Coffee Break: Bangle Fitbit Bracelet

FUNKtionalWearables Hally Bangle Fitbit BraceletThis cool little bracelet hides a secret: your Fitbit. It’s part of a growing trend to conceal/jazz up your less-than-attractive plastic Fitbit bracelet, and I like it, particularly for the office. (But: of course you can just wear the regular Fitbit bracelet to work also.) Etsy seller FUNKtional Wearables has a ton of cute styles; I like this metal bracelet for a conservative workplace. It’s $39 on Etsy. FUNKtionalWearables Bangle Fitbit Bracelet



  1. Anonymous :

    Re-post because I think this will be busier:

    I’m so sick of my closet. I’ve been working for about 5 years, and I’ve accumulated so much stuff that was bought hastily- doesn’t fit well, or work with other clothes, or was too trendy. I just feel like I need a total refresh.

    I’m overwhelmed with where to start- Do I get rid of everything first? Or do I start shopping? Do I make a list? Everything is so blah right now, I just want some new stuff that fits better and is better quality.

    I got a good suggestions to think about what I wear most and what I like wearing, but I don’t think I have anything I love wearing.

    • Legally Brunette :

      First, Marie Komdo your closet to only keep what you truly love. If you don’t love any of your clothes, keep what you have for now and make a personal shopping appointment ASAP at Nordstrom. Give the shopper as much detail in advance of what you’re looking for. And then, ONLY buy clothes that you love. Donate all of the old clothes that you don’t like.

      Another idea is to have a personal stylist come to your place and sort through all of your clothes for you and help you decide what to keep/toss.

    • I’d start by trying everything on. Then throw out anything worn-out or that doesn’t fit (unless it is worthwhile to alter). From what’s left, think about whether it fits into your current job or outside work life, and new ways you could wear it. Take note of holes in your wardrobe. Go shopping, try a bunch of stuff on. Get the basics now, and figure out what you like and stalk those for sales.
      I have a lot – I mean A LOT – of clothes. Borderline hoarder. I still have jeans from college – they still fit so I wear them. And now the flares are coming back in style, haha. I did a little purge recently but need to do more. I am trying to focus on less quantity but better quality (DvF, St Johns, Classique Entier, Joie).

    • Figure out what pieces you have that are not part of this total refresh. Make a list of what you have that will definitely stay. If you are missing any obvious basics (black skirts, nice blouses, whatever), pick up a few pieces in the next few weeks.

      Think about what makes you dislike the clothes you have. Too plain? Too trendy? Low quality? Doesn’t flatter your figure? Try to recall why you bought them. (I had a bad habit of buying things because they were nice and on sale – regardless of whether or not they were nice on my particular figure. Whoops.) When you go shopping, keep those mistakes in mind. Ask yourself, “Am I buying this because I love it, or because it’s trendy?” “Am I buying this because I love it, or because everyone tells me that I need a black skirt, and it’s an okay-enough black skirt?”

      Try to figure out what it is about certain clothes that you dislike. (Crewnecks? Ribbing? Hits too high in the waist? Quality of the fabric? Sleeve length?) This works especially well if you can find two relatively similar pieces of clothing, one that you love and one that is “meh,” and you can compare.

      Now, shop. First, head to a range of good-quality stores and try on their clothes. Some of them are going to be more “you,” and some of them are going to have clothes that fit your particular shape better than other stores. Now stalk those stores for pieces that you really love and great sales. Your problem sounds like you buy stuff that you don’t love, so stop buying *anything* unless you really, truly love it. Since you’re overhauling your wardrobe, find those pieces on sale.

      I might even suggest a few really fun, “you” clothes that aren’t necessarily basics, because they’ll at least help some of your outfits to not be “blah.”

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      I know everyone else is saying start by going through your clothes and figuring out what you want to keep, but I want to make a pitch for approaching it a different way.

      I was in a similar place to what you’re describing last year, and instead of starting by going through what I already own, I started by writing out a capsule wardrobe for my work clothes – what did I need? What colors did I want to wear? Then, working from the list, I shopped my closet for the pieces on the list, only putting items that both fit the list AND looked good on me into my keep pile. After I had pulled out the pieces that I needed for the capsule, I basically “Kondo-ed” everything that was left – Kondo’s book hadn’t come out yet, but I worked from her general principle, and only allowed myself to keep things that I couldn’t bear to part with. After I had a keep pile of good basics + things I couldn’t bear to lose, I revised my capsule list a bit to reflect the “couldn’t bear to lose” items, then shopped to fill whatever remaining holes were on the list, with an eye towards replicating the fit/cut/etc. of pieces I already owned and loved.

      Basically, having a list of “these are the things I actually need” made it easier to let go of a lot of the “meh” items that I’d been hanging on to “just in case,” and also made it easier to let go of the oddball doesn’t-match-my-other-stuff items.

      • I think this method is really intriguing. I’m curious what your initial capsule list looked like, “navy skirt + bright blouse”? or something else?

      • Yes, please share your initial capsule list! This sounds like something I should desperately apply to my own ever-expanding wardrobe.

        • Killer Kitten Heels :

          Sorry so late to respond! I just saw this this morning, but figured I’d still respond in case it’s helpful.

          For background, I’m an attorney in a business environment, so I have more suits in my capsule than the average person would need – if I didn’t need suits at all, I’d likely invest in more business casual-ish separates (pants, pencil skirts, sheath and wrap dresses, cardigans, and blazers). Also, I’d probably need fewer pieces, particularly if I had the option of working in some machine washable bottoms and dresses.

          First, I picked my neutrals – I went with gray/black/navy/white. Ideally, the neutrals should also match each other, so that everything in the capsule matches everything else. Then, I picked 2 accent colors. My main accent colors are plum and olive, but I do have a few pieces that are not in that color scheme – basically, as long as the item matches gray and black and navy, it can stay in my closet, if it fills some other wardrobe gap.

          With that color scheme in mind, I set up the actual capsule, which was: 5 all-season suits; 1 “summer” suit; 1 “winter” suit; 1 neutral business casual blazer; 1 “fun” business casual blazer; 5-6 cardigans (I layer them under my suits in winter, and wear them on Fridays year-round since we’re business casual on Fridays); 12 shirts; 2 pairs neutral pants; 2 neutral skirts. (My suits are typically jacket + pants + skirt or jacket + pants + dress, to increase variety.)

          Once I had that framework in place, it was pretty easy to sort through my clothes and get rid of all of the stuff that wasn’t serving me.

          • This is really helpful, thank you for checking in! I come back just to see what your response was :-)

  2. anonymous :

    I have frizzy hair that tends to be a little too dry. I usually put a bit of Moroccan argan oil in it, but I have to be careful with that otherwise it becomes too oily. How do I get rid of the frizz?!

    • After years of fighting the frizz, I finally figured out that my hair cooperates best when I use silicone-free products. You don’t say whether your have curls or just thick straight hair, but there are a lot of silicone-free products on the market right now. I am a fan of the Shea Moisture line that you can get at Target or drugstores.

      • anonymous :

        I have medium sized curls. does that make a difference?

        • I also have medium sized curls, and I’ve come to embrace the fact that I will never have frizz-free hair. Sometimes it is much less frizzy than others, but at the end of the day, there’s only so much I can do and I’ve wasted too much time stressing about my hair over the years :)

    • If you have frizz, you don’t have the right products. I would suggest you start with mousse, not gel. I really like Tresemme CLimate Control mousse. You could also try some of Aveda’s curl products…they are great. Definitely speak with a stylist the next time you get your hair cut and ask for products that provide more control but aren’t greasy or crunchy. Tell her how long the oil works before your hair needs more help. You can win this battle!

      Also, moisture, moisture, moisture. There’s no such thing as a conditioner too gloppy. My current fave is UseMe, which is a small brand out of Portland Maine. I get it on Amazon.

    • I use Fructis’s Sleek and Shine Leave in conditioner after towel-drying hair, and then blow dry warm, then cold to hold the style in place. I use argan oil sometimes if it is still frizzy. Using the leave-in conditioner or a creme before it fully dries prevents it from getting frizzy.

      I was a big fan of Nexxus’s “frizz defy” line, and I also liked bedhead’s “control freak” line but both are discontinued (except the step 3 creme from bedhead is still around, so you could use that after towel-drying).

  3. Instead of starting by saving what you love, since you say there isn’t anything, start with the opposite, by culling things you KNOW you dislike. That will give you some physical space in your closet and you’ll feel like you’re accomplishing something.

    Building a quality wardrobe takes years, so think of this as a long-term approach. Do a big overhaul sometime soon of the things you know you completely dislike and never wear. Then begin an ongoing process of culling out more of the old things and swapping in quality pieces as you find them.

    If your pieces are appropriate, donate them to Dress for Success! Wonderful cause.

  4. Has anyone else fallen out of love with cotton, wool, cashmere sweaters / woven fabrics in general? Any suggestions for how to keep them looking new and in good condition? There is nothing lovelier or more classic than a v-neck merino sweater, but lately they just seem like so much work for meh results. I have to lay them flat to dry, they pill, the shoulders stretch out on my hangers, and they attract my hair, dog hair, and everything else like nobody’s business. A nice silk or synthetic top (LOFT utility blouse, I’m looking at you) just seems so much more impervious to everything that comes its way and so much easier to keep looking crisp and work-ready.

    Does anyone else have this issue? Is there any way to make taking care of woven fabrics easier? Does the decline in quality at AT, LOFT, BR, J. Crew, etc. over the years have anything to do with how hard it is to keep newer sweaters looking nice? I see patients all day in a business casual setting, so I try to wash most things after 1 or at most 2 wears and avoid dry cleaning.

    • I dry clean my sweaters. In fact, I’m 99% sure you’re supposed to dry clean wool sweaters. The only ones I handwash are chunky cotton knits that say to on the label. I have a million J.Crew Tippi sweaters and I dry clean them only about twice a season – once in the middle and once at the end before putting them up for the summer. It’s not like I’m sweating when it’s that cold out and I wear a silk shell under them most days.

      And don’t hang them. Fold them and put them in drawers. If you lack drawer space, fold them like you would to put them in a drawer, and then lay them over the bar on the bottom of the hanger. Any sweater anywhere, no matter the price or quality, will stretch out when hung on a hanger like a blouse. That’s just gravity.

      • +1

      • Anonymous :

        If you lack hanging space, get these:

      • Another hanging recommendation I use is to fold them in half, then lay them over the top of the hanger with the armpit at the top. It was a gamechanger for me. I use bottom of the hanger method only for my cropped/short sleeved cardigans.

    • Anonymous :

      I dry clean, fold, and dry clean rarely. I always wear something that covers my armpits under my sweaters.

    • *Buy better quality knits (which are not “wovens”), which don’t pill as much.
      *Use a lint roller for lint.
      *Use a sweater shaver if you do get pills (available at Amazon)
      *Wash in cold water with minimal detergent. Roll in a towel instead of wringing or spinning.
      *Lay flat to dry.
      *Never hang.

      But if non-knits (i.e. wovens) work better for you, that’s great! No one has to wear sweaters.

      • Anonymous :

        I recommend the cashmere/wool wash by Laundress (amazon). It’s pricey but so worth it. I wash cashmere rather than dry clean it and it’s so much softer.

      • I think this is closely related to the quality of the fibers. There are a lot of cheaply made knits out there that use short fibers that are just going to pill no matter what you do. I think there are some other posts that discuss this issue. I have bought ON cashmere that was toast after 3-4 seasons. On the other hand, the White & Warren cashmere hoodie I bought 10+ years ago at Daffy’s is still going strong.
        My experience is the opposite re: dry cleaning — as soon as I stopped dry cleaning my nice knits, they started looking better and lasting longer. I use a washer with a handwash cycle. I use Whole Foods 365 baby laundry detergent on everything for the whole house since LO was born (easier than changing the cartridge for the HE dispenser). It is free of a lot of the harsh chemicals that make regular detergent not so great for delicate fabrics, and it seems to do fine with silk, cashmere, cotton, merino, rayon, and blended knits. I just flip everything over the bars on a big foldable drying rack as I don’t have room to lay anything flat.
        I do hang everything in my closet but I use the flocked hangers and despite my concerns they don’t seem to cause stretching or leave marks as long as I hang things carefully at the shoulder.

        • +1. I have a random cashmere sweater from the Gap that is one of my favorites. I’m going to be sad when it gives out.

          Also consider shopping in the men’s department for sweaters – I think a lot of the cheaper fibers get used in the women’s clothing because manufacturers know there will be turn over. I have a couple men’s sweaters that have been wearing like iron (merino wool, lambswool).

          +1000 to wet washing. There is no reason (except maybe for concerns about embellishments) any natural fibers has to be dry cleaned. You can wet wash wool, cashmere, silk and cotton (!) just fine.

          • I would add that I separate by colors a lot more for delicate fabrics, especially if they are marked dry clean, for a few reasons:
            1) potential for dye transfer (sometimes I will do them once through alone if the color is really bright or saturated)
            2) potential for tangling (esp w/ things with ties or waterfall fronts)
            3) just seems more delicate to do a small wash
            4) limited hanging space — stuff dries faster if it has room for air to circulate

      • Thank you all for the replies! And thank you for the right word — KNITS. For some reason it completely escaped me!

    • I wear merino sweaters almost exclusively, washed in a machine (on delicate cycle) and not babied at all. I do not have this problem. I *do* mostly buy pieces that are explicitly marketed as washable (mostly Ibex, Patagonia, Icebreaker). These are all higher-quality places as well – and only a smidge more expensive than Gap or J Crew.

    • KateMiddletown :

      I don’t think you’re supposed to dry clean cashmere. I try to wear tank tops under mine and febreeze when needed. They get dry cleaned sometimes (especially when there are deodorant stinks) or handwashed when I have some time.

  5. I tried to post this on the mom’s s!te but it seems to have gotten lost in the “newer comments” shuffle and then disappeared. I am gearing up to purchase a bunch of baby gear and wanted to get a new CC anyway because one of the two I always use has a lot of customer service issues and the other is not accepted everywhere. Any recommendations for something with useful rewards? Doesn’t have to be baby specific, but I’m primarily looking for something that has good benefits, good customer service, and that will give me a perk or two I don’t now have. Interest rate less of a concern as I don’t carry a balance month to month. Suggestions for webs!tes that compare these things welcome. Every time I tried to google for this, clicking on the results seem to freeze my computer.

    • Depends on where you live and what kind of rewards would be useful to you. I live in Atlanta and use my Platinum Skymiles Amex for everything – I rack up tons of Delta miles (which is great, because Atlanta) and Amex has the best consumer protection of all the major payment networks.

    • Chicago Bean Accounter :

      I have a Chase Freedom and I have been able to apply the points on Amazon purchases… I haven’t done any recent ordering to verify that it’s still an option though. Something Amazon related could work well for you though.

      • Replied to you about the Amazon visa I have on the moms page in more detail. 3% cash back, which I combine with Prime and subscribe and save. Also 2% at gas and grocery stores

    • Wildkitten :

      Chase Sapphire

    • Late, but maybe you will check back. I just got the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card. It’s already paid for the annual fee in cash rewards/credit and then some. It get 6% back on grocery store purchases, 3% on gas, 3% at select department stores, and 1% everywhere else. If you spend $1500 in the first three months, you get a $150 credit. I used it to pay for movers and the $150 credit showed up as soon as the charge posted. You also get a free Shop Runner account (2 day free shipping at participating online retailers).

    • KateMiddletown :

      I like my Discover – but I’ve had it forever and just don’t want to change. Got it originally on a balance transfer 0% offer but I’ve liked the % cash back and the 5% options aren’t as much of a hassle as people tend to make them out to be. You can use your points to pay $ directly to Amazon, and right now and also in December Amazon is on the 5% back list.

  6. Kid on my own? :

    Can I get some perspective from you wise ladies? I’m 35, always very much enjoyed family life and looked forward to a husband and kids, and, for a variety of reasons, it hasn’t happened. I’ve dated a lot of great guys, but for one reason or another, things never quite worked out (religion, decided he didn’t want kids, moved, mental health issues, etc). I’ve been thinking more and more about having a kid on my own. Financially I can swing this. I have many deep friendships and good family relationships and know my child would have a community with many layers to love him/her (and take care of him/her if something happened to me). Friends who know me well, and whom I’ve talked to about this idea, say a kid would be very lucky to have me as a mother. I know it would be HARD, but I think I could do it.
    Yet…I feel such a sense of shame and sadness when I think about this (as well as joy!). Deep sadness that my kid wouldn’t have a dad, and fear that maybe all my love wouldn’t be enough to fill that void. A sense of shame and failure – like I’m just not “good enough” to deserve a husband, in contrast to all my friends who met their husbands and married in their 20’s. A sense of grief that my chances of marrying would decrease further once I was busy with a child and that I’d be signing up for a life alone, when I’m someone who is at my best in partnership. Sad that I could probably only realistically raise 1 child, rather than the large family I once prayed for. Embarrassment that I want to be a mother so much in the first place. Right now when I think about telling people, I just start crying, sure that everyone would think I am such a loser, and selfish. The idea of telling my parents or coworkers floods me with shame and embarrassment. (I know worrying about what people would think needs to get tossed out the window once there’s a child involved, but please humor me for how!) How would you view a coworker or friends of yours that made this choice? Thoughts on the topic in general?

    • The best kind of parent (and the best kind of person) is the kind who knows themselves, knows what they want, knows their strengths and weaknesses, admits to their feelings (good and bad), and makes the choice that is right for them (not the “right” choice according to the onlookers and naysayers, of which there will always be some).

      I don’t know anyone IRL who has done this, but it sounds like you are already awesome and so my reaction to this choice would be COOL what kind of children’s book should I get for the shower?

      • Thank you so much for this. Anyone that would respond to my news by thinking about a book is someone I’d want in my life:-):-)

    • SuziStockbroker :

      I don’t have any advice per se, but what you are saying really resonates with me. I think I would feel very much the same in this situation. You are absolutely not a loser or selfish.

      For what it is worth, if I were your friend or co-worker, I would completely understand why you made this choice. In fact one of my best friends did try (3 unsucessful IUIs) in her late 30s. Ultimately she decided not to continue pursuing it, but I think she is very glad that she had tried. It enabled her to be more at peace when she ultimately made the decision to stop.

      I am sending you a cyber-hug.

      • +1 to everything in the comment above.

        Also, I’d suggest reading Anne Lammott’s book “Operating Instructions”. It’s a slightly different scenario but she writes a fair amount about being a single parent and about how she’ll approach the topic of her baby’s father not being in his life with him.

        • A coworker gave me that book as a baby present. Highly recommend.

          • It’s such a good read, though it made (childless) me alternate fairly quick between feelings of “OMG I’m never having a baby” to “I want to have a dozen kids!”.

        • Thank you! I’ll look it up!

    • I just want to send you internet hugs. You are so strong to be even considering this. I know one person that’s made the choice to pursue single motherhood with no partner in the picture, and I have nothing but respect for her strength, commitment, and love for her son.

    • I would admire their strength and congratulate them. And even secretly, I would be nothing but happy for them (assuming they had their life generally together and were bringing the kid into a stable situation). Because as a parent, I have some big flaws, like we all do, and all I can do is constantly try to do better. It would be so odd for me to criticize someone else trying to do their best in their own context.

    • Anonymous :

      One of my friends oops got pregnant at 32. Totally on her own. She kept the baby, who is now a year old, and has been met with nothing but love, support, and excitement. There’s nothing shameful about having a baby!

      • I was just thinking that you really don’t need to tell anyone this is something you actively pursued on your own versus something that just happened. Maybe close family would ask but coworkers and others likely won’t. If the thought of an “oops” embarrasses you more, than sure, tell the story. But if your concern is you don’t want people judging you for choosing this option, they don’t need to know you made that choice – though I really don’t think it is anything judgment worthy myself.

    • Wildkitten :

      Uhm. Anyone who thinks its shameful for you raise a child you love needs to get a hobby. I understand that you have a lot of reservations because it’s a challenge and it won’t happen exactly as you imagined, but I think you should do it. Having a kid is always hard for anyone, and you seem to be in a really solid place to do it. Cheers!

    • I had a close family friend who was going through something similar 12 years ago. I told her that she should go for it, that if she really wanted a child, she could do it on her own, because she had such a great supportive family and set of friends. 6 months later she announced she was adopting a child from Nepal.

      That child is now 11 and was a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding this weekend — to the child’s softball coach. :)

      • Thank you so much for sharing this story….good happy tears streaming down my face:-)

      • Two Cents :

        What a lovely story!

      • Oh, and she’s a super awesome kid — plays softball, takes piano lessons, full of spunk. She’s got uncles, aunts, cousins, and a grandpa and grandma who are just nuts about her. I don’t think she lacks for anything in the love department.

      • Shopaholic :

        Why is there all of a sudden so much dust in my office that my eyes won’t stop watering?

        What a nice story!

    • My mom was 37 and single when she had me. I was intentional on both their parts, but they weren’t married, never got married, and didn’t live together. He died when I was 4, so I was raised by a single mom.

      I can’t imagine what it was like for her, but I’ll tell you what it was like for me as a child: I was loved. She provided for me and gave me a great childhood and I never wanted for anything (well, junior high me might argue about “cool clothes” ;) ). People say they’re sorry when they hear that my dad died when I was young, but I tell them not to be. It sounds callous to say you can’t miss what you’ve never had, but it’s true. I never felt like I was missing anything.

      The only thing that ever bothered me was having my dad’s last name. I had a feeling of otherness and you know in junior high how desperately you just want to belong. Assuming you wouldn’t give your child a last name different than your own, I can’t think of anything your child would be unhappy with.

      • Thank you so much for sharing your story. That really helps to hear…that your mom’s love was ENOUGH! That you knew you were loved, and that was all that mattered.

        I’ve got a very unusual last name, so we’d definitely be team “weird last name”!:-)

        • My situation is a bit similar, mom and dad split whilst she was pregnant. I never knew my dad so never had anything to miss. Awesome other adults and a kickass mom who had wanted this for so long (she chose my name when she was 10) definitely helped – do it!

    • I’m going to be gigantically sappy, but if you want to be a mother, go for it. Don’t let the “perfect” image you have built up in your head keep you from having the wonderful adventure you could have doing it on your own. I hesitated and hesitated and waffled back and forth for so long over whether or not to have a kid, and I finally did and it is way more delightful than I thought it would be.

      As far as what other people think, I take cues from how information is presented to me. If one of my single friends told me she was pregnant and was excited and happy, I would be excited and happy too. And FWIW, the friends I know who had babies on their own tend to have really special and close relationships with their children.

      • “Don’t let the “perfect” image you have built up in your head keep you from having the wonderful adventure you could have doing it on your own. ” Wise words…thank you!

    • Ya know… I can think of a lot of reasons why people should be ashamed of their wants, but wanting to be a mom is NEVER on that list. “I want to love and raise a child in a stable, warm environment” is the exact opposite of something to be ashamed of.

      Likewise, I’m not of the mind that husbands (or wives) are prizes for being totally awesome at life or a really wonderful person. You’re also far enough along in life that you’ve *seen* people take a while to find the right person for reasons that make complete sense… in retrospect. Or maybe you haven’t found Mr. Right (yet) because you’ll adopt a kid whose life will be completely changed (for the better) by having you as Mom… and you wouldn’t have been that kid’s mom if you weren’t single. Lack of a husband isn’t a referendum on you as a human being.

      As for the choice: I will admit that I, personally, see it as a better option to adopt in that situation, rather than go the IVF route, but I wouldn’t judge in either circumstance.

      • Thank you, thank you. It’s good to remember that maybe some of this will make sense in retrospect, and maybe there is meaning in this crazy journey!

        • Oh, and Tatyana McFadden was adopted by a single woman who was visiting a Russian orphanage as part of her role as the Commissioner of Disability for the Department of Health.

          Tatyana McFadden has won the wheelchair division of the Boston Marathon three times.

    • Thank you all so much for your comments. Seeing you all respond with such gentleness, kindness, and compassion makes me trust that the world is good again, and that people in my world might respond kindly as well. I need to dash to a meeting, but am so thankful for your comments and stories, and keep them coming:-)

      • CapHillAnon :

        I personally know two women (in two different social circles) who have done this; careful consideration, IVF with no partner–with happy, healthy, wonderful children. And another who had an oops baby solo, and another who adopted from overseas solo. All four have strong networks of family and friends, strong careers, and seem like engaged, patient, compassionate mothers. It’s a new day–there are all shapes and sizes of families, and I’m baffled to think that there would be any shame in raising a wanted, loved child alone. That’s just not where society is anymore, thank goodness.

        I have wondered about your question about partners–does it make it quantifiably less likely that you’ll find a partner while raising a child? Of the 4 women I know, 2 go out on dates and actively look for partners, and the other 2 don’t (as far as I kn0w). I am not close enough to ask them about this part of it, but I am curious. But I don’t think it is necessarily so binary, partner v. child. I think it would be great for you to find a community of women who have done this–purposely entered motherhood solo–and hear what they have to say. Good luck.

    • Someone I went to college with has a baby girl who she is raising entirely on her own – I’m not super close with her (i.e. she didn’t share her entire thought process with me) but I gather she felt similarly to you. She really wanted to be a mother and decided to go it alone, using a sperm bank.

      The outpouring of love and support she has received has been amazing. Her baby shower was the biggest and most enthusiastic I’ve ever been to, and since the baby was born, she has had a constant outpouring of love and affection from all sorts of “aunties”.

      It seems (from an outside perspective) that the key elements are having a strong social support network, and not being afraid to lean on it a bit. You will likely have to embrace the “it takes a village” mentality more than if you had a partner, but I think this would likely lead to a wonderful and rich life for both yourself and your child.

      As far as family / co-workers… remember that people LOVE babies. If you tell them you’re having a baby, the automatic reaction is “WHEEE A BABY!! HOORAY!!” You might encounter some folks who say something stupid or awkward but I think you would mostly encounter lots of support and warmth!

    • I was so happy to read your post as I’m going through exactly the same thought struggle. I recently broke up with someone I was over-the-moon happy with, because he absolutely 100% did not want kids. I just didn’t see a future in which I could not feel resentful about what I had to give up to be with him (there was no room for compromise). It absolutely broke my heart but it was the right thing to do. Now I have started to think about having a child on my own. A close friend is going through a bitter custody fight, and I was the subject of a bitter custody fight when I was a child. This all makes me want to do this on my own even more, but I’m struggling with exactly what you’re struggling with.

      I secretly wish I could ask one of my guy friends to be the donor but I know that opens up so many issues. The idea of using an anonymous donor makes me feel a little sad at this stage.

      • Wildkitten :

        Do you have awesome gay guy friends? I think they (unlike hetero dudes) are often forced to think through those issues, and won’t be so blindsided by the idea.

    • NotUsingMyRegularName :

      This would totally out me if I used my regular handle, so here goes. I conceived my child through donor insemination in my mid-30s for all the reasons you stated, plus some fertility concerns. No doubt about it, the best thing I have ever done. That is not to say that it is easy, but good things rarely are.

      In the thinking stage, it is a good idea to reach out to others. There is actually an organization called Single Mothers by Choice which is a great resource. They have an active listserve and most major US cities have local groups that meet periodically. Annie Lamotte’s book is great, but for a more practical (although less lyrical) take, I recommend Jane Mattes’ book “Single Mothers By Choice” (she founded the organization) and Mikki Morrissette’s “Choosing Single Motherhood”. There are probably a bunch of others that are more recent.

      This is really too complicated for a message board, but I recommend two things if you are serious. First, set up meetings with a therapist to talk through your motivations and issues. Some cities have groups led by a psychologist or MFCC that can be very helpful. Second, start thinking about your support network NOW. After you are pregnant is too late. You are very, very likely to need solid practical help at some point (like you are so sick you literally cannot get out of bed and have a newborn, or your kid has pneumonia and you have to be in court at 8:30 a.m.). It can be family, it can be a very good and reliable friend, it can be someone you pay if you have lots of extra cash, but it needs to be someone.

      Good luck.

    • Cdn Sydney :

      I have a friend and a colleague that both are raising their children on their own. My friend’s was not planned, and he is 5 now, and the light of her life, his grandparents, his aunt’s and many of her friends. My colleague at work, is off on mat leave with her 2nd (and 3rd — twins!) — all planned (well the 1st and 2nd, not the twins part.)

      I’m single, and older than you, so I can relate to the feelings you are having re: shame, etc. But, the thing is, you just never know where life will take you. There are so many kinds of love. What if this future little bundle of joy is who you are meant to love right now?

      When my friend told me she was expecting, my first honest reaction, as it is with anyone who I know that is expecting, was congratulations. For me, babies are a blessing, however they get here.

    • To round things out though, I do want to say, make sure you are okay with the idea that you might not have the hallmark movie happy story child. I have a good friend who did the oops pregnant at 32, decided to keep the baby and raise it alone, I make good money I’ll be fine plan. Everyone was supportive, no judgement. However, fast forward 8 years, and her child has some pretty major medical/behavioral issues which have resulted in medications to control violent outbursts and 5 schools in a year to find one that could accommodate his needs. She will tell you she would still make the same choice, but from watching her, a lot of our friends will (quietly and never to her) say it made them reevaluate the single parent idea. You don’t get guaranteed the happy healthy child (none of us do), but tackling that alone by choice is extra rough. In no way trying to talk you out of it, just offering another perspective and thing to consider in your soul searching.

      • Although, to be honest, the divorce rates for children of special need parents is sky high; anyone contemplating having kids should think about all these scenarios.

      • NotUsingMyRegularName :

        Having a child (or adopting one) is always a gamble whether you are married or single. Spouses die, leave or develop issues that make them bad or unreliable parents. Children develop physical or mental health problems. You can do everything “right” and end up with a kid who hates your guts and decides to move to Timbuktu to get away from you. (I know parents in all of those scenarios – except it was Oklahoma City not Timbuktu.) My own parenting experience has not always been smooth sailing and has included taking FMLA leave to deal with a thankfully short-lived health issue and burning through all my savings.

        But then I could get hit by lightning on my way to my car. Life does not come with guarantees. Assuming you are reasonably healthy, I would play your odds in Vegas. Just be really, really sure that this is what you want and do everything you can to deal with whatever in your background is leaving you with feelings of shame.

        And not to sugarcoat anything – It is waaaay harder to date when you have a kid!

    • AnonbyAnon :

      I’m the child of a sperm donor. Please, don’t go this route. Adopt if you want/must, but even though I “wouldn’t be here” if it wasn’t for the situation that brought me about (parents had infertility, hid this from me my whole life) I still hate it as an institution. Children aren’t transactions. Nobody has a “right” to have kids. We are people. We deserve more than to be bought.

      • Wildkitten :

        What is it about your life that made you feel like a transaction? Like – would you have felt that way if your parents were divorced? If you parents knew your bio-dad? I want to know more about what made you feel like a transaction rather than a purposely-created-and-loved child.

        • I am not AnonbyAnon. But I have thought about it a lot. I am not sure if I would be able to articulate it well. At the outset, I want to say that if I was OP’s friend, I would love her child the same way as I would love any other child and I would support OP in whatever way I can.

          My concern is how the child would feel (OP also has concerns here). I think there is a difference between a couple having a biological child and then splitting up or one parent dying and bringing a child into this world knowing that the child would never know his father. It hurts me to say this, it is like purposefully depriving a child of his/her father where as in the former case at least when the child was conceived, it would be with an understanding that the child will have both parents. You never know how a child feels of the fact. She/he may be completely okay with it and couldn’t care less about not knowing who the father is or he/she may resent that she was knowingly deprived of a father. The way OP feels so strongly about having a family (which is totally normal), the child may feel so strongly about his father’s absence.

          However, adoption is a totally different ball game. Even in that case, the child may feel terrible about being abandoned (Steve Job’s biography by Walter Isaacson paints the picture about how he felt abandoned at birth in spite of having such wonderful and loving parents), however it would not be adoptive parents’ fault that the child was abandoned. If everything goes well, parents and the child will be filling each other’s need where as in OP’s case, the child came into existence purely to fill her need .

        • AnonbyAnon :

          So, this is something I struggle continuely to articulate. Also, my parents *are* divorced following 26 years of marriage and two nasty, drawn-out years of separation. I love my dad – he raised me – but he’s not my father. I did not find this out until adulthood, and I still resent my mother for keeping it from me for that long.

          Being a donor child means I was inherently transactional. Somebody was paid money for component A and somebody else paid money to receive component A. As the commenter above me said, it was purely to “fill a need”.

          Biological children, generally speaking, have natural rights that are denied to donor children. To know not only kind of what person your bio mom/dad was, but also to know your family health history and risks. Things that as humans we are born curious about. No, this is not perfect and there are some kids who were born to a mother who slept with two guys or who knows what. But far and wide, this is the situation for bio kids that is denied to donor kids from the get-go.

          While I don’t believe in donor conception ethically speaking, I am generally speaking pro-free market. But I think that needs to come with transparency. You don’t get to come in, give some of your genetic material then peace out. You created a child. And that child will eventually have questions, and donors should have to take responsibility for the fact that they created children for a $400 or $9000 or however much the fertility clinic paid them. Donors have “rights” to anonymity and children get nothing. That is just not fair.

          • Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience here. I appreciate your willingness to let me know it does hurt, and I will integrate that into my thinking.

          • NotMyRegularName :

            Not in any way to invalidate your experience, but children who always knew how they came about often feel very differently. There is a wide range of reactions among the teens in the SMC groups – ranging from “I really am unhappy about this and would not do it” to “I wish I could meet my biological father” to “I don’t mind except that I got teased in school” to “Whatever – I don’t really care.”

            For the original poster – that is definitely something to take into account. An anonymous donor is easiest; a known donor adds whole layers of emotional and legal complication (depending on where you live and how you go about it). Conceiving the old fashioned way is also a possibility – but definitely leaves you open to legal and emotional ramifications. Anecdote is not evidence – but I do not people whose fathers abandoned them because of a lack of relationship with the mother and it was very damaging.

    • My BigLaw colleague is single, around 35, and decided to have a baby on her own. The office had been at least outwardly supportive and threw a shower for her just like any other pregnant associate gets. Her parents, who are immigrants from east Asia, apparently had a hard time with the idea at first, but have come around and are now helping a lot. Go for it.

    • Just a note about dating. Being a parent and dating is harder but in a lot of ways it’s also waaaaaaaaaay easier. You will find plenty of people willing to hang out with you without your kid (so, casual dinner + movie while the kid is with a sitter). You will find not as many people willing to be deeply in your life with the kid. But the ones you do find will be solid gold. Having a child and dating (I was a single mom not by choice for six years, now married with another child) weeds out the shallow trivial types very quickly. You don’t have to have the “kids or not?” conversation because, welp, there is already a non-negotiable kid. And your standards get higher. You might be willing to put up with, for example, binge drinking while in the dating stage as a non-parent. Once you’re a parent it gets really obvious what your priorities have to be and you won’t put up with as much foolishness.

      • Thanks for this perspective. It’s true – there’s something great in a way about already having a kid. The child exists, and someone can either want to fit into that life, or not. You can skip the pain of falling deeply in love and then having someone freak out about the concept of a child. You can see right from the start whether your date is kind to your child and open to being part of a family…

    • You’re not a loser. I totally get where you’re coming from, but you should be proud to be you. Good luck, whatever you decide. Your baby is a lucky one!

    • Thank you all again for your thoughtful comments! Amusingly, Brene Brown’s latest book showed up on my kindle today. Apt reading, I suppose:-) Heartfelt thanks!

  7. This coffee break is super timely because I was just about to post a question re: fitbits. I’m leaning towards purchasing one but am unsure of which model. Is there any reason not to just buy the cheapest one? Any recommendations from ‘r e t t e users out there?

    • It really depends on how much you want it to do. I’d check out the chart on the website to see what features you gain as you move up in price. I have the One, and it is exactly what I need, pretty much just a pedometer. If you want the heart rate monitor, go up to Charge, etc.

      But yeah if all you want is the step counter, I <3 my One.

      • YAY! I love my fit bit but why would anyone want to hide it? I find that when I wear my fit bit a lot of guys come up to me and ask me questions about my health and well-being and that is a good thing right? Hiding my fit bit behind some cheap piece of jewelry is not what I want to do. FOOEY on that!

    • I initially liked my Fitbit Zip but it kept dying. I switched to a Misfit and like it much better. The battery life is superior, it’s much sleeker and there are more stylish holders for it.

    • Josie Pye :

      I like my One. I keep it clipped on my bra, on the piece of fabric between my b00bs. It’s small enough (and my moderate-sized chest is large enough) for it to be invisible at work which I like, and you can check your progress with your phone so you don’t have to go fishing around inside your shirt. The only downside is that I’ve had to replace the clip twice–but Fitbit has sent me new ones for free both times.

  8. My husband and I live in different cities (we have for 3 years), and probably will for the forseeable future (probably years). We want to buy houses within the next year. Does anyone know if there is anything we will need to do in order to obtain/prove we will have two primary residences? I live in TX and I know that in some states (or for some mortgage companies?) we will both be required to be on the mortgage, so us both getting mortgages individually may not be an option.

    • My ex-h and I did this for many years. There’s no government requirement anywhere that you both have to be on the *mortgage*. Some states require you both to be on the *title*. The joint titling requirement is seen as a way to prevent one spouse from selling a house out from under the other spouse.

      You can each get your own mortgages on your own houses, that’s what we did. His and hers houses, his and hers mortgages. (It’s just like any other loan – there’s no requirement that husbands and wives have to have joint car loans, right? Same thing.)

      Also, unless you’re very high earners, you each getting your own mortgages may be the only way you can do it. If you *jointly* take on debt of say $300k, then that’s a factor for *both* of your debt-to-income ratios. If one of you takes on a $300k note, then that doesn’t appear on the other person’s credit, so the other person has a great DTI to work with.

      • THANK YOU! I thought it was a little strange to say it was a state law require both on the mortgage and not the title… so it makes a lot more sense that it was just a company requirement for the one I talked to last year, or that they were mixing up the mortgage and title.

    • Anonymous :

      Prove it for what? If you mean for purposes of federal income tax mortgage interest deduction, you will need to file as married filing separately and you each get half of the limit that applies to couples filing jointly.

      For Texas homestead exemption purposes, you’ll only get one.

      • Anonymous :

        Sorry, meant to add–for federal taxes, you don’t need to do anything to “prove” it when you file your return, but be prepared to show that you each lived at the two addresses if you were to ever be audited. Obviously if you are employed in the two separate cities, that’s helpful. Utility bills in your name, receipts for services/goods in the area are additional examples of what you could use, but that’s not an exclusive list. Your CPA can recommend how much you should maintain record-wise, if anything, to feel comfortable in the event of audit (and yes, an audit is probably rare, but ethically a CPA cannot advise you to play the audit lottery).

        W/r/t TX property taxes, the homestead application requires a driver’s license with at least one of those bearing an address matching the address of the property for which you’re seeking exemption.

    • I’m usually pretty skeptical of them, but this sounds like it would be a situation where a post-nuptial agreement would be a really good idea. Generally, spouses are considered to jointly own property, even if only one party is on the title, on the mortgage, pays for it, etc. Presumably, one house would be, practically speaking, yours and one his, and it would be a good idea to make that clear contractually just in case anything happens. That might help with the mortgage situation, too (not sure).

    • Anonymous :

      Can I ask how this works? Do you see each other often? I can’t imagine not seeing my H often.

      • Anonymous :

        We have been together for about 14 years, married for 10. Until about 3 years ago, we lived together and had a very normal marriage. Then we separated, and got jobs in different states. He eventually moved to TX, but a different city. We have worked through our big issues and are still together, but still live in different places. Living apart was actually probably the reason we are still together now. We are both very independent, but we talk a lot on the phone. He comes to see me every couple of weeks or so. No kids. Oddly, the whole thing has been working pretty well for us. We could easily live together again, but we also have no problem living apart. Considering our careers are taking us in different directions and that he travels a lot for his now, he wouldn’t be home much anyway if we had a traditional marriage.

  9. The best kind of parent (and the best kind of person) is the kind who knows themselves, knows what they want, knows their strengths and weaknesses, admits to their feelings (good and bad), and makes the choice that is right for them (not the “right” choice according to the onlookers and naysayers, of which there will always be some).

    I don’t know anyone IRL who has done this, but it sounds like you are already awesome and so my reaction to this choice would be COOL what kind of children’s book should I get for the shower?

  10. Love this! I don’t really like people seeing my FitBit–it’s a little too casual for the office.

  11. I’m contemplating going off the BC pill soon for a number of reasons. I’ve been on the exact same pill for 10+ years, so the prospect of going off is a little daunting for me. I have an appointment with my dr. in two weeks to discuss other options, but I’m curious as to what BC method you use and what the pros/cons are for you personally. Since the first thing I tried worked pretty well for me until recently, I feel pretty uninformed about other options. I have done some preliminary Googling but it would be great to hear first person experiences as well.

    Also, my husband and I will likely start trying to conceive in the next 12-24 months, so any long-term BC options are off the table.

    • Anonymous :

      I like condoms. They’re cheap, easy, and don’t mess with my hormones. Although honestly if you want a baby in a year anyway Id just go with nothing and hope to get pregnant sooner.

      • We do this and it’s totally fine for our purposes. BC hid a serious hormonal problem for me, that would have been better to find sooner, so I will not be doing any hormonal methods going forward. (I also lost 10 lb when I went off it, FWIW.)

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to condoms.

      • Since you want a kid eventually, condoms and natural family planning are the way that I’d go despite minimal risk (i.e., I’m pretty regular so I’d only use condoms when I might be ovulating – to track ovulation, I like the Ovia app and I like taking my temperature and using ovulation sticks to confirm I’ve already ovulated that month; That said, coming off BC, you may be highly irregular and want to use condoms all the time). I wish a copper IUD had worked for me but my husband could feel it during s*x. :(

    • Diana Barry :

      If you are going to TTC in a year, I would just go off the pill now and use condoms. I went off the pill about 15 months before getting pregnant – it took that long waiting months for my period to come back, then dr appts when it didn’t come back, then fertility treatments when we were going to TTC anyway.

      But if you are more ‘normal’ than I was and your cycles do come back regularly, then you can start tracking temps etc. so that when you do TTC it will happen more quickly for you.

      • +1. I am having a heck of a time regulating my period after going off to TTC. Not saying you will – most women start ovulating right away – but it’s not abnormal for it to take some time.

      • Yup, and like a PP said, BC pills hid a hormonal issue that I had (PCOS) that I had to deal with before being able to get pregnant. Took us about a year and a half.

    • I have the Mirena IUD and I love it. But if I were going off BC and going to try to conceive in the next year or so, I would probably just do a combination of charting, condoms, and abstaining.

  12. I just got a bracelet from this company – wearing it for the first time today – and it’s really nice quality and attractive. They do tend to be large, though, so pay attention to the dimensions.

  13. Hiring Question :

    With the caveat given that legal advice cannot be given here: is it legally necessary to interview multiple candidates before hiring one? HR is giving me know help on this one.

    Back story: I’m hiring for an administrative position in academia. The position is currently filled by an interim position who is doing a great job, and to whom we’d like to offer the regular position. HR insisted that we conduct an open search. Ok. Reviewed 14 apps., none of which indicates the necessary subject matter expertise in the academic field that is necessary for this type of work. Conveyed to HR that none of the candidates, except the current interim person are suitable. HR “recommends” that we conduct interviews with the nearest competitors. This seems unnecessarily cruel, b/c these people have no chance of getting the job since they are not qualified and the current interim person is. But maybe this charade is legally required…?

    Any recommendations on how to manage this? I don’t want to raise someone’s hopes about getting a job when they have no chance. Neither do I want to make them dress up and come into an office to talk about a position for which they aren’t qualified. Must I sacrifice their and my time in order to hire the preferred (interim) candidate?

    • I don’t believe that multiple candidates are required – unless your institution has an internal p&p requiring them – but assume that this is a CYA move for HR. If the interim does poorly in the role after taking it on permanently, there’s a paper trail showing that this was the best candidate available at the time.

      Even if the people interviewed aren’t qualified on paper, you may learn something about them in an interview that changes your perspective. Also, you may find them to be strong candidates for another position, so it isn’t necessarily a waste of their time.

    • I work for state government and we definitely have to do the entire process even if we know the position is going to an internal candidate. It is unfortunate for everyone, but that is what our personnel rules require. We treat the candidates with respect and follow up quickly with letters saying they did not get the position. However, in some cases, the internal candidate has been promoted and so we do have a new opening and have hired from the first pool before. (Though we still open up the search and interview.)

    • Anonymous :

      I work in HR, specifically on the recruitment side, and I’ve never heard that we have to interview a specific number of candidates before we hire someone. Maybe that’s a requirement in education or government or nonprofits, but not private industry, to my knowledge. Sometimes we have positions that are so tough to fill that we’re happy when we can get one person in the door that the hiring manager likes, but then they ask for more candidates “just to be sure” and it’s a pain, because we have to *find* more people.

      That said, HR might want you to do it anyway to “cover your butts,” so to speak.

  14. Anonononon :

    Maybe late in the day for this, but is anyone going to the Kayo Women’s PE Conference in DC in October? In the process of putting together a proposal to get my firm to send me, which got me thinking that it would be a great opportunity to meet some other ‘rettes.