Dear husband, I know you’re stressed, too

In so many ways, you are the unsung hero in our family.

Dear husband, I know you’re stressed, too

[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.]

Dear husband,

Life as a mom is stressful. I worry a lot. I do even more. I don't get enough breaks, and there are days when I feel like I am going to break.

You've heard me talk about mental overload of motherhood—for good reason. It absolutely exists. My brain is spinning from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep (and then usually into the night).


Okay, it's 7:03am. 3 minutes late, that means I won't be able to peel the apples before I put them...

“Honey, don't forget it's gym day at school, you have to wear your sneakers..."

...What was I thinking about? Oh shoot we didn't get the dog his heart worm medicine yesterday. Okay, I'll just pick it up on the way to dropping off the dry cleaning...

“No sweetie, you can't use your brother's toothbrush. Where is yours?... wait why is there a tomato in your bathroom drawer?" (#truestory)

Okay so I'll pick up the medicine and drop off the dry cleaning and I wonder why my boss didn't reply to that email I sent last week. Should I call to follow up? I'll give it one more day. Oh don't forget to make the kids' flu shot appointments...

“No baby, you can't have a bowl of Flintstones Vitamins for breakfast..."

And so it goes. All day.

So much falls on my shoulders. The kids' schedules, 'making the magic' of the holidays and birthdays, dropping what I'm doing when someone had their feeling hurt at school or is having an epic tantrum that only mommy can fix. Laundry. That's all me.

But you have a mental overload too. And so much falls on your shoulders.

In so many ways, you are the unsung hero in our family. I get a lot of the “credit," but you are just as integral—to the kids, to the house, to me.

We share it all. Just because mine looks different than yours, it doesn't mean that my burden or stress is more valid. I want you to know, that I know.

Over the years, our career paths have ebbed and flowed and we've adjusted accordingly. After our youngest was born, I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom for awhile, and you had just started a job you loved. So we ebbed. You provided the income, I stayed home with kids.

I'd send you photos of our adventures to the farm or the park, and I know you really missed them.

Now, I'm back at work and my career is accelerating. So we flowed. You come home early to make dinner and take over with the kids, so I can do the work I love. When I work late (which is a lot) I come home to completed homework in backpacks, children tucked into bed, and a clean kitchen.

And sometimes when I'm working late in my office knowing I missed another bedtime, I really miss them.

We've learned to balance our strengths and weaknesses.

Yes, I make and keep all the medical appointments and ride in the ambulances when croup strikes again. But that's because I am a midwife so I can calculate medication dosages and handle a medical emergency with total stoicism.

You, on the other hand, are the artist, with the most creative ideas I've ever seen. So you're the one that builds elaborate forts and “alien dinosaurs" out of old cardboard , and encourages the kids to think outside the box.

Yes, I wrap all the presents and send the holiday cards—and I am fairly certain that Elf never would have found his way onto our shelf without me. But that's because I LOVE it. Bringing holiday magic (aka glitter) into our house is my absolute favorite thing. So the holidays fall on me—but I suspect you've allowed that to be because you know how much joy it gives me.

You, on the other hand, love working out—not my specialty. So you're the one that takes them to all their practices and teaches them fun ways to exercise, and is instilling the importance of a healthy lifestyle in them.

Yes, I am the first one that they cry out for when they have a bad dream, or when they are sick.

But you are the one first one I call when I am upset or sick.

I do more laundry. But up until very recently I have been convinced that we have some kind of magical garbage can gnome, because I have never once taken the garbage out—I'm starting to suspect it's you.

I am the one who remembers the details. But you are the one that reminds me to ignore the details and look at the big picture.

So thank you, for being my true partner.

Thank you for all the things you do—the things I notice, and the things I assume mythical fairy tale creatures are handling.

Thank you for letting me vent and not dismissing it because you're stressed too.

Thank you for letting me wrap all the presents, and never making me teach the kids how to do burpees.

Thank you.


Your wife

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.

Keep reading Show less

I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.

And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3


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


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?

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play