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Husband wants me to go back to work (ideally full time) after my mat leave

(188 Posts)
shewhocannotbenamed Mon 08-May-17 12:34:16

I've never really planned on being a SAHM but I also never voiced a wish to go back full time post baby. In principle I don't really agree that LO should go to nursery before he's at least one but I was willing to do it for 2-3 days a week for the sake of my job (I've got a feeling they might want to replace me with my mat cover longer term, and if I come back after 12 months they are not obliged to give me the exact same position I occupied previously whereas this is guaranteed if I get back within 9 months.)

Also following my husband's recent (massive) promotion he is now on £55k and we have savings (to which I have very largely contributed as was previously earning more than him) so it's not like we really desperate for the extra income.

So imagine my surprise when we were viewing nurseries and he asked for full time rates. I told him I was only thinking part time and he accepted this but I could tell he was a bit... I don't know, disappointed?

AIBU for feeling a bit upset about this? Considering the costs of childcare it's not like I'd be bringing home much anyway whichever option we choose. I can't even exactly specify why this makes me sad, perhaps makes me feel less like a woman and more like just his mate? It's especially so as his mother never worked post children and also in the past he had a girlfriend who just chose not to work (no kids or anything) and as far as I understand he was perfectly fine supporting her.

We've just had his friend nip over a few days back to announce his wife was pregnant and my husband gone into giving him financial advise straight away including to factor in for the extortionate costs of childcare, and his mate just said "I'm not worried we have savings and I'd be happy for her to stay home with the baby." That just really did it for me - how nice that he didn't have some inherent expectation that the wife needs to constantly perform both at home and at work.

TheStoic Mon 08-May-17 12:37:58

He needs to know that HE will be required to perform at home and work then too.


It may not seem so appealing when that understanding dawns on him.

MoMandaS Mon 08-May-17 12:41:52

Well, you need to discuss it with him. I was ambivalent about going back; husband was worried about me staying home (a) because he was concerned about all our eggs being in one basket (what if he's made redundant, etc) and (b) because he was worried that being a SAHM wouldn't be stimulating enough for me and I might get at best bored and at worst depressed, either initially or later on. This was partly because of what happened with his own mother. So is it possible you've jumped to conclusions about his thinking?

Gallavich Mon 08-May-17 12:42:24

Well you are his mate? As in his partner. Why does it make you feel less
Like a woman? I think you need to be able to articulate what you're unhappy about really because that doesn't make much sense.
If you feel that your child would benefit from you being at home 4 days a week (not unreasonable) then explain this to your dh. Presumably he wants what is best for your baby too? But don't waffle on about feeling sad that he doesn't see you as a woman because that is daft.

MoMandaS Mon 08-May-17 12:44:59

It might just be that he hadn't considered you might not want to go back, particularly since it sounds like you've had a decent career up to now - it would be easy for him to assume you'd want to continue that, if you haven't told him otherwise.

NuffSaidSam Mon 08-May-17 12:45:50

Have you ever discussed the possibility of him being a SAHD? Or going part time? Or your going part time? Or have you just assumed that he would work full time and you would work part time? It sounds like you've both made assumptions tbh.

There is nothing wrong with him asking for the full-time rates though. That's just a normal question when things haven't been decided 100%. Look for a childminder if nursery doesn't work for you.

Dishwashersaurous Mon 08-May-17 12:47:38

Didn't you discuss this before and during pregnancy?

If you don't want to go back ft talk to him about it.

Have you discussed more children?
Time frames for that and mat leave implications.

BarbarianMum Mon 08-May-17 12:47:57

Talk to him. And YY to him doing 50% of everything child/home related if you are both full time. That's 50% of pick ups/drop offs, 50% of cooking/cleaning/laundry, 50% of taking time off when lo is sick.

shewhocannotbenamed Mon 08-May-17 12:48:04

@TheStoic Yes I was thinking that might be another reason why I'm upset - I've been doing almost everything around the child so far and it seems like he just doesn't appreciate this as a valued contribution. I said to him that when I go back to work I'd expect him to help more to which he replied (with some indignation) that taking care of LO will be "much easier" at 9 months (thus he'd still expect me to do it all?!)

Though I have to say he's very helpful when it comes to household chores (when I say helpful I mean he probably does 60-70%)

NuffSaidSam Mon 08-May-17 12:48:10

'perhaps makes me feel less like a woman'

This is very 1953 btw! The womanly thing to do is stay at home with the DC?! Come on!

Sounds like your DP is perhaps a little more open minded as to a woman's role in the family!

ElspethFlashman Mon 08-May-17 12:48:28

in the past he had a girlfriend who just chose not to work (no kids or anything) and as far as I understand he was perfectly fine supporting her.

I guarantee he wasn't perfectly fine with supporting her, regardless of how polite he's been about her.

Staypuff Mon 08-May-17 12:48:39

I'm surprised you didn't discuss this before so you both were on the same page. Could the girlfriend he supported have not ended well? Could he have been left carrying the stressful financial load and is worried that could happen again? He may feel worried you may refuse to ever work again. One of dhs friends had that issue, when the children were teens she still refused to even consider work- purely because she liked having her days to herself.

Personally I'd bite dhs hand off eagerly if he agreed to stay at home but I know he will be a great sahd while it's in our kids best interest and then go back to work after.

Make it clear though (if you don't already do it) that picking up and drop offs plus all housework and shopping will be 50/50. As another poster said, he may not be factoring it all in.

I don't think Yabu to be upset at all, but this is something you should bother speak about. I am confused why you'd feel like a mate if your baby went into nursery though.

Staypuff Mon 08-May-17 12:49:47

Yes that's what I thought ElspethFlashman, maybe she was actually a cocklodger and once bitten...

Astro55 Mon 08-May-17 12:50:24

He may well have felt a bit silly asking for full time when you piped up about part time - which made it clear it's hadn't been discussed!

You need to discuss it with him

Akire Mon 08-May-17 12:50:30

Make it clear if you are working full time or even 4 days that he will have to do 50-50 of sickness cover. He probable thinks can have it both ways you working and picking up all extra childcare and home care.
Try doing a trial run being out of house with baby all day,you get home same time then you both do cooking, cleaning, childcare. I'm presume you get most Day at the moment so he dosnt see what extra he have pick up in the evenings

Osirus Mon 08-May-17 12:50:35

I don't want to return either. My DP wants me to at least give it a go, so I said I wouldn't work more than two days a week and only short days.

My work has agreed to two days, 9am-3pm. It will be nice to have my own income, but I'm only doing it because of DP. Like a previous poster, he's concerned I will get bored/want more out of life and to keep some continuity of employment.

With the hours I'll be doing, it's barely working. Could you work out something similar?

CinderellaRockefeller Mon 08-May-17 12:50:53

Less like a woman? Because he thinks you should have a job rather than staying at home raising children?

How utterly depressing.

ElspethFlashman Mon 08-May-17 12:50:55

Tbh it's really not clear what you want.

If it's not clear to us, it's probably not clear to him.

You have to figure out what you want!

Didiusfalco Mon 08-May-17 12:51:32

I see what you mean, given that you don't need the money it would be nice if he took a more generous/holistic attitude regarding what was best for you/the baby. Even if he wanted to go part time to spend more time with the baby himself, that would at least show concern for your families work/life balance. Just all sounds a bit money driven, which isn't very attractive imo.

JaneEyre70 Mon 08-May-17 12:52:01

If you can get by on one income, do it. You will never get those years back. Looking after children and a home IS a full time job and one he needs to show you some respect for doing.

Staypuff Mon 08-May-17 12:52:02

If he already does a lot then I'd say he's not so worried about that. Does he still do that much with you on maternity though?

Batteriesallgone Mon 08-May-17 12:52:29

I don't get it. Why haven't you had a proper sit down chat about all this?

Fruitcorner123 Mon 08-May-17 12:52:38

Firstly I just wanted to say that I am almost sure that while they don't have to Igive you the exact same job they have to give you an equivalent one for the same rate of pay. Would that be acceptable to you and give you the yet you wanted?

It does sound like you need to discuss this in more detail as it should be a joint decision and it makes sense to actually look at the finances of all the options (sahp, two days, three days and full time) now you know the costs. You may have been reading more into his facial expressions than he intended. He may be proud of your career and worried you may regret giving it up. He may have just been under the impression you wanted to go back and have been surprised. Without discussing it you don't know.

Lastly have you thought about a childminder if you are unsure about nurseries?

AmpleRaspberries Mon 08-May-17 12:52:43

I'm not sure you are guaranteed the same position after 9 months, I understand it to be 6 months ordinary mat leave and anything more is classed as additional mat leave. That aside they can't just give your job to someone else, so don't worry to much about that.

With regards to your DH, I think you just need to have a conversation with him and say how you feel rather than read in to so much from off the cuff comments

ElspethFlashman Mon 08-May-17 12:54:25

if I come back after 12 months they are not obliged to give me the exact same position I occupied previously whereas this is guaranteed if I get back within 9 months.

Honestly I think he's being sensible. God knows what they'd offer you if you decided after a year you wanted to go back. Might be shit.

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