Remember on your wedding day? When you gazed lovingly into each other’s eyes and declared your unending love and adoration? You swore that you would love each other, for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do you part.
And then reality hit. There’s a mortgage to pay, kids to feed, and you’re juggling a thousand different things a thousand different ways and you realize that marriage isn’t exactly what you thought it would be.
In a Facebook post that has gone viral with over 18K likes and 32K shares, Sara Duncan shines a light on what marriage and parenting really are.
And it’s not always 50/50.
The mother of two shared a photo of her husband lying on a towel on an emergency room floor, his head resting on a car seat as he tries to sneak in 40 winks.
She begins her post by saying:
Let’s talk about this because it doesn’t get enough attention……What some may see: a Dad sleeping while Mom stays awake holding their sleeping baby in the ER at 2am
At first glance, you may want to roll your eyes and mutter, “uh-huh, dad gets ALL THE PRAISE while mom is actually doing ALL THE WORK. AGAIN.”
It’s like when your husband is at the grocery store with the kids and people feel the need to regale him with what a wonderful dad he is and what an AMAZING job he is doing. (It’s called being a parent. But you know, whatever.)
However when you go to the grocery store with kids in tow? Crickets. With a side order of side-eye from the Karen brigade when little Johnny so much as blinks too loud.
Let’s face it, it can get annoying.
But sometimes pictures don’t tell the whole story.
Because this dad? Has just worked 72-hours a week for the past month. He is exhausted.
Sara tells Good Morning America that her husband, who works as a cement technician, had just finished a 12-hour shift that night and was gearing up to head to another one in the morning.
When Sara told him that she wanted to take their youngest to the emergency room, an hour drive away, he could easily have pulled the “Hey, you’ve got this, right?” card and called it a day.
And yet he didn’t. He SHOWED UP. For his wife. And for his family. Even when his wife asked him not to.
And Sara SEES him. Like, really sees him.
What I see: A Dad sleeping on the hard floor of an ER after working 12 hour shifts 6 days a week for the last month, despite the fact his wife asked him to stay home and rest all because he didn’t want his babies in STL alone.
Sara goes on to say:
Marriage and parenting isn’t 50/50. Some days it is. Other days it’s 60/40, 70/30, or even 80/20.
And if we’re being totally honest? Some days it feels like it’s 100/0.
Sometimes you feel underappreciated and overwhelmed. Sometimes you can feel as though you are drowning under the weight of all.the.things. while your partner is merrily rowing along in the lifeboat, enjoying the tropical views.
Sometimes you just don’t have 5% to give. Much less 50% or more.
This is real life, no matter how much you both may be committed to an equal division of labor.
But when the going gets tough? That’s when love kicks into high gear. Or, at least, it should. And those vows you made, when you promised to be there in good times and in bad? Well, here’s the bad, BE THERE.
Even if it means you feel like you’re taking on more than your fair share.
And you have to be willing to pull your weight, no matter what your partner needs that day.
This is what love is. This is what being a husband is. This is what being a Daddy is.
This is what it means to be a PARTNER. And also what it means to be a good parent. And Sara’s husband? Is both.
Sara ends her post with the following words:
And I wouldn’t want to do this life with anyone else! Thank you for all you do for us Daddy! We love you!
Commenters were quick to praise Sara’s husband with many of them making comments like, “Amazing Dad!” “You have an amazing husband and your children have an amazing father!” and “You’ve got a keeper!”
Others shared similar stories of their own husbands.
Or tagged their husbands with their own words of appreciation.
Marriage is hard. Parenthood is even more so.
It can be difficult to temper our expectations that things will always be equal. There will be times when they are, but more often than not, they likely won’t be. Every day is different.
And Sara believes that we should work at appreciating each other in spite of it.
She tells GMA:
“Look for that in your partner and appreciate that 60/40, 70/30. Everyone deserves that.”