I adore my husband. I often say that he’s the only person I can be with every day and never get sick of his face – I suppose that’s important considering we’ve agreed to spend the rest of our lives together. We never refer to each other as “the old ball and chain”, in part because it’s rude, but also because it’s not true. We give each other plenty of space, spend time in the day apart, and never restrict each other’s activities. So no, my husband isn’t a ball and chain… but my baby sorta is.
The ball and chain was originally a physical restraint, but the idiom evolved into a burden or restraint in the form of a wife or job – something you can’t get away from. As I type this, I am holding Harley. She prefers to be held for hours every day, and in the past week I’ve probably spent about an hour apart from her. In total. And there’s no chance I can get early parole for good behavior.