Dear Mom BFF

Peanut's app founder Michelle Kennedy writes a letter to her mom BFF.

Dear Mom BFF

Dear Mom bff, Weird to think when we started on this motherhood journey, we didn’t know each other, that we had to start this terrifying, wonderful journey apart. Those early days of Fin arriving, without you around, were tough. I looked at Fin, and he looked back at me. I wasn’t sure what I was meant to do. Did he know who I was? Did he care? Would he ever, ever sleep? Time went so slowly, it felt exhausting. Feed, change, sleep, repeat. Hearing my own voice, a lot. Walking out, seeing other women together, wondering what they were talking about, what they were laughing about, how I could speak to them! Finding the courage to speak to other women, then struggling to move the conversation past sleep routines and poop because we didn’t really have anything in common. Then, the long emotional walks home wondering what I was doing wrong. Memories of being at school flooding back, constantly assessing situations to see whether I could ‘fit in’. After all, not all women are the same -- with different interests, values, points of view. And of course, not all moms are the same. That artificial coming together because ‘you're a mom, I’m a mom, we need to hang out’ can be awkward and forced, and make you feel lonely all over again! I was tired of faking it and pretending to be someone I wasn’t, just so that I could spend time with other adults and not be on my own. What I really, really needed was to find someone likeminded whom I could be honest and authentic with. So that I could reclaim that part of my identity again. And then, there was wonderful you. You, who looked at me wide eyed and said “bit boring isn’t it?” and laughed. You who nodded and gave me a hug when I said I felt like I was getting it all wrong. You, who stuffed cucumber into Fin’s mouth and danced around in front of our boys to distract them when I was trying to have a work call. You, who fed me wine when I complained of feeling guilty that I was happy being back at work and sad I wasn’t with Fin. You, who made me feel like me. We occasionally talked about poop, sure. But we mostly talked about everything else: bad TV, places we'd want to travel to, family, friends, past, future hopes... You didn't care if I had a bare face or if my house wasn't tidy. And you didn't care that I'd sometimes change the tip back to Fin when I wonder if it was normal for his favorite color to be black. Because of you, I now feel that Motherhood is a chapter in my book, not the only one. Sometimes it's challenging, confusing, and even scary; but it’s amazing and exciting. And it became a lot less daunting when I was able to share my journey with you, whom I love and respect. That's all I needed -- the support of a woman who wasn't just a mother too, but someone I could relate to. And that's what you gave to me and even gave me the inspiration to find my calling: helping other women find their network of support -- their BFFs. I really believe that amazing things happen when women come together, and our relationship is proof of that. Thanks, mama. I owe you, a lot; and I love you, a lot. xoxo, Michelle


Michelle Kennedy is the CEO and co-founder of Peanut. She started Peanut after struggling to meet other mamas she could relate to while also working. After starting her career as an M&A lawyer at leading international law firm Mishcon de Reya, she joined dating app Badoo and was integral to the launch of Bumble. Michelle is also a mama to her 4-year-old Peanut, Finlay.

This year many of us have a tighter budget than usual given (looks around) everything that has happened. Coupled with the uncertainty of what Halloween might look like, many of us are reluctant to spend money on brand new costumes that our kids will outgrow by next year. I get it. But I also know that many, like me, love Halloween so much. I thought about skipping the celebration this year, but that just feels like too big of a disappointment in an already disappointing year.

That's why I started looking into alternative costumes—something my kids will be able to wear once the clock hits November, and maybe even hand down to siblings and cousins in the coming years. At the same time, I'm not a DIY person, so I wanted outfits that didn't require any sewing or hot glue. Last year I attempted using one to build my son's Care Bear costume, and of course, I burnt my hand.

So with some creativity (and the brainpower of my colleagues), we came up with these costumes that are both fun and practical, made with items that your children will be able to (and want to!) wear year around:

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


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My 3-year-old is eating peanut butter toast with banana for breakfast (his request), and we are officially running late for preschool. We need to get in the car soon if we want to miss the morning traffic, but he has decided that he no longer wants the food that he begged for two minutes earlier. What started off as a relatively calm breakfast has turned into a battle of wills.

"You're going to be hungry," I say, realizing immediately that he could care less. I can feel my frustration rising, and even though I'm trying to stay calm, I'm getting snappy and irritable. In hindsight, I can see so many opportunities that fell through the cracks to salvage this morning, but at the moment… there was nothing.

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