To think DH should have sorted childcare?(30 Posts)
DH has been the main breadwinner for most of our marriage and has generally worked very long (60 hour) weeks. He was self employed and doing a very physical job. Due to health problems and struggles to find work he has not really done anything, apart from the odd week's work here and there, for the last couple of years. I would think he's probably brought in about £2,000 in this time.
I have always worked too, although I spent several years part time when the children were younger, but have been full time for last 4 years or so which now means I am the sole breadwinner effectively. When he worked I basically did everything at home - mostly because he left at 6.00am and got home around 7pm and so naturally most childcare and housework fell on me. Only it still seems to fall on me.
DH cooks, occasionally does a bit of hoovering and puts 11yo child on bus for school and is around when child returns. I on the other hand am out at 7am home around 6pm and then have 2-3 hours work in an evening often (teacher). Am still doing the bulk of the housework in my weekends, and still doing most of the crappy child related jobs, eg arranging dental appts, buying school uniform, sewing name tags, nagging about HW, etc.
DH has now disappeared off to a family event for the weekend 300 odd miles away and has the chance of a couple of days work for an old friend. When I spoke to him tonight to ask when he'd be home (expecting him to say Sunday) he wasn't sure - thought it might be Wed, he'd let me know etc. I told him rather tersely that I needed to know very soon as I would have to sort childcare. This will be a pain - and I can probably call in favours for a day or two, but I have a Dept Meeting Tuesday which means I'll not be in til 7pm, having left at 7am that morning. And it is now just me and the 11 yo. I work an hour away from home.
AIBU to think that DH should actually consider the fact that HE is now the main carer and expected to sort the childcare if he wants to/needs to be away from home? And that I would never have buggered off for a few days knowing he had to go to work without sorting out who was picking our child up/taking care of them? I know he is concerned that he isn't earning. I know it's been hard on him and that he wants to work. But it's been hard on me too and I'm so tired I can barely think straight some days. I'm pissed off that he just dumps even more work on me without thought.
He does sound selfish and useless.
But most 11 year olds get themselves to school/ bus and back (unless there is a particular reason why not). Mine would die of embarrassment if I escorted him.
AIBU to think that DH should actually consider the fact that HE is now the main carer and expected to sort the childcare if he wants to/needs to be away from home?
Of course you are not unreasonable. There isn't a woman I know - working or not working - who doesn't organise care for her responsibilities when she goes away. Imagine living in a world where that kind of thing happened by magic without your involvement - must be lovely.
Thanks folks. Glad to have some other perspective. I am beginning to feel that I spend my whole time nagging at him or feeling surly and resentful. He is fed up with hearing me say that I'm tired....but I am bloody tired!
Honeylou - We have maybe babied the 11yo (youngest one...others are grown up and left home) - but we are rural so he has been driven to primary school and picked up again. Is now Y7 and has to walk half mile to bus stop on busy-ish country road with no pavement. My concern is mostly that I leave for work an hour before the bus. What are the chances he will miss it? (Pretty likely - I suspect he'll start watching TV and forget the time, then panic and rush out). Also if there is a problem then I am an hour's drive away, and the worry is that I will not know if he has not turned up at school, etc. School will generally mark down as absent, may ring home to check but if they get no answer will just leave a message.
DS should get off bus about 4.20pm.....and will then be alone until 7.00 if I don't find someone to do the childcare on Tues. It's bloody dark and cold and lonely on your own in our house and I don't really want him trying to make his own tea. He is quite a nervous child.
I will find childcare, but I'm fed up with doing everything. I've tried telling DH that he needs to pull his weight and he makes willing noises but is almost 60 now and doesn't seem to get it. Much of our marriage he worked away from home and was only back at weekends and I don't think he has any idea of how much I do.
Sorry OP just read the bit about no pavement.Yikes! That's a very good reason and I would worry too.
Of course YANBU. It seems unlikely he's going to be of any help for the immediate problem he's dumped on you. Maybe because you always do cope he simply didn't give a moments thought to logistics. Any chance your DS could arrange to go home with a schoolfriend and you pick him up later?
Could your child's school put him in a taxi to your school at end of school day? You can then travel home together after your department meeting? He could just do some homework in the office/library?
I was thinking about a school friend too. I once asked if my dd could sleepover at her friend's house when her brother was in hosp. Her mum was lovely about it.
As for your husband, you need to point out you wouldn't have dreamt of causing this problem when he was working full time and that he definitely needs to arrange childcare if he ever does this again.
Write down everything you do. Take your time and include everything from daily to occasional jobs. Take time to compile this list.
Then sit down with him and show him. I'm doing this with my oh because he thinks cooking tea occasionally and putting a load of washing on sometimes counts as pulling his weight.
Slowly slowly catchee monkey.
Bloody ridiculous. If you had just gone away when you were the primary carer, what would he have said?
Could one of your other children help out?
I'd agree if you had a 6 year old but plenty of 11 year olds get themselves to school and come home to an empty house. In your situation I'd probably have seen if he could go to a friends' house after school but otherwise just let him get on with it.
Sorry...been out for the day Christmas shopping! Thanks for all the responses. If I'm honest I'm not particularly worried about what I will do for a couple of days. I will be able to pack DS off to friend's house and it is fairly easily sortable. What I am pissed off about is how it is left to ME to sort, and me to ring people up, and me to make the arrangements. I know it won't take that much effort necessarily - it just feels like one more bloody thing on my 'to do' list and I feel resentful that when DH worked full time somebody else (ie me) just picked up all the slack. He never had to concern himself about who had the kids, or whether they had clean uniform for example. Not even whether there was anything in to make ruddy pack ups/tea. Can't get one of the others to help unfortunately. All now in their 20s - one at Uni 100 miles away and both the others work full time 2 - 3 hours away. (Said we were rural! Little employment in this area).
Velvet, I like your suggestion - I think I need to do something! I did moan the other week that I didn't think he'd ever cleaned the toilet/bathroom and his response was 'well how often do you do it?' . I'm not the world's best housewife but I did manage to say 'well more than once every 18 months or so'...
Sorry. Can't put him in a taxi, Tinky! I work 40 miles away.
YANBU! You need to do what I have to do when I want DH to do anything. Write and present him with a sodding list. It's the only way I can get him to do stuff. Really irritating that's it's necessary.
YA totally NBU. The problem is that childcare is wifework. Which means it's still yours responsibilty to sort it out even when you are at work and he isn't. Totally unfair but unfortunately reall common.
My DH arranges childcare if I'm away, the male species are perfectly capable of doing this
OK, so he rings his mum but he does sort it out
Wow, if he is not working, bringing in money and not even considering the fact you need to arrange childcare, then what exactly is he useful for? The problem you just expressed, loads of single mums face everyday, many of whom don't have the resources/childcare to work a full time role or develop a career, so you are lucky you have been able to, however he needs to pull his weight.
He sees it as wifework. Clearly.
Tbh id approach as thoughtless rather than an asshole to begin with.
Sit down together, write a list of what needs doing and how often, then devise a plan of when. Explain as he is responsible for childcare durin termtime he needs to deal woth any changes. Add to that the next dentist app and tell him to make the follow up appointment.
Then teach your own boy how to adult better than his father.
Unfortunately when I have been let down childcare wise, I have ended up having to take time off, as last minute childcare is hard to find, if he had told you earlier you could of done something.
Well yes, he is unreasonable but you need to clearly say this at the time.
When he said he wasn't sure you need to ask him "who is looking after ds then?"
So he doesn't bring in money to the family. He doesn't really do anything domestic. You end up doing everything...
What does he bring to your family life? he sounds a burden.
When i was separated my hisband once told me he was out on his night with the children. I asked innocently who did he have looking after the children? And he just gave me a look of wide-eyed Stupiddickheadness. He arrangednfor his mum to do it and didnt try that shit again.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.