Thursday, May 22, 2008


For the past week or so, I've really been craving some time to myself. After some thought about what I wanted to do, how much time I needed, I decided that I would leave Oscar with Nelson on Saturday morning and go to a local coffee shop and treat myself to some tea and some time away. I want to bring my new book and just hunker down and read for like two hours. This is a big deal for me. I haven't done anything like this since Oscar was born.

So, I told Nelson last night, "Hey, I'm going to leave the baby with you for couple of hours on Saturday morning so I can have a little time to myself."

His response, without missing a beat, "Well, what do I get?"

I was baffled. I really had no idea what he could possibly mean.

"Time with your son?" was all I could come up with.

"Well, yeah, but when do I get to go do something on my own?" he was looking pretty sheepish at this point.

I didn't even know how to respond. I was completely dumbfounded.

I am with Oscar 99.99% of his waking hours. This is my choice, yes. He comes with me everywhere I go. But mostly, we are here, at the house or in our yard or immediate neighborhood. I don't get out much unless it's to the grocery store, the natural foods store, the post office, housefrau errand stuff. And I'm not complaining. But lets be clear, I almost NEVER do anything without Oscar. In fact, I cannot remember the last time I went somewhere without him, but I'm sure it was too the grocery store. No, it was when I got my hair cut four weeks ago.

All I'm asking for is two hours. Just two. I just want to be by myself to two hours of MY LIFE. But my husband is making me bargain for it. He gets home at 5:30pm on a good day, and the baby is in bed by 7 or 7:30. So that's max two hours of help I get from Nelson with Oscar M-F. The weekends are the only time I get a hand around here, and now he's making me bargain away some of that time so I can have two hours alone.

I just don't think that's fair.

He runs errands every weekend - at least one or two - and NEVER takes the baby. And he's gone for at least an hour each time. But he says this does not count as time alone, even though he enjoys it. He spends two or three hours in the yard PICKING UP STICKS and other yard work, which he admittedly LOVES doing, but Nelson says this does not count because it is for the house. All this time, who's taking care of Oscar? Me, of course.

I know I'm pregnant and hormonal, but seriously. Is it so wrong for me to expect my husband to let me have two baby-free hours a week? Not even every week, just this one week.

He went out one night last week and played disc golf for TWO and a HALF HOURS with a friend of ours who was visiting from Florida. I stayed home and fed Oscar dinner and put him to bed myself, after caring for him and another baby all day. I'm telling him my two hour coffee break is in "exchange" for this time, even though I think he deserved it and I never for a second thought of asking him not to go so I could get a hand with Oscar, or making some kind of "bargain" for his time. I'm not sure he'll agree, but it just has to be good enough.


Khyle said...

Honestly this is, I think not so uncommon. There are a lot of sacrifices you are making, just like there are a lot of sacrifices your husband is making.

In my house (3 boys, 5, 3.5, 2months) - it can get really hectic. It took a while to get used to the whole routine, and making sure each other had downtime.

For me, I wanted to hear my wife say that she knew I needed time to myself too. I was\am more than happy to let her have time to herself. But it irritates me to no end to hear things like 'you get to do errands on your own.' It makes me think she doesn't really appreciate my side of the equation.

Free Time <> Errands

Jenni said...

I agree that errands are not necessarily free time, but when a 30 minute trip to the hardware store takes twice as long due to endless isle perusing?

Khyle said...

Heh. The HW store REQUIRES perusing.

So does Best Buy. You know, just for the record.

BTW: Aren't you on Twitter?

Jenni said...

People only started reading my blog like a month ago (I'm suddenly more interesting, a better writer, more funny, who knows), so I don't think I have enough regular readers to tweet. I'm thinking about it though.

And the hubs isn't even allowed in Best Buy unless I'm with him, or I'll lose him forever.

Khyle said...

FWIW, I don't think your readership and your tweeting should be related. There's a nice mommy\daddy blogging community out there if you find the right people.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

**cough** we aren't all mummy/daddys out there...and you should go on twitter actually, because it's way to boring most of the time.

Jenni, this is a man thing.
We are "misunderstood".
We go all dumb and pretend we don't know what's going on around us to get our way.

Don't tell him I told you that though.

Khyle said...

Xbox: Sorry about the mommy\daddy thing. I was doing a sales pitch.

However, please see the main desk, and turn in your guy card. Spilling the secrets of the organization is high crime.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

I know, I was just pulling your leg.

Joking aside, I know we do it, I do it, but it really bugs me when we do it regarding important stuff.

I think I'm leaking testosterone.

Jenni said...

Thanks, XBX, much appreciated.

For the record, the hubs totally apologized shortly after I wrote this post, agrees I deserve more time and that the conversation was handled poorly. Which is awesome because not only to I get me time, it also goes to support my theory that pregnant people are always right.

And I'm officially on the twitter, and have already gotten multiple errors.

Jenni said...

And, thanks Khyle too, because I absolutely appreciate hearing this is not an issue confined to my marriage, and you helped bring things into perspective.

Stephanie said...

Jenni, I think we all go through it withing the first couple years of parenthood. Its almost expected that we take our child wherever we go, but don't even bother to ask them to do it on a minor errand. The argument still occurs in my house from time to time. I've just learned to let it go most of the time. It just isn't worth working yourself up over it. I don't think it will ever fade. All I can say is stand your ground and sometime you have to break out the "well didn't you go out the other weekend and I didn't question you then?" comment. It's sad, but you have to drop down to that level every once in a while. Just try not to take it so personal. I really don't think they do it to hurt us on purpose. They just don't think about it like we do.

moo said...

My husband STILL does this to me, two years later. And I answer him the SAME WAY you answered your husband.

By the by ... we've made a pact. I get to go out EVERY Wednesday night. (I go to BINGO!). And he gets to go out EVERY Thursday night (he plays a game with the guys). Since I know I get a night to myself, I am a MUCH more pleasant person during the week.

Veronica said...

Seriously, MEN! It is not babysitting if it is your own child and fathers should not get special commendations for helping out!

It has taken me 20 months to drum this into my partners head by the way.