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Am I behaving selfishly?

(125 Posts)
PeteinSQ Sun 05-Feb-17 20:32:59

My wife and I have two children. Our eldest is 6 and a half and the youngest is 3 months.

My wife feels that I'm a bit selfish and I wanted to get some broader opinions as too whether my behaviour is acceptable or if it is indeed selfish.

I work full time and my wife has made the decision to stop working (which she's delighted with and I'm fairly happy with too). As a consequence my wife does the majority of the housework. I do cook on the weekends and will do laundry and washing up but the bulk of this work falls on her shoulders.

I have one hobby which is running and I've planned a couple of 10k races in the next few months. I'm also going for a long weekend away with my friends (this is something we do about once a year), but I literally never go for nights out otherwise, never go to the pub. The only other non family thing I have planned is to go to a football match with my mum in two months.

My wife accuses me of having loads of things planned and not thinking of her or the boys. Is she right? Obviously I don't really think she is but I've only got my own experience to go on.

My wife has almost no social life as it's never been something she has been particularly interested in. She'd always prefer to stay in rather than go out, so there can never be any reciprocal long weekend away for her (which I can see might grate) but does that mean I should never see my friends?


MrsDustyBusty Sun 05-Feb-17 20:35:37

Well, have you planned all this on the assumption that she is available to do all the associated childcare?

Also, whether she has a social life isn't relevant, she should still be able to have her free time and leisure time respected.

Userone1 Sun 05-Feb-17 20:35:50

What do you plan for your wife and the boys?

EllaHen Sun 05-Feb-17 20:38:11

Don't know if you are selfish but two things strike me - if your wife has no social life, she may be feeling rather isolated without a job and at 3 months your youngest is still such a young baby that weekends away would be a no-no for me.

I do go away for a weekend once a year and I do enjoy nights out with friends but only after our youngest was 18 months or so.

So, not selfish to want to pursue hobbies and a social life but in terms of timing I would say yes.

Userone1 Sun 05-Feb-17 20:38:18

Does your wife ever have a break from the kids. Even if she doesn't want to go out, do you look after the boys for a few hours?

HarryPottersMagicWand Sun 05-Feb-17 20:39:10

YABU. Sounds like it's fine for you to carry on and do the things you want to do, presumably these 10k races will require training, taking you away from your family again. Where are the plans as a family? Let me guess, that's down to your wife to sort?

TheOnlyColditz Sun 05-Feb-17 20:40:12

Just becase she doesn't want to go OUT doesn't mean she wants to be alone with a six year old and a baby. Maybe she wants you there, interacting with your kids and letting her do things like having a bath in peace

NotJimbo Sun 05-Feb-17 20:41:30

I think it sounds like you've got the better deal, though there are so many nuances to a situation like this I can't say for sure. Looking after little kids can be real drudge work, and particularly with babies the end is probably not in sight. Is she breastfeeding? If so she could find it difficult to manage an evening or weekend away, even with good planning it might not be worth the effort. Can you think of nice things you could do together, so she's a little more included? I bet your 2x 10k runs also involve training, so will appear to her to be more than just 2 short, distinct events. Do you make the effort to look after the kids to allow her to, say, catch up on sleep on a weekend morning, ar even get out shopping on her own? She's probably knackered.

ApocalypseNowt Sun 05-Feb-17 20:42:54

The way you've written it makes it sound like not that much but presumably the training for the races might be the tipping point?

How many times a week do you go running and for how long?

Nocabbageinmyeye Sun 05-Feb-17 20:43:21

I don't think you are, I always think it is unfair if it's one sided because one isn't good to encourage the other/step up to look after the kids BUT I also think it's very unfair when one has an interest/enjoys socialising to a normal/healthy degree and because the other can't be arsed to see friends/socialise/get off their arse they try to penalise the other and this is what your wife is doing by the sounds of it

foxyloxy78 Sun 05-Feb-17 20:44:04

She probably just wants to spend time with you. The fact that she has no social life is not the point.

trinketsofgold Sun 05-Feb-17 20:44:09

I really hate the mantra on here that you MUST NOT HAVE A LIFE OUTSIDE THE HOME.

How very dare you have a life when you wife doesn't. Do you not realise it's your responsibility to get her a social life and make sure she has "me" time. By constantly being home and never going out. Ever.

Angrybird123 Sun 05-Feb-17 20:46:24

Yanbu. One weekend and one football match plus presumably 2/3/4 30 minute training runs a week (lunchhour maybe a good option for this ) is not a lot to ask. You say in your op that your wife really doesn't want to go out..that's not your fault and doesn't mean you should be obliged to stay at home at all non work times. Yes she should have the option of equal 'me' time of course but if she chooses not to take it and used that as a reason to keep you at her side at all times then that is unfair.

BingoBingoBingoBango Sun 05-Feb-17 20:46:25

Just because she doesn't want to go out doesn't mean she doesn't want time on her own. Do you ever have the children by yourself? Why do you assume your wife is default childcare while you go off running?

Trifleorbust Sun 05-Feb-17 20:46:56

She may not want to go out. She may want to see you, spend time with you, have your support with the kids? Parenting isn't shift work.

PeteinSQ Sun 05-Feb-17 20:48:31

To be fair I am there 7 nights a week and the vast majority of weekends I.e. 51 weekends of the year. I take our eldest to beavers every wednesday, do his bed time every night and help with bath time for the baby. We spend virtually every minute of the weekends together as a family with trips etc.

It is true that running does involve training but I only do one of these a week in time when I could be with my family and it's only for an hour. I fit all my other training into my lunch break at work.

Our baby is being breastfed which of course means that for the next few months he's going to need his mum pretty constantly but I always offer to have him for an hour or two after the eldest is in bed and between feeds.

I agree that the weekend away could be better timed (it's in a month so he'll be four months old).

Velvian Sun 05-Feb-17 20:48:52

I think she is probably saying to you; "you can organise nice things to do with other people, but not with me." It is so lonely being a sahp. Little things will help; like letting her know what time you'll be home from work, if you haven't left at your usual time etc.
How about booking some A/L (even 1 day) for half term to do something as a family?

DontTouchTheMoustache Sun 05-Feb-17 20:49:38

She is at home all day with the kids alone then you want to leave her alone with them when you're not at work as well? I know it's not deliberate but you are being a bit selfish. It's not about her social life it's about her wanting you to be present and help her. It's hard work and you are possibly the only adult company she has most of the time. You go to work and talk to a variety of people so you don't really understand what that's like.
As PP said you will also need to train so presumably out of the house quite a lot with that? I think you need to support her, you have a very young baby and if she is saying it's selfish it's likely because she needs your help and company. Hear her and be there for her.

OnionKnight Sun 05-Feb-17 20:50:23

Based on your update, YANBU but I would socialise with your wife too, I'm not saying you don't already.

MrsDustyBusty Sun 05-Feb-17 20:51:49

You haven't said whether you make these plans on the assumption that she is available to do all the associated childcare?

deliverdaniel Sun 05-Feb-17 20:54:01

YABU to go for a long weekend away with friends with a 4 month old, especially if your wife is saying that she is feeling isolated and struggling. And the running thing sounds as if it is taking up a fair amount of time. I wouldn't have been happy wtih my DH doing all this when our youngest was a baby. And you sound quite self justifying and pretty uninterested in her feelings. If this is how she is feeling, then this is how she is feeling, and if you love her, you should cut back. Having a young baby plus older kid is really hard and it is easy to feel isolated and depressed.

trinketsofgold Sun 05-Feb-17 20:54:46

Why is it frowned upon that a mother and SAHP should be "assumed" to be doing childcare when the other parent is unavailable?

Its not as though he hasn't spoke with her about this weekend away/10k runs.

Nocabbageinmyeye Sun 05-Feb-17 20:55:45

I said yanbu anyway but now i see your update you definitely absolutely are not being unreasonable at all.

So what if he is her only adult company all day? She chooses to be a sahm, she chooses not to socialise or go out, that doesn't mean her dh has to do that once he is pulling his weight at home as he clearly is

MrsDustyBusty Sun 05-Feb-17 20:57:44

Why is it frowned upon that a mother and SAHP should be "assumed" to be doing childcare when the other parent is unavailable?

It means that she has no time to call her own, the assumption that she will always pick up the slack means that her job never ends and she can't really make plans or even assume that she has an hour to herself that she can schedule.

PeteinSQ Sun 05-Feb-17 20:58:48

We'd be a bit stuck if she wasn't available to look after the baby at the very
least. She's breast feeding and doesn't want to express.

My wife lives for our children. She would never want to be away from them. Nearly seven years as parents and we've maybe been out for three meals without our son. That's the way she likes it.

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