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Returning to work after mat leave and only one parent can work

(35 Posts)
Serenvv Wed 07-Sep-16 19:10:16

Did you have a discussion with your dp about whether it would be you or him?

Last week my dh said 'well I'm not giving up my job - no discussion'. Obviously he's being a bit of a twat but having stewed on it now for a week it's still really bothering me. We earn roughly the same salary.

I would prefer to have one of us look after the DC (like him) and not be inconvenienced when they're ill and unable to go to cm (like him) but why should it be me that gives up work?

OP’s posts: |
blowmybarnacles Wed 07-Sep-16 19:14:00

This boils my piss - tell him it is up for discussion and why.

Or life as a single father doing half the week anyway.

Ratley Wed 07-Sep-16 19:14:40

No discussion here. It was always going to be me. He earned a couple of grand more a year but even if he hadn't I would still have done it. I was planning that ten years since I was at school.
I didn't get the 10 though, he was made redundant and could only get a lower paid job. I got the first job I applied for when I had to go back after 8 years. I was in outdoor education so probably a bit niche.

HaPPy8 Wed 07-Sep-16 19:15:29

Can you both go part time?

milkjetmum Wed 07-Sep-16 19:16:35

Compromise? Both work 0.8FTE and use nursery or cm 3 days a week?

mypropertea Wed 07-Sep-16 19:18:01

My logical brain says who ever makes more should work, it is what's best for family finances.

BUT... If I stayed home I would loose my mind and there for be no good to man nor beast. There for I went back to work.

We are both at work and it works for us.

MumsFlouncingOnASummerHoliday Wed 07-Sep-16 19:23:56

XH wanted to be a SAHD. Lasted two weeks of me being out just 3 days a week. He quit. No job to go to, just quit. DS had/has complex needs so childcare wasn't an easy option and I then had to quit work.

12 years on and I don't think anyone should dictate that someone stays home. I'll go against the grain and say good on your DP for recognising being at home full time isn't for him.

Is he dictating that you become a SAHP?

If you would like to work out of the house still, then use childcare - hire a nanny, find a childminder, use a nursery. Do whats right for you not based on preparenthood conceptions based on what actually works for you and your family dynamic.

Guilt and parenthood definately go hand in hand. Which ever route you choose you'll unfortunately no doubt hear critisicm.

JacquettaWoodville Thu 08-Sep-16 14:32:28

Neither of you should give up work if you don't want to. He's not an arse to say he won't; he's an arse if he tries to insist you do, doesn't engage in finding childcare providers or discussions about going part time and expects you to cover pick ups and drop offs from childcare and sick days.

emsyj Thu 08-Sep-16 18:31:06

I would have thought the discussion about whether one person wants to stay at home should come before the discussion about who it should be. I am not interested in being a SAHP and I would not expect my DH to call me names for it hmm

SauvignonPlonker Thu 08-Sep-16 18:41:23

You don't get to decide for him.

And what makes you think that one parent HAS to give up work?

CotswoldStrife Thu 08-Sep-16 18:43:27

You could split it, I know a couple who both went part-time - but check if it will have any effect on your pension!

NameChange30 Thu 08-Sep-16 18:47:34

Two options:

1. Both work full time, put the child(ren) in childcare, take it in turns to take time off work when they can't go to childcare for whatever reason.

2. Both work part time, so the children have time with each of you as well as time in childcare.

If you don't want to be a SAHP, don't be a SAHP. It's unreasonable for him to expect you to do it, but it's also unreasonable for him to expect you to.

Nothing wrong with both working and using childcare if that's what you want to do.

NameChange30 Thu 08-Sep-16 18:48:10

Doh. That should have read:

It's unreasonable for him to expect you to do it, but it's also unreasonable for you to expect him to.

PotteringAlong Thu 08-Sep-16 18:50:35

I don't think he's unreasonable saying he won't give up his job. He doesn't want to and that's fine


He doesn't get go unilaterally decide you do. Any more than you get to decide he does.

Mookbark Thu 08-Sep-16 18:51:11

Neither of you should give up work if you don't want to. He's not an arse to say he won't; he's an arse if he tries to insist you do

This. We discussed it, neither of us felt we wanted to, so we both worked. In fact, a year or so later, I decided to go part time.

LuchiMangsho Thu 08-Sep-16 18:53:00

We both work (mostly) full time. I have a more flexible job so I have done the school run, early pick ups from the CM. In return, DH takes time off when DS is ill. For many many years we earned the same. But after a few rapid career moves he now earns 3 times what I do. It means he is also away a lot so I am now doing more housework than before. To compensate he does all the housework on the weekends and batch cooks as well. And although we don't exactly agree on the definition of what a tidy room looks like (DH thinks I'm lunatic and I think he's a slob) it's a pretty even partnership. He never expected me to give up working and is very grateful for the career sacrifices I have made. He also took a pro-active role in sorting out childcare.

Mookbark Thu 08-Sep-16 18:54:03

Neither of you should give up work if you don't want to. He's not an arse to say he won't; he's an arse if he tries to insist you do

This. We discussed it, neither of us felt we wanted to, so we both worked. In fact, a year or so later, I decided to go part time.

NapQueen Thu 08-Sep-16 18:56:13

OP you don't want to give up work. That's fine. That's your right.

Just like it's his right not to give up.

Use childcare. Give up work. Or don't have kids. You cannot make a grown adult quit work. Frankly I'd advise parents never to come completely out of the workforce and that stands for men and women.

NerrSnerr Thu 08-Sep-16 19:00:09

I think it's fine for him to say he's not giving up work and it's fine to say you're not either. As other posters have said could both of you go part time? If not then both work full time and use a nursery/ childminder.

Serenvv Thu 08-Sep-16 19:05:54

Thanks for all the replies.

Childcare for 2 here would be more than one of our salaries so it is definitely something we have to discuss. We're just about managing on his wage and my mat pay.

He said that he has preferred me being home while on mat leave and would be happy for me to not go back to my current job as I can just pick up another job when eldest at school. I'm a bit hmm because I know that I would have to really push to go back in below where I am now - not to mention losing some confidence (which I did find after my last mat leave.)

Both going part time hours is an excellent idea - I think my work would agree but he is completely resisting a discussion on altering his work at all. He likes it just how it is...

I've been pushing really hard while on mat leave to keep household organisation/ cleaning/ cooking 50:50 with him as he's a self-confessed 50s man. The phrase alone makes me want to gather my things together and leave. I'm sure it's been said here a million times before: it never mattered before we had kids.

I will suggest to him about both requesting part time although as a shift worker we may still struggle with definite days. Does anyone know if you can ask for a set working pattern as a part of family friendly hours?

OP’s posts: |
NapQueen Thu 08-Sep-16 19:11:48

Do you have two kids?

NameChange30 Thu 08-Sep-16 19:12:31

You can ask for flexible working, part time hours, fixed shifts, etc, and your employer has to consider it but they don't have to agree.

If your combined income is under a certain threshold, you may be entitled to Child Tax Credits and/or the childcare element of Working Tax Credits.

It would also be a good idea to check whether either of your employers offers childcare vouchers. They are tax free so they will save you some money on childcare.

SauvignonPlonker Thu 08-Sep-16 19:13:27

Ah, that old cherry again, where you give up work because it's an was

NameChange30 Thu 08-Sep-16 19:16:57

And even though childcare might cost more than your salary, meaning a financial loss in the short term, consider the long-term financial benefits of staying in work: continued pension contributions and protecting your earning potential.

tribpot Thu 08-Sep-16 19:18:15

He likes it just how it is...

Of course he does. Minimum child and house tasks (aka wifework), maximum income of his own. The fact that he won't even discuss it tells you what you need to know - he knows it's not a reasonable point of view but no way is he risking his career progression (yours of course can go hang for a minimum of 5 years). In ten years' time he'll be earning 50% more than you and then it will be 'obvious' that you have to pick up all the slack on the domestic front as he's out earning you.

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