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Overworked parent buys laundry pods to make cleaning the family’s mountains of laundry a bit easier. Overtired parent inevitably gets interrupted while doing laundry and leaves the open pod container on top of the washing machine. Kid finds a laundry pod, and, assuming it is candy, takes a big bite. Kid dies shortly thereafter.


This is the general narrative circulated by headlines, like “The Wall Street Journal” article “Laundry-Pod Poisonings Piling Up“, which have popped up every few months or so since Tide Pods went on the U.S. market in 2012.

It is reasonable to take the warnings in these articles seriously, because laundry pods do pose a real risk. In a review of laundry pod ingestions in “Pediatrics”, researchers studied the outcomes of the 17,230 children whose caregivers called Poison Control after a suspected laundry pod exposure.

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Nearly 60 percent of the children required no special medical attention, and 35.4 percent were treated and released (meaning they were sent home from the ER). Only 2.4 percent were admitted to a non-critical care service, while 2 percent were admitted to critical care. The researchers identified one death resulting from laundry pod ingestion during that period.

Given another recent round of articles warning parents of the dangers of laundry pods, it’s important to pause and reflect on just how much of a risk laundry pods represent, as well as how we interpret and react to numbers we see in the news.

The missing denominator

Some of the most terrifying and behavior-changing child safety articles begin with a big number, and articles about laundry pods are no exception. CNN’s 2014 article on laundry pod poisonings, for example, begins with a number from the “Pediatrics” study: “In the period of about a year, 17,230 children under the age of six have been accidentally poisoned by the packets.”

There are two problems with CNN’s reporting of this number. First, it incorrectly counts the number of children poisoned by laundry packets in that year. The “Pediatrics” review of laundry poisonings describes the 17,230 children under age six were “exposed” to laundry detergent pods from 2012 to 2013.

“Exposed” is the technical term used by Poison Control Centers to indicate a child has been in contact with a poison, so children whose skin or eyes were irritated by a laundry pod would also be included in that number. “Poisoned” also suggests a serious medical condition, but the “Pediatrics” review makes clear that 60 percent of children exposed did not require any medical attention, and another 35 percent were treated and released from the ER.

The CNN’s reporting of 17,230 calls to Poison Control is further problematic because its significance is only ever implied. This is a big, scary number. It sounds like a reason for drastic action. And it may be. But without other numbers – without context – it’s impossible to know how serious or prevalent that figure of 17,230 actually is.

This number can be contextualized in many ways. It could be compared to the population of children from birth to age six (US Census data lets us estimate this at just under 24 million) to show that in .07 percent of the population, caregivers for seven in 10,000 kids called Poison Control concerned about laundry detergent exposure. Far fewer than that were hospitalized.

Identifying a denominator does not mean we should be careless with how we store our chemicals. It does mean we can develop a more accurate sense of what is benign, risky, dangerous, or fatal. Identifying a denominator can also help us make comparisons between products.

One surprising finding of research into pod-based detergents is that dishwasher detergent pods, which are arguably more accessible to kids because of their typical storage locations, are less dangerous than laundry detergent pods. They tend to be stored in even more child-friendly areas (under a sink, for example), and yet present less of a hazard when ingested.

Takeaway: When confronted with a number that sounds scary, look for the denominator.

A number used to answer the wrong question

What about a big number that does have a denominator? Even those numbers deserve a closer look, because they are often insufficient evidence for the questions they are being used to answer.

Reports on laundry pod ingestion appear grim, but what’s less clear is whether those represent a change in consumption of laundry detergents generally. To find that, we need to focus less on the number of children who ingest pods and more on the number of children who ingested detergent prior to the creation of pods.

Most of the grim statistics about laundry detergent poisoning come from 2012 or later, when the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) developed separate codes for laundry pod ingestion. The AAPCC reports that laundry pod exposures reported to Poison Control Centers have risen each year from 2012 to 2015. With 9,787 exposures as of October 31, 2016 might stop this trend (in 2015 there were over 12,000 exposures). 

Although Tide Pods were released in 2012, making laundry pods more visible to consumers, laundry pods have been in the U.S. detergent market since 2010. Looking to laundry detergent exposures reported to Poison Control Centers before 2010 can help fill in the picture of whether the pods themselves are leading to more exposures, or whether children are simply shifting their ingestion from one form of detergent to another.

The question, essentially, is whether children are ingesting laundry pods in greater numbers than they were before, or if they are just ingesting new types of detergent than they were before.

This is one area in which further study supports the original reported numbers. The AAPCC’s 2009 report shows 6,895 laundry detergent exposures in children ages zero to 19 across all types of detergent. The AAPCC’s 2012 report shows 6,678 liquid laundry detergent exposures in children ages zero to five alone; that is, one category of laundry detergent in one segment of the child population in 2012 almost matched all laundry detergent exposures for the entire child population in 2009.

The overall numbers are still quite small when taken in the context of the entire child population of the U.S., but it’s clear that there’s been a real increase in the number of laundry detergent exposures since laundry pods went on the market.

Laundry pod poisonings appear to present a new safety hazard because there has been an increase of calls to poison control since their entrance on the market. But a rise in calls (“exposures”) does not necessarily mean that the pods are more dangerous. It could be that awareness of laundry pod poisonings makes parents (reasonably) more concerned, resulting in more phone calls to Poison Control centers even if there is not an increased risk of poisoning due to the pod.

Takeaway: When seeing the words “increase” or “decrease,” ask what points those increases or decreases are being used to prove. Then ask what else those increases and decreases might prove.

Drawing assumptions from cohort comparisons

According to Poison Control records cited by both of the “Pediatrics” studies, the average age of children ingesting laundry pods differs from the average age of children ingesting other types of detergent. The most popular theory for this age difference is that the pods look like candy. One “Consumer Reports” graphic depicts the pods in a flat lay of candy, asking readers if they can spot the pods. Much of the medical literature makes the same assumption that laundry pods are more appealing because they look like candy.

We should examine that assumption with skepticism. If it’s true that the majority of laundry pod poisonings are occurring in children under age three, the focus on “candy” might not be warranted. A sevent-month-old biting into a laundry pod isn’t doing so because it looks like candy. A seven-month-old is biting into a pod because she can, because it’s a thing within her reach and she’s going to explore it with her mouth.

The population we might need to be more concerned about is patients with dementia, who have been reported to mistake the pods for candy.

Instead of assuming a manufacturing problem (detergent producers making their dangerous product too appealing to young children), it’s possible that the age difference is not related to the children, but their parents. In “The Power of Habit”, Charles Duhigg argues that people make the most significant changes to their lifelong shopping when a new baby enters the family.

If people are most likely to switch brands during major life changes, new parents shopping for laundry detergent in 2012 might have been more convinced to purchase pods. We can test this last theory by watching whether the age of ingestion changes as the pods are on the market longer.

Takeaway: Comparisons between groups are full of confounding variables. Ask what other factors may describe group differences.

The case study to boost awareness

One of the stickiest problems with articles about child safety is the type of data used to bring attention to a new possible danger. Most of the stories about laundry pods, for example, are based on single case reports – which certainly bring important attention to the potential dangers of the pods. Case reports are also valuable in medical literature, because they become the first steps toward determining the root causes of, and potential cures for, illness. But when used as proof of a new and terrifying phenomenon, case studies may inflate overall risks.

These case studies resonate with us because these parents have just experienced our worst nightmare. But the stories may cause us to be unnecessarily risk averse. The parents in these studies have won the world’s worst lottery – losing children to extremely rare accidents. Reading these stories may sway us to change our purchase decisions. But if we look at child deaths from all detergents, we’ll note that parents lose that horrible lottery, too.

The 2012 Poison Control Annual Report includes one death from dishwasher detergent of an unspecified type, as well as one death from hand dishwashing detergent, one death from laundry detergent granules, and one death from from liquid laundry detergent. These detergent deaths are not grouped by age, so it’s not possible to link them with any age group without further study. But any study of the danger of a particular type of detergent will need to take the other forms of detergent into account.

Takeaway: Don’t make unilateral changes based on single case studies, which can obscure less publicized, but nearly equivalent risks.

The verdict

The current available data about laundry pod poisonings paints a much different picture than the stories we see reported every few months. When ingested, laundry pods tend to deliver a more concentrated dose of detergent, which can lead to more serious health risks.

Then again, there is a very slim possibility that a child will eat one, a slimmer still chance that a pod will cause serious injury, and a yet slimmer still chance of death. Furthermore, there is a risk of death with any detergent, and parents cannot completely avoid this risk unless they plan never to do laundry again.

It is reasonable to be cautious about laundry pods because of the specific dangers of ingesting more concentrated detergent with a single bite, but it’s also reasonable to read the data on laundry pod poisonings and make a calculated decision to use them.

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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 30, 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)

SHOP

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)

SHOP

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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Kid's birthday parties can be great: There's lots of playtime for little ones to wear themselves out, the entertainment is free and it's the perfect time to bond with other mamas. But when it comes to gift-giving, everyone's interpretation of these unwritten rules is different which can create unwanted stress.

You know the scene: Some mamas prefer to give handmade gifts, others like buying popular toys and some only contribute to the child's college tuition.

If you haven't already heard, the trending theme for kid's birthday parties is "the fiver" and it takes the guesswork out of gift-giving. Rather than spending $20 on a toy they probably won't play with in a month the hosts ask for a $5 bill. The money is pooled together and can be put towards one big, much more significant gift, instead of many smaller, less meaningful things. The idea is simple, and it turns out, hosting one is similar to throwing a traditional birthday party.

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Here are six ways to throw a seamless (and fun!) fiver party:

1. Don't do it alone

Many moms tend to plan everything for their kids' parties all by themselves. They write down a list of things that they need to do and feel accomplished after checking off every single item. But, when the special day finally comes, moms stress over the details for fear that something might go wrong.

When planning a fiver party, delegate tasks and responsibilities during the planning process. Having a helper or two for the big day cuts down on having to clean up a big mess afterward.

2. Create a distraction-free environment

Though this sounds like a tip for doing homework, it applies to throwing a party, too. If you book a show for 3- or 4-year-olds, it's better to hide all the toys and snacks beforehand so they can sit longer and focus better on the activity you planned. Best of all, with fiver parties, you don't have to worry about designating an area to open a bunch of gifts.

3. Remember that hand painting is better for toddlers

Many children like to get their faces painted for their birthdays or for special events. Though face painting is a popular activity, children who are less than 4 years old will often start moving, fidgeting or crying in the middle of it and turn the beautiful butterfly on their faces into a mess. Because of this, try hand painting for the younger ones.

4. Always keep them busy

Fill your fiver party with activities so that the guests will always have something to do. Maybe this sounds a bit difficult, but you don't necessarily need to book 10 shows for one party. Simply prepare a few easy games (like a treasure hunt, musical chairs and sack race) for them to play beforehand. Keeping the children occupied will make your fiver party fun and memorable.

5. Less is more

A shortlist of guests will keep your little one from feeling overwhelmed by the attention. For toddlers, a party that lasts about an hour and a half is perfect. If they're a bit older, add another hour. Just remember children don't need much to feel happy and loved.

Bonus! Here are two ways to save money while making your kids' fiver party memorable:

1. Host the party at home.

Sure, venues are great, but they can be pricey. Having a party at home is inexpensive and intimate. Also, kids are more likely to interact with each other if the space is smaller.

2. Only serve snacks.

A common way to stay on budget is to invite people between meals and prepare snacks, not a full meal. Most kids are usually so busy playing they'll just graze anyway.

This article was originally published on Partify by Natalie Wong and it has been republished with permission from the author.

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Learn + Play

When your toddler is screaming for milk, a toy or a snack in the middle of the grocery store, it may feel like your world is closing in on you. It might not seem like it in the moment, but tantrums are a normal part of your child's development—it's a child's way of expressing how they feel.

But regardless of why little ones throw fits, it can be tough to navigate. We looked to the parenting threads on Reddit where mamas discuss the ins and outs as well as ups and downs of child-rearing. We were all ears.

Here's the best tantrum advice Reddit mamas swear by:

1. Wait it out

"Tantrums are a toddler's way of venting excess frustration, energy and emotion. Just wait it out and once it's dying down, offer some comfort. After, talk with them and verbalize and validate their emotions."— StayAtHome478936

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2. Don't entertain it

"Do not engage with them at all during a tantrum. It's tempting to try to calm them down and introduce some reason to the situation, but don't give in to that. Screaming is a one-way ticket to being completely ignored. They're allowed to be frustrated and upset, but you're not obligated to listen to it."— VoteyDisciple

3. Give yourself a mommy break

"I give myself mommy time outs if I'm getting frustrated or angry and even though no one is enforcing me, I still get the benefit of calming myself down, and my daughter sees me proactively taking care of my mood/behavior."— ChandrikaMoon

4. Let them explore their world

"If you have patience with misbehavior, you open the door to your child escalating until she has your full attention. I let my toddler explore her world and do anything I deem safe, but I am strict about enforcing safety rules and I do not allow her to misbehave without consequences."— soMuchToFind

5. Focus on the real issue

"Rather than punishing the symptom of the issue, work on the actual issue. For my 4-year-old son we are working on breathing and counting as a coping mechanism for when emotions become too overwhelming. For him, it works well. He responds to most minor and medium emotions by breathing now."— Hiitskai

6. Say 'no' less

"There is a school of thought that if the child reacts terribly every time you say 'no,' say 'no' less. Instead of no cookie you say you can have carrots or cheese now. Always offer one or two good choices when you can and it will head off at least some of the fits."— toasterchild

7. Take away things

"My kid started showing signs of being low-level obsessed with a game so we took it away cold turkey. We explained that the game makes him behave in a way we don't like, so we are going to take a break. Sure he wasn't happy about it, but we are the adults and he is entitled to feel any way he wants to."— greenpotatoes9

8. Offer breaks

"Daycare helped us so much with tantrums. They taught her the phrase 'I need my space.' So, when she has her tantrum, she goes away for a moment, and then comes back in a calmer state of mind. Often, the more we try to help her, the worse it gets."— dave moe dee

9. Play music

"The main thing that almost never fails is listening to music during a tantrum. I'm really into music myself so I guess this is no huge surprise but my girl just cannot cry while Beyonce is playing."— PavLovesDogs

10. Do something unrelated

"As long as the kid isn't actively endangering themselves while throwing the temper tantrum, I completely ignore it. I make a point of going about my business and doing something wholly unrelated to whatever lead up to the tantrum. It didn't take long for my kid to learn that the screaming and fussing won't get them what they want."— PerestroikaPal

11. Compromise

"If you give into a tantrum, find a way to make it seem like you're compromising for some other reason, but not because of the tantrum. I always tell my 3 year old 'You know how to ask. If you want something, use your words, ask nicely."—athaliah

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Learn + Play

When kids enter puberty we warn them about the change. We tell them their bodies are changing and that it's normal and natural and they're beautiful just as they are. But when women become mothers and their bodies—and brains—change, we are not offered the same affirmations and comfort as adolescents. Society tells children to accept the ways their bodies stretch, grow and shift to carry them through adulthood, but it tells the women who carry these children in their own bodies to fight change at all costs.

Luckily, that is changing. Women are standing up and saying what society should have been telling us all along: Yes, motherhood changes your body, but that change is beautiful.

And now, in a brilliant move that is both excellent marketing and empowering, hundreds of women are putting their postpartum bodies on display. The act is a powerful statement to themselves and to other mothers: Our bodies are meant to evolve and change, and you are normal and natural and beautiful just as you are.

Knix is selling underwear, but the brand is also creating real change with a project called The Life After Birth Project, which saw 250 photos of real moms exhibited in an NYC gallery before rolling into Knix's hometown, Toronto, Canada, this week.

The photos are refreshingly real and exactly what women need to see in 2019.

The Life After Birth Project shows the beauty and reality of postpartum healing 

One of the most damaging myths about postpartum recovery is that it is quick. It isn't. It actually takes about six to eight weeks for the uterus to shrink back to its pre-pregnancy size. The bump doesn't instantly disappear because it took 9 months to grow. A mother's body needs time to heal after birth, whether it was a vaginal delivery or a C-section, but too many mothers aren't given that time.

In the United States, so many working moms are back at their job within five weeks of giving birth, and even if paid work isn't a factor, unpaid labor and family obligations can have mothers doing too much too soon.

As Diana Spalding, midwife and Motherly's Digital Education Editor and Birth Expert, has said, "You would never expect someone to clean their house a few days after having surgery, or to run errands when they are getting over the flu—so why do we expect ourselves to snap out of giving birth? Pregnancy and birth are not ailments, but they are the real deal. Be gentle on yourself, and allow your body to heal."

Mothers should not be embarrassed by their changing bodies 

A recent survey found more than a third of women (37%) felt embarrassed by what their body was going through after birth. This is not okay, and it is why we need more projects like the The Life After Birth Project and more companies doing what Knix is doing.

That is why celebrities like Jillian Harris, pictured above, stepped up and shared photos of their own postpartum experiences for the Life After Birth project.

Yes, Jillian is wearing mesh panties and a giant pad in the above photo. But that's part of the journey and nothing to be embarrassed about.

We need to see our stories represented and know that this is normal.

More photos from #LifeAfterBirth

Four pregnancies in four years. This mama has been through so much and has some serious advice: "I wish our always busy culture recognized it more and gave new mothers patience and grace."

So do we Amy, so do we.

See the gallery in person

The Life After Birth Project is currently in Toronto but the next stop is Los Angeles on October 24.

The gallery will keep touring the US, too.

Stops are planned in Portland, Seattle, Dallas, Austin, Denver, Minneapolis. if you want to submit your own photos, tag @lifeafterbirthproject on Instagram and use the hashtag #LifeAfterBirth, or email your photos to lifeafterbirth@knix.com.

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News

You know that moment when you find yourself standing in line at the grocery store next to the "All-Together Woman"? Come on, you know the one.

She very well may have just stepped out of a magazine centerfold, while you are fairly certain you resemble something more along the lines of a real-life muppet. This woman is flawless. Her makeup is spot-on, her clothes are wrinkle-free. Her toes are manicured and her fingernails look like they never once, in the course of her what-must-be-a-dream-life, scrubbed a single dirty bathtub, poopy toilet or messy kitchen floor.

Okay, seriously, I know you know what I am talking about now.

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But, here's the thing. I don't hate her. I don't even envy her. Because I don't know her. I have no idea what her personal struggles are. I applaud her for her obvious fashion skills and mad makeup abilities. I will probably even tell her I love her hair. Or her shoes. Or her something.

And, for all I know, while I am admiring her trendy jacket and cropped top she very well may be admiring my children and my life. Maybe, just maybe, she thinks my yoga pants paired with a hoodie and clean-ish Converse shoes along with my ridiculously huge diaper bag that seconds as my purse and kitchen fridge on-the-go are totally adorbs!

I will most likely scrounge up the courage to drag myself to a mirror sometime in the next hour or so just to see what exactly I looked like next to this magical being. Chances are I had green and blue fruit loops bits stuck somewhere between my teeth, a messy bun that closely resembled a bird's nest and overly unplucked eyebrows. Chances are also extremely high there was not a lick of makeup to hide my exhausted, sleep-deprived eyelids, either. My breasts will still be saggy and my tummy will still be loose.

Listen, my seasons will change. All too soon my kids will be older and I will have more energy to prep myself before going out in public. I will be more rested and will probably (hopefully) have lost some pre/post-baby weight. I won't be rushed to pick up peanut butter and milk after school drop-off but before nap. Brushing my teeth in the morning will no longer seem like a luxury. I may even become the "All-Together Woman."

But, in this season, today, I am going to tell myself "I am enough."

Because I AM enough.

My babies don't see her, they see ME, their mommy and #1 person. They love me unconditionally. And I am enough.

My husband respects me as his partner and the mother of his children. He tells me I'm beautiful and loves my body, including all of the wreckage and battle scars left behind from eight babies. And I am enough.

My friends see me for who I am. They know I'm clumsy, goofy and imperfect. And they don't even care that I wear Pajama Jeans. And I am enough.

It is easy (entirely too easy) to look at ourselves as the lesser version of our reality. We can be our biggest critics and shamers. Our own worst enemies.

It's so important that we begin teaching our daughters that they are enough. That who they are in the inside will manifest itself into what they are on the outside. Let's teach our girls, together, to claim their beauty, their strengths and their sense-of-self from within. First and always.

Everything on the outside is literally just the surface. It's time, ladies. And I know you can do it. Because you are enough.

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