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How often does your DH/SO do something with the kids without you along?


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In general, I feel like the kids are my responsibility, because DH works long and hard, and I am grateful to be able to stay home after years of working a hated job and struggling to get us to a place where I could quit. I feel like I owe him for supporting us.

 

However, I feel like I'm seeing more and more of my friends' husbands doing things with the kids and giving mom a break--camping, the beach, taking the kids to the in-laws', etc. If DH takes the kids to his parents' house, he gets huffy if I try to stay home; if he wants to take them to an amusement park or something, he gets sad if I want to stay home. I know he feels like those things should be whole-family outings, but if they are, then I NEVER get a break. As it is, I get a break maybe once a month, when I can convince him to take the kids somewhere without me.

 

He says I should take breaks when I need them, but in reality, he makes that kind of hard. And his idea of a break is me going to sit at B&N or Starbucks, but I really very badly need to be home alone in order to recharge. Going to sit somewhere and sip coffee is really just me running more errands, KWIM?

 

So I'm wondering, realistically, whether most dads/significant others take their kids on outings sans mom on a regular basis? Should I be insisting that DH take them somewhere once a week or something? I am teetering on the edge of burnout, but I almost feel like I'm not entitled to this kind of thing!

 

WDYT?

 

ETA: Sorry, should have said that there are two kids, 10 and 7!

Edited by Sweet Morning Air
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You don't say what the ages of your children are, and that can make a difference. My dh didn't take all the kids off my hands for long when they were babies and toddlers. But at their ages now, it is pretty common. Most typically, he may go somewhere with both of the boys, such as fishing or riding motorcycles. Sometimes it is overnight. In those cases, my dd is most likely home, but at her age I can spend time with her or just do my own thing.

 

I do know what you mean about wanting to be *home* for a break, not out at a shop, but I did utilize breaks *out* a lot more often when my children were very young. I would go to the library, a bookstore, or shopping for clothes. Other times, I would meet a friend out for dinner. These were great for me. I am an introvert and I need time away from everybody else's needs so badly.

 

It sounds to me like you are an introvert and want that time at home to recharge and your dh is an extrovert. The extrovert is so likely to think, "Why would you ever want to miss this great family outing we're all doing together? And to stay home? That's so weird!" ;)

 

Personally, I have no trouble stating that I require this recharge for my mental health. I would encourage you to do the same.

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My husband takes the kids out for a few hours usually once a week. About once a month, he takes them for the day to Balboa Park, the beach, in-laws or whatever. He knows I absolutely need the recharge time at home, by myself. What's the saying...if mom isn't happy, nobody is happy. :)

 

Brenda

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He travels about every other week for work. The day after he gets home, I usually get out and about by myself.

 

He takes the girls out every weekend for bagels and I get to sleep in.

 

He took them to the water park a few weeks ago because I just didn't want to go.

 

He takes them to the pool in the evenings sometimes.

 

We are always working on it, but we have a good balance. He knows it's even more important to have time with them since he travels a lot. He also reads to them every night, even by FaceTime from his hotel rooms. :)

 

It took me a few years to...get him here. ;)

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You don't say what the ages of your children are, and that can make a difference. My dh didn't take all the kids off my hands for long when they were babies and toddlers. But at their ages now, it is pretty common. Most typically, he may go somewhere with both of the boys, such as fishing or riding motorcycles. Sometimes it is overnight. In those cases, my dd is most likely home, but at her age I can spend time with her or just do my own thing.

 

I do know what you mean about wanting to be *home* for a break, not out at a shop, but I did utilize breaks *out* a lot more often when my children were very young. I would go to the library, a bookstore, or shopping for clothes. Other times, I would meet a friend out for dinner. These were great for me. I am an introvert and I need time away from everybody else's needs so badly.

 

It sounds to me like you are an introvert and want that time at home to recharge and your dh is an extrovert. The extrovert is so likely to think, "Why would you ever want to miss this great family outing we're all doing together? And to stay home? That's so weird!" ;)

 

Personally, I have no trouble stating that I require this recharge for my mental health. I would encourage you to do the same.

 

Sorry, they are 10 and 7--forgot to say that in my OP!

 

Frankly, breaks out are not breaks at all for me. I'd rather save up the "break points" for when he can take them somewhere away :lol: What I want and need most is time at home to accomplish some of the things that make me :willy_nilly: around the house and that I can't do efficiently with the kids here. Going out is just more mental stress to me--Do I have decent clothes to wear? Should I spend the money or try to find someplace free? Will there be a comfy chair to read in or will I be sitting hunched over a cafe table? I can't drink coffee or eat gluten, and that really takes the fun out of pretty much anyplace I can go late enough to fit DH's schedule! It's so difficult as to be pointless for me. And then kids are almost always awake and waiting for me when I get home, so there's still the whole bedtime rigmarole :glare:

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He frequently takes the eldest out for a movie, lunch out, or to run an errand. The boys, not so much, but not for lack of trying. He wants to spend time with them, but the boys make that time miserable in general (both are very attached to me right now - Schmoo because he still nurses almost constantly, and the three year old just because... he's temperamental, lol). He can't wait for the day he can take both boys to the park for a game of catch. Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed because I'm never alone, but it isn't be cause he doesn't *try*.

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My DH is pretty good about it...when the kids were younger he would take them out one day on the weekend...to the park, a movie, etc.

 

Now that they're older, not so much. It's almost always a family activity, and I usually go because he told me he missed not having me beside him. So, I make the effort. But, he does still give me "breaks", and (tmi) we have a rule that when its aunt flo time I stay at home-preferably alone and with chocolate. :D

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Also, at 10 and 7, I think it's perfectly fine for you to tell him that you need a weekly break. Those are super easy ages to entertain.

 

Sometimes it's easier to get what you want when you are direct. Don't say once a week, say every Saturday morning or something like that. I've found that my husband is very accommodating- he's just not a mind reader.

 

Good luck!

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My dh used to tell me all the time to go to B&N or Starbucks. :lol: It took me FOREVER to get it across to him that I don't want to leave the house, I want the KIDS to leave the house! :lol: He takes any number of them to whatever, whenever I want, mostly. He also lets me "vacay" in the bedroom and won't allow them admittance! :tongue_smilie:

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Very rarely, and I don't know if he's ever gone anywhere (even to the store) with the four of them and not me. To his credit, he did take some vacation last summer (shortly after Havoc, who was still only sleeping in 45 min - 1 hour increments at night, turned one) and send me away to a spa resort overnight.

 

I go out to dinner with the kids with friends (which usually means 10+ combined kids) and recently I went on an 1800 mile round trip road trip with just me and the kids, had a great time. I would love an afternoon alone in the house, either to get some cleaning and decluttering done or just relax and take a nap.

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My dh used to tell me all the time to go to B&N or Starbucks. :lol: It took me FOREVER to get it across to him that I don't want to leave the house, I want the KIDS to leave the house! :lol: He takes any number of them to whatever, whenever I want, mostly. He also lets me "vacay" in the bedroom and won't allow them admittance! :tongue_smilie:

 

this is my dh too!!! I have out and out TOLD him that I need him and ALL the kids to LEAVE.THE.HOUSE. Dh is an extreme extrovert. As in, I-will-make-a-new-friend-every-time-I-am-in-an-elevator kind of extrovert. I swear, he never stops talking. I love the man, but he exhausts me.

 

I just read him your post. Here's hoping HE takes the hint and actually makes the plans. Himself. I don't wanna plan it all!!!

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In general, I feel like the kids are my responsibility, because DH works long and hard, and I am grateful to be able to stay home after years of working a hated job and struggling to get us to a place where I could quit. I feel like I owe him for supporting us.

 

You aren't doing him any favors thinking that way, even if it's meant with the best of intentions. All the tedious kid work, all the shared errands, chores, etc are where the relationship is woven. That's where your husband really gets to know his kids.

 

My husband had a distant, old fashioned, South American father who was completely disengaged by the time he came along (he was the youngest by 15 years). Actually, that was probably in my husband's favor as he regularly beat his older brothers. So he had no decent role model. He didn't do much with our older kids and his relationship with them suffers to this day, particularly with our oldest. But in the past 10 years, I started shoving a kid on him whenever he left the house. Home Depot? Take a kid. Grocery to buy milk? Take a kid. As time went on, he started to enjoy their company. He began taking them to museums and ball games just because he wanted to. He likes being a father so much better than he used to.

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my sons are 7 and 5 and my daughter turned 2 today. he is taking them somewhere (hiking?) for probably about half a day tomorrow so i can clean, grocery shop, lesson plan. he's always on me to "take a break" but i use the time for catching up from the week and preparing for the next. this is pretty much a weekly thing. if nothing else, he'll try to occupy them or take them outside.

on thursdays i work 12 hours and it's all on him.

i always feel like i never have a break and i'm over-worked, but that's just my role right now. and he believes it's his too, fortunately. we are busy but he is dedicated to pulling more than his fair share of the load - and that means work, house, and children. :001_wub:

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Sorry, they are 10 and 7--forgot to say that in my OP!

 

Frankly, breaks out are not breaks at all for me. I'd rather save up the "break points" for when he can take them somewhere away :lol: What I want and need most is time at home to accomplish some of the things that make me :willy_nilly: around the house and that I can't do efficiently with the kids here. Going out is just more mental stress to me--Do I have decent clothes to wear? Should I spend the money or try to find someplace free? Will there be a comfy chair to read in or will I be sitting hunched over a cafe table? I can't drink coffee or eat gluten, and that really takes the fun out of pretty much anyplace I can go late enough to fit DH's schedule! It's so difficult as to be pointless for me. And then kids are almost always awake and waiting for me when I get home, so there's still the whole bedtime rigmarole :glare:

 

I get it with the going out. If that doesn't help, then it doesn't. At 10 and 7, it definitely should not be a big deal for him to take them somewhere for at least a few hours once every week or two.

 

I have this *thing* that I do; dh and I have nicknamed it "fluffing the nest." If we've been away for the weekend or if the house has just gone to pot for several weeks, I tell dh, "I'm going crazy. I need to fluff the nest. Please take the kids to do something so I can fluff." If we've been on vacation, a lot of it is about laundry, or it could just be buzzing around the house and getting a bunch of tasks done. Either way, he knows I just have to be uninterrupted for that.

 

Also, you say, "The bedtime rigamarole," and that gives me pause as well. Bedtime should not involve a rigamarole by 7 years old and whatever nice bedtime routines you do like to preserve should also be totally do-able by dh. So, that might be something to take a look at, too. I'm not sure how late you are talking, but if I came home from visiting friends at 11:00pm and was greeted by my 7yo ds, I would have some serious words for dh.

 

:grouphug: I'm adding a hug, because I am concerned that I'm sounding harsh, which is not what I intend. I'm not trying to tell you how to live; just that you are well within reasonable expectations to be able to have hours to yourself with a 10 and 7yo, and you are well within reasonable expectations to come home from a late evening to a house with children in bed already.

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Dh generally takes all of the kids out for an afternoon once every couple of weeks just to give me some time to myself (and of course because he enjoys spending time out with the kids.) Three or four times a year he takes them for a whole day, often get-togethers with his family that I have chosen not to attend.:tongue_smilie:

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If he is working 90 hours a week and wants to spend time as a family, I would probably make that happen. However, can you trade with another home school mom, so that one afternoon a week she has your kids and one afternoon a week you keep hers too? Or something else that creative. Can they do AWANA, 4H or something that you don't have to do so that you can breathe?

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Once a week or every other week. It kind of depends. He's good about taking at least one kid on errands, both kids kind of....do him in?

 

He loves babies, but not taking care if them. With ds he hit his stride at about 18 months, ds could listen and I taught him enough sign language to communicate.

 

Sometimes my escape is the library though, things don't always work out to get the house to myself. Since my kids are so young I can enforce nap/quiet time and usually have an hour or two in the afternoon to do house stuff(or be on the internet...:))

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When they were little, dh was working full time and going to school full time. He wanted to make sure he had time to bond with them so he usually took one or both with him when he ran errands. When they hit elementary school, he was their Cub Scout den leader, so he was with them at all of the meetings, plus camp outs and activities, and continued to take them on errands, whatever. As they grew, he was their Boy Scout leader... so still involved. We've always viewed both of us as parents, both responsible for the time periods when neither of us are at work, and shared in the responsibilities during that time. I deserve a break just as much as he does... being a stay at home mom is a 24/7 job, and when I worked, I needed a break sometimes too!

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Well, I only have one child so far, an 8 year old. But DH has always taken him places, even as a baby, though not as much then, we did more stuff together.

 

I am a FIRM believer in the FACT that kids are 100% my responsibility and 100% his responsibility. There is no 50/50. If my husband ever called watching his OWN child "babysitting" I would slap him upside the head. :glare: And possibly take off for the weekend.

 

I will wake up to "Gone Fishing" notes and they will go see boy movies that I don't want to see.... they go to the park to work on DS's soccer/football/basketball skills and play a bit. They have gone on Father/Son weekends once or twice.

 

Mostly, we do stuff together... I'm an extreme extrovert, I don't really need to recharge at home, unless I'm sick or something.

 

If I want to go shopping, I don't mind taking DS with me, so I will usually ask him if he wants to stay home with daddy or come with mommy... he usually chooses daddy, but will come with me if he's been cooped up in the house ;) If I want to do something w/o DS I just do it when DH is home. He has, on multiple occasions, taken off of work so I could attend a Mom's Night Out and stuff.

 

I was going to IKEA today and told DH I would ask DS if he wanted to go, but DH asked me to leave him here b/c we've been so busy lately that he hasn't been able to see him as much as usual. (DH works 2nd shift, so doesn't leave until after 2 p.m. so if we have activities in the morning, he doesn't get to see him.) So I got to roam an almost empty IKEA all by myself. :D

 

However, in the 10 years we have been married, I have realized that my husband is not a typical husband, and he is not like most men. So I don't think he is typical, he is extraordinary. :D I brag on him whenever I can, because he deserves it, and I realize how lucky I am to have found him. :001_wub:

 

My dad was/is kind of a jerk. He never did ANYTHING with just us. NOTHING. Kids were "women's work" to him and if he had to "babysit":glare: it was become my mom was failing at her job, and he made sure to let her know that :glare: We did family stuff, and I have some good memories of doing stuff as a family.... but I would NEVER, EVER want to be married to someone like him, for a million different reasons.

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My dh used to tell me all the time to go to B&N or Starbucks. :lol: It took me FOREVER to get it across to him that I don't want to leave the house, I want the KIDS to leave the house! :lol: He takes any number of them to whatever, whenever I want, mostly. He also lets me "vacay" in the bedroom and won't allow them admittance! :tongue_smilie:

 

:iagree::iagree:THIS!!

 

robin

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Dh takes our sons on outings on a regular basis, at least 2 or 3 times a week. If he is not working, he will take them to one son's gymnastics and then out to Sam's club to eat and buy groceries after. These evening are great because I have the evening to myself and I don't have to fix dinner. If he is going to the health club to work out, he will take them and let them swim while he is swimming laps. He will also take them to run errands, just so I can have some down time.

 

He is really good about trying to give me some time alone on a regular basis.

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If he is working 90 hours a week and wants to spend time as a family, I would probably make that happen. However, can you trade with another home school mom, so that one afternoon a week she has your kids and one afternoon a week you keep hers too? Or something else that creative. Can they do AWANA, 4H or something that you don't have to do so that you can breathe?

 

Yeah. That's a lot of hours of work.

 

My husband didn't do much with the kids when they were little. Now that they're older he does more. But now that they're older I don't need them out of the house as much. I can say "leave me alone, I'm cleaning/reading/ignoring you" and it's OK. They're pretty happy to be ignored much of the time.

 

Seems like you should be able to do that soon, if not by now.

 

 

I am a FIRM believer in the FACT that kids are 100% my responsibility and 100% his responsibility. There is no 50/50. If my husband ever called watching his OWN child "babysitting" I would slap him upside the head. :glare: And possibly take off for the weekend.

 

 

It drives me nuts to hear people talking about a dad babysitting his kids. Dads are not babysitters!

 

;)

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My dh is out with half the kids right now to a small rap concert. lol He has a somewhat flexible schedule and brings a kid to work with him a couple times a month; they help him out with various things (he works at a children's hospital and produces a few "game shows" for the patients that he broadcasts throughout the hospital--our kids help host and set up and even help the kids pick out their prizes, it's great!).

 

Dh does most of the doctor appointments, too. I hate doing that and so he does it. lol We sort of take turns taking kids to do things one-on-one and there are occasions throughout the year that he will take all/most of them to something fun and give me a break.

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It drives me nuts to hear people talking about a dad babysitting his kids. Dads are not babysitters!

 

;)

 

I ESPECIALLY hate when talking to a mom about going somewhere and she has to ASK her husband IF he will babysit. But the dad doesn't have to ASK her to babysit so he can go to sports practice, or a game, or out with his buddies, or whatever..... drives. me. crazy.

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Never, but he would if I asked him to. We just usually spend the time he is off as a family. I do get to go out with my friends once or twice a month for a mom's night out, but honestly those are usually after the kids would be asleep anyway, so it doesn't feel like too much of a break. But, it is nice, and it is a recharge for me. I would love time at home alone, but I'm bad because I don't want to miss out on the fun stuff they are doing, either! :)

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Almost every weekend, from the time they were a year old or so, he has taken them on an outing. Usually it's the park or the pool or something on a Saturday morning. It's HEAVENLY. My girlfriends are always shocked because really, I don't think it's very common. My kids love their daddy time, and I love my down time at home. I think it's been great for their relationships with one another, too.

 

He also takes at least a couple of them, and often all of them, grocery shopping with him on Sunday afternoons. That's a pretty recent habit we've fallen into, and I'm not counting on it to continue, but hey, I'm not complaining!

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I think I am lucky. DH generally enjoys the kids' company and takes them for at least part of the day one work day a week (the rest of that day they are with grandma) but that's not so I can recharge at home, it is so I can work. Sometimes grandma gets the two things mixed up and implies that I have it sooo easy with sooo much break time, but that's a different rant. But additionally DH will usually on a weekend take DS to Gamesworks for a few hours or DD to the park or both or something and I get a few more hours. Often I end up working during those few hours too, but I will take what I can get! :)

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It really is different all the time.

 

The thing about you, though, is that you're nearing burnout and you need a break. So I think you need to take one! sometimes I prepare my coffee or tea the night before and let everyone know that I will be spending the next morning in bed - reading, watching tv, on my Ipad, or just resting, talking to friends - and that I want to be left alone. Can you do something like that?

 

A few times I've actually gotten a hotel room 25 minutes away because I truly needed to be away from it all.

 

It sounds like you need time at home to rejuvenate. Can you ask dh to take the kids out to lunch and a movie? Maybe he really doesn't understand how much you're needing a little time to yourself.

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Even IF you can't get your husband on board, the good news is that your children are getting older. Very soon, if they don't already, you can just say "Get ready for bed" and it can all happen without you. Also, as they become tweens and teens, they ignore you more.

 

My 15-year-old daughter holes up in her room A LOT now. This is the kid who couldn't be in a room alone until she was 10 because it was too lonely and boring. My son (12) likes to be in the living room, but entertains himself for HOURS. These kids were both ON TOP OF ME around the clock until they were 10. I think they FINALLY got enough of me. Now I sometimes track them down and bug them because it's been quiet for hours.

 

Another option is trading kid duty with another mom who has a clueless husband. :D Reach out to your local homeschooling group. I'll bet at least one other mom is willing to set up an exchange. Another thing to look into is summer day camp. Sign them up for the same week and get several days off in a row! Or, take yourself to a hotel for a weekend!

 

I NEVER got a break from both kids until they were 7 and 4. After that I gradually got out an hour at a time. I had to make it happen though. If I just waited for my husband to set things up I'd never leave the house or get them out. I used to make him take them so I could clean. When they got old enough to help, they'd all try to go out so I could clean but I made them stay and help.:D

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During the summer, at least once a week he has them all while I'm gone for the day. During the winter, he just takes one with him if he's home and running an errand. He doesn't often take all three at once in the winter. During the summer, beyond the one day with all three, he spends a lot of one on one time with my oldest ds. Those two are very much alike and enjoy the same sort of things. He doesn't like to do one on one time with my dd though. I don't think he has ever done something with her one on one.

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I am a FIRM believer in the FACT that kids are 100% my responsibility and 100% his responsibility. There is no 50/50. If my husband ever called watching his OWN child "babysitting" I would slap him upside the head. .

 

:iagree:Same here.

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Probably once every few months... For an "extended break" - over an hour, when I tell him "you're taking the kids and are not allowed back until after 5 p.m. Or whatever my "time rule" of the day is. :D But, about once every 4-6 weeks they'll go shopping and give me at least an hour of quiet.

 

If I didn't flat out tell him to take them and leave, he wouldn't plan it on his own because he'd try to make it a whole family thing, too. I don't blame him, I just don't allow him to misunderstand my needs, either. It may sound bossy, but everyone says men don't get subtlety so I don't even try.

Edited by fraidycat
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Even IF you can't get your husband on board, the good news is that your children are getting older. Very soon, if they don't already, you can just say "Get ready for bed" and it can all happen without you. Also, as they become tweens and teens, they ignore you more.

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

 

Once they hit the teen years... the OP will be wishing for more time with them. They grow up quick!

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Dh and I have a standing agreement that after 5pm and on weekends, we share the responsibilities. That means at least once a week I'm doing something alone and so does he. We just take turns. Until the wee'un outgrew his mommy stage it was hard, but we have always tried to make it work. It's nicer now because dh will take the boys individually, too. The 13yo goes to the movies, and plays golf and strategy games with dad, and the 2yo goes along for daddy-time shopping trips and gets his one on one time first thing in the morning.

 

OP, if you're not getting the time you need your first step is to schedule it and then make it happen. There have been times where I would schedule library time for me only so I could get a break for an hour and recharge. You leave the kids with your dh and walk out the door.

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Not that often but it certainly does happen. Now the kids are older, I have less of a need for that space. I can be in the house for hours with both boys and we are all involved in our own things.

 

I also escape into the garden: the boys wander out and do their things outside, but they are unlikely to come and spend hours weeding with me!

 

Laura

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