2017 has been quite the year (to say the least.) It’s been tumultuous and exhausting. It’s been empowering and inspiring. It’s been a year of shocking event after shocking event (in good ways and bad.) But one thing I personally loved from 2017 is connecting with you mamas and learning and growing alongside you.

It’s been one amazing ride so far, hasn’t it?

Thanks for including us in your journey—for sharing your thoughts and opinions, your photos and life hacks—and mostly, your stories.

It’s been an absolute pleasure and we can’t wait to show you what’s in store for 2018. It’s going to be pretty magical. ✨

We talked about a lot together this year, girlfriend. Here’s some of the stuff we loved most.

1. All things Montessori

Montessori was a big one for us—and with key terms like ‘calm’, ‘positive’, ‘purposeful work’, ‘freedom’, ‘creativity’, ‘happy’ associated with this parenting and teaching style—it’s no surprise. We wanted to talk like Montessori teachers, create Montessori play spaces, buy all the Ikea-Montessori-inspired things, eat the Montessori way, and buy our newborns Montessori toys.

We wanted to teach our children Montessori-inspired math, Montessori-inspired self-care, Montessori-inspired chores, Montessori-inspired outdoor play, and Montessori-inspired social skills dealing with sharing and apologizing.

2. Getting rid of ‘stuff’

We craved simplicity and minimalism in 2017—and based on some of your Instagram photos, I know why—because your clean, fresh and crisp spaces are beautiful and inspiring. We wanted to ditch the things we didn’t need anymore or clothes that didn’t fit. We wanted to free our minds and spaces of clutter. We wanted to take control of our lives and get organized. And we definitely wanted to eliminate unnecessary toys. (Experiences rule, anyway!)

We loved minimalist baby products, minimalist holidays, minimalist homes, minimalist parenting styles, minimalist nurseries—a minimalist lifestyle in general. We needed it, it freed us—it even saved us and our children. ?

3. Peace, love and happiness

There was a lot of craziness in the world this year, that’s for sure—so maybe that’s why we craved peace and love. Why we wanted to focus on happiness—for ourselves and our children. Why we wanted to let go of anger and manage our anxiety. To balance the scary with the amazing.

We loved chatting about peaceful parenting and positive parenting. We want to be better, do better and feel better. (But we have a little secret—you’re already rocking it, mama.)

4. COFFEE, obvs

Moms loving coffee is such a cliche. I know. But if loving coffee and being a mom is wrong, I don’t want to be right. Coffee is my friend, my support system, my lifeline. It’s there for me after a night of multiple child wakeups or when deadlines are approaching. It comforts me, energizes me and keeps me going.

We will drink coffee in our home. We will drink it in the car alone. We will drink it while in bed. We will drink it even before our children are fed. We will drink it in a cafe. We will drink it with our bae. Coffee is good for us, they say. Coffee rules any way. ☕

5. Celeb news

A lot happened with celebrities this year—pregnancies, mom tips, having to ‘defend’ their mothering techniques—and we loved joining the conversation. We especially loved Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Serena Williams, Kate Middleton, Joanna Gaines and anything Kardashian. (I mean with Kim, Khloe and Kylie pregnancy rumors—there was a lot going on in that family!)

Sometimes it’s nice to realize celebrities are just like us—trying to figure out teething like Serena, praising our village like Mila, talking about sex and marriage like Pink, or asking Twitter for help dealing with pregnancy headaches like Chrissy (those are rough!).

6. Baby names

Coming up with potential baby names is so much fun it could *almost* convince me to go for baby number four. Almost. We loved checking out the latest creative baby name lists like the top baby names you can expect to hear in 2018, the most popular baby names from 2017 and the surprising names on the path to popularity.

We loved reading about names that mean ‘thankful’, unique names, names inspired by celebrities, and older, classic names. What we learned? Baby names are fun, babies are cute, let’s keep making ‘em! (If I stop at three, I’ll just keep adoring yours on #TeamMotherly.)

7. Target, duh

I mean, again, the Target-loving-mom is as cliche as the coffee-loving-mom, but there’s a reason some cliches exist—because some of them are true! This one being one of them, in my humble opinion. Target rules—plain and simple. ?

We loved Target for their promise of same-day deliveries and nursing rooms, for their car seat trade-in deals and sensory-friendly clothing lines, for teaming up with Pinterest and the Gaines’, for making us feel comfortable and supported. Basically, for making our lives better, easier and more beautiful. Thank you, Target.

8. Growing your family

Essays about growing your families seemed to resonate with a lot of mamas. Maybe you’ve taken the plunge, maybe you’ve decided to wait—or maybe you are already at the perfect number of children for your family. Either which way, we all loved to read about other mamas’ takes.

Whether it was contemplating baby number three or preparing for baby number two’s arrival or knowing how to ask for help (the second or third time around)—you wanted the 4-1-1 on what more children would be like.

9. Self-care

Self-care rose to the top of our priority list this year. Maybe (hopefully!) we were able to make more time for it, but either way—we were definitely thinking about it. Everything from what to do when self-care seems like one more thing you need to cross off your to-do list to self-care ideas for exhausted parents. Everything from making time for it (particularly in the morning or during nap time) to believing that taking time for ourselves truly does make us better mothers and partners.

I think we should declare 2018 the year for self-care, mamas. You in?

10. Validating each other

Above all, what made this year inspiring, was the support and love and community felt all around us from #TeamMotherly. We validated each other’s feelings of overwhelm, loss, love, rawness, exhaustion, chaos, magic, failure, joy, strength, friendship, worry and happiness.

We were there for each other when our mental loads felt too heavy, when we felt guilty for working, when we felt overwhelmed with being a stay-at-home mom, when we said “me, too”, when we dealt with tantrums, when we were really tired, when we were trying to keep up, when we felt like we weren’t enough, when we felt the weight of the world on our shoulders, when we missed our freedom and felt like we were losing ourselves to motherhood.

We were there for the tough times and the amazing times, too—to celebrate working mothers, to praise our sisters, to face our fears, to thank our parents, to love on our partners, to revel in our strength and to feel like we’re really in this together.

Thank you for all the support, #TeamMotherly. And here’s to an amazing 2018.

Remember, mama, you’ve got this. ?