Welcome to the #momlife sisterhood. You’re gonna like it here. ?

Once you cross that threshold of attaching your heart to your baby’s heart, you’re in this sisterhood of motherhood. 

Welcome to the #momlife sisterhood. You’re gonna like it here. ?

I don’t know you.

Like, personally. I mean...I may know some of you who read this (hi, Mom!), but most I won’t.

But in a way, I sort of do know you.

I know you because we’re in this mom life together. This wonderful, crazy, tiring, beautiful, awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping (sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a you-just-drew-on-what?! way) life.

This mom life belongs to all of us.

Once you cross that threshold of attaching your heart to your babys heart, youre in this sisterhood of motherhood. You may not necessarily feel it right away, but you will. Itll click. Youll feel the love and support of another mother, or a group of mothers in your neighborhood, across the country, or on the Internet—in some way, shape or form—and youll realize this secret society has actually been there all along.

Mom life connects us to our grandmas. We relate to our aunts. We empathize with our mothers in a whole new way. And we understand the stranger wrangling toddlers in the grocery store with whom who we lock knowing eyes—and share a supportive smile.

We share some of the same struggles.

We fret about choosing the right daycare or babysitting situation. We stress about whether going back to work really does make sense for you and your partner—emotionally and financially—when you realize how much childcare costs.

We worry about our sweet babies not taking the bottle while we’re out and question if we’re selfish because we “needed” to go to dinner with our spouse. (It’s not selfish, we promise. You deserve it.)

We wonder if we’re doing it right. (It = everything.) What do other moms feed their kids for dinner? How often do other parents bathe their kiddos? How often do other moms shower/wash their hair/shave/wear makeup? Do other mothers worry whether or not their child is developmentally on track? Wow! Look at all that milk she just pumped on her ten.minute.break.! Or, do other parents forget to clip their kiddos nails all the time?

We cry in our car after a woman in line at the grocery store asks how far along we are and we bashfully reply, “My three month old is home with my mother” and quickly pay, thank the cashier, then run out of there all with a bright red face and a crushed spirit.

We get worked up when we disagree with our spouse over the proper way to have handled that tantrum. There are times when we feel like we’re so right and we know what we’re talking about, and other times when we feel like we have literally no idea what’s happening or what needs to be done.

We empathize.

And when our struggles are not exactly the same, we empathize.

Moms are empathetic creatures. We know this stuff is hard. Period. We are all trying our best.

We cheer those parents on walking into their little one’s IEP meeting.

We hug our mama friend who’s heart is torn up about supplementing with formula because her baby isn’t getting enough milk and they’re trying to figure it out.

We listen when our friend feels like she’s drowning. She’s overwhelmed. The feelings are too big. There’s too much to worry about. We are there to be her sounding board.

We text our sister reassuring texts because she’s pregnant for the first time and this is, quite frankly, a whole new unfamiliar world for her. “Yes that’s normal.” “I felt that way, too.” “You’ve got this, girlfriend.”

We hold the door for the new mama juggling the stroller, her diaper bag and about a million other things. We tell her what a good job she’s doing, getting out and about. We may not be in that exact stage anymore, but boy do we remember how tough that was. And we’re genuinely impressed with her put-together-ness.

We have similar hopes.

We hope for a beautiful, successful future for our children.

We hope for a clean planet and clean bills of health. ?

We hope they find their path and a solid direction in life.

We hope they learn from their mistakes.

We hope they’re kind to other people and help those in need. ?

We hope that our mistakes don’t scar them for life.

We hope that treating our kids to fast food once in a while doesn’t totally damage their gut. ?

We hope that they’re passionate about something and pursue the heck out of their wildest dreams.

We hope they still call and visit when they’re grown, and maybe live close by. ?

We hope they laugh a lot, fall in love, keep good friends close to their hearts.

We hope that they eventually sleep through the night, in their own beds, no accidents, without a least by the time they’re 18...?

But we mostly hope that we’re doing a good enough job. Because we’re trying really hard, with everything we have—body, mind and soul. We may not always get it right, but dang, we’re trying.

(Spoiler alert: you’re doing a really great job, and I hope you truly believe that.)

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One of the main reasons we launched the Motherly Shop is to help take some of that stress away. We've tracked down the best brands and products developed by people (and in many cases, women!) that truly work to serve the needs of real mamas, especially throughout the overwhelming transition into motherhood.

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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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