by Whitney Whitlow May 06, 2020

Admittedly, motherhood has its moments. And now, more than ever. We're here to remind you that you're not alone. In the midst of trying times, there's comfort in our collective community. We hope you find it between the lines of the next few blog posts – written by real moms that are doing their best to keep it real. We salute you, mamas.

SPOTLIGHT: JEANETTE POLYNICE / @jmpolynice

Mother to a five-year-old son with a second little one on the way.

In many situations in life, I feel that fear impresses upon our feelings of appreciation. I have a five-year old son and am currently pregnant with my second child. Many times, throughout my pregnancies there were things that consumed my thoughts when it came to the health of the babies I was growing and the decisions I was making as a mother. Things as small as how clean the produce I was eating was or if my bath was a little too warm. Things I took for granted prior to pregnancy suddenly invoked fear in me.  But with every doctor's visit confirming that things were progressing well, with every favorable blood test, the little kicks and movements as weeks became trimesters; I felt more grateful that my body was doing its best to grow healthy babies. The fears that something could go wrong made me appreciate things going smoothly more fervently. These sentiments are mirrored during this pandemic. The news over this virus is flooded with grief and loss and turmoil. It's heartbreaking and it's a difficult time to be pregnant. Aside from the normal pregnancy fears, many mothers (including myself) are concerned with taking the additional precautions required to stay safe, concerned with the possibility of birthing alone, of not having a support system postpartum. But with those fears comes a greater appreciation for the time our family has been granted to slow down and focus on the coming days when we prayerfully will welcome a happy, healthy new baby into our home. I say that we understand the gravity of this pandemic and do not take lightly the fact that people are losing their lives and that we are in a position of privilege. Still, I would be remiss if I did not honor this blessing. That with all the fear surrounding us, we find hope and light in a new, beautiful life.

Jeanette is wearing the BLANQI Denim Maternity Belly Support Skinny Jeans in Light Destroy Wash

SPOTLIGHT: KRISTINA WILLIAMS / @dear.november.day

Juggling four littles ones under the age of five, Kristina shares how she keeps it together (mostly!).

Such a strange time we're all experiencing with unique viewpoints from every angle. One day, I'm too hard on myself and the next I just let everything go. I have four littles who are 5 and under. One of them was born just a month ago...at the beginning of quarantine. In some aspects, I love being stuck at home since germs and newborns always make me nervous, and I knew I wouldn't be missing out on parties or anything exciting since everyone was stuck at home. But then you forget how nice it is just to be able to see a friend for a cup of coffee or let your older kids play with their friends so you can take a break and not feel guilty. 

I've also played the comparison game more than I like to admit. Since social media is part of my job, I see all of the highlights of everyone's quarantine. Beautiful sidewalk chalk art, a daily schedule, intricate crafts, new recipes being made every day, etc. And I feel like I'm over here trying to learn two new schedules at once since our new baby came at the same time quarantine started. So, my postpartum hormones can't figure out what to make of it...it's a beautiful roller coaster that doesn't stop. I have to speak grace over myself every day to remind myself this situation doesn't define me, and my kids will still have beautiful memories of this time together even without perfect crafts. So, I hope I can relay that to any other mother out there who feels like she may be struggling during this strange time too. A few cuddles and laughs create just as great of memories as crafts do. 

Kristina is wearing the BLANQI Denim Maternity Belly Support Skinny Jeans in Light Destroy Wash

SPOTLIGHT: ABBIE ORR / @ourordinarydays

Abbie talks through the highs and lows of having three littles at home without the usual “mom breaks.”

Motherhood is probably one of the hardest yet most rewarding jobs I have ever experienced. Prior to COVID-19 we were a family that mostly spent a lot of time home. I have three children, the two youngest are 15 months apart. Any trips I make out with all three are very planned. For me it's not as much the struggle of being stuck at home, we love our home and spending time together. The days have begun to blur for me. I think so many moms are feeling that lately. It's the same messes that need cleaned day in and day out. It's groundhog's day on a totally different level. Usually us moms get a little break, whether that's a girls' night out or a stroll through target. Those breaks aren't happening right now. They're a little break I took for granite that broke up the everyday life of being a mom. When I say it out loud it sounds so trivial. I am feeling the monotony of motherhood more than ever though. Yet with that comes guilt because someday even these days of COVID-19 will be gone and with it a season of raising my children. It doesn't mean I love my babies any less. It just makes me human and like any other human I need a break, us moms need breaks. I am experiencing the highs and lows of humanity like many other moms.  Everyone is struggling in one way or another. All to different levels and degrees but what they're experiencing deserves a listening ear and validation. 

Abbie is wearing the BLANQI SportSupport Hipster Cuffed Leggings in Dove Grey 

SPOTLIGHT: ALEXIS VELASQUEZ / @alxsmnts

New mama, Alexis, shares her birth story amid challenging hospital restrictions.

Just like any other expecting mom you are already anxious to make sure the baby arrives safe and healthy. I personally feel that in the last month of pregnancy we have our checklist of what's needed before the baby's arrival and finalizing the birth plan. But with this pregnancy my last month was not only filled with being in a nesting phase but with the worries and anxiety of this unexpected global pandemic. After months of planning and working on decorations my baby shower had to be cancelled and did not feel that a virtual baby shower would do justice with all the hard work put in from my mother and myself. So as soon as news hit that the Coronavirus hit our area, we did what we could to get the necessities for the baby's arrival. The chaos in the stores with nothing on the shelves from food to diapers and formula was extremely overwhelming. Knowing within a few weeks my baby was going to be brought into this world and hearing the news on some hospitals not allowing a support partner during delivery had put me in a depressed mood. As the cases in our areas grew the more nervous, I would get. But finally, the day came when we would meet our princess, restrictions at the hospital was that only one support person would be allowed, no visitors and no switching support person. This made it hard for me because I would have loved my mom and husband to be there but as long as I was not going through it alone was some sort of comfort. I definitely appreciate the labor and delivery nurses that helped me that day. They kept me calm and supported me through my entire delivery. Keeping all needed restrictions, we were all wearing masks at all times. I never pictured myself wearing a mask when meeting my baby. Even with the baby shower and birth plan thrown out the window, I have such an appreciation for the hospital staff putting themselves on the line every day. I'm appreciative for the care my family and I received from there. It does upset me that it will be awhile before some family gets to meet our baby girl, but I do appreciate the distance to keep my family safe. It might still be awhile before things ever go back to normal but at this time, I'm grateful and appreciative to take this time and be with my kids, to learn more from each other and spend some quality time together. We are also dealing with distance learning with my older kids and you never realize how much work and time teachers put into our kids' education. I definitely appreciate the school and teachers still putting in their time with zoom meetings and availability with questions surrounding assignments. With all that's going on in our world I feel that we have been able to sit back and see everything we've taken for granted and appreciate it all a lot more. 

Alexis is wearing the BLANQI Everyday Maternity Belly Support Tanktop in Pure White

SPOTLIGHT: ALLI UPHAM / @alliupham

Alli talks paper plates, laundry piles, and Pinterest envy amidst a pandemic.

Motherhood: where some days I feel like I am failing as their mother…and other days I feel like being their mother is the only job I am doing right. ⁣Truth is, I'm scared, uncertain and I question myself as a mother…a business owner…a wife and friend DAILY. This pandemic is hard, REAL HARD…and it's easy to get lost in the scroll with moms crushing their Pinterest board homeschooling, making perfect meals and telling us all to FIND THE BLESSINGS. But sometimes you just need to hear, THIS ISH IS HARD. ⁣So, mama's here's my truth: I feel like things never stop piling up. The dishes. The laundry. The housework. The assignments from school. The bellies that need to be fed. The needs of my husband. The needs of my kids. The needs of my team of over 6,000 coaches from all over the world. How do I feel? PRESSURE. Every day, from every corner…. PRESSURE. But if there is anything I've learned through this pandemic, it's that ALONE IS A LIE. There's no way I'm the only person feeling this way. There's no way that I'm the only one who's resorted to using paper plates because the thought of washing another dish might make my head blow off! ⁣There's no way that I'm the only one who's resorted to allowing your toddler to watch BLIPPLI before even eating breakfast simply because I needed to find my life for a hot second.⁣ There's no way I'm the only one over here fighting for my marriage, because this pandemic is enough to test even the strongest of souls! ⁣

If for one second you think you are alone in this…please hear me and hear me loudly, ALONE IS A LIE. ⁣But hear this too, we are positioned for a miracle. ⁣And by miracle I don't mean COVID-19 magically going away [but man wouldn't that be nice], but the miracle of empathy.  Where we stop comparing ourselves to all those 'other moms' who we think are crushing quarantine…and instead realize that we all are doing our absolute BEST! ⁣So today I pray you tag mama and let her know she's not alone...we are in this together! 

Alli is wearing the BLANQI Everyday Maternity Belly Support Leggings in Deepest Black 

SPOTLIGHT: ALLIE BAST / @alliebast

Mother of two, Allie did her best to quell anxieties amidst ever-shifting hospital protocols.

While I had a relatively stress-free second pregnancy, the weeks leading up to birth during this pandemic were riddled with anxiety. Giving birth in the shifting dynamic of a pandemic is nothing that I wish on any mama-to-be, especially first-time moms. The dreaded unknown of your birth experience (as everyone will tell you each birth is different) combined with the daily changing protocols at hospitals across the country really compounded my nervousness about giving birth the second time around. Would I have my husband in the delivery room? Would I have to wear a mask while in labor? I knew so many other pregnant women were in the same position, sharing the same fears and yet I still felt singled out.

When it was time to give birth (I elected an induction at 39 weeks), that anxiety dissipated. The focus shifted solely on the health of my baby boy and our time spent in the hospital. Our experience - despite the rigorous rules at the hospital - was a pleasant, dare I say peaceful one! The nurses and support staff went above & beyond to be kind and helpful from delivery to recovery. Even though our 3-year-old daughter couldn't come visit (or anyone for that matter), my husband and I utilized that time to recharge and bond with our brand-new baby boy, uninterrupted. Looking back at it now, I'm thankful for that 'blessing in disguise'.  My parents watched our daughter while we were at the hospital, so the introduction of our baby boy was that much sweeter when we came home. The ultimate takeaway - throw away the notion that your birth plan is shattered and embrace the fact that you still get a sweet, precious babe out of all of this. You've totally earned bragging rights for giving birth during a pandemic. Moms are incredible.

Allie is wearing the BLANQI Maternity Everyday Racerback Tank Dress in Light Moss

SPOTLIGHT: ANGEL LEBO / @angelsparkles.rn

As a first-time mama to be AND registered nurse, Angel never imagined she'd be delivering during a pandemic.

As a first-time mama to be, I never thought I would be pregnant during a pandemic. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has had this thought. Even more so, I never thought I would be a Registered Nurse AND expecting for the first time during a pandemic. To be honest it has been nerve-racking, scary, and even frustrating because so much has felt unknown.

During what is one of the most exciting moments of our lives together, it is hard to not dwell on the negatives we're experiencing at this time. My husband has not been able to attend an OB appointment with me in months, we had to cancel our babymoon, we're unable to see our families, and I am uncertain if I will be able to have the baby shower I had hoped for.

However, this pandemic has also opened eyes to my husband and I. It has been an opportunity for us to recognize we have so much to be appreciative of. We have had the chance to spend more time together and relish in the fact that our baby boy will be here with us in a few short months, and we are enjoying every single kick and new movement as time passes. I am also extremely blessed to be able to continue to work full time as a RN at a local hospital, my husband is still employed full time, and we are expecting the greatest gift one can be given; the gift of life. At the end of the day, there is always something to be thankful for. Sometimes it just takes a shift of mindset to see it. 

Angel is wearing the BLANQI Everyday Maternity Built-In Support Bellyband in Deepest Black

SPOTLIGHT: ANGELICA EBOJO / @xoxoanngee

Meet Angelica, mother of two. Her firsthand about her challenging experience having a newborn the ICU during the COVID crisis.

On March 21st, I gave birth to my beautiful boy Ronan. We brought our baby home and he got to meet his big sister Gianna. We were so happy, and life was great in our little bubble at home. We were home for only one full day, then we had to rush Ronan to the ER because he wasn't responsive. The time that they took to resuscitate Ronan felt like hours. I sat outside his ER room bawling because I didn't know what was going on, why this was happening and how we could've prevented it. He has been in the Pediatrics ICU for over 3 weeks now. I've been struggling with trying to be in two places at once. My heart breaks every time I leave Ronan for a few hours to go home to spend a little time with Gianna. My heart breaks even more when I'm not home and she's looking for me because she doesn't fully understand why mama isn't around. This has definitely been a challenging time for our family, and I am so grateful to have the love and support from my friends and family (from a distance, of course). I can't forget all of the hospital staff; they've gone above and beyond for Ronan. I can't thank them enough for all they've done.

Things have definitely changed in this last month or so of pregnancy. My husband has not been allowed into any of our last appointments. He has been my support through it all, my memory to ask questions when the pregnancy brain has taken over, and entertainer when wait times at the doctor's office are sometimes excruciatingly long. Now he sits in the car.

Angelica is wearing the BLANQI Everyday Maternity Belly Support Tanktop in Pure White and the BLANQI Denim Maternity Belly Support Skinny Jeans in Black Knee Slit Wash 

SPOTLIGHT: ANNACLAIRE TADLOCK / @annaclairetadlock

Expectant mama, Annaclaire is convinced her daughter will be born a fighter. Read more about how she's coping during uncertain times. 

October 1- The day we found out we were pregnant. I'll never forget that morning. My husband and I standing in the bathroom waiting to see the result on the pregnancy test, talking about the ways this could forever change our lives.  From the beginning we've claimed the word “timing” as our word to describe this pregnancy.  As we saw 'POSITIVE' flash across the screen, we had an overwhelming amount of peace knowing that this baby was part of a bigger plan and her arrival would be perfect in its timing.

That seems crazy to think about now, in the midst of a pandemic, that this little girl's timing is perfect. But it's the hope that we hold on to. These little warriors that are being born into this crazy world are part of a bigger plan.  They will be strong and resilient just like their mamas!

This hasn't been easy though, on top of already being hormonal and emotional there have been real fears and extreme disappointments this last month and a half.  From canceled baby showers, doctors' appointments and birthing classes, to fears of not even being allowed one support person in the hospital or being separated from my newborn if I were to contract the virus. I also live about 6 hours from my family, so I've been desperately home sick this past month.  Knowing I shouldn't go home in fears of passing or contracting the virus has set off a deep “want” to be with extended family.

To help get me through, I've had to look past small disappointments in order to find simple joys. In the disappointment of canceling baby showers, I have had family and friends step up in ways I could have never imagined- going above and beyond to help make us and our baby girl feel loved and celebrated.  Thankfully there's no longer talk of women delivering alone, but we still won't be able to have family in the waiting room which of course isn't how I expected it to be.  But I've found a deep peace in knowing my husband and I will have precious, uninterrupted time as a new family of three.  I think I was most emotional after my doctors' appointments were pushed back and birthing classes were canceled. As a first-time mama, I've been relying on my doctor and these classes to help me know what to do and what to expect.  In light of COVID and the impact it's having on new doctors and hospital regulations there have been so many companies that have stepped up to offer free resources, content and classes. My husband and I are now taking birthing classes while snuggled up on the couch!

With so much uncertainty and change I've given myself grace to grieve those experiences I thought I would have and focus my energy on those simple joys.  At the end of the day, regardless of what's going on, I have the great honor of carrying this baby girl and will welcome her into this world at the end of May.  My husband and I still claim the word “timing.” We are holding on to the fact that this little girl was created for such a time as this and we can't wait to watch who she'll become!  

Annaclaire is wearing the BLANQI Everyday Maternity Belly Support Tanktop in Deepest Black and the BLANQI Everyday Maternity Belly Support Leggings in Deepest Black

SPOTLIGHT: ANNALISA BARR / @annalisa.veronica

At 28-weeks pregnant, Annalisa preparing for the arrival of her baby boy the best way she knows how. With intention and love.

I want to be completely honest with you all. I thought I wouldn't be affected by this whatsoever. I am 24, healthy, and I thought I would be fine, spending time at home would be fine, my mental health would be fine. Being 28 weeks pregnant for the first time and have a relatively easy 1st and 2nd trimesters I am ready for the 3rd trimester and ready to meet my baby boy. However, after being at home for over a month thing have changed a bit. I have become restless, anxious and unsure about a few things. How to furnish my nursery, what to do now that I can't have my baby shower, how to keep myself from going insane, what to do after being furloughed... the list goes on. However, after going back and forth, through multiple levels of positive and negative mindsets I decided to really try my hardest to focus on the positive. WAY easier said than done.  

There are a few things I've grown to appreciate during this crazy and sometimes difficult time:

The first being, my husband. Through my entire pregnancy he has helped me in any way he can. Whether it's a back rub or foot rub to try and ease my aches, or a hug to try and calm my anxiety he is there for me and I appreciate him more then he will ever know. 

The next being the social media and the community I am a part of.  I have been able to connect with so many other first-time moms, swap stories and get advice I would never have otherwise been able to have. For these lovely ladies I am truly grateful.  

I appreciate my doctors and the way they have kept me informed.  Although I have had to cut down on visits, I am so fortunate that I have been given resources, lines of communication and most important information I need for the last stretch of my pregnancy.  

The last, is time. I am such a busy body, I normally have lists upon lists of things I have to do or want to do. Having to stay at home, having time to think and reflect has really been important for me to grow. This time to sit and really see who I am without constantly distracting myself has been difficult but has made me stronger and as much as I didn't appreciate it at first, I appreciate it now. 

Not to be cliche, but I truly don't believe there is any way you can prepare yourself for motherhood. All we can do is try our best, act with the intention of love and appreciate those who are doing the same.  Although my first pregnancy is not exactly what I thought it would be, I wouldn't change a thing. 

Annalisa is wearing the BLANQI Denim Maternity Belly Support Skinny Jeans in Light Destroy Wash

SPOTLIGHT: ARIELLE FANELLI / @ariellefanelli

After giving birth in during the COVID crisis, Arielle delves into social distancing measures as mama to newborn, Luciano. Read her delivery story.  

Giving birth and being postpartum during COVID has been frustrating and disheartening; and yet still so overwhelmingly magical.

I gave birth to my son on March 31st at 7:15a. After 5 days of labor, 48hours of it active, and 2 solid hours of pushing... he arrived: and was immediately taken from me to go to the NICU. 

This time of our lives I was so looking forward to being the most overwhelmingly joyful instead left me in tears.  My husband and I were unable to visit our son together due to COVID, & I physically couldn't spend as much time in the NICU as I wanted because I was recovering.  There has been a lot of trauma in these last 3 weeks for all of us: I think I have cried more since giving birth than in the last 3 years total. 

Social distancing as a new mom means having my mom meet my son through a window and not being able to be hugged by her when I need it because the weight of the hurdles, we keep being thrown feel too much. It means all our friends and family can do for us is order food because they can't come over to visit: to meet Luciano, and to help out. It means FaceTiming more than I ever have, and while we can't take a family walk without masks on, while we've truly been put through it...even with all these uncommon and frustrating realities, this has also been the greatest time of our lives. I stare at Luciano all the time in complete awe!

Arielle is wearing the BLANQI Everyday Maternity Belly Support Tanktop in Pure White

SPOTLIGHT: BRITTANY BALYN / @balynbrittany

“Hi, my name is Brittany and I'm a first-time mom... during a global pandemic. Wow, what a story.”

Wow, what a story we will have to hold over (I mean tell) our future teenagers one day. No but really, who could have ever guessed we would be going through the best and weirdest time of our lives all at once? I guess that normally describes birth in general, but I'm sure none of us were prepared for this (even the IRL Monica Geller's of the world). 

I was 23 weeks pregnant when the "safer at home" order went into place, and now being 30 weeks, I've only left the house twice for doctor's appointments. Talk about taking it easy! I still work from the safety of my home, make YouTube videos about my journey thus far, and I'm beyond grateful to be able to share my journey and e-meet fellow soon to be moms like you! I'm sure I'm not the only one who lost a few first time memories during this pandemic like a baby shower, parenting classes, babymoon, prenatal yoga classes, family visits, future hospital visitors, regular doctor's appointments, and those easy to grab last minute cravings (what I would do for some fro-yo). 

These things were not the same for us, we as parents have already become stronger and more adaptable. If we can bring new life into a world that feels as if it's falling apart, we can do anything. So yes, maybe we can't soak in those last rays of sun without worrying about if Brittany Jr. (don't worry placeholder name) pooped through her swimmer diaper or not, but we did get the best excuse to stay home and nest without having to cancel plans, let our natural uncolored hair down without judgment, binge through those shows you've been setting aside, and wear the same leggings for too many days in a row to count. 

We're in this together and one day we can say, "wow I can't believe I didn't end up on that show snapped". Okay just kidding, but we're tough and we got this! 

Happy Mother's Day to all my sweet little bundles of hormones and swollen ankles, it's our pregnancy and we can cry if we want to!

Brittany is wearing the BLANQI Everyday Maternity Belly Support Leggings in Deepest Black. 

SPOTLIGHT: CAYDEN NAUGHTON / @cayden.naughton

Meet Cayden, a first-time mama who's slowing down to savor the nesting phase.

Today is my due date. Nobody, not even my doctor, thought I would make it this far! I am so grateful this healthy boy has been sitting tight for this long. We just got the “OK” for my husband to be present during labor and delivery, which may not have been the case if the baby came when predicted. Although we won't be able to allow visitors like we imagined, we accept and do appreciate the precautions for our soon to be newborn. 

This is my first pregnancy to make it this far. After having a miscarriage, you feel that everything has been taken away from you. Finally, you start to fantasize about how you one day will be able to birth a healthy full-term baby. Then the time finally comes, but a pandemic hit and everything feels taken away again. The most important thing I am focusing on is that I still get to have a healthy baby in my womb and soon to be in my arms. Regardless of the changes, I still have him, and he is healthy. 

Home life has changed a lot. I enjoyed grocery shopping, lunch dates, being social at the beach, and dinners at my in-laws. My husband has been the strong enforcer of isolation rules to keep me safe. Since the first signs of the COVID-19 outbreak, he has strongly expressed he does not want me to go to the grocery store, or really go anywhere I don't need to where people are present. He has taken on many extra responsibilities to keep me and the baby safe. I have never felt more protected, and what a time it is to feel so loved and protected. 

What I can really appreciate about these new isolation rules: 

It first and foremost keeps us safe. We have been taking lonely strolls around the neighborhood with the dog to keep active, which has been a huge “slow down” for us. I heard over and over it is good to slow down near the end of pregnancy, but there's no way I would have to this extent without isolation rules. We are really able to soak up our home life situation before the big change of adding a baby comes and this is something, we probably would have moved through too quickly to notice otherwise. Being home often has also helped me realize the little things I looked past during my strong “nesting” phase and really get our home ready for the baby to join us. I have been taking the time to notice my body and how miraculously it has changed to accommodate this baby. The odd belly button, the new stretch marks, swollen limbs, and all are being appreciated. I am taking time to enjoy slow mornings with my tea and whatever breakfast I desire to make. A luxury I'm sure will be gone soon and would have been rushed past otherwise. 

Due to the timing, this pandemic will change how postpartum will be for me. For safety reasons, the help I imagined of home cooked meals, helping hands, and supportive company will no longer be allowed. Instead of focusing on how much stress this will add to a sensitive time, I am focusing on what I can appreciate from it. We will get to soak up all the newborn love ourselves. Our bond with our baby will be stronger than it ever could have been. My husband will be taking a little more time off and we will be able to adjust to a family of three (plus a fur baby) on our own. Sure, it may be more difficult, but I can't stop imagining how strong our bond will be from this and how much love we will see in our new little family. 

Appreciating health, safety, and love now more than ever before.

Cayden is wearing the BLANQI Everyday Maternity Belly Support Tanktop in Pure White and the BLANQI Denim Maternity Belly Support Skinny Jeans in Light Destroy Wash

SPOTLIGHT: CHRISTINA HEINRITZ / @thermaland.oaks

After a breach baby, emergency C-section, and DIY remodel, Christina shares what it's like raising her newly-crawling daughter on a 10-acre homestead.

My daughter was born in October 2019 and she has brought so much happiness to our lives. I had to have an emergency C-section as she broke my water and she was breech. I am finally feeling strong enough and I recognize my body again. We were able to travel as a family in February to Maui and it was such a blessing in disguise to slow down with our DIY home build that we just completed. Soon after we were back the amazing months leading up to Frankie crawling, we are in the pandemic of the COVID-19 outbreak. This has been hard because my parents are out of town and they are in a city that had a major outbreak. They have stayed away from us and I know my parents want to see all the firsts from their first granddaughter. 

I know there is so much to be frustrated with during this outbreak, but I am trying to stay positive. We live on a 10-acre homestead where we are all healthy. Daily we go on walks to feed all the chickens, goats, sheep and donkeys. We even have baby donkeys that my daughter is learning to love at such a young age. Home life for me has not changed too much besides the gym & target. I am a stay at home farm mom. I do miss seeing family and friends.  My husband has been the strong enforcer of isolation rules to keep me safe. Since the first signs of the COVID-19 outbreak, he has strongly expressed he does not want me to go to the grocery store, or really go anywhere I don't need to where people are present. He has taken on many extra responsibilities to keep me and our girl safe. I have never felt more protected, and what a time it is to feel so loved and protected. We are thankful my husband has a career that is considered essential and he is still busy. Thankful for our income & our healthy baby girl that is all we can ask for right now is such an uncertain time in history. I will soak up all of this quality time with my daughter on the farm and learn to appreciate slow living. 

Christina is wearing the BLANQI Everyday Maternity Belly Support Tanktop in Deepest Black

SPOTLIGHT: ELIZABETH SPINDLER / @elizabethspindler

As a of two with a third on the way, Elizabeth is doing her best to stay present.

When I think about all of the changes, we've faced in the last few weeks/months, so much crosses my mind, especially being a mom to two young children with another on the way. 

I think about how every minute of every day has been spent together, of all the tears that have been shed from pure boredom, about all the places we'd rather be than home and about how bedtime has come much sooner than it usually does. 

But then I think about all the time we've spent as a family.  I think about how conflicted I was this time last year about sending my oldest to preschool full time and how I'd miss out on so much.  I think about all the meals we've cooked together, and all of the time we have spent outside picking flowers and playing with sticks.  I think about the new board games we now play before bed and all the laughs we have shared.  

I know that this pandemic has affected so many people negatively and has even caused hardships, so I am saying this cautiously.  

For me, this in the moment-fully present time has been a gift that I didn't know I needed as a mother.  I'm becoming a better mom, I'm appreciating the little simple moments, I'm learning things about my children I didn't know before, I'm becoming more patient (I am still working on it) and I feel eternally grateful that my family has not faced hardship.

This time at home with our children is fleeting, and our children are only growing up.  I want to encourage myself and all mothers to take advantage of this time at home- to not have to think back on this time at home months from now and wish you had spent it differently. To intentionally put the phone away, and just play, because as unwanted as this pandemic is, this time with them is precious.

Elizabeth is wearing the BLANQI Everyday Maternity Belly Support Leggings in Storm 

SPOTLIGHT: EUNICE SUN / @electriceunice 

A tale of “totally paranoid and germaphobe parents” trying to protect their low immune system, newborn baby. Eunice tells all.

With a 7 month old, my husband and I aren't total strangers to being locked in our home for long periods of time, getting food delivered, and avoiding anyone that wasn't 100% healthy. When we did get outside, we were total paranoid and germaphobe parents trying to protect our precious, low immune system, newborn baby. Washing hands, staying away from strangers, and dodging any inclination of a stranger trying to touch our baby felt like business as usual for the first 5 months of his life.

And then COVID-19 came along and shook our entire planet. My little family is doing just fine as we are healthy and happy, but I just can't help to think about the possibilities of one of us getting sick, the world that we will enter back into once this is over, and what our little ones' life will be like when we can show him the world again. 

We are lucky that he is so little that he won't remember this pandemic and is happy as can be staying home and playing with his toys. I feel like we are incredibly blessed as a family to have everything we need. My heart breaks for those that do not, especially during times like this. 

This time has given us a chance to slow down. Be in the moment. Miss our families and loved ones. Realize the importance of our relationships and also how precious each moment is with our baby who is growing up so fast in front of our eyes. It's also somehow made us more tired as we learn to be parents and try to keep up with our energetic baby. 

Being someone that feels that my value is in my accomplishments, it was a tough transition to becoming a mom and learning that I can't do it all. Yes - it's driven me crazy to see so many people on social media saying they're bored while I can't find time to complete my to do list and keep my eyes open during the day. Yes - it's making me feel shame while seeing people declare that if you don't hustle during this time - you're lazy. But I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there - I'd like to tell you a story about how that's not fair. Just kidding, I won't rap but, I will tell you that you may not be able to do it all - but you're able to do what's right for you during this season. And that's all that matters. 

This time has taught us so much, made us worry and look ahead to a future that we can only pray about, and really reset our lives in a way for us to live more intentionally and meaningfully. To all you mamas out there with all the tough thoughts swirling around in your head - you're not alone, and we're in this together. 

Eunice is wearing the BLANQI Everyday Maternity Belly Support Leggings in Deepest Black 

SPOTLIGHT: JENA KNOWLES / @jena.knowles

Working from home with a little one on her lap, Jena shares her experience as a new mom living on a cattle ranch.

Being a new mom and having a baby in the midst of flu season (January 8th) you could say social distancing comes second nature to us. So, when COVID-19 hit, we really didn't have to make many lifestyle changes. We had already been hiding out for months. However, I only had a few weeks of maternity leave left and the stress of going back to work was weighing heavy on me. Aside from the anxiety brought on by the virus, I also wasn't ready to leave my baby all day.  

Before I knew it a stay at home order was in place, and my marketing job allowed me to work remotely. Not nearly at the capacity I was before though. So, I, like many others, am not making the same income I once was. But I can work a few hours a week from home with a baby on my lap, and for that I am SO thankful. 

Additionally, our family owns and runs a cattle ranch, and the cattle market is at an all-time low, which is terrifying considering it's our livelihood. Those jacked up prices you see in the grocery stores right now? They aren't because of ranchers; we are struggling right along with everyone else. 

We've all been affected in some way or another, some much more than others. To those who have loved ones that are battling this virus, or have passed, I pray for you, and my heart goes out to you sister! 

Jena is wearing the BLANQI Denim Postpartum Support Skinny Jeans in Black Knee Slit Wash 

SPOTLIGHT: JOHANNA DEVRIES / @growwithjo 

Coming from a family of 11 kids, Johanna couldn't wait to introduce her baby boy to the rest of the brood. See how she's continuing to connect amidst social distancing orders.

Throughout my entire pregnancy, I was so excited and truly looking forward to Easter 2020; the day my entire family would be able to meet my newborn son. Coming from a family of 11 (yes, I have 10 siblings!) and having 15 nieces and nephews, our family gatherings have always been a huge deal. Little did I know that a global pandemic was on its way and that it would prevent us from spending this time together. At this present time, I could complain over the fact that my dad hasn't even met his new grandson, and that my husband's family (who live in a completely different country) had to cancel flights and reservations due to the global pandemic, but ultimately it has led me to be more appreciative of things i often take for granted. These things include the fact that I have a wonderful family (and in-laws) who are eagerly awaiting the time that they can meet my little boy, and the fact that we have technology to stay in touch in the meantime. I am appreciative of the quality time I have with my little growing family and the time I get to spend soaking up the beginning of my motherhood journey. And I appreciate the people in my community who offer online support for various aspects of well-being (my naturopath, pelvic floor physiotherapists, and post-natal resources are among the few of these). 

In the end, Easter 2020 felt a little funny...but what fun it was to have a FaceTime with 20+ people! That is an experience I will never forget!

Johanna is wearing the BLANQI Everyday Maternity Belly Support Leggings in Storm

SPOTLIGHT: KATE ARQUILLA / @bumble.baby 
An RN with a newborn daughter born just three days before Stay at Home orders, Kate did everything she could to prevent another bout of PPD.

 

My daughter, Roey, was born on March 11, 2020, three days before the national stay-at-home order. 

I experienced deep postpartum depression after the birth of my daughter, Bee. So, in preparation of this birth and postpartum period, I did all my research, planning, medication management and therapy to put myself in the best position possible to prevent relapse of PPD. 

Well, on March 14, that all went out the window. No in-person therapy appointments, no vacation from the gloomy Chicago winter to the sunny state of Florida, no Zulresso (the first FDA approved drug to treat PPD). No daycare for my toddlers, no help from my large extended family because of the quarantine. No time to spend working on my business. Throw in a work from home husband who also owns a small business in this devastated economy. 

As the bliss of the first weeks postpartum wore off, all of this hit me. Although this time, in this postpartum period, it's actually felt ok.

Because this time, even with all of the preparation work, months and months of preparation, I've learned to let go. A lesson that I didn't even know I needed.

I had to let go of my plans and my expectations, just like everyone else. And in that, I haven't felt so alone like I did before.

I have focused on what IS in my control.

Keeping myself and little ones healthy. I am an RN and so grateful to be out of the hospital at the moment on maternity leave (thank you to all those who are on the front lines). 

Being thankful that no one I love has been exposed to this virus.

Feeling lucky that I have a great therapist that I can still video chat with and who can guide me through this difficult time.  

Grateful that my parents live close and have quarantined with us - I couldn't do this without their help - and great friends who have kept a close eye on me during this time (virtually of course).

And lastly, I cannot even begin to explain how deeply grateful I am for the bumble. Baby community. You are my therapy, the reason I feel fulfilled, the voices that keep me pushing through this hard time. You give me a purpose that I didn't even know I needed. I find comfort and joy in helping guide you during this difficult time - and you have provided me with guidance all the same. 

So as silly as it sounds, I am so appreciative of what this unknown has taught me, and I will carry it with me from now on. 

With all of that said, it's OK to say this suck, because it does. We've been robbed of time - births, weddings, funerals, celebrations, education, graduations. We will never get that back. It's ok to mourn what should have been. For that, I will forever be sad. But if I have one take away from this, as silly as it sounds, I am so appreciative of what this unknown has taught me, and I will carry it with me from now on.

Kate is wearing the BLANQI Maternity Belly Support Leggings in Deepest Black  

SPOTLIGHT: KRISTINA WAJNBLOM / @kriswajnblom

As an immune-compromised mother, Kristina shares her current rollercoaster of emotions.

Truthfully, it's been fairly normal in our home despite being self-isolating for well over a month now. When word of a pandemic came out officially, my family and I started the “self-quarantine” about a week before our area enacted social distancing. I'm immune-compromised and didn't want to take a chance in exposing myself (and my family). Our daily routine has obviously changed, but we were home quite a bit in everyday life, so it has felt *almost* normal. What has been the hardest part of this is the uncertainty. Uncertain about when it will be safe to be around other people again. Uncertain of when we will get to experience our favorite places again. Uncertain about whether we will ever be safe from this invisible enemy and how to protect my family from it. The mental toll it has taken on me has been a roller coaster of emotions and an internal struggle. One of my positive and negative traits is that I'm great at pushing fear and anxiety down in order to be strong for the ones I love. And in this case, I've had to do just that without an end in sight. I have to be strong for my daughter because we are with each other every day, all day. I have to be strong for my husband because he is on the front lines working hard to keep our hospital prepared and equipped for an outbreak. I have to be strong for my family members who miss us but can't be near us. I don't really have a conclusion other than we are all in this together and the communities we have around us that have banned together to show support in whatever way we can is fueling my strength and helping me get through this. I'll never take for granted the simple pleasure of meeting up with friends for a play date or going to my favorite local cafe and enjoying a delicious lunch with my daughter. When we come out of this, I'll be sure to show extra gratitude! 

Kristina is wearing the BLANQI Everyday Highwaist Postpartum + Nursing Leggings in Deepest Black

SPOTLIGHT: JORDAN OLIVAS / @jordanolivias

As a working nurse and mother of two, Jordan shares her firsthand account from the front lines.

My motherhood has been impacted tremendously by COVID. I co-parent with my sons' father. The week before they began shutting things down my kids were visiting their father for his weekend in Washington state. By the end of the weekend school had been cancelled so the kids stayed a little longer with their dad to avoid flying. I also am a nurse working in a hospital. As things progressed and I began taking care of COVID patients we decided it would be best to keep the kids with their dad until things cleared up some. It has been four weeks of daily FaceTime calls, mailing letters back and forth and many tears. I could not fathom getting one of my babies sick. I miss my boys tremendously, but I am grateful that I know they are safe, and they are loved. I pray every day for my safety and theirs. COVID has unexpectedly changed motherhood for me and I miss my boys every single day. It is one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with.

Jordan is wearing the BLANQI Everyday Pull-Down Postpartum + Nursing Support Tank Top in Pure White and the BLANQI Denim Postpartum Support Skinny Jeans in Medium Clean Wash

SPOTLIGHT: MAHRIA MURR / @oursmalltownsquad

Mahria found power in writing down the little things she appreciates daily. Read on to see how she's handing wearing an infinite number of hats.

As we get deeper into this whole social distancing, I find myself struggling to keep up with all the roles we are expected to play right now; chef, maid, teacher, therapist, stylist, and lastly but most important MOM. After weeks of trying to find a schedule that worked for our family but didn't stress everyone out even more, we decided it was best for all if we just took things day by day. Me trying to teach the kids was NOT going well. They were getting frustrated; I was getting impatient and everyone was miserable. I've slowly learned that what works for one family, may not work for another and THAT IS OK. Instead, we've decided to appreciate all of this unexpected family time and enjoy each other's company. Playing games, we wouldn't otherwise have had the time to do, getting creative and using their imaginations to build things instead of buying them, and cooking together for fun rather than worrying about the mess they are making. Life skills are just as important; take this time to ENJOY your kids, get to know them even better, discover skills they have but aren't utilizing. You'll be surprised how well kids can adapt to uncertain situations.

Remember, YOU CAN NOT DO IT ALL, no matter how hard you try. Everyone is different, we all cope with situations in different ways. So, seeing the mom who does 8 crafts with her kids daily, plus bakes and still has time to make dinner from scratch shouldn't make the mom who drinks 4 coffees a day, hasn't washed her hair for a week and scraped together snacks for lunch feel bad about herself. This has been a daily reminder I've been telling myself for the past few weeks, and it's really helped.

Yes, the days are long, I rarely have a minute alone, and I long for some peace and quiet some days, but here's what's keeping me going... In 10-15 years, when we all have empty houses and our kids are moved out, we will long for this time. To hear the pitter patter of tiny feet flooding our floors, the high pitch squeals, and their oh so cute belly laughs. We will miss it. So as exhausted and drained as you are right now, try to soak in this time. Take time each day to write down what you appreciated most that day, even the littlest thing- it has helped me immensely. This is a blessing in disguise, being forced to slow down, to enjoy the small things and time we wouldn't have had otherwise.

We all are doing a great job and we each have our own way of coping. Be kind. Support each other, and most importantly appreciate what we DO have.'

Mahria is wearing the BLANQI Everyday Highwaist Postpartum + Nursing Support Leggings in Deepest Black

SPOTLIGHT: MARI WAGAMON / @mariwags

Part-time NICU nurse, full-time mama to four boys and pregnant with her fifth, see how Mari is coping during challenging times.

Hi! My name is Mari Wagamon. Married to my high school sweetheart, we have three little boys and are pregnant with our fourth son, due late August. I'm a part time NICU nurse, full time mama and I love every bit of it but I know the days can be long and the years pass by ever too quickly.  

I try to embrace a slow life but staying busy with my boys is really how we thrive. During this quarantine and time of uncertainty of when things will resume to “normal” we too are struggling with feeling isolated. We miss our preschool, our friends, our play dates, walks to the park and strolling through target. 

With that said, we've come to develop a very loose routine each day to help keep some structure in our everyday life. If things don't go as planned, that's okay. Our days are pretty flexible and I love that, allowing the boys to somewhat guide our time and listen to their needs and desires. With three boys under five, it's hard to give them each of my attention all day so trying to even take 2 minutes to focus on one of them helps create some special time for us all. 

Things that help me stay sane during all of this are my daily workouts. I sometimes do two a day because it helps me relieve some stress. Getting outdoors, getting ready for the day, making my bed, doing house projects and spending some quality time with my hubby before bed is what keeps me going and brings me back to life. 

Motherhood is both the hardest and most joyful thing I've ever done. Keeping in mind that these really are the days and “this too shall pass” is what helps me through those tough times when I want to pull my hair out! I love my boys with all my heart and I know one day we'll look back on this all and remember all the quality time we had, with no plans, no place to be, and no commitments to attend to! Things will get better, in good time!

Mari is wearing the BLANQI Everyday Pull-Down Postpartum + Nursing Support Tank Top in Pure White 

SPOTLIGHT: MARIANA ARIAS / @house.of.darlings

Hear from Mariana, a mother of two beautiful girls as she patiently awaits the arrival of her first son.

Living in this season of life has brought on so many different emotions, appreciations, uncertainties, doubts and triumphs. The crazy part about it, is we're all living in it yet it's affecting us in our own unique way. Being pregnant during this has given me a slightly different perspective. I fear my husband not being in the delivery room with me, my little girls not being able to come to the hospital to meet their new brother (and visit mommy), preterm labor due to sickness, not being around family and loved ones. So many unknowns. However, it's also brought a lot of appreciation and in some weird way, serenity. With everything being so unknown, all I'm able to do is stay as safe as possible, and trust. Trust that everything will be ok. Knowing I'm strong enough to handle whatever is thrown my way, my family's way. I am strong, I am capable and have only grown more confident during this time. Of course, I miss my weekly family gatherings, being able to hug and kiss my mom, watching my little girls grow closer to their cousins and oh how I miss my mom's cooking! But I will never take that time for granted again. We've been given this amazing gift of time, and I'm spending all hours of the day, doing my best to be the best version of myself! For my children, for my husband, for my family and for my friends. 

Mariana is wearing the BLANQI SportSupport Hipster Cuffed Leggings in Dove Grey 

SPOTLIGHT: MARINA FRANCO / @marinaafranco

Homeschooling, hospital shifts, and hand sanitizing. Read one RN's account.

Every mom's journey through motherhood differently. We share similar stories but have unique details that make our motherhood experience our own. 10 years from now we'll look back at the year 2020 and have interesting stories to tell about motherhood and how the Covid-19 Pandemic affected us, our children, our families, our home and work life. I'm here to share my story, because though mine might look different from some, it is still filled with many of the same emotions that mamas all over are feeling today: fear of the unknown, guilt for not doing it right, and uncertainty for what's to come. 

I never thought I would be a pregnant nurse working through a pandemic- let alone mothering three other children, while suddenly being told I would now be homeschooling my seven year old, providing speech therapy to my 19 month old, all while trying to keep my three year old busy and thriving. My husband is now working from home, so I have the added challenge of keeping the three “quietly entertained” so they don't disrupt him. There are so many days where I want to break from being exhausted and overwhelmed. Monday through Friday I'm homeschool stay-at-home-mom, making breakfast lunch and dinner, catching up on laundry, deep cleaning and sanitizing. Friday through Sunday I'm a full-time registered nurse, a little fearful to go to work and catch something that I might bring home to my family. It's easy to sit here and be upset, scared, overwhelmed, and miss the way life once was. I am quickly reminded that I am not alone in this, and mothers all over the world are facing similar challenges. Despite all of the emotions felt during this pandemic, I still find so many things to be thankful for- my family's health, mine and my husband's careers and ability to still provide for our family, food on the table, time to enjoy our meals together, and extra time to spend at home with all of my children filled with opportunities to learn and grow. I know one day when my children are grown, I'll miss the days where I was quarantined with my favorite people. So, mamas, if you are scared, overwhelmed, tired, and find yourself missing what once was- you are most definitely not alone. We will get through this, just as we always get through the challenges of motherhood. This will make us stronger than ever before and appreciative of the simple things in life.

Mariana is wearing the BLANQI Denim Maternity Belly Support Skinny Jeans in Light Destroy Wash

SPOTLIGHT: MARY KALKA / @sincerelymars

Meet Mary, a stay at home mom to three-year-old, Ophelia, and newborn, Indie Jude.

It didn't seem like this quarantine was really affecting us. Being a stay at home mom to my three-year-old daughter Ophelia and my four-month-old son Indie Jude, we were already accustomed to spending most of our time at home. I can't lie and say that I am not enjoying all this alone time bonding with my new baby without all the visitors like it was with my first. But it's not easy. I appreciate having been able to be home to raise my kids, but I am realizing how much I relied on the support system of my family and friends. We are very fortunate that my husband is able to work and continue to provide for us but it is scary knowing he's out there every day risking himself to exposure. I do get a little jealous to see those who have their spouses at home with them but grateful we are able to still have an income. My mental health may be getting to me from being stuck at home 24/7. I can't just pack up the kids and leave because there is nowhere to go. We can't go to the park or visit loved ones. I no longer have the luxury of browsing around the shopping center or dropping off the kids with a family member so I can enjoy that peaceful grocery trip alone. There is no break. Even if I can catch a few minutes to myself, is it really a break? When all these thoughts are racing about the uncertainty of what is going on. Thinking about family members or friends who might be at risk or just worried about their wellbeing through all of this. Thinking about the elderly people I still see who are out trying to buy groceries who may not have anyone to help them or anyone to simply check on. This is a time I carry a very heavy heart. Since my kids are so little, I am glad they are unaware of what is going on. Not much has changed with our daily routine, but it does pull the strings of my mama heart when Ophelia is asking to see her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. We have to tell her no. Or if we do see them, she doesn't understand why we have to keep our distance. She doesn't understand why she can't be held or hugged by them. That might be the hardest part. But I believe there is good coming from Covid-19 apart from the tragedies and losses. As a mother I know how quickly time passes but I am happy to be here for 100% of it with my children safe at home. Time spent with them just feels more meaningful and I am more present as a mother. We are coming together more as a family doing all the little things we may not have done before or now it just seems more sentimental. We are realizing what is really important in our lives and that is the health and safety of each other and that the time we spend is of more quality. We need to come together as human beings and be kind to each other and spread more love.

Mary is wearing the BLANQI Body Cooling Racerback Tank in Pure Whiteand the BLANQI Everyday Highwaist Postpartum + Nursing Support Leggings in Deepest Black 

Mary is wearing the BLANQI Everyday Pull-Down Postpartum + Nursing Support Tank Top in Pure White

SPOTLIGHT: MIRANDA CRAM /@browngirlinawhiteworld
First-time mama, Miranda, reflects on the gift of giving herself a little grace.  

Hello! My name is Miranda, and I gave birth to our daughter, Phoenix, back in July! I am a full-time, stay at home mama. 

I always describe the transition to motherhood easier than I expected and harder than I ever imagined it could be. Day in and day out. Around the clock care. The days feel endless and the diapers seem nonstop. The hardest best thing I've ever started. Motherhood is really hard to describe or even understand until you're in the thick of it. 

Motherhood and everything that comes along with it feels like opening a can of worms...that's never-ending. To breastfeed or formula feed. To co-sleep or not. To cloth diaper or use disposable. To puree feed or baby led wean. The list goes on and on. 

As mothers, we all come from different backgrounds, religious beliefs, and marriages that all factor into how we choose to parent. It can be so hard feeling like you're doing something wrong just because it isn't how another mother is choosing to do. The comparison game is so real and prevalent these days with social media being so in your face. I think the one thing I've learned most since giving birth is to just respect each and every mother during any stage of motherhood. We are all out here just trying to do what we believe is best for us and our family. 

And now more than ever we need to support each other with the added stresses of motherhood and COVID and how they intertwine. There are so many unknown fears driven by confusion. For some, our lives have done a complete 360, we've now become full time mommy-teachers. For others it might feel quite similar, being a stay at home mom, but now with new things to worry about. Understanding that this pandemic is affecting both sides of motherhood. We are all hit with new fears and new daily challenges. Whether it's now wrangling 4 kids while trying to teach multiplication or being a first-time mommy and not able to sneak out for just 30 minutes to get coffee in peace. Allow yourself to be okay feeling frustrated with this huge life change. But also give yourself grace. An extra dose or maybe even 2! Cherish this season of life with all the added one on one time we now have, but also know it's okay to have really tough days. And don't worry Target will still be there after all of this!!

Miranda is wearing the   BLANQI Everyday Pull-Down Postpartum + Nursing Support Tank Top in Pure White 

SPOTLIGHT: NICOLE GREEN /  @nicoleandritchie

Nicole shifts her mind and heart to appreciate the little things during a challenging season as a mama.

During this challenging season, as a mama, days seem a little longer, and cries seem a little louder! It's a difficult time for us all, but if we shift our mind and heart, God can teach us significant things that we otherwise would be too distracted to learn. Like my love towards family and friends, it seems to have multiplied! I feel like my heart can just burst when I think about how much I appreciate and adore them. I don't remember loving them like this before. Or my former passions, they somehow inched their way back into my life. The dust has been wiped off my old guitar as I play and sing almost daily now with my husband and son, filling our home with beautiful melodies. One thing I know for sure, we will never again take for granted a simple hug, a walk in the mall, family barbecues, and not having to wipe down our FedEx packages.

Nicole is wearing the BLANQI Body Cooling Maternity Camisole in Light Moss

SPOTLIGHT: SARAH HEATH / @brunetteandbabes

A pregnant stay at home mom of two littles, Sarah talks about “finding her flow” now that her husband is at home full time.

As a stay at home mom of two littles who weren't in school, COVID-19 didn't impact me directly too much at first. Of course, we had to stop doing play dates, mall, park, zoo, and other similar toddler friendly outings we did almost every other day. I was always used to being with my girls, Olive 4 and Daphne 2, 24/7 and finding lots of activities to do at home with them. The girl's scheduled activities such as ballet, swimming, and early childhood education all came to an end and I tried my best explaining why to my 4-year-old who surprisingly took it really well! The biggest change for our family came when my husband, who is in the restaurant industry, lost his job and went from working 50+ hours a week to being home full time with us. At first, it was scary and emotional especially being pregnant, but once the government aid and unemployment started coming in and we got our health insurance back we felt comfortable again. We were able to spend time as a family for an entire month that we would have never had otherwise. I really enjoyed seeing the girls be able to spend more time with their Dad and it was really special for him too. We are both considered high risk since I'm pregnant and my husband has Asthma, so tensions and nerves about getting sick were high. We also had to put our dog down unexpectedly the first week of quarantine which was really hard for our family. As a Stay at Home Mom, it was great having the extra help every day and seeing my spouse more. It was still an adjustment having him home and having to stay home every day under one roof, but we found our flow and spent as much time outdoors and being productive as possible to stay busy! He was recently asked to return to work in about a week, which we are very thankful for, so we are trying to enjoy these last days together in quarantine as best we can:) I'm a little nervous what it will look like when he's working again and I'm solo at home with the girls, but I know it will all work out and we will look back and cherish the time we had together even with the uncertainty in the world. 

Sarah is wearing the BLANQI Everyday Maternity Belly Support Leggings in Storm

SPOTLIGHT: SHERIDAN INGALLS / @sheridaningalls

As an outgoing extrovert, Sheridan has had to remind herself daily to press pause and enjoy the small moments with her little ones.

Never did I imagine that I would be 25 weeks pregnant with two little kids running around at home wondering when they will get the chance to see their friends and family again. My husband's father is dating a woman from China and we began hearing conversation about COVID-19 starting in mid January. At the time it was still very unknown and because it seemed so far away I chose to ignore it (silly me). Two months later and the virus came knocking at our front door. This has been an exhausting time, a time of reflection and a time of many unknowns. 

I'm a planner. Matt jokes often about how he'll hear my mom and I on FaceTime talking about when her next visit will be, just days after she left our house because that is the type of woman that we are. This has been a widely drastic change from planning, in fact, I think not knowing is the hardest part. If I were to have a set date on when this would all “come to an end” and we could start figuring out our new normal, that would give me the motivation I need to keep going. But sometimes it feels like Groundhog Day, and on the days where the clouds creep in and the sun goes away, it can be hard to get up and get going.

With that being said, I have found beauty in isolation. It has made me aware of how unnecessary all the activities are that I do with my children outside of the house - when really, all they need is love. Of course, they are missing their friends from school and daycare, but I have a bad habit of leaving the house in the morning and not returning until dinner on the days that I have them all to myself. Although some of that is for me to be social, much of it is for them, and seeing them play at home, content and safe, has made me recognize that it isn't about the material things that I do for them, rather than the love and time I dedicate to their world. I have also been practicing how to slow down. As an outgoing extrovert (and Gemini, let's just add that in there) it is important for me to always be in contact with my friends - to be out on Fridays enjoying a nice dinner and to aimlessly browse HomeSense. Now, don't get me wrong, you will be hard pressed to find someone with a bigger smile on their face when I am finally able to do those things once again, but for now, I am taking comfort in the slow days and the small moments. Taking a bath, doing a puzzle, reading a book, watching a TV show. Life does not need to be as complicated as we make it, and that is what has been the silver lining for me throughout the last month and a half.

I hope you're all staying safe and healthy and please if you ever need a friend, reach out to me at @sheridaningalls, I would love to hear from you. Sending all my love xoxo.

Sheridan is wearing the BLANQI Everyday Hipster Support Leggings in Deepest Black

SPOTLIGHT: TORI CASANOVA / @toricasanova
With a two-year-old, a four-month-old, and two dogs, Tori and her husband I had to scramble to find a new place to live.

 

Today, I cried again and by again, I mean for the fourth time this week. I don't know what it is, but sometimes it's just good to get it all out, especially when you feel so physically and emotionally trapped. You'd think that after 30+ days of this (and being a stay at home mom), that by now, I would have a better handle on things and to be fair, some days, I do. However, I still often find myself struggling, especially on days like today. When it's raining, the kids are starting to feel the effects of being cooped up in the house, and as the sole errand runner, my husband has to pick up groceries after working all day. The days when I need a break the most and not at 11pm when the house is finally clean, and everyone is asleep. I'm not going to lie, it's been hard. What's going on in the world is absolutely devastating. As a mother, it's scary, as a human being, it's heartbreaking, and like most, it has greatly affected my own family. This spring was supposed to be an exciting time for us. We were set to sell our home, pack up all of our belongings, and head out on our next adventure and start over new. However, that didn't go quite as planned. Because of the travel ban implemented by the military, we were stuck. Literally, we could not go anywhere. Which wouldn't have been a problem, if we weren't selling our home in less than a week and a half from the day we found out. With a two-year-old, a four month old, and two dogs, my husband and I had to scramble to find a place to live, figure out how and where we would store our furniture, and prepare to be in isolation for the indefinite future. Fortunately, enough, we were able to find a place to stay, our home closed according to schedule, and because of my husband's job, we thankfully, did not lose our income which I know was not the case for many. While we've definitely experienced our own hardships, I honestly still feel very blessed. My children are safe, my parents are okay, and while we have had to spend a lot more money due to our circumstances, we still have an income coming in, a roof over our head, and food to eat. For that, I'm so grateful. While I would never wish for something like this to happen, I will say, that this last month in particular has put so much into perspective for me. It's made me appreciate the little things so much more. Spending time with family, the feeling of the sun on my skin, and just slowing down. Unplugging all of the electronics, being present in that very moment, and creating memories with my children that I can hold on to forever. Even running to the grocery store doesn't seem so mundane and boring anymore. I miss it. I miss normalcy more than anything, I miss walking around the city I love, and despite being the biggest homebody, I miss interacting with others. I know that when all of this is over, we will all be so quick to do everything we missed while we were “stuck inside”. However, I really do hope that we will all be able to take away some valuable lessons we've learned while we were away. We still don't know when and if we will be able to leave anytime soon, the travel ban has been extended, and our living situation has already changed twice since the beginning of this month. However, at this point, I've learned to just take it day by day. Even on the hard days like today, where I feel like I am drowning, I know that by the end of it, I'm going to be okay. There is a light at the end of the tunnel for all of us, and even though it may feel like we are absolutely alone at times, we have shown as a country, and as a part of this world, that we are truly all in this together. 

Tori is wearing the BLANQI Everyday Maternity Belly Support Tanktop in Pure White and the BLANQI Everyday Maternity Belly Support Leggings in Deepest Black

Whitney Whitlow
Whitney Whitlow


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