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A very important letter for new mamas

Listen, mom-guilt is a dirty liar. Yes, it's your job to fill your little human's needs, but you matter too. Don't forget to take care of yourself. Hang out with friends, take a drive blaring 90's hip hop or shower without interruptions—trust me, you'll be a better person (and mom) because of it.

A very important letter for new mamas

Dear new mom,

You will shave again someday. Today is not that day.

Set expectations low, my friend, and set your partner's lower—at least where body hair and overall hygiene are concerned.

That conversation could go something like this: “From now on let's not consider shaving a “standard," but more like a gift that happens on birthdays and the first day of summer."

Voila, you are a gift-giving genius. You know what else is a gift? Shaving the inch and a half of skin that is between your skinny jeans and your boots. You're welcome world.

You will not be perfect at parenting.

Boom.

I have yet to meet a perfect mother, but when I do, she's going to be a tiger who is insanely good at making up songs. (Daniel Tiger's mom, we salute you.)


For the rest of us... take a deep breath and let it go. (Thank you, Elsa.) Keep showing up, love your best and apologize for your worst. I don't know about you, but those are the qualities I want to see reflected in my kids anyway.

You will break their hearts.

It won't be because you don't love them, it will be because you won't put a Band-Aid on their tongue, which to them is exactly the same thing.

You will dream of sleep like you would dream of a tropical vacation.

When the screaming call of duty comes at 2am, you and your partner's interactions will be like that of adult-infants. Don't take anything personally, and laugh about your incoherent arguments later. The middle of the night isn't a time for maturity—it's a time for survival.

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Sometimes you might lose it.

After a rough day, you might call your partner to let them know you will be resigning your position and they may want to start looking for replacements. You will be going to an island where people do not repeat your name 16 times in every sentence and also do not cry when you don't let them chew on their rain boots. They cannot understand you right now, but yes, they can pick up pizza and beer, which is sort of the same thing.

You will need to take time for yourself.

Listen, mom-guilt is a dirty liar. Yes, it's your job to fill your little human's needs, but you matter too. Don't forget to take care of yourself. Hang out with friends, take a drive blaring 90's hip hop or shower without interruptions—trust me, you'll be a better person (and mom) because of it.

Listen, this too will pass. When you're in the thick of it, wondering if your life will only ever consist of sleepless nights followed by Dora the Explorer marathons, hang in there and give yourself a high-five. You are a champion.

Chase your coffee with a queen-sized chocolate muffin and phone a friend for support—you will see the light of day soon.

Grocery shopping alone will be like vacation. Target, Safeway, the gas station mart... trumpets from heaven will serenade you as you float down the aisles. You will linger over toilet paper and pretty bottles of all-purpose cleaner. Do you need a new bra? A hipster backpack? Tic Tacs?

Probably.

You are alone, the world is your oyster.

You will not enjoy every moment.

You will enjoy a lot of moments, but you will not enjoy all of them. No one needs that kind of pressure. Sometimes your 2-year-old will sing “Uptown Funk" at the top of their lungs with very spotty pronunciation. This will cause you to cry with laughter and you will order them to stop growing: effective immediately.

Other times it will be three hours until bedtime and you will feel like you're watching paint dry while someone is running their fingernails down a chalkboard.

This is the hodgepodge of emotions called “Motherhood."

Don't worry about the opinions—the thousands of millions of opinions.

Everyone has an opinion about raising kids. Take a deep breath. Children are more simple than you think. They want to be loved, fed and safe. Matching socks and diaper brands are not that high on their list. Choose a few things to be passionate about and let the rest go.

You can't do everything perfectly.

Essential oils, breastfeeding, bottle feeding, organic food, dairy, gluten, teaching your infant to read, discipline techniques, sunblock, stroller brands, public school, private school, homeschool, being a stay-at-home mom or a working mom and whether or not you should live in a cavern at the base of the Himalayas as to avoid any toxic exposures...

Or...

Trust your gut and give yourself lots of grace. They're going to be just fine and so will you.

Love,

A mom who has been there

True

In This Article

These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

1. Go apple picking.

Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

4. Have a touch-football game.

Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

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

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