Dear Mommy B,
Thank you ever so kindly for the thank you letter. In all honesty, I don't feel that I should be thanked for anything that I've done over the last 9 months. I knew when I signed up for this whole parenthood thing that it was going to be a full-time job and there were going to be many things that were required of me. To me, it was all part of the job description - not necessarily going above and beyond.
When I read your letter, it reminded me of when I graduated high school. No, not because I had a child back then (which I didn't, Followers).... but because I was going off to college - which I had obviously applied and "signed up" for. I'll never forget when some of my friends (who were also going off to college) told me how excited they were for college because you weren't "required" to show up to class. They told me how you could skip class a few times and not have to worry about the school calling your parents. I replied with a dumbfounded look on my face, thinking to myself "You idiots... you're paying to take these classes. You applied to the friggin' school and when you got accepted, you understood that going to class was part of the deal. You signed up for this mess, so you better embrace it." I believed in holding myself to a higher standard than that. For me, going to class was not an option - it was a requirement. I can count the number of classes I missed in 4 years of college on two hands (that includes traveling for football and track).
So, it's really a matter of perspective. To me, taking care of all the things that are difficult for you to do these days is just part of the agreement - not a "nice to have", as they say in the corporate world. While some parents are satisfied with the bare minimum, they probably expect the same out of their kids. That's not how I roll. I put in the work when the work needs to be done.
It is I who really should be thanking you. You have basically sacrificed your body over the last three years for the sake of your children. Any mother knows what having children can do to a woman's body and how tough it can be to deal with. Now, let me be perfectly clear in stating that you've weathered the storm very well for being on child #2, but I can only imagine the mental toll it takes on you as well. You've had to lug a 30-lb. tire around your waist for the better part of those three years and I won't even get into the breast-feeding part of it. You've had your energy sucked out of you by the baby growing inside, and not to mention the months and months of interrupted sleep thanks to your bladder pre-birth and the baby themselves post-birth.
If I could have carried the babies instead, I would have - no questions asked. I know that doesn't make me sound very manly, but I would do anything to make things easier on you. What I'm trying to say is that I'm a little jealous of the intimacy you get to have with our children before anyone else does. So all those "extra" things I've been doing lately is really just my way of trying to even things up. And while our kids won't understand the sacrifice you've already made for them until they become parents themselves, I do. And for that I love you more than anything. You're the incredible one.