Imagine if we let our kids in on a secret: Our world is messy and life’s unfair

“Mommy, why does God let some people be poor?”

That was the question my then-5-year-old daughter asked me as I stood over the stove, stirring freshly prepared spaghetti sauce. Just your regular, easy-to-answer conversation. Or not.

I have to admit I didn’t handle the situation very well. I think I mumbled something about how people could be poor in finances but rich in spirit—because my 5-year-old would totally understand that, right? Then I quickly changed the subject to something more pleasant and less… complicated.

Isn’t that what we naturally want to do for our children: To shield them from what’s broken in this world because it’s really just a matter of time before they become disillusioned by the true state of things? We encase them in emotional bubble wrap and hide their curious eyes from the atrocities that occur around us.


And, yes, some of that protection is wise. Necessary, even.

But sometimes, maybe oftentimes, we should let them see the realities of life on this dysfunctional planet. After all, it’s only when someone is exposed to the truth that she can do something about it.

I realized as I mulled over my conversation with my daughter that, as much as I want to guard her innocence, I want even more for her to become a woman who takes action on behalf of those who can’t advocate for themselves.

So I revisited my initial conversation with my daughter. Several times over, in fact. We talked about poverty and injustice and suffering and slavery. We talked about hurricanes and droughts and wildfires and earthquakes. We talked about how things in this world are not as they should be, and how we are oftentimes the answers to our own prayers.

We asked God to care for those fleeing their homelands, those running for their lives, leaving everything they have behind. But, perhaps, the question should be: How can I adopt a family that’s been resettled in my area to help them get everything they need?

We asked God to help the millions who have to rebuild the homes and lives after devastating storms. But, perhaps, the questions should be: How can I pack my bags and go help them?

We asked God to provide clean drinking water for the multitudes who don’t have access to it today. But, perhaps, the question should be: How can I raise funds to provide clean water for those people?

When we move beyond the simple mindset of caring ABOUT others and adopt a lifestyle of caring FOR others, we become empathizers. When we expose our children to the needs in this world and teach them that they can make a difference in the lives of hurting people, we begin raising empathizers.

Imagine if we each let our kids in on the secret that this world is messy and that life’s not fair.

What if we show them suffering and injustice, but we don’t stop there—because we don’t want to raise a bunch of voyeuristic consumers of tragedy.

What if we expose them to reality and then give them the tools they need to take action and make a difference in the lives of hurting people?

What if we raise up a generation of empathizers?

My family took action as a result of my initial conversation with my daughter. We got creative, worked hard and we raised $15,000 throughout nine months to build a playground for children in an incredibly impoverished village in Romania.

My daughter spearheaded this effort. And, once the funds were raised, we took her overseas to witness her playground become a reality. She watched as children who’ve never had a toy to their names screamed in delight as they experienced a teeter-totter for the very first time. She watched babies swing, eyes wide in wonder. She watched mothers cry tears of joy as they watched their children, the world’s forgotten ones, play without reservation.

She’ll never be the same.

Children do have the capacity to put compassion into action, but they can’t repair what they don’t know to be broken. Let’s show them the brokenness, then watch them pick up the pieces, one by one. It will be remarkable to see.

These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.

Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin

Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

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

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International Network for Aid, Relief and Assistance (INARA)

It's 2020. The world is changing. It's hard to believe but the old decade is over, the new one is here and it is bringing a lot of new life with it. The babies born this year are members of Generation Alpha and the world is waiting for them.

We're only a few months into the new year and there are already some new celebrity arrivals making headlines while making their new parents proud.

If your little one arrived (or is due to arrive) in 2020, they've got plenty of high profile company.

Here are all the celebrity babies born in 2020 (so far):

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