It’s been a long day.
She doesn’t feel good.
She is exhausted.
Her brain hurts.
Her body hurts.
She works so hard every day to support her family and tending to the needs of everyone other than herself, with only speckles of appreciation sprinkled upon her.
She asked for this.
She wanted this.
She had to have known this is what it would be like.
So, why is she complaining?
Oh, wait, she’s not; at least not most of the time.
Typically, she sits on her frustrations (and no, I am not referring to the kids).
Most of the time she is hungry or hangry or both.
She's often in need of a long, relaxing shower.
And, on the daily, she happily, but slightly reluctantly, responds to each family member’s need, want, whim and whine.
More often than not she gives more of herself to the day and the people around her than she believes she can.
Who is she?
She is a mother.
And, do you know what she needs from you?
She needs you to HUG HER.
When she wakes up grumpy, with bags under her eyes, tell her she is beautiful and then hug her; she needs it.
When she barks at you because she is rushing to get herself and everyone ready and out the door in time for school and work, help her and then hug her; she needs it.
When she spends money that she shouldn’t be spending on her favorite Starbucks' coffee, don’t complain about it, just hug her; she needs it.
When the toddler spills milk all over the floor, for the fourth time in one hour, help her clean it and then hug her; she needs it.
When she texts you throughout the day to vent her frustrations and share her struggles, listen, respond and then text her back informing her that cannot wait to get home and hug her; she needs it.
When you do get home, and she is still in her morning clothes, looking ragged and worn, don’t judge her, but hug her; she needs it.
When it looks like all she did all day was anything, but the laundry, dishes, cleaning, and other housework, but your kiddos are all safe, healthy, happy(ish) and still in one piece, tell her you are proud of her and then hug her; she needs it.
When she explodes on you and snaps at your attempt at adult conversation, recognize that she spends her whole day with tiny, misbehaving dictators and then hug her; she needs it.
And you know, it is not lost on me that, for you, it has been a long day too.
You don't feel good.
You are exhausted.
Your brain hurts.
Your body hurts.
You work so hard every day to support your family and tend to your wife, children, clients, and basically, everyone other than yourself, with only speckles of appreciation sprinkled upon you.
But, you asked for this.
You wanted this.
You must have known that this is what it would be like.
So, why are you complaining?
Oh, wait, you're not; at least not most of the time.
Most of the time you sit on your frustrations.
Most of the time you are mentally spent.
Most of the time you are in need of some time alone.
Most of the time you happily, but slightly reluctantly, respond to each family member’s need, want, whim and whine, including his mine.
Most of the time you give more of yourself to the day, and the people in it, than you believe you can.
Who are you?
You are a father.
And, do you know what you need from me?
You need me to hug you.
When you wake up grumpy, with bags under your eyes and stress in your voice, I'm going to tell you how lucky I feel to be with you and then I'm going to hug you; you need it.
When you bark at me because you are rushing to get ready for work and still spend a little time with the kids, I will forgive you, then hug you; you need it.
When you spend money that you probably shouldn’t on a new gadget we don't really need, I will remember that you work hard for our money and you deserve to enjoy some of it, and then I will hug you; you need it.
When the baby spits up on you as you walk out the door, I will try to make you laugh about it to negate unnecessary frustration and then I will hug you; you need it.
When you don't answer my numerous daily texts because you are at work, I will be understanding of the fact that you are busy and proud of the fact that you are so dedicated to your job. And, my next text, that will be to tell you that I cannot wait to hug you; you need it.
When you come home and immediately change into your comfy clothes and plop down on the couch, I will bring you a beverage and offer you a snack, and then I'll hug you; you need it.
When it feels like you are coming home and judging me for what I did or did not get done today, I'm going to take a step back, recognize that it's really me judging me and not you and then I am going to hug you; you need it.
When you explode on me and snap at my attempt at adult conversation, I am going to recognize that you spend your whole day in an office, away from your family, where you are practically forced to make adult conversation for eight hours, and so I'll hug you; you need it.
When all else fails, and you don’t know how to respond to each other, just hug your spouse.
Hugs are the one necessity every parent absolutely needs.