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When I was hugely uncomfortable and overdue with my second son, I spent days lumbering around Central Park with my mom in an attempt to coax him out. But as eager as I was for this baby to make his entrance into the world, I was also anxious about the impending change that my little family was about to experience.

Cracks of confidence in my ability to parent two children widened as we walked, and tears of anxiety burned my eyes as I confessed my deepest fears to my mom. My fears were not about being unable to love two children—I trusted in my heart to grow and expand with this new arrival. And I wasn’t particularly nervous about caring for two—after all, women across the globe have successfully raised much larger families for eons.

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What festered were deeper fears about the emotional impact that a new baby would have on my older son and on our sacred relationship. I circled that lawn with a lump in my throat that rivaled the size of my belly and a list of worries that was as long as I was pregnant.

Three fears especially echoed the loudest and (along with unrelenting heartburn) kept me awake at night. Not coincidentally—almost five years out from welcoming my second son—these three fears are still the most common ones I hear in my practice working with new and expectant second-time parents.

What parents on the cusp of welcoming a new baby don’t realize, and what I didn’t understand as I waddled in the park that day, is that so many of our fears are unfounded. Here’s a few reasons to let go of those fears, and trust in the path ahead.

FEAR: I’m ruining my older child’s life by having another baby and he’ll hate me for it.

REALITY: You’re not ruining it. You’re changing it. For the better.

I worried constantly that a new sibling would rock my oldest son’s world. As our first, he was the sun around which we orbited day and night, the fingers around which we were tightly wrapped and the willing beneficiary of 100% of our attention.

At barely 2 years old, he was only just beginning to grasp the concept of sharing a toy—we hardly expected him to make a leap from that to sharing his parents. We knew that with the impulsivity and lack of patience typical of a toddler, as well as his inability to reason or wait for anything, introducing a baby into our family would be a significant shock to his system.

And in many ways, we were right. How could a new family member NOT disrupt the balance and stability that once was? We as parents, were knocked off course ourselves with the arrival of a newborn, so it’s only natural that our toddler would be as well.

We had our share of challenges & breakdowns (for him and me!)…fits of jealousy and frustration, but I eventually realized that for the many tears that fell, there were a dozen more moments of laughter and smiles. There were gazes of wonderment from big brother as he cradled his new baby and bursts of delight as he declared himself a BIG BOY!

Where we once feared we would ruin his life, we came to understand we merely changed his status in life. He never would have known or experienced the role of “big brother” and all the influence, clout, responsibility and chest-puffing pride that comes along with that title without a baby brother.

I have no doubt there have been times over the years where my older son has felt powerful anger and rage towards me for some reason or another, but I am certain giving him a sibling is not one of those reasons.

FEAR: The new baby will compromise and forever alter my relationship with my firstborn.

REALITY: Adding a new baby allows you and your firstborn to gain some space…which actually brings you closer.

I stayed at home with my first son as his full-time caretaker. I cherished the time we had just the two of us, carefree days exploring our great city together, discovering and learning about one another.

I felt myself mourning the loss of my one-on-one time with my son before the baby even arrived…counting down our “lasts” together with melancholy and nostalgia. Last time visiting the zoo before the baby. Last swim lesson or holiday as a family of three. It was hard to fully relish the excitement of a new baby when the occasion was also tinged with a sense of sadness over what would change.

However, after having our second, I began to regard my older son as more of a person and less of a baby. With an infant in the house, his capabilities, opinions and competencies were that much more highlighted. Sure, he was still only 2, but he could do things! He could be independent! And helpful!

There were plenty of refrains about sending the baby back and frequent demands to “put the baby down!” but with our guidance and empathy, we also saw our toddler’s tolerance, patience and independence bloom.

In turn, I began to give my older son more choices and freedoms. I let him try things to encourage him to develop new traits and skills that may not have occurred to me had I not been desperately trying to juggle him and a newborn.

I let him climb higher at the playground because I was nursing the baby on the park bench. I encouraged him to get himself undressed and into the tub while I swayed the baby to sleep nearby. I allowed him to walk beside me and hold my hand while we pushed the baby in the stroller. And, oh how he flourished! It’s as if by discovering all the things I couldn’t do, he discovered so many more things that he could do, things that were significant and important to his burgeoning autonomy.

Instead of change, our relationship evolved. The more trust and independence I gave him, the more he blossomed—and the more he trusted me in return. I stepped back out of necessity but also because he began to prove he didn’t need me as much. Ironically, in giving him space, we actually grew closer. Having a new baby made my relationship with my firstborn richer and deeper and more connected…the exact opposite of what I worried would happen.

FEAR: None of my second child’s “firsts” will be as exciting as those same milestones with my first.

REALITY: You will actually enjoy them more because you are more relaxed and prepared!

It was unclear to me how our second son’s firsts would be exciting after we had celebrated, photo-documented, emailed, texted and otherwise overshared our first son’s every milestone. Not only did I not think they would be significant, I wasn’t sure I would have the energy to record each first with the same diligence and care.

But what I discovered was that every first with our oldest son was new and exciting because we didn’t know what to expect or what they would lead to. We had no past experience against which to compare it and the learning curve was indeed steep.

We didn’t know that while a first tooth is exciting, it can also draw blood while nursing. Or that while first solids can cause tummy trouble. Along with those first steps comes the first major goose egg on the forehead, and whoops…that first time in the pool means we quickly learned about swim diapers. These firsts, while meaningful, also caused significant stress and anxiety.

While the second child’s firsts aren’t necessarily new, they are still exciting because now you know what they mean and what’s to come. The second time around, you have a historical database from the first that allows you to greet each milestone with confidence and ease and you can savor each first even more.

Now that we know what to expect, we can dream about the future of our two children together. First steps mean soon your baby will one day be chasing after his big sibling, and the first tooth will soon be followed by a family dinner for four. And that first birthday--while bittersweet--is only the beginning of memorable milestones yet to come.

We bring so much more knowledge and experience into parenthood the second time around—a new arrival allows us to put into practice all that we have learned and helps us to tame our fears by replacing them with new discoveries…unexpected learnings about ourselves, and our older children, and surprising realizations about how competent and capable we really are.

Are you expecting your second? What have been some of your fears? How do you think having a second will impact your relationship with your first?

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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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