A friend who’s busy preparing her wedding asked me this question recently “Do you spent all your time with your husband? Do you have your time and he his time” She was so stressed up with her wedding preparation that she was hoping for a break from her hubby, to take a breath and take off her attention somewhere else.
OK..back to her question. The first answer that quickly flashed through my mind was “Shit hor… i spent most of my time for my family only hor!Where’s my ME time?? I dont have any ME TIME”
The time without kids and when newly married, HIS TIME, MY TIME, COUPLE TIME….. No problem… it’s ANYTIME. We have so much control on our own time, what things we want to do on our own, as a couple or as a family and it was really very flexible.
After JS’s arrival, my life was/ME TIME being:
- When I was in the office, to be able to mingle with colleagues, gossip, adult interaction (not the baby-ish/childish questions and answers).
- Able to work and surf net without interruption.
- Having a quiet peaceful lunch break with/without colleagues.
- Go shopping during lunch break at own leisure.
- Go for a nice hairwash or massage after work before picking JS up from the babysitter.
- Some nights hubby and me will go for dinner at restaurant before picking JS up from babysitter’s place.
- Weekends, SIL will volunteer to look after JS with MIL’s help so that hubby and me can go “pak tor”.
- We managed to take days off to Bangkok and Shanghai for holidays without JS. (We left JS with the sitter. At time time I didn’t really know how to treasure this couple time and missed JS dearly, now looking back, it’s a luxury at that time to be temporary away from the kids)
After WH came along. I’m officially a FULL TIME HOUSEWIFE and my life goes like this:
- Full time staying home with the kids. Tending to them, thinking of what to cook ALL THE TIME.
- When I’m out from the house, I’m always with one or both kids, usually doing groccery shopping for the household or sending/picking JS to/from school. No more shopping/outing for myself.
- When I ever got a chance to go to the hair saloon, it’s the time that my hair badly needed to be trimmed or perm so I don’t look “Ah Soh” and again I have to drag the kids along.
- When I’m at home, when doing “big business” in the toilet, there’s constant knocking at the toilet door. Big one goes “mummy, what you doing inside? Why so long one”, the small one goes “mummy, mummy” follow by more knocking at the door. Same goes to when I’m bathing…so it’s always “Mandi Kerbau”, always doing it hurrily.
- When I’m sitting in front of the pc. I have the small one latch on to my boobies or someone sitting on my lap trying to take over the mouse from me, or someone lurking nearby attempting to press on the OFF button on the PC.
- Facial ah? When was the last time huh??
- Massage…the only rare occation was when hubby was away on business trip, even then I have to drag my kids along…so not 100% relaxation.
- When I’m reading the newspaper/magazine/book there’s someone looking over me and asked me “Mummy, what’s this?” “mummy, what are you reading?” or baby goes “car, car, car”
- When I’m listening to my song, big one goes “mummy, I dont like your song, I want my song”
- The whole day I hear is mummy I want…., mummy do …..
So my ME TIME is left when the kids are napping in the afternoon, where I got to “date” with the PC without interruption, but again most often the kids would cry and I have to go put them back to sleep and again start to think/prepare for dinner.
- We hardly go out alone anymore. We only try to hold hands when there’s family outings when the kids can be taken care off by their aunties/grandparents.
- At home, hubby’s usually snoring away well even before the kids were asleep (so where got couple time???)
- Weekends ah?? SIL never offer to take care of the kids anymore. She alone cannot handle 2 of them unless the maid’s around or someone else around. Each weekend morning, hubby sents the maid to MIL’s house to help out. So again, I am left to attend to my kids all by myself while hubby has got his time off!! It’s sad that we dont do things together already. When he needs to go to the bank, he goes early himself during weekend. Need something from Jusco or Ikea, he would go alone because he doesn’t want to wait for me to get the kids ready and they gets up late!! He said that we are wasting his time, there would be lots of people, no parking by the time we are ready. 😦 (Not to say I’m not willing to spare my maid to my MIL, but I hate the “ngi ngi ngor ngor, ngam ngam cham cham, yim yim chim chim” afterwards, like picking a needle from the hay and always blame me for not hawking at my maid when she’s working)
- Holidaying without the kids? Dared not dream and hope!
This is HIS TIME (before kids and after kids seems no different)
- He goes for a hair wash after work whenever he feels like it/when he’s tired
- He goes for facial whenever he feels like it
- He goes to the driving range whenever he feels like it. (now no more, coz no more driving range here)
- He goes out for a drink with his friend and colleague after work and sometimes during weekend (though he made it less frequent)
- He goes to the cinema alone when there’s a movie he wanted to watch.
- He goes to the gym on weekend (lately he cancelled his gym membership)
- He goes for breakfast with his dad once a week, follow by shopping for whatever he thinks the house needed (I miss shopping together with him for the house) or banking or to the temple or whatever errands for his sisters and parents, at the same time he takes away my maid to help his mum, leaving me alone at SIL’s place with 2 kids.
- He watches the TV/VCD/Movies alone when I’m busy reading to the kids, changing cleaning them and putting them to sleep.
- Playing host/trying to be hospitable to company visitors from oversea though it’s not necessary (but have to lah…pulling string/networking)
To think of it, besides the one two hours a day in front of the PC, I’m having no ME TIME. I never have chance to go out by myself, to meet up with my friends (hey! do I still have friends???). I forgo weekly hair wash at saloon, weekly massage, and monthly facial. I still haven’t figure out time to go complete my slimming programme. For him, he got the flexibility to go out whenever he wants, all he needs to do is just to inform me, wherease mine with string of attachements need to carefully plan ahead and a lot of consideration to be taken.
I try not to compare and have too much expectation as this will surely leads into an argument. I stop questioning whether this is fair or not. I stop hoping that he would be sensitive enough to spare me some time off. If I stop comparing and even think about it, I would be less unhappy. Maybe to him, staying at home with a maid is not stressful and already have sufficient ME TIME. We used to argue before and I got very angry with his insensitive remark “Give you a maid already still don’t know how to manage your time, poor time management” I get so angry with him from not understanding my daily routine. Shops beside Giant dont open until as late as 10am – 11am. I need to sent JS to school and need to be there before 12pm to pick her up, where got time to go my own thing beside shopping for the household. After picking JS from school need to rush back to settle her, feed her lunch, changed let her nap. I’m not that cruel and selfish to want my kids to sascrifices their nap time for my own pleasure. Somemore need to prepare for what to cook for dinner, I’m sure if we do go out in the afternoon, then I will left with no time to prepare/cook dinner on time to serve him warm fresh cooking upon him reaching home from work. I’m not allow to leave the maid at home with the kids and go out by myself. So if bringing the maid out means I’m taking away her time for helping the house chores..things like that he doesn’t see…. so I stop bringing it up and stop the argument.
I keep telling myself that his day at work is never easy and can be quite stressful and being the sole breadwinner of the household, he deserve to destress the way he does, having his HE TIME, no question shall be asked and no comparison shall be made. And I’m just a submissive wife, stayed home, no job, with maid, what more shall I ask. Some more men need to socialize/have some networking so I shall never stop him from meeting up with his “Kaki”. I shall be contented that when he’s having HIS TIME, he’s not up to any harm to the family like gambling, drinking, smoking and having other SYT else where. At least I’ve been informed ahead and I know his whereabout.
It’s very much depend on individual how one define having ME TIME. Giving it an inner thought, it wasn’t that bad after all, I still have my time in front of the PC blogging and I still have time to do my course.. so no complaint lah! Anyway I will be having full 11 days off in Nov for my course, 11 days by myself outside the house without kids! And going out less means less opportunity to overspent.