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Dear Parents,

There was a day—not too long ago—when you made one of the most important decisions of your life.


It mattered not just because you were about to spend a lot of your hard-earned money, but because this money would be spent on something so incredibly important.

It was the day you hired the nanny, au pair, day-care provider or “person who watches your child.”

There’s no greater decision than that.

You were hiring more than a service—more than a laundry-folder, a housekeeper, a meal-maker or a storytime reader. You were hiring someone to love and protect and nurture your most precious possession—your child— while you’re away at work.

So thank you for having faith in me. But I promise—you made a good choice.

You were brave

You decided to take the plunge, and scoured references, searched for what you thought was the best. You found me in the neighborhood school, the reference of a friend, an employment agency and sometimes, (seriously!) in another country. You imagined the good (and the bad) about the person who would care for your child, and you did your homework—for the sake of your little one. It’s not easy to decide who should care for your precious child, but you courageously make this decision.

You were trusting

Once you did all the work to find me and ensure that I’m someone you can put your trust in, you took a leap of faith. You handed your little one and took a deep breath and said a small prayer that everything would be okay. You walked out of the home, out of daycare, or out of my house with the hope that I’ve got this. And I’ve more than got this, mama. It’s going to be awesome.

You were heartfelt

You showed me where the sippy cups are stored and how your child likes to be swaddled and how to discipline according to your philosophies. You told me how much you appreciated my hard work. You let me know when you wished I would try something different—and asked for feedback about your child.

But the relationship doesn’t just end when you hand your child off—it’s only just beginning. I want you to know that we’re together in this raising of your little one together.

We’re a team

I know almost everything about your child—we spend so much time together, sometimes more than you think would be ideal. But I don’t want you to feel guilty or generate any kind of jealousy. This is not a competition and you will always be mommy and daddy—those little hearts have room for everyone. The more we can see ourselves as part of a team—the better.

I love your child, too

I see the faith you have in me. And I see that SUPER CUTE kid you made. And here’s the secret: over time, I start to love your child as my own child, too. I love and worry about you him or her. I dream about who she is going to become, and wonder what he will look like when he grows up.

I don’t want anything to happen to them: I pay attention near the stairs, I watch small objects, I supervise mealtime and make sure nobody chokes. I know what they’re watching on TV and when screen time is over. I want the best for these kids and over the time I care for them, they nestle deep within my heart. It’s extremely difficult to explain how deep is my love for these children; there aren’t enough words or expressions in English, Portuguese or Spanish that can be used to describe what its love a child so deeply without them coming from your belly. All I can say is I love them beyond what you imagine.

This isn’t an easy job

Helping to raise other peoples children is an experience for a lifetime, but not every day is easy. In fact, most days are very difficult when you have small humans saying they don’t want milk mixed with Cheerios—that you have to put the drink in a separate green cup. “Not a yellow cup, not pink, but blue—don’t forget it!” It can be as stressful as parenting—like when everybody is ready to leave but we can’t find the pink bow that matches the baby’s clothes and then…. everyone is late. And I don’t even want to talk about the whining! All the challenges you experience with your kids, I experience them, too. The days are long and exhausting. So I appreciate when you recognize and validate my hard work and the challenges I face.

There is beauty every day

We also have beautiful and unexplained days that we get to witness: the first smiles, the small conquests of crawling, the songs they learn so fast, the big smiles when you say: Brigadeiro, the unconditional love they show in every abstract drawing made with crayon. This little life is a beautiful thing to witness and I love being here every day.

Maybe we won’t be in your life forever, but I promise—you will always be in ours

I probably will not be forever in your child’s life, but they will be in ours. You are the one who stays, but I promise I will always remember this time together and feel affection towards your child. Thank you for letting me witness how fascinating its to watch a human develop.

We have some things to ask of you, too

Please don’t miss the opportunity to see your child grow up. We know it’s hard work to pay attention and be truly present— believe us we know how tired you can be at the end of the day—but try enjoy the precious time you get together.

We will leave and you will stay

As the nanny, au pair, daycare provider or mother’s helper, we are gonna be a happy childhood memory, a special song, some words learned in another language, a memory of favorite food smell or an "I love you" with a very funny accent. We will carry your family in our hearts for the rest of our lives. But you will remain.

We are grateful

Thank you for letting us love your beautiful children, too.

Thank you for choosing us. Your children are also ours now.

Nobody’s ever going to love those kids like you love them—and also like we love them.

Love, all of us

Nannies, au pairs, daycare providers and all the people who lovingly help raise your children

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

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Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy.You've got this.

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Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

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When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

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The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.


Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

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