Dear Hardworking Husband,
The alarm clock rings. I barely register the sound in my subconscious. Quietly you flip the switch and pad noiselessly into the hallway. You sneak out under the darkness and begin your day, careful not to disturb the sleeping souls you pass on your way out.
Meanwhile, I snuggle a little deeper under the warmth of our duvet, resting my head next to a sweet baby’s cheek. Daylight slowly creeps in. Little feet pad into my room and crawl up in bed with me. Tiny voices whisper sweet love songs into my ear as we snuggle and watch the rays of light dance across the bedroom floor. I am grateful for this moment.
Out in your office, you down a few cups of coffee and hit your day head-on. The phone rings, text messages buzz and the fax machine hums. You, my introverted loner, plunge head first into a day full of noise and people. Today’s equivalent of slaying dragons. And you do it for us.
I spend the morning knee deep in mundane tasks…making the beds, cooking the breakfast, washing the dishes, doing the laundry, but unlike your day, my day is interrupted by gleeful accomplishments (the baby said “mama!”, the toddler learned to hop, the preschooler read his first word, our school age children learned a new skill), little hands pressed into mine and moments of gratitude.
You spend your day busy, staring at a computer screen, calculating numbers, running averages, estimating costs. Or perhaps the monotony is broken up by an appointment with a client. A meeting with co-workers. A training session. Even jury duty when the time comes.
It’s not all drudge for you. You have the luxury to make it through a task without getting sidetracked. You can make a phone call without an interruption. You can listen to music while you work. You can concentrate. If you need to run an errand, you can do it without buckling anyone in or keeping anyone’s hands off of everything in the store. You can set your own schedule, change your mind on a whim, potty without an audience.
I spend my day chasing children, cleaning up messes only to discover new ones in my wake, educating (sometimes ungrateful) bright minds, juggling four little souls with all of their idiosyncrasies. I cook, I clean, I wash, I educate, I discipline, I love.
But if I had to choose? Between your world and mine?
I’d choose mine. Time and time again. Hands down. No hesitation.
I am grateful that I am able to stay home and witness the growth and change in these little people we created. I am grateful that I get to experience the power of innocence and the wonder of childhood. I am grateful that I get to fill hungry little bellies with good, home-cooked food. I am grateful that I can stop in the middle of a moment, grab four eager little listeners and snuggle up on the couch for a good story. I am grateful that my kids know the security and familiarity of a steady home. That they get to continue growing and thriving alongside me, the same me that nurtured them inside my womb and brought them into this world. I am grateful that I am the one that gets to wipe fevered brows and rub upset tummies. I am grateful that it’s me they run to for comfort, it’s me they ask for advice, it’s me they write love letters to.
I realize that for all my gratitude, my life is nothing without you. Without a foundation, a home has no ground on which to grow. You make my lifestyle possible and it is because of your hard work and sacrifices that I get to stay home and count my blessings.
So thank you. Thank you for getting up early. For thriving in a world that tests your limits. For responding with earnestness to the genetic call to care for and provide for your family. For slaying dragons on our behalf. Our kids don’t realize how incredibly lucky they are. But I do.
I love you,
Your Stay at Home Wife