To my preteen daughter, I promise it gets better

How do I know this? Because, my sweet girl, I remember this age too well.

preteen struggles

Dear daughter,
I know this age is hard. I can see the confusion in your face. The agitation in your decisions. The uncertainty in your steps.

You're no longer a child, running blissfully through each day chasing only joy. You're becoming aware.

Aware that people are looking. Aware that you can't make everyone happy. Aware that your choices are becoming trickier and the consequences more complicated.

I know that this is an age where you feel lonely. Unworthy. Scared. Insecure. It's so hard.

How do I know this? Because, my sweet girl, I remember this age too well.

The girls are sometimes mean. The boys too. You're not sure who you are. You're definitely not sure who your friends are. You're learning adult-sized lessons in your child-sized body and sometimes all you can do is cry at the enormity of what you're expected to handle already.


Know this: If I could, I would take it all on again for you. If I could, I would stand in your day, putting gossip in its place and walking with my head held high. I would smile in the face of bullying, knowing it is nothing more than a cowardly act to hide pain and jealousy. My instinct is and always will be to protect you from harm.

But I can't.

All I can do is be your mom, open my arms, and make you feel safe here. I thought being that age was the most difficult years of growing up, but it wasn't. The most difficult is watching you have to go through it. Knowing what is coming your way and knowing I can't stop it.

These years are so important though. The struggle will teach you things about yourself you couldn't learn any other way. I can't tell you how important it is to be honest, to trust yourself, to feel with your whole heart even if it means it will get broken. Those are just words though until you experience it for yourself.

So I'm sorry baby, but there will be times when I let you fall. There will be times where I make you face your decisions head-on. There will be times where I give you the look that says "we talked about this" and you'll have to accept the choices you made and the repercussions that follow.

There will also be times where I let things slide. Things you expected to get into trouble for because I remember how hard it is to do the right thing. And I'll remember that there are still times right now, as an adult, as your mom, where I don't know how to do the right thing either.

I will be your biggest cheerleader, but I cannot be a brick wall that blocks you from pain and problems. It will hurt me to watch, but you will make it. I know you will. You already have inside of you all the makings of an incredible young woman. Strength and softness, intelligence and courage.

I'll push you to do things that scare you and hold you tight when your heart is broken. There's no way to fully prepare you for all that lies ahead, but every day I will try to think of ways I can make it just a little easier.

I remember this age. I remember these feelings. I will try to remember that the best thing I can do for you right now is to be open and listen and try to let you learn and grow past it.



By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.


Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!


Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.


Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌


Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.


Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.


Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.


Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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