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Children but still got a ‘you’ life?!(39 Posts)
Just wondering if you could give me perspectives on having children but also having a proper life of your own?!
Hope I’m explaining this??!
I have a 16mo and a 3yo and feel like I have lost all semblance of my own life! I work compressed hours for four days, am doing a post grad and my husband works shifts.
My youngest doesn’t sleep well and I’m struggling so go to bed early.
I feel like I have lost all my own interests and personality!
When does ‘my’ life come back or is it over - work or childcare or coursework?!
Anyone got any ideas on how to rebalance or get over it?
Do you have a life?!
You have two very young children, working and studying and your dh works shifts?
I agree you can't expect to have much of a life right now.
In a year or so maybe... It will come back gradually I suppose. When does your studying finish?
With one child I did still do "me" things and had an active social life. But now I have four children (three under 5, including a baby) I definitely don't. Everything is taken up with family. I think this is normal, really. There just aren't enough hours in the day to be doing other things and my kids have to come first.
I don’t think I would have time to have me time if I had all of that going on. I work 2 days a week and I have just finished my post grad. On one of my days off all my children are in childcare so I have time to meet a friend for a long run or walk and usually a different friend for lunch. Every other week I meet friends on a Friday or Saturday evening for dinner.
I have hobbies which provide me with my ‘me life’, but I’m not studying. I would like to study for a further qualification, but it would be for fun rather than to increase my career prospects. We can’t justify the expense for that.
Studying takes up a lot of time. I think realistically your studying has to be your ‘you time’ for now. Do you enjoy it?
Oh dear I suppose it is normal. I didn’t feel this after my first child weirdly.
My course finishes March next year - I’m in the final year and it’s taken ages so I need to finish it!
Thank you for your replies
Its a role like any caring role, intense demands and occasional or long term intense rewards. Taking breaks and doing your own hobbies is of course recommended, but not always practical - and I’m afraid your postgrad is probably taking your ‘me’ hours at the moment.
However, invest in bringing them up well in their early years and maintaining a stable base and career prospects and the later stages will be easier.
Mine are 5 and 2. I work FT as does DH. I’ve had this conversation with colleagues and the consensus is that these things come back when they’re about 10 (assuming you don’t have DParents or suchlike doing vast quantities of free childcare). Doesn’t mean I don’t still read a book in the evenings or have the odd night out but life has changed and I can’t just say ‘let’s get last minute theatre tickets, DH’.
I feel like I'm just getting back into "me" now. My children are 10, 8 and 4. I've been learning to drive, joined the gym and thinking about starting a business.
When they were little I couldn't think about any of that stuff. I was just getting through each day.
I have a 6, 4 and 2 year old and it has definitely been a struggle. For about 5 years there was very little else going on outside work (which i hated) and the kids. I tried to go out once a week to see friends and dh did the same so we kept up our social lives just about.
The last year or so has been better. I've changed jobs to something I feel passionately about, I've started volunteering a little and I feel like I have a life of my own again.
If you're not getting a lot of sleep then all bets are off really. It's just a case of getting through the baby years and doing your best to enjoy them! Everyone used to say to me not to worry about my life/career when I had babies but it was really hard to just put it all to one side.
It has been true largely though. Life has started to pick back up now and I'm enjoying my life outside the family as much as I am in the family. Work has really helped that though, I'm not sure how I'd feel if I'd stopped working altogether.
Well I have a life now as mine are 7 and nearly 9 . Similar age gap to yours and yes, when they were that age it was harder to have much of a life outside of work and family/home. It does get easier so don't lose heart.
Re advice, well that depends. Do you have family or reliable friends who could babysit occasionally? Can you and DH agree that you each get a turn once a week/fortnight/month to eg meet up with friends or go out alone for an afternoon? We couldn't always socialize as a couple but we were able to give each other a break so neither of us felt like it was constant dc and work.
I do enjoy my course but I have to be focused (rush it!) now to meet the deadlines cuz I don’t have the time to read around it!
My second child feels like the tipping point - maybe I have too much on now
Aww thank you for the replies! I was hoping someone would u sweat and what I meant and give me some hope!!
Eva- that is really heartening as I do feel I’m putting in lots of leg work now and if I quit my course I would be gutted in the long run!
I am very grateful for my family and my opportunities (course)
Don't despair, you're just at a particular phase right now. You have a lot on but you're getting close to the finishing point with your studies so persevere. Non sleeping DC will eventually get there and just think after next March the hours currently taken up by that will be freed leaving you with a bit more time for yourself.
It's getting in on you at the moment but it will pass.
At the minute I do have a social life, but I only have one DC at the minute who is 4. I also work full time.
My ability to have me time is down to have a brilliant DP who does his fair share, and vice versa, if DP wants to go out that's fine.
I probably only go out once or twice a month but that's enough for me.
You’re very busy OP! I work 5 days a week (slightly shorter hours, not full time) and DS is in P2 now. I am slowly feeling that I’m going back to being a person I used to be. DS is not a crying baby or a tantrumming toddler any more which means I’m not as emotionally drained as I used to be. I’m trying to be as organised as I can be to free up the headspace for reading books and pursuing my own interests. Also, DP now works hours that enable him to get a lot more involved in practical bits like school drop off and pick up. I’m not constantly clock watching any more.
For me it was never so much about the physical exhaustion, I’m quite resilient, but the headspace.
I’m in awe of people who have young children and manage to study, so in my book you’re still doing great. I also think it will get significantly better as your DC get even a little bit older.
With 2 young children, work and OH work plus study that's pretty much it. I'd focus on the study time as a positive... in the end it will pay off ...
On the other hand, I have always had a dog. When I need some space I take the dog out (sometimes just throwing a ball in the garden), just to get my head clear and than carry on with whatever is required.
I do but I only have 1 DC and I think that's what makes the difference if I'm honest, from what I've seen of my friends everything seems to get triple difficult just by adding 1 extra DC?!
I think as others have said though your study is taking up the "you time" for now, but once you have your qualification and as your DC get older it will get better.
I'm very into fitness, I go to the gym/run/swim probably 4/5 days out of 7. I used to do it by getting up at the crack of dawn and going out for a run at 6am so that I was back and showered before anyone else got up at 7am. Currently I'm working on a contract where I start at 6am but finish at 2pm, so I do the me time stuff before DH or DS get home.
I also started getting DS into some of the same hobbies as me from a young age; he comes out fell walking, cycling and has started doing park run with me. I know it's not strictly "me time" because he's with me but it still means I get to do the things I love just with a little shadow in tow
I think it helps that DH and I share everything too, so things like school runs, housework, cooking, shopping..... we do this because we both work full time.
I have friends who work part time and all the household stuff seems to fall to them, but the household stuff takes up a lot more time than the difference between the hours they work and their partners work, meaning my friends have no free time yet their partners seem to have their weekends free. I'll never understand how this is fair but you see a lot of it on here too.
You say you do compressed hours but if those total hours over 4 days equal the hours your DP does over say 5 then he needs to be doing his fair share in the house and not leaving it all to you "on your day off" iyswim? Not saying he is, but every little helps
My DC are 5 and 3 and I work in a full time responsible role. My life is still on hold!
I hope to go down to part time when both dc are at proper school In a years time. This is when I hope to have a few hours to regain a sense of self.
I have 2 DC under 2 and will be returning to work 4 days compressed hours, however I also run my own business from home which helps me to stay sane and feel like I still have an 'adult' element to my life
Ohdobake thank you yes I think it’s the constant draining of two tiny people on little sleep is probably draining g me and I’m loosing perspective! You are spot on!
My MIL does help with childcare but she does a day a week so to ask her in the evenin feels a bit much.
The shifts don’t help as DH is often not here or asleep from a night shift so we dont really have normal weekends/evenings. He has our two on his own a day a week as well.
We are both just getting by I suppose!
Thanks Frangi that is great - I could def take my 3 yo on my bike I suppose...not quite as good but something at least!
Wow Stylish you must be busy!!
I wanted three children but I know my limit and I’m probably past it!
A full time job (albeit compressed) and post graduate degree I think are going to take all your non-parenting time and energy for now. I certainly couldn’t manage any more than that.
But just think of all the time and energy youll free up when you complete the course!
I only have one child and feel like I have very limited "me" time.
I also work full time and he is still very young so I'm sure things will get a little easier in the future.
I won't be having any more children!
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