Motherhood is: Wondering how another year has passed by so quickly

I know you are wondering how you got here, how time moved this quickly, how the child you thought would stay little forever is ready to walk away from you for the first time. It's okay to hold on as long as you can. It's okay to reminisce even though you still have so many wonderful years to go.

Motherhood is: Wondering how another year has passed by so quickly

My daughter is turning one soon. And as much as I try to be present and live in the moment—an effort which has simultaneously become both my greatest priority and biggest challenge as a mother—I can't help but feel my mind wandering as we approach this milestone...

One minute, I am back in my hospital room meeting her for the first time. I am holding all seven pounds, five ounces of her against my chest, breathing in her newness, kissing her cheeks, feeling the joy of the world literally in my fingertips.

Then the next minute I feel the weight of time, the fear of it going by too quickly. The terror of missing it.

The other day, I closed my eyes for a second at a stoplight, and just like that, the realization that I only get 17 more years with her as my baby hit me so hard I cried. I hurried home, took her out of her car seat, and held her tight in the garage.

I've still got time, I told myself… I've still got time.

As I get ready to celebrate her birthday, I am preparing for my first Birth Day too. It's the anniversary of my mamahood. The day that marks the beginning of my journey with my daughter. I am reminded that my Birth Day is a privileged experience, one longed for by many and one celebrated and shared with many more.

It's a day that erases the passage of time and takes us back to the most important moment of our lives as mothers. No matter your current stage of motherhood, I see you, mamas. I celebrate with you and I stand with you. Your Birth Day story and the journey you have gone on since—matters.

To the woman who just received the call that she is about to become a mom, happy joyous Birth Day to you. Your Birth Day is immediate and instantaneous the minute you love your child.

Motherhood is not bound by blood—it is so much greater, and knowing this has already made you an amazing mom. Always remember the elation you feel now. Year over year, relish in the beautiful uniqueness of your Birth Day story.

To the mom whose child sleeps in heaven now, happy Birth Day. Whether days or years have passed since you last kissed your child, remind yourself of the very realness of your Birth Day.

The passage of time has brought its fair share of pain, I'm sure, but it can never steal your motherhood. Your story matters. Your child's life was significant and real. The love for your child will never diminish. Your Birth Day will always be important.

To the mom clutching her 5-year-old's hand, staring in disbelief at the list of school supplies held in her other, happy Birth Day. I know you are wondering how you got here, how time moved this quickly, how the child you thought would stay little forever is ready to walk away from you for the first time. It's okay to hold on as long as you can. It's okay to reminisce even though you still have so many wonderful years to go.

To the mama packing up her college-bound daughter's car with cardboard boxes full of hopes and dreams, happy Birth Day. You did it, girl, you made it here. The baby you rocked in your arms has become the woman you dreamed her to be. She is who she is because of you.

I know the sting of walking back into the house without her is unimaginable. I know looking into the vacant room where she once played with innocent bliss and sitting on the bed where you spent countless hours comforting her to sleep feels overwhelming. In that moment when you feel the sadness of your work being done, or perhaps the fear of the best years being over, know the best is yet to come.

To the mama whose baby is now a mama, happy Birth Day. You get the gift of generations, the joy of living it for a second time through your child's eyes. Holding your grandbaby for the first time gives you a new sense of life and purpose. As you soak it in, cherish that your journey—your own Birth Day—set lives into motion so that the world could stand still in this very moment.

To the mom getting ready to celebrate her first, happy Birth Day. I feel your heart as it rejoices in the beauty of today, looks forward to the promise of tomorrow, and misses the memories of yesterday.

As I watch my daughter play and delight in a world that is hers for the taking, I still find myself touching my belly, wondering how it was only a year ago that I carried her into this world. I find myself second-guessing if I have done enough or been enough for her.

When I feel my mind go to that place, I work hard to remind myself of what I know to be true: I love my daughter unconditionally and beyond measure. I've cuddled and kissed her every chance that I could. Every decision I've made has been in her best interest.

Every night (except for four—I know this because those four nights tore me apart) my voice was the last thing she heard before she went to bed as I whispered, "Good night, sweet pea, I love you. God bless you and keep you safe." There is nothing I wouldn't give, my own life included, to ensure her safety and happiness. I remind myself that despite my weaknesses and shortcomings, I am enough.

We, beautiful mamas, are enough.

We only get so many Birth Days. Let's hold onto the truths that make us mothers. Let's celebrate where we've been as we embrace where we are going. Let's hold each other when it hurts and hold on even tighter to the joy when it is good.

In a few weeks, I will sneak into my daughter's room while she is sleeping and rock her quietly as the clock ticks past midnight so I can be the first to whisper, "Happy birthday" in her ear.

I'll hold her tight and memorize every single detail of her face as she begins her second year. I will tell myself "Happy Birth Day" and I'll allow time to stop. I know even now that that moment won't be enough time and it never will be. But I will surrender myself to it and pray for many, many more.

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14 sweet 'just thinking of you' gifts for every mama

A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs.

Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.


Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.


Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.


Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!


Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.


Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.


'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."


Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.


Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.


Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!


Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.


Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.


Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.


Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

Thank you for understanding. ❤️

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

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This viral post about the 4th trimester is exactly what new mamas need right now

"We are alone. Together. You are surrounded all the other mothers who are navigating this tender time in isolation. You are held by all of us who have walked the path before you and who know how much you must be hurting. You are wrapped in the warm embrace of mama earth, as she too settles into this time of slowness and healing."

Artist and teacher Catie Atkinson at Spirit y Sol recently shared a beautiful drawing of a new mom crying on a couch—leaking breasts, newborn baby, pile of laundry and what we can only assume is cold coffee, included. Everything about the image is so real and raw to me—from the soft stomach to the nursing bra and the juxtaposition of the happy wallpaper to the palpable vulnerability of the mother—I can almost feel the couch underneath me. I can feel the exhaustion deep in this woman's bones.

My heart feels the ache of loneliness right alongside hers. Because I remember. I remember the confusion and uncertainty and love and messy beauty of the fourth trimester so well. After all, it's etched in our minds and bodies forever.

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