To my childfree friends: You make this better by simply being here

It may seem like we’re speaking different languages—but I love reminders of what your language sounds like.

To my childfree friends: You make this better by simply being here

I know that this is not a version of me that you know.

I know that you are used to me jumping in the car and catching a spur-of-the-moment movie. I know that we can usually catch lunch together throughout the week and you have my undivided attention for that entire hour. I know that before this, I was a concert buddy, a travel partner, a go-to for a fun night out or girl’s night in.

I know that before all of this, I had more interesting tidbits of conversation than the repeated: I’m so tired. I’m so tired. I’M SO TIRED.


I’m sure that your mind wanders as I go on about completely foreign and tedious things like diaper rash, teething, baby food, check-up appointments and the ongoing list of baby tricks my little one is now capable. I’m sure that you have moments where you just want to grab my face with both hands and scream the story you have repeated three times in my face, so that I can actually hear you.

Trust me, I know.

But among all these things, I also know that you have never made me feel guilty for any of it. Instead, you try and try again to distract my waddling toddler screaming “MOMMAMOMMAMOMMA” as I make us a slightly charred dinner. Instead, you turn a blind eye to my overflowing sink or toy strewn living room. You jump up to change a diaper. You wait patiently as I unload a stroller, and a diaper bag, and a squealing baby and then continue to wait (for what must feel like a small eternity) while I wrestle them all into their rightful place and we can finally haphazardly trek into the mall.

You sit in my car among the toys and wipes and gear and listen to my pitchy versions of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” for the dozenth time without a complaint.

You have never made me feel like a lesser version of myself, because I’m not the same version of myself. You don’t push me when I bashfully tell you I’m not ready to leave my baby for a girl’s weekend. You don’t hint that I need to return back to my flexible, “normal” ways or else our friendship will dissolve. Not even when I often, inexplicably, burst into tears in my first few weeks postpartum. Not even when I continuously skipped out of going ANYWHERE, because it was too stressful with my new little one. Or when I show up in public looking like I’ve been hit by a freight train.

We are in two very different stages of life. You are still carefree and able to tackle your career and travel and do all of the things you want to do when you want to do them. I, on the other hand, cannot leave the house without a basic itinerary and a bag full of every possible item that could remedy every possible hypothetical.

I know that you see this and acknowledge it, but I also know that you cannot possibly understand it, because you just aren’t here yet. You have no way of knowing the vulnerability that comes with motherhood, no idea how much it forcefully remolds the deepest parts of you without your consent. And yet, you have made one of the scariest parts of it so easy, simply by loving me and just remaining with me. Even during the times when I seemed like a wholly different, distracted person.

So, my sweet and patient friend, thank you.

Thank you for chasing and kissing little feet so that I can actually finish a task.

Thank you for offering to babysit even when I don’t ask.

Thank you for almost always coming with coffee in hand.

Thank you for seeing me underneath all of the mommy weight and mommy gear.

Thank you for making me feel like my little one is the most hilarious and precious little person in the world… And spoiling her in ways that I don’t.

I know that you have no idea the weight that these small things carry. I know that you offer them up freely and without keeping a secret tally to be repaid one day, and that is why I must voice this small thank you, because I know that you do not know you are worthy of it.

I know that I am different. I know that my life is very far removed from the spontaneous place it once resided–a place closer to you–and yet you have still made the journey to meet me where I am.

For this, thank you.

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In This Article

    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

    I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

    I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

    My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

    1. Go apple picking.

    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

    2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

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

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