My husband doesn’t get it.

He tries. He sympathizes. He listens. He’s all in with both hands and both feet.

He holds me when I cry.

He tries to give advice.

He offers suggestions and solutions.

He’s good, you guys. He really is good. But despite all that, despite him living under the same roof, parenting the same children, being in this life all-in with me—he still doesn’t get it.

When you’re a mom, something happens.

Your instincts, intuitions, mental well-being—they all change.

Your body—it changes.

Your relationships—they change.

Your priorities around your career and friendships and personal hygiene—those change, too.

You become a shell of who you once were as you piece together who you are now as a woman and also a mother.

You’re navigating the deepest love you’ve ever felt with intense moments of “what the heck is going on?” sprinkled in between.

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My husband gets that it’s hard to have so much of you change so quickly, to be so exhausted . . . in every sense of the word, to question if you’re doing it right. He’s gone through his own changes, too.

He gets the screaming and the crying, and he also gets the giggles and the love.

He gets all of it and even still, at the end of the day—just because he gets it, doesn’t mean he understands.

There’s this thing my kids do when my husband walks through the door at the end of a long day at work—their eyes light up for him. They scream his name. They play and they tussle and they laugh.

They’re enthused, enthralled and captivated by him.

After I’ve spent the day barking orders, making demands, and pushing myself to the end of my rope.

My husband gets that it’s hard, but with both feet in my home, there will always be this divide.

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There will always be this part of me that wants their eyes to glow for me, rather than the piece of toast in my hand.

Don’t get me wrong, I know my children love me.

Adore may even be a better word. They join me on every bathroom trip for heaven’s sake.

But getting my husband to understand how taxing that love can be, having him fully understand why I feel as though I have it harder (and I must admit, sometimes much sweeter) in this chapter in our life—well, as good as my man is, as much as he tries—he’ll just never understand.

And you know what, I’ll never understand what it’s like for him, either.

I’ll never truly get how fatherhood has rocked his world.

How it feels for him to think he comes last (though, I try my damnedest to make him first).

And lastly, I’ll never know what it’s like to watch your wife go through such a transformation – and know deep in your heart as much as you try and as much as you want to feel what she feels, the good and the bad – you’ll never truly understand.

This post originally appeared on Grown Up Glamour by Anneliese Lawton

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