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Aibu about husband picking own working hours

(13 Posts)
forever390 Wed 03-Apr-19 21:19:10

My dh runs his own business and essentially it's just him. He does have some freelancers he can use. He is essentially self employed. He works whatever hours he wants. Sometimes it might be 7am til 10pm, other times it might be 9-5. He never takes holiday unless nagged and nagged and we often need to cancel/rearrange if a job comes in.

We had plans for an upcoming weekend and he's decided to accept a large job that will take him out the house for 4 days to a foreign country including the weekend. Messing up our plans. We frequently have weekends where he works one day. He's always on his phone or laptop of an evening.

Here's the problem, I have just returned to work following maternity leave. We are juggling three young children. I take 1.5 days off and he takes an afternoon off. I will soon need to do two pick ups and drop offs and I have 20 minutes to essentially be in two places at once. I am barely earning anything working across 4 days as you can imagine nursery fees for three children.

His business does not allow me to give up work. He doesn't earn enough. I have a decent job and have good earning potential. He seems to snub this saying things like "we could afford nice things if you let me work at weekends" hmm

Aibu to not be happy at the prospect of repeatedly dealing with the kids by myself and getting no family time at weekends? He is unreliable in a sense because I can't rely on him to always be free on a certain day. So for example it's pointless booking swimming lessons for my eldest on Saturday as I simply can't look after three kids alone.

He thinks I'm being massively unreasonable as I'm stopping his business growing. But it's been like this for 10 years. Only it didn't matter then as we didn't have three children. It's not grown over that time, there are no more employees... it's just him.

forever390 Wed 03-Apr-19 21:35:13

Anyone? Anyone have a self employed husband that is totally unreliable whilst juggling three kids and a pretty full on job too?

Keeoe Wed 03-Apr-19 22:21:12

Sorry my lovely, didn't want to read and run. You said you're 'barely earning anything working across 4 days... nursery fees'. Your H is contributing towards the childcare isn't he? Or is it seen as womans work?

He needs to shoulder half of the responsibility, whether it be practical or financial. I'd be making that clear pretty sharpish. As for you begging him to take time off - don't. Arrange something nice for you and the kids, perhaps with a family member or a friend as a companion and to share childcare.

SluggishSnail Wed 03-Apr-19 22:35:23

What sort of business does he have and is it growing?
Could he hire someone to do the weekend work? Or to hire some help with the DC if he is working?

forever390 Wed 03-Apr-19 22:39:27

I guess in the calculation we use my money to calculate whether it's worth going back to work but all bills are taken from a shared pot that we both contribute to.

The business is a creative one. I don't feel it's grown much in terms of there still isn't the money to employ another person after 10 plus years.

I'm finding long term logistics of three children mind blowing! Everything is hard alone. Even getting to the car is a struggle. It's better as a team. I am dreading weekends alone.

JAMMFYesPlease Wed 03-Apr-19 22:47:49

Didn't want to read and run.

I'm the opposite to you where I'm the one who is self employed and wah. I used to work all hours and not have time off, with that nagging feeling that if I wasn't working then I wasn't supporting the family. I never really considered what it was like on the other side.

Admittedly, my DH to sit down with me and share his feelings in a calm but strict way. We ended up initially agreeing one day off a week. I now have a very strict plan during the day to make sure I get time off.

It takes time to get out of a workaholic mindset but he needs to understand it's a big problem.

However I would have never taken work on at the last minute if there was something booked, unless it's a quick phone interview that can't be scheduled anywhere else because of the business I'm in.

I'm in no way excusing what he's doing but offering that side. It sounds like he's a workaholic but doesn't see it yet.

StealthPolarBear Wed 03-Apr-19 22:51:11

I get the logic of considering childcare fees against the low earners salary if the low earner is trying to decide whether to stay home. However it doesn't sound like this would be a good thing for your family as it would just be a green light for your DH to work even more hours. I therefore think in this case it makes sense to consider childcare costs split down the middle. It makes an important point to him.

BlueSkiesLies Wed 03-Apr-19 22:51:16

Well. Not quite like you but DP has been working himself into the ground for over 10 years on his business with seemingly no tangible monetary benefits. Work comes first. Always.

It’s why I’ll never marry him or have children with him as I don’t think that quality makes a good father or husband.

StealthPolarBear Wed 03-Apr-19 22:51:50

After all if he chose to work fewer hours I bet he could discharge his childcare duties without spending much money! Few of us have that luxury.

hettie Wed 03-Apr-19 23:07:30

So in the ten years you've given him flexibility he hasn't managed to move his business income into a space where he can support the family without you working? And.... your job has good earnings potential?
Sorry but he's being unreasonable. He's using work as an avoidance to connecting with you and the family.

LannieDuck Wed 03-Apr-19 23:08:39

His business does not allow me to give up work. He doesn't earn enough. I have a decent job and have good earning potential.

I guess in the calculation we use my money to calculate whether it's worth going back to work but all bills are taken from a shared pot that we both contribute to.

Would it also be valid to say that you could use his money to calculate whether it's worth him continuing with the business? If he was to work only 4 days (as you do), would it be worth it when you take 100% of the childcare out?

Could you argue it would make more economic sense for you to go back 5 days a week and him to become a SAHD? Would the family finances still be similar, but with much less juggling and pressure-free weekends?

My guess is that ultimately this is about ego, and wanting to be the 'big man'.

Coffeeonthesofa Wed 03-Apr-19 23:09:19

If after 10 years the business is still in the same state it’s not realistically going to change. If he really thought working 24/7 would have made the breakthrough then pre children would have been the time to try it out. One of the usual advantages of owning your own business is the flexibility that it gives you to control your work hours. In a normal day that may mean his is able to either do the drop offs or pick ups and work around them.
Could he give up being self employed and work a regular job, don’t know what his skill set is but presumably he is good at it if he can get an overseas contract or is he just pricing his labour so low in order to pick up any work going?
You have the worst of both worlds at the moment the lack of guaranteed income from a regular job and non of the flexibility of self employment. If he doesn’t realise this for himself it’s going to be hard to discus this sensibly with him. If you insist he cuts down on his hours it sounds like he will blame you for the “failure” of the business.
One prediction could be is that he will be resistant, you will give up asking him to prioritise family time in the evenings and weekends and start to plan things for just you and the children, maybe with family or friends, after being let down so many times. The children will barely know who he is and you’ll feel almost like a single parent. There’s not a huge step from there to think well maybe I should just go it alone especially if you have a decent earning potential, and maybe he could manage to step up and be a parent with EOW access.
You need to at least try and talk to him, maybe he feels trapped in this situation of working all the hours but still not bringing in enough money to support his family and doesn’t see a way out other than working even more hours.

Fr3d Wed 03-Apr-19 23:20:59

Dh working 75 hours a week is a big factor is us stopping at 2 dc. I have told him if ever there was a third, he will have to change or change jobs (also mostly self employed). No advice really but I do struggle and our dc are getting older now (It does get easier then). Some families insist on, e.g. Saturday afternoon is family time. Or work out something like he does all the drop offs so you can get to work early and get home early.

If I wasn't working, it would be all left to me, so I think it's good I have to work so then he has to do some parenting.

It's been very busy lately, I'm a bit tired at the moment! It's not like this all year so we try and fit more in in quieter months (maybe 2-3 days out, few weekends away, don't go too mad). Oh and a holiday every year or almost every year is a given and that would never be cancelled, YANBU over that!

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