Daughters, 2017 was the year for women—and that’s only the start of your journey

Dear daughters,

Maybe you don’t feel it now, because you’re young, but the winds of change are blowing—and those winds are at your back.

On the cover of Time Magazine’s 2017 Person of The Year issue is a powerful image of ‘The Silence Breakers.’ They represent the thousands of women who have come forward this year to say NO MORE and ME TOO and WE WILL NOT BE QUIET.

The revolution has come—and it’s all for you.

Because, darling daughters, as your mothers we wish for a future where your equality isn’t a question you will ever need to contemplate, because it is a given.

We wish for a future where your power isn’t something you ever need to doubt, because you see it reflected in the women all around you.

We wish for (and will work tirelessly for) a future where you will never wonder ‘what if,’ because all the dreams you haven’t even had time to imagine yet are just waiting for you to grab them and make them come true.

We wish that “grown up you” will remember the girl you are on this day. The one who runs barefoot in the grass—wild hair and all—not a care in the world. The one who is the queen of her imaginings, and who commands it if she wishes it to be so. The girl who is utterly perfect, exactly as she is.

We wish for a future where kindness and empathy triumph over intolerance and bigotry. Although these things may always be there like the dark side of the moon, we wish that you will recognize them for what they are and pay them no mind.

We wish for a future of gratitude for the little things—because when you pay attention to the way that first sip of morning coffee tastes or the way the grass smells in the dew or the way the sunlight bounces just so off the top of your daughter’s head—the worries of the world somehow seem further away.

We wish for a future in which your body will know no limits, and you will accept it and adore it for all the magnificent things it can do for you. It will be strong and it will make you fierce—just as you are now.

We wish for a future where you will know true, meaningful friendship and that you will be the kind of friend your tribe leans on in times of need. The friend who finds equal solace in abundance when you seek it.

We wish for a future where you will know love—the passionate kind but also the ordinary kind. The kind you slip into like a pair of comfortable shoes and feel like you could walk with forever.

We wish for a future filled with compassion. Daughters of 2018, may you never forget the way your childish self rests a hand on the shoulder of someone weaker than you or sadder or more frightened. The way you lean down to look them in the eye and say, “Come and play with me.” May you take that instinct forward into your future so that fewer people are lonely, more people feel included and the world is a kinder place—because of you.

We wish for a future where women continue to stand shoulder to shoulder and arm in arm in the face of what is unacceptable.

As your mothers, we will stand that way until our legs give out in advocacy of you, and in advocacy of all the things that will make your world better.

We wish all these things for you, but we also plan for you, work for you and fight for you. We promise you: we will not rest. Not until there is no longer a need for ‘NO MORE’, and ‘ME TOO’ and ‘WE WILL NOT BE QUIET.’

We will not rest until your power and your worth and your perfection are as clear to you as they are to us.

Because we are all the silence breakers now, and everything we do is for you, daughters.

10 must-have registry items that will change your life, mama

The baby gear heavy hitters that should be top of your list

Calling all mamas-to-be! It's a fundamental truth of (impending) motherhood that your prepping-for-baby To Do list can feel a mile long, but really the best way to feel organized is to sort out the most important item at the top of your list: your registry. Sure the items you choose to include will end up running the gamut from nice-to-haves to absolutely essential game-changers, but mamas in the know quickly learn one thing: Not all baby gear is created equal.

So while you can and should pepper your registry with adorable inclusions that aren't necessarily can't-live-withouts (go ahead, add 'em!), you should make sure you're ticking the boxes on those pieces of baby gear that can be absolute life savers once you're in full-blown mama mode. From car seats to bouncers and playmats, your play and travel gear will be some of the most obvious important items on your list, but so can unexpected things, like a super comfy baby carrier and a snooze-inducing white noise machine. So to help you sort through the must-have options, we turned to the holy grail of motherhood that is buybuy BABY and handpicked 10 of the very best essential pieces that will change your life, we promise.

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Our Partners

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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The 6 biggest lies I believed before having kids

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves.

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves. Some of these ideas might have been based on our own ideas of how we would absolutely do things differently than everyone else. Others, we believed what everyone else told us would happen would apply to our littles, too. But, that's not always the case, mama.

Below are six of the biggest lies I believed before having kids—and the reality of what actually happened for me.

1. Put your baby down drowsy, but awake

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