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Would you work F/T and let partner stay home?

(9 Posts)
MrsHaitch Thu 19-Jan-17 13:07:33

So, I currently work from home P/T. Mr is self employed and is trying to grow his own business whilst taking driving jobs through an agency to top up income.

DS's are 4 & 8, so come September both will be in school FT. Youngest is currently at preschool 2.5 days per week. My job is very flexible and no set hours, I just invoice the hours I do, but the business isn't exactly booming at the moment and I'm earning less and less each month.

I've interviewed for a great job, and if successful I'd be working 9-5.30, Mon-Fri. Office is 45 mins drive away, so I'd see the kids an hour or so in the morning and again an hour or 2 in the evening during the week.

If I get this job and it's the ££ I'm hoping for, I would go to work FT and the Mr would quit the driving and just manage his business around the kids, he'd do school runs etc, and we'd just need help at school holidays from a child minder perhaps.

He is 100% on board with this, but I do think he underestimates how much I do around the home in terms of working / childcare / house work / food shop / cooking etc. It's a big gamble to take the new job, jack in his driving and my PT work, only for him to realise it's not as easy as he thinks it is!!

As my interview was late in the afternoon yesterday, it fell to him to pick the kids up and start dinner. He had cleaned around and put the dishwasher on, started dinner at 5pm (shepherd's pie) but managed to take 2 hours to cook it so we didn't finish eating until almost 7.30pm, which is youngest's bedtime! I know it'll take practice and we'll probably end up eating together later, with the kids having eaten before I get home. It did take all my energy not to step in and intervene, but I guess I'll need to learn to let him do things his way...

Alternative is a childminder for youngest 2.5 days per week, plus afterschool care for both. Due to agency work there would be no set pattern to when we'd need a childminder though, so would be a task in itself to find one as flexible as we'd need.

Opinions, thoughts, experiences?

Brokenbiscuit Thu 19-Jan-17 13:27:28

We did this for a while a few years ago, but it didn't really work for us TBH, so DH went back to work (freelance but pretty much FT) while I continued in my FT job.

DH didn't really like being at home all the time, and although he was trying to grow his own business, I think he found it quite isolating. He was pretty good in terms of pulling his weight - did a lot of the cooking and cleaning, looked after dd while I was out at work/took her to nursery for her free slots etc. However, he found it quite boring most of the time, and he didn't like being financially dependent on me.

As for me, I hated it. Yes, I had a bit less to do in terms of cooking and housework but I didn't really feel that having a sahp added any value to our family life, nor did I feel that dd was really any better off as a result of DH being at home. He had much more free time than I did, and I resented that. I also didn't like the pressure of being the sole earner.

We were both much happier when he went back to work, and consequently, I think this was better for dd too. He still earns much less than I do, but we both feel happier contributing to the pot financially while sharing the cooking and cleaning. Personally, I feel it's a more equal partnership.

Having said all of that, this was just our experience. I know other families who have SAHPs (male and female) and it works really well for them.

I wouldn't consider it if you don't think your DH would pull his weight at home.

SherryRB Fri 20-Jan-17 17:54:03

I did this a few years ago. it made sense because I earned way more than my husband. He WILL find his own way of doing things. he'll do things differently to you but that doesn't make them wrong, just different. I also think it's helpful to sit down and set expectations at the start. What he'll do, what you'll do. It worked brilliantly for us. Here's a useful article that gives you food for thought on what to discuss up front:

HSMMaCM Fri 20-Jan-17 17:57:57

We were going to do it until I got made redundant. Am I right that he only has 2.5 hours to work while youngest is at Pre school? Once you've deducted travel time, that doesn't leave much work time.

Katkin14 Fri 20-Jan-17 18:01:03

We do this. My husband got sick and had to leave his job while I was on mat leave. I went back to work full time and he has looked after our son full time ever since. He's now 2.5 and it works so well DH is setting up as a childminder. Your husband will figure it out and presumably he won't just be able to say it's too hard and I don't like it in a few months because he'll have taken on a responsibility (in the same way you've taken on the responsibility to earn most of the money) and stick with it and find a way to make it work.

Tangoandcreditcards Fri 20-Jan-17 18:09:31

I do do this.

DCs are 1 and 3. 3yo is at nursery 12h per week (3 afternoons). I work full time with a 2hr each way commute (yep, really), DP is SAHD and freelance maybe 10h a week which he does in the evenings.

We have a cleaner. DP isn't a great cook so I batch cook a bit at weekends but we manage with easy dinner mainly and meal planning.

It works brilliantly for us. After each maternity leave though it probably took 8 weeks to get the rhythm back...

EggysMom Fri 20-Jan-17 18:09:40

We've done this since our son was one - coincidentally both of us were not working during our son's first year (which was just as well, as he was very prem and needed numerous follow-up hospital visits). We both started applying for jobs, I was successful first and, tbh, had the higher earning potential. So I went to work and for the last six years, my DH has been the stay-at-home parent.

It's taken a few years to get used to his way of doing things. Some things he does from his own initiative (he is obsessive about clean floors), other things have to be directly requested. He does the majority of the cooking, I only cook at weekends; he's got better at that as time goes on although his range is rather routine. He does all the decorating and gardening in the six hour window whilst our son is at school, I don't have to go near the garden!

I spend an hour with our son in the morning, getting him up, dressed and breakfasted (then DH gets up and takes over). We spend two hours late afternoon/early evening as a family, DH sorts our son's tea, I sort bedtime. DH is understanding that sometimes my job takes me away for a couple of days training, and picks up the slack of my absence.

It works well for us. DH gets a little bored during the long summer holidays though, when he has our son all day!

Tangoandcreditcards Fri 20-Jan-17 18:14:49

Sorry hit send too early. I think in your circumstances I would do it.

But good communication is key. You say he "doesn't realise" how much needs doing. So you have to remember that, he doesn't realise (not that he isn't bothered), so it'll take a while for him to get it and stay on top of it - you'll need to help in the early days, just like a handover for a job! There's a fine balance between nagging and showing the most efficient way to get chores done (that I admit I haven't always successfully struck!)...

MrsHaitch Fri 20-Jan-17 18:36:25

Some good tips here, thank you!

He's a mobile car valetter so can still book in a job or 2 during the one half-day youngest does. From September he'll have 9-3 every day so can book in more work.

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