Dear husband, I don’t thank you enough for all that you do

Dear husband,

Back in our Dual Income, No Kids days, I couldn't imagine what kind of father you would be. I had barely seen you interact with children. In those fleeting moments with my nieces you seemed awkward, aloof, cracking nerdy jokes they were too young to understand.

I wondered if you really liked babies, let alone if you were ready to make one.

You had told me early on, just a few weeks after we met, that you wanted children. You said, "Lots of children, in fact, because becoming a dad one day was "a great purpose" in life.

I was taken aback, told you that I felt too old to hatch a brood. Can we start with one and play it by ear? I wondered if you really knew how much a child would change your world.

Later, we found ourselves pregnant at (almost) the first try. I was curious and excited to see you in your dad shoes, pictured you with our tiny someone cradled in the crook of your arm.

But I couldn’t predict if you would like being a dad. Would it be a struggle to bond? Would you know what games to play? As it was, we didn’t get the chance to find out.

When our baby dream crumbled, and me along with it, you were a rock. Stoic, logical, focused on the next attempt, while I cried hot tears and kept asking why.

I wondered if, to you, a child was just a concept, vivid in your mind but not in your heart?

Then, at last, came our rainbow baby, a perfect little girl, with a button nose and almond eyes and palms as soft as marshmallow.

In those first moments holding her, squalling and blanketed, you fell head-over-heels. A daddy was born, as easy and natural as her first breath, and you became more fully you. I should never have doubted.

I don't thank you enough for being the father that you are.

The one who changed every hospital diaper and perfected the art of swaddling while I clung to sleep.

The one who knows a single lullaby and is brave enough to sing it over and over.

The one who paces the floor, rocking, and dancing, massaging and shushing, helping ease those colic pains into the wee small hours.

Our daughter's favorite mountain to climb.

Car-seat-swinger extraordinaire.

The best running mate a tired mama could ask for.

Fatherhood fits you like a glove, and no one knows it better than our daughter does. Her face lights up when you come home from work. It wasn’t my tickles that first made her giggle, but yours. It’s your hair that is the most fun to pull, you who makes bath time the highlight of the day.

I don't thank you enough for all that you do.

When I nag you that no, her leggings go on OVER her onesie, I should stop and thank you for dressing our baby girl.

When I complain that there’s soapy water all over the floor, I should stop and thank you for bathing her.

When I berate you for a wonky diaper or for too much butt paste, I should stop and thank you for changing her.

When I shout after you to "SLOW DOWN around the corners!" I should stop and thank you for taking her out for a walk.

When I roll my eyes at your age inappropriate History of Transportation book, I should stop and thank you for reading to her.

When I put a pillow over my head and try to pretend it's your turn to get up, I should stop and thank you for all the (many!) times you've comforted her at night.

When I tut that your knees aren't big enough for both a baby and a laptop, I should stop and thank you for spending the first hour of your work day watching our daughter while I slept in.

Most of all, I should thank you that you have made her your greatest priority.

I can't wait to see how you grow, together.


Your wife

Mom life demands efficiency. Because while the amount of hours in the day are the same as before kids, now a sizable chunk of that time is spent caring for and loving on those little people. Compromises happen—and let's just be honest, the old beauty routine is one of the first things to get cut.

But, wait! You don't have to sacrifice putting on mascara or, worse, skipping the SPF. Instead, why not flip it, reverse it, and look at the bright side? Here's your opportunity to streamline your morning makeup routine. With some savvy skin care and beauty hacks, you can get your radiant glow on in record time.

Here are our tried-and-true hacks passed down from Motherly mamas:

1. Embrace multipurpose items

If the most pressing issue is limited time, consolidate multiple steps of your beauty routine with a multipurpose item. For example, instead of starting with a SPF moisturizer, followed by spot concealer and a blendable foundation, you can take care of all of that in one go with one of our favorites: Earth Mama's 3-in-one Lady Face™ Tinted Mineral Sunscreen. The beauty stick also allows you to easily fold SPF 40 into your routine, because Lady Face doubles as super-safe, clean sun protection. Even better? The sunscreen blocks blue light from those ever-present digital screens with a ray-scattering, non-nano formula.

2. Revive dried mascara

Especially after a sleepless night (#motherhood), mascara can make a major difference in how well rested you appear to be. If you realize your tube of mascara is dried out, don't write it off as a lost cause. Simply soak the sealed tube in warm water to loosen up the mascara — or add a drop of a multi-purpose saline solution into the tube. That should do the trick until you have time to buy a replacement. (But let's face it: You're a mom. It's okay if you're tired.)

3. Keep coconut oil handy

Coconut oil isn't just for the kitchen. From a DIY hair mask to an in-a-pinch lip balm or naturally removing makeup at the end of the day, coconut oil's cosmetic hack-list is long. For summer, we especially like adding a thin swipe of organic extra virgin coconut oil to the cheekbones at the end of the makeup routine for a bit of an extra glow.

4. Multitask while deep conditioning

If your hair needs a bit of TLC, consider applying a natural, paraben-free deep conditioner before doing chores around the house or even a short workout. By working up a bit of a sweat, the conditioner will set even better before you rinse off in the shower.

5. Start your hair care routine the night before

As you work to find your new normal morning routine, it can help to simply reschedule a task or two—like hair. If you shower the night before, get a jumpstart on your look by blowdrying, straightening or even braiding it for loose waves in the morning.

6. Even out your skin tone

Between multiple wake-ups during the night and wavering hormones, complexion issues can become a thing for most mamas. Thankfully, the hack for managing that is as simple as finding a great foundation that goes on smoothly and doesn't cake or crack through a morning of momming. Scope out the ingredient list for naturally nourishing components like coconut oil, shea butter or beeswax — and skip the stress (and the return process if the shade doesn't match) by going for something that easily blends with most skin tones.

7. Find brands your feel great about

As a mom, you might find yourself considering bigger life questions: Are my cosmetics safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding? Are they helping the world my children will grow up in? Can I trust the ingredients and mission? Pro tip: read the ingredients on all your personal care products, memorize the ones you want to avoid, and look for third-party certification to ensure the product is actually what it says it is. When you find a brand that walks the talk, you're going to want to be loyal.

8. When in doubt, go for a bold lip

With happy hours swapped for play dates, your daily routine may look a bit different than it used to. But who says you have to leave your personal style behind? If you've always been a fan of makeup and going a bit glam, keep going for it, mama! The extra 60 seconds it takes to apply lipstick or whatever else gives you a bit of pep in your step is well worth it.

This article was sponsored by Earth Mama Organics. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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