A modern lifestyle brand redefining motherhood

While usually we're being quaint and adorable like a Norman Rockwell painting come to life, there are a few other things that get us from WHYGODWHY in the morning to Netflix o'clock at night.


We clean things so they can be destroyed right exactly before you drop by. I don't mean to brag, but my kids are capable of making my house a major health code violation in ten seconds flat. Sometimes I think about posting pictures of what my house looks like when it's clean—just for reference.

Welcome to my home. Here is a picture of what my house looked like one time last week. It could also look like this more often if I had 47 maids and manservants.

Due to a current cash flow problem, we have had to reduce our Downton Abbey staff size.

Please come back in 25 years to see it like this again.

Thank you.

We are always smelling things. Pillows. Clothes. Carseats. Butts. My life is just a game of: Where and what is that horrible smell? Did something die? Did someone poop? Is that a piece of pizza under there??

I just need you to know that I KNOW about the smell. Okay?

There's only one thing worse than being stinky, and that's being unknowingly stinky.

I am not that girl.

I have been trying to solve this mystery since Tuesday.

I appreciate your patience.

We take family photos and hang them on the wall so that we can live vicariously through those happy… and remarkably clean people.

Look at them, aren't they precious?

Laundry. We are literally always doing laundry.

Step 1: Wash load.

Step 2: Forget.

Step 3: Smell load.

Step 4: Hmm. Smells fine. Dry load.

Step 5: Smell dry clothes.

Step 6: Dammit.

Step 7: Re-wash and dry.

Step 8: Pull out dry clothes to fold “later" and throw them on your bed.

Step 9: Forget until you go to bed. UGH.

Step 10: Throw clothes on floor.

Step 11: In the morning have children run through clothes until you can no longer tell what is clean.

Step 12: Throw pile back on bed because you cannot even.

Step 13: Repeat until you die.

We are keeping people alive.

We are just saving lives, one pair of adult scissors at a time.

Delivering the children. To school, from school, to birthday parties, to dance, to sports…

I'm just a girl, sitting in a minivan… praying you don't ask me to get out.

These Lorelei Gilmore shorty shorts did not anticipate leaving the vehicle. I brought the kids and they are dressed. I can not guarantee any other kinds of hassles or formalities such as bras, pants, or shoes.

The kitchen counter. We all have our one thing that makes us feel like we might be in control. Mine is my kitchen counter. Kids engaging in WWF wrestling? Toddler screaming while being permanently velcroed to my calf? It ACTUALLY being cloudy with a chance of meatballs?

I do not care if the heavens have opened and giant chili cheese dogs are bouncing off my front porch.

I can't control everything—but I can control one thing, and that is my kitchen counter. If you need me, I will be wiping it down for the 102nd time today.

Feeding people. I serve up three meals a day so that people can cry, fall on the floor in convulsions, and agonize over which is better: my cooking, or starving. Then they choose starving… because my food is just. That. Bad.

Insert eternal eye roll.

And then the Lord gave us wine. Thank you, Lord.

Grocery shopping. I am making moral decisions at the grocery store.

Do I spend my life savings on organic and feel very good about my healthy and conscientious choices?

Or…

Do I fill my cart with hormones and pesticides and feel like a money-saving boss?

Life is so complicated.

I cope by buying mostly organic and hitting up Dairy Queen on the way home for lunch… because balance.

We are not searching for unsolicited advice.

Things you can do instead of give me advice:

Clean my minivan.

Get me a Roomba that eats toys.

Pour me a coffee.

Tell me I'm pretty.

That is all.

We are not judging you.

You know what I don't have time for?

Judging.

I do not care if your kid eats fruit snacks or cucumbers. I don't care if you homeschool or are a working mom. I just don't even care.

I don't care if you don't want kids or are on the career track. I say more power to you—and please, while you're up there, break a few glass ceilings for my girls, would ya?

I don't think my life is harder or that I'm some sort of martyr. I think that this is exactly what I chose to do. And sometimes it is hard, because that is the nature of things that matter. Just like any great dream, it is worth the cost.

Things worth believing in are also worth fighting for. Sometimes that looks like hard work and sacrifice.

These kids—they are my dream.

And I believe in them 100%.

You do you, my friend.

Join Motherly

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

Subscribe to get inspiration and super helpful ideas to rock your #momlife. Motherhood looks amazing on you.

Already a subscriber? Log in here.

Parents in New Jersey will soon get more money and more time for parental leave after welcoming a baby.

This week New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed off on legislation that extends New Jersey's paid family leave from six weeks to 12.

It also increases the benefit cap from 53% of the average weekly wage to 70%, meaning the maximum benefit for a parent on family leave will be $860 a week, up from $650.

It might not seem like a huge difference, but by raising the benefit from two-thirds of a parent's pay to 85%, lawmakers in New Jersey are hoping to encourage more parents to actually take leave, which is good for the parents, their baby and their family. "Especially for that new mom and dad, we know that more time spent bonding with a child can lead to a better long-term outcome for that child," Murphy said at a press conference this week.

The law will also make it easier for people to take time off when a family member is sick.

Because NJ's paid leave is funded through payroll deductions, workers could see an increase in those deductions, but Murphy is betting that workers and businesses will see the benefits in increasing paid leave benefits. "Morale goes up, productivity goes up, and more money goes into the system," Murphy said. "And increasingly, companies big and small realize that a happy workforce and a secure workforce is a key ingredient to their success."

The new benefits will go into effect in July 2020 (making next Halloween a good time to get pregnant in the Garden State).

You might also like:

Whether you just need to stock up on diapers or you've had your eye on a specific piece of baby gear, you might want to swing by your local Walmart this Saturday, February 23rd.

Walmart's big "Baby Savings Day" is happening from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at participating Walmarts (but more deals can be found online at Walmart.com already and the website deals are happening for the rest of the month).

About 3,000 of the 3,570 Supercenter locations are participating in the sale (check here to see if your local Walmart is).

The deals vary, but in general you can expect up to 30% off on items like cribs, strollers, car seats, wipes, diapers and formula.

Some items, like this Graco Modes 3 Lite Travel System have been marked down by more than $100. Other hot items include this Lille Baby Complete Carrier (It's usually $119, going for $99 during the sale) and the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat (for as low as $199).

So if you're in need of baby gear, you should check out this sale. Travel gear isn't the only category that's been marked down, there are some steep discounts on breast pumps, too.

Many of the Walmart locations will also be offering samples and expert demos of certain products on Saturday so it's worth checking out!

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.

You might also like:

Any Schumer has not had an easy pregnancy. She intended to keep working, but if you follow her on social media you know she's been very sick through each trimester.

And now in her final trimester she's had to cancel her tour due to hyperemesis gravidarum, also known as HG. It's a rare but very serious form of extreme morning sickness, and on Friday evening Schumer announced she is canceling the rest of her tour because of it.

“I vomit every time [I] ride in a car even for 5 minutes," Schumer explained in an Instagram post.

Due to the constant vomiting she's not cleared to fly and just can't continue to the tour.

This is not the first time Schumer has had to make an announcement about HG. Back in November, just weeks after announcing her pregnancy, she had to cancel shows and again broke the news via Instagram.

She posted a photo of herself in a hospital bed with her little dog Tati, and spelled out the details of her health issues in the caption. "I have hyperemesis and it blows," Schumer wrote.

Poor Amy. Hyperemesis gravidarum is really tough.

Kate Middleton, Ayesha Curry and Motherly co-founder Elizabeth Tenety are among those who, like Schumer, have suffered from this form of severe morning sickness that can be totally debilitating.

As she previously wrote for Motherly, Tenety remembers becoming desperately ill, being confined to her apartment (mostly her bed) and never being far from a trash can, "I lost 10% of my body weight. I became severely dehydrated. I couldn't work. I couldn't even get out of bed. I could barely talk on the phone to tell my doctor how sick I was—begging them to please give me something, anything—to help."

Thankfully, she found relief through a prescription for Zofran, an anti-nausea drug.


Schumer probably knows all about that drug. It looks she is getting the medical help she obviously needs, and she was totally right to cancel the tour in order to stay as healthy as possible.

We're glad to see Schumer is getting help, and totally understand why she would have to cancel her shows. Any mama who has been through HG will tell you, that wouldn't be a show you'd want front row seats for anyway.

Get well soon, Amy!

[A version of this post was published November 15, 2018. It has been updated.]

You might also like:

As a military spouse, Cydney Cooper is used to doing things alone. But when she delivered her twin daughters early after complications due to Influenza A, she was missing her husband Skylar more than ever.

Recovering from the flu and an emergency C-section, and trying to parent the couple's two older boys and be with her new infant daughters in the NICU, Cydney was exhausted and scared and just wanted her husband who was deployed in Kuwait with the Army and wasn't expected home for weeks.

Alone in the NICU 12 days after giving birth, Cydney was texting an update on the twins to her husband when he walked through the door to shoulder some of the massive burden this mama was carrying.

"I was typing up their summary as best I could and trying to remember every detail to tell him when I looked up and saw him standing there. Shock, relief, and the feeling that everything was just alright hit me at once. I just finally let go," she explains in a statement to Motherly.

The moment was captured on video thanks to a family member who was in on Skylar's surprise and the reunion has now gone viral, having been viewed millions of times. It's an incredible moment for the couple who hadn't seen each other since Skylar had a three-day pass in seven months earlier.

Cydney had been caring for the couple's two boys and progressing in her pregnancy when, just over a week before the viral video was taken, she tested positive for Influenza A and went into preterm labor. "My husband was gone, my babies were early, I had the flu, and I was terrified," she tells Motherly.

"Over the next 48 hours they were able to stop my labor and I was discharged from the hospital. It only lasted two days and I went right back up and was in full on labor that was too far to stop."

Cydney needed an emergency C-section due to the babies' positioning, and her medical team could not allow anyone who had previously been around her into the operating room because anyone close to Cydney had been exposed to the flu.

"So I went in alone. The nurses and doctors were wonderful and held my hand through the entire thing but at the same time, I felt very very alone and scared. [Skylar] had been present for our first two and he was my rock and I didn't have him when I wanted him the most. But I did it! He was messaging me the second they wheeled me to recovery. Little did I know he was already working on being on his way."

When he found out his baby girls were coming early Skylar did everything he could to get home, and seeing him walk into the NICU is a moment Cydney will hold in her heart and her memory forever. "I had been having to hop back and forth from our sons to our daughters and felt guilty constantly because I couldn't be with all of them especially with their dad gone. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life and I won't be forgetting it."

It's so hard for a military spouse to do everything alone after a baby comes, and the military does recognize this. Just last month the Army doubled the amount of leave qualifying secondary caregivers (most often dads) can take after a birth or adoption, from 10 days to 21 so that moms like Cydney don't have to do it all alone.

You might also like:

Motherly provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by our  Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Information on our advertising guidelines can be found here.