Get everything you love about Motherly–delivered right to your inbox.
Get the best of Motherly—delivered to your inbox.

By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
and Terms & Conditions

Thank you
for subscribing!

Welcome to
#Team Motherly.

x
Print Friendly and PDF

Being a brand new mom is intense. Intense in every way in every emotion. In the happiness, in the overwhelm, in the sadness, in the uncertainty, in the exhaustion, in the love, in the beauty.


All of these feelings feel so big. And sometimes they feel like they're all-consuming.

The tears feel extra heavy. Your worries feel extra scary. Your heart feels extra full. Your nerves feel extra raw. Your body feels extra tired. Your boobs feel extra sore. Your mind feels extra scattered. Your soul feels extra clear. Your happiness feels extra abundant.

Everything is heightened.

It's a powerful time. I became a new mother four years ago. Then I became a new mama again two years ago. And one more time four months ago. Each time, with each beautiful bundle I brought home, I brought with her a little more wisdom and a little more ease. But let me be clear—I am also still learning so much as I go.

FEATURED VIDEO

This learn-on-the-job position of “Mom" has taught me a thing or two over the past four years. I have spent time reflecting and learning and pushing myself to grow and get better—to be better.

New mamas, this is what I want to share with you.

1. On your confidence

Your confidence levels will be tested. You have never done this before. Of course you have very little clue as to what's going on or what's going to work or what is going to happen next. This is natural and normal. This ride is a rollercoaster—when there's a twist, your life may turn. When there's an up, it seems that there could be a down around the corner. And you may even get flipped around a few times.

But you know what all of this is doing? Building your confidence. You are learning how to be a mother, learning how to selflessly care for another human being. It will take time, but eventually you are going to believe in yourself and the fact that you truly are the very best mother for that darling baby of yours. That you were made for one another.

2. On your career

You may put your career on hold when baby comes. You may not. You may have a long maternity leave; you may have a short maternity leave. You may decide to go back to work at first, but then determine that working outside the home right now is not worth the price of childcare for your family. You may be excited to go back to work when your maternity leave is over because you want to feel a little bit closer to the 'pre-mom' version of yourself. You may not want to go back to work at all, but you have to help support your family.

Guess what? All of those things are okay. This is life. Everyone's career path looks different—baby or not. My point is...there are no rules on how to do this. There's no black and white. You will figure out what works best for you and your family along the way.

3. On your marriage

I found that with each baby we brought into our family our relationship went through a bit of a shift. In talking to friends, I realized that (surprise!) we weren't alone in that. For us, the change from one to two kids was the most challenging to navigate. But we're here to tell you that we made it through and our marriage is stronger because of it.

Bringing a baby into your marriage means you do a lot of growing together on this journey. Neither one of you (most likely) has ever been a parent before. You learn new things about each other, and yourself, and it's a long period of discovery. It's an exciting and frustrating and romantic and enlightening and never-ending period of discovery.

4. On your friendships

You may want mom friends if none of your friend friends are having babies around the same time as you. But finding new friends as an adult is...kind of weird, TBH. It feels sort of like going on a blind date. Just know that other moms feel like this, too. So don't be afraid to be the mom at the park who goes up to another mom to start a conversation. It will probably make her day! It can be awkward, but it's worth it.

Your friends who aren't having kids might not fully “get" everything about your new life—but that's okay. They don't have to understand it all. They just have to stick around for this chapter in your life. Reach out to them. Ask them for help. Our friends will always be important keys to different times in our lives.

5. On the monotony

You may feel like you are doing the same thing every. single. day. That all you're doing is changing diapers. Nursing. Wiping spit-up off yourself. Or the rug. Or the baby. You're not doing much, but at the same time—you're doing SO much.

This newborn fog clears faster than you can imagine. And looking back, that time is pretty magical. You have nowhere to be, nowhere to go—it's your time to figure out how to be a mom to your baby.

It's your time to sit on the couch and stare at her as she lays on your chest. It's your time to ooh and ahh over every yawn, every stretch, every sound. It's your time to be gentle with yourself—to rest and recover. Oh and to binge watch so many TV shows.

6. On your body

I sort of have a love-hate relationship with my body at the moment. And I'm working hard on getting that 'hate' part out. Because when I really think about the miracle that is pregnancy and childbirth and motherhood, in general, I want to just bow down to my body and thank it profusely for what it has gifted me.

The feeling of my baby kicking inside of me? Amazing. Watching my baby move around on the ultrasound screen? Mind-blowing. It's all just downright beautiful.

But then, with this miracle of life, comes the stretch marks, the loose skin, the seemingly pregnant (but not actually pregnant) looking belly, the (still) wearing maternity clothes a few months after giving birth, the feeling like you'll never fit into your pre-baby clothes ever again.

For me—it actually did take a little while to feel comfortable in my own skin again. But, eventually, I did. I really did. I felt like myself again, and it felt empowering. I was 'myself 2.0.' Because if there's one thing I've really learned over the years is that I am strong. Physically, emotionally, mentally strong. And that is one incredible gift my babies have given me.

7. On your pre-mom self

You'll miss her. I can't say you won't. Or at least the idealized version of what she was. She could book a trip and fly somewhere exotic on a whim (she didn't really do that, but she could have.) She could make plans at 5:00 p.m. to see an 8:00 p.m. movie. Exciting stuff. She didn't have to make three different meals at dinner time, and she could sleep till whatever time felt right on a Saturday morning.

But, she didn't have a really, really cute alarm clock yet. She didn't have this incredible human calling her 'Mom' yet. Her heart was still inside of her body, not yet crawling and walking around on the outside.

She knew love, of course...but she didn't know this love yet.

8. On appreciating your mom

I see my mom in a whole new light now that I'm a mother myself. I truly do not know how she raised five (seemingly) normal human beings. It's awe-inspiring. I have an even higher level of respect and admiration for her now than I ever did before.

Even though I am an adult, and I'm a mother myself—I will never stop needing her. I always call her for advice or with questions—to just check in or to vent. She “gets" it and that has brought us closer than ever.

9. On asking for help

At first when I was a new mama, I wanted to do everything myself. I wanted to figure it all out and be in control of what was going on with my baby. I watched what and how my husband did things (hardcore maternal gatekeeping going on) and I felt anxious when other people were helping to do anything baby-related. It caused me a lot of anxiety, and I turned excellent help away that could have been making my life easier.

Now, with three kids, I pretty much believe that we all deserve to live in communes together so we can all help care for each other's kids and live in peace and harmony. So the advice I'd have is: Try to let people in. Accept their help. They want to care for you and make your life a little easier. That's pretty wonderful.

But mama, let me remind you—you are your child's mother. They want you. They need you. They love you most. So it's okay to let people in. It's great in fact—to allow your child to strengthen their relationships with the people who mean most to you.

10. On taking care of yourself

I have found that if I don't make time to take care of myself, no one is just going to insert themselves into my life to do it for me. I have people who love me and want to help me—but no one is going to go as far to do that. So I have to do that. I can't pour from an empty cup, and with three children and a husband—there's a lot of pouring to do.

So I try my best to get the time I need. I try to get to the gym. I try to make regular hair appointments and plans with girlfriends. I try to take long, quiet showers when my husband gets home. I try to get out of the house when I need a break. It is not perfect, but I try.

Reflecting on life as a mother is a privilege. This role is the greatest honor of my life. And these are the important things I've learned, that I'm honestly continuing to learn every day.

And even if I was able to tell my first-time pregnant self these things, who knows what I'd do with this information. As I said before, motherhood is a learn-on-the-job type of position. You have to go through it firsthand to feel it, to believe it, to be okay with it, and to fully understand it.

So just know this—you will. You will fully understand it. Be patient with yourself. Be kind to yourself. This ride is the best adventure of your life.

Welcome to the sisterhood of motherhood. You're going to like it here.

The very best of Motherly — delivered when you need it most.
Subscribe for inspiration, empowering articles and expert tips to rock your best #momlife.

Subscribe for inspiration, empowering articles and expert tips to rock your best #momlife.

Thanks for subscribing!

Check your email for a confirmation message.

Caring for young children can be challenging enough on a perfectly normal day, but during an emergency those challenges are magnified. Natural disasters and emergencies—such as earthquakes, storms, fires, power outages, flooding or outbreaks that affect a wide community—obviously present a major operational challenge for childcare programs.

That's why childcare providers need to have preparedness plans for emergencies and natural disasters that are likely to occur in their communities. Be sure to discuss emergency planning with your day care, childcare program or after-school care provider.

Here are a few helpful questions to ask to make sure that your child's day care or childcare is ready for emergencies.

1. Does the parent handbook cover emergency planning? Is it up to date?

The parent handbook should serve as a guide for everything that takes place in a childcare program, from drop-off protocols to nap schedules, and it should also include information about the program's emergency plans, response, and recovery. As situations change or arise, the parent handbook should be updated accordingly.

FEATURED VIDEO

2. What is your communication plan for emergencies or disasters?

While 90% of childcare providers have written emergency response plans, only 70% have plans to communicate with family members during an emergency. Your provider should outline its plan of communication in its parent handbook.

3. Do you perform drills for disasters that are likely to occur in our area?

Ask whether your day care or childcare program has practiced its emergency response plans in a calm, safe environment—in other words, before it's necessary.

4. What is your evacuation plan?

In the rare event that an evacuation is necessary, it's important for providers to include up-to-date evacuation drills and protocols in the parent handbook. Caregivers, staff, parents and children should all know the designated meet-up point during a community evacuation.

5. Do you have a safe, designated evacuation spot in the event of a community evacuation?

Once staff and children calmly evacuate the building, there needs to be a safe shelter-in-place spot nearby. This location should be kid-friendly and have plenty of food, water and ways to keep young children occupied. The location should also be able to accommodate children with special needs and those with medical requirements.

6. What is your shelter-in-place plan?

During an emergency where parents are unable to access roads or public transportation, childcare programs need to have a shelter-in-place plan. Whether children stay at the facility or evacuate to a safe spot nearby, providers need to keep at least 72 hours worth of food, water, and medical supplies up to date. The program should also have parents write notes in advance letting children know that everything is okay.

7. Do you have post-disaster plans?

According to FEMA, more than 40% of businesses do not reopen after a disaster. If childcare programs close, parents cannot return to work and recovery cannot begin. Also, young children need a safe, secure, and familiar place to return to after a disaster.

8. How do you discuss emergencies in an age-appropriate manner with children?

A great way for care providers to introduce the concept of emergency plans to children is to have them help create emergency kits. This way children become familiar with emergency response items. Teachers should also let parents know how they plan to talk to children about emergencies in advance.

9. What are your policies for closing?

Childcare providers must give advance warning to parents about closures if there is an impending weather emergency. If roadways near the childcare program are typically out of use during an emergency, both parents and staff need to map out secondary pick-up plans in advance.

10. Are you in touch with local preparedness organizations?

Local emergency organizations can provide advice and tips to prepare for an emergency or natural disaster. Parents, care providers and community organizations should meet regularly and have the most recent copies of the parent handbook.

According to FEMA, in 2019 alone, there were 59 declared disasters in the U.S. These emergencies include earthquakes, tropical storms, fires, floods, severe storms, tornadoes, landslides, mudslides, extreme wind, and snowstorms. But basic advance preparation can go a long way toward helping parents and caregivers feel ready for emergencies and disasters, and can ensure that families and care providers stay safe.

A version of this post was originally published at the Institute for Childhood Preparedness

Learn + Play

The transition to motherhood is tough, and you deserve a little love! Join us March 28th for Motherly's Becoming Mama event in NYC for a day filled with conversations and connections that will leave you feeling inspired. Get advice from expert panels, indulge in a little pampering, and meet other local mamas IRL for a day of empowerment and support.


Register now for early-bird pricing, and access to limited VIP tickets with exclusive gift bags.

Here's what you can expect:

  • A mindful mama meditation to start your day.
  • Interactive panels and workshops focused on the hottest topics for new moms and moms-to-be. Check them out below!
  • A healthy lunch + delicious snacks
  • Pregnancy + postpartum pampering
  • Personalized gifts for you + your baby
  • The chance to test the hottest baby gear on the market
  • A swag bag filled with surprises
  • Amazing giveaways from our brand partners

Sat, March 28, 2020
10 am-2:30 pm
SECOND.
849 6th Ave
New York, NY 10001

REGISTER NOW

Here's what we'll be talking about on our panels:

Navigating the Fourth Trimester: Self-Care for Mom
While having a baby is a joyous occasion it often involves mom putting her own health on hold and speeding into overdrive to care for baby. Here postpartum experts will discuss the importance of postpartum mental wellness, and the importance of asking for help and finding support.

FEATURED VIDEO

The Motherhood Advantage sponsored by Medela
Motherhood brings so many advantages to the workplace, and yet, it's still a topic often talked about in hushed voices. We'll invite Medela to sponsor this very important panel that will evolve this working mom conversation. Together we can work to erase the Motherhood Penalty, support moms with the proper tools and lift each other up in the workplace.

Parenting in Partnership: Learning to Share the Load
There's never been a more equitable time to be a parent, and yet so many mothers still feel like they're carrying more than their fair share. Let's talk about how to create a parenting team from the start, with tips, tricks and expert advice on leveling the playing field between parenting partners.

*While many of Motherly's events are family focused, there will not be specific activities or play spaces for babies or kids. This event is more mom-focused. Babies under 1 are welcome at this event, but a baby carrier is suggested. Please use your discretion.

Thank you to our sponsors buybuy Baby and Medela.

REGISTER NOW
Shop

When I think about Meghan Markle, her effortless style is usually one of the the first things that comes to mind. Whether she's traveling, taking her dogs for a walk, or attending a royal event, her outfits always look timeless and put together. Yet somehow she still manages to wear outfits that feel way more accessible (even when she is donning a gorgeous—but expensive—coat we've had in our cart for much longer than we care to admit).

While I can't quite afford a personal stylist yet or drop a few thousand on a bag, I did do a little digging and found that a few of her wardrobe staples are items that I can add to my closet, with a little investment. And, if you're not in the market to invest this much, don't worry—I found dupes that will do the trick!

Here are our favorite products to achieve Meghan Markle's classic mom style:

Meghan's pick: Rothy's flats

rothys flat

Confession: I own a lot of shoes. But I wear my Rothy's at least once a week and they're the first shoe I toss into my luggage when I'm traveling because they're so comfortable and can be machine-washed. The Point is my (and apparently Meghan Markle's) favorite style because it elongates the legs and goes with literally anything you wear. I love that they're made from recycled plastic water bottles, too. And, they just launched the Mary Jane—it has a bow!—if you prefer a more dainty look with a fun twist.

$145

Our dupe: ASOS ballet flats

asos black pointed toe

This pointed pair will give a similar elongated look at just $23. They come in half sizes and if you're unsure which size is best, ASOS offers a sizing recommendation. The material isn't machine-washable (like our prized Rothy's) but you can wipe these clean with a damp cloth to keep them looking like new.

$23

Meghan's pick: Wool wrap jacket

meghan markle wool coat

There's just something so elegant about this coat. Maybe it's the wrap waist that flatters any body type. Or, it's the way the collared neck drapes (seriously it'll even make wearing pajamas look chic). It's become one of the most recognized pieces from Meghan's wardrobe and we are obsessed.

$750

Our dupe: Tahari wool blend coat

tahari wool blend cape coat

Looking for something more affordable? This coat is marked down to $83 from $360 at Nordstrom Rack. While we haven't personally tried it, at 77% off, we can bet the quality is pretty up to par with a higher-end jacket. Plus, we're obsessed with the pale blue and port wine colorways. The removable waist tie belt and shoulder cape overlay will have you feeling like Meghan Markle in just about anything.

Bonus: We love this Amazon dupe that's just under $80.

$82.48

Meghan's pick: Longchamp bag

longchamp bag

On the quest for a bag that holds just about everything you need (without having to be a diaper bag)? Say hello to the Longchamp 'Le Pliage' tote. It's water-resistant, has durable leather straps and folds up into a square for each storage or packing. I've had mine for more than five years and it's still going strong—and it's schlepped a lot of heavy things over the years. Plus, it just looks nice with everything!

$125

Our dupe: Amazon shoulder bag

longchamp knock off bag

This dupe on Amazon has 59 great reviews and the large size is under $30! With three sizes, you can pick whatever best fits your style. Each bag comes with a zippered main compartment and interior pockets and yes, it even folds up just like the real thing.

$27.99

Meghan's pick: Birdies slippers

birdies slippers

Are they house slippers or the most comfortable flats you've owned? Spoiler alert: They're both. Meghan has been spotted wearing The Heron style (I've been spotted wearing the slides around my apartment all day) many times and we think the velvet detail dresses up just about anything, even leggings. The no-slip rubber sole and 7-layer support means you can run around in these all day long without missing a beat.

$95

Our dupe: Chase & Chloe pointy loafer

pointy toe loafer

While you won't experience the cloud-like softness of Birdies, you can achieve a similar look with this pair from Nordstrom Rack for under $20. Both black and tan pairs come with a padded footbed, grip sole and a flexible construction (so hopefully no blisters even from day one).

$19.97

Meghan's pick: Madewell denim jacket

madewell denim jacket

I didn't own a denim jacket until last year and since then, I've worn it in just about every season. Over summer dresses, paired with a T-shirt, over a blouse, you name it. It add just enough extra warmth without having to put on something bulky and is machine-washable. For an extra-cool and Meghan Markle factor, roughly roll up the sleeves twice.

$118

Our dupe: Old Navy denim jacket

old navy denim jacket

Grab this $30 distressed denim look at Old Navy. I'm not sure how they do it, but their denim jackets are *so* soft. This one is slightly fitted so size up if you're looking for a more oversized look. Just like the Madewell one, this hits right below the waist, making it great to pair with pants or dresses.

$35

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

Shop
Motherly provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by our  Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Information on our advertising guidelines can be found here.