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Fed up with DH's holiday situation

(9 Posts)
TwigletMonster Fri 05-Aug-11 14:05:38

Just looking for a few opinions really. DH works for himself (with family). They all work very hard, he leaves the house at 0530 and arrives home at 6. He sees the kids (toddler and baby) for an hour or so each day. He's mostly around at weekends, working maybe one day a month. He does spend most of his weekend time with me and the kids.

So, as a rule he's great - great with the kids, works very hard and I've no complaints!

But, he seems to have a reluctance to take holiday. He had two weeks paternity leave at the start of the year. He's now saying that was holiday, and he can't really have any more. This upsets me, as we have two lovely small children, and I need a break. I also think he needs a break, as his job is physical and involves driving.

I'm at a loss as to how to move forward. For me, it's really important to have time off, to spend longer periods of time together as a family. It's also important to me that work doesn't overtake family life.

But, his argument is that it's a small business (true) and they can't afford to have time off. My viewpoint is that he can, if he plans properly (not something they are very good at). We have a big argument about it, approx. once a month. Last time (in June) he promised me he'd book some time off in October. If he'd done it then, there would be plenty of notice, which I think is fair enough.

Instead, he's done nothing about it and is now fobbing me off. So, anything he does book will be at shorter notice.

It's becoming a really big issue for me. I see it as a refusal to arrange time off, and as his work taking priority over his family.

Any tips on how to break the deadlock??

4merlyknownasSHD Fri 05-Aug-11 14:24:22

Perhaps have a word with the rest of the hardworking family. Do any of them have holidays? They would almost certainly try to help, wouldn't they?

peppapighastakenovermylife Fri 05-Aug-11 14:29:11

I think it can be very hard as the main wage earner to step back. I have similar problems - I am the main wage earner.

I have arranged the school holidays so I am home two days a week - one as leave, one as flexi working in the evenings. I would love to take a week or more at a time but in a competitive work place where you always need to be one step further on that you are...well it's really hard.

Have you sat down and talked to him about why he is like this? I am scared to take a week off as I worry I need to be working...and in this climate that is a real pressure.

If I worked in a coffee shop / other job where there were tasks to be done that could be done by a replacement and when you leave work you leave it behind I would jump at the chance.

However (I am an academic) - I always worry I should be writing more, another grant, another paper. There is always pressure and competition and fear of losing my job. Many people are like it.

People say I am very driven to suceed...I am, but only for my family. Without that I don't think I would bother.

Sorry this is no easier for you but just giving an alternate view...

Paschaelina Fri 05-Aug-11 14:35:25

My husband is self-employed (with his father) and I have previously taken the step of telling him I am sorting out a break somewhere, a few months ahead, stopped short of paying it, and telling him that I will book it unless he gives me an alternative date to use. I found that just relying on him to book time off would not work but telling him its all arranged would have the magic effect.

In short - I tell him he's having time off and he does. If I don't tell him he doesn't take it.

TwigletMonster Fri 05-Aug-11 14:42:22

Thanks guys. The other family members are no better! We are the only ones with kids (at the moment, this will change later this year). I think DH feels his family will think he is letting the side down for wanting time off. They work very hard, but I do think sometimes, not very smart. So I see it as he's letting his family-side down, to keep his work (also family!) side happy!

His job is very full on, but it's task driven, so with some sensible planning he can arrange a replacement to carry on in his absence. I understand this takes time to set up, but I don't feel that we can use that as a reason not to take holiday.

So, if he takes time off they won't loose business as such, they would need to replace his physical presence.

I feel it's become a bigger issue than just having a week off. It's becoming a point of principle. I am lucky that I don't have to work at the moment, but I probably will in the future and I've no idea how DH things we will handle the school holiday then.

I have tried many tactics, none of which have worked. I do feel upset that he appears to prefer working to spending time with us! I have been honest about this, but it hasn't made a difference so far sad. In my crosser moment I do contemplate some kind of ultimatum.

PurpleRayne Fri 05-Aug-11 15:04:03

Not an answer, but what would he think to you taking a 'family' holiday without him?

TwigletMonster Fri 05-Aug-11 15:13:21

Well, it did come to that! I got so fed up I went away with the kids and my parents. It was great, but not something I wish to repeat. He had vowed he would have some time off in the autumn, but hasn't sorted it out yet and appears increasingly reluctant to do so. And the longer he leaves it the harder it will be to arrange.

I know it's not an easy thing to organise, but I feel frustrated that he appears to be taking the easy route - i.e. keep working, keep his family on side. I feel upset that I should have to effectively beg him to have time off, and that doesn't even work!!

PurpleRayne Fri 05-Aug-11 16:24:57

What would be your ideal, e.g. length of holiday, frequency? And what in your opinion would be practicable?

TwigletMonster Mon 08-Aug-11 11:42:12

Well I don't think it's unreasonable to have 1 week off per quarter, so perhaps 4 weeks in total a year. That's a lot less than most employees would have.

I also feel that if the family members agreed a sensible amount of holiday that each could have, and then planned it at the beginning of the year, it would result in a lot less hassle between them about it. I also think they would be a bit less stressed if they had some more downtime.

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