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Yes, I'm a mom *and* I put my sex life first

Recognizing our needs is the first step to reclaiming what we want.

Yes, I'm a mom *and* I put my sex life first

Women today have a lot of societal expectations placed on us. We are supposed to be nurturing and kind. We should cook, clean, take care of our babies and also our partners. We should work, we should not work, we should do this, that and the other thing.

There are a lot of "shoulds." One "should" I think we're missing? A frank discussion about s-e-x after babies.

The transformation into 'mother' is a hard road that's for sure. A lot shifts and changes, and some things even go away completely. But being satisfied was not something I was willing to give up on.

In the early stages of new motherhood, I had to let go of certain things: showering regularly, talking on the phone, putting on deodorant and wearing two matching shoes (to name a few). But the more I found my footing as a mama, the better I got at prioritizing what I wanted to do with my time.

For me, reclaiming a sense of intimacy in my life was one of those things that I wanted to prioritize... like shaving my legs and getting some privacy when I use the bathroom.

My role as a mother has evolved over the course of my children's lives and thus so has my role as a woman. I have nourished small bodies from my breasts, spent sleepless nights awake with fussy tummies, and changed more poopy diapers than I would ever care to admit.

The responsibilities of motherhood are daunting. Babies are all consuming—especially in the beginning. I could barely find the energy to shovel food into my mouth let alone time to have sex with my husband. I was exhausted from the top of my oatmeal matted-hair, to the tips of my un-manicured toes.

It makes sense if you really think about: a new baby literally sucks the energy from your body.

But no matter the circumstances—I am still a woman. I have needs. And as much as I want to be the best mama out there, I know that to be truly whole—and therefore truly happy—I need to be a well-rounded person. And this means I need to feel satisfied in every avenue of my life.

Now let's be clear—sex is different for every woman. We all have different wants and different needs. It is perfectly fine to admit that there are days when all I want to do is to lock myself in the bedroom, get undressed, and fall asleep with a glass of wine in one hand and a book in the other.

There are days (so many days) that I look adoringly at my husband and think, This man is perfection. I think of how our couch is often where we spend evenings together after work, cuddled up close, discussing our day. It is a place we reconnect after hours spent apart.

There are some days (like today) that couch is littered with baby dolls. And Legos. There are neon pink dishes shoved behind the cushions and graham cracker crumbs filling up every crevice. Today, my couch is where I collapse in fatigue, yearning to close my eyes and end this day.

Like many, my small children rise with the sun. They clamber out of their beds and demand bananas and scrambled eggs. They need their teeth brushed, their clothes buttoned, and lunches made. All day long I am at the mercy of three needy, beautiful kids who rely on me to keep them alive. That, my friends, is a lot of work.

By the time my dashing husband arrives home from his own tenuous day of labor, my mood ranges from exasperated to borderline losing it. I have already spent all of my empathy on scraped knees. I am running on empty. It can sometimes take a conscious effort on my part to push all of my vexation aside and make room for my husband.

I distinctly remember turning to him after a particularly hard day and saying, "What I need from you right now is to not to talk to me. Sit silently through dinner and just let me be alone." It wasn't a proud moment for me. But it was what I needed.

Recognizing our needs is the first step to reclaiming what we want.

Not every night is successful. But that does not stop me—us—from trying. It doesn't stop me from wanting more, for craving the intimacy and connection that makes me feel like a woman. For me this it isn't about making sure that my sex box is metaphorically (and literally) checked—it is about allowing myself to be more than a "mom." To be a person, nay a woman, again.

I have given myself permission to want everything from life.

I want to be a good mom and a good wife. I want a successful, fulfilling career. And I want to have s-e-x after my b-a-b-i-e-s go to b-e-d.

Ladies, I just want it 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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