What went viral this week: Pregnant Disney Princesses + an airline nightmare

Now, more than ever, we need to hear those good news stories.

Pregnant Disney Princesses

Last week was a week.

We lost a legal and cultural icon with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and deadly wildfires continue to blaze on the West Coast. Now, more than ever, we need to see creativity, kindness and compassion in our world—we need to hear those "good news" stories, but we also need to see the headlines that show us how and why the world needs to change .

And right now both kinds of stories are going viral.

Here are the viral stories you need to read right now:


Why this mom went viral after she was kicked off flight with 2-year-old son

Mom Rachel Davis is going viral after sharing her travel troubles on Instagram. Davis says she was trying to fly from North Carolina to New Hampshire on American Airlines when she was kicked off a flight because her 2-year-old son would not keep his mask on.

Parents can understand how frustrating flying with kids must be right now, and Davis says that her son had been on four other flights with American Airlines within the week and had not been required to wear a mask on those flights.

"I tried repeatedly, begged him, bribed him, pleaded with him, did everything I could while he was screaming and crying as I tried to hold him and put the mask on, feeling my absolute lowest of lows as a mother," Davis wrote on Instagram, adding that her family had to make alternative travel arrangements with the airline after all the passengers deplaned. It was incredibly stressful, she says.

Most airlines do not require children under 2 years old to wear masks, and American Airlines is one of them. In a statement to Motherly the airline explained: "To ensure the safety of our customers and team, American Airlines requires all persons 2 years and older to wear an appropriate face covering throughout the entirety of their journey. Policies are enforced and approved face coverings are made available at key points throughout the customer journey. We've reached out to the family to learn more about their recent travel experience and to address their concerns."

Unfortunately, Davis' son was over 2, so he did need to wear the mask per their policy, but that doesn't mean that airline attendants couldn't have shown some compassion or empathy when they saw Davis struggling. Traveling right now is so stressful and while the CDC and other health authorities do recommend masks for everyone over 2 years old, some children will not be able to wear masks. It's something that's important for everyone to remember as we move through this pandemic together.

These Disney princess maternity shoots are stunningly perfect

A Brazilian photographer found a way to make expecting moms feel like absolute royalty: styling them like Disney princesses during their maternity sessions. The results are ridiculously cool, and something these moms are going to treasure forever. If you're looking for some inspiration for an upcoming maternity shoot of your own, you're definitely going to want to pin these pics.

Photographer Vanessa Firme says the idea to dress moms like Disney princesses came to her when she was working with a client who was expecting a little girl she planned to name Bella. That reminded them of Belle, so Firme decided to dress the mom in the princess's iconic yellow gown. Firme says that first shoot was so amazing she immediately realized she wanted to do more like that. "I thought: this must be what happens after 'happily ever after'," she explained.

Since that first Belle session, Firme has transformed pregnant mamas into Ariel, Snow White, Jasmine, Cinderella and even Maleficent. She's even gotten some dads to join in the fun, like one who dressed up as the Beast. Even more adorably, she's also had the opportunity to do sessions with some of the babies after they're born and include them in the Disney-inspired shoots as well.

Firme says the shoots aren't just about getting great photos. She says they let the moms forget about the not-so-magical parts of pregnancy, if only for a short time. "They were removed for an instant from the real world and taken to a world of enchantment." She says she also thought about the ways that children idolize their mothers, and view them as princesses in their own right. Now, they'll have pictures to match that sentiment.

Firme has styled so many amazing shoots, she says she "can't choose a favorite." And we definitely can't either.

Anderson Cooper shares sweet selfie with baby Wyatt: 'He’s such a happy baby'

Anderson Cooper's cute co-anchor is growing up!

The veteran journalist shared a sweet selfie with his son, Wyatt. "My son will be five months old in less than two weeks," Cooper wrote on Instagram. "He is such a happy baby even though he has started teething. He loves being read to and so far Dr. Seuss is his favorite, particularly One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. Ok, that's my favorite, but he does seem to like it a lot."

Cooper's followers were quick to show their support for the father and son duo.

Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen commented, "❤❤❤❤❤❤" while fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg pointed out that Wyatt looks an awful lot like Cooper's late mother, Gloria Vanderbilt.

The newscaster announced baby Wyatt's arrival back in April with a heartfelt post, thanking their medical team and surrogate. "As a gay kid, I never thought it would be possible to have a child, and I'm grateful for all those who have paved the way, and for the doctors and nurses and everyone involved in my son's birth.

Most of all, I am grateful to a remarkable surrogate who carried Wyatt, and watched over him lovingly, and tenderly, and gave birth to him."

Cooper wrote about how he wishes his late parents and brother could meet Wyatt. "I imagine them all together, arms around each other, smiling and laughing, happy to know that their love is alive in me and in Wyatt, and that our family continues."

There's a lot to love in the new photo, between Cooper's proud papa smile, Wyatt's exposed belly, and their matching gazes. Here's to hoping we see more of this news team soon!

Katy Perry shares adorable gift Taylor Swift sent for baby Daisy

Katy Perry recently shared the sweet gift that Taylor Swift sent for her newborn daughter, Daisy Dove (and of course it went viral). "Miss 🌼🕊 adores her hand embroidered blankie from miss @taylorswift 😩😩😩," writes Perry. "Hope it's one she drags around for years till it becomes an unrecognizable shred that she keeps in her pocket as a teenager 🥺♥️"

Swift embroidered a flower and the words "Daisy Bloom" on the blanket.

Perry, 35, and fiancé Orlando Bloom, 43, welcomed daughter Daisy to the world in August. The singer also tagged the location of her post as "Stream Folklore"—a nod to Swift's latest album, which dropped in July.

We love to see women supporting women—and adorable baby gifts!

This Black mom + her white daughter are going viral for the best clapback to ‘Are you the nanny?'

Her video went viral on TikTok and it's one everyone should see.

Jenna Wilder is a Black mom raising a white daughter and as she explains in the video, the constant invasive questions from strangers are upsetting.

The TikTok is one of those "Nope Yep" videos. It shows Wilder and her 6-year-old daughter answering questions set to Lil Skeet's song.

"Are you the nanny?" ("Nope!")

"Are you her mother?" ("Yup!")

"Did your husband cheat on you?" ("Nope!")

"Does she call you Mommy?" (Yup!)

"Is she biologically yours?" ("Nope!")

"Do you love her unconditionally?" ("Yup!")

Wilder made the video because she's tired of the questions and because she wants to help foster a new perception of families. As we've said before at Motherly, families don't have to match, and that's not just okay—it's beautiful. But that's a lesson more people need to learn.

"It's a lot of, 'Oh, are you the nanny?' Wilder tells TODAY Parents. "No one has ever outright asked, 'Did you kidnap that child?' But that's what they're trying to figure out."

It's a racist and uninformed assumption and it needs to stop, not just for Wilder's family but for all families that don't share skin tones or features. Three of Wilder's children are mixed race and her 6-year-old daughter is white. And when she's out with her kids people make comments, asking which kids are hers or if she works in childcare.

"I'm like, 'Nope. These four are mine. I take care of them all day, every day. I worry about them all the time. I'm their mother,'" Wilder said.

Wilder and her husband adopted their now 6-year-old daughter when she was a toddler. "We realized quickly that she hadn't been introduced to a lot of Black people or people of color. I think she was in shock," Wilder tells TODAY Parents. "We've always talked a lot about race in our home because my husband and I are an interracial couple. So, we just started having even more conversations about skin color. We explained how being in a family has nothing to do with skin color."

Thank you, Jenna, for educating TikTok (and now the rest of the internet).

This mom's viral post is about so much more than chicken nuggets 

Back in July, Steph Willson wrote a Facebook post detailing her feelings about her children growing up. This week, that post is spreading across the internet with moms everywhere relating to Steph.

The picture she posted is simple—it's just a couple of plates of chicken nuggets and fries—but the story she tells alongside it is the story of motherhood. It's the story of the "lasts" we have with our children without realizing that this is the last time.

Wilson writes:

"One day you'll realize you are serving them whole chicken nuggets instead of cutting them each into four pieces.

One day instead of a bath they will want to shower, then you'll look back and realize their last night time bath was months ago.

One day you will realize that the last night that they slept in their crib was the day before.

One day you'll realize that their car seat is no longer facing backwards and you don't need that little rearview mirror on the head rest anymore.

One day you will realize that you haven't given them a child proof water bottle in three weeks.

One day you will miss brushing their teeth for them because now they can do it themselves.

One day you will see them take their own seatbelt off and they don't need your help anymore.

You never know when the last day of a precious phase will be, so embrace having to help them a little more, embrace it taking longer to prepare one of their meals, embrace all the effort it takes to get them in and out of the tub because before you know it that phase will be gone and they will be just a little bit bigger in a little bit more independent."

Hundreds of thousands of people have shared Wilson's post. She tells Motherly: "I am beyond humbled that part of my motherhood journey has resonated with so many other women and if the post allowed one mom to feel like they were not alone that made it all worth it for me. Fortunately, it allowed hundreds of thousands of mothers to not feel alone and that in itself is a dream come true for me."

Thank you, Steph.

This surrogate mama is caring for baby months after giving birth due to COVID-19 travel restrictions 

A surrogate who agrees to carry a child for another family is already doing amazing, admirable work. But one Idaho mom has ended up taking on more than she ever could have imagined. With the baby's parents stuck in China due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, Emily Chrislip has now been caring for the surrogate child since May.

Chrislip told TODAY Parents that the baby's family knew what a big ask it was. "They were like, 'We understand if it's too much.' They didn't pressure us."

She says after some debate, she and husband ultimately agreed to it—knowing that the alternative would mean sending the baby to live with a nanny full-time. "We knew the right thing to do was to care for her, Chrislip said. "We knew we could give her a loving home."

She told People that they initially expected the situation to last for about four weeks—but now it's been more than four months.

Surrogates work very hard to keep emotional boundaries in place throughout the pregnancy, and Chrislip explains that she's had to be diligent about keeping those boundaries in place even while caring for the baby round the clock for the past few months, including things like pumping instead of breastfeeding. With a child of her own at home, she's also had to make it very clear to her son that the baby won't be with them forever and is not a sibling.

"She's not our child," Chrislip explains. "She belongs with her parents. We want to get her to her parents." Nonetheless—Chrislip says the baby girl is getting all the love and care she needs right now. "We just treat her as our own because at this stage in life it is so important to have the proper attention and love," she explained to People.

Even though Chrislip has found herself in an unimaginable situation, she knows that the baby's parents are dealing with something even harder. "I can't imagine what they are going through," she told TODAY. "They tried to have a child for so many years and now they can't be with her."

She says the two families video chat regularly and the parents send care packages to their little one. And in the meantime, all involved are hoping for a speedy reunion.

These Schitt's Creek costumes are perfect for Halloween 2020 

Beloved Canadian export Schitt's Creek swept the Emmys over the weekend and it might just sweep Halloween, too.

Mom and designer Lauren Mancke is collecting Instagram likes this week after posting a now-viral shot of children dressed up as the cast of the CBC comedy.

"When I thought maybe we shouldn't do #manckemonthofcostumes this year, I just kept thinking, but we just have to do @schittscreek," she captioned the pic. "As Moira would say and with the vigor of a wartime radio operator, the show must go on! Be sure to follow along for DIY costumes every day in October using @primarydotcom clothing."

This idea deserves as many awards as the show received!

A pregnant woman saved her husband from a shark attack in Florida

Pregnant women are superheroes in so many ways and one Georgia mama-to-be is extra heroic.

Atlanta couple Andrew Eddy, 30, and Margot Dukes-Eddy, 29, were on a private boat with family in the Florida Keys when Eddy went snorkeling and was attacked by a shark. His pregnant wife, Dukes-Eddy, reportedly jumped off the boat and hauled her injured husband back on board.

A Monroe County Deputy noted in their report that the pregnant Dukes-Eddy saw the shark fin and the blood from the boat and moved immediately to save her partner.

"Without hesitation, she dove into the water and pulled Eddy to the safety of the boat," the deputy noted. "The family called 911."

Eddy's shoulder was severely injured in the attack, but thanks to the quick thinking of his pregnant wife he will survive to see their baby born.

Kristen Bell and Jackie Tohn on how they’re ‘sneak teaching’ kids with their new show "Do, Re & Mi"

The best friends created a musical animated show that's just as educational as it is entertaining

Amazon Studios

This episode is sponsored by Tonies. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Kristen Bell and Jackie Tohn have been best friends since they met as young singers and actors more than 15 years ago, and now they're collaborating on a new Amazon Original animated kids series called Do, Re & Mi. The show, which follows best birds Do, Re and Mi as they navigate the world around them while also belting out catchy tunes, is just as educational as it is entertaining.

On the latest episode of The Motherly Podcast, Bell and Tohn talk to Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety about how they're "sneak teaching" kids with their new show and why music is such an important focal point.

"It was basically our mission from the very beginning to 'sneak music education' into kids' lives, hands, brains, all of it," Tohn admits.

"There's so much science and data to support that [music] helps kids, their brains grow with math, with social skills. It literally can change your neuroplasticity. You can put music of their favorite genre or timeframe on, in an Alzheimer's ward, and they will come back online for a couple minutes. I mean, it's crazy," Bell, who has two daughters of her own, adds. "You know, music can bind a lot of families together. It can bind friendships together. And it's just a show that you can feel really good about. We want to get it in front of as many kids as possible, because I don't like the fact that some kids won't have exposure to music. Their brains deserve to grow just as much as everyone else's."

The first season of Do, Re & Mi premiered on September 17th and its creators recorded 52 different songs for the show that range from reggae and pop to country, blues and jazz.

"That's what's so exciting about this show," Tohn gushes. "Not only are the lessons we're teaching for everyone, but every episode has a musical genre, a musical lesson and an emotional lesson. And so there really is so much to learn."

Elsewhere in the episode, Bell tells Tenety about how she made literal toolboxes that carry different regulation tools to help her kids calm down (one is "find a song you love and sing out loud") and why having a village is crucial to surviving motherhood, especially in a pandemic, while Tohn details her special friendship not only with Bell, but with her daughters, too.

To hear more about the show, Bell's experiences in motherhood, and her enduring friendship with Tohn, listen to The Motherly Podcast for the full interview.

Entertainment

12 baby registry essentials for family adventures

Eager to get out and go? Start here

Ashley Robertson / @ashleyrobertson

Parenthood: It's the greatest adventure of all. From those first few outings around the block to family trips at international destinations, there are new experiences to discover around every corner. As you begin the journey, an adventurous spirit can take you far—and the best baby travel gear can help you go even farther.

With car seats, strollers and travel systems designed to help you confidently get out and go on family adventures, Maxi-Cosi gives you the support you need to make the memories you want.

As a mom of two, Ashley Robertson says she appreciates how Maxi-Cosi products can grow with her growing family. "For baby gear, safety and ease are always at the top of our list, but I also love how aesthetically pleasing the Maxi Cosi products are," she says. "The Pria Car Seat was our first purchase and it's been so nice to have a car seat that 'grows' with your child. It's also easy to clean—major bonus!"

If you have big dreams for family adventures, start by exploring these 12 baby registry essentials.

Tayla™️ XP Travel System

Flexibility is key for successful family adventures. This reversible, adjustable, all-terrain travel system delivers great versatility. With the included Coral XP Infant Car Seat that fits securely in the nesting system, you can use this stroller from birth.


Add to Babylist

$849.99

Iora Bedside Bassinet

Great for use at home or for adventures that involve a night away, the collapsible Iora Bedside Bassinet gives your baby a comfortable, safe place to snooze. With five different height positions and three slide positions, this bassinet can fit right by your bedside. The travel bag also makes it easy to take on the go.


Add to Babylist

$249.99

Kori 2-in-1 Rocker

Made with high-quality, soft materials, the foldable Kori Rocker offers 2-in-1 action by being a rocker or stationary seat. It's easy to move around the home, so you can keep your baby comfortable wherever you go. With a slim folded profile, it's also easy to take along on adventures so your baby always has a seat of their own.


Add to Babylist

$119.99

Minla 6-in-1 High Chair

A high chair may not come to mind when you're planning ahead for family adventures. But, as the safest spot for your growing baby to eat meals, it's worth bringing along for the ride. With compact folding ability and multiple modes of use that will grow with your little one, it makes for easy cargo.


Add to Babylist

$219.99

Coral XP Infant Car Seat

With the inner carrier weighing in at just 5 lbs., this incredibly lightweight infant car seat means every outing isn't also an arm workout for you. Another feature you won't find with other infant car seats? In addition to the standard carry bar, the Coral XP can be carried with a flexible handle or cross-body strap.


Add to Babylist

$399.99

Pria™️ All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

From birth through 10 years, this is the one and only car seat you need. It works in rear-facing, forward-facing and, finally, booster mode. Comfortable and secure for every mile of the journey ahead, you can feel good about hitting the road for family fun.


Add to Babylist

$289.99

Pria™️ Max All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

Want to skip the wrestling match with car seat buckles? The brilliant Out-of-the-Way harness system and magnetic chest clip make getting your child in and out of their buckles as cinch. This fully convertible car seat is suitable for babies from 4 lbs. through big kids up to 100 lbs. With washer-and-dryer safe cushions and dishwasher safe cup holders, you don't need to stress the mess either.


Add to Babylist

$329.99

Tayla Modular Lightweight Stroller

With four reclining positions, your little ones can stay content—whether they want to lay back for a little shut-eye or sit up and take in the view. Also reversible, the seat can be turned outward or inward if you want to keep an eye on your adventure buddy. Need to pop it in the trunk or take it on the plane? The stroller easily and compactly folds shut.


Add to Babylist
$499.99

Tayla Travel System

This car seat and stroller combo is the baby travel system that will help make your travel dreams possible from Day 1. The Mico XP infant seat is quick and easy to install into the stroller or car. Skipping the car seat? The reversible stroller seat is a comfortable way to take in the scenery.


Add to Babylist
$699.99

Modern Diaper Bag

When you need to change a diaper during an outing, the last thing you'll want to do is scramble to find one. The Modern Diaper Bag will help you stay organized for brief outings or week-long family vacations. In addition to the pockets and easy-carry strap, we love the wipeable diaper changing pad, insulated diaper bag and hanging toiletry bag.


Add to Babylist

$129.99

Mico XP Max Infant Car Seat

Designed for maximum safety and comfort from the very first day, this infant car seat securely locks into the car seat base or compatible strollers. With a comfy infant pillow and luxe materials, it also feels as good for your baby as it looks to you. Not to mention the cushions are all machine washable and dryable, which is a major win for you.


Add to Babylist
$299.99

Adorra™️ 5-in-1 Modular Travel System

From carriage mode for newborn through world-view seated mode for bigger kids, this 5-in-1 children's travel system truly will help make travel possible. We appreciate the adjustable handlebar, extended canopy with UV protection and locking abilities when it's folded. Your child will appreciate the plush cushions, reclining seat and smooth ride.


Add to Babylist
$599.99

Ready for some family adventures? Start by exploring Maxi-Cosi.

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


Boost 1

This incredibly soft comforter from Sunday Citizen is like sleeping on a cloud

My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice.

When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, there are many factors that, as a mama, are hard to control. Who's going to wet the bed at 3 am, how many times a small person is going to need a sip of water, or the volume of your partner's snoring are total wildcards.

One thing you can control? Tricking out your bed to make it as downright cozy as possible. (And in these times, is there anywhere you want to be than your bed like 75% of the time?)

I've always been a down comforter sort of girl, but after a week of testing the ridiculously plush and aptly named Snug Comforter from Sunday Citizen, a brand that's run by "curators of soft, seekers of chill" who "believe in comfort over everything," it's safe to say I've been converted.


Honestly, it's no wonder. Originally designed as a better blanket for luxury hotels and engineered with textile experts to create this uniquely soft fabric, it has made my bed into the vacation I so desperately want these days.

The comforter is made up of two layers. On one side is their signature knit "snug" fabric which out-cozies even my most beloved (bought on sale) cashmere sweater. The other, a soft quilted microfiber. Together, it creates a weighty blanket that's as soothing to be under as it is to flop face-first into at the end of an exhausting day. Or at lunch. No judgement.

Miraculously, given the weight and construction, it stays totally breathable and hasn't left me feeling overheated even on these warm summer nights with just a fan in the window.

Beyond being the absolute most comfortable comforter I've found, it's also answered my minimalist bed making desires. Whether you opt to use it knit or quilted side up, it cleanly pulls the room together and doesn't wrinkle or look unkempt even if you steal a quick nap on top of it.

Also worth noting, while all that sounds super luxe and totally indulgent, the best part is, it's equally durable. It's made to be easily machine washed and come out the other side as radically soft as ever, forever, which totally helps take the sting out of the price tag.

My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice.

Here is my top pick from Sunday Citizen, along with the super-soft goods I'm coveting for future purchases.

Woodland Snug comforter

Sunday-Citizen-Woodland-Snug-comforter

The bedroom anchor I've been looking for— the Snug Comforter.

$249

Braided Pom Pom Throw

Because this degree of coziness needs portability, I'm totally putting the throw version on my list. It's washable, which is a must-have given my shedding dog and two spill-prone kiddos who are bound to fight over it during family movie night.

$145

Lumbar pillow

sunday-citizen-lumbar-pillow

What's a cozy bed without a pile of pillows?

$65

Crystal infused sleep mask

sunday citizen sleep mask

Promoting sleep by creating total darkness and relaxation, I've bookmarked as my go-to gift for fellow mamas.

$40

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

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10 Montessori phrases for kids who are struggling with back to school

The first day of school can be hard for everyone, mama. Here's how to use the Montessori method to help your child adjust.

No matter how excited your child was to pick out a new lunchbox and backpack this year, there will likely be days when they just don't want to go to school. Whether they're saying "I don't like school" when you're home playing together or having a meltdown on the way to the classroom, there are things you can say to help ease their back-to-school nerves.

More than the exact words you use, the most important thing is your attitude, which your child is most definitely aware of. It's important to validate their feelings while conveying a calm confidence that school is the right place for them to be and that they can handle it.

Here are some phrases that will encourage your child to go to school.


1. "You're safe here."

If you have a young child, they may be genuinely frightened of leaving you and going to school. Tell them that school is a safe place full of people who care about them. If you say this with calm confidence, they'll believe you. No matter what words you say, if your child senses your hesitation, your own fear of leaving them, they will not feel safe. How can they be safe if you're clearly scared of leaving them? Try to work through your own feelings about dropping them off before the actual day so you can be a calm presence and support.

2. "I love you and I know you can do this."

It's best to keep your goodbye short, even if your child is crying or clinging to you, and trust that you have chosen a good place for them to be. Most children recover from hard goodbyes quickly after the parent leaves.

If your child is having a hard time saying goodbye, give one good strong hug and tell them that you love them and know they can do this. Saying something like, "It's just school, you'll be fine" belittles their feelings. Instead, acknowledge that this is hard, but that you're confident they're up to the task. This validates the anxiety they're feeling while ending on a positive note.

After a quick reassurance, make your exit, take a deep breath and trust that they will be okay.

3. "First you'll have circle time, then work time, and then you'll play on the playground."

Talk your child through the daily schedule at school, including as many details as possible. Talk about what will happen when you drop them off, what kinds of work they will do, when they will eat lunch and play outside, and who will come to get them in the afternoon.

It can help to do this many times so that they become comfortable with the new daily rhythm.

4. "I'll pick you up after playground time."

Give your child a frame of reference for when you will be returning.

If your child can tell time, you can tell them you'll see them at 3:30pm. If they're younger, tell them what will happen right before you pick them up. Perhaps you'll come get them right after lunch, or maybe it's after math class.

Giving this reference point can help reassure them you are indeed coming back and that there is a specific plan for when they will see you again. As the days pass, they'll realize that you come consistently every day when you said you would and their anxieties will ease.

5. "What book do you think your teacher will read when you get to school this morning?"

Find out what happens first in your child's school day and help them mentally transition to that task. In a Montessori school, the children choose their own work, so you might ask about which work your child plans to do first.

If they're in a more traditional school, find an aspect of the school morning they enjoy and talk about that.

Thinking about the whole school day can seem daunting, but helping your child focus on a specific thing that will happen can make it seem more manageable.

6. "Do you think Johnny will be there today?"

Remind your child of the friends they will see when they get to school.

If you're not sure who your child is bonding with, ask the teacher. On the way to school, talk about the children they can expect to see and try asking what they might do together.

If your child is new to the school, it might help to arrange a playdate with a child in their class to help them form strong relationships.

7. "That's a hard feeling. Tell me about it."

While school drop-off is not the time to wallow in the hard feelings of not wanting to go to school, if your child brings up concerns after school or on the weekend, take some time to listen to them.

Children can very easily be swayed by our leading questions, so keep your questions very general and neutral so that your child can tell you what they're really feeling.

They may reveal that they just miss you while they're gone, or may tell you that a certain person or kind of work is giving them anxiety.

Let them know that you empathize with how they feel, but try not to react too dramatically. If you think there is an issue of real concern, talk to the teacher about it, but your reaction can certainly impact the already tentative feelings about going to school.

8. "What can we do to help you feel better?"

Help your child brainstorm some solutions to make them more comfortable with going to school.

Choose a time at home when they are calm. Get out a pen and paper to show that you are serious about this.

If they miss you, would a special note in their pocket each morning help? If another child is bothering them, what could they say or who could they ask for help? If they're too tired in the morning, could an earlier bedtime make them feel better?

Make it a collaborative process, rather than a situation where you're rescuing them, to build their confidence.

9. "What was the best part of your school day?"

Choose a time when your child is not talking about school and start talking about your day. Tell them the best part of your day, then try asking about the best part of their day. Practice this every day.

It's easy to focus on the hardest parts of an experience because they tend to stick out in our minds. Help your child recognize that, even if they don't always want to go, there are likely parts of school they really enjoy.

10. "I can't wait to go to the park together when we get home."

If your child is having a hard time saying goodbye, remind them of what you will do together after you pick them up from school.

Even if this is just going home and making dinner, what your child likely craves is time together with you, so help them remember that it's coming.

It is totally normal for children to go through phases when they don't want to go to school. If you're concerned, talk to your child's teacher and ask if they seem happy and engaged once they're in the classroom.

To your child, be there to listen, to help when you can, and to reassure them that their feelings are natural and that they are so capable of facing the challenges of the school day, even when it seems hard.

Back to School

Yes, a shower can be self-care—here's how to level it up

Some seasons of life can make you feel like you have no time for self-care, so here's how you can make an everyday activity a luxury.

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Over the course of the last several years, "self-care" has become not only a buzzword, but also a daily requirement for personal fulfillment. And while self-care is important, it loses its appeal when it feels like a chore, or yet another item on a never-ending To Do list. I have a one-year-old son and a three-year-old daughter. I work full-time, and I do not have full-time childcare. As a result, like many parents, free time is the stuff of fairy tales.

Instead of beating myself up over my inability to get to the nail salon or to schedule a monthly massage, I decided to redefine self-care—to be grateful for the little moments, to elevate them. In the seasons of life where you can't figure out how to fit "self-care" in—or when trying to fit it in causes more stress—choose to relish the small escapes. After all, the intent of self-care is to feel better, to improve your overall health, to fill your cup so you can help to fill others. When the act of scheduling self-care puts more weight on your shoulders, it defeats the purpose.

I can't tell you how many articles I've read that say a shower—basic hygiene—shouldn't qualify as self-care, and I do understand that sentiment.

However, on the days, weeks, or even months where you can't find hour-long blocks of scheduled "me time," why not embrace your shower as an act of self-care?



In all honesty, my nightly shower after my kids go to sleep is beyond. I look forward to it. I set the mood and bask in 10-15 minutes of silence and pampering. Here are some of my tried-and-true tips to boost your shower:


  • Light a candle: What is it about the simple act of lighting a candle that sets the mood? I recently received a South Candle from my MIL, and the dreamy summer scent has me reaching for it again and again.
  • Use a dry brush: I jumped on the dry brushing trend a few years ago and never looked back. Right before I shower, I use a dry brush on my body to exfoliate and improve lymphatic drainage.
  • Hang eucalyptus: Visit your local florist, and buy a bundle of fresh eucalyptus. In addition to its spa-esque scent, eucalyptus boasts multiple healing effects, like promoting stress-relief and improving mental health.
  • Cleanse: Indie Lee's Brightening Cleanser smells delicious and is a great addition to anyone's summer skincare routine. This vegan and plant-based formula leaves my skin looking bright and firm.
  • Splurge: It's not cheap, but Tata Harper's smoothing body scrub buffs and polishes your skin, leaving it smooth, glowing, and in my case — ready to hit the sheets!
  • Moisturize: Post-shower, use your favorite moisturizer. I love Alba Botanica's very emollient unscented original body lotion — it's super hydrating and gentle on sensitive skin without an overwhelming fragrance.
  • Enhance your skin while you catch some z's: Glow Recipe's Watermelon + AHA Glow Sleeping Mask completes my nightly skincare routine. It smells like candy, and I wake up with soft, dewy skin.

Moral of the story? For busy parents, your nightly shower is a special occasion, so don't save the good products for another day—use them now!

Elevating the little moments and being creative carries over to all other areas of your life as well. Can't make it to a barre class? Slide into bridge pose while on the floor with the kiddos and do some hip raises. Turn a dance party into a quick HIIT workout with some squat jumps. Take the kiddos for a walk and pop in your airpods. Fresh air, movement, and a podcast fuels my soul. Having trouble finding a sitter for date night? Enhance your "Netflix and chill" with restaurant-quality cocktails, fancy popcorn, and a bougie dessert.

In certain seasons of life, recognize self-care in the little moments. It's not worth stressing about your inability to practice an idealistic—and unrealistic—self-care routine. Instead, find the moment, elevate it, and enjoy it.

Beauty Style

Mom and gorilla bond over their babies at the zoo: ‘It was so beautiful’

The new mothers shared a special moment at a Boston zoo.

Franklin Park Zoo/YouTube

Motherhood knows no bounds.

When Kiki the gorilla spotted a new mom and baby visiting her habitat at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, she immediately took a liking to the pair. Emmelina Austin held her five-week-old son Canyon to the glass so Kiki could get a better look.

The gorilla spent nearly five minutes happily pointing and staring at baby Canyon.


Emmelina's husband captured the sweet moment on his phone, in a video that's now gone viral.

Mother shares unique maternal bond with gorilla (FULL VIDEO) www.youtube.com

Why was Kiki so interested in her tiny visitor? Possibly because Kiki's a new mom herself. Her fifth baby, Pablo, was born in October.

Near the end of the video, Kiki scooped up Pablo and held him close. The new moms held their baby boys to the glass and shared a special moment together: just a couple of mothers, showing off their little ones.

"When I walked into the zoo that day, I never could've imagined that we would have had that experience," Austin told ABC News. "It was so beautiful, and we walked out just over the moon."

We can't get enough of the sweet exchange. There's something special about sharing your little one with the world. Mothers of all ages, races–and it turns out, species–understand.

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