To think it isn't particularly unusual or wrong for DH to ba a SAHD!!!

(60 Posts)
AnotherDay123 Fri 25-Jan-13 10:11:42

Last year DH, through no fault of his own, was made redundant from his job. We both have very traditional families in which pretty much all the women either do small part time jobs or are SAHM. I have no issue with this at all and if it makes them happy that is great. I on the other hand was lucky enough to have a senior position which I worked 3 days a week whilst looking after our 2 dcs the rest of the time. When DH lost his job we completely swapped roles, took DCs out of childcare and I went full time and gained a promotion. Now DH stays at home with DCs and I work. This works wonderfully for us, DH is a wonderful husband and father, the children are thriving and we are happy. DH saves us a fortune by growing all our own food and meat and preparing everything for scratch - and it makes him so happy, and in turn makes me happy that he's loving this life and DCs have one parent at home all the time. Our weekends and evenings are then dedicated to the children and having family time. I love my job, but do miss the children tremendously, however I also know they are happy and we have quality family time so this makes up for it. We don't see that it matters who is doing what roles in our family as long as we are together a team and together we meet the needs of everyone in our family and each role is just as important as the others!
Problems are coming from DH's family who we are close too. To understand DH's family you basically have to go into a timewarp and disappear back 50 years. there attitudes towards us can be summed up through the following comments which we recieve on a regular basis - 'Don't I feel like I am failing as a mother not being at home with my children', 'Well this is obviously only temporary until DH gets another job (he's not looking) and I'll go back to what I did before', to DH 'doesn't it feel odd being supported by a woman, not exactly providing like he should'. And the worse part is that my FiL actually said to DH that he didn't feel he had done a great job of bringing him up if he wasn't going to be a proper man and take care of his family!!!
These are not awful people they are just stuck in their ways but I beyond fed up with it. I've tried talking to them, tried explaining but I don't get anywhere. These comments upset DH and I don't want our DCs growing up thinking that these comments are acceptable or hearing this about their family.
How do I deal with nicely. I do love DH's family and we see alot of them living round the corner. DC's adore the GPs - it is just this one sticking point! Why can't they see how happy we are as a family and that is what matters, not who works and who stays at home!

Homebird8 Sat 26-Jan-13 03:26:54

DH used to work 60 hours weeks plus commuting. I used to work freelance from home and do everything else: DCs, housework, car stuff, garden, chairperson of this, that and the other, social secretary, etc.

DH and I gradually drifted apart.

<Fade to present>

We moved to another country. I work full time (40 hours), DH is a SAHD, has made us new friends and volunteers when school need him for trips etc. He posts photos on Facebook of the lovely lunches out he enjoys with his lady friends SAHM friends. He is relaxed and happy. I am loving work and relish the time I spend with DH and the DCs. The DCs have loads of friends and supportive and cheerful home life.

FIL thinks DH is 'messing around' and that 'it can't go on'. He treats DH with even less respect than before. Same reasons as your states.

Who's the miserable one? FIL. Both of them.

I send a wave from my SAHD to yours AnotherDay wine

deleted203 Sat 26-Jan-13 03:41:27

My cousin had exactly the same situation. She was very career orientated, loved her job whereas her DH was laid off and at the time (he was a brickie) there was a recession on and he couldn't get work. He stayed home and cared for their children and she continued with FT work. The comments from her family have been appalling. Even though he was a terrific cook, gardener, patient with kids - all the things that she wasn't, basically. She freely admits that being a SAHM would have been her idea of hell. 25 years later they are still doing this - and she is at the very peak of her career as CEO to a huge, national company. He has not worked in this time - by the time the children had grown up he was too old and had been out of the trade too long to realistically get another job, but he has been happy to support her in her career and do all the domestic stuff that has left her free to focus on her ambitions. No one would think twice about a man being CEO of a corporation whilst having a wife who ran his life and did everything around the home. (Which her DH did! I don't think she ever dried a pot or pushed a hoover around). I cannot understand why the family cannot appreciate the tremendous contribution he has made to her career - it is unlikely that she could have got where she is today without the home backup he provided. They still continually go on about him being 'lazy' and cannot appreciate that she loves him very much and that their relationship and lifestyle choices work for them. I think you need to firmly tell the in laws that their comments are hurtful and distressing to you both and that, whilst they are entitled to their opinions, they have expressed them and that is now the end of the matter.

StuntNun Sat 26-Jan-13 04:07:06

I had a SAHD from when I was seven when he retired (through ill health) and my mum went back to work). My dad took me to school, dentist/orthodontist appointments, music lessons, nursed me when I was sick, made my tea when I got home from school. He must have found that difficult in 1983, especially as he had been a senior executive before, but it was great for us kids. He's the calm one and my mum is more volatile and stressy so we definitely had the better parent to be looking after three kids. He did say that he liked it when the vicar's son started school because there was another bloke doing the school 'walk' as it was in those days. I can't advise about your sexist ILs, OP, but I do think having a SAHD had great benefits for me.

FellatioNels0n Sat 26-Jan-13 04:55:13

Not at all wrong but still fairly unusual.

FellatioNels0n Sat 26-Jan-13 05:06:24

soworn Sadly I think that is a very common attitude towards men who are the SAHP long term. It's a terrible double standard and very unfair. I've read plenty of comments on here over the years from women complaining that their SAH husbands don't pull their weight enough at home, mocking their 'so-called' 'working from home' jobs like writing a book, or trying to get a small business off the ground while doing childcare and running the house etc. They generally get support whereas if a man came on here complaining that he regularly gets home after a hard day in the office to find his wife hasn't even started the dinner and the house is a mess he'd get slaughtered, and told that she's at home to care for his children, not to be his skivvy!

There is still a deeply held view that a man is somehow a sponger or a cock-lodger if he happily lets his partner do all the breadwinning.

Glittertwins Sat 26-Jan-13 05:16:10

YANBU, it obviously works for you and your family.
DH and I discussed this a while back if he was made redundant. If it had happened, I would have done as you and gone FT with him being SAHP.

Iteotwawki Sat 26-Jan-13 05:55:11

YABU if you think it's not unusual - it's still very much the norm for men to woh and women to sah. However it's definitely not wrong!

We decided 7 years ago that I would go back to work full time and DH would be the sahp. Lots of reasons, not just financial - I definitely fit the "volatile, stressy" description whereas he is calm, steady and consistent. He's far better at parenting than I am!

I get to do fun stuff (baking, reading, board games, etc) as well as homework. He does lunches, suncream, laundry, school runs, shopping, food prep ... I don't have to worry about a work day overrunning (which it does on average once a week) or having to take time off if the children are sick, or on call work - gives me the flexibility my job requires.

I'll have to talk to him about growing our food though!

It is quite unusual, but certainly not wrong.

DH was a SAHD for dd1 until I had dd2, he loved it. Luckily neither of our families are stuck in the dark ages.

Your set up sounds great, whatever works for your family and makes you happy.

I would pull them up on it.

DeckSwabber Sat 26-Jan-13 09:45:30

In my family these attitudes have been incredibly damaging. Men do need to do more in most families these days, and it sounds like your husband is fab.

NymphadoraTonks Sat 26-Jan-13 09:47:09

My husband is a sahd and it works well for us. I've never actually had anyone comment on it before either tbh.

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