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Watch the most inspiring viral parenting moments of 2017

In the midst of chaotic days, tantrums and tragedies, we were reminded of what’s most important in life.

Watch the most inspiring viral parenting moments of 2017

In 2017, our social media feeds were bombarded with sweet videos, heartwarming articles, and inspiring posts — and we’re not complaining one bit. In the midst of chaotic days, temper tantrums and tragedies across the world, these viral parenting moments reminded us what’s most important in life.


We looked back on some of our favorite viral moments from this year—and the lessons we learned from them and plan to take into 2018 with us.

This dad broke down during baby’s first shots *all the feels*

Baby’s first shots are arguably one of the most emotional days for parents, but new dad Antwon Lee’s video took the emotions to a whole new level. “You’re gonna stay strong,” he says. “I know you’re gonna cry, but it’s okay to cry.” Lee hopes it inspires other fathers to share their emotions.

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Mama shared her top medicine hack

When your baby is sick, getting medicine in them can be the most difficult part when they’re fussy. Fortunately, this mama figured out that if you add the medicine into the bottle nipple, baby will take it with ease.

A Kentucky mama’s response to a stranger who said, “you have your hands full”

When she was walking through Wal-Mart with her family a stranger told her, “I feel sorry for you, you have your hands full with all those kids.” Her response? “First off, my hands were empty as you can see in the photo (had to point that out). What you can’t tell is that I lost two babies before being blessed with my last two, so if you want to feel sorry for me, there’s the only reason why you should. My children are blessings. They aren’t perfectly modeled citizens because, well, they’re children…” ?

For the mama who doesn’t feel like she’s doing a good job

Australian blogger Constance Hall posted on Facebook a photo of her kids at dinner and shared her struggles with feeling like a mom who’s not good enough. Her therapist had the most heartwarming and reassuring response.

“Babies cry, it’s how they communicate. Toddlers scream, children whinge and teenagers complain. But guess what Con? It’s better than silence. A house full of screaming kids and fighting teenagers and a parent who’s being thrown every question and request is a healthy one to me. It’s the silent children, the scared toddlers, the teenagers that don’t come home and the parents who aren’t in communication with their children that I worry about. And kids don’t drive you crazy, you were crazy already. That’s why you had them.”

94-year-old put a pool in for neighborhood kids after his wife’s passing

Keith Davison of Minnesota decided to build a pool in his yard for the neighborhood children after his wife of almost 66 years pass away. It brought him joy, lots of laughs, and designated him as the neighborhood grandpa. It also reminded us to take a moment to spend time with loved ones who are hurting.

When this dad explained why emotions are so important to his daughter

In an emotional video posted to Facebook, Randy Gaines is seen talking to his daughter about her feelings. His daughter was upset about an encounter they had earlier and he walks her through understanding the emotions and why it’s okay to feel them. “You don’t have to be happy. You don’t have to be anything, okay?” This is the kind of parenting we all want to emulate. ?

Stretch marks became a body positive movement

Stretch marks are bound to happen and while they’re known for making us feel a bit insecure, Pakistani artist Sara Shakeel used Photoshop to fill them in with glitter, highlighting their power and beauty. “Nothing is more powerful than giving confidence to myself along with so many women and men out there,” she said on Instagram. Embrace those stretch marks, warrior mamas!

A post shared by Sara Shakeel (@sarashakeel) on

This toddler wanted a Target-themed birthday party for the sweetest reason

We all love Target, but when Charlie was turning 3 years old, she wanted her birthday party to be all Target everything. Her mom shared in a Facebook post that her obsession comes from their trips together when she was premature. Born at just 28 weeks, mom and daughter would spend time at Target to get out of the house. Now we have even more reason to celebrate Target in our lives.

Mama’s vows to step son showed there’s no one path to motherhood

When U.S. Marines Emily and Joshua Newville were under the alter, Emily shared the sweetest vows to her new four-year-old step son, Gage. As he listened, he cried into Emily’s dress, overcome with emotions. And we all were reminded that the road to motherhood isn’t limited to one path when she said, “I may not have given you the gift of life, but life surely gave me the gift of you.”

Toddler and officer who delivered her reunited a year later

It takes a village and sometimes that village needs a police officer who helps to deliver your baby during an emergency roadside birth. When Evelyn and Deputy Constable Diebold reunited a year later for a tea party-themed photo shoot to honor the role that law enforcement played in her birth, the images quickly went viral. “We have all become friends, and I know that Mark Diebold sees Evelyn quite often. The Hall kids even call him Uncle Mark,” said Evelyn’s mom. Embrace your villages, mama!

In This Article

    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

    Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

    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

    janod toys baby fox ride on

    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

    We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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    Tips parents need to know about poor air quality and caring for kids with asthma

    There are steps parents can take to keep their children as healthy as possible.

    When wildfires struck the West Coast in September 2020, there was a lot for parents to worry about. For parents of children with asthma, though, the danger could be even greater. "There are more than 400 toxins that are present in wildfire smoke. That can activate the immune system in ways that aren't helpful by both causing an inflammatory response and distracting the immune system from fighting infection," says Amy Oro, MD, a pediatrician at Stanford Children's Health. "When smoke enters into the lungs, it causes irritation and muscle spasms of the smooth muscle that is around the small breathing tubes in the lungs. This can lead to difficulty with breathing and wheezing. It's really difficult on the lungs."

    With the added concern of COVID-19 and the effect it can have on breathing, many parents feel unsure about how to keep their children protected. The good news is that there are steps parents can take to keep their children as healthy as possible.

    Here are tips parents need to know about how to deal with poor air quality when your child has asthma.

    Minimize smoke exposure.

    Especially when the air quality index reaches dangerous levels, it's best to stay indoors as much as possible. You can find out your area's AQI at AirNow.gov. An under 50 rating is the safest, but between 100-150 is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as children with asthma. "If you're being told to stay indoors, listen. If you can, keep the windows and doors closed," Oro says.

    Do your best to filter the air.

    According to Oro, a HEPA filter is your best bet to effectively clean pollutants from the air. Many homes are equipped with a built-in HEPA filter in their air conditioning systems, but you can also get a canister filter. Oro says her family (her husband and children all suffer from asthma) also made use of a hack from the New York Times and built their own filter by duct taping a HEPA furnace filter to the front of a box fan. "It was pretty disgusting what we accumulated in the first 20 hours in our fan," she says.

    Avoid letting your child play outside or overly exert themselves in open air.

    "Unfortunately, cloth masks don't do very much [to protect you from the smoke pollution]," Oro says. "You really need an N95 mask, and most of those have been allocated toward essential workers." To keep at-risk children safer, Oro recommends avoiding brisk exercise outdoors. Instead, set up an indoor obstacle course or challenge your family to jumping jacks periodically to keep everyone moving safely.

    Know the difference between smoke exposure and COVID-19.

    "COVID-19 can have a lot of the same symptoms—dry cough, sore throat, shortness of breath and chest pain could overlap. But what COVID and other viruses generally cause are fever, chills, vomiting, diarrhea and body aches. Those would tell you it's not just smoke exposure," Oro says. When a child has been exposed to smoke, they often complain of a "scrape" in their throat, burning eyes, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain or wheezing. If the child has asthma, parents should watch for a flare of symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing or a tight sensation in their chest.

    Unfortunately, not much is known about long-term exposure to wildfire smoke on a healthy or compromised immune system, but elevated levels of air pollution have been associated with increased COVID-19 rates. That's because whenever there's an issue with your immune system, it distracts your immune system from fighting infections and you have a harder time fighting off viruses. Limiting your exposure to wildfire smoke is your best bet to keep immune systems strong.

    Have a plan in place if you think your child is suffering from smoke exposure.

    Whatever type of medication your child takes for asthma, make sure you have it on-hand and that your child is keeping up with regular doses. Contact your child's pediatrician, especially if your area has a hazardous air quality—they may want to adjust your child's medication schedule or dosage to prevent an attack. Oro also recommends that, if your child has asthma, it might be helpful to have a stethoscope or even a pulse oximeter at home to help diagnose issues with your pediatrician through telehealth.

    Most importantly, don't panic.

    In some cases, social distancing and distance learning due to COVID may be helping to keep sensitive groups like children with asthma safer. Oro says wildfires in past years have generally resulted in more ER visits for children, but the most recent fires haven't seen the same results. "A lot of what we've seen is that the smoke really adversely affects adults, especially older adults over 65," Oro says. "Children tend to be really resilient."

    This article was sponsored by Stanford Children's Health. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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    It's 2020, but for American mothers, it's still the 1950s

    Once a woman in America becomes a mother, our society transports her back in time. In an instant, generations of sexist ideas and structures descend back upon her.

    We like to think that women have come so far.

    We have our educations. Today, our education system not only allows girls to thrive, but it has enabled the first generation in history—Millennials—in which women are more highly educated than men.

    We have choice. Access to family planning has given American women life-changing control over their fertility and the decision to start a family.

    We have basic respect. Today, our marriages are built on the principle that partners are equal regardless of gender.

    We have careers. It's utterly common for a woman to return to work after having a child.

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    We have acknowledgment. And our culture even declares that caregiving is essential work for both mothers and fathers.

    We have possibilities. And all of the potential our lives as women hold now gives girls the hope that anything is possible.

    But the truth is that American motherhood has the veneer of being modern, without any of the structures to support our actual lives today.

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