parent opinion

'This Mother's Day, I don't want a gift card. I want my partner to share the mental load.'

I love that you’re thinking of me babe, but please, don't give me a gift card this Mother's Day.

I adore that you want to give me the gift of choice, but honestly I am choiced out enough as it is already.

“What’s for dinner tonight?”

“Do I wake her from that awkward 6pm nap?”

“Is this sniffle enough to keep them home from day care, and if so, how will I manage that conference call?”

I literally cannot fit one more decision into this brain.

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Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that you want to see me happy. What I really want though is for you to simply see me, whether I’m happy or not, and the work that I do - even when it looks like nothing.

I want you to see the mental computations and emotional calculations I am doing to keep myself afloat, the kids alive and the house standing while you’re gone each day.

I want you to remember when it’s dress up day at school, when the car rego has to be done by and to follow up that plumber who never showed up before the laundry floods again.

I want you to keep track of the sports registrations and uniforms and dental check ups, and still have dinner on the table by 6pm.

I want you to remember your own family’s birthdays, draw on their cards with the kids and post them yourself ahead of time.

I want you to deal with the Christmas arrangements, find the stocking fillers and step in when your aunt starts up at me about my parenting.

I want you to choose between staying with the baby sleeping in the pram or climbing the play equipment to rescue the middle child unable to get down.

I want you to be home when you say you’ll be home.

I want you to see when the peanut butter and toothpaste and dishwasher powder are nearly empty and write them on the shopping list before they run out.

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I want you to take the kids to do those groceries, so I can have my alone time doing whatever I want, not spending it pacing up and down supermarket aisles pretending that I’m having “time out”.

I want you to feel when I’ve chosen not to wake you for help in the night when the scar is hurting, because you need to function out there in the real world tomorrow.

I want you to choose between using formula and feeling looked down on for not trying hard enough as a mum, or pumping alone in the office storeroom feeling looked down on for not trying hard enough as an employee.

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I want you to make me laugh so hard I can’t breathe, like you did when we were fresh.

I want you to play me our old favourite road trip album, not just Frozen music, and dream up our next holiday.

I want you to plan what clothes, shoes, toiletries, bedding, books and toys you need to pack for said holiday, ensure everything is washed in time, organise the snacks and drink bottles and time the nappy changes to perfection, before I walk in the door, throw my clothes into a backpack, tell you it's been a busy day and jump in the car.

I want you to help me sleep in on Sundays, poach the eggs to perfection and keep the kids entertained so I can eat this glorious breakfast with both hands.

I want you to tell me how gorgeous I am, how the body that grew those divine little beings still delights you.

I want you to massage my shoulders and rub the small of my back without any hidden motives.

Then, when I'm not so bone-crushingly, every-cell-empty-exhausted, I want you to ravish me until I'm tingling all over with the long-lost aliveness we both crave.

Please babe, no gift cards this Mother's Day - just you and me, in this together.

This post originally appeared on Anna Cusack's blog and was republished here with full permission. 

Anna Cusack is a Motherhood Revolutionist, reaching thousands of women every year with evidence-based information and inspirational, actionable content. You can find her on socials as @annacusackpostpartum, as host of the "Motherhood Made Magic" podcast, and get her new book "Mama, You're Not Broken".

Feature Image: Getty/Mamamia.