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

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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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As a mid-Spring holiday, we never knew exactly what to expect from the weather on Easter when I was growing up in Michigan: Would we get to wear our new Sunday dresses without coats? Or would we be hunting for eggs while wearing snowsuits?

Although what the temperature had in store was really anyone's guess, there were a few special traditions my sister and I could always depend on—and it won't come as a surprise to anyone who knows me that my favorite memories revolved around food. After all, experts say memories are strongest when they tie senses together, which certainly seems to be true when it comes to holiday meals that involve the sounds of laughter and the taste of amazing food.

Now that I'm a parent, I'm experiencing Easter anew as my children discover the small delights of chocolate, pre-church brunch and a multi-generational dinner. While I still look forward to the treats and feasting, I'm realizing now that the sweetest thing of all is how these traditions bring our family together around one table.

For us, the build-up to Easter eats is an extended event. Last year's prep work began weeks in advance when my 3-year-old and I sat down to plan the brunch menu, which involved the interesting suggestion of "green eggs and ham." When the big morning rolled around, his eyes grew to the size of Easter eggs out of pure joy when the dish was placed on the table.

This year, rather than letting the day come and go in a flash, we are creating traditions that span weeks and allow even the littlest members of the family to feel involved.

Still, as much as I love enlisting my children's help, I also relish the opportunity to create some magic of my own with their Easter baskets—even if the Easter Bunny gets the credit. This year, I'm excited to really personalize the baskets by getting an "adoptable" plush unicorn for my daughter and the Kinder Chocolate Mini Eggs that my son hasn't stopped talking about since seeing at the store. (You can bet this mama is stocking up on some for herself, too.)

At the same time, Easter as a parent has opened my eyes to how much effort can be required...

There is the selection of the right Easter outfits for picture-perfect moments.

There is the styling of custom Easter baskets.

There is the filling of plastic eggs and strategic placement of them throughout the yard.

But when the cameras are put away and we all join together around the table for the family dinner at the end of the day, I can finally take a deep breath and really enjoy—especially with the knowledge that doing the dishes is my husband's job.

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


Our Partners

Pink opened up about her family's fight against coronavirus late Friday, taking to Instagram to make a big announcement.

"Two weeks ago my three-year old son, Jameson, and I are were showing symptoms of COVID-19," Pink revealed, noting that she tested positive and has since recovered.

She continued: "My family was already sheltering at home and we continued to do so for the last two weeks following the instruction of our doctor. Just a few days ago we were re-tested and are now thankfully negative. It is an absolute travesty and failure of our government to not make testing more widely accessible. This illness is serious and real."

FEATURED VIDEO

After dealing with the virus on a personal level and recognizing her privilege in being able to access testing, Pink decided to donate $1 million to fight coronavirus and hopefully protect others.

"In an effort to support the healthcare professionals who are battling on the frontlines every day, I am donating $500,000 to the Temple University Hospital Emergency Fund in Philadelphia in honor of my mother, Judy Moore, who worked there for 18 years in the Cardiomyopathy and Heart Transplant Center. Additionally, I am donating $500,000 to the City of Los Angeles Mayor's Emergency COVID-19 Crisis Fund," she announced via Instagram.

Pink ended her update by thanking the brave healthcare workers on the front lines and reminding the rest of us to stay home.

For more information on COVID-19 and how it is impacting families, visit mother.ly/coronavirus.

News

On Friday President Trump announced that the Centers for Disease Control is now advising people to wear a cloth mask if they need to go out in public. It's not a rule, he says, but a recommendation.

"It's really going to be a voluntary thing," President Trump told reporters. "I'm not choosing to do it."

First Lady Melania Trump is urging others to do it, tweeting, "As the weekend approaches I ask that everyone take social distancing & wearing a mask/face covering seriously. #COVID19 is a virus that can spread to anyone—we can stop this together."

What the CDC says about cloth face masks:

The CDC says it's recommending cloth face masks because recent studies show that people can have COVID-19 while asymptomatic, meaning they feel fine and because they don't know they are sick they might still be going about their daily routine in their community.

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Basically, masks don't protect the wearer as much as they protect people from the wearer (who might not know they are sick) by blocking respiratory droplets

"So it's not going to protect you, but it is going to protect your neighbor," Dr. Daniel Griffin at Columbia University, an expert on infectious diseases, tells NPR.

CDC experts are "advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure."

They say if you're going somewhere where it's hard to maintain the proper social distance of six feet, like a grocery store or a pharmacy, then it's a good idea to wear a simple cloth mask.

"The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance," the CDC states.

"You may need to improvise a cloth face covering using a scarf or bandana," the agency notes on its website.

A DIY cloth mask is an extra layer of protection:

The CDC still says that staying home and practicing good hand hygiene is the best protection against COVID-19, but a cloth mask would be an extra layer of protection if you must go out to get food or unavoidable medical care.

According to Dr. Scott Segal, chair of anesthesiology at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, certain types of fabric are better than others when it comes to making a mask. While he CDC says improvised bandanas or scarfs are better than nothing, Segal says DIY mask makers should aim a little higher for the masks to be effective.

"You have to use relatively high-quality cloth," Dr.Segal, who is researching this topic, tells NBC News.

According to Segal you don't want to use a knit fabric (like an old T-shirt) but rather a woven fabric. He suggests a double layer of heavyweight cotton with a thread count of at least 180 (like quilters cotton). If you don't have a cotton with that high of a thread count, line it with flannel.

For more tips on how to sew a fabric face mask, check out these instructions from Kaiser Permanente.

No-sew methods:

If you're not a sewer you can still fashion a mask, and there are plenty of no-sew tutorials online showing you how. Use heavyweight woven fabric like Segal suggests and make one of these without a sewing machine.

How To Make a Pleated Face Mask // Washable, Reusable, No-Sewing Required youtu.be

Should kids wear masks? Talk to your doctor.

The CDC is not recommending masks if you're just going for a walk around the block or playing in the backyard (which is the extent of most kids' outings these days). The masks are more for grocery runs, which many parents are opting to do alone these days.

But solo parents and those with partners who are in the military know that leaving the kids behind isn't always an option if you're the only adult in the home. If that's your circumstance, choose delivery options when possible to avoid taking your children to public places like grocery stores and pharmacies (the kinds of places the CDC recommends masks for).

If you are concerned that you may need to take your child somewhere where a mask would be required, call your pediatrician for advice on whether a mask is appropriate for your child's age and circumstances. Babies' faces should not be covered.

If you have no one to watch your children while you get groceries and cannot get them delivered try contacting your local government, community groups and churches for leads on grocery delivery help. They may be able to put you in touch with someone who can fetch groceries for you so that you don't have to take your children to the store with you.

News

Starting this weekend Target and Walmart will be limiting the number of people allowed in its stores to give shoppers and staff more space to spread out and adhere to social distancing recommendations during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Beginning April 4, Target will actively monitor and, when needed, limit the total number of people inside based on the store's specific square footage," Target notes in a news release.

Walmart's corporate message is similar: "Starting Saturday, we will limit the number of customers who can be in a store at once. Stores will now allow no more than five customers for each 1,000 square feet at a given time, roughly 20 percent of a store's capacity."

FEATURED VIDEO

At Target you will also notice staff wearing gloves and masks over the next two weeks as the company steps up its coronavirus protection measures.

Many people are choosing to stay home and order groceries online, but that's not an option for everyone as long lines at some Target's prove.

"We're incredibly proud of the commitment our more than 350,000 frontline team members have demonstrated to ensure millions of guests can count on Target, and we'll continue to focus our efforts on supporting them," says Target's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, John Mulligan.

Target is open this weekend but—along with Costco, Aldi, Publix and Trader Joe's—Target stores will be closed on Easter Sunday to give the essential employees in these stores a much-deserved break.

News

As a mom of three and former social worker working for many years in the fields of adoption, Sara Ester of Sara Liz Photography knows firsthand the importance of family time. When she learned that families all over the country are self-isolating due to the coronavirus outbreak, she knew it was the perfect time to capitalize on moments of connections. Her mission was simple: promote family time to ease stress and promote happiness.

Liz reached out to dozens of families on social media asking if they would like to be photographed on their porch for a "Front Porch Session" and the responses were huge.

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Photo by: Sara Liz Photography

"Amid all the COVID-19 stuff going on I asked if families would be interested in a quick five-minute session on their front porches to document what a crazy experience it has been to be quarantined at home," Ester told Popsugar. "The people participating ran with it! So many families made funny or encouraging signs, showed up in their pajamas or yoga pants, and just really embraced the whole 'quarantine chic' idea. It was really reaffirming to see how everyone is in the same boat. We're all just trying to do the best we can with a crappy situation!"


Photo by: Sara Liz Photography

We're living in perilous times and it's nice to see families using the lockdown as an opportunity to bond. After all, it doesn't matter how big or small your house is, it's the love inside that counts.

Photo by: Sara Liz Photography


"Photography, specifically documentary photography is a big part of how I see and function in the world a lot of the time," Ester shared in an Instagram post. With everything being so overwhelming the last week or so, it has helped me to also keep in mind that what we are dealing with is historical."

News
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