#TeamMotherly provided a lot of mom-to-mom support this year. And that’s what makes our community so special to us. We’re creating a space for mamas to share their stories, include us in their journeys and offer advice and insight into their lives and areas of expertise.

You are all wise women, and we’re so glad we get to learn from you and grow with you. We banded together this year, mamas. Over many, many important topics.

Like the mental load of motherhood

The mental load of motherhood was a huge topic for exhausted mamas this year. We talked about how tired all the things on our list make us. (And how, quite often, we’re the last person on those lists.) We talked about how the mental load we carry affects all aspects of our lives. We talked about how it was a surprising part of motherhood and the fact that it really can be lighter—we promise. We even shared 50 ways to lighten it, ASAP.

Like how challenging motherhood can be

We challenged whether motherhood had to feel as hard as it does sometimes. We talked about ways to help when it does feel impossibly hard. We reassured you that, no, you’re not doing anything wrong, mama—that’s how motherhood just is some days—really difficult. And it doesn’t get easier. But we get stronger. Because moms rule. ?

Like how hard it can be to balance work and #MomLife

Is balance possible as a mom in general? Yes, it is. Your own kind of balance. A balance that works for you in your life. We talked here about balance as a working mama specifically. We talked about how you shouldn’t feel like a bad mom because you work. At all. So let’s ditch that guilt.

We talked about how new motherhood can actually be really great for your career. We reassured each other when it was Day 1 of daycare drop off and when you were feeling like the nanny you hired was sort of taking your place and when you felt like you had no idea what you were doing anymore. We also chatted about how working makes us better mothers, and how, our children actually benefit from us working. (Go us!?)

Like how grateful we are for our friendships

Sometimes motherhood can be really lonely. Our kiddos take up a lot of our time along with a lot of our mental and emotional space—so it can be hard to incorporate our friends into our everyday lives as much as we used to. And we miss them. And we need them. And we love them. And we talked about what we’re looking for in these friends. And we thanked them for loving our children as their own.

We’ve turned to the internet for “mom friends”, to our ride or die childhood friends who know us like the back of their hands, to our long-distance friends, to our tribe and our squad. Thank you to our girlfriends, because we couldn’t do this without you. ?

Like how wild and wonderful new motherhood is

When you first become a mother, you may feel like you lose a little bit of your former self. But, rest-assured, you’re still in there. Because maybe we’re not really losing ourselves at all, we’re just becoming who we were meant to be?

There can be a lot of pressure on new mamas to know it all, be it all, understand it all right away—but you have absolutely nothing to prove to anyone. There is so much to learn in the first couple years of motherhood—you’re not going to get it all in a day. And fear not because, one day soon, you’ll know exactly what you’re doing.

But until then, enjoy those moments but don’t put pressure on yourself to feel like you have to enjoy every single second of every day of motherhood. Because, as we all know, being a mama is complex. And there is no shame in that.

Like how there’s magic in the chaos

Our lives can be chaotic, that’s for sure. But, we’ve realized, there is so much wonder and awe in those messy, busy parts. There’s magic in that daily grind that is our everyday lives. And we’ve learned that even when you’re feeling overwhelmed or like you’re not enough or that you’re merely just surviving, that it’s all okay—because no one’s life is perfect, and even though some days feel super crazy—there’s a lot of love and light in this season.

Like how tired we are

Seriously. Can we take a nap? We haven’t slept in a while, and we’re exhausted. Or should we just have more coffee? Because we love coffee and we appreciate coffee and coffee is our friend. Being needed all the time can be a lot, and sometimes—we just have to rest, because we need a break. And please don’t worry, because we all feel like this. We’re in this together. ?

Like how wonderful this life really is

The joy. The fun. The love. The grace. The happiness. The adventure. The inspiration. The snuggles. The beauty. The amazing moments. The incredible moments. The magic.

Thank you for joining this ride with us, mamas. 2017 was an empowering year for mothers and we’re only just getting started. So, hang on. ?