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I didn’t know I could love my husband more—and then he became a dad

This is the messiest, sleepiest, craziest time—and that’s when you realize what a good thing you really have.

I didn’t know I could love my husband more—and then he became a dad

It’s impossible for any of us to know what kind of parent we’ll be until we become one. Nothing—and I mean absolutely nothing—can prepare you for having your own baby, one you can’t wave goodbye to at the end of the day as you kick up your feet and open a cold beverage.


I knew I was ready and willing to take on the challenge of having a baby and I trusted my husband was, too. I had faith he would do his best to adapt to the steep learning curve of parenthood, but it wasn’t until I actually saw my husband in action (starting in the delivery room) that I knew I was going to love him more now that we had a baby.

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I’m not claiming either of us are perfect parents—and our marriage isn’t immune to the countless challenges that come along with having a precious, adorable bundle of neediness. We have plenty of blissful moments as mommy, daddy and baby, but for every happy moment there is an equally difficult one. As is the case with other couples we know who have kids, our days are riddled with fighting and disagreements mixed together with inhumane levels of exhaustion.

Still, I think my husband is even more awesome now that we have a baby. Here are five reasons why:

1. He gives me serious props for the amount of physical pain I can endure

I didn’t have the easiest labor and delivery, and the only person who knows that better than I do is my husband. He held my hand, my leg and my puke bucket for more hours than either of us can remember. The only time he left my side was for a quick bathroom break, and he was back before I knew he had left. When it was all over, we were both in awe of our precious baby girl, but my husband made it known he was equally in awe of my hidden superhuman strength.

2. He makes the most ridiculous sounds and faces when he interacts with our baby

The first time I saw my husband side shuffle around our living room making semi-accurate monkey sounds, I knew he was going to be a super cool dad. If he’s not attempting to sound like an animal from the zoo, he’s contorting his face into an expression that even I haven’t seen in the decade I’ve known him. Watching the two of them play is wildly entertaining, and even though I can’t make sense of what the heck he’s doing half the time, my daughter eats up every second of it.

3. He wants more kids even though this is the hardest thing we’ve done together

The demands for blueberry pancakes for dinner and foot rubs to alleviate my mammoth levels of ankle swelling were just the beginning of how our relationship would change now that we were parents. After nine months of him putting up with my puffy-faced whining and incessant and irrational requests, we had our baby. And then it got really hard. Becoming parents felt insurmountable many days, but we did it. We survived the first year, and now, when we finally feel like we’ve found our feet again, he says he’s ready to re-live it all by adding baby number two.

4. He’s not afraid of smelly, sticky situations

Projectile poop at 3 a.m. is no match for this dad. Luckily, that kind of mess lasted only a couple of weeks before we graduated to controlled poops every couple of hours or so. He dove right in and took even more caution than I did to thoroughly clean the area and apply diaper cream for even the faintest hint of redness. Spit-up, vomit, pee escaping the sides of diapers... He deals with it all and almost never complains, because he knows this kind of clean-up is listed in the job description.

5. He says I’m the best mom and I believe him

As a new mom, you often hear, “You’re doing such a good job.” “You’re a natural.” “You’re an amazing mother.” While these words are well-intentioned and beyond kind, many people who offer up such positive sentiments don’t see us moms in the thick of it—all day long and sometimes all night long. They don’t see us wiping the sweat from our brows for the 100th time in a day or crying in the shower because sometimes it just feels too overwhelming to be a parent.

Our husbands see us struggle, so when mine tells me I’m the best mom, I believe every word—and that’s how I make it through until tomorrow.

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I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

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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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

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.

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

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

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

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

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

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

Janod retro scooter balance bike

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

Plan Toys croquet set

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

janod toys pull along hippo toy

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

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It's a moment that changes a family, a mother and the world. The moment a new baby enters the world everything changes. The occasion is momentous, and more and more often photographers are embedded in mothers' birth teams, ready to preserve a family's history as it happens.

And in the age of the internet, these photos don't always stay with the family. Photographers and parents are choosing to share incredible birth images that are changing the way others see birth.

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