It’s my day off from my 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. job. But, instead of taking the day to rest and relax, I’m trying to get caught up on housework—only, there’s not much catching up going on when you’re also managing three children three and under and feeling the effects of an ever-growing belly from the expectant arrival of our fourth child.

It’s 8:30 p.m. and I’ve just gotten all of the kids to bed and I look at the clock, exhausted. My husband is at work, has been for hours, and will be throughout the night and I’m thinking about showering and crawling in bed myself.

But then I look at the five baskets of clean laundry I managed to wash today that need folded. I begin to debate whether or not I should fold the laundry or clean up from feeding the kids, because I know I’m only going to have enough energy left for one.

The laundry never wins. Instead, it sits in the closet, baskets stacked on baskets until I get a moment or two throughout the week to put them away . . . after they’ve wrinkled.

And then I am racked with guilt because I am failing as a wife and mom and I am making my family wear wrinkled clothes.

But, no one says anything.

Not one word.

My husband happily pulls out a wrinkled t-shirt and throws it on, not once mentioning the painfully obvious evidence of it having sat in a laundry basket for who knows how long before it got folded.

Thank you for that.

Thank you for not mentioning the floors I can’t keep clean, the baskets of laundry, the dishes that seem to never be put away, and the various other household chores I just can’t seem to always have done.

I can’t keep up and I am so overwhelmed. But I try.

You never mention how I didn’t dust the bedroom but you are quick to tell me how nice the kitchen looks.

You never mention your wrinkled shirt but are quick to thank me for making sure you have clean socks to wear.

You don’t know how much that means to me. You notice all the things I do and never once mention the things I didn’t do.

You praise me as a mother and wife and tell me how great I am at both. You help when I ask and you cook dinner when I work. You get the kids baths and tuck them in bed when you’re not working. You go to school by day and work by night and still you notice the things I do.

You wear wrinkled shirts and don’t bat an eye.

That means more to me than you could ever possibly imagine.

You see me. Thanks for that, too.

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Anastasia Smothers

Anastasia is a mother of four children under four and a proud wife to a veteran. When not with her children, she works full -time and also has a part-time position as a substitute teacher.