Me time? I’d like a little “we” time

Categories: Making Time, The Juggle, Working? Living?

3 comments

When people talk about working mothers, it’s usually in the context of how we juggle work and family, how we want to maximize time with our kids, how we can (or can’t) have it all, daycare vs. hiring a nanny, and working at home vs. working out of the home vs. being a stay-at-home mom. What they don’t talk about, usually, is how having two parents who work full time impacts your relationship with your spouse.

I may not have much “me” time, but lately I’ve come to realize that my husband and I have had even less “we” time than usual. And that’s probably not a good thing.

We both bring home a lot of work — his is from his full-time job as a multi-media editor and producer, mine is all freelance that I pull in on top of my full-time desk job. It means that we’re often up late working — on separate computers, sometimes in the same room at the same time, sometimes (like right now) at opposite ends of the house, one ear on the baby monitors in case one of the kids wakes up.

When we have a rare evening off, it often gets spent doing “me” things as opposed to “we” things. I try to catch up on housework (and usually fail, opting instead to catch up on sleep). He heads down to the garage to spend time with his sweetheart, a red Saab 900 SE Turbo that he’s been tweaking to haul ass as well as groceries. (You know how having “a green thumb” means someone’s great with plants? My husband’s thumbs are shiny chrome.)

According to a recent survey by Sittercity.com, the current economic downturn means that working parents are spending even more time on the job. “Nowadays they’re still in the office, pulling double-shifts, working extra hours and picking up new jobs so they can pick up the tabs (and mortgages, car payments, grocery bills) that have inevitably increased due to the nation’s difficult economy,” the survey found.

More time working means less time at home — or less time being available at home. We all understand that the kids have to be your highest priority, but what about your relationship with your spouse?

There are plenty of things you can do to stay connected. The problem is that you have to a.) make the time and b.) find the energy and/or money to do them. And you have to make staying connected a priority. It’s too easy, what with work piling up and kids being kids and sleep being a precious commodity to put your relationship with your spouse on the back burner, to leave your partner our of your day-to-day juggle.

Working Moms, when you’re thinking about work-life balance, where does your relationship with your spouse fit in?



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3 comments so far...

  • I am with you. It is very important to make “we” time.
    I was actually planning on taking classes, like dance classes or tennis classes to do that. So we could spend some time together. Again, that’s money.

    Of course we always think about ways we can do things with our kids we should also not forget to spend time with our spouse.

    So the burden shouldn’t only be on the wife, the husband can also get creative. And of course, both parties have to participate.

    One of the best way and least expensive way to spend time together is to go out for a walk. The weather is perfect for that right now. I also like to leave the kids with grandparents or sitter and go to the beach in the morning. Both are really nice and inexpensive ways to spend time together in the summer.

    Vera Babayeva  |  August 25th, 2008 at 10:04 pm

  • I agree with Vera. Didn’t you say you had relatives in Fl.? Perphaps they could babysit one night (schedule providing), while the two of you have a sleepover at one of the beachhotels. I bet they would even pay for the hotel….. just to get you to leave the children alone with them for one night. Think about it. It will rejuvinate your relationship for awhile….no laptops, no kiddie monitors, or juggling for workspace. Anyway, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind one bit.

    Barb  |  August 25th, 2008 at 10:42 pm

  • Vera: Excellent point on how the creativity has to come from both partners — thank you!

    Barb: Hmmm… maybe I’ll ask them next time I see them. Thank you for the great idea! :)

    Lylah  |  August 25th, 2008 at 10:54 pm