A modern lifestyle brand redefining motherhood

Most moms are simply doing too much. Our days are not 9 to 5—they are from the minute we open our eyes until the minute we close them at night. And those days . . . well, we pack those days, don’t we?


Play dates and errands, laundry and cooking, cleaning and driving (Oh, the driving!). Maybe you work, too. Well it’s no wonder we are overwhelmed.

The average stay-at-home mom works 96.5 hours per week! It’s time for you to become the Chief Executive Officer of your family—instead of the Chief Everything Officer.

What’s the difference? A Chief Executive Officer delegates. A Chief Everything Officer does everything herself. To move toward a little more margin in our value as CMEO (Chief Mom Executive Officer), we must delegate.

What do you think of when you hear that word delegate?

That you don’t have anyone to delegate to? Or you don’t have time to teach someone to do what you need? Or you can’t afford to delegate? Or (admit it) that nobody else can do these things as well as you can?

Maybe you think delegation needs to be to a staff member or an assistant—one that you don’t have, of course. But there are many other kinds of delegation.

Here are nine ideas for things you can delegate. Of course they won’t all apply to you. It depends on your situation, your stage of motherhood, and what you do. Still, I am willing to bet that there are at least one or two things on the list that can work for you.

Nine things to delegate:

1. Cooking

No, you probably can’t hire a cook, but there are a variety of ways you can make cooking easier:

  • Buy pre-cut fruits and veggies instead of doing that step yourself
  • Try a service where you get the ingredients for several meals that you prep and store in your freezer until you’re ready to cook them.
  • Buy cupcakes for your kid’s party instead of making them yourself.
  • Do a meal swap with other moms where you each make multiple servings of one meal and then trade them for others.

Cooking and baking take tons of time. If you love it, well by all means, keep doing it. But I bet there is at least one area where you can delegate out some of the time-consuming work.

2. Food shopping

How much time does your food shopping normally take? For me, my big weekly trip easily takes two hours of time between driving and shopping.

If you order online, you can get that down to a quick trip to the market for some fresh essentials. You can subscribe to a company, such as Thrive or Amazon Fresh. My groceries are delivered right to my door! Life changing!

3. Driving

We drive and drive as moms. We are truly a taxi service. We drive to school and to sports.

Carpool, for goodness sakes! Find some other moms and drive a group! You can get your daily driving down to one drive per week if the carpool is big enough. Truly treat your fellow moms like a village. If you are going to Target, find out what your neighbor needs. Help each other out!

4. Cleaning

Now I know some of you are thinking that I’m suggesting luxury items that are hard to afford. I totally get it! But think about the value of your time. How long does it take you to clean the whole house? The toilets included? That would take me an entire day. If you didn’t spend the day cleaning, could you do something more valuable? Share quality time with your family? Or make more money?

You might hire someone to do laundry. My friend started a brilliant company called Laundry Ladies; she does your laundry, folds it, and puts it on your doorstep. It’s your call. Only you know what you need. But it may be worth giving up a latte here and there to have your house cleaned for you.

4. Chores

Don’t forget to find cleaning that the kids can do. They can start helping out with age-appropriate chores pretty young.

My kids take out the trash, do the dishes, and do their own laundry! Kids can help you make dinner. Your kids can pack lunches, too! Create little bins of foods they should choose from to make it easy for them to pack a well-balanced lunch. Kids can vacuum and sweep. Yes, kids can even clean bathrooms. Create a chore chart (like the one here http://www.moretimemoms.com/media/kids_chores_chart.pdf)

I know most of us give up on this because kids don’t do a good enough job or we have to nag them. Do the chore with them a number of times. Create a habit, and stick with it until it becomes second nature. Any help you can get is work that you don’t have to do.

5. Volunteering

I know in the past that I felt like I should volunteer in my kid’s classroom or on the school field trip. If this is difficult for you, come up with a plan.

My husband and I decided that he volunteers for school field trips and I volunteer in the class. I usually volunteer to be the art mom because it is less time intensive than being a weekly helper.

If the school doesn’t advertise a position as a shared position, let the teacher know that you’re happy to help if you can share the work with another parent. This year I’m sharing art-mom duties with two other parents. I get the joy of helping in my daughter’s class, but I only have to commit to being art mom every other month.

6. Family support

Sit down with your partner and talk about all the things you do every day. Bring a list—you do a lot! Ask if there is anything that they might be able to help with.

My husband, for example, does all of the laundry. Maybe your partner could help by running an errand on the way home from work, taking your car in for service, or dropping off clothes at the cleaner. It all helps. If you ask nicely, I bet you will get a yes.

You can also ask other family members to help you once or twice a week with the kids. If you are lucky enough to have grandparents on the scene, they would probably feel honored to have some private time with the kids.

7. Virtual assistance

If you are a working mom, you have got to check out fiverr.com and upwork.com. These sites offer virtual assistants who do everything from social media and podcast editing to graphic design and bookkeeping. There’s a site called Fancy Hands where you can hire virtual assistants to do anything from planning your vacation to ordering your holiday cards.

If hiring virtual help is of interest to you, I highly recommend that you also check out Chris Ducker’s book and program Virtual Freedom: How to Work with Virtual Staff to Buy More Time.

8. Online Shopping

One last way to delegate is to shop online whenever you can. I rarely go out shopping because it takes too much time! Get Amazon Prime, and get everything from your dog food to your makeup delivered.

Don’t have time to hunt through big department stores for a new outfit? There are now subscription services for clothes. Seriously, Le Tote is like Netflix for clothing. Stitch Fix is another popular one. It’s like having a personal shopper, but you never have to go to the store.

The ultimate thing you need to do to manage your time better is to stop trying to be super mom.

Let go of the guilt. Let go of feeling inadequate. We will be better wives, mothers, and people in general if we can get ourselves out of being overwhelmed.

Don’t worry if things aren’t done just right or your way. Stop being the whirling dervish spinning doing ten tasks at a time. Yes, we know you can do it. But there are people around you who can help. Take that help and you will be given the ultimate gift—a little bit of time.

And it’s up to you to make sure you don’t just fill it right back up again. To be a truly great leader in your family, you need to slow down and be purposeful with your time.

I’m not sure who said it, but I’ll share it again: You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

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Just because new moms aren't hitting the gym doesn't mean they aren't doing one of the most demanding workouts of all: It takes about 20 calories to produce one ounce of milk. So, with babies who down ounces upon ounces each day, that means breastfeeding mothers can easily burn hundreds of calories almost literally in their sleep.

All that hard work can result in quite an appetite, which can have new moms reaching for whatever is most convenient. But convenience doesn't have to come at the cost of good nutrition, taste and lactation-boosting powers—as proven by the delicious Booby Boons Lactation Cookies from Stork and Dove.

"Nourishing your body is just as important now as it was when you were pregnant. Not only are you recovering from pregnancy and birth, you are making milk to sustain your baby—and all the thousands of other things you do for them every single day," says Diana Spalding, Motherly's Birth Expert, midwife and pediatric nurse. "You are working so hard, mama. You deserve to fuel your body with the best—and it doesn't hurt when the best also happens to be delicious."

Here's why these little cookies are such lactation powerhouses:

Oats

The natural goodness of oats does so much more than make for tasty cookies. Considered to be a top galactagogue—or a substance that helps boost milk supply—oats are rich in iron, fiber and protein. Because low iron can reduce milk supply, mixing a scoop of oats into lactation cookies is a tasty way to give your body the boost it may need.

Nutritional yeast

For generations, nutritional yeast has been a remedy suggests to mamas looking to boost their milk supply. And for good reason: With protein, phytoestrogen and B12 found in fortified versions, nutritional yeast can provide nutrients to stimulate milk supply—while also offering a boost of energy.

Flax meal

Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed is good for the brain health of mothers and babies. Not to mention that with a nice nutty taste and great protein profile, they make nice additions to lactation cookies by helping you stay full longer.

Chia seeds

When it comes to lactation cookies and promoting brain development, varied sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are so helpful—and chia seeds deliver there. Found in some of the Booby Boons Lactation Cookies, chia seeds also deliver protein, calcium and magnesium.

Probiotics

Few things can take a toll on milk supply like when you're under the weather. Booby Boons+ Lactation Cookies provide a probiotic boost, keeping your immune system up and digestive health in check for better production—and a healthier-feeling mama.

Bonus: A sense of relaxation and ease is clinically proven to aid in milk production.

Even better, the cookies are wheat-, soy- and preservative-free! So grab a cookie, take a moment for yourself and boost that supply. Grab your cookies HERE or at Target and other fine retailers.

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

If you've got a Tuo Convertible High Chair by Skip Hop, you should check to see if it is part of a newly expanded recall.

Back in January, the company recalled about 7,900 of the chairs in the U.S. (and another 2,000 in Canada) after learning the front legs on the highchair can detach from the seat.

Now the recall has been expanded to include about 32,300 chairs sold in the United States, and an additional 8,600 purchased in Canada. The chairs were also sold in Australia and Mexico.

In the first recall, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported "Skip Hop has received 59 reports of the legs of the high chairs detaching, including eight reported injuries that resulted in a lip cut and bruises to children." Skip Hop expanded the recall to more model numbers after receiving 17 reports of the legs of the high chairs detaching, but no injuries have been reported.

The initial recall impacted grey chairs purchased between December 2016 and September 2017, but the expanded recall impacts charcoal grey models (style number 304200) and versions of the high chair in a silver and white with clouds design (style number 304201) purchased between June 2017 and December 2018.

The high chairs were sold at Target, Babies "R" Us, Buy Buy Baby, Kohls, Dillards and through Amazon and Skiphop.com between June 2017 through December 2018, and retailed for about $160.

The impacted date codes (which can be found on the back of the chair, on the "warning" sticker, are as follows:

HH5/2017, HH6/2017, HH7/2017, HH8/2017, HH9/2017, HH092717, HH030518, HH05182018, HH05312018, HH092917, HH010518

Refund process

On its website Skip Hop asks that parents take a photo of the date code on the chair, as well as a photo of the seat being cut as in the photo above (you need to write your name and the date on the chair before snapping the pic). Upload your photos into Skip Hop's product refund form and you should receive an email confirming the shipment of your e-gift card or refund within 5-7 business days, according to Skip Hop.

"We encourage consumers with affected product to immediately stop using the product," the company says in a statement.

"Consumers can find more information about this expanded recall by clicking on our website www.skiphoprecall.com, emailing our customer service team at recall@skiphop.com, or calling 888-282-4674 from Monday to Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST."

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The holiday season is upon us. Tis the season for joy and giving… and the perennial "I want" monster. Kids, young and older, tend to ramp up their requests for toys, treats and all manner of "stuff" this time of year. Of course, it's not surprising given the onslaught of ads, promotions and sales that they see on every screen or media outlet this season—however, as parents, the constant barrage of requests can be overwhelming.

Sure, we want our kids to have nice gifts, but we may fear in the back of our minds that we are raising kids who are too spoiled or not grateful enough.

How do we balance this desire to gift while still fostering a sense of meaning and gratitude during this season? Here are some tips.

1. Help kids focus on the abundance in their lives.

In our culture, it's easy to focus on the things we don't have. Social comparison is probably at the highest it's ever been thanks, in part, to social media posts. In past generations, comparison was maybe only with our neighbors or classmates. Now social comparison has no boundaries with pictures of friends' vacations and cars being posted on social media daily from all parts of the world. Even if our kids are not on social media, they still experience the comparison pressure.

A meaningful way to combat this pressure is the same way people have been doing it for centuries: by practicing gratitude. This old quote is as true today as ever, "Gratitude turns what we have into enough." Helping kids focus on the good things in their lives can be simple but effective in keeping the attention off of requests. Additionally, it can help us adults be intentional about our focus as well.

For young children, focusing on gratitude can be as easy as finding a joyful aspect of each day when you are sitting around the dinner table. Even on the hardest day, there is usually some little thing for which to be grateful.

If you want to get a little more creative, something like a "reverse" bucket list can be fun. Instead of making a list of all the things kids want to do (or purchase), you focus on the things you've done that have brought joy to your family. Contentment and gratitude become of the center of the conversation instead of "I want." You can also do a reverse advent calendar, where your family does one positive thing a day (donating goods to a shelter, sending Grandma a card, etc.).

2. Help them see outside themselves (and their situation).

Young children are inherently self-centered, but it's no fault of your parenting or your child, it's simply brain immaturity. Before the age of about four, their brains have limited skill in understanding the feelings and mind of another person.

That being said, as kids mature, you can help them understand the world around them and people who live in different circumstances than their own. Many of us grew up in the generation where our parents told us to clean our plates because "there are children starving out there." Perhaps well-meaning, this guilt-inducing approach to understanding poverty may not always have the results we want.

Instead, kids might respond better to having authentic interactions with fellow residents that live different experiences than their own. Perhaps there are residents in your town who really need extra support, like refugees or underemployed individuals who you can reach out to through a local charity.

Many church or community groups know of families that need "adopting" for whom you can provide gifts and food. If you are able to actually meet the family in person or at least learn their names, this can make the giving much more meaningful for kids.

Trying to authentically engage with people that are different from our typical neighbors also raises many questions and topics for conversation with kids. Serving a meal at a homeless shelter may prompt an in-depth discussion of poverty and its causes.

These conversations can be challenging for parents, but are often necessary to help kids really understand others. By opening their eyes to the needs of others, kids gain a whole new perspective on their own wants and needs.

3. Guide them through uncomfortable feelings.

Part of the pressure in the season of "I want" is dealing with kids' uncomfortable feelings when the inevitable let-down occurs. No matter how many gifts or experiences you offer, no parent can provide everything. Kids will inevitably experience disappointment in some form or fashion. It turns out, this is actually a good thing.

In coping with the small disappointments and stresses of life, kids can actually grow in empathy and emotional maturity. The key for parents is to guide them through the uncomfortable feelings instead of trying to make them disappear.

When your child feels sad or disappointed about something (not getting the gift of their choosing, for example), instead of trying to distract them with an activity, allow them to feel those uncomfortable emotions long enough to really process them.

Allowing this emotional space is what builds resilience over the long term. You can offer emotional support and listen, but try not to rush them "back to happy" too soon. Once they calm down, you might offer some insights into how those emotions relate to other kids who are struggling or disappointed. In this simple act of emotional support, you've just helped your child build emotional intelligence and empathy for others who experience disappointment. Now that's the best gift you can provide for your child!

4. Model gratitude and kindness.

As much as we want our kids to focus on gratitude and giving instead of receiving, it is often a challenge for us to not get immersed in consumerism this time of year. The culture of purchasing this time of year is overwhelming. Even if we are mostly buying gifts for others, it can be challenging not to get caught up in the "fear of missing out" feeling when it comes to finding the best deal or coolest gift.

Unfortunately, our kids might pick up on this "fear of missing out" feeling too. Once they reach school age, kids often compare wish lists or holiday outings their family has experienced. As with most things parenting-related, we really have to practice what we preach when it comes to fostering gratitude.

We can model these values by showing our appreciation to store clerks, wait staff or others who have to work during holiday times. Kids are always watching and these little acts of kindness can make a big impression.

Modeling kindness is, of course, a year-round goal but this time of year we can help our kids show gratitude in special ways to those around them. Perhaps kids can show gratitude for those they interact with like teachers, bus drivers, or grandparents by making cards or special treats. Make a list together of who you want to thank.

The holiday season doesn't have to be filled with the dread of constant requests and wish lists from the kids. By changing our attention, we can use this season as a time for emotional growth and lessons in gratitude.

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It would be so great if we could be in two places at once because as mothers, we're often trying to do that.

We want to be there for every moment and milestone, but the fact is, we can't. Sometimes we're in the other room when baby takes their first steps and sometimes we have to be at work during our kid's big ballet recital.

That's exactly what happened to Busy Tonight host Busy Philipps on Friday. Her 5-year-old, Cricket, had a ballet recital, but Busy had to work. Luckily, FaceTime came to the rescue.

"Being a working parent sometimes is unbelievably heartbreaking and hard but thank god for FaceTime (even if it's blurry),' she captioned an Instagram post showing her screenshot.

Busy is so right. It is hard to have to make choices and admit that we can't be everywhere at once. Motherly's 2018 State of Motherhood Survey found 78% of mothers surveyed have mixed feelings about combining a career and motherhood, and that "there are real tradeoffs".

Having to FaceTime into your kid's dance recital so that you can smash glass ceilings in a television genre dominated by men—yeah, that's a tradeoff.

But it is also okay.

It's okay for Busy to love her job and not be physically present for this one recital, because (if you follow her on Instagram, you know) she's present and engaged in so many other moments of Cricket's little life.

Our kids know that we are there, that we love them, and that we would be there for every moment if we could. But the reality is that (even if you are a stay at home parent) there are times when you will miss something.

Obviously, someone was at Cricket's recital, holding up their iPhone, and Cricket will know that she had people in the audience and that Busy saw her in action.

Being a working parent can be unbelievably heartbreaking, but she's making it work, and so are you, mama.

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You're living the dream—you've asked your boss if you can work from home, or you landed that flexible position, or maybe you decided to strike out on your own as a consultant. Now comes a new challenge: How do you make your home into a workplace when it's already home to your (sometimes rather loud) family?

Through clever scheduling, a few ground rules and some hard core #momhacks, mamas have figured out how to share their workspace with little ones.

If you dream of being a working mom and a stay-at-home mom, take some tips from these mothers who've made the most of flexible work options (and a whole lot of inner drive).

1. Be honest with your clients

If you're working from home, be transparent about that from the get go. That way, if a child does bust into your office or the dog starts barking while you're taking a call, you can just keep going without having to explain away the background noise.

Sarah Hamaker is a mother of four between the ages of 10 and 15, and she also works as a certified parenting coach. She says she always starts phone conversations by telling her clients that she works from home—and they may hear a child in the background. "Most people were very understanding," Hamaker explains.

The mute button on her headset helped, too. Whenever she wasn't speaking, she'd hit the mute button so the conversation appeared to be a little quieter.

2. Get a gym membership

Sometimes, a work call is just too important to risk an interruption. If you don't require everyday child care, but do need a quiet call every once in awhile a gym membership can be a lifesaver.

A gym with on-site childcare is essentially an on-call babysitter, says Traci Kantowski, communications director with Trust Transparency Center. "I regularly take advantage of gym childcare when I need to be able to focus, or have an important call because I know my kids are cared for," Kantowski says.

Bonus: You can also actually just hit the gym.

3. Designate an area of your home for work

Kantowski's children know they need to knock before entering her office, but not every family can devote an entire room to mom's workspace. If all your bedrooms are full, you can still carve out a designated area just for your work, even in small spaces. Closets can make great compact work spaces, thanks to DIY ideas and products like this closet-to-office conversion kit from the Container Store.

If your office or desk is in a high traffic part of your home, a pair of noise-cancelling earphones can help you focus while your kids play with their other parent, grandma, the babysitter or each other.

4. Get a hotspot plan

For many, the point of working from home is to spend more time at, well, home. But for many mamas, working from home is appealing because it also allows us to be away from our desks. Ballet practice, carpool duty, library time—these are all things you can make time for when you're not commuting, but you might have to squeeze in some work while chauffeuring the kids around.

Make sure your cell phone plan includes hotspot access, so you'll be able to sneak in work time from the carpool line, the pool and the indoor playspace, Kantowski says.

5. Use electronics in case of emergency

Screen time guidelines suggest parents keep video time to a minimum, but, one work-at-home mom, Julianne Robicheau says sometimes a little screen time goes a long way to helping mama get her work done. Robicheau started her skin care company, Robi Luxury Skin Care, when her child was a year old, and says that, in a pinch, Ryder and his team of pups have come to save the day.

"Of course, I don't feel like mother of the year when I do this, but sometimes, work needs to get done and I have to rely on babysitter Paw Patrol," she says

​6. Let them help

Robicheau often lets her 4-year-old help her when it comes to photoshoots and putting together shipments. "I'm raising them to just roll with it," she says, explaining that she even brings her kids to most business meetings. "I shot a marketing video with a videographer from home with both kids around," Robicheau says.

Bonus: this method teaches kids about work ethic, and there are plenty of long-term benefits for kids who see mom working.

7. Reserve special toys for key work moments

When her children outgrew napping, Stephanie Woodson, who writes sewing and craft tutorials for her web site, Swoodson Says, transitioned them to quiet time with audio books and puzzles in their room so she still had a chunk of the day to herself. "Reserving special toys or crafts for busy days is key: A sensory bin or magazine collage activity can keep them happy for a long time," she says.

8. Share childcare with other work-from-home parents

If you know of other work-at-home-parents, you can swap children with them, giving each parent a day to work while the other parent watches everyone's kids, says Swoodson, who did this many times.

9. Wake up early

Allison Carter, creator of Confetti Party Plans, wakes up an hour earlier than her children to set her daily goals, check her email and plan her social media so that when her children wake up, she gets to focus on breakfast knowing that she already accomplished something before she actually started her day.

10. It doesn't matter *where* you're working from

Sonja Thompkins is a homeschooling mother of a 5 1/2 -year-old and an online business coach for brick and mortar boutique owners. She says she uses her gym, the library, fast food restaurants or even the car to work—as long as her child is entertained, and even takes video calls. "Clients truly don't care about your perfectly curated office backdrop," she says. "I used to think they did."

11. Batch work when you can

Thompkins' husband is an army reservist and a firefighter who works in 48-hour shifts. But when he's home, he takes over so she can crank out as much work as possible. "I use a project management app to keep me focused on the tasks I need to accomplish, which is great for my productivity," she explains.

If you're just starting out as a work-at-home parent, you'll soon figure out that you'll need to adjust your expectations, your technique and your methods as your family grows.

What works for a toddler (race to the computer to get two hours of solid work time while he naps!) will change drastically when he's a preschooler (schedule a playdate and practice some hands-off parenting so you can snag a few sneaky hours).

In the end, it's all about flexibility. And isn't that what working from home is all about?

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