This past weekend, I went out to do some grocery shopping on my own while Hailey played at home with Daddy. Later in the day, I asked my husband how his time with Hailey was. I was making conversation. I expected a generic answer along the lines of “it was great”.
Instead, I got a response I wasn’t expecting. He said he doesn’t often get to spend time alone with Hailey and it was great.
His response confused me. He plays with her every day when he gets home from work (usually without me) and once a week they do swimming lessons together. I also occasionally go out for an evening or on a weekend.
Swimming lessons is a structured activity and involves other people so that’s not alone time.
Their after work playtime together isn’t alone time because I’m still in the house. My husband has noticed that even when I’m in a different room Hailey is always aware of where I am. Now that I think about it she will often crawl over to where I am to see what I’m doing.
I hadn’t actually thought of their interaction in this way. Here I was thinking that they spent lots of time together one-on-one but I hadn’t considered that they’re usually not alone.
All of this time I’ve been hesitant to make plans on weekends because it is one of the only times we get to spend together as a family plus I want to enjoy time with my husband when he’s not at work or school.
In reality, I’ve been depriving Hailey and her dad of spending quality time together. I had no idea. My husband wasn’t complaining about it. He mentioned that he enjoyed his time with Hailey the other day because it doesn’t happen very often. He was simply pointing out something that he was noticing.
I have at least one girl friend whose husband always calls his parents to help with the kids when she’s away. I want my husband to be comfortable taking care of Hailey for extended periods of time without me. I know he is, but he hasn’t had much opportunity.
It is my goal to make a conscious effort to get out more and give them their time together. Although I love spending time with both of them, time apart will ultimately be to everyone’s benefit, including me.
It can only mean more freedom (and less resentment later on) for me. I can also see benefits to the relationship between Hailey and her father. But the one benefit that’s creeping into my thoughts right now pertains to the relationship I have with my husband. Allowing the two of them to have that time together will demonstrate that I trust him to take care of Hailey on his own and that I believe in his capabilities as a parent. I feel that way already but I’m not sure if he knows it.