A modern lifestyle brand redefining motherhood

The winter Olympics are upon us! Whether it's curling or the bobsled, skiing or figure skating—it's time to get excited about watching the best athletes in the world compete for gold. Those Olympians perform feats that astound! Amaze! Inspire! They're pretty dang awesome.


As it turns out, all the moms out there are just as incredible and inspirational as Olympic athletes. Here's how.

1. We train. Oh, do we train.

We sleep train and potty train and sometimes we even pretend to get excited when we watch shows about a train. We have regimented schedules that we meticulously follow, so our child is perfectly rested and adequately fed. We collect data on bodily functions and emotional outbursts, and we regularly chart progress with star-shaped stickers. We are disciplined and determined and we embrace every small victory.

2. Our bodies are temples.

Our bodies perform feats that dazzle the mind. We can make a human—a real miniature little human—right there inside of us! Our miraculous human-making little sac gets wedged tightly against our pancreas and our lungs and our bladder as our baby grows. Our bodies continue to amaze even after baby is born. Not only did we make that teenie little human, but we can now also feed it. The stunts we can pull off are truly staggering.

3. We make the impossible possible.

We quell piercing screams with only our bosom and our shushes. We sooth the angriest of all ouchies with kisses and cuddles. We find a mitten's long-lost match wedged in the dark recess of an overstuffed closet—and not just ANY mitten—but the coveted buffalo-holding-a-cupcake mitten. The particular mitten that has been missing for months but is suddenly (desperately!) needed by our child right. that. second

We find that sucker and when we do it's like a figure skater nailing a one-footed-tucked-lutz followed up by a quadruple-dodecahedral-toeless-axel. No one should be able to do it, but WE JUST DID.

4. Our routines are physically taxing.

We might make it look easy from afar but in reality, every move we make with our children in tow is exhausting. Sweat soaks through our clothing as we take our strollers in and out of the trunk. Sweat drips down our necks as we wrangle our writhing toddlers off of one hip and onto the other.

Our tendons strain when we carry our baby on our backs and our 26 grocery bags by the crooks of our elbows. Taking our kids in and out of car seats, unbuckling, buckling, re-buckling, and pulling that car seat strap tight to its regulation tightness? That takes some Herculean action right there. We toil day in and day out and we have the biceps to prove it. đź’Ş

5. Our bodies are vehicles for our sport.

The amount of wear and tear Olympians face from the continued stress of practicing and performing is enormous. They hold themselves together with prescription drugs, athletic tape, and physical therapy.

Moms have similar tricks to keep their bodies and minds up for the continuous challenge that parenting provides. They often rely on a medley of uppers and downers (coffee and wine), psychological therapy, contouring shapewear, and pee-proof panties. Every problem has a remedy, that's our motto.

6. People REALLY care about our efforts.

But only during very limited and specific times of the year. Moms get one day in May. The Olympians might get a few days in a row, but it's only during the winter or summer season and it only happens once every four years.

The rest of the time, well, let's just say...we're not necessarily being showered with praise and gratitude on a daily basis. It's not the daily grind that's attractive; it's the occasional showy presentation people want to see.

We're on our own a lot of the time. Which brings me to number 7.

7. We rely on our crew.

We are surrounded by authorities in the field and turn to them when we need to gain the upper hand. Just like athletes have professional trainers and coaches, moms have their own group of experts to help them meet peak performance.

We know to turn to Marsha for breastfeeding advice, to Katie for organizational strategies, and to Tameka for how to best hide those veggies in our mini muffins. Some call it a team, some call it a village.

8. We push ourselves.

Harder than we ever could have imagined was humanly possible. We do all of the things we used to look at other people doing and say, “I don't know how they do it!"We do things that used to seem too hard, too scary, or too gross, but now seem like almost nothing at all because we are mothers. We are champions for our children. 🏆

9. We endure. We never quit.

Sprained ankle? Tape that sucker up. Got the flu? Bring a puke bucket. Bum hip? Walk it off. AND KEEP MOVING.

Athletes are known for their no pain, no gain mentality, and the same goes for moms. When it comes to our children, we do not let anything keep us down, and we're in it for both the sprint and the marathon.

We'll bring our kids chicken soup when they're sick and we'll call them just to check in until those babies of ours are old and gray. We know our time with them is more precious than gold.

10. We carry a torch.

We proudly lead the way and guide our children through the physical, emotional, and spiritual realms of life. We hope we have done our job well and our young protegees are prepared when it becomes time for us to pass the baton to the next in line. Have fun cheering on your favorite Olympian this winter season—and while you're at it, go ahead and cheer on your favorite mom, too. 🙌

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

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We've had some struggles, you and me. In my teens, we were just getting to know each other. It was a rocky road at times, like when people referred to you as "big boned." I was learning how to properly fuel you by giving you the right foods. How to be active, to keep you strong and in good shape. I wish I knew then what I do now about you and what a true blessing you are. But that's something that has come with the gift of motherhood.

In my 20's, we became more well-acquainted. I knew how to care for you. After I got engaged, we worked so hard together to get into "wedding shape." And, looking back now, I totally took that six pack—okay, four pack—for granted. (But I have the pictures to prove it.)

Now that I'm in my 30's (how did my 30's happen so fast, btw?) with two kids, I'm coming to terms with my new postpartum body.

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If there are two things a mama is guaranteed to love, it's Target plus adorable and functional baby products. Target's exclusive baby brand Cloud Island has been a favorite destination for cute and affordable baby clothing and décor for nearly two years and because of that success, they're now expanding into baby essentials. 🙌

The new collection features 30 affordable products starting at $0.99 and going up to $21.99 with most items priced under $10—that's about 30-40% less expensive than other products in the market. Mamas can now enjoy adding diapers, wipes, feeding products and toiletries to their cart alongside clothing and accessories from a brand they already know and love.


The best part? The Target team has ensured that the affordability factor doesn't cut down on durability by working with hundreds of parents to create and test the collection. The wipes are ultra-thick and made with 99% water and plant-based ingredients, while the toiletries are dermatologist-approved. With a Tri-Wrap fold, the diapers offer 12-hour leak protection and a snug fit so parents don't have to sacrifice safety or functionality.

So when can you start shopping? Starting on January 20, customers can shop the collection across all stores and online. We can't wait to see how this beloved brand expands in the future.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Many people experience the "winter blues," which are often worst in northern climates from November to March, when people have less access to sunlight, the outdoors and their communities. Another 4% develops Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is a form of clinical depression that often requires formal treatment.

If you have the winter blues, you may feel “blah," sad, tired, anxious or be in a worse mood than usual. You may struggle with overeating, loss of libido, work or sleep issues. But fear not—it is possible to find your joy in the winter, mama.

Here are eight ways to feel better:

1. Take a walk

Research has shown that walking on your lunch break just three times per week can reduce tension, relax you and improve your enthusiasm. If you are working from 9 to 5, the only window you have to access natural sunlight may be your lunch hour, so head outside for a 20 minute brisk but energizing walk!

If you are home, bundle up with your kids midday—when the weather is often warmest—and play in the snow, go for a short walk, play soccer, race each other, or do something else to burn energy and keep you all warm. If you dress for the weather, you'll all feel refreshed after some fresh air.

2. Embrace light

Research suggests that a full-spectrum light box or lamp, which mimics sunlight, can significantly improve the symptoms of the winter blues and has a similar effect to an antidepressant. Bright light at a certain time every day activates a part of the brain that can help restore normal circadian rhythms. While light treatment may not be beneficial for everyone (such as people who have bipolar disorder), it may be a beneficial tool for some.

3. Plan a winter trip

It may be helpful to plan a getaway for January or February. Plan to take it very easy, as one research study found that passive vacation activities, including relaxing, "savoring," and sleeping had greater effects on health and well-being than other activities. Engaging in passive activities on vacation also makes it more likely that your health and well-being will remain improved for a longer duration after you go back to work.

Don't overschedule your trip. Relax at a beach, a pool, or a cabin instead of waiting in long roller coaster lines or visiting packed museums. Consider visiting or traveling with family to help with child care, build quiet time into your vacation routine, and build in a day of rest, recovery, and laundry catch-up when you return.

4. Give in to being cozy

Sometimes people mistake the natural slowness of winter as a problem within themselves. By making a concerted effort to savor the slowness, rest and retreat that complement winter, you can see your reduction in activity as a natural and needed phase.

Research suggests that naps help you release stress. Other research suggests that when your brain has time to rest, be idle, and daydream, you are better able to engage in "active, internally focused psychosocial mental processing," which is important for socioemotional health.

Make a "cozy basket" filled with your favorite DVDs, bubble bath or Epsom salts, lemon balm tea (which is great for “blues,") or chamomile tea (which is calming and comforting), citrus oils (which are good for boosting mood), a blanket or a favorite book or two. If you start to feel the blues, treat yourself.

If your child is napping or having quiet time in the early afternoon, rest for a full 30 minutes instead of racing around doing chores. If you're at work, keep a few mood-boosting items (like lavender spray, tea, lotion, or upbeat music) nearby and work them into your day. If you can't use them at work, claim the first 30 minutes after your kids are asleep to nurture yourself and re-energize before you tackle dishes, laundry, or other chores.

5. See your friends

Because of the complex demands of modern life, it can be hard to see or keep up with friends or family. The winter can make it even harder. While you interact with your kids throughout the day, human interaction with other adults (not just through social media!) can act as a protective layer to keep the winter blues at bay.

Plan a monthly dinner with friends, go on a monthly date night if you have a partner, go to a book club, get a drink after work with a coworker, visit a friend on Sunday nights, or plan get-togethers with extended family. Research suggests that social interactions are significantly related to well-being.

Realize that given most families' packed schedules, you may need to consistently take the lead in bringing people together. Your friends will probably thank you, too.

6. Get (at least) 10 minutes of fresh air

A number of research studies have shown positive effects of nature on well-being, including mental restoration, immune health, and memory. It works wonders for your mood to get outside in winter, even if it's just for 10 minutes 2 to 3 times per week. You might walk, snowshoe, shovel, go sledding or go ice-skating. If you can't get outside, you might try these specific yoga poses for the winter blues.

7. Add a ritual

Adding a ritual to your winter, such as movie night, game night, hot chocolate after playing outside, homemade soup on Sundays, or visiting with a different friend every Saturday morning for breakfast, can add beauty and flow to the seemingly long months of winter. Research has suggested that family rituals and traditions, such as Sunday dinner, provide times for togetherness and strengthening relationships.

8. Talk to a professional

Counseling, which helps you identify the connections between your thoughts, feelings and behaviors, can be extremely helpful for the winter blues (especially when you are also experiencing anxiety or stress). A counselor can assist you with identifying and honoring feelings, replacing negative messages with positive ones, or shifting behaviors. A counselor may also help you indulge into winter as a time of retreat, slowness, planning, and reflecting. You may choose to use the winter to get clear on what you'd like to manifest in spring.

The opposite of the winter blues is not the absence of the winter blues—it's taking great pleasure in the unique contribution of a time of cold, darkness, retreat, planning, reflecting, being cozy and hibernating. Nurturing yourself and your relationships can help you move toward winter joy.

Weary mama,

You are incredibly strong. You are so very capable.

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