Hey there, partner. I know we've been busy lately, what with all the holiday cheer we've been creating for our kids (who seem to think it manifests out of thin air and not through our dedicated and tireless efforts). But I want to let you know that I'm glad we're busy. As in, I'm glad I'm not doing this all by myself. It can sometimes get lost in the hullaballoo of wrapping and cooking and driving to assorted holiday performances, but I appreciate everything you do to make the holidays more magical.
Too often, I know that moms find themselves in a position of feeling very singularly responsible for the holidays. Research shows that only about 25 percent of women find the holidays relaxing, according to the American Psychological Association, and much of that can be attributed to the fact that they tend to be doing the lion's share of the work it takes to make the holiday — the shopping, cooking, and clean-up often falls on our shoulders. And it's not that I want to shower you with praise for doing your fair share, but I want to acknowledge the things you do that make our family what it is, especially at this time of year, when things require that much more work.
Look, do we need to deck the halls and bake all the things and watch the holiday specials and sing the songs and find festive things to do on the weekend? Of course not. I think we could probably skip a lot of it and have a perfectly nice holiday anyway. But, in my humble opinion, the extra effort it takes to make the holidays a little bit extra? Worth it. Because I know how I loved all those little touches when I was a kid, and the fact that I can recreate some of that for our children is important to me. Making these memories isn't always easy, but it's something I enjoy.
Of course, it would be less enjoyable if I was doing all the work on my own. The effort to pay-off ratio, for me, if not our kids, would be far less gratifying. The fact that you're on my side, helping me in my plans, and whipping up some holiday cheer of your own is incredible. And, the truth of the matter is that you don't just do this during the holidays, even if it's highlighted now. You carry this through the whole year.
You help to make parenting amazing. Because if I didn't have someone who put in the same level of work I do (or, you know, thereabouts), I wouldn't be able to really share the highs with anyone. I also wouldn't have someone who could effectively commiserate with me in those moments when parenting just completely sucks. (And yes, sanctimommmies: Sometimes parenting just. sucks. And there's nothing redeemable about it. But bitching about it with a loving, engaged partner can help.) Partnership — true partnership — has value beyond having someone help you through the tough parts. It's having someone to reflect on the whole experience with you, on your level, emotionally and psychologically. The ability to do that cannot be overstated. Knowing I'm part of a team, one that can do what sometimes seems impossible, is a sincere joy in my life. (Wait a minute... a team? Working together to do the impossible? Honey, I think we might actually be reindeer!)
This all probably sounds very corny. But you know what? Too often the world is a goddamn dumpster fire so I'm going to hold on to my moments of happiness whenever I can like they're precious, Faberge eggs that also happen to be filled with leprechaun gold. Besides, if we can't be corny during the holidays (a.k.a. Hallmark Christmas Movie Month) when can we be corny?
So here's to you, my love. Thank you for all that you do during the holidays and throughout the year. Our family's life is better for all your efforts.
After experiencing a traumatic c-section, this mother sought out a doula to support her through her second child’s delivery. Watch as that doula helps this mom reclaim the birth she felt robbed of with her first child, in Episode Three of Romper's Doula Diaries, Season Two, below. Visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for more episodes, launching Mondays in December.