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He shouldn't take the job and be a father instead?

(221 Posts)
user1466488499 Thu 15-Sep-16 16:37:25

We had our first child DS1 7 weeks ago. We're both adjusting to parenthood and the challenges it brings! We both have good London city jobs and are comfortable.
DH has just been offered a new job which is significantly higher in pay than his current one - he didn't apply, he was approached by the firm directly. Problem is the new job will involve lots of international travel and longer working hours in the week and weekends. DH is excited about the job but I would rather he is around to parent our child and be there for him. I will do most of the child raising and DH will only see DS at weekends. This isn't what I intended when we got married and when I got pregnant. I want two parents raising our son not just me. We are comfortable as we are, not loaded, but we are doing fine.
AIBU for being annoyed he is putting his own personal agenda and career ahead of being a dad? How much money is enough? Is it wrong of me to expect my husband to actively participate in being a father and not just do it at weekends? As said above, we both have good steady jobs making good money. I am tearing my hair out and massively annoyed that he now wants to get ahead and go for this job rather than be around for our son...

slightlyglitterbrained Thu 15-Sep-16 16:38:42

Not unreasonable at all.

slightlyglitterbrained Thu 15-Sep-16 16:41:41

Oops, realise that's a bit ambiguous. You are not being at all unreasonable to expect him to be around when your baby is so young. It's perfectly understandable for him to be flattered and excited - but it's the wrong time.

IfNotNowThenWhenever Thu 15-Sep-16 16:41:57

Of course it's not unreasonable to want him to be around, especially if you don't need the money. The reality of being a parent is that you can't always do everything you want, and I say that as a lone parent who bloody knows this to be the case! He needs to put his family first, same as you.

HandmaidsTail Thu 15-Sep-16 16:45:58

Well, it's not an either/or proposition. He's still a Dad even if he works long hours. If you came on here and suggested a woman wasn't a mum because she worked long hours you'd get your arse handed to you.

You need to reach a decision together. But I wouldn't make 'if you take this job you're choosing not to be a dad' your opening gambit.

Lightbulbon Thu 15-Sep-16 16:46:11

Start having a conversation about the child support payments he'll have to pay with his new salary.

user1466488499 Thu 15-Sep-16 16:46:20

DH justifies it by saying the extra money will be for our family. You're right he is flattered but has been at the same job for 18 years and wants a change. It doesn't even occur to him it's important to be a decent father who is around his child. I'm furious

MrsMushrooms Thu 15-Sep-16 16:47:05

I don't think YABU but I don't think he is either. Every family has to make these decisions for themselves and nobody on MN (or anywhere else!) can help - you'll just have to talk it through together and work out what's best for all of you.

HandmaidsTail Thu 15-Sep-16 16:47:35

Light come on, that's not helpful.

eggyface Thu 15-Sep-16 16:48:31

I do think more money gives you more choices. You could discuss it. At 7 weeks you don't know how the year will pan out. The baby might have terrible reflux meaning you want a night nanny or something. You might get a job offer too, or want to change your hours by the end of the year, and having more disposable cash could mean you get to do something different. Those are just 2 things that might happen...there's all sorts that could come up.

Careers have a habit of not standing still. If he's in a professional type job there will be an expectation of progress - both for his own job satisfaction and how he's viewed in his industry. Moving on may protect him from redundancy and make him generally able to command more money and better jobs. How about if taking the job now meant in 5 years he was well placed for an amazing, super flexible role? Ultimately the family might benefit.
I also think the one who isn't on mat leave feels the pressure to provide. The one doing most of the caring feels the pressure to do everything right for the baby but maybe doesn't have that urgent feeling to 'hunt and gather'. I don't say it's always the man or woman taking either of those roles, it's hard for anyone feeling they are the ultimate backstop for everyone's food etc

I think YANBU but also HINBU so cut him some slack and discuss it with open mind.

abigwideworld Thu 15-Sep-16 16:49:18

I don't think either of you are being unreasonable. Did you discuss work/life balance before having your baby together?

VladmirsPoutine Thu 15-Sep-16 16:49:33

If it were my partner I'd think he'd be crazy not to take up the offer. But then again all families are different.

Sparklesilverglitter Thu 15-Sep-16 16:49:45

He will still be a dad even if he takes the job. It is possible to have a long hour/hard work job and still be a very much a good parent.

I can see why he is excited by this job, he didn't even apply he was approached directly and that is a big thing. Thing is if he turns this down will he get another chance to progress in his job later down the line? Is it something he should really pass up on?

MiddleClassProblem Thu 15-Sep-16 16:53:22

I don't think either of you are bu.

Your latter post though, saying about him not wanting to be a decent father is telling but of what?

Working a lot does not mean you are not a decent father. My dad was away for 3 months at a time working and still was around for us. I don't think military parents would agree with you either!

But did you say that referring to something else?

redskytonight Thu 15-Sep-16 16:53:27

How much room for negotiation is there in the new job?
Can he work more at home for example, and perhaps work into the evening after DS is in bed?
Are there other jobs out there that sit somewhere between this one and his current one?

I think you need an open and frank conversation about how this will affect you, but ultimately I think that if you try to say he can't take it, it will lead to resentment. There is a thread currently running about a woman that wants to increase her hours but her husband doesn't want her to.

Remember more money = more options.
Also, it's not uncommon for working parents to have very little interaction with their DC during the week. It does not mean they are not "raising them".

passingthrough1 Thu 15-Sep-16 16:54:22

Hm not sure how clear cut it is. My partner works long hours and sometimes I find that tough with a baby but at the same time, London is expensive and if this sacrifice means we can afford a nice family house without a commute, not worry about schools (ideally state, if none are suitable then we can hopefully afford to go private), save for an early retirement and to help out with university, maybe have 3 kids instead of 1 or 2 if we want in the future...
Sometimes I wish my partner had a 9-5 job but then I have to weigh that up with thinking would I want to never feel that we had enough money and worry about the mortgage etc?

Eatthecake Thu 15-Sep-16 16:54:52

I don't think you are completely unreasonable, I can kind of see where you are coming from.

He will still be a dad, if he takes the job and he can still be a fantastic dad if he takes the job.

To actually be head hunted is a massive thing and I would struggle to turn it down

Both me and dh have always worked full time in demanding top level jobs since each of our DC were 3 months old. Are we bad parents? No I don't think so. Yes our children attended nursery very young and had a childminder but when we are all home at weekend we have our family time and it's the best! I am no less of a mother because I work Monday to Friday and see DC mainly at weekends and the same for DH he's no less of a father.

MrsRyanGosling15 Thu 15-Sep-16 16:55:00

Maybe I'm differebt but I don't believe you can be a good enough parent if you only see you child at the weekends, if it's the dad or mum. YANBU in my opinion. I would be furious about such a drastic change to the family dynamic and I would view it as he was putting time with his ds at the bottom of the list.

Slothlikesundays Thu 15-Sep-16 16:56:14

My dp now works a job with long hours and has to work away Monday to Friday. I was less than impressed when he took it whilst I was pregnant. However he makes lots of effort to Skype etc whilst away and then comes home and is really hands on all weekend. In hindsight this actually works better for us than his last job where he left the house at 5am and got back at 8pm as he was knackered and grumpy. The time he spends with our dd is quality time and I think that's what counts.
So I guess what Im trying to say is if he puts in the effort it could work. Although I appriciate that not all relationships work long distance/ not having both of you home all evening. We've spent more time living apart than together and it can work. If he does take the job try to focus on the positives- lots of time to meet your friends, your routine is soley you and the baby...

MiddleClassProblem Thu 15-Sep-16 16:58:09

Also if he is looking to change his job, feeling stale after 18 years, what better opportunity? I feel it is so important to be happy at work as that is where you spend most of your time, even more in this case. If he passed it up they may overlook him in future opportunities. It doesn't make you parenting solo any easier but if it were my DH I would support him to follow his ambitions. At the end of the day it will be hard to begin with, then be normal. It still sounds easier than being a single parent no idea how they do it and am in awe

NickiFury Thu 15-Sep-16 16:58:16

I would actively encourage my DP to take up such an opportunity. Financial stability is important too.

slightlyglitterbrained Thu 15-Sep-16 16:58:57

Get him to think ahead to when you go back to work: he needs to talk to his potential new employers about how they will accomodate him dropping off/picking up from nursery. They want him now. This is going to be the easiest time ever for him to negotiate a good working schedule.

If he's not willing to have that conversation with them, then he's letting excitement and a bit of greed blind him to the fact that taking this job requires you to make huge fucking sacrifices "for the family", i.e. for your DH to not have to behave like he has one.

Getting him to actually think through how it will work may bring him back to reality. Now that you have a massive joint responsibility in the form of your son, career decisions are joint decisions because with a very small child, you will have no "slack" time for additional responsibilities to come out of - they get carved directly out of your partner's life.

passingthrough1 Thu 15-Sep-16 16:59:13

Also to add I have a decent job myself but my hours aren't bad (or rather, won't be when I go back from mat leave). His job allows us to think maybe I'll go back PT or stop working completely if we want (we'll decide when the time arrives). Having a bit extra means you have choices and sometimes that's really important. Obviously it's not everything and there is a balance to be found, I just think for everyone where they find that balance is different. He's not a bad person to want to earn more for his family. He's likely thinking about how much university will cost and how great it would be to help out with your DC's deposits in 20-30 years and maybe stopping working 10 years earlier..

rollonthesummer Thu 15-Sep-16 17:00:36

I'd be proud of him for being offered and wanting the promotion! It sounds like a great opportunity.

Pinkheart5915 Thu 15-Sep-16 17:01:25

I don't think either of you are being unreasonable. It is not a clean cut thing.

He will still be a dad if he takes the job. Working Monday to Friday and mainly seeing DC at the weekends does not make any Dad or Mum less of a parent! You just really enjoy the family time you do have.

I decided not to return to my business after having ds and DD but DH works Monday to Friday long hours, so he gets them both up dressed and gives breakfast before he goes to work and then he sees them mainly at the weekend but DH is a brilliant dad.

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