Moms go viral political signs
Marne Litton/Facebook

We know it's hard to be a bridesmaid when you're pregnant or postpartum.In a week filled with non-stop political news and COVID-induced anxiety, it's important to realize that the newsmakers and celebrities are not the only ones being impacted by this pandemic.

Every single mother has been impacted by the coronavirus. Whether you've been sick yourself or watched a family member fall ill, whether you are an essential worker on the front lines or a mama just trying her best to work-from-home without childcare... we see you, mama.

We see you fighting every day and we love you for it.

Moms are out here demanding change, taking up space and fighting so hard for the future they see for their families.

These are the stories that made us smile this week:

This mom's professor forbid her from breastfeeding during remote classes and this was her response

California mom Marcella Mares is also a college student, and like most post-secondary students she's adjusting to taking her courses virtually. But, as she detailed in a Facebook post, one of her professors needs to do some adjusting, too.

As a mom who doesn't have childcare (hello, there's a pandemic happening) and is trying to take care of her baby while pursuing her education, Mares sometimes breastfeeds during class. At her baby's age, that's really not a distraction (as many of the parents who have participated in government-approved bring-your-baby-to-work programs will tell you).

It seems that Mares professor was unaware of this (and possibly unaware of the extreme demands being made on their students right now) and forbid Mares from breastfeeding during class time, calling it "inappropriate."

"My professor changed the requirements for class & said we needed to have our camera & microphone on in order to receive credit for the attendance part of class," Mares writes on Facebook. "I told him I obviously don't have a problem with having my camera & microphone on but I might need to turn them off to feed my daughter from time to time. His response was 'that's not what you should be doing during class. Do that on your own time.' I didn't respond & went to class about a half hour later. The first thing he says to the whole class in our zoom meeting was 'I got this really weird email from a student stating she needed to do inappropriate things during lecture time. You guys need to understand that you have priorities now and you need to put all those distractions aside or be creative when your child needs you and give your full attention in my class.'"

Mares was angry and embarrassed, but quickly realized she is not the one who should be. Her professor should be embarrassed about their lack of empathy for students, especially during a pandemic.

Not all professors are like this, but the ones who are need to understand that parents and students are trying the best they can. And in a world where your day care is closed and your mom can't come over because of the risk of COVID, well, there aren't many "creative" ideas for childcare. Breastfeeding while attending a lecture is actually the best idea in that circumstance because baby is happy and quiet and mom can give their full attention.

Mares is taking action against her professor and concludes her note by stating the following: "Breastfeeding mamas &any mama that is trying to juggle school, work, & a child should be praised not put down & humiliated."

Amen to that.

Two moms go viral after putting politics aside to remain friends

Politics is divisive by nature but a pair of moms from Cedar Park, Texas, are proving that friendships can survive this election season.

Marne Litton and Tasha Hancock are neighbors and friends who support President Trump and Joe Biden, respectively.

The two mamas became formed a fast friendship when Hancock moved in next door to Litton six years ago.

"My husband and I have a special needs child," Litton told CNN. "During difficult times, Tasha was always there for us. She would decorate our garage with signs and leave things in the fridge for when we returned from the hospital. And I did similar things for her when she needed it."

When the two moms noticed their neighborhood was becoming more and more divided (and political lawn signs were being damaged or defaced) they decided to show the world that Democrats and Republicans can still be friends.

"People were unfriending each other [in the neighborhood Facebook group] saying 'I hate that person because they have this or that political sign in their yard,'" Hancock told CNN. "I thought, you don't even know that person. How can you hate them?"

In a now-viral Facebook post, the two mamas hold up their lawn signs and hold onto each other, because no matter what happens at the polls in 2020, they plan to be there for each other in 2021.

Breastfeeding mom Meghan McCain asks the internet: 'Can nipples actually fall off?'

The View's Meghan McCain recently welcomed her daughter Liberty with husband Ben Domenech, and now she's asking a question that so many new moms have asked while breastfeeding: "I know there is a LOT going on in the world that is much more important but I'm in the throes of newborn land...but I just wanted to know if your nipples can actually fall off from breast feeding?"

Ouch! We feel her pain, but it is important to know that nipple pain and injury isn't normal and that if you're feeling like your nipples are going to fall off you should call your lactation consultant, midwife or doctor.

"If when your baby latches it hurts so bad that you cry out in pain, or if your nipples are very sore in between feeds, and certainly if your nipples are cracked and bleeding, something is probably up," says midwife Diana Spalding, Motherly's Motherly's Digital Education Editor and author of The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama.

She continues: "If it really hurts something is wrong—but the truth is that even in the absence of any problems, in the beginning, breastfeeding just doesn't feel awesome. A very sensitive part of your body is (presumably) getting a lot more attention than it is used to. It is getting sucked, rubbed, nibbled and pulled up to 12 times per day. It's bound to be a little uncomfortable, at least."

Spalding recommends using Earth Mama Nipple Butter, so McCain may want to pick up some of that!

Nothing can stop this 102-year-old woman from voting—and we adore her for it 

Every vote will matter in the upcoming election, and this centenarian wasn't taking any chances when it came to casting hers. Meet Bea Lumpkin, a 102-year-old former school teacher who took every precaution when mailing in her ballot, looking positively inspiring in her protective headgear and gloves.

The Chicago Teachers Union shared this sweet picture of Lumpkin. "Good morning! This is 102-year-old CTU retiree Bea Lumpkin casting her vote-by-mail ballot," the group tweeted. "If Bea can do it, anyone can do it. Vote!"

The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote. That means Bea has been alive longer than women have been able to vote.

It makes perfect sense, then, why this former educator wouldn't want to miss her chance to exercise her right. We encourage you to take a page out of Ms. Lumpkin's book: whether you do it online, by mail, or in person—get out and vote! Be like Bea.

Jennifer Garner’s choreographed dance to get you to vote is 🔥

Jennifer Garner's dance moves are lighting up the internet—and it's all to make sure you vote in the upcoming election.

Garner shared a video to Instagram of her dancing a choreographed routine to Lizzo's song encouraging people to get out and vote.

In the video, Garner can be seen leaping across a backyard with her friend, Tiler Peck, who's actually the principal dancer for the New York City Ballet.

The pair clap, shimmy, spin and sashay through their routine, with big smiles on their faces.

She shared the video with the caption: "♥️🤍💙 It's finally here 😁—time to vote! ♥️🤍💙 love, @TilerPeck and me (and Lizzo, hi @lizzobeeating, hi @donte.colley!) 🇺🇸🤩♥️

We give the pair a solid 10/10 for energy, enthusiasm and cause.

It's time to vote!

This bridesmaid was pumping in the wedding photos—with the bride's full support 

This viral photo is a breathtaking display of bridal beauty, supportive friends and the lengths breastfeeding mamas go to to fit pumping into schedules.

The photo, shot in 2019 and shared on Facebook in 2020 by photographer Amber Fletcher, shows bride Rachael Downs surrounded by her bridesmaids. One of them, Allison Hepler, is rocking an accessory the rest aren't: a breast pump.

In a recent interview with Popsugar, Helper explained: "Rachael has always been supportive and knew exactly what I needed as she had already been down that road...So I was pumping four times a day at the time of her wedding. One was while we were getting ready and the other was right before the ceremony. I was trying to squeeze in a session while Amber photographed the groom and groomsmen."

We know it's hard to be a bridesmaid when you're pregnant or postpartum, so we commend Helper for what happened next. When the photographer asked if Helper would mind wearing the pump for some pics, she was on board.

"I told her I didn't mind doing it since I'm all for normalizing breastfeeding and exclusively pumping," she told Popsugar. "I walked out like that while some people were already arriving for the wedding!"

At Motherly we fully support pumping mamas and the normalization of everything it takes to feed a baby.

14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With fall 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 outside-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.

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden 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.


Detective set

Plan Toys detective 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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


Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Micuna: Innovative and stylish baby gear that grows with them

Since 1973, Micuna has been perfecting the art of sustainably handcrafted baby furniture. Made from wood sourced from the north of Spain and Germany and manufactured in sustainable certified sawmill companies only, their modern and minimalist high chairs are perfect for families who don't want to sacrifice their aesthetic for function. What's more, they hold themselves to the strictest of European and American safety standards, resulting in only the best for parents and their littles.

Habbi Habbi: The easiest way to expose kids to a different language

Created by two best friends as an expression of their effort to be intentional parents, Habbi Habbi Reading Wand & Bilingual Books are the easiest way to start your kids bilingual learning without the screen. Their innovative and engaging play-based tool brings language to life through a tech-enabled wand and "tappable" books that give kids instant feedback, from vocabulary and phrases to musical tunes. The content is as intentional as the books are beautiful highlighting topics like emotions, female role models and diversity.

Countdown to Mama: 14 mama-tested, mama-approved presents to get excited about a new baby

Founded by a mama who came up the idea at the end of her own uncomfortable pregnancy, Countdown to Mama is the only advent calendar-style mama-to-be gift box out there. With a range of "niceties to necessities," she made it her mission to curate a collection of mama-loved products that thoughtfully usher her through the biggest transformation of her life.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

Keep reading Show less

100 unusual + surprising baby name ideas

From Adelia to Ziggy.

Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play