Sometimes parenting sucks, but you are perfect for this gig.

When people describe parenthood to young couples with heart emoji eyes, they discuss the beauty of childbirth and the joys of baby’s first accomplishments.

They tend to leave out the parts about sleepless (and sexless) nights, chaffing nipples from breastfeeding, and the fact that you forget how to even talk to other adults because you will spend the next five-to-seven years either pregnant or raising kids who constantly need something, broke something or spilled something, or who you will have to chase to keep from impending doom.

Those are the facts, my friends.

But you, my hero husband. You weren’t phased by the sleeplessness since you’d basically been training for that all through college. The gross stuff like spit-up and poopy diapers were no match for you, since we met caring for individuals with disabilities who needed full-time assistance. The insanity of chasing around little teeny time bombs just became the newest part of your cardio routine.

You are my hero.

When my body became a contorted bundle of skin and stretch marks and flaps of things that would never return to their originally-intended positions, you smiled and told me I look beautiful. You never balked at the many times (read: almost always) that my body unintentionally chose sleep over intimacy because I had spent my day nursing, cleaning bottle parts, or running around trying to rescue our fearless two-year-old from sharp objects or tall things from which she would be determined to fly.

You loved me anyway.

See, no one told us that parenthood, for us, would include a laundry list of diagnoses, medications, therapists, specialists, doctors, and strategies to attempt to provide every opportunity for our boy to succeed. We didn’t know that when we chose to have babies.

But you haven’t missed a step.

There have been sleepless nights, tear-filled nights, and nights where we argued so I spent all of my energy attempting to scoot my large frame onto the farthest corner of our bed from you to prove a point as you snoozed peacefully. (Seriously, how do you do that!?).

But we always recover.

You are slow to judge, quick to generosity, and the absolute dream dad for any kid who loves adventure. You teach our children. You go on epic adventures with them, and they love you for it.

You are brilliant, creative, thoughtful, and selfless. You are the support system I never knew I needed. You do dishes and laundry—dishes and laundry.

For those and countless other reasons, I am grateful for you daily and I am thankful God brought us together to love our kids fiercely, to serve others selflessly, and to be a mighty force for a community of folks raising their extreme children.

I love you. All the time. Every day.

You may also like: 

To My Hard-Working Husband, I See You

My Dear Daughters, This Is How You Should Be Treated—Love, Dad

Dear Husband, I Am So Grateful For You

Want more stories of love, family, and faith from the heart of every home, delivered straight to you? Sign up here! 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Brynn Burger

Mental health advocate, extreme parent, lover of all things outdoors, and sometimes a shell of my former self. Parenting a child with multiple behavior disabilities has become both my prison and my passion. I write so I can breathe. I believe that God called me to share, with violent vulnerability and fluent sarcasm, our testimony to throw a lifeline to other mamas who feel desperate to know they aren't alone. I laugh with my mouth wide open, drink more cream than coffee, and know in my spirit that queso is from the Lord himself. Welcome!

Spanking Made Us Parents We Didn’t Want To Be

In: Faith, Motherhood
Silhouette of mother pointing finger at child

Fourteen years ago when my husband and I were preparing for our first child, we felt we already had several tools in our toolbox. Both of us worked with children and youth, and we felt prepared for parenting. We decided early on that we would never spank unless we were completely out of options.  As our bright, sweet, bubbly firstborn entered the terrible fours (yes, he was a bit delayed in his toddler rebellion), we were surrounded by a community of people who believed in “controlled spanking” with hugs and grace afterward.  RELATED: These 6 Words Transformed Discipline in Our...

Keep Reading

Let Your Kids See Your Feelings Too

In: Motherhood
Mother and daughter hugging on couch

I’m a mom to two exceptional kids–one with big emotions and one with a big heart. What that looks like in our house is an older child who is prone to outbursts and a younger child who’s always trying to help him through them. As we witness our younger son become more empathetic in response to his brother’s tantrums, we find ourselves constantly worrying that he is feeling overshadowed, relentlessly reassuring him there’s enough room for his feelings too. RELATED: Mothering a Child With Big Emotions is Heavy And what I’ve come to realize is that one of the best...

Keep Reading

Once Upon a Time You Got All of Me

In: Marriage, Motherhood
Husband and wife on wedding day, color photo

First there was us, and now it’s them. We have four little hands that need us, and it’s so hard to get lost in parenthood and forget that at once upon a time it was me and you. I promise you, it won’t always be like this. It won’t always be this hard. I remember when we would go for leisurely walks and long Sunday brunches. Now it takes us an hour to leave the house for a 15-minute walk. I want so badly to spend hours lying in bed, talking like we used to, but now I’m so tired...

Keep Reading

I Was Raised by an Easter-Only Mom and I Want More for My Kids

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and daughter read Bible

Motherhood is not for the faint-hearted, and women tend to look to their upbringing for guidance. We may not even realize we’re doing it! But being a godly mother is even more difficult when you weren’t raised by one. The questions are endless: How do I model forgiveness? How do I set the right priorities for my household? How do I explain baptism to my 6-year-old? Is it okay to have undiscipled friends around my children? Do we have to pray over every meal? Is the occasional swear word acceptable?  These questions may be less intimidating if you were fortunate enough...

Keep Reading

We’ll Get Through Daddy’s Deployment Together

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother, father, daughter selfie, color photo

“I didn’t think we did that anymore.” I wish I could attribute that to one person, but I’ve heard it from multiple people when I’ve mentioned that my pilot-soldier National Guard husband is deploying overseas. Yes, we still do that. Men and women still suit up every day to carry out various missions, both valuable and confusing, around the country and the world. And for the whole of 2023 that includes my husband. My partner, my co-adventurer. The one who will use our flight and hotel benefits from his day job to visit Hawaii for three days on a pre-deployment...

Keep Reading

Our College Visit Disaster: What You Should Learn from My Mistakes

In: Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Mom and teen daughter selfie, color photo

With a song in my heart, I got in the car to drive my daughter to our first college visit.  We drove two hours to a school nestled in the mountains. It was a state school, not too big, not too small.  She knew plenty of alumni from her high school who attended there, and I was convinced it was going to be the perfect fit. We pulled up to the student center, and I jumped out of the car. I glanced around for her and realized she was still sitting in the car.  “Mom, I’m not getting out. I ...

Keep Reading

I Was Never Good Enough for My Mother, So I’m Done Trying

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman walking away

I’m on a path in life that is so different from what I ever imagined growing up. It’s a path I’m not even sure I consciously choose. And it’s a path that exhausts me. I grew up with a narcissistic mother, and I was the scapegoat. No matter how I tried, I could never gain my mother’s love. It was love that was tainted with conditions and taken away at any time—and that was often. And thus, I tried harder. Best grades, best behavior, cleanest room. It never worked. I was too fat. My thighs were huge—make sure they were...

Keep Reading

Even When it Feels Like I Can’t, I Keep Going

In: Faith, Motherhood
Tired mom holding toddler

When I feel like I can’t do one more thing. When I am overwhelmed and touched out and lost in the logistics of it all. When my physical and mental energy are depleted. When the length of my to-do list needs more hours than I have. When I am so bone tired that I’m sure I just can’t go on. And there is still more to do. And the only choice is to keep going– I keep going. I dig a little deeper and find strength I didn’t know I had. RELATED: Check on Your “Strong” Friend, She’s Faking it...

Keep Reading

I Am an Immigrant Mom

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother and toddler in sunshine

I have many moments of What did I get myself into? during the day, especially when one of my kids is screaming at the top of his lungs and the other is having a make-believe experiment in the kitchen. We’ve heard countless times that raising kids is hard, but raising kids as a first-generation immigrant is harder. Obviously, there is no competition for who has more struggles or whose life is harder because child rearing is hard. Period. But this piece is specifically aimed at shedding some light on the unsung heroes, our so-called, first-gen immigrants raising kids in a...

Keep Reading

What Happens When She Wants Another Baby and He Does Not?

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Husband and wife, pregnancy photo, color photo

I am on my knees, folded over, with my head resting on the carpet. I am in my closet, which doesn’t see much of the vacuum, and it is the only place I can find to sob out of sight. I feel hollowed out and defeated as if I have run a marathon and was cut short at the finish line. I cry out in prayer, pleading with God to soften the heart of my husband. I desperately want another child, and he desperately does not. I take a deep breath and dry my eyes because my 4-year-old outside the...

Keep Reading