To my almost birthday boy, on the eve of the day that changed everything

Before your birthday, I loved. After your birthday, my heart aches under the monumental weight of its love for you.

To my almost birthday boy, on the eve of the day that changed everything

My little love. I cannot believe that tomorrow is your birthday. I promise that tomorrow will be all about you—I’ll cover you in kisses when you wake up, let you wear that crazy outfit that you love and make you whatever you want for dinner.

But tonight, on the eve of your birthday, I can’t help but think about me.

You see, before your birthday, I was just me. After your birthday… Well, now I am a mother. Mom. Your mommy. A title that still takes my breath away.

Before your birthday, my schedule revolved around my needs. After your birthday, my days are a whirlwind created by the storm that is you. The storm brings chaos, but it is the most beautiful chaos I have ever had the honor of being swept up in.

Before your birthday, I had a pretty active social life. After your birthday, I sometimes go weeks without talking to a single adult friend. Your chattering is the ever-present theme song to my life—and I hang on every syllable of it.

Before your birthday, I got all the sleep I needed and really couldn’t function well without it. After your birthday, I haven’t had a proper night’s sleep once. And yet I’ve found in myself an energy reserve I never knew was possible, motivated completely by wanting to be there for you, every single time you call. (But for the record, my love, mommy would appreciate a good night’s sleep tonight—just sayin’).

Before your birthday, I tried to read a lot of books about raising a child—I doubted myself and my abilities to take care of you. After your birthday, I still have lots of questions and the occasional doubt, but overwhelmingly I’ve learned to trust my intuition. I am your mother, your expert, your champion.

Before your birthday, I shied away from confrontation. Why start a fight when I could just let it be and walk away? After your birthday, I found my fierce. I still don’t pick fights but, goodness gracious, there is no greater fury than a mama bear protecting her cub.

Before your birthday, I always tried to be rational. My schedule, activities, meals—everything was thought out and practical, and I went to bed feeling accomplished. After your birthday I fly by the seat of my yoga pants. My meal plan quickly devolves into frozen waffles for dinner and my tight schedule gets hijacked by impromtu dance parties and watching ladybugs crawl across the sidewalk.

Now I go to bed having gotten nothing done—but feeling like I accomplished the world.

Before your birthday, I loved. After your birthday, my heart aches under the monumental weight of its love for you. It’s hard to explain it, my dear, but sometimes it’s a love that makes me feel sad—sad because I can’t keep you little and needing me the way you do right now. Sad because one day that adoring gaze you give me will be placed upon someone else’s face. But it is also a love of such enormous bliss + pride + honor and I am grateful every single day that I get to experience it.

So my little love, while tomorrow is your day, please know that tomorrow is also the greatest gift I have ever received.

They say necessity is the mother of invention—and nothing makes you more inventive than motherhood.

Sometimes that means fashioning a diaper out of paper towels and your older child's underpants (true story). Sometimes that means creating an innovative and life-changing weighted baby sleep sack and totally crushing it on Shark Tank. Tara Williams is the latter.

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Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have kids—so here’s what I did

We asked our three most pessimistic friends who have kids whether it's worth it or not

As told to Liz Tenety.

Around the time my husband and I were turning 30, we had a genuine conversation about whether or not we wanted kids. I was the hesitant one because I was like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Let's just hold on. Okay, let's talk about this. Because we love our life. We like traveling. Is this what we want?"

My husband said, "Let's ask our three most pessimistic, crabby friends who have kids whether or not it's worth it."

And every single one of them was like, "Oh, it's unmissable on planet earth."

So when I got pregnant, I was—and I'm not ashamed to say this and I don't think you should be—I was as connected with the baby in my belly as if it were a water bottle. I was like, I don't know you. I don't know what you are, but you can be some gas pain sometimes, but other than that, we're going to have to meet each other and suss this relationship out.

But all the cliches are true that you just know what to do when the baby comes out. Some of the times are hard, some of them are easier, but you just gotta use your gut.

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