Dear Stranger, Yes, My Hands Are Full…

Inside: This is for the people who say “you have your hands full” in a way that sounds like I have an incurable disease. Because if you think my hands are full, you should know this.

Dear stranger,

This is for the ones who say “you have your hands full” in a way that sounds like I have an incurable disease.

It’s for the ones who asked if I know how birth control works. It’s for the ones who ask how old I am, like I sold myself short somehow. It’s for the ones who want to know if I’m “done” even though they don’t know my first name.

This is for the ones who say “better you than me” when they see me with my little troop at the grocery store, struggling to fit three grocery bags in one hand while I wrangle four kids with the other hand. It’s for the ones who cannot understand why anyone would want to do this to themselves.

If you think my hands are full, you should know this

If you think my hands are full…

You see, my hands are full, but so is my heart.

These days are long, yes, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

Even when you see me in the thick of it. Even when one of my kids is throwing a fit and another one is asking for a snack, and yet another is convinced that they must have this stuffed kitty or they will die. Even when my hands are truly “full”, I wouldn’t change a thing. I wouldn’t be anywhere else doing anything else.

You could offer me an all-expenses-paid ticket to any different life and even if it came with a white sandy beach and unlimited fruity cocktails, I wouldn’t take it. I wouldn’t give it a single thought.

I know it sounds crazy, but love is crazy, I guess.

Full hands, full heart

Stranger, don’t feel sorry for me.

Sometimes I imagine what it would be like to have quiet for 48 hours in a row, but I wouldn’t know what to do with my hands if they weren’t “full.” Never would I ever trade my “normal” for anyone else’s.

So don’t feel sorry for me for one second.

I am blessed. I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams to be this girl in this life.

I am grateful. I am grateful for the good days and the bad days and everything in between. I’m even grateful for the days when the tantrums and power struggles and sibling scuffles make me want to scream and run down the street.

What you don’t know…

What you don’t know is that I see the world in their eyes. You don’t know that when I tuck them in at night and they share what’s weighing on their little hearts, I feel like the wealthiest person on the planet. You don’t know that when a little hand touches my face with an “I love you,” every difficult moment comes into focus.

I’d choose all of this a million times again.

And you don’t know that when you see my four, there should have been six. I lost two babies before they took their first breath, before I held them in my arms. I have friends who have had to wait two years or ten years just to start their families. I have a friend who lost a child when that child was in the prime of his boyhood. I know those for whom motherhood is a dream not yet realized.

Related: House Full, Hands Full, Heart Full Graphic Tee

Don't feel sorry for me if you think my hands are full

Full hands, full heart.

So please, don’t for one second feel sorry for me and my “full” hands.

Yes, this job is hard, but most things that matter are.

The cost doesn’t match the reward…not even close.

I am living my best life. Even here, even in this grocery store, even with my hands full of groceries and chaos. Full hands, full heart.

But if you do happen to have an extra hand, I wouldn’t say no to a little help with these grocery bags.

Download my FREE cheat sheet as a bonus for joining my newsletter: 16 Miracle Phrases to Help You Reconnect With Your Child

Want More?

For more responses like “If you think my hands are full…” check out The 5 Best Comebacks to “You Have Your Hands Full”.

Your Turn

How would you finish “If you think my hands are full…”? Share in a comment below.

If you think my hands are full

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How to Stop Losing Your Cool With Your Kids—With a Powerful Pause

Inside: The less regulated we are as parents, the more likely it is that we will react to our kids, letting their emotions overcome us. But this one little trick for calm parenting can make all the difference between reacting and responding, even when you’re exhausted.

My coffee cup was halfway to my mouth for that first sip of the day when the battle cries from the 5- and 6-year-old cousins drifted into my sister’s kitchen…

No, it’s MINE!
But I had it FIRST!
That’s not fair!
But I want it!

I sighed.

Then the 2-year-old shrieked, and I jumped up quickly, irritated before even entering the room. My body leaned forward, and my breath held tight in my chest. I went in hot.

And while I didn’t technically yell, my tone wasn’t much better. Maybe no one will get to have it if we can’t agree. Maybe we all need to take a break. Well, none of that is YOURS, actually, it all belongs to the 2-year-old.

Biting words. Fighting words. Words that certainly did not bring peace to the situation.

Looking into their faces with their furrowed brows and set jaws, I realized I was just reacting to their emotions instead of responding in a caring and constructive way. The opposite of mindful, calm parenting.

Bonus: Download a free cheat sheet of mantras for parents from Ashley, the author of this post and the mom behind the web site Nurture and Thrive.

When you find yourself doing the opposite of calm parenting

The Reason We Lose Our Cool As Parents

I’m a child development psychologist. I know reacting like that doesn’t teach kids how to regulate their own emotions. I know biting words don’t help kids learn how to resolve conflict. I know kids need connection in order to cooperate.

Calm parenting is a must for healthy childhood development. And yet, I still reacted to emotion with emotion. Why?

The truth is that the less regulated we are as parents, the more likely it is that we will react to our kids, letting their emotions overcome us.

For example, I’d spent the day before on a 6-hour plane ride and was operating on less sleep and a time difference. It felt like responding to the kids’ emotions in a constructive way would take too much energy.

But I’ve discovered that one little trick for calm parenting can make all the difference between reacting and responding, even when you’re exhausted.

How to be a calm parent

The Secret to Calm Parenting? The Pause

A few minutes later, the shrieks began again.

But that time, I caught myself tensing up and I paused.

I took a slow breath. I said my mantra: “Observe with an open heart.” I centered myself.

Here’s why: Research shows that saying a mantra can calm the brain. Pair that with the power of deep breathing, a proven way to halt the stress response, and you have a powerful way to center yourself. The secret to calm parenting.

After the pause, I was prepared to face the self-perceived injustice of three strong-willed boys.

After the pause, I saw their stressed faces and their struggle. I empathized – I can see you’re upset. You feel like this is unfair.

After the pause, I asked them if they could think of a way to work it out. We waded through their suggestions and settled on something everyone could agree to.

This is responding instead of reacting. This is mindful parentingcalm parenting.

Related: How to Stop Being an Angry Mom Now…Using 5 Hair Ties Printable

The secret to calm parenting is the pause

How to Be a Calm Parent: The Power of the Pause

Rapid breathing in your upper chest, tight muscles, a tight jaw, a sense of urgency – all of these are early signs of stress in the body. When you feel them, take a mindful pause.

Here’s how you can get started with this calm parenting technique:

  1. Stop what you’re doing and count to 10. If you need to remove a younger child from the situation, you can pick them up, but don’t react to anything yet. Simply hold them. Count to 10 out loud in front of your kids. (Modeling how to calm down is a great bonus for teaching your children self-regulation!)
  2. Take a deep breath.
  3. Say your mantra. (More on this in a minute.)

Developmental psychologists now use this kind of practice as a way to strengthen relationships between parents and adolescents.

Programs that teach parents mindfulness techniques include paying attention to the breath, recognizing signs of stress in your own body, and then being able to halt that process with a pause. Parents learn how to be a calm parent – breathe mindfully and say a mantra like “stop, be calm, be present.”

But First, Choose Your Mantra

Here are some calm parenting mantras that have worked for me:

  • “Ride this wave, mama”
  • “Respond with grace”
  • “I am their mom”
  • “Choose kindness”
  • “I am here for you”
  • “Observe with an open heart”
  • “Act with love”
  • “Choose joy”
  • “See how little they are”

Choose a mantra that works for you. Maybe you’d like a clear mantra that’s to the point, or perhaps you prefer one that has a deeper meaning.

After you’ve established taking a mindful pause as a habit, switch up your mantras to keep the words fresh and meaningful. Find words that inspire you, and you’ll feel empowered rather than exhausted.

Related: How to Be a Happy Mom: Science Says Do These 7 Things Printable

The powerful pause that will lead to calm parenting

Here’s the Best Part

What I appreciate about the pause is that it helps me thoughtfully respond to my child instead of react. But that’s not even the best part.

When you pause, you root yourself in the moment. You’re more present.

You’ll find yourself pausing for the good things too – for savoring and soaking up the sweetness and hilarity of childhood.

Like on our trip to my sister’s house. After the initial conflict, my sister reminded me that it’s always like that when the cousins first get together. They’re feeling each other out. She was right.

The next day, when it was a little too quiet I found them all huddled together amongst the vacuum and the mop, flashlights in tow, and a headlamp on the 2-year-old. They whispered to each other the stories that will form the memories of adventures with cousins – memories that will stay with them for life.

And I was present in the moment to enjoy it. I was finally able to enjoy a leisurely coffee and chat with my sister whom I don’t get to see face to face nearly enough.

Then later, when the oldest begged for a silly song to be played, we all danced like hooligans around my sister’s ottoman, right there in her living room. It’s a moment I’ll always remember.

Mindful, calm parenting can be exhausting. Being able to center yourself and weather your child’s storms takes practice. Half the battle is remembering to do it. But when you take a pause, you find your power there.

Download Your Free Cheat Sheet

This is a special note from Ashley, the author of this post and the mom behind Nurture and Thrive

To help you remember, I made a free printable cheat sheet of my favorite mantras to help you stay calm and centered. When you download the cheat sheet, you’ll also join my newsletter to get more calm parenting strategies. Just click here to download and subscribe.

How to Catch Yourself Before You Lose Your Cool

And now one final note from Kelly, the owner of this site…

I asked Ashley to share this post with you because this is a lesson I had to learn the hard way. After my family welcomed our third little one into the mix, we became a family of five with a second-grader, a toddler, and a newborn. Even though I could have used more sleep and way more coffee, we were happy. Then my husband’s paternity leave ended, and I was at home with the kids all day. As time wore on, my patience became razor thin. And one day, I just broke.

Happy You, Happy FamilyThe shame burns my cheeks just thinking of that day, even now. But thanks to that experience, I realized I had to make a change. I threw myself into researching how to find happiness in the chaos of parenting. Something beyond “make time for you” and “exercise more.” Because when you’re overwhelmed and at your breaking point, you don’t need the “experts” telling you more stuff to do on top of everything else.

That’s how I discovered the secrets: 10 secrets every parent should know about being happy. After hearing from hundreds of parents in the same boat as me, I knew I needed to share what I discovered. And so I wrote a book: Happy You, Happy Family. In the book, you get a Temper-Taming Toolkit with simple hacks like this to help you keep your cool during those everyday parenting moments that test your patience.

Click here to get your copy plus a bonus workbook and start your journey towards finding more happiness as a parent.

Because the truth is that happiness won’t come from a big promotion at work, or from winning the lottery, or from your kids all learning to put their toys away when they’re done playing. Because eventually, you just get used to all that stuff.

True, lasting happiness comes from a conscious effort by you to put the right habits in place.

Want More?

For more information about mindfulness, here’s a guided mindfulness exercise from the CSU Center for Mindfulness.

Your Turn

What’s your best trick for calm parenting? Share in a comment below!

The Secret to Calm Parenting That Every Parent Should Know

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36 Awesome New Mom Gifts That She’ll Actually Appreciate

Inside: If you want to make a new mom feel special, skip the flowers and give her one of these meaningful new mom gifts that will stand the test of time. Bonus: These gifts for new moms are actually for her – NOT for the baby.

Newborns need a lot of stuff. Onesies, diapers and wipes, a car seat, a diaper bag, a snot-sucking device, and on and on.

But in the rush to get all the newborn must haves on the baby’s registry, it’s easy to forget something important: The mom-to-be is in for the ride of her life.

Not only is the new mom about to go through one of the most physically painful experiences of her life, but after the baby comes, she’ll be stuck on what feels like a neverending emotional roller coaster. And it doesn’t help matters that she’ll be lucky to get two hours straight of sleep in the weeks ahead.

But if you want to support a new mom in your life by surprising her with the perfect gift, what do you get someone who’s super emotional, sleep-deprived, and has absolutely zero free time?

The most appreciated new mom gifts will make her feel loved and supported

How to Make a New Mom Feel Absolutely Loved And Supported

I’ve had four babies, so friends and family often ask me for advice on what’s the best gift to get for a new mom: flowers, a card, or…?

Because even though an industrial-sized pack of disposable nursing pads would be useful, most people want to know the best new mom gifts that will actually make the new mom feel special and loved. Not a gift for the baby or sad leftovers from the registry, but a thoughtful gift just for the new mother.

After each of my babies were born, I was lucky to receive a few thoughtful gifts that made my life as a mom easier during those early newborn days.

Those gifts weren’t the typical new mom gifts that you hear about, but they made such an impact on me that I wanted to pay it forward and share them here.

Related: 9 Baby Must Haves That Make the Perfect Gifts for New Dads

The most meaningful gifts for new moms

36 Most Meaningful New Mom Gifts

In this list, you’ll find the new mom gift ideas that are my personal favorites as a mom who’s been through the newborn stage four times. But I also scoured list after list after list to find even more meaningful gifts for new moms, then hundreds of moms who subscribe to my newsletter shared their favorite new mom gifts, too.

If you want to make a new mom feel special, skip the flowers and give her one of these meaningful new mom gifts that will stand the test of time.

Gifts of Nourishment

Not only do these make the perfect gifts for first-time moms, but they’re also very much appreciated by second-time moms too – and third-time and beyond!

  1. Keep her awake. With a new baby who wakes up every two hours all night long (or more), the mom will need all the help she can get to function during the day. Surprise her with this fun coffee subscription box where she can sample new roasts and find a new favorite. Kind of like a wine tasting – but with coffee and delivered straight to her door. To round out this gift, you can add a spill-proof insulated coffee mug like this cheerful tumbler. That way, the new mom won’t have to reheat her coffee 27 times a day! Or if she’s a cold-brew kind of gal, this 12-pack of lightly sweetened cold-brew double espresso is delicious. (Side note: Many breastfeeding experts agree that nursing moms can have coffee in moderation.)

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  1. Share your yummiest dinner. Just about every mom I surveyed said they loved this new mom gift: Make your best dinner or soup you can freeze, and give it to the mom to use on a night when the family is too exhausted to make dinner. Even better, any leftovers will work well as lunch for the family the next day. A few things to consider for this gift idea:
    • Lasagna is usually the number one gifted meal, so if you have another great dish you can gift, the new mom will probably appreciate some variety!
    • Bonus if it’s a meal she can eat one-handed while holding the baby, and double bonus if you drop it off in a new baking dish and tell her, “Don’t worry about returning the dish…it’s yours!”
    • To be on the safe side, you may want to check ahead of time to find out if there are any food allergies or aversions. You can also ask if the mom has any particular cravings. As one mom told me, “I craved cheeseburgers for several weeks postpartum!”
    • As another option, gift cards to Grubhub or Uber Eats make great new mom gifts because the family can pick out exactly what they want.
    • A few moms told me they really appreciated when friends offered to bring a meal after the first month or two because offers of help tend to dry up by then, but it’s still a challenging time for the new parents.
    • Another fun alternative: Bake a batch of healthy breakfast muffins she can freeze and warm up when she needs a quick one-handed breakfast after a night of way too little sleep.
    • You can team up with the mom’s other loved ones and organize a meal calendar where you all take turns dropping off meals.

“A former co-worker organized like 20 days of dinners that were dropped off…It was almost every night for two weeks or so, and it was incredible! Some brought hot meals right at dinner, some brought things early that I could freeze or pop in the oven, one ordered pizza for us, one asked for our Panera order and dropped it off – ALL of it was amazing!” – Sarah

  1. Do the hard work for her. Nothing beats a fresh, home-cooked meal, but the new mom may not have time to look for healthy recipes and do the grocery shopping to pick up all the ingredients. I’m a big fan of Blue Apron because they do all the hard work for you. They send you a proven, simple recipe and all the ingredients, and you just have to throw everything together. If you want to try it out, here’s a coupon code to get $30 off your first order from Blue Apron.
  1. Prepare her for the first 40 days. At first glance, I thought The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother was a book of postpartum recipes. But this book is so much more, and it’s one of the loveliest new mom gifts I’ve come across. The book shares postpartum traditions from around the world that nourish the mother, talks about common postpartum feelings that might be scary or confusing, and helps you prepare for this challenging phase of motherhood. The recipes are great too!
  2. Make cookies with a purpose. When I had my first child, lactation cookies weren’t a “thing” yet, so I’ve made it my mission to catch up on lactation cookie consumption ever since. Basically, they’re cookies made with ingredients that are supposed to support a nursing mother’s milk production, like oatmeal and almond butter. Whip up a batch of lactation cookies as a gift to the new mom, then drop them off. She’ll get to snack on a treat while feeling good about it! We’ve used this delicious recipe for ourselves and as a gift to others, and the cookies turned out great. If you’d rather not get a bunch of extra ingredients you won’t use again, you can get a ready-made lactation cookie mix like this, make the first batch to give the new mom, then gift her the freshly baked cookies and any leftover mix.
  3. Fill a basket. Nursing moms need even more calories than pregnant moms, so she’ll appreciate having quick snacks on hand – especially snacks she can eat one-handed. Get a basket and fill it up with snacks like nuts, fruit, healthy snack bars like chocolate sea salt RXBars or cherry pie Larabars, and so on. To go the extra mile, you can add extra goodies like a reusable water bottle and fun paper straws to help her stay hydrated, lactation tea, lip gloss, nail polish, a couple magazines, and any other little new mom gift ideas from this list.

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  1. Make it fresh. It’s nearly impossible to cut up fresh fruit and veggies one-handed while holding a baby, so give the gift of healthy snacks and drop off a fruit or veggie tray. Or for a fun alternative, you can order an Edible Arrangements fresh fruit bouquet.

“Fruit…made me feel somewhat healthy when my body felt like a hot mess.” – Sarah

  1. Take an errand off her list. Most metropolitan areas now offer grocery delivery services, which are an amazing timesaver for new parents. You can ask her what she needs at the store, then have it delivered – or you can give her a gift certificate for grocery delivery and let her order exactly what she needs. No grocery delivery in your area? Try the new AmazonFresh grocery delivery service.
  2. Bring her lunch. In many families after the initial settling-in period with a new baby, the dad will go back to work on weekdays while the mom is home alone with her little one. The lack of adult interaction all day can get super lonely, so surprise her by bringing over take-out for lunch, then just hang out with her and chat. She’ll be thankful for the visit to break up the long day! Bonus points if you can hold the baby for a few minutes to give her a break – if you have extra time, ask if she’d like to take a shower or a nap while you watch the baby.

“Visit the new mom, but don’t make her do the work; she doesn’t need additional work. And don’t just assume she wants someone else to look after the baby. Maybe all she wants is to be able to look after the baby and not worry about other things.” – Cynthia

Related: 12 Magical Newborn Must Haves You Need on Your Registry

New Mom Gifts of Self-Care

When you’re looking for new mother gifts, you can’t go wrong with these gifts of self-care.

  1. Give her time. I talked to hundreds of mothers, and nearly everyone suggested the gift of time:
    • Offer to hold her baby while the new mom does what she needs to take care of herself. She may want a shower, a leisurely bath, a nap, a walk by herself, or just to run to Target alone – or something else entirely. For example, you might text your friend and say something like, “I’d love to give you two hours! I can come over and hold the baby while you do whatever you need to like a shower or a nap. And if you just want to sit and visit for a couple hours, that sounds lovely too.”
    • For moms with older siblings, you can offer to take the big kid to the park or somewhere else fun so the mom can focus on the baby for a bit.
    • If you really want to go above and beyond for a close friend or family member, you can offer to spend the night and be on “baby duty” so she can sleep.

“The best ‘gift’ I received was a solid night of sleep…My mother came over and let me sleep through the night a couple few times and it was the absolute best thing ever!” – Lanaye

  1. Remind her to take five. As a new mom, she may feel like she’s constantly on the go with no time to stop. Help her develop a habit of taking five-minute “mindful breaks” that will keep her happy and healthy with this book: Breathe, Mama, Breathe: 5-Minute Mindfulness for Busy Moms. This practical guide is a must-have gift for every mother – new and seasoned!

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  1. Awaken her inner child. Coloring is a fun self-care activity that’s perfect for new moms because you can do it in short spurts of time, and it’s quiet enough that you won’t wake the baby you just spent an hour getting to sleep. The action of coloring calls on both logic (staying in the lines) and creativity (picking colors and color schemes), and that combo package is exactly what a mom’s brain needs to chill out. Give her one of these absolutely gorgeous coloring books designed just for adults, along with some pretty gel pens, coloring brush pens, or a set of fancy colored pencils. Or if you want a coloring book that’s a little on the sassy side, this #Momlife coloring book is hilarious.
  2. Get her out of the house. When I was a brand new mom, a friend gave me a gift card to a local yoga studio for their mommy and me classes. Those classes were a lifesaver. Not only did it get me out of the house, but I made new friends with other moms who had newborns and got some gentle exercise for my postpartum body too. Check with a local yoga studio and see if they offer mommy and me classes, and if so, get the new mom a gift card.
  3. Hire a postpartum doula. Picture a person who’s lived through the newborn phase hundreds of times, so they’ve seen it all. Breastfeeding problems, inconsolable crying (from the baby or the new mom), a house that looks like it got hit by a tornado. And not only has this angelic person seen it all, but she knows how to help you get through the toughest moments. Need help with your latch? Worried about the emotions you’re feeling? Need someone to take the baby for a couple hours so you can just sleep? A postpartum doula can do all that and more. Some doulas will even do light housekeeping, run errands, prep meals, and anything else you need during the newborn phase. To find a postpartum doula in the new mom’s area, use this doula search.

“We had one amazing daytime postpartum doula and one really good overnight postpartum doula after my daughter came home from the NICU, and it was a game changer.” – Dawn

  1. Take away the guilt. Some moms feel guilty setting up spa services for themselves, so give her a guilt-free experience she’ll appreciate with a gift certificate for a massage, mani/pedi, or anything else you know she’d enjoy. To go the extra mile, you can add a handwritten note along with the gift certificate: “Let me know when you book it, and I’ll come over to babysit!”
Some of the best gifts for new moms encourage self-care
  1. Bring the spa to her. Help the new mom feel pampered by putting together a few bath and body products in a basket, like shampoo, body wash, moisturizer, facial masks, body lotion, or dry shampoo for the days a shower just ain’t happening. Quick tip: You may want to opt for unscented or natural body products because strongly scented products on mama’s skin may irritate the baby’s skin. You’ll really surprise her if you find out from her partner ahead of time what her favorite products are – because odds are she hasn’t had a chance to run to the store to restock lately. As another option, you can get her a gift card for an in-home massage with the Zeel app. With Zeel, she can book an in-home massage with just an hour’s notice!

“When my second baby was born, I remember a friend bringing a set of shower gel and body lotion. She looked at me and said ‘something for you, not for the baby, because he’s got you.’ I felt so loved.” – Stefane

  1. Get her aligned. Many moms experience back pain after labor, but they may not prioritize setting up an appointment with a chiropractor when they’re focused on surviving the newborn days. Ask her partner or a close friend if the new mom sees a chiropractor, and call the office to prepay her next appointment or two.

Related: 7 Tips for Postpartum Clothes That Won’t Make You Look Pregnant

New Mom Gifts to Make Her Feel Beautiful

These gift ideas for new moms will remind her that she’s still beautiful, even after pregnancy and childbirth and sleep deprivation.

  1. Give a gift certificate for a haircut and/or color. When you’re a new mom, you’re so focused on the baby that you may not remember to shower, let alone set up your next hair appointment. When you do remember, it will be during a middle-of-the-night feeding when you can’t do anything about it. If you give the new mom a gift certificate, she can stick it on her fridge as a reminder to set up that appointment during the day. It’s common for new moms to feel self-conscious about their bodies in the postpartum stage, so give her the gift of fabulous hair.
  2. Snazz up her sleepwear. The new mom will want to wear something comfortable in the first few weeks postpartum, but she won’t be able to fit into her pre-pregnancy pajamas and lounge-around-the-house clothes quite yet. Before my fourth baby was born, my husband and kids got me several pairs of cute but comfortable pajamas that would fit postpartum, and I wore those 24-7 for weeks. Make sure to include a gift receipt in case she needs to exchange for a different size. These pajamas are my favorite and come in several colors – or you can get the short version here for summertime.

“Basically, [give her] any new clothes that might not make her feel like a total frump! If I knew she were breastfeeding, a basic breastfeeding t-shirt/vest/camisole. Or just a gift voucher for a lingerie shop that I knew sold maternity underwear as well as other underwear.” – Alison

  1. Honor her mama bear status. The new mom will need something easy to throw on when she’s too sleep-deprived to think straight, and the baby will be spitting up on herself every half hour, so get them both a gift that will help – these matching Mama Bear and Baby Bear shirts. Gray goes with everything, so she can get dressed without using any brain power. And baby will go through lots of onesies every day, so she can always use another one. If you think dad will feel left out, you can throw in the matching Papa Bear shirt here.
Okay, so some new mother gifts can be for baby, too!
  1. Give her something one-of-a-kind. One of the loveliest mom gifts I’ve ever received was a custom necklace with a birthstone for each of my little ones. A mom necklace also makes the perfect new mom gift because if she has any other kids later on, she can add more pendants to most of the mom necklaces you can find. Here are my favorite mom necklaces that make great new mom gifts:

“My mom got me a necklace with my son’s first name initial on it. I wear it everyday.” – Maggie

Gifts for New Moms to Keep the Home in Order

Some of the best gifts for first-time moms take the pressure off the new family when it comes to housework and errands.

  1. Give her a clean house. This one could be a little touchy because you wouldn’t want to imply the new family is incapable of keeping their house clean. But most new parents have trouble fitting in house cleaning on top of everything else, so scheduling a house cleaning service would be a much-appreciated gesture. If you’re unsure with this one, first check with someone who can do a little reconnaissance work and make sure the mom will appreciate the gesture. (By the way, if you haven’t heard yet, you can now order home cleaning and other services through Amazon Home Services!)
  2. Pitch in. If the new mom is a close friend, you can stop by to visit and then pitch in to help out around the house. You can fold a load of laundry, load or empty the dishwasher, wipe down the kitchen counters, and so on. As with the previous gift, this can be touchy so it’s best to offer this just to close friends. It tends to work well if you offer something specific, like “Can I fold that basket of clothes?” or “Can I load the dishwasher?” If you ask “What can I do?” the new mom may feel awkward asking for something specific. Also, keep in mind that having visitors in your home can be especially draining for new parents, so try to keep your visit on the shorter side.

“A friend, seeing how exhausted I was, made me tea and cleaned my bathroom and kitchen. It took her less than an hour but required more energy than I could muster in that first week or so. When she was done, she sat and had a cup of tea with me, shared stories of her own first time mama experiences, held my son, laughed with me, and cried with me. It was the most meaningful gift I had received as a first time mama. It’s one I like to pay forward to other new mama friends.” – Suzette

  1. Get her a robot. After my second child was born, we used a gift card on one of those fancy robot vacuums…and it was MAGICAL. We set it up to run every day, and we never had to think about sweeping or vacuuming. Such a lifesaver! This would be a pricey gift for a new mom but very much appreciated.
  2. Give her free shipping. One of my favorite new mom gifts to give and receive is an Amazon Prime membership. Because anytime you run out of something essential, like diapers, nursing pads, or sinful chocolate truffles, the last thing you feel like doing is schlepping your overtired self to the store with baby in tow. With Amazon Prime, she can order whatever she needs and have it shipped right to her front door with their two-day free shipping. As an added benefit, a gift of Amazon Prime will also give the new mom access to all their movies, which is great for passing the time while holding a baby for several hours a day.

Gifts of Precious Memories

These new mom gifts double as one-of-a-kind keepsakes that she’ll treasure forever.

  1. Help her reflect. This Q&A a Day book designed just for moms gives you one question a day for five years. The new mom can fill out the journal once a day in just a few minutes, then after a while she can look back on all her answers and have an amazing snapshot of this special time. As an alternative, you can get her Mom’s One Line a Day, which is similar but without the question prompts.

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  1. Prepare a message in a bottle. This gift doubles as a keepsake that the child will treasure the rest of their lives. Give the new mom these Letters to My Baby prompted letters, and she can fill them out and share them with her child one day when they’re older. Such a sweet way to help the mom record her hopes and dreams for her little one!
  2. Record the firsts. Most baby memory books are long and involved, meaning they’re time-consuming for the new mom to fill out. But this short and sweet memory book is a perfect fit for new moms because it takes the pressure off. All she has to do is add a few photos and words, and she’ll have a beautiful record of baby’s first year. Then for saving baby’s physical keepsakes from the first ultrasound picture to baby’s first shoes and all the way up to that first lost tooth, I love this baby keepsake box that organizes it all. Then when her little one is older, she’ll be able to take this keepsake box off the shelf and share all the stories that go along with each physical artifact.

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  1. Capture her stories. This special journal called Letters to You is a cloth-bound keepsake book where the new mom will find prompts, questions, and space to write a letter to her child every year of their childhood. She can read the pages together with her little one through the years, or she can wait and give the finished book as a graduation or wedding day present. For a slightly different (but still amazingly special) gift, The Book of Me is a do-it-yourself memoir book with prompts for the new mother to record her family history and to reflect on her past, present, and future. Then one day, she’ll be able to gift this one-of-a-kind autobiography to her child as a keepsake he can treasure for the rest of his life to remember his mother. To sweeten the gift, add a special journaling pen to go along with the keepsake book.
  2. Gear her up. If the new mother doesn’t have a decent camera and you’re looking for a more substantial new mom gift idea, a camera makes the perfect gift. She’ll be able to capture every little adorable thing her baby does and have those snapshots to look back on forever. We didn’t have a nice camera for our first child together, and because of that, we don’t have very many good photos of her as a baby – and we can never get that time back. This is why for our next child, we prioritized adding a camera to the budget before the baby arrived. Most recently, we were lucky to get a gift card we used towards the latest and greatest in digital cameras: a mirrorless digital camera. This style of camera is fast, more compact than a DSLR, and super quiet – so the new mom can snap pictures of that precious new baby sleeping!

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  1. Give her props. The new mom can use this set of milestone cards to capture adorable photos of her baby that mark baby’s firsts and measure the weeks and months of growth. All she has to do is set up a card near her baby and snap the pictures. The milestones include “Today I smiled for the first time,” “Today I said Ma-Ma for the first time,” “Today I slept through the night for the first time,” and lots more.
  2. Capture this special time. Purchase a session with a family photographer. Or if you’re a skilled photographer yourself, offer to take an afternoon to snap a few shots of the new little family. We had a family session soon after our second child was born, and I’m so incredibly happy we have a record of that time together as a family! It wasn’t in the budget after our next child was born, so I can attest that this would be a much-appreciated gift.

Related: 21 Funny Baby Shower Gifts That Are Actually Useful for Baby and Mom

New Mom Gifts to Inspire and Entertain

New moms appreciate breaks from the monotony of 24-7 newborn care, which is why these gifts for new moms are the perfect fit.

  1. Write a letter. This gift doubles as a keepsake that the new mom will treasure forever. Write a special handwritten letter to her to share encouraging words, happy wishes, or any words of wisdom you want to pass along. If you’re not sure what to write, just let her know that she’s doing a great job. Or if you want writing prompts, you can get these Letters to the New Mom prompted letters and give her 12 special letters.
  2. Share wisdom. If you’re looking for empowering new mom gifts, check out The Mother’s Wisdom Deck. During a daily or weekly routine, the new mother can select a card from the deck, then look up the corresponding section in the accompanying guidebook. There, she’ll find an empowering message with ideas for reflecting on how to be the best mother (and person) you can be. This deck is a beautiful reminder to slow down and appreciate the sacred moments of motherhood.

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  1. Feed her mind. The new mom will spend a huge chunk of every day holding her baby. In the early days, I usually spend four to five hours nursing every day, and even by 3 months old that’s only down to three hours. And if she happens to get a baby who only sleeps when held, she may be holding that baby several more hours as well. You can only scroll Facebook so much, so gift her a lightweight Kindle that she can hold one-handed while holding the baby too. She’ll get caught up on all that reading she’s been meaning to do, and the time will fly! Or as another option, you can give the new mom the waterproof Oasis version of the Kindle so she can take it in the bath with her, too. Several moms I talked to suggested a few specific titles as the best books for new moms. You can load her new Kindle with these titles, or if she prefers paper get her the physical books:
  2. Give her unlimited entertainment. Because she’ll be holding a baby so much of her day (see above!), the new mom would appreciate a membership to any movie streaming service. If you gift her with Amazon Prime, in addition to the unlimited movie access she’ll also get free two-day shipping on any items she orders for a year, which is perfect for when you run out of diapers but you’re too exhausted to load baby up to run to the store.
Download my FREE cheat sheet as a bonus for joining my newsletter: 16 Miracle Phrases to Help You Reconnect With Your Child

Want More?

For the new dad, check out 9 Baby Must Haves That Make the Perfect Gifts for New Dads.

Your Turn

What are your picks for the best gifts for new moms? Share in a comment below!

36 Awesome New Mom Gifts That She'll Actually Appreciate

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I’m a mom of four, a recovering perfectionist, and the author of Happy You, Happy Family. Parenting is hard enough without all the guilt we heap on top of ourselves. So let’s stop trying to be perfect parents and just be real ones. Sound good? Join my mailing list and as a bonus, you’ll get 25+ incredibly helpful cheat sheets that will ease your parenting struggles.

The post 36 Awesome New Mom Gifts That She’ll Actually Appreciate appeared first on Happy You, Happy Family.

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Numbers: They Lie

People with diabetes live their lives with numbers; HbA1c, glucose meter readings, weight, lab results, etc. It sucks, to be honest. But I noticed something this morning that made me stop and think, that in a way, those numbers can lie to us.

Have you ever had one of those days when you just felt “thin”? I am far from thin, but sometimes I just feel skinny. I’m not bloated, I have energy, my clothes aren’t tight and I just feel good! One of the worst things I can do on those days is to step on the scale, but I often do. If the number on that scale doesn’t jive with how I’m feeling then I can begin to feel bad. My mind tells me, “Who are you fooling? You’re not thin!” Well, duh, I thought we’d already established the fact that I’m not thin! But that darn number can begin to niggle at my good mood and bring me down.

This morning I feel thin and I didn’t step on the scale! (Yeah me!) I started my coffee and stumbled into my office to check my blood glucose, like I always do. 151 WHA??? I ate reasonably last night, my fasting numbers have been slightly better than my normal lately and now this? My good mood from feeling thin today vanished when I saw that number.

“I guess I’m not doing as well as I thought. Maybe I should step on the scale and see for myself. Maybe I’ll eat ice cream and potato chips today. Why not?”

Those may not be the actual thoughts I had this morning but I’ve definitely had them before. One stupid, unexpected number on my meter or the scale or a lab report can cause me to doubt my ability to deal with this frickin disease.


I’ve been reading a bit about depression and anxiety lately and one of the things I’ve seen over and over again from people who live with those conditions is that they lie. Depression lies (not the people who have it). It tells your brain things that just aren’t true and can cause you to sink deeper into depression. I feel as if the numbers we live with as people with diabetes lie to us as well.

These numbers are important and we need to pay attention to them, but we shouldn’t let them control how we feel about our progress. Our numbers are signposts. (Here’s where I shout out to Christel . She used this idea of numbers as signposts at the Las Vegas UnConference this past spring. Brilliant.) What does that mean? It means that the number on your meter is just a sign of how things are going this minute. It’s not a judgement. It’s not any indication that you’ve done something “wrong”. It’s just a number that helps you make decisions about your diabetes care moving forward. The 151 on my meter this morning shouldn’t taunt me and make me feel as if I’ve screwed up. It just tells me to eat low carb today and drink lots of water and go for a walk. That’s all. I still feel “skinny” and I won’t step on that scale!!

Think about this scenario: A newly diagnosed PWD has an HbA1c of 10. Three months later that number has gone down to 8. Wow! That’s wonderful news! However, if someone who knew nothing about that person’s journey saw an 8 they might think that person wasn’t doing very well. That 8 was lying to that outsider but it’s a great signpost for the patient. They’re doing a great job!

They’re just numbers; numbers on a scale or glucose meter, it doesn’t matter. Just. Numbers. Don’t let them lie to you and cause you to feel any differently about how you’re doing. Go ahead; feel skinny!

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elyse x glossier

Elyse Love, MD for glossier

I am BEYOND excited to announce that I am now an official brand rep for Glossier. I mentioned before that Into the Gloss was my original inspiration for starting my own blog. I LOVE that site, and I know a lot of you found me from my ITG Top Shelfie interview. That interview has been huge in my growth and expansion of my audience.

Glossier is founded by the creator of Into the Gloss – Emily Weiss. I can’t think of a better market research campaign for a new beauty line than interviewing every famous person, ever on their favorite beauty products.

Glossier has pretty much been on point since their release and I’ve had a girl crush on the Glossier brand since they came out with their phase I set. Such a cool brand (you guys know how badly I want to be cool).

Over the past two years,  the company has come out with amazing products that are pretty much meant for me. The gentlest face wash that removes my eye make-up, the ever so subtle skin tint that makes my boyfriend think I’m more beautiful than I am, the clear boy brow gel that tames my brows and does nothing else, the cherry balm dot calm that’s pretty much my vaseline and stila stains put into one… I can go on (and I will below and in the future)

Here’s a little bit more info on what my being a brand rep means for you (and for me. I love it when bloggers are transparent about their affiliations).

20% off your first Glossier order

What this means for you

Consider me your go-to for all questions Glossier. I’ll show you how I use the products in real life on my Instagram feed and Instagram stories, and I’ll also review the products and do more videos starting in late February.

my favorite Glossier products

What this means for me

I now have a small monthly Glossier allowance to help keep my makeup bag stocked with Glossier products. I also obtain a small commission on all purchases made through my brand rep site.

I would love it if you made all of your Glossier purchases through my brand page. I’ve added a link to the love and the sky site menu for easy access in the future!

Don’t worry – I will absolutely keep it real with you. The great thing about having a stable, salaried job as a dermatology resident (that I love and work very hard at) is I have very little incentive to lie to you! Of course, I want my blog to be profitable (it is one of my year 2 blogging goals), but your trust is more valuable than commission.

Again, I do truly LOVE this brand, and I use a number of the products every single day.

20% off your first Glossier order here!

So.. what is Glossier all about?


The brand is about obtaining and maintaining healthy, glowing skin and then enhancing it ever so slightly with the right products. Think about the light flush you have right after leaving the gym or the perfection of your make-up two hours after you put it on.

20% off your first Glossier order here!

Hope 💕

A photo posted by Boy Brow—by Glossier (@glossier) on Jan 16, 2017 at 5:45pm PST

Soft skin, soft skin ✨ True story: I spent over 30 minutes wandering the aisles of my happy place (@sephora) looking for a facial cream to combat NYC assault grade winds, but everything was SO DAMN EXPENSIVE with claims to do so much I don't need and doubt the product actually delivers on. Here I am like, "ugh I just want soft, dewy skin in the middle of winter and I would also like to pay my rent on time." 🖤 Then enters my fairy skin god-mother slash really cool older sister @glossier with a light weight ceramide based cream that makes my skin feel like butter and my makeup sink in.. for $35. I now refuse to leave the house without my invisible glossier facial shield (seriously, this wind is out of control). The only thing it's missing is sun screen, but it's kind of nice because I can use the cream day and night (sunscreen obviously applied in a different step). 🖤 My entire winter facial routine is coming to love and the sky Thursday if I don't get called in to see patients tonight (send me good juju!), but for now check out the body routine which is linked in my bio right now. 🖤 Soft skin, soft skin ✨ #lats_beauty #glossier #itgtopshelfie

A photo posted by elyse love MD ( on Jan 10, 2017 at 1:55pm PST

What are my favorite Glossier products?

20% off your first glossier purchase – including my favorites – here

1. Priming moisture rich is the an amazing winter moisturizer for the early twenties to early thirties skin. It is a great primer for make-up, but also provides hydration for a glowy, no make-up day. I use this every morning and sometimes in the evening (I’m not the best about moisturizer at night). Just remember to wear SPF under it! I know it makes a difference for me because I let Joyce from borrow it for a weekend and my face freaked out and began to peel whenever I tried to apply make-up.

2. Perfecting Skin Tint – deep – This lightweight fluid sinks into skin to even out skin tone. It is lighter than your normal tinted moisturizer. It’s so light that I don’t consider it make-up. The best way to describe it is “your skin but better.”

3. Cherry Balm dotcom – this is my go to for effortless mornings when I don’t want to be completely basic. I wear it on my lips and/or cheeks.

4. Milky Jelly cleanser – the best cleanser + make-up remover combination I’ve used. Also, doesn’t aggravate my skin in the winter months. My skin was flaky before I started using this cleanser and the priming moisture rich.

I’ve added a link in the navigation bar to my rep page to make it easy to reference in the future. 

my favorite Glossier products - Elyse Love, MD

Leave all questions/requests/concerns for me in the comments section below! and THANK YOU for your support to far. You guys make me.

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My 2018 Annual Review

In my previous newsletter I mentioned a book that I had recently read called Atomic Habits, by James Clear. The book was very, very good. And it inspired me to improve my habits, develop and refine my current systems, and be more focused and productive in order to reach my goals.

On Clear’s blog he described the value of writing an annual review and making it (potentially) public. An annual review is something I’ve done consistently over the years, but while I’ve often thought to make it public, I haven’t done so previously. But this year I’ve shifted.


I feel as though there’s some value in the ‘expert’ being transparent. It’s an opportunity to let you look ‘under the hood’, so to speak, and see what’s going on in the life of the guy who talks the talk. Am I really walking the walk?

In my weekly family meeting with the kids, and in my weekly couples meeting (and quarterly getaway) with Kylie we discuss three central questions:

  1. What went well? (Usually the focus is the past week)
  2. What didn’t go well?
  3. What did we learn and what will we do with that learning?

So that’s the format I’ll be using here for my annual review. (You’ll note that this is essentially identical to the format used by Clear. Great minds think alike?)

I recognise that for some people this might look like it’s an exercise in vanity. Maybe this is just an appearance management thing? I confess that it’s hard to talk about what went well because of that concern. Nevertheless, I want to be clear that I’m not bragging and I have no desire to overshare.

Similarly, when I share what didn’t go well I’m going to be honest even if it’s to prove that this is not an exercise in putting myself on a pedestal. Family life is tough and I’m not going to shy away from my mistakes. I want you to know that I’ve got real skin in this game. I’m not just a talking head. I’m genuinely at the coalface and getting it wrong as much as I get it right.

One last point… this is me. Not you. I’m not trying to tell you to be more like me, to change what you’re doing, or to make your life like mine. Nor am I suggesting your family should be like mine. It’s simply an accountability game I play, and this time I’m making it public.

So… here goes.

What went well?

10 Things Every Parent Needs to Know

My 3rd book with Harper Collins (and my 4th book overall) was published this year. The book has been really popular and has helped thousands and thousands of families. I’m regularly receiving thank you emails from people who have been helped by what’s in there. And it’s without question my best thinking on parenting thus far. I’m really proud of it.

I’ve been published in The New York Times

In 2018 The New York Times published two pieces that I’ve written: the first one was about making mornings magic, and the second was arguing against the statement “I turned out fine”. Both of them were very popular, with the latter being reposted by The Gottman Institute! (Fanboy moment.)


My speaking business continues to build and in 2018 I delivered more talks than any year previous. This year I delivered 134 talks at 100 different venues. Audiences ranged from 40 through to 2000 people at a time. The average audience size was probably around 150 people, so if we tally that up I probably spoke face to face with around 20 000 people this year.

Reach and impact

My currency is influence. My goal is to reach as many people as possible to help make their families happier. And this year has been my best year ever in relation to reach and influence.

In addition to being published in the The New York Times, my Facebook following exploded (mostly as a result of one viral video that I’ll discuss in the next section) from around 18, 000 followers in January to 60, 000 followers on December 31. My other socials don’t get so much focus from me but Instagram has exploded from about 300 followers to 4052 followers, and Twitter (which I’ve basically stopped using) and LinkedIn are both way up too.

And I’ve been on the TODAY show very regularly (as well as most of the other major TV shows), my weekly column continues in major newspapers across Australia, and my radio appearances continue too.

What I treasure most about reaching people is the feedback from those I’ve helped. I’ve been overwhelmed with the incredible emails I’ve received this year from different people who have been helped and whose lives have improved because of what I’ve written.


My talk at the Commonwealth Bank conference, Wired for Wonder, about leadership lessons gained from parenting was edited and posted by Goalcast on Facebook. While I don’t receive revenue, my currency is influence… and boy oh boy did that video influence some people. At time of writing it’s been viewed over 38 million times! This has blown my mind. It was clearly something that resonated with the world, and I’m eager to continue to reach more people like that.

My team is expanding

In 2017 I hired Stacey to be my business manager. That has been revolutionary. In 2018 we hired two more people, Evelynne who’s in charge of admin, design, and my program; and Jazmin, who assists in the office with Ev to increase our capacity and help me reach more people. The team is amazing, and I’m thrilled with the progress we are making together.


Two years ago our family relocated to Brisbane. It was the most disruptive and difficult experience of our lives. But now, two years in, we’re finally feeling like we’re settled. This is a massive win for us.

Quarterly getaways with Kylie

At the start of 2016 Kylie and I realised we needed to invest more into our own relationship but with 6 kids and so much going on we didn’t know what to do. We had the idea of a quarterly getaway for recalibration and planning, and we had one! In 2017 we tried again and had one. Hmmm. In 2018 we got it right. We took four 2-night getaways and used them well to reconnect, recalibrate, plan, and review our family goals and systems. This has been revolutionary for us.


For both personal and professional development I love to read. I’m an avid reader… and this year I read 44 books from cover to cover with the aforementioned Atomic Habits by James Clear one of the stand outs. I also highly recommend The Barefoot Investor for Families by Scott Pape, The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler, Beauty Sick by Renee Engeln, Food Rules by Michael Pollan and Age of Opportunity by Laurence Steinberg.

What didn’t go so well

Ok, so let’s not gloss over the less positive things this year.

New book about teen girls

I have not done well with writing my next book. In fact, I’m failing badly. I’ve extended the deadline on my book from June to September to November, and it currently doesn’t have a deadline because the publisher doesn’t know what to do with me! This is such an important book. It’s around half finished, but I have to prioritise my writing.


Exercise has been another area I have not prioritised enough. I exercised 197 days and rode or ran 5138 kms. That’s about 500kms less than the previous year.

Most concerning, however, is the incredible lack of personal records on Strava. They’re generous in the way they measure PR’s, and in 2018 I hit 723 PR’s. (As a comparison, in 2017 I hit 1025 PR’s.) It goes to show what a difference just an extra ride each week will do.


As the parenting and family expert I have to confess that there’s room for improvement here. With all of my travel and speaking and writing about making families happier, I have found it hard to be present and actually implement the stuff I talk about. We simply haven’t had the time together that I value, and I haven’t always been the compassionate, caring dad my kids (and my wife) deserve.

In addition, I’ve struggled with some choices one of my children has been making and have said and done a number of things that I would take back in an instant if that were possible. While I have worked hard to make amends and improve that relationship, I’m still not satisfied with where things are at between us. The way I’ve been, particularly with that child, has not been consistent with what I know, what I write, and what I speak about. This is a public acknowledgement that getting family stuff right is hard – both in terms of the way we interact with each other and the amount of time we spend together. And I feel an urgent need to improve.


I’m not going to disclose my financial situation, but I am going to emphasise that there is a lot of room for improvement. In 2019 we have a plan. I look forward to reporting on how well we implement that plan in 12 months.


Kylie and I work hard to give, donate, serve, and otherwise help as much as we can. Yet… we feel like we have been given so much and we’d like to give more. This year I want to find a charity partner that I can work with to improve the lives of other people even more.

What I’ve learned

The things that matter most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter least

In my family life, the hard times we’ve experienced have emphasised to me just how much relationships matter. I’ve let my book deadlines lapse because of the things that matter more: my relationships with my family and our wellbeing. Books do matter. But not as much as family.

Relationships are everything

When I examine the difficulties we’ve experienced, they’ve all stemmed from relationships – and typically from my inability to practice everything I preach. But life is good when our relationships are good. And life is lousy when our relationships are lousy. Relationships are at the heart of a happy life.

Kids are joy

I know there are a billion memes out there emphasising how real the struggle is with kids. And they’re true. Yet as I consider the challenges I’ve had with one of my kids over the past year, it has only taught me to find joy in my kids even more. I cherish them, and this year has been the year that I’ve loved being a dad to these six girls in heart-burstingly awesome ways.

Currency – for me – is helping people

We all want to be well paid, and with six kids there’s plenty of financial pressure. I’m fortunate to have enough for my needs (although my needs keep increasing!), but what really lights me up – deeply – are those emails, stories, and updates from people where I’ve said, written, or done something and it’s changed their lives. The Goalcast episode that 35 million plus people saw, the comments of appreciation, the emails, Facebook messages, and more that come to me from someone who read my book and life improved for them… that’s it for me. That’s my currency. Plain and simple.


As we’ve faced challenges in our relationships this past year, particularly with one of our daughters, I have developed a far deeper sense of the pain and struggle that other parents experience with their kids. While we’ve had plenty of challenges over the years and they’ve all contributed to my education, the way I feel I can respond to parents who fear or are in pain has changed markedly. It’s been a painful lesson to learn, but one I’m grateful for.

The need to say No

This is hard for me because I love helping… but often I say yes to helping which takes me away from other work that will help more people. Every time I say yes to something, I’m saying no to everything else. 2019 is the year I’m going to be more judicious in my “Yes” responses – which will break my heart at times, I’m sure – as we try to take my business and my influence/reach to a whole new level.

The post My 2018 Annual Review appeared first on Dr Justin Coulson's Happy Families.

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How Not to Be Disappointed This Mother’s Day

“Your greatest contribution to the universe may not be something you do, but someone you raise.” – Author unknown

Dear fellow mom on Mother’s Day,

The work of parenting is hard, and still we show up and give our kids the best of ourselves every day – no matter if we’re bone tired, battling a cold, or just in the mood to sit on the couch with a bag of Doritos and watch reality TV all day.

But instead, we wipe noses, we read “just one more book,” we help with science fair projects.

We worry about how to get them to eat more veggies, we (gently!) clean knee scrapes, we answer “why” a gabazillion times a day.

We play “I Spy” in the car, we make doctor and dentist appointments, we tuck them in at night again and again (and again).

We do all this and so much more.

And we don’t need much in return. We’re fueled mainly by hugs and an occasional “Thanks, Mom.”

A Mother's Day message from one mother to another

But I see you.

I know you’re doing your best.

Even if you slip up and yell once in a while. Even if you can’t always find the time to play with your kids. Even if you go to bed every night with a sink full of dirty dishes.

You’re trying to raise kind, responsible kids who will grow into well-rounded, happy adults, and sometimes that just doesn’t leave time for doing the dishes.

This Mother’s Day, you might not get the perfect gift. You might not get breakfast in bed. You might not even get a break from any of the countless things you do for your family day in and day out.

And so I wish I could stop by with a pan of lasagna to save you from cooking dinner one night this week – or maybe a batch of fresh chocolate chip cookies if your sweet tooth is as fierce as mine.

I would pull up a chair at your kitchen table, and we could trade stories about tantrums and bedtime stalling and sibling scuffles. And in this perfect world, we’d both have piping hot coffees, and our kids would entertain each other without screaming so we could have a real live adult conversation for once.

I can’t do that, but I can say this:

During the daily grind of motherhood, it’s easy to lose sight of the contribution you’re making to the universe.

You’re putting everything you have into raising kids who will do good things in this crazy world of ours.

Even if no one else says thank you this Mother’s Day, I want to share my gratitude right now, mother to mother.

A heartfelt Mother's Day message

Thank you for all you do.

Thank you for staying calm during their tantrums – and for forgiving yourself when you get caught up in the storm.

Thank you for raising them to help with chores – even when you’re tired of asking for help.

Thank you for teaching them how to talk through sibling fights – even when you’re sick of hearing about it.

Thank you for helping with their math homework – even when you don’t feel confident about how to do it yourself.

Thank you for saying “no” when they want a phone – even when they beg.

Thank you for getting down on the floor, creaking knees and all, and playing LEGOs or dolls or pretend restaurant – even when you have a to-do list a mile long.

Thank you for hugging them and saying “I love you no matter what” – even when you’re sad, frustrated, or angry.

Related: How to Stop Being an Angry Mom Now…Using 5 Hair Ties Printable

Remember this message on Mother's Day

On Sunday, remember this.

In all those small moments and so many more, you are doing the boots-on-the-ground work of making the world a better place.

So if your kiddos deliver a “breakfast in bed” on Sunday that consists of soggy toast and lukewarm coffee?

You can smile knowing that just like you and me, they’re doing their best and they don’t always get it perfect.

But that gesture from your kids, no matter how small or how imperfect, is an undeniable sign of the breathtakingly beautiful contribution you’re making to the universe.

On Monday, Mother’s Day will be over, and odds are no one will be bringing you flowers or encouraging you to take a nap.

But still, your world-changing work will go on.

I see you.
I thank you.
The universe thanks you.


Get my book 50% off for Mother’s Day: Happy You, Happy Family


Download my FREE cheat sheet as a bonus for joining my newsletter: 16 Miracle Phrases to Help You Reconnect With Your Child

Your Turn

What would you add to this Mother’s Day message? Share in a comment below!

Mother's Day Message

Author information


I’m a mom of four, a recovering perfectionist, and the author of Happy You, Happy Family. Parenting is hard enough without all the guilt we heap on top of ourselves. So let’s stop trying to be perfect parents and just be real ones. Sound good? Join my mailing list and as a bonus, you’ll get 25+ incredibly helpful cheat sheets that will ease your parenting struggles.

The post How Not to Be Disappointed This Mother’s Day appeared first on Happy You, Happy Family.

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your winter work-out playlist: summertime fine

Because summer bodies are made in the winter…

This playlist is so long is will last you FOREVER and it’s constantly being updated by me.

Like all of my playlists, it’s a mix of hip-hop, pop, country, and dance. Skip the songs you don’t like. On a different day and a different work-up, you’ll like a different batch of songs. 

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Canadian Levitra – Know the dosage

Canadain Levitra is known as vardenafil and mainly used to treat stress. Levitra is coming in the form of pills which are used orally. There are many people who like to have the pills orally without having the problems of injections. The generic pills have the same results to the body for the biofunctions. There is the same bioequivalent with the brand that is known as Levitra. There is a motive to take these medications, and the main motive is to take the medication with the right dosage for the treatment of male erectile dysfunction. The erectile dysfunction treatment can be taken with the help of the medication that is known as Levitra.

  • Health care online options

There are some online health care options with the pharmacy pills, and you may get the pills from online sites. People are getting the benefits related to cost also with some online pharmacy sites. You can buy the medication at a reasonable rate, and it is the advantage, and you can take that with the permission and without the permission. If you want to buy the original variant, then you need to take the prescription from your doctor. A person can take the help of Canadian levitra for the treatment and take it without the prescription.

  • Know about the prescription

Many of the patients are not following the prescriptions of the doctors that they get. The individuals those are not following these are facing the major body issues because of the improper care. The canadian levitra is designed and made for those people who want take buy the medication from over the counter, and they may take these kinds of pills for removing the issues of sexual and ED. The erectile problems are not good for the love life so you can take the help of generic pills those have the same results, but you can take without a prescription.

If you want to take original pills, then it is important to take the advice of a doctor to the treatment of the power. The condition applies for the male and female persons, and they need to use the pills to get the stamina and face with the stress.

Final words

The pills of the canadian Levitra is used for the sexual treatments, and there are many people those are using that. If you want to take the right kind of the pill, then it is essential to have the information of online sites.



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