To all of the men who lament what parenting has done to your marriage and your once spunky, agreeable, lighthearted, carefree, confident, in-shape sexy wife,
Get over yourself.
And, if you can take that statement in the nicest way possible, I assure you that's how I mean it.
You see, I am one of those wives who looked way better and acted way more fun pre-kids and now post-kids I rock, almost daily, some mom hair (on my head and my always unshaven legs), day-old, smudged makeup, and a pretty steady, self-conscious, anxious and stressed-out demeanor.
But, I'm okay with it.
Because once I had kids, I had to get over myself.
I had to let go of any unrealistic and unkeepable requirements for my appearance and any sort of zen-like mindset and way of being.
I had to let go of my free time during which most of my self-care and self-confidence building would take place.
I had to let go of other dreams to fulfill my dream to become a parent and to help my three children achieve goals of their own.
I had to let go of the old me to fully become the new me; the me whose purpose has a heartbeat -- actually three -- that beats alongside mine every day and always will.
This is not to say that motherhood is an excuse for your wife to "let herself go" for the sake of her children, but it is a reminder to you that the mental (and physical) load of motherhood is transformative.
And, while new motherhood brings on all these spontaneous, confusing and maybe a little bit frightening changes in your wife, please understand that while you may have to adapt as she grows, there isn't anyone more concerned about, yet hopeful that these changes inside of her head and heart (and even physically) are going to eventual shape her into the woman, wife, and mother she feels she was put on this Earth to become.
When I suggest you get over yourself, what I'm hoping you recognize and appreciate is that the very essence of parenthood demands that both partners sideline (or heck, even trash) their slightly foolish, perfectionistic, dreamy and impractical expectations for one another. And, to do this for the sake of the often messy looking, beautifully flawed, honest and authentic state of being that is growing as your own person, while growing next to and in conjunction with a person, while both of you attempt to grow your children into good people.
To all of the men who lament what parenting has done to your marriage and your once spunky, agreeable, lighthearted, carefree, confident, in-shape sexy wife, how about you tell her today what it is that you love about her -- in this very moment -- and see if, by chance, you catch a glimpse of that once jaunty, playful, loving and naively stunning, inside and out, minx.
You see, when you're wife knows and truly feels that you respect and appreciate what motherhood has done to and for her, she will, in turn, feel more comfortable in your ever-changing, always-challenging-because-of-parenting marriage and with herself.
With motherhood making your wife feel pretty unsure on the daily, it is your belief and confidence in her that will renew her own and serve to increase her love and appreciation for you and the ridiculously amazing and growth-provoking relationship the two of you will continue to carry on.
To all of the men who lament what parenting has done to your marriage and your once spunky, agreeable, lighthearted, carefree, confident, in-shape sexy wife, don't mourn the hours, days or years you wasted longing for an under-developed version of the rockstar that currently resides in your home. Simply applaud your spouse today for being the amazing wife, woman, mother, and person she is right now and then commend yourself for the transformation that just took place inside of you from which your relationship will reap the benefits.
Life is hard and so is love, but both are a lot easier and more enjoyable when you get over yourself.