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Balancing 'me time', 'us time' and 'family time'

(15 Posts)
chelseamorning Wed 11-Feb-09 13:47:02

The 'me time', 'us time' and 'family time' balance!

Just wanted to know if anyone has cracked it and how you did it! smile

Iklboo Wed 11-Feb-09 13:50:12

Bleedin' hard work isn't it? DH is self-employed and I work full time.

Family time is weekday evenings between about 5pm and 8pm if DH isn't working and all of the daytime Saturday.

Us time is after DS goes to bed - 8pm until we go to bed, every night. My folks have DS overnight at least one night a month for extra 'us' time

MY 'me time' - most of Sunday as DH works and DS is with my folks

DH 'me time' - most mornings after DS has gone to playschool up until he has to go out to work (usually about 11am) and every time he goes to the loo grin

solidgoldbullet4myvalentine Wed 11-Feb-09 13:51:59

Not relevant to me as am blissfully single (so get plenty of me-time when DS dad looks after DS). But I would say that it is vital that mums, especially SAHMs, get me-time: it's usually the one that men think the least important, which invariably leads to resentment.

IAteMakkaPakka Wed 11-Feb-09 13:58:47

Is there a balance? One where everyone's happy?

I work FT, DP is a SAHD. I have one day off every week, during which I take DS to a toddler group (DP sometimes gets work for this day, otherwise it's "his" to do as he wishes) then do housework and try to make sure I do a decent dinner for us all. I either work weekends, or if I am off I try to catch up with all the laundry, tidying etc that DP can't do during the week (he tries but doesn't make massive progress, and is incapable of folding anything properly anyway, so I just do it myself). Occasionally we all go out together for a picnic or a walk or something. We try to eat together but I work late several nights a week so this is infrequent. DP has today refused to come out with me to the toddler group or to visit a friend in hospital because he "gets no time alone" (yeah, except the 2 hours a day when DS is asleep and he can play computer games) and apparently I get time to myself when at work "driving to places". hmm

Sorry. Sore point today. Mostly because I feel guilty if I spend time on myself when I should be with DS, who I don't see enough of.

Me time, just now, is spent on Mumsnet while on-call and DP is watching some crap on TV. No disrespect to MN but I wish I could make it to an exercise class once a week or something! If you find the answer, let me know.

poopscoop Wed 11-Feb-09 13:59:10

doesnt really happen in our house, we just muddle onwards and if i partcularly want to have some me time, then i arrange it in advance. But striving for it may only make you more frustrated really.

Just go with the flow and try to get a bit of time to yourself every so often. Unless of course you have a nanny or housekeepers, gardeners etc!

Iklboo Wed 11-Feb-09 14:00:29

Sorry - I didn't mean I was actually happy with my arrangement grin
DH does appear to think that we employ a washing fairy, washing up fairy, bed-making fairy, lunch-making fairy etc hmm

IAteMakkaPakka Wed 11-Feb-09 14:16:46

Feel bad now, just realised he's spent the last half an hour trying to dig the car out of the mountain of snow it's been under for a week. blush

DrNortherner Wed 11-Feb-09 14:19:39

It is very tricky, and a constant bone of contention in our house. I work 4 days, dh works full time, we have 1 ds, a foreign exchange student and a dog.

As dh and I are both active on most evenings one of us is out running/gym/cycling then dh walks the dog (I do day times) So 'us time' is mainly weekends I guess.

chelseamorning Wed 11-Feb-09 14:21:44

Yes, it is really hard work! I believe it is possible though. However the problem is how to do it without feeling guilty that you're having less 'family time'.

I'm a SAHM. I have let my business (which I run from a home office) slide so that I can spend time with my 2yr old DS. My choice which my DP is supporting.

I get 2hrs 'to myself' once a week when DS goes to a local creche. Out of this I may get 30mins or so reading time in a local cafe. This is the only time I get. When he has his lunch time nap, I'm usually whizzing around sorting out domestic issues, answering work emails and preparing dinner.

When DS has gone to bed, DP and I have dinner together and then often separate to work on chores/emails etc. We occasionally spend a bit of time on the sofa in front of the telly.

At weekends, we have family time - either trips out or time at home. When at home, we take it in turns to look after DS while the other does whatever needs to get done that day.

I'm conscious that DP doesn't have much 'me time' either.

I'm sure it's just a case of better time management and better division of labour?! wink

lostinnappies Wed 11-Feb-09 16:18:22

I think finding the perfect balance is like the search for the holy grail !!!

I am a SAHM and spend most of the day with my 2 DCs when DP comes home I always end up feeling sorry for him that he has been at work all day and let him have a few minutes to himself to relax.

we have just joined a gym though and we both go a couple of times a week in the evenings.
it has its advantages in that we both get time to relax and have 'me time' but it invariably cuts down on the time we have as a couple in the weekday evenings.

I did think that this was going to be a problem but becuase we are having our 'me time' it makes the time we spend as a couple in the weekday evenings (after the kids have gone to bed) and also our fmaily time at the weekends alot more enjoyable.

I think quality not quantity for this sort of stuff is important.
started to tramble a bit tghere - hope ot makes sense. grin

chelseamorning Wed 11-Feb-09 19:25:35

It makes a lot of sense, lostinnappies. I totally agree about the quality being more important.

I think just finding a few of things you enjoy doing on your own, as well as a couple, and then finding a time slot in which to do them is the way we're trying to go. We keep talking about sitting down and making a list each but we've not had time to do it yet! grin

Wallace Wed 11-Feb-09 19:33:39

lol MakkaPakka, we dug our car out today too grin

I agree so hard to balance time. I wish I could spend more time doing quality stuff iwth the kids, more time with just dh, and more time all to myself. Also beleive it or not, I would also like more time to do housework grin

LoveBuckets Wed 11-Feb-09 19:41:10

We work really hard to achieve it but having kids who sleep fantastically from 7pm is a big help obviously.
My big tip for harmony is a family organiser calendar with columns for each family member. If it aint on the calendar it doesn't happen and it doesn't go on the calendar without my permissionwink. Eg DH had a possible 4 nights out last week (all right for some eh?) and I was able to say (politely and reasonably) Feck off you're not going out 4 nights. Men like things explained visually like thatgrin.

LoveBuckets Wed 11-Feb-09 19:43:35

Sorry started rambling there. Meant to say we get by with less money on purpose that I can be a SAHM. Right now if I were working even part time life would be stressful for the whole family and we rate 'easy life' over money any day.

chelseamorning Thu 12-Feb-09 13:35:30

I really like the family organiser idea, LoveBuckets - and admire the way you handle your DH! grin

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