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7 ways to remind yourself that you're more than a parent, mama

Being a great parent means we find ways to honor our other parts.

7 ways to remind yourself that you're more than a parent, mama

Being a new parent doesn't mean your love is only intended for your little one. It's so easy to get wrapped up in their cuteness, or little giggle…or how about those eyes? But being a new parent demands so much, and often we lose track of all the other parts of our identity because of it.

Being a great parent means we find ways to honor our other parts. You see, we can only be our best selves when we give ourselves permission to take care of the different bits of our identity while also honoring the different roles we have. Truth is, the whole is better when we're nurturing the parts.

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Think of yourself as a system, a machine that has different parts that need to be intact in order to function at its best. Now think of the different parts of your identity that make up that system:

Mother. Father. Partner. Friend. Daughter. Son. Sister. Brother. Marathon runner.

Cycler. Musician. Artist. Reader. Employer. Employee. Crafts enthusiast. Volunteer.

This just scratches the surface, but let's just take a closer look at one to make this make more sense.

If you're a runner but haven't gone running in a month, that part of the system is going to feel a little neglected. Think of running as an actual screw. If you're not honoring the part, the screw is going to start to loosen. Now it may not fall out just because it isn't getting tightened every day, but that loose screw will eventually make the machine not function at its best. Every time you go for a run, you tighten that screw. You honor it. And because of that, the whole system starts to operate better.

You have to do this for all of the important parts of your identity.

Whether you're into resolutions or not, this is a good time to check in with yourself. It's time to make deliberate efforts that honor the self, the couple and the family that communicate love to each part.

So as we start 2020 and are focused on goals and resolutions for the upcoming year, let's take a little time to identify and begin to honor the parts of our identity that are most important.

1. Make a list of ALL of the parts of your identity.

Big and small.

2. Circle your top five.

Think of these as the five you want to be your big screws.

3. On a scale from 1-10 (10 is best) rank how well you've honored each part for the week.

Some weeks will be better than others. Maybe you'll notice that two of your five screws consistently get more attention, or that one of your screws is always just barely being honored. You'll start to see where you may need to adjust.

4. Commit to doing one thing every week to honor and grow each part.

Making this commitment to yourself will help you prioritize yourself as you start to tackle your endless to-do list.

5. Add one new thing to your routine.

Maybe it's honoring 15 minutes before you go to bed for time that helps you honor one of your top five screws. If one of your top five is strengthening your relationship, this can mean cuddling, talking about the day, or taking a shower together. Or Maybe it's a good morning text to your partner once one of you is out of the house.

Do anything that honors that time together.

6. Set goals for yourself.

Using the relationship example again, make a list of three things you each want to be better at as it pertains to your relationship. For example, “I want to be a better partner to you by being a better listener. I will focus on understanding instead of trying to fix everything." Share these with your partner, and ask them to gently remind you when you could be showing up better.

7. At the end of every week ask yourself how you did and felt this week.

This is a beautiful way to check in and to hold yourself accountable.

“How was I as a partner this week?"

“What could I have done differently?"

“This week I'll focus on _________."

Being a new parent demands so much. It asks you to stop prioritizing many of your parts, but that does not mean you can't do small things often that support and uplift some of the beautiful parts of your identity.

You are more than a parent, and that is okay. It's more than okay, and you have all of the permission in the world to take care of yourself so that your system is functioning at its best.


Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on www.comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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It's 2020. The world is changing. It's hard to believe but the old decade is over, the new one is here and it is bringing a lot of new life with it. The babies born this year are members of Generation Alpha and the world is waiting for them.

We're only a few months into the new year and there are already some new celebrity arrivals making headlines while making their new parents proud.

If your little one arrived (or is due to arrive) in 2020, they've got plenty of high profile company.

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