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The worst day of my life was the day my wife and I decided our marriage was beyond repair. 


We had a precious three year old son. He didn’t deserve the life about to be thrust upon him. Little did I know then, but the worst day of my life was also the best day of my life.

My wife and I quickly realized the most important thing to do was put our son’s interests above our own. We weren’t going to hang on to our old wounds. We weren’t going to try to tear one another down. We weren’t going to try to hurt each other. We were going to co-parent our son in the nurturing and functional way he deserved. He would have two loving and complete households.   

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We proceeded with the amicable divorce, ever cautious of opening new wounds. I felt fortunate to share fifty percent legal and physical custody. Yet, I mourned the loss of time with my son more than I had mourned anything in my life to that point. I also knew, however, that it could have been much worse. I decided that our time and life together would be just as good and full as any other household’s, if not better.

I decided that I would be cautious about dating, and likely remain single in order to maintain stability for my son. I didn’t want mother-figures coming in and out of his life. So, when he was with me, I’d take on the roles of both mother and father. I worried about creating and maintaining a complete household for my son.    

In today’s age, the traditional roles of mothers and fathers have been blurred, given the evolution and maturation of our society. But when one parent is absent, the remaining parent takes on both roles, regardless of tradition. I was not the traditional father to begin with, but at least there were two individuals in the home to share all of the duties that go with raising children. I was concerned nonetheless about my effectiveness of taking on such a responsibility.

The adjustments were difficult at first – for both of us. It was difficult for my son to understand why he was going back and forth between households. It was emotionally difficult for me when he wasn’t with me. It was difficult for me physically and logistically when he was with me.

I wasn’t used to taking care of a child by myself. I wasn’t used to doing everything for him. I was tired. I had a demanding job. I had to take care of a household. I had to take care care of my son. I had to take care of myself. And each one was interconnected with the other. If I faltered in one area, the others were affected. Life seemed precariously balanced. I worried, and I worried a lot.

At first, I was resentful of the situation, and angered by the difficult path for the both of us. I wanted the traditional family, for me and for him. How can I do everything that needs to be done? Can I meet all of his needs? But, as I became accustomed to the new norm, I found myself relishing in the fact that I was succeeding in being a single parent, and that my son was succeeding in this circumstance.

Not only were we succeeding, but we began to thrive. I discovered I was bonding with my son in ways that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. He looked to me for everything when he was with me. I began to feel empowered.

What I thought were going to be struggles at first, actually became privileges. I had the privilege of being both mother and father to him in our home. I found myself enjoying things like picking him up from school, packing his lunch, and taking him to the doctor’s office. I felt closer to him through all of those activities.

Worrying about things like putting a nutritious dinner on the table allowed me to feel connected to his health. Holding him when he got hurt allowed me to empathize with his pain. Brushing his hair allowed me see his beauty and tenderness. Washing his muddy jeans allowed me to visualize him on the playground. Helping him with his homework allowed me to feel connected with his cognitive development. Snuggling with him at night allowed me to feel all of his love and goodness. I’d like to think I would have done all of these things regardless of the makeup of our household, but this situation absolutely demanded it, and that was a blessing.

When I lost fifty percent of my time with him, I though I’d be losing out on experiences, joys, and time – and I did, to a degree. I discovered, however, that I gained so much more. We’ve had the opportunity to form an undeniably close relationship. The time we had was just our own. The rules we had were uniquely ours. The customs and norms we established were sacred.

I was involved in so much more of his life than I ever thought possible. And when he wasn’t with me, I found ways to still be a part of his life. I had lunch with him at school. I was an assistant coach on his various sports teams. I attended parent/teacher conferences, birthday parties, and family functions. Our close relationship transcended the time gaps. We were connected before the divorce, but our relationship blossomed after it.

At times, as I was going about various tasks, I wondered if my son would ever fully appreciate the efforts gone in to raising him, and why I joyfully took them on. He certainly didn’t owe me anything. I brought him in to this world, and it was my responsibility to take care of him, to give him the best childhood. But I wondered if he would ever fully comprehend the level of dedication, caring, concern, worry and love I had for him. Maybe he would, but probably only after having children of his own.

As he grew older, we continued with our happy norms and customs, taking life’s ups and downs as they came. The one constant we always had was each other. No matter how tough a day I had, when I saw my son, everything else was put in perspective.

It was bittersweet watching him go off to college. But as with everything, we adjusted. We kept in constant contact. I took joy from afar in seeing him make new friends, find new interests, go on new adventures, and have new successes. I missed him horribly, but that was okay. He had his own life to lead, and I would be doing him a disservice in not allowing him to lead it.

He called frequently, but the one call I never expected to was the one I received on Mother’s Day. I’d considered texting him that morning, to remind him to call his mother. He was 19 years old and sometimes, like most 19 year olds, he was distracted by his day-to-day activities. I resisted the urge to remind him. I felt confident he would remember, and I wanted to give him that autonomy.

Later that night, when my phone rang and I saw it was him calling, it crossed my mind: Is he calling me on Mother’s Day? Has he made the connection?  No, I thought, he just wants to touch base.

When I picked up the phone he jubilantly said, “Happy Mother’s Day!”

I was taken aback. “Are you calling me why I think you’re calling me?” I asked, rather cryptically. He understood my question, and answered in his own light hearted manner, “Yeah, you’re like a second mother to me.”

I laughed, and welcomed the sentiment, loving my son that much more. As men, we tend not to dwell on the sentiment, and we didn’t talk in-depth about the past. What we had to say was already understood. We laughed, we connected, and we embraced the moment.

After we hung up the phone, I thought about the days when I used to wonder whether my son would ever fully understand the passion and dedication that went in to his upbringing.

I reflected on that fateful day we decided to divorce, the worst day of my life. And I thought about all of the special times my son and I have shared since then, and the enduring relationship we’ve formed.

I’m grateful I’ve had the opportunity to parent him to the fullest extent possible. Second to my son himself, it’s the greatest gift I’ve ever received. And with one phone call on Mother’s Day, I knew my son was deeply grateful for the of the gifts he’d received as well. 

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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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