I’m writing this letter to you to provide some perspective. Yesterday, after a pretty hellacious week that is our lives, you gave me a very frazzled look and told me you “need a break” — something you’ve said to me on many recent occasions.
I’ll acknowledge that the last few weeks have been terrible. I’ll give you that. I’ve been working overtime on one of my biggest projects of the year, our 3-year-old is batshit crazy, and you’ve been picking up a lot of the household slack. And yes, I know that antibiotic our toddler is on caused him to have a massive blowout right after you put him to bed, forcing you to give him a shower when you wanted to unwind and watch basketball. I get it. It has sucked around here.
Sixty-hour workweeks are not my jam; neither are packing lunches, throwing together crockpot meals, and leaving instructions for the babysitter at 5 a.m.
With all of the chaos of late, you may have forgotten a small detail about our lives. Yes, that one. I’m pregnant. I’m going to assume you don’t know what it’s like to carry another human inside you, so I won’t fault you for not being able to comprehend my exhaustion right now. I don’t really remember a time in the last three years when I didn’t feel tired anyway, so it’s cool, I can roll with this.
I know, too, that with the exception of that time I made you do The Whole30 with me, you can’t really relate to not being able to crack a beer to make life more tolerable. I see you’re drinking one now as our son spits sips of juice into the dog’s bowl, but I digress. Let’s get to the point.
Life is about to get a whole lot shittier. In a few months, we’ll add another human to this family. No one is going to sleep; the baby will wake up the toddler, the toddler will spit his juice in the dog bowl while I’m nursing, and the dog will probably pee on the floor because we’ve forgotten about her in the midst of the madness.
Unlike the first time around, we’ll have a pint-sized human who needs to be dropped off at child care, fed something other than a boob, and taken to soccer practice. We’ll probably be so housebound, we’ll be fighting over who gets to drop off the glass at the recycling collection center.
Then, just when we’re figuring it all out, I’ll go back to work. We’ll be juggling two kids’ schedules at two different daycares and the meetings and projects will start to pile up again. In the middle of all of this, your car will stop working, the roof will leak, and the washing machine will flood the first floor.
The good news is, things will get a little better. We’ll figure out our routine and make color-coded calendars and crack post-bedtime beers together. But, oh, what’s that?
Oh yeah, in a short year and a half, the older kid is going to go to kindergarten, followed by first grade, second, etc., for the next 13 years, meaning there’s homework, sporting events, drama club, and about 2,700 weekly commitments (times two when that second one gets there too). Holy hell.
And if our kids are anything like you when they get to high school, they’ll be trying to drink in our basement and do drugs. If they’re anything like me, they’ll be overly sensitive and not quite good enough to make swing choir. Either way, it’s going to be constant hand-holding.
Hopefully the kids will go to college or find some sort of trade that affords them an apartment at 18, but let’s be realistic. Kids these days are living with their parents well into their 20s, which means by the time it’s 2032, kids will be squatters until their mid-30s.
By my calculations, you’ll get that break you’re looking for when you are about 67. Right now is the easiest things are going to get for the next 30 years.
I’m writing you this letter not just to remind you of the craziness that is our road ahead, but also that this is life. This is how we have chosen to spend our adulthood.
So let’s embrace it, lean on each other, and get through it together. Let’s focus on all of joy we’ll have in the middle of the chaos and never forget how lucky we really are to be able to experience it all. I love us, and I know you do too, so suck it up.
Your Loving Wife
P.S. Now’s as good of time as any to tell you our son dropped your iPhone in the toilet.