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As a working mom of six kids, I am constantly seeking new ways to connect with my children individually. Our household can be chaotic, to say the least, but I know just how important it is that I set aside the time to understand and support our children's interests, and to teach them life lessons that can only come from me—especially with my daughters.

Sometimes these lessons come from the wisdom I've acquired through my education and background as a child and family educator (I'm trained in child development and behavior). Other times, they come from unexpected places, like a playground interaction that I witness, or a movie or TV show that I happen to watch. And that's exactly what happened when I watched Disney's Maleficent: Mistress of Evil with my daughter.

Since seeing it, I haven't been able to stop thinking about how powerful the mother/daughter bond can be, and how many of the lessons from the movie actually apply to my relationship with my 7-year-old daughter. Lessons that could help me build the best foundation for her that I can, and presumably, other mamas of daughters, too—especially during the more challenging stages of life.

So, I'm sharing the love and passing on five of the strongest takeaways from the film, along with some helpful phrases to incorporate these principles into your own mother/daughter relationship. Because we may know we've got this, mamas, but it doesn't hurt to add some new tools to our belts, either.

1. "I hear you."

There will be things your daughter will tell you that you don't want to hear (like Aurora's engagement announcement) but she needs to know you'll always be there to listen. As mothers, we might not always agree with all of the choices our daughters make, but in the interest of promoting healthy communication, they still need to know that when they come to you, they'll be heard.

Personally, I want to be the one who she goes to when she needs support—to talk about her relationships, her struggles and her dreams. Even if they're different than the dreams I may have for her. And although young girls do often turn to their peers for advice, studies show that mothers are still the most influential person in their daughter's lives through young adulthood. So keep being there for her, mama. And remember that those validating phrases (offered before you give your opinion or advice), will help her feel safe enough to be open and vulnerable.

2. "When you're ready, let's work on how to fix this."

Mistakes happen, especially in relationships. Trust is broken, feelings get hurt, and words do damage but working our way back from that is what matters most. That's why it's crucial that our daughters understand the importance of seeking resolution in order to repair your relationship, and that we assure them that mistakes aren't the end of the world.

We can do this by initiating connection even when we're hurting, and by serving as an example of how taking ownership of the hurt we've caused others can help start us down the path to healing. (Just make sure to respect her own internal timeline and give space when needed.) Much like when Aurora mistakenly accused her mother (Maleficent) of casting a spell on King John and Maleficent had to move past the feeling of betrayal from her distrust, dealing with hurt can take work—it totally spoke to me. That's why our daughters knowing how to forgive and patch up our relationships is an invaluable tool.

3. "I will never stop loving you."

I met my daughter, who is biologically my stepdaughter, when she was three, but that doesn't change the deep love I have for her. I will always regard her as my daughter and I will never treat her any differently than my own. That's why the part of the movie where Aurora declares Maleficent as her mother really spoke to me. It teaches the great lesson that the love between a mother and her daughter is fierce, even when the relationship might look a little different. And loving someone unconditionally and without bounds is a bond that doesn't rely on the ties of birth.

4. "I'm proud of you."

Sure, we'd love it if our daughters always saw us as the center of their universe like they do when they're younger. Right now you might be her world, her best friend, but as she gets older, starts exploring the world and finding her footing, the nature of that dynamic might feel like it's changing (on the surface, at least). All mamas eventually know the tug of it feeling like your daughters are a little less proud of you, like being asked to park down the street when dropping her off, or being told to wear/do/say something less "embarrassing" in front of her peers (I think we could all relate to the moment when Aurora asked her mother to hide her horns). But though it may feel like you're suddenly less important in her life, it's not really true.

Just ask the 76% of girls surveyed who report valuing their parents' opinions over that of their friends when it comes to serious decisions. Growing up or not, our daughters still need to hear that they are capable, worthy and supported by your love. Independence breeds confidence, mama, so reminding her of her value ensures that your words will become her inner voice.

5. "I need you to trust me."

While we've all likely been told by our own mothers when we were younger, "You'll understand when you're a parent one day" or, "I'm doing this for your own good," those types of phrases just send the message that your daughter can't possibly grasp the wisdom behind a decision you may be making on her behalf. Case in point, when Maleficent did what she thought was best by deciding not to reveal the truth about her biological parents, it was an attempt to protect her—a motivation to which most mamas can relate.

Instead, making the point that it's not about her limitations but rather her capabilities by elevating her to a position of maturity (like being asked to instill trust) sends her a more empowering message. And convincing your child that you have her best interest at heart might be easier than you think, as 89% of girls surveyed about youth/parent relationships report acknowledging and understanding that their mothers cared about them (and 91% of boys, too!). So even though she still may not love all of your parenting decisions, she'll definitely know they come from a place of love, and in the end, that's all you can really ask for, mama.

Bring home the new Disney's Maleficent: Mistress of Evil to share these special moments with your daughter.

This article was sponsored by Disney's Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Thank you for supporting the brands that support mamas and Motherly.

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When we buy baby gear we expect it to be safe, and while no parent wants to hear that their gear is being recalled we appreciate when those recalls happen as a preventative measure—before a baby gets hurt.

That's the case with the recent recall of Baby Trend's Tango Mini Stroller. No injuries have been reported but the recall was issued because a problem with the hinge joints mean the stroller can collapse with a child in it, which poses a fall risk.

"As part of our rigorous process, we recently identified a potential safety issue. Since we strongly stand by our safety priority, we have decided to voluntarily recall certain models of the Tango Mini Strollers. The recalled models, under excessive pressure, both hinge joints could release, allowing the stroller to collapse and pose a fall hazard to children. Most importantly, Baby Trend has received NO reports of injuries," the company states on its website.

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The strollers were sold through Amazon and Target in October and November 2019 and cost between $100 and $120. If you've got one you should stop using it and contact Baby Trend for a refund or replacement.

Four models are impacted by this recall:

  • Quartz Pink (Model Number ST31D09A)
  • Sedona Gray (Model Number ST31D10A)
  • Jet Black (Model Number ST31D11A)
  • Purest Blue (Model Number ST31D03A

"If you determine that you own one of these specific model numbers please stop using the product and contact Baby Trend's customer service at 1-800-328-7363 or via email at info@babytrend.com," Baby Trend states.

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[Editor's note: While Motherly loves seeing and sharing photos of baby Archie and other adorable babies when the images are shared with their parents' consent, we do not publish pictures taken without a parent's consent. Since these pictures were taken without Markle's permission while she was walking her dogs, we're not reposting them.]

Meghan Markle is a trendsetter for sure. When she wears something the world notices, and this week she was photographed wearing her son Archie in a baby carrier. The important thing to know about the photos is that they show the Duchess out for a walk with her two dogs while wearing Archie in a blue Ergo. She's not hands-free baby wearing, but rather wearing an Ergo while also supporting Archie with her arm, as the carrier isn't completely tight.

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When British tabloids published the pictures many babywearing devotees and internet commenters offered opinions on how Markle is holding her son in the photo, but as baby gear guru Jamie Grayson notes, "it is none of our business."

In a post to his Facebook page, Grayson (noted NYC baby gear expert) explained that in the last day or so he has been inundated with hundreds of messages about how Markle is wearing the carrier, and that while he's sure many who messaged with concerns had good intentions he hopes to inject some empathy into the conversation.

As Grayson points out, these are paparazzi photos, so it was a private moment not meant for world-wide consumption. "This woman has the entire world watching her every move and action, especially now that she and Harry are leaving the umbrella of the royal family, and I honestly hope they are able to find some privacy and peace. So let's give her space," he explains, adding that "while those pictures show something that is less than ideal, it's going to be okay. I promise. It's not like she's wearing the baby upside down."

He's right, Archie was safe and not in danger and who knows why the straps on Markle's carrier were loose (maybe she realized people were about to take pictures and so she switched Archie from forward-facing, or maybe the strap just slipped.)

Grayson continues: "When you are bringing up how a parent is misusing a product (either in-person or online) please consider your words. Because tone of voice is missing in text, it is important to choose your words carefully because ANYTHING can be misconstrued. Your good intentions can easily be considered as shaming someone."

Grayson's suggestions injected some much-needed empathy into this discourse and reminded many that new parents are human beings who are just trying to do their best with responsibilities (and baby gear) that isn't familiar to them.

Babywearing has a ton of benefits for parents and the baby, but it can take some getting used to. New parents can research safety recommendations so they feel confident. In Canada, where the pictures in question were snapped, the government recommends parents follow these safety guidelines when wearing infants in carriers:

  • Choose a product that fits you and your baby properly.
  • Be very careful putting a baby into—or pulling them out of—a carrier or sling. Ask for help if you need it.
  • When wearing a carrier or sling, do not zip up your coat around the baby because it increases the risk of overheating and suffocation.
  • Be particularly careful when using a sling or carrier with babies under 4 months because their airways are still developing.
  • Do not use a carrier or sling during activities that could lead to injury such as cooking, running, cycling, or drinking hot beverages.

Health Canada also recommends parents "remember to keep your baby visible and kissable at all times" and offers the following tips to ensure kissability.

"Keep the baby's face in view. Keep the baby in an upright position. Make sure the baby's face is not pressed into the fabric of the carrier or sling, your body, or clothing. Make sure the baby's chin is not pressed into their chest. Make sure the baby's legs are not bunched up against their stomach, as this can also restrict breathing. Wear the baby snug enough to support their back and hold onto the baby when bending over so they don't fall out of the carrier or sling. Check your baby often."

Meghan Markle is a new mom who was caught off guard during a moment she didn't expect her baby to be photographed. Every parent (no matter how famous) has a right to privacy for their child and the right to compassion from other parents. If we want people to learn how to safely babywear we can't shame them for trying.

Mama, if you've been shamed for wearing your baby "wrong" don't feel like you need to stop. Follow the tips above or check in with local baby-wearing groups to get advice and help. You've got this.

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At one of the most important nights of their career, celebrities made sure their hairstyles stayed put at the 26th Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards. As a collective, the hairstyles were beautiful—french twists, bobs, pin curls and killer cuts filled the red carpet on the night to remember.

And surprisingly, the secret wasn't just the stylist team, mama. For many of the celebs, much of the look can be attributed to a $5 hairspray—yes, you read that correctly.

Dove style+care micro mist extra hold hairspray was one of the top stylist picks for celebs for a lightweight, flexible finishing spray, leaving tons of body and bounce. Unlike most hairsprays that can take several minutes (even a half hour) to set the look, this extra-hold one contains a fast-drying, water-free formula that helps protect your hair from frizz in minutes. As a result, celebrities were able to hold the shape of their styles with mega volume.

"Dove hairspray works well by holding curls in place with maximum hold and ultra shine, while still maintaining soft, touchable texture that is easy to brush out," says Dennis Gots for Dove Hair, who styled Phoebe Waller-Bridge for the SAG Awards. Translation: It's great for on-the-go mamas who want a shiny hold that lasts, but doesn't feel sticky.

Here are a few awesome hairstyles that were finished with the drugstore Dove style+care micro mist extra hold hairspray at the SAG awards:

Lili Reinhart's French twist

"I sprayed Dove style+care micro mist extra hold hairspray all over Lili's hair to lock in the shape and boost the shine factor, making the whole look really sleek," says stylist Renato Campora who was inspired to create the look by Reinhart's romantic gown. "Lili's look is sleek and sharp with a romantic twist."

Cynthia Erivo's finger waves

"This look is classic Cynthia! I knew I wanted to keep it simple, but it's actually quite detailed and intricate up close," says stylist Coree Moreno. "While the hair was still wet (yes—I needed to work fast!) I generously spritzed on the hairspray for all night hold without flaking. The hair continued to air dry perfectly while she finished up makeup."

Nathalie Emmanuel's curly high pony

"Nathalie wanted a retro Hollywood glam for the SAG Awards, so I used her natural texture and created a high pony with loose tendrils framing her face and neckline," says stylist, Neeko. "I finessed the look with the hairspray to lock in the style while keeping her hair looking and feeling touchable."

Phoebe Waller-Bridge's slicked back bob

"I used duckbill clips on different areas of her hair to keep the shape and curl while the hair air dried. Air drying the hair allowed for maximum shine and then I sprayed lots of hairspray all over to truly lock in the sleek shape and enhance the shine," says stylist Dennis Gots, who was inspired by a 90s vibe for Waller-Bridge's look.

Dove Style+Care Micro Mist Extra Hold Hairspray

Dove Style+Care Micro Mist Extra Hold Hairspray

Who doesn't want a hairspray that makes your hair feel as good as it looks? Dove Style+Care Extra Hold Hairspray holds body, volume and enhances shine. It gives your hair touchable hold while fighting frizz, even in damp or humid conditions.

$4.89

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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We often think of the unequal gender division of unpaid labor as a personal issue, but a new report by Oxfam proves that it is a global issue—and that a handful of men are becoming incredibly wealthy while women and girls bear the burden of unpaid work and poverty.

According to Oxfam, the unpaid care work done by women and girls has an economic value of $10.8 trillion per year and benefits the global economy three times more than the entire technology industry.

"Women are supporting the market economy with cheap and free labor and they are also supporting the state by providing care that should be provided by the public sector," the report notes.

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The unpaid work of hundreds of millions of women is generating massive wealth for a couple of thousand (predominantly male) billionaires. "What is clear is that this unpaid work is fueling a sexist economic system that takes from the many and puts money in the pockets of the few," the report states.

Max Lawson is Oxfam International's Head of Inequality Policy. In an interview with Vatican News, he explained that "the foundation of unpaid work done by the poorest women generates enormous wealth for the economy," and that women do billions of hours of unpaid care work (caring for children, the sick, the elderly and cooking, cleaning) for which they see no financial reward but which creates financial rewards for billionaires.

Indeed, the report finds that globally 42% of women can't work for money because of their unpaid care responsibilities.

In the United States, women spend 37% more time doing unpaid care work than men, Oxfam America notes in a second report released in cooperation with the Institute for Women's Policy Research.

"It's an economy that is built on the backs of women and of poor women and their labour, whether it's poorly paid labour or even unpaid labour, it is a sexist economy and it's a broken economy, and you can only fix the gap between the rich and the poor if at the same time you fix the gap between women and men," Lawson explains.

According to Lawson, you can't fight economic inequality without fighting gender equality, and he says 2020 is the year to do both. Now is a great time to start, because as Motherly has previously reported, no country in the world is on track to eliminate gender inequality by 2030 (one of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by 193 United Nations member countries back in 2015) and no country will until the unpaid labor of women and girls is addressed.

"Governments around the world can, and must, build a human economy that is feminist and benefits the 99%, not only the 1%," the Oxfam report concludes.

The research suggests that paid leave, investments in childcare and the care of older adults and people with disabilities as well as utilizing technology to make working more flexible would help America close the gap.

(For more information on how you can fight for paid leave, affordable childcare and more this year check out yearofthemother.org.)

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