Mother's Day isn't canceled

Yes, we should celebrate Mother's Day this year. Without a doubt. In fact, we should go all out—whatever that means to you.

mother's day isn't canceled

I don't actually remember what we did on my first Mother's Day, but I do remember how I felt. Yes, I felt a certain and specific honor of motherhood on that day, but I also felt pressure. Pressure to have a perfect day. Pressure (that I didn't voice) to go on the perfect outing and have the perfect meal and get the perfect gift. I didn't tell anyone what I wanted to do or what I thought I'd like to receive, I just expected them to magically know.

We had a nice day together, but the pressure was a lot. So, my next few Mother's Days, I calmed down on perfection. As long as I had some time by myself and some time with my family, that was good enough. No tricks or mind games or expectations beyond that.

But now this year feels weird. Should we celebrate ourselves when there is so much sadness in the world? Should we worry about treating ourselves when our day-to-day feels heavy? Do we even need Mother's Day this year?

I'm about to give you the most heartfelt, enthusiastic YES ever.

Mother's Day is not canceled.

I mean, if you can't celebrate your mothering efforts while you're mothering hardcore during a global pandemic—when can you?

Mother's Day is on, and this year, I'm being clear about what I want.

So to my beautiful family who I spend so much time with now, listen up.

I'd love to stay up late the night before binge-watching the show of my choice. (Probably Gossip Girl, season three, to be precise.)

I'd love to sleep in until the smell of the bacon you're cooking for me drifts from the kitchen down the hallway into my sleeping nostrils.

I'd love you to serve me breakfast in bed with big, gigantic smiles on your faces. (Yes, gigantic.)

I'd love for the kids to make me cards with a picture of our family on it.

I'd love for a few hours of alone time. To do whatever I want. Without questions or judgments. Maybe that will look like a solo-ride in the car listening to '90s hip-hop or learning a TikTok dance in our bedroom. Maybe it'll look like finishing Little Fires Everywhere on my Kindle so I can then start binge-watching it on Hulu or taking a 2-hour nap with the door locked and the sound machine on.

I'd love for you to let me decide based on my mood that day.

I'd love to get a 30-minute workout in without anyone climbing on my back during downward dog.

I'd love to get to FaceTime with my mom, mother-in-law, sisters and BFF to wish them Happy Mother's Day, too. To thank them for their unwavering love and support and remind them what a great job they're doing.

I'd love to go on a family walk or play in the backyard together. I'd love to belly laugh as I swing the kids high in the air and then lay in the grass with them talking about how beautiful the color of the sky is.

I'd love to eat a meal I did not cook for dinner together.

I'd love to read with the kids before bed and then snuggle for a bit, and then somehow, some magic bedtime fairy will descend upon us and declare that bedtime books and snuggles are done, and Mom is now going to hang with Dad on the couch—without any whining or crying or high-level negotiations.

I'd love to watch TV with my husband snuggled up together, ice cream sundaes in hand.

And then, I'd love to pause and give thanks.

Thanks to my children for making me a mother.

Thanks to my mother for giving me life.

Thanks to my mother-in-law for all she does for our family.

Thanks to my husband for being on this journey with me.

Thanks to my sisters for their guidance and encouragement.

Thanks to my friends for sticking with me as I figure out motherhood.

Thanks to the many mamas who bravely share their stories of the trenches.

I may not get or do everything on this list. And that's okay. Because what I'm really just saying is, yes, we should celebrate Mother's Day this year. Without a doubt. In fact, we should go all out—whatever that means to you. Because after momming and working and homeschooling and cleaning and laundering and organizing and meal planning and cooking and entertaining and worrying and planning all week—we need it.

So there's no room for tricks or pressure this year. Just room for you speaking up and saying what you want and need. For you knowing that you're worthy of recognition, of love, of time to yourself, of realizing your desires, of patting yourself on the back.

This year is different—yes—but it's sure to be one for the books.

A very important letter for new mamas

Listen, mom-guilt is a dirty liar. Yes, it's your job to fill your little human's needs, but you matter too. Don't forget to take care of yourself. Hang out with friends, take a drive blaring 90's hip hop or shower without interruptions—trust me, you'll be a better person (and mom) because of it.

Dear new mom,

You will shave again someday. Today is not that day.

Set expectations low, my friend, and set your partner's lower—at least where body hair and overall hygiene are concerned.

That conversation could go something like this: “From now on let's not consider shaving a “standard," but more like a gift that happens on birthdays and the first day of summer."

Voila, you are a gift-giving genius. You know what else is a gift? Shaving the inch and a half of skin that is between your skinny jeans and your boots. You're welcome world.

You will not be perfect at parenting.


I have yet to meet a perfect mother, but when I do, she's going to be a tiger who is insanely good at making up songs. (Daniel Tiger's mom, we salute you.)

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school 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 summer-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.

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.


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!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective 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.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


A few years ago, while my wife's baby bump got bigger and my daddy reading list grew longer, I felt cautiously optimistic that this parenthood thing would, somehow, suddenly click one day. The baby would come, instincts would kick in, and the transition from established couple to a new family would be tiring but not baffling.

Boy was I wrong.

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