My husband will never know.

He walks through that door, hangs up his keys, greets the kids with a bear hug and kisses. I look on from the kitchen doorway, smiling to myself, thinking, “He will never know.” 

He will never know the struggles of the day.

He comes and kisses my makeup-free face. He will never know that I had been all done up. I had quickly applied my makeup as the baby sat at my feet pulling tampons out of the box and throwing them across the room. The toddler “helping” me as she repeatedly dropped the drug store make up on the ground.

He looks at my sweatpants and his old t-shirt, not saying a word. He will never know that I was dressed today. I had been put together for playgroup this morning. Since then, my clothing was covered in spilled applesauce pouches, used as a human Kleenex, and my post-kids belly could not stand another minute in those pre-kids jeans.

He politely asks what’s for dinner as I stir the simmering pot. He will never know that my arm is quivering, so sore from the morning’s Target run. When I pushed the overloaded cart with one hand as I held the twenty-five pound baby who refused to sit inside the cart with my other arm. How I told the toddler repeatedly that we would not be taking home another Paw Patrol character and that fruit snacks were really not fruit. How frustrated I was that they were out of his deodorant which resulted in repeating this hot mess of an appearance at Walmart. How I was so tired from the shopping trip that I felt like I had just run a marathon in high heels.

He calmly asks who spilled cereal on the kitchen floor. He will never know that I had gotten up before the children and scrubbed all the floors on my hands and knees–only to have them painted with muddy paw prints, spilled oatmeal from breakfast, misguided glue glops, dusted with toy cars, and lightly drizzled with spilled milk.

His eyes meet the burning candle on the kitchen table. He will never know that it’s my desperate attempt to cover up the smell of dirty diapers in the trash can, hoping the sweet aroma of pumpkin spice will wash away the stress of the day.

My husband will also never know the overwhelming joy I feel as a mom.

But what I know is these days with little ones at home can be busy and sometimes just plain crazy. Sometimes things I do go unnoticed. Some days he won’t understand the struggles I face.

But at the end of every day, it’s all worth it–even if my husband never knows. 

Annie Henriksen

My name is Annie. I am the mother of two free-spirted kids, a freelance writer, and the face behind Laughter and Kisses is all about filling your home with love and laughing instead of crying over those hard-parenting days! I spend most of my day chasing after these two blurry lightning bolts, I call my children. If I didn’t have my hands full enough with sippy cups and sticky mystery items, I am also on the board of directors of two non-profits. I am a freelance writer for multiple parenting websites; including Her View From Home and That’s Inappropriate. I have been honored to be featured on such sites as Romper, Pop Sugar, and Mummy Pages-UK. I’m not going to lie, I consume a massive amount of coffee each day just to keep up with life. Even though my days are jammed packed, I would not have it any other way! At the end of the day, after all of the struggles, I kiss my kid’s good night and it’s all worth it!