Why I say ‘I’m sorry’ in front of my kids

Apologizing cleanses my soul and keeps me in check. It humbles me and reminds me that I am not the center of the universe.

Why I say ‘I’m sorry’ in front of my kids

I am sorry.

Three simple words that are not always easy to utter. A sincere, heart-felt apology requires humility, self-awareness, and a vulnerability that does not feel comfortable to me.

I fought my I am sorrys tooth and nail for years. When my behaviors warranted an apology, I would go into full-denial mode, my overactive mind working quickly to concoct the perfect, justifiable reason for why my behavior was, indeed, acceptable.

Just like that, I would excuse myself from ever having to say sorry. This became my routine: mess up, creatively justify my actions, move on with my day and repeat.


I remember the first time I actually challenged myself to apologize.

On this particular day, I was the opposite of my best self. Certain that everyone was out to get me, I was angry, bitter, exhausted, and tired of scrounging around for money and living paycheck to paycheck. Plus, I was holding it all in, fake-smiling like a champ, hiding my frustrations. Perhaps I had others fooled, but I knew I was about to blow.

This was my state of mind when the very nice lady at the bank told me some not great news in a very nice-lady voice. She was kind and patient; merely doing her job and doing it well. I was running on empty and what happened next is a bit of a blur.

I raised my voice, delivered some cleverly worded insults about this kind woman’s lack of desire to help me, and made a scene in that Wesbter Bank lobby. I felt okay about it, too. My immediate reaction was, “Wow that felt good. She deserved it.”

Then I turned to leave the bank and I looked at the faces of my three, beautiful, innocent children.

They stood there silent, with dropped jaws and fear in their eyes. What had I done? Who was I? Was this the mother I wanted to be?

We left the bank. Instinct took over and I began justifying: Doesn’t she know I am a single mother and I need that money! Nothing ever goes my way!

But then I heard that voice in my head. That new voice. The voice I now call integrity. I could not continue as usual. I could not continue to entertain my rationalizations and justifications. I needed to do something to answer to my own conscience. After all, I had three little faces looking up to me.

I explained to my kids that I was sorry I had lost my patience. I had a bad day. I should not have taken it out on that Nice Bank Lady. What they had just witnessed was wrong. I wished I could take it back. I let out a breath, but the voice was still talking.

Integrity had more to tell me: another person who deserves your apology is sitting in that bank lobby at her desk. Oh noooooo, I thought. This stinks. I had to publicly apologize to an innocent stranger.

This was my new way of life, though. This was the principle I had adopted to become a better me. When I was sick and tired of being me, consumed by guilt and shame for repeatedly making the same mistakes in my parenting and other relationships, I vowed to acknowledge my faults and make amends for them immediately, whenever possible.

So I knew I had to do it.

I walked into that bank, three kids in tow, and waited in line to meet face to face with Nice Bank Lady. I was sick with nerves and my mind was still trying to tell me I could leave, but integrity would not let me.

I apologized to Nice Bank Lady. I complimented her ability to remain patient and kind despite my temper tantrum, and I asked if she could please forgive me.

Sure enough, she was compassionate, forgiving and maybe a little confused at the two extremes she had just witnessed from the same person. I left the bank, while my kids wrestled with what had just happened.

What had just happened was growth.

I sat with the discomfort of vulnerability, humility and accountability, and I chose integrity. Leaving the bank that day, I felt proud that my children could see first-hand how to right their own wrongs.

I felt lighter, and I knew I would think twice before going crazy on a bank teller again because now, thanks to this thing called integrity, I would have a responsibility to march in and apologize.

In the years since this incident, saying “I am sorry” has grown easier. Whereas my impulse is still to justify, deny, and excuse my own behavior, integrity does not let me go that route anymore.

Sometimes that feels like a curse. Rather than make excuses, my integrity guides me to express the hurt and fear behind my impulses to lash out; that is challenging for me.

Mostly, though, it feels like a blessing. Apologizing cleanses my soul and keeps me in check. It humbles me and reminds me that I am not the center of the universe.

Most importantly, the voice of integrity and the choice to say I am sorry helps me be the best parent I can be.

I know that the biggest stamp I will ever make on this world is in raising the three little humans who are all soundly asleep as I type this.

I want them to be capable of humbling themselves, to sit with the discomfort of vulnerability, to say I am sorry when called for, and to live with integrity. Thanks in large part to them, I have experienced the gifts of this way of life.

My new promise to myself is to do everything possible to give this gift back to them in every way I can.

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.


Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!


Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.


Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌


Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.


Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.


Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.


Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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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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Report: President Trump plans to choose Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court

What you need to know about this mom of 7.

When Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg died on Friday her spot on the Supreme Court was vacated and on Monday President Trump said he is prepared to make his third U.S. Supreme Court nomination this week. "I will announce it either Friday or Saturday," Trump said on Fox News, adding, "We should wait until the services are over for Justice Ginsburg."

Now, CNN reports President Trump plans to choose Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court Nomination. He is expected to make the announcement on Saturday.

According to CNN, senior Republican sources are "indicating that Barrett is the intended nominee... All sources cautioned that until it is announced by the President, there is always the possibility that Trump makes a last-minute change but the expectation is Barrett is the choice."

President Trump says a vote on this Supreme Court nominee should come before the upcoming presidential election (a move that goes against Ginsberg's last wishes—and the precedent set by the senate in 2016). The President previously said he was looking seriously at five candidates for the spot, but during his Fox News interview on Monday, he only mentioned two: Amy Coney Barrett and Barbara Lagoa.

Here's what you need to know about Amy Coney Barrett

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