"Few mothers drop out. They tend to drop from good jobs into bad ones."

(57 Posts)
curryeater Mon 16-Sep-13 11:07:00

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/15/how-to-cure-sexist-boss

I find that quote terrifying, because that is exactly what I am seriously considering at the moment. DESPITE the fact that I know from PERSONAL experience that the best-paid jobs are actually the easiest!

Yet somehow - because my life isn't working, because I am exhausted, because I am not coping, because I desperately want to sort out the dcs socks and tights and never ever ever have time - I have found myself considering applying for a local school-hours admin position.

This is bonkers. I will never be able to afford child care again. I will be stuck. I will be bored out of my mind and insulted and demeaned while people swan about saying "get one of the girls to do it", throwing crap at me. what was I thinking?

but what can I do instead?

What are your thoughts, please, clever women of mumsnet?

That sounds great in theory, but hypothetically, what if one's DH would make everyone's life really stressful by agreeing to take responsibility for something, doing it for two weeks then just not doing it any more. Say for example this hypothetical couple agreed that I the DW would do all the food related jobs and the DH all the laundry...

Then the hypothetical DW's options are to keep asking for it to be done, deal with the problems of nobody having clean clothes (because her hypothetical DH leaves for work at 7:30 so it doesn't affect him as much) or just start doing it all herself again.

MadameLeBean Mon 16-Sep-13 16:50:24

Or LTB

I mean seriously that is the other option.

He stops doing it, no one has clean clothes until it affects him. Then if it still doesn't change, chuck him out, or be a stressed and miserable servant of other people your whole life, I mean, what about your career, your life, your chill time?!

I do wonder what the source of the problem is, in general terms I mean.

Women socialised to just do this stuff invisibly? Men socialised to be oblivious?

Different personalities?

Women having standards that are just too high? Women are unreasonable?

My DH, like curry's is usually so bewildered and hurt when I bring this up, it does make me wonder if I am being unreasonable.

jasminerose Mon 16-Sep-13 17:09:28

I have gone from a minimum wage job to degree qualified, then to a management role, and due to start a masters in a profession soon. I have done all this since children, but my dh just does a lot of stuff at home. We both work full time, but its pretty stressfree at present even with 2 kids as I know dh is there.

curryeater Mon 16-Sep-13 17:09:49

Right, thank you all, some good ideas here.

LTB has to be a serious proposition eventually but right now I know I have enough of my own stuff to work on.

Part of the trouble is that I feel exhausted with what feel like the same issues endlessly repeating at home and at work

- being in a position of respsonsibility for others' work but no power to make them do it
It's this endless tension of formally being able to ask people to do things but actually finding that they never do, and knowing that any kind of heavy-handedness with this will result in more trouble than it is worth
No sense of being able to appeal to a contract, or just say " Do it. Now" Feeling that I am always on thin ice and things that don't get done will endlessly slide back to me; always trying to manage the tension between the things I have to do and the job of talking to other people about the things they are supposed to be doing.

I would love love love it if I had one person in my life who would say "consider it done". and it would be done. Nothing ever goes away. No job is ever got rid of. the bastard things are always always always coming back to ME like shits that won't flush.

Admittedly some of the people who don't do what they are asked are 2 and 4, but now it has got to the point where I am so beyond it that even them wandering off and ignoring instructions drives me absolutely batty. I feel terrible about this but I would love to go to bed tonight without seeing anyone, even my dcs. I know. It is awful. I am just over it all, so very over it.

MadameLeBean Mon 16-Sep-13 17:16:40

You are not being unreasonable. Why should women have to do all the crappy chores at the expense of their careers their well being their identities ???!!
Equally we have a responsibility to stop enabling others lazy behaviour by picking up the pieces. My dd does way more homework when I don't have time to nag care about it!

Curry you sound like me in that you are an organised perfectionist control freak. Let go. The world will not end if something you delegated doesn't get done. Let the person take the consequences. And those should be the direct consequences, not you having a go because you did the thing in the end.

MadameLeBean Mon 16-Sep-13 17:19:32

The example with my dd .. She knows I won't remind her 95% of the time so has to take responsibility of thinking about what needs to be done.
DP knows I won't cook so will either prepare something in advance for me to heat up or will come home and cook himself.
You need to change their expectations and you can not control their behaviour only your own. Just stop doing all the stuff.

BelleCurve Mon 16-Sep-13 17:44:11

give some more thought to ltb. the relationship dynamic sounds screwed up, and I lived like this for a long time. it is actually so much easier being an lp (with a well paying job admittedly) than tiptoeing around this bullshit all the time.

Read wifework. My now XH didn't last out the week once I read that an realised how difficult he was making everything

being in a position of respsonsibility for others' work but no power to make them do it

Can this be sorted? I don't know anything about your work, but if you work in an organisation and have a manager, can you approach them about making some changes so that you can at least relieve stress in this one area?

BelleCurve Mon 16-Sep-13 17:45:10

also maybe consider getting an au pair. still not foolproof and you do have to manage the process but at least you know who is "boss".

BelleCurve Mon 16-Sep-13 17:47:38

and don't stress about potty training. DS was at CM fulltime, I was working no time to "train". They will work it out.

minipie Mon 16-Sep-13 20:08:47

Agree a little bit with Madame about letting others both DH and colleagues take responsibility for their own failures to do what they've been asked. Though obv at work you would need to come up with some way to ensure your superiors knew it was their failure not yours.

so with DH - try to make sure that if he cocks up his tasks, it backfires on HIM not you - so for example make him responsible for food shopping and cooking supper for you both (if he fails then he won't eat) rather than DCs clothes (where if he fails, DC suffer but he doesn't). We kind of do this - I know that DH is crap at all things child related, so I do those, but to compensate he needs to do well over 50% of all adult related tasks such as cooking washing up laundry etc.

On parental leave, you say "you need to give a month's notice, so it is not something to be done in an immediate crisis, and if not an immediate crisis then what justification do I have for this upheaval? c. what upheaval? Well, the cost to my family in £; and at work, no one does what I do and it is often time sensitive. Taking a fortnight would be a right headache."

Parental leave is not for immediate crises. That's what emergency leave is for. Parental leave exists specifically for your situation IMO - basically where the work side of the work family balance (ha) has taken over and you need to redress a bit and catch up with your dcs. I know what you mean about it being a complete headache for your work, but you must take holiday occasionally right? So they must be able to manage without you sometimes? Think of it as an extra bit of annual leave - yes you'll have to time it sensitively but it can be done. I do think this is an example of where you could leave tasks to others, even if they're not done to your high standards in the meantime.

curryeater Mon 16-Sep-13 20:51:39

ha ha ha holidays. that is a huge part of my problem - taking a couple of weeks off is a nightmare for that too. Last year I didn't and had a mini-breakdown. This year I did and suffered hard before and after.

Here is my plan of action:

go to bed early (today)
make lists of things to be done and suggest who will do them (tomorrow)
get counsellor (sometime) (maybe just for me first)
Talk to CM about potty training (Friday)
Consider parental leave (look at the money and consider that first)

I think I need to crunch through quite a few things before getting to ltb. I don't want to and I know I have ishoos that have nothing to do with him.

thanks for your help everyone

x <- couldn't help it, sweeties

minipie Mon 16-Sep-13 22:52:32

ouch curry that sounds tough. Could I add to your list (sorry) "have words with work about some sort of deputy for me"... it is unsustainable to have a job where you cannot go away ever ever...

good luck, hope you feel like you can clear the decks a little. fwiw I don't think ltb would help.

ModeratelyObvious Mon 16-Sep-13 23:49:08

Good luck curry

curryeater Tue 17-Sep-13 09:20:13

Thanks everyone for all your help with this.

I do get in a spin when I am overtired. Should probably just put some Bach on the headphones, do some easy work, and come back to it some other time. but I am glad I talked to you all yesterday and had some good advice.

The job thing - is supposedly in flux and help will be coming next year - but I have been waiting and waiting for a year so far and no one is even talking to me. I am slightly nervous of my new(ish) boss is the problem and don't like to ask for things, or imply I am inadequate while he is getting to know me and making decisions about my future.

Thanks everyone for putting so much thought into all this crap for me.
I will have to do serious amounts of real work today and will try to do some domestic lists later

MadameLeBean Tue 17-Sep-13 10:12:03

Can you move companies? Good luck with everything try not to think about all the issues at once x

WeAreSeven Sun 22-Sep-13 01:01:16

curry, wrt potty training. This was an issue for me when ds3 needed to be trained.
I picked a weekend when I was off on Saturday which doesn't happen too often. From Friday afternoon he went into pants. He had accidents, I changed him, then I sent him into nursery saying he was in pants, not nappies. They took over. He did have a few accidents with them but was trained reasonably quickly.
I would assume a CM would be expecting that most of the children in her care will need to be trained at some stage and that it doesn't happen in a weekend? So long as the child has shown signs of readiness, that shouldn't be a problem.

If you work, FT, you do need to delegate some of these tasks to other people. And not feel guilty over it.

kickassangel Sun 22-Sep-13 01:53:49

Curry, what would happen if you were away from work sick? I know it can be terrifying, and make you think that you will lose your job, but what if you took a week off self cert.? Tbh, I think you could talk to a gp and be signed off for a while under stress.

I have been where you are, but my situation was resolved by moving country, and actually it changed to situation rather than resolving it.

Is there any way you can get two full days to yourself? Literally away from everything? Then have a day or two at home to try and get yourself, your head, your house sorted out? It won't resolve the relationship, but it will give you a chance to know if it is the stress making you crazy, or the relationship itself.

HoleyGhost Sun 22-Sep-13 02:35:43

You need a break.

Re. the weird clothes - my dh does this too. It is maddening, especially as I will be judged for the small child looking like a 'total embarassment' but so what?

This stuff doesn't really matter. Your dc will get more aware of appropriate clothing as they get older. It is not really a problem if they are dressed strangely now.

I would forget potty training your 2 yo until you are in a better place. Maybe counselling might help with that? Your GP may be able to advise.

HoleyGhost Sun 22-Sep-13 02:50:32

What I meant about the weird clothes is that properly sharing responsibility means accepting that your dh won't do everything your way, to your standards.

If he takes over e.g. food shopping and cooking as suggested above, you will have to let go of responsibility for that area, even if it means regularly eating frozen pizza and chips.

It is not easy when you have been used to taking responsibility for every area, but compromise is necessary.

BasilBabyEater Sun 22-Sep-13 14:03:38

Hmm, see I don't buy this thing of accepting men can do it badly, we have to eat shit food regularly because they can't be arsed to think about nutrition/ don't see dirt etc. Have shrunken clothes regularly and dye having run into white blouses because they can't be arsed to work out how the washing machine works because he can't do that, because he's really good at all other machines but just not that one? No.

Women learned, so can they. There is nothing wrong with having pizza and chips occasionally, of course there isn't - but pizza and chips every time because I can't be arsed to take responsibility for that bit of the domestic labour? No, not acceptable, if you do that, whatever sex you are, you're short-changing your partner and your children and you're a pretty shitty person tbh.

OP there are a couple of threads here which might help

this one's more about principles, wifework etc.

http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/1373827-to-ask-how-you-become-organised-and-together-Seriously-how one's full of incredibly practical and useful tips on getting organised and has revolutionised my household

EmmelineGoulden Sun 22-Sep-13 14:11:10

But many women also cook shit food and do the laundry badly. Oven chips aren't popular because of all the SAHDs or single men. They're popular because of women who buy them as a quick way to do tea for their families. If a man who worked out of home had a go at his stay at home partner for not cooking from scratch he'd be out of order. Women who assume their standards have to be adhered to are also out of order. Couples need to come to a happy compromise that they both are comfortable with.

Pickturethis Sun 22-Sep-13 14:14:06

You're a shitty person if you don't cook from scratch regularly?

I don't cook from scratch regularly, because I find it boring and time consuming.

BasilBabyEater Sun 22-Sep-13 14:20:45

No, you're a shitty person if you refuse to take the trouble to do the bits of housework that are your responsibility to a reasonable standard.

If people are happy with oven chips every night, that's fine, there's no problem. But if one party isn't, then to deliberately serve them every time it's your turn to cook, is shitty behaviour by any standards surely? Why wouldn't you try and make the environment and experiences of the people you live with more positive and happy?

Like I said, no problem occasionally - but as a passive aggressive strategy to punish someone else for making you do that chore - that is shitty behaviour.

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