A modern lifestyle brand redefining motherhood

Preparing for your first baby after years of responsibility-free fun in New York takes more than just researching the best strollers and birthing centers. For me, it also meant cramming as much fun as humanly possible into every single remaining baby-free moment. I didn’t want my pregnancy to keep me from doing all the things I used to do (ok, it’s kept me from doing some things, like getting drunk and tying my shoes) before plunging into the world of breastfeeding and babysitters. Going to see live music has always been a big part of my social life, but concert-going can be rough when your feet are swollen and you have to pee every 30 seconds. Although I don’t think that any music venue in town was set up with the comfort of pregnant women in mind, some venues can still be pretty great places to see a show, while others should probably be avoided altogether.

I rated five New York City venues with special attention paid to four criteria: sightlines (if you have to squeeze to the front of the crowd to see the stage, you might as well just go home), bathroom access, seating availability, and strange looks, which is maybe the least crucial of the four, but no one likes feeling like the, shall we say, elephant in the room.

Music Hall of Williamsburg: In my normal life as a not-pregnant person, this is probably my favorite place in the city to see a show. Great programming, top-notch sound, excellent sightlines, and decent bar for hanging out before the show. Even super pregnant, it’s still pretty great. (I saw my last show here at 37-weeks along.) There is a large balcony with seats -- if you can get there early enough to snag one -- and lots of seating at the bar for hanging out between sets. The bathroom situation is perfectly acceptable, and if you must stand on the main floor, you can see perfectly well from just about anywhere. That means you can leave yourself room to make bathroom trips or be the first one out the door to grab a cab at the end of the night. Also, as far as I can tell, most of the people who frequent this place are far too self-absorbed to even notice a giant pregnant belly in their midst.

Glasslands: Upon walking in to Glasslands, I nearly turned right around and left. “I’ve gone too far, I’m a bad mother for even being here,” I thought to myself. This was triggered in part by the bouncer (nicely) asking me to avoid the front of the floor “because there will be a mosh pit,” and in part because I realized what a dump this place is. Then I noticed that they have a balcony, and on that balcony is a plush leather couch that no one seems interested in hanging out on at all. So, I made a little home for myself high above said mosh pit, rested on the couch between bands and had a very good time. The median age at Glasslands seems to be about 20, so they get high marks in the strange-looks department, but I’ll take what I can get. As for the bathrooms, they are gross, but plentiful.

Mercury Lounge: This is not an ideal place to see a show, but it’s fine. Its small size is both a help and a hindrance, since it’s easy to show up just as the headliner starts and get an okay view from the back of the crowd, therefore limiting your time on your feet. There are only two ladies’ room stalls, but the line isn’t usually too long. Generally it’s so crowded in here that most people won’t even be able to see you well enough to tell you’re pregnant, so I’ve never felt out of place. The biggest downside is that it’s hard to find anywhere to sit either in the performance space or at the bar.

Webster Hall: I have always considered Webster Hall something of a necessary evil. It’s not a fantastic place to see a show under any circumstances, but it’s not so terrible that you would skip seeing a band you like just because they are playing there. The sightlines are meh, but you can usually find a reasonable spot without having to try to work your way too far to the front. That said, there’s no seating at all that I’ve ever seen, and the bathroom lines tend towards the ridiculous. I didn’t get any strange looks last time I was there, but I was also at a Breeders concert, so half the people there were probably paying a babysitter that night themselves.

Roseland Ballroom: This place is a nightmare. The line for the bathroom at Roseland is what I imagine the waiting room in hell to be like: endless and full of terrible people. When you are done waiting on that line, you’d better not be hoping for a bottle of water or a soda, because the line for the bar is just as long -- and it’s cash only. The programming here is all over the place -- everyone from Crystal Castles to LL Cool J have played here in recent months -- so I can’t really rate it in the strange-looks department. I can say that it is huge, so standing in the back isn’t a great way to see the show, but squeezing through the crowd to the front isn’t really an option either, and there’s nowhere at all to sit. Oh, and it’s in midtown.

A few general tips for your viewing pleasure:

- Flat, comfortable shoes and a small, light purse are crucial.

- Stick to the back. Being in a tightly packed crowd can be uncomfortable, and possibly unsafe if the drunk person next to you starts jumping around like its Seattle in the 90s.

- If you’re like me, you’re thirsty most of the time. Bring a water bottle with you. Maybe security will give you a hard time for it, but mostly they don’t want to mess with a pregnant lady, and you’ll save some time waiting at the bar.

- Let people be nice to you. Concert-goers have brought me stools to sit on, let me cut the bathroom line and offered other measures of kindness that you can’t go in expecting, but they can certainly make your night better.

Image source.

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

Subscribe to get inspiration and super helpful ideas to rock your #momlife. Motherhood looks amazing on you.

Already a subscriber? Log in here.

With two babies in tow, getting out the door often becomes doubly challenging. From the extra things to carry to the extra space needed in your backseat, it can be easy to feel daunted at the prospect of a day out. But before you resign yourself to life indoors, try incorporating these five genius products from Nuna to get you and the littles out the door. (Because Vitamin D is important, mama!)

1. A brilliant double stroller

You've got more to carry—and this stroller gets it. The DEMI™ grow stroller from Nuna easily converts from a single ride to a double stroller thanks to a few easy-to-install accessories. And with 23 potential configurations, you're ready to hit the road no matter what life throws at you.

DEMI™ grow stroller
$799.95, Nuna

BUY

2. A light car seat

Lugging a heavy car seat is the last thing a mama of two needs to have on her hands. Instead, pick up the PIPA™ lite, a safe, svelte design that weighs in at just 5.3 pounds (not counting the canopy or insert)—that's less than the average newborn! When you need to transition from car to stroller, this little beauty works seamlessly with Nuna's DEMI™ grow.

PIPA™ lite car seat
$349.95, Nuna

BUY

3. A super safe car seat base

The thing new moms of multiples really need to get out the door? A little peace of mind. The PIPA™ base features a steel stability leg for maximum security that helps to minimize forward rotation during impact by up to 90% (compared to non-stability leg systems) and 5-second installation for busy mamas.

PIPA™ base
(included with purchase of PIPA™ series car seat or) Nuna, $159.95

BUY

4. A diaper bag you want to carry

It's hard to find an accessory that's as stylish as it is functional. But the Nuna diaper bag pulls out all the stops with a sleek design that perfectly conceals a deceptively roomy interior (that safely stores everything from extra diapers to your laptop!). And with three ways to wear it, even Dad will want to take this one to the park.

Diaper bag
$179.95, Nuna

BUY

5. A crib that travels

Getting a new baby on a nap schedule—while still getting out of the house—is hard. But with the SENA™ aire mini, you can have a crib ready no matter where your day takes you. It folds down and pops up easily for sleepovers at grandma's or unexpected naps at your friend's house, and the 360-degree ventilation ensures a comfortable sleep.

SENA aire mini
$199.95, Nuna

BUY


With 5 essentials that are as flexible as you need to be, the only thing we're left asking is, where are you going to go, mama?

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


You might also like:

Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

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.

You might also like:

Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

You might also like:

When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

You might also like:


The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.


Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

You might also like:

Motherly provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by our  Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Information on our advertising guidelines can be found here.