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to think, if you're going to be the sole breadwinner...

(84 Posts)
Dovahkiin Fri 22-Nov-13 01:33:21

then you might have to be prepared to work a bit harder?

DH and I are both teachers with management responsibilities. I took a year off work to look after 1 year-old DD and am now doing a bit of part-time, mainly to stay sane. We're looking to move back to Europe to be closer to family. As we're thinking of trying for a second, we're only looking for jobs for DH. Trouble is, he's reluctant to apply for jobs that look like they'll be "too much" work e.g. a great opportunity has come up, setting up a new school, and they want the new management to put in some work before their contract starts. This is, apparently, unacceptable. It really isn't - it would just cut into his evenings of slaying fictional beasties on the computer. AIBU to think, if we agreed that I would stay at home and he'd bring in the money, he should be prepared to unbalance his work-life balance a bit more?

And yes, I'm totally the uptight (I prefer 'conscientious'....) one in the relationship and still not totally reconciled to crapping on my career to look after DD, even though I'm loving staying at home with her for the most part. And yes, I fell for DH because he's my polar opposite and he cheers up my otherwise gloomy take on life...

Do I just need to accept that this is who he is, that management isn't really his thing, and go with that as long as we have enough money coming in to be comfortable, or AIBU to expect him to put himself out a bit more? He really does think he works hard...

ShylaMcCall Fri 22-Nov-13 01:45:21

YANBU! At all.

AcrylicPlexiglass Fri 22-Nov-13 01:47:49

Yabu, I think. Up to him to make his own decisions around his job and what he can and can't cope with, I would say. I do know where you're coming from though. My partner once chickened out of interviewing for a really interesting post with more money and I was livid! Had to swallow the rage down though as it really was his decision. Have you thought about swapping places if you are the more ambitious one careerwise and are feeling a bit resentful?

jacks365 Fri 22-Nov-13 01:52:54

Do I understand correctly that he is objecting to having to work for them for free before he actually starts working for them? Can't say I blame him, I wouldn't trust any company that tried to obtain free labour that way. Yabu.

mynewpassion Fri 22-Nov-13 01:57:21

Yabu. As long as he finds a comfortable income, he has a right to find a job that will make him happy for 8+ hours a day five days a week.

mynewpassion Fri 22-Nov-13 01:59:53

Should add which does not include working for free for a few months and it is not a couple of hours a week. Itsllikely every night and maybe weekends too.

Beaverfeaver Fri 22-Nov-13 02:00:39

Better to have a good work/life balance IMO, and if he doesn't want the slightly longer hours he might end up resenting you if he feels pushed into it

Monty27 Fri 22-Nov-13 02:00:52

He needs a balance too OP. Try not to think too much about income, quality of life is priceless imho. smile

NotYoMomma Fri 22-Nov-13 03:17:48

I think you are heading for resentment and misery with this attitude.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Fri 22-Nov-13 03:25:01

It sounds to me, OP, as if you two should talk seriously about him being the SAHP and you being the sole breadwinner. Because if you resent crapping all over your career to look after children (and believe me, I understand that feeling, since I have done the same), and he resents being asked to work anything outside of contracted hours, you're both going to feel like you're getting the roughest deal.

BillyBanter Fri 22-Nov-13 03:26:45


He's right about it being unacceptable too.

bellablot Fri 22-Nov-13 03:29:28

Sounds like you are imposing YOUR expectations onto your DH which is never a great idea. Can you not take the job and your DH take the career break? You can't change the way he is (which by the way seems pretty normal not to work for nothing but I still understand your POV too) and nor should you try, give him a break and try seeing the situation from his perspective, try and understand the reasons why he opposes it instead of maybe pushing him into something that will make him miserable.

HicDraconis Fri 22-Nov-13 04:21:33


If he's earning enough to allow you to be a sahp then he doesn't need to push himself, to work harder and have it cut into his evenings off just because you think he should. If he isn't earning enough then perhaps you should look at increasing your PT hours or swapping roles so that you are working all these hours and he is at home.

We all need work life balance. If he works during the day his salaried hours it's unreasonable to ask him to work in his free time. He'll end up grumpy and burned out, especially if the management role you have in mind for him is something he'd hate doing.

Seriously think about role reversal, or I agree that you'll both end up resenting the other.

I'm the sole breadwinner. I would rip my husband a new one if he suggested I should work harder than I do already to bring in a bit more when we don't actually need it but he'd like me to push myself harder.
And then I'd leave him.

Dovahkiin Fri 22-Nov-13 04:33:40

Thanks, ladies. Really useful to get different perspectives. I think the problem is more that it's causing us problems trying to find new jobs than that I want him to work harder in his current position. Also, given that we both work in the same sector, I do know it's possible to work much harder than he does - I bloody did for years. However, I really don't want to get into the glowering resentment stage, which is why I'm posting on here - he is who he is, and that's why I'm with him. I will just try to bloody cheer up smile

TheZeeTeam Fri 22-Nov-13 04:44:01

I think if it's that important to you, you should apply for the job yourself.

mynewpassion Fri 22-Nov-13 04:53:42

What does work harder mean? If his employers are more than happy with his work, then he has worked hard.

I know that many teachers already work more than their contracted time preparing lessons, but how many extra hours does he have to do to meet your "work harder" threshold?

If A and B have the same job but A does her work in 10 hours while B does it in 12 hours and they receive exact glowing evaluations, does that mean B works harder?

Dovahkiin Fri 22-Nov-13 05:00:13

Interesting to see the idea emerging that it's an easier gig being an SAHM than being in paid employment hmm I would love to be back on the career ladder but my DD is just one, it's important to me that I'm at home with her and I'm only just now adjusting to the reality that I need to walk away from those ambitions for a few years.

I'm just wondering, is it not possible for one partner to have a different work ethic from the other?!

MinesAPintOfTea Fri 22-Nov-13 05:10:05

Its very difficult to balance expectations if the person taking a career break is also the person who is more career motivated. Because you will always feel more like you're missing out more with not working and your dh will feel he's missing out more by working.

Seriously consider swapping roles if this is the case, you aren't playing to your strengths in the partnership otherwise.

TheZeeTeam Fri 22-Nov-13 05:44:50

I've been a SAHM for 16 years. It works because we have similar expectations. It would be an absolute recipe for disaster for me to be home gnashing my teeth as I thought DH could be working harder. Surely that's part of the compromise?!

And I haven't seen one comment about being a SAHM being an easier gig. You're putting your own prejudices on that one.

themaltesefalcon Fri 22-Nov-13 05:54:34

You're being monstrously unfair.

Dovahkiin Fri 22-Nov-13 05:56:39

But what if you don't have similar expectations? Is it a matter of just withdrawing into your own sphere, doing the best you can and trusting your partner to get on in their sphere? I mean, I knew what I was getting into - I spent my time before my Finals producing colour-coded revision timetables and notes, he spent his drinking and playing Championship Manager. And yes, I did better than him in the exams grin

I wouldn't even dream of hinting that he should be taking on more as I can't imagine a way of doing that wouldn't lead to a hellish argument. I'm just finding it hard to step back, and it doesn't help that we both worked at the same place and we now live across the road from the school. I just need to step back and trust him, don't I?

AnotherWorld Fri 22-Nov-13 06:12:38

Why don't you think about swapping roles? You get the job and earn the money and DH takes care of kids and home.

I'm in the same position and it works brilliantly for us. DP works part time. I'm in ( nearly ) full time.

Not everyone has the same work ethic and ambition. You are a team and should play to your strengths.

jammiedonut Fri 22-Nov-13 06:20:26

The important thing for me when starting my family was that ds would see both parents as much as possible. Dh has taken a small pay cut and lessened his responsibilities and my ds gets to see him much more. As long as he brings home enough to support us both for the time being I'm happy (and it's certainly been an adjustment). I think yabu, surely it's better for your child to have two happy parents? If your dh has always had limited ambitions I'm not sure why you are so surprised now. Besides that, if my dh told me I didn't work as hard as he'd like me to (despite bringing home enough to support us both) I'd be seriously questioning why I was with him.

MinesAPintOfTea Fri 22-Nov-13 06:20:43

Yes if you want to be a sahp then you have to let him control his own career not try too organise him because you no longer have your own job. You live with it or you change the balance of working, you can't and shouldn't try to change him.

jammiedonut Fri 22-Nov-13 06:22:34

Sorry didn't see your last post op. Definitely sounds like you need to take a step back and give him a little trust, he might flourish without the scrutiny.

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