Why don't we share the messy, hard moments of motherhood? They deserve to be celebrated too

Most days of motherhood sound something like this: The clothes in my dryer have been there for at least two days (and I've already run the “wrinkle release" setting half a dozen times). My hair is three days dirty. My daughter's onesie still bears remnants of breakfast. Sometimes I've worked out...and sometimes I'm still in my pajamas at 3 p.m. Sometimes lunch is a mix of organic fruits and veggies with grilled chicken. Sometimes it's a frozen pizza. (Both are delicious.) The coffee in my mug is almost always cold. (That's what microwaves are for, right?)

Motherhood is rarely the perfect, Instagram-worthy moment I dreamt about before my baby was born. Some days, it's frustrating. Most days, it's messy. Every day, it challenges me in ways I never expected.

But for every diaper-blowout, volcanic-tantrum, screaming-standoff moment, there are thousands that, while imperfect, simply take my breath away.

Celebrate every day of motherhood with our friends at Hallmark Baby.

Because the messy moments can be beautiful too.

Whether we're ankle deep in blocks after spending half an hour constructing a castle or I'm scrubbing crayon marks off the table after an intense coloring session has gone awry, I'm consistently in awe of this tiny person's creativity and imagination.

They're the moments that don't make it to any social media feed because they're surrounded by piles of half folded laundry and dishes from last night's dinner, but they're the memories I cherish when I think back to how my daughter's character has developed over the past few months. These moments of mess are the mama rites of passage that bind us all and show us what we're made of.

Because the frustrating moments can be empowering too.

Motherhood is a constant test of humility, whether it's reminding me that I can't control everything (or, really, very much most days) or pushing me to think quickly on my feet when my tried-and-true solutions suddenly stop working.

I'm not going to start bragging about my daughter's 15-minute tantrum in the mall any time soon, but I revel in the moments after, when screams have calmed to whimpers and we hold each other in the car as we calm down. Then those big, round eyes look up at me and she finally smiles. I can finally release that exasperated breath I've been holding and take solace that, bit by bit, we are figuring this out together.

Because the loud moments can be peaceful too.

Yelling, clattering toys, and singing at top of lungs are the soundtrack of our life right now. There are days when, yes, I would love just a minute of quiet. A moment to catch my breath and close my eyes for a bit of zen--only to have my reverie interrupted by another suspicious clash from the next room.

But when I learn to embrace the chaos, to add my own voice to the cacophony as we dance around the kitchen in silly moves of our own making, I realize that these are the moments that make it all worth it. These are the moments I will miss the most when my child is grown and my house is suddenly all too quiet for my liking. So I throw my head back and let my own belly laughs mix with her giggles, so blissfully aware that these are the best sounds in the world.

An adorable toy from the newest collection at Hallmark Baby.

Because the hard moments can be comforting too.

This mama life can be lonely. It can feel like the challenges will never end and like the weight of it all is settled squarely on my shoulders. But for each moment of lonely heartbreak, I find myself presented with just as many opportunities to take in love around me.

Whether it's my mama tribe that never lets me feel alone for long, or my husband who is at the ready to shower me with love and encouragement, or even my own daughter who never lets a day go by without giving me more kisses and hugs than I could count, our lives are so rich with love.

It isn't perfect. My child isn't perfect. I'm certainly not perfect. But the moments we create together and will remember forever—those are pretty perfect to me.

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:

Keep reading Show less

Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

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 supporting Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners
International Network for Aid, Relief and Assistance (INARA)

It's 2020. The world is changing. It's hard to believe but the old decade is over, the new one is here and it is bringing a lot of new life with it. The babies born this year are members of Generation Alpha and the world is waiting for them.

We're only a few months into the new year and there are already some new celebrity arrivals making headlines while making their new parents proud.

If your little one arrived (or is due to arrive) in 2020, they've got plenty of high profile company.

Here are all the celebrity babies born in 2020 (so far):

Keep reading Show less