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.
It’s velvet suit season, ladies! I’ve always been a fan of velvet blazers for that tricky “what to wear to the holiday party on a weeknight,” when most people go directly from work. The look is festive but you can still wear it to work. The full velvet pants suit can be a Lot of Look, of course, so know yourself and your office — but they’re also really easy to wear as separates.
I love the deep red of this suit, as well as the satin trim on the blazer — it almost looks like a different color. If you wanted even MORE look, I’d pair this with hot hot pink accessories – the brightest pink lip you can find, the brightest pink shoes. If you want to dial it down, of course, that’s what black, navy, or gray is for, as well as winter white.
The blazer is $545 and the pants are $330.
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Workwear sales of note for 3.24.23:
- Ann Taylor – 40% off everything
- Athleta – 20% off shorts, swim, linen & more
- Banana Republic Factory – 40% off everything; extra 15% off purchase
- Boden – Up to 50% off
- Brooks Brothers – Clearance styles to 70% off. Some pretty serious markdowns!
- Express – 40% off dresses & tops
- J.Crew – 25% off your purchase; up to 50% off special-occasion styles
- J.Crew Factory – Up to 50% off everything; extra 15% off 3 styles; extra 20% off 4 styles; extra 50% off clearance
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty
- Talbots – 25% off select styles; 25% off markdowns
I want so badly to have a place to wear something like this.
You and I are on the same page. I love this.
My 10 year old velvet blazer will have to be enough.
Oh that suit literally made me moan with pleasure when I saw it! If only I were a foot taller!
I love the color, but could never justify that kind of money for something I couldn’t wear at least twice a week.
Feels very Cate Blanchette/Oceans 8 – love
Love it – has a very Cate Blanchette/Oceans 8 look to it
does anyone else here eat really fast? I am always finishing eating way before everyone else. would love tips on how to slow down (something I am tackling on the path to weight loss).
I am a fast eater and one thing that helps me is to have a rule that I can’t have food in my mouth and food on my fork at the same time. (I always want the next bite to be loaded and ready lol!)
Put down utensils between each bite. Use fork in non-dominant hand.
A friend of mine was a really fast eater and switched to chopsticks to slow herself down, it worked for a while but eventually she just became the most proficient chopstick user I’ve ever met, lol.
It has taken me twenty years to break the eating style I picked up in 4 months of military boot camp (ie;there is a timer and you need to get as much nutrition in as you can in the shortest amount of time). Things that help me, SAs rule of not loading your fork until you’ve finished the bite you are eating. Also putting said fork down between bites. Drinking water or a beverage between bites. Counter to every diet advice ever – finding other things to do when i am eating alone. If I am engrossed in reading something it seems to naturally slow down my shovel tendencies.
Grape nuts, no milk.
Just the idea hurts my teeth.
Seriously I can’t believe someone else eats Grape Nuts dry!
Ooooohhhhh — there are wet cereal people and dry cereal people.
As the last person left eating at seated social events, sit next to me and maybe we can trade notes.
I try to pace myself with the person across from me, but I just cannot figure out how to eat at a normal speed in polite company. At home in a hurry I can shovel the meal in without problem, but in public I end up just putting my fork down and claiming to be full so I’m not holding up the next course or the table clearing.
It isn’t working for me obviously, but if you are eating with others, maybe trying to empty your plate at the same rate they do will help?
Same. I am a SUPER fast eater – my whole family is so maybe its a learned trait? No exaggeration, I sometimes cook dinner, make my plate, and finish my whole meal before DH even finishes making his plate. Especially some “soft” like spaghetti – that is like a 5-7 minute meal tops for me. A sandwich? Just like the movie, Gone in 60 Seconds.
My husband eats incredibly fast. I think it’s because he’s goal-oriented and wants to gobble it down and move on to the next thing. I find myself eating faster when I eat with him. It’s annoying because I love food and want to taste and enjoy it, not shovel it in and swallow as quickly as possible.
Tips from my children (the slowest eaters I’ve ever met)
– Drop your utensil between bites.
– Tell an elaborate story requiring use of your hands. Fling your fork to the floor mid-story.
– Watch a really engrossing TV show while eating (Like a Bluey episode you’ve seen 367 times or the morning traffic report)
– Make vomit sounds and complain about the food for 15 minutes before eating
– Get up to pee mid-meal
– Get up to poop mid-meal (separate activity- never do this in the same trip as the previous tip.)
– Remember that you got hurt hours ago and stop eating to get a band aid.
– Antagonize someone else at the table while they’re telling a story.
– Spill your beverage
You made me laugh.
Another tip from mine, possibly the world’s slowest eater: Suck some of your milk up into your straw, but not far enough for it to actually reach your mouth because milk is gross and you wouldn’t actually want to have to swallow it. Hold the milk in the straw as long as possible so people think you are drinking it. Continue with the charade until daddy is done washing all the dishes, preferably longer.
You forgot about comparing the current meal unfavorably to the meal from the same time yesterday, even though you said the same thing then.
another thing you forgot: find a piece of something you don’t like in the food (even though it’s not there) and examine the entire dish closely to see if there is any more (because the people telling you it’s not there are clearly lying to you).
The only thing that’s ever worked for me is actively forcing myself to chew very very slowly while taking small bites. This also works to get me full faster. I don’t think it’s unrelated and it can be learned but it is not a habit that comes naturally. But there are times where I make an active choice to do it and it does work.
Also – you can absolutely train yourself to do it long term. My daughter used to devour her dessert until she realized that if she savored it she could torment her brother by eating cake or ice cream when he was already “out” and she is now the slowest eater regardless of whether there is an audience. It’s just harder as an adult but it can be done!
Counseling Insurance Coverage Question
This may be a dumb question, but what does “out of network” service mean for my insurance and how do I use it? I am looking at a therapist that does not accept insurance but it says that I can submit claims for reimbursement from my insurance. My insurance coverage says that I have a $200 individual deductible and $500 family deductible for all “out of network” services and then for outpatient mental health services the plan covers “100% after deductible is met.”
Does that mean I have to pay the first $200 myself and then my insurance will pay the full cost of the services? Or do they only pay a certain amount (like if the therapist charges $300/hour, they will only pay up to the amount they would pay an in-network provider)?
I could try to find one in-network, so that it’s only $15 per session co-pay, but I am looking for a specific type of therapist and can’t find one in-network.
Your description makes it sound like they pay the full cost after deductible, but my experience has generally been that they only pay a certain amount that they think a provider should charge (“usual and customary charges”) and the whole reason that most of the out of network providers are out of network is that they charge more than the insurance wants them to charge. So your insurance will pay $100 for a visit and covers 100% of that, but the therapist actually charges $300 and you’re left paying $200. But insurance is infuriatingly confusing and if you want a real answer you probably need to call them, not ask us, as it really does vary a lot and both are possible.
Yes they’ll pay their stated percentage of “usual and customary”
Which is far less than any therapist I’ve ever met charges
Op submit all your bills and see what happens. Even the ones you know are in your deductible because that’s how they count when you’ve hit it.
This is a really good question for your insurance carrier’s customer service line. that way you can get the answer totally tailored to your exact plan and situation. I’ve had really good luck going this route. Call the customer service number on the back of your insurance card.
This is correct. Hopefully your insurance company can confirm the rate that they cover – it’s 100% of what they say it is, not 100% of what your therapist charges – and also can tell you how they need the claims submitted for reimbursement. Some carriers want to see it on a claim form, while others will accept a bill on letterhead as long as it includes certain information, including diagnosis codes.
I feel for behavioral health providers, because insurance companies consistently undervalue their work. If they were better reimbursed, more therapists would accept insurance. But if insurance says an hour of the therapist’s time is worth $100, there’s no way to make that work in most places, since that needs to cover rent and other professional expenses on top of the therapist making a living.
Call your insurance carrier!
I would contact your insurance provider because usually they don’t cover 100% for out of network even if you meet the deductible. In my experience, my therapist costs $250 a session and after my insurance reimbursed me, my out of pocket is only $85. I only go ever few weeks to maintain a relationship as I’ve been seeing her for a very long time and she knows all my issues!
Many organizations covered mental health at the in-network rate in 2020 and 2021. A generous employer might have extended that, so it’s possible OP might be lucky.
Yes, our firm has 100% coverage w/o any deductible for mental health services because of the pandemic. The manageing partner thought it would be a good idea to get “full coverage” with everyone WFH back then. We still have it, but now that we have RTO, I will recommend we drop all that coverage b/c it is costing the firm $35,000/year for nothing. I would also like to keep an extra $7,000 in my partnership paycheck rather then fund everyone in the firm for service they really don’t need anymore. FOOEY! It is expensive to be a partner.
My husband and I are really struggling with the decision of whether or not to have kids. When we met we were both solidly in the “we want to start a family together” camp, but over the past few years our thinking on this has really started to fluctuate all over the place. On the one hand, I enjoy spending time with kids and think that we would be good parents. The idea of raising a child and getting to teach them and see the world through their eyes sounds incredibly fulfilling to me. On the other hand, we have serious concerns about the emotional and psychical demand of raising kids – and the potential toll it would take on our marriage, finances and careers. Seeing my parents have to deal with my sister’s severe mental health and addiction problems has been quite depressing and concerning to watch (knowing that you can do everything “right” as a parent and still have the outcome be entirely out of your control).
Before someone suggests it, yes I have talked to my therapist about this. It was not entirely helpful – she essentially advised us to talk about the reasons we want to have kids and the reasons we want to remain child-free and see what resonates. What I am wondering is – which decision will I regret more? I think it’s taboo to say this, but both decisions come with their own regrets. If I do have kids, I would be giving up free time/money/energy. And if I don’t have kids, I would be losing out on a deep (and hopefully loving and rewarding) relationship and may be plagued with “what if.”
For those who have had kids, do you ever regret that decision? If you had to go back and do it over again, would you?
I think the answer is that if you’re not super excited to have kids, if you can imagine your life without them, that IS your answer. “Huh, this could be cool” isn’t really a reason to bring a human into the world, IMO.
I go the opposite way. If you’re not adamant that you don’t want kids, then you should have them.
Agree with this. I love my kids and I know that parenthood is incredibly draining and changes every aspect of your life. If you’re not excited, it’s okay to pass.
That said I would try not to make a decision from a place of fear. Focus on what you want your life to be like – do you feel more excited about the future lifestyle of DINKs or parents? They are completely different.
I agree with the general sentiment of you should only have kids if you really want to be a parent. I think it’s fine if you can envision life without children, but the path of being a parent should be the one that you strongly prefer.
There are many ways to get to know and help guide young people. Our society really needs adults to take on these roles. They’re also a way of getting some of those experiences you want without taking on becoming a parent.
Parental regret is not PC to talk about, so people often don’t but as someone vocally childfree (and sterilized) for some reason people really love getting drunk and telling me how they regret their kids. Maybe it’s because they think I’m a safe person and alcohol lowers inhibitions? But I find it amusing how many picture perfect suburban families are anything but.
Or they say that to try to find common ground. I’m obsessed with my children and love being a mom (did NOT know I’d feel this strongly pre-kids). However, when I’m talking to a childless woman (usually past childbearing years), I tend to play up how much work the kids are, rather than how much joy they bring me. Maybe this is a me problem!
I never ever initiate the child conversations, usually we’ll be talking about my work which I’m very passionate about (I’m the poster who works on UN conventions) and then they will somehow pivot into regretting Parenthood, rather than their own passions/work which would have been a more logical transition.
Wow your patronizing and dismissive comment here is exactly what we childfree happy people have to deal with all the time, amazing
families who appear picture perfect are always anything but, even when they don’t regret their kids.
that said, while they might view you as a safe person, they might just be playing up the work and talking about what they missed to find a common ground.
I used to have a boss who would tell the young women in his department , “Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids, but I regret having them because it changed my wife so much.”
He wasn’t even drunk.
Yes, he is a complete asshole.
Is he? Or is he just honest? It does really change some people.
Even if there’s truth to this, there was no reason to be telling young women who worked for him. We were not his friends, we were his staff. He was basically warning us not to become old hags like his wife. It was gross.
In my experience, men who disparage their wives to women they aren’t related to are generally looking to cheat.
Bingo @ 5:56
I’ve had the same experience, it’s not just looking for common ground but true confession time. Fwiw, I don’t regret not having kids because my life turned out great. That said, I probably would enjoy having a “good” adult child or two. But not enough to say there’s regret there.
Anon for this
I could have written this. We always planned on having 2 and even started fertility treatments for #1, but when noninvasive stuff didn’t result in a baby, we kept finding reasons to put off the IVF process, and then admitted to each other (in quite a relieving conversation on both sides, lol) it was because we were happy with our DINK life, could envision ourselves aging as “just us two,” and didn’t want to move heaven and earth for the idea of a kid that we couldn’t picture a life without.
6 years later, with most friends now having grade schoolers, no regrets.
Anon for this
Gah, typos. Too many double negatives in that last clause. But you get the point.
Similar situation here, but I’m a bit older and my friends’ children are late teens/20.
Decision looks and feels better and better the older we get.
I actually strongly disagree with the person above at 2:58. Before I had a kid I was pretty sure I could be happy and fulfilled without them. I had one anyway. I adore my child and love being a mom. It’s brought me a lot of joy. But I also think I could have had a happy life without a kid. Life isn’t binary in the “one path is wonderful, one path is terrible” way. There can be two or more paths to happiness, and I’m pretty sure for me I would have been reasonably happy either way.
Also I feel like a broken record about this, but you’re not deciding to have kidS plural unless you end up with spontaneous twins. If you think you want kids, start with one and go from there. One kid is different than no kids (especially if that child has special needs or something else that makes parenthood extra challenging) but in my experience it’s also a very different lifestyle than 2-3 kids. For me it’s been a great middle ground. I didn’t miss out on the experience of parenthood, but I spend less of my life parenting and get to the easier, more fun stages more quickly. My kid is 6 and my friends who had first babies around the same time are still fully in the baby/young toddler stage with their second and third kids, changing diapers and waking up in the middle of the night when their kids are cutting teeth and all that, while I have a fun, interesting, independent kid I can travel and have adventures with who sleeps through the night.
This is me too. I could lead a happy life without kids, but I chose to have them.
I will also say that I see a huge difference between the people who actively chose to have kids versus those who ‘ended up with kids’ or ‘felt like they didn’t have a choice’. I had my first when I was 30 and honestly? There are days when I find what I need to do as a parent annoying but I never would have guessed just how much fun they are.
I’m one of those people who has been pleasantly surprised: lots of people told me how hard it was, nobody told me how fun it would be. I’ll also add that being financially stable and having a good partner has contributed hugely to my satisfaction in life in general.
Thank you both for your perspectives. I very much echo OP’s concerns: I am really truly 50/50 split in my enthusiasm for children/DINK life and it’s crippling to decide when it feels (to me) like so much of the narrative is “OMG if you’re not LIVING to be a parent then you’re not ready and shouldn’t!” it’s really good to hear from people who readily admit they could’ve gone either way, but HAD a kid.
Anon at 3:11
Totally. I honestly had one mostly because my husband was sure he wanted one, and I didn’t want to deprive him of the experience of being a dad. But I really love not only my individual child (which I think is pretty much a given), but also the experience of being a mom. You hear a lot about how hard it is, but not as much about the fun parts. Everything feels more vibrant with a kid. Which isn’t to say life couldn’t have been good, satisfying, even joyful without a kid, but it definitely feels *more* satisfying and joyful now. As the Anon 3:20 said, having stable finances and a very involved partner helps a lot.
I do think you’re onto something with the one-kid thing being different than having >1 kid. Easier to trade off with spouse? Less of a referee and more of a parent?
Both of those, yes. Also getting through the hard stages faster like I said. Easier to travel with one and incorporate one kid into adult’s hobbies. Grandparents are more willing to take one kid for date nights and overnights. Much easier financially especially if you hope to pay for college (our lifestyle would have taken a huge hit if we’d had 2). It’s not for everyone for sure, and I know some people can’t imagine a family without siblings but I’m confident it was the right choice for me. I’m an only child myself and loved it.
IMHO with 1 kid, it’s more likely that you as a couple fit the kid into your life, vs. change your life for the family. You stay in the smaller place in the city, can pay for 1 private school tuition, it’s not a huge added expense for things like vacations or dining out, etc.
With 2-3, people flee to the burbs for extra playrooms and such.
It’s simpler to focus time and energy on one kid vs. two. Fewer logistical complications in every way. There are definite benefits to being one-and-done!
That said, I really, really wanted that second kiddo. I felt that urge more strongly than I did to have my first kid. After I had my first, I knew what I was missing out on.
Ugh you are so right that I hate it! I recently remarried after a divorce and my kid is in mid elementary school and so fun and cool and independent. New spouse and I want to have a second one (and kiddo is begging for a baby sibling), but the idea of having to go through pregnancy, childbirth and years 0-3 again is not palatable, especially since all my multi-kid friends stayed with their first spouse and are now getting to the end of that stage!
To OP — I had all the same worries as you, but I got accidentally pregnant with someone I should have divorced, divorced him anyway but a few years too late, and have no regrets on having a kid. Being her mom is the most fulfilling part of my life, even though I work in a “do gooder” profession and pursue interesting hobbies on the side (ancient languages).
A friend used the book Motherhood: is it for me as a workbook through this. I know it was a series of exercises and discussions to have and helped her figure out why she was thinking yes or no.
I stand by I would only have kids if I was a definite yes and with a partner who was also a definite yes and excited about parenting. I watched enough people in my (now) early 40s generation raised by parents who had kids because that was the next thing and we all know how that worked out for many of us.
No one can tell you what to do. I have a lot of regrets about having kids (one is autistic and I’ll likely be a caregiver for the rest of my life) but I can’t say I wouldn’t do it again after knowing them. But my life will be very very very different than I thought it would be.
Solidarity. Two kids with severe autism here.
I loved being a “mom” and having little kids. It went a bit downhill after that. My two grown children do not have diagnoses but one of them struggles mightily as an adult as a result, at least partially, of their own choices. It’s heartbreaking. I agree entirely with Anonymous at 3:14.
a mom now
I think you can frame your thinking to try to ensure happiness with whatever choice you make – to not question “what if.”
I had kids later and am in the midst of it right now, so here are my personal observations:
I wish I did it younger. My thirties are a blur, and not in a good way. So much wasted time.
The financial thing is huge, because not only do your expenses go up, your ability to earn is hampered by your responsibilities (sorry, Cheryl Sandburg). I’ve just kind of resigned myself to floating by for now.
I’m truly amazed at all the childless people and the things they have time to do and think about and spend money on. I’m definitely jealous of them, but often comes off as judgey or snarky when I read this blog! I’ve had to lower standards on pretty much everything just to keep
things running in my life.
Mortality messes with you somewhat as a mom. You look at these beautiful creatures and anticipate and pray that they outlive you by many years, but you also want to be there for them as long as you can. So I myself kind of fixate on that.
This is definitely a difficult decision. I’m in the no kids camp for various reasons including time and financial constraints. I don’t want to be one of those miserable moms complaining about how all her free time and disposable income is gone since having kids. Also, everyone I know who has kids has told me if you could imagine your life without kids, then don’t have them. As much as they love their kids, it is a ton of work!
There is no right answer. Your life can be fulfilling and meaningful either way. Your life will be full of challenges either way.
Personally, I am over the moon about my kids. I love the journey. I love it more than expected to! It is also an exhausting journey.
One thing people don’t talk about enough is money though. I live in a LCOL area and we have two high incomes, so I can wantonly throw money at things like a laundry service, therapies when a kid had delays, or hiring overnight babysitters while my husband and I go on a trip. The HCOL or working class version of parenting would be very difficult.
Just adding that I did *not* a strong biological need to have children. For my husband and I, this was a true lifestyle choice. Our life is our family and my other close relationships. The rest is icing.
Having kids isn’t an all or nothing (regret vs not) proposition. I have two who are in their 20’s now. People always seem to focus on the first few years, but this is a lifelong thing that changes you in so many different ways. My oldest’s HS years were rough — wouldn’t talk to us, stupid behaviors (really? Smoking weed in the HS bathroom?), etc. But now he’s 23, a college grad, living with us and working an interesting full-time job. My younger who is still in college calls regularly to tell me “I was thinking…” followed by a proposal for a European vacation, trip to Hawaii, or other big ticket item. And every day it amazes me to think that I have raised these interesting, full-blown humans who can talk to me about politics, Phish/Harry Styles (depending on which one), art, and baseball. I am so proud of who they became and love watching their evolution. Many parents will tell you that each age is the best and that’s true and continues for a really long time.
I was a super happy childless thirtysomething with a really jetsetting lifestyle until I got married and had a baby within 18 months at age 39/40. I went from heavy work travel, multiple recreational international trips every year, deep involvement in a recreational sport, highly time-consuming baking projects, being Volunteer on the Spot for everything, taking night classes, teaching my dog agility tricks to “frazzled mom of a toddler and stepmom of two tweens.”
I loved my pre-kids life and I miss it, but only in the way that I also sometimes miss being in college and not having worries beyond picking the topic for my History of the Holy Roman Empire class. That doesn’t mean I wish I never left college, it just means that some things about college were really great. But the season for that has passed. This is a new and different season, with its own incredible joys, and I don’t have a single regret except that I wish I had frozen my eggs when I considered it in my early 30s so I’d have better odds of having a second child now.
I really like this analogy.
Yes! This is so articulate and helpful. I’m commenting all over this thread, but these are such well-spoken answers thank you ALL!
About to have my first at 38, and this is the way I look back on my early thirties.
Anon at 3:11
I also think the college analogy is excellent. I sometimes miss pre-kid life, but not in a “I want to go back” way.
As a mid-30 something who doesn’t want kids, this is what I find so isolating—I feel like I’m the only one who doesn’t think life’s “stages” are aspirational and I’m rapidly losing people to do things with and also any real connection to my former friends with kids.
I think you should have a child if and only if you feel like you must have one. For me, it was biological. I didn’t want kids until one day I knew I couldn’t live without a little one in my arms, a downy little head on my shoulder, a babe at my breast. It was such an instinctual urge for me.
If you know you want kids but are waiting for an ideal time, that’s another issue. There’s never an ideal time.
My kids are young adults now and are pretty great human beings if you will allow me to brag, so I have no regrets. Even though one was a horribly colicky baby and one has a novel (but manageable) disease, I’m so happy they’re here.
One kid, love him to pieces. I will say that if you get an easy kid, having one kid is a lot less stress on your life than having multiples. Daycare for one isn’t bad. Clothes for one, food for one, car seats for one. My husband still drives a subcompact, so we have not needed to buy bigger cars. We do not need a bigger house. Travel with one isn’t bad, financially and from a practical “potty stops and food and naps” perspective.
It sounds some of your “pros” for having a child could be fulfilled by developing strong relationships with children you know (neighbors, nieces/nephews, etc) or could get to know (fostering, mentorship programs). I think exploring those options could help mitigate any “regret” you might feel over not being a parent. There really aren’t options for mitigating any regret that you might experience if you have a child. It’s an emotional complex issue but I think I do feel shades of regret about having child. He’s 3 and healthy but has a lot of emotional and behavioral issues, and it’s really difficult to find joy with him in our day to day lives. It’s hard not to think about how happy and fun (and fulfilling!) our lives were before he was born. My marriage, career and mental health have been completely wrecked over the last few years. There’s nothing I can do to fix that now. We love him and are doing our best, but we’ve decided we’re certainly not having any more kids and I think the concept of “regret” is a part of that.
Sending you hugs! That’s a tough place to be in.
If it is any consolation, you’ve been a working mother during an absolute garbage time. 2020 and 2021 were the worst years of my adult life. Luckily I was a working mother for years before the pandemic started, so I know it was the situation I was in, rather than motherhood itself. I am only just now starting to feel back to my old self/family.
3 is such a shit age. I don’t know that I ever regretted having a child, but I sure didn’t enjoy spending time with mine when she was 3. My husband said once “she’s either screaming or she’s asleep” and he was not wrong. But 4 was much better and every year after that has been better than the last. I hope things turn around for you too. And yes the pandemic has made working motherhood so hard!!
I mean, a therapist isn’t there to make your life choices for you.
the only people I know personally who regret having kids are the ones who had them because it was what one did when one got married. the people i know who actively chose to have their kids don’t have those regrets. my mother is one of those people with regrets. on the other hand, I don’t have regrets because i knew i had other choices and chose to have a child.
as an aside: ‘knowing you can do everything right and still have the outcome be entirely out of your control’ is parenting in a nutshell. a sibling has a child with a genetic disorder who will likely never be fully independent. a family friend of my in-laws lost a child to suicide, another lost theirs to a drug overdose.
the therapists advice is really helpful, to be honest. you keep wondering which one you’ll regret more, so why not make a list and see all of the reasons in writing before your indecision drives you crazy?
I think we could’ve been very happy DINKS, and we were, for 6 years. I also am really glad we decided to become parents. Yes, it can be difficult, all-consuming, and sometimes heartbreaking. But even when we struggle, I have never regretted them as people. They have opened my world in ways I never could’ve expected or predicted.
There are plenty of pros and cons in both directions, and at some point, you just have to take the leap (or not, and that’s fine too). I definitely felt like we were venturing into the great unknown, as did my DH. But a greater part of us wanted to become parents than not, even though we were scared about all the things you mentioned.
I have an adult daughter who is the light of my life and being her mother is the best thing I have every done. I have never regretted her for one solitary moment – and some of the those moments have been hard. That does not mean parenting is for everyone or that it is for you. It is an intensely personal decision with the capacity for regrets on either side.
I was struck by your question. Are you looking for people to tell you parenting is wonderful or are you hoping people who have kids will say they regretted it? Your phrasing suggests the latter and if that is true, then the question is the answer.
Good luck. My only suggestion is that you close your eyes and imagine your life with and without children 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 years down the line. Which picture makes you happiest?
the problem with picturing your life in the future like that is that often the reality doesn’t match the vison or expectation. a sibling of mine has a child with a genetic disorder and will likely always be actively parenting, something they didn’t envision before deciding to have kids.
Anon at 3:11
+1. And even without a more extreme situation like that, it’s just a lot of work to raise kids! I don’t you should make yourself miserable for 20+ years just to chase some fantasy of what your golden years will look like. I posted above having an only child. Would I love to have two or three adult kids and a half dozen grandkids around my Thanksgiving table in my 70s? Sure. Do I want to do the work and spend the time and money raising those kids? No, I do not. I realize that having only one kid makes it significantly more likely I won’t get to experience grandparenthood, but that’s a risk I’m willing to accept (though currently my daughter tells me she wants 4 kids, lol).
True – but if we based our life choices on the worst case scenario we would never do anything.
You can have a kid with a serious physical or mental disability; you could have a kid who grows up to hate you; you could have a kid and they grow up and you just don’t like them; you could have a kid and they die before you; you could have a kid and drop dead when they are an infant. You could NOT have a kid and none of those things will happen – but you also lose the possibility of the joys that children bring to people who want children.
But you could go on vacation and the plane could crash; you could leave your house, get long Covid and be permanently disabled; you could be one of the 70 women a month shot and killed by their partner in the US. That is not a reason to not go on vacation, not be around people, or not have a partner.
My suggestion is an exercise. Ten years from now, do you want to be helping your kid with homework, reading to them before bed, taking them on their first camping trip? Of do those sound horrible and boring? If the average scenario is not appealing, then don’t have kids. That does not mean the average scenario is guaranteed.
I was warned I would regret not having kids, but I really don’t. I am 60 now. I am married, have a very full life, know this was the right decision for us.
Have you ever had the full responsibility of taking care of a living being? If you are on the fence, I would try that first – a puppy preferably. They give you a sense of that full time commitment to a dependent being that needs you – and is capable of bringing immense joy.
Anon for this
The potential down side of parenthood, I think, is much greater than the potential down side of being child free by choice. The latter is… what? Wistfully imagining the perfect children and grandchildren you wish you’d had?
Well, I’m in my mid-60s, I have a child, and I’m still wistfully imagining the perfect children and grandchildren I wish I’d had. I had an only child who is in her mid-30s now. She and I had personalities that never meshed. She was a rebellious teen, she had some substance abuse and mental health challenges, and there were extremely difficult times (with fault on both sides) when I divorced her father and remarried. She ultimately got herself educated and has a career (although she is what I’d consider purposefully under-employed) but she lives 1,000 miles away and I seldom see her. She swears she’ll never marry or have children and I believe her. She often tells me she wishes she’d never been born, and you can imagine how that gladdens a mother’s heart.
And this is far from the worst outcome I can imagine. I have many friends with seemingly perfect grown children, but others who struggle with worse issues than mine, and some who have met untimely deaths due to drugs or suicide or just risky behaviors. And that’s not even touching on the possibility of losing a child early to accident or illness, which is also something that has happened to friends of mine.
So if you are looking for the least-emotionally-risky path, my vote is “childfree” all the way.
Anon for this
See also, all the people on here complaining about their parents and distancing themselves from them.
I’ve heard people say that in parenting the highs are higher and the lows are lower. I think it’s true. If you want to minimize your risk of emotional pain, child free is the way to go. But you also miss out on incredible highs.
Fwiw I have two friends m who lost children (to childhood cancer and a tragic accident) and I don’t believe either parent would go back in time and choose not to have kids. Both families have surviving children, but I believe the answer would be the same even if they didn’t. But losing a child is certainly a deeper pain than pretty much anything else, and it’s true that a childfree person will be spared from that pain.
I didn’t think I would be this kind of mom but our son is the moon and the sun and I can’t imagine a life without him. I never had a strong desire to HAVE kids but just assumed that I would because that is what we do. Now that he is grown, my husband and I are so excited when he comes to visit (from across town where he is in grad school). And, yes, I have a very full career that I love.
I was a firm no, and could still envision a happy life with one. We still had none. If I had been 50/50, I’d have tried to have at least one, but if it didn’t work, I’d skip IVF and any other assistance knowing I could be happy either way.
Also think deeply and realistically about your role and your husband’s role as parents. What do you envision and what does he envision? The woman’s workload often goes up so much –the actual physical impact of going through pregnancy and the birth, then the feeding and care and the scheduling and tracking everything that goes on around the child. Do you want a true partnership and as close to equity as you can get and have you had those conversations with your husband? What does he envision it looking like in terms of his role? How do you all think about discipline? How were you disciplined and how does that play into what happens now? How do you look at free time/time away from the family responsibility for an afternoon or a day–do you each have your own thing to do where the other can take over with the little for a couple of hours? Could you do that without leaving him an extensive list of what to do/not to do? Having a kiddo is more than about the kiddo, it is also about who you would be raising the kiddo with and what are the expectations you have and he has and where do you all meet?
I wish I could link directly to a comment on another blog (Cup of Jo, the discussion about parenting in Western Australia) because it was gold. One thing I will leave here from that comment is the commenter said that she and her husband found this book helpful: “all the rage: men, women, and the myth of equal parenting”
They decided to have a kid.
Can any of you ladies suggest gifts for a man in his mid- 50s? My dad’s birthdya is coming up and I have no idea what to get him. He likes technology and gadgets but pretty much has the latest phone, ipad, pc, etc. He doesn’t work in a corporate enviornment so nothing like cufflinks would work. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! TIA
Go for it
If he’s into it:
Fancy small batch alcohol bottle
Woodstock chimes (love!!)
A date with just you to a live event of some sort
Gift card to kickstarter or similar crowdfunding page where he can choose some cool new gadgets to support?
I love this idea and am stealing it for my impossible to buy for dad. He’ll get a kick out of browsing Kickstarter to find the right project (although my poor mother is probably going to hate me when she has to listen to him talking about the project until it launches…).
One cool gift I’ve given is a home weather station that display and track weather in your yard. They range in price and complexity. Some are app enabled which is cool! This site shows some models:
+1 my husband loves his
Thank you! I will be using this for at least two guy gifts this year!
Gift card to use on kickstarter or similar crowdfunding page where he can choose some cool new gadgets to support?
Digital subscriptions to magazines that might interest him, tech, history, the Atlantic?
Thingy to digitize earlier film, photo or sound from earlier, now not often used gadgets? Maybe grandma has lots of video rolls from his childhood (or her childhood).
Inspiration to start genealogy – he’s in the right age…
A really nice set of wool hiking socks, cashmere hat, new strap for his garmin or apple watch, boar’s skin gloves…
My dad is really hard to shop for too. Some things that have been hits: gift cards to his favourite stores and restaurants, a Yeti tumbler, a magazine subscription relating to his hobby, nice lounge wear (LL Bean), an antique map of his hometown.
Vuori activewear or loungewear. Lux robe or fancy comfortable pajamas. Or a streaming service he would enjoy but doesn’t yet subscribe to.
My husband is a little older than your dad but, without a doubt, his favorite gift would be an invitation to an event with our adult son or daughter.
New flannel shirt and Nevermind reissue on vinyl? Because my non-corporate 55-yo DH would loooooove that. (YMMV)
For those in big firms, how do you turn down work that you think is problematic? I’m a non-equity partner. When I first made partner I had the associate mindset that you never say no. Then I took on a case (from an equity partner in another office) that I was later criticized for taking on the basis that I didn’t do sufficient diligence to make sure it was a worthy client. This was a new concept to me, again coming from an associate mindset, but I tried to take it to heart: If I wouldn’t take it from an outside source then I shouldn’t take it from one of my partners either. Since then, I’ve tried to say no to one or two matters and my no hasn’t really been respected. Am I missing something here? If it’s my job to say, I see problems and we shouldn’t take it, then how is it that I’m also getting pressured to take it anyway? Especially when I’ll be blamed when things go south? I kind of feel like, if I’m going to be criticized either way then I should choose the path that doesn’t require me to spend a lot of time and energy and frustration on a matter that probably won’t pay us. Fwiw the red flags are things like: multiple good firms have represented the client then withdrawn, they balk at a high-ish retainer/rates (that I think are appropriate), client’s story doesn’t make sense or keeps changing, not getting direct access to the key decisiomakers. I’m usually very busy and can use that excuse but every once in a while the stars align (or maybe mercury is in retrograde) and I’m not that busy and also get approached to take a dud. Is the answer just, say no and let them be mad?
Yes, your last sentence is the answer.
Sounds like you need to trust your judgment . I would say no to cases with your red flags. Let people be mad. Value your time and energy. Don’t work without getting paid, unless it is an actual pro bono case!
You are a lawyer and a partner for your judgement. Say no when it’s the right thing to do. Other people are pushing back because your no is inconvenient for them.
I find in these situations, it’s helpful to write a memo to file and share it. Once it’s on paper, it’s harder for people to ignore the issue. Share it and schedule a discussion. I usually set these up as a pro con list and end with a recommendation.
Some might see it as a cya memo — it can be that too, but it’s not why I document the analysis — it is to focus the discussion.
Yes, that’s the answer, along with a memo to file explaining your reasons.
Any insight on buying a Fannie Mae HomePath property? We’re experienced buyers and sellers, but I’ve never dealt with Fannie Mae or a foreclosed property before. We’re not in a hurry.
The listing says the home won’t qualify for conventional financing (it’s 200+ years old and needs some serious love), which is fine for us, but seems to contradict what I’ve read about FM properties being brought up to standard before being listed for sale? Are there any specific financing rules related to FM that I should know about?
what do you do if you have an old friend whose biggest form of social interaction is Cabi parties? I hate MLMs, I don’t fit in the stuff, I don’t want to go to a house party late on a school night and drive on 2 freeways on the way home. I keep declining but wonder if I should go for like a 20 minute appearance.
Sounds like you really don’t want to go, so it wouldn’t. And that type of event would probably not result in the kind of quality time you want. Giving you permission to skip! Maybe suggest you get dinner or drinks before or after the party with the friend?
She is throwing the party to sell. Suggesting drinks around it without buying is actually raising hopes of sales without her selling. It’s kinder to reject outright.
Noooo do not go. You’ll just encourage her.
The only way I’d go to that party is if I was paid to attend. See if your friend can meet up without the party.
Decline and invite to coffee on the weekend instead. (Possibly be prepared to shut down further sales attempts? You know your friend best.)
I’ve never even heard of Cabi. Keep saying no. If you want to keep the friendship, suggest something 1-1 that’s convenient for you.
I used to work with a woman whose entire work wardrobe was Cabi. She hated shopping. Her friend was a Cabi “hostess.”
It worked for her. Not my personal cup of tea.
Actually, I just googled Cabi and it started in 2002. I worked with this woman starting in 1998. I wonder what home shopping party outfit sold work clothing for women? Does anyone here remember this?
Wasn’t Carlisle sold like this?
I am not sure but this looks more like the stuff she wore. Cabi seems more casual.
I have a good friend I see for dinner about quarterly, maybe. I’d like to see her more but she has taken to hosting jewelry parties and other things like that. I think she thinks they’re fun but I just don’t want to buy that crap. So I just never go. She has never held it against me and when we have dinner, we don’t talk about the jewelry parties other than to catch up on who we’ve each seen recently, and sometimes hers are from the jewelry parties.
With all love to your friend, that’s a hard no. You’re not rejecting HER, you’re rejecting a product that you don’t need or want, not to mention your own valuable time and energy.
What does do you all wear with flares? I like skinnies b/c you can wear with flats or heels or whatever. With flares, and being short, I probably need to hem but what for what sort of shoe? Is it white sneakers with everything now?
I think you can do any shoe or boot with a pointed toe. I can’t get into the big sneaker look with flares; it reminds me too much of late college, lol.
With it being fall now, a heeled boot would be cute.
I also feel like the sneakers with flares is a very young look, so it depends on your use case. Last time I wore wide leg pants/flares to the office (I’m WHF now so I’m going back to the late 00s here) my best look with them was a peep-toe wedge, and I had them hemmed to the be 1/2 inch from the ground in the back while wearing those shoes. I’d say now it would be almond or pointy toed block heels for the same effect.
I do white sneaks with shorts, skirts and dresses, and for denim, cuffed straight leg or boyfriend styles. Wearing them with flares is too literal a tr-nslation of my late 90’s look.
With flares I go with pointed toe flats or heels, hemmed accordingly.
Ankle boots, platforms loafers, platforms of any kind
Any recommendations for Japan, specifically in or around Tokyo? Planning a trip for Jan. I searched previous posts for recommendations but couldn’t find any threads on this before. This community has been a wonderful source of some of my favorite vacation finds (latest was De Kas in Amsterdam), so would love to hear if there are any for Japan!
teamLab exhibits if you’re into immersive interactive art! I don’t remember which specific ones are around Tokyo – a friend of mine went to the large teamLab exhibit or museum in 2019 and loved it. I was supposed to go in 2020 but I haven’t re-planned my Japan trip yet.
TeamLab Planets! Wear loose pants or bring shorts, there are mirrors on the floor and mid thigh water.
I LOVED the Inari porcelain museum. To have so many exquisite pieces survive in a country with so many serious earthquakes was a delight. Try to do day trips to Kyoto (Silver and Gold Pavilions) and Kamakura (largest sitting Buddha). Buy pearls in the jewelry district. Go to the underground train stations in Shibuya and Shinjuku if you’re a Beastie Boys fan. It’s really easy to get around on the subway/train, because all the station info on the cars is in Kanji and Roman letters.
How long do you all give a new job/company when you feel neither are for you in the long term?
Long enough to find the next landing place and no more. No reason to stick around if it’s not a good fit. It’s easier to explain a stint of a couple of months as just not as described than it is to explain 1-2 years that way.
Elizabeth Holmes. Pregnant again–yay or nay?
Sure looks like it.