We only have 18 summers together with our kids

Summer is upon us and my mind is already whirling with all the exciting plans I'm going to do with my toddler. We're going to go to the zoo, and the beach, and I want to see his face the first time he sees a firefly.

I want a chance to enjoy the warm, humid summer nights together, so I'm already planning on letting him stay up just a little late (only a few times), so we can eat an ice cream cone together and laugh and play under the moonlight.

A friend said something the other day that made me pause. She said something like, "When you think about it, we only have 18 summers together with our kids." And my heart dropped.

My son is already two, so I quickly thought I only have 17 summers left.

Seventeen summers together as a family. To vacation together. Stick our toes in the sand and splash water on each other at the beach.

Seventeen summers to enjoy lazy Sundays. To doze on the couch in the sticky, sweaty days of August, or to run through sprinklers to battle the heat.

Seventeen summers of childhood, of the time earmarked for us as a guarantee under one household. Where we grow up together, instead of apart, and where we'll create all the memories he'll hopefully look back fondly on, one day.

Seventeen summers to go exploring. Have adventures and discover new places, even if they're just in our town or our own home state.

Seventeen summers of backyard BBQs, corn on the cob, sliced watermelon and hamburgers.

Seventeen 4th of Julys, with fireworks and camping, hot dog buns and splashing in the pool.

Seventeen summers where he's exclusively mine. Before he becomes an adult and strikes out on his own, searching for and hopefully finding his 'people'—his best friends who will feel like family.

Seventeen summers for road trips, airplane rides, feeling like tourists and getting lost in a new place.

Seventeen summers of carnival rides, lemonade, cotton candy and s'mores.

Seventeen summers of sunscreen, mosquito bites, park picnics and hiking through the woods.

Seventeen summers before he grows up, moves out and creates a life of his own. Where he may spend whole summers away, exploring the world with friends or a partner, and sending home postcards to fill us in on his adventures.

I don't want to mourn something I haven't even lost yet, but I do realize how fleeting this time is. And since I can't hit pause and make it last just a little bit longer, I will try to enjoy and be present in each moment as we have them.

Because all too quickly, two turns to 10, turns to 15, turns to, "I promise I'll call you, Mama."

So while we have these days together, we'll laugh and sing and stay up too late and camp in the backyard. We'll turn off our cellphones and spend our days outside, and enjoy the time we have together. Because we still have 17 summers together. And that's a lot.

[This was originally published May 25, 2018]

Mom life demands efficiency. Because while the amount of hours in the day are the same as before kids, now a sizable chunk of that time is spent caring for and loving on those little people. Compromises happen—and let's just be honest, the old beauty routine is one of the first things to get cut.

But, wait! You don't have to sacrifice putting on mascara or, worse, skipping the SPF. Instead, why not flip it, reverse it, and look at the bright side? Here's your opportunity to streamline your morning makeup routine. With some savvy skin care and beauty hacks, you can get your radiant glow on in record time.

Here are our tried-and-true hacks passed down from Motherly mamas:

1. Embrace multipurpose items

If the most pressing issue is limited time, consolidate multiple steps of your beauty routine with a multipurpose item. For example, instead of starting with a SPF moisturizer, followed by spot concealer and a blendable foundation, you can take care of all of that in one go with one of our favorites: Earth Mama's 3-in-one Lady Face™ Tinted Mineral Sunscreen. The beauty stick also allows you to easily fold SPF 40 into your routine, because Lady Face doubles as super-safe, clean sun protection. Even better? The sunscreen blocks blue light from those ever-present digital screens with a ray-scattering, non-nano formula.

2. Revive dried mascara

Especially after a sleepless night (#motherhood), mascara can make a major difference in how well rested you appear to be. If you realize your tube of mascara is dried out, don't write it off as a lost cause. Simply soak the sealed tube in warm water to loosen up the mascara — or add a drop of a multi-purpose saline solution into the tube. That should do the trick until you have time to buy a replacement. (But let's face it: You're a mom. It's okay if you're tired.)

3. Keep coconut oil handy

Coconut oil isn't just for the kitchen. From a DIY hair mask to an in-a-pinch lip balm or naturally removing makeup at the end of the day, coconut oil's cosmetic hack-list is long. For summer, we especially like adding a thin swipe of organic extra virgin coconut oil to the cheekbones at the end of the makeup routine for a bit of an extra glow.

4. Multitask while deep conditioning

If your hair needs a bit of TLC, consider applying a natural, paraben-free deep conditioner before doing chores around the house or even a short workout. By working up a bit of a sweat, the conditioner will set even better before you rinse off in the shower.

5. Start your hair care routine the night before

As you work to find your new normal morning routine, it can help to simply reschedule a task or two—like hair. If you shower the night before, get a jumpstart on your look by blowdrying, straightening or even braiding it for loose waves in the morning.

6. Even out your skin tone

Between multiple wake-ups during the night and wavering hormones, complexion issues can become a thing for most mamas. Thankfully, the hack for managing that is as simple as finding a great foundation that goes on smoothly and doesn't cake or crack through a morning of momming. Scope out the ingredient list for naturally nourishing components like coconut oil, shea butter or beeswax — and skip the stress (and the return process if the shade doesn't match) by going for something that easily blends with most skin tones.

7. Find brands your feel great about

As a mom, you might find yourself considering bigger life questions: Are my cosmetics safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding? Are they helping the world my children will grow up in? Can I trust the ingredients and mission? Pro tip: read the ingredients on all your personal care products, memorize the ones you want to avoid, and look for third-party certification to ensure the product is actually what it says it is. When you find a brand that walks the talk, you're going to want to be loyal.

8. When in doubt, go for a bold lip

With happy hours swapped for play dates, your daily routine may look a bit different than it used to. But who says you have to leave your personal style behind? If you've always been a fan of makeup and going a bit glam, keep going for it, mama! The extra 60 seconds it takes to apply lipstick or whatever else gives you a bit of pep in your step is well worth it.

This article was sponsored by Earth Mama Organics. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

Keep reading Show less

Because parenthood is challenging, we can sometimes forget how to just be happy in the midst of it all.

Keep reading Show less