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to think at some point, this differing view will be the end of us?

(24 Posts)
mmmerangue Thu 18-Apr-13 14:30:10

DP and I have a 26MO son.

For the first 14 months I was a SAHM. Since then I have worked as a waitress doing evenings after DP gets home from work.

After a few months of being absolutely knackered, I got DS in nursery for 2 afternoons a week. Giving me time to clean the house and myself.

I don't want to live my life on minimum wage, so with summer coming up I have got more shifts at work (he knew I wanted to) and have made it clear to my boss that I love my job and the place I work and would very much like to be a manager in a few years. The extra shifts are during the day which means more time at nursery for DS. Because of how the nursery operates and the work hours I need to do, plus travel time, he will have to be there for the whole day 9-4.

The trouble is at each stage of this, DP has expressed how he thinks that 'if you have kids they shouldn't be in other peoples' care, they are our responsibility etc etc.' His parents raised 4 children working alternate hours or not working and claiming benefits at various times.

My parents ran their own business and made flexible arrangements for me and my brother but we did spend plenty of (Happy!) time at childminders, nursery, etc. or being rather bored/amusing ourselves with them at work. I do not begrudge this or see a problem with it in terms of 'how we raise our kids'. I still spent lots of time with my parents and had opportunities that my partner did not, like, going on foreign holidays and having them help pay for University. We will never achieve this for DS at the current rate.

I don't see how DS being in nursery while I work equates to me not wanting to care for him. At first it seemed like just a little niggle in his mind, but now it seems more like he really doesn't like that I work. He obviously can't stop me from, but geez this is the 21st century. This view extends to his PIL who are very nice people who I get on well with but I feel their inner judgement and masked comments on it too, that 'strangers' should not look after our child or that 'I made a commitment'...

And I'm not saying that parents who are of the same opinion as him are wrong, but, I want to work, and earn, and provide for DS and any future sibling. In my mind if you are fit and able then you work! Being a SAHM did not suit me and he understands that but seems to think I should just be happy with a shift or two a week to give me something else to do, rather than aspiring to any real career.

He has mentioned getting a job with less hours himself so he can pick up the slack, which I would be fine with, but we would lose out on money. 'Oh fine,' he says, 'because the Tax Credits will go up to make the difference'. Except I'm not sure they will particularly with Universal Credit, and we are on a fairly thin line as it is (we always have the money we need but not any more than that). And even if they did... living to survive on Tax Credits is not much of a life IMO!

I know neither of us are going to be brought around and we need to find a balance... I just don't want this argument to go on for the rest of our lives...

Essay over!

mmmerangue Thu 18-Apr-13 14:31:34

sorry his parents, my PIL*

Manyofhorror3 Thu 18-Apr-13 14:36:27

"I don't see how DS being in nursery while I work equates to me not wanting to care for him"

Without making a judgement either way, you're not looking after him, you're paying someone else to.

Dahlen Thu 18-Apr-13 14:36:55

I was going to take umbrage with him until you said that he was prepared to cut his own hours in order to 'take up the slack'.

I don't think this is about sexism as much as it is about deeply held views that a child should be at home with a parent, which is a valid POV.

If he feels that strongly about it and is prepared to facilitate it himself (rather than expect you to), TBH I think I'd suck it up for a couple of years and survive on the lower income. Hopefully it would allow your career to take off more which would supplement things anyway.

ruthie2468 Thu 18-Apr-13 14:37:33

Your PIL can mind their own business.

Your child is your DH's responsibility as much as yours. If he wants him to be cared for 24/7 by his parents, your DH will need to find a way to look after him whilst you are at work, making sure it's financially viable.

This kind of sexism drives me mad! Why should you lose out on any chance of a career (and the fulfilment that comes from that) whilst your DH does what he wants?

Dahlen Thu 18-Apr-13 14:37:54

I am a full-time working mum BTW and went back to work after 8 weeks.

Bramshott Thu 18-Apr-13 14:39:03

Setting aside the question of your difference in views, have you considered using a childminder rather than a nursery? That way you might be able to only pay for the hours you need rather than the whole day?

LessMissAbs Thu 18-Apr-13 14:40:20

YANBU. He is trying to force his own views on you. Plenty of families where both parents work. This is one of the reasons we have generous maternity leave in this country. Saying that children are better off with a SAHM than in nursery is just as ridiculous as saying that children of SAHMs are more likely to under-achieve in the workplace.

This is your future too - I'd fight for it.

ruthie2468 Thu 18-Apr-13 14:44:25

Plus (and I know this sounds grim), you might be together forever, or you might not. Don't let him build his career whilst he pressures you into staying at home, as if you do break up at any point, you don't want to end up with no career, no prospects and no financial independence.

JustinBsMum Thu 18-Apr-13 14:45:28

It's no good arguing about something you don't know the real outcome of, with regard to tax credits, income childcare costs.

Sit down and work out exactly how the finances will work with different scenarios then sort out which works best for all 3 of you.

LilyAmaryllis Thu 18-Apr-13 14:47:03

I think if your DH thinks DS should be in his parent's care then it is up to him to reduce his working hours accordingly; it is not all on you.

I think there is 2 issues all mixed up here.
first issue: how much income your family is aiming for (and needs)
second issue: who/what is the best childcare

In my case, DH works full-time and I work part-time because its completely obvious we can't live as a family on his salary alone. Therefore the answer to the childcare question becomes one of finding the best pragmatic answer. For us it was the local Early Years setting plus a rota of grandparents, and me when I wasn't working.

I would have hated to be working full-time myself, so I can see how your DH might feel in that he wants to spend some of his time looking after your DS. I think it would be great if you moved to both working slightly less than full-time so that, say DH had 1 day a week looking after DS. Use nursery for any days where you both have to work.

DS is already 2, its only 3 years before he's at school and you can both be working much longer hours again.

NoWayPedro Thu 18-Apr-13 14:48:41

Your DH is entitled to his POV re. not wanting to use childcare other than family - HOWEVER unless you have been at home with a small person 24/7 I don't think anyone (man or woman) is in a position to really understand what thats like and the impact on you. Some are happy to do that forever and others want to work - it's a personal choice neither is wrong/right.

I think you're doing the right thing: you want to work, your LO is hardly a 3 mo babe in arms and by the time they go to school (not long) you could be in a good position at work.

Good on yer trying to provide for your family I say. Hope you work it out with OH smile

mmmerangue Thu 18-Apr-13 15:17:40

Thanks Guys. This has been on my mind a lot; I don't want work to come between us in any sense. I also dont want to work and work at it for years and then lose out anyway cause of the same old disagreement...

Bram - He just loves Nursery. They are fab. It's just around the corner and it's the easier option.

RE Him working less; yes it would be great (he is waiting to see if a mate of his gets a new job he is after, then DP is going to apply for his old job IYSWIM, which will be less hours and less driving for him). He has no real aspirations other than to work (better than not wanting to work!) I have tried suggesting apprenticeships etc so he could be self-employed but it doesn't appeal to him. He would plod along in the same job for 40 years without even asking for a raise I think. So yes if I hope for more in the future, I have to be the one to make it happen.

We have worked out a little bit of the money stuff, however tax credits are difficult to fathom, I find the online estimater spouts complete rubbish and otherwise you don't find out until your award notice comes through. We do get 70% of childcare costs back which is a great help. We will with my new shifts be on a combined wage of just under £25k a year.

I have spoken to him about needing to organise our lives and become grownups... we're 25. I still get struck by things and think 'Oh god! I'm a grown-up now!' Oh ... we will see...

CockyFox Thu 18-Apr-13 15:41:25

You are going to need to come to a compromise and you working part time until your child is in school is probably the best way if you want to work and he doesn't want you to.
DB and SIL disagree in the same way you and your DH do, and so haven't had DC yet despite both wanting them and being married many years just because anything less than working FT is not an option for her and anything other than her being a SAHM is not an option for him. DB is a school deputy head and could easily support a family on his wage alone. I think it is very sad they can't compromise after all this time.

MarjoryStewartBaxter Thu 18-Apr-13 15:56:22

YANBU. Perhaps your PIL could look after DS while you work if the thought of him being cared for by strangers is so traumatic for them?

whiteflame Thu 18-Apr-13 16:00:21

Compromise is a two way thing CockyFox - what is the DH contributing to your proposed "compromise"?!

CockyFox Thu 18-Apr-13 16:06:01

He is giving up his belief that the children need to be looked after by family. Compromising your beliefs is just as much a compromise as making a physical one.

ChunkyPickle Thu 18-Apr-13 16:07:33

I think you should let him do nursery drop-off a couple of times so he can see how much your little boy loves it.

I know that DP (who doesn't have a problem with me working, but cannot cut his hours even if he wants to) was worried about our tiny little boy being abandoned at the nursery and was hugely comforted when I told him that he runs in immediately and forgets I exist until I go to pick him up at 3.

DS has slowly ramped up from 2 mornings a week at a childminder, to every morning and 3 afternoons at a nursery in September so I can do more work myself and I feel very happy about how he's doing. For a start, going to school next year is going to be a lot less of a shock now that he's used to a nursery already.

iloveweetos Thu 18-Apr-13 16:14:22

Theres nothing wrong with you wanting to work..and i agree with NoWayPedro about noone knows what it likes to be with a child 24/7
if he is willing to reduce his hours to pick up the slack then let him! Men talk alot of shit and dont follow through. and his parents need to back off. this is between you and DP, and thats it.

You dont wanna be in the position where you are dependent on him. You may become resentful towards him, and shit happens, what if you dont work things out? you want to be able to provide for yourself and child

Dont feel guilty for having your child in nursery. IMO my DD (now 5) would have lacked social skills majorly if i didnt put her in nursery. If your DS enjoys it, there shouldnt be a problem.

Good idea Chunky about drop offs!

lemonstartree Thu 18-Apr-13 16:15:56

Your DS will benefit from the opportunity to socialise with other children. Going out to work does not equate to You 'not caring for him' , i my opinion. It is caring for him in other ways i.e. providing a stable financial future for him and potentially greater opportunities eg foreign holidays etc/ you are not intending to be a work 24/7 are you.

YANBU , but you and your DH need to talk

jungletoes Thu 18-Apr-13 16:16:44

You are both his parents and you have to reach a compromise between you. IMO foreign holidays are not important to a child, feeling loved and spending time with their parents is what counts.

whiteflame Thu 18-Apr-13 18:00:14

Not a chance CockyFox... no way would he be graciously compromising by allowing his wife to work part time!! If he wants someone to sacrifice their chance at a career/financial stability etc in order to bring up his children so much, then he is just as good a candidate as she is - although people are a lot more flexible on their "beliefs" when it is them making the actual compromise. In your scenario the OP has to compromise her belief that she should work/have a chance at a career, and physically compromise as well.

If your DH really will reduce his hours like he says OP, that would be a fairer solution.

chris481 Thu 18-Apr-13 20:22:10

My DD is 2.10 and has been in nursery for just over a year, five days a week, 8.15am to 6.15pm. For the past couple of weeks she's been giving me the run-around when I pick her up as she doesn't want to come home. Today she actually cried for a few minutes because I was forcibly removing her from the friend she wanted to carry on playing with. This was after I got her outside. Earlier when I picked her up to carry her out she yelled for her friend to help prevent her kidnap. On a previous occasion he has literally grabbed hold of an arm or leg to try and prevent me taking her! A few times in the past couple of weeks she asked me to take him home with us.

She's learnt a lot of stuff at nursery she wouldn't have learned at home. Not just words and phrases we don't use, she sings songs (I can't/don't sing.) She has lots of nursery friends whose birthday parties/homes she gets invited to.

I'm not sure we could have replicated what nursery gives her if we hadn't had to send her.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Thu 18-Apr-13 20:54:11

YANBU to want to work and to use childcare but I don't think your DH is being unreasonable either

As long as he is prepared to be the one to do the caring then I think hes being completely reasonable to arrange his working hours around childcare. A lot of mothers do the same thing and I think they are right to do so if it's important to them

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