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to expect DH to do more....

(16 Posts)
fifitot Thu 03-Sep-09 12:14:55

Situation is this. I have a 'career', reasonably well paid and DH had a 3 day pw job in a department store that he hates but contributes to the household expenses. On the other 2 days he is a designer/artist. He has had limited sucess with this but is never going to be able to live off it-hence the other job. However he is dedicated to this and I have never asked him to give it up to work fulltime and tbh I don't think he would. I am therefore the major wage earner.

This has never been an issue until DD was born. A combination of maternity leave and then me going part-time (4 days pw)plus nusery costs has left us pretty skint. There is light at the end of the tunnel though as when DD starts school she will only need some days in before and after school clubs.

I want my DH to take her to school on his 2 days 'off' and pick her up on one of these. I will do the pick up and drop off on the other days and she will be in before and after school clubs for the rest of the time. He has agreed to do the drop off at school on his 2 days which means she won't need to go to a before school club. However he doesn't want to give up his afternoons on the 2 days to pick up as he says he needs this flexibility.

I am really annoyed. He gets to do what he wants 2 days a week and I never have anytime to do that. He would say his design work is just as much of a job as mine but I don't see it myself. I just don't want to put DD into any more child care than is necessary for cost reasons and also because I would prefer a parent pick her up from school some of the time. Hw would still have from 9-3.30 to himself on those 2 days!

I don't want to start a row with him but would like some other perspectives and suggestions on how to broach it to get a win/win.

BubbaAndBump Thu 03-Sep-09 13:09:09

He won't pick her up on one of the two days?! Flexibility for what?? I do think that's tight of him, unless his design/art work means he has to travel a lot? If he's at home painting (even if he's 'in the zone' >>pretends to have an understanding of artistic people and their needs<<), surely he can break to pick her up?

Not sure how to broach it. I completely understand your need to have time on your own and do your own thing, and I do think it needs to be fair between the two of you - he just needs to see his art time as a lovely bonus to his life, but one that needs to be jiggled about a bit now he's a 'family man'

WhereYouLeftIt Thu 03-Sep-09 18:17:27

Well, his design work may well be as much of a job as yours, but you're part-time (4 days/week), why can't he be too with one day finishing at 3:30? If he needs more time for his design work, why can't it be one evening? I'm assuming his design work is done from home, not tied to office hours? Maybe if you put it in those terms? Most couples (of my acquaintance anyway) have to come to some workaround once they have children, nobody gets a bye from parental responsibilities.

Overmydeadbody Thu 03-Sep-09 18:23:06


He has a daughter. She needs picking up from school. He needs to just accept that his DD is his firat responsibility and comes before his work.

Overmydeadbody Thu 03-Sep-09 18:24:00

When you have children you need to accept that it means making sacrifices and being flaxible.

MmeLindt Thu 03-Sep-09 18:27:52

He is being unreasonable. He still has 1 1/2 days to pursue his design work.

Do you share the housework?

TheCrackFox Thu 03-Sep-09 18:34:55

YABNU. He could do some if his design work in the evening.

Is he doing his share of the housework? He sounds a bit lazy TBH.

Acanthus Thu 03-Sep-09 18:37:22

He'll just have to manage his time, won't he? Of course he should pick her up both days.

slowreadingprogress Thu 03-Sep-09 18:43:38

Yes, absolutely he should pick her up both days. He's being an arse. He needs to prioritise his daughter above his own interests; He can as TCF says, make up time in the evening if he feels he has to.

Yes, it will be harder work - but that's what you sign up to as a parent basically, isn't it.

I think you sound as if you have been more supportive of him than most - now he needs to support you by stepping up a bit.

fifitot Thu 03-Sep-09 19:33:12

Thanks for your replies. I think he is a bit of a lazy arse to be honest. I will broach the subject with him again.

ThingOne Thu 03-Sep-09 20:08:17

He needs a to get a grip.

<Can you tell I'm in a bad mood?>

allaboutme Thu 03-Sep-09 20:14:28

this thread is making me cross on your and your DD's behalf, he sounds like a lazy arse angry

pinknosedevereux Thu 03-Sep-09 20:52:19

I think he should do it too, but understandably people do not like being told what to do and I'm afraid however nicely you put it to him all he will hear is you telling him to do it. Remember he quite likely believes (at least on some level-he probably has'nt really thought about it)that it's your responsibilty to either pick up your dd or arrange for someone else to. That's what he thinks you're doing-asking him for a favour(rolls eyes)
Anyway on a practical level it might be a good idea to approach it as on these days he needs to sort it out 1 way or another; either he picks her up or puts her in after school club(or whatever) make it clear it's up to him what he sorts out, but he has to pay for it from his earnings. I know you would rather he did it and I agree with you, but don't worry about that too much as I doubt he will go with that option. Sorry to have gone on sooo long!

MrsToffeeCrisp Thu 03-Sep-09 20:55:30

YANBU - think you've been more than reasonable so far TBH.

NotSoSkinnyNow Thu 03-Sep-09 21:34:40

YANBU, however I too feel your pain. Men (well, some men) are completely different creatures than us. Their brains do not work in the same way, they simply don't see the basket of laundry at the end of the stairs and think to bring it us as they are going that way anyway with nothing else to carry, whereas we are thinking how we can carry both the basket of laundry and the children at the same time.
I don't understand how my DH does not feed the baby when she wakes at 5am - he's up anyway!! I used to think he was being very selfish etc, but have realised that there are some just like this. I don't think its intentional selfishness - although that's how it comes accross (especially now that I type it!) it's just that they don't think the same way as we do, and there's no point in fighting it.
I feel very jealous of the people who post on here saying that its 50/50 responsibility - they have wonderful partners. Having children has definatly opened my eyes to another side of my dh - not necissarily one I'm completely happy with, but one I have to come to terms with, and its one that could not have been predicted before the children arrived. I just have to accept that we are both adults and I do not have the right to order him about (not that I am suggesting you do this with yours) If I want things done to a better standard than he is willing to do (eg with Ds's bedtime routine, dh can't be bothered to brush teeth) I have to do it myself. This type of family life is not what I signed up for (I was expecting a fairytale land) but I have come to realise that I cannot change him - only myself. It makes me desperatly unhappy sometimes, but I have learnt not to expect much and I won't be disappointed.
Sorry fifitot, have hijacked your thread. Will stop now. Just want you to know you are not alone in your situation.

fifitot Fri 04-Sep-09 08:52:07

Thanks. Actually he is a great dad/partner in lots of ways and will do stuff about the house (when asked!) He just has a blind spot about how much time he needs to do his design thing. It does get on my nerves though. I actually think he has a mild conduct disorder as he seems not to see any mess to be tidied or even remember to do the most basic of stuff without being asked!!!!

I have broached it with him again and we have come up with a compromise which I am happy with.

Thanks for your replies.

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