We remember being pregnant and trying to wrap our minds around what it would be like to navigate the city with a baby, and eventually a toddler, in tow. It seemed overwhelming and unmanageable. But then we’d see a mom that looked like us sitting at brunch having a civilized meal with her well-behaved toddler and we’d think “OK, it can be done.” And you know what? Now that we have toddlers we can actually confirm that thought. Don’t get us wrong--just like in your pregnancy, some days are harder than others and there will be tantrums. But most? Most are awesome. Which is why we’ve launched Toddler Tuesdays. To remind you that your future looks mighty cute...and often mighty stylish. For this week’s Toddler Tuesday, we (and our kids Libby and Oliver) joined forces with some of our favorite NYC blogger moms and their kiddos to get you in the mood for summer. Our little Sunday morning roof party included some seriously fun styling by Nicole Gonzalez of Lillies & Leon (with son Lucas) and fantastic photography by Lindsey Belle (with daughter Stella). And because six toddlers are even more fun than four, we invited Julie Garcés of Stroller Naps (with son Rio) and Christine Fadel of The C Word (with daughter Marlo) to round out our motley crew. Happy summer style. Pay attention to the gif action below. Left to Right: On Lucas: Summer Fedora by Appaman, Orange & white strip tank by Good Boy Friday, Black & White pants by Marloe Jr./ On Rio: Hola Ladies T-shirt by Prefresh, Brighton Shorts by Appaman/ On Oliver: Cheetah Camper Hat by SlyFox Threads, Babylittle Safari pants by MunsterKids, Sneakers by Vans/On Marlo: Japanese Charcoal Grey denim white stitch pattern jumper by Chalk NYC, Sneakers by Vans/On Stella: Rock that Top Knot T-shirt by SlyFox Threads , Freshly Picked Moccasins/On Libby: Dare to Dream tank by SlyFox Threads, Nanda Rose Gold Liquid Lame shorts by Chalk NYC , Sneakers by Converse On Stella: Nanda Rose Gold Liquid Lame shorts by Chalk NYC /On Lucas: Cheetah Camper Hat by SlyFox Threads, Dare to Dream tank by SlyFox Threads, Brighton Shorts by Appaman On Marlo & Stella: Limited Edition Heartbreaker Fringe Dress by SlyFox Threads/ On Oliver: Show Love tank by SlyFox Threads, Brighton Shorts by Appaman/On Libby: Show Love tank by SlyFox Threads, Baja Shorts by Appaman, Anthony Sneaker in Leopard by Akid (also seen on Stella) On Stella and Lucas: No Rest for the Rad Tee's by Top Knot Goods, Head wrap on Stella by Iweartheheadress On Oliver: Peace Aqui T-shirt, Floral Camper Hat On Rio: Jamz X 3 T-shirt/On Stella: Colorblock T-shirt by American Apparel, Anthony Sneaker in Leopard by Akid/On libby: Stella Dress by Appaman, Anthony Sneaker in Leopard by Akid See previous images for credits. Styling by Nicole Gonzalez of Lillies & Leon Photography by Lindsey Belle
Motherhood is a practice in learning, growing and loving more than you ever thought possible. Even as a "veteran" mama of four young sons and one newly adopted teenager, Jalyssa Richardson enthusiastically adapts to whatever any given day has in store—a skill she says she's refined through the years.
Here's what just one day in her life looks like:
Jalyssa says she learned to embrace agility throughout her motherhood journey. Here's more from this incredible mama of five boys.
What is the most challenging part of your day as a mom of five?
Time management! I want to meet each of the boys' individual needs—plus show up for myself—but I often feel like someone gets overlooked.
What's the best part of being a mom of five?
The little moments of love. The hugs, the kisses, the cuddles, the smiles... they all serve as little reminders that I am blessed and I'm doing okay.
Are there misconceptions about raising boys?
There are so many misconceptions about raising boys. I think the biggest one is that boys don't have many emotions and they're just so active all the time. My boys display many emotions and they also love to be sweet and cuddly a lot of the time.
What do you think would surprise people the most about being a mom of five?
How much I enjoy it. I never knew I wanted to be a mom until I was pregnant with my first. My desire only grew and the numbers did! I am surprised with every single baby as my capacity to love and nurture grows. It's incredible.
How do you create balance and make time for yourself?
Balance for me looks like intentional planning and scheduling because I never want my boys to feel like they aren't my first priority, but it is extremely difficult. What I try to do is not fit it all into one day. I have work days because motherhood is my first priority. I fit in segments of self-care after the kids' bedtime so I don't grow weary.
What's the biggest lesson you have learned from motherhood?
I have learned that sacrifice is actually beautiful. I was terrified of the selflessness motherhood would require, but I've grown so much through the sacrifice. There is nothing better than living for something bigger than myself.
When did you first feel like a mom? How has your motherhood evolved?
I first felt like a mom when I was pregnant with my first son and I intentionally chose to change my eating habits so my body could be strong and healthy for him. I didn't have to think twice—I just did what I thought would be best for him. That decision being so effortless made me realize I was made for motherhood.
My perspective has changed with each baby as I've realized motherhood doesn't have to be one-size-fits-all. With my first son, I was a by-the-book mama and it was so stressful. With each baby, I have felt more freedom and it has made motherhood so much more beautiful. I have evolved into the mother that they need, I am perfect for these boys.
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