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Please stop telling me how ‘easy’ my baby is

I struggle every single day to love and care for my daughter, more often than not to the point of tears. Being told I have an easy baby invalidates those feelings.

Please stop telling me how ‘easy’ my baby is

I have, by all accounts, the perfect angel baby. Not only does she look exactly like one of the cherubs you see painted on the walls of the Sistine chapel, but (for the most part) she acts like one too. She is an immensely happy baby who will stare people down beaming until they smile back at her. She loves to be around people and is more social than I am. She eats just about anything you put in front of her. She has slept at least eight consecutive hours a night since she was 8 weeks old. And as long as she is occupied with something interesting, she is pretty easygoing.

So yes. I get it. I'm lucky.

People love to tell me this; not a week goes by that I don't hear it. And, to be honest, I don't fully understand the point in noting it. Maybe it is just conversation filler, one of those things you say to take up space. Maybe it is intended as a compliment to her or somehow to me. Maybe it is a spontaneous statement of marvel over her generally easygoing personality. I don't know.

But what I do know is that it has an adverse effect on me and on my marriage.

Let me explain.

Though I know that I have it better than some (maybe even most) when it comes to challenging infants, I still find my angel baby—and mothering her—extremely challenging. I have frequently described motherhood as both the greatest thing I have ever done and the absolute most difficult thing I have ever done.

I struggle every single day to love and care for my daughter, more often than not to the point of tears. Being told I have an easy baby invalidates those feelings. It makes me feel weak for struggling at all. It makes me feel like I'm just being dramatic. It makes me second-guess my struggle or try to brush it under the rug and "suck it up."

If she is so easy, I have no right to feel exhausted.

If she is so easy, I have no right to need a break.

If she is so easy, I shouldn't be so frustrated or shouldn't be counting down the seconds until bedtime.

If she is so easy, I can't ask my husband for more support because I really shouldn't need it. And the fact that I do is a sign to me that I'm inadequate and a sign to him that I'm overreacting. It's not a valid struggle.

It's a "me problem."

Parenting is hard. Full stop. No matter what kind of baby you have (and why is there really any need to rank them anyway?), parenting is full of anxiety and struggle and feelings of failure. Maybe someday when I have the experience of raising other children, I'll look back on this time and reminisce about how easy I had it. But right now, I don't feel that way. I constantly feel like a mess and being told I'm so lucky to have such an easy baby when I'm struggling (which is basically always) only piles on.

So next time you think about remarking on how "easy" someone's child is, remember there is a lot that happens behind closed doors you don't actually see. And while she may seem like the perfect little baby, a lot of actual blood, sweat and tears, go into nurturing her. Things always seem easier when you're not the one chasing them around the bathroom at the bridal shower while they smear poop all over the floor and all over their pretty party dress which you didn't bother to bring a backup for because who could have foreseen having to change the baby on the bathroom floor of a popular country club because they didn't have a changing table and yelled at you when you tried to change her on the bench in the hall.…

A simple, "Good job, Mama! I know it isn't easy" will more than suffice.

10 must-have registry items that will change your life, mama

The baby gear heavy hitters that should be top of your list

Calling all mamas-to-be! It's a fundamental truth of (impending) motherhood that your prepping-for-baby To Do list can feel a mile long, but really the best way to feel organized is to sort out the most important item at the top of your list: your registry. Sure the items you choose to include will end up running the gamut from nice-to-haves to absolutely essential game-changers, but mamas in the know quickly learn one thing: Not all baby gear is created equal.

So while you can and should pepper your registry with adorable inclusions that aren't necessarily can't-live-withouts (go ahead, add 'em!), you should make sure you're ticking the boxes on those pieces of baby gear that can be absolute life savers once you're in full-blown mama mode. From car seats to bouncers and playmats, your play and travel gear will be some of the most obvious important items on your list, but so can unexpected things, like a super comfy baby carrier and a snooze-inducing white noise machine. So to help you sort through the must-have options, we turned to the holy grail of motherhood that is buybuy BABY and handpicked 10 of the very best essential pieces that will change your life, we promise.

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Our Partners

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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The 6 biggest lies I believed before having kids

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves.

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves. Some of these ideas might have been based on our own ideas of how we would absolutely do things differently than everyone else. Others, we believed what everyone else told us would happen would apply to our littles, too. But, that's not always the case, mama.

Below are six of the biggest lies I believed before having kids—and the reality of what actually happened for me.

1. Put your baby down drowsy, but awake

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