Ultimate Baby Registry: Gear

Stymied on strollers? Confused about carriers? Bamboozled by bouncers? Check out our baby gear guide!

Strollers, carriers, and swings: oh my!

Bear with us, because there’s a lot of info packed into this section of the guide. These items tend to be some of the most expensive and frequently used, so we want to make sure you make the best decision for your needs. Grab a cup of tea, read on, and hopefully this will make picking the best baby gear a piece of cake! (Mmm, maybe grab some cake to go with that tea…)  Continue reading “Ultimate Baby Registry: Gear”

Traveling with Toddlers: It can be done!

Tried-and-true tips to make traveling with toddlers a breeze!

I’m here to dispel a myth. Contrary to popular belief, travel and kids are not mutually exclusive. In fact, I’ve found that traveling with small children is one of the best adventures life has to offer. Most kids are natural travelers. They are inherently curious, adaptable, and open to new experiences. They are enthusiastic and less inhibited, and have opened more cultural doors and conversations than I ever could have on my own.  Yes, it’s a little more work, but the payoff is absolutely worth the effort.

Travel is one of our family’s core values. My 5-year-old went on his first flight at 6 weeks; by age 3, he had flown 30 times; by age 4, he visited his 15th country. I’ve flown transatlantic flights with two kids by myself, and domestically with three kids by myself.  I’ve had a lot of practice, and while I don’t claim to be an expert by any means, I have learned a couple things along the way.  Continue reading “Traveling with Toddlers: It can be done!”

Great Expectations: My first year of motherhood

One Mama’s tale of pregnancy struggles, labor woes, and the unconditional love for her baby that makes it all worthwhile.

Many people say that motherhood starts when you become pregnant. This terrified me, because boy oh boy, did I ever hate being pregnant.  Continue reading “Great Expectations: My first year of motherhood”

Baby won’t sleep? Don’t blame yourself!

Baby won’t sleep? You’re not alone (and you’re not to blame!)

It was no secret that my little one was not a good sleeper. I couldn’t have kept it a secret if I’d wanted to; the bags under my eyes outed me the minute I staggered out the door. (Concealer is great, but it’s not a magic wand.) He is worlds better now, usually sleeping about twelve hours a night without interruption (see that light at the end of the tunnel, mamas of terrible sleepers? It’s there!).

But since he still has that reputation as a non-sleeper, I still hear from people about how they plan to sleep-train, and I just love the way they say it. “Well, I’ll leave the TV on.” “I’ll vacuum while the baby is asleep.” “I’ll make sure that he’s used to noise so that he becomes a good sleeper.” Well, God go with you, sister. Because I did those things (not the vacuum thing really, but that’s simply because I don’t like to vacuum), and sometimes babies are just babies and sometimes babies aren’t great at sleeping no matter what you do. I wish those new mamas well, because having a baby is really hard, and having a baby that doesn’t sleep through the dog barking at the mailman just makes it a thousand times a million times infinitely harder.

But I would also like to point out something—I didn’t make my baby a “bad sleeper.”  Continue reading “Baby won’t sleep? Don’t blame yourself!”

What helped you the most during labor & delivery?

Mamas share what they found most helpful for getting through the tough work of labor.

Labor is hard work (hence the name), so I asked our Mamas, “What was the one thing that helped you the most during labor and delivery?” You’ll see that there are some common themes, so hopefully these suggestions will be helpful to other soon-to-be-Mamas too!  Continue reading “What helped you the most during labor & delivery?”

Ultimate Baby Registry: Clothing

Not sure what clothes to have on hand when Little One arrives? This guide can help! | Motherhood Collective

Naked babies are just about the most adorable things ever, but babies tend to get cold easily (and people seem to think they need clothes on in public), so you should probably have some things on hand to cover up their tiny hineys (and heads, and toes, etc.). I’ve also included blankets and burp cloths in this section, since they fall under the “cloth-type things that keep babies warm/clean/cozy/presentable” category as well.

Everyone has very different preferences on clothing types, styles, and price points, and obviously gender/climate/season make a difference too. This will be a more general-suggestion type of list, but it will hopefully give you a starting point for what to have on hand when baby first arrives. In a few weeks, you’ll notice which items you tend to pull out of the dresser over and over, and which pieces never get any play.  Continue reading “Ultimate Baby Registry: Clothing”

I Didn’t Love my Baby

What do you do if you don’t feel love for your new baby? One Mama shares her story.

Interestingly, my source of mothering wisdom is an elderly Kentuckian farmer named Wendell Berry. In addition to farming, he also is a prolific writer of truths that my soul has known for years but could never satisfyingly communicate. I have finally found a language and a logic that at once cultivates my passionate spirit and settles my anxious mind. I feel so at home with his essays, fiction, and poetry that I often wish he’d adopt me as his spiritual, or perhaps more fittingly, earthly granddaughter.

You see, Berry is entrenched in this physical world in the most beautiful way, and he views the care of the land, its animals, and plants as the most spiritual task a human can put herself into.

Providentially, it was his words I was soaking up in the early postpartum months, holding my newborn baby and freaking the eff out because I didn’t feel motherly love towards her. More specifically, I wanted to give her back. I wanted to undo her. I kept fantasizing about my college days, longing for my semi-damp, cricket-infested apartment, sunny days napping on the lawn instead of going to class, and late night “Scrubs” binges with my best friends. In short, I wanted this needy little rosy thing to go away so I could be free again.  I even had the scary “throw the baby” thought one time. I panicked and begged my partner not to go back to work because what if I did actually throw the baby?**  Continue reading “I Didn’t Love my Baby”