Then it happens: Your babies will be replaced by people

You don’t always realize how fleeting these moments are until they’re gone.

Then it happens: Your babies will be replaced by people

I remember it like it was yesterday: the elderly woman at church, trying to encourage me as I was wrangling three kids three and under. The mom of teenagers, looking wistfully on as I tried to get my kids through an entire meal in a restaurant without some sort of public humiliation. The old man who stood next to me while my 3-year-old lifted my sundress over my head, revealing my pasty-white and fairly gelatinous rear end (and my torn thong underwear) to everyone in the vicinity.

“Don’t blink,” these well-meaning folks said. “You’ll blink and they won’t be babies anymore.”


And I asked, “Can I blink now? Pretty please?”

Motherhood is exhausting, but never quite so much as when we’re raising babies and toddlers. I was tired, the kind of tired it seems there’s no cure for. I remember how I felt when those people (and countless more) told me to “enjoy every moment,” because it’d be gone before I could blink. Ummmm... You promise?

The days are long, but the years are short... Isn’t that what they say? At the time, I thought I might beg to differ. The days were long, but the years felt longer. SO. LONG.

The diapers. The meal prep. The bathing. The disciplining. The crying and yelling and tantrum throwing. ALL THE THINGS—too many to recount. I was tired, my patience was thin, I was aging at warp speed and I thought I was caught up in a prison of my own making.

Then I blinked.

Yesterday I took all three of children shoe shopping (which, in hindsight, was a terrible idea, and my apologies to the local Target employees). I bought everyone new tennis shoes, because I’m realizing that kids’ feet don’t stay small.

These are the shoes I bought for my almost ten-year-old daughter:

If they look huge, it’s because they are.

I bought my daughter women’s tennis shoes. As in, they were on the women’s shoe aisle, just a stone’s throw away from the glittery, Disney-princess covered tennis shoes of yesteryear. The two sections were only separated by a matter of feet, but it might as well have been a million miles. There’s a huge chasm between childhood and adulthood, and once you take a leap across to the other side, you never go back.

I blinked and suddenly... Here we are.

I know more blinking will happen and more milestones will creep up on unsuspecting me. And I know this is how life goes and how God intends for it to be. I know that it’s good and right.

But now, instead of squeezing my eyes shut so hard that they hurt, willing time to move faster and my kids to grow bigger, I find myself wanting to play the staring game, seeing how long I can possibly go between blinks.

All those well-meaning people were right—and I had no idea. The days are long but the years are so short. Now I, in turn, am becoming one of those well-meaning people, because I’m finally beginning to understand how fleeting this life is.

If you’re a tired mama, especially a mama of itty-bitties, hang in there. It’s hard work—the hardest work. But you can do this and, I promise you, no sooner will you blink before you realize that the years have vanished and your babies are no more. Soon you, too, will be playing the staring game with yourself, willing time to slow down.

Believe it or not, mamas, one day we’ll all join the legions of parents who have gone before us who now take every chance they get to utter these two gut-wrenching words to the ones behind them:

“Don’t blink.”

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These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

1. Go apple picking.

Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

4. Have a touch-football game.

Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

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

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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?

Meri Meri: Decor and gifts that bring the wonder of childhood to life

We could not be more excited to bring the magic of Meri Meri to the Motherly Shop. For over 30 years, their playful line of party products, decorations, children's toys and stationery have brought magic to celebrations and spaces all over the world. Staring as a kitchen table endeavor with some scissors, pens and glitter in Los Angeles in 1985, Meri Meri (founder Meredithe Stuart-Smith's childhood nickname) has evolved from a little network of mamas working from home to a team of 200 dreaming up beautiful, well-crafted products that make any day feel special.

We've stocked The Motherly Shop with everything from Halloween must-haves to instant-heirloom gifts kiddos will adore. Whether you're throwing a party or just trying to make the everyday feel a little more special, we've got you covered.

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

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Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

When Chrissy Teigen announced her third pregnancy earlier this year we were so happy for her and now our hearts are with her as she is going through a pain that is unimaginable for many, but one that so many other mothers know.

Halfway through a high-risk pregnancy complicated by placenta issues, Teigen announced late Wednesday that she has suffered a pregnancy loss.

Our deepest condolences go out to Chrissy and her husband, John Legend (who has been by her side in the hospital for several days now).

In a social media post, Teigen explained she named this baby Jack.


"We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we've never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn't enough," she wrote.

She continued: "We never decide on our babies' names until the last possible moment after they're born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever."

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