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To be enraged at DH's suggestion that he gives up work to become S/WAHF

(113 Posts)
Millipede170 Fri 10-Mar-17 20:02:23

I'm nearing the end of my mat leave with our first child. It's been harder than I thought it would be, difficult birth, some PND, have felt unsupported by my DH (long story, detail prob not relevant, but he's not a hands-on father so far). But I adore my son and will miss him terribly when I go back to work, and wish I didn't have to. We were discussing my return to work the other day, our DS going into childcare etc, when DH pipes up that he could quit his job and become a full-time Dad. Just like that. Because he said his salary is capped whereas my career has more legs (true, currently, but needn't always be the case).

It was like taking a bullet. I think because

1) he has absolutely no appreciation of how hard it is looking after a baby 24hrs a day (I have done both days and nights pretty much for the past year as I've been bf'ing and he's been working) and it just sounded so flippant - like yeah, I could do what you do no problem
2) I feel like I've done the really shit/hard bits, carrying DS, childbirth (breech), the newborn sleepless months, stuck in the house settling DS endlessly for naps etc. And now here comes more of the interactive 'fun' phase (not saying it isn't hard work mind you) and I get to go back to work and earn the money too 🤔

Am I U to feel that way?

Wishiwasmoiradingle2017 Fri 10-Mar-17 20:05:44

Tell him to put 2 weeks hols in when you go back to work (trial fortnight!) and let him crack on. . .
You know it won't happen!!

ActuallyThatsSUPREMECommander Fri 10-Mar-17 20:07:19

You feel how you feel - but when you return to work after your second child and he's faced with caring for a demanding three month old and a tantruming potty training toddler simultaneously you might see things differently.

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Fri 10-Mar-17 20:07:46

Believe me being at home with a toddler all day is not the fun interactive bit grin If he's not hands on at the moment then you could suggest he does the next 4 weekends on his own to try it out?

NeedMoreSleepOrSugar Fri 10-Mar-17 20:10:11

^^ this, only make it at least three weeks, so there's time for the novelty to wear off.

If he did make a good job of it could it work for you all? If so, try not to let the way in which it was suggested cloud your judgement too much!

IamFriedSpam Fri 10-Mar-17 20:10:19

Considering he hasn't been hands on so far YANBU. I would have actually liked it if my DH was a SAHP but I think he'd be great at it.

BarbarianMum Fri 10-Mar-17 20:10:39

YABU amazingly some men do manage to care for their children even without giving birth to them. Maybe he'll find it harder than he thinks, maybe he'll change his mind - women do that all the time. Are you worried he might love It?

Wigeon Fri 10-Mar-17 20:11:51

Is it an option for you both to work part time? I am always surprised about how many couples assume one partner must work FT and the other SAH.

fluffandsnuff Fri 10-Mar-17 20:11:54

He might be being naive but if it make sense in the long run... any chance of you both going part time?

BanginChoons Fri 10-Mar-17 20:13:57

Say it did work out and he pulled his socks up, it may well easier for you going to work knowing that your little one is comfy at home in their own environment as opposed to doing the rush around to get everyone ready and drop off at nursery each morning. Don't rule it out.

Aderyn2016 Fri 10-Mar-17 20:14:21

I would say an outright no to this, given he has done sweet FA so far.
Also, should you divorce, he would likely get residency and child support from you. Will no doubt be flamed for saying it, but I wouldn't want to risk it.

Notonthestairs Fri 10-Mar-17 20:16:02

Entertaining toddlers is not all that fun in my experience. But I get that right now you think he'd be getting the "good bit"! I agree let him trial it whatever you can (and don't try to control or oversee the process) and see what happens...

Wait4nothing Fri 10-Mar-17 20:23:32

I would definitely look into both part time in this situation - you'll be better off than 1 working as you'll both have tax free allowance and even if you both did 3 days (assuming a normal 5 day working week) it would give you both more time with your son and less outsourced childcare (which is expensive and can be a pain to work around)

Millipede170 Fri 10-Mar-17 20:26:36

Barbarian I'm not worried he'll love it. I'm more worried he won't do a very good job of it (trying to get him off his iPhone around the baby is hard enough) but not having seen him actually give it a proper go, my assumption is almost certainly U

Aderyn holy f'balls I hadn't even considered that 😱

WishIWasMoira SlightlyPertubed and NeedMoreSleep you could be right, a trial would be highly illuminating. I've had a whole 2 hour break from DS in the last 10 months, maybe a bit of father/son time is in order

Millipede170 Fri 10-Mar-17 20:27:47

I'd love to do part time but I'm in the Forces so currently it's all or nothing. Great food for thought tho, thanks 🙏

arethereanyleftatall Fri 10-Mar-17 20:28:55

I'm not sure what he's done wrong tbh. He's mooted an option you could consider.
And, my own personal experience with both my children is that toddlers are way harder than babies.

Birdsbeesandtrees Fri 10-Mar-17 20:28:55

Let him do it for bit. Better yet don't even come home but stay at a friends or in a hotel.

Inadither Fri 10-Mar-17 20:30:23

I had something similar in DH wanting to go pt as well as me. He'd done little previously. I'd done nights, most nappy changes, bf baby and at the weekend, when his time was his own he wanted to do his hobbies so I was kind of like 'hey you have the chance to be with us already and don't use it'. I think he just wanted time off work. I ended up going pt although I had to squash extra hours into my working days to argue it on a cost basis as I earn slightly more than him pro rata.

NapQueen Fri 10-Mar-17 20:30:37

Deffo swap for a fortnight. Even if you cant do any kit days follow his routine - leave in the morning and return when he usually does. What you do in that time is book daylets in hotels and sleep up to you. Deffo try before you buy!!

EnormousTiger Fri 10-Mar-17 20:31:20

Men are just as good as women with babies. We were equals (in fact ultimately I earned 10x more actually) but both worked full time - it really is important to spread risk within a couple if you can to keep both careers going. Why not do the suggestion above - of your ex taking 2 weeks of holiday to do the 2 weeks after you go back to full time work so he can see what it's like and if he likes it perhaps he could make a work request to go part time?

gillybeanz Fri 10-Mar-17 20:31:25

YANBU and something makes me feel that even if he does finally cope it will be through doing half a job and leaving the rest for when you come home.
If he had been a 50% parent from the start then maybe it would be different, but as it stands YANBU

Has he done any parenting at all, or has it all been down to you?

Neverthelessshepersisted Fri 10-Mar-17 20:31:35

Try it. Give him a genuine chance.

Believeitornot Fri 10-Mar-17 20:32:11

I think yabu a little bit actually.

You're obviously resentful at having to go back to work and you say your DH hasn't done much. But how much have you let him?

Why can't he make that suggestion? If I went to work and my DH decided to SAH I'd be envious because it wasn't me. But I don't doubt he'd do good job. Yes he does stuff differently but he has got much better as the kids got older.

When they were babies I did way more because a) I was on maternity leave so learnt quickly and b) I was breastfeeding so me settling them worked more quickly than DH. And a tiny part of me preferred it that way.

YetAnotherSpartacus Fri 10-Mar-17 20:33:12

Given what you say about him not being hands on I can pretty much predict he'd do little to nothing meaning you'd come home to mess and a dirty toddler and you'd be expected to clean this up too. Plus your original issue was about your needs - I.e. missing your son. How will this be solved by him staying home? He's neatly turned your problem (which he hasn't empathised with) into a solution that will benefit him not you.

notquiteruralbliss Fri 10-Mar-17 20:33:31

DH was always slightly useless around DCs if I was there ( I have always been the main parent when not at work) but managed just fine each time I went back to work leaving him with yet another < 6 week old DC. The only thing that suffered was his career, but he would have hated the next job up.

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