Hello! I recently married a mother of two small children (ages 5 and 7, their real father isn't in the picture at all, to them I am daddy), and we just had my first child in May of this year. My question has to do with a feeling guilty about taking time off from everything on the weekends. I work long hours, 13+ daily, but I only work 4 day weeks. On the weekend it's my job to be stay at home dad, but to be honest I'm so burnt out from those 4 long days in a row, that first day off I feel completely exhausted and alls I can think about is sending the kids away to play outside or quietly by themselves inside, and for the love of god for the baby to just take a long nap. I feel extremely guilty for being selfish like that, I barely see the kids (only briefly in the morning) those four days. and all I want is time to myself on that first day off (Fridays) We always do family stuff together the rest of the weekend, but I have ZERO energy on fridays. We recently found a much cheaper child care option that we are using now, and I now have an opportunity to take every other Friday off (from everything) for myself to relax and recooporate. My question to you folks than is, am I being selfish for wanting this? For putting baby in daycare when I should be spending time with her? The boys will be in school (one full time, one half time prechool, every other Friday, it would be this friday i would take off) but am I choosing myself over baby? I know it will make me a much more tolerable person over the weekend (much more patient) but I just feel a little ill knowing I'm leaving baby at daycare when I could be spending my limited non-work time with her. What's your opinion?
First of all, thank you for being so open and honest about what you are feeling.
It is my opinion that in order for you to be the best dad you can, you need to take good care of yourself. I think taking every other fFriday to yourself is a great way to do that. Then when the kids are with you, you can focus more energy on them instead of always wanting to send them off.
It's hard to balance work, kids, husband/wife and all the other things life throws at us. I think that by you being aware of what you are feeling and trying to find something that works for the whole family, you are being the best dad you can be
Please stay in touch and let us know how things go.
It is very important to balance own life with children. Youare quite successful in that and the best thing is you know where it goes wrong. This is not about selfishness, but taking time out for self. You are aware of the situation and trying to improve it. Create a list of the entertaining things you desire to do with kids, I am sure you and children both will enjoy it.
Do you need a break from the kids or just a break from Daddy duties? I'm a full-time stay at home Mom, so my boys (2 and 4) are with me almost 24/7. I hate being separated from them, so this works out. I do get tired of being treated like a maid, personal chef, and referee though. At these time, I explain to the kids that I need a break, and tell them they must do whatever task they are calling me for themselves. I normally won't even leave their sides for this, but I am there more as a playmate than a parent for a period. This is normally enough of a break for me. When the boys were babies, I would take breaks by getting them involved in a calming activity for me. Going for walks, reading, playing a video game. I found that as long as I was smiling and getting a little overly into the activity, the kiddos would be happy about it as well. I preferred getting them involved in my "me" time instead of giving up time with them.