To the mom who loves motherhood—but misses her freedom, too

Hey you. The mom who is overwhelmed. The mom who is tired. The mom who needs a hug.

It's okay. It's all going to be okay.

I've been thinking about this lately...motherhood is a catch-22. Some days your kids wake up at 5:45 a.m. and you're not sure how you're going to survive the day and you know “the days are slow, but the years are fast" and all that jazz but dang(!) you're tired. (Coffee, please.)

Then, some days the kids sleep until 8:30 a.m. and you sip coffee in silence and answer emails and take a shower and you're ready to conquer the day with a positive attitude because you're the best mom ever and you've already had three coffees because you were so excited and didn't know what to do with yourself. ☕️☕️☕️

It's all about the back and forth, the ups and downs.

It's feeling guilty, then feeling victorious. It's being tired, but somehow mustering the energy you need to smile and get through the day.

And I just wanted to say, that I think it's okay to yearn for the day when a quiet, peaceful shower is the norm instead of setting up an army of toys and snacks in the bathroom to occupy your little one or spend the 8 minutes worrying that you accidentally left scissors out and your three-year-old is going to have a new 'do because you had the audacity to take the time to shave your legs. Like, sometimes you just have to shave your legs.

It's also okay (but, to be honest, kind of annoying) to hear a child crying when you're in the shower even when your child is sleeping/being watched by someone else/not even with you. That'll probably stay with us for a while, mamas.

It is okay to want to be able to sleep through the night, but also to run right to your baby when she wakes up crying at 2 a.m.

It is okay to swear “tonight is the night we cut off bedtime nursing" only to give in because it's easier and you're not quite sure if you're ready to stop just yet.

It is okay to want to wear makeup and a regular outfit (yes, including jeans—not yoga pants!) on a regular basis.

But also very much okay to rock yoga pants like it's your business on the daily.

It is okay to order Hello Fresh for the week instead of doing a full grocery shop. ?

It is also okay to feed your children chicken nuggets for dinner because you feel like you have nothing left inside to give and you just need to survive bedtime so you can watch Jane the Virgin in bed when it's over.

It's okay to want the whining to stop, but to also know you're going to miss feeling needed like this one day.

It's okay to have to close your eyes as you walk out of the house so you don't see the mess. If you start now, you'll never leave...

It is also okay to take the time to clean up, to do the dishes, to vacuum, etc. while the kids occupy themselves. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do, and they need to fend for themselves ?. And a clean house makes for a clear mind. (Or at least semi-clear.)

It's okay to simultaneously want to be with your kids in the moment but to also want to be on a beach somewhere without your kids alternating between sipping a margarita and frolicking in the sand shouting things like, “I'm free! I'm free!"

It is okay to want to run for the hills once bedtime approaches, but also to be sad when you were out and missed bedtime stories and kisses. ?

It is okay to miss your 'pre-motherhood' self and the independence you often took for granted, but at the same time, to not even be able to fathom who you would be without your children. Or what you would do. Or whether it would be acceptable or not to watch Disney movies all the time if you didn't have children. (I mean...could you really live without Moana? Simple

It's okay to be a person—a woman—and a mom.

And all the other things. To wear lots of hats—sometimes multiple hats at once. It's okay to have dreams and goals that involve your family and children, and dreams and goals that are for yourself.

It's okay to be tired and wiped out and emotionally drained. The second your three-year-old grabs your hand and says, “Mom. You're a really great mom!" you know it is all okay. It's going to be okay. These moments will always be there to remind us of that. ?

?Psst: Need more inspiration for your #momlife? Join Motherly and get FREE, week-by-week ideas + inspiration to help you mom like a boss. You've got this.?

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10 must-have registry items that will change your life, mama

The baby gear heavy hitters that should be top of your list

Calling all mamas-to-be! It's a fundamental truth of (impending) motherhood that your prepping-for-baby To Do list can feel a mile long, but really the best way to feel organized is to sort out the most important item at the top of your list: your registry. Sure the items you choose to include will end up running the gamut from nice-to-haves to absolutely essential game-changers, but mamas in the know quickly learn one thing: Not all baby gear is created equal.

So while you can and should pepper your registry with adorable inclusions that aren't necessarily can't-live-withouts (go ahead, add 'em!), you should make sure you're ticking the boxes on those pieces of baby gear that can be absolute life savers once you're in full-blown mama mode. From car seats to bouncers and playmats, your play and travel gear will be some of the most obvious important items on your list, but so can unexpected things, like a super comfy baby carrier and a snooze-inducing white noise machine. So to help you sort through the must-have options, we turned to the holy grail of motherhood that is buybuy BABY and handpicked 10 of the very best essential pieces that will change your life, we promise.

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Our Partners

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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The 6 biggest lies I believed before having kids

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves.

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves. Some of these ideas might have been based on our own ideas of how we would absolutely do things differently than everyone else. Others, we believed what everyone else told us would happen would apply to our littles, too. But, that's not always the case, mama.

Below are six of the biggest lies I believed before having kids—and the reality of what actually happened for me.

1. Put your baby down drowsy, but awake

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