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To the mom who feels like she's doing the same thing every day

You love them with a passion so fierce and a strength so true, that you're willing to do this life. You're willing to cater to the sameness of motherhood—for them.

To the mom who feels like she's doing the same thing every day

Wake up. Too Early.

Pour a cup of coffee. That will need to be reheated at least twice.


Make breakfast. "I don't want that, Mama."

Take a shower. As tiny hands bang on the door.

Throw in a load of laundry. Quietly ignore the pile on the couch waiting to be folded.

Make a snack, pour a drink. Search for a lost sippy cup.

Naptime. Finally.

Fix lunch. Chicken nuggets… again.

Do the dishes, wipe down the counters. All the while knowing the sparkle of the kitchen will never last.

Spend the afternoon doing all the things. Playing, tidying, reading, organizing.

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Throw something together for dinner. "I don't want that either, Mama."

Bath time, story time, bedtime. Please let the kids fall right to sleep.

Fall into bed yourself. And lay awake, stuck with the thoughts in your mind.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Does any of this sound familiar, mama? Too familiar maybe?

Sometimes this parenting thing feels like one big scene from Groundhog Day. You don't remember auditioning for a part, yet here you are, waking up day after day to find yourself stuck in the same pattern as yesterday, and the day before, and every day you can recall preceding that one.

Sure, the details vary in the slightest. Yesterday it was a dinosaur t-shirt that you sprayed the mac 'n' cheese stain out of; today, it's teddy bears and ketchup.

Yes, the details vary, but the big picture is the same.

The monotony of this motherhood thing can be enough to drive you mad, right? And some days, you'll let it do just that. Some days you'll squirm with restlessness as you longingly look out your window to the trees whose leaves are the only things that seem to have changed in the last six months.

You wonder how you got stuck in this hamster wheel and more importantly, how you'll ever get out.

I know this feeling of "stuck" all too well. I know how it feels to wake up in the morning and lay in bed staring at the ceiling, trying to find it in your heart and mind to do it all again; all of the hard, all of the boring, all of the same.

I know the shame you feel in counting down the hours in the day, wishing the moments away because they've become so tedious that you no longer find any zest within their walls.

I know that the motions of your routine have become so second-nature that you could waltz through them with your eyes closed. And sometimes, you do.

If you feel like you're reliving your days, Mama—well, it's probably because you (mostly) are.

But.

Do you know what else you do every single day, over and over again?

You teach these tiny humans the lessons that will help them evolve into bigger, more whole versions of themselves. Versions who will change minds, change hearts, change the world.

You inspire the warmest belly laughs your ears have ever heard, and you join in the joyful chorus right along with them.

You offer hug after hug after hug to little ones who long for your comfort. Little ones who cling to your shirt, bury their face in your chest and find that with you, they're home.

You tell stories that spark magic into the creative imaginations of grand adventurers and you teach little hearts to navigate big emotions.

Day after day, you feed these hungry souls with all that is wonderful and kind and brave.

You love these little ones of yours in a way that no one else could ever, or will ever.

You love them with a passion so fierce and a strength so true, that you're willing to do this life. You're willing to cater to the sameness of motherhood—for them.

There is plenty of bland and boring in this monotony, to be sure. But if we allow ourselves to see it, there is even more bold and beautiful to be found in these days.

So, Mama? Even when you feel like you're doing the same darn thing Every. Single. Day—carry on, and don't you ever forget:

Every moment—even the ones that repeat and grow stale and carry so much weight—every moment… it matters. It matters so very much.

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This is how we’re defining success this school year

Hint: It's not related to grades.

In the ever-moving lives of parents and children, opportunities to slow down and reflect on priorities can be hard to come by. But a new school year scheduled to begin in the midst of a global pandemic offers the chance to reflect on how we should all think about measures of success. For both parents and kids, that may mean putting a fresh emphasis on optimism, creativity and curiosity.

Throughout recent decades, "school success" became entangled with "academic achievement," with cases of anxiety among school children dramatically increasing in the past few generations. Then, almost overnight, the American school system was turned on its head in the spring of 2020. As we look ahead to a new school year that will look like no year past, more is being asked of teachers, students and parents, such as acclimating to distance learning, collaborating with peers from afar and aiming to maintain consistency with schooling amidst general instability due to COVID.

Despite the inherent challenges, there is also an overdue opportunity to redefine success during the school year by finding fresh ways to keep students and their parents involved in the learning process.

"I always encourage my son to try at least one difficult thing every school year," says Arushi Garg, parenting blogger and mom of a 4-year-old. "This challenges him but also allows me to remind him to be optimistic! Lots of things in life are hard, and it's important we learn to be positive during difficult times. Fostering a sense of optimism allows kids to push beyond what they thought possible, like biking without training wheels or reading above their grade level."

Here are a few mantras to keep in mind this school year:

Quality learning matters more than quantifying learning

After focusing on standardized measures of academic success for so long, the learning environment this next school year may involve more independent, remote learning. Some parents are considering this an exciting opportunity for their children to assume a bigger role in what they are learning—and parents are also getting on board by supporting their children's education with engaging, positive learning materials like Highlights Magazine.

As a working mom, Garg also appreciates that Highlights Magazine can help engage her son while she's also working. She says, "He sits next to me and solves puzzles in the magazine or practices his writing from the workbook."

Keep an open mind as "school" looks different

Whether children are of preschool age or in the midst of high school, "going to school" is bound to look different this year. Naturally, this may require some adjustment as kids become accustomed to new guidelines. Although many parents may wish to shelter our kids from challenges, others believe optimism can be fostered through adversity when everyone is committed to adapting to new experiences.

"Honestly, I am yet to figure out when I will be comfortable sending [my son] back [to school]," says Garg. In the meantime, she's helping her son remain connected with friends who also read Highlights Magazine by encouraging the kids to talk about what they are learning on video calls.

Follow children's cues about what interests them

For Garg, her biggest hope for this school year is that her son will create "success" for himself by embracing new learning possibilities with positivity.

"Encouraging my son to try new things has given him a chance to prove that he can do anything," she says. "He takes his previous success as an example now and feels he can fail multiple times before he succeeds."

There's no denying that this school year will be far from the norm. But, perhaps, we can create a new, better way of defining our children's success in school because of it.

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

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.



Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com 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 support Motherly and mamas.

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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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