Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A (loving) Letter to Husbands

It's 10:28 AM (at the time I sat down to write this) and I have just finished cleaning the kitchen. After getting four kids up for school and ensuring one bathed, all ate, packed lunches and backpacks, finished homework, fixed their hair, brushed their teeth, dressed (appropriately) and made it out the door all in one piece (and alive). That doesn't even address the countless times I reminded, instructed, corrected and refereed arguments. Oh, and it's Halloween week, so you can also include the countless questions about whether their costumes will be completed, if we have buckets for candy, if Mimi knows that we're coming to her house to Trick or Treat, whether or not we can go to Wal-Mart to get pumpkins to carve after school, and if we can use our Cici's coupons for dinner tonight (because we can only use them through the last day of October and heaven forbid we miss out on that deal). I'm sure there's more, but forgive me, I lose track.

Oh, and I started a load of laundry and managed to complete a cup of coffee while watching a few moments of Kelly and Michael to regain my sanity.

So, there have been several letters going viral around the internet lately: letters to teen boys, letters to teen girls, letters to parents, letters to non parents, etc. Here's one I haven't seen yet. Please take it with a grain of salt, and a whole lotta love.

Dear Husbands,

Dear sweet, sexy, adorable, loving, smart, funny, thoughtful, hardworking, wonderful husbands, please hear that we love you. We know you have one track minds and are very focused on work and your projects and find it difficult to multitask the way we do. For those of us that are SAHMs, WAHMs, or heck, even those who are working full time jobs (on top of the full time job of parenting), we know full well and are thankful beyond words that you bring home the majority of the bacon (because let's get real, men still earn more than women in our country). We know you've got a lot on your plates and we do too. We also really, really, really, really want you to hear us.

In order for you to pay attention to the rest of this letter, we'll give you some incentive. Sex. Yep, I said it. Sexy time, hanky panky, "Wendsdaying" (Roseanne fans, anyone?), Mommy-Daddy time, Anniversary present, whatever you want to call it...would you like more of it? Would you like to have that precious time of ecstasy without having to ask for it, beg for it, pout for it? In fact, would you like your wife to send you dirty little texts throughout the day because she can't wait for you to come home and satisfy her? Would you like sexy time literally thrown at you like confetti at a NASCAR race (I don't even know if they throw confetti at NASCAR races because I don't watch - my original thought was roses on the stage after a showstopping performance but I'm trying to relate to men here)?

Actually, this isn't even bribery, really. The items described below, when done right, are like Mommy-porn to us. It's incredibly attractive.

So, listen up, men: if you read this letter and follow even one of its suggestions, I can guarantee you at the very least a roll over in bed at the end of the day. So, here goes:

1. Please take out the trash. If you read nothing else in this letter, read this one, please. For the love of all that is good and holy on this earth and above it, take out the trash. First, call the city of wherever you live and ask for the department of sanitation who handles the trash and ask what day is trash day. I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt here and assuming it's possible you don't know. Once you know the day, set a reminder on your phone that says, "Get sex - take out the trash today!" If you could even go one step further and notice when the trash can is overflowing, remove it, take it to the garage and replace the trash bag, there's a very good chance you could earn something extra special along with sexy time, but if you do nothing else other than take out the trash on trash day, I can assure you that's good enough.

2. Please don't undress in my living room. Please, please, please, PLEASE, don't undress in my living room and drape your clothes over every piece of furniture we own. No, your pants are not throw pillows and your neck tie is not an afghan, and finding your moist smelly socks in between the cushions when I'm looking for the TV remote (because heaven knows there's no one in the house competent enough to just leave it on the TV table where we can find it) is not like a treasure find. As much as you think I may enjoy picking up after you and deciphering what's clean and needs to be hung in the closet and what's dirty and needs to be washed (which is also my job), every little morsel you leave in your trail for me to pick up is like a little middle finger waving at me that you don't appreciate me. Listen, I don't mind a pile of clothes in the bedroom you intend to wear again (which we all know you won't and I'll put in the dry cleaning bag on Friday), and I don't even mind one neat pile of clothes in the bathroom. At least that I can pick up in one fell swoop and toss in the laundry basket, but for the love, please don't do it in my living room. If no other room in the house is clean, the neat living room and kitchen give me an ounce of desperately needed sanity. Just let me have that. Now, if you can go a step further and get your laundry in the laundry basket, or sweet Jesus, if you could actually sort your light and darks for me, I promise I'll make it worth your while. I may not even (I probably won't) expect to get my own cookie, but I can assure you you'll get yours.

3. Please clean up after yourself. Speaking of the kitchen, contrary to popular opinion, I do actually try to keep it clean. If you could clean up after yourself, that'd be amazing. Honestly, that goes for every other room of the house, but we'll focus on the kitchen for right now. I have enough on my plate (pun intended) cleaning up after the kids, or reminding them to take their own plates to the sink, rinse them and put them in the dishwasher, that the thought of having to remind a grown man to do the same makes me throw up in my mouth a little. I know you really enjoy that little bedtime snack of cereal, but I cringe when I get up in the morning and see the leftover milk curdling in the bowl on the stove next to the cereal box beside it, which is inevitably left open so the rest of the cereal inside can get stale. Yes, the kids notice when it's stale (and make me acutely aware of it) and so do I, and those two things on the counter are just two more landmines in the minefield I have to navigate in the morning (when I desperately need to make it to the coffee maker to function without glitches) when I'm making sure your kids are fed and have lunches before school in the morning. If you could just put the cereal away, or whatever else you're snacking on, and get your dishes in the sink, awesome. If you could go a step further and get the dish in the dishwasher and wipe up the milk you spilled on the counter, good god, I may wear a thong instead of granny panties under my mommy yoga pants today.

4. Please help with dinner clean-up. Another note on the kitchen. If I make dinner and serve the family without asking for help from you, could you PLEASE clean up after dinner without me having to ask you? And if our kids are old enough enlist them to help! It infuriates me to see it still sitting there in the morning, but after all I've done all day long, I'd rather leave it all out at the end of the day to rot, get crusty and attract bugs and mice than have to clean up one more #$^%@#$%**!!$%#$ thing, when all I really want to do is tap into my boxed wine and watch this week's episode of New Girl. I don't care if you cover the pans with saran wrap and shove them into whatever godforsaken nook or cranny you can find in our refrigerator (because God knows I couldn't care less about cleaning THAT out) and just pile the plates in the sink. I will applaud you if you just do that. And honey, if you want to go for the gold, be an angel and rinse the plates off, get them in the dishwasher, put the leftovers in Tupperware, and wipe down the table and counters. Seriously, my yoga pants are feeling a little warm just thinking about the possibility of this being a reality on even a semi-regular basis.

5. Please help with the gross stuff. If you love me, if you really do, do the gross stuff every now and again. If we have a baby, change a diaper. Be the one to clean up the puke once in a while. Offer to be the one to inspect, clean, sanitize and dress whatever oozing, smelly, bleeding, itchy wound one of our children is whining about. Be the one to bleach the tub full of bath toys after our kid craps in it this time. Please. Especially if it's in the middle of the night. I know, sometimes you're legitimately asleep, but c'mon, we both know I can fake it too. When you hear the coughing, wretching, and exploding toilets in the middle of the night, please just get up and say those four little words we all want so desperately to hear, "I've got it, honey."

6. Please tell me I'm pretty. I know I'm (still) wearing yoga pants, and I know you know we both know I don't even do yoga. I know I'm still wearing the t-shirt I was wearing a couple days ago (that's probably yours) and I smell like spit up from our precious, adorable baby. No, I don't know when I showered last (what day is it again?). Here's the deal, I gave up every shred of hope that my body might ever be tight, firm, cellulite and stretch mark free, sagless or tan when I saw that extra little line on the pregnancy test, and I'm pretty insecure about it most of the time (which is why I'm still in these damn yoga pants because I'm pretty sure they're the ONLY thing I own that I can stretch over my baby-bearing hips right now). Somewhere under all of this is the woman that got you hot under the collar before we began procreating. If you could just remember that and tell me I'm pretty, beautiful, adorable, or even, God bless you, sexy, you would make my YEAR, and I will make yours. I might even shower and put on pants that button and a bra that you have to hook before you get home from work today.

7. Please touch me in a loving, non-sexual way. I know you don't know what it's like to have your body used as an incubator for ten (yes, it's ten, not nine) months during pregnancy, a watermelon ejection device during labor, or to have your breasts treated like cow udders and pacifiers for the duration of breastfeeding, but my body has been through a lot. To top it all off, our children literally kick, punch, step on, climb on, tug on, hang on, breathe on and spew every bodily fluid you can imagine (and many you can't) on me on a daily and sometimes hourly basis. Although they're looking for love and affection, it's starting to feel like their attempts to give me physical attention are like little knives chipping away at what's left of my dignity. If you could come up behind me (while I'm cleaning up your dishes from last night) at the kitchen sink and just give me a gentle hug that I know isn't asking for anything that would require nakedness later, that would be lovely. A little hug, a little kiss, grab my hand and tell me you love me. Put your arm around me and maybe even sit next to me while we watch The Biggest Loser and I will be thinking about it for the rest of the day. And I'll be thinking about YOU the rest of the day. And I will be thinking about what I want to do with you, and TO you at the end of the day.

8. Please consider taking on dinner from time to time. Most of the time I don't mind meal planning, budgeting for it, thawing, planning, making time in the day to do it, and sometimes ahead of time on the weekend. I even endure the sour looks on the faces and the gagging in the mouths of our sweet little offspring when they vehemently despise what I've made for them. But, every now and then it'd be nice if you'd take that off my plate. I don't care if it's McDonald's or Taco Bueno or Hamburger Helper. I don't care if you order pizza or take us to the Olive Garden. If you handle dinner once a week, I'll be sending the kids to bed early and dragging you to ours. And if you actually think ahead and cook something for us, I'll be passing my panties to you under the dinner table. Seriously. I'm not joking.

9. Please do something nice for me. Hire a babysitter and plan a date night. Come home early with flowers. Bring me a Starbucks gift card. Come home for lunch to spend time with me. Call me in the middle of the day just to ask how I am and tell me you miss me. Shoot, watch a damn episode of New Girl with me instead of expecting me to watch the game with you! I don't care if you "cheat" and have to set a reminder on your phone. I don't care if you have to ask my best friend or mom what I would like as a gift. Just do something, anything that is thoughtful that is just for me, and I will do plenty for you.

10. Please, do yourself, and the world, a solid and share this with your friends. Consider it a Public Service Announcement and a sign that you love and respect your wife. We wives will all be talking about it when we get together for our play dates and mommy groups. We will be swapping stories and tips and handing out the business card of the photographer we used to do Boudoir photographs of us. We will be sharing the names of aestheticians who waxed and buffed us for your viewing pleasure and passing around our tattered copies of 50 Shades of Gray. I promise. I really, really do.

Honies, we love you.

The Wives of the World.


Marcus Fidel said...

vfery sweet sentiments.

Lori @ Everyday Loveliness said...

I loved reading this!

Anna said...

So sex in your marriage is a reward for your husband? For cleaning and telling you that you are pretty? In 2013?? Please women, we should be further than this!

Missy Rose said...

Someone recently left a comment, but then removed it. It said, "So sex in your marriage is a reward for your husband? For cleaning and telling you that you are pretty? In 2013?? Please women, we should be further than this!"

Although the reader has removed her comment, I would like to address the question. A friend on facebook also shared a similar response.

The answer is no, absolutely not. I don't reward my husband at all. He earns his own natural positive and negative consequences in life as any of the rest of us do. Please note the line in the post, "Actually, this isn't even bribery, really. The items described below, when done right, are like Mommy-porn to us. It's incredibly attractive." The point of this post was to point out, in a humorous way, how attractive our spouses are and the fact that we are spurred on to love them well when they love us well. I am attracted to my husband when he is loving and serving and kind. I pull away from him when I feel unappreciated or underappreciated and/or taken advantage of. It's not about bribing with sexual favors, per se but understanding that when I'm feeling loved and appreciated and cared for and I'm not overwhelmed with family duties, it's easier for me to focus on our relationship. My husband is my partner does not do all of the things I listed in my blog post and is truly my life partner. It goes both ways as well, as his spouse I should be equally considerate of things that bless or bother him. I know that he feels more attracted and loving towards me when I am considerate of things that bother/bless him. If you have a husband who does his equal share of the duties of running a home and family (as he should if he's an inhabitant of the home and a coparent) then that's wonderful! This is not the case for all husbands and even many husbands think they're doing right by their wife/family when if fact they're being insensitive in some of the ways listed. This doesn't mean they're hateful men, but often men are more easily side tracked or just focused on work or something which makes it harder to focus on the romance!

Simply put, chivalry is attractive. Many men may not realize how much opening a door or clearing a dish may mean to their wife, when one of these small acts could be enough to dispell many fights. When I told my husband I felt like his clothes all over the living room were like little middle fingers telling me F*** you, he was shocked. He said, "but they're just clothes." I said, "to me, they're so much more than clothes." Once he realized how hurtful it was to me, he made a concerted effort to change how he did it. When asked after a particularly hectic week why we hadn't had sex or why I hadn't been "in the mood," I said that it's really hard to be in the mood for someone I've been acting as a maid for all day/week.

Its like the show "Hitch," yes we should look at the inside and not the outside but sometimes it can be hard to remember how much my husnand cares for me if I feel like he doesn't consider how much I hate cleaning up puke.

So, no, it's not about bribary, it's simple kindness and thoughtfulness. Kindness, thoughtfulness and serving others stirs up a desire in them to do the same, and with romantic partners this often translates into romantic gestures. I hope that clears up anyone's misconceptions about my intentions with this post.

Missy Rose said...

Thanks for reading and for your comments, Marcus and Lori!

Anna said...

Dear Missy, I wrote the comment you are referring to, but I never deleted it. Best, Anna

Missy Rose said...

There we go, found it. Somehow it was showing up in the spam folder of comments. I unspammed it.


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