Thursday’s Workwear Report: Rozey Mixed Media Tee

Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

We’ve featured Ted Baker t-shirts before, and they’re a great option for fancy t-shirts for beneath suits. This particular mosaic pattern shows up in a lot of different pieces, like a dress, workout gear, scarves, etc., so if you happen to like the design but not on a t-shirt, do check those out. And if you like the idea of fancy, silky statement tee but you’re not a fan of this particular pattern, Ted Baker has a million of them with other designs, and they’re all around $79-$95 with a size range of 00-14. This one is $95 at Nordstrom. Rozey Mixed Media Tee

This plus-size tee from Marks & Spencer has a pattern reminiscent of some Ted Baker florals. There’s also a nice option from Lafayette 148 New York … but it is $548.

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  1. I really like this but I’m not sure I’d wear it to work.

  2. NYC Recommendations :

    I actually really like this shirt. I’d typically wear something like this tucked into a pencil skirt, and not sure how well this one would work tucked in, but I do like it.

    I’m traveling to NYC this fall and looking for recommendations. I’ve been several times and have already done all the requisite touristy stuff. I’m mostly wondering about hot spots for dinner and drinks. I’m staying near Union Square. Also wondering if there are any shows I should try to see (aside from the obvious Evan Hansen and Hamilton). TIA!

    • The Great Comet is fantastic and obviously easier to get tickets for than Hamilton.

      Since you’re staying near Union Sq., I’d make sure to have at least one meal at ABC Cocina or ABC Kitchen, or go have breakfast at ABC V. Daily Provisions (19th st.) is also good for breakfast/lunch, esp. if you’re eating alone.

    • Sleep No More

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Come From Away.

      • Diana Barry :

        +1, it is a great show.

      • +1 I was disappointed it didn’t get more press and nominations (although Dear Evan Hansen is amazing and I adore it, so just bad timing I guess). I absolutely lovvvvvvved this show.

    • I had to pick between Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, and the Great Comet (silly me, going to NYC with people who didn’t want to see a show every night), and I saw Dear Evan Hansen. It was wonderful! The theater is pretty small, so I think tickets are hard to come by and/or expensive. I was in the back row of the mezzanine and still felt really close to the stage.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I do really like this. I would wear it untucked with a black pencil skirt on the longer side (past the knees) and shoes that are the same color as one of the mosaic colors. I think I have orange peachy pumps that would blend.

  3. Has anyone else had this experience? As a lady with a more prominent rear end, I often find that skirts that look great from the front are too short in the back. This usually happens with A-line skirts and skirts made of softer fabric, which I like to wear because these styles are typically more flattering on me. It feels like the back of the skirt rides up as I wear it while the front of the skirt stays in place. Does anyone have suggestions for a solution other than never wearing skirts in these styles or having every item of clothing tailored?

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t. Is it possible a pencil skirt with some stretch will work for you instead? That’s what I do.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Seconding this. anyone have any recs for stretchi(er) suits especially? I find that I have to size up so far in the pencil skirts and then everything is too big when I stand but then when I sit and flex my glutes it barely fits. I know it is because the skirts aren’t cut right for my body type but if anyone has any larger posterior recs I am all ears.

    • I have this problem. I tend to reach for styles that are longer in general so as not to result in wardrobe malfunctions. My other (tongue in cheek) solution lately has to been to be pregnant. Finally a solution that evens my front out with my back side!

    • First Year Anon :

      I know what you mean- I find some stores actually make the back longer for this very reason. Check next time you go shopping!

    • I avoid flowy jersey skirts. They do nothing but make me look big all around as well as being uneven. If I wear an A- line it’s of a woven material. Those cute, comfy looking jersey dresses from Old Navy are off the menu.

      I have found that woven skirts with a defined waist may hang a little higher in the back but I’m OK with that as long as they are long enough to cover my butt. The weight of the fabric looks nicer than jersey. I don’t think anyone is looking that closely at your hemline and if they do notice they’ll be like, “what’s up bootylicious?”

    • I have a rap-star-girlfriend booty (it’s only been considered a positive for a few short years; for most of my life I tried to hide it)
      and this has always been a problem for me. I don’t wear A-line skirts ever (disaster) and as necessary, I get my skirts tailored so the hem is even. I have a small waist also, so I usually have the tailor nip in the waist while they’re fixing the hem. If you start with a below-the-knee skirt, it’s easier for the tailor to make adjustments.

      It’s actually gotten easier for me to find skirts that work since booties became a thing. Eloquii is where I get most of mine. I don’t know a good straight-size equivalent.

    • I believe that this was first featured here, but there is a company called Rita Phil that does custom pencil skirts for not much more than you’d pay at JCrew. Could be perfect for you! Check it out.

      Disclaimer: have not used them., but their stuff looks nice.

      • Constant Reader :

        Went to check the site (my friend was bemoaning the dearth of pencil skirt options now that J Crew looks like they are going to die a slow death) and OP, you should check the “b*tt enhancing (or not)” page. Notice particularly the change in the image. I died laughing, but it directly addresses the initial question! link to follow.

    • Tell me about it. I have been told I am stunning from the front (and side, b/c of my boobies), but NOT so much from the back, b/c of my TUCHUS. Pencil Skirts are too tight in size 0, so I buy size 2; and A line skirts are a little better. I am working on getting my tuchus down proportionateley, but so far, I am NOT 100% sucessful. So for now, I will NOT let a man see my tuchus — that is NOT a probelem b/c my dating status us currently zero. It does NOT take long, these days, when we women do start dating, that a man will want to have s-x, so we need to be carful NOT to let them see your tuchus if at all possible. FOOEY! There is a doubel standard, as men get away with haveing big tuchuses and big bellies, but we professional women are held to a different standard. DOUBEL FOOEY on that!!!!!

    • Costco of all places has a very stretchy pencil skirt that works great on my prominent rear end. And they are $14.99. The Mario Serrani Bodymagic Knit Skirt – its like the material Betabrand Yoga Dress pants are made from (Betabrand also makes a pencil skirt that might work, but I haven’t tried it).

    • Legal Canuck :

      I find a-line works great for my big booty but that is because I am not big anywhere else. And they don’t ride because the cinch my waist perfectly.

  4. Oof. That plus-size pick screams grandma in Florida. All that’s missing is a visor.

    • Yes, those florals are not at all Ted Baker-like!

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I had not looked until now as I don’t generally like floral, but yikes. Definitely Florida grandma vibe there.

    • Yikes! I’m plus sized but I’m not 80.

    • Wow. That’s just hideous. But I do like some of the other Marks and Spenser options at the bottom. For instance, I’d wear this one:
      …and I promise that I am not 80.

  5. There was a long thread in the weekend post about pencil skirts in a color with a neutral top being out. I’m curious – what do you all think is on trend for daily workwear at the moment?

    • Link for those that missed it:

    • On trend? No. Something I still wear anyway? Yes.

    • Anonymous :

      Cold shoulder? (Sorry, couldn’t resist)

    • Anonymous :

      ankle pants

    • Neutrals, neutrals and more neutrals

      Athleisure fabrics constructed as more traditional work clothing styles

      Natural color leather accessories (shoes and especially unstructured totes)

      Deliberate patten mixing

      But to be honest I don’t think work clothes as a category are the subject of trends right now. Trend is all about casual clothing at the moment. In fact, I’d say the overarching trend is to wear casual clothing to work.

      • Anony Mouse :

        If work clothes are not the subject of trends, why is it so hard for me to find basic, classic pieces, like simple shells and sheath dresses (e.g. no ruffles, asymmetrical hemlines, etc.)? I like the look of MM LaFleur but those are out of my price range.

        • I guess that’s the point. The powers that be think you should be wearing a hoodie and some modified yoga pants to work, so they’re not making a lot of work classic clothing.

      • Baconpancakes :

        This feels accurate. I looked at my wardrobe recently and thought “should I buy some color?” But I like the neutral tones I have, and feel like I’m in style wearing them.

        The athleisure fabrics might just be more of a technology change, though. Companies like Betabrand making clothes that are more comfortable but still look polished? Absolutely sign me up for that for the rest of my life.

      • Marshmallow :

        I check most of these boxes today, not even out of trying to be trendy, just because that’s what’s available for work clothes lately. I feel out of place in bright colors and have been wearing a lot of black, gray, navy, and cream. And stripes– maybe not trendy but definitely my favorite pattern.

    • Whatever the opposite of structured clothing is. I feel like all the cool looking women on the subway are wearing a knee-length flowy skirt with an oversized shirt not tucked in. Oversized in that it still fits in the shoulder but is like an a-line for shirts, if that makes sense. And nude flats.

      • I’m not sure I would agree on nude flats but definitively the oversize clothing, or wide but short tops.
        Definitely neutrals and pale muted colors.
        High-waist pleated pants, esp. with a sash top.
        Cream color jackets with black base (maybe not a trend but I saw several women wearing this combo recently, looking very chic)
        Loafers; chunky heels.
        Also, I’ve notice shorter dresses and long blazers, a la Ally McBeal but with flats. I don’t know that this is a good look for a conservative office though. I suppose a little shorter than the norm might work but the iterations I’ve seen didn’t seem work appropriate.

        • Agree w/all items you’ve listed, and agree that nude flats are out right now. I still wear mine once a week, but I feel v. out of place with them on.

          Have two pairs of high-waist pleat pants (don’t wear with a sash top though) and loafers.

          Am super happy w/the high-wait pleat pants, much more comfortable for me than my other styles of pants.

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        Anything oversized and boxy does not look good on my frame at all. I have some of those A-line type blouses in silk, but they just have to be tucked into a fitted skirt. But I think that may defeat the point of the style.

      • I know that’s the cool style, but I look so, so bad in the slouchy, flowy styles. Especially from head to toe. For whatever reason, my proportions look much better with some structure. Not clingy, but no droopy shoulder lines for this woman.

    • Workwear is not where I move much with trends. Maybe I pull out pants/skirts of different lengths, but by now I have figured out what works for my body to look polished and healthy and professional.

      I change shoes and accessories more with trends, and toppers (blazer cuts, sweater styles). Otherwise clothes are monochromatic neutrals with rare color pops that flatter. Only patters I wear are classic or subtle black +white or possibly other neutrals. A subtle pattern mixing is great.

      So much useless clothing out there, not for work.

    • Capsule wardrobes are in – separates in neutral, high quality fabrics (esp. silk) that can be mixed and matched. Slim ankle pants. Pointed toe flats, loafers, and chunky heels. Blazers were having a moment for a while but I’m seeing a shift toward cardigans/jardigans/maybe even those silky blazers from the early 90s?

      I think dresses might be out? Which is a shame because I basically live in dresses.

    • I don’t think trends affect work clothing as much. Pencil skirts are still the norm though hemlines have changed over the years. There have been changes to jackets with length, shoulder pads and lapels but they’ve stayed pretty much a norm. I think women are now wearing more color and pattern to work but I don’t think that’s a trend, but more so that women no longer have to blend in with the men and are more confident. My trendy clothing is pretty much all for casual wear.

      That being said, I am very frustrated with retailers not making clothing fit for a professional environment, especially for those of us who have to appear professional but don’t need to wear a suit every day. I went to the outlet mall yesterday in search of skirts and only found 1. Everything else was too frilly, too short or midi length.

  6. I love this dress so much, and the price is great. I can’t buy it because Theory has never ever fit me right. But anyone with a straight-ish body type who is looking for a chic/versatile little black/blue dress should check it out.

  7. Wear Everything Challenge :

    Good morning! What are you wearing today? This is the daily thread.

    The Wear Everything Challenge is a challenge to wear everything in your closet this summer. Get out of your rut and wear all the things! Either find a way to wear it or put it in a bag for Goodwill.

    Today I have a business formal meeting so I would ordinarily be wearing a black and gray patterned jacket with black separates (top and skirt). That’s my go-to business formal getup.

    However today I will be substituting a plum colored blazer I wear far less often. How about you?

    • Anonymous :

      Wait are we srsly doing this everyday all summer?

      • Maybe once a week would work best…just the highlights from that week maybe? I’m happy to skip tj’s that don’t interest me but this may just lose traction quickly!

        • Wear Everything Challenge :

          Ha! Yes I routinely skip over the “I’m visiting NYC next month, are there any good restaurants there?” threads.

          We can do once a week if that works for people. Since this is only the second day I thought it was worth posting again but I can’t imagine I will be posting every day all summer.

          I will, however, be challenging myself to wear something different all summer.

    • Aquae Sulis :

      I probably won’t post daily, but I love the idea of this challenge, and am going to try it out!

    • I’m wearing a skirt that I’m already regretting a bit. It’s a blue and white knit from Loft that I love but never wear since it’s a little more casual than what I usually wear to the office and a little dressier than what I wear otherwise. A lot of people are out at a conference today so it seemed like a good day to dress down, but I just feel out of place. The good news is that I actually love the outfit I made with it (white lace shell, green classic cardigan)! Now I just need to find the right place to wear it.

      • Senior Attorney :

        That sounds like a great outfit! What shoes are you wearing?

        • The shoes are where I feel like I failed on the outfit- I’m wearing black ballet flats because the only thing that really went with the rest was a pair of sandals that are definitely not work appropriate. So when I follow your suggestion and wear this to brunch, I’ll be wearing it with a cognac and gold sandal!

      • Senior Attorney :

        Also: wear that fab outfit to brunch on the weekend!

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I did this in the winter and found that it really helped to move things to the other side of the closet once worn. That was even if I *had* to re-wear a top that I love, I paired it with a “new” bottom from the other side.

      • This is a good tip. I have also heard of turning your hangers around (hook out instead of hook in) after you wear something. If nothing else, it makes you realize what you’re not wearing.

    • I work in a casual environment. I’m wearing dark wash skinny jeans and a loose sleeveless blouse. It’s white and has a navy blue and magenta pattern. Navy blue cardigan and navy blue flats. This isn’t one of my favorite outfits, but it’s comfortable and I was feeling lazy this morning.

    • Greyish taupe pants (Ryan fit from BR)
      Navy blouse with white polka dots
      Grey pointy toe wedges with silver studs
      Diamond earrings
      Two tone watch and engagement ring

    • This is very timely for me because I’m having a hard time with my summer wardrobe. Today I’m wearing a burgundy dress and peep-toe booties. I work in a business casual office in the South so I feel pretty good about it, especially since I don’t have any meetings outside my office today. But I’m definitely in a wardrobe slump so I’m curious to see how others style themselves and see if I can get some inspiration from posts.

    • Cobalt blue/white polka dot Anne Klein A-line dress. Dress was purchased in 2014 (from Ross for like, $20) and has been worn 50+ times, is pilling, and looks worn.

      I know I need to toss it, but it’s my favorite summer dress. So comfortable, so easy to throw on. I CAN’T QUIT YOU!!!!

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Get one of those fabric shaver things! Santa brought me one and I spent a delightful evening revitalizing my pilling clothes and texting my friends like “OMG you need one of these!”

        • Senior Attorney :

          Yes! It’s a game-changer! I had a sweater/cape that I loved but had gotten too pilled to wear out of the house, and my fabric shaver saved it! I have this one:

    • KS IT Chick :

      I’m wearing what I have referred to as my airplane pants: khaki cotton slacks that don’t bind so I am most likely to wear them when I’m flying somewhere. I’ve got them on today because my feet & legs are to swollen to wear my usual slacks & flats (I dug out my Dansko Mary Jane’s and loosened the straps to avoid adding to the bruising on my feet).

      The rest of it: bright green tee, with a navy blazer. The blazer is one of my wardrobe workhorses. Plus interesting jewelry to make me feel somewhat less of a schlub.

    • I have no problems with every day, there are a lot of posts I skip over and the “collapse all” is my friend. But if it goes weekly I’ll just try to hard to stay honest with it!

      Today I’m wearing a ponte lands end dress in a leopard print that I haven’t worn since mid pregnancy (now one year PP) and I like it more than I remembered, so, yay!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I wouldn’t mind reading posts every day, but I’m willing to play along with whatever the group wants.

      I’m wearing a London Times dress I have in two colorways (am I using that word right?). The other is my favorite, a cool blue and green and black floral pattern. This one is harder to wear — navy and coral and pink. I mean, it’s not that hard to wear because I just put it on and I’m dressed, but it seems more complicated somehow. Anyway, I’m glad I’m wearing it, yay challenge!

      I turned all my hangers around yesterday and added a maxi dress that is just too low cut for my post baby assets to the giveaway pile!

    • Marshmallow :

      I like this idea but probably won’t be religious about posting. I don’t care if we do it weekly or daily.

      Dark green ankle pants
      Black sleeveless popover blouse
      Black suede loafers

      My outfit is extremely boring. But I did my hair and makeup!

    • Baconpancakes :

      Sand colored trousers, ink-colored linen tee half-tucked, black Dansko sandals. Echoing the thread above, definitely simple and neutral, but I’m happy with it.

      I do hope I get back into cobalt again though, because I just love that color and it looks great on me, despite not wanting to wear it right now.

    • -dark blue pixie ankles pants from Old Navy
      -periwinkle top & gray cardigan
      -dark blue & white flats
      -jewelry is the same watch and 2 rings that I wear everyday, but I swapped out the pearl earrings I usually wear for a different pair of studs

      I like this idea. I’m moving soon and the next few weeks will give me an idea of what clothes I should donate and therefore not have to transport!

    • This may help nudge me to move my winter clothes out of my closet and focus solely on summer clothes. I have it paired down pretty well at this point and wear most of what I have.

      Today I am wearing orange J.Crew Minnies, a navy blue sleeveless shell with a cowl neckline layered over a white tank, and multi-colored floral D’orsay flats. I have a bunch of random jewelry on too, but that’s normal for me. I have a bunch of things I love that don’t necessary match, but I don’t care.

    • Black cropped wide leg pants (cropped to the angle, not capris), pleonie patterned wrap shawl neck top. I have limited bottoms so those will be on repeat frequently!

    • These posts about forcing yourself to wear what’s in your wardrobe inspired me to wear some of the jewelry I never wear: so I’m actually wearing a string of pearls today. They were a gift from my mother about 6 years ago. Even though I think they’re quite pretty I had never worn them before today, for no specific reason I can articulate. I just never reached for them.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Oh good idea! I should figure out how to wear my pearls without looking like I’m at a Junior League meeting. Whenever I wear them it seems like it’s with a cardigan or a collared shirt and blazer.

        Would a pearl strand look fresher with a sleeved sheath dress and bright colored heels, you think? (Grey J.Crew Factory cotton-linen dobby dress?)

    • GirlFriday :

      I have about 12 work pieces total, so I wear them all pretty consistently, but I want to play anyway. No preference on daily or weekly.
      Office is business casual but really you can wear whatever you want. I’m the only person on my floor not wearing jeans. Today I’m wearing: peach skinny pants (J Brand) (still rolling my cuffs btw: can’t stop, won’t stop), blue cotton button down shirt (Gap), gold platform flats (Donald J. Pliner), gold chevron earrings (Gorjana), small rose gold choker necklace (Kendra Scott), engagement ring, wedding ring, Navajo leaf ring (all silver). I was planning to wear some new Ann Taylor pants that I bought on clearance, but they’re too big :( Will have to get them tailored. If anyone has a tailor rec in H-town I’d appreciate it!

    • Linen navy wide leg pants, cropped to just below the knee. Culottes, if you will.
      Navy and white striped cowl neck shirt
      Black ballet flats
      I feel very French.

    • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

      I’ve spent the last five days meeting and helping take care of BFF’s seven week old baby, so today is all about comfort while I try to dig out from under my email.

      I’m wearing grey ponte-ish pants, a blue short-sleeved top with a band of lace detailing at the collar to give it some interest, and white lace-print fabric flats.

    • Anonymous :

      Talbots (lined – yay!) straight skirt with a discrete black, pale green, blue and cream, pattern that I have always worn with a black, pale green, or blue top. Today suddenly decided to wear a dark olive green t–shirt with it and it looks much better. Cream laced shows with a pale green trim. Black and gold watch. Necklace of baeds that reflect green and brown colors. And a new haircut.

      • Black cotton sateen pencil skirt, blsck silk top with moody print with pink and blush in it, pink linen cardi, flat blush and black spectators. Blush Ippolita drop earrings. Black bag.

  8. hi everyone – i posted on wednesday about having to admit to a mistake to my boss. I used a combination of the scripts you ladies provided, and everything worked out fine. My boss said “everyone makes mistakes” and thanked me for being transparent. I’m so relieved. Thank you everyone for your help and wisdom!!!

  9. Thanks for the tip on these tops. I thought Ted Baker was mostly florals, but this is fun.

    Great picks this week, BTW.

    My challenge is putting everything in my closet that hits a trend (on the Neiman Marcus list) in heavy rotation even if they aren’t my favorites. It got me to rethink my outfits and wear some closet lurkers.

    • Wear Everything Challenge :

      Can you post a link to the NM list? I’m curious to see it.

      • Hit the website, click on Women’s Apparel, and the Trends will pop up as an option. They’ve moved on from Spring to Pre-Fall since I last checked it.

  10. Emily Post :

    I’m pregnant with my second child and we’ve just told our families. An older aunt who is coming to visit is apparently not thrilled at the news. She thinks it’s selfish and unnecessary to have more than one kid. I haven’t spoken to her about this but she’s made it clear to my mom than she did not view our announcement as happy news. She’s obviously nuts and she has a tendency to be this way with every second baby announcement and sometimes even with firsts and then she comes around once it happens and talks about how great the new kid is and seems completely oblivious to her prior statements. I don’t really care, I’m not taking it personally, but I’d like to come up with a few prepared one liners to cut off her negativity when it comes up. Any ideas? Saying something like “what do you want me to do, have an abortion?” wouldn’t work because she would just very likely say there is nothing wrong with that. I expect it will be a lot of subtle little comments extolling the virtue of having an only child, not actually urging me to do anything, but I’d like to head it off.

    • Anonymous :

      You’re kinder than I am. I wouldn’t welcome someone to my home who behaved like this (and certainly not when I was dealing with pregnancy nausea/fatigue!).

    • Anonymous :

      To each their own.

      Every family has to make the decision that’s right for them.

      I enjoyed having siblings.

      – pick one or two standard responses and use them every time followed by an immediate change of subject.Good that you realize that this is about her cray-cray and has nothing to do with you.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m an atheist and would use this opportunity to say something sarcastic (and offensive) like, “Well we can’t go against god’s will.”

    • Anonymous :

      “I don’t care what you think. If you don’t want to congratulate me don’t say anything at all.”

    • Congratulations!

      Aunt: “It’s selfish to have more than one kid. I can’t believe you’re having another one.”
      You: “I can’t believe you said that.” + uncomfortable silence

      Whatever you say, I think the key is to let the uncomfortable silence follow and settle. She can think whatever she wants, but *telling* a woman pregnant with her Xth child that it’s selfish to have X children and X – 1 is the right number is completely over the top, and the uncomfortable silence is the time for her to experience that.

      Also, is she coming to visit you? Or visit your mom? If she’s staying with you, it’s fine to tell her very directly at the first remark she makes that such remarks are not welcome, and you don’t want to hear any more of them during the visit. If she makes a second such remark, remind her of the boundary with a “if you can’t respect this boundary, perhaps we should cut this visit short and visit another time.” Third time, take/send her home.

      I realize all of this is easier said than done.

      Or maybe I am a jerk… I am also pregnant with my 2nd and at the stage where total strangers feel free to speculate all things pregnancy, birth, and baby-related, and I am super tired of it.

      • Emily Post :

        She’s staying with my mom but we will be seeing each frequently. I don’t expect that she will outright say anything which is what makes it harder. If she said, “I think you’re selfish for reproducing again,” I would have zero issue saying she should keep her comments to herself. More likely scenario is just her reminiscing about her son and then saying, “of course it was much easier on me with just one,” or talking about her son’s children and how hard it is with two and all the sacrifices they have to make. She knows how to toe the line just enough to make it hard to be blunt with her but I also know what she means when she says these things so I’m trying to head off conflict. My preference is not to be rude if I can help it.

        • It sounds like you might be able to make use of, “What do you mean by that?”

        • “This is the third time you’ve made a snide comment about people who have more than one child in front of me knowing I’m pregnant. Stop.”

          And when she doesn’t just don’t see her at all. You don’t have to.

        • Oh. That’s kind of different than what you said before. Saying it was much easier on her with just one is an observation about her own life. Maybe you don’t care about her thoughts and that’s fine, but it doesn’t sound like a judgment on you. And same thing with talking about the sacrifices her son has had to make with two – I assume her son has different circumstances than you so I wouldn’t read this as a judgment of you.
          And frankly, two kids are a lot harder than one! It doesn’t mean having two is wrong or bad or selfish or anything like that. But an observation that having two kids is more stressful and requires more sacrifices than having one is pretty much a fact and seems like a pretty innocuous thing to say. Of course if it’s repeated constantly it becomes very annoying, but I still think it’s best ignored and is totally different than an outright statement that she thinks you’re selfish for wanting two.

        • I would just ignore any passive-aggressive comments like that for the duration of the visit. And maybe try to find a way to see her infrequently.

          Every now and then, my MIL does stuff like this (but on other topics). I’ve realized it’s mostly her insecurities. I’ve confronted her about some of the comments in the past, but she acts innocent and offended, and she doesn’t change her future behavior. There’s no point.

          • My MIL is like this too. But I find it cute, because my mother is the queen of passive-aggressive (which her three daughters delight in calling her out on, so I’ve had lots of practice). As my husband says, I skip straight past passive to aggressive when I’m upset – I consider it a benefit in that there is no doubt about what I am upset about (clearly not with something like this – to each their own).

            I call out my MIL’s passive-aggressive comments because my husband finds them cutting (they are frequently about him from his mother, usually about his weight, or how he is going to be a stay-at-home dad) and my hope is that with repeated admonishment maybe she will be a better person. But I don’t want our daughter growing up and thinking those kinds of comments are OK. Usually something along the lines of “surely you didn’t mean XYZ” or I can’t believe you said “[what she actually meant]”, followed by from her “I didn’t say that” to which I respond “that is what I heard, so if you didn’t mean it perhaps you should say what you mean.” My mother usually admits to thinking whatever horrible thing she thought (and then her children explain to her why that’s wrong – e.g., her objection to my sisters being single at 24 and 26). My MIL just usually tries to defend her position (e.g., being fat is a mortal sin, my son is too good to choose to stay at home) and I usually end up ending the conversation or, frankly, when they really start picking on my husband’s weight, we up and leave because that is just wholly unacceptable. My conflict-avoident husband is still wrapping his head around the fact that I consider those comments inappropriate and would choose to object rather than ignore them (because he has been subjected to them his entire life) but is appreciative that someone is sticking up for him.

        • Oh my goodness. She’s found the “perfect” approach: Have strong opinions that you will not change, but slide them into the conversation in a way that keeps anyone else from ever being strong with you in return and making YOU uncomfortable.

          It’s maddening to be on the receiving end of this kind of person. I think your choices are to up the ante and call her on it (which you’d prefer not to do) or find a way to step aside from it.

        • I’d hit the son-has-two angle hard.
          o. “Yes, of course two are more difficult than one. But *I’m* very lucky to have a supportive mother”.
          o. “I know son is very happy he had two.”

          • Emily Post :

            To be somewhat fair to her, I think that part of the reason she feels the way she does is she has a tendency to undertake a lot for her grandkids. She’s very much a matriarch of her clan and with her grandkids, she shoulders a lot of the load, both financially by contributing to their upbringing and physically by, e.g., taking her youngest to after school classes, etc. No one forces her to do this but she feels like she “must.” So in some ways her opinion is formed by the fact that she perceives it as an added responsibility in her life and therefore assumes it will be the same for my mom. The fact that my mom couldn’t be happier does not compute. But I do think asking her to imagine her life without her youngest grandson, who she was very against, is a good move.

          • Senior Attorney :

            “Yes, I know it’s been hard for you! I feel so blessed that my mom doesn’t make me feel like a second grandchild will be a burden!”

        • I get the preference that you don’t want to be rude, but I don’t think you would be rude by laying down a boundary. AskAManager has what I think is a good take on this in the work world, along the lines of “You’re not being rude. The other person is being rude by forcing you to get very direct.”

    • Anonymous :

      Offer to get rid of the child you already have (as in monetize it). List it on ebay? Sell to her? Or say you will do that when you see which one you like better. Why should she presume that the first is a keeper?

    • Wish we could trade relatives. We are one and done and my in-laws call me selfish every time I see them.

    • Oh, a question – where is this aunt in the birth order? If she’s not an only / oldest, I might not be able to resist a remark about whether she thinks her own parents were selfish to have her.

    • She sounds nuts, so not sure how much you can appeal to her through logic, but maybe pointing out that having fertility drop too far below the replacement rate causes a variety of economic and sociological problems will divert the conversation? Either a joke like, “I’m breeding the workers of the future, who will provide a robust economy for you in your old age!” or an academic comment like, “How interesting you say that – what are your thoughts on some of the issues they are seeing in Japan related to low birth rates and long life expectancy?”

      • Emily Post :

        She is too nuts. Her opinion on Japan is that she doesn’t live in Japan and therefore what happens in Japan is hardly her problem. This has come up before.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          My tombstone will read “You can’t fight crazy with logic”. Repeat as needed, and pass the bean dip.

          • Baconpancakes :

            Ha! This is right up there with “Not my circus, not my monkeys” and “Believe people when they tell you who they are,” as a life motto.

    • Thisperson1 :

      I’m grumpy today so I’d probably just do the dead eye stare until they get uncomfortable.

      • +1 This is my favorite response to stupidity. I learned it from my judge when I was a law clerk.

    • Maybe she is resentful that she was only able to have one child (for whatever reason) so she spreads that to everyone else.

      • +1

        This was my thought exactly.

        • Emily Post :

          I don’t know if resentful is the right word. As far as we know, she has never tried for more than 1. But she does have a tendency to thinking that whatever she does is right so if she chose one, that would mean others should too.

          • In my experience, people who are insistent that others should make the same choices as them often feel like they didn’t have a choice to make. There are dozens of possible reasons why she only has one child. Maybe she actively chose that of her free will and regretted it. Maybe her husband was insistent. Maybe there’s an underlying medical issue. Maybe it’s none of those things. But a lot of times, the comments that are the most hurtful to us are made by people who are hurting. Being snarky in response only compounds the problem.

          • GirlFriday :

            This is my favorite faulty logic: “Everything I’m doing is what everyone else should be doing!” No one asked you to run my life. I would just avoid her all together, but since you’ve indicated you can’t really do that, I’d probably just do the Lucille Bluth “glare and slowly turn away.”

      • + 2 This is also what I thought. Would it be easier for you to view these statements with pity/sympathy rather than as an attack?

    • “I’d never want to deprive my child of having a sibling! If it weren’t for my mother (her sibling) where would you be staying right now?”

    • Baconpancakes :

      Um, wtf. How rude. Other posters have covered the responses to your aunt quite well, but I wanted to say congratulations! My friend just announced her second last night and I’m so excited for her, and I hope your other friends and family are as excited for you!

      • Emily Post :

        Thanks! TBH, I am a little nervous as to whether this was the wisest decision at this time in our lives so I think that’s part of the reason I’m so eager to head off any of her negativity.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Ah. That does make it harder to just smile and nod, doesn’t it?

          How about being dead honest: “Auntie, please stop with the second-child bashing! I’m nervous enough about it as it is!”

    • fake coffee snob :

      this may be petty, but my go-to with low-key offensive statements (microaggressions, whatever) is a faux-naive “what do you mean by that?” until they have to up and say the awful thing that they thought they could just gently allude to. That said, the more productive route is probably just to ignore.

  11. What to do with Finger Paint? :

    I have a few bottles of finger paint that my toddler no longer uses. I wanted to use them up for a fathers day craft. I was thinking of showing my toddler how to drip paint a terra cotta planter (ie, squeeze the bottles of paint onto upside down planter and let it dry). I know this would work with acrylic paint, but what about finger paint? Would it set properly? Would a sealant help?

    • My kid’s day care buys a canvas, uses painter’s tape and an exacto knife to spell (I <3 DAD). the kids fingerpaint (they give them a few complimentary colors, shades of blue, and they go to town. When it dries, they take the tape off and it's this bizarre little abstract/etsyish thing.

      • I think that’s a better idea than the terracotta pot. Set the canvas up on your lawn and then let your kid run through the sprinkler to get cleaned up.

      • That’s what we did this year and it worked out great. Don’t give LO dark color paint though because it will all turn black.

      • This is adorable!

  12. No sympathy :

    I noticed over the past few days and find it irritating that people feel okay with dismissing my experiences or feelings because I’m thin. I’m generally healthy but not strict or regimented. To answer the constant question, I don’t know how i can eat that and still be 115 lbs. Anyway, at a couples dinner my friend was explaining how she ruined scones for me and I recalled “yeah, when I had that weight problem.” (Some medicine made me go up a size, almost two, in just a few months and let me just say to anyone who has to be careful about what they eat, I admire your grit, tenacity and determination because it sucks and isn’t easy) My friend flat out told me I didn’t have a weight problem. But wait a minute, whether I’m going from 0 to 2 or 10 to 12, it’s painful to wear clothes that squeeze you and finally relent to spending several hundred dollars to buy new appropriate work clothing. So I’ve now been working 5 days straight in the office for 14 hour days just sitting at my computer on deadline. My coworker changed into her gym clothes and I said “oh, so jealous.” I wish I could remember her exact words but it was something to the effect of give me a break , you don’t need to go to the gym. Her tone was actually hostile, which both surprised me and pissed me off. I would think anyone else who does the same job would understand the need to get out and move around. You wouldn’t tell someone who just sat for a 20 hour plan ride in coach that it didn’t suck cause they’re skinny.

    • I literally never talk about my weight ever, yet it’s a constant topic of conversation in my office. Whenever I eat, whenever I’m seen leaving for the gym, etc. I just don’t engage and ignore.

    • Anonymous :

      Being a size 2 is not a weight problem. Maybe don’t call it that?

      • Yeah. I’m struggling to follow the actually story there (something about ruining scones?) but what the OP had was a medication issued that caused weight gain; describing it as a weight problem is weird and is likely what caused the response. I think lots of people could sympathize with that being uncomfortable and problematic if the focus was “this medication had serious side-effects, including really rapid weight gain, which was uncomfortable and freaked me out.” Then the focus is on your health, not on weight. Focusing on your weight as the problem when you’re small in a relative sense is going to be off-putting to people.

      • lost academic :

        Being a size 2 COULD be a weight problem. I was like that in college. Now I’m a 12. That’s not that unhealthy (the size is fine, given how tall I am, but I’m not in shape, and that’s a problem to me.)

        I think I would say that calling the change in sizes a ‘weight problem’ is just loaded for a lot of people without you realizing it – the words themselves make sense but you can’t change the accepted implications, so I’d suggest finding a different, more specific way to describe the problem so that you and others know what you mean.

      • It can be– I am trying to maintain my figure (unsucessfully, as my tuchus is to prominent), so even tho I can squeeze into size 0 for some clotheing, I use size 2 for other clotheing b/c of the cut. My dad compares me to my sister, who does NOT have a tuchus issue, and he is ALWAYS telling me to slim down my tuchus, and I know I can, if I stop eating so many good types of food. I do NOT want to live on lettuce just to have a nice tuchus. I prefer eating Pastrami sanwiches and other deli food, and desserts after dinner. Why do I have to make a choice of NOT eating while men can have fat tuchuses and eat whatever they want? FOOEY on the doubel standard. I am VERY mad that men with HUGE tuchuses take me to task for having a tuchus that would be microscopic if it were attached to their a$$es. TRIPEL FOOEY!

      • Agreed. It seems like you brought up your weight with the first instance.

    • Anonymous :

      So what are you looking for here? Sympathy or honesty. If sympathy, yes it does seem that the intention of your words was misperceived. If honestly, regardless of the intent, your words were insensitive, unempathetic and had a negative effect on those around you. You might try being more sensitive.

      • Yes, this. You have all the advantages here. You need to be more careful of others! I get that it’s hurtful to you but honestly it’s really not that bad.

    • Anonymous :

      So, I am “naturally thin” too (for lack of a better term) and I agree that a lot of people make invasive/inappropriate questions or comments about my weight and diet or exercise routine and it can be very frustrating. But saying you have “a weight problem” because you took a medicine that made you go up a couple sizes when you’re thin to begin with is kind of ridiculous. Frankly, I think even if you go from a size 10 to a size 12 it’s not “a weight problem.” It’s totally fair to say you gained weight recently because of medicine and you’re frustrated by that fact – that’s factual and even thin people can be frustrated by weight gain. But “a weight problem,” IMO tends to imply you are struggling to maintain a healthy weight (on either end of the spectrum) and there’s no indication that going from either size 0 to size 2 or size 10 to size 12 automatically makes you unhealthy. I can see why your friend eyerolled that.

    • You don’t have a weight problem. It was a ridiculous thing to say and your friends are right to tell you you don’t have a weight problem.

    • Perhaps recognize that if both you and your coworker have been working 14 hour days for 5 days, you’re both likely stressed and tired, and are taking things more seriously and personally than you ordinarily would. Stuff can set both of you off that otherwise wouldn’t be a big deal. She’s not attuned to your need for exercise, and you’re not attuned to her concerns about her weight. It’s OK. You can both let it go.

    • ponte python's flying circus :

      As a fellow small person, I agree that it is irritating and hostile (not the ‘weight problem’ comment – that was mildly insensitive – but your gym-going coworker’s response and other skinny-shaming). But in this context there is no good response.

    • At first, as another thin person (although I do workout regularly and eat healthy), I wanted to sympathize with you . . . until you said being a size 2 is a weight problem. Sorry, it just isn’t. I know I am thin. I also am sensitive to other people’s concerns and struggles. Because of that second bit, I never ever say that I am fat (I’m not) or make any sort of comments that make it seem like I am overweight (I am not).

      Yes, I am sure it was uncomfortable to wear clothes that didn’t fit you and to feel like you weren’t yourself or, perhaps, happy with how you looked and felt, but that at a size 2 is very different than that at a size that is not considered thin by main stream media and the general public.

      • Anony Mouse :

        I agree with you in general, but OP didn’t mention her height. Being 115 lbs. at 5′ is a lot different than being 115 lbs at 5’11.

        • Sure, but I still would not reference 115 lbs, size 2 at 5′ as weight problem. I am accusing of not eating enough all the time, so I get where she is coming from, but I also would never be so insensitive to say I have a weight problem if I have to buy one size up because of a weight fluctuation.

        • Even at 5’0″, a weight of 115 gives you a BMI of 22.5, which is solidly within the normal range and not remotely overweight. I have a higher BMI then that and people regularly refer to me as “thin” so I don’t think anyone would be calling you overweight at that weight and height.

    • Eh, I’m naturally very skinny and I’ve definitely faced a lot of comments that hurt (being called anorexic, for example, is never fun) but I’m still very aware of my ‘thin privilege’ and would never say that I had a weight problem as a result of normal fluctuations.

      That said, for awhile I felt like people were so focused on how much I exercised/ate that I went out of my way to overeat while in public, or eat a second lunch/dinner if meeting friends because I was worried they wouldn’t believe me if I said that I already ate – it made me extremely self conscious and I did start to have some weird food issues. I’ve gotten over it and don’t really care what others think anymore, but do have a policy that I never, ever mention food or weight in public, period, in any way, which helped and I highly encourage (especially statements about how much you ate, how full you are, etc.).

    • I like that your “fat person” example is going from a size 10 to a size 12.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Ughhh all this focus on weight bugs me. The purpose of exercise is to maintain lean muscle mass and mobility as we age and ward off osteoporosis (as women). This phenomenon is true regardless of what body type / size you are at.

      I would have told my coworker this. I’m jealous because you have the chance to go focus on your health / destress for 45 minutes and I love exercising – it has nothing to do with weight. I am a person who would be “thinner” if I stopped working out. I have gained weight by working out and now wear a bigger size often (in anything without any stretch) to accommodate my biceps / thighs / posterior. But I have no back pain anymore and great mobility and can easily swing a heavy suitcase into an overhead bin.

    • Ok, I’ve been through something similar and was put in my place. I was complaining to friend #1 about how all the wedding dresses you try on are a size 12 (I’m a 0/2) and it was frustrating. Friend #1 mentioned it to Friend #2. Friend #2 called me to say that perhaps I shouldn’t have mentioned size because friend #1 is a size 12 (I had no idea what size she was nor was I trying to fat shame her). Friend #2 suggested that I simply say that they didn’t have my size without mentioning specifics. Now these 2 friends never fail to mention some form of my thinness whenever I see them (which isn’t often) and I find it very awkward.

      I totally get your frustration, but I just really really try to steer clear of saying anything about weight and diet around pretty much everybody. I do occasionally mention exercise, but more as a “this is what I enjoy doing” and not as a “I’m trying to to lose weight”.

      • I think what your friends are saying/doing to you is over the line. You made ONE comment. You were made aware of how it affected people and you’re now more careful of how you approach the topic. So the way I see it, you’ve made amends. But now, every time you + these friends get together, they punish you by making digs or comments about YOUR size? They are hypocrites.

        Also, I’m wondering why Friend #1 felt it was appropriate to mention your comment to Friend #2. Sounds like the true purpose for Friend #1 was to gossip about you. If Friend #1 thought your comment was mean, she could have directly gone to you to say that instead of telling Friend #2.

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        “I just really really try to steer clear of saying anything about weight and diet around pretty much everybody.”

        Yeah, this. I am also naturally very thin and very tall (0/2 and 5’11”). I find trying to buy clothes incredibly frustrating, but try not to complain about it to anyone except my husband because of this. (And one close friend that I shop with a lot who doesn’t make inappropriate comments about my size.) I get constant surprise that I eat meat. I get constant surprise that I am in to weight training. I get constant surprise that I eat anything at all. It is all very awkward indeed. I have long ago gotten over it, but still do try to be sensitive and wouldn’t call going up a size a weight problem. Although I get it is annoying since you are used to your body being a certain way and having clothes that fit.

    • I’m a person with real weight problems and a health problem that is at least partially caused by it. If a friend complained about her “weight problem” when she went from a size 0 to a size 2, I would frankly be so offended that I would have to reevaluate the friendship and if this is a true reflection of her personality. Just as I reevaluate my impressions of BigLaw attorneys who complain about being broke and poor.

      I have a friend who is a size 6 who ALWAYS complains about being fat, looking fat in pictures, and needing to lose weight. She probably weights close to 100 pounds less than me. EVERY time she says something like this to me, I want to ask her what she thinks of me, if I’m too fat to every be in pictures, etc. I don’t think she means to be offensive, but it certainly is. Sometimes, you need to think about your audience and consider if your phasing things in the way you intended.

      • Anonymous :

        I think you should ask her – it would make her think about how her words affect others.

    • So, I get where you’re coming from. People feel free to say all kinds of things to thinpeople.

      I have a work “friend” who calls thin women skinny b1tches to their faces. I might’ve been guilty of that in the past but I would never do such a thing now that I’m more aware.

      I am plus-sized and I don’t want anyone talking about my weight, so I wouldn’t talk about theirs.

      The one thing I would say is that referencing your gain from size 0 to size 2 as a “weight problem” is going to come across as insensitive to anyone who is larger than size 2. If we were in a a group of friends and you said that, I’m sure I would feel self conscious. I might make some sort of self-deprecating fatty joke like, “oh maybe my right leg can fit in your skirt now that you’re SO HUGE” because I would feel like if you’re saying size 2 is a weight problem, I can’t imagine what you think of me. I’d rather not have to do that.

    • I think people did dismiss what you called a weight problem because it’s not really a weight problem. I’m thin also and sometimes my clothes get too tight, but I don’t think I would call it a weight problem. Going up or down a size is a normal fluctuation in most peoples’ weight.

    • You have all the advantages here. Your idea of having a weight problem is being a size 2. I get that it sucks to have to buy a new wardrobe, but I can understand why your friends aren’t especially sympathetic to your comments about weight. You DON’T have to watch everything you put in your mouth and exercise like a fiend to stay in a weight range that’s healthy for your height and frame. That’s where I’m at. That’s how I’m built. And let me tell you, it grates hard when my naturally thin friends complain about weight and size. Even if they gain 10 pounds, the only consequence is needing to buy new clothes. Whereas if I gain 10 lbs., my doctor is on me to LOSE WEIGHT IMMEDIATELY.

      • Also, there are plenty of societal advantages to being naturally thin. Don’t pretend there aren’t.

      • I agree with 100% with everything about your post the exception of 1 thing – the part about not “watching everything you put in your mouth and exercise like a fiend” b/c regardless of how small someone is, trust me they ARE watching what they eat. This is all anecdotal (of course!) but I started observing my college-age niece eat. She is barely 5 feet tall and slim. She eats sparingly. She may not exercise but she is definitely minding how much she eats. My aunt who is the same height and is also on the slim side, has changed to a low-carb diet b/c her doctor said she’s pre-diabetic. She no longer eats bread and is eating more vegetables. She’s always watched what she’s eating but she’s taken it to a whole new level.

        I guess I’m sensitive to that portion of your post b/c I recently lost 10 pounds and every time I hang out with my close friend, she makes it sound like I just woke up one morning and my fairy godmother waved her wand to magic away the 10 pounds. And I don’t bring up my weight, ever. She’s always the one to make a comment and I’m left there trying to find a way to change the subject b/c her comment makes me uncomfortable and angry at the same time.

        From my perspective, she’s ignoring the hard work, effort and energy I’ve put towards losing the weight. I”m sure that’s not her intention but that’s the effect her words on me. I (still) weigh my food and track it every day. I’m either eating the same thing every day or I’m constantly on the hunt for re-vamped recipes. I’ve severely curtailed eating out b/c it’s a pain in the rear to have to carefully plan what to order and it always ends up as some form of chicken breast and veggies anyways. I’m currently on the “new rules of lifting for women” program and do T25 (sometimes 2 workouts) on my rest days. I’m working my tail off 5-6 days so while I am in the BMI range, it’s not easy for me either. I have to be pro-active, diligent and consistent about my diet and exercise.

        OK, stepping off my soapbox now. And again, I fully support everything in your post but the one part where you sound like it’s easy for slim/thin/skinny people to stay that way.

        • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

          “regardless of how small someone is, trust me they ARE watching what they eat”

          No no no. This is just not true and an annoying misconception. Not everyone who is thin does this.

          • PrettyPrimadonna :

            Thank you.

          • ok then. What is it that these thin/slim/skinny people are doing (or not) that allows them to keep the weight off or stay at that weight? And I’m not talking about people with health conditions (IE: PCOS, Crohn’s, etc) or medication that affects their metabolism. I’m curious what your thoughts are on that.

            I think if you were to poll people who you think are skinny about whether they monitor how much they eat, they would say yes. Do they make it obvious they’re doing that? Some do, some don’t. Just b/c a person doesn’t announce WHY they chose to eat less, doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

            Or go on and check out the forums. Tons of people have lost weight by changing how much they eat. People who can’t exercise have lost weight by eating less.

            I’d rather not eat 150 calories instead of trying to burn that off. But hey, that’s just me.

          • Anon at 3:23: genetics, genetics, genetics. My mom is naturally a string bean. My best friend naturally has the build of a runway model, such that she exercises to keep weight on, not off. I’m not a string bean, but my set point reads as slim and petite regardless of what I eat or how much I exercise. Granted, I will feel like sh*t physically or mentally if I eat cheeseburgers all day and never work out, but inasmuch as I “watch what I eat” it’s because my body is happier with lots of fruits, veggies, and movement. It’s not fair that I, or my mom, or my BFF, do not have to try in order for our bodies to adhere to a societally-privileged standard where we can find clothes that fit us in stores, and where our doctors take our health complaints seriously instead of telling us “oh, just lose 10 lbs,” and 8 million other things that come along with having bodies that look like what the patriarchy tells us that women’s bodies should look like.

            But it’s the reality: there is no secret formula that skinny people have and other people do not, no matter what the diet and exercise industry would like you to believe. So, yes. Some people who are skinny monitor what they eat to stay skinny, whether or not they admit it to you. But many don’t, because human bodies come in a ridiculous diversity of configurations.

          • Anonymous :

            Yup. I don’t eat when I’m not hungry (for the most part) and I make an effort to put some lean protein and vegetables on my plate most nights at dinner but I would not say I “watch what I eat.” I indulge in all sorts of unhealthy things whenever I want, including desserts at least twice a day, and I stay slim. I don’t have any health conditions. Some people just have fast metabolisms.

          • To Anon at 4:01pm: What if I told you to swap that out and eat a double-western cheeseburger and fries instead? Are you saying you wouldn’t gain weight? And if you ate those things, would you still be eating the 2 desserts that same day? And you would be repeating this (cheeseburger, fries, 2 desserts) regularly? My guess is you would begin to be concerned with whether you’re gaining weight or will gain weight soon. Will that be the only thought? No but I’m pretty sure weight gain will pop up in your head. And I would like to know if your decision to chose lean protein + veggies has nothing to do with it being better for weight management versus a cheeseburger. I’m pretty sure part (I’m not saying all) of the reason you eat those things is b/c you know you won’t gain (or gain as much) eating those as opposed to a big 12 oz steak with fries.

            At Emeralds: I’m not saying skinny people do not have a social advantage. I’m talking about assuming thin/skinny/slim people are not putting effort to achieve their bodies. You said it yourself, you eat lots of fruit and vegetables. As with Emeralds, are you saying that the fact fruits and vegetables are generally lower calorie never crossed your mind? I also disagree with your opinion that “many [skinny people] don’t [monitor what they eat]…” I think if I were to go to every single gym and conduct a poll, the majority would say they think about food choices and try to eat less or less calorie-laden food. (I’m using the gym as an example b/c I think my chances of finding a good number of skinny/thin/slim people.)

            A the end of the day, skinny/slim/thin people aren’t special snowflakes. The majority of them are that way because of diet choices (and sometimes exercise). Everyone knows “The Rock”, right? The guy is in amazing shape. But guess what?? He THINKS about how much and what he eats, ALL. THE.TIME. He works out like crazy, but his diet is on point. You think, “Oh, he’s got huge muscles, he can eat whatever he wants.” No, he doesn’t. He may have a cheat meal, or cheat day, but those are all purposefully and methodically planned.

            And I can’t say it enough that I agree that being a certain weight confers social status. Skinny is a higher status than overweight. And I agree that it sucks. Someone’s weight should not be used as a weapon against them or for society to say that one person looks smarter, has better chances of getting hired, etc because of his/her weight. My posts have been strictly about weight + food choices.

            I also know I’m working just as hard as the next woman to maintain/lose weight. If it makes someone feel better about themselves to look at me and dismiss my body b/c of their false assumptions (my body-type must be special, I’m doing something secret that no one else can mimic), then so be it! My body is due to hard work, consistency and a $11 food scale. Oh, and some weights b/c I like lifting!

        • I’m addressing the OP, who did allude to the fact that she eats what she wants and remains 115 lbs.

    • I think you need to frame this differently. Wouldn’t it be a total pain for you to work a 15 hour days and then have to go to the gym when you don’t want to? Yes. So when she made that comment, why not think to yourself “Yeah, I am lucky that I don’t have to worry about that.” Your coworker didn’t mean it in a bad way, she was saying that she’s jealous of your body.

      • I can see where the OP’s referring to her “weight problem” might have seemed insensitive to her friend, but as a person who actually likes going to the gym, I feel like the co-worker took her “I’m jealous” comment the wrong way (and I also see that as being more on the co-worker). Working out when you’re working 15 hour days is good for stress relief, keeping your blood pressure down, reducing the strain of sitting all day…

        • The “I’m jealous” comment could very easily have come across to the co-worker as being a humblebrag about how hard OP was working or a dig at the co-worker for leaving when OP was staying to work longer. I have a co-worker who makes comments like this all the time whenever he thinks he is working harder than other people (which he never is, but I digress…).

    • As a fellow naturally thin person, I will agree that I have had other people say critical, hurtful or even downright mean things to me about my body. I never talk about my weight with anyone (other than my husband) or even mention it in passing, but you would be surprised at what other people think is appropriate judgment to make about another person’s body. It’s really hurtful because I think that my body should be respected in the same way that any other person’s body should be respected. We all live in the bodies that we were given, for better or worse, and I think it’s generally no one’s busy how another’s person’s body weight is doing. I don’t really think that my body should only be respected if I stop and explain how: I’m lactose intolerant and I’m turning down the ice cream because I don’t want to have a bathroom emergency at this party, or how that I have a problem absorbing certain nutrients and I’ve to see a nutritionist for years of my life… Body shaming is bad for everyone, of all sizes and weights.

  13. Postpartum Anxiety :

    What’s normal and what’s not? At what point should I call my doctor? And is my obgyn the person to start with?

    I’m going back to work in 3 weeks, have hired a nanny who seems wonderful, responsible and loving. But I’m suddenly have terrible dreams about something bad happening to the baby, to the point where I’m usually waking up at least once a night due to the dreams. Things like leaving her alone in the bathtub to answer the front door, forgetting her in the hot car, losing her in the grocery store etc. And the articles about the London fire with people throwing their babies out the window to try to save them literally brought me to tears and I had a pit in my stomach all day.

    Normal? Not? Still breastfeeding so I’m not even sure what I could do if it isn’t normal

    • Call your doctor now! Yes, start with your ob/gyn

      • This. There are medications that are safe while breastfeeding.

        • +1. I took an anti-depressant and continued to breastfeed. I would start with your ob/gyn.

          Also, if it turns out that you need a medication that precludes breastfeed, your health is important, and it’s OK to decide that an improvement in your health is worth more to you and baby than whatever the benefits of continuing to breastfeed are.

    • It’s normal to have anxiety with a big life change coming up. If you have any self-care practices that help with anxiety – exercise, meditation etc – then make sure you increase those. Otherwise, it’s perfectly reasonable to talk to your OBGYN or PCP – I’d go with whoever can get you in sooner. Ask for a referral to a psychologist who specializes in PPA. You might even try posting your general area here to get recommendations. The transition to being a working parent can be hard so it’s great to set up an outlet for that before you go back to work.

    • Talk to your OB; that in itself might give you some peace of mind about whether you’re experiencing hormonal effects, anxiety, OCD, or new-mom fears. If it’s diagnosable anxiety, you can ask the OB for next steps.

      In commiseration, when my son was an infant I had a dream that I left him in the oven. I put him in there deliberately to dry him off or warm him up… and then left him in there. I woke up in the biggest screaming panic.

      The limited knowledge I have about PPA from articles is that if you’re invasive thoughts are about your baby and your caring for him / her, it’s more likely to be PPA (provided that the thoughts are interfering / intrusive). Talk to a doc.

      Things like the London thing (for me, it was the little Syrian boy washed up on the beach), might be more hormonal— the over-empathizing to the point of distraction. I also tried to get into “Shameless” with my husband and started hysterically crying 3 minutes into the first episode when an unattended baby was crying. I could never go back to it. I remember those feelings acutely, and it subsided after the first year / 18 months.

    • Leslie Knope :

      This was me. It was at the 6 month mark when we were transitioning from my mom being his caregiver to a person I didn’t know. I had stopped breastfeeding and got on meds. It really helped. Put your own mask on first as they say.

    • It is worth talking to your OBGYN about the dreams, as those may be postpartum depression or anxiety. Your reaction to the London fire is totally normal though, and there is a good chance you will react that way for the rest of your life. My child is 16 months and I still cried at my desk reading the stories about the London fire. News stories about kids affect a lot of people differently after they have kids.

    • As someone who has some anxiety, I find that just talking about it is immensely helpful. I’ve never had to go on meds but bringing things up with my doctor, my friends, and my partner at various times is always beyond helpful.

    • Call your doctor. I did not have this anxiety with my first, but did with my second. I waited until 9 months PP to tell my midwife and I really wish I would have just said something much much sooner.

    • Call your doc. I had scary, irrational fears with my second baby, especially when driving alone with both kids. It scared the daylights out of me. A mild anxiety med helped with the worst of it, and my dr. had zero concerns about me breastfeeding while on it.

    • Anxiety dreams don’t necessarily mean you have PPD but it’s definitely worth checking it out with your doctor. I had crushing anxiety after my daughter was born and my doctor was absolutely lovely about it. It’s totally normal for your hormones to be out of whack and you don’t just have to suffer through it.

      In my case she gave me a scrip so that I had some medication on hand that I knew I could turn to if things got really dark, but I ended up getting some therapy and not needing the pills.

    • Call your OBGYN. If she brushes you off, call your PCP. Get meds. Zoloft is safe while breastfeeding and so are other meds. You deserve to live a happy life without these crazy dreams/fears.

    • My kid is a teen and I still have dreams about leaving him, as a baby, in a park or at a grocery store. My friends who never had kids have those dreams…not trying to be dismissive, just want you to know that’s a really common anxiety dream. And sorry to say, but for most moms what happens to a child anywhere becomes painful, as we envision it happening to our child. My mom said that it’s hard to become a mom and not feel like you are the mother of the whole world, sometimes.

      Coming off of maternity leave is rough even if you are dying to get back to work (I was). You have societal and possibly familial guilt about “leaving your baby.” You may feel like a very different person than the one who left for maternity leave, but you’re going back to the same job where they will expect you not to have changed. You’re going to miss your baby and that feels bad, but if you’re like I was, you’re relieved to be getting back to some semblance of your normal life and I felt guilty for feeling that. Add in postpartum hormones and breastfeeding and limited sleep and the brain chemistry changes that causes – wow. There’s a lot going on in your cerebral cortex right now!

      I think it’s a great idea to call your doc, but an even better idea to be gentle with yourself and not pressure yourself to feel any certain way. Having a baby was a big adjustment that didn’t happen that long ago, and now you have to make another big adjustment in going back to work. It’s a tough time. But you’ll get through it, and if you need some medication or therapy help to get through it, get some. But what you’re going through is normal and understandable. Be kind to yourself and make sure you’re budgeting some time in for self-care, whatever that is for you. Hugs.

    • In addition to all the advice above about doctors/meds: I highly recommend forbidding yourself to read any news stories, or consume any other media (movies, books, etc) that involve the death, abuse, or serious injury of a child. They just hit too hard, especially in the early phase with hormones and the stress of caring for a new and vulnerable creature. You’re not missing anything by just refusing to go there. It helps so much.

      • +1 since having kids, real world tragedies involving children can take me to a a dark place. I agree that at least for the time being, it makes sense to block this out.

      • +1. This is great, great advice. I’m a news junkie but for 9 months postpartum could barely glance at the front page news because everything was too distressing, especially news about Syria. For what it’s worth, PPD kicked in for me around 4.5 months when I went back to work. Meds and therapy helped tremendously. At 15 months pp, i’m off of the antidepressants (but i don’t think i’m ever giving up therapy!). Those first months back to work are HARD. HARD. HARD. Get all the support and help you can.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Literally had to skim once she started talking about the London fire. I am walking a tightrope between wanting to responsibly know what’s going on in the world, and wanting to actually function and not just cry all day.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Call your OB. A word of warning (no idea how long your leave was/is), due to some insurance BS or diagnostic criteria BS, they might tell you, “if it’s X months after the birth, it’s not PPD/A.” Which is BS, I reiterate. But I heard it when I was already pretty fragile, and it was not helpful. So if you hear that, call your regular doc! Also consider talking to a therapist – a good one can be life changing.

    • In terms of medication and breastfeeding, I would not take your doctor as the source of gospel on what is safe.
      (In my own experience, the urgent care doc told me to wean my 5-month old b/c he said I couldn’t take prednisone. I did my own research and found I did NOT have to wean. It was perfectly safe…)

      Below is a link which provides sources that are current/up to date. Thomas Hale, RPh, PhD, is a doctor who specializes in medications and their effects during breastfeeding. He’s considered one of the leading experts. He’s listed in the link. His book “Medications and Mother’s Milk” is updated every 2 years and is a great book!

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Yeah, seconding this. I had a psychiatrist tell me that I had to wean my baby because of (1) zoloft (nope!) and (2) “she will never become independent” (she was like 12 months at the time, and is now a perfectly independent/obnoxious two year old) — I didn’t listen.

    • givemyregards :

      Since it’s so hot out, I’ve been making a bunch of sushi bowls with tofu – everything is raw so you don’t have turn on the stove (except to cook the rice) and it’s really refreshing. I use the recipe at cookie and kate but add tofu and just use store bought sriracha mayo.

  14. Talk to me about your favorite healthy meals! My household has become way too hectic so DH and I decided to have someone come 2x a week to do a bunch of meal prep for us. It’s way more affordable than our default take out options and I’m hoping it’ll be lower calorie as well. We’re mostly vegetarian.

    We do a lot of eggs when we cook, but I feel like that doesn’t keep very well…

    • Tomato Lentil Soup
      Thai Curry
      Quiche *generally freeze well

    • veggie lasagna (you can sub out zucchini for the lasagna noodles if you’re watching carbs) — this will keep for several days and can also be frozen

      veggie enchiladas (your helper can make a whole casserole dish full, and they’re great for breakfast, lunch or dinner)

    • Turkey (or faux turkey) tacos
      Turkey burgers (or veggie burgers) on lettuce wraps
      Quinoa pasta as a base for your favorite pasta dishes
      Straight up breakfast for dinner – Eggs, turkey bacon, whole wheat english muffin
      Fish, cous cous, roasted zucchini, squash, and sweet potatos

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Zucchini lasagna (zucchini instead of noodles) is my current favorite because it’s good for 3 days worth of dinner for 2 of us, or you could make a larger batch.

      • This is so good. I added meat in the sauce for extra protein but it would be so filling and yummy on its own. Skinnytaste has a great recipe.

        Also has a variation with butternut squash instead of noodles.

      • I tried this before and ended up with a watery mess. Is there a step I skipped that makes it so it’s not all water from the zucchini?

        • Salt and then grill or roast the zucchini and dry it on a paper towel before you put it in the lasagna. It’s also detailed in the skinnytaste post!

    • JuniorMinion :

      Eggs keep well if hard boiled!
      Polenta – great source of complex carbs and reheats well
      Beans- I use canned but if someone was prepping for me I might have them make scratch ones
      Almond butter on Ezekiel Toast
      Homemade hummus or chickpea salad
      Chicken lentil casserole (slow cooker)
      Salsa chicken (slow cooker)
      Baked salmon (I do mine with a dijon herb bread crumb crust)
      Roasted broccoli with salt, pepper, EVOO and parmigiana cheese
      Grilled shrimp skewers with chimichurri
      Lemon garlic sauteed shrimp (again can go over the polenta :)
      Grilled chicken or turkey sausage w/ side salad (spinach, lemon juice, EVOO, parm, salt, pepper)
      healthier mac and cheese w/ tomato and artichoke (Cooking light recipe)
      Flank steak tacos (cooking light inspired – i pound the steak thin and season with hatch, ancho and chipotle chile pepper and lime zest) with a cabbage slaw and a tomato avocado onion salsa

      I sort of mix and match some stuff above as well as get some costco frozen items (pita w/ chicken, cooked chicken bites) to supplement

    • Sheet pan chicken and veggies! Put chicken and your favorite veggies on a cookie sheet with olive oil and your favorite spices (parmesan cheese is also good), put in the oven to roast for at least half an hour and done! Healthy and really good.

    • Anony Mouse :

      Check out the recipe section at Many are already vegetarian and a lot more can be adapted to be so. These aren’t the most “authentic” representations of many of these dishes, but they’re accessible (most ingredients can be found in a regular grocery store) and tasty. My favorite is the Mediterranean stew–lots of variations, easy to double or triple and freezes well.

    • Big pot of chili – either all beans or turkey mince or shredded rotisserie chicken.
      Big pot of chicken stew.

      Freeze in two serving tupperwares

      When I reheat, I have at hand several fresh things to throw on top to enhance flavor. A squirt of lime. Some cilantro. Chopped up fresh tomatoes or avocado or a dollop of salsa.

      When I heat up the serving, I always have some chicken broth in the fridge to add if needed, and may add a touch more chili powder or herbs of Provence to add flavor.

    • Summer is crazy for us and I also hate to cook in 100-degree heat, so this is our go-to right now:

      Sunday I buy a big tub of spinach or 50/50 mix, and I make a double batch of brown rice. I roast either cubed sweet potatoes or butternut squash (sometimes both) in the oven. DH grills 2-3 chicken breasts and then cuts them up, and a couple salmon fillets. Everything goes in the fridge.

      Then we make greens bowls for dinner for three nights: bed of spinach, brown rice, sweet potatoes or squash, protein. We can then add cheese (goat, blue, queso fresco, etc.), crunchy things like nuts, seeds or croutons, chopped Love Beets, raw carrots, chopped apple, sliced pear or whatever else we have around that looks good. Dress with oil and vinegar if you like. Even my son will eat this because he can control what he puts into it, and it covers a lot of nutritional bases.

  15. How many items of clothing would you say you have in your work wardrobe and then in your entire wardrobe? How much overlap is there?

  16. African Curried Coconut Soup with Chickpeas (recipe on Epicurious)
    bean tacos (slow cooker cuban-style black beans, Goya yellow rice, tortilla, avocado, tomato, lettuce, sour cream, taco sauce)
    pizza (dough made in bread machine and refrigerated to rise during the day, toppings pre-chopped)

  17. Going away gift :

    A friend of mine who has lived in our city’s greater metro area her whole life is moving out west to be with her SO. This is super exciting for her, but she’s also leaving most of her family and friends. I want to get her a little going away gift. Any suggestions?

    • Following because my sister is in the same situation–is your friend my sis? I am very cognizant that my sister is trying to pack very lightly, so I’m leaning toward having something sent to her once she arrives to her new place.

      • Going away gift :

        The Etsy idea below was a good one. I found little state shaped ornaments, and this: It’s burlap, so it should be easy to pack.

    • Can you find a cute print of your city on Etsy? Even if you’re not in a Big City a lot of Etsy sellers will do prints of smaller cities local to them, or you can ask them to do a custom one for you.

      • Need Shoes :

        This site (no affiliation to me!) has prints with different landmarks, etc. from various cities. Idk if OP’s city is one of them, but I’ve had several friends give them as grad/moving away gifts.

      • Going away gift :

        Thanks! I know she has at least one or two posters of the city, but I found state shaped ornaments and other small city-inspired things that should be easy to pack.

  18. $79-95 for a t-shirt? I’m sorry, but no way. T-shirts don’t hold up long enough to justify that.

    • I’ve honestly had some t-shirts for decades. Am I the only one?

    • Honestly, some of them do. I stock up every year on $10-$20 t-shirts and don’t expect them to last more than a year or two. But I also have a black St. John t shirt that has been in regular rotation for ~10 years and still looks new.

    • If you wear them like a cheap cotton t-shirt, maybe (ie doing strenuous activities on the weekends). I don’t see how a workwear shirt like this would be any less durable than another blouse made of the same thing.

    • I’m like, “Yo, that’s fifty dollars for a T-shirt.”
      Limited edition, let’s do some simple addition

  19. Thoughts on mental labor :

    In the wake of the recent comic on the mental load, and reading articles on mental labor, I’ve been thinking of how I’ve taken on the mental load with both my present roommate and past roommates, especially after college, but also how when I’ve lived with my parents, I relied on them to delegate tasks to me and did very little to share the mental load.

    In light of that, I’m wondering at what age should people teach their kids to share this mental labor. Parents should be the ones running the household, but surely their children, especially teenage and adult children, could do more to ease that load. People tell their kids “I want you to start ____ without being asked,” and that’s a good start, but should we also start telling our kids at a certain age what mental labor is, and why it’s important to pay attention, take initiative around the house, be proactive in doing chores that look like they need doing, remember to do what they’ve been asked and do it right the first time so their parents don’t need to check and correct later, etc.

    When I moved out, I thought “hey, my parents won’t be there to tell me when things need to be done, I’ll need to pay more attention to those things and figure out for myself when they need to be done” but it doesn’t seem like everyone of my generation made that switch on their own, but maybe if parents taught their kids early on how to be more independent, thoughtful helpers around the house rather than awaiting instructions, they’ll be better at taking on the mental load in their future households with roommates and significant others.

    Anyway, what do you ladies think? Are you doing anything to teach your kids not only how to do things, but when? Do you have a plan for teaching the mental side of housework? If you’ve raised someone shares the mental load like a champ where they’re living now, what do you think you did that really helped make that happen?

    • I think it’s hard enough to get kids to do any chore let alone look around the house and see what needs to be done! I think it’s important to teach them to do chores and to model all the adults in the house managing them, but it’s fine if the flounder a bit in their 20s.

      • Thoughts on mental labor :

        I don’t so much mind 20-somethings floundering a bit, we all do/did to an extent, but I do think it can cause problems when one person in an apartment is handling all the planning, organizing, the logistics, the schedule, etc. and their roommate(s) isn’t participating, or just barely helping out with it, because they’re “just not good at that stuff,” and the person who has it together has to figure out, do things do undone, do they take care of it all and risk enabling that person, or do they take on the emotional labor of helping them get organized?

    • Honestly, I’ve never heard the term “mental labor” but it is a fairly simple concept. As far as kids go, I think some will take initiative and some won’t. I was very good at doing my homework, getting all of my things ready for the next day, and doing my own laundry. My brother was not good at those things so that responsibility fell more on my mom. So my point is even if you attempt to share the mental labor, it might still fall on you even if the expectation is there for your child.

      • It’s usually called emotional labor.

        • Baconpancakes :

          There’s arguments about this – some say emotional labor is more managing relationships and being the one to say “let’s talk about x,” instead of letting an issue fester, and mental labor is meal planning, noticing things need to be cleaned, basically managing the household as an estate housekeeper used to do. (Currently watching the new Upstairs Downstairs on Amazon Prime.)

          • Hmm. That seems kinda nitpicky to me, but I guess I don’t care much one way or the other. Emotional labor was the first term I heard used. If you read that amazing MetaFilter thread on emotional labor (very easy to find by googling), a lot of the things there are things that are being talked about in this thread.

          • Thoughts on mental labor :

            To me, emotional labor is the labor of managing your feelings, and the feelings of those around you. Pertaining to housework and household management, you perform emotional labor when you ask someone *nicely* to please do something, or you *gently* remind someone to do their task, trying really hard not to sound like a nagging housewife, or you act patient with someone when they’ve forgotten to pick something up at the store for the 5th day in a row, or you take the time to teach someone how to perform a task, and how to get organized, set reminders, etc.

    • Cornellian :

      My kid can’t even crawl but I think about this a lot. My husband is not at all proactive, and I don’t want my son observing me spending all the time planning and acting like a task master towards my husband. I’m gearing up for a conversation with my husband about this.

      • Thoughts on mental labor :

        Good! This is what worries me, boys will grow up seeing their moms do all that stuff and assume “women are just better at that,” or that we actually prefer doing it all ourselves.

      • I don’t even have a kid (yet? ever?) and I worry about this. My SO is great about doing his weekly chores that we came up with when we moved in together, but I’m always, always the one to notice the one-off stuff around the house. He’s good at planning if he has some skin in the game, like for our vacation last summer, but random crap like figuring out what to feed his parents when they come for the weekend–that’s me.

        • Or, crazy thought, don’t do it. You live in a city. You don’t need to do anything about their food. There are stores and restaurants. Let him figure it out.

      • ponte python's flying circus :

        +1 Assuming you married someone who shares your values about a gender-equitable partnership, it’s relatively straightforward to nudge him with a ‘what we want to role model for the kids’ discussion.

        I remember being aggravated one morning while dealing with baby, packing bottles for daycare, dressing him, dressing myself et.c and I asked my husband a simple question: “Why is this *my* job?” He got it.

        That mental labour comic going around is good, too.

    • I am still working on getting my 10-year-old to clean up her own messes as she makes them–putting dirty clothes right into the hamper, throwing away packaging, emptying her backpack when she gets home, etc. She is getting better about it, but that’s challenging enough for right now.

    • Midwest Mama :

      I think about this a lot too because DH is not proactive and we have a 5 yo. The Love and Logic approach to kids doing things is that you tell the kid what needs to get done (ex. I would like you to clean your room.) and ask when would be a reasonable time by which they could get that done. They will give you a time and you can respond accordingly (whether that time frame works for you) and then you leave it alone. No reminders, no nagging. If it’s not done by the deadline, wake them up (if they’re sleeping) and have it done right then no matter what and/or have some logical consequence if you end up doing it such as they have to pay you, they have to do one of your chores, you are not able to help them do something or take them somewhere fun because your energy is drained from having to do their chore, etc. I haven’t tried it much, but apparently it works well and the nice part about it is once the kid agreed to get the chore done by the deadline, your work is done until the deadline.

    • My parents were great at this. It boiled down to (a) explaining what goes into running a household as they made decisions and (b) giving us age appropriate tasks.

      Here are some concrete examples that I plan to implement:

      – We made the weekly shopping list together and accompanied my dad to the store. This helped with meal planning, budgeting, stocking up on things that were running low, etc.
      – We planned holidays together. Usually one night at dinner we’d discuss the plan for the holiday, transportation/timing concerns, make a shopping list if we were hosting, make a list of household tasks to do if we were hosting and talk about when various tasks should be completed and why.
      – We were given age appropriate vacation tasks. When we were little, it was choosing an activity. As we got older, it was planning an activity, and then helping with researching flights, hotels, etc.
      – We kept track of our own schedules from middle school onward. Over the weekend we would talk to our parents about what activities we had that week, when, and we’d discuss transportation.
      – If we had friends over, we had to clean (mom would explain expectation of cleanliness for varying levels of guests), plan snacks/food and accompany parents to store.
      – We both were required to work. They had us set up a bank account and would review our bank statements with us each month.
      – They involved us in recurring but not daily household tasks so they became routine to us (e.g., taking the cars for an oil change, raking the leaves, shoveling, planting flowers in the spring, putting patio furniture away, cleaning porch furniture, etc.).

      • Thoughts on mental labor :

        Oh, my parents involved me in the grocery shopping as well! We had to put things on the list if we were running out, we couldn’t just go “mooooooom, we’re out of ___!” and hope she’d remember, she would not. I often went with my parents to the grocery store, and volunteered to go get things. Never realized how much that may have helped me later on.

      • This is amazing. Your parents did a great job and I will follow their example. We’ve started some small stuff with our kid, i.e., putting things on the grocery list but I really want him to grow up and be able to think ahead and anticipate issues. And also feel strong and competent and like he can manage his own life. Thanks so much for sharing this.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Holy cow, this is so great! Kudos to your parents!

      • Thisperson1 :

        Love all of these!

    • Senior Attorney :

      One of the best things I did when my son was growing up was to put everybody in the household in charge of his or her own laundry when my son was about 12. If he didn’t have clean clothes, too bad, so sad. It was on him. And while he saw me doing most of the other stuff in the household for my horrible second husband, I think it had the opposite effect in that it made him not want to be that guy who lets his wife do it all.

      Also: There really are men who do their share of this kind of stuff. This morning my husband and I woke up and I said I’d been up for an hour already, worrying about (XYZ emotional-labor-heavy situation with my parents). And he said “Let me handle that. You need to talk to me instead of tossing and turning and worrying.” OMG I about died. This is totally my thing that I am responsible for and he just magically took it off my plate. I. about. died.

    • Give your child complete ownership of a task. Stephen Covey uses the example of “green and clean” in his 7 Habits book. He put his son in charge of yardwork at some point, explained the expectation, spent a couple weeks working with him to be sure his son had the ability and resources, and then let him take over. I think that’s a good model that is adaptable to different ages and stages. Obviously, you’re not going to be putting a 5 year old in charge of yardwork, but putting him in charge of placing his dirty laundry in the hamper is a start.

      When I was an early teen, my mom had me plan one meal a week for our family. I chose the menu, checked what we had on hand, made the grocery list, prepared the meal and cleaned up afterward. Most days, everyone in the family was asked to pitch in in some way for meals, but once a week it was all my responsibility. I think that was especially helpful to me learning how everything fit together. When tasks are divided up, you don’t learn the bigger picture.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I have a teenage and tween son. My teenager is responsible for all laundry, and is expected to do the laundry without being asked. My tween is responsible for trash, recycling, and water the garden and is expected to handle these tasks without being asked. They also know they need to put their dishes in the dishwasher (not in the sink) and turn it on if full. And unload if clean.

      My two younger kids (5 y/o) are getting pretty good at actually putting their own stuff away, so it may soon be time for them to get some small task to “own.”

      I feel like a bit of slavedriver compared to other here, but it works for us.

    • PrettyPrimadonna :

      My mother was terrible at teaching me this. She did most everything for me and then expected me to suddenly one day know how to manage a household myself when I went off to college. While I take some of the blame in that I should have been learning by observation, she could have been more proactive in actually teaching me the “whys” behind doing things a certain way at certain times. It took a few years, but I finally got it on my own. I plan to be very proactive in teaching my daughter this type of stuff–she will be in the kitchen helping us cook, helping do chores, lawn work, etc.

      • Thoughts on mental labor :

        Do you worry she’ll take on more than her share of that mental load when she moves out? Do you think there’s anything we can/should teach women to ensure their partners and roommates help run the household?

        I wish, years ago when I was chatting with my first roommate, after we applied for the apartment, that I had told him I wanted him to pay attention to what needs to be done, what’s getting dirty, what needs to be replaced/replenished, take care of it proactively, and if he’s the forgetful type, figure out the best way to set reminders because I don’t want to run the place by myself. Even now, I’m wondering how I can communicate this to my next roommate without sounding like a jerk.

  20. Need Shoes :

    I have basically NO SHOES to wear to work. Meaning I have a pair of black flats, a pair of black heels, and a pair of nude heels and that’s it. Heels don’t really fit my office culture, but mine aren’t very tall so I’ve been wearing them just for the sake of variety. Ideally I’d like to take heels out of the rotation. I have wide, flat feet and usually wear a 10.5 or 11. The brand that fits me best (Sofft) is way out of my price range, and it’s really hard to find my size in a clearance section. I clearly need some new flats, but I have no idea where to start. My budget tops out at about $50 and that’s only if the shoes are OMG the greatest thing I’ve ever put on my feet. Suggestions for other brands to watch for sales? Ideas for where to shop? I’d really appreciate any help or advice y’all have to give!

    • Anony Mouse :

      If you’re confident of your size, keep an eye on sites like eBay and Poshmark for Sofft shoes from last season.

    • Cornellian :

      I find zappos and 6pm great for the ability to search by size and also width of the shoes. I also went to a DSW for the first time recently and was pleasantly surprised. I wanted to try a pair of flats they had in store in a “C” rather than a “B” and they sent it for free to my house. I ended up having to return them (free via mail or in store), but it was still a pretty impressive process. Lots of sub $50 options there.

    • Figure out what styles/brands work best for your feet and stalk them like crazy on

      Do you have a Famous Footwear nearby? I’ve bought some decent budget work shoes there.

    • also try nordstrom rack online.

    • Let’s talk shoe budget for a minute. So you have a brand of shoes that you love and work for you. In theory, if you only bought one pair of shoes rather than three, could you afford one pair in the brand you like?

      At any given time, I usually have two pairs of shoes that I rotate between. Right now, I only have a pair of nude wedges and I’m just wearing them with everything. I find that I love my extremely small shoe collection way more than I ever loved my larger collection of $30 shoes that didn’t fit well.

      • Need Shoes :

        My shoe budget is currently < $50 for one additional pair of shoes to rotate with the black flats I already have. I'd like to get nude flats since I think they'd work with basically everything black doesn't work with. Obviously it would be better to buy nicer shoes and have them last longer, I just don't have the budget for it right now. In a perfect world I'd find a deeply-discounted nude-to-me pair of Sofft flats, but their "nude" is unflattering with my skin tone and my size is rarely available on sale. I've always had an extremely small shoe collection, but right now having only one flat shoe I can wear to work is a little too small of a shoe collection to be practical for me.

        • Anon in NYC :

          Check out Dr. Scholl’s Really ($55 on Zappos but maybe less expensive elsewhere). I tried them on and liked them but I found the Trotters Estee a little more comfortable on my foot ($130). That said, I still really liked the Dr. Scholl’s and would have otherwise kept them, but I didn’t need two pairs of very similar shoes. FWIW, I’m a 7.5W in Sam Edelman, 7.5W in Cole Haan, and an 8M in Trotters. If I recall correctly, I think the 7.5W Dr. Scholl’s fit me better than the 8W.

          • +1 I’m 9 months pregnant and basically living in a Dr. Scholl’s black flat right now.

        • Ah, fair enough. I’ve heard great reviews about some of the flats from Target – maybe swing through and see if the fit on any of those works for you?

    • Sales at the Rockport site for their flats and heels.

    • Cole Haan shoes also work well for 10.5/11 wide feet (I am in the same boat!). Sometimes you can find Cole Haan shoes from last season steeply discounted on sites like Nordstrom Rack, Last Call, Amazon, etc.

      • Cole Haan is my shoe brand of choice, but I very rarely see them priced in a sub $50 range. $80 is about the cheapest I’ve paid in the last three or so years.

    • What about adding in a pair of sandals like these?

    • Anonymous :

      I have wide, large-ish (9.5) feet as well and Target’s Merona brand works great for me. They’re cute and super comfortable. I walk a lot (1-2 miles per day) for my job and these are the only shoes that don’t give me blisters. I have to be careful to get that exact brand though. I recently picked up some shoes from Mossimo, one of Target’s other lines, and they were insanely uncomfortable. It’s just the Merona line that works for me.

    • Anonymous :

      I also have 10.5W/11 feet, and I love my Aerosoles flats. They are super comfy, and even have a rubber sole! In-season shoes can be in the $50-$70 range, but there are often sales. I also find that Target’s size 11 shoes are usually pretty comfortable, though sometimes I need to pad the back a bit, and they’re usually $30 or so.

    • applesauce :

      DSW has the best selection of shoes in large sizes in my experience. It can be hit or miss if you’re looking for something specific but I have the most success there by far. I’m a 10.5/11 and have definitely bought Sofft there though I can’t remember the price point. Also love Marshall’s Shoe Megashop but those are harder to find, not sure where you are located.

  21. This may be more of a rant than question but I’m really struggling. By all accounts my career is going well but after relocating several times for work (firm initiated) my social/personal life is nonexistent and all of my close girlfriends live several hours away. I’m 36 and just feel spent and worry that I’m missing out (getting married, raising children, etc.). Are there any hopeful stories out there? I just feel as though I’ve leaned in past the point of no return.

    • New Job, Who Dis :

      I’m currently 30 with relocations and trying Bumble BFF in Boston for this exact reason.

      haven’t taken the initiative yet to meet new friends, but here’s hoping for us!

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        SO and I, struggling with the “how do we meet new people as a 30-something adult in a new city” issue, were joking someone should start a dating app for meeting new friends. I did not realize someone had actually done this already. Intriguing.

    • Does your city have a Junior League? I am running the Provisional (new member) program in my city for this year and it’s ALL ladies like yourself: new in town and need to meet friends. If JL is up your alley at all, I’d recommend joining for the social/community aspect.

    • With the corollary that I don’t want to discount declining fertility in our age bracket — of course not! Fun anecdote: a forty something lawyer I knew was single with four cats. This sounds made up but her cat got sick and she fell in love with the vet who took care of him. She quit work to raise their (human) baby last year. Obviously, your path may be very different (and I’d advocate taking proactive steps) but there’s your hopeful tale right there.

      • !! That is such a cute story.

      • Thank you! This is what I needed to hear. Between officially being ghosted and my mom crying on the phone to me about my lack of a social life I’m …. spent.

        • Why is your mom that upset over *your* social life? Is that a problem for you?

          • That’s a separate can of worms and the topic of much of my time at my therapist’s office. As I like to say – she was a helicopter mom before that was a thing.

        • +1 I have a mother like this. She ordered my 24 y.o. sister (in another state) to start going to church so she could “meet a nice boy”. My sister found a church she liked full of older people and really enjoys the church, but needless to say is not boyfriend-hunting there. We haven’t told my mother there are no young men there. And my other sister and I had multiple conversations with my mother about how she is not responsible for and cannot manage her children’s social lives.

          I moved around for law school/clerking/firm. I found my husband at 28 on 3 months after I moved to a new city. I did not have any local girlfriends really until last year, when I met the wife of one of my husband’s friends who I really clicked with. When I was moving around a lot, my goal was just to get out there and meet people – I went to networking events, sports activities, and tried online dating on the theory that at least I would get to know people in this town even if it didn’t work out. It was important to me to take the pressure off and look at it as just trying to meet more people as opposed to “must make a friend” or “must find boyfriend”. If you have any hobbies, maybe you find a group? Sports, knitting clubs, cooking classes, etc.?

          • Are we sisters?!
            My mom has been telling me the exact same thing about going to church to meet a nice boy! Then again, my mom has a laundry list of reasons as to why I should be going to church and a separate list of ways I could try to meet the elusive “nice boy.” This just happens to be where the to concepts intersect.

    • It’s hard. I relocated for my husband’s job and I still don’t have close friends here even after three years. I joined a group for trailing spouses at my husband’s company and I’ve met some women through that that I socialize with about once in a while – we’ll meet up for lunch or happy hour or to see a rom-com maybe once a month. But the friendships have never deepened and I still rely on my long distance girlfriends for the emotional stuff. Making friends as an adult is so hard. I don’t have any advice but definite commiseration.

    • About four years ago I was in your shoes and my primary worry was the same, that I was missing out. I was working all the time, compounded by some extremely difficult people at work who seemed to be bent on making life harder for everyone (thanks, academic medicine!) Someone said to me, “you know, your job won’t love you back” and that was a bit of a turning point for me–I never realized how much guilt I felt went I was dating someone new about not spending that time on my career. I decided to make a concerted effort to go about finding a partner, with the caveats that 1) I wasn’t going to settle and 2) if it didn’t work in 18 months I would pursue assisted reproductive technology to have kids on my own. I didn’t really believe it would work, but I did put the time and effort in and actually met my now-husband within about three months. We’ve been married for two years now and will be having our first child in two months. I will say that meeting my husband made me “lean in” in a different way–I enjoy spending time with him in a way I have never experienced with anyone else, and it made me really angry with my field for pressuring people to essentially give up their entire lives outside medicine. The shift in how I was spending my time made me see how much effort and time I was putting in at work for so little output–one more rejected paper, another rejected grant, etc. I quit academia and entered the private sector, where I have a lot more control over my time.

      With apologies for the novel this unintentionally became, I would say that I think there is an unspoken lesson to people training in intense fields like law or medicine that if you’re not living/eating/breathing it, you’re not really a legit doctor/scientist/lawyer/engineer/etc. and there is a good deal of guilt that goes with that, particularly for many women. I wish that there was less masochism and self-sacrifice being taught, with more emphasis placed on balance and living a full life, whatever that may entail, whether that’s partnering up or seeing the world or having a side hustle or what have you. I hated hearing it at the time, but I am thankful to the person who told me that my job wouldn’t love me back (I can’t stand it when advice I don’t like hearing turns out to be right! :) )

      • Thank you so much for this.

      • Ohhh, that’s so true – when I did a bout of intense online dating last year, I realized I was feeling guilty if I left early for a date and then came back to work, like I was cheating on my job or something. (And, as it turns out, my job doesn’t love me back). Thanks for that tidbit.

        (But I’m also intrigued that you enjoyed spending time with your husband. I’ve gone on a lot of so-so dates).

        • Anon @12:30 :

          Actually, I was completely weirded out when I met him, because I didn’t feel anxious and that was a first :) I’m pretty high-strung and dating had always been fraught with anxiety for me, which I had always taken for butterflies about the other person. He’s the only person I’ve ever dated where I felt relaxed and enjoyed all our time together–and I also didn’t stress-eat at Jack in the Box after our dates (I always know something’s up when I find myself in the drive-through line!)

          • Yeah, I’m also high strung and anxious/skittish about dating. I think my anxiety manifests in different ways, though – butterflies are rare, to be sure, but I also take my (maybe normal?) nerves or dread of going on the date as a possible sign I’m not into the guy. I’ve gotten physically sick after a couple of second dates.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I share some of your story – lots of moves, similar age. Def. don’t have all the answers. But one fun thing that I’ve been doing to make friends is going to a local Ladies Who Drink Craft Beer thing weekly. I am always initially very shy, but ultimately glad to be there! And, handily, they needed help with some stuff that falls squarely into my area of professional expertise, so voila! a chance to hang out with them more. Anyway, I like that it’s a common interest group, I like that it’s woman-focused, and I like that there’s beer :-)

    • fake coffee snob :

      I’m also struggling with making friends in a new city, and the advice I got (that’s turning out to be true) is that you’re unlikely to deepen a relationship with someone you just meet once (which rang true – I’ve met lots of great people at happy hours or whatever but our relationships ended at single serving friends) so instead, pursue groups that meet regularly. Since signing up for various recurring classes, I’m definitely starting to find friend-potential people and it’s pretty great.

      • Betterandbetter :

        Yes this. I grew up in the city I live in so I have an organically built network but I went to a Catholic University and had no gay friends when I came out (except for my boss-which was obvi problematic) and joined a monthly book club on meetup. Took a little time to become a regular and now they make up 99.9 percent of my queer friends and also a good portion of the people I regularly socialize with since my child-hood/ college friends are all further flung now. Also met my wife at Bookclub.

  22. Are there any updates from the poster who said her husband refused to do his one chore (picking up groceries) when he refuses to do everything else as well? I came to the thread late and am appalled on her behalf. I sincerely hope he got the damn groceries.

    • +1

    • Would love an update as well.

    • Frustrated :

      That was me. Thanks for thinking of me. I text him to say I got an email that he missed the grocery pickup (you have a one hour window to pick them up from this store– so the suggestions to tell him to just go get them were well founded, but I wasn’t sure if he could still get them). He said oh, I forgot, and he left to get them. They happened to still be available when he got there.

      When I got home four or five hours later, all of the groceries were on the counter, so I had to throw away cheese, raw meat, etc. For some reason the milk did make it into the fridge, so the baby did have milk.

      I had an appointment with a handyman last night, who never showed up. I mentioned this to husband, who asked what I wanted the handyman to do. I told him (all things I have asked him to do at least twice). He asked his friend for the name of a handyman and sent me the number.

      On one hand, at least he got the groceries? I guess it was helpful that he found me another handyman? On the other hand, WHY IN THE NAME OF THE LORD CAN HE NOT PUT THE GROCERIES AWAY, and why didn’t he just call the handyman himself? That’s the update. Guess it could be worse but sure wish it was better.

      • Any chance he is depressed or has ADHD or something? I’ve heard a characteristic of ADHD is that people who have it don’t really connect behavior and consequences and don’t learn not to do the thing again (so, forgetting to put away the groceries –> groceries being thrown away might not compute, in his mind). If not, what on earth is he doing while he’s not doing responsible adult things?

        • Anonymous :

          +1 this is what I wondered as well. My husband has a very difficult time with follow-through. He can handle one roadblock toward getting a task done, but after that, nope.

      • It seems worth exploring whether there’s more going on here than your husband just not being a grown-up, especially if this is a recent change in behavior. A lot of people were on the divorce bandwagon the other day, but I think it’s worth a conversation with your husband.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Yeah honestly yesterday I thought he was just taking advantage of you but this sounds like… something is *wrong*

  23. With you. Also 36. Objectively amazing career, including lots of foreign travel and excitement. No time for friends, family, relationships, or hobbies. No time to even make dinner or buy furniture for my place.

    I hate the Lean In crowd. What a crock. Being barefoot and pregnant in a kitchen sounds like a dream to me.

    • I’m not trying to be smug married and I know that so much of finding the right partner is luck. I have wonderful, funny, beautiful girlfriends who are still single and looking in their late 30s and I believe the only reason I’m married and they’re not is luck. But at the same time…if you have chosen a career that leaves no time for friends, family, relationship, hobbies or even buying furniture (!) that’s a choice you made. It’s a perfectly valid choice if it makes you happy. But saying “being barefoot and pregnant sounds like a dream to me” is a little silly when you haven’t even taken the preliminary steps to make that happen – like finding a more relaxed job that would give you time to date and participate in hobbies where you might make friends and meet potential partners. So much of dating is out of your control, and I understand that’s incredibly frustrating. But you’re much less likely to find a life partner when your career is all-consuming like this.

    • I get it. My married friends and I frequently talk about this and it’s apparent that there are aspects of my life that they are jealous of as much as aspects of their lives that I’m jealous of.

  24. summer dresses :

    I work at an outdoor-focused non-profit in the mid-Atlantic. My office does not have air conditioning and likely won’t for the rest of the summer. (Long story.)

    I am one of the few external-facing staff, so I need to maintain a modicum of business casual professionalism despite the heat. Any suggestions for brands that make structured dresses–sheaths or shifts ideal–in unlined, summer fabrics? I realize that I’ll wind up wrinkly if I’m wearing unlined cotton or linen, but I’d rather be wrinkly than sweaty. Hoping to stay under $150 per item. I’m at the petite end of standard sizing and I like defined waists.

    If those brands don’t exist, tips and other fabric suggestions welcome!

  25. Aint No Place I'd Rather Be :

    Planning a trip to TN with stops in Nashville and Great Smoky Mountains.

    1) 2 nights in each or 1 in Nashville, 3 in GSM?
    2) What is there to do in each place?
    3) GSM resort recommendations – pool/swimming/sunbathing is an absolute must.

    We do not like country music. At all. We do like to eat, see kitch, hike, be outdoors, shop, drink, be adventurous, do museums…basically anything but hear live country music.

    • Aint No Place I'd Rather Be :

      Edit – Country music like Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash – yes. All that other Blake Shelton, Miranda Underwood, Billy Ray Urban that is on the radio now, no.

      • Nashvillian :

        As a follow up, in that case, I would definitely think about the Country Music Hall of Fame. It’s definitely more geared at the history part of things. Since it sounds like you’ll have your car, I would also go to Loveless Café outside of town for breakfast/brunch one day.

        • I’d do 2 days each. Definitely see County Music Hall of Fame. It’s classic country and really well done. Ryman Auditorium is better than the Grand Ole Opry, but I wouldn’t consider either musts. Pancake Pantry in Nashville is delicious and worth the visit. The Parthenon is hilarious. I’ve never bothered to do a tour, but I recommend swinging by.

          • Nashvillian :

            Pro tip – if you’re going to go to the Pancake Pantry and are doing the Gatlinburg area, there’s one there, too. And it’s often quieter, depending on the day and season, than the one in Nashville.

      • Not what you’re asking but I lol’ed at “Miranda Underwood”

    • Nashvillian :

      There are so many things to do in Nashville that are not country music related. I personally am not a fan either, but it’s never been an issue even living here. I would personally do 2 nights in each, although that depends on what part of the smokeys are you staying in — I find Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg both kind of horrendous and can’t imagine doing more than 2 nights there. If you are actually going to the smokeys themselves and getting a cabin, it’s lovely though.

      Nashville specifically, I would probably recommend staying either downtown or in midtown (near Vanderbilt). The Hutton Hotel is lovely and has a good restaurant in the bottom. There is also the new 21C Hotel and Museum downtown, which is interesting (esp. if you’re into kitsch, depending on the installation the moment). Restaurant-wise, I like Husk, City House, and Etch. You may want to think about driving down to Franklin, south of Nashville, for the day if you’re not into the music scene, as that has a cute downtown for walking, shopping and eating. Finally, even if you don’t like listening to country music, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is actually a fascinating piece of Americana.

    • Anonymous :

      I would say two nights in each. Nashville has an amazing food and drink scene. My favorites were Hattie B’s, Monell’s, Southern Steak & Oyster, Biscuit Love (beware super long lines) and Farmhouse, which was a ‘r e t te rec. Loveless Cafe and Husk are at the top of my list for next trip.

  26. Anonymous :

    Early 30s and also single lawyer with great career, owned homes previously, and just took my dream job and moved with my dog to beautiful area that is at least an hour from any major city. I have a lot of hobbies, but it seems like online dating and dating apps are a total wasteland. CrossFit is the closest I am coming to any social interactions outside of work, but it is HARD. Most women seem to make their friends via their childrens’ activities. If you aren’t into the bar/alcohol culture, what do you do for fun that helps you meet friends and suitable men for dating? The more “sophisticated” activities seem to put me in contexts with people age 60+….

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’d give the older people a chance. They have kids, after all.

      • Anonymous :

        Oh, my two, true girlfriends both have kids and husbands, and I have some older friends (all seem to not have kids though), but in all cases, it is me driving 2 hrs + to spend time with them. It would be nice to make some contacts for more casual Saturday night activities, music festivals, etc. without planning months in advance. The older people seem to like to focus on why I’m still single and what I’m doing wrong. Dating was a different thing 30 years ago though. Anyone know of outdoorsy groups other than REI and AMC?

        • Sierra Club! There’s also a bunch of outdoorsy groups on meet up (depending on where you live.)

        • I think SA means those older people have kids who are your age and could be a good match either for a date or a friend!

          • I used to run with some people who were about 20 years older than I am. It was great – both because they had different life experiences and perspectives than my parents, so it was broadening, and because they either didn’t have kids or were empty-nesters, so they liked to go out and do stuff. Cool Old People: they exist! ;)

          • Senior Attorney :

            Yes, that’s what I meant! Good Lord if you were here I’d totally set you up with my son!

            Also, they are giving us all a bad name if they’re bugging you about your relationship status. Sheesh!

          • Senior Attorney, you have an eligible 30-something son in the LA area you’ve been hiding somewhere?!?

    • Anonymous :

      Come take a peek at the moms board, where we complain about how hard it is to make mom friends and we don’t have time to make any other friends… No advice, really; it’s hard out there.

      • Nashvillian :

        This. I’m a mom and I’ve definitely made more friends through my CrossFit class (so keep trying there – really!) than through activities with my kids. The problem with making friends in those activities is that you and the other moms just may not be compatible or have anything in common. My children have different hobbies and tastes than I do, so I can’t be guaranteed moms that also are athletic, like good wine, and are terribly cynical. I do find more of those types at CrossFit and CycleBar though.

      • Anonymous :

        I think it’s hard to make close friends through your kids, because like you said, you may not have anything in common with your kids’ friends’ parents. But I do think you naturally meet a lot of acquaintances/casual friends that way. At least I was someone who never had a big friend circle and sort of just always had one or two best friends at a time, until I had a baby and then all of a sudden I had all these people that I was socializing with regularly. Largely because our kids were playing together, but it still counts as socialization for this introvert.

    • Anonymous :

      Take a class? Community colleges offer lots of interesting classes aimed at working adults. Parks and Rec departments tend to have a lot too. Ours offers photography, yoga, dance, adult softball leagues, etc.

    • Check out whether your area has any sports leagues. I live in a small city/large town and we have “young professional” organization that has an entire sports division (kickball, dodgeball, flag football, volleyball, etc). To fill out several teams they accept free agents. It’s a fantastic way to meet other friends/suitable men in their late 20s/early to mid 30s. You don’t even really need to be athletic, it’s mostly something fun for people to do together.

      • +1 This is what I did when I moved to a new place for law school and I am still friends with the people on my very first kickball team from 12 years ago and those people led me to meet my now super close core group of friends.

    • Also 36. It might seem like people are making friends through kids’ activities, but I can tell you that most of those friendships are surface-level. Friendlier than acquaintances, but it doesn’t go much deeper than that.

  27. Sloan Sabbith :

    I tried to take a mental health day today that was incredibly desperately needed and an emergency came up with a client and I have to go in anyway. And on top of this I lost my keys.

    I am so miserable.

    • Hugs. I’m there with you. I’m so over work it’s not even funny. All I want to do today is go sit on the beach with my best friend and her two kids, but I’m here because nobody else is (they’re all at client sites or already off). Gah.

    • Silvercurls :

      More hugs. Tomorrow is Friday. May your weekend be restorative! For tonight, try to chill and/or get to bed early, or do whatever helps you feel less miserable. Junk TV, web-surfing, good book…?

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