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Pregnancy is hilarious. Why don’t we talk more about it?

All the stuff people don’t tell you about pregnancy – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Pregnancy is hilarious. Why don’t we talk more about it?

Yay you’re pregnant!

If you are like most new mothers-to-be,you have probably already gone out to purchase the latest and greatest “how to” book on pregnancy.


Because even though women have been birthing babies since the dawn of time, we rarely talk or think about the subject until we actually get pregnant.

Then it’s a mad dash to the bookstore to do a crash course on the ins-and-outs of motherhood.

That’s what I did the first time I found out I was expecting, anyway! Within hours of peeing on an overpriced stick (as well as my hand holding said stick) I stocked up on the requisite prego prep books.

Although I picked up a few facts, I couldn’t get over how dull many of these books were. For how overwhelming a time this is for a woman, you would think these books would at least take an attempt at levity. Besides the lack of humor, they were also incomplete and not very relatable. Why were so few real life situations being documented? Only days before I saw those two blue lines on the pregnancy test, I had been running the beer pong table at a Halloween party. Even though I had no clue I was pregnant at the time, and immediately halted all drinking (and dressing up as a ninja turtle) upon finding out, I still felt intense shame and fear that I had harmed my baby.

I desperately needed to be reassured that these types of things happen, but instead I was left reading about the comparison of the size of my fetus to a peach.  It wasn’t until my first doctor’s appointment that I was finally talked off the ledge.

Now that I have had two children, I understand just how many little details most books leave out and, shockingly, even experienced moms don’t openly talk about.  For instance, the moment you become pregnant your hormones literally hijack your body leading to all sorts of crazy changes.  Night sweats, hair growth, and progression in nipple size are just to name a few. By the time I was four months into my pregnancy, I had sweat through every sheet in the house, was sporting a full mustache, and had nipples so big you could serve dinner on them.

As my pregnancy advanced, it just kept getting worse. I felt like I had turned into a geriatric patient.  I was peeing twice an hour, struggling with fatigue and back pain, and forgetting where I put my car keys on a daily basis.

Why didn’t anyone warn me that becoming pregnant meant I would turn into a Golden Girl?

Then came the coup de grâce of bodily surprises… hello, hemorrhoids!  Never did I imagine, nor did anyonemention, that I would one day go to wipe and find an unwelcome lump between my tush and my hoo-ha.

Changes to your body are not the only things that you will be faced with. There are many other situations that pop up throughout pregnancy that you may not be prepared for.  Like, beware of maternity clothes overindulgence. I wish someone had told me in advance that size small maternity jeans would not be big enough to cover up my pregnant belly by month five.

Speaking of the baby bump, did you know it has magical powers to attract human touch? For some reason, people can’t seem to resist it. I was okay with the occasional elderly lady giving my belly a rub, but by month nine, I was only a few strangers away from investing in a Taser.

Then comes labor and delivery, which isabsolutely nothing like they show on screen!  I guess no one wants to sit through a twenty-hour movie.

As drastically unprepared as I felt during my first pregnancy, in the end I made it through. The instant my baby was placed in my arms, the good, the bad, and the just plain gross things I went through during the previous forty weeks (even the fact that only moments ago I pooped myself during labor), were replaced with pure joy.

This is how we’re defining success this school year

Hint: It's not related to grades.

In the ever-moving lives of parents and children, opportunities to slow down and reflect on priorities can be hard to come by. But a new school year scheduled to begin in the midst of a global pandemic offers the chance to reflect on how we should all think about measures of success. For both parents and kids, that may mean putting a fresh emphasis on optimism, creativity and curiosity.

Throughout recent decades, "school success" became entangled with "academic achievement," with cases of anxiety among school children dramatically increasing in the past few generations. Then, almost overnight, the American school system was turned on its head in the spring of 2020. As we look ahead to a new school year that will look like no year past, more is being asked of teachers, students and parents, such as acclimating to distance learning, collaborating with peers from afar and aiming to maintain consistency with schooling amidst general instability due to COVID.

Despite the inherent challenges, there is also an overdue opportunity to redefine success during the school year by finding fresh ways to keep students and their parents involved in the learning process.

"I always encourage my son to try at least one difficult thing every school year," says Arushi Garg, parenting blogger and mom of a 4-year-old. "This challenges him but also allows me to remind him to be optimistic! Lots of things in life are hard, and it's important we learn to be positive during difficult times. Fostering a sense of optimism allows kids to push beyond what they thought possible, like biking without training wheels or reading above their grade level."

Here are a few mantras to keep in mind this school year:

Quality learning matters more than quantifying learning

After focusing on standardized measures of academic success for so long, the learning environment this next school year may involve more independent, remote learning. Some parents are considering this an exciting opportunity for their children to assume a bigger role in what they are learning—and parents are also getting on board by supporting their children's education with engaging, positive learning materials like Highlights Magazine.

As a working mom, Garg also appreciates that Highlights Magazine can help engage her son while she's also working. She says, "He sits next to me and solves puzzles in the magazine or practices his writing from the workbook."

Keep an open mind as "school" looks different

Whether children are of preschool age or in the midst of high school, "going to school" is bound to look different this year. Naturally, this may require some adjustment as kids become accustomed to new guidelines. Although many parents may wish to shelter our kids from challenges, others believe optimism can be fostered through adversity when everyone is committed to adapting to new experiences.

"Honestly, I am yet to figure out when I will be comfortable sending [my son] back [to school]," says Garg. In the meantime, she's helping her son remain connected with friends who also read Highlights Magazine by encouraging the kids to talk about what they are learning on video calls.

Follow children's cues about what interests them

For Garg, her biggest hope for this school year is that her son will create "success" for himself by embracing new learning possibilities with positivity.

"Encouraging my son to try new things has given him a chance to prove that he can do anything," she says. "He takes his previous success as an example now and feels he can fail multiple times before he succeeds."

There's no denying that this school year will be far from the norm. But, perhaps, we can create a new, better way of defining our children's success in school because of it.

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

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Products that solve your biggest breastfeeding challenges

Including a battle plan for clogged ducts!

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

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Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

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Lansinoh milk storage bags

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For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.

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Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

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boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

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Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

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A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.

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Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

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Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.

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I have two kids—and I think I'm done

The idea of "more," making more money, obtaining more things—and in my case, creating more life—is not necessarily the ticket to a happier life.

I met my best friend Katie in fifth grade and one of our most favorite games to play was MASH. Our future fates would be decided by one "magic number" where one of us counted the rings on a spiral circle after the other screamed STOP as loud as humanly possible. "Future Husband" and "Number of Children" were clearly our two favorite categories. I remember my "magic combination," and it was marrying Mel Gibson plus having four kids.

And my plan was to do all of this by the time I reached 27. Getting married and having children would be the ultimate climax of life. At the age of nine, the pressure was on to best prepare for the long climb to the top.

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