You at the office and me at home.
[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.]
Some days when you walk through the door, I want to run out.
(I'll come back, I promise!)
Because it's been a tough day. A mentally, physically, emotionally tough day of juggling kid stuff, house stuff, job stuff...stuff that I don't even really realize I am juggling. The invisible tasks like—making a list of things we need to restock in the house, ordering new undershirts for our daughter, weeding through the clothes the kids have grown out of, cleaning up messes that I know will be replaced in seconds...
Some days when you walk through the door, I want to collapse in your arms and cry.
Because I feel like I'm failing. Like it's too much. Like I'm overwhelmed. And I need you to tell me that I'm not failing, that this life we live is beautiful and worth it, and that I'm an amazing mother. (If you also wanted to tell me that I'm pretty and look great in your sweatpants...you know I'll take it.)
Some days when you walk through the door, I want to be held by you for the rest of the night, in my safe space.
Because I feel like I've done it all, seen it all, and have been it all for everyone today. I can't deal with another poop diaper, another request, another fight over the very random McDonald's emoji toy we got months ago from a Happy Meal.
Some days when you walk through the door I want to “prove" all the things I've gotten done today. Without any prompting, even. I just want to spew out the fact that I vacuumed, did dishes, cleaned, did laundry. I want you to understand that I am trying and I need you to recognize my effort, even when it seems invisible.
Because I know it looks like I have never cleaned this house, but I've actually been picking up all day.
Some days when you walk through the door, I want to quietly retreat to our room to have time to myself while you deal with bath time and dirty dishes and bedtime.
Because I didn't have any time to myself today. At all. Not even while using the bathroom. No one napped. Both children needed lots of things (as they do)—more water, a new shirt because the other one got wet, a different princess dress, help with this puzzle, more snacks please, help putting shoes on, help brushing teeth, getting in/out of the car, getting the paints out, etc. And dinner needed to be cooked, the very full sink needed to be emptied, the Cheerios on the rug needed to be vacuumed, I needed to get work done.
Some days when you walk through the door, I want to hop in the shower and stay there for a long while.
I want to enjoy peace and quiet and the feeling of cleanliness.
Because I skipped a shower today because it kept falling to the bottom of my to-do list. Often, my self-care “to-do" items do, unfortunately.
Some days when you walk through the door, I want to chat about everything. To brain dump all my ideas, my challenges from the day, my funny anecdotes.
Because I haven't held many other adult conversations today, TBH. And I love conversing with you and hearing about your day and telling you about mine. I want to connect with you, laugh with you, be seen by you.
But, some days when you walk through the door, I want the noise to stop. I want to sit in silence. I don't feel like chatting.
Because I've heard “Mommy! Mama! Mommy!" all day today. I've dropped what I was doing to run to our crying daughter. I've sang every song from Moana (many times...Make way! Make way!), and I've tried to reason with toddlers who want to take their clothes off at the park, who want to eat cookies for lunch and who insist on chugging my iced-coffee the second I put it down...among many other fairly unreasonable requests.
Some days when you walk through the door, I want to go to sleep. I want to say, “Nice to see you!" and then swan dive into our bed.
Because it's been a draining day. I am tapped out of everything I have, and I have nothing left to give. My cup is empty.
My love, you work so hard for us. You're an amazing father. An incredible man.
You leave for work before we even get out of bed. Your commute is over three hours a day and you miss us while you're gone. You go to lots of meetings and your brain is working working working all day long. You worry about our budget and research what kind of car we should buy. You do the taxes and take the trash out. You remember to get awesome things like a surprise t-ball set for the kids, you order a new car seat the second I complain about how I keep forgetting, you empty the dishwasher and catch up on loads and loads of laundry on the weekends.
You come home with your own to-do lists running through your head, your own feelings of frustration, and your own levels of exhaustion.
I know you've been working hard too, and that we're a team sacrificing and working together.
You're always there for me. You always try. And I always will, too.
Because no one promised us any of this would be easy. But it is worth it.
So, mostly, what I want to say to you when you walk through the door is—thank you.
Thank you for creating this family, this life, with me. Thank you for really being in this with me—day in, and day out.
Because there's no one else I'd want to do this with than you.