Suit of the Week: Classiques Entier

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For busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

I am in love with this sheath dress, which has a pieced-together look, like they’ve put fabric pieces together in an interesting way so that the pinstripes go in all directions. Even better, it has a matching jacket and matching full-length trousers that have a simple pinstripe. This lovely suit looks interesting and flattering and traditional, and super wearable for work, but you can also have fun with the dress by itself. The dress is $167 (was $279), the matching jacket (Pinstripe Suiting Jacket) is $179 (was $299), and the pants (Pinstripe Stretch Wool Trousers) are $119 (were $199).

Here’s a plus-size pinstripe suit and a plus-size pinstripe sheath dress.

(Psst: As we noted earlier today, the big Nordstrom sale is on — don’t miss our roundup!)

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navy pinstriped sheath dress and pantsuit


  1. That dress is awesome!

    Although I’d probably ruin it b/c I’m always cold and probably would have the right jacket / sweater / something to wear over it. Waah.

    • You can wear it if you are careful. Sheathe dresses are my staple, and as long as I don’t gain to much weight, I can do well with them. Otherwise, I revert to A line dresses where my tuchus can be masked a little better. FOOEY!


      Looks like it would look good with the dress and would probably match or coordinate because they are the same brand. I don’t think this would ruin the look of the dress at all, and a navy cardigan with some style like this one is an incredibly useful thing to have in your wardrobe.

  2. Anon for this :

    Has anyone ever taken progesterone or something else to delay a period? I’ve got an unfortunately timed vacation coming up, and would really like to avoid this issue. (I’ve had my tubes tied, but it never occurred to me how much I would miss this aspect of being on the pill!) I did some googling, and I’ve found some sources that say that all you have to do is call your doc for a progesterone pill to take a few days beforehand, NBD, but they’re all UK-based sites. Will my American doctor be cool with this? I’ll ask anyway, but I’m trying to get a feel for whether or not this is the sort of thing that’s normally done.

    • Not in the way you’re talking about, so I can’t speak to that. But I will say that when I was on the pill, skipping the last week didn’t always make my period go away. Sometimes hormones gonna hormone. I don’t know if the method you’re talking about might be more effective than that but it’s something to think about.

      • Anon for this :

        I’m sure that it varies. I used to skip all of the time back when I was on the pill – I found that I could do every other month pretty easily, but got breakthrough if I tried to skip 2 months in a row.

        Man, even through I don’t really have any period issues (basically no PMS at this point in life), getting it monthly now kind of sucks. :(

    • My gynecologist gave me norethindrone (a progestin pill) to stop break-through bleeding when I was taking the pill continuously. She was pretty casual about it (I called up, complained about the problem, and she called in a script to the pharmacy–done). I hope you meet with success too!

    • Legal Aid Lawyer :

      Instead cups can serve as a barrier if you want to do some gardening while on vacation, if the progesterone can’t happen for some reason.

    • Yeah my American doc was totally cool with it. Rx cost 47 cents. Worked like a charm. Highly recommend.

  3. Am I being forced out of my company? :

    I was promoted 9 months ago and given a new role that would expose me to senior leadership of a new team. The subject matter was not that interesting but I was promised that it would become something very different within 1-2 years and this was a great way to get on the ground floor.

    The excitement is starting, and I have just been told that my company is hiring TWO new people to handle the exciting stuff – leaving me to keep doing the boring grunt work I’ve been doing. In addition, my team is traveling a lot and I am NEVER included. I ask multiple times to be included and always get the brush off due to budget or needing someone back at the fort in case something blows up. Parties happen and I am not invited, happy hours and I am not invited.

    What is wrong with me? Even as I keep killing myself to do great work, I feel invisible and unwanted. My reviews over 4 years are excellent. I was just promoted. I have asked my manager about this twice in 6 months. The last time, he gently suggested that I was being paranoid.

    I am nice to a fault. People call me “sweet.” I hear from prior managers how much I am missed by those teams, but there isn’t room to move back.

    Please don’t tell me to find another company to work for. I cannot afford to leave for at least one more year.

    • Anonymous :

      Could it be that you’re too sweet and come across as a goody-goody? I fell into that mold and had to work hard to keep my image as a team player but also someone fun that they wanted to be around and not too stuffy.

    • I would focus on these new roles vs what you were just promoted into. Ask for clarification on the duties they are expecting those new roles to perform vs what their expectations for your role are. Feel free to say, “I would either like to be considered for that role, or I would like to explore taking on some of that work and moving some of my current duties to the new role.”

      Feel free to act a little cranky and no-nonsense during this conversation. Don’t smile or apologize. If you’re talking to the same manager you’ve talked to previously, you could start the conversation with, “I know you and I have talked about me feeling frustrated the last few months.”

      Ultimately, if you are important to your team, your manager will want to keep you happy even if he thinks you’re being slightly paranoid or unreasonable. If you still get brushed off, either start looking for a new job or reconcile yourself to the current state for the duration of your time there.

      On the parties/happy hour: do you have any friends/quasi-friends who could help keep you in the loop? Maybe casually say to them, “I think I’ve gotten a little out of the loop on the fun invites list! Could you let me know if stuff is up? I’d really like to join in!”

      • JuniorMinion :

        Seconding this. Also is everyone else male and you are female? That could be part of the “left out of happy hours” dynamic. Ultimately though I would push for the more exciting work and if you get the brush off that’s a pretty clear signal that that type of work is not going to happen for you at this firm.

  4. I know this will vary greatly by office culture, but I just want to vent for a moment about the people in my office who have their Outlook calendars defaulted to private. It’s so frustrating not being able to tell if the meeting on your calendar is one you’re actually going to be at (and hence out of the office) or if it’s a placeholder or if you’re going to be in or out of the office. And if you do have an appointment that’s sensitive, like a personal appointment or an interview or what not, you can use the private option for that one appointment.

    Okay, rant over. Now to go see if I can track down my coworker.

    • Anonymous :

      I guess every office is different. I can’t imagine having a public calendar. I can’t see how it’s anyone’s business what is blocking off my time (and for insider trading avoidance, it’s better to have time blocked off generically / unseeable by others than “Talk to GM about hostile takeover of Ford” up for all to see).

      • Lawyer in-house :

        Yeah all of our calendars are private and you just ask someone’s assistant if you need to figure out their whereabouts.

      • Our office (20 person law firm) uses public calendars, which of course have the option for private appointments. We give access to our direct reports and people to whom we directly report, so it’s not like the whole office could just see what you’re up to. It maddens me when I can’t figure out where people are, or check a date. I worked in another law firm where no one could see anyone’s calendar at all-not even blocked off times. Oh, you left to go to a two day seminar? Great.

        No one would put sensitive information in a calendar appointment- you just write “Plaintiff v. Defendant- Conf. call with _”.

        It’s really helpful for me in ‘managing up’– I can figure out when my partner has a meeting scheduled so I can have xyz prepared because he probably neglected to tell me, I can see if he’ll be out of the office all day (travel) or back after an appointment so I can coordinate when I can get his attention. Depending on the details, I can know whether he’s in a mediation where he’ll be able to answer a quick question by email or if he’s taking a depo and he’ll be out of pocket all day. I can see that I need to get him x work product by y because he’ll have no time to review otherwise… stuff like that. If it was set to private, it would pretty much look like he was out of the office for 70% of his day every day.

    • cat socks :

      Our calendars are color coded. Blue means a work-related meeting and purple is out of office. Then blue stripes are tentative. Some people make their calendars public, but the majority of them are private.

    • My office uses a public calendar, but it’s pretty small (fewer than 10 attorneys) so it isn’t that cluttered and you can see where everyone is at all times (includes everyone, including IT, etc.). When I first started I thought it was really weird to put everything on the same calendar but now I love it. So much easier to schedule meetings when you know where everyone will be.

  5. My family is going on a trip to a resort A nearby our city this weekend. We haven’t’ been away in so long and I am so excited about this trip! Before booking our trip I had heard only good things about this resort. There is also resort B nearby. Both resorts are within 1/2 a star of each other on yelp. We didn’t choose B for a few reasons, but also because we are going with a group of families and the consensus was to stay at A. Since booking the trip, everyone who I have talked to has either had bad things to say about resort A or has told me resort B is better. I don’t care and I am still excited, but man, why can’t people just say “awesome!” and move along. My boss just talked down to me for 5 minutes about how I am going to say “I told you so” after the weekend that we should have gone to B. If I have already told you that A is booked, I am super excited about it, and if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. geesh. Whatever happened to people just being excited for you? /end rant

    • cat socks :

      Wow, your boss sounds annoying. Sorry you had to deal with that. Hope you have a great vacation!

    • I can see how they’d say stuff like that if you were asking for advice, but at this point, when you’ve already booked the resort and are looking forward to the trip? The only polite response on their part is “Have a great trip!” People just always have to bring each other down and try to feel superior. Ignore them and have a wonderful time with your family!

    • Senior Attorney :

      I think I’d say “Wow. I’m going to interpret that comment as ‘have a great trip!’ Thanks!”

  6. cat socks :

    Wow, your boss sounds annoying. Sorry you had to deal with that. Hope you have a great vacation!

  7. Cross-posting this from CMoms for any input. I’m in my third trimester with our first child and my husband and I had an enormous fight last night. I’m devastated. We very rarely fight or even argue, but the approximately twice per year that this happens tends to be awful.

    We were raised in two different cultures; he is Indian and I am from the UK. Our fights almost always center on the clash of cultural expectations between his parents and I. He wants his parents (who live a 24-hour flight away) to stay with us for three weeks when our baby is around 1-2 months old. Because of the culture clashes, I have made it clear that I prefer their visits to be limited to two weeks max and that he take time off from work when they are here so I am not left alone with them. Background in short: they really dislike that I am not of their ethnicity or religion. When I have had “alone time” with them in the past, they redouble their efforts to convert me to their religion despite being told that’s not going to happen, and they also constantly pressure me to alter my appearance so I fit in better with their culture. I suspect this (particularly the religious pressuring) is going to worsen significantly once a child enters the picture. FWIW, my husband does defend me to his parents and reinforces the cultural and religious boundaries, which is why they are worse when he is not present.

    Last night when I brought up limiting their visit I tried to point out why a time limitation is especially important since the degree of difficulty will be high enough just trying to adjust to having a newborn. He countered by saying that normally in his culture, his parents would expect to come and stay with us for SIX MONTHS, and he felt that three weeks was already a substantial compromise. I said that six months isn’t a “visit”, that’s “moving in with someone,” and that I wouldn’t want even my own parents, who are problematic for entirely different reasons, staying with us for several weeks. (I also made it abundantly clear before we got married that none of our parents are to move in with us.) I’m very anxious about becoming a parent myself, and his parents stress me out under the best of circumstances. I want to be culturally sensitive, but I don’t want to sacrifice my sanity in the process. I would like to know if I’m being unreasonable, and any advice is also very much appreciated.

    • Anonymous :

      You aren’t being unreasonable. I am half-Indian (but grew up primarily with my non-Indian parent), and I am already dreading having to tell my Indian parent and Indian step-parent that I don’t want them “visiting” for weeks right after I have our first kid (not even pregnant yet but already dreading this). I don’t want anyone living with us when we come home with a baby — maybe it would be okay for them to come for a week (not stay with us) a few weeks after baby arrives.

      It’s your husband’s baby, too, so it’s not like he gets zero say, but given your history with your in-laws, I don’t think it’s okay for them to come for three weeks when your husband is going to be out of the house and you have to deal with them. I would put my foot down — is he taking any time off of work for paternity leave? Let them come during that time.

      • Thank you–he is taking time off for paternity leave and was planning on taking two weeks off of the three weeks that they plan to be here. I either want them to only be here for those two weeks, or he takes off the entire time they are here, but would prefer they only stay for two weeks. (He was saying that they take 5-7 days to recover from jet lag as a justification for the prolonged visit, which is just not my problem.)

        • Senior Attorney :

          I think you are more than reasonable for not being willing to be alone with them for a week. I also think that is a call you get to make. He needs to choose whether to be here for the third week or tell them to cut the visit short.

        • oil in houston :

          a lot of good things have been said, so I won’t add too much, but I would caution you against having your in-laws come in those first 2 weeks when your husband will be home. In my experience, this is a crucial time for you to bond as a family, and having other family members might prevent him from being involved as much as he otherwise would have been, which would be a great shame. good luck to you

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t have time to add much re: the cultural issues, but as a new mom, I can confirm your concerns about the fact that you will be emotional and sleep-deprived, so won’t be able to deal with annoying in-laws as well as you otherwise would be able to. The first 3 months after baby is born are HARD and additional pressure from in-laws would only make it worse. Stand your ground. If they want to stay for longer than 2 weeks, they can stay at a hotel or with other family. And ensure there are ground rules re: how they will act when they are there – they are expected to help, can’t pressure you re: the religion, and you are the mom so you get to make the calls for the baby. This last part is particularly important because there are significant cultural differences when it comes to taking care of infants – my MIL is from another country and some of her techniques/views were YEARS behind what’s considered normal these days. Luckily my husband told her to keep her mouth shut on these issues, but just a heads up that it may be an issue.

      • Yes, this is definitely another worry for me. I think “child-rearing advice” is going to give them yet another means of pressuring me and am really not looking forward to them visiting. (On a more positive note, congratulations on your own new baby!)

    • Yikes! Though I’m sympathetic to the fact that 3 weeks is a compromise, you are definitely not being unreasonable. Would it be possible for them to come visit after you go back to work? That would make it easier for you. I would definitely put my foot down about them coming and interfering with your precious baby time. They have to accept that your husband chose this life in this culture, where these things are just not typically done.

      All of that said, I did find my extremely annoying in-laws more tolerable when there was a baby buffer, so there is that.

    • Let me ask you this. You know your in laws. Would they help with the baby? I mean really help, like watching the baby so you can take a nap? And while doing this, respecting your wishes about things like how and what you feed the baby..

      Or are they going to be two more babies that you have to take care of while taking care of your own baby? Does your father in law in particular expect you to wait on him?

      If the former, I would possibly compromise because I would have loved some help with my newborns at that age.

      If the latter, I would say they couldn’t visit at all, or that your husband needs to be home 100% of the time you are there. Ain’t nobody got time for that, especially a new mom

      • It is most definitely the latter–my MIL is willing but too infirm to even hold a baby (which is rather sad, and I’m of course happy to help with that.). They don’t expect me to wait on them, but they do expect compliance with their wishes, which I find laughable as an almost-40-year-old adult. I don’t think my FIL would help at all and I don’t trust either of them to respect my wishes–there is no way I would leave a baby alone with them.

        • Anonymous :

          “they do expect compliance with their wishes, which I find laughable as an almost-40-year-old adult”

          I think if you find their cultural traditions laughable you’re going to struggle with this relationship a lot. I get that you don’t agree with or even respect the traditions that elders are given so much deference in Indian culture. But part of being in an inter-cultural marriage is understand that each partner comes to it with very different traditions and expectations about what ‘normal’ is. Try to find the value in those traditions and differences.

          • Oh no–I didn’t mean that I find their cultural traditions laughable at all–I (clumsily) was trying to say that I find it laughable that they would expect an adult to be okay with upending her entire way of life. I actually like the deference that elders are given in Indian culture and wish we had more of that element in my own.

    • Anonymous :

      Ultimately, yes, I think your husband needs to take your side on this, but here are a few mitigating ideas:

      My husband responds best to these kinds of things when I try to think of helpful compromises. So, maybe they can “stay” with you for 3 weeks but really only stay with you for a couple days at a time and take advantage of the fact that they’ve flown 24 hours to take a few nice side excursions? (Husband can frame it as, “Staying so long with a new mom and a newborn is boring! There are so many things to see!”)

      It sounds like you have your own issues with your parents, but if they might visit at the same time, might they willing and able to run interference? Or might there be other relatives that can host visits from them or show them the sights? My mom helpfully took my in-laws on a number of little excursions to get them out of my hair when they came to visit (thankfully not for 3 weeks!)

      I agree they should come for at least part of the time when he is on paternity leave.

      • My parents are definitely problematic on their own, but fortunately they get the culture clash issue and I am going to ask them to have their visit overlap with my in-laws as a favor to me. The other bonus is that my in-laws respect my parents far more than me and I think it’s good for my in-laws to witness just how different my own culture is from theirs so that they might think more before pressuring me to do various things.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Anon, first let me tell you how sorry I am and how much I feel your pain.

      My inlaws are Irish (like live in Ireland), and super Catholic. I am Canadian and while my family background is Greek Orthodox, I am an atheist and it is well known. We had a Catholic wedding in an attempt to pacify the inlaws and it was not worth it at all. My husband is a borderline atheist but avoids conflict with his parents so who knows what they think. I had a difficult pregnancy (3 months of bed rest) and a Csection. When our son was 5 weeks old, they came to stay for two weeks and literally the morning after they arrived there was a massive blowout about how we were not baptizing the baby…all of my early memories are coloured by these incredibly stressful memories and I will never, ever forgive them. My husband completely took my side though, threatened to throw his father out of our home. Since then, his father has not visited but his mother has come to visit twice. They know that if they want to come together that they have to stay in a hotel.

      These conflicts are real and they never go away. As someone who has been there, no matter how hard it is, take a stand *now*. Suggest that they delay their visit until the baby is six moths old at least so you can adapt to somewhat a schedule and how this will benefit everyone. I will say I am a bit worried for you OP. as it does not seem that you and your husband are on the same page, and speaking from my own experience, that is so crucial. So first you need to calmly talk to your husband and the two of you need to come up with a game plan together and then he needs to communicate your united decision to his parents.

      Good luck, OP. Truly. These are difficult waters to navigate (as you can see from the novel above).

      • I really appreciate that and thank you so much (not a novel at all!)–this has been a major worry for me and I think that my husband accommodates them out of an acute sense of guilt for living so far away, though he would never admit it.

      • Different Anon :

        @never. I’m the same but it’s my mom who is super catholic. My first child died at age three. My mom was very worried that my child was going to purgatory or whatever (I’m not an expert here, I’m an atheist).

        When I had two more children, I had them baptized. Not because I believe it makes a difference at all, but because it makes a difference to my mom, and I figured a few drops of holy water (and oil? There was some oil) wouldn’t hurt my babies.

        Basically, I regard my mom as weak and this wasn’t the hill for me to die on. It’s not like I’m going to send my kids to CCD and she is managing to live with that. Just another perspective, but yeah, I hear you.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          Different Anon, I am so, so sorry. I cannot even imagine what you have been through.

          Oddly, that was one of the ways my mother in law used to try and get me to change my mind – she held my tiny baby and said “when I think of what might happen…” which is sub-optimal approach to a new mother still raging with hormones.

          I think of it as a little more than water and oil, but I can completely appreciate why you would make a different choice all things considered.

          • Different Anon :

            Thanks. I, too, think of it as little more than water and oil (plus some gifts and a little cake, which were nice because cake) but my point is that’s more than water and oil to my mom.

            I’m not making my case very clear and I hope it’s obvious that I’m not disagreeing with what you did.

            I’m just saying, people who are this religious really do think terrible things will happen without the stupid water and oil, and I decided to go along just because I decided to take pity on my mom.

    • cat socks :

      I’m Indian and my husband is white, but we don’t have kids. However, it is normal in Indian culture for the grandparents to stay with the new parents for long periods of time. In India, many families live together. I was 9 when my brother was born and I remember my grandparents coming over from India for several months.

      Having said that, I don’t think you are being unreasonable. Having his parents stay for that long is just going to add stress to an already stressful situation. I think your suggestion of a two week visit and having your husband stay at home is absolutely reasonable.

      Why did he get so angry? Is he afraid of offending his parents? I wish I had some better advice on how to communicate your feelings to him.

      • I think he feels very guilty for living far away and he would never admit to this, but even he has trouble getting along with them during visits–he’s not nearly as religious as they would like and I suspect his degree of Westernization distresses them. I’m thinking of insisting that we return to couples counseling (I made us both do this before we got married precisely because of negotiating both families’ cultural and religious wedding-related expectations.)

        • All my best :

          I am sure he feels guilty for living far away. I feel great responsibility to my parents and their happiness and have no idea why. (My sister certainly does not!) My husband grew up in an environment where children had to be extremely independent and self-reliant for several reasons so there have been conflicts over the years as I try to please my hard to please my mother. Your concerns are completely legitimate. Because you sound like a truly kind and thoughtful wife and your husband sounds like a keeper, my best advice is for you two to do all you can to build a united front together. My husband basically said, “We can fight all we want but have to be a team when others are involved if this is going to work.” So corny but I cannot explain how helpful this has been in dealing with inlaws and now a teenager. We will never *truly* please inlaws from any culture so the best we can do is to measure reasonableness against our own gauge in dealing with them and focus our main efforts on building the nuclear family. I might cave to two weeks and a couple of days in your situation but my husband would certainly need to get them to the airport! Take off as much time as you possibly can and be sure they are not there at the end of your leave. Try to really soak up the experience of having the baby. I married a couple of years out of college so it was all a blur but I remember being home with that baby that I wanted so very much nine years later. Fwiw, I feel good about the future of your family despite this annoying challenge. Good luck!

      • Anonymous :

        Not OP but I’m guessing because his mom isn’t well – OP referenced this is in a reply – so her DH may be worried that she may not be well enough to travel to see her grandchild very often.

    • I would hope you can negotiate for more than this but… Can they get a short term rental nearby? (Space will help you, and you can probably tell them that you’re cramped for space after your new baby.) Also, say you’ve been medically advised to nap for a few hours every afternoon (or do yoga, or whatever will get you some alone time).

      It’s very normal to fight a lot when you’re having your first child. It’s a huge deal and people have very different expectations about parenthood, even without cultural differences. This is where you are now. But in a year you’ll be in a very different place. Good luck and congratulations on your upcoming addition.

      • Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. They need to be in a hotel. I caved and let my MIL stay with me for two days when my baby was a couple weeks old, and she was a nightmare. (It wasn’t funny when she body-checked my c-section incision into the changing table. Twice. Because she doesn’t believe in personal space and wanted to watch diaper changes. She thought it was hysterical). I could not imagine three weeks.

        That said, the second month is hard. Six weeks is peak crying, and you’re really tired, and things haven’t started to get easier yet. (After six or eight weeks, nursing gets better and the baby starts smiling at you.) Having people around to distract you and offer any sort of support will be nice. Even if it’s just cooking, or ordering take-out, or letting you nap.

    • Anon for this :

      I don’t have kids, but I am Indian. My views are little skewed, if you will, because I was born and raised in the U.S. and my parents are fairly Westernized.

      That said, as I understand it (from watching and listening), in India, often families tend to live rather close to one another. So when a baby is born, mom, aunts, cousins, whomever, basically swoop in and take care of everything but the feeding. It’s to allow the mother to rest. When said mother-to-be lives abroad, the reasons for wanting to stay for as long as six months are two fold: (1) to help out, like I said above and (2) they are traveling a long way and tickets can get expensive. Staying as a long as they can lets them make the most of their time and money.

      Of course for those of us not used to this, it’s a whole lot to handle and can get uncomfortable wicked fast. See if you can work out something where they don’t come immediately and when they do, they stay maybe only part-time with you. As in, they can come during the day to lend a hand, but in the evening head to a hotel or family friend or some other accommodation. Also, maybe you could spin it that you and your husband need to learn to balance things on your own. Having help is nice for a (very) short time, but you don’t want to become dependent on it. It’s important that you guys work out your own schedule, for both your sakes and the baby’s.

      Draw firm lines. If they push, you push back. You’re the new mother, this is your child, and it’s your home. You can only be so accommodating and your job is to do what’s best for your baby. You being stressed to the max is not good for anyone.

      • Thank you–and I hope I’m not inadvertently offending! I hate to sound selfish, but this would be an entirely different matter if they were more accepting of my differences and also were able to help (my MIL is unable, my FIL is unwilling.).

        • Anon for this :

          It’s not selfish at all! Indians can be a tough crowd. I know.

          In any case, I wish you lots of luck with both the baby and your in-laws!

    • I’m the OP–thank you to everyone and your thoughtful responses; it reminds me why I value this board so much!

      • Anonymous :

        Hello! I’m from a South Asian family & while the immediate gang is fairly cool I’ve always had a hard time with some of the extended family members. That I speak my mind doesn’t help. So… I’ve learned some techniques from my mother and others that help me with the interfering and different worldviews.
        – I don’t pay attention at all, smile singing something in my mind once I realize an annoying monologue is about to begin
        – smile and respond blandly with comments such as: ‘oh yes?.’ ‘that’s interesting’ ‘how lovely’ ‘you’re so right’ and so forth, then walk off because something else needs to be tended to.
        – when I have the urge to ‘say something’, instead I say, puzzled/distractedly: ‘I think I hear the phone’ ‘the washing machine just stopped’ ‘would you like some tea?’
        You’ll likely be super tired so ‘I’ve got to lie down/take a nap/feed baby/change baby/put baby’s stuff in laundry/etc. are appropriate and so forth.

        I know it’s easier to say than do but don’t stress. Let them do their thing. You do your thing & have no apology for such. You’ll be great & have fun with baby!

    • It’s already been said, but I think it bears emphasizing: you are NOT being unreasonable. I have two kids. The postpartum period is very hard. Anyone who enters your home, much less stays with you, should be making your life easier, not harder. Keep talking to your husband about this. He probably has zero clue how hard life is going to be for a few months after the baby comes. Do you guys have any close friends with kids that you’d be comfortable talking to about this? Because I’m guessing they’d side with you and maybe could help persuade him.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      My MIL is not terrible, but is maybe the quintessential MIL? Anyway, she stayed near us for 10 days when kiddo was a newborn, and it was not so great, esp. in contrast to my mom, who basically just complimented me/my baby, cleaned silently, and facilitated napping/showering for me. My MIL got mad at me for (1) not owning a roast pan (I don’t eat/make roasts???) (2) not knowing what a roast pan is (see above) and (3) not wanting to bring her along on errands/generally not being patient with her. It was just this added weight and obligation when all I wanted was *help.*

      Here’s a story you should get into your in laws’ heads: my dad’s stepmom (culturally different background from my mom) criticized my mom for how she fed my older sister when older sister was a newborn. My parents basically never saw her again, and I know the story even though it was years before I was born… so whatever the fight was it must’ve been big — it was a big wedge in my parents’ relationship with my dad’s dad. I think my parents took it as a warning; they’ve withheld criticism on my parenting almost completely.

      • Cornellian :

        I agree that that compliments, silent cleaning and help with napping and showering is really all you should be doing around someone else’s newborn. For me, my aunt was the only visitor who met that description for the first couple months.

        When my MIL came to visit, I also felt vaguely self conscious. Your body and hormones will be super weird. You may still have stitches. You will probably still be bleeding. You may still be having incontinence issues. If you’re breastfeeding, you will be topless a lot. YMMV, but I couldn’t have handled someone like my FIL being around for that. For a lot of women, it’s a very trying few months.

    • If the default in his 6 months, I can see how your husband feels like he has made a huge compromise to suggest 3 weeks instead. The difference between 2 and 3 weeks probably seems inconsequential to him right now, especially if this is your first child. Could they come a week early so all three weeks are while your husband is still on paternity leave? (not sure if I read the part about your husband’s work correctly)

      Second, for big picture stuff where in-law’s wouldn’t expect to see immediate action, consider just saying “hmmm, I’ll think about that” instead of fighting with them about how you would never ever ever do what they are saying. You aren’t agreeing to do anything. You are agreeing to think about it. Which you will be doing as you stew over how mad you are that they suggested it. I use that tactic with all sorts of people I disagree with. If they later follow up I’ll say “yeah, I thought about it but it is not right for me at this time.” Then it doesn’t sound like a hard no to be argued with. If they start arguing I say, I’m open to thinking about it again in the future but if you push me for a hard answer now, it’s a no. Then they tend to back off.

      I also give in on things that really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things so I can save my sanity and stamina for battling over the stuff that does matter. That is why we have stupid sink protector rack things and a guest bathroom rug I hate and a weird over the door hanger thing my MIL wanted. It’s all stuff in the guest area so while I think we didn’t need it, she bought it and I shut up and displayed it. It can go in the closet when she’s not there.

    • Is it possible that they could stay with you for 2 weeks and then move to a nearby hotel for their last week so they could enjoy a little R&R in your city (or their first – you could make the argument it’s to help them deal with jet lag without a crying baby around)? Or is there a close friend or neighbor or two that’d be willing to drop by and be a buffer for a few hours if DH has to go back to work? I have a close friend who has incredibly rude French in-laws who visit for weeks at a time. I live really close to her, so I drop by frequently when they are in town (they were much nicer when company was over) or schedule frequent outings with her when they are visiting.

    • Anonymous :

      I am Indian and 6 months is crap. The max people would stay is 1-2 months especially with new baby in the picture.

      Can you agree to 3 weeks when the baby is say 3-4 months, rather than 1-2 months?

      I had a terrible time with MIL (also Indian) when baby was 2 months. Her way and mine differ and I felt like she was always criticizing me. Plus hormones.

      Good luck.

  8. Ladies who use the OG bag: do any of you have the Lenovo X1 Carbon laptop, and does it fit in the padded sleeve that is built into the bag? I know the OG specs say the laptop sleeve is for 13″ laptops, and the X1 is a 14″… but sometimes those sleeves are deep and squishy, and so you can fudge it a bit, especially when the laptop is thin.

    I would like to order the OG for a work trip happening next week, but my new X1 won’t be provided by my IT department until a month from now, so I’m turning to the wisdom of the hive! Thanks in advance!

    By the way, how annoying is it that LO and Sons doesn’t have a retail presence to see the bags before you buy? Especially with stuff like this, I know right away if a bag is going to work for me, and I would much rather go see it in person versus waiting a week for the delivery, getting annoyed, shipping it back, etc.

    • Anonymous :

      I have that computer and it fits in the OMG, so I’d be shocked if it doesn’t fit in the OG.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes. Every day it goes home with me in my OG. It also fits in my Seville (the larger one; have no idea re smaller).

    • I have an OG and though their site says it won’t fit, I use the sleeve for my 15″ MBP, so I suspect your laptop would be okay.

    • Thanks, everyone! I will order it. :)

    • newbinlaw :

      My Lenovo Thinkpad fits just fine in my OG. Not sure about X1 but maybe compare the 2?

  9. I need to vent. I know no mother in laws are perfect- as evidenced by posts above me this afternoon! I’m feeling pretty lucky to be marrying a fantastic guy with a mostly fantastic mom, who is driving me bananas right now. She is planning a lovely rehearsal dinner for all our wedding guests (despite reassuring her that no one outside the bridal party has expectations of attending both) and now she’s acting like it’s a competition between her and me about who can plan the better party during our wedding weekend. She keeps referring to the rehearsal dinner as “MY” event and has so far ignored any conversations about how it’s all one weekend of united families. She has hired fancier and more upscale florists, caterers, etc in an effort to upstage our wedding, and has told us that she’s disappointed that the rehearsal will interfere with the cocktail hour that she’d planned.
    I know there are worse problems to have (she’s throwing us this fancy party!) but I am also feeling like what the h-e-double hockey sticks.

    • Does she have any daughters? If not, then maybe she sees this as her only opportunity to throw a fancy wedding party and in getting excited about it, she’s not realizing that this feels a little like thunder stealing. Or, it’s important to her to be able to show off that she can afford this fanciness. That’s her issue, not yours. Regardless, people are going to be excited to have two awesome parties to go to in one weekend.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Oh, wow.

      Just goes to show it’s always something, right?

      I totally get how you feel. If things haven’t progressed too far down the road, can your fiance step in and ask her to hold her horses? Or at least let her know the you’re feeling a tiny bit upstaged?

      If not, just grin and bear it and realize that there is no way in he-e-double hockey sticks that the actual wedding is in fact going to be upstaged!

  10. Computer help :

    I need a new laptop. I will need to carry it often so light light light is key for my aging back.

    My last 2 laptops have been problematic but affordable Dells, so no more Dells for me. I dream of a Mac again. Thinking about buying a compatible monitor/screen to use at home.

    What is my best option? An affordable option?

    • If you really want a Mac you should get a Mac. They are the lightest and definitely less bug prone than Dell (I have both)

      • You might want to be cautious about the new MBP, though (the ones with the touchbar thing). I have one for work and it’s very crash-prone. Several of my co-workers have had problems as well – I suspect things will improve soon, but we all got them in the first batches that were shipped last fall.

        • Computer help :

          Thank you for this warning. I have no need to have the newest/fastest. I’ll look for an older model.

    • You can get refurbished Macs, which might help with the price. But the newest models have hardly any ports! Just like, one new-fangled type USB connection. I got a new computer but the older model recently, because I like having my USB ports and SD card reader.

      • Computer help :

        Appreciate this additional warning about the ports. I would have never thought to check that?!?

        Refurbished sounds fine for me, as long as there is some warranty that is reasonable.

        Which one did you get?

      • Anonymous :

        Second refurb/used Macs. Plus they continue to have great resale value, so when you’re ready to upgrade down the road you can still get some money for them.

        Note that the laptop line is rumored to be refreshed this summer, so you could wait a bit for new models/more used/refurb from the next newest models to come online.

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