Thursday’s TPS Report: Mixed Media Tweed Jacket

Halogen Mixed Media Tweed Jacket | CorporetteOur daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Cute! As always, I love anything that mixes black and navy, and I like the mix of styles here as well — the classic tweed and fringe look very new with the zipper, colorblocking, and shoulder details. I like the black/navy the best (pictured — skip the leather skirt and plaid button-front for the office, perhaps), but I’m also a fan of the gray and black version. It’s part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale — currently marked to $98, then $148 after the sale ends on August 4. (See our other workwear picks here.) Halogen Mixed Media Tweed Jacket

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  1. Pink Blazer :

    I like this.

    Now on to the immediate threadjack (sorry!) – I’m looking for a light pink blazer that will go with these shoes. They’re slightly more light pink than in the picture where they look almost nude (for me). Please help! < $100 would be super duper. FWIW I'm thinking these shoes + gray cropped pants + white or black tee + blazer in case anyone wants to play internet dress up with me.

    • Anonymous :

      if you’re a medium, there’s this:

    • I have this and I really like it:

      • Baconpancakes :

        This is actually the blazer I have – I love that it’s so lightweight, but I strongly disagree with the description of “tailored.” Very boxy. And much brighter pink that it looks like on screen!

    • Baconpancakes :

      I have a similar pink blazer – my go to outfits for it:
      Light grey ponte dress, pink blazer, nude/pink heels, blingy bracelet
      Black pencil skirt, white tee/blouse, pink blazer, mint heels, mint clutch
      White cropped jeans, pink blazer, striped black and white tee, nude for me flats, camel hobo purse

    • I actually got a great pale pink blazer at Forever21 the other month! It is already a wardrobe staple for me.

  2. In the small picture I think this looks amazing, but when I opened it in the other window, I realized that it has that fringe along all the edges that sometimes is on blazers like this that is really not my cup of tea. But there is a Halogen Front Zip Sweater also in the Anniversary Sale that looks pretty awesome – has anyone tried it on?

    • Miss Behaved :

      Nope. But I ordered the Halogen Boucle Knit Jacket for my sister’s birthday. It’s supposed to arrive tomorrow. I’ll have my mom try it on and let you all know.

    • Yes, quite similar to this. Tried it in wine, and returned it b/c it was super boxy and made me look frumpy and matronly. Too long to wear with a pencil skirt, and too short to wear with trousers. Also, it was mostly acrylic, which seemed like it would pill and look old before the winter was over.

      I did like and keep the Curio ‘swacket’ in grey/ black. It’s more structured, and all cotton, masquerading as wool!

  3. I’m trying to decide if I’m in love with these or wouldn’t be caught dead in them. I need a pair of black flats/low pumps I can wear to work, and my personal style isn’t very girly. Thoughts?

    • Don’t like the gold, so this ungirly girl wouldn’t wear ’em.

    • I personally don’t find them girly at all – I think the bow paired with the pointed toe just makes them look dressier (rather than like a pair of any old flats you’d wear on the weekend.) And the small gold heel is kind of fun (and will make them more comfortable) though a small part of me thinks that a black heel would be more versatile. But I definitely don’t find them too girly.

      • How much less versatile do you think the gold makes it ? sorry, I’m kind of fashion illiterate…

        • makes the shoe more noticeable / less conservative. Also, I’ve seen ladies wearing similar shoes around town and the scuffs on the gold are REALLY obvious – because it’s not only a loss of color, but also the shininess.

        • Wildkitten :

          I love them (they are now in my amazon cart) but I’d want to include gold in other parts of my outfit to tie it together. I wouldn’t want to wear them with my silver jewelry so they are less versatile than a black heel that I could wear with everything.

        • The gold doesn’t make them a LOT less versatile but just a little bit – I would just treat the gold as basically a neutral and not worry to much about it. But if you were doing something extremely formal (like an interview) or wearing a bunch of silver jewelry or something, I could see the gold kind of making that look odd. All that said, I have a pair of black and gold pumps and love them.

          Can’t comment on the scuffed gold though – that would stink.

        • One of my co-workers wears the Tory Burch Amy and it’s gorgeous. The gold is in a place where it’s not likely to get scuffed.

          • I like the Kate Spade shoe far better than the Tory Burch one. The Kate Spade one has style (even if its not one’s personal style). The Tory Burch one just looks frumpy to me. Also, it looks way more casual, but then the heel and the gold make it dressy, so its having a serious identity crisis.

        • Another vote for “love ’em.”

      • My concern about the gold is that it would scratch…

      • Dude, those shoes are GORGEOUS. I don’t think silver jewelry matters too much because most people’s feet are very far away from their earrings, necklaces and bracelets (anklets are another story). Unless you’re wearing silver pants/skirt or something, I think you’re fine in any black shoe-wearing situation.

        TCFKAG, I’m disappointed you didn’t alert me.

    • I like them a lot. Don’t think they’re super-girly. But I wouldn’t get them if you think you’d be on the fence about wearing them frequently.

    • Rachelellen :

      I think they’re more granny than girly.

      • +1000
        They are so old lady.

      • Have to agree. I like the gold heel but don’t like the pointed toe. Shoes with a low chunky heel like this usually look better with a rounded/almond toe, like the Ferragamo Vara.

    • I saw these in person the other day and I really liked them. I think they are more feminine than “girly.” I don’t think they look young at all. They have a really interesting structure and shape to them.

      • Yes, I actually walked by someone wearing these shoes and loved them so much I asked her what kind of shoes they were. They do not read too girly or fussy in person.

    • They read evening shoe to me.

    • Red Beagle :

      From the top-down view, which I look at the most because that is what most people see (particularly with flats) – they are adorable and girly-but-not-ridiculously-girly. I would get them.

  4. Shoe-Noob :

    I just bought my first pair of leather shoes with leather soles and they feel fantastic! Is there anything I should do before I wear them out of the house? Polish them? Google isn’t giving me a straight answer and I’d like to keep them in as good of shape as possible. FWIW, they’re nude-beige-ish and the leather is embossed. TIA!

    • Frou Frou :

      You can have anti-slip things attached to the sole. It’s supposed to help the sole last longer. I never do it, but my cobbler is always “offering” it when I take my shoes in for service. Maybe I’m doing it wrong, but I never do anything special with mine. Curious what others will say.

      • I don’t do anything special either. They do wear out more quickly than synthetic soles and I don’t think there’s anything to do about that. Just have the soles replaced when needed.

      • Calling a shoe repair person a “cobbler” is like calling a psychiatrist a “shrink”.

        • Wildkitten :

          Really? I don’t think so.

          • Me neither. And neither does Wikipedia:

            “Shoemakers or cordwainers (cobblers being those who repair shoes)”


        • So do you call milliners “hat-makers?”

          I don’t agree.

        • Do I need to start calling my mechanic a “car repair person?”

        • Even if this is true (which I don’t know if I do) – is the fact that there are certain professions that are sort of referred to in shortened slang really that terrible a thing? I mean, can I not refer to doctors as doc? Or a server at a restaurant as a waitress? Or the President Prez or POTUS?

          I feel like in the universe of issues with linguistics this is pretty low on the list.

        • Someone- this anon maybe?- has made this comment before, and I still scratch my head over it. Is “cobbler” actually derogatory in some part of the English-speaking world?

          lawyer person

        • Granddaughter of village cobbler here. Though an old-fashioned word, it is neither a slur nor slang. It’s like “cooper” for a person who makes barrels. Any chance you are thinking of “cop” (originally “copper”) and police officers?

        • Pretty Primadonna :

          What else would you call them? Besides “shoe repair person?”


          The fanciest shoe repair places near me are called “The European Cobbler” so I am pretty sure the nice old men that work there don’t object to the moniker.

        • it is insulting to call clothes-altering people tailors now too?

        • I called a server a waitress – not even to the server to my friend (‘just ask the waitress’) and got called out on it. So I started calling everyone a _______ concierge. Cobbler = shoe repair concierge. Bartender = drink concierge. Tailor = clothing adjustment concierge. At first I was just trying to be funny but now I realize I do it more than I do not. So if you feel it more appropriate, hop on board!

      • Red Beagle :

        Agreed on anti-slip sole thingys unless they are already built into the sole – or the first time you try to walk on carpet with smooth leather soles and no anti-slip you would feel like you’re walking on banana peels.
        The alternative if you want to leave them leather is to sand the sole lightly with a rough sandpaper.
        Also, don’t wear them every day. Leather particularly needs a day off to breathe or you will wear them out much too soon. As soon as you can, get another leather pair to trade off.

      • You have a cobbler and take your shoes in… you’re still one step ahead of me. :p

    • You can buy stick-on grip pads in the pharmacy or any Target-like store and apply them yourself.
      DSW does not carry them online, but they display them in stores near the registers.

    • Ask your local cobbler to put a rubber half sole on them to protect the leather soles and make them last longer. You can also ask for hard plastic taps on the toes and heels for the same purpose.

      • If the OP specifically loves the feel of the leather sole, attaching synthetics to the sole may defeat the purpose. Personally, I have worn both leather and non-leather soles, and I don’t find the comfort of the shoe depends on the sole material. Some leather soled shoes are comfortable, some are not.

        • I don’t think attaching a half sole on the outside of the shoe is going to impact its comfort-level. It’s going to make it less slippery and make it last longer.

    • I like wearing the leather sole a bit and then getting them re-soled as necessary. My shoe guy recommends doing it new, but I find that unnecessary. I have also found that as I transition more to wearing nice shoes indoors and not out and about in NYC, the resoling is becoming less necessary. I also found that the non-slip stuff at the pharmacy just peels/rubs off as I walk.

    • I wear mine down for a bit and then get rubber half-soles put on. If you want rubber soles, they have to sand down a brand-new leather sole as part of attaching the rubber, so you might as well get some wear with the original leather sole unless you are truly terrified of slipping. I just walk mindfully of the sole and have never slipped–I’m usually breaking them in at the same time, so I’m not setting any 5K-in-heels records.

      Be careful with the stick-on sole protector grips that you do yourself. A lot of them damage the sole. I know a lot of people who have applied clear ones to Louboutins thinking it would keep the red showing and protected, but the protector eventually started peeling away and when they went to replace it, it ripped off and horribly damaged the original red leather. Better to just wear down the red leather and then get a good red color match rubber half sole at a “cobbler” (not getting into that debate above, but that’s what the thread is titled on tPF) recommended on the Purse Forum Louboutin board.

  5. What to wear to a UK wedding… while pregnant :

    I’m attending a wedding in the UK in August. It’s an afternoon church wedding in West Sussex, followed by a reception. And I’ll be 19 weeks pregnant with twins. If anyone has any suggestions about (1) what would be appropriate and (2) what might work, considering I don’t know how big I’ll be, I’d be very grateful!

    • A pretty dress (not a cocktail dress – think dressy bridal shower or baby shower) and a fabulous hat!

      And a wrap, because it may be chilly or get chilly at night.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Ask about whether it is a hat wedding – not all weddings are, but it’s not unusual to wear a hat or a fascinator (and you may not get a chance to wear one any other time, so go for it if it sounds appealing). If it’s a church wedding, some people will probably wear hats.

      Dressy dress – cocktail length is usual. For church you probably want a wrap if the dress is sleeveless/strapless (maybe won’t be if you’re pregnant), not black but as applies to weddings everywhere, check what colour the bridesmaids are wearing.

      To be honest, the weather could be absolutely anything. It could be glorious sunshine or it could be hail and wind, so layering is definitely the way forward.

      And welcome :)

    • Any pretty maternity dress that isn’t cocktail, a wrap or cardigan, and a hat or fascinator, which I would buy on arrival because their selection is just so much better. As for something that will fit, wait until a week before to buy the dress?

      • If you want to get a fascinator here in the states on something of a budget, I’d check out Etsy, they have one of the widest variety I’ve seen (some are hideous or chintzy looking, but many are quite nice.)

    • I’d recommend an ASOS maternity dress. I wore one of their lace ones to a wedding last year when I was about 20 weeks pregnant. It was perfect, and it would have fit well even if I were bigger (or smaller) because of the material/stretch. I wore it to an evening wedding and felt I was dressed appropriately, even though it was a $30 dress and not as formal as I’d normally wear.

      • Second Asos! :

        Second the Asos recommendation for maternity dresses! They have the best selection and a huge variety. Also, see if there is a maternity consignment store in your area, or check out Rent the Runway because they were rolling out maternity clothes when I was pregnant.

    • I know there are a million churches in West Sussex, but if it happens to be Loudwater, that was my grandfather’s last parish when he was a vicar.

      Boden has a beautiful drapey jersey dress (Selina, maybe?) that would be lovely

    • This dress, in a larger size than your usual, would be pretty accommodating of some tummy:

      I just bought and wore it at 14 weeks pregnant to a fancy occasion in 1 size larger than usual, and it had plenty of room so I’m hoping to wear it all the way up to my baby shower.

    • Thanks, everyone! Very helpful.

  6. Yay! I love this jacket –Kudo’s, Kat! But NOT so much any leather skirt. I am afraid of weareing anything leather b/c when I was in college, there was a woman who wore leather skirt’s who alway’s had alot of men from the soccer team hanging around her. I later found out that she was very freindley to them b/c they bought her clothe’s and she later suposedly had a baby from one of them. She was NOT married at the time, so I would NOT wear leather skirt’s. FOOEY!

  7. MommyMonster :

    For those of you who pick out your outfits days in advance, how do you store your jewelry/accessories with them?

    • Veronica Mars :

      Maybe get a Muji clear acrylic drawer (5 drawer if you’re doing 5 days of the work week) and put each day’s jewelry in each little drawer? For me, I normally only do night-before planning and I just think about what jewelry I’d like with it in a general sense and just pull whatever I’m in the mood for that morning (For example: I have like 5 different pearl strands, most are pretty interchangeable so if I think tomorrow’s outfit needs a little boost with pearls, I’ll decide morning of if I want pink vs white vs multi vs whatever.) Jewelry planning for me isn’t really an issue.

    • Often I will just drape my necklace over the hanger holding my blouse, when it is safe and makes sense to do so.

      Alternatively, setting up one of these (notice the 7 columns for the 7 days of the week) is a good way to do it. I don’t rotate earrings much, so this works for me.

      But I have to admit that I rarely am as organized as I would like to do the whole week ahead of time.

      • Wildkitten :

        I also put the necklace on the hanger – but I only do this if there is a particular event that week that I want to wear a particular outfit to, so that I don’t accidentally wear it sooner.

    • If it is an accessory that will be worn only that day of the week, I put it over the hanger or use a wire hanger with paper on it from the dry cleaner that has little holes in it for the earrings. If it is jewelry used in more than one outfit that week, I put it on the first outfit and when I am undressing from outfit 1 at the end of that day, I will move it to the next outfit. Exception for jewelry worn every day (watch, two rings). I used to try to memorize it but my morning brain isn’t as creative as my Sunday night two glass of wine brain.

  8. Demanding Careers + Baby? :

    For those out there with very demanding jobs, who have spouses with extremely demanding jobs, how do you make it work if you decide to have a family?

    In my case, quitting either job is not an option, minor cutbacks are possible but the bulk of child care responsibility will likely be on me, because spouse needs to work 12-14 hr days (unfortunately is just the nature of his role in his industry – and switching industries isn’t an option). No family nearby to help. We’re on the fence and extremely concerned about how it would all work. All my friends have severely downsized their careers or completely stopped working outside the home for the early years (disclaimer: I support everyone’s individual decisions on that front) so I have very few role models to comfort my concerns.

    Any advice from those who have faced a similar decision would be most appreciated!

    • I think others have pointed out the need to outsource as much as possible – housekeeping, food preparation and shopping, and so on. I haven’t been in this situation, but even two regular full-time jobs is challenging with kids. Get as much help as you can afford and don’t think twice about it.

      • If you can afford it, a live in nanny/housekeeper is the bomb.

        • That’s if you manage to find someone reliable and in line with your beliefs, values, and parenting philosophy. A friend recently called this a unicorn and I think she was dead on accurate. It’s like trying to find a second spouse. Very difficult.

          • anon-oh-no :

            I this this is extreme. Our nanny is fantastic. just amazing. and we have lots of friends with nannys that are also amazing and fit wonderfully in their family. some live in, some don’t, but either way, its a fully time job and then some when you have two working spouses.

            as to the OPs question (husband and I are partners in BigLaw firms, in a major city, we have 2 kids, ages 7 and 4), outsourcing is the first and easiest answer. second for us was picking something important and sticking with it as much as possible (for us, its dinner/bedtime with kids, but it could be weekends, or breakfast, or whatever). and third, being flexible, meaning what works for you and your family is a constantly moving target (which also makes number 2 more important, so there is something consistent). being able to “go with the flow” is super important (and took me a few years to learn). And something else that was important for us was staying in the city, to lessen our commute.

          • Or, if you understand that parenting isn’t about perfection and control and accept that someone can do things differently than you and still be taking good care of your child.

        • Just don’t let her do the laundry….

    • We faced a similar decision. It’s unclear to me whether you’ve already decided to start a family and the “on the fence” bit is about what arrangements to make or whether you’re on the fence about starting a family. We actually decided not to have kids and to get a couple of puppies instead (we’re big dog people), and it’s worked out really well. It came down to me not wanting to give up so much to have a family. I think if you’re okay with severely downsizing your career/taking time off, that’s probably the only way to make it work. I’m not sure how much a nanny would help; we made a decision before investigating that option. in situations like these, I think you need to make a decision about how badly you want kids and exactly what you’re willing to give up to get that.

      • I agree with this. I’ll tell you – I have a stay at home husband, a job that is moderately but not horribly demanding (almost definitely less than most lawyer jobs), and my baby (now toddler, but I refuse to accept it) is very, very easygoing. But it is still hard in a lot of ways – I’m tired, it’s very difficult to find time to do much that isn’t work or baby-time, and I miss my baby like mad. I’ll admit that I did not think that I would want to be around him nearly as much as I actually do.

        I definitely don’t regret my situation – it’s really wonderful and I love being a mom, an attorney, and the breadwinner. But if I didn’t have my husband home, had a more demanding child, and/or had a truly demanding job, it would be extremely difficult. In all frankness, I would recommend that you think very hard about whether your and your husband’s careers are more important to you than parenting (and it’s fine if they are!), and not to have kids if one of you is not willing to take a fairly major step back for several years. I’m not saying that it can’t be done without doing that, but I think that it is very unlikely to be done happily and without major regrets.

    • It’s exhausting. I’m disappointing everyone in every aspect (work, family, and myself). I honestly think my baby is higher needs. I’ve cared for many babies and never seen one this extreme. Maybe it’s because I work too much. I don’t know. If you figure it out, let me know.

      • Agree with posters above….

        My only friends who seem happy in the situation you describe had only one child, hire out for everything (so obviously make a lot of $$), and honestly… are the kind of people who never really wanted to be highly involved parents in the first place. They are happy to skip all the sports games, plays, homework help etc… and honestly they feel no guilt about it. Fortunately their child is incredibly bright and independent, and in a very expensive private school that “cares” for her all day, and then a nanny for after. They also have a nanny for all day Saturday so if they want to do stuff for themselves they can do that too. Will it all work out in the end? Who knows.

        My friends who want to be more involved as parents, or who have kids that clearly need more attention, feel a lot of guilt… about everything (not enough time at work/with kids/with spouse/with self) and a lot of stress.

        Can it be done? Of course, people do it all the time. But it will be hard, it will be expensive, there will be much sacrifice and often some resentment between wife and husband, and it will be different for every family.

      • If your child may have special needs, or even if she is just extra demanding and fussy, don’t blame yourself. It’s NOT because you work too much.

      • what makes you think your baby is high needs?

      • I have a high needs baby. 5 months, sweet as can be so long as you are holding her, loving her, paying attention to her (which I do. All the time). And I don’t work a ton and I spend a ton of time with her. So, its not because you work so much. Its just the baby.

      • Toffee, so sorry that you’re having a hard time with the baby. I would second the rec for a night nurse. I have “bat ears” too, but I used earplugs and I was so tired that I fell asleep easily, even if I didn’t think I could. The comfort of staying in your bed for 8 hours while someone else was feeding/taking care of the baby was such a lifesaver. It’s pricey but completely worth it. I urge you to try it even if it’s just once or twice a week. You don’t deserve to be feeling so miserable and tired.

    • The best advice that I got from someone in a similar situation was that the early years can be totally messy and overwhelming, but they only last so long. You’re going to feel like you’re not doing anything really well and will probably feel overextended and stretched a little too thin. But once your kids can communicate and are in school, it can calm down and you may be happy that you still have your career for yourself. It helped me to feel like there was a light at the end of the tunnel and helped me take a step back and try to enjoy the craziness of those early years. There were nights that I’d be up at 3am the night before a big meeting and instead of being frazzled and stressed I tried to remember how fleeting these years would be and that there were people who would kill to have either a baby or my career and I was very fortunate to have *both*. I think a lot of it is your attitude going into it!

      And yes, outsourcing.

      • This is a great comment that I totally needed this morning. Thank you!

      • This is an amazing, and much needed, pep-talk.

      • Spirograph :

        Thanks! My son didn’t sleep at all last night, my husband has been on a business trip all week, and I just want to curl up under my desk and go to sleep, but I have a deadline. I’m going to sit here and repeat your last point about being fortunate to myself all day.

      • Just to add to my original post- I think it is really important to distinguish what needs to get done, and what needs to get done *by you.* There are certain things I don’t want to outsource- I want to put my kids to bed and read to them and do fun things with them. There are other things that just have to get done and that do not have to be done by me (taking them to appointments, keeping the household running, etc.). And there are a lot of things that society will try to tell you have to be done *by you* when really it doesn’t matter at all and you just have to get over it.

        As a funny example- the SAHMs who run the PTA at my kids school are aghast any time someone brings in non-homemade to a bake sale. I’ve made it clear to my kids that if they ever want to bake WITH me, I will move heaven and earth to have that time with them. However, if they just need something to bring to the school to drop at the bake sale, I’m not making the cookies at at 4am when I would have to be up to do it before work. Instead, I have a little deal with the bakery in town- I order some baked goods and the guy knows that I don’t want them to look like bakery quality- so he’ll give me a bunch with flaws. Chocolate chip cookies that are just a tiny too crispy- I’ll take ’em; cupcakes where the frosting is just a little to drippy to sell- done, an experiment with a new recipe gone slightly awry- right up my alley. He’ll never tell that he makes them for me, and I’ve promised never to attach his name to these slightly sub-par baked goods. It got to the point where one day on my to-do-list my daughter had added “pick up bakery sale stuff from Henry” and I panicked because I hadn’t ordered anything. My daughter very sweetly then tells me- don’t worry, I called him, and I know it’s a secret- I won’t tell. Now it’s a little running joke with us.

        Just do what you’ve got to!

        • I love this, and you are my new role model.

          • mintberrycrunch :

            +1 million. This anecdote just made me think that maybe a career and a family don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Thank you.

        • Your deal with the local baker is hilarious and genius. Well done :)

        • Medic Maggie :

          I second this, and the other poster who basically said that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The overwhelming years are fairly brief, and then you can get into a routine where there is more coasting when the kids get older & more independent.

          I do NOT have a particularly demanding career–8-5 most days, but during our busy times, I do pull 50-hour weeks. I have an evening meeting almost once a week, but that would not have kept me from this job if I had known about it ahead of time. (I was laid off when I applied to this job, and didn’t have 100% grasp on what the duties entailed. I love my job, though).

          We have a nanny who comes to our house in the morning, which, in and of itself is a lifesaver. But, more importantly, our nanny is flexible with our scheduling. When hubs and I both have meetings, she stays later, usually in exchange for a later morning. Which is fine with us–we work it all out. She also does medium- to light-cleaning (vacuuming the kid rooms and common areas, cleaning the kitchen, half bath & kid bath, mopping floors), and all the kid laundry.

          I also feel the same way about the SAH/PTO thing too. I feel somewhat bad that I can’t contribute more to our PTO, but I choose to contribute in a different way–I’m on the school landscaping committee, so I spend some free time weeding, mulching & planting. I have always offered to our teachers to send things home for me to prep for class crafts & such, because that is something that I can commit to with my kids. We will also bake together, too, as PP mentioned.

          In the end, you ultimately have to make the decision that is going to work the best for you and your family. It is not an easy decision, but I would also say do not let your career sideline your family-planning desires. If you really do want a family, you may regret not making some career sacrifices. But, you might not, either. It is a very personal decision. Good luck

        • This reminds me of the main character in the book, “I Don’t Know How she Does It,” smashing the crust of the store-bought pie she brought to her kid’s school event, so that the other moms would think it was homemade.

        • WHAT?! Clever and sneaky, and NOT OK! I honestly do not mean to be judgmental, but I really think it’s important not to create some fiction just to pretend to live up to someone else’s ridiculous standard. It’s actually great if you remembered to stop by the store and pick up some baked goods for the PTO. It’s perfectly fine not to take time to bake something. Creating some “secret” (read: lie) just perpetuates the unreasonable expectation.

          • I sort of agree with this. I’m saddened that the PTA would be “aghast” by non-homemade baked goods and you are living up to this absurd expectation by having to lie about it. I am pretty sure that my mom never made a single baked good for my classes growing up and even better, I don’t remember her ever feeling guilty about it. Honestly, who cares? Kids will gobble up baked goods, homemade or otherwise.

          • The Sneaky Baker :

            That’s true, and it is something that I sometimes think about. However, I’ve gotta pick my battles. It’s really important to me that my kids not feel like they’re missing out or they’ve got a bad deal because I’m working. I live in a town where there are mostly SAHMs. There are comments about the working moms who don’t seem like they want to be involved. That’s just the reality I live in. I’m not going to send my kid into school to hand boxed baked goods to a mom who may or may not be understanding about it. The last thing I want is for my kid to feel any kind of second-hand embarrassment because I’m trying to make a point. There are things I can’t control: I can’t be at all the concerts or games, I can’t chaperone the field trips, I can’t be a class mom, etc. etc. etc. But I can make sure my kids don’t bear the brunt of my choices in a community that is maybe still catching up to where I’d like it to be. There are things my kids have to deal with and explain (usually my absence) and if there’s something that I can do to not add another thing that requires an explanation, I will! And, most importantly, I make sure my kids feel like they get perks that other kids with SAHMs don’t get, so they get it is a trade off. Yea, I might not be the field trip chaperone, but there have also been (infrequent) days where I let my kids skip school, come into the office with me in the morning and then go explore NYC with me in the afternoon. It’s all a give and take, and I just want my kids to see that.

          • But Sneaky Baker, you are sending your kid into school to hand boxed baked goods to a mom who may or may not be understanding about it; you’re just pretending that you’re not.

            Kids of working moms do miss out on stuff and kids of SAHMs miss out on stuff too, like company picnics and holiday parties and take your daughter to work day and free sodas at mom’s office. Lying about the reality isn’t helping anyone.

          • Sneaky Baker :

            I’m not perfect. And I’m not lying about anything, I’m just not advertising the fact that someone else made them for me by having my kid drop off an Entenman’s box of something. I feel better about sending in something that looks like it took time (it did- just not mine) and looks like the rest of the goodies getting dropped off and that kids are excited to buy.

            And I think you’re missing the fact that kids with SAHMs don’t usually miss out on those things- they just go to dad’s. There’s a difference in the experiences of kids with 1 working parent vs. 2, especially in a community where usually only 1 parent works- a kid in a 2 career household can feel “different” and I want to either minimize the differences or make them feel like positives to my kids. But people should do what works for them- that was the whole point of my post. I’m just juggling the best I can and doing what works for my family and I was sharing the story.

          • Every kid’s experience is different. But by pretending, YOU, not the PTA moms, are the one saying your kid’s experience is not as good as a kid’s with a SAHM.

        • This is awesome! I need to find a bakery like that!

          • Sneaky Baker :

            It’s a win win for both of us. He gets to get rid of the items that otherwise wouldn’t quite make the cut based on his standards. And I get to pay a reduced price for something that is way better than anything I could make and it didn’t take any time!

        • Love the local baker story! !!

        • SFAttorney :

          This is so funny and reminds me of a novel I read years ago that started with the high-powered-career mum “distressing” a store-bought mince pie that she had to take to her kids’ school.

      • This is so true. My child was colicky (turned out to have severe allergies to multiple foods) and now that he’s been diagnosed, and is older, its like he’s a whole different child. I also figured out that I’m just not a baby person. Toddlers, fine, babies, no.

      • Yes! There are tons of studies that show a drop in happiness of couples in the first 5 years of having a child, and then an increase in happiness over the rest of their lifetime. Eventually, people who have kids end up much, much happier (almost double) than people who didn’t by the age of 65 (although they are generally half as happy with life than those who chose to remain child-free at age 35). So when I went into it, I knew that we were doing it for the long-haul. And my husband and I had our eyes wide open that it would be a lot of hard work in the short-term and we didn’t expect it to really increase our standard of living in the short-term. But we look forward to having adult children (which is when people report the most happiness and fulfillment from their decision to have children). Obviously we try to treasure the small moments now as well and only do things that we WANT to do (Guilt-free zone!)

        By the way, the alternative to outsourcing that my husband and I have found is simply not doing the work. No one cares that our house is generally always cluttered and untidy and we eat take-out or leftovers or snacks most nights. Our house is full of love and is a place we enjoy being – I simply don’t keep the kind of people who judge me for my housekeeping in my life (but I am blessed to live 3,000 miles away from my mother-in-law and I do hire cleaners when the in-laws come!)

        • Medic Maggie :

          we also do leftovers & snacks a lot too. Hubs and I both have other volunteer obligations that are very important to us as people (and a desire to foster that spirit in our kids, too), and so a lot of times we just scrape by. I do a monthly (or at least about 2 weeks out) meal plan, but there’s always PBJ and frozen chicken nuggets in the house too. I lean on them more than I care to admit, but that is my reality.

    • Honestly, I don’t know if we would have been nearly as successful (read: surviving and not getting fired) as we have been if we didn’t have family near us. You also have to absolutely be able to communicate well with your partner and count on him to pull his fair share, no questions asked. I also trust my husband completely with childcare and so have no issues leaving him with both our kids (young toddler and baby) while I’m out of town or working late…just like he wouldn’t have issues leaving them with me.

      Without family in town, we would absolutely need a live-in nanny. We use a great day care now, but you never know when the kids are going to get sick, or have an emergency, etc. We also outsource housekeeping and lawncare. And weekends right now are basically reserved just for the immediate family time as much as possible, so we get some quality time together.

      • But to echo what everyone else has said, you also kind of get used to the feeling that you’re failing everywhere and disappointing everyone. But my first son is almost 3 and things are SO MUCH better than they used to be. So I know it’s fleeting in the grand scheme of things.

        And when you have a crap day at work and your kids inevitably spill something or write on your walls or make a huge mess, you just have to laugh about it and take a picture to remember it.

        • My son is 14, and honestly ladies, they really don’t remember ANY of this stuff! I swear, really and truly.

          Not only does my son (starting high school in September!) not remember any of the stuff I MISSED, he also doesn’t remember any of the stuff I stayed up till 2am to do (like bake an epic pirate themed cake for his 6th birthday because I always missed the afternoon in class parties that all the other moms went to because I was literally the ONLY mother that worked. Glad I took pictures of the cake.)

          So, cut yourself some slack.

          • I really appreciate you saying this.

          • I totally agree with you. My girls are 14 and 11 now. They just don’t remember stuff from before kindergarden. Kids just don’t care about the same stuff we do. I learned to pick my battles and accept that very little can be perfect. Yes, the house is a mess. But I like to cook, so I chose to cook dinner most nights and ignore or jump over the mess.

          • My mom always worked and I have literally no memory of whether my parents were at my plays/performances/track meets/etc. I have lots of great memories of my childhood, but they’re not that stuff.

          • +1 to cbackson. Both of my parents worked and they weren’t able to make it to lunch-time birthday parties in elementary school, PTA bake sales, band recitals, or even a lot of my cross country & track meets when I was in HS. I didn’t (and still don’t) care and neither will your kid.

          • +2 – my mom worked (a lot) when I was growing up and I didn’t miss her at the things at my elementary school. I always loved the fact that she worked and was so important (in my eyes obviously) and honestly, now I appreciate it even more. I grew up with an example of a working mom and I really respect how she was able to balance everything

          • My mom worked 4 days a week, and I do at least remember how exciting it was to be picked up vs taking the bus that one day, or when field trips fell on that day and she could be a parent chaperone. And yeah, we still joke about the time she was trying to do too many things at once in that spare time and forgot to put some key ingredient in a baked good for my brother’s class. But just because I remember those things doesn’t mean that “oh Mom not working and totally devoted to us = good, Mom working = bad.” At 30, what stands out to me the most is that she has always been there when it mattered (willing to wake up at 7am to find a ticket and go with me to a boy band concert when I was in middle school because my cliquey friends decided to cut me out that week), I always knew how much she loved (loves) me, and she was an incredible role model in terms of her background and career success (we always thought our mom was a rockstar because she ran into adoring clients everywhere we went). It’s that stuff that matters, not whether my cookies were made with hand-sifted homemade almond meal.

          • Baconpancakes :

            Saying your kids won’t notice that they’re the only kids without parents at school events isn’t even a little bit true. Of course they’ll notice. And they’ll probably be a little sad. But they’ll survive. I was raised by a single mom military officer, and went to a very pro-parent-involvement private school. She couldn’t leave work at 4pm to come to recitals or games at 5pm, and she definitely didn’t come on field trips, but I never felt neglected, even eating dinner with a nanny for the first 10 years of my life, and I always felt loved. My mother made sure I knew how much she loved me, and she made me a priority whenever she wasn’t at work. I am so grateful to her for supporting me, giving me the best education possible, and showering me with love, even if she wasn’t there much of the time. Whenever she was there, she was 100% present – and that’s what really matters.

      • It’s not just having a partner willing to help. Remember, there’s a third person with a voice whom you haven’t even met. That person (the kid) has her own opinion about who she wants. If it’s mom, no matter how much dad wants to help, mom has to be there.

        • No. Not true. If she wants mom and mom isn’t there, she will just have to get used to dad. The baby isn’t going to die because her preferred caregiver is unavailable.

          • But she will scream for seven hours three nights in a row until dad is too exhausted to work, thus defeating the original criteria of dad having a demanding job, too.

          • The baby is not going to die but the baby is going to be unhappy. Why have it in the first place then? As a trophy?

          • +1. You don’t have to bow to every whim of the special snowflake.

            My parents missed plenty of things when I was young because they were working to provide a good life for me. I have absolutely no ill will towards them for it.

          • I agree that a screaming baby doesn’t make for a contented family, but if the criterion is that the baby never be unhappy, one might as well not have kids. Kids will be unhappy sometimes… sometimes a lot of the time, depending on personality and circumstances.

          • to Anonymous 10:30
            Oh my gosh. Children do not need to be happy at every moment of every day. Even babies.

            Seriously, this is why so many kids are so insufferable.

            to Toffee: that level of crying really is a lot for a baby, does baby have colic or something? How old is baby? That sounds rough, I’m sorry…I think that you are right that you may have a high needs baby – have you discussed with your baby doctor?

          • There is a huge difference between treating a baby like a trophy and refusing to be a martyr to her whims. Toffee, if you died ( god forbid ) I bet your husband wouldn’t just stamp return- to-sender on the baby right? He’d figure it out and so would she.

          • If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a mom, it’s that unless you are the one actually taking care of the baby, you really have no idea how difficult it is to take care of that particular baby. I was lucky to have a very easy baby but I know plenty of wonderful women who are parents to babies with higher needs and what I do for my baby (i.e., leave her in the crib to cry herself to sleep, which takes less than 2 minutes) is just not going to work for them. “Advice” like this is incredibly unhelpful.

        • Toffee – how old is your baby? Like I said below, my second was high needs and it exhausted me. But we’re through the woods now and everything is so much better. But I recognize the resignation and exhaustion in your comments and I’ve been there.

          • JJ and Sadie, baby is 11 months. I even took her to the doctor after a week of crying every time we put her down. I knew it had to be colic, an ear infection, something. But the doctor insists she’s fine and this is normal separation anxiety. WTH? She doesn’t even cry when I drop her off at daycare. Ugh. So… No solutions. We’ve tried every sleep method known, but she’s only slept three nights since April.

        • in the oven and pulling on my dress :

          Toffee – I just wanted to say I’ve walked in your shoes, although it was only for a 2 month clingy phase, thank goodness. Until people experience what it is like to have a baby scream inconsolable for hours on end, and the relief/horror the spouse feels when the baby stops screaming two seconds after you pick him up, and the dread the spouse feels at knowing it is going to happen again tonight, and tomorrow….it’s just one of those things that I’m not sure one can understand until one experiences. “Technically the baby is alive and not physically injured” results in a terribly low quality of life.
          Having been there I would say it is the equivalent of having a broken arm. Yes, technically, I can continue to show up to work each day without getting it fixed and it won’t “kill” me, but in reality everyone would think I was crazy to have a broken arm and continue to come in and type one-handed while crying from pain. What you are describing – at least the way it was for me – was a similar level of dysfunctionality, and while it could have been better worded, people should be aware of just how hard this situation can be in reality.

          • Thank you. I really needed to hear this. The doctor said it’s a phase, so I hope it’s over soon.

        • Have you tried a baby nurse or night nanny? It might be less important to you to find a perfect fit if they are only in charge of sleeping time and be a sanity-saving solution for a few months. I hope little one turns a corner soon!

          • I’m thinking about it. But it’s like I have bat ears. No matter what I do, if she’s crying, I hear her and can’t sleep. I may give it a try just to see. H really does try, but she just wants me right now, so I’m skeptical about a night nanny.

      • 100% agree. We’re really lucky to have a retired grandma who will drop everything and take care of the kids when needed (e.g., nanny sick, both of us have to work on the weekend, etc.) My spouse and I have very demanding careers, and an awesome nanny who does a ton of housekeeping/grocery shopping/other not-necessarily-in-her-job-description tasks, but without MIL we’d be lost.

    • How much flexibility does your schedule allow? My husband has long, inflexible hours, so by default I provide almost all of the childcare during the week. Hubs is sometimes home for bath time, but that leaves morning feeding & playtime, daycare drop-off, daycare pick-up and evening playtime all up to me. I work ~50 hrs/week, but from a home office located 5 minutes from daycare. If I didn’t have the flexibility that working from home affords me, we would *have* to have a nanny, no question. I very much wish that hubs could be more involved with childcare duties, but right now that is not possible. On a day to day basis, it’s challenging (for me personally and our marriage, frankly) — and it will factor into our decision to have another child or not.

      • This is similar to my life, only I work ~45 hour/week from an office (unless the kid is too sick for daycare and then I *try* to “work” from home with the kid). Yes, there are difficult days but in the scheme of things its not that hard for me – or us, or our marriage. It certainly is not keeping us from having a second child, although at that point we might switch from daycare to a nanny. It helps that we outsource all cleaning and that my husband is very involved when he is home. For example, the moment he gets home he takes over all childcare responsibilities (sometimes there’s only time for reading a book before bed, other times they have an hour or two together). Yes there are some nights he does not make it home, but for every night like that there are nights that I get an hour or more all to myself.

      • This is my situation, and frankly, we’re stopping at one. I can handle doing all the child stuff during the week for one kid, but not two. Its hard for my family and friends to understand, but truly, my husband is out of the house from 7-7 during a good week, he just can’t ‘come in late once in a while’ or ‘just leave early’ if he wants a job. Both of us wish he could be more involved during the week but its just not possible given the nature of his job/industry.

        • I appreciate hearing your perspective. My baby is only 10 months, so we’re not yet at a point when we need to make a decision about #2. But unless something drastic changes, I’m leaning toward stopping at one. The worst part is that after an exhausting week, there’s really no chance to recharge on the weekend. I love my baby, but man, it’s a grind.

          • Mine is over 2 and I still ‘nap when he naps’ on the weekends. It is the only thing that keeps me sane considering he still wakes up at the crack of dawn

        • Senior Attorney :

          I stopped at one and I’m convinced that’s what made the whole endeavor possible, especially given that I divorced when he was about six. I literally cannot imagine having had to do it all with more than one.

    • in the oven and pulling on my dress :

      I would love any additional advice on what additional services/outsourcing/etc you would do when it comes to having 2nd, 3rd, etc. I recently found out that #2 will be coming when #1 is 19 months old and am definitely already looking forward to 2015 as our “survival year.”

      I’ve also taken the brunt of family care and housework during our son’s first year. I am ready to not do that again and would be really interested in what the most helpful services are in terms of making crazy life at home easier.

      • So my kids are 18 months apart. I know exactly what you’re going through. Definitely outsource all housekeeping. We have someone come every other week and that’s enough for us (we have a roomba that we run each day, though). If lawn care is an issue, outsource that as well.

        I love cooking and family dinner each night is important to us. But sometimes it’s just not feasible with a baby and toddler (and especially if your baby has acid reflux and colic…). So I didn’t think twice about eating a lot of prepared foods from Whole Foods, picking up dinners, accepting dinners from family, etc. This is survival.

        Drop your standards of productivity on the weekends. Our biggest goal on Saturdays and Sundays is to get the family’s laundry done. If you can outsource that, more power to you.

        Finally, it’s going to be and feel so overwhelming at first. But my baby is 11 months now and we are in a really good place. He was a VERY high-needs baby (see above re colic and reflux) and now he’s happy, healthy, and a joy to have. He’s old enough now that he loves to “play” with his older brother, as well. Weekends are a blast now and I can promise you that while it seemed so long at the time, the past year has flown by.

      • Spirograph :

        1. I love your handle, 2. I am in the same situation and can’t wait to see the replies to this.

        So far we only have a cleaning lady who comes once a week. I don’t care what I have to cut out of my budget, someone else is going to continue cleaning my bathrooms and mopping the floors. Something about having a clean house makes everything else much more bearable.

        We have Amazon Prime and are subscribed for regular deliveries of diapers, wipes, TP, paper towels, pet food, and other such stuff, plus I order a bunch of things on Amazon just because it is so much easier to get it 2 days later in the mail than to run a separate errand.

        For next year, I’m looking into grocery delivery and lawncare (I enjoy yardwork and our yard is pretty small, I just don’t have 45 spare minutes to mow every week). I looked up personal chef services, but it looks like they start around $300+groceries in my area for 5ish meals — maybe I don’t know where to look? — and that’s more than I’m willing to pay at the moment, so we’re finding Trader Joes/Whole Foods type prepared things that we like… we’ll probably get a separate freezer, because mine is tiny and I want to have things onhand.

        I also am amassing a list of all the 14 y/o+ children within a few blocks of my house (that sounds really creepy) who are willing to be mother’s helpers for an hour or two and at least occupy the toddler… infant, I can wear if necessary. I have no family nearby, but I have some really awesome neighbors who are happy to help out if I’m in a total bind. It’s not outsourcing, but I can’t overstate how wonderful it is to have that kind of relationship with people who live across the street, and it’s worth 100x over any effort I put in to cultivate it.

      • I am also in the same situation. And I (more accurately, we) did it on purpose, meaning we think we can handle it. Like the others above, we already outsource all housework (except laundry). Currently I handle meal prep, but I think that will have to be handled by someone else next year. If we switch from daycare to a nanny when #2 arrives, we will have the nanny will do light meal prep say 3x/week while the older one is in some sort of part time preschool type program. The personal chef services I’ve found in our area are prohibitively expensive, but paying a nanny slightly more to help on this front is probably within our budget.

      • One of my friends from my last job had a personal chef /meal prep person who made them 5 nights worth of frozen meals with explicit instructions on how to prepare (and easy ones – usually just “take off lid and microwave for 10 minutes” or “put in oven for 1 hour at 350”). The were full meals – main dish, + veggie & side like pasta or rice. Then they would put the whole empty container back in the freezer and when she came to drop off the next week’s meals she would take away the containers and wash them.
        I never used this service, but I’ve fantasized about it. No meal prep, no washing pots & pans but healthier than frozen prepared food. If I ever go back to full time 60 hour weeks and salary to match, I will be looking for this type of service.

    • I am adjusting to have a new baby when my husband and I both have 50 hr/week type jobs and no family in the area. Honestly, it is really, really rough. I cry a lot. I feel horrible that my baby spends 10 hours a day at daycare. (I know she’s fine, but it still makes me feel like crap.) I worry about the care she’s getting at her (expensive, reputable, well-researched) daycare because you just never know. I count the minutes until my husband gets home at night. From 5:30am to 9pm every minute of my day is spoken for. I just could not imagine doing this if my husband were working 12-14 hours each day.

      • I’ve been there, and trust me, it gets better. I think I cried every day the first year from sheer exhaustion. Looking back on it, I wish I had been more relaxed about how much time my child spent at daycare, because he enjoyed it, it was safe, and they were great with him. And I wish I had outsourced more instead of trying to do so much myself. But, I promise you, it gets easier. And it gets to be more fun once the child is old enough to talk and really play with.

    • Nanny Issues :

      Possibly controversial, but I wouldn’t have children if (1) husband and I were only on the fence about having them, (2) current lifestyle of couple would be difficult to support children, and (3) neither individual in the couple wanted to change lifestyle for children.

      I have a few friends with similar schedules, and had children b/c that just seemed to be the natural order of life. These situations seem to rarely end happily. The ones with similarly demanding schedules who seem to make it work the best are the couples where both individuals really, really wanted children. They outsource like hell, but there are still serious life changes that will be made, no matter how great your childcare is. for the ones that wanted children, the “changes” don’t feel like sacrifices – for the ones who weren’t sure, the changes seem to be like torture. Even if one partner may have to more frequently take on childcare “stuff”, if the other partner is incredibly supportive and recognizes that both parties have to sacrifice at times to make it work, everyone seems happier (that’s true even if one spouse is in a far less demanding job).

    • Demanding Careers + Baby? :

      OP here. I just wanted to thank everyone for their perspectives and honest straight talk. I can’t tell you how helpful it is to hear from women in similar positions. Thank you so much!!!!

      • Here’s the thing, even though our current situation is beyond horrible, i’m very happy we have our daughter. We went through infertility in our twenties, then hit 30 and decided to try again. We were on the fence and just didn’t want to regret being childless, so we went for it despite the demanding careers. We don’t regret it, but I am looking forward to getting past the baby stage.

        • I hope that at least some of the thoughts/advice here have been helpful to you as well – it sounds like you’re going through a tough time with your little one.

          • Thank you. The best advice really is that this is a short time and she’ll be over it soon. I just hate to wish away her babyhood since there’s so many special moments.

      • SuziStockbroker :

        Late chiming in here but who does what re housework and childcare is the biggest bone of contention DH and I have.

        I just contacted a personal chef service. For our family of 5 it will be $500 plus groceries a month for 2 weeks worth of meals. Hoenstly, that’s 5 meals eating out and healthier and covers 14 dinners. Totally worth it.

        We have a fairly useless nanny (other than she is good with the littlest guy and the twoolder ones don’t require much any more) but at least it means we don’t have to take a day off when someone is too sick to go to school.
        I pay the nanny extra to clean the house when the little one is in half day kindergarten (she does the bare minimum) and do kid laundry.

        In the fall we will be getting a cleaning service to come in once a month and do a more thorough and complete clean. This forces me to stay on top of the clutter that builds up too.

        I have become a drill sargeant, barking orders at my husband and two older children who would all quite happily let me and the nanny do every single thing.

        Yes, I am a little bitter at this at the moment (nanny is away on vacation).

        I would say it is totally worth it, my children bring a lot of joy into my life, even at their young (fairly self centred) ages (12, 10 and 5).

        But my advice would be to outsource as much as possible and start the way you mean to go on, which means hubby does his share from the get go, and the kids start getting age appropriate chores early on (even if you have a live in nanny).

        Learn from my mistakes grasshopper!

      • In addition to the paid outsourcing (we do cleaning, yardwork, drycleaning p/u & dropoff, food service, child care, Amazon Prime), it helps to have a network of other parents, some of whom stay at home, that you can call on in a pinch. I joined a mom’s group when my daughter was born, and it has now morphed into a babysitting co-op. We’re not in the position to sit for others very often (see: two demanding jobs), but the co-op has been a lifeline when the nanny was sick.

        The other thing that helps a lot is flexibility in your day. I need to work a lot of hours/ week, but not all of them have to be in the office – being able to work 8-11 PM, after baby is in bed, has been really important to maintaining my productivity during these first two years. And it definitely gets better once they are walking & talking!

        • Lorelai Gilmore :

          In case anyone is still reading: the network doesn’t have to be just other parents. We found a wonderful home daycare that can’t take us on a full-time basis, but is frequently available for drop-ins. We love them. We also have emergency back-up daycare through work. It’s so important to build that network of redundancies, but don’t feel like you have to do it through SAHMs alone.

    • Our kids are 7 and 18 months. I’m a litigator and I work part-time (not by choice, but I’m not really complaining). DH also has a demanding career and travels, works late.

      Here’s what works for us: When he’s not traveling, DH works from home (he has his own business) and we have a part-time nanny for the baby. I depend on her for a lot (laundry, meal prep, coordinating with service providers). Our schedules and set-up actually give us a lot of time with our kids. We also live in a city where everything that we really need is nearby. Cutting out commute time for jobs, getting kids to school, grocery, etc. seriously improves our quality of life. We occasionally talk about moving back to CA, but honestly, the commuting is a deal breaker. I outsource as much as I can. We don’t have family nearby, so I also rely heavily on friends for support for our 7 year old (playdates, getting him to school when DH is traveling and I have to be in court early and such).

      Your values about your career may change with time. When I was younger, I had very different ambitions. I don’t know if the kids changed me or if life/age/new experiences did, or both. While I was in law school, I decided that I wasn’t going to chase after big law and that gave me “permission” to find a firm that fits into my life (and not the other way around). Another important aspect is that I’ve thought long and hard about doing work that I love (and I am not talking about “finding my passion”). I wanted a practice area that justifies, in my mind anyway, the time I spend away from my family advocating for specific people.

      All this is to say, it can be done, it won’t be perfect, at times you’ll be miserable and you will cry. Here’s a vignette from this week: DH is traveling, nanny is out of town, back-up nanny messed up the dates and was a no-show at first, I’m prepping for trial starting on Monday, baby diagnosed with MRSA, and I’m on my third all-nighter. << all of this super sucks. But the suckyness is temporary and it doesn't have to be a permanent condition of motherhood + career.

      Be open to your values changing or the idea that you might need to change them. It doesn't mean that everything you've worked for is a waste. Your life is journey. I know this sounds hokey, but resist the idea that you need to have all of it worked out in advance. It's good though, that you're starting to think about how parenthood might change the life you've been working towards all these years. The journey, questioning and adjusting is a permanent condition of adulthood. :)

    • 2 kids, 1 big law atty + 1 mid law atty, in the South where that’s a little less scary. No family near by. The most important things that make our lives run (and they do, quite nicely in my opinion): 1. Live near work to cut down on your commute; 2. Childcare in or near home, again to cut down commute; 3. Backup childcare, for days when the nanny is sick, day care is closed, or the kid is sick (depending upon your usual arrangement). There are services for this; 4. Live in a small, easy to maintain home. Less house / yard work = more free time; 5. Routines are your friend (e.g. meal plan Friday, grocery shop Saturday, prep all lunches for the week and do most cooking on Sunday; have enough bottles to get through 3 days at day care so we was bottles 2x/week (usually Tues/Weds & Fri/Sat)). And 6, most important of all: Have, and be, a committed, loving spouse who is willing to give 100% to making your family work. It’s not about splitting things 50/50; it’s about each of you being willing to commit 100% to doing what your family needs, whether that means waking up with the baby so your spouse can sleep, or making breakfast smoothies with a baby strapped to your back so your spouse can shower & get some food before work (after he was up with the baby so you could sleep!), or washing bottles at 11 PM even though you don’t feel like it.

      You can do it, if it’s what you want. (I’m making a bunch of assumptions here about your ability to pay for child care and housing. On this site I think that’s reasonable, but don’t mean to be dismissive if the financial side doesn’t work for you. I’m talking about the day-to-day, not the finances.) Day 1 with a baby is a completely different universe from day 91, and day 181, and day 366. Don’t get lost in the tunnel vision of how tough today might be.

  9. Would you wear either of these shoes to work (link to black, also have them in all nude)? I love them, they are basically my weekend uniform and they are the single most comfortable pair of shoes that I own. But I’m a little hesitant to wear them to work. Are the studs too much? My office is dressier than business casual, but not business formal (think suiting separates, sheath dresses with unmatching jackets, etc. and people often wear recognizable designer things so that’s not my concern).

    I’d love to be able to incorporate them into my workwear, especially for days that I have events at night. Would you wear these with a black sheath dress or an otherwise simple black cropped trouser work outfit?

    • Very pretty shoes, but too dressy for most business casual offices. I also think they’re not appropriate for business formal.

    • Opinions may differ, and I have long loved the look of Rockstuds, but I wouldn’t wear them to work–just way s e x i e r than I’m comfortable with (and I’m one of the hoydens that wears sleeveless dresses). Maaaaaybe I would be okay with them under a wide-legged trouser that’s going to hide the upper cage detail? Sorry though, unless you work in fashion or the arts I don’t think those are going to work in your day-to-day.

      • I agree. Definitely not work appropriate unless you are stylist at Vogue or maybe a intellectual property attorney in LA in private practice. The way you describe your work environment… that’s a no for you.

        BUT…. If I loved them as much as you do, I agree with emeralds. I would essentially hide almost all of the sexy (inappropriate part….) under a perfectly hemmed wide legged pant. But then, what is the point of wearing them really….

    • Gosh I think this depends on your line of work! I’m in law, there is no way in H e !! I could wear those to work. No no no. However, in a more creative field? I can totally see it, especially as you say, on a day when you have evening events. So if , as emeralds says, you work in entertainment or the arts? Then probably – otherwise…I’d probably say only if you’re really senior!

      • anon-oh-no :

        I’d wear them to work. In fact, I do wear them to work. Not to court, but to the office.

    • I would but only with longer black pants, not as you describe. And I am in a pretty conservative environment. I think as long as the rest of your outfit is sedate and you aren’t showing too much of the cage part, you should be ok.

    • Anne Shirley :

      I would never wear these to work and think they are completely inappropriate and much too sexy. But then again I don’t understand how these could possibly be a weekend uniform. My weekends of running errands, hitting the farmers markets, and casual brunches must be much less glamorous than yours!

      • What makes them INAPPROPRIATE? They are not evening/workout/etc. shoes, they are just pumps.

        • Anne Shirley :

          Maybe we’re looking at different shoes? The ones I saw weren’t just rock stud pumps, they had studded straps crisscrossing up the ankles. That’s what makes them not work shoes for me.

        • Generally strappy shoes and rockstuds are reserved for evenings/parties, not work.

          Pink, I think this is really a case of know your office. These are pretty fashion forward shoes and definitely make a statement. I work in a business casual office, but people here are generally pretty conservative with clothes, so these would grab attention in a way that’s not positive. If, however, your office is more trendy, they’d be fine.

          • Definitely know your office. I know someone who owns these shoes in multiple colors and wears them to work (with conservative length/neckline dresses). It can work (1) in the right office (2) with the right outfit, but you REALLY have to know your office.

          • And to add to my post from 1113am, the person who wears these shoes to work does not work in a fashion-related industry. And (in case it makes a difference), she also doesn’t work in the US.

      • Charlotte York :

        I agree with Anne Shirley. These are not work appropriate for me, my office or my industry. For me, it’s not the studded part — it’s the open back and the criss-crossing ankle straps that take it into date night/dressy territory.

    • Isn’t there a version without the upper cage part? So a little less blingy. That might work under pants.

      Have to say, I love these, too. But I need a knock off version that is about a tenth the price, please.

      • Ask and you shall receive….

        • Working Girl :

          Those are super cute! I would wear them to work with a pencil skirt.

        • Ooh… I don’t usually do faux leather shoes but I am so tempted for $60. Thanks!

          How is Sole Society for customer service, returns, etc?

      • There are, but with a much higher heel. The part that I love is the low heel without it looking frumpy.

        Thanks for the gut check everyone! I knew they were more party shoes, and I guess I’ll just bring them into the office to change into for nights out. I think I just had one too many nights of feeling like Business Formal Barbie when at events with friends who are in more creative fields. I guess an outfit that works for one will just be slightly inappropriate for the other and I’ll have to start tweaking the office outfit if I don’t want to feel like a frumpster out at night.

        • Why not just change shoes before going out?

          • That’s what I’m going to do from now on! Usually packing them up is just one step farther ahead than I can usually do in the morning pre-coffee. I think I may just leave a fun pair at the office!

    • Working Girl :

      These are great shoes for going on a date or a girls night out. I have lots of shoes that are super cute and trendy, but not office appropriate. I would NOT wear them to work unless as a pp said, you work in the fashion industry.

    • I have a very similar pair from Sole Society (about 1/100th of the cost of those) that I wear all the time to work (formal business but on the west coast) & I think they’re just fine (with the usual “know your own office” caveat).

  10. NAS Newbie :

    How likely is it that things will be restocked after the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale ends? If I order something in the wrong size now, am I being too optimistic in thinking that I’ll be able to exchange it after the sale?

    • Nordstrom has free shipping and returns. Just order All The Sizes and return what doesn’t fit!

    • From my memory in past years, they get more inventory once the sale is over. I remember a few items I considered during the NAS, but then hesitated too long before they went out of stock, only to see them at regular price. later on.

      • Oh, and Nordstrom has an amazing return policy. You’ll absolutely be able to return/ exchange them.

    • I think what you’re asking is to intentionally buy the wrong size to “hold” the item at the NAS price for future exchange, rather than waiting to purchase the correct size later at full price?

      Might as well give it a shot, you can always return easily if the time passes that you’re no longer comfortable having the money sitting in your closet.

      • Frankly, Nordstroms is so darn accommodating, I think they’d be fine with this.

        • Anonymous :

          Oh yeah, I didn’t mean to phrase it in a way that made it sound like I thought it was at all inappropriate–I was just trying to make sure I understood that OP was not asking the generic “can I order all the sizes and return/exchange some of them later” question that some of the other responses seemed to be addressing.

      • NAS Newbie :

        I guess I’ll see if it works. I’ve gotten confirmation emails on an order of a dress (in the correct size) twice now, only to get a cancellation email the next day.

  11. For those of you in long term relationships or married, did you feel the “spark” immediately (within the first few dates) with your significant other, or was it a flame that grew over time? Do you think one is better than the other?

    • They are not mutually exclusive!

      • True! I suppose I meant more, did you have to warm up to the relationship first? Versus immediate strong chemistry.

        • I did. I might be the outlier here, but when I first saw my husband, I thought “wow, that’s the most weird looking guy I’ve ever seen.” We ended up chatting about mutual interest stuff, and he ended up being awfully smart and interesting, so he really grew on me. I think I wasn’t sure I was all that interested in him romantically until we had been dating for a year or so. But now I’ve never met anyone quite as awesome (or as handsome). So I think it’s possible, but it takes me a long time to warm up to people in the first place, so this dynamic might be different for someone who connects with people more readily.

          • +1. I was in a series of bad relationships involving too much drama. when I met my husband, I didn’t feel much of anything. He was handsome, had a good job and we had spent a lot of time talking. I didn’t have any reason not to meet him again. So we kept on talking and now we are married for three years. I cannot imagine being with some one else. He is my best friend.

      • I’m not in a long-term relationship, so I struggle with this one myself. But Daniel Jones wrote something in “Love, Illuminated” that really struck a chord with me. I don’t recall the exact language, but it was something along the lines of some couples meet the “right person” and “just know” right away, and others meet a “right-ish person” and have to go through lots of questioning about the relationship before they make a decision, but there’s no evidence that one kind of relationship is better than the other.

    • Working Girl :

      For me it was an initial physical attraction, but then when I got to know his personality, I fell head over heels. He is a great guy and an amazing husband. I think if you notice problems in the beginning, I would run for the hills.

    • I wonder about this as well – I’m always cutting things off with guys after the second or third date because I just don’t feel a romantic spark. I think in my heart of hearts, I feel like if I don’t feel that right away, I never will, and it just seems like such a slog to keep going out with a guy in hopes that I’ll grow to be interested in him. But it’s so rare for the spark to happen, and it sucks being single while I wait for it.

    • I wasn’t physically attracted to my husband (not *unattracted*, but his looks didn’t catch my eye or anything) when I first met him. But every time I talked to him there was some sort of spark that made me want to keep talking to him and getting to know him. There were guys before him that I couldn’t stop thinking about because I was in lust for them, but my husband was different – I couldn’t stop thinking about him because I kept seeing/experiencing things that I wanted to share with him and talk about with him. Physical attraction grew after the intellectual connection and when we discovered we were sexually compatible too.

    • For me and my husband, it was a definite immediate attraction. FWIW, it was the same way with my other two long-term relationships. Maybe I’m just the type to give up the ghost if I don’t feel a spark right away.

      I remember dating a guy while I was in college that I felt no spark for (although I enjoyed spending time with him), and I dragged out the relationship for a couple of months since he was so nice and I couldn’t find anything objectively “wrong” with him. I never felt a spark, and afterwards didn’t continue past maybe two dates with anybody with whom I didn’t feel that way straight off. YMMV!

    • Similar to Working Girl, there was an initial physical attraction. However, I had no idea that he’d be the (or a) “right person”…I thought he was going to be a bit of a fun fling. It took a while to fall for his personality, because my now-fiance takes time to get to know beyond a more superficial level. And even then it took time. Probably the entire first year we were dating, I thought we would probably break up as soon as I left for law school.

    • I thought my husband was attractive when I first met him but I mostly went out with him because I was single and bored. I continued to go out with him because we got buzzed and had a lot of fun on our first date. But it definitely was not an immediate spark. I have a two date limit with guys, though. If I am not interested after two dates, I quit seeing the guy. While I wasn’t immediately enamored with my husband, I was interested enough to keep going out with him and eventually marry him ;) So I guess mine was a flame that grew over time.

    • Before I met my husband, I had dated a bunch of guys with whom I had only physical chemistry.

      After a bad breakup, I had long talk with myself about what I actually wanted. And I wanted someone who was stable and nice.

      If I had met my husband during the time I was just lovin’ and leavin’ the hot guys, he would never have made the cut. But once I realized that I didn’t actually want that, my husband was really a cut above the rest.

      He’s handsome, smart, incredibly sweet, and sometimes most importantly, he puts family first and has a very stable career. Even on our first date I knew those were his priorities, and it made him SOOOOO much more attractive than the guys I had been dating before him.

      I guess I realized that while I was looking for “the spark,” really that just meant, “immediate physical attraction” and often, that really just translated for me into “drama.” I didn’t want that to be my priority any more.

      A website that helped me figure this out for me was Someone linked to it on here like 5 years ago and it turned my life around.

    • hoola hoopa :

      Immediate. Head over heels on the first (blind!) date, on both sides.

      I don’t have personal experience with the alternative, but I have a friend who eventually dated and married a man who pursued her for years before she finally agreed to a date. She definitely thought he was not an option at first, but he warmed up to her I guess. They’ve been married about five years now and they seem really solid.

      I don’t think the way or pace people fall in love is nearly as important as the strength of their ultimate relationship and their compatibility.

    • I had no initial attraction to my husband, but the more I got to know him the more attractive he became, but attraction is definitely a “whole package” thing for me, with personality a huge factor, even when it comes to my celeb crushes. We’ve been together 14 years, so it worked well even without the spark.

    • AnonLawMom :

      I may have actually drooled when I first saw my husband.

    • To be completely honest, I was not attracted to my now-fiance when I first met him. He swears he was in love with me thirty seconds into our first date, but it took a little longer (3-5 dates) for me to get interested in him physically.

      However, on our first date, our personalities totally clicked, even though the physical attraction wasn’t quite there. The mental and emotional connection we seemed to have right from the start was enough to make me keep saying yes to dates with him. Now, after 3.5 years together, his personality and the way he makes me feel make him so incredibly attractive to me. I look at him sometimes now and honestly think I am the luckiest woman in the world.

      However, at the time my FI and I met, I had dated plenty of “hot” guys who were “my type”, yet it always flamed out. I was looking for a long-term relationship, so I made a list of the top qualities I wanted in a partner (generous, funny, smart, ambitious, confident, etc.). My only physical criteria was that I had to be able to imagine myself kissing them and enjoying it (prior to that, I always wanted a guy to be a certain height, with a certain body type & hair color, etc.). I had made a conscious decisions to be more open to dating someone where the “spark” wasn’t initially there than I had previously been in the past, and it completely paid off for me.

  12. Has anyone here used a Groupon getaway for either a Caribbean beach vacation or European traveling vacation? My SO and I want to go somewhere and there seem to be some really good options on Groupon, but I’m wondering if it’s too good to be true. If it is, what do you recommend for finding cost effective trips where you don’t have to think too much about it?

    • I’ve done it for a trip to Mexico! I found it to be a great deal. I was sure to vet the resort as I would any other trip, by reading lots of reviews online. Remember that hotels and resorts price much the way airlines do- they want to be at max capacity, and that often means selling some at much lower prices.

    • Friends have had difficulty canceling Groupon-booked deals. There is often fine print you may be missing.

      As for recommendations, this probably isn’t what you’re looking for because it isn’t one-stop, but I’d recommend:
      1) picking a destination that is cheap, or at least a travel period that is off-season (Google the name of the place and “off season”); and
      2) spend a weekend or a few hours of leisure time searching through travel forums to find a good place to stay. A personal finance tip I picked up was to not only save your money for great experiences instead of material items (and it seems you are already doing that by booking a vacation), but also to gain pleasure from the process of planning the experience. Maybe you’ll decide you don’t have the time or money for that getaway, but the dreaming is nice.

      Good luck!

    • My sister and brother-in-law used a Groupon for their honeymoon in Mexico. They stayed at a 5-star all-inclusive resort and said the food was some of the best food they had ever eaten (I know food is often an issue with all inclusives) and that the resort was fantastic. The resort was normally around $800 a night and they got it for around $200 a night. As the previous commentor mentioned, make sure to read the fine print.

    • I have heard wonderful things about using the travel agents at Costco Travel. I am in the same boat as you – I would rather someone make the arrangements for me.

    • My inlaws went to China with a Groupon deal & had a great time.

  13. One of my Cole Haan Nike Air pumps is squeaking when I walk. But when I take it off, I can’t recreate the noise – is this something a person who fixes shoes could fix? Or is this just a sign of the shoe showing it’s age (it’s a couple years old).

    • I have the same issue with a pair of Cole Haan strappy sandals that have the nike air technology. My *cobbler* could not offer a solution. Now I avoid wearing them to quiet places (like church).

    • I would love to know if anyone has had this fixed! I can’t stand if my shoes make any noise whatsoever, and I’ve lost a couple of great pairs of shoes to squeaking. I don’t think it’s just an old shoe thing, either. I had a fairly new pair of Via Spiga shoes start to squeak. Waa.

    • I had a pair that did this. They stopped after wearing for a few weeks.

    • Fixable sometimes :

      I had a pair of Danskos that squeaked when walking. Took them to the shoe repair shop and got them fixed. I think it was only five or ten dollars.

    • consult a local shoe repair consierge

  14. My group (me and my two supervisors) are finishing up a large project in the next couple weeks. Each year when this project is finished we go to P.F. Changs for dinner and drinks. That’s all fine and good but I’m 6 weeks pregnant and I don’t know how to not blow my cover. My supervisor knows that I have a love for the crispy ahi tuni appetizer and sake. How do I get around this? My husband said to make up excuses for not being able to attend. But I know that they’ll just say – well you let us know when you’re available and we’ll go then. They’re going to know something is up….

    I’m really scared for them to find out any earlier than is absolutely necessary. I have a review coming up in a month that will determine my bonus for the year. Also, these two men do not have kids, do not want kids, and in fact have a very strong dislike for kids. My news will not be met with enthusiasm.

    Question 2: I have my first OB appointment next week and we’re really busy at work. I got the first appt. of the day at 8 am but they said it will take approximately 1.5 hours so by the time I get to work it will be 10 am. My boss is not going to be happy about this. How should I word it? I have a doctor’s appointment? I have an important appointment? He’s just going to get nosy, I know it.

    • 1.) pick a different app, act extremely excited about it (omg bacon wrapped orange chicken poppers ? Best thing I’ve ever seen I’m dying to try that.

      2.) order the special house made ginger beer because “ginger beer is my favorite I can’t wait to try it ”

      3.) the day before ” I’m coming down with something [insert vaguely unpleasant face here]. Fortunately I got the first doct apt available tmrw so I will be in at 10.”

      • These are perfectly fine answers, but if it were me, the answer to #1 would be to just eat the ahi tuna and have a celebratory sake (just not more than one). Unless you typically drink yourself under the table, that will be enough to curb suspicions for most men, who tend not to be terribly observant unless you’re conspicuously abstaining. I know some people feel really strongly about no alcohol while pregnant, and obviously don’t do anything you’re not comfortable with, but science has not shown that an occasional drink is contraindicated.

        • I hear you, but something to keep in mind is that among the “some people” who have strong beliefs about tuna or alcohol while pregnant could be the folks going out with the OP, and when her pregnancy comes out in a few weeks, they could think back and be judgmental or concerned about what they remember her consuming. So I don’t think that solution works too well; she could inadvertently alienate her boss or a co-worker. (And, for the record, I KNOW it’s none of their business to judge OP’s choices, but I am dealing in the real world, and it happens.)

          • But many people don’t even know they’re pg at 6 or even 8 weeks along, so the OP could always say “I found out the week after we went to PF Changs to celebrate – I hope the tuna & sake don’t affect my baby!”

          • Senior Attorney :

            I agree with the “eat, drink, and don’t worry about it, and pretend you found out after” scenario.

            And also? It is surprisingly easy to pretend to eat and drink things you don’t want to eat and drink. The whole “pushing your food around on your plate” thing really does work. Pick up a bite in your chopsticks, wave it around, put it down, repeat. You don’t have to actually ingest more than a bite or two of the appetizer. And just sip *at* the sake and leave most of it in the cup.

        • I know this may be controversial, but my husband is a doctor and we recently were talking about TTC. He said, “Oh, and you’ll have to stop drinking before we TTC, of course.” I was shocked, and said, “But what about all of those people who don’t even know they’re pregnant for a few months and drink the whole time until they find out?” And he said, “The most important developments happen in the first few weeks/months of pregnancy. If you know you’re TTC, why would you risk it?”

          I feel the same way about the OP here–if she knows she’s already pregnant, and it’s in those super-important early months, why risk it, especially when it’s not to make herself happy, but rather to match someone else’s expectations?

          I would do the following: 1. Say you’re sick of tuna or want to try something new. There are plenty of things to choose from! 2. Say you’re taking an antibiotic and can’t have any alcohol, so sad! 3. Tell them you have a doctor’s appointment and leave it at that.

    • As for the PF Chang’s thing, just don’t order the ahi — say you’ve really been craving / wanting to try something else. Then order a drink and only take tiny little sips of it. Or, try to get there first and alert the bartender to the situation and when you say “gin and tonic” you mean tonic.

      As for the appointment, can you say dentist appointment? Can you make up that you have to take your mom / dad / sister / brother to an appointment because you need to drive them?

      • I tried this for a drink and they announced it loudly when placing it at the table a few years ago! I would just get the drink and not drink very much of it. Say that you have a headache and aren’t super feeling it. Or drink half of it instead of the whole thing. OR do the spit and swallow into water (drink a big drink of the sake, ‘chase’ with water and spit the sake back into your water glass. I’ve had to pretend to drink a bunch when I didn’t want to (former consultant).

    • 1. For the appetizer, tell them you got food poisoning from sushi and haven’t been able to eat it since. Then with the alcohol, order it and have one if you are comfortable (or pretend to drink it if you aren’t).

      2. Wait until the day of the dinner, then talk up how you haven’t been feeling great but power through dinner anyway. Tell them that with not feeling great you don’t think you can stomach fish or alcohol and are going to stick with something more bland this time.

      3. Tell them you are on the antibiotic that causes you to vomit if you drink alcohol (I, as well as most of my friends, have been on this at some point so most people know it is legit) and that you have been dying to try this other appetizer (as suggested above).

      My friend successfully hid her pregnancy for three months from our group who drinks every weekend and we had absolutely no idea, so there are ways around it.

    • Before I was ready to reveal my pregnancy, I said I taken my migraine medication and and couldn’t drink for fear of passing out at the table. (I wanted to think I wouldn’t need an excuse, but people did in fact inquire about not having a drink.) Can you invent a sinus infection or something (if you don’t have some existing condition) and say that you need to skip the booze because of medicine?

    • As for #3, you can just say it’s a medical appointment. The type shouldn’t be any of your boss’s business. (Hobby Lobby and Obamacare litigation aside, of course.)

    • Working Girl :

      I would just say that you have a doctor’s appt. If you are asked to be more specific, tell them that you are going for your annual exam. In my experience, no one has ever asked me why I am going. They might ask if I am feeling ok.

    • I feel like my chronic illness of the GI is going to be some sort of super secret weapon in keeping any future pregnancies secret. People in my life are totally used to me not being able to eat certain things (or ordering them and then not eating them) because my stomach can’t handle it that day.

      I really do think the “my stomachs been giving me problems all day – I’ll stick with [blah]” is your best bet. Nice and vague. No elaborate stories. Though if you really want to make them uncomfortable you could say “its my time of the month and my stomach just can’t handle anything today.” Lol.

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      Can you suggest a different restaurant? It might help to make your changes less noticeable if you’re all trying something new.

    • Contracts :

      Talk to the bartender or server before hand. Have them make you a virgin cocktail and to not say anything to the rest of the party about it. I once asked a bartender to make me a cocktail that wouldn’t make me feel bad about being pregnant. To date, it’s still the best moscow mule I’ve ever had.

      As for the food – say you’re trying to be a Foodie and want to try something new off of their summer menu.

      They’ll only notice if you worry about it or over think it.

    • Antibiotics make you very sick when you drink with them unfortunately. Sucks to suck! Raincheck :-D

      You just had the Ahi tuna last week with girlfriends in town and really want to try the _______.

      Then comment about how much it sucks you can’t drink too but you have before and you barfed.

      Then the dr. appt is to follow up on the antibiotics. They are dudes so just say it’s v-related to shut it down. Or, weird skin rash? If acting uncomfortable doesn’t work, try TMI approach to making them uncomfortable.

  15. I have just been named partner at my firm (yay!). I would like to thank those partners who have supported me and mentored me along the way. Any suggestions? They are all men.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I don’t have any suggestions, but congratulations!!!!!

    • Send them handwritten notes thanking them for their mentorship?

    • Invite them to lunch. Let them know it’s as a thank you for everything they’ve done for you.

    • I second taking them out to a meal. Perhaps also get them each a bottle of alcohol they like or some fancy coffee if they like coffee? But I think a meal and a heartfelt thank-you note is all you really need.


    • Were you at the firm previously when anyone else made partner? I have never seen one of our new partners give any gifts nor would I think it is expected. FWIW I work with all men too and they do not care about gifts but boy oh boy do NOT forget to personally thank each one of them for a bonus. A handwritten personalized note seems good enough. In the note, tell them what a big mistake they’ve made. I hear that a woman’s period, attracts bears. Seriously though that’s awesome! CONGRATS!!!!

  16. What do you do when you have a few work projects that yo have been dreading? They are boring awful projects that have been pushed to the backburner for way too long. At this point they NEED to get done. But I honestly can’t even motivate myself to get them out the door.

    • I tell myself to just get started and it won’t be so bad. Just like when I don’t feel like going to the gym and then I’m so glad that I went. I know where you’re coming from though. I think I could honesty be diagnosed with ADD.

    • Could you set time limits? Like, devote 2 hrs a day to the boring tasks and then spend the rest of the day on the non-boring tasks?

    • This happens to me sometimes. I usually decide that I’m going to come in and devote my first 2-3 hours to at least getting started on it. Then I let myself take a break, get a latte, whatever I can do to reward myself. Then it just becomes easier because I’ve already started, so I might as well finish, etc.

      I really feel ya though.

    • I reward myself when I hit milestones, or work for a certain amount of time. Rewards totally work for me.

    • Oh hai me. I’m avoiding working on one of these right. now. Blech. And I while I’m not a procrastinator by nature, I just put these off until there’s no other option and I feel guilted into it. I just eventually force myself to do it.

      One great tip that I’ve heard but not fully implemented: prioritize your to-do list by putting the thing you dread the most first on the list in the morning. Then just force yourself to spend a set period of time on it before you go on to any more enjoyable tasks. When I follow this, it DOES help with the mental anguish that these kind of lingering projects cause me to feel.

  17. I love this jacket, Kat! Fab choice

  18. Shift Work + Baby? :

    Building off of the career + baby discussion above, I’m wondering if there is anyone here with a slightly similar situation to mine? We are considering trying to have a baby in the next couple of years.

    The story is this: My SO does shift work (nurse)–so, three 12-hour shifts a week, sometimes including a weekend day or two. I am basically in charge of everything on the days he works (taking care of the apartment, taking care of the dog, etc.), as he can be gone basically most of my waking hours. But then he has 4 whole days off. I am a lawyer (government) with a 40-hour workweek and SOME flexibility (and I have a schedule with 1 day off every 2 weeks). We don’t have as much money to throw at outsourcing, etc., nor do we have 50-hour workweeks…but due to halfway opposite schedules, we are trying to figure out the best way to approach childcare. FWIW, no family in the area.

    Theoretically, we won’t need full time childcare, because there are several weekdays every week when my SO will be home. If we could somehow make that work, it would be amazing, because while we can of course afford full time childcare, it will come directly from decreasing retirement contributions and our saving for a down payment. Plus, SO has expressed that he doesn’t know that he’d want to drop the baby off at daycare on a day he was at home, even if he had worked the night before at was exhausted (though that may change!). At the same time, I don’t want to overextend my SO. I would love to hear about how others have approached this.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I believe in my area there are daycares that offer part-time services (as in, 2-4 days per week, not exclusively full-time). I’m not sure if you’d have to commit to a particular schedule or if it can be planned out on a weekly basis to correspond to your SO’s schedule. But, something to think about.

    • hoola hoopa :

      Does he reliably work the same three days? If so, you can find a care provider (center, in home, or nanny) who can accommodate part time. IME, most centers will do only full-time care for infants (but do part time starting between 12 and 24 months), but we haven’t had difficulty finding centers that definitely do accommodate so long as the days are the same each week. In-home and nannies are generally even more flexible.

      If the days are not the same, then you’ll have issues finding care that matches his schedule. My husband’s work (consultant) is highly variable and it was very hard finding a flexible provider. With great luck we did find a provider who did drop-in infant care who worked out really well, but the honest truth is that you’ll most likely have to pay for the full time.

      FWIW, there are plenty of people who pay for the full-time infant care and don’t use all the days. The provider won’t think much of it, I expect. Also, once baby is here and integrated into daycare routine, you and husband probably won’t feel so badly about having kiddo in care for the other day or two to get ahead on housekeeping and projects. That’s also quite common.

      • (former) preg 3L :

        Just as a counterpoint: all of the infant daycares in my area offer part time schedules for the infants (part time as in 6 hrs/day, 5 days/week OR 9-10 hrs/day, 2-3 days/week).

    • My day care has 3, 4, and 5 day options for the week. It doesn’t have to be set days every week for the future, either. I would ask around at the day cares in your area and find out if that is an option.

    • Spirograph :

      I think your best bet may be something more like a regular babysitter/nanny than daycare, unless your SO can make shifts very predictable. Most daycares in my area that do part time require you to basically split a full time spot with another family. You may have more flexibility with an in-home daycare, but capacity is capacity and it doesn’t make a lot of business sense to “use up” a spot for less than full tuition. However, from experience, your SO will probably really appreciate being able to drop the baby off on his days off. I know it sounds crazy when you’re thinking about this lovable little bundle of joy in the abstract, but I LOVE dropping my LO off at daycare and having a *real* day off sometimes. And the extra time he would have to contribute to running the household would be invaluable.

    • I think if someone has worked all night before, he won’t be much use for childcare. He might technically be able to handle feedings, diaper changes and emergencies, but not much more. So while you might not *need* childcare, it would probably be good for both him and the baby.

    • Part time infant childcare in DC? :

      Not for precisely this situation, but does anyone know of centers in DC with part time infant childcare? Even set days of the week?

      • Anonymous :

        I am not aware of any centers in DC with part time options that cost less than the full time option. The centers I’ve looked at would allow you to pay for full time and spend your child part time, though.

      • Anastasia :

        Bright Horizons does shared spots, but the wait lists are even more insane than for full time spots.

    • Thanks for the replies. To be clear, he would be working days, not nights, but not on a fixed schedule. It might make sense to bite the bullet and do full-time infant childcare (and use some of that time for cleaning/shopping/laundry), or find a nanny share…

    • Same situation – my hubs is an EMT working 12-hr shift days. We went for the full time childcare. I was hesitant at first, but looking back I think it gave some routine and stability to my son and as he moved into toddlers I have found that I really like daycare for the socialization, excitement, and fun opportunities that he has there. Hubs could do the cleaning and errands on his days off during the week so that when we were off together on the weekend, we could be a family and just hang out without worrying about dusting the blinds or scrubbing the floor.

    • Coach Laura :

      To Shift Work + baby – My former co-worker had this set-up (her husband was a firefighter with 24 hours on, 24 hours off type shifts). They had a nanny who had a child the same age and was fine with the somewhat random pattern that RNs and firefighters might have. The nanny brought her son with her and enjoyed a part-time job with flexibility.

  19. Working Girl :

    Just be careful, because a lot of day care centers will charge you for the full month. Not just on days that you bring your child. You could look in to a part time baby sitter. That way, you only pay that person for the hours she works, and she can come to your house to care for the baby.

  20. Would you wear this suit (obviously with a different top underneath)? The skirt comes to the top of my knee.

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