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Are gender roles a thing of the past? How dividing roles brought peace to our home

Dividing our gender roles can seem like a thing of the past. 

Are gender roles a thing of the past? How dividing roles  brought peace to our home

My husband has always been very helpful when it comes to


family responsibilities.

His parents taught him to be very independent from a

young age—he cooks, he cleans, he pitches in around the house—and as his wife I’ve always been thankful for that.

So before our daughter was born I knew that he would be super helpful with our baby.

And he was, after I experienced a long labor that

ended in a C-section with the birth of our daughter, my husband got into work mode and took on diaper changes,

nighttime feedings, all while helping me recover.

I knew I couldn’t have asked for a better partner and father

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for our daughter.

After I fully recovered, I took on my new role as a full time mom who also worked part-time. My husband, working full time to support our family, still continued to jump right in to house and baby duties when he got home from work.

He would get home ask me how my day was, make our daughter a

bottle, place her on his chest and they would both fall peacefully asleep

for hours.

This gave me time to rest, make dinner or finish

cleaning up.

He would also take the night time feedings and diaper

changes so I could sleep a full night sleep.

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It felt like the gender-equal relationship that as a modern couple, I thought we were supposed to have.

Our arrangement had been working out perfectly during those

first months, but as our daughter grew older everything started changing.

I was spending most of my time with our daughter— I was learning

her habits, her likes and dislikes as she transitioned from a baby to a toddler. She was beginning to spend more time awake during the day, going to sleep at an earlier time and waking up less frequently at night. To make up for missed experiences on the homefront, my husband started taking on chores the moment he walked in the door, the bedtime routine and night wakings.

Months passed with this arrangement in our home, but

tensions started running high. Sure, my schedule was flexible, but that meant that I was often working at night instead of having some time to recharge after a full day of caring for my daughter. My husband was putting in a hard day at work, and coming home and beginning a second shift of caring and cleaning.

We were both exhausted and things at home were barely getting

done.

We wanted to make things work, but as our daughter grew more

active each day, finding the time to get my work or chores done at home became impossible.

We needed a change. We put our daughter to sleep one night and we had

a talk. We both had been trying so hard to take on both roles in the home and we

both were running on low.

“I know you want to put our daughter to sleep at night, but

it’s very stressful for me because she just wants to play with you and I can

put her to sleep much easier,” I said. “Hon, I need you to put her to sleep at

night because when I get home from work and a long drive I’m exhausted,” he

confessed.

Through this conversation we figured out we had both been trying to take on each other’s roles so much that we had created chaos in our home.

My husband has always been willing to help at home, but he also

needed time to go to work and rest. He was bringing home our main source of

income and this was necessary if I wanted to be my daughter’s main caregiver, which I did.

By trying to equally split up responsibilities, we were starting to drive ourselves crazy.

That day we both made a decision to lessen my work hours so

I could focus more on home and our daughter. That would give

my husband time and energy to focus on working and providing for our family.

We

also asked our family to take our daughter for at least one day a week so I

could complete all of my work responsibilities without distraction. We also started budgeting so that in the future we could hire a sitter and take on extra hours at work.

This wasn’t an an easy decision for me in the beginning.

Taking care of a child, taking care of a home plus working isn’t easy. But as I took on the

task I realized what a positive difference this was making in our home and most of all a

positive change in our marriage.

Allowing my husband to take care of his work responsibilities as I took care of the daily responsibility of our daughter and our home allowed us surprisingly more time together and less time trying to keep it all together.

Taking on the family responsibilities is a very humbling

job. There’s no income, it’s at times mundane and at times lonely. But it is

also so crucial.

I do feel so thankful that I get to be home with my daughter

and see her grow into the beautiful girl she is becoming. This choice is a personal one to every family, but I am confident it is the right choice for us, right now.

And I’m thankful for my husband. For not only being an

incredible father to our daughter but also to be an incredible husband who works

day in and day out so we can have the life we have now.

Dividing our “male” and “female” roles can seem like a thing of the past.

But it has brought our family to a more peaceful and happier place.

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

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

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

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

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on www.comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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