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My darling, why didn’t anyone tell us how hard it could be?

We're showing our children what hard work and determination look like, of course. But more importantly, we're showing them what working together can accomplish.

My darling, why didn’t anyone tell us how hard it could be?

Darling,

Some days it feels so hard, doesn't it? To get the important tasks checked off, to make sure our children are happy, to make sure we're communicating with one another. That we're planning and prepping and keeping this train chugging along.

And that we're not forgetting about ourselves along the way.

The beginning was easy, wasn't it? Falling in love with your person is, I guess. We were young and carefree and didn't yet have the weight of the responsibilities the size of three children, a mortgage, and being the ones to make sure ends meet. Those dreams, that once felt so surreal, are now our reality. The home full of messes, the days full of toddler giggles, the life full of love.

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The future we imagined then was clear, pretty and perfect.

There was no stress, no hardship, no roadblocks or detours ahead. The road to marriage and babies and career success was smooth.

We were cruising right along to our happily ever after.

So why didn't anyone in the cars next to us stop us to say how hard it would be to build all those dreams we conjured up together? Or at least about how tricky it would be to keep our personal goals at the forefront of our heads and hearts while also keeping the goals we've envisioned for our family top of mind too?

(All while changing diapers, squeezing in important conversations in between tantrums and gnawing on our fingernails as we check our bank account.)

Why, exactly, did we think this would be easy? 🤔

Well, we didn't know about childcare challenges and how much laundry five people could go through in a week. We didn't quite get the feeling of true, relentless exhaustion or what worrying about humans who are totally dependent upon us could do to our hearts.

And somehow, the initial feeling of taking our student loans out wasn't quite as painful as it has been to physically make those payments back every single month (for what feels like will be the rest of our lives).

We also didn't yet realize that time is a thief—and that we'd have to learn how to prioritize it precisely in order to get the important things done. Like our individual dreams.

It's taken us some time to understand that we have to be the ones to make our individual dreams one of those important priorities because they're not really individual dreams at all, they're family dreams.

Because what you want to achieve, is what I want you to achieve.


And what I dream about creating, is what you want me to have the time and space to create.

Every day we're learning more about how we can make this happen for ourselves and for each other. Because we're noticing what happens when we don't forget about ourselves—we're happy, we're vibrant, we're alive. We bring that spirit into our partnership and our families and it makes a world of difference.

We're showing our children what hard work and determination look like, of course. But more importantly, we're showing them what working together can accomplish. And how beautiful support is. Teamwork makes the dream work, so they say. But there's no dream without the magic of believing that anything is possible within yourself and without giving your partner permission and encouragement to do the same.

Saying "no" to fun events and activities because it's not in our very specific, very calculated family budget is not easy. Having to carry the weight of our home and caring for our children while you studied was not easy. Sometimes it felt like it might break me. And leaving you guys on perfect Sunday mornings for weeks and weeks on end to work on my novel hurt my heart some days.

None of this stuff feels easy.

But it all has a purpose—to work toward building the life we've always wanted. A life where dreams become reality, and anything can happen.

These responsibilities, to our dreams and to each other, keep us grounded.

To me, this is what it means to be a family.

I often stop and think about our path. The one that was designed just for us. And I think about us sitting at our kitchen table in 20 years with our children who will be grown adults. I don't know where we'll be living exactly, or what we will have accomplished in our careers (although, I have certain hopes for both), but I do know I'll be proud.

I'll be proud of the humans we raised and the love that has carried us over the speedbumps and potholes of life.

We'll look back on this time in our lives in awe. I think we'll wonder, How did we do all that, exactly?

And I think we'll know the answer.

It's because we had each other.


Because I found you and you found me and we've been with each other—really with each other—every step of the way in this wild, winding road that is life.

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.



Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on 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 support Motherly and mamas.

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They had fewer emergency room visits and were less likely to suffer from asthma + illness, according to findings.

We’re the ones who carry them for nine months, so it can be a bit of shock when a baby is born looking nothing like us. It might even feel a bit unfair, but don’t take it too hard, mama. Science proves looking like dad has some big benefits for babies.

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