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Motherhood doesn’t have an ‘off’ switch

Next time you’re feeling alone or overwhelmed, remember that. You CAN do hard things. You will.

Motherhood doesn’t have an ‘off’ switch

For #MotherlyStories | Last week I went to the store to grab new pj’s for my daughter because she had grown out of her other ones.


I decided to leave her home with her daddy so that the trip could be a little quicker, plus then it gave me some much needed quiet time.

But as I was driving to the store, I realized something. Though I may have left her for an hour and taken a little break, I really didn’t leave. I left a verbal list of instructions on what to do, what she may need, everything to care for her while I was gone.Then I called my husband Marcus five minutes after to see how she was doing. Finally I arrived at Old Navy, only to see lots of people and lots of cute babies, I instantly missed mine and wished I had brought her. I texted Marcus and checked in again, was she okay? Was she crying? Do I need to come home? Here’s how to help her if she gets sleepy, things he’s completely capable of figuring out himself, but the mother in me can’t stop.

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Then I started to feel bad.

Bad that I left her home, bad that I was making him watch her and she was fussy, bad that I wasn’t there to comfort her and hoping she wouldn’t do anything new—I DON’T WANT TO MISS ANYTHING. Finally, I grabbed the pj’s, (complaining the whole time because the line was long and I was in a hurry), checked out and rushed home.

Great break right?

So mamas, I’m here, here to tell you that you’re not alone.

I’m not alone.

I know we all do this, new moms, experienced moms, the struggle is real.

We don’t have an off switch.

We’re tired, exhausted at that. We worry all the time. Oh a TV show just showed a baby die? Holy cow, let me cry my eyes out and then make sure mine is okay, then worry that something bad is going to happen to them for the next 24 hours.

You didn’t realize that motherhood was literally going to be a 24/7 job? I mean, we heard everyone tell us that, but now that it’s real, it’s real.

So let me just tell you again, you’re not alone. I know you feel alone, heck I feel alone literally nine times out of ten, but you’re not. You have a whole support system around you. And every time we tell a mother that she’s not alone, and that’s she’s doing a great job, we build that network up around each one of us.

Were you up all night watching, checking, feeding and rocking a fussy baby? Cleaning the house the entire next day? Trying to work while you also take on the title of full time mom? You’re an amazing mom.

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Motherhood is full of give, give and more give. We work, we cook, clean, everything, all while literally caring for human live(s).

And the thing about motherhood is that most of this effort goes unnoticed, but it should be noticed. It should be celebrated, you should be celebrated because you’re a freaking boss. You’re killing it and you’re doing awesome even if your hair isn’t brushed, your house is a mess and you’re running on an hour of sleep, you’re the best mom in the world.

So quit being hard on yourself. We do-it-all moms tackle finances, health, appointments, house duties, babies, work and the list goes on. That’s something to be proud of, even on the days when you don’t feel so proud. Even on the days you feel exhausted. (And let’s be honest it’s more exhausting days than not.)

So let’s celebrate; celebrate that we can do hard things because we all know motherhood is not all fun and games. It’s hard and we get pushed to the limit, but it’s rewarding and it’s worth it.

It’s worth it on the days when all your babe wants to do is cuddle or say they love you, those things make every part of motherhood worth it.

We can do hard things mama, we do them everyday.

Next time you’re feeling alone or overwhelmed, remember that.

You CAN do hard things. You will.

When you’re looking at the clock, counting down the minutes for whatever reason or wishing the day would go by fast, take a step back.

Remind yourself that you’re not alone, that this time is precious and one day it’s not going to be here. As hard as it may be, enjoy the hectic, the crazy and the messy. Take it all in. Cry if you need to, cry with your babies, walk away for two minutes when things are really tough, call your mom, call your husband. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, don’t be afraid to say, honey I need help and you need to step up, they’re your partner, they are there to make things easier on you. You’re not alone, you don’t have to do things on your own and you’re tougher than you realize.

So here’s to motherhood, the toughest, messiest, never-ending, best job out there.

Let’s celebrate it, let’s remember we can do hard things and let’s treat ourselves.

And next time you have to run an errand, run that errand, leave the babe at home with dad and try your hardest to focus on you. Remember that if something were really wrong they would call you, but they can handle fussiness and an hour without you, heck you do it—all day, all the time.

So take some you time, buy yourself a treat, turn your favorite tunes on and celebrate being a Mom, because we deserve to be celebrated every single day.


Jess is a mother and blogger who writes at Positively Oakes.

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

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Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

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Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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