Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Why is my work so much less important than his? Bloody fed up.

(81 Posts)
thescribbler Mon 19-Aug-13 14:25:55

I work from home as a freelancer - it's my first work after being made redundant from my job two years ago and spending that time as a SAHM. I've currently got a really good contract that enables me to work round the kids during school hours and in the evenings. It's well paid and interesting and every day I feel so grateful that I can work and be with my kids too. I know how lucky I am.

DH is a teacher. He works long and exhausting hours, but the pay-off is that he gets the summer holidays. It's supposedly a relief for me as I can work without having to arrange child care and summer camps etc, and it means I can work a proper 8-hour day during the holidays without having to make up the time in the evenings and at weekends.

Except that every day I work he comes upstairs at least once an hour with some kind of interruption. In the past hour he has asked me if he can leave the kids while he goes to Homebase to pick up some paint, asked for help removing a bird's nest from the garden and where the sun cream is. After the last interruption I lost my rag and yelled downstairs, 'Why is my work so much less important than yours?' to which he replied calmly, "I wouldn't shout, we have a visitor", so now I feel embarrassed and a complete idiot.

I am fucking pissed off with it. It's not just the constant interruptions while I'm working at home. It's an ongoing battle of him undervaluing what I do. I keep reminding him that without this work we wouldn't have had a new bathroom, new back windows and two holidays this year - he still treats it as if it is a hobby. During the school term he returns from work expecting dinner cooked and everything done - his response if I complain is that he's at work all day. BUT WHERE DOES HE THINK I AM?

Apologies for shouting. I'm just bloody fed up with it all now. Any calm responses would be very welcome.

Youhaventseenme Mon 19-Aug-13 14:31:18

Stick a note on the office door.

I AM NOT HERE, DO NOT INTERRUPT ME UNLESS THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE.

AND EVEN THEN ONLY IF THERE ARE LOTS OF FLAMES AND LOTS OF LOVELY FIREMEN.

grin

NamelessMcNally Mon 19-Aug-13 14:31:40

Nothing calm from me. When I work at home DH seems stunned that I don't have all the wife work (that's snarled through gritted teeth by me, not ever said by him) done. He will be found one day with a cleaver through his skull.

CaptainSweatPants Mon 19-Aug-13 14:35:11

I don't see how it can work with you all in the house

Does he take them out?

Do you take leave in the holidays to help him out?

CailinDana Mon 19-Aug-13 14:35:55

Lock your office door and put a sign on the door saying "working do not disturb unless emergency." Tell him to text if necessary. I freelance and unfortunately have to work in the living room while dh looks after the kids. At first i would do things if he asked but it got my tits so then i just started saying "I'm not here." He finally got the message.

Stop being a house skivvy and divide chores evenly between you.

flowery Mon 19-Aug-13 14:36:54

Can you go out of the house to work? Go and sit in a café/hotel/library somewhere for most of the day?

Twinklestein Mon 19-Aug-13 14:39:47

He may not be aware of just how much he interrupts you during & how much it disrupts your work. So I would set boundaries that as per Youhaven't's post, unless the house is on fire he deals with it all himself.

And you have to tackle him on the cooking front too. If he made so much money that you were a solely a SAHM, then as per division of labour it makes sense for you to cook him his supper. As you both work and you are also looking after the kids, then you divide the cooking 50:50.

If he wants a meal on the table when he comes in then he needs to earn double or transport back to 1950.

thescribbler Mon 19-Aug-13 14:41:20

I like Youhaventseenme's notice...

He does take them out, but not every day. I do take time off during the holidays to share the load, which makes the interruptions all the more frustrating. I'm way up in the attic room so not close to the action - working in the living room must be a nightmare CailinDana.

I just wish he'd show a bit of understanding that my job has some importance. It's not teaching, it's not saving lives, but it helps pay the bills and is a much better deal than so many other mothers have (including me until I was made redundant). I just wish he'd show a bit of bloody respect.

Will write a notice for the door though. Bloody hell, the kids know not to interrupt me, why doesn't he get it?

thescribbler Mon 19-Aug-13 14:42:39

To be fair Twinkle, he does do most of the cooking during the holidays. I'm just on a big downer with him right at this moment!

Twinklestein Mon 19-Aug-13 14:48:37

Fair enough, but he's not working full time at that point. When you're both working you should split it.

My dad used to do the pestering with silly questions while my mum was working thing & it drove her nuts. I think it's just habit, so if you draw his attention to it, he might realise...

CailinDana Mon 19-Aug-13 14:52:13

I actually had a somewhat similar situation recently where my Dh said he couldn't go part time in his (very flexible) job so i could work during the week, but then when an opportunity came up for him he suddenly was able to go part time. Needless to say i was not happy. I felt as you do, that he saw my job as a hobby that just has to fit in around him. I had a serious chat with him and the upshot is that he's staying home tuesday mornings to let me work.

CailinDana Mon 19-Aug-13 14:53:28

Have you tried talking to him about it?

MadBusLady Mon 19-Aug-13 15:04:11

"It's not teaching"

Hm, careful you don't start using his attitude on yourself! Teaching is a fine profession like many others, but I cannot stand it when people use it to play a sort of whiny moral top trumps game.

I don't suppose a local office space or hot desk is feasible? I don't think you should really have to go to the expense, obviously, but I just mention it in case it sounds appealing for other reasons.

thescribbler Mon 19-Aug-13 15:11:47

Cailin I have tried talking to him about it many times, but I really think he doesn't get it. We had a big discussion about it just before the school holidays and I told him that it was no different from working out of the home, just more convenient. I honestly think he just can't make a leap of imagination to realise that just because I'm not half an hour's commute away I am still doing a job.

MadBusLady your advice has made me think that there is a form of top trumps going on. I also have a tendency of putting down my work in favour of his. Hadn't really realised that until now.

I have thought of investigating local office space. I do work in a cafe from time to time but it's not ideal. Perhaps if I investigate how much a hot desk would cost to rent it might make him leave me alone!

BitOutOfPractice Mon 19-Aug-13 15:15:00

You need to rent yourself some desk space somewhere

That is the voice of bitter bitter experience.

But I have to say, I think you should have some time off in the kids' holidays as well. I know it's hard when you're freelance

Somethingtothinkabout Mon 19-Aug-13 15:22:09

I absolutely lurve youhaventseenme's sign.

If I ever get a job working from home, I am making that sign!

<Googles job vacancies>

Katnisscupcake Mon 19-Aug-13 15:24:34

Nothing helpful from me either, but to tell you that you're not alone...

I work full-time hours squeezed into 4 days. I start work just after 6am, get DD up at 7.30am, continue working while she has breakfast and gets dressed then take her to CM for 9am. Then back to work until 5pm. During the day I don't get a lunchbreak. If I take time out it's to prepare the evening meal, make all the beds and put some washing on.

When DH gets home at 3.30pm after spending 2 hours at the gym and then picking DD up, he whinges that I haven't had chance to walk the dogs.

Once DD goes to bed at 7pm, I'm back downstairs working for another couple of hours while he takes the dogs out for a walk.

I am the higher earner but because I work from home, he thinks I do nothing all day of course being on MN is part of my job (not).

It's just rubbish... sad

CailinDana Mon 19-Aug-13 15:24:39

An office in the attic is great, renting one would be a waste. Just put up a sign and ignore interruptions.

Lweji Mon 19-Aug-13 15:25:59

Find yourself an office, lock the door and put on headphones?

He'll get used to you not being available.

Talk it over again, negotiate, make some changes ....
Hire that hot desk
Limit interruptions to one coffee break ? in morning, one break/ interruption in afternoon ?
Take an afternoon off each week to do things together during the school hols ?
Explain how you find interruptions - he may not find them the same tbf working as a teacher is a life of constant interruptions.
I think he may find the whole day on his own with the DC a bit lonely hence interruptions as excuse for a bit of company ? - which is very understandable I think.
I feel ideally you both need to share more about your feelings and how they are related to the ways you both behave HTH smile

CailinDana Mon 19-Aug-13 15:26:59

Katniss why on earth are you doing housework during your work day? Your dh sounds like a nasty arse, is he?

BitOutOfPractice Mon 19-Aug-13 15:27:21

I strongly disagree. It's not just the interuptions, it's the having her work taken seriously isn't it.

A rented desk / office will address both issues

And it's not as expensive as you'd think. The OP's job obviously pays well anyway

MadBusLady Mon 19-Aug-13 15:28:26

Katniss, does your DH, as the expression goes, have a 10 inch cock of solid gold?

tribpot Mon 19-Aug-13 15:34:42

Definitely rent some office space - not just threaten to do it because of the cost, just do it. I think you'd benefit from having contact with other freelancers and I think it would send a very clear message 'I am working now, this thing I do that you fondly imagine is a hobby, ISN'T'. It might only be necessary to rent for 6 months until he gets the message.

You do need to tackle the question of chores head on. Dinner on the table every day just because he's been out at work? Bollocks to that.

SpottyDottie Mon 19-Aug-13 15:36:56

Perhaps saying something like..' Just because I am this building and not in an office block does not mean I am not doing a full time job earning money for the family.

I really like YouHaventSeenMe's notice and I'd also put a lock on the door! grin

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now