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Motherhood is: Wishing I could freeze time

No matter how bittersweet it can feel, watching you grow and change daily is a reminder of how incredibly lucky I am to have you. We were never meant to live in this moment forever despite how many times we'd like to.

Motherhood is: Wishing I could freeze time

Dear sweet baby,

I can't even begin to quantify the moments I have wanted to freeze since you have been born. The smell of your newborn head. The feel of your tiny body perfectly snuggled on my chest. The first time you smiled. The first time you laughed. Our first Christmas together. Our first vacation. All of it.

When you become a new parent, you're surrounded by a chorus of "enjoy every second, it goes so fast" from knowing parents and grandparents who've felt it go by in a blink of an eye. In fact, I've even said it more times than I can count. And we are all right, it goes by so bitterly fast. But the passing of time, I am thankful for it.

No matter how bittersweet it can feel, watching you grow and change daily is a reminder of how incredibly lucky I am to have you. We were never meant to live in this moment forever despite how many times we'd like to.

You were never meant to only stay in my arms.

While I will forever feel the imprint of the days you explored the world the safety within my reach, you were meant to walk, and run, and discover for yourself. You were created to touch, see and feel—your curiosity for the world will open your eyes to so many beautiful things. My arms will always be outstretched to hold you, but a mother also has to know when it's okay to let her baby go.

I was never meant to be your entire world.

This is hard for me to say, as I relish this stage more than anything I have ever experienced. From the nine months I carried you to the special relationship we have already developed, we have a bond that I hope nothing—not even the passage time—can break.

But your world will open to more people too, and it won't always just be the two of us and Daddy. I wish for you life-long friendships. I pray you'll find the love of your life and have fulfilling relationships. I hope you get to travel the world and meet people of every race, ethnicity and background. Your heart is already so bold and loving—I would be selfish to keep it to myself.

I was never meant to be your only voice.

Baby girl, I will protect you and fight for you every day of my life. My heart is mighty for you and it always will be. And while I am your voice now, it is my responsibility to give you strength in yours. The world is changing, and my hope for you is that you use your voice to lead with integrity and to speak with compassion and empathy.

I hope you always have the courage to speak up and the wisdom to know when to listen. Even though your vocabulary consists of three words right now, your words will one day have the power to speak life into other people and I'll strive to show you how.

I was meant to be your mother.

And you were meant meant to be my daughter and to thrive and grow, to dream and desire, and to love and adventure. Yes, it goes by fast. Faster than I could've ever fathomed, but the alternative is something I don't ever wish to imagine.

We are privileged to experience the passage of time, even when it seems like we can barely grasp it. There are mothers, and women who'd love nothing more than to be a mother, who wish they could watch their beautiful babies grow. We are lucky to do this together. I tell myself this when I feel the pang of each passing stage. I hope you'll always find the strength to show gratitude for the passage of time throughout your life too.

One day you will look in mirror and see your first gray hair or signs of lines around your eyes. Tell yourself that you are lucky, for they are signs that you have lived.

One day you will say goodbye to people you love dearly, and in the pain I hope you find gratitude for the time, no matter how limited, to love someone so much it hurts. You are lucky.

Time may be a thief, but it is also a joyous gift. The greatest gift in my life is the joy of time with you.

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In This Article

    An expectant mama's to-do list can feel endless… but here's the good news: A lot of those tasks are actually really exciting. Planning your baby registry is especially thrilling: You get a say in what gifts friends and family members will buy for your new addition!

    But it can also feel a bit overwhelming to make sense of all the gear on the market. That's why we suggest mentally dividing your registry into two categories: items you need to prepare for your baby's arrival and items that sure would be nice to have.

    Here at Motherly, our editors have dozens of kids and years of parenting experience among us, so we know our way around the essentials. We also know how mama-friendly the registry-building experience is with Target, especially thanks to their recently upgraded registry and introduction of Year of Benefits. Just by creating your baby registry with Target, you'll snag a kit with $120 in discounts and samples. The savings keep coming: You'll also get two 15% off coupons to buy unpurchased items from your registry for up to a year after your baby's expected arrival. Change your mind about anything? The Year of Benefits allows for returns or exchanges for a full year. And as of August 2020, those who also sign up for Target Circle when creating a baby registry will also get the retailer's Year of Exclusive Deals, which includes ongoing discounts on baby essentials for a full year.

    Here are 10 items we agree deserve a spot in the "need" category on your registry, mama.


    A crib to grow with your baby

    Delta Children Farmhouse 6-in-1 Convertible Crib

    First-time mamas are likely creating nursery spaces for the first time, and that can get expensive. Adding a quality crib to Target registry gives friends and family members the option to join forces to make a large purchase through group gifting.

    $269.99

    A safe + convenient car seat

    Safety 1st OnBoard 35 LT Infant Car Seat

    The list of non-negotiable baby essentials is pretty short, but it definitely includes a car seat. In fact, most hospitals will not allow you to leave after delivery until a car seat check is performed. We recommend an infant seat, which can easily snap into a base in your car.

    $99.99

    A traveling nursery station

    Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

    It's hard to beat a good playard when it comes to longevity. This item can be baby's sleeping place when they're sharing a room with you for the first months. Down the line, it can function as a roving diaper change station. And when you travel, it makes a great safe space for your little one to sleep and play.

    $99.99

    A swing for some backup help

    4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

    A dependable swing can be a real lifesaver for new parents when they need their hands free (or just a minute to themselves). Because many babies are opinionated about these things, we appreciate that the mamaRoo has multiple modes of motion and soothing sounds.

    $219.99

    An easy-to-clean high chair

    Ingenuity SmartClean Trio Elite 3-in-1 High Chair - Slate

    Our best registry advice? Think ahead. It really won't be long before your child is ready for those first bites of solid food, at which point you'll need a high chair. We like one that transitions to a booster seat atop an existing dining room chair.

    $99.99

    A diaper bag to share

    Eddie Bauer Backpack - Gray/Tan

    When you're a mom, you're usually toting diapers, wipes, clothing changes, bottles, snacks, toys and more. You need a great bag to stash it all, and if you're anything like us, you'll choose a backpack style for comfort and functionality. Bonus: This gender neutral option can easily be passed off to your partner.

    $64.99

    A hygienic spot for all those diaper changes

    Munchkin Secure Grip Waterproof Diaper Changing Pad 16X31"

    We can confidently predict there will be a lot of diaper changes in your future. Do yourself a favor by registering for two comfortable, wipeable changing pads: one to keep in the nursery and another to stash elsewhere in your house.

    $29.99

    A way to keep an eye on your baby at night

    Infant Optics Video Baby Monitor DXR-8

    Feeling peace of mind while your baby sleeps in another room truly is priceless.That's why we advocate for a quality video monitor that will allow you to keep tabs on your snoozing sweetheart.

    $165.99

    A comfortable carrier to free up your hands

    Petunia Pickle Bottom for Moby Wrap Baby Carrier, Strolling in Salvador

    A wrap carrier may be about as low-tech as baby items come, but trust us, this product stands the test of time. Great for use around the house or while running errands, this is one item you'll appreciate so much.

    $39.99

    A full set of bottles + cleaning supplies

    Dr. Brown's Options+ Complete Baby Bottle Gift Set

    Whether you plan to work in an office or stay at home, breastfeed or formula feed, bottles are a valuable tool. To make your life as simple as possible, it's nice to have an easy-to-clean set that is designed to work through the first year.

    $39.99

    Target's baby registry is easy to create from the comfort of your own home. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with the Year of Benefits featuring exclusive deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

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


    Our Partners

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    Rae Wellness: Essential daily supplements to help you shine from the inside out

    Rae Wellness is a women-led company with the belief that nurturing your mind and body isn't just essential—it's your power. Their collection of daily supplements leverage vegan, non-gmo, high quality ingredients to help you "shine from the inside out." With formulas to designed to fuel your calm, sleep, energy and more, consider them your daily dose of self care, mama. Even better, 5% of every purchase goes directly to Girls. Inc., the non-profit organization that inspires girls to be strong, smart and bold through direct service and advocacy.

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