I'm not just raising little boys, I'm raising great men

Raising sons means creating men of the future. Men with integrity and heart.

I'm not just raising little boys, I'm raising great men

Two of my favorite humans stand less than three feet tall. They can push me to my limits and test my patience but then in another second they melt my heart with a sloppy open-mouthed kiss or the sweetest "Mama, I wuv you!" you've ever heard.

They are my boys. They are my heart.

When I found out we were having not one but two boys, my heart nearly exploded! Being a boy mom is a badge I wear proudly. For me, I feel like it's a calling.

My heart may never know what it means to mother a girl. To buy tiny hair bows or frilly dresses. To have a forever companion for the occasional chick flick or pedicure. But it will know the love and fierce loyalty that I get from my two little guys.


My heart swells every time I think about the responsibility that comes with raising a son. It's both tremendous and terrifying. Raising sons means creating men of the future. Men with integrity and heart.

It means allowing for failure and then emotion. It means modeling strong and healthy relationships.

It means encouraging your heart, nurturing your intellect. It means embracing the jumping, throwing and wrestling.

It means trying new things and stepping out of my own comfort zone as I try to relate and stay relevant in their lives. It means being a positive role model and a good person.

Above all, it means showing them complete and unconditional love.

Being a boy mama isn't for the faint of heart. Scratch that. Being a mother isn't for the faint of heart.

There are days. Goodness, are there days. You know the ones. Days of worry and angst and sheer frustration. Days that I can't stand all the loud noise but know in the back of my mind that it's only for a short time. The days, the years, the moments—they're all short.

When I look at them I see all my happiness.. I see boys that will make their mama proud beyond measure. Boys that already have. When I look at them I see sassy mini-me's, more in demeanor and attitude than in looks. When I look at them I see their daddy. And that makes me so happy.

Someday my sons will grow up and move on. They'll move out and I may feel like I've lost my purpose. I'll have to figure out this new way to be their mommy; a new way to be in their lives. But I'll always be there. They will know that through my actions, thoughts and words. Through my love. My unconditional, never-ending, always there, love.

Until that time comes, I want to teach them so many things. I want to teach them about women and flowers and how to be gentle. I want to teach them resiliency and model it just the same. I want to teach them how to cook and do laundry. I want them to learn how to compete without having to compare. I want them to see people for who they are on the inside. I want to teach them how to build others up. I'll be my sons' biggest fan. For all of time. For all the things.

For now, I plan to hold my boys for as long as they'll let me. They are my babies and forever will be.

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I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.

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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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