you’re asking them to be proactive in helping so you don’t have to call every morning.

      You could also reach out to your local city council member for help. Better yet, get some neighbors involved to persuade them to intervene on your behalf.

    • Call your city council member!

    • Anonymous :

      We live down the block from a business that one year decided to start playing very loud Christmas music from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., in celebration of the holiday season. Starting the day before Thanksgiving. We live in an older neighborhood with a lot of elderly people and it was awful. Some of them turned their hearing aids off, it was so loud, and then couldn’t hear their phones or doorbells. There was absolutely no need for the business to play the Christmas music loud enough that others could hear it to that extent, but they insisted on doing so.

      Calling the business did not work. Sending people over to talk to the managers did not work. Writing letters did not work, posting flyers did not work, trying to bribe store employees to turn the music down did not work. What worked was all the neighbors, in concert, flooding the Facebook and Yelp pages for the business with bad reviews talking about the noise and how it was negatively affecting the neighborhood. 15 phone calls to the business did nothing; 15 one-star Yelp reviews in one day certainly did. They contacted us individually to ask us to take the reviews down; when we refused they turned the music down. It may seem like a dirty trick but you know what? If reasonable solutions don’t work, try unreasonable ones. They only played the Christmas music that one year; we’ve never had to deal with it again.

      Do you have Nextdoor active in your neighborhood? That’s how we were all able to get on the same page. Nextdoor is a great tool for mobilizing your neighbors when things like this happen and require action to resolve.

  20. Has anyone out there tried multiple meds for anxiety and depression?

    I like how Paxil helps my moods, but it makes me foggy-headed and drowsy. I forget the simplest things if I don’t write them down immediately, which causes me some concern at work, which then triggers my anxiety when I notice I’ve forgotten X things within a week. It feels like things just don’t sink in – like I’m driving around in a rubber bumper car instead of a race car. While that’s good in some situations, it’s problematic at work when I need to remember things quickly.

    Because Paxil is so effective with my moods, I’m really hesitant to begin The Quest for new meds. This was the first drug I ever tried, and I’ve heard so many bad stories about trial and error that I’m not eager to change, especially without knowing if it would get better. For the most part, the fogginess is a trade-off I’m willing to deal with…I think. Maybe others can speak to the side effects they’ve noticed with the meds they’ve tried?

    • I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but I would work with your doc to find the one that works the best for you. if you don’t like how it makes you feel, IMO, you should keep trying. Everyone’s body chemistry is different, so what works for me may not work for you. I will say that the only one I had really bad side effects on was Effexor. I stopped it after three days. My holy grail is Pristiq.

    • Anony Mouse :

      Trial and error with antidepressants sucks, for sure. The trouble is that every single person reacts differently to every single medicine, and not really a way to tell without actually trying it. That said, if you have another family member who reacts badly to an antidepressant, there’s a chance it won’t work well for you, either. Prozac made my mom suicidal, so I’ve always steered clear of that one.

      I have both moderate depression and generalized anxiety disorder, and I’ve taken the following: Zoloft, which made me an emotional zombie; Xanax for panic attacks, which makes me a physical zombie; and Wellbutrin, which worked well for several years and then stopped working as well. The only side effect I noticed with Wellbutrin was mild weight loss, ~5 lbs.

      Last year my doctor had me try Trintellix, and it was fantastic. I didn’t notice any side effects. Of course, then I switched jobs and my insurance would no longer cover it, so I’m back on Wellbutrin for now.

      • Anony Mouse :

        Also, if you’re not currently seeing a psychiatrist, you might consider working with one. They’re a lot more knowledgeable about antidepressants, etc. than most GPs.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I gather they like to hang out together. I was no longer crying after Zoloft kicked in, but also I was basically a sleep deprived zombie. Doctor added Wellbutrin to the mix and it’s amazing — I can do things again!

      • cactus killer :

        I’m also on a combo of Zoloft and Wellbutrin, and it has been great for me. My experience was basically the same as Rainbow Hair’s — Zoloft kept me from sinking into a depression puddle, but didn’t do much for my anxiety. Adding Wellbutrin made me feel balanced and able to live my life.

        I have a really good psychiatrist who talked me through all the possibilities and pros and cons of different meds. Would definitely recommend finding a doctor you trust to help you through this process.

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