To prioritise my husbands job(575 Posts)
Back ground is I have a decent degree , but due to mental health issues proberbly haven't gone as far as I could . I'm
Not particularly interested in a career . Iv had jobs I like but my priority is balancing my home life while children are secondary age and younger . Part because husband earns a fair bit more than me but also because the strain of us both doing full time with my health and family is to much . A couple of friends are horrified by this and have hinted it's not the done thing in this day and age ! Just wondered others views -and situation . I surely aren't the only woman to work round her husbands job? If I could earn as much as him I'm sure he would be part time , - but I can't. And we want one of us to be home for them ( the majority of the time )
If it works for you and your DH is happy with it then go for it. It's no one else's business.
I did this. I gave up a career in social work and did a variety of crappy part time jobs until I got my current one as a school pupil support worker which meant childcare was kept to a minimum. DH worked long hours as an aeronautical engineer. We were both demented with pressure and long hours, one of us had to simplify and take a step back. I have no regrets.
This is just another rehash of wohm vs sahm isn't it?
Just make the right decision for you and your family and stop worrying about what other people are doing and/or thinking.
I have a PhD in a science subject but haven't worked since I finished it 6 years ago because I've had 2 babies in that time and I'm disabled can't actually manage to look after them full time never mind try to work. DH earns enough to support us and pay nursery fees and I look after the kids sometimes, and sit around the house the rest of the time trying to rest enough to be able to manage the kids when they're home. It's not ideal as it puts DH under enormous pressure as the sole breadwinner but we both agree that this is how we can achieve the best quality of life for our family at the moment.
I really don't give a crap what anyone else thinks. I keep seeing lots of posts on MN saying you shouldn't be financially dependent on a man but frankly I think as long as you marry a man who's actually a decent human being and not an utter tosser then it's really no problem. DH and I are a team. We're both frustrated I can't do as much as an able bodied person and we both make the best of it and try to provide a stable supportive home for our children.
You just do what's right for you and yours. I'm quite sure as an adult, you've worked out the possible implications of splitting up and possibly leaving yourself without a career.
Tell your friends to save their 'horror' for something that's actually horrific.
Moving on up - no it's not a working parent / sahm thread . Im nota sahm I work part time.
It's a juggling it all thread
Captaincrunch - that sounds ideal apart from working with children bit !
"The done thing"! That's bloody ridiculous! I work 3 days a week and look after my 2 kids the other 2 days, we very much work around my DH's job as he is full time, often with calls late at night to the US. I'm a lawyer and feel very grateful to have had the flexibility to return part time after the birth of my second child. I love the balance. You do whatever works for your family and tell your friends to wise up!
Yanbu I have never been so frazzled as when I went back to a full on job after having DS - it was 'only' 4 days a week but a full time workload!
Between juggling work, chores, nursery drop offs and bedtimes, and our own stress levels, our marriage was under huge strain as well.
Have just had our Dd and this time I'll be fitting work around family rather than the other way around. I appreciate that I'm very very lucky to have that choice though.
But yes anyone who judged me for relying on my DH financially / wasting my education can do one!!
YA (possibly) BU:
Its not unreasonable to find ft work and kids a bit much.
And its very, very sensible to arrange your lifestyle to maintain your mental health, especially as you need to stay stable for your kids-
BUT: You say you have mental health problems. Are you absolutely certian your view of your own capabilities isnt being clouded by anxiety or poor self esteem?
I only say this because I considered the idea of SAHM at my lowest ebb following some horrible work place bullying. For me, it was as much about hiding from things I found difficult as it was about making a positive choice.
Me and DH now both work pt and share childcare equally. Would something like this be an option for you? I.e: Could DH also switch to something more family friendly so you are both working around each other rather than the onus being on you to "work around his work"
That way your family has stepped off the two-full-time-income treadmill (which i agree is stressful) without it being your careeer/potential being sacrificed to his.
I don't think its unreasonable as such to do this, but a little bit silly in today's society with such high divorce rates. Staying at home is great when you have little children, but as they get older they are more independent, and you can regain your career. Your DH may also start to resent it when the children are older too.
I think you are right to prioritise your mental health and to work out a system which is right for you and your family.
However the 'in this day and age' could refer to a multitude of factors:
- greater instability in employment meaning that the main income provider may loose their job
- people facing a vulnerable future after a divorce because their own career took second place
- offering different role models for their children
Other people may factor these in more strongly when making thier decisions.
This is what we do. We are both degree educated, but hubby is much more driven than I have ever been and has progressed very well in his career. He earns a six figure salary plus bonus and in order to enable him to do that (often involves working late, being overseas, travelling at short notice) we took the decision that I would step back and take charge of everything to do with the kids and the house. I work for myself at home which gives us the flexibility for me to do all the running around after the kids and all the other "stuff" he doesn't have time for.
Lots of other people I know are in the same situation. It works for us as a family.
Whatever works for you is your business.
More generally, when i read comments on here about giving up work because juggling chores, childcare, etc is too much i can't help imagining the man in this scenario disappearing out of the door to work every morning without a care in the world and leaving the woman to 'juggle'. And i cant help feeling a bit .
Why is the only solution in that scenario for the woman to give up her career to 'juggle' more effectively. Why can't the man do a bit of the 'juggling' a bit more often in these situations?
What a load of, erm, tosh!
The whole point of suffrage, Women's Lib, feminism, etc is to give women choices not to make them feel guilty for doing/not doing something taht some unknown/irrelevant someone de jour has decided is important!
It isn't even WOHM/SAHM it is just women having a go at women and, in all seriousness, we all need to stop and take a reath.
Do whatever is best for you and yours! That is all any womans movement has ever been about, at heart.
Not unreasonable to me. DH and I have the same degree/career but for us it just didn't make sense for us both to work full time (ie 60 hour weeks plus in call) as the cost of childcare plus the hassle of juggling shifts so someone could pick them up just didn't make sense. So DH works silly hours and I work 2/3 days a week, mostly school hours. Over 8 years his career has progressed and he earns around 4 times my salary, but everything is joint. Our family is a team effort and this works best for us. I couldn't enjoy life with one eye on a possible divorce all the time.
Virtually all women seem to be prioritising their husband's careers... to be honest, so I'd say you're in the majority. Even where I know women who out-earn their male partners, mysteriously and always find it just "more sensible" for them to do more childcare/domestic work.
i can't help imagining the man in this scenario disappearing out of the door to work every morning without a care in the world and leaving the woman to 'juggle'. And i cant help feeling a bit angry.
Well I would imagine there is a fair amount of juggling to be done at work too. People (not just men) who have pressured jobs and who work late, travel or have late night phone calls don't have not a care in the world.
It's about dividing responsibility and sharing the load - in our house hubby goes out to work and earns his salary, and my part of the load is that I deal with the kids, the house, the dry cleaning, the finances, the booking of holidays, the servicing of cars, the parents evenings, school trips, sports days, ferrying children hither and thither, shopping etc etc etc.
It's not a competition - it's about coming to an arrangement which works well for the family concerned and their kids. What other people think doesn't really come into it. I wouldn't appreciate anyone being "angry" on my behalf.
The only issue when women prioritise their Husbands jobs, is that it leaves you vulnerable long term. Fine if you stay together. But there are a lot of very poor older women who did this, and then find themselves divorced with little income and little ability to earn much more money.
YANBU - do what works for your family.
I work full time and my DH is a SAHD. This works fine for as I earn a lot more than he can and we need someone at home (lack of suitable children available for one of our children as they have a disability).
Every family has different needs and for some families both parents working works the best for others it doesn't.
What matters to having enough cash to live the way you want to and no one feeling they are forced into a set up they are unhappy with.
If you are all happy just ignore what other people say.
You're working PT, if need be or when it suits you you would be able to increase your hours/change your job. I agree with PPs that being a SAHM a) makes you vulnerable (even if he's a decent man - my friend's mother was widowed in her early 40s and lived in poverty for years) and b) puts a lot of pressure on your OH to provide. But working PT and letting your career take a back seat for a while if that suits you and your DH then that's fine. As long as you both regularly check in and make sure the other is still happy with the situation so, e.g. if your DH wanted to reduce his hours would you be happy to increase yours?
I know too many women who have given up work completely only for their marriages to fail and all they've got to fall back on was a degree from 20 years ago to try this myself. I have always 'done' my career part time so I didn't have to face the 'return to work after years out' that several of my friends had to. They really struggled to find work and it had quite an impact on their self confidence.
But you are working part time, so are doing the same as me really. If things went tits up with your marriage, you could work more and support yourself? That would be my only worry.
I can't speak for others but for us we had exactly the same earning potential but I wanted to spend more time at home. I'd have been really upset if DH had wanted to be the one to reduce hours to be honest. No lack of confidence, no pressure from DH either way (he didn't want to stay home but would have supported me full time and done an equal share of the juggling etc) but I wanted children so I could have children, not so someone else could be paid to have them. I don't mean any disrespect to people who have made other choices but as a daughter of two full time working parents I knew it wasn't for me.
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