7 things I’m done comparing myself to other moms about

I’m giving up using other moms as a way of seeing myself. Life is hectic enough without making myself feel bad for not quite being able to button my old jeans yet.

7 things I’m done comparing myself to other moms about

Why do moms struggle so much with our opinions of ourselves?

Our kids love us to pieces, just as we are—why can’t we?

I for one, have wasted a lot of time comparing myself to other moms. Not intentionally or overtly. But over and over again I have felt the self-doubt creep in as I see another mom who seems to be doing it all so much better than me.


The truth is that comparing myself to other moms has nothing to with other moms, and everything to do with me. I am learning to be more comfortable in my own skin, and to even (gasp!) love myself.


So, here is my proclamation—I will no longer be comparing myself to other moms on the following areas:

1. Their parenting style

For the most part, the other moms I feel connected to, and therefore hang out with, have a similar parenting philosophy as me. That said, there are always going to be differences in our approaches—and it’s easy to get wrapped up in those differences.

This one bed shares, this one never says ‘no,’ this one is super strict...

But it’s those differences that actually help me grow as a mom. I love hearing tricks and tips from other moms. But their different styles of parenting don’t mean that I’m not doing it right.

I’m parenting in the way thats best for my kids, my family and me. They’re doing the same. End of discussion!

2. How quickly they lost the baby weight

I want to eat healthier and work out more. But I want to do it for me—not for some idea I have about getting “back” to my pre-baby body.

My pre-baby body had not grown life in its womb, sustained newborns with breastmilk, or cradled sweet babies in its arms. My body was and is perfect for growing and raising my babies. My body is just what they needed, and I am immensely proud of it.

So I’m giving up using other moms as a way of seeing myself. Life is hectic enough without making myself feel bad for not quite being able to button my old jeans yet.

3. How effortlessly they go through life

You know that mom that seems to glide through life like a delicate butterfly, with nay a hair out of place? I’ve yearned to be her.

That is until a friend revealed to me that she thought I was her. I laughed and laughed, and realized quickly that that mom in an illusion.

There are days when I have it relatively together, but I often feel quite frazzled. My calm face hides it well, I suppose, but I am stressed. I don’t need the additional stress of “Why can’t I have it all together like her?” I am doing the best I can in every moment, and that is enough.

4. How perfect their marriages are

This one is pretty simple. I am madly in love with my husband. Sure, things are a little different eight years and three kids into marriage, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

Seeing photos of other couples’ hot dates and romantic vacations makes me happy for them, but happy for myself too—my guy is the only one I can imagine going through this life with, whether we’re on some fabulous cruise, or sitting next to each other on the couch, a toddler on each lap. Our imperfections and quirks fit together perfectly.

5. How many mom friends they have (#squadgoals)

Apparently my middle-school social anxiety is still alive and well, and sometimes when I see other moms laughing and talking in a group, while I’m alone with my kids, I get a little sad.

But the truth is I have amazing friends, who support me, lift me up and make me laugh all the time. I may not get to see them as much as I want to, but they are in my life.

So I am going to spend more time being grateful for just that.

6. Their children

My children are my world. They are loud and messy and goofy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. They are perfect to me—just as they are.

Yes other moms’ kids eat more variety, yes other moms’ kids somehow stay in the shopping cart at Target. But loving my kids means loving all of their grilled-cheese-every-night-for-dinner, Target-shenanigan selves. I would not change one thing about them.

7. How much money they have

We have made choices about what we want our life to be like, and a lot of those choices have to do with jobs and therefore, money. We made the spreadsheet, prioritized, and then planned accordingly.

So when I find myself feeling envious of a neighbor’s big house or a friend’s recent vacation, I have to remind myself of this—I am so lucky to be in the position to make choices. Choices are a luxury—and many people in this world are not privy to this luxury. And I am incredibly fortunate to have what I do have—our needs are met, we are warm at night, we are loved.

How could I possibly be unhappy with that?

So will you join me? Can we all resolve to just enjoy each other’s company without letting it affect our own ideas of self-worth?

These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.

Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin

Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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