Last week was a week .
We lost a legal and cultural icon with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and deadly wildfires continue to blaze on the West Coast. Now, more than ever, we need to see creativity, kindness and compassion in our world —we need to hear those "good news" stories, but we also need to see the headlines that show us how and why the world needs to change .
And right now both kinds of stories are going viral.
Here are the viral stories you need to read right now:
Why this mom went viral after she was kicked off flight with 2-year-old son
Mom Rachel Davis is going viral after sharing her travel troubles on Instagram. Davis says she was trying to fly from North Carolina to New Hampshire on American Airlines when she was kicked off a flight because her 2-year-old son would not keep his mask on.
Parents can understand how frustrating flying with kids must be right now, and Davis says that her son had been on four other flights with American Airlines within the week and had not been required to wear a mask on those flights.
"I tried repeatedly, begged him, bribed him, pleaded with him, did everything I could while he was screaming and crying as I tried to hold him and put the mask on, feeling my absolute lowest of lows as a mother," Davis wrote on Instagram, adding that her family had to make alternative travel arrangements with the airline after all the passengers deplaned. It was incredibly stressful, she says.
Most airlines do not require children under 2 years old to wear masks, and American Airlines is one of them. In a statement to Motherly the airline explained: "To ensure the safety of our customers and team, American Airlines requires all persons 2 years and older to wear an appropriate face covering throughout the entirety of their journey. Policies are enforced and approved face coverings are made available at key points throughout the customer journey. We've reached out to the family to learn more about their recent travel experience and to address their concerns."
Unfortunately, Davis' son was over 2, so he did need to wear the mask per their policy, but that doesn't mean that airline attendants couldn't have shown some compassion or empathy when they saw Davis struggling. Traveling right now is so stressful and while the CDC and other health authorities do recommend masks for everyone over 2 years old, some children will not be able to wear masks. It's something that's important for everyone to remember as we move through this pandemic together.
These Disney princess maternity shoots are stunningly perfect
A Brazilian photographer found a way to make expecting moms feel like absolute royalty: styling them like Disney princesses during their maternity sessions . The results are ridiculously cool, and something these moms are going to treasure forever. If you're looking for some inspiration for an upcoming maternity shoot of your own , you're definitely going to want to pin these pics.
Photographer Vanessa Firme says the idea to dress moms like Disney princesses came to her when she was working with a client who was expecting a little girl she planned to name Bella. That reminded them of Belle, so Firme decided to dress the mom in the princess's iconic yellow gown. Firme says that first shoot was so amazing she immediately realized she wanted to do more like that. "I thought: this must be what happens after 'happily ever after'," she explained.
Since that first Belle session, Firme has transformed pregnant mamas into Ariel, Snow White, Jasmine, Cinderella and even Maleficent. She's even gotten some dads to join in the fun, like one who dressed up as the Beast. Even more adorably, she's also had the opportunity to do sessions with some of the babies after they're born and include them in the Disney-inspired shoots as well.
Firme says the shoots aren't just about getting great photos. She says they let the moms forget about the not-so-magical parts of pregnancy, if only for a short time. "They were removed for an instant from the real world and taken to a world of enchantment." She says she also thought about the ways that children idolize their mothers, and view them as princesses in their own right. Now, they'll have pictures to match that sentiment.
Firme has styled so many amazing shoots, she says she "can't choose a favorite." And we definitely can't either.
Anderson Cooper shares sweet selfie with baby Wyatt: 'He’s such a happy baby'
Anderson Cooper's cute co-anchor is growing up!
The veteran journalist shared a sweet selfie with his son, Wyatt. "My son will be five months old in less than two weeks," Cooper wrote on Instagram . "He is such a happy baby even though he has started teething. He loves being read to and so far Dr. Seuss is his favorite, particularly One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. Ok, that's my favorite, but he does seem to like it a lot."
Cooper's followers were quick to show their support for the father and son duo.
Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen commented, "❤❤❤❤❤❤" while fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg pointed out that Wyatt looks an awful lot like Cooper's late mother, Gloria Vanderbilt.
The newscaster announced baby Wyatt's arrival back in April with a heartfelt post , thanking their medical team and surrogate. "As a gay kid, I never thought it would be possible to have a child, and I'm grateful for all those who have paved the way, and for the doctors and nurses and everyone involved in my son's birth.
Most of all, I am grateful to a remarkable surrogate who carried Wyatt, and watched over him lovingly, and tenderly, and gave birth to him."
Cooper wrote about how he wishes his late parents and brother could meet Wyatt. "I imagine them all together, arms around each other, smiling and laughing, happy to know that their love is alive in me and in Wyatt, and that our family continues."
There's a lot to love in the new photo, between Cooper's proud papa smile, Wyatt's exposed belly, and their matching gazes. Here's to hoping we see more of this news team soon!
Katy Perry shares adorable gift Taylor Swift sent for baby Daisy
Katy Perry recently shared the sweet gift that Taylor Swift sent for her newborn daughter, Daisy Dove (and of course it went viral). "Miss 🌼🕊 adores her hand embroidered blankie from miss @taylorswift 😩😩😩," writes Perry. "Hope it's one she drags around for years till it becomes an unrecognizable shred that she keeps in her pocket as a teenager 🥺♥️"
Swift embroidered a flower and the words "Daisy Bloom" on the blanket.
Perry, 35, and fiancé Orlando Bloom, 43, welcomed daughter Daisy to the world in August. The singer also tagged the location of her post as "Stream Folklore"—a nod to Swift's latest album, which dropped in July.
We love to see women supporting women—and adorable baby gifts!
This Black mom + her white daughter are going viral for the best clapback to ‘Are you the nanny?'
Her video went viral on TikTok and it's one everyone should see.
Jenna Wilder is a Black mom raising a white daughter and as she explains in the video, the constant invasive questions from strangers are upsetting.
The TikTok is one of those "Nope Yep" videos. It shows Wilder and her 6-year-old daughter answering questions set to Lil Skeet's song.
"Are you the nanny?" ("Nope!")
"Are you her mother?" ("Yup!")
"Did your husband cheat on you?" ("Nope!")
"Does she call you Mommy?" (Yup!)
"Is she biologically yours?" ("Nope!")
"Do you love her unconditionally?" ("Yup!")
Wilder made the video because she's tired of the questions and because she wants to help foster a new perception of families. As we've said before at Motherly, families don't have to match , and that's not just okay—it's beautiful. But that's a lesson more people need to learn.
"It's a lot of, 'Oh, are you the nanny?' Wilder tells TODAY Parents . " No one has ever outright asked, 'Did you kidnap that child?' But that's what they're trying to figure out."
It's a racist and uninformed assumption and it needs to stop, not just for Wilder's family but for all families that don't share skin tones or features. Three of Wilder's children are mixed race and her 6-year-old daughter is white. And when she's out with her kids people make comments, asking which kids are hers or if she works in childcare.
"I'm like, 'Nope. These four are mine. I take care of them all day, every day. I worry about them all the time. I'm their mother,'" Wilder said.
Wilder and her husband adopted their now 6-year-old daughter when she was a toddler. "We realized quickly that she hadn't been introduced to a lot of Black people or people of color. I think she was in shock," Wilder tells TODAY Parents. "We've always talked a lot about race in our home because my husband and I are an interracial couple. So, we just started having even more conversations about skin color. We explained how being in a family has nothing to do with skin color."
Thank you, Jenna, for educating TikTok (and now the rest of the internet).
This mom's viral post is about so much more than chicken nuggets
Back in July, Steph Willson wrote a Facebook post detailing her feelings about her children growing up. This week, that post is spreading across the internet with moms everywhere relating to Steph.
The picture she posted is simple—it's just a couple of plates of chicken nuggets and fries—but the story she tells alongside it is the story of motherhood. It's the story of the "lasts" we have with our children without realizing that this is the last time.
"One day you'll realize you are serving them whole chicken nuggets instead of cutting them each into four pieces.
One day instead of a bath they will want to shower, then you'll look back and realize their last night time bath was months ago.
One day you will realize that the last night that they slept in their crib was the day before.
One day you'll realize that their car seat is no longer facing backwards and you don't need that little rearview mirror on the head rest anymore.
One day you will realize that you haven't given them a child proof water bottle in three weeks.
One day you will miss brushing their teeth for them because now they can do it themselves.
One day you will see them take their own seatbelt off and they don't need your help anymore.
You never know when the last day of a precious phase will be, so embrace having to help them a little more, embrace it taking longer to prepare one of their meals, embrace all the effort it takes to get them in and out of the tub because before you know it that phase will be gone and they will be just a little bit bigger in a little bit more independent."
Hundreds of thousands of people have shared Wilson's post. She tells Motherly: "I am beyond humbled that part of my motherhood journey has resonated with so many other women and if the post allowed one mom to feel like they were not alone that made it all worth it for me. Fortunately, it allowed hundreds of thousands of mothers to not feel alone and that in itself is a dream come true for me."
Thank you, Steph.
This surrogate mama is caring for baby months after giving birth due to COVID-19 travel restrictions
A surrogate who agrees to carry a child for another family is already doing amazing, admirable work. But one Idaho mom has ended up taking on more than she ever could have imagined. With the baby's parents stuck in China due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, Emily Chrislip has now been caring for the surrogate child since May.
Chrislip told TODAY Parents that the baby's family knew what a big ask it was. "They were like, 'We understand if it's too much.' They didn't pressure us."
She says after some debate, she and husband ultimately agreed to it—knowing that the alternative would mean sending the baby to live with a nanny full-time. "We knew the right thing to do was to care for her, Chrislip said. "We knew we could give her a loving home."
She told People that they initially expected the situation to last for about four weeks—but now it's been more than four months .
Surrogates work very hard to keep emotional boundaries in place throughout the pregnancy, and Chrislip explains that she's had to be diligent about keeping those boundaries in place even while caring for the baby round the clock for the past few months, including things like pumping instead of breastfeeding. With a child of her own at home, she's also had to make it very clear to her son that the baby won't be with them forever and is not a sibling.
"She's not our child," Chrislip explains. "She belongs with her parents. We want to get her to her parents." Nonetheless—Chrislip says the baby girl is getting all the love and care she needs right now. "We just treat her as our own because at this stage in life it is so important to have the proper attention and love," she explained to People.
Even though Chrislip has found herself in an unimaginable situation, she knows that the baby's parents are dealing with something even harder. "I can't imagine what they are going through," she told TODAY. "They tried to have a child for so many years and now they can't be with her."
She says the two families video chat regularly and the parents send care packages to their little one. And in the meantime, all involved are hoping for a speedy reunion.
These Schitt's Creek costumes are perfect for Halloween 2020
Beloved Canadian export Schitt's Creek swept the Emmys over the weekend and it might just sweep Halloween, too.
Mom and designer Lauren Mancke is collecting Instagram likes this week after posting a now-viral shot of children dressed up as the cast of the CBC comedy.
"When I thought maybe we shouldn't do #manckemonthofcostumes this year, I just kept thinking, but we just have to do @schittscreek ," she captioned the pic. "As Moira would say and with the vigor of a wartime radio operator, the show must go on! Be sure to follow along for DIY costumes every day in October using @primarydotcom clothing."
This idea deserves as many awards as the show received!
A pregnant woman saved her husband from a shark attack in Florida
Pregnant women are superheroes in so many ways and one Georgia mama-to-be is extra heroic.
Atlanta couple Andrew Eddy, 30, and Margot Dukes-Eddy, 29, were on a private boat with family in the Florida Keys when Eddy went snorkeling and was attacked by a shark. His pregnant wife, Dukes-Eddy, reportedly jumped off the boat and hauled her injured husband back on board.
A Monroe County Deputy noted in their report that the pregnant Dukes-Eddy saw the shark fin and the blood from the boat and moved immediately to save her partner.
"Without hesitation, she dove into the water and pulled Eddy to the safety of the boat," the deputy noted. "The family called 911."
Eddy's shoulder was severely injured in the attack, but thanks to the quick thinking of his pregnant wife he will survive to see their baby born.