Saturday, February 20, 2016

Dear "Other" Parent

It's 3am, I just fed the baby, I can't sleep, and I'm laying here realizing just how thankful I am for you--realizing that I couldn't do this parenthood gig without you. You're not just the "other" parent and I'm sorry if I make you feel that way. 

I know I ask you to do a lot of really random little things like "Can you get me water? That blanket over there?", but you mean so much more than these little errands I have for you. 

You are the saving grace when I'm tired and I feel like I can't do one more thing. You are the refreshing playtime that our son needs when my I have nothing else to give. You are someone that lights up his eyes in ways I've never seen (and believe I look into those little eyes all day and night). You are our protection and our soft place to fall.

You, "other" parent, don't get enough recognition for all that you do--for all of the emotions that you soak in and the pieces that you pick up. Tonight at dinner you told me the truth behind how hard it was during my labor and birth. How you were starving and tired, but didn't want to leave my side because you felt I had it so much worse. You felt guilty for sneaking in a few crackers because I couldn't eat. You didn't carry conversation with the nurse because you were afraid your focus wouldn't be on me. How you stood for 10+ hours and went 2 days without sleep. Well, my sweet husband, I had it bad, but in a lot of ways I feel you had it much worse. How it must feel carrying our world on your back. 

I wish you could have known how worried I was for you and how all I wanted was for you to rest. I was fine, in a distant place and wouldn't have even known if you sat to rest or ate to fill your hunger. You could and should have rested. You were my strength for 43 hours. You gave every ounce of all you had. You watched the one you love be in pain as your hands were tied, you watched them wheel me away then tug on my insides, you watched as I cried with fear, and you stayed strong. My every need, you were there and never faltered. 

You are more than just the "other" parent--you are my greatest companion, my strength when you don't have to be, the extra love that our son needs, our strong foundation, the energy when I have none left, our encourager, a friend when parenthood makes me feel alone, and the important piece of this crazy puzzle. I thank God for you because without you this wouldn't work the same. 

You may feel neglected, emotionally drained, and not fully needed and I want to say I'm sorry. I know it must be hard for you finding your place and I know you may think our son only needs me or wants me, but the truth his that's only because I'm his food source. The truth is he needs you just as much. You don't just fill the gaps--you are the other key that makes parenthood work.

I may not say it enough, but thank you. Thank your for picking up the other pieces and making this all work. I love you, "other" parent. You help make this work. You're needed, wanted, and so loved by our son.