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We’re declaring 2020 the #yearofthemother

At Motherly we talk a lot about how a massive body of research shows that today's moms are stressed out and burning out. This is a problem we have reported on extensively, but we're not just talking about it, we're listening, too. Our mamas are telling us that they are doing everything they can to support their children—but no one is supporting them.

In 2019, Motherly's second annual State of Motherhood survey revealed 85% of American mothers say that society doesn't understand or support them. So in 2020, Motherly is standing with organizations and advocacy groups fighting to get American mothers the support they need and deserve.

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Motherly has partnered with Mom Congress, a coalition of non-profit organizations, and on January 20, 2020, we will launch the #yearofthemother campaign on social media.

This is the year we demand support for mothers:

Motherly demands paid family leave in America.

Motherly demands America's maternal health crisis be addressed.

Motherly demands better maternal mental health support.

Motherly demands support for mothers feeding their babies.

Motherly demands affordable childcare solutions.

Motherly demands changes to the cultural expectations that contribute to maternal stress.

Research suggests America's mothers are the most stressed moms in the western world, and it's no wonder. The United States is the only member country of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that has not implemented paid leave on a national basis.

We need policies that support mothers and address the conflicting cultural expectations mothers are facing. Right now, working parents often feel as if they must pretend they are not parents at all in order to succeed at work. At the same time, mothers are under intense pressure to breastfeed but have little support to do so when they return to work. And when we get home, mamas are still working: We are doing way more than our fair share of unpaid care work while increasingly serving as household breadwinners.

We are not superheroes, we need support

Moms are often compared to superheroes in our society. Like superheroes, we are expected to do everything for everyone. We are expected to save the day, every day, and we have been doing our best for a long time. But we're not superhuman. We have human bodies that need time to heal and time to rest.

Join us in making 2020 the #yearofthemother.

As we move forward in 2020 we will continue to cover these issues in our news section, amplifying voices through compelling journalism and discussing the issues with public figures. If you have a news tip, please contact news@mother.ly.

This year many of us have a tighter budget than usual given (looks around) everything that has happened. Coupled with the uncertainty of what Halloween might look like, many of us are reluctant to spend money on brand new costumes that our kids will outgrow by next year. I get it. But I also know that many, like me, love Halloween so much. I thought about skipping the celebration this year, but that just feels like too big of a disappointment in an already disappointing year.

That's why I started looking into alternative costumes—something my kids will be able to wear once the clock hits November, and maybe even hand down to siblings and cousins in the coming years. At the same time, I'm not a DIY person, so I wanted outfits that didn't require any sewing or hot glue. Last year I attempted using one to build my son's Care Bear costume, and of course, I burnt my hand.

So with some creativity (and the brainpower of my colleagues), we came up with these costumes that are both fun and practical, made with items that your children will be able to (and want to!) wear year around:

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This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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Want to be a happy parent? Let go of these 15 things to find joy

5. Your need to look perfect. There’s no such thing as a perfect parent. Embrace your imperfections.

Because parenthood is challenging, we can sometimes forget how to just be happy in the midst of it all.

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