To expect 'me' time once children arrive?(81 Posts)
DH and I are TTC currently. He has a job at the moment where he works away a lot (over half the month currently) and can be sent abroad for 2 weeks with less than 2 or 3 days notice (not armed forces). Part of the 'agreement' for TTC was that he moved role to a job with more regular hours/less travel (or more regulated travel). This is happening, and he starts his new role in a few months.
I am very active, and have lots of 'things' that I do. I exercise 5 or 6 nights of the week (military fitness, boxing team, swimming, zumba), take part in swimming events at weekends, do some vintage modelling occasionally.
I mentioned to DH that once we have a baby, I'd expect him home a couple of nights a week in time to look after the baby so I can continue to attend a couple of exercise sessions a week. I certainly don't expect to do the amount I'm doing now, and I know that it will depend on the type of birth I have etc.
DH looked at me like I was off my trolley. After a quick discussion, I've managed to ascertain that he didn't realise that I'd still want to do "all that" once we have a baby. I asked if he'd still want to keep his football season ticket, and attend his archery sessions when we have children. His answer was yes - and when I said that I wanted to carry on with some of the things I also enjoy, I'm sure a little light came on.
Am I BVU to expect to continue with some of my 'hobbies' once we have children? Do women really morph into 'Mummies' who do absolutely nothing else but look after children? Please tell me it isn't so!?!
yanbu to expect this however until you actually have one you have no idea how much time/energy they take up! I have a 2yr old and a 6 month old and I hardly have the energy to wash up once they are in bed!!!
It isn't so!! But it is true to say that your priorities change, and actually an evening on the sofa with your DH might trump a Pilates class when you are knackered. Or your baby might have a witching hour, like mine did, but it lasted several hours from 5pm to about 9pm. I love getting my hair cut alone, going for coffee alone, and before I got pregnant again, going running alone. They are such lovely simple pleasures! Sounds like he has "got it" and will try to work with you to achieve this, excellent.
My advice whilst you are pregnant is to do stuff together - we have no family close so never get to go to the cinema or to the pub or for dinner just the two of us and I really miss it. Nothing as nausea-inducing as "date nights" but just hanging out, together, out of the house.
Enjoy TTC, good luck, and don't worry, you don't have to morph into a mum with no life outside your child.... But your priorities DO change so just be open to that.
Barring the early days, each of you should have equal leisure time. Baby may dictate when you are able to take that time (babies who have colicky evenings may need benefit from two pairs of hands ), but why should he get his hobbies and not you? You are both about to become parents (hopefully).
(This may be harder if you're breastfeeding, as you can be quite tied to the baby for a number of months)
Yanbu to want to do some stuff however don't underestimate how knackering a new baby is, you might not want to go out do much. your husband is being unreasonable in not expecting you to want 'me' time though!
I think for a lot of new parents (esp mums) feeding a newborn combined with utter exhaustion puts pay to most evening or early morning activities. That said, I think you're absolutely right to go in the the mindset that life outside baby does still exist and agreeing a shared schedule with DH makes sense.
You may have to change activities or venues to try and fit a few more things in during the day - if you're on ML and use a gym there is likely to be a crèche for 3mths + babies that you could use whilst DH is at work.
We now have a shared schedule (I exercise 2-3 evenings & 1 weekend morning and DH 2 mornings & 1 evening) but it's taken a few years for me to get back my exercise mojo and I really wish I'd kept it up through pregnancy & beyond.
He and you should both have equal leisure time - and remember to have leisure time together, as well as pursuing hobbies. I would say 2 nights a week is reasonable. However, what other options for childcare do you have apart from each other? It sounds like you may need a babysitter sometimes.
I think you TOTALLY need me time.
I had two babies within 15 months and prior to that enjoyed evening classes.
I can be exhausted but I still go to them - even for the social element. Once I am back to work full time this may change but even then I will plan to mooch around local late night shops - costa etc. Twice a week at the moment sometimes four nights as I am on a mission to shift the baby weight pronto.
It depends really. Are you intending on breastfeeding? If you are you probably won't be able to keep up a lot of evening activities, in my personal experience but to be honest, I don't care, my baby is only tiny once and I want to be home with her.
YANBU but you are wise to make this point to you OH now so it's not a complete shock to him when you have recovered enough to want to go out and do things. Make sure you have a proper think about how you are going to feed the baby if you are going to go out - if you are going to breastfeed (all being well) then you will want to express or combi feed with formula so your OH can bottle feed when he has the baby and you aren't limited to inter-feed time slots for your hobbies.
There's every chance you will have a screaming crying horror who never sleeps.
but there's equal chance you will have the complete opposite too.
Both my babies had a routine and ate and napped well and I could easily plan to go out once dp got home. if I so wished.
I found the baby part easy tbh. I'm more tired now they are older but that's case they argue alot and I have to referee
with one that won't be a problem
also depends how you choose to parent I guess. of you are a go with the flow feed on demand let leave then to naturally get to a point where they sleep all night, you might have a harder time of it who knows.
I was an anti MN mother I ff and CC and so I had evenings free fairly early on.
You will just have to wait and see
YANBU, however I think you are both a bit naive tbh.
Once you have a baby your life changes and some things are put on hold for a while and/or compromises are made.
You stop being so self centred and selfish as there is somebody else who your world revolves around.
I used to play roller derby, and more than half the people who suffered 'the nine-month injury' came back to play again. I think the controlled violence was quite therapeutic for a lot of them.
I've always had one night of 'me' time (for sports/exercise) and one night of 'us' time (date night) per week since I had DS (after the first couple of months). DH does more gym classes than me but it's just an extra hour later at work (gym is at his work) so not a problem, and I fit in extra exercise in front of the TV at home, and other hobbies during the day when he goes to nursery.
It does seem to be a rarity though, and most of my friends who do my sport have left it a year or more before returning after they've had dc, and have to limit themselves to one session when they used to do 3/4 nights a week before. But this is as much their choice as their partners - they say they don't want to leave their dc, or their DH has to work longer hours due to cost of mat leave and so can't get home in time.
Def keep me time. Even if I was exhausted I still went out a few times a week alone. 2 children in just over a year meant I def wanted alone time Sometimes.
Sometimes I would go to the gym two hours and get a whole load of weights done and yoga, other times when exhausted I would just sit in the jacuzzi at the gym an hr then have a quiet small glass of wine and read an hour. But those 2 hours of peace when I knew no child needed me made me relax and be myself. I was a better parent returning home after as ready to cuddle/ feed/ sleep with baby refreshed
Dh did the same. Sometimes he went marathon running, other times he just went for a walk and grabbed a drink, or met friends and played a game
I find taking 1 year old DD to exercise classes with me during the day works quite well, I tried going back to evening ones but I was tired and didn't stick to it. This way we get out and about in the morning and also exercise is done for the day!
However, if you're up for going out in the evenings, that is definitely not unreasonable at all. Its nice to get some baby free time.
Sometimes it's not a case of 'morphing into a mummy'. I am neat the end of maternity leave and haven't done much in the evenings because I'm knackered (baby is still not sleeping through), expressing is a pain in the arse and after the baby is in bed I want to sit and not think. If we had the money I would have joined a gym with a crèche though (longer maternity leave and taking the financial hit won though).
When children arrive "me time" goes out of the window, or has to be planned well in advance. One of the hardest things I had to come to terms with is the lack of sponteneity after DD was born.
Don't make firm plans!
I agree that you definitely need me time, but it's so much easier to judge things after the birth.
YANBU. I don't do as much outside the house in my leisure time now that I have dcs, but that's my choice for now.
However, I do shut myself away with a book and leave dh to get on with it when I need some downtime away from the constant chatter and demands. We parent equally and try to get equal free time. I'm an introvert so having time alone is important to me. Dh is an extrovert and likes to get out. We can both get what we need, plus all the family stuff.
Evening walks for an hour or two, with baby in a sling, are a great way for the parent who's been at work all day to bond with the baby while giving the one who has been caring for the baby all day a much-needed break. Both mine could be quite cranky at that time of day, but a walk settled them down.
YANBU at all.
The first few months are an exception - don't expect to do much other than tend to the baby's needs and do absolutely essential chores.
Once that initial (frankly totally fucking miserable) phase is over then yes, you can expect to get some semblance of your life back.
DW and I both get regular 'me' time and sometimes (shock horror) we will even choose to prioritise ourselves over our little darlings.
The way I see it, if we are miserable, subservient to the children, burnt out and generally feel like we are on a treadmill then we are not likely to have the resources to be the best parents we can possibly be.
If that involves dumping them with grandparents for an evening while we go and have some fun then so be it.
Thanks! I'm part of a group of very "exercise-y" ladies, some of whom were still exercising right up until their due dates (static bike 50k on their due date, first half marathon 8 weeks after baby was born type of people).
I know that there's no way I will be able to do what I do now, and if I end up with a c-section, even less than that. I'm not sure whether I'll go back to boxing, mainly due to the physical nature of it - getting punched in the face now is fine, not sure I'll want that to happen when I have DC to look after!
I just didn't want DH to think that I would give up everything I do (job, hobbies etc), and that his life would continue very much the same. Currently, if DH late home (i.e. stays at work to finish something) it's not really an issue - there's only me and the dogs. However, I'd expect him home at a reasonable hour if there were DC involved, if only from a teatime/bedtime POV, never mind saving my sanity from potentially being at home all day by mysefl!
YANBU. 'Me' time is essential, if you are able to get it. And one thing that jumps out all over MN is how much mums in particular struggle if they don't get any me time, especially if their partner is.
However, 'me' time has a tendency to become 'going to the supermarket alone without a fractitious child' and 'reading a book in the bath for 20 minutes'.
It's all relative once you have a child. Priorities change. A lot of it isn't simply the lack of time - though juggling a baby and housework, particularly if you go back to work, is hard enough - it's lack of energy to do lots of things.
I'm a big believer in sharing the care of your children as equally as possibly. I was out down the pub when DD was 5 weeks old, I went on my first night away when she was about 3 months. But in the nicest possible way, given the number of hobbies you both seem to do at the moment (and again I fully get how you fill up your time when your OH works away, I did the same) I think it's ever so slightly naive to think that either of you will be able to keep up many of those hobbies.
YANBU. You can't know for sure yet how you will feel once you become a parent, but at some point you will want to pick up where you left off and return to your current interests and hobbies.
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