Need a minute,
mama?
Get the best of Motherly—delivered to your inbox.
(We thought so.)
Subscribe to the Motherly Minute
for need-to-know parenting
news + top product recommendations
delivered daily to your inbox.

By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
and Terms & Conditions

Welcome to
#Team Motherly.

Check your inbox for an email
to confirm your subscription
—we can’t wait to start bringing
the best of Motherly right to you.

Renata Freydin

What went viral this week: A father + son share a NICU nurse + a kind stranger helps a breastfeeding mama

Print Friendly and PDF

During a week like this one where talk of the Weinstein trial and coronavirus have dominated the news cycle, many of us do need a break from all the bad news.

A recent study suggests that people pay more attention to negative news stories than to positive news, but the research proves that even though many people are drawn to negative storylines, "it's not the case that most people want mostly negative news all the time," according to the study's lead author, Stuart Soroka.

Soroka told the Los Angeles Times that there is a place for good news in modern media and since the news cycle has been quite negative this week so we are happily looking at the stories that shine a light on the good in this world.

So here are the good news headlines that made us smile this week:

​Viral Facebook post shows stranger supporting breastfeeding mom in restaurant 

This post is a few years old but went viral this week because stories this good never die on the Internet.

Back in 2016, Briar McQueen was a new mom who was nervous about her first solo trip to a restaurant with her baby. She expected some people might be judgemental about her breastfeeding, but instead, a stranger was incredibly supportive.

"Today was the first time I went out for breakfast alone with my 8 week old son, I had just received my breakfast and hot chocolate when Jaxon started crying wanting his booby so of course I fed him, after a few minutes this older lady walked up to me, I was scared, thinking she was gonna tell me to put my boob away, instead she starts cutting up my breakfast for me and said "what a good mama you are, we can't have your food getting cold can we." I honestly could have cried😍😢 loveliest lady EVER," McQueen wrote in her now-viral Facebook post.

We totally agree and can see why this story is still being shared four years later.

This teacher's mental health check-in chart is going viral 

Teacher Erin Castillo probably never imagined she'd be sitting down talking with Kelly Clarkson, but that's what happened this month when she appeared on Clarkson's show to talk about her viral mental health check-in chart.

Castillo asks her students to write their names on the back of a Post-It note and put it in the row that best corresponds with how they are feeling so that she can check-in with ones in the bottom two sections.

If this chart looks familiar it's probably because Good Morning America profiled the teacher last spring. As Castillo told GMA, she never expected the chart she posted on her Instagram to keep going viral.

"To see this being used in multiple countries around the world, having [teachers] reach out from New Zealand and Africa...to hear actual stories of people helping their students, I'm really overwhelmed with joy," she said.

This is so cool, no wonder educators (and even parents) are making the same charts. This is one time when it's okay to copy someone's work in the classroom. 😉

Lena Waithe voices first gay character in a Disney/Pixar movie 

Disney's new Pixar movie Onward features the first openly LGBTQ character in the company's history.

The character is Officer Specter, voiced by Master of None actress and screenwriter Lena Waithe, who identifies as gay herself.

According to Slate, Waithe's character's sexual identity is confirmed when the character (a cop) and her partner (voiced by Ali Wong), pull over a driver who blames his girlfriend's sons' behavior for his poor driving.

Waithe's character replies sympathetically, saying, "My girlfriend's daughter got me pulling my hair out."

Onward hits theaters March 6.

NICU nurse goes viral after caring for father + son three decades apart

As first reported by the Courier News and then the Washington Post, a nurse in New Brunswick, N.J. has gone viral for being a fixture of the NICU for so long she's caring for her babies' babies.

Nurse Lissa McGowan went viral after new mom Renata Freydin's noticed the nurse in her partner's baby book looked a lot like the one who cared for her son Zayne Caldwell, who was born 10 weeks early last month.

As Freydin explained in her Facebook post: "Last Sunday, he dug out his baby book to show me. As I was looking through, I came across a picture of him as a baby and a lady holding him. I knew that lady!! I immediately asked him who she was and he confirmed that she was the nurse who took care of him during his stay in the NICU and his mom loved her so much that she needed a photo of the two of them on the day he was discharged! Well, the reason I know her is because I swore she was the nurse that had been taking care of our baby boy for the past three days! David didn't believe me. We brought the picture to the hospital where 3 other nurses confirmed it was her! Yesterday (Valentine's Day) she was back at work and taking care of our little nugget again so we had to recreate the picture! The past 2 weeks have been filled with worries and uncertainty but we can breathe easy knowing my lil nuggets nurse is the same one that helped the man I love when he was in the same situation."

Newspapers picked up the story because it's incredible and it is so worthy of our attention. NICU nurses work day in and day out helping babies and families and it is so incredible to see a nurse like McGowan recognized for years of hard work.

Go, Nurse Lissa!


The very best of Motherly — delivered when you need it most.
Subscribe for inspiration, empowering articles and expert tips to rock your best #momlife.

Subscribe for inspiration, empowering articles and expert tips to rock your best #momlife.

Thanks for subscribing!

Check your email for a confirmation message.

By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions

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

Social distancing is hard on parents, kids and grandparents, but there is good news on the coronavirus front: New data reveals the restrictions and recommendations keeping people apart during the pandemic could be working. As the New York Times reports, new data from a company that makes internet-connected thermometers, Kinsa Health, is "making it clear that social distancing is saving lives."

Kinsa hosts a map of fever levels across the U.S. to track feverish illness levels across the U.S. Right now the map is suggesting that "due to widespread social distancing, school closures, stay-at-home orders, etc. feverish illness levels are dropping in many regions," Kinsa notes.

FEATURED VIDEO

The company adds, "This does not mean that COVID-19 cases are declining. In fact, we expect to see reported cases continue to surge in the near term, but it may indicate these measures are starting to slow the spread."

At the beginning of this week, more than three-quarters of the country showed a significant decline in fevers (Kinsa has about 1 million thermometers uploading more than 150,000 temperature readings per day).

The results of early social distancing protocols can be seen when comparing different regions in the U.S. Dr. George Rutherford, an epidemiologist and infectious disease expert at UC San Francisco, tells The Los Angeles Times that early social distancing measures taken in California "happened closer to the introduction of the virus, so you haven't had as many generations of transmission. So there are fewer cases per capita in the population."

Rutherford is cautiously optimistic that the Bay Area will not see as many cases as New York because it seems like the early social distancing measures are working (if people keep abiding by them).

Up the coast, Jeff Duchin, Seattle & King County's Public Health Officer, says "The bottom line here should be that what we're doing now appears to be working, that we should in no way take these findings as an indication to relax our social distancing strategy, that we need to continue this for weeks."

President Trump agrees and wants people to stay home until April 30, and Virgina's Governor wants social distancing to continue in his state until June.

It's a long process and a challenging one—but it's working, mama.

News

Winter is over and the world is beginning to bloom again. Mamas with April due dates can consider themselves lucky to be so in sync with Mother Nature. Being born during this month of renewal will have a lasting impact on springtime babies, because science shows your birth month matters.

Keep reading... Show less
News

Since March 12, 6-year-old Kira Neely hasn't been in school or seen much of her grandpa, whom she's very close with. Since she was a baby the duo have been inseparable, and although they live across the street from each other, not being able to spend time together because of the coronavirus pandemic has been especially hard on the family.

To help ease the pain, and get some much-needed exercise, the grandfather and granddaughter started having dance-offs, a fun dance competition where each person stands on their side and shares their favorite dance move one at a time.


"Kira loves her Papa so much and they've now started daily dance-offs since the virus is keeping them separated," Kira's mom, Sherrie Neely said in a Facebook post. "My Dad is turning 81 years old next month and I've never seen him dance, but he's really putting forth great effort and has some special moves!!!!"

FEATURED VIDEO

Other activities the family shares include kicking a soccer ball across the street to each other in their Nashville, Tennessee neighborhood, and from time to time Kira makes chalk artwork in her driveway for her grandparents to see from afar.

"The fact that we can still get outside and have fun from a distance means everything to us, and helps to give us a sense of normalcy in such a crazy time," Neely told Today. "I'm so thankful Kira will always have these memories of her time with her Papa."
News

About a week ago, it dawned on me: We don't have enough diapers on hand for my infant son to get through an extended quarantine due to coronavirus. At 9 months old, we go through about six diapers a day, which means we'd need about a pack a week to get through. Like many parents, my first thought was to stockpile diapers. My second thought was that if every parent stockpiled diapers, we would drive shortages and make it harder for families like this one to find the diapers they need—and harder for parents who cannot afford to stockpile diapers.

FEATURED VIDEO

Ultimately I decided to make the switch to cloth diapers for the first time, (I chose GroVia because they are simple for newbies like me), but like many families, I remain concerned about our ability to get the family supplies we need in the midst of Instacart and Amazon strikes, product outages and overall stockpiling driving up availability and prices.

It's hard to resist the urge to stockpile when you're worried about when you'll next be able to get formula, diapers and wipes for your baby. And many families, like mine, are having a near-impossible time finding available delivery slots from grocery stores and services like Instacart.

Here's the current state of formula, diapers and wipes, and how to make sure you can get the baby goods you need.

Formula

Experts at the American Academy of Pediatrics say that parents should keep 2-4 weeks of formula on hand at any given time. Dr. Steve Abrams, chair of the AAP Committee on Nutrition says "most families who have 2-4 weeks supply are in good shape," and asks that parents not stockpile formula so that all parents are able to access the formula that they need.

Dr. Abrams asks that parents attempt to be brand-flexible if possible, as they might have trouble getting the exact brand they usually buy. Most concerning are parents of children require specialized formula, like lactose-free formulas. In a story in The New York Times, mama Catie Weimer recounted her struggle to get sufficient amounts of specialized formula for her baby.

"Am I going to have to force him to drink a milk-based formula because that's what I can afford?" Weimer wondered.


It's a worry lots of mamas are facing.

Here's how to get access to formula:

If you're able to order online: Amazon is still selling baby formula with Amazon Prime delivery this week. Walmart is offering free delivery and free pickup at its stores, including baby formula. Target and their service Shipt, have pickup and delivery options, if you can snag a delivery slot.

If you need a specialized formula: The AAP recommends that you reach out to your pediatrician, who often have sample products on hand.

If you can't get formula: Regardless of your income or employment level, if you can't get baby formula you can find a food bank near you via Feeding America. Ask about resources for families with young children and infants. If you're previously or newly eligible for WIC due to changes in your employment, WIC offices can help you get formula if you're having trouble access or affording it. You can apply or find a local resource here. Lastly, you can dial 211 in the United States to be connected to local resources to find formula, as programs can vary from city to city.

Diapers

Some stores ran out of disposable diapers after a rush of bulk buying earlier this month, and while cloth diapers are a great alternative for some families they will not work for everyone, especially families who don't have easy access to laundry machines.

Disposable diapers can still be purchased at many stores, although you may have trouble finding your exact brand if it is popular. Walmart's website is currently showing many brands and sizes of diapers as in stock.

If coronavirus has made you or your partner unemployed or caused your pay to be reduced, check out the National Diaper Bank Network website for resources in your area, You can also dial 211 in many states to be connected to Essential Community Services, a resource that may be able to help you find diapers in your community.

Some community groups are organizing drive-by diaper giveaways, so stay tuned to your local community pages (and donate cash if you can).

Wipes

Baby wipes are hard to come by these days for a few reasons: Bulk purchasing early in the pandemic, people purchasing them when they could not find disinfectant wipes and because the toilet paper shortage made them a common second choice for people who would rather be using toilet paper.

Some parents are turning to DIY baby wipes, cutting up shirts and flannel sheets for their diapering needs, but that does not work for every family. If you need wipes and cannot find them, contact the diaper banks in your area. In some communities, grassroots organizations are even delivering wipes and other baby supplies.

Bottom line: It takes a lot more detective work to find what we need for our babies these days.

It is worth calling the smaller stores in your area to see if they have your item or brand in stock. If the big box stores are out of wipes, try calling the small pharmacies in your area to see if they have any left.

If it is possible for your family, reusable options may be a good choice to get you through.

Don't be afraid to ask for help. Call the diaper banks or reach out to your local mom group to see if anyone else has an oversupply.

[This is a developing story. This page will be updated as more resources become available.]



News
Motherly provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Information on our advertising guidelines can be found here.