Sadly, being a responsible parent means, among other things, giving up a lot of fun things that you used to enjoy. For me, that was fishing whenever I wanted to, working in the yard for hours on end without the guilt that comes with knowing my wife is having to watch the kids…whatever.
So, finding something you enjoy, post-children, is a real treat for me and something that I cherish. One very simple thing lately has been the post-dinner walk with my youngest. In addition to getting some fairly quiet time to myself (my youngest usually just hangs there in my arms looking at the lights), it also helps my digestion, settles my mood, and as a bonus, it generally means we get to keep the little one up a bit longer in hopes that he won’t wake us up his normal 2-3 times per night.
Now that it’s fall though, my wife has decided to join me in these walks. And while I at first thought it a good idea, the last two nights have changed my mind. What for me was a leisurely stroll with my son, he in pajamas and me in flip-flops, has now become a major family outing–complete with dogs, strollers, complaints that someone can’t find their shoes, questioning, “Which way do you want to go?” and more. Add to that the fact that instead of a nice leisurely stroll, my wife has turned it into some kind of make up for lost gym time the past week and the darn thing is anything but fun.
How do you tell someone, “Thanks but I’d really rather be alone” (well…alone with the baby) without hurting their feelings? It can’t be done I don’t think.
But that’s the way it always is when I find something I like doing. Someone else in the family decides they want to tag along and it turns into some marathon event that’s anything but relaxing or fun.
I guess for now, all I get to myself is golf, which, when you factor in the guilt I feel for being out having fun, really renders the whole thing kinda pointless if you ask me. But, if it keeps me in some sort of practice so that when I do finally play with some secretly rich millionaire who is so impressed with my poise and game that he begs me to come work for him…I guess then it’ll all be worthwhile.