34 times ‘Humans of New York’ mothers melted our hearts

Little mamas, spunky mamas, selfless mothers and stylish mommies. New York City’s moms have it all, and so do you.

34 times ‘Humans of New York’ mothers melted our hearts

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

In This Article

    The HATCH Mama collection is everything your pregnant body needs right now

    Their oil is the only thing that stopped my belly from itching as it grew bigger.

    Conz Preti

    Let me start by saying I'm not a fan of moisturizing. I hate being wet and sticky and after applying product to my body, I have to stand around awkwardly until I'm fully air-dried—a practice that is not compatible with having three kids under the age of 3. However, as someone who has carried three children in her body, I also know how much your belly needs hydration as the baby grows.

    This was especially true with my second pregnancy. My belly popped way sooner (a thing that happens with subsequent pregnancies) and on top of that, I was carrying twins, which meant I became super pregnant super fast. My belly was itching constantly from the skin stretching (I checked with my doctor to make sure I didn't have Cholestasis) and there was no scratching in the world that could ease my discomfort. My doula recommended the HATCH Mama belly oil and changed my life. The oil is nourishing—but more important to me, quick-drying—so I could apply it all over my planet-sized twin belly and get dressed immediately after without having my clothes ruined nor stuck to my body. Because of how much I loved the oil, I tested other products, and let me tell you, they're all equally amazing.

    Curious about the HATCH Mama collection? All of their products are non-toxic and mama-safe, designed to help pregnant people overcome the challenges unique to pregnancy. As their website claims, "from stretch marks to thinning hair, to sleepless nights, we're helping you tackle every prenatal and postnatal beauty issue head-on so you can continue to feel like the best version of you." I'm here for all of this. For the entire Hatch Beauty collection click here.


    Here are my favorite products from HATCH Mama:


    Belly oil

    HATCH COLLECTION  Belly Oil

    Intensely hydrating + fantastic at reducing the appearance of stretch marks and scars, this will be your favorite through pregnancy + beyond.

    $58

    Belly mask

    HATCH COLLECTION  Belly Mask Set

    Not only does it help to minimize the appearance of stretch masks + scars during pregnancy + postpartum, but there is a little non-toxic wink (and that's to you, mama.)

    $42

    Nipple + lip ointment 

    HATCH COLLECTION  Nipple + Lip

    Calming + soothing, this magic sauce is lanolin-free & made of tropical butters and super fruits. I'm not lying when I say you will not want to stop using this, even way after birth.

    $28

    Belly tattoos

    HATCH COLLECTION  Belly Tattoos

    A very rock and roll way to honor your bump. And non-toxic + plant-based at that!

    $18

    This article was originally published in March 2021. It has been updated.

    We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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    Motherly created the flexible online birth class moms need

    The Motherly Birth Class is completely online, which means you can take the class at your own pace.

    Taking a birth class is a pregnancy milestone. Whether you've been excited to take a birth class for a long time or have just recently decided that you wanted to take one, sitting down for that first lesson feels big—spoiler alert, this is really happening! But finding time for a birth class isn't as easy as it would seem.

    We know new parents are busy (hello, understatement of the year). Between diaper changes, pediatrician appointments, healing from birth and the general adjustment to #newparentlife, the days can fill up quickly. But a lot of people are caught off guard by how busy pregnancy can be, too! That first trimester is so often full of symptoms—like nausea and fatigue—that can make previously easy or simple tasks exhausting. The second trimester begins and (usually) we start to feel better. But then our days get filled with planning out baby registries and deciding on questions like, "Where will this tiny new human sleep?" And before you know it, it's the third trimester—and, well, then you're in the home stretch. Plus there are so many appointments!

    All this to say that we get how busy you are—and how hard that might make it to fit in a birth class.

    And that's why we created The Motherly Birth Class. The Motherly Birth Class is completely online, which means you can take the class at your own pace.


    Think you'll want to watch each lesson a few times over? Great!

    Due date's next week and you need the option to take a birth class very quickly? No problem!

    Like everything at Motherly, we designed this class with you in mind.

    Taught by Certified Nurse-Midwife Diana Spalding (who also wrote "The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama"), this class is broken into 12 lessons—and you get to control how and when you watch them. We'll teach you about what your (amazing) body is up to in labor, how to decide when it's time to head to the hospital or birth center (or when to call your home birth midwife), what your options are for coping with pain and so much more.

    When you sign up for The Motherly Birth Class, you'll get access to a downloadable workbook and meditations. Plus, you'll be invited to join our supportive private online community (where you can chat with the class instructor!)

    Oh, one more thing: Your insurance or flexible spending account might even able to able to cover the cost of this class.

    Pregnancy is wonderful—but it's a lot. You deserve a birth class that works for you and empowers you to have your best birth. Because vaginal or Cesarean, unmedicated or medication, birth is incredible. And you are the star of it all.

    You've got this.

    Sign up for The Motherly Birth Class today!

    The Motherly Birth Class

    pregnant-woman-looking-at-her-belly

    Take our completely digital birth class from the comfort of your living room. We'll help you have your best birth—because you deserve it.

    $79

    We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

    Shop
    BABYBJÖRN

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

    popular

    14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

    They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

    Keeping kids entertained is a battle for all seasons. When it's warm and sunny, the options seem endless. Get them outside and get them moving. When it's cold or rainy, it gets a little tricker.

    So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of the best toys for toddlers and kids that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, many are 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 indoor outdoor toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.


    Secret Agent play set

    Plan-Toys-Secret-agent-play-set

    This set has everything your little secret agent needs to solve whatever case they might encounter: an ID badge, finger scanner, walkie-talkie handset, L-shaped scale and coloring comic (a printable file is also available for online download) along with a handy belt to carry it all along. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

    $40

    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

    Stepping Stones

    Stepping-stones

    Kiddos can jump, stretch, climb and balance with these non-slip stepping stones. The 20-piece set can be arranged in countless configurations to create obstacle courses, games or whatever they can dream up.

    $99.99

    Wooden doll stroller

    Janod wooden 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

    Sensory play set

    kidoozie-sand-and-splash-activity-table

    Filled with sand or water, this compact-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.

    $19.95

    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

    Foam pogo stick

    Flybar-my-first-foam-pogo-stick

    Designed for ages 3 and up, My First Flybar offers kiddos who are too young for a pogo stick a frustration-free way to get their jump on. The wide foam base and stretchy bungee cord "stick" is sturdy enough to withstand indoor and outdoor use and makes a super fun addition to driveway obstacle courses and backyard races. Full disclosure—it squeaks when they bounce, but don't let that be a deterrent. One clever reviewer noted that with a pair of needle-nose pliers, you can surgically remove that sucker without damaging the base.

    $16.99

    Dumptruck 

    green-toys-dump-truck

    Whether they're digging up sand in the backyard or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? It's made from recycled plastic milk cartons.

    $22

    Hopper ball

    Hopper ball

    Burn off all that extra energy hippity hopping across the lawn or the living room! This hopper ball is one of the top rated versions on Amazon as it's thicker and more durable than most. It also comes with a hand pump to make inflation quick and easy.

    $14.99

    Pull-along ducks

    janod-pull-along-wooden-ducks

    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.

    $16.99

    Rocking chair seesaw

    Slidewhizzer-rocking-chair-seesaw

    This built-to-last rocking seesaw is a fun way to get the wiggles out in the grass or in the playroom. The sturdy design can support up to 77 pounds, so even older kiddos can get in on the action.

    $79.99

    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.

    $79.99

    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

    We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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    Extended breastfeeding just happened for me—and I'm in no rush to end it

    My son is two and a half and still nursing, and it's what makes sense for us.

    eclipse images/ Getty

    When I became pregnant with my first child, I assumed that I would breastfeed. I also assumed that I would pump and give bottles. I even had all the bottles, a bottle warmer, and a bottle drying rack all ready to go. I made sure I got my pump before the baby came, so I was ready. But then, I actually tried pumping a couple of times and hated it. It was tedious, time-consuming, and not as effective, so nursing was the standard between my two children. It came naturally for me, and I found it the easier of the two options since I stayed home with them anyway. I was always there when they needed it.

    I was able to breastfeed my first until she was two and a half, at which point, I was seven months pregnant with her brother. Between the hormones, being touched out, and being uncomfortable, I decided to fully wean her. It had been coming for some time because the clock was ticking on getting her to sleep on her own before the new baby came since we had been co-sleeping up to this point.

    I cut night feedings first, moved her to her own bed, and then weaned her completely as I went along in my pregnancy. She still wanted to nurse to sleep, but I had to stop eventually because I was so uncomfortable. My body and brain could not take it anymore, but I'm proud I made it that far with her and that I nursed that far into pregnancy.

    When my second child came around, my son, breastfeeding was not only easier, but I found myself here: extended breastfeeding.


    He recently passed two and a half, which is where my daughter stopped, and he is still co-sleeping. He still nurses quite a bit, because his tummy hurts because of constipation issues. He still uses it to soothe and help him go back to sleep at night. He's getting too big to stay in our bed much longer, but I'm in no rush to wean him completely until he's ready.

    Being able to stay home with them has definitely fostered the breastfeeding relationship. Cuddling is a huge part of it, too, and I'll continue to breastfeed until it makes sense to stop.

    While my husband doesn't always agree with that philosophy and tells him that he's a big boy and can be done having milk, it's ultimately not up to him. I told my son that we would work through it together.

    It is still an emotional connection thing, and at the same time, it still has benefits for him. He's still getting nutrients especially designed for him. He's still getting supplemental nutrition while he doesn't want to eat as much otherwise if his stomach is hurting.

    My body has been doing this for a long time. I'm used to it. While I get touched out some days, I also know how helpful breastfeeding still is to help him settle down and how much he still appreciates it. I don't feel the need to cut him off quickly—both for his sake and mine.

    I'm also painfully aware that this is probably my last baby. My breastfeeding journey, over five years in the making, will soon be over. As long as he is still getting the benefits and I'm not stressed over it, I'll let it continue on a limited basis. I know it will end soon—it has to. He will be growing up and entering the next stage before I know it. But until then, I'm going to cuddle my baby boy a bit longer. I'm going to let him nurse at certain times and in certain situations.

    I never intended to do extended breastfeeding with either of them, but it just happened naturally. And that's okay. You need to do what makes the most sense and do what your intuition tells you is right for your family.

    Parenting

    Car seat safety isn't a gray area: Why one mom's story is going viral

    She texted her husband to remind him to tighten the straps. Minutes later, he was in a car crash.

    This story was originally published on August 01, 2018

    For most parenting tasks, there's more than one way to get things done. This is important to remember if you're parenting with a partner who has a totally different laundry system than you do or packs the diaper bag in a way that makes no sense to you. It's not the end of the world if the onesies are hung instead of folded or if the bottles are in the wrong pocket. We have to give our partners room to do things their way, too.

    But when it comes to buckling our kids in their car seats, there really is only one way—the safe way—and one mama is thankful that she reminded her partner of that just in time.


    Rebecca Tafaro Boyer is a new mom and nurse at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. On her first day back at work after maternity leave she asked her husband to send her hourly updates on how her 3-month-old son, William, was doing on his first day without her.

    When her husband texted her a photo of William in his car seat, Tafaro Boyer knew she had to let her husband know that there's really only one way to buckle a baby in. "My nagging wife reply was to correct William's position in the car seat—the straps were too loose and the chest clip was way too low. And because I know my husband, I'm sure that he laughed at me and rolled his eyes before tightening the car seat and fixing the chest clip," she wrote in a now viral Facebook post about the experience.

    Just 15 minutes after her husband fixed the straps, he and little William were in a collision.

    According to Tafaro Boyer, an unlicensed, uninsured driver pulled into oncoming traffic attempting to make an illegal left turn, and although her husband slammed on the brakes at nearly 50 miles an hour, he just didn't have enough time to stop and hit the other car.

    "My precious little bundle of joy was so well restrained in his car seat, THAT HE DIDN'T EVEN WAKE UP. Even with the impact of the two cars, William only received a minor jolt - so insignificant that he was able to continue on with his nap," Tafaro Boyer wrote.

    Her husband was injured, but baby William was snug in his Britax B Safe 35 car seat. Had the straps been left as they were, it could have been a different story.

    "I am so thankful that my husband took the extra one minute that was necessary to put William in his car seat safely," she Tafaro Boyer explained. "I truly believe that the reason my family is at home sitting on the couch with a pair of crutches instead of down at the hospital is because of my annoying nagging mom voice."

    Fellow moms are all up in the comments of Tafaro Boyer's post tagging thier partners and leaving notes like, "This is why I nag."

    It's not nagging if it's a safety issue.

    Sometimes our partners (or our child's grandparents or babysitters) just don't know that something isn't safe. We've got to tell them when they're doing something we know could hurt our child. That's a text worth sending. The ones about the way your significant other folds the laundry wrong, those are the texts you might want to keep to yourself.

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      Car Seat Safety