Need Time to Myself...

Updated on September 28, 2006
M.C. asks from Philadelphia, PA
29 answers

I'm a 23 year old single mom. I love my son unconditionally, I never thought that I could love another person as much. My ex and I are still friends, he has our son daily. I work full-time, second shift. I wake up with our son, cook breakfast, make lunch for him, bathe, and clothe him, play, watch PBS, sing songs, and by then it's time for work. I get off work at 11:30 pm. I work 4 days a week, 10 hour days. On my days off I keep my son home instead of taking him to daycare. I miss him so much when I'm away from him. On the weekends that I'm not working I like to go to clubs. I ALWAYS wait until after my baby has been put to bed and is deep in sleep before I even get dressed. Occassionally I may even go on a date or out with a friend. I usually get my niece to watch him or my best friend and I alternate babysitting for each other. His father seems to think that I should be home with our son, not out "clubbing" so he calls it. Am I doing anything wrong here? I am with my baby every chance that I can get. On the days that I'm not working, his father has all the free-time he needs. I don't bother him, I don't ask him for anything. I do admit that I love to dance and he seems to get an attitude and we have an argument EVERY weekend that I'm off. What should I do? Should I just oblige to keep the disagreements at a minimum or is it that he's just trying to control me although we're not together? I just like to have time to myself so that I can continue to be the pleasant person and keep order in my life...

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your responses, I am so glad to hear that I'm not the only one that's going or went through this before. I don't feel that it's being selfish but I wanted someone else's opinion. I did actually talk to him, he seems to think that I was going out just to meet new guys. He is actually jealous of me having fun without him and wants to get back together. He gave me a sob story of how he attempted to talk to a girl and she just wasn't me, blah blah blah.... I wasn't trying to hear it and just explained things to him and we agreed that it's none of his business and NO we are NOT getting back together!

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C.J.

answers from Harrisburg on

He is trying to control you...It works doesnt it? I have a one yr old girl, and I do go out...I am married though and my hubby works two full time jobs...I only work part time, but he doesnt deter me from being a woman, and letting me go out...Girrrrllll...we need to dance....I love to dance, that is my savior!!!!

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J.R.

answers from Scranton on

Hey M.,
I agree with the other moms but I have a slightly different take on it (since I was there once before with my son's father). My son's father wanted his weekends to himself so we agreed that he would take my son during the week (while I worked - which was only 3 days a week at the time and then when I was not in work, I'd have my son of course). One time after work I asked my son's father to watch him for an extra two hours so I could have a little free time and boy did he get angry. He cussed and fussed and blew his top. This I totally didn't understand since he was "allowed" his weekends to himself and I got no time to myself. I came to find out that he was jealous of me. When I went out (either leaving my son with him or with a sitter) I always had a great time. When my son's father went out (since he didn't have many friends) he did not have such good a time and he was jealous of the fun time I have when I would go out. As crazy as it sounds, your ex may feel the same way. Go out and enjoy yourself. Life does not end just because you have children. To me, life is just beginning at that point :-)

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T.L.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I am a single mom of an 8 year old boy. His dad is not in his life so i have him all the time. I completely understand you need time to your self. No, there is nothing wrong with taking time out for yourself. It is not only healthy for you but it is healthy for your son. We are mothers and we take on most of the nurturing. Maybe, you can find a way not to discuss what you are doing on your free time when you speak to your child's dad. He does not need to know what you do...neither do you need to feel you have to hide what you do. As long as it is healthy fun, you are doing nothing wrong. He needs to understand his boundries. You are a good mom and you are a human just like him and you do not impose on him by asking him questions what he does on his spare time... you need to remind him of that.

Good Luck!

T.

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C.T.

answers from Philadelphia on

You need time to yourself and you are not taking any time away from your son. You are an adult and need adult time. If you enjoy going out than continue to do so. You are young and won't always be able to go out. I have 3 children and a husband and wish I could go out like that. Enjoy yourself.

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H.F.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Everyone, man or woman, needs some time that is theirs. Whether this is time to sit and read a book or time to go out dancing is a matter of choice. You stated that your son is already asleep when you go out and you leave him with a trusted babysitter. I don't understand why your ex has a problem. As long as your son is being well cared for, knows his mother loves him and is not being harmed by your social life, I really don't see why your ex should have a problem. If her really has a problem with you dating or going out on your weekend off, perhaps, he should be volunteering to keep his son on one of those nights so you can enjoy your day off as well and possibly even sleep in the next morning. Regardless of how you decide to spend your free time, you need to be sure that you have some time just for you. A relaxed mom is happier and has more patience with her children.

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C.K.

answers from Reading on

Honestly hun, its sounds to me like he is just trying to control you and the situation. You and him and no longer together. Your son comes first and you know that. As long as clubbing does not take precedence over him you are good in my opinion. My ex and I split when she was one and he tried calling me a bad mom because I went to a movie on a date with a guy friend. He even took that to court lol. But anyways. We all deserve some down time. You work a lot and when you get time you need it or you will get burned out. Tell your ex where to go and to stay out of your personal life!

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S.J.

answers from Philadelphia on

I don't think you are doing anything wrong. You work a lot and when you're not working you are taking care of your son. There's nothing wrong with taking time out to enjoy yourself, especially when it's not taking any time away from your son, he's already in bed. Sounds like his father is trying to control what you do, although he has no right. I say, go enjoy yourself!!

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R.G.

answers from Allentown on

Dear M.,
You know what is going on here. It is all about control. Being a good mother is clearly important to you so your ex knows he can get to you by trying to convince you that you are being a bad mother by nurturing yourself. I had a wonderful mother that also loved to go out at night. That is what you do when you are young. She always made that time for herself along with the full-time job and college. Frankly, I believe it made her a better mom. She was fulfilled and happy which in turn made me happy. I was aware when she left the house at night even when she thought I was sleeping, but so what? Where is it written that once you have children, your life is over outside of that child? You can't keep pouring milk from a pitcher that never gets refilled.

R.

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E.C.

answers from Scranton on

DO NOT GIVE IN TO HIS SILLINESS. You are doing absolutely nothing wrong by going out once in a while when you get a weekend off. It's not like you are going out when the child is awake. He is sleeping and even mom's need their free time. Your ex seems jealous and controlling and by giving in to his comments, you are making it ok for him to continue to force his opinion on you. You are your own person and he needs to understand that and as long as your son is being taken care of, then he should have no need to complain.

E. C.

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S.G.

answers from Harrisburg on

i know what u are going through in a 25 year old mom i have 2 little girls a 3 year old and a 5 mounth old im a stay at home mommy....i dont get comments from my babys dad but i do from my fam sometimes like my mom and dad they think once u have kids u have no freedom but thats not the case we need to have mommys time even if its only a few hours but its the few hours that count and we have as much fun as we can....and i do the same i make sure my girls a bathed and my 3 year old goes potty and teeth brushed my babys feed and they are both sound asleep before i get dressed and go out with my friends when i get home i check on them kiss them one more time before i go to bed and then i go to sleep and i get up when they do so dont listion to him he just must have a thing for u and he thinks that a child still links u guys in that way the on thing u guys have is your little boy he is being takeing care of there is nothening he can do and just to egnore him thats what i do with my mom and dad anymore i know that my kids are getting takeing care of and thats all that matters.....hope that it works out for u byes....and by the way my name is S.

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N.W.

answers from Philadelphia on

I give you so much credit for being able to handle what you do at 23. I am 31 and just had my first: now 3.5 months old. I enjoyed single life and went out all the time until I was 29. I think you are making enough sacrifices in your life right now. There is no reason why you should not enjoy yourself when you spend all of your son's waking hours caring for him. You should be extremely proud of yourself. It's really none of your ex's business what you do with your free time. In fact, I wouldn't even discuss it with him. You've earned the right, you have your priorities straight. You shouldn't lose yourself entirely. You might regret it. I just heard someone say the other day: "it's 95% love and 5% luck, so enjoy yourself:)
N. W

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M.S.

answers from Scranton on

I don't think there is anything wrong with you going to a Club. I could understand your ex's opinion if you were getting involved with shady things that happen at many clubs, such as drugs or random sex. However, it seems like you are just going to clubs as a means of having fun. As long as your child's needs are ALWAYS met before yours, once he's asleep...you should be able to enjoy some R&R. I say maybe you need to explain to your ex the fact that you are a single mom, and you need some time away from your son in order to miss him. Sounds silly, but think about it...How do you miss someone you are around 24/7? Besides, I'm sure he has a life outside of being a father!! Maybe you need to set boundaries of how much of your business he is aware of. What he doesn't know, he can't judge!

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H.K.

answers from Harrisburg on

First....I'm not in the same boat...I'm married with a 21 month old....however, me and my husband allow each other the time to go out. We try to have date night and we each get one night out to ourselves with the friends! We also do the same thing....what till our little guy is fastly aleep and then we go and get wild. LOL You have too....I have come to find that just because you have kids...life does not stop...and if your single...you need to have time to be around others and have fun! Just because you enjoy going out does not mean that you don't love you child! Plus...working and taking care of a baby is very hard work and you need that time to yourself! To feel like a women! Don't change who you are and don't let this man make you feel like a bad parent....you don't owe him anything other than the safety of his child. If he's not your husband/man....then ingnore him...he sounds jealous and may just want to feel like he needs to control the situation!

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K.P.

answers from Scranton on

In my own personal opinion, I would have to agree with you thinking that he still wants to control you, even though you are not together. He also may be jealous due to the fact that maybe he's with someone right now that doesn't allow him to have free time to himself or that he's jealous that you might find someone who may be, in so many words, better than him and try to "take his place." If I were you, I honestly would ignore it and not even get into details with him over your personal life. That's why it's yours and not his. Don't bring up the fact that you go out on dates or dancing or anywhere it is that you like to go to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You live your life and let him live his. And in the case that he asks where you've been or what you've been doing lately. just simply and politely answer, "Nothing that is of matter to you." Leave it at that. You are in so many ways like me. I'm also 23 (although I have a 3 year old) and I work full-time as well and do as much as possible with my daughter when I am home. I take her everywhere with me. But you and I need a break every now and then. We simply DESERVE it. I no longer feel bad when I ask my Mom to watch my daughter for me when I go out with my friends and family. Although my Mom has never given me a problem about it, I can only hope that some of my advice will do good for you. I wish you Good Luck. Please let me know how things turn out for you.

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M.A.

answers from Allentown on

Dear M.,

I don't think you are doing anything wrong. I am a stay at home mom and every once in awhile, you need to blow off some steam and talk to some adults. My parents took our daughter a few weeks ago and my husband and I were thrilled to watch an R rated movie. After a small break, it rejuvenates you for the next round so to speak.

Hope this helps! Good luck!

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S.D.

answers from Harrisburg on

Girl...you are doing the right thing!! Your son obviously comes firt, and for that you should be proud! You are doing what it takes to be a great Mommy, and part of that is taking care of yourself and your needs too! He sounds like he is have a control issue...kind of like having his cake and eating it too! Stay strong :)

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A.R.

answers from Reading on

There is NOTHING wrong with goin out, having a good time, and gettin some 'you time!' & dont let your ex tell you any different!! Im 22, married, and a SAHM, and when my husband and I get the chance, one of our mothers take our daughter over nite, you better beleive were goin out! Why not?!

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J.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

I think it's great that you are fortunate to have people that watch your son so you get a chance to go out. It's not like you are going out when he is awake its after he is already sleeping so your not missing out on time with him. I don't think your son's father has an issue with you not spending time with your son I think he is having issues that you are going onut and having a good time. I am a 22 year old single mom of a 13 month old girl and like you i go out on the weekends after I put her to sleep and my family members will listen for the baby monitor. I definately think that you should continue to get out.

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R.D.

answers from Philadelphia on

Every one always says you have to take care of yourself to be able to take care of your child. As long as it is not effecting your son ie your so hung over you can't even get off the couch the next day to take care of him, then whats wrong. I have seen that before. Yes your ex is trying to control. And if he was that worried about it then why doesn't he take him the nights that you want to go out. He is the dad, its not a one way street.
I used to go to the clubs all the time until I got pregnant. Even when preggo is still went to the casinos with my husband all the time (we lived 30min away in CT from one) I used to get the dirtiest looks. Just because I was preg I wasn't suppose to enjoy things in life that I did before. I wish I was able to go out even once in a while with out my son attached at the hip.
Don't get me wrong, he is my world. But you need to enjoy adult activities also, or you will start going crazy like I am. And it can then effect your time with your son. Its a proven fact that if you are not happy it will transfer to your child be it from your mood, reactions, etc.
R.

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P.G.

answers from Philadelphia on

I don't think your wrong, i'm almost in the same boat, i get to go out every coupla months, with or without my boyfriend's "permission" i work and use my money, and my daughter is safe in bed... nothing wrong with u going out.. have fun before u'r life slips by... every chance u get! You'll regret it later in life, and may even take it out on your child. Go dance your heart out!

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M.H.

answers from York on

I too am a single mom and work as a waitress, I know its hard to have any personal life when you have a child. My daughter is two her birth father is not in her life at all, so she is with me every hour of every day except for when she is with the sitter. Nobody should doubt your love for your child, but you really have to have a life too. Babies can sense if their mommies are unhappy, just remember that you deserve to be happy also.

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D.D.

answers from Allentown on

One thing I learned from having kids is the loss of my own time. After the triplets were born it was a nightmare for me. I got to the point where I didn't even know who I was anymore. Don't get me wrong, I love my children dearly but, I love me too. Taking time for myself became a requirement. Yes, my husband was the type that thought I was stressing over nothing and couldn't see why I needed time to myself. Little by little I started taking back control of my life. I go to the local park and walk 2 miles almost everyday.

My advice to you is kick up those heels and take some down time for yourself. Work is work and just that, you need and deserve to have some fun too. If you don't take time to have some fun on your own it will be reflected it other aspects of your life. Get those dancing shoes on, go out and have some fun!!!

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J.R.

answers from Philadelphia on

I think you are totally right for feeling this way. I am in the same kind of situation. My opinion is that your ex is still tryin to control you, still trying to hold on to a piece of you. Be it clubbin, a date or anything else you work hard as a mother and as a career woman you deserve some 'me time'. Dont let anybody tell you otherwise. Reward yourself for all of your hard work and dont feel guilty about it because you deserve it. If you were going out all the time and not paying your son the attention he needs that would be a different story but you said you wait til he's sleeping I think that is great. Dont worry M. you are not alone! Make sure you take care of yourself and your personal needs becuase if you let you go than you will be filled up with all this angst and thats no good. How can you take care of anyone else if you dont take care of yourself? You're not being selfish either. Just make sure to not forget about your needs as well as your sons.

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J.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

I see nothing wrong with it. You are not neglecting him. You need time for yourself and if dancing is what you like to do then have fun. Enjoy yourself.
The father needs to back off.

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P.H.

answers from San Diego on

I think that you are doing a wonderful thing for yourself and your child. Giving yourself time out will keep you sane and enjoying life. There is no reason to give that up. Your x is only trying to control you because he does not want you to have a life outside of your child because there is more chance of you meeting someone new. Every mom needs time to herself and you aren't even taking that time when your child is awake or would know you are gone.. so stop beating yourself up .. .ignore your x ... and enjoy your life...

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J.B.

answers from Scranton on

I definately think he's wrong, but he may not even realise he's doing it. Maybe I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt too much. ;) But I have trouble making my husband understand that I need to get out by myself a few hours a week. He can't process that getting out *with a toddler* *during the day* does not fulfill the same needs for me that going out by myself in the evening does! I'm SAHM so of course he thinks I'm lying on the couch eating bonbons all day. *eyes rolling* Seriously, I think there's a disconnect in guy brains. And even if your ex is doing this maliciously, it might be best to approach it as if he has good intentions but just doesn't understand. Calmly, patiently explaining it to him rather than delivering the verbal smackdown (even if you know he deserves it. ;) )

All in all, I'd say continue having fun. :D

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P.W.

answers from Philadelphia on

Yes, you NEED time to yourself. As long as you are being honest with yourself and you are there for your son when he needs you, you are not doing anything wrong by going out. I used to suffer the mommy guilt and would not leave my daughter with a sitter just to go out. I was miserable. Now that I have a social life again I am much happier and so is my daughter!

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N.M.

answers from Washington DC on

M.,

Where do you live? Do you drive? On Saturday there this bar that I hang out at on the weekends they are having there anniversary party. The name of the place is called s and j in Riverdale, MD. They will have free drinks and food all day and night long 2pm to 2am. I will be arriving about 8 or 9. The people there are cool. There going to have music and this is a way just to meet new people. If you are interested in going email me [email protected]____.com.

N.

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L.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

What clubs do you go to? I havnt been out in almost a year!!! I used to go to old city, but now that i can't go out that much I'm not trying to go somewhere and just stand there all night. My boyfreind goes to palmers on saturdays so that is not an option and 5 spot is TOO HOT!! Last time I did go out I went to the Woodbine. It was alright. I like the music Shampoo used to play. Hip Hop room, Club room, Raggae, thats my kind of club. Mixed groups lots of rooms!!

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