Thursday, June 29, 2006

To be fair

Husband asked me this morning, very tentatively indeed, whether it would be o.k. for him to go out for a beer with a good friend of his Friday or Saturday night. "Sure," I said. "That's alright." I suppressed a big, self-pitying sigh and a comment to the effect that "I wish I could go out with my friends and have a beer." Pats on the back for me, right?

Husband surprised me the other night during one of our rare, uninterrupted conversations by telling me that he was feeling pretty...occupied these days. Like he has no free time anymore, never gets to just hang around the house reading the paper or doing yardwork if he wants or going to a show or whatever. He's just too busy, he told me. I guess I was surprised because I hadn't figured that it works both ways, y'know? I mean, he actually gets to leave the house 5 days a week which I envy most sharply some days, but sometimes I forget he's going to work. And as much as I feel like I've been over-the-top busy with both childcare and the hundreds of small tasks related to getting ready to move lately, he's been doing a lot, too. And feeling stressed about it apparently. Who'da thunk it?

My response to him was comforting, I hope. I told him that we were in the throes of the busiest time of our lives as the parents of young children. It wouldn't always be this crazy and this loud and this busy. I try to tell myself that sometimes, too. That I'll have time to lay around with the paper and a bottomless cup of coffee again one of these days, but now is not that time. And here's where a better woman than me would end with a platitude about how I'll miss it when it's over, but I can't bring myself to say that. It could be true, but that leisure time looks like paradise from where we're sitting right now.

9 comments:

Piece of Work said...

Yeah, I don't think I've ever been able to resist making the "Must be nice to be able to go out with your friends" comment.
The babies, they require endless work.

beth said...

I think we all need to remind ourselves that that day will come again.

And I usually let the self-pitying sugh escape ever so audibly.

beth said...

sigh, not sugh. Maybe to him it sounds like a big sugh when I do it.

Nikkie said...

It would have been really hard for me not to make that comment either! I had never really thought about when the day will come again when I can take a shower with out making sure someone was in the play pen or having a nap!

"Grandi" said...

When I was a very young mom, one of the older ladies at church, who I always admired, told me that now that I had children I must never lose myself. I was totally clueless, so she explained - Always take a little time for your self every day - even if it is only reading a chapter of a book while in the bathroom! She also told me that at least once a week I should put at least an hour aside for me to get out of the house on my own. Then she said at least 1 time a month - dinner out with just my guy, and at least 1 weekend away a year with just him. That sounded so un-doable as a stay-at-home-mom with little kids, no money and a crazy life. But I did my best and, it worked!! So early on, when hubby wanted to go to a baseball game I smiled and said sure - have fun! Then when I had my time planned, it was so much easier for him to say - sure - have fun!! And, as a bonus - planning the times for just he and I to be together had lasting benefits - the kids are married and gone, and we have been married 38 years and, because we stayed connected as a couple, we still have something to say to each other - we still have fun together!!

Mama D said...

I would have totally ended up having a big fight with Peter. It would go something like this "YOU feel like you have no free time? YOU'RE too busy?" Then he'd tell me that this is why he never tells me how he's feeling these days. Slap me on my wrist would ya? Good for you for understanding! I obviously need to work on that one.

janice said...

good for you for recognizing his sacrifices too!! that can be hard. sometimes i feel like he has it so easy compared to me. But I know he works so hard too and gives up so much as well.

Tonight we are goign on a date!! We don't do it enough and I am so excited. It is just dinner and a movie, but it will be nice :)

janice said...

oh - by the way - I am new here- so nice to meet you :)

Manhattan Mama said...

Sometimes I start to fantastize about that free time we're all going to have and stop myself because I'm only going to make myself nuts.
My only worry is the free time will hit and I be paralyzed with all the options.