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Dear husband: It's the things we *don't* say that prove how powerful our love is

Perhaps the most powerful moments of our marriage so far have been in those quiet moments.

Dear husband: It's the things we *don't* say that prove how powerful our love is

[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,

I could easily say I love you, which is true, but somehow that doesn't feel like enough. I could tell you you're my best friend, which you are, but that doesn't quite capture what I'm feeling after five years of marriage—after 12 years on each others' team.

It is not often that I am at a loss for words, so I've been trying to think about why I'm so stumped here.

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Instead of telling you about all of the things I could say, let me tell you about all of the things that go unsaid. Let me tell you about the silence—because perhaps the most powerful moments of our marriage so far have been in those quiet moments.

Silence—when our friends and family bowed their heads to pray for us before we said, "I do." There were hundreds of people on the beach that day, but somehow it all faded away at that moment.

Silence—when we sat on a beach in Maui on the last night of our honeymoon. I had just drawn my new last name in the sand. We sat in chairs we had carried from our rental and watched the sun set and the waves roll slowly over my sandy cursive.

Silence—when we tried for eight months to have our first baby. Each month I prayed for that little line on the stick and felt my heart drop when it wasn't there. I didn't know how to find the words to tell you that it hadn't happened yet.

Silence—when you squeezed my hand during my emergency C-section and while we waited to hear our first baby girl cry. The delivery hadn't gone as planned, but maybe that was our first lesson into parenthood.

Silence—when you began quietly heading to work at 11 pm. Your transition to the overnight shift has been difficult in many ways, but you've done what you've needed to do to provide for your family.

Silence—when Netflix stopped playing. The screen read, "Are you still watching, Sophia the First'? Yes, Netflix. Yes, we are.

Silence—when after almost 15 months, our first baby started sleeping through the night. Yes. 15. months.

Silence—when we waited for the ultrasound tech to tell us the gender of our second baby. You were right—another girl!

Silence—when we waited 28 ½ hours for our second baby girl to come out of the special care unit. In the wee hours of the morning, we snuck into hold her and watched the monitors as her oxygen rate increased while she was in our arms.

Silence—when you stayed up all night with our sick toddler so I could take care of our infant.

Silence—when our 2-year-old and 8-month-old finally fell asleep after hours of screaming in the car. Yes, we were the ones who took our two young babes on a road trip to follow the Red Sox to Baltimore and Philadelphia.

Silence —when I battled with some pretty serious anxiety this year. You quietly learned my triggers and adjusted to help avoid them.

Silence—when you lost someone who was like a father to you. I rubbed your knee as we sat side by side in the pew before you delivered the eulogy.

Silence—when we've argued over little things—like getting house projects done or making sure that "cheese" makes it on the grocery list when one of us finishes it.

Silence—when we've argued over big things—like how to balance our hectic lives or how to best raise our children.

Silence—when we've argued over something big or small and you turn over to reach for my hand in bed anyway.

To me, that's what matters.

I know I have a lot to say. I know it might seem like I've always got something we need to talk about. I know our lives are moving at 100 miles per hour—the work grind, the girls, the coaching, the classes—it's a constant buzz.

I know that sometimes the silence isn't even our choice. Sometimes it's a quick kiss as I come in the door and you head out. Sometimes it's after both girls fall asleep and we're too tired for anything else.

Sometimes the silence is hard—loaded and heavy. Sometimes it's freeing and light. And sometimes it's even lonely. But please know the power I've felt in these quiet moments.

What's most important is that I can sit with you in complete silence and be content. Because there are a million little understandings between us. Because sometimes, nothing can be said. Because sometimes, nothing needs to be said.

Love,

Your wife

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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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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

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

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A friend and I bump into each other at Target nearly every time we go. We don't pre-plan this; we must just be on the same paper towel use cycle or something. Really, I think there was a stretch where I saw her at Target five times in a row.

We've turned it into a bit of a running joke. "Yeah," I say sarcastically, "We needed paper towels so you know, I had to come to Target… for two hours of alone time."

She'll laugh and reply, "Oh yes, we were out of… um… paper clips. So here I am, shopping without the kids. Heaven!"

Now don't get me wrong. I adore my trips to Target (and based on the fullness of my cart when I leave, I am pretty sure Target adores my trips there, too).

But my little running joke with my friend is actually a big problem. Because why is the absence of paper towels the thing that prompts me to get a break? And why on earth is buying paper towels considered a break for moms?

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