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What went viral this week: A back-to-school before and after + much-needed bath

For many parents, this week was back-to-school week and it was a short week. It's totally understandable if you missed some news headlines this week, mama. Don't worry, we've been keeping track.

These are the headlines that went viral over the last seven days.

This little girl's viral before + after school photo is so relatable

When Scottish mom Jillian Falconer put together two hilarious photos of her daughter Lucie's first day of school this week she didn't expect them to go viral, but she also didn't expect her daughter to come out of school looking like she'd been competing in the Hunger Games.

The photo on the left is Lucie as she was dropped off at school. On the right is Lucie when her mom returned to collect her. Her hair is wild. Her socks are drooping. Her school uniform is crumpled. She wears the expression of someone who has been through it.

Her mom could not believe the state she was in so she snapped a pic to share with Lucie's dad. "Lucie is just like any typical child. When I went to pick her up from school and saw how she looked, I was mortified," Falconer told her local paper, the Barrhead News.

The newspaper posted the photo on its Facebook page and the pic went viral, attracting likes from around the world. Falconer told the paper that when she asked Lucie what she'd been doing at school to get into that state she said "Oh nothing, I just played with my friends."

🤣

Sometimes life comes at you so hard you don't even realize it. We've all been there, Lucie. Especially this week.

Viral post reminds us that kids need self-care time, too 

Justifying Jane

The mom of four behind the Facebook page and blog, Justifying Jane went viral this week by reminding us that sometimes our kids need quiet time for self-care, too.

She posted a photo of one of her sons, age 8, taking a nice, luxurious bath (complete with Cheetos and a wine glass filled with fruit punch) along with the following caption:

"This kid right here hasn't had the greatest start to the school year. We're only on week 2, and I've already conferenced with the teacher and principal. He's done a few things wrong, and then had some backlash come his way that no 8 year old boy on the planet deserves. For the past 3 days I've sat outside the school at 3:00 biting my nails and straining to see him walk out the door. I wanna see what his face looks like, so I can gauge what the day has done to him. When we got home yesterday I resumed my usual line of questioning...'What happened today?', 'Did anyone say mean things?', 'Did you say mean things?', 'Did anyone play with you today?', 'How are you feeling? Are you okay?'" she writes.

This mama obviously has a lot of questions and concerns about her son's stressful start to the school year, but he reminded her that he's carrying a lot of stress about it, too.

"I saw this look on his face that said, 'I need you to stop.' And so, I did. And then I decided that sometimes our little humans need the same things we need: they need space. And 20 minutes of silence. And their favorite snacks laid out next to a warm bath. I think sometimes these are the things that speak love to our children louder than our voices.
He was calm for the rest of the night. And this morning when I dropped him off I looked him straight in the face and said, 'You got this.' And he said, 'Yeah....but if I don't, will you make me another bath tonight?' And I said 'Always.'"

That's exactly what our children need to hear sometimes. That they will always have a soft, warm place to chill out at home and that we will always be there to provide that when they need it.

If your little one has had a tough week, maybe try this mama's trick. And if you've had a tough week, a warm bath with snacks works to destress adults, too.

This boss' viral post about helping working parents is perfect 

Two weeks ago, California-based recruitment executive Bernie Reifkind, wrote a post on LinkedIn. This week, screenshots of the post went viral on Facebook (where it's been shared over 91,000 times).

He recalls a time when he noticed an employee sobbing, silently, at her desk—and it wasn't even 8 o'clock in the morning.

"I asked her if everything was OK? She told me that her child was sick and that she had been up all night. Bags under her eyes. I asked her 'So, what are you doing here at the office?' She said that she had run out of 'sick days' and could not afford to miss another day. I sent her home and promised that she would get paid. In addition, I wrote her a check on the spot for extra money to alleviate her immediate financial worry. She was incredibly grateful," Reifkind wrote.

"To this day, she is my best employee not just because of her talent but her loyalty. Employers, please understand that most people are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. Burning the candle at both ends. Trying to make ends meet. Kids, homework, spouses, significant others, elder parents, mortgage payments, auto repairs, etc. The relentlessness of life. People are worried about their jobs. PLEASE reassure your hard working employees that their jobs are secure, whenever possible. Loyalty goes both ways."

Reifkind is right: Life can be relentless and the demands on working parents can seem impossible. But when employers recognize that their employees are people and parents, not just employees, there can be a huge return on that investment.

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Soothing bath care for babies.

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After 4 kids, this is still the best baby gear item I’ve ever purchased

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work.

I have four kids 8 and under, so you might expect that my house is teeming with baby gear and kid toys.

But it turns out that for me, the more kids I have, the more I simplify our stuff. At this point, I'm down to the absolute essentials, the gear that I can't live without and the toys my kids actually play with. And so when a mama-to-be asks me what things are worth registering for, there are only a few must-haves on my list.

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer seat is on the top of my list—totally worth it and an absolute must-have for any new mama.

In fact, since I first splurged on my first BABYBJÖRN bouncer eight years ago (it definitely felt like a splurge at the time, but the five star reviews were really compelling), the bouncer seat has become the most-used product in our house for baby's first year.

We've actually invested in a second one so that we didn't have to keep moving ours from the bedroom to the living room when we change locations.

BABYBJÖRN bouncer bliss

baby bjorn bouncer

The utility of the seat might seem counterintuitive—it has no mechanical parts, so your baby is instead gently bounced by her own movements. In a world where many baby products are touted for their ability to mechanically rock baby to sleep, I get that many moms might not find the "no-motion" bouncer that compelling. But it turns out that the seat is quite reactive to baby's little kicks, and it has helped my kids to learn how to self-soothe.

$200

Lightweight + compact:

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer is super lightweight, and it also folds flat in a second. Because of those features, we've frequently stored it under the couch, in a suitcase or in the back of the car. It folds completely flat, which I love.

Entertainment zone:

Is the toy bar worth it? The toy bar is totally worth it. Not only is the toy bar adorable, but it's one of the first toys that my babies actually play with once they discover the world beyond my boobs. The toys spin and are close to eye level so they have frequently kept my baby entertained while I cook or take a quick shower.

Great style:

This is not a small detail to me–the BABYBJÖRN bouncer is seriously stylish. I am done with baby gear and toys that make my house look like a theme park. The elegant European design honestly just looks good in my living room and I appreciate that parents can enjoy it as much as baby.

It's adjustable:

With three height settings that let you prop baby up to be entertained, or lay back to rest, we get years of use. And the bouncer can actually be adjusted for bigger kids and used from newborn to toddler age. It's that good.

It just works:

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work. But I have used the seat as a safe space to put baby while I've worked (I once rocked my baby in it with my foot while I reported on a breaking news story for the Washington Post), and as a cozy spot for my second child to lay while his big brother played nearby. It's held up for almost a decade with almost-constant use.

So for me, looking back on what I thought was a splurge eight years ago, was actually one of the best investments in baby gear I ever made.

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

Thank you for understanding. ❤️

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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Life

It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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News