Every parent deserves a break but they also deserve respect
Being a parent is one of the most challenging jobs there is. It can feel all-consuming at times, and while we understandably put our children’s needs above our own, let’s face it — we all need a break sometimes to stay sane. Australian blogger Constance Hall tackled the question of time away in a new post and shared some advice about how we can all get the time we need and still show respect for our partners.
“On Friday a friend called me really upset, her husband called her from work and told her he was going away on a spontaneous boys weekend that weekend,” Hall began in her Facebook post. The friend asked Hall if she were in the same situation, would it bother her. Hall, who is always very vocal in her support of women and thoughtful in her dialogue about all things parenting thought about how she would feel.
“The truth,” Hall said “is that yes, I would be upset.”
And here’s why. “Because what those who don’t stay at home with their kids don’t realise is that women (or man) who stays at home makes huge sacrifices, they don’t love every minute of the relentless house work, going to the park alone with just our kids is not a ‘blessing’ it’s hard fucking work,” she said. “And no matter how hard they work, the same amount of work is presented to them the following day.”
Being a stay-at-home parent is very hard work. And no, it’s not harder or easier than being a working parent, but the resounding feedback I get from my stay-at-home friends is that it’s so constant. There are no breaks, no sick days, and no time out. There’s sometimes little adult interaction and you don’t get to leave at the end of the day to go home.
Of course we all need time away with our friends. It’s essential, be it a two hour dinner or girls/boys weekend to unwind and not parent for a while. Yes, we love our kids, but parenting is monotonous and frustrating and yes, at times boring as shit. Planning in advance is not only respectful to your partner, it allows them to make plans or ask for help with the kids if they need it.
“The only break they get, their weekend so to speak, is you,” she writes. “You are the weekend, you are the break. Just knowing that you’re not going to be the only one getting food down the kids throats or not the only one to buckle in and buckle out every kids. Makes is so much easier.”
At the end of the day it’s about thinking of what your actions may put on your partner and come from a place of consideration. “Imagine if you worked 5 days,” Hall said. “And just before you clocked off you’re partner called you and said ‘by the way you don’t get a weekend this week, you’re working all the way through.’ You’d be kinda pissed too.”