Sept. 12, 2022

Ask Amy: My Spouse Goes Out with Friends...and I Don't

Does your parenting partner have a social life while you stay home? Has it been ages since you’ve seen your pals? Does it feel easier not to go out then to come home to a huge mess? Here’s how to find the time in your life to be more than mom.

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Has it been a while since you've had a night out? Does your parenting partner, in contrast, have an active social life? A listener posted this question in our Facebook group:

How do I explain to my husband that while it’s nice he wants to see his friends weekly, he doesn’t have to?  He has two friends he hangs out with almost every week, and they're both child-free. So the hanging out always happens during bedtime– or sometimes he'll even leave mid-bedtime.

I haven’t seen my friends solo in weeks! Maybe even months! I heard somewhere it’s easier for a dad or non primary caregiver to find childcare ( in their spouse ) than it is for a mom or primary care giver to find it in their spouse.

Most of my friends' husbands hardly ever watch their kids, never do bedtimes, or even worse, have never cared for all their kids, solo, at once. The other problem is that it's less work to stay home than go out... Because you know your partner, if they watch the kids, will do the bare bones. The house will be a disaster when I come home.

In other words, my husband is a good person, he is willing to watch my kids, but being a mom it’s also not always practical. Please tell me this isn’t just something I struggle with!

Let's change our own language around this before we try to change minds. When our spouses or partners are parenting, they're not babysitting, or watching the kids, or helping us. They're doing what they're supposed to be doing.

We have to entitle ourselves to the same social lives and plans as our parenting partners who aren't as tied to the home. If their cleaning standards might be below ours... we can fix that, but a little further down the road. For now, focus on how good is it for your family– and for you– that you have renewing time with your friends, and how good it is for your kids to see that your partner can take care of them just as well as you can.

Here is writing on the topic mentioned in this episode:

Melinda Wenner Moyer: "At Least I'm Not as Bad as That Dad!"

Special thanks to our "Question of the Week" sponsor:

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