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It's 8:00 am, and the baby's checkup is at 8:40. I quickly run through a mental checklist: wipe the oatmeal from her face, get her dressed, get my son dressed, fill the dog's food bowl, and load the kids in the car. This whole enterprise would be easier if I had backup if I had a co-pilot that could swoop in and make sure my son brushes his teeth or fill the dog's bowl. But there is no co-pilot.

I'm flying solo as I do many times a month when my husband travels for work.

To be clear, solo parenting is much different from single parenting. Single parenting is parenting completely on one's own. It involves juggling a job outside the home with school drop-offs and pick-ups and possibly coordinating with a co-parent. And many single parents don't have a co-parent to shoulder the burden.

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Solo parenting involves missing my partner for a few days at a time, but knowing that after a few nights, they will arrive home again.

Solo parenting means that I wake up before the kids to make sure that I can get showered and dressed because no one is here to hold our daughter for 15 minutes so that I can jump in the shower.

Solo parenting means that I cook dinner while wearing her on my back because dinnertime coincides with her witching hour, and she will not suffer the indignity of being put down.

Solo parenting means that I wipe our son's tears away because he misses his dad, and it's hard for a 5-year-old to understand why Dad has to travel.

It is hard. Harder than you think it is.

But I also know that traveling so much can be hard for my husband also. I know he misses playing catch with our son after dinner and cuddling with our daughter before bedtime. As present as he tries to be for our family, he has missed important milestones because of his job. When our son graduated from preschool, he was not sitting in the audience, and I know that his heart broke thinking about missing that special moment.

But, while he was missing graduation that day, I was the one doing it alone: making sure we made it there on time and that both kids were presentable; trying to soothe our daughter as best I could because we were missing her nap time and hugging our son tightly at the end of the ceremony because he was overwhelmed and afraid.

At the end of that busy day, my bones ached with exhaustion, and I longed to sit on the couch with my partner in life and decompress with a glass of wine, but he was not there.

So, to my husband when you come home weary from traveling and see that the recycling has piled up or the playroom is strewn with toys or our bed is unmade, please take a deep breath before uttering a frustrated word.

Realize that I have been walking a tight rope, balancing the needs of a 5-year-old with the needs of a 1-year-old for days on end by myself.

Realize that after I get them both to bed, I don't have the energy to tend to the recycling or organize the playroom. Offer to take over for a bit and let me take an extra long shower or meet a friend for a glass of wine.

And please give me a hug. Because I've missed you.


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Our babies come out as beautiful, soft and natural as can be—shouldn't their clothes follow suit?

Here are nine of our favorite organic kids clothing brands that prove safe fabrics + stylish designs are a natural fit.

Estella

A brick and mortar store in Manhattan that opened in 2002, Estella is NYC's go-to shop for luxury baby gifts—from sweet-as-pie organic clothing to eco-friendly toys.

L'ovedbaby

@lovedbaby

We l'oved this collection from the moment we laid eyes on it. (See what we did there 🤣) Free of things harsh added chemicals, dangerous flame retardants, and harmful dyes, this collection is 100% organic and 100% gorgeous. We especially adore their soft, footed rompers, comfy cotton joggers, and newborn-friendly kimono bodysuits.

Looking to stock up? Don't miss Big-Find Thursday every week on their site—a 24-hour flash sale that happens Thursdays at 9 a.m. PST and features a different body style, collection, and discount every week!

Hanna Andersson

@happyhannas

One of our all-time favorite brands for durability, style, + customer service, Hanna Andersson doesn't disappoint in the organic department, either. From an aww-inducing organic baby layette collection all the way to their iconic pajamas, there are so many organic styles to swoon over from this beloved brand. And we swear their pajamas are magic—they seem to grow with your little one, fitting season after season!

Monica + Andy

@monicaandandy

The fabric you first snuggle your baby in matters. Monica + Andy's (gorgeous) collection is designed for moms and babies by moms with babies, and we love it all because it's made of super-soft GOTS-certified organic cotton that's free of chemicals, lead, and phthalates. Newborn pieces feature thoughtful details like fold-over mittens and feet.

Finn + Emma

@finnandemma

"Here boring designs and toxic chemicals are a thing of the past while modern colors, fresh prints and heirloom quality construction are abundant." We couldn't agree more. Made from 100% organic cotton, eco friendly dyes, and in fair trade settings, we love this modern collection's mix of style + sustainability.

We especially love the Basics Collection, an assortment of incredibly soft, beautiful apparel + accessories including bodysuits, zip footies, pants, hats, and bibs, all available in a gender-neutral color palette that can work together to create multiple outfit combinations. The pieces are perfect for monochrome looks or for mixing with prints for a more modern style.

SoftBaby

@littleaddigrey for @softbaby_clothes

You'll come for SoftBaby's organic fabrics, but you'll stay for their adorable assortment of prints. From woodland foxes to urban pugs, there's no limit to their assortment (meaning you'll even be able to find something for the new mama who's hard to shop for). Plus, the name says it all--these suckers are soft. Get ready for some serious cuddle time.

Gap Baby

@gapkids

Organic may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Gap, but this popular brand actually carries a wide variety of organic (and adorable) baby + toddler clothes. From newborn layette basics to toddler sleepwear—and more—there's something for everyone in this collection. Everything is 100% cotton, super soft + cozy, and perfect for eco-conscious mamas.

Winter Water Factory

@winterwaterfactory

Certified organic cotton with Brooklyn-based swagger? Be still our hearts. Winter Water Factory features screen-printed textiles in bold designs you'll want to show off (get ready for some major Instagram likes). And the husband-and-wife co-founders keep sustainability at the forefront of their brand, meaning you can feel good about your purchase--and what you're putting on your baby.

The company makes everything from kids' clothes to crib sheets (all made in the USA). For even more cuteness, pair their signature rompers with a hat or bonnet.

Under the Nile

@underthenile

Under the Nile has been making organic baby clothes since before it was cool. Seriously, they were the first baby clothing company in the USA to be certified by The Global Organic Textile Standard. They've kept up that legacy of high standards by growing their Egyptian cotton on a biodynamic farm without the use of pesticides or insecticides, and all of their prints are made with metal-free colors and no chemical finishes.

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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Whether I live next to you or across the country, social media makes it easy for us to stay updated on each other's lives and that's a wonderful thing. I love seeing pictures of your kids and I think it's great that you choose to share videos of your child singing, giggling and taking his or her first steps.

I simply choose not to share pregnant pictures, or even a family photo from the hospital once our daughter arrived because my pregnancy, birth and growing family are parts of my life I wanted to protect from the outside world.

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