First there was us, and now it’s them. We have four little hands that need us, and it’s so hard to get lost in parenthood and forget that at once upon a time it was me and you.
I promise you, it won’t always be like this. It won’t always be this hard.
I remember when we would go for leisurely walks and long Sunday brunches. Now it takes us an hour to leave the house for a 15-minute walk. I want so badly to spend hours lying in bed, talking like we used to, but now I’m so tired I barely have the energy to kiss you goodnight.
The times we would stay up late drinking far too much are a distant memory. Now our evenings involve us going to bed at 9 p.m. wondering when we last had a sip of water. The days are long and the nights are longer.
I can’t remember what it feels like to not be tired. I can’t remember what it feels like to not always be so touched out. But I can remember what it felt like before we had kids, and that feeling is still there, it’s there underneath the school runs and constant stream of activities. It’s still there, behind the 2 a.m. wake-up calls, and the 3 a.m. wake-up calls.
It will come back because it has never left. It’s always there, it’s just harder for us both to show.
We said with four kids, someone always has a buddy, but we didn’t anticipate our marriage getting left out. I know we are strong, and I know we will be us again. They won’t always need us to hold their hands, and we will be able to hold each other’s hands. They won’t always need us to sit with them for hours to fall asleep, and we will have our evenings back to sit down, drink wine, and watch a show without having to pause it every five minutes.
There will come a day when we don’t have a toddler in between us at night, and we will be able to lie next to each other again. We will have a hug that lasts longer than five seconds before we have to break away from each other to stop an argument over a toy.
I don’t want to wish the time away. You know I would love our children to stay children forever, but there will be a day when they aren’t little anymore, and that day we will be us again.
As a husband, I know you might feel like you get left behind a lot because I am always so preoccupied with a child needing me, but I still see you. I see you being the best daddy to our four small children. I see how they want you to play with them. How you have the patience to let the three bigger ones help you cook dinner. When they have so much energy to burn, you are the one who can help them burn it. I see you trying to do everything for me to make my life easier.
I may not show my appreciation because it’s so hard to even have a conversation.
I can barely fit a word in edgeways to say thank you for my dinner. I might seem ungrateful for everything you do, I might seem like I don’t notice, but I do. I am just so overwhelmed with little voices. These little people need me for everything, and at the end of the day when it is just me and you, there isn’t enough of me left to give.
One day, you will be able to have all of me again. One day, the newborn cries will be just an echo, and we will be able to hear ourselves think again. There will be endless conversations to be had. Years of sleep to catch up on. Long, lazy weekends will be ours. One day, it will be our once upon a time again.