A modern lifestyle brand redefining motherhood

At work we feel bad we’re not with our kids. While working out, we have a nagging feeling we should be home for bedtime. Out with friends, we feel guilty for having a good time while our partners and kids fend for themselves.


For most women, motherhood comes with a healthy serving of guilt. Says Michelle Kalinksi, a Colorado mom who stays at home with her two children and runs a business part-time: “When I’m working I feel guilty that I’m not with the kids and when I’m with the kids I feel guilty that I’m not working, and in both cases I am often called upon to deal with issues related to the other. So I may be working and have to deal with a kid-related issue and vice-versa. It makes me feel like I’m not giving 100 percent to anyone or anything.”

The pressure to lean in, both at work and at home, isn’t just in our heads. Emma Bennett, a Santa Monica therapist specializing in maternal mental health, says “There is a societal expectation for us as mothers to do it all. When we don’t, feelings of guilt, shame or inadequacy can arise.”

Guilt by the numbers

Dad guilt, on the other hand, is an emerging phenomenon we are only beginning to recognize. According to a recent study, nearly a fifth of men surveyed reported feeling guilty about not being present enough with their kids, while 17 percent reported they felt bad about how much they worked. A whopping 63 percent of working fathers said they were envious of stay-at-home dads.

That dads increasingly grapple with the guilt that has long besieged moms is not surprising, given the changing face of the workforce. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 70 percent of mothers with children under age 18 were in the workforce in 2015, compared to 47 percent in 1975. That upward trend has been even steeper for mothers of young children. Between 1975 and 2015, the rate of the labor force participation by mothers with children under age three increased by 27 percent. Not only are mothers increasingly present in the workforce, but their families are increasingly dependent on their financial contributions. In 2015 mothers were the primary or sole wage earners for 40 percent of households with children under 18, compared with 11 percent in 1960.

Jacob Brier’s family is one example of this trend. His wife went back to work as an attorney shortly after their son was born. Jacob stayed home for the first year, gradually transitioning back to full-time work as a small business and marketing consultant around his son’s second birthday. Brier says guilt is a frequent part of his experience as a dad. “I had guilt when I went back to work, and still have guilt when I stay late,” he says. Though the fact that his son now spends much of his day in kindergarten has assuaged some of his guilt – he says he would feel guilty if he weren’t providing for his family financially – it’s still a struggle: “[I have] guilt that I’m not stricter about what he eats. Guilt that I’m too strict about nearly every single other thing. Guilt that I don’t plan enough play dates … Guilt that I haven’t been to a PTO meeting. Guilt that I forgot to trim his nails. Guilt that I sometimes get annoyed when he does super cute and sweet things, because I really just need a break.”

Michelle Gale, MA, parenting coach and author of “Mindful Parenting In A Messy World,” says the guilt Brier describes is to be expected: “It makes sense that a father who has participated fully in the raising of a baby would feel more guilt as a parent.”

Guilt feed

In addition to changing gender roles, some see social media as a source of guilt for both moms and dads. “When your feed shows your friends’ perfect homes, their Pinterest-worthy birthday parties, and the healthy meals they serve their smiling kids, even though you know it’s just a snapshot of their lives, it’s hard not to compare yourself and feel guilty for not doing enough,” says Elizabeth Willey, a Massachusetts mom who works part-time. Willey deleted her Facebook account and says she doesn’t miss it.

While social media can be a source of stress for moms, according to Dr. Jenni Skyler – a sex and relationship therapist and mom of two – it may be a driver for men’s increasingly active approach to parenting. “Our dads’ generation would never have dreamed of feeling guilty for not spending time with their kids,” says Skyler. Now though, she feels social media exposes men to new ideas and perspectives that lead them to be more engaged, albeit more guilt-ridden, as dads.

Mom guilt for the win

While guilt is increasingly seeping into the experience of fatherhood, research shows that mothers still have the upper hand, especially when it comes to work. A 2017 study looking at heterosexual couples with kids found that mothers had significantly higher levels of guilt than fathers when it came to concerns about work interfering with family. Drawing on qualitative research for this study, the authors cited the bind working moms are caught in when their kid gets sick on the same day as an important work presentation. A mom, who may be held to higher standards than her childless colleagues, will experience guilt whether she stays home with her sick child, thereby shirking work responsibilities, or goes to work and lets another caregiver watch her child, pushing off her duties as a mother. The study authors argue that if put in the same position, a man typically has less guilt relative to a woman if he chooses work, as this “is a central part of his parental, gender-prescribed role as primary breadwinner.”

Not only are women more susceptible to feeling guilty due to conflicts between work and family, but some experts argue that for many women, experiencing guilt is an inevitable part of being having two X chromosomes. “Women are more naturally relational, which means they are tracking others emotions and tend to feel much more interconnected,” says Gale. “The more interconnected we feel, the more others’ emotions can make us feel one way or the other.”

Gale also says women’s tendency to function as “project managers” plays a role. Where families with a mom and a dad are concerned, “[Women] know intimately when something doesn’t go as planned or someone is not getting what they need. It’s much easier to feel guilty when you know all the painstaking details of the day.”

Though men are catching up, if biology and culture are any indicators, it doesn’t look like they’ll ever beat women on the parental guilt front. Not that the guys shouldn’t try; for both moms and dads, guilt can arise from increased family engagement – and that engagement is a good thing.

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Sometimes inspiration just strikes.

Diana, our Motherly Experts Editor, had a moment just like that. The result was magic. "I was tucking my middle guy in, and he was all toddler-perfect... lost in a sea of blankets, so cute and little, and I just had this moment of, "wow, one day he is going to be a grown up, and someone else is going to love him..." And the rest is history :)" These poignant moments of motherhood touch the heart in immeasurable ways...balh able bla

After the tears have dried, this unique story, inspired by the overflow of love in a mother's heart, stays with you for a loooong time and is bound to resonate in your heart fas long as a mother's love remains for her child, long after they've left home. That's motherly. And, that's Motherly.

"To the person who falls in love with my son" went viral.

This video, more than the sum of its parts, has provided an overall experience that has transcended its concept, writing, execution, quality of craft—and heart.

• It has been viewed 26,387,039 times.


• It has reached 58,287,532 people.


• It has garnered 2,363,086 social engagements (comments, likes, and shares).


This video elevates what is in plain sight to something timeless, universal, and memorable. Bound to live in the heart of anyone who views it, this video is destined for legend in the parenting community online. Our innovative strategy, tactics and creativity combine to succeed at truly engaging our community.

Motherly not only has over 3X the engagement of competitors in the parenting space but also across women's interest and lifestyle categories.

FACEBOOK FOLLOWERS VS. ENGAGEMENT RATE

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With a clean and direct design aesthetic, our content does not get lost in the overload that is so endemic to other brands. Our unique sense of honesty and our authentic and emotional content connect with our community of engaged Millennial moms across channels to deliver results that empower and inspire. Through the powerful lens of motherhood, our content generates mom-to-mom sharing and valuable conversation, unlike any other brand.




Meet Motherly.
We are a community–driven lifestyle brand redefining motherhood. Motherly occupies a unique position in the media landscape, sitting at the intersection of parenting, lifestyle and women's interests to address her entire life and connect her more fully.

At Motherly we have a voice.

We are the only positive, encouraging parenting site reaching and influencing Millennial moms when they are looking for and absorbing more information, products and services than during any other life transition. How we think, act, and express ourselves is why we have built such a strong community of mamas.

Our community engages across all platforms, at Motherly, on Instagram and on Facebook, because mamas are on the move.

Motherly supports mamas through their entire parenthood journey, delivering women-centric content that addresses her whole lifestyle through thousands of articles, images, videos and classes each month with Mom-to-mom insights, inspiration and empowerment.

Our innovative strategy, tactics and creativity combine to succeed at truly engaging our community.

With a clean and direct design aesthetic, our content does not get lost in the overload that is so endemic to other brands. Our approach to content and how it is presented crosses all platforms for a cohesive and truly branded aesthetic that is fresh, clear and direct, always light and enlightening.

With a unique sense of honesty, our authentic and emotional content connects with our community of engaged Millennial moms across channels to deliver results that empower and inspire. Through the powerful lens of motherhood, our content generates mom-to-mom sharing and valuable conversation, unlike any other brand.

Motherly not only has over 3X the engagement of competitors in the parenting space but also across women's interest and lifestyle categories.


FACEBOOK FOLLOWERS VS. ENGAGEMENT RATE

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Sources: Facebook Analytics 2018


The synergy of our compelling content, pure aesthetic and fully engaged community has afforded us staggering fan growth.

In October, 2017, we doubled down on our engagement strategy to reach our community with our innovative approach to content and realized a stunning fan growth of 442% over the following twelve months.



That "something" extra...

Through our social presence—encompassing concept, creativity, content, structure, visual design, functionality and interactivity—women are encouraged and have the confidence to know, "I've got this". As savvy, digital natives, Millennial mamas take Motherly everywhere for information, inspiration, and empowerment—we are the brand that helps her redefine what it means to be motherly, every day.

Vacationing with a baby isn't for the faint of heart. But while it typically means more luggage (hello, travel-friendly bassinets, clothes for all seasons, and more diapers than you can shake a boarding pass at!), it's still possible to have a fun, memorable adventure with your little ones―especially with the right equipment.

Our favorite family vacation saver? The right baby carrier, like BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One Air. The breathable, mesh design is perfect for a variety of climates, while the supportive construction will help you stay comfortable while you trek across your favorite destination.

One of our favorite family-friendly locales? Los Angeles. That's why we teamed up with LA mama extraordinaire Magin Birrenkott to share the best places to play in La-La Land when you have little ones in tow.

DO

La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
Perfect for your little dinosaur lovers, the famous Tar Pits and art museum feature something for everyone. Take the tar pit tour to learn more about excavation, or simply let the little ones run around the park to see the variety of sculptures. The museum features a Fossil Lab, atrium, and even a 3D theater to learn more. "You can have lunch and play on the grassy areas around the tar pits and fossil areas, as well as grab a coffee and stroll through the different art exhibits around the park," Birrenkott recommends.

Kidspace Children's Museum
Who says vacation can't also be educational? This incredible children's museum helps your little ones learn about everything from physics to biology―all through the power of play. Babies can face out in the Baby Carrier One so they'll have plenty to look at while staying snuggled up to you. Bigger kids will love experiencing the indoor and outdoor exhibits. Note: Several attractions feature water play, so pack a spare outfit for any kids who like to get messy.

Magin navigating a day out in LA with two little people and one free hand, thanks to the BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One Air.

Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Lions, tigers, bears...and more! The LA Zoo is home to a variety of animals from around the world―all of which your kiddos will love to admire. The bird show and giraffe feedings are especially popular hits. "Make sure to plan the short trek to the giraffes between 11:00-12:00 and 2:30-3:30. For $5 you get three branches and are able to feed them up close and personal!" Birrenkott says.

Move your little one to your back in the Baby Carrior One Air so they can get close to the action too. "We like to go at the very beginning since they can get full and sometimes walk away if there were too many people in front of you." After letting the kids run out their energy in the zoo, the Botanical Gardens make the perfect spot to relax and have lunch. "There's a beautiful grassy area that's quiet where you can set a blanket and enjoy the beautiful LA weather. And for us struggling tired mamas, there's a coffee shop that has the most amazing lattes and cappuccinos. Huge win."

SEE

The El Capitan Theatre

More than just a must-see on your tour of Hollywood, the El Capitan Theatre is an excellent spot for family memories. There are "Tiny Tot Tuesdays" for families with younger children (AKA, no one will give you a dirty look if your kiddo wants to sing along...or just throws a tantrum mid-show), and all of the family-friendly movies feature something extra, whether it's live Disney cast members, gift bags, or extra effects like confetti. Check the website to find out what is showing during your trip.

Aquarium of the Pacific
If your kids are fans of Finding Dory, they're going to love the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. With everything from penguins to sea otters to sharks (not to mention millions of fish in every shape, size, color), there's something to catch the eye of everyone in your family. The aquarium also features seasonal festivals and events, so check the calendar during your visit to make sure you don't miss their best shows. As for your littlest family members, they'll enjoy a comfy ride through the aquarium in their carrier.

"Our weather is all over the place sometimes, but in the BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One Air, he didn't get sweaty at all!" Birrenkott says. "Plus, after two days of activities, my back is in one piece. I can babywear him all the time now!"

Traveling Tikes
Forget something at home? Traveling Tikes on Santa Monica Boulevard is the perfect spot to scoop up any baby gear that didn't make it into your suitcase―including the BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One Air for easier travel around town. One other store we love? KIDSLAND on Wilshire Boulevard.


Making the time to explore is one of the greatest gifts you can give your family―and yourself. And thanks to BabyBjörn, now everyone can come along for the ride.

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

If there's anything better than dressing your kids up in adorable holiday outfits, it's gotta be matching them.

We rounded up seven of our favorite looks for this season. 🎁

1. Classic Christmas for kids

Go crisp, clean, classic and Christmassy with a Short Sleeve Smocked Holiday Dress from Feltman Brothers.

Short Sleeve Smocked Holiday Dress, Feltman Brothers, $67.95

BUY

Classic Christmas made modern for mama

Match your cotton cutie in a crisp and modern shirtdress that can last you far beyond Christmas.

Kowtow Monologue Shirt Dress, Garmentory, $93.00

BUY

2. Nordic-themed sweater set

Get cozy + complimentary with black and red family sweaters that you can wear all winter long.

Oh Sno Happy Christmas Collection, Hanna Andersson, $68 - $92

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3. Matchy matchy mommy

A super-affordable option for the matchy matchy mama.

Emmababy Mommy and Me Matching Plaid Long Sleeve Shirt Dress + Princess Tulle Tutu Dress, $14.99

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4. Mommy + me tutus

Tutus make everything, including the holidays, a bit more magical. Grab a matching set to enjoy a twirl with your girl.

Mommy and Me Tulle Tutus, Etsy, $110.00

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5. The perfect plaid dress

Quick! This one is perfect, grab it fast.

Ruffle Trim Babydoll Dress for Toddler Girls, Old Navy, $20.00

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Mama's plaid

Mama deserves ruffles and plaid, too.

Relaxed Plaid Twill Classic Shirt, $24.00, Old Navy

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6. Best sweater set yet

Moms and sons can play match-up, too. Grab a sweater set you can return to the entire season.

Festivewear Sweater Sets, Boden, $55.00-$130.00

BUY

7. Big blue

Light up the night with Santa's sleigh and a sleek little number for mama.

Festive Big Applique Dress, Boden, $48.00

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Blue for you, too

The perfect LBD (little blue dress).

Flippy Pencil Dress, Boden, $170.00

BUY

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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