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When life gets crazy, I remind myself—I’m raising an amazing kid

Even though mom life can be busy and overwhelming... it’s also so awesome because of you.

When life gets crazy, I remind myself—I’m raising an amazing kid

We all know—no matter what age your children are—that parenting is hard. It’s the best and biggest challenge of my life. A job I’m so extremely grateful for every day of my life, but one that pushes me to my limits.


Mom life is busy.

We’re always trying to balance a monumentally large list of things. We’re trying to get all the things done, fill all the needs of everyone around us, while also working, starting businesses, birthing babies, taking care of ourselves and our marriages, and oh yes—getting some sleep, too.

Mom life is overwhelming.

Our little ones have so many needs and tons of big emotions going on at all times. But we do, too. It can be emotionally draining to be the problem solver, tantrum tamer, scheduler arranger and keeper of information. It’s all the time and it’s never-ending. It can feel like a lot.

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Mom life is confusing.

You feel guilty for not being able to do it all. Then SO happy because your daughter just told you you’re the best mom ever. Then sad because your toddler is growing up and she doesn’t fit into her 18 month clothes anymore. Then inspired because you read an essay from a mom you admire and you want to do better, be better.

Then frustrated because you have so much to do and don’t know where to start. Then extremely proud because your kid did something amazing. Then tired because you just want a break and a minute to hang out with your girlfriends. Then humbled because your children are teaching you something new about yourself every day—like how to be even more patient, even more kind.

But mostly—my life as my kids’ mom, is a reminder that Im doing something right. I am contributing to this world by raising an awesome kid.

So when I forget—I vow to let your awesomeness remind me.

When I forget that you’re a 3-year-old experiencing lots of new feelings, and sometimes you get frustrated or lash out because you’re trying to figure out how to process them—I will remind myself how awesome your heart is for being so empathetic and compassionate.

When I forget that you’re brain is constantly taking in and learning new information, and it can be overwhelming to you—I will remind myself how awesome you are for your enthusiasm in figuring out how to do that puzzle or what that specific dinosaur’s name is.

When I forget that you don't 100% have the understanding of why we need to be on time for something and so your art project takes precedence over timeliness—I will remind myself how awesome it is that you can focus so well on something you’re passionate about.

When I forget that you’re little and you just want your mama to cuddle with you at the end of a long, busy, tiring day—I will remind myself how awesome it is that you still ask me to lay with you while you fall asleep.

When I forget that you are learning how to be your own person and that you want to pick your own (mismatched) clothes out—I will remind myself how awesome it is that you want to be independent and the fact that you don’t care what others think is an inspiration to me.

When I forget that you two don’t always want to do what I ask you to do, when I ask you to do it (because you are toddlers…)—I will remind myself that it’s awesome we have the opportunity to talk things out together and that I hope we always have that kind of relationship.

When I forget that even though you’re starting to chat more and more and do so much for yourself (so you seem so old to me)—I will remind myself that I’m still the one you look for when you fall down or run to when you’re scared, and that feeling of being able to help make things better is awesome.

I never want the busyness, the overwhelm or the confusing feelings of motherhood to dim my ability to see how awesome my kids are. It’s all so much—the feelings of not being enough, the scary, worrisome feelings, the complicated feelings—it can be easy to get sucked into focusing on that stuff.

But that, my friends, is not the focus. You know what is? That awesome kid of yours.

The one that you and your partner are raising.

The one that you’re raising by yourself.

The one that you and your tribe are raising.

Sure, they’re awesome on their own, but it’s also largely because of you, mama.

So when you forget that even though mom life can be crazy and busy and overwhelming and complicated and draining—remember... it’s also so awesome because of you.

Because of your effort, your love, your passion, your dedication and your spirit. Don’t forget to celebrate that, too. ?

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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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

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

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

Plan Toys balance board

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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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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