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To worry about going back to work and DH becoming a SAHD?

(22 Posts)
Anonymother Thu 04-Aug-11 09:10:53

Namechange. I have been a (very PT) WAHM to DS for 2 years. DH has been working FT. I am going back to work soon, FT - in a new job I am expecting to love. I can't do the job PT. We have decided that DH will stay at home with DS.

For some reason that I can't quite put my finger on, I have been feeling increasingly worried about this huge change. I am not really worried about DS as he adores his Dad but I am concerned about seeing so little of him, compared to what I am used to. The other factor is if/when I have a second baby I obviously won't be able to stay at home as much as I did with DS - perhaps not long at all as we will be living solely on maternity pay.
I know I am lucky in many ways to be in this situation, AIBU to question it so much?

IndigoBell Thu 04-Aug-11 15:14:35

YANBU - but it will be fine.

No decision is for every. My DH just took a year off to be a SAHD and it was great. Now he's back at work, and that's working out well too........

Anonymother Thu 04-Aug-11 20:07:01

Thanks Indigo - it's good to know it worked well for your family.

lachesis Thu 04-Aug-11 20:08:14

YANBU, just make sure it doesn't turn into the sort of thing where his staying at home means doing absolutely no housework at all.

onepieceofcremeegg Thu 04-Aug-11 20:12:54

I have to say my main worry would be if my dh didn't pull his weight wrt housework. At the moment I work pt (wohm) and he works ft. However he does proportionally more childcare than me as I work shifts and he has the dcs a lot of evenings/weekends.
I don't expect him to do a lot of housework in this situation as some weeks he gets no real time off as he is either working or looking after the dcs. However if he was at home ft I would be clarifying in advance what he would do in terms of housework.
If you are able to spend most evenings/weekends with the family rather than trying to catch up with chores then this will be quite a chunk of time with your ds.
Good luck, hope you settle into it quickly as a family. smile

Skillbo Thu 04-Aug-11 20:34:05

My DH stays home with our DD (and will for the lo on the way as well) and it is so good.. the main plus points for me is that:

- I never worry when I am at work because I know she is looked after by the one other person who would do ANYTHING to keep her safe
- there is no crazy morning routine in trying to get DD up and out if she fancies a bit of a lie in (although not sure if this applies to you guys)
- my time with her is so precious and feels special.. at the start (and I went back when DD was 7mo) I was really worried that I wouldn't get the time but now she doesn't leave me alone when I'm home as it's so special.
- staying at home on just maternity pay (and generally not having much spare cash at all) can be really tough but I look at it not lasting forever. Once your family feels complete, DH can head back PT (or could even do evenings during the week or one day at the weekend to top up your funds and give you more time)
- If you do have another, there are two of you for the whole of the maternity leave which I am soooo looking forward to!

Best decision we ever made and I really don't earn that much - can't believe we've managed as long as we have!

Anonymother Sun 07-Aug-11 11:03:22

Skillbo - that is such a reassuring and sweet post thank you!
lachesis and onepieceofcremeegg - thanks for your posts - I'm not too concerned about the housework issue as DH already does loads even though he works FT! So hopefully that side of things should be ok.
I'm feeling a bit better about it now, still worried but just have to take the plunge and see how it goes. Would love to hear from any other people in a similar situation- not many out there?

VelvetSnow Sun 07-Aug-11 11:25:37

OP - I'd advise you to discuss this fully with DH wrt all aspects of your routine. This will be a massivie change for you both, so you both need to be fully aware of exactly where you stand.

The 'going with the flow' attitude does not work and I have personal experience to back this up.

Your DH will go from FT work - chatting with colleagues, banter, out of the house, breaks, mental stimulation, to home all day with DS - yes he can go to the park, do the shopping, housework etc but although he doesn't realise this at the moment, it will be the adult company he eventually craves and could perhaps resent you for being the one with 'the life' outside of the home.

At the moment DH is perhaps thinking 'oh, I could do with some time off work' (we all do don't we?) but give it 3 months and then he may start to get bored.

That's why I suggest a full and frank discussion to set some rules smile

When you come home from work it's more stressful for you to be met with a more subdued DH, not only are you feeling guilty about leaving DS, you're also feeling guilty that DH is not the 'captain of industry' he once was.

IME, I reckon you will be ok with this and it will make your time with DS more special - the only thing that ever stresses me out is DP and how he feels on a daily basis.

My DP has been SAHD for our 10 month old ever since I went back to work 7 months ago - we thought we'd 'go with the flow' but encountered many problems and eventually had to set some rules. (and things are going great for us at the moment)

I could go on and on here, but perhaps you're already thinking shut up Velvet, you're banging on a bit here grin

Just make sure you both discuss this and both agree and understand what will be expected of you, in terms of finances, housework, childcare, sleep & naptimes, free time, family time....the whole shabang!

bringmesunshine2009 Sun 07-Aug-11 11:46:31

DH did this with DS1. Mostly fine but he didn't do any housework (emptied the dishwasher and hung up washing once in a blue moon) definitely didn't prepare food and I needed to have DS washed, dressed, fed with a bag packed in case they wanted to go out and lunch in the fridge. DH put me under incredible pressure to go to work late so he could sleep in and come back early, either rushing for the train with my heart in my mouth or being berated for being late, so he could go out with his friends. Time he felt he had earned every day to 'decompress' from the stresses of childrearing whilst I had the 'fun' of going to work. Many arguments about how he wasn't 'a woman'. That said,he and DS are very close now.

I am now the SAHM following DS2 (on maternity leave undecided re return). I do all the housework. I don't go out wiht my friends EVER, much less every night to decomfuckingpress and I make all the food. But then, I am a woman. APPARENTLY. angry

rainbowtoenails Sun 07-Aug-11 11:48:37

We are planning on doing this when I go back to work. I think dp is in for a bit of a shock, but thats his condition for us having dc3 which is what I want. I hated being stuck at home, his temperent is much more suited to it.

lachesis Sun 07-Aug-11 12:52:13

'I am now the SAHM following DS2 (on maternity leave undecided re return). I do all the housework. I don't go out wiht my friends EVER, much less every night to decomfuckingpress and I make all the food. But then, I am a woman. APPARENTLY.'

This person's lack of respect would mean he would probably get an 'ex' H, much less a 'D' H.

I'd have put the kid in nursery and left him.

etyksm Sun 07-Aug-11 20:27:20

Do you have the option of your DH/P going part time? After DC1, I went back full time and DH went part time. He is brilliant with DS and they adore each other, and it works for us. He does all most of the housework

I am due to start Maternity leave for DC2 next month, I am so looking forward to him being around those extra days. We have discussed the possibility of him giving up work and being full time SAHD, however I feel that would be a step too far for me and I would start to resent it, which would then impact our relationship. However if you are happy with it then good for you :-)

jellybeans Sun 07-Aug-11 20:32:19

YANBU to worry. Me and DH used to work around each other and share days of childcare. It was fine. I would worry though if it was just me working in case we split up and things got bitter would they get residency? Just a thought to throw out.

twooter Sun 07-Aug-11 20:38:47

I think the main difference with sahds and Sahms is company. It's far easier for mums to make friends/ go on playmates etc, as there are far more other mums around. I suspect mums would be a lot more reluctant to invite someone else's husband over for lunch, in case it got misconstrued. (

naughtymummy Sun 07-Aug-11 20:49:15

DH was SAHD for about 18m. Slightly different situytion as previously we had a ft nanny. It was wonderful for me, I could totally concentrate on my career knowing the DCs were with their Dad. After around 20 months he got fed up with it and has now gone back FT. I go PT in september (both dcs at school). It was one of the best things we ever did .smile

GnomeDePlume Sun 07-Aug-11 20:54:26

DH became a SAHD when DC3 was born. I went back to work and he became primary carer for 3 DCs then aged 4 weeks, 16 months, 4 years & 4 months. Best decision we we ever.

It was great for the kids and great for us. I could concentrate on my career knowing that the children were well cared for. No problems if I had to make a trip. The DCs got consistent care.

DH did all housework, all cooking but the big bonus was that he did loads of DIY as well. DH did all the housework etc while I was at work. He said that was his job. Come the weekends we were free to relax.

A SAHD is every bit as good as a SAHM and in our case better.

TheArmadillo Sun 07-Aug-11 21:09:37

dh is a SAHD and it took a while to adjust. Firstly I had to learn to let go and let him do things his way (as I had been used to doing everything pretty much).

But he does not get nearly as much housework done (I'm lucky if he's done the dishwasher and tidied the front room, sometimes he puts washing on though he refuses to put it away. He doesn't tidy/clean upstairs, change bedding or clean bathrooms/toilets). He's recently started preparing meals before I get home from work so I don't have to get back and immediately start sorting everyone out. Though I do have to email him with what we're having and timings - this has started to improve now he is getting the hang of cooking and he has a rough meal plan to work from. I still think about and organise medical/opticians/dentist appts, sort out letters from school, sort out finances (though finances is not something I'm prepared to give up). He only takes the baby to one baby group (we take it in turns each week).

However he does the majority of the childcare, even when I'm home - he's the one who baths them, changes nappies, feeds them etc. He has taken over 90% of the cooking (though still sometimes needs instructions).

Mostly the problem is that he doesn't think of things like housework or even food (until its actually teatime, leaving no time to prepare/cook dinner). He got a lot better when I was ill for quite a while and unable to do these things, so he had to or they didn't get done. His standards and mine are very different though.

Teachermumof3 Sun 07-Aug-11 21:51:20

His standards and mine are very different though.

God-this would be us if we swapped roles! DH has it in his head that it's easy being at home (now two of the three are at school, it's certainly easier than it was a couple of years ago) and he fancies a turn.

HOWEVER, I think we'd be exactly the same as the previous poster and that would drive me nuts. On the occasions that I've been at work and he's had the kids-when I get home the pushchair is still in the hall with the lunchboxes underneath and school bags/coats on the floor. The dishwasher and washing machine have JUST been put on (almost as though he's thought-'bugger, she's going to say I've done nothing!'), all lights are on, curtains are open so the house is lit up like a Christmas tree to the outside, kids are hysterical, letters/parcels unopened in the kitchen, beds unmade, toys everywhere. Then he'll ask me what's for dinner!

Doing these things are 'the basics' to me, then on top of that I would pay bills, wash bedding, clean toilets/floors, dust, iron, mow the lawn, sort out old toys/clothes and take stuff to the charity shop, make appointments, buy presents, send cards etc etc. I think my DH would think that none of these are important and would leave them all to me as he knows they'd bother me and I'd do them anyway! He's said that if he was at home and I was at home-I'd have to accept that things wouldn't exactly as I wanted them (and probably not at all...)

Luckily, it's never come to that situation as I honestly don't think our marriage would survive. If I came home at 6pm and had to repair the house before I sat down-which is possibly 'my problem' as I don't think I could sit down and relax if the place was a shambles-I would hate him!!

Does that make me a bad person, or is it just that I can see the roles we are best suited to? Or is he just lazy because he knows I'll do it anyway...

GnomeDePlume Sun 07-Aug-11 23:07:15

Over the years I have chatted with many women as our set up was unusual and always caused comment. One of the things which comes up time and again is the 'he doesnt do it right' type comment. This makes me cross. Men are not incapable of doing housework, planning ahead, organising stuff etc. You need to come to an agreement on what should be done then leave him to get on with it. He wont do things the same way but he should do them. Too many women put a ring fence round certain activities as though they are 'womens's work'.

My DH is of the view that housework & looking after 3 kids especially once they have started sschool is a doddle. Given that he did it and did it well I cant disagree.

lachesis Sun 07-Aug-11 23:16:18

'Does that make me a bad person, or is it just that I can see the roles we are best suited to? Or is he just lazy because he knows I'll do it anyway...'

No, that doesn't make you a bad person. He's lazy, though, and you let him be in part.

lachesis Sun 07-Aug-11 23:19:47

I'd go on the nanny area of the forum and find out exactly what a paid professional does, because I know just from that that nannies do laundry, washing up, food prep, etc. If the person staying home isn't doing at least that, then their lazy arse stays at work and the childcare is outsourced for payment.

Anonymother Wed 17-Aug-11 20:23:09

Wow thanks for the replies - really helpful.
bringmesunshine - that is awful, sorry to hear that... angry
Velvetsnow and others - thanks for the tips smile

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