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My child, when I see  a mess—you see a masterpiece

In my shoes, there is a messy pile of bricks in the middle of the floor and a little boy who didn’t pick them up.


I see a constructed pile off to the left and I know that is your creation of the day, but you didn’t put it on the shelf like you should. You just left there for the dog to chew or for me to trip over.

Now I have to make the choice again. Do I take the easy way out and just pick it up for you? I’m much quicker at it and can do it more neatly. Or do I call you in here and ask you to do it and spend the next 30 minutes watching and directing? Why do I even buy these things in the first place?

In your shoes, you’ve just created an entire scene from some made-up movie in your head and spent the last two hours picking just the right bricks in just the right colors.

You sifted through the mini-figure pile and found the perfect people for your scene. You put it all together, brick by brick, with care and amazing attention to detail. The finished product makes you feel proud. You came to show me and chattered on about it excitedly and I looked up and smiled and said it was nice.

Just nice? You thought it was epic! You left your pile there ready to create the next scene but you had to take a break first because you got hungry. You have an awesome idea and you can’t wait to get back to building. Then you hear me. “You need to come and pick this mess up.”

I see a mess. You see a masterpiece.

In my shoes, I’m standing in a messy kitchen. I straightened it up earlier today but who can tell? I see the bread left out on counter and the cheese, too. A couple of wrappers litter the stove and one fell to the floor. The refrigerator door isn’t completely shut, and the step-stool is in the middle of the floor. I know you actually came in and made your own sandwich instead of asking me to do it—but the trash can is just steps away. Am I the only one who sees it?

In your shoes, you are a responsible boy who made his own sandwich. You let mommy work and you didn’t even ask your big brother to grab anything down for you.

You did it all by yourself and it’s a pretty good sandwich, too! You bet mom will be happy that you did it on your own. Then you hear, “Hey, you do know where the garbage can is, right?” That didn’t sound happy.

I see trash. You see independence.

In my shoes, there is a ticking clock. We should have been out the door five minutes ago. Why are we always and forever late to everything? I get to the car and realize you aren’t right behind me. Where did you go now? You know we’re running late.

In your shoes, there is a cat. A cute, little, fuzzy cat comes up to you when you walk out the door and you bend down to give it love. You always stop to give the animals love. You wish you could save them all. You wonder if the cat we saw at PetSmart found a home and you tell the cat you’re petting, “I love you.” Then you hear, “What are you doing? Come ON!”

I see a slowpoke. You see something in need of love.

If I could walk a day in your shoes, I’d understand what it’s like to be you. I can’t really fit my grown-up feet in your small shoes, but if I slow my own pace and pay attention, I can get a pretty good idea of what it’s like to be a little kid. And when I take the time to do that, I’m more understanding and more patient.

I also feel proud because I can see what a kind, creative kid you are. You’re not just a mess-maker or a slow poke. You’re an engineer, artist, noticer, animal lover and friend. You’re curious and kind. You’re gentle and unique. You’re gaining independence and figuring out your place in the world. You’re growing so quickly.

One day soon, you’ll have big shoes to fill. You’ll see the world with a little less wonder and move at a much quicker pace. Your load and your heart won’t be as light as it is now, so take your time growing up.

Stay in those little shoes as long as you can, just try to remember to put them on the rack when you come in.

Mom life demands efficiency. Because while the amount of hours in the day are the same as before kids, now a sizable chunk of that time is spent caring for and loving on those little people. Compromises happen—and let's just be honest, the old beauty routine is one of the first things to get cut.

But, wait! You don't have to sacrifice putting on mascara or, worse, skipping the SPF. Instead, why not flip it, reverse it, and look at the bright side? Here's your opportunity to streamline your morning makeup routine. With some savvy skin care and beauty hacks, you can get your radiant glow on in record time.

Here are our tried-and-true hacks passed down from Motherly mamas:

1. Embrace multipurpose items

If the most pressing issue is limited time, consolidate multiple steps of your beauty routine with a multipurpose item. For example, instead of starting with a SPF moisturizer, followed by spot concealer and a blendable foundation, you can take care of all of that in one go with one of our favorites: Earth Mama's 3-in-one Lady Face™ Tinted Mineral Sunscreen. The beauty stick also allows you to easily fold SPF 40 into your routine, because Lady Face doubles as super-safe, clean sun protection. Even better? The sunscreen blocks blue light from those ever-present digital screens with a ray-scattering, non-nano formula.

2. Revive dried mascara

Especially after a sleepless night (#motherhood), mascara can make a major difference in how well rested you appear to be. If you realize your tube of mascara is dried out, don't write it off as a lost cause. Simply soak the sealed tube in warm water to loosen up the mascara — or add a drop of a multi-purpose saline solution into the tube. That should do the trick until you have time to buy a replacement. (But let's face it: You're a mom. It's okay if you're tired.)

3. Keep coconut oil handy

Coconut oil isn't just for the kitchen. From a DIY hair mask to an in-a-pinch lip balm or naturally removing makeup at the end of the day, coconut oil's cosmetic hack-list is long. For summer, we especially like adding a thin swipe of organic extra virgin coconut oil to the cheekbones at the end of the makeup routine for a bit of an extra glow.

4. Multitask while deep conditioning

If your hair needs a bit of TLC, consider applying a natural, paraben-free deep conditioner before doing chores around the house or even a short workout. By working up a bit of a sweat, the conditioner will set even better before you rinse off in the shower.

5. Start your hair care routine the night before

As you work to find your new normal morning routine, it can help to simply reschedule a task or two—like hair. If you shower the night before, get a jumpstart on your look by blowdrying, straightening or even braiding it for loose waves in the morning.

6. Even out your skin tone

Between multiple wake-ups during the night and wavering hormones, complexion issues can become a thing for most mamas. Thankfully, the hack for managing that is as simple as finding a great foundation that goes on smoothly and doesn't cake or crack through a morning of momming. Scope out the ingredient list for naturally nourishing components like coconut oil, shea butter or beeswax — and skip the stress (and the return process if the shade doesn't match) by going for something that easily blends with most skin tones.

7. Find brands your feel great about

As a mom, you might find yourself considering bigger life questions: Are my cosmetics safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding? Are they helping the world my children will grow up in? Can I trust the ingredients and mission? Pro tip: read the ingredients on all your personal care products, memorize the ones you want to avoid, and look for third-party certification to ensure the product is actually what it says it is. When you find a brand that walks the talk, you're going to want to be loyal.

8. When in doubt, go for a bold lip

With happy hours swapped for play dates, your daily routine may look a bit different than it used to. But who says you have to leave your personal style behind? If you've always been a fan of makeup and going a bit glam, keep going for it, mama! The extra 60 seconds it takes to apply lipstick or whatever else gives you a bit of pep in your step is well worth it.


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

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