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Want to love your child? Love yourself first, mama

The new normal is that I work when I should be sleeping because it seems like I can’t get enough done during the day.

Want to love your child? Love yourself first, mama

Have you ever had one of those weeks where life just doesn't stand still? I have.


I guess life never really does stand still but there were no lazy mornings or leisurely afternoons. No calm evenings or relaxing bedtimes to gloat about. Just a crazy, busy insanely demanding week where I was just one mom and mom life was officially kicking my butt.

Fighting a hoarse voice of my own, two trips to the urgent care with my daughters, my mother was in the ICU, work deadlines and of course the normal hectic evening routine with kids is just a tad bit of my days last week.

And during it all, in the midst of almost breaking down in tears, it occurred to me that these wild weeks are beginning to be the "new normal."

By "new normal" I am not referring to the extreme life moments. Those are hopefully rare and far and few in between. I'm talking about the day to day with two kids under 5, a husband, a career, friends, and extended family, it feels like I am constantly being pulled in every direction.

The new normal is getting up early to make breakfast, make lunches and get myself semi dressed before the little ones wake up.

The new normal is that I strive to be present as a wife and best friend, even when I’m too tired to think and sometimes

The new normal is that I work when I should be sleeping because it never seems like I can get enough done during the day.

The new normal is making plans for super fun girlfriend get-togethers, only to have to cancel because of a kid mini-crisis. (Two dreaded words: stomach bug.) That wasn't a fun day!

The new normal is moving from mother to friend to boss—from minute to minute. And not taking enough time for self.

As much as I enjoy being a mommy to my beautiful daughters, am madly in love with my husband and enjoy my career, the new normal leaves me aching for a moment of peace and serenity. Can we say "bubble baths" anyone?

That desire may not happen every day (okay, who I am I kidding, it happens a lot), I am continually learning that I must give myself little moments (or big moments) of calm every once in a while.

As mothers we push ourselves to the brink without thinking twice about it.

We are so accustomed to being everyone else's everything that we forget that we need our own love too!

The saying of love yourself first rings in my head whenever I begin to feel too overwhelmed or exhausted.

Taking a walk to grab a coffee, stopping for a quick polish change or simply taking a little longer in the shower with my favorite body scrub are the little moments that help remind me to put myself first because I am just one mom.

I may not have 48 hours in my day like I am convinced Beyonce does (she is Sasha Fierce) but 24 hours will just have to do.

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In This Article

    14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

    They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

    With fall 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 outside-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.

    Wooden doll stroller

    Janod wooden 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

    Detective set

    Plan Toys detective 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

    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

    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

    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

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