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I have been meaning to do it for years but I admit I'm probably never going to read Marie Kondo's international bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Meaning to get around to something but feeling overwhelmed by it is kind of the theme of her new Netflix show, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, which was much easier for me to dive into.

I watched the first 45-minute episode of the series last night and while I'm not sure I'd call it life-changing, I'd definitely call Tidying Up With Marie Kondo relatable and inspiring.

The first episode in Kondo's new series is titled "Tidying with Toddlers" and it focuses on a Rachel and Kevin, a couple who have two beautiful toddlers and problem with clutter and chaos.

The first thing Kondo says in the episode (through subtitles) is something many of us parents know to be true: "When you have young children maintaining a tidy household is a struggle."




When Rachel and Kevin and their kiddos open the door to Kondo and her interpreter their house looks pretty great. But over the course of the next few scenes Kevin and Rachel show the viewers and Kondo around, pulling back the curtain on how disorganization is impacting their lives.

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Honestly, I relate to the mom in this episode so much. Rachel explains that Kevin is definitely cleaner than she is, and that laundry is a huge issue in their home and their marriage (same Rachel, same). It's gotten to the point that Rachel is paying someone to help her with the laundry (a solution that clearly isn't working) and Kevin is frustrated because he doesn't think it's a necessary expense.

I actually teared up when Rachel explained that it was after she had kids that the house became overwhelming because it's just so true. "I want things to be so simple so I don't have to be so stressed but I don't know how to fix it," she says at one point. "I want to appreciate what I have instead of like needing more things."

Totally with you here, Rachel.


When we're done with the tour, Kondo starts the process of tidying by thanking the house, which is something I think is beautiful (as Brené Brown would say, you can't feel joy without gratitude, right?) She gets everyone to close their eyes and thank the house, which really seems like they're setting an intention for the process.

According to Kondo the ultimate goal of tidying is to really cherish what you have so that you can achieve happiness for your family, and that is so what this couple (and most of us) want and need.

The episode is split into easily digestible lessons: Lesson 1 is clothing, Rachel and Kevin's biggest problem area.

Kondo directs the couple to do the Hoarders-style pile, where they pull out all the clothes and dump them in one place for sorting.

Some of Rachel's reactions to her massive amount of clothing are ones many of us have felt looking at our closets: Embarrassment and guilt. She can't believe she has so much clothing she doesn't use or love. Kondo teaches her to sort clothing and choose whether it sparks joy or not. When she lets go of something she thanks it.

They also tackle Kevin's clothes and the kids' clothes, which are a big problem according to Kevin. "When I go to get clothes for the kids, half the stuff I grab is either too small or too big," Kevin explains (again, super relatable! I have had this exact problem at my house and felt overwhelmed by it).

Kondo teaches the couple not only how to let go of clothes, but how to properly store the keepers. "Folding is not just making your clothes smaller, it is an important opportunity to talk to your clothes and thank them," Kondo explains while spreading her hands over a tank top.

At first, Rachel is confused about how she's going to be able to fold with the kids around, but Kondo tells her it's totally possible (I wouldn't know, I usually only do it when my son is sleeping). The kids will like tidying up, she says, adding that if they come crashing into the piles, you just need to tell them not to do that (I am not sure this will work with my preschooler, but I will try).

Next they tackle the garage, where Kevin explains "most of this is just random stuff" (he could just as easily be talking about my basement) and the kitchen (as someone who has a drawer full of Tupperware lids but no containers for them, I so relate).

Some of Kondo's tips in these areas seem almost too simple, like storing stuff in a way you can actually see so that you don't buy more of the same stuff. It's like so simple that I can't believe I needed a Netflix show to introduce me to the concept (but let's be real, I definitely did).

Over the course of the episode, Kevin and Rachel's stress level comes down a lot. As their house gets tidier they are able to spend time connecting with each other, instead of bickering about clutter or laundry. When those problems are gone, they are able to reconnect in their space (and save money by doing their own laundry) .

I really like how this show was not some quick process. I like that it took weeks for Rachel and Kevin to work through their tidying and that Netflix showed the slowness of the process. So often shows about homes (whether it's a reno show or a cleaning show) take the makeover approach: Pros come in and do everything and they do it quick.

In reality, things take time and effort, and this show shows that. Keeping a clean house when you have kids is hard and I have felt really overwhelmed by it. But I'm so glad that Kondo brought this show to Netflix, because while I'm still not committing to reading a book about cleaning, I am committing to cleaning our closets.

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If there's one thing you learn as a new mama, it's that routine is your friend. Routine keeps your world spinning, even when you're trucking along on less than four hours of sleep. Routine fends off tantrums by making sure bellies are always full and errands aren't run when everyone's patience is wearing thin. And routine means naps are taken when they're supposed to, helping everyone get through the day with needed breaks.

The only problem? Life doesn't always go perfectly with the routine. When my daughter was born, I realized quickly that, while her naps were the key to a successful (and nearly tear-free!) day, living my life according to her nap schedule wasn't always possible. There were groceries to fetch, dry cleaning to pick up, and―if I wanted to maintain any kind of social life―lunch dates with friends to enjoy.

Which is why the Ergobaby Metro Compact City Stroller was such a life-saver. While I loved that it was just 14 pounds (perfect for hoisting up the stairs to the subway or in the park) and folds down small enough to fit in an airplane overhead compartment (you know, when I'm brave enough to travel again!), the real genius of this pint-sized powerhouse is that it doesn't skimp on comfort.

Nearly every surface your baby touches is padded with plush cushions to provide side and lumbar support to everything from their sweet head to their tiny tush―it has 40% more padding than other compact strollers. When nap time rolls around, I could simply switch the seat to its reclined position with an adjustable leg rest to create an instant cozy nest for my little one.

There's even a large UV 50 sun canopy to throw a little shade on those sleepy eyes. And my baby wasn't the only one benefiting from the comfortable design― the Metro is the only stroller certified "back healthy" by the AGR of Germany, meaning mamas get a much-needed break too.

I also appreciate how the Metro fits comfortably into my life. The sleek profile fits through narrow store aisles as easily as it slides up to a table when I'm able to meet a pal for brunch. Plus, the spring suspension means the tires absorb any bumps along our way―helping baby stay asleep no matter where life takes us. When it's time to take my daughter out, it folds easily with one hand and has an ergonomic carry handle to travel anywhere we want to go.

Life will probably never be as predictable as I'd like, but at least with our Metro stroller, I know my child will be cradled with care no matter what crosses our path.

This article is sponsored by Ergobaby. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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The series is coming to an end but the names George R. R. Martin gave his characters will live on in the classrooms and on the playgrounds of America.

As we mentioned last week, Game of Thrones inspired baby names graced the birth certificates of thousands of babies born in the United States in 2028. It's no surprise that a popular show influenced parents, but what is surprising is that parents of girls are more likely to choose a GoT name.

When you take Jamie and Jon out of the equation (because they were always popular way before GoT) the most popular names inspired by the show belong to two strong women: Arya and the Kahlessi.

As NBC data journalist Joe Murphy first reported, Arya is the most popular Game of Thrones inspired name in America, belonging to 2545 girls in 2018. There were not nearly as many little babies named Daenarys, but her Dothraki title, Khaleesi, comes in second place with 560 baby girls taking that one. There are also 19 girls called Caleesi and 5 little Khaleesies who got an extra 'e'.

As the New York Times reports, as a name, 'Khaleesi' is more popular than other major pop-culture characters, like Hermoine or Katniss or Tris. Those names never made it into the Social Security Administrations top 1,000 baby names, but in 2017 Khaleesi was ranked 630th and in 2018 it was the 549th most popular baby girl name.

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That's hundreds of spots higher than the name Brittany (or Britney) or even some more modern, trendy names like Ensley. It's also way, way higher Sansa, which was only given to 29 girls in 2018.

Even abroad, Khaleesi is a Queen when it comes to baby names. According to the New York Times, it's on the rise in the UK and Scotland, where several parents have created hyphenated versions, including Khaleesi-Destiny, Khaleesi-Grace, and Khaleesi-Marie.

Tonight the on-screen Khaleesi will meet her fate, but no matter what happens to the Mother of Dragons, plenty of moms have ensured this pop culture icon will live on.

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Plenty of modern motherhood paraphernalia was made to be seen—think breastfeeding pillows that seamlessly blend into living room decor or diaper bags that look like stylish purses. The breast pump though, usually isn't on that list.

It's traditionally been used in the privacy of our homes and hotel rooms in the best case scenarios, and in storage closets and restrooms in the worst circumstances. For a product that is very often used by mothers because they need to be in public spaces (like work and school), the breast pump lives a very private life.

Thankfully, some high profile moms are changing that by posting their pump pics on Instagram. These influential mamas aren't gonna hide while they pump, and may change the way the world (and product designers) see this necessary accessory.

Amy Schumer

Schumer has been super real about the realities of postpartum life since welcoming her son into the world and there is nothing more real than hashtagging your pump pic #ootd, because we know that for new moms sometimes this really is your "outfit of the day."

We're thankful to these women for showing that breast pumps belong in public and in our Instagram feeds.

[This post was originally published on May 31, 2018, but has been updated to include recent Instagram posts.]

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After quite a wait (he was born last week) Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have finally revealed their baby boy’s name and it isn’t what the internet was expecting.

While Kim had previously hinted at the name Robert, after her late father and her brother, the couple went with a name that makes sense given Kanye’s new Sunday Services.

Baby number four for the Kardashian-Wests is called Psalm West, his mom announced via Instagram.

Psalm is the fourth child for Kim and Kanye, who are already raising 5-year-old North, 3-year-old Saint and 1-year-old Chicago.

Welcome to the family Psalm!

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Mornings can be so rough making sure everyone has what they need for the day and managing to get out the door on time. A recent survey by Indeed found that 60% of new moms say managing a morning routine is a significant challenge, and another new survey reveals just why that is.

The survey, by snack brand Nutri-Grain, suggests that all the various tasks and child herding parents take on when getting the family out the door in the morning adds up to basically an extra workday every week!

Many parents will tell you that it can take a couple of hours to get out of the house each morning person, and as the survey found, most of us need to remind the kids "at least twice in the morning to get dressed, brush their teeth, or put on their shoes."

According to Nutri-Grain, by the end of the school year, the average parent will have asked their children to hurry up almost 540 times across the weekday mornings.

We totally get it. It's hard to wait on little ones when we have a very grown-up schedule to get on with, but maybe the world needs to realize that kids just aren't made to be fast.

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As Rachel Macy Stafford, the author of Hands Free Mama, Hands Free Life, writes, having a child who wants to enjoy and marvel at the world while mama is trying to rush through it is hard.

"Whenever my child caused me to deviate from my master schedule, I thought to myself, 'We don't have time for this.' Consequently, the two words I most commonly spoke to my little lover of life were: 'Hurry up.'" she explains.

We're always telling our kids to hurry up, but maybe, maybe, we should be telling ourselves—and society—to slow down.

That's what Stafford did. She took "hurry up" out of her vocabulary and in doing so made that extra workday worth of time into quality time with her daughter, instead of crunch time. She worked on her patience, and let her daughter marvel at the world or slow down when she had to.

"To help us both, I began giving her a little more time to prepare if we had to go somewhere. And sometimes, even then, we were still late. Those were the times I assured myself that I will be late only for a few years, if that, while she is young."

It's great advice, but unless we mamas can get the wider world on board, it's hard to put into practice. When the school bus comes at 7:30 am and you've gotta be at the office at 8 am, when the emails start coming before you're out of bed or your pay gets docked if you punch in five minutes late, it is hard to slow down.

So to those who are making the schedules the rest of us have to live by, to the employers and the school boards and the wider culture, we ask: Can we slow down?

Indeed's survey suggests that the majority of moms would benefit from a more flexible start time at work and the CDC suggests that starting school later would help students.

Mornings are tough for parents, but they don't have to be as hard as they are.

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