When you think you’re at wits end, know there’s a way through. Always.

When our son was 6-weeks-old he went through a growth spurt, causing him to wake what seemed like every hour of the night to eat. I knew this would happen. People told me it would. I experienced it with my daughter. But even with this knowledge I still found myself feeling frustrated. I NEED SLEEP! Why was my son not understanding this!?

I thought, “He is going to wake up our daughter. Then no one is going to get rest. Tomorrow is going to be horrible. Ugh, all I want to do is sleep!” My attitude and thoughts quickly spiraled out of control. I was ready to yell at my baby.


I was actually becoming angry. Then I felt guilty for being angry at my sweet baby boy. He doesn’t know any better. Have you ever been there?

First, check your thoughts

As I sat with my crying baby in my arms I knew something needed to change. I was tired of feeling angry and as I sat there crying with him I realized, I need to take control of my thoughts. But how do I stop myself and actually do this in the heat of the moment?

The first step to changing your thoughts is to recognize what you are thinking.

It sounds simple, but when I took a step back and analyzed my thoughts I realized my thoughts weren’t rational. Had I made it through the day before without much sleep? Definitely! The next time I started to feel frustrated and about to lose my patience, I took a step back. It’s okay if my baby cries for a few minutes in his crib. He is safe and I need to give myself time to check my thoughts. I’m a better mom when I do this.

Instead of focusing on the negative, I need to trust I will have the strength to get through the day.

Second, find perspective

When I find myself losing my patience and ready to scream at my kids, I try to keep perspective. This stage won’t last forever and I will sleep again. I am not alone in this.

My husband is here to support me and I have the support of many family and friends. Instead of panicking and worrying, I’m learning to cherish these moments. Time moves so quickly and I don’t want to always focus on the next best thing while missing out on the present time.

Third, recognize big feelings

Another thing I’ve realized is I need to be more aware of my own emotions. I need to ask for a break when I need it, without feeling guilty. If sleep is a priority for me, then I need to start making it a priority! That means not staying up an extra hour to scroll through Instagram.

Every now and then it’s good to take a self-analysis and see how you are doing. Don’t let your big feelings reach a boiling point. Take a few moments before you reach your breaking point to refresh and reset.

It’s OK to ask for help or ask for a break. It doesn’t make you a bad mother. It makes you human.

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This year many of us have a tighter budget than usual given (looks around) everything that has happened. Coupled with the uncertainty of what Halloween might look like, many of us are reluctant to spend money on brand new costumes that our kids will outgrow by next year. I get it. But I also know that many, like me, love Halloween so much. I thought about skipping the celebration this year, but that just feels like too big of a disappointment in an already disappointing year.

That's why I started looking into alternative costumes—something my kids will be able to wear once the clock hits November, and maybe even hand down to siblings and cousins in the coming years. At the same time, I'm not a DIY person, so I wanted outfits that didn't require any sewing or hot glue. Last year I attempted using one to build my son's Care Bear costume, and of course, I burnt my hand.

So with some creativity (and the brainpower of my colleagues), we came up with these costumes that are both fun and practical, made with items that your children will be able to (and want to!) wear year around:

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.

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 support Motherly and mamas.

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My 3-year-old is eating peanut butter toast with banana for breakfast (his request), and we are officially running late for preschool. We need to get in the car soon if we want to miss the morning traffic, but he has decided that he no longer wants the food that he begged for two minutes earlier. What started off as a relatively calm breakfast has turned into a battle of wills.

"You're going to be hungry," I say, realizing immediately that he could care less. I can feel my frustration rising, and even though I'm trying to stay calm, I'm getting snappy and irritable. In hindsight, I can see so many opportunities that fell through the cracks to salvage this morning, but at the moment… there was nothing.

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