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The American dream is not dead. It is, however, vastly different from the story held up by our grandparents – or even our parents – as the ideal way to carve out a life and living in these United States.

Gone are the days when the goal was to find a good, stable corporation or manufacturer where you could hope to work your way up the ladder while socking away a retirement nest egg. Instead, we’ve seen a marked increase in the numbers of Americans who are going into business for themselves – as entrepreneurs.

One study put the number of entrepreneurs in this country at 27 million, or nearly 14% of the workforce. When you consider the cultural shifts concerning worker satisfaction and the potential for automation to drastically alter the future jobs landscape, it’s no surprise. Entrepreneurship is fast becoming the desired route in a new American economy.

Parent Co. spoke with April Cornell – who started her own clothing and textiles company almost 40 years ago based on a love of travel and a deep respect for beauty – to find out how you can encourage your future worker to blaze her own trail as an entrepreneur.

 1 | Introduce your children to people who start things. 

If you’re not an entrepreneur yourself, perhaps you have a friend or family member who started her own business. It’s helpful for children to be acquainted with someone who’s done it, says Cornell, “because then they know it’s possible, it’s not a distant reality…I think if you can expose your children to others who do start things and have to find their own solutions or have done that, then that helps set an option for them. ‘I could do that, my uncle has done that,’ or, ‘My mom’s friend has her own business.’ I think seeing other people who try to do things independently, even if it’s not your own parents, is a good example.”

 2 | Leave some gaps. 

In contrast to the common tendency to over-schedule the lives of our kids, Cornell suggests that you leave “unfilled places for children to find their (interests), to experiment.” It’s in these spaces between the structured aspects of your kid’s life that they’ll likely discover new skills and nurture a habit of opening themselves to inspiration.

 3 | Let them fail. 

As many as eight out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. Failure is as much a part of small business ownership as is the generation of ideas. Cornell reminds us that it’s “important (for kids to) see that not everything’s successful. If you own a business you have to be able to sustain your confidence through times when things aren’t going your way, or maybe you have to make a change.”

It can be tempting to create a mistakes-free zone for your kids, to orchestrate a world in which they cannot fail. But that’s not the broader world in which they actually live. Says Cornell, “I think kids have to feel it’s okay to not be completely successful, or what so many people would look at as success. Trying something, that’s a huge success. Trying something else, that’s even more important.”

 4 | Discover the upside of stubbornness. 

In most instances, you probably view your kid’s defiance as a negative trait. But consider the grit needed to persevere in the face of unfavorable odds and you’ll see  stubbornness as a requirement.

Cornell explains: “You need some kind of stubbornness… You have to have sticking power. Success, it hardly sticks to you, but when you do something wrong, you never forget those things.”

 5 | Have confidence in your kids – so they can develop confidence in themselves. 

This one sounds obvious and maybe even superficial, but consider Cornell’s deeper perspective: “Parents having confidence in their child is really essential. It’s essential. Otherwise the child grows up fearful. Whatever you’re feeling is as a parent, you have to be careful not to fill your kids with fear.”

So even if you’re afraid or embarrassed at the thought of your child selling cookies and lemonade at the end of your driveway, don’t share those feelings with your kids. If you had a bad experience putting yourself out there in some way as a kid (or as an adult) keep that experience to yourself. Rely on a deep confidence in your child to know what she wants to do, and on her ability to do that thing.

 6 | Teach effective communication skills. 

Cornell says that successful entrepreneurship requires a litany of skills, but one of the most important is the ability to communicate effectively. “If you’re going to have a business, you’re going to have to talk to a lot of people. You’re going to have to promote your company, you’re going to have to talk about your product, you’re going to have to call your staff together and have meetings sometimes.”

A common roadblock to easeful communication is a basic fear of public speaking – or straight-up shyness. Cornell suggests that you create opportunities to overcome those fears “within your family, like having plays or presentations or talking about a book or TV show. I think it’s important that kids learn how to communicate to others in a way where they’re in charge, and also learn to listen to others and allow other people to be in charge. That’s really important.”

Written communication is also key. “Maybe you have a way of seeing or understanding something and you need to communicate it to people. If you can write it out and have some kind of structured presentation, it helps people get somewhere.”

 7 | Teach them to see the beauty in the world. 

Maybe the more accurate phrase here would be “allow them” to always see the beauty in the world. Kids do this naturally, but you can help by training your own eye to see things more deeply. And when your kid sees things “more deeply, then they will see more beauty and feel more beauty within themselves.”

“I’m always looking for the shape and the curve and the color (of things)… Pretty soon, you start to become aware of those things. You see them repeatedly and you start to know them and become a part of your references. In this way, life become more experiential,” says Cornell.

By living a deeply experiential life, kids can more naturally identify those “things that please them and that they’re drawn to, and then those things can actually become a livelihood.”

 8 | Encourage your kids to create – even as they grow older 

Cornell points out that “if you look at the artwork of any five-year-old, it is so good. It is so spontaneous and so good, so many people would like to be able to do that. Then as they age, it becomes more confined and more structured. Of course they’re learning control, which is important, but how can every five-year-old be an artist and by 10, there are only two in the class?”

If the role of an entrepreneur, in some ways, is to see possibility, then it’s our job as parents to help keep those wide eyes open. And if we can agree that parenting is also about paying attention to the limits that you accepted as you grew up, it’s incumbent upon us to make sure we don’t place to same limits on our children. This can be accomplished through the nourishment of your kid’s innate desire to create – free of judgement or expectations.

 9 | Find the line between encouragement and management, but don’t cross it. 

Cornell stresses the importance of allowing your child to pursue his or her own interests without any implication (overt or otherwise) that your happiness is somehow tangled up in your kid’s success.

This can be a tough one for parents to tease out and may pop up in some surprising instances. Cornell provides an example from her own experience: “I remember when my son was a teenager, he was going bowling with a bunch of guys and they were doing it repetitively, and I go and buy him a bowling ball. He was like, ‘What the heck are you doing? I have no desire to become a professional bowler, I’m just having a good time.’”

Our desire as adults to be the best at something, or to do it a certain way, must remain separate from the desires of our children. “Be there to help them,” Cornell says, “but it’s not your career. It’s not your life, it’s their life. Let them do some of the development themselves.”

April Cornell has sponsored this piece because they believe in the power of creativity and entrepreneurship in the next generation.

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We spend a lot of time prepping for the arrival of a baby. But when it comes to the arrival of our breast milk (and all the massive adjustments that come with it), it's easy to be caught off guard. Stocking up on a few breastfeeding essentials can make the transition to breastfeeding a lot less stressful, which means more time and energy focusing on what's most important: Your recovery and your brand new baby.

Here are the essential breastfeeding tools you'll need, mama:

1. For covering up: A cute nursing cover

First and foremost, please know that all 50 states in the United States have laws that allow women to breastfeed in public. You do not have to cover yourself if you don't want to—and many mamas choose not to—and we are all for it.

That said, if you do anticipate wanting to take a more modest approach to breastfeeding, a nursing cover is a must. You will find an array of styles to choose from, but we love an infinity scarf, like the LK Baby Infinity Nursing Scarf Nursing Cover. You'll be able to wear the nursing cover instead of stuffing it in your already brimming diaper bag—and it's nice to have it right there when the baby is ready to eat.

Also, in the inevitable event that your baby spits-up on you or you leak some milk through your shirt, having a quick and stylish way to cover up is a total #momwin.

2. For getting comfortable: A cozy glider

Having a comfy spot to nurse can make a huge difference. Bonus points if that comfy place totally brings a room together, like the Delta Children Paris Upholstered Glider!

Get your cozy space ready to go, and when your baby is here, you can retreat from the world and just nurse, bond, and love.

3. For unmatched support: A wire-free nursing bra

It may take trying on several brands to find the perfect match, but finding a nursing bra that you love is 100% worth the effort. Your breasts will be changing and working in ways that are hard to imagine. An excellent supportive bra will make this so much more comfortable.

It is crucial to choose a wireless bra for the first weeks of nursing since underwire can increase the risk of clogged ducts (ouch).The Playtex Maternity Shaping Foam Wirefree Nursing Bra is an awesome pick for this reason, and because it is designed to flex and fit your breasts as they go through all those changes.

4. For maximum hydration: A large reusable water bottle

Nothing can prepare you for the intense thirst that hits when breastfeeding. Quench that thirst (and help keep your milk supply up in the process) by always having a water bottle with a straw nearby, like this Exquis Large Outdoor Water Bottle.

5. For feeding convenience: A supportive nursing tank

Experts recommend that during the first weeks of your baby's life, you breastfeed on-demand, meaning that any time your tiny boss demands milk, you feed them. This will help establish your milk supply and get everything off to a good start.

What does this mean for your life? You will be breastfeeding A LOT. Nursing tanks, like the Loving Moments by Leading Lady, make this so much easier. They have built-in support to keep you comfy, and you can totally wear them around the house, or even out and about. When your baby wants to eat, you'll be able to quickly "pop out" a breast and feed them.

6. For pain prevention: A quality nipple ointment

Breastfeeding shouldn't hurt, but the truth is those first days can be uncomfortable. Your nipples will likely feel raw as they adjust to their new job. This will get better! But until it does, nipple ointment is amazing.

My favorite is the Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter. We love that it's organic, and it is oh-so-soothing on your hard-at-work nipples.

Psst: If it actually hurts when your baby latches on, something may be up, so call your provider or a lactation consultant for help.

7. For uncomfortable moments: A dual breast therapy pack

As your breasts adjust to their new role, you may experience a few discomforts—applying warmth or cold can help make them feel so much better. The Lansinoh TheraPearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy Pack is awesome because you can microwave the pads or put them in the freezer, giving you a lot of options when your breasts need some TLC.

Again, if you have any concerns about something being wrong (pain, a bump that may be red or hot, fever, or anything else), call a professional right away.

8. For inevitable leaks: An absorbing breast pad

In today's episode of, "Oh come on, really?" you are going to leak breastmilk. Now, this is entirely natural and you are certainly not required to do anything about this. Still, many moms choose to wear breast pads in their bras to avoid leaking through to their shirts.

You can go the convenient and disposable route with Lansinoh Disposable Stay Dry Nursing Pads, or for a more environmentally friendly option, you can choose washable pads, like these Organic Bamboo Nursing Breast Pads.

9. For flexibility: A breast pump

Many women find that a breast pump becomes one of their most essential mom-tools. The ability to provide breast milk when you are away from your baby (and relieve uncomfortable engorged breasts) will add so much flexibility into your new-mom life.

For quick trips out and super-easy in-your-bag transport, opt for a manual pump like the Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump .

If you will be away from your baby for longer periods of time (traveling or working outside the home, for example) an electric pump is your most efficient bet. The Medela Pump In Style Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump is a classic go-to that will absolutely get the job done, and then some.

10. For quality storage: Breast milk bags

Once you pump your liquid gold, aka breast milk, you'll need a place to store it. The Kiinde Twist Pouches allow you to pump directly into the bags which means one less step (and way less to clean).

11. For keeping cool: A freezer bag

Transport your pumped milk back home to your baby safely in a cooler like the Mommy Knows Best Breast Milk Baby Bottle Cooler Bag. Remember to put the milk in a fridge or freezer as soon as you can to optimize how long it stays usable for.

12. For continued nourishment: Bottles

Nothing beats the peace of mind you get when you know that your baby is being well-taken of care—and well fed—until you can be together again. The Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle Newborn Starter Gift Set is a fan favorite (mama and baby fans alike).

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

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Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country.


A viral video about car seat safety has parents everywhere cracking up and humming Sir-Mix-A-Lot.

"I like safe kids and I cannot lie," raps Norman Regional Health System pediatric hospitalist Dr. Kate Cook (after prefacing her music video with an apology to her children."I'm a doctor tryin' warn you that recs have changed," she continues.

Dr. Cook's rap video is all about the importance of keeping babies facing backward. It's aptly called "Babies Face Back," and uses humor and parody to drive home car seat recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

"Switching from rear-facing to forward-facing is a milestone many parents can't wait to reach," Dr. Cook said in a news release about her hilarious video. "But this is one area where you want to delay the transition as long as possible because each one actually reduces the protection to the child."

Last summer the AAP updated its official stance on car seat safety to be more in line with what so many parents were already doing and recommended that kids stay rear-facing for as long as possible. But with so many things to keep track of in life, it is understandable that some parents still don't know about the change. Dr. Cook wants to change that with some cringe-worthy rapping.

The AAP recommends:

  • Babies and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat as long as possible, until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their seat.
  • Once they are facing forward, children should use a forward-facing car safety seat with a harness for as long as possible. Many seats are good up to 65 pounds.
  • When children outgrow their car seat they should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle's lap and shoulder seat belt fits properly, between 8 and 12 years old.

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[Editor's note: Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country.]

Suicide rates for girls and women in the United States have increased 50% since 2000, according to the CDC and new research indicates a growing number of pregnant and postpartum women are dying by suicide and overdose. Suicide rates for boys and men are up, too.

It's clear there is a mental health crisis in America and it is robbing children of their mothers and mothers of their children.

Medical professionals urge people to get help early, but sometimes getting help is not so simple. For many Americans, the life preserver that is mental health care is out of reach when they are drowning.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg just released a plan he hopes could change that and says the neglect of mental health in the United States must end. "Our plan breaks down the barriers around mental health and builds up a sense of belonging that will help millions of suffering Americans heal," says Buttigieg.

He thinks he can "prevent 1 million deaths of despair by 2028" by giving Americans more access to mental health and addictions services.

In a country where giving birth can put a mother in debt, it's not surprising that while as many as 1 in 5 new moms suffers from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, more than half of new moms who need mental health treatment don't get it. Stigma, childcare and of course costs are factors in why women aren't seeking help when they are struggling.

Buttigieg's plan is interesting because it could remove some of these barriers. He wants to make mental health care more affordable by ensuring everyone has comprehensive coverage for mental health care and by ensuring that everyone can access a free yearly mental health check-up.

That could make getting help more affordable for some moms, and by increasing reimbursement rates for mental health care delivered through telehealth, this plan could help moms get face time with a medical professional without having to deal with finding childcare first.

Estimates from new research suggest that in some parts of America as many as 14% or 30% of maternal deaths are caused by addiction or suicide. Buttigieg's plan aims to reduce those estimates by fighting the addiction and opioid crisis and increasing access to mental health services in underserved communities and for people of color. He also wants to reduce the stigma and increase support for the next generation by requiring "every school across the country to teach Mental Health First Aid courses."

These are lofty goals with a lofty price tag. It would cost about $300 billion to do what Buttigieg sets out in his plan and the specifics of how the plan would be funded aren't yet known. Neither is how voters will react to this 18-page plan and whether it will help Buttigieg stand out in a crowded field of Democratic candidates.

What we do know is that right now, America is talking about mental health and whether or not that benefits Buttigieg's campaign it will certainly benefit America.

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[Editor's Note: Welcome to It's Science, a Motherly column focusing on evidence-based explanations for the important moments, milestones, and phenomena of motherhood. Because it's not just you—#itsscience.]

If you breastfeed, you know just how magical (and trying) it is, but it has numerous benefits for mama and baby. It is known to reduce the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, and cuts the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by half.

If this wasn't powerful enough, scientists have discovered that babies who are fed breast milk have a stomach pH that promotes the formation of HAMLET (Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made Lethal to Tumor cells). HAMLET was discovered by chance when researchers were studying the antibacterial properties of breast milk. This is a combination of proteins and lipids found in breast milk that can work together to kill cancer cells, causing them to pull away from healthy cells, shrink and die, leaving the healthy cells unaffected.

According to researchers at Lund University in Sweden, this mechanism may contribute to the protective effect breast milk has against pediatric tumors and leukemia, which accounts for about 30% of all childhood cancer. Other researchers analyzed 18 different studies, finding that "14% to 19% of all childhood leukemia cases may be prevented by breastfeeding for six months or more."

And recently, doctors in Sweden collaborated with scientists in Prague to find yet another amazing benefit to breast milk. Their research demonstrated that a certain milk sugar called Alpha1H, found only in breast milk, helps in the production of lactose and can transform into a different form that helps break up tumors into microscopic fragments in the body.

Patients who were given a drug based on this milk sugar, rather than a placebo, passed whole tumor fragments in their urine. And there is more laboratory evidence to support that the drug can kill more than 40 different types of cancer cells in animal trials, including brain tumors and colon cancer. These results are inspiring scientists to continue to explore HAMLET as a novel approach to tumor therapy and make Alpha1H available to cancer patients.

Bottom line: If you choose to breastfeed, the breast milk your baby gets from your hard work can be worth every drop of effort.

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