Advice for young moms: Believe in yourself

When I had a baby at the age of 24, I was the first of my close friends to enter the brave new world of parenthood. I quickly learned that motherhood is full of unique challenges and joys, no matter when you take it on, but, for many of us younger moms, those challenges are amplified by having fewer peers to turn to for guidance. (Shout out to the veteran mama friend I bombarded with round-the-clock texts during those early days. ?)

That’s where #TeamMotherly comes in: We recently asked for your best advice for fellow young mamas. And, as always, you did not disappoint with your awesome insight.

Here are a few of the comments we received:

Trust that you have same instincts as any other new mom

“I had my first child at 23. At the time, I felt so completely overwhelmed and underprepared. I had virtually no experience with children whatsoever and I worried I would always feel so... Inept. Unnatural. Frazzled. Today, I'm 31 and have three children. I wish I could tell the younger ‘me’ that I would, indeed, adapt. My maternal instincts would grow and strengthen. And my love for motherhood would too.” —Melanie

Remember postponing doesn’t mean missing

“I wish someone had told me the travels, education, career, vacations, dream house, hundreds of dinner dates with your husband, fancy car, ‘perfect’ body, etc. can wait. These are all transient successes and luxuries that are attainable during and after babies.” —Lily W.

Forget about friendship age differences

“Find older mom friends who are experienced when it comes to taking care of little humans. They can be a wonderful support system.” —Daylen H.

Be willing to let go of control

“Up unto that point, I was in control of my life, and at that age you haven't learned that you aren't invincible yet. As soon as I let go of what I thought it SHOULD be like (thanks to all the baby books and the internet), we were all much happier and laid back. So, read one well recommended book and then stay off the internet.” —Lindsay R.

Know who to turn to and who to tune out

“Social media has everyone comparing themselves to everyone else and bombarding you with techniques and methods... I didn't care what anyone thought or said to me except for my grandma and one older twin mom friend. With those two women and my mom, I had ample advice and I knew it was solid.” —Bobbie S.

Don’t let comments bother you

“I had my first child at 20. I am almost 30 and she is almost 10. People assume she's my sister OR that I must've had her at 15... I wish I could've told myself not to listen what others say. Being young doesn't mean I wouldn't know what to do as a mom.”

Keep your friends close

“Just because you have a baby doesn't mean you can't go out with friends and have fun. It takes a little more work and planning, but you can do it. You also find who your real friends are. If you're able to make time for a friend who doesn't have a baby and they can't make time for you, they clearly aren't your friend.” —Rachael K.

Expect so much joy

“No, the best years of your life are not being wasted. Sharing your life with a little human that you grew in your belly and love more than life itself, who looks at you in wonder, who sees you as the whole world, that's not wasted time... There is absolutely nothing I'd rather do on a Saturday night than cuddle with my little girl or watch my husband tickle her and blow raspberries on her belly as she laughs. Those are the moments you'll live for, and the ones you'll remember for the rest of your life.” —Kathryn D.

And remember: To your baby, your age doesn’t matter. How many places you’ve already traveled doesn’t matter. The progress on your personal bucket list doesn’t matter. All they know is that you are the perfect mama for them.

Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.


Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.


Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.


Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!


Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.


Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.


'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."


Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.


Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.


Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!


Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.


Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.


Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.


Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.


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


One of our main goals as mothers is to encourage our children to learn, grow and play. They start out as our tiny, adorable babies who need us for everything, and somehow, before you know it, they grow into toddlers with ideas and opinions and desires of their own.

You may be hearing a lot more of "I do it!" or maybe they're pushing your hand away as a signal to let you know, I don't need your help, Mama. That's okay. They're just telling you they're ready for more independence. They want to be in charge of their bodies, and any little bit of control their lives and abilities allow.

So, instead of challenging your toddler's desire for autonomy, we found five of our favorite products to help encourage independence—and eliminate frustration in the process.

EKOBO Bamboo 4-piece kid set

EKOBO bamboo 4-piece kid set

This colorful set includes a plate, cup, bowl and spoon and is just right for your child's meal experience. Keep them in an easy-to-reach cabinet so they'll feel encouraged (and excited!) to get their own place setting each time they eat.


Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Before you know it, your little one will be asking (okay, maybe demanding) to fill their own water cups. This amazing 4-pack of cups attaches directly to the fridge (or any glass, metal, tile or fiberglass surface) making it easier for your child to grab a cup themselves. Just be sure a water pitcher or dispenser is nearby, and—boom!—one task off your plate.


Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

These beautiful blocks, made from sustainably-sourced wood and water-based, non-toxic, lead-free paint, will keep your little one focused on their creation while they're also busy working on their fine-motor skills. The puzzle design will encourage patience as your kiddo creates their own building, fitting one block in after the next.


Lorena Canals basket

Lorena Canals Basket

This *gorgeous* braided cotton basket is the perfect, accessible home for their blocks (and whatever else you want to hide away!) so your kiddo can grab them (and clean them up) whenever their heart desires.


BABYBJÖRN step stool

BABYBJ\u00d6RN Step Stool

Your kiddo might be ready to take on the world, but they might need an extra boost to do so—cue, a step stool! An easy-to-move lightweight stool is the must-have confidence-boosting tool you need in your home so your growing tot can reach, well... the world.


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


Because parenthood is challenging, we can sometimes forget how to just be happy in the midst of it all.

Keep reading Show less