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

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


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?

EmmelineGoulden Mon 16-Sep-13 12:27:59

Curry, it's a horrible culture we live in that makes it so hard for people to combine family and career. The article pushes the fact that to have equal standing in the work place you need equal standing at home - do you have a partner who can pick up a fair share of the wifework that is driving you out of a good job? Failing that can you outsource some of it or just not do it - do socks and tights really need sorting?

Can you afford domestic help?

MadameLeBean Mon 16-Sep-13 12:50:16

Ahh curry I am in the same position I have the option of changing jobs to 4 days a week position that pays enough but no future earnings potential or further career progression. However I do know if I stick my current job / similar out for 3-5 more years it will be easier and better paid (but my dd is at primary school and I feel I can't give her enough attention and organise all the school things etc etc)

And this is with a DP who does all the food shopping meal planning cooking and most of the cleaning.

BelleCurve Mon 16-Sep-13 12:50:33

still assumes a very heteronormative setup at home. what about lone parents, how do we get and keep good jobs?

BelleCurve Mon 16-Sep-13 12:52:31

What is your dp doing about this issue? can they change hours/work flexibly?

sounds like you need a break. Do socks even need to be sorted anyway?

MadameLeBean Mon 16-Sep-13 12:56:40

Good point BelleCurve (love the name)

I guess you have to "invest" in a cleaner/nanny/both in the early stages of your career even if it means you are skint (but I realise many LPs might not be able to afford to survive doing that). I def think childcare should be fully tax deductible.

DP and I are at the point now where we are fortunate enough to be able to afford domestic help (just) but we have held off.. However we are realising that spending that cleaning time at work, or even resting / exercising / seeing friends , is likely to be worth more to our career progression than it costs to pay a cleaner in the short term.

curryeater Mon 16-Sep-13 13:27:43

I think the messages I am getting are the same as in my gut which basically say: hang on. Tough it out.

But I feel like I can't ask for help because there are changes I could make which I am not willing to make.

I am not very well and this situation is not sustainable long term and I would rather change parts of it voluntarily than collapse or get sacked or something. but I don't want to lose my autonomy and I will if I change just about anything I can see

I do have a cleaner (half the house weekly) and dp does a lot. (works more locally and does breakfasts and post-childminder every day)

but I am even feeling harassed by the cleaner! Snippy notes about stuff I haven't bought. It is even a job looking after that.

I want a housekeeper, not a cleaner. ha ha ha ha ha as if.

Really pissed off with dp at the moment, not sure if fairly or not.

I really sympathise, Curry. I got very very stressed out towards the end of last year and considered a similar move.

I ended up discussing with my manager and working out a way to delegate some of my job so that my hours were reasonably under control. I also worked on my time management (hence the daytime mn-ing! ha!) and that helped reduce stress.

I do constantly feel like I'm letting the kids down though. Huge backlog of clothes to be sorted, not enough time to sort their social lives properly etc etc.

A housekeeper would be fantastic - that's exactly what I need. Ho-hum.

If it helps, I feel very similarly to the way you describe. I work 4 days a week, at home a lot of the time, in a good job with prospects yada yada. I am writing up a PhD thesis in my "spare" time. DH works 5 days a week out of the home because that's the standard in his industry.

We earn the same.

I am the one that does most of the family organisation and housework. He thinks he does his fair share because he will cook if asked (though he won't have thought about it before everyone is starving) and put washing in the machine maybe twice a week. He's also untidy and has many many possessions.

He just doesn't see the sheer amount of organisation that goes into even our relatively out of control (at the moment, what with building works) life. He doesn't get the almost constant pottering, thinking and planning that happens so that there are clean clothes when needed, dishwasher on and emptied, meals planned etc.

It infuriates me that he can't (won't?) see it. I feel as though I am stumbling through life in an exhausted haze keeping everything hanging together by the skin of my teeth.

I don't know if that helps at all, to know that someone else is in the same boat?

turkeyboots Mon 16-Sep-13 13:57:48

Ooh I feel your pain. I largely work from home which helps enormously. I can sort socks on a conference call!

I too want a housekeeper. DH is useless at the wifework of life and prior to me lived in a horrid pit. I blame his mother who worked full time in her own business, raised 3 children and did all the housework. I haven't a fraction of her energy.

curryeater Mon 16-Sep-13 13:59:51

Thanks, Buffy. It's the "constant tinkering" that isn't getting done.

- forms for school
- name tapes
- school dinner admin
- sorting out stuff with dc2's CM and pre-school: millions of arrangements
- dc1's activities
- clothes: all messy, all need sorting and storing properly. dc2 is exactly 2 years younger than dc1 but not growing at the same rate so all the winter clothes I should be getting out for her are drowning her. I need to go through them all, see how many wearable outfits can be cobbled together and fill the gaps. dc1 on the other hand has grown a foot over night and has no clothes full stop.
- food. the buying, the cooking, the storing, the washing up. fuck I hate food. dcs have many meals at the CM which is a relief but somehow food still takes so much dicking about

I spent all day yesterday "constantly tinkering" and am still totally at sea. With a lost travel card, for extra fun.

dp does a lot but he doesn't take control, manage, or set up systems. And also moves things around for no reason without telling me. Often when I am in the middle of setting up systems (we moved house twice this year and need systems), everything gets swept away and randomised. He also puts things in the garage a lot which gives me the absolute fucking rage. He also puts dcs in weird clothes given half a chance which is why we need the systems, because I need to physically suppress things they shouldn't be in, or they look like total embarrassments. One of the things that gives me the hugest headache about life in general is that nothing stays in the same place when you turn your back. I spend half my life looking for things I had half a day ago. Right there. I had it. Now it is gone. Like the travel card. It was zipped in the pocket of my bag. Now, because dd2 was free range for like half an hour, who knows where the fuck it is. I am not allowed to mind things being moved about because I am supposed to be endlessly grateful that a man does anything at all in the house.

The thing that is really bothering me is dd2. She needs more attentino in a million ways. I have gone into it on other threads. She is ready to be potty trained and I have no idea when I am going to be able to do this. It feels to me like serious neglect that a child is in a nappy and ready to come out of it (I think). But I know it has to be me who does it. I trained dd1 when on mat leave with dd2. Now I have no time off owing. Might not even be able to take off all of Christmas time. No extended breaks on the horizon. And no idea how to get dd2 out of nappies. I don't know what other people do. Have no idea. dp wouldn't bother ever, as far as I can tell, left to his own devices. I can't ask the CM and I can't reasonably send her to pre-school, in pants and "unstable". I can't work out how to solve this. What do other people do?

curryeater Mon 16-Sep-13 14:13:19

It is the me / dp dynamic that causes so many of the problems, or at least problems for me, in my head.
I think he needs to be treated terribly gently and not criticised, and he has awarded himself some sort of senior position, so instead of saying "why did you move that" I have to sort it all out without drawing attention to it.
Things would work better if we acknowledged that I am the boss, and I am allowed to delegate. Instead we have this stupid system where I am trying to do the thinking AND most of the doing AND without drawing attention to the fact that I am doing some re-doing because he has moved things around without understanding them.
It is a communication problem. I have no way of delegating because our relationship is such that it cannot withstand the language required for me to do so, whcih would imply that I am senior, which can't be suggested.
I am though. I have learnt housekeeping my while life. Like so many girls. I learnt it hard and I got shouted out for being stupid or lazy and getting it wrong.

He has said a million times "don't stress! Just ask me! Just ask me to do things!" but whenever I do, it comes back to bite me on the arse. He doesn't really accept, subconsciously, a world order in whcih I can ask him to do things. there is always a "joke" or a dig. I can't be arsed to ask him to do anything. And it is never done in time anyway. what happens is he sees me stressing, asks why, says "but I can do that!" and then he doesn't (or not by the day it is needed) and we get a snippy note from the school or the cleaner or the CM. AND I will get a dig about it at some point in the future as well.

You've moved twice in a year? Fucking hell. The fact that you didn't misplace your kids during the course of the year deserves a medal. I'm terrified of moving and the disruption to the fragile set up we've got working...

The wifework/tinkering is such a problem. I work mostly from home too and that is probably the main thing that stops the wheels coming off completely. I can't do much during the day, but getting the laundry in the washing machine/loading the breakfast things into the dishwasher/putting some clothes away all helps keep evening chaos at bay.

My dh has worked away during the week for the last 5 years (god, I can't believe how long it's gone on for!). It's a nightmare in many ways, but at least means that I'm not resentful during the week that he isn't pulling his weight. He's chaging jobs soon and will be back here. I predict a riot. WHY SHOULD IT ALL BY MY RESPONSIBILITY?

Just read your last post. That sounds really difficult. Are you able to talk about it with him?

My DH does accept that I'm the person who knows what needs doing etc, but he still doesn't like me asking him to do anything. In theory he agrees that we should make an equal contribution, but in his heart of hearts he clearly doesn't believe it.

I actually would consider LTB over it, because it's a fundamental issue of fairness and equality and it's also the lesson we're teaching our dds.

He's been working away during the week for the last 5 year, but will be back soon and we're going to need a major renegotiation. I'm quite nervous about it, but I really want to stand my ground.

curryeater Mon 16-Sep-13 14:29:41

strongandlong, I totally feel you.
In a word, no, I am not able to talk about it. I am not sure how much if it is about how he is and how much is about how I am. I know I have inherited a lot of crap from my mother and I am not sure how much of this dynamic is really his fault. how much of it, is also about me, not daring to put myself equal to the man in a relationship. but it is true that any attempts of mine to discuss issues like this have, to date, gone very very very badly. He will find an excuse to kick off, and then say I am kicking off. Eventually I will, in fact, kick off.

"In theory he agrees that we should make an equal contribution, but in his heart of hearts he clearly doesn't believe it."

This cognitive dissonance is at the heart of it all. It makes him so angry (he never admits to being angry though - just "upset") when he is in danger of having the disconnect exposed.

There is an added complication though which is that his mother is a shocking-bad housekeeper and I don't think her house is actually fit to live in. Therefore, even if he was a girl, I don't think he would have been trained to keep things as ship-shape as I like them. I don't think he has grown up with seeing the tea towels or the hand towels washed, for instance. They just hang there, all grey, for ever. [shudder]

I think we should have counselling and fix it but I think it will take about 16 hours at least with a very good counsellor (preferably a feminist one) before I dare get all my side of this out into the open. Then it may turn out to be make or break

It may help you (a bit) to hear that it does get a bit easier as dc get older. Mine are 7 and 10 and have little jobs. For example, ds is tasked with emptying the dishwasher in the morning, so that I "have time" to make his packed lunch (actually, I want him to have a reason for contributing other than "helping" with "mummy's jobs").

And they can be happy without constant supervision. I realise it's not much, but a toddler would just break me, you are obviously a Woman of Iron grin

Ironically, what I find difficult is being the senior one. I want DH to actually take on half the responsibility for this stuff, not just expect to be told what little package he can do for 20 minutes so he "helps". The kids, yes. DH is an adult fgs. angry

Sorry, don't mean to hijack.

Have you come across blogs like fly lady (terribly sexist, but useful ideas) or zen habits? Essentially they're about simplifying everything so the work is less, you are calmer and have more time. This relates to my other issue with otherwise delightful DH, which is the sheer amount of "sentimental" stuff he has, which I am getting very close to throwing out. I actually don't think he'd even notice that most of it had gone.

I actually said to him this weekend that while his words say he cares more about my health than his piles of stuff, his actions tell a different story as he's so worried about his boxes of crap essential things getting damp in the loft that he's storing them in the bedroom and landing at the moment. Covered in dust from the build and their time in the loft earlier this year, of course. This is a health issue for me because I am asthmatic and very allergic to dust.

Sorry, that was a hijack again blush

LadyInDisguise Mon 16-Sep-13 14:49:06

A summary would be that you are exhausted because even though you don't DO everything, you are still the one who is supervising and being in charge.
And that is exhausting, prob even more when someone else is supposed to do x or y.

Your DH needs to get the responsibility for some things. Let say, he is in charge of the meals so dies the shipping and cooking. Whether he wants to do some meal planning it not us his choice but he has to get on with it iyswim. No input from you.
And you, let's say, you do all the clothes stuff. Sorting out what can be worn, buying stuff, ironing etc...

Would that work?

LadyInDisguise Mon 16-Sep-13 14:53:33

The cognitive dissonance is a hard one to tackle. Both for you and him.

I found it easier to start with myself and start acting as if I felt I was equal and things should be shared. Also as if I really trusted him to do things right.
It seemed that just by pretending that he would take the responsibility, do things the right way, this gas been enough to make him to do it that way. Hope it makes sense!

minipie Mon 16-Sep-13 15:09:40

A short term suggestion : can you take some parental leave from your job? the up to 13 weeks every parent has the right to take before their child is 5.

It is unpaid so depends on whether you can afford it, but could give you a little bit of breathing space to get things in shape, potty train etc. Your employer can ask you to postpone to a different time, but can't say no, I believe.

Totally hear you on the wifework/getting DP to truly believe he has equal responsibility for home stuff. Don't have any magic solution as I have the same issue (I blame maternity leave/lack of compulsory paternity leave). I think Lady's suggestion of having him entirely responsible for some areas is a good one. Preferably ones where he will be embarrassed if he gets it wrong rather than ones he clearly just doesn't care about.

ZutAlorsDidier Mon 16-Sep-13 15:30:44

Thanks minipie for suggesting that - I had it at the back of my mind - was put off taking it further by: a. cost. b. 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.

but by suggesting it independently you are reinforcing my sense that there are things to done and I need to be there to do them (true)

whatdoesittake48 Mon 16-Sep-13 15:52:28

The problem with feeling you need to change jobs is the fact the YOU have considered it and your husband probably never has. he doesn't feel the weight of the home/work balance because his work is all he really worries about. he has you for all the rest.

You need to insist on something more fair. Write down a huge list of everything which needs doing and when and divide it equally.

Then stop worrying about his list. if he forgets, it is his fault.

maybe you could also BOTH take one week off work while the kids are at school and sort out everything in the house so it is a fresh start.

My stab at advice (ha! I do not have this solved!)

Potty training. Talk to your cm. How ready does she think dd2 is? Wait until she's really really ready, take a friday off work and start then. She'll probably have the hang of it by Monday. In my (limited, n=2) experience, CMs are very willing to support potty training.

Practical stuff. Unfuck your habitat. A bit like fly lady but a million times less annoying (and more sweary). The main recommendation is to to 20mins of un-fucking at a time (set a timer) and then have a break. I've made enormous progress doing this just once or twice a day.

You are not responsible for managing your dh's cognitive dissonance. We have made progress with this, but it's included DH reading 'why does he do that' and recognising that he was using some of the techniques of emotional abusers to control the extent to which I challenge him about this (and other stuff). This is big shit, tbh and will not be resolved overnight. DH has had some counselling which has helped.

I have also really worked on myself (a bit like Lady mentions) to challenge some of my own thinking and learn to assert myself a bit more effectively. This has excellent cross over at work too.

Do you work long hours? Is there anything you could do to reduce that without impacting your career? Are you stressed by work or is it just(!) household/family stuff?

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 16-Sep-13 16:08:52

OP, there is a huge amount happening in your life and in your head.sad It sounds to me as though you could use the services of a counsellor. With them you can say what you want without it coming back to bite you in the arse and sort out what is important, what is rubbish, what are solely your issues, what are family issues and what can be done to make things better.

With so much going on, is it any wonder you feel overwhelmed and under pressure. Get a counsellor and get it all out before making any big decisions.smile

MadameLeBean Mon 16-Sep-13 16:23:51

Another voice here advocating splitting responsibilities (so you dont have to tell you DP to do things thereby avoiding the "boss" problem)

For example

My DP does all the shopping and cooking and I do not lift a finger or worry a single tiny thought about what we are eating. Yes it means I have to eat what he cooks but it's a fair trade. He cleans the kitchen and does washing up/dishwasher.

I do all the bills car insurance mortgage etc. he does not have to worry about these things. I also do laundry and clean bathroom. I do dd's school admin too.

We used to "share" responsibility for everything which caused massive resentment on both sides and arguments (because I'd "delegate" a piece of admin and he'd forget, or lose it, so I would have to nag until it was done, therefore never being able to truly delegate, and on the other side he would get pissy that I had not given any thought to what we would be eating that night).

Now we don't expect the other to help with the other's areas of responsibility at all, it's really harmonious. But if your partner secretly believes he shouldn't have to do an equal share, then that's a different problem I'm afraid. Although I would recommend you try the above anyway. If he doesn't do his bits, they don't get done. smile

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


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.

LifeBalance Sun 22-Sep-13 15:57:38

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.

even though I have learnt hat it can be hard too to accept that he can do just as well as I can too

BasilBabyEater Sun 22-Sep-13 16:49:10

Yeah, I mean this stuff is very difficult to make hard and fast rules about - what is one person's reasonably relaxed but hygienic standards, might be someone else's OCD fanatical Monica-from-Friends-needs-effing-therapy-to-sort-it-out-fast standards, or needs-Kim-and-Aggie-health-hazard-slob-NOW standards; they're subjective aren't they.

But what decent people do, is take into account what is comfortable for the people they live with and try and reach that standard of comfort, within reason. I'm a bit of a slob, but if I lived with someone whom I knew felt stressed and unhappy about my slobbiness, I'd make a bloody effort to ensure that I took their comfort into account in my approach to our domestic arrangements, just as I'd expect them to take my comfort into account.

I think there is too much lowest-common-denominator stuff going on in these discussions sometimes; people say we all have to negotiate and yes we do, but FGS, shouldn't we all be negotiating upwards rather than downwards? Shouldn't adults living together be trying to improve each other's comfort, rather than making an agreement that they will put up with making each other uncomfortable? I just find that really a really bizarre aspiration, but perhaps that's why I'm single. grin

DuckToWater Sun 22-Sep-13 16:58:09

OP, you are probably chronically sleep-deprived. I was, two years ago when I tried to go back to work after having a second child. I managed it for two years then massively burned out. It has taken me two years to sort myself out physically and mentally. Nowadays I'm probably only moderately sleep deprived but I feel a lot healthier, have lost some weight and have mostly got my mojo back. I'm now monitoring my sleep and paying more attention to my bedtime routine.

What I would say is if you do take some time out to do something else make sure it really is an easier option. Also you can go back to your previous line of work when the children are older. It's a damned sight easier for me now with an 8 and 4 year old than it was with a 5 year old and a baby/toddler.

And get a different cleaner, you really don't want snippy notes to add to your stress.

MysteriousHamster Sun 22-Sep-13 17:33:45

It's a funny old world, isn't it? Apologies for the cliche.

My husband has since the beginning, been a pretty much equal partner re.parenting. Half the nappies, half the nights (apart from breastfeeding), half the baths, even a day working from home to look after him. Same with housework. He cooks more!

But I'm the only one who has even considered moving to a 'shit' job in order to work locally/part-time and be more available for housework/childcare. It wouldn't actually be a shit job, I appreciate, I just mean something that wouldn't mean moving forward in my current career trajectory. Why is it something that 9/10 times only women consider?

It sounds fine in principle, but once you do it you're going to be the one covering every sickness, gradually taking on more housework and wifework, reducing your financial independence.

ModeratelyObvious Sun 22-Sep-13 17:34:46

Yy MH.

LifeBalance Sun 22-Sep-13 20:42:39

Yes MH
I agree with that one too. But then having decided that I was NOT going to go down that lane, I have decided to up my hours. I am now working 4 days and not back at home until 8.00~9.00pm.
I still do all the drop off at school but if there is an issue such as illness, it's DH who has to step in.

Do I like it? I only have to do that for a few months before I can go back to 2 long days and 1 school hour day. And as soon as I can I WILL do it because I've just learnt that wanting to protect your career should not be done at the detriment of your home life.

The balance is hard to find though.

And it is also very hard to accommodate the career of 2 individuals, even wo children. Try to move to a different job for example. As soon as you talk about 'higher levels' of qualification/position, it's likely to mean that you have to move too. If your partner has a similar ish position and the same 'need' to move to get a promotion/move on in their career, it can become extremely difficult to protect both career.
I know quite a few people in that place and each time, one of them had to step down (even if slightly) from the 'race' to allow the other better opportunities.

GatoradeMeBitch Mon 23-Sep-13 19:50:16

Two of my close male relatives married women who were their superiors at work, and earned more.

In both cases after they had their first child the women dropped out of work, one now works weekends at a supermarket, the other is training to be a childminder. There was no suggestion that the men could be the care providers and the women keep their better paid jobs.

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