Dear Husband,

I know it’s been a whirlwind lately. I’m exhausted just reflecting on it all—juggling work, family, back-to-school logistics (So. Many. Activities!), taking care of sick kids and everything in-between. Life is full—and amazing.


We have grown a lot over the years, and our bond is so strong. And like a fine wine, our relationship will only get better with time.

You’re a wonderful, thoughtful and loving husband (never mind daddy extraordinaire!). I am grateful to have you as my partner in life. We really do make an awesome team.

There are definitely days, though, when I wish you knew *exactly* what I needed. Like when I’m in a bad mood, I wish you always knew exactly what I needed you to say or do (but let’s be honest—when I’m in a bad mood, sometimes I don’t even know what I need you to say or do.)

Or when I’m feeling overwhelmed, it would be pretty cool if you just knew what I needed you to take off my plate to help me feel more calm.

But, just as I can’t read your mind—I know you can’t read mine.

So, it may be easier to tell you what I wish you knew (unless you develop magical super powers...)

I need time to myself—regularly.

Not just once in a blue moon. As much as I adore being your wife and mama to our children, sometimes I wish you could walk in the door and say, “Babe, take a load off. I got the kids tonight.” I will gladly pretend to be carefree and do something (gasp!) spontaneous. We both know that taking care of myself will only make me a better wife and mother.

I need a daily heartfelt hug.

This sentiment is all I need to feel like I’m still your #1 girl. (Disclaimer: particularly tough days call for more reinforcement, such as flowers, wine or some serious chocolate action.)

I need you to let me be the good cop sometimes.

Please let me swoop in and be the hero who saves the day once in awhile. Yes, I perfected Jedi Mama moves to get our kids to pick up after themselves over the years and stuff like that, but I don't want to be the full-time bad cop. Can we share that role?

And honestly, sometimes it's not what I need, but rather what I DON’T need from you.

I don’t need you to always try to solve the problems.

Sometimes I just need your sympathetic ear. Let me vent without receiving ‘helpful’ suggestions.

I don’t need you to meddle when I am in the kitchen. Sorry to break it to you, but your grandmother’s ‘Hungarian Goulash’ recipe is just wrong. Seriously. I got this.

Thank you for lending me those sympathetic ears of yours. And while you’re listening, I want you to know how deeply I appreciate you and the beautiful life we have built together.

I know you’re not a magician and you simply can’t always know what I need, so I promise to voice my feelings and let you know what’s going on inside my head. (Unless you develop those mind reading super powers…?)

I value all that you do for us more than you know. Thank you for always going above and beyond.

Love you to the moon and back,

Your wife

Raising a mentally strong kid doesn't mean he won't cry when he's sad or that he won't fail sometimes. Mental strength won't make your child immune to hardship—but it also won't cause him to suppress his emotions.

In fact, it's quite the opposite. Mental strength is what helps kids bounce back from setbacks. It gives them the strength to keep going, even when they're plagued with self-doubt. A strong mental muscle is the key to helping kids reach their greatest potential in life.

But raising a mentally strong kid requires parents to avoid the common yet unhealthy parenting practices that rob kids of mental strength. In my book, 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don't Do, I identify 13 things to avoid if you want to raise a mentally strong kid equipped to tackle life's toughest challenges:

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