[Editor's note: This story is a letter from a woman to her husband. While this is one example of one type of relationship, we understand, appreciate and celebrate that relationships come in all forms and configurations.]
You got home tonight around 8:45 pm. You left the house this morning at 5:45 am. You went to the grocery store right after work because we didn't make it there over the weekend.
You came in and unloaded the groceries. You put them away. You laughed about how tired you were. I admired your ability to not let frustration take over.
After putting the groceries away, you took our still-awake youngest from me so I could do a workout. You ate your dinner while you hung out with her on the couch. You were delighted to see each other.
Tomorrow, you'll get up a little after 5 am and do it all over again. The next day, too. The day after that will be the same story.
I see the toll that the stress in our life is taking on you. I know what you're trying to do for us—you're trying to give us the world. But the weight of that world rests on your shoulders—and it's heavy.
You work hard. You worry. You wish your commute didn't take up so much time, so you could have more time at home with us. You stress. You lose sleep. You problem solve. You plan. You help out. You share the load. You are really IN THIS life with me—deep in the trenches of parenthood.
You are right there with me when one, two...or all three of our children wake up in the middle of the night. When one has an accident or the other gets sick, when one is coughing up a storm or the other has a fever.
You are right there with me when our bank account is looking dangerously low. When we've had to shift some things around to make it work. When we've analyzed our budget and prioritized saving for our future, for our family.
You are right there with me when the laundry is threatening to take over our whole entire house. When we've had to tag team the flipping and the folding. When the dishes are piled up and the crumbs are plenty.
You are right there with me when we go on an adventure and it doesn't go as planned… and we need more patience than we can muster. When we need to pivot. When we need to think quickly to turn things around.
You are right there with me when we don't know the answer… when the worries seem to be multiplying… when the to-do list doesn't stop growing… when we wonder if we're making the right choices.
Now you're sick. Because you've run yourself ragged this past couple of weeks helping to keep everything balanced. Because that's what we promised one another. And because you're showing up for me—for us.
And it's so worth it, isn't it?
Being IN THIS with you means being in awe of this beautiful family we've created together—out of our love.
It means being able to go to you with anything, knowing you'll have my back. It means having someone to roll our eyes at when our toddler comes out of their bedroom for the fifth time for another glass of water.
At the same time, it means having someone to look at with hearts in my eyes during a family dance party. It means that I have the support of a partner, a teammate—someone who I can ride this parenting wave with.
It means feeling safe and secure and understood.
So, I just wanted you to know that I see the monumental effort and amount of work you're putting in each and every day.
I notice when you look exhausted (but still hot 🔥). I hear you saying, "Quiet, girls, Mommy is resting." I feel you get out of bed when one of them cries. I hear the pain in your "I hate when I don't get to see the girls when I work late" texts. I know you are giving it your all every single day. I never doubt that.
I am so deep IN it right now. But thank goodness I am IN it with you. Thank you for being by my side and filling my world with more love than I could have ever imagined. You make everything better.