Dear twentysomething moms—I see you

I see you because I was you. 

Dear twentysomething moms—I see you

I was a twentysomething when I started having my babies. Looking back, I was just a baby myself, and even though I only have four years of parenting experience under my belt—I feel like those four years have taught me so much. That’s motherhood for you.

I’ve learned more about who I am, who I want to be and what’s truly important in my life.

I’ve learned that I absolutely love my children with every fiber of my being and that I can’t picture life without them. ?

I’ve learned that being a mom is everything and nothing like I expected.


It’s surprising, it’s fun, it’s exhausting and it’ll definitely keep you on your toes.

But I still wonder.

I wonder how my life would have differed if we waited a little longer to start a family.

I wonder if we would have traveled more, my husband and I.

I wonder if I would have made more spontaneous plans with girlfriends.

I wonder if I would have worked out more, would have made regular manicure appointments, been on top of my self-care game. ?

Because now that my younger sister and cousins are the twentysomethings having kids it makes me feel—older, yes—but it also makes me feel like I want to hug them, cheer them on and reassure them if they’re wondering whether the path they’re going down is the right one.

I want to tell them that it is the right path—it’s not the right path for everyone, but it is the right one for them.

So, to the twentysomething mom who’s the first of her friends to have a babyI see you.

To the twentysomething mom who can’t quite swing that bachelorette trip to New Orleans because she has a newborn at home—I see you.

To the twentysomething mom who is continually too tired to meet the girls out for drinks on Friday nights, like you used to—I see you.

To the twentysomething mom who is jealous of her friend who’s off to Spain on a getaway by herself—I see you.

To the twentysomething mom who worries how they’ll have the money to make it all work with a baby—I see you.

To the twentysomething mom who just found out she’s pregnant, and it wasn’t quite in the plan yet (or so she thought)—I see you.

To the twentysomething mom who wonders if she didn’t give the relationship with her significant other enough alone time, pre-children—I see you.

To the twentysomething mom who stays up at night worrying if she can handle all of thisI see you.

I see you because I was you. And I’m here to tell you that the path of twentysomething momhood is a good one. And not just good. It’s pretty amazing, actually. ?

I may not be able to jet off to, well… anywhere on a whim, but there are many pros for having had children in my twenties.

I am a younger mom.

I have an almost four-year-old, and just crossed over into my thirties. Which theoretically means I may have more energy to do this whole “parenting young children” thing at this age vs. an older one.

You figure out who your forever friends are.

My girlfriends stuck around. I guess this might not be the case for everyone, but I hope it is. Your true girls will stay by you even if they’re not having kids yet.

You probably already know which ones will. They’ll bring you dinners when your baby is born, they’ll force you out to the movies when you really need it, they’ll play with your kids and love them like their own.

Family time trumps anything else.

And you become okay with this faster than you’d ever even believe.

You may not be going to wine tastings and breweries every weekend like you see people doing on Facebook or going to that destination bachelorette party, but you are making a craft with your daughter or reading a book to your son or getting excited about family movie night. To me, nothing else compares to that now.

Life’s detours often turn out to be life’s most beautiful moments.

Your pregnancy may have been a bit of a surprise or something that happened faster than you thought or something you weren’t sure you were ready for—but what’s not a surprise is how much you love your kiddo.

Sure, life may be filled with more up-all-night nursing sessions vs up-all-night parties and wine-fueled heart-to-hearts, but you wouldn’t trade it for the world. I can’t imagine life without my kiddos now.

(Plus, we'll get those wine-fuelled heart-to-hearts back soon. ?)

You may have traded in the ‘freedom’ of your twenties for the joys of motherhood and family life—but that doesn’t mean the sacrifice isn’t real. I know those wine tasting Facebook photos can cause FOMO and hearing about that trip to Spain can sting a bit—but we all have different paths, and that’s okay.

The love we have for our children is deep and raw and beyond anything else. Motherhood is one of life’s greatest adventures—at any age, mama—so don’t feel like you’re missing anything. Truth be told, there will always be challenges and amazing moments at any age of life—whether you’re a mother or not.

Because no one’s life is perfect. And everyone’s paths have zigzags and roadblocks.

But this is your path, and you are rocking it.

Just believe in yourself, the family you’re creating and this wild ride we call motherhood. Because, you’ve got this.

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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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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