Love is perfectly rapping a completely inappropriate Eminem song from your teen years, totally in sync.
Love is letting your partner have the only towel left after you were too lazy to do a load or three of laundry.
Love is not asking where that receipt came from.
Love is sharing a smirk when a song with a private memory comes on.
Love is offering to change the baby’s nappy. The baby who is being reintroduced to lactose, and really probably shouldn’t be.
Love is going out into the thundering storm to save the pram from running away because you know your partner would sob if it was lost. It’s practically an extension of you at this point.
Love is cooking salmon for your partner even though you hate the smell and the taste, and you have no idea how to cook the little pink blob.
Love is having inside jokes that would sound absolutely ludicrous to everyone else.
Love is not pointing out how terribly mismatched the kids outfits are, because your partner is so proud of their styling efforts.
Love is accepting your partners family as your own, genuinely loving them and considering them just as important as the family you were born into.
Love is understanding that some days (most days) your partner makes zero sense. Their crying makes no sense. Their anger makes no sense. Their brain makes no sense. That’s ok, you’ll help them make sense of it.
Love is listening to ‘The Sound of Silence’ on repeat because it makes your partner smile. Even if it is making you want to shove something sharp and pointy into your brain just to get a break from hearing it.
Love is getting up in the middle of the night to hang the washing out because you know if your partner doesn’t have their ‘sucky-innny things’ clean and dry and ready to work hard holding in all those rolls they may just lay in bed in the foetal position and refuse to be seen by the general public.
Love is when your partner climbs into bed and snuggles into you and you do everything in your power to ignore your brain screaming ‘I just don’t want to be touched anymore today, I’m all touched out!’
Love is not pointing out that the number on the scales is going up, and instead making some smooth remark about it needing new batteries.
Love is telling your partner you’re totally into the sexy bald look and genuinely growing to love it, because you love them.
Love is letting your partner squeeze that huge zit on your back because you know they’re some sort of freak who finds pus fascinating.
Love is having late night showers in the dark together, no funny business, no talking, just enjoying the quiet and each other’s company.
Love is holding hands while you walk through the mall, reminding each other that you have a lifeline, an anchor. Even though your mind might be shaking with anxiety over how you’re possibly going to afford the new school shoes that are needed, you know you’re not in it alone.
Love is not always romantic walks on the beach, or long, latenight phone calls from under the doona where your parents won’t hear you.
Love is not always flowers, and chocolates, and jewellery.
Love is not always a handwritten note, sometimes it’s typed.
I love you, but I love you for different reasons now that we are actual adults, you know, adultier adults.
I love you when you change a nappy that smells like satans breath.
I love you when your muscles glisten with sweat as you Gumption away Mr 2’s latest wall art.
I love you when you cook different meals because one has to be gluten free and you don’t want to see your little man in pain (and up screaming all night).
I love you when you let me sleep in even though your eyes are hanging out, you keep forget the kids names, and you just tried to put a bib on the cat.
I love you when you talk me down from an anxiety attack. Most would run for the hills, or tell me to harden up, but you always know how to bring me down softly.
I love you when you wash every piece of linen we own after food poisoning has taken us out.
I love you when you tell me that you think I’m beautiful even when I haven’t showered for two days and I’m wearing your ratty old shirt and granny undies that are four sizes too big.
I love you when you go in to settle the terrors for the thirty-fourth time that night.
I love you when you speak up and say ‘I just can’t go back in there, they’ve broken me’ because we’re a team, and I’ve got you.
I love you when you read to our children. I know you don’t like reading. I know it makes you feel awkward and silly. You do it for them anyway.
I love you when you play computer games with a child on each knee. I love you when you teach the boys how to play and I love you when Mr 4 comes to teach me how to land an aircraft,because that’s all you.
I love you when you perfectly lip sync the ‘Trolls’ movie. I also cringe though, sorry.
I love you when you sing and dance while you clean, like a better-version of Tom Cruise with a symmetrical face and without Scientology.
I love you when you watch something boring or gross on Netflix and I end up watching Good Mythical Morning on my phone. Then you stop watching your zombie crap because GMM is more interesting, and we realise that we should have just put it on in the first place and agree not to let you choose anymore.
I love you when you shave for work every morning because you want to look professional, even though we both know at heart you’re a bearded beast.
I love you when you discipline the children so that I don’t have to (for the twenty third time).
I love you when you recognise that even though I will only be working once a week, that doesn’t make my work any less important to me than yours is to you.
I love you when you tell me to study. Even if I do spend most of the time doodling ‘my husbands a jerk because he’s making me study’.
I love you when you talk about my grandfather. It kills me that our children didn’t get to meet him, but you did and you help me keep his memory alive.
I love you when you get home from work, tell me to go and have a rest, and brace yourself for the onslaught as three boys come flying at you from every direction and I run like I’m being chased by a mass murder.
I love you you get excited about me watching 50 Shades of Grey because you think that I’m going to come home wanting to pretend you’re Christian. Mate, it was one time.
I love you when you sleep walk. When you jump out of bed yelling at me to run because ‘they’re coming’. When you roll around the ground so ‘they’ don’t see you. When you laugh about it while I tell you of your adventures the next morning.
I love you for so many more reasons, but at least one child needs me so I have to leave it at that.
I love you. I just really, really love you. I love you so much I want to squish your cheeks and never let you go.
I love you more, but I love you differently.
I love you for the gross things, the boring things, the necessary things, the real things.
I love you for navigating your way through this ridiculous, crazy, life with me.
I love you deeper than I did thirteen years ago when we were in high school and you liked the look of my piggy tails.
I love you deeper than I did when you snuck your hand into mine at the movies on our first date.
I love you deeper than I did when I saw your eyes full of hurt when you lost your grandfather and I comforted you as best I could.
I love you deeper than I did when you did the same for me.
I love you deeper than I did when you overcame your biggest obstacles and chose me.
I love you deeper than I did the day we moved into our first home together and started making a life for ourselves.
I love you deeper than I did the days we discovered we were expecting our sweet babies.
I love you deeper than I did the day you kneeled in the rain and asked me to be your wife.
I love you deeper than I did the day we made our vows to love, support and cherish each other.
I love you deeper than I did the days we welcomed each of our three beautiful children into this world.
I love you deeper than I did yesterday.
But, I know you don’t feel it. I know you don’t feel that I love you as deeply because I have trouble showing it as much as I used to.
I have trouble showing you affection because the children need it from me more.
I have trouble cuddling you in the morning after I’ve had the baby sleeping on me all night and my body is aching from the awkward positions I’ve been stuck in.
I have trouble appreciating that you still find me sexy when I feel so uncomfortable about my body.
I have trouble smiling back at you when the fog of postnatal depression is surrounding my brain telling me I don’t deserve to smile.
And I have trouble explaining all of this to you because I feel so guilty. You deserve affection, smiles and a goofy wife who’ll give you a sneaky spank on the butt as she walks past you in the kitchen on her way to change the 42nd nappy of the day.
I want you to know I’m still here. I’m still me. I’m just a little buried at the moment. But every single day your smiles and unconditional love gives me the strength to dig myself out a little more.
Thank you for your patience. I really do appreciate it. And I promise that I love you deeper and I’ll love you deeper still.