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9 TED Talks to inspire working mamas

“Working motherhood is here to stay.”

9 TED Talks to inspire working mamas

You're killing it at work. You're a supermama. You're an amazing partner. (Okay, sometimes you eat leftover cake for breakfast. No judgment here.) We all need some motivation to get us through the hard days, and encouragement on the good ones.

Here are TED Talks that will inspire + energize you in your career.

1. Amy Cuddy: Your body language may shape who you are  

Need another reason to stand tall, shake hands firmly and speak with confidence?Social psychologist Amy Cuddy explains how walking with confidence doesn't just make you look confident—it actually transforms how confident you feel:

"Our bodies change our minds and our minds can change our behavior, and our behavior can change our outcomes."

💪

2. Shonda Rhimes: My year of saying yes to everything

Shonda Rhimes, the powerhouse behind 70 hours of television per season discusses the power of saying yes—specifically when she says 'yes' to playing with her kids, even when she's working so hard at a career she loves:

"I understood that saying 'yes' to playing with my children likely saved my career."

🙌

3. Tiffany N. Stallings: Unleash the mom guilt

When Tiffany Stallings gets an email from her daughter asking her when she's coming home, she feels the burden of mom guilt. She uncovers three truths that help guide her on the journey of letting go of the fears in motherhood:

"I felt guilty because I didn't breastfeed long enough. I felt guilty because on the weekends I simply wanted to rest instead of shuttling my children to get to another playdate. I felt guilty because I couldn't afford to stay at home with them and I had to put them in daycare."

​💜

4. Sheryl Sandberg: Why we have too few women leaders

The Facebook COO and Lean In founder's TEDx Talk is a classic in the genre. Outlining the forces that keep women out of top leadership positions in the business world, Sandberg makes the case:

"I think a world where half of our countries and our companies were run by women would be a better world."

👏

5. Nila Kaushik: Mompreneurs-mothers as entrepreneurs

After realizing how her career changed after becoming a mom, Neela Kaushik realized that she wanted to encourage other moms to do things for themselves and embrace their influence in and out of the workplace.

6. Anne-Marie Slaughter: Can we all 'have it all'?

The work-life thought leader makes the case that not only do women need to be more valued at work, but that family life needs to be valued more in society in general:

"I was raised to believe that championing women's rights meant doing everything we could to get women to the top. And I still hope that I live long enough to see men and women equally represented at all levels of the workforce. But I've come to believe that we have to value family every bit as much as we value work, and that we should entertain the idea that doing right by those we love will make all of us better at everything we do."

YES. All the 👪...

7. Hanna Rosin: New data on the rise of women

Why are women so awesome?It's a question we ask ourselves all the time 👯 . Reporter Hanna Rosin dug into the data and found some fascinating nuggets:

"[Women] are starting to dominate lots of professions—doctors, lawyers, bankers, accountants. Over 50% of managers are women these days, and in the 15 professions projected to grow the most in the next decade, all but two of them are dominated by women... We're now going through an amazing and unprecedented moment where the power dynamics between men and women are shifting very rapidly, and in many of the places where it counts the most, women are, in fact, taking control of everything."

💃

8. Jessica Shortall: The American case for paid maternity leave

Author and activist Jessica Shortall's case for paid maternity leave, outlined in her TEDx Talk, will make you mad. And then it will make you act.Before they have kids, millennial woman out-earn their male counterparts. More women than ever (40%) are the primary breadwinners for their families.And yet America remains one of the last countries on Earth without some form of paid leave for new mothers:

"It is long since time for the most powerful country on Earth to offer national paid leave to the people doing the work of the future of this country and to the babies who represent that future. Childbirth is a public good. This leave should be state-subsidized. It should have no exceptions for small businesses, small business or entrepreneurs. It should be able to be shared between partners—I've talked today about mothers, but co-parents matter on so many levels. Not one more woman should have to go back to work while she is hobbling and bleeding. Not one more family should have to drain their savings account to buy a few days of rest and recovery and bonding."

👍

9. Anne Murphy Brown: Moms on the job

Anne Murphy Brown, author of Legally Mom and director of the Legal Studies Program at Ursuline College, shares her own journey as a mother and an attorney in this TEDx Talk.Giving an overview of the real-world challenges of being a working mom, especially for those who don't have paid leave, Brown advocates for major policy changed in the United States when it comes to motherhood. She reminds the audience:

"Working motherhood is here to stay."


14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.



Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

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

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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