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DH changing our life pattern and I am not happy.

(57 Posts)
Cutiecat Wed 15-Jun-11 06:29:42

i am due to give birth to dc3 next week and over the last few months i feel that DH is increasingly changing our life pattern. What i mean by this is that he keeps taking days off work or working from home without telling me. We have been having a lot of building work going on which is drawing to a close and i have been managing it single handedly. He is not interested in it at all but does want the work done. DS is at school full time and DD is at nursery every morning.

Our situation since having children has been one of me staying at home and him going to work. He would not want it any other way, i.e he would not want me to go back to work yet and i am very happy being at home raising our family. But recently it seems that he is not doing his side of the bargain. I think he is bored at work, he as a global job and for the past 4 years has been travelling a lot but this seems to have changed with the economic situation and change of management at his work.

I am finding that on average he is not going into work two days a week due to illness, 'working from home' or holiday. None of this is discussed prior to him doing it. Last week I returned home from the school/nursery run and supermaket shop to find him in his cycling gear about to go off for a cycle ride. I had asked him at breakfast what he was doing that day, he didn't mention staying at home.

He has been talking of changing jobs within his firm and one of the positions will require him to work from home twice a week. I feel this will be too much for me with a new baby. I will have to make him lunch and will be over crowding me as we don't have a study or anything he works from the kitchen table. So he is sitting in the centre of the home where my friends come for tea etc. Also when the children are home they have to be quite as he is often on conference calls.

I don't know how to handle this but I feel I want a traditional life where he gets up and goes to work everyday. He puts in 100% at work and i take care of the home. He is changing the routine of our lives and i am not happy. I can see this could cause real problems in our relationship. I have tried speaking to him and his response is to say he understands but actually he is ignoring me and carrying on doing what he wants.

What can i do to make him understand?

pinkytheshrinky Wed 15-Jun-11 06:45:50

I think what you mean is 'how can i get my own way'

You might feel that it is a bit much for you having him around but it is his home - the home his wages pay for. Do you tell him everything you do every day? No I don't expect you do and indeed you should not have to.

I can see why you would feel a bit like this but I do think you need to get past it because I do think it is very hard for men to be away from their families and being in work all the time. My Dh works from home about one day a week and sometimes he gets on my nerves a bit and sometimes he is very helpful.

If you can honestly see that your husband working from a home a couple of days a week could wreck your relationship then you do have problems.

chris123456 Wed 15-Jun-11 06:48:33

Working from home is increasingly seen as an accepted way for companies to organise themselves - cheap reliable IT means you can be effective from almost anywhere.

It's almost become an additional perk and most people welcome the opportunity

msrisotto Wed 15-Jun-11 06:52:11

Why should you make him lunch?

It's a bit rich to begrudge him being in his own home, fair enough to raise concerns about his commitment to work - taking regular sickies won't fly for long and he could be putting his job in danger.

PonceyMcPonce Wed 15-Jun-11 06:52:42

If your dh is regularly going to work from home, then he needs a sensible place to do it. Everyone keeping quiet while he is in the kitchen is not really workable IMO. Sort this, and you may well find it suits you.

He has not lost his job as he? Not trying to cover this up?

Cutiecat Wed 15-Jun-11 07:01:18

I think there is some truth to what you say pinky we do have some underlying problems. I was a very driven woman when at work, I gave them 100% and was successful. Now i am at home I worry when i see my DH being a bit of a slacker. Working from home for him means either sitting in the kitchen on the lap top talking on the phone being too busy to make his own lunch but 10 minutes later putting on his cycling gear and going off for a few hours. I worry what people at his work think, do they percieve him as a slacker? When i was working if someone worked from home there were lots of raised eyebrows and it was thought they were hung over etc. Have things really changed that much in 8 years?

Decorhate Wed 15-Jun-11 07:02:57

I agree that if he is going to be working from home regularly you need to sort out a desk for him somewhere out of the way - maybe in your bedroom if there is nowhere else.I knew someone whose dh worked from home fulltime & twas v hard as she had to stay out a lot to ensure quiet while he was working...

I do sympathise as I also like my own space but think you will have to accept that things are changing and instead of resisting you need to find ways to make it work - eg buy a season ticket to somewhere local (softplay/farm/zoo) so you can take the kids there for a couple of hours whenever necessary.

Cutiecat Wed 15-Jun-11 07:04:34

Poncey - i have worried that might happen. When the builders have gone i am going to rearrange some things so he has a corner of the sitting room to work in.

lynehamrose Wed 15-Jun-11 07:05:47

Sorry but who wrote this 'life plan' which is fixed in tablets of stone! And what century are you living in? Working from home is far more common these days.
And maybe your dh is becoming jaded with his job, or rethinking his work life balance. Perhaps he's realised that holding down a demanding career and providing everything is harder than being at home with one child in school, one at nursery and another not even born yet! Especially when holding down that career involves not being allowed in his home between 9 and 5!
Sorry if this sounds harsh, but you sound like one of those women who wants a man to get her pregnant and provide for her, but beyond that doesn't really want him getting in the way, and trespassing in 'her'domain.
Look at this from his perspective rather than just the cosy set up it is for you. Maybe he has good reasons to want to start shifting the 'life plan'. I would guess its been this way for some years as your eldest is in school. Perhaps he wants to spend more time at home, and around his children. Perhaps he wants to downsize a bit work wise, and would like you to start being responsible for some earning. What worked several years ago might not work so well now- even if it does for you, it doesn't necessarily for him. Seriously- if the thought of him being around for lunch is filling you with horror then I think you may love being a SAHM but you do not have much respect or feelings towards the man who is enabling you to have the lifestyle you want

mumblechum1 Wed 15-Jun-11 07:07:56

DH works from home one day a week but sits in his office upstairs (converted from a guest bedroom). If I'm around I'll make him some lunch, if not I don't.

I do know what you mean, dh did an MBA when our kids were tiny and it was a total pain that he did it in the living room of the little house we lived in, but I just put my foot down and made him put a desk in our dressing room to keep all the crap, printers, pcs, books etc out of the way.

Why can't you get your dh to put a desk into a spare room, or if you have no spare rooms, just the dining room or even in your own bedroom?He can't expect the whole house to be tiptoeing around him imo.

I'd also be concerned that your dh is taking regular sick leave. That does not look good in this climate.

AnotherMumOnHere Wed 15-Jun-11 07:08:09

Totally agree with pinky.

SheCutOffTheirTails Wed 15-Jun-11 07:12:58

If he's going to be working from home, needs to recognise that it is still a home.

That means it will be noisy, he can't take it over with his work, and he must make his own lunch.

But you don't get to tell him that you want him out of the house all the time at work. Did he ever agree to this as a "bargain"?

lynehamrose Wed 15-Jun-11 07:13:36

It sounds like he has become very jaded and unhappy at work since the management changes etc.
Perhaps he feels anxious about admitting this to you, because he knows you have such a fixed view of your life pattern. I think you need to really allow him to open up and tell you whats going on, and accept that this may mean changes to the situation set up several years back when you first got pregnant

Cutiecat Wed 15-Jun-11 07:16:46

Lynehamrose - our life plan was written by us both. We decided to change our lives when we had children, moved to the country and DH does not want me to go back to work. I do live in this century and understand things have changed in the work place but he does not want to spend more time with the children. That is not his motivation i just think he has got bored with his job.

Cutiecat Wed 15-Jun-11 07:22:21

Thank you all for your comments. I think that getting him out of the kitchen will make it work a lot better. I am also being over sensitive at the moment due to being pregnant. Got to go now and wake the children up.

pinkytheshrinky Wed 15-Jun-11 07:26:11

But even if he is just bored with his job he is absolutely entitled to do that too. I wonder if you would expect to never be able to change your mind about the 'plan'.

He does sound unhappy at work and personally I think you need to make this as easy as you can for him - he is your husband and your children's Father: why wouldn't you try to help him?

I know I sound harsh but you just seem to want it all your own way and plan or no plan, we all have to adapt and change.

lynehamrose Wed 15-Jun-11 07:38:10

I agree with pinky. You say 'just getting bored with his 'job'' as though its of no consequence! Work is a big chunk of his life- particularly as he is sole provider.
People change and grow- its quite Normal. It sounds like when you had children you both adopted a very dramatic change- moving to the country, you giving up a good job- a lot of people wouldn't make such dramatic changes. Not saying you were wrong- but perhaps a few years on, he really feels differently- even if he hasn't verbalised that yet.

SORNedWoman Wed 15-Jun-11 07:57:42

I get what you're saying though about him not mentioning at breakfast that he isn't going in to work... these aren't really planned days at home, they're "I can't be bothered to go in" days. My dh has been like this for a while too, but he and I both know that he is fed up with how it is there, and he works away a lot, and hasn't really had a proper holiday in a long time. So while it worries me a bit, I don't have that feeling that you do that he's invading your workplace too, but I do feel it interrupts the flow of how I was planning my day to go, and I often fail to get done what I was planning because he's hanging around. ( but I love him being home, we get on really well when he is, very sweet times)
Have you spoken to him about whether there's something wrong/fedup with work? Is it time to look for a new job?
Also, it can be stressful knowing that you are the only "breadwinner" in the family. We used to be equal earners, and it was reassuring to know that if either of us needed to, we could survive on one job, either one. Since it's just been him working, there have been times when he's felt the weight of knowing he just has to keep at it, there's no safety net. I'm looking for work now, and I think the dynamic between us will be better when I find something. I think he'll probably do something about his (now stale) job when that happens.
Sorry, bit garbled that.

EightiesChick Wed 15-Jun-11 08:04:38

Some very good posts here. I think SORNedwoman has a ood point about it interrupting the flow of your day if unexpected - however the new arrangment might actually help with this, as you will know in advance when he is going to be home and can plan around it.

Also don't see why you have to make him lunch - you'll be busy with a new baby and he can take 15 mins out of his cycling time to do it!

Agree also that you need to talk to him about the job situation. It may be that he needs to look for another, or it may be that given economic conditions he needs to stick it out, in which case he should do whatever he needs to to make that bearable. Working from home varies a lot between work cultures too - in some it is frowned upon, in others, like mine, it's accepted as normal. Don't assume that it will be seen as odd because your former workplace was like that.

EightiesChick Wed 15-Jun-11 08:05:32

good point - no reference to Dr Who characters intended

callow Wed 15-Jun-11 08:16:14

When my ex used to work from home, I felt pushed out. Like your husband he demanded total silence in the house. The kids had to be quiet, I couldn't vacuum - my home life came to a complete standstill while he was working. At the beginning it wasn't too bad as I used to go out but I didn't want to go all the time and I also had household chores to do. I did get resentful in the end. I didn't have to make his lunch, in fact he used to make lunch for all of us.

I don't think that spouses that work from home realise the impact it has on a household of family with young kids and SAHM or F.

exhausted2011 Wed 15-Jun-11 08:17:54

Jesus-What about what he wants?
Can you re-read your posts and see where you have considered his needs.
It's all about you, and him upsetting your routine.
Life changes and moves on, he sounds restless and unhappy in his job, I'd be more worried about that, as that is what provides for your nice SAH lifestyle.
Sorry if this sounds a bit harsh, I hated it when my husband had a spontaneous day off, so I know where you are coming from, but we had real problems and are now separated.

buzzsore Wed 15-Jun-11 08:52:29

I think it's worrying he's taking lots of sickies - that's a way to change your life plan alright, losing the job. But agree with the others who say you should be thinking about what he needs as well as the nuisance he's causing grin.

I'd support him in changing his job and if he wants to work from home, I would ensure he has somewhere to do it. I'd advise against the sitting room/kitchen.

You guys need to talk and agree that if he does start working from home more regularly, he has to put up with noise levels and cannot take over family space with work. Either a bedroom or the least used downstairs area should be used instead. Could he convert a garage or shed?

Plus he makes his own lunch or he makes lunch for all of you every other day.

TimeWasting Wed 15-Jun-11 09:01:41

Why would you have to make him lunch?

SunRaysthruClouds Wed 15-Jun-11 09:44:03

To me this is another of those 'if it were a man posting this what would it look like' threads. And the answer would be 'you are being controlling, trying to tell him how to lead his life' and 'your DW must miss the DCs' etc.

Sorry. Try to talk reasonably, but if I was in his shoes and hearing you say things like 'he is a bit of a slacker' I would be pissed off.

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