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To refuse to look after the kids so thst DH can work on a Sunday?

(64 Posts)
shootfromthehip Mon 18-Aug-08 09:13:41

My DH has a good job and as he has been promoted, he works more and more. He commutes to work and works on the train there and back. How comes home after the kids have gone to bed, leaves in the morning having seen then for half an hour over the breakfast table.

When he comes home at night he has his dinner and then gets his laptop out. He works until 11pm + every night except Fri and Sat. His contribution around the house is non existant and recently he has been insisting that he gets time at the weekends to work. This weekend I took the kids to a party on sat afternoon leaving him to suit himself and he then told me he was going to work all Sun.

I said 'No'. A couple of weekends ago I took the kids all day Sun to allow him to work but I'm determined to ensure that this doesn't become a habit. We live miles away from my friends and family and I don't drive so I can't just skip off out with DC. I am a SAHM and rarely get any time off or away from the kids and our family activities are usually dictated by DH.

I know that there will be worse situations out there and I will tell you honestly that I am not looking for lectures about how lucky I am- it's subjective. I would appreciate advise about how to handle this as yesterday was a horrid day in our house for me, DH and DC as DH went in a huff because he couldn't work. I know the guy is snowed under but there is an element of control here- he won't delegate. Any tips please because I just want to bury him under the patio at the mo. lol

Soapbox Mon 18-Aug-08 09:17:14

Learn how to drive would be my advice. Alternatively you go back to work and let him have a spell as a SAHP. It doesn't sound as if he is coping well at work and a break from the responsibility of keeping his job so he can provide for his family might be good for him. You can take on the burden for a while, while he has a rest from it all.

Katisha Mon 18-Aug-08 09:17:29

Nobody should need to work 7 days a week. He has got into some godawful mindset.
Can he explain to you why he feels he has to do this without going into a strop?
Can he understand it is totally unacceptable when he has a family, and pretty unacceptable for someone who doesn't frankly?

wahwah Mon 18-Aug-08 09:18:18

Unless it's a specific project and a rare occurrence, then I think your husband is avoiding his family. If he isn't, then he needs to get another job.

Sobernow Mon 18-Aug-08 09:18:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mimsy2000 Mon 18-Aug-08 09:19:33

YANBU at all...i have this issue with my dh sometimes too. what annoyed me was that he didn't really even consider the fact that it was *my weekend* too and he couldn't just assume i'd be there to look after my ds.

is the issue that he's not spending time with the kids or that he is expecting you to do it? if it's the latter of the two then he should help deal with childcare arrangments, ie his mum or dad, for example. if it's the spending time with kids issue, then there is another conversation to be had. can he put some sort of timetable to when this weekend work will stop? i'm sure you'd be a lot more accepting of things if you knew there was a discreet issue he was dealing with at work and a firm end date. he can't expect a blanket pass imo.

good luck.

youcannotbeserious Mon 18-Aug-08 09:21:15

Difficult one... My DH works away 5 days a week, so I do all the childcare for our DS.

On weekends, I tend to do all the childcare chores (nappies / settling etc) because I feel DH needs a break...

Most of our stuff is dictated by DH, as I also have two DSDs so they have to be factored IYSWIM....

So, I do understand....

Will he talk about it? Can you come up with an agreement that you will look after the kids for x number of hours, but then he MUST spend a period of quality time with the children too?

I'm more than happy to do the childcare chores for DH as long as he spends quality time with DS.... Moreso in some ways, because I know that DH misses out on so much because he has to work.... I don't want him to have to spend the weekends doing stuff he doesn't want to, but equally would feel extremely hurt (for myself and for DS) if we were ignored....

theSuburbanDryad Mon 18-Aug-08 09:22:05

It's not as simple as to say "get another job" though.

My dh also works in a very high-pressure, family unfriendly environment and comes home late every evening and also has to do work at the weekends. The difference between him and the OP's h (and please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) is that my dh really hates it - he makes every effort to get all his work done on Friday evening so he can spend time with me and ds.

Have you asked you dh whether he actually wants to spend time with you all?

Also agree that you need to learn to drive - I know it's not easy when you have small dc, but maybe you could do weekend lessons while your dh looks after them for a couple of hours. You might then be killing 2 birds with one stone! wink

EffiePerine Mon 18-Aug-08 09:23:30

What aboiut saying 'right, I need X time to do Y, how are we going to manage it?' He might be shocked that you need time to yourself occasionally!

Another way of doing it would be to look for p/t work outsode the home, if you'd be happy with that. If you do, make sure you share any childcare costs.

What do you want from this marriage? From your family? This isn't all about his job and the 'family unit', you have wants and needs as well.

AbbaFan Mon 18-Aug-08 09:23:35

What is the reason he is doing so many hours? His employer surely can't expect him to do all those hours just because they are busy.

Sounds like you need to set aside some time to have a long talk. Then you can both share your opinions and come up with a plan that is going to suit you both.

youcannotbeserious Mon 18-Aug-08 09:23:47

ANd, agree with Soapbox - learning how to drive would give you so much more freedom.

maidamess Mon 18-Aug-08 09:24:44

I think you have to give him some ultimatums.
The hours he chooses to work are making you, the children and him unhappy. Can he not see that? Why does he put his company before his family?

I think he should be extremely grateful he has you at home to look after HIS children while he works.

But I think a mans job should suit the whole family not just him, regardless of how much money he brings in.

Oh, and learning to drive would make life alot easier for you too.

tiggerlovestobounce Mon 18-Aug-08 09:25:21

I think sometimes it is easier for men to hide behind the need to work rather than cope with dealing with their children.
I know a few people like this, who work really long hours, but dont seem to be any more productive than others at the same level who work normal hours.

It sounds like you are having to act as a lone parent while he works.

It isnt normal to work these huge hours, and he will probably be less productive than someone who is having time away from work too.

shootfromthehip Mon 18-Aug-08 09:25:29

Unfortunately whilst DH is an intelligent man, he is not an emotionally articulate man. He's more into stomping off and kicking a door/ tree etc. Any discussion I have with him is countered with 'stop nagging at me' and 'you're doing my head in'. Some of which is fair as I am nagging at him. My DD told me that 'daddy likes trains better than he likes us' when I told her he was going to be late again. This whole situation is really starting to get serious.

Whilst I would love to go back to work, 1 my salary would necessitate a move and 2 the DH would refuse not to work. Driving is the only sensible thing for me to do to help this situation but I have a very irrational fear of driving. Irritating in the extreme for someone as independant as me.

I love DH but feel like our family is coming out bottom on his list of priorities. Never mind me just being bloomin' knackered from having to do everything.sad

AbbeyA Mon 18-Aug-08 09:27:16

He can't need to work all those hours. Sit down and talk to him about it. Tell him that he needs a life/work balance and that no job is worth sacrificing his family. Discuss alternatives.

youcannotbeserious Mon 18-Aug-08 09:28:06

Abbafan - Many employers expect just that.

I used to work as a senior manager for a multinational firm and it was simply expected that you would sign the exemption form (about working hours). Our senior management team would have been finished work on Wednesday if we'd stuck to 48 hours per week! grin

Under UK law, my DH currently works 120-140 hours per week...

Sobernow Mon 18-Aug-08 09:30:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

theSuburbanDryad Mon 18-Aug-08 09:30:28

See - the stomping off and kicking stuff has to stop Right Now. I wouldn't be coping with that very well at all. If he can't have a sensible, adult conversation with you about your - fairly serious - situation then things are in pretty bad shape.

There are driving schools which take on nervous learners - you can do it! It might take longer than for someone who wasn't nervous, but you'll get there in the end. Apologies if I'm over simplifying things, but I do think you have to get behind the wheel of a car - both to increase your own independence and to force your dh to do some flipping childcare at the weekend!

AbbaFan Mon 18-Aug-08 09:31:13

I really feel for you you. This is a big deal, it's your whole family life.

Try to talk to him. Say 'look i am really unhappy at the moment, and would love to have a talk about this'.

If he mentions 'nagging' say no it's not about that its about how I am feeling right now. Make sure that you have plenty of time.

I hope you can work it out.

youcannotbeserious Mon 18-Aug-08 09:31:14

SFTH - You should talk to LucyEllen'sMum - she is going through something a little similar and also doesn't drive... smile

AbbeyA Mon 18-Aug-08 09:31:44

I would refuse to let him get away with the nagging remark. Put a time in his diary for a meeting. I would even write an agenda! Get him to take you seriously. You are sacrificing too much. He can't be efficient if he is working all hours so perhaps he is in the wrong job! He needs to delegate. As it is he is delegating everything at home to you-it is not good enough!!
You need a whole new life rethink. He is living to work-he needs to understand he has to work to live.

sandyballs Mon 18-Aug-08 09:34:47

That's def unreasonable. He can't expect you to not mind. Weekends should be family time, apart from exceptional circumstances. My DH went through a phase of taking on private work (he's a plumber) at weekends and evenings and i hated it, it's not fair to have the kids 24/7, on them or you. My Dh seemed to think i should have been grateful for the extra money, which was obv useful, but i'd much rather he was here. you need to have a good chat with your dh.

StellaWasADiver Mon 18-Aug-08 09:38:09

You're a SAHM living miles from family and friends?

I'm with TSD on this - you need to learn to drive. Get some independence.

I started learning in April and was so nervous my instructor said he had never seen anyone like me, he was concerned I was actually phobic. Well I swapped instructors and passed my test first time last week. If I can do it... anyone can.

If he is the sort of man who will say you are nagging when you want to talk, well he's an arse, but you're not going to change him, focus on having a life for yourself and the children.

shootfromthehip Mon 18-Aug-08 09:43:13

I concur- my DH, at the moment, is an arse. Also good to hear that people can pass their tests despite horrible anxiety. I need to do something. We are due to have a holiday in 2 weeks and I will have to lock up his laptop or he'll try to take it with us.

theSuburbanDryad Mon 18-Aug-08 09:48:24

It is difficult - if you have a very demanding job with an unsympathetic company then it's hard to find time for your family. But the issue remains that I don't think your dh actually does want to spend time with his family - and if he does he's not going the right way about it!

It's very easy for men to hide behind their work as an excuse for avoiding childcare or responsiblity. If I were you and rational discussion had failed then I'd just organise something for myself at the weekd - a haircut, or just to go out shopping alone - and tell him, "I'm off out for an hour, the kids need feeding, there's food in the fridge. Bye!" He'll soon get the message!

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