Why can’t he ever just clean up. I’m tired of picking up all these clothes.
He never understands my pain. It’s like he doesn’t even acknowledge that I’m pregnant.
Does he even care I’ve been taking care of our son all day without a break?
To the man I’ve been married to for three years. I’m so grateful for how you handle my pregnancies. I know I don’t tell you enough through my cloud of raging hormones, depression spells, and fits of manic motherhood. I also know that many times you, my love, are the target of my anger, my disappointment, my frustration. There are definitely times when I want to cry in the most dramatic fashion “you did this to me!” And shake my fist at you.
But, if I’m honest with myself. Those fleeting moments of anger settle like old dust, and I always come out seeing much clearer the truth: you have been there for me in so many ways.
Today, we sat on the couch in our pajamas during another boring day of quarantine. Matthias below us on the carpet, happily kicking his feet and watching Dinosaur Train on PBS. I leaned my head against your shoulder and suddenly felt overwhelming exhaustion, the kind from my first pregnancy that made me semi-convinced I had developed narcolepsy. My eyes crossed, and I tried to fight it.
You know I hate naps.
But, before I knew it, I was sideways on the couch, eyes closed. In my mist of sleepiness, I could hear you every now and then caring for our son. Making him laugh, telling him not to wake me and even pulling him off me as he tried to sit on my face while chanting “mommy wake up.” You changed his poopy diaper, fed him, and put him down for a nap and then covered me up and let me rest until I could finally get up.
It’s these little things every day that I forget to look for. It’s all the times you rub my back without me asking or open the car door for me. It’s all the times you make me laugh when I’m being a grump. It’s all the times you tell me I’m beautiful even when sweat pours down my chest, neck, and forehead from a 10-minute walk in the sun. When I feel like I’m not…especially during the times I feel like I’m not. Your unfailing love and devotion are the light of my life.
Sure, there are times when I wish you would do more chores or take Matthias off my hands more after work, but honey, you don’t need to hear that. You deserve to hear this more: I am so grateful for you.
Motherhood is powerful, and I know my strength as a mother, but in that hospital room as I pushed our first child into the world, it was your strong steady hand that held me together and gave me strength. It was your shirt I grasped as I lay trembling, clutching our newborn child while they stitched me back together. “Don’t let go,” I said.
I needed you, and I will always need you. No matter my pride. No matter my anger. I need you, and even more importantly, I want you. You my funny, handsome, bright love, the man I wanted to create a family with in the first place.
So dear, I love you. Please forgive me while I let myself be buffeted by the waves of hormones. Please forgive me for turning my exhaustion and frustration, my fear, onto you after all you’ve done. You are fatherhood, and that deserves to be honored too. Fatherhood which I know you often do alone, no great community behind you. Fatherhood, which more than motherhood, is challenged each day. You are strong. You are brave. And, you are loved.
By me. By our son. By our unborn child.
We love you.
Olivia Fisher is a small-town, library-going wife and mother. She graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She is the mother of two boys, a two-year-old and a second son to be born in April. With a deep love for family and children, Olivia works to write children’s books that will inspire young readers. When she isn’t writing or reading, Olivia loves to create YouTube videos, spend time in nature with her family, and listen to her doctor-to-be husband nerd out about science.
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