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AIBU to be upset that DH doesn't want me to go back to work? :(

(192 Posts)
doubleshotlatte Wed 23-Jan-13 11:45:59

Sorry if this is a bit confused and rambling, I'm too depressed to be coherent and my brain's stopped working after long debates with DH.

So I'd decided to retrain and go back to work this year after 5 years away. Work is TV. Being in a technical/creative role I need to catch up. I was going to pay for the training with my royalties from past work (and the rest with a bursary). Then I would try for a fairly stable, senior job, i.e. not involving travel or late hours (well not too many). Pay would have been decent enough but nowhere close to DH's. But for the 5 days of the course I'd need childcare so I needed to clear it with DH. And he basically said No.

Obviously not in so many words. But he threw enough spanners in the works, asked enough questions to make it impossible for me. In points:
(1) the course is too expensive and a job is not guaranteed without experience
(2) who will pick up/drop off the kids if I have to work in Central London (DH will not, he drives/commutes out of town daily and says the school drop off take a huge chunk of his time)
(3) I had a hard enough time finding work before kids
(4) I'll find it hard balancing work and kids
(5) and besides we had decided that I would be a SAHM doing blogging, that too once a week

After much debate, he conceded I could try for a very local, 2 times a week non-taxing job like temping or admin or shop asst. With all due respect to these jobs, I have 17 years of experience, 2 degrees and expensive training, not to mention bags of talent (so I'm told). Surely I can find better paid/more satisfying work?

And why do I want to work? Because I need the creative outlet, am good at it, I miss it and finally I really need the economic independence. I hate having to beg for/justify every penny I spend just because I didn't earn it.

We have 2 DCs about to turn 5 and 2 next month. One in reception, another just started day nursery 2 mornings/wk.

grobagsforever Wed 23-Jan-13 12:12:17

Staggering. Where do all these stone age men appear from?

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 23-Jan-13 12:12:57

You've given his career 5 years of support. He needs to support you now. The logistics will need to be worked through in due course but many couples both work and manage perfectly well.

SirBoobAlot Wed 23-Jan-13 12:13:39

He does not own you. How dare he tell you that you have his permission to get a shop job locally if you would like to?!

Apply for the training, and find someone other than this arsehole to look after your DCs whilst you do it.

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Wed 23-Jan-13 12:14:08


Dh works 45+ hours a week in a responsible, stressful, demanding medical role.

I work 25h a week from home and freelance on the side.

I am a sometime academic. If a great academic job opportunity came up (not going to happen where we're living, but if one did) and I said 'look, I really want to go for this', he would make it happen. He would arrange his work so that we were sharing child commitments fairly. He would take on more of the housework again.

It would make his life more stressful and less easy, but he would do it.

MerylStrop Wed 23-Jan-13 12:14:23

Er, no

This isn't how it works.

You are a partnership. A family. Your DH has supported his family financially whilst they were very young. You have made it possible for his career to continue unfettered by the needs of caring for young children by being, temporarily a SAHM.

He does not get to decide whether or not you can work and in what manner. He does not get to veto you having economic independence. As a partnership you decide what you as a family can manage. There are alternatives ways of tackling the logistics of school runs and childcare.

I suggest you do a little business plan and work out the level of financial risk for your family of doing the course, and suss out the likelihood of getting enough work and the costs of buying in childcare etc.

EuroShagmore Wed 23-Jan-13 12:14:36

What the actual fvk???


Narked Wed 23-Jan-13 12:17:35

His reaction would give me an excellent and pressing reason to pursue the course and get back to working. If this is what he's like after 5 years of you SAH what will he be like after 10?

Joiningthegang Wed 23-Jan-13 12:17:59

What a conplete knob - are you an equal in this partneship or the nanny/maid/cleaner for free.

Sounds like others have said , he is keeping you down - can you ask others to help you out for this 5 day course?

Then get a brilliant job

Then leavr the bastard

ShamyFarrahCooper Wed 23-Jan-13 12:18:28

Basically he sees the care of yours & his children as wummins work and you are going to ruin his life hmm by daring to do something for you, that may have no actual benefit to his life and if fact may make a tiny dent in his working life that equates to about 0.000001% of it.

Jojobump1986 Wed 23-Jan-13 12:18:56

Is it just one conversation you've had about it? My DH would get v freaked out if I announced I wanted to start working full-time if he thought we had a different plan. His first reaction would be to question how things would work but he just gets a bit scared by change. He'd start being more supportive after a day or 2. Maybe your DH is like mine... <Benefit of the doubt!>

NomNomDePlumPudding Wed 23-Jan-13 12:20:41

he's not entitled to stop you from returning to work if that's what you want to do. he's a cock if you have to justify every expenditure to him. he is as responsible for the day to day care of his children as you are, and that includes the inconvenience of taking them to school.

he sounds like an arse, tbh.

XiCi Wed 23-Jan-13 12:20:46

YANBU. It sounds like you are being bullied by your DH. He is thinking entirely of himself and dismissing your needs entirely.
Sit down and think of solutions to all of the problems he has come up with. Ask him why he is unable to support you on this course for 5 days. Its not much to ask really is it. This sort of basic level support really is the minimum you'd expect from a loving relationship.
Don't back down if this is what you want. You've already been out of the loop for 5 years and its so hard to get your career back on track after long periods away. If you let him scupper this it could be the end of your career you've worked so hard for and you'll only feel resentful.

cory Wed 23-Jan-13 12:21:21

As long as your family runs on the assumption that he has to be allowed to be the main breadwinner without hindrance and your work has to fit around you, it is his pension that is building up, his old age that is provided for etc etc. If anything happens to him, you are in the shit.

I think you need to sit him down and talk about the longterm implications of totally sacrificing your career for his. What will happen when the children are grown up and you are stuck for 20 years or so in a boring low paid part time job? What will happen when you retire? What will happen if he dies before you? What will happen if he loses his job?

To me, the only reasonable set-up in these uncertain times seems one where couples take on fluctuating roles to ensure that both have futures that are secure as possible. I was a SAHM for several years, losing a lot of potential income. Dh then compensated for that by taking over more of the household duties as the dc grew so that I could build up my qualifications. Now dh has gone for promotion (following the threat of redundancy) and it's my turn to step in again. Even during the years I was a SAHM dh used his annual leave to enable me to attend conferences that would keep me in touch with my career.

13Iggis Wed 23-Jan-13 12:21:24

I once worked full-time whilst dh was sahd. I have to say it was a brilliant arrangement from my point of view - when I needed to work late I did, when I needed to go in early I could, I never had to sort out kids in the morning, get them dressed and out to a childminder etc.
Many men, including your dh, is currently benefitting from this type of arrangement. Of course he'd prefer you not to work - makes his life much harder if you do! But does he have the right to stop you? Of course not Does he want you to resent him in later years?

Joiningthegang Wed 23-Jan-13 12:23:56

And what's this about permission? I think agreement is required in some way but your use o the word permission is scary

zzzzz Wed 23-Jan-13 12:28:56

Get local job.
Earn money for course and childcare.
Get job.
Get au pair or local impoverished Mum to pick up and drop/cover sickness.
Tell husband he is a jerk and needs to up his game.

You can organise all this yourself, you don't need his help or ask permission.
If you don't like explaining where you spend your money stop doing it.

It would have been nice if he could have helped, I would think reasonable to expect but personally. Would just get on worth it and shame the bastard.

diddl Wed 23-Jan-13 12:30:34

OK, so if he won´t help with childcare for the course-are there any other options?

Family/friend/neighbour/childminder/nanny/nanny share?

I´d get the course done first & then sort out necessary child care for an actual job!

ImNotCute Wed 23-Jan-13 12:30:51

I can understand him having reservations as he's used to a fairly comfortable way of parenting, where you are always there to sort the kids out.

BUT lots of people manage with both parents working. Is he usually reasonable? Perhaps he'll realise he's being unfair when he's had a chance to think more?

You should definitely have a go at getting back into your career if it's important to you, and he should support that.

DoItToJulia Wed 23-Jan-13 12:34:12

Op, do you have any RL support? It sounds like you need some.

All of the other posters are right. This is very controlling behaviour that is going to drive you to distraction, and possibly borders abuse.

You need to regain control, which is easier said tHan done. But by allowing him to dictate what you can and can't do sets a dangerous precedent. My advice would be to sort out childcare without his involvement for the 5 day course. It is 5 days. Thereafter you will need to decide how to proceed, but I suspect that if you don't do the course your resentment levels will go through the roof.

The kids will be fine for 5 days.

I really hope you have family or friends that can help, and I urge you to seek their help with this. You don't need to go into loads of detail with them if you don't want to, just ask for their help with childcare, if that sits better.

Good luck, OP, I hope you get to do your course and anything else that you want to do.

Branleuse Wed 23-Jan-13 12:34:49

he sounds like an arse and very controlling. Dont let him block you

MummytoMog Wed 23-Jan-13 12:35:11


It's much easier for me when DH stays at home and looks after the kids and I don't have to worry about how late I hang around the office gossiping and networking but it's important that he keeps in the loop for his work (theatre) and so he works during the day, even when it doesn't quite pay the childcare, to help him get the well paid work and the evening work that does make financial sense. I won't say I'm always good natured about it (see previous threads) but it's what has to happen.

Maybe your DH will come round with some time to mull it over?

Bramshott Wed 23-Jan-13 12:36:02

Can you do the course without his support/childcare? If so, I'd just go for it, and brush off the other queries with "we'll sort that out when we get to it".

FWIW I returned to work in a similarly 'difficult' field (performing arts) after 8 years out recently, and DH was not particularly supportive during the time I was applying for jobs - only seeing the negatives etc.

However, now that I have a new job (18 months ago) he is pretty supportive and helpful. It did take a bit of a mental shift, but for him, I think the reality of job with specific queries ("can you pick the kids up on Thursday?") was much less of a scary prospect that a job in the abstract with unspecified demands and changes!

bollywoodfan Wed 23-Jan-13 12:39:51

Most of your childcare issues could be solved with a childminder I think.
It is the fact that your DH is being so unsupportive that is the real issue. I think you should do as suggested and give a solution to every 'problem' and then TELL him you will be doing it. Maybe he doesn't think you are really serious about it?

Chelvis Wed 23-Jan-13 12:42:43

I'm happy to be a SAHM because my DH views his salary as OUR money. If he didn't see me as having an equal right to use it as I see fit, I would be back in work so quickly the doormat would spin! He sounds selfish and controlling, you need to get in a position that secures your future quickly IMO.

doubleshotlatte Wed 23-Jan-13 12:44:21

sorry I'm in tears here (happy ones) to hear the voices of so many feisty fearless mumsnetters... each reply is very welcome... I'm coming up with some responses... in a min smile

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