Household, children, job, relationship – as a mom you can ever despair. This mother wrote a letter to her husband at such a moment and demanded his help.
“That’s enough! ” That was the idea of Celeste Erlach , a Nevada mother, when she wrote a letter to her husband. Little sleep, two children and lots of stress cost her all her energy – and her husband did not get much support. So she wrote him a letter.
Meanwhile, Celeste is the mother of two boys and professionally as a marketing specialist and blogger. She wrote her letter when her little son was still a baby. She recently released it so that all the mothers in the world can read their letter and feel encouraged to ask their husbands for more support .
” Dear husband,
I. Need. More. Help.
The last night was hard for you. I asked you to look for the baby so I could go to bed earlier. The baby was crying. Completely moaning … I could hear it from above, and my stomach knotted to the sounds properly. I wondered if I should come down to relieve you – or just shut the door. So that I could get my much needed sleep. I decided to take the last option.
You came into our room 20 minutes later, and the baby was still crying desperately. You put it in the cradle and then pushed it just a few inches closer to my side of the bed. A clear gesture that showed that you were done looking after him.
I wanted to yell at you. At that moment I would have liked to start a huge fight with you.
All day I took care of our children. I would wake up when the baby woke up to nurse it through the night.
The least you can do is keep it busy for a few hours in the evening so I can try to sleep. Only a few hours of precious sleep. Is that too much?
I know that our own parents fulfilled the typical mother-father role as we grew up. Both mothers were the main caregivers and our fathers were relatively free. They were excellent fathers, but they were not expected to spend a lot of time changing diapers and feeding us, looking after their wives or children. Our mothers were super women who upheld the family dynamics. Cooking, cleaning and raising children. Any help from dad was welcome, but unexpected.
Every day, I see ourselves sliding into this family dynamic more and more. My responsibility to feed the family, clean the house, and take care of the children is a prerequisite. Also, when I start working again.
And in addition I blame myself for that. Because I have created the precedent that I can do it all.
No offense – but I’m not sure if I would like to know how the food would look like after a week of cooking with you.
I also see my friends and other mothers doing everything – and doing well. I know for sure, you see it too. If they can do it, and if our mothers have done it so well for us, why can not I?
I dont know.
Maybe our friends play the role in public and secretly fight at home. Maybe our mothers were silent for years and now, thirty years later, they just do not remember how hard it really was.
Or maybe, and that’s something I worry about every day, I’m just not as qualified for the mom job as everyone else.
And yes, I get it all right at the moment, but …
I need more help.
Yes, you are of course helping me a bit. You are a fantastic dad and you are doing a great job with the kids.
Actually, it should all be easy for me, right? Maternal instincts and such?
But I’m human too, and I need five hours of sleep and without that sleep I’m dead tired.
I need you. In the morning I need you to finish our toddler while I take care of our baby. And for bringing a hot meal to the table for lunch every day and having a cup of coffee in peace.
And no, getting the toddler done does not mean putting him in front of the TV! It means making sure he pats. Him a breakfast and something to drink.
In the evening, it takes me an hour to relax in bed and know that our toddler is sleeping in his room and the baby is in your care.
I know it’s hard to hear the baby crying. Believe me, if I manage to take care of the baby most of the day and calm it down, then you can do it for an hour or two at night.
You’re welcome. I need you.
At the weekend I want more breaks. Times when I can go out alone and feel like an individual. Even if it’s just a walk around the block or a trip to the supermarket. And on some days when I’m planning swimming lessons and game dates and it actually seems like I have everything under control – please give me a hand and help. Or offer me that I can lie down during the childhood. Or start clearing the dishes without me having to tell you.
I need you.
I just have to hear that you are grateful for everything I do. I want to know that you notice that the laundry is ready and I have prepared a nice dinner. I want to know that you appreciate that I am quiet at all times of the day. I hope you find that I never ask you to stay at home when you have networking events and sports activities.
As a mother, it is assumed that you are at home all the time and are always available to take care of the children. While you’re on the road. And I feed that assumption by really being at home all the time.
I wish I could ease that up and make it look effortless.
And I wish I did not demand recognition for things most people expect from a mother anyway.
But I wave with a white flag and admit that I am only human.
I’ll tell you how much I need you, and if I continue at the pace I’m currently moving through my day, I’ll break.
And that would hurt you and the children and our family.
Because, let’s be honest: you need me too. “