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To be upset that DH feels this way?

(198 Posts)
iwishicouldsmile Thu 26-Apr-18 10:18:54

Last night DH said that he was tired of being seen as a 'secondary' parent, that I wasn't the 'primary' parent and that he thought i should get a job.

DH works until 7pm and naturally things fall on me to be the primary carer for our children, one of whom has special needs. For the past 5 years i 'work' from 6:30am until 8:30pm at night, looking after the children, and taking care of everything in the house and all admin, etc. Basically, i keep the household running and DH doesn't lift a finger during the week, which works for us because I appreciate that he is at work all day.

His comments out of the blue have really upset me for a number of reasons:

1. I have no problem with finding a job - I worked for 18 months when the children were babies and used to do all i do now plus when they were in bed i used to work from 9pm-12am every night.

2. We do not 'need' the money. So why would i take time away from the children who are still young (and have special needs) and need me so much? Is it so I'm no longer classed as the primary parent?

3. Money wise - I do not spend ANYTHING on myself. I do not buy new clothes, no treats, nothing. This isn't an exaggeration, I only have treats on my birthday and Christmas. Meanwhile DH has an expensive hobby and will think nothing of spending £50 on meals, drinks out with friends (which again, is fine as he works hard, but it's just to compare).

To conclude, I do everything around the house, 90% of childcare and things for the children, I don't spend anything. So why has DH suddenly turned on me and made me feel like a piece of dirt for living the way that we do? sad

RedHelenB Thu 26-Apr-18 10:22:39

He's obviously feeling differently to you. You need a full and frank discussion.

Onlyoldontheoutside Thu 26-Apr-18 10:23:55

Ask him how he wants to split the child care to be an 'equal 'parent, also all the housework to enable you to work.
You don't say how old your children are as that obviously makes a difference

Trinity66 Thu 26-Apr-18 10:25:49

Maybe if you got a job he could work less hours himself and spend more time with his kids? It's clearly something that's upsetting him though so you should discuss it more with him

DanceDisaster Thu 26-Apr-18 10:26:28

Would he be able to go part time and then he could do some childcare in the week? Would two part time salaries where you shared 50/50 cover your bills?

frenchknitting Thu 26-Apr-18 10:27:34

It doesn't sound like an attack on you, more dissatisfaction with his own situation? Personally, I wouldn't want to be a SAHP as I think it does come at the expense of the other parent's relationship with their children.

If he doesn't want to be working until 7pm at night and barely seeing his children during the week then I can understand that.

I don't condone the way that he went around starting that conversation though. That sounds a bit dickish.

Pidlan Thu 26-Apr-18 10:27:34

I'd say, "Fine. In that case, I'll sort out childcare, cleaning, laundry, bill paying, admin, appointments from Monday to Thursday and you can do the rest of the week. We'll both get the same amount of spending money and I'd like a day a week of me time." See how he likes that.

ElderflowerWaterIsDelish Thu 26-Apr-18 10:27:39

Could something be happening at work that has him stressed? A boss putting too much pressure on him or too many demands and deadlines? Falling out with colleagues?

Could it be something like the above happening? If so maybe work has become a place he dreads going and he might literally want to swap.places to escape going through what ever it is each day

FranticallyPeaceful Thu 26-Apr-18 10:28:29

He probably wants to work less to spend more time with the kids. I think fathers should be spending more time with their kids so it’s wonderful he wants that

Aprilmightbemynewname Thu 26-Apr-18 10:29:27

Draw up a potential rota of chores and childcare and put it to him. Offer up suggestions of shops he can get the weekly shop from, places the dc like to go, and all the other practicalities of your lives. Tell him you will happily get a job when he commits to 50% on the list.

Bluntness100 Thu 26-Apr-18 10:29:34

We can't answer this. You need to ask him. Why have you not?

The one thing is if you go back to work he needs to do his share at home.

However you need To ask him not strangers on the Internet.

Dancingleopard Thu 26-Apr-18 10:29:49

That’s easily fixed op!

Tell him to cut his hours and divide out child care and chores.


ChazsBrilliantAttitude Thu 26-Apr-18 10:31:04

Does he understand what you actually do each day. Perhaps write a list of what you do each week in the house and what he does and ask him what tasks he wants to pick up to free up your time to work outside the house.

What he can't do is expect you to do the same amount of household stuff and work on top.

FranticallyPeaceful Thu 26-Apr-18 10:31:36

And for everybody who is saying he should be taking on childcare and chores... it’s QUITE LITERALLY what her DP is asking. He’s saying he wants to do more of what she’s doing and she can pick the slack up at work. So unless she gets a job how will be split the housework and childcare?! Jesus wept.

hellsbellsmelons Thu 26-Apr-18 10:32:12

Well you need to list out everything you do in the house.
Everything you do as childcare.
From activities, running around, breakfast, dinner, lunch, bathtime, bedtime, shopping, cooking, laundry, etc....
Look into the cost of childcare.
Look into what type of job you could get and the annual salary.
Ask him how he would split all the stuff you do on your own right now.
Is he really prepared to take on 50% of what you do now?
An honest discussion is needed here.
I think what he wants, is for you to still do all you do and work on top of it!!!
That cannot happen.
He needs to be made fully aware of that fact.

19lottie82 Thu 26-Apr-18 10:33:06

How old are your kids?

CookPassBabtridge Thu 26-Apr-18 10:33:34

His delivery of it was shitty, as he doesn't seem to acknowledge everything you do. I would say "fair enough, I would love a break from the kids actually! If I work x hours then that means you need to do x housework and x childcare and x pickups and x shopping etc etc."

TuTru Thu 26-Apr-18 10:33:59

Yeah a frank discussion about it all, and what Pidlan said xx

Dulra Thu 26-Apr-18 10:34:38

Agree with others he phrased it badly but he obviously isn't happy with current situation and maybe is feeling he is missing out on too much so wants something to change. You working may be the only way he can reduce his hours. You need to discuss it though to find out exactly what he is thinking and what the problem with current situation is for him.

Personally, I wouldn't want to be a SAHP as I think it does come at the expense of the other parent's relationship with their children.
I don't get this at all. So both parents should work to ensure one parent doesn't have less time then the other with the kids? So a childminder, aupare, crèche get the time instead?

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Thu 26-Apr-18 10:35:04

It's not clear that is exactly what he is asking. If he is happy to work shorter hours and pick up more of the household stuff - great.
What he can't do is work until 7pm every night pick up 10% more of the chores and yet expect the OP to work full time and still do the vast majority of the household work.

Bluntness100 Thu 26-Apr-18 10:36:13

God I hate the passive aggressive thing posters are suggesting "show him how hard it will be so you don't have to work"

No, sit down and talk to him, understand why he feels the way he does. Does he feel he has to work longer to allow you to be home, does he resent it?

Clearly a fair share of responsibilities at home if both work is critical but one can only stay home if the other agrees. So talk to him.

iwishicouldsmile Thu 26-Apr-18 10:38:36

I said to him that is fine that i could get a job three days a week in school hours but he would have to look after the children on those days during the summer. He instantly changed his mind and said that i should wait until September when they are at school full time.

There is no option of DH working part time and nor would he ever consider it. He enjoys his job but I think he seems really hung up on the fact that I'm considered the 'primary' parent - it's like he wants to take it away from me so he's telling me to get a job. He would not be interested in taking on half of the things that I do at home either.

nellieellie Thu 26-Apr-18 10:39:15

You’re obviously brilliant at running the house and organising/Feeding/ looking after the children, and, from the sounds of things, never moaning about it, so he thinks you have an easy life and aren’t doing much. I think if you have a child with sn, and enough money on one wage, it is great for there to be one person who can be at home and be there whenever needed for the kids.
If your husband thinks you should work, then I think you need to sit him down, go through all the things you do in a day, and point out that if you work, then he will need to do some of the childcare/housework. You could even work out figures depending on whether he’s talking full time or part time. You then need to discuss with him who would be at home if the DCs were ill pointing out that you’re not prepared for it to be you every time as it might not be possible. You might want to point out to him that, actually you can see the benefit of earning more as then, you’d be able to go to the gym/have hobby/go out more often, same way he does, but obviously on these occasions he’d need to look after the DCs.
I think he’s feeling sorry for himself, and is massively unappreciative of what you do, so it might help to have a sit down discussion and go through it with him.

frasier Thu 26-Apr-18 10:39:29

How is your relationship other than what you have said?

I can think of two reasons why this would come out of the blue.

1. He's feeling badly done to in the "You sit at home all day and I have to go to work" way. So it's a punishment for you. Ironically nearly everyone I know who does work says that it's a break going to work. Being a stay at home parent has to be one of the most stressful jobs going!

2. He is thinking of leaving and has been told by a solicitor that as you are the primary carer you will obviously get custody and (in his mind) call the shots re the children. Sorry but I thought it worth mentioning. I know people who have been given this exact advice when there marriages were breaking up. Well, to the primary carer the opposite: "Keep a diary of all the hours you look after the children, if your partner suddenly starts to up the hours he looks after them, offers to do the school run etc., he may have been given advice to up his role so he can claim he is the primary carer or at least on equal footing with you".

Be careful. flowers

iwishicouldsmile Thu 26-Apr-18 10:40:59

Also, although he loves the DC and would do anything for them. He isn't a hands on dad, at the weekends he would never choose to actually play with them, he's got his own agenda.

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