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True life: Migraines don't care if you have kids

Even on those unlucky and dreadful days when I can barely lift my head to save my own life, I'm still a mom.

True life: Migraines don't care if you have kids

There are days when the task of being a mom is extremely daunting. Days when all I want to do is stay in bed. But then the alarm goes off and reality seeps in. And as much as I hate the idea of unearthing myself from under the blankets, I must find the will to get up and fulfill the monumental task at hand—being a mother.

Because it MUST be done.

And that's what mothers do. Rain or shine, night or day, in sickness and in health, it must be done. I've wanted to be a mother ever since I was a little girl. And right now, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I would often play house with my sisters, playing dress-up, cooking and cleaning, and we'd spend most our days taking turns being "mommy." Fast forward many years, and I got married to a remarkable man, and shortly after that, we started our family.

I mean, don't get me wrong—before I became a mom, I knew it would require a lot of hard work. But the gravity and complexity of the role is something I've come to appreciate over time. And the psychological and emotional toll it takes is something I was not fully prepared for. In fact, at times this seems to be the hardest part of being a mom for me because I feel like I'm expected to constantly be whole and to keep it together.

Because mothers are the glue that keeps it all together. We're the foundation, the pillars and the anchors for our families. And I've always felt this natural call to be the caretaker and nurturer of everyone in my family. Thus, tending to the needs of and taking care of everyone else often trumps taking care of myself.

For me, the brunt of motherhood truly hits home when I'm under attack from a migraine. I've had them since I was little. I get them so bad that it feels like someone's hammering a nail into my temples. I experience a sensitivity to light and noise, immense nausea, vomiting, and feeling lethargic during and even after the migraine has passed. Physically, it's crippling, debilitating and draining. But emotionally, it's crushing.

I often also experience immense sadness during a migraine because I feel helpless and unproductive. I feel like I am no longer in control of my own body, and that no amount of medicine can help alleviate my pain. And when you're a mom, being sick adds yet another layer of complexity to an already difficult task. For me, a migraine is the worst thing that can happen because they derail my plans for an entire day (or more).

And I've had my fair share of ER visits from a migraine. When I was three months pregnant with my first baby, I had a debilitating episode, so much so that I couldn't eat or drink anything. I felt so dehydrated, I was terrified we would lose the baby. In the ER, I was given lots of IV fluids and strong but safe pain medication which alleviated my nausea. Then—and only then—was I able to eat anything.

Now, with three boys under my care, even the thought of a migraine is terrifying.

But even on those unlucky and dreadful days when I can barely lift my head to save my own life, I'm still a mom. I still wake up to the sound of those tiny footsteps racing through the hallway only to push open my bedroom door asking for breakfast. Then you do what any mother would do—if you can't walk, you crawl out of bed. You get it done. You figure it out.

Then you take a moment to let it all out. You break down. You sob. You moan in agony. You fall apart. Then your little ones ask, "Mommy, are you okay?" So you quickly wipe away your tears, pull it together, and reassure them that yes—Mommy's okay, she's just not feeling well today.

As they rush past me to race downstairs I take a deep breath, let it out, and manage to collect myself off the floor and head to the kitchen to make breakfast. This is motherhood. Motherhood is sometimes feeling like you want to run away from yourself to save yourself. And on the days when you're not feeling well, it just makes it that much harder.

For those parents suffering from chronic and debilitating medical conditions, I empathize. I will pray for you. For us.

Mama, remember to be especially kind to yourself on those unlucky days. And know that even on those days, you're still a really great mom.

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14 Toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

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Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

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Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

Thank you for understanding. ❤️

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

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I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

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Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

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Halfway through a high-risk pregnancy complicated by placenta issues, Teigen announced late Wednesday that she has suffered a pregnancy loss.

Our deepest condolences go out to Chrissy and her husband, John Legend (who has been by her side in the hospital for several days now).

In a social media post, Teigen explained she named this baby Jack.

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"We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we've never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn't enough," she wrote.

She continued: "We never decide on our babies' names until the last possible moment after they're born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever."

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