How do you find time for yourself, and perhaps even more important, how do you find time for your spousal relationship?
I work full-time Mon-Fri and leave for work at ~6am and get home ~4:30pm. My husband does the stay-at-home-parent thing during the week and works 10 hour shifts on Saturday/Sunday. He also works from about 5am to 8am on Mondays and Tuesdays while his sister watches our 7 month old. This schedule is great because we don't have to pay for child care and our baby is always with someone who loves him. This schedule is awful because my husband and I only see each other in the evenings and we are always tired and busy preparing for the next day. Here's the routine: I get home from work (or my husband if its the weekend), feed our son while my husband prepares dinner, we all eat together (well, at 7 months our son is just playing with food really) then one of us plays with our son while the other cleans up, packs lunch for the next day, cleans the pump and bottle parts...I feed our son again and put him to bed. At this point its usually 8pm (or later) and since I wake up before 5am all I have time to do is get ready for bed and fall asleep.
I feel like all I do is rush around to get everything ready so that I can repeat the same rushing around the next day. I'm in a constant state of anxiety over getting everything ready 'in time'. My husband has started going out to visit friends as soon as dinner is done. I know he needs a break because he's been home all day with the baby. He's also said that there is no reason for him to stay at home because being around me stresses him out. He is very responsible and makes sure that me and our son are fed and since he no longer finds any enjoyment in MY presence, he leaves. He's been gone 4 nights in the last week.
He urges me to go out also and enjoy myself and says that he can watch our son (and obviously he can because he does it ALL the time). However, I don't have any friends to visit. We moved back into our hometown a month before our son was born (I started a new job at 7.5 months pregnant and took 6 weeks maternity leave). The few old friends I did try to reconnect with don't have children and are just totally not on my radar anymore. I haven't exactly had free time to meet any new friends. Also I only get 3 to 4 hours in the evening to be with my child. If I WERE to go out I would have to pump and I feel like all I do anymore is pump.
My mom urges us to go on dates (we've been on TWO since our son was born). Since one of us is always working or has to get up early for work the next morning we never really have the energy for such a thing. I also feel trapped by the neccesity to be at home in the evenings to feed our son. When we have gone on a date I've had to pump and it just totally interrupts the whole flow of the evening for us.
Another breastfeeding/working mom I've talked to at work just started her 8 month old on formula. My initial thoughts were "You've gone so far with exclusively breastfeeding and working. Why stop now?" But now the idea is getting more tempting. I just feel so trapped by my pumping schedule and then when I am at home I can't be separated for more than a few hours from our son.
How do you do it all?