My husband decided to take a couple of weeks off over the Christmas period. You may think that’s nice, a bit of extra help with James, well yes, but it also has its downfalls. Now, I don’t like to offend people on my blog, and I always get my husband to read through what I have written before I publish it, just to get a second opinion to check I am not causing offence. So when he suggested I write a blog on how having him at home was stressing me out I was surprised, because surely I would end up offending him?
James and I have our routines. We both like routines, so when my husband is at home these routines don’t always stay the same. It isn’t just the two of us at home now, my husband is there too, and we have to think about how things work for the three of us, rather than just James and I. Sometimes this can be quite hard to adapt to, especially at the beginning of his time off as he may suggest different ways of doing things that we already have a routine in place for, which can sometimes be frustrating. At the same time though, he is James’ father so it’s only right he has a say in how things are done and how we bring James up.
Issues with James come up on a daily basis and it’s not like I am going to call him at work every time I need to make a decision about something I’m doing with James, because that would just annoy him and isn’t practical. However, when he is home from work it can be hard for me to get used to not being the only one making decisions regarding how we do things with James. For example, the TV. I let James watch YouTube on our TV in the lounge. He likes programs that show cars, shapes, numbers, letters or nursery rhymes. If he doesn’t like what I have put on he will hand me the remote to change the program to something else. This can be quite a tedious process as I am expected to know exactly what James wants to watch. He doesn’t usually watch the TV constantly and he wanders between the playroom and the lounge. This works for James and I because he is generally occupied one way or the other so I can get on with cooking the dinner, or whatever else needs doing. Now, my husband has other ideas:
- Are we going to have to watch this until our dinner is ready?
- James should watch what we want to watch.
- He can’t have his programs on all the time, he needs to learn.
- He’s watched too much TV already today.
When I am looking after James by myself I put on whatever will occupy him for the longest. I am generally not sat in the room watching his programs with him for very long, where as my husband is in the room with James, so I can see how James’ programs would be hard to watch for a longer period of time. I am happy for James to watch what he wants when he is awake, and then when he is napping or asleep at night, that is the time for us to watch what we want.
It can sometimes be mentally draining having James tantrum and want my attention and at the same time trying to have a conversation with my husband. When it comes to going out it’s not just James and I to please, I have to try and come up with places to go that my husband will also like. Then there is the clearing up. Instead of just having James to clear up after, I have my husband to clear up after too, although he is generally quite tidy so this isn’t too much of an issue.
Don’t get me wrong though, there are also plus points to having my husband at home over Christmas. He takes James out to give me a much needed break or let me get things done that I want to do. I think it is so important for James to spend time alone with his dad, so he understands that it isn’t always mummy that has to do things for him. James loves spending time with his dad. I think he sees daddy as more fun than mummy, because daddy plays more physical games with him which he really enjoys, where as mummy is more for cuddles. My husband is also a great help at clearing up after James and often goes and tidies up the playroom. We get to go out as a family and have each others support when dealing with tantrums. Plus I am getting far more adult conversation, instead of spending most of my time talking to a toddler, that might as well be like talking to a brick wall.
It takes me a few days to get used to my husband being at home during the day, but we soon adapt to each other, and I am sure that I will actually miss having him around when he goes back to work, and I am sure James will too.