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Love + Village

Dear husband: One day, we’ll miss all of this

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[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.]

My darling,

It won't always be like this. Our lives will not always feel like we're rushing, like we're perpetually late, like we're always playing catch up. Life will not always be this raising-three-little-kids level of chaos.


We won't always have a mountain of laundry to power through and tackle on the weekends because we've been too busy throughout the week to give it a second thought.

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We won't always be woken up at 2 am by our baby's cries or our 2-year-old's nightmare or our 4-year-old's accident.

We won't always lose our train of thought and completely forget what we were going to say because in the five minutes it's been since we started our conversation we've been asked why helicopters sound different than airplanes, why there is so much laundry on the guest bed, if we could go to the park, if we could listen to music and dance...and...what was I saying again…?

Oh, right….it won't always be like this.

We won't always spend most of our dinner asking (begging?) our children to 'take three more bites, please?' as we scarf ours down, prepping to take on the next challenge of the evening: bath time.

We won't always be too tired to get dressed up, think of a place to go to, and actually go there—together, by ourselves, to enjoy adult conversation. We won't always go months between date nights.

We won't always feel so overwhelmed on a daily basis in keeping up with these three tiny humans who are growing and learning every second of every day.

We won't always wake up feeling exhausted because we've been woken up three different times throughout the night and have early work/children related call times in the morning.

We won't always feel like we don't have much left to give each other at the end of a long day because our patience won't always be tested so hardcore every day and we won't be as physically and intensely needed by our children the way we are right now.

It won't always be like this.

One day, we'll have children who are grown. Who need us less. Who spend less time with us because of friends and sports and things that don't have anything to do with their parents.

And maybe then we will have more time to be up-to-date on laundry and it'll be easier to go out on more dates and we'll have more energy to engage in meaningful conversations with one another before we go to bed.

I think we will have all that. And I do look forward to that special period of time I'll get with you.

But right now we have all this. All this beauty. All this wonder. All this joy. Right at our fingertips.

I worry that we'll miss this madness. Will we even know what to do with ourselves if we're not figuring out bills while listening to 'I'm Still Standing' (the Johnny from Sing version, not Elton, obvs) blasting, while cleaning up spilled milk at the same time we're soothing a crying baby?

We'll miss the Saturday morning snuggle sessions with our girls when they no longer want to pile into our bed with us.

We'll miss the family hugs and the 'Teeeeeam Temple!' chants.

We'll miss the dance parties in the living room. And I know as sure as anything that I'll miss watching you scoop up one of our daughters to twirl around with them.

We'll miss the sound of giggles before bed as we read stories together and try to dodge the multiple bedtime-avoidance-requests we inevitably get.

We'll miss the weekend trips to the park and the elaborate storytelling and maybe even all the noise at dinner time.

We'll miss this stage of our life together. But, hey—there's no time like the now, right?

So let's laugh the frustrations off as best we can and sneak each other kisses in those Saturday morning pile ups. Let's put on a TV show for the girls when we want to have an uninterrupted conversation or go out when our parents are over. Let's take them on adventures and know that no matter how awry the plans go, that we have each other's backs because we're a team.

Let's keep trying.

It won't always be like this—no.

But, there will always be something. We're parents—we signed up for the somethings. So, let's be in this. Together. Now. Because before them, it was us. And after them, it'll be us.

One day, they will go off to write their own stories, and I'll be here, ready to write the next chapter with you. We're in this together—no matter what the this of the moment is.

Love,

Your wife

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Jessica Simpson's life seems perfect. She has three beautiful kids, a wildly successful career, a seemingly solid marriage...she has it all, at least as far as we can see. But recent revelations prove that no one really knows what anyone else is secretly dealing with—and Jessica, by her own admission, has been struggling with alcohol issues.

The singer-turned-business-woman recently sat down with TODAY's Hoda Kotb, and it will air on NBC's TODAY Wednesday morning.

"I had started a spiral and I couldn't catch up with myself…and that was with alcohol," Jessica explained. "I would say it openly to everyone. 'I know. I know, I'll stop soon. I'll cut back'," Jessica continued when asked if she realized things were getting out of control. "For me to cut back, like I'm an all or nothing girl, and so I didn't know it was a problem until it was...I completely didn't recognize myself…I always had a glitter cup. It was always filled to the rim with alcohol."

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She's hardly alone. The rise of #winemom phenomenon is well documented and many parents struggle with substance abuse problems. But Simpson's story proves there is a way to get your life back.

Simpson quit drinking in 2017 after she found herself unable to get her kids ready for a Halloween party. She says she'd started drinking before 7:30 in the morning, before accompanying her husband, Eric Johnson, to a school assembly for their oldest daughter. Later that night she was unable to get her kids dressed in their Halloween costumes. The next morning she was so ashamed. Feeling like she had failed her kids she slept until they left the house, then got up and drank some more.

That episode was her tipping point. She quit drinking (as did her husband, Eric Johnson, who supports her in her sobriety.)



As parents, we know how overwhelming the demands can be...and how easy it is to sink into habits that don't ultimately serve us well. For Jessica, the way to heal was to sever her relationship with alcohol.

"I had to give [drinking] up," Jessica said. "I'm not going to miss another day. I'm not going to miss another Halloween. I'm not going to miss another Christmas. I'm going to be present."

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Babies come with a lot of stuff. And when you're out and about, a roomy, comfy diaper bag is the place for everything you need to be prepared for whatever the day throws your way. But is a cute, trendy diaper bag that doesn't scream, well... DIAPER BAG, too much to ask? It's not, mamas.

We've rounded up our favorite diaper bags that don't actually look like diaper bags, but instead like the cute, super stylish bags you might have carried before the days of finding crushed up puffs at the bottom of your purse.

These bags prove you can get the job done, mama—and look darn good while doing it.

Freshly Picked City Pack

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Vogshow Waterproof Bag

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Skip Hop Travel Bag

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Companion Quilted Backpack

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Are you off to sit on the beach for a few hours, or taking your toddlers to the zoo? No one will be the wiser, mamas. We love the quilted look, padded straps, and roomy interior.

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Mommore Diaper Backpack

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JJ Cole Brookmont

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Little Unicorn Boardwalk Tote

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Presidio Vegan Leather Diaper Tote

Presidio Vegan Leather Diaper Tote

This stunning tote would make the perfect on-the-go bag. It comes with a changing page and a couple pockets on the inside to keep everything organized. Don't forget to personalize it!

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Ticent Tote

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Fawn Design Original

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Skip Hop Greenwich Backpack

No one would ever know this bag is packed full of baby's items. 😉

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Rosie Pope Highbury Hill

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If you're looking to up your style, this chic backpack will help you get there. Lots of inner pockets and zippered compartments make it simple to organize your stuff, and the top flap and wide opening make for quick + easy accessibility.

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Babymel Robyn

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We love everything about this effortlessly stylish faux leather backpack. It's easy to wipe down, converts to a cross body bag, and even comes with a changing pad and drawstring bottle holder.

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Petunia Pickle Bottom Pathway

Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper Tote

This two-tone canvas bag could not be prettier. We love that it easily stands upright when set down, and that it's super functional as a diaper bag yet super stylish as an everyday purse.

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Skip Hop Duo

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

Shop

Frustrations and emotions were at an all time high for both us. I was worried that my lack of patience would get the best of me, leaving her feeling let down and frustrated with me on her new journey of becoming a “big girl." And selfishly, I was tired of washing wet underwear. For her part, my daughter was tired of being asked for the hundredth time if she needed to use the potty.

We both were feeling a little defeated in this new adventure.

I have found too often as a mother that I expect my child to respond new things, like to potty training, as fast and as close to the last blog post, book or opinion I heard or read. What I have learned is that no two children are alike and the moment I release my expectations for where mine should or should not be, we are both brought back to peace and patience.

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So maybe a break was all we needed to start fresh the next day. We headed to our favorite spot by the lake and had a picnic. My daughter munched on popcorn and chatted away about the weather and pinecones, and listened for the sounds of helicopters—which you hear quite often living on an aviation military base.

Sometimes in the daily struggles of motherhood I have noticed that I can forget who I am and the strength we possess as mothers. It may not come easily at first, but I grow with each new day. Even potty training—this mundane human activity that is emotional and (quite literally) messy, teaches me much about the meaning and purpose of motherhood.

Potty training has taught me a huge lesson on patience. Patience to be present, to pay attention to what is right in front of me. To be encouraging, to not rush the process, to not place expectations on timing or play the comparison game we often play as mothers.

Patience is needed in every area of parenting and potty training is just one way where we can see as parents where our patience is wearing thin.

I have found that it's when I come from a place of patience and presence that I can then glean wisdom from those messy, mundane, time-consuming tasks of potty training, and find that the waiting, sitting and hours of time spent in the bathroom gives me an opportunity to be present in my child's world.

Whether it be the grocery line, a traffic jam, or cleaning up wet bedding, I learn the art and joy in the small and big moments in motherhood. Giving our children space to fail and try it again as many times as it takes encourages them that they too can cultivate the gift of patience in there own tiny lives.

My daughter speaks to me everyday, inviting growth that sometimes feels really hard and frustrating, she provokes patience to be felt and sensed through every minute of the day. And for this I am grateful. Because to truly live and be present in my child's world means “I learn from her, and she learns from me." Even in potty training.

Our children have so much to offer to who we are as individuals and they have so much to teach us. In fact, I have come to live for these exhausting, beautiful, and downright messy moments in time. When I push myself to embrace them, rather than just find them frustrating, I stretch and grow and evolve. I become the mother I hope to be.

And to you mama, whether in the midst of sleepless newborn nights or toddler tornados or the midst of potty training, may you find strength as a mother, as a wife, and as a person to let go of any expectations or judgements you place upon yourself.

May love and gratitude fill our hearts and peace be with all of us on the journey that motherhood is.

Life
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