We’re big fans of the new mama “glow” -- new baby as an accessory makes you impossibly glamorous. Which is great because in those first few weeks postpartum, you’re probably not thinking much about what you’re wearing. But we’ve got news for you, mama: if you had a hankering for fashion before, having a baby is not going to make it go away, for better or worse. But it might make it harder to find time to shop, harder to find stuff that fits, and harder to imagine possibly being chic while balancing baby and breastfeeding. Morgan Hutchinson gives us hope. Her online shop, Bu Ru (meaning “breastfeed” in Mandarin), offers a collection of ready-to-wear for new and nursing mothers that’s so smartly curated, you’d hardly know it was for new and nursing mothers. “Becoming a mom is a wonderful gift - but the toll that it takes on a body and a wardrobe cannot be denied,” says the Kentucky mama to Olive, 14 months. “I remember feeling lost when I picked up a Vogue after Olive was born. Something that had always been a source of inspiration and excitement was now intimidating and overwhelming.” To help make sense of the chaos, Hutchinson -- a former lingerie designer and stylist -- has hand-picked the best and brightest that the nursing fashion world has to offer, as well as breastfeeding and pump-friendly options from the some of our favorite contemporary labels. And just in case you’re not quite ready to pick up that issue of Vogue, Hutchinson provides fashion inspiration in gorgeous modeling spreads throughout the site (and here!). Yes, that’s her showing off her favorite looks and proving that yes, a breastfeeding mom can dress like a knockout and look insanely gorgeous. Here, Hutchinson tells us more about Bu Ru, and gets us pining for fashion again, even with baby in tow. See below for an exclusive WRNY Bu Ru discount, plus check out this week’s giveaway: Hutchinson’s personal new mama favorites selected especially for WRNY! Why is it such a challenge for new mamas to find good clothes, especially if they're nursing? As fashion trends increasingly cater to a younger crowd, while the age of new mothers is on the rise, it poses quite the challenge of what to wear as a new mom. Crop tops and teeny tiny shorts are clearly not appropriate for mommy & me classes. I also think it is difficult because a new mom feels that she has been out of the "game" for almost a year. It can shake your confidence a bit. Which new trend should I try? Which should I avoid? What will fit me? What will be a choking hazard to my baby? Then, add nursing to the mix, and you can eliminate the majority of dresses, sweaters, and even some t-shirts. Moms also give so much of themselves to making the lives of their little ones (and the people they love) as safe and happy as possible. And whether a mom is nursing or not, she has very little "me" time. I wanted to make the shopping experience easier and less time consuming and I wanted to help take the struggle out of getting dressed in the morning. Fashion should be fun, not stressful -- empowering, not intimidating. What elements must each garment have that make it ideal for this customer? As a new, nursing mother, my day consisted of opening my top every three hours to feed my little Olive -- followed by the very likely event of being covered in spit-up. I realized immediately that the mommy lifestyle has its own set of wardrobe requirements. For breastfeeding moms in particular, "easy-access" is most important. Stripping down to your skivvies is not a very realistic or convenient option. Being able to discreetly access your breasts is key to not feeling like a shut-in and becomes even more important when it is time to get back to the office after maternity leave. "Pump-friendly" clothes are often more challenging because you have to access both boobs at once! I think any mom, nursing or not, appreciates a washable garment. Being a mom is messy! We try to find products with a "washable" care tag, but these days they are fewer and fewer. Using products from The Laundress and the hand-wash cycle of a front-loading washing machine, we actually wash many of our styles with a "dry-clean only" care label with great success. Last but not least, a mom needs to be comfortable. The good news is that this no longer has to mean wearing 10-year old sweats and a t-shirt from college. Brands like Sam & Lavi and Tucker offer flowy but flattering silhouettes and chic elastic waist pants. How do you curate this unique combination of breastfeeding/maternity brands vs. contemporary brands? After having Olive, I had new mom product overload. It seemed like emails about a new line of organic this or eco-friendly that filled my inbox every day. So with our breastfeeding/maternity brands, I was very careful to choose items that I truly believe will help make life easier for a mom. Products like the S'well bottles are great for everyone, but finding a chic way to keep breast milk cold for 24 hours blew my mind! And, the Active Labor Gown (basically a DVF wrap dress to give birth in) is one of the most clever products I have seen in awhile. I guess I just didn't see a reason to not sell the very practical items that moms need alongside the items that moms want like David Lerner leggings and Rachel Pally caftans. What are some of the details in contemporary brands that make them ideal for a breastfeeding or new mom? For breastfeeding moms, snap-fronts and zippers are a lifesaver. When you have a squirmy baby in one arm, it is nice to be able to easily open your blouse with one hand. I think all moms (nursing or not) should have a plethora of transitional pants...by this I mean pants that can be worn with heels or flats -- no hemming required. The cropped length is a great option, but I am particularly fond of the cuffed look...especially if it has an elastic waist! I think accessories can be tough for new moms. Before Olive, my go to accessory typically consisted of an arm (or arms) full of bangles. Now my "bangle bar" is more of an art piece as it gets very little wear time. Big jewelry sort of gets in the way with little ones. Now I often use color as my accessory, maybe in the form of a bag. I love the cobalt blue Knocked Up Baby Bag from Rebecca Minkoff -- functional but fun too! How would you describe your own style? My style is a bit eclectic, a bit girly with an edge, and at times, a bit over-the-top. I tend to dress hi-low. Last week I paired a Chanel blazer with our $50 track pants from the B.P. Collection. I also find comfort (and an added confidence) with a strong red lip. It just makes me feel put together -- even if my hair is in desperate need of washing! I wear heels more often than is convenient as a mom, but I just can't seem to give them up. My feet get confused in flats. Who's your mom fashion inspiration? I don't know that I can pick just one mom fashion inspiration -- a few stand out for different reasons. Kate Hudson for making it look effortless. She is always just the right amount of put together - never overdone. Rachel Roy for her modern take on classics. Carine Roitfeld and Julia Restoin Roitfeld, for quite possibly being the most fashionable and sexy mother/daughter duo. And finally (although she is not real, nor a great example of a mother) Betty Draper for her iconic 1960's glam. I am a sucker for false eyelashes and a teasing comb. What Bu Ru items are must-haves for a new mom? 1. A classic white button-up shirt. Bu Ru’s picks range from $50-$298. 2. Black leggings (Bu Ru styles range from $25-130) or a seasonless pair of black elastic waist pants ($50-298). 3. A sexy lace nursing bra. Ours from cake lingerie can be worn long after you stop nursing. 4. An easy, throw-on coat. BURU will always have season appropriate trench coats and classic jackets. They are the perfect cover up. 5. A wrap dress. It takes you from the office to drinks with the hubby to weekday errands with the little ones. 6. A statement piece. Buy something that makes you feel like a girl again! Metallic gold pants perhaps (elastic waist even) or a classic LBND (Little Black Nursing Dress). Shop Bu Ru is letting WRNY readers in on an exclusive 15% discount on the whole site! As if you needed another reason to go shopping. (Discount code: WRNY15). Homepage images by Eden Ink Photography. Images in story text by Lindsey Belle.
Jessica Pallay is the director of event programming & operations at Motherly and the co-founder of the pregnancy community Well Rounded, which was acquired by Motherly in 2019. She's an experienced writer, editor and content marketer, and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Vogue.com, Cheddar and more. She lives in Brooklyn with her two daughters, Libby & Elsie, and her husband Andrew. You can follow her here.
Creating your baby registry is one of the most exciting getting-ready-for-baby tasks a mama takes part in (other than, you know, growing a life). But even though sorting through adorably teeny this and itsy bitsy that can be loads of fun, that doesn't change the fact that there are SO many products from which to choose—not to mention slight variations in version for each. And how do parents know if you even need that *very specific* item to begin with, since each baby's likes are so different? It helps to have an expert guiding you through the what's-actually-worth-it process, whether it's veteran parents in your life who will likely offer up suggestions, or stores like buybuy BABY that handpick the must-have options and make registry building super easy for you.
From strollers to car seats and swings (because you'll definitely be needing a swing at some point), here are our top picks for first-time parents of the items you'll be glad you put on your baby registry, trust us.
UPPAbaby VISTA stroller
The best recommendation is the one from someone you trust and if you ask around, it won't take long for you to learn that UPPAbaby® is one of the most beloved stroller brands by new and seasoned moms alike. The VISTA is their crème de la crème, and it comes with all sorts of high quality features (think an ultra-sturdy frame and all-wheel suspension to help absorb all those bumps on the road) that will keep your babe comfortable no matter where your walk takes you. Plus, it comes in a bunch of great colors and transitions to a double as your family grows.
Chicco KeyFit 30 infant car seat
When it comes to keeping your little one safe, a car seat is probably the most important piece of gear you'll buy. While you'll hopefully never need to test it out, the KeyFit® seat keeps your little peanut extra secure with things like side impact protection—plus, thanks to handy bubble indicators, installing it correctly doesn't require a rocket scientist[JS9] . It's all about making your life easier while helping you breathe easier, too!
4moms mamaRoo classic infant seat
All hail the infant swing 🙌. Whether your cute new bundle is generally calm or has more of a defiant streak, chances are there'll be a time when you need some hands-free soothing. Enter the mamaRoo, a beyond useful swing that looks as cozy as it is. Strap the nugget in, choose one of five distinct motion patterns, and let yourself enjoy that moment of solitude on the couch (without leaving baby unsupervised, of course).
HALO Bassinest premier series swivel sleeper
Being a new mom is all about snuggles and, if we're being honest, surviving those sleepless nights. And since the American Association of Pediatrics' current recommendation is to have your baby sleep in your room for at least the first 6 months of life anyway, why not have your little one spend his or her early nights snoozing in a bedside bassinet to save some time in the middle of the night? The HALO Bassinest is designed to nuzzle right up next to your bed, too, so you won't even have to get out from under the comforter during those 3am feedings.
Graco Table2Table premier fold 7-in1 convertible high chair
Spoiler alert: Your little babe is going to grow up fast. While it may seem like they'll be in that just-learning-how-to-eat phase forever, they'll outgrow the full-fledged high chair in a blink. While you can definitely buy a variety of different seating apparatuses for them, you can also buy one that'll last with your growing baby. With seven different configurations ranging from an infant reclining high chair to a toddler table and little chair, this is the only one you'll ever need.
Fisher-Price 4-in-1 sling 'n seat bath tub
Bath time is arguably one of the cutest elements of parenthood. So rather than concentrating on holding your slippery little baby safely in the sink while also, you know, washing them, do yourself a favor and invest in an infant tub with an adjustable sling. It'll help make the bonding time fun of bath time more secure so you can focus on enjoying those beautiful sudsy moments.
Hatch Baby Rest sound machine night light + time-to-rise
Technology has brought us a lot of advantages, but one of the best? The ability to comfort your little one without ever leaving bed. The Hatch Baby Rest offers sound- and light-control from your smartphone so you can use the power of noise to help them back to sleep if they fuss in the middle of the night without requiring you to drag your tired self out of bed. Plus, when the toddler years come around, it doubles as a time-to-rise clock so that ball of energy knows when it's appropriate to barrel into your room.
Fridababy baby basics kit
Fridababy has made a name for itself with its cheeky (but incredibly practical) products like the congestion-fighting NoseFrida® and the less-than-pleasant Windi. With this basics bundle, you can get four of their most popular—for nose, behind, scalp and nails—in one convenient package. It's not glamorous, mamas, but it's parenting at its finest.
Graco 4Ever all-in-one convertible car seat
Whether or not you choose to purchase an infant car seat for the first months, you will eventually need a convertible car seat as your kiddo gets bigger, and the best options will grow with them. The Graco® 4Ever All-in-1 accommodates children up to 40 pounds facing backwards and up to 65 pounds facing forward. Plus, it can be used as a booster seat up through the age of 10. One less thing to buy until then, mama!
Skip*Hop explore + more 3-stage activity center
Insider parenting tip: Invest in a few great toys that serve as a great way to help your baby learn and explore and stay safe (read: unable to crawl away when you turn your head for a split second). An activity center serves both of those purposes—keeps them entertained and contained fabulously. Even better, the SKIP*HOP® Explore & More 3-Stage has an extra-long shelf life as it converts to an activity table when they outgrow the harness. Plus, there's a snack bowl attachment, and as every mama knows, snacks mean victory.
This article was sponsored by buybuy BABY. Thank you for supporting the brands that support mamas and Motherly.
At Motherly we know that mothers can and do balance business needs with the needs of their children every day. We do it every day, and we know that mothers at other companies are doing it every day, too—but this balancing act often isn't talked about.
This week a COO and father, Seth Morales, went viral for drawing attention to how hard his wife, and all working moms, work outside of regular business hours and outside offices.
Morales posted a photo of his wife comforting their child in a hospital bed, writing, "I took this picture of my wife and son this morning. Too often working moms don't get enough credit. I'm sharing this because I want people to know it's possible. You can be great at work and at home."
He continues: "But sacrifices need to be made before/after normal working hours. The idea of working 40+ hours in the office isn't realistic. You'd be surprised at how productive my wife is from her smartphone while running errands. But she constantly thinks she's falling short with everything. Balancing life is messy and difficult. For all you working parents out there please have grace for yourself, it's a process."
Morales is right about many things: 40 hours of butt-in-seat office work is not realistic for many parents. Our kids have needs Monday through Friday, 9-5 that we need to be there for sometimes. Clearly, Morales' child was in need of medical attention and that's the kind of thing that parents need to be able to give their attention to, whether it happens during regular business hours or not. And Morales is also right that parents are making sacrifices, working before and after traditional office hours and making the most of small pockets of time. It sound like Morales' wife is multitasking a lot of time time, running her work from her "smartphone while running errands."
It's great that this powerful COO is sharing the struggles that working parents face and that a working mother's spouse is recognizing her efforts on a personal level. But we would challenge partners like Morales: If you see your partner trying so hard to do everything and feeling like she's never doing enough, perhaps it is time to ask yourself if YOU are doing enough.
Research shows that among heterosexual couples, women simply do more of the unpaid work of child-rearing than men do, and it hurts our careers, our families and our relationships (and that if men did just 50 minutes more labor at home every day we could close the gender gap.)
We would also challenge business leaders like Morales: If you see your employees are making the sacrifices that he mentions here, working before and after working hours and feeling like they are merely surviving, not thriving, maybe your culture needs to catch up with the needs of employees.
And finally, we challenge any working mother who "constantly thinks she's falling short with everything" to drop some balls and delegate at home. Get the store-bought muffins and share the load of managing your family load with your partner.
Morales is right, we can be great at work and at home, but not if we're not supported at work and at home.
Sometimes it's hard for kids (and adults) to understand things that can't see. That's why some creative teachers are using bread to show kids just how germy their hands can get.
"We did a science project in class this last month as flu season was starting. We took fresh bread and touched it. We did one slice untouched. One with unwashed hands. One with hand sanitizer. One with washed hands with warm water and soap. Then we decided to rub a piece on all our classroom Chromebooks," teacher Jaralee Annice Metcalf writes in a now-viral Facebook post.
When the bread was left in sealed plastic bags the slices that had been exposed to more bacteria via laptops and unwashed hands grew the most mold.
The bread that had been rubbed on those Chromebooks might be the grossest piece of bread we've ever seen, and really underscores Jaralee's point: "As somebody who is sick and tired of being sick and tired of being sick and tired. Wash your hands! Remind your kids to wash their hands! And hand sanitizer is not an alternative to washing hands!"
The CDC agrees with this elementary school teacher: Handwashing reduces the spread of diarrheal and respiratory illnesses (basically the bugs kids seem to be magnets for) so it's a good idea to teach kids to do it properly and often.
Jaralee isn't the first teacher to go viral for incorporating this experiment into her classroom and she probably won't be the last. Full instructions for this project are listed on the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital website and are easy to replicate at home.
Her Facebook post has been criticized by people questioning the conditions of her experiment, but as she notes on her Facebook page, they're kind of missing the point: "We are an elementary school. Not a fancy CDC lab, so relax a little and WASH YOUR HANDS."
It's good advice from a caring teacher and a reminder to wash our hands (and sanitize our laptops!)
Whether you have a child in a Montessori school or you are just looking for cool gifts that encourage creative, independent play, we've got you covered. We found the most Montessori-friendly gifts available on Amazon and they won't break the bank—win-win.
While they aren't the hottest toys of the moment, they'll last you a lot longer than a trendy product. Here, you'll find handpicked quality and non-tech gifts like marble runs, interlocking discs and iconic board books, that'll stimulate simple, open-ended play. Perfect to share with family members looking for gifts that don't involve a screen.
Here are our favorite Montessori-inspired gifts under $50 found on Amazon:
TT.Remax Montessori munari mobile
The Montessori mobiles were designed specifically to engage infants in each developmental stage. This one is the first mobile in the series and is meant for newborns which is why it features black and white images.
Age: 3-6 months
Kiddison Montessori kicking ball cotton
This handmade ball is perfect for Montessori babies because it is easy for them to hold and rolls slowly, providing just the right amount of challenge for babies learning to scoot and crawl. It also has a soft jingle that babies love.
Age: 1-2 years old
Melissa & Doug rainbow stacker
This ring stacker is made from durable and child-safe wood, rather than plastic, and is simple in design, perfect for a screen-free play experience for babies 18 months and up.
Age: 18 months+
Global Babies board book
Montessori focuses a lot on world peace and learning about different cultures. This beautiful board book is a perfect introduction. Spanish and English words teach the littlest readers that everywhere on earth, babies are special and loved.
Age: 1-3 years old
EOFEEL Montessori interlocking discs
These interlocking discs are a good example of a Montessori toy designed to isolate one specific skill—in this case, a baby's ability to transfer something from one hand to the other. It's ideal for building fine motor skills, hand eye coordination and inspiring babies to explore the world.
Age: 12 months+
Elite Montessori object permanence box
This Montessori toy helps babies explore the concept that just because they can't see something, it doesn't mean it's gone. With repeated use of this material, the child learns how it feels to succeed when they have achieved a goal on their own.
Age: 1-10 years old
Elite Montessori infant coin box
This is a more advanced baby toy to help babies further explore object permanence and work on fine motor skills.
Age: 12 months+
Sunny Days Entertainment adventure play tunnel
Movement and gross motor development are a big part of Montessori and this tunnel can be used indoors or outdoors, encouraging babies and toddlers to keep moving even on the coldest days. When not in use, it folds flat for easy storage and quick portability.
Age: 3-12 years old
Helen Oxenbury Baby love: a board book gift set
Montessori books for babies and young children focus on the real world. These little board books depict babies doing things like clapping and saying goodnight, real life events babies can relate to.
Age: 1-4 years old
Five Color Lines mini band musical instruments
While Montessori toys do not feature electronic sounds, instruments that allow babies and toddlers to create their own music are perfect!
Age: 5 years+
Schleich north america farm world starter set
While many Montessori toys are made from natural materials rather than plastic, Schleich animals make the cut because they are highly realistic and to scale, supporting the Montessori ideal of helping young children to learn about the real world through their play.
Age: 3-8 years old
JC Toys Berenguer doll newborn gift set
Providing toddlers with realistic toys like this baby doll or realistic play food supports their exploration of everyday life through pretend play. The 8-piece layette gift set includes short-sleeve bodysuit, short-sleeve t-shirt, a pair of booties, hat, cloth diaper, diaper cover and hospital bracelet.
Age: 2-10 years old
TickiT wooden fruit + vegetable match
Montessori classrooms use matching work, like this one, to help young children refine visual discrimination to prepare for reading, as well as to introduce vocabulary. We love that the chunky tiles are easy for small hands to grip, rotate and turn over.
Age: 12 months+
Star Right heads + tails animal match puzzle
Part of the magic of Montessori is matching a child with just the right level of challenge. This beginner jigsaw puzzle does just that, as you can give a child one puzzle at a time if they're just starting out, or three or four puzzles if they've mastered completing one.
Age: 2 months-2 years old
Guidecraft jr. rainbow blocks
Blocks of all kinds are in line with Montessori's emphasis on exploration and child-led learning and play. Use this toy when helping kids with hand-eye coordination, visual perception, color exploration or light table activities.
Age: 2-7 months
Gabrielle Balkan The book of bones: 10 record-breaking animals
The Book of Bones is the perfect addition to a Montessori library because it provides rich detail about the world in a straightforward, beautiful way. Little readers can examine animals' skeletons and guess to whom they belong; the answers are revealed in humorous explanations.
Age: 7-10 years old
ECOOPRO elecfly kids microscope
Young children are all about exploring their world and a microscope is the perfect tool for a budding young scientist. It's built-in three different color filters and the rotating wheel saves you from having to stain slides.
Age: 5 years+
Kidz Xplore outdoor explorer nature exploration kit
Montessori schools often include an outdoor classroom, encouraging children to spend as much time as possible in nature. This outdoor explorer set helps get kids learning outside!
Age: 5-10 years old
Thoth Montessori wooden mathematical manipulative material block board
Rubber band boards are often used in Montessori classrooms to encourage children to explore geometry, while also working on fine motor skills and concentration. Kids will also learn all types of 2D shapes and concepts around fractions.
Age: 3 years+
National Geographic balance stepping stones
These stepping stones are in line with the Montessori philosophy of encouraging children to use their bodies as well as their minds—these make a great indoor gross motor activity!
Age: 3 years+
Fajiabao Montessori logic games slide puzzle board
In Montessori, children work with patterns to encourage early math skills. This toy encourages children to work with patterns in a fun way. The one side of sliding blocks printed with four kinds of shapes and five-pointed star. Matching the different shaped blocks helps kids identify different geometric puzzles.
Age: 3 years+
MEROCO Montessori screwdriver board
Developing real life skills is a big part of Montessori for young kids. Why not let them practice with a real screwdriver instead of a pretend one?
Age: 3 years+
Ravensburger solar system jigsaw puzzle
In Montessori, elementary aged kids are busy exploring the big questions of the universe as they begin to think more abstractly. This type of beautiful and realistic puzzle supports that interest in science while building skills like concentration and creativity.
Age: 8-15 years old
DK dinosaur book
Montessori elementary classrooms spend a lot of time studying early history, including prehistoric times as this is a huge interest of many children this age. This dinosaur book is a great way to encourage their curiosity!
Age: 4-7 years old
Blue Orange Photosynthesis strategy board game
Many Montessori classrooms for older kids begin incorporating more group work as social interactions and relationships are so important to this age group. Board games are a great way to support social skills like taking turns and winning or losing gracefully. Kids will love going through the life-cycle of trees and earn points as their leaves collect energy from the revolving sun's rays.
Age: 8 years+
NEX sewing machine
Montessori continues to support teaching practical life skills with older children and a sewing machine can be a really rewarding gift as a child experiences the pride of making his or her own clothes. The simple on/off control button and foot pedal make it great for little ones.
Age: 10 years+
Hape quadrilla wooden marble run
A wooden marble run is a perfect Montessori toy because it's made of natural materials and encourages creativity and problem solving skills. The marble run can also be leveled or built up with add-ons for more advanced builders.
Age: 4-15 years old
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A month before Christmas the brakes on my 15-year-old sedan started making a strange noise. The bill at the auto shop came to $2,400. That's a lot of money for my family. My Christmas shopping list was immediately slashed, the vacation we'd been planning for the new year (our first real vacation ever) drifted further into the future.
Every day I look at my family and I think about how lucky we are. Our son is healthy and that is priceless. We have a modest home filled with everything we need and wiggle room for some little luxuries (hello Starbucks and Disney+). And importantly, in an area where unemployment is steadily climbing (and with a spouse who is about to be out of work) I still have a job.
But when that $2,400 bill came my usual gratitude was overtaken by resentment. Because as much as I appreciate what we have, I resent how much our culture is focused on the aspirational when for so many of us, even average seems unattainable.
I resent the fact that I am still paying off my student loans.
I resent how incomes haven't risen with housing costs.
I resent how childcare costs eat so much of my income.
But mostly I just resent how society is squeezing parents for every dollar while simultaneously shaming us for not having enough of them.
So to the mama who wishes she had a bigger budget for her kids' Christmas presents, I see you. I know that you're trying so hard and your kids know it, too. Please know that the magic of Christmas is not in the cost, it's in the memories. Please give yourself the gift of a guilt-free Christmas.
To the mama who is working overtime and picking up side gigs, I see you. I see your hustle, your ambition and your love for your family, and this Christmas I want you to try to give yourself a break. Even just a small one, because even mamas are human and you need to rest, too.
To the mama who is running a household on only her partner's income, I see you. I know it can feel impossible (that's because it nearly is). I also know you are supporting your spouse in their career because that's what is best for your family right now. I know that you are working so hard at home and that sometimes it feels like one income isn't enough. Please give yourself credit for all the unpaid labor you are doing.
To the mama who can rely only on her own income, I see you. You're solo parenting, you're the sole provider, and you are amazing. You are strong. You are bearing so much responsibility and I want you to know that you are more than enough for your children.
To the mama who can't afford to live where she wants to, I see you. Maybe you always dreamed of raising your kids in the big city, but economic realities have relocated you to a far-flung suburb. I see you out there, doing what is best for your family on a budget smaller than you'd like, in a city smaller than you'd like. Mama, know that you are a gift to your community.
To the mama struggling to pay for IVF: I see you. And I see how bad you want this. I want it for you, too. I wish you didn't have to turn to loans and credit cards and crowdfunding for this. Please know that motherhood takes many forms and be gentle with yourself this season.
To the mama struggling to pay off a birth: I see you. And I'm angry for you. I am so angry and perplexed by a system that would bill new parents astronomical sums at a time in their lives when they can least afford it. Giving birth should not put people into debt.
To the mama who has reached her limit, I see you. When you're waiting for payday, every minute seems like forever. When your card is declined at the checkout that moment lasts a lifetime. Please, accept help if you need it. There is kindness in the world for you.
To the mama using SNAP or visiting the food bank this season, I see you. And I'm proud of you. I'm proud of you for navigating this challenging time in your life because figuring out how to do this isn't easy. I'm proud of you for being such a good mother and making sure that your kids have nutritious food.
To the mama getting help from her family, I see you. It can be hard to accept help from your parents when you are a parent yourself, but please do try to see it as a gift. They love you so much that they want to support you, and you can honor that by seeing yourself as worthy of support.
To the mama who is not getting help from her family, I see you. It can be painful to watch your friends and acquaintances get financial help from their families when yours is not in a position to do the same. It's human to be envious when someone's dad gives them a down payment, but the best gift you can give yourself is to focus on your own kids and non-financial gifts you are giving them every day.
To the mama who feels like her life doesn't live up to Instagram, I see you. I understand the pain of scrolling through social media, wondering why it seems like everyone else has a nice home and can take their kids on vacation when you can't. Give yourself the gift of unfollowing or turning off social media.To the mama who feels like she'll never get out of student loan debt, I see you, I am you, and I can tell you there's hope. For years my student loans have kept me down. They are the reason I am driving a 15-year-old, money pit of a car in the first place. But by the end of 2019 they will finally, mercifully be paid off. Most of the student debt in America is held by women. This is an issue impacting a generation of mothers. You are not alone.