Worried - Husband wants to quit his job and opt out of the rat race - 2nd baby due in 2 months!

(56 Posts)
inadreamworld Thu 08-Nov-12 09:03:19

Would like everyone's views on this please as not sure what to think. DH and I have an 18 month old DD and expecting another little girl early in January.

DH is a teacher and hates his job. He loves teaching in the classroom it is just all the paperwork and stress that goes with it. he has been teaching about 15 years and says it is not like it used to be. He works 5 days a week but has two part time jobs in two separate schools and has a long commute to one of the schools. The other school is a very high performing private school and he has to work very hard there and stay late. He says he is really stressed with the long commute, not seeing much of me and DD (he gets home late most evenings and has marking and stuff to do after work). I know a lot of people are stressed with work but it really seems to be getting to him lately - I don't want him having a nervous breakdown, am worried as he says every day is like a battle and he shouldn't have to live like this - even though he wants to provide money for me and DD I think he feels trapped - he loves us and wants to provide for us but hates what he is doing.

He wants to quit both jobs at Christmas and move to Ireland where his Mum lives. He says there is a more relaxed lifestyle and he thinks we could rent out our flat in London, continue paying the mortgage and make some money somehow by writing, part time tutoring (even though the recession over there is bad), possibly staying with his Mum for a while or renting somewhere cheap. he says as we are not selling the flat we can come back in a year or two if it doesn't work out.

My dilemma is this: I don't want him to be stressed and unhappy and I would love to have more time chilling out and for him to see our children more. But I am worried about how we will cope financially - also my parents live close by and are in their 70s and will miss seeing their grandchild and the new baby regularly.

Have any of you quit the 9 to five 'rat race' and been really happy you did it? Do you think I should agree to go to Ireland or try to persuade him to carry on here?

AThingInYourLife Fri 09-Nov-12 07:20:57

So his plan is to make himself unemployed and then move to a country with no job prospects to sponge off his mother, bringing his young family with him?

He needs a kick in the hole for even suggesting something so stupid and irresponsible.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Fri 09-Nov-12 07:29:22

I can completely understand why 2 teaching jobs in London might be burning glo out.

You don't need to move to Ireland though -can you look at moving out of London to a cheaper area? You could both work pt contracts and the reduced living costs would make a huge difference.

exoticfruits Fri 09-Nov-12 07:37:04

As a teacher I can quite see how he feels. It is made worse by the demands of 2 schools-in fact I can 't imagine working for 2 when the stresses of one are bad enough. However writing and tutoring in Ireland are not going to be sensible answers.
I would think that before he leaves teaching he wants to get out of London and have one job. I would stick with it-apply for jobs outside London and then move. Live within 10 miles of the school.

exoticfruits Fri 09-Nov-12 07:37:56

Or you go back to work and he stays at home with the children.

AThingInYourLife Fri 09-Nov-12 07:48:00

Do you work currently, OP?

There is an assumption that he can just quit his job because he doesn't like it and you can stop lazing about and go out and earn, but I'm not sure that's realistic.

Who does he think in Ireland will be looking to hire a tutor with no experience of teaching the Irish syllabus?

It is really shit that teachers in England have such stressful and unpleasant working conditions.

It is very bad for them and for the pupils they teach.

TheProvincialLady Fri 09-Nov-12 08:38:43

OP you sound very passive about this, hoping that he will do the right thing and if he doesn't you'll have to do X and Y. Don't you make these kind of decisions together as a couple, rather than one of you doing something and the other one have to deal with it?

inadreamworld Fri 09-Nov-12 11:54:52

^As a teacher I can quite see how he feels. It is made worse by the demands of 2 schools-in fact I can 't imagine working for 2 when the stresses of one are bad enough. However writing and tutoring in Ireland are not going to be sensible answers.
I would think that before he leaves teaching he wants to get out of London and have one job. I would stick with it-apply for jobs outside London and then move. Live within 10 miles of the school.^

This is a good idea exotic - I will suggest it!

AThinginyourlife - I work from home tutoring but only earn about £100 per week! Might do a bit more after the new baby is born.

So his plan is to make himself unemployed and then move to a country with no job prospects to sponge off his mother, bringing his young family with him?

He needs a kick in the hole for even suggesting something so stupid and irresponsible

Yes - that's what my Mum says!!! That won't happen though it is a stupid idea I agree.

greatresult Fri 09-Nov-12 12:14:48

I feel for you. London is such an expensive place to live and raise a family. Just a shot in the dark here--some private schools have "above the shop" accommodation for staff. Since it sounds like the commute to the private school is a big part of the stress, is there any chance of exploring that possibility? The private sector can be very demanding, but the benefits can be pretty good too--longer hols, better pay, accommodation etc.

AThingInYourLife Fri 09-Nov-12 12:23:26

£100 per week + no childcare costs is a pretty big contribution to the household finances.

What will London do for teachers when they all leave because it's too expensive to live there on a teacher's salary?

inadreamworld Fri 09-Nov-12 12:33:38

Thanks AThingInYourLife that makes me feel better, as of course childcare costs are so high - my Mum looks after DD for free, only for short periods when I am teaching. Yes and nurses and other public sector workers often leave London too.

expatinscotland Fri 09-Nov-12 13:12:16

OP, you two need to have a talk because his so-called plan is ridiculous and you're just hoping he'll forget about it?

upinthehills Fri 09-Nov-12 18:16:01

Is there any reason for you to live in the SE of England? I would imagine that living on one salary is a massive struggle.

Seriously, consider relocating to another part of the county - you are in a fortunate position you are both teachers - it is not a london centric job - so why not live somewhere nice to live and cheaper to live - unless you have huge family ties to the SE, like dependant parents, it is really a no brainer.

Why don't you be proactive and find jobs for him to apply for - try and work out a target a week - it is difficult to job search when you are working so hard. You will need to do the first filter for him if you want your life to change.

Sandie79 Sat 10-Nov-12 16:02:41

Just to add some perspective as an Irish person moved to London....

Firstly, teaching jobs are almost impossible to get at the moment. Family members have gone overseas, those that have work who are under 30 have temporary contracts renewed each year, so no job security or related entitlements. The exams and qualifications are also often different - if its primary school, there's a requirement to have the Irish language. if secondary, the curriculum is entirely different. A former colleagues wife who qualified in England spent 18 months looking for any kind of teaching work before they gave up and moved to London.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by tutoring work, additional private tuition? Again, demand for that has gone down considerably, and without being able to demonstrate knowledge of the curriculum (e.g. tutored x students to A1 at Leaving Cert, etc) it would be very hard. Though also have friends with kids working 2 part-time teaching jobs and in practice, it adds up to far more than the equivalent of one full-time job.

I think you need to decide if he really wants to pursue writing or if its just to escape the current stresses, but the best way to do that is probably to try and alleviate those stresses and then find out if he feels the same. There's nothing to stop him applying for jobs in Ireland from here and trying to do phone interviews/get cheap Ryanair flights over. But I couldn't caution you strongly enough about the dangers of winding up with no income, two people not working in the house with two small children sounds like it would be more pressure mental-health wise than what's happening now.

expatinscotland Sat 10-Nov-12 16:11:16

And can you imagine the poor mam? Oh, here's my son rocked up with his wife and two weans, nae job, nae qualifications in the system here, hoping to write.

FFS, how old is that fella?

I understand being burned out, but see sense!

AThingInYourLife Sat 10-Nov-12 16:23:28

grin indeed expat

Even the softest Irish Mammy would be a bit worried.

inadreamworld Sat 10-Nov-12 23:04:30

upinthehills - I have lived in London all my life and like it here. My parents live closeby. They are in their 70s but in good health - I am an only child so they would miss me if I went far away!!

Sandie - thanks for the Irish perspective. I know the job market is grim over there. I am getting tutoring work here in London but I don't think I would be as likely to find anything over there, especially as I have only taught in England.

expat - DH does have Irish qualifications - he did his degree, Masters, PhD and teacher training over there and taught in Irish schools for 6 years (this was before he met me). But I think you are right - his Mum would NOT be pleased and I don't blame her!!!

Based on my gut feeling as well as what everyone says on this thread (and in real life) I do agree it would not be sensible for us to go to Ireland. Will think about what changes we could make - perhaps DH quitting one job and me doing more tutoring? He also plays in Irish bands so was talking about doing extra gigs at weekends. Any other suggestions of money making schemes for teachers welcome!!

notnagging Sun 11-Nov-12 01:25:06

Op your post is exactly where I was 3 yrs ago. My dh quit his job and with 4 ds we had to move in with his parents. It was a horrible experience but the one thing it did do was sort his head out and make him realise what he wanted to do. We moved to a cheaper area & he got another job. He is much happier now although he's lucky that our marriage survived. It is not a good idea especially in this current climate but on the other hand how long can he carry on feeling like he does now?

mathanxiety Sun 11-Nov-12 02:10:58

Poor diddums wants to run home to mammy?
Life is stressful?

Why aren't you greeting him with a frying pan to the head when he comes in? Or a kick in the hole would work too.

He is being incredibly selfish, dumping this on you when you are up to your ears with pregnancy and a toddler. My guess is he wants the attention and appreciation from his mammy that he feels deprived of at home (because you are understandably busy and, well, pregnant).

He has two part time jobs. His family responsibilities are growing. He would possibly like to have had at least one full time and exciting job by this time. He has discovered that teaching isn't all about the rush of performing for the class. The students' papers need marking and there is nobody around to cheer for him or take note of his brilliance as he sits there with his red pen late into the evening. Life gets very real and very "Yes, This IS All There Is To It" when you are going to have your second child and you have been slogging away at teaching for 15 years and all you have to show for your PhD is two part time jobs, and you fancy yourself the next Seamus Heaney some kind of unappreciated genius. It is the old timeworn Irish story of the clever boy whose mammy ruined him. Ireland is the Rat Race Capital of the World.

If he has it in him to find another job then he has to do it where you are, close to your parents and support system. And it has to be a real job, with the band idea as a sideline to be done only if you can spare him at home. Any other plan is selfish pie in the sky and do not allow him to do it.

Lavenderhoney Sun 11-Nov-12 02:22:50

I think he needs to keep a job with a steady income- he seems to just want to stop working. Have you sat down with him and showed him where the money goes? How will he pay for nappies, new clothes, and tbh if you swapped and went back to work and he stayed at home, even if you dd gt a job, would he support like you clealy do? Or expect you to do all the cleaning and cooking as he is writing/ jamming? Now you are back home and he can hand over the mantle of child care/ housework??

He sounds like he wants to be single to me, or having a mid life crisis- get a job playing in a band? Christ on a bike! How will you feel with him out all night at weekends at festivals or pubs, then sleeping in all day as he's tired? And you with a new baby and a lo? It's a hobby, not an income. Ok if you are single and no responsibilities though!

He coud look for another job in the uk and move closer which is the most obvious option and ticks all the boxes. Unless he finds a permanent one in Ireland without moving you/ giving up his job first. Less commuting, nicer role and working in one school must be better. Plus as you are not restricted by living in your area( happy to give it all up to move to Ireland) Surely its a few months and you should be sorted

Or look at Jobs in international schools- the packages include family status. Accom, visas, insurance fr all plus one return home light a year if you want. What about that as an option?

Of course, the other option is you stay put, he leaves to go home to mum, and you see how you go.

sweetiepie1979 Sun 11-Nov-12 03:04:28

I didn't read other responses and maybe someone has said this but do you have a job? Could you split the maternity/paternity leave that would give him a break from his job.

exoticfruits Sun 11-Nov-12 07:28:02

I think that people are being a bit unfair towards him. He is in a life that he hates. His way of changing it isn't practical. They need to sit down and come up with other solutions - there are things between working in two stressful jobs in London or cutting loose and living on nothing much in Ireland!

inadreamworld Mon 12-Nov-12 09:39:50

notnagging - that's interesting. Sounds as if he took a risk but it did work out in the end.
mathanxiety - your post made me laugh though I think you are being a bit harsh! I do think there is some truth to the Irish Mammy theory - I have an Irish father myself and relatives over there so I have met a few of these Mammys. But I guess we all have our faults and marriage is about tying to help each other overcome them.
lavender - I don't think he wants to be singe but maybe there are some freedoms he had in the single life that he misses. He used to play in a band when I met him actually and has been in bands on and off since he was a teenager. He only did it as a sideline though - was doing a day job as a teacher.
Sweetie - I work from home tutoring. I only earn about £100 a week. I could take on more pupils and earn more, especially if he was at home to do childcare.
exotic - I completely agree with you. We need to come to a compromise. I have done jobs I hate in the past and so I know how it feels.

Rockchick1984 Mon 12-Nov-12 12:40:51

Could he quit one job so at least you have some guaranteed income, then join some supply agencies? Although you wouldn't have income from it during school holidays it pays a good daily rate, and there's nowhere near the same level of planning, marking and general stress involved in it. Other than that, I'd agree with previous posters that he needs to look for work outside London and once offered a job you can relocate there smile

inadreamworld Mon 12-Nov-12 13:42:36

Could he quit one job so at least you have some guaranteed income, then join some supply agencies? Although you wouldn't have income from it during school holidays it pays a good daily rate, and there's nowhere near the same level of planning, marking and general stress involved in it. Other than that, I'd agree with previous posters that he needs to look for work outside London and once offered a job you can relocate there

Thanks RockChick - we were talking about this idea actually. Do you think supply agencies would be able to provide regular work for just two days a week so he could keep up the other job? I have worked on supply myself in the past and quite enjoyed it.

sweetsoulsister Mon 12-Nov-12 14:01:03

Hi there, reading this post with interest.

I do understand what your husband is going through as a teacher. I've just handed in my notice at my school because I couldn't cope with the stress any more. I originally planned to find a new job before moving on but I was verging on the point of a nervous breakdown. I don't mind hard work, it's just when there is so much that is unnecessary and you begin to doubt yourself it makes looking for a way out that much more difficult. I can totally sympathise with your husband wanting to move back home. We all seem to know that this system is wrong but we all seem to feel powerless to change things.

I'm going to do supply work as I do love teaching...hopefully that will allow me to enjoy the rest of my life as well!

good luck to you both and know that you are not the only ones going through this.

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