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“The days are long, but the years are short.”

So, so true.


I have a saying, too. “The days are long and the dinner, bath and bedtime routine are even longer. I’m tired and want to relax and go to sleep.” ?

Seriously though—sometimes it feels like the evening schedule we have in our house can… well… take a while. But maybe that’s mostly because I’m with our kids all day and one day can often consist of school drop offs and pick ups, tantrums, work meetings, activities of all sorts, trying to shower, fitting naps in, deadlines, lots of coffee, meal planning, scheduling—the list can go on and on.

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So, when the clock strikes “need to make dinner” time—it feels like I need an IV of caffeine to plow through it. ☕

And that wasn’t working for me anymore. I decided I’d do something about it: I’d gracefully bow out of the bath, pjs, book and bedtime part of the evening.

I’d make dinner—because my husband doesn’t get home early enough to do that—but then, I’d let my girls and my husband get some quality time together.

Here are 5 reasons why—

1. Science says it works

And, who am I to argue with research?

As Motherly Reporter Heather Marcoux recently explained, “According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, fathers who engage with their children through shared book-reading see a boost in their own parenting skills while also raising their preschooler’s school readiness and behavior.”

So, it’s beneficial for dads to do this part of the evening routine anyway? Win-win, mama!

2. He wants to do it

My husband works out of the house—leaving before the sun rises and getting home around dinner most nights. He misses his girls and wants to cram as much fun and quality time in with them as possible before they go to bed.

We usually have dinner together, and then they are off to their normal routine—bath, brush teeth, PJs, lots of laughs, books, then bed. He’s recharged in that loving goodness only your kiddos can give you and it makes us all really happy.

3. I can still be tagged in for bedtime snuggles

Bath time and the rest of their little routine before actually getting into bed usually takes about an hour or so. So, even if I am needed for laying down with one of our daughters, I still get about an hour or so to myself before I may be tagged in.

That little break, on nights I am needed for bedtime, helps energize me to get back into parenting mode. And it makes those snuggles and night time chats even more enjoyable.

4. It recharges me in so many ways

I am with my kiddos all day. Someone is always touching me, requesting something from me, needing me. And that’s all well and good—that’s called being a mom. But it can be too much some days—and I just need a moment to myself.

So, my hour (or more) of time to myself while my husband takes charge of bedtime gives me time to catch up on work emails, finish an article, be in my room with the door closed and music in my ears. It gives me a second to think clearly and remember I am a person with passions and goals and not just the snack getter or boo-boo kisser (although, I do love those jobs, too. ?)

I am able to wipe away any frustrations from the day, recharge the ol’ batteries a bit and regroup with my husband after he emerges from the girls’ room—unless he falls asleep in there in which case I have to go wake him up so we can hang out.

5. Its something we all look forward to

The hour or so before my husband gets home from work, both girls consistently ask “Is Daddy home?” “Will he be home soon?” “When is he getting home, Mom?”.

They then get sooo excited when they hear his car pull into the driveway. They love being allowed to open the front door and jump right on him. And—needless to say—he LOVES this enthusiastic greeting, too! (I mean, who wouldn’t?)

Seeing this excitement they all have for reuniting after a long day makes my heart just about burst.

So thank you, my dear husband.

Thanks for tackling our night time routine so seamlessly.

I know I don’t have to say that. I know you’re happy to do it. And I know it’s part of your job as my co-parent to do stuff like this.

But, basically, I just want to say it anyway.

The time I get to myself during the nighttime routine hour is refreshing—and important to me.

The bond you have with your girls is so heartwarming and makes me so insanely proud of you all.

Watching you guys together (because, yes—even though I’m supposed to be taking time for myself, I can’t help but peek in to see the girls roar with laughter every time they tackle you in their mismatched PJs you all picked out) makes me fall more in love with you every night.

Seeing you rock fatherhood has been an absolute joy.

You’re an amazing dad and we’re all lucky to have you—especially at the end of the day when the girls are most likely sick of me anyway. ?

Our babies come out as beautiful, soft and natural as can be—shouldn't their clothes follow suit?

Here are nine of our favorite organic kids clothing brands that prove safe fabrics + stylish designs are a natural fit.

Estella

A brick and mortar store in Manhattan that opened in 2002, Estella is NYC's go-to shop for luxury baby gifts—from sweet-as-pie organic clothing to eco-friendly toys.

L'ovedbaby

@lovedbaby

We l'oved this collection from the moment we laid eyes on it. (See what we did there 🤣) Free of things harsh added chemicals, dangerous flame retardants, and harmful dyes, this collection is 100% organic and 100% gorgeous. We especially adore their soft, footed rompers, comfy cotton joggers, and newborn-friendly kimono bodysuits.

Looking to stock up? Don't miss Big-Find Thursday every week on their site—a 24-hour flash sale that happens Thursdays at 9 a.m. PST and features a different body style, collection, and discount every week!

Hanna Andersson

@happyhannas

One of our all-time favorite brands for durability, style, + customer service, Hanna Andersson doesn't disappoint in the organic department, either. From an aww-inducing organic baby layette collection all the way to their iconic pajamas, there are so many organic styles to swoon over from this beloved brand. And we swear their pajamas are magic—they seem to grow with your little one, fitting season after season!

Monica + Andy

@monicaandandy

The fabric you first snuggle your baby in matters. Monica + Andy's (gorgeous) collection is designed for moms and babies by moms with babies, and we love it all because it's made of super-soft GOTS-certified organic cotton that's free of chemicals, lead, and phthalates. Newborn pieces feature thoughtful details like fold-over mittens and feet.

Finn + Emma

@finnandemma

"Here boring designs and toxic chemicals are a thing of the past while modern colors, fresh prints and heirloom quality construction are abundant." We couldn't agree more. Made from 100% organic cotton, eco friendly dyes, and in fair trade settings, we love this modern collection's mix of style + sustainability.

We especially love the Basics Collection, an assortment of incredibly soft, beautiful apparel + accessories including bodysuits, zip footies, pants, hats, and bibs, all available in a gender-neutral color palette that can work together to create multiple outfit combinations. The pieces are perfect for monochrome looks or for mixing with prints for a more modern style.

SoftBaby

@littleaddigrey for @softbaby_clothes

You'll come for SoftBaby's organic fabrics, but you'll stay for their adorable assortment of prints. From woodland foxes to urban pugs, there's no limit to their assortment (meaning you'll even be able to find something for the new mama who's hard to shop for). Plus, the name says it all--these suckers are soft. Get ready for some serious cuddle time.

Gap Baby

@gapkids

Organic may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Gap, but this popular brand actually carries a wide variety of organic (and adorable) baby + toddler clothes. From newborn layette basics to toddler sleepwear—and more—there's something for everyone in this collection. Everything is 100% cotton, super soft + cozy, and perfect for eco-conscious mamas.

Winter Water Factory

@winterwaterfactory

Certified organic cotton with Brooklyn-based swagger? Be still our hearts. Winter Water Factory features screen-printed textiles in bold designs you'll want to show off (get ready for some major Instagram likes). And the husband-and-wife co-founders keep sustainability at the forefront of their brand, meaning you can feel good about your purchase--and what you're putting on your baby.

The company makes everything from kids' clothes to crib sheets (all made in the USA). For even more cuteness, pair their signature rompers with a hat or bonnet.

Under the Nile

@underthenile

Under the Nile has been making organic baby clothes since before it was cool. Seriously, they were the first baby clothing company in the USA to be certified by The Global Organic Textile Standard. They've kept up that legacy of high standards by growing their Egyptian cotton on a biodynamic farm without the use of pesticides or insecticides, and all of their prints are made with metal-free colors and no chemical finishes.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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How much time our kids spend in front of a screen is something we have almost always been “strict" about in our household.

Generally speaking, we're not big TV watchers and our kids don't own tablets or iPads, so limiting screen time for our children (usually around the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines) has proven to be a reasonable practice for us.

It wasn't until this past summer when I started working from home full time that I found myself stretching an hour to an hour and a half or allowing just one more episode of Pokemon so I could get in a few more emails quietly. (#MomGuilt)

I also realized that I wasn't counting when we passively had the news on in the background as TV time and that we weren't always setting a stellar example for our kids as we tended to use our phones during what should have been family time.

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