Thank you for being a husband who recognizes when I need a break and forces me to take one.

It was bedtime. I was halfway through a threat of throwing away any toys that weren’t picked up off the floor before bed when the front door opened. It was the end of a long day at the end of an even longer week. My shoulders immediately relaxed.

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“Hi, Daddy!” My 3-year-old ran for a hug. My husband barely needed to look at me and still had his keys in his hand when he said, “Upstairs. Time for tubby. Mommy is going to stay down here.” 

I usually fight the breaks. Why shouldn’t we both help when we’re both present, right?

I didn’t fight it this time.

I thanked him, and the 20 minutes I sat in solitude was more than welcomed. And needed. I heard our two children happily splashing and playing while my husband talked about how they need to listen to mommy which always makes me smile smugly.

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We have traditional parenting roles in many ways. I’m a stay-at-home-mom while he works most dayslate days, as his job requires, in fact. But he doesn’t miss a beat. He often sees Instagram posts about husbands who don’t help out around the house and asks, “Please tell me I’m not like that?” (He’s not). I don’t say this to make him out to be some special being. I know he’s not the only helpful and involved father, but it doesn’t make me any less grateful.

Thank you, husband, for giving me breaks when you could probably use one yourself. 

We were not meant to do parenting alone. Everyone needs someonea partner, a friend, a spousewho can take one look and say, “Sit down. I’ve got it,” when they’ve barely made it through the doorway, keys still in hand.