Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My wife is a stay at home mom, and she is eight months pregnant with our second child. I work full time, and fight at the gym twice a week.
My wife is getting a little nervous now that she is getting close to the due date, and I completely understand. She asked me to take some time off from the gym starting this last month, so I agreed and told her that I would take one month off.
She got very angry at me, stating that she wants me to take three months off because of how stressful the first two months of having a newborn will be. To this, I object.
I am aware that she will need some extra help when I am not working, and I intend to help in any way I can. However, I believe that it is asking a little much for me to quit the gym for three months. I only go twice a week and with 30 minute travel time both there and back, I am gone for about 2 hours each day.
Am I right to be a little annoyed that she would want me to quit what I enjoy for three months? Whenever she asks to go out on the weekends, I never say a peep. In fact, I encourage her to go out, because I know she must be stir crazy from spending all day with our 3 year old.
And I am completely fine taking off during her 9th month because she may need me when she goes into labor, but I don’t feel that it is wrong for me to want to get back to the gym a week or two after the baby is born. It’s only four hours a week that I spend away because of the gym.
So I ask you, is she being unreasonable for being so stubborn about this? Right now she is giving me the cold shoulder and is ignoring me.
Signed, A Lover and Also a Fighter
Dear Lover and Fighter,
So, your wife wants you to stop going to the gym for three months and you’re willing to forgo two weeks. We could just split the difference, but since that involves math, let’s explore some other alternatives.
It’s not the gym. It’s that you have your own life outside of a screaming newborn and all the terrors that it entails and she doesn’t. You say that you are happy when she goes out on the weekends, but let’s face it, the weekend is a long way away when you are up all night with the baby, exhausted and staring at the wrong end of the witching hour, that, ironically enough, lasts an hour and a half and kicks in at approximately the same time as you pull into your gym parking lot.
She needs help and she needs it now. It may well be unfair to you, but she is the mother of your children, soon to be filled with postpartum hormones. No one in the history of civilization has won an argument with one of those.
If possible, schedule at least one of your gym sessions for the weekend, when your absence will be less acute. And see if there is someone in your neighborhood who can watch the kids for a couple of hours every once in a while. You and your wife both deserve some time away from the kids. With each other.