How do you split your parental responsibility ?

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How do you split your parental responsibility ?

Postby petal » Sun Jul 27, 2014 1:18 pm

Not sure if I'm being unreasonable, so just wanted some opinions.
My husband wants to play football on weekends, committing to a team and would play every other week. One day would be taken up by this more or less.
That means that day I would be "stuck" with two childen and never being able to be spontaneous and book up stuff on these days for myself or spending time as a family.

I'm currently not willing to agree to this as he already plays sport twice a week after work.

While we have a small baby and 3 year old , I feel I have them all week (mat leave) and want the weekend to be my chance to have a break or spend quality family time.

Would love some feedback.
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Re: How do you split your parental responsibility ?

Postby Sabine101 » Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:09 pm

My husband used to play football every Sunday morning and continued when we only had one child but gave it up after our second - from his own decision. He still plays on a week night but I don't think I'd be too happy if he still wanted to commit at the weekends. We are currently fairly even for solo weekends away/ time off - if he were insisting on playing regularly at the weekend I would probably want to get the same "time off" to do something I wanted to do as well. That leaves you with less family time, but I suppose I'd hope he might change his mind given the option of taking them on his own as well. ;)
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Re: How do you split your parental responsibility ?

Postby calgary » Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:42 pm

I don't think you're being unreasonable.

If the crux is that you feel that you'd (and he) would be missing out on family time then it sounds as if it would be a no go. If the issue is more around you needing some time to yourself then perhaps both of you could get what you want by having a regular weekend babysitter for those days that he plays. We have someone from Likeminders almost every weekend to give us time to do our own things and it's brilliant. They have amazing people and I highly recommend them.

Good luck with it. I'm sure the conversations haven't been easy but it's much better than letting it fester...
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Re: How do you split your parental responsibility ?

Postby 2009Kat » Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:30 pm

I feel for you. It's hard. I don't think you Are being unreasonable but do need to think about it. I am regularly a sporting widow. My husband works horrendously hard and needs his sport from time to time - can't do it on a weeknight as he is usually at work. I feel that he is happier and really looks forward to our time together if he has had the chance to unwind and do his thing - I don't want a sulking husband who has been told he can't do his sport... I also get my time off too don't worry there is plenty of tit for tat.
Finally you say you are on mat leave. I think that mothers on mat leave and those that stay at home probably find this issue worse - I work and so actually not not here now about some weekend days by myself with the children as love spending time with them at the weekend. When I was at home though I was dying for some weekend company!
Good luck. Hope you manage to sort something out
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Re: How do you split your parental responsibility ?

Postby foodeditorjo » Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:05 am

Does it really need to take up all day? My ex husband used to play every Saturday on the common but would be home by 11 so that left plenty of time to do things as a family. Maybe you need to find this kind of compromise. Personally I think it's important that people have a bit of space and time to do things they enjoy... family life can be a bit of a slog! Also, for guys, sport gives them a chance to mix with other guys and have some down time.

Also, it is every other week so not all the time. Maybe you could schedule some time with friends (with your children) or get a babysitter for a couple of hours and do something you enjoy when he's playing football.
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Re: How do you split your parental responsibility ?

Postby CitySlicker » Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:23 am

I was going to disagree with you before I read that he plays sport twice a week already after work, so it does seem like a lot. I think everyone needs a bit of downtime and he is no exception but is taking the p1ss a bit. If he can agree that he will only be gone for a couple of hours then maybe reluctantly agree to keep the peace.
If I were you I'd make sure Sunday is your day and anything spontaneous can be done on a Sunday.
It's a tricky one, his priorities seem a little skewed.
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Re: How do you split your parental responsibility ?

Postby Lovingsleep » Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:29 am

I don't think you are being unreasonable. However I would recommend a weekend nanny, it sounds like you could do with a day off too.
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Re: How do you split your parental responsibility ?

Postby 2boysmum » Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:50 am

I also agree you shld get a weekend nanny so you can both enjoy stuff and maybe you can spend that time doing something for yourself and not feel stuck with the children. I think that rightly or wrongly if you stop him doing it, he might resent it and your weekends could become miserable regardless. While having children as young as yours is a "wonderful time to be treasured" it is also bloody hard going and the weekends for you need to feel like they provide some kind of respite. I think perhaps console yourself with the fact that it's not cricket or golf, and if I were in your shoes I would get child care for that time and go and do something nice, then all meet back and have a. Lovely day together with the benefit of feeling rested. I also think some agreement that if big family things come up or something important then he bins it. And that at least one day of the weekend is sacred family time all day. That would be what I would do....
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Re: How do you split your parental responsibility ?

Postby Scottov » Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:05 am

Do you work?
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Re: How do you split your parental responsibility ?

Postby BFW » Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:30 am

I am a MAMIL (Middle Aged Man in Lycra) widow - my husband disappears every weekend for half a day to go cycling with his cycling club. I don't resent this at all - he needs it and it makes him a much happier husband / dad! I think if you were to say no to the football he would really resent it and it does sound like he loves it. As suggested above maybe weekend help is the way forward? My kids are a bit older than yours but I remember how hard it was at that age with no help (we both have family abroad). But it gets so much easier when they are a bit older so let him enjoy his football !!
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Re: How do you split your parental responsibility ?

Postby KiwiAmanda » Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:58 am

Rather than look for ways to avoid it or stop him going, why don't you go and watch them sometime?

My husband plays cricket (though would prefer football at under 2 hours long!) and I find it's a great family day out, a good opportunity for the kids to play with others and for you to meet the other halves of other players. Seeing dad play sport is also provides great role modelling for the kids.

I agree your perspective of family time is a lot different on mat leave but perhaps this is actually the spontanious fun time you're after?
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Re: How do you split your parental responsibility ?

Postby Furzedown Dad » Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:03 pm

Difficult one. Just finished typing the below and it's a little on the rambling side, but thought I would leave it as is.

If he plays sports twice a week after work, I'm inclined to say that you are not being unreasonable.

The way I (as a father of two young ones myself) see it, there are 5 weeknights and 2 full days over the weekend when I "should" be helping with the kids. Any time I do something fun for myself in those periods like going out for a drink with friends after work is great, but I suppose I think of it a bit like my wife doing me a favour rather than something I'm entitled to.

The trouble is if you start thinking along the lines of exchanging kid-free time - e.g. he goes and plays football for half of Saturday and then you go and do your own thing for half a day. Realistically that's not practical as you would spend too little time with both parents present.

So I think there has to be give and take. Most weekend football kicks off at 10:30 or so - perhaps he gives you a lie in, gives the kids breakfast and gets them ready before he heads off. Maybe he deals with bathtime and cooks dinner so that you can put your feet up in the evening, something like that.

Assuming he gets back from weeknight sports after the kids are in bed, he's already effectively getting two nights off. Getting another half day every other weekend might seem unreasonable to some, not to others. I think the important point is that it does seem that way to you. If you can come up with a compromise along the lines of the above, great. At the risk of stating the glaringly obvious, if one person is completely happy, you haven't compromised. If he's expecting you to take sole charge of the kids for half a day when he COULD be helping you, I think he has to compromise in another area. But you might not be able to. The worst thing you could do would be to agree when you really don't want to. That would create resentment and bad feeling which your kids would almost inevitably pick up on.

One last thing - we men have a short window when we can play sports like football at a reasonable level! So I can definitely understand him wanting to play as much as possible...
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Re: How do you split your parental responsibility ?

Postby petal » Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:03 pm

Thanks all for your input!
It's not local football, so therefore would involve driving somewhere in west London and back. So by the time it starts and with inevitable social gathering afterwards its not exactly speedy.
Not sure of the details or what I will do.
If I "veto" I feel bad for denying him something he enjoys but I also want to look after my own needs.
Weekend nanny would not be for me my little one is too young at the moment and I do prefer family time or for my husband to be wlth them if I'm not around.
Compromise is the word indeed :)
Anyway, will see what happens ...
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Re: How do you split your parental responsibility ?

Postby zaza107 » Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:42 pm

My husband played squash competitively before our daughter was born, and has sort of continued but (a) the matches are in the evenings and he leaves as we start storytime, so he's home for a bit and (b) he's given up training sessions because they were Saturday mornings. It's not great, because he is struggling (don't tell him I said that :)) to stay in "squash shape", playing only weekly matches. He's gradually switching to canoeing and that is also evenings for now, but might become weekend days as well, at least sometimes. We both run and swim but that is easier to fit in, though my swim races have become very few and far between. That said, they came to watch me race last weekend and it was great fun all around, as KiwiAmanda says. I think the answer is to find sports that fit the family and football far away might be a challenge. Maybe there's something else he'd enjoy? My husband switched from squash to canoeing at 48 and loves the change!

As an aside, there's an obvious benefit in having a healthy past-time!

Good luck. That's a challenging one...