I didn’t want to choose between mom life + career life—so I made both work

When work gets busy just in time for baby’s arrival, take a deep breath and remember you’ve got this!

I didn’t want to choose between mom life + career life—so I made both work

No surprise here: Having a baby, especially your first, is already a huuuuge life change. If you are experiencing a big change on top of that, like by switching careers, moving your family or going back to school, having a baby can feel even more overwhelming.

For me, when I found out I was pregnant I was still working on the last (and biggest) requirement for my doctorate degree: the dissertation. I figured I could finish work on the paper during my pregnancy... But, because of severe morning sickness, I was unable to progress on my research at all. Panic quickly set in after the baby was born and I realized all of the work I still needed to do in order to graduate.


After some discussions with my husband, I decided to hit the books HARD and I set a goal to finish before my baby, a sweet boy named Fitz, was 1 year old. But, even though I did some writing while on maternity leave, I still had a long road ahead. When I went back to work at my full-time teaching job, not only was I adjusting to being a working mom with a newborn, but with a graduate degree course load on top of it all. I can easily say that juggling work, school and having a baby made this the hardest year of my life!

I was so worried about was being too busy and preoccupied with my dissertation to fully experience of all of the changes during Fitz’s first year. To be sure that I was successful in meeting my goal of graduating before Fitz turned one and that I had important baby-mommy bonding time, I did some reflection and set some protocols in place.

Here are four ways to handle a super busy life and still enjoy time with your newborn...

1. Know your "why”

For me, my goal was to finish my doctorate degree so I didn’t stretch it out and work on it for years after my baby was born. I may have never finished it, or it could have just been weighing me down and taking me away from my family longer than necessary. I also wanted to finish it so that I could have different job opportunities that would eventually positively impact my family.

I reminded myself of my goals daily and wrote myself small encouragement on sticky notes in my office. How will accomplishing your goal positively impact your family? Remembering that what you’re doing will eventually pay off will help you stick with it, even when it’s tough to take time away from your sweet baby.

2. Plan your work time

Every weekend, I looked at the week ahead and blocked out times to write. As much as possible, I planned this time when I knew the baby was sleeping. Other times, I would take joy in the fact that Fitz would get some special alone time with Daddy while I worked. I also made sure that I was efficient with my work time.

Before the baby, I used to write in the living room while halfway watching TV. This distraction would make a task take about twice as long! After baby, I made a point to work alone in my office and I did not allow myself any breaks, which allowed me to maximize my work time. When can you best work on your goal? How can you increase your efficiency?

3. Prioritize your time with baby

Because I was so efficient during my work time, I was able to allow myself to totally relax and enjoy Fitz. I also tried to limit distractions, like texting other people, social media and Netflix to make sure that I was fully immersed in my baby. I let myself hold the baby while he—or we!—took a nap. I played with the baby, splashed in the tub with him and read books with him. This may sound silly, but I had to work to mentally block my dissertation out so that I could do these things and be fully present when I was with him.

Also, after working all day and then writing, I hated leaving him again—so my husband and I got in the practice of taking Fitz with us to almost everywhere we went. What are some ways that you can increase quality time with your baby?

4. Ask for help

This one was hard because I like to be in control and handle things myself. However, I quickly realized that taking care of a baby, breastfeeding, washing pump parts and bottles, doing extra laundry loads and enjoying time with the baby was impossible for me to add to my already jam-packed life. Asking for help was the only thing I could do.

This meant I had to work out with my husband some ways that he could do tasks that I normally did. I was also lucky to have a mother-in-law who was available to help us around the house and with the baby. Who can you ask to help take some things off of your plate temporarily?

I ended up defending my dissertation a day after Fitz turned 9 months old—three months ahead of schedule! Now that life has slowed done some, I find that the same principles still help me to enjoy life and find balance with my various responsibilities.

I’m so happy that I stayed focused on my goal to its completion, and I also have cherished memories of my baby’s first year. Whatever you are going through, some thoughtful planning can make the difference!

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These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.

Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin

Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

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

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It's 2020. The world is changing. It's hard to believe but the old decade is over, the new one is here and it is bringing a lot of new life with it. The babies born this year are members of Generation Alpha and the world is waiting for them.

We're only a few months into the new year and there are already some new celebrity arrivals making headlines while making their new parents proud.

If your little one arrived (or is due to arrive) in 2020, they've got plenty of high profile company.

Here are all the celebrity babies born in 2020 (so far):

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