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I need some opinions on whether my life is crap or not

(30 Posts)
meeshy Tue 10-Jul-07 19:49:12

Let me summarise where I am right now - I am a 40 year old mum of 3 great boys aged 6, 5 and 2. I am the quintessential busy working mum with a stressful job that needs me to travel extensively in the Uk and Europe often without much notice.

Trouble is, my husband has that sort of job too and consequently we spend all our time trying to sychronise diaries and failing, with me feeling like I am having to give excuses all the time for not coming to meetings when really it is because husband is in Madrid or wherever.

So we see little of each other in the week and every other weekend he is off to see his sick dad at the other end of the country. I feel like we can;t carry on as we are but not sure how to make it right. I really don't want to give my job up as I've worked really hard to get to where I am and all the other careers I've looked at don't stack up money wise, meaning you basically spend your salary on childcare.

Advice gratefully received !

kittywits Tue 10-Jul-07 20:22:53

Meeshy, you mention your relationship with your husband but you haven't talked about your children. Do they mind having your and your dp away all the time?
TBH I would focus on them more, sorry.

meeshy Tue 10-Jul-07 20:26:41

I genuinely think the kids are fine as there is always one of us around to look after them in the morning or the evening.

I feel like I am setting them a good example by showing them that it is good to have a career and also providing for them financially, its just the daily underlying stress of knowing I am not giving 100% to the job - it is really a job that a single guy or girl should be doing who does not have home commitments.

I need to work tho to stay sane - there must be something out there for me !

CantSleepWontSleep Tue 10-Jul-07 20:26:54

When do you get to have some fun, either with your children, as a couple, or by yourself?

WideWebWitch Tue 10-Jul-07 20:28:48

Re post this in employment issues/relationships I would and give it a title that asks for help with 2 working parents/2 careers, you'll get a better response.

My first thoughts
- does your dh have siblings who can share looking after his dad?
- could his dad move nearer you? or other siblings?
- Do you have a nanny?
- How well do you and your dh co-ordinate work and family obligations?

I think you need to find a way to carve out more time with your husband - could you agree 1 night a week no other obligations and you go out together? Or stay in, just spend it together?

WideWebWitch Tue 10-Jul-07 20:29:48

And could you or your husband negotiate some working from home/compressed hours/teleconferencing rather than flying to meetings? (note I don't necessarily think it sould be YOU who asks for/gets this!)

LeafTurner Tue 10-Jul-07 20:33:49

You need an aupair I think - so that there is someone there to rely on if you and your dh have to be away. Maybe a nanny would be better - but dearer - I don't know. But I do know how this feels, I only have the one child and don't need to travel much, and only within the UK, but I also find myself having to make excuses when dh is away.

My dh very much considers that he can swan off without a by your leave - whereas if I need to be away I have to plan very far ahead - liek a military operation !

Re his sick dad - how sick ? Is this a temp arrangement until the inevitable - so quite short term to cope with, or is it a long haul thing ?

meeshy Tue 10-Jul-07 20:36:43

The dad is really sick so it is a short term thing and i really don't mind him doing it.

The au pair thing is just what I have been thinking of - someone who can pick the kids up from nursery and after school club the odd time when we won't be back til later in the evening.

But I wouldn't want anyone to live with us and it wouldn't be every day/

Could do with a fairy godmother...

CantSleepWontSleep Tue 10-Jul-07 20:38:23

Would a job share be an option for you (in your current job)?

LeafTurner Tue 10-Jul-07 20:39:12

Well then I would live with the weekend trips to his Dad.

You can get a part-time Nanny (live out) maybe a mothers help would do. I need someone like this myself - I have looked on Gumtree and there are always people on there who look quite good.

Would you be able to say which days you'd need them - I think you'd have to specify really - and then hope they might have some flexibility if other things cropped up.

quadrophenia Tue 10-Jul-07 20:39:24

are you happy?

meeshy Tue 10-Jul-07 20:40:11

No I don't think I am happy

LeafTurner Tue 10-Jul-07 20:40:49

I don't know if I am happy - I am always too busy to think about it !

quadrophenia Tue 10-Jul-07 20:41:30

then something has to give Meeshy, I'm not sure what though. What are your options? What would ideally be the situation in which you think you would be happier?

LeafTurner Tue 10-Jul-07 20:45:30

Do you have flexible working where you are Meeshy ? I work one day a week from home and leave early two of the four days I am in the office. I do have to do email and stuff from home - but it's worth it !

Could you do something like that to give you a bit more time with the children ?

Also - do you have a cleaner and an ironer ? I have both and that has really helped hugely - we can enjoy weekends now - rather than them being a drudge !

meeshy Tue 10-Jul-07 20:46:00

I would like to stay doing my job but not get a sick feeling when I realise I need to be somewhere but husband is already away.

I have got to get a network of support instead of thinking that there is a fab job out there which does not need me to travel - I don;t think there is.

But it needs to be someone I trust - mothers help is an interesting option.

But the 2 yr old is so mummified !

quadrophenia Tue 10-Jul-07 20:47:17

Getting a mothers help sounds a great idea. Have you spoken to your husband about how you are feeling?

LeafTurner Tue 10-Jul-07 20:47:21

Is two year old in nursery ? Might be worth replacing nursery fees with nanny fees and reaping the rewards of the extra help, flexibility etc - she would pick up the older ones etc - and be able to stay late, even sleep over if you set it all up right.

meeshy Tue 10-Jul-07 20:47:31

Leafturner it sounds like you have a good balance - I work from home sometimes too but every week is different and there are often 'crises' which mean, for example, I have to travel 250 miles to Maidenhead on Thursday - yuk.

SSSandy2 Tue 10-Jul-07 20:48:46

what is the MAIN thing causing your unhappiness? It's hard to tackle 10 different things at once.

Is it that you cannot put yourself 100% into your job because you're held back by the demands of your dh's job (and therefore the need to make childcare arrangements at short notice).

If that's the MAIN problem right now. Maybe you need to try and deal with that first. You don't want live-in help so what other solution could there be? I would also throw that one past dh

SSSandy2 Tue 10-Jul-07 20:49:39

oops crossed posts sorry!

Legacy Tue 10-Jul-07 20:50:46

Meeshy - about 3 years ago DH & I were in a very similar situation.
Our kids were similar ages too.
We were way too stressed, and our health and our relationship was suffering.

We had an au pair and it helped, but it just still wasn't really right, I felt like I was short-changing everyone all round - myself included.

In the end I decided I we just couldn't go on any longer and I left my full-time job and set up as a part-time contractor.

It hasn't all been a bed of roses, but on balance it was the right decision. I still miss the buzz of work and the friendship of office colleagues, but I dont miss all the juggling and white lies to try to make it all work, oh, and I certainly don't miss the guilt.

I think your children are getting to the age when they become even more demanding, and school needs are greater too. I really think you need to sit down with your DH and decide what you both want, what you need (in £ terms) and how to achieve it.

suzycreamcheese Tue 10-Jul-07 20:51:09

tbh your lifestyle sounds hectic (travel extensively not much notice)..i would personally hate to miss the everyday stuff from those years..its only there for such a short time..

if you like being quintessential busy working mum ...if you or your partner dont want to change work / jobs / patterns...then i cant see where any change can take place...

meeshy Tue 10-Jul-07 20:51:13

2 yr old is in nursery etc and everyone is giving great advice but do you know what I am scared of doing something different with the kids, getting a nanny in who I don't know, because the nursery is so good and it is also the other one's before and after school club.

I am frightened of making it worse !!

meeshy Tue 10-Jul-07 20:54:22

Legacy, your choice of words is frighteningly close to home - I tell white lies all the time, feel guilty and do way too much juggling.

When you gave up your job didn't you feel sad after all the time you had put in getting to where you were in your career ?

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