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Motherhood is: Constantly switching out clothing sizes and wondering how they're growing up *so* fast

Baby clothes are a physical representation of time passing by. Is that why I get so emotional when I have to switch out clothing sizes for my baby? Because moving up to the next size means she is growing and growing and really there's nothing I can do to stop it?

And while growing equals a healthy and strong child who is constantly and consistently wowing me with this human she is becoming—it also means I don't actually have a 'baby' anymore. I have a toddler.

I could have sworn this morning that my daughter would fit into these size 12-month pants we have in her drawer. But they didn't fit her—they looked like reeeeally tight capri pants, not the full length roomy leggings I remembered them to be. Didn't I just bust out the size 12-month clothes from the basement?

I guess it had been longer than I realized. Months, weeks, hours, minutes have all been zooming by among the day-to-day grind of motherhood. Hundreds of meals have passed by, many nights rocking her to sleep gone, thousands of kisses and hugs and her recent favorite, high-fives, now in our past. And all her size 12-month clothes have slipped by among the chaos of life.

Had I been missing watching her grow?

When I pick her up now to rock her, she schooches around like a little puppy, trying to get comfortable in my arms because her body is too long for the position she is in.

When she stands on her tippy toes now, she can grab things off the kitchen counter. She is about one inch (or less!) away from being able to reach the faucet when she stands on her step stool in the bathroom.

She is growing—so fast! And those little 12-month leggings set me off. How could I now need to fish out my older daughter's 18-24-month size clothes? I don't know if I'll have another baby. I probably won't, but I don't know if I can reconcile that in my heart right now.

What I do know is that I can't just hold on to all these clothes "just in case." So, it's time to pass them along to someone else who can use them and for some reason that makes my heart twitch.

I think it's because part of me will never feel "done" with having children. No matter whether I am actually done logically, mentally or financially.

I don't think I'll ever not yearn to feel those sweet kicks inside my belly. Whether or not I remember the soreness of my lower back carrying around a human inside me or how hard it always was to try to find a comfortable way to sleep at 40 weeks pregnant.

I don't think I'll ever not want to experience the true miracle that is coming face-to-face with your baby for the first time. Whether or not I have the energy to experience contractions and/or giving birth again.

Those little 12-month pants seemed to shout in my face, "THEY DON'T STAY SMALL FOR VERY LONG, YA KNOW!"

I know, pants! I know!

Their childhood will move to their teenagehood and then to adulthood, and there won't be tiny little dino jams in the laundry or princess dresses that don't fit anymore. How is it possible for these small, precious pieces of cloth to seemingly rip my heart out of my chest?

After I calmed myself down because of these snug leggings (before going into full-blown panic attack mode), I was able to see things more clearly.

My kids are going to grow.

I did this to my mom, too.

It's all going to be okay.

This is how it works.

Time moves both quickly and very slowly in motherhood. Somehow, looking back on everything with rose-colored glasses, it seems my newborn zoomed through her first year at record speed. Yet some days when I am waiting for my husband to walk through the door, it seems like yeeeeears since he texted me letting me know he hopped on the train.

These cute little outfits are pieces of their babyhood; of this intense, magical time in our lives. But even if I keep every single item of clothing, it doesn't mean those clothes will bring our sweet newborns back in 10 years when we have middle-schoolers.

So I will let go of all (okay, most) of them. And I will allow myself to keep some, for those days where I know my future self will want to take a (likely very emotional) trip down memory lane. Those special chosen pieces that I kept will act as my own personal time machine.

We get little reminders of our babies' growth every day. And as emotional as changing out clothing sizing can be, I'm grateful for my little leggings reminder this morning.

My life with three kids can feel so busy and I often get caught up in the overwhelm of it all—but any chance to stop and soak in the pure goodness of childhood is welcome in my fragile mama heart.

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Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy.You've got this.

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Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

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When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

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The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.


Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

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