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Hilary Duff's simple, powerful honesty: 'Pregnancy is hard'

She admits the journey is special, but says it's also really difficult.

Hilary Duff's simple, powerful honesty: 'Pregnancy is hard'

Pregnancy is so amazing because our bodies transform until they no longer look our own. And pregnancy is so hard for the same reason. Hilary Duff knows what we're talking about.

Duff is currently expecting her second child (a girl this time) and recently shared her thoughts on her physical transformation with her Instagram followers. She recognizes the beauty in everything her body is doing, but she also recognizes that having your body expand in ways you're not used to is tough, physically and mentally.

"The boobs are big the belly is big the body is big. Man.. pregnancy is hard," Duff captioned a swimsuit selfie.

"Giving love to all mamas who make it look effortless... this journey is hard as hell and also incredibly special. Lovely to have a little life inside and to day dream of all the new adventures to come buuuut almost impossible to get my own shoes on," she writes.

"Sick of getting up 9 times a night to pee and looking at this weird body in the mirror that is not my own at the moment. Women are so bad ass, this was just a note to remind myself and remind others how's strong and beautiful you are! WE GOT THIS."

Yes you do, mama.

Duff's words remind us that expecting mothers don't always feel like they're glowing—sometimes they just feel uncomfortable. But expecting mamas who are feeling disconnected from the woman in the mirror should have hope. A recent survey suggests more than 65% of pregnant moms say they feel "more confident and comfortable" with their bodies after pregnancy. Post-pregnancy, the survey found 56% of new mothers and 51% of experienced mothers feel more confident and comfortable. As a second-time parent, Duff's been through this before. It took time, but she got there.

After giving birth to her son, Luca, Duff initially found it hard to feel confident with her postpartum body, she told Women's Health Magazine.

"I wasn't one of those women who just could nurse and lose the weight. Some people bounce back and don't have to deal with that, and that's wonderful for them. But for me, it was so hard to connect with my body again once I had a baby."

Then, she says, a mental shift happened and she was able to appreciate the way her body had changed and what it was doing for her child, rather than resenting it or pushing it to change again too quickly.

"My body helped create a bond between us, and me being there for him in those first months of his life ultimately was far more important than me trying to get in shape right away," she explained. "I realized that I am never going to be the same again, and that's okay. I've learned to be proud of what my body does for me, and what it did while I was pregnant with my son."

Now, her body is helping create another bond with another baby, and although it's hard, the body in the mirror that looks "weird" to Duff right now will soon look like home to her daughter. And that's pretty amazing.

[Correction, July 27, 2018: This article originally stated that "65% of moms say they feel "more confident and comfortable" with their bodies after pregnancy". That stat applied to pregnant mothers only. Post-pregnancy, the survey found 56% of new mothers and 51% of experienced mothers feel more confident and comfortable in their bodies.]

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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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