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You are nine years old, and Susan the babysitter is sitting in the hallway on top of the heating vent. It’s a cold night in Indiana. And she’s telling a story. Her eyes are wide, and she’s wearing purple lace fingerless gloves. You and your siblings are gathered around her like she’s the shaman of the village, sharing an ancient legend.


“I mean. He was just amazing.” She breathes. “It’s hard to describe.” She raises a purple-laced hand to wipe tears from her eyes, smudging some purple eyeliner. “The concert was just…unbelievable.”

Your sister, who is 14 and the oldest, she pats Susan’s arm in understanding. But you stare at Susan in confusion, eyeing her fringed “Prince and the Revolution” tour sweatshirt. She’s crying because the singer was so good? You can’t make sense of it.

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You you’ve seen this on TV before. You’ve seen the old timey footage of women with stiff hair watching the Beatles and then just keeling over like they’ve been stunned with a cattle prod.

But you can’t put the pieces together. They’re sad because the song is so wonderful? But you can sense the heaviness of Susan’s emotions, and it translates to you as an important adult thing to try and understand later.

Later you are ten.

Your sister has turned on MTV. There’s a video of a man with curly black hair. He’s dressed like a pirate and singing about some birds that are crying. Doves, actually. And as you hear this song, and watch this man – something in you shifts.

This is not like the Little River Band mom plays in the van. This isn’t Neil Diamond shouting about “America!” This is different from the songs you sing at school about Jesus under the weight of the wood, and rainbow connections, and meatballs rolling off of the top of spaghetti all covered in cheese.

This is something that hits you low in your stomach. And it fills you with a feeling you have never expereienced before – a feeling like there is something wondrous just out of your reach – and this feeling is somehow both wonderful and terrible all at the same time. Later, you will learn the word “longing.”

You are 12.

In dance class you learn a jazz routine to “Raspberry Beret.” You wear pink tights and swivel your hips in a circle. She walked in through the out door out door…

You buy the Purple Rain CD for the brand new CD player. It’s a large black box the size of a VCR, and it’s connected to a huge amplifier. It’s all tucked onto a shelf in the old-fashioned cedar wardrobe your mom bought when she re-decorated your room with flowered wallpaper and pink carpet.

You open the cupboard doors like you are stepping into a secret world, but there is no lion or witch. Only a Prince. And he is crooning to you about someone named Nikki. And something she’s doing with a magazine. You hold your face in the darkness of the cupboard, and feel the vibrations of the music against your skin, while your stomach flips and twists.

You cut out the lyrics to “When Doves Cry” and hang them on your closet door. Dig if you will the picture. Of you and I engaged in a kiss. The sweat of your body covers me. Can you my darling, can you picture this?

You older sister stops by your room to take back the teal mini-dress you stole from her for your 7th grade dance. You wore it without knowing your sister had scorched a cigarette burn in the back, which your date pointed out to you while you were rocking awkwardly in a slow dance. Your sister scans the room, sees your cut out lyrics and pictures. She rifles through your CDs and spies Prince’s Scandalous Sex Suite, which includes the songs “The Passion”. “The Rapture.” And quite simply: “Sex.” She turns to you. You and your perm and bifocal glasses and braces, and she bursts out laughing.

“You’re into Prince? Hilarious. He a total horn dog, Jo!” She snaps her Big Red gum and laughs her way down the hall. You sit on your bed mortified. Somehow stunned that your selection of “Prince As Favorite Singer” has betrayed your sexual awakening.

You are in your twenties.

And therefore spend a lot of time confused and slightly drunk. You live in New York City. There is a lot of longing. You have been seeing a man for a very long time. A man who is also confused, but rarely as drunk.

You spend many nights away from him, out in bars downtown with your friends. “Little Red Corvette” and “Kiss” come on over the dive bar speakers, and you and your friends take off your pinching work shoes and swirl, laughing, dancing your confusion away, until the bartender shouts at you about his cabaret license and threatens to turn off the music.

One morning you wake up with the man and see a flash on his boxy desktop computer about Prince being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He’s doing a little concert afterwards, in a small venue. You have never seen him live. There haven’t been any opportunities to do so. And your hands shake as you email friends. It is only 7am. And you are harassing them about attending a Prince concert that night. A concert with a hefty price tag, and that doesn’t start until midnight. No one wants to go with you. Not even the man you woke up with. He is a more of a Michael Jackson guy. You decide to go alone.

You get there at 10pm, when the doors open, and you push your way to the front until you are about 20 feet from the stage. Midnight comes and goes. 1 am comes and goes. You are exhausted. Your purse and coat are in a heap at your feet. You chat with the people next to you, who look at your strangely – white girl with no friends in cheap boots. What’s her story?

As the clock ticks to 2am you begin to hate Prince. Fuck this. Where the fuck is he? And then suddenly – there the fuck he is – strutting out in a red tunic that looks like something Nancy Reagan might wear. And somehow still looking like the sexiest creature ever witnessed by human eyeballs. He smirks out at the crowd. Picks up a guitar. And you lose your mind along with everyone else in the room. There are delirious screams. And they’re coming from you.

Suddenly you understand Susan the babysitter. You understand those fainting Beatles women. You are slightly deaf, and you don’t care.

Two hours later he slinks off stage, and you ride home in a taxi at 4am, feeling like you are floating on a magic carpet, your heart pounding in your ears.

You are thirty.

You have met a different man. When you first see him – his blue eyes and shy smile – you feel that familiar longing. But different this time. This time the something wondrous is within reach. The first time you bring him to your apartment, he walks into the living room, and bends down to pick something up.

“Who owns this? You or your roommate?” He asks in his dipping Irish lilt. He is holding up a VHS copy of Prince Purple Rain.

“That’s mine.” You say.

“Ah.” He grins. “Very good.”

Later, you will play “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” on a loop. It’s his favorite Prince song. One you had actually forgotten about. When it plays at your wedding four years later, you will be dancing barefoot, and will refuse to go to the bathroom, because that would mean you’d have to stop dancing.

You are in your mid-30s.

It is your son’s first Halloween. You text your mother photos showing her the cut of the purple jacket. The silver sparkle on one of the shoulders. She says sewing the ruffles is tricky.

You order your boy a floppy black wig off Etsy. Cut him a tiny white guitar from cardboard. Paint a faint black mustache with eyeliner. It’s such a great Halloween costume you don’t think you can ever top it, until two years later you dress him in an all sequined jumpsuit as Ziggy Stardust.

When Bowie passes away, you stare at the Halloween photo with a kind of confusing, vertigo sadness. But….how can there be no Bowie?

And then three months later, your phone pings with a text from a friend: “How can there be no Prince?”

Your friend sadly jokes that maybe next year you should dress your kid as a Ninja Turtle or Batman? Maybe leave the world’s musical geniuses alone?

Some musicians are passed down like spirit guides – easing us through the tangle of our years.

You see his face on the news, his purple twisting guitar held aloft, and underneath the photo – a date marking his beginning and end. And you think of Susan the babysitter and her tear-soaked gloves. You think of your big sister popping her Big Red gum – all cinnamon and knowledge.

And you think how some musicians are passed down like spirit guides – easing us through the tangle of our years. You remember your cedar wardrobe, and for a moment you’d like to be lost inside its shadows and songs for one more minute, tucked up in that pink room with the flowers on the walls.

But your three-year old is pulling at you. And so you play “Let’s Go Crazy” for him. Turn it up. And he laughs and runs laps around his train table. Around and around and around.

He doesn’t know the word longing yet.

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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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