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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
I'm trying to settle down as I tend to get excited when we decide on a new direction to take. I am concerned still that a day, will be come a week, which will become a month and we'll look up and see we haven't made that list above, but I'm also aware that I need to give my wife some time and space to work some of this out on her own. After all we are talking about the bond of a mother and a baby which is incredibly strong, so I'll yield to her need to be certain that she feels enthusiastic about it.



This shows a great amount of insight. I am impressed.
Good luck

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Went out with friends last night to sushi without any of the kids. We waited till 7pm because we know that is when baby goes down for the night so we could make it easier on her parents. It was a little intense during the drop off stages. My wife was very stressed about the entire thing. We had fun once we got there, but this morning she was not feeling good about the situation and told me so. I feel somewhat of a conflict as we are faced with two things:

1. The Harley's were VERY clear that we need to have UA time away from all three kids and that we should not WAIT on making this happen. The way to handle this is to make child/baby care arrangements.
2. My wife has a six month old child that she is very bonded with and doesn't feel very comfortable at this stage leaving her with anyone.

I know that the answer to my question is that we need to negotiate and POJA about it, but I'm not quite sure how. Furthermore, the benefit of UA time is extremely diminished if my wife doesn't feel comfortable leaving the baby in someone else's care in the first place. This isn't the end of the world, but I do want to wrap my brain about it a bit more.


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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
Went out with friends last night to sushi without any of the kids....

1. The Harley's were VERY clear that we need to have UA time away from all three kids and that we should not WAIT on making this happen.
UA time should be time away from your kids AND from your friends. It should be time during which you focus exclusively on each other. It is good that you went out, but it should have involved only you two. You cannot meet the need for intimate conversation - one of the needs you can meet over dinner - with other people present.


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While the baby is still young and not guaranteed to sleep through, you can get UA time in your own house. You need to put all 3 kids to bed, and train the older ones to stay there, and then set the table, eat and talk.

I don't think Dr Harley says that a mother (a breastfeeding mother?) must leave her baby if she is unhappy doing so, but he does insists that you spend time alone together. Spend time in the house for now, while you work on getting the baby to sleep through. In six months' time, your wife might not mind leaving her at all, because she won't need frequent feeding and she won't wake up while you're out for the evening.

An alternative is to get a babysitter, but go out for only two hours (alone - not with friends). If going for a meal takes more than two hours, go for a drink or just for a drive to a beautiful spot in the long evenings. Don't go far from home, so that you can get back quickly if the sitter calls. If you wife takes short breaks, she will find it easier to enjoy going out without fretting.

Most people cannot afford enough babysitting to make a substantial dent into the 15+ hours needed per week. The longest you are likely to manage with small kids is 4 hours per week. You will have to find the remaining hours while you stay at home - with the kids in bed, staying put.


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Yes, don't do UA time with friends! Make it just the two of you and talk, talk, TALK! Being mindful of Harley's friends and enemies of good conversation. smile

This is the key to making a time that your wife will want to get away from the kids for awhile for. smile


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Always remember the "undivided" in "undivided attention." Friends, children, electronic devices, and several other things all divide your attention and keep you from giving 100% of it to your wife.


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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
Went out with friends last night to sushi without any of the kids.
Ditto what Sugarcane said. Your attention is divided when you are with friends, and you cannot count it as undivided attention.

Quote
1. The Harley's were VERY clear that we need to have UA time away from all three kids and that we should not WAIT on making this happen. The way to handle this is to make child/baby care arrangements.
That is one way to handle it.

Brainstorm. What other options are there? What exactly is your wife uncomfortable about? Would she be more comfortable if the babysitter was in your own home?

How old were your other children when she was comfortable leaving them?

What about a babysitter in your home in one room watching the kids, while you're in another room? It may sound extreme, but that is how you brainstorm. Come up with radical ideas, even ones that may initially sound weird or impossible, and pick out the ones the two of you like. Make brainstorming a fun experience.

Personally, I know a lot of people push babysitting for parents of young children, but it's not really feasible to get all your UA in with babysitting. And it can be very stressful for the mother -- not only leaving your baby, but also having to get the other kids ready to go to the babysitter's house.

UA at home, while the kids are in another room watching a movie, can be just as fulfilling and enjoyable as going out. The kids can soon learn that they are not to bother Mommy and Daddy during your UA time. Perhaps you should save the babysitting for later when she will be more at ease?

Brainstorm together!

Last edited by Prisca; 05/19/11 12:26 PM. Reason: can't spel today to save my life

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Originally Posted by SugarCane
While the baby is still young and not guaranteed to sleep through, you can get UA time in your own house. You need to put all 3 kids to bed, and train the older ones to stay there, and then set the table, eat and talk.

I don't think Dr Harley says that a mother (a breastfeeding mother?) must leave her baby if she is unhappy doing so, but he does insists that you spend time alone together. Spend time in the house for now, while you work on getting the baby to sleep through. In six months' time, your wife might not mind leaving her at all, because she won't need frequent feeding and she won't wake up while you're out for the evening.

An alternative is to get a babysitter, but go out for only two hours (alone - not with friends). If going for a meal takes more than two hours, go for a drink or just for a drive to a beautiful spot in the long evenings. Don't go far from home, so that you can get back quickly if the sitter calls. If you wife takes short breaks, she will find it easier to enjoy going out without fretting.

Most people cannot afford enough babysitting to make a substantial dent into the 15+ hours needed per week. The longest you are likely to manage with small kids is 4 hours per week. You will have to find the remaining hours while you stay at home - with the kids in bed, staying put.


I so agree with this post!

I'll add: Is 2 hours too long for your wife to be comfortable? How about an hour? 30 minutes while you run out for some coffee? Maybe starting out with very small chunks of time will help.


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Thanks for all the advice. I realize now that I relayed the story from last night and kind of presented it as an attempt at UA. My wife and I are clear that UA time is to be spent alone, there is 100% agreement on that. This dinner with friends we had setup awhile ago. What I was focusing on by relaying the story was getting advice on making my wife comfortable leaving her baby in the care of others. There is quite literally no time aside from the end of the day. Baby gets up really early so unless we want to get up at 5am, it might be hard. I'd really like to think that we'll need to just get better at finding people that my wife feels good about and trusts. I don't think she felt that last night.


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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
Thanks for all the advice. I realize now that I relayed the story from last night and kind of presented it as an attempt at UA. My wife and I are clear that UA time is to be spent alone, there is 100% agreement on that.

Okay, good; glad you had that clear. smile

You may find that as the quality of your conversation increases (and maybe other intimate emotional needs, too) that your wife will find your time together more valuable and this will contribute to her feeling more like it is "worth it" to leave the baby for awhile.

Quote
I'd really like to think that we'll need to just get better at finding people that my wife feels good about and trusts.

That may help and keep brainstorming on that front, but don't limit yourself to just that. A whole host of things can contribute to making circumstances where she feels more enthusiastic:
* making the time more valuable, as I said above
* the baby getting older
* different babysitters
* staying closer?
* shorter intervals at first?
* keep brainstorming; this list likely has even more I'm not seeing


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Will your W agree to ONE date night a week?


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Originally Posted by SusieQ
Will your W agree to ONE date night a week?

Yes most certainly, likely more. Like I said we both want to do it, but in order for that to happen she has to feel good about the time spent.


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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
There is quite literally no time aside from the end of the day. Baby gets up really early so unless we want to get up at 5am, it might be hard.

This is exactly why the Harleys were pushing the babysitting issue.

How many babysitters do you have that your W feels comfortable with?


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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
There is quite literally no time aside from the end of the day.
I don't undertand what you mean here.

Are you able to get the kids asleep, all at the same time, for about two hours sometime between 7 and 11?

Isn't the baby beginning to have something resembling daytimes and nighttimes, rather than sleeping and waking as she pleases around the clock?


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Originally Posted by SusieQ
Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
There is quite literally no time aside from the end of the day. Baby gets up really early so unless we want to get up at 5am, it might be hard.

This is exactly why the Harleys were pushing the babysitting issue.

How many babysitters do you have that your W feels comfortable with?

Honestly? At this time I think zero. She has 2-3 that she is "somewhat" comfortable with. Something that is interesting however. When my wife was taking her long runs she had a girlfriend or two that she occasionally let watch the baby. I never heard her mention being uncomfortable about it. I sent her an email today that said I'd like negotiate with her about it. Part of my suggestions was using one of her girlfriends rather than her parents. Maybe that will sit better with her.


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Originally Posted by SugarCane
Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
There is quite literally no time aside from the end of the day.
I don't undertand what you mean here.

Are you able to get the kids asleep, all at the same time, for about two hours sometime between 7 and 11?

Isn't the baby beginning to have something resembling daytimes and nighttimes, rather than sleeping and waking as she pleases around the clock?

Sorry, I assumed you listened to what Joyce told me on the radio show, my bad. YES there is time at end of the night. Joyce felt that time at the end of the day when we are both tired and not feeling interactive was not the most valuable time we could have together. She referred to it as the "dregs" or just "scraps". We do watch tv every night after the kids go down and I think it is enjoyable if we aren't beat. Dr Harley said specifically that we needed to address our child care situation.


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There is an element of Respectful Requests when negotiating where you can agree to give things a try for a little while and re-evaluate. I have my books packed up right now so I'm going off of memory.

In the example Dr. Harley discusses seatbelts where one spouse hates wearing them but the other respectfully requests that they do wear it. The agree to have the spouse who isn't into seatbelts try wearing one for 3 months then they re-evaluate.

Sometimes when we're POJAing something, either I or my husband may be iffy on our level of enthusiasm, but we agree to go ahead with what we've decided. Sometimes the hesitant one becomes enthusiastic and sometimes they find out they aren't. Either way is a win, because now you have more information with which to make a decision.

So would your wife be willing to try the babysitting date-night at least once a week (or heck twice if she's willing to try that) for say a month or two and see if her reservations or worries diminish over time?

If they do - then you're set. If they don't then it is likely that the process will reveal to her what exactly the problem is so that you will be better equipped to overcome it.

Leaving your baby the first time is rough... over time it can get better.


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Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
Originally Posted by SusieQ
Originally Posted by Hilltopper1972
There is quite literally no time aside from the end of the day. Baby gets up really early so unless we want to get up at 5am, it might be hard.

This is exactly why the Harleys were pushing the babysitting issue.

How many babysitters do you have that your W feels comfortable with?

Honestly? At this time I think zero. She has 2-3 that she is "somewhat" comfortable with. Something that is interesting however. When my wife was taking her long runs she had a girlfriend or two that she occasionally let watch the baby. I never heard her mention being uncomfortable about it. I sent her an email today that said I'd like negotiate with her about it. Part of my suggestions was using one of her girlfriends rather than her parents. Maybe that will sit better with her.

Hmmm....

Well, what exactly is the issue she has with not feeling comfortable? Is there some qualification she is looking for that these people don't have?


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Hill .. you two are doing a FANTASTIC job. I can tell by the style of typing that your situation most likely doesnt feel as "desperate" as it used to ... and that your new habits of caring are starting to sink in. ONce the complete transition from your prior state of being to your new "caring states of being kicks in .. (if it hasn't already) life is going to feel ALOT different, and once your newest child is a bit older alot of your current babysitting issues will dissolve.

Hang in there Hill ... you guys are finally filling your love banks up and at the very least plugging some holes in it that were constantly draining your accounts. keep up the great work!

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Originally Posted by Vibrissa
So would your wife be willing to try the babysitting date-night at least once a week (or heck twice if she's willing to try that) for say a month or two and see if her reservations or worries diminish over time?

This is an awesome suggestion.

I worry, HT, that if you don't get some kind of tentative plan into place NOW you two will not establish a new pattern.


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