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Dear America—ALL parents deserve paid leave

And we shouldn’t have to feel guilty for wanting this precious time with our baby. Or selfish for wanting to still get paid during this time.

Dear  America—ALL parents deserve paid leave

Listen, I know that company maternity/paternity leave policies are a hot topic right now and not every business can keep up with the flashy policies out there. There are some companies offering amazing paid family leave options like Netflix (“unlimited leave for new moms and dads—through childbirth or adoption”), American Express (“20 weeks of paid parental leave for part-time and full-time employees”), Ikea (“four months of paid parental leave for hourly and salaried employees—including adoptive and foster parents”) and Etsy (“26 weeks of fully paid leave when they become a parent through birth or adoption, regardless of their gender”) that make everyone in the country jealous.

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There are some companies that can offer an employee leave—but it’s unpaid. There are some companies where the employer has to mish-mosh some paid time off with some unpaid time off and basically just “make it work” for their family.

Well, I am here to say this—ALL parents deserve paid family leave.

America, are you listening?

I feel sad when I hear about a mother or father who doesn’t get any paid time off for the arrival of their new baby.

Well, I feel all sorts of feelings, to be honest—anger, frustration, disappointment, and most of all—sadness.

And they usually feel this way, too.

And guess how this makes their partner feel?

Equally angry, frustrated, disappointed, and most of all—sad.

Both parents feel the same, because they are both this child’s parent. Both parents deserve the time with their child to properly welcome her into the family.

Both parents feel sad, most of all, because time spent with a new baby is invaluable. It’s important. It’s wonderful. But this isn’t being validated with the paid time that they deserve.

For both parents. Mom and Dad. Or Mom and Mom. Or Dad and Dad. No matter what your family looks like. And no matter how your child was brought into this world.

Because it’s time you don’t get back.

It’s time that makes a huge difference in this new, fragile, vulnerable babies’ life.

It’s time for you and your partner to figure out new parenthood together.

It’s time to get to know this child you created—who they are, what they like, what they don’t like and what they need from you.

It’s time to learn how to be a parent—how to calm your baby, how to get your baby to sleep and stay asleep, what type of pacifier they like or if they don’t like pacifiers at all, what sound on the sound machine do they like the best, whether they like to be swaddled or not, what their first smile looks like in person, how many diapers they go through a day...

It’s time to gain confidence as a mother or father—without feeling rushed.

It’s time to feel overwhelmed—in the privacy of your own home, in your space, with your partner.

It’s time for you to enjoy this new chapter of your life—without all the distractions and stress work can bring, and without the panic and anxiety of not having any money coming into your account.

It’s time for you to put work aside for a couple of months—and focus on your family. The biggest and best project you’ll ever work on.

It’s time for our country to recognize that raising great people—the next generation of leaders—starts from Day 1. This time is crucial for both parents and children.

Most families don’t have two parents working at one of these progressive companies that’s doling out months and months of paid leave. So they make do with what they do get. They make the best of it. They piece things together and figure it out. That’s what parents do—we make it work.

When a parent, or both parents, don’t get paid leave it’s scary and panicky. It’s not easy. Let’s face it—most parts of parenthood are not easy. But dang, they are so worth it.

So talk about it—keep the conversation going. Lobby for better parental leave policies. Don’t be afraid to speak out and have your voice heard.

But most of all—don’t feel guilty for wanting this precious time with your brand new baby. And don’t feel selfish for wanting to still get paid during this time.

My bet is that you’re a great employee and so is your partner. Your company’s are lucky to have you.

And so is your baby.

So America and employers—can you let us have this special, (very) short (in the grand scheme of things) period of time with them...please?

These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

1. Go apple picking.

Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

4. Have a touch-football game.

Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

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

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Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

When Chrissy Teigen announced her third pregnancy earlier this year we were so happy for her and now our hearts are with her as she is going through a pain that is unimaginable for many, but one that so many other mothers know.

Halfway through a high-risk pregnancy complicated by placenta issues, Teigen announced late Wednesday that she has suffered a pregnancy loss.

Our deepest condolences go out to Chrissy and her husband, John Legend (who has been by her side in the hospital for several days now).

In a social media post, Teigen explained she named this baby Jack.

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