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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Callisto Tue 21-May-13 11:55:09

Isitsnowingyet - I think you'll find that OP's husband dropped one job because he didn't like it, not many people get that opportunity and it smacks of childish me me me behaviour. So yes, selfish and thoughtless. And I would say the same of a woman who has made the same string of decisions.

BarredfromhavingStella Tue 21-May-13 11:35:43

He should have discussed it with you, as he didn't I would now make it his responsibility to sort the childcare in time for his start date.

BettyYeti Tue 21-May-13 11:34:43

He was not pushed into the SAHP role. The decision to give up his old job very much came from him. I think maybe with hindsight he was driven more by a desire to get out of his old job than a real desire to be a SAHP and he was lucky that my job gave him the flexibility to do that rather than having to stay in his old job until he found a new job. It is possible that he talked up being a SAHP in his own mind as a reason to get out of his job, and then when the other job came up he realised this. He is a very hands on dad though and seems to be enjoying his time as a SAHP. He was a bit bored during the day, but then his charity role had not started yet. Re letting the children down, he thinks they will adapt quickly (as they did when our nanny left) but he acknowledges the point. Re finding new childcare, I have sorted this in the past so I guess he thinks i know better than him how to go about it.

bollockstoit Tue 21-May-13 11:26:47

I think your dh is BU, and has completely dropped you and your children in it really. Yes, he should definitely see it as his responsibility to sort child care out. Did he not like being a sahp then? I think if I was one of his dcs, I might feel a bit upset that he has seemingly tried out spending more time with me, and not liked it after all.

BettyYeti Tue 21-May-13 11:12:28

Kids have had positive role model of both parents working for 7 and 9 years respectively.

The thought about our old nanny is an interesting one, thank you. I dont think it would work long term because financially she needs more hours than it would make sense for us to pay her for going forward, but might work to buy us a bit more time to get something else sorted. She had a new job lined up but there was a bit of a gap until it started, but possibly not enough of a gap to be much help. Will check.
In terms of sorting out new childcare, I have said to DH that it is up to him to do the legwork (although clearly we both need to be happy with it). He thinks I am being unreasonable. He has so far called one agency and got a couple of CVs of nannies who seem to be looking for full time roles (with 2 weeks to go, including half term), but he needs to think a bit more about what we actually need bearing in mind summer holiday is coming up. He has also been told flexible working is a possibility in his new job which would be great, but they want him to work full time to start with until he gets to know them, so what we need for that initial period and for the summer may be different from what we ultimately need, but it seems it will be up to me to think all that through.

Actually, if I had been more precise in my AIBU, i would have asked
1. AIBU to expect DH to have discussed this with me before accepting the job; and
2. AIBU to expect DH to do the legwork in sorting out the new childcare arrangements in the circumstances.

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 21-May-13 11:11:43

YANBU to be annoyed - I would be too. Him stopping work was an upheaval for everyone, and required some preparation. Him starting work is going to be another upheaval, and he doesn't seem to care about recognise that or be prepared to do the legwork (arranging new childcare, countering previous 'talking up' to the DC to help them move smoothly to new arrangements).

The impression I'm getting is of one person swanning through life, working if they want to and not working if they don't want to, whilst leaving it to their partner to take care of all the tiresome details they don't want to sully themselves with. (And yes, I'd think exactly the same if the swanning partner was female.)

It's a hard one, Betty. You say there's been a lack of discussion - but surely since he handed you this fait accompli, you've pointed out to him that there's more for him to do than dust off his officewear? How has he responded to you regarding new childcare, letting children down from the talking up, etc.?

Jarca Tue 21-May-13 11:08:43

I'm going to be a bit devil's advocate but: wasn't he a bit pushed into the SAHP role? Probably not deliberately, he understood the financial reasons of that, and the possible advantages for DCs to be with dad. But probably he was not 100% happy with that.
He may feel failing as a man - he's earning lot less than his wife.
All this might be not expressed as these are 'only' feelings and on the other side there are very sound financial (and other) arguments.

WilsonFrickett Tue 21-May-13 11:06:16

I think OP is getting a hard time too. Yes, the changes aren't 'bad' changes but surely any big change like this has to be discussed? I do think it's a lot of upheaval for the DCs too. And the DH should definitely be recruiting for the nanny.

I think it is the lack of communication that would bother me. He is making choices that affect the whole family but seems to be only consulting with himself.

If it impacts on the whole family then the decision should at least be discussed. It feels a little bit that he is using your stability and income from your job to give him more freedom to pick and choose what he wants.

Lemonytrees Tue 21-May-13 10:56:28

Took me ages to post this - and see others agree with me now

Lemonytrees Tue 21-May-13 10:55:45

The OP is getting a bit of a hard time here. Surely it is worth considering if a family will be worse off overall if both parents work? Also her dh is assuming she will sort everything out, which is a little unfair especially as he's changed his mind a few times. He is a bit selfish for not having discussed any plans before agreeing to anything.

On the other hand, if he's unhappy not working that should be taken into account. When dc were very small my wage barely covered childcare - but I needed to work for my own sanity / career and it meant I was in a much better position to keep working going forward.

Can you get an after school nanny OP? We have a TA from a local school and works brilliantly for us.

QuintessentialOldDear Tue 21-May-13 10:55:19

x post.

I can see why you are annoyed.

QuintessentialOldDear Tue 21-May-13 10:54:27

I think the point Betty is trying to make is that they could afford to let her dh not work as he would be a sahd and they would save on childcare costs. The volunteering role, I expect, could fit around school hours. Now they need to find a new nanny, dhs job is paid less than the nanny's so the family will be worse off financially.

MummytoKatie Tue 21-May-13 10:54:07

Or maybe dad could "just get over it" and accept that by making the old nanny redundant he took on a responsibility to his children and maybe he should stick with it for more than 2 months.

They sound school age so it's not as if he's had a horrible shock as to the reality of looking after toddler triplets or something!

Not sure it's a particularly positive role model that dad changes his mind every two months whether he wants to work or not!

BettyYeti Tue 21-May-13 10:53:24

I am not displeased about DH trying to get a job. I have not said that anywhere. He worked for years and we were all happy. He wanted to give up his job. He was able to do this. If when he wanted to give up his job he had said he wanted not to be a SAHP but to find a new job, that would have been fine, but (a) we would have kept our childcare in place at least until we worked out whether there was a cheaper option that could work for us in light of the change in income, probably in September so at least the summer hols were covered, and (b) we would not have talked up to the DC the benefits of having him at home, and (c) we might have discussed whether it made sense for him to stay in his original job until he found a new job. I am annoyed because he has moved the goalposts without any discussion. We discussed the original change. There has been no discussion on this one and it affects all of us not just him.

MummytoKatie Tue 21-May-13 10:49:38

Presumably Op's husband is happy - otherwise why is he doing it. But there are quite a lot of people who are not happy as a result:-

The children - originally had a nanny they loved, then had dad at home. Now have to adjust to a new nanny or be made to give up their activities and go into after school care. (Nothing wrong ith ASC my dd will go into it when she starts school but the kids are still expected to have changes made that they don't want.)
Op - had a nanny she trusted, then had her husband looking after the kids. Now has to deal with a new nanny ( and for reasons I don't understand this seems to be her responsibility while her husband does a full time role that earns the family no net money and isn't even particularly good for his CV.

And he didn't even discuss it with her first. Which is the crucial bit really.

Op - any chance your old nanny hasn't got a new job yet? Or doesn't like her new job? Can you ring her up and beg her to come back?

isitsnowingyet Tue 21-May-13 10:48:14

Yeah - Selfish and thoughtless for wanting to have a job hmm? Maybe the kids could just get over it and could benefit from the positive role models of both Mum and Dad working.

Callisto Tue 21-May-13 10:43:42

He sounds selfish and thoughtless to me. He dumped one job because he didn't like it and now another job comes up he is going to dump his role as SAHP. There was emotional upheaval for your children when they lost their nanny and now there will be more because their dad can't think beyond his own needs.

NotYoMomma Tue 21-May-13 10:41:38

Can you imagine if this was a woman posting about her husband being displeased about her trying to get a job?

bu and will be no 'worse off' it's.just his wage will cover childcare.

MummytoKatie Tue 21-May-13 10:38:29

squeaky - I never get the whole "childcare should come out of both pots so why compare it to one person's income" thing. Obviously both parents should pay for childcare it is also sensible to compare the change in family income with the change in family (ie childcare) costs.

Two workers in the family have lots of advantages - more security, up to date CVs, interest outside the home, encouragement for both parents to take on active parenting. But money is also important. And if there is no extra money - or even a cost - from one of the parents working then it should be considered and thought gone into whether the other advantages given above outweigh the obvious disadvantages of two working parents.

squeakytoy Tue 21-May-13 10:38:06

is HE happy with it though?

I am reading all about your happiness there, but not much about how he feels.

How old are the children? Is a nanny really necessary?

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