On Friday evening I ventured out, having left my Son screaming for Mummy. He was with his Dad and I didn’t feel guilty, I just felt fraught and that almost ruined my evening – it took me a good 40 minutes to wind down.
Anyway, my friends had experienced a similar departure from their houses and their families and we all took a moment to compose ourselves before embarking on our gin and wine fuelled conversations.
One such conversation started with work and ended with relationships and I made a valid point that my friend suggested I use in a blog post. Do we inadvertantly seek approval from our spouses to literally just sit down?!
I’m not saying our husbands or partners have this perspective as I know that mine asks that I stop and sit for a cuppa with him or just watch a series without folding washing. But I put this pressure upon myself, do you?
For example, my weeks are not routine. My husband works shifts and I am self employed. So at least two days of the week I am at home with a toddler fitting my own business work around family life and the chaos of toys, the dishwasher and mountains of clothes that need hanging out.
When it is just me and my little girl at home I mage this well. I set her up with Play-Doh or Peppa while I tidy and clean in the morning. I then make myself a cup of tea, sit and read with her or do a puzzle before checking emails etc. I know that at bedtime I have more time to work so I prioritise contacting people during the day so I don’t sound nocturnal.
When husband is on lates or nights I find it difficult to stick to my routine. Not because he stops me or makes me feel bad for doing my own thing but because I feel my time should be split 3 ways instead of two on these days when he is home in the morning or all day. So I start to feel immense pressure to fit the work in while he sleeps and catch up with him, have a cuppa and eat together when he is awake. This works fine but it puts me off schedule and means that when he goes to work I am panicking about the emails I’ve not responded to etc.
Another factor that comes to play is that when I do sit down I feel I shouldn;t do so in front of husband. Why?! Because I always tell him how busy I have been or am. How could I possibly sit next to him in the middle of the day when I have so much on?! That would definitely not stand me in good stead for a little moan later or a request for time out to finish things off while he plays with the kids. This is by no stretch of the imagination what he is actually thinking because he knows how hard I work and that I am stretched at th ebest of times. But I still seek approval from him to sit down and relax. Is that strange?!