I was traveling between Atlanta and Miami a bunch the month my niece was born, and it was March so all the flights were overbooked because of spring break. In a two week timespan, I offered to be bumped twice (earning three free flight vouchers in total) and my husband got one also. The best was the flight they gave me the double voucher for, as they ended up rebooking me in first class on a flight leaving an hour later. We used two of the free flights to go to Aruba a few months later (which, funny enough, we sort of hated. But at least we didn't pay to get there!). So yes, big fan here.
I would never ask friends or family to help me move or paint, because I wouldn't want to do it for them. Those are two of the most dreadful chores I can think of, and I realize that I'm lucky to be in a position to afford professionals. However, my husband and I regularly argue whenever my Dad visits, because my Dad is super-handy and likes to fix stuff around the house. I have no problem asking him to repair our cracked steps, hang some curtains, or insulate the pipes in our crawlspace during his visits every few months (before you think I'm a monster - my Dad asks me to put him to work, I swear!). But my husband argues that Dad should be relaxing and spending time with his granddaughter during his visits, and we should pay people to do handyman tasks like that. So it's a big fight every time. (When pressed, my husband has admitted that at least part of his objection is that he has less than zero interest in working on the porch or getting under the house, but feels like my father won't respect him if he sits inside and doesn't help. I don't have the same sense of guilt, but that's at least partially because I know my Dad doesn't really expect me to take much interest, you know, since I'm a lady and all. It's totally sexist, but it gets me out of boring and difficult house-fixing tasks, so there you go.)
Loved this. Can't wait to read more.
@Cara Roellgen@facebook YEP. I signed up for the waitlist at our first choice daycare when I was four months pregnant with #1. She's 15 months old and we're still waiting. I signed up #2 the very day after I got a positive pregnancy test.
My kiddo is in daycare 45 hours a week, at a cost to us of about $5/hr. I know this isn't even close to being a fair rate for the level of love and care they give her every day. But that $900 a month is still pretty close to the edge of what we can afford. We have a second one on the way, and I don't know how we're going to swing it, really - and this is in a two-parent household where we both make fairly good salaries. The people who care for our children deserve to be paid more, but childcare is already the second-highest monthly expense (after rent/mortgage) of every parent I know. I don't know what the solution is.
On Buying Power
Loved this! Am glad I read it right before going to bed, because I feel like it ended my day on a high note.
@nell I don't know about Apple, but I know FB (and a lot of the other big tech companies) already have great maternity benefits in place: four months of paid leave for both mothers and fathers, plus a few thousand in "baby cash" to help pay for childcare. Given that, I see this as taking those policies one step further, and a smart choice for them if they want to attract and retain top talent. But I totally see your point and if this was say, an investment bank offering the same benefit, I would definitely see it with a more jaded eye.
I come from a family of insomniacs and frequent travelers, and have heard great things about melatonin for both. Me, I'm an Ambien girl, or at least I was before I got pregnant. Four months into my first sleep-deprived pregnancy, I discovered ASMR videos on YouTube and they changed my life (well, my bedtime routine anyway). It sounds super-weird and doesn't work for everyone, but I have a few triggers that make me sleepy (head massages, hair brushing, spa treatments), and every night I just pull up a video, pop in my earbuds, and I'm out in less than ten minutes like magic.
@EmilyAnomaly Self-assessments are the worst. The WORST. I dread them. Two hours of trying to spew bullshit about myself and everything I've accomplished in the past several months, along with evaluating my 'core competencies'. Ugh. My Mom recommended this book to me though and it's made the process at least 50% less painful: http://www.amazon.com/Effective-Phrases-Performance-Appraisals-Evaluations/dp/1882423127/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1412885664&sr=8-7&keywords=performance+review (there are tons of these types of books on Amazon, and some are even cheaper).