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Role reversal in our house. AIBU?

(183 Posts)
Blondlittlelady Mon 24-Mar-14 22:17:53

I've been a sahm by default more then choice for four years.

Dc 12, 9, 6 & 6 weeks. An old colleague has contacted me & offered me a great job from September but the down side, travel, hours & a long commute.

Dh job isn't particularly well paid. It's not a career, it's a job he took after being made redundant 3 years ago. It's not well paid, this is the main issue actually. I potentially could earn twice what he does.

Dh says he wont be able to cope with the dc. He works shifts & over 7 days so he'd need to give up his job or adjust his hours & become the main carer for the dc.

We've had a massive row. I think he's being totally selfish. He thinks I am.

I feel like this will probably be one of the last chances I have to get back into my chosen profession. I'm in my 40 's. I will be able to offer my family a better standard of living. I obviously feel guilty about the dc, especially the baby but I really believe dh can do all I currently do, he just choses not to.

So AIBU or is dh?

justasmallone Mon 24-Mar-14 22:20:08


Daddypigsgusset Mon 24-Mar-14 22:20:32

He is being unreasonable. Totally

Ask him how he thinks you manage? What superior skills do you have with DC and housework?

DH gave up his job to be a SAHD as I am the bigger earner.

Mintyy Mon 24-Mar-14 22:26:29

You are asking him to give up his job, which is quite a big thing. Can't you sort out some childcare? Lots of families have two parents working full time.

callamia Mon 24-Mar-14 22:26:33

It sounds like he's a bit scared of being in charge of the children, which might be fair enough - it's likely to be a steep learning curve for him. However, you have every right to make the most of this opportunity, especially since it might benefit your whole family (that, and it sounds like you've worked hard towards building a career too).

It sounds like a switch in roles would be a good idea.

Dancergirl Mon 24-Mar-14 22:26:45

I suspect it's not so much about not coping with the dc but him feeling insecure about him not supporting his family. In terms of equality unfortunately we haven't come too far at all, lots of men feel it's their job to be the breadwinner. Sorry OP, don't know what the answer is though.

AnnoyingOrange Mon 24-Mar-14 22:27:51

Could you get a nanny?

SallyMcgally Mon 24-Mar-14 22:28:47

What you're suggesting is perfectly reasonable ( and v sensible!). Maybe your husband just needs to get his head round it. It's really hard not to work/ to control your working life ( as you know).

littledrummergirl Mon 24-Mar-14 22:31:58

When Dh lost his job and was offered a pt job, I went back to work ft.
Dh tried but was shit at taking care of the house. We have now swapped back round, I find it easier as I now have time to do things at home.

Dahlen Mon 24-Mar-14 22:33:11

I don't think anyone should be a SAHP unless it's a role they've specifically chosen. It simply harbours too much resentment, insecurity and possibly inequality unless it's a mutual decision.

I think that with two wages - one of which potentially being significant - you should be able to sort out some professional childcare.

Blondlittlelady Mon 24-Mar-14 22:33:46

Thank you.

Yes we can sort childcare out. But, he would need to find a new job as it would need to be term time & school hours...

It just pisses me off that we have this opportunity but dh is being so negative.

I feel like he talks the whole equality thing but when it comes down to it , we're not equal.

ICanSeeTheSun Mon 24-Mar-14 22:35:12

I would look into childcare options.

Mintyy Mon 24-Mar-14 22:35:41

I'm sorry, I'm still not understanding why your dh would need to give up his job.

NoNoNoNoNoYabu Mon 24-Mar-14 22:36:08

Yabu, it's so difficult but you sjould not push him into a life he wouldn't choose


But it's OK that the OP gets pushed into a life that she didn't actively choose? Why does her career take a back seat?

dreamingbohemian Mon 24-Mar-14 22:40:37


He can still work, he just has to make it work around the DC. Like millions of parents do all the time.

If he loved his work, he'd have more of a point, but not being able to cope with your own children for a couple hours a day is not a good enough reason to keep the family worse off.

Dancergirl Mon 24-Mar-14 22:40:57

I agree with nono I actually feel a bit sorry for your dh. First he's made redundant then is forced to take a lower grade job which you describe as a 'job not career', now you want him to quit work altogether!

Have you considered your dh's feelings in all this?

Iggi101 Mon 24-Mar-14 22:40:58

It's so easy to pay lip service to equality isn't it, and then things like this show you the reality. Not that he necessarily should give up work entirely, but if he was part-time that would facilitate your hours surely. With three dcs in school it wouldn't be that hard, would it? My DP has been a sahd temporarily, I've been on ML /part-time etc - give and take is required.

Blondlittlelady Mon 24-Mar-14 22:42:19

Dh would need to give up his job or find a term time job due to childcare costs.

Baby will only be 7 months. The two middle dc will need holiday care etc. So dh will need to work around their needs. Dh would need to take over all the house stuff. All stuff relating to dcs. Currently 3 schools. 1 dc with medical issues so lots of appointments.

I will be doing 12 hour days.

Dahlen Mon 24-Mar-14 22:43:37

Why would he need to find a job that fits into school hours? If you're prepared to use professional childcare, he can work whatever hours he wants provided you can find a childcare provider to cover those hours.

If, as a couple you've always agreed that your DC wouldn't be in more than a certain amount of hours childcare per week, then you either both need to compromise on your jobs or you need to rethink your parenting approach.

I have some sympathy with you in that it seems very unfair that you should have sacrificed career and earnings up until this point and now the coin has flipped he isn't prepared to. However, that tit for tat approach won't achieve anything other than a lot of unhappiness.

The trick to successful relationships is that you each do as much as you can and are happily prepared to do in order to facilitate the dreams and ambitions of the other. Sometimes those dreams are unrealistic and have to be shelved. Other times, a little compromise can go a long way. But what you're aiming for is a "this is what we want to achieve, how are we going to get it" rather than a "I did this so you should do this" approach.

Sometimes we realise that we have compromised more than we should have done. I suspect you are harbouring a little resentment about being forced into the SAHM role rather than actively choosing it. And I don't blame you for that in the slightest. Maybe your DH wasn't supportive enough in looking to support you to find an alternative during that time. That's potentially an important issue that needs addressing, but the solution isn't to force him into something he doesn't want to do.

Blondlittlelady Mon 24-Mar-14 22:45:07

Dancegirl, it's a driving job! He hates it.

I do feel sorry for dh but it's the way it is. I had the better job when we met. I have always earned more then dh.

Dahlen Mon 24-Mar-14 22:46:17

IF your combined income isn't enough to cover those childcare costs then you will probably qualify for some contribution from tax credits. But I thought part of the appeal of the new job was the earnings?

I agree that preschool age childcare costs are astronomical, but if you can find anyway of making it work and you want to be both in employment, it's worth doing even if you take a hit in the first year or two. The long-term pay off is worthwhile.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Mon 24-Mar-14 22:47:39

Nonono But she's been pushed into a life she wouldn't choose.

As far as I can see there are two people here - both of which would prefer to work full time.

One will earn more and have better prospects.

There is only three sensible options-

Both work full time & get a nanny / full time nursery and after school clubs
Higher earner works full time, lower earner works around kids.
Higher earner works full time, lower earner is SAHP.

Anything else is just daft.

Op - why does he have to work school hours? You can always book full time childcare but not use it if his shifts are convenient. Obviously a bit of a waste of money but not as much as throwing away this opportunity for you.

WooWooOwl Mon 24-Mar-14 22:47:54

Why do you think he's being selfish?

You're the one that wants to change things. I dont think either of you are being selfish if you're just discussing an opportunity that has come to your family, but it is selfish of you to just expect that he will give up work or change his life entirely just because you've been offered a job you want.

It's nothing to do with equality unless you would accept him dictating what you do with your life and then go along with it without complaint.

I don't understand how you say you have become a SAHM by default. Did you not choose to have your children? Did you choose to give up work the first time you became pregnant or did you go back to the job you had after each pregnancy?

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