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All I want for Valentine’s Day is a break

A break from the very real and very exhausting daily grind of motherhood.

All I want for Valentine’s Day is a break

Darling, I'm going to let you in on a secret.

I'm going to tell you what I actually want for Valentine's Day. No mind games, just straight up truth.

I want you to meet me in our bedroom. Alone.

I want you to come close to me. Very close. Close enough to feel my breath on your skin.

Then I want you to softly whisper in my ear what you're going to do to me.

It will sound something like this:

I'm going to put the sound machine on to drown out our noise. I'm going to leave the room and close the door. I want you to go back to sleep. I'm going to get the kids their breakfast.

I'll sleep until my body naturally wakes up. Until it decides it's rested and well enough to get out of bed.

You'll hear me wake and you'll text me a sexy message: "Ready for something hot?" It'll have a picture of my favorite mug. You'll deliver me coffee in bed where I'll receive my next order from you.

It will sound something like this:

When you're done drinking your coffee and reading in bed, I want you to take your clothes off and immediately say these words out loud: Damnnnnnn, you are fine. Then, you will proceed to take an uninterrupted shower.

I'll stand under the hot water for as long as I please. Maybe I'll listen to a podcast while I'm in there, or maybe I'll just enjoy the silence. Maybe I'll revel in the ability to shampoo and condition my hair without having to step out of the shower to break up any arguments or fetch any snacks.

After my shower, you'll say two things. You'll ask me what I want and you'll tell me what I want to hear.

It will sound something like this:

What would you like to do next? This is not a trick question. Choose anything.

Oh, and I planned all the dinners for this week. See this pretty list I typed up?

I will swoon. Then I will say something like, "I think I'll re-watch seasons one and two of Fleabag in bed."

You will reply "Perfect. I'll take the kids to the grocery store to get the ingredients for all the meals I planned for the week. Enjoy!"

I might take a nap or write. Maybe I'll exercise. I'm not sure. But what I do know is that I'll have time for myself—by myself. Which is what I need right now. I'm sorry if that sounds weird, but it's true.

I've been trying extra hard to listen to what I actually need. And maybe what I need is to be my own valentine this year? Because motherhood has taken over my life these past few years—both lifting me up and dragging me down. Both filling me in and burning me out.

It's beautiful and chaotic. It's a lot. So, I just need a break.

A break from changing diapers and wet clothes because someone is continually dumping water on themselves somehow.

A break from reminding them to sit down and do homework and sit down and eat their food.

A break from planning everything and lining things up and making notes and barking orders and feeling dejected when no one listens.

A break from calming tantrums and asking for big kid voices instead of whining voices.

A break from the very real and very exhausting daily grind of motherhood.

That's what I want this Valentine's Day. A breather. Time to gather myself.

Just to relax for a second.

But of course, it's not just me in this equation. And I don't want a break for too long. Because the strange flipping thing about motherhood is that you want a break and don't want a break from your tiny people—all at the same time. So after some my date with myself, there's nothing more I'd like to do than to have a family date, then a one-on-one date with you, my love.

So next would be a family walk then dinner together followed by some quality couch time with my best friend.

And maybe we'll even end the day the way it began. Me and you alone in our bedroom. You close to me whispering in my ear.

But instead of sweet nothings, I'm sure it'll sound more like this:

I'll go change the pee sheets, honey, I know you got them last night.

And I will be grateful, and you will be happy. And our Valentine's Day will have been a success.

10 must-have registry items that will change your life, mama

The baby gear heavy hitters that should be top of your list

Calling all mamas-to-be! It's a fundamental truth of (impending) motherhood that your prepping-for-baby To Do list can feel a mile long, but really the best way to feel organized is to sort out the most important item at the top of your list: your registry. Sure the items you choose to include will end up running the gamut from nice-to-haves to absolutely essential game-changers, but mamas in the know quickly learn one thing: Not all baby gear is created equal.

So while you can and should pepper your registry with adorable inclusions that aren't necessarily can't-live-withouts (go ahead, add 'em!), you should make sure you're ticking the boxes on those pieces of baby gear that can be absolute life savers once you're in full-blown mama mode. From car seats to bouncers and playmats, your play and travel gear will be some of the most obvious important items on your list, but so can unexpected things, like a super comfy baby carrier and a snooze-inducing white noise machine. So to help you sort through the must-have options, we turned to the holy grail of motherhood that is buybuy BABY and handpicked 10 of the very best essential pieces that will change your life, we promise.

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Our Partners

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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The 6 biggest lies I believed before having kids

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves.

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves. Some of these ideas might have been based on our own ideas of how we would absolutely do things differently than everyone else. Others, we believed what everyone else told us would happen would apply to our littles, too. But, that's not always the case, mama.

Below are six of the biggest lies I believed before having kids—and the reality of what actually happened for me.

1. Put your baby down drowsy, but awake

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