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No Fear, Take Two

3 things you’re a whole lot less worried about the second time you’re pregnant.

No Fear, Take Two

It took us a few long years and lots of ups and downs to finally welcome our daughter into the world. I breastfed her for 12 months and then found out I was pregnant the following month. Now, 7 months pregnant while chasing around a spunky little 20-month-old, I realize my second pregnancy has been very different than my first. Maybe it has something to do with the difference in origin and stories behind my two pregnancies, or maybe it’s a commonality among most women with multiples. But I’m relieved to tell you that I’ve experienced a significant decrease in anxiety, and feel much less fear about harming my baby during this second pregnancy.

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Here’s 3 pregnancy fears that I’ve finally quashed this second time around

  1. Exercise. Scared she was going to “fall out” if I jumped or ran, I barely did more than walk and elliptical with my first. As a marathon runner and active person in general, this was not ideal -- but the fear seemed insurmountable. With #2 I have continued to run, cycle, take workout classes and have sex (that counts as exercise in my world) without fear and anxiety. I attribute this to the fact that, despite many factors, we were blessed with a strong pregnancy out of the gate so, in the back of my mind, I feel more confident in sticking to my routine.

  1. Eating. “Listeria, nitrates, caffeine!” I was that crazy person in 2013. I had lists of foods that I wouldn’t come close to and will shamefully admit to judging other preggos that enjoyed the foods I so desperately desired. I was sure I’d be the one that would wind up in the hospital. The second time around I find myself way more relaxed on what I am eating and more focused on moderation and all-around healthy foods but I don’t deprive myself from a daily dose of caffeine a la my Nespresso because, well, chasing a toddler is exhausting. Bring on the sushi (California roll, of course)!

  1. Prep. This stage of the pregnancy last time, I had the clothes washed, bottles boiled, swing/crib/bouncer assembled, and hospital bag packed. The stacks of baby books with post-its are now nowhere to be found. I know these things are still important but I have been way more casual about preparing. My growing bump and gentle kicks are just a little more subtle than the tantrum-throwing toddler in the next room and I am comforted by the fact that we survived our first and lived to tell the tale.

What common pregnancy fears keep you up at night? What fears have you laid to rest?

Photography by Forged in the North.

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    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

    I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

    I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

    My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

    1. Go apple picking.

    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

    2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

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

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    The one thing your family needs to practice gratitude

    And a tradition you'll want to keep for years.

    Gracious Gobbler

    I think I can speak for well, basically everyone on planet earth when I say things have been a bit stressful lately. Juggling virtual school, work and the weight of worry about all the things, it's increasingly difficult to take even a moment to be grateful and positive these days. It's far easier to fall into a grump cycle, nagging my kids for all the things they didn't do (after being asked nine times), snapping at their bickering and never really acknowledging the good stuff.

    But the truth is, gratitude and appreciation is the kind of medicine we need now more than ever—and not just because the season is upon us. For one thing, practicing gratitude is a scientifically proven way to boost our happiness, health and relationships. More importantly, we need to ensure we're cultivating it in our children even when things are challenging. Especially when things are challenging.

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    It's 2020, but for American mothers, it's still the 1950s

    Once a woman in America becomes a mother, our society transports her back in time. In an instant, generations of sexist ideas and structures descend back upon her.

    We like to think that women have come so far.

    We have our educations. Today, our education system not only allows girls to thrive, but it has enabled the first generation in history—Millennials—in which women are more highly educated than men.

    We have choice. Access to family planning has given American women life-changing control over their fertility and the decision to start a family.

    We have basic respect. Today, our marriages are built on the principle that partners are equal regardless of gender.

    We have careers. It's utterly common for a woman to return to work after having a child.

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    We have acknowledgment. And our culture even declares that caregiving is essential work for both mothers and fathers.

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    But the truth is that American motherhood has the veneer of being modern, without any of the structures to support our actual lives today.

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