Balancing Parenting With Your Other Passions In Life

Don't miss a thing

Don't miss a thing

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  1. Phill

    We’ve just had our 3rd , 1 month ago. I recognise that I need time for myself as well. But I feel as though my wife is in more need of time for herself but she has never had hobbies or done sport . Do I keep encouraging and waiting for her to find something for herself? Probably, I think I’ll give it 6 months until things have calmed down again. Sounds like you two have made a big change. Does your wife share your interest in time for herself? Thoughts/comments welcome.

  2. Dan

    Finding this website was tough, this post a near miracle.
    Following another brief argument with my wife about how my wanting to play a bit of sport was selfish and when does SHE get time to herself to turn off, I’m feeling low again.
    When I started reading the post, I was buoyed; “here’s another guy like me, he just needs that couple of hours every weekend to chase a ball round a field with 20odd other blokes”, “and look, he’s a similar age to me” “if I don’t do it now, I’ll end up like that grey-faced guy on my commuter train. He’s right, my happiness does count”.
    But then I read how you’ve managed it, you’ve done the impossible & created time. I used to have some time, it was the time I carved out of my sleep so that I could get the train an hour earlier and squeeze in a 40 min gym session before work. Granted, I didn’t get to see my daughter awake in the morning, but that was fine because I get an hour of playtime before bed every night.
    That hour has been taken from me. Wife has a new job, a part time job. A part time job that means I’m on the nursery drop-off 3 days a week. The gym membership is cancelled in favour of spending 45mins driving to and from nursery before I do my 80 minute commute.
    Like Andy, I’ve played sport since I could walk. Fighting against the sport less genes my parents gave me, I’ve done OK and found some sports I’m average and and enjoy. So I played hockey every weekend since my teens and cycled to work most days for the last 10 years.
    In an unprecedented move, I agreed to take a sebatical from hockey for a year; I wanted to get to know my daughter & we were moving out of London. Absolutely no time for running around a hockey pitch. I get it. And cycling to work? Not now I live 70 miles away! So that’s fine…or at least it should be.
    But the new season is a month old, I’ve played once at a new club and I’m desperate to play again. I understand that it can’t be every week religiously for the whole of Autumn/Winter, but a game every fortnight with training once a week, that’s two evenings and an afternoon every fortnight. “But when do I get MY free time” is the response.
    There is NO right answer to this. “Have some time on your own on Sunday morning”, I could say. But I know the answer will be that Sunday is family time, I’m not swanning off away from my daughter. “We’ll add an hour onto her mornings at nursery so that you’ve got an extra hour after your shift” is also an option, but it would be met with “I’m not shoving my daughter into nursery just so I can have some time to myself”. “Go to the gym a couple of evenings, do a class, have a swim. I’ll stay here, she’ll be fine” would only serve for me to be reminded that after waking up at 5.45 (which I have too), she’s far too tired to go out.
    So what’s next? I’m playing hockey this weekend, that’s what’s happening. And I’m going to training tomorrow too. I already feel selfish. I already know there is nothing I could do to make up for it. But for those 70 minutes of pitch time on Saturday, I’ll have to take the hit. After all, I don’t know when I’ll next get the opportunity, and I certainly can’t create time!

    Phill, sounds like you’re further down the track than I am. And, without being rude, being in your situation terrifies me because the longer you leave it, the harder it must get. My wife is similar to yours in that she doesn’t have such defined hobbies as I do & it’s hard for them to justify getting themselves time.
    I sympathise that it’s hard to know how much to push it, but I think you should continue trying. Otherwise she’ll just be a mum, and as wonderful as that is, it doesn’t make them that rounded person they probably need to be.

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