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Being needed all the time is exhausting—but fleeting, too, mama

Ever since we brought our new daughter home, her older brothers have been the first to tell me when she is crying, whimpering or smelling a little suspicious. “Somebody needs you,” they say.


I have no idea how this little saying started, but at first, it sort of annoyed me. I could be enjoying a quick shower, “Mommy, somebody needs you. The baby is crying.” Or, sitting down for a second, quite aware that the baby was beginning to stir from a nap, “Mama, somebody needs you!” Okay—I get it already!

And not to mention, the newborn’s needs pale in comparison to the needs of two little boys.

Somebody always needs a snack, a band-aid, a different sock, ice cubes in their water, a new Paw Patrol, a stream of snot wiped, a hug, a story, a kiss.

Some days never seem to end, and the constancy of being needed can really take its toll. Then, it all started to hit me, they need me, not anybody else. Not a single other person in the whole world—they need their mommy.

The sooner I can accept that being ‘Mommy’ means that I never go off the clock, the sooner I can find peace in this crazy stage of life. That mommy is my duty, privilege, and honor. I am ready to be there when somebody needs me, all day and all night.

Being Mommy means I put the baby back down after her 4 a.m. feeding and when the 3-year-old has a nightmare.

Being Mommy means surviving on coffee and toddler leftovers.

Being Mommy means my husband and I haven’t had a real conversation in weeks.

Being Mommy means I put their needs before my own, without a thought.

Being Mommy means that my body is full of aches and my heart is full of love.

I am sure there will come a day when no one needs me.

My babies will all be long gone and consumed with their own lives.

My arms will no longer be their home.

My kisses no longer their cure.

There will be no more tiny boots to wipe the slush from or seat belts to be buckled. I will have read my last bedtime story, seven times in a row. I will no longer need to enforce time-outs.

There will be no more bags to pack and unpack or snack cups to fill. I am sure my heart will yearn to hear those tiny voices calling out to me, “Mommy, somebody needs you!”

So for now, I find beauty in the peaceful 4 a.m. feedings in our cozy little nursery. We are perched above the naked oak trees in our own lavender nest. We watch the silent snowfall and a bunny scampering across its perfect white canvas.

It’s just me and my little baby, the neighborhood is dark and still. We alone are up to watch the pale moon rise and the shadows dance along the nursery wall. She and I are the only ones to hear the barn owl hooting in the distance. We snuggle together under a blanket and I rock her back to sleep.

It’s 4 am and I am exhausted and frustrated, but it’s okay, she needs me. Just me. And maybe, I need her too. Because she makes me Mommy.

Someday she will sleep through the night. Someday I will sit, my arms empty, dreaming of those quiet nights in the nursery. When she needed me and we were the only two people in the world.

Can I enjoy being needed?

Sometimes, sure, but often it is exhausting. It isn’t meant to be enjoyed every moment. It is a duty. God made me their mom. It is a position I yearned for, long before I would ever understand it.

These years of being needed are exhausting, yet fleeting. I have to stop dreaming of “One day” when things will be easier. Because the truth is, it may get easier, but it will never be better than today.

Today, when I am covered in toddler snot and spit-up.

Today, when I savor those chubby little arms around my neck.

Today is perfect.

One day” I will get pedicures and showers alone.

One day” I will get myself back.

But, today I give myself away, and I am tired and dirty and loved so much, and I gotta go. Somebody needs me.

This post originally appeared on Your Best Nest.

Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.

$23

Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

$20

Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.

$12.50

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.

$47

boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.

$25

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.

$59

Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.

$36

Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.

$99

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this

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Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.


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