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To the new mama: There will be days

On those days when you doubt yourself—because they will surely come—remember this: You were born for this job. They have chosen you and there is nobody else in this world they would rather have by their side for their journey to becoming them.

To the new mama: There will be days

There may be days when you think, I can't do this.

Days when you don't feel good enough, when you look around and feel inferior to every other parent on the planet. Times, maybe, when you feel like a failure, when your eyes search your baby's face desperately for approval but none is forthcoming.

There may be mornings when you want to cry out the tears that are pushing at your eyes, but you'll fight them back, determined not to show your pain. And then there may come the nights when you fear you'll never sleep again, as the minutes tick by into hours and yet still your child screams.

Sometimes you may suspect that perhaps your baby doesn't even like you, that their preference is for anyone else who comes into their orbit—however brief or tenuous that connection might be. There may be days when you wonder, Will it ever get easier?

And then there will be the day when your heart will leap at the sight of that first smile. The day when the sound of your baby's giggle will dance joyously in your ears.

The day when you will be engulfed in a tidal wave of pride at that tentative, wobbly first step. The day when a lump will form in your throat and silence you. You will find yourself unable to reply to that mumbled, “Mama," the most beautiful word ever said.

Then, there will be the days when you will laugh uproariously at an enthusiastic game of peek-a-boo and want to weep at a determined and angry refusal to eat lunch. The days when the fallout of an epic tantrum will be negated by the feeling of two little arms around your neck.

The days when your child will steadfastly and determinedly refuse to cooperate with you around the simplest of tasks, like getting dressed, but will sweetly and politely crawl on to your lap, book in hand.

There will be the days when you feel the tension rise when a repeated, “No, no, NO," is ignored, but an outreached hand looking for guidance will bring your smile back. And there will be the days when you will feel rotten then wonderful, in short, swift succession.

But every day you will feel the love. The pure, infinite, limitless love which beats in you like another organ. The love that is embedded in you, attached to your soul, which can never be removed, no matter what. The love that is now part of your identity, the relentless, all-encompassing love that you have for your child.

And on those days when you doubt yourself—because they will surely come—remember this: You were born for this job. They have chosen you and there is nobody else in this world they would rather have by their side for their journey to becoming them.

And one day you may even realize: you're amazing.

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

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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

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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.

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Balance board

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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!

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Detective set

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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.

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Wooden doll stroller

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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.

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Sand play set

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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.

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Water play set

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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.

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Mini golf set

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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.

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Vintage scooter balance bike

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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.

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Wooden rocking pegasus

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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.

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Croquet set

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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.

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Wooden digital camera

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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.

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Wooden bulldozer toy

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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.

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Pull-along hippo

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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.

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Baby forest fox ride-on

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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.

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