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How to cope with DH working very long hours

(37 Posts)
pinkpiggy Fri 12-Apr-13 15:27:41

I am after some words of wisdom and advice please smile

DH is self employed and works in a physical job for very long hours. He leaves the house at 5.30am to get to the yard and does not get home until late (average 8.30pm). I know some of you will say 'Is he working?', yes he is and he comes home very tired and dirty sad.
My head is telling me that he is working hard and providing for his family but my heart is resentful. We have no time together at all. I feel like a single parent and take on full responsibility of the children and the home. DH is physically tired at the weekend and needs rest time, he is great at playing with the children in short bursts though.

I just wondered how others coped? How can I address these feelings of anger and resentment at the situation? Am I being selfish?

pinkpiggy Fri 12-Apr-13 19:32:48

Badguider, I don't want to out myself by saying what DH does but he is self employed but is based at a company. They get sent out to jobs covering a huge area. If their team of two turn down jobs or say they can't take them/ say it's too far to travel then another team gets the work and my DH would be told where to go. Simple. Dog eat dog sad

MrsPeeWee Fri 12-Apr-13 19:37:50

Yup, sounds just like my husband.
Early mornings, late nights.
Sometimes I don't see him for days/weeks/months.
Meh.. that's because I am a Armywife

sigh Hopefully, your DHs hours can be altered some way.
I'll keep my fingers crossed.

badguider Fri 12-Apr-13 19:42:23

hmm that setup of being self-employed but at a company sounds like the worst of both worlds sad

is it worth talking to him about how long he thinks he'll do it for? have a 1,3,5 year plan? sometimes situations are easier if there's an end in sight.

pinkpiggy Fri 12-Apr-13 19:43:02

That must be really difficult MrsPeeWee sad

My DH actually turned down the chance of earning a FORTUNE abroad as it meant working away 6 months of the year. Sometimes I think that would have been a better situation!

rollmeover Fri 12-Apr-13 19:52:58

You are certainly not being weak.
But I think badguider is right, this is not a situation that is sustainable in the longer term. When your youngest is at nursery/preschool you will get a couple of extra mornings in the week to get yourself organised, but can you seriously ride it out till then? Its still a long way off?
Sorry, Im not giving much practical help but really do understand how hard it is for you. Perhaps a chat with gp/health visitor or get a babysitter once a month and go out and talk to each other might help?

WorrySighWorrySigh Fri 12-Apr-13 20:30:08

It sounds to me like your DH has got his head down in a rut. Does he feel trapped on a treadmill?

If it is so very hard work then your DH is unlikely to be able to keep this level of work up indefinitely. Your DH should be intelligent enough to understand this though you may need to point it out to him first. Is that a way of getting him to lift his head and see that he cannot keep on the way he is going?

LadyLapsang Fri 12-Apr-13 20:35:34

Must be exhausting for both of you. Sounds like he is doing his best. My DH worked similar hours and abroad at times but we only had one DC. Sounds like he lost his previous job a while ago, having a third DC must make a lot more work - how did you think it would pan out with a third?

pinkpiggy Fri 12-Apr-13 20:42:55

Our third was not planned grin I love having three children and would not change it for the world but I just hate the situation we are in as I am exhausted with no emotional support. DH is tired but sees it as work, so a good thing. He has been doing it for over a year after having been unemployed for nearly a year previously

Piemother Fri 12-Apr-13 20:45:24

He can't chill out all weekend when you never get any time off. That is v unfair.
This job may have been a shock and fair play to him for working hard but he should have adjusted now and he needs to help out at home.

Lavenderhoney Sat 13-Apr-13 07:07:37

It's very hard. How old are your dc? My dh works very long hours and some weekends, but its easier now the dc aren't babies.

You need to have a long talk, have wine at the end and stress its not a competition as to who is more tired.
If he likes the job and doesn't want to change then you start from there. Bear in mind if its physical as he gets older or gets an injury it has to stop.
Can his skills be transferred to another part of the job?

Weekends - he can lie in but then after lunch he gets to amuse the dc- though we do it together so they see us as a family. We go to parks for picnics and nothing stressful. Sunday he gets up at 9 and we arrange our day- he might take them swimming and I stay home. He takes ds to football and dd and ds for walks to feed ducks and tea and cake at the end.

Could you manage a cleaner? Because if he keeps the job because its what he likes then you have to look for alternative solutions for you to make you happier. My situation won't change so we ensure we have one evening a month with a babysitter and go out for a couple of hours, see above about weekends, I have an occasional cleaner and both dc will be at as school in Sept.

Try to build a nice circle of friends, invite someone and their dc for tea or someone round for a drink, do an ou course, keep an eye out for jobs for your dh on linked in- make yourself his personal recruiter ( not to pressure him) . He should get involved with bedtime and bath time.

It's a long post, sorry, but it takes some solution finding if you both want it to work. We have a weekly " meeting" and catch up with each other, discuss stuff, make decisions etc.

unebagpipe Sat 13-Apr-13 07:43:36

Hey OP. sounds hard for you, and I empathise. I only have one dc and sometimes it feels very lonely!

Make sure you try and focus on together time.

Once a month try and get a babysitter and have 'date night'-
Cinema together, meal out, M&s meal deal!

Do you go on family holidays. I'd try and get one booked - even if it is a long weekend camping over a bank holiday weekend.

Try and plan the weekends so that you do something together- national trust, nature walk, swimming etc.

It's really tough, he is doing it for you and your dc- and I have to focus on this when I'm doing bath time solo all week. I think maternity leave is lonely as it is- so sure going back to work will help. Your relationship may benefit though if you can make more time for each other.

Ladyflip Sat 13-Apr-13 07:50:10

OP, I know exactly how you feel. My DH is a farmer so the very long working days are 7 days a week. I had 2 DCs under 2 and very nearly went under trying to cope. I don't know if its any help, but this is what helped me.

Going to work. Your 2 day a week job will give you something else to think about, rather than focus on how unfair it all is. Of course, it is unfair, but dwelling on it just makes you angry and resentful.
Do things that are fun with the DCs during the week, don't save it all for weekends. I have a lovely friend with young DC too and we met in the park about twice a week with a flask of tea and a snack for some mutual moaning.
I promise it will get better as the children get older. Mine are 4 and 6 and its sooo much better now. I know how hard it can be, I am still certain that 8am on a Sunday morning when you've been up for hours on your own with kids is the loneliest place in the world.

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