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?
Marry a man who likes to play computer games. That’s what helps in our house anyway! x
Ha! They should totally teach you that at blogging conferences. Do you think I can get Mr P addicted to our X-Box? *Searches Amazon for most popular game*
Oh I am glad it is not just me! I blog every night as soon as my little one in bed and Mr Hubby has to entertain himself! x
I love this Alison, very clever. And you’re right – the world won’t end if we sometimes don’t write that post, but instead spend a little time with our blog widows. On that note, I’m closing my laptop and leaving the post I was working on in drafts! X
Oh no, don’t YOU switch off your laptop! 😉 I love your posts Kiran and would like more of them please!
Even though I’m a new blogger, I am guilty of this. I have recently learnt to schedule my posts and tweets. So I write a few posts one evening and schedule them to go live later on. I also schedule some tweets. It allows me to enjoy family time, like us being in Bath right now (I’m only tweeting because Mr D and bub fast asleep!)
This post resonated with me as I used to be guilty of this all the time. But I’ve tried to change recently and try and make sure that my laptop is off for at least part of the evening. And you are right – the world will not end if one post goes out a bit later or a even a day later. It’s all about priorities.
This is definitely me. My OH used to moan…but then when I suggested (pre child) going out for a drink he wasn’t fussed. He doesn’t like that I’m always on the laptop, but then he doesn’t talk even if I’m not. He just falls asleep on the sofa so I talk to myself (or the tv, which he always hates). So he moans but doesn’t give anything back to me. So I’ll keep going until he wakes up or has a discussion. At least I can talk and blog at the same time, unlike him – he can’t watch tv and talk – hates discussions while watching tv.
Ha – I’d love to see you talking to the TV! Maybe our blog widows want us to be available just in case they want to speak to us? 😉
Fab spot on post. You make so many good points xx
I am sitting here unpacking referee flags as my husband thinks he is Howard Webb
luckily i’m not really in this situation currently. as i’m unemployed and the boyfriend works in the day i get as much as i can before he’s home. though now it’s the summer hols that may not be the case so much. just gotta balance the time as best you can really 🙂
I must admit, Mr Aimee was a book widow for the first half of the year, and I think he was starting to get peeved. I also think the boys felt it too, so since then I’ve tried to step back on all things social and writing wise after the school run through to the next morning.
Tried doesn’t mean I always succeed – but I’m getting better!
It’s good to set boundaries like that Aimee – might try that 😉
Luckily Mr C also has a hobby that he is obsessed with (he drifts cars) so 2 or 3 evenings a week he will go to his workshop and do car things while I so blog things then on Friday and Saturday nights we watch films together etc. It actually works quite well because the evenings when he is home it feels like I haven’t seen him for ages so we don’t on each others nerves 😉 x
I so get this (although as you now know I am a sci fi fan and would SO be watching Battlestar..although what a disappointing ending!) but yer it’s really easy to just open up the laptop when Wilf’s gone to bed and loose a few hours..what makes it worse is Wilf is in childcare 3 days a week for me to work on my blog :/ of course I’m doing other work too but really I should be spending that time doing that..I reckon what’s hard with blogging/social media/the internet is that is never stops so there is ALWAYS something to read/write/comment on..what I’m trying to do is make some kind of work hours where I don’t do internet stuff in the evening..but as you can tell from the time of this comment it doesn’t really work xx
I have this too but my husband works evenings and away a lot so i make sure i use that time wisely and then try and take an evening off (but sneak to the bathroom to check my phone a few times!) to spend time with him x
I TOTALLY get this, and I’m trying to be stricter with myself as otherwise we could spend practically every evening ‘together’, but not actually spend any quality time with each other if you see what I mean?. Like Fritha says, there is ALWAYS something that you could write/read. I’ve decided to only do a max of 4 blog posts a week, but 3 is more realistic and less ‘pressure’ (who cares anyway?!), and try and get them done during the day if possible, when F is at preschool and S napping. This is getting harder as she is starting to drop her sleep, so I’m starting to have less time, aaargh! I guess I’m just going to have to accept that I can’t get as much done until she starts preschool as well in the new year. No advice I’m afraid, but I’m trying not to take A for granted and push him to the bottom of my ‘to do’ list!
I’m totally guilty of checking my phone ALL the time and it really does get on his nerves. So I do try not to bring it out when we’re out together. I hadn’t noticed what it must feel like until I went out with a friend who checked her’s more than me, it certainly makes you feel not as important so a lesson learnt there. x
I’m so guilty of this! I’ve been trying not to check my phone so often when I’m supposed to be spending quality time with my husband. I am so that annoying person who is constantly asking “what happened?” when we watch tv!
Erm yes nodding my head and do feel guilty about this. I now try to leave my phone in another room while we’re watching a film / boxset and resist scrolling through instagram last thing at night. My mister is really supportive of my blogging too and I think all our blog widows deserve a medal (especially for taking photos of us doing slightly inane things all the time) 🙂
Love this post – so true – if your blogging every day or nearly every day the partner usually does spend the evenings on his own – especially if you have kids, but if it brings in an income and allows you more time with your children – it’s hard not too, it’s just trying to create the balance can be hard 🙂