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As moms, we live in a state of constant dichotomy. We want to get our bodies back in shape, yet it can feel “selfish” to take time to go to the gym. We long to go out with our friends whenever we choose, yet we can’t imagine spending that much time away from the baby. We crave time for ourselves, yet we’re nervous to leave the baby with our partner for extended periods of time. What if the baby misses us? What if hubby feeds the baby wrong or puts the diaper on backward? We dream of the things we would love to do or create or accomplish, yet somehow we have difficulty stepping away. This is where we, as women and mothers, shoot ourselves in the foot.

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In my circle of Beyond Moms, I’m surrounded by women who really want to do it all. We want to be active moms, business builders, and cultivators of causes we care about. But when we become mothers, we are pulled toward our little ones like a magnet--they become our first priority at the sacrifice of everything else. We would be lying to ourselves if we didn’t admit that the other parts of ourselves continue to whisper (or scream) in our ears. We still want to create and share, and dare I say…have fun!

But to do all those things, we have to let our partners “In” on the process of caring for our little ones. And for some strange, hormonal, protective, Mama-Lioness reason, we have a very hard time doing that. Is this normal? I think so. But if we really want the kind of life we dream of, the one in which we are mothers with dynamic lives outside of the nursery, we must let some other hands on that baby. Especially the hands of our partners.

Here are some major moments where the option to let daddy in can make a major difference in your quality of life, and some “damage control” suggestions in case those moments have already passed.

1. Pregnancy and Birth Decisions--He has a voice too!

I noticed pretty quickly at OB/GYN appointments and ultrasounds that most doctors and technicians only addressed me, pretty much disregarding the presence of my husband. This got us thinking about how quickly the Dad is disregarded in the pregnancy process, which probably begins to disempower their involvement a little too quickly. Instead, ask your husband how he imagines a healthy pregnancy and birth. Ask him what he imagines a nursery to look like or how he would like to be involved in the birth process. My husband wanted total involvement in my birth but made it clear that if possible, he didn’t want to see the baby “actually coming out.” So I let him stay by my shoulders for the pushing, but boy was he excited to cut the umbilical cord and hold our son for the first time. Allow your husband’s needs and voice to be part of the mix from the very beginning so he feels safe and included.

Damage Control: Is hubby already sequestered from the pregnancy/birth conversation? Simply invite him back in! Tell him you want him to be involved and really care what he thinks. Even if he remains a little quiet, invite him to your medical appointments and share the details with him. Tell him that he matters, and ask him where he would like to get involved. Communication is key, and it’s never too late to open that door. You’ll be glad you did.

2. Feeding, Diapering, and The Home--Plagued by Perfectionism.

When your tiny peanut arrives home, your focus is all about giving him/her your best. As Mom, you often intuitively feel what that is. When my son came home, I had a very hard time not hovering over my husband as he attempted to diaper, feed or soothe our son. I literally couldn’t help from telling him the best way to do things or nagging him when I felt something was done improperly. I somehow thought my son wouldn’t survive if something wasn’t articulated in a state of hyper-perfectionism. When my son would cry in the night (as infants often do), I felt compelled to always be the one to cradle and rock him. Within days, my husband and I were battling--he told me that he too had a fatherly instinct and that I had to let him explore what that meant. And as challenging as it was for me to allow that during that intense, hormonal, emotional time, he was 100% right. There were many moments that I would find the two of them asleep on the couch during those sleepless infant nights, and I could see their bonding beginning. I realized that it was up to me to make room for those experiences, no matter how challenging it felt.

Damage Control: If the late nights are all on you (because you declare it so) or you do all the dishes (not because he isn’t willing but because you’re the only one who knows how to properly clean the Dr. Brown’s bottles), perhaps ask him if he’d be interested in having some late nights with the little one. If hearing the baby cry is too much, maybe some ear plugs or music to get you through? The two of them need to figure it out. Show him how to clean the small spots in the bottle, but then be done with it; let him do it. If you find yourself instructing on how best to slice an avocado (like I do), ask yourself to kindly refrain, and just simply tell him to cut an avocado. Simplify the direction and make room for him.

3. The How and The What--Let Him Figure Out His Own Style.

Somehow we convince ourselves that “His Way” is the “Wrong Way” and that “My Way” is the “Right Way.” I’m very guilty of this one, and even to this day, I want food prepared my way, toys arranged my way, and my son dressed the way I like him dressed. Does being a mom mean being a control freak? In some senses, yes. But once again, this will bite you in the behind. We have to realize that Dad has his own ways of doing things, and we have to let go of how we think things “Should Be.” If your child wears a funky, ill-fitting outfit for a day, will anyone judge you? If your child eats pizza and fries for one day, will your child live? And dare I challenge the thought that maybe your husband will surprise you and do something in a way that you’ve never thought of...and it is so much better than your way? (This has happened to me more times than I can count.) We must let go a little and let our partner have his own space to figure out his own style and let our little ones feel comfortable with it. It’s the only way we, as Moms, will have the space and freedom to take care of ourselves too.

Damage Control: There’s no time like the present, my friends. For this one, you may need to create a mantra for yourself like, “I must let him figure this out and I must keep my mouth shut.” Simple and direct. If our partner is already to scared to speak, open the door with a statement like, “Maybe you’d want to pick out little guy’s outfit today?” or “Make quesadillas the way you like to make them!” Simple statements like this give him permission to have an opinion and a perspective.

Motherhood is so intense, and so is our view of the motherly role. But we must not limit the possibilities for our child’s care, as it will limit the possibilities for the family as a whole. If we stepped out of our individual family paradigm, wouldn’t we want our partner to feel empowered and clear? Wouldn’t we want our kid to feel comfortable and be cared for by both parents? And most importantly, don’t we want to feel, as Moms, that we have the confidence to step outside of the home and be productive? I know the answer is yes, so let’s make it happen...one little daddy moment at a time!

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Pop quiz, mama! How many different types of car seats are there? If you guessed three, you're partially correct. The three main types are rear-facing car seats, forward-facing car seats, and booster seats. But then there are a variety of styles as well: infant car seats, convertible seats, all-in-one seats, high-back booster seats, and backless boosters. If you're not totally overwhelmed yet, keep reading, we promise there's good stuff ahead.

There's no arguing that, in the scheme of your baby and child gear buying lifetime, purchasing a car seat is a big deal! Luckily, Walmart.com has everything you need to travel safely with your most precious cargo in the backseat. And right now, you can save big on top-rated car seats and boosters during Best of Baby Month, happening now through September 30 at Walmart.com.

As if that wasn't enough, Walmart will even take the carseat your kiddos have outgrown off your hands for you (and hook you up with a sweet perk, too). Between September 16 and 21, Walmart is partnering with TerraCycle to recycle used car seats. When you bring in an expired car seat or one your child no longer fits into to a participating Walmart store during the trade-in event, you'll receive a $30 gift card to spend on your little one in person or online. Put the money towards a brand new car seat or booster or other baby essentials on your list. To find a participating store check here: www.walmart.com/aboutbestofbabymonth

Ready to shop, mama? Here are the 9 best car seat deals happening this month.


Safety 1st Grow and Go Spring 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

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From rear-facing car seat to belt-positioning booster, Grow and Go Sprint's got you covered through childhood. Whether you choose the grey Silver Lake, Seafarer or pink Camelia color palette, you'll love how this model grows with your little one — not to mention how easy it is to clean. The machine-washable seat pad can be removed without fussing with the harness, and the dual cup holders for snacks and drinks can go straight into the dishwasher.

Price: $134 (regularly $149)

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Baby Trend Hybrid Plus 3-in-1 Booster Car Seat in Bermuda

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When your toddler is ready to face forward, this versatile car seat can be used as a five-point harness booster, a high-back booster, and a backless booster. Padded armrests, harness straps, and seat cushions provide a comfy ride, and the neutral gray seat pads reverse to turquoise for a stylish new look.

Price: $72.00 (regularly $81)

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Baby Trend Hybrid Plus 3-in-1 Booster Car Seat in Olivia

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Looking for something snazzy, mama? This black and hot pink car seat features a playful heart print on its reversible seat pad and soft harness straps. Best of all, with its 100-pound weight limit and three booster configurations, your big kid will get years of use out of this fashionable design.

Price: $72.00 (regularly $81)

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Evenflo Triumph LX Convertible Car Seat

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This rear- and forward-facing car seat keeps kids safer, longer with an adjustable five-point harness that can accommodate children up to 65 lbs. To tighten the harness, simply twist the conveniently placed side knobs; the Infinite Slide Harness ensures an accurate fit every time. As for style, we're big fans of the cozy quilted design, which comes in two colorways: grey and magenta or grey and turquoise.

Price: $116 (regularly $149.99)

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Disney Baby Light 'n Comfy 22 Luxe Infant Car Seat

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Outfitted with an adorable pink-and-white polka dot Minnie Mouse infant insert, even the tiniest of travelers — as small as four pounds! — can journey comfortably and safely. This rear-facing design is lightweight, too; weighing less than 15 lbs, you can easily carry it in the crook of your arm when your hands are full (because chances are they will be).

Price: $67.49 (regularly $89.99)

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Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

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We know it's hard to imagine your tiny newborn will ever hit 100 lbs, but one day it'll happen. And when it does, you'll appreciate not having to buy a new car seat if you start with this 4-in-1 design! Designed to fit kids up to 120 lbs, it transforms four ways, from a rear-facing car seat to a backless belt-positioning booster. With a 6-position recline and a one-hand adjust system for the harness and headrest, you can easily find the perfect fit for your growing child.

Price: $199.99 (regularly $269.99)

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Graco SlimFit All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

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With its unique space-saving design, this 3-in-1 car seat provides 10% more back seat space simply by rotating the dual cup holders. The InRight LATCH system makes installation quick and easy, and whether you're using it as a rear-facing car seat, a forward-facing car seat, or a belt-positioning booster, you can feel confident that your child's safe and comfortable thanks to Graco's Simply Safe Adjust Harness System.

Price: $149.99 (regularly $229.99)

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Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Platinum XT Infant Car Seat

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Making sure your infant car seat is secure can be tricky, but Graco makes it easy with its one-second LATCH attachment and hassle-free three-step installation using SnugLock technology. In addition to its safety features, what we really love about this rear-facing seat are all of the conveniences, including the ability to create a complete travel system with Click Connect Strollers and a Silent Shade Canopy that expands without waking up your sleeping passenger.

Price: $169.99 (regularly $249.99)

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Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Elite Infant Car Seat

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With just one click, you can know whether this rear-facing car seat has been installed properly. Then adjust the base four different ways and use the bubble level indicator to find the proper position. When you're out and about, the rotating canopy with window panel will keep baby protected from the sun while allowing you to keep your eye on him.

Price: $129.99 (regularly $219.99)

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This article was sponsored by Walmart. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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If I ever want to look alive before dropping my son off to school, there are two things I must put on before leaving the house: eyeliner and mascara. When using eyeliner, I typically use black liner on my top lid, a slightly lighter brown for my bottom lid, and then a nude liner for my water line. It works every time.

My mascara routine is a bit different. Because my natural lashes are thin and not the longest, I always opt for the darkest black I can find, and one that's lengthening and volumizing. For this reason, I was immediately drawn to It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara. The new mascara is developed in partnership with Drybar (the blow dry bar that specializes in just blowouts) and promises to deliver bold and voluminous lashes all day long. I was sold.

Could this really be the blowout my lashes have been waiting for? It turns out, it was much better than most volumizing formulas I've tried.

For starters, the wand is a great size—it's not too big or small, and it's easy to grip—just like my favorite Drybar round brush. As for the formula, it's super light and infused with biotin which helps lashes look stronger and healthier. I also love that it's buildable, and I didn't notice any clumps or flakes between coats.

The real test is that my lashes still looked great at dinnertime. I didn't have smudges or the dreaded raccoon eyes I always get after a long day at work. Surprisingly, the mascara actually stayed in place. To be fair, I haven't compared them with lash-extensions (which are my new go-to since having baby number two), but I'm sure it will hold up nicely.

Overall, I was very impressed with the level of length and fullness this mascara delivered. Indeed, this is the eyelash blowout my lashes have been waiting for. While it won't give you a few extra hours in bed, you'll at least look a little more awake, mama.

It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara

It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara
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Here's how I apply IT Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara:

  1. Starting as close to lash line as possible (and looking down), align the brush against your top lashes. Gradually turn upwards, then wiggle the wand back and forth up and down your eyelashes.
  2. Repeat, if needed. Tip: Be sure to allow the mascara to dry between each coat.
  3. Using the same technique, apply mascara to your bottom lashes, brushing the wand down your eyelashes.
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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Having children isn't always as easy as it looks on Instagram. There's so much more to motherhood than serene baby snuggles and matching outfits. But there's a reason we've fallen so deeply in love with motherhood: It's the most beautiful, chaotic ride.

Every single day, we sit back and wonder how something so hard can feel so rewarding. And Eva Mendes just managed to nail the reality of that with one quote.

Eva, who is a mama to daughters Esmerelda and Amada with Ryan Gosling, got real about the messy magic of motherhood in a recent interview.

"It's so fun and beautiful and maddening," the actress tells Access Daily. "It's so hard, of course. But it's like that feeling of…you end your day, you put them to bed and Ryan and I kind of look at each other like, 'We did it, we did it. We came out relatively unscathed.'"

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And just like that, moms all over the world feel seen. We've all been there: Struggling to get through the day (which, for the record is often every bit as fun as it is challenging), only to put those babies to sleep and collapse on the couch in sheer exhaustion. But, after you've caught your breath, you realize just how strong and capable you really are.

One thing Eva learned the hard way? That sleep regressions are very, very real...and they don't just come to an end after your baby's first few months. "I guess they go through a sleep regression, which nobody told me about until I looked it up," she says "I was like, 'Why isn't my 3-year-old sleeping?'"

But, at the end of the day, Eva loves her life as a mom—and the fact that she took a break from her Hollywood career to devote her days to raising her girls. "I'm so thankful I have the opportunity to be home with them," she says.

Thank you for keeping it real, Eva! Momming isn't easy, but it sure is worth it.

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My labor and delivery was short and sweet. I started feeling contractions on Monday morning and by Tuesday night at 8:56 pm my handsome baby boy was born. Only 30 minutes of pushing. Afterward, I was still out of it, to be honest. I held him and did some skin to skin and handed him off to my husband, my mother held him next.

When he was in my mother's arms, I knew he was safe. I started to drift off, the epidural had me feeling drowsy and I had used up all my strength to push this 7 lb baby out. My son's eyes were open and then I guess he went to sleep too. My mother swayed him back and forth. The nurses were in and out, cleaning me up and checking in on us.

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When yet another nurse came in, my mom said to her, "He wasn't latching because he wanted to sleep."

The nurse yelled, "He's not sleeping!"

The next 25 minutes happened in slow motion for me.

After the nurse said these words, she flung my son onto the little baby bed. I looked over and he looked a little blue. Then I heard the loud words of CODE PINK. In matters of seconds about 30 nursing staff descended into my room and crowded around my baby.

I couldn't even see what was happening. I tried to get out the bed but they wouldn't let me and after a couple of failed attempts one of the nurses look at me and said, "He's fine, he's breathing now."

Breathing now? He wasn't breathing before? Again, I tried to push my way to my baby, but once again I was told to not move. They had just performed CPR on my 30-minute old newborn and I couldn't understand what was happening even after a pediatrician tried to explain it to me.

I just started crying. He was fine in my stomach for 39 weeks and 6 days and now I bring him into this world and his heart nearly stops?

I was told he needed to go to the neonatal intensive care unit. I was confused, as I thought the NICU was only for preemies and my son was full term.

After what felt like an eternity we were finally allowed to see our son. My husband wheeled me there and we saw him in the corner alone. I saw the incubator and the wires, he's all bundled up.

The nurse explained all the beeping and showed me the heart rate monitor. He's doing fine. We go over the feeding schedule. I'm exhausted still. I stay with him until about 1 or 2 am. They all suggest I get some sleep. There's no bed in the NICU, so I head back to my room.

The next day was better, he doesn't have to be in the incubator anymore, but the wires remain. By that night or early the next morning, the wires in his nose come out and I try feeding him. I try pumping. It was painful.

He gets his first bath and he loves it. The nurse shampoos his hair (he had a lot!) and he seems so soothed. The nurse explains that because he's full term he doesn't need the same type of support in the NICU. She tells me my baby's strong and he'll be fine.

I look around. I see the other babies, the other moms. They could be there for weeks. And unlike me, the moms have to go home—without their baby.

Friday comes and by now he's done all his tests, blood work came back normal, all tubes have been removed and I get it. I get my going-home package. Finally. I get my instructions on doctor follow-ups and we finally get to go home.

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There have been a lot of iconic entertainment magazine covers featuring pregnant women over the years. Who can forget Demi Moore's bare baby bump on Vanity Fair or Britney Spears' similar nude pose on Harper's Bazaar?

Pregnant women on a magazine covers is nothing new, but a visibly pregnant CEO on the cover of a business magazine, that's a first and it happened this week.

Inc. just put The Wing's CEO Audrey Gelman on the cover and this is a historic moment in publishing and business.

As Gelman told Today this week, "You can't be what you can't see, so I think it's so important for women to see that it's possible to run a fast-growing business and also to start a family."

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She continued: "It's so important to sort of burst that bubble and to have new images of women who are thriving and working professionally while balancing motherhood … My hope is that women see this and again feel the confidence to take greater professional risks while also not shelving their dreams of becoming a mother and starting a family."

The Wing started in 2016 as a co-working space for women and has grown rapidly. As Inc. reports, The Wing has eight locations in the U.S. with plans for more American and international locations by 2020.

Putting Gelman on the cover was an important move by Inc. and Gelman's honesty about her early pregnancy panic ("I can't be pregnant. I have so much to do." she recalls thinking after her pregnancy test) should be applauded.

Gelman says pregnancy made her slow down physically, and that it was actually good for her company: "I had this realization: The way to make my team and my employees feel proud to work for me and for the company was actually not to pretend to be superhuman or totally unaffected by pregnancy."

We need this. We need CEOs to admit that they are human so that corporate leadership can see employees as humans, too. Humans need things like family leave and flexibility, especially when they start raising little humans.

There are a lot of iconic covers featuring pregnant women, but this one is different. She's wearing clothes and she's changing work culture.

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