An Open Letter to My Wife for Mother's Day
In our house, there are two parents. Both of us are mothers. Both of us are hard on ourselves. Both of us feel the unique pressures of motherhood. Both of us are plagued with the guilt. And because of it, because of seeing you, I'm learning to let it all go.
Having another mother right in front of me every morning, next to me each night, makes me see that motherhood is hard. And we're all doing just fine. I get to see that mistakes happen quickly and heal just as fast. I get to see how desperate we are for a break and more appreciation. I get to see it all. Front row.
I'd love to say that all of it makes me a better wife, but that's probably not true. I'm working on that. I'll always be working on that. But it has taught me one of the most important lessons any mother could ever learn: I've learned how desperately important it is for mothers to be gentle with themselves. I've learned how to give myself a break. I've learned how to forgive myself. I've learned how to ignore the looks from strangers in the grocery store. I've learned how to stand strong and not be broken by the weight of it all. I've learned it all by watching you and wanting it so desperately for you.
You walked into parenting with no experience. You have no siblings. You'd rather read a novel than a parenting book. While I'm reading parenting blogs, you're weeping for the abandoned dogs on a beach in Puerto Rico. While I'm blogging, you're sketching. While I'm Instagramming Roozle, you're Instagramming the cat. Again. Four years ago, you had never heard of a Mommy War, you had no idea how you would feel when your child threw their first tantrum in a restaurant, or was home sick the day of your big meeting. You had no idea that parenting would break your heart.
I've watched, from right here, as you've figured it all out. I've watched you fall so desperately in love with our little family as parenting has washed over you. Sometimes it has knocked you down, as it does, and I've watched you get back up. Stronger. Ready for more.
Being a parent is hard. Being a mother, sometimes, feels impossible. The expectations from others are high. The expectations from ourselves are higher. But doing this, with you, for the past four years has taught me more than you will ever know. I'm a better mother because I'm doing this with you. I'm a better person because I've been able to watch parenting shape you while it shapes me in ways we never expected.
As Mother's Day approaches, I celebrate you. I celebrate what I've learned from you. I celebrate all you've given to Roozle. I celebrate that you've made us all better as we all learn, fumble, and succeed along the way.
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