Is scheduling downtime from parenting healthy?

posted 6 days ago in Parenting
Post # 16
9416 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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@bear123:  “if I have to say out loud that we should each get time off it means I don’t want to be with my daughter.”

There is nothing wrong with not wanting to be with your daughter every waking moment. Read that again. You can be an amazing mother that loves her child and still need a break. I love my children. I would give my life to save theirs. I want to give them everything in this world. And I still want them to GTFO of my face sometimes. 

Post # 17
3697 posts
Sugar bee

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@LilliV:  There is nothing wrong with not wanting to be with your daughter every waking moment. Read that again. 


Post # 18
1539 posts
Bumble bee

I think intensive mothering norms are very unhealthy. That’s essentially the notion that mothers need to be “on” 24/7, are fully responsible for every aspect of the child’s life, and should never need to recharge becsuse that indicates they’re not a dedicated mother. 

Everyone needs time to themselves and children need more than 1 or even 2 people who they feel connected to and can trust. 

Everyone needs to figure out their own flow and what works best for their family. No two families can operate the same way. Some considerations when making this plan are work schedules, the child’s temperament, childcare, what you’re good at/ what you enjoy. 

I would say I’m the “lead” parent in my marriage and that works for us. My husband works 10-hour days 4 days per week whereas I have a very flexible job and long breaks (I’ve been off for the last 6 weeks) so it’s natural that I do more during the week because I’m around more. Over the 3-day weekend, things are more split. There’s certain tasks I do more often than not either because I’m around or I enjoy doing it.  

I also let my son play independently. So we’ll be together, but doing separate activities. Something he’s been able to do (thankfully) since he was very young. I’ll be reading a book or scrolling WB lol and he’ll be playing with Duplo blocks or toy cars. So all our time together isn’t necessarily me actively playing with him. It’s more fragmented where he’ll look for affirmation or come for a quick snuggle then get back to what he’s doing. This gives me time to recharge even while I’m mothering. 

I also use childcare. I have a PT nanny approx. 20 hours a week. And I purposely go out or stay in my room and sleep some of the time while she’s here. Like today, the three of us had breakfast together and I spent some time with my son and told him I’m going out and I’ll see him in a few hours.  He doesn’t need me 24/7 because he has a positive relationship with other adults. Sometimes all my childcare hours are spent actually working but when I can I like to use some of the hours for my own rejuvenation. 

You gotta find what works for you and remember that when you take care of yourself you’re ultimately a better mother. Less stressed, more energetic and inventive, more engaged, etc. 


Post # 19
4108 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

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@bear123:  I think scheduling downtime for both parties is incredibly important. 

I am married to a very doting father, but he works a demanding job that takes him out of the house 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. He is only home for one bedtime a week, so that’s the one he does. On Sundays (his one day off a week), he happily does all the baby things: every diaper, bottle, nap, bath, and bedtime. He basically hogs our daughter on Sundays and I take time to run errands or do things around the house. 

I’m a Stay-At-Home Mom, so I honestly live for Sundays. There is this absolutely bonkers sense of guilt and shame that comes from admitting you need/want/CRAVE downtime from your kids(s), but like??? Today my daughter wouldn’t let me put her down so I had to tug my pants down to pee while holding a screeching howler monkey that was covered in oatmeal. By the time her head hit the crib mattress tonight, I literally closed the door over and let out a full minutes “fuckkkkkkkkkkkkk” because it had been a day. 

I am envious of those that have a partner at home with them more often. If I did, I would absolutely demand that we schedule things. I think it also helps your kid(s) to not have one person they are dependent on to eat or go to sleep for. 

Post # 20
1625 posts
Bumble bee

My almost 4yr old year old twins are manic and they have required both mine and my husband’s presence for bath and bedtime for a very long time now. Of course we could do it solo if we had, but it leaves one person feeling almost mentally and physically abused! I CANNOT WAIT for their toddler craziness to calm down a little bit so we can take turns! 

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