Vote like your family's lives depend on it

Because, spoiler alert: They totally do.

your pediatrician says vote

There are huge pressures on parents today. Your kids' health, happiness, entertainment, companionship and education have suddenly fallen squarely—and 100%—on your shoulders. Let's be clear, this is historic: Rarely in human history have parents ever had so much piled onto them, with so little family and community support to help carry the burden. As our access to the "village" has evaporated thanks to the pandemic, many parents are feeling the crunch.

So, perhaps it's unfair of me to add one more to-do, but I promise, it's feather-light: Just VOTE!

As a pediatrician, I want to share with my view of the critical family health issues at stake in this election, and why I am urging parents especially to make their voices heard.

1. Paid parental leave needs your vote

Parents need help—and they deserve it. For thousands of years, new parents had the help of an entourage of other adults (aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins). But today, that support system for new parents is often tiny to non-existent.

Helping young families is not charity, it's a smart investment in our nation's greatest treasure: families and children.

Many countries have shown that policies supporting new families lower maternal stress, boost breastfeeding and reduce preterm births and infant hospitalizations. Policies that support parents benefit the entire economy, because parents are the ones working so hard to raise the next generation of innovators, scientists, workers, poets… and taxpayers.

2. Better mental health is worth your vote

With so much more stress on new parents, it's no wonder that 20% of U.S. moms suffer from postpartum depression or anxiety.

The good news is that new studies are pointing to innovative and creative ways to help parents avoid suffering postpartum stress. The bad news: Some politicians are trying to cut funding for public health. Better mental health care for more people, right now when we need it most, is worth protecting.

From the Shop

Reminders that your voice matters, mama.

3. Early childhood education will fail without your vote

The first five years of a child's education are way more than mud pies and finger painting. By the tender age of 2, the brain is already plumped up to 85% of an adult brain with two times more nerve connections—there's a huge amount of important learning happening in those early years. Yet, some politicians are trying to cut funding for public education.

The studies prove that early childhood programs pay off. For each $1 spent, we get $8 in long-term benefits, including higher IQs, less crime, a boost in wages and better health. That's why our dedicated early education specialists deserve a wage that's equal to their important responsibility. We're tasking them to inspire an entire generation of problem-solvers and optimists and people who will make a contribution to greater good.

Yet, few states cover infant and toddler programs… and several still fail to offer state-funded pre-K.

4. Smart preventative health care will be cut without your vote

As you learned in kindergarten: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Yet, some politicians are trying to take away access to quality low-cost health care.

Making sure that all moms get prenatal care and all kids get well baby exams, nutritional support and immunizations goes a long way toward keeping families healthy, and cutting costs. For example, vaccines prevent an estimated 42,000 deaths per year as well as 20 million cases of disease, while preventative care significantly extends life expectancy. And guess what: That saves taxpayers billions of dollars!

5. Environmental protection is needed now, and your vote may help save the planet

Atmospheric carbon dioxide is the highest level it's been in the past—wait for it—800,000 years! The decade from 2010-2019 was the hottest ever. The Arctic hit 90 degrees this summer. The massive ice sheet in Greenland is melting at a pace of 50 miles per year. And as a result, within the next 50 to 100 years, every American coastal city could flood.

Just think about how much that will cost our nation. Global warming is spawning monster storms and kneecapping farmers with droughts and floods, creating public health crisis after public health crisis. Warming temperatures are also bringing painful and deadly mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika, malaria and dengue to areas that have never experienced them—perhaps even your area.

The next four years may determine the next 400 years of climate health. But if we act now, we can help protect the world for generations to come.

So, please, make a plan, tell a friend and get out there and VOTE!


In This Article

14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With fall 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 outside-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.

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden 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.


Detective set

Plan Toys detective 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


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?

Happiest Baby: Baby sleep solutions designed by the experts

Created by renowned pediatrician, baby sleep expert and (as some might say) lifesaver Dr. Harvey Karp, Happiest Baby has been helping new parents understand and nurture their infants for close to two decades. Building on the success of his celebrated books and video The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block he's developed groundbreaking, science-based product solutions that conquer a new parent's top stressor—exhaustion.

WSEL Bags: Dad-designed diaper bags that think of everything

WSEL stands for work smart, enjoy life—an ethos we couldn't agree with more. Founded by a stay at home dad who struggled to find a diaper bag that he not only wanted to use, but one that would last far beyond the baby years, these premium, adventure-ready backpacks are ideal for everything from errands to week-long getaways.

Codex Beauty: Exceptionally effective sustainable skin care

Codex Beauty's line of sustainable plant-based skin care blends the science of plant biology with biotech innovations, to create clinically proven, state-of-the-art products for all skin types. They're all vegan, EWG and Leaping Bunny verified and created in collaboration with Herbal Scientist Tracy Ryan who uses concepts dating back to the 8th century leveraging plants like sea buckthorn and calendula flower. Not only are we totally crushing on the innovative formulas that are in the packaging but we're in love with the sustainable sugarcane-derived tubes as well.

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

Keep reading Show less

Mama, all I see is you

A love letter from your baby.


I can't see past you right now, I'm so small and everything's a little blurry.

All I see is you.

When you feel alone, like the walls are closing in, remember I'm here too. I know your world has changed and the days feel a little lonely. But they aren't lonely for me.

You are my everything.

When you feel like you don't know what you're doing, you're making it look easy to me. Even though we're still getting to know each other, you know me better than anyone.

I trust you.

Keep reading Show less