Perspective

I need some perspective. And yes I realize everyone’s home-life, schedule, etc. is unique, but I’d like some perspective on mine. Ya know, either tell me I’m crazy and need to relax and let Eric see his friends more. Or tell me Eric needs to buck up and accept that his career already takes too much of his time, and that any time off needs to be spent with us… Of course my feeling on the matter is that Eric chose a career which requires he work 90+ hours a week, therefore he gave up free time, especially when he decided to marry and have kids. But I realize I’m a little biased 😉

As you know, Eric is on-call every third week, meaning he lives 45 minutes away every third week. Another week he commutes, so leaves early in the morning and is home after the girls go to bed. So no help with parenting those nights either. Then he also has every third week off. His schedule is a rotation of these three repeating weeks.

Also as you know we have daycare. The girls are there roughly six hours a day, during which time I clean, buy groceries, run other errands, shower, do laundry, make dinner, do house repairs, etc. Eric doesn’t really do anything to care for our home. If I can’t do it, it’s hired out, such as lawn care and snow removal.

Eric cancelled his trip to Las Vegas for this coming weekend, meaning he should be home sometime this afternoon to start his vacation week, although its 1pm and I know he’s still at his office 45 minutes away working on patient notes.

Last night Eric texted me that he wanted to meet two of his partners out tonight for dinner and drinks. He technically did ask. And I technically said okay, but I’m annoyed. Tonight is Eric’s first night home after a week of working out-of-town and already he is planning on being gone again. I happen to know he had a fancy dinner out with his partners Tuesday night for a ‘business meeting’. When is my fancy dinner out??

So I ask…

  • How do other couple’s plan fun time? Either together, or on their own with friends?
  • Do you have an agreed upon use of free-time, like requiring it be spent together as a family?
  • Any suggestions for how I can learn to not be so annoyed and jealous of his fun time?
  • Is it ridiculous of me to want what little free-time Eric has to be spent with me and the girls?
  • How can we balance family time and Eric’s need for time with his friends when time is so limited?

12 thoughts on “Perspective

  1. No easy answer to this. We’re still trying to figure it out with both of us working full time but we are trying to at least have one date night a month. Also try to give each person a chance to work out a few times a week. Hubby is back to paddling which means away tournaments but I told him he could only go to one big trip this year outside of required work trips.

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  2. Neither my husband nor I are very extroverted, so we don’t spend a lot of time out with friends. But we do try to keep rough parity — as many nights out as I have without him, he has without me, and everything else we go out and do together. The latter happened very infrequently until we got a good selection of babysitters, or we’d bring our daughter with, but I don’t think you’re being unreasonable to think that you deserve support and time from your husband.

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  3. I don’t like that Eric seems to make a lot of plans on his days off. He needs to be home helping you, not out socializing with friends. Sometimes you have to put your foot down and tell him he needs to stay home and give you time away from the girls!!

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  4. I’m pretty much chiming in to agree with everyone else’s comments. Eric chose a career with long hours. That means less time for everything else, but it is free time that should be sacrificed not time with family. It’s not so much that Eric doesn’t deserve a break, but so do you.

    My husband and I have a similar approach as Sara. He goes to work events and out with friends sometimes, but the trade off is I get kid-free time too. Also, I can’t think of a time he made plans to be out in the evening without talking to me first.

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  5. I guess I’m the odd one out, but I don’t get upset when my husband has “his” time. He works long and hard too, I’m essentially on my own during the week. 4 kids, 3 are in school so I have a “break” with just 1 at home but evenings are crazy with helping 3 with homework and running them to their activities, dinner, baths, cleaning up…
    When my hubby is home, it’s yard work, working from home, house care, etc. We do at least one family outing each weekend. We do one date night a month and I don’t feel guilty paying a babysitter if I need to have some kid-free time since he usually isn’t around to help. We are both busy, but I appreciate that I’m able to stay home with my children. This season of life is so quick and I don’t take a moment for granted.
    It’s because of his hard work and long hours I’m able to be home with my children so I don’t complain, don’t expect more of him at home and don’t mind if he does other things on his free time rather than family things (although that doesn’t happen often).
    Just remember this is temporary, life will not always be so crazy.

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  6. I think it’s reasonable that you both compromise to get a variety of needs met – including social time with friends (for both of you), time together, time as a family, etc. It does seem to me that checking in before committing to a dinner or drinks out would be the courteous thing to do, so that you could at least let him know the impact and have some say in the matter. I know that some professions ‘require’ more social interaction than others, so maybe talking through what those expectations are would be helpful. In general, it seems like maybe talking through what each of you views as reasonable and then trying to get to a compromise might be helpful. Maybe it’s not 100% what you want (all of his free time at home with you) or 100% what he wants (able to say yes to all of the social requests) – but there’s a middle to meet in, I’m sure.
    Being a stay at home parent can be a gift AND it’s also terribly lonely and VERY hard, and it’s reasonable to want your co-parent and partner to be there with you for some of it when he’s able.

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