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New Zealand’s Prime Minister is the first Western leader ever to be pregnant in office

Running the country? Check. Running to prenatal appointments? Check.


New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced this week that she is expecting her first child. In her post about the baby news, Ardern says she’s excited to serve as both a Prime Minister and a mom while her partner, Clarke Gayford, will be a stay-at-home dad.

During a press interview after her announcement, Ardern added, “I am not the first woman to multitask, I'm not the first woman to work and have a baby, I know these are special circumstances but there will be many women who will have done this well before I have.”

Internationally, it’s relatively rare for women to lead countries—and rarer still for them to do so while pregnant. According to Reuters, the last notable time a nationally elected leader had a baby while in office was when Benazir Bhutto gave birth while serving as Pakistan’s prime minister in 1990.

We say it’s about time for this to shift: For one, it shows that regardless of your career trajectory or field of work, you can pursue a family and career in tandem. It doesn’t have to be exclusive.

Women can be both strong leaders and strong mamas.

Women can be both passionate and sensitive.

Women can love their job and their babies.

And this announcement received tons of praise on Twitter.

As for the logistics people were eager to know, Ardern shared she’ll take six weeks of family leave once she gives birth and then get back to her duties as prime minister.

“Clarke and I are privileged to be in the position where Clarke can stay home to be our primary caregiver. Knowing that so many parents juggle the care of their new babies, we consider ourselves to be very lucky,” she said in the press interview.

In an interview with Mashable, she added she has everything in place to ensure New Zealand will run just fine while she’s soaking up newborn snuggles—thanks to the Deputy Prime Minister stepping up to become Acting Prime Minister during her leave.

So mamas, if you’re nervous about having a baby in the midst of your career’s peak, don’t be. You can balance both and find a system that works for you. Lean into your village to help. Make the decision to stay at home, get back to work or delegate things to your partner in the interim.

Whatever you decide to do, you’ve got this—and Ardern does, too.

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

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

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

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

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop 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.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

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

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

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When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, there are many factors that, as a mama, are hard to control. Who's going to wet the bed at 3 am, how many times a small person is going to need a sip of water, or the volume of your partner's snoring are total wildcards.

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I've always been a down comforter sort of girl, but after a week of testing the ridiculously plush and aptly named Snug Comforter from Sunday Citizen, a brand that's run by "curators of soft, seekers of chill" who "believe in comfort over everything," it's safe to say I've been converted.

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Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.


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