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Why is my work so much less important than his? Bloody fed up.

(81 Posts)
thescribbler Mon 19-Aug-13 14:25:55

I work from home as a freelancer - it's my first work after being made redundant from my job two years ago and spending that time as a SAHM. I've currently got a really good contract that enables me to work round the kids during school hours and in the evenings. It's well paid and interesting and every day I feel so grateful that I can work and be with my kids too. I know how lucky I am.

DH is a teacher. He works long and exhausting hours, but the pay-off is that he gets the summer holidays. It's supposedly a relief for me as I can work without having to arrange child care and summer camps etc, and it means I can work a proper 8-hour day during the holidays without having to make up the time in the evenings and at weekends.

Except that every day I work he comes upstairs at least once an hour with some kind of interruption. In the past hour he has asked me if he can leave the kids while he goes to Homebase to pick up some paint, asked for help removing a bird's nest from the garden and where the sun cream is. After the last interruption I lost my rag and yelled downstairs, 'Why is my work so much less important than yours?' to which he replied calmly, "I wouldn't shout, we have a visitor", so now I feel embarrassed and a complete idiot.

I am fucking pissed off with it. It's not just the constant interruptions while I'm working at home. It's an ongoing battle of him undervaluing what I do. I keep reminding him that without this work we wouldn't have had a new bathroom, new back windows and two holidays this year - he still treats it as if it is a hobby. During the school term he returns from work expecting dinner cooked and everything done - his response if I complain is that he's at work all day. BUT WHERE DOES HE THINK I AM?

Apologies for shouting. I'm just bloody fed up with it all now. Any calm responses would be very welcome.

oscarwilde Thu 22-Aug-13 14:32:52

£60 ? Wow - does that include heating, lighting and internet connectivity?

celticclan Thu 22-Aug-13 14:25:02

Thanks Alibaba.

Biscuitsareme Thu 22-Aug-13 14:07:45

I'd rent an office for 60 quid. I bet there will be a psychological dimension too, and you may even come to feel differently about the value of your job.

Good luck!

ps like tribpot's post of 08:10

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 22-Aug-13 13:51:09

celtic - we are SE and could be paying Regus £200 a month for an office - that includes them taking calls for us I think. London is more expensive in some areas but it varys hugely, much more than I thought it would.

We actually pay just the £25 a month for a hotdesk at the moment because that is all DH needs.

celticclan Thu 22-Aug-13 12:29:32

I'm amazed at £60 per month for office space. A friend of mine asked if I was interested in sharing office space to save costs. I said that it was unlikely as I assumed that office space in the south east is around £500 per month.

How much does everyone else pay?

I don't have an issue with dh's attitude re home working but friends and family drive me mad. Thinking I'm anti social because I don't do coffee after the school run and the endless comments about applying for full time employment...

lottiegarbanzo Thu 22-Aug-13 09:00:21

Lol at 'its not teaching or saving lives'. Teaching is important but it's not saving lives. Does firefighter trump teacher in your household hierarchy?

DP and I have both lived alone in the past, working ft, so experienced knowing that if you want dinner, you make it, if you want something ironed, you iron it. Has your DH always lived with parents or partner? I cannot understand how else the 'I've been at work so deserve to be served' mentality can come about.

Yes to mumbling, timing him and adding time to your day and phoning him at work. He'll say it's not the same, it is.

LauraChant Thu 22-Aug-13 08:38:04

I hear what you are saying wordfactory. Me too.

wordfactory Thu 22-Aug-13 08:11:09

I've worked from home fore years now, and people (not just DH) thinking I'm essentially free or at least utterly flexible, has been an ongoing problem.

Sometimes it drives me crazy. Especially when I'm on a deadline.

However, the whole point of why I love working from home is that I am, to some degree, a degree chosen by me in a ideal world, flexible. I want to be able to flit between my work and other life. But I want it to be convenient to me.


LauraChant Thu 22-Aug-13 08:10:50

Both DH and I work from home. We are both freelancers and have no childcare so have to juggle who is working when. I definitely feel that I work in the evenings far more than he does and I have far more interruptions.

Yesterday I had to remove our three year old from the office five times as DH was sanding a window and not keeping an eye on him. One time I was on the phone doing an interview about a sensitive subject and I had to pick him up and remove him screaming from the office. In general DH is great, we completely share housework etc but this has me fuming. He blames the three year old.

I was thinking if renting not worth it do you know any other work from homes you can swap offices with?! There are quite a few round here, we do an "office Xmas lunch".

MrsMargoLeadbetter Thu 22-Aug-13 07:59:55

Yes Yes what tribpot says. I'd love an office for that money.

newbiefrugalgal Thu 22-Aug-13 07:51:52

I'd pay £60 to go to an office to MN all month!

sameoldIggi Thu 22-Aug-13 07:51:37

You are making your dh's life so much easier with your job being so flexible, him never needing to worry about nursery drop-offs, school pick-ups, can stay late to fanny about work or have meetings or attend parents evenings with no juggling to do, and no dreaded sick-child phonecalls at work when you have to arrange class cover and rush home. Just thinking how much my (teacher) dh would love this! It sounds a bit like you have the worst of both worlds as being in charge of home and also being employed.

tribpot Thu 22-Aug-13 07:49:01

OP, the title of your thread is 'why is my work so much less important than his?'.

Virtually everything you've said on this thread indicates that, subconsciously at least, you think it is so much less important than his. And you are fortunate that - at the moment - it is a supplementary income upon which the family does not depend. But that does trivialise it to the level of a hobby. Personally I think you must have some mad skillz to have been able to get such a convenient gig and that once you are less constrained by childcare responsibilities your business could be a serious income generator.

It is extremely important, both for your self-esteem and for your children's development, that you see your job as just as important as any other job. It would appear that your DH requires some additional encouragement to see it that way too. That, to me, is worth £60/month. On top of which, I think psychologically you would see the benefit - if you 'go out' to the work, it will seem more like work to you too, and less like a well-paid hobby. You say you would only use it during school hours - your DH only uses his office during school hours (not quite true but you take my point). As he is off during every training day and holiday, you can use some of those days to retreat to the office to crack on with work. You will be more efficient and hopefully see a better work-life balance than when work is creeping into every spare hour you have. Or rather, every spare hour he has to 'let' you work confused

As your income is supplemental, there is very little downside to the extra expense - a month longer to wait for the next household purchase that it's funding, maybe. But it will send a very clear message that you value your work and others should too. Furthermore the opportunity to get out and meet other people will help - with networking, with having some social contact, and with reminding yourself that you are a high performing professional doing a good job.

As others have said, you are running a business. It's time for you both to start acting like it. I think your confidence has taken some knocks with being made redundant and the subtle undermining that you've both participated in since then because your main 'label' is SAHM. All your work counts just as much as his - this paid work and your work as a SAHM.

Lweji Thu 22-Aug-13 07:42:44

I'm actually thinking that most office workers also get interrupted constantly with phone calls and people popping in.
Ok, it's work (mostly, as we also get the chatty types) but they are distractions.

Just practice the words
I don't know
I can't

He'll get the message

MadBusLady Thu 22-Aug-13 07:31:18

A proportion of utilities are also deductible if you're self-employed working from home though, as I recall.

Wearytiger Thu 22-Aug-13 07:29:04

My friend told me she pays £25 per month to hot desk in any regus office - if that's correct that's an amazing deal.

flowery Thu 22-Aug-13 07:20:44

Heating the house in winter through the day will pile on a bit as well. Plus I don't know about you but when I work from home I 'graze' a fair amount, costing money in food, whereas when I go in to my costs a lot more than £60 office, I only eat lunch.

flowery Thu 22-Aug-13 07:18:06

"£15 a week gross would be around a tenner once you've written it off agianst tax. I bet you spend that on electricity working from home - or not far off!"

Yes, this.

BitOutOfPractice Thu 22-Aug-13 01:24:28

Of course you're running a business! Your own business. And I blummin hope you're running it professionally with regards to tax etc!

the way you speak about it makes it seem like it's not just your DH who isn't really valuing it!

£15 a week gross would be around a tenner once you've written it off agianst tax. I bet you spend that on electricity working from home - or not far off!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 22-Aug-13 00:46:26

Of course you are running a business.

DH is a freelancer/contractor. He gets paid a daily rate. We have our own business.

£60 a month is so, so cheap. I really don't mean to have a go at you, but I can't help but feel that the issues at home can't be that bad if you feel that would be a waste of money.

I hope you can find a solution.

Mintyy Thu 22-Aug-13 00:13:35


I just can't help wondering what you thought it would cost to rent a desk elsewhere? £60 a month is £15 a week. Am surprised you thought it might be cheaper confused.

TeaJunky Wed 21-Aug-13 23:42:08

I'm still shocked that the office is £60 a month shock

Fairenuff Wed 21-Aug-13 23:11:37

You really should not have to vacate the home to get your work done. Just spell it out to him that you are not to be disturbed during working hours unless it is something that you, in return, could call him out of the classroom for. He'll understand that.

Then have a chat about what your expectations of each other are regarding the childcare, housework and mealtimes. Maybe they could be re-arranged to give him a bit of a break during the day and you could instead put in a hour of work in the evening? I'm sure you can reach a compromise if you discuss this sensibly.

thescribbler Wed 21-Aug-13 23:10:00

Some of you make it sound as if I'm being huffy about the cost of renting a hot desk. I wasn't expecting anything price-wise. I've never investigated it before - I have no idea how much 'these people' charge. (I'm not running a business btw, I work as a freelance consultant and am paid a daily rate set by the people I am currently working for).

I realise my OP can be interpreted in different ways. 'Well paid' doesn't mean 60K a year and two holidays in the Bahamas. It means around 20K a year (which I think is well paid for work that's flexible and not full time), a week's holiday in the UK and a week in Eastern Europe. The windows and bathroom were paid for using a combination of wages and savings. Without my wages we couldn't have afforded them, at least not this year. I hope that makes things clearer for your judgements.

£60 a month isn't a lot of money, but it is more than I want to spend. Why? Because it's £60 for 32 hours usage a week, and I can only work from 9.30-3pm because of the school run. My kids' school doesn't have a breakfast or after-school club. I make up the rest of the hours in the evenings or at weekends. Therefore I wouldn't be getting my moneys-worth from the office space and that is why I think £60 is too much.

Office space is an option when I can work the hours that make it worth it, or get more consultancy work - thanks to those who suggested it and put the seed in my mind. In the meantime I will consider the other helpful advice that's been given in relation to notices, ignoring and talking. Cafe working I do from time to time but no, not brazen enough to nurse a coffee for three hours! (Library sadly not an option as I have to make phone calls and would have to take all my work and computer with me when I go for a wee).

MrsMargoLeadbetter Wed 21-Aug-13 23:08:14

I am guessing OP means £600 too.

On a practical level what about mentioning to DH that you will be starting your working day in a coffee shop during the hols? That way he knows you won't be around. Then you can plan your return time based on their plans.

This might only be an option in City Centres but you can join a members club. A client of mine (I freelance too) pays something like £400 a year for access. Downside is you don't have your own desk, you just grab a seat where you can etc.

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