I recently read a post that told the story of a frustrated mother begging for help. She wrote/vlogged an open letter to her husband describing her frustrations in detail and pleaded for him to understand how desperately his help was needed. There was a viral response. It made me sad…made me mad…and made me emotional. I was saddened by the huge response from women who had the same desperation in their voice. Each expressing their own plea for help. Some claimed that the basis of the letter was the reason why they will never get married and have kids. Some claimed that the same desperation led to their failed marriage and ultimately broken families. And some just needed to share that they felt as broken and just as desperate for help. I applaud her for speaking out, because someone else needed to hear that they are not alone. So many needed to see that to understand that there is support and that it is OK to ask for help. (Click here to read Celeste’s letter)
In the midst of all of this I also had another feeling….thankfulness. Thankful for the husband I have. Thankful for his work, dedication, and efforts in not only being an amazing father, but making sure that our marriage and our sanity has not suffered in this journey of parenting. So, in the midst of this, I wrote him a letter as well. Please do not take this the wrong way. The intention is not to brag or pretend that our life is perfect…because it is certainly not. We have had to work through things, we have had fights, we have had moments where we just could not be around each other, moments of being unable to control our words, and bad times. But all of those rough spots were just tiny little blips in the timeline of our life. The intention here is to bring some hope to others that all marriages and all parenting situations are not so frustrating and lop-sided. Not all men need a viral reminder that they need to step up the plate. Not all men will drive you to the edge of brokenness before you can ask for help. I know… I married one of those men.
Thank you! Thank you for proving to be the man I thought you were when I married you, and so much more. Thank you for being the father I anticipated you would be. Thank you for valuing the importance of our relationship so much that you have purposefully tuned yourself into my needs as a wife, mother, and many of the other roles I have taken.
I remember when our daughter was born…I.was.scared! I did not know how to be a mother. I was tired, I was overwhelmed, and I was stressed. I am not sure if I ever told you how grateful I was that during our hospital stay when you held her, you rocked her, and you prayed with her while letting me sleep….and sleep..and sleep. Thank you for recognizing the work I did to get her here and for taking that special time to bond with our daughter while I rested and recovered. You only woke me up when she needed to nurse. You got me food when I was hungry. You took phone calls and talked with visitors. You took care of me and our daughter and made our transition from a family of two to three a wonderful one. Thank you for valuing the importance of doing the work together.
When I became pregnant with our second child and we learned that we lost him/her thank you for allowing me to sob and sob and sob. Thank you for holding me and reassuring me that we would get through this. Thank you for carrying me to bed when I felt like all of my limbs were a puddle of mush and my heart felt like it had been ripped into pieces. And thank you for never making me feel like I was being “too emotional”, after all, you were grieving too and I don’t think either of us could have gotten through it without each other.
Then our third little guy came, healthy and beautiful. We became a family of four. I started nursing school, I graduated nursing school, started a new job, started another nursing program to get my BSN. We bought a house and made it through the stress of moving. I started a masters program. You have been supportive through it all. On class nights you would come home from work early so you could be with the kids and I wouldn’t have the extra stress of finding a babysitter. You understood when I needed to take time to study and banded together with me on getting things done around the house when you knew my work would’ve had me living in a bit more of a mess than my nerves can handle. Thank you for seeing the value in us working together to keep our home as comfortable as possible. After all, it is our safe place, our haven.
Thank you for taking turns with me when our kids wake up in the middle of the night screaming for mommy or daddy because they had a bad dream or wet the bed. I love that they always want “Daddy” (even when I am the one that shows up) because it shows me they find strength and comfort in your arms as much as I do.
I am so thankful that when you come home from work you are as excited to see us as we are to see you. It makes my heart melt when you walk through the door and barely get your shoes off before the kids are whisking you away to the playroom to show you all of their recent projects, arts work and creations….and you go. You go tired, hungry, and spent. You go and allow me to have a few minutes of time in silence while they are crawling all over you getting “horse back” rides or becoming airplanes on your feet.
I am thankful that you make me feel so respected and valued that making dinner, maintaining the household, and spending time investing in the kids while you are gone does not seem like a full-time job or something that makes me want to lose my mind, or drive me to the desperation point of publicly needing to cry out for help.
I am thankful for every moment we do it TOGETHER. And I am thankful for you!
Your grateful wife (and kids)
Thank you for allowing me to share because sometimes I just need to remind myself what I am grateful for. When times get a little tough I want to be able to come back to this….and just remember.