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I was raised with traditional disciplinary methods of yelling, threatening, rewards, and physical punishment mixed with bouts of permissiveness. Before I had three children of my own, I made a vow never to replicate that. I was determined not to be that kind of mom.

I felt well prepared to be a parent. I had been a preschool teacher for several years, I wrote my master's thesis about Social Emotional Learning, and I created a Montessori-inspired home before the birth of my first child.

However, to my frustration, I still struggled to handle tantrums, sibling rivalry, lack of listening, and power struggles in a calm and peaceful way.

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As hard as I tried, it seemed that I just could not sustain peaceful parenting for long.

I would start out the day being very present and calm, but at some point, something would happen and I would lose my cool, give in, or check out. Then, I would go to bed feeling I was failing at this whole parenting gig.

After reading all the contradicting and confusing parenting information out there, I figured a few changes in my lifestyle and parenting approach would do the trick for me. So I've learned the Positive Discipline technique, minimized our clutter, created a slower rhythm for our days, baked homemade bread with the kids, told more stories, spent more time in nature, avoided screen time and sugar like the plague and practiced yoga.

I found that fighting the traps and pressures of our modern lifestyle and learning positive methods of discipline were super helpful for me. However, doing all that STILL didn't stop me from disconnecting, losing my cool, giving in, or simply checking out when I was not in the right state of mind.

I realized I struggled to make peaceful and respectful parenting stick because I was stuck in a vicious cycle I didn't know how to break.

I inherited parenting fears, bad habits, negative beliefs, and reactive behavioral patterns from my past, especially from my own childhood. My emotional baggage impacted the way I interacted with my children, especially when I was tired, stressed, or triggered.

When this poor parent-child dynamic happened it created emotional distance and disconnection in my parenting.

In my experience, disconnection is the root cause of most everyday parenting challenges such as attention-seeking behavior, power struggles, aggression, not listening and more. And in turn, having to handle these common misbehaviors was exactly what contributed to me feeling tired, stressed, and triggered.

Then, of course, I would fall off the "peaceful mom" wagon again and again.

I desperately wanted to break this negative cycle. But the truth was NO parenting advice, tips, tools, tricks, or copious amounts of yoga truly helped until I upgraded my parenting mindset.

It was not until I figured out how to overcome emotional blocks, how to break poor parenting habits, clear emotional baggage, release parenting fears and negative beliefs, that I was then able to make peaceful parenting stick—finally.

Essentially, I had to rewire my parenting mindset. I had to overcome decades and even generations of conditioning. I did this through meditation, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), and the power of acceptance and forgiveness. I've learned to accept and forgive my past, myself, others and my children.

But really what this process helped me do was an emotional and energetic declutter. I was able to remove the blocks that stopped me from connecting and staying connected in my parenting.

Once those emotional blocks were removed it was easy to revert my negative parenting cycle. I was able to create a positive parenting cycle starting with connection. By connecting with my children I'm helping them feel a sense of belonging. Which in turn lessens my children's need to seek attention, power, revenge and their feelings of inadequacy. I've realized children can only DO better when they FEEL better.

And what a surprise! When my children behave better, I feel more rested, more relaxed, and I am able to interact, react and act in more positive ways. By removing many of my parenting blocks, I created space for emotional growth and better equilibrium that helps me sustain connection and harmony for longer stretches of time.

The sooner we realize parenting is a life-long practice, the better. I will never be a perfect mom. In fact, perfection was my enemy. It kept me from being authentic, vulnerable and real. The very things that foster connections in our relationships.

Of course, I still get overwhelmed, frustrated, and angry (once in a while!) but I've learned how to more easily recover from my parenting breakdowns and restore parent-child connection when it's lost.

I no longer go to bed feeling guilty—ever. I'm able to quickly forgive myself. I apply the time, energy, and mental focus I used to waste feeling guilty and worried, and instead, look within. I look for emotional blocks that I still need to uncover and release so I can be better tomorrow. I rest in the knowledge that the impact of this mindset shift has a powerful ripple effect that will last me through the years and even through generations to come.

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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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Whether I live next to you or across the country, social media makes it easy for us to stay updated on each other's lives and that's a wonderful thing. I love seeing pictures of your kids and I think it's great that you choose to share videos of your child singing, giggling and taking his or her first steps.

I simply choose not to share pregnant pictures, or even a family photo from the hospital once our daughter arrived because my pregnancy, birth and growing family are parts of my life I wanted to protect from the outside world.

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