Sometimes I need your help.
The words sting a little as they hang in the air.
The reality is, I need your help, and I don’t know how to ask.
We have been married almost 10 years, and asking that question still upsets me. Not because I don’t think you will help, but because I feel as though I have failed on my end.
I remember a time before children when we sat down in our tiny 900-square-foot apartment and mapped out this elaborate plan for our lives. You would be the breadwinner, and I would be the stay-at-home mamma. You would take out the trash and work on our vehicles while I cultivated the minds of our children with the composure of Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music.
Then, somewhere along the way we had three kids in four years, a mortgage, and a minivan.
The demands of the day-to-day are suffocating. Burnout whispers in my ear while dry shampoo cakes my scalp.
I just don’t know how to tell you.
I don’t know how to tell you I am completely overwhelmed by the needs of our children.
I don’t know how to tell you the housework gives me anxiety.
I don’t know how to tell you that at the end of each day, I feel as though I just ran a marathon, and I cringe a little knowing I have to do it all again tomorrow.
What I am trying to say is, I need your help.
Saying it all hurts. It makes me feel like I let you down, like I am not enough of a mother. The pressures of motherhood come down on me and leave me feeling emotionally paralyzed. I feel guilty and overwhelmed and beat down. There are days that every ounce of my energy is poured into the cups of others, and I just don’t have enough left in me to care for myself.
The one thing that has held me back from telling you this for all of these years is the fact you work insanely hard every single day.
You come home with sweat-stained clothes and dark circles under your eyes. You make your way through the house passing out hugs and kisses to the kiddos. You slowly drag your tired feet into the kitchen, bring me into your arms, and kiss me on the head.
I see your exhaustion, and most days I feel guilty for even being tired myself.
Dear husband, I see your hard work, and I admire you for coming home in such great spirits. I know your struggles differ from mine, and I know you feel the calls of burnout whispering your name.
I see you.
I just need a little help.
This stage of life is one full of contradicting feelings. The challenges of being married and raising kids has left me questioning everything I thought I knew about parenthood. The effects of exhaustion and a drained bank account wear on my heart.
This is why I need some help.
Dear husband, I know things look different than how we planned.
I know we found ourselves in survival mode for several months after each baby was born. I understand how challenging it is for you to go into things without a game plan, and I want you to know I appreciate you sticking with it.
I absolutely adore this life we have created.
I want us to get better.
I want us to grow.
I want us to flourish.
I just need a little help.
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