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Dear husband: I am all in, forever

Dear husband,

I am with you when the bills are built up and unpaid and when our shoulders are tense with stress and worry.

I am with you when the kids are up sick in the middle of the night, and we brush shoulders as we grab towels and bowls and stroke little warm foreheads.

I am with you in seasons of wealth and seasons of scraping by. I am with you whether we drive a '97 Honda Accord or a 2018 Suburban. I AM WITH YOU.

I am with you when the fridge is full of good things, and I'm with you when we are thinking of new ways to cook potatoes and rice.

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I am with you even when it seems like I'm not. Even when I slam the door and storm out of the room, and when I roll to the far side of the bed so you don't forget that I am mad at you.

I am with you when I laugh at your jokes, and I'm with you when I roll my eyes.

I am with you when you're hilarious and fun and I'm with you when you're in that mood that makes me crazy.

I am with you when we have a glass of wine at the end of a defeating day, and I am with you when we pop champagne to celebrate.

I am with you as you struggle to find your dream job. I am with you as you unbury the passions in your heart and make them a reality. I believe in you even when you don't (I won't ever stop).

I'm with you when you fail and you say I'm sorry again.

I'm with you when you feel confident in yourself and certain of the future, and I'm with you when you're struggling and unsure.

You have been with me when I was young and you have been with me when my body was swollen and pregnant. You've been with me when I was soaked with milk and when I couldn't stop crying for days because hormones.

You've been with me when I got so mad I was mean.

You've been with me when I let my spending get out of hand again. You've been with me when I misplaced my 17th debit card and put the keys somewhere I just can't remember.

You've been with me when I ran the car out of gas and when I pulled over and cried because the fog was too thick to see.

You have been with me when I could barely leave the house with anxiety. You've been with me at doctors appointments when I was certain something was wrong (it wasn't).

You've been with me when I wanted to give up on my dream to write.

We have been together through miscarriages. We've held hands through tragic funerals and we have danced the night away at beautiful weddings.

We've been together when important relationships and dreams broke apart and our hearts felt like they were breaking too.

We've been together as long sleepless nights with crying babies turned into homework, bedtimes, and making a dozen eggs for breakfast.

You know me better than anyone, and I know you better than everyone.

I am with you.

I am all in, forever.

I choose you no matter what life throws at us.

I love you,

Your wife

Originally posted on Wonderoak.

[Editor's note: This story is a letter from a woman to her husband. While this is one example of one type of relationship, we understand, appreciate and celebrate that relationships come in all forms and configurations.]

When I was expecting my first child, I wanted to know everything that could possibly be in store for his first year.

I quizzed my own mom and the friends who ventured into motherhood before I did. I absorbed parenting books and articles like a sponge. I signed up for classes on childbirth, breastfeeding and even baby-led weaning. My philosophy? The more I knew, the better.

Yet, despite my best efforts, I didn't know it all. Not by a long shot. Instead, my firstborn, my husband and I had to figure it out together—day by day, challenge by challenge, triumph by triumph.

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The funny thing is that although I wanted to know it all, the surprises—those moments that were unique to us—were what made that first year so beautiful.

Of course, my research provided a helpful outline as I graduated from never having changed a diaper to conquering the newborn haze, my return to work, the milestones and the challenges. But while I did need much of that tactical knowledge, I also learned the value of following my baby's lead and trusting my gut.

I realized the importance of advice from fellow mamas, too. I vividly remember a conversation with a friend who had her first child shortly before I welcomed mine. My friend, who had already returned to work after maternity leave, encouraged me to be patient when introducing a bottle and to help my son get comfortable with taking that bottle from someone else.

Yes, from a logistical standpoint, that's great advice for any working mama. But I also took an incredibly important point from this conversation: This was less about the act of bottle-feeding itself, and more about what it represented for my peace of mind when I was away from my son.

This fellow mama encouraged me to honor my emotions and give myself permission to do what was best for my family—and that really set the tone for my whole approach to parenting. Because honestly, that was just the first of many big transitions during that first year, and each of them came with their own set of mixed emotions.

I felt proud and also strangely nostalgic as my baby seamlessly graduated to a sippy bottle.

I felt my baby's teething pain along with him and also felt confident that we could get through it with the right tools.

I felt relieved as my baby learned to self-soothe by finding his own pacifier and also sad to realize how quickly he was becoming his own person.



As I look back on everything now, some four years and two more kids later, I can't remember the exact day my son crawled, the project I tackled on my first day back at work, or even what his first word was. (It's written somewhere in a baby book!)

But I do remember how I felt with each milestone: the joy, the overwhelming love, the anxiety, the exhaustion and the sense of wonder. That truly was the greatest gift of the first year… and nothing could have prepared me for all those feelings.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

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I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

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