When you have children, every relationship in your life changes. Your mother bugs you both more and less, your times with friends are both better but also worse for there being less of them, and your relationship with your husband becomes a game of keeping score.
I didn’t know I’d start keeping score. And I don’t like to, but because our freedoms for self-care are less, the stakes when receiving them are higher.
For example, my sweet husband, when you take an extra hour getting home after work because you went to First Choice Haircutters, it makes me green with envy.
Sometimes when you get to go out into the world to the hardware store by yourself because you don’t want three tagalongs, two of whom would just have to put on clothes and one be fed, it makes me mad.
When I find Tim Hortons cups on the floor of your truck when we’ve been trying to save money, on top of the fact that all I want out of life right now is coffee, it bothers me you wouldn’t at least make the cheat bearable by bringing a cup home for me.
Yes, it is true that I’m not even close to being a good housewife. Yes I’m home all day, but the very last thing I prioritize is cleaning or cooking, unless watching MasterChef counts. You know who I am, and that I will always get around to that crap last, because I try to put the kids first. So, sometimes when you ask me if I know how to clean the bottom of plates because they’re still a bit greasy, as well as the tops, I want to murder you in your sleep.
And then when you are sleeping and you groan because the baby “woke” you for three milliseconds, I want to dropkick you into the neighbour’s burn pile.
We argue about the merits of being physically versus emotionally exhausted after a day’s work, you arguing the former and me the latter. Here is the conclusion that I’ve come to: I should win.
Sometimes I get so frustrated that you don’t jump at the offer to wipe an ass, after I’ve done it fourteen times that day. Sometimes I can’t understand that you’d want to do anything aside from holding a baby the second you walk in the door.
But here’s the thing: when I appear to love you the least is when I need you the most. Every stupid time.
Sometimes when I forget to tell you I love you it’s because I am so emotionally done that I can’t even muster the energy to speak the words.
Sometimes when I shuttle myself off to bed with the baby and leave you to deal with the troubled tantrum’ing one, it’s because I have more faith in you that you won’t murder her.
In my weird way, this means I trust you and I need you.
There are days we forget to love each other. And we take out all our frustrations on each other because we’re young with kids and we’re in it alone together.
But then every once in awhile you hug me and tell me I look pretty, and I brush it off to being about the fact that I’ve actually showered that day and put on clothes that fit me. But then I think about it, and it really matters to me that you’ve said it.
And there are times we get our kid off to school without a major meltdown and we rejoice with each other with a silent glance.
I appreciate you ten times more now than I did in the days you’d piggyback me home from the bar. Don’t get me wrong- I mourn those days, but I can’t get them back.
So, today I am scratching the score and I’m simply grateful you came to the school drop-off for no good reason other than that my kid asked you to, in your pajama pants. I am also grateful for the silence from the backseat from the baby so we could talk about politics on the drive home. And finally, I am grateful for your visa credit so we could buy enough gas to get me back here so I could write about you in secret for my blog.
I love you, I do. I’m sorry that I forget.