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Dear husband: I know you're stressed, too

You are really IN THIS life with me—deep in the trenches of parenthood.

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,

You got home tonight around 8:45 pm. You left the house this morning at 5:45 am. You went to the grocery store right after work because we didn't make it there over the weekend.

You came in and unloaded the groceries. You put them away. You laughed about how tired you were. I admired your ability to not let frustration take over.


After putting the groceries away, you took our still-awake youngest from me so I could do a workout. You ate your dinner while you hung out with her on the couch. You were delighted to see each other.

Tomorrow, you'll get up a little after 5 am and do it all over again. The next day, too. The day after that will be the same story.

I see the toll that the stress in our life is taking on you. I know what you're trying to do for us—you're trying to give us the world. But the weight of that world rests on your shoulders—and it's heavy.

You work hard. You worry. You wish your commute didn't take up so much time, so you could have more time at home with us. You stress. You lose sleep. You problem solve. You plan. You help out. You share the load. You are really IN THIS life with me—deep in the trenches of parenthood.

You are right there with me when one, two...or all three of our children wake up in the middle of the night. When one has an accident or the other gets sick, when one is coughing up a storm or the other has a fever.

You are right there with me when our bank account is looking dangerously low. When we've had to shift some things around to make it work. When we've analyzed our budget and prioritized saving for our future, for our family.

You are right there with me when the laundry is threatening to take over our whole entire house. When we've had to tag team the flipping and the folding. When the dishes are piled up and the crumbs are plenty.

You are right there with me when we go on an adventure and it doesn't go as planned… and we need more patience than we can muster. When we need to pivot. When we need to think quickly to turn things around.

You are right there with me when we don't know the answer… when the worries seem to be multiplying… when the to-do list doesn't stop growing… when we wonder if we're making the right choices.

Now you're sick. Because you've run yourself ragged this past couple of weeks helping to keep everything balanced. Because that's what we promised one another. And because you're showing up for me—for us.

And it's so worth it, isn't it?

Being IN THIS with you means being in awe of this beautiful family we've created together—out of our love.

It means being able to go to you with anything, knowing you'll have my back. It means having someone to roll our eyes at when our toddler comes out of their bedroom for the fifth time for another glass of water.

At the same time, it means having someone to look at with hearts in my eyes during a family dance party. It means that I have the support of a partner, a teammate—someone who I can ride this parenting wave with.

It means feeling safe and secure and understood.

So, I just wanted you to know that I see the monumental effort and amount of work you're putting in each and every day.

I notice when you look exhausted (but still hot 🔥). I hear you saying, "Quiet, girls, Mommy is resting." I feel you get out of bed when one of them cries. I hear the pain in your "I hate when I don't get to see the girls when I work late" texts. I know you are giving it your all every single day. I never doubt that.

I am so deep IN it right now. But thank goodness I am IN it with you. Thank you for being by my side and filling my world with more love than I could have ever imagined. You make everything better.

Love,

Me

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14 Toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Sand play set

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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.

$30

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.

$100

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.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

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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.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

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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.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

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There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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!

$75

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.

$30

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Gracious Gobbler

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