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Mom, you're a superhero for raising 5 kids

I don't know how you did it all, but what I do know is that you're amazing.

Mom, you're a superhero for raising 5 kids

Mom, I honestly don't know how you raised five kids. I really don't. I have three children (as you are well aware) and sometimes it feels like I have 30 children. So does that mean it felt like you had 50 children when we were little…?


I don't know how you gave birth five times.

I don't know how you kept track of five children at the store. Or at the ballpark. Or at the library. Or anywhere, TBH.

I don't know how you changed So. Many. Diapers in your lifetime.

I don't know how you signed us all up and carted us all around to basketball, softball, soccer, Irish-step-dancing, friend's houses, and after-school student council meetings.

I don't know how you got us all dressed and ready for church every single Sunday.

I don't know how you managed five very different personalities and five different levels of hormones and tantrums and disagreements and feelings.

I don't know how you dealt with all the noise that five children can bring (let's just say we did our fair share of fighting and bickering.)

I don't know how you made time for friendship, staying involved in your best girlfriends' lives. There was always so much to do with us and for us—I truly applaud you making time for your girls. Now that I'm a mom too, I'm so glad you did. I know it's not easy.

I don't know how you brushed and styled four daughters' hair 'do's. And you had to put rollers in our hair for Irish-step-dancing competitions! How?!

I don't know how you got us all dressed and off to the mall to meet Santa and get our picture taken. I don't know how you got five Easter baskets and treats to fill them down to Florida or South Carolina when we were visiting grandparents. I don't know how you remembered, every year, to make us birthday ribbons with the right number of candy or gum taped on to match how old we were.

I don't know how you packed for all of us when we went to visit our cousins in Ireland. I don't know how you painted little shamrocks with "The Mescall Trip To Tipp" above them for us to all wear on the plane together. I don't know how you took us to the Bronx Zoo or Adventureland every year without a major panic attack about losing one of us.

I don't know how you've listened to all of our many wild ideas and creative stories that came out of our imaginations (without looking bored!). Maybe you felt bored sometimes, but honestly, we couldn't tell if you were.

I don't know how you've attended five weddings to watch your children marry the loves of their lives without totally losing it.

Even though I don't quite know these things, what I do know is that you're amazing. And that you've taught me so much. That you've given me so much. That you mean so much to me.

You've given birth five times yourself, and you've been at six of your daughter's births. You've supported us, prayed for us, and cheered us on.

You've kept track of all of us so well that you never lost any of us. (That I know of…) And you've been there for us through the ups and downs of teenage years into adulthood so much so that you never let us lose ourselves either.

You've probably changed a million of your five children's diapers, yet you still offer to change my children's diapers.

You've modeled for us a strong sense of faith. And even though we were often late for church (not due to you at all, but due only to the rest of us), you got us there. The spirituality I have today, that I share with my children, is largely due to you.

You've given us the gift of each other. The friendship I share with each of my four siblings is invaluable. I'm so lucky to count them as part of my village.

You've shown patience and a wonderful sense of humor throughout our lives. Sure you may have yelled a time or two (😉), but you've always been an open door, allowing us to come to you with anything we've needed to. And you've always been able to make us laugh.

You've kept your friends high on your list of priorities for years and years. So much so that your friends from over 30 years ago are still your dear friends today. My strong, long-lasting female friendships are because I've learned from you.

You've had to brush so many knots out and endure so many "that hurts, Mom!" curler-taking-out tears, but you've always cared for us so lovingly. You let us climb into bed with you when we were scared. You have held our hands when we've needed it most. You've held our babies when we've needed a break. You've dried our tears when there was no one else who could. You've hugged away so much pain and doubt—five children's worth in fact.

You've probably (unfortunately) had to go through So. Much. Stress with holiday planning and vacation magic making and packing and traveling hours upon hours on road trips. But, Mom? You and Dad have given us the best memories of adventures growing up. They were never boring and they were always worth it.

You've heard at least 100 different book ideas from me, let alone all the other ideas you've heard from my siblings, too. You have never doubted that I could write and would write and that's something I will never, could never forget. Every time I shared an idea, you were right there saying—"You better write that down for the book one day!"

You've married off all five of your children. And… okay, okay, you may have "lost it" a little each time (I mean, weddings are emotional), you did so with grace and enthusiasm. You love our partners as if they were your own children and that means the world to us.

So, Mom, I need to say this.

You birthed five babies, then parented us through toddlerhood, taught us through childhood, helped us through teenage life, guided us through college and beyond, and essentially raised five successful, happy adults.

Thank you.

You are really, really impressive.

Oh and—should I go for number four, or just keep it at three? Tell me the truth.

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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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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Mom rage is real—and it's a sign that mothers' needs aren't being met

The truth is, anger—real, fist-clenching, heart-racing, uncontrollable anger—is so much more common among mothers than many of us think.

Maternal anger takes most women who experience it by surprise. I'm not this person, we say, after feeling a shocking swell of rage during one of those inevitable moments of frustration we all face as a parent.

I never thought I'd be "that mom" who yells at her family, we say, after snapping and yelling at our toddler.

I don't recognize myself when I feel like this—and I feel like this more than I want to, we say, when we realize that our anger isn't a temporary, one-time thing but an undercurrent in our day-to-day, an undeniable presence like a shadow.

The truth is, anger—real, fist-clenching, heart-racing, uncontrollable anger—is so much more common among mothers than many of us think. And it's time to talk about what "mom rage" is, where it comes from, and what we can do about it.

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