So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

Dear husband,

I. Need. More. Help.

Last night was hard for you. I asked you to watch the baby so I could go to bed early. The baby was crying. Wailing, really. I could hear him from upstairs and my stomach knotted from the sound, wondering if I should come down there and relieve you or just shut the door so I could get some desperately needed sleep. I chose the latter.

You came into the room 20 minutes later, with the baby still frantically crying. You placed the baby in the bassinet and gently pushed the bassinet just a few inches closer to my side of the bed, a clear gesture that you were done watching him.

I wanted to scream at you. I wanted to launch an epic fight that very moment. I had been watching the baby and the toddler all damn day. I was going to be waking up with the baby to feed him all damn night. The least you could do is hold him for a couple of hours in the evening to I can attempt to sleep.

Just a few hours of precious sleep. Is that too much to ask?

I know we both watched our parents fulfill the typical mother-father roles growing up. Both our mothers were the primary caretakers and our fathers were relatively hands-off. They were excellent dads, but they weren’t expected to spend a significant amount of time changing diapers, feeding, caring, and tending to the kids. Our mothers were the superwomen who maintained the family dynamics. Cooking, cleaning, and raising the children. Any help from dad was welcome, but unexpected.

I see us falling into these family dynamics more and more each day. My responsibility to feed the family, keep the house clean, and take care of the kids is assumed, even as I return to work. I blame myself for most of it, too. I have set the precedent that I can do it. And in truth, I want to. No offense, but I’m not sure I want to know what a week’s worth of dinner would look like with you in charge.

I also see my friends and other moms doing it all, and doing it well. I know you see it, too. If they can manage it, and if our mothers did it so well for us, why can’t I?

I don’t know.

Maybe our friends are playing the part in public and secretly struggling. Maybe our moms suffered in silence for years and now, thirty years later, they simply don’t remember how hard it really was. Or maybe, and this is something I berate myself over every single day, I’m just not as qualified for the job as everyone else. And as much as I cringe just thinking it, I’m going to say it: I need more help.

Part of me feels like a failure for even asking. I mean, you do help. You are an amazing father, and you do a great job with the kids. And besides, this should come easy to me, right? Motherly instincts, no?

But I’m human, and I’m running on five hours of sleep and tired as hell. I need you.

In the morning, I need you to get our toddler ready so I can care for the baby and make everyone’s lunches and drink a cup of coffee. And no, getting the toddler ready does not mean plopping him in front of the TV. It means making sure he went potty, giving him some breakfast, seeing if he wants water, and packing his bag for school.

At night, I need an hour to decompress in bed knowing our toddler is asleep in his room and the baby is in your care. I know it’s hard to listen to the baby cry. Believe me, I know. But if I can watch and pacify the baby for the majority of the day, you can do it for an hour or two at night. Please. I need you.

On weekends, I need more breaks. Times where I can get out of the house by myself and feel like an individual. Even if it’s just a walk around the block or a trip to the grocery store. And some days when I’ve scheduled swim class and play dates, and it seems like I’ve got it all under control, I need you to offer to lend me a hand. Or suggest I go lay down during the kids’ naptime. Or start putting away the dishes without me suggesting it. I need you.

Lastly, I need to hear you’re grateful for all I do. I want to know that you notice the laundry is done and a nice dinner has been prepared. I want to know you appreciate that I breastfeed at all hours and pump when I’m at work when it would be easier for me to formula feed. I hope you notice that I never ask you to stay home from your networking events and sport activities. As the mom, it’s assumed I’ll be home all the time and always available to care for the kids while you’re out and I feed that assumption by, well, being home all the time.

I know it’s not how our parents did it, and I hate even asking. I wish I could do it all and make it look effortless. And I wish I didn’t need kudos for doing things most people expect from a mom. But I’m waving a white flag and admitting I’m only human. I’m telling you how much I need you, and if I keep going at the pace I’ve been on, I will break. And that would hurt you, the kids, and our family.

Because, let’s face it: you need me, too.

Follow Celeste on Facebook for more

 

Originally published Mary Katherine Backstrom/Facebook

Celeste

About Celeste Yvonne: Celeste is a popular blogger and personality who writes about all things parenting. Celeste openly speaks about her struggles with alcohol, and two years ago she announced her commitment to becoming a sober mom for the sake of her health and her family. Her piece about a playdate that went sideways when another mom started serving mimosas has reached over 14 million people. Celeste lives in Reno, Nevada with her husband and two boys ages 3 and 5. Follow Celeste at http://www.facebook.com/theultimatemomchallengehttp://www.instagram.com/andwhatamom or http://www.andwhatamom.com

I’m So Thankful For This Little Family

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Toddler boy and infant girl, color photo

I remember my teenage self dreaming, hoping, and praying for a life like I have now. Praying for a man to love me, to be loyal to me, to want a family with me, to provide for me, to show me what stability felt like and what it felt like to not ever have to worry . . . and here he is right in front of me. I remember my teenage self dreaming, hoping, praying for a house I could make a home and raise my family in. Here it is right in front of me. But most of...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Still Remember Who We Are

In: Marriage
Bride and groom kissing, color photo

Sometimes it might seem like I’ve forgotten about us—amid the cluster feeding and the baseball practices. In the heaps of diapers or the bubbly bath water. In this phase when my body is not my own, and it isn’t yours either. RELATED: Dear Husband, I Loved You First When my mind is too tired to string together another thought, and my voice is lost from whispering, not sweet nothings, but another lullaby. But I still remember who we are. Mirror souls, an unstoppable force, two hearts entangled—and we are conquering this part together because our relationship will go through seasons....

Keep Reading

I’m Just a Little Boy, but Daddy You’re Teaching Me How to Be a Man

In: Fatherhood, Marriage
Daddy on the floor playing with son, color photo

I’m only a little boy, still too young to tie my own shoes or make my own breakfast. My days are filled with playtime, snacks, lots of hugs from Mommy, and plenty of tickles from you, Daddy. Right now, my life revolves around me and you and Mommy. I don’t know much about the world outside our home yet. I haven’t learned about responsibility or self-discipline or sacrifice. I haven’t had to find my place in the world yet. But I guess I’m pretty lucky because even though you may not know it, you’ve already begun teaching me everything I...

Keep Reading

You’re the Father You Never Had and I’m So Proud of You

In: Fatherhood, Marriage
Dad and kids walking on beach

Can I tell you about my husband? He’s amazing. He’s kind and doting and loves Jesus, but perhaps his most endearing trait is the absolutely incredible father he is.  In our early days of dating, he was crippled by the fear of what type of father he would be. To him, fatherhood was burdensome, grumbling, abandonment, and fighting for the final dollar during tax season. His experience as a son crippled his anticipation as a father.  But I knew it all along—what an incredible dad he would be. Although I must admit, he has often far surpassed what I even...

Keep Reading

I Always Had an Excuse for My Excessive Drinking

In: Living, Marriage
Woman drinking wine

I remember the first time my husband sat me down and looked me in the eye and told me he was concerned about my drinking, about four years ago. It was after a particularly late, drunken Saturday night, and he approached me in our bedroom the next morning while our three kids were innocently watching TV downstairs. I don’t remember where we had been or who we had been with the night before, but it was probably much of the same drunken scene that we always found ourselves in, with the same people. What I do remember is the look...

Keep Reading

Spaghetti Sauce Faith

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Mother and little girl holding a bowl of spaghetti, color photo

It was Sunday afternoon, and I was loading my grocery cart higher than I ever had in my life. My husband and I, along with our two kids under two years old, had been living with his parents for three months. We moved from our Florida home to look for a house in Georgia, and they graciously took us in. This was the day I loaded up on groceries—filling an empty refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. My shopping list was all the things. I needed to buy the smallest of table ingredients like salt and garlic powder to the big things...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I’m Sorry for Expecting Perfection

In: Marriage
Couple embracing on beach

Dear Husband, There is a picture of a piece of burnt toast on my Facebook wall. It’s quite ugly. It’s the kind of toast that if it popped out of the toaster, I would try to scrape off all the black bits, probably making a mess over the countertop and in the kitchen sink in the process. And if the charred stuff never came off, I’d begrudgingly (because I don’t like to waste food) throw that toast in the garbage and make myself a new piece. That’s how burnt this piece of toast is. But it’s not my piece of...

Keep Reading

I Always Pack the Snack, and Other Ways Parenting is Never 50/50

In: Marriage, Motherhood
Mother lying on couch with children, black-and-white photo

I hate it. The idea of unequal roles irritates me to no end. Two years ago, I would never have believed it would come to this. The workload with my children will never be equally shared between my husband and me, and although I wish it weren’t true, I have finally come to terms with the notion that I will be the lead parent. “It will never be 50/50,” my husband said the other night, and as the words were coming out of his mouth, I believed him. It had been a bad day. Picking and arguing over who did...

Keep Reading

I Love the Way You Make Me Laugh

In: Marriage
Couple laughing

I love how you make me laugh. Like . . . love, love it.  You get that gleam in your eye—the one that could light up a city block, and I know what’s coming next.  I know I’m about to absolutely adore every word you deliver in that perfect execution of yours. I know the muscles on my face and in my stomach are about to hurt in an eager kind of way. I know I’m going to fall in love with you all over again. Right then. Right there. Really, it isn’t just the words. Don’t get me wrong, they...

Keep Reading

Divorce Made My Ex-Husband and Me Better Parents

In: Living, Marriage
Mom dropping child off with dad

When I married my husband, I could not imagine a life without him in it. We met at such a young age, and essentially, we grew up together. We molded one another and connected on such a deep level. With such a deep love, we decided the next step in life would be to get married and start a family. We wanted to create a life where we could watch our children grow, and we could grow old together.  Before having children, I don’t think anyone is prepared for the overwhelming love you experience for your child. You never realize...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime