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What I’ve Learned Since Having a Second Kid

*We’ve partnered with Mountain Buggy to celebrate the launch of their new nano duo ™, a lightweight side-by-side stroller that delivers the perfect solution for urban parents. From the moment you learn you’re having a second kid, the worries start mounting: How could you possibly love another as much as the first? Will you ever sleep again? And how can you squeeze more baby stuff into your living room!? But once you witness that first heart-bursting sibling interaction, you realize nothing else matters. From that first precious kiss to daily hand-holding in the double stroller, those moments of sibling love are worth all the sleepless nights. That doesn’t mean it’s easy managing two kids, especially when you’re also trying to manage work, your relationship and, you know, everything else. We recently caught up with NYC mom of two Deirdre Maloney, founder of fashion trade show Capsule, about how she juggles her two daughters Lennox (3) and Locke (8 months), and her evolving career. Below she shares all the things she’s learned since having a second kid, and the sibling love moments that make it worth it. Want to win the Mountain Buggy nano duo™ she’s strolling below? Post a photo of your own sibling love moments on Instagram with the hashtag #ilovemyduo and tag @wellroundedny and @mountain_buggy. We’ll announce the winner on May 31! That my relationship with my husband -- and my first baby -- could change so much. When I was pregnant with my first daughter Lennox, while I was very excited about having a baby, I was worried about how she might change my relationship with my husband (Def Jam exec Noah Callahan-Bever). When I was pregnant with my second daughter Locke, I worried about how she might change my relationship with Lennox. It’s funny because in both cases, of course, the relationships have changed. And though I do miss elements of the old us, me and Noah, and also me, Noah & Lennox, I love the new us as a foursome the most. That my big kid would love her little sister right away. My parents and my sister brought Lennox to meet Locke shortly after she was born. Lennox climbed into the hospital bed with me and the baby. She caressed Locke's tiny feet and sang her the song from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood when Daniel meets his new baby sister: “I really love, I really love, I really love our baaaaby. I really love, I really love, I really love our baaaaaby.” That my baby would be so obsessed with her big sis. With Lennox, I was, and still am, her favorite person. With Locke, Lennox is her favorite person. It’s so awesome to come home with Lennox and see Locke perk up and frantically try to twist her body to see Lennox with her huge toothless smile. I also die whenever Lennox uses her high pitched "Mommy voice" with Locke… “Lockey Bear – you are so cute and so small I just want to pinch your chubby little cheeks!” (Then pinches her chubby little cheeks). That the right gear means everything. I try to make Lennox walk a lot but she prefers to ride in the Mountain Buggy nano duo™ stroller with her sister. She points things out to her like “Look, two dogs, maybe they are sisters!”, holds her hand, demands I pass her a tissue to blow Locke’s nose (aka smother her) and even gives her little kisses while she’s sitting beside her. She’s very sweet with Locke, so these moments happen constantly. That my husband would be such a great dad of two. I have been surprised that while Noah and I have very similar values and goals, we have such different parenting styles. I think I am pretty in tune with the girls and have the strong “mother instinct” to quickly figure out what they want or need, whereas his instincts can be different. When we are together, I micromanage the hell out of him, sometimes to the point that I even annoy myself, but he is so patient and willing about everything. When he’s on his own with the girls he does just fine without my micromanaging, so I remind myself that I need to relax and let him be. It’s so hard though – I am bossy by nature! But that our relationship requires even more communication and attention. What works well for us is identifying who is responsible for what, just like you do in the workplace. When things get left up in the air, they either don’t get done, or don’t get done well and cause friction. And because we have a good network of babysitters and family nearby, we are able to do date nights, or individual nights out, and even quick vacations, which we both really need for the health of our marriage, and the health of us as individuals. And I am really loving our one-on-one “adventures” with the girls on the weekends. I know it means a lot to them too. That the business/baby juggle is constantly evolving. My business partner (and mom confidante) Minya Quirk and I recently shuttered our agency business after 13 years because we just weren’t into it any more. We stopped working on our fashion trade show, Capsule, when it was acquired for a second time last month. So for the first time in my life, I don’t have a business (or businesses!) that require my around-the-clock attention, and it has been great. Minya and I are launching a new trade show in the gift and home and design space (with a third partner) this August, and we have a few other ideas in the works, but I am working less than I have in a long time. That means more time with my kids, and more time for running and organizing our household. And more time for me! This doesn’t feel like a long-term situation, but considering I barely took maternity leave for either of my kids, I am really enjoying quality time with them and the slower pace. That it really does take a village. We have fully embraced the “it takes a village” model of parenting. My parents live nearby and are super into grandparenting, so they help a lot. We have an amazing nanny and part-time weekend help too. And of course, we divide and conquer. I am a big schedule person, and until recently Locke was taking 3 naps a day (now 2) and has a pretty rigid eating schedule. Lennox takes no naps and is very flexible (now) so on weekends we try to have a Mommy day and a Daddy day with each kid so we get a few hours of one-on-one. This way, we each also get some alone time to clean, workout, or zone out on the couch for an hour. We do family time for the second half of the weekend days...and try to hold off drinking wine until at least 5pm! Photography by Stylish & Hip Kids for Well Rounded.


Mountain Buggy nano duo™ stroller in black

Mountain Buggy nano duo™ stroller in silver

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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


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


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


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


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


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.

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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.

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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)! 🎉

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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.

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A barking cough echoed over the baby monitor at 5:00 am. My eyes hadn't even opened and in a hoarse morning voice I asked my husband, "You heard that too, right?" Maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought. But he agreed, and I groaned, knowing what my day—already planned to the hour—would now look like.

My husband is a teacher with a hefty commute and not always a lot of flexibility, so things like sick kids, vet appointments and oil changes usually fall to me. While I'm thankful for a job that essentially allows me to work anywhere—like car dealership waiting areas, my kitchen table or even waiting in line at the grocery store (thanks, email app!)—I still flinch at any disruption from my usual schedule.

I knew the barking baby seal probably meant Croup and because my older kiddo had also been battling a nasty cough and cold, I made plans to take both kids to the doctor. Four hours of meetings scheduled? No problem. I'd make the kids appointments, change my in-person meetings to conference calls, get the kids comfortable with some PBS and pillows and get on with my day working from home.

Two doctors appointments, a breathing treatment (due to unforeseen wheezing) and a trip to the pharmacy later, the girls and I were back home. I had 10 minutes to spare before a call with my manager. Barely breaking a sweat, I thought. Oh, the smug confidence.

I texted a quick update to my mom who'd asked how the girls were. Exasperated, my 3-year-old began pacing in circles in the kitchen. She might have been sick, but somehow her energy never faltered. She gestured with frustration— her palms up and little fingers spread wide, "It's not time for texting, Mommy. It's time for lunch!"

Some people have the type of kids who get colds and melt into the couch for days. They sleep more than usual, they're quieter and they are more than happy to zone out to a movie. I do not have such children.

But she was right. I apologized and sloppily slathered some peanut butter and honey on stale bread ends. Then added bread to the running grocery list.

Five minutes to spare.

As I served up a gourmet lunch, of PB&H and a juice box, I fumbled around to find the conference code when I heard the splat of baby barf hitting the floor (it's possible there is no worse sound.)

"Mommy! Ew! She barfed!"

I made a mental note to talk to the toddler about using the word, 'barf.'

My confident attitude about taking the day head on was now in a swift downward spiral. Sure, I could still join my meeting. I could half listen on mute and soothe the coughing baby with some gentle hip bouncing. But I'd likely have to answer a question and unmute myself, no doubt as the baby started crying again or the dog barked at a UPS truck.

I could make it happen and later face my oldest asking why I'm always on the phone or always texting and never playing. Basically, I could make it work, but not work well.

So, here's what I did.

I sent one final text to my manager that said, "Thought I could make today work but can't. Two sick kids. Need to reschedule."

I then breathed a huge sigh of relief for making one decision and not trying to squeeze in 50 things. I was able to refocus my attention to the little people who actually needed me. My manager sympathetically—and genuinely—responded, "Mom job comes first."

Because let's face it—my 3-year-old doesn't care that my inbox is full and my calendar is back-to-back. All she knows is this: When I'm home she wants to play.

And just because I can work anywhere, doesn't mean I should. I have to learn to stop "making it work." Some days it just doesn't work. I need the reminder to put the phone down. Close the laptop. Focus on what's in front of me. Find a way to shut off the part of my brain that's yelling and anxious about everything I need to do.

Sometimes I need to just s l o w d o w n.

My career isn't going to come to a screeching halt because I spent a few hours or even a few days with sick kids. But I'd like to think my kids will remember the times I spent snuggling and relaxing with them when they were sick. I'd rather they hold on to those memories than ones of me texting and scheduling and over-scheduling and trying to make ALL of it work.

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