Being a mom doesn't get easier—but you get stronger

Without a doubt, I'm getting better at it. Motherhood is like a muscle that just keeps getting stronger, every time you use it.

Being a mom doesn't get easier—but you get stronger

I was lying in bed after another marathon day of motherhood.

Work, cooking, cleaning, doctor's appointments, bedtime stories.

My emails filled my inbox. Our laundry flowed over and out of the basket.

I was working a full time job on East Coast hours—while living on the West Coast. So I worked 6 am to 2 pm every day, and then took over toddler-watching duties until bed time. I cleaned the house in the evenings, and then squeezed in a few hours of sleep before the next round started all over again.

Life with my toddler and my second son on the way felt exhausting. At nine months pregnant, I worried about how I was going to manage it all with two kids, when keeping up with life with just one child felt so challenging. I was scared about growing our family—but our little one was about to show up any day.


And that's when I saw it.

Scrolling on my phone when I should have been asleep, I read eight simple words that shifted my entire perspective on motherhood. It was an Instagram post that honestly changed my life. It read—

It doesn't get easier. You just get stronger.

It was as if a ray of hope entered my heavy burdened life.

You see, I had been struggling against motherhood. I had been sinking underneath the weight of the work. I had been fretting amidst the constant demands and the growing expectations of raising two tiny little people. I had been staring down the challenge of parenting and swearing to myself that some day, somehow, it was going to just get easier.

It HAD to get easier, I told myself.

Because becoming a new mother, especially those first few years, just. felt. so. hard.

And those words, this insight, made me realize that motherhood actually wasn't going to get easier, but that I was going to rise to the occasion.

It doesn't get easier, you just get stronger."

It transformed me.

My house wasn't going to get magically cleaner—but I'll get better at living more simply and hiring help when I can.

My kids won't necessarily sleep through the night—but I'll prioritize self-care and my own rest in a new way.

Toddler tantrums will still raise my blood pressure—but I can use motherhood as an opportunity to become the calm, peaceful woman that deep down I long to be.

Our laundry piles will not suddenly disappear—but I'll find ways to build it into my routine and not get so behind.

I won't stop missing alone time with my husband—but we'll keep becoming stronger partners and finding joy in our roles as mom and dad.

The email will never stop arriving—but I'll get better at managing working motherhood and knowing what to prioritize, and what to let go.

I won't suddenly stop worrying about money— but I'll learn to find joy in experiences, not things.

Because deep down, I knew that motherhood wouldn't suddenly get easier. Talk to a mom a few years ahead of you, with kids a few years older than yours, and you'll realize that things aren't easier, they're just different.

The worrying doesn't disappear—but what you worry about does.

The demands won't lighten—but the tasks that occupy your time can change.

So while today I worry about getting to preschool on time, later I'll worry about where my kids are out so late.

While today I wonder if their clothes are clean, tomorrow I'll worry if they are up to the challenge of caring for themselves.

While today I fret over toddler skirmishes, tomorrow I'll fear bullies and online harassment.

While today I worry about being SO needed all the time, tomorrow I'll miss the days when I could solve all their problems with just my presence.

But my ability to handle it all? Without a doubt, I'm getting better at it. Motherhood is like a muscle that just keeps getting stronger, every time you use it.

It's not get easier, but I'm getting so much stronger.

And there's no one stronger than a mother.

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.


Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!


Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.


Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌


Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.


Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.


Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.


Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. 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?

Meri Meri: Decor and gifts that bring the wonder of childhood to life

We could not be more excited to bring the magic of Meri Meri to the Motherly Shop. For over 30 years, their playful line of party products, decorations, children's toys and stationery have brought magic to celebrations and spaces all over the world. Staring as a kitchen table endeavor with some scissors, pens and glitter in Los Angeles in 1985, Meri Meri (founder Meredithe Stuart-Smith's childhood nickname) has evolved from a little network of mamas working from home to a team of 200 dreaming up beautiful, well-crafted products that make any day feel special.

We've stocked The Motherly Shop with everything from Halloween must-haves to instant-heirloom gifts kiddos will adore. Whether you're throwing a party or just trying to make the everyday feel a little more special, we've got you covered.

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

Keep reading Show less

Becoming a mother has been life-changing. It's been hard, tiring, gratifying, beautiful, challenging, scary and a thousand other things that only a parent would ever understand.

It is these life-changing experiences that have inspired me to draw my everyday life as a stay at home mom. Whether it's the mundane tasks like doing laundry or the exciting moments of James', my baby boy's, first steps, I want to put it down on paper so that I can better cherish these fleeting moments that are often overlooked.

Being a stay-at-home-mom can be incredibly lonely. I like to think that by drawing life's simple moments, I can connect with other mothers and help them feel less alone. By doing this, I feel less alone, too. It's a win-win situation and I have been able to connect with many lovely parents and fellow parent-illustrators through my Instagram account.

Keep reading Show less
Work + Money