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Workwear sales of note for 6.02.23:
- Nordstrom – The Half-Yearly Sale has started! See our thoughts here.
- Ann Taylor – $50 off $150; $100 off $250+; extra 30% off all sale styles
- Banana Republic Factory – Up to 50% off everything + extra 25% off purchase
- Boden – Sale, up to 50% off
- Cole Haan – Up to 50% off select styles; extra 20% off sandals & sneakers
- Eloquii – 60% off all tops
- Express – 30% off all dresses, tops, shorts & more; extra 50% off clearance
- H&M – Up to 60% off online and in-store.
- J.Crew – Up to 50% off “dressed up” styles (lots of cute dresses!); extra 50% off select sale
- J.Crew Factory – Up to 60% off everything; 60% off 100s of summer faves; extra 60% off clearance
- J.McLaughlin – The Sale Event: extra 30% off
- Loft – 40% off tops; 30% off full-price styles
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty.
- Shopbop – Up to 60% off sale
- Sue Sartor – Lots of cute dresses on sale!
- Talbots – 25-40% off select styles
Other noteworthy sales:
- CB2.com – Up to 40% off; pop-up sale up to 30% off
- Joss & Main – Up to 60% off, plus an extra 20% off with code
- Tuft & Needle – Save up to $775 on mattresses (Reader-favorite brand; Kat really likes hers!)
- West Elm – Up to 25% off in-stock furniture; up to 60% off clearance
Some of our latest posts here at Corporette…
And some of our latest threadjacks here at Corporette (reader questions and commentary) — see more here!
- Favorite comfy pants for an overnight plane ride?
- I’ve got a nasty case of tech neck…
- What’s a good place for a relaxing solo escape?
- What’s the best commuter backpack?
- I’m early 40s and worry my career arc is ending…
- I canNOT figure out the proportions in this current season of fashion…
- How is everyone wearing scarves in 2023?
- What shoes are people wearing to work between boot and sandal season?
- What’s a good place for a relaxing solo escape?
- What are some of your go-to outfits that feel current?
- I need more activities that are social, easy to learn and don’t involve extreme running/jumping/etc.
I have a few questions for those of you who have cut the cable tv cord. If I don’t have a smart tv, I’ll need a device like a fire stick hooked up to my tv. Then through the fire stick I can access apps like Hulu or Sling. I have to pay monthly to use the apps. Is all that correct? Also, do you still get your internet service through a cable provider?
Correct! You also have the choice of managing those app subscriptions via Amazon (if you use firestick) or independently (via the individual app websites).
I personally use DSL, not cable, for internet. But yes – internet comes from wherever it make sense to get internet. There are some minimum download speeds you’ll want to be sure you have for streaming standard or high-def (5Mbps is the minimium I’d get, more if multiple things will also be using that internet connection while you are streaming), but most carriers should have an option in that range.
Yup, we get internet on its own, use a google chromecast (although it’s a little buggy, because it’s 1st gen…not sure if it’s improved) and we can stream netflix, hbo, even some apps are free like ABC, CWTV, or connect Spotify. You use the apps on your phone and control it that way. The only time we miss cable is for sports, but a TV antenna works 90% of the time for that.
I haven’t had cable since 2012.
Yes, if you don’t have a smart tv, you need some kind of device to use the apps. Personally I prefer a device anyway because smart tv’s always seem to be out of date in the software and don’t support the apps properly. I currently use a PS4 as my device, but I’ve used Firesticks in the past and they work well.
You can access whatever apps the device supports, but to actually use them, you generally need to pay. For example, I don’t have Hulu, but I can download the app and get to the login screen, but I can’t use it because I don’t have an account. Same as on any device. If its a free service, then you don’t have to pay.
You do need some source of internet. Ours is through a cable provider because we have no other option here.
Personally, I have never missed tv because I much prefer to watch what I feel like watching when I want to.
We have never had cable. We stuck with Chromecast at first and now also have a Roku, which has been really convenient. We have Netflix and Amazon Prime (although we’ll let that one expire) and we also borrow a friend’s HBO log in sometimes. Our Internet service is through an Internet provider only.
I have a smart TV, and then Netflix updated their software and now my TV can no longer run Netflix. So I had to get a Fire stick anyway. Very annoying.
Same thing happened to me with Hulu. Super annoying.
I love Roku boxes because they support pretty much every app that exists, unlike corporate boxes that favor their own viewing ecosystem (like until recently, I think you couldn’t watch A*zonPrime on a Chromecast).
Don’t forget that depending on where you live, you can also pick up regular local broadcast stations with a digital antenna for free!
If you don’t want to buy a firestick/chromecast/extra thingy, there is the option to hook up your laptop to the TV directly via cable. Bit more fiddly, but works.
Small Firm IP Litigator
Yeah, this. I’ve had Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku, and I still prefer using an old laptop with a wireless mouse and keyboard. I cut cable before all these devices were really a thing (2007), and still go back to my old favorite way (although I used an old desktop tower originally!). I also like just using my old laptop more than the Smart TV apps, which I find annoying.
But yeah, you are getting it all right!
I also just use a cable and a laptop. Watching people try to type and navigate menus on any kind of Roku or video game controller convinced me that those were not for me! I used to have the TV set up as the monitor of an old computer and navigated with a wireless keyboard, and this worked well too.
Thanks for all the info. I’m moving soon and do not plan on getting cable in my new place!
Yes, plus you can buy a cheap digital antenna and still get the networks on your TV.
Yes, we have our internet through the phone company and then we have a Roku that we use to stream Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. We pay extra for Hulu with live TV because my MIL comes over in the mornings to get the kids off to school and wants to watch cable news until the kids wake up haha. But we figure that is a small price for her help, and allows me to watch food network on Sunday mornings :)
Correct, and streaming through a game system is an option if you happen to already have one. My husband is an occasional gamer, so we use a Playstation 4 for the apps instead of one of the sticks.
We just did this. We have an Internet subscription through xfinity. We use the WiFi for tv. We installed a google mesh WiFi network extender (I honestly don’t know the real way to refer to this) to get adequate signal to our TV.
We have a smart tv but it did not have an app for YouTube TV, which is the streaming service we decided to use. So we bought a relatively inexpensive Roku stick, which plugs into an HDMI (I think) outlet on our TV. we can’t see it at all when we face the TV.
So we use Roku to keep track of the shows we follow. We switch back and forth from YouTube TV for watching Bravo shows etc, to just using the smart TV’s native app for Amazon Prime to watch our amazon stuff. I also have an HBO subscription within Prime, though I could have done this through the Roku as well, but I had it before we got the Roku.
We chose YouTube TV because there are some shows on one channel my husband likes and they weren’t covered by the other subscriptions we looked into. I think Walking Dead is one of them.
Thanks! I was next going to research which apps have Bravo and Investigation Discovery – the two channels I watch the most.
I love how “belt bag” is the new euphamism for fanny pack. I hate to say it, but I love me a fanny pack (I started wearing them for hiking though, so no association with bloated tourists wearing awful clothing). This almost seems to fancy. Do people actually wear them as fanny packs? Or just as one-strap backpacks?
Worry about yourself
Ah yes but they’re FANCY fanny packs!
I like my more tactical-looking fanny pack though, it’s great for going to shows where I can dance around and maybe even jump in the mosh pit without worrying my purse, or trying to cram everything into pockets. It even has a secret pocket security never thinks to check that’s juuuust big enough for an airplane bottle of this or that.
Kat, these are fanny packs; nice ones — but still– fanny packs! Even if you put them on in the front, you will see men looking at you and thinking it is funny, especially if you already have a tuchus in the back! In that case, never put them in the back b/c you will look like you have a full “shelf”, which may be great, if your men go for the shelf look– but I do not want a man who just looks at me for my tuchus and what he will do with it. We are not ragamuffin dolls to be squeezed and poked at by men, who have nothing on their minds but $ex. FOOEY!
Very young hype beasts actually wear them as fanny packs, I believe. I’m definitely not young or hip enough to do so myself.
I LOVE belt bags. That’s what we called them when we were kids – each of us had one to carry our personal items/saved allowance money when we went on vacation. Picture a passel of pale, sweaty midwestern children wearing fanny packs and sensible shoes through Disney World. The photos are GOLD.
Lots of younger people wear them sort of like cross-body bags.0
I have a wallet with a cross body strap that also converts to a wristlet and a “belt-bag”. I missed fanny packs when they went out of style (became derided, more accurately) because they are so handy. I think the cross-body is almost as useful unless you’re hiking or biking, which I do often. But the combo serves me well.
Forgot to mention that the wallet has a pocket for my phone and fits car keys, lipstick, and other things that I need when I’m not carrying a purse.
Any tips on dealing with patellar femoral syndrome? I started running again recently and realized how much I missed it…until my knee pain flared up again. My knee hurts and pops a lot, my ankle also pops. I also have shin splints in the same leg. I used to be able to do some squats and lunges to strengthen my knee muscles and that would stop the popping and pain, but its not working this time. I am pretty upset about it, because running has helped with my weight loss struggle and now it seems I wont be able to run again, for a while. Headed to the doctor soon, but just wanted any advice from the hive.
Shin splints are often an indication of increasing either speed or distance too fast. anytime you pick back up an activity you previously did, its tempting to just jump back to the level you were at then, but you have to ease in. Let yourself heal back up,and then start again as slowly as possible. Maybe do something like a c25k to make sure you’re not overdoing it.
Lots to Learn
I have it. After years of off-again / on-again treatment I’ve been alternating my running and PT exercises and it seems to have prevented it from flaring up again. Go to a Physical Therapist and ask for exercises. Mine involve straight leg lifts up, straight leg lifts sideways, clamshell opening of the knees with a rubber band, stretching using a belt around the foot, and using a foam roller along the outside of my leg.
You have to keep up with the PT exercises faithfully. They will be dull and infuriating and not seem to help, but you will feel the difference if you stop them.
Find out from the physical therapist if your gait is part of the problem. Scoliosis, uneven hips or legs, and pronation or supination can all play a role.
Get fitted for proper shoes with appropriate insoles. My severe supination was corrected with the right combination of footwear (I need extra-wide shoes with a solid, non-bending arch insert). Do not be tempted by cute heels or slim booties, you will regret them.
Gail the Goldfish
Yes. Though my issues have been diagnosed as paterllar femoral syndrome or IT band syndrome at different points (I think it’s probably really IT band). Go to a good sports medicine doc, who will likely send you to a physical therapist. In addition to the exercises they gave me, foam rolling has also helped.
Thanks, all! This is all really great info! Love this place!
What are your favorite summer veggie side dishes and desserts? I’m having friends over for dinner on Monday, and I’m making orzo with shrimp and scallops and a caprese salad for the main dish, but I want another vegetable side and dessert. Any favorites?
Shauna Niequest’s Blueberry Crisp
4 cups blueberries (or any fruit, really)
1 cup old fashioned oats
½ cup pecans
½ cup almond meal (available at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, health food stores, or made by putting almonds in food processor until fine, but before they turn to almond butter)
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup olive oil
½ tsp salt
Pour four cups fruit into 8×8 pan. Spread crisp topping over the fruit. Bake at 350 degrees 35-40 minutes, or longer if topping and fruit are frozen, until fruit is bubbling and topping is crisp and golden.
Both eggplant parmesan or ratetpillar (a la the movie). I don’t have a fabulous recipe for either- lately Ive been using skinnytaste, which taates nice, but the texture is still dissappointing.
Roasted zucchini spears – we did these earlier this week and they were a hit: https://www.themediterraneandish.com/easy-baked-zucchini/
Sticky miso aubergine (eggplant)
Eating Disorder Recovery
I am over 10 years into recovery from eating disorder with a binge/purge cycle (official diagnosis eating disorder not otherwise specified). Symptoms flare up from time to time during periods of stress, but generally they are well managed. The issue is, I am in a newer relationship with someone who consistently eats significantly more than standard dietary guidelines. More importantly, his intake is significantly higher than the personal serving guidelines set by my dietician for me, and even accounting for our difference in height/gender. Following my meal plan has been an effective way for me to avoid returning to calorie counting while also avoiding both the hunger and over-satiety that for me can trigger the binge/purge cycle. However, when we eat together, my new partner typically eats 2-3 times the amount that I do and I find myself extremely triggered. Sticking to my meal plan suddenly feels like deprivation. On the one hand, it is his body and I never want to be someone else’s food police. On the other hand, I find that after eating together, I feel anxious and wanting to eat the amount of food I’ve just seen him eat, and then obsessing over binging, which then leads to purging. He is very sensitive about talking about this, as someone who is obese and lives in a world that can be cruel to obese people. I want to figure out how to work with this in a way that fully respects his autonomy and emotional needs while also setting appropriate boundaries for my own recovery. Has anyone ever been in a similar situation? What did you do? Any advice?
I’m assuming you worked with a therapist and/or nutritionist as part of your recovery? Do you still have a relationship with that person? I would definitely reach out and schedule an appointment with someone to talk this through. I’m also in recovery from an eating disorder and even though I’m pretty comfortably in maintenance now, I do still have things flare up where it helps to have one or two appointments to discuss and re-frame my thinking and get me on the right path again.
Gently, I would say you aren’t really owning that this is actually completely a you issue. This is something for your therapist and support groups/people to figure out how or IF you can cope with this or if it would be too damaging to your recovery. You say that you never want to be someone else’s food police but then say “on the other hand”. You can’t “But” this. You are NOT his food police. You are not his eating police. You are not his body police. There is no qualifier. There is no but. there is no other hand. You ask how to set “Boundaries” while respecting his autonomy. You do that by recognizing that the only boundaries you can set here are on YOU. Maybe you don’t eat meals with him until you’re further in your recovery. But your feelings after seeing him eat are because of your thoughts, not because of his food intake. You may not be far enough along in recovery to date someone, or to date someone with his eating habits. That’s something to delve into with your therapist.
+1 and it sounds like you may also have some internalized fatphobia to work through. I’m not someone to throw around “-phobia” accusations lightly, but I don’t think you were be as likely to post this if you were dating a trim marathon runner who ate the same amount. If I’m off-base, I’m sorry, but it may be something to consider.
Eating Disorder Recovery
Yes, that is absolutely part of it and yes, I realize this is about my own eating disorder and not about him. I have worked really hard to unlearn and develop better coping mechanisms but I don’t think it’s enough. Some of this runs really deep. And it sucks because he’s a very loving partner but I don’t think I’m strong enough even after all of these years of therapy.
It’s totally okay to have those feelings and you sound like you know what you need to work on. To use the marathon example in a different way, recovery is a marathon, not a sprint, and you are doing all the right “training” that you can. Best of luck.
This sounds like a really tough situation.
I agree with Sadie that this is something for you and your therapy team to address–the only variable you can control is you. It’s not good that eating with him makes you feel anxious and obsessive. It’s even worse that it sounds like you’ve started purging again, if I’m reading your post right. And if that’s accurate, you need to reach out to your care team as soon as you possibly can. Your health–physical and mental–is the most important thing here. And you know this, or you wouldn’t be reaching out.
I can say that in my own ED recovery (and I’ve got some years on you), it would be a huge problem for me to be triggered on a continual basis like this. We have different issues, but if I met a guy whose behaviors triggered me so consistently (even though they wouldn’t be objectively wrong, even if he wasn’t doing them AT me), I don’t think it would be safe for me to remain in the relationship.
Sending you lots of strength and good vibes. I’ll be thinking about you.
Wait, what? She’s in a relationship with this person. If he’s almost purposefully eating poorly and gaining weight, this is going to have all kinds of effects on her and their children if this is a long term relationship. OP – I think there are perfectly good reasons for people to be poorly matched and eating habits is one of them. Just because you’re woke about body image in general doesn’t mean that to you as an individual this cannot be a deal breaker. And if you’re in it for the long haul, you’re going to have to address this sooner than later, from a health perspective for him and a psychological perspective for you.
I once dated a guy whose diet consisted of giant blocks of Velveeta and Taco Bell. It was a dealbreaker for me.
Children would only be relevant if they existed and/or there were concrete plans for them to exist soon. Plus it doesn’t sound like her main concern is his health, it sounds like her main concern is her health, which means she needs to talk to her therapist, not try to get him on a meal plan designed for her.
Nobody is saying this can’t be a dealbreaker for her. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s what everybody here *is* saying. That still means the onus is on her.
I agree. This is a deal breaker.Find someone more compatible with your lifestyle. It is not in your best interests to be around this guy.
This is a great answer. I am in recovery from bulimia also. I want to add, if you have started binging and purging again you need to see a therapist, ASAP. Maintaining your recovery is more important than continuing this relationship. I would say that about myself and I am married; if I lapsed back into my bulimic behaviors my primary need and goal would be to get help to pull myself back out of that cycle, because (and I am sure you know this if you have been through treatment) we cannot really be with other people in a positive, constructive way if we are engaged in the activities of our disease. Your health and well-being is primary. Everything else is secondary. You have to get help. Please call someone this weekend or as early as you can on Monday and be completely honest about what you are doing. You and I both know what the road you’re on leads to and we know we don’t want to be there. You have all my positive energy coming your way.
Part of what keeps me in recovery is the credo about “changing the things I can, accepting the things I can’t, and having the wisdom to know the difference.” Your partner’s eating habits are something you cannot change, and if they are triggering for you, gently, maybe this is not a relationship you should be in. And that is completely okay. I would say the same thing if you were describing a relationship where you were being bullied about your weight and that was triggering for you – that’s just a different example of a relationship you shouldn’t be in. Some relationships are healthy for us and some are not. Again, unless you are healthy there is only so much you can offer to another person. At the very least, it sounds like you need to take a break from this person while you get yourself back on track and in a mentally and physically healthy place.
It sounds to me like you did a lot of work to get yourself healthy. You don’t want to lose that. I am wondering if you have been honest with your partner about what you’ve been through and how hard you’ve worked to recover. Without telling that part of the story, there’s only so much your partner can understand about who you are and what you need. A big part of my journey was being able to own my story and tell people who I was and what I needed without fear and shame. It’s something to explore with your therapist. You’re very brave for posting about this here. Thanks for sharing this with us and allowing us to try to help, but the best thing you can do for yourself right now is call your therapist or treatment center.
You need to talk to your therapist about better coping strategies for yourself. You should not talk to him about this. He should be left in peace to enjoy his food without comment. If you are not mentally in a place that you can do that, then you need to break up.
This. It’s not his job to moderate his food intake for any reason other than because he wants to.
With all love and respect, there is virtually no chance that any conversation with him about this is going to end well.
Remember the three kinds of undesirable characteristics in a partner:
2. Things that you hate but that you can live with as a price of admission to the relationship
3. Things that you hate and can’t live with, but that you can get the person to change if you can just explain it well enough/often enough/loudly enough/gently enough
Except there is no Number 3.
It may be that you two are just not compatible. But you definitely can’t ask or tell him to change his behavior.
Eating disorder recovery – When my DH and I were in our 20s, he could routinely eat 2-3x as much as I, given that he is tall and was HWP at ~200 pounds. I always had to monitor my eating because I’d get jealous of how much he could eat and want to eat that much. (This is still true because he is so much taller than I. His metabolism has slowed over the years, now he watches what he eats. But it’s still more than what I can eat.) So I am not sure that, with your history, you wouldn’t have the same problem with any partner who has a fast metabolism or works out a lot and eats a lot or is tall or whatever. You may never get someone to partner with who is not triggering and you don’t say if this has been an issue with other relationships in the recent past during your recovery. So echoing what everyone else said, you’ll need to rely on your people and keep it about you, not about his eating. As you said, it’s hard to be obese in this society.
Any thoughts on what to get a friend for a bridal shower when she has no registry? She lives a pretty modest lifestyle. She’s not a big drinker so I’m not sure about how champagne would be appreciated. Just not sure what to give beyond cash (was planning to give cash at the wedding but thought a shower was for gifts). If I give cash, what’s a good amount for a shower?
Gift card for their favorite restaurant for a “date night.”
I like someone’s suggestion from the last few days of a guidebook to their honeymoon location.
I think this is a sweet idea in theory but in practice do you think a couple is not already on top of vacation research? And then once they get back they have a physical object that’s no longer useful to take up space.
If they are going abroad, it’s fun to give a cash gift in the currency of their destination.
I like that idea a lot better. Still very sweet and thoughtful, but much more practical.
I thought the same thing.
Hmmm, isn’t the whole point of a shower to open gifts? And even if you don’t actually open them, it’s sort of the norm to physically bring them so I would go with a physical gift and a gift receipt. I think if you decide to have a shower without a registry you are signing up for whatever results, including the returning of gifts you may not want.
What about some nice coffee mugs and/or some fancy coffee? Cute beach towels (if they are beach people) or regular towels? Frame(s) for all the inevitable wedding pics? Some cute cookbook of things she may want to cook and a kitchen utensil or two to go with it? A nice cozy throw for couch cuddling? A gift certificate to something in the area (couples pottery class? cheese tasting?)? Or my personal go-to in this situation: the marble fruit bowl from Crate & Barrel?
Building on this, I have a single turkish towel that I loooove. We bought a set for a bachelorette party ages ago and it’s my favorite towel and I wish I had more. So buy her some turkish towels?
Recently married (a little over a month ago) and somebody made me a “date night in” basket with meal delivery service gift card, a board game, and a bottle of wine. Loved that gift and thought it was such a great idea. There are also infinite possibilities for things you can do for building date night boxes.
I got something similar at a Christmas swap and we really enjoyed it.
I think board games (or card games) are lovely “start your own family unit” gifts. I felt so grown up when I started my own board game collection.
A few non-registry items I received at my shower and really liked– simple but classy picture frames with a gift receipt, a wedding dress hanger with my wedding date on it (check etsy– it looked great in pictures), an apron with a friend’s favorite cookbook and a special pan to make one of the recipes, a “date night in a box” with a gift card to a local movie theater, some candy and a gift card to a local restaurant, a robe and slipper set with my new monogram on it, a gift card to a local swim shop to get bathing suits or other fun accessories for the honeymoon…
Got married last fall and some things I got for my shower (no registry for the bridal shower) that I loved: chocolates in a very cute plant-themed tote bag from my fave plant store, plants (know your audience, clearly I like plants lol), picture frames, coasters, candles, and kitchen items off our wedding registry itself (cookbook, springform pan, and silicone baking sheets).
Two pretty mugs from Anthro and a fancy tea or coffee?
I got a friend a Mrs. Box ring box for a shower once. It’s not super expensive. She can stash her ring in it when she isn’t wearing it, and you can personalize it with a monogram
I don’t think this posted earlier, but I got a friend a mrs box for a bridal shower. They are super lovely customizable ring boxes.
Small but meaningful and she could use it in photos at the wedding
Does anyone have any parenting book recommendations for someone who wants to live a non-child-centric life? Parts of motherhood appeal to me so much – taking kids to the places I love, watching them learn about the world around them, watching siblings play together, etc etc. The part I keep getting hung up on is how it can be so all-consuming. I see these parents out in public with 30 lbs of baby gear and tightly orchestrated routines and no adult conversation at all and it just freaks me out. That’s before you even get to the problems many women face with maintaining their own hobbies and interests (not to mention adult time with your spouse). I totally get that different things work for different families and that the baby/toddler years do necessitate extra time/gear, but I’ve also seen some hints of women (mostly on this site) doing it a little differently. What I want is for a child to come into our lives, but not completely overtake them – i.e., I’d love to bring a child along on a family camping trip, but I don’t want to sacrifice weekly time to Gymboree classes or never take a date night with my husband. What are some good books or resources I can check out to hear stories from other women and/or advice for keeping things manageable?
Maybe something like Bringing up Bebe?
Should’ve added in my original post that I’ve already read Bringing up Bebe and really liked it! Thanks anyway though.
This is where amazon is helpful — you can see reader reactions to the book and also it will make recommendations for you (like maybe the one about having more kids b/c it will make you relax and not be a neurotic parent b/c you can neurotically parent an only kid but not 3 kids (maybe) — I think you get the overall point is to encourage people to relax and have fun not become Duggars).
Also: watch Chopped Junior — those kids are charming and can cook better than half of the grownups I know. I saw a kid interning this summer and he remarked that that was his favorite tv show. Some kids are awesome. Some parents s*ck. It’s a big world.
My advice is that the true “centric” years are the baby years. It’s really hard to take a baby or young toddler camping. Everything is hard with them. The reason that you see people carrying 30 lb of gear is because they need it. But it’s only a couple years. By the time they hit 4 or so, you can integrate them into your hobbies and life. The real trap is over scheduling them in activities and sports. If you can avoid doing that, then you don’t have much to worry about. Personally, I’d lean into the young child years with the comfort in knowing that you will be back to a normal(ish) routine relatively shortly. The real trap is getting caught up in the “one upmanship” of modern parenting. Parents are so focused on making their kids the best. (I think it skews less so in this group because people have careers and lives that aren’t solely kid-focused.)
The reason the baby years seem so intense and child-focused is because…they are. If you’re not prepared or willing to do that, then kids might not be for you.
The baby years are very intense, but I want to assure the OP that many of us are working moms who also have lives outside of their children. I have a great career, am in a book club, go out to dinners with girlfriends, went on a girls’ weekend recently across the country. I don’t think I’m that unusual. If your friendships/hobbies are important to you pre-kids, you’ll find a way to preserve them post-kids. Maybe not to the same degree, but you can (after baby turns 1 or after you stop nursing :)).
Totally cosign this. The infant and toddler years are a grind for sure, but I don’t feel like I’ve given up my life. I never stopped seeing my friends, going out with my husband or having time to myself. The main thing that changed for me post-baby was that travel away from my child was way more complicated while I was nursing, so I didn’t do it unless I really had to for work. And that was really my laziness more than anything (I despise pumping). But now she is weaned and I’m going on a girls trip next month! We have a mommy martyr culture in the US that tells us we have to spend every waking moment with our children to be a great mom, but you absolutely don’t have to buy into it.
Yeah. Your best defense is to hang with like-minded parents as friends. The pressure to organize life around kids often comes from peers. Also, like-minded parents are more likely to organize kid-free or non-kid-centric activities.
Don’t have kids. You don’t sound prepared to handle it if your child has additional needs. If you only want an easy kid, you’re not ready.
I mean, it’s not that I only want an “easy” kid (although I wouldn’t hesitate to terminate for extremely severe physical disabilities). I’m definitely not saying that it would ruin my life if my kid needed help with a colostomy bag or something like that, although it would certainly be challenging. I’m just saying I don’t want my life to revolve around my kid. That would be true for an easy kid or a spirited kid or one with special needs.
I mean, to a certain degree your life does have to revolve around the kid. Because you’re responsible for keeping another human being alive. It doesn’t mean you can’t have hobbies and date nights.
I mean yes, but you and Anonymous @ 2:45 are deliberately missing the point. Obviously you keep this tiny human alive and love it and care for it, but does your identity have to change into just being A Mother?? Will your Facebook friends stop using your real name and just call you Mama?? Those are perfectly valid things to be worried about and there’s no need to get all high and mighty when somebody talks about those fears.
And things like Gymboree classes? You might think it’s a waste of time, but activities like that are great for kids. You do have to make sacrifices.
Nah Gymboree classes are 100% optional. I mean, yes, if you’re a SAHM of an only child your kid needs some socialization. But I assume OP doesn’t plan to quit working and if her kid(s) are in daycare or a nanny share with other children, they will be totally fine without Gymboree.
This is cruel and not necessarily true. I felt exactly like OP did and yes, I’m lucky that so far my kid is typical and doesn’t require special attention and I can basically live the same life I did pre-kid. But my love for my kid is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, and I’m sure that if she had special needs I would still be enjoying my parenting journey, even though it would look very different. Wanting one kind of parenting experience doesn’t mean you won’t be a wonderful parent even if you life hands you some surprises (as another example, I also didn’t want twins, but I’m sure if I’d gotten them I would have handled it and ultimately been incredibly grateful for both babies.)
+1 Real strong sanctimommy vibe from Anonymous @ 2:45.
Yikes. Don’t take this advice. Having kids will require some sacrifices, and will change your life, but I totally get what OP is trying to avoid. And it’s completely possible to do.
Not for nothing but buying (or borrowing) a book about parenting before you have kids isn’t exactly consistent with avoiding a child centric life. ;) I’m gently teasing, but the nugget of truth is that the best way to live a life that’s not child centric is to keep living your life without over planning.
OP here and it’s true, but I also find it really inspiring to hear how other women have done things (this is true for parenting as well as the working world, sports, etc.). I’m drawn to biographies and blogs and things like that. I guess I’m not really looking for a how-to guide in the form of an official parenting book so much as examples of other women aiming to be non-child-centric. I don’t have any friends with kids yet (although my best friend is now trying) so most of what I’ve already seen on both sides is from coworkers or peripheral acquaintances and it seems like most are kind of “leaning in” to parenting with all their weight.
You might ask this question on the mom’s s!te. The vast majority of women there work full-time, have their own hobbies, do regular date nights with their partners and travel without their kids. I think for an American mom, my life is very much not child-centric, but I actually feel like a bit of an anomaly on the mom’s page because I don’t have as much of a life independent from my child as many posters there do. So if what you’re really looking for is anecdotes from women who are parenting this way, you can probably get a bunch of good answers there.
I think Bringing Up Bebe is a good one in the sense of it emphasizes raising a child to integrate into your life and not the other way around and how to raise a child that can exist in public without constant disruption (understanding that kids sometimes disrupt, but you have a lot of parents who never take their children anywhere but school, home, and relative’s home and are surprised they don’t know to conduct themselves differently in public settings).
IME, the people that this worked for didn’t “adopt strategies” but simply lived by certain philosophies in life and their parenting flowed from that. I’ve recognized
1) embracing simplicity because you really don’t need ALL THE THINGS when you have a kid, and there are good websites that recommend that essential v. extraneous objects,
2) prioritizing the marital relationship over the parent-child relationship – this is controversial with some people but whatever it leads to healthy marriages; the parents are the core of the family so when their relationship is healthy, the kids thrive. This means setting aside time very intentionally to have quality time with spouse,
3) understanding that the parents are people just like the kid is, so their wants and desires are just as important as child’s – in practice I think this means to balance family acitivities with individual activities. Note, for this to work you really have to be able to differentiate well between wants and needs – child needs come first. Your child doesn’t need to go to Gymboree two days a week, just like you don’t need to go to yoga everyday.
The original Scarlett
+1 – my friends who’ve adopted this philosophy have had the easiest time maintaining a life outside of baby, but they’re very intentional about it
I always wanted kids. I was never not sure. I wanted to do all the things you mention and more. My child has special needs and it has been the most challenging time of my life. Not saying you’ll have one but one can’t know. I am struggling and now I wonder why I was so sure I wanted kids. If I could go back in time, I probably wouldn’t… that’s just me. I miss my me time and doing things I want to do. And not worrying about someone 24×7.
I don’t know that you need a book for that? I don’t mean for this to sound snarky & say this with all possible kindness but I almost feel like reading books about child rearing and not letting a child overtake your whole life are already at odds with each other, if that makes sense. Bringing Up Bebe may be a good recommendation and I think there’s a German analog you can look into that I remember seeing, but I don’t think you need a whole book here.
As for the advice – if you don’t want to be those people, don’t be them! It isn’t mandatory. I managed to have a kid without a lot of the “essential” gear, went out to restaurants from the beginning, took her on trips, maintained adult friendships, etc. I think it’s all doable. At least with one. Because when we had baby no. 2 some of that did have to go out the window, at least temporarily. But our oldest is still able to sit through a meal with white tablecloths and makes small talk at adult parties without issue. You just have to do it. Gymboree classes aren’t compulsory.
+1. I think it’s about having self awareness. Went to a small wedding recently where kids were invited. Most couples still didn’t bring their kids (who are the under 3 age group) — some were like nah, we wanted this to be a date night/have fun with friends night for us, and others had one half of the couple attend (whoever was the friend of the bride/groom) while the other stayed home or at the hotel with the child. And then there was one couple who brought their 3 yr old and then proceeded to spend all night talking to the 3 yr old, exclaiming how cute his responses were, and taking 1000000 pictures of him, all while ignoring their friends who they see hardly ever because they live in a city that’s 2+ hours away. I swore right then I would never be those parents. I’m not saying ignore the kid or even leave them home if you can’t bear to do that — but come on. And this was a happy/not fussy child who easily could’ve been set up with crayons or one parent could have entertained him, danced with him etc. while the other mingled and then switched. But their whole lives screamed MOMMY and DADDY.
This 100%. Also, maintaining friendships with women who don’t have children has helped me avoid the guilt trip that other mothers tend to create. Comparison is the thief of joy and the root of working-mother guilt.
+1 to childless friends.
I believe that there will always be phases that feel all-consuming (newborn stage, teething, pre-sleep training if that applies, starting daycare/kindergarten etc.) But the point is – it is always a PHASE!
I tend to see motherhood as one of the many seasons of life where temporarily priorities are shifting. I have a three year old and I’ve had anywhere between 5-10 phases where I didn’t feel I was doing anything else than kids’ stuff. But then there are weeks/months where I have other fulfilling things to do.
Also, 30 lbs of baby gear are most definitely not required. I have traveled abroad with my kid early on with just a medium sized suitcase with all of our stuff, plus stroller plus backpack.
It’s really a humor book, but Bare Minimum Parenting?
Have you listened to the podcast Best of Both Worlds? I think the hosts do an excellent job of highlighting how people can balance work, kids, and hobbies and outside interests.
I actually find the host of that super smug, and she is incredibly wealthy so all of her solutions involve throwing money at the problem. I’m not sure how relatable it is to people who aren’t her in tax bracket.
A coworker has a phrase “if you can throw money at it, it’s not a problem.” I have found this usually is the case.
I think the best thing you can do is find friends who share your philosophy – they’ll be a much better resource than any book. And I sort of agree with AIMS that if you want to be this type of hands-off parent, you probably aren’t going to be reading a ton of parenting books. I’m not sure I’d call Bringing Up Bebe a parenting book though.
I think I’m sort of the type of parent you describe. I have a toddler and we do tend to bring a lot of gear with us now (not so much for an outing to the mall but we almost never fly without a checked suitcase, which was not true pre-baby). But we still travel a lot, have time for our own hobbies and have never done any Gymboree-type class (40 hours/week of daycare provides more than enough activity and socialization for her, imo). We don’t do a lot of “date nights” but that’s mostly because we aren’t fancy date night people and we have lunch together without our kid frequently (we work in the same neighborhood) so it seems a little silly to pay a babysitter so we can have dinner without our kid.
Agree that it’s a lot easier with one kid than two. Most of my friends have had a pretty good work-parenting-individual time-couple time balance with one kid, and I’ve often seen the balance disrupted when the second comes along.
Agree with this. I love parenting, but I’m much more than just Mom. A huge part of this is a similar group of parent friends. We do things on the weekends, often with our kids. We genuinely enjoy ourselves at these events. We have good senses of humor. We’re not perfect and often are able to joke about our own flaws. We’re also often able to take an extra kid if somebody just needs a bit of a break. I’m so lucky to have found this village.
I think that a big part of this is that we had all really solidly developed our own identities prior to having kids. We had careers and hobbies and friendships. I became a mom at 30 after a well-lived life in my 20’s and it’s honestly been so much better than I would have expected.
Yep. The most miserable moms I know are the ones who have surrounded themselves with a bunch of sancitmommies who try to out-mommy each other about every little thing. I saw those mommies at early playgroups with my son and ran the other direction – the ones who have no core central identity of their own and so latched on to parenting as an identity like a remora latches on to a shark. I have mom friends who are balanced and sane about things, and I also have friends who don’t have kids. The choice to embed yourself in a completely child-focused life is a choice and it’s not one you have to make. If, once you have a child, you find yourself in the company of a bunch of competitive moms trying to out-mom each other, dump them and get new friends.
I do agree that for a period of time in a child’s life, you do have to be pretty child-centric because they literally cannot do anything for themselves. That period of time is very short in the scheme of how long you parent. I also will say, for us, only having one child was the key to maintaining balance. But I do know people who have 2, 3 or more children and because of their choices and mental outlook they don’t get completely sucked into “let me give up my whole identity for my children.” Again, it’s a choice. I know people who allow themselves to get subsumed into their jobs, their romantic relationships, their hobbies, etc. It’s mostly because they lose perspective on what balance looks like. If you stay aware of what your boundaries and needs are, and choose to enforce those boundaries and make sure your needs are met, you will be fine. Many of us are out here raising kids in a non-intensive way and we’re fine and the kids are fine. You’ll be fine too.
Not specifically about this, but I enjoy the blog 600sqft dot com, aka 600 square feet and a baby. They live in a small apartment and take their two kids camping all the time.
I agree with much of what has been said. I’d also add- your kid will be there own person with their own likes, dislikes, talents, whatever. You may be surprised how that develops into new activities that were never on your radar. Example- my kid plays travel soccer, he loves it and it’s been so good for him. I will spend a substantial amount of time this weekend sitting outside (in the rain/heat) cheering on the team and talking with the other parents who we have grown close to (adult social time). Make all the soccer mom jokes you want, but this is working for us at this season in our lives. But, we are also having a date night this weekend because it’s all about the balance.
Yeah, so I was you. I basically just read Bringing Up Bebe, decided I could parent like that and got pregnant.
And really, my life is a compromise between my old life and an American intensive parenting child centric life. Having an only child makes it possible to maintain some of my old life. I think the more kids you have the more likely it is to live a child centric life, just from a purely time and logistical perspective. The first 3-4 years are very intense. You have to carry stuff with you because young children don’t have full control of their bodily functions and they can’t act like adults. But those years pass. My daughter is 4, almost 5 now and I feel like I pretty much have my life back. She’s an age where we can do more elaborate trips and be more involved in our hobbies.
Something I didn’t realize before having a child was that I would be invested in and get happiness from my kid’s happiness and development. I just didn’t get it. And that’s fine. You can’t understand it until you do it. But it makes me happy to see my daughter doing things that make her happy. So that’s how the compromise has happened and why it has not been entirely painful, but actually sometimes delightful. And I thought that doing lessons and stuff like that would be a huge hassle, but I’m actually good friends with some of my kid’s friends’ moms, so it’s fun to bring her to activities, let her do her own thing with her friends and hang out and chat with my mom friends. So it can look like doing activities is “kid centric” but I’m actually getting as much out of it as she is.
A book I really liked about having an only child is called “One and Only” by Lauren Sandler
This is such a great response, thank you! (And thanks to everyone for all the other great responses too). Funnily enough, the thought of cheering my kid on at soccer or dance is really appealing :) I’m not sure why, but that seems really different to me than the example someone else posted above of the parents at the wedding being obsessed with their child instead of talking to out-of-town friends. I’d love to support my kid in his or her hobbies and interests and to have the kid support Mom and Dad doing the same. Plus, it’s just so cute when a kid waves a “Go Mom!” banner at a triathlon or what have you.
You sound like you’ll be a great mom, and I’m sure you will find your tribe.
I agree with CPA Lady that it seems to be a lot easier to maintain your identity with one kid versus more than one kid. We are one and done and my husband and I both work full time and have a lot of interests and hobbies that we pursue on our own (while the other has one-on-one time with our son) or that we bring our son along with us to do, and we also hang out without our son (either just the two of us or with adult friends) 2-4 times per month. It helps that we have local grandparents and our son is the only grandkid for my in-laws and the only grandkid within 90 minutes for my parents, so we have all the free baby sitting we could ever want (and don’t have any guilt about using it because it’s grandparent time for our son). Most of my friends are parents and I don’t know anyone else who only has one kids, and many of them have told me that going from 1 to 2 kids is when they were no longer able to maintain hobbies and spend significant time on themselves.
I agree with all this. I’d also say I was an only child myself and I think it was really good for me that the dinner table conversation didn’t revolve around the kids, that I had to make small talk with adults at social gatherings and that I got dragged along on a lot of boring-to-me vacations. It taught me that I wasn’t the center of the universe.
+1. Having one child definitely makes it easier to not lead a completely child centric life.
I appreciate how you’ve said this.
An example that’s been on my mind: we’ve always been into traveling, and Kiddo is 4.5 and we just finally took a *good* vacation. It was combined with a work trip for me, and there wasn’t a single part (not even the NINE HOUR delay that turned our flight out into a surprise!! red eye!!) where we said “ugh we shouldn’t have done this.” I cannot say the same for trips taken one, two, or three, or four years ago. She’s still impossible in some ways (scared of unfamiliar foods, a true monster when she’s overtired, and sharing a bed with her is impossible), but she can start to appreciate some of the same things we’re excited about (she took my phone and ran around taking photos of her favorite items in the museum we visited), she can be a tiny bit more independent (I sent her off to play w a friend’s kid while the grownups had a nice dinner in the next room), and having her around opens up some new experiences (making friends on public transportation by sharing toys). It’s funny, too, how your perspective changes. When we debriefed after the trip, each of us declared that one of our favorite parts was the last afternoon where my husband and I sat around on a bench while Kiddo went wild in a really wonderful park. Decade-ago-RH would’ve thought that was a sad consolation prize compared to a museum or an amazing meal, but we were truly and fully delighted.
I do wish there were more hours in the day. Kiddo goes to be at 7:15 or so, so I’m always robbing Peter (the gym class I like) to pay Paul (playing with her) or vice versa, but when it all shakes out, I think I’m still a ‘me’ that I quite like.
Not only can you get happiness from your kid’s development, but you can also find joy from kids’ amazement and delight in things. The fact that everything is new can make things fun again–we visited a family member in Nashville last month, and my kid was IN AWE when he saw fireflies for the first time. DS seriously loves trains, so getting caught by a train is slightly enjoyable because DS is more excited. And, man, I love Mardi Gras, but DS REALLY loves the parades, and I can stand on a ladder all day blocking beads to watch him smile and yell. I guess that is kid-centric, but I think it’s also a natural part of close relationships with another human. I also enjoy several of my husband’s passions (local sports, a limited range of video games, etc) primarily because I like seeing and sharing his joy.
Yes I totally agree! It is amazing to watch your kid be joyful and explore the world. Also, some kid things are just plain fun – we spend much more time hiking, at nature centers, and at outdoor music than before my daughter was born and it has been fantastic to enjoy these parts of our community.
You will be yourself when you have a baby: relaxed, anxious, worrier, easy-going, etc. That will include how baby-centric you will be. That being said, I know people who have canoed/camped for two weeks with a two year old, backpacked, traveled to Europe with an infant, go out to eat, etc. Babies vary, and some you can bring along, and some are less flexible. I think interviewing some friends, and realizing that mostly you have to wait and see who this little being is will have to satisfy you. We had two active boys who were great on the move, but not so great with sitting quietly–we could hike and travel, but not eat out or go to museums. You will figure it out.
I agree with this generally but I will say that I’m an anxious personality overall and expected I’d be an anxious parent and I’ve been surprised how chilled out I feel about it. I’m not sure why, I think motherhood has just brought me a lot of happiness and that happiness has sort of been an antidote for anxiety. But I would definitely not go into motherhood expecting it to cure your anxiety or any other personality “flaw” :)
My immediate thought was to recommend Bringing up Bebe – I disagree with the person above who said it’s not really a parenting book. As many have pointed out finding other parents who have the same philosophy is key. For me, the best identifiers are people who reference Bringing up Bebe and use the phrase “fed is best”.
I have a colleague who has 1 kid who is now 6.5 and I’ve only known this colleague for 3 years but i get the sense she does not lead a child centric life. She and her husband frequently get babysitters, they have a lot of friends who don’t have kids and they bring their daughter to stuff, she goes on a couple of girls weekends per year. I don’t think she ever took her daughter to a music class, though i know they now let her choose 1 activity per school term. Apparently the daughter was a hard baby in that she didn’t sleep through the night since age 1, but other than that she has been an easy kid. I have twins and my life is fairly child centric but i wanted that. But as someone else said, with kids- you get what you get- there is no guarantee you have an easy healthy kid.
I don’t have specific book recommendations. Overall, my advice to you is (1) just have one kid, and (2) plan to do what your family enjoys doing with your kid but expect to modify it.
I know a lot of people who incorporate their kids into their lives and hobbies–there are pictures of my 1-year-old niece floating in an intertube tethered to her dad while her parents dive for scallops, and I have friends hiking in Glacier National Park this week with a 1.5 year old (they also took the baby to Patagonia last year), etc. Also, you might want to check out the Insta account crepeattack–they have 2 young children, work/make a living, travel in a Westy, race cars, rock climb, etc, and also live in the woods, where they’ve made their own mountain bike path. DH and were never this adventurous, but I feel like we still have our own interests and hobbies, and we’ve continued to do what’s important to us. I’ve spent time at Saturday morning swim lessons, but never at Gymboree.
I also agree with quality time with your spouse. Date nights can be challenging either because of logistics (finding a babysitter who’s available) or finances (it costs an extra $50 to see a movie). But my kid’s bedtime is important to us so we either have some quality time or some alone time before we go to sleep.
You might read the blog Lag Liv at BlogSpot. She’s probably the first to tell you she’s not perfect but she has a blog going back to when she was in law school and had her first. She was in BigLaw and now government lawyer and has three. Kids are older now but you can see in the archives. Some of her posts talk about how she and her husband support each other, nourish their relationship and have their own interests while still raising happy kids. For example, they have weekly date nights, have traveled without the kids and both make time to work out. She just completed yoga teacher training. They also take family trips – hiking, skiing and camping. She often has girls night. Anyway, not perfect, Type A (a lot of us are…) and enjoys life.
one of my favorites. I have been following her for more than 10 years!
No book advice, but from a practical BTDT standpoint, you can definitely parent without lugging oodles of baby gear everywhere you go. It is entirely possible to ignore the marketing hype and keep all the fussy “must” have accoutrements to a minimum.
Breathing Lessons by Anne Lamott. She writes about becoming an older single mother. What I loved about this book is that she writes about the angst and stress of motherhood, but also about the great friends she surrounds herself with. It’s a book about her, not about parenting, not about kids. For me, her friends were more memorable than her baby.
On that note, I like reading memoirs by people (women) who have children because I find that they often bring a sense of perspective to the early childhood years; they recognize that children are a consuming responsibility but also that in the scheme of things there is room in life for a lot of other achievements. I felt that way when I read Lean In, too.
Just tie the car seat down on the deck of the yacht and it will be fine.
Also check out Parenting Without Borders by Christine Gross-Loh. Adds perspective about other cultures’ parenting styles/traditions/customs. In particular, i loved reading about family meals and what foods kids in other countries are able to eat—and enjoy.
Not sure if anyone actually reads this over the weekend but my thoughts:
1) I’d say we are on the side of being not totally kid centric and we have 2 kids, for what it’s worth. (Just cause so many responses here say you can only have 1). The baby years were intense for a lot of reasons but we still had date nights and took them to our favorite restaurants, etc. Now that they are in the 3-5 range the playing with each other aspect really does help sometimes.
2) In some ways you surprise yourself what you learn about your priorities in parenthood. My husband and I love live music. I distinctly remember we went to a concert when I was 7 months pregnant and during it I was so sad bc I assumed it would be my last for awhile. But guess what? I’ve learned that live music is our priority and we make it happen. I’ve learned I simply prioritize that over a date night at a restaurant or whatever. We don’t see as many as we did before kids obviously, but what was really cut out was the random bands we didn’t care about that we would see before. If there’s someone we like coming around, we figure it out how to make it happen. (Yes, this requires family sitting help or $$ to hire a babysitter or making it a girls night or guys night outing which makes it harder but worth it for us).
3) You might be surprised about some of your preconceived notions of what must be terrible but you find out on the other side really isn’t. We were pretty consistent about nap when they were little. I’m sure our non kid friends thought that looked miserable from the outside when we’d have to peace out at 1 or whatever on a weekend. But you know what? We almost liked nap time as much as the kids. Turns out having a few hours of forced downtime on a weekend day is kind of magical. We probably could’ve used a set up like that pre-kids, ha ha.But I can’t say to my friends: hey, we’re going home for nap but I’m really excited for it too! Because that would just be rude. So you wouldn’t realize this nuance.
4) We obviously do kid centric activities too, but I’ve learned there are certain ones I personally like better than others and I prioritize doing those ones more. Like…for some reason, I find the zoo super boring, so we don’t really go. (Don’t worry, my kids get exposed inadvertently with visiting family every now and then, they’re not deprived, I just would rarely suggest it on a random Saturday.). Meanwhile, there are random kid activities I do like more because they are in a pretty outdoor area or whatever. (Can I include a secret? I actually liked our Gymboree classes when they were little :) They were short, sweet, the kids were SO adorable in awe of the parachute and it was in a cute neighborhood I enjoyed walking around after :) pre kids me would have NEVER thought that would be something I would think).
Love this comment! Thank you for sharing :)
Not a parenting-specific book, but Brene Brown’s books are amazing and she talks a lot about how the concepts (being vulnerable, owning your feelings, etc) work as a parent as well. Granted, her kids are elementary-school-aged so this is not the early baby years.
I found the early days to be really hard as I had new parent anxiety and also went back to work at 3 months in, leading a huge set of integration workstreams after an acquisition. Getting out the door felt like urban camping– before baby, it took me 5 mins to get phone/keys/wallet and go; after baby it was a gazillion bags.
With a now 5 year old, life is totally different. As another poster explained, your priorities will shift too and that is hard to contemplate until it actually happens. But after the toilet training years, there is so.much.possibility. I love music; kiddo and I have gone to large concerts in arenas. Content was family-friendly but the time was still 8pm… and she just slept in the next day. Was so great to see her reaction and enjoyment of it all. We also go to see classical musicians play in smaller venues. She’s been good about restaurant behavior for quite some time, so we can go try various new restaurants and she will do a “review” of dishes. We cook together at home after grocery shopping. I get asked questions about the Big Ban (the scientific theory, not the show) that just amaze me. We do yoga together, go swimming, visit museums, travel… While I am doing these things with her, they may read child-centric, and of course I am taking care of her, but I am introducing her to things that I like, which is pretty cool.
I should add I am fortunate to have a highly flexible work situation that allows me essentially the best of being a SAHM hours with corporate level pay. So my barre class friends are all SAHMs, and I have great work friends with kids too, as well as my friends from grad school who also have kids now, and my child-free friends. It’s nice to have a range of people to glean insights from, bond with, etc, and more than a few playdates have been planned because the parents want to hang out, frankly. It’s a win win all around.
Like much else in life, things come in phases, and aspects of parenting are like that too… I am kind of dreading the teenage girl years. But there is a lot of joy I have rediscovered in the simple things and I doubt I personally would have had that clarity of perspective without a child.
Traveling to England (London / outside London) from the US with DH and two kids, early October. I’ll be three months postpartum and have basically no casual wardrobe that fits as I’ve been on a shopping moratorium for quite some time and still have more of a tummy than usual. Also tops need to be nursing friendly. I really want to feel put together as well as comfortable.
Any recommendations for a basic “uniform” that time of year? Specifically also looking for recommendations for comfortable yet stylish as possible fashion sneakers (already have sneakers for long walks etc. in country)….
I’m in the same boat and headed to Paris. I’m wearing an olive green Vince jacket, light brown suede Chukka boots from Blondo (waterproof), jeans and T-shirt’s. Cool earrings
I hope I’m not too late to catch you but I really like the Uggs Tye sneakers. I don’t know if those are considered fashion sneakers but they don’t scream “athletic shoes” and are comfy. Alternatively, I wore Adidas Ultaboost with black skinny jeans all over Germany over the summer and I didn’t feel that out of place. Athletic shoes seem to be really popular right now.
Have a look on the Joules (add dot and com) site and look at their styling. Joules is a very UK mum look (middle class, rural, comfy and cheerful).
So I’m an Indian American Muslim woman (don’t cover) living in DC and I tend to like doing long weekends or solo day trips to small cities — think Harpers Ferry WV or Richmond for the day or Nashville for the weekend; also find it easier to travel south just due to distance, less crowded places etc. Yet these places are obviously all very white. I truly am not bothered if I am someplace and there are people in MAGA gear (whereas my very white colleagues and friends are bothered). But as I’m thinking of going to WV for a day when the weather cools I’m thinking — would it be a situation where I’m this brown girl walking thru their downtown, they’re staring or making comments? Same with Nashville which I’ve only visited for work but want to go back — yet IDK hordes of drunk frat bros? Would you not go to these places right now?
Not been to WV, but DH is going to Nashville this weekend with a diverse group of med school friends (south asian, black, east asian, and white, male and female), and I’ll let you know! My sense is that it will be fine.
Nashville will be completely fine. I’m not sure about the more rural areas.
I live in Nashville. You’d be totally fine. I think your decision on whether to go to certain places in town has more to do with your general tolerance of “drunk frat bros.” I generally avoid lower Broad like the plague to avoid drunk frat bros and bachelorettes, and I’m white. Also– Nashville generally has a good relationship with its Muslim community (people decorated the Islamic Center with a chalk mural after the 2016 election https://patch.com/tennessee/green-hills/messages-encouragement-left-chalk-outside-nashville-mosque); one of the finalists for City Council is Muslim; and we have large numbers of refugees that live here.
I don’t think I would avoid going, but I would use common sense. I didn’t notice this about Harpers Ferry as much, but when we drove to Deep Creek Lake from DC, we were struck by how white it was. Not just that, but there were several homes with Confederate flags. That made me feel deeply uncomfortable and a bit scared, if I’m being honest.
With that said, everyone was perfectly nice to us and we had a great time enjoying the outdoors.
I did a weeklong road trip through WV and the Confederate flags are shockingly common for a state that exists bc it didn’t want to secede from the Union.
I live in the Midwest and Confederate flags abound in the rural areas! We were literally part of the Union, many people from this state died fighting the Confederacy. It’s just a symbol of hate, not “Southern pride.”
The likelihood of an incident is really remote. I’m sorry that it even exists at all, but you should definitely live your life fully and take the trips you want to take. A fear-based approach to planning will just harm you more than it helps.
Someone once gave a me safety trip for solo travel in the south that I’ve used several times to great impact. If someone is hassling you–street harassment, racism, whatever–just say as sweet as can be “wait a minute! Do I go to church with your mama? What’s your name?”
Alanna of Trebond
This may have totally shifted, but my South Asian (Indian, Hindu) family visited West Virginia about 20 years ago and it was wonderful. I didn’t feel afraid at all, but maybe because we were in a family. Also, this may not be as exciting to you as a Muslim, but there is a beautiful temple called the Palace of Gold in New Vrindaban in West Virginia. It is an ISCKON temple.
Credit card question
Can someone help me understand how credit card payments work in this scenario?
Let’s say that I have a $1000 credit card bill due on August 30. I pay the full amount a few days early, on April 26. It takes a few days for the payment to be transferred from my bank to credit card company (this is why I pay early, because I don’t want to incur a late fee). In those intervening few days, I spend $200 on the credit card. Does this mean that I am not paying my credit card amount in full and I will get charged interest?
No. The amount due is based on the prior month’s statement. Like the $1000 that is due at the end of August is for purchases you made in July, right? Your August purchases would be on the bill that’s due in September.
To clarify – not every credit card is on a calendar month cycle vs. a mid-month to mid-month cycle, but the same logic applies regardless.
Very helpful, thanks!
Can someone help me understand how credit card payments work in this scenario?
Let’s say that I have a 1000 dollar credit card bill due on August 30. I pay the full amount a few days early, on April 26. It takes a few days for the payment to be transferred from my bank to credit card company (this is why I pay early, because I don’t want to incur a late fee). In those intervening few days, I spend 200 dollars on the credit card. Does this mean that I am not paying my credit card amount in full and I will get charged interest?
Ugh, I meant I pay the bill early on August 26.
Okay, let me set out a different example:
July Bill (Issued July 15, Due Aug 15): $1000
$1000 paid on Aug 5, $500 Charged Aug 10th, no interest. That $500 goes on next month’s bill.
However, generally it takes 2 months of Pay in Full for no residual interest to trickle in.
So, if on July 30 you receive a bill for $1000, due August 30, $1000 is your Statement Balance for July 1-July 30. If on August 26, you pay $1000, you have paid your Statement Balance, and typically will not owe interest.
If, anytime in the July 31-August 30 billing cycle, you charge an additional $200, that charge goes toward your Statement Balance for July 31-August 30. On August 30, you’ll receive a bill, due September 30, with a new Statement Balance, which will include any interest on a previous unpaid balance, any fees (late fees, annual fees), and any charges made during the July 31-August 30 billing cycle.
No, if you pay the full amount on the bill you receive that says due on August 30, but in the interim you have charged more, you do not get charged interest on the extra $200 you charged in the interim between the bill’s “closing date” and the “due date.” At least not on any credit card I have ever seen or used.
I’m just crabby today- every little thing is making me feel like stomping around and/or chugging a beer. Neither of those would reflect well on me at the curent moment.
What are your favorite ways to put yourself back in a good mood?
The “Where the hell is Matt” dancing videos on YouTube. Oldies but goodies.
Honestly? Vine compilations. Incredibly stupid, borderline nihilistic humor just does it for me.
I was having a horrible day where everyone needed something from me because they had waited until the last minute. I left and went to get a pedicure. I brought the book that I assigned my students to read for next week (well, a chapter) so I could read and think about how I want to frame the discussion with them. In my office, it was constant interruptions.
But yesterday, a colleague and I were eyeing the bottle of bourbon in my office at 9 am.
If music is an option, blast some Lizzo maybe?
Plan something fun. Anything. That way you have something to look forward to. This week I was tired and grumpy but knowing I have a trip coming up kept me going.
Maybe I will get lucky and someone will have a recommendation: I have decided to go grey after 30 years of coloring my hair, and I am looking for a stylist/colorist who can help with the transition. I am not going to do the cold-turkey-skunk-line method, but want to add highlights and low-lights to ease the transition, and maybe a shorter cut.
I live just outside Boston in a western suburb. Any ideas, Corporettes? Thanks so much!
R in Boston
Melinda at Love and Mercy in Southie. The salon is a bit of a hike from the metrowest burbs, but Melinda is a genius at cut (especially shorter cuts) and color. Her coworker Kerri is also very good.
You could also post on instagram with # grombre. They might have ideas.
Anon with silver
Check out the Gray and Proud group on Facebook. I love that group; it’s wildly supportive and helped me during my transition last fall. I saw a stylist who specialized in color (only coloring, no cuts), and she did an amazing job adding lowlights or something — I don’t even understand what she did but it looked amazing and eliminating a demarcation line. Good luck! I love the time and money I save, and I like not wondering about the health risks of using color.
Hey guys, I’m the poster from the Thursday coffee break thread who posted about my cousin abusing me and my dad’s reaction. I know I’m way late to reply to the posters who left comments… but thank you to all of you. They were really nice to read. I’m feeling much better today.
I don’t know how to organize my thoughts about a decision I am faced with and would value any advice the hive has to offer.
A former colleague and good friend has been headhunting me for several years. We worked together closely for about 5 years until she left to start her own company several years ago, with great success. I have niche skills that she wants and needs, but have been content at my current office and was not interested in jumping ship the first few times she offered me a role. I was not interested in startup growing pains, needed the schedule flexibility of my current place. She has broached the topic yet again, though, and I think I might bite this time. I am terrible with intentionally choosing change. This may be the last time an opportunity of this level opens up at her company, however.
The new role caters to my strengths and likes. I already know the potential coworkers reasonably well. Pay is similar, benefits are a step up. My current workplace has ongoing disfunction that will realistically never go away. I have one of the best bosses on earth and flexibility to set my hours and to select or turn down projects. Career growth potential is strong in both my current job and the potential one. Hours at the potential role will probably be heavier, and since it is a smaller office the freedom to turn down projects won’t be the same, although hiring others to handle those tasks is possible and funding to do so exists. Geography is a wash, both offices are within a quarter mile of each other and have the same transportation logistics.
How do you set aside fear of the unknown and just make a decision? Or at the least figure out what questions you need to answer so you can make a decision?
It sounds promising, so either way, you won’t lose. If you stay, you know what to expect, but if you go with the new opportunity, that is what it will be. New, and potentially rewarding. You say your current workplace has ongoing disfunction which will never go away. The worst that can happen is that the new one will be that way, but mabye not. In any event, change can be good, if you are not happy where you are. I had this issue when I was serving subpeenies in NYC after law school, and once I was recruited by the manageing partner, I never looked back. The same goes with my personal life. I was stuck with a drunk for a boyfreind, and once my Dad woke me up and told me to tell him to leave for good, I never looked back, particularly b/c of the alchohol and then for the bad $ex.
In your case, the HIVE can weigh in, but I think they will tell you to follow my lead.
There is one other thing the HIVE should be aware of: That gardening can be better then $ex. Here are all of the 25 reasons why: I like all of them, but particularly #1!!!!!!!
Are you the only person this decision will affect? What about benefits? Do you currently have hobbies or other commitments you use free time for that would make you feel unfulfilled if they went away? If none of these are a problem, definitely choose the new job.
Thanks for responding. It’s helpful to bounce this off someone, even kind internet strangers. :)
Benefits: new role would have better insurance and decent 401k matching (current job is outrageously good on this aspect). Vacation is reasonable. I am the main breadwinner, spouse is FT student and we have one teenager. I cook dinner almost every night. I like currently being able to go home and mostly unplug from the office, although depending on the season that is not always the case. New role would likely expect more late hours but would be flexible about whether they are at the office or at home. That part makes me hesitate, I need to find out just how heavy those hours would be, and whether they could be earlier AM rather than later PM.
Do you enjoy cooking? If it’s not a hobby, I would task spouse with this to find more hours. If your current place is dysfunctional and unlikely to change it’s probably good to switch jobs.
PSA: the new white tweed Going Out Blazer is part of the 30% off promo for Jcrew Rewards members. I think anyone can join the Rewards program (not spend based). Jcrew conveniently omitted it from the “blazers” category but you can find it using the search box!
Guysssss a cockroach just crawled out of my bathroom sink drain while I was brushing my teeth and now I need to burn my house down. Sometimes I hate living in the South.
I also canNOT sleep now because my skin is crawling, every tiny noise is freaking me out, and I feel like I have a zillion roaches just waiting for me to turn off the lights. BLEHHHHH.
:( :( :(
Hot and Humid Houston
I hear you. I still have PTSD from the time several cockroaches emerged from the bathtub overflow drain while I was taking a bath.
Hugs. If you live in the south, you need to know there are alot of bugs that are not in NYC (tho we also have cockaroaches too). When I was walking in Miami one night many years ago with Grandpa Morty, a big raccoon crossed the street in front of us. Grandpa Morty told me it was NOT a raccoon, but it was instead a PALMETTO BUG! FOOEY! I never saw a bug as big as a raccoon before, but this was all new to me. Now I know bugs can be as big as a sloth! Can you imagine? Just like my ex, Alan! It is right out of science fiction! DOUBEL FOOEY!
So many of us make bad choices with men! If you have a boyfreind, have him get rid of the cockeroaches! He should be at least good for that. TRIPEL FOOEY!
Vacation recommendations around Feb some place warm-ish? Flying from West coast with a 4 yo who will fly on companion fare. Strongly prefer to stay in a suite with a kitchenette. We’ve gone to Hawaii the last few vacations (a number of years apart) but it’s a little expensive (unless Costco travel has suite hotels??). Thanks!
If you want multiple rooms and a kitchen*tte, you’re much better off with AirBNB/VRBO than a hotel. My parents regularly rent a one bedroom condo w/kitchen for ~$100-150/night in February on the Big Island. I can’t imagine you could find a hotel suite for less than $300 and probably much more, because availability is so limited. Condos/vacation rentals are where it’s at in Hawaii for larger spaces.
Thanks!! I don’t know why this didn’t occur to me!