“When my husband gets off the golf course, I’m walking out the door to get MY time.”
“He goes on business trips all the time, I need a girl’s weekend so I can get MY time.”
“I’m dying for a Girl’s Night Out. I need MY time so badly right now.”
“I can’t wait for him to get home – I am totally passing these kids over and getting some of MY time.”
Have you heard any of these? Said any of these?
I have. I hear them all the time. And I’ve said some of them.
But I don’t like it.
I don’t like this feeling where the “score” has to always be even.
If he plays golf for 5 hours, I get 5 hours out of the house.
If he goes on a poker night, I get a girl’s night the next night.
If he travels, I’m going to travel too.
If I take care of them all day, he takes care of them all night.
I don’t consider a “partnership” to be where we tally up who’s spending what time away from home and then try to make it equal for ourselves.
Scary Mommy says (paraphrased from her book), “Motherhood shouldn’t be a competition. The ones who run the fastest are the ones who lose.”
And I feel that same way about how we parents approach our time away from kids. Time away from your kids shouldn’t be a competition. The more you try to even the score, the more likely someone’s going to lose.
Whether it’s you because you can’t get enough time and you’re angry about that, or him because he resents your need to get away the moment he walks in the door, or the kids who see a revolving door of parents in and out of the house.
You want to know something about me? I’ve slept away from my kids less than 5 times. In 10 years.
But that certainly doesn’t make me someone who is with my kids every hour of every day. Both are in school all day and a typical week has a babysitter in our house 10-15 hours for the commitments I have outside the home.
And maybe that’s why I don’t have the need to take MY time with my husband. I get plenty of time during the school day and a couple of nights a week.
And my kids are older now, so they’re easier. (Well, easier in the care giving sense. The issues are significantly more complicated. As they get older, they require less physical time, but more emotional time. But that’s a whole different post for another day.)
So what’s my point today? Guest posting at Shell’s place – one of my favorite bloggers out there?
We all need time.
We all need to refresh if we’re going to be effective parents.
Just be careful how you go about it. It upsets me to see moms sending the message to both their kids and their husbands that “you all make my life so hard I can’t wait to get away from you.”
That can have repercussions you may not want down the road.
Missy Bedell encourages all parents to be thinking parents at her blog, Literal Mom. She combines wit, humor and even tears to share her life with her community. You can follow her by RSS and email at Literal Mom, on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. She will love you forever if you do and only give you public displays of affection of you want them.