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re DH's new job?

(29 Posts)
BettyYeti Tue 21-May-13 09:54:24

Salient points:-
1. I earn significantly more than DH, although we largely regard our finances as joint family finances.
2. We could afford for DH not to work, but until recently he has always wanted to work which has been fine by me. We have used nannies for childcare (the most recent one was with us for 5 years).
3. DH decided he did not like his job. There was nothing awful about it, he just got a bit bored of it and there were one or two aspects which he did not enjoy.
4. DH decided to give up work. My earnings enabled him to do this. We made our nanny redundant, and the plan was that DH would essentially be a SAHP and we felt there would be lots of benefits to this from the DC's perspective for various reasons. Because the DC are school age, he lined up some part time charity work which uses his skill set so that he would not get bored, would have some adult interaction and would maintain his CV. So he is happy (as he got to give up a job he did not enjoy), DC are happy as DH is around more and able to help with homework etc (they were intiially a little upset about our nanny going so we did need to "sell" the plan a bit, but it has been working well and they have been enjoying having him around), and I am happy, in part becuase the DC are happy and in part because DH can do chores during the week that we would in the past have had to share at weekends.
5. A couple of months on, DH has found a new (full time) job. To be fair, he was not particularly looking for it, it just came up. It pays significantly less than the job he gave up (and I think will barely cover childcare costs). He has accepted it without much discussion. He has not done very much about sorting childcare, and seems to expect me to sort that out. He starts in 2 weeks. DC are cross that we made our old nanny (who they loved) redundant and are now talking about a new nanny (there is after-school club at their school, but they have a number of after-school activities that cannot easily be moved to the weekend, at least until the start of next term, and DD1 is talented in one of the activities so will not want to simply drop it for the rest of the term.)

So AIBU to be annoyed? There are a couple of different aspects that I am annoyed about, and I am sure at least some are reasonable (eg lack of discussion). However, I do wonder how it would be perceived if roles were reversed and he was a SAHM who had found a job.

Icelollycraving Tue 21-May-13 12:19:43

Yanbu to be irritated with him. Your nanny lost her job for nothing! The children just got used to a new routine & now he is taking a job with little regard for you.
Whilst there is no point him being at home if he hates it,you decided all the prior changes together & so for that he is unreasonable.

catsmother Tue 21-May-13 12:37:52

I agree YANBU. The issue really isn't jobs per se, or feelings per se, or the sex of the individual concerned, but about communication, mutual discussion and mutual agreement about what's best for your family going forward. Any decision which affects a family practically, emotionally and financially should certainly be discussed before any final steps are taken - not least because one person on their own can't always imagine the potential pitfalls (or, in some cases, selfishly chooses to ignore them). It's not right that anything which affects other people adversely should be presented as a fait accompli.

Yes, it sounds as though your particular household can bear the overall drop in income as a result of this but to steam ahead and arrange this without speaking to you first - i.e. prewarning you - is selfish. Unless you're impossibly well off that drop in income will have an effect somewhere down the line - even if your day to day living standards don't alter, I assume you'd have less to put into savings for example and therefore your security is compromised. I fully accept that sometimes you have to adopt a no pain, no gain approach if in the future the end result is better in some respect (e.g. potential future earnings, better CV, better mental health etc) but that's something which you should both buy into. And yes, it's a damn cheek to lump the childcare issue on you .... you may well have organised this in the past and might well have been "good at it" but how very presumptious to assume you'll sort out the issue now which he's caused without any prior consultation!

I'm afraid I can't help feel he's been selfish and would also think the same of a woman doing the same thing. I appreciate he wants this job for all sorts of reasons but when you're in a family you really do have to consider the overall effect of what you want vs what the family needs and sometimes, it's not quite so simple as fulfilling yourself is it ? Dare I say he's had a pretty easy time of it so far - not many people are fortunate enough to be able to give up a job they hate, let alone one which wasn't out and out awful - and I do think he's taken you - and I guess the children too rather for granted. In other words, I really don't think he's sat down and thought about this objectively and has instead perhaps been carried away with the excitement of a decent sounding job that he actually didn't have to (by the sounds of it) put too much effort into finding - which is a position very few people are lucky enough to find themselves in these days. I'm not sure he's thought much about the children - what does he intend to do, for example, about re-organising activities and/or dealing with upset if and when stuff is dropped ? I'm saying BTW that kids have a god given right to certain activities - but if they're disrupted without a second thought, and the reason for that disruption wasn't necessarily vital then I do think he's been selfish.

You're in a difficult position because it seems a done deal and obviously you can't demand he rejects the job. What you can do though is insist he organises childcare asap and thoroughly so the kids are placed in the most suitable care (rather than - necessarily - the 1st childminder he finds) and he must also promise that before doing anything drastic again he must speak to you so you are equally informed about what's happening and also get a chance to voice your opinion.

BettyYeti Tue 21-May-13 14:15:56

Thanks everyone. To be fair to DH, there are I think 2 other reasons why he may think I shoudl take more of a role in sorting out the childcare. First, he feels guilty that he wont now be able to take on the role of the charity, so he is doing what he can for them this week during school hours, which reduces the time he has. Second, we had started to talk about changing our childcare anyway - we are paying for more hours than we need to have the backup during school hols and sicknesses and the older the children get the more of a luxury that seems (plus we were starting to have a couple of niggles with our nanny not really adapting as they get older, eg not really helping with homework or adjusting their routine - still often already in pjs when we get home etc). Against that, it is a luxury we could afford and gives the DC a lot of stability and flexibility, so I am not sure what we would ultimately have decided and in any event the timing would have been different (maybe looking for something different in Sept, which would also have been better timing for our nanny). Also to be fair to him he is not usually flaky.

I am going to tell him that he needs to sort the childcare, but am going to suggest the following:-
1. We use after-school club until the end of term in July for the 3 days when they dont have activities (or have acitvities we have not paid up for in advance and they wont mind missing). For the other 2 days, he should sort out a temp nanny.
2. We get a holiday nanny or an au pair to cover the summer.
3. We then look for permanent childcare from Sept - by then he should be able to go on to flexible working in his new job and should know what hours he is doing.

StuntGirl Tue 21-May-13 16:16:17

Your husband is making unilateral decisions which are detrimentally affecting everyone else in the family.

He should have discussed the new job with you.

He needs to arrange new childcare.

I would help where I can obviously as it is for the benefit of the family but he needs to take ownership of it and do the lion's share of the legwork.

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