I think it’s their favorite time of day. I know it’s yours. Our oldest runs to the door, squealing, “Daddy’s home!” bouncing on her tiny toes and waving to you wildly. Our littlest toddles over on her new, walking legs, excited because everyone’s excited, babbling incoherently while you patiently wait for the day she can say “Dada”.

I watch you get down on your knees and ask for your “biggest hug”. I watch them throw themselves into your arms, stumbling over each other to get to you first. I watch them, and you, light up if for no other reason than the sweet privilege of being together again. I watch that big mess of love at the front door and feel so much joy.

Without fail in all of the chaos, they both always turn and look at me at least once. “Momma, look! Daddy’s home!” It’s as if they want to make sure I’m a part of the happy, that I’m excited, too. I’m always smiling of course. Always. It’s impossible not to.

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Can I be honest with you though?

I feel a little bit selfish saying so and a little bit scared, too. I’m so good at ignoring what I need. Mamas are supposed to be so tough, so selfless, so sacrificial. We’re not supposed to complain or ask for more. We’re supposed to be grateful, so grateful, because look at what we’ve been given.

I am all of these things, most of the time. I’m a rule follower and a good mama, and I want to do it right. But right now? What I’m about to say follows none of the rules.

You know what husband? I could use a little more love, too.

Sometimes I watch you grab our girls and wish I could be a part of the hug. Sometimes I wish you’d look at me the way you look at them. Sometimes I wish and I wish, and there’s so much good around that I confuse myself, not so sure there is even anything left to wish for.

I think if I told you this you’d tell me to just come on over. To stop wishing and wishing and just join in. And I know I could do it. I know you’d never turn me away. Neither would they. I could run to the door and squeal and dance, and you’d all laugh, likely wondering what got into me.

But that’s just the thing. I don’t want to be the one to do it. I think that’s the wish.

Not me. You.

I just want you to be the one to do it. 

Because, today, tonight, I’m just a little bit tired. The littlest got up twice last night just because she needed a snuggle. And the oldest refused to nap after school, so I didn’t get to take that shower I desperately needed. And when I sat down to take my conference call, the internet shut down, so my proposal is still late, and I’m not sure when I’ll have the time. And when we loaded up and went to the grocery store, at the checkout counter I realized I left my credit card in the other diaper bag, so there’s no milk and no coffee and no eggs for the morning.

We had a normal day. It was a long day, a hard day, but a good day. And then here you are, home at last, and I’m just feeling so joyfully tired while I watch it all.

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So today, I was wondering if you could just be the one to come to me? I was wondering if you could give the girls their hugs and then turn and give me my “biggest hug” too?

I don’t want to have to wish. I don’t want to have to ask. I don’t want to have to make the first move. I don’t want to steal from the girls.

I just want to be a part of the joy because you want me to be.

In all of this, if you hear anything husband, please hear this. I love the way you love them. I love the way they love you. I don’t want a single part of your relationship with them to change.

And I love the way you love me. I always have.

I could just use a little bit more of it.

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Lo Mansfield

Lo is a labor RN who left her patients for her own babies when her first daughter was born and her own mama died. She loves her baby girls and she loved her patients --> right now, she's living in the truth that she can't do both and that is 100% okay. She lives in Denver with her husband and two daughters, writing, mom-ing, grieving, running, and (maybe) figuring it out. You can follow her mama heart musings at The Mama Harbor and at her Instagram