Listen up, men --
Tell the truth.
When you were dating your wife, and she got so comfortable with you and the status of your relationship that she started to pack on the pounds...
Then, when she got pregnant for the first, second, and third time, and each time her body took on it's new larger form...
When your wife, post-delivery, felt embarrassed wearing hospital-issued, granny panties and feminine pads for an ungodly amount of weeks...
Then, when you guys went out for a date night and in addition to leaking breastmilk through her shirt, she was draped in unease and self-consciousness...
When your exhausted wife moved around your home, one day after the next, meticulously caring for your littles, leaving no time (or energy) for her to play with your little, big (ahem)...
Then, when she started to lose her
joy spontaneity patience passion faith belief in herself belief in your partnership,
You noticed it all.
You noticed that she started to lose
her desire to primp -- not for you, but herself,
her desire to read -- not parenting, marriage or self-help books, but books for fun,
her desire to tend to her passions (Passions? What are those?),
her desire for hanky-panky,
and her desire to seek excitement and contentment in any way, shape or form.
You noticed that it wasn't that she didn't want to be and feel gleeful and grateful all the time, but it was almost like she was just too busy for such nonsense.
You noticed her losing herself inside of your home, and it's many to-dos and in the arms of your children, where, if up to them, she would -- for every hour that makes up their 24-hr day -- remain.
And, if I'm telling the truth, that's a stellar thing, because reality is that not all men in a relationship do.
You noticed because you were paying attention.
And though you noticed
her messy bun, tired eyes, spit-up-stained shirt, half-painted nails, saggy breasts, tummy pooch, and grumpy demeanor,
every brain cell in your head knew and understood that the woman in front of you looked different than the one you married because she was (and is).
She's a better version of who she once was; a more authentic, unassuming and selfless one.
Listen up, men --
When your wife asks for you to tell the truth, she doesn't need or want for you to lie to her about her top-knot not looking like a ragged bird's nest, or about the fact that you loathe her muumuu.
While I encourage you to keep your meant-to-be-innocent-but-still-judgy remarks on her appearance to yourself, she'd rather you acknowledge the hotmessness that is clearly her these days and then reassure her that the only forever truth is that you are one gentleman fool who will never stop loving her.
You see, us wives who are also mothers, and especially mothers of two or three-plus kids, we just want you to notice us and tell us the truth.
We want to be seen and appreciated as we are.
Tell us that you notice the laundry hasn't been done in days, but that you see and appreciate us tending to work or our two-legged, living responsibilities instead, and then, offer to help.
Tell us that you notice our tummy pooch, but that you find it impressive AF that our once-filled-full-of-too-much-sushi-and-icecream bellies successfully carried and nourished your children for nine long-arse months.
Tell us that you can see the gray in our hair and the bags under our eyes, but that both signify an adventurous life being well-lived.
Tell us that you notice these things about us.
We don't need you to lie or pretend that our current reality is different than it is.
We just want to be noticed and loved for who we are and all that we are doing.
And, listen up wives --
If you have a husband who notices you, make sure he doesn't think it goes unnoticed.
To my hubs --
You’ve always noticed me, babe.
I’ve noticed that.
And, for that, I’m uber-grateful.