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My sister in law (wife of my brother) became acutely and severely psychotic over the weekend. Anyone with personal experience regarding this, and advice for me? She has no insight into her illness.
She has an unclear diagnosis and has been refusing treatment for years. Most people don’t know she is ill and think she is just a little paranoid and/or that there are cultural issues at play. She lives in California with my bro and their child, but lived in another country until age 20.
She began openly talking to voices, having visual hallucinations over the weekend, and at 3am my brother called 911 when their child was involved. After spending the day in the county hospital ER she was transferred to a psychiatric hospital. She is furious.
I am so scared for my brother and their child, and I am devastated for her. In California, they can only hold you for 72 hours and there is an incredibly high bar to force treatment. This will not end well….
Their child is in school….. And my SIL is the stay at home Mom and only caregiver. The rest of our family lives across the country.
When you say only caregiver do you mean your brother and her are divorced and she currently has sole custody or that SAHM parents kid while dad (your brother) is at work?
If you mean mom has custody, he should be speaking with an attorney (or if necessary, going pro se) to file an emergency ex parte order to get temporary custody.
If you mean the latter, he needs to find alternate arrangements for the child for the hours he is at work. Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, parents of child’s friend, flexing his own hours/FMLA.
They are married. Just no daycare/nanny etc. My brother works long hours.
My brother can flex, and they have some local friends that he has been calling for help.
Call a local nanny agency that does back up care. I have 2 year old twins and they are a life saver for me constantly. They do all the work on background checks, etc. and all the women they’ve sent me have been with the agency for 5+ years. I have had great experiences. Maybe you can help your brother get this lined up so that it takes something off his plate – with his permission of course.
Great idea. Thank you. They are in the SF Bay Area. Any suggestions, closer to the San Jose side?
Town and Country Resources and Stanford Park Nannies are both very reputable in the Bay Area. Normal practice for both is that the family employs the nanny directly. Town and Country has an option where it employs the nanny–this option is very expensive, but could be worthwhile here.
This is why I broke up with my ex.
I think wife having a psychotic episode justifies taking some time off of work.
anon in SV
Call Town & Country Resources tandcr [dot] com. It’s based in Palo Alto and they have a stable of outstanding, high quality caregivers. You pay through the nose, but I’ve had consistently excellent experiences for emergency backup care.
anon in SV
I’m in moderation but the answer is Town and Country Resources. They’re expensive but all of the people who they have assigned to us for emergency backup care have been excellent.
+1 on Town and Country. Also, I’ve heard good things about Stanford Park Nannies, though they don’t have an option where they employ the nanny–it must be the family.
You would think….
He obviously isn’t going to work right now.
Anon for Now
During my husband’s 6 week inpatient stay (see below), I took off a total of one day (so it is possible that he is working if he has childcare). Locked wards can have limited visitation, so I was only able to visit in the evening. I did a couple of times per week but I also needed my space.
Thank you for sharing this.
Since hopefully their child will be in school all day, visitation at night only, I suspect he will also work some while she is there. He will also need the escape.
Hope your husband, and you, are doing better..
Thank you all for the childcare recs.
Advice for him: take leave until he can figure out a safe childcare situation. This is what FMLA is for.
You’re assuming he is falls under FMLA…he might not. It’s important to keep his job if his wife is unable to work and/or care for their child.
Good points, I was going to suggest FMLA (he qualifies) but am waiting for a day or two first. He is a little overwhelmed.
I would be afraid to turn my back on a guy let alone sleep with him, if he were truly schizo.
Chief exec of a mental health agency here— A few points: A resource for you and your brother is the National Alliance for Mental Illness, or NAMI ( https://www.nami.org). They can connect you with local resources (many of them free) for your brother, who is going to need a lot of support. It sounds like your SIL is experiencing her first true crisis and your brother was absolutely right to call 911. He may feel guilty about that, but reassuring him that he did the right thing (which he did) will help him a lot. Yes, your SIL will be angry but the overwhelming majority of people who go to the hospital for the first time look back upon it with gratitude afterwards. They realize that is was a necessary part of treating their illness and they usually thank the person who made them get treatment. It may take time, but she will get there. And last, if you have concerns about your SIL’s ability to care for her daughter don’t hesitate to get legal help with that. Many people with mental illness lack awareness as to their true ability to care for a child; it’s part of the illness. On the positive side, the requirement to take meds and go to therapy (which is probably going to be a recommendation in this case) will be a lot easier for her to accept if she knows she has to do this for the sake of her child. I wish you peace and strength as you go through this experience.
Re: the 911 call. A couple of the major cities near me have a pilot program where they have 24/7 mental health crisis response teams. You can call a different number to activate them but you should still use 911 if there is an immediate suicide/homicide/physical injury situation. If it’s more this person is clearly in mental health crisis and needs to be admitted you can use this other number. Once the dust clears your brother can ask providers and the local mental health department if they have a similar program and how to activate it. I had no idea we had this until I called the police because a mentally ill man was screaming in the middle of a busy intersection and I was afraid he would be hit by a car. They told me they were going to activate this other service and respond with them to do traffic control while they dealt with him.
Excellent points. I do not know how the incident was handled. Will ask when the dust clears.
In retrospect, I knew this day was coming, and I am kicking myself a little for not helping him have an action plan at hand for what to do….
Thank you for this valuable information.
My brother is terrified of destroying the family unit, and I know it will only get worse before it gets better….
It will be very useful to have a physician requiring treatment, but my fear in the state of California is that you can’t force people to be treated until they are very very disabled. And basically, my brother will have to say…. “she can’t come home…. I don’t feel safe with her caring for my daughter…..” to ensure she isn’t discharged…… tomorrow!! And doing this is a devastating step and may very well destroy their marriage. It has to be done, but it is crushing.
But I am still going to be hopeful. But I really fear she is in the large percentage of people with psychosis who will never have insight into their illness….
Anon for Now
I know that is a terrifying step, but it does not necessarily mean the end of their marriage or their family unit. She may be angry now, but her safety is paramount at this point. And, having been through it (from your brother’s side), this is about as “worse” as it gets. If she gets appropriate treatment, there is good and better and light ahead. I would caution to stay away from gloom and doom/never/always right now. Today, there is figuring out today, and maybe tomorrow. When in crisis (which is what this is), there is no need to figure out the life long impact because you simply do not know. Figure out what needs to be done today and that is all. Big picture can wait.
Yes, this. He should be prepared, however, for things to be even more difficult in the first weeks after she comes home than they are while she is in the hospital.
Yes, thank you. Good perspective.
I am talking about the fear of the time when she comes home. And we don’t know if it could be as soon as tomorrow.
But you are right…. I am still focusing on today. One step at a time.
You know what’s worse than their marriage ending because she’s mad at him? Their marriage ending because she gets out before she gets the appropriate treatment and she harms their child or herself. This is really awful right now, but this is a time to take a firm stance about her getting the treatment she needs rather than back down and try to pacify her.
Yes, yes, yes.
Some mental health disorders do not surface until later in life. Schizophrenia in particular commonly appears in the 30s. Whether or not he has FMLA, your brother should not leave SIL alone with the child until they know more.
I think she has been ill for so long that so much of her delusions they have just accepted/normalized. I worry a lot about their child.
I posted this below but just to have it on this thread as well, here is an article you may find helpful and relatable:
Excellent. Thank you.
A lot of these comments are really good.
I will give you a bit of insight into how we dealt with my mother when she had her first “crisis” (bipolar) and thereafter.
My mother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was 14, after a forced hospitalization. She and my step-father had separated. There was an alleged throwing of an ashtray by my stepfather at her head. I was not there. I did not see it. It would not surprise me if it happened. Anywho…
She started acting very strange. We went on shopping sprees (typical manic behavior) even though we really didn’t have the money. She spent $1500 at Strawberries (a cd store) in one trip. There were also trips to Victorias Secret (mostly actual clothes and makeup). She would talk to the radio. She drove her car (a 93 honda civic) onto the beach. It was towed and she had no money to get it back.
We were renting our house. The landlords called about rent. My mother had said at the time that the landlords were actually her birth parents (she grew up in foster care with her siblings but knew her birth parents – this was a delusion). She also thought that one of the WWE guys was her ex boyfriends (who had passed away).
Somehow I knew to write a check, forge her signature, and send the rent to the landlords. It bounced. But it gave us some time.
Then there was a trip to CA that my younger sister and I were supposed to go on. My mother didn’t wake up to her alarm. We raced the almost 2 hours to the airport, getting there about 20 minutes before takeoff. We couldn’t take our luggage. My uncle had to buy us clothes when we got to CA. Then when we came back, she wasn’t there to pick us up. We were at Logan Airport in Boston alone. We had little or no money with us. I collect called every number I could remember for her friends/family. I used 411 to find other people. Eventually, I got a hold of one of our neighbors who purchased bus tickets for us somehow and we took a bus and then the neighbors picked us up. They eventually called DCF.
I cannot remember the exact circumstances that led to her hospitalization. I feel like it was a friend tricking her into going. She was terrified there.
My sister and I then stayed with friends. Our step-father didn’t have a big enough place and my mom had gotten a restraining order on him anyway.
I was old enough to be able to handle a good portion of stuff. However, having those friends/family that could assist when needed was really important. Teachers and even my coach really helped me out during that time. She has always complied with her medication but “broken through” a few times since then. Friends of mine could even tell just by talking to her on the phone when she was or was headed to a full blown manic episode.
From college and law school I organized at least 2 more hospitalizations for my mother. One of those times I had to have someone trick her, again. The other time, I had to also rush to my bank to shut off her debit card access to my joint checking account because she started using my law school loans for her manic shopping spree.
The important things are to make sure there is a support network for your brother and his kiddo. If the child is old enough to be able to make phone calls, giving some indication about who to call when mommy scares her/him is probably the most you need to do. When a parent starts acting “odd” it is really scary. There were a few times during my mom’s first episode (it went on for a good week or so before help) when I was terrified.
Another thing to discuss with your brother is alcohol in the home. When first diagnosed with a mental illness and put on medication, it’s going to be really important that she not drink. It can have such a huge impact on the medication’s effectiveness and can interact not well.
hugs to your family!
What a terrifying story. I am so sorry to hear what you and your Mom have struggled through.
How are you doing now? How has this affected you?
I am very fearful for my niece. My brother is a very poor communicator, and she is an only child. This must be terrifying and she is still quite young and no where near as confident as you (you were an amazing child, and are likely an amazing adult).
I’ve also dealt with a very mentally ill parent (with the other parent in denial and determined to stay married “for the kids”– thanks a lot, mom). I have been afraid for my life. I came home one day when I was a kid and my dad had left a gun on the counter. Then he casually mentioned not to touch it because it was loaded. He was big into guns, but part of that was that he knew proper gun safety. Which DOES NOT include leaving a loaded handgun on the kitchen counter. I was so incredibly frightened. Thankfully we all made it through the night alive and the gun was gone in the morning. That is probably the most scared I was, but this was part of an overall pattern of being terrified by my father’s erratic, paranoid, and delusional behavior on a daily basis from a young age. I was afraid because I didn’t know what would happen to me if he died or left and I was afraid he might finally snap one day and kill us all. My mom was a SAHM, so I had this fear that he would die and we would be poor and homeless. I didn’t know that life insurance existed. The scary part of untreated mental illness is that you never know what is going to happen. And the creeping dread of uncertainty is exhausting.
Definitely stay in ongoing contact with your niece and don’t be afraid to be really candid and honest in an age appropriate way– she knows what’s going on. I knew by age 6 or 7. She’s probably terrified out of her mind. I didn’t have anyone I could talk to and that made it about 20 times worse. Does she have a cell phone? Does the house have a land line? Does she have a best friend that she could call in an emergency to come pick her up? She should definitely be in counseling. Perhaps her school counselor could help if she’s school aged.
As for how people who grow up in situations like this turn out? I have a normal healthy life and a professional career. I’m happily married and have a kid. I’ve done a ton of therapy, read a ton of self help books, taken medicine off and on, and live with quiet gnawing anxiety that I’m always working on. I feel like I’m a more compassionate person for having gone through what I did, though I would not wish it on anyone. It also makes me a more relaxed parent because I’ve seen what actual bad parenting is and don’t freak out over 15 minutes of screen time or letting my kid eat candy.
Thank you so much for sharing your excellent advice. It is painful for me to read about your experiences and I am so so sorry that you lived through this. I appreciate your honest thoughts, and hopeful conclusions. I’m amazed by you.
I am asking my brother tonite how to best to keep in touch with my niece. She has a cell phone (at a crazy young age).
Thanks. For related reasons, I haven’t spoken to her in over 3 years. There’s a lot there to unpack but suffice it to say it was for my own mental health that I cut ties.
My dad died when I was 8 and I have always kind of been able to attach myself to people who were good for me. Resourceful, I guess, is the word. My sister, not so much. I’m now an attorney in the sports industry and am happy. That said, I have been in therapy on and off throughout my life, take medication for depression and anxiety, and about a year ago quit drinking because it was affecting my mental health as well.
It can be tough. And there was a quiet shame related to her illness. I didn’t tell people because I was afraid that they would think I was “crazy too.” In fact, I didn’t talk to people much about my own issues except for super small circle until the last few years. Now, I am pretty open about it. I put it in my speaker bio when I speak or do online Q&As with schools.
One of the most important things you and your brother can do is be open about the illness. Explain that it is biochemical and that there is no reason to be ashamed of it. That sometimes people need a little more help than others. Make it like any other disease or illness. And just like any other disease or illness, we have contingency plans in case something happens.
If you want to chat more, you can email me at NewTampanian at the google mail.
You bring up important points. It has saddened me that my brother for years has hid everything from the rest of the family, and only I have known. I don’t know how he explains things to my niece…. It is so hard…. I am hoping that we can work through this slowly, being more open with everyone, once he is able.
Thank you for being so generous. I will keep your email for advice.
Anon for this
Just to add some levity to this very serious subject. If you are single, make sure you visit your SIL. My parents met when my mom was visiting her mother and my dad was visiting his sister in the psych ward. My aunt and grandmother were psych ward roommates. My parents have been married 40+ years, mostly happily. :)
That might be the best how-we-met story I’ve ever heard!
Anon for this
They rarely get to tell it because they want to protect my Aunt and Grandmother’s privacy. Mental health treatment had an even greater stigma back then. I do love though when my doctors ask if I have a history of mental illness in my family. I usually respond with, well, my parents met visiting family that were committed … sooooooooo … yeah.
Thank you for making me smile through tears.
Anon for Now
I have posted on this a couple of times (check out the recent thread on 4/21/17). I was in your brother’s shoes about one year ago. My husband went through a mental health crisis and spent multiple weeks in a locked psychiatric unit. We both work full-time and have small children.
Advice for your brother: Do not be afraid to play advocate for his wife. Push and ask questions until he is satisfied with the answers. The best he can do is ensure that she is getting the appropriate care for her situation. Equally important is that your brother take care of himself. Going through this process is incredibly tough on the entire family. If he is willing, he should find a therapist for himself to talk through all of the issues and the fallout. Also, outsource as much as possible (food, cleaning, more childcare).
I was in constant contact with my husband’s treatment team. I was part of the planning process for his discharge from the in-patient unit, and I had certain conditions for his discharge. While my husband was in-patient voluntarily, his providers knew that I and they would do what was required to keep him safe. (That was one of my lines when we went to the ER: “I cannot keep him or my children safe if he is at home.”)
I was also terrified about what this meant for him, for us and for our children. A year later, I can say that things are better. It has been a long road and things are not always roses and sunshine, but they are better and there is so much more good in our lives now.
My advice to you would be to be there for your brother. Try not to ask what he needs. Just do. Asking what he needs right now puts it back on him to figure out how you can help. Order food. Contact back-up care. If you can visit, do that and try to make his life easier while you are there (childcare, groceries, food). Be willing to listen. If you need to vent your concerns or lean on someone, talk to or lean on someone who is further out from this crisis than you or your brother.
Thank you so much for this. So so helpful.
My brother is on his way to the new hospital where she was transferred overnight. He still hasn’t seen her and she hasn’t signed anything allowing the nurses etc… to tell him anything about what is happening.
Did this happen to you? What do you do?
I am not a lawyer, but if she is incompetent (which she must be if she is being held against her will) and does not have a designated personal representative, he should be able to get access to information as her next of kin. Hospital staff are not always well versed in the intricacies of HIPAA and tend to err on the side of not providing information. He should contact the hospital’s HIPAA officer or patient advocate if he is having trouble getting access to information.
But this is California. If you are less familiar with the laws in this state, it is a whole different ball game.
The nurses are correct right now. He is waiting to speak with the doctor, but hospitals are crazy on Monday trying to learn about all the patients who came in over the weekend. Not much info yet… No visiting hours until tonight. No doctor has called him yet.
Anon for Now
My husband allowed me to have access to him and his medical information, so I was able to freely discuss with his providers. I am an attorney and did not have to go down the road of obtaining guardianship, but that would have been my next step had he refused treatment.
Thanks for this.
In case you want to do a little light reading on HIPAA protections and mental health and the exceptions to patient objections. https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/special-topics/mental-health/
Incapacity is a temporary state, incompetency is a legal declaration that usually takes a while to obtain.
Also, encourage your brother to tell her treatment team all of his concerns, what he’s observed, his worries about safety, etc. Even if he feels that this is a one sided communication.
Thank you. Very useful.
This is for an unspecified time in the future, but if she doesn’t have insight into her illness (even during periods when she is okay, or mostly okay) it may be useful during an episode for your brother to film her. For legal reasons (I am not a lawyer, but maybe one can weigh in) he may have to notify her that he is recording her (CA is a two-party consent state for telephone calls but I don’t know about conversations, or implied consent laws there). But having something to show her, so she can see what he sees, may be powerful. I have read several personal accounts from people with similar mental illnesses who mention that they can’t really remember anything from acute psychotic episodes, so it is hard for them to realize how big the problem is.
Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, “Option B”, is on raising resilient children – it may be a good resource for you and your brother in terms of helping your niece through this.
Wehaf, what great suggestions. Thank you so much for taking the time to share them.
Wondering what your favorite daily work shoes are if you have these foot issues, and/or what inserts if any you put in your shoes for comfort/help with fit……
I have high arches, and a heel is actually much more comfortable than a flat. But I am on my feet all day and sometimes have to walk long distances and finding sturdy heels or comfortable flats has been a challenge.
I also have very narrow feet except the area around my “toe knuckles”. That has always been how my feet are shaped, and I don’t have any deformities per se. But I often buy a pair of shoes and find the toe part of the foot fits fine, but the length of the remainder of the foot is swimming in the shoe. What to wear or use to help this?
Following, as I have similar triangular feet (high arches, narrow as a child, some broken toes mean my toe knuckles are B+ width but the heel remains narrow).
I like Brooks Brothers block heels and a pair of $49 pleather patent wedges that I got on Zappos (naughty monkey) and nothing else. For weekend, I have a pair of Clarks where the heel part has a strap. Those and the LL Bean faux keens (not sure if they still make or not).
I got some awesome $100 high-arch replacement footbeds and find sneakers tolerable now.
Thank you for giving me “triangular” as a descriptor. I was going to say T shaped……
Appreciate the recs.
I think the key for heels is to wear styles with straps. That will keep your foot in the shoe, even if it is too wide toward your heel.
Interesting. I don’t like straps and never wear them, but I can see the practicality. Thanks.
I have a 20 year old pair of Mary Jane’s somewhere…..
+1 I never liked straps, until I found Clarks Kendra heels with a thin strap (black suede in the forefoot, black patent leather heal). They fit well and the strap provides extra support. I have the same model without a strap and I do not wear it as often.
I sometimes use heel pads where I have a problem with the heels being too wide for my foot. I think Dr. Scholls makes some? They’re gel and are really comfortable.
I have seen those…. Sweaty?
Tech Comm Geek
I use these all the time and I’ve never noticed them once I apply them. Not sweaty at all.
I’ve heard good things about the Comfort Plus line from Payless. I think it’s the Karmen that has gotten a lot of good reviews.
I totally agree they are amazingly comfortable for the price. But I walk outside a lot too unfortunately, and I destroy the narrow heel tip in no time.
I have terrible feet – flat, triangular, short Achilles tendons, plus I was a ballerina. Had bunion surgery on one foot at 25, and the other has a bunion but isn’t painful so I haven’t had surgery. As a result, my feet are definitely challenging to fit. I’ve had some luck with heels with straps (less Mary Jane, more t-strap or other cross foot options). But I so walk a lot and now wear Clarks oxfords and similar Clarks shoes almost exclusively – several styles that look like men’s shoes, but in clearly feminine shape, which looks quite professional with dress pants, but fun and fresh with more casual styles. They have a 1 inch block heel so I don’t have the discomfort I experience with a true flat, stay on my foot, and provide great support. I’ll add some links.
+1 to clarks for comfortable work shoes. Trotters is another favorite, although even harder to find stylish options (but so worth looking). Ahnu fits me well for casual shoes, and I’ve been meaning to try ecco on a recommendation. I have similar feet that need space in the toes but aren’t actually wide.
My mother has former ballerina feet and loves SAS.
I can’t wear shoes that are completely flat so look for shoes with a wedge. These have been great for commuting: https://www.nordstromrack.com/shop/product/1656941?sid=545655&aid=20648&mid=1954358190&cm_mmc=affiliates-_-ebay-_-20648-_-2-161881&utm_source=ebay&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_content=rack&utm_campaign=20648&color=MOCHA%20SMOOTH
I agree that straps help on heels, particularly when the strap falls low on the foot.
I have some Camper shoes from a few years ago that are similar to these. I have similar feet, and they have worked pretty well: https://www.camper.com/en_US/women/shoes/helena/camper-helena-20202-022
I have Pedag heel grips in just about every pair of shoes I open. I always have a huge problem with my heels coming out of shoes that otherwise fit perfectly; heel grips were the best clothing-related discovery I’ve had. I find the Pedag ones are more comfortable and stay put more reliably than the Dr Scholls or CVS/Walgreens ones I’ve tried. Link to follow…
These were recommended here in the past few weeks and I love them. I do need heel grips on the back, but they are so so comfy –
I’M sorry your family is going through this. Soubds like schizophrenia (my grandmother was a paranoid schizophrenic) looks like she is getting medical attention though so let the
Pros figure that out.
My mom (not schizophrenic like her Mother, thanks be) struggled with mental illness to the point of hospitalization more than once however and key to my father behing able to manage that when I was little was having people in place that could take me when necessary. This first wave will take care of itself assuming she gets good medical care. The mental health professionals should be laying out a range of next steps options for your brother to follow. Where your energy may best be spent is helping him brain storm systems he can put in place for the next time something like this happens. People he can cultivate as back up child care givers. Depending on the age of the child having “When Mommy is doing X, you go here and call Y” My grandmother basically roated amongst her daughters when she was a senior and whike she was mostly fine when medicated aall of the kids knew the various Grandma contingency plans.
There are options and resources to handle this.I know it’s overwhelming but your number one job right now is reminding yourself and your brother of that. The worst thing anyone can do in a situation like this is feel desperate.
Unfortunately, people on this site have a bad habit of making (poor) diagnoses and offering medical advice where they ought not to. This doesn’t really “sound like” schizophrenia (though it could be). I can think of half a dozen delusional disorders that fit this presentation more closely.
I agree, the unsolicited diagnosis isn’t helpful, but the advice Betterandbetter offered about having a contingency plan was good. Maybe she didn’t mean to play armchair diagnostician and was just trying to show how she could relate to Stress’s current troubles.
You’re absolutely right that it was in artfully expressed. It does, in fact, sound like my lived experience of my grandmother’s episodes, but I certainly didn’t intend it to be a diagnosis. I hope I didn’t mislead OP in any way.
It could be any number of things (heck, its within the realm of possibility that stage 3 syphilis or a brain bleed could be the cause symptoms like this). I hope that “Stress’ SIL has/builds a good medical team to address this situation.
My point was more about the stuff that comes after and the stuff that affects everyone else. That even if this is a diagnosis that is serious and makes life radically different after that it doesn’t have to be bad, especially if you can have support and coping systems in place. That it’s possible to grow up in a household where this is an issue and be high functioning.
I really appreciate all of your comments, and interpreted everything as intended.
I am looking for personal experiences, particularly with first psychiatric admissions, and families raising children where one parent is severely mentally ill.
My SIL has psychiatric disease, non-medically caused, and unfortunately I do think it lies on the more severe side of the spectrum. This is progressive, with delusions for years, paranoia, and worsening hallucinations. The specific diagnosis is not my question anyway…….. And Yes, you can very much have severe psychiatric disease and be high functioning, with few people knowing how severe it truly is.
This may or may not be helpful, but it came to mind when I read about your situation. I have no personal experience with this but this article has stuck with me for the past couple years:
Humid yoga wear?
I found a pilates class I like in a YMCA room that can get a little warm and stuffy. In the winter, that was awesome. Now that it’s hot and humid, I am looking for a better outfit to wear than leggings and an athleta tee (the no-ride-up one). What do people wear? My usual warm-weather exercise attire is athleta skorts, but when I’m all turned upside down, those aren’t good.
The top part won’t change (no bra + yoga pants for me in this lifetime). But on bottom — yoga knickers? Something else?
I tend to prefer leggings even in hot yoga as I don’t like skin on skin when I’m sweaty. Maybe leggings which are more wicking or cooling?
I find the no-ride-up Athleta tee to be very hot in the short-sleeve version, partly because of the high neck. The tank top version is much cooler. Cropped pants will help too.
Humid yoga wear?
Good to know. I’m not anti-tank, so will look at those options as well.
I love the Athleta chi tanks. They wick sweat extremely well and don’t hold on to smells.
I’d recommend cropped leggings. My favorites are the Be Free leggings from Athleta because they have *huge pockets*
I prefer a regular, ribbed tank top and New Balance B-Dry leggings. I buy my tanks at Kohls – the Sonoma brand. The don’t ride up in hot yoga class.
(Former) Clueless Summer
I’d say either workout crops (just below knee) or if you, like some people who commented, prefer not touching your own sweaty legs or having them sliding around the mat, try a thinner/lighter material for your full length pants. I like VS tights or lululemon luon tights during the winter, but in the summer try something like lulu’s luxtreme fabric – thin and shinyish rather than soft and cottony. A tank will also keep you a lot cooler than a short sleeved shirt.
I wear thin (but not see-through) running capri leggings, low-impact sports bra (more like a bralette) and a very thin sleeveless running vest. I also bring my own yoga towel (with antislip texture) which I put on the mat as I do not like to slide on my puddle of sweat. Plus a mini towel to wipe off any sweat.
I think most of the people in your class feel hot & humid and will sweat as well. So they might not pay you that much attention.
My husband and I had planned to start TTC this month. My BFF just told me she’s pregnant (only six weeks along so she wont’ be making a big announcement until mid-June). Now I’m wondering if I should postpone TTC so I don’t steal her thunder? I know I might not get pregnant immediately and even if I do I wouldn’t be telling anyone for three months so it’s not like my announcement will be the same week as her announcement but I don’t want her or our mutual friends to think I got pregnant just because she did (she’s only been married a year so the timing is natural for her but I’ve been married for 8 years and I think a lot of people assume DH and I have chosen not to have kids since we’ve been married and childless for so long). She knows I’m not TTC currently so if I get pregnant soon she’ll know I started trying right after her announcement.
Would be awesome for you and kiddo if you have someone at similar age/stage with pg and kids. She’ll probably be 3 months ahead, minimum, which will be helpful for you. Full steam ahead.
Me and about 6 people I know all had babies over the same 6-month span (and again 1.5-2.5 years later). So much fun! And commisseration. And play buddies where there is something for the grownup.
This is silly. Start right away and keep trying until your husband is exhausted. Having a child is not a foregone conclusion as you are finding out. Whether you are infertile, or DH is shooting blanks is not something you should wait too long to find out.
No – not because it would be great to have babies close together (which might be true), but becauae it is totally irrational to plan your family around your BFF’s potential irrational response.
Do people seriously live this way?
Nope, nope, nope. Get cracking on that baby making. It ended up taking me 9 months to get pregnant which I appreciate isn’t long in the grand scheme of things but I’m glad I didn’t delay further.
This is silly. Start right away and keep trying until your husband is exhausted. Having a child is not a foregone conclusion as you are finding out. Whether you are infertile, or DH is shooting blanks is not something you should wait too long to find out.
Omg no get a grip you are grown up ladies this is batty
Heck no! My sister in law announced she was pregnant the week after I did. My best friend got pregnant a couple months later And my sister the month after that. I was nothing other than extremely happy and excited, because hello, built in mom friends. And built in little buddies for my kid. It was awesome. Go right ahead.
I’m due within a month of several of my cousins. We’re so excited to raise babies together and have a little time where we’re both on leave to visit.
OMG no. You are adults. And you have NO CLUE how long it will take to conceive.
My BFF and I started trying around the same time and now she has a toddler and I haven’t conceived yet. :/
What the actual . . .
If your friend cares about this she is not really your friend.
Exactly! If someone gets mad at your for getting pregnant at the same time, you should be stepping back from that relationship.
Being pregnant the same time is great. I had two friends who had babies within two months of me. It’s so fun to have real, longtime friends who have kids the same exact age.
No one has a monopoly on pregnancy. If your friend gets mad at you for getting pregnant at the same time as her, she’s nuts and you should run far, far away from that friendship.
People are totally piling on here! I would completely have the same anxiety. I’m going to guess that you also experience a touch of social anxiety here and there, but maybe I’m projecting. As the other responses have said, don’t let that anxiety affect your plans!
I have cousins (who are sisters) who gave birth on the same day (unexpectedly – one of them delivered early). It’ll be fine.
anon for this
Yeah, I think this anxiety is understandable – though you should still go for it. And then be prepared if you do conceive while she is pregnant (or even if it’s later) that you may feel some weird competitiveness/jealousy as your pregnancies progress. Even as it’s nice to have a pregnancy buddy, pregnancy hormones are real and you may need to cut yourself some slack to feel all the feelings as they come.
Month 19 of TTC with two pregnant sisters
+1, month 26 of TTC. ‘Worst’ case scenario is that you get pregnant right away and you and best friend can do an adorable joint newborn photo shoot with ‘bff in training’ onsies.
Not trying to pile on. But those of us who’ve been at the TTC thing for a while are acutely aware of the futility and frustration of trying to plan for what will follow if you get pregnant by x date.
God willing, if this upcoming IUI works, all three of us will be pregnant at the same time (my poor parents… their heads are going to explode with grandchildren 1, 2 and 3 in utero simultaneously). There is zero – I mean ZERO – ‘steal your thunder’ among us, and historically we’ve been highly competitive with one another.
If you’re not a troll — which I really hope you are, because this is such a juvenile and odd concern — you may not be mature enough to be a parent. You really shouldn’t be making family decisions based on what other people might think.
Anonymous BigLaw Associate
This, but I think this person is a troll. Or at least I hope so.
Agree with everyone else here. Live your life.
FWIW, my husband has a very, very large family who all live in pretty much the same area. Someone seems to be planning a funeral at the same time someone else is announcing an engagement, pregnancies for some family members occur at the same time while others are struggling to conceive, there are strings of birthdays that make it difficult for each cousin to have their own party anywhere close to their birthday. This is just part of a large family or friend group or any community. You share in celebrations and losses, sometimes in the same week, and on the flip side, nobody gets long periods of time when it’s all about them.
Is something else going on with you? Seems so crazy to not live your life and not have a child if that’s what you want because your friend is doing it too that it makes me think perhaps you’re not ready or rethinking the idea?
This is so immature.
What’s funny is that I read the first part of your post and got excited for you that you’d have each other to lean on during this experience, your kids could play together, etc.
I would not worry about this at all.
There is no upside to waiting. If you get pregnant right away, I would expect your friend to be thrilled that you will experience pregnancy and motherhood together (you don’t realize how challenging and isolating those experiences can be until you’re there). Conversely, if TTC takes so long that you and your friend don’t end up pregnant at the same time, you’ll be glad you started sooner rather than later.
Same advice as everyone, with the additional anecdote that my BFF got pregnant a few months after me and it is the best! Our babies are so adorable together, and it is great to be moving through this stage of life together.
When I got pregnant my best friend contemplated trying right away so our kids would be close in age. It ended up being not the right time for her, but she and her husband seriously thought about it. It is AWESOME for friends to have kids close together.
Not trying to snark. I’m genuinely curious. Is this kind of concern, about “stealing someone’s thunder,” a function of the extreme self-focus younger people have or a function of some kind of new etiquette I’m not aware of? This kind of question both baffles and amuses me.
Stealing thunder is not the sole purview of self-focused “younger” people, btw. Even the Olds can be be afflicted with lashing out when they think people are grabbing their spotlight.
Count yourself lucky that you know rational people who get that joy and excitement are not a zero-sum game.
Don’t try to paint this as something stupid young people are doing. The OP, if not a t r 0 l l, can be weirdly immature without her whole generation being so.
Thanks all. I appreciate the people who responded seriously and didn’t call me a troll. Rationally, I knew I should just go ahead with our plans, but I had fallen down a rabbit hole of TTC forums where I saw multiple posts like “My [sister/SIL/cousin/BFF] got pregnant right after me and I’m so annoyed about it because I want all the attention to be on me.” My friend is a wonderful person and I know she wouldn’t react like that, but I didn’t want to do anything that might detract from her joy even in the most minuscule way.
And, yeah, those of you who said I probably have some anxiety about TTC in general are right. I want kids, especially adult kids (picturing that Thanksgiving table that is often mentioned here) but I don’t know anything about babies and am terrified of pregnancy and labor and delivery. I don’t think I’m looking for an excuse to postpone, at least consciously (my husband has made it clear we can postpone ‘just because’ if I want to) but I do think my complicated feelings about TTC are kind of messing with my mind, and I feel extra hormonal lately like all this thinking and worrying about TTC has almost made me psychosomatically pregnant.
Given your anxiety about pregnancy/labour and delivery, have you thought about doing therapy or working with a doula who has a psychology or social work degree? My doula also had a degree in social work and was super helpful in helping me move past a difficult first birth to a wonderful second birth.
I would suggest avoiding the TTC forums – they can be a bit of a quagmire and can cause you to lose perspective. Kind of like how wedding planning forums convince you that you must have all the things or it will be awful.
Stop reading forums, get mental health help. There is no reason for you to be reading forums and you are not psychologically pregnant, you’re anxious.
Yes, this times infinity
“My [sister/SIL/cousin/BFF] got pregnant right after me and I’m so annoyed about it because I want all the attention to be on me.”
Hey OP, let me give you a #protip – people who think like this are toxic, vacant people who should be avoided at all costs. Anyone who wants all the attention on them -regardless of occasion – to the point of resenting other people’s happiness, has deep insecurities that will express themselves in all kinds of destructive ways. And that generally does not change as these people get older. The self-centered, selfish teenagers I knew became self-centered, selfish adults. Stay away from people like this, IRL and on the Internet.
Big hugs to you. I empathize with your fear and anxiety. All I can say is, being a mom has been great for me and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Definitely think about seeing a counselor or therapist to talk through some of this stuff, it may really help.
My [sister/SIL/cousin/BFF] got pregnant right after me and I’m so annoyed about it because I want all the attention to be on me.”
This person ^^^ is a crazy narcissist. It doesn’t sound like you are. My question is: whose attention are pregnant woman fighting for, except from their immediate families? You and your friend aren’t in competition for a finite resource. Joy is limitless and has an unique ability to multiply when people share it.
I don’t mean this to sound harsh, but please also realize that most people outside of your very, very close friendships and your immediate family don’t really care that much about your pregnancy. People will of course be happy for you and want you to be well and healthy, but no one cares when your baby is due. Take that as freedom to do you.
Anyone have the L&S Catalina Deluxe bag? Thoughts on its utility for short trips? I think I like that design more than the original Catalina because it’s more boxy and looks less like a giant tote bag. Don’t love the color selections for it though. I want a teal one!
I have the smaller deluxe. I love it. I can do a weekend trip in it as long as it’s not winter. I use it as a day bag when I coach as well and need to take my stuff to get ready for work after.
I ordered both and ended up keeping the smaller one. If I needed enough stuff to fill the larger, I’d just take a suitcase.
Really helpful info. I was leaning towards the larger one, but you’re right about just using a suitcase. I’d either have it alone for a super short trip or with a large check in bag.
+1 – I got the larger one and while I like it an use it for 3-4 day trips…it’s big. I kind of wish I’d gone with the smaller one.
I own the large Catalina and used it on an international trip earlier this year. It’s so much easier to shove in an overhead bin as a carry on than a regular suitcase. As a bonus, it also fits nicely into the overhead bins on tiny planes where a standard rollerboard is gate checked.
I’ll be taking it on a long weekend trip shortly and plan to pack myself and my toddler’s clothing inside of it. It’s ability to be stuffed in awkward spaces will be great in a fully packed vehicle.
How long was your trip? I have two weeks in Europe coming up and my rolling carry-on is on its last legs, so I was thinking about replacing it with a Catalina–but I’m worried the large wouldn’t be *quite * big enough, even though I’m a very minimal packer.
My thing is why would you want to be carrying all that weight around instead of rolling it? In Europe I often wind up buying a bottle or two of wine too and checking a bag going home.
Valid. I’ll probably be picking up some wine and doing some much-needed wardrobe updates…hadn’t even thought about coming home, but the Catalina would not work for that!
My trip was ten days. I’m a pretty minimal packer with mostly dresses and leggings, but did have a heavier hoodie, a jacket, and a second pair of shoes packed as well. My husband was using a regular carry on, so we would slip the Catalina over his handles when going through the airport. Otherwise, I didn’t think it was all that much weight to carry around if we weren’t going long distances.
I probably wouldn’t pack wine in the Catalina and check it. Seems like a recipe for breaking a wine bottle over all of your clothing and I’m not sure the canvas would hold up well to the jet fuel smells in checked baggage.
Thanks! I think it sounds perfect for almost all of the traveling that I do, just not this particular trip. Hopefully nothing breaks on my rolling suitcase :)
The small Deluxe looks so useful, but how does the cotton canvas hold up? It looks like it would show stains easily and is not machine washable.
I also wonder if it’s at all water resistant? Doesn’t need to be like nylon, but would be nice if it doesn’t just soak up water like a sponge.
wrap dress rant
1. If I had gone to a DVF store, would an employee have nicely suggested that since I’m a pear, a classic wrap dress would be a hot mess requiring a line item in my budget for fashion tape and perhaps a sheath or shift would be better?
2. OTOH, if I go to the DVF flagship during my next trip to NYC, will the employees take pity on me and help show me how to do this better? [Or are they just there to sell, sell, sell?] Slightly theoretically worried that they’ll demand the dress back and give me a refund for being a walking billboard for #doingitwrong.
The only place I was correctly “wrapped” in a DVF wrap dress was in their flagship store in NYC. I didn’t think I could wear one until they fit me into it. Unfortunately, the sales help was not included in the purchase price.
wrap dress rant
How did they do it? Is it like a sari with lots of tucking in addition to wrapping?
I think they are cut for an hourglass shape. I am a solid pear. But I think that Michelle Obama (OMG almost typed an apostrophe there — trying to make everyone Irish) is a pear and they look fab on her, not tragic.
I can only wear them with a camisole, regardless of the size of the dress, and have an hourglass/pear figure.
I’ve never been able to get wrap dresses to work for me. I’m hourglass-ish, but have a belly and they seemed to accentuate the biggest part of my stomach. The majority of my dresses are not all fit-and-flare because they skim away from the body.
Ugh, the majority of my dresses ARE all fit-and-flare.
I have a dear friend who is very petite on top and while her hips aren’t especially wide, she has a gorgeous and generous booty. She was wearing a beautiful wrap dress the other night and it really suited her – it wasn’t a clingy/jersey fabric – more like a stiff cotton twill. It might have been Tory burch? In any case, it really worked. I wouldn’t call myself hourglass but I’m at 32d and I always feel like wrap dresses are way to revealing on top for me, fwiw
I am a pear as well and have a tiny top and I found a faux-wrap version that looks fab on me. It’s the DVF Ashlie Sleeveless Print Silk Faux Wrap Dress. It doesn’t actually wrap around and there’s no need for a camisole, but has the same wrap look about it. I highly recommend it.
This has to be a troll post, right? Of course you don’t delay TTC.
Stop calling people trolls.
Stop policing strangers’ posts on an internet message board, ffs
When people stop trolling, I’ll stop calling them out on it. Deal?
Good to know we have omnipotent readers.
Not married/don’t have kids, but no! You’re not doing it on purpose to steal her thunder. Live your life and if you get pregnant soon, more happy news for your circle of friends to celebrate! You shouldn’t have to put your family plans on hold because someone else “beat you to it.”
And how would she know you started right after her announcement? You could have trying for months and just not got pregnant for all she knows! OP, I wouldn’t worry about this. Children are not thunder, they are new family members and an addition to look forward to.
meant for Anonymous about re: TTC
It’s definitely a Monday morning…
It’s definitely a Monday morning…
I give up
Hahahahaha…made my morning.
This weekend I did the thing you’re never, ever supposed to do and got a major haircut before an interview. To be fair, I wasn’t getting the haircut specifically for the interview, but the timing could have been better. Where before I had waist-length wavy hair (that I never treated properly, thus the chop), I now have hair that just reaches my collarbone with some layers (nothing crazy) and face framing. How would you ladies suggest I wear my hair for the interview? I was thinking of just straightening it and wearing it down, but should I try to pull it back or put it in an updo or something?
Straight and down is perfectly acceptable. Just don’t play with it in your interview.
+1 – I would just wear it straight and down. I have hair that length and I love it – good luck on the interview!
Straight and down sounds great, or pulled back in a neat low bun if you really want it off your face. I’m not sure what you meant by “updo” but to me that’s a hairstyle people wear for proms and weddings, not workplaces and definitely not at an interview.
I’ve done a very basic french twist-ish hair style for interviews in the summer when my curly/wavy/frizzy hair couldn’t make it into the salon for a blow out. Humidity is not nice to my hair.
Why is that a thing you’re never supposed to do and who came up with that stupid rule?
Eh, more of a guideline. A big appearance change can throw you off your game. If you’re used to styling long hair, you might have a hard time doing shorter hair professionally. It also changes your silhouette, which could make your go-to interview outfit look completely different to you in the mirror. It’s just one more thing to worry about on interview day, which may or may not be a big deal to someone.
I think it’s the possibility of a haircut looking awful and affecting confidence for the interview. I get a haircut and, when I was getting it colored, fresh color before big events but never something I haven’t tried before or with a new stylist.
Totally late to this thread but I chopped my hair off with kitchen scissors two hours before an interview so I agree this is good advice! (It ended up being a great length, but obviously it was uneven)
laser hair removal question
Lost in moderation the first time…trying again!
Had my first session almost a week ago and the f ollicles still look like dark dots everywhere. Does the hair fall out? Can I not expect it to be clear until further treatments? They didn’t tell me a lot about what it would look like.
YMMV but for me: legs took several sessions (4?) before hair growth substantially lessened. I’ve done 10 sessions by now, with one more scheduled and there’s practically no growth, except I still have dark spots on my skin… not sure if it’s just skin pigmentation that will reduce in time or if it’s dormant hair.
I’m on my fourth treatment. The hair usually continues to grow for a while but falls out somewhere between 2-3 weeks after treatment. Your situation sounds very similar to mine one week after treatment.
I did my underarms and had the dark dot thing for quite some time. I’m five sessions in and now the hair is almost all gone. Be sure to exfoliate so the hair can fall out!
laser hair removal question
That dress underneath the blazer. I need it.
New Job, Who Dis
YEP. right up my alley.
New Job, Who Dis
Yessss. Too bad it’s $800.
Maggie London makes a similar print dress. I have it in black and white and it’s my “presentation” sheath. I’ve strongly considered buying it in other colors because I love it so.
White House Black Market has a similar dress right now, with a coral/black pattern instead of blue. It even has pockets! I don’t see it on their website but they had it in-store a few weeks ago.
question for the kitchenaid mixer experts: I just bought a pro line 7qt (because it was massively discounted) but I really don’t need a mixer that big. Can I use a smaller bowl (like a 5qt?) that’s compatible with the other lift mixers and it’ll be fine? Should I flip this and just buy the sign I want? I do want to make bread and thick doughs so the power is desireable but the size is way too much.
The 7qt is huge! Unless you have an absolutely massive kitchen or are baking for an army, I’d just flip it and buy a 5qt. I have the 4.5qt and it’s been plenty big for everything I’ve needed to do as well as having enough power to get through big batches of bread dough and run every attachment I’ve tried with it. I’ve made extremely thick whole grain breads and cookie doughs and never have a problem. One of my favorite recipes makes 6lbs of really heavy and thick cookie dough and the mixer always powers through.
If you’re making a lot of bread, the blog Mel’s Kitchen Cafe recently did a comparison between Bosch and Kitchen Aid. Her recommendation was Bosch for bread dough. Might be worth a read if you’re looking at getting something new.
Nope, you got to use that bowl. The smaller ones aren’t going to fit (plus the tilt neck vs the vertical raised ones don’t quite attach exactly the same). Take note that that also means that the attachments you get need to be for the right size bowl or they won’t work right – I love the silicon coated bowl scrapers you can get for these mixers.
I’ll also add that the larger ones tend to be better made with higher quality motors and hold up better with time. The tilt necks if you are a serious baker are a liability. If you can get the bigger ones for good money, just do it.
As someone who has a 5 qt artisan ?), and makes bread every couple months, if your primary use is bread dough, you will likely want to stick with the 7qt for the power – or check out the Bosch suggested above. Mine struggles every time I make sourdough and I keep waiting for it to die so I can replace it (it’s 15 years old so maybe soon?!)
You can’t swap in a different bowl as they are made for specific mixers – but the KA website should be able to tell you if a smaller bowl is offered.
Don’t get your hopes up that it will die so you can replace it any time soon! Mine is 31 years old. My parents got it before I was born. Those things last!
Yep. My Kitchenaid is 16 years old and shows no signs of wearing out even with very frequent use. They are built like tanks.
Hand it down to someone who couldn’t afford it otherwise and then buy yourself a new one. ;)
I volunteer as tribute.
Therapist in DC?
Could anyone recommend a therapist in DC or Maryland? We’ve just moved here. My husband is stay-a-home parent and mentioned to me on Sunday that he was struggling with depression and anxiety. He used to see someone once a week in our prior city. I had asked him to find someone in DC but I know that staying home with our daughter has become tougher (she is now, 2 and starting to test us = tantrums) and he is feeling overwhelmed. Thanks!
I had a very positive experience with Diversified Lifestyle Services – they’re near the McPherson Square metro and took my health insurance. Really welcoming environment and they were hugely helpful.
Dr. Lawrence Sank in Bethesda specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for anxiety and depression. I have a friend who’s had a great experience with him.
Dr. Sandra Lashley/Chevy Chase
301 378 4209
Dr Lynn Friedman/Chevy Chase
Y’all: talk to me about Okoboji (a lake area in Iowa)!
I have never been and it is being suggested for a meet-up location with cousins in the midwest this summer. Everyone has kids they will be bringing, so I get that it’s not South Beach. It looks old-school and fun.
Suggestions? Recommendations? Places to eat and things not to miss?
I live only a few hours from this location and cannot recommend it enough! I’ve been several times over the years with family, girlfriends and with extended family. It really is an old school lake town with lots of small shops, local restaurants, an old school amusement park, mini golf, go-karts, etc. There are several companies that have pontoon rentals available (which I would highly recommend!), and I would spend a day hanging out on the lake and taking a cruise. There are lots of places you can cruise to on the boat and hop off and enjoy food/drinks. A couple places I’d recommend for food: Taco House, Bob’s @ Arnold’s Park, & The Barefoot Bar to name a few. Weekends are definitely busy with tourists, and there’s usually free concerts on the green space near the amusement park. It really is a small town atmosphere and fun to visit! Only downside would be that if you’re flying in, the nearest airport is probably Sioux Falls, SD and it’s a bit of a drive (an easy drive though!)
Flying into Minneapolis is also doable. It’s a 3 hour drive on Hwy 169/60, but it’s nice route where the majority is divided four lane highway. I know lots of people who head to Okoboji every weekend and they love it.
Anon in MN
The Museum of Russian Art in Okoboji is quite good. My parents, who live in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area, took a winter vacation to Okoboji last year and we joined them there for part of it (we also live in the Twin Cities area). Of course, everything we know thought it was hysterical that we were going to Iowa for a winter vacation–but we had a great time socializing with cousins who joined us (also from the Twin Cities), having fun conversations with the locals at the place that makes donuts with potato flour (Spudnuts), and seeing good art at the Russian museum.
Anon in MN
Oops, a correction: it’s the Pearson Lakes Art Center in Okoboji, which has a collection of Russian art. Example of a small museum doing good things.
Gail the Goldfish
I know Fox Mulder thinks there are aliens there:-) (sorry, nothing useful, hearing the name just always make me think of the X-Files episode set there)
I grew up in Iowa and I had no idea there was an X-Files episode set in Okoboji! I’m going to have to watch that now.
Gail the Goldfish
It’s early on, I think in the first season. I doubt it was actually filmed there, though.
I grew up about a mile from my grandparents and wouldn’t change it for the world. Our house was/is in a boring, unwalkable neighborhood (well, we could walk to school) but 5 minutes by car from the grocery store, 10 from Target/Starbucks/etc. It was about 20 minutes from the downtown core. My mom cherished her commute time each day- she could listen to audiobooks or NPR or just chill.
As my grandparents have grown older, having my parents a 5 minute drive away has been a GD lifesaver. My dad can go watch my grandma (Alzheimer’s) while my grandpa takes a break, can help them cook/go grocery shopping and my parents have them over for dinner 3-4 times a week now that my grandparents have a harder time cooking. My grandparents watch our puppy when my parents go to a movie.
When I was younger, I spent almost every afternoon at their house. Just hanging out until my parents got home. It was some of the best memories I have of childhood.
This is not in the right place. Oops.
Got it — thank you! :)
I went to a wedding in western Iowa many years ago. It was August and I’ll never forget how many butterflies there were. It was completely amazing and unforgettable. (And slightly gross – I pulled many dead butterflies of my car’s windshield during the weekend.) I think they were attracted by all the corn pollen.
What would you do: we are choosing between:
Option A: a home that is a 5 min drive to my mother and sister’s houses (respectively) in a neighborhood that is far more suburban and quiet (honestly, kind of boring) vs …
Option B: living about 20 min away (but high traffic drive) in an area where we’d get far less house but which is more interesting and likely to have more people who we could connect to on a friend level.
We just moved to the area a year ago so we have a few friends near Option B but are mostly starting from scratch. Option B is about 10 min closer to work — already a long commute but only going into the office 2-3x a week. We also have a one year old and are planning to have another baby in the next year or so (if we get lucky). Option B is also a good deal pricier than Option A but we could find a more modest house.
I’d always choose living closer to work. Even 10 minutes can make a difference in your day to day quality of life/free time.
I also would not factor in your mother providing 3-6 PM childcare as part of your calculation at all. That’s not a comment on her reliability so much as the reliability of the universe. A lot can change in the next few years, including her physical ability to provide the childcare she has offered. It’s too speculative to take into account IMHO.
I’d pick someplace with good schools, and if I could live 5 minutes from my mom I would.
I should add that my mother has already offered to pick our kids up at school and cover the 3-6pm shift when the time comes…but only for Option A. Putting aside the fact that she could do it for Option B but won’t bc of the distance/drive, does that tip the scales significantly enough? And yes, her situation could change by the time we need that.
Yeah I’d always choose close to mom. Mine would def do sick kid duty, day care pick ups, etc. That’s hugely valuable to me.
I’d also consider the schools in both locations.
And yes, you must put aside this “she could but won’t” for option b nonsense. You sound entitled and ungrateful. No, she can’t drive 40 minutes round trip in heavy traffic every day. She can’t because she doesn’t want to and that is perfectly fine.
I’m not trying to sound entitled or ungrateful, I’m just anticipating the fact that people will say that she could do that for both options.
We have grandparents helping with childcare and it is SO HELPFUL. Trust me that the 3-6 shift is sometimes difficult to fill and not having to dash to pickup at the end of the day is super helpful.
Source: parent of kindergartner & younger kid who relies on grandparents for some after school care.
Never too many shoes...
I would also choose option B – 20 minutes drive is a reasonable distance to your family but closer to work and more conducive to your life, or so it seems.
+1 I’m anti suburbia and would be miserable if I couldn’t easily walk to groceries and restaraunts and park. I also really hate car culture.
I like walking to stuff, too. But I also like free public schools that are nearby.
In the areas in my city that are cool, the schools are not cool. People with kids 1) pay about 15K/kid for private school AND 2) the private school is about 30 minutes in the opposite direction of where most people work. So your school payment may be more than your mortgage payment AND it dramatically increases your carbon footprint (not to mention commuting for daycare). The suburbs are full of people who are too cool for the suburbs — you might be surprised at the diversity you find when you get there. Area churches sponsor Food Truck Rodeos on various weeknights in their immense parking lots, so #winning.
I guess I’m biased because I live within walking distance of a few world renowned public schools. I’m also very atheist, so much so that I couldn’t even entertain a church wedding. So church activities arent a draw of suburbia for me. Also minimalist so having an XL house for the price of my bungalow doesn’t appeal.
Ha — I live in an older suburban house that’s about 90 years old. With no closet space. Lots of things are walkable — look for neighborhoods built when cars were new or deliberately designed recently to be walkable.
There are hipper closer-in neighborhoods with rotten schools. And farther-out neighborhoods with monster new houses. It’s not either/or. There’s a spectrum. As a parent, I’d go for good public schools. We go to the hipper areas for dinner on the weekend and for arts events. When you’re essentially home for good after 8pm and it gets dark at 4 in the winter, hipper neighborhoods start to lose their appeal: the cooler things just don’t get done and then it’s why do I stay for the bad schools and car break-ins?
But I wouldn’t drive an hour (or even more than 15 minutes to work). I’d make a lot of accommodations for local grandparents and local cousins.
Option A. With two young kids that age, you’re being closer to somewhere trendy to “hang out and meet people to be friends with” (that you aren’t already friends with) isn’t going to matter. You’ll meet new people at the same life stage through your kiddos activities regardless. Beyond that it gets hard no matter where you live because the time just gets tighter when they’re that young. And the 10 min difference in commute if you’re only going in twice a week is nothing. Over time, the distance to relatives will be more important. Not just for your own childcare needs but potentially for aiding your aging folks as their circumstances change. And no–it’s not fair to expect your mother to drive 40 min all the time. Yet here you are weighing the same amount of time total a week for your commute as a major factor. Grow up.
Agree with this, except the unnecessary “Grow up” at the end.
We live 5 minutes from my in-laws, who do not provide any regular care. I wouldn’t count on it either for purposes of this decision. While I was pregnant, all the grandparents said they wanted to help out after daycare. When we got closer and we asked them for details on that, it turned out they didn’t want to make the commitment to particular days.
But it’s still great for Kiddo’s relationship with his grandparents. They stop by spontaneously pretty often (they text first), and we go over to their place to swim and play with their dogs (we text first). While nobody has any health issues needing care right now, everyone is able to help out on occasion–feed the pets when out of town, rides to the airport, projects that require two people. My MIL came over and helped with the baby one night after I cut my finger with a knife and panicked (it hurt a lot but wasn’t that bad). They also babysit on occasion, but I assume they’d do that if we lived a little further away. It’s the spontaneous interactions that are really nice.
I live 1 mile from my parents and it’s been such a help. My kids are in high school now and I still need the help from her when I travel for work. But mostly when they were smaller, should could pick up/drop off & keep them overnight at her house. When they got older & wanted to be home alone, she could stop by my house, make sure all was ok, take them to dinner, etc. She knew their teachers, helped with activities, etc.
Option A because I would expect it to result in a higher quality of life on a day-to-day basis, especially since you only commute to work 2 or 3 days per week. Bonus points if Option A is actually quieter or gives you a home life lacking hustle and bustle sounds- this is something that in the past impacted me far more than I knew until I actually lived somewhere quiet (and without streetlights at night).
I would caution you to think about what it will mean to add another child to the mix. My sister and her husband carried on their hip and trendy lifestyle when they just had one kid. Then the second one arrived. It just changes things. You become more kid-focused. I’m not saying all fun died in their life. Just that you shouldn’t rule out the magical wonderful gift of free childcare because you want to live somewhere trendier. Besides, we’re talking about a daily childcare arrangement vs a couple times a month hanging out with friends, at best? Especially once you have a couple of kids and they have activities and interests.
I think part of this is age of kids, too — if you have a single 2-3 year old who isn’t involved in many classes, etc., your weekends are not lost to sports/playdates/etc. usually. I totally agree that second kid adds a degree of complication, but I think even parents of only kids have very different lives when they only have a 2 year old versus a 6 year old.
I agree with anon above completely that hip/trendy becomes less of a factor as you have more/older kids.
Age definitely matters. We have only one kid and although we could have happily lived in the city when she was little, now that she has her own stuff going on there is no way we’d ever have time to take advantage of city living. Suburban life is just so much easier logistically, there are more resources for kids in the suburbs, and the proximity to grandparents would be incredibly helpful.
What are your personalities? Are both you and your husband happy with your relationships with your in-laws, are there any tensions or boundary issues there? If you make friends fairly easily, and aren’t shy about striking up conversations with total strangers, that might help too.
No matter where you live, you’ll need a village to help you. For Option A, it sounds like your family would fill most of that – is that okay? Would one of you get frustrated? Would you be likely to skip family dinners in favor of meeting new people at the park? For Option B, you’d be out of the shadow of family, but you’d need to be more aggressive in finding friends, and that might take longer. Are you okay with feeling semi-alone for a year or two? Could you financially swing a more expensive house AND daycare for two kids? Would you feel pressure to keep up with a hipper crowd, even if you just want to go to bed at 9pm?
Thanks, this is helpful. I think we’re fairly outgoing and would make friends in either area. I just suspect that we might find people who are a little more like us in Option B. And when I say hipper, I really mean that it has a tiny glimmer of hipness whereas the other area has little (think cool new independently owned taco place vs a new Panera — or cool new kid-friendly brewery vs a new gymboree).
But yeah, I take your point. I think the real thing that is hard for us is figuring out how much weight to give the childcare when A) circumstances could change for my mother but B) we don’t know how helpful that will be since our baby is still so young.
It depends so much on personal preference, but if you’re just curious what other people would pick, I’d go with B.
Yes, I think I’m hoping folks with older kids will weigh in on how much/little we’ll care about the area vs childcare. Thanks!
post over on the moms site for more responses.
You mention that you will go to the office 2-3 days a week. Will you be working at home the other times? If you can drop your sick kid up to your mom’s house and be home again within 10 minutes that’s a lot easier to manage vs. 40 min round trip. Expect that a child of any age will get sick at least once a month in the first year of daycare or elementary school.
My mom doesn’t provide care 3-6pm for our three kids everyday but she does live 5 mins away and pinch hits ALL THE TIME. If I forget Kid’s costume for dress up day at school – she picks it up at my house and brings it to school for me. She picks up my daughter twice a week after school and takes her to swimming and ballet lessons – this is a huge help with freeing up our weekends. Or if DH and I are stuck in a meeting and daycare calls re: sick kid – she can go pick kid up and bring them home very quickly. Where will your kids’ school be located? In Option B will it still only be 20 mins away from your mom? Living near my mom and enabling her to help out a lot during the week is one of my life hacks to prevent kids activities from taking over my weekends. I like my weekends free for wandering at the farmers market or getting brunch with friends. If it was hard for mom to be involved during the week, all the swimming lessons/play dates would be on the weekends.
Anon in NYC
You might want to also post this on the Moms page! For my two cents: living in a hip, urban, more expensive area is fine (great, even) with 1 young kid. But we live just far enough from family that they can’t really be a source of regular help (like your option B – close, but not close enough). I’m just not sure how financially feasible it will be to stay in our area with two because we can only throw so much money at the problem (childcare). We try to take advantage of the huge bonuses of our area during the day (non-Panera* kid friendly restaurants, museums, diversity, etc.), but we rarely go out at night anymore so I feel like we’ve lost some of the benefit of Option B.
I also want my kid to have a strong relationship with grandparents, so that certainly leans towards Option A. But there’s the question of whether you and your spouse could deal with that much family time and inviting your mom’s opinions into your regular life (I don’t know that I could!).
*Just as a caveat, I love Panera.
Anonymous BigLaw Associate
I have older kids, so I can weigh in. 13, 11, 6, 6. We “chose” Option B. “Chose” because we never even considered moving out of the city. We also didn’t have the same family considerations you do, but that wouldn’t change my mind. Reasons:
-Everything is close together. We do drive most places, but these are short easy drives (<10 min.)
-So much to do. Meaning, things to do with the kids. In our neighborhood alone, seemingly endless dining options with all kinds of food (Mexican, Persian, Japanese, Lebanese, Korean, Chinese, burgers, pizza, etc.). Short drive to shopping, swimming pools, museums, gym. Good places nearby to walk around with a family.
-Diversity. My family is multi-racial. I value being in a diverse environment. Food options listed above pretty consistent with neighborhood makeup.
-Schools. Shrug. I am perfectly happy with the public schools in our area. The two oldest walk together on their own. The drop the two youngest off on my way to work.
-Work. Less than 10 min commute, including drop off. More time for family and hobbies.
-Freedom for the teen/tweens. This is just easier here. My boys ride their bikes some places. They walk others. They take the city bus others. Teaches independence, but also means I am not constantly driving them around.
The trade-off is obviously space. Yes, we have a family of 6 in a three bedroom condo. But we are on a quiet tree-lined street at a dead-end. It is really perfect (for us).
I think it’s a hard choice. We live in a B area, but our parents aren’t in the same metro area at all, so that wasn’t a factor. I do really appreciate that we live around like-minded people. In our case, we are zoned for a racially diverse school with mediocre test scores, so the people with kids who live in our neighborhood tend to share our values (ie, they are also willing to send their kids to a school like that). It does make a difference, and many of them have become real friends (as opposed to “mom-friends.”) But I’m an introvert who has a hard time meeting people, so I value that a lot – if you make friends more easily, it might not weigh as much in your decision. And free childcare is so, so great.
Do you think your mom would be willing to babysit some nights and weekends if you live in B? In my experience, organizing afterschool care hasn’t been a huge hassle – our elementary school has a good program on-site. It’s the evening/weekend stuff that I fantasize about. Having my parents come over to play with kids while we finish painting the bathroom, etc.
She posted below that A is more economically and racially diverse.
20 mins is really not that far. Do you really think a 15 minute difference in drive time would dramatically curtail how much you would see your family?
You know them best but I guess I just don’t see being a meaningful difference in distance?
I think it does change the nature of how you can ask for help. If my kid forgets lunch (allergy issues so can’t get eat school cafeteria lunch) or gym clothes or something, my mom can stop by our house and drop it at school and be home again in 10-15 mins. If we lived further away like OP’s option B, that would take 40-45 mins. My mom has an active retirement so she has hair appointments, lunch with friends, exercise classes etc. For a lot of the pinch hitting type stuff, it would change her ability to say yes if it was a 40- 45 minute round trip vs. 10 – 15 mins. The way my city is arranged, it would also mean being in a different soccer program/swimming pool etc as each neighborhood area tends to have it’s own hub for activities.
Yes, this is the real difference. We would still see them every weekend most likely, but we wouldn’t be able to count on the same kind of help/spontaneous interactions. Thanks!
Your kids seem like they are young and not school aged though. I have a kid that is one and in day care and do not do much similar “nipping” places. It’s more unexpectedly having to leave work to take care of her when she gets sick, etc.
Maybe this is an older kid thing?
Also, I realize I am projecting issues into this that you did not raise, but I am a member of a diverse nuclear family and it matters to me that my neighborhood is diverse and my child will not be the only diverse member of her class/social group.
I would guess that area B is more diverse than area A and for me that would matter a lot.
Actually, Option A is more diverse, both economically and racially. Option B is closer into the city where we live, but is solidly suburban too, much wealthier, and lily white (school reputations reflect this as well, but I think I prefer Option A’s high school because of its diversity and because it’s paired with a rigorous advanced track program if that’s where our kids end up).
then i’d vote for A too!
Err, I replied in the post above. My bad.
Headed to Toronto for a mini-getaway this weekend. What should we do? Where should we eat? Where can I shop?
Never too many shoes...
Can you be a little bit more specific? Toronto is a big place with lots of everything so it depends on where you are staying and what you like… indie boutiques or designer shopping? Stuff to do with kids or cocktails and romance?
Just me and husband, staying just north of Downtown. We are wide open, but looking for any do-not-miss or hidden gems. Probably will not end up doing museums unless there is something really unique and fun. We like to wander, eat, and drink. A visit to CN tower will probably happen. Otherwise, no agenda. Not designer shopping.
Kensington, St Lawrence, Distillery, and Queen West are great neighbourhoods to wander. I would also add Yorkville – even if you don’t care about designer shopping, the people-watching is fun. Chinatown (Spadina south of College), the gay village around Church Street. Or the waterfront, which is just a quick walk from the CN tower. Downtown itself is usually pretty dead on the weekends…
if you are sports fans, check if the Toronto FC (soccer) or Blue Jays (baseball) are playing. If the Leafs (hockey) or Raptors (basketball) are playing, those will be sold out as it is post-season. But there is always a lively crowd outside the Air Canada Centre to watch on the giant screens.
Never too many shoes...
This last point – the Raptors are playing on Friday night and Sunday afternoon, so a walk past Jurassic Park (downtown outside the Air Canada Centre) would definitely be an experience!
In terms of do-not-miss museum attractions – go and see the blue whale exhibit at the ROM! I mean, how many opportunities to see a blue whale are you likely to have in this lifetime?
For shopping: Queen St. West; Eaton Centre (assuming you’re downtown)
To do: If you’re a museum person, definitely the ROM, or the AGO; Ripley’s Aquarium is also great! If you like to wander around different neighbourhoods, Kensington Market is great, as are the Distillery District and Old Town/St Lawrence Market.
For eats: there are a tonne of great places in the above neighbourhoods; check out King St. West as well – there will be a lot of restaurants to pick from depending on what you like.
I read about a place called Shameful Tiki Room. Tiki rooms are my thing. Is this place worth the 20 minute uber?
Never too many shoes...
I have not been but have heard it is super fun and the food is supposed to be quite good.
The thing I love most about Toronto, which sounds like it might be great for you, is to just pick a neighbourhood and wander around. If you like ethnic food, we have pretty much anything you could want (although for really good Chinese you need to go up to the northern burbs).
I love that place! I find the cocktails to be really well made. Super fun. I would go, and choose a restaurant either in Parkdale or on the Ossington strip (which is what I would prefer) to go to before)
Order the Volcano Bowl at the Shameful Tiki. Worth it.
It’s a really fun place! There are also great places for dinner around there. If you like Mexican, try Grand Electric. For BBQ, Electric Mud. Parkdale/Queen West has great restaurants – I also really like the Good Son on Queen Street.
Eat: Richmond Station on Richmond St is our must do, El Catrin in Distillery District is great Mexican food, Pizzeria Libretto is also great, as is Bannock if you are looking for easy/casual choices.
Visit:SOMA chocolatier (Queen St W or Distillery District), a distillery (Steam Whistle is by CN Tower), we quite liked the ice hockey museum, and if the weather is nice Toronto Islands is lovely too.
If you’re planning on going up the CN tower check the set price lunch. It’s like $15? more than the ticket price and includes admission, the food and service are of good quality and the atmosphere is so much more relaxed and calming than the observation deck.
I’d recommend visiting Amsterdam brewery rather than Steamwhistle, but Steamwhistle brewery is very close to the CN Tower so might make sense from that standpoint.
I second the recommendation for Pizzeria Libretto, but would recommend The Gabardine over Bannock if you’re looking for a place near Nathan Philips Square/the Eaton Centre.
Also love: Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, Queen Margherita Pizza, Lee, Momofuku, Montecito, El Catrin.
I have been using my cell phone as my alarm clock but want to start leaving it out of my bedroom at night. I’d like to buy a real clock. I’d like it to be pretty, and quiet, and simple to use. Any recommendations?
I love my fitbit as an alarm clock. My bedroom is minimalist, so I don’t have to have a clock on the bed. And since it uses vibrations as the alarm, it doesn’t wake my partner up. Can custom program it to only wake up on weekdays, to have multiple alarms, etc.
Can you snooze it?
If you don’t turn it off (tap the screen a couple times), it will alarm again, 10-15 minutes later, but only the once.
I did this for awhile and I would caution that if there is something you really need to get up for (early meeting, flight, etc.), set a second alarm or use your phone alarm. Occasionally when FitBit upgrades its system the alarm function gets lots/turned off. I have a dog that gets me up like clockwork, so it doesn’t really matter. But I would not trust the FitBit alone for the really important stuff.
Look at travel alarm clocks. I use one. Checks all the boxes (pretty may be ambitious though). I just put mine in the nightstand in the morning.
I like my Alexa, honestly.
So for real clocks, I don’t have a specific recommendation, but I would suggest checking out museum stores for some pretty clocks (in person or online). You probably want a digital clock if you don’t want any ticking noises.
Tall Jeans Shopping Help
Where do all of the tall ladies get their jeans?
I am looking for a new pair and striking out at my usual stop – J Crew. The old non-stretchy matchstick were my faves but they don’t seem to sell them anymore.
I need a 34 inch inseam (could get by with 33) for full length pants. Other than that I have a pretty straight figure with a flat bum.
I’m not wedded to a particular style (other than super tight legging jeans). I just want something new and fresh feeling since I haven’t bought a new pair in a couple years.
AG harper jeans. 33 in inseam. I have multiple colors (blue, white, black, grey). Not cheap but worth it.
I’ve been shocked at how much I like my tall jeans from Old Navy. They have held up remarkably well, and they are really, really long.
Yes to tall and/or long sizes from Old Navy. I have to order them online, but they hold up remarkably well. I just wish they would stop changing style names every couple of years!
I need to check this out. I hate that no stores carry tall sizes.
I gotta just bite the bullet and order a ridiculous amount of jeans in various cuts to try on at home.
Not sure re: the long inseams, but they have great jeans.
They were not on my radar for jeans. Will need to look. Thanks.
I am 5’11” with long legs and a comparatively short torso and Old Navy “tall” jeans are usually too long for me. I also have some pairs from Express and Gap, both of which have tall/long sizes.
Same here. Old Navy (and Gap, I believe) have “long” length and “tall” length. The talls are usually too long for me, and I’m 6′ with long legs. In my medium sized city, the longs are available in stores as well, so you may have luck there. I’m happy with the fit and how well they have held up. Same goes for my Gap jeans. That said, if you’re looking for something more expensive, I used to always buy Rock and Republic jeans. Their standard length was plenty long for me. Are those still around these days?
+1 – Gap/BR Tall are 36″ inseams. Gap Longs are usually…34″ I think? All I’ve ordered lately are the skinnies, where the Longs are 30in inseams, though.
I love my Ann Taylor jeans (34″ inseam here) and I always wait til they go on sale so I get them for about $25/pair.
I do pretty much all of my tall shopping at Old Navy/Gap/Banana Republic. I’ve had various iterations of jeans from all three over the years. Free return shipping so usually I just order a ton of sizes/styles and try on at home until I find what I like. Get on the email list because they have 40% off sales all the time.
6’0 here, almost all my jeans come from Gap and have for the last 10+ years, with the occasional pair from Old Navy or Banana Republic recently. They hold up so well over time, they’re always long enough, and the price is totally reasonable.
I haven’t shopped for jeans at the gap since they discontinued my beloved “long and lean” boot cuts.
I need to give them another shot.
Wrangler. Always and forever.
Traveling to Iceland and looking for a small traveling backpack for day trips. Any recommendations? Bonus points if I can find it at REI in store and even more bonus points if I can get it Amazon Prime.
I would recommend Mantona Elements photo backpack. It is very comfortable daypack and has a special case and entry for your DSLR camera. It travelled with me through Asia, South America and Europe and is still as good as new. Check what range they have in the US.
I have this one: https://www.amazon.de/Mantona-Regenschutzhülle-herausnehmbarer-Kameratasche-Systemkamera/dp/B00NNULN1O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1493656334&sr=8-1&keywords=mantona+elements
I can also recommend Fjallraven backpacks, they are comfortable and very well thought to the last detail. I have one trekking backpack (huge one) and I was amazed by how comfortable it was and I loved all the smart features and details.
No specific recommendations, but whatever you get, you may want to consider getting one that is waterproof, or get a waterproof cover off of amazon (~$10).
Gail the Goldfish
I use the Osprey Daylite pack for day hiking trip. Got it at REI. Lightweight, fits a good amount of stuff, comes in lots of colors. Only downside is you kind of have to dig for stuff. I had considered some that had a separate entry/case for a camera and couldn’t find one I liked (I was on short notice).
Ladies: this may be a silly question but I’m a young law student working her way into the world! I’ve had to extensively build my professional wardrobe for my summer employment. In my pre-first day email, when the dress code was described to me, it was described as “a woman’s equivalent to a man’s suit and tie.” Also, I was told to bring a jacket but it was mentioned I won’t have to leave it on all day (if that gives you any perspective). I wanted to see opinions on mixing colors in a business professional setting. Though business professional, it’s a younger, vibrant office. I plan on wearing the classic black, blue, or navy skirt suit on days where I know I’ll be in contact with a lot of people, but I was wondering about outfits like a navy skirt, blush blouse, and blush top? Also, and this definitely may be a silly question, would suiting separates be okay? I have tons of nice pencil skirts and pants, but they just aren’t part of a suit. I plan on buying a ponte blazer in black to wear with those. Sorry for the lengthy comment! The saying is true that if you look good, you feel good. And I’m really hoping to leave a killer impression on my coworkers (post graduation job, please!).
The women’s equivalent to a man’s suit and tie is a suit (I feel like that’s a super weird way of saying “wear a suit” but anyway…). I would definitely wear a suit for your first day. If you see women attorneys in suiting separates then you can probably start working some of those in, but a full suit is safest until you get a sense of the dress code. I wouldn’t spend money on any clothing until you’ve been there a week.
First of all, lol to “a woman’s equivalent to a man’s suit and tie”. That was clearly written by a man. Oh, you mean the “equivalent” of what men can wear in ~90% of non-casual situations? Great, thanks!
I cannot imagine an office so conservative that you could not wear classic mixed colors like pastels or jewel tones. You may want to wait before buying a bright teal pantsuit until you get a sense of what’s typical at the office, but I think you’ll be fine with mixed colors or suiting separates for most days. Save your full suit for days you know you’ll need to be extra pulled together.
There was a similar post a few months ago with great advice and particularly one feedback stood out for me -> go in something you already have (most probably you have a basic suit or two), see what the real dress code is (look what senior women wear in the office on daily basis) and only then start building your wardrobe. Otherwise, you might end up with clothes you would not be able to wear (and blend in).
Do not go overboard with the shopping – buy only a few pieces and gradually build your wardrobe.
I also think it is never a bad idea to own 2-3 nice, simple, timeless suits – but I would stalk these for a good discount. You will find plenty of good recommendations where to shop in previous posts ;)
In my office, I am dressy even in my BR Sloan pants.
Go to work your first day in a full suit. See what senior women are wearing and adjust from there.
Do not shop until you have a real sense of what your office dress code is.
Yes, that was a weird description that they gave you. Unless they said “full business dress code” or “suits required,” I would assume that most workplaces are somewhere on the business casual spectrum, where it’s best to wait and see as to where exactly on that spectrum your peers and superiors fall. If you want to have some more clothing in your arsenal, maybe get some grey suiting separates because it doesn’t sound like you have them and they work as a suit or mixed in with black separates without losing much formality.
My last law firm had this exact dress code. What it meant for women was either a suit or a dress in a suiting fabric + structured blazer (although the blazer did not have to be part of the same suit as the dress). Both men and women often removed their jackets in their office and in the hall but not to meetings–so, on days where they were just sitting in their offices working, all day. Suiting separates was not the dress code, so oddly, pencil skirt + blouse was more acceptable than pencil skirt + blouse + separate blazer because with the first outfit, you theoretically had the matching suit jacket in your office.
Every office is different in how much they adhere to the official dress code. Also, my office was always more casual in the summer when people were on vacation and it was super hot both inside and outside the office. I agree with getting there and looking at what other people are wearing — look at people 2-3 steps above you, not at your peers who are just figuring it out, and not at the most senior women, who can often get away with more because they’re very senior. (One of my bosses at that firm with the “business formal” dress code regularly came to work in acid wash jeans, but he had the corner office and made the firm a ton of money.)
I’m confused that the dress and jacket did not have to be from the same suit but suiting separates were not allowed. Isn’t that a suiting separate?
I always understood suiting separates to be a suit where you could mix and match sizes for the top and the bottom, not that you mix and match across suits. Men’s suits tend to be sold as one unit whereas women’s suits can be found in individual pieces. Where I think it gets really confusing is that some women’s suits have a contrasting jacket that is very much intended to be the same level of formal as a solid color suit. For men though, a blazer isn’t as formal, correct?
Every time Kat uses the word “gawgeous” in a post I cringe.
+100000. As my kid would say, “what even is that word?!?”
Alanna of Trebond
+1 feels like it’s every other day, too
I wasn’t going to pile on, because it’s her blog and all, but yeah – once I would have just rolled my eyes and moved on, but it’s really, really frequent.
Interview + Allergies - Update!
I posted on the weekend thread asking for recommendations regarding managing my allergies, which have been unexpectedly terrible ahead of a major upcoming interview.
Thanks to everyone who gave advice, and also here is a (somewhat hilarious) update…
My boyfriend and I moved in together ~6 months ago. He works from home. On Saturday morning, I woke up and went to the gym. When I came back, my boyfriend was puttering around the house and had opened nearly every window in the house. I was like “Ahhh why are all of these windows open when my allergies have been so bad??” He said, “Oh, does that affect your allergies? It’s been so nice out that I’ve been opening the windows every day to let fresh air in rather than running the AC! I guess I usually shut them again before you get home.”
MYSTERY SOLVED. Also, I learned that apparently, my boyfriend has spent 35 years on this earth and never really understood what allergies are.
That is comedy gold! Bless his heart…
That’s almost adorable.
HA! Mystery solved. It’s always so rewarding when you figure you What Happened.
While you are getting better, consider acupuncture. I go for another issue but was experiencing allergy symptoms last time I was there and they added some anti-allergy components to my treatment. It actually worked!
Same! Worked well for my migraines and my allergies!
Has anyone used The Ordinary’s foundations? Any word on how they wear? I have combo skin I guess, and I tend to stick to basically tinted moisturizers/CC creams because everything else wears really poorly throughout the day.
I think they were officially released…3 days ago? I wouldn’t take any weight in any review, that’s just not enough time to test them out. I’ve ordered them (not yet arrived) but I already love their skin care. So I have to assume they will be great, plus for the price you have nothing to lose.
Ha! I thought they had been out for a while and then re-released. Though honestly at $6.70 it’s not a huge risk to just try ’em out.
Anyone have a recommendation for an inexpensive attorney in DC to help me file a civil motion to get my dog back? Thanks!
Sorry to repost and sorry in advance if This one is too late and I do it again this afternoon.
(sorry, no real suggestions, just couldn’t resist)
Wouldn’t this be criminal- not civil?
She’s not looking to charge him with theft, she’s trying to get specific performance ordered to get her dog/stuff back.
I highly recommend Jeremy Rachlin in Bethesda, he’s a litigation partner and does a lot of work in DC state court. We used him to advise us on a landlord/tenant issue and his advice was spot on and I found his rates reasonable. He’s also a really nice guy. Good luck.
THANK YOU. I will contact him.
Just Can't Understand
I’m not a troll, I swear. I didn’t vote for our current leader. Most elections, while I support whatever candidate I support, I can understand why others would choose someone else. No problem, that’s your right. This time though? I’m really struggling with seeing the other side. Or with even seeing that supporting him doesn’t mean people are racist, ignorant, want people to go without healthcare, etc. What do his supporters like about him? Do they like that he lies, that he encourages hatred? A few friends and family support him and based on them, it appears they just completely ignore the lying. Completely. I just don’t understand.
To make it more difficult, one of my sons recently joined the military and I’m terrified he will be deployed in what seems to be a likely war with N. Korea that’s starting with a p*ssing match between two cartoon characters with enormous power.
Oh wow, that’s awful.
The ones I know, they “couldn’t bring themselves” to vote for her. Cue Emails, Benghazi, liar, the Clintons, etc.
I think a lot of Republican voters + Trump voters are aspirational. They want to believe in cutting taxes, healthcare for “the others”, freeing up drilling, freedom to spray diazinon, you name it, because it means they are not working class.
If you can engage a Trump voter in the wild, I’d love to hear an intelligent argument but I never have.
Oh, and “he didn’t mean it” about misogynistic/racist statements. You know, take him seriously but not literally.
I don’t get it either. If you ‘ignore’ the lying there is nothing left.
Most of the pro-Trump arguments I have heard are along the lines of:
– Hilary is absolutely pure evil and they could not bring themselves to vote for her. She is responsible for the deaths of American soldiers and is part of a worldwide globalist elite movement concerned only with their own power.
– The government is inefficient and needed an outsider to shake things up. Every politician is corrupt and a non-politician needs to clean up the mess.
– He promised to bring jobs back and he is a successful businessman who knows a lot about creating jobs. He will protect American jobs from outsourcing or illegal immigrant labor.
– Society has gotten too politically correct and he tells is like it is, even if he is coarse sometimes.
To see his appeal, look at the chants that were popular at his rallies: “Lock Her Up! Build The Wall! Drain The Swamp!” If you look at these as genuine reflections of real concerns and not just knee-jerk hatred, you can start to see how he could appeal to some people.
Of course, all of those promises were lies and he has no idea how to actually make them happen, and many people DID support those concepts for racist, hateful reasons… but there are people out there who genuinely believe that HRC is a war criminal, that well-paid factory jobs have a chance of returning, that an outsider president could change things in Washington, etc.
The ones I know:
a) Supreme Court
b) Supreme Court
c) Supreme Court
d) not Hillary
Read Fox News and Breitbart, and pretend that’s your only source of news. It is actually really fascinating to compare how they emphasize really different things than mainstream news sites, and how differently they portray the same events. So what they see is the liberal media attacking an innocent man, or straight up lying , or making a huge deal out of some off hand comment that anyone could have made. They just have a totally different frame of reference. The part that gets me the most is just how can you not see that he is lacking in basic competence and has no clue about how the government works.