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Does you DP work really long hours? How do you do it?

(173 Posts)
TreeMonkey Thu 29-Aug-13 14:45:30

I fear this will make me sound like a spoilt princess but here goes:

My DP works for a private equity firm in their finance department. I joke that he's always having to save the financial world whenever he has to work late (which is a lot).

We're about to move into together, buy a new place in the spring and have spoken about children in the past. But part of me is really questioning whether this would work or whether our potential children will actually get to see him.

I don't have a great relationship with my dad partly because he was always at work. I wouldn't want this for my children but the way things are now he doesn't finish work until 8:30pm (should be 9-5:30) isn't home till 9:30 and by that point, any potential children would be in bed and most of our evening is gone too.

The spoilt princess bit is that its my 30th this Sunday. I've planned to go to a bar on Saturday night and was hoping that DP and I could have a nice lunch on Sunday together. Romantic and low-key just the two of us. He's now text me to say "Sorry, I have to work both days this weekend grin( " I'm pissed off. The world isn't going to end if he doesn't work over the weekend. I'm really hoping its a fucking joke.

MrsCampbellBlack Thu 29-Aug-13 16:03:26

My DH works long hours. I am used to it now but I know not everyone would like it.

As DH has his own business, things like paternity leave didn't happen, he never does a school drop-off or pick up etc. So, I've been a SAHM but am now about to go back to work which is going to be interesting.

If he earns good money then of course you can out-source a lot of stuff but you're right in that he's not going to be around much in the week to see any potential children.

However as he gets more senior then its easier to manage workload in my experience. Late 20's/early 30's are the really hard years in terms of doing a lot of hours.

Dededum Thu 29-Aug-13 16:05:21

If you both have a career with unpredictable hours then it s do-able but you need good childcare to pick up the slack. It's not cheap, and you end up working for what seems quite a little reward. It seems like a million years ago when I worked in the City, husband worked abroad a lot and our 25k (after tax salary) nanny took up the slack.

LemonDrizzled Thu 29-Aug-13 16:07:24

This is a bit of a crunch moment for you OP. You say you don't want someone like your dad for your future children's father. So will he change or will you? It is time to have a very painful conversation about your expectations. If he can't imagine leaving work for a family/domestic commitment then he is not the man for you.

FWIW I married a workaholic and it made me bitter and resentful and poisoned our relationship.

OverTheFieldsAndFarAway Thu 29-Aug-13 16:08:27

I am married to a workaholic man and its not fun. I am not a priority, our DCs are not a priority. Everything comes after his work. I have been Mum and Dad to 3 boys and I resent every hour he put in over what was actually required. Please believe me, I would give up every nice thing we have( houses, cars, holidays etc) for him to put his family first. The sad thing is he just can't see it. If I had known this about him all those years ago I would have walked away.

ITCouldBeWorse Thu 29-Aug-13 16:08:50

For perspective, on my 30th, I was pg and sent my dh to a football match some distance away (wembly unlikely to happen again) and stayed at home with me feet up.

Not to mean that I was all noble, but that the other 364 days of the year he put me first.

So, does he ever put you first?

chickydoo Thu 29-Aug-13 16:09:07

You do get used to it
My DH leaves for the city at 6.45am, on a good day he is home at 9.30-10.00pm.
He plays golf at the weekends as a stress reliever. Kids and I never see him. We have been together 24 years.
In the early days it was tough, and with small babies even tougher! ( we have 4 kids) I decided to re-train and now work during school hours and evenings and some weekends. The kids muddle along fine. We eat together on Saturday and Sunday evenings, and to be honest we don't really know any different. I wonder though if DH's long hours is what keeps our marriage fresh, as we always have tons to talk about when we do see each other.
I guess as I do 100% of all household and garden stuff I can get a bit hacked off. He has never missed a birthday though!

CailinDana Thu 29-Aug-13 16:09:58

Is he expecting you to become a sahm in the future? Do you want that?

dingledongle Thu 29-Aug-13 16:11:53

Yanbu to ask your partner/husband to be there with you to celebrate your Birthday after all he knows the date.

My only observation about having children is that it magnifies the differences between you. I never felt that I had been discriminated against as a women up until I had children. Then when they were born the majority of people assume the childcare to be done (or organised) by the women.

I have given up a well paid and stressful career to be with my kids (DH earns much more than I ever could a his career is viewed as more important by society!) circumstances have changed since we first had kids. Initially he was Able to do the 9-5 however redundancies etc have meant he works away from home now most of the week and it all falls to me.

You cannot predict the future but can talk about what you would want if you ever had kids. If he will not commit to a meal out for a birthday he may also prioritise his own needs (and those of his company) above everything else.

Good luck.....

Squitten Thu 29-Aug-13 16:13:40

I think you have to be realistic about how children, etc, is going to work based on what you are seeing NOW, not expectations that it's all going to magically change once you have a family. If he has to work long weekdays and weekends then the vast share of the work at home will fall to you. He may not need to work all the hours in the world but he chooses to do it - and you need to understand that that is who he is. It's not going to change when the babies arrive.

What you need to decide is whether the nice lifestyle is worth the cost to you in terms of time, freedom, etc. Some people can do it, some can't. Which one are you?

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Thu 29-Aug-13 16:18:03

This seems rather pertinent

motherinferior Thu 29-Aug-13 16:18:24

Well, it won't be a nice lifestyle if you want to work and feel you can't. Agree about f/t nanny, which is probably the only way to do it...I have friends who have done this, very well. But (a) they earned quite a lot (b) they focused, very much, on their kids when not at work. Which your partner doesn't sound like he's likely to do.

TreeMonkey Thu 29-Aug-13 16:19:10

IT he has put me first, lots of times and this is why I was feeling a bit princessy. I would never expect to come first during work hours. Perhaps because I planned some nice treats for him for his 30th a couple of months ago I was hoping that we could celebrate my birthday together too.

I don't see myself being a SAHM mum. I realise that that could be well into the future but I had seen myself as always working too. My parents had quite a dysfunctional relationship due to my dad never being around and I don't want to turn into them.

Reading how other people manage in this situation is helpful.

HandMini Thu 29-Aug-13 16:19:52

Some jobs require a great deal of time commitment and availability. I do one of those jobs (also in PE sector 50% of time).

It's a big decision for you as partner because you will be expected to be lead parent on everything if he continues this job.

That can work for some families - you just need to be prepared to see it as a "down" that goes along with the "up" of good salary and all that that can provide for your children.

HandMini Thu 29-Aug-13 16:22:47

And all those saying he "chooses" to work these hours, it's not that simple - he chooses to do the job, that job entails working lots of hours. You simply do not get a choice about when the hours might be. If you are asking him to cut his hours, just realise that that may in fact be asking him to change jobs.

CailinDana Thu 29-Aug-13 16:26:40

If you intend to work ft are you ok with your future children spending long hours in childcare and with you needing to be the one who does drop offs/pick ups/sick days etc and perhaps losing out careerwise as a result?

Damnautocorrect Thu 29-Aug-13 16:29:13

My oh does 7-8 (upwards) 6 days a week and work creeps in every sunday too, and I did similar hrs before baby.
As soon as I had ds I knew it wasn't feasible for me to go back to work as there's no way we could have afforded the childcare. I spent alot of the early months lonely and miserable, as it was not how I expected it to be.
But now ive got my head round it, I am so happy being a sahm - I never thought I would be, but I am. Moneys tight, but my ds is my best buddy so I couldn't wish to spend every day with better company.

If you chose he's the one for babies, then keep your options open and expectations on time low from him.

ExcuseTypos Thu 29-Aug-13 16:32:52

My DH works very long hours, runs his own business and earns a lot of money.

I've always been a SAHm because that has meant the dc had someone at home, it also made our marriage less stressful. We are both happy with that.

However he would never have missed a birthday meal. I think this man is telling you something. Your birthday isn't important to him, he really doesn't care about it or your feelings. Listen to what he's saying.

I'd bin him and find someone else tbh.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Thu 29-Aug-13 16:49:13

I can see this is a tough one for you. My dh has always worked long hours - he spent a lot of time 'on call' in his early career - which drove me crazy, and now he works on average 12-13 hour days, mon-fri. Sometimes needs to jump on the pc at weekends, and weekday evenings too. He gets a 6 figure salary for his commitment.

But he has never ever missed my birthday, or one of the dc's birthdays. If I need him to work at home, he will, and if I want him back early for something, he will do his utmost to put me first (and 9 times out of 10 succeeds). He will regularly attend things at the dc's school.

I do think that no matter what job you do there is scope for putting your significant other first isn't there? 30th birthday is pretty important - I bet even David Cameron has time off to celebrate Sam's birthday.

I think you need to evaluate whether he just works hard and is v committed - or whether he actually could put you first more than he is currently doing. Did he ask for time off for your birthday lunch - or did his boss just say 'I need you to work this w/e" and he said 'ok' as always?There aren't many managers that genuinely don't expect you to have a personal life at all.

Finally, will he always be working like this? Or is he just putting the hours in now to get to a position where he can take it a bit easier?

Purplemonster Thu 29-Aug-13 16:53:58

Don't do it. My OH is self employed so works stupid hours but doesn't even make a lot of money, that doesn't stop me always being below his business in terms of priority. We've got an 8 week old baby and being alone with a small baby all day every day with nobody to even watch her while you have a shower is shit. I seem my OH for approx 3 hours a day and spend this time cooking his dinner and washing up. I spend half a day every other Sunday with him, we haven't had a holiday (and I mean even a weekend away) in over two years. We lead completely separate lives and bicker constantly when we do see each other. It's no way to live sad

Stepinstone Thu 29-Aug-13 16:55:29

I think you are wise to be thinking about this now.

If you are earning 40k or under then effectively your salary is likely to be taken up 100 per cent by paying for a nanny.

You might therefore be no better off for working and it is a struggle to leave your tiny children for someone else to bring up during the week. Especially when you will likely come home to lots of additional work - laundry etc.

Ideally I think it's great if you can both work part time...

All my personal thoughts though. Good for you for thinking ahead.

oscarwilde Thu 29-Aug-13 16:56:33

See what he says when he gets home tonight. How is he planning on making it up to you? He may have been put in a position where it is impossible to say no without it impacting his job.
I would be sitting down to ascertain whether or not his working hours or salary are likely to materially change over the next 10 yrs though.
Being at a firms beck and call 24x7 for £50k pa is no fun. If he's qualified financial professional, there are other options so what's his career plan before you commit to kids

motherinferior Thu 29-Aug-13 16:57:32

Purplemonster, can I suggest he cooks his own damn dinner?

MoominsYonisAreScary Thu 29-Aug-13 17:09:13

Our situation is a little different, some times he has to work long hours our travel so can leave at and get back at 8, sometimes he's home for 6. Sometimes its 7 days a week, when ds4 was born I had the elcs on Fri, came out on sun and he was back at work Mon.

It can be hard, sometimes he doesn't see ds3 as he is in bed, I know its not what he wants to do its just the way the job is. It doesn't even pay as much as your dps. Even if it was my birthday or one of the dcs birthdays this weekend he has to go into work, there's no chance of him getting out of it

Purplemonster Thu 29-Aug-13 17:10:34

Motherinferior - bit hard to argue that one when he's at work all day and I'm on maternity leave, although on reflection I used to do everything when I worked full time as well because my hours were still less than his (and my job less important of course as well hmm)

MoominsYonisAreScary Thu 29-Aug-13 17:10:45

Or travel and leaves at 5 blinking phone!

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