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It was a year ago in September when my daughter said, “Mom, I got a job in Massachusetts. We’re moving next month.”


I was in a state of shock. My daughter, her husband, and my 6-year-old grandson were moving almost 2000 miles away to the east coast.

I never thought she or my grandson would leave Colorado, leave me.

I made an entry into my journal that day. It was a combination of emotions—mainly self-pity and grief—as I tried to figure out what would fill the void that would surely befall.

I suddenly had a realization that everything was about to change.

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Who will decorate the Christmas tree with me?

Who will help me plant my garden and then pick out the fresh vegetables for dinner?

Who will be there to lift my spirits when I need a good laugh?

Sure there will be phone calls and emails, but the distance would remain. I wondered how I would go on without the joy of my grandchild filling the house.

Now here we are, a year later.

I just got back from spending a week visiting my grandson and it was so wonderful to see him again—to snuggle and bond with him.

But this morning, as I spent alone time in reflection, it occurred to me that I am feeling the empty nest syndrome, not just as a parent, but as a grandparent. I think it was something that my daughter said a few days ago that hit me.

I asked her, “Do you miss it here?” She said no, that she has a new home now. This isn’t home to her anymore and she has no desire to come back.

How can that be?

It was your home and it still is to me. Selfishly I was hoping she wouldn’t like it there and would come back…that my grandson would come back.

When it dawned on me that I was feeling the empty nest syndrome as a grandparent, I got online to try to find anything on the topic and found out I’m not the only grandparent feeling this way.

I found blogs of people writing about their feelings of bereavement after their grandchildren moved away, and many like me babysat their grandchildren from the time they were an infant or toddler and went from seeing them several times a week to once a year.

It was comforting to me to know that I’m not alone in what I feel and that there really is an empty nest syndrome as a grandparent.

What I also realized is that as parents, we encourage our children to become independent adults and then (especially in our culture), many of our children move far away from home because of jobs or various other reasons.

I moved many miles away from home when I became an adult. Why shouldn’t I expect that of my children?

Now I’m a long-distance, widowed grandma. I went from being able to see my grandson several times a week to four times a year (and I’m grateful it’s that often).

I still wonder…Will he remember our times we had together?

Will we lose the close bond we had?

But then I think on the past week I just spent with him, it was like old times.

I took him to and from school, drove him to sports practice, read books with him, tucked him into bed at night, said prayers with him and we even played football (yes, 63 year-old grandmas can still play football).

And when I asked him if he remembers our times together at my house too he said, “Nana, of course, don’t you remember when I helped you cook green beans from your garden in the frying pan for breakfast?”

“I sure do,” I said with a laugh.

I may be a long-distance grandma, but I realized I can still be an important part of my grandson’s life, even if it is only four times a year. And I’m learning acceptance. Children grow up and grandchildren grow up.

But they will always remember their Nana, and distance can’t change that.

Our babies come out as beautiful, soft and natural as can be—shouldn't their clothes follow suit?

Here are nine of our favorite organic kids clothing brands that prove safe fabrics + stylish designs are a natural fit.

Estella

A brick and mortar store in Manhattan that opened in 2002, Estella is NYC's go-to shop for luxury baby gifts—from sweet-as-pie organic clothing to eco-friendly toys.

L'ovedbaby

@lovedbaby

We l'oved this collection from the moment we laid eyes on it. (See what we did there 🤣) Free of things harsh added chemicals, dangerous flame retardants, and harmful dyes, this collection is 100% organic and 100% gorgeous. We especially adore their soft, footed rompers, comfy cotton joggers, and newborn-friendly kimono bodysuits.

Looking to stock up? Don't miss Big-Find Thursday every week on their site—a 24-hour flash sale that happens Thursdays at 9 a.m. PST and features a different body style, collection, and discount every week!

Hanna Andersson

@happyhannas

One of our all-time favorite brands for durability, style, + customer service, Hanna Andersson doesn't disappoint in the organic department, either. From an aww-inducing organic baby layette collection all the way to their iconic pajamas, there are so many organic styles to swoon over from this beloved brand. And we swear their pajamas are magic—they seem to grow with your little one, fitting season after season!

Monica + Andy

@monicaandandy

The fabric you first snuggle your baby in matters. Monica + Andy's (gorgeous) collection is designed for moms and babies by moms with babies, and we love it all because it's made of super-soft GOTS-certified organic cotton that's free of chemicals, lead, and phthalates. Newborn pieces feature thoughtful details like fold-over mittens and feet.

Finn + Emma

@finnandemma

"Here boring designs and toxic chemicals are a thing of the past while modern colors, fresh prints and heirloom quality construction are abundant." We couldn't agree more. Made from 100% organic cotton, eco friendly dyes, and in fair trade settings, we love this modern collection's mix of style + sustainability.

We especially love the Basics Collection, an assortment of incredibly soft, beautiful apparel + accessories including bodysuits, zip footies, pants, hats, and bibs, all available in a gender-neutral color palette that can work together to create multiple outfit combinations. The pieces are perfect for monochrome looks or for mixing with prints for a more modern style.

SoftBaby

@littleaddigrey for @softbaby_clothes

You'll come for SoftBaby's organic fabrics, but you'll stay for their adorable assortment of prints. From woodland foxes to urban pugs, there's no limit to their assortment (meaning you'll even be able to find something for the new mama who's hard to shop for). Plus, the name says it all--these suckers are soft. Get ready for some serious cuddle time.

Gap Baby

@gapkids

Organic may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Gap, but this popular brand actually carries a wide variety of organic (and adorable) baby + toddler clothes. From newborn layette basics to toddler sleepwear—and more—there's something for everyone in this collection. Everything is 100% cotton, super soft + cozy, and perfect for eco-conscious mamas.

Winter Water Factory

@winterwaterfactory

Certified organic cotton with Brooklyn-based swagger? Be still our hearts. Winter Water Factory features screen-printed textiles in bold designs you'll want to show off (get ready for some major Instagram likes). And the husband-and-wife co-founders keep sustainability at the forefront of their brand, meaning you can feel good about your purchase--and what you're putting on your baby.

The company makes everything from kids' clothes to crib sheets (all made in the USA). For even more cuteness, pair their signature rompers with a hat or bonnet.

Under the Nile

@underthenile

Under the Nile has been making organic baby clothes since before it was cool. Seriously, they were the first baby clothing company in the USA to be certified by The Global Organic Textile Standard. They've kept up that legacy of high standards by growing their Egyptian cotton on a biodynamic farm without the use of pesticides or insecticides, and all of their prints are made with metal-free colors and no chemical finishes.

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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