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Those little acts you do every day don’t go unnoticed, mama

When you stoop down, brush the hair off her forehead and look her in the eyes as she talks to you—it matters.

Those little acts you do every day don’t go unnoticed, mama

Oh weary, mama.

The day in and day out of motherhood can be so exhausting.


I’m not here to tell you it’s worth it because you know that already. You know that what you are doing, as a whole, is awesomely amazing. When you step back and take it all in, it’s truly breathtaking.

You gave birth to or adopted a child, and you are now raising that child. That is—obviously—huge, and you can feel that.

You know that the love you provide to your child helps him understand his place in the world. You know that you are helping to grow the future of our world, and in doing so making the world a better place.

In the grand scheme of things, you know you matter.

What you’ve forgotten is how much you matter in the moments that don’t feel so grand.

Because motherhood is full of tiny acts that no one notices.

Thousands of words, steps, actions and thoughts that pass everyone by—even yourself. When you fall into bed at night, tired to the bone and reflecting on your day, you think, “But I didn’t even DO anything. How can I be THIS exhausted?”

And that, mama, is where you are mistaken.

Those tiny moments that feel like nothing are in fact everything. And they matter so much.

When you cut your lunch break 15 minutes short because if you do that, you can leave work 15 minutes early, which means missing rush hour and making it home in time to read your kids’ bedtime story—it matters.

When you stoop down, brush the hair off your child’s forehead and look her in the eyes as she talks to you—it matters.

When your child, who has climbed into your bed once again, throws an arm out and sticks her thumb directly into your eyeball, and you wince in pain but stay silent so you don’t wake her up—it matters.

That you are the only person in the world that knows your toddler will only eat pancakes if they are cut into strips (NOT BITE SIZE PIECES), or loves Elmo but hates Elmo pajamas, or has to line up his cars perfectly before he can leave for preschool or the 10,973 quirky things that make your child who he is—matters.

When you cancel all your plans to take your child to the pediatrician, only to be told it’s “just a little virus”—it matters.

When you scrape the green beans (or tater tots or Cheerios) he insisted on having and now refuses to eat into the garbage—it matters.

When you put her jacket on, walk her to the car, take her jacket off, put her in the car seat, and then do it all again when you get to where you’re going—it matters.

When he runs into your room in the morning screaming, “I ALL DONE SLEEPING, MOMMY!” and despite your exhaustion, you mumble with a cracked and tired voice, “Hi, sweetie”—it matters.

When you re-pack the diaper bag three times to make sure you have everything you need—it matters.

When you spend two hours crafting an email to your child’s daycare teacher about a concern you have about the dropoff and pickup system—it matters.

When you say ‘no’ to a toy at Target, and then gently but firmly hold your ground, even though it means a 45-minute tantrum—it matters.

Mother Teresa once said, “Do small things with great love.” I believe this to be the very definition of motherhood.

One million seemingly insignificant acts that accumulate into an avalanche of powerful, earth moving, all-consuming love for your child.

And so, weary mama, at the end of a long day, you are allowed to feel tired, and you are allowed to vent. But you are not allowed to doubt your worth.

You are everything.

There’s a child sleeping not far from you who completely agrees. Please don’t let yourself forget that.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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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 www.comfortsforbaby.com 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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