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AIBU To expect my wife to actively search for work now DC are at school ?

(267 Posts)
Fortnum Wed 05-Oct-16 18:32:17

My wife hasn't worked full time in the 12 years of our marriage, I have always been the principle earner. Previously there were some part time supermarket hours despite a reasonably professional clerical career prior to marriage and moving to another area of the country. Now our DC are 7 &10 respectively I would expect her to at least search for some work within their school hours if possible , I have even offered to invest in a business start up for her.

I earn a good wage and we can afford to live reasonably well, but now with age 40 not far around the corner , I feel we should be working very hard to bring in whatever we can to plan for the future, its all very well us owning a nice home but with another income we could pay the mortgage down even quicker and it is always worth both partners having a decent pension arrangement.

She does not seem too bothered, she has applied for precisely two jobs in 4 months. I had a period of 6 months unemployed a few years ago, (with savings) and I spent 6-8 hours a day networking where possible and applying for jobs and canvassing potential employers.


BillSykesDog Wed 05-Oct-16 18:35:56

Have you posted about this before? You're both women right?

RufusTheSpartacusReindeer Wed 05-Oct-16 18:36:03

Well assuming that you will be around to help with the school run and take time off for sickness and take an equal share of the housework then i dont think it would be unreasonable to ask

It can be a bit scary to go back to work though, might she be a bit insecure about her abilities

AndShesGone Wed 05-Oct-16 18:36:13

It's not that you're unreasonable but after 12 years at home she's probably got to have a think (and some support) over what she'd like to do next.

It's a very long time out of the work force.

AndShesGone Wed 05-Oct-16 18:37:29

And also if I'd previously had a 'professional clerical career' I wouldn't be clamouring to go and work in a supermarket unless I had to hmm

formerbabe Wed 05-Oct-16 18:37:55

I don't think you're being unreasonable but jobs within school hours only are few and far between. Does she do all the household stuff at the moment? If yes, are you prepared to take some of that on if she gets a job?

RufusTheSpartacusReindeer Wed 05-Oct-16 18:37:56


Did the last thread not go well then?

BillSykesDog Wed 05-Oct-16 18:38:14

YANBU though. She should be applying for more jobs or looking at retraining. If she was a bloke she'd be called a cocklodger.

RufusTheSpartacusReindeer Wed 05-Oct-16 18:38:36

Agree re supermarket andshesgone

eightbluebirds Wed 05-Oct-16 18:38:43

Well what did you plan for long term? Based on your OP YANBU. Life is still pretty hectic with primary aged children but a part time job could be ideal but perhaps her confidence is low after 12 years of not working. You need to talk.

BewtySkoolDropowt Wed 05-Oct-16 18:40:14

I don't think YABU at all.

But then I was in the situation where my partner wouldn't work and I really stressed about being the sole provider. It was one of many reasons that we split, but it was one of the two big ones. So I fully sympathise.

LeatherAndLace Wed 05-Oct-16 18:40:37


I do feel for her though, that is a long time out of work. Is she scared to go back?

BillSykesDog Wed 05-Oct-16 18:40:38

Rufus, it didn't go well or badly. I just remembered it and IIRC correctly the wife was taking the piss a bit. She wanted to be at home to 'find herself' and was refusing to take a job unless it was one she 'loved' rather than getting something she was qualified for and would pay the bills.

Cel982 Wed 05-Oct-16 18:40:45

Well, not necessarily, but what does she say when you talk to her about it? Have you sat down and - in a non-argumentative way - discussed how you both see the next few years unfolding? Does she want to work? Just because the kids are now at school, I'd imagine there's still a lot of invisible work she does at home that you might only notice when it's no longer being done. And even if she is keen to restart her career, she's likely to find it difficult, both practically and psychologically, to get back into the workforce after 12 years out of it.

Talk to her.

maggiethemagpie Wed 05-Oct-16 18:42:27

YANBU. My husband is a SAHD, but supports himself through property he owned pre marriage. Nevertheless as soon as the littlest one's in school he's going to be looking for a job so we can use that extra income for house renovations and holidays.

Able bodied adults who won't work when they could do so strike me as lazy and un self reliant. IMHO it's not very attractive.

Fruitboxjury Wed 05-Oct-16 18:44:34

What was your decision based on when she originally left work? If my OH actually expected me to return to work I probably wouldn't have become a sahp in the first place due to all the well documented difficulties people have trying to return later.

As others have said, are you prepared to take your share of the sick days, school runs, household admin, housework, homework, planning, washing and all the other things that she takes care of now?

ChasedByBees Wed 05-Oct-16 18:45:25

It can be quite tricky to find a job which fits in school hours. Are you willing to consider going part time yourself to do pick ups to enable her to increase her potential hours? This will give more options and at the start of a new job, she'll need to show commitment to the role. Are you also going to share time off work when the DC are ill / out of term time? You will also need to do an equal share of the housework.

If not, YABU.

HeddaGarbled Wed 05-Oct-16 18:45:39

Realistically, the sort of job that will fit into school hours and holidays and will suit someone who has been out of paid employment for 12 years is not the sort of job which involves networking and canvassing potential employers. Think ad in local shop window or local paper, plus school mum word of mouth. Maybe, the local job centre or agencies, though they seem to be largely dominated by jobs as delivery drivers these days. Have a look in your local paper job section and you'll see what she's up against.

malika54 Wed 05-Oct-16 18:45:59

I understand where you're coming from, and it sounds like it makes sense financially. Have you talked to her properly about it? Does she agree with your reasoning?
After that many years she is probably shit scared about going back to work and feeling out of the loop. I know I would.
Also, if you manage to live comfortably, it doesn't sound like and emergency, which would explain the pickiness. It makes sense to pick a job you're going to enjoy rather than any old job. Who would want a shitty job if they've had a fairly decent career? And how many jobs offer the flexibility of school hours?
I can see your point, but it sounds like she has reservations and /or maybe a lack of confidence. Or she doesn't just want any old job and is taking her time picking something she can see herself having a career in?

knaffedoff Wed 05-Oct-16 18:46:29

Whilst I can see your point if view, will you share the responsibilities equally when the children are not in school (13 weeks a year), when they are ill and presumably your wife is currently doing the lions share of housework / organising the home to ensure everything gets done?

I assumed tbh that when my kids went to school, I would be able to return to work. However, the reality is that me picking up all my husband's slack means that he isn't distracted, doesn't get home to a list of chores etc etc.

My dh is doing a role which he enjoys, is valued for and has opportunities to develop upon. I gave up all this to raise a family and to support my husband. I would not be impressed to feel pushed into a part time super market role on top of everything else.

AnnieOnAMapleLeaf Wed 05-Oct-16 18:47:55

YABU at all. If I were in your position, I would feel exactly the same way. It doesn't sound as though she is making much of an effort though. Hope you manage to figure out an arrangement that makes you both happy.

bumpetybumpbumpbump Wed 05-Oct-16 18:50:50

Here we go again halo

Gazelda Wed 05-Oct-16 18:53:42

Maybe she's feeling pressured by you to take any job, regardless whether it makes her feel valued. She perhaps feels as though you see her as lazy and taking advantage.

Why not take a different approach? Have a conversation with her about your shared plans for the future - including when your mortgage might be paid off, whether your pension provisions are sufficient etc. once you've agreed what sort of financial ambitions, retirement age etc you both foresee, this will dictate what actions you need to take now to achieve your plans. This will help you both feel that you're working towards the same goals.

Iamdobby63 Wed 05-Oct-16 19:00:13

Your wife hasn't worked full time in 12 years? Unless she is a slob then she has but it just hasn't been paid employment.

Having said that YANBU, however, you YABU by putting restrictions on the hours she can work. Just out of interest do you have child care in place for school holidays?

I wish her luck finding a job between the hours of 9.30 - 2.30.

Trifleorbust Wed 05-Oct-16 19:02:47

What career options do you envisage as being realistic for your wife? After 12 years out of the workforce it is going to be hard for her to return to a job at her previous level, and she may feel that looking for more easily available jobs (which will probably be more menial) is unfair after her taking a backwards step to raise the children. Have you discussed this with her?

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