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These are the holiday gifts mamas *actually* want this year

Each holiday season, children write down their wish lists and we do our best to make some of their wishes come true. But we often forget about what we mamas actually want to find under the Christmas tree this year. No, it's not the latest television or a pair of fuzzy socks.

We asked #TeamMotherly to share their top wish list items and they delivered. (Spoiler: It involves a lot of sleep and some peace and quiet—and okay, a decent bra for once.)

Here's what they shared:

Sleep 

  1. "I'm a simple girl, I'll take a good night's sleep."—Karen Paz
  2. "A new stroller, sleep, some new eyebrows, time for the gym. Time to eat, time to use the restroom + shower. TIme to clean my car."—Estefani Acosta
  3. A full night's sleep, meals cooked, clean house, husband who gets a job and acts right, insurance to get teeth cleaned and my scans done that I have had to wait on, and every to be healthy."—Dana Giacchino
  4. "Sleep. Bathroom alone. A hot cup of coffee not reheated three times. No fighting for one day. Oh, and wine!"—Brooke Vanderpool"
  5. "Few days of extra sleep and no whining."—Christal Cardenas
  6. "Sleep and a clean house, but I really want Harry Potter sheets."—JohnBree Adams
  7. "A night of uninterrupted sleep and a chance to sleep in."—Tatjana S. Moedl
  8. "Sleep would be great but a massage, mani/pedi and haircut."—Audrey Murphy
  9. "Lots and lots of baby must haves and, sleep, we can't forget about sleep"—Conchita Barajas
  10. "SLEEP and hot coffee."—Julie Massana
  11. "SLEEP."—Natalie Bancroft
  12. Sleep, massage mani and pedi some wine, oh Lord."—Nancy Banda
  13. "A nap."—Deanna White
  14. "A very nice sleep no whining and more money to my account."—Salamatu Abdulazeez
  15. "A full night's sleep and a nice long hot shower."—Abby Iverson
  16. "✨Uninterrupted sleep"—Lauren McConnell
  17. "8 hours of undisturbed sleep, please."—Prachi Pradhan Lavekar

Things you can't buy

  1. "A safe world for my child to grow up in."—Liz Vollmer-Buhl
  2. "Time—I want more time with my daughters and husband."—Mary Caitlin
  3. "Enough resources to give my kids the magical Christmas they deserve."—Lora Dian
  4. "Safely deliver on term and lots of great things for my baby. ❤️"—Haska Shamla
  5. "I have everything I need. I just want everything to stay this sweet forever. ❤️"—Hailey Isaacson Buehler
  6. "I'm hoping Santa will finally come through and pay off my medical bills."—Rebecca Pittkin
  7. "A toddler who eats more than just two bites of anything, an infant who sleeps longer than four hrs at a go, for both of them to be happy and healthy." —Jenny Vehlow
  8. "Peace and quiet. Clean house. Someone else to cook. I don't wanna be too picky though."—Robyn Denise
  9. "Time to see and appreciate nature more and going on trips."—Precious Onuabueke
  10. "Sanity."—Lacey Loraine
  11. "Good time with my husband and kids."—Meryam Belhiah
  12. "Health and strength"—Lorraine Sobeck
  13. " Peace and joy."— Nicole Chowen Stott

Things you *can* buy

  1. "Tortilla press and tamales pot."—Shenandoah Brettell
  2. A hoodie that says 'Land of 10,00 Ice Rinks.' I live in northern MN and my stepson plays hockey. It's our life during the winter. I'd also like a gas card, because I'm driving all over the state for hockey and unlimited pouches because they are currently the only way our toddler will eat veggies."—Emily Gould
  3. New tennis shoes to keep up with my active life, my favorite Philosophy Gingerbread man body wash to help me wake up, and a pretty night gown to remind me that while I'm a mama, I'm still a woman."—Juliane McDavid
  4. "Functioning nursing bras/tops."—Michele Piechocniski Munoz
  5. "Slippers, a silpat and an uninterrupted bath."—Aleena Hodges
  6. "I asked for gift cards to get a new wardrobe after baby."—Jocelyn Waldahl
  7. "A house cleaning service—on my list every year!"—Jackie Muller LoSchiavo
  8. "One year supply of baby formula."—Karla Butiong Robertson
  9. "New pistol range bag with lots of fitted compartments, a weight set + bench, and an updated family photo with a dark wooden frame."—Sarah Joy Albrecht
  10. "I also want a flannel robe, a storage case for my essential oils, a new bra and a new pair of jeans."—Jenny Vehlow
  11. "Starbucks, Tyme Iron, and leggings. ❤️"—Amanda Higgins"Nursing clothes."—Kristina Rettler
  12. "New clothes that actually look nice and fit and more time with my son and husband."—Kerrana McAvoy Clément
  13. Some pampering makeover and the help not to engage in any house work."—Pearl Mwendia
  14. "A new coat for myself. My old one is a good 17 years old."—Courtney Crawford"
  15. A swing for my baby, new clothes, lovely shoes, and a car."—Ella Rapheals
  16. "Meals cooked for me and my house cleaned!"—Heather Heard
  17. "A wheelbarrow"—Kinsley Harlow
  18. " A Wildbird sling!"—Olivia Beaman
  19. "Bras "—Maria Akemi
  20. "A puppy!!"—Tiffany Prystay"
  21. "Ergo 360!"—Joanna Whiteman"
  22. "Fitbit."—Tzippora Wainstain
What's on your list, mama?
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Parents in New Jersey will soon get more money and more time for parental leave after welcoming a baby.

This week New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed off on legislation that extends New Jersey's paid family leave from six weeks to 12.

It also increases the benefit cap from 53% of the average weekly wage to 70%, meaning the maximum benefit for a parent on family leave will be $860 a week, up from $650.

It might not seem like a huge difference, but by raising the benefit from two-thirds of a parent's pay to 85%, lawmakers in New Jersey are hoping to encourage more parents to actually take leave, which is good for the parents, their baby and their family. "Especially for that new mom and dad, we know that more time spent bonding with a child can lead to a better long-term outcome for that child," Murphy said at a press conference this week.

The law will also make it easier for people to take time off when a family member is sick.

Because NJ's paid leave is funded through payroll deductions, workers could see an increase in those deductions, but Murphy is betting that workers and businesses will see the benefits in increasing paid leave benefits. "Morale goes up, productivity goes up, and more money goes into the system," Murphy said. "And increasingly, companies big and small realize that a happy workforce and a secure workforce is a key ingredient to their success."

The new benefits will go into effect in July 2020 (making next Halloween a good time to get pregnant in the Garden State).

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Whether you just need to stock up on diapers or you've had your eye on a specific piece of baby gear, you might want to swing by your local Walmart this Saturday, February 23rd.

Walmart's big "Baby Savings Day" is happening from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at participating Walmarts (but more deals can be found online at Walmart.com already and the website deals are happening for the rest of the month).

About 3,000 of the 3,570 Supercenter locations are participating in the sale (check here to see if your local Walmart is).

The deals vary, but in general you can expect up to 30% off on items like cribs, strollers, car seats, wipes, diapers and formula.

Some items, like this Graco Modes 3 Lite Travel System have been marked down by more than $100. Other hot items include this Lille Baby Complete Carrier (It's usually $119, going for $99 during the sale) and the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat (for as low as $199).

So if you're in need of baby gear, you should check out this sale. Travel gear isn't the only category that's been marked down, there are some steep discounts on breast pumps, too.

Many of the Walmart locations will also be offering samples and expert demos of certain products on Saturday so it's worth checking out!

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Any Schumer has not had an easy pregnancy. She intended to keep working, but if you follow her on social media you know she's been very sick through each trimester.

And now in her final trimester she's had to cancel her tour due to hyperemesis gravidarum, also known as HG. It's a rare but very serious form of extreme morning sickness, and on Friday evening Schumer announced she is canceling the rest of her tour because of it.

“I vomit every time [I] ride in a car even for 5 minutes," Schumer explained in an Instagram post.

Due to the constant vomiting she's not cleared to fly and just can't continue to the tour.

This is not the first time Schumer has had to make an announcement about HG. Back in November, just weeks after announcing her pregnancy, she had to cancel shows and again broke the news via Instagram.

She posted a photo of herself in a hospital bed with her little dog Tati, and spelled out the details of her health issues in the caption. "I have hyperemesis and it blows," Schumer wrote.

Poor Amy. Hyperemesis gravidarum is really tough.

Kate Middleton, Ayesha Curry and Motherly co-founder Elizabeth Tenety are among those who, like Schumer, have suffered from this form of severe morning sickness that can be totally debilitating.

As she previously wrote for Motherly, Tenety remembers becoming desperately ill, being confined to her apartment (mostly her bed) and never being far from a trash can, "I lost 10% of my body weight. I became severely dehydrated. I couldn't work. I couldn't even get out of bed. I could barely talk on the phone to tell my doctor how sick I was—begging them to please give me something, anything—to help."

Thankfully, she found relief through a prescription for Zofran, an anti-nausea drug.


Schumer probably knows all about that drug. It looks she is getting the medical help she obviously needs, and she was totally right to cancel the tour in order to stay as healthy as possible.

We're glad to see Schumer is getting help, and totally understand why she would have to cancel her shows. Any mama who has been through HG will tell you, that wouldn't be a show you'd want front row seats for anyway.

Get well soon, Amy!

[A version of this post was published November 15, 2018. It has been updated.]

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As a military spouse, Cydney Cooper is used to doing things alone. But when she delivered her twin daughters early after complications due to Influenza A, she was missing her husband Skylar more than ever.

Recovering from the flu and an emergency C-section, and trying to parent the couple's two older boys and be with her new infant daughters in the NICU, Cydney was exhausted and scared and just wanted her husband who was deployed in Kuwait with the Army and wasn't expected home for weeks.

Alone in the NICU 12 days after giving birth, Cydney was texting an update on the twins to her husband when he walked through the door to shoulder some of the massive burden this mama was carrying.

"I was typing up their summary as best I could and trying to remember every detail to tell him when I looked up and saw him standing there. Shock, relief, and the feeling that everything was just alright hit me at once. I just finally let go," she explains in a statement to Motherly.

The moment was captured on video thanks to a family member who was in on Skylar's surprise and the reunion has now gone viral, having been viewed millions of times. It's an incredible moment for the couple who hadn't seen each other since Skylar had a three-day pass in seven months earlier.

Cydney had been caring for the couple's two boys and progressing in her pregnancy when, just over a week before the viral video was taken, she tested positive for Influenza A and went into preterm labor. "My husband was gone, my babies were early, I had the flu, and I was terrified," she tells Motherly.

"Over the next 48 hours they were able to stop my labor and I was discharged from the hospital. It only lasted two days and I went right back up and was in full on labor that was too far to stop."

Cydney needed an emergency C-section due to the babies' positioning, and her medical team could not allow anyone who had previously been around her into the operating room because anyone close to Cydney had been exposed to the flu.

"So I went in alone. The nurses and doctors were wonderful and held my hand through the entire thing but at the same time, I felt very very alone and scared. [Skylar] had been present for our first two and he was my rock and I didn't have him when I wanted him the most. But I did it! He was messaging me the second they wheeled me to recovery. Little did I know he was already working on being on his way."

When he found out his baby girls were coming early Skylar did everything he could to get home, and seeing him walk into the NICU is a moment Cydney will hold in her heart and her memory forever. "I had been having to hop back and forth from our sons to our daughters and felt guilty constantly because I couldn't be with all of them especially with their dad gone. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life and I won't be forgetting it."

It's so hard for a military spouse to do everything alone after a baby comes, and the military does recognize this. Just last month the Army doubled the amount of leave qualifying secondary caregivers (most often dads) can take after a birth or adoption, from 10 days to 21 so that moms like Cydney don't have to do it all alone.

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