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Leisure Time

(22 Posts)
Chipperton Sat 17-Sep-16 11:02:35

DH and I have a young (pre-school) age DS. We both work (him full time, me part-time) and have no family support absolutely none. No date night, no babysitter. not once in 3 years. I am still recovering from severe PND which is being treated with medication.

I am a very introverted person and I prefer to stay home and watch TV, read or spend time on creative projects in my leisure time - it is very important to me to have alone time, I can't function without it.

DH is very extroverted and enjoys spending time with friends and going to the pub in his leisure time. He gets very depressed if he doesn't have this social time. I have no problem with this, we're just wired differently.

DH and I are frequently arguing and bickering about the amount of child-free leisure time we each get in the relationship. I have no issue with him going out (e.g. on the weekend) however I expect him to offer me the same amount of child-free time to do something I enjoy in return. This doesn't seem to be happening and it's causing arguments.

He doesn't appreciate that spending time alone and pursuing quiet projects for me, is the same as him going out and socialising. It's just what I choose to do in my child-free leisure time.

For example he will often go out and stay out until very late and then get huffy and pissed off when I ask him to take DS out to the park so I can have some alone time. He usually relents but not before a big row.

He thinks I'm trying to control him by making him feel guilty for going out. It's really destroying our relationship and there is a lot of resentment on both sides.

He just doesn't seem to understand that the activity is beside the point, it is the freedom to have childfree time and do what I want to do that makes it leisure time.

I feel that if he goes out for a night out I should have the same amount of child free time in return. AIBU?

acasualobserver Sat 17-Sep-16 11:05:48

Why do you never get a babysitter?

AliceInHinterland Sat 17-Sep-16 11:16:16

Of course YANBU. How does he justify this? Is it just that he doesn't want to take your son out, or that he doesn't want to do his share of the childcare full stop? So if you were to go and hide upstairs for several hours, would that be okay?

AliceInHinterland Sat 17-Sep-16 11:17:17

casual with all due respect is that really the issue?

acasualobserver Sat 17-Sep-16 11:25:03

Well, a babysitter would enable the OP to have some time away from her children whatever her husband was doing. Additionally, they could have a date night - the OP seems to want this.

hollinhurst84 Sat 17-Sep-16 11:33:21

YANBU. But as a sort of halfway idea could you go out somewhere just for now? Like I have a coffee shop near me but it's split into teeny rooms so you can have a room to yourself and read. Utter bliss!

AliceInHinterland Sat 17-Sep-16 11:34:11

Yes I see your point, that would also be helpful. It doesn't give the OPs DH a get out of jail free card on his own responsibilities though. If she looks after the son on her own at evenings and weekends, then so should he.

Chipperton Sat 17-Sep-16 11:34:46

Babysitters are very expensive and we don't have a lot of money. We also enjoy different things and I prefer to stay in he likes to go out. It never used to be an issue, it has only arisen since DS came along. I take tablets which make me very drowsy in the evening so I prefer to stay in, similarly I rarely drink.

I don't begrudge him a night out but I expect him to return the favour by letting me have some time to myself. He thinks I'm controlling because I get irritable when I have to beg and cajole him for my free time.

AliceInHinterland Sat 17-Sep-16 11:38:49

I'm not clear whether he agrees on the principle of equal leisure time but just doesn't want to take your son out. It's a family problem, you need to work together to come up with a solution. What ideas does he have for making sure you get a fair deal?

Fizzer123 Sat 17-Sep-16 12:07:05

It's totally a fair suggestion, I agree with you. The activity is irrelevant. He's being selfish.

sirfredfredgeorge Sat 17-Sep-16 12:13:08

The problem with being the person who wants their leisure time within the house is that it's much harder on the other person, occupying a toddler for a few hours when you can be in the house or out of the house etc. or wherever is easier than when you're forced out of the house, especially if money is short or the weather's crap which can limit what you do.

But yes, you need to find a way, probably you need to schedule something - can you find an activity DP can take your toddler too regularly at the weekend - easier for them, and regular so you know you'll have the chance to recharge at a particular time. At 3 there's still a problem with most things costing money, but there's often something that's free.

Gizlotsmum Sat 17-Sep-16 12:26:06

Could you request your alone time in advance rather than the morning after a heavy night? If planned in may seem less like a punishment? Could you take yourself off to a library, coffee shop for some of your alone time

AliceInHinterland Sat 17-Sep-16 12:26:30

It's potentially more complex, which needs to be considered in the solution, but I think it's nice to find ways to support each other in a relationship. So why wouldn't he want to go to the park for a couple of hours in return for a whole evening out? If he disagrees with your suggestion then the onus is on him to come up with a better one until you both agree on what's fair.

SeaFlute Sat 17-Sep-16 17:22:40

YANBU to want equal leisure time but I think you should go out for yours most of the time. It's a bit harsh to expect DH to take toddler out of the house every time you have your leisure time. Why don't you go to a quiet coffee shop/library?

Also, if DH is out in the evening/night-time, isn't toddler asleep so you have leisure time indoors by yourself? I know you're still 'on-call' in case he wakes but you can still pursue quiet projects/read/watch TV. I rather like it when my DH has an evening out and I have time to myself while baby sleeps. I wouldn't ask for the same number of hours the next day as I've had my quiet time alone.

I think problems arise when you start counting how many hours off you both get. I work part time and on my days with baby I get downtime when he naps. On work days my commute is me time, whereas DH is in a high-stress job with back to back meetings. He also brings in more income than me which IMO entitles him to more leisure time.

yorkshapudding Sat 17-Sep-16 17:30:47

He also brings in more income than me which IMO entitles him to more leisure time

I'm very glad my DH doesn't see things this way. We both work full time but he earns significantly more than me. The fact that my job pays less doesn't mean I don't work as hard. Nor does it mean I am less tired or in need of time to re-charge.

yorkshapudding Sat 17-Sep-16 17:40:40

OP, I'm get where you're coming from. I much prefer having time by myself in my own home to read, listen to music etc to going out drinking whereas DH is much more social than I am. Fortunately, he does believe we should get equal leisure time and accepts that we define leisure time differently. I do choose to have my free time out of the house quite often though (I find a quiet coffee shop or read a book in the park for example) as I think that if our roles were reversed I would find it a bit annoying being expected to vacate the house for X number of hours. Could this be the problem?

HermioneJeanGranger Sat 17-Sep-16 17:59:33

Why does he have to take DS out in order for you to have time alone? Can't you go upstairs or out yourself? I wouldn't be happy if I was told I have to leave the house in order to please the other adult in it, tbh.

SeaFlute Sat 17-Sep-16 18:00:03

York I guess it depends on the job. Mine is considerably less stressful than DH's, less responsibility, more fun/creative elements. Whereas he is managing a big team, in meetings much of the day, responsible if their team doesn't deliver etc. He is under pressure all day whereas I find work quite enjoyable. So in our situation I do feel he needs more leisure time than me.

OP, what time does your DS go to bed? Do you get alone time in the evening to recharge?

humblesims Sat 17-Sep-16 18:07:20

You need a shed.

wwyd123 Sat 17-Sep-16 18:13:52

As your ds is asleep during his leisure time (while you too can do as you please in the house = what you do for your leisure time ) you demanding the same amount of hours he has been out of the house as additional leisure time for you while he looks after his awake ds, is not equal. That said he should take his ds to the park now and again to give you a break and you should do the same for him.

Homerjsimpson Sat 17-Sep-16 18:29:06

I am the DH in this scenario and tbh it is hard work. I don't necessarily see a night out as needing to be reciprocated as it is time when the DC are in bed anyway, but will always reciprocate the lie in the next day.

When DS was between age 1 and age 3 I would take him to baby splash followed by story time at the library every Saturday morning which took us out of the house for approx 3 hours. The payoff for me was that I got to play golf once a fortnight (although still felt slightly hard done by as I only got one morning "off" a fortnight vs once a week for DW.

This was all thrown up in the air with the arrival of DD 9 months ago as DS is now too old for those things. We haven't really found the answer yet but maybe when DD is walking we can start going swimming again.

bummyknocker Sat 17-Sep-16 18:35:55

He works full time so guessing he doesn't see DS for quality time until the weekend and won't take him to the park or softplay or just out? Jesus wept, what a tosser.

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