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Maternity leave is the movie “Castaway.” I am Tom Hanks and Cora, my three-week-old, is Wilson. We are stranded alone on an island (my 505-square-foot Brooklyn apartment) all day, every day. And, hey, islands are nice! You can hang out on the couch all day watching Netflix!

Yes. I am still watching.




You have little to no human interaction, so you start talking to inanimate objects. For Tom Hanks, it was a volleyball. For me, it is my kid. She has no control of her arms and her smiles are reflexes. They aren’t real. Just as Wilson’s face wasn’t real. But damn if I haven’t started to tell myself that her smiles are real. I spend all day trying to get a smile reflex pointed in my general direction.

It’s a time of paradoxes. Everyone tells you that this is the “precious infant time” and, “She doesn’t stay small forever.” I get it. When I go back to work in a couple of months I’m going to hate current me. I’m going to want to punch current me in the face.

But, OH MY GOD, am I bored. 

Do you know what my hyperactive, overstimulated, NYC brain does all day? Imagine and prepare for baby disaster scenarios. And then this doomsday thinking leads to this really fun game that Cora and I play called, “Why Are You Crying?”

I try to guess why Cora is crying and then she tries to guess why I am crying.

And then we feed, again.

I don’t think I realized what a same-thing-happens-every-2.5-hours schedule was going to be like. This is how it plays out.

2:45-3 p.m. Change the baby.

Wonder why the baby hates getting changed so much? Having someone wipe your ass is probably nice, right? Once the baby is changed I put the little baby outfit back on her. Her outfits usually last until about noon because she has shit all over them or I just decide to stop trying to get her flailing limbs into the tiny clothing holes. Plus, who is going to see her anyway? It’s just me. Did Tom Hanks put Wilson in tiny outfits everyday? No. Cause that would be dumb.

3-3:30 p.m. Feed the baby.

Hope that she latches right away. Laugh to yourself when your baby sounds like a baby dragon while trying to latch. Hope that her latch is a good one and doesn’t feel like a tiny human chewing off your nipple for 30 minutes. BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT’S HAPPENING.

3:30-5:15 p.m. Try to figure out why the baby is crying.

Maybe she needs to be changed again? So you try that. Nope it wasn’t that. But as soon as you change her she rips a massive wet fart and you change her again. But she is still crying. You may try walking her. Then rocking her. Then bouncing her. Then putting her in the swing thing. Then talking to her. Then singing to her. Then putting her skin-to-skin on your chest. Then playing an ocean white noise playlist you find on Spotify. Then you try the pacifier. Then you check the clock. It’s been an hour since the last feeding. So you bounce her some more. Then maybe you just say, “F*ck it,” and feed her again cause you don’t know what else to try.

5:15-5:30 p.m. Change the baby.

And the whole thing starts over. You do this 24 hours a day. For months. Maybe years!

Yeah. Give yourself a second to think about what that is like. Then call your mom and thank her. I keep thanking my mom – I think I’m freaking her out.

But seriously. This is motherhood. I am completely shocked that so many people do this. I just stare at people on the streets and think about all of their mothers and all of the shit they had to deal with. I feel like more people should know about this. It’s insane.

“Three months off” is what people say. And maternity leave sounds like this decadent thing. A beach oasis sounds like a decadent thing, too. But stranded on a deserted island is a more accurate way to explain what Tom Hanks was experiencing. So let’s try this. I am not having “three months off” – I am “stranded in motherhood for three months.”

Okay. Okay. Now the guilt sets in. So let’s take a moment to be grateful…

I was lucky to get pregnant. I was lucky to not die in childbirth (am I the only one who was legitimately worried about that?) I am lucky to have a healthy baby. I am lucky to have supportive friends and family.

And I like Cora. I really do. I think her baby dragon sounds are funny. She makes a ridiculously adorable face when she stretches after feeding. And sometimes when she sleeps, she laughs and it tears my heart apart.

I am lucky.

But, damn, this is super monotonous, hard work.

Thank you, mom.

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

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With two babies in tow, getting out the door often becomes doubly challenging. From the extra things to carry to the extra space needed in your backseat, it can be easy to feel daunted at the prospect of a day out. But before you resign yourself to life indoors, try incorporating these five genius products from Nuna to get you and the littles out the door. (Because Vitamin D is important, mama!)

1. A brilliant double stroller

You've got more to carry—and this stroller gets it. The DEMI™ grow stroller from Nuna easily converts from a single ride to a double stroller thanks to a few easy-to-install accessories. And with 23 potential configurations, you're ready to hit the road no matter what life throws at you.

DEMI™ grow stroller
$799.95, Nuna

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2. A light car seat

Lugging a heavy car seat is the last thing a mama of two needs to have on her hands. Instead, pick up the PIPA™ lite, a safe, svelte design that weighs in at just 5.3 pounds (not counting the canopy or insert)—that's less than the average newborn! When you need to transition from car to stroller, this little beauty works seamlessly with Nuna's DEMI™ grow.

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3. A super safe car seat base

The thing new moms of multiples really need to get out the door? A little peace of mind. The PIPA™ base features a steel stability leg for maximum security that helps to minimize forward rotation during impact by up to 90% (compared to non-stability leg systems) and 5-second installation for busy mamas.

PIPA™ base
(included with purchase of PIPA™ series car seat or) Nuna, $159.95

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4. A diaper bag you want to carry

It's hard to find an accessory that's as stylish as it is functional. But the Nuna diaper bag pulls out all the stops with a sleek design that perfectly conceals a deceptively roomy interior (that safely stores everything from extra diapers to your laptop!). And with three ways to wear it, even Dad will want to take this one to the park.

Diaper bag
$179.95, Nuna

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5. A crib that travels

Getting a new baby on a nap schedule—while still getting out of the house—is hard. But with the SENA™ aire mini, you can have a crib ready no matter where your day takes you. It folds down and pops up easily for sleepovers at grandma's or unexpected naps at your friend's house, and the 360-degree ventilation ensures a comfortable sleep.

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With 5 essentials that are as flexible as you need to be, the only thing we're left asking is, where are you going to go, mama?

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


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Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

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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Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

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When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

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The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.


Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

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