I can’t do it all, and no one expects me to—except myself

For some reason, as moms we feel like if we aren’t superwoman each day, we are failing.

I can’t do it all, and no one expects me to—except myself

I see you. Most days, I am you.

Praying they will stay asleep until 6 a.m. Third cup of coffee in hand by 11 a.m. And ready for bed by 7 p.m., but staying up after they go to sleep to try and get caught up on all that went undone during the day.

Motherhood is exhausting. Plain and simple.

We worry about our kids day and night, it doesn’t matter if they are 8-days-old or 18-years-old.

We chase them around.

We say ‘no’ more times than we’d like to admit during the day.

We do laundry. And more laundry. And just when the laundry is caught up, someone gets a stomach bug.

We are chauffeurs.

We are referees.

We are head chef and chief dishwasher.

Is anyone else tired just reading this? Excuse me while I go take a nap.

When I was pregnant, I did all of the research—what’s the best crib? How often should he eat? No one told me I should have spent that time sleeping.

My son is 14-months-old, and he literally just started sleeping through the night this week. The funny thing is, I still get up at least once a night to check on him. Ah, the irony of motherhood.

Some days it all seems so monotonous, I’ve been there. I was there last week.

Last Thursday, I knew it was coming. I could feel it from a mile away. I tried everything I could to stop the migraine, but by Friday morning, it hit me like a ton of bricks. This was the worst one in probably 10 years. I couldn’t sit up without getting sick. I couldn’t keep water down. I had to call my husband to come home from work because I felt so bad, something I’ve never done. It was bad.

I had been burning the candle at both ends, staying up late and getting up early. I had been trying to do it all—work a full-time job from home, wash the laundry, cook gourmet meals.

It caught up with me and it knocked me down.

When my husband arrived home, I went straight to bed and stayed there till noon the next day. I didn’t change a diaper. I didn’t get up during the night. I didn’t give our one-year-old a bath.

God bless my precious husband for taking care of it all while I was out. He works hard and does his fair share around the house all the time, but last week he picked up my slack, too. During my downtime, I realized a few things—things my husband and mom have been telling me for months.

I can’t do it all, and no one expects me to, except myself.

For some reason, as moms we feel like if we aren’t superwoman each day, we are failing. We put an immense amount of unnecessary mom guilt on ourselves. We wear ourselves out by running around so busy, trying to get it all done and never really doing one job well. We need to realize we are enough.

It’s ok to say no.

Whether it’s to cooking dinner, folding laundry, a night out or volunteering—say no. If I don’t take care of myself, I can’t take care of the precious ones entrusted to me.

And I realized that just because I’m not pregnant or recovering from pregnancy, doesn’t mean I can’t still ask for help.

Our kids don’t care that dinner came from McDonald’s, in fact they probably enjoy it.

Our husbands don’t care if they come home to a load, or four, of unfolded laundry.

They are happy that we are there for them. They are fed, they are loved and they have you—an exhausted mama who is doing her best and loves them more than they could ever know.

So get some rest, mama. You deserve it.

This essay originally appeared on Loving Living Lancaster.

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

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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

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

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What went viral this week: Pregnant Disney Princesses + an airline nightmare

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Last week was a week.

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