A modern lifestyle brand redefining motherhood

I sit by the side of the pool and watch you twirl our 2-year-old daughter through the blue waves. Her delighted giggles shriek through the air, punctuated only by cries for, "Again, Daddy! Again!" As your own laugh accompanies hers, I can't help but feel a smile spread across my face.

I always knew you would be a good father. But I don't think I ever realized what a great father you would be for a daughter.

I can remember the first time we discussed children, lying on the couch, our fingers lazily intertwined, still in the hazy dating days when babies and our real adult future still seemed so far away. Truthfully, I can't remember who brought up the topic first, but eventually, the question came out, "How many kids do you want?"

Your answer was playful but tinged with a simple undertone that you most looked forward to having a son. I rolled my eyes, typical man.

Fast-forward years (or was it a lifetime?) later, rings on our fingers and my belly beginning to swell as we waited for the announcement as to whether our first child would be a boy or girl. I was secretly hoping that pink confetti would fly out, but a tiny, nagging doubt tugged at the corner of my mind: What if you were disappointed?

No sooner had the thought entered my mind when our friends set off a dozen confetti poppers, showering us in blush and gold paper. My eyes filled with happy tears and I turned to face you, searching your eyes for any signs of regret. My heart swelled when I realized your own eyes were shining as you grinned and whispered in my ear, "A daughter!"

Three years later, watching you play with our girl, I realize I should never have worried. Despite the trepidations, we both shared, "girl dad" is a role you have blossomed into.

Because you realize the importance of your example in her life.

I once said to you that you would set the standard for how our daughter would expect men to treat her for the rest of her life. That responsibility weighed heavy on you at the moment, and it has become a mantle I watch you carry to the best of your ability every day.

Not only do you make time for our daughter's smallest feelings, but you can often be found stooped to her level, intensely engaged in a game of pretend or simply listening to her ramblings for minutes on end. Every day, you teach her to expect respect, love, and loyalty from the people (but especially the men) she lets into her life.

Because you are my perfect partner in parenting.

If roughhousing with dad is really as good as they say, our daughter is going to reap benefits in spades. While our daughter still turns to me for soothing, cuddles, and singing Disney songs at full volume as we cook dinner—you are the playmate she craves when she's feeling a little wild.

You are the one who throws her high into the air, who pushes her on the swing with full gusto as she begs to go even higher.

You are the one who "forgets" to always remind her to be careful, instead encouraging her to see how far her own confidence can take her. I may hold my breath most of the time I watch you play together, but I've learned to embrace our different parenting styles when I see how your tactics foster the brave little girl I've always hoped to raise.

Because you open doors for her I would never be able to find.

The same way you and I make each other a more well-rounded couple, you expose our daughter to worlds I know nothing about. When she begs for you to take her to the basement to pound on your drum set or I catch her running through the house swiping at anything on the floor with her hockey stick, I'm reminded of how much she would miss out on without a father like you.

It is a joy watching you pass your own passions onto her—and a firm reminder that, despite any initial fears, you don't need a son to have a partner in crime.

Because watching you help raise our daughter is one of my greatest blessings.

While, as the full-time parent, I will always take on the lion's share of keeping our family running every day, it was clear from the start that you intended to be a hands-on dad.

While some of our male friends bragged about never changing a diaper or sleeping through the night without issues, you were always there to step in when you saw me crumbling under the stress of sleep exhaustion or frustration. As a result, you are a father that our daughter sees as approachable, accessible, and incredibly loving. It fills my heart daily to watch you reinforce this perception by holding yourself to an incredibly high standard of fatherhood.

All these thoughts and more run through my mind as I watch you continue to splash with our daughter, encouraging her to face her fear and jump off the side into your waiting arms.

I may never know what comes next as a parent, but one thing I do: You will always be there to catch her.

You might also like:

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

Subscribe to get inspiration and super helpful ideas to rock your #momlife. Motherhood looks amazing on you.

Already a subscriber? Log in here.

Jessica Simpson celebrated her baby shower this weekend (after getting a cupping treatment for her very swollen pregnancy feet) and her theme and IG captions have fans thinking this was not just a shower, but a baby name announcement as well.

Simpson (who is expecting her third child with former NFL player Eric Johnson) captioned two photos of her shower as "💚 Birdie's Nest 💚". The photographs show Simpson and her family standing under a neon sign spelling out the same thing.

While Simpson didn't explicitly state that she was naming her child Birdie, the numerous references to the name in her shower photos and IG stories have the internet convinced that she's picking the same name Busy Philips chose for her now 10-year-old daughter.

The name Birdie isn't in the top 1000 baby names according to the Social Security Administration, but It has been seeing a resurgence in recent years, according to name nerds and trend watchers.

"Birdie feels like a sassy but sweet, down-to-earth yet unusual name," Pamela Redmond Satran of Nameberry told Town and Country back in 2017. "It's also just old enough to be right on time."

Simpson's older kids are called Maxwell and Ace, which both have a vintage feel, so if Birdie really is her choice, the three old-school names make a nice sibling set.

Whether Birdie is the official name or just a cute nickname Simpson is playing around with, we get the appeal and bet she can't wait for her little one to arrive (and her feet to go back to normal!)

You might also like:

Mamas, if you hire a cleaning service to tackle the toddler fingerprints on your windows, or shop at the neighborhood grocery store even when the deals are better across town, don't feel guilty. A new study by the University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School shows money buys happiness if it's used to give you more time. And that, in turn could be better for the whole family.

Keep reading... Show less

As if we needed another reason to shop at Target, our favorite store is offering some great deals for mamas who need products for baby. Mom life can be expensive and we love any chance at saving a few bucks. If you need to stock up on baby care items, like diapers and wipes, now is the time.

Right now, if you spend $100 on select diapers, wipes, formula, you'll get a $20 gift card with pickup or Target Restock. Other purchases will get you $5 gift cards during this promotion:

  • $20 gift card when you spend $100 or more on select diapers, wipes, formula, and food items using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock
  • $5 gift card when you buy 3 select beauty care items
  • $5 gift card when you buy 2 select household essentials items using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock
  • $5 gift card when you buy 2 select Iams, Pedigree, Crave & Nutro dog and cat food or Fresh Step cat litter items using in store Order Pickup
  • $5 gift card when you buy 3 select feminine care items using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock

All of these promotions will only run through 11:59 pm PT on Saturday, January 19, 2019 so make sure to stock up before they're gone!

Because the deals only apply to select products and certain colors, just be sure to read the fine print before checking out.

Target's website notes the "offer is valid using in store Order Pickup, Drive Up or Target Restock when available".

The gift cards will be delivered after you have picked up your order or your Target Restock order has shipped.

We won't tell anyone if you use those gift cards exclusively for yourself. 😉 So, get to shopping, mama!

You might also like:

This month isn't just the start of a new year, but the start of a new life for those due in 2019. If you're expecting a baby this year you've got plenty of celebrity company, mama.

Here are some fellow mamas-to-be expecting in 2019:

Alexa and Carlos PenaVega 

The Spy Kids actress and mom to 2-year-old Ocean will soon have to get herself a double stroller because PenaVega and her husband Carlos are expecting again.

"Holy Moly!!! Guys!!! We are having another baby!!!!" captioned an Instagram post. "Do we wake Ocean up and tell him??!! Beyond blessed and excited to continue growing this family!!! Get ready for a whole new set of adventures!!!"

Over on Carlos' IG the proud dad made a good point: " This year we will officially be able to say we have 'kids!' Our minds are blown," he write.

Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald

In January Counting On Jessa Seewald (formerly Jessa Duggar) announced via Instagram that she is pregnant with her third child with husband Ben Seewald.

We love that she was able to make the announcement in her own time, not worrying about speculation about her midsection. She's been over that for a while.

[Update: January 18, added PenaVega]

You might also like:

Motherly provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by our  Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Information on our advertising guidelines can be found here.