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An A-Z of the things we should teach our daughters

Raising girls is a special kind of challenge which in my book, requires a certain mindfulness–we only need to look at all the problems girls of anxiety, body image issues and peer pressure girls seem to be drowning in today to know that. So what are the things that we, as parents, should teach our daughters? You know what they say: It takes a village to raise a child. So I’ve called on my village of parenting bloggers to put together this list of things we should teach our daughters to be, not be, have or do.


A for ADVENTUROUS

Grasp opportunities with both hands and “have a go.” Be brave. Be careful. Be safe. – Pack the PJs

B for BEAUTY

Beauty lies within. You can use products and potions to alter your appearance but it’s what’s inside that counts. And your inner beauty will always radiate out of your face like sunbeams, no matter what. – Babies And Beauty

C for CONFIDENCE

As much as we can’t teach it, we can help to instill it within them. Being confident within themselves can help massively later on. – Life With Boys

and CONSENT

And that what consent truly means and that they can say no. – Just Average Jen

D for DREAM

Dream–then turn them into goals and reality! – Living Life Our Way

and DIGNITY

It is a sense of self-worth, as human beings we have a right to dignity and it allows you to be respected. Dignity and respect helps people to feel a sense of importance and worthiness. – Raw Childhood

E for EQUALITY

They can do anything boys can do—although my daughter will only do it wearing pink! – Whinge Whinge Wine

F for FERTILITY

We need to teach our girls how important it is to know what our body is saying. Welcome our monthly flow with appreciation and open arms. Know how to take basal temperature, understanding cervical mucus. Knowing what it all means. Knowing about reusable sanitary pads, tampons and moon cups. Loving and knowing your body so that you are not grossed out about the blood that we release. – Hacking Parenthood

G for GUTS

Don’t be afraid to be gutsy and speak up when you see something that’s wrong happening. – Pondering Parenthood

H for HEALTH

It is so important to take care of your own health. Otherwise you can not take care of others. And much of the learned health behaviour comes from childhood–food preferences, exercise habits and the understanding of oneself. –Wave to Mummy

I for INDEPENDENCE

Independence–while having a support network around you is fantastic. There will be times when you have to stand on your own two feet. You will need to know how change a light bulb/plug/tire, etc. – Boo Roo and Tigger Too

and INCLUSION

In a world that can at times be divisive, stand up for others, look out for the vulnerable members of society and include them, lift others, collaborate. – Living Life Our Way

K for KINDNESS

Especially towards ourselves as females. It’s so important to be kind and caring, and have empathy in general, but a lot of women forget to also put themselves first and make some time for self-care. – Scandi Mummy

L for LIFT EACH OTHER UP

Another girl’s success doesn’t take anything away from you. Be happy for her, celebrate from her and learn from her. Don’t waste your time on jealousy and comparison. You’ll achieve more lifting each other up than putting each other down. – Nomi Palony

and LOVE

Love what you do, love one another and love yourself. – Counting to Ten

M for MANNERS

Manners are sadly lacking in some children today. “Please” and “thank you” never hurt anyone and in fact go a long way. – Wishful Wonderings

and MONEY

It’s important for them to have a healthy relationship with money and know how to earn it, grow it and save it. It’s also important for them to know while money can buy you stuff and give you more choices, that stuff doesn’t make us happy. In fact a more minimalist approach generally makes us happier. Teaching them that all the toys in the world would only give them very temporary happiness. – Kirsty Dee

N for NEVER BE DEPENDENT

Learn to be independent. To do things for yourself and not have to depend on others. This will help them to become strong, confident and knowledgable. – Twin Mummy and Daddy

O for OPTIMISM

I always try and teach my daughter to be positive and optimistic about anything and everything she tries to achieve. – All About A Mini Norris

P for PASSION

Put passion in everything you do. If you aren’t passionate about something then look for something you are passionate about. – Mummy In a Tutu

and PLUCKING!

As mothers we should teach are daughters to put down the tweezers and go to a salon. Over-plucked eyebows at a young age sometimes never fully recover! Let’s create a generation of women with fabulous natural brows. – Kerry Shaw Mummy of Four

and also PERFECT

That you’re perfect. Just the way you are. If someone bullies or is mean, that’s their problem and not yours. You’re great. Look after you and treat people how you wish to be treated. Things I wish my mum had said to me rather than “you change.” – We Forgot The Sperm

Q for QUESTION

Question everything. Don’t just accept or believe what you’re told. Make your own mind up in your own time and be proud of what you believe. – And Another Ten Things

R for RESILIENCE

There will be knock backs in life, but get right back up and do it again. – Emma and 3

S for SEXISM

Expect it because it’s not going anywhere just yet. I don’t have a daughter but I will be teaching my son not to be sexist. – Mumzilla

S for the SANDWICH CRITICISM

Forget “never saying anything negative,” but always counterbalance it with two good points, either side of the negative to offer constructive advice or criticism. – I Am Typecast

T for TRUST

Trust your own instincts and be able to stand your own ground. Also find someone to trust who you can confide in for whatever reason. It’s always good to have one person you can talk to about anything! – Mama Wilkos

U for UNIQUENESS

That being unique is far more important than fitting in with the crowd. – Five Little Doves

V for VERY AUTONOMOUS

Learn practical skills and learn to do things for yourself, to fix things, to understand how things work. Because you CAN do it all, you don’t need a man to fix things for you!! – The Ish Mother

W for WEIGHT

It’s important to stay healthy, but weight is zero indication of that. The scales teach you nothing apart from how to obsess about a number which means very little. Do you get out of breath running for the bus? If so you need to exercise more? Is food on your plate colorful? Does it make you feel good? No? Then improve it. – Sprog On The Tyne

and WORK ETHIC

There is nothing you can’t achieve and nothing you cannot do. If you want something then go for it. The sky’s the limit, not your gender. – Babies and Beauty

X for X-PERIENCE

Live life to the fullest you can, because it is the sum of all your experiences that makes you the person you are, and experiencing life is good for you! – Motherhood: The Real Deal

Y for YOURSELF

Be yourself–not what someone else wants you to be. – My Boys Club

Z for ZAZZ YOUR SELF ESTEEM

It’s so important to feel comfortable and confident in your own skin. It’s something I constantly struggle with and have done since I was young. I hope to be able to help my daughter to strive for a high self esteem. She’s such a strong willed and opinionated little girl and I can only hope she stays that way and doesn’t let the world knock her down as she gets older –Even Angels Fall

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Taking to the friendly skies with an infant in tow doesn't always feel so...friendly. That's doubly true when you're traveling during the busy holiday season. But while we can't help waylay the dirty looks you might get for bringing your baby on board (just ignore them, mama!), we can help you feel prepared to tackle whatever your little one throws at you in flight.

Whether you're embarking on your child's first flight for the holidays or are seasoned jet-setters, here are six products that will help guarantee smoother sailing.


1. TruNiagen

If you always find yourself feeling off post-trip, we have a solution. Before taking off, give your body a boost by adding Tru Niagen to your vitamin regimen. This innovative supplement increase your body's NAD levels, a vital resource for energy and repair at the cellular level. Winter woes, you've met your match.

TruNiagen, Chromadex, $40

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2. Sago Mini Toys 

Keep your child entertained before and during flights with a fun toy designed to promote creative thinking. The Pillow Playsets from Sago Mini fold up for air-travel (we especially love the Harvey's Doctor Office!) and the unfold to help keep little ones distracted during any delays. Simply toss a couple in your carry-on to break out whenever a potential tantrum strikes.

Harvey's Doctor's Office Pillow Playset, Amazon, $39.99

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3. BABY B'AIR

When traveling with a baby, safety is tantamount. Unfortunately, options to secure in-lap infants are limited. Which is exactly what inspired founder Greg Nieberding to create the BABY B'AIR flight vest, a soft cotton body and nylon strap harness.

Not only does the BABY B'AIR prevent dangerous movement or slips during travel, but it will also save you time in security check because it doesn't require an extra scan the way car seats often do.

BABY B'AIR Flight Best, babybair, $39.95

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4. E-Cloth

If you've read those articles about the number of bacteria on your seat's tray table, you're probably thinking twice about letting your little one touch any surface on board. Rather than dousing the entire cabin in a strong chemical cleaner, simply toss an E-cloth in your carry-on.

These genius cloths use just water to "charge" the microscopic voids between and within the cloth's fibers, thereby attracting particles of dirt, bacteria, and mold when you wipe a dirty surface. After your flight, simply wring the cloth out in clean water to release the nasty stuff and the cloth is ready to use again. (We also love it for cleaning surfaces in a hotel room!)

E-Cloth, $39.99

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5. SnoofyBee Changing Pad

One of the biggest challenges of traveling with babies? Keeping them from touching all.the.things. Never is this truer than on public changing tables and surfaces. But thanks to the Snoofybee, you can carry a clean surface with you while also keeping little hands contained from touching anything unseemly.

Bonus: The pad's redirection barrier can also put a stop to baby's who are fascinated with touching their own dirty diapers. Because blech.

SnoofyBee, SnoofyBee, $29.99

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6. Pediped Shoes

Give your child some comfy kicks to rock in the terminal (while they hopefully burn off any extra energy before boarding). Pediped shoes are designed for safe foot development and made from soft, pliable materials that your baby won't try to rip off the moment you set them down—and many are machine washable, meaning you can quickly wash away any airport grime when you get home.

Pediped Shoes, PedipedOutlet.com, $19.99 and up

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Finding the person you want to spend your life with is never easy, but when you're a parent, there's an extra layer of consideration. You're not just choosing the person you will spend lazy Sundays (and hurried weekday mornings) with—you're choosing the person your children will spend them with, too.

And when that person has children of their own, things get even more complicated. Blending two families isn't easy, but it can be beautiful, as Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez prove.

Each half of this power couple has two children each, and they're doing their best to make their relationship work not just for each other, but for those four children, too.

"We love each other and we love our life together," Lopez recently told People. "I was so loving to his kids and he was so loving and accepting of mine, and they embraced each other right away. [It was] 'I get a new bonus brother and sisters to hang out with all the time and it's nice.'"

A Rod agrees, telling People: "Our kids have become best friends and that keeps us both grounded and appreciative."

Here are five ways J Lo and A-Rod are totally #parentinggoals when it comes to balancing the needs of their blended family.

1.They bring the kids together

Lopez and Rodriguez each spend time with their own children, but they also bring all four kids (Lopez shares 10-year-old twins Maximilian and Emme with her ex, Marc Anthony, and Rodriguez shares daughters Ella, 10, and Natasha, 13, with his ex, Cynthia Scurtis) together for fun family outings, like ice cream dates and basketball games.

Research indicates that about 14% of kids in step families don't feel like they belong in their family, and report that their family doesn't have fun together. By bringing the kids together for fun family times, Lopez and Rodriguez are encouraging a sense of family belonging outside the relationship they have with each of the kids individually. Studies suggest an adolescents' sense of family belonging is linked to their overall well-being. So this ice cream date is actually healthy, in a way.

​2. They consider their children's other parents family, too

If their Instagrams are any indication, Rodriguez and Lopez have a great time hanging out with their blended family, but they understand that their children have other family members, too, and they don't mind hanging out with them.

A recent Instagram post proves Rodriguez considers Marc Anthony #famila, and that's how it should be.

Studies show supportive communication between a parent and their ex-partner's new partner is good for the family as a whole. Likewise, when the relationship between a parent and a stepparent is antagonistic, relationships beyond their own stuffer. It's truly better if a parent's co-parent and their current partner can hang.

3. They’re a united front with their co-parents

Rodriguez considers J Lo's ex family, and he also doesn't forget that (despite legal disagreements) his ex-wife plays a big role in his daughter's lives. So he celebrates their big co-parenting moments, like parent-teacher night.

Lopez, too, celebrates the times she and Anthony get together for their twins' big moments, recently telling Kelly Rippa the two are now in a really great place, and basically best friends. "The kids get to spend time with the two of us more together and see us working together," she said."It's just good for the whole family," says Lopez.

4. They make time for each other without the kids

Having all four kids together at once looks like fun, but hanging out with three 10-year-olds and a teen also sounds like it could be a little exhausting. That's why the couple takes time to unwind, without the kids, when they can.

As J Lo wrote in a recent Instagram post, "it's the lil quiet moments that matter the most."

5. They're doing it their way

Back in April Lopez was asked whether or not she and A Rod would be getting married soon (thanks to a Spanish language single "El Anillo," which is Spanish for "The Ring"), she told People, she's not in any rush, despite the song.

"I've done that before. I'm a little bit more grown up now, and I like to let things take their natural course," she said. "I know people are going to say that… we are really kind of good for each other and are really having the best time, and our kids love each other and all that."

[A version of this story was originally published July 12, 2018.]

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With the many blessings of multiple kids, comes the challenge of needing even more gear—gear that's guaranteed to go the extra mile. With storage space already at a premium, you can probably get away with some new baby clothes. But multiplying the number of strollers in the garage? That's not going to fly.

But with the new Nuna DEMI™ grow stroller, "less is more" is truly the answer to your problems.

1. It has every seat arrangement you could need

Strollers can be complex enough when you only need one seat. Add in another baby and shopping for a perfect fit can feel like enough to make you spend the next few years at home. But, with the Nuna DEMI™ grow stroller, you don't have to know exactly how your kids will want to sit for the rest of time. It offers 23 modes, making for clever convertibility, for whichever way your family may grow. Simply add to DEMI grow as you need.

2. You’re spared the stroller wrestling match

When you're toting around two kids, the last thing you need is an uncooperative stroller. With the Nuna DEMI™ grow, you can do a remarkable number of things with just a touch (or less than that if you're really creative). From a one-hand adjustable calf support, to one-touch brake to easy folding it up, you don't need to call backup just to get back into the car from your outing.

Bonus: The no-rethread harness on the compatible Nuna PIPA™ series car seats enables you to easily raise or lower the straps without the headache of unhooking and rerouting them each time your baby goes through a growth spurt.

3. It ensures comfort—no matter who is sitting where

Not only are there 23 different modes, but each seat is made to feel like the "best" one. With options to recline, kick up their feet and keep the sun out of their eyes with UPF 50+ canopies, you won't have to referee the "but I want to sit there" battle. (Moms of toddlers, you'll know why this is such an important detail.)

4. It’s designed for year-round adventures

For any mama who has been struck with fear from the sight of a bumpy sidewalk, worry no more. With ultra-tough, foam-filled tires and custom dual suspension, the Nuna DEMI™ grow stroller is designed to tackle just about any terrain all while keeping your little ones comfy in their seats. The seats themselves were also designed for maximum comfort, no matter the temperature: With an all-season seat, the padded exterior can easily be removed to expose the breathable mesh lining when you're out and about on hot days.

5. You don’t have to predict the future of your family

When researching and buying a new stroller, it can feel like you need to have exact plans for the future of your family mapped out.

But with the Nuna DEMI™ grow, you don't need to worry about all those plans right now. Whether you just need one seat, two seats, bassinet or car seats, this single stroller has you covered and grows as you need it.

That way, you can worry less about predicting your family's future—and enjoy exactly where it is today even more.

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

If you use U by Kotex tampons, you should check your box before your next period, mama.

Regular absorbency U by Kotex Sleek Tampons are being recalled throughout the U.S. and Canada. According to the FDA, defective tampons have been coming apart when people tried to remove them, "in some cases causing users to seek medical attention to remove tampon pieces left in the body."

The FDA notes that there have also been a "small number of reports of infections, vaginal irritation, localized vaginal injury, and other symptoms."

In a statement on its website, U by Kotex explains that the recall is specific to the U by Kotex Sleek Tampons, Regular Absorbency only. The Super Absorbency or Super Plus Absorbency tampons are not part of the recall.

The recall is for specific lots of the Regular Absorbency tampons manufactured between October 7, 2016 and October 16, 2018.

The lot numbers start with NN (or XM, for small, 3 count packages) and can be found near the barcode on the bottom of the box.

To check if your tampons are part of the recall, type your lot number into this form on the U by Kotex site.


The FDA says if you've used the tampons and are experiencing the following you should seek immediate medical attention:

  • vaginal injury (pain, bleeding, or discomfort)
  • vaginal irritation (itching or swelling)
  • urogenital infections (bladder and/or vaginal bacterial and/or yeast infections)
  • hot flashes
  • abdominal pain
  • nausea or vomiting

If you have a package of the recalled tampons you should not use them and should call Kotex's parent company, Kimberly-Clark at 1-888-255-3499. On its website U by Kotex asks consumers not to return the tampons to stores.

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I grew up watching the Fresh Prince of Bel Air so pretty much anytime Will Smith pops up on my Facebook feed, I click. (Also, I happen to live near West Philadelphia, so you know, there's a lot of theme song singing. My husband finds me hysterical.)

Anyway...

The last time I clicked on a Will Smith video, he was telling a story about when he went skydiving. He had made the decision to go with his friends, and then spent the whole night and morning leading up to it terrified, envisioning all the things that could go wrong.

When he was finally up in the plane, the guide explained that they would jump on the count of three. "One… two…" except they push you out on "two" because everyone throws their arms out and stops themselves at "three." So before he knew it, he was flying.

And he found it to be absolutely amazing.

He said, "The point of maximum danger is the point of minimum fear. It's bliss. The lesson for me was, why were you scared in your bed the night before? What do you need that fear for? You're nowhere even near the airplane. Everything up to the stepping out, there's actually no reason to be scared. It only just ruins your day… the best things in life [are] on the other side of [fear]."

Motherhood is skydiving.

If someone came up to you one day and said, "Hey. I have this job for you. You are going to grow a human in your body, kind of like it's an alien. And then that human is going to come out of your body—and that process is really intense. And then the human will be really helpless and you will have to turn it into a fully functioning adult with an important place in this world. Okay… go!"

You'd smile politely and walk run away as fast as you could.

Because if you think about it, the idea of doing all of that—motherhoodis pretty terrifying. The amount of responsibility and work is sort of incomprehensible.

The grand scheme of motherhood is scary.

The thing is, though, that the grand scheme of motherhood is actually made up of millions of tiny moments in which you will be a total boss.

Whether it's a jump-out-of-the-plane moment, or a get-the-toddler-out-of-the-car-seat moment, you will face it with bravery.

Remember, being brave isn't the absence of fear, it's being afraid and doing it anyway.

Being brave is taking a pregnancy test—and seeing that it's positive. Or seeing that it's negative, again.

Being brave is waiting for the adoption agency to call you and tell you that she's here.

Being brave is watching your body change in a hundred ways, and lovingly rubbing your belly as it does.

Being brave is giving your body over to the process of bringing your baby into the world—yes, even if you cry, or complain, or cry and complain. You're still brave. Promise.

Being brave is bringing that baby home for the first time. Oh, so much bravery needed for that one.

Being brave is giving that first bath, going to that first pediatrician visit, spending that first full day at home, alone, with the baby,

Being brave is your first day back at work—or making the phone call to tell them you won't actually be coming back at all.

Being brave is ignoring all the noise around you, and parenting your child the way you know is best for your family.

Being brave is letting go of her hands when she takes her first steps.

Being brave is sitting next to her and smiling when you're in the emergency room for croup—and then sobbing when you get home.

Being brave is bringing her to her first day of school—and going home without her.

Being brave is saying "yes" to her first sleepover and "no" to her first car.

Being brave is hugging her the first time her heart breaks, when your heart might possibly hurt even more than hers does.

Being brave is listening quietly when she tells you she plans to "travel the world."

Being brave is bringing her to her first day of college—and going home without her.

Being brave is watching her commit her life to another person, who is not you.

Being brave is watching her become a mother.

And one day, sweet, brave mama, you'll look back and realize that you just jumped out of an airplane—you raised a child.

All of the things that seemed terrifyingly impossible—you just…do them. One at a time. You will wake up every day a little bit braver than the day before. And before you know it, you can look back on any aspect of motherhood and realize that little by little, you just increased your flying altitude.

Things that was seemed daunting are handled with ease. Ideas that once seemed impossible have become your reality one thousand times over.

So yes, motherhood is incredibly scary. But you are incredibly brave.

One... two... jump!

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