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Challenge: Romance After Kids

After 13 years together, I'm ready to apologize (well, sorta)

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I'm sorry, babe.

I'm sorry that, more often than not, my hairy legs resemble a tiger's back;

that most days you see me in high-waisted, black leggings;

that on the rare occasions when I do get dressed into "real clothes," they are typically the same three maxi skirts on rotation;

that I typically smell like sweat, poop, vomit, boogers or just "yuck;"

that I haven't worn a real bra in about five years;

that my hair is almost always in a messy ponytail atop my over-stressed, anxious head;

that, most days, I am in my PJs and make-up free by the time you get home from work;

that our house rocks a pretty consistent level of clutter, mess and dog hair;

that I can't keep up with the laundry;

that I over or under-cook dinner every evening;

that "cooking" in our house means that I steamed veggies, in a bag, in a microwave and reheated a pre-made grocery store meal;

that I forget to close my power-sliding van door at least once a week;

that my nails and toes have seen much better days;

that my body isn't what it used to be when we first met;

that I spend too much of your hard-earned money unnecessarily;

that we've yet to embark on that European vacation which you've always longed to take;

I'm sorry, babe -- for all of that.

But, there are a few things that I'm not going to apologize for.

I'm not sorry that I put our children first;

that I get to love on them when their crying, whining, and their general need for Mommy cuts my shower and shaving session short;

that wearing my gym clothes daily means that I am spending quality time playing and getting messy with our three kids;

that I am meeting all of our love nuggets' needs even when it means neglecting some of my own;

that my breasts resemble more of a valley than a peak these days, but that each of our children received an adequate amount of mommy's milk;

that, at present, I care more about the person I am on the inside, than what other people think of my appearance;

that sometimes being in my cozy clothes means that I am content staying inside of my happy home;

that our house looks and feels super lived-in because there is so much freakin' life and love inside of its walls;

that my inability to keep up with cleaning everyone's garments means that each of us is having adventures each day and the kind of experiences that are getting us sweaty, dirty, muddy, and messy;

that I'm trying to serve healthy meals that please, but that I don't base my value in this family on my cooking ability;

that I'm smart enough to recognize when pizza or Chinese delivery for dinner would benefit us all;

that I drive a mini-van because it keeps our children comfortable and safe;

that I won't allow anyone to judge my beauty by inspecting my nails and toes instead of my heart;

that my body isn't what it used to be when we first met, cause that body is not the one that continues to care for our living and utterly-exhausting miracles;

that I'm steadily working on finding the balance when it comes to spending money on happiness and seeking, curating and maintaining it for free;

that we've yet to embark on that European vacation which you've always longed to take because we will take it one day -- I promise you that.

Things sure have changed in the thirteen years since we met.

We've grown up.

Our appearances have changed.

Our priorities have changed.

We, as individuals, have changed.

And, our relationship has changed.

Our jobs have changed.

And, where we call home has changed, more than once.

We've gone from one beautiful baby to two, to three — yet, through it all, our love for one another has remained constant.

Still, I am sorry, babe.

I'm sorry that our life has turned out a bit different than we expected; it's even better, though, isn't it?

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