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The most important parenting task you can complete today—and it only takes 5 minutes

We've found the easiest and most affordable way to help protect your family.

The most important parenting task you can complete today—and it only takes 5 minutes

When my husband and I were expecting our first child, we also had the lovely experience of trying to sell a car. One potential buyer, a lawyer who was looking to buy a vehicle for his daughter, tried to bargain with us: Would we give him the car in exchange for his legal services in writing a will?

After all, he reasoned while gesturing to my belly, you will need one soon.

He was right about that—but completely wrong that we needed to sign away a car in order to get a legally enforceable will.

As a Motherly editor, I was thrilled to discover recently that through Fabric's online last will and testament tool, my husband and I are now able to create that will in just about five minutes and for the grand total of $0. (Meanwhile, we sold that car to a paying buyer.)

Fabric is a new kind of life insurance company, and because they designed the service with families in mind, they've taken steps to help remove the hang-ups that can cause people to postpone drawing up a will—including the expense of consulting with a lawyer, although it is recommended you do consult with one if you have specific questions or a complicated estate. Now, creating a legally enforceable will is as easy as plugging in personal information and (in most states) getting two witnesses who aren't named in the will to sign off on it.

Presto—you've instantly helped to protect your family.

Even better, Fabric recently rolled out a feature called Trusted Contacts, which allows you to share your will directly with your partner. Whenever I update something in my own will, my husband will be notified and always know where to find my most up-to-date wishes.

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Here are four reasons why it's incredibly simple—and incredibly important—to draw up a will in a mere five minutes.

1. You can check it off your to-do list while brewing coffee

It's so easy to get absorbed in the small details that are necessary to keep the household functioning. While "get milk from the store" may seem like a more urgent need than creating a will, helping to ensure your family will be supported without you is probably one of the easiest and cheapest items to check off your list.

Thanks to Fabric, technology for creating a last will and testament is meeting parents where they already are: on their smartphones or computers. In fact, almost two thirds of all customers made a will on their phones. Better yet, it's fast. According to the company's data, the median time for a Fabric customer to write a will was only seven minutes, and more than three in four people knocked this off their to-do lists in less than five minutes. A few minutes in exchange for a lifetime's worth of peace of mind sounds like a good deal to me.

2. You don't need a personal attorney (or those fees)

Getting a trustworthy, legally enforceable will doesn't have to cost, say, the price of a car. The savvy folks at Fabric realized there was a better way: By consulting with lawyers to help draft a will template that is legal for use in all 50 states, that is 100% free.

Of course, if your situation is more complex or if you have specific questions along the way, it's always a good idea to speak with a qualified legal professional as you get your affairs in order.

3. Your loved ones will always know where to find your will 

With Fabric's latest Trusted Contacts feature, your spouse or beneficiary will never have to dig through drawers, desks and piles of paper to find the latest copy of your will. This seemingly simple feature can make a huge impact if the need arises to find the proper documentation and ensure it is current.

4. The conversation about your legacy shouldn’t be intimidating

For families, especially those with young children, one of the most essential objectives in creating a will is designating guardians in the unlikely case they are needed. Although this isn't exactly a fun subject to think about, it is so empowering to address it straight on and know your family will be in good hands.

Of course, this requires some due diligence and direct conversations with the people you hope to select as your children's legal guardians. If and when the would-be guardian accepts, you can share further details about your finances and personal hopes. You might even consider leaving an ethical will that would outline the values you hope to pass down to your loved ones.

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Just like when faced with the question of whether we should give away a car in exchange for a will, deciding whether to use Fabric to draft a legally enforceable last will and testament was a no-brainer—only, this time, it was an enthusiastic "yes."

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

12 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$189

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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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Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

Thank you for understanding. ❤️

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

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