Motherhood is: Wishing I could pause time and keep you this small just a little bit longer

I don't want you to grow up.

Is that not fair?

I don't want you to stop looking at me like I'm Superwoman. You make me feel like I can do anything, be anything.

I don't want you to stop climbing into my bed so that I feel your small feet rubbing against my back. It may wake me up in the wee hours, but it fills my heart with joy.

I don't want your squeaky little voice to change. It's perfect.

I don't want you to keep growing out of your shoes and clothes faster than I can buy them. One day you'll be as tall as I am, and some days I feel like that'll come faster than I could ever imagine.

I don't want you to stop using a pacifier or wanting a bottle of milk at bedtime. Because then you'll be a big girl and you won't be my baby anymore.

I don't want your "Mommy, will you lay with me?" requests to go away. You ask so nicely, your voice as sweet as can be. I've come to expect them each night (I'm sure I've take them for granted) but truth be told, if you didn't ask me tonight, my heart wouldn't be ready for it.

I don't want you to stop playing with your blocks and baby dolls in favor of "cooler" toys. Your innocence is so pure and so beautiful.

I don't want you to be embarrassed by me and my public displays of affection. I fear it'll break my heart.

I don't want you to push my hugs away. They are the best hugs in the world.

I don't want you to stop saying, "Mommy, guess what? I love you." It gets me every time.

I don't want you to stop needing me. Even though I often feel exhausted from it all, I don't want you to stop asking me for help when you need it. I take pride in being there for you. As your mama, it feels natural now to be giving so much of myself to you guys.

I don't want you to stop wanting to be around me.

I don't want you to stop loving me as much as you do now.

I'm afraid of you growing up. I'm afraid of my getting older. Because things will be different. I know I complain sometimes, because don't get me wrong—mothering three young children is no walk in the park—but I love our life. It's wonderful and messy and happy and complicated and joyful and frustrating. It's everything to me.

But as you're getting older, I am realizing things change and eventually our lives will look different. And change is never easy for me.

Who will I be when you don't need me as much?

What will I be needed for if it's not a hundred diaper changes a day, volunteering in your preschool class, or nursing nursing nursing my newborn?

Will I feel as validated as I do now, in my role of "mother to young children"?

What will I do with myself?

Sometimes I find myself with so many questions, and not much to show for answers.

So I'm going to stop worrying and overthinking.

Just kidding. That's not in my DNA.

What I am going to do is I'm going to try my best to live in this moment. To be here with you while you need me, while your squeaky voice shouts demands at me, while all you want is Mommy to do this, Mommy to watch me, Mommy to get that.

Being present and mindful is continuously hard for me. But so is motherhood—and I'll never give up on mommin', so I'll never give up on trying my best to savor these magical moments we share together every day. Even among the frustrations, hurriedness, and lack of patience.

I can't stop time, so the next best thing is truly being present for you while I still can.

The goal I proudly have as your mother is to raise brave, compassionate, kind, exceptional human beings. So here's a little secret—I do actually want you to grow up. I want you to grow into the amazing people you are and will continue to be.

I believe in my heart that you're each destined for greatness. One day I will marvel at the adults you've become. And I'll still be here for you—whatever you need.

Even though you may grow out of my arms, I know you'll never grow out of my life—or my heart.

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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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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This incredibly soft comforter from Sunday Citizen is like sleeping on a cloud

My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice.

When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, there are many factors that, as a mama, are hard to control. Who's going to wet the bed at 3 am, how many times a small person is going to need a sip of water, or the volume of your partner's snoring are total wildcards.

One thing you can control? Tricking out your bed to make it as downright cozy as possible. (And in these times, is there anywhere you want to be than your bed like 75% of the time?)

I've always been a down comforter sort of girl, but after a week of testing the ridiculously plush and aptly named Snug Comforter from Sunday Citizen, a brand that's run by "curators of soft, seekers of chill" who "believe in comfort over everything," it's safe to say I've been converted.

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I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have kids—so here’s what I did

We asked our three most pessimistic friends who have kids whether it's worth it or not

As told to Liz Tenety.

Around the time my husband and I were turning 30, we had a genuine conversation about whether or not we wanted kids. I was the hesitant one because I was like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Let's just hold on. Okay, let's talk about this. Because we love our life. We like traveling. Is this what we want?"

My husband said, "Let's ask our three most pessimistic, crabby friends who have kids whether or not it's worth it."

And every single one of them was like, "Oh, it's unmissable on planet earth."

So when I got pregnant, I was—and I'm not ashamed to say this and I don't think you should be—I was as connected with the baby in my belly as if it were a water bottle. I was like, I don't know you. I don't know what you are, but you can be some gas pain sometimes, but other than that, we're going to have to meet each other and suss this relationship out.

But all the cliches are true that you just know what to do when the baby comes out. Some of the times are hard, some of them are easier, but you just gotta use your gut.

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