Let’s face it. We’re going through a rough spot. I’m not completely blaming you…I take my share of the responsibility for the frustrations in our relationship but without the tie that holds us together legally, spiritually, ethically and otherwise we probably would have kicked each other to our respective curbs by now.

You’d have tired of my constant and relentless righting of wrongs and I’d have exhausted all of my methods to do so without excessive dissatisfaction and we’d have thrown in the towel, amicably parting ways but relieved to be done with the struggle.

But we will survive this rocky period and the many more we will face, not only because of the deep and unfaltering love we feel for one another but because we’ve vowed to remain committed, through highs and lows, as long as we draw breath. I am steadfast in that commitment and there is no one I love more than you…

But we have work some work to do.

Communication is a challenge for us. Sometimes I think when I speak you hear the words I am saying, but you don’t really listen to me. And worse yet, sometimes I feel like you don’t even hear me at all, like you’re just in your own world over there and we’re not even sharing the same solar system.

I feel a little bored in our day to day and I think you do, too. It’s time to stretch our wings and pursue interests outside of each other with new people and passions. We grow together but we also grow when apart. I think it’s time to be apart just a bit more. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?

It wouldn’t hurt for us to create some boundaries either. We all need privacy and space. There are days when I just feel like you are in my face all the time and it’s stifling. Not all the time, but enough of the time that I think we should work on giving each other some room. Bathroom time may be a good place to start.

Despite the popular saying regarding words and sticks and stones, words do matter. When you tell me you hate me or never want to see me again, it stings. Even though I know you don’t mean it, I’d like to work on word choice and how it impacts the person on the receiving end. Volume matters, too. Your point isn’t made any clearer by making it in your absolute loudest voice.  I’d like to make it through one day without an ibuprofen required headache.

Finally and this may seem petty in comparison, but we’ve got to pare down your stuff. It’s just tossed all over the house taking over the place. There’s no surface left uncluttered and no corner left uncrammed.  I know you’d have me believe otherwise, but I just don’t buy that one person needs all of that crap to be happy. If you don’t really use it, it’s got to go.

But you know what’s not going anywhere? This girl! And neither are you. We have a love that lasts more than a lifetime. I am committed to you until the very end of mine. You bring me immeasurable joy, satisfaction and happiness. You push me to my limits, which helps me grow and learn and change alongside you as we navigate this thing called life. I even appreciate your stubbornness and selfishness and anger. They show me your strength and drive and tenacity.

But I do think a little space and a little work would do wonders in pushing us through this little rough patch in our road. But I’m not worried. We’ll get through just fine, you and me.

After all, I am your mommy. And you’re only four.

This post originally appeared on Long Days, Short Years, Stiff Drinks.