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I have two kids—and I think I'm done

The idea of "more," making more money, obtaining more things—and in my case, creating more life—is not necessarily the ticket to a happier life.

I have two kids—and I think I'm done

I met my best friend Katie in fifth grade and one of our most favorite games to play was MASH. Our future fates would be decided by one "magic number" where one of us counted the rings on a spiral circle after the other screamed STOP as loud as humanly possible. "Future Husband" and "Number of Children" were clearly our two favorite categories. I remember my "magic combination," and it was marrying Mel Gibson plus having four kids.

And my plan was to do all of this by the time I reached 27. Getting married and having children would be the ultimate climax of life. At the age of nine, the pressure was on to best prepare for the long climb to the top.

I am now 34 and approaching my five-year wedding anniversary. My husband Josh and I have two girls, ages one and two. While I didn't marry Mel Gibson, I have definitely won in the partner category. My husband is my perfect teammate and we have learned so many beautiful lessons while building our family together.

My two girls are healthy, smart and thriving. We are staying constantly busy with all that comes along with nurturing a strong marriage and two kids under two. But what about Category Two: "Number of Children"? Four was the winning number, so how could I possibly be simply happy with "just" two?

By reflecting on growing my family, I have come to realize that my true fear of being done having children is the end of my own life's climax. My thinking has been that continuing to have children with my husband would slow down the climax.

The truth is that meeting my husband, planning our wedding, and creating new life has been my life's greatest joy. It seems perfectly healthy and rational to not want this chapter to come to a close. My husband also reminds me that he sometimes he pictures a son to go golfing with or to take on his guys trip every summer (and also probably to counteract the abundance of estrogen in our home).

So how could I ever accept that my family is complete?

During my most recent fourth trimester, I found the practice of mindfulness to be extremely helpful. Slowly, I am beginning to understand and accept that there is no "life climax." It has taken focus and practice to retrain myself to live in the present and not make every decision based on how it will impact me in the future.

For example, in grade school, the main reason I studied was to get good grades so that I would be accepted into top universities. My intention for studying wasn't to learn but was to better my chances of succeeding in the future.

Once in college, my goal was then to get great grades so I could get a great job. Securing a great job would make me attractive to the perfect mate, who I then would make beautiful perfect children with, therefore completing my life's climax.

I am now humbly accepting that this way of living life is not what I want to pass down to my daughters. Instead, I want them to know that sometimes constantly competing at life can leave you feeling depleted and drained. Embracing your limitations and learning when to be content with having enough is much more fulfilling.

The idea of "more," making more money, obtaining more things—and in my case, creating more life—is not necessarily the ticket to a happier life. Being truly grateful for what I have and enjoying simple interactions with things and people I love trumps my anxiety about what the future may or may not hold.

Each day, each minute and every second of being alive is a blessing. Enjoying the present moment and breathing in the smell of my daughter's beautiful hair is a blessing. I have become less concerned with what is still to come and more interested in what is happening right now.

By letting go of pursuing the climax, I am much more appreciative of my everyday happenstances. I continue to dream about what the future will bring, but now I find myself less exhausted because of it. The ordinary moments of each day have become more exciting and alive for me.

I can't help but think back to playing MASH in Katie's bed late at night when her mom thought we were sleeping. Should my daughters do the same with their best friends, I hope they will hear my whisper that it is okay to dream, but wherever they find themselves, I hope they are happy and know they are enough.

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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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