Mama’s annual performance review

On the whole, you’ve been a vital member of the team and have really stepped up.

Mama’s annual performance review

As at-home mama’s, we no longer have the luxury of

receiving feedback from our employers. Are we doing a good job? Where can we

improve? Imagine, though, if our babies were to conduct an annual performance

review for us.

Hi, Mommy. Thanks so much for taking time to meet with me.

On the whole, you’ve been a vital member of the team and have really stepped

up. Let’s dive into specifics and see how you’ve done this year.


I have to say, I had my doubts being your first child and

all, but you’ve been incredibly skillful in executing your job as mother. You

clearly understand your responsibilities and have gone the extra step in

learning new on-the-job skills, as well as keeping up-to-date on developments

related to parenting and, more specifically, knowing exactly how I like to be

rocked to sleep.

Customer Focus

As your primary customer, I appreciate how you’ve gone the

extra mile to ensure my consistent satisfaction. You continue to seek out new ways

to improve service, most notably the time I kept leaking through my diaper at

nap time; you researched, crowd-sourced on Facebook, and purchased four

different options before finding the perfect one. Such dedication to my demands

makes me feel super special. Kudos, Mommy.


You work exceptionally well with your main coworker here at

home, but your teamwork and camaraderie with other mommies is to be lauded, as

well. You share knowledge and information freely in the dozens of Facebook

groups in which you are a member. The trust and respect you hold for your

teammates was incredibly evident the time you engaged in a lengthy respectful

political discussion with your fellow at-home mommies following the nursery

rhyme library program last week. You recognized their intelligence and life

experience, and even admitted to learning from them. Definitely text that one

mommy with the nice hair – she seemed cool and you can use a new friend.


Your flexibility has been off the charts this year. You’ve

been able to shift focus and maintain composure under truly stressful and

challenging situations. The time we both had that stomach virus? You shone

brightly, even though, as I heard you recall later, it was the “longest and

worst night” of your life.

Professional standards

You clearly take great pride in your work and demonstrate

appropriate professional behavior (except when you make silly faces or tickle

my tummy, but I’ll let that slide). You’ve maintained exemplary attendance – in

fact, you’ve never missed a single day taking care of me – and that has

certainly not gone unnoticed. Punctuality has been an issue, but I’m aware I

make it very difficult for you to get anywhere on time. Management will work on

this, but expect this to get worse as we progress to toddlerhood.

Overall performance

Mommy, your performance has been truly exceptional this year. You’re

the only one who knows exactly how I like my food cut, precisely where my

tickle spots are, and the little parts of my personality that even I don’t yet

recognize. You know me better than anyone because you’re here for me. Always.

Even though I may not remember this first year when I get

older, there will be a part of my heart that will always know what you’ve done

for me, how you’ve changed your life to help me start mine. No one else can do

this job like you can and we’re so lucky to have you in the organization.

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After 4 kids, this is still the best baby gear item I’ve ever purchased

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work.

I have four kids 8 and under, so you might expect that my house is teeming with baby gear and kid toys.

But it turns out that for me, the more kids I have, the more I simplify our stuff. At this point, I'm down to the absolute essentials, the gear that I can't live without and the toys my kids actually play with. And so when a mama-to-be asks me what things are worth registering for, there are only a few must-haves on my list.

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer seat is on the top of my list—totally worth it and an absolute must-have for any new mama.

In fact, since I first splurged on my first BABYBJÖRN bouncer eight years ago (it definitely felt like a splurge at the time, but the five star reviews were really compelling), the bouncer seat has become the most-used product in our house for baby's first year.

We've actually invested in a second one so that we didn't have to keep moving ours from the bedroom to the living room when we change locations.

BABYBJÖRN bouncer bliss

baby bjorn bouncer

The utility of the seat might seem counterintuitive—it has no mechanical parts, so your baby is instead gently bounced by her own movements. In a world where many baby products are touted for their ability to mechanically rock baby to sleep, I get that many moms might not find the "no-motion" bouncer that compelling. But it turns out that the seat is quite reactive to baby's little kicks, and it has helped my kids to learn how to self-soothe.


Lightweight + compact:

The BABYBJÖRN bouncer is super lightweight, and it also folds flat in a second. Because of those features, we've frequently stored it under the couch, in a suitcase or in the back of the car. It folds completely flat, which I love.

Entertainment zone:

Is the toy bar worth it? The toy bar is totally worth it. Not only is the toy bar adorable, but it's one of the first toys that my babies actually play with once they discover the world beyond my boobs. The toys spin and are close to eye level so they have frequently kept my baby entertained while I cook or take a quick shower.

Great style:

This is not a small detail to me–the BABYBJÖRN bouncer is seriously stylish. I am done with baby gear and toys that make my house look like a theme park. The elegant European design honestly just looks good in my living room and I appreciate that parents can enjoy it as much as baby.

It's adjustable:

With three height settings that let you prop baby up to be entertained, or lay back to rest, we get years of use. And the bouncer can actually be adjusted for bigger kids and used from newborn to toddler age. It's that good.

It just works:

I wouldn't be swooning over the BABYBJÖRN bouncer after eight years and four kids if it didn't work. But I have used the seat as a safe space to put baby while I've worked (I once rocked my baby in it with my foot while I reported on a breaking news story for the Washington Post), and as a cozy spot for my second child to lay while his big brother played nearby. It's held up for almost a decade with almost-constant use.

So for me, looking back on what I thought was a splurge eight years ago, was actually one of the best investments in baby gear I ever made.

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


Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

Thank you for understanding. ❤️

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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