You will always be their safe space, mama

You are their haven. Their harbor. Their sanctuary, their peace. You are comfort. Deep breaths. Hugs and back rubs. You're a resting place, a nightmare chaser, a healer. You are the calm within their storm. You are their mother.

you are their safety

To your child, you are safety. You are security. You are where (out of anyone or any place), they can come undone. Where they can let it all out, let it all go. Where they meltdown, break down, scream, cry, push.

Where they can say—"I AM NOT OKAY!"

Where they can totally lose it. Without judgment or fear or shame.

Because they know you'll listen. They know you'll hear them. That you will help piece the mess back together.

Within any uncertainty, they are certain you've got them.

You are their haven. Their harbor. Their sanctuary, their peace. You are comfort. Deep breaths. Hugs and back rubs. You're a resting place, a nightmare chaser, a healer. You are the calm within their storm.


You are their mother.

They need you, they don't need you.

They want you, they don't want you.

"Go away!"

"Please stay."

"Leave me alone!"

"Can you sleep with me?"

They cry about you, while they're crying for you, confusing us all.

Recently, one of my kids was so upset and tired—and there were so many tears—and everything I did and said was making it worse. "Honey, tell me how I can help you right now and I'll try to make it better." "Do you not feel so good right now? Is something bothering you?" "Let's try taking deep belly breaths together, you're so good at those!"

Let's just say, the tears multiplied, the anger intensified, and I felt like a big loser.

But at the same time, while we were strapped into the emotional roller coaster together, my child climbed into my lap, nestled their head under my chin, asked me to rub their back, and finally took a deep breath, without any coaxing.

In my arms, we both settled down. Our hearts slowed, our bodies melted into each other. And we felt okay again.

After a few minutes passed, my child asked if they could go play. I said yes, and off they went as if everything was fine—as if the last half hour didn't exist.

When this happens, I'm almost always left in the dust of confusion. They move on, they are done with the big feelings and I'm frozen wondering—what just happened? Did I imagine that? Was it not actually as big of a deal as I thought?

Feelings are tricky, I guess.

In the trickiness of the great mystery of emotions, they look for you. They'll always look for you. And they see you. They feel you. You are their anchor. You keep them steady. You are solid ground.

You have the answer because you are the answer. Their answer.

I know on the days when you feel touched out and exhausted, when you feel like you don't know how to muster enough energy up for cooking dinner or doing bedtime or finishing your work—that their meltdown might drag you under completely. And maybe you'll even melt down alongside each other. (I've been there many times.)

I know it may feel like hearing more whining might break you. More crying might force you to run away. It all may feel like too much. You may wonder, how can I possibly be this responsible for another human's heart?

Well, mama, because we share one, don't we? Their heart is our heart and our heart is their heart.

So if I may, I'd like to share a gentle reminder: When they lose it with you, they want to lose it with you and only you. Because you make them feel like things are okay when life is heavy. Like love exists even in this mad world. Like they are allowed to feel everything inside them, to be perfectly imperfect. Just like us.

You make them feel like they are allowed to show you who they are, truly and purely, and know you have them. Because they trust you enough to let you in. They trust you with their whole heart, the one you gave them, the one you hold.

Those days, the ones with lots of BIG ginormous feelings, can be trying. They're draining for all involved. But, they happen. (I had one yesterday.) And when they do, we're not going to always get it right. We're going to say or do the wrong thing (I made the mistake of making my 3-year-old cry harder when I gave her the doll she was asking me for), we're going to shout in frustration, we're going to feel like we're in over our heads.

But we're going to be there. We're going to show up. We'll show up messy, sure. We'll show up imperfectly, definitely. We'll show up unsure, very likely.

But we will stand with them. We'll sit with them. We'll be with them. We'll hold them and rock them and be confused by them and with them and we'll calm them and they'll calm us.

Because we are safety.

We are home.

And we are doing a great job.

In This Article

    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

    I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

    I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

    My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

    1. Go apple picking.

    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

    2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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