15 amazing parenting lessons we learned from our husbands

When it comes to parenting, there’s a spotlight that shines down on moms. And while, yes, we did carry our little ones in our bodies for nine months, and yes, we do produce the magical elixir that is breast milk, and yes, we really are that amazing, we can’t take all the credit.

Dads are often overlooked for their equally important—if sometimes totally different—contributions to this whole child-raising game. So we asked #TeamMotherly to share the game-changing parenting lessons their husbands have taught them. It sounds like there are some pretty amazing fathers out there.

Here’s what you shared:

“That it's okay to push them out of their comfort zones. They will be fine, and probably even better for it. It makes me nervous sometimes but it's good for all of us.” —Darci

“That everything doesn’t have to be done ‘right now.’ Bedtime can be pushed a little if we’re playing and having fun. The dishes can wait if the baby needs some extra cuddles, and he can lay on the bed for a bit without getting dressed right away just so we can hear him laugh when we blow on his tummy. We can’t schedule in making memories; those moments are organic. And you can’t have them if you’re constantly doing something or trying to move onto the next thing on your ‘to-do’ list.” —Jennifer

“Don’t stress about the mess. Take time to breathe.” —Hara

“He's taught me that I should be more silly, and a be a goofball more often! I have my goofy moments but nowhere near how he makes the kids laugh! He's taught me that I should worry less about keeping up with the house and that stuff and being so serious, and just get silly with him and the kids.” —Elna

“To have fun. To not worry about petty things like, the house clean every moment. To make things into a game for kids sometimes. To just let go and enjoy the moment.” —Cheps

“To enjoy where we are right now instead of being in such a hurry to move on to the next phase. To slow down and savor the moment instead of being so anxious to move forward.” —Ashley

“That I have higher expectations for myself than I have for other people. I need to give myself grace more often.” —Monique

“That you're going to make mistakes but you can't dwell on them. You have to accept that you won't be perfect.” —Katrina

“To slow down and enjoy them while they're little and how important it is to be gentle and patient.” —Jeanette

“There's more than one way (or my way) to do things right...and his way is just as valuable.” —Lluviana

“Having fun is more important than sticking to a strict schedule. We can postpone dinner or bedtime for more quality time together.” —Sheila

“My husband leads by example and always reminds me to be patient. They are just little and are learning what to do and not to do, it's up to us to teach them and being impatient with them isn't going to get us anywhere.” —Maddie

“My husband is working hard to make me become more confident in my skills as a mother and he's putting lots of efforts to show me that I am doing a great job. We're first time parents of an almost 3-month-old baby girl. The beginning is beautiful but kind of bumpy. His unconditional love for us helps me keep my head up even when I feel like I failed in every possible way.” —Ioana

“My hubby has taught me that it doesn't have to be all or nothing. We can cloth diaper and use disposables. I can breastfeed and he can bottle feed. We can do BLW and spoon feed oatmeal, yogurt, and other fun foods. Once I realized we could break the ‘rules’ and do what worked for us life got a whole lot easier.” —Andrea

“My hubby reminds me to trust my instincts like he trusts his.” —Amanda

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, there are many factors that, as a mama, are hard to control. Who's going to wet the bed at 3 am, how many times a small person is going to need a sip of water, or the volume of your partner's snoring are total wildcards.

One thing you can control? Tricking out your bed to make it as downright cozy as possible. (And in these times, is there anywhere you want to be than your bed like 75% of the time?)

I've always been a down comforter sort of girl, but after a week of testing the ridiculously plush and aptly named Snug Comforter from Sunday Citizen, a brand that's run by "curators of soft, seekers of chill" who "believe in comfort over everything," it's safe to say I've been converted.

Keep reading Show less

When we recognize kids' unwelcome behaviors as reactions to environmental conditions, developmental phases, or our own actions, it lets us respond proactively, and with much more compassion.

Here are 10 ways kids may seem like they're acting "naughty," but really aren't.

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play