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Our marriage is great because we work hard at it

Teamwork makes the dream work, as they say. ?

Our marriage is great because we work hard at it

Everything good in our lives takes work. Our jobs, our connections with our children, our friendships. Fostering a passion or hobby takes work and upkeep—always learning, always growing. Taking care of our bodies—going to the gym and eating healthy—requires a lot of work and dedication and discipline. And in my five years of marriage, I’ve learned that my relationship with my husband requires work, too.


Serious, no-joke work. Work that isn’t always easy. But work that I’m happy to put in.

I used to think that talking about how my marriage required upkeep would lead people to believe that my marriage had problems. That people would think we were headed for splitsville.

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And I’ve learned a few things about this specific way of thinking:

1. Stop worrying what other people think of you or your marriage.

2. Every marriage requires love and work and communication to help it flourish.

3. If someone says their marriage doesn’t take much effort or that it comes super easy to them—they’re lying.

Everyone has their stuff. Every marriage has their stuff. What I’m learning to focus on is our stuff—mine and my husbands. Not anyone else’s.

Our marriage is great, but it’s great because we work on it—not because we pretend we’re perfect and that we’re so in love that that’ll be enough to carry us to 50, 60, 70 years of success.

We are so in love, but we also need to put in the work.

In the past 18 months, four out of our five collective siblings got married (it’s been busy!) and somehow it made us feel like the old married couple, even though we’re only five years in. All of these weddings helped me reflect on our marriage.

When we were in wedding-planning mode in 2012, we were so focused on the final guest list, the price of an open bar, what song we’d dance to. With all the craziness that is involved in planning a wedding, it can be easy to lose sight of what matters most—promising to work together as a team in all that you do, in all aspects of your life.

And what team that you know of doesn’t put their blood, sweat and tears into working toward being the best team they can be?

Teamwork makes the dream work, as they say. ?

When I stop and think about our life—teamwork is involved in all areas, really.

We play as a team when it comes to our kids.

We’re both their parents and we both know how to make good decisions for our children. We trust each other and we encourage one another and when we’re not on the same page about something, we try our best to stop and have a conversation about it.

It’s not always easy to find the time to have a serious conversation and it’s not always fun to navigate the waters of disagreement, but we try. We make the time to try.

We play as a team when it comes to our home.

We both live here and we both need to put in the time and effort to take care of it. Neither one of us could do it on our own—not with kids and jobs and long lists of tasks we need to complete on any given day. So we both pitch in wherever we can—laundry, dishes, vacuuming, etc. etc. etc.

Some weeks I’m doing more, and some weeks my husband’s doing more depending on our workloads—and sometimes that’s annoying or frustrating, but we try our best to communicate and pick up the slack where it’s needed and somehow it always seems to even out in the end.

We play as a team when it comes to time for ourselves—individually and together.

We try to plan out our gym schedules each week so we know what mornings my husband is leaving extra early and what nights I’ll be handing off the kids to him and rushing out the door. We try to go out to a movie or for a quick drink when our parents are in town (yay for free babysitting!). We encourage each other to make plans with friends so we’re able to maintain our friendships.

Sometimes weeks go by without us taking time to go on a date or we have to cancel plans with friends or our gym schedules get shuffled around. But we try to be mindful of one another’s needs in these areas, and we can feel it when we’re not getting the time together or alone or with friends that we need—and we work on doing better.

Marriage isn’t 50-50. At all. It’s more like 100-100, with room to go higher or lower depending on what kind of day you’re having. And we all want to give our partners 100% of our best selves every day, but that’s not always possible. There are going to be days when we have to pick each other up and on those days it may be 80-20. Some days we’ll be the 80 and some days we’ll be the 20. And on the really great days, we’ll be the 100s. It’s all about give and take. Compromise and work.

Teamwork does make the dream work and our dream is this family we’ve created. You know why that family was started? Because of the love between my husband and I. You know how that family is a happy, loving, growing family today? Because of the work we put in day in and day out.

And that’s something I’m incredibly proud of.

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Tenth & Pine: Gender-neutral and butter-soft basics for littles + bigs

In 2016, after a stage four endometriosis diagnosis and a 10 year battle with infertility, Tenth & Pine founder Kerynn got her miracle baby, Ezra Jade. As a SAHM with a Masters in Business, she wanted to create a brand that focused on premium quality, function, comfort, and simplicity.

She sought out premium, all natural fabrics and factories that shared her core values, practicing environmentally friendly manufacturing methods with fair and safe working conditions for employees. As a result, her made in the USA, gender-neutral designs check all the boxes. The sustainable, organic basics are perfect for everyday wear, family photos and any adventure in between.

Lucy Lue Organics: Sustainably and ethically-produced modern baby clothes

This family-owned and operated business was started by a mama who wanted out of corporate America after the birth of her son. Thoughtfully designed to mix-and-match, Lucy Lue's sustainably and ethically produced collection of modern organic baby clothes only uses fabrics that are "environmentally friendly from seed to seam." Their gorgeous, earthy tones and comfy, minimalist styles make the perfect addition to first wardrobes from birth through the first years.

Sontakey: Simple bracelets that speak your mind

Sontakey has been such a hit in the Motherly Shop that we knew it was time to expand the line. And since these beautiful mantra bands look so stunning stacked, more options = more fun.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.



Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Mothers wanted the president to condemn white supremacy—he didn't

What you need to know about the first presidential debate and the 'Proud Boys'.

Screenshot/CNN

[Editor's note: Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country.]

For many American families, the impacts of systemic racism are a daily reality. This summer saw mothers and children go out and join Black Lives Matter protests in an effort to make the United States a safer place for Black children.

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Individuals across the country stood up and condemned white supremacy in 2020 and wanted the sitting President of the United States to do that Tuesday night, during the first presidential debate.

But he didn't.

When Chris Wallace of Fox News, the debate moderator, asked President Trump to condemn white supremacy, to ask militia groups to stand down and not escalate violence in cities like Kenosha and Portland, the president stated he was willing to...but when Wallace said "Then do it, sir," the president's answer was far from a clear condemnation.

First, Trump asked for a specific group to condemn, rather than simply condemning white supremacy as a whole. When the others on stage offered "white supremacy" and "Proud Boys" as the name to condemn, the President picked Proud Boys. But a condemnation didn't come.

"Proud Boys, stand back and stand by," Trump said. "But I'll tell you what, somebody's gotta do something about Antifa and the left. This is not a right-wing problem. This is a left-wing problem."

This followed a previous exchange in which Wallace asked President Trump why he ended a racial sensitivity training program. Trump responded that the training was racist and was teaching people to "hate our country."

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