I don’t think it’s a secret that there are two lives we live – the pre-kids life and the post-kids life. I also don’t think it’s a secret that the pre-kids life was less complicated! We did whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted to do it. The house didn’t look like a constant hurricane coming through. We had oodles of time to devote to our hobbies and interests, our spouse, our friends…anything we cared about. We made plans at the last second.
Then, the post-kids life happened. We had this little human being that required so much more of our time and energy. Suddenly we found that “time” had become a precious thing. We have a lot less of it now to devote to about anything! Especially in the early stages of parenthood, when children are most dependent, if we had precious free time it became a big deal on how it was spent. Equality of how time was spent became an issue, which led to “scorekeeping”. Is my husband sitting on the couch all day while I take care of the baby, and the laundry, and take out the trash AND cook dinner? Is there an equal share of responsibilities and our own “me” time, family time? Scorekeeping, I found, just led to resentment if nothing was done about it.
It was important, then, to sit down and discuss “the scoreboard”. We began to figure out which household responsibilities belonged to whom (which changed, then, when kids got old enough to have chores and help out). We also designated times each week for each of us to have “me” time, however we wanted to spend it. This set the stage for making sure one wasn’t feeling like they were contributing more than the other, while also making sure we each had an equivalent amount of time to spend on our hobbies or interests. By the way, the “me” time became ever more important after parenthood. Remember the airline talk you get about administering your face mask before that of a child? Kind of like that. When you can do something for yourself, it makes you a refreshed, more patient parent. A happier parent!
While the time is tough, divvy out responsibilities. Take out the wondering and frustration…the scorekeeping. Be sure that while you have family time that your spouse and yourself have set aside time to be away to recharge your batteries. It pays out in the end!