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To want dp to return to work part time when we could cope on my salary alone

(151 Posts)
Nanunanu Mon 18-Jul-16 19:33:14

Background. We are a same sex couple. Together 15 years. We have our first ds who is 9 months old. We have very disparate earnings. I am second parent and dp took maternity leave.

We are now looking at time for dp to return to work. Dp works in my offices as I found her a job. She was unemployed for 6 months and not looking that hard (had signed up for two agencies but not chasing it). I didn't push her looking as she was unemployed because we had moved for my work and my pay rise meant we could afford it. But then a job came up at my place. I put her name forward and she got it. So it is not fair to say I got her the job, just facilitated it.

She does not enjoy the job. But not enough to have even looked for another let alone applied elsewhere.

I work 4 long days a week. She used to work 5. Plan was for her to return to work 2 days part time one day covered by me. The other by my mum and dad. I was really looking forward to one day a week just me and ds.

She doesn't want to go back to work. Makes a sop towards it. But whenever anyone asks about it she says 'oh it's not decided yet' or 'I've got to talk to my manager'.

We talked through my reasons for wanting her to return to work. It gives her independent money. It is a fallback should I die. It reduces pressure on me from being the only earner. I want that day being a 'real mum.' It will be easier to go now and increase hours as ds goes to school than it will to find a brand new job in 4 years. Especially if she shows the same lack of interest in looking for a job then as before. But they are all quite selfish reasons I recognise. Some of it is the feminist in me wanting ds to see working parents. Some of it is jealousy that she has had this time with ds. And no matter how hard I try I am a second parent. Not the real deal.

I do my best to share chores and childcare. Ds is breast fed. So bulk of night feeds etc fell her way. And ds is reliant on breast or sling to sleep. So I have cooked every dinner for the past 9 months except two. One tonight and one last month when I knew we had no food and brought home chips. D'oh! I even cook from scratch after I get home at 9 pm and have to be at work for 8 the next morning. A meal plan has meant she at least, mostly, lifts stuff out of freezer if I ask her to now.

I do not do enough of the washing
I accept that. I share cleaning bathrooms. I do most of it she does some. I do cat litter and picking up dog poo from garden. We have an erratic gardener to mow lawns. I do it on weeks he hasn't come due to rain. Bin is emptied by whoever wants to put more in it when it is full. She feeds pets in morning. I do in evening. She does 90%of hoovering. I do not tidy up well enough after cooking and am trying to improve. I do bath and stories 3 or 4 nights a week.

Aibu to want her to return to work part time after 1 year mat leave 6m unpaid and only family income being my salary. No child benefit as I earn just over the threshold.

There are other bits that make me think I'm jealous. We went to doctors last week with ds and dr asked who was in the room. Dp said [ds] and I'm[x] his mum. And this is nanunanu his sort of mum too.

That sort of mum phrase really cut to the bone. And I'm sure she didn't mean it how I took it. But oh it hurt so so much.

There is, obviously, lots of layers. Nothing is as simple as 'aibu to want dp to work 2 days a week when we could afford (with a bit of belt tightening) for her never to work again'. There's a whole lot of emotion with it.

And I know she feels hard done by because night wakening are still entirely hers to do. I sleep through. I could do more around the house. And she has said before that she is 'fed up of being the bad guy' when I have told her other things she has said that I find hurtful but expresses her unhappiness like talking about baby number 2 and if I try to carry this time she said 'do you think you could do it? Not getting pregnant I mean all the rest of it....' I said that was mean. I'm trying my hardest. She said she didn't mean it like that. I said well how do you mean it. She said 'oh I don't know. I'm fed up of always being the bad guy. Having to watch what I say because you'll take it wrong'. So I've not mentioned the 'sort of mum too' comment from last week because it upsets me too much.

Aaargh. Sorry this post is so long. Just trying to avoid drip feeding.

BitchPeas Mon 18-Jul-16 19:37:19

Her Comments are pretty mean tbh, and I'd feel the same about you r.e work so YANBU. Have you told her you want the 1 day just you and DS. Has she got any thoughts on weaning him anytime soon?

JacquettaWoodville Mon 18-Jul-16 19:38:28

YANBU to want to share the effort of working and childcare.

JacquettaWoodville Mon 18-Jul-16 19:40:23

If she has said nothing different, her manager will be expecting her back 5 days a week at the end of her 12 months maternity leave.

She needs to put in a flexible working request and allow time for it to be considered.

Nan0second Mon 18-Jul-16 19:41:41

Totally outraged by "sort of mum".
You are mum.
It is not unreasonable for you to want her to go back to work. She may feel overwhelmed if she is totally exhausted. Does she want to night wean? Can you help with that? Sleep often makes everything better

Gazelda Mon 18-Jul-16 19:41:42

Oh, this is tricky. Yes, you sound jealous. You don't frame your wish for her to return to work PT as being best for your DS. It's mostly about your feelings.

However, I completely understand and sympathise. I think I'd feel the same too. Her calling you 'sort of' Mummy must have hurt enormously.

Do you think could get your parents to have DS one day/eve so that you and your DP can talk openly and honestly about the share of childcare, housework, outside work, finances and parental responsibilities? Not to mention who will carry a second child. You don't seem to agree on any of these issues, or rather you see, to be skirting round the subjects.

totallybitching Mon 18-Jul-16 19:42:19

No you are not being unreasonable. I think you need to think about the way you ask her to go back to work. Could you possibly put the money she earns into a holiday or fun money pot for you to do stuff together as a family? Maybe that would be a "fun" reason to get back to work?

No one is perfect and cleaning etc can naturally fall on one person more than another at times etc. It's good that you acknowledge when you can do more.

Regarding the sort of mum comment... I would wait until you have some quiet time together, where you are both relaxed and bring it up in conversation rather than having a go or igniting an argument.

Good luck!

JacquettaWoodville Mon 18-Jul-16 19:43:58

How often is DS waking in the night? Does he feed then? Can you try soothing him - he won't settle for you on try 1, no doubt, but you have to start somewhere.

I think saying you want to carry a child should be enough to prompt her to consider a return to work, TBH - you will need to draw I. Her income in a second maternity leave.

ijustwannadance Mon 18-Jul-16 19:44:25

Sounds to me like she just wants to carry second baby and never go back to work. Clearly doesn't want you to carry and have maternity leave.
Her attitude is quite selfish and lazy. Why can't she do any cooking?

JacquettaWoodville Mon 18-Jul-16 19:45:23

Also, what do you plan for DS to call you both? Mummy and mother, say? Would be good to agree this.

Pearlman Mon 18-Jul-16 19:46:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NellWilsonsWhiteHair Mon 18-Jul-16 19:46:36


The 'sort of mum' comment was low. And I'm struggling to think of it as innocent tbh - I know a lot of mothers who did not carry their child (am also a lesbian mother, although no other mother here) and I think the anxiety about being perceived as a lesser mother is almost universal. Horribly mean to use that, when she ought to be ready to push other - potentially ignorant - people to recognise you as your son's mother.

I think you have bigger issues to resolve than the question about returning to work, sorry.

NapQueen Mon 18-Jul-16 19:47:21

She sounds quite a selfish individual.

Didiusfalco Mon 18-Jul-16 19:47:40

Gosh youve got so much going on here besides just the work thing it almost sounds like you need some counselling together to unpick it all.

With regard just to the work issue of course yanbu. No one should be forced in to being the sole breadwinner if they dont want to, just as equally no one should be forced to be a sahp if they dont want to do that. I also think the anount of work you are suggesting is quite small and therefore not too much to expect. She may just be experiencing some anxiety about leaving your ds and need to talk it through.

CalleighDoodle Mon 18-Jul-16 19:48:36

Her comment was out of order. She should have said we are his mums. It doesn't sound like she had any intention of ever working. And that isnt ok as it hasnt been agreed.

I think it is a good idea you carry the baby next time. But that certainly means your dp has to go back to work now.

I think you need to move this on. Sit down and discuss together and write her flexi workimg application and send it in.

Cocolepew Mon 18-Jul-16 19:50:16

Yanbu, you don't sound jealous either.
Your reasons for her returning to work sound fair.

VestalVirgin Mon 18-Jul-16 19:50:45

I would tell her what I tell women in heterosexual relationships, too - with the way things are at the moment, it is not a wise decision to not work. As a lesbian couple you are both at risk for poverty, statistically, I don't think it is a good idea to increase that risk.

It also seems that she feels like she's slowly becoming a housewife, and that's something she's bitter about. Returning to work would hopefully help with that.

I said that was mean. I'm trying my hardest. She said she didn't mean it like that. I said well how do you mean it. She said 'oh I don't know. I'm fed up of always being the bad guy. Having to watch what I say because you'll take it wrong'.

I can't stand people who want to decide if others have a right to be upset.

Also, I would think if she dislikes the situation, she would be happy that you want to carry the second child? Would even the situation out, after all.

It is possible that she can't stand any paid job at all - I've met several people who had this problem and opted to become a stay at home spouse/parent because of it. However, two days a week should be doable.

wobblywonderwoman Mon 18-Jul-16 19:52:36

'Sort of' mum would cut to the bone. You need to talk to her.

If you are working full time, she should be cooking or at least 50/50. My dh works full time (as do I but I am home by 3.30pm but am higher earner) and I still cook and clean and do ironing etc.

It has to be fair. She is lucky to have you and sounds a bit complacent. Of course you should get your day to be real mum, as it were.

Could you cut back on the cooking? Let gee take the reins a bit more.

HermioneWeasley Mon 18-Jul-16 20:03:38

Well, you need life insurance and wills now that you're parents, so the "return to work in case I die" isn't valid

But if you're not happy being the sole earner and want to go part time to have quality time with your son, then you are entitled to do so (assuming your employer is happy to accommodate both your working patterns)

You've been together a long time - have you always had these problems about compromise and fairness? Having young kids puts a stress on many relationships, it might just be a blip while you're both tired and settling into new roles and dynamics.

Nanunanu Mon 18-Jul-16 20:16:16

We are mummy and mama.

Night feeds is a difficult one. Breast feeding was really difficult to begin with so we fell into consideration sleeping to increase supply and now ds relies on boob or sling as a proper to sleep. There are typos here cos I'm typing as I walk to try to get him off to sleep.

But does mean night wakening are less onerous than they might otherwise be. Put back on boob and go back to sleep.

Now waking for comfort not feed.

Finances wise we agree on big stuff.but I do find it a pressure that she talks about when we move into our big house etc which is really really not on the cards any time soon. Especially if she refuses to work.

I just don't know how to approach it rationally. And yeah of course my reasons are selfish. What is best for ds is one or both of us with him with breast feeding until 2 years. But only if I can let go of my jealousy. Sorry for any criss posts. Mobile battery is almost gone. Walk has been nice though

SaucyJack Mon 18-Jul-16 20:25:58

What's the legality of your parental role? That "sort of mum" comment sounded unpleasantly telling as to how she sees you. Do you have parental rights?


AdjustableWench Mon 18-Jul-16 20:36:27

Yeah the 'sort of mum' is hurtful.

I imagine this is a bit out there, but have you considered trying to share the breast feeding? It doesn't work for everyone, but some women are able to breast feed without having given birth (e.g. adoptive mothers). Or do you think that would make things even more complicated with your partner?

TurtleEclipseofTheHeart Mon 18-Jul-16 20:38:18

I am very surprised that your DP doesn't cook! That time with her cooking would give you time alone with DS, even if it was say 4/5 nights a week.
I also think the comment about you being a "sort of mum" is horrible. You should tell her how that makes you feel!
I don't think yabu wanting her to get a job per se, but it depends whether you spoke about it beforehand I suppose. Breastfeeding night and day is tough though and she probably has a lot of sleep debt. Could she go back to work once DS is weaned?

Nocabbageinmyeye Mon 18-Jul-16 20:40:00

No no no stop saying that, your reasons are not selfish at all, your ds will benefit with time with both parents, it is both of your best interests.

Your partner sounds like a user to be honest, she wants you to work to support her and "her ds" (obviously your ds too, I mean that in relation to the "sort of" mummy comment), wants to carry baby 2, wants a big house, wants you to do what seems to be more than your fair share around the house but doesn't want to contribute and seems happy enough throwing out the shitty comments but then making it sound like your fault.

You definitely need a chat, she's obviously a lazy bitch and she needs a good talking to

RubbleBubble00 Mon 18-Jul-16 20:42:42

What is your legal stance here with dc? If she walks tomorrow do you have parental rights?

It's only fair she goes back part time even just to give u some dc time. That's not selfish.

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