My husband, Mr P, is fantastic. I’ve probably mentioned it before. He’s the kind of man who is happy to do 50/50 around the house (*cough* there’s a chance he may do more than 50%) and he doesn’t see parenting as my job, he sees it as something we’re equally responsible for. Well, I mean really, what did you expect from me? I wouldn’t have married a man who’d be the type to dart out to the pub, leaving me to cook dinner every night and put our daughter to bed, would I?
He’s also really hands on. He takes the three year old swimming, plays rough and tumble, pretends he’s a monster who’s coming to eat everyone, makes tissue paper flowers to stick on a robot… You know, standard A* dad stuff.
But in the past year or so, I’ve started to feel a bit sorry for Mr P because he has to fight for my attention on a regular basis. Once our little girl is safely tucked up in bed, he often spends evenings in his own company, even though I’m there in the house with him.
Why? Because he is a blog widow. Night after night, once we have eaten dinner, instead of settling down together on the sofa to watch a box set on Netflix, I’ll open the laptop and tap away on a blog post or tinker around with some element of my blog. Mr P, meanwhile, will watch Mad Men/Battlestar Galactica/F1 (aka stuff I’m not interested in) or go for a manly bubble bath while listening to some Podcasts.
I guess it’s similar to being a football widow, so it’s not a new concept, but it’s new to us. Before my blog came along, we spent hours watching TV together and before we became parents, we’d go to the pub regularly or out to dinner, to set the world to rights over wine and pasta.
He never complains about being a blog widow. (And yes, I know technically, he’s a blog widower, but let’s just go with it). I actually think he secretly enjoys it most of the time – after all, spending time on your own, doing what you want to do, can be just the ticket after a stressful day at work.
But still, I feel bad.
If you’re in a similar position, guilty of ignoring your partner, either because you blog or go to the gym, or have another hobby, here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way…
1. When you are spending time together, make sure you’re properly ‘there’ and not distracted. I’m quite guilty of checking my phone on dates (as if anything happening in the online world is more interesting than being a pub with my husband…am I mad?) or on evenings when we are watching a film together (which usually results in me being that annoying “What did I miss?” person.)
2. If they get annoyed by the thing that they’re fighting with for your attention, point out any benefits it might bring. So if you’re a gym bunny, explain how fit you look because of your work outs (“Look at my amazing abs, honey”) and how much happier you are thanks to the endorphins that are being released. I casually point out from time to time that I do make money from my blog and we are able to experience some amazing things – festivals, holidays, days out – because of it.
3. Give in sometimes. Occasionally ask yourself whether the world will end if you don’t write that blog post today or if you skip your work out, in favour of hanging out with your partner. It probably won’t and the effort will be appreciated and earn you more ‘partner points‘ to cash in later.
Do you have any tips for balancing a hobby and a relationship?