Firstly I want to say that this is not just for my partner. As much as he will deserve these words I know that there are millions of partners who need to be told. How do you find the words? How can we truly ever find the words to say thank you. For sure as mothers we go through the mill, we are stretched and tested, and as sure as all that is, your partner is standing by you the whole time. Even if they are snoring in the background, he or she is there.
I want to thank you firstly, for putting up with my baby fever. For wiping my tears from my face and reassuring me month by month. I know that seven months in, having sex every other day was about a sexy as a celeriac and you were probably a bit 'shagged out'. I appreciate you, and the fact you went through all of that; for me.
Partner, I am sorry that in the delivery room you were cast aside, I am sorry you became a tea maid, I needed you there and without your silent strength I am not sure if I could have coped. You held my hand through the final push, you held my hand as the surgeon carefully sliced my stomach, you held my hand as our baby was pulled or push from my body and took their very first breath. We did it together. If you were scared for me and the baby, you never showed it, if you were lost you stayed by my side and when we didn't know what was coming I was safe in the knowledge you were there. I want you to know that although you may have felt like a spare part, you were the only part I needed.
I am sorry when people come to visit they ask me how I feel, how the baby is, what the baby does but never you. I want you to know that I care how you feel, I want to know your worries, I want to know how you are coping. I always want to know. You are more than a tea maker, you are more than that, these small acts show me how deeply you care for me. You greet guests, usher people around, make conversation, while I basked in a thousand congratulations and gifts. You even turned people away so I didn't have to feel the guilt.
Partner, I cannot imagine the crushing, soul aching moments as you leave us daily. The first time you walked out the door I suddenly felt alone, I felt lost, I felt abandoned. I know now that leaving is harder than staying and I appreciate that by you leaving for work you give us this financial cushion where I can stay a little longer with this tiny mewing life we made together. I get jealous when you are at work events and I am at home, with knotty hair and a child on my chest. As necessary as those events are, I know now that you would have swapped them to be at home, with me, watching our baby snore peacefully.
I don't want to say thank you for parenting, it's a job we both accepted the minute the pregnancy test turned positive, in fact it's something we committed to by disposing of the contraceptives. I want to thank you for the things you have done for me since we have become parents. I want to thank you for the tea and coffee and I want to thank you for the blankets you put on me while I slept on the couch. I want to thank you for the times you come home with all the groceries because I have had a bad day, I want to thank you for the movie nights and I want to thank you for the times you wiped my tears away. Tears that fell under the stress of being a mum, for the first time and all the times after, I want to thank you for the million little things. I want to thank you for never noticing when I have odd shoes or socks on, or when my bra is on inside out or even that time I went to town with my dress on inside out and I want to thank you for complimenting my 'Chicken Burger Surprise' - the surprise being me forgetting to cook the chicken burgers. I want to thank you for secretly wiping baby sick from my shoulder, I want to thank you for tucking in my clothing tags. I want to thank you for covering my boob that one time in the coffee shop post feed, I want to thank you for the time you didn't mention me making you coffee-tea, I want to thank you for holding my hand when I was faced with triumph or crushing defeats. I want to thank you for always being there. For always being by my side. To you, these things are as easy and simple as breathing, to me? They mean everything.
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