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One day, I took my boys to their well visit. I was sick myself. I pulled out something cute(ish) to put on and ultimately put it back. Deciding to commit the ultimate act of motherhood frumpiness, I threw on my sweats instead and called it good.

You know what happened next, right? I ran into someone I know. And, of course, she was dressed adorably and had her three precious kids in tow looking equally as cute. It was an easy opportunity for me to feel like a big loser, but instead, the thought didn't even cross my mind. I said hello, chatted for a minute, and let it go.

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It was later, at the grocery store, when I was trying to wipe blue sucker drool off my toddler's face before I got him out of the car, when a young couple (with no kids) was getting in the car next to me. As they were waiting for me to take care of my child business, I stopped and thought, “I wonder what kind of mom they think I am." I looked down at my sweats and kind of chuckled at that thought. To an outsider, I could definitely look like a frumpy housewife that has sticky kids (it's inevitable) and no longer cares about herself (not true).

But, the funny thing is, while I am admittedly having an off day, I feel like I care about myself even more now than ever.

Because, it's not that I don't care about looking nice—it's more about not caring about those around me looking in anymore. They don't know my story. And, right now, it's about taking care of me and my kids. The rest is no one else's business. And, even if that means that one day I leave my house in sweats, because I have eaten toast and Sprite for the last 48 hours—and now have a cold on top of that then—so be it.

But it's been a process to learn to let go of the perfection complex and embrace the idea of simply doing the best you can that day. As a young mom, I felt deflated if the baby had a blowout in her cute outfit and she had to run errands with me barefoot in a plain white onesie. Today, I feel happy if my kids have their clothes on when we leave the house.

Sure, some might think this is a form of “letting yourself go," but I don't see it that way. I see it as a form of “letting yourself be,"and letting myself have an off day if I need one.

Because, I'm allowed to have an off day, too, right? After all, I did just spend an entire day hanging over the toilet like ALL humans have to do from time to time. So, why not allow myself to be human? Letting myself take as much time as I need wiping blue sucker drool off the face of my kid might slow down the young couple next to me, but aren't I important too?

My son's recent birthday party is a good example. I had decided to have a low-key party, pancakes and pajamas themed. The kids would come over at 9 am on Saturday in their PJs and eat pancakes, have a dance party in the basement, and then it would be over.

But, then, I started to feel like that wasn't enough. I decided I needed to decorate and had plans to put cute little toothpick washi tape flags in every stack of pancakes. I even enlisted my 7-year-old to help make them. I also bought some pompoms that I was going to thread, string, and hang for decoration. And I made a cute banner that I spent too much time on. Suddenly, this party had to be Pinterest-worthy and handmade.

Admittedly, I had lost my marbles for a minute. And when Friday night rolled around, I just plain ran out of time. I left the pompoms sitting there. Unopened.

The morning of the party no one cared about the decorations. Four and 5-year-olds care about pancakes and fun. Not decorations.

I could have felt like a failure, but I didn't. I hosted 10 kids at my house and fed them all breakfast. That is no easy task, my friends. I let myself be, which meant I went to bed on Friday night when I was tired, instead of stringing pompoms.

So, how do you get there? How do you “let yourself be" without feeling like a failure?

Ask yourself who's standard are you trying to meet? If it's yours, or God's, then that's okay. If it's anyone else's, then it's time to re-evaluate the pressure you are putting on yourself.

Ask yourself, “Would I expect this level of perfection of my kids?" If the answer is no, then it probably means no for you, too. Would you expect your kids to always say yes to a friend who doesn't treat them equally as well? Then why expect it of yourself?

Be perfect in something. Sounds hard right? Maybe one mom is perfect in always looking cute when she goes out. That works for her. But maybe your perfection is that you never yell at your kids, or you never deny them a hug, or you always read a bed-time story. You have areas in your life where you are perfect, you just need to discover and remind yourself of them when you start the comparison game.

Go above and beyond sometimes. The key word here is sometimes. Don't do it always, but do it sometimes, so that you can remember those times on days when you just can't do it all.

Take care of yourself. You definitely don't want to forget to brush your teeth or put normal clothes on regularly. That would be letting yourself go. Take time to remember that humans need to and can look pretty, too. But, don't beat yourself up if it isn't a daily affair.

It's a process that takes time, and I'm not perfect at it either—far from it in fact. But on the days that I do allow myself to “be" imperfect, I find myself a little more.

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Our babies come out as beautiful, soft and natural as can be—shouldn't their clothes follow suit?

Here are nine of our favorite organic kids clothing brands that prove safe fabrics + stylish designs are a natural fit.

Estella

A brick and mortar store in Manhattan that opened in 2002, Estella is NYC's go-to shop for luxury baby gifts—from sweet-as-pie organic clothing to eco-friendly toys.

L'ovedbaby

@lovedbaby

We l'oved this collection from the moment we laid eyes on it. (See what we did there 🤣) Free of things harsh added chemicals, dangerous flame retardants, and harmful dyes, this collection is 100% organic and 100% gorgeous. We especially adore their soft, footed rompers, comfy cotton joggers, and newborn-friendly kimono bodysuits.

Looking to stock up? Don't miss Big-Find Thursday every week on their site—a 24-hour flash sale that happens Thursdays at 9 a.m. PST and features a different body style, collection, and discount every week!

Hanna Andersson

@happyhannas

One of our all-time favorite brands for durability, style, + customer service, Hanna Andersson doesn't disappoint in the organic department, either. From an aww-inducing organic baby layette collection all the way to their iconic pajamas, there are so many organic styles to swoon over from this beloved brand. And we swear their pajamas are magic—they seem to grow with your little one, fitting season after season!

Monica + Andy

@monicaandandy

The fabric you first snuggle your baby in matters. Monica + Andy's (gorgeous) collection is designed for moms and babies by moms with babies, and we love it all because it's made of super-soft GOTS-certified organic cotton that's free of chemicals, lead, and phthalates. Newborn pieces feature thoughtful details like fold-over mittens and feet.

Finn + Emma

@finnandemma

"Here boring designs and toxic chemicals are a thing of the past while modern colors, fresh prints and heirloom quality construction are abundant." We couldn't agree more. Made from 100% organic cotton, eco friendly dyes, and in fair trade settings, we love this modern collection's mix of style + sustainability.

We especially love the Basics Collection, an assortment of incredibly soft, beautiful apparel + accessories including bodysuits, zip footies, pants, hats, and bibs, all available in a gender-neutral color palette that can work together to create multiple outfit combinations. The pieces are perfect for monochrome looks or for mixing with prints for a more modern style.

SoftBaby

@littleaddigrey for @softbaby_clothes

You'll come for SoftBaby's organic fabrics, but you'll stay for their adorable assortment of prints. From woodland foxes to urban pugs, there's no limit to their assortment (meaning you'll even be able to find something for the new mama who's hard to shop for). Plus, the name says it all--these suckers are soft. Get ready for some serious cuddle time.

Gap Baby

@gapkids

Organic may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Gap, but this popular brand actually carries a wide variety of organic (and adorable) baby + toddler clothes. From newborn layette basics to toddler sleepwear—and more—there's something for everyone in this collection. Everything is 100% cotton, super soft + cozy, and perfect for eco-conscious mamas.

Winter Water Factory

@winterwaterfactory

Certified organic cotton with Brooklyn-based swagger? Be still our hearts. Winter Water Factory features screen-printed textiles in bold designs you'll want to show off (get ready for some major Instagram likes). And the husband-and-wife co-founders keep sustainability at the forefront of their brand, meaning you can feel good about your purchase--and what you're putting on your baby.

The company makes everything from kids' clothes to crib sheets (all made in the USA). For even more cuteness, pair their signature rompers with a hat or bonnet.

Under the Nile

@underthenile

Under the Nile has been making organic baby clothes since before it was cool. Seriously, they were the first baby clothing company in the USA to be certified by The Global Organic Textile Standard. They've kept up that legacy of high standards by growing their Egyptian cotton on a biodynamic farm without the use of pesticides or insecticides, and all of their prints are made with metal-free colors and no chemical finishes.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Months ago when the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) recommended Americans start using homemade cloth face masks to protect against the coronavirus parents had a lot of questions—a recurring one being "how will I convince my child to wear one?

As schools prepare to reopen, districts in various parts of the country will require students to wear masks to class come fall, making the question even more urgent.

So how do we get children used to wearing masks? Here's what experts recommend:

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