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Dynamic between DH and a SAHM

(28 Posts)
Mumof3darlings Sun 09-Nov-14 14:02:42

Really struggling with what normal should be and I guess feeling a tad resentful. DH works away a fair bit and we have addressed this recently due to problems in our relationship and he now is away from us much less. He felt disconnected from the family and I felt unsupported by him. As we are together more this is much much better.

He's away for a week now and flat out with work. When I talk to him he is lovely, says he's missing us. But and this is what pisses me off.. He doesn't have that responsibility that I have for the family and the kids and to be honest I don't think he ever will. For example I told him DS had an ear infection the other day and when I've spoken to him , he hasn't asked how DS is with this? It's like he gets so caught up with work and he talks to me about this (his work) but he's totally absorbed in that when he's away from us and doesn't think about his responsibility of being a dad.

I could never imagine doing this ever. Even if I go out for the day (rarely) I think about my kids constantly and what they doing at each hour of the day.

When he's with the kids he's great but I hate this ability to switch off.

I guess part of me is resentful as I know I could and never would do this.

Normal or a crap husband and daddy?

flapjackattack Sun 09-Nov-14 14:09:44

He is getting very tied up in work. Yes.
I used to work and when I did found that immediate focus did stop me from thinking about children moment to moment. Because I had other responsibilities. Now I am a SAHM I do think more about the children/ house/ husband. There are less responsibilities in my life though.

ThePinkOcelot Sun 09-Nov-14 14:22:54

My DH is the same. It annoys the hell out of me.

FruitBasedDrinkForALady Sun 09-Nov-14 14:35:37

DH is just like that, completely focuses on the job in hand and the rest of the world ceases to exist. As soon as he closes the front door in the morning, he thinks of nothing but work. If he's doing something in the shed, the house could fall down and he wouldn't notice. I have no solutions, but a lot of sympathy.

muddylettuce Sun 09-Nov-14 15:34:24

The kids aren't his immediate responsibility so he probably can't keep up with the ins and outs of what's going on at home. If your roles were reversed you would probably find you wouldn't be able to keep up to speed either. He obviously assumes and trusts that you will look after them so why would he need to worry? My dp doesn't work away but has a fairly demanding job, I work part time so naturally I organise health care appointments, play groups etc for DD. He wouldn't have a clue what's going on! However, he looks after finances and does the shopping so does engage with the household as it were. He would probably engage less if he worked away. I don't know how you can change the dynamic but I guess just keep communication open, keep telling him what's going on, if it upsets you when he forgets, tell him.

DaisyFlowerChain Sun 09-Nov-14 16:00:48

He's working, not on a day out. I expect his employer thinks he should be concentrating on work not what you are upto at home. If you delegate the whole financial responsibility to one person then they need to ensure got hey give their all to their job as it's the only household income.

If you want a more equal split, he could look for something with less hours and you could pick up the financial slack this causes by working too.

Infinity8 Sun 09-Nov-14 16:09:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mumof3darlings Sun 09-Nov-14 16:16:46

Thanks for all the replies. Daisy I appreciate what you are saying, it's not really like this and I didn't explain it.

DH's job is really demanding and that's why I don't work as we literally couldn't have me working and him doing the job he does. It's his 'dream' job and so I guess I am a bit resentful of this when he's not tuned into the family. It's not so much that it's me who desperately wants to be a SAHM but more him perusing this career that has dictated it. I guess if it was me really wanting this set up then I would see things differently. Actually I would love for him to have a less well paid job and be at home more and for me to go to work too.

Infinity8 Sun 09-Nov-14 17:06:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

yetanotherchangename Sun 09-Nov-14 17:13:18

I love Daisy's concept of the world where one partner can simply downscale their working hours and the other work some hours to make up the financial shortfall! Presumably they'd work different hours so that the childcare is still all taken care of. If only.

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Sun 09-Nov-14 17:17:19

In terms of your original post I'm on the side of working = working. When I am away at work I am full on usually 7am to midnight. I always find time to call home and space to talk to DD and check how she is but I am not all over the details. Though I'm pretty sure I'd remember a dr appointment.
But I think your resentment is misplaced. He does this demanding job and trusts you to do yours with regards to the kids welfare.

But as others have said, I think you need to check what the root cause of your resentment is. If SAH isn't fulfilling enough then the two of you need to figure out how to make it work.

DP and I juggle two demanding careers, it is doable. We are both at home Monday then I am in charge tues/ weds and then I am away thurs/ Friday and DP is in charge. That's this week. Every week is different. It's chaotic but it works. Mostlywink
Please don't rule out your chance at a fulfilling life outside the home because it's either you or him. Find a way.

Vivacia Sun 09-Nov-14 17:21:00

We also juggle two careers with childcare. And it really has been juggling. We have an online calendar with each other's trips and working-from-home in it. This arrangement was what we agreed to before baby no 1.

If you're the one away from home for a couple of nights, it really is difficult to stay tuned in to the daily events. It's also quite difficult, I know I can get pretty homesick and just miss them a lot.

DaisyFlowerChain Sun 09-Nov-14 17:23:31

You can work as well, why do you get to not too? Childcare is more readily available then ever. Even those with partners who work away for months on end can hold down a job. Granted it may have to be more 9-5 but lots of families have both adults working.

NoMarymary Sun 09-Nov-14 17:23:57

I can understand your DH concentrating on his work life and forgetting to ask about something relatively minor which you are dealing with. When I work I only occasionally think of the DC as I need to concentrate on my job.

It seems to me you are focussing all your thoughts and energies on the DC and your life is a bit unbalanced. Even SAHPs have hobbies, friends and other activities apart from child care. I certainly don't think constantly about the DC if I am at home.

The real problem I see is you are resentful of DHs freedom and him following his dream job. You have sacrificed your own independence and job prospects so he can do what he wants. That's ok if both are fulfilled with this but he is and you aren't. Plenty of SAHMs enjoy the freedom and the reduction in stress from working and the time with the DCs, especially as most will go back to work when the DCs are older.

Three choices. DH stops doing the job he loves and settles for something less fulfilling. You find other things to do as a SAHM which makes it less of a resentment. You look for childcare and do a job which fulfills you. The money isn't important, so if it all goes on childcare then so be it.

Moniker1 Sun 09-Nov-14 17:28:09

I was a sahm for many years and DH in big important job often away from home. But I sort of accepted that he had a demanding job and mostly accepted the situation. But what I should have done was been less of a martyr and found a way for me to be more fulfilled.
eg get a job part time and pay a childminder/ aupair/ pt nanny. Even if all my money went on childcare.

He is not interested in the home because he knows you have it sorted.

I think you need to improve your life but not really expect him to find a new job (presuming what he does is well paid and rewarding) but I think he could step in for a day at weekends, for example. Could you find a hobby or job to take you completely out of the picture then so that he is forced to take on some of the responsibilities?

HappyAsASandboy Sun 09-Nov-14 17:30:31

I work full time in a demanding job, with my children being in various forms of Childcare during my working day.

I can honestly say that I rarely think about them while I'm at work. I feel terrible for saying that, but it is true. My job demands my full attention, and apart from a bit of clock watching at the end of the day to make sure I make nursery in time, I am not thinking about my kids for te hours I'm at work.

Similarly, once I am home from work, I don't give work a second thought. My children are demanding of my attention and so I don't have space for work to intrude. They get be wholeheartedly when I am home.

I guess when you have several very different lives, that are divorced in time/environment/purpose, it is too exhausting for your brain to try and keep up with them all at the same time. So you focus on the one in front of you at the time and trust that whoever you've left in charge of the others will cope without you.

I don't know if that helps. I would expect your DH to be concerned about your DS when you remind him about the ear infection. I'd expect him to ask how your day was and listen and be interested in your answer. I wouldn't really expect him to remember your DS had a GP appointment or had playground or was due a sight test. Those things fall to the SAHP when there is one. Obviously there are exceptions - if your DS was in hospital or had a major exam or expected his GCSE results, I'd hope he'd remember to ask! But day to day child/family/house stuff falls to the SAHP in the same way as your DH has to remember he has a meeting with Finance at 3pm (and needs x papers for it) and then has a review with his boss at 5pm (for which he needs to have finished his objectives). Two different lives, with a separate person managing each smile

Talk to your husband, but be understanding that he has a separate load of stuff to keep track of in his head that you're not aware of (just as you have without him being aware).

Mintyy Sun 09-Nov-14 17:31:10

I understand what you're saying and agree with you op.

ProveMeWrong Sun 09-Nov-14 17:44:35

I'm a SAHM with DH who travels (at least a full week every month). No family nearby, foreign country in a village so hard for me to work. When he is away, he asks less questions because he is not great on the phone and nor am I.
When he is here, he does like to know about our day, probably not the minutae I go into, but still!
I found DS going to nursery in the mornings a real turning point as it meant I could use this time to do something for me: read a book, run etc, not just mummy 24/7. I think if you would prefer a career and DHs job pays well, just do it! You staying at home IS your choice. If money isn't the issue childcare is available and you can feel some independence and sense of a separate identity. I do empathise. I am looking into work as of next year.

Shodan Sun 09-Nov-14 17:45:01

In comparison to my DH, it seems fairly normal. He concentrates totally on work while he's there (and often during the evening, tbh).

But I know for a fact that if there was some kind of childcare emergency (like when ds2 broke his arm), he drops work like a hot potato and is there for us. He also arranges things-where possible- so that he can be at carol concerts/parents' evenings etc. But he wouldn't necessarily remember to ask about a mild illness when he comes home.

It can be irritating-like when I had a root canal filling done, for example, and was feeling woozy into the evening and he didn't remember why-but I'm safe in the knowledge that he will come when needed.

Does/would your DH do this?

Tryharder Sun 09-Nov-14 18:21:05

TBH I think you sound very unreasonable.

Your DH is working- not on a lads holiday. You are quite happy to give up work, stay at home and live off the nice income he provides. Would you rather he were unemployed then he could see you all day in-day out? Or perhaps he would be better off in a minimum wage 9-4 shop job but then you'd have to go out there and get a job yourself in order to pay the bills.

The grass is always greener....

IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 09-Nov-14 18:44:33

He is doing his dream job. What about your dream job? Do you have one? Is yours less important than his? I have a dream career, but I can't fulfill it because I don't have a wife at home willing to pick up the slack. If I did, and had carte blanche to do my dream job, I would, in a heart beat.
Your husband is having his cake and eating it. Who wouldn't? My advice is, think about what you want to do.
I get the impression your dc are young, which is when they do take up more of your head space. They won't always be tiny, so have a plan and make sure your husband knows that the status quo is not forever.

Castlemilk Sun 09-Nov-14 18:49:44

You are quite happy to give up work, stay at home and live off the nice income he provides. Would you rather he were unemployed then he could see you all day in-day out? Or perhaps he would be better off in a minimum wage 9-4 shop job but then you'd have to go out there and get a job yourself in order to pay the bills.

Um, not exactly, Tryharder...

DH's job is really demanding and that's why I don't work as we literally couldn't have me working and him doing the job he does. It's his 'dream' job and so I guess I am a bit resentful of this when he's not tuned into the family. It's not so much that it's me who desperately wants to be a SAHM but more him perusing this career that has dictated it. I guess if it was me really wanting this set up then I would see things differently. Actually I would love for him to have a less well paid job and be at home more and for me to go to work too.

He's getting to do his dream job, in order for him to do that, OP has to - HAS TO - stay home. No dream job or even sniff of a career for her, because of his. She'd rather it were different. No shit Sherlock.

OP, if you're unhappy, then the time is going to have to come where it's a case of dream job has to make way for FAIR apportioning of satisfaction in life between both of you.

minifingers Sun 09-Nov-14 18:54:33

Hmm...

I think it's a bit lacking.

I'm a SAHP who works about 2 days a week.

My DH (who has a pressured f/t management job) talks to me about the children several times a day. If they are sick he phones to ask how they are, and whether I've made a doctor's appointment. He is always mentally 'on duty' as a parent, even when he's at work.

Blowmeonelastkiss Sun 09-Nov-14 19:04:51

For many people, work is all-consuming and you are paid to devote yourself to your job while you are there, including when you are away with work.

Whoever is in charge at home when I am at work has to pick up everything, it stands to reason. Then when I am at home I take over.

If the issue is more about you wanting a career of your own then you need to tackle that.

ProveMeWrong Sun 09-Nov-14 20:58:35

It sounds to me more that you want him to pay attention to you all at home and remember you are more than the childminder/nanny and he is not your employer. I do think it helps if you prompt with a lot of details of what you've been up to and remind him about aches and pains etc. It's normal to be fully immersed in work when you are there (I know I always was even with a year old baby), especially your dream job. I think that's fine as long as when he is back at home, he is just as immersed in family life and leaves his work with his briefcase at the door. Some people just walk in and have to continue working into the evening, to me that is much much worse than forgetting about an ear infection.

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