Monday, April 23, 2012

MOMday: The Daddy Sitter's Escape

he's totally pretending to be enjoying the
30lb bouncing toddler on his neck
It's no secret that every Saturday, I run away from my kids.  It's a part of my Mommy Sanity Strategy that works really well for me.  It has allowed me to train for 8 half marathons and a full plus run countless other races in the past 2 years.  One morning a weekend.  It's all mine and a chance to stay connected to my friends and my footsteps. 

But while I am out there running my tookus off, my babies are home with Daddy. I couldn't do this without him. I realize that I titled this post "Daddy Sitter", but that really isn't how I think of him.  We are parents and it is a 50/50 thing.  He isn't my babysitter - he is merely giving me the space to have some me time so I can be a better mom.

But, lately, I can see this wearing on him.   Let's face it - my running commitments have ramped way up this year.  I feel really good about it, but I can see that he isn't sharing my enthusiasm.  Since my year of adventures isn't going to start slowing down, I sense that I may need an intervention to keep him on my side in all of this.

I've had a few other momma runners talk to me lately about how they don't feel they can train for a longer distance race because they didn't think it would make their hubbies very happy to have to stay with the kiddo(s) for that long.   To this, I say "bah".   Your hubby is just as much a part of the parenting team as you are and they are not your babysitter.  If you asked any one of them if they think you don't deserve that morning off once a week - I think you'd have a hard time finding a single one who would say you didn't.

That being said - it's also important to recognize that it can be really easy to take advantage of the situation.   I often tell my hubby that he should book some time off for himself.  To get out of the house and go.  The main trouble for us, though, is that hubby likes to have his downtime AT home.  With two energetic toddlers running around - it makes it hard for him to actually have kiddo-free time.

As a mommy and wife - I've kind of been failing at this lately and I need to get back on track.  And I feel terrible about it.  Time for me to shape up and be a better wife in this respect!

There are tons of ways you can give daddy his own downtime and they can be as simple or elaborate as you please.  Here are a few suggestions, just off the top of my head:
  • Buy him a gift card to the movies and send him out to see something you wouldn't want to see.  Encourage him to invite a friend.
  • Sign him up for a course in his secret hobby (photography, guitar lessons, whatever) so he will have a weekly outlet away from the family to renew himself
  • Pack up the kids and leave the house for a while.  Take them on an adventure first thing Sunday morning and let Daddy sleep in. 
  • Help set up a a "daddy only" space in your house so if your guy likes to chill at home, he has a place to vanish to.
  • Ask him to book some off time for himself on your family calendar so you can respect his need to recharge alone or away
  • Send him away for a weekend - encourage time away with "the boys" if he likes that kind of thing or on his own if that is more his speed
I often tell mommas to take the time they need for themselves.  I also believe daddies need to do the same.  Especially daddies of twins.  Sometimes they need to run away too and we need to let them!

2 comments:

  1. I always think about this. I'm a stay at home mom right now and my hubby works full time, so who is more in need of time off during the weekend? I think he and I would each have a different answer. Ha ha. He's been very good to let me go off and run and with a few bigger things on the horizon, I wonder if he knows what he's agreed to!

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  2. I'm so glad you wrote about this ... although I don't have kids, I do find my training/workouts/time at the gym to be taking a toll on time I spend with my husband. He is supportive, but it's not the same when I feel lingering guilt about going to the gym and not spending more time with him. It's not like I'm out every evening, but even those few days that I am out, I feel does have an impact. I haven't figured out how to deal with it yet ... I'm worried because I know that my training will increase, but I don't want it to be a problem.

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