It was Valentine’s Day a few days ago and I so wanted to write this for Valentine’s Day. But then I decided against it and saved it for a later date. And more than anything, it was long overdue and I needed to pen it down.
Because, as an exhausted stay-at-home mom all my days are full of the daily mundane activities from which I consciously try to steal those little moments of romantic love. So in a way, all my days are special and every day is a Valentine’s Day. And it couldn’t come at an opportune time to pay tribute to the man of my life for all his earnest efforts, firm support and understanding throughout the time we have known each other.
My life, today, is all about my 15-month-old and most of the time my role as a mom gets in the way of my role as a wife. Yes, I am guilty of neglecting your needs, because often I need to choose our kid before you. Because sometimes, caring for our kid’s needs means putting his needs before yours. As a mom, this is the most difficult place to be in and as much as I hate this I find myself in the same spot again and again. And it is easier to be a mom than be a wife.
It is like snuggling into you cosily under a blanket and wanting to completely be in the moment with you enjoying it, but yet finding myself peeping over your shoulder from time to time to see if the baby is sleeping peacefully. No matter what, our baby will always be my first priority.
But it doesn’t imply that I don’t hold you up in my heart the way I once did. Oh, absolutely not. But yes, it does mean that the moment we decided to bring this innocent life on earth, it got decided by default that I am always going to choose him before you. It means putting our needs as a couple and as individuals temporarily on hold.
Bringing a baby into the world is unquestionably a life-altering decision, and no matter how much you think you are prepared you are never really prepared for it. “Because the twists and turns your life are going to get is never really mapped until you embark on the journey.” But having a companion to share the challenges and the adventure along the way truly makes it worthwhile. And my heart is forever going to remain grateful and indebted to my companion for life – to you Mr. Husband.
I thank you deeply for the epitome of patience you have been, since the moment we became pregnant till this day when we are raising together this super energetic, never-staying-still toddler. I thank you for holding patience all along our pregnancy and bearing my sporadic mood swings. So yes, life is pretty different from when we first started – from a carefree life as the newlyweds to the overcautious life as the new parents. And amidst all the melodrama that my life has turned into, the wife in me takes a backseat as the mom in me takes charge.
I admit it is exciting, but it is difficult too.
I agree it is fulfilling, but it is exhausting as well.
This journey, so far, has been one hell of a ride, but I honestly miss those carefree days when we could do just what we wanted without having to bother about this tiny soul whose life now depends on us. I miss being able to express and reciprocate to you as much as I want to and as profoundly I feel about it. Sometimes I just want to rewind my life once again and be that slaphappy 25-year old that could live life as a freewheeler. I sincerely miss those times when we could go anywhere, just on a random whim and return home whenever we felt like, and when eating out meant enjoying a romantic elaborate dinner leisurely. I miss those long drives listening from our “curated playlist” and those “insightful conversations” over coffee. I miss indulging in those long, freewheeling shopping sprees without having to bother about the finances.
I miss “us” and our happy “us-time” together.
I try to be happy in my own skin, and yet desperately trying to fit back into my old clothes. I want my energy levels back and also my flawless skin. I know you say I still look beautiful to you, but sometimes with dishevelled milk stained, food smeared and poop sullied clothes and wild unkempt hair it is hard to be convinced. I know you say you still love me, but I find it hard to believe when most of our conversations are about our precious son which start and end with him. I am honestly grateful that you still find me attractive, yet, the c-section scar, the bulging belly, and the diminished energy levels still bother me. I miss being the athlete I once was who was able to play all types of outdoor sports.
I miss the old “me”.
Life is different. Life is good. I am happy.
But life with the baby is so different. We are busier than ever and we never seem to find time to do things that we enjoy doing. There’s always a lack of time and shortage of money. With only one earning member and three mouths to feed the budget seems only tighter. All our money is spent keeping our baby well fed and comfortably clothed. Today eating out is more trouble than it is deserved and the so-called date nights frequently involves a cranky baby and food splatters and smears on our clothes.
Life is a lot more different than what we expected it to be. I do not mean to imply I’m unhappy with my life. Oh sure, we are the happiest we have ever been. But looking back at those countless exhausted and sleep-deprived nights it reminds me how difficult it has been and still, we have managed to do it all. And I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you.
“Of course, nobody comes out of parenthood unscathed and I am not sure if every parent is candid about it. But I am pretty sure that these are the scars I want to don. And not just don but to also flaunt it proudly.”
Because it has been a privilege to bring this tiny human into the world and I am having the best time of my life. I am the happiest I have ever been and I would not change a thing about it. Neither would I want to do it any differently. And all thanks to you for standing by my side always being this unwavering and unfaltering source of support and motivation.
Life is so good, but at the same time so consuming. But I am hopeful. I am hopeful that life won’t be like this always and one day this will all be over. One day. One fine day there will only be us, again. Yet, it won’t be the same us, as parenthood has changed us inside out. The change is undeniable. And undeniable is the love that we feel for each other which has only grown deeper as we get stronger through these challenges. Though we can’t be those naively free-spirited wanderers anymore my love for you has grown only deeper watching you in your “Dad-shoes”. It’s a treat to watch you with the baby, being so gentle and handling the baby with tenderness despite your macho persona.
Someday it will be over
Life is emphatically better with our tiny human with us. But one day it won’t remain difficult to be a wife than being a mom. One day when our little man is all grown up and busy with his life we will again find us, still standing beside each other that we once chose to overlook feeling burdened with our parenting responsibilities. One day when cleaning up the spilled milk, changing the soiled diapers and doing the laundry will be a distant past. One day there won’t be a runny nose to wipe, pounding headaches from sleepless nights and tiny hands to scatter things around. One day we will rediscover each other holding hands and be patting our backs on how well we did in raising our baby to become a kind human being.
You will always be the person I’ll keep on taking for granted. You will always be the person I will lean on when I need a shoulder to cry. You will always be the person I need to guide me through when I can’t find the light. You will always be the person who brings a smile to my face and brightens my day.
I feel lucky to be sharing my life with you. The way you have maintained your patience and calm speaks volumes about your inner strength and shows how much you love me. I feel obligated towards you for being so understanding and loving me looking past my flaws. I am horrible at expressing myself when it comes to showing my feelings for you. I’ll just say that I love you dearly and I’m glad for having you by my side. Life is uncertain and unpredictable, but with you standing by me, I am ready to take on life as it comes.
“For me, love and happiness prevail where you are.”