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Fairness in time utilisation with families

burnthesheepburnthesheep Posts: 675
Already the plan I'm on is at loggerheads with the missus.

Wasn't sure if training was the right area for this or Off Topic. Since it is training's fault (my fault) I put it here.

How have you guys worked this out?

I felt it reasonable to barter for a weeknight per week that one of us leaves around 6 from the house to ride (and she runs). Then do the same for a 90min share on a Saturday or Sunday. The rest to be taken care of during lunch on the trainer, which doesn't affect anything.

Apparently I thought wrong in this matter. No plan will work if your arrangement isn't agreeable.

On this one I'm trying to not be bitter, as I feel I put in my fair time the other way but anytime I try to use my time I get issues.

It's the usual mess of a home with kids. I do my chores, sacking the trash, mowing the grass, fixing most anything, attending kid events, etc.....

Examples of times this has occurred, before ever riding a bike:
-For father's day, when I still played golf, it was arranged for me to go with the neighbor locally for a round one weekend. Got a complaining ear-full on that one after it was supposed to be something they wanted me to do.
-Repeat the above for my birthday a year later.

I pretty much only play that game now once per year. I couldn't have gym time to stay fit and have a separate hobby that ate time up. So I took up riding the bike. Instead of the hours playing golf AND working out in a gym, I workout on the bike.

Now that I ride the bike:
-Each week, guaranteed, there is usually something related to her time away from the house in an evening during the week. Then comes a time I'd like to ride the bike.........whoa whoa whoa.......where are you going. Why so long?

I'm getting the feeling that she chooses not utilise the time offered her in a meaningful way, then is jealous over others utilising their time in a way that pleases them.
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  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Dump her.

    But no idea really. Mine encourages me (probably fancies the postman or something.)

    I run or do light weights most mornings before work, do a longish (mountain bike) ride most weekends, sometimes two.

    She's quite happy for me to go away for up week long trips with mates. (I've never needed longer)

    She makes me energy bars from scratch, coffee when I get home from a ride and snacks when I need them, often including bacons.

    She is also kind, sweet and beautiful.

    I'm very, very lucky, and make sure I treat her like the angel she is.

    Unlike my ex - the censored evil witch from hell. And that was on a good day.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • It's not all gloom and doom.

    I'd say this is the only real thing we sometimes spar over. If that's all, that's better than most people.

    I just don't get the mentality that I offer the other person their fair share, then they decide to not utilise it or decide to fall on their sword and then get angry that I won't fall on mine.
  • It must be a lot harder trying to get "alone time" to use as you please when you have kids to think about, but if you both get a fairly equal amount of "alone time" to do as you please, shouldn't it be happy days?

    You could always introduce the youngsters to Strava and HRMs and take them somewhere off the beaten track, to get some additional fun time besides alone time training. ;)
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  • marykamaryka Posts: 746
    Who does the lion's share of childcare? Bedtimes, mealtimes, taking time off work when they are ill, GP appts, etc.? Do you really pitch in or are you a guy who thinks that taking out the trash, mowing the grass and attending the odd school play is your duty done? How much time do you spend with the kids leaving her to herself (meaningful time, not just post-kids-bedtime or early morning weekends)? How many days or weekends away has she had with mates or alone leaving you with the kids since they've been born? How much time do you all spend together as a family?

    Hard to say without knowing her side of the story. Get her to post it here and we'll judge better. Or better yet, link to her AIBU Mumsnet thread, she probably has one if your side of the story isn't entirely accurate.

    If you're truly pitching in as you say, then the solution is to parcel out your separate "alone time" and make it equal. If she doesn't want any alone time and doesn't want you to have any either, then you have a relationship problem, not a cycling problem.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    edited August 2017
    Ask her ...

    Perhaps she feels that there's things you could be doing around the home - or even paying her attention - in priority to going out on your bike. Or perhaps she feels that you don't pay the kids enough attention ...
    or perhaps she thinks you're off seeing someone - seeing as you're gone for so long ...

    You don't say how old your kids are - but if she's upset over something there will be some reason behind it and it won't nescersarily be logical - my wife can have seemingly illogical thoughts sometimes - although she'll deny it ;) - it could even be part of post-natal depression

    <edit> Oh - and sorry - my wife nearly pushes me out of the house to go and ride - and (like you) we try to ensure she has time for her too ... what we don't seem to get is time alone together
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,776
    That's not a good situation - you have my sympathy :-(

    I suppose I am pretty lucky, me and my gf have been together 17 years, and now have a daughter who will be 4 next week.

    She likes cycling (I introduced her to it and bought her two bikes) but she also loves music, and yoga too.

    Every Monday evening she has band rehearsal, every Thursday she has Yoga, and once every 4 weeks she has quartet rehearsal - she also has gigs with her big band as well, maybe 6 a year, a mixture of daytime and evening.

    I fully support her in keeping up her passions (She's been into music forever, and before I knew her) so have zero issues with it - sometimes it can get a little bit much, some unlucky instances where we end up with a gig on Saturday, quartet rehearsal on Sunday and then regular rehearsal on Monday can get a little much - not so much for me, but for my daughter who might miss her, and also for my girlfriend who can get tired, especially with work to fit in as well.

    She also has a girls night out perhaps once a month, and I do likewise with friends, maybe once every couple of months.

    Anyway, I digress - I manage to fit 3 hours worth of turbo work in on those two days where she is at rehearsal and yoga - do you have any option to do that?
    I put my little girl to bed, tuck her in, and take a baby monitor into the garage with me - she knows where I am, and knows she can call me if need be - works really well.

    Additionally I have a fairly flexible job, so currently utilise my lunch plus extra time to turbo twice a week during the day - though that is soon to change as I will now have to do 3 school drop offs and 1 pickup, but I will be wedging a couple of workouts in early in the day, 06:00 and 07:00 on two days, and then starting work at 09:00 after taking her to school.

    A couple of years ago, I used to ride 50 miles every weekend, usually a Saturday, but critically I would get an early night on the Friday, get all of my gear and provisions laid out, and my bike ready to go, and would get up at something like 04:00, or 05:00 in the middle of winter, and be out the door for 05:00 or 06:00, and be back home for 08:00 or 09:00, sometimes even before my daughter was up.

    If it's as important to you as it seems, I would either sit down with her and explain the situation, how it is your passion, and you need some time to carry it out, or sometimes it might be better to put it all down in a letter - and let her digest it on her own. Some people find that a better way, as face to face, sometimes the heat of the moment can create arguments, and on occasion you might not get all of the points across, or the points across as you wanted to - where as you can't make that mistake with a letter.

    I would also be inclined to big up the health angle, and how you want to be fit and agile for your children, and also the fact that it makes you feel better.

    This is a personal thing, but in my own situation, I believe that the 7 hours or so I spend on the bike, I easily recoup in simply being more switched on and efficient as a result - it's easy to be bone idle, and not too much, but I think that it impacts your life a whole lot more than that.

    Good luck, keep the faith and don't lose heart.
    slowbike wrote:
    what we don't seem to get is time alone together


    Same here, rarest of rare things :-(
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  • Alex99Alex99 Posts: 1,407
    maryka wrote:
    Who does the lion's share of childcare? Bedtimes, mealtimes, taking time off work when they are ill, GP appts, etc.? Do you really pitch in or are you a guy who thinks that taking out the trash, mowing the grass and attending the odd school play is your duty done? How much time do you spend with the kids leaving her to herself (meaningful time, not just post-kids-bedtime or early morning weekends)? How many days or weekends away has she had with mates or alone leaving you with the kids since they've been born? How much time do you all spend together as a family?

    Hard to say without knowing her side of the story. Get her to post it here and we'll judge better. Or better yet, link to her AIBU Mumsnet thread, she probably has one if your side of the story isn't entirely accurate.

    If you're truly pitching in as you say, then the solution is to parcel out your separate "alone time" and make it equal. If she doesn't want any alone time and doesn't want you to have any either, then you have a relationship problem, not a cycling problem.

    Good points here. You need to be quite sure that you are being fair in your assessment of equality. It's hard to make an non-biased assessment. But it's serious, so be brutally honest.

    I have known a number of men whose partners aren't happy with them having any time of their own. I would find that very hard to deal with and my reaction would most likely be a feeling of unfairness. Just as some people are loners, I think there are probably some people that really don't like being on their own.

    Can you have a totally honest discussion with her about this?

    I encourage my partner to take time for herself because I know that ultimately, it's good for the family. She does the same for me because my personal time keeps me on the level. It's looking after my health and long term good for the family, right? Is my taking time for cycling selfish? I think not, but some might think it is. If I wanted to be out Saturday and Sunday, all day, every week, then I think that would be too much. But, I don't want to do that anyway.
  • If it's about fairness of chores, I don't like keeping lists I can bring up in an argument just to throw back at someone's face. I could, but I don't

    Let's put it this way.....including all the time for jobs, house, and kids........the hours add up within 30 min weekly for what each person does. If she wants to swap tasks I have a few I'd gladly hand over instead for laundry, and I enjoy helping cook.

    Let's also put it this way.......I'm not the guy watching hours and hours worth of football matches and television by myself all week.

    This is not the 1970's style home where the man comes home and acts like some arrogant censored and plops in front of the TV with a cigarette until dinner, and then is in the same spot after dinner. This is a much more modern and post-feminism work sharing of chores and kids.

    And to the odd assumption about somebody is gone for 3 hours and is out shaggin........ your GPS is posted online with your route and only enough stoppage time for a few stop lights. That's a bit daft.
  • joe2008joe2008 Posts: 1,531
    You just married the wrong girl.
  • I do my chores, sacking the trash, mowing the grass, fixing most anything, attending kid events, etc.....

    Just think, when your children grow up and your wife leaves you, you'll have unlimited time to cycle.
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • dodgydodgy Posts: 2,890
    Tough crowd.
  • dyrlacdyrlac Posts: 739
    This is a very difficult question: it looks like you've found out that she values your offer of free time on her own in exchange for yours at a less favourable rate than you'd have hoped (and certainly less than 1:1). So you need a different currency. Or, as Mary and Alex imply, it's a relationship problem. Whether it gets better really is a function of the age of the kids. As they get older and have their own interests it is much easier to have (more) separate lives (and at the end of the day, that's really what you're looking for).

    As for the missus and me, after very similar "discussions", I've foregone *all* casual weekend riding in exchange for cycling (and skiing) trips abroad a few times a year: helps that these are mostly work-related and therefore independently, if indirectly and tenuously, useful to the family. In between, I hit the turbo at 5am three days a week and, of course, silly commuting racing.

    LOL at the mumsnet reference, in fact, I recommend you go to mumsnet and search for "AIBU cycling". I'm sure it would be eye-opening. Here's an old one: https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/1235398-Fed-up-being-a-cycling-widow, read with an open mind.
  • Alex99Alex99 Posts: 1,407
    If it's about fairness of chores, I don't like keeping lists I can bring up in an argument just to throw back at someone's face. I could, but I don't

    Let's put it this way.....including all the time for jobs, house, and kids........the hours add up within 30 min weekly for what each person does. If she wants to swap tasks I have a few I'd gladly hand over instead for laundry, and I enjoy helping cook.

    Let's also put it this way.......I'm not the guy watching hours and hours worth of football matches and television by myself all week.

    This is not the 1970's style home where the man comes home and acts like some arrogant censored and plops in front of the TV with a cigarette until dinner, and then is in the same spot after dinner. This is a much more modern and post-feminism work sharing of chores and kids.

    And to the odd assumption about somebody is gone for 3 hours and is out shaggin........ your GPS is posted online with your route and only enough stoppage time for a few stop lights. That's a bit daft.

    Wasn't having a go... just got to ask the simple stuff first.

    Did your Mrs suggest that you're out shaggin? If so, that alone is rather revealing. It doesn't sound rational, and evidence to the contrary such as GPS can easily be written off as fake.

    Re-reading your initial post with the golf stuff and the fact that she has time for herself to do things. To be fair, that does sound bad.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    And to the odd assumption about somebody is gone for 3 hours and is out shaggin........ your GPS is posted online with your route and only enough stoppage time for a few stop lights. That's a bit daft.

    Sorry - it was me - I wasn't suggesting you were off shaggin ... just that she may have that thought - however unreasonable. Whilst my wife does look at my strava feed - not everyone will - so just because you have evidence to the contrary doesn't mean it's being considered.

    Anyway - it was just a thought on what may or may not be going on in her mind in this rather touchy subject!

    Eitherwhichway you need to sit down with her - when the kids are in bed and the jobs are done (although my list is never ending!) and have the conversation on why she doesn't like you going out.
  • kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,148
    Similar argument last night. mrs kr doesn't do any excercise - then wasn't happy when I went out for almost 5 hours on sunday ........silly cow !
  • kingrollokingrollo Posts: 3,148
    in all seriousness - if its time on the bike or time with the kids - I would take the time with the kids - they grow up so damm fast - and you don't get that time bike.
    Be a chubby dad for a few years - then get back into it.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    kingrollo wrote:
    in all seriousness - if its time on the bike or time with the kids - I would take the time with the kids - they grow up so damm fast - and you don't get that time bike.
    Be a chubby dad for a few years - then get back into it.

    That's the sort of stance I'm taking - although not off my bike altogether - I'm not doing the long weekend rides I used to do - nor the 5 day commutes. I get to do up to 2 commutes a week (by bike) and the occaisional weekend - I'm allowed to do more - I choose not too - but then LSB is only 2 - and I get to ride around with him whislt he rides is balance bike.

    I do miss not riding more and I've certainly lost some power - but I intend to build some of that back up this year by using the turbo over winter - although I might have to fight my wife for time on it! :)
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    My other half always wants me to spend more time at home but I cant sit down and do nothing and have lazy days. If you do your training as part of your commute then that free time at home.

    Ditch the car ride everywhere.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    Very hard to get the balance right, especially when you throw a 4 year old into the mix.

    What I'm starting to find works better is to have a clear definition of the time. Tinkering with the bike, looking on strava etc is still cycling time which overlaps onto the actual riding of a bike so cut it out.

    Typical (non racing) week for me:

    Saturday: Take little one swimming with partner at 8am, then my parents usually have him from 9:00-5:00 so once anything that "needs" doing is done I try to find an hour, possibly 2 on the bike
    Sunday: Family day, if time presents itself I will again try to get out for an hour or so. Often I will go after boy is asleep.
    Monday: No cycling if I rode on Sunday, otherwise I will go out once the little one has gone to bed
    Tuesday: No cycling
    Wednesday: Club ride. Meaning I spend as much time with the little one before leaving house at 5:45 (I'm home at 4:45).
    Thursday: No cycling
    Friday: Same as Wednesday

    I do all the cooking, most of the pot washing, food shopping, dog walking and pull my weight around the house. On average I do about 6-7 hours riding per week. Admittedly it would be nice to do the Sunday 4-5 hour club run but even I can see that would bite into the family time way too much. I sometimes race on a Wednesday, this means I don't see my boy until the next morning, I always feel guilty but it the grand scheme of things it's not that bad twice a month.

    Bike time can still cause tension, but it's been reduced by defining things better.
  • One option I haven't tried yet is doing some kind of commute scheme for work once per week.

    I live in the US. My job is a 30 min drive. There is a greenway (cyclepath) that goes from the house to within about 2 or 3 miles of my work, even though it is 30 miles away. Right now it has a nasty detour that adds about 20 min each way due to a bridge taken in a storm.

    The idea was I could leave the car at work one day and cycle home. Then the next day, get up early and go back to get the car. That would get several hours in per week without much supposed disruption. In summer here in the US, this is hard. I don't mind rain, I mind the often random lightning storms in the afternoon. That would be bad to look out the window at work at 430 PM and see a line of strong storms coming my way.

    But...........I'm going to go ahead and guess that the absence in the morning of that 30 minutes is going to be an "issue". "Well, you're gone in the morning for work before we......".

    I'm not opposed to using a turbo in addition to the gym at work, I'm just wary of putting a carbon aero frame onto one. I know it's more myth and legend of failures than true reality, as the pros pop onto one on their bikes all year long before and after races for warmup and cooldown.
  • Alex99Alex99 Posts: 1,407
    One option I haven't tried yet is doing some kind of commute scheme for work once per week.

    I live in the US. My job is a 30 min drive. There is a greenway (cyclepath) that goes from the house to within about 2 or 3 miles of my work, even though it is 30 miles away. Right now it has a nasty detour that adds about 20 min each way due to a bridge taken in a storm.

    The idea was I could leave the car at work one day and cycle home. Then the next day, get up early and go back to get the car. That would get several hours in per week without much supposed disruption. In summer here in the US, this is hard. I don't mind rain, I mind the often random lightning storms in the afternoon. That would be bad to look out the window at work at 430 PM and see a line of strong storms coming my way.

    But...........I'm going to go ahead and guess that the absence in the morning of that 30 minutes is going to be an "issue". "Well, you're gone in the morning for work before we......".

    I'm not opposed to using a turbo in addition to the gym at work, I'm just wary of putting a carbon aero frame onto one. I know it's more myth and legend of failures than true reality, as the pros pop onto one on their bikes all year long before and after races for warmup and cooldown.

    That definitely sounds like something to try out. You might be right that even that could be turned into an issue. So again, you need to find a way to figure the thought process and if anything can be done to ease it. Where families are involved, fitting training in to have minimal impact is often needed, but you can only go so far in 'hiding' something that you're passionate about before you'll feel resentful. Good luck!
  • Very hard to get the balance right, especially when you throw a 4 year old into the mix.

    What I'm starting to find works better is to have a clear definition of the time. Tinkering with the bike, looking on strava etc is still cycling time which overlaps onto the actual riding of a bike so cut it out.

    Typical (non racing) week for me:

    Saturday: Take little one swimming with partner at 8am, then my parents usually have him from 9:00-5:00 so once anything that "needs" doing is done I try to find an hour, possibly 2 on the bike
    Sunday: Family day, if time presents itself I will again try to get out for an hour or so. Often I will go after boy is asleep.
    Monday: No cycling if I rode on Sunday, otherwise I will go out once the little one has gone to bed
    Tuesday: No cycling
    Wednesday: Club ride. Meaning I spend as much time with the little one before leaving house at 5:45 (I'm home at 4:45).
    Thursday: No cycling
    Friday: Same as Wednesday

    I do all the cooking, most of the pot washing, food shopping, dog walking and pull my weight around the house. On average I do about 6-7 hours riding per week. Admittedly it would be nice to do the Sunday 4-5 hour club run but even I can see that would bite into the family time way too much. I sometimes race on a Wednesday, this means I don't see my boy until the next morning, I always feel guilty but it the grand scheme of things it's not that bad twice a month.

    Bike time can still cause tension, but it's been reduced by defining things better.

    I'm not sure you can moan about lack of family time if your parents take your kid from 9-5 most Saturdays!
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  • I'll figure it out.

    It just sucks to see such a pretty aero road bike sitting in the room idle while I pound out watts on a Cycleops trainer at the work gym.

    Not the same pounding watts indoors vs. outdoors.

    Definitely noticing the training plan I'm on starting to do its work. Just a matter of figuring out how to squeeze in all the interval sets and the endurance miles time into a week. I'm having to juggle it a bit, but haven't truly missed or messed up anything yet.

    I really want to get to 250w and 73kg or so. More than enough for my goals. Maybe not a winning combination, but enough to try some things out and mix it up a little bit. And more than enough to "enjoy" instead of suffering through an audax or sportive.
  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    Very hard to get the balance right, especially when you throw a 4 year old into the mix.

    What I'm starting to find works better is to have a clear definition of the time. Tinkering with the bike, looking on strava etc is still cycling time which overlaps onto the actual riding of a bike so cut it out.

    Typical (non racing) week for me:

    Saturday: Take little one swimming with partner at 8am, then my parents usually have him from 9:00-5:00 so once anything that "needs" doing is done I try to find an hour, possibly 2 on the bike
    Sunday: Family day, if time presents itself I will again try to get out for an hour or so. Often I will go after boy is asleep.
    Monday: No cycling if I rode on Sunday, otherwise I will go out once the little one has gone to bed
    Tuesday: No cycling
    Wednesday: Club ride. Meaning I spend as much time with the little one before leaving house at 5:45 (I'm home at 4:45).
    Thursday: No cycling
    Friday: Same as Wednesday

    I do all the cooking, most of the pot washing, food shopping, dog walking and pull my weight around the house. On average I do about 6-7 hours riding per week. Admittedly it would be nice to do the Sunday 4-5 hour club run but even I can see that would bite into the family time way too much. I sometimes race on a Wednesday, this means I don't see my boy until the next morning, I always feel guilty but it the grand scheme of things it's not that bad twice a month.

    Bike time can still cause tension, but it's been reduced by defining things better.

    I'm not sure you can moan about lack of family time if your parents take your kid from 9-5 most Saturdays!

    I didn't moan?
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    The idea was I could leave the car at work one day and cycle home. Then the next day, get up early and go back to get the car. That would get several hours in per week without much supposed disruption. In summer here in the US, this is hard. I don't mind rain, I mind the often random lightning storms in the afternoon. That would be bad to look out the window at work at 430 PM and see a line of strong storms coming my way.
    Well - you could always go along the lines that I use - I plan to ride - but will abort if I think it's going to end up in conditions I don't want. For me I don't mind getting a soaking coming home - but it's not thunderstorms ...
    But...........I'm going to go ahead and guess that the absence in the morning of that 30 minutes is going to be an "issue". "Well, you're gone in the morning for work before we......".
    I think you need to head this off before it happens - there's a reason she doesn't want you on your bike when you want to be - I think you should sort that out first ...
  • slowbike wrote:
    I think you need to head this off before it happens - there's a reason she doesn't want you on your bike when you want to be - I think you should sort that out first ...

    This is the key.

    It feels like that when I've "done my time" watching kids and stuff for her to do her things that when the shoe is on the other foot there can often be some kind of bitchin or moanin about my turn to do something.

    That's why I mention, the week before this particular piss and moan I put the kids to be 3 nights and had them alone 1/2 day on Saturday. She did a work thing one night but the other two were not "work" related in any kind of way.

    The reason she doesn't is that she doesn't know how to handle her stress level when she's on her own sometimes. Then gets pissed I'm not going to be around for 2 hours to spread the butter a little more evenly.

    When it's her turn to go I just do it, watch kids or do stuff at home. It may not be easy every time, but that's the trade.
  • ilovegraceilovegrace Posts: 620
    Let this be a lesson to all the sports men and women out there,
    One must get the choice right.
    On the question of parenting , we over parent now, my daughter likes some time with me but given the choice of been with me or her friends and it is no contest.
    The best plan is to be a knob head like me , no one wants to be with you and bingo 15 hours a week cycling .
    Regards
    ILG
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,027
    I take it , the O'Half has not seen you posting on here?
  • marykamaryka Posts: 746
    slowbike wrote:
    I think you need to head this off before it happens - there's a reason she doesn't want you on your bike when you want to be - I think you should sort that out first ...

    This is the key.

    It feels like that when I've "done my time" watching kids and stuff for her to do her things that when the shoe is on the other foot there can often be some kind of bitchin or moanin about my turn to do something.

    That's why I mention, the week before this particular wee-wee and moan I put the kids to be 3 nights and had them alone 1/2 day on Saturday. She did a work thing one night but the other two were not "work" related in any kind of way.

    The reason she doesn't is that she doesn't know how to handle her stress level when she's on her own sometimes. Then gets pissed I'm not going to be around for 2 hours to spread the butter a little more evenly.

    When it's her turn to go I just do it, watch kids or do stuff at home. It may not be easy every time, but that's the trade.
    In Mumsnet tradition, show her this thread and specifically your posts and get her to write a reply. She's either going to point out that 1/2 of a weekend day and 3 nights a week putting kids to bed is nowhere near half, or she'll post some excuses as to why her stuff is ok and yours isn't. At the moment I'm still not convinced that you pull your weight, if I'm honest. I think the term "done my time" sort of points to why...
  • Get a trailer and take the kids with you. Two birds, one stone. And it's quite a workout.

    So you cycle and she gets her alone time, potentially gaining you alone time to cycle. You also get to spend time with the kids. If they are not keen you can bribe them with cake stops.

    Caveat: I don't know how old your kids are. If >5, you're going to need a big trailer and even bigger quads.
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