To my husband: I may not always say it, but—I need you and I’m so grateful for you

I need your long, warm hug after a draining day of messes and meltdowns, dirty diapers and dishes.

I stay up late, pretty much every night, because that’s the time I get to myself. I’m not making any special-request meals for anyone, I’m not forgetting then remembering then forgetting again to put the laundry in the dryer, and I’m not having to figure out the intricacies of our daily schedule.

It’s time for me. To sit in quiet. And hear myself think.

But this means I don’t go to sleep when my husband does. Sure, I may be in bed with him—but he is laying down, going to sleep and I am sitting up with my tea—writing or watching a show or scrolling social media.

The other night as we were saying goodnight, my husband said, “Are you coming to bed, or are you doing your whole tea and phone routine?” He seemed hopeful that I may be putting everything else down—to allow some time to focus on us—to chat and cuddle before we drifted off to sleep.

But, I didn’t. My hot tea and an episode of Scandal was waiting for me. I chose “me” time over “us” time. Again.

I disappointed him—I could hear it in his voice that in his voice as he sighed and turned over, ready to go to bed.

Life as a parent to three children is no joke. Throw in jobs, a house to tend to, bills to pay, schedules to keep up with, choices to make, etc.—it’s hectic. There’s little time left for “us” or “me” because it seems like it’s all about “them” right now.

But, my husband—I want you to know, with every bit of my heart and soul—that I need you.

I need that “How’s your morning going, toots?” text you send me everyday checking in on us. It brings a smile to my face 100% of the time to know you’re thinking of me.

I need your laundry mastery. You average about thirty loads of laundry each weekend. Thank goodness for you. Plus, Martha Stewart’s got nothing on your fitted sheet folding skills!

I need your long, warm hug after a draining day of messes and meltdowns, dirty diapers and dishes.

I need your questions at the dinner table. They make me feel seen and important—like I am an interesting person with things to say other than, “Get your shoes on” 500 times or “Did you really just eat that?” 30 times a day.

I need your company when I have a win. There’s no one else I would rather celebrate with than you. There’s no one else I want to share my success with than you and our girls. You guys are the reason I work hard every day.

I need to see your eyes light up when you look at me and tell me I’m beautiful. I don’t always feel like I deserve that compliment when I’m in a nursing tank top, sweatpants and greasy hair—but I know you mean it, and that helps me to believe it.

I need your hard work and sacrifice. Your commute is long, your job can be stressful, you miss things with the girls during the day—I know it’s not a walk in the park. I see the weight you bare on your shoulders and I just want to lift it for you. I might not always be able to, but I am able to tell you how much I appreciate what you do for us.

I need your dedication to our family. You are a family man and I adore this about you. What do you want to be doing on the weekend? Spending time with us—your wife and daughters. We all have so much fun together and I’m just so glad you enjoy family outings and activities with the kids as much as I do.

I need your friendship. You’re my sounding board, the person who can make me belly laugh like no one else, the one I commiserate with, my #1 cheerleader, the call I want to make when I need to vent. (And you graciously hear me out—thank you.)

I need your continuous determination to turn my cranky moods around. When something is bothering me, you know. I literally can’t hide it from you. Your detective skills are strong and I know I will hear “What’s up? I know something is wrong” continually until the end of time until I just tell you. So I do. And you help me. I need that. I need you to keep doing that.

I need you to “get” me. And you do. I know you’d do anything for me.

And I really want you to know that I am lucky. And grateful. And honored to be your partner.

I may feel like I have to prove to the world that I can do it all, and I may not be great about saying it—but please know that I need you. I want you. I love you.

So guess what’s happening tonight? I’m going to forego catching up on Scandal and I’m going to choose you.

In This Article

    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

    I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

    I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

    My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

    1. Go apple picking.

    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

    2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

    Our Partners

    It’s science: Vacations make your kids happy long after they’re over

    Whether you're planning a quick trip to the lake or flying the fam to a resort, the results are the same: A happier, more connected family.

    Whether you're looking for hotels or a rental home for a safe family getaway, or just punching in your credit card number to reserve a spot in a campground a couple of states over, the cost of vacation plans can make a mom wince. And while price is definitely something to consider when planning a family vacation, science suggests we should consider these trips—and their benefits—priceless.

    Research indicates that family vacations are essential. They make our, kids (and us) happier and build bonds and memories.

    Keep reading Show less

    100 unusual + surprising baby name ideas

    From Adelia to Ziggy.

    Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

    Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

    Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.

    Keep reading Show less
    Learn + Play