How my second-born child gets the best of me

Just as my heart doubled in size to make room for you the night you were born, I am making room in life for exactly who you are.

How my second-born child gets the best of me

Dear second born,

I want to tell you that I treat you the same as your older sis. But I can't.

Truth is, I've never treated you the same. You two are incredibly not the same—and to treat you so would be unfair. It would be unfair not to see your uniqueness—the special little person you are, with all your own needs, desires and expression.

It would be unfair to expect you to thrive on things that may fortify your sis, but leave you behind at best, and deplete you at worst.

I see who you are becoming and know where you are going. I know what you need, even if, especially if, it's different from your sister. So when I make you go to bed earlier, it's because I love you just as much…and that is what you need.

Just as my heart doubled in size to make room for you the night you were born, I am making room in life for exactly who you are.

I am making room in life to see exactly who you are.

To see you, and how you light up around anything with four legs. Or scales.

To speak to you, always keeping in mind the way you need to hear.

To listen to you, as you bring my attention to the most interesting details I overlook.

To smile for you, so that you know that there is enough room in my heart for every bit of you.

To celebrate you, and that noble little soul that rests right on the surface, bared there for all to feel and trust.

I know, it's hard to be the second-born. I was one, too.

You have to work be heard.

You have to work be seen.

You have to work be yourself.

When I forget to see you, I react or respond with what's worked before, and my prejudice frustrates us both. Even though I am trying hard to do my best by you, because you are not the same, I make special mistakes, just for you.

When life gets busy and a little out of control, it seems like all the decisions get made around you, instead of with you in mind. And because you are younger, you just have to go with the flow.

When you are the second born, you can't be the first to try anything. And you have the benefit—or burden—of my experience with your older sis, and all the wisdom and bias that come with that.

I lie awake at night and try to measure the day—were there enough moments for and about just you?

For you, I have special worries.

For you, I know I need to open my eyes, really look, and not be influenced by circumstances and pressures that come from the daily mental load.

For you, I hope that I am meeting those very needs that are yours only.

For you, I want to make sure you feel seen.

My second born, you have such an important place in our family.

You are the one who rounds out our home in ways I could not have imagined before you, and now cannot imagine without.

You are the one who expands all of our hearts, filling spaces we didn't even know existed.

You are the one who reminds me to slow down, wake up, be present, enjoy now, because very soon you will be as old as your big sis, and I know how fast that will happen. I need to savor this journey with you.

And you are the one who teaches me to consider both of you, and how far a little empathy goes to making each of you happy.

My life would not be the same without you. We would not be the same without you.

And that special half of my heart can only be filled by you.

So, yes, I do not treat you the same. But it's always bourne out of the same love, the same desire to do best by you, the same caring and the same hope for you, the same amount of wishes, desires and dreams.

I do not treat you the same, but I am the same mama for both of you, who loves you both the same.

It's the love that's the same.



14 sweet 'just thinking of you' gifts for every mama

A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs.

Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.


Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.


Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.


Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!


Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.


Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.


'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."


Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.


Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.


Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!


Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.


Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.


Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.


Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.


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


This incredibly soft comforter from Sunday Citizen is like sleeping on a cloud

My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice.

When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, there are many factors that, as a mama, are hard to control. Who's going to wet the bed at 3 am, how many times a small person is going to need a sip of water, or the volume of your partner's snoring are total wildcards.

One thing you can control? Tricking out your bed to make it as downright cozy as possible. (And in these times, is there anywhere you want to be than your bed like 75% of the time?)

I've always been a down comforter sort of girl, but after a week of testing the ridiculously plush and aptly named Snug Comforter from Sunday Citizen, a brand that's run by "curators of soft, seekers of chill" who "believe in comfort over everything," it's safe to say I've been converted.

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I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have kids—so here’s what I did

We asked our three most pessimistic friends who have kids whether it's worth it or not

As told to Liz Tenety.

Around the time my husband and I were turning 30, we had a genuine conversation about whether or not we wanted kids. I was the hesitant one because I was like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Let's just hold on. Okay, let's talk about this. Because we love our life. We like traveling. Is this what we want?"

My husband said, "Let's ask our three most pessimistic, crabby friends who have kids whether or not it's worth it."

And every single one of them was like, "Oh, it's unmissable on planet earth."

So when I got pregnant, I was—and I'm not ashamed to say this and I don't think you should be—I was as connected with the baby in my belly as if it were a water bottle. I was like, I don't know you. I don't know what you are, but you can be some gas pain sometimes, but other than that, we're going to have to meet each other and suss this relationship out.

But all the cliches are true that you just know what to do when the baby comes out. Some of the times are hard, some of them are easier, but you just gotta use your gut.

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