Dear husband, I see the way you look at me now with longing. I know that you miss those days before having children, days where we would lie in bed and watch countless hours of sitcoms, days of having me all to yourself.
I am here to tell you that I miss those days too.
Dear husband, I know that you have been putting on a brave face while traversing the world alone. I seem to have shut myself off to you, and you miss your best friend.
I am here to tell you that you still have one.
Dear husband, I feel that there is somewhere deep inside of you that wishes that I would stay at home, that I would look after our kids, clean our messy house, and spend more time with you instead of being a shift-working nurse.
I am here to tell you that I know what sacrifices our family has made to ensure that I can continue my career. I am grateful for it.
Dear husband, I feel the disconnect too. I feel it in the morning rush, at supper when we are too tired to speak, and at night while we are lying in bed next to each other, un-touching and pretending to be asleep.
I am here to ask for you to wait for me.
These five short years have been a whirlwind for both of us. We have overcome the planning process and financial burden of having a wedding. We have bought a house together and are a third of the way through paying for it even though banks were hesitant to give us a mortgage. We have transitioned into parenthood the best we could and have raised two adorable, strong-willed children who are sure to make their marks on this world. We have helped each other overcome job strain and our messy interpersonal relationships. We have always been there for each other.
We have endured.
But I know that I am not here for you the way that you want me to be, and I can see it wearing on you. I know that you know I know, but I also know that I just can’t right now. I just don’t have it in me to look after one more person.
I need you to be strong.
I need you to let me save myself first, or our ship is sure to sink.
In the past five years, I have been pregnant twice. Both times my body has both gained and lost 40 pounds to grow our babies. I have battle scars and saggy breasts, gray hair, and a tired gaze that no amount of makeup can fix.
But I already know that you will always think that I am beautiful no matter how ugly I feel.
Since having our children, I have been to a doctor, a chiropractor, an osteopath, and multiple physiotherapists to try to correct what carrying our 8- and 9-pound babies has done to my slight frame.
But I already know that you will always support me even if I end up needing hip surgery in the future and off work for an extended period of time.
Since having our children, my closet is full of an assortment of maternity clothing, worn-out nursing shirts, and pants either two sizes too big or two sizes too small. My body is just getting back to the way it was, and when we talk about having another child, I inwardly wince at the thought of giving myself away again even though my body and soul are telling me that I am not done bearing children.
But I already know that you don’t care what I wear or whether we choose to have another child or not.
Between the pregnancies, breastfeeding struggles, the sleepless nights and feeling like I am perpetually failing at parenting, I never know whether I’m going to laugh in hysterics or ball my eyes out.
But I already know that you will always be there with a shoulder to cry on and that you will (mostly) not make fun of my emotional roller coaster.
It has been five long, hard years, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone but you.
So, my dear husband, I wanted to remind you that I am in it for the long haul. It may not seem like it right now, but there really is no other place I would rather be. As our kids grow older and we get out of this chaotic, lovely, stressful, absolutely full-to-the-brim time of our lives with young kids, we will have more time for us.
I will have more of my time to give to you.
But, right now, I need to learn how to believe all of those things about myself that you already undoubtedly do.
Please, continue to wait for me.