I’ll take torture for $2000 please, Alex

Okay, maybe some of the more experienced mommies that read this blog can help me out here. My husband as we’re crawling into bed tells me that his company offers reduced tickets for a nearby theme park. I said, sure that would be great when Keeley is about 7 (and she can ride the rides). He insists that we should go (all 3 of us) this summer with his buddy, wife and 8 year old. I told him that I’d love for him to go, but that I didn’t think it was a good idea for Keeley and I to go.

Why? He wanted to know. Well, for one thing I don’t want to have to drag her around a theme park looking for a place to breastfeed her (he didn’t even let me get to the points that she shouldn’t be out in the sun that long, that hauling around a huge diaper bag, and the fact that I HATE theme parks)…he turned around and basically attacked me and said that there was no way of knowing if I would still be breastfeeding her then. I said, well that was the plan, and he said, you can’t guarantee that’s going to happen (or something to that affect, that may not be the exact words)—and I said, well that was the plan. I tried to reassure him, tell him it would be fine if he wanted to go, and he cut me off. I tried again, and he basically gave me the proverbial cold shoulder, rolled over and acted like he was going to sleep.

Did I not do everything possible to make it okay for him to go without me? (seeing as the last time I went to any type of park I had to hold everyone else’s stuff and I can’t see holding everyone else’s wallets, keys, and etc. when I already will have a diaper bag and an 8ish month old to deal with)–I didn’t get a full chance to explain my feelings. My opinion didn’t matter. Basically he acted like I was ruining even the idea of it for him, so he didn’t want to hear about it. I personally don’t know many people that would take a baby out in the sun for hours at a time, especially if it was something they absolutely hated to do and had had bad experiences with. That also doesn’t include the notion of the ‘adults’ standing in line for an adults only ride for 3 hours while I watch someone else’s 8 year old and try to figure out how to diaper and breastfeed a baby in public while doing that.

So what do you think? Am I being unreasonable? Did I not offer a reasonable alternative, considering the park is in the town we live in now? Should I really pay $30-$50 for a ticket of which I will get absolutely no use?

Yes, I will get in trouble for this. My husband reads the blog every day and will probably hate me for it. But, whatever. At this point, I’m tired of all the ‘I can’t do this’s’ that I’ve had to hear lately. It’s like I’m holding him back, I don’t ever let him do anything he wants to do. He really wanted a baby, but I think my judgment on what we should and shouldn’t do while she is a baby is REALLY cramping his style. He’s a good dad, but I feel like he never thought this whole part of it through. Like, I may have to stay home sometimes if he wants to do that sort of thing, and he’ll have to lump it. Meanwhile, every time I see something mentioned that I know he would like, like monster trucks or whatever, I tell him, HEY you should take so and so or see if anyone from work wants to go. I try SO HARD to make it ‘okay’ that I have to stay home and can’t go, but he would rather stay home and be sad about not going, and make me feel guilty on top of it, like I purposefully had a baby so that we couldn’t go to a theme park or monster trucks. At this point, I feel like I gave a reasonable alternative and had he taken 15 seconds to think about it instead of acting like I was a spoilsport, he’d have realized that his daughter’s welfare (and my sanity) is probably worth a bit more, and he’d have a lot better time without me. Maybe it was just the time of day, and maybe I’m just cranky. But really? Am I being unreasonable?

Note: Now my husband says he was just kidding and was trying to get me to talk to him, at 10 pm when I was trying to go to bed. And that this just served to make him look like a jerk. Apparently, I didnt see the joke in it. And he didnt tell me it was a joke, so.. I was left to believe that he was serious. I asked him very politely that if I don’t get a joke in the future to let me in on it. Because, obviously I’m exhausted and don’t find a lot funny.


  1. I guess what I’d say is that both of you are going through the adjustment period that happens when a new person has been added to your family. Happens after that sweet, blushing honeymoon with the new baby.

    As a mom, your adjustment is more physical than his, but the emotional toll on both of you is more or less equal. He’s been your focus for however many years you’ve been together, and now you’re unable to think of any activity without placing the needs of your daughter first.

    He still hasn’t made that adjustment… he may resent being placed 2nd without even realizing he resents it. He sounds like a good guy for the most part. It’s just a bump in the road.

    He will have to decide where he wants his focus to be, I think.
    It’s good for him to have outside activities if that’s what he needs. Good that you are willing to wave goodbye while smiling and welcome him back with open arms and all that.

    Parenthood is a really hard job.

    Hang in there.

  2. Yes, he was being a jerk. Being parents should not hold you back from doing the things you want to do. But, as for you, don’t use being a parent as an excuse. If you don’t want to go, say so. If he doesn’t want to go without you, he can stay home, his choice. He can’t lay it on you.

  3. I think, depending on the size of the amusement park and it’s resident features, you will be able to take Keeley to one earlier than when she is 7 or 8. There is a small-ish park near our house that has waterslides and kiddie rides and such. We took Emily when she was 2 and she loved it. We took her again around her 3rd birthday and she loved it EVEN MORE, if that was even possible. She was tall enough to go on a bunch of rides and was WAY more adventurous.

    That said, I think an 8 month old is too young.

    I also think that the joke excuse is a way to play off a conversation that clearly pissed you off when he may or may not have meant to piss you off. Just my $0.02.

  4. It would never occur to me to use my baby as ‘an excuse’ she’s a child, not something to be used. As her mother I dont think she should be exposed to the sun for hours at a time with her skintone. I also really don’t think it would be appropriate to breastfeed the baby in an OUTDOOR park with no way of being discreet, and NO she doesn’t get formula. AT ALL. But I appreciate the remainder of that comment and the rest. This blog is one of my very few outlets.

  5. Sometimes, I think men so easily forget how much trouble it really is to have a baby – because the mom is doing most (or all) of the work.

    No – I wouldn’t be taking the baby either. I think 3 is about the youngest I would take a kid to an amusement park.

    If it is something he really wants you to go to – then maybe that is something to plan for to have a grandparent come babysit. (you can pump and freeze some milk for that time). by summer, Keeley can have regular solid foods and won’t be nursing as much anyway.

    Otherwise, that amusement park will always be there – now is the time to plan events that are easy with baby!!!

  6. Stacy

    Here are my thoughts. I hope I don’t overstep.

    You both have very valid points. If Matt was making a joke, I’m disappointed in him. He’s smart – he should know better. It sounds like an excuse to me (and Matt, I don’t mean to beat up on you! I’m sorry if you really were joking, but if you were, I hope you learned from this!), and he was just trying to smooth things over later. I suppose it’s good that he tried.

    Telling Matt he could go by himself was good. A great alternative. However, I doubt he wants to go along with a couple and their child, by himself. I know you wouldn’t like that, either. You’d feel like a 5th wheel.

    I imagine Matt had several reasons for wanting to go. I can’t fathom that you get out often (we never did, and having the kids made that so much worse), so he may have just been looking forward to doing something, having it be something different, and getting out to enjoy summer. You both seem to like the outdoors, so he may have been looking at it that way. He also may have been looking forward to spending a day showing off his beautiful girls. He also was likely looking for some commraderie (spelling?) with his buddy from work.

    Now, there are ways to take a baby to an amusement park. Or anywhere, for that matter. The nursing isn’t really a big deal, although I guess I need to be honest and say that I was much more relaxed about it with Lauren than with Jacob. She was nursed all over Chicago – in the Museum of Science and Industry, in Shedd, in the Field Museum, and at the zoo. I had Mark safety pin a lightweight blanket around my neck and she went to town. I got some looks, but mostly people just didn’t care. And I never hung out for everyone to see, so that’s what mattered to me. I know that it will be warm, so that solution may not work. You could nurse in the bathroom (which I never liked, but did a lot with Jacob before I got less self-conscience about it), or in the corner of a restaurant at the park, with a blanket over you. They are usually air-conditioned. Or, you could take some pumped and in a cooler and feed her in the car. Or nurse her in the car. THey’ll let you back in because they stamp your hand or give you a wristband. As for transporting her, you could use a snugli (which is convenient, but hard on your back and hot, if the weather is too warm), or you could take a stroller. The diaper bag would go under the stroller, or you’d have backpack instead if she was in the snugli. And our stroller has so many pockets in it that we dont’ even need a diaper bag if we’re going to be using the stroller for a whole day. For the most part, everything is stroller accessible. And a lot of amusement parks now have this policy where if you have a kid in a stroller or just little ones who can’t ride, you can jump to the front of the line, and the parents can take turns riding and stayign with the baby, with no wait. That wouldn’t matter to you, since you don’t like the rides, but it is a perk for people taking kids.

    Also, as long as Keeley is in the shade, with either wearing a hat or under the shade of the stroller, and is wearing some sunscreen, she’s fine. Warm and sweaty, just like you and Matt would be, but fine.

    All that said, I would NOT want to take a baby to an amusement park. It just wouldn’t be fun. And way less fun for mom than dad, because we all know who ends up doing most of the work. 8 months is a pretty fun age though. Lauren rode in the snugli for 10 days around San Francisco and was happy as could by – she was always moving around and close to mom. She was in heaven. My back felt like hell. Anyway, Mark’s talked about amusement parks with the kids before, and I would consider doing it with the right “other couple” – but it’d have to be people in the very same situation as us, who were very comfortable with our kids, and whose kids we were fine watching while they took a turn.

    I didn’t get into how your feelings were valid, and of course you’re exhausted and don’t want to entertain such an idea. I felt that wasn’t even necessary to bring up, because that’s all a given. Just wanted you to know I wasn’t forgetting all that.

    I think if I were in the situation, the biggest deal for me would have been how Matt handled it and seemed to refuse to listen. That’s not okay. We had an argument about that 9 years ago over how to prepare a tuna fish sandwich. He didn’t even realize he had been so stupid. And it was really so much more than the tuna fish!!!! It does sound, though, like he realize it wasn’t good and he needed to make it better, somehow. I would give points for that!

    Someone pointed out that having a baby is very emotional for both the new mom and new dad. She was so right. That could be what was happening, and even though you already have your plate completely full, it’s yet another thing that you’ll have to keep your eye on and try to help with. Not fair, perhaps, but important. And I hope he’s trying to be just as supportive of you. It is impossible for everyone all of the time, though.

    I would suggest the zoo as a summer outing. She’ll be big enough to enjoy some of that, and you’re never too old to go to the zoo. Also outside, and can be done with another family.

    I hope I got everything I wanted to say in here. I started typing adn got halfway through and somehow hit a wrong button and deleted the whole thing and had to start again. Big hugs, and remember the rest of the girls and I love you!

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