While we love a thoughtful Mother’s Day gift just as much as the next mom, we also kind of want, well, the stuff we want. The stuff we’ve been eyeing all year. The stuff that’s NOT a hand-painted mug. (Sorry, kid.) So this Mother’s Day, don’t wait till your partner/kids/BFF gets the hint. Treat yourself. Here’s 10 Mother’s Day gifts you should just go ahead and buy for yourself. You deserve it. 1. Bravado Designs Belle Underwire Nursing Bra Nursing bras can be such a drag, but Bravado’s newest collection has us excited to fill our drawers. We’re particularly bowled over by the Belle Underwire Nursing Bra (yes, you heard us right: underwire!), which provides all that necessary support while keeping you comfortable. Did we mention it’s hot? This Mother’s Day gift is definitely partner-approved! $52. Get it here. 2. Date Night In Box Speaking of partners, wouldn’t it be nice to spend some time with yours? We’re loving this cool subscription service that sends custom date nights you can indulge in right in your living room. Each Date Night In box includes interactive activities with a little ambiance and a tasty snack. Oh, and Well Rounded readers get a free box when you order a 3, 6 or 12-month subscription with the code WELLROUNDEDNY. Get it here. 3. phil&ted’s lobster portable highchair Who says you can’t have Mother’s Day brunch at your favorite restaurant just because you have kids? phil&ted’s lobster chair can easily clamp on to just about any dining table, making every restaurant suddenly baby-friendly. It’s also got a dishwasher safe tray (which your partner better be washing since it’s ahem, Mother’s Day), and a snug and secure 4-point over-the-shoulder safety harness for your little one. $89.99, Get it here. 4. Maternity or family photoshoot. “Honey, let’s get some family photos done.” Said no dad or dad-to-be, ever. We formally give you permission to book your favorite family or maternity photographer for a sweet session where you get to be the star. Hop on your local parenting listserv to get some mom-certified recommendations (Stylish & Hip Kids, above, is one of our NYC faves), or head over to Flytographer to find talented photogs in just about every locale. Prices vary. Get it here. 5. UrbanSitter Babysitting Membership Sometimes the best Mother’s Day gift is just a little me-time! Hire an UrbanSitter babysitter and go get yourself that manicure, SoulCycle session or glass of wine with your friends while your kiddo is safe and entertained by someone other than you. Use the code METIME for a $50 credit to use May 7-13 to get you started. Get it here. 6. Minted Custom Silhouette We bet you already have 50,000 photos of your little one, but how about a custom silhouette? Get on it, mom! Just upload your child’s side-profile photo and Minted does all the work, then sends you a gorgeous foil-pressed, letterpressed or standard print (framed!). Sick of your kids? You can even get one of your pet. We don’t judge. Starts at $82. Get it here. 7. No. 6 Frida Wedge Clogs A personal fave here at Well Rounded’s headquarters, No. 6 clogs are the best way to spend your Mother’s Day gift allowance. They’re comfy (a #momlife must), chic (there’s even an Instagram feed all about them) and totally collectible, which means even if you have 5 pairs already, you can always justify another. $285. Get it here. 8. Mom Staycation with Oasis We know you keep wanting to get away for a few days but it has to be The. Perfect. Trip. areweright? Don’t risk it on an airbnb that’s not all it’s cut out to be! We’re obsessed with all the cool apartments you can rent on Oasis, Hyatt’s new collection of hand-picked homes that are high-design and majorly luxe. Get a few mamas together for a raucous girlfriend getaway or plan a staycation around the corner and nap. Get it here. 9. Lipstick Queen Frog Prince Lipstick Because we know you don’t have all day to be hanging at the beauty counter, order yourself this Frog Prince lipstick; the emerald green transforms into a pretty shade of rosebud pink based on your personal warmth and pH, and it’s amazingly flattering to anyone who wears it. Plus, it’s made with antioxidants and botanical extracts in hydrating formulations that are basically perfect for motherhood. $25. Get it here. 10. Charity Donation to Every Mother Counts Just can’t decide what you want? Do another mother a solid by donating to Every Mother Counts, a non-profit organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. Think about it: $35 provides essential antenatal and delivery supplies to care for a woman in Tanzania OR 5 lattes. Come on, donate here. *This post was sponsored by Bravado Designs.
As mamas, we naturally become the magic-makers for our families. We sing the songs that make the waits seem shorter, dispense the kisses that help boo-boos hurt less, carry the seemingly bottomless bags of treasures, and find ways to turn even the most hum-drum days into something memorable.
Sometimes it's on a family vacation or when exploring a new locale, but often it's in our own backyards or living rooms. Here are 12 ways to create magical moments with kids no matter where your adventures take you.
1. Keep it simple
Mary Poppins may be practically perfect in every way, but―trust us―your most magical memories don't require perfection. Spend the morning building blanket forts or break out the cookie cutters to serve their sandwich in a fun shape and you'll quickly learn that, for kids, the most magical moments are often the simplest.
2. Get on their level
Sometimes creating a memorable moment can be as easy as getting down on the floor and playing with your children. So don't be afraid to get on your hands and knees, to swing from the monkey bars, or turn watching your favorite movie into an ultimate snuggle sesh.
3. Reimagine the ordinary
As Mary says, "the cover is not the book." Teach your child to see the world beyond initial impressions by encouraging them to imagine a whole new world as you play―a world where the laundry basket can be a pirate ship or a pile of blankets can be a castle.
4. Get a little messy
Stomp in muddy puddles. Break out the finger paint. Bake a cake and don't worry about frosting drips on the counter. The messes will wait, mama. For now, let your children―and yourself―live in these moments that will all too soon become favorite memories.
5. Throw out the plan
The best-laid plans...are rarely the most exciting. And often the most magical moments happen by accident. So let go of the plan, embrace the unexpected, and remember that your child doesn't care if the day goes according to the schedule.
6. Take it outside
There's never a wrong time of year to make magic outside. Take a stroll through a spring rainstorm, catch the first winter snowflakes on your tongue, or camp out under a meteor shower this summer. Mother Nature is a natural at creating experiences you'll both remember forever.
7. Share your childhood memories
Chances are if you found it magical as a child, then your kids will too. Introduce your favorite books and movies (pro tip: Plan a double feature with an original like Mary Poppins followed with the sequel, Mary Poppins Returns!) or book a trip to your favorite family vacation spot from the past. You could even try to recreate photos from your old childhood with your kids so you can hang on to the memory forever.
8. Just add music
Even when you're doing something as humdrum as prepping dinner or tidying up the living room, a little music has a way of upping the fun factor. Tell Alexa to cue up your favorite station for a spontaneous family dance party or use your child's favorite movie soundtrack for a quick game of "Clean and Freeze" to pick up toys at the end of the day.
9. Say "yes"
Sometimes it can feel like you're constantly telling your child "no." While it's not possible to grant every request (sorry, kiddo, still can't let you drive the car!), plan a "yes" day for a little extra magic. That means every (reasonable) request gets an affirmative response for 24 hours. Trust us―they'll never forget it.
10. Let them take the lead
A day planned by your kid―can you imagine that? Instead of trying to plan what you think will lead to the best memories, put your kid in the driver's seat by letting them make the itinerary. If you have more than one child, break up the planning so one gets to pick the activity while the other chooses your lunch menu. You just might end up with a day you never expected.
11. Ask more questions
Odds are, your child might not remember every activity you plan―but they will remember the moments you made them feel special. By focusing the conversation on your little one―their likes, dislikes, goals, or even just craziest dreams―you teach them that their perspective matters and that you are their biggest fan.
12. Turn a bad day around
Not every magical moment will start from something good. But the days where things don't go to plan can often turn out to be the greatest memories, especially when you find a way to turn even a negative experience into a positive memory. So don't get discouraged if you wake up to rain clouds on your beach day or drop the eggs on the floor before breakfast―take a cue from Mary Poppins and find a way to turn the whole day a little "turtle."
Mary Poppins Returns available now on Digital & out on Blue-ray March 19! Let the magic begin in your house with a night where everything is possible—even the impossible ✨
Keeping up with a skin care routine isn't as simple as it seems when you're a busy mama. When you're trying to bathe kids and get them to bed, or rushing out the door in the morning, the last thing on your to-do list is using a serum. Plus, figuring out which masks work for your skin type, or what is *really* worth that hefty price tag seems overwhelming.
Amazon launched its first-ever skin care line in collaboration with New York City-based dermatologist Dhaval Bhanusali called Belei. The launch features 12 products that can complete your skin care routine, from moisturizers and serums to cleansers and masks.
Our favorite features? (Aside from the fact that you can Prime these goodies straight to your door).
- Clean—free of sulfates, parabens and phthalates
- Affordable—everything is under $40
- Dermatologist tested + not tested on animals
- Offers satisfaction guarantee—if not satisfied, they'll refund within a year
Right now, each product has a 25% off coupon so it's the perfect time to try it out. Here are some we're adding to our cart:
1. Tripe-Peptide Eye Cream
For those inevitable nights with little sleep. Complete with caffeine to reduce puffiness and ingredients like shea butter to minimize the appearance of fine lines and dark circles.
2. Charcoal Balancing Mask
Have five extra minutes? Lather this on to absorb excess oil, deep clean, and balance your skin.
3. Retinol Refining Moisturizer
Retinol has so many benefits, from smoothing your skin to helping it retain moisture, but it's often come with a price—not this one.
4. Blemish Control Spot Treatment
You can always stop breakouts from happening, but you can fight blemishes with this.
5. Dark Spot Solution
Your body has gone through a lot and that usually means your hormones have fluctuated. For some, that causes dark spots or uneven skin tone. This is packed with rich ingredients to even everything out.
Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.
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Carrie Underwood and her husband, hockey player Mike Fisher, just welcomed their second child, little Jacob Bryan Fisher back in January, but as the face of a fitness apparel line, CALIA by Carrie Underwood, this mom of two is feeling a lot of pressure to get back in shape.
But she's recognizing that a lot of the pressure is coming from within herself, and so she's giving herself grace and time in her postpartum fitness journey, as it hasn't been as easy to meet her fitness goals as it was after her first pregnancy.
"As I was working out today, I realized that for the past 11(ish) months, my body has not belonged to me. It was a perfect home for Jacob. And even now it belongs to him every time he drinks his milk," she wrote in a recent Instagram post.
"I promise to stop analyzing every angle and every curve and every pound and every meal. I'm going to keep staying the path because it is a journey and as long as I'm always working towards my goals, one day I'll reach them. I'm going to take it day by day, smile at the girl in the mirror, and work out—because I love this body and all it has done and will continue to do!"
Her words are inspiring, and so is her track record as a mom who cares about fitness, but cares about connecting with her family even more.
Back in 2018, before Jacob was in the picture, Underwood posted pics of her oldest, then 2-year-old Isaiah on Instagram, trying to work out with mom and dad. He uses a resistance band with his mom and tries push-ups with his dad, hockey player Mike Fisher. "My boys make workouts fun (and a bit less productive, but that's ok)! #staythepath" she wrote in her post.
It's totally okay to want to get back in shape after having a baby, but it's not okay to beat yourself up for being human. Pregnancy and birth transform a woman's body, and we cannot expect ourselves to run as fast as we did before or fit into our old jeans right away.
As Tone It Up co-founder Katrina Scott said on a recent episode The Motherly Podcast, Sponsored by Prudential, "We need to change the conversation with everyone and with ourselves and realize how cool it is that our bodies are different."
It's clear that Underwood is changing the conversation in her brain, and by sharing her thoughts with her 8.4 million Instagram followers she's also changing the way her community thinks about postpartum recovery.
Thanks for your honesty, Carrie.
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No parent wants to imagine their child dying. To think that your little bundle of joy would pass away before they could live a full life is unfathomable. But when a parent does lose a child, it can feel like a shock to the system, and recovering is a life-long process we need to talk about.
In 2018 Catastrophe actor Rob Delaney revealed that his 2-year-old son Henry died after a long battle with brain cancer. This week, speaking at a fundraiser for families with seriously ill children, Delaney spoke candidly about how hard the last 14 months have been, the Evening Standard reports.
"I'm a mess. My child died 14 months ago and I'm basically a bag of wet rubbish. I need a lot of help. It has been very hard. It comes in waves. I've learned to not control how the waves come. Right now I'm sad a lot," he said, explaining that he shares this openly in the hopes that "if a bereaved parent or bereaved sibling reads this, I want them to know that it's okay that they feel terrible, sad, confused and so brutally humbled."
In a previous Facebook post about Henry's death, the 42-year-old comedian shared that Henry had been diagnosed with a brain tumor shortly after his first birthday, and had undergone surgery to remove the tumor, as well as additional treatment. But the cancer returned and he passed away shortly after.
As a way to cope with his loss, Delaney wrote that he focuses his energy on his family—his two other sons and his wife, Leah. He said in his post, “I am astonished by the love-in-action displayed by Henry's mom and his brothers. They are why I will endeavor to not go mad with grief. I don't want to miss out on their beautiful lives. I'm greedy for more experiences with them."
Delaney's message about grieving is so important, especially for other bereaved parents. In that one statement, Delaney highlights one big, undeniable truth: How a parent decides to mourn the loss of their child is a deeply personal choice.
“Mourning is the outward or public expression of grief, a means of sharing grief with people who also are grieving or who want to support you," writes oncologist Dr. Edward Creagan for the Mayo Clinic. “Religious rituals, cultural traditions and personal beliefs often shape how we mourn.
“Whatever form it takes, mourning is a critical process that can help you lessen the intensity of grief and help you adapt to your loss."
For Sandy Peckinpah, a certified grief recovery specialist, mourning the loss of her 16-year-old son meant turning to a journal. In an essay for HuffPost, Peckinpah writes that after her son's death from misdiagnosed bacterial meningitis, she felt as though her pain was “visible to others, and I would forever be wearing grief as a mask and a tagline... 'I'm Sandy Peckinpah and I've lost a child.'"
"Then a friend gave me a journal and said, 'Write. Just write,'" Peckinpah continues. On the first page, she could only write one sentence: “My son died and my life will never be the same."
“The next day, I wrote a paragraph, and each day after that I found words came more easily. My journal became my safe haven to empty the well of my sorrow, pouring tears of ink onto paper. And for a little while, I could let my emotions rest," shares Peckinpah.
Whether it's pouring yourself into your family or into a journal, there's one thing for sure: Grief is not a one-way street. Grief is a twisting, never-ending highway with exits and on-ramps and merging lanes and service roads.
Over time, your feelings of grief will subside or, at least, “feel less constant as if it's moved into the background of your emotions," Creagan writes. “But long after a death," he continues, “you may also find yourself caught off guard by a moment of profound grief, for example, on the anniversary of the death, during holidays or on your loved one's birthday."
In other words: You never know when the pain of your loss will hit you—or when you're even ready to move on.
And that's okay, bereaved parents. It's okay if you don't go “mad with grief"—and it's okay if you do. It's okay if you break down in your kitchen—and if you laugh at your friend's bad dad joke. Grief is not uniform.
But just remember: You don't have to walk this journey alone.
[A version of this post was first published February 12, 2018. It has been updated.]
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Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard are like the definition of #couplegoals, but they both say this isn't a case of finding "the one", it's a case of finding someone and then working really hard at a relationship.
"We definitely had to work really hard at being a couple because we're both incredibly, painfully stubborn, and we're pretty much opposites," Shepard tells People.
Shepard didn't always believe in marriage, and early in their relationship Bell accepted that she would not be changing his mind on that. But he came to understand that marriage was important to her and did eventually propose for that reason.
"Forget the tradition or history of marriage as a concept, you knowing I was doing something that I didn't want to do because I loved you was a big sign for you," he said in an interview with Bell by his side.
Fast forward a few years and the pair are now raising two daughters, running a new baby care business, Hello Bello, and of course still working on TV shows, movies and podcasts. But more than anything, they work on connecting with each other.
"All these movies from the '80s taught us that it's love at first sight, and it is supposed to be easy and [that] all you have to do is find that person," Bell told People. "It took me a while to realize, 'Oh, that was such a lie,' because things that you work really, really, really hard for always yield the best results."
Her comments echo her previous thoughts on her marriage and the commitment it takes to make it work.
"This isn't a special fairy tale," Bell recently told Parade.
Shepard agrees. "This is two people who worked really hard and it's attainable for you if you work really hard in your marriage too," he says.
For these two, sometimes working hard means committing to a therapy session instead of a date night, something Bell told Good Housekeeping last year.
"If something pisses you off, you've got to find the balls to bring it up immediately and say it in a way that the other person can hear," she said. "If you're still uncomfortable… you say, 'I need to have a therapy session with you.' There may be something that really hurt your feelings that you're scared to bring up. Go talk about it with a therapist who can mediate. You'll walk out of the room feeling like you're [on the same] team."
If there's one thing that's clear about Bell and Shepard, it's that they are definitely on the same team (and that team is winning).
They might not think they're #couplegoals, but we still do.
[A version of this post was originally published March 8, 2019. It has been updated.]