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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:44 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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thanks for your ideas and sympathy, guys. we are looking at alternatives and i'm trying to find some way that she can feel like she's helping and earn some pocket money, and so we're trying to get her started making amigurumi.
i'd love to get her volunteering but we just haven't found anything here that's equivalent to the US. sometimes the cultural differences here are really frustrating. The only volunteer stuff i've seen is for people who can volunteer on a FT basis- no Tuesday afternoons at the pound kind of thing. And kids don't do it. We're thinking about a church thing (although she is a rabid atheist) because that's the only part time helping people thing we can think of. I am not giving up on this yet. It burns me up that we can go on vacation in the US for three weeks and volunteer, but not here. Will keep looking.

Lurky, we say that if we ever get money, we will end up like a bunch of old style NYC tenement hoarders (or like my MIL, omgdidisaythatoutloud) living in squalor and sitting on a bale of money.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:15 am 
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Semen Strong
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You know what is not helpful? Needing to have so many questions about the simplest thing I ask you to do.

me: can you give her cheerios and fruit yogurt please, while I wash the floor (bc she upset the dog bowl again).
him: The yogurt is so messy, can I give it to her separately?
me: well it moistens the cheerios so she can eat them, but sure.
him: so why not granola this morning?
me: because she is getting fruit yogurt and it has enough sugar, but give her granola if you'd rather.
him: Am I giving her banana too?
me: no, just the yogurt and cheerios
him: where is her pink bowl and spoon
me: on the drying rack, where it always is.
him: are you sure she needs to eat right now? She seems to be having fun.
me: if we're going to get her out on time she does.
him: Oh we have left over watermelon, should I give her that instead?
me: I'd rather not give her straight sugar with nothing to temper it, but you can offer her a piece alongside it if you'd like.
ad infinitum or until I am done washing the floor and just give her her breakfast.

Me: hey, did you see those three cars ahead of you are all turning left? You could get in the right lane and pass instead of waiting.
Him: you are such a back-seat driver!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:46 am 
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Bathes in Braggs
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firstly, i know how you feel... i've had very similar conversations.

but, honestly? i think you need to stop feeding into it.

tofu: can you feed the bb breakfast while i mop the floor?
mr.t: but but but
tofu: breakfast. food suitable for the morning. figure it out.
mr. t: but what where how?
tofu: okay, i'm washing the floor now! la la la i can't hear you!

i mean, you wouldn't give her granola and yogurt together because of the sugar, or watermelon or whatever, but it's not like he's suggesting jack daniels and a cigarette. either he knows that he can draw you into a long discussion about the various merits of every breakfast item and therefore avoid having to do the actual task, or your tone implies that when you SAY you want him to handle it, you actually just want him to do it exactly how you said.

i don't know you personally (although i feel like i do!) and it's the internet so i don't know how it's actually coming across, but that whole exchange read like you are actually very controlling of what happens with leela. i don't excuse him either... but i do think you need to give him the space to make weird mistakes and decisions about how to parent her, without stepping in as the expert. i still can't always manage to bite my tongue when mr. bird dresses tzipi, so it's not like some major personal failing on your part... i think a lot of primary parents struggle when it comes to trying to find that balance.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:57 am 
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Semen Strong
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That is great feedback to have. I don't think of myself as controlling, but I guess I do come across as the expert, and its worth just not specifying exactly and letting him figure it out to build his confidence and self-reliance. When he's alone with her he does just fine, so it frustrates me that he can't be as self-reliant when I am in the house.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 2:57 pm 
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Tofulish, I have similar issues with my partner and I think it helps for him to have his own areas of expertise with the baby. He was in charge of tummy time, getting dressed (even though I hate what he puts together), diapering, and now he does running naps in the stroller. It makes him feel good for me to ask him what to do in certain situations. It also gives me a true break everyonce an awhile, since I'm not responsible for whatever for a few blessed moments.

Actually he has been doing breakfast on his own lately and that works well. I've been with her all night so I welcome the alone time.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 4:02 pm 
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Semen Strong
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I just want to vent. I've been really sick and I needed a nap, and my partner was awesome and stayed home with L so I could get a 90 min nap at lunch. Before I fell asleep, I asked him to please feed her. He said "what do I give her?" So I said - there is hummus and cut up veggies and other stuff, whatever you give her is fine.

I woke up and he gave her back to me saying that she was really unsettled. I asked if he fed her and he said "No, there's no food in the house." I know he is really pre-occupied with other things, but le sigh.

I fed her, she ate great and nursed and is now napping.

I think he is so stressed because our acupuncturist wants him to switch from his very SAD (gallon of ice cream, canned soup, BK burger) diet to one of organic, whole fruits and veggies, and doing a 180 is really daunting for anyone, but he doesn't feel like he has the time to make a gradual shift. So he's been asking me what he could eat, I've made suggestions, he shoots them down and then in frustration goes to eat at White Castle. I wish I had an answer for him or a way to be supportive, but right now it feels like nothing I do makes a difference.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 4:06 pm 
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Ugh. That frustrating.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:20 pm 
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My husband and I got into a mild argument over discipline. He thinks I give in too much to our 3-year old. I think he unnecessarily asserts his authority just for the sake of doing so. For example, Lucy wanted a dandie tonight. I could care less that she wanted one - just one! My husband wanted to say no because....I have no idea. I think we probably both need to meet in the middle of this one before the issues become bigger. But really, do we need to say no to her just for the sake of doing so? We say no often enough for things that really matter - no you can't jump on the baby, no you can't cross the street by yourself, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:03 pm 
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Semen Strong
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I really don't see the point of saying no just to say no. And I think 3 year olds are just naturally kind of unruly, and there isn't much you can do about it.

Just to vent: My partner came home and insisted that he wanted to make himself a quick snack. It is so hot here that I had the AC on, so I asked if he could just make it in the microwave but he said no, it needed to be in the kitchen because that is what he was craving and the only stuff the acupuncturist wants him to eat. Okay, so he then cooks for 40 mins, it is hot as blazes and I have a headache. He sits down, eats his snack and then goes out to dinner with his friends. Leaving me, Leela and the animals in the heat.

And I know its not his fault, he is just figuring out what he is allowed to eat etc, and he didn't realize how hot it would get. But right now, it is hot, and everything I say gets him upset and he feels the same way about me.

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My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:45 pm 
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sofrito wrote:
My husband and I got into a mild argument over discipline. He thinks I give in too much to our 3-year old. I think he unnecessarily asserts his authority just for the sake of doing so. For example, Lucy wanted a dandie tonight. I could care less that she wanted one - just one! My husband wanted to say no because....I have no idea. I think we probably both need to meet in the middle of this one before the issues become bigger. But really, do we need to say no to her just for the sake of doing so? We say no often enough for things that really matter - no you can't jump on the baby, no you can't cross the street by yourself, etc.


Story of my life! Seriously. I think we spend most of our waking hours friggin strategizing about our three year old - my husband says I'm too soft, I say he's too uptight. When things really reach an impasse we go see our couples therapist and he helps us get back on the middle road. When we're not digging in our heels we talk about the stuff that really feels important to both of us - having a kid that doesn't squelch his feelings, having a kid who respects himself and others - and try to figure out what we do to encourage that. My husband is a huge fan of the time out, although I think it works exactly none of the time for our son. He has a lot of worry about having a spoiled kid...my husband is terrified that whatever I'm "giving in" to today is creating the entitled monster of tomorrow. And I have to admit that sometimes I overcompensate for his rigidity so much that I get carried away with cookies for lunch and good times, and my son ends up pushing the limits and then ASKING ME to tell him "no"! Argh! What we do find helpful is to read a parenting book together or attend a parenting class or support group together. Right now we're reading "STEP - Systematic Training for Effective Parenting" - that sounds so awful but it's lots of positive discipline, noticing when they're behaving in a way you like, helping them name their feelings, active listening, good stuff. It seems like it also helps us both to get grounded in what's going on developmentally for our kid. He's very verbal so it's easy to think of him as older, when really, he's three and he processes stuff like a three year old. We go to parenting classes at the Echo Center which is an incredible resource for anyone in the Los Angeles area. Anyone interested in non-violent communication can check out their suggested reading list and I think they have some essays and resources online too.

http://www.echoparenting.org/


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:59 pm 
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Tonight we were tag-teaming looking out for the baby while doing chores like laundry, dinner, clean up. My partner notices something in babynut's mouth. After much struggle, I manage to pull out a well chewed receipt. I am not happy about this, but it is a little funny, and no harm done, right? My partner gets so upset and blames me. Of course the receipt chewing must have occurred when I was watching her, not him. What? How is it my fault? I know this is petty, arguing about who almost let the baby swallow a receipt. Argh! I'm trying not to engage in the arguing.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:57 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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may i offer a suggestion? the really awesome discussion on this page is super applicable to teenage parenting. i read the dialogue thinking "this sounds just like a bad day with me and FC".

"could you put the dishes away?"
"but i don't know where they go."
"we've had the same kitchen arrangement for 5 years. how could you not know?"
"i can't remember."
"potato masher and shiitake i never use in the bottom drawer, please. knife and measuring spoons on teh second." ad infinitum.

i learned that the commentary, passive aggressive posturing and whining is endless until i just say, "oh, i have every confidence you'll figure it out". not snarky, not untrue. and then either walk away or LA LA LA.

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I'm just a drunk who likes fruit. -- Desdemona


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:27 am 
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sofrito wrote:
My husband and I got into a mild argument over discipline. He thinks I give in too much to our 3-year old. I think he unnecessarily asserts his authority just for the sake of doing so. For example, Lucy wanted a dandie tonight. I could care less that she wanted one - just one! My husband wanted to say no because....I have no idea. I think we probably both need to meet in the middle of this one before the issues become bigger. But really, do we need to say no to her just for the sake of doing so? We say no often enough for things that really matter - no you can't jump on the baby, no you can't cross the street by yourself, etc.


whoa we have the SAME EXACT thing going on here. I start to think my partner's penchant for saying "no" when really, whatever it is she's asking for is not a big deal has to do with him being alone with her all day. And possibly me overcompensating for not seeing her all day, I'm like "yeah sure have a couple tortilla chips, why not?" I hate to put him in the position of always being the disciplinarian but sometimes why not give in to her, it won't ruin her for life!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:15 pm 
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Normally my husband is pretty amazing, but I'm kind of stewing tonight. Tomorrow is my birthday, and my husband forgot, so he offered to help a friend move, and of course he doesn't know how long it will take. Normally it wouldn't be a big deal because we're not really into celebrating anything ever (and I knew when I married him he was not a "gift guy" and it 100% doesn't bother me!) but Sven just cut his first tooth a few days ago and is now working on the second and this week has been really, REALLY difficult and emotional for me. I was really looking forward to having some help and support this weekend. Of course I told him he could go (because he had already committed when he asked me!) so now I feel like I have no right to be upset since I missed my chance to ask him not to go and now I just look passive-aggressive.

I'm also a bit miffed because before I called him crying with desperation at the end of his workday, he was planning to go out for a beer. Seriously? Do you not think maybe I'm anxiously awaiting you coming home?

And for his birthday I got him a video game, and the second I sit down on the couch to marathon nurse our newborn with my Netflix shows he decides he wants to play it and whines about how it's his birthday and I should let him. Because nursing for two hours while watching him play Battlefield is awesome.

Ugh. I don't like feeling this way. But it's nice to talk about it.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:22 pm 
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Today I saw my partner walking towards me (and our two kids) and I just had this huge jolt... I remembered our first date, how goddamn nervous I was about it, the way he smelled, the jacket he was wearing. It was crazy electric, it took my breath away. I would never in six thousand years have guessed that we would go on to have these two wonderful little guys together. Seems like a lifetime ago but not in a bad way... like I can't remember my life without him. I can't imagine trying to parent without him at all.

Mandycoot, happy birthday. I hope something good happens for you! I have similar frustrations with my partner sometimes (he really just doesn't get excited about birthdays/holidays/anniversaries/etc, it's just not his nature) so yeah. Congrats to Sven on the tooth and fingers crossed that the second one comes through fast!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:55 am 
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i'm losing my mind just a little over here. MIL has been staying for 5 days (OMG TOO LONG) and it's been really hot and mr. bird has been working crazy hours at work (came home at 1am last night) and he is in a pissy mood. dude, i know your work week has been tough, but there is no way it's been tougher than my week at home in a heat wave with your mother and your two year old. who has missed you terribly and cries for ages every time you leave the house.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:23 pm 
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I am having a hard time right now, I know it is partially the lack of sleep but I feel like I am being taken for granted and I am sooooo resentful right now. I hate feeling like this, I hate that this is happening. I am thinking about staying in Michigan for a while so Nate can do all the crepe he wants to do and I can get help and maybe some sleep. Ugh.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:02 am 
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Semen Strong
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I am a bit frustrated by my husband's health right now. He can't get tests done bc he hs no insurance. I have asked him to get insurance for years and he has always said he'd rather just us get divorced if something bad happens to safeguard my assets, even though I have told him this isn't how it works. So now he wants insurance so he can get expensive tests done and I found a federal program that will cover his preexisting conditions immediately on issuance ( NJ plans can't reject you for preexisting conditions but they can refuse to cover related bills for 6m to a year). So he said he would take care of it, and just asked me to drop off a form for signature with our MD. I asked specifically exactly what he needed, and he said check for signature and that they included the last two bills. Ok, so I did that and brought it home, and then he got annoyed that the form was filled out wrong, because he hadn't explained what it was for. The office thought he needed a form saying he had no preexisting conditions but he needed something saying he did. So I went back, explained it, got it fixed and got them back to him that day (last week), and tthey are still on our tv. It takes a minimum of 15 days to process and it could take longer. Of course until then, everytime I remind him to do stuff, his response is that he could be dying so why am I nagging him.

And he can't figure out how to eat unprocessed, organic food like our acupuncturist says he needs to, despite the fact that I make a meal like that every night for me and Leela (but it doesn't taste good to him), so he's been eating all his meals out.

The whole thing is driving me a little crazy right now, because I'd really like to know what is going on, but I am getting the clear message that its not my business and not to meddle, he has it covered.

Its his birthday, so I really can't say anything to him in person, but I need to vent. Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:51 am 
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oof, tofulish, it sounds so hard. You are obviously coming from a place of caring, but it sounds like he's not ready to face things, and he's deflection is causing problems and stress for you. i am thinking of you.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:24 am 
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Tofulish wrote:


And he can't figure out how to eat unprocessed, organic food like our acupuncturist says he needs to, despite the fact that I make a meal like that every night for me and Leela (but it doesn't taste good to him), so he's been eating all his meals out.




Didn't he eat and cook vegan for a few months? I seem to remember he did really well with that so why can't he just do that again?

Also why did you have to take the forms to the Dr why couldn't he? If he did it himself he could have made sure they filled it out properly before he left instead of sending you back and forth and getting all snotty with you!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:00 pm 
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I don't know! We are in this weird petulant child stage of our relationship. Take care of ME! NO YOU take care of ME! NO ME! NO ME!

And as far as the not celebrating birthdays, I feel everyone's pain. Brett supposedly "hates" his birthday being noticed, but of course, loves it if you do something nice for him. We spent yesterday with him changing, making, cancelling and then remaking plans to celebrate all day. In the end I gave him a card from the drug store and he went out to dinner with his friends. We will celebrate another day. Next year is his 50th. And seriously, I am going to do nothing. If he can't be a big boy about his birthday and ask for what he wants, then he is SOL. And no asking for a bowlcut really doesn't count as wanting to celebrate together.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:10 pm 
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I think this happens with a lot of first time parents, this sort of fighting/squabbles.

Eating his meals out = bad all around. :(


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:18 pm 
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Nate and I talked the other night. I am glad we did. Basically I proposed that I stay in cinching an for a while longer so he could do his stuff. That isn't what he wants. It all started because he told me he wanted to start going to shows in SF since he hadn't been to any since we moved here. I got pretty upset because he already has a huge thing (cycling) that he does in his own and takes up a ton of his time, so I felt really resentful that he was finding something else to do on his own. I told him as much and he sort of back peddled and said he wanted to go to one show only or only occasionally, which is of course fine. I just don't think it is fair or whatever that he can do things by himself all the time but I never really get to go out with friends anymore because he cannot figure out how to get grey to sleep. The last time I went out with friends I was gone for two hours, I came home, grey was crying and Nate was super pissed at me for being out. Anyhow, we got everything worked out and I feel better about it. Although, if I go to Michigan and I am getting actual help with grey and sleep I may never come back.;)

Eta: tofulish, I am sorry you guys are having a rough time. I wish he would take care of himself so you could have less stress!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:04 pm 
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refinnej wrote:
I think this happens with a lot of first time parents, this sort of fighting/squabbles.



yeah, seriously. the first year was super rough for the bickering. i felt like all we did was bicker. i mean, it still happens, but things smooth out eventually.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:43 pm 
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littlebear wrote:
I just don't think it is fair or whatever that he can do things by himself all the time but I never really get to go out with friends anymore because he cannot figure out how to get grey to sleep.

Ugh. I feel this way a lot. To be fair, Tony has really cut back on his extracurriculars since Inez was born. But I sometimes still feel bitter that he can just go out for a beer after work or spend a whole day off doing something by himself. I guess I do lots of things that probably seem more appealing than being at work all day, but I do them all with a baby in tow. And if I want or need to go anywhere by myself it's a giant production and completely dictated by the schedule/needs of whoever is watching Inez, aka not relaxing at all. Bleh. And I do think he really empathizes, but that doesn't change the situation.

It's funny, he was talking the other day about not having any time to himself and, while I completely get why he feels that way and fully realize this isn't a contest to see who has it harder, this voice in my head is still shouting, "You drive in a car by yourself everyday! You eat like 75% of your meals without a toddler present! YOU GET TO PEE ALONE!" I think we just have different concepts of "time to myself."


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