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Adulting ain’t easy

As a child, I used to think that adults had it figured out. Maybe they were all just winging it—like I am.

Adulting ain’t easy

I am an adult now.

At least that is how people refer to me.


The ripe old age of 32.

I have a husband, a kid, a dog, a mortgage, a career, an IRA, a car payment and a boatload of student loans.

How did this happen? Who trusted me to be an adult? Can I really be in charge of raising another human? And making sure that he grows up to be a kind, loving person that realizes his importance and how much I love him?

Sometimes, this seriously blows my mind.

I swear it was just a few years ago that I was skipping classes at college to drink beer with my friends on the porch of our favorite bar. We would talk and laugh and have the best time without a care in the world.

We were all broke but that didn’t matter to us. I carried around a jar full of change that we creatively called “The Change Jar.” When any of us would clean out our cars, we would put any change we found in the change jar. When it got full we would all go out and celebrate and pay in quarters. Sorry bartenders.

Disclaimer: I have no idea how we were all so broke. We all had jobs, most of us as servers or bartenders. But at that time my main spending categories were food, alcohol, tanning and clothes.

Disclaimer #2: I did graduate college in four years with a 3.8 GPA. I did more than just drink my way to a Bachelors Degree.

Back to the present day: I found myself having a conversation with someone the other day about refinancing my mortgage and tax write-offs. That was when it hit me. I’m a grown up.

O.M.G.

Disclaimer #3: I think I have done a pretty sufficient job of adulting thus far. I married an amazing man. My child is still alive, as well as my dog. I do have that IRA with not a significant amount of money in it—but at least I have one.

I also have a good job and a car with a large dent in the side. My husband hit it pulling into the garage. . . which you can’t really turn into insurance.

I decided to write a list of the things I always thought adults did. And that I do not do. I don’t think this means I am failing adulthood, to be honest, they make me laugh more than worry. Hopefully others feel me, or maybe I just need to domesticate myself.

  • I don’t cook. I can microwave the hell out of something. Give me a crockpot and we will feast on chicken and anything else I find in the freezer. Thank goodness I married a man that cooks or my family would survive on Hot Pockets and frozen pizza.
  • I am ashamed to admit I just bought my first iron and ironing board this weekend. I do own a steamer. The iron has not made it out of the box yet.
  • I have a brown thumb. I have managed to kill a fern and a plant someone told me was impossible to kill.
  • I don’t sort my laundry and wash it all on cold. Oops.
  • I Google everything. If I can’t find it online I cry and call my mom.
  • I pay someone to clean my house once every two weeks. ?
  • I wash laundry, dry it, fold it, then put it away a week later when it’s time to do laundry again.
  • I can’t craft for the life of me. Pinterest is to pin cute ideas. Etsy is to buy the cute ideas I’m not artistic enough to make.
  • I have never sent out Christmas cards.
  • I take BuzzFeed quizzes. Ones like, “We can tell how old you are based on your preference in chocolate?” Let’s just say they were way wrong on that one. I am not 22.
  • I honestly enjoy watching Peppa Pig with my son and laugh out loud.
  • I use phrases like “da bomb” and “crunk.”

You may read these things and think what on earth do you do with your life if you don’t cook, iron, garden, put away laundry or craft?

Well I take care of my toddler and read him books.

We also play blocks and take pictures on SnapChat. I spend time with my husband.

I work. I love my job. I volunteer. I microwave things. I do a ton of laundry. I write. I drive around singing really really loud. I take BuzzFeed quizzes. I go to church on Sundays. I read. I hang out with my family and friends. I work out at 5 am Monday—Friday. I do take showers and wash my hair. I make a monthly budget. I do the books for my mother-in-law’s dance studio. I watch bad reality television. I sleep. A good nap is the best. I pay bills and other adultish things. I make a lot of lists. And I love my life. Not all the time. I get down, sad and stressed, but in the end, I always remember how lucky I am. Every once in a while I shed some tears and feel sorry for myself but I always get back up.

Maybe that’s what being an adult is all about. Knowing who I am—and accepting who I am not.

As a child, I used to think that adults had it figured out. After all, they had families and mortgages and were taller than the rest of us. But what I’ve learned now that I’ve joined their ranks is that we are all just figuring it out—learning what we’re good at, laughing at what we suck at—and doing our best to show up to life every day.

As I new mom, I know adulting is so much harder than it looks. But it’s also the best adventure imaginable. Bring it on, mortgage refinance. Mama needs a brand new minivan. ?

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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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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