The Semi-Detached Parent: Just What Is Normal?

24/03/2011 15:54 | Updated 22 May 2015

Semi detached parent: what is normal, couple watching television, TVA recent news story said that parents only have 90 minutes to themselves at the end of the day, after all their work and family chores are done. I wonder what they do in that hour and a half? Spend time together? Enjoy some 'me time'?

I have completely forgotten what 'normal' is in terms of family and relationships. I just don't have a handle on what people in relationships (and with family) do. I was chatting online to a friend one evening, at about 9pm. My usual routine; if I am not going out, I get my son off to bed, tidy up the kitchen, then repair to my bedroom to work or read or faff about on the internet. As I was signing off my conversation, my friend said she was going to watch television with her husband. How odd, I thought.

But then I realised it wasn't that odd at all. It's what my parents have been doing every evening for the past 50 years. It's probably what every other couple do every evening. But I don't think I have ever done it. I can't remember ever spending evening ensconced in the living room, watching TV as a couple.

I can't imagine us ever having agreed on a programme to watch, for starters, or having the patience to sit still and quietly for its duration. Or making it through a show without having arguments, thinly disguised as critical discussion.

Which probably says a lot more about the intricacies of what was going on in our relationship, rather than the quality of television programmes.

But its got me wondering: what do couples do in the evening? Is relaxed, laid back, sofa and TV time together one of the keys to a fulfilling relationship? Do other people cherish those 90 minutes with their partner at the end of the day, or do they spend them like me, doing their own thing, and craving time to themselves?

Do enlighten me...

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