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[Editor’s note: Colleen Temple is our MotherlyStories Editor and Colin is her husband. He snuck this essay into our submissions queue for her to find, today, on their 5th wedding anniversary. In honor of Wife Appreciation Day (this Sunday, September 17th, folks!) we thought we’d publish this heartfelt surprise from a husband who truly appreciates his wife. #relationshipgoals ?]


To my Wife,

Some of you may be familiar with her or her work. She’s the woman who wakes up at 5:30 a.m., then stays up until midnight to pump out articles like this one. And I’m about to write something nice about her, despite this one

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My dear, there may be days when you feel overwhelmed, like you’re getting pulled in too many directions to do anything right. But I’ve got news for you—to me, you are superwoman.

You may not see it in yourself, but it’s only because you don’t have time to step back and watch yourself in action.

To watch yourself peel off the pillow at 5:30 a.m. to author and edit articles, then jump from that task directly into mom-mode when you hear “Mooooooooooom!” from another room.

To watch yourself try to finish your task with your laptop on your beautiful nine month pregnant belly with a rambunctious kid in each ear and Cheerios flying by your head.

To watch yourself then somehow have the energy to chauffeur both girls to their activities, while participating in meetings and making sure our daughters are stimulated all day long.

You may feel like you’re failing because your time is sparse and your responsibilities insurmountable. I’m here to tell you that there is not a single thing you could possibly do that would make me more proud of you, of us and of the family we have created.

Sometimes the dishes stay in the sink longer than you’d like. Sometimes playing ‘dodge the Cheerios’ on the carpet happens (yes, there are a lot of Cheerios in our house.) And sometimes, we will end up picking clean clothes out of the unfolded laundry at the end of the bed.

Life can be crazy given the challenges you’ve taken on but you handle it with a calmness and grace that I only dream of having.

You are an incredible wife. It would be impossible for me to feel more loved and even more impossible for me to find a better companion. You’re always there for me—no matter what.

You’re an incredible mother. Our kids are developing into the children they are because of the time they spend with you—all day, every day. Being a stay-at-home mom to two children while also pregnant would be hard enough, but you decided to turn that role into a stay-at-home mom/work-from-home mom hybrid. And I just have to say—you impress me every day with your ability to make it all happen.

You are a truly spectacular writer. You have a gift that not a lot of people have—a unique ability to connect with a reader through words, an ability to help readers visualize a story, a way about your writing that helps the audience connect with what you’re saying.

That’s not something many people can do.

I’m so glad that you are so passionate about your work, because your talent is unique. And your contribution to our income eases the load on my shoulders which is a gift in itself.

You’re the total package, toots. One hot, hard working mama who works tirelessly for her family. I couldn’t possibly love you any more.

Love,

Your husband

I was blissfully asleep on the couch while my little one was occupied elsewhere with toys, books and my partner. She got bored with what they were doing, escaped from his watch and, sensing my absence, set about looking for me. Finding me on the couch, nose-level, she peeled back my one available eyelid, singing, "Mama? Mama? ...You there? Wake UP!"

Sound familiar? Nothing limits sleep more than parenthood. And nothing is more sought after as a parent than a nap, if not a good night's rest.

But Mother Nature practically guarantees that you are likely to be woken up by a toddler—they're hardwired to find you (and get your attention) when you're "away."

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