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.

thescribbler Mon 19-Aug-13 15:44:20

I've emailed a local office space firm so we'll see what they say re. cost. It's a whole bigger issue, not just the continual interruptions- Juggling you're right about the constant interruptions in teaching, but that is part of the job! I've also tried to talk, negotiate, say I'll try to finish work by 3pm so we can do something together, negotiate that I work for three days and have the kids for the other two... it doesn't seem to make much of an impact.

Katniss your situation sounds infinitely worse than mine - your husband sounds exceedingly selfish.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 19-Aug-13 16:01:13

OP you might be suprised at how reasonable office space is, and how flexible. DH is a contractor and often hires one for a week/day/afternoon. You can write the cost off against tax because it is a business expense.

Twinklestein Mon 19-Aug-13 16:26:47

OP I thought from your OP that you may be venting & hadn't made it clear enough to him. But from your subsequent posts you make it clear he just ignores you, which is really disrespectful.

Katniss what on earth are you doing? shock

Lweji Mon 19-Aug-13 16:27:53

In the meantime, I'd buy The Hidden Child by Camilla Läckberg and share it with him.

Apart from the thriller/crime aspect of the book, it addresses quite well the struggle of the work from home mother versus the stay at home father who's not used to it.

oscarwilde Mon 19-Aug-13 16:44:45

You need these They even allow you to take calls. He'll have to physically come in and tap you on the shoulder to get your attention.......



.............. then you can use one of these on him. It's a nice friendly pink colour grin

eurochick Mon 19-Aug-13 17:04:25

Stick a sign on your door saying "Does it require an ambulance? If the answer is no, please don't knock"

Jux Mon 19-Aug-13 18:21:10

Can you get one of those cords you can sling across the bottom of the stairs up to the attic? Hang a notice on it saying NO. If it's harder for him to get up there to knock on the door, it might help him think about whether he really needs to.

Of course, there's need and need......

thescribbler Mon 19-Aug-13 18:22:48

Such helpful (and entertaining) comments, thank you everyone. I feel a whole lot better now - not about his interruptions and inability to recognise my work, but a bit more focussed on what I can do about it. Ironically I am in my client's office all day tomorrow, and DD has just informed me that daddy is taking them swimming and then out somewhere. Why does he make these plans on the days that I'm not here rather than the days that I am? Grrrr!

Jux Tue 20-Aug-13 00:47:29

Because he knows that if you's not there then he's in sole charge and will jave to keep them entertained until you return. Therefore, he makes arrangements which will make it easier for him to look after them. If you're home en he doesn't need to look after them so much, becaue he can call on you.

I can see that rented office coming closer every minute.....

NoComet Tue 20-Aug-13 01:02:37

As the person on the other side of this situation it is awfully easy just to wander in and interrupt if your Dzh works from home.

It is particularly easy when DH is being sociable one minute and writing complex code the next and I'm supposed to know when not to interrupt, but the study door is wide open.

This is compounded by the fact that DH does technical stuff for fun as well as work and it all merges together and sometimes hobby tech is more likely to get him to explode at being disturbed than a bit of work occupying less brain cells.

I'm not psychic. If you don't tell me you need peace for the next two hours how do I know?

thescribbler Tue 20-Aug-13 08:28:36

In my case Star the door is firmly closed and I'm up two flights of stairs for hours at a time - how hard can that be! The kids get it at least.

Will be checking my emails at regular intervals for a reply from the office space people!

BitOutOfPractice Tue 20-Aug-13 11:48:25

Did you hear back Scribbler?

Biscuitsareme Tue 20-Aug-13 12:03:22

I work from home the odd day while DH is at home too with the DC. He's usually good at not interrupting but lapses occasionally.

I have learnt to adopt the attitude of utter uselessness for anything housework/childcare-related during my working hours. No helping out; no suggestions; nothing. It's probably not my DH's while to interrupt me so maybe that's while he doesn't. Would that help in your case you think?

thescribbler Tue 20-Aug-13 19:27:33

Still haven't heard back from the office space people. Will ring them tomorrow if nothing in the morning.

Biscuit, how do you word your uselessness? A shrug? A 'I don't know'? Saying nothing? Hasn't been a problem today as I've been out - tomorrow will be another matter!

Biscuitsareme Wed 21-Aug-13 12:44:42

'Hmmmm' and 'I don't really know' mostly while not looking up from the computer. I know this sounds rude. But like I said, OH doesn't interrupt much and doesn't expect me to look after the DC while he goes to the shop, so perhaps this wouldn't be effective in your case?

Good luck! Hope renting office space works out! flowers

Fairenuff Wed 21-Aug-13 12:57:05

Just out of interest, when he asked if he could leave the kids with you so he could go to Homebase, did you agree to that?

thescribbler Wed 21-Aug-13 15:38:22

No I did not!

Sadly renting office space is beyond my finances - £60 a month locally and there's a waiting list. So it's back to large signs and strangled cries.

BranchingOut Wed 21-Aug-13 16:02:53

How about air bnb for renting space? Might be worth a try.

<Wishes I had had a wife to prepare a home-cooked meal every night when she was teaching. Oh no, wait a minute, I was the wife...>

Teaching is hugely stressful, but it doesn't completely absolve you of domestic responsibilities.

oscarwilde Wed 21-Aug-13 16:09:38

How big (and quiet) is your nearest public library or do you need to take/make calls? Maybe just leaving the house randomly to work for a few weeks will break the habit ?
Are you brazen enough to sit all day in Starbucks/pub with wifi nursing a single cup of coffee every 3 hrs?

Lweji Wed 21-Aug-13 16:14:22

Or... tell them at each breakfast that they are going out to Y for X hours and not come back.

oscarwilde Wed 21-Aug-13 16:16:06

I can be fairly passive aggressive when people do this sort of crap.
I'd probably and very pointedly time every interruption, and then add it to my working day. Then come downstairs every evening and ask "have you done the ironing yet and what's for dinner ?" until he gets it.

Or rent a quiet bedroom from a friend or relative.

Time to get a babysitter and take him out for an adult chat over a bottle of wine I think. He's on long summer holidays, you have a flexible job. What can be done in the next two weeks to make life a bit easier when everything is back to normal and you at least get some peace and quiet when everyone is at work/school. Could he do some batch cooking so you can divide the evening meal responsibilities during the week for example?

Try the Mumsnet famous rota listing everything you do including work, and everything he does .....

peggyundercrackers Wed 21-Aug-13 17:00:19

i work from home but shut my office door. if people come in i stay in room and dont go and socialise or to even say hello. at first people used to stick their head round the door and say this'n'that but i just used to say im working please go, they soon got the message.

cory Wed 21-Aug-13 18:26:59

I once threatened dh that if he didn't stop doing this I would wait until he went back to work and then start ringing his office every 10 minutes with inane questions.

BitOutOfPractice Wed 21-Aug-13 19:43:27

Hold on, your job is "well paid" and has paid for "a new bathroom, new back windows and two holidays this year" but doesn't run to £15 a week for office space? Which is tax deductable?

flowery Wed 21-Aug-13 20:24:43

£60 a month? Good grief that's cheap!

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