When you cry, I’ll comfort and cuddle you—as long as I can

Because one day my arms won’t be the ones you turn to for comfort. So right now I will hold you. For as long as I can.

When you cry, I’ll comfort and cuddle you—as long as I can

I’ve always felt a bit anxious when I hear my kids cry. I don’t like to see them in pain, disappointed, or sad. I hate knowing that sometimes they’re so frustrated and can’t express themselves so they cry because that’s their “best” option.

I know that experiencing a wide range of big emotions is a healthy part of toddler life...but still, it can be so hard to listen to.

It makes my heart ache and my stomach twist.

I think this can be hard for parents to deal with—the emotional lows our children go through—because we know how much it stinks to be so distraught over something that crying is the only way to feel better.

(Well, that and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream…?)

And while, to an adult, this frustration might mean getting into a fight with your partner or making a mistake at work—to a toddler, it could very well mean things that matter SO MUCH in their little worlds—even if it means not getting to have macaroni and cheese for dinner or not being able to go to the park.

As mamas, we want to snap our fingers, fix the situation, make our kiddos happy again then tie it all up in a nice big bow at the end. “All better!”

But sometimes, we can’t figure out what magic trick will fix the situation. And sometimes, they’re too small to find the words explain it to us.

One thing I know that always makes me feel better—and helps my kiddos too—is picking them up and holding them until they calm down.

When I hear one of my children cry, I go to them and pick them up—and I don’t feel guilty about that. This works for us, and it might not always work for you. But that’s OK. Right? Because you do you, I’ll do me—and that’s how parenting should be. ?

So, my baby, when you cry—I will be there for you.

When you cry over losing your favorite stuffed animal, I will hold you. I know this is a tough situation for you to understand and come to terms with and I want to be there for you.

When you cry because your feelings are hurt, I will hold you. I want you to know it’s OK to express your feelings—any of these big, confusing toddler feelings—to me and your dad, whenever you feel necessary.

When you cry because you fell at the park, I will hold you. That scared you, and I know my arms will make you feel safe again. I’ll encourage you to keep going, but I want you to feel better first.

When you cry because you’re overtired, I will hold you. Sometimes, I want to cry when you’re overtired, too. Because my patience is wearing thin and I need a break. But—I will try my best to hold on to my last few ounces of that patience I have left, and I’ll help you settle down.

When you cry because you’re fighting with your sister, I will hold you. (I’ll probably hold both of you, to be honest.) I’ll hold you while we talk about being kind to one another and the importance of protecting each other. I’ll encourage you to apologize and try again.

When you cry because you’re so mad the big tower you built came crashing down, I will hold you. I will validate those angry feelings and I will hear you out. Maybe we’ll even sing a song from Daniel Tiger (DT kills it in the feelings department.)

When you cry because you can’t get your way, I will hold you. I will gently explain that the answer can’t always be ‘yes.’ Sometimes, it’s going to be ‘no’—and you might not like it, but that’s how life goes. But I’ll hold you and kiss you and try to make you laugh. I promise I’ll try to make it better.

One day you will cry and I’ll only be able to try to comfort you over the phone.

One day you will cry and I won’t be the one you turn to first.

One day you will cry and my arms won’t be the solution.

And when I think about that too long, honestly, I cry.

I know you’re going to grow up into an amazing, independent, capable adult. And I want that more than anything. But thinking of the days when I won’t be so needed, and my arms won’t be as heart breaks a little.

So, right now, I will hold you.

I will choose to pick you up.

I will choose to comfort you with hugs and kisses.

For as long as you let me.

For as long as I can.

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.


5 brilliant products that encourage toddler independence

Help your little one help themselves.

One of our main goals as mothers is to encourage our children to learn, grow and play. They start out as our tiny, adorable babies who need us for everything, and somehow, before you know it, they grow into toddlers with ideas and opinions and desires of their own.

You may be hearing a lot more of "I do it!" or maybe they're pushing your hand away as a signal to let you know, I don't need your help, Mama. That's okay. They're just telling you they're ready for more independence. They want to be in charge of their bodies, and any little bit of control their lives and abilities allow.

So, instead of challenging your toddler's desire for autonomy, we found five of our favorite products to help encourage independence—and eliminate frustration in the process.

EKOBO Bamboo 4-piece kid set

EKOBO bamboo 4-piece kid set

This colorful set includes a plate, cup, bowl and spoon and is just right for your child's meal experience. Keep them in an easy-to-reach cabinet so they'll feel encouraged (and excited!) to get their own place setting each time they eat.


Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Before you know it, your little one will be asking (okay, maybe demanding) to fill their own water cups. This amazing 4-pack of cups attaches directly to the fridge (or any glass, metal, tile or fiberglass surface) making it easier for your child to grab a cup themselves. Just be sure a water pitcher or dispenser is nearby, and—boom!—one task off your plate.


Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

These beautiful blocks, made from sustainably-sourced wood and water-based, non-toxic, lead-free paint, will keep your little one focused on their creation while they're also busy working on their fine-motor skills. The puzzle design will encourage patience as your kiddo creates their own building, fitting one block in after the next.


Lorena Canals basket

Lorena Canals Basket

This *gorgeous* braided cotton basket is the perfect, accessible home for their blocks (and whatever else you want to hide away!) so your kiddo can grab them (and clean them up) whenever their heart desires.


BABYBJÖRN step stool

BABYBJ\u00d6RN Step Stool

Your kiddo might be ready to take on the world, but they might need an extra boost to do so—cue, a step stool! An easy-to-move lightweight stool is the must-have confidence-boosting tool you need in your home so your growing tot can reach, well... the world.


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


This viral post about the 4th trimester is exactly what new mamas need right now

"We are alone. Together. You are surrounded all the other mothers who are navigating this tender time in isolation. You are held by all of us who have walked the path before you and who know how much you must be hurting. You are wrapped in the warm embrace of mama earth, as she too settles into this time of slowness and healing."

Artist and teacher Catie Atkinson at Spirit y Sol recently shared a beautiful drawing of a new mom crying on a couch—leaking breasts, newborn baby, pile of laundry and what we can only assume is cold coffee, included. Everything about the image is so real and raw to me—from the soft stomach to the nursing bra and the juxtaposition of the happy wallpaper to the palpable vulnerability of the mother—I can almost feel the couch underneath me. I can feel the exhaustion deep in this woman's bones.

My heart feels the ache of loneliness right alongside hers. Because I remember. I remember the confusion and uncertainty and love and messy beauty of the fourth trimester so well. After all, it's etched in our minds and bodies forever.

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