Saturday, May 14, 2016

A letter to my wife... "I've never been more proud of anyone..."

There have been so many times in our marriage that have made me proud to be your husband.  Though I don’t always tell you when the situation arises, know this… I have never been more proud of anyone as I am of you.
When you went in to labor with our first, both of us were thinking that it was just going to be like most other “normal” labor and deliveries that we had heard about…but in fact it wasn’t.  I watched you fight through the tears and pain and push as hard as you could for 21 hours, but it just wasn’t in the cards for us.  I could see the disappointment in your eyes as you somehow felt like you were already failing him.  Like it was your job duty as his mother to get him out safely…and you tried.  You tried as hard as you could and with every ounce of strength you could muster but, the doctors ultimately had to call it and do a C-section.  What we didn’t know was that Kingston was turned just enough that his shoulders were blocking your efforts and you could have pushed for another 21 hours and it wouldn’t have worked.  I can’t imagine how you must have been feeling during all that, but know this… I’ve never been more proud of anyone, as I was of you. 
Alright…at least the hard part was over…or so we thought.  I just watched you go through the hardest fight of your life trying to push a small human out of you and then have, by all accounts, a pretty major surgery.  I mean…I just watched you basically do Cross Fit for 21 hours straight and then get wheeled  into the operating room where they basically pulled every major organ out of you, layed them on the table next you, pulled a baby out of you, and then shoved them all back in, stitched you up, and sent you on your way with what they would describe as some “slight discomfort”.  Oh, by the way… you now have a baby to take care of.  They told you that you needed to breast feed right away to create that bond between you and the baby… but it just wasn’t in the cards.  I could see the disappointment in your eyes as nurse after nurse came in to try to help you get the baby to “latch on”.  All had different advice, different methods, and different positions to try.  And though they were just trying to help I know that in your head, all you heard was “you’re doing it wrong.”  I watched you try every method they showed you, over and over again, for weeks… not willing to give up…determined to breastfeed our baby.  I watched the tears flow over and over again, each time he wouldn’t latch on, because you thought you were somehow failing as a mom because you couldn’t breastfeed him.  I can’t imagine how you felt during those weeks, and I imagine you somehow felt as though you were giving up when you decided to finally bottle feed but know this… I’ve never been more proud of anyone, as I was of you.

We made the decision when we started trying for our first that we didn’t want someone else raising our kids and that one of us was going to stay home with them.  At the time…that someone was you.  5+ years later we now have 2 more kids added to the mix.  I’ll be the first to admit that I have no idea what most days are like for you at home but I know it hasn’t been easy.  I can hear the disappointment in your voice when you tell me about your day.  About how the kids were fighting all day, or someone was having freak out sessions all day.  About how they wouldn’t listen to you, wouldn’t take their naps or pick up their toys.  You will tell me how they wouldn’t eat their lunch because the crust wasn’t properly removed from the bread and I can see the exhaustion on your face and I know it’s overwhelming… how can it not be?   I know that by wanting to go back to work you probably feel like you somehow failed at being a stay at home mom, but you didn’t.  Our boys are smart, polite, well mannered, well behaved, loving, compassionate, kind, and courteous…and they owe it all to you!  You have held the hardest job in the world for 5+ years and you did it like a boss…you fucking nailed it.  It took a lot of courage to admit to yourself, and to me, that you wanted to go back to work and because of that…I have never been more proud of anyone, as I am of you! 

Now… wanting to go back to work is one thing… actually doing it…that’s another.  I didn’t realize at the time (when we first talked about it) how difficult it might actually be to re-enter the workforce.  Even though being a SAHM qualifies you to do pretty much any damn job you want to do now…hiring managers don’t necessarily see it that way.  I could see the disappointment in your eyes when you were filling out applications and writing your resume.  I could tell you were thinking “I’m not qualified for this…they’re never going to hire me”.  It’s been inspiring to see you fight through your self-doubt through endless interviews and applications, and I know it hasn’t been easy.  So, when you accept your new job offer on Monday, know this… I have never been more proud of anyone as I am of you right now! 
I have no idea what the future holds but I do know this... no matter what challenges you may face, I will always have your back and I will always be proud of you... no matter what!

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