To Fathers: From Your Wives

mattMothers tend to get the credit for everything related to child rearing, don’t they dads? But I want you to know, that I, as a mother, and also as a wife, see the work that you do, and we, as your wives, appreciate you.

At the end of a particularly challenging day, when the children have tested our patience, we may be frazzled and overwhelmed. The moment we see you, we may not be grateful for your presence, but grateful for the relief of having another adult in the house, another person we can interact with who won’t immediately have a tantrum or throw their cup of juice at us (please don’t). But in this moment of relief for us, you may have a different impression of our reaction, and for that, we sincerely apologize. You may view our edgy nature, our testy words and our actions as an indication that you an are irritant too, and you may retreat, assuming that in leaving us alone, in giving us space, we will be in a better mood.

This is not the case. We look to you, our husbands, for comfort. Before you were a father, you were our boyfriend, our husband, and our partner in navigating the world. Once we became parents, you became our sidekick, our re-inforcer, the guardian of the snuggles and the protector of our children. Though we may not show you in the right way, we need you always. We are thankful for you, for the stability you provide, and we love you.

For the fathers who offer to put the children to sleep, who discipline when we are weary, who settle fights and assemble toys, we adore you. Certainly, these are things we could accomplish on our own, but when you take over, allowing your wife even a momentary break, you give her the ability to re-energize, to be a better wife to herself and mother to the children. We may be mothers, but we are women too, who need to relax occasionally, and when you see this, and give us the ability to sit and watch even one episode of our favorite show uninterrupted, we sing your praises.

Husbands, it is not in the tangible things you do for us that we appreciate you. Of course, receiving flowers, a card not for a particular occasion but because you wanted too, or a spur of the moment dinner are all gestures that we are thankful for, but what we most appreciate about you is this.

It is the way that you love us.

You love us when we are tired and grumpy because we were up late with the children, sacrificing our sleep for theirs. You love us when we have not showered, sometimes in days. You love us in those first few hours, days and months as a new parent, when we are not only completely lost but covered in food and bodily fluids not our own. You love us at our worst, and you still tell us we are beautiful, even when we know we are not, when we have seen ourselves in the mirror and convinced ourselves we are not good enough. You reassure us always, and even though you are a father to our children, you encourage us too, to follow our dreams, to be our best selves.

So dear husbands, this is for you. From one wife, to many husbands, I just want to remind you. We see all the hard work you put in, and we are so happy to call you ours.

I promise.

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