The celebrity mamas who told the truth about motherhood in 2020 👏

You can love motherhood with your whole heart and still be real about how hard it can be (especially this year).

The celebrity mamas who told the truth about motherhood in 2020 👏
Kristen Bell/Instagram

Trigger warning: This article addresses pregnancy and infant loss, and may be upsetting for some readers.

Celebrity mamas really are just like us. No matter how many followers you have or how much money is in your bank account, there are some hard facts of motherhood that you can't escape...especially in the dumpster fire that has been 2020.

This year several celebrity mothers opened up to talk about everything from birth, to miscarriage, to breastfeeding and how to decide if one child is enough.

In a year that challenged us in so many ways, these high profile mothers are refusing to pretend that being a mom isn't incredibly challenging (especially in a society that doesn't really support moms).

We're clapping for these famous mamas who got real about motherhood in 2020:

Kristen Bell's 5-year-old daughter started 2020 'still in diapers' because every kid is different

Back in May, Kristen Bell inadvertently caused a massive controversy on the mom internet when she said "currently, my youngest is five and a half, still in diapers." Some people were critical of the comments, but 2020 brought a lot of changes, including Bell's daughter graduating out of diapers by July. 👏👏👏

Bell was also super open about how hard home schooling was for her family. In May she explained that she ripped up her daily homeschool schedule (remember those viral schedules that were floating around during the early days of the pandemic?) and just did what works for her family.

After taking the summer break, when homeschool was back in session Bell kept it real, telling the world that two days into the semester she was already exhausted.

Jodie Turner-Smith opted for a home birth to avoid America's racist healthcare system

Joshua Jackson says his British wife, Jodie Turner-Smith, opted to birth at home rather than risk experiencing the racism in the American healthcare system.

"She wanted to be in a place where she was as comfortable as possible, understandably," Jackson told EsquireEsquire. "And I wanted her to be in a place where she felt like she was being heard at every step along the way, rather than having to go through that filter of being a Black woman interfacing with the American medical system."

Smith and Jackson welcomed their baby girl in April and in an interview for British Vogue's September Issue Smith opened up about her birth experience. She didn't sugarcoat how hard birth can be on the human body and mind.

She labored at home for four days with her husband by her side.

"We had already decided on a home birth because of concerns about negative birth outcomes for Black women in America," she explains, pointing out how systemic racism in medical care means Black women are 3 to 4 times more likely than white women to die during or right after pregnancy than white mothers in the United States.

That's why Smith originally wanted a home birth, a decision that was reinforced by the pandemic.

"We never imagined that in the coming weeks, hospitals around the country would begin restricting who could be present in the birthing rooms, forcing mothers to deliver without the support person or people of their choice," she said. "Delivering at home ensured that I had what every single woman deserves to have: full agency in deterring my birth support."

Delivering a child into the world is so hard, but it was especially hard in 2020.

"Sometimes I wonder how I will explain to my daughter what it meant to be born in the year 2020," says Smith. "The historic events, the social unrest, and me—a new mother just trying to do her best. I think I will tell her that it was as if the world had paused for her to be born. And that, hopefully, it never quite returned to the way it was before."

Smith recalls how, on the third day of her labor, she shared a quiet moment with her husband that gave her strength.

"I was fatigued and beginning to lose my resolve. Josh ran me a bath, and as I lay in it contracting, I talked to my body and I talked to my daughter. In that moment, he snapped a picture of me. An honest moment of family and togetherness—a husband supporting a wife, our baby still inside me, the sacred process of creating a family."

Amy Schumer on why she might be done having kids: 'I can't be pregnant ever again'

Amy Schumer's first pregnancy was famously hard, and that's why it might be her only pregnancy.

As People reports, on an episode of Sunday Today with Willie Geist, Schumer explained why, after suffering through hyperemesis gravidarum (a rare but very serious form of extreme morning sickness) during her pregnancy with son Gene she's not going to be pregnant a second time.

"I decided that I can't be pregnant ever again," she says. "We thought about a surrogate, but I think we're going to hold off for right now."

Schumer tried IVF this year in the hopes of giving Gene a sibling but that, too, has proved to be really difficult.

"We did IVF and IVF was really tough on me," she says. "I don't think I could ever do IVF again."

Having one child has been so awesome, Schumer's not in a rush to have more right now. She calls Gene "the best thing in my life."

Jamie Otis: Postpartum checkup revealed 'I have HPV'

Married at First Sight star Jamie Otis opened up about her HPV diagnosis in 2020. During her most recent pregnancy, the mom of two had an abnormal Pap test in her first trimester.

"They told me I'd have to wait until my six week check up after delivery to investigate further so I didn't risk losing my baby," she explains in a recent Instagram post.

During a postpartum checkup, Otis had a biopsy and will likely be receiving the loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) to treat her HPV.

According to the Mayo Clinic, "most HPV infections don't lead to cancer. But some types of genital HPV can cause cancer of the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina (cervix)."

That's why Otis is so thankful that her doctors were on top of this and that her HPV was caught early and she wants other moms to take care of themselves, too.

"Don't let life get too 'busy' to get your check ups," she says, adding that while she'll likely be fine she really only ended up getting a Pap test because she got pregnant. Had that not happened she would have no idea about her HPV.

Jenna Dewan: Breastfeeding 5-month-old can 'be really challenging'

Even if you've breastfed a baby before, nursing your new newborn can come with its own challenges.

That was the case for Jenna Dewan, who noted in a recent Instagram post how breastfeeding her 5-month-old son is "incredible and it can also be really challenging."

It's been different than it was with 7-year-old Everly, Dewan says.

She continues: "At least it was for me the second time around. From latching issues, to my son loving one side vs. another, making more milk, when to pump... EVERYTHING was different and I found myself asking a lot of questions."

(If you need some help with breastfeeding here are the top 50 breastfeeding tips, according to lactation experts).

Chrissy Teigen was real, raw and so vulnerable after losing her son Jack

When Chrissy Teigen suffered a pregnancy loss this year she didn't hide it or minimize her pain. She grieved big and out loud, and her bravery led to other mothers opening up about their pain.

Motherhood makes us strong, but loving someone so much also makes us vulnerable to immense pain.

In a powerful essay she wrote weeks after her loss, Teigen thanks everyone who reached out to her to share stories of their own or offer support without expecting a grieving mother to respond.

"I feel bad our grief was so public because I made the joy so public. I was excited to share our news with the world. Stories leading up to this had been chronicled for all. It's hard to look at them now."

By being so incredibly truthful about what was happening in her life, Teigen gave a kind of social permission to other grieving mothers to seek help and support.

Ali Fedotowsky-Manno: I didn't feel 'I deserved any sort of support after' miscarriage

Pregnancy loss is one of the hardest things a person can go through, and it's also a topic that is still shrouded in a lot of secrecy and shame, even in 2020.

Bachelorette-turned-blogger Fedotowsky-Manno knows this all too well. In July she revealed she'd had a miscarriage and in an interview with People she explained that she wasn't sure at first how or when to share that news.

"I think a lot of the reasons women don't share about miscarriages is because there is shame involved," she explains. "I always thought the shame was because your body couldn't carry a baby in that moment...But for me, where the shame came was not feeling that I deserved any sort of support after—feeling that what I went through wasn't the same as someone who goes through it when they'd been trying for years or they were 20 weeks pregnant."

She continues: "I have two beautiful children. So my experience didn't begin to compare to those, so I felt shame in being supported."

But pain isn't something we need to compare or measure. It is possible to honor and hold space for a friend who suffered a stillbirth and still honor and seek support for your own grief over an early pregnancy loss.

Miscarriage is painful. No matter when it happens. No matter how many children you already have or how many miscarriages you've already had. We need to talk about pregnancy loss so that we can find community and support and, importantly, reduce the shame.

Thank you, Ali, for speaking your truth!

The HATCH Mama collection is everything your pregnant body needs right now

Their oil is the only thing that stopped my belly from itching as it grew bigger.

Conz Preti

Let me start by saying I'm not a fan of moisturizing. I hate being wet and sticky and after applying product to my body, I have to stand around awkwardly until I'm fully air-dried—a practice that is not compatible with having three kids under the age of 3. However, as someone who has carried three children in her body, I also know how much your belly needs hydration as the baby grows.

This was especially true with my second pregnancy. My belly popped way sooner (a thing that happens with subsequent pregnancies) and on top of that, I was carrying twins, which meant I became super pregnant super fast. My belly was itching constantly from the skin stretching (I checked with my doctor to make sure I didn't have Cholestasis) and there was no scratching in the world that could ease my discomfort. My doula recommended the HATCH Mama belly oil and changed my life. The oil is nourishing—but more important to me, quick-drying—so I could apply it all over my planet-sized twin belly and get dressed immediately after without having my clothes ruined nor stuck to my body. Because of how much I loved the oil, I tested other products, and let me tell you, they're all equally amazing.

Curious about the HATCH Mama collection? All of their products are non-toxic and mama-safe, designed to help pregnant people overcome the challenges unique to pregnancy. As their website claims, "from stretch marks to thinning hair, to sleepless nights, we're helping you tackle every prenatal and postnatal beauty issue head-on so you can continue to feel like the best version of you." I'm here for all of this. For the entire Hatch Beauty collection click here.


Here are my favorite products from HATCH Mama:


Belly oil

HATCH COLLECTION  Belly Oil

Intensely hydrating + fantastic at reducing the appearance of stretch marks and scars, this will be your favorite through pregnancy + beyond.

$58

Belly mask

HATCH COLLECTION  Belly Mask Set

Not only does it help to minimize the appearance of stretch masks + scars during pregnancy + postpartum, but there is a little non-toxic wink (and that's to you, mama.)

$42

Nipple + lip ointment 

HATCH COLLECTION  Nipple + Lip

Calming + soothing, this magic sauce is lanolin-free & made of tropical butters and super fruits. I'm not lying when I say you will not want to stop using this, even way after birth.

$28

Belly tattoos

HATCH COLLECTION  Belly Tattoos

A very rock and roll way to honor your bump. And non-toxic + plant-based at that!

$18

This article was originally published in March 2021. It has been updated.

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Motherly created the flexible online birth class moms need

The Motherly Birth Class is completely online, which means you can take the class at your own pace.

Taking a birth class is a pregnancy milestone. Whether you've been excited to take a birth class for a long time or have just recently decided that you wanted to take one, sitting down for that first lesson feels big—spoiler alert, this is really happening! But finding time for a birth class isn't as easy as it would seem.

We know new parents are busy (hello, understatement of the year). Between diaper changes, pediatrician appointments, healing from birth and the general adjustment to #newparentlife, the days can fill up quickly. But a lot of people are caught off guard by how busy pregnancy can be, too! That first trimester is so often full of symptoms—like nausea and fatigue—that can make previously easy or simple tasks exhausting. The second trimester begins and (usually) we start to feel better. But then our days get filled with planning out baby registries and deciding on questions like, "Where will this tiny new human sleep?" And before you know it, it's the third trimester—and, well, then you're in the home stretch. Plus there are so many appointments!

All this to say that we get how busy you are—and how hard that might make it to fit in a birth class.

And that's why we created The Motherly Birth Class. The Motherly Birth Class is completely online, which means you can take the class at your own pace.


Think you'll want to watch each lesson a few times over? Great!

Due date's next week and you need the option to take a birth class very quickly? No problem!

Like everything at Motherly, we designed this class with you in mind.

Taught by Certified Nurse-Midwife Diana Spalding (who also wrote "The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama"), this class is broken into 12 lessons—and you get to control how and when you watch them. We'll teach you about what your (amazing) body is up to in labor, how to decide when it's time to head to the hospital or birth center (or when to call your home birth midwife), what your options are for coping with pain and so much more.

When you sign up for The Motherly Birth Class, you'll get access to a downloadable workbook and meditations. Plus, you'll be invited to join our supportive private online community (where you can chat with the class instructor!)

Oh, one more thing: Your insurance or flexible spending account might even able to able to cover the cost of this class.

Pregnancy is wonderful—but it's a lot. You deserve a birth class that works for you and empowers you to have your best birth. Because vaginal or Cesarean, unmedicated or medication, birth is incredible. And you are the star of it all.

You've got this.

Sign up for The Motherly Birth Class today!

The Motherly Birth Class

pregnant-woman-looking-at-her-belly

Take our completely digital birth class from the comfort of your living room. We'll help you have your best birth—because you deserve it.

$79

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14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

Keeping kids entertained is a battle for all seasons. When it's warm and sunny, the options seem endless. Get them outside and get them moving. When it's cold or rainy, it gets a little tricker.

So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of the best toys for toddlers and kids that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, many are Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these indoor outdoor toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.


Secret Agent play set

Plan-Toys-Secret-agent-play-set

This set has everything your little secret agent needs to solve whatever case they might encounter: an ID badge, finger scanner, walkie-talkie handset, L-shaped scale and coloring comic (a printable file is also available for online download) along with a handy belt to carry it all along. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Stepping Stones

Stepping-stones

Kiddos can jump, stretch, climb and balance with these non-slip stepping stones. The 20-piece set can be arranged in countless configurations to create obstacle courses, games or whatever they can dream up.

$99.99

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Sensory play set

kidoozie-sand-and-splash-activity-table

Filled with sand or water, this compact-sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$19.95

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Foam pogo stick

Flybar-my-first-foam-pogo-stick

Designed for ages 3 and up, My First Flybar offers kiddos who are too young for a pogo stick a frustration-free way to get their jump on. The wide foam base and stretchy bungee cord "stick" is sturdy enough to withstand indoor and outdoor use and makes a super fun addition to driveway obstacle courses and backyard races. Full disclosure—it squeaks when they bounce, but don't let that be a deterrent. One clever reviewer noted that with a pair of needle-nose pliers, you can surgically remove that sucker without damaging the base.

$16.99

Dumptruck 

green-toys-dump-truck

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyard or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? It's made from recycled plastic milk cartons.

$22

Hopper ball

Hopper ball

Burn off all that extra energy hippity hopping across the lawn or the living room! This hopper ball is one of the top rated versions on Amazon as it's thicker and more durable than most. It also comes with a hand pump to make inflation quick and easy.

$14.99

Pull-along ducks

janod-pull-along-wooden-ducks

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$16.99

Rocking chair seesaw

Slidewhizzer-rocking-chair-seesaw

This built-to-last rocking seesaw is a fun way to get the wiggles out in the grass or in the playroom. The sturdy design can support up to 77 pounds, so even older kiddos can get in on the action.

$79.99

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$79.99

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

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The ultimate back-to-school shopping list for busy moms

Use this list to prep for the best first day ever!

CasarsaGuru / Getty

After spending a summer reconnecting with friends and family, enjoying the outdoors and (hopefully!) making time for vacation, it's time for kids to head back to school. They're ready to learn, grow and get out of your hair again! But they'll need some help to get there. Before the exciting first day of school, you'll need to get all the gear together to make school a success.

As a parent, use this basic but essential school supply list to find everything your little ones need for their classes—even on a budget.

Loose Leaf Paper

Even though there won't be any tests or quizzes when school begins, kids take plenty of notes, complete assignments and do in-class exercises. Every student needs at least a few packets of loose-leaf paper for quick notes and doodles. Check with your child's school to find out if they require college ruled or wide ruled before you fill up your shopping cart — odds are they won't, but it's worth being sure.

$4

Personal Planner

Your child will need a personal planner to kick off the school year and keep up with all of their assignments. It's an opportunity to invest in cute school supplies that motivate your kids every time they open their planners. Plus, planners help kids learn time management and responsible scheduling, which they can carry with them throughout their academic lives and into college and adulthood.

$22

#2 Pencils

Most classes require #2 pencils because they show up easily on test bubble sheets that machines scan and grade. Add them to your child's school supply list before they sell out at local stores. A great deal on a large pack will likely last through the year.

$10.29

Black Ink Pens

Teachers grade in red ink pens so their notes stand out as study tools. Your student should use black ink pens that don't bleed on the paper. Their work will stand out and never smudge if you use a tried-and-true brand that knows how to make a quality pen, like BIC.

$4.47

Highlighters in Different Colors

Highlighters help students study if they outline notes in different colors. Get your child a pack so they have all the help they need for their study materials. If they're stressed about the tougher classwork, don't forget to break the tension with jokes that will put them at ease.

$9.99

Big Pink Erasers

The erasers on the top of pencils won't last long in classes like calculus or trigonometry. Give your kids a backup by buying packs of big pink erasers. They last much longer and often do a better job of wiping mistakes away.

$.99

New Headphones

Headphones are one of the school supplies kids can use to express themselves. They'll wear them while studying in the library or riding the bus so they can focus or relieve stress between classes.

$16.99

Lined Notebooks

Notebooks are cute school supplies that students always need. The spiral-bound pages are easy to flip through and lightweight in a backpack. They even help with virtual classes because each subject can have a different notebook and further organize notes that assist with online tests.

$3.19

Three-Ring Binders

Students collect their loose-leaf notes in three-ring binders because they snap everything shut and keep notes safe. Find back-to-school binders that match your child's personality so they can stack everything safely in their locker without bending or crushing papers.

$16.95

Locker Decorations

Most kids love decorating their lockers when they start middle school or junior high. Add locker decorations to your school supply list so they can personalize their storage unit and feel more at home.

$14.99

New Lunch Box

Spoiled food ruins the first day of school. But a dual-compartment lunch box ensures your child's food stays fresh throughout the day by designating a special section for an ice pack. Your purchase could also start a new tradition of getting a different lunch box when the school year begins, easing your kids' nerves about beginning a new grade.

$12.99

Upgraded Backpack

It's always fun to get a new backpack. Let your kids pick one that matches their size and expresses their personality with characters, colors, or other prints.

$31.96

Colorful Markers

Young kids might need help adjusting to virtual school or having fun during in-person classes. Colorful markers are an easy way for them to relax while doodling, and they'll likely be part of daily assignments for elementary school students.

$3.49

Reusable Water Bottle

Drinking out of water fountains helps spread illnesses. Your kids can avoid flu season by carrying a reusable water bottle in their backpack. Let them pick out whichever one they want and they'll look forward to using it instead of drinking from public fountains.

$29.95

Calculator

Every teenager needs a calculator when they go back to school. A TI-89 model assists with graphing functions and lasts throughout their academic careers. You won't have to buy another one if they keep it in its case between classes.

$130.99
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