To all the hardworking flex-worker moms out there—I see you

To the mom who feels like she can never turn work off completely, because it’s always sort of lingering in the background or humming through her mind—I see you.

To all the hardworking flex-worker moms out there—I see you

I'm not going to pretend I don't feel lucky to have a flexible job. I am a work from home, stay-at-home mom hybrid, and I am grateful to be able to pick my daughter up from preschool or take my toddler to the doctor when she's sick.

I love being home with them while also pursuing my passion of writing and connecting with other moms at work.

But sometimes, as a working mom, it’s hard to separate my two roles of ‘employee’ and ‘mom.’ Because they blend together.

They cross over into each other’s spaces and confuse my brain...and oftentimes, my heart, too.

So this flexible job—while a really great situation—definitely does come with its own challenges. Some days, the thought of going into an office and getting work done in peace sounds like a dream.


We all know—both sides, office life vs. home life—come with perks and hardships. Being a mother and attempting any sort of work-life balance (no matter what type of job!) is tough.

But we’re mamas. Boss ladies. Hard workers. We've got this.

So if you work from home and have to wear headphones at all times so you don't hear your baby crying with the babysitter or have had to breastfeed said baby while conducting an interview and had to say these words to your toddler: “Quiet down, please! I am talking to a very prominent urologist!”—I can relate. I know how you feel.

And I want you to know—I see you.

To the mama who gives thanks to all that she believes in for the mute button on her phone so she can participate in meetings—I see you.

To the mom who is finishing writing an article on her phone while waiting in the car for school pickup—I see you.

To the mama taking her kiddo to the park in between work calls and brainstorms, trying to give both parties the attention they deserve—I see you.

To the mother who is scheduling a meeting while she cooks dinner, unloads the dishwasher and breaks up a fight over a toy—I see you.

To the mom who decides that yeah, she can be a mom and work a lot of hours and take care of the house and do it all—I see you… especially when it all falls apart.

To the mama who puts that pressure on herself to do it all, to make it all work because she is lucky to have this flexible job—I see you.

To the mom who rocks an online video conference call in a cute top, and...sweatpants—I see you. (I mean, honestly, talk about perks!)

To the mother who works from home to contribute to the family income but limits childcare to save money and is always caught in that catch-22 of needing childcare but trying to limit spending—I see you.

To the mama who is overwhelmed by staring at the sink full of dishes and that nagging feeling of knowing there are about five loads of laundry to do while you're working but are also feeling super guilty about letting stuff around the house go—I see you.

To the mother who wants to list out all that she got done during the day to her husband to justify why the house is so messy, even though she knows she doesn't have to—I see you.

To the mom whose car has turned into her mobile office where the nuisance of being trapped there during nap time turns into the productivity of turning an excel sheet into numbers magic—I see you.

To the mama who is up late finishing briefs and notes and scheduling because she prioritized kids activities and “mom stuff” during the day and now has to play catch up—I see you.

To the mom who feels like she can never turn work off completely, because it’s always sort of lingering in the background or humming through her mind—I see you.

To the momprenuer building a business from her kitchen, while her kiddos paint on their easel and play with Legos in the living room, inspiring us all—I see you.

To the mother who feels conflicted about sending her child off to daycare while she is at home working—because she feels like if she is home, he should be home—but also knows that it’s hard for her to get work done hearing him in the house—I see you.

To all the mamas—who work from home or in the office—who are showing their kids day in and day out that you can be a mother and pursue your dreams or provide for your family—I see you.

I also applaud you. I’m motivated by you. And I thank you for what you do. ?

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're 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 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.


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!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


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.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

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.


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.


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


There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

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

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Errands and showers are not self-care for moms

Thinking they are is what's burning moms out.

A friend and I bump into each other at Target nearly every time we go. We don't pre-plan this; we must just be on the same paper towel use cycle or something. Really, I think there was a stretch where I saw her at Target five times in a row.

We've turned it into a bit of a running joke. "Yeah," I say sarcastically, "We needed paper towels so you know, I had to come to Target… for two hours of alone time."

She'll laugh and reply, "Oh yes, we were out of… um… paper clips. So here I am, shopping without the kids. Heaven!"

Now don't get me wrong. I adore my trips to Target (and based on the fullness of my cart when I leave, I am pretty sure Target adores my trips there, too).

But my little running joke with my friend is actually a big problem. Because why is the absence of paper towels the thing that prompts me to get a break? And why on earth is buying paper towels considered a break for moms?

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