You know when you sometimes come home from work and I grunt at you instead of kissing you hello, or even saying hello like a normal person? Well, believe it or not, I AM happy to see you.
I’ve missed you. And I really need your help with, well, everything.
But I can’t talk. My tank is empty.
So because I don’t have the words, I am writing you this letter instead. Maybe you can read it on one of these grunt-greeting evenings and know how I truly feel.
I’m burnt out
I wear so many hats each and every day.
I’m a mother, a partner, a worker, a grand juggler who tries to keep our family train chugging along, and sometimes making sure it doesn’t derail completely.
But I’m tired.
My brain isn’t my own. It thinks for every person in our family, including you sometimes.
And on these grunt-greeting nights, I’m sapped of energy. I can’t give anymore. I’m done.
Then, right when I feel I might collapse from all the dinner tantrums and whining, you come home!
When you walk through the door and the kids run to you like excited puppies, I want to hug you, too (but I don’t, because I’m tired and maybe grumpy. Did I mention feeling unappreciated?! I might also be a bit peeved. I’ve just been flogged, but now you are being exulted).
Here’s why …
You are my saviour
When you sense the vibe of the room you’ve just entered, you know your job. Dinners get eaten because you take over the nagging and I start to feel lighter.
Then, not long after, I can hear squeals of joy coming from the living room as you rumble with our rascals, and I smile. Soon the bathwater is running and I start cleaning up the kitchen.
I thank my lucky stars for you, but again, I don’t say anything. I’m spent. And also you are just being a parent, like me. I don’t get thanked enough either.
But I want you to know …
I love you
I love you so much, even if I sometimes have my angry mum pants on (but hey, how many times do I need to nag you and the kids to put your damn shoes away?!).
But I love you. I really, really do.
You were my partner in life before we became partners in parenting.
You have always made me smile and laugh. You get me and I get you.
Honey, there is NO ONE I would rather share this amazing, joyous, beautiful, but exasperating and exhausting parenting journey with than you.
You are my great love, and these chickens of ours, well they are OUR greatest. But you came first.
You’re my original Tim Tam! Still the best.
But I miss you
I miss the ‘us’ we were before kids. We are still ‘us’ I know, but Netflix sessions on the couch when our bubbas are finally asleep is lame couple time compared to dinners out, holidays together, indulgent cafe chats and long walks hand in hand. Back then it was effortless together time, and it seemed endless.
I also miss just being sparkly for each other – having the energy for playful interactions, and banter. We’ve still got it, I know, but us both having the energy for that at the same time happens as often as our little loves staying in their own bed all night.
So I miss ‘us’, but I LOVE our little family. And you as a dad.
I think you are a great dad
Seeing you become a dad has been like watching you fulfil what you were born to do.
You are a natural.
Fatherhood is your jam, just like motherhood is actually mine, even on the hard days.
I admire you as a dad. And I love the way our babies adore YOU. Because I do too.
They see everything I see in you, and then some.
You are so loving and kind to them. And fun! You give the best horse-y rides and tickles and make the silliest jokes. But you are also their safe place, as you are mine. They feel protected and nurtured in your arms. You are their daddy bear.
Thank you for being you. For giving all that you are to us. For being our rock and our big love.
I’m sorry I don’t tell you these things enough. But I know you get it. You get me. You always have and always will.
I love you, and I’m sorry about the grunt-greetings …. but, yawn.