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You need a vacation from momlife

My work can wait. My kids are in good hands. My routine will be there waiting for me when I get back.

You need a vacation from momlife

I’ve noticed a funny pattern. Being on vacation opens me up emotionally. I can sit, doing nothing. And then the tears will come. Deep tears. They aren’t sad though. It’s simply that my body and soul finally have a moment to express themselves.


For a few, fleeting moments, gone is the routine.

Eyes open. Phone on. Teeth brushed. Rush. Rush. Rush. Kids to school. Then to work. Work. Work. Work. Rush home. Kids to bed. Eat dinner. Talk to husband. Watch TV. Sleep. Repeat. No room for feelings, no time.

So I’m on vacation. I’m sitting on a beach. Listening to music and reading a book by a neurosurgeon about his own mortality. And I cry. I cry and it feels good. Because it feels good to feel.

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What happens to the feelings I ignore on a daily basis? What impact do they have on me? A year ago I got my answer. In my case they turned into a nodule (lump) on my thyroid. And it isn’t small. And it is still there. A daily reminder that when I forget to feel, there are consequences.

I’m lucky. In my case this three-centimeter companion I have isn’t cancer. But it isn’t going away, and so here I am. Sitting on a beach, writing about my feelings, trying to enjoy my vacation.

Thankfully a lot can change in a year.

I now write about my feelings on a daily basis. I read and share the feelings of my tribe. Together we are feeling our way to a fuller happier more whole existence, through a commitment to practicing self love and self care.

For me, self care is my gateway to self love. How I commit my time and energy is in a direct relationship with how I feel about my life and myself. For example, the vacation I’m on as I write this.

I’m on the beach. I’m watching the shore. I feel words that need to be said and I’m expressing them. In this case, to you. And this is how I heal the literal lump in my throat, the one that turned my world upside down for a few days while we waited for the biopsy results.

A big part of self care is connecting not just with your emotions, but with your body.

Have you moved today? (Have I? I need to.) Have you touched your body? Would you know if something popped up today, that wasn’t there yesterday? We hear a lot about breast cancer—and so doing a breast exam is hopefully on your radar. But what about the other parts of your body? Case in point—your neck. When is the last time you touched yours?

In my case, my annual physical is something I hold sacrosanct. When the doctor found the nodule on my thyroid, it immediately triggered an unrelenting question— “How long has it been there, and why didn’t I notice?” Of course ever since I was diagnosed, I haven’t been able to un-see it. I notice my thyroid in every picture, every glance in the mirror, all the time. And that’s a good thing I suppose. Because now if it grows, I will be the first to know.

Thyroid nodules, which in the worst-case scenario, are indicative of thyroid cancer, strike women to an alarming degree—they are four times more common in women. Three out of four instances of thyroid cancer are in women. I’m convinced this is because as women, we carry so much emotion in our bodies (so much of which doesn’t even belong to us.)

So I take this vacation without guilt.

My work can wait. My kids are in good hands. My routine will be there waiting for me, whether I worry about it or not. The thing that will be different when I go home is me. Because I will have felt the feelings that needed to be felt. I will still have some sand on my skin. I will have the songs in my ears and the wind on my back. I will have enough to remind me of my ME, my unburdened most beautiful and most authentic self.

I spoke to my mom today to ask how my daughters are since she’s taking care of them while I’m away for the weekend. She told me about how they used flowers pots to create a nook in the backyard where they can read books. She said, “It was completely their idea!” and of course it was. Because they are four. And they are still their untarnished, purest versions. They are full of good ideas and confidence and light and feelings they are feeling in real time.

My job is not to crush them. To help them preserve their ME, to nurture their ideas, to witness their feelings and create space for them to feel them. Without shame or guilt. With clarity and love. To remind them that self love is sacred and self care is survival. To teach them to know themselves—body, and mind. To show them they are born whole and all the love they need is within their own hands. To model for them what it means for a woman to choose herself, each and every day.

So this next margarita is a toast to ME, and a toast to you. I hope you take a moment to feel something today.



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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Meri Meri: Decor and gifts that bring the wonder of childhood to life

We could not be more excited to bring the magic of Meri Meri to the Motherly Shop. For over 30 years, their playful line of party products, decorations, children's toys and stationery have brought magic to celebrations and spaces all over the world. Staring as a kitchen table endeavor with some scissors, pens and glitter in Los Angeles in 1985, Meri Meri (founder Meredithe Stuart-Smith's childhood nickname) has evolved from a little network of mamas working from home to a team of 200 dreaming up beautiful, well-crafted products that make any day feel special.

We've stocked The Motherly Shop with everything from Halloween must-haves to instant-heirloom gifts kiddos will adore. Whether you're throwing a party or just trying to make the everyday feel a little more special, we've got you covered.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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