Motherhood is a never ending saga of ups and downs. Like for example, the day my three year old spit on the librarian and I had to drag him and our four month old out, in a double stroller, kicking and screaming the whole way. Our frustrations have a tendency to build up and crumble upon us at the slightest misfortune and render us tapped out, leaving dad in charge, if only for a while. It is the uncertain compilation of events that unfold in the duration of a day’s time that can lead us as mothers to succumb to the notion that maybe our title would be better filled by our spouse. This open letter, addressed to my husband, is a reminder for us both (and mother and fathers everywhere) that motherhood isn’t up for grabs.
You think that because we are both parents we should respond the same way and parenting should be equally as easy and equally as difficult. We share many of the same responsibilities and obligations but the polarity of the details of [these things] are incredible. See, being a mother has been set aside purposefully for one person and that one person is me. I am uniquely qualified to fill this role and if you’re trying to take on my position, I kindly want you to know you’ll never be promoted.
In addition, the pressure and weight of parenting has an ugly way of folding itself over into our sacred marriage and it makes things messy. I love you. I want nothing more than to make you happy and be honorable to you as a wife. I’m sorry that the exhaustion of changing dirty diapers and folding piles of laundry sometimes comes between us. I try to make everyone happy but quite honestly, some days I’m not even happy myself. Not because my life, our children and you are not enough but because I feel like I’m not enough for you all. I feel inadequate on a daily basis. Please do not subject me to your crass comments or harsh judgments because my tank is near empty. I AM trying. My best might not look pretty but it’s all I’ve got and I’m giving it all I have. Sometimes more than what I have. I am a human who is incredibly imperfect, trying on a regular basis to live a perfect life, raise perfect children and have a perfect marriage. I’m carrying a heavy load and if it weren’t for grace I would really be in the hole. So, thank you for consistently perusing my heart as a husband but please do not take offense if my attitude fails to mirror my unconditional love for you.
***This publication is dedicated to my dear husband, Levi, who loves my every layer and to my mother, Barb, who has taught me through example about what it means to be a mother. To both, I love you.