You walk in the door from work to an eruption of chaos and noise. Running toddler feet, sticky floors, and an excited dog.
I think I am able to get maybe one or two sentences out in between the yelling kids and getting dinner out of the oven. Obviously you didn’t hear me because you are prying our 2-year-old off the floor after his latest tantrum.
“What?” you ask. “Nothing, not important,” I say. “Boys, time to eat!” I make a mental note to talk to you later after the kids go to sleep. I know this won’t happen because, well, we’re both tired.
Between the questions and preparations for bath time, I glance over at you. You’re still the same, handsome man I fell in love with all those years ago. Becoming parents and having three children in three years has made for a crazy and joyous life. However, there has been little to no time for us.
Saying that it has been difficult would be an understatement.
We have gone from husband and wife to mommy and daddy. From dates to diapers. Meaningful conversations to truck noises. Losing ourselves in the rhythm of our new lives as parents.
It is so easy to become frustrated. We are both so exhausted. You work to provide for our family, and I keep our kids alive every day. While we both appreciate the value the other provides, we never quite articulate it because we are so entrenched in fulfilling our duties to keep the family afloat.
You know what, though? I see every single thing you do for this family. I know that it comes from a place of deep love. I also know you recognize and value all the work that I do.
I know that one day we will have more time for each other.
The craziness of life with small children will be nothing but a fond memory. You’ll constantly question how we ever made it through and I’ll gladly tell you how:
We made it because you reached for my hand in the car while the kids were singing along to nursery rhymes in the backseat.
We made it because you stopped for takeout on your way home because you knew I didn’t have a second to accomplish anything that day.
We made it because we smiled at each other when we heard our kids say something that sounded just like one of us.
We made it because we are the first person either one of us called with exciting or terrible news.
We made it because we shared the responsibility of raising our children. Right down to crawling on the floor and playing dinosaurs.
We made it because when I looked at you, I felt safe.
We made it because before them, we were us. And still are.
We made it because we never stopped loving each other.
So, husband, I am sorry this is so hard right now. I know we are deep in the trenches of parenthood with no end in sight.
One day, we will begin to notice we have more time for one another as our children become more independent. Until then, let’s keep standing together and loving one another unconditionally. That’s all we really need.