Jessie James Decker's honest breastfeeding story shows the reality of #momlife - Motherly
Jessie James Decker's honest breastfeeding story shows the reality of #momlife

Jessie James Decker may roll with a glam squad, but she also rolls with a 2-month-old, so during a recent road trip, things took an unglamorous turn that so many mamas can relate to.

Decker was driving back from a photo shoot with her mom, hair and makeup and baby Forrest when the little guy got hungry. With about an hour to go in their road trip, Decker was stressed out, trying to keep her eyes on the road during less-than-ideal weather while her baby went into meltdown mode in the backseat.

"It start[ed] raining like crazy and Forrest was screaming his head off the entire way to the point of crocodile tears and losing his voice from screaming," Decker wrote on Instagram.

"As soon as we got off the highway and were in a very low speed limit, mama and I switched seats at a red light in the rain so she could drive and I hopped in the back seat with Forrest and fed him with boob out leaned awkwardly over the car seat to calm him down," she wrote, noting that when babies are hungry, you've got to feed them no matter what you're doing.

Decker does not recommend trying to breastfeed a child who in a car seat, as she wasn't able to wear her own seatbelt while leaning over Forrest (many jurisdictions have seat belt safety laws that could see a mama get a hefty ticket if a police officer caught such a feeding session in action), but says she's sharing the story to show that behind the scenes of glamorous photo shoots, real mom life happens, and it isn't always as pretty as the pictures.

"On the way home I cried, I got stressed and anxiety, and I was just a mom trying to do my best just like we all are no matter the situation," she explains.

In the comments of Decker's post many other mothers shared stories of similar stressful times they had to take their seatbelts off to feed their baby in a moving vehicle.

Those mamas may want to check out a soon-to-be released invention by fellow mom, Katherine Hornbostel, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering. She's created the Pump2Baby bottle, which allows moms to keep their seatbelts on while feeding a hungry, carseat-bound baby. Travelling moms use a pump, and their milk travels across the backseat through a tube to a nipple in the baby's mouth. It's set to retail for $15 and might save you the cost of a seatbelt violation ticket (provided your baby will take a bottle).

Now, taking off her seatbelt in a moving vehicle wasn't ideal, Decker admits that, but we totally understand why she did what she did to feed her son. As she says, "when baby is hungry ya gotta feed em no matter what you're doing."

Motherhood is made up of many little moments like this, moments where you have to make tough calls, improvise, and do things that aren't perfect. It's great that Decker is so open about that. Behind the perfect pictures, life with babies and kids can be stressful. It may not have been the most glamorous moment, but there is something really beautiful about Decker's honesty here.

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In This Article

    Helping your 2-month-old thrive: Tips and activities

    Routines create a foundation for learning how to love and developing good self-esteem as baby grows.

    *This article is sponsored by ParentPal. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

    Your life may still feel like a blur of feedings, diaper changes and short spurts of sleep. That new baby fog means you usually have no clue what day it is or why the car keys are in the fridge. But this month is the perfect time to actually start a routine. Having a basic schedule helps the day flow, which is good for you and baby.

    According to Dr. Tovah Klein, head of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development and author of How Toddlers Thrive, routines help even 2-month-olds anticipate what's going to happen next. She explains:

    Bath? Check. Song? Check? Feeding? Check. Zzzz.

    This kind of predictability helps her feel safe, calm and trusting of parents and caregivers. This creates a foundation for learning how to love the important people in her life and developing good self-esteem as she grows.

    To help support your baby's development and track routines like sleep and feeding, you can try an app like ParentPal™. ParentPal is the only all-in-one parenting app with everything you need to support, track, and celebrate your child's healthy development. Developed by Teaching Strategies, the leaders in early childhood development, and the creators of Baby Einstein, ParentPal provides trusted, research-based guidance and parenting tools at your fingertips. You can use the Daily Plan of age-appropriate activities, Milestones, Sleep, Health & Wellness Trackers, and a vast library of age-based resources for your middle-of-the-night parenting questions.*

    Week-by-week activities

    And speaking of learning, this month your kiddo is becoming more interested in pictures and objects. You'll see the beginning of hand-eye coordination, too. (You're still her primary focus, so keep up the talking, singing and silly faces.) From story time to play time, these week-by-week tips from child development psychologist Dr. Holly Ruhl will help you navigate the month:

    Week 1

    Instilling an early love of reading can strengthen language skills and parent-child relationships. Squeeze in that oh-so-important 20 minutes of reading by visiting your local library or bookstore for story time. This activity will deepen your tot's love of books and promote mama-baby bonding.

    Week 2

    Infants have an innate love of gazing at faces. Spend a few minutes each day attending to baby's favorite faces: the ones staring back in the mirror! Make silly faces and label baby's facial features. Gazing in the mirror may promote baby's sense of self-recognition. This understanding will appear slightly later and is the basis for baby's later self-confidence.

    Week 3

    Your little bundle is developing rudimentary hand-eye coordination. Promote coordination by fostering interaction with baby's fascinating surroundings. Help your tot gently stroke household pets. Dangle a textured, crinkly toy for those little hands to swat. Lay baby on an activity gym and soak in the baby bliss as your little one intently reaches for toys overhead.

    Week 4

    Are family and friends antsy to cuddle with the new addition? Take baby to visit loved ones for exposure to new faces, voices and styles of play. Plus, social support from friends and relatives around 3 months can help you be a more responsive mama and give baby supplemental support, leading to more secure attachment by 12 months.

    Baby

    10 Montessori phrases for kids who are struggling with back to school

    The first day of school can be hard for everyone, mama. Here's how to use the Montessori method to help your child adjust.

    No matter how excited your child was to pick out a new lunchbox and backpack this year, there will likely be days when they just don't want to go to school. Whether they're saying "I don't like school" when you're home playing together or having a meltdown on the way to the classroom, there are things you can say to help ease their back-to-school nerves.

    More than the exact words you use, the most important thing is your attitude, which your child is most definitely aware of. It's important to validate their feelings while conveying a calm confidence that school is the right place for them to be and that they can handle it.

    Here are some phrases that will encourage your child to go to school.


    1. "You're safe here."

    If you have a young child, they may be genuinely frightened of leaving you and going to school. Tell them that school is a safe place full of people who care about them. If you say this with calm confidence, they'll believe you. No matter what words you say, if your child senses your hesitation, your own fear of leaving them, they will not feel safe. How can they be safe if you're clearly scared of leaving them? Try to work through your own feelings about dropping them off before the actual day so you can be a calm presence and support.

    2. "I love you and I know you can do this."

    It's best to keep your goodbye short, even if your child is crying or clinging to you, and trust that you have chosen a good place for them to be. Most children recover from hard goodbyes quickly after the parent leaves.

    If your child is having a hard time saying goodbye, give one good strong hug and tell them that you love them and know they can do this. Saying something like, "It's just school, you'll be fine" belittles their feelings. Instead, acknowledge that this is hard, but that you're confident they're up to the task. This validates the anxiety they're feeling while ending on a positive note.

    After a quick reassurance, make your exit, take a deep breath and trust that they will be okay.

    3. "First you'll have circle time, then work time, and then you'll play on the playground."

    Talk your child through the daily schedule at school, including as many details as possible. Talk about what will happen when you drop them off, what kinds of work they will do, when they will eat lunch and play outside, and who will come to get them in the afternoon.

    It can help to do this many times so that they become comfortable with the new daily rhythm.

    4. "I'll pick you up after playground time."

    Give your child a frame of reference for when you will be returning.

    If your child can tell time, you can tell them you'll see them at 3:30pm. If they're younger, tell them what will happen right before you pick them up. Perhaps you'll come get them right after lunch, or maybe it's after math class.

    Giving this reference point can help reassure them you are indeed coming back and that there is a specific plan for when they will see you again. As the days pass, they'll realize that you come consistently every day when you said you would and their anxieties will ease.

    5. "What book do you think your teacher will read when you get to school this morning?"

    Find out what happens first in your child's school day and help them mentally transition to that task. In a Montessori school, the children choose their own work, so you might ask about which work your child plans to do first.

    If they're in a more traditional school, find an aspect of the school morning they enjoy and talk about that.

    Thinking about the whole school day can seem daunting, but helping your child focus on a specific thing that will happen can make it seem more manageable.

    6. "Do you think Johnny will be there today?"

    Remind your child of the friends they will see when they get to school.

    If you're not sure who your child is bonding with, ask the teacher. On the way to school, talk about the children they can expect to see and try asking what they might do together.

    If your child is new to the school, it might help to arrange a playdate with a child in their class to help them form strong relationships.

    7. "That's a hard feeling. Tell me about it."

    While school drop-off is not the time to wallow in the hard feelings of not wanting to go to school, if your child brings up concerns after school or on the weekend, take some time to listen to them.

    Children can very easily be swayed by our leading questions, so keep your questions very general and neutral so that your child can tell you what they're really feeling.

    They may reveal that they just miss you while they're gone, or may tell you that a certain person or kind of work is giving them anxiety.

    Let them know that you empathize with how they feel, but try not to react too dramatically. If you think there is an issue of real concern, talk to the teacher about it, but your reaction can certainly impact the already tentative feelings about going to school.

    8. "What can we do to help you feel better?"

    Help your child brainstorm some solutions to make them more comfortable with going to school.

    Choose a time at home when they are calm. Get out a pen and paper to show that you are serious about this.

    If they miss you, would a special note in their pocket each morning help? If another child is bothering them, what could they say or who could they ask for help? If they're too tired in the morning, could an earlier bedtime make them feel better?

    Make it a collaborative process, rather than a situation where you're rescuing them, to build their confidence.

    9. "What was the best part of your school day?"

    Choose a time when your child is not talking about school and start talking about your day. Tell them the best part of your day, then try asking about the best part of their day. Practice this every day.

    It's easy to focus on the hardest parts of an experience because they tend to stick out in our minds. Help your child recognize that, even if they don't always want to go, there are likely parts of school they really enjoy.

    10. "I can't wait to go to the park together when we get home."

    If your child is having a hard time saying goodbye, remind them of what you will do together after you pick them up from school.

    Even if this is just going home and making dinner, what your child likely craves is time together with you, so help them remember that it's coming.

    It is totally normal for children to go through phases when they don't want to go to school. If you're concerned, talk to your child's teacher and ask if they seem happy and engaged once they're in the classroom.

    To your child, be there to listen, to help when you can, and to reassure them that their feelings are natural and that they are so capable of facing the challenges of the school day, even when it seems hard.

    Back to School

    How switching to organic dairy was the perfect teaching moment for my family

    It is possible to make a no-brainer decision that still has seriously positive effects.

    Organic Valley

    This article is sponsored by Organic Valley. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

    As a mama in 2021, I love when I encounter teachable, problem-solving moments with my kids. One of the biggest recurring themes is that our actions have repercussions—in our lives and in the lives of others. And, sometimes, little shifts can have significant effects.

    Recently, one item on my family's to-do list was to be more mindful about how we're treating our bodies and the planet. That quickly led us to explore our food choices. And, thankfully, we didn't have to do anything too dramatic to reap some wonderful benefits: Switching to organic dairy from Organic Valley was a simple-yet-impactful place for my family to start because we already consume dairy products.

    While I know there are multiple ways to make a difference, this was one easy (and delicious) starting point for our family. Now we just consume dairy products we feel good about—in more ways than one!

    Switching to organic dairy is convenience you can feel good about

    All too often, the "convenient" foods marketed to moms seem to come with a catch like unsavory ingredients or subpar manufacturing standards. Not so with organic dairy products from Organic Valley! I have the peace of mind from knowing that the products I'm serving have been produced with the highest standards of animal care and aren't padded with sugar or other unpronounceable ingredients.

    On a practical level, switching to organic dairy was so simple—Organic Valley's string cheese is my kids' most-requested lunch box item anyway. Making the full switch to organic dairy was as easy as picking one carton of milk over another or grabbing the Organic Valley butter.

    The convenience also carries over to our home: When my kids say they are hungry or need a snack, I suggest they look for the Organic Valley packaging in our refrigerator. My 3-year-old can just grab Organic Valley Single Serve Milk herself, which makes her feel capable and independent—and gives me an extra minute to sit down.

    It’s a nutritious and reliable choice

    Organic Valley

    There's no denying that milk is a nutritious beverage for kids. Loaded with calcium, protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and more, milk helps fuel my kids and support their growth. However, not all glasses of milk are created equally. Organic Valley Grassmilk has higher levels of Omega-3 & conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) compared to conventional milk.

    Just as important to me as what the products include is what they don't include. Because Organic Valley is USDA-certified organic, I know there are never GMOs, toxic pesticides, antibiotics or added hormones in my kids' glass of milk or bite of cheese.

    Organic dairy is better for the environment—and our kids’ futures

    Organic Valley

    I first discovered Organic Valley because of their organic promise and delicious products—but our enthusiasm only deepened when we learned more about their commitment to sustainability. That's big for my family: We come face-to-face with environmental issues on a daily basis because we live in the western United States, where water shortages and wildfires have gone beyond the crisis point. As a result, my kids and I have talked a lot about ways to help the environment. And, instead of getting burnt out on trying to do all the things, switching to Organic Valley helped us feel empowered that our choices can lead to positive changes.

    Why? Because Organic Valley "walks the walk" when it comes to making the world better by practicing climate-smart farming with a pasture-based system. Not only does this system allow cows to spend 50% more time outside than USDA standards require, but Organic Valley has a lower carbon footprint because of their on-farm sustainability practices. The business itself even uses renewable power.

    More little changes that can make an impact

    Organic Valley

    For me, switching to organic dairy was an eye-opener not only because I realized how easy a change it could be but also because it inspired our family to look for other small changes we could make. For example, we already ride bikes for fun with the kids, so we started riding them to school instead of driving. We already spend money on disposable plastic bags, so we switched to invest instead in reusable ones.

    On their own, these choices may seem small. But they do add up—in ways that benefit the environment and my family.


    Make the switch to organic dairy with Organic Valley. Explore the products and get a coupon code on the website.

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    15 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

    They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

    Keeping kids entertained is a battle for all seasons. When it's warm and sunny, the options seem endless. Get them outside and get them moving. When it's cold or rainy, it gets a little tricker.

    So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of the best toys for toddlers and kids that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, many are 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 indoor outdoor toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.


    Stomp Racers

    As longtime fans of Stomp Rockets, we're pretty excited about their latest launch–Stomp Racers. Honestly, the thrill of sending things flying through the air never gets old. Parents and kids alike can spend hours launching these kid-powered cars which take off via a stompable pad and hose.

    $19.99

    Step2 Up and Down Rollercoaster

    Step2 Up and Down Rollercoaster

    Tiny thrill-seekers will love this kid-powered coaster which will send them (safely) sailing across the backyard or play space. The durable set comes with a high back coaster car and 10.75 feet of track, providing endless opportunities for developing gross motor skills, balance and learning to take turns. The track is made up of three separate pieces which are easy to assemble and take apart for storage (but we don't think it will be put away too often!)

    $139

    Secret Agent play set

    Plan-Toys-Secret-agent-play-set

    This set has everything your little secret agent needs to solve whatever case they might encounter: an ID badge, finger scanner, walkie-talkie handset, L-shaped scale and coloring comic (a printable file is also available for online download) along with a handy belt to carry it all along. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

    $40

    Stepping Stones

    Stepping-stones

    Kiddos can jump, stretch, climb and balance with these non-slip stepping stones. The 20-piece set can be arranged in countless configurations to create obstacle courses, games or whatever they can dream up.

    $99.99

    Sand play set

    B. toys Wagon & Beach Playset - Wavy-Wagon Red

    For the littlest ones, it's easy to keep it simple. Take their sand box toys and use them in the bath! This 12-piece set includes a variety of scoops, molds and sifters that can all be stored in sweet little wagon.

    $17.95

    Sensory play set

    kidoozie-sand-and-splash-activity-table

    Filled with sand or water, this compact-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.

    $19.95

    Vintage scooter balance bike

    Janod retro scooter balance bike

    Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

    $121

    Foam pogo stick

    Flybar-my-first-foam-pogo-stick

    Designed for ages 3 and up, My First Flybar offers kiddos who are too young for a pogo stick a frustration-free way to get their jump on. The wide foam base and stretchy bungee cord "stick" is sturdy enough to withstand indoor and outdoor use and makes a super fun addition to driveway obstacle courses and backyard races. Full disclosure—it squeaks when they bounce, but don't let that be a deterrent. One clever reviewer noted that with a pair of needle-nose pliers, you can surgically remove that sucker without damaging the base.

    $16.99

    Dumptruck 

    green-toys-dump-truck

    Whether they're digging up sand in the backyard or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? It's made from recycled plastic milk cartons.

    $22

    Hopper ball

    Hopper ball

    Burn off all that extra energy hippity hopping across the lawn or the living room! This hopper ball is one of the top rated versions on Amazon as it's thicker and more durable than most. It also comes with a hand pump to make inflation quick and easy.

    $14.99

    Pull-along ducks

    janod-pull-along-wooden-ducks

    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.

    $16.99

    Rocking chair seesaw

    Slidewhizzer-rocking-chair-seesaw

    This built-to-last rocking seesaw is a fun way to get the wiggles out in the grass or in the playroom. The sturdy design can support up to 77 pounds, so even older kiddos can get in on the action.

    $79.99

    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.

    $79.99

    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.

    $24.75

    Mini golf set

    Plan Toys mini golf set

    Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

    $40

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

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    Amy Schumer/Instagram + Hatch

    Since September's confirmation that our favorite please-be-my-BFF celebrity IT girl Jennifer Lawrence is expecting her first baby, we've been on high alert for sightings. We've always loved her style–a mix of NYC chic with 90s-inspired looks–and love to watch how she rocks her adorable growing bump.

    A couple weeks ago we got a first look when she stepped out in a pair of cropped floral overalls, white T-shirt and the most Delia's-esque shoe choice we could imagine–a pair of clear pink jelly sandals. Yep, you read that right. The shoe that launched a million blisters is back if J Law has anything to say about it. (And because she truly is one of the most relatable celebs, those overalls? Yeah, they're from Zara.)

    This past weekend she was spotted at the Women's March in NYC alongside her (actual) BFF, Amy Schumer sporting a look we instantly had to hunt down. The gingham patterned slip dress (which she stylishly paired with a denim jacket and black booties) is from Hatch and currently on sale for 20% off.

    We've rounded up some of Jennifer Lawrence's maternity looks along with some affordable pieces we think fit the polished-grunge look she wears so well.


    Hatch The Ricky Slip Dress

    hatch-ricky-slip-dress

    90's slip dress perfection. We love this one with a layered tee and some chunky combat-style boots. Cue up the Cranberries playlist, STAT.

    $278 $220

    Zara Floral Print Jumpsuit

    zara-floral-print-jumpsuit

    Not technically maternity, but like J Law, these are perfect for rocking a smaller bump.

    $69.90

    Ingrid + Isabel Smocked Bodice Jumpsuit

    ingrid-and-isabel-smocked-bodice-jumpsuit

    Layered with an oversize cardigan or denim jacket and paired with some chunky sandals or Converse, we could totally see Jennifer brunching in this number from Ingrid + Isabel.

    $98

    H & M MAMA Flannel Shirt

    Nothing say's 90s fashion like a cozy flannel.

    $29.99

    Everly Grey Tara Longsleeve Maternity Dress

    Few dress styles better translate to maternity wear than a baby doll cut. This one brings two very 90's patterns together (floral + plaid) to create a Doc Marten's ready look we love.

    $29.99
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    Amy Schumer shares first pic of Jennifer Lawrence's baby bump

    The two friends were participating in the Women's March in NYC.

    Amy Schumer/Instagram

    Pals Amy Schumer and Jennifer Lawrence posed for a photo during the Women's March in NYC over the weekend—one of over 650 of marches for reproductive rights held across the country. In the photo, we get the first (non-paparazzi) glimpse of Jennifer Lawrence, the glowing mama-to-be.

    Last month it was confirmed that Lawrence is expecting her first child with husband Cooke Maroney, who have been married since 2019. Though Lawrence is super off-the-grid—as in no social media, not a lot of public appearances—she posed with her friend Schumer for an Instagram photo at the march.

    And her little baby bump is honestly SO cute.


    "I don't have a uterus and she is pregnant but we out here," Schumer captioned the photo. (Oh, and if you're wondering, J Law's impossibly stylish 90-inspired frock is from Hatch and currently on sale for 20% off! Snag one for yourself here.)

    The march was held nationwide in support of abortion rights after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a new law that bans nearly all abortions in the state last month. The bill means abortions can be banned as early as the six-week mark—which is so early, many women may not even know they're pregnant yet. The bill has faced major opposition during the past few weeks and is currently under consideration within the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Schumer, who has always been a proponent of women's reproductive rights, shared that she underwent surgery to remove both her uterus and her appendix as a result of severe endometriosis in September. She says her experience with endometriosis pain for most of her life has inspired her to continue to use her platform to shout about it from the rooftops in order to inspire and help other women.

    "Let me just tell you, my pain is real," she says. "Your pain is real. We have to advocate for ourselves, we have to speak up. And, you know what? I'm worried this video is annoying, but I don't care, because I hope that it helps one woman go and find out why she's in so much pain."

    In the photo, Schumer's sign reads, "Abortion is essential," while JLaw's says, "Women can't be free if they don't control their bodies."

    "Over 120,000 people are set to join us at over 650 rallies nationwide tomorrow, fighting for abortion justice," Women's March executive director Rachel O'Leary Carmona tweeted on Friday. "This is how we send a message. Lawmakers, don't you dare take away our reproductive freedom."

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