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Motherhood blew my mind

Motherhood changed my life. It turned my everyday inside out. Becoming a mother was the ultimate rite of passage—one I never really saw coming. I thought becoming a mother would be challenging, but I had no idea it would be a total transformation.

Jill and I started Motherly because we believe women deserve better. Women deserve to be guided through this incredible experience by compassionate experts. They deserve to be supported, not judged, because each woman is mothering the best way she knows how. They deserve a society, a community and a brand that believes in them and supports them in the daily grind of parenting. We believe women deserve Motherly.

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Motherly became our baby. It started as an idea that turned into a small reality—and then grew and grew and grew. It required a thousand acts of nurturing along the way (just like motherhood). And then one day, you see your little creation ready to go off into the world on their own—and in our case, that's This Is Motherhood, our very first book.

This Is Motherhood reflects a new generation and new approach to motherhood.

For a new generation of women—the most educated, digitally-savvy generation in history—the time has come to redefine what "Motherly" means.

Motherly is running an online business from home to have more flexibility for family life.

Motherly is choosing to stay at home, giving up alone time, adult time—anything time—to gain years with your children.

Motherly is continuing your education after an unplanned pregnancy.

Motherly is taking care of yourself, eating well and exercising to feel your strongest and to be able to be active with your children.

Motherly is awaking before the sun rises to start work early, in order to make time for a quiet, smartphone-free evening with your family.
Motherly is holding on to your core identity and being true to yourself as you evolve with motherhood.

Motherly is digging deep to live up to what's demanded of you—and what you demand for yourself.

Being Motherly means being a modern woman—and a mom.

Motherly is you.

So we launched Motherly online and we found our people. So many people. It humbles us every day to see how many millions of women are joining us in creating this more supportive, less judgmental parenting community. And as moms ourselves (I have three kids with one more on the way(!) and Jill is a mama to two), we learn so much from #TeamMotherly.

Writing This Is Motherhood means that we can take this online experience, one that helps women (including Jill and me!) not feel so alone, and bring it to your bedside table. To your commute. To your 10 minutes of 'me time' during naptime.

It means we get to be there for you not just in the virtual sense, but in a physical sense. Our inspiring and diverse writers will make you laugh—and cry—(promise!) whether you're a pregnant mama, a mom in the midst of the grind, or a grandmother looking back while embracing this next chapter.

This is the perfect book for a baby shower, a mother's day gift, or a "you've got this" gift. For yourself, your mom or a friend. Because mothers deserve all the support in the world. Thanks for being on this journey with us. You've got this.

By moms, for moms—order your copy of This is Motherhood today.

Order on Amazon, $16.34

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When I was expecting my first child, I wanted to know everything that could possibly be in store for his first year.

I quizzed my own mom and the friends who ventured into motherhood before I did. I absorbed parenting books and articles like a sponge. I signed up for classes on childbirth, breastfeeding and even baby-led weaning. My philosophy? The more I knew, the better.

Yet, despite my best efforts, I didn't know it all. Not by a long shot. Instead, my firstborn, my husband and I had to figure it out together—day by day, challenge by challenge, triumph by triumph.

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The funny thing is that although I wanted to know it all, the surprises—those moments that were unique to us—were what made that first year so beautiful.

Of course, my research provided a helpful outline as I graduated from never having changed a diaper to conquering the newborn haze, my return to work, the milestones and the challenges. But while I did need much of that tactical knowledge, I also learned the value of following my baby's lead and trusting my gut.

I realized the importance of advice from fellow mamas, too. I vividly remember a conversation with a friend who had her first child shortly before I welcomed mine. My friend, who had already returned to work after maternity leave, encouraged me to be patient when introducing a bottle and to help my son get comfortable with taking that bottle from someone else.

Yes, from a logistical standpoint, that's great advice for any working mama. But I also took an incredibly important point from this conversation: This was less about the act of bottle-feeding itself, and more about what it represented for my peace of mind when I was away from my son.

This fellow mama encouraged me to honor my emotions and give myself permission to do what was best for my family—and that really set the tone for my whole approach to parenting. Because honestly, that was just the first of many big transitions during that first year, and each of them came with their own set of mixed emotions.

I felt proud and also strangely nostalgic as my baby seamlessly graduated to a sippy bottle.

I felt my baby's teething pain along with him and also felt confident that we could get through it with the right tools.

I felt relieved as my baby learned to self-soothe by finding his own pacifier and also sad to realize how quickly he was becoming his own person.



As I look back on everything now, some four years and two more kids later, I can't remember the exact day my son crawled, the project I tackled on my first day back at work, or even what his first word was. (It's written somewhere in a baby book!)

But I do remember how I felt with each milestone: the joy, the overwhelming love, the anxiety, the exhaustion and the sense of wonder. That truly was the greatest gift of the first year… and nothing could have prepared me for all those feelings.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

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I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

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