Dear husband: What I need you to know as I transition to being a SAHM

Don't let the routine of our lives fool you into thinking this is easy.

Dear husband: What I need you to know as I transition to being a SAHM

Dear husband,

As you know, I recently decided to step away from my job and stay home with our two children full-time. The reasons were complex and multifaceted and the decision was not an easy one, but as we have discussed, it is what is best for our family right now.

I realize though, that while we have discussed the practical realities of this choice—the financial ramifications, the feasibility of it—there is still so much that hasn't been discussed, so much I haven't been able to articulate. There are infinite and nuanced angles to this decision, and so much I feel like I need to tell you.


I am happy and content with my decision, but I am also scared. Scared that one day, not long from now, you will no longer see me. I am terrified that for you and our children, I will fade into the background, blend into the fabric and paint of our walls, become the set in which you lead your lives—no longer one of the featured players.

I know how hard this job of mothering is. I know that for all of its blessings and grace, it is also work—unglamorous, tedious, often lonelywork. I need you to see—always, really see—the effort I put in.

I need you to validate and appreciate it and not take it for granted. I need you to remember when you come home after a long day, I have put in a long day as well, only my work continues, through nights and weekends and holidays, through every second of my life.

It doesn't ever leave me, the mental and emotional burden of raising our children, the herculean tasks of keeping them happy and healthy and teaching them to be good and kind and responsible.

I need you to know that taking care of our children is my job, and that everything else—the cleaning and cooking and household chores—are secondary, tasks that should be shared between us.

If we had a nanny, we would not expect her to pay our bills, cook our dinners, run all of our errands, take care of the dog, and clean our house. We would expect her only to care for our children, keep them fed and happy and stimulated.

And so, if you come home and there is no dinner and the house is a mess, please don't wonder how it's possible I could be home all day, doing "nothing." I can't have you think that of me. If you need proof of my work, if you need to see the evidence, look at our kids. They are my beautiful, exhausting, sometimes impossible work.

Don't let the routine of our lives fool you into thinking this is easy.

Please don't say things like, "I wish I could just stay home all day." I feel like a statement like that is a casual devaluation of my life's focus and efforts—even though I know you don't mean it that way. A stay-at-home mom already carries a chip on her shoulder of her own making at times. Tell me you appreciate what I do, that you're proud. Give me positive feedback and encouragement, because most of the time the work of a mom is invisible.

As my husband, I need you to see what I put into this life. I need you to be proud of me, the same way I am of you.

I need you to remember that we are partners. You will see me caring for our children as their mother, and it will be tempting to start to see me in that caregiver role in your own life, but while I love you and will always look out for you, I am your partner, first and always.

We are meant to go through this life as equals, as two independent adults, and one of my biggest fears is that one day I will just be the person who cooks for and cleans up after you, who buys your groceries and folds your clothes. Remember the intelligent, capable woman you married. It will break my heart if you forget her.

I need you to care about the examples we are setting for our children. It is 2018, and I refuse to raise my kids with a retro vision of gender roles. Show them that there is no distinction between a man and woman's role in a household, that we both can be hands-on and involved.

I am not a 1950s housewife. You will never come home to me in a spotless dress and apron, waiting with a cocktail, roast beef, and plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies. When you get home, I will be exhausted and covered in food or spit-up. I will probably be in sweatpants.

I might seem harsh or distracted, and you will likely be disappointed in my lack of affection or attention. Just know that it isn't you. It is because I have literally spent my day surrounded by children, bottomless pits of human need, and my tank is empty.

I love you. I love our children. And I'm happy with this choice. I am grateful for the ability to stay home with our kids. But I am also so scared that you will see me differently, that the world will see me differently, that I will see myself differently.

This is why I need you, the man I married, the man who loved me long before I was a mother, the man who knows my strengths and capabilities and talents (and my flaws) to recognize the work I do for our family. Promise that you will always see me, whether I go back to work one day or continue to stay home with our children.

See me when I can't, my love. And be there if I need you to help me find my way back.


Your wife

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By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.


Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!


Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.


Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌


Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.


Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.


Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.


Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

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

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