Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Importance of Connection for Moms

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I joined a local moms group last year in an effort to expose my eldest daughter to children her own age. My concern was that we didn’t know very many people with young children, & as she began talking about having friends, I didn’t have anyone toward whom I could point her. So we joined the group. Until then, I hadn’t realized how much I missed connecting with other moms.

I have other friends, but they have either already been through the infant & toddler years, or they don’t yet have children. I didn’t have any friends who were in the same place in their lives. No one with whom to discuss the frustrations of potty training & discipline & the death of nap time. And I didn’t realize how refreshing it would be to connect with other women who are dealing with the exact same thing.

There’s a whole group of us, & we coordinate a monthly calendar of activities to fill our weeks with socializing & constructive play. It’s a totally different experience heading off to the zoo with four other moms & their kiddos instead of just me & my offspring. And with our combined children, it’s no problem to set up activities like a tour of the local fire house.

While I’m able to gain much-needed support & encouragement as a mom, I also get ideas for how I can better mother my children. Whether it be an idea for a fun activity or a potty training tip or just a reminder of how I look when I finally lose my temper with my toddler, I’m getting a clearer picture of the kind of mother I want to be.

No, we don’t all agree with each other, but no one criticizes anyone else for our differences. Granted, I’m probably the crunchiest mother there, from what I’ve gathered, but I’ve still connected with AP parents & breastfeeders & non-spankers. Everyone has their own style, & when we find common ground, we quickly combine forces to learn as much as possible from each other while reminding ourselves that we’re not the only ones.

I can’t say that I want to be close friends with every mom in our group either, but there’s no one I actively dislike, which is a blessing. It makes the group that much more pleasant. Sometimes we even set up a moms night out, & we go to dinner with each other sans children. (It’s a real treat to occasionally not have to share my food.) Some even swap babysitting to get an occasional night out with the hubs.

So my one piece of advice to any mother, if I were to ever be asked for advice, is to try to connect with other moms who are in the same place in life. There is so much to be gained from the relationships one builds in these groups, & chances are, there’s a moms group in almost every town across the USA, from a formal club (like MOPS or MOMS Club) to an informal group that utilizes evite.com or some other organizational tool. So far, I’ve found four such groups in my small town.

A moms group is as much for yourself as for your children. It’s networking, socialization, education, & entertainment all in one place. It’s an opportunity to connect. It’s important, because it reminds you that you’re not alone.

To find a formal, local chapter, check out:

  • MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) – An international, Christian organization for mothers with preschoolers. Other age groups available.
  • MOMS Club – A national, secular organization for mothers.
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Anxiety, My Old Nemesis

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I’ve struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure when it started. There aren’t too many memories of life without it hanging on my shoulder, making me question what I say or fear other peoples’ reactions to me. It’s just something I’ve learned to live with, something I relegate to the attic of my brain.

Today, though, it broke out & came after me, prepared to impart blunt-force trauma to my psyche.

Let me back up.

My newest daughter, NBG (New Baby Girl), was born in January. While my husband’s company policy states that new additions are to be submitted for health insurance within 30 days of birth, we failed to submit the application until 36 days. There’s actually a reason this happened (involving birth certificates & our previous experience with our first daughter), but ultimately, we messed up. We know it. We were prepared to jump through any hoops the company put forth.

We did not expect the company to refuse to cover her for a full year.

The HR department simply told us that she wouldn’t be eligible until next year, sent us some links for state medical coverage, & bid us adieu. I think this is unacceptable, unreasonable even. We were six days late. Let us pay a fee or simply start her coverage from the submission date instead of from birth. Something. Anything. Just work with us a little bit.

My husband went back & forth with HR. No. He spoke to his director. No. He spoke to the director of HR. No. He even called the insurance company, which said they’d be happy to add NBG, but she must be added by his company. So effectively, no.

After all this, my husband wasn’t sure about pushing it any further. Up until this point, there had been nothing I could do. I couldn’t add her initially, I couldn’t beg, plead with, or kosh over the head any of the people refusing my perfect, new little girl medical coverage. So when my husband wasn’t sure about pursuing it further (& months were slipping by), I wrote & sent a letter to his CEO.

I did not go behind my husband’s back. I read & re-read. I agonized over every word, trying to balance between professionalism & outright begging. I read it to my husband to make sure he was comfortable with it. (Quite frankly, I think he just didn’t want to deal with it anymore & was ready to just pay out-of-pocket for the next year.) My background is writing & administrative assistance. I’m fairly confident the letter was acceptable. Then I sent it last week.

Now you’re caught up.

Today, my husband received an email from an HR representative which said she understood his concern regarding NBG’s health insurance. She informed him that a meeting has been scheduled with her & his director for next Monday at the company headquarters, & he needs to make travel arrangements to attend it.

Oh, this is so me.

ANXIETY!!!!

This was not the response I anticipated, and now I’m mentally sifting through everything that happened, questioning everything.

I absolutely loathe conflict.

Even as I’ve gone over everything, even questioning whether or not I made too big a deal out of it, I keep coming back to the conviction that I’m right. Yes, the request was submitted late, but six days does not justify an entire year. So far, every person I’ve spoken to has had the same reaction, but even without that boost, my conviction would remain. It’s simply wrong to refuse to cover a newborn child under an existing family plan just because the policy & procedure says to do it that way. If it’s a law (which I haven’t found it to be yet), then I still think it’s wrong.

So why won’t they just add her or say no again? My husband has been pursued by a headhunter for a while now, & he’s also found some other, better positions available. He’s started updating his resume to submit. He’s the ideal candidate for each job, & chances are high he would be offered at least one position, if not more. We’ll get NBG medical coverage. We’re both feeling a bit sold out by the company.

But of course, even with the possibilities, I’m anxious, nervous, ready to assume the worst.

I’m questioning everything. Was I too pushy? But I don’t see how I could have simply settled for my new daughter to not be insured with the rest of us. Will my husband face repercussions? But they have no legitimate cause to fire him, & he has several solid job options. Did I overstep a boundary? But I’m ready to do whatever I have to do to protect & provide for my children. I am a mom, after all.

Ugh. Anxiety. Worry. Nerves. Call it what you will. It’s exhausting. Draining. It sucks the joy out of every situation because it just nags & gnaws in the peripheral.

The fact is, it’s already done. Whatever is going to happen will happen. The decisions have been made. The course has been set. It’s because I cannot see it that I am anxious. I don’t know how I’m going to respond. I don’t know the outcome.

I have to trust…someone else.

I can’t control this.

The Bible instructs me not to worry, but to trust God for everything I need. This is something with which I’ve always struggled, for as long as I can remember. There has been some serious improvement as my faith has deepened & matured over the years, but there are still times, like now, when it’s as if he sets the struggle before me, allowing me to choose. Do I trust him to make all things right? Or do I stew over something about which I can do nothing?

It’s the powerlessness, you know?

I hate feeling powerless.

But if God is for me, then who can be against me? Seriously. I know of his strength, his wisdom, his power. Now I get to practice what I profess. I get to trust him to take care of us. What other choice do I have? And then I feel terrible that the only convincing argument I can give myself right at this moment is that I have no other choice than to trust him. What a weak Christian it makes me feel!

But that’s what I’m going to do. I’ve been in positions like this before, & so far, every time I’ve finally relegated my perceived power (which is actually just my anxiety) over to him, things have worked out…amazingly well, in fact. So I’m saying it now. An hour from now, it’s quite possible I’ll be struggling with it again. Then hopefully I’ll follow through this convoluted, rambling chain of logic & reach the same conclusion…again.

I’m so glad I serve a patient God.

Thanks for letting me talk this one out.

Stepping Up the Pace

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I finally set up my pedometer!

I bought the thing about a year ago, right before I found out I was pregnant with NBG. Since anything complicated simply frustrated my pregnant brain, I tossed it in a basket & left it until I could handle figuring it out. haha

So yesterday, I did it! And I’m super excited. And I’m walking more just to see how many steps I can get. (FYI, it takes 32 steps to walk from my desk to the bathroom.)

Already, forces are conspiring against me & my trusty step counter. House repairs begin next week, so I’m not going to get to go to the park in the mornings for walks with my friends. Guess I’m going to have to get creative.

I’m just super stoked about my pedometer.

What do you do to make sure you get enough daily activity?

I’m Better Than You, or Why can’t we all just get along?

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No, I’m not.

I probably got your attention, though.

I’m not better than anyone, & I know this very well.

Yet there seems to be an issue with parents in claiming superiority over other parents because of parenting choices, & it’s on both sides of the fence. I find it annoying. Sometimes, it’s downright dangerous.

Because I attachment parent & try to keep things natural & organic (read “I turned out to be crunchier than I or anyone else expected”), which involves following my instincts to encourage a safe, secure, confident relationship between my children & me while constantly researching & learning about everything, I’ve come under fire many times from all different directions, including family, friends, the medical industry, & more. I’ve gained support from other parents who also follow attachment parenting guidelines through friends, blogs, Facebook, & various online sites. I’m confident that the decisions I’m making for my children are the best ones…for MY children.

I’m not going to tell you that you’re making the wrong decisions for yours. I’m not going to accost you with studies & evidence & whatever else, then beat you over the head with it. I believe you love your children, as I love mine, & you will make decisions based on what you know & believe is best. If I disagree with you, I’ll usually keep my mouth shut & try to continue to offer my support. If I disagree strongly, I might respectfully offer my own view on things. But I’m not going to try to make you feel bad. I’m not going to try to change you or convince you that I know better. Because I don’t.

You know your children best, while I know mine best. You love your children more than anyone else does, just like I love my children more than anyone else does. You worry about your decisions regarding your children, & I worry about mine.

Whether it’s to vaccinate or not vaccinate, to spank or not to spank, to breastfeed or formula feed…the decisions are endless. The information available, overwhelming.

This month’s cover of Time.

Time Magazine made Attachment Parenting its cover topic this month, & while I found some of the articles to be rather positive, on the whole, I was disappointed to see the inflammatory approach straight from the cover.

First, there’s the picture, which is completely unnatural & which I think is intentionally sensualized. From the discussion I’ve seen in the AP community, moms are torn. Some of them love it, others hate it, & some are trying to see it positively. I’m just not impressed.

Then there’s the caption: “Are you mom enough?” Ummmm…so when did AP become a the scales by which we rate motherhood? And when did AP become a solely mother-based parenting style? And how is a non-AP mother supposed to not feel judged? This just fuels the disconnect between parents who go AP & everyone else. And it makes me mad. Or disappointed. Or both.

It’s things like this, the misrepresentation of AP, the encouragement to judge & deem lacking, that continues to divide us as parents & erode our support systems.

I’ve left AP boards because they attacked anyone who dared spank their child. Even though they had some good, evidence-based arguments to back them up, their volatile response to those who spanked was not only completely inappropriate, but it alienated a parent who might have been interested in the studies against corporal punishment otherwise.

I guess what I’m getting at is that we should all be working together, not being divided by our differences in style. We should be sharing information, educating each other, defending each other, praying for each other.

The fact is, for every study you find supporting something, you can usually find another opposing it. The fact is, many happy, productive adults with good family relations were spanked as children. The fact is, we are all doing the best we know how, & we all love our children.

There is so much information out there, so many things to consider, that no one can be expected to get it all right. We don’t have to expect it of ourselves, & we don’t have to expect it of others either.

Let’s just all play nice.

That’s all I’m saying.

Toddlers & Technology: The Great Compromise

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Yes, I let my toddler play with my Kindle Fire. If I deny her, it just makes that shiny, fun, colorful, taboo object oh-so-much-more desirable.

You know what I’m talking about.

And if I refuse to let her use it, then I’m constantly having to make sure it’s not anywhere remotely close to being within her reach. I’m just not organized enough to make sure that happens.

So I’ve done the only other thing I can do. I’m teaching her how to use it.

While some parents have readily jumped on the bandwagon of allowing very young children access to electronics, I know others who haven’t. While I’m not a fan of giving children technological free-reign, I think it’s important to teach children how to use technology responsibly.

And unless I never use my computer, cell phone, Kindle Fire, or TV in my toddler’s presence, she’s going to want to use them. She’s a toddler, not a pet. She wants to do whatever I do, so it’s my job to teach her how while instilling self-discipline & a sense of respect & responsibility.

So here are a few common-sense guidelines I try to follow while teaching my toddler how to use the technology around her.

  • By Permission OnlyThis is a compromise that she is quite capable of both understanding & following. She knows that she must ask to use said technology. She also knows that sometimes she will be allowed to use it (if Mommy is able to sit with her & isn’t currently using it herself) and sometimes she won’t. While disappointed when she can’t use it, she is willing to move on because she knows that some other time, she’ll be able to play with it again. When she is confident that asking leads to results, she will ask. If she only hears no, she will not ask, then simply take when I’m not looking. So we compromise, & it works.
  • Mommy-Approved Content Only – The toddler knows that, once she’s got access to the technology she wants, she then has to get approval for content. This is easy, for now. I’m Mommy, & I know what this child loves. I’m also more experienced than she is, so I know what all the buttons do & how to digitally hide things. I make sure I’ve got apps on my smart phone & Kindle Fire that she loves. I get fun, interactive books for her to “read.” I utilize every tool in my Netflix bag o’ tricks. And I read, watch, or play almost every piece of content before my child gets her hands on it. (If I don’t get it pre-screened, then I’m right there with her, ready to turn off whatever it is if it violates my moral code or child-rearing goals.) Like I said, it’s easy right now. It gets more difficult with age. (I have a grown step-daughter, so I know this well.) Yes, I’m 100% controlling what she’s exposed to right now, & yes, I know that I won’t be able to as she ages. I’m ok with that, because right now I’m laying groundwork for the day when she’s in charge. I’m conditioning her to play educational games that make her think, to read classic books like Beatrix Potter, & to favor cartoons that aren’t Japanime. Will she only ever use technology for these things? Of course not. But there will be an expectation built into her subconscious & a draw to certain things with a noticeable lack of interest in other things based on the framework I’m laying right now. How do I know this? Because someone laid a framework with me when I was a child, & it still impacts what I watch, listen to, & read today.
  • Time Limits – No, my toddler may not play with electronic toys willy nilly for however long she wants….usually. I hate to admit it, but there have been a couple of occasions when I sat her in front of the television with Curious George queued on Netflix & let her have complete dominion over the PS3 controller. (Can you say ‘super pregnant?’) Nobody’s perfect. But generally speaking, that is far from the norm. I limit TV shows based on number of episodes she can watch, movies by number of repeats (yep, there’s been an afternoon or two where we watched The Tale of Despereaux more than once, back-to-back), Kindle Fire apps by minutes, etc. These guidelines aren’t perfect, but they work for me, so I use them. Toddlers actually do respond to limits, & surprisingly well, so I’ve found. I state the limit up-front, repeat it occasionally throughout, & calmly, gently repossess technology at the end. It’s rare for a tantrum to arise. She grasps the concepts of one & more than one. She understands what “one more episode” means. However, to help her transition, I usually have an activity to follow-up technology time. It could be anything: put a puzzle together with me, go play at the park, ride her bike, prepare a snack, etc. Having something to transition to makes it easier to say goodbye to technology for a while. Besides, children actually get quite bored with technology. If there are alternatives, they usually opt for those.
  • Don’t Break It!!! – Fact: There is inherent risk that my child will break my $200 Kindle Fire or lose the PS3 controller or accidentally purchase & install an embarrassing & sexy app on my phone. Fact: There is inherent risk that I will break my $200 Kindle Fire or lose the PS3 controller, although I’m unlikely to accidentally purchase & install any app on my phone. Yes, the risks are greater with my toddler, so some oversight, restrictions, & guidelines are needed while she’s learning. Remembering that I am also capable of breaking & losing things helps me stay calm in the face of inevitable failures my toddler encounters while learning. First, she can only use the technology with me there. This satisfies several needs, including being able to intervene if she decides to bang my phone repeatedly against the TV screen. (It’s never happened, but I’ve learned to never assume it couldn’t.) Second, she must remain seated on the couch in the family room while she is using said technology. This ensures (usually) that things are going to remain in a general location, minimizing losses. Third, depending on the technology (but especially with my Kindle), I sit with her, directing her in using the technology in the way she wants. Sometimes she wants to explore it, so I guide her in that instead of saying no. Maybe she doesn’t want to play the app anymore & wants to see what else Mommy has on there. Ok. But I’m there to make sure that both she & my Kindle come out of the experience intact & fully functional.
  • Days Off – We have days when no electronics are used in our house, period. (Using my smart phone to place necessary calls is the exception, I suppose.) I think this is important for many reasons. Primarily, my toddler’s developing brain needs extended breaks. I firmly believe that too much electronic exposure contributes to disorders like ADHD, plus said exposure is simply not natural. Also, with electronics off, we’re able to spend even more time together as a family. Furthermore, over time it sends my toddler the message that electronics are not needed for day-to-day living. Quite frankly, I need the days off sometimes, too. It’s very easy for me to get swept away by the technological advances available today. Having my children taking their cues from me forces me to behave more responsibly than I perhaps might otherwise.

While there are other guidelines I’m certain I’ve failed to mention, these are my Big 5. And like my mommy skills, these guidelines grow & evolve over time.

Although many people completely oppose combining technology with the toddler years, I’m no longer one of them. I used to be. I swore I’d never let my toddler watch TV, & I never even dreamed of a Kindle or smart phones. But one thing motherhood has taught me is that anything I do, my children will inevitably want to do. And while I’ve changed a lot of things in my life to make room for responsible parenting, my love affair with technology cannot be moved. I’m no longer convinced it has to be.

So for those of you who are adamant against toddlers using technology, I commend you for your commitment & support your continued efforts in that regard. For those of you who find themselves more & more ok with it, I’m right there with you.

Let’s teach our amazing kiddos how much fun responsibly-used technology can be.

I Failed Today

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Today, I failed.

Not a gigantic, earth-shaking, end-it-all failure, but still…I failed.

At least, that’s what keeps ringing in my head, & I need to get it off my chest.

My beautiful toddler & I were having some rowdy fun before dinner, & she bit me, HARD, on my chest, after multiple times of being told not to bite. The kind of bite that pinches the smallest amount of skin possible & leaves a painful stinging long afterward. And I reacted by smacking her well-diapered backside.

I’m sure that parents who spank would see this as appropriate, but since we have moved away from spanking (or trying, obviously), it’s been weighing heavily on my mind even so many hours later.

I guess what I find more upsetting than the fact that I swatted her is that I did it so easily. She hurt me, & my immediate reaction was to hurt her back. I’m swamped with guilt.

Even though I immediately apologized to her as she sat on the floor at my feet, holding her bottom, silently staring at me, eyes filled with accusing betrayal, the guilt remains. Even though she willingly wrapped her arms around me after & said that, yes, she forgave me, I am nagged by my sense of failure.

It was too easy to spank her. Why was it so easy???

When the issue of discipline first arose, we spanked. Our parents did it. Everyone else does it (so we thought). Why shouldn’t we?

But then, every time my little girl sensed even the slightest hint of displeasure directed toward her, she would frantically cover her bottom &  plead, with tears in her eyes, “Don’t hurt me!” What??? Why would she think I would hurt her???

Of course, getting hit as punishment hurts. I know this. I was spanked. Then & there, I swore I’d never do anything again to make my daughter fear my anger. I do not want hands that hurt.

But today, I failed. I struck her, even though her diaper covered her, even though my hand barely noted the sting. I hit her. And I’m so ashamed of myself.

It took months after deciding to stop spanking before the little light of my life stopped cowering in fear when she required discipline. Months to rebuild the trust between us. The truth that I will never harm her, even temporarily.

I fear how today may have set us back. I can only hope that my immediate apology & love is enough to negate any damage I’ve done.

For many people, my concern seems silly, I know. But for me, it is paramount. I remember being so young & fearing being struck. I remember hiding innocent, silly things in attempts to avoid spankings that, now as an adult, I realize would never have been given. The young mind doesn’t focus on WHY they’re being spanked, it only focuses on the fact that it is being hurt. The child only knows that they have displeased their beloved parent & is being hit. She only knows that she is sad & crying.

I know. I was spanked. And today, after so many months of controlling myself, I spanked my daughter.

And I’m sad & angry & disappointed in myself.

I failed today…& I’m so sorry.

I promise, I will try harder. I will do better. I will not spank again.

Private Sale Sites: Online Shopping’s New Frontier

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Recently I’ve gotten hooked on a new form of online shopping: Private Sale Sites. Well, it’s new to me, anyway, & as far as I know, it’s fairly new online in general.

If you’ve tried it, you’re probably hooked, too. If you haven’t, well…lemme help you with the introductions.

Private Sale Sites are member-only websites where the company purchases items in bulk, then makes them available for a pre-determined number of days (referred to as an event) with a percentage off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (or MSRP). The average discount is about 60%, based on my experience.

Imagine a virtual Costco, Sam’s Club, or BJ’s, but smaller, more catered, & light years more stylish.

These sites cater to women, especially mothers, offering mostly women’s & children’s clothes, shoes, & jewelry. However, many other things also appear, like toys, books, furniture, kitchen wares, gifts, wall art, & items for entertaining. Products range from high-profile designers to boutique companies.

The most addicting part of private sale sites? Seeing what new items have gone on sale today!

They tease, tease, tease, allowing you to see an item or two in a “preview” picture with the date the sale will start. If you sign up for the email, you’ll get the daily sales right in your inbox with the ability to click to any sale that might catch your fancy. And then let the wonders be revealed.

I’ve always been a shopper. Got it from my mom. Thankfully, she at least taught me to look for good deals, so I’m able to satisfy my shopping urge without breaking the bank. She taught me how fun window shopping can be. She also taught me (unintentionally, I’m sure) to keep a running mental log of items I’d like to purchase “some day.” And finally, she taught me the art of purging, through gifting, garage sales, & charitable donations. Sadly, I had to learn temperance on my own. I’m still learning.

I say all this as part warning & part reassurance. If you’ve inherited the shopping bug, these sites can offer overwhelming temptation if you’re not careful. But if you’ve learned self-discipline & restraint, these sites can be loads of fun while saving you some hard-earned coin on items you would’ve purchased elsewhere anyway.

I’m not going to lie. I’ve splurged a couple times on things I probably wouldn’t have bought otherwise, but overall, I’m enjoying the daily thrill of “look, don’t touch” with my self-restraint firmly in hand.

So here we go.

  • Zulily – This is probably my favorite of all the private sale sites. I’ve found the most relevant-to-me deals here, & although they charge shipping (haven’t found a PSS yet that doesn’t), on weekends they apply only one shipping charge to all the purchases you make from Friday through Sunday. That can add up pretty quickly. Zulily offers primarily clothes & shoes, but they liberally sprinkle in other items to keep things interesting. You just never know which sprinkles they’ll offer. (Well, you do if you scroll through the previews, but that takes some of the fun out of my inbox.) Their products are generally from the middling price range of items (e.g. Carters, Applebottoms, Calvin Klein). I visit their site daily via their email notifications to let my eyes wander through their new stock. (I kinda wish I worked there.)
  • Totsy – This is another site that I enjoy visiting daily. It’s very similar to Zulily in prices & products, but they’re not quite as nice with the shipping. They charge shipping for every order you place, regardless if it’s the same day or weekend. Since I’m a stickler for having to pay as little as possible for shipping online purchases, I head to Zulily first. However, Totsy still offers great deals, & I’ve dressed my girls in some beyond-adorable outfits from this stellar site. Just don’t browse too long if you’ve added stuff to your shopping cart. You’ve got 15 minutes to buy it before they put it back on the “shelf.”
  • Fab.com – I have found that this site offers a far broader product selection than any other PSS I’ve yet perused. However, I have never purchased anything from this site, primarily because the products tend to be in the higher price range, & thus, even with the commendable discounts, they remain outside of my grasp. Fab.com does a cute little thing where each day is themed, like Pet Wednesdays. Thus their new sales are formed around the daily theme. They offer some stunning art work & furniture. I’ve drooled over more than a few. If you’ve got the cash, this PSS might be just the ticket.
  • My Habit – Amazon was actually my first introduction to PSS shopping, although I’ve yet to purchase anything through them. They invited me to try My Habit, so I did. I must admit, they didn’t offer much selection at the time (one or two items for a whole week), & it was generally things I wasn’t interested in (like purses). However, they appear to have gotten their act together & might have a shot in the PSS world. I’ve just stopped junking their emails, so I’ll start checking them out along with my other favs. I’m not sure what their price level is, but it’s Amazon, so I’ve got a little hope. (I do find their name a little depressing though. It sounds an awful lot like a drug addiction. Feel free to discuss.)
  • HauteLook – This is the newest PSS I’ve seen on the scene, although it might have been around longer than I’ve known about it. HL offers high-end items, including designer brands, for men, women, & children. Because the discounted prices are so incredibly out of my range (& the clothing sizes are much, much, MUCH too small), I haven’t spent a whole lot of time here. However, I’ve seen more than a few drool-worthy items featured on their site. When I slim down a bit more & if my husband gets a nice raise & if I discover some place to go all dressed up (& if all the stars align juuuuuuuust so), then I might finally make a purchase. Until then, I just skim the daily email & only go to look if something really grabs my attention.

While I’m sure this is not an all-inclusive list of Private Sale Sites, I think it’s a pretty decent introduction to the major players currently on the field. It will be interesting to see who survives (I’d put my money on Zulily) & who fades into the ether.

Have you ever shopped at a PSS? Would you? Do you like the concept? I’d love to hear what you think! Also please let me know of any other PSS’ you’ve found that I didn’t mention above. This mommy’s always looking for a deal.