Dear husband,

We met when I was a 19 year old girl, a freshman in college, when I slept until noon and didn’t have a care in the world. I know that girl is not the person you wake up to today, and I know you love me more for it, so thank you.

You see me when I'm crying because our baby, yes a baby, hurt my feelings.

He threw the food I spent his entire nap time making on the floor. All of it. He pulled my hair or bit me one too many times. He is a baby and I know this, but my feelings are often fragile these days.

You tell him to be kind to his mama. I know he doesn’t understand, but I do. It shows me you have my back and that we’re a team and always will be.

You see me when I snap at you when you've done nothing wrong.

I really try not to, but I have a temper and it comes out when I'm so very tired, when I’m running on empty. You just happen to be there. (Thank you for being there.)

You see it for what it is and you know that it’s just a cry for help. You don’t even snap back, you just look at me, probably thinking I’m crazy, and ask if I’m okay or give me a hug. You give the best hugs.

You see me when I’m scared that I’ve given up on my career.

You see that I’m equally scared to go back to work, to let go of this precious time with our little one and trust someone else to take care of him. You tell me you’ll support whatever choice I make and it means the world to me.

You see me getting antsy from so much time at home.

You offer to watch our son while I go for a walk or go run an errand, gasp, all by myself. Or you find a new park we haven’t been to and get us out of the house when I’m too tired to come up with a plan for the day, even though you’ve been gone at work all week and would probably like to relax at home.

You see me fighting to hold on to who I am at my core.

While also finding out who I’ve become now that we’re parents. You see me trying to reconcile the two, which isn’t always easy, but we’re figuring it out together.

You see me when I say I’m fine and you know I’m not.

You know I’m just not very good at asking for help, and you give it to me anyway. You take our son for a walk or play with him in the backyard so that I can have a few minutes to regroup.

Or maybe you’re just trying to escape me when I’m acting crazy. Either way, I’ll take it. Of course I always miss you guys and come find you before too long.

You see all of me.

You see the mom I am today, but I know you also still see the girl I was when we fell in love, and everything in between.

Even though I’m often a mess and I rarely get dressed up or even put on makeup these days, I’m so much more confident than I ever was then. Because you’ve seen me at my worst and you let me know it’s more than okay.

I know that if you can love me on those hardest days, you’ll love me no matter what. I know that I can trust you to look deeper than the already worn yoga pants and milk-stained t-shirt I may be wearing and see the person you fell in love with, the person who trusts you with her whole heart and loves you on your worst days too.

So while I’ll always keep trying to give you my best, I love knowing that you’ve seen me at my worst and we’re stronger than ever.

Love always,

Your wife