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Dear childfree friends: Thanks for sticking with me as I figure out motherhood

Motherhood is harder than it looks, so thank you for continuing to reach out to me.

Dear childfree friends: Thanks for sticking with me as I figure out motherhood

I want you to know so many things that I've never actually said to you.


But mostly I want to apologize.

I'm sorry I can't always listen.

Like the other day when I had to abruptly end our phone call—after we hadn't talked in weeks—because my 4-month-old was screaming so loudly I couldn't even think, let alone formulate a coherent sentence.

I'm sure I mumbled “I'm sorry" before I hung up, but I want to reiterate—I really am deeply sorry. You were telling me an important story and I desperately wanted to listen, but it just wasn't going to happen.

My brain was frying as we were speaking, and it wasn't going to hold up a conversation.

But I wanted it to.

I'm sorry my texts come 46578 hours late.

Even though it sometimes takes me a week to write back—I do read your texts when they come through. I just can't type a response right away because my 2-year-old stole my phone and has hooked herself up with an episode of Go, Diego, Go.

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"Just because" gifts for the friends who lift you up.

And when she finally surrenders the phone, my mind is somewhere else—trying to come up with a dinner idea, asking my daughter to stop dumping water on the floor, or calling my husband to see when he's going to rescue me (aka be home from work).

I see your text again when it dings from another message, and my heart sinks.

I wanted to answer. And I love that you're still reaching out.

I'm sorry I am a party pooper.

I want you to know that I really, really, really wanted to be at your 30th birthday party. Not only did I want to celebrate you, but mama also wanted a night out. Plus I didn't want to see fabulous Instagram pictures that I wasn't in (#FOMO).

But I didn't get to go, and I'm sorry.

You see, my daughter has recently decided to stop going to sleep at nighttime. (Two-year molars, ready for a “big girl" bed? Who knows. I sure don't.)

She's been crying sad, heavy sobs when we lay her in her crib, and while I was all dressed up and ready to head out the door—red lipstick and all—I couldn't do it.

Her sobs pulled me in, and I stayed with her. I chose her over you, again.

While I know I made the right choice as a mama, I wanted to be there for you too.

Maybe next time.

I'm sorry I am a scheduling nightmare.

I want to hang out with you so bad. It's so wonderful that you get in touch with me to make plans on your day off.

Thank you for that.

“So what time would be good?" you say? Well, do I surrender my nap time/alone time to hang out? Or do I opt to forgo any “me time" today in order to hold an uninterrupted adult conversation?

I DON'T KNOW THE RIGHT ANSWER.

I do know that I want to hang out, but I don't know when.

Is that a helpful response?

I'm sorry I'm not the friend as I used to be (at the moment).

Sometimes I wish I could burst into your house for an unscheduled glass of wine and linger over interruption-free conversation.

But if I'm honest with myself, that's most likely not going to happen any time soon. All I can see on the horizon for right now are diaper changes and preschool drop-offs. But this crazy-demanding season of new motherhood I know will pass.

And I hope you hang with me through it.

Thank you.

I'm so glad you've stuck around through my journey into motherhood. You are my forever friend.

I'm not going anywhere (except to school drop-off, playdates and pediatrician appointments...).

And although I may not be able to be as focused on our friendship as I was pre-children, I am still just as loyal + I love you just as much as I always have.

And I'm especially grateful that you're hanging in there with me.

I will be there for you every step of the way when you have your babies. No judgments, no off-limits questions, no hesitation when you need a favor. You've been so kind to me, so patient with me—and I owe you one, girl.

You mean the world to me.

Thank you.

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In This Article

You will always be their safe space, mama

You are their haven. Their harbor. Their sanctuary, their peace. You are comfort. Deep breaths. Hugs and back rubs. You're a resting place, a nightmare chaser, a healer. You are the calm within their storm. You are their mother.

To your child, you are safety. You are security. You are where (out of anyone or any place), they can come undone. Where they can let it all out, let it all go. Where they meltdown, break down, scream, cry, push.

Where they can say—"I AM NOT OKAY!"

Where they can totally lose it. Without judgment or fear or shame.

Because they know you'll listen. They know you'll hear them. That you will help piece the mess back together.

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Life

This post is brought to you by Staples. While this was a sponsored opportunity, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

One of the biggest changes in my household once my daughter started homeschooling was that, suddenly, everything and everyone in our home had to start pulling double duty. While I was used to wearing a lot of hats (mom, wife and WFH employee, to name a few), suddenly our dining room was also pulling shifts as a classroom. My laptop was also a virtual teacher. Our living room hutch was also a school supply closet.

If I didn't want my home to be overrun with an abundance of clutter, I had to find products that could multitask. Here are 10 products that are saving this WFH + homeschooling mama right now.

Stylish storage cabinet

Whether I need a place to keep the printer or just want to keep crayons and colored pencils organized, this pretty cabinet provides a mixture of exposed and hidden storage without clashing with my living room decor.

White board calendar + bulletin board

With so much on our plates these days, I need a visual reminder of our daily schedule or I'll forget everything. This dry erase version makes it easy to keep track of Zoom meetings and virtual classes—and I also love using the corkboard to display my daughter's latest work from art class.

Natural Recycled 3-Ring Binder

From tracking our curriculum progress to organizing my family's paperwork, I can never have enough binders. Even better, this neutral version is pretty enough that I can display them on the bookshelf.

Bamboo storage drawers

The instant you start homeschooling, it can feel like you're suddenly drowning in papers, craft supplies and more. Fortunately, these simple bamboo drawers can be tucked into the cabinet or even displayed on top (seriously, they're that cute!) to keep what we need organized and close at hand.

Laminated world map

I love this dry-erase map for our geography lessons, but the real secret? It also makes a cute piece of wall decor for my work space.

Rolling 7-drawer cabinet

When you're doing it all from home, you sometimes have to roll with the punches—I strongly recommend getting an organizational system that rolls with you. On days when both my husband and I are working from home and I need to move my daughter's classes to another room, this 7-drawer cabinet makes it easy to bring the classroom with us.

Letterboard

From our first day of school photo to displaying favorite quotes to keep myself motivated, this 12"x18" letterboard is my favorite thing to display in our home.

Expandable tablet stand

Word to the wise: Get a pretty tablet stand you won't mind seeing out every day. (Because between virtual playdates, my daughter's screen time and my own personal use, this thing never gets put away.)

Neutral pocket chart

Between organizing my daughter's chore chart, displaying our weekly sight words and providing a fits-anywhere place to keep supplies on hand, this handy little pocket chart is a must-have for homeschooling families.

Totable fabric bins

My ultimate hack for getting my family to clean up after themselves? These fabric bins. I can use them to organize my desk, store my oldest's books and even keep a bin of toys on hand for the baby to play with while we do school. And when playtime is over, it's easy for everyone to simply put everything back in the bin and pop it in the cabinet.

Looking for study solutions for older children? Hop over to Grown & Flown for their top picks for Back to School.

Work + Money

100 unusual + surprising baby name ideas

From Adelia to Ziggy.

Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.


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