In a world where our phones are constantly blasting us alerts about troubling news it is good to remember that there are good news stories happening in our world, too.
At Motherly, we like to keep track of these for you to give you a little boost when you need one, mama.
Here are the stories making us smile this week:
This viral photo shows two dads who are committed to co-parenting ❤️
It's no secret that splitting up is never easy or simple—and it all just gets more complicated when there are children in the mix. Of course, it reaches a whole new level of complexity when you factor in new partners, too. But blending a family is possible and if you can do it well, it's a pretty beautiful thing.
Just ask Madison Holley, a mom who is going viral after posting a truly heartwarming photo of her own blended family. The post, which was shared to Love What Matters' Facebook page, shows two men walking hand-in-hand with a young boy as one of the men carries a newborn in a car seat. The photo itself is quite powerful, but once you know the story behind it, it takes on a whole new meaning.
"This photo was taken 24 hours after I gave birth to my second baby boy, Waylon.The guy on the left is my ex, the 3-year-old holding his hand is my first child, Cade, we had together. The guy on the right holding my sons' right hand is my fiancé, and the newborn baby boy is our child," the mom writes.
Madison's outlook on why this balancing act works is super impressive. "Just because a relationship doesn't work out between two people DOES NOT mean the relationship with the child shouldn't," she writes. "I would never take that away. Every child needs a mother and father figure and my son Cade just happens to get some extra love. Be civil and co-parent. If you made the child together it's both your job to raise the child."
Of course, every blended family's situation is different—and some will have a much harder time with co-parenting than others—but we love this particular dynamic so much. And we're not the only ones: The image and message are going viral, with parents everywhere praising this blended family's ability to embrace one another. Madison isn't the only mom out there who has mastered co-parenting, but we are incredibly impressed by her outlook all the same."It made me really happy," Madison tells Good Morning America of the viral photo." "It's two people that I guess mean a lot to me. Both of them are the fathers to our children. The fact that they can get along and all four of us could sit in the hospital while I have another child with someone else was just really amazing."
Viral craft: This grandmother turned her daughter's wedding dress into a play tent
When Brenda Wetmore Giffen's adult daughter asked her if she could remake her wedding dress into a play tent for her daughter, the grandmother was not sure if it could be done. But Grandma came through and the stunning results have gone viral.
Giffen posted her creation on Facebook six months ago, but the internet has been very excited about it this week, giving the story a second life, just like the wedding dress. As Giffen explains in her Facebook post, her daughter asked her if she could make a play tent, memory pillow, and maybe a garter and a tutu for the grandkids as an alternative to just storing the wedding dress.
"I was honored and surprised that she trusted me enough to do this," Giffen wrote. "I let it just hang there for a few days before I got the courage to take apart the dress she loved so much."
But once this grandmother got into the project she found herself loving the challenge and trying to figure out how many new items she could craft from one dress.
"The fabric for the necklace was the first cut and came from the spot above Robyn's heart the day she got married. I made two garters so that each granddaughter will have her own. It's not very likely that I'll be there for their weddings, but I hope they will give Grammy Giffen a thought on that day. I still have enough fabric and tulle to make a tutu for Elena's baby sister who is due in August. Jim helped with the engineering. We designed and he built stabilizers for the top and bottom of the tent, so it doesn't collapse on the girls while they are playing. It's been challenging, a little scary, lots of fun, and probably the major creative project of my lifetime!"
With all the attention this post has been getting Giffen added a note to her wedding dress story: She is now creating memory pillows and other keepsakes for other brides through her website.
Kindergarten teacher goes viral for making hearing aids for dolls
Think back to when you were a kid. Chances are, you struggled to find a doll that really made you feel like you were accurately represented. Maybe all the toys on the shelf had a different body type than yours, or maybe they were all of a certain skin tone, one that didn't resemble your own. Or maybe you had a challenge of some sort, one that wasn't represented by the dolls you were seeing.
Sure, we've come a long way since then: Toy manufacturers are finally realizing how important it is to represent diversity and inclusion in their products...but unfortunately, we still have a ways to go.
A California teacher understands this, and she recently stepped up to do something to make her students feel seen. Genesis Politron works with hearing-impaired children, and she realized that while many of her students wear hearing devices, there were no dolls on the market that represented this. So Genesis did something incredible: She decided to create dolls that her students could see themselves in...and she did it with her own hands.
Genesis added cochlear implants and hearing aids to existing dolls so her children could see accurate representations of themselves in the toys. The dolls aren't just inclusive, they're also beautiful: Genesis used glitter and puff paint to increase the fun factor.
Genesis tweeted about the dolls and, not surprisingly, her post has gone viral. "I teach preschool and kindergarten for Deaf/Hard of Hearing kids, and my students never see toys that resemble their hearing devices (Hearing Aids/Cochlear Implants),so I added some to our new baby dolls on my own. I wish everyone could see their faces playing with these," she writes.
"I thought of all of the times that I played with my own dolls as a little girl, and how I'd always reach for the doll that I identified most with. I wanted my students to have the same opportunity, and to be represented in the toys that they play with," Genesis tells CNN of her decision to create these dolls. "No child should ever feel as if they aren't 'normal' or as if they don't belong. I wanted to allow my students to see themselves in toys for once, to feel accepted."
The teacher also explains that her children tend to gravitate to the dolls that best reflect their own identities: The students with cochlear implants reach for the dolls with the same device, while those who use hearing aids play with the dolls with hearing aids.
As parents, all we can hope for when we send our children out in the world is that someone like Genesis will touch their lives and make them feel special. This wonderful teachers' students are so lucky to have someone like her.
This mama came up with the cutest trick for bedtime relaxation
Jessica D'Entremont got 15 minutes of fame this month after her trick for getting a few minutes of quiet time before bedtime went viral.
As she told Today, she came up with an innovative way to transition her daughters, Emma, 4, and Hannelore, 3, from playtime to bedtime. "Buy them glow in the dark pjs. Tell them they have to lie really still under the light to 'charge' them..." she wrote in a now viral Facebook post.
She first pulled this "trick" on a day she knew her kids were super amped up and were going to have a hard time with the transition. "They laid there for 10 minutes and I had to actually stop them to continue with bedtime," D'Entremont told Today. "I then transitioned them to their bedroom by turning off the lights—the pajamas really do glow! They loved it and thought it was great fun because they aren't quite old enough to grasp that we could see them due to the glow, even though they couldn't see their dad and I in the dark."
Kristen Bell's daughter sings Lizzo in the car 😍
We all know Kristen Bell has musical talent (Frozen, anyone?), but now we know her daughter does, too.
This week Bell's Instagram Stories spread all over the internet after she captured one of her daughters singing Lizzo's "Good as Hell" in the backseat during a school run.
Bell, in the front seat, doesn't look back at the little Lizzo-impersonator, but the sound of her daughter singing made her smile and it made us smile, too.
Reporter's son interupts news report + goes viral (and we all relate)
Live TV is full of surprises and this week NBC News correspondent Courtney Kube's son stole the show, coming into frame with a smile while Kube was live on MSNBC from NBC's Washington bureau. He tries to get his mom's attention (and might have even been trying to crawl onto her lap) but Kube recovered quickly.
"Excuse me, my kids are here. Live television," Kube, who has twins, said when the child unexpectedly appeared on screen.
We don't know what was happening off-screen (maybe a coworker helped?) but Kube continued her report on air strikes in northern Syria like the pro she is.
Kube later told NBC: "Breaking news in Syria didn't line up with preschool drop-off, so he and his twin brother were with me."
We get it Courtney. We so get it. Sometimes there's just no choice but to bring your kids with you to work. Childcare emergencies happen to everyone and breaking news doesn't wait.
Maybe this little boy will follow in his mama's footsteps when he grows up. He's already very comfortable in a TV studio.
You might also like:
- Our favorite viral mama + kid videos
- What went viral this week: Twins born 11 weeks apart + a viral father-daughter photoshoot
- This photographer's viral breastfeeding photos are so important