Happy birthday, baby: On baby + mama’s first year

The first year of baby’s life is epic—for mama.

Happy birthday, baby: On baby + mama’s first year

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”

Why do babies get to have all the birthday fun?

We’ve started to think that a baby’s first birthday should be occasion to celebrate a different type of birth that happened that day: the creation of a mother. Yes, baby’s first trip around the sun is absolutely a cause for celebration—so bring on the smash cake. ?

But allow us, too, on our 1 year birthday here at Motherly ?, to mark the incredible journey that women go through in their very first year of motherhood.

The sacrifice of labor. The cramping, contracting, pushing. The incomparable, heroic struggle to bring a baby into the world.

The victory of birth. The sweetness of that first kiss. The chubby little cheeks.

The wacky first newborn poops. Woah baby.

The engorged breasts. The fumbling breastfeeds. The postpartum recovery.


The diapers—for baby and for mom. So many diapers.

The feeling of—oh my goodness, what did I get myself into?

The night sweats. Ohhh the night sweats.

The midnight feeds. The 3 am feeds. The 5 am feeds. The 7 am feeds. The why does this tiny human eat so much feeds.

The sense that there is not enough coffee in the world to save you from the depths of this exhaustion.

The proud first family outing: Here we come, world!

The realization that nothing will ever be the same.

The thought that having another child seems overwhelmingly impossible.

The shock at the cost of childcare.

The first attempt at intimacy. The fear of pain. The taste, again, of physical pleasure. (You’ve still got it, mama.)

The first day back to your new reality at work—whether now staying-at-home or back to the office.

The moment when you try to put on your pre-pregnancy pants. The moment when you curse those pants and put them in the back of your closet.

The day you painstakingly style those luscious postpartum locks. The day your hair starts falling out.

The day your baby laughs out loud at you for the first time. The day you laugh back and pee yourself a little bit.

The time you confidently give advice to a pregnant or new mom with less experience then you.

The feeling that you’re kind of an amazing woman and mother.

The coming to terms with the shape and texture of your new postpartum body.

The sense of being willing to pay a babysitter any price for a few hours by yourself alone.

The rethinking of your identity at work, in love and at home.

The first big fight about roles and parenting and why can’t you just do a single load of laundry without me asking???

The thought that having another child might be doable—some day.

The hell of teething and stomach viruses and sleep regressions.

The soft snuggle of a sniffly infant.

The first big outing with girlfriends—only to spend the whole trip texting to make sure baby is okay.

The thought that you are a crockpotting, babywearing, child-whispering cross between Martha Stewart and Beyoncé.

The thought that your house will never be clean again.

The grateful notion that someday your clingy baby will be more independent.

The heartbreaking realization that your baby won’t always need you in the same way.

The pride of seeing your partner rock at parenting. You chose well, mama.

The scheming and planning for a 1st birthday celebration worthy of the journey you’ve both been through.

The confidence of looking back at your magical, beautiful, transformative first year.

Happy birthday little one. And happy birthday to you, too, mama.

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These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

1. Go apple picking.

Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

4. Have a touch-football game.

Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

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

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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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