The miracle of you is overwhelming, mama

It has been a long winter.

In previous years, I would try to venture outside with my son, no matter the weather. But with a little sister in tow, and months and months of snow, that has added up to too much inside time, too much TV, and a lot of crazy for all of us.

So, as my daughter came down with her sixth or seventh illness of this long winter, I thought was about to lose my mind. Not only was this another sickness, it was a SUPER contagious one. No Montessori school for my son a week.

I started to feel like I couldn’t take it any more.

On the first day my daughter was sick, I was already overwhelmed about what was going to come the rest of the week. My son bouncing off the walls because we were confined to the house due to my daughter's sickness, and we were both dealing with our crabby sick baby. Fun. Yay me.

Here we go again.

And then…

My daughter was feeling terrible and asked to take a shower. The warm water usually distracts her from how terrible she’s feeling, so we got in. Immediately, she looked up at me and cried, “Up-y, up-y” with her sick and sleepy looking eyes. I picked her up, covered in spots and hot from a fever, and held her. She laid her head on my shoulder and placed her little arms around my neck and squeezed me tight, and I rocked her.

At that moment, despite feeling the way I did about the never-ending winter, and another sickness, and all the other things bounding through my head, I was overcome with a sense of peace.

She fit perfectly in my arms like she was meant for me, and I was meant to be her mommy. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for this amazing, tiny, person who was feeling miserable but was immediately comforted by me. I was overwhelmed with love for her sweetness, and her fragility, and her love for me in return.

I held her for what seemed like forever, and she didn’t move. I didn’t move my arms from around her. I smelled her hair and kissed her face and was completely taken away by the emotion of how much I love her.

I found myself marveling at the sudden realization that motherhood is overwhelming because it’s so demanding, all-consuming and important. I was overcome by the realization that she fit perfectly in my arms because right now, I am what she needs in order to feel whole and happy and safe.

And that beautiful revelation is why motherhood can be so overwhelming.

So our long, rough, icy winter melted away. The worry of sickness, the awful weather, the crazy that the last few months had been. All of it gone.

It’s overwhelming to have another person so completely dependent on you for everything, all of the time.

It’s overwhelming to have more than one child so dependent on you. It’s overwhelming to also try to be present to a husband, a dog, a house, a job.

It all feels like too much at times.

But wow...what a miracle it is at the same time. This little human who I get the opportunity to raise, and shape, and love—I am her world. It can all be so much. And that’s the beauty of it.

As I stood there, soaking her in, I had a new appreciation for the true miracle that being a parent really is. An appreciation for being overwhelmed. Although the hard stuff doesn’t go away, the winters are still long, and the road is still bumpy, I found the most beautiful comfort in a very ordinary moment.

So, when you find yourself overwhelmed, tired, and feeling crazy, I hope you can stop. Soak up the ordinary moments. The ordinary, hard, but important moments.

I hope that you too will find the miracle of being a parent overwhelming, but in such a beautiful way.

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Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.


Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.


Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.


Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!


Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.


Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.


'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."


Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.


Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.


Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!


Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.


Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.


Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.


Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.


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


One of our main goals as mothers is to encourage our children to learn, grow and play. They start out as our tiny, adorable babies who need us for everything, and somehow, before you know it, they grow into toddlers with ideas and opinions and desires of their own.

You may be hearing a lot more of "I do it!" or maybe they're pushing your hand away as a signal to let you know, I don't need your help, Mama. That's okay. They're just telling you they're ready for more independence. They want to be in charge of their bodies, and any little bit of control their lives and abilities allow.

So, instead of challenging your toddler's desire for autonomy, we found five of our favorite products to help encourage independence—and eliminate frustration in the process.

EKOBO Bamboo 4-piece kid set

EKOBO bamboo 4-piece kid set

This colorful set includes a plate, cup, bowl and spoon and is just right for your child's meal experience. Keep them in an easy-to-reach cabinet so they'll feel encouraged (and excited!) to get their own place setting each time they eat.


Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Before you know it, your little one will be asking (okay, maybe demanding) to fill their own water cups. This amazing 4-pack of cups attaches directly to the fridge (or any glass, metal, tile or fiberglass surface) making it easier for your child to grab a cup themselves. Just be sure a water pitcher or dispenser is nearby, and—boom!—one task off your plate.


Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

These beautiful blocks, made from sustainably-sourced wood and water-based, non-toxic, lead-free paint, will keep your little one focused on their creation while they're also busy working on their fine-motor skills. The puzzle design will encourage patience as your kiddo creates their own building, fitting one block in after the next.


Lorena Canals basket

Lorena Canals Basket

This *gorgeous* braided cotton basket is the perfect, accessible home for their blocks (and whatever else you want to hide away!) so your kiddo can grab them (and clean them up) whenever their heart desires.


BABYBJÖRN step stool

BABYBJ\u00d6RN Step Stool

Your kiddo might be ready to take on the world, but they might need an extra boost to do so—cue, a step stool! An easy-to-move lightweight stool is the must-have confidence-boosting tool you need in your home so your growing tot can reach, well... the world.


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


Because parenthood is challenging, we can sometimes forget how to just be happy in the midst of it all.

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