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To wonder if you can compromise what your family needs with what you want?

(53 Posts)
freshcutroses Wed 20-Jul-16 20:49:32

Sorry if this makes no sense.

We have three young children. I do a small amount of paid work, but it's minimal and I'm mostly a SAHM. DH feels it's best for the children to have a parent at home.

I want to retrain. DH says I can but to wait until our youngest is at secondary school. I don't want to wait that long but AIBU? He thinks that I am.

Lovewineandchocs Wed 20-Jul-16 20:52:19

He says you "can"? angry that aside, more info is needed. How old is your youngest, is your DH full time, what hours etc would retraining involve and can you afford childcare?

smellsofelderberries Wed 20-Jul-16 20:52:50

Do your family really need you to SAH though? What are your DH's objections? I'm slightly hmm at him thinking your desire to better yourself through more education is an unreasonable one. Could you not start doing OU at home?

freshcutroses Wed 20-Jul-16 20:57:56

Not for the course I want to do, no smile Youngest is only one next week. DH is full time with demanding and irregular hours. He keeps saying we don't need the money but it's not just the money it's that I feel I would be very good at what I want to do.

Essexgirlupnorth Wed 20-Jul-16 21:03:33

No not being unreasonable not wanting to wait a decade to do something you want too.
Have you looked into options for childcare. Does the uni/college have a nursery? Plenty of people do it and their kids are fine.

Dolphinsanddinosaurs Wed 20-Jul-16 21:50:50

YANBU. If your DH thinks the DC need to have a parent at home, maybe he would like to do it once you've retrained? What does he think you should do all day while the DC are at school?

Pearlman Wed 20-Jul-16 22:01:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

freshcutroses Thu 21-Jul-16 08:33:16

He earns a lot more than me, and probably always will, so he's right in that it's best for the family if I stay home. Just that I don't want to. I'd like to start when DD2 is at nursery. He says I will miss out on loads and so will they. But I think if everyone compromises we should be OK. Maybe that is selfish, though.

Tournesol Thu 21-Jul-16 08:37:56

Not selfish at all, why should you have to give up your dreams because it makes life easier for your DH?

start making your plans and make it happen!

LIZS Thu 21-Jul-16 08:41:11

What do you want to retrain as? Could you do some research and preparation in the meantime?

branofthemist Thu 21-Jul-16 08:42:54

If him giving up work ( or reducing hours) isn't an option, while you do unpaid study, I can see it can be difficult but it can be done.

What exactly will you and the kids be missing out on if you are studying while they are at nursery?

This is not his decision to make alone. And compromise is needed all round. He may need to step up more and you may need to take a while to find a course that fits.

I may be wrong, but does he mean he will miss out as you won't be doing as much around the house and he will need to fill the gaps?

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Thu 21-Jul-16 08:48:21

So he's worried about you missing stuff? Doesn't matter if he does?

Sounds like he doesn't like the idea of not having a personal skivvy for the next decade, or maybe just wants to keep you in your place.

You realise if the roles were reversed and he'd been a SAHD while you went back to work, then it's likely your earning potential would outstrip his? He's been in the lucky position of being able to concentrate on his career because you pick up the family life!

Topseyt Thu 21-Jul-16 08:51:04

Not selfish at all. Do it now while the children are young and your break from the job market is not so long that it becomes hard to explain and any working experience outdated and less relevant.

I sure wish I had done it that way round, although it would have caused childcare problems for sure.

Don't ask DH's permission. You do sound as if you are. Tell him, and work out a childminder etc. for the children if needed.

Honestly, the longer you are out of the workplace the harder it can be to get back in. I know. I did it. Got the t-shirt too. If your DH thinks that you will walk back into a job in 10 years time he is deluded. It usually doesn't happen that easily.

newname99 Thu 21-Jul-16 09:02:37

Your dh can express his preference or idea on what he thinks is best but you must also express your view.As it affects you directly you should get to make the decision (your dh must trust you that you will make a balanced decision).

You are not being unreasonable, there is no point thinking you can return to work in 10 years without planning for it and getting experience.Its not easy to get a job if you have a limited CV so you are being sensible looking forwards.

I think it's important that YOU realise he doesn't get to make the final decision, it has to be joint so I would start each discussion setting out that as a principle.You can find a way through this but don't let go of your instinct and need to get back to work.It important to you and most couples can balance work and children.

MadameJosephine Thu 21-Jul-16 09:08:13

just that I don't want to this says it all. Find for one parent to stay at home if that's what they want but you don't.

It's not up to him to decide, if you want to do it then you should be able to. Why is it 'selfish' for you to want to develop your career and not for him? Why is it important that you don't 'miss' things but not him?

KatharinaRosalie Thu 21-Jul-16 09:13:26

he's right in that it's best for the family if I stay home. Just that I don't want to - remember, you are a part of the family too, and if you're not happy with the set-up, it's not reall´y best for everybody.

By re-training, I would guess you don't mean leaving the family for a few years to go live on the other side of the world, or similar?

FlattenedWhite Thu 21-Jul-16 09:16:50

The only person saying that your family 'needs' you to stay at home dancing attendance on them is your DH, who obviously has a vested interest, because the reason he's earning more than you is that he hasn't taken maternity leaves, doesn't need to worry about leaving in time to do nursery pick-ups, and does nothing at home. Your children don't need you to stay out of the workforce for so long that your skills and confidence are gone - it's still the classic patriarchal trap.

Stop asking him for permission and start to make plans. Your wishes are as important as anyone else's.

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Thu 21-Jul-16 09:21:00

Why is it mum's are always made to feel that they are only part of a family and that anything they want or need has to go to the bottom of the heap?

Not a dig OP, it just pisses me off majorly. We're also human beings in our own right and don't just exist to keep the children and husband happy.

KatharinaRosalie Thu 21-Jul-16 10:52:07

yes, 'best for family' always seems to translate to 'best for husband and kids'

JustHappy3 Thu 21-Jul-16 12:29:51

Wow. I am shocked at his selfishness. I am a SAHM but it's a choice. I'd be very angry and feel unaporeciated if someone told me I HAD to be one. Just cos he earns more does not give him the right to dictate what the family does - on that basis you take away from the kids what subjects they choose to study and what job they have. Sort out what you want to do and make it happen.

freshcutroses Thu 21-Jul-16 13:36:36

Thanks for your answers, we have no family who can help so it does make sense from a financial and emotional point of view for somebody to be at home but I don't think it's what I want forever. Yet I'm made to feel selfish for having different wants to being a SAHM.

Mitel Thu 21-Jul-16 13:38:45

You made a commitment when having children to do the best for your family. Your DH is doing his best by going out and earning the most that you can as a family. You are able to help the children by being there when they are young, and therefore do your part - a part that you may well be better at than your DH (and a part that sounds like you both originally agreed to).

What if your DH said he didn't really like his job and decided he wanted to work in a charity shop as he felt it far more noble, even if this had a huge financial impact on the family. He wouldn't do that because he is not just thinking of himself. Sometimes, in reality, things have to take a back seat.

Once the children are in school then you will have more time and you can try your best to do some studies.

YABU, but then I think you probably know that.

freshcutroses Thu 21-Jul-16 13:43:04

That is his argument Mitel, but he wants me to wait until they are in secondary school which is in a decade's time. I don't know if I am being unreasonable or not, that's why I asked on here.

EllsTeeth Thu 21-Jul-16 13:44:58

I don't think YABU AT ALL. You preserving good mental health is what is best for you family, all of you, you, your children and your husband. If being at home for another decade and putting off your retraining for that long won't make you happy then don't do it. It won't be good for the children to have a mother (or a father but in this case it's mother) at home if she's frustrated, bored and feels like her life is ticking away and she isn't doing what she'd love to to. Have you presented him with a plan, financial and practical, for how it would work while you are retraining and then subsequently working? Could you train part time? Could you compromise and wait until your youngest starts primary school?

EllsTeeth Thu 21-Jul-16 13:46:53

And I guess your age could make a difference here - if you're early 20s could be more doable from a practical point of view to wait that long but if you're late 30s not so much!

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