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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a pretty happy camper most days. I like to be busy. I work 2-3 days per week and I'm home with dd the rest of the time. I try to sneak in volunteer work, maybe even some reading in there. Over the last 20 months, I've changed my life and what I do, because I have a child and a new chronic illness (Type 1 diabetes). I feel pretty good about the amount of personal time I have, even if it's just taking a shower...or hanging out on MDC while dd sleeps. I do "night duty": dh doesn't sleep with us most of the time (his choice), because he wakes and worries every time I wake with dd, who is a poor sleeper.<br><br>
My dh...he's definitely more laid-back than I am. His ideal day is watching hockey, drinking beer, and playing on the computer. However, he is a busy teacher, works 7-6 most days, with other work on the weekends sometimes. He makes a lot more money/hour than I do, or I'd consider working more if he could work less.<br><br>
He is quite depressed because he says he has no personal time. This has been our largest relationship issue since the beginning of dd's life. He doesn't want another child because he says that he is too stressed as it is.<br><br><b>Any ideas for us to try? I'd like him to be happy, obviously. Or does personal time just go out the window when you have a child?<br><br>
So far, we are doing:<br></b><br>
He played hockey on weekends at 1 am when dd was first born. However, some nights I would not get any sleep at all when I was doing night time parenting, so I wasn't too nice to him when he said he was tired from hockey! He quit that, but he's hoping to get back to it in the near future, since dd sleeps a little better now.<br><br>
I've instituted a monthly "date afternoon" (we both get off early from work).<br><br>
I try to give him at least a 1/2 day on the weekend so he can chill on the computer.<br><br>
He does have time after dd goes to bed (I have been going to sleep with her these days, she's teething and sick). Sometimes he plays on the computer during this time.<br><br>
I've given him "permission" to miss bath time every 2 weeks or so, if he wants to go out with friends (this means he does not see dd at all that day).<br><br>
I'd also like us to have some family time, because right now I feel we are tag-team parenting - maybe not bad, but????<br><br>
Any ideas are welcome!
 

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It's an issue for us, as well, exacerbated by the fact that we both work outside the home. My doctor did remind me recently that one of the best stress-busters around is exercise, so we're going to try to institute family nights at the gym (just have to figure out the evenings). Yes, dd would be in the childcare center; we'd slacked off going together when she went through a patch of really not liking it.<br><br>
We could go separately, but it's actually more fun (I think) to be there together, even if we're doing separate activities.<br><br>
I have to say that if I worked 7-6 every day plus some weekends, I'd feel the need of personal time as well! And teaching can be pretty stressful.<br><br>
I'm eager to see what other folks have to say--to me a big part of it is also having the mental space to stay connected as a couple. That's the thing I really work on, and am always looking for new strategies that give us all good time with the others--me and dh, me and dd, dh and dd, all of us together.
 

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Dh and I have a pretty happy schedule. Yes, it is a schedule. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> He has one night off/week to go climbing with his buddies and have a beer afterwards. Short of a deathbed illness, nothing interferes w/his night. I have my night off as well. We have a sitter for 3 hours every other Fri for us to go skiing and eat burgers together. I have found it is much healthier for us to "do" something rather than just sit on our dates.<br><br>
Saturdays are a total sacred family day--guaranteed. We split Sun so we each get to run out and ski for an hour+ w/friends. Then, spend the rest of the day w/the kids.<br><br><br>
eta: I'd encourage hockey again. Yeah it's a HUGE time suck but I have a friend who forbid her dh to play once they had kids and it's just sad to me. (He no longer has ANY time w/o family or work at all.) I guess I feel that if he could do it minimally <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> and not complain about being tired, it's a great bonding thing and energy release.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
BusyMommy, you sound so much like me! I am totally the scheduling type. So I schedule my free time when I need it, and figure out how to do it.<br><br>
Dh has always been more of the "I need large blank spaces of time to do what I want to do" sort. Most of what he wants to do is sit.<br><br>
I totally agree about the hockey. He's going to look into a 1-2 times/week league that isn't at 1 am. That tired him out more than anything!<br><br>
claras_mom - I need to check into the gym thing - so far, dd has only ever been with grandparents, so I am still so freaked out about leaving her (she is a totally happy little girl, but her comfort zone is pretty small).<br><br>
I would like to schedule a sacred family time too - even just an afternoon. But again, it's that scheduling thing - he's not into it. Maybe I will just schedule it and he won't notice <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> .<br><br>
Keep those ideas coming, please! (and thank you)
 

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maybe instead of giving him a 1/2 day of "computer time" he could schdule an activity he likes doing....going to the gym, taking a walk...or whatever he chooses...<br><br>
my DH does alot of the grocery shopping (once a month we do a huge shopping day.....and once a week hubby will run out to get milk and lunch meat....stuff like that) and he likes it when i let him leave DD home and he can go by himself....that way he can take his time and look at other things
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>widemouthedfrog</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7249196"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">claras_mom - I need to check into the gym thing - so far, dd has only ever been with grandparents, so I am still so freaked out about leaving her (she is a totally happy little girl, but her comfort zone is pretty small).</div>
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It took a few times--more than a few! When she was about 6 months, I found a deep water fitness class I wanted to try 2-3 times a week. The child care staff at the Y--really caring college age kids--would come and get me about 20 minutes into a 45 minute class, because she was just not dealing. Then, dh and I decided that <b>he</b> would be the point of contact for them, since he was just doing whatever. It slowly got better, as she got used to the staff. Since we went at the same time on various days, it was usually the same people.<br><br>
Then, I got out of the groove and when I'm tired and dd seems to want mommy and daddy time, it's all too easy to say, "oh, honey go ahead by yourself; dd and I will just hang at home."<br><br>
When she's three, we'll be able to take her into the kids gym for 45 minutes at a time and play with her there. Which will probably make her like the gym a lot better in general, because she's a very active kid, and they have things like miniature climbing walls.<br><br>
But dh and I need the exercise and the time together, so it's time to start up again and work on the adjustment (if any). I cram everything into 4 days/week, so one evening could be on a non-daycare day for dd.
 

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I have been thinking about this exact same thing recently. Both DH and I work FT, and seem to need some alone time to retank after coming home from work, spending time with dd and cleaning up, etc. That leaves no time for "us". I've been working on instituting semi-regular dates.......they're sooooo good, and make such a difference.<br><br>
Lately I've been a little frustrated because I feel since dd was born there is quite a distance between us....just isn't the emotional intimacy their once was.....also because dd is really lovely, high needs, and demands a lot of attention and energy from us.....so when we're together she's the centre of the universe. I just feel like our relationship is suffering and I'm saying it to dh over and over, but he says that I'm asking for more than he can give, he already gives 100% and it's not enough...(head shaking)....he is also the type who needs time and space to just exist....... (if left to his own devices is a computer addict, has a teaching degree and works in a writing centre....our dh's sound so similar!)<br><br>
In the end I just try to really understand and accept that dh is doing the best he can and I try to make sure that I'm working time for us into things because I can see that the poor bugger really needs it too.<br><br>
I think we are all just doing the best we can under the circumstances. This also makes me think twice about my self-care rituals and reminds me to take good care of myself so that I'm as healthy as can be....HTH....
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Emese's Mom - when did you move into my house?!?<br><br>
For a while I was very annoyed at dh for needing his personal time - after all, I was the one who'd changed my career, stayed up at night for months, and developed a chronic illness to boot.<br><br>
However, I am rather fond of him <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> , and he is just so miserable! I think that his extreme grumpiness is making me realize that he's suffering for lack of - well, whatever it was he had before. My mom figures he just needs to suck it up, but it's no fun for any of us when he is down in the dumps.<br><br>
Yes, when we're together, dd is usually the centre of attention too. She's never been one to go off and hang by herself - that said, she is only 1 1/2!<br><br>
I did suggest a "schedule" last night (finally fit everything in there), so I hope that will help.
 

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We have trouble balancing this too. DH works long hours and is gone sometimes all day and night, so when he comes home he just wants to spend all his time with me and the kids. I want to get the hell out of here and AWAY from them. I have a really desperate need for "me" time that *doesnt* involve family. Family=work for me sometimes, I need to get away from work just like everyone else.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>widemouthedfrog</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7257800"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think that his extreme grumpiness is making me realize that he's suffering for lack of - well, whatever it was he had before. My mom figures he just needs to suck it up, but it's no fun for any of us when he is down in the dumps.<br><br>
Yes, when we're together, dd is usually the centre of attention too. She's never been one to go off and hang by herself - that said, she is only 1 1/2!</div>
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I think it's quite reasonable for dh's and us mamas too to grieve the loss of our freedoms, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> and changes to how much time we can take to care for ourselves, pursue our interests, etc. Dh's are allowed just as much as we mamas are to have a reaction to the huge dramatic change in their lives (having a baby). Aren't we mamas also suffering when certain needs for self-care aren't met? Why not dh's too?<br><br>
Maybe TIME and actively finding balance ("living" some balance) are factors that will help the transition from that sense of loss to "sucking it up" (...read "accepting the change and making the best of the situation"...).<br><br>
Yes, I also often think about the fact that dd is only a toddler, for goodness sakes, and needs most of our attention and energy now <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">: ... "it'll change as she gets older...." Right? Right? And if it doesn't? Well, that's why it's good to keep trying to fit in time for ourselves and each other. Good luck to all couples trying to balance this one out.<br><br>
To the PP who needs time away from the house and family....I could really relate to that feeling when I was a SAHM for 1 yr. You're not alone!
 

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BusyMommy, I LOVE your schedule! I'm hoping we can find a good sitter for ds2 so that we can set up something like that as well.<br><br>
This topic has been on my mind a lot lately; dh has been really stressed and needs some chill out time, but so do I...it can be so hard to manage!
 

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Dh and I do actually have a date night once a month, when it happens. We have season tickets to the symphony and a babysitter who just puts it on her calendar. But last month, dh was sick and we didn't go. So this month, I mistook the date and emailed the sitter for this Saturday, then changed it to next Sat., then dh suggests dinner and a movie this Saturday anyway (2 dates in a row!) and my friend the sitter is still fine with it.<br><br>
And you know...I can't figure out what movie I'd want to sit through. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Not that some don't look good; I'm just wired up. So maybe I'll suggest going to the Y instead and have dinner after at our favorite health food restaurant.<br><br>
And to be honest, one night a month as a couple is barely enough. I too am liking what BusyMommy has scheduled!
 

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It's kind of intimidating to talk about time away here b/c so many feel that it is selfish. BUT, IRL all of my friends feel the same way. In fact, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> my night off is spent with my girlfriends skiing or biking and then having a snack. Tonight, we're all sharing a hotel room at the ski resort and are psyched to ski hard and have fun. Yes, we all love our kids and our families but I truly think parents have to be fulfilled as individuals and as partners, too.<br><br>
Last night, my kids were THRILLED 110% to have their sitter come over for 3 hours and fly airplanes w/them. They LOVE her. And, dh and I got to go out and get all sweaty together & just plain old have fun b/c we actually really do like each other as people.<br><br>
It surely is a controversial subject but I just know that my family is happy and connected b/c we are all able to feel fulfilled as individuals. (This morning, ds1 is at a gymnastics meet w/Dad and I'm taking ds2 skiing & for ice cream.)
 

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this topic... grrrr... it is the only thing about being a parent that I hate and hate and hate and hate.<br><br>
I have a 12 year old son, and I couldn't wait until he was old enough for me to get some "me time" back. I was a single mom almost since he was born (my ex was an over the road truck driver and then we seperated very early on). So my current hubby convinces me to have a baby swearing he will do "whatever it takes" and that it won't be a burden on me, that he will do "it all". (ok I knew that was an exaggeration but I figured it meant he would work on it)<br><br>
So anyways.... my husband gets very irate and miserable and just unpleasant to be with when he cant play video games and do his own thing when he's home. I do 100% of the child care during weekdays because I'm a SAHM and at night/all night/weekends I do about 99% of it even though he is here and available. He wants to have another baby and I'm just terrified that my 5% of me time (when she's asleep) is going to be removed completely and that he's not going to notice any change at all in his lifestyle AGAIN. He's a homebody, so he's here, but I have to "ask for help" to have him get her a drink or watch her so I can make dinner (and half the time she just cries at the gate for me because he is playing video games or watching TV and she's bored)<br><br>
SO I guess for me, no... no "me time" at all really. The time I have at night I spend with my hubby because he becomes distant and cold if I dont make an effort to reconnect with him as often as possible. I love him to death and will suck it up and deal, but I really wish I had a break more often. I don't really want to go anywhere (we live in the middle of nowhere), but would love to just play on the computer or read a book uninterrupted or make dinner without balancing a babe on my hip once in awhile.
 

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BusyMommy - it's good to hear that getting out works for you and dh. I think it also helps that your dc *LOVE* their babysitter. What about if your dc is very clingy and cries when you leave? It's harder with younger children who are very attached. (How old are your dc btw?)<br><br>
Jenlaana - it's frustrating and I'm sorry you feel so depleted. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> Does dh HEAR YOU when you say you need a break sometimes? He gets grumpy, irate, etc. but he is a parent too and needs to help parent dd. (soapbox here) Does he maybe need to be 'shown' how to play with dd?
 

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4 & 5 and they've loved sitters for a couple of years now <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Before that, we traded off w/our friends and have never had teary moments b/c our kids are so used to being w/their friends and their parents. It takes work to set it up, though, ITA!!
 

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I think a lot of people forget that their new child is a part of them and a part of their family. A lot of things we did before children can be done with them once they get here. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"> He should just change his priorities around some and do activities that include either one or both of you with the baby. It's tough those first couple of years with a child, but seriously, that child isn't going anywhere anytime soon. You may as well start now by incorporating them into your activities. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> They will be around for many years to come. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
There's nothing wrong with an occasional date night. We have 3 children and we have those once a month atleast (we have to for our sanity) but for the most part our kids do everything with us or we switch off and one stays home and the other goes out alone. Whatever works, we just go with the flow. Ofcourse my oldest two are close to teenagers so that makes it a bit easier for them to stay home alone at times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
mommy68, we do both. I enjoy my alone time with dd on the weekends and so does dh. Dd and I do lots of me things and things that are fun for her during the week. And chores and daily stuff, of course. And we're now planning to have Saturday mornings as sacred family time (thanks for the idea, busymommy!). The key for my dh, though, is having time to hang with a friend or play alone - and I think that for him, it really is a need. I've seen how grumpy he gets otherwise.<br><br>
I schedule my "me" times too - mostly volunteer stuff - though I need to get better at disappearing for a little to read. Jenlaana, I do things with dh does the bath with dd - maybe that's an option? He loves it - doesn't get to see her too much during the week, and I get some time before the "night shift". It took us a while to get into this groove, though.
 

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Things are always changing, because needs change, but right now, here's how it works with us:<br><br>
--we have date night every Thursday<br>
--I belong to a film club which meets once or twice a month<br>
--if dh or I want a break, we tell the other and go for a walk or run errands alone<br>
--dh doesn't really like going out but I do and sometimes meet up with girlfriends for tea/coffee/drinks every other week or so
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>widemouthedfrog</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7284669"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The key for my dh, though, is having time to hang with a friend or play alone - and I think that for him, it really is a need. I've seen how grumpy he gets otherwise.</div>
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For my dh, it's cycling--has been since we got married. We used to ride together some, and have a trailer for dd, but basically he sometimes just needs to get into the zone himself and ride for an entire afternoon.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Karaboo</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Things are always changing, because needs change, but right now, here's how it works with us:<br><br>
--we have date night every Thursday<br>
--I belong to a film club which meets once or twice a month<br>
--if dh or I want a break, we tell the other and go for a walk or run errands alone<br>
--dh doesn't really like going out but I do and sometimes meet up with girlfriends for tea/coffee/drinks every other week or so</div>
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This is remarkably similar to what we <b>try</b> to do (except for managing to schedule a weekly date night; ours is monthly). So I'm beginning to think that part of the issue is follow-through. We also discovered this last Saturday--with a date outside of our regular symphony night--that a date at the symphony is not as great for reconnecting as just going downtown, walking around, and then eating. So we need to tweak our date night to allow for more face time.
 
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