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Brandon Stanton’s incredibly popular ‘Humans of New York’ photography project has been inspiring and entertaining readers for years, with its intimate look at the lives of all the people that pass through the city. Through on-the-street interviews with New Yorkers, Stanton has captured an incredible cross-section of human existence all within New York City, allowing his audience to share heartache and celebrate the joy of his subjects and their lives. Over the years, the power and strength of mothers has come up time and time again, so we’ve collected a few of our favorites to share.


1. This girl. Future OB?

“What do you want to be when you grow up?””A doctor and a mommy.”
Posted by Humans of New York on Saturday, May 30, 2015

2. This mom who knew when to play hooky.

“I hope to be as selfless as my mother. My father died when I was seven months old. She had to raise five kids on her...
Posted by Humans of New York on Wednesday, May 6, 2015

3. This foster mom, who knows love is what makes a family

“After my mother died, the four of us bounced around in foster care. Luckily we were all able to stay together. After...
Posted by Humans of New York on Wednesday, April 29, 2015

4. This mama who knew just what she was doing

“My mother used to make all my clothes. I never wore pants as a child. My mom would make me poodle skirts in all my...
Posted by Humans of New York on Monday, April 6, 2015

5. This mother who loved so fiercely

“Our mother was American and our dad was from Ivory Coast. From the ages of two to five, we went to live with my father...
Posted by Humans of New York on Saturday, May 9, 2015

6. This remarkable single mother

“Who has influenced you the most in your life?”“My mother. She had me when she was 18 years old, and my father left...
Posted by Humans of New York on Friday, February 6, 2015

7. This rockstar of a mother

“My nickname is Mother Rockstar.””Why’s that?””Well I never knew my mother growing up, so I was always afraid that I wouldn’t be a good mother myself. But my son always told me that I was a rockstar.”
Posted by Humans of New York on Saturday, August 3, 2013

8. This mid-life crisis gone right

“My mom’s a single mother. She adopted me when she was 40. She always tells me that she had a mid-life crisis, and she...
Posted by Humans of New York on Monday, April 13, 2015

9. This gorgeous mother

“My father’s back in the Dominican Republic, so my mother’s had to raise my brother and me on her own. She works as a...
Posted by Humans of New York on Friday, December 19, 2014

10. This mother who knows life’s little sweetness

“What’s your favorite thing about your mother?””She loves life more than anyone I’ve ever known. I hope she doesn’t...
Posted by Humans of New York on Saturday, June 28, 2014

11. This strength of this mama—and the son she raised

“My happiest moments are whenever I see my mother happy.”“What’s the happiest you’ve ever seen her?”“When I was a...
Posted by Humans of New York on Thursday, August 7, 2014

12. This hard-working mother

“They make it tough for working mothers. I don’t know why they have to schedule all of this stuff during the day. My...
Posted by Humans of New York on Friday, May 8, 2015

13. This mama’s love story

“My father came from Nicaragua and got a job as a construction worker. My mother immigrated from Puerto Rico and got a...
Posted by Humans of New York on Friday, November 7, 2014

14. This mama who “always flew straight”

“What was the saddest moment of your life?””When my mother died.””What was your mother’s best quality?””How do you...
Posted by Humans of New York on Saturday, September 28, 2013

15. This mom who knows the key to life’s little joys

“My mom found this key on the street. It opens a special lock in the Universe that holds extra superpowers.”
Posted by Humans of New York on Monday, April 20, 2015

16. This wise mother and her smart kids

“What’s your favorite thing about your mom?””She’s smart.”
Posted by Humans of New York on Wednesday, May 21, 2014

17. This mama who knew that dressing little humans is one of life’s great joys

“My mom started dressing me in suits when I was a baby.”
Posted by Humans of New York on Wednesday, April 29, 2015

18. This mom, who showed that “moms can be fathers too, when they need to be.”

“I never knew my father. But my mom bought me my first muscle car when I was 14.”
Posted by Humans of New York on Saturday, March 22, 2014

19. This GREAT mother

“My mom grew up in a poor village in Nigeria. Her parents sent her to live with her aunt, who basically treated her...
Posted by Humans of New York on Friday, April 10, 2015

20. The depths of this mama’s love

“When I told my mom that I was going to rehab, she was about to catch a flight to her 40th High School Reunion. I told...
Posted by Humans of New York on Saturday, June 21, 2014

21. This stunning mama

“What’s your favorite thing about your mom?””She’s beautiful.”
Posted by Humans of New York on Friday, January 3, 2014

22. This amazing mother, who’s already accomplished so much

“She had me when she was a teenager. So this is her accomplishment as much as mine.”
Posted by Humans of New York on Thursday, May 28, 2015

23. This selfless mother

“I constantly worry if I’m doing OK with my boys. I spent the entire weekend with headphones on, working on a paper for...
Posted by Humans of New York on Monday, December 8, 2014

24. This great mom

“There are days when I can be great at my job and there are days when I can be a great mom. I’m trying to have as many...
Posted by Humans of New York on Saturday, May 23, 2015

25. This mother, who gets that the laundry. Struggle. Is. REAL.

“I thought having kids would magically transform me into a mother, who had no problem doing laundry, or cooking, or keeping house. But I ended up still being me, just with children now.”
Posted by Humans of New York on Sunday, February 8, 2015

26. This mother, who knows who she is

“I’m trying to raise three children and not lose who I am. I used to be a fashion buyer, and I got a lot of...
Posted by Humans of New York on Sunday, May 17, 2015

27. This glowing mama-to-be

“Today’s the due date. I gained more weight during the pregnancy than she did. Seriously, I gained 40 pounds.”
Posted by Humans of New York on Tuesday, December 30, 2014

28. This miraculous mama

“I’d had five operations on my uterus, and after the last one, the doctor sat me down and told me that I would never...
Posted by Humans of New York on Saturday, September 27, 2014

29. This mother, who’s going to get her dream wedding

“I got pregnant when I was 19.””Is the dad still in the picture?””Yes. He’s actually so in the picture that he’s...
Posted by Humans of New York on Sunday, November 17, 2013

30. This inspiring —COLLEGE-EDUCATED— mother

“I had a child when I was sixteen. I got kicked out of high school because of all the absences. My family and...
Posted by Humans of New York on Monday, June 30, 2014

31. This mama, who did it her way

“He was a home birth. I worked at an Ivorian refugee camp in Liberia, and witnessed a lot of women give birth in tents. I thought: ‘If they can do it in a tent, then I can certainly do it in my home.’”
Posted by Humans of New York on Sunday, December 22, 2013

32. This mama, who’s got her work cut out for her (so do we!)

“What’s the scariest part about having a child?””He doesn’t think he can get hurt.”
Posted by Humans of New York on Tuesday, January 14, 2014

33. This little mama, who already gets it

“What do you want to be when you grow up?””A mom.””What’s going to be the hardest part about being a mom?””Bath time.”
Posted by Humans of New York on Sunday, May 11, 2014

34. And this mama, who’s still got it

“This better not be for a porno. I stopped doing those.””OK, Mother. That’s enough.”
Posted by Humans of New York on Saturday, March 7, 2015

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While breastfeeding might seem like a simple task, there are so many pieces to the puzzle aside from your breasts and baby. From securing a good latch, boosting your milk supply and navigating pumping at work or feeding throughout the night, there's a lot that mama has to go through—and a number of products she needs.

No matter how long your nursing journey may be, it can be hard to figure out what items you really need to add to your cart. So we asked our team at Motherly to share items they simply couldn't live without while breastfeeding. You know, those ones that are a total game-changer.

Here are the best 13 products that they recommend—and you can get them all from Walmart.com:

1. Medela Nursing Sleep Bra

"This fuss-free nursing bra was perfect for all the times that I was too tired to fumble with a clasp. It's also so comfy that, I have to admit, I still keep it in rotation despite the fact that my nursing days are behind me (shh!)." —Mary S.

Price: $15.99

SHOP

2. Dr. Brown's Baby First Year Transition Bottles

"My daughter easily transitioned back and forth between breastfeeding and these bottles." —Elizabeth

Price: $24.98

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3. Multi-Use Nursing Cover

"When I was breastfeeding, it was important to me to feel like a part of things, to be around people, entertain guests, etc. Especially since so much of being a new mom can feel isolating. So having the ability to cover up but still breastfeed out in the open, instead of disappearing into a room somewhere for long stretches alone to feed, made me feel better."—Renata

Price: $11.99

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4. Lansinoh TheraPearl Breast Therapy Pack

"I suffered from extreme engorgement during the first weeks after delivery with both of my children. I wouldn't have survived had it not been for these packs that provided cold therapy for engorgement and hot therapy for clogged milk ducts." —Deena

Price: $10.25

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5. Medela Quick Clean Breast Pump Wipes

"Being a working and pumping mama, these quick clean wipes made pumping at the office so much easier, and quicker. I could give everything a quick wipe down between pumping sessions. And did not need a set of spare parts for the office." —Ashley

Price: $19.99

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6. Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter

"This nipple butter is everything, you don't need to wash it off before baby feeds/you pump. I even put some on my lips at the hospital and it saved me from chapped lips and nips." —Conz

Price: $12.95

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7. Medela Double Electric Pump

"I had latch issues and terrible postpartum anxiety, and was always worried my son wasn't getting enough milk. So I relied heavily on my breast pump so that I could feed him bottles and know exactly how much he was drinking. This Medela pump and I were best friends for almost an entire year" —Karell

Price: $199.99 Receive a $50 gift card with purchase at walmart.com

SHOP

8. Lansinoh Disposable Stay Dry Nursing Pads

"I overproduced in the first couple weeks (and my milk would come in pretty much every time my baby LOOKED at my boobs), so Lansinoh disposable nursing pads saved me from many awkward leak situations!" —Justine

Price: $9.79

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9. Haakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump

"This has been a huge help in saving the extra milk from the letdown during breastfeeding and preventing leaks on my clothes!" —Rachel

Price: $12.99

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10. Medela Harmony Breast Pump

"Because I didn't plan to breastfeed I didn't buy a pump before birth. When I decided to try, I needed a pump so my husband ran out and bought this. It was easy to use, easy to wash and more convenient than our borrowed electric pump." —Heather

Price: $26.99

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11. Milkies Fenugreek

"I struggled with supply for my first and adding this to my regimen really helped with increasing milk." —Mary N.

Price: $14.95

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12. Lansinoh Breast Milk Storage Bags

"I exclusively pumped for a year with my first and these are hands down the best storage bags. All others always managed to crack eventually. These can hold a great amount and I haven't had a leak! And I have used over 300-400 of these!" —Carla

Price: $13.19

SHOP

13. Kiinde Twist Breastfeeding Starter Kit

"The Kiinde system made pumping and storing breastmilk so easy. It was awesome to be able pump directly into the storage bags, and then use the same bags in the bottle to feed my baby." —Diana

Price: $21.99

SHOP

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

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Orange Is the New Black star Danielle Brooks is pregnant and frustrated. The actress took to Instagram this week to lament the lack of plus-sized options for pregnant people.

"It's so hard to find some clothes to wear today....Although I get to pregnant I still can't find no clothes. It's so hard to find some clothes when you're pregnant," she sings in a lighthearted yet serious video.

"It's so hard to find cute plus size maternity fashion while pregnant, but ima push through," she captioned the clip.

Brooks has been talking a lot this week about the issues people who wear plus size clothing face not just when trying to find clothes but in simply moving through a world that does not support them.

"I feel like the world has built these invisible bullets to bully us in telling us who we're supposed to be and what we're supposed to look like. And I've always had this desire to prove people wrong—to say that this body that I'm in is enough," she told SHAPE (she's on the new cover).

"Now that I'm about to be a mother, it means even more—to make sure that this human being I'm going to bring into the world knows that they are enough," she said.

Danielle Brooks is the body-positive hero we need right now. Now can someone make her some cute maternity clothes, please?

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In prior decades, body image issues usually didn't hit the scene until kids reached adolescence. But thanks to social media, and our culture's relentless pursuit of thinness, we now have to find creative ways to teach young children how to develop healthy body images.

Before I dive into some practical tips to help kids improve body image, I want to first diminish any shame that you might be feeling if you have body issues of your own. It's so important to remember that you downloaded every internal message from somewhere else. Of course, it's critical to work on your own issues, but it's also important to know it is not your fault that you developed them in the first place!

So, whether you are struggling with your own body image, or you love your body, here are some tools to help your child feel better about the precious body he or she lives in:

1. Break the spell

How do you know if your child has a bad body image? Perhaps they've begun making negative comments about their size or shape. Maybe they are comparing their body to others. Maybe they are avoiding foods or activities they once enjoyed because they feel uncomfortable about their body.

Often the most common response a parent has is to reassure their child that they are “fine," or “beautiful" or “perfect." And while there is certainly nothing wrong with some reassurance, it simply may not be enough to overpower the cultural messages kids are surrounded by. Reassure them that they are perfect just the way they are.

2. Unkind mind, kind mind and quiet mind

This little menu of options encourages kids to identify and differentiate between three different thinking states within themselves. I refer to them as “mind moods." Try teaching your child about these three states of mind and brainstorming examples of each. For example, unkind mind = “I hate my thighs." Kind mind = “I love singing." Quiet mind = Peacefully resting or playing.

This will raise their awareness of their thoughts and help them to choose their mind moods more consciously. As they learn to turn up the volume of their kind minds and spend more time in their quiet minds, they begin to feel more present and peaceful.

Once you have helped your child identify their unkind mind as a distinct voice, they can then try on some different responses and see which ones help bring them some relief. Try asking them to write or say all the messages their unkind mind is saying and practicing using strong, soft, silly or silent responses. Kids can learn that their unkind mind is not all of who they are, and that it doesn't have to run the show.

3. Get to the root

This concept helps kids discover what triggers their body dissatisfaction. You can help your child by asking questions or taking guesses about what might have started their bad body image. For example, I helped one 7-year old get to the root of her body obsession by noticing it started when there was a death in her family. Right around that time, her best friend started talking about dieting, so she latched onto food obsession as a distracting coping tool.

Once we uncovered this, she was able to learn about healthy grieving and truly healthy eating (as opposed to what the diet culture deems as healthy—which can actually be unhealthy).

4. Mind movies vs. really real

Try asking your child to show you some things around them that are real (i.e. things they can see, touch or hear). Then ask them if they can show you one single thought in their minds. You can playfully challenge them to take a thought out of their head and show it to you or fold it up and put it in their pocket. This tool teaches kids how to be more present.

Of course, they might use their imagination to do this, but with some finesse, you can teach your child to distinguish between the mind movies that cause them stress and the really real things around them. This is an immensely helpful tool that will not only help them with body image (since body image is one long mind movie) but will also improve the quality of their lives in general.

5. Dog talk and cat chat

Many kids cannot relate to the concept of being kind to themselves but ask a child how they feel about their favorite pet, and a doorway to their compassion, kindness and unconditional acceptance opens. For non-pet lovers, you can ask your child to imagine how they would speak to a baby or their best friend.

Dog talk and cat chat can help teach youngsters how to take the loving words and tones they use toward a beloved pet, and direct these sentiments toward themselves and their bodies.

6. Do an internal upgrade

In addition to helping your child combat the messages they receive out in the world, you can also work on the messages they get in your home. Again, if you struggle with body image, it is not your fault, but you can work on healing—and not only will you feel more peace, but your child will benefit as well.

To the best of your ability, refrain from talking about foods as “good" or “bad." Refrain from making negative comments about your (or anyone else's) weight or looks. Refrain from praising someone (or yourself) for weight loss.

Practice welcoming your child's tears and anger without trying to change their feelings before they are ready. Practice eating all food groups in moderation. Foster a positive, grateful attitude about your body.

May you and your child feel comfortable in your bodies, eat all foods in moderation, move and rest in ways that feel good, and find abundant sweetness and fulfillment in life.

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Learn + Play

After a long day of doing seemingly everything, when our partners get home it kind of becomes a habit to ask, "How was your day?" In between prepping dinner, handing off the kids, finishing your own work, we don't exactly get much value from this question. Sure, it may open up the opportunity to complain about that awful thing that happened or excitedly share that presentation you killed at work—but it usually stops there.

I could do a better job of really talking in my relationship. After 12 years and two kids, sometimes all we can come up with post bedtime routine is, "You good? I'm good. Fire up the Netflix."

Here are 21 questions to dig deeper into your marriage after a long day—see where they take you!

  1. Did you listen to anything interesting today?
  2. If you could do any part of today over again, what would it be?
  3. How much coffee did you drink today?
  4. Will you remember any specific part of today a year from now? Five years?
  5. Did you take any photos today? What did you photograph?
  6. What app did you open most today?
  7. How can I make your day easier in five minutes?
  8. If we were leaving for vacation tonight, where do you wish we would be heading?
  9. If you won $500 and had to spend it on yourself today, what would you buy?
  10. If your day was turned into a movie, who would you cast?
  11. What did you say today that you could have never expected to come out of your mouth?
  12. What did you do to take care of yourself today?
  13. When did you feel appreciated today?
  14. If you could guarantee one thing for tomorrow what would it be?
  15. If we traded places tomorrow what advice would you give me for the day?
  16. What made you laugh today?
  17. Imagine committing the next year to learning one thing in your spare time. What would it be?
  18. Did you give anyone side-eye today? Why?
  19. What do you wish you did more of today?
  20. What do you wish you did less of today?
  21. Are you even listening to me right now?

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Love + Village

Alexis Ohanian has made a lot of important decisions in his life. The decision to co-found Reddit is a pretty big one. So was marrying Serena Williams. But right up there with changing internet culture and making a commitment to his partner, the venture capitalist lists taking time off after his daughter's birth as a significant, life-changing choice.

"Before Olympia was born, I had never thought much about paternity leave and, to be honest, Reddit's company policy was not my idea. Our vice president of people and culture, Katelin Holloway, brought it up to me in a meeting and it sounded O.K., so why not?" Ohanian writes in an op-ed for New York Times Parenting.

He continues: "Then came Olympia, after near-fatal complications forced my wife, Serena, to undergo an emergency C-section. Serena spent days in recovery fighting for her life against pulmonary embolisms. When we came home with our baby girl, Serena had a hole in her abdomen that needed bandage changes daily. She was on medication. She couldn't walk."

The experience changed the way Ohanian viewed paternity leave. It was no longer something that just sounded like a good thing, it was a necessary thing for his family. It was crucial that he take it and now he is advocating for more fathers to be able to. In his piece for the NYT Ohanian points out something that Motherly has previously reported on: It is hard for fathers to take paternity leave even when their government or employer offers it.

A report from Dove Men+Care and Promundo (a global organization dedicated to gender equality) found 85% of dads surveyed in the United States, the UK, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Japan and the Netherlands would do anything to be very involved in the early weeks and months after their child's birth or adoption, but less than 50% of fathers take as much time as they are entitled to.

Dads need paid leave, but even when they have it social pressures and unrealistic cultural expectations keep them from taking it and they choose not to take all the time they can. Ohanian wants lawmakers and business leaders to make sure that dads can take leave and he wants to help fathers choose to actually take it.

"I was able to take 16 weeks of paid leave from Reddit, and it was one of the most important decisions I've made," Ohanian previously wrote in an essay for Glamour.

Ohanian recognizes that he is privileged in a way most parents aren't.

"It helped that I was a founder and didn't have to worry about what people might say about my 'commitment' to the company, but it was incredible to be able to spend quality time with Olympia. And it was perhaps even more meaningful to be there for my wife and to adjust to this new life we created together—especially after all the complications she had during and after the birth," he wrote for Glamour.

In his NYT piece, Ohanian goes further: "I get that not every father has the flexibility to take leave without the fear that doing so could negatively impact his career. But my message to these guys is simple: Taking leave pays off, and it's continued to pay dividends for me two years later. It should be no surprise that I also encourage all of our employees to take their full leave at Initialized Capital, where I am managing partner; we recently had three dads on paid paternity leave at the same time."

The GOAT's husband is making the same points that we at Motherly make all the time. Research supports paid leave for all parents. It benefits the baby and the parents and that benefits society.

By first taking his leave and then speaking out about the ways in which it benefited his family, Ohanian is using his privileged position to de-stigmatize fathers taking leave, and advocate for more robust parental leave policies for all parents, and his influence doesn't end there. He's trying to show the world that parents shouldn't have to cut off the parent part of themselves in order to be successful in their careers.

He says that when his parental leave finished he transitioned from being a full-time dad to a "business dad."

"I'm fortunate to be my own boss, which comes with the freedoms of doing things like bringing my daughter into the office, or working remotely from virtually anywhere Serena competes. My partners at Initialized are used to seeing Olympia jump on camera—along with her doll Qai Qai—or hearing her babbling on a call. I tell them with pride, 'Olympia's at work today!' And I'll post some photos on Instagram or Twitter so my followers can see it too," Ohanian explains.

"The more we normalize this, on social media and in real life, the better, because I know this kind of dynamic makes a lot of men uncomfortable (and selfishly I want Olympia to hear me talking about start-ups!)," he says.

This is the future of family-friendly work culture. Take it from a guy who created an entire internet culture.

[A version of this post was originally published February 19, 2019. It has been updated.]

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