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Husband not supportive of my need for maternity leave

(584 Posts)
Bellyfish1 Mon 04-Nov-19 08:26:23

I am a freelancer with one regular client who currently pays me for 4 days' work a week. I am also 31 weeks pregnant and worried how to manage maternity leave.
My husband is also self-employed and earns much more than me but is not supportive of me taking full time maternity leave and thinks I should try to keep on working through even the first months post-partum.
This will be my first baby but DH has 2 kids from previous relationship. Should be noted that his ex went on indefinite maternity leave although she will have received mat leave pay from her employer for the first few months.
As our finances are completely separate despite being married (owing to his trust issues since first partner left him), my husband expects me to continue to support myself through this pregnancy and beyond - it is also becoming clear that he expects me to pay for everything that will be needed for the baby.
This WAS a 'planned' pregnancy in that we were ttc for 2 years and even had IVF (failed) although when I did fall pregnant it was no longer expected and has been a minor miracle considering my age (42) and history (7 early miscarriages).
I have no assets as I lived abroad from age 25 to 35 and have never been able to get on the housing ladder, but I earn enough to get by.
My husband owns the house we live in and we share the bills. His reason for not letting me pay towards the house and getting named on the deeds is that he wants it to be for his children from first marriage, which I fully accepted, but now we have a baby of our own on the way I was hoping things might change.
In short, I feel very vulnerable and anxious and completely unsupported by my husband. I know he won't let us starve but this pressure to keep working (he thinks I should juggle things so my clients pay me for results rather than days worked) and my fear of not having my own income is ruining this time for me which I had dreamt of for so long.

Bellyfish1 Mon 04-Nov-19 08:28:26

Are there any other freelance mother's out there? How did you manage? Am I really being an unreasonable brat for expecting to be able to take 2 or even 3 months off to enjoy some time with our baby if that means I won't be able to pay my own way??

Bluntness100 Mon 04-Nov-19 08:28:56

I'm sorry op but when you were ttc what discussions took place on finances?

JohnLapsleyParlabane Mon 04-Nov-19 08:30:35

He needs to pay half of the expenses relating to the forthcoming child. Some detailed conversations need to happen I'm afraid

Merryoldgoat Mon 04-Nov-19 08:30:53

Honestly? I’d divorce him. He’s not your partner, doesn’t see you as his equal and is a twat.

But I suspect you’re not even that surprised by his treatment, are you?

See a solicitor. You’ll be entitled to a share of the house, possibly spousal support and certainly child support.

He had no business making a child with you if he didn’t intend to support you both, both emotionally and financially.

He won’t get better. If you don’t leave now he’ll grind you down.

Spanglyprincess1 Mon 04-Nov-19 08:32:27

It's his baby too and he needs to pay for it. I assume you discussed finances. You will be entitled to some maternity benefits if you've paid national insurance although you will need to claim through dwp (I think)
This should give u spends and I assume your spouse will cover all bills and housing costs anyway as he would if you were not there.
How long have you been married... Cause you might be entitled to some spousal assets anyway if you split eg a partial share in the house or at very least the baby would. This needs a serious sit down chat ref this

00100001 Mon 04-Nov-19 08:34:09

What an arsehole.

He expects you to pay for everything for baby??? Why, is the child not his?

Greenkit Mon 04-Nov-19 08:34:13


What @Merryoldgoat said with bells on

EmmaOvary Mon 04-Nov-19 08:34:14

Freelance and expecting here. My DH wouldn't dream of telling me I have to keep working. Financially we are not in a great position as I was made redundant shortly before finding out I was expecting but our plan is to save as much as possible before the baby comes in the hope I can eke out 12 months off. Also, are you aware of maternity allowance? Worth looking into and supports women who aren't eligible for mat pay from an employer. If you've been earning recently you should be eligible and it works out around £150 a week for up to (I believe) 40 weeks, starting before birth. In your case, I would talk to your OH. What is his reasoning? Is he stressed about money or is there more to it?

autumnkate Mon 04-Nov-19 08:35:29

OP you sound so sad. Does he know how you feel? I think you need to spell it out for him.

Have you actually had a proper conversation with him where you go over the details of what is going to happen when the baby is born? Can he take some time off? Surely you will split any childcare bills etc?

Is he worried about you losing your one client?

Beamur Mon 04-Nov-19 08:35:48

Your husband is being incredibly unreasonable here.
I suspect you've been rather preoccupied with the difficulty of getting pregnant and now the reality of the practicalities of having a real baby are dawning.
Your DH must share the cost, this child is just as much his.
It's not unreasonable to want some time off after giving birth.
Do you have any help at home? If your DH expects you to be able to juggle some work with childcare is he going to do more housework? Cooking, cleaning, laundry etc,or pay for someone to do these things?
You need a serious conversation about this sooner rather than later.

HulksPurplePanties Mon 04-Nov-19 08:36:24

I think the freelancer thing and the effect maternity leave, even 2 or 3 months, would have on your ability to "bounce back" to your career, and your "D"H being an unsupportive, potentially financially abusive, douchebag are two entirely different things and need to be looked at separately.

For the maternity leave/freelancer thing, you need to talk to your clients and see what their feedback, and whether they are ok with you essentially disappearing on them for 2 or 3 months. I can't imagine many clients would be ok with that, unless you can offer them some kind of contingency plan. I know that's harsh, but that's being a freelancer.

As for your DH. He should be supporting whatever decision you and your client make. You also need to make sure he's going to be financially supportive of your child! Will your child's name be put in the will? Are you comfortable knowing you'll be homeless if he was to die tomorrow?

I think you're being far too much of a pushover with the finances.

00100001 Mon 04-Nov-19 08:37:14

"he won't see us starve"

How very generous of him.

But he'll let his child suffer, his wife and child's mother suffer, and not recover from a major procedure.

Ask him what he would expect to happen, if, say, he had his appendix out following illness and exploratory surgery, got sent home from hospital to revover, and the. You turned round to him and said "well, you need to go back to work straight away...oh and here's a 2 week old baby to look after as well"

Ponoka7 Mon 04-Nov-19 08:38:56

If you've paid NI for 26 weeks, then you should be entitled to SMP.

He should be paying for half of the baby's things and there should have been an agreement in place for him to support you for at least some months after the baby was born.

It's shit but now should be make or break time. As said, it's time for a full conversation.

Perhaps even legal advice. His, behaviour would be deemed as unreasonable.

AnyFucker Mon 04-Nov-19 08:38:59

You are being abused financially

Wildorchidz Mon 04-Nov-19 08:39:11

it is also becoming clear that he expects me to pay for everything that will be needed for the baby.

How did that come about?

00100001 Mon 04-Nov-19 08:40:29

"Am I really being an unreasonable brat for expecting to be able to take 2 or even 3 months off to enjoy some time with our baby"
You're taking the time to recover from the childbirth and it's after effects...

"if that means I won't be able to pay my own way??" Jesus Christ, he has a child and a wife recovering from childbirth... What would he do if you died in childbirth, refuse to pay for your fucking funeral and the child?

When it comes to having a family, it's not about "paying your own way". Your not mates down the pub buying rounds.... Your a FAMILY.

have words, tell him to support his new family or fuck off.

notapizzaeater Mon 04-Nov-19 08:40:42

It doesn't matter if your names not on the deeds, you're married, you are entitled to a share of the house.

Is he worried you won't have clients to go back to ?

SleepingStandingUp Mon 04-Nov-19 08:41:03

So he thought he'd make a baby and you'd do all the childcare, support the child fully and no doubt do the housework too as you're home with baby anyway, all whilst paying half of all the bills?

You really need to sit down and talk and draw some hard lines in the sand.

If you go back to work, who is going to look after the baby? If you're paying for childcare for a NEWBORN you won't have any spare wages for bills! If you don't get childcare, you're not going to get enough work done in between feeds, bum changes and generally being with you baby.
Is he doing to take over childcare when he gets home so you can work solidly? Yeah, thought not.

Do you transfer money into his account for the wages etc? I'd make it clear you simply can't afford to do it and therefore won't. Not in a bratty way, just in a "it's not possible to get something from nothing"

Have you looked into claiming maternity allowance as you're self employed? Will you get CB? Are you eligible for any tax credits? Make sure they're all in your name.

But honestly I'd need to decide if I wanted to be married to someoen who is putting how his ex treated him ahead of providing sufficiently for his wife and baby

helpmum2003 Mon 04-Nov-19 08:41:22

OP he sounds awful. You need to have a detailed conversation about his responsibilities to you and the baby.

I would also talk to a solicitor to work out your options. Is there a pre-nup about finances?

From the outside it seems he married you only to have a housekeeper quite honestly.

Parker231 Mon 04-Nov-19 08:41:52

When you are on maternity leave, freelance or not, your DH should be paying all bills and giving you access to joint money for your spending. He doesn’t sound like much of a partner!

CAG12 Mon 04-Nov-19 08:42:44

My god. How about you go to court and get him to pay for his child? As he's legally supposed to? Would he like that?

Pushpull Mon 04-Nov-19 08:43:42

Im sure there are some people who can physically/mentally work so soon after having a child but i imagine they are in the minority. Even statutory maternity benefit (maternity allowance) expects that yoi wont work for a time.

I think he is being cruel to you and his unborn child. (I also suspect his ex's perspective is v different to his). What maintenance does he pay for his other children, surely he understands both parents contribute.

I think you need to have a serious conversation with him. If you just outright refused to continue working what would he say? Then i think you have some choices to make because i cant believe this lack of support only manifests in this way. But as a pp said see a solicitor, because i imagine he will fight tooth and nail to keep "his" own stuff.

Im sorry you're going through this when you felt you were on the same page

StariaP Mon 04-Nov-19 08:44:00

I’m self employed and was concerned about Mat Leave/Pay when I fell pregnant a few years back. You should be entitled to Maternity Allowance, have a look on Gov.Uk for the forms and evidence that you need. It’s fairly easy to do but does take a few weeks to come through initially.

There is a lot more practical advice on the more worrying areas of your post from previous posters. I’m so sorry you’re going through this, during what should be such a happy time for you! You’re being punished for his first wife’s actions by the sounds of it, although if she was treated similarly by him then good for her for leaving him.

KatherineJaneway Mon 04-Nov-19 08:44:28

His reason for not letting me pay towards the house and getting named on the deeds is that he wants it to be for his children from first marriage, which I fully accepted, but now we have a baby of our own on the way I was hoping things might change.

You've left yourself incredibly vulnerable OP. You need to have some serious conversations with him about finances ASAP.

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