A letter to my stay-at-home mom

You always knew who you were and because of that, I’ve always known who I am and what I’ve wanted.

A letter to my stay-at-home  mom

Dear Mom,

As I sit here writing this, my little boy is snoozing in the baby carrier on my back. I can feel his deep breath against the back of my neck and his warm arms draped over my shoulders. I am so lucky to be here experiencing this moment and so grateful as I look back on the years you spent as my at-home mama.

I grew up a student of your “mommy school” instead of attending pre-K.

We took field trips to the dump. Being permitted, no, *trusted,* to roll our full bags of garbage over the railing was an amazing thrill. We stopped at nearly every playground we came across. Visits to the library were frequent and you taught me to read well before kindergarten. When “real” school began, you always put me on the bus in the morning and were there when I got home in the afternoon.

You taught me to read.

You taught me to find the adventure in every situation.

(Seriously, the dump was the greatest.)

You taught me that a cup of tea and conversation are the height of personal interaction. You taught me that family is the top priority, but to never forget about myself in the process. You taught me to work hard for what I wanted and always be grateful to those who offered support along the way. You taught me that being silly is easier and so much more fun than stressing the small stuff.

By teaching me these little things, you taught me to be a mother.

My college roommate recalls the first time she met me soon after we moved into the dorm. We were discussing our majors and plans for the future and when she asked me what I wanted to be, what I wanted to do with my life, I told her, “I want to be a mother.”

I finished my degree, worked in the professional world for nearly 10 years, and waited until baby number three to make the ultimate career change to full-time mama. You raised seven kids and then, over the course of nearly 10 years and many night classes, earned your associate’s, bachelor’s and finally your master’s in education. You became a kindergarten teacher, of course, and went on to illuminate the lives of hundreds of kids as the most fun and crazy teacher they loved to come back and visit.

You always knew who you were, and because of that I’ve always known who I am and what I’ve wanted.

This life at home with the kiddos is exactly what I want.

Thank you, mama.

This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

Thank you for understanding. ❤️

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

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What went viral this week: Pregnant Disney Princesses + an airline nightmare

Now, more than ever, we need to hear those good news stories.

Last week was a week.

We lost a legal and cultural icon with the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and deadly wildfires continue to blaze on the West Coast. Now, more than ever, we need to see creativity, kindness and compassion in our world—we need to hear those "good news" stories, but we also need to see the headlines that show us how and why the world needs to change .

And right now both kinds of stories are going viral.

Here are the viral stories you need to read right now:

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