Marriage, Parenting

Time Management

MrZ and I have been talking a lot about how — as a parenting team — we manage our time. I think it’s the same discussion a lot of parents have. It is one of the many conversations we have where I think it we have it enough, MrZ may lose his mind because there is definitely a strong circular feel to the discussion. It goes something like this:

Me: You have [insert a random MrZ hobby or task here] that you do X amount of times a week while I [insert a random list of household tasks I do here]. I don’t have the luxury of just deciding what I want to do and DO IT.

Him: What do you want to do? I’ll give you time to do it, just let me know when and I’ll work around that.

Me: I don’t want to do anything but spend more time with my family.

Him: ????

See – It’s like I’m kinda jealous that he has these things he can just decide to do without worrying about who will watch the kids or when will the laundry get done. He’s not doing anything extravagant – he has his gym nights, his marathon training nights (his turn!), and then he has chunks of the weekend where he does the home repair stuff that he totally loves to do. And I guess I’m jealous that all of those things are things he does BY HIMSELF. I don’t really get that ME time.

But – if he said, “Here’s 3 hours. Do something by yourself,” I would feel SO GUILTY I couldn’t really enjoy it. I would feel like a bad mother who guilted my husband into giving me a break, and I would feel like a bad wife who made my husband drop everything to do something I wasn’t even enjoying.

Essentially – he’s screwed either way.

I guess I would just like it if he pretended that I had this really busy outside-the-home life. I would appreciate if he said something like, “Hey – I would like several hours on Saturday to run my long run. What would be the best hours for me to do that to work around your schedule?”

Seriously? I have nothing to do on Saturday but housework and errands and I do them all with NikkiZ anyway – but it would be nice if we pretended like I had other things I needed to do without her. Can’t he just act like he has to find the time to squeeze his stuff in around my crazy schedule because my life is too busy and exciting for him to just assume I’m not doing anything?

My poor husband. He’s screwed either way.

Update from 2020: At some point in time I stopped feeling guilty about needing “me” time. I think it was understanding my mental illness and that I needed to decompress to keep my anxiety at bay. I take “me” time all the time now 🙂 

18 thoughts on “Time Management”

  1. I’m just so glad I’m not a man…we women are terribly confusing. And good call on the child labour idea…she’s just the right height for those bottom shelves 😉

  2. You sound like me. My husband has work, mountain biking, school, the lawn and then his occassional ‘boys nights out’. I have the house and the kids and the blog. His are scheduled, mine are ‘fit in’. He wants me to do something ‘just for me’, but I always, always, always put that last. I think that I’m afraid that if I find something I love to do, I won’t have time to keep it up and then I will be resentful.

    And, yeah, guys LOVE the ‘just spend time with the family’ comment. I think they need more specifics. When I say it, my husband will play Guitar Hero while the kids watch, and counts that as ‘family time’!

  3. i could have written this word for word. maybe our husbands should all get together and write a blog about what life is like with the mentally unstable 🙂

  4. I could have written this column. Only I couldn’t have done it as well and names would have been changed. You get my drift.

  5. You’ve just written about my life. Nick goes to his concerts, has his friend Jeff over to do recording and practicing stuff. He has started saying things like “is it ok if I go for a bike ride during Zoe’s nap?”

    I’ve started adding in a manicure here and there. But it’s like he’s babysitting… and I feel guilty. Shouldn’t be that way.

  6. Yeah…that’s something that I’ve noticed around here, too. Mr. W just plans and does what he wants/needs to do — like “I’m coming home late tonight. I have to go to a cocktail reception and then I’m hitting Circuit City.” Not that I have anything to do really, but I feel like I have to ask his permission for things — I got a pedicure in the spring because my friends forced me to do something for me. And instead of taking it as all me time, I asked Mr. W to come along with the little one so we could buy the boy some summer clothes and sandals. All total? 25 minutes of “me” time that I spent staring out the spa window watching the two of them and worrying that our son was being too difficult for his own father (he wasn’t — he was happily singing in his stroller).

    I think the issue though is the primary caregiver — we already do it all, so the other parent doesn’t need to worry about anything…and we’re so used to always worrying about the kids that we can’t let that go and wouldn’t plan anything without knowing they’d be cared for. I don’t think there is a solution other than wait until the kid’s an adult with a home of their own? 😉

  7. I totally understand exactly what you are saying!
    I also think you are brilliant for teaching NikkiZ that dusting is FUN! and COOL! and we want to DUST !

  8. I want a dress like hers! I still can’t bring myself to wear crocs, but I could SO pull off that dress! (I’d leave my tag sticking out, too!)

  9. We have EXACTLY that problem. I guess it was naive to think we were the only ones! It’s some comfort to know that we’re not.

  10. It’s post’s like these that make me wish I didn’t live in the next state over. We would be total BFF’s!

    Do you secretly have a microphone hidden in my house?! I swear I have had that exact conversation with my hubby. And? I KNOW it sounds a little nuts, but I just can’t seem to not say weird shit like that to him. Thankfully, he loves me in spite of all of it!

  11. After 19 years of living under the same roof as my husband, I have decided that the big difference between men and women on this issue is mostly guilt. We feel guilty if we schedule “me” time, while men don’t. They just do their thing and don’t worry about it. Whereas we feel too guilty to enjoy any “me” time we plan. For years I’ve been shouting “no double standards around here!” to mostly deaf ears, then a wonderful thing happened. Hubby retired and became an outstanding house husband who does laundry, the school car pool and grocery shopping. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!

  12. I love her shoes. I was just outside plodding around in the rain in my fake ones and I think I want some real ones. I can’t get the cheapo in me to buy them for the girls though they just grow too fast.

  13. LOL!!! Screwed coming and Screwed going. LOL! But I completely understand where you are coming from. I feel the same. It’s not that I want all this time away from my family either. ::: Sigh ::: Watch ya gonnd do eh? LOL!

Leave a Reply