That it's not 'his' money!

(242 Posts)
NameChangeAnon Thu 08-May-14 13:32:55

I've NC as I know a couple of MNetters in RL (though they already know my DH has his moments, especially with money related matters)

Just on the phone talking to DH and mentioned that I've found a reasonably priced masters degree, distance learning, in my interest area. It will be £4k over 2 years for part time. I'd like to start in 2015 as a goal.

I am currently a SAHM with 2DC, one YR and the other has another year before starting school. This was a choice we made, to have a SAHP until school age. We were both career changing so it could have been him, but he loved the first job he got and it's been going great for 3 years.

Every now and then he seems to have moments where 'he' is the earner and it is 'his' money. He said that he was not going to pay for my masters as it's not necessarily going towards me earning more in a job and is therefore hobby money while it's not necessarily going towards a job it might later I keep getting comments about returning to my old career (where I could get a reasonable salary from the first job) rather than being able to continue my own career change plans.

I was also, at this point, dealing with a potty training toddler, holding a wad of toilet paper in my other hand and getting DC2 to put on underwear. Is it my imagination but am I not also working and therefore entitled to a say in the family money? To be fair he wants to use the money I'm talking about to pay off the mortgage early and I agree with this goal, but I do not agree that he gets to dictate without discussion. He tried a sarcastic 'Do I get £2k a year to do my hobby?' and I said yes so he backtracked to his priority being the mortgage and how unreasonable I was to do anything else but focus on our security.

I really just need a bit of a vent. He's a good DH except he gets stupid wankerish twitchy about money and we're renovating the house at the moment and money is hemorrhaging out of our accounts although we are still perfectly on budget. Perhaps I mistimed the discussion as I knew I'd find prat-with-money-DH coming out this summer of spending.

Also I suppose AIBU to want to do a masters with no specific work related goal at this point? It's in the field I would like to work in, but I wouldn't get a career boost for having it IYSWIM.

TheresLotsOfFarmyardAnimals Thu 08-May-14 13:39:03

I'm sorry but I can see his reluctance in spending on an MA that will

1. Not obviously lead to a well paying job afterwards
2. Take you away from going back to a well paid job
3. Cost money

He does sound as though he has your best financial interests at heart but that you're a little frustrated by him holding the purse strings. Inevitably the tighter more frugal partner in a relationship usually assumes that role like me

Nomama Thu 08-May-14 13:41:36

YABU/YANBU. He needs to slow down and have a re-think. You both need to sit down and discuss it face to face, not holding the phone with one hand a poo with the other smile.

You can't do it whilst still doing up the house. That would seem a reasonable decision. You can do it whilst still SAHMing, that too would be reasonable. I'd do it for the fun/interest, but maybe it is BU to do that in your current situation. He is probably feeling pushed and you gave him a nudge too far....

Definitely mistimed. Try again, without the poo!

Babyroobs Thu 08-May-14 13:42:10

If the Masters is part time could you consider getting a part time job also once the dc's are at school, then you could be paying for the Masters and also contributing to the household ?

TeenAndTween Thu 08-May-14 13:44:55

I agree with Shared money.

But you are sort of changing the goal posts aren't you?

SAHM until youngest starts school implies gets job when youngest starts.
You are changing this into spend 2 more years not earning, and in fact costing the family budget money.

On phone whilst nappy changing was not good timing, and I'm not surprised you got a push back reaction. Had you before this floated the idea of not going straight back to work?

You need to sit down with budget and DH and go through whether this is affordable, and how he feels about it (e.g. stress of being only money earner). Sort of pros and cons and work as a team.

NameChangeAnon Thu 08-May-14 13:46:51

I was never going back to the well paid career anyway. 20 years of it and I'm done.

I'm actually the one who does the purse strings and neither of us are particularly frugal. We make the money we have go a long way. He's just been using possessive terms over money recently his money/work/ responsibility. We have paid for his, not-entirely-needed-but-useful degree while having the DCs. I've done a lot of solo-parenting while giving him the time to study and I feel this is a bit of a kick in the teeth.

CurlyBlueberry Thu 08-May-14 13:51:09

It's not just his money. He is only able to go out and earn because you are providing the childcare at home. It's not that hard to understand surely. Does he know how much full-time childcare would cost? He 'owes' you half that amount if he's going to look at it that way (not saying it is the right way to look at things.)

It is not necessarily that you should be going off to do a Masters but it's a joint decision as you'll be using joint money IMO.

NameChangeAnon Thu 08-May-14 13:52:32

Nomama it was a wee, luckily. I'm teaching the 'dabbing afterwards' approach to wee spots on clothing.

I am planning to get a part time job in the this/next year. My plans (might out me a bit) are to try to teach 2 out of 3 of my 'hobbies' as short adult courses through the local college/ independently. Perhaps 2 hours, twice a week initially, to fit in with the funded childcare hours, and then expand days/hours when DC2 goes to school. If this can be set up by September 2014 then I'll start sooner.

dietcokeandwine Thu 08-May-14 14:01:44

I can see the reluctance re the MA, tbh. In all honesty I'd probably feel the same. Definitely worth exploring it further, but you need a proper chat with your DH at a more sensible time!

He is completely unreasonable to refer to the family income as 'his' money. It is your money, his and yours; he does the job that earns it, you provide the childcare that enables him to (a) do the job without having to use any income to fund childcare and (b) not have the stress of trying to juggle everything between two working parents. I have been a SAHM for years and not once has my DH ever referred to finances as 'his' money; he'd always say it was ours.

MsMarvel Thu 08-May-14 14:05:40

If it's not going to boost your earning potential then I can see his reluctance to spend the time and money on it tbh

PrincessBabyCat Thu 08-May-14 14:09:28

Well, it does seem unreasonable to get a degree that's not going to be used at once you graduate. If you're not going to do anything with it, why not just learn and research off the internet? There's plenty of information online that you could easily learn just as much from as you could a class. Could you compromise and get your degree when you're ready to get back into the work force with it?

Also, it's both your money. But you need to both make a decision as a team.

Free online courses

christinarossetti Thu 08-May-14 14:21:34

Now it's on the agenda, it can be properly discussed in the context of other issues ie renovations, money, childcare etc.

Sounds like there's an underlying issue about you feeling undervalued in your current SAHP role, which needs to be addressed first/separately.

Pagwatch Thu 08-May-14 14:30:43

It's not his money, it's joint money.

Debating whether or not doing a masters is worthwhile or not is spectacularly missing the point.

Any large spend should be discussed and agreed but he doesn't get to decide because it's 'his' money. Fuck that.

Discussing such an important issue on the phone wasn't wise but I would be preparing for an 'oi, we are equal partners here!' conversation.

peggyundercrackers Thu 08-May-14 15:33:58

i can see his point, im not sure doing a masters in the right thing to do given its not going towards a job - you seem to be wanting to do 2 yrs further education for the sake of it.

we don't really do shared money so it wouldn't be an issue in our house.

PoundingTheStreets Thu 08-May-14 15:59:08

I think you're probably just two very normal people who have started to fall into the trap so often befalling couples in which the man is the breadwinner and the woman the SAHP. Society reinforces this trap constantly by encouraging men to feel like their earning the money = having sole responsibility and therefore superior decision-making power. Whereas looking after children is 'of course' something any woman parent can do hmm and so fails to carry the same weight of kudos and therefore power.

In other words, your DH may not be a twat, he may just need a little education about gender politics if he wants to (a) remain married wink and (b) raise children capable of having respectful equal relationships.

You are a team. He is facilitating you to be a SAHP just as you are facilitating him to be a WOHP free from the stresses of organising and paying for childcare. Neither one of you can fulfil your role without the other's input, and therefore you carry equal importance and should have equal decision-making power. The debate over whether the mortgage is more important than retraining is just details.

expatinscotland Thu 08-May-14 16:01:29

I can see his point. It's not 'his' money, but it's not on for you to change the goalposts like this, either. The master's can wait.

firesidechat Thu 08-May-14 16:03:38

I don't understand why posters on here are so against doing something just because it won't increase your earning power. It may give you a job at the end of it, neither of you can be sure that it won't.

In any case who cares if it is just a hobby because hobbies are very important and we have loads of them between us. Having an interest outside of work and home is good for you.

This only applies if you can afford it of course. If money is very tight it maybe needs more discussion

PoundingTheStreets Thu 08-May-14 16:04:21

It is probably worth pointing out to him - in defence of your argument to do a Masters - that while you are each dependent on each other to live your current lifestyle, if you split up his earning power and potential will be higher than yours because he hasn't taken x amount of time out of the workplace. Therefore, facilitating your education as a means of maintaining your security is as important to your long-term future and that of your DC (assuming you'd be primary carer in the event of a split, which you almost certainly would be as the SAHP) as paying off the mortgage is to you as a couple right now.

NameChangeAnon Thu 08-May-14 16:23:59

I have been talking about this masters for a few years but was concentrating on small children. DH works away over half of the year (think oil rigs, shipping etc) so he's gone for a few weeks at a time and then back for a few weeks. I was planning for the bulk of the work to be done in the evenings while he's away and to still find a part time role. I'll spend that on yarn if I have to crochet half of the evenings for 2 years wink

We both took distance learning degrees while our DC were babies and I busted a gut to ensure he had time to study as well as his full time job, and did the bulk of the childcare as well as my own study, at a slower rate. I'm just finishing mine off now. He had had enough of study by the time he finished, I haven't.

We'd previously discussed that in addition to SAHP for preschoolers we also want primary school aged children to have a parent available to do school runs most days and for the DCs to be able to go to out of school clubs and swimming so by default I will be the part time parent. He can't because of working away with this new career. I don't think he realises how his career choice has limited mine if we continue with our agreed parenting plan. I'm still happy with the plan, mind you, so altering that is not something I want to do. I suppose him saying it's 'his' money and sounding like he can veto something expensive I want to do is detracting from the worth of what I am doing for us all.

I do sometimes feel I'd need to earn at least a comparable hourly rate to him for my earning potential to be considered worthwhile - which will be impossible as he's full time and gets an industry uplift for his skill. This irritates me. His father is a true misogynist/bigot and I could hear echoes of my FIL in what he was saying.

struggling100 Thu 08-May-14 16:30:48

YANBU. You are a partnership, and you are currently doing more than fulltime unpaid work as a Mum. You have every right to a 50% stake in the household finances, and using them to improve your education and move your career in the direction you want to go seems like an absolutely sensible use of the cash. You have every right to be happy and fulfilled in the direction of work you choose, rather than being trapped in a job that you don't find rewarding. (If you are utterly miserable in a job you hate, I think there is a good chance it will impact negatively on your home life, and increasingly bitter at the thought that you could be doing your dream job elsewhere). I see absolutely no reason why you should be expected to sacrifice your dreams and aspirations here. Even if you have to take the house renovations a bit more slowly, it will be worth it (she says, with her hall in a right state still 5 years after moving in!). I can't believe anyone thinks otherwise - it seems positively prehistoric to me.

struggling100 Thu 08-May-14 16:31:26

*and you will become increasingly bitter. Gah! Ipads!

NameChangeAnon Thu 08-May-14 16:42:36

PoundingTheStreets He often says that I'm the one that need life/health insurance as my job can't be replaced. I think he does know that we're both equally important in the lifestyle we have. He's nearly there so I'll stay married and help continue his education wink

I understand and accept the comments that my plan for further education seems indulgent. I can't really do non-accredited courses on it online because I've already studied it at undergraduate level and I'll just be doing the first few weeks of my previous modules over and over by doing so. I still have my books if I want to do that (and I do).

We can afford it because of DH's salary uplift and because him being away reduces the bills we have (especially food and water - the man can shower for ages).

SarcyMare Thu 08-May-14 16:44:15

"His father is a true misogynist/bigot and I could hear echoes of my FIL in what he was saying."

this is the most telling line i read so far, is what you are actually upset/worried about?

is the masters actually related to the change of career you want? (sorry if you have already answered this)

if not it is a hobby.

LIZS Thu 08-May-14 16:47:45

I am planning to get a part time job in the this/next year. My plans (might out me a bit) are to try to teach 2 out of 3 of my 'hobbies' as short adult courses through the local college/ independently Unless these plans are already in the pipeline I'd caution you that Adult Ed classes for September, and even into next year, will already be planned and prospectuses with the printers, so you may be too late. Also 4 hours will not be hugely lucrative.

BeCool Thu 08-May-14 16:58:31

isn't the MA a bit of a red herring? It seems to me the main issue here is rather than supporting you as have a career change (when you return to work), he is expecting you to go back to your previous well paid career so the mortgage can be paid off early.

Which is all about the money and nothing to do with what you agreed. He has had the benefit of a career change and from having you as a SAHM, while your career has been put on hold. And now he wants to reneg on the career change you want also.

HoVis2001 Thu 08-May-14 17:05:31

YANBU and you should definitely do the Master's degree! It's not always about earning power. Then again I am doing a PhD in History, so may not be the most unbiased r.e. education for education's sake.

More seriously - if it's an aspiration of yours, regardless of whether you are also a wife and a mother, you ought to pursue it as far as is practically possible (which it seems it is), and it isn't at all unreasonable to expect for support from your life partner in doing so. smile

Regardless if it is a hobby or not, I don't see why you shouldn't do it.

Calculate the figures, if you put the 4k on the mortgage how much sooner would the house be paid off/interest saved. Conversely if you do the Masters and get a job after, how many working years do you have ahead of you and what type of income.

Do your research and present facts to him.

Viviennemary Thu 08-May-14 17:10:29

I can see his reluctance. If you have a lot of spare money and £4,000 will hardly be missed then he is being unreasonable to stop you from doing it. But if like most people that's a lot of money to your family then I think your DH has a point. But if it's part of a bigger issue about you feeling you are unfairly treated in other ways then that's different.

Joysmum Thu 08-May-14 17:18:02

I'm currently retraining myself having been a SAHM for 13 years.

What people fail to take into consideration is what we give up to be SAHM's I've 13 years behind my DH on the investment in my career. I can't just return to work at my previous level, I'll be starting again from scratch. My pension, my work skills the lack of value society, and you place on yourself.

So now I'm initially aiming to be a qualified accountant and even then I won't get a job worthy of the level I was at before my daughter because if lack of experience, but I will be in a better position to get a job at less money because I've shown I can learn and want a career. That can't be measured in monetary terms.

NameChangeAnon Thu 08-May-14 17:22:29

I have an interview LIZS and they were recruiting this time last year. I know it won't be lucrative initially but it's somewhere to start.

DeWee Thu 08-May-14 17:24:06

I can see his point if it won't particualrly lead to a job.

Dh is the main wage earner in our house, I'm SAHP at present. I would love to be able to sew better-really tailored stuff, I've never had a sewing lesson in my life, and I've no idea on how to really finish nicely. I think if I suggested I did a couple of course costing that amount he would say "not on your nelly" in a polite roundabout way. Because it would eb for my pleasure, it might lead to a little cash earner, but not really a wage. Plus it would impact on everyone timewise.
If I said "look I'd like to train for (eg) a Speech therepist, costing �8k over 3 years, I suspect he'd agree, even though it would be an initial sacrifice for our family.

Just the same as when he wanted a piano/new computer he came to me and asked what I thought was reasonable from what he'd like.

It sounds though from your OP that if you did this, then renovating the house (which surely is both of you) would have to step aside, and you're finding money issues too at present. In which case I think if you'd come asking if it was reasonable for your dh to spend �4k on his hobby you'd get a resounding no.

So something you need to put away as perhaps a dream for the future when you have that amount of money to spend.

Damnautocorrect Thu 08-May-14 17:31:47

I'm in a similar position, looking at retraining as I can't go back to my previous job.
Personally for me I can't justify it when it might not earn me the money back.
So then we are stuck, what do you do? Maybe you need to phrase it that way. Do you get a minimum wage job (barely covering holiday childcare) just doing something, but not necessarily fulfilling or what you want to do.

firesidechat Thu 08-May-14 17:33:39

DeWee I'm a bit shocked that just because you're a sahm you can't pursue an interest unless it is considered worthy by your husband. I appreciate the financial restraints that we all have to work with, but job satisfaction is worth it's weight in gold.

What's wrong with spending money on something you enjoy as well as things that bring in money? Do these husbands/partners spend money on their own interests? Maybe not.

Perhaps I'm being a bit naïve.

Viviennemary Thu 08-May-14 18:14:02

Pursuing an interest is fine. But when that interest is going to cost £4,000 it's a different matter. It all depends on family circumstances. No use in people saying well SAHM's have the right as much as anyone. But a lot of people who work part-time or even full time wouldn't be able to afford that amount of money.

struggling100 Thu 08-May-14 18:21:51

People in these threads always seem to have a really instrumental idea of how training works: 'If I do X course, I will get Y job'.

When I look at the world around me, it doesn't seem to work that way. Paths to careers are often really circuitous. So many people I know who are successful stumbled across their career in a way that was full of serendipity. In fact, a majority of the people I know who were very directed about careers ('I will do X degree and get Y job') ended up finding that Y job wasn't actually for them, and retraining.

The most valuable thing we have is time, and you never know how much. Doing something important with it is the key to not dying with regrets. There is nothing more soul destroying than sitting in a job you hate from 9-5 every day. I think a lot of people in that situation try to kid themselves that everyone 'ought' to do it, instead of getting out and doing something different.

Of course, there are prudential considerations - it's important not to risk your wellbeing, your house, your fundamental security etc. But provided that you can follow your dreams without doing that, then why not go for it? If it means not taking a holiday for a couple of years, or not buying new clothes for a bit - fine. It'll be worth it.

NameChangeAnon Thu 08-May-14 18:29:18

DeWee we have the money set aside for the renovation. The builder should be done by August and I'll be decorating Sept. We might even have the money to do an extra job like the front drive. We remortgaged so DH wants to pay off the extra loan money in a few years. We've paid a lot of the mortgage over the last 3 years, money for the work so I feel we're just borrowing back our savings rather than new debt.

£4k is a lot, I know that and of course it's a lump off the mortgage. I can see his point but I still feel that a long term goal of mine has just been dismissed because he's the one with the wage slip. We could afford it if we wanted to, and still slightly overpay the mortgage. But of course 'we' have to want to and he just said no to the discussion.

firesidechat Thu 08-May-14 18:34:01

You put it so much better than me struggling.

Massively stereotyping here (my husband is the model for this) but some men can spend a fortune on black boxes - new tv box, hifi equipment, dvds. It's an interest, but none of it is essential, despite what they say. If it has been budgeted for then that's fine and I wouldn't dream od vetoing such a purchase. Personally I think education is more worthwhile than something that will be obsolete in 2 years time.

I don't smoke, don't go down the pub, rarely buy new clothes, don't have beauty treatments, but money spent on interests is money well spent.

firesidechat Thu 08-May-14 18:36:35

That's tough NameChange.

If that's his mind set I don't know how you change it.

It might be a cheeky question, but does he spend money on his interests and things he likes doing?

Swannery Thu 08-May-14 18:42:34

Women who have children so often seem to want to give up their old career, and do something more fun when they go back to work. While the husband is expected to earn the real money. Unfair.

firesidechat Thu 08-May-14 18:51:13

Except that many of those women are also doing most, if not all, of the work at home too. They don't get a cushy life necessarily.

Pagwatch Thu 08-May-14 18:52:45

Or perhaps what is really unfair is when the woman is the one who gives up several years and gets her arse kicked right off the career path she might have already worked 10 years to create ..

Bonsoir Thu 08-May-14 18:54:22

OP - it is perfectly legitimate for your DH not to want to fund your further education unless you are reasonably sure of a payback in future earnings.

Chunderella Thu 08-May-14 18:55:02

YANBU in that his attitude to the money stinks like a shovel of shit. However...

I do think both of you seem to want to move the goalposts from what's been agreed, you with the Masters and him with the hints about you going back to your old job. Neither is being more or less unreasonable than the other. I can see why it would feel like a slap in the face because you supported him with his studies, but the way you describe the courses is quite different: correct me if I'm wrong, but his fell into the inessential but useful category and yours is inessential but might be useful. That makes it sound like his was the better investment, and if that's the case you're not comparing like with like.

I'm not saying never do the Masters, but it does sound like you have a great opportunity to be mortgage free quite soon. It's worth bearing in mind that interest rates have been at a historic low for sometime, so now is a good time to pay down debt. The fact that this course is 4k kind of takes it out of the realm of a hobby. It would be different if you were well off, but you've said you're not. But presumably, if you have no mortgage in a few years, there'll be a lot of spare income then. What about if you agree to delay things now for X years, but say you want to do the course in 2018 or whenever, and this is as far as you're willing to compromise? Naturally DH should not be spending several grand on expensive hobbies during this period either.

NameChangeAnon Thu 08-May-14 18:56:52

Swannery I can't go back to my old career. It is possible not to do the shift work and weekends but childcare friendly hours are nigh impossible to get. I did apply for the one job that would have been OK for hours but rather stuffed up the interview when I asked them to repeat an answer to a question I'd asked. It had huge legal and ethical implications and I may have used my 'tone' when they gave a dismissive answer the first time grin

So you tell me what I can do 5 days a week 930-1430 in the current work climate with having not worked for 5 years and only having a healthcare professional qualification and an Eng Lit degree? My 'fun' tutoring would pay £22 an hour if I get it so I think it's a valid choice and also 'real' money if I can increase hours later.

firesidechat He used to spend vast amounts of money on his hobby (half the garage is taken up with thousands of pounds worth of kit) and that was his counter argument - can I have £2k a year to do X? I replied yes and I'd be happy for him to. So he'll not use that argument again (shame). He does like electronic gadgets and he has a few that he 'needed' including an iPhone5 and laptop this year. I might have just started formulating a counter argument.

firesidechat Thu 08-May-14 18:59:13

Honestly what happened to husbands and wives supporting each other?! Wives are only worth spending hard earned cash on if they can guarantee a financial contribution, like some kind of profit and loss account?

22honey Thu 08-May-14 19:04:21

Sorry, but you sound a bit spoilt to me.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Thu 08-May-14 19:07:12

It works out as £170pm over the four years.

Does he spend £170 per month on his own hobbies/interests?

honey spoilt hmm

Nothing spoilt about wanting to educate yourself and perhaps re-enter the workforce at a higher level after such a break from work.

OP, does your DH still do this expensive hobby? Might be time to recoup some funds selling his kit!

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 08-May-14 19:08:38

I can see his point to be honest and I'm not sure I wouldn't feel the same way if my dp were a stay at home parent suggesting similar.

Sorry.

MelonadeAgain Thu 08-May-14 19:11:49

I think you need to fund your own Masters, like most students do. Get a part-time job or something.

I would feel exactly the same about a male partner who announced such an intention.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Thu 08-May-14 19:14:51

I see his point - it is a hobby that would cost £4K (plus a bit more I should think) out of the family budget. If money is tight then maybe it needs more discussion.

Chunderella Thu 08-May-14 19:17:09

Tutoring would be brilliant if you could get it, yes definitely. Is there a reason why you can only work in school hours, though? Sorry if I missed that.

22honey Thu 08-May-14 19:17:33

'Women who have children so often seem to want to give up their old career, and do something more fun when they go back to work. While the husband is expected to earn the real money. Unfair.'

yes, the idea always appears to be that the man should be god damn grateful the woman is looking after their kids and subsequently, owes her big time. Not a thought given to the fact the DH might be stressed out and overworked to hell whilst having to fund not only himself but 3 other people, not saying being a SAHM is a piece of piss but most women take great pleasure out of bringing up their children, probably why they don't want to go back to working hard afterwards and would rather do something fun.

NameChangeAnon Thu 08-May-14 19:22:16

ThinkI'veBeenHacked If you count the uplift on the cost of a mobile to a top of the range iThing and his need to collect every kind of screwdriver (and other tool) under the sun you'd not have much change. He buys a lot in one go and sometimes because it was a thing-of-loveliness even though he didn't necessarily need it it's a screwdriver love, chill. Yes I did see it has a built in torch and you can load a dozen ends that'll click into place. You know you'll only use three of them don't you?

Usually we make choices to arrange that we can buy a bit of what we want, and shrug it off if we have to economise somewhere else.

HerRoyal He does need to sell some of the more specialist stuff as he acknowledges he'll never do that level again, but not the basic equipment as there's a chance he'll be able to do it.

22honey Thu 08-May-14 19:22:32

The argument is always an incorrect one aswell that makes out the DH is having the time of his life at work everyday, and that the SAHM is making more of a sacrifice than he is. This is not necessarily true aswell and yes HerRoyal, spoilt as in an entitlement complex. Education is good yes but I would not be keen on funding my partner to do 2 years of hobby like study that wont even lead to a wage increase/better career after. Its the entitlement in the post that suggests because a woman has been looking after her own children (bloody hell, what a saint!) she deserves to never contribute to the family finances again and live some sort of born free student like existence off the back of her DH working his arse off everyday.

Topseyt Thu 08-May-14 19:23:43

I see his point and I also see yours.

He knows that additional income if you can earn it would be most useful. You want to do your Masters degree in the hope that it will lead you to a better earnings potential, though that is far from guaranteed.

I am in the same position as you and Joysmum in that I am trying to get back into the job market again after an absence of many years bringing up my children. It is bloody hard, and I am also finding that age is now against me in many cases.

I have got very near on one or two occasions, but still so far. It gets a bit disillusioning at times, but I just have to keep going.

MinesAPintOfTea Thu 08-May-14 19:24:49

DH funded my masters. Of choose I didn't get a part time job, very few of those pay enough to make it worth using childcare (for that year I was studying, with ds our sleeping). But we see investment in each others development as valuable, more so than gadgets.

This goes double if time put of work/childcare responsibilities means a woman's career is damaged. Plus it makes sense to do an additional qualification before starting another phase of a career

NameChangeAnon Thu 08-May-14 19:26:10

Chunderella the reasons would be 2DC, one YR and one with another year before YR. As DH works away I'll need to do all the school runs and drop off to clubs. The classes I want to run are leisure ones, so adults in the daytime mostly and the odd Saturday when DH is around. The college seems to run most of their other leisure courses from 10-12 which suits me perfectly.

Topseyt Thu 08-May-14 19:31:26

Chunderella, school hours has been one of my main sticking points in getting back into employment.

I don't have family near who could have looked after my children when they were young. I had to be around in the school holidays and in the evenings.

Ideally then, I needed a job which would have allowed me to work something like 10.00 am - 2.00 pm during term time only, and those are like gold dust. Since the youngest of my three reached secondary school age, the shackles have come off me and it is easier to spot stuff I could manage. Easy to say though, as the timing meant I was looking to start work in the recession, and around here virtually nothing at all came up. Week in, week out for months at a time. It is improving now though.

firesidechat Thu 08-May-14 19:36:56

Jobs are allowed to be fun and pay a wage.

Chunderella Thu 08-May-14 19:42:07

Yeah school hours is the age old problem. I take it there is no wraparound childcare available locally, then? If there is, it might allow OP and topsey more job options. If not, it's a bit of a bugger.

Pagwatch Thu 08-May-14 19:45:57

Oh what a steaming pile of horse shit.
Ask most working DPs if they would like to take 5 years out of their careers to have fun at home with the children. Bwahahahaha. Watch most of them stick pins in their eyes instead.

If decisions are made equally then families should do what suits them and what the budget allows.
But a working DP is not daddy giving his 'spoilt' wife pin money.

Financial decisions are joint.

FunkyBoldRibena Thu 08-May-14 19:47:56

Can you charge him half the cost of childcare and pay for the masters out of those earnings?

Topseyt Thu 08-May-14 19:48:38

Mine are now all old enough not to need wraparound childcare. There were and still are one or two such options around here, but all pretty expensive, especially during the school holidays.

From my current point of view, it would be nice to have a bit more financial freedom. I'm open to all types of work, though my background is in office and administrative work. I would definitely enjoy the stimulation of it.

KnittedJimmyChoos Thu 08-May-14 19:49:36

sorry nrt BUT i think its very mean,£4 K on mortgage is nothing!!

what value will that give you when you are enriching yourself and your life with your masters?

Keeping your brain ticking over and who knows might lead to something...

I think its a case of :price of everything value of nothing.

Its mean and selfish.

Glitterfeet Thu 08-May-14 19:53:54

We use after school childcare but it still reduces the jobs we can take. It only goes up to 6 pm and there is no buffer for being late. I coudn't take a job that finished at 5.30 in the centre, or other side of town, I have to be careful if it's only a few miles away. It doesn't take much for the traffic to come to a standstill.

HappyMummyOfOne Thu 08-May-14 19:54:07

From his point of view, YABU. You agreed to be a SAHP until school age when the deal was you would them share the financial burden. He works away a lot to provide so understandably doesnt want to shell out £4k for you to study for something that wont lead to a better job on top of you still not earning for more years.

If you want to study for fun, then you need to earn a wage that covers it whilst also bearing some of the financial burden.

I do agree with the others who say men get the raw deal. They get no choice but to work and i would imagine plenty would like a few years home and then just to do a few hours a day. Then, from posts on MN, they should come home and clean as the SAHM is tired from looking after her own children.

KnittedJimmyChoos Thu 08-May-14 19:56:51

agree Pagwatch. with all posts.

Its so sad that women and marriages and partnerships are being degraded to the one who is getting paid work!

firesidechat Thu 08-May-14 19:59:37

Thank you Pagwatch.

There is no way on earth that my husband would swop his working day with mine.

PortofinoRevisited Thu 08-May-14 20:02:40

What Pagwatch said.

PortofinoRevisited Thu 08-May-14 20:05:25

The poor menz and their careers and their paychecks and their travelling all over. Fucking diddems.

no choice but to work really? They could equally be the SAHP. DH and I earn similar amts. Sure, his career is going ahead better than mine, but I can support the family on what I earn.

But no, he LOVES his job, his meetings, his OT, overseas business trips, golf games with client (rare tbf), nights out with workmates. He does the morning drop off, I do the pickup, then dinner/homework, bath once a week, and he'll do storytime. I dared suggest he had to take the DC to swimming lesson next week as I have a monthly meeting that will stop me being able to do it. He sighed and huffed. Goodness, these men have it so good! Why not a little payback for the DW who support their careers, organise the children and home and then still will work etc.... Especially as the OPs DH works away half the year. It really is on her head, why shouldn't she do something for herself because she WANTS to.

22honey Thu 08-May-14 20:07:09

'Oh what a steaming pile of horse shit.
Ask most working DPs if they would like to take 5 years out of their careers to have fun at home with the children. Bwahahahaha. Watch most of them stick pins in their eyes instead.'

Massive sweeping generalisation but still, it makes me wonder the kind of DP these women are choosing to have children with, someone so uninterested in even their own kids cant have come across as very good father material (maybe they are great wallet/cash machine material though eh). Why would such a person even bother having kids, maybe to keep the other partner happy?

No one is saying it's 'his' money, merely that the idea the working DP is having the time of their lives while the SAHP is practically a slave is really old and tired and incorrect to boot.

Prometheus Thu 08-May-14 20:09:04

I think you need to change your "agreed parenting plan" to be honest. That way you will be both be able to work as many hours as you want.

22honey Thu 08-May-14 20:09:23

Porto, cos every working dad travels all over and has the time of their lives at work everyday. So many posters on here are ridiculously middle class and out of touch!

NameChangeAnon Thu 08-May-14 20:11:48

grin at Pagwatch. When I said to DH 'fine you stay with the kids. I will go back to old career, fulltime plus on-calls, shifts all hours and earn a comparative salary' he backed down pretty fast (this was ages ago so he's constant in his mild nagging).

There is wrap around until 6pm but my old career would have a 40 min drive each way to the nearest hospital. And you cannot be late to pick them up. Also it would cost £8 an hour, and while I would split that with Dh's salary it's still a significant amount to payout, while I'll be driving for an hour of it.

agree prometheus a plan is just that, a PLAN. It can be adapted as situations change. Should the OP be stuck with a plan they made 5 yrs ago for the next 20 years? NO. Plans are flexible.

Pagwatch Thu 08-May-14 20:16:08

I think you have managed quite a few sweeping generalisations of your own 22honey, like the

"but most women take great pleasure out of bringing up their children, probably why they don't want to go back to working hard afterwards and would rather do something fun."

Actually the whole point of the OP is that her DH is saying no.
So lots of people saying stuff about being spoilt or entitled suggests that wifey should just be grateful for what he decides.
Which is a crock of shite of course.

Infinity8 Thu 08-May-14 20:20:42

If money is joint and he's spent £4k on stuff he values (which the OP says he has) then he hasn't got a leg to stand on in objecting to his wife doing the same.

If he carries on with this shit I would a) make him put a complete stop on all his unnecessary spending so that money could be ploughed into the mortgage, because by his argument the only thing that matters is reducing this debt.
b) Agree to return to work but he must give up his career that he loves and get a normal job with normal hours because you are now unwilling to work full time and do all the childcare.

peggyundercrackers Thu 08-May-14 20:21:34

If your Dh is working offshore on a rig somewhere then he's getting good money however it's definitely not an easy life and I'm sure he works hard and doesn't enjoy the chopper trips on/off a rig given the trouble with some of the choppers.

Out of interest What is the ma you want to do?

fifi669 Thu 08-May-14 20:22:16

DP would love to be a SAHP, which we couldn't afford for either of us, or even just have the maternity leave. I'm not sharing though.....

PortofinoRevisited Thu 08-May-14 20:24:18

Op's dh is basically saying that she needs to earn some money - knowing full well that all she will probably get is a "pin money" fits with school hours job as he is not on hand to do his share of parenting. He would prefer this - some cash - as opposed to his presumably intelligent and motivated dw improving herself and maybe putting herself in a postition where she could have a more rewarding career a couple of years down the line. If they as a family can AFFORD it - and it sounds like they can - then why should he get the right of veto?

fifi669 Thu 08-May-14 20:27:20

It's something not related to getting a better job. Just possibly in the future maybe be relevant.

NameChangeAnon Thu 08-May-14 20:28:01

You understand I'm relatively happy with my part of the plan? SAHP until school age and then find a role that allows me to mostly pick up primary school children and be around in holidays (teaching of some kind would be perfect).

And I wanted a career change as did he. His took off splendidly while I was on maternity leave. If it hadn't I'd have continued in my original career while he SAHP and retrained and postponed my change.

Chunderella Thu 08-May-14 20:29:56

It should be something they negotiate on. I think it would be reasonable to expect DH to be making similar sacrifices in order to pay the mortgage off early, though. So if it will take 5 years as things stand, if he also refrains from his expensive hobby or whatever else he likes to spend on enjoying himself, perhaps it could be paid off in 4 years.

NameChangeAnon Thu 08-May-14 20:36:39

The MA I want to do is Creative Writing. I write all the time and my degree is 50% CW. I've only sent two things out to try to publish/ competitions but I have several short stories I should polish up that helped get me a good pass in those modules. Let me finish my final exam first.

But I'm not daft enough to think I can make lots of money from this. Some people do make lots, some people make ends meet and a lot of people fail to get anything published.

My teaching options are creative writing - but that seems saturated and the college has 4 people teaching CW. Holistic therapies - I'm qualified in a couple, and needlecrafts including some very specialised work for improvers.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 08-May-14 20:46:27

Even more so I can see why your dp isn't keen.

christinarossetti Thu 08-May-14 20:49:52

See my above post re: two issues here.

I've just supported my husband through 5 years of his MBA (funded by work) from when I was pregnant with my youngest to end of last year. I work part time and obviously have done 90% of the parenting whilst he works full time and studies.

I would be seriously hacked off if I now suggested that I wanted to study and that was stymied at the first hurdle. Depending on your financial situation, 4K over 2 years isn't that much (I appreciate it is to some, but for many families it would be doable).

It's not just about where your MA might lead (and no-one has a crystal ball) but about your, your life, your sense of fulfilment and satisfaction, and your sense of being a valued member of your partnership.

YANBU at all.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Thu 08-May-14 20:57:36

If you and Dh agreed that you would be a SAHM then of course you have equal say in your family finances even though he is the one earning the wage. Anything else would be as ridiculous as me telling dh that he can't eat our chocolate biscuits because I'm the one who did the Tesco order. (In truth he can't eat our chocolate biscuits because I ate them while trying to get through the day!)

The two of you need to sit down and discuss the pros and cons of you doing the masters. On the one hand - as you say - it is hard to know if it will lead to anything so it could be a very expensive waste of time and energy. On the other hand - you are going to need to do something with your evenings - how does the cost compare with, say, joining a gym and paying for a babysitter 3 evenings a week?

Is there anything else you are interested in doing that you could also discuss that is easier to get into?

One option would be to agree that you will spend the year sorting out your short stories and attempting to sell them and will only go on the masters if you manage to sell at least one. (Thus proving that this is a reasonable career for you.)

Rabbitcar Thu 08-May-14 22:01:11

I sort of agree with some of what 22honey is saying. I loved being a SAHM for a few years, and was more than happy to give up a well paid but very stressful job to stay at home (I hadn't sacrificed anything to do so). When I had to go back to work for financial reasons, I kept looking for easier, less stressful, options, which paid a lot less. DH was not happy as he was worried about money. But he didn't pressure me at all; I eventually found a job somewhere in between the two.

Looking back, I was being quite selfish. I never considered the fact that he didn't really have the choice to be a SAHD (I'm sure I wouldn't have even entertained the idea) and he found having to be the sole breadwinner really stressful. I was too self-absorbed to realise it then. We both now work FT in quite ok paid jobs but in a less stressful environment, so are happy. I do think it's unfair to expect men to have the pressure of supporting the family alone, whilst some women (including me) just look round for an easy option etc..

I certainly am not saying that this applies to you OP, I'm just saying that I can see where 22honey etc. are coming from. But it sounds like you deserve a shot at your master's degree. Good luck.

KnittedJimmyChoos Thu 08-May-14 22:08:13

creativewriting even better I think the arts are wonderful and think as a person who is going to further enrich your family its a wonderful thing....

22honey Thu 08-May-14 22:18:23

Pagwatch no one said she should just be grateful for what he decides, she is wanting to go against what they both decided in the first place in case you missed it.

Pagwatch Thu 08-May-14 22:19:25

I didn't miss it.
Did you understand it?
Would you like smaller words!

22honey Thu 08-May-14 22:24:32

Pagwatch if it is a sweeping generalisation would you say then most women don't take great pleasure out of bringing up their kids? Then why do so many actively take the decision to leave their careers to be a SAHM (I'm not criticising the decision as have done similar!)?

And why is motherhood so greatly yearnt for by so many women if actually most women don't enjoy bringing their children up?

22honey Thu 08-May-14 22:25:44

Yes I did understand it, I think it is you who needs smaller words as you misinterpreted and put your own spin on everything I said.

PortofinoRevisited Thu 08-May-14 22:30:01

I didn't miss it either He is off doing the manly wage earning thing. Was OP complaining that she wants him to come home and do more housework? No. She was saying that she wants to do something that interests her. Whilst working PT.

SteadyEddie Thu 08-May-14 22:31:31

she is wanting to go against what they both decided in the first place

The OP says they were both planning career changes, her DH got to do this but she hasn't.

PortofinoRevisited Thu 08-May-14 22:31:35

Dh would rather put the extra money towards the mortgage than let his wife spent her rather limited spare time doing something she enjoys.

Infinity8 Thu 08-May-14 22:43:05

A lot of sahm have to choose the easy option when returning to work because the dc still need taking to and from school and looking after and the working full time parent can't always commit to sharing the childcare 50/50.

Even if a sahm loves every minute of it, there is still sacrifice involved in terms of pension contributions, career progression, earning potential. That shouldn't be disregarded.

LisaMed Thu 08-May-14 22:43:08

Completely with you on it being your turn to retrain.

Completely baffled about MA in Creative Writing. Is there a lot about marketing, because that would be incredibly valuable. However, on the whole, don't you just write? There are regular writing challenges on Studio 30 and Yeah Write (though I can't work out how to use Yeah Write) and Write on Edge do some good challenges and regularly publish stuff that is a result of their challenge. I know someone who got into Precipice 13 and it wasn't one of the 'pay $$$ to enter this challenge and if you win you can contribute $$$ to the publication of the winners' but was completely free (though he makes no money from it).

Good luck with the short stories.

HoVis2001 Thu 08-May-14 23:01:12

Creative Writing - awesome! My DH and I recently had a chat about future options for both of us, and I want to take a stab at writing for a popular market (rather than an academic one) at some point in the future. I'm supporting him, financially and emotionally, in his dream, so once it's possible in the future we both see no reason why I shouldn't have a go at aiming for mine. It sounds as if you've already supported your DH in his career change by being a SAHM, so in the crudest sense isn't it 'your turn' now?

Obviously it is a privilege to be able to try to do something that doesn't necessarily have immediate financial benefit in this climate, but it sounds as if you can afford it. And which would you benefit from more, having the mortgage paid off sooner or being more personally fulfilled? Life is too short.

Preciousbane Thu 08-May-14 23:15:40

My friend has just asked me along to a creative writing club, it has a very small fee. How about something like that?

I have had the pleasure of knowing a playwright who was successful and has written series for the BBC. I also have a friend that has had childrens books published and another who is a biographer and journalist none of them have ever taken a course.

I do agree with money being family money regardless of who has earned this. If you were very well off then fine but from a purely practical approach it doesn't sound very affordable.

22honey Thu 08-May-14 23:43:51

Porto maybe hes just thinking practically, something men seem to do automatically on a regular basis?

I have to say I am similar, I would rather pay off the mortgage or similar and then fulfil something my DP enjoys, I consider the first thing a priority?

PortofinoRevisited Thu 08-May-14 23:52:00

Well indeed 22, but is family money and he doesn't get to decide just like that,

PortofinoRevisited Thu 08-May-14 23:56:28

And my experience of men recently going on my fb feed is that they don't think "practically" they think selfishly.

noddingoff Fri 09-May-14 00:52:26

If you do the MA, what do you think he'll be like about it? Gracious, or jumping down your throat if you don't absolutely LOVE every single section of the course and be very vocal in how grateful you are every 5 seconds? When you finish it, do you think he'll say "Well done you, glad you did something fun and improving" or "Right, when are you getting stuff published and how much are you getting paid? I want a return on MY �4000 investment now. Oh look, interest rates have gone up and we haven't paid as much off the mortgage as we could have BECAUSE OF YOU"

mimishimmi Fri 09-May-14 02:49:54

He's being especially unreasonable if you've held down a job for 20 years prior to the kids. A master's is likely to enhance any return to work and show employers that you were committed even whilst taking time off. I think he's being very short-sighted.

MexicanSpringtime Fri 09-May-14 04:15:10

The trouble with some of the comments on this thread is that some people are working in jobs they obviously hate and consequently hate SAHM.

I only worked part-time while my daughter was growing up but felt that the real work started when I got home, because I loved my job and hate housework.

Good luck in working out the priorities for how to spend the family money. A Masters degree sounds like a good idea to me and as someone else mentioned earlier on, a good way to help compensate the effects of the long career gap.

Infinity8 Fri 09-May-14 07:09:02

Also a lot of men actively encourage their partner to be a sahm because it suits them too, so people shouldn't be getting the impression that the poor menz are put upon and working their arses off just so the other parent can realise their life long dream of staying home! There is a lot to be said for going to work and not having to worry about getting to nursery pick up on time or having to miss important meetings because your child has chicken pox etc.

The MN ideal seems to be that both partners have equal money for leisure activities, so I do hope that you are going to make him cut right back on that spending seeing as the mortgage is his priority

WickedWitchoftheNorthWest Fri 09-May-14 07:40:23

I'm sorry but I was with you all the way until you said creative writing, and that I think you implied you haven't published anything yet. Just write. Have you seen the Absolute Write forums? They're great. www.absolutewrite.com/forums/ You can post excerpts from your work there and get feedback. Do you write every day?

A masters does sound like fun but it's not necessary. However if you really want to do it then you should be entitled to spend as much on your hobbies as he spends on his. For example I earn a lot more than my DH but we have a budget that sets aside a certain amount if fun money and it's the same for each of us. We have also agreed an amount to overpay the mortgage so we pay it off early at a pace we're both comfortable with. You need a budget, because at the moment it sounds like he spends what he likes while you have to beg him for money and that is so. not. fair!

MooncupGoddess Fri 09-May-14 07:58:05

Entirely agree he shouldn't be laying down the law to you like this.

I am a bit cynical about creative writing MAs, whose main function seems to be to subsidise authors who can no longer make a living from publishing their work so have to teach instead.

There are so many ways of improving one's writing without doing a full MA. What about a local writers' group, an internet group, a weekend retreat, etc?

GrumpyInYorkshire Fri 09-May-14 08:32:08

Another one who was split on the issue until you said creative writing. Writers write - so start writing and get some stuff published before handing £4k over.

I work in this sort of area and am also very sceptical of creative writing MAs. As your DH has said, while it might be fun to do the course, it's very unlikely it will help you work-wise.

And if you're doing it for fun, you don't need an MA course, as there are hundreds of much cheaper and IMO just as useful creative writing courses out there.

YABU.

LIZS Fri 09-May-14 08:51:16

Sorry can't believe that a MA in CW will lead you any further down the career path than doing something practical, somehow it feels rather self indulgent especially if financially things are tight. There are plenty of workshops, literary festivals and short courses available where you can get tips and feedback from published authors.

You may want to ask at your interview whether you'd be involved in accredited courses or just leisure adult ed. Funding for the latter is being cut back to the bone but if you are qualified enough in Holistic Ttherapy to teach a Level 1 or 2 course and/or could offer Literacy (as an extension of your Creative Writing skills) you may find yourself getting more opportunities for regular work. However there is a lot of admin and preparation for accredited courses too much of which would be in your own time. Do you already have PTLLS or a PGCE/Cert Ed ?

Viviennemary Fri 09-May-14 09:27:18

Try earning £4,000 yourself and see how hard it is. Selling on ebay working from home and so on.

LIZS Fri 09-May-14 09:44:20

I realise it isn't only the finances themselves in question , but the whole set up and idea of "fairness". However it wouldn't just be the 4k cost of the course itself. That would also be at the expense of you being available to potentially earn income plus sundry costs such as wrap around childcare, travel and so on. To earn 4k teaching in FE as a sessional tutor, before tax and NI, you would need to work around 60 hours per term/one full day a week for a year.

CharityCase Fri 09-May-14 09:44:40

Some people do make lots, some people make ends meet and a lot of people fail to get anything published.

No- a tiny tiny minority make lots, a few make ends meet, most published writers take another job to make ends meet, and nearly all aspiring writers fail to get anything published (95% rejection rate). Most fiction writers dont earn the minimum wage.

Although I do see the point of education for education's sake, presenting becoming a writer as a serious career change is like saying you're going to be a rock star. The odds are massively against you and no-one will believe it until it happens. There are also cheaper ways to learn the craft of writing IMO.

NameChangeAnon Fri 09-May-14 09:58:37

I think people are getting confused about the goal of the MA in creative writing. The goal is to have an MA, not to become a published author or write for a living. The course I want to do is p/t and distance learning, and from my other degree CW studies I know that an awful lot can be done in evenings and in between other things. In a way it's best NOT to sit down for 4 hours to write. This would be a hobby, if you like, to fill in the half a year I'm on my own and instead of watching TV or knitting. Of course I believe in the worth of education and I don't think having studied p/t while taking a career break will do my CV any harm if I look at more teaching opportunities in another 5 years or so while I'm still the part time, need to pick the kids up and have them for holidays parent.

I want to teach using my other qualifications. And I do have a PTLLS qualification and am looking at the next level on the C&G teaching program. This is my potential next career that by the 'plan' I should be looking at next school year, starting 2015. Full time will be another 5-8 years down the line.

Beastofburden Fri 09-May-14 10:21:54

I think there are two separate issues.

One is how much each of you can afford to spend on things that matter to you personally, whether thats an MA or a hobby.

The second is whether that MA is good value for money. I would encourage you to be a bit more cynical about it. Having an MA isn't really in itself going to make much difference to your career. There is a lot of hype of PGT degrees and many of them are money spinners for the University but not a good investment for the learner.

If you are just doing it for fun, then I would be thinking through whether an MA is the best way of having that fun, and if it is, whether now is the best time to sink �4k into fun. If you are happy on both counts, your DH needs to see a statement of how much money has gone on his fun these last few years, and see how it's your turn now.

But please don't do it just to show him who's boss. And be very cynical before you do it as part of your retraining plan. I would be talking to ppl who do what you want to, and finding out what made the difference in getting that work. I bet it wasn't an MA.

LisaMed Fri 09-May-14 10:32:05

That's really interesting about the MA. I don't know about teaching and what will get you the leverage, so it is interesting to see.

I do recommend the writing challenges though - free and easy. One I'm involved in does two challenges a week - 500 words on a Monday and 100 words on a Friday. It's good practice and doesn't take long. I still have to fall back on knitting.

22honey
Porto maybe hes just thinking practically, something men seem to do automatically on a regular basis?

Stereotyping much! I think the nub of the issue is that all of these decisions should be taken jointly neither party gets to dictate to the other.

All this stuff about the poor hard working breadwinner carrying all the stresses of the family - is this the same person who refused the option of being a stay at home parent and grabbed a new job with both hands when it was offered.

At times it can be a challenge being the main or in my case currently the sole earner (DH was a SAHD and is now renovating our house) but it is also a choice we both made. I am keen to pay down the mortgage early but not to the point where it begins to have a noticeable impact on the quality of family life. I would expect each of us to have a reasonable amount of money to spend on inessential spending.

Just wanted to point out that women are capable of practical thinking and financially supporting the entire family without thinking that that means they get to make all the financial decisions without consultation with their partner.

christinarossetti Fri 09-May-14 11:22:17

Okay, 4K over 2 years works out at about £38 per week.

Given that OP has and will continue to have lots of evenings, weekends etc when her dp is away and she would need to pay a baby sitter if she wants to go out, £38 per week sounds pretty good value to pursue a personal interest that is engaging and satisfying.

A 3 night a week gym habit with attendant childcare costs would be considerably more, but it's hard to imagine that OP would be called 'entitled' or 'spoilt' if she wanted to do this during the many months that her dp is away.

QuintessentiallyQS Fri 09-May-14 11:33:26

Not all MAs are worth the paper they are written on.

I can totally see your dhs point. How many courses are you going to do for fun? If my dh was dilly dallying over holistic therapies and fiction, and would spend 4k and two years on indulging himself in this rather than find a job, I would be really disappointed.

GrumpyInYorkshire Fri 09-May-14 11:57:09

"The goal is to have an MA" - could you elaborate, OP? Why do you want to have an MA?

I reckon most people I work with don't even know about my postgrad degree, and my friends/family don't care - it doesn't make the slightest bit of difference to my day to day life.

If you want to write, write. I don't get your wanting to have a qualification for the sake of it, when you say it's not about furthering your career prospects.

From my experiences in my line of work, an MA is a kind of halfway house in many respects. In lots of cases, it's only useful as a stepping stone to a PhD and is a bit pointless in itself (I recognise that this is not the case in all areas of study!).

NameChangeAnon Fri 09-May-14 11:59:38

noddingoff If I take the course he would be supportive, he generally has been over my study aims. He also comments on how our non-stop studying (he's still going) is having a positive effect on the DC's attitudes to school. Learning is something we all do.

He's got a lot of industry-specific courses to take. Work pay and give him expenses, and even pay him overtime for the weeks he's on the courses, but these weeks come out of 'our' 26 weeks with him home. I think he's talking of a 3 month course where he'll be in the North of the country and we'll be in the South and he can only come home for weekends. He won't be down for them all as he'll need to study. Some of the courses are compulsory but others, like this one, are personal goals too. It's for a qualification that's not currently needed but might be 10 years down the line and he wants to take it. Want to being enough for me to support him.

QuintessentiallyQS the dilly dallying over holistic therapies is historic and from pre-DC when we had enough money from 2 careers to do more hobby stuff. One of them even counted towards my compulsory professional development in a hospital setting so not a total waste of time. I think DH went scuba diving in Belize while I took it. And it's this that could be used to earn a reasonable part-time, school year friendly salary.

QuintessentiallyQS Fri 09-May-14 12:01:50

But writing is a hobby. And paying 4 k to "learn" how to do your hobby better, over a 2 year period, is a bit indulgent.

Just because he has hobbies and tools in his garage, he is not leaving work to indulge in his hobbies?

QuintessentiallyQS Fri 09-May-14 12:05:15

So, you have education in health care, that you no longer want to work with. Various holistic courses you did as a hobby before children. Now a degree with a high element of creative writing. Next an MA in creative writing. Do you plan to ever start planning properly, or will you just go where the wind takes you? Are all these courses leading somewhere, other than just teaching other people creative writing purely on the basis of having taken a course? confused

anyturquiose Fri 09-May-14 12:06:31

I think it's sad that the worth of studying is being measured purely in terms of how it will improve your career. I've done two MAs and an additional BA while I've been a sahm and for us, it's the cost of an activity that brings me fulfilment and pleasure, just like any hobby/social activity. That's what makes it worthwhile for us, and I'm very lucky that DH supports me in this but I wouldn't expect anything less tbh, as I offer so much support to the household. My courses aren't tied to any career aims and as for VFM, £4k over two years is very cheap for an MA!

Yes, there are many ways of doing the same activities without paying MA fees, but that could apply to my courses too (most arts/humanities courses really) - I could just read books and watch internet lectures. But doing it as an MA brings structure and links to professionals in the field, as well as a recognition of what you've learned at the end.

MistressDeeCee Fri 09-May-14 12:06:43

Some of this thread is so sexist

You'd think being a SAHM reduces a woman to not amounting to much really, as she's 'just at home with the DCs'. Never mind that she had a career before/is on a career break - its all about facilitating the man, he being the important breadwinner; whatever she has contributed previously and currently doesn't really count. He gets to dictate to her regarding her "frivolousness" and how family money is spent...its all HIS money isn't it?

Studying for an MA does not take years and years, and it will look very good on OPs CV to have done an MA during a career break.

Nothing wrong with some aspects of life being about pursuing something you enjoy. As long as it can be afforded, that is. In this case, studying for an MA isnt even a forever activity.

I think being able to do this makes some people jealous..in fact there does seem to be a lot of jealousy around SAHMs. I guess its because some people wish they didnt have to work outside the home and SAHM sounds a cushy number. Thats not SAHMs faults tho. They aren't 'less' than a woman who works outside the home, that isnt the only way to define oneself as a woman. I do think there needs to be a discussion around OP pursuing an MA, but certainly not from the standpoint that the man has more say because he works outside the home, and from the standpoint that its all his money. It is not.

NameChangeAnon Fri 09-May-14 12:15:28

Where the wind takes me I'm afraid. It's not for everyone but I have always landed on my feet and done well wherever I've ended up.

I'm over 40. When I decide what I want to be when I grow up I shall:

a) be sure to tell you first

and

b) stop being the person I am.

The MA would not be taking me to any specific goal. My GCSEs and A Levels didn't and even my healthcare qualification was something I wandered into, to do for a while, at the outset. I also have bookkeeping and other qualifications from another work incarnation. I've always had a decent remuneration for work done so it has never mattered that I don't have a solid pathway through life, but rather a winding path. The MA isn't for anything, but as with everything else I'm sure it will eventually lead somewhere interesting. My interest-only holistic stuff is already beginning to pay me back for the money and time spent on it.

redskyatnight Fri 09-May-14 12:21:57

I think the issue here is not that the OP want to study (and whether or not her study is useful or relevant or frivolous). But that she wants to spend a fair chunk of family money and that is in finite supply.

I suspect DH's argument over whether the MA is useful is to do with value - if the MA will bring tangible benefit that perhaps means it should be prioritised over other things. If the OP just wants to do it as a hobby (which tbh is what it sounds like), then there is a different argument.

It sounds like DH values a "useful" qualification over house mortgage/renovation but values house renovation/mortgage over spending on a hobby. I suspect I would think the same in his position.

It's not quite the same but it often gets asked on her what you would do if you won �10000. Some people would pay it off the mortgage, some people would blow it all on a holiday. Neither is wrong, just to do with different priorities. The problem is that here OP and DH have different ideas. What do they do if they don't agree? Hopefully there is some compromise to be made.

freedom2011 Fri 09-May-14 12:41:55

hi namechangeanon

have you got your own money? - I pay for my interests out of mine. I probably won't get to concert performer level with my music, or Olympic level sports. But these things makes me really happy. DH and I get the same amount of pocket money every month. Anything not strictly family expenditure has to be budgeted for out of our 'own' money. I don't know if that could be a solution?

NameChangeAnon Fri 09-May-14 13:00:31

Hi Freedom

Well I do have an income from investments and my holistic stuff pays a bit (ad hoc to friends at the moment). I think I 'made' about £3.5k on my tax return for 2012/13. But that's also our money not mine, in the way we work.

freedom2011 Fri 09-May-14 13:11:18

yes, namechangeanon my investment revenue and teaching revenue is also joint money, which stuck in my throat a bit so I proposed the "own money" allowance as I didn't want to have to square absolute everything with my DH before I spent it. I guess if your money rules are fixed with everything going into the same pot it is not really a solution. good luck with it. I am sure you'll work something out. Was smart to have a rant on here first like you did so you can address it calmly with him in RL.

Swannery Fri 09-May-14 13:36:23

Why can the OP only go back to work 9.30 to 2.30? Can't she find a school that has before and after school clubs? Or find a childminder?
When I had young DCs I came across so many women who seemed to think that having children entitled them to 1) stay at home for several years, going to coffee mornings with other SAHMs, to the beach, etc etc, then finally 2) "career change" from a decent earning job to something like massage, or messing around with incense bottles. If DH hadn't been around they would have returned to the well paid jobs they'd come from.

Musetta Fri 09-May-14 13:42:01

Is you face like this envy swannery from the green eyed monster clearly inhabiting in you?

Swannery
Why should her DH have a job that he wants to do that takes him away from the family for months at a time leaving the OP to cover all the family commitments?

There are two parents in the family and one of them has got a job that limits the options of the other.

Beastofburden Fri 09-May-14 15:49:37

Actually I am relieved that the MA is basically for fun. That means that you won't be taken for a ride over it. As long as it's well run and you do enjoy it, you will get a good return on the time and money you put in.

i'd be more worried if you believed that it would be definitely useful for your career. Just because it might be, it might not be, there's a lot of variety out there.

So it's back to: is it fair enough to spend �4k on something for pleasure? and that's a family decision. Sure, it's not up to him to say, nope, that's my money, hands off. But you should both be comfortable with spending that now, on this, just as you would be if it was the other way round and he wanted �4k speakers or something.

MexicanSpringtime Fri 09-May-14 16:00:38

Swannery it is a cruel world, where some people are allowed to enjoy their lives, isn't it?

I can think of tons of uses for an MA in creative writing actually. When a person studies something they are passionate about, they are liable to rise to the top of the heap, rather than all those worthy people who study something that they find of no interest at all because they think that it will help make money

Beastofburden Fri 09-May-14 16:45:21

I can think of tons of uses for an MA in creative writing actually

If its a good course. I do worry about the industry in selling not-very-good courses to ppl. There are some very disappointed ppl out there who believed than a MA was bound to be good, whoever delivers it.

WickedWitchoftheNorthWest Fri 09-May-14 18:04:27

This is why you both need your own fun money out of the household budget. It all goes into one pot, and in our house, DH and I are lucky enough to each get £200 a month to spend as we please. If you and your DH each got that that then this argument would be solved immediately.

I still personally fail to understand the appeal of a CW masters, particularly if you have never been published and that isn't your goal, but it doesn't matter the logic behind it if you choose to spend your discretionary money on that for whatever reason. It doesn't excuse you, though, from the responsibility for you to contribute financially to the household once you children are old enough for you to work, as planned.

Swannery Fri 09-May-14 18:29:12

I'm trying to see things from the perspective of the OH, is all. If the OP wants to have fun doing an expensive creative writing course that will not lead to any improvement in her employment prospects (and may possibly have the opposite effect as employers may see it as frivolous and time wasting), and if her DH is happy to go along with that, then good on her. But saying that she can't get a decent earning job when the children are at school because she will only be able to work 9.30 to 2.30, as she has said above, is disingenuous. Many many parents manage to look after children of that age while working full time. Most schools these days have wraparound childcare. Single mums manage it, so why not a married mum whose husband works away a lot?
I do think that dads get a raw deal, with the assumption being that they will continue working all hours to bring in as much money as possible, while the mum spends time with the kids and gets to change her job to something that she's basically just doing for fun. It's not fair, and if the OP's DH is pissed off about it, I don't blame him.

ExCinnamon Fri 09-May-14 18:41:40

Swannery, somewhere in this thread it was said that op wanted to be around her kids because they are young and dp is not around that much due to work (he likes and did a degree for while op supported him).

OP, I think yanbu, because you are right that we should pursue paths we feel we are good at, and not always do they have a clear future. But they might lead to more.
What's wrong with spending 4k on your hobby over 2 years if dh has the same amount of money worth in hobby stuff already stashed in the garage?

christinarossetti Fri 09-May-14 18:41:45

But OP's dh has changed career and enjoys his job.

It certainly doesn't sound like he's living a working life of misery whilst OP fritters away family finances in-between caring for 2 small children, managing house renovation and working.

I honestly don't get the animosity towards OP on Thos thread.

Joysmum Fri 09-May-14 18:46:13

In my case my DH said that everything he does is for me and DD. I accepted that assertion until I'd had enough and wanted to start working towards investing as much in my career as he has in his over the past 13 years and that'll mean less hours, not working away and being more accountable and less flexible for work as he'll be needed here.

Seeing this was going to be a problem I called him out on it and asked if he would honestly have worked less if we weren't in his life? Of course he couldn't say that! In fact, because he had no responsibilities other than bread winner his career has benefitted as he could do as he pleased.

No more of that now so I'm weaning him off of this expectation.

It's hit him that his hours are going to longer despite working less hours and that he won't be as valuable to the company because he can't be a flexible and devoted to them.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Fri 09-May-14 19:59:18

The Op and her dh have agreed that she will only work 9:30. - 2:30 while the kids are in primary school.

I think they are both happy with that decision.

So even if lots of people on here happily use wrap around care (and from September I will be one of those people) it does not mean that we should be telling the Op she should. Because both adults in her family have decided that that is not what they want.

The relevant questions are:-

1. Is. Masters that may or may not lead to improved earning potential "work" or "hobby"?
2. If the answer to (1) is "hobby" then how much is an appropriate amount to spend on a hobby?

Infinity8 Fri 09-May-14 20:00:55

swannery the dh has a job he likes and chose freely. He is hardly miserable - and he gets to do courses both necessary and just for his own enjoyment. He couldn't do that if the OP said no, he has to come home and do his 50%.

Anyway the value of the course is irrelevant. This is about him thinking he is more important than her because he woh. Which is why he's not giving up all his hobbies in order yo clear the mortgage.

firesidechat Fri 09-May-14 20:02:23

There is a lot of talk on this thread about men being part of the downtrodden masses and being taken advantage of by their spoilt sahw. It's something I see on here quite often.

I mentioned this thread to my husband last night and he had a few comments (and no he doesn't just say things to keep the peace):

He is happiest when he is working and the harder the better.

If I wanted to study anything we would look at ways to make it happen together.

Sometimes education, just for the sake of it, is worthwhile.

He was very happy that I was a sahm and no I wasn't sponging off of him.

His last comment was " where do you get all these weird ideas from? It must be MN". He's right.

firesidechat Fri 09-May-14 20:19:13

I've just re read my last post and that weird comment sounds ruder than I meant it to.

What I mean is sometimes you read opinions on here about sahm and financial arrangements etc and you start to doubt yourself and how you've always seen things. Some people's views on sahm are positively depressing and hard to grasp when you had your children at a time when most mums stayed at home for a few years.

OP, in all honesty you're coming across to me as one of life's flitters. Flitting from one idea to the next in pursuit of a career that they think they'll love, but not thinking about the practicalities of whether what they will earn from it will e enough to pay the real-life stuff like mortgage and bills.

First you decide that the healthcare stuff you were doing doesn't work for you anymore. Next you try the holistic therapies but don't appear to be attempting to make it a viable business seeing as you state you're just doing it on friends. Now you say you want to get a creative writing MA, despite never having had anything published. AND rather than save up for it yourself from your holistic therapy stuff you expect HIM to pay for it for you. And then having a moan at him, who is very reasonably wanting to put most of the household income into paying off the mortgage off. (In this economic climate, a most sensible move.)

If this was a man who was writing this thread, i can just imagine the responses. "Stop faffing around with career choices that don't seem to be going anywhere, grow up and help relieve the pressure on your DW to keep the family income going."

I know you are making light of it, jokingly saying that you'll decide what you want to do when you grow up but joking aside, at your age I would be trying to think a bit harder about getting something in place for earning enough to help your children to get through university and saving enough for your own retirement. Faffing around with massage oil and writing short stories for your own pleasure isn't going to do that.

I can understand you wanting to achieve stuff but don't see why you can't help yourself out to do it - I can't understand why you can't do more of the holistic therapy stuff to pay for the MA instead of just seemingly doing it for friends.

All the people trying make some feminist point here about both parties having a joint right to the household income are totally barking up the wrong tree. What's needed here is for the OP to take some responsibility for herself without relying on her husband.

expatinscotland Fri 09-May-14 21:22:38

What CurlyHaired said.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Fri 09-May-14 21:30:14

Curly - she said that she earned about £3.5k last year so technically she could pay for the masters out of "her" earnings even before she starts stepping up her work once her kids start nursery.

I agree that she is one of life's "flitters". But I'm not sure that that is a bad thing. I am one of life's "forward march, straight line, eyes front"ers.
It's great in many ways - I have an interesting, well paid job that I enjoy. But I have no real flexibility. If I was made redundant (and my company has restructures every sodding year) then the only way I could get another job in my (very specialised) industry is by moving cities. Which would have a huge impact on my husband's (also highly specialised) career and my dd's school life. And I can't really do anything else.

I could say something trite here about life being a journey and if you are too fixed on your destination then you won't enjoy the trip but then we'd both have to leave the debate to go and vomit.

Infinity8 Fri 09-May-14 21:41:26

Curly she is not expecting him to pay for it. She's expecting it to cone from their money. He would be unable to have the life and career of his choice without the OP taking care of everything else.

She could work full time and get wrap around care for the dc but why should she while her dh would still be free to essentially live like a man who has no kids? He can only do that because the op is parenting the dc. Why should that cost her all her own dreams?

elfycat Fri 09-May-14 21:45:35

Yes I'm a flitterrer. I've worked in Healthcare for 20+ years from in the mid-90s when I couldn't get a job as I was newly qualified in London and there were no jobs. So I worked to make ends meet in a restaurant and ended up working at head office. I took a pay cut to return to healthcare.

I only stopped when I had DC2, 2 preschoolers at home and DH was on his career change and away most of the year. For a crap flitterer I have a decent portfolio of investments and the possibility of earning 3 times the minimum wage in a part-time, school year friendly role. What would you have me do Curlyhaired Assasin?

My returning to work part time has been discussed (by DH and I) for Sept 2015 and full time work in around 2021 (though it could be a few years later). I'll be 50. I'll only have to flitter for 5-10 years as DH and I have decent pension provisions, but no doubt I'll manage something a little more than pin money. I always have.

This was more of an AIBU over the ownership of money in a SAHM/WwellawayfromHP relationship rather than asking if a MA in Creative Writing was worthwhile. It was his refusal to discuss, especially as I haven't exactly 'sprung' it on him. It's been on my agenda for at least the last 5 years.

Well I think that whether an MA is worthwhile or not IS a valid point when it comes to discussing the ownership of money. My understanding of MAs is that in the main they are designed for people ALREADY in that field who specifically need it to further their career. The people that I know who have done them have been in full-time work (or almost full-time), some of them have had it paid for by their employer, others have had to fund it themselves and have attended tutor groups etc in the evening after they've finished work.

I just haven't heard of anyone doing one for pleasure while not actually in at least a part time job.

Look, OP, if it's really your burning ambition to do an MA in creative Writing while you have the time to do it (with the full knowledge that it won't necessarily lead to any job openings) that's up to you, but you need to make your other half realise that you'll be funding it yourself, which will involve sitting him down with details as to what it will cost, what YOUR earnings currently are (ie enough to cover it) and showing him that what he is bringing in is enough to cover the mortgage, bills and renovations. So that he stops worrying about how everything is going to be paid for. because it sounds like he's feeling the pressure and doesn't feel that you are looking at it through the same eyes as he is.

christinarossetti Sat 10-May-14 00:21:40

Eh? Given that OP is doing the very great majority of the childcare as her xp is away for work, how on earth is family money not hers?

OP has already explained that 'her' earnings are counted as family money, as are her investments.

I really am at a loss with this thread, and all the belittling attitudes towards the OP.

firesidechat Sat 10-May-14 07:16:03

Me too christina.

It's certainly an eye opener about how a certain percentage of people view sahm.

christinarossetti Sat 10-May-14 07:39:50

SAHM's and womens' aspirations in general.

I don't understand why an individual's desire to spend 38 quid a week of jointly earned money over 2 years doing something that will give her pleasure and satisfaction (not to mention having a focus for the evenings while her fo is away pursuing his career) is being so undermined.

if OP wanted to go to the gym a few evenings a week, would people be suggesting that she make some money out of being an athlete before she had the audacity to pursue her own interests?

43percentburnt Sat 10-May-14 07:48:22

I think this really depends on how much spare money the family has. I do know people who have done masters for pleasure and others who have done them straight from uni, followed by a PhD. However they didn't have children and were happy to continue living as students for a while longer.

I work ft my dh is a sahd, I would love to do a masters (I have wanted to do one for years) but my priority is to pay off our mortgage while rates are low. This relieves pressure. Once the mortgage has gone that is a huge pressure gone, in the event of another economic downturn or even if I was made redundant and had to take a far lower paid job we will be okay.

Have you worked out how many years you have left on your mortgage and what you have reduced it to by overpaying? If it's only a couple of years left for example could you do the MA the minute your mortgage is paid off?

NameChangeAnon Sat 10-May-14 09:11:04

43percentburnt We were down to the last 5 years or so of mortgage, but we've just remortgaged to do some major work on the house so it's more like a 10 year repayment now. DH probably still has the 5 year thing stuck in his head. Paying it off has been a focus for the last 3 years or so - mainly as a form of 'savings' for this work.

We have enough income between us for me to have an expensive pastime. I have a lot of time to pass too. He's not earning anywhere near the top salary available for the work he does, but there's always compensation for these types of jobs, but of course thousands of pounds will have to be an agreed family spend. It was his general unwillingness to discuss it, while stating it was 'his' money that made me grind my teeth wonder at his attitude.

CurlyhairedAssasin He's known about this ambition for me to continue study as far up as I can academically for a number of years. Money has always been his thing and he only looks at 'today'. Drives me nuts as I look at the medium picture, what investments we have, the income we have that's guaranteed, the income we have that's not and a risk assessment of the likelihood of losing that, savings policies we have and the minimum they will pay out etc. Today we are spending a lot on the house and that's all he can see. He had a hissy fit over a weekend course i went on appearing on a credit card statement. It was my Xmas gift from him, just taken in April, so I'm a bit peeved about that too. Thanks for my present love.

The more detail you're giving the more I'm taking your side. At first it sounded like he earned ALL the family income and you just wanted to extend your time as a non-income earner (leaving aside what Childcare you do), in order to pursue something that is more of a hobby., into the time when BOTH children will be at school all day.

But from what you've said it sounds like you are extremely savvy and sensible with money . (I take it you have no other debts you aren't telling us about, apart from your mortgage and aren't living beyond your means with a huge credit card debt?!). And now you've mentioned his hissy fit over your birthday present appearing on the credit card bill, I'm starting to think he sounds like a nightmare to live with over money.

Does he hate working away from home and feel tied into it because of the high income it brings, maybe? Maybe that could be behind his behaviour?

noddingoff Sat 10-May-14 09:53:48

If you want him to see things from your point of view, wait for a wet weekend when the children are bored and leave him with the children while you go off (or get him to imagine back to the weekend course in April - I assume he looked after the DC?). Now explain that 6 months out of the year is like that for you (will be 9mo if he takes the course in the north). If he was in your position, I expect he might think £2000/yr for 2 years would be a small price to pay to do something challenging, fun and mind-stretching to occupy his time. From your previous posts it sounds like he does value studying and would be supportive so I expect he'll come round OK.

NameChangeAnon Sat 10-May-14 10:06:05

Thanks CurlyhairedAssasin and also other people whose replies are against my point of view, they are getting me to take the emotion out of it and really consider if it is a whim or something more.

His parents were always obsessed by money - they did an awful lot with a small budget to be fair. My parents were cautious with money, but the difference is I didn't grow up knowing we were on a tight budget. I think he even got digs about eating too much as a teen and costing a fortune and he's a really tall barrel-chested man, of course he ate a ton as a teen. Education also was not a priority for his family, while my parents left school without qualifications and wanted us to do everything we can. This was obvious when they dismissed his degree plans as outside his capabilities and worthless. My parents and friends were his cheerleaders

He's usually OK with money because we rarely overspend, and have no debt apart from the mortgage. But from time to time when we have to be careful and budget for a while he tends to get snippy. He makes bad choices and a few years back we nearly split up over another issue, but that had money at its heart. I usually have an 'ohhhh' moment and talk about the money issue, which he'll initially deny is the cause of the other problems, but then will see it is.

I knew money would raise its head this summer, because of the change in mortgage amount and the spending that needs to be done. But if I want to start in 2015 I need to save up a bit, and we don't do hidden savings. I need to save because I can't put £2k on the credit card in a year's time without having a lot of it saved up, or it'll be moneyageddon all over again. That's why with over a year before I want to start I need an agreement in principle.

MrsCripps Sat 10-May-14 10:48:53

I don't understand why your savings would need to be hidden confused
I have a standing order into my savings account as does DH.

You should have money which is yours and yours to make decisions with - I really wouldn't stand for the "its my money" attitude that your DH is coming out with - I would be having words regarding "His children and their childcare " which would cost a hell of a lot if you weren't doing it!

There seems to be a bit of a divide in expectations - you don't want to go back to your old career /he expects you too.

Time to have a discussion about this and also sort out your personal savings - it should be 50/50 agreed amount for each of you to do as you wish.

NameChangeAnon Sat 10-May-14 10:49:48

Just to add that DH loves his new career, and loves that it took off so successfully. He's always worked away a lot ever since I met him, but often for longer periods which he hated. The regular weeks off and on work for him, he thinks it's great that when he's at work he had nothing else to focus on, and when at home he barely has to think about work. He rarely has anything negative to say about the job or the people and he's always happy to go back on returning day.

There's also a really good chef cooking for them.

Viviennemary Sat 10-May-14 11:22:02

Well after your last post I'm feeling a lot more sympathy for you. He has exactly the life he wants and you don't. This isn't right. Why exactly does he not want you to spend this money. It should be all down to money. If you can afford it without struggling then you should be able to do it especially as you did earn some money last year.

43percentburnt Sun 11-May-14 08:47:20

It doesn't seem that it will cause financial problems to do the course. Have you worked out how many months/years it will set you back paying off the mortgage if you spend money on the course?
Have you also worked out the cost of moving home, stamp duty etc and buying a house with all the refurb done vs how much it has cost you to extend your mortgage and refurb your own house? It may make him feel happier in the here and now to think spending money on the house has actually saved you money. Iykwim!

NameChangeAnon Sun 11-May-14 09:11:51

[Grin] @ 43percentburnt. We did the calculation some time ago on the cost of moving. It worked out as nearly 20k which is a good amount of this summer's work.

We also worked out years ago that intensive courses are a value for money pastime as there's no time for spending money elsewhere. We used to do quite a bit of study at playzones which the DC will be at anyway from time time. A good use of a rainy day.

HoVis2001 Sun 11-May-14 10:11:14

I see what you mean about it being good to look at this from an unemotional point of view, but I'm afraid I'm still stuck on the principle of the thing. For me, one of the things that matters most to me about my DP (and DC when/if we have them) is that he is happy and fulfilled in what he does from day to day, be that with regards to his job, hobbies, or living space. I know he feels the same regarding me. Maybe it's easier for us because we're younger and most careers these days are so hard to get into (and periods of unemployment / unpaid internships are common among our peers), but as a unit I think we're very willing to endure 'lean' years in the cause of one or both of us pursuing things that fulfil us. In your case it doesn't even seem you as a family would have to go without, just reframe some ideals you (or more particularly your husband) had r.e. paying off the mortgage in the next 5 years, which you say was in question anyway. Money really isn't everything, and personal satisfaction ranks above it in my view, if you can pursue it without crippling yourselves.

R.e. being one of life's flitterers - I remember a high school teacher of mine once reflecting that the days when people stuck with a single career throughout life were starting to fade, and I think he was right. There's nothing wrong with trying new things, however 'adult' you are!

Regarding the 'value' of an MA, I think doing part time learning on top of either childcare of another job is seen really positively. My DM did a 'general arts' BA at the same time as I was at university, and it was commented upon very positively in a job interview in an utterly unrelated field. It shows a desire for self-improvement and demonstrates that you can motivate yourself to work without someone standing over your shoulder. Just don't do a PhD because then you're 'overqualified' for everything.

AuntieMaggie Sun 11-May-14 10:50:08

I'm with your DH on this - you both had the opportunity to do a degree previously which would contribute to your career change but now you want to do an extra course which would mean the financial burden is on your DHs shoulders for longer than he expected.

In your position if I really wanted to do something like an MA in creative writing I would be doing it part time or through distance learning and getting a part time job too in a shop or something.

GnomeDePlume Sun 11-May-14 11:18:17

I dont see this as a gender issue at all. I have always been the WOHP while DH was SAHP. We are a few years further down the line than you, NameChangeAnon but not so very different.

I wonder if you really understand the pressure of being the sole breadwinner? It is nice if you have a job you love but all jobs contain or have periods of utter crapness. At the end of the day this is why it is paid. If it was that great we would all do it for nothing and then it would be a hobby.

Being sole breadwinner means that everything lands on your shoulders. You cant give up your job just because you dont like it. You have to keep thinking further down the line. You do extra courses as they come up because you dont know when you might need to have that extra thing under your belt. You never know what is going to come up next. You may think you are safe then there is a company re-organisation and suddenly you are surplus to requirements.

If you lose your job you have to get another one straightaway. This gets harder as you get into your 40s and your career development has meant that you have become more specialised.

I can see why your DH wants to get the mortgage paid off. It gives you more security. It takes just a little bit of the pressure off.

Infinity8 Sun 11-May-14 13:19:49

If it matters that much to him to be mortgage free, is he willing to give up his hobbies and sell all the expensive stuff in the garage and pay that off the mortgage?

For me this still cones diwn to a belief that his desires are more important than yours because he woh.

Laquitar Sun 11-May-14 13:39:42

Do people really believe that a distance learning course on creative writing will add on your cv??
What most employers look for is ability to stick to one job, ability to follow the rules, team working.
Someone who avoids work, who does hobbies and courses and who likes to make her own rules to suit her moods doesnt look very good to employers. You will add more to your cv if you do few shifts at a supermarket and get a reference that at least you can be on time for a work.

Your plan about teaching in FE. I looked into that last year for myself. The pay is 20-25per hour. But...you will pay your own tax and ni out of that.
No paid holiday.
No sick pay.
Commute cost for only 2 hours work.
No work all year.
Dont look at it per hour. Calculate it per year. How much you will bring home per year after tax, commute cost, unpaid hols? Divide it by 52 or by 12. It is very little i am afraid. It doesnt cover bills, never mind hobbies.

The other advantage of staying in one job rather than "flitting" is that you become very experienced in it, and employers these days tend to value years of experience at something rather than someone with little experience in the field but who has a qualification in it (which the experienced candidates probably also have, even if they've done it very part-time over a long period whilst working in the job.)

You get your face known too, not just within the organisation you work for but through networking as part of the job.

I really would think carefully about switching careers in this day and age unless it's a shortage field. When jobs come up, you as a newbie will be competing against people with YEARS of experience.

NameChangeAnon Sun 11-May-14 22:11:09

To the last few posters, there seems to be a suggestion that I would be getting a job soon and earning. I won't be for a few more years. I am, as agreed with DH, a SAHP.

The extremely part-time teaching is all I want for the next couple of years. The MA is interest only but would show that I have done more than have a career break while the DC are pre-schoolers. My career change plans are approved of by several business savvy friends who believe I have a talent in my area.

This aibu is not a critique of my plans, but rather the right of the wage earner calling the money theirs. The fact I want to spend a fair bit of money on something considered trivial by some is interesting in that it has been polarizing.

UtterFool Sun 11-May-14 23:34:49

I'm the breadwinner in our household and, no, the money isn't mine. My wife works but I earn over 10 times more than she does. I would never hold her back from something like this.

She has family in OZ and has spent more than £4k in the last 6 months to see them (on more than one occasion). I stayed here as I'm self employed and didn't want to stop earning but she went without question.

Some things aren't measurable by financial gain, like seeing family or developing oneself. If you were hard up then £4k would be a tough decision but by the sound of it, it's a no brainier.

UtterFool Sun 11-May-14 23:42:59

Just to add, we both earned the same when we had kids and my wife wend down to 12 hours a week (evenings so she could be a sham).

We were skint but I spent our spare cash on additional training so I could improve my earning potential. There was never any guarantee but fortunately it paid off. My wife, like you, is thinking of doing a course for interest (child psychology) and is likely to cost similar amounts. I think it'd be out of order if I now turned round and said 'no' given the support I've received.

Your situation doesn't sound too dissimilar OP.

medic78 Mon 12-May-14 11:02:41

I too think you are being given a hard time on here.
You put 3.5k into the pot and provided childcare to enable your dh to get the career he wanted. If he had wanted to stay at home than poor hard done by primary wage earner crap spouted on here may carry some weight.
If he spends the same on his hobbies than I fail to see why you can't do the same.
Sadly my dh seems to think that because he is the earner he can have the hobbies but I can't. In my case its a gym swim memberships for me and dc which probably equates to his football season ticket. Plus sky is for his benefit too.
You could spend just as much on the gym and most people would think is ok if you factor in babysitter and or creche.

christinarossetti Mon 12-May-14 12:16:20

That's been exactly the analogy I've used on this thread medic, that I don't think this discussion would have gone the way it has if OP had said that she wanted to go to the gym 3 times a week, spending £38 on all associated costs.

Nor would people suggest that she earn some money as a professional athlete first, as they have re:writing.

Swannery Mon 12-May-14 12:43:01

I'd be amazed if the OP couldn't find better paid work /work with more prospects than teaching a few hours a week of FE (evening classes or whatever). That kind of work is basically a hobby in itself. She says she did some creative writing at undergraduate level anyway, so could prob use that if she really wants to teach in FE.
I don't think a man with this kind of plan would get much time from MNetters. He'd be called a cock lodger or something.

christinarossetti Mon 12-May-14 13:52:59

On the contrary swannery. I think a man who asked whether he should have a say in how family money is spent (which is what the OP is talking about, as she has clarified a few times) would be told that this is perfectly reasonable.

Dayshiftdoris Mon 12-May-14 14:09:52

I am a parent carer and used to be a midwife.

I need a new career and I am currently doing a MA very part time.

However, i am doing the MA in what is most likely to get me a job at the end of it and considering my existing skills... Not necessary what I would like to do otherwise I would be wasting my time and money.

As for it looking good on a CV... I do a variety of volunteer roles (governor, run support groups, parent rep) - things that show commitment and a level of collaborative working in professional environments.
My MA comes after those things in terms of importance towards another job as it those that provide the ongoing experience.

I don't have a partner to discuss it with but obviously you and I have a similar level of responsibility to our respective families finances... Personally I signed up to one module at a time and deciding every module is weighed against where we are in the here and now financially. The MA is my choice, my 'thing' and it's surpass to requirements if needs be - no way would I have committed a lump sum towards what is ultimately a hobby.

firesidechat Mon 12-May-14 14:12:37

I don't think a man with this kind of plan would get much time from MNetters. He'd be called a cock lodger or something.

Even if that man was doing all the child care and all the jobs that needed doing at home while the working parent was free to pursue a career that took him away from home for long periods of time? I don't think that's what a cocklodger is, is it?

I'd be amazed if the OP couldn't find better paid work /work with more prospects than teaching a few hours a week of FE (evening classes or whatever). That kind of work is basically a hobby in itself.

Last time I checked work is something you get paid for, hobbies you don't. What makes this a hobby any more than other part time work?

There isn't only one way of running a household and it wasn't so long ago that the norm was for most mothers to stay at home with the children and never work again. I know that we've moved on from this, but now it would appear that only both parents having full time careers is acceptable.

Swannery Mon 12-May-14 18:14:10

In her original post the OP said that she would be starting work again in a year, when DC2 starts school. This now turns out to be a couple of hours of teaching FE, once she's done an MA which will cost £4K. She'll be working a lifetime at that rate just to repay the MA fee. It's a joke, as far as contributing to the family finances is concerned. I think the DH is justified in expecting more help with bringing in money than that. The children will be at school, remember.

Infinity8 Mon 12-May-14 19:00:07

And the OP will be entirely responsible for them while her h spends 6-9 months away from home! If he wants her to contribute more money, she could rightly ask him to contribute more time.

She is the one who will be covering all their school holidays and when they are off sick etc. Working ft puts all the burden on her while he is an absent parent.

firesidechat Mon 12-May-14 19:08:18

Bringing cash into a marriage is not the only way to contribute. Since when did we start valuing people purely on their earning power?

This thread is so depressing.

redskyatnight Mon 12-May-14 20:12:42

OP's DH has a job that means he is away for 6 months and home for 6 months, it's swings and roundabouts really. Yes, it's tough on OP when he's away, but when he is at home they have the luxury of 2 adults available, neither of whom is working. Particularly when the DC are at pre-school/ school, no one can claim that those 6 months represent a hard life.

Infinity8 Mon 12-May-14 21:27:52

6 months at home minus the 3 months he wants to spend on additional courses!

MexicanSpringtime Mon 12-May-14 21:39:54

firesidechat Bringing cash into a marriage is not the only way to contribute. Since when did we start valuing people purely on their earning power?

Totally agree.

roguenight Mon 12-May-14 21:47:50

I don't think he is being unreasonable, a MA in Creative Writing is almost certainly a waste of time that won't add anything to your employability or earning potential. To spend 4k on this would not be sensible and I don't think the OPs husband is wrong to not want to finance it.

christinarossetti Mon 12-May-14 21:53:01

But an MA in Creative Writing wouldn't be a 'waste of time' to the OP. It's something she's wanted to do for a long time.

What an insulting thing to say about the way someone else chooses to spend their time.

roguenight Mon 12-May-14 21:57:05

What will it add to her CV, does anyone think that a potential employer would be impressed by it really. Teaching at adult hobby/education classes is hardly going to generate another career for her and I don't think that the husband is unreasonable to not want to help the OP fund something that won't help her and could possibly be detrimental.

christinarossetti Mon 12-May-14 22:16:50

Why does it have to add anything to OP's CV?

Isn't OP permitted to have interests and occupations that satisfy and engage her?

How on earth could doing an MA in something that she wants to do, and can afford, be 'detrimental'?

So her dh is trying to protect OP from her 'waste of time' decisions now, is he, as well as calling the shots over money?

roguenight Mon 12-May-14 22:32:33

The OP says she wants to retrain but this course is unlikely to provide her with a job that earns a substantial income. She would be spending time and effort pursuing something that would ffer her little going intop the future. Add this to the fact that her previous job will be further into the past and so the value of any knowledge and skills could be perceived to have dwindled by a potential employer.

So two years down the line she will have a qualification that the OP admits in all likelihood fail to provide a job with a good income and the value of her previous skills and experiences will have been devalued so she will be no closer to having a new career away from the one she did previously despite having spent a considerable amount of time, money and effort.

christinarossetti Mon 12-May-14 22:46:53

But she could have the satisfaction of doing something she really wants to and can afford to do.

That isn't 'offering her little' going into the future.

christinarossetti Mon 12-May-14 22:47:51

OP's question was about having a say in how family money is spent.

You haven't addressed that.

GnomeDePlume Mon 12-May-14 22:50:51

All too often it seems to be the prerogative of the SAHP to choose to have an interesting and fulfilling occupation when DCs start school. The main breadwinner is expected to continue doing just that - earning the money which feeds, clothes and houses the family.

50ShadesofGreyMatter Mon 12-May-14 22:57:07

Haven't read the whole thread but if he is spending 2k/year on "his hobby" surely your request for the same for something that is not a hobby is very very reasonable!!

firesidechat Mon 12-May-14 23:14:22

All too often it seems to be the prerogative of the SAHP to choose to have an interesting and fulfilling occupation when DCs start school. The main breadwinner is expected to continue doing just that - earning the money which feeds, clothes and houses the family.

Wow, sahm really are seen as the lowest of the low aren't they? I stayed at home until my children went to school and then took any old job to earn some money and fit in with school hours. - school dinner lady, shop assistant, working in a cafe - all very interesting and fulfilling. hmm

I can only assume that the posters who are so obsessed with earning potential aren't massively creative and don't really get what the OP wants to do. My hobbies and previous employment are creative, my husband's hobbies are creative and my youngest is just finishing a creative degree. Looks like we wasted our time. No wait, the student has a publishing deal in the offing, so not a complete waste.

christinarossetti Tue 13-May-14 04:10:47

gnome, op and her dh made a joint decision that one of them will be at home until children start school. OP already does some work (the pay for which goes into family money) and plans to do more as children get older.

Meanwhile, her dh loves his career change and doesn't want to leave it to stay at home.

Why should OP not have some say about spending 38 quid a week over 2 years on something for herself? Esp as her dh's career choices mean that she's solely doing the childcare/sorting out home life for months at a time.

GnomeDePlume Tue 13-May-14 06:49:14

Wow, sahm really are seen as the lowest of the low aren't they? I stayed at home until my children went to school and then took any old job to earn some money and fit in with school hours. - school dinner lady, shop assistant, working in a cafe - all very interesting and fulfilling. hmm

But this isnt what the OP plans to do.

The difference between the OP's career plans and her DH's is that the OP expects to be free to choose an occupation which she finds fulfilling. She doesnt want to have to consider earnings potential. To do this her DH will have to keep going with his career. He enjoys it but it will have to keep going even if it pales to ensure that the household coffers are kept filled.

I think that the DH's training is a bit of a red herring. It is paid for by his employer to the point where the DH gets paid overtime for any extra time spent on it. IME employers dont pay for hobby courses. They pay for training which they perceive as a benefit to themselves.

Infinity8 Tue 13-May-14 07:22:49

His training isn't a red herring because it eats into family time.

I couldn't live like this. I am a sahm and my dc are now all school age. My dh works away a lot too meaning that everything bar earning money is pretty much my responsibility. The only thing my dh has to do is go to work. He has a career that has flourished because he's had time to devote to it and never had to leave early to get the kids from child care or refuse foreign travel because he has to do his share at home. If I was working full time, no way would I be happy to do everything else at home too. Some jobs don't allow people to fully pull their weight at home. The OPs h doesn't even seem to want to, because he actively chooses to be away more than he has to.

A mother on here not being home for 6 months and then considering a further 3 months away would likely get her arse handed to her on a plate.
Instead the OP is meant to be grateful even though her h doesn't want to sah.

My dh acknowledges fully that he has his earnings because I do everything else. Money is ours, jyst as it was in the early years when I put more into the pot than him.

If he didn't have that attitude I would be making him get a bog standard job so I could work full time and not be lumbered with all the house stuff too.

And I just want to add that sah is not always a joy, just as woh isn't. Sometimes it's really hard going, and not only when dc are tiny. Older dc and teens come with their own demands and problems most of which the sahp deals with. It really isn't all lovely, but you do it because it suits your particular family. In doing this I certainly didnt agree to being less than equal in my relationship and if the OPs h had put it to her right at the start that he would view her as less than him, tgen I bet hell would have frozen over before she allowed hin ti swan off and live as he is doing.

Infinity8 Tue 13-May-14 07:26:24

How very unreasonable that she wants a job she finds fulfilling like her h has. Bearing in mind she has sacrificed her freedom to do as she pleases while he hasn't.

This thread is scary reading.

christinarossetti Tue 13-May-14 07:28:44

OP hasn't asked her opinions in her 'waste of time' ambitions, but whether she should have a say in how family money that she obviously contributes to should be spent.

Posters keep avoiding the issue.

firesidechat Tue 13-May-14 08:04:07

You put it so much better than me Infinity and yes it is very scary reading.

I don't get the problem with seeking a fulfilling job either. My husband manages to work hard, earn good money and be fulfilled at work. I know that it's not always possible, but striving to do a job that you enjoy doesn't seem that unreasonable to me.

There seems to be a view from some posters that sahm are just taking advantage of their poor hard working partners. The fact is that most families who operate like this, made a joint decision that it was better for the family as a whole. I know we did. It meant financial sacrifices (we didn't have a holiday abroad until our children were in their early teens and we moved to a cheaper area so that we could afford the house that we needed), but it was very much a mutual decision. Oh and I'm no martyr and freely admit to loving being at home, but it was no easier or harder than going out to work. The occasional mind numbing tedium and boredom of not working shouldn't be underestimated.

The decisions we made when we had children would not have worked at all if my husband didn't consider all earnings as family money. He has always earned many times the amount that I was capable of and never shown a seconds resentment in almost 3 decades.

Maybe my age is showing here and I'm hopelessly out of touch with how marriage works today, but it's still sad that the OP's husband won't at least discuss how joint money is spent.

GnomeDePlume Tue 13-May-14 08:23:16

Also I suppose AIBU to want to do a masters with no specific work related goal at this point? It's in the field I would like to work in, but I wouldn't get a career boost for having it IYSWIM.

I dont see this as being all about the money. Is the issue for the DH that the OP is putting back the point where she will return to work.

This thread isnt scary to me. It is much easier to discuss these type of issues in the abstract. My situation is much more similar to the DH's.

Infinity8 Tue 13-May-14 08:33:26

I think she is planning to do the masters while being a sahp.

firesidechat Tue 13-May-14 08:37:31

So Gnome, do you think all money coming in is family money, regardless of who earned it? Do you think the OP is reasonable to expect a discussion about where that money is spent, even if it is then decided that her plans aren't viable?

A few years ago I was interested in doing some training, possibly a degree, in a subject I was fascinated by. We discussed it together and I decided for myself that it would be better to keep it as an interest. Perhaps that's all the OP wants. Some recognition of her ideas, rather than a blanket no.

redskyatnight Tue 13-May-14 09:42:24

I work full time. I mostly like my job. There are some bits that are soul destroying and hard work and not enjoyable. It takes me away from my family more than I would ideally like. I console myself by remembering that I have a job that I enjoy and it sort of compensates for this.

Would I swap my job to be a SAHM of pre-schoolers? No, I wouldn�t (actually I had the chance to take voluntary redundancy and do just this and turned it down).

Would I swap my job to be a SAHM of school age children, spend my time doing hobbies that I really enjoyed, while someone else picked up the bills? Actually I seriously might be tempted.

Really wonder if OP�s DH is thinking like this. He was happy to work while she was busy with babies/toddlers. He didn�t want to do the looking after babies/toddler bit. However, maybe OP�s proposed future life sounds tempting.

My DH used to work away a lot. He always said that he appreciated it was hard for me having to pick up the pieces, but felt I didn�t appreciate how hard it was for him to be away from his family so much, however much he enjoyed his job.

Infinity8 Tue 13-May-14 10:07:02

I think that if you have a spouse who works away a lot, you are not spending all your time on hobbies even if your dc are school age. My oldest is 17 and this morning I will be teaching him to analyse poetry ( he is on study leave at the moment). Now I could be at work doing this for other people's kids and getting paid, but instead I am contributing to my family in a way that doesn't directly generate money but is very valuable nonetheless. Truthfully, I would prefer to be doing a hobby. Obligations to dc don't cease to exist when they turn 5.

It is all very well to say that the sahp is having an easy time once the dc go to school but they still need to get them to school, pick them up, do homework, cover sick days etc. How many of the wohp would be happy at this point to start pulling their full weight at home so the sahp can work full time. I suspect that quite a few wohp rather like the freedom to not worry about home because that's all taken care of.

As an aside, if the OPs dh misses his family so much perhaps he could come home instead of considering additional activities that eat into family time.

In the end this is not about what she wants to spend money on ( the merits of it could be devated forever) but her right to spend money and the acknowledgement that her contribution to the family equals his. I can't believe he has a new iphone and ipad and a garage full of expensive hobby equipment but is telling her that she can't have the equivalent. He is telling her that he is more important.

I couldn't live in a marriage like this.

Family money is family money. It is irrelevant to ask who earns it. Both parents ought to have an equal say in how it gets spent, regardless of the percentage of contribution. That is fair. Looking after kids and bringing home the bacon are both essential to supporting a family.

However, that means-

1. Both parents are responsible for earning, unless one income is sufficient to support the family, and the person earning out doesn't mind the other parent not earning. Otherwise, the non-earner is freeloading on the other.

2. If one parent earns much less than the other, the lesser earner's income should go into the pot just the same; it can never be fair to treat it as that parent's spending money.

3. There is nothing wrong with hobbies, but the amount of money and time spent on them by each parent should be equal unless otherwise agreed.

4. If family money is to be spent on training / education, it seems clear that it ought to be on something that will generate income for the family.

5. If a parent has employment he or she finds fulfilling, good on them. It doesn't follow that the other parent is entitled to pursue some line of interest that is equally fulfilling regardless of remuneration. Otherwise, one parent may freeload on the other.

Frankly, pursuing an MA in creative writing doesn't exactly demonstrate a commitment to support the family finances, nor does it show any thought to what might happen if the DH becomes unable to earn in the future.

Infinity8 Tue 13-May-14 13:03:47

I object to the term freeloading where one parent is doing all or most of the childcare, unless the other parent is willing to restructure their own working life in order to do 50% of house/child commitments, thus enabling the sahp to seek employment without being lumbered with everything else too.

Swannery Tue 13-May-14 13:18:01

I agree with Toad. The DH here has a decent earning job which he enjoys. That's great. The fact that he enjoys it doesn't mean that it's ok for the OP to give up her past career path and spend money on something that will, at best, enable her to get a very very part time, insecure and crappily paid job. Just because she enjoys it. Aiming at a job which pays almost nothing is irresponsible, and is freeloading on the DH. It's perfectly possible to get a decent job around looking after school-age children.

firesidechat Tue 13-May-14 13:30:35

You do realise that there are other models of family life than both parents working full time and earning similar amounts? It seems that only one version is considered acceptable to some posters on here. If one parent is prepared to take on more than a 50% of the household responsibilities and slightly less responsibility for earning cash, I don't see the problem. Obviously both partners need to agree with this, but why is it offensive to some of you?

I don't go around taking pot shots at working mothers and it would be nice if the courtesy was returned.

If I told my husband that I was freeloading he would think I had gone mad, so I'm with Infinity on that one too.

Swannery Tue 13-May-14 13:35:03

She's not suggesting earning slightly less money than DH. She's suggesting spending £4K on a course which may enable her to work a few hours a week earning a pittance.
And DH is not happy about it. We know that already.

Infinity8 Tue 13-May-14 13:44:17

No he's not happy to spend money on something his wife values, but he's still happy to spend on ipads etc for himself and treat her like she's less important than him.

firesidechat Tue 13-May-14 13:45:54

He's not wrong to be unhappy, but I think he is wrong to dismiss it out of hand and not at least discuss the options with his equal partner in this marriage.

Infinity8 Tue 13-May-14 13:48:12

I would still be very interested to know if the h would be willing to cone home and pull his weight if she went back to work.

It is unfair to expect her to find something that fits around the kids while he carries on as before. She didn't have thise children on her own and if he is going to start dictating what she does with her time, she should start doing likewise with him.

Swannery Tue 13-May-14 14:18:01

He should respect the fact that she will have more day to day responsibility towards the children, and that this may affect the work available to her, so that she is likely to earn less than him. But that doesn't mean accepting the extreme position of her earning, at best, pin money (and paying £4K upfront for the privilege), because she wants to do something that she has chosen solely because it is fun.

redskyatnight Tue 13-May-14 14:34:40

Unless I've missed it, OP hasn't said how much she and her DH already spend on their hobbies.

She's mentioned him buying an iPad and a laptop, but the stuff in the garage was an old hobby that he used to do.

Equally how much does OP already spend on current hobbies, things just for her etc?

OP has clearly said that she is happy with the current situation (and that DH got a pay increase with his new job, which is potentially responsible for her even being able to think of spending 4K). So all the speculation about him not being prepared to give it up and pull his weight are a bit ridiculous really.

Infinity8 Tue 13-May-14 14:37:13

Even if it remains a hobby, if it makes her happy while she is a sahp then it is worth the money, given that he spends the equivalent on his own hobbies. That's where I have the issue - that the mortgage is his priority when it comes to something she values but he seems unwilling to give up anything himself in order to pay for this mortgage which is so important to him.

I just feel he is taking her contribution for granted and isn't appreciating that it must be quite hard to be stuck at home with the kids and a dh who is never there.

Infinity8 Tue 13-May-14 14:59:35

red the OP said upthread that he likes gadgets and does spend quite a lot on unnecessary things. I dont think he's offered to sell the stuff gathering dust in the garage, which surely you would do if you were keen to pay off a mortgage within a few years. She has also agreed to his spending but he is not reciprocating.

It not silly to question whether he will in the future give up his loved career in order to pull his weight at home. The OPs choices are limited to child friendly ones because he doesn't have any intention of changing how he lives. Serns the least he can do is not mian about money when she wants ti do something she fibds intellectually stimulating.

christinarossetti Tue 13-May-14 15:01:43

Dunno where OP is in this thread now.

Maybe she's started her MA! (fingers crossed!)

I'm similarly shocked at the belittling of OP's ambitions and right to be treated as an equal partner on this thread.

Is it The creative writing thong that is getting peoples' backs up so,much?

ChelsyHandy Tue 13-May-14 15:13:59

Its not your money either though OP!

Unless its a highly vocational Masters e.g. teacher training, IT conversion, etc., I'm afraid I see it as a bit of a vanity or boredom project. Or you could have an internship lined up or contacts in the industry if you were that interested right now. And why do it part-time, if its distance learning?

You already have a degree. What is to stop you getting a good job through experience gained in the workplace?

And if its that cheap (4k for a Masters is quite cheap), surely you can save 2k yourself between now and 2015 by doing a small amount of part-time work spaced between your SAHM duties? Even if you only earned £65 a week between now and it starting, you would still earn enough to pay the whole £4000 in one go, without even having to work during your part-time course.

redskyatnight Tue 13-May-14 15:14:17

Infinity she did say he likes gadgets but not how much he spends on them. She also doesn't mention how much she spends herself on "fun" stuff.

If we are considering whether DH will change jobs and do more at home, perhaps we also ought to consider whether OP could become the sole breadwinner while DH is a SAHP? It's as equally valid.

The issue here has never been about working or not working anyway. It's about whether one person should have more say than the other when it comes to spending the family money. I'd argue that they shouldn't (and so actually would most posters on this thread it seems). But as DH and OP both want to spend money on different things, who gets to decide? Why is what OP wants more valid than what DH wants? Why is what DH wants more valid than what OP wants? EVeryone will have their personal view. The key thing is that both things are properly discussed and given consideration. Perhaps it would be fair to say that 2K could come off the mortgage and OP could pay 2K towards her MA and aim to increase the family income sufficiently to pay off the other 2K?

Infinity8 Tue 13-May-14 16:03:07

I believe she did ask him if he wanted to be a sahd and he declined.

I think she also said the MA is a cost effective hobby because she does not have time for anything else, which implies she is not spending on other expensive hobbies.

I think it is fine for her to work ft but not work ft and be stuck with everything else while he carries on as normal. Given his work commitments and additional courses, if he had to pay someone to do his 50% childcare I think it would cost more than 4k.

Infinity8 Tue 13-May-14 16:06:59

I think the fair thing would be to pay the bills and then split the remaining money equally, to be spent as each partner chooses.

But the h serms to think it's his money, which us the fundamental probkem here.

NameChangeAnon Tue 13-May-14 16:57:55

Threads moved on I see.

My other hobbies are knitting and crochet (and writing) btw. It takes a while to get through yarn so I think that's another cost effective hobby. So far this year I've made the 2DC and DH a toy each (DH's is sci-fi related) and each a blanket for winter evenings and a Woolly Hugs blanket.

DH and I both agreed to a career change each. As we decided this as we started TTC it was agreed that I would be the SAHP unless I had the greater earning potential in which case he would be the SAHP. He got what he is still describing as the perfect job and our full time earning potentials are at the moment similar, if i returned to old career. I was at the top of my career and he's now towards the bottom of his potential. He wants to see how far he can take his career while retaining a work life balance.

ChelsyHandy I don't want to work in the writing/publishing industry necessarily so that's why I'm referring to it as a hobby. However I am a flitterer by nature and I'm doing fairly well with this approach to life so I can't say I won't be using this degree in the future. I'm using an old hobby (started 2004) to think about my next earning strand. Part time work is because I will remain a part time SAHP doing school runs, weekends and holiday cover.

So part time SAHP, part time work and the study in the evenings when DH is away, to happen after September 2015 when DC2 starts school. Of course it's a boredom project; I watch a few hours TV a week and have 50% of evenings to myself after the DC are in bed. That's why the part time thing. If I had £6k, plus travel and childcare expenses there's a pretty good uni with a highly recognised CW masters program 30 mins by train from where I live. But without promise of an earning from that it's not being considered.

I'm enjoying the talk of pin money. Earning £20+ an hour for a couple of hours teaching is 3 times the minimum wage. So 4 hours a week is 12 hours of min wage earning (someone up thread suggested I could earn something useful in a supermarket). Not bad for next year while I'm still technically a SAHP.

Anyway today I have applied to take the next stage in the C&G teaching pathway starting in September.

christinarossetti Tue 13-May-14 17:33:17

Good for you, OP

Hope that this thread is spurring you on.

foolishpeach Tue 13-May-14 17:54:56

I think you should go for it OP - hold him to his end of the bargain. Good luck with your course. smile

Infinity8 Tue 13-May-14 17:55:42

Good luck

Laquitar Tue 13-May-14 19:55:34

It is not 3 times nmw though.

You will have long unpaid holidays.
You will pay your own NI.
You wont get sick pay.

You don't calculate it the right way i 'm afraid.

NameChangeAnon Tue 13-May-14 20:10:57

It calculates against zero hour contracts. 6.50 x 3 = 19.50 err 20 and hour is 3 times nmw.

I already pay NI anyway.

I already don't get sick pay as a SAHP. And that's the risk of self employment, as is the holiday pay thing. Are we suggesting that self employment should be banned?

Laquitar Tue 13-May-14 20:19:13

No. The person who works in a shop for nmw and she works all year around (not half year) will bring home more than you over a year.

You also forget that you only get paid for the hours yiu teach. Not for preparation and planning. So the 20 per hour is actually 10-15 per hour.
You might also need material to buy, insurance, membership.

But i am wasting my time because you dont care about the finances anyway.

NameChangeAnon Tue 13-May-14 20:26:35

What about term time contracts or do they not exist in your world either?

I have insurance, I have the teaching materials.

And not caring about the finances? RTFT and you'll know that's not the case.

HoVis2001 Tue 13-May-14 20:31:26

Good for you, OP. smile

HoVis2001 Tue 13-May-14 20:36:23

(R.e. signing up to the C&G teaching pathway!)

It never seemed to be that your OP was about finances in the strict economic sense (i.e. "can we afford this") - and more about how healthy finances ought to be shared within a partnership ("am I unreasonable to want support from my partner in spending this money").

This thread has made me, even as a bystander, feel quite bemused and distressed, so well done for sticking with it. It seems to me that a lot of the comments are reducing marriage/partnerships to a mathematical equation of what you put in financially (or in childcare). But isn't it much more complex than that? At the end of the day, the thing you're in a partnership for is the love and companionship of the other human being, right? And the rest, in an ideal circumstance, should be contributing according to your means, and receiving according to your needs.

HoVis2001 Tue 13-May-14 20:40:12

Sorry - keep having extra thoughts - wish MN had an edit function!

By 'complex', I mean, you put in more to a relationship than your monthly income or hours spent caring for children / home. You put in love, affection, emotional support for one another etc. If, say, my DH was earning twice as much as me on the same number of hours, I would still expect us to share housework equally. But some of the comments here seem to have suggested that you ought to somehow have to 'make up' for being the lower earner in a partnership. And life is messy in other ways - people get ill and simply need more help at times, and then one partner ends up earning less whilst the other has to take on more to make up for it. But it would be a real shame if couples kept account books of how much their partner 'owes' them in time, effort, and money....

fancyanotherfez Tue 13-May-14 20:53:11

I work a term time only contract. With school aged children, this is ideal. If OP was working in Sainsburys she would be forking out for holiday childcare x 2 which by me is £50 a day. The prep is a nightmare for me but I have a toddler so it's difficult for me to mark and prep. On another point, unrelated, I will never work permanently for an FE college again. 17 years nearly broke me. TTO all the way.

christinarossetti Tue 13-May-14 20:55:17

I agree hovis. I don't know if some posters actually believe and live like that, or if it's OP's writing ambition that is getting their backs up.

BuggersMuddle Tue 13-May-14 21:00:46

HoVis This has been discussed in our relationship where I earn more. My job changed and I travelled a lot. The agreement was that either:

- DP picked up more when I was travelling
- We got a cleaner

or I explored changing jobs. As it happened, it suited me to change jobs and we profited from it while keeping the travel down. Nowadays DP and I work similar hours, but unless there's a real issue (deadline, 90 hour weeks, weekend working) then I think we should just give and take.

HoVis2001 Tue 13-May-14 21:15:24

BuggersMuddle - absolutely! If one partner has less time then it seems reasonable for the other partner to do more to ensure that no one partner becomes unequally knackered. But sometimes you can be working equal hours but be earning a lot less.

I guess it struck a chord because currently DH and I are pursuing the same career, which has pretty much equal (and ill-defined) demands in terms of time at each stage, but he's currently "one step ahead" and this gap would certainly widen if I took time off to look after children in the future. But come next year, once he's earning 3 x more than I am now but literally catching the same bus in and the same bus out of work as I am, I would be absolutely appalled if he started to imply I ought to do more of the housework, or spend less on my own pursuits, to 'make up' for the shortfall.

This sudden divergence in our income is a very new development for us (previously I was earning more as he was between jobs), and this thread has really hit a tender spot I didn't know I have about earning and personal worth. I'm not sure DH entirely understands why I'm suddenly angsty about an astronomical (for us) increase in our income. But he's reassured me he doesn't expect me to do any more washing up than I usually do. grin

BuggersMuddle Tue 13-May-14 21:54:44

Absolutely HoVis

I expected DP to step up when my work changed to 3-4x per month travel. He did, but he then expected me to either go for the next step (same travel more money) or look for an alternative with more money. That was fair given where I was in my career, so I did.

I have to accept that some of DP's work does not make money and I earn a good deal more money. I deal with it. But we balance it off, particularly given I am the main earner and have the capacity to be such. So he gets a by for his volunteering for his professional body, but his non-professional volunteering is accorded the same status as my spin class (e.g. something he wants to do).

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