Mom, I get it now

And you know what? You are my hero.

From the time I knew how to hold a pen, my mom advocated for the importance of a well-written thank you note. Sitting down to compose one was the immediate by-product of any birthday gift, unexpected kindness or celebratory meal. These thank yous were the terrain where she taught me to practice my penmanship, hone my diction and learn to express my thanks over and over again.

In short—to grow up with my mom was to understand what it means to be thoughtful and how to be grateful.

Now as a mom myself, it is with a rather keen regret that I look back on the moments when I neglected to fully and adequately express my gratitude to the very person who was most deserving of it: her.

I recall, as a child, incredulous over one of her decisions, my mom responding, “You just won't understand until you're a parent; until you're a part of the club."

Infuriating though it may be, she was right. Once again.

My own son is still an infant. And yet, even with my comparatively narrow perspective on motherhood, I can see the courage of her incredible generosity in ways that were not apparent to me before.

I can see her remarkable freedom from self-interest.

I can see the passion and purpose behind her actions.

I can literally feel the gigantic, heart-stopping love.

I get it now.

And, I am so grateful for the opportunity to admire her anew.

For every magnificent gesture and every small moment of tenderness across my lifetime, she is my hero and while this is long overdue, I would like to say thank you for the myriad examples of her great bravery.

She has been a true gift to me. And as every thank-you-note-writer must do, I need to remark on the qualities of this particular and very tremendous gift.

She is a hero for her deep compassion and her ability to be a light for others through the minor scrapes and major falls.

She is a hero for her vision and her big dreams for our family and seeing more for us than we could sometimes see for ourselves.

She is a hero for her accountability and for eagerly waiting in the wings with open arms at every single sporting event, assembly, dance recital and school musical.

She is a hero for her uncanny ability to make any place, even tiny New York City apartments, feel just like home.

She is a hero for her wholehearted encouragement of each new adventure we sought out, frequently at the cost of her own.

She is a hero for the example of her life-long friendships and her countless acts of kindness towards others.

She is a hero for helping us see new beginnings in every ending from breakups to breakthroughs.

She is a hero for her spirituality and deep belief in high ideals paired with hard work.

She is a hero for always finding the words to say thanks, to say I'm sorry, to say I believe in you, to say I love you.

She is a hero for her stamina through the late nights, long days, study sessions, hospital stays, drop-offs, packed lunches, laundry, home cooked meals and endless to-dos.

She is a hero for her tenderness and a warm embrace that affirmed our ability to get back up and try again.

She is a hero for her presence and her ability to fully celebrate every win, holiday, report card and milestone.

She is a hero for her wisdom and her ongoing efforts to ensure that we were known, seen, and understood.

She is a hero for facing the day to day uncertainties and anxieties of raising two children with optimism and thoughtfulness.

She is a hero for a sense of discipline that was always threaded through with love.

She is a hero for her moral leadership in inhabiting all these roles of daughter, wife, sister, mother, friend and for living a life that her children, and now grandchildren, can admire.

She is a hero for her unflagging, uplifting, unquestioning ability to love her children into bloom.

Her work, and her bravery, is the real stuff of life. I only hope I can come half as close to getting it right with my son.

I need my mom—this unsung hero—now more than ever. As I navigate these new waters of motherhood, I need to hold her up in my daily life as an example—to inspire me, lead me, teach me. So that she can be the one I go to when I'm called to be a hero myself, in my own home, in my own family and in my everyday life.

Thank you, Mom.

As much as I love fall, it always feels like the season when my family's routine gets kicked into overdrive. With our oldest in (homeschool) kindergarten, my youngest on the brink of entering her twos, work, housework and *all the things* filling my day, it's hard not to feel a little overwhelmed sometimes. Did I mention we're still in a pandemic? (Yeah, it's a lot.) And while I try to take a positive view as much as I can, now more than ever I definitely jump at the chance to take anything off my busy plate.

One thing first in line at the chopping block? Cooking. To be fair, I like cooking. I cooked most of our meals long before I had ever even heard of social distancing. But there's something about the pandemic that suddenly made cooking every single meal feel exponentially more draining.

Enter Daily Harvest. They deliver nourishing, delicious food right to your door. Daily Harvest's mix of smoothies, bowls, flatbreads, snacks and more provide a balanced, whole food options that are as satisfying as they are nutritious. But my favorite part? When we're ready to eat, I simply pull the food from the freezer and it's ready in minutes—without any chopping, measuring or searching for a recipe. Even better, they're incredibly tasty, meaning I'm not struggling to get my girls to dig in. Not cooking has never felt so good.

Here are my 8 favorite products that are helping to lighten my load right now:

Mulberry + Dragonfruit Oat Bowl

Mulberry + Dragonfruit Oat Bowl

One thing that actually helps break up the monotony of quarantine? Trying and introducing new ingredients to my family. I love this overnight oat bowl (add milk the night before and let it set in your fridge overnight—easy-peasy!) because not only does it not compromise on nutrition, but it also helps me bring new whole fruits, vegetables and superfoods to the table with ease.

Mint + Cacao Smoothie

Mint + Cacao Smoothie

I kid you not, these taste exactly like a mint chocolate chip milkshake. (Just ask my 4-year-old, who is constantly stealing sips from my glass.) What she doesn't know? She's actually getting organic banana, spinach and chlorella with every sip. #momwin

Kabocha + Sage Flatbread

Kabocha + Sage Flatbread

Our family's eating habits have been leaning more plant-forward this year, which often means a lot of veggie washing, peeling and chopping every time I cook. That's why these flatbreads are my new best friend come lunchtime. This Kabocha + Sage Flatbread is made with a gluten-free cauliflower crust topped with kabocha squash, fennel and sage for a taste of fall in every bite. (Missing the cheese? You can add it before baking for more of a pizza feel.)

Kale + Sweet Potato Flatbread

Kale + Sweet Potato Flatbread

There's something about the combination of sweet potato crust topped with red cabbage, organic greens and an herby-cilantro sauce that is so delicious… like surprisingly delicious. I polished off this bad boy in seconds! And unlike other "veggie" crusts I've tried, these are actually clean (AKA no fillers, preservations, partially-hydrogenated oil or artificial anything). Plus, it couldn't be easier to throw in the oven between conference calls and homeschool lessons.

Cacao + Avocado Smoothie

Cacao + Avocado Smoothie

Any time I get to serve a breakfast that tastes like chocolate, it's a good day. (That goes double when it's *my* breakfast.) This rich, chocolatey smoothie is packed with organic zucchini, avocado, pumpkin seeds and pea protein for a nourishing mix of healthy fats and muscle-building protein so I can carry that baby all day long. And did I mention the chocolate?

Vanilla Bean + Apple Chia Bowl

Vanilla Bean + Apple Chia Bowl

Maybe it's just me, but after a long week of cooking, the last thing I want to do on Saturday morning is...wake up and cook. That's why these one-step breakfasts are saving my weekend. I simply add our favorite milk the night before and store the bowl in the fridge overnight. Come morning, I have a nutritious chia bowl that powers me through even the busiest day of errands. It's also Instagram-ready, which makes me feel like I'm out brunching (even if I can't remember the last time I was in a restaurant).

Cacao Nib + Vanilla Bites

Cacao Nib + Vanilla Bites

My kids have turned into snack monsters during quarantine, and I'm often struggling to find a wholesome option (that doesn't require a lot of extra cooking or else I resort to something ultra-refined and shelf-stable). These bites are the hero I never knew I needed. For one, they taste like cookie dough, but they're actually packed with chickpeas, pumpkin, dates and flax seed (among other whole ingredients). But unlike actual cookie dough, I don't have to go anywhere near my mixer to whip them up—all I have to do is pull the container out of the freezer, let them defrost a bit and we can all enjoy a treat.

Cauliflower Rice + Pesto Harvest Bowl

Cauliflower Rice + Pesto Harvest Bowl

Sometimes I have a little more time to cook, but I still want a quick, stress-free solution. (Especially because it always feels like I just cleaned up from the last meal.) I love these Harvest Bowls because they warm up in under five minutes on the stove top (or microwave!) but pack tons of flavor. The Cauliflower Rice + Pesto bowl is one of my favorites, with basil, olive oil and nutritional yeast for a hearty dish reminiscent of a mouth-watering Italian meal. When I'm feeling extra fancy, I add leftover grilled chicken or a fried egg.

Strawberry + Rich, Rippled Berry Compote Scoops

Strawberry + Rich, Rippled Berry Compote Scoops

Who doesn't want to end the day with a little something sweet? This creamy and decadent frozen treat from Daily Harvest is swirled with sweet berries and tropical dragonfruit for an antioxidant burst you'll feel good about—but that your kiddos will just think is ice cream. Go ahead, take credit for being the best mom ever.

Want to try it yourself? You can get $25 off your first box of Daily Harvest with code MOTHERLY.

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

Our Partners

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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Now, more than ever, we need to hear those good news stories.

Vanessa Firme/Instagram

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We lost a legal and cultural icon with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and deadly wildfires continue to blaze on the West Coast. Now, more than ever, we need to see creativity, kindness and compassion in our world—we need to hear those "good news" stories, but we also need to see the headlines that show us how and why the world needs to change .

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