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The Mama Morning Juggle

3 perfectly put-together moms share how hard it really is to get out the door.

The Mama Morning Juggle

*We've partnered with Bugaboo to make your mama morning juggle a little easier.

Oh how we love that quintessential image of motherhood: the perfectly put-together mom cruising down the street, with her smiling, cooing baby tucked sweetly inside her stroller. What you don’t see (and what we sure didn’t know about before motherhood!) is the storm that came before the calm...otherwise known as the mama morning juggle. The spills, the tantrums, the spit-ups, the rushed showers, the mascara applied while nursing. You know, the magic that every mom must perform every single day, just to get out the door.

The perfect stroller can certainly make your morning juggle easier....or at the very least, give you something to look forward to when you step out onto the pavement. So we've partnered with Bugaboo to help put some context behind those quintessential images of motherhood. Below, 3 of the most put-together NYC mamas we know to get honest about their morning juggles, and share exactly what it takes to get them out on that first morning stroll.

Mignonne Smith, owner/founder of Mignonne Gavigan

Photographed in Tribeca with son Fielding Thomas Smith, 4 months.

“My biggest challenge in the morning is time management. So much more happens in the morning than I ever could have imagined -- we basically have an entire day together before I head out to work!

Since having Fields, the entire morning has changed -- nothing about it is anywhere near the same as it used to be. I love to sleep, and used to sleep until the very last minute, but with a newborn, sleep is a complete afterthought. Fields sleeps from until about 5:30 or 6:30am, and I work so hard to pack everything in before I leave for work at 9:15am. I cherish the time I have with him in the mornings...seeing that huge smile when I pick him up out of the crib, feeding him, having him hang out with me while I have a very needed cup of coffee, and watching him do some tummy time. Then the nanny comes and I jump in the shower and race out the door.

On the weekends, though, we just chill... there is some serious pajama time, and showers don’t get taken until much later in the day. Maybe some brunch in the neighborhood, definitely a good long stroll and maybe some couch time to wind the day down. These are my favorite times…no plans.”

Mignonne is strolling Fields in the Bugaboo Bee5.

Belle Augusta Savransky, Photographer

Photographed in the East Village with Levon, 1, and Lou, 4 (not pictured: Biet, 6)

“When it comes to my morning routine, I’m still adjusting to the different way that each child wakes up, and working on allowing everyone to have a peaceful, stress-free morning. While my two boys wake up early and are ready for the day immediately, my daughter (much like myself!) needs some time to slowly get into the flow of the day. I find that by getting to bed early, waking up before everyone, and giving myself a half and hour or so to meditate and enjoy my coffee alone before the household rises, I have infinitely more patience to give each child what they need. That little pocket of extra time for myself reflects back on everyone, and gives me the peace of mind to deal with getting our family of five woken, fed, dressed, and out the door.

A little prep work the night before does wonders for our morning routine. Before bed, we all pick out our clothes, jewelry, and shoes for the next day, and lay everything out in a row. Even my one year old excitedly chooses his outfit for the next day, which is the cutest thing. The kids discuss and decide what we’ll have for breakfast, and I get to work packing lunches and prepping the stroller with diapers, wipes, and toys. The mornings run so much more smoothly this way, and we can get out the door and into the city first thing.

After dropping Biet at school, my boys and I like to stroll through either the East or West Village. We’ll swing by the farmer’s market for veggies and hit up a playground or two along the way. The baby usually takes his morning nap while we’re out and about, and I love being able to recline his seat separately from Lou's and pull the shade down to create a little bed for him. Walking the blocks of the city has always been one of my favorite past times, so it’s really special for me to be able to continue to enjoy it even after having kids.”

Belle is strolling the Bugaboo Donkey Duo.

Marisa Zucker, Brand Partnerships at Well Rounded

Photographed in the West Village with Julien, 1 (Not pictured: Sage, 4)

“Getting out of bed is so hard! Before my son was born, and I just had a toddler, I could buy some snooze-time with Sesame Street. Now, my son wakes me with his calls for cereal and Elmo. It's the cutest way to wake up, though. I'll never be that mom who gets up early to work out and get shit done. But I try to be appreciative of these extra hours with the kids, and remember early wake-ups won't last forever.

Mornings usually start with a good amount of snuggling in our bed. I juggle the kids’ breakfasts, then clean up, pour coffee, and pack lunch for my daughter while my husband showers. Coffee and music are essential to getting into a good headspace! The first few months with two kids and no sleep were awful, but thankfully my husband has always been very hands-on in getting my daughter to school. He usually races her to get dressed, to keep things moving, then they’ll leave for school and work together.

The days I’m on double-duty are craziest kind of mornings! I’m lucky if I get a few moments to slap on some sunscreen, lip gloss and my favorite jeans while ushering the kids towards the door. I'll strap the baby into the Bugaboo, where he'll happily watch my daughter put her shoes on, excited that he's going along for the ride. I'm usually up and down the stairs of my stoop a few times, grabbing everything I've forgotten, then off we go. With two kids and lots of stairs to descend, finally hitting the pavement feels like living the urban mama dream!”

Marisa is strolling with the Bugaboo Cameleon3 with the Niark1 special edition tailored fabric set.

Photography by Belle Savransky for Well Rounded. Photos of Belle by Gaby Savransky.

Create a school-ready capsule wardrobe for your kids

Dress for success whether virtual learning or in the classroom!

Tina Meeks

Going "back to school" this year may be less of a literal statement than in years past—but there is just as much reason for your kids to celebrate moving on to new grades. Just like in every new school year, a big part of the fun is refreshing your kids' wardrobe with clothes that allow them to express themselves.

Even if finding back to school clothes this year doesn't include a trip to the mall, you can still make an event of it by shopping H&M's kids collection from your computer. Pull up another chair for your shopping buddy and get the cart started with these fave capsule wardrobe options we've already scouted.

Here are our favorite picks:

A t-shirt made for play

H&M t-shirt

Call them essentials, not basics. A graphic t-shirt aces the test when it comes to being perfect for school. And because your little student will probably want to wear something that expresses their personal style as often as possible, it's great to know the shirts can stand up to school time, playtime, downtime and everything in between!

$4.99

Dressed-up casual shorts for total comfort

H&M boy shorts

Whether pulling up a chair for a virtual meeting with the class or heading back to the school for in-person learning, some comfortable, yet stylish, shorts will help your kid focus on the real tasks at hand: learning—and having fun while doing it!

$19.99

Layers for when seasons change

H&M sweatshirt

When it comes to feeling comfortable at school, layers are the MVPs. Whether the AC is blasting or the day started off cool and is warming up quickly, having a unique sweatshirt to shed or add will help your kid look cool while staying warm.

$9.99

A bit of flair with distressed denim

H&M distressed jeans

A school staple for generations, denim is both classic and continually fashionable with updates like distressing and new wash colors. If you're shopping online for jeans this year, take note of H&M's generous return policy—your kids can try on the orders at home and return anything that doesn't fit without a trip to the store.

$24.99

A fashion statement piece

H&M girls skirt

What's better than expressing yourself through a stylish outfit when school is back in session? Still feeling perfectly comfortable and ready to tackle anything the day holds while looking so good. With so many fashion-forward looks available at budget-friendly prices, H&M's children's collection means every kid can find an outfit that speaks to them.

$14.99

Some comfy kicks

H&M boys shoes

A sure way to put a little pep in your child's step this year, cool and cozy shoes are a staple on all back-to-school shopping lists for good reason. (Plus, it's fun to compare them to last year's shoes to see how much your kid has grown!)

$19.99

Anything-but-basic blouses

H&M girls blouse

Whether in the classroom or showing up for a video call with the class, a styling blouse or button-down shirt is a great way for your student to comfortably dress up the day. Better yet? Style doesn't have to come at the expense of comfort with so many made-to-move tops designed just for kids.

$14.99

A shirt ready to go whatever the day holds

H&M boys shirt

With "going to school" meaning anything from showing up in the classroom to doing a virtual session, it's important to have clothes that are perfect for anything the day holds. A classic, cotton shirt with a fashion-forward design is a great way to keep your student feeling ready to start the year with an A+ attitude.

$9.99

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

Our Partners

Products that solve your biggest breastfeeding challenges

Including a battle plan for clogged ducts!

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.

$23

Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

$20

Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.

$12.50

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.

$47

boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.

$25

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.

$59

Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.

$36

Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.

$99

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Two weeks. I cannot believe that it has been two weeks since my second son was brought into this world. Two weeks since my husband and I welcomed baby Simon, the final piece of our little family.

But, here is the whopper: It has been two weeks since I have been the mom of a toddler and a newborn. I am now responsible for taking care of two tiny humans.

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