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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok this is probably petty but it is indicative of a larger issue I am having with being a new parent.<br><br>
I co-sleep with my 10-month old. A while back he got ill and needed a humidifier, and since we have lots of books in our bedroom DS and I moved into a double bed in the other room to sleep. Well we are still there and DH is still sleeping alone in the master bedroom. Overall it works quite well for us; DH gets more sleep as do I because the bed is less crowded. DS is actually sleeping in his own room and I like that he is getting used to being in that space. Dh is happy with the arrangement and has no desire to go back to a "family" bed.<br>
However lately DH has been referring to the master bedroom as HIS room; as in "I am going to hang out in my room now." He will sit in there and surf the web or read a book at night before he goes to bed. This makes me so sad (and mad!) as:<br>
1. I already feel like we don't get to spend enough quality time together since he is a professor and is always doing work at home.<br>
2. More importantly for this discussion, if the master bedroom is HIS room and the second bedroom is DS's room where the tar is MY room?<br><br>
This brings up the larger issue of the fact that I feel like I am totally loosing my identity to being a parent. Not only do I not have ANY space that is my own (personal or physical), I do not have the time or....something....to pursue any of my own interests. This really sucks and I am finding it totally depressing. I cannot even dress how I would like because everything I own doesn't fit right and/or has milk/babyspit stains. I am living my life in half-hour spurts while the baby sleeps (typing this right now as I nak). Forget about reading a book, hah (or taking a shower)!<br><br>
Right now to everyone I am DH's wife and DS's mother...and that's it.<br><br>
SUCKS!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
ETA: I suppose I should ask a question here of all you wise mamas: How do you balance identity with parenthood?? Or am I in the minority because being introduced simply as someone's wife or mother makes me shudder? I've tried getting out to the YMCA for some me time but DS will cry the entire time he is in their childcare, so that's not working. Mother's groups are all about, well, being a mother. I guess I'm tired of "Hi, I'm Stacy, Gwydion's mom". And then everyone is like: "Hi Gwydion! What was your name again?"
 

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Well for starters, when your husband sloths off to read a book or surf the web in HIS room, ask if he wouldn’t mind being the parent for about 20 minutes while you took a shower?<br><br>
Have you spoken to your husband about any of this? The fact that you feel this way? It just sounds like you need more support then what your getting.
 

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i think your feelings are really normal at this stage and that it does get better - especially because you are feeling this and saying, "hey, this isn't right! i'm not just a wife and mother . . . what about me?!" rather than allowing those two roles to become the sum total of your identity.<br><br>
what would make you feel better? do you need more personal space - like would nursing manners help? do you need a bit of sanctuary in your home that is just for you (or at least when you occupy that space, it's just for you - like having the bathroom off-limits while you soak in the tub and read)? do you need to get out and spend time not being in the roles of wife and mother, like taking a class? i hear you on your babe not doing well in someone else's care, but maybe your dh would be willing to give you some regularly scheduled and untouchably sacred alone time (out of the house and/or in the house, whatever you need) on the weekends or a particular week night. would that help?
 

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It gets better. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> The first 16 months or so can be claustrophobic but then they start doing their own thing a bit more and you have SPACE. Emotional space. Physical Space. Space to do something for yourself that is all about YOU.<br><br>
It really does get easier. This will pass. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
V
 

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What helped me around that age was leaving ds2 with dh for an hour (or two) and getting out and immersing myself in my photography. I'd drive out through the country with my camera and just take snapshots of anything nature-y that caught my fancy. Now that ds2 has gotten a bit older, I'll take most of a day and go out in nature and photograph, or gather up a few friends and take them around downtown and photograph them. Not only does it help me keep my identity, it's helped improve my photography skills and helped me land a freelance job with a magazine. Good luck!
 

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Yeah. That totally wouldn't fly with me. I'd be moving us back into the Master bedroom regardless of whatever DH wanted to do—especially if he started calling it his room. I can understand when a spouse needs a little more sleep to get up early and go to work, but everyone should be contributing to night-time parenting.<br><br>
Perhaps you could compromise and side-car the bed so there's more space for everyone? If not, then I think it's time for your DH to be sleeping in the guest room or on the couch for a while.
 

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I would definitely suggest you talk to your DH about this. Find a way to work out you having <i>you</i> time. I would also stress that the master bedroom is your room too, even if you aren't currently sleeping in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Barbie64g</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15370834"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well for starters, when your husband sloths off to read a book or surf the web in HIS room, ask if he wouldn’t mind being the parent for about 20 minutes while you took a shower?<br><br>
Have you spoken to your husband about any of this? The fact that you feel this way? It just sounds like you need more support then what your getting.</div>
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He only hibernates in "his" room once the kid is asleep. The shower thing is tricky because kidlet wakes up about every half hour...sometimes more often sometimes less, and I am the only one who can get him back to sleep. So whenever I do shower during this time I am going as fast as I can (as with most other things) which no doubt contributes to my feelings of resentment.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>doubledutch</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15370859"><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 your feelings are really normal at this stage and that it does get better - especially because you are feeling this and saying, "hey, this isn't right! i'm not just a wife and mother . . . what about me?!" rather than allowing those two roles to become the sum total of your identity.<br><br>
what would make you feel better? do you need more personal space - like would nursing manners help? do you need a bit of sanctuary in your home that is just for you (or at least when you occupy that space, it's just for you - like having the bathroom off-limits while you soak in the tub and read)? do you need to get out and spend time not being in the roles of wife and mother, like taking a class? i hear you on your babe not doing well in someone else's care, but maybe your dh would be willing to give you some regularly scheduled and untouchably sacred alone time (out of the house and/or in the house, whatever you need) on the weekends or a particular week night. would that help?</div>
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I really, really want to take a sewing class. My husband is willing to take primary kid duty for this but it is a money issue. I am currently unemployed so we are living off of one salary in Silicon Valley. We budgeted for the YMCA to allow me to take fitness classes, but they are all during the day and I have that childcare issue.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Violet2</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15370911"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It gets better. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> The first 16 months or so can be claustrophobic but then they start doing their own thing a bit more and you have SPACE. Emotional space. Physical Space. Space to do something for yourself that is all about YOU.<br><br>
It really does get easier. This will pass. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
V</div>
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Thank you!!<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Logan's mommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15370952"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What helped me around that age was leaving ds2 with dh for an hour (or two) and getting out and immersing myself in my photography. I'd drive out through the country with my camera and just take snapshots of anything nature-y that caught my fancy. Now that ds2 has gotten a bit older, I'll take most of a day and go out in nature and photograph, or gather up a few friends and take them around downtown and photograph them. Not only does it help me keep my identity, it's helped improve my photography skills and helped me land a freelance job with a magazine. Good luck!</div>
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I once went to a cafe to work on my resume while DH stayed with DS, and that feeling of being able to <i>linger</i> over a coffee was soooooo sublime. Perhaps this would be a good place to start.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Cherry Alive</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15370980"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Yeah. That totally wouldn't fly with me. I'd be moving us back into the Master bedroom regardless of whatever DH wanted to do—especially if he started calling it his room. I can understand when a spouse needs a little more sleep to get up early and go to work, but everyone should be contributing to night-time parenting.<br><br>
Perhaps you could compromise and side-car the bed so there's more space for everyone? If not, then I think it's time for your DH to be sleeping in the guest room or on the couch for a while.</div>
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Our house is tiny-small so there are just the two bedrooms. Maybe I can convince DH to put the queen mattress on the floor to make it safer for DS...<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MusicianDad</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15371006"><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 would definitely suggest you talk to your DH about this. Find a way to work out you having <i>you</i> time. I would also stress that the master bedroom is your room too, even if you aren't currently sleeping in there.</div>
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Oh, I've talked to him about it. I have <i>begged</i> him to remind me to shower during the day while DS is still awake. Because I honestly forget...there is sooooo much to do....until its too late. DH is rather tired of hearing me complain honestly. He's the type of guy to find a holding pattern and then not deviate from it, whereas I am the opposite. I think that he sees my need for change as threatening. I know he wonders why I cannot just be happy with the good fortune that we have. But (and perhaps this is food for another topic) he has it great...a new tenure-track job that he is very happy at, a beautiful son which we tried to conceive for four years, and a wife who makes him food and takes care of said son. Its so damn typical!
 

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Yeah, I feel ya honey. And I would definitely be stopping that "my room" stuff immediately if not sooner. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> It does get easier though.<br><br>
And now for a stupid question: do you have parents nearby? I do not. But now and then my mom came for a week or so. She took care of and played with my little son while I showered or read a book or other non-baby friendly stuff.
 

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Move the books to the other room and move yourself back in. That and just go out for a couple hours each week. Dad can suck it up. As long as he is tending DS, even if he is crying, it will be fine. He has to learn to parent and the longer you let him avoid it the harder involving him gets.
 

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okay, even though the timing of the ymca classes won't work - since you're paying for it, use it when dh can be with baby, even if it's only a couple of times a week. eta: to swim, walk, whatever - or cancel it!<br><br>
also find time for sewing when dh is around - you can even do a lot of the work without dh's help (all the prep work takes WAY more time than sewing and is essentially silent) when babe is sleeping, even in the same room with just a task light. i'm talking about ironing, measuring, cutting, etc. depending on what you want to make, hand-sewing is cool. if you are a true beginner who just wants to make some little household or baby thigs (like felt coasters or a simple stuffed animal), hand sewing is great. if you're more advanced and wanted to take, like, a tailoring class, you're probably rolling your eyes at me. but if you're a beginner or just an i-sew-for-love person (not a super serious perfectionist) like me, you can start sewing without a class, maybe with some help from friends, or a craigslist / fyt stranger who will become your friend.<br><br>
coffee, solo walks/hikes, and other free or low cost outings sound like a great thing to start implementing on a regular basis.
 

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There are TONS of places on the internet to find lessons on sewing stuff. I'm generally someone who prefers to go to a class to learn new things, but if you can't then I totally suggest trying out some of those classes. Or do the craft along on craftster <a href="http://www.craftster.org/" target="_blank">http://www.craftster.org/</a><br><br>
Carve out some times just for you.
 

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for me, it was about doing something that i loved that was not necessarily related to being a mom.<br><br>
i like yoga.<br><br>
so, DH would be home alone with DS while i went out and did yoga (teaching or taking classes). and, i would also go out with my girlfriends sometimes, and i would also go to a movie alone sometimes, and so on.<br><br>
it helped me see myself as more than just the woman doing X, Y, Z for the baby and hubs.
 

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Well, I go to my room all the time. My husband goes to his room all the time. We both share the same room.<br><br>
I think you are getting caught up to much and implying to much for the meaning of the word his. It is his room but it can also be your room and our room.<br><br>
I think you might be needing to create your space or reconnect with your husband some.
 

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Well, first thing is I'd start correcting your DH when he says he's going to HIS room... I'm sorry, whose room? I'd make it very clear that that is still "our" room. I've been in the office with the babe since he was a few weeks old, but the bedroom is still "our room" with my DH.<br><br>
As for the rest - why not check the tribe section on here? I know there are lots of mamas in this area, I've met a few of them. See if you can get together for a play date one-on-one instead of in a group. I find that one-on-one it's easier to be adults and not all about the kids than in group settings.<br><br>
And the sewing classes - were you wanting to learn how to sew or how to do a particular technique? If it's the former, maybe there's someone in your tribe that would be interested in bartering for some lessons... I know I would be willing. You're welcome to come over and I can teach you the basics (if that's what you were wanting to learn). I could even ask my mother's helper if he minds watching the boys for a couple hours so we could do it during the week.<br><br>
I completely understand the not doing anything for yourself portion, it's something I'm really trying to work on myself. My life got wrapped up in the TTC battle for so many years that now that he's here, I have no idea what direction to turn.<br><br>
And/or maybe we should work on establishing a babywatching co-op amongst ourselves, so we can do some of those things we'd like to do... just some random thoughts.
 
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