My little one had a major meltdown last night. She was beyond exhausted and just couldn't handle anything. Me not reading her mind and knowing what book to read first. Me not rubbing her back the right way. Me tucking her in beneath her soft sheets when she was "all sweaty."
Despite my own bone-aching fatigue from being up most of the night before alternating between comforting two restless kiddos, I was a model mom, patient and gentle with our little ball of fury. I never raised my voice even when her deafening screams woke the baby. I kissed her tear-stained cheeks. I took her thrashing body into my arms and kept it there even after a furled fist popped my chin...hard.
I'm not sharing this to come off as a saint. I'm sharing this because I realized when she had settled down and was wedged between her daddy and me, quietly biting her nails as she always does before finally succumbing to sleep with her bright, brown eyes gazing upward, that there is no way in you-know-where I would have been able to keep my composure if my husband hadn't been there beside me. I'd had a long day and an even longer night. My patience was short-fused all daylong as I played it solo, but once Dave was there in the trenches with me, I felt calmer, stronger, and ready to take on any flying fists or kicking feet that came my way with gentle but firm discipline.
Thanks to God's forethought and his brilliant plan for marriage and family, I'm not alone on this parenting journey. There's someone to lean on when I'm tired or achy or just plain frustrated. There's someone who laughs with me when our children do something funny. There's someone who scoops his daughters into his arms and tickles them and is everything a dad should be – fun, protective, and firm when he needs to be. There's someone who thinks I'm doing the most important job in the world by staying home with our kids – even if it means he has to work harder – and regularly praises me for embracing my vocation. There's someone who, like an answered prayer, walks into our home at the exact moment when I'm on the verge of losing it, someone who puts his hand on the small of my back or plants a soft kiss on my lips or meets my eyes and flashes me a quick smile when our child is in the throes of a tantrum that says what words don't need to – that this too shall pass – and we'll still be together when it does.
"It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him." (Genesis 2:18).