Quality time with DH and baby ….am I wrong?

posted 3 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 2
13256 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

What if things ARE so busy and tiring that one or both of you IS always a zombie and just wants to veg while the other is watching the baby, or cleaning up, or any other number of things needed to run the household.  Then none of is “quality”?  What do you actually want to do that you would consider quality time?  Watch a movie?  Eat a meal?  Just sit there and talk?  You may find that your definition of quality and free time changes after a baby too (we don’t have one yet so I dont know by experience, but only from what I’ve heard).  By your definition DH and I never have “real quality time”.  Weekdays, we work, then work out, I whip up some dinner, he tends to the yard or dog, we eat together then veg out in our separate spaces. We spend the entire weekend working on the house and running around with errands.  Such is life.  As long as we’re together, be chowing down in front of the TV, just vegging even seprately but at home, or working on the house or anything together, we’re together, and that’s all I need.

If you have some notion of ‘quality time’ and something you want to do, I think it may be easier to just tell your husband what you want to do instead of telling him that you need quality time and don’t want his family around all the time.  (Which to him, a weekend is probably not “a lot” compared do the 5 week days they are not around).  If every other weekend for a visit sounds reasonable to you, then tell them/him that is what you want.  That you need some weekends to just unwind on your own without outsiders around so you can just be yourself.

Post # 3
941 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

I personally do consider weekday evenings and errand time on Saturday as quality time together. Surely, you aren’t going nonstop for every second of the day on Saturday? Regardless, I still think setting boundaries with your ILs is a good thing. But, in my experience (my kids are now 10 and 14), the excitement wears off and slows down after a relatively short time. Maybe don’t be so strict to start off and see how things go. 

Post # 4
1053 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2010

I think you’re thinking WAY too hard about this. Just like before you have the baby, after the baby, every weekend will be different. Some will be wide open, some will have set plans that you cannot break (weddings, birthday parties, holidays), some you will set up one night with friends and one at home lounging, some you will see family, some you won’t, some you will have to run a million errands, some you’ll have only a few. 

I think you just have to take it weekend by weekend and try to get a good balance. 

We happen to see DH’s parents EVERY weekend, because they are obsessed with our baby and can’t stand to go more than a week without seeing him. Luckily, we’ve fallen into a great routine where they watch him while DH and I have a date night. Same with my parents. They pick my son up from daycare at least 1 night/week and get a few hours all to themselves while I work late or run errands. Sometimes DH and I grab dinner while they’re watching him. Win, Win!<br /><br />

It’s all about balance!


Post # 5
7654 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

shanbp:  Ok, so first to answer your question no, quality time with everyone else is not the same as quality time with just you, your DH, and your baby, and you are certainly entitled to have a weekend free of family and friends to enjoy yourselves.

I also believe in boundaries and making them clear early on. Your MIL doesn’t seem as bad as mine. My MIL was making sure I knew that I was EXPECTED to bring my child to such and such place when they wanted. Long story short, she and I had it out. No boundaries were talked about in a mature manner, but I made sure she knew that she wasnt going to have it her way all the time.

DH and I talked extensively about how we would handle weekends seeing his family and how often we would let visitors come see us. We agreed upon days and had it all figured out. Once my son was born though? I had to deal with none of it. My MIL become disinterested in her grandson, never pressures us to bring him to see her, and she doesn’t come to us. She will make her usual small guilting comments like, “Try not to make it another month” to which I respond, “Yes, MIL, try not to make it another month” which ultimately puts responsibility on her to come see her own grandson rather than me always bringing him there.

Anyway, the biggest things to remember are to not stress yourself out beforehand. I let myself get too stressed out beforehand, and it wasn’t as bad as I made it out to be. BUT you need to make sure your DH and you are on the same page. If it bothers you, he should be willing to compromise, and none of this will work if you and he are bnot on the same page. You need to time to yourself too. It’s important and healthy.

Post # 6
6668 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

As they say don’t count your chickens until they hatch.  I agree with the pp. You honestly won’t know until the baby arrives.  Stop over thinking right now.  Once the baby gets here and the “newness” of having a baby things will settle.  Besides who knows you may just welcome the help 

Post # 7
7304 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

For us, we don’t count errands and house projects and satisfying DS’s needs to be quality time. They are life, and while we may be side-by-side, we are decidedly not really focused on each other. Quality time, to us, is when we get to be focused on each other and DS, and are not doing mandatory activities. It’s also not something we get a lot of on its own. We are working on making grocery shopping trips together, and turning that into quality time, so that we can make the best of the limited hours in a day. But we absolutely make it a point to schedule real quality time for us as a couple, and for the 3 of us as a family. If we don’t put it on the calendar and mentally tell ourselves that these are unbreakable plans, then it doesn’t happen. Carving out that time takes work, but it is worth it to us.

Post # 8
1126 posts
Bumble bee

shanbp:  I don’t think you’re being unreasonable. I love my FIs family, they are amazing and have been so welcoming to me and I also love seeing my own family, we are really close but there is no way I would want to see either of them every weekend. We both need our space to just be us. Maybe you need to explain to your husband what you want from quality time, for us it would probably be going for a walk round the park next to our house just the two of us (or three if there was a baby) and having a natter but I’d probably need to tell FI tha’s what I meant by quality time

Post # 9
643 posts
Busy bee

shanbp:  I think it’s entirely reasonable to spend some weekends with extended family and some as your own family unit. I’m not sure you need to be prescriptive about it but your husband should certainly understand that you don’t want to be with his family every single weekend. Even if it isn’t “quality time” sometimes you just want to be alone together and not be “on” so to speak.

Post # 12
13256 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

The feedings dont stop on weekends so you’ll likely be a zombie all weekend too for months on end until the baby develops a schedule and sleeps more.  It sounds like you’re hoping for a full day or weekend of quality time and I think that may just be unrealistic and that maybe quality time is just sitting down at dinner every night to talk to each other vs in front of the TV.  Or while driving somewhere (DH and I carpool to work sometimes and I swear that is some of the most attentive we are to each other with nothing else to do in the car).  He may think that weekdays are a break from family if they just come over on weekends, but if he’s working weekdays and you want full day with him around (in other words on the weekend) without family, then he needs to understand your needs and it may help to quantify that to him.  If he’s anything like my husband, he needs definites and something tangible to work with.  Saying you need some quality alone time wouldn’t work, to him, that could just be weekday evenings.  But telling him you need a weekend to just relax at home with him and baby is something he can wrap his mind around. 

Would your DH seriously allow them over EVERY weekend if they wanted to if you didn’t want them there?

Post # 13
1287 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

shanbp:  I think you are over-complicating the explanation of your hope, needs and wants when a baby arrives to your DH, and thus, he is not fully understanding any of it.  I say that because I read your post, and you make great points, but the very clear, concise argument in all of it is that you want BOUNDARIES when you begin your new family.  AND, that is absolutely OK!!  But, to get him to ‘agree’ or see a schedule, etc, etc is a waste of energy for you, and probably not something he is clearly understanding either.

You two just need to come to an agreement when it comes to outside families, and then stick to it. From what I have seen or heard from close friends, the baby will dictate the rest, and you never know what you could possible need or want until you are ‘in it’.

So, for example, if you want to get settled into your new roles for 3-4 days post birth, and not have visitors unless called upon, that is totally fine, and respectable.  If you want families to call and see what you need or want, rather than just showing up, that is totally OK.  If grandparents want you to always call if you and your DH want a night out, then use the babysitting and take turns!  If, when things settle, you want to set a schedule of ‘grandparents’ day throughout the month, or whatever, then figure that out then!! Holidays, events, etc will be a wait and see how it goes type of deal, but ultimately it should be what you need or want.

Establish smaller general rule of thumbs now, and then worry about how your quality time plays out, and how others play into wanting to spend time with you too.  Yes, I think you will feel pressure to make everyone happy, because everyone will want to share in the love of this teeny tiny human (not a bad thing).  To agree to not ‘give in’ to make others happy is totally acceptable, but the other side of that will be the moments you are thankful someone wants to take your child, or see your child, welcoming a much needed break for you!  And those moments may not come every second weekend 🙂

Post # 14
856 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

shanbp:  I think you need to just wait and see what happens. You’d also be surprised at how much a newborn really does sleep. My husbands parents visited us a lot in the beginning. Yeah it was kind of annoying but on the other hand they brought food, watched the baby while I slept and DH and I even snuck out for lunch on our own once when DD was 2 weeks old. Don’t get all stressed out until you actually see what the situation brings. 

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