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Often, when we feel like yelling or completely losing our cool with our kids, we blame it on anger (and them!). But usually, the behavior is rooted in fear—our fear.


Fear of losing control.

Fear of not having the answers.

Fear of raising entitled kids.

Fear of judgment.

Fear of someone getting hurt.

Fear of chaos.

Fear of being wrong.

So what if I told you that if you’re a yeller (like I was), that it would serve you well to learn how to be scared with integrity—how to feel fear without panicking, and how to be afraid with confidence.

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Doing this results in modeling the same thing for our kids, which teaches them over time how to slow down and feel instead of avoiding the emotion. It also allows us to succeed at changing this behavior pattern that we so desperately want to switch up.

The next time your little ones do something that lights the fire of rage in you, consider these 10 phrases that will help you pause, breathe and respond, instead of reacting in fear. Many of them you may choose to say internally, but remember that saying them out loud in front of your children is a beautiful way to model for your kids how to process emotions in a healthy way.

1. “I don’t know what to do, and that’s okay.”

Take a break from: “STOP IT NOW…OR ELSE!”

Example: “I don’t know what to do to get you to stop fighting, and that’s okay. I’m learning, you’re learning, we’re all learning.”

Explained: Many of us take birthing, breastfeeding and CPR classes before our kids become toddlers, but parenting classes on how to influence another human being with integrity (how to get our littles to do what we ask of them) usually aren’t on the list. So knowing how to handle misbehavior, irrational requests, hard to stomach attitudes and sibling squabbles doesn’t always come naturally.

Lean into learning about positive parenting through a class like The Foundations Course and be okay letting your kids know you don’t have all the answers, but you’re committed to learning.

2. “They are strong, I am strong, my family is okay. I will respond.”

Take a break from: “WHY CAN’T YOU JUST LISTEN? I AM SO SICK OF THIS.”

Example: “My kids are strong, I am strong, we are okay (even though it seems like there’s a three-alarm fire in our house)… so I will take steps to respond.”

Explained: Our fears about “what if our kids never learn” can kick into high gear when misbehavior and emotions start to soar. In a calm time, cement this belief system that your kids are incredibly smart and learning every day about life…as are you. Even though it seems like there’s a fire drill when misbehavior arises, it usually isn’t the case, and you can take steps to respond (instead of reacting like a volcano).

Creating this space between the stimulus (their misbehavior) and your response (how you handle the situation) is essential to breaking a yelling habit.

3. “I need your help.”

Take a break from: “I HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING AROUND HERE AND THAT IS RIDICULOUS…DO THIS NOW OR ELSE!”

Example: “I’m feeling overwhelmed and angry and don’t want to yell…I need your help.”

Explained: Kids (especially “power kids” who are built with a strong desire to lead) have healthy needs that are important we pour into. The need to feel powerful, the need to feel valuable, and the need to feel like they belong all play into their behavior (and misbehavior).

Engaging their help in times of chaos empowers them while also helping us to lighten our load. Teaching them that it’s ok to ask for help, and that problems don’t have to be solved alone are essential lessons that all children need to learn.

4. “I’m going to take some time to calm down, so I don’t do something I regret.”

Take a break from: “YOU MAKE ME YELL. IF YOU WOULD LISTEN, I WOULDN’T HAVE TO RAISE MY VOICE.”

Example: “I can feel myself spiraling out of integrity, so I’m going to go into the bedroom to calm down, and then I'll come back to talk about this.”

Explained: The fear of being out of control can cause us to yell when we don’t acknowledge how much feeling “out of control” scares us. Take notice when you’re starting to sense that tornado sensation and take a moment to calm the storm.

Light a candle, go to the bathroom, read a page of your favorite magazine, turn on an essential oil mister, or simply sit on the stairs and take a few deep breaths with your hand on your heart. Creating this self-calming space to allow yourself to feel and move through the fear will do wonders to guide you to have cleaner action when you head back to deal with the misbehavior at hand.

5. “I feel scared that __________, I am not okay with ________.”

Take a break from: “YOU ARE GOING TO GET HURT, I SAID STOP IT…NOW!!!!”

Example: “I feel scared that someone is going to get a finger slammed in the door, I am not okay with you arguing next to the door.”

Explained: Using "I" statements shows your kids what it looks like to take responsibility for your own feelings instead of using "you" statements that often make others feel accused and combative. Expressing feelings in this way helps your kids understand why your limit exists and the reason it’s so important they listen. It also helps you feel heard while being firm with your limits.

6. “Freeze…_______________ (ask for what you want).”

Take a break from: “STELLA…NO! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?”

Example: “FREEZE…I need you to walk in the parking lot like a turtle.”

Explained: Consider replacing general commands with specific action requests that give kids clear directions on what you want them to do. When we take a break from yelling at kids with what we don't want them to do and replace it with a clear, firm call-to-action their little brains visualize that behavior (instead of thinking about what they’re tempted to do).

7. “I feel angry and it’s okay.”

Take a break from: “WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME, WHY AM I SUCH A MEAN MOM?”

Example: “I feel angry and that’s okay because anger is a healthy, human emotion.”

Explained: Anger is one of the five basic feelings that guide us in life and that other emotions stem from, not a “bad emotion,” or one we should be ashamed of in any way. Anger helps protect us from danger and can move us to action when injustice is present. However, our fear of anger and the actions we take when it is present is what often creates problems in our lives.

Viewing anger as good (not a negative emotion that should be hidden) allows us to move through it with integrity, instead of trying to avoid it. To help process this strong emotion, consider using a stress ball or doing 20 push-ups if you’re a mover by nature, writing in your journal if you’re visual, or calling your bestie (who you know will listen) if you lean towards audio learning.

8. “What am I scared of?”

Take a break from: “NOOOOOO, I SAID NOOOOOOOOO!”

Example: “What am I scared will happen if I don’t yell?”

Explained: When we think that yelling is the only way to get their attention or make them stop, it’s helpful to pause and figure out what it is exactly we fear won’t happen if we are gentle with our words and actions. After you identify this, you can communicate to your kids in a clearer way about what you want (vs. focusing on what you fear will happen), which helps you focus on your strength instead of your fear (a much more joyful way to live!).

9. “Kids, can you please help me? I feel like I’m about to lose my cool and need your ideas.”

Take a break from: “THAT’S IT, I’M DONE! TIME OUT! NOW!

Example: “Kids, can you please help me? Remember how I told you I’m trying my best to stop yelling, but right now, I feel like I’m about to lose it…I need your ideas on how I can keep my cool!”

Explained: After a few months of modeling self-calming and teaching self-control strategies, your kids will become great teachers that can help you remember to walk the talk when you feel like you’re going to implode. You have to remember to ask them though!

10. “I am strong, capable and have a choice.”

Take a break from: “I’m never going to change, I am just a pistol and nothing else works with my kids.”

Example: “I am strong (even though I fail sometimes) and capable (even though I doubt myself), and I have a choice (even though I feel like my back is up against a wall).”

Explained: Be sure to journal or record in a baby book the times when you kill it as a mom—the times when you set out to be patient, and you succeed, and the times when you choose kindness and compassion. Successes like those, no matter how small, define you as the strong, incredible and amazing momma you are.

Stay in learning to make sure your tool-kit is always full, and be sure to take a moment to say an “I am” statement like this one, as they can help you reset, power up, and self-guide the future you want to create.

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As a former beauty editor, I pride myself in housing the best skincare products in my bathroom. Walk in and you're sure to be greeted with purifying masks, micellar water, retinol ceramide capsules and Vitamin C serums. What can I say? Old habits die hard. But when I had my son, I was hesitant to use products on him. I wanted to keep his baby-soft skin for as long as possible, without tainting it with harsh chemicals.

Eventually, I acquiesced and began using leading brands on his sensitive skin. I immediately regretted it. His skin became dry and itchy and regardless of what I used on him, it never seemed to get better. I found myself asking, "Why don't beauty brands care about baby skin as much as they care about adult skin?"

When I had my daughter in May, I knew I had to take a different approach for her skin. Instead of using popular brands that are loaded with petroleum and parabens, I opted for cleaner products. These days I'm all about skincare that contains super-fruits (like pomegranate sterols, which are brimming with antioxidants) and sulfate-free cleansers that contain glycolipids that won't over-dry her skin. And, so far, Pipette gets it right.

What's in it

At first glance, the collection of shampoo, wipes, balm, oil and lotion looks like your typical baby line—I swear cute colors and a clean look gets me everytime—but there's one major difference: All products are environmentally friendly and cruelty-free, with ingredients derived from plants or nontoxic synthetic sources. Also, at the core of Pipette's formula is squalane, which is basically a powerhouse moisturizing ingredient that babies make in utero that helps protect their skin for the first few hours after birth. And, thanks to research, we know that squalane isn't an irritant, and is best for those with sensitive skin. Finally, a brand really considered my baby's dry skin.

Off the bat, I was most interested in the baby balm because let's be honest, can you ever have too much protection down there? After applying, I noticed it quickly absorbed into her delicate skin. No rash. No irritation. No annoyed baby. Mama was happy. It's also worth noting there wasn't any white residue left on her bottom that usually requires several wipes to remove.


Why it's different

I love that Pipette doesn't smell like an artificial baby—you, know that powdery, musky note that never actually smells like a newborn. It's fragrance free, which means I can continue to smell my daughter's natural scent that's seriously out of this world. I also enjoy that the products are lightweight, making her skin (and my fingers) feel super smooth and soft even hours after application.

The bottom line

Caring for a baby's sensitive skin isn't easy. There's so much to think about, but Pipette makes it easier for mamas who don't want to compromise on safety or sustainability. I'm obsessed, and I plan to start using the entire collection on my toddler as well. What can I say, old habits indeed die hard.

This article was sponsored by Pipette. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Military families give up so much for their country, particularly when they have small children at home. Those of us who have never witnessed this kind of sacrifice first-hand could use a reminder of it once in a while, which is just one of the reasons we're so happy to see the beautiful photoshoot Mary Chevalier arranged for her husband's return home from Afghanistan.

The photoshoot was extra special because while James Chevalier was serving a nine-month deployment, Mary gave birth to their second son, Caspian.

Getting ready to meet Dad

"During the laboring and birthing process of Caspian, I was surrounded by family, but that did not fill the void of not having my husband by my side," Mary told InsideEdition.com. "He was able to video chat during the labor and birth, but for both of us, it was not enough."

While James had yet to meet Caspian, their 3-year-old son, Gage, missed his dad a whole lot, so this homecoming was going to be a big deal for him too. That's why Mary arranged for her wedding photographer, Brittany Watson, to be with them for their reunion in Atlanta.

Gage was so happy to see his Dad 

"[He] had no idea he was going to be getting to see his daddy that day," Watson wrote on Facebook. "The family met at the Southeastern Railway Museum for Gage to go on a special train ride... little did he know, he'd be doing it with daddy!"

Watson did a beautiful job capturing the high emotions of every single family member, from Gage's surprise, to the delight on baby Caspian's face. It's no wonder her Facebook post went viral last week.

"Caspian is natural, a very happy baby, but both James and I felt like Caspian knew who his father was almost immediately," Mary told Inside Edition. "He was easily comforted by me husband right off the bat and seemed to have an instant connection. It was very emotional."

The moment this dad had been waiting for 

If we're sobbing just looking at the photos, we can't even imagine what it was like in real life.

"We are all so blessed and take so much for granted," Watson wrote. "I cannot contain the joy I feel in my heart when I look at these images, and I hope you feel it too!"


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During both of my pregnancies, I was under the care of an amazing midwife. Every time I went to her office for check-ups, I was mesmerized by the wall of photos participating in what may be the most painfully magical moment of a woman's life: giving birth. But there was a painting that always drew my attention: a woman dressed in orange, holding her newborn baby with a face that could be described as clueless. The line above the canvas read, "Now what?"

I felt like the woman in the painting as I kissed my mother goodbye when my daughter was born. She came from my native Colombia to stay with us for three months. When she left, I realized that my husband had been working as usual during those first 90 days of our new life. My baby was born on a Friday and on Monday he was back at the office. (No parental leave policy for him.)

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Now what? I thought. The quote "It takes a village to raise a child" suddenly started to hit home, literally.

After a few years in Miami, I had some friends, but it truly didn't feel like I had a village. Some were not mothers yet, most of them worked full-time and others didn't live close by. My nomad life left my best friends spread out in different places in the world. I found myself signing up for "mommy and me" classes in search of new mothers, immigrants like me, alone like me.

It seemed like a utopian dream to think about when my grandmothers became mothers. Both of them had 6 and 10 children and they were able to stay sane (or maybe not? I don't know). But at least they had family around—people cooking, offering help. There was a sense of community.

My mother and father grew up in "the village." Big families with so many children that the older siblings ended up taking care of the little ones; aunts were like second mothers and neighbors became family.

When I was about to give birth to my second baby, my sister had just had her baby girl back in Colombia. Once, she called me crying because her maternity leave was almost over. My parents live close to her, so that was a bonus. Hiring a nanny back there is more affordable. But even seeing the positive aspects of it, I wished I could have been there for her, to be each other's village.

The younger me didn't realize that when I took a plane to leave my country in search of new experiences 19 years ago, I was giving up the chance to have my loved ones close by when I became a mother. And when I say close by, I mean as in no planes involved.

It hasn't been easy, but after two kids and plenty of mommy and me classes and random conversations that became true connections, I can say I have a mini-village, a small collection of solitudes coming together to lean on each other. But for some reason, it doesn't truly feel like one of those described in the old books where women gathered to knit while breastfeeding and all the children become like siblings.

Life gets in the way, and everyone gets sucked into their own worlds. In the absence of a true village, we feel the pressure to be and do everything that once was done by a group of people. We often lose perspective of priorities because we are taking care of everything at the same time. Starting to feel sick causes anxiety and even fear because it means so many things need to happen in order for mom—especially if single—to lay down and recover while the children are taken care of. And when the children get sick, that could mean losing money for a working mother or father, because the truth is that most corporations are not designed to nurture families.

In the absence of that model of a village I long for, we tend to rely on social media to have a sense of community and feel supported. We may feel that since we are capable of doing so much—working and stay at home moms equally—perhaps we don't need help. Or quite the opposite: mom guilt kicks in and feelings of not being enough torment our night sleep. Depression and anxiety can enter the picture and just thinking about the amount of energy and time that takes to create true connections, we may often curl up in our little cocoon with our children and partners—if they are present—when they come home.

Now what? was my thought this week while driving back and forth to the pediatrician with my sick son. I can't get the virus, I have to be strong, my daughter can't get ill, my husband needs to be healthy for his work trip next week, we all need to be well for my son's fifth birthday. And so, it goes on. I texted one of my mom friends just to rant. She rants back because her son is also sick. She sent me a heart and an "I'm here if you need to talk."

I am grateful to have talked to her at that random postpartum circle when I first became a mother. She's a Latina immigrant like me and feels exactly like me. I will do it more, get out of my comfort zone and have—sometimes—awkward conversations so I can keep growing my own little village.

It may not look like the one I'd imagined, but still may allow me to be vulnerable even through a text message.

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Halloween is around the corner, but if you are like me you are still trying to figure out what to dress your family (especially the little ones), so here are some cute ideas inspired by famous characters. There's something for everyone—from cartoon lovers to ideas for the entire family!

Here are some adorable character costumes for your family:

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