A promise to my second-born child—I’ll make time just for you

In the weeks leading up to your arrival I worried that I simply wouldn’t have enough love to share with you. I thought that your older sister had stolen my entire heart and I wasn’t sure how it could possibly grow to find space for you.

I was so wrong.

Now I realize I have all the love in the world to give you. I find myself often wishing I had more time for just us. You are my precious final baby and I want to make sure that our busy family life makes time just for you.

When I look around the house at the unmade bed, dirty dishes spilling from the sink and toys strewn across the floor I remind myself that our time together is so precious. I know that before long you will no longer be in my arms, and that eventually a time will come when I am able to regain order in this house.

So I will turn away from the piles of unfolded washing and instead, my darling girl, make today just for you.

Today I promise to cherish our quiet midnight times together. To not wish you back to sleep too soon, but to enjoy those cheeky milk smiles when your eyes find mine.

Today I promise to marvel at the tininess and complete perfection of your body, and celebrate as you reach every milestone.

Today I promise to stare into your eyes and return your beautiful smiles. To listen to you and speak words that are only for you.

Today I promise to show you the leaves, the sky and the moon and talk to you all day. To sing you sweet lullabies and invent songs that make you smile.

Today I promise to spend time lying with you on the floor reading books chosen just for you.

Today I promise to return those beautiful smiles as I protect you from your sister's overzealous affection and moments of jealousy.

Today I promise to touch your perfect skin, blow raspberries on your round tummy and listen to your infectious giggle. I will play ‘this little piggy’ and ‘round and round the garden’ over and over with you.

Today I promise to make sure you have special time alone with Daddy. So that he can bounce and kiss and tickle you as only a daddy can.

Today I promise to plan our day around you. I will put away my phone and refuse to be distracted by technology.

Today I promise to watch you stretch out after waking from a peaceful sleep. I will count your toes and kiss your nose.

Today I promise to let go of routines and be in the moment to marvel at all that you are, my gorgeous and not forgotten second-born daughter.

When I think about your big sister morphing before my very eyes from scrunched-up newborn to fiercely independent toddler it takes my breath away. I know that time is now passing even more quickly in our busy life. And as much as I wish I could freeze time, the only thing I can do is stop worrying about the small things and be present with you.

To play with you when the washing should be hung to dry. To trample over the weeds to show you flowers or hold you in my arms as you sleep even though sometimes I feel like my arms should be getting other things done.

Our time together is a gift. You are my final baby and today is ours to share.

Mom life demands efficiency. Because while the amount of hours in the day are the same as before kids, now a sizable chunk of that time is spent caring for and loving on those little people. Compromises happen—and let's just be honest, the old beauty routine is one of the first things to get cut.

But, wait! You don't have to sacrifice putting on mascara or, worse, skipping the SPF. Instead, why not flip it, reverse it, and look at the bright side? Here's your opportunity to streamline your morning makeup routine. With some savvy skin care and beauty hacks, you can get your radiant glow on in record time.

Here are our tried-and-true hacks passed down from Motherly mamas:

1. Embrace multipurpose items

If the most pressing issue is limited time, consolidate multiple steps of your beauty routine with a multipurpose item. For example, instead of starting with a SPF moisturizer, followed by spot concealer and a blendable foundation, you can take care of all of that in one go with one of our favorites: Earth Mama's 3-in-one Lady Face™ Tinted Mineral Sunscreen. The beauty stick also allows you to easily fold SPF 40 into your routine, because Lady Face doubles as super-safe, clean sun protection. Even better? The sunscreen blocks blue light from those ever-present digital screens with a ray-scattering, non-nano formula.

2. Revive dried mascara

Especially after a sleepless night (#motherhood), mascara can make a major difference in how well rested you appear to be. If you realize your tube of mascara is dried out, don't write it off as a lost cause. Simply soak the sealed tube in warm water to loosen up the mascara — or add a drop of a multi-purpose saline solution into the tube. That should do the trick until you have time to buy a replacement. (But let's face it: You're a mom. It's okay if you're tired.)

3. Keep coconut oil handy

Coconut oil isn't just for the kitchen. From a DIY hair mask to an in-a-pinch lip balm or naturally removing makeup at the end of the day, coconut oil's cosmetic hack-list is long. For summer, we especially like adding a thin swipe of organic extra virgin coconut oil to the cheekbones at the end of the makeup routine for a bit of an extra glow.

4. Multitask while deep conditioning

If your hair needs a bit of TLC, consider applying a natural, paraben-free deep conditioner before doing chores around the house or even a short workout. By working up a bit of a sweat, the conditioner will set even better before you rinse off in the shower.

5. Start your hair care routine the night before

As you work to find your new normal morning routine, it can help to simply reschedule a task or two—like hair. If you shower the night before, get a jumpstart on your look by blowdrying, straightening or even braiding it for loose waves in the morning.

6. Even out your skin tone

Between multiple wake-ups during the night and wavering hormones, complexion issues can become a thing for most mamas. Thankfully, the hack for managing that is as simple as finding a great foundation that goes on smoothly and doesn't cake or crack through a morning of momming. Scope out the ingredient list for naturally nourishing components like coconut oil, shea butter or beeswax — and skip the stress (and the return process if the shade doesn't match) by going for something that easily blends with most skin tones.

7. Find brands your feel great about

As a mom, you might find yourself considering bigger life questions: Are my cosmetics safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding? Are they helping the world my children will grow up in? Can I trust the ingredients and mission? Pro tip: read the ingredients on all your personal care products, memorize the ones you want to avoid, and look for third-party certification to ensure the product is actually what it says it is. When you find a brand that walks the talk, you're going to want to be loyal.

8. When in doubt, go for a bold lip

With happy hours swapped for play dates, your daily routine may look a bit different than it used to. But who says you have to leave your personal style behind? If you've always been a fan of makeup and going a bit glam, keep going for it, mama! The extra 60 seconds it takes to apply lipstick or whatever else gives you a bit of pep in your step is well worth it.

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

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