Friday, October 12, 2012

"Remember to make time for you"

Many family members have uttered these sentiments to us. They hear that we don't go anywhere without V and their instant platitude is that we should make time for us. I know they mean well, but it only reminds me that they really don't understand us at all. Just because I don't leave the house without my son, doesn't mean that I don't make time for me.

I understand that some people need date nights without their children. I imagine someday we might be one of them. For now, we like staying in and having a quiet night at home. If we go out, we enjoy going to family friendly places, like the bookstore, the mall, restaurants, or the drive-in movies. I do go out on my own every now and then with my friend, but I'm perfectly happy to go everywhere with V.

I think that a lot of them just don't understand since they've never been in the type of situation we have. I'm not just talking about with infertility and the miscarriages, because that's obvious, but I mean in relation to the longevity of a relationship sans-children. My mother and mother-in-law are the ones who most often bring this up, telling me that I need to take time for me, or A and I need to take time for us... and see, both of these women got into relationships and before the first year was out they were pregnant. My mother had her first at 16. My mother-in-law had her first at 18. When I had V, I was already almost 27. A and I had already been together for over 8 years. We had eight years to enjoy each others company. Eight years to go to concerts, movies, have a date night whenever we wanted, to stay out late, to be spontaneous, to do whatever we wanted whenever we wanted. And four of those years the only thing we wanted was to have a baby. We spent half our relationship trying desperately to bring life into this world.

So, you'll have to forgive me if I don't jump on the idea of going out for an evening without my son. I already rode that ride, and quite frankly I wanted off of it a long time ago. My early twenties were hard: we went through infertility and miscarriages while I earned my bachelor's degree, while working part/full-time and doing an internship! I also made time to enjoy my life though, I went out and I did my thing. I have no regrets. I've moved on to the next stage in my life.

For me, I'd rather enjoy my "me time" in the form of a hot bath, a jog on the treadmill with my headphones, playing a video game, or some downtime with a good book. I've always been a bit of a recluse anyway. I chose to be a stay at home mom for a lot of reasons though, and being able to wake up with my son and tackle the day together was one of them.

I understand that a lot of people do want, and even need, date nights though. Just like I totally understand that some women either chose to be, or have to be, working moms. What works for one person doesn't work for every person. My best friend is a single mother, she is very career oriented- it's both a choice, and not a choice. She has to work, but she also takes great pride in her work, she has plans to go places with her career. That works for her. I never did have any career ambition- I just wanted to be a stay at home mother. Neither of us ever questions the others life ambitions; she completely understands me not wanting to go anywhere without the baby. I've only left him to walk a 5K, go to the movies, and maybe a lunch... and I'm okay with that.



Katie said...

We've only been out of the house without K once not counting work, and it was for a very short dinner right down the street (just in case) while my ILs watched her. I was a wreck the whole time, and I also missed her terribly as did my husband. Like you, I don't "need" date nights or nights out. I've had plenty of those. What I need is to spend time with the baby I've waited for years to parent. So I completely get where you are coming from. Everyone is different, and I'm not sure that people who haven't walked in our shoes will ever understand that feeling.

jessiwallace said...

I completely agree with you. The thing is, you had all that time and now you want to enjoy his babyhood before it's just gone! Babies are only infants for a very short period of time. There is nothing wrong with wanting to take every moment with him instead of without. Enjoy him being a baby and don't feel guilty - someday he'll fly from the nest and it'll just be the two of you again.

Rebecca said...

Understandable. At my age, I'm 43, I'd not want to lose any quality time with my kid either. I've had years to go out and live as freely as the law allows without a child to hold me back.

aryanhwy said...

There's no reason that you can't make time for yourself AND spend your time with your baby! In the last 11 months, we've also only been out w/o Gwen once (Valentine's Day), other than leaving her with Grandma to run some errands when we were visiting last Christmas. But we've kept our pre-baby Saturday night routine of pizza and sci fi, we've just shifted it a bit later so it happens after Gwen's asleep. :)

neeroc said...

I'm totally with ya! Bill and I met in '89, were married in '96 and spent 99-07 ttc. V's almost 5 now, and has never been with a non-family babysitter, and I think we've left her with family <20 times. We're all good with hangin' out, and really only go out without her if it's somewhere not appropriate for the kindergarten set (like the Chills for CHEO haunted house we did on Monday). Doesn't work for everyone, but it works for us!