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Think of dressing yourself as a form of self-care, mama, says stylist La Tonya Yvette

"We feel like our best like selves when we're actually taking care of our mental health. And you know that's style for me," shares Yvette.

Think of dressing yourself as a form of self-care, mama, says stylist La Tonya Yvette
LaTonya Yvette

LaTonya Yvette is a multi-hyphenate mama who makes work-at-home motherhood look incredibly stylish. As a stylist, blogger, and the author of the new book Woman of Color, Yvette is inspiring other women and mothers as she tackles all kinds of topics.

A blog that started out as a way to document her journey as a young millennial mom has grown with Yvette and is a reflection of the fact that mothers are multifaceted people and that the lifestyle space, which is so often minimized by those outside it, is also a space for very important conversations.

During the third episode of the second season of The Motherly Podcast, Sponsored by Prudential, Yvette tells Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety about her transition from a 21-year-old new mom trying to figure out how to dress her new body to an author who is impacting the lives of so many other mothers.

On style as self-care

The stereotype of a mom in yoga pants could never be used to describe Yvette. For her, yoga pants all day isn't going to make her feel like her best self, something she wants every mom to be able to feel like.

From her early days as a stylist, when she dressed new moms who weren't sure what to wear after their bodies had changed, to the present day as she had a huge platform as an influencer and author, Yvette wants women to to make time to take care of their style. Because if it is important to you, you don't have to give it up just because you are a mother.

"We feel like our best like selves when we're actually taking care of our mental health. And you know that's style for me," she tells Tenety. "It's so much about self-care and a lot of it has to do with just like putting myself forward so that I then can give to my children."

For Yvette, this means that when she puts her kids clothes out at night she makes time to put her own clothes out, too. It's a little thing, but it's a time saver and a simple act that reinforces that she is a priority in her own life.

On finding your style after motherhood

For so many moms, getting dressed after having a baby is more challenging than expected. Our bodies change, what we need our clothes to do for us on a practical level changes, and the whole relationship with our closet can become a lot more complicated. Yvette suggests that moms who are feeling uninspired or stuck in a style rut take an inventory of their clothes, because sometimes the clothes we've collected aren't a fit for our current lives.

"I always say first things first is like look at your closet right. Like, look at what you have in there because it might not even be you. It might just be inspired by the things that are in there. You're not inspired. It's not just a time thing. It's like actually things that you have that no longer speak to you and speak to who you are or who you want to be," Yvette says.

When it comes to figuring out what you're going to wear once you're out of your maternity jeans (and don't worry if that takes a few months, mama, baby bumps don't disappear over night), Yvette suggests moms put away their old jeans rather than think about getting back into them. It's totally okay to just get new jeans.

"I think you know false expectations are really dangerous, and so I think that like putting up the jeans that you wore before and literally not looking at them unless like you somehow know you've lost all your weight you know. Like it's not worth it," she explains.

To hear more from Woman of Color author LaTonya Yvette about style, motherhood, race and writing, listen to The Motherly Podcast, sponsored by Prudential, for the full interview.

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A very important letter for new mamas

Listen, mom-guilt is a dirty liar. Yes, it's your job to fill your little human's needs, but you matter too. Don't forget to take care of yourself. Hang out with friends, take a drive blaring 90's hip hop or shower without interruptions—trust me, you'll be a better person (and mom) because of it.

Dear new mom,

You will shave again someday. Today is not that day.

Set expectations low, my friend, and set your partner's lower—at least where body hair and overall hygiene are concerned.

That conversation could go something like this: “From now on let's not consider shaving a “standard," but more like a gift that happens on birthdays and the first day of summer."

Voila, you are a gift-giving genius. You know what else is a gift? Shaving the inch and a half of skin that is between your skinny jeans and your boots. You're welcome world.

You will not be perfect at parenting.

Boom.

I have yet to meet a perfect mother, but when I do, she's going to be a tiger who is insanely good at making up songs. (Daniel Tiger's mom, we salute you.)

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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A few years ago, while my wife's baby bump got bigger and my daddy reading list grew longer, I felt cautiously optimistic that this parenthood thing would, somehow, suddenly click one day. The baby would come, instincts would kick in, and the transition from established couple to a new family would be tiring but not baffling.

Boy was I wrong.

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Life