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The Best Of Romper: Our Favorite 50 Stories From 2016

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As difficult as 2016 might have felt for millennial women, the year was even tougher to swallow for millennial moms. Political and racial strife may make the future seem scary, but, when you're actually raising the future, the question mark looming over the years ahead seems even more intimidating. That said, it only takes one scan of the 50 best articles on Romper to realize the future is far brighter than 2016's very dark past.

In the past year, dozens of Romper writers have taken to our pages to share their victories, their insecurities, and their very, very real hope to see better things for their own children. And there's little doubt, in their hands, that those better things will come. Because, on Romper in 2016, we were proud to be able to feature women's voices that were smart, progressive, and, yes, downright hilarious — a formula that's so satisfying to ingest in these moments of uncertainty.

So! Read ahead! And realize, more than anything else, no matter what you feel about parenthood and the world around you, you are not alone. Because, as we raise our children in a fickle world, there's nothing more important than speaking out — to one another, with one another — to learn from each other. And the thing I learn most reading Romper's best? I'm excited for the future. Bring it on, 2017.

"14 Ways Having A Kid Will Make You Even More Of A Feminist," by Liza Wyles

Tatiana Nino/Unsplash

"Now that I'm a mom, I fight harder for things that I think are right. Like, I can take someone being rude to me, but not to my kids. And that goes for my feminist principles too: Where I once might have noticed minor transgressions by others, stemming from systemic male entitlement (hello, manspreading), I am now acutely attuned to any kind of behavior or attitude towards women that could possibly send the message to my kids that someone's gender determines their treatment.

I can't protect my son and daughter from others' actions most of the time, but I can instill in them the feminist values I believe just make us solid human beings. The way I define feminism is the same way I expect my kids to act: with the belief that identifying as either a girl or a boy should offer no greater privilege than the other, and that it doesn't determine anything else about you."

Read it here.

"What I Thought Having A 3-Year-Old Would Be Like Vs. What It's Actually Like," by Jessica Blankenship

Jessica Blankenship/Instagram

"When I was pregnant, and throughout the first months of my son's life, I held up the age of 3 as this magical finish line. I thought I knew, long before I had one of my own, what 3 year olds are like. In hindsight, I realize this perception was based on... I don't know... half-information from parents I knew, and the fact that I didn't know of any pithy, alliterative labels like 'Terrible Twos' for 3 year olds, so clearly they must be fine. After all, if we haven't come up with a catchy code name for the particular kind of hell inflicted by kids of a specific age, then that must mean that age is a breeze, right? We, the parents of the world, have an unspoken agreement to warn one another of choppy seas ahead by labeling that part of the map with a memorable name, easily remembered during the sleep-deprived buildup to encountering it?"

Read it here.

"Mom Finally Gets Her Body Back After Losing It For About A Year," by Jamie Kenney

Larisa Birta/Unsplash

"On the surface, it's a familiar story: woman gets pregnant, woman has baby, woman struggles for months before finally getting her body back. But Ilana Delgado's 'how I got my body back' secret wasn't a matter of toning up in post-natal yoga twice a week or doing a juice cleanse. It was a long nightmare that began when her body literally went missing after the birth of her first child. 'I'm not being metaphorical here,' she said in an interview with Postpartum Prospects Magazine, 'Like, my body just went away. Poof. And before you even ask, I wasn't kidnapped or killed or anything like that. My body just vanished. No one could see me. I couldn't do anything. I was, for lack of a better description, a sentient energy cloud just sort of wafting around space and time.'

Delgado's friends and family cannot explain or articulate the details or logistics of the disappearance, but describe it as 'the weirdest f*cking thing they've ever seen.'"

Read it here.

"This Is The Message Kesha's Court Ruling Sent To Me, A Sexual Assault Survivor," by Danielle Campoamor

New York Daily News Archive/New York Daily News/Getty Images

"And when the judge said that Kesha was 'given opportunity to record' any wrongdoing, I remember why I wished I had never reported my own sexual assault. I was put through a painful exam and my body parts were categorized and labeled and I was called a liar because I had been drinking, and in the end, it was all for nothing. There wasn't enough evidence to prove I was assaulted, and in most 'he said/she said' cases, according to the detective handling my own, there's nothing a police department or higher authority can do."

Read it here.

"I Had 2 Instagram Stars Style Me & Here's What I Learned," by Leah Rocketto

Courtesy of zulily

"When it comes to fashion, I'm more of a looker than a doer. I flip through the fashion magazine during an airport layover, offer my unwanted opinion during red carpet events, and spend way too much time in fitting rooms. But when it comes to executing my day-to-day attire, I take a simple and safe approach. (Think ripped jeans, a cute top, and a statement shoe.) I know I need work, but don't know where to start. So when I was given the opportunity to have two Instagram stars style me, I jumped on the chance. Even if the stars happened to be 3-year-old besties."

Read it here.

"My Daughter Only Goes To School Twice A Week, But It Means Everything To Us," by Hillary Savoie

Courtesy of Hillary Savoie

"On my daughter’s first day of kindergarten, I will not be taking photos of her standing on the corner in her itchy first-day outfit waiting for the bus. I will not watch my daughter pull herself onto the too big step of the school bus in some sort of brave assertion of her independence. In fact, my daughter won’t even be attending on the first day. She won’t ride the bus at all. She won’t come home telling me all about how she knew every answer to every question the teacher asked her.

She won’t because she can’t. Not yet. She is just too fragile medically, too complex developmentally, too delayed physically to fit into any school available to her in a traditional way.

So, starting midweek on the second week of school, in our neighborhood school’s self-contained special-education classroom with eight other students across several different grades, my daughter will swoop in for her first guest appearance, complete with an entourage. Esmé will be the most medically involved and developmentally delayed child in the room, by far."

Read it here.

"Honestly, I Don't Care If You Think Placing My Son For Adoption Makes Me A Bad Mom," by Mariah MacCarthy

Courtesy of Mariah MacCarthy

"The minute I met my son's parents at our adoption agency, I just knew. I knew that this family was where I wanted my son to grow up. They were down to earth, funny, and they had that certain 'my kind of people' vibe. We hugged as soon as we met, and when they sat down on either side of me, I said, 'I'm in a sandwich!' and they laughed at my dumb joke. My great feeling about them only intensified as we got to know each other. I had absolutely no hesitations about them. I still don't."

Read it here.

"I Have Crohn's Disease & This Is How It Affects My Parenting," by Lacey Vorrasi-Banis

Courtesy of Lacey Vorrasi-Banis

"My wife carried our daughter, but that wasn't the original plan. We had wanted me to carry first as I'm slightly older than she is, and I had long dreamed of doing so. But, in the end, the greatest thing my disease took from me was my dream of being a biological parent. The medication I'm still on precludes me from being able to safely do so, and while it took me some time to come to terms with my body's abject failure, when I look at our baby girl it's clear that my reality is greater than any of my wildest dreams."

Read it here.

"What It's Like To Be A Black Mom In The US Right Now," by Margaret Jacobsen

Courtesy of Margaret Jacobsen

"It's become a part of the American narrative to see a black mother mourning in front of millions, usually she is begging for change and for justice after her black son, husband, partner, and/or daughter was gunned down by police. The list of things you can be murdered for as a black person in America continues to grow longer and longer each day, and my own fears as a mother mount each time I learn that a black man is shot while doing exactly what he should have when pulled over, or when a woman knows her rights during a traffic stop. There is no accurate way to describe what being a black mom in the U.S. is like right now. I look down at my hands and wonder why the skin covering my body is so threatening. I look over at my children playing and notice that my son's legs have gotten longer and a new fear washes over me. He's getting bigger. Taller. Stronger. He's growing up. And that means the way people around him see him and treat him is going to shift. I hate this."

Read it here.

"5 Tips From A Hostage Negotiator On How To Handle Your Toddler," by Lacey Vorrasi-Banis

Francisco Carbajal/Flickr

"Robin Burcell spent 12 years as a hostage negotiator in Lodi, California. Now an award-winning author (Burcell's latest book, The Last Good Place, is available now), Burcell raised three girls while simultaneously serving on the Lodi police force as a negotiator, a police officer, and a detective, and still insists that handling little ones is more difficult than dealing with criminals. 'Unlike toddlers, you get to tell the crooks what to do,' she says, laughing."

Read it here.

"I Used Dean Strang Quotes On Tinder & Here's What Happened," by Josephine B. Yurcaba

Netflix

"People have become obsessed with [Making A Murderer], its faces, the key locations cited in the trial, and the Avery family. But the internet has become especially obsessed with Dean Strang, one of Avery's defense attorneys whose commitment to fairness in the justice system is just, well, downright sexy. There are even t-shirts that say things like 'Jerry Buting [Avery's other attorney] in the streets, Dean Strang in the sheets.' So, I wondered, could Strang's brilliance actually get someone laid? To answer this crucial question, I used Dean Strang quotes on Tinder and put on my most serious investigative journalism hat. You know, for the sake of justice."

Read it here.

"I'm A Mom Who Had A Late-Term Abortion & It's Nothing Like Donald Trump Says," by Alicia Hupprich

Courtesy of Alicia Hupprich

"Trump wants to portray women who’ve accessed late-term abortions as monsters. He makes it seem like a having a late-term abortion is a flippant and selfish decision, like I woke up one morning and just decided this baby was no longer for me. The truth is women and families who are seeking this care are often in the most dire circumstances. And mine was a wanted pregnancy. Mine was a baby whose future I’d already dreamed of. Who had a room and home; two parents to love her and a big sister to dote on her. Who had dreams and hopes laid out for her and endless, boundless, unrelenting love. But because she faced a quality of life that would severely impede on her ability to live, we made the difficult decision to let her go as peacefully as we could, rather than watching her suffer through immeasurable pain before dying."

Read it here.

"13 Ways 'Tallulah' Gets Motherhood Right, Because We're All In This Together," by Chrissy Bobic

Nicole Rivelli/Netflix

"If you've ever held a mirror under your toddler's nose while they were sleeping to make sure they were still alive, then you have every reason to attach yourself to this movie. We all know the fears and realities of being a first-time mom, and many of us have dealt with delving into motherhood before our our 20s are even over. Sometimes we become the negligent moms, who wait just a little longer than we should to change that first diaper of the day, or we become the scared sh*tless moms, who have a special baby-proofed cabinet stocked full of the most holistic cold and flu remedies for toddlers."

Read it here.

"The Postpartum Milestones You'll Reach, A Month-By-Month Guide," by Yvette Manes

pexels/pixabay

"The majority of the information you'll find about the first year after giving birth more to do with the baby's important milestones than the mother's. Many new moms are led to believe that six weeks after giving birth, they're as good as new and should set their focus on taking care of their little one. But, the reality is that there several personal postpartum milestones in the year after giving birth that moms can overlook. It's hard to think of yourself when you are busy raising a family."

Read it here.

"13 Halloween Costumes That Are Easy To Breastfeed In," by Samantha Darby

Orion Pictures

"Finding clothes to breastfeed comfortably in isn't always easy. Finding Halloween costumes — even more difficult. It's not that it can't be done, but who wants to take off most of their Halloween costume to feed their baby in the middle of a party or while trick or treating with your family? What you need are some Halloween costumes that are easy to breastfeed in so your baby can get the nourishment they need while you're still in the holiday spirit."

Read it here.

"Planned Parenthood Shooter's Motives Prove Anti-Abortion Myths Are Terribly Dangerous," by Andrea Frazier

Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

"Politicians — most of whom are male — and anti-abortion activists believe they are protecting fetuses with their restrictive policies and their moral imperatives. But what they're really doing is hurting women: The Guttmacher Institute, for example, reports that 45 states allow health care providers to refuse to participate in abortion, and 28 states impose needless 'wait periods' on women seeking abortions, between when they receive counseling and the procedure itself. Twenty-five states require both parents' consent for a minor to have an abortion."

Read it here.

"10 Weird Sleep Positions Every Co-Sleeping Parent Will Understand," by Jamie Kenney

Romper/Austin Courrege

"'Co-sleeping is for co-dependent hippies!' I declared before having children. 'Who has two thumbs and is never, ever going to bring her child into bed? This girl!' As you can imagine, once my son was born that resolution lasted about three weeks. Sure, I ate crow, but I was comforted by the fact that for me and my family, co-sleeping was the bee's knees and allowed us to cozy up and get more sleep. Of course, I'd be lying if I said bed-sharing isn't without drawbacks. There are weird sleep positions every co-sleeping parent will understand, and by 'weird' I usually mean, 'Holy cow, this is so ridiculous and uncomfortable I can't believe I've made this life choice.'"

Read it here.

"I Recorded What People Said To Me About My Daughter's Disabilities For 10 Days," by Hillary Savoie

Courtesy of Hillary Savoie

"My daughter has several genetic mutations that result in her being very small for her age and unable to speak or walk (yet!). Sometimes — if her feeding tube is hidden and her unusual movements aren't particularly pronounced — people seem to assume she is a large, sleepy toddler. Questions like, 'how old is your daughter?' are secret grenades dropped in conversations by poor unsuspecting strangers. Then, I start to give myself odds on how long it will be before I hear: "Did you know before she was born?" or 'So, what’s wrong with her?' or 'She's lucky to have you.'"

Read it here.

"7 Things Society Could Fix For Working Moms, But Let's All Just Drink Wine Instead," by Sabrina Joy Stevens

Fotolia

"Whew. Modern American working moms, isn’t it great to 'have it all'? It is such a blessing to live in a time and a country where we are so liberated that we can not only earn money, but also do the majority of the child-rearing and household chores. Yes, this new 'working mom' thing is quite the balancing act, but it’s nothing a little coffee in the morning and wine at night can’t help. So, really, we don't need society to fix anything for working moms, we just need a larger glass of wine. Maybe two, depending on the day. After all, Americans tend to celebrate anything 'new' with copious amounts of alcohol. (Obviously, I mean 'new' in the Christopher Columbus way, where something is new if it’s just recently become a thing for affluent white people. Women of color and working class women of all colors have been 'having it all' out of sheer necessity since forever, but that just doesn't feel all that chic or magazine headline-worthy when they do it, you know?)"

Read it here.

"I Was Abused By My Dad & Angelina Jolie May Have Done What My Mom Couldn't," by Danielle Campoamor

ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images

"My mother spent more than 20 years in an emotionally, verbally, and physically abusive relationship. As a result, so did her children. My childhood wasn't the childhood so many of my peers experienced around me. While my best friends dreamed about their wedding day, the moment their fathers would walk them down the aisle, and the father/daughter dances they'd lovingly experience, I dreamed of leaving my home the moment I graduated high school and of never, ever seeing my father again. While my best girl friends went on and on about how kind and loving and caring their dads were —and how they were planning on finding someone just like them when they grew up and fell in love — I was afraid of relationships, commitment, and encountering any man who was as violent, manipulative, and self-centered as my father."

Read it here.

"What Little Girls Want Hillary Clinton To Know," by Bustle Video

Romper on YouTube

"I am so sorry that you are not the first woman president, but you have inspired me to be."

"Snooki & JWoww Dish On Motherhood, Life After ‘Jersey Shore’, & Being 'Moms With Attitude,'" by Allison Piwowarski

Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

"In 2009, MTV aired the first episode of Jersey Shore. I recently rewatched it — because nostalgia, OK? — and realized just how much I forgot from the show, the house, and most importantly, the cast. (And yes, I forgot just how high Snooki's poof was.) But, that was just about seven years ago. Time has certainly changed for those involved, especially Jenni 'Jwoww' Farley and Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi, who are now out of the Seaside Heights spotlight and promoting a whole new type of show. Awestruck's Moms With Attitude on go90 features the two former Shore residents tackling an entirely new 'situation.' Motherhood."

Read it here.

"9 Mother's Day Sex Positions So You Can Really Celebrate," by Leah Rocketto

"Mother's Day is supposed to be a day off for moms, right? A day where others wait on them, yes? Unfortunately, for many mothers, it ends up being like any other, only with the addition of scribbled artwork. Yes, ultimately, it's the thought that counts, but wouldn't it be nice to have a Mother's Day where you get exactly what you want? That could include breakfast in bed or the new necklace you've been eyeing, but it should also entail kid-free time having toe-curling orgasms brought on by some special Mother's Day sex positions."

Read it here.

"The Worst Part Of This Election Is That Our Kids Are Scared," by Samantha Darby

Drew Angerer/Getty Images News/Getty Images

"My daughter is 2 years old. She has no idea what's going on. But today, when I cast my vote for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her running mate Tim Kaine, I held my daughter close so she could feel how excited I was. I was doing it for her. I was voting for a candidate who represented her best interests, who promised to do everything she could to keep my daughter safe, happy, and dreaming big.

But here's the thing. My little girl doesn't know what's happening. She's not scared because she doesn't know why she should be scared. But older children? They are terrified."

Read it here.

"Is This Breast Milk Still Good?" by Jamie Kenney, Design By Kaitlyn "Shea" O'Connor

"Dominique Dawes Doesn’t Want To Be Defined By Her Gymnastics Medals & Here’s Why," by Leah Rocketto

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

"There was always much more Dawes wanted to do, none of which involved a rhinestone-bedazzled leotard. Dawes recalls one day in particular that pushed her to pursue something outside of gymnastics. She was in the midst of her freshman year at University of Maryland College Park and training for her third shot at the Olympics.

'I was writing down my goals as a student and what I wanted to accomplish professionally,' Dawes says. 'One of my instructors who taught sociology came over to me and said, 'Oh what are you doing?' and I said, 'I'm writing down my goals in life.' He said, 'Oh good luck with that, you won an Olympic gold medal; the rest of your life is down hill."'"

Read it here.

"I Am My Baby's Mother, Even Though I Didn't Give Birth To Her," by Lacey Vorrasi-Banis

Courtesy of Lacey Vorrasi-Banis

"Days after finding out that my wife was pregnant, we were still flying high, as elated as two parents who had been trying to conceive for a long time could be when, in the middle of our joy, someone close to us asked me point-blank if I was going to have to adopt our baby. Just like that, my happy little bubble burst and I tumbled back into the harsh reality that for as much as I had been a part of the process to conceive our child (I never missed a single reproductive endocrinologist appointment and I was the one who injected every needle into my brave wife's body), our baby was, in fact, still not my child. She would not have my eyes or ears or my fingers or toes. And, even though we chose a Korean donor so that our baby would have some physical representation of both of us, we would not be related by blood. While I know this person didn't mean any harm by her comment, it raised an insecurity I had had since we started trying: How would I fit in as this child's mother when she already had one?"

Read it here.

"My Rapist’s Name Wasn’t Brock Turner, But Here’s What His '20 Minutes Of Action' Left Me," by Danielle Campoamor

Santa Clara County Sherriff's Office

"Today feels so much like any other day, but it's not. I read what's now been dubbed the 'Stanford Letter' — the powerful letter the Stanford rape victim read aloud to her attacker at his sentencing when Judge Aaron Persky ruled 20-year-old Brock Turner would serve a six-month punishment in prison for his rape conviction, noting a longer prison sentence would have a “severe impact" on Turner — and try to catch my breath, to focus through the cloud of tears gathered on my eyes, to remind myself that it's been four years since my own attack. I am safe. But I know that's a lie."

Read it here.

"9 Things I Would Get Donald Trump For His Birthday," by Jenn Rose

MONEY SHARMA/AFP/Getty Images

"Just because a person can buy something for himself doesn't necessarily mean that he will. The secret to being a great gift giver is to look for things that the receiver doesn't even realize they want. Something they don't know they need, something they've never heard of before, or even something that they might not feel that they deserve. It's like when your Grandma would slip you $20 and insist that you spend it on 'something fun.' Trump spends his money on real estate and trucker hats. That's no fun! And he certainly has more than enough of both. He doesn't even realize what he's missing out on, but I do."

Read it here.

"Where Does Infant Formula Come From? A Brief History Of The Breast Versus Bottle Debate," by Mary Sauer

AFP/AFP/Getty Images

"Bottle-feeding is one of the biggest sources of contention in the so-called 'mommy wars,' with many moms reporting being called out online or criticized at family gatherings for giving their babies formula. Some mommy bloggers have even gone so far as to compare baby formula to cigarettes, comparing formula manufacturers to Big Tobacco.

Yet despite the controversy over formula, for the past century formula has served as a life-saving option for babies who cannot be fed breast milk for whatever reason. Today, some moms are coming out saying that bottle-feeding was not only the best option for feeding their babies, but also that formula helped save their babies' lives."

Read it here.

"Why Are We So Obsessed With French Moms?," by Abigail Wise

LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images

"This image of a picture-perfect Gallic mom is supported by popular culture, including books like Mireile Guilano's French Women Don't Get Fat and Pamela Druckerman's French parenting manual Bringing Up Bébé. According to these best-sellers, French moms are calm, composed, and almost always a size 2, while their children are polite, good sleepers, and never, ever picky eaters.

In short, we’re obsessed with French moms because they appear to do everything better than us, and all with exceptional amounts of style."

Read it here.

"7 Things You Can Do To Support A Friend After A Miscarriage," by Sarah Hosseini

Nixki/Fotolia

"My friend went on to describe the grueling process of eliminating a baby. But, as I sat across the table from my friend — watching her heartbreakingly and candidly explain what happened — I couldn’t focus on a word she said. No, I was too busy worrying about what I was going to say next. How I was feeling awkward and uncomfortable with this conversation. I was too consumed by my icky feelings about death.

I’m ashamed to say that I abruptly changed the subject after my poor friend spilled her guts. I silenced her. I shut her up to make myself feel better. Honestly, I don’t even know why she still talks to me. I failed horribly. I clammed up."

Read it here.

"What A Sandy Hook Father Wants You To Know About The Gun Violence That Killed His Son," by Josephine B. Yurcaba

Courtesy of Newtown

"Six years is not enough time to take all the photographs you want of someone you love. At least, according to David Wheeler, whose 6-year-old son Ben Wheeler was killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary on Dec. 14, 2012. Six years is not enough time to gather enough photographs, enough art class drawings, enough memories. Six years seems like just a blink — especially 'if you know that after that 6 years, you’re not going to have them anymore,' Wheeler tells me. Wheeler's pain, and the pain of some of the parents of the 19 other children who were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary Schoolin 2012, is palpable and impossible not to feel in the new documentary Newtown, which seeks to tell the story of the Newtown community in the aftermath of a terrible tragedy."

Read it here.

"8 Moments In Michelle Obama's DNC Speech That Told The Truth About Black Motherhood," by Sabrina Joy Stevens

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

"Because she is #BlackGirlMagic personified, she managed to capture the joys and struggles all moms face, while simultaneously telling some especially poignant truths about black motherhood, in particular. In doing so, our First Lady set a standard all moms should strive for."

Read it here.

"Ian Alexander Opens Up About Being Part Of The Trans Movement & Reaching A New Audience," by Zakiya Jamal

Netflix

"While Hollywood has definitely taken great leaps forward in the past few years for the LGBTQ community, the representation of trans characters is still lacking. Although trans characters are becoming more prominent in shows and movies, it's still rare for the character to actually be played by a trans actor. More often these roles go to cisgender actors, like in Transparent and The Danish Girl. That's why fans, and Alexander himself, were excited to see him in this role."

Read it here.

"10 Breastfeeding Goddesses Every Mom Wishes She Could Text, Because #MomLife," by Sabrina Joy Stevens

Courtesy of Sabrina Joy Stevens

"If you've been a parent for longer than eight minutes, you're well aware that, as important as you are in your child's life, the near-total level of control you fantasized about before your kids arrived is just that: a fantasy. There are many other factors in play when it comes to life with kids: what's happening in the rest of the society, the other people in your life, random chance, and of course, the parenting gods. These deities weigh in on everything, breastfeeding included. Every nursing mom should know the breastfeeding goddesses and pray to them regularly, as I can assure you they'll either make your life a lot easier, or give you total hell. I know which team I'd rather be on, just saying."

Read it here.

"31 Facts You Didn't Know About Breastfeeding To Honor Breastfeeding Awareness Month," by Olivia Youngs

Courtesy of Olivia Young

"I always planned to breastfeed my children, largely because my own mother breastfed my brothers and I when we were babies and talked about the special bond it created. I never considered doing anything else. And so when I went into labor with my first daughter, I let the nurse know that I planned to breastfeed immediately after giving birth. Armed with an arsenal of facts about breastfeeding and the stories from my mom, I held my 5-pound, 11-ounce daughter up to my naked breast and realized that I still had no idea what I was doing."

Read it here.

"9 Struggles Only A Mom With Social Anxiety Can Understand," by Candace Ganger

Fotolia

"Anxiety is complicated and frustrating. I always fear being judged by those who don't get it, or get me. I can look outside myself long enough to understand that my behavior might seem weird, illogical, or confusing to those who don't live with anxiety. Yes, I want to be invited to your party; no, I probably won't go; yes, I'll have a major fear of missing out (FOMO). Then again, I might just go to your party, but I'll spend the whole time wishing I hadn't. See what I mean? When you throw kids into the mix, it gets even more complicated, especially when I'm forced to go to their school events. I'm proud of them, but it's a real drag."

Read it here.

"I'm Just Gonna Say It, Being Pregnant Absolutely Sucks," by Latifah Miles

Courtesy of Latifah Miles

"When I found out that I was going to be a mom, I was incredibly excited for the long nine months ahead of me of waddling, feeling baby kicks, and eating whatever I wanted. Now, years after experiencing the joys of creation for myself, I can wholeheartedly say that pregnancy absolutely sucked.

Fortunately, my pregnancy was relatively complication-free, so it would be unfair of me to portray it as riddled with every horrible side effect we’ve seen outlined on TV. I was lucky enough to not have to deal with throwing up in the wee hours of the morning during the first trimester, or the debilitating back pain that can plague women in the third trimester. However, somehow my pregnancy still managed to be absolutely horrific."

Read it here.

"It's Hard For Me To Talk To My White Friends About Being A Black Mom In America," by Margaret Jacobsen

Courtesy of Margaret E. Jacobsen

"Playgrounds used to feel like a safe place to go with my children. But it doesn't feel this way anymore, not since Tamir Rice was murdered while playing in a playground last year.

It's not just his death that has somehow created a divide between myself and my white peers, particularly white mothers. It's every single murder of a person of color that has sparked outrage. It's the Black Lives Matter movement, not to mention its subsequent backlash. It's a whole new generation realizing that old-fashioned institutionalized racism in America was actually still here. We had just been (incorrectly) taught that hate could no longer hurt us."

Read it here.

"Meet The Activist Moms Who Are Leading The Protests At Standing Rock," by Britany Robinson

Courtesy of Britany Robinson

"Squeals of delight echoed across a snow-covered hill at the Sioux reservation Standing Rock, as a dozen children enjoyed some recently donated sleds.

One young sledder zipped off course and ducked just in time, barely missing a tipi pole. Parents and onlookers exhaled with relieved laughter when he popped back up, rosy-cheeked and giggling.

For more than eight months, members of the Standing Rock Sioux and fellow Native Americans, along with thousands of allies from all over the world, have gathered at several camps to protest the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which they argue will cut through sacred lands and endanger their water source."

Read it here.

"I'm Sorry & I Know You Hate Me, But I Love Giving Other Moms Parenting Advice," by Elizabeth Broadbent

Courtesy of Elizabeth Broadbent

"I know that to many, I’m an insufferable mom. But I have a reason for every parenting decision I make, and I think that what we did generally worked out well. That's why I have no compunction about offering other parents advice, based on our own experience. I'll gladly tell a mom that we found breastfeeding easier than bottle-feeding would have been, and I once told a mom that we didn't rely on the cry it out sleep training method because we co-slept with our children for as long as they felt they needed to, even though she scoffed that my husband and I must never have sex that way. (We do, and it's fantastic. Just not in the bed.)

So, I’m sorry, but I love giving other moms parenting advice. I know you hate me. I just don’t care."

Read it here.

"10 Basic Rules For Posting Pictures Of My Kid On Social Media," by Jamie Kenney

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"Other people are what I, humbly, consider to be the biggest parenting dilemma facing any parent. You can do everything you've set out to do for your child and do it well, but your child is surrounded by a billion other people (and so are you, for that matter) and those people can take the rug out from under you and upset all your beautiful, well-thought-out plans with their own ideas and choices. Now, I can't control the fact that my children will come into contact with, in one way or another, toxic masculinity, racism, ableism, and all the other scary things in the world that make me want to wrap myself in a blanket and never leave my couch. But I can control some of the little things, like working really hard to ensure they never see an episode of Caillou."

Read it here.

"Equal Pay Day For Mothers Isn't Until June 4, & That Needs To Change," by Kenza Miller

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"April 12 is Equal Pay Day — a reminder of the 21-cent wage gap that spans between men and women. For the average woman to earn the same as the average man did between Jan. 1, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2015, she would have to work all the way until April 12, 2016. In other words, it will take the average woman 15.5 months to earn the same amount a man does in 12. For women who choose to have children, the penalty is even worse — Equal Pay Day for mothers isn't until June 4. That's right — it takes mothers just under a year and a half to earn the same amount as the average male."

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"13 Struggles Women With Endometriosis Know All Too Well," by Danielle Campoamor

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"There's no cure for endometriosis, although there are treatments available (ranging from pain management to major surgery) that can, at times, give women relief. For most living with endometriosis, however, there's a monthly (if not daily) struggle that people without endometriosis just can't understand. Sharing that experience helps, though. It helps you find solidarity with other women who know what it's like to live with endometriosis. It helps people understand what you're going through, even if they can't entirely. It helps you realize that you're not, in fact, alone. So, with that in mind, here are 13 struggles women living with endometriosis know all too well."

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"President Obama's Dallas Memorial Address Was Important For This One Reason," by Karen Fratti

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"Even on his way out of the White House, Obama asked America on Tuesday to put their 'side' away. His address at the Dallas memorial reminded me of a beleaguered parent who has seen a teenager through depression and drug addiction and dropped them off at college, hoping for the best. The problems are latent and real and scary. The opportunity for change is tremendous. If America can remain honest, rise above rhetoric, and lower themselves into that very chilly pool of real dialogue, maybe change can happen."

Read it here.

"8 Reasons Why Working From Home Doesn't Make You A Bad Mom," by Dena Ogden

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"I have so much respect for moms who are able to compartmentalize their work and home lives. For me, personally, I've found that blending the two and letting my 'work life' and my 'mom life' overlap one another, work best. Just because working-from-home works for me, however, doesn't mean that I don't have those absolutely trying and exhausting days that make me feel like I'm failing as a parent. When I have to essentially ask my toddler to entertain himself, so I can continue to work, the guilt whispers in my ear and tries, at times successfully, to convince me that I'm a bad mother. When I spend more time being frustrated with my kid for not giving me the time I need to focus on work, than I do happily playing with him, I can hear the guilt start to whisper again. Working-from-home is, honestly, a cycle of good days and bad days which, I'd argue, every parent experiences, regardless of their work situation."

Read it here.

"If Commentators Talked About Male Gymnasts The Way They Do Female Gymnasts," by Jenn Rose

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"Look how beautiful his outfit is! Mikulak's clothes, designed by Under Armour, feature eye-catching stars and stripes, drawing the eye upward towards his pretty face. Unfortunately, there's no word on how much it cost."

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"10 Texts You Send Your Best Friend While You're Hooked Up To Your Breast Pump," by Dena Ogden

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"Even though my breast pump has been packed away for months now, I’m still haunted by its existence. I don’t know how it’s possible to be both entirely grateful for something, and to hate every minute you spend with it. To whomever engineered the first breast pump, I am forever in your debt, but I’m also glaring at you really, really hard. Of course, I’m not alone in these mixed feelings towards the almighty machine, lots has been written about what it's like to use a breast pump, and the crazy things that go through your mind while you're hooked up to one. It's a culture; it's a lifestyle; it's a burden; it's a blessing; I'm so glad it's over.

In the days of yore, perhaps women spent this time reading or watching TV, or doing any number of things that adult humans can do to amuse themselves while sitting down. I occasionally did both while I was pumping, however, like most women, the number one thing I would do while pumping was amuse myself with my phone."

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"13 Texts All Breastfeeding Moms End Up Sending Each Other, Because #BreastfeedingProblems," by Jamie Kenney

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"Considering I don't have too many IRL mom friends, I really have to thank the internet for providing me with my breastfeeding tribe. Internet, sometimes you suck, what with all the racist memes and ranting uncles on Facebook who don't realize The Onion is satire, but every now and then you really deliver. While many people are perfectly fine not joining a mom group of any kind, for others (including yours truly) finding a mom group is a great way to have a space where, at least for this one particular aspect of your life, you don't have to explain anything. I love being able to say something like, 'Went to a party for my son's friend today that started at my daughter's nap time' and not have to explain why it's frustrating and nothing short of a horrific challenge. Making friends with whom you connect, perhaps even initially, on breastfeeding may sound odd, but considering the undeniable fact that nursing takes up a lot of time and energy even under the best of circumstances, having someone who just 'gets it' can be really nice."

Read it here.