Please help SAHM(24 Posts)
Just looking for some advice really...
we have one DD, she wasn't planned but the whole way through my pregnancy I was adamant I would go back to work when she was around one. This never happened as when the time came we decided as a family it would be better for me to stay a SAHM. As she's gotten older and is in school I have slowly gone back into work and now work part time. We are pregnant again this time planned and DH has said a few times that he once again doesn't expect me to go back to work once the baby is here and had even joked that I'll have another 3 year career break and I have maintained that we will see how it goes as I'd like to to see how I feel when the baby gets bigger but I do love being a SAHM which he knows.
Now the problem... he finds his job very stressful, for the most part on a day to day basis he is happy and fine but one bad day/week at work and me catching him at a bad time and he can really really get frustrated and angry which isn't like him on the whole but he will say things like, let's swap, you go to work full time and have my stress and I'll live your life OR when the baby is a year old you can go back to work full time and we can swap etc etc. Now I find this extremely upsetting because of a few reasons, firstly fair enough with the first we never had a conversation because DD wasn't planned BUT this baby is planned and he knew I wanted to be a SAHM or to work a day or so a week and he never raised an objection to it before we got pregnant so I think it's unfair to say things like that to me. No.2 I support him in his job, whatever he wants to do, make changes I support him in anyway I can, this is his career choice and when he says things like that I don't feel MY career choice is being respected as he thinks he can "take it away from me" so to speak. I find it really disrespectful.
He also knows that there is no way this would actually ever happen as what I would earn full time wouldn't even cover all of our bills let alone give us any fun money to actually do things as a family.
Am I wrong though? Or is he BU?
You, as a couple have a problem to work out. Perhaps he’s worried about managing to provide for everyone or feels under appreciated for his contribution. Or perhaps resentful of having to work full time or long hours whilst you get to stay at home with the kids. Just have a chat about it see how you can compromise and keep each other happy.
What would be so wrong about you going full time and he staying at home parenting and doing the housework? It you could earn a comparable wage you should consider it. Neither of you should be dictating to each other. As the previous poster said both of you need to be involved in the decision.
Just talk to him, he may not begrudge you being a sahm, he might not have changed his mind.
It must be stressful if you don't love your work and are providing for a family.
I think you need to take his feelings into account.
If the wants to stay at home and you go to work then the practicalities need to be discussed like financial issues and your feelings too.
As I said in my OP what I would earn full time wouldn't be comparable to what he earns that's the main problem and I'm not saying that there would be anything wrong with him staying home and me working apart from the fact that I made it clear before getting pregnant that I didn't want this, he still decided to have a baby with me so why does he get to say that to me. Maybe I would have decided NOT to get pregnant if that was the case?
He may have agreed for you to have your preferred house of not working, or doing 1 day a week (although really, what's the point in that), but now he's not enjoying his work and hating the pressure of being the sole earner for a family of 4.
Maybe a compromise could be you do 3 days and he does 3 days. That would probably have tax benefits for both of you, and you would both get to spend time with the DC, and share the financial load.
People aren’t passive beings; feelings, aspirations etc change. It’s entirely possible that, just as you changed your mind about wanting to stay in work after having your first baby, he’s changed his mind
Also, jobs which bring in big bucks usually come with a degree of stress, pressure etc
TBH unless you enter into the sort of relationship where you know with cast iron 100% certainty that you will always be totally happy in completely fixed roles, then you need to accept that a relationship is a process of regular renegotiation, discussion and compromise. And frankly, even if you did have a relationship where each partner was totally happy in a fixed role, you’re screwed when life throws a curve ball in the form of redundancy, illness etc
I wouldn’t want the pressure of being sole provider, sounds like your dh doesn’t want it either. It’s also a problem that there’s such disparity in your earnings
You need to have a conversation, or rather ongoing dialogue and come to some agreement which works for all members of the family
I'm not saying that there would be anything wrong with him staying home and me working apart from the fact that I made it clear before getting pregnant that I didn't want this
Well, sometimes it's just tough. Things change. People change. Situations change. We all have to do things we don't want to sometimes to provide for our families. He doesn't want to work FT either, anymore. Your wants don't trump his.
I don’t think it really matters what was originally agreed. He sounds a bit jealous and is entitled to change his mind just as you would be if you realised you didn’t like being a SAHP.
Obviously it’s tricky if he earns a lot more than you, but you should make it clear to him that you are willing to compromise IMO.
He is being unreasonable, he knows you can’t afford to swap roles so what does he expect you to say? It would really annoy me; he’s taking his stress out on you and also inferring that what you do is easy.
You can want to stay at home but he doesn't have to support that choice and can change his mind at any point.
As a partnership you should work today not state that you aren't going back to work but he has to regardless. Highly selfish.
Can you not work part time so he can reduce his hours? Or you working part time could give him the breathing space required to look for another job.
The reality of having to financially support four people has probably hit home and is scaring him. It sound likes he’s stressed. If that’s the case, I think you should be willing to start working even if it’s not as much as he earns it will count for something.
He may enjoy the status of having a STAW as it shows he can afford it but he may not be enjoying the reality of the responsibly. There could even be concerns over his job that he’s not telling you about.
I do currently work part time and fully intend to do so again once the baby is a bit bigger, I don't expect him to fully carry the financial burden indefinitely. I went back to part time once DD was I think 2 and have increased it over time... me working part time won't mean he can work part time as that's what I do now my income just gives us a nice little boost and pays for things like xmas and birthday parties etc. His work is very well paid and is stressful yes but that's the road he chose to take and I've supported him all the way.
Saying that I don't want him to be unhappy but I don't want him to what I feel is dangle my life in front of me like he can just change it if he wants.
Yabu. You must know you are. He is obviously in a stressful job. Making him be the sole earner which would limit his options/put increased pressure on keeping his job whilst you get to do what you want and stay home is very selfish. Yes, as reality hits him/perhaps his job is now more stressful he is entitled to change is mind. Tbh he sounds like he was a bit pissed off with you staying off for 3years last time. These days being a sahp is a luxury (funded by the working partner) not a right.
I don't think he was pissed off with me being a SAHM, he chose his career and that career doesn't enable him to do school drop offs, school pick ups, after school clubs or any WFH so without me we would have been paying an absolute shedload in childcare and not to mention the fact that he likes that he doesn't have to spend his weekends cleaning, doing washing, food shopping etc and that after a long stressful day at work he doesn't have to make dinner. It's not like DD is at school and I'm still a SAHM I do work part time which I think posters are choosing to ignore
If, as you say, it will never actually happen then yes you are being unreasonable. Let the guy have his dreams.
Would he be able to work condensed hours? He would keep his full time pay packet but if he is communting for an hour or so each way then he would save 2-3 hours a week by not commuting one day a week. He would also save because all of those 'could you just do x jobs' given out at 4.50 (if he was nonimally working 9-5 at the moment) would be done by 5.15 in work time and he has until 6pm to finish up. He then gets to spend his 'day off' with his children
because that is such an easy option while you can work and save on childcare. It does mean he is later home on days when he does work, but you soon adapt to that. 4 working/3 off days seems like a better deal.
Yanbu. He has twice told you to be a SAHM. He cant then have a go at you, no matter how hard or frustrating he finds it. He needs to find a different way to let off steam. He has no respect for what you bring or the support he gets from you.
If I were you, I'd go back to work part time asap, and look at retraining to earn more.
eastlondoner funny that is EXACTLY what my mum says, that it's just his way of venting his frustration of the stress of his job when it sometimes gets on top of him and maybe in moments when he feels taken for granted (as we all do sometimes)
Completely reasonable of him to have a sensible conversation with you about how you might change things to allow him a better work life balance.
But it doesn't sound like he is doing this - he is just lashing out when he is pissed off, and resenting you for a situation which both of you have created.
Perhaps you need to have a serious chat about it when he isn't a grumpy mood?
If he's saying it in anger, maybe he doesn't actually mean it. If he has a stressful no and he is missing out on stuff with one child already, he may be frustrated on missing out on stuff with the second child while having the stresses of his job. That doesn't make it right for him to say it, it sounds like he needs to find an appropriate outlet for his stress and frustration
It seems to me that you want lots of flexibility for yourself, like the freedom to change your mind about going back to work depending on how you feel at the time, and yet you don't want to extend the same flexibility to your DH and he is therefore stuck with the choices that he made previously - about you staying at home, about the kind of career he chose etc.
That doesn't seem very fair to me at all. You should both try to accommodate the wishes and preferences of the other as far as you possibly can. Why don't you sit down and talk really openly and honestly with each other about what you each really want, and try to reach some sort of compromise?
OP I think YANBU.
We are in a similar situation in that my dh earns considerably more than I do - he works full time and I had some years off being a SAHM, and am now in part time work.
Does your dh feel that his contributions (financial and otherwise) are undervalued? If so you can address this by letting him know how essential his efforts are.
You should also assure him that you will contribute financially as much as you can, but that baby's needs have to be met. In reality so that bills are paid this means that you are SAHM and he works full time.
If your dh pushes the issue, offer a reality check - and investigate the full cost of either hiring a nanny (cost it on a per day basis) or costing childcare (again cost it on a per day basis - include before and after school care for your elder child and full time care for your baby). You should also add in a cost for hiring a cleaner and perhaps takeaway food for the day you work full time. Say to him - while baby is so small, my working adds a grand total $x to our family budget ($x is probably tiny).
And he will need to understand that for the increase in $x, both adults in the family will be very tired and stressed, homework will not be supervised and he will need to do a ton of housework.
And if he offers again to take time off work when baby is 1 and you work full time, I would say "sure sweetie" and ignore it. If he wants to do that you will need a ton of savings!
FWIW my dh is comfortable with me working 3 days school hours. My dh works very long hours in a stressful job, but I make sure that all homework supervision / music practises / laundry / housework etc is taken care of.
My younger sister has a more 'balanced' life - both she and her dh work 4 days per week. She cares for their children 1 day, her dh does the other day. They spend huge sums of money on a nanny for the other 3 days. Both she and her dh earn well. This will change in 2 years once their youngest starts school. I guess she will use before and after school clubs then.
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