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When my firstborn was six months old and still waking in the night to nurse, I remember feeling as though the last shreds of sanity were slipping from my grasp. I’d never functioned well with a sleep deficit, and now the cumulative exhaustion of motherhood was hitting me hard. Late one night, as my daughter began to stir and fuss for another feeding, I knew I’d finally reached my limit. So I rolled over in bed and mumbled, “No more. Enough.”


With a little persistence and my husband’s baby whisperer skills, my daughter weaned from night nursing fairly quickly. Several months later, after enduring a wicked bout of mastitis, I decided it was time to conclude our breastfeeding relationship. It had been long enough.

When my daughter’s third birthday passed and she hadn’t yet mastered potty training, again the word surfaced. “Enough,” I declared. “We are done with diapers. You’re wearing undies or going commando!” There were tears and meltdowns from both of us, and ample amounts of chocolate to help us cope. Many pairs of underwear sadly met their end in the trash bin.

Fast forward several years: my daughter just turned eight, and that word still makes a regular appearance in my parenting vocabulary.

“That’s enough for today, honey,” I say when my budding artist accidentally spills an industrial-sized container of glitter or adorns the floor with permanent marker again.

“Enough, take it down a notch,” I plead when I’m trying to prep dinner and she insists on singing at the top of her voice.

“Enough, I’m done hearing about this!” I pronounce in frustration when she moans for the fifth time about how so-and-so didn’t play with her at recess, everyone is a meanie, and her life is ruined forever.

In our relationship, I have always been the limit-setter, the one who decides when something or other needs to stop.

Until one morning when I was about to brush her hair, as I always did before school. My daughter’s hair is wavy, thick and coarse. Like mine, but lighter.

“No, Mama,” she said firmly, pushing my hand away and knocking the brush from my grip. “That’s enough. I can do it myself.”

The words didn’t quite sink in at first.

“Wait, honey, if you just let me–”

“No! I don’t want you to!”

A small thing, perhaps. But it felt like a spear in my heart. In that instance – one of many to come, I realized – she’d taken my own words and turned them back on me.

Enough, Mama.

Something had shifted in our relationship. Some balance was changing. Each time I told my daughter “enough,” I was closing a door. Whether she wanted to or not, I was ready, often impatient, to move on to the next moment, the next phase or milestone, whatever it might look like. I alone controlled the timeline, making the decision for both of us. I never considered how it would feel when my daughter started doing the same.

Someday, she’ll take her first steps into a world that’s more hers than mine, building a life untethered from me. No matter how far into the future this day may be, I know I won’t ever be truly ready for it.

I can see now that I’ll always want more. More snuggles, more late night bedtime stories, more silly songs, and more messy crafts on the floor.

Last night, I perched on the edge of my daughter’s bed as she read a book. It had rained all day, and the sky was finally clear. Just a little interlude, a brief pause for a bit of stargazing before the next storm rolled through. “Should I braid your hair?” I asked, and held my breath.

She nodded. I brushed out her long hair, unwinding each snarl, and twisted sections into tiny braids.

We sat in the peaceful stillness together.

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

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Parents in New Jersey will soon get more money and more time for parental leave after welcoming a baby.

This week New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed off on legislation that extends New Jersey's paid family leave from six weeks to 12.

It also increases the benefit cap from 53% of the average weekly wage to 70%, meaning the maximum benefit for a parent on family leave will be $860 a week, up from $650.

It might not seem like a huge difference, but by raising the benefit from two-thirds of a parent's pay to 85%, lawmakers in New Jersey are hoping to encourage more parents to actually take leave, which is good for the parents, their baby and their family. "Especially for that new mom and dad, we know that more time spent bonding with a child can lead to a better long-term outcome for that child," Murphy said at a press conference this week.

The law will also make it easier for people to take time off when a family member is sick.

Because NJ's paid leave is funded through payroll deductions, workers could see an increase in those deductions, but Murphy is betting that workers and businesses will see the benefits in increasing paid leave benefits. "Morale goes up, productivity goes up, and more money goes into the system," Murphy said. "And increasingly, companies big and small realize that a happy workforce and a secure workforce is a key ingredient to their success."

The new benefits will go into effect in July 2020 (making next Halloween a good time to get pregnant in the Garden State).

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Whether you just need to stock up on diapers or you've had your eye on a specific piece of baby gear, you might want to swing by your local Walmart this Saturday, February 23rd.

Walmart's big "Baby Savings Day" is happening from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at participating Walmarts (but more deals can be found online at Walmart.com already and the website deals are happening for the rest of the month).

About 3,000 of the 3,570 Supercenter locations are participating in the sale (check here to see if your local Walmart is).

The deals vary, but in general you can expect up to 30% off on items like cribs, strollers, car seats, wipes, diapers and formula.

Some items, like this Graco Modes 3 Lite Travel System have been marked down by more than $100. Other hot items include this Lille Baby Complete Carrier (It's usually $119, going for $99 during the sale) and the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat (for as low as $199).

So if you're in need of baby gear, you should check out this sale. Travel gear isn't the only category that's been marked down, there are some steep discounts on breast pumps, too.

Many of the Walmart locations will also be offering samples and expert demos of certain products on Saturday so it's worth checking out!

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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Any Schumer has not had an easy pregnancy. She intended to keep working, but if you follow her on social media you know she's been very sick through each trimester.

And now in her final trimester she's had to cancel her tour due to hyperemesis gravidarum, also known as HG. It's a rare but very serious form of extreme morning sickness, and on Friday evening Schumer announced she is canceling the rest of her tour because of it.

“I vomit every time [I] ride in a car even for 5 minutes," Schumer explained in an Instagram post.

Due to the constant vomiting she's not cleared to fly and just can't continue to the tour.

This is not the first time Schumer has had to make an announcement about HG. Back in November, just weeks after announcing her pregnancy, she had to cancel shows and again broke the news via Instagram.

She posted a photo of herself in a hospital bed with her little dog Tati, and spelled out the details of her health issues in the caption. "I have hyperemesis and it blows," Schumer wrote.

Poor Amy. Hyperemesis gravidarum is really tough.

Kate Middleton, Ayesha Curry and Motherly co-founder Elizabeth Tenety are among those who, like Schumer, have suffered from this form of severe morning sickness that can be totally debilitating.

As she previously wrote for Motherly, Tenety remembers becoming desperately ill, being confined to her apartment (mostly her bed) and never being far from a trash can, "I lost 10% of my body weight. I became severely dehydrated. I couldn't work. I couldn't even get out of bed. I could barely talk on the phone to tell my doctor how sick I was—begging them to please give me something, anything—to help."

Thankfully, she found relief through a prescription for Zofran, an anti-nausea drug.


Schumer probably knows all about that drug. It looks she is getting the medical help she obviously needs, and she was totally right to cancel the tour in order to stay as healthy as possible.

We're glad to see Schumer is getting help, and totally understand why she would have to cancel her shows. Any mama who has been through HG will tell you, that wouldn't be a show you'd want front row seats for anyway.

Get well soon, Amy!

[A version of this post was published November 15, 2018. It has been updated.]

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As a military spouse, Cydney Cooper is used to doing things alone. But when she delivered her twin daughters early after complications due to Influenza A, she was missing her husband Skylar more than ever.

Recovering from the flu and an emergency C-section, and trying to parent the couple's two older boys and be with her new infant daughters in the NICU, Cydney was exhausted and scared and just wanted her husband who was deployed in Kuwait with the Army and wasn't expected home for weeks.

Alone in the NICU 12 days after giving birth, Cydney was texting an update on the twins to her husband when he walked through the door to shoulder some of the massive burden this mama was carrying.

"I was typing up their summary as best I could and trying to remember every detail to tell him when I looked up and saw him standing there. Shock, relief, and the feeling that everything was just alright hit me at once. I just finally let go," she explains in a statement to Motherly.

The moment was captured on video thanks to a family member who was in on Skylar's surprise and the reunion has now gone viral, having been viewed millions of times. It's an incredible moment for the couple who hadn't seen each other since Skylar had a three-day pass in seven months earlier.

Cydney had been caring for the couple's two boys and progressing in her pregnancy when, just over a week before the viral video was taken, she tested positive for Influenza A and went into preterm labor. "My husband was gone, my babies were early, I had the flu, and I was terrified," she tells Motherly.

"Over the next 48 hours they were able to stop my labor and I was discharged from the hospital. It only lasted two days and I went right back up and was in full on labor that was too far to stop."

Cydney needed an emergency C-section due to the babies' positioning, and her medical team could not allow anyone who had previously been around her into the operating room because anyone close to Cydney had been exposed to the flu.

"So I went in alone. The nurses and doctors were wonderful and held my hand through the entire thing but at the same time, I felt very very alone and scared. [Skylar] had been present for our first two and he was my rock and I didn't have him when I wanted him the most. But I did it! He was messaging me the second they wheeled me to recovery. Little did I know he was already working on being on his way."

When he found out his baby girls were coming early Skylar did everything he could to get home, and seeing him walk into the NICU is a moment Cydney will hold in her heart and her memory forever. "I had been having to hop back and forth from our sons to our daughters and felt guilty constantly because I couldn't be with all of them especially with their dad gone. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life and I won't be forgetting it."

It's so hard for a military spouse to do everything alone after a baby comes, and the military does recognize this. Just last month the Army doubled the amount of leave qualifying secondary caregivers (most often dads) can take after a birth or adoption, from 10 days to 21 so that moms like Cydney don't have to do it all alone.

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