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At age seven, my son was diagnosed with ADHD. Like so many ADHD kids, he was very intelligent, he just wasn’t able to thrive in a “read these three chapters and write a report” kind of classroom. So, I switched him to a “school with no walls,” where children were encouraged to explore books, pursue crafts, build models, and basically do whatever interested them.


They did have some structured classes but the tricky part of ADHD is that these kids, while not being able to conform to a structured curriculum, do need boundaries. And therein lies the conundrum.

We tried medication but he became listless and robotic: just going through the motions of school and life. There was no joy in his eyes. I took him off of it and while the joy returned, with it and a few more years came some very troubling times for us both.

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I remember the exact day things changed. I came home from work and he was with some friends. He was 14 now, back in public school and just barely scraping by. I walked in his room and didn’t recognize a single face staring back at me. I greeted them all and other than a few shoulder shrugs would never have known these were living, breathing human beings. Who were these kids?

I have never been one to blame my son’s behavior on his friends. “He’s just in with the wrong group of kids and they’re a bad influence on him!” my sister would balk. I knew from my own experience when I was a teen that kids gravitate towards those who make them feel part of a group, part of a family, part of anything.

If we moved 1000 miles away he would still gravitate toward and find like-minded kids to hang around with. It wasn’t the kids he was associating with; it was his need to associate with those kids that needed to be addressed.

Our home life was far from ideal. My husband – my son’s stepfather – worked long hours and had little to do with my son or his brother. He was very impatient and only gave my son negative attention.

His biological father had abandoned us when my son was three months old, so on top of abandonment issues, stepfather issues, and the normal challenges that face all teens, looking back I’m not surprised he turned his attention to other kids who had taken to the streets and gangs to find a “home.”

I asked him later that evening who the kids were, where they were from. All of his friends prior to this had been neighborhood kids I knew well. He told me these were kids he’d met outside of school through a mutual friend.

I told him I was concerned, they were not very polite and they seemed high. He shrugged it off and assured me they weren’t high and they were all “cool.” He liked them. I could see he felt a true sense of belonging. However, I also observed a lot of delinquent behavior: cussing in front of me, referring to police as “pigs,” and an overwhelming disdain for any authority figures, including me. It had only been two weeks and I no longer recognized my son. 

At 15 he was out of control. This group he had adopted and pledged his fidelity to were now stealing cars, breaking into homes, and as I originally suspected, doing a lot of drugs. I tried everything I knew to reach him. Talking calmly, relating my own past experiences to him in hopes he would see I wasn’t judging him – that I could relate to the angst and restlessness he felt inside. Nothing worked. He was gone more than he was home.

Finding the police at my door or cruising our neighborhoods was no longer a surprise. The change in him and the destruction it caused was like an out of control wildfire. I couldn’t stop it; I had no control of the situation.

I ascertained he was gang affiliated but not completely embedded at this point. Many gangs, once you’re in won’t let you leave without dire consequences: being beaten within an inch of your life, being branded a traitor, even death.

I did a lot of research and decided enough was enough. 

I sent him to a military boarding school about an hour and a half from our home. I was not allowed any contact with him for the first six weeks. No calls, no cards – nothing. It was torture as a mother; I had no idea how he was. I was sickened at the realization he would now add me to the top of his list of people he loved who had abandoned him. I cried for my son. I cried for myself. And then I cried some more.

Finally, the day came when parents of new students were allowed their first visit. We were to arrive at noon, check in, and proceed to the bleachers on the football field. All the parents there were anxious to see their sons, wondering what it was we would see.

Then it happened. Marching band music filled the air along with great anticipation of what was to follow. Every parent simultaneously gasped when 150 uniformed boys marched onto that field in the blistering heat, heads held high. As they passed, they uniformly turned their heads toward us and saluted.

Their heads snapped front once again as they continued their march. They lined up in military formation and displayed their rifle handling skills, then standing at attention awaiting the order, “At Ease.” I can still hear the sound of their rifle butts hitting the ground by their feet.

Every parent there dissolved into tears. Some tears fell in relief, relief their child was safe, being taken care of, still alive. Other tears fell in mourning, saddened our sons had been broken of their fierce, rebellious character. Although their rebellion is what landed them here in the first place, it was also an admirable trait.

When the ceremony was over, we were allowed to visit. I barely recognized my son. His hair was gone, he donned a military cut now. He stood up straight and proud. My heart was so full already and then he flashed a smile at me, one I hadn’t seen in years. He was so proud of himself and all he had accomplished in this short six-week period. He was thriving.

He only stayed that one year. We couldn’t afford another one and felt he was ready to come back home, strong and self confident enough to stand on his own two feet. He had been almost self-sufficient for an entire year now and done well at it.

I wish I could say everything changed when he got home and provide you with a happy ending but life doesn’t work that way. He had several more transitions to make into manhood and there were battles fought for freedom, trust, and independence.

We as parents teach our children to fly. When their wings are strong, they want to use them, take flight. But they have no experience and often crash land back home, or in some cases, into the streets. Letting them fly on their own while trying to protect them from themselves at the same time is difficult balance to strike. Eventually, we have to just let go and hope they survive.

I’ve often wondered if I made the right decision sending him off to fend for himself in a new, strange, and very challenging environment cut off from all those he knew and loved. And then one day, a few years ago, speaking as a man in his early 30s, he looked at me and said, “Yeah, I would definitely send my kid to military school for at least a year. It makes you grow up and there’s no way a boy can do that in public school.”

Of course lots of kids thrive in public schools. What he meant to say was there’s no way a boy like him could do that in public school without the skills he had acquired while away. I was relieved to hear him say this as it gave me some comfort in knowing he never felt abandoned and was now wise enough to know he needed it: the discipline and clear boundaries military school provided. 

I still smile to myself when I glance in his closet and see his hangers spaced exactly one inch apart, shirts facing the same way, shoes lined up neatly on the floor, and his entire room in order. He doesn’t even realize he does it, but he does. He is now a very logical thinker, “It’s all in the math,” he says when solving a problem.

He isn’t married and has no children so by society’s measure he’s “behind.” But by my measure, he’s right on track – his own track. He works full-time at a job he enjoys. He taught himself to read music and plays a mean blues guitar.

I’m happy to see he’s taken the road less followed. He feels no need to conform to society’s measure of a man and thankfully, those stereotypes are changing. I guess in the end, he was never broken, never saddled and is happy galloping through his life.

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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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