It won't be a popular opinion, i'm sure, as the media thrives on just how hard we have it as mothers, but I don't need a special day to know how valued i am by you. I don't need a special breakfast to know that you care (though today’s pancakes were extra fluffy - I like what you did there). And help with the kids? You've always seen them as our shared responsibility, and when it all rests on me, in the case of feeding babies, I see that you wish you could do more. Last weekend when I burst into tears after being interrupted while trying to work, for the 8,345th time, you took them both out for a while and came back with flowers.
How did I get so lucky? Well I chose you, and you chose me, for starters. And we continue to do that, every day. This morning I made a point of thanking you, and asked you why you see it as your role to help out so much, when that doesn't seem to be the same reality in many other families, and you thoughtfully told me how growing up, you saw how much your own mum did, as a single mother, raising three boys. You see how much she would have appreciated the help, and so you give that to me. It's another way of both loving her, and loving me.
In our family, the common phrase is, "Team work makes the dream work", and it begins with showing up for each other every day, which you do so unwaveringly for me. You make it possible for me to be and do all that I can as a stay-at-home-mother and entrepreneur.
Getting to this point has required some ‘leaning in’ to the discomfort, i'll admit. Some ‘rewiring’ on both our parts. When it feels safer to take my hurt and anger and tuck it away deep inside myself, I’ve found ways to let you in. To ask for you to meet me there, and find our way out together.
It means noticing when I’m not respecting your values, and giving time and space for what you love, even if it means nothing to me (hello, football!).
For everything about you that shits me, I ask myself, “How is this helping me? How is it teaching me more about myself?” so that resentment doesn’t take root in our relationship, and I love more of you, which in turn means I love more of me; the ‘good bits’ and the ‘messy bits’, and the deep, dark, places in me I’d rather run a mile from, than face.
14 years in, and I still marvel at the man you are. The father you’ve become. The way you show up for all of us (and keep the kitchen way cleaner than I do!).
Thanks for being you.
Your wife x
Bridget Wood is Co-Founder of Nourishing The Mother and a lover of life and connecting people to themselves through wisdom, introspection and quality questions. Bridget is also the Director and Events Manager of Suburban Sandcastles. With an insatiable appetite for knowledge and a desire to understand the bigger picture of human behaviour and how the world works, Bridget is on an inspired path to learn more deeply who we are beyond the limitations that we, and our society and culture, place upon upon us.