Amelia Lamont just wanted some recognition from her family.
As the Australian mom blogger, midwife, and sleep consultant wrote on Instagram, it can be wearying to keep up a house and look after two young children— especially when you feel your work isn't appreciated.
In an open letter to her fiancé, Lamont explained that she has been feeling taken for granted as of late:
I love you [...] but lately you have forgotten who I am and what I do. I am your partner of 12 years, your confidant, best friend & most importantly the mother of your children but more recently, without you saying it, I can tell I’m just the baby bum wiper, the mundane de facto roomie and the worn out wash cloth that desperately needs a revamp. I hear you loud & clear — no one deserves a whole 6 hours at a day spa more then us mums but really, you need some aftershave because your attitude (or lack of) stinks.
The mom went on to point out the things he enjoys every day— eating a nice dinner after a long day of work, having clean, fluffy towels to clean up with, being able to go to bed in freshly laundered sheets that she just wrestled onto the king size mattress. The problem is that he doesn't seem to understand what goes into making his life pleasant.
She pointed out that even buying him a new pair of shorts can be a nightmare when you have to take two boisterous kids to the store with you. She endured the experience because she knew he needed them. But she still feels unappreciated:
I love you and that’s why I give myself so selflessly, day in day out but my god where is the f-king recognition? Beautiful dinner babe. Nice hair hun. I see you have gone back blonde. Thanks for getting the stain out of my white t shirt. These new flanelette sheets are heaven. Hey thanks for getting these shorts. Nope — none of it. Not one thanks given or appreciation shown. No recognition today, yesterday or probably tomorrow until you read this.
Trapped in the grind of housework and child care, Lamont wants her fiancé to understand that her day is as full as his and involves an endless parade of unpleasant duties, all of which she performs because of her love for their family:
You work so hard. I work hard too. I dare say harder then you. I don’t enjoy housework but I do it. I loathe mundane cooking these days but it keeps us well & going. I can’t possibly scrape any more skiddies out of undies, but I do it because that’s toilet training. I feel like I am the queen of Groundhog Day.
Lamont knows she isn't carrying out her daily routine with the most joyous of attitudes, but she has a simple request:
[P]lease, to save the dragon from spitting fire pretend you loved dinner ... thank me for keeping the kids alive and doing the dreaded dinner, bath, bed solo. Because that’s all we want. That’s all I want. Recognition.
Lamont's letter resonated with the other moms of Instagram, many of whom weighed in on her post to agree or share similar frustrations. More than one said that Lamont “nailed” what life can be like as a stay-at-home mom, while others mentioned sharing it with their own husbands or partners.
But Lamont wasn't done. Because her very next Instagram post was a reply to her letter from her fiancé. And though he understood why she was upset, he had a few complaints of his own. He wrote:
I love you, I truly do ... but you have it all wrong ... you see the thing with me is, my mind is constantly consumed with my business, the need to provide for my family, juggling 10 balls at once, wearing many different hats and first and foremost, ensuring we, as a family, have a roof over our head to sleep safely and soundly at night.
As her fiancé went on to explain, it wasn't that he doesn't recognize the work she does. Rather, he thought his actions were speaking his thanks. So he has become used to the house being clean because she always keeps it that way. He notices the clean laundry, but doesn't want to wake her up to thank her for getting stains out when she was up all night with the baby.
From his perspective, it should be obvious that he's thankful for what she does:
The fresh sheets? Sorry. In my head I acknowledged how nice they were, but really do I have to say everything out loud? The shorts? I thought you would love an excuse to go shopping. The cooking ... well you know how grateful I am for this ... well I thought you did. I finish every meal and pop it in the dishwasher. I thought my actions spoke louder then words.
Her fiancé noted that the chorus of approval her letter got from other women on Instagram is a testament to how common her feelings are. He wants her to know that “although I don’t high five you for everything that you do,” he does “recognize all that you do and appreciate it.”
And while he's willing to acknowledge that he and other men might not be good at seeing how important that sense of recognition is to their wives and partners, he also wants her to know she's not the only one who feels unappreciated. As he points out, there are, “two sides to a coin,” and he would like some recognition as well. He concluded:
“A thanks for working long and hard wouldn’t go astray either. I know you say this often but you do it with a bad taste in your mouth. Everything I do is for us.”