On a crisp morning in the summer of 2010 looking like a drown rat from coming straight out of the shower I walked into my first day at a new job. Little did I know at the time, but my future husband, Chris, was the one who opened the door for me that day. August 2010-August 2012 was pretty much your typical love story. Running on a lot of lust while building an amazing love, at times living 7 hours apart and still managing to see each other almost every week. I eventually joined him on his adventures and we became traveling therapists together. Some time not long after we met, I told him I was going to marry him because I wanted his last name-Lovejoy. I mean, it doesn’t get much better than that! We both entered into our relationship pretty much on an unspoken understanding that we each had found “the one”.
If there was one thing I knew about Chris, it was that he loved surprises and making people feel special. In 2011 while on an assignment in Memphis we planned a trip back north for a long weekend to visit family which turned into an engagement. What was supposed to be a surprise party for Chris’ birthday was actually a surprise engagement party for me. He even had all of my family there from out of town and put them up in a hotel as well as one of my best friends. It doesn’t end there. Over the next year we planned our wedding together, while he planned our Honeymoon. I was told to get a passport and prepare for a warm getaway. He planned the perfect Hawaiian honeymoon (the passport was to throw me off). On our wedding day, I was surprised with a new car (we both drove junkers). Ah, newlyweds. Chris now drives that wedding present which has a lot of rust and almost 300,000 miles, and I drive my now dream car…a minivan.
Shortly after we got married I turned 30, Chris 28. We knew without a doubt that we wanted kids. So, without further a do…6 months later, in February 2013 we found out we were pregnant with our first. Some may call it beginners luck, we call it blessed.
We bought our first house, made it our own, found out we were having a baby girl, created a magical nursery, and enjoyed those last few months, just the 2 of us. My water broke at work on November 5, 2013 when I was standing a patient. It was not at all like the movies, I wasn’t drowning in a pool of my own amniotic fluid or slip-sliding away across the floor. I just so happened that I had an appointment that afternoon and my doctor assured us that our sweet girl was not in a rush, we had time. So we went home and prepared our house for the grandparents that would be coming from out of town and even went out to dinner. We arrived at the hospital and during my 32 hours of labor I had never felt closer to my husband. From fetching popsicles to cleaning the floor, he did it all. At 6:13 pm on November 6, 2013 our sweet Laylah Irene was born. It was then, at 6:13 pm on November 6, 2013, that I realized I married a Mr. Mom.
That picture above we took 3 more times, same kiss, same hospital. Once again on August 12, 2015 when our son Montana James was born, and again on October 26, 2017 when our second son Graham Hackeman made his grand debut.
So, from November 2013 to present day a lot has changed. We had Laylah, then 2 more kiddos (her brothers), job changes, sold a house, moved to a new part of the state, built another home. But one thing remained the same. Mr. Mom was always there.
Some may wonder why I call him Mr. Mom. It is because he is exactly that, perfect description, to-a-T! So here is the thing. From the moment Laylah took her first breath Earthside Chris stepped in and hasn’t even pumped the breaks since. In the early stages Chris would get up in the middle of the night with me, making sure our babies were changed while I set myself up for another round of breastfeeding. He would have our parents come down so he could take me out within the first 6 weeks of each of the babies being born because he said both the baby and I needed it. When the babies weren’t breastfed he he stepped in with the bottles so that I could have a little breather. Between diapers and bath time, spit up, and crying it out. He was the Mr. Mom. Making sure we were all ok. Fed, comfy, snuggled, sleeping well.
As each of the kids got older their needs and love languages changed. I personally find this journey of discovering and then feeding into the love languages of each individual child to be challenging. Each child has different wants and needs when it comes to growth physically, spiritually, and mentally. This is something that I am still trying to figure out, every day. It seems however, that Chris has a way of figuring this out on his own terms. While I want to read books about it, he is hands on. He knows our kids in and out, like the back of his hand. What makes each of them tick.
Bath time is one of Chris’ specialties. Like a well oiled machine. Brushing their teeth became Chris job when I sincerely didn’t think their teeth were ever clean enough…the dentist says their teeth are perfect, and whoever taught them to brush their teeth did one heck of a job-Mr. Mom. Bedtime snacks, Mr. Mom.
Then there is the dishes, the meal prep, the laundry. Oh, and don’t forget letting your child paint his nails, playing Barbies, daddy-daughter dances, dates, parks, and “the big hill” by the firestation. Mr. Mom.
I became a SAHM 2 years ago. Hardest job I have ever had. Chris works tirelessly so that I can stay home with our kids. He comes home on his lunch breaks just to see the kids…sometimes with Starbucks in hand for me. When he gets home in the evening, he doesn’t sit on the couch. There are wrestling matches and games to be played and ice cream to be eaten. He pushes me out the door to spend time with friends, go for a run, walk the aisles of Target or takes the kids outside of the house so I can have some time to get things done inside the home. He in his own little way tells me I need to stay the heck off Google. He is the disciplinarian and sometimes the tough cookie, but he will always dry tears.
All of this. All of these amazing things…but…
Being a mom is hard. Being a mom with a husband who is a Mr. Mom is even harder. There are days when I feel like my toes are getting stepped on. When he is doing a better job at momming than I am. That being said, being married to a Mr. Mom is far more a blessing than a curse. We are a great team. We may not always agree, but then we agree to disagree and move on. We always say we were husband and wife before we were mommy and daddy. The love that we share for our children is more than many people feel in a lifetime. People may look at us like our hands are full…but how does that go? Our hearts are fuller. Some days we live in complete chaos and fall into bed at night, other nights we lay there and watch sports and drink wine. Our end goal is the same. Raise kind, successful, confident, God-fearing children who have wings to fly but create a loving home so they always want to come back to visit. Make sure our kids know they should chase their dreams with reckless abandon. Raise sons that respect their partners and a daughter who knows what to look for. God knew what he was doing when he chose Chris as my husband. He knew my weaknesses were Chris’ strengths, and vice versa. God knew that for me to be the best mom, I needed a Mr. Mom.
Edit: I just asked Mr. Mom if he would like to read what I wrote before I submitted it. His response: “2 minutes, I have to brush the kids’ teeth.”