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I am not a perfect mom but I am a ‘good enough’ mom

Sometimes I buy big bags of organic carrots and sometimes I declare it ‘pizza night!’ I am good enough at nutrition.

I am not a perfect mom but I am a ‘good enough’ mom

I was going to be the Dr. Oz of parenting. I was going to be a guru, and then I realized that I would probably have to teach my kids to stop acting like wild raccoons at the grocery store. I don't want to be negative but my kids are 10, 8, 6, and 3. This is never going to happen for me.


You are not going to get advice from me on teaching toddlers to read, or getting your kids to stop gagging on their vegetables. I could however offer a step-by-step guide to watching them chew on the same vegetable for two hours, until you eventually give up and let them spit it out.

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I am not very perfect at parenting, but I do love my kids enough to cuddle with them while they smell like pee, and I feel like that's kind of a lot.

I'm not perfect, but I am enough…and so are you.

I enjoy them enough.

Sometimes I smell their hair and I kiss their cheeks. I laugh at their jokes and I marvel that I am so blessed. Time stops in moments like that and everything is perfect and worth it.

Other times I am unsure if I will survive the hours of 4:00-8:30 p.m., and if one can die of overexposure to bickering.

One can. I'm sure of it.

I enjoy them enough.

I am good enough at bedtime.

Sometimes we read together. We snuggle on the couch and I read them Hardy Boys or Anne of Green Gables.

Other times I race through a bedtime song like I'm Alvin the chipmunk. I punctuate it with a kiss and I run outta there like it is a hostage situation. (Because it is.) They cry out after me that their water is old, that their backs itch and their underwear is twisted. This is when I hide behind the freezer door shoveling cookie dough ice cream into my mouth, wondering who will give up first…me or them.

I am good enough at bedtime.

I am together enough.

We eat meals together. We love each other and we laugh together.

I also lose all school papers even though they come in a convenient shade of neon and my daughter (age 6) just asked me that, “If I'm going to come to her school today could I please wear 'real' clothes?" Then, on the way there (in case she wasn't clear earlier) she asked me if I remembered my pants.

I am together enough.

I am fun enough.

Sometimes I take every single thing too seriously. Like crumbs and clutter and teeth brushing. I have an out of body experience while I am lecturing them and I wonder if they will remember anything other than me being grumpy.

Other times I laugh so hard with my kids that my stomach hurts. We play games, we go on hikes, and we dance in the living room in our pajamas.

I am fun enough.

I'm good enough at housekeeping.

Sometimes I pick crumbs off of the carpet and throw them under my couch. Sometimes the downstairs bathroom causes me to imagine the Health Department coming to my house and posting a D- in my front window. I fantasize that they will shut us down and we will be forced to eat at our parents house every single night from now on.

That sounds wonderful.

Other times my house is vacuumed and my counters are clean. I'm playing coffeehouse radio on Spotify and there's a candle burning.

I am good enough at housekeeping.

I am good enough at self care.

Sometimes I cannot recall my last shower. I go to the grocery store with a pillow imprint still on my face and a pair of sweats that the 18-year-old cashiers never wanted to know about.

Other times I wear makeup and I brush my hair…and nothing…not a thousand rabid hyenas can keep me away from a ladies' night.

I'm good enough at self care.

I am a good enough wife.

Sometimes I'm a great listener and an epic encourager. We laugh together and dream together and he is truly my favorite person.

Sometimes he gets all the brunt of my frustration. He gets my snappy responses and my rolling eyes. Sometimes when he needs a pep talk I say, “Why did you do that?"

Which he loves, for the record.

I am a good enough wife.

I am good enough at nutrition.

Sometimes I declare it a pizza night. We use paper plates and I share my love affair with ranch dressing.

Other times I buy large bags of organic carrots and force feed my children spinach. I plan meals and I worry if they're eating too much sugar.

I am good enough at nutrition.

I love them enough.

I LOVE MY KIDS. I love them in all their messy, smelly, ridiculous and hilarious glory.

I love them and I love them and I love them…

and that's what makes everything else I do enough.

and it makes everything you do enough too, Mama.

We love them enough.



Jessica writes at her blog Wonderoak. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram.


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14 Toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

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

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

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.

$179

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

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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?

Meri Meri: Decor and gifts that bring the wonder of childhood to life

We could not be more excited to bring the magic of Meri Meri to the Motherly Shop. For over 30 years, their playful line of party products, decorations, children's toys and stationery have brought magic to celebrations and spaces all over the world. Staring as a kitchen table endeavor with some scissors, pens and glitter in Los Angeles in 1985, Meri Meri (founder Meredithe Stuart-Smith's childhood nickname) has evolved from a little network of mamas working from home to a team of 200 dreaming up beautiful, well-crafted products that make any day feel special.

We've stocked The Motherly Shop with everything from Halloween must-haves to instant-heirloom gifts kiddos will adore. Whether you're throwing a party or just trying to make the everyday feel a little more special, we've got you covered.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

When Chrissy Teigen announced her third pregnancy earlier this year we were so happy for her and now our hearts are with her as she is going through a pain that is unimaginable for many, but one that so many other mothers know.

Halfway through a high-risk pregnancy complicated by placenta issues, Teigen announced late Wednesday that she has suffered a pregnancy loss.

Our deepest condolences go out to Chrissy and her husband, John Legend (who has been by her side in the hospital for several days now).

In a social media post, Teigen explained she named this baby Jack.

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"We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we've never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn't enough," she wrote.

She continued: "We never decide on our babies' names until the last possible moment after they're born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever."

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