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When I think about life pre-motherhood….well, I almost can’t remember it. In fact, after I pitched this idea to my friends at Well Rounded, I had to consult my friends because, well, I'm a mom... and my brain is gone. Seriously in the biggest case of writer's block and baby brain (I'm 6 months pregnant) I've had thus far, I was stumped. I couldn't remember why I was in the kitchen, let alone think of a humorous, witty, relatable list of things that have drastically changed post-motherhood, even though I live it on the daily. Thank God for girlfriends. They supplied me with long, laughable emails about their life with kids that not only made me feel normal, but also helped jog my memory of items I'd previously wanted to include, as well as some new ones. Hopefully these will resonate with you mamas too.

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Here are 14 things that are totally different now that you’re a mom..

1. YOUR BIRTHDAY

Pre-kids: You celebrate for an entire week (or were you that girl who tortured everyone with a full month?). There's your actual day and dinner with your closest, weekend drinks with everyone, the mani/pedi pow wow to prep for the party, some shopping for a celebratory outfit, a blowout, makeup... And let's not forget the day-after boozy brunch. It's an endless week of events, and it's all about you.

Post-kids: You're lucky if you get a card. There's no week-long celebration and no party, and the sweets are reserved for little ones who think it's all about them, and then you have to deal with the aftermath of the sugar crash. The thing is, you don't really care. Cause it's not about you anymore, and you're perfectly fine with that. In fact, you would not want to go back to your former, narcissistic self for anything in the world.

2. BRUNCH

Pre-kids: You do brunch every weekend, sometimes twice. After rolling out of bed around 11, you slowly pull yourself together and meet your friends at noon for a long, leisurely hair-of-the-dog, grease sesh and recap about the night before. At least, the parts of it you can recall.

Post-kids: By noon, you've had a full day. You've been up since 6, breakfast and lunch are over, and you're trying to figure out how you'll get through the rest of the endlessly long day. There's no time for a brunch. And if there is, the times you attempt it, with kid in tow, you regret it with the interrupted conversations, endless activities (crayons, cartoons, crying), complete meltdowns and then wanting but not being able to take a long nap after several drinks.

3. WEEKENDS

Pre-kids: You live for them! Life is about just getting through the week so the real fun can begin.

Post-kids: What are those? Downtime? Relaxation? They're two endlessly long days with no activities and no childcare. Just you and your kiddo who wants to do something new every few minutes. You can't wait for the weekend to be over so they can get back to school and you, your life.

4. VACATION

Pre-kids: What you've been looking forward to for months. The morning of, you pack a bag, sip a drink when not napping on the plane, never want to leave but come back relaxed and refreshed.

Post-kids: You've been planning it for months, pack a week out and dread the travel. By the time you arrive, you're already exhausted and can't wait to head back home to a normal routine.

5. SICK DAYS

Pre-kids: Whether you're actually sick or not, it doesn't matter. Staying home from work, sleeping, watching bad TV, ordering in food, it's all enjoyable.

Post-kids: They don't exist. Except that they do, and they're far worse. Caring for a kid while sick is a special kind of torture. You'd rather go to work.

6. HAND BAG

Pre-kids: You save up for a designer one and take immaculate care of it.

Post-kids: It sits in the closet while your diaper bag becomes your go-to carryall saturated with soggy Cheerios, twenty snacks, a random sock and three Trolls.

7. WORKOUT GEAR

Pre-kids: You wear it to work out before showering and putting on a new, cute, cutting-edge outfit.

Post-kids: You wear it 24/7 without actually making it to the gym - or the shower.

8. TRIPS TO TARGET

Pre-kids: An uneventful errand to pick up a few things.

Post-kids: A vacation. You escape there, sans kids, and stroll the aisles like you're walking on the beach. You go for one thing, come home with twelve. It feels like a little slice of Heaven.

9. YOUR PLAYLIST

Pre-kids: All the latest hits, curated lists for each mood and activity.

Post-kids: Does the Paw Patrol theme song count?

10. HAPPY HOUR

Pre-kids: An entryway into the evening. You're just getting warmed up, wetting your whistle, look out.

Post-kids: The main event. If you start by 4, finish by 7, in bed by 9, you can function tomorrow morning.

11. DINNER

Pre-kids: 9pm? Where should we go? Let's do some apps for the table. Dessert? Yes, please. Followed by after-dinner drinks.

Post-kids: You finish the kids' refusals at 5:30, eat a fistful of popcorn and some cookies around 8 and call it a night.

12. GAG REFLEX

Pre-kids: The smell of vomit made you vomit.

Post-kids: You walk around with spit up and other questionable stains on you all day with zero interest in the effort of changing it.

13. HIDE AND SEEK

Pre-kids: A game you played as a child.

Post-kids: A game you play with your child. Except, often, you're hiding from them in the bathroom, closet, pantry, without their knowledge that there's even a game going on. Just five minutes of peace is all you need but you're only gonna get it if you disappear.

14. BEDTIME

Pre-kids: Whenever you're done binging on your latest Netflix obsession. That is, when you stay in. When out, usually before the sun comes up.

Post-kids: When you fall asleep before yours kids while tucking them in. Then you wake up in the middle of the night, get on your phone, fall into a rabbit hole, go to bed hours later and are exhausted in the morning, when they wake, before the sun comes up.

Natalie Thomas is an Emmy-nominated TV producer, Huffington Post, Today Show, The Bump, Hey Mama, Well Rounded, Cafe Mom and Womanista contributor, and former editor and spokesperson of Us Weekly. She's traveled the world covering events like the Oscars, Fashion Week, Golden Globes, Cannes and Sundance Film Festivals and interviewed everyone from Brad Pitt and Oprah to Prince William. She's also a lifestyle and mom blogger at Nat's Next Adventure.

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[Editor's note: While Motherly loves seeing and sharing photos of baby Archie and other adorable babies when the images are shared with their parents' consent, we do not publish pictures taken without a parent's consent. Since these pictures were taken without Markle's permission while she was walking her dogs, we're not reposting them.]

Meghan Markle is a trendsetter for sure. When she wears something the world notices, and this week she was photographed wearing her son Archie in a baby carrier. The important thing to know about the photos is that they show the Duchess out for a walk with her two dogs while wearing Archie in a blue Ergo. She's not hands-free baby wearing, but rather wearing an Ergo while also supporting Archie with her arm, as the carrier isn't completely tight.

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When British tabloids published the pictures many babywearing devotees and internet commenters offered opinions on how Markle is holding her son in the photo, but as baby gear guru Jamie Grayson notes, "it is none of our business."

In a post to his Facebook page, Grayson (noted NYC baby gear expert) explained that in the last day or so he has been inundated with hundreds of messages about how Markle is wearing the carrier, and that while he's sure many who messaged with concerns had good intentions he hopes to inject some empathy into the conversation.

As Grayson points out, these are paparazzi photos, so it was a private moment not meant for world-wide consumption. "This woman has the entire world watching her every move and action, especially now that she and Harry are leaving the umbrella of the royal family, and I honestly hope they are able to find some privacy and peace. So let's give her space," he explains, adding that "while those pictures show something that is less than ideal, it's going to be okay. I promise. It's not like she's wearing the baby upside down."

He's right, Archie was safe and not in danger and who knows why the straps on Markle's carrier were loose (maybe she realized people were about to take pictures and so she switched Archie from forward-facing, or maybe the strap just slipped.)

Grayson continues: "When you are bringing up how a parent is misusing a product (either in-person or online) please consider your words. Because tone of voice is missing in text, it is important to choose your words carefully because ANYTHING can be misconstrued. Your good intentions can easily be considered as shaming someone."

Grayson's suggestions injected some much-needed empathy into this discourse and reminded many that new parents are human beings who are just trying to do their best with responsibilities (and baby gear) that isn't familiar to them.

Babywearing has a ton of benefits for parents and the baby, but it can take some getting used to. New parents can research safety recommendations so they feel confident. In Canada, where the pictures in question were snapped, the government recommends parents follow these safety guidelines when wearing infants in carriers:

  • Choose a product that fits you and your baby properly.
  • Be very careful putting a baby into—or pulling them out of—a carrier or sling. Ask for help if you need it.
  • When wearing a carrier or sling, do not zip up your coat around the baby because it increases the risk of overheating and suffocation.
  • Be particularly careful when using a sling or carrier with babies under 4 months because their airways are still developing.
  • Do not use a carrier or sling during activities that could lead to injury such as cooking, running, cycling, or drinking hot beverages.

Health Canada also recommends parents "remember to keep your baby visible and kissable at all times" and offers the following tips to ensure kissability.

"Keep the baby's face in view. Keep the baby in an upright position. Make sure the baby's face is not pressed into the fabric of the carrier or sling, your body, or clothing. Make sure the baby's chin is not pressed into their chest. Make sure the baby's legs are not bunched up against their stomach, as this can also restrict breathing. Wear the baby snug enough to support their back and hold onto the baby when bending over so they don't fall out of the carrier or sling. Check your baby often."

Meghan Markle is a new mom who was caught off guard during a moment she didn't expect her baby to be photographed. Every parent (no matter how famous) has a right to privacy for their child and the right to compassion from other parents. If we want people to learn how to safely babywear we can't shame them for trying.

Mama, if you've been shamed for wearing your baby "wrong" don't feel like you need to stop. Follow the tips above or check in with local baby-wearing groups to get advice and help. You've got this.

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At one of the most important nights of their career, celebrities made sure their hairstyles stayed put together at the 26th Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards. As a collective, the hairstyles were beautiful—french twists, bobs, pin curls and killer cuts filled the red carpet on the night to remember.

And surprisingly, the secret wasn't just the stylist team, mama. For many of the celebs, much of the look can be attributed to a $5 hairspray—yes, you read that correctly.

Dove style+care micro mist extra hold hairspray was one of the top stylist picks for celebs for a lightweight, flexible finishing spray, leaving tons of body and bounce. Unlike most hairsprays that can take several minutes (even a half hour) to set the look, this extra-hold one contains a fast-drying, water-free formula that helps protect your hair from frizz in minutes. As a result, celebrities were able to hold the shape of their styles, with mega volume.

"Dove hairspray works well by holding curls in place with maximum hold and ultra shine, while still maintaining soft, touchable texture that is easy to brush out," says Dennis Gots for Dove Hair, who styled Phoebe Waller-Bridge for the SAG Awards. Translation: It's great for on-the-go mamas who want a shiny hold that lasts, but doesn't feel sticky.

Here are a few awesome hairstyles that were finished with the drugstore Dove style+care micro mist extra hold hairspray at the SAG awards:

Lili Reinhart's French twist

"I sprayed Dove style+care micro mist extra hold hairspray all over Lili's hair to lock in the shape and boost the shine factor, making the whole look really sleek," says stylist Renato Campora who was inspired to create the look by Reinhart's romantic gown. "Lili's look is sleek and sharp with a romantic twist."

Cynthia Erivo's finger waves

"This look is classic Cynthia! I knew I wanted to keep it simple, but it's actually quite detailed and intricate up close," says stylist Coree Moreno. "While the hair was still wet (yes—I needed to work fast!) I generously spritzed on the hairspray for all night hold without flaking. The hair continued to air dry perfectly while she finished up makeup."

Nathalie Emmanuel's curly high pony

"Nathalie wanted a retro Hollywood glam for the SAG Awards, so I used her natural texture and created a high pony with loose tendrils framing her face and neckline," says stylist, Neeko. "I finessed the look with the hairspray to lock in the style while keeping her hair looking and feeling touchable."

Phoebe Waller-Bridge's slicked back bob

"I used duckbill clips on different areas of her hair to keep the shape and curl while the hair air dried. Air drying the hair allowed for maximum shine and then I sprayed lots of hairspray all over to truly lock in the sleek shape and enhance the shine," says stylist Dennis Gots, who was inspired by a 90s vibe for Waller-Bridge's look.

Dove Style+Care Micro Mist Extra Hold Hairspray

Dove Style+Care Micro Mist Extra Hold Hairspray

Who doesn't want a hairspray that makes your hair feel as good as it looks? Dove Style+Care Extra Hold Hairspray holds body, volume and enhances shine. It gives your hair touchable hold while fighting frizz, even in damp or humid conditions.

$4.89

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

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We often think of the unequal gender division of unpaid labor as a personal issue, but a new report by Oxfam proves that it is a global issue—and that a handful of men are becoming incredibly wealthy while women and girls bear the burden of unpaid work and poverty.

According to Oxfam, the unpaid care work done by women and girls has an economic value of $10.8 trillion per year and benefits the global economy three times more than the entire technology industry.

"Women are supporting the market economy with cheap and free labor and they are also supporting the state by providing care that should be provided by the public sector," the report notes.

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The unpaid work of hundreds of millions of women is generating massive wealth for a couple of thousand (predominantly male) billionaires. "What is clear is that this unpaid work is fueling a sexist economic system that takes from the many and puts money in the pockets of the few," the report states.

Max Lawson is Oxfam International's Head of Inequality Policy. In an interview with Vatican News, he explained that "the foundation of unpaid work done by the poorest women generates enormous wealth for the economy," and that women do billions of hours of unpaid care work (caring for children, the sick, the elderly and cooking, cleaning) for which they see no financial reward but which creates financial rewards for billionaires.

Indeed, the report finds that globally 42% of women can't work for money because of their unpaid care responsibilities.

In the United States, women spend 37% more time doing unpaid care work than men, Oxfam America notes in a second report released in cooperation with the Institute for Women's Policy Research.

"It's an economy that is built on the backs of women and of poor women and their labour, whether it's poorly paid labour or even unpaid labour, it is a sexist economy and it's a broken economy, and you can only fix the gap between the rich and the poor if at the same time you fix the gap between women and men," Lawson explains.

According to Lawson, you can't fight economic inequality without fighting gender equality, and he says 2020 is the year to do both. Now is a great time to start, because as Motherly has previously reported, no country in the world is on track to eliminate gender inequality by 2030 (one of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by 193 United Nations member countries back in 2015) and no country will until the unpaid labor of women and girls is addressed.

"Governments around the world can, and must, build a human economy that is feminist and benefits the 99%, not only the 1%," the Oxfam report concludes.

The research suggests that paid leave, investments in childcare and the care of older adults and people with disabilities as well as utilizing technology to make working more flexible would help America close the gap.

(For more information on how you can fight for paid leave, affordable childcare and more this year check out yearofthemother.org.)

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It's been more than a decade since federal guidelines were implemented to ensure nursing mothers have the time and space to pump at work, but as Motherly has previously reported, many mothers still find it extremely challenging to maintain a pumping schedule in the workplace.

This week a new study out of the University of Georgia showed that while most women report having access to private spaces and break times for pumping there are still significant "gaps in access to workplace breastfeeding resources" and the researchers recommend employers take action to reduce breastfeeding disparities.

"We know that there are benefits of breastfeeding for both the mother and the infant, and we know that returning to work is a significant challenge for breastfeeding continuation," says Rachel McCardel, a doctoral student at UGA's College of Public Health and lead study author. "There is a collective experience that we wanted to explore and learn how can we make this better."

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The challenges of breastfeeding in 2020

There is a lot of pressure on mothers to exclusively breastfeed, but nearly half of mothers feel like they must make a choice between breastfeeding and keeping their job. A baby's mother is the best person to decide whether the infant should be breastfed, formula-fed or both, but it should be her choice. When workplace supports for breastfeeding are not in place many mothers feel like they don't have a choice at all.

Public health campaigns and social norms reinforce breastfeeding as the best choice, but a recent survey from Areoflow found that 1 in 3 people (31%) "do not believe employers should be required to provide a lactation room" but at the same time, 90% of those surveyed stated that they believe women should be allowed to pump at work.

For too many women, those contradicting messages mean that pumping at work is an uncomfortable experience, something they need to do nearly in secret. It's an example of the many ways in which mothers are supposed to parent as though they don't work but pretend they aren't parents when at work.

Calling for change in 2020

Half the states in America explicitly protect the rights of nursing parents in the workplace, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and federal law also provides protections to nursing workers under the Affordable Care Act. Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act—but millions of working mothers are not covered by those protections, and the new research out of the University of Georgia's College of Public Health suggests that even mothers who are need more support from their employers.

Heather Padilla is an assistant professor at UGA's College of Public Health and the co-author of the study. She recommends employers "designate a person who is responsible for making sure that women who are preparing for the birth of their baby understand what resources they have available to them when they return to work," she said.

Supervisors or HR directors could fill this role, and would fill a gap between company policy and personal experience. Padilla and McCardel found that many women "said they hadn't expected to get much help from their employers, and there was a general lack of communication about the resources available to them."

The work Padilla and McCardel have done reinforces the work we at Motherly are doing: In 2020 we are calling for change, and demanding support for mothers feeding their babies.

Mamas need to work + babies need to eat

For many American mothers work is not a choice, it is a necessity. Mothers are increasingly the breadwinners for their families and it is very hard for mothers, even those with working partners, to be a stay-at-home parent in 2020.

We need paid family leave and protection from breastfeeding discrimination. We need employers to support working mothers who choose to pump, and we need to reduce the stigmatization of formula feeding.

Mama, we see you pumping in your office and mixing formula bottles to take to day care. We see how hard it is and we support you. Know that no matter what your baby is eating—bottled breast milk, formula, or some combination (because breastfeeding doesn't have to be all or nothing)—we know you are working so hard to provide it.

We have declared 2020 the #yearofthemother. Join us, and call for change because McCardel is right—this is a collective experience and it is one we can make better for the mothers who come after us.

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