Your child is not ‘yours’—never was, never will be

I’ve loved having her unconditional love, when her little hand slips into mine.

She says she needs to go to the bathroom, so I get up off the sand to go with her, because it’s at the surf club, and she has to walk through the car park all by herself and find her way to the female bathrooms up the stairs and negotiate waitresses and people and cars and skaters.

But she takes off without me.

Slowly I follow her over the dunes, careful not to let her know her mother’s following, as if I don’t know she’s a big girl already.

Inside the surf club, she’s nowhere to be seen. Walking into the bathroom, the cubicle door is closed but unlocked. A sign to me. Come in. I’m here. I go in and the pee smell is pungent but she and all her smells are never offensive. Not to a mother. She asks me to wipe her bottom, and even though she is seven and doesn’t need help anymore, her tummy is a bit upset, so I help. Still her Mama.

Thinking I might as well take advantage of being so close to ablutions, I sit down myself. She waits for a moment, then goes out to wash her hands. Usually we stay in the cubicles together.

Usually it takes forever.

Years of frustration have evaporated up the stall walls when she wouldn’t let me leave to wash my hands or just use the next cubicle. “I’m not far away,” I used to think. Sheesh. Just give me a little slack here

But this time she leaves. I hear the faucet go on as she washes both hands properly with soap, because she’s thorough like that. The paper dispenser grunts as she wrenches a sheet. She hates having wet hands.

Then, from behind my closed door, I hear it.

“Bye Mom.”

That’s it. She’s off.

Back down the long corridor, through the bar crowd and scruffy surfer dudes, past the waitresses, down the steps, across the car park and over the sand dunes and back to her friends on the beach.

We are not the only two girls in the cubicle anymore.

She isn’t waiting for me.

She doesn’t need to hold my hand.

She isn’t attached to me.

She left.

Her friends are more interesting.

My heart slams into my rib cage, and I want to cry.

I should be grateful I can finally pee in private.

I should be grateful I can come and go. But I’m not. I’m overwhelmed that this is the start of me not being the center of her world.

All her life her shyness has seen her slip between my skirts. The neediness has annoyed me at times. Don’t be so reticent, I have thought, gently pushing her out, which only forced her further into the folds.

Yet now, this afternoon, she’s playing a game in the sand with her friends at the wildest of beaches, and it’s left a small hole in my heart. She’s not looking around. Soon she will not want me to be visible to her. She’ll want me miles away, safely not looking, not knowing, not hearing anything. I’ll cramp her style. My skirts will cramp her style. She already hates it when I get song lyrics wrong.

Any shyness she faces will be her own, not mine to protect or fix.

I’ve loved having her unconditional love, when her little hand slips into mine. Yet suddenly her childhood is racing ahead of me.

It’s not mine to know everything about anymore.

She’s not mine.

She’s herself.

And slowly she’s riding away from me.

Which is exactly how it’s meant to be.

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.


Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.


Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.


Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.


boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.


Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.


Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.


Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.


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


When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, there are many factors that, as a mama, are hard to control. Who's going to wet the bed at 3 am, how many times a small person is going to need a sip of water, or the volume of your partner's snoring are total wildcards.

One thing you can control? Tricking out your bed to make it as downright cozy as possible. (And in these times, is there anywhere you want to be than your bed like 75% of the time?)

I've always been a down comforter sort of girl, but after a week of testing the ridiculously plush and aptly named Snug Comforter from Sunday Citizen, a brand that's run by "curators of soft, seekers of chill" who "believe in comfort over everything," it's safe to say I've been converted.

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In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

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