To be relieved DH has been made redundant?(31 Posts)
OK, this is a long one. Apologies for the vent.
DH has said a few times that he wishes he'd given up work when DD1 was born. He's never enjoyed his work and wishes that he'd been able to focus on the kids.
We now have 2 DDs (5&8). Up until this week, we'd both worked full time. My DH worked for the most awful company where he was treated like crap every day. He used to go to work with chest pains and feeling sick on a morning. I was genuinely worried the stress from his job would send him to an early grave. (Just one example was one of the managers banging his head against the office door during an argument.)
I've almost always ended up dealing with sick children, school etc because DH was too scared to request time off. (He did once and was told 'be a man. Get your wife to do it. ). We have no family nearby. We seem to have spent the last eight years running around from home to nursery to school. Yelling at the kids to hurry up on a morning because we're late. Not getting in until 6pm and the kids being hungry and grumpy. We never seemed to enjoy time together because we were so tired and stressed. This has definitely affected my performance at work. I'm not where I thought I would be in my career.
A couple of months ago, we had a straight 6 weeks of one kid being sick and then the other. At the same time, I had toe nail surgery that went wrong and I could hardly walk. I dealt with everything--looking after them during the day, running off to catch up with work when DH came home, getting up to them during the night. I have bipolar disorder and the stress and sleep deprivation threw me into my worse ever depressive episode and I was hospitalised. (This was the second admission in six months.) At that point, I told my DH that I just can't keep going like this. The stress was making me ill. I have a good, secure job that I love. If I can focus on working, I can catch up and get promoted. I asked DH if he would go part-time. He agreed at first, but ultimately chickened out because he was scared of the drop in income. I was more than ready to downsize our mortgage and readjust our way of living.
Fast forward to this Monday--DH was made redundant. He got a good pay-out, which allows us to survive on my wage, providing we are very careful. DH has agreed that he will be a SAHP for a year. (The chances of him getting s job are small, anyway.)
I felt such relief when I found out about the redundancy. The last couple of days have been a different world. The kids seem so much happier. I've made huge progress at work.
I can see, however, that my DH is struggling with the change. He's still panicking about what's happening at work. He says he feels lost. I'm worried that he will be lonely, but at the same time I'm so glad that we've had this chance to change our lifestyle.
AIBU? I fear that I'm being a bit selfish.
Sorry 'chickened out' was the wrong term to use. He didn't want to move to a smaller house and was worried about how we would manage financially.
Could he use them time to do some working from home and/or start a business?
There are a lot of positive aspects of one oarents stayibg at jome. Ad long as you can manage finances and ge won't feel resentful doing all the daytime chores you are going to be happy family. However you shoukd plan for him getting back to employment in 5-7 years time when kids are older.
However, you do need to think about how your DH can use some of the time that the children are at school to do something that interests / fulfils him and, hopefully, helps him think about another job that will be a better fit all round.
Given how used you all are to juggling and fitting in everything, it should be possible to make everything much easier and to find that time. You also need downtime when you are not at work so make sure that is factored in.
Suggest he take the summer to chill with the children and adjust then make plans for a different routine in September. In the meantime, do a realistic budget that you can both live with - it'll help him to feel better I'm sure.
If he's wrestling with the idea that as a man he should be the provider, make sure he realises that what he is doing IS providing for you and his family and how much you appreciate the opportunity to be able to have this new focus.
Finally, remember that being freed from such an awful work situation can actually be quite traumatic. The gradual realisation of how inappropriate the environment appeared to be (it sounds rather like he was bullied) takes it's toll and he needs to be able to recalibrate.
Sell him the positives for now. No childcare over the upcoming summer months, time for him to spend time with the kids, going out for nice walks, trips to the park etc etc with a few packed sandwiches.
Does he like gardening or baking or other home led hobbies?
Encourage him to get a part time job in September - a bar maybe, once the students have all gone to Uni and before the next influx of students start looking.
Could he volunteer in a sector he would like to work in? We take people on that basis all the time. Just a few weeks work experience to see if it's the job for them. Has he always had a dream job?
If he has no chance of a new job then would he use the time to retrain?
Thanks for the responses. He need something to do outside the house. I'm not sure what, however. It is going to take a while for him to figure out how to deal with the kids. I've done most of it until now. He tends to get all stressed when they play up and shout--I thinks that's a bit of a hangover from his work.
The company was awful--yes, bullied. Shouting, swearing, treating him like a dogsbody. A horrible testosterone-fuelled environment. After ten years, all of this had become perfectly normal. I'm hoping that with time, he will realise how bad it was.
We're committed to paying for holiday club with the kids for 3 weeks so they'll go there
to tire them out.
Last night was bliss. I got back to two happy kids and was able to play with them before putting them to bed. And I still got to sit down at 8.30.
I'm not sure what he would retrain as. He's probably get the best chance of getting work in his current industry. Our city has a 40% unemployment rate and the majority of jobs are low paid.
He's a Health and Safety, Environmental manager, currently in the oil industry. He might be able to do some self employed consultancy. I think he's a bit shell shocked at the moment. We weren't expecting him to lose his job. The whole redundancy process from start to finish was 6 days.
Redundancy is a shock to the system and will take some time to adjust, especially after 10 years of being treated badly. Remind him that it was the job/role that was redundant, not him as an individual.
Yes there are many positives, but that will also take a while to appreciate. You are pleased and can see the advantages but maybe he cannot yet, so you both need to be gentle with each other's mixed feelings iyswim.
You seem to be very thoughtful and understanding of his emotions so it should go well for you both in time.
In regards to future plans, then some time off can be seen as an unexpected holiday for a short time, maybe a couple of weeks or so to get used to the idea of you both having a bit more time for yourselves and the children, while you both get your heads together for the future.
With his experience in H&S I would think there is a reasonable chance of these being very useful skills in many lines of work, and also on consultancy basis, so worth investigating that. Also agency work- worth following that line up?
One thing about redundancy that is very positive in regards to applications/interviews is that it needs no explaining.
I am going to PM you with a couple of ideas (so I don't out myself, one is a bit 'different') that might be worth a thought.
All best wishes for the future.
It sounds like a blessing in disguise. It will take him a little time to relax and get into a different frame of mind. I was made redundant in not dissimilar circumstances last year and it took me months to feel halfway sane again.
Could he do some voluntary work e.g. tribunals, committees etc. I've done so in my area and it's huge fun and great for the CV.
Could you check if there is a waiting list for the holiday club? You may be able to get out of a week or two that way and save money.
Good luck with it all. It sounds like a shock but I think you'll look back and wonder why he stuck with it for so long
Oh, and you are NBU in the slightest.
I work in hse and the job market is starting to look up. Would he consider renewable -,wind power etc coming from oil and gas should look good on his cv. My company at least people live all over the UK and travel where they need to work. I came from civil construction and this is a much nicer industry with some consulting part time work out their if you are able to find it. Assume he is cmiosh already if not he could start looking at that and iema membership while being the shap.
You need thick skin for hse in any industry though so if its not for him maybe use the time to retrain as suggested.
Brilliant - although obviously he can't see that at the moment although everyone else is cheering to the rafters.
Give him a bit of time and space, and a bit of sympathy too. Most people would have left years ago, the fact he didn't indicates the job was very important to him. It will all clarify in a few months.
Many thanks. I'm in NE Scotland (but not Aberdeen) where the whole economy revolved around the oil industry. It's in a terrible mess and thousands of jobs have been lost.
He stayed for ten years because the job was much better paid than many in this city and he was terrified of us having a lower income. I think that the culture was so skewed that he adjusted to it. He wasn't alone in being treated this way. The whole company operates through bullying and abuse.The whole thing massively shook his confidence and I think he believed he wouldn't get a job anywhere else.
Even when you [badly] want to go being made redundant is pretty horrible.
Yanbu....but as someone who's gone from 70/80 hugely stressful hour weeks to absolutely nothing in 6 days also...give him some time to get his head round it....it's a pretty strange and horrid feeling and it may take him a few weeks to relax
Thanks. I think he's most worried about whether we will be able to survive financially. He was looking forward to d2 starting school in August and paying lower childcare fees so is a bit pissed that we struggled this far and then he loses his job.
I think you need to run with the positives here.
You both have enough cash to survive for a year without changes.
Your childcare costs reduce further in September
DH will have mornings free [at least] every day which he can use towards setting up his own business/seeking employment
He gets all of July and August off to be a full time SAHD at the coal face and get an idea of whether or not he wants to do it on a permanent basis and whether it works for him and you all as a family.
Come October say, you can sit down and decide whether or not you want to explore downsizing if a career as a SAHD is tempting him, and if not then at what point do you both make a call on the house etc.
Everyone at some point has said/thought I'd like to be a SAHP - it often doesn't actually mean that they do. They've just had a shit day and the grass is greener. With almost/school age kids its worth sitting down and discussing what your mutual responsibilities will be over the summer holidays/when school goes back if your DH wants to look for work/set up his own business.
One thing to consider [if you can] is banking the redundancy and not touching it for a few months. Live within your new means and see if its actually feasible/desirable as a family. You might have to take some out for mortgage etc but if your food and entertainment budget would be reduced, move to the new budget for example*. He will need some funds to start a new business and it's handy to have a pot to fall back on if he has a few quiet months.
*I did this during mat leave. It was an interesting exercise and we made a mutual decision that we didn't want one of us to become a SAHP off the back of it.
I would suggest giving yourselves a set time where you just decompress and absorb what's happened without planning or deciding any changes. Sounds as though your poor husbands needs that.
Then when that time is up, all the options- full or part time, same or different industry, self-employed consultancy, writing a best-selling novel etc can be discussed and you can see where you are.
I thought I would share my experience with you.
I am leaving my job in 2 weeks, I resigned months ago. I have been in my current work place for 12 years. I love it and loathe it in equal measure. My dh is fully on board me leaving. There are many small reasons which have all built into one big reason to leave. In many ways, I can't wait.
I will be taking time off. Like you, dd starts school soon, ds moves up to the juniors. I am really looking forward to the slightly slower pace of our lives.
There are so many positives. I have wanted to do this for ages. But like your dh, a part of me is flipping terrified.
I know I'm doing the right thing, but its a scary old change. It will be the right thing for your dh eventually. He just needs time to process the change.
It might be useful to go through with him what the new morning routine will be. Maybe he can start writing lists of all the things he has wanted to do around the house but has never has time to do. This is what I'm doing.
Just keep it all calm and low key. Make sure he keeps fairly busy. It will take him a while to adjust.
In a town with such high unemployment, there must be voluntary positions available at lots of local charities. This will look good on his cv and keep him occupied whilst the children are at school/club, and he may make some useful contacts. If he can do a bit of freelance H&S work, even better!
Make sure that you're getting any tax credits you're entitled to.
Maybe he can start writing lists
The key word here is "he". By all means discuss but try to avoid making the lists yourself as there's a high chance they'll be perceived as you giving him instruction. There was a poster on here recently whose relationship was becoming increasingly fraught after her husband was made redundant. She had decided that he wasn't making himself useful enough and had started list making......
It's an opportunity for you both. Perhaps you can work late once or twice a week, or he/you can get to the gym more/practice his hobby. Maybe there are chores you have both been putting off because the only time to do them is late in the evening or to eat into precious time with the kids.
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