to feel put upon by DH?(22 Posts)
DH has a high-pressure job with long hours and increasingly big rewards because he's doing well, so this year alone he's had 3 'once in a lifetime' trips abroad, lots of hospitality events which involve days out, dinner & night away in swanky hotels. I'm a SAHM (through circumstance rather than choice really) so ofcourse I don't get these kinds of work benefits. Anyway, more 'once in a lifetime' trips are planned for next year and I'm starting to feel like a glorified babysitter & housekeeper. Friends have said 'so when's your short break away with the girls gonna be?!' but being brutally honest I don't feel like I can spend any money myself, as I don't bring any money in. Because we're living on 1 income & have a huge mortgage, money is tight & the only reason he gets all these freebies is because of his job. And yet...I am increasingly being left alone with 2 kids under 5 & no local family support at all, and I'm starting to feel really put upon. I have a history of depression & do find being at home very lonely at times, so that might be clouding my judgement. It used to feel like we were a tight unit working together for the family, but I'm starting to feel like a drudge. AIBU?
What are your needs op? What will keep you mentally healthy? You enable each other to live the life you are. Keeping you healthy has to be a priority.
Didn't want to read and run. But one thing jumped out to me loud and clear...he is only able to work as hard as he does (and have the perks) because you are a SAHP. So all this earning money stuff...quit that way of thinking...it is family money. And yes, start planning something nice for you, this weekend.
Have you sat down with your DH and discussed this?
I don't feel like I can spend any money myself, as I don't bring any money in.
God, I hate this way of thinking. Is this what you would think if the roles were reversed?
You are supposed to be a partnership. Just because you're contribution isn't financial it doesn't mean you can't use the money he earns.
Yes we've spoken about it. He says in my shoes he'd feel jealous of all the freebies but that it's just one of those things as I don't work & that when
if we get some spare cash I'll be able to go off for a weekend or whatever by way of making up for it. But realistically financially we are talking years down the line. I don't know what my needs are really, perhaps that's a good place to start.
What circumstances forced you to be SAHM? Sounds like he doesn't respect that role much. What would it take to enable you to go back to work?
I would really resent this situation I think. I'd be thinking about a) regaining my career at some point, b) equalling up leisure / treat times up for myself.
If that meant moving house to make everything less financially tight is consider it.
In the meantime what about agreeing with your H that e.g. Monday & thurs nights are your time & go for a run, out to cinema, meet friend, go swimming, cookery course.
Basically do something just for you.
Also, please op, increase your self respect!! You are contributing an enormous amount to the family unit, particularly if your SAHM status was not choice. It's joint money & it's a team effort.
I would broach this with H & try & work out how to put the team back into things.
Basically my job didn't pay enough to justify nursery fees & I found when I did do some shifts early on after DS1 was born that it was nigh-on impossible without local family backup in case of emergencies like when they're ill & you need help with the school run, appointments etc. If I need something as simple as to see the dentist I have to ask DH to come home from work early, it's difficult right now. I don't regret my time at home at all but it's now been 5 years & I do find I'm lacking confidence in very basic things (I often go days without speaking to another adult if DH is away & sometimes avoid talking to my family on the phone as I can feel I just have nothing to say), so I'd like to go back to work when my youngest starts school (2 years to go). I have tried to commit to doing something 1 night a week but often I'm just knackered and want to go to bed, I'm more of a daytime person 😜 DH has sympathy with all of this I think but sees it as my responsibility to set time aside for me, so like he'll plan in his work things & if it gets to the end of the month & I've not planned in anything for me then that's my look out if you see what I mean.
He doesn't have to go on the trips nor all the days and nights out.
You are definitely not being unreasonable.
I really think you should try to get back to work, regardless of the cost benefit analysis of childcare. It is important for your mental health to get out of the house, feel socially useful, meet people and stop feeling like a drudge. Your salary may not be much initially, but it will build up in time.
It is not fair that your H gets all these holidays and you and the family don't. He needs to find a way to pay for at least one good family holiday a year. If he is doing so well at work, I'm sure he can find a way if he understands how important it is to the equality and health of your marriage.
"DH has sympathy with all of this I think but sees it as my responsibility to set time aside for me"
How exactly are you supposed to do that without access to an equal share of the funds? Would he rather you stopped being a SAHM in order to make some money so you can go away on big trips? Obviously, he'll have to take time off work to look after the kids while youre away......Doesnt sound quite so clear cut to him now, I imagine?
I think in terms of blocking off the time, ie if I'm starting to feel a bit suffocated by it all, he sees it as my responsibility to say 'look I'm going away this weekend' or whatever, rather than wait for him to notice that I'm withdrawn, teary etc. and may need some time out. We've spoken about me going back to work and even if I did evenings & weekends to fit in around the kids, he's acknowledged it would out a lot of pressure on his ability to do job as he currently is as he'd have to leave work early etc. At the moment, he doesn't do any of the thinking or doing around the kids - so not involved in school run, keeping on top of all the clubs/homework etc, getting everything ready every day - and I think cos he's never had to do it, neither of us quite appreciates what that would be like, he's never had to say to work 'I can't because I've got the kids.'.
I think you've posted this before? Remember this from a couple of weeks ago.
Is the mortgage in your name as well?
Wow lovely butterflies! No I've not posted about this before, I'd imagine it's a fairly common problem. Hmmm I've not thought about the mortgage, it's in both our names I'm fairly sure.
Firstly - childcare is a joint expenditure. It's not your sole responsibility to pay for this, as they are his children too. You look at the total amount of money you would have coming in as a family, and then deduct childcare from that as you would the mortgage, car insurance etc. By not working you are not just sacrificing income, but also pension contributions - he needs to consider the wider impact to you personally.
Secondly - your H needs to properly acknowledge that he is only able to work and go off on these work-related trips, because you are providing FT childcare. Therefore if you are saving this money by providing the care by being a SAHP, then there needs to be provision for you to have downtime, breaks, hobby time etc. Has your H thought about what is going to happen when you return to work? I.e. is he prepared for the fact that he will also be responsible for planning what happens with the DC because you aren't a SAHP anymore?
I get that he thinks you need to just announce that you are off - but would he step in and pick up the slack with the DC, or would he expect you to sort out all of the childcare logistics before you went? He sounds a bit removed from the day-to-day parenting aspect and is acting as if you are a 24/7 nanny who works for free.
I am in a very similar situation try hard.
You and DH do sound like a fantastic team, but you can not do it all.
Something has to give, and for a lot of families they have the outside support at makes it possible to take a bit of pressure off.
To be able to look forward to have a kid free day to yourselves at the end of the week would make an enormous difference.
But it doesn't sound like that is possible at the moment.
We had a very hard few years where we just had to manage alone. DH was always at work/away very high pressure job and I had MH and general health problems struggling on my own with 2 young children.
I would ring DH In tears every day saying I felt like the lowest of the low, scum of society and my only purpose was to facilitate his and DCs lives.
A few years on, eldest is at FT schools and youngest is PT nursery and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, just.
It can also be difficult to articulate the feelings of not feeling able to spend family money because you don't earn yourself.
DP would throw money at me if I would agree to spend it. But I just don't feel able to.
That can be very hard to understand if you are not in that position.
In a way I end up financially abusing myself!
That probably made no sense, but to sum it up. I really feel for you and please value yourself and take little pleasures where you can xx
Tbh, sounds like his job is not as great as it seems... If the 'perks' and benefits aren't actually adding any benefit to his life, then they're really not that great. Instead of three 'amazing trips' a year, he'd be better off receiving one that he can share with his family, surely? Sounds like it's ideal for a single person, but not for someone with a family.
He's only able to go out and spend so many hours away from the home because of you providing that childcare element of it, so you're doing your bit to contribute to the partnership, whilst he's doing his bit.
It does make me wonder how the childcare cost is typically compared to the salary of the mother, as if it should be her paying for childcare, whereas if you both worked and both gave half your wage towards childcare, you'd still have some money of your 'own' IYSWIM.
You deserve a break too. Is there any way for your DH to trade/swap some perks, or even get a job where the benefits are actually beneficial?
Incidentally I do agree with your DH and it is up to you to say that you want to start doing an exercise class on a Wednesday, or meeting friends once a week or whatever it is that you want to do. It sounds like he would be perfectly amenable to this - take control of your own life, don't wait for him to organise it for you!
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