When you get married you never know what it is really going to be like. You dream of happily ever after but you don’t give much thought to what it takes to achieve happily ever after. You don’t factor in what effect kids and work and moving will have on your relationship. When things get tough, when days are hard, nights are short, and life isn’t everything you thought, what then? How does your marriage hold up to those stressors? Does the person you chose to spend forever with take the time and energy to make your marriage work? Do they make you and it a priority?
I didn’t have a good model of what marriage should be. I didn’t have the best example of what a husband and dad should be. Things could have turned out pretty awful in that department, but instead, I have a partner in life who will allow me to show our children what marriage looks like when both people are equally invested, and they have an amazing father who never leaves them wondering if they are loved.
He travels for work, but I don’t feel the weight of doing it alone like I could if he didn’t make family a priority. If I need to vent or send lengthy texts about life he doesn’t tell me he is too busy and he doesn’t pass it off as not important. He responds, he listens, and he validates that sometimes parenting is tough and hard and sometimes the kids are just little assholes. If the kids need help with math and he is out of town he finds the time to text or FaceTime with them so they can understand their homework. He has been in the middle of work dinners and stepped out into the lobby to help a crying child with their math. This also helps the crying mother who was never good with math. Maybe I married a Math Ph.D just for these moments.
When he is home he is all in. 3 soccer games in one day—awesome let’s do it. Take all 5 kids to the movies—no problem. Reading books in crazy voices, playing outside with the kids, and throwing the ball to the dog is just a regular weekend here. He teaches the kids to value Momma too. Stepping in to remind the kids not to be disrespectful and to help out around the house without whining. He is constantly lifting me up in front of them. Telling them how hard I work, what an amazing job I do, and how I have so many special gifts that make me the best mother for them. As a stay at home mom it could be easy for him to take it for granted and not say anything about the job I have staying at home, but he sees it for what it is and makes sure the kids see it too.
He took a week off of work and did it to be mom for a week. He made breakfast for the kids everyday, he made lunches for the kids, handled drop off and pick up from school, he did dishes and dinner, and dealt with homework. He set up a facial for me so I could just relax for an afternoon. When I would try to help out he told me to just rest or read a book. He knows I don’t always make time like that for myself so he encouraged me to make that time just for me.
So for his birthday I just wanted to tell him thank you. Thank you for showing me to trust and love unconditionally. Thank you for loving me that way in return. Thank you for being the best father I could ever imagine. Thank you for working so hard to provide for our family. Thank you for always being our biggest cheerleader, and I hope you know that we are yours. Thank you for being the one that adds laughter and ridiculousness to our world. Thank you for being the steady, the constant, and calming force in our family. Thank you for sticking with it in good times and bad.