I promise to be your life partner and fellow tantrum-tamer for life

How our wedding vows would change post-kids...

I promise to be your life partner and fellow tantrum-tamer for life

[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.]

I was just thinking back on what life was like for the two of us before we got hitched, bought a house, and crammed three kiddos into said house in a short span of five years.

Pre-kids, we'd go out to leisurely dinners on a whim. We'd spend money on ourselves. We were more spontaneous.

Post-kids, we love a night of Netflixin' (and yes, sometimes chillin', too #wild) and take-out on the couch. We love plans and routines.

I mean, sure, we'd still probably love a spontaneous trip to Nashville or something—but that's just not in the cards right now. And that's cool. We are tending to our (still young) marriage, while also raising small children.

It's not easy—but everyday we're choosing it, we're doing it and we're learning along the way.

I was thinking back on our wedding ceremony and how nervous I was to recite our vows in front of a big crowd of people. And then I kind of chuckled to myself thinking, If those two only knew the road in front of them!

I can laugh now, because I understand the chaos that is parenting babies and toddlers— a.k.a. wild tiny human dictators. I understand the unconditional love I have as a parent to said (super cute, snuggly) dictators.

So, I want to write some new vows. Some “We are no longer newlyweds but now some wise thirtysomethings about to drop some knowledge on newlyweds everywhere" vows.

Here they are:

I, Colleen, take you, Colin, to be my husband/ life partner/ co-parent/ teammate/ good-cop-bad-cop tag-teamer/ fellow tantrum tamer/ love of my life.

I promise to be there for you in good times and in bad, because Lord knows there will be lots of both.

I promise to be there for you after we both have been up on and off all night with a potty training child who's wetting the bed and a toddler who's getting her molars.

I promise to be there for you when I get a “I need to take the late train home tonight" text and have to survive the dinner-bath-bedtime routine on my own and I'm mad but also understand but am tired and mad but also really grateful for your hard work.

I promise to be there for you throughout all the happy parenting moments and milestones like sleeping through the night for the first time (and both freaking out/ wondering if everything is okay), or our kiddos taking their first steps, adding babies to our brood, and successfully sending our littles off to preschool.

I promise to be true to you in sickness and in health. Your sickness and health. My sickness and health. And our kids' sickness and health. I promise to keep my cool while we're up at 3:00 am changing puke sheets and bathing our poor sick baby. (At least we're doing it together!)

I promise not to stay mad at you for too long after you've walked in on me using the bathroom because you didn't knock or if you continuously leave your sneakers in my path, and/or keep complaining about your poison ivy for the millionth time while I am 38 weeks pregnant with our third child (and are probably slightly more uncomfortable than your itchiness. #Justsayin')

I will love you and honor you all the days of my life. Especially when you come home with surprise ice cream or pretend like my greasy hair looks pretty or figure out childcare so I don't have to or encourage me to go out with my girlfriends or take me on a date.

I will love you more and more every day. More each time we have another baby. Because watching you hold the newborn we created together just does something to me.

I will love you more and more each time we successfully solve a problem together and work as a team. It can be so hard to figure this stuff out, but somehow, we do it right more often than not. (Or we convince each other that we are…) And it makes me so proud of what we're building together.

I will love you more and more each time you encourage me to set goals and reach them. I have so many dreams. And you're here cheering me on every step of the way. It means the world to me, and I promise to do the same for you.

I will love you more and more every day. I swear. No matter what. (Seriously. No matter how many times you still leave your sneakers in the exact spot I ask you not to. #Truelove)

We have seen each other at our worst, but we are also lucky enough to beam with pride next to each other when we're at our best. You are my person, my forever. I wouldn't choose anyone else to ride this wild, roller coaster of a life with, other than you.

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When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

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Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.


Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.


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Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.


boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

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For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.


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Help your little one help themselves.

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You may be hearing a lot more of "I do it!" or maybe they're pushing your hand away as a signal to let you know, I don't need your help, Mama. That's okay. They're just telling you they're ready for more independence. They want to be in charge of their bodies, and any little bit of control their lives and abilities allow.

So, instead of challenging your toddler's desire for autonomy, we found five of our favorite products to help encourage independence—and eliminate frustration in the process.

EKOBO Bamboo 4-piece kid set

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Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

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Lorena Canals basket

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This viral post about the 4th trimester is exactly what new mamas need right now

"We are alone. Together. You are surrounded all the other mothers who are navigating this tender time in isolation. You are held by all of us who have walked the path before you and who know how much you must be hurting. You are wrapped in the warm embrace of mama earth, as she too settles into this time of slowness and healing."

Artist and teacher Catie Atkinson at Spirit y Sol recently shared a beautiful drawing of a new mom crying on a couch—leaking breasts, newborn baby, pile of laundry and what we can only assume is cold coffee, included. Everything about the image is so real and raw to me—from the soft stomach to the nursing bra and the juxtaposition of the happy wallpaper to the palpable vulnerability of the mother—I can almost feel the couch underneath me. I can feel the exhaustion deep in this woman's bones.

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