A modern lifestyle brand redefining motherhood
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What does it take to go from business idea to lady boss?

This new column features an entrepreneur, who happens to be a mom, each week—walking us through the process of how you too can take your ideas from dream to reality. If you missed our last article featuring Paige from Little Bean + Co. on the value on branding, you can read that here. This week, we’re discussing the fifth step many modern entrepreneurs need to make on the journey to success: having a social media and online presence.

At only 23-years-old, Jenny Wecker

has more success than people twice her age. She’s done it all at breakneck


speed with her daughter on her hip and now, just over two years after Fawn

Design began, a second baby on the way.

After high school Jenny

attended college for a short time, but like so many born entrepreneurs, (hello Mark Zuckerberg!) she found that it

bored her, and was actually holding her back from pursuing her goals.

In early 2014, Jenny was

talking with a friend who was expecting a baby about the complete and utter lack of

stylish, functional diaper bags.

That was Jenny’s “ah-ha!” moment.

An accomplished seamstress

herself, Jenny had been sewing since she was five years old. In fact, she made

each Fawn Design bag by hand during their first year of business.

Now, her KickStarter

campaign has been featured in the New York Times, her company sponsors the app

“Collabor8” and was featured alongside it in Forbes, and the sales to date this year since January are over half a

million dollars. It’s the real American dream, and this unique entrepreneur is

taking it all in stride.

I was lucky enough to talk about the wild ride these last two years have been, what running a business with your husband (and daughter) is like,

and how social media has been integral to building her brand and her reputation.

This lady boss knows her

stuff. Her unique way of looking at problems and coming up with creative

solutions is what makes her company, Fawn Design, so powerful. Indeed, her designs are

not only outside the box, they are redefining the box into something softer—almost

like the half-circle shape of her brand’s signature bag.

How did you first forray into social media with Fawn Design?

I stated making the bags by

hand to start and posting them on Instagram. The response was really crazy from

the start. Very quickly I got to the point where I would take an order for one

and people would ask, “When can I get one, when can I get one?” and I had to

say, “I have no idea!” at that point.

I was sewing as fast as I

could. And then I actually became pregnant with my daugther Georgia during that

crazy time and was extremely sick. I had a really tough pregnancy, so it was

making it an even a harder struggle to keep sewing the bags myself. My husband

had said from day 1 that if I wanted to turn this into a business and make real

money that I had to get them manufactured. He knew I would never be able to

keep up.

I got to the point where I literally wanted to scream if I looked at my sewing machine before I gave in and listened to him.

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At that point, how did you figure out what your next steps were?

Money obviously was the

biggest thing, and finding a manufacturer. We wanted to use a US manufacturer

but it was not going to be an option for us. There wasn’t a single manufacturer

who was willing to try. They said the bag was too complicated, and that

overseas, handbags are really big. So we got quotes from overseas

manufacturers, and while they were more reasonable than the US ones, we hadn’t

made very much money from sales at that point. We didn’t have much savings and

we were living in my parent’s basement.

So we decided to do a

Kickstarter campaign to help raise the funds to place our first manufacturing

order. We ran it as a presale with the hopes of raising $25,000 from December 1st

to December 15th. We ended up raising $42,000 which was pretty


It definitely gave us the

validation that people did actually want the bag – it wasn’t just my mom and


Are all your sales online or do you wholesale?

We don’t do wholesale right now, we just haven’t

really needed to. Our sales direct to consumer have been so good that we don’t

have the inventory to open up to wholesale. We have a ton of interest in it and

we just have to kinda keep turning them away for now. I don’t know, its kinda

one of those things we don’t know if we’ll ever do.

What makes your bags unique?

When I was designing the

bag I had a vague idea of what I wanted. I wanted it to look different, and be

unique: to not look like a diaper bag but to have all the function of one.


first things I decided on was the shape—the half circle shape which is our

bag’s trademark. There’s nothing else out there that looks like that.

But you’d be surprised how

much math is involved in making a half-circle bag. It took us a really long

time to get the calculations correct and then pleasing to the eye. But when we

got it right it fit like a glove.

We’re really proud of that. The shape, the design, everything, we did that all on our own.

Our bags are

also faux leather inner and outer – not fabric-lined like so many diaper bags.

It’s super easy to clean but it also looks incredible. You can even pull out

the entire inner part, shake out any crumbs, and put it back in. It’s so easy.

The majority of our

customers are moms buying them as diaper bags, but we also have a lot of people

buying them because it’s such a good solid bag: a fashionable backpack. The

fact that someone who doesn’t even have kids is using it tells me that we’re on

the right track.

Did you have any experience

with social media before you started Fawn Design?

No – other than personal

use of Facebook and Instagram. But I quickly realized the power of social media.

I would post a picture of me with the bag on my personal Instagram and people

would say, “Oh my gosh, I want one!” These were people I didn’t really know that

well, like people from high school or in my neighborhood. That’s when I knew

social media would be a powerful tool for growing our business.

When we did our Kickstarter campaign, we reached out to a large number of bloggers, sent them a

bag, and asked them to post two pictures each day and link our Kickstarter.

Collaborating isn’t new, but using it to fund a Kickstarter—I don’t think a

lot of people had thought of that before.

But you know, Instagram

still is like our most active platform. And I plan all the posts still, even

though I have an employee do the actual scheduling and posting. I love the

creative process of going through customer’s photos and curating them on our


Recently we started doing

more Facebook, working with an agency who do a lot with social media to drive


We also do quite a bit on

Pinterest. We pin our items, of course, but we also pin a lot of other things

applicable to our target audience. Turns out, Pinterest is usually a top

referring site which was surprising to us.

How were you able to grow your social media audience?

Right now we have 53,000 followers on Instagram and that’s been growing for two years. It was really

slow to start, but once we had our Kickstarter and started collaborating with

influencers, then our Instagram really stated to take off.

We were using it to keep

everyone who preordered updated on the status of their bags. And since the

beginning we’ve been really big on collaborating. We send out a lot of free bags each month to

different bloggers or influencers. We ask them to post about it and it helps!

Giveaways have been good.

But once you hit a certain amount of followers then those giveways stop

contributing to the bottom line: into sales. We’ve never done a loop giveaway

though. I always recommend people don’t do those. They’re not good for your

social media.

At the end of the day you

want followers who are there for your product and not just there for free


Would you say that Instagram has been really integral to building your


I definitely think up until

this point it has, but Instagram is changing and that’s been really hard on

some people. We are switching our focus a bit to other social platforms like

Facebook and Pinterest and into actually working with bloggers to have them post

on their blogs and on Youtube. So it has been important for us, but I don’t

think it’s as effective as it was, say, two years ago. But it also doesn’t wear

on me like it used to. It’s smoother now.

You mentioned Youtube. What are your plans for that and other video

platforms like Snapchat and Periscope?

I have a Snapchat account

but up till now it’s been more of a personal account. A lot of customers follow

me and I guess I just like to show what I do on the daily, to show what our

life looks like. People probably think our life is a lot more glamorous than

what it actually is.

Then this past few months

I’ve been doing a weekly Periscope talking about different business topics.

It’s really fulfilling for me to put all the advice I’m asked about on a daily

basis into a central location.

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Creatively, what inspires

your design and how is that brought into your social media?

I go through phases when

I’m super inspired and super pumped, but I’m just like anyone and there are

other times when it’s like, “Ah! I don’t even want to think about that kind of


But I’ve always felt like I

looked at things in a different way.

Becoming a mom has really inspired everything we’re doing going forward.

When I started I wasn’t a mom, but now I

actually use the product with my child. I can think about like things I want to

change or the color I want to see. I can picture things for future photoshoots

like how would I combine colors, how I would style that color and how the whole

thing would come together.

Traveling has also inspired

me in a major way, and you can definitely see that reflected in our social


The best part of owning

your own business is that we have that freedom. We live in a nice enough house,

we have a nice enough car but we could live in much bigger house, have nicer

cars, have nicer things, have nicer clothes. Instead we’ve always been like, “I

would rather go to Europe!” I’m glad that my husband and I both feel that way because

when we come back and we just feel recharged and creative! We went to Italy and

I remember all those colors and now our Fall colors will reflect that.


how cool would it be to shoot those new colors in Italy and tell that story?

How important would you say confidence is in building a brand and

starting your own business?

Confidence is one of those

things that is so important in so many aspects of your life and the older you

get the more you realize just important it is. When you’re not confident you

see how hard things are.  I come a

divorced family and there was a lot of being pulled here or there. I had to

grow up at a young age and decide the kind of person I was going to be so I

could make my own choices create the own life that I wanted to have.

People ask me what’s biggest piece of advice for starting a business? I always say, just start.

Just do something.

That’s what I did. I just

started and thought, “I’m going to give it 100% or not do it at all.”


seven months pregnant right now. My daughter Georgia will be 15 months when this baby girl

is born. It was unexpected but we actually are really happy. Honestly I know its going

be really hard the first few years but I definitely think its one of those

things that’s a total kind of blessing.

When I think about the

future and where this business is going to go, Georgia’s going need a friend and that

friend’s gonna need her, too. We’ll never be too busy for our kids but I think

we’re going to have a very different life. And I think this all happened for a


How does being a mother impact the way that you run your business?

I tell everyone my three priorities are my family, my faith, and my time, and it goes in that order.

My family comes first and

yesterday was a great example.This week has been so crazy. But on Wednesday it

was my sister’s (the nanny’s) birthday so I decided to give her the afternoon

off. My husband and I tossed around the idea of bringing Georgia into work but

then we were both like, “You know what, let’s take half the day off and get

outside with Georgia!” There’s always a ton of work stuff we could be doing but

Georgia needs our time too. That’s a perfect example of how we do things.

When we’re working we’re

working really hard so that when

we’re done for the day, we’re done. We don’t bring it up at home and we just

focus on her.

Beyond being a mother, being

spouse and having a business with my husband… people ask us all the time how we

manage to do that? And it’s super hard. I’m not gonna lie, super hard. But

having those boundaries where work is work and play is play helps. We’re not

perfect but we try hard.

Is there any one piece of advice you’d give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

I have two. One, don’t underestimate the power

of sitting down and making a list of all the things you should be doing.

Unfortunately the stress never goes away once you’ve completed a task because

there’s always 100 other things you need to be doing, but it helps to feel like

you’re accomplishing something.

And two, don’t let money

get in the way. I don’t recommend getting in debt but I know a lot of people

get discouraged by the financial side of business. Sometimes you just have to

get creative.

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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 30, 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


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)


Baby Trend Hybrid Plus 3-in-1 Booster Car Seat in Bermuda


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)


Baby Trend Hybrid Plus 3-in-1 Booster Car Seat in Olivia


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)


Evenflo Triumph LX Convertible Car Seat


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)


Disney Baby Light 'n Comfy 22 Luxe Infant Car Seat


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)


Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat


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)


Graco SlimFit All-in-One Convertible Car Seat


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)


Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Platinum XT Infant Car Seat


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)


Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Elite Infant Car Seat


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)


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

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Kid's birthday parties can be great: There's lots of playtime for little ones to wear themselves out, the entertainment is free and it's the perfect time to bond with other mamas. But when it comes to gift-giving, everyone's interpretation of these unwritten rules is different which can create unwanted stress.

You know the scene: Some mamas prefer to give handmade gifts, others like buying popular toys and some only contribute to the child's college tuition.

If you haven't already heard, the trending theme for kid's birthday parties is "the fiver" and it takes the guesswork out of gift-giving. Rather than spending $20 on a toy they probably won't play with in a month the hosts ask for a $5 bill. The money is pooled together and can be put towards one big, much more significant gift, instead of many smaller, less meaningful things. The idea is simple, and it turns out, hosting one is similar to throwing a traditional birthday party.


Here are six ways to throw a seamless (and fun!) fiver party:

1. Don't do it alone

Many moms tend to plan everything for their kids' parties all by themselves. They write down a list of things that they need to do and feel accomplished after checking off every single item. But, when the special day finally comes, moms stress over the details for fear that something might go wrong.

When planning a fiver party, delegate tasks and responsibilities during the planning process. Having a helper or two for the big day cuts down on having to clean up a big mess afterward.

2. Create a distraction-free environment

Though this sounds like a tip for doing homework, it applies to throwing a party, too. If you book a show for 3- or 4-year-olds, it's better to hide all the toys and snacks beforehand so they can sit longer and focus better on the activity you planned. Best of all, with fiver parties, you don't have to worry about designating an area to open a bunch of gifts.

3. Remember that hand painting is better for toddlers

Many children like to get their faces painted for their birthdays or for special events. Though face painting is a popular activity, children who are less than 4 years old will often start moving, fidgeting or crying in the middle of it and turn the beautiful butterfly on their faces into a mess. Because of this, try hand painting for the younger ones.

4. Always keep them busy

Fill your fiver party with activities so that the guests will always have something to do. Maybe this sounds a bit difficult, but you don't necessarily need to book 10 shows for one party. Simply prepare a few easy games (like a treasure hunt, musical chairs and sack race) for them to play beforehand. Keeping the children occupied will make your fiver party fun and memorable.

5. Less is more

A shortlist of guests will keep your little one from feeling overwhelmed by the attention. For toddlers, a party that lasts about an hour and a half is perfect. If they're a bit older, add another hour. Just remember children don't need much to feel happy and loved.

Bonus! Here are two ways to save money while making your kids' fiver party memorable:

1. Host the party at home.

Sure, venues are great, but they can be pricey. Having a party at home is inexpensive and intimate. Also, kids are more likely to interact with each other if the space is smaller.

2. Only serve snacks.

A common way to stay on budget is to invite people between meals and prepare snacks, not a full meal. Most kids are usually so busy playing they'll just graze anyway.

This article was originally published on Partify by Natalie Wong and it has been republished with permission from the author.

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Learn + Play

When your toddler is screaming for milk, a toy or a snack in the middle of the grocery store, it may feel like your world is closing in on you. It might not seem like it in the moment, but tantrums are a normal part of your child's development—it's a child's way of expressing how they feel.

But regardless of why little ones throw fits, it can be tough to navigate. We looked to the parenting threads on Reddit where mamas discuss the ins and outs as well as ups and downs of child-rearing. We were all ears.

Here's the best tantrum advice Reddit mamas swear by:

1. Wait it out

"Tantrums are a toddler's way of venting excess frustration, energy and emotion. Just wait it out and once it's dying down, offer some comfort. After, talk with them and verbalize and validate their emotions."— StayAtHome478936


2. Don't entertain it

"Do not engage with them at all during a tantrum. It's tempting to try to calm them down and introduce some reason to the situation, but don't give in to that. Screaming is a one-way ticket to being completely ignored. They're allowed to be frustrated and upset, but you're not obligated to listen to it."— VoteyDisciple

3. Give yourself a mommy break

"I give myself mommy time outs if I'm getting frustrated or angry and even though no one is enforcing me, I still get the benefit of calming myself down, and my daughter sees me proactively taking care of my mood/behavior."— ChandrikaMoon

4. Let them explore their world

"If you have patience with misbehavior, you open the door to your child escalating until she has your full attention. I let my toddler explore her world and do anything I deem safe, but I am strict about enforcing safety rules and I do not allow her to misbehave without consequences."— soMuchToFind

5. Focus on the real issue

"Rather than punishing the symptom of the issue, work on the actual issue. For my 4-year-old son we are working on breathing and counting as a coping mechanism for when emotions become too overwhelming. For him, it works well. He responds to most minor and medium emotions by breathing now."— Hiitskai

6. Say 'no' less

"There is a school of thought that if the child reacts terribly every time you say 'no,' say 'no' less. Instead of no cookie you say you can have carrots or cheese now. Always offer one or two good choices when you can and it will head off at least some of the fits."— toasterchild

7. Take away things

"My kid started showing signs of being low-level obsessed with a game so we took it away cold turkey. We explained that the game makes him behave in a way we don't like, so we are going to take a break. Sure he wasn't happy about it, but we are the adults and he is entitled to feel any way he wants to."— greenpotatoes9

8. Offer breaks

"Daycare helped us so much with tantrums. They taught her the phrase 'I need my space.' So, when she has her tantrum, she goes away for a moment, and then comes back in a calmer state of mind. Often, the more we try to help her, the worse it gets."— dave moe dee

9. Play music

"The main thing that almost never fails is listening to music during a tantrum. I'm really into music myself so I guess this is no huge surprise but my girl just cannot cry while Beyonce is playing."— PavLovesDogs

10. Do something unrelated

"As long as the kid isn't actively endangering themselves while throwing the temper tantrum, I completely ignore it. I make a point of going about my business and doing something wholly unrelated to whatever lead up to the tantrum. It didn't take long for my kid to learn that the screaming and fussing won't get them what they want."— PerestroikaPal

11. Compromise

"If you give into a tantrum, find a way to make it seem like you're compromising for some other reason, but not because of the tantrum. I always tell my 3 year old 'You know how to ask. If you want something, use your words, ask nicely."—athaliah

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Learn + Play

When kids enter puberty we warn them about the change. We tell them their bodies are changing and that it's normal and natural and they're beautiful just as they are. But when women become mothers and their bodies—and brains—change, we are not offered the same affirmations and comfort as adolescents. Society tells children to accept the ways their bodies stretch, grow and shift to carry them through adulthood, but it tells the women who carry these children in their own bodies to fight change at all costs.

Luckily, that is changing. Women are standing up and saying what society should have been telling us all along: Yes, motherhood changes your body, but that change is beautiful.

And now, in a brilliant move that is both excellent marketing and empowering, hundreds of women are putting their postpartum bodies on display. The act is a powerful statement to themselves and to other mothers: Our bodies are meant to evolve and change, and you are normal and natural and beautiful just as you are.

Knix is selling underwear, but the brand is also creating real change with a project called The Life After Birth Project, which saw 250 photos of real moms exhibited in an NYC gallery before rolling into Knix's hometown, Toronto, Canada, this week.

The photos are refreshingly real and exactly what women need to see in 2019.

The Life After Birth Project shows the beauty and reality of postpartum healing 

One of the most damaging myths about postpartum recovery is that it is quick. It isn't. It actually takes about six to eight weeks for the uterus to shrink back to its pre-pregnancy size. The bump doesn't instantly disappear because it took 9 months to grow. A mother's body needs time to heal after birth, whether it was a vaginal delivery or a C-section, but too many mothers aren't given that time.

In the United States, so many working moms are back at their job within five weeks of giving birth, and even if paid work isn't a factor, unpaid labor and family obligations can have mothers doing too much too soon.

As Diana Spalding, midwife and Motherly's Digital Education Editor and Birth Expert, has said, "You would never expect someone to clean their house a few days after having surgery, or to run errands when they are getting over the flu—so why do we expect ourselves to snap out of giving birth? Pregnancy and birth are not ailments, but they are the real deal. Be gentle on yourself, and allow your body to heal."

Mothers should not be embarrassed by their changing bodies 

A recent survey found more than a third of women (37%) felt embarrassed by what their body was going through after birth. This is not okay, and it is why we need more projects like the The Life After Birth Project and more companies doing what Knix is doing.

That is why celebrities like Jillian Harris, pictured above, stepped up and shared photos of their own postpartum experiences for the Life After Birth project.

Yes, Jillian is wearing mesh panties and a giant pad in the above photo. But that's part of the journey and nothing to be embarrassed about.

We need to see our stories represented and know that this is normal.

More photos from #LifeAfterBirth

Four pregnancies in four years. This mama has been through so much and has some serious advice: "I wish our always busy culture recognized it more and gave new mothers patience and grace."

So do we Amy, so do we.

See the gallery in person

The Life After Birth Project is currently in Toronto but the next stop is Los Angeles on October 24.

The gallery will keep touring the US, too.

Stops are planned in Portland, Seattle, Dallas, Austin, Denver, Minneapolis. if you want to submit your own photos, tag @lifeafterbirthproject on Instagram and use the hashtag #LifeAfterBirth, or email your photos to lifeafterbirth@knix.com.

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You know that moment when you find yourself standing in line at the grocery store next to the "All-Together Woman"? Come on, you know the one.

She very well may have just stepped out of a magazine centerfold, while you are fairly certain you resemble something more along the lines of a real-life muppet. This woman is flawless. Her makeup is spot-on, her clothes are wrinkle-free. Her toes are manicured and her fingernails look like they never once, in the course of her what-must-be-a-dream-life, scrubbed a single dirty bathtub, poopy toilet or messy kitchen floor.

Okay, seriously, I know you know what I am talking about now.


But, here's the thing. I don't hate her. I don't even envy her. Because I don't know her. I have no idea what her personal struggles are. I applaud her for her obvious fashion skills and mad makeup abilities. I will probably even tell her I love her hair. Or her shoes. Or her something.

And, for all I know, while I am admiring her trendy jacket and cropped top she very well may be admiring my children and my life. Maybe, just maybe, she thinks my yoga pants paired with a hoodie and clean-ish Converse shoes along with my ridiculously huge diaper bag that seconds as my purse and kitchen fridge on-the-go are totally adorbs!

I will most likely scrounge up the courage to drag myself to a mirror sometime in the next hour or so just to see what exactly I looked like next to this magical being. Chances are I had green and blue fruit loops bits stuck somewhere between my teeth, a messy bun that closely resembled a bird's nest and overly unplucked eyebrows. Chances are also extremely high there was not a lick of makeup to hide my exhausted, sleep-deprived eyelids, either. My breasts will still be saggy and my tummy will still be loose.

Listen, my seasons will change. All too soon my kids will be older and I will have more energy to prep myself before going out in public. I will be more rested and will probably (hopefully) have lost some pre/post-baby weight. I won't be rushed to pick up peanut butter and milk after school drop-off but before nap. Brushing my teeth in the morning will no longer seem like a luxury. I may even become the "All-Together Woman."

But, in this season, today, I am going to tell myself "I am enough."

Because I AM enough.

My babies don't see her, they see ME, their mommy and #1 person. They love me unconditionally. And I am enough.

My husband respects me as his partner and the mother of his children. He tells me I'm beautiful and loves my body, including all of the wreckage and battle scars left behind from eight babies. And I am enough.

My friends see me for who I am. They know I'm clumsy, goofy and imperfect. And they don't even care that I wear Pajama Jeans. And I am enough.

It is easy (entirely too easy) to look at ourselves as the lesser version of our reality. We can be our biggest critics and shamers. Our own worst enemies.

It's so important that we begin teaching our daughters that they are enough. That who they are in the inside will manifest itself into what they are on the outside. Let's teach our girls, together, to claim their beauty, their strengths and their sense-of-self from within. First and always.

Everything on the outside is literally just the surface. It's time, ladies. And I know you can do it. Because you are enough.

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