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It’s amazing and sobering, how the unfiltered and unbiased voice and action of a child can keep you in check.


On a cold and damp Tuesday morning in early February, six words from my 5-year old son annihilated my very being as they shattered my ego and reminded me of the critical importance that integrity and personal accountability play in each moment of every day.

The coffee dripped, the rain poured, and my mind was flooded with the day’s to-do list. Bring the kids to school by 8:35am, get back in time for a 9:00am teleconference, finish a proposal by 12noon, meet a business colleague at 12:30pm, call in some prescriptions, pay a couple bills, edit an article sitting on my desk for too long, stop at the grocery store, and something else I was forgetting.

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I glanced at the coffee pot and was momentarily mesmerized by the blissful image of sipping on a fresh cup after the kids departed for school. Five minutes of organically brewed caffeinated serenity before the first call of the day …that was going to happen. “Daddy, can I have more orange juice?” my youngest boy, a spirited five-year-old, piped up. Snapped back to reality from my mental oasis, I immediately fetched the OJ. His brother put in an additional request for some more breakfast, as I navigated the kitchen with the swiftness of a short-order cook. Keep in mind; precision is essential in the morning.

I was fully immersed in Phase 1 of “Operation: Get the Kids to School on Time.” My head was foggy. I felt the morning fluster as I fielded requests from my boys, and as a flurry of competing demands floated around in my mind.

There are three phases of this operation in case you were wondering:

  • Phase 1 is pleading and feed.
  • Phase 2 is clean and clothed.
  • Phase 3 is the on-time drop (off at school).

Now there are nuanced subtleties to all these phases. For example, in Phase 1, you also have making breakfast and lunches, getting school bags organized, and making sure homework was done.

Maybe more organized people drink their hot coffee as they get their kids ready. Perhaps people with more discipline get up earlier in the morning than I do. Both are logical options, but have yet to pan out for me, or my wife, I might add. We’re morning procrastinators, you know, the kind of people that play cat-and-mouse with the iPhone alarm snooze button until one of us wakes up gasping for air, arms flailing about, trying to temper a potential aneurism or heart attack. The ability to jump out of bed with the ferocity of an awaked Grizzly and make sense of one’s surroundings is a downright talent. It’s taken years of conditioning to get there.

“Eat up boys. After breakfast let’s wash our hands, brush teeth, and get clothes on for school.” I said. I could sense my boys, even at ages 5 and 7, rolling their eyes and saying to themselves “yeah, yeah, OK dad,” as if they had heard my line a thousand times before.

I looked at the two bags of trash near the back door. Then I remembered, it was trash day! And of course, it was raining outside. All mornings, especially school days, are hectic. And for some reason, trash day seems to magnify the frenzy. There are trash days when it is picked up very early, and then those that the pick-up is later in the afternoon. I’ve never been able to figure out the schedule. But instead of playing a game of trash-roulette with what time the waste hauler will arrive, I’ve resided to put out the trash first thing in the morning, before the boys go to school. This is likely a male-based fixation (and limitation) about when the trash gets taken out, but for whatever reason I’ve stuck with it.

As the coffee dripped in unison with the second hand of the clock, my entire existence felt as if it were being mocked. Isn’t it amazing how quickly time seems to pass when pressed for time and sits still when you are anticipating the future? This day was no different, and somehow thirty minutes flashed as if they were thirty seconds. We were now flirting with the fine line between being either right on time or late to school. Right on time would mean the boys had to finish up breakfast quickly and head upstairs where mom would help them complete Phase 2 of “Operation: Get the Kids to School on Time.”

With affirmation, I spoke out, “I will be right back. I’m taking the trash out. Please head upstairs so mommy can get you ready.” Begrudgingly I picked up the bags, opened the door, and let out a selfish wail of frustration, “uhg, arr, trash, bla bla, cold, wet, arrrg, bla bla.” I don’t remember the exact sequence of verbal drivel I had used, but it was the tone had said it all. Kids pick up on tone and temperament as much, if not more, than what the actual words are.

With trash in tow I opened the door, stepped off the back porch and proceeded up the driveway. The trash containers are conveniently located behind the detached garage, some 20, maybe 30 yards away from the house. On a sunny (and relaxed) day, the walk is great. Smell the spring air…hear those birds chirping…feel the warm rays of the sun upon your face…not today. Needles of mixed precipitation shot at and stung my face as if I were being blasted by a water gun. As I marched from sidewalk to driveway, I thought about the next five tasks needing to be accomplished to successfully accomplish “Operation: Get the Kids to School on Time.”

No sooner did my feet hit the driveway when I heard the backdoor swing open. The next sequence of events felt almost mystical, isolated within time. I swung my head and looked over my shoulder. My 5-year old, dressed in his pajamas, stepped onto the porch. He looked out at me and shouted, “C’mon daddy, you’re better than that!” He then retreated inside the house.

At first, I was perplexed, unsure of what my son was trying to say. Then, within a millisecond, it hit me like a ton of trash. I let out a hearty laugh to myself. When real truths are spoken, they can have a profound impact on one’s emotions. In this instance, my release was laughter. The frustration I had felt, fleetingly fighting time, and being caught up in my head instead of the moment, immediately lifted. My son’s words, innocent and honest, hit my heart and jugular like a dagger. My son had reacted to my raw emotion. He was right; I am better than that. Why was I so caught up in my mind? And why did I not see (let alone allow) my negative emotions reveal themselves? After all, I’m the adult, and should have been behaving like one.

I took the trash to the curb and then pulled the car down the driveway. A few minutes later my sons came outside, dressed and ready for school. As they hopped inside, I helped my youngest with his seatbelt. I looked him in the eyes and said, “thank you, you’re right, daddy is better than that, and I’m sorry for acting frustrated.” He looked at me and simply said, “It’s OK, I just want you to be happy.”

Happy. A simple word but one of the deepest emotions and behaviors humans can have. Happiness can be attained, but more often than not it is a deliberate emotional choice we have to make.

Negativity is insidious, and it likes company. That’s why negative emotions are often worn on one’s sleeve, to selfishly draw in an audience, letting them know that you are in pain or frustrated. But the self-centered martyr that seeks attention, only pushes others away, ultimately manifesting a reality marked by undesirable (and unintended) relationships and loneliness. Thus, when the ego thrives on negativity, one’s reality is rewarded in-kind, with a negative reality.

I’m guilty of having had moments in my life where my best self was subdued by a negative ego seeking spectators. I’m ashamed that my son felt the need to shake up and awaken my higher sense of self. I’m also quite embarrassed to share this story openly. But as someone who believes deeply in personal integrity, accountability, and trust, I believe it’s necessary for me to not only learn from my experiences but to open up and share them as well.

Think about your life and where you spend your time, energy, and personal attention. Consider the relationships you have, and who you believe you are as a person versus how others may perceive you. Ask, “do you present yourself, fully, and in your highest sense of self, with the utmost integrity and dignity?” How does that channel to through your character in all that you do? Are you a positive influence and role model for your children, your spouse, and in your community?

I think about my son’s words daily now. I cannot say I’m perfect by any means. I’m trying not to fixate on time or the hurriedness of life. Too much is lost in that futile exercise. And the most important things, such as love, relationships, and life itself are diminished when we allow the critical mind to propagate negative behaviors. Whenever I sense myself sliding down the slippery slope of ego-driven negativity, I think of the back door swinging open, seeing my son’s beautiful face emerge, and hearing his enlightened words, “C’mon daddy, you’re better than that!”

Whether it’s a daily chore or a life-long ambition, always be true to yourself and those around you. Allow your best self to shine through in every waking and the living moment you have.

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Pop quiz, mama! How many different types of car seats are there? If you guessed three, you're partially correct. The three main types are rear-facing car seats, forward-facing car seats, and booster seats. But then there are a variety of styles as well: infant car seats, convertible seats, all-in-one seats, high-back booster seats, and backless boosters. If you're not totally overwhelmed yet, keep reading, we promise there's good stuff ahead.

There's no arguing that, in the scheme of your baby and child gear buying lifetime, purchasing a car seat is a big deal! Luckily, Walmart.com has everything you need to travel safely with your most precious cargo in the backseat. And right now, you can save big on top-rated car seats and boosters during Best of Baby Month, happening now through September 30 at Walmart.com.

As if that wasn't enough, Walmart will even take the carseat your kiddos have outgrown off your hands for you (and hook you up with a sweet perk, too). Between September 16 and 21, Walmart is partnering with TerraCycle to recycle used car seats. When you bring in an expired car seat or one your child no longer fits into to a participating Walmart store during the trade-in event, you'll receive a $30 gift card to spend on your little one in person or online. Put the money towards a brand new car seat or booster or other baby essentials on your list. To find a participating store check here: www.walmart.com/aboutbestofbabymonth

Ready to shop, mama? Here are the 9 best car seat deals happening this month.


Safety 1st Grow and Go Spring 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

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From rear-facing car seat to belt-positioning booster, Grow and Go Sprint's got you covered through childhood. Whether you choose the grey Silver Lake, Seafarer or pink Camelia color palette, you'll love how this model grows with your little one — not to mention how easy it is to clean. The machine-washable seat pad can be removed without fussing with the harness, and the dual cup holders for snacks and drinks can go straight into the dishwasher.

Price: $134 (regularly $149)

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Baby Trend Hybrid Plus 3-in-1 Booster Car Seat in Bermuda

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When your toddler is ready to face forward, this versatile car seat can be used as a five-point harness booster, a high-back booster, and a backless booster. Padded armrests, harness straps, and seat cushions provide a comfy ride, and the neutral gray seat pads reverse to turquoise for a stylish new look.

Price: $72.00 (regularly $81)

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Baby Trend Hybrid Plus 3-in-1 Booster Car Seat in Olivia

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Looking for something snazzy, mama? This black and hot pink car seat features a playful heart print on its reversible seat pad and soft harness straps. Best of all, with its 100-pound weight limit and three booster configurations, your big kid will get years of use out of this fashionable design.

Price: $72.00 (regularly $81)

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Evenflo Triumph LX Convertible Car Seat

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This rear- and forward-facing car seat keeps kids safer, longer with an adjustable five-point harness that can accommodate children up to 65 lbs. To tighten the harness, simply twist the conveniently placed side knobs; the Infinite Slide Harness ensures an accurate fit every time. As for style, we're big fans of the cozy quilted design, which comes in two colorways: grey and magenta or grey and turquoise.

Price: $116 (regularly $149.99)

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Disney Baby Light 'n Comfy 22 Luxe Infant Car Seat

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Outfitted with an adorable pink-and-white polka dot Minnie Mouse infant insert, even the tiniest of travelers — as small as four pounds! — can journey comfortably and safely. This rear-facing design is lightweight, too; weighing less than 15 lbs, you can easily carry it in the crook of your arm when your hands are full (because chances are they will be).

Price: $67.49 (regularly $89.99)

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Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

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We know it's hard to imagine your tiny newborn will ever hit 100 lbs, but one day it'll happen. And when it does, you'll appreciate not having to buy a new car seat if you start with this 4-in-1 design! Designed to fit kids up to 120 lbs, it transforms four ways, from a rear-facing car seat to a backless belt-positioning booster. With a 6-position recline and a one-hand adjust system for the harness and headrest, you can easily find the perfect fit for your growing child.

Price: $199.99 (regularly $269.99)

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Graco SlimFit All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

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With its unique space-saving design, this 3-in-1 car seat provides 10% more back seat space simply by rotating the dual cup holders. The InRight LATCH system makes installation quick and easy, and whether you're using it as a rear-facing car seat, a forward-facing car seat, or a belt-positioning booster, you can feel confident that your child's safe and comfortable thanks to Graco's Simply Safe Adjust Harness System.

Price: $149.99 (regularly $229.99)

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Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Platinum XT Infant Car Seat

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Making sure your infant car seat is secure can be tricky, but Graco makes it easy with its one-second LATCH attachment and hassle-free three-step installation using SnugLock technology. In addition to its safety features, what we really love about this rear-facing seat are all of the conveniences, including the ability to create a complete travel system with Click Connect Strollers and a Silent Shade Canopy that expands without waking up your sleeping passenger.

Price: $169.99 (regularly $249.99)

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Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Elite Infant Car Seat

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With just one click, you can know whether this rear-facing car seat has been installed properly. Then adjust the base four different ways and use the bubble level indicator to find the proper position. When you're out and about, the rotating canopy with window panel will keep baby protected from the sun while allowing you to keep your eye on him.

Price: $129.99 (regularly $219.99)

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

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If I ever want to look alive before dropping my son off to school, there are two things I must put on before leaving the house: eyeliner and mascara. When using eyeliner, I typically use black liner on my top lid, a slightly lighter brown for my bottom lid, and then a nude liner for my water line. It works every time.

My mascara routine is a bit different. Because my natural lashes are thin and not the longest, I always opt for the darkest black I can find, and one that's lengthening and volumizing. For this reason, I was immediately drawn to It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara. The new mascara is developed in partnership with Drybar (the blow dry bar that specializes in just blowouts) and promises to deliver bold and voluminous lashes all day long. I was sold.

Could this really be the blowout my lashes have been waiting for? It turns out, it was much better than most volumizing formulas I've tried.

For starters, the wand is a great size—it's not too big or small, and it's easy to grip—just like my favorite Drybar round brush. As for the formula, it's super light and infused with biotin which helps lashes look stronger and healthier. I also love that it's buildable, and I didn't notice any clumps or flakes between coats.

The real test is that my lashes still looked great at dinnertime. I didn't have smudges or the dreaded raccoon eyes I always get after a long day at work. Surprisingly, the mascara actually stayed in place. To be fair, I haven't compared them with lash-extensions (which are my new go-to since having baby number two), but I'm sure it will hold up nicely.

Overall, I was very impressed with the level of length and fullness this mascara delivered. Indeed, this is the eyelash blowout my lashes have been waiting for. While it won't give you a few extra hours in bed, you'll at least look a little more awake, mama.

It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara

It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara
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Here's how I apply IT Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara:

  1. Starting as close to lash line as possible (and looking down), align the brush against your top lashes. Gradually turn upwards, then wiggle the wand back and forth up and down your eyelashes.
  2. Repeat, if needed. Tip: Be sure to allow the mascara to dry between each coat.
  3. Using the same technique, apply mascara to your bottom lashes, brushing the wand down your eyelashes.
Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Having children isn't always as easy as it looks on Instagram. There's so much more to motherhood than serene baby snuggles and matching outfits. But there's a reason we've fallen so deeply in love with motherhood: It's the most beautiful, chaotic ride.

Every single day, we sit back and wonder how something so hard can feel so rewarding. And Eva Mendes just managed to nail the reality of that with one quote.

Eva, who is a mama to daughters Esmerelda and Amada with Ryan Gosling, got real about the messy magic of motherhood in a recent interview.

"It's so fun and beautiful and maddening," the actress tells Access Daily. "It's so hard, of course. But it's like that feeling of…you end your day, you put them to bed and Ryan and I kind of look at each other like, 'We did it, we did it. We came out relatively unscathed.'"

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And just like that, moms all over the world feel seen. We've all been there: Struggling to get through the day (which, for the record is often every bit as fun as it is challenging), only to put those babies to sleep and collapse on the couch in sheer exhaustion. But, after you've caught your breath, you realize just how strong and capable you really are.

One thing Eva learned the hard way? That sleep regressions are very, very real...and they don't just come to an end after your baby's first few months. "I guess they go through a sleep regression, which nobody told me about until I looked it up," she says "I was like, 'Why isn't my 3-year-old sleeping?'"

But, at the end of the day, Eva loves her life as a mom—and the fact that she took a break from her Hollywood career to devote her days to raising her girls. "I'm so thankful I have the opportunity to be home with them," she says.

Thank you for keeping it real, Eva! Momming isn't easy, but it sure is worth it.

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My labor and delivery was short and sweet. I started feeling contractions on Monday morning and by Tuesday night at 8:56 pm my handsome baby boy was born. Only 30 minutes of pushing. Afterward, I was still out of it, to be honest. I held him and did some skin to skin and handed him off to my husband, my mother held him next.

When he was in my mother's arms, I knew he was safe. I started to drift off, the epidural had me feeling drowsy and I had used up all my strength to push this 7 lb baby out. My son's eyes were open and then I guess he went to sleep too. My mother swayed him back and forth. The nurses were in and out, cleaning me up and checking in on us.

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When yet another nurse came in, my mom said to her, "He wasn't latching because he wanted to sleep."

The nurse yelled, "He's not sleeping!"

The next 25 minutes happened in slow motion for me.

After the nurse said these words, she flung my son onto the little baby bed. I looked over and he looked a little blue. Then I heard the loud words of CODE PINK. In matters of seconds about 30 nursing staff descended into my room and crowded around my baby.

I couldn't even see what was happening. I tried to get out the bed but they wouldn't let me and after a couple of failed attempts one of the nurses look at me and said, "He's fine, he's breathing now."

Breathing now? He wasn't breathing before? Again, I tried to push my way to my baby, but once again I was told to not move. They had just performed CPR on my 30-minute old newborn and I couldn't understand what was happening even after a pediatrician tried to explain it to me.

I just started crying. He was fine in my stomach for 39 weeks and 6 days and now I bring him into this world and his heart nearly stops?

I was told he needed to go to the neonatal intensive care unit. I was confused, as I thought the NICU was only for preemies and my son was full term.

After what felt like an eternity we were finally allowed to see our son. My husband wheeled me there and we saw him in the corner alone. I saw the incubator and the wires, he's all bundled up.

The nurse explained all the beeping and showed me the heart rate monitor. He's doing fine. We go over the feeding schedule. I'm exhausted still. I stay with him until about 1 or 2 am. They all suggest I get some sleep. There's no bed in the NICU, so I head back to my room.

The next day was better, he doesn't have to be in the incubator anymore, but the wires remain. By that night or early the next morning, the wires in his nose come out and I try feeding him. I try pumping. It was painful.

He gets his first bath and he loves it. The nurse shampoos his hair (he had a lot!) and he seems so soothed. The nurse explains that because he's full term he doesn't need the same type of support in the NICU. She tells me my baby's strong and he'll be fine.

I look around. I see the other babies, the other moms. They could be there for weeks. And unlike me, the moms have to go home—without their baby.

Friday comes and by now he's done all his tests, blood work came back normal, all tubes have been removed and I get it. I get my going-home package. Finally. I get my instructions on doctor follow-ups and we finally get to go home.

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There have been a lot of iconic entertainment magazine covers featuring pregnant women over the years. Who can forget Demi Moore's bare baby bump on Vanity Fair or Britney Spears' similar nude pose on Harper's Bazaar?

Pregnant women on a magazine covers is nothing new, but a visibly pregnant CEO on the cover of a business magazine, that's a first and it happened this week.

Inc. just put The Wing's CEO Audrey Gelman on the cover and this is a historic moment in publishing and business.

As Gelman told Today this week, "You can't be what you can't see, so I think it's so important for women to see that it's possible to run a fast-growing business and also to start a family."

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She continued: "It's so important to sort of burst that bubble and to have new images of women who are thriving and working professionally while balancing motherhood … My hope is that women see this and again feel the confidence to take greater professional risks while also not shelving their dreams of becoming a mother and starting a family."

The Wing started in 2016 as a co-working space for women and has grown rapidly. As Inc. reports, The Wing has eight locations in the U.S. with plans for more American and international locations by 2020.

Putting Gelman on the cover was an important move by Inc. and Gelman's honesty about her early pregnancy panic ("I can't be pregnant. I have so much to do." she recalls thinking after her pregnancy test) should be applauded.

Gelman says pregnancy made her slow down physically, and that it was actually good for her company: "I had this realization: The way to make my team and my employees feel proud to work for me and for the company was actually not to pretend to be superhuman or totally unaffected by pregnancy."

We need this. We need CEOs to admit that they are human so that corporate leadership can see employees as humans, too. Humans need things like family leave and flexibility, especially when they start raising little humans.

There are a lot of iconic covers featuring pregnant women, but this one is different. She's wearing clothes and she's changing work culture.

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