These first couple of months adjusting to life with a newborn and a toddler have been beyond challenging for me. I slipped into severe depression almost immediately after we brought our second daughter home from the hospital, and it lasted about five weeks. My husband took on more than he should’ve had to. I wanted to write him this letter to make sure he knows that what he does for me and our girls doesn’t go unnoticed.
To My Best Friend,
I remember being in the operating room, when they were performing the C-section on me to deliver our first daughter. It’s a moment I will never forget, seeing your face and reaction when you saw our daughter for the first time. I fell in love with you all over again.
Those early days with our first born were filled with a million emotions and almost all of them were positive. It all felt so easy with our first baby. However, since you know my history with anxiety and depression, I know there was always a part of you that secretly worried I might be hit with postpartum depression and/or anxiety.
Time went by though, and things went extremely well. You saw the love I felt for our daughter, and you knew how heartbreaking it was for me to return to work. You saw the intense bond I developed with her early on and soon, any worries we had about my mental health began to diminish.
So, naturally, when we talked about having a second child, there wasn’t much hesitation. Three years later and here we are – parents to a newborn again, but this time with a toddler that also needs us.
This time is different though.
You have seen me cry almost daily. I tell you over and over again that I’m afraid I made a mistake, that sometimes I’m regretting having a second child, and maybe I wasn’t ready for this.
Yet, you don’t show any judgment. You stay quiet and let me cry and vent my feelings to you. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be in your shoes and hear your wife and the mother of your children say some of the things that I’ve said.
That’s why it’s so important for me to say thank you, and I love you. I truly don’t know what I would do without you.
There is so much that you do that you may think goes unnoticed, but I also know that you aren’t doing these things for recognition. You’re doing them because you’re an amazing partner and I know you would do whatever it takes to make me happy.
However, I still wanted to be sure to tell you that I see you and I appreciate what you do for me and for our family.
I appreciate you for going to the grocery store for me after you just worked twelve hours, because I don’t even have enough energy to get dressed. I love you for telling me you will take our toddler with you to the store, so that I can have a small break.
I appreciate you washing the bottles in the morning before you go to work, because waking up to less of a mess in the kitchen is everything (especially to a mom with anxiety).
I appreciate you for asking me, “What can I do to help?” when you see that I am overwhelmed and on the verge of breaking down.
I appreciate you pushing me to take some time to myself, for pushing me through this mom guilt and reassuring me that it is okay to leave the girls from time to time.
I appreciate you working your ass off, so that I can stay home to raise our girls. As exhausting as it is for me right now, you know that I’d rather be here than leave them with anyone else, and you’ve done whatever it takes to make that happen.
I appreciate everything you did in those first two weeks that you were home with us after the second baby was born. While I got hit with severe depression and had trouble managing it all, you were there. You were there changing the most diapers, holding our daughter more and taking on more feedings.
I appreciate you so much for always staying calm. Your even-keeled, mellow demeanor is like a form of anxiety medicine to me. It would be so easy to get mad at me or to resent me for some of the things that I do or say during these tough times, but you don’t. You just love me and listen to me and that’s all I could ask for.
I appreciate you for being the amazing dad that you are to our daughters. Growing up with a father that damaged me as a woman, it means the world to me to know that our daughters will never go through the pain that I went through. That they will always have a father in their lives, no matter what happens to us.
Most importantly though, I appreciate you for just being there when I need you and for never judging me. Even though you may not understand me most of the time, you never make me feel like I’m less of a person or less of a mom during the times I am really struggling with my emotions and this crazy brain of mine.
I want you to know that I will get through this. I will learn how to balance life with a toddler and a baby. I will do whatever is necessary to get the help I need. I will be the amazing mom again that I once was before the second baby arrived. Don’t give up on me.
I love you more than I can put into words. You are my best friend and the only one I could ever want next to me in this crazy chapter of our lives.
<3 Your Wife
[…] However, the second time around, my husband was a huge help. I just felt that much closer to him and I also feel like it gave him more bonding time with the baby. (You can check out my sappy letter to him about how thankful I am for him this second time around, if you are interested. Just go to A Letter to My Husband, I Couldn’t Do This Without You.) […]