After a long and stressful day at work, a husband and father just wanted to get some alone time when he got home.
All he wanted to do was sit by himself in his easy chair and watch football. He had no interest in playing with his kids or helping his wife with the chores around the house.
This infuriated his wife, and they proceeded to get into a massive argument.
The argument got so bad that the wife walked out of the house, and she didn’t return that night. She didn’t end up coming back for the next two days, during which time the husband was forced to take care of the children himself.
When his wife still had not returned at the end of two days, the husband wrote her a letter that has since gone viral. Here’s what he had to say:
Two nights ago, we had a huge argument. I was exhausted when I got home from work. It was 8:00 p.m and all I wanted to do was to lie down and watch the game.
You weren’t in a good mood, and you were clearly tired after having a long day. You were trying to put the baby to sleep as the other kids were fighting, and all I did was turn the volume up.
“Would it kill you to play a more active role in your children’s upbringing?” you asked, turning the television volume back down. “You can help out more around the house, too.”
“Hey,” I said defensively. “I work hard all day just so you could play in the doll’s house all day.”
The argument just kept going like that. I said terrible things to you that I can never take back, and you screamed, saying that you were sick of it all. So you tearfully ran out of the house, leaving me to take care of the children on my own.
I was forced to feed the kids and put them to bed all by myself. When you didn’t come back the next day, I was forced to ask my boss if I could take a day off so I could take care of the children.
I experienced the crying and the tantrums.
I experienced having to run around so much all day that I didn’t even have a chance to shower.
I experienced being forced to heat the milk, getting the kids dressed, and cleaning the kitchen all at once.
I experienced being cooped up all day without speaking to an adult.
I experienced the inability to sit calmly at the table to have a relaxed meal whenever I wanted, because I had to run after the kids.
I experienced feeling so physically and emotionally drained that I just wanted to sleep for 20 hours straight, but had to get up a few hours after falling asleep because the baby was crying.
I lived two days and two nights the way that you do, and I think I get it now.
I get your exhaustion. I get that being a mother is all about sacrifice.
I get that it is more tiring than being among corporate bigwigs for 10 hours and making economic decisions.
I get how frustrated you must be to have to sacrifice your job and financial freedom so that you can provide for your children.
I get how uncertain you are about the fact that your economic security now depends on your partner and not just you.
I get how hard it is to not be able to hang out with your friends, exercise, or get a good night’s sleep.
I get how challenging it is, being locked up and being forced to to watch the children while imagining what you must be missing in the outside world.
I also get that you become upset when my mother criticizes how you choose to raise our children, because nobody in the world knows what is best for children like their own mother.
I get that being a mother means carrying society’s greatest burdens. Being the person that nobody appreciates, values, or remembers.
I write you this letter not just to tell you that you are missed, but additionally because I don’t want to go another day without telling you:
“You are strong, doing an excellent job, and I admire you.”
Many have been touched by the message of this letter. Sometimes having to live in another person’s shoes for a day brings out more empathy and understanding and less judgement.
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