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Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard are like the definition of #couplegoals, but they both say this isn't a case of finding "the one", it's a case of finding someone and then working really hard at a relationship.

"We definitely had to work really hard at being a couple because we're both incredibly, painfully stubborn, and we're pretty much opposites," Shepard tells People.

Shepard didn't always believe in marriage, and early in their relationship Bell accepted that she would not be changing his mind on that. But he came to understand that marriage was important to her and did eventually propose for that reason.

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"Forget the tradition or history of marriage as a concept, you knowing I was doing something that I didn't want to do because I loved you was a big sign for you," he said in an interview with Bell by his side.

Fast forward a few years and the pair are now raising two daughters, running a new baby care business, Hello Bello, and of course still working on TV shows, movies and podcasts. But more than anything, they work on connecting with each other.

"All these movies from the '80s taught us that it's love at first sight, and it is supposed to be easy and [that] all you have to do is find that person," Bell told People. "It took me a while to realize, 'Oh, that was such a lie,' because things that you work really, really, really hard for always yield the best results."

Her comments echo her previous thoughts on her marriage and the commitment it takes to make it work.

"This isn't a special fairy tale," Bell recently told Parade.

Shepard agrees. "This is two people who worked really hard and it's attainable for you if you work really hard in your marriage too," he says.

For these two, sometimes working hard means committing to a therapy session instead of a date night, something Bell told Good Housekeeping last year.

"If something pisses you off, you've got to find the balls to bring it up immediately and say it in a way that the other person can hear," she said. "If you're still uncomfortable… you say, 'I need to have a therapy session with you.' There may be something that really hurt your feelings that you're scared to bring up. Go talk about it with a therapist who can mediate. You'll walk out of the room feeling like you're [on the same] team."

If there's one thing that's clear about Bell and Shepard, it's that they are definitely on the same team (and that team is winning).

They might not think they're #couplegoals, but we still do.

[A version of this post was originally published March 8, 2019. It has been updated.]

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Back when my husband and I were creating our wedding registry, it was a fun, low-pressure opportunity to select some new dishes and linens. After all, I knew a thing or two about stocking my home and making the "wrong decision" with thread count was the only thing that posed any risk to my sleep at night.

Fast-forward a few years to when I created a baby registry before the birth of my first child—and I found the experience to have a much steeper learning curve. Unlike those sheets, it felt like a bad swaddle or bassinet selection would be catastrophic. Unsure of what to expect from motherhood or my baby, I leaned heavily on advice from friends who already ventured into parenthood. (Starting with their reminders to take deep breaths!)

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Now a mom of three little ones under the age of four, I'm happy to be in a position to pass along some baby registry wisdom.

Go shopping with a veteran parent

As first-time parents, my husband and I barely knew the difference between a bouncer and a swing, let alone what specific features we would want. So when a mom friend recommended we head to Walmart to build my registry together—because she found them to carry the trendy brands she loved AND make registering a breeze during her pregnancy—I leapt at the chance.

By walking through the aisles together and actually getting to see the products, I was much more confident in my registry selections. Thanks to that quick, in-store tutorial from my friend, I understood exactly how to match a perfect infant car seat with an extra base and stroller—which is something I would have been clueless about on my own.

Include items at a variety of price points

When it comes down to it, a registry is really a wish list. So, while I had a personal budget for a stroller if it had to come out of my own pocket, this was an opportunity for me to ask for the stroller of my dreams. And, wouldn't you know it? A few family members went in on it together, which made a bigger price tag much more manageable.

At the same time, it's nice to include some of the smaller ticket items that are absolutely essential. I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I was to skip buying my own diapers for those first few weeks. (With super cute patterns, these are also surprisingly fun to give, too!)

Think about the gifts you would like to give

The first time I bought a mom-to-be a gift after my own child was born, I knew immediately what to look for on her registry: a diaper bag backpack, which I had come to have very strong opinions about after battling falling straps with my first diaper bag. This allowed me to feel like I had a personal touch in my gift, even if I brought one pre-selected by her.

I also appreciate it when my friends clearly incorporate their style into their registry choices, like with adorable baby outfits or nursery decor—and there's no sweeter "thank you" than a picture from a friend showing your gift in use.

Ask for things to grow with your child

Even though it's called a baby registry, there's no need to limit yourself to gifts to use before their first birthday. (To this day, I still have people who attended my baby shower to thank for the convertible bed that my oldest child sleeps in!) Knowing that, I would have included more options with long lifespans into my registry—namely, a baby carrier that can be used during the newborn months, baby months and well into the toddler years. A well-designed baby carrier would have saved my back from serious pain because it would have allowed me to comfortably and ergonomically carry my toddler as she made her way into the 25lb+ club. One brand that's designed to grow with your baby and accommodates 7-45 pounds (up to about four years old) and offers both inward and forward-facing positions is Ergobaby. With several different design and style options, you can easily find one that caters to your parenting needs. From an all-in-one carrier, like the Omni 360, that grows with baby from the newborn stages into the toddler years or a newborn-specific carrier, like the Embrace (and don't worry you can later upgrade to a carrier for an older baby, I recommend the 360 Carrier). The best part? All ergonomic designs are supportive and comfortable for both baby and parent, offering extra lumbar support with breathable, lightweight mesh styles. Everyone (even grandparents!) can get a kick out of babywearing, which is a nice and welcomed break for parents. Having one of these on my registry would have certainly made those first few years so much easier.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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


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