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It’s been fun, winter, but my kids and I are SO ready for spring

I was never prone to the winter blues until I became a mother. Like any other born and bred Northeasterner, I would get the itch for spring sometime around late February, but I mostly took the cold, dark days in stride. I could never imagine life in a locale without four true seasons, and if subzero temps and high utility bills were the price to be paid for a crisp, glorious fall—then I'd happily make do.

And then I had kids.

Sure, at the start of December it's all sugar plum dreamy—the enchantment of the first glistening snowfall, afternoons spent cutting out paper snowflakes and cozy nights snuggled up with hot cocoa and books. But by mid-January the first signs of cabin fever creep in, and winter feels like one long, hard slog until the ground thaws and the heavy coats can be packed back in the attic.

In winter, I am the finder of perpetually lost mittens and hats, the coraller of wildlings who want no part in putting on the snow pants and boots necessary for any outdoor play—which typically only lasts about as long as it took to get suited and booted. Snow in the socks has a real way of bringing sledding to a screeching halt.

In winter, I am the crazy craft lady, frantically pinning any and all baking soda experiments and make-your-own play doh recipes in a valiant but inevitably futile effort to limit screen time.

In winter, I am the hapless drainer of bank accounts, shelling out buckets of cash for museum visits, aquarium passes, indoor gym time and countless coffee dates. Will your place of business entertain my child and get me out of the house for an hour? Here, take all my money.

And I think worst of all, in winter I am a slightly unhinged and criminally underslept ball of worry—caught in a vicious cycle of nursing sick kids, trying to protect my healthy kid from your sick kid, or trying to protect your healthy kid from my sick kid, all of which can only be accomplished by a state of self-imposed quarantine, ad infinitum. This last one is my true winter Achilles heel. (I should really invest in Kleenex stock and try to make some lemonade there…)

But in the spring, everything changes.

Like the proverbial butterfly emerging from the cocoon, I come out of hibernation to greet spring as a lighter, freer creature. Everything is easier in temperate weather, myself included.I am made buoyant by the increase in vitamin D and delighted by the decrease in doctor visits. The longer days are filled with the fresh air and exercise that makes for soundly sleeping children and well-rested parents. My rambunctious boys are busy getting reacquainted with Mother Nature and her splendor, and that magic is the kind of contagious I can get behind.

In spring, the windows are thrown open and the house stays cleaner. More time spent outdoors means less time inside trashing the just-vacuumed playroom.

In spring, gone are the parentally-coordinated playdates, set up over email or text and planned around when the house will be most fit for company. My boys take part in impromptu neighborhood games of driveway hockey, soccer and “catch the toad". It's like a beautiful sight from a bygone era, the way a suburban spring brings kids of all ages out to play together.

In spring, we plant our carefully tended seedlings into our raised-bed vegetable garden and watch each sprouting plant with fascination and awe. I never thought I'd see the day my 7-year-old would pluck raw pieces of kale right from the stem and declare it delicious. But such is the wonder of our backyard experiment.

And in spring, after the dinner dishes are cleared and my husband has taken up his post on tubby duty, I slip on my sneakers and headphones and go for long walks in my neighborhood, an activity that benefits my mental health as much as my physical.

Sometimes I listen to podcasts, sometimes I listen to music, and sometimes I listen only to the sounds of life around me—the birds chirping, the dogs barking, and the cheerful hellos of my fellow recently emerged parents-in-arms.

We have big smiles for one another as we blink our way back into the bright, welcome light of the world outside.

We made it, mamas. It's spring! ??☀️

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Mom life demands efficiency. Because while the amount of hours in the day are the same as before kids, now a sizable chunk of that time is spent caring for and loving on those little people. Compromises happen—and let's just be honest, the old beauty routine is one of the first things to get cut.

But, wait! You don't have to sacrifice putting on mascara or, worse, skipping the SPF. Instead, why not flip it, reverse it, and look at the bright side? Here's your opportunity to streamline your morning makeup routine. With some savvy skin care and beauty hacks, you can get your radiant glow on in record time.

Here are our tried-and-true hacks passed down from Motherly mamas:

1. Embrace multipurpose items

If the most pressing issue is limited time, consolidate multiple steps of your beauty routine with a multipurpose item. For example, instead of starting with a SPF moisturizer, followed by spot concealer and a blendable foundation, you can take care of all of that in one go with one of our favorites: Earth Mama's 3-in-one Lady Face™ Tinted Mineral Sunscreen. The beauty stick also allows you to easily fold SPF 40 into your routine, because Lady Face doubles as super-safe, clean sun protection. Even better? The sunscreen blocks blue light from those ever-present digital screens with a ray-scattering, non-nano formula.

2. Revive dried mascara

Especially after a sleepless night (#motherhood), mascara can make a major difference in how well rested you appear to be. If you realize your tube of mascara is dried out, don't write it off as a lost cause. Simply soak the sealed tube in warm water to loosen up the mascara — or add a drop of a multi-purpose saline solution into the tube. That should do the trick until you have time to buy a replacement. (But let's face it: You're a mom. It's okay if you're tired.)

3. Keep coconut oil handy

Coconut oil isn't just for the kitchen. From a DIY hair mask to an in-a-pinch lip balm or naturally removing makeup at the end of the day, coconut oil's cosmetic hack-list is long. For summer, we especially like adding a thin swipe of organic extra virgin coconut oil to the cheekbones at the end of the makeup routine for a bit of an extra glow.

4. Multitask while deep conditioning

If your hair needs a bit of TLC, consider applying a natural, paraben-free deep conditioner before doing chores around the house or even a short workout. By working up a bit of a sweat, the conditioner will set even better before you rinse off in the shower.

5. Start your hair care routine the night before

As you work to find your new normal morning routine, it can help to simply reschedule a task or two—like hair. If you shower the night before, get a jumpstart on your look by blowdrying, straightening or even braiding it for loose waves in the morning.

6. Even out your skin tone

Between multiple wake-ups during the night and wavering hormones, complexion issues can become a thing for most mamas. Thankfully, the hack for managing that is as simple as finding a great foundation that goes on smoothly and doesn't cake or crack through a morning of momming. Scope out the ingredient list for naturally nourishing components like coconut oil, shea butter or beeswax — and skip the stress (and the return process if the shade doesn't match) by going for something that easily blends with most skin tones.

7. Find brands your feel great about

As a mom, you might find yourself considering bigger life questions: Are my cosmetics safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding? Are they helping the world my children will grow up in? Can I trust the ingredients and mission? Pro tip: read the ingredients on all your personal care products, memorize the ones you want to avoid, and look for third-party certification to ensure the product is actually what it says it is. When you find a brand that walks the talk, you're going to want to be loyal.

8. When in doubt, go for a bold lip

With happy hours swapped for play dates, your daily routine may look a bit different than it used to. But who says you have to leave your personal style behind? If you've always been a fan of makeup and going a bit glam, keep going for it, mama! The extra 60 seconds it takes to apply lipstick or whatever else gives you a bit of pep in your step is well worth it.


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

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When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.

$23

Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

$20

Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.

$12.50

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.

$47

boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.

$25

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.

$59

Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.

$36

Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.

$99

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