As Valentine’s Day quickly approaches, I’m reminded our love has changed. While I adore my imperfect, non-Normal Rockwell life, I’ll admit sometimes I miss us. I know you miss us, too.
The last two years of parenting has been a whirlwind of emotions. We put our lives on the back burner to give our daughter (and daughter-to-be) everything they needed. We come second. We knew this when we signed up for this gig. Our priorities have shifted, and sometimes I forget about making time for us.
Things are a lot different than they were 5 years ago, aren’t they? We’d binge watch Breaking Bad, eat an entire pizza ourselves, and then wash it down with a bottle of wine (each). There were spontaneous – and romantic – nights where you treated me to a night on the town, lit candles, came home with flowers, and drew me a bath. We’d slow dance in the kitchen to our song and laugh at all the inside jokes we made throughout the years.
All of that seems like a distant memory now. It’s not flowers and wine you’re bringing home, but Children’s Tylenol and dog food. Switching up what show we let our daughter watch for the evening is as spontaneous as we get. We haven’t been able to sleep in, just the two of us, since December. We sit on separate couches to watch TV and sometimes sit silent at supper or during our morning rush. There’s a mutual, unconditional love there, but we don’t always have the time or energy to show it.
It’s times like that where I really miss us.
Remember that slinky red dress? I couldn’t fit that over my 32-week bump even if I tried. And those high heels I wore to our first concert are no longer practical, so I tossed them out. Remember when you used to wear suits, button up shirts, and cologne? We actually tried impressing each other and wanted to look good – oh, how the times have changed. I now rock the mom bun, leggings and frumpy, oversized sweatshirts. My makeup is half-hearted and I honestly don’t have time to “wow” you like I used to. I know you miss that, and miss my hugs from behind, pat on the butt, and compliments, but I’m just too tired. Being a parent comes first and I know you understand, but I know you still miss us.
You say I’m beautiful no matter what. You say you get it when I’m too tired to cuddle or when I don’t dress to the nines. I know you love me unconditionally, but know, dear husband, that I haven’t given up and I’m still invested in us. I know times are different now. Valentine’s Day used to mean going out, wining and dining, and mushy sentiments. Now, it’s heart-shaped pancakes for our daughter and maybe a smooch or two between doing dishes.
We’ll get through this together, you’ll see. Remember that it may be stormy (…and exhausting and frustrating and lonesome and different…) now, but it doesn’t rain forever. When the child rearing phase is past us, we’ll be able to focus more on the “us” that used to be, but for now, let’s make the best of the “us” that is now.
Your adoring wife
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