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Recently there was a contest to answer this question. While I didn’t get chosen as the winner, I did want to post my answer!

The Question:

I am having an issue with my husband. We have been married for three years and have a baby that is 9 months old. Every other week it seems like he starts a fight with me about how little we get to go out and how “everyone else” leaves their baby with a sitter “at least once a week” and goes out for the whole night, or even leaves their baby with family and has a couples vacation. I work full time and I want to spend time with my child when I’m not working. Once a month date night is enough for me, and I don’t see how “everyone” else goes out multiple times a week without their baby. Am I really off base here?

My answer:

Mama, you are not alone, but you are off base. Just because everyone is doing it doesn’t make it ok, or best for you and your husband (or your marriage). I’ll start with commiserating, we have a 16.5 year old and a 10.5 month old in the house. We both work from home, there is no “break,” and no alone time unless you are indisposed, or have lost your mind and have left a room stating “I’m done for a little while.” This also means that there is a teenager or a baby that knows what we are doing at all times…at ALL TIMES. So, we don’t get “us” time. I also still breastfeed her, so we really don’t spend much time away from the girls. We NEED “us” time. I crave it, a 30 minute shower with hubs while our teen watches the baby is like a 2 week vacation. I said that (to vent, and) to say this, Mama, you need to reconnect with your husband. Maybe he needs to reconnect with you and that’s why he’s adamant. Maybe he doesn’t know how to say “I need to talk to you not while you are tired, or the baby is crying, or while Harry The Bunny is on.” We all have issues speaking what we need sometimes and expect others to read our minds, and your husband is no exception. Nor are either of you mind readers. I think he’s just out of ways to convince you so he’s trying to guilt you into it. Not the right way to do it, but you’ve really given him no other options here since you keep shooting his idea down.

So, maybe he’s going about it wrong, I’ll give you that. I’ll also give you one up because I assure you, not all of us are having weekly dates and leaving the baby with a sitter. Some of us are, but out of you and me, none of us are doing that. You have two things right…but it’s not getting you closer to your husband so you’re losing. You’re both losing. You’re not the first working mom that has a husband that wants to spend time with her. You’re also not the first mom who has forgotten that you were a wife before you had kids and your husband misses that! How many wives do we all see saying that their husband never takes them out, or tries to, or he’s busy watching football/gaming/working? I think you’re not realizing what a great thing this could be. Your husband wants time with YOU…why is that so bad? No more than 1.5 years ago you were enjoying time with him (or you wouldn’t have a 9 month old)! Get out of your rut, get out of the house, get out of “mom” mode and you’ll be surprised how much you enjoy and crave your date nights. They can be anything from coffee, to a movie, to a shooting range trip, and last from 1 hour to a couple if you want. There is no set limit or time, just spend time with him.

I encourage you to look deeper into why you’re against it so much. It is very easy to be touched out with a baby, and many women have issues with their sex life after baby, could that be part of it? If that’s not it, then why wouldn’t you want to go on a date? You mentioned working full time. Are you overtired (dumb question, I know), work stressing you out, mad that he’s not working as much? Who watches your child while you work? If baby goes to a caregiver, then leaving the baby with family, or a sitter isn’t your issue. If baby stays at home with him while you work, then don’t you think HE needs a break? Can you compromise and go once every other week until you get back in the swing of it? We all want to spend time with our children after work, we want to see what they’ve learned, give hugs, watch them sleep, play and read to them. Your husband wants the same with you, once a week. No baby, no work, no bills, no “official business,” no fuzzy pj’s, no recliner…just you two, like it used to be. If that doesn’t sound good, then it’s time to have a talk about your relationship, and the best place to start that talk is on neutral ground, with just the two of you, on a date.

~Mel

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