5 Fashion Tips for Breastfeeding Moms
Bringing a child into the world and becoming a mother is a life changing experience. Some people think that as soon as the baby arrives, all the clothing rules and restrictions you faced when you were pregnant (empire waist, anyone?) are finally over with. But if you’re among those able to breastfeed and feel like it’s the right fit for your family, you’re going to need to think about what you wear in a whole new way. Here are five tips that will ensure you’re the most fashionable mom on the block.
1. Button-ups are your best friend: Chances are you have a few button-up shirts hanging in your closet. If not, it’s a good time to stock up! Any shirt with buttons is going to make it easy for you to get the job done, especially in the early days when you’re both still trying to figure it out and you need to actually see what you’re doing. If you have to buy up a size to accommodate your new friends, don’t worry. You’ll be able to pair the shirts with leggings and boots after you’re finished nursing. Some of our favorite button-ups of the moment include a plaid flannel shirt ($25), the polka dot blouse ($70) shown above and a simple white silk-blend blouse ($50).
2. Invest in key pieces you can mix and match: It might be tough, but try to resist the urge to buy every nursing top in sight, since you may not be wearing them for that long. Instead, invest in key pieces you can mix and match with other items already in your closet. Plain nursing tanks can be worn on their own, under your favorite sweaters, layered with a scarf or a (baby proof) statement necklace. You already have enough on your hands taking care of a baby, the last thing you need to worry about is putting together a cute outfit. Make it easy on yourself and take a look at your closet before buying anything else. If most of your pieces are bright and colorful, than go for neutrals so it all matches, and vice versa. We’re big fans of the Rosemary tank top ($29), MAMA nursing tanks (2 for $30) shown above and a faux leather striped nursing top ($44).
3. Pay attention to necklines: Feel free to browse more of the store than just the tiny maternity rack in the back corner. Just pay attention to the neckline of any regular shirts you wear when you know you’ll be nursing in public. Anything with a v-neck is great, especially if it’s relaxed fit. Wrap tops allow for easy access while still being something that will always be in style and a closet staple. If a great boat neck dress catches your eye, save it for date night or a baby-free lunch with friends. We found a few necklines that will work for new moms including a knit sweater ($20) and the wrap front blouse ($69) shown above.
4. Accessories, accessories, accessories: A few accessories can change the look and feel of an outfit in an instant. Scarves not only add the finishing touch, they are great for hiding the accidental spit-up or leaks that always seem to happen at the worst times. If nursing in public makes you nervous, buy one like the CoverBoo Couture ($40), that doubles as a nursing cover, but any large scarf will do the same thing. Oversized cardigans ($61), like the one below, will also give you and your little one some added privacy without having to cart around a separate cover. Pair either one with your nursing tanks and you’ll make this whole breastfeeding thing look like a breeze!
5. Have fun! It’s not forever: You’re doing a beautiful and selfless thing for your child, and you should be proud. Not everyone is as lucky. Don’t think of putting together a nursing-friendly outfit as a chore. At the end of the day, fashion is supposed to be fun, and this stage in your life is no exception. It will be over before you know it, and you’ll be back to wearing whatever you want in no time at all. For now, challenge yourself to mix and match patterns and texture. You might surprise yourself! But at the same time, don’t be afraid to repeat an outfit that makes you feel pretty, because confidence is key. And don’t worry, you’re the only one who will remember. Pinky promise.
What are some of your go-to rules for nursing-friendly fashion? Talk to us in the comments!
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com