L.R. asks from Georgetown, MA on November 27, 2010
Okay, I'm very frustrated again! A few years back, I played the piano a lot. I find it relaxing and soothing. It is a great stress outlet. I also sing publicly and have written some songs. I've also been paid for piano/singing gigs. However, after I gave birth to my first child(almost 4 years ago), I greatly decreased my singing/ piano playing. Since the birth of my second child, I've had almost no time for this hobby. My husband recently suggested selling two of my most precious things, my piano and keyboard because he said I never use them. Some of my friends have even asked why I stopped singing...etc. So, I told them I haven't had time. He will ask too why I haven't, but he does pursue ALL of HIS hobbies! Anyway, I'm getting a little upset because I don't feel it's fair that I don't have any time for my interests, but he has time for all of his. When I tell him this, he just goes back to saying that he works full time and I only work part time and spend most of my time with the kids. Do other moms feel like they have no life since kids and that their husbands still have a life and interests? I don't think it's fair!
E.K. answers from Minneapolis on November 27, 2010
First -- Don't sell. That is something you can pass onto your children.
Next, ask your husband what his work schedule is. Perhaps he replies, "Honey, you know I get up at 6:00am and am on my way to work at 7:00am and I am home by 6:00pm. You know this. Why are you asking?"
Then you can tell him what YOUR work schedule is: "I was just curious because I think maybe you didn't know I have THE EXACT SAME WORK SCHEDULE. I am at work-work for 4-5 hours and am doing my "other" job for 6 or more hours. But as of 6:00pm, both of us are technically off-the clock."
Let him know that once dinner is on the table, all off-the-clock work will be shared so that there is:
1.) shared housework (dishes, baths, laundry, yard work, taking out the garbage)
2.) shared family time (playing a board game, taking a walk, doing homework)
3.) shared adult time (watching a moving, playing cards, canoodling)
4.) shared ALONE time (music for you or golf for him, etc.)
It is your job to tell him this is important to you and it is both your responsibilities to make the extra time happen.
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K.Z. answers from Cleveland on November 27, 2010
You're right, it isn't fair, and DH needs to help make it fair, by getting you some time to pursue your interests. He could watch the kids for a certain amount of time, or fork over some bucks to hire a sitter.
And BTW, caring for kiddos IS ABSOLUTELY a full-time job, and if you are able to also go out and work for somebody else in addition to that, you are doing more work than DH is! You go girl!
I too am a musician (oboist) and really let my practicing go after having the kids. When my oldest was 3 or so, and I was pregnant with his brother, I would hire a sitter to come and take Ben to the park, McDonalds' play place, or to her house (her family was OK with that) so I could have the house for practicing. Or she would stay with Ben at the house and I would sneak off to the local college and use their practice rooms.
Once DS 2 was born, and we had moved to a different town, DH paid lip-service to my pursuing music, but I noticed that the two nights of rehearsals (band and orchestra) were followed by the 2 days our oldest was in pre-school, which is when I had to do the dishes from the night before............
DO NOT, repeat DO NOT sell those instruments! They represent a part of you that is not being allowed to express itself, and that is not a good thing. God gave you the gifts, what you do with them is your gift back to God (and to all the people who enjoy hearing you).
You could try playing/singing with your kiddos in the room (note that this never worked for DS 1, who could hear the oboe through 4 rooms and 2 shut doors, and would cry........). An oboist I knew briefly (and would love to get in touch with again, but can't find her) told me that she baby-proofed the living room, took the bottom out of the playpen, brought the kids into the room, shut the doors, and climbed into the playpen herself with her oboe, music and music stand!
Bottom line is, you do what you have to do. You may have to make/take the time for yourself, because if you wait around for someone to give it to you, it may not come.
I hope some of that made sense. Mega-hugs to you! PM me if you want to talk some more. Play/sing your songs!
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L.D. answers from Las Vegas on November 27, 2010
After we had our second child and I decided to become a SAHM, it dawned on me just how hard it was to stay home and take care of the kids and take care of the house. Up until that point, I just didn't understand why all of my mom friends didn't have perfectly clean houses; after all, that was their job, wasn't it? Anyway, my reality check came in the form of two children who were just 14-months apart.
Once I realized just how hard it was to be a SAHM, and how demanding it was, and how it just never seemed to end even after it was quitting time for my husband, I sobbed on my husband's shoulder one night -- okay, I had a breakdown -- and after a lengthy discussion, we both agreed that while he was at work, I was at work. When he got home, he would give me a break and take over handling the children for an hour or so, so that I could have my lunch hour and breaktime, and then the rest of the evening would be our shared parenting time. Luckily for me, my husband is super sensitive and understanding so he's been a good sport about this most of the time. This is what's worked for us. Maybe it can work for you as well.
Hope this helps.
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S.W. answers from Amarillo on November 27, 2010
What you have to do is schedule ME time twice a week. Put it on the calendar and do it. No one will "give" you the time you have to take the time to be you or there will be no you. Every woman has to figure this out and keep herself or she will be become a persona non grada.
As one poster said keep your equipment and use it. Put the kids down for a nap or in their room for quiet time and practice. Before you begin put a load of dishes in the dishwasher and a load of clothes in the washer and enjoy your time. You don't have to be every thing to everyone every minute of the day. Trust me you will burn out and be no good to anyone.
Hobbies are a way of life and everyone should know that at x time mom is doing this and dad is doing that and all is and will be well.
Above all else never feel guilty about the time you take for yourself. Remember Kate Goesslin and her getting her nails done and the kids with a friend or relative. You were a woman before you were a wife and a mother in that order. So be the WOMAN! Hubby might become more interested in what you are doing when you take better care of yourself.
Have a good holiday season and take some time.
The other S.
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T.F. answers from San Francisco on November 27, 2010
YES! Especially when they are that young. It is such a misconception that if you are home with the kids you will have "all the time in the world" and it isn't fair. I think it may change as they get a little older, but unless you have time set aside where someone else can watch your children (maybe trade with a friend in the same predicament) it is next to impossible. Then if you are like me there are times you do have the time but feel guilty because there are dishes in the sink or the floor nees to be vacuumed.....the suggestion to sell your piano is silly, you would lose ground if you sold it and then rebought when you had the time.
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B.C. answers from Norfolk on November 27, 2010
Don't sell, but make a point of making some time to play/sing. Set a time when you drop everything and play/sing even if it's only for a half hour at a time at first. Even if it's just to your kids. They should hear you. Start family sing along night. It's a great way for the kids to learn Christmas carols and other songs. Even if it never catches on with them, they should know of your love of music. They'll always remember singing with Mama and there will be songs that make them think of you for the rest of their lives.
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P.N. answers from Boston on November 28, 2010
Well of course hanging out with children all day isn't work at all! Big sarcasm there!! I think you need to have a sit down with DH. If he really thinks you are only working when you are at your paid job, he needs a BIG attitude change! There are days when I feel like I wish I had a paid job, at least noone would pester me in the bathroom and as much as I hated commuting in the old days, oh to drive around by myself would be bliss.
He needs an understanding of what you are doing with the kids. I think sometimes husbands can have a skewed idea of what being with them all day is all about bc they experience them for small periods on weekends for outings. They aren't trying to get the housework done, groceries bought etc all day with kids in tow. I think also that it is often worse to have a part time job, bc it is so minimized by the full-time working spouse. If you worked full time, he'd get it, but the fact is that you do work full time and then some bc you get no time off from the kids!
I think the problem is typical. My DD is recently 4 and I finally feel like I have time to pursue my interests, but just have a little time. I think it is very difficult to carve out time for hobbies with small children. My husband doesn't have time for his hobbies either. He works all week and is often away and that is just life with small children. I know a lot of families the husband is out golfing, meeting buddies, etc all weekend, but we don't do that. It wouldn't be fair at all to me, I need a break too. I think it takes good communication and a lot of effort. Both of you can have some time for hobbies but he needs to respect that you are working MORE than full time.
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C.T. answers from Santa Fe on November 28, 2010
Yes I feel that way too. I think we have to MAKE time for ourselves and make it a priority. Set it up with your husband or a babysitter to do what you want to do once a week. I keep telling myself this but I have yet to do it.
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