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Working Moms: General Public Goods

Instagram is a place for inspiration and information, as well as camaraderie and community. Many a thumb-swipe have yielded a great friendship or business partner, two people that may not have ever found each other otherwise if not for a follow and a like. Such is the case with Alexis Sassard and Randee Shields, co-founders of one of our favorite new lines of new mama must-haves, General Public Goods.

These two Texas mamas have reinvigorated the postpartum wardrobe, with simple, classic hand-made pieces. Like the perfect V-neck top. A cardigan you’ll reach for on the daily. And a ring sling that’s comfortable and chic from your baby’s infancy through toddlerhood, with genius details like a pocket on the tail.

Now that both are expecting their second babies, they’re bound to have even more insight into the postpartum market. Below, Alexis and Randee open up about balancing babies and business.

Tell us about the product range at General Public Goods. How do you determine what’s in the line?

We create the pieces we want to see when we shop. Flowing cover-ups to veil a nursing baby or changing postpartum tummy. A reversible tank with a sexy neckline that's also nursing friendly. You will see these same themes in a beautiful dress design we hope to release next.

Why ring slings vs. another type of carrier?

We chose to make slings because they are the most functional and stylish of all baby carriers, especially with the addition of our simple pocket on the tail. Simple, stylish design and function are actually the guiding themes of all our pieces.

Why is babywearing so important to you as busy moms?

We both learned quickly that babywearing was the key to multi-tasking! Carrying a child in a sling is exponentially easier than lugging around a carseat or chasing an early walker. But most importantly, the closeness is like nothing else. Smelling your baby's head and showering them with kisses for hours on end is incomparable. Babywearing with ring slings also makes nursing on the go a breeze for mom, baby, and any pesky onlookers since the tail can be used as a cover.

How does each piece come to life?

When working on a new design we always start with function. With those guidelines, Randee begins drafting patterns and sewing samples. Then the both of us critique each sample, making adjustments until design and function meet and the desired style is achieved.

Describe the typical workday/toddler juggle.

We aim for a 10-5, Monday-Friday work week with a lot of room for flexibility. Truthfully, there is no typical work day when toddlers are involved. Some days, we're amazed by how much machine time we get, and feel accomplished with the orders we shipped out. Others we spend most the day breaking up fights between the kiddos and cleaning up their messes.

How does being moms contribute to your creative vision?

Motherhood is a huge contributor to our work. All of our pieces are designed with the modern mother and child in mind.

How does having this business impact you as moms?

Randee: I hope is that I'm setting a good example for my children and teaching them that it is possible to make your dreams come true if you're willing to work hard enough.

Alexis: I believe that caring for your children also means caring for yourself as a mother. By having this business, I hope to teach my daughter not lose herself in motherhood. Meeting your needs, creatively or not, makes you a better mom, partner, friend, and so on.

What's the most challenging part of having your own business as a mom?

Finding balance is definitely our biggest struggle. When we work too much, we worry we're being bad moms. When we don't work enough, we worry we're being bad business owners. But every once in awhile it all feels right, and it's in those moments when we are truly fulfilled.

What's the most gratifying part?

Randee: It's spending days with my babies and being there for my family. That will always be the most important part. Without this business I would be working full time, out of the house, and wouldn't have the option to turn around and smile at my sweet son anytime I want.

Alexis: I'm grateful to have the flexibility. I get to be mom and wife first, and business owner second. Being able to stop working at any point in the day if my family needs me is the most gratifying part. Not everyone has that luxury and I know it.

Can you share your best 5 tips for a mom entrepreneur thinking about starting her own business?

1. Go for it!

2. Focus on the big picture. Don't let bad days, or weeks even, bring you down.

3. Set weekly and monthly goals along with short term and long term ones.

4. Try to accomplish one thing a day. It could be simply sewing down one seam or making one social media post. On the really hard days this one thing will mean everything.

5. Be as patient and flexible as humanly possible. And when you're not, go kiss your babies and forgive yourself.

Original photography by Walter Sassard.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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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.

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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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