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Starting a family is a joint effort. Not just in the physical aspect, of course, but emotionally and mentally. It takes two to tango and it is a decision that takes commitment from both parties.

Society has placed an extremely large emphasis on the wellbeing of whomever has carried the child. That emphasis does not go unwarranted, as pregnancy and childbirth take a tremendous toll on the body and, sometimes, mental health. In the throes of life returning to whatever normalcy may mean to new parents, the partner’s wellbeing sometimes gets pushed to the backburner.

You should know, all of this aside, the commitment to your family does not go unnoticed.

Your sacrifices do not go unnoticed. Your attentiveness does not go unnoticed. Your desire to help does not go unnoticed.

All too often, we hear of the partners who are absent both physically and emotionally. We have heard of the ones who refuse to help, even when their partners are suffering. We have heard of the ones who have made the decision to remove themselves from their parental roles. Through all of the negativity, to those who are present, you need to know that you are appreciated.

In all of the late-night scream fests, you whisper “I got it” more times than one could possibly count. We watch you gently rock the baby, stroking that sweet spot on the back of his head. We listen as the screams turn to cries, which turn to whimpers, which turn to deep breaths and lulled snoring. You have this natural instinct, almost like you were destined to be a parent.

You work hard to support us, whether we are stay-at-home mothers or mothers who leave for the office. You are our biggest cheerleaders and support system and only want what is best for us. You put us on the highest pedestal, and understand that sometimes, we need a break.

Not all partners are like you. We are grateful for you. We are grateful for your warmth and your understanding. We know the patience and love you will instill in our children. Though you may feel invisible sometimes, we see you. You may not have housed our children physically, but you are a home for them now. You helped us build that home. You do not take your role as a parent lightly. We see you beam with pride at every milestone met, every babble, every gummy smile, every soccer goal, every graduation, every anything.

You are our protectors, our guiding lights. You are just the arms we need to be held in when times get tough. You are even-keeled when we lose our cool. We don’t know how you do it, but you do it. You may say you’re not a pro at balancing everything all of the time, but you do a darn good job of looking like one. You may think you don’t know the right thing to say, but you always end up managing to say exactly what needs to be said. We know you also have a million things on your plate, but making time for your family is your top priority.

Bringing a child into our lives does not diminish our love and affection for you. Our relationship will always come first. We realize we cannot teach our children about love and compassion if we don’t show it to you, first.

You are our number one. You always will be.

You may feel forgotten, but you are the furthest thing from it.

We will spend forever showing you our gratitude. From the bottom of our hearts—all of us—thank you.

This post originally appeared on the author’s blog

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