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The relentless exhaustion of motherhood

We start to really doubt that we will ever actually sleep again.

The relentless exhaustion of motherhood

One of the hardest parts about giving birth is that you don’t know how long it’s going to go on for.


If someone could look into a crystal ball and say, “Okay. You are going to have 56 more really tough contractions, but then it will be over and your baby will be born,” it would be so much easier to wrap our minds around what needed to happen, steel ourselves for the challenge, and just do it.

But that crystal ball does not exist. When we’re in labor we theoretically know that it will end at some point and the baby will be born, but it’s really hard to believe it when we’re in the throws of this indefinite, painful process.

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And that’s what makes motherhood so hard—it is relentless and filled with unknown.

Let me be clear—it’s worth it.

It's not a question of it being worth it. OF COURSE it's worth it. If you give us a choice between anything and our children, we will always choose our children. Always.

But that doesn't mean it's easy.

We know every single day how incredibly fortunate we are to get be their mother, and to have the life that we have. But that doesn’t make it easy either.

We know it's all worth it, but in those exhausting, bleary eyed moments, “worth it” is just too abstract to understand—because in that moment, it is just so hard.

Pulling an “all-nighter” is actually not that bad when you know that the next night you can get a good night’s sleep.

Remember during college finals, you knew it was going to be a really tough week, and you probably weren’t going to get much sleep? But it was manageable because you also knew that after that tough week, you were going to go home to your parents’ house and sleep in your childhood bed for five days straight, waking up only to go to the bathroom and eat the occasional Hot Pocket.

That rest never comes in motherhood—though there are still a lot of Hot Pockets, thank goodness.

Just when the baby (FINALLY) starts sleeping through the night, he gets a cold so he’s up again, and then he gets over the cold but his molars start to come in, and then you have to transition him to his big kid bed... and then his little sister is born and it starts all over again.

We start to really doubt that we will ever actually sleep again.

And we have this moment—the moment where we slump down onto the floor next to our (momentarily) sleeping child, wrap our arms around our legs, and cry.

Cry because we don’t know what else to do.

Cry because we are more exhausted than we ever thought possible.

Cry because we truly believe in our core we will always just be this tired.

And in that moment, we are more motherly than we have ever been.

Because in spite of not knowing how many more contractions we’re going to have, we keep going.

In spite of not knowing how many more sleepless nights (or years) are in front of us, we keep going.

In spite of so much challenge and unknown and relentlessness, we keep going.

If that isn’t worth it, I don’t know what is.

Staying up for a night takes caffeine.

Staying up for a week takes determination.

Staying up for the unknown takes a mom.

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

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

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

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

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.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

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!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

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.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

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.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

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.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

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.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

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.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

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.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

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.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

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.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

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.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

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.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

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.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

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.

$88

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