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Am I being mean??

(13 Posts)
snuffy83 Sun 28-Aug-16 23:29:11

My husband's job is a minimum 40-50 hour week. It's shift work so he frequently works nights and most weekends. His holidays often get cancelled last minute and it's not unusual for his shift to be extended by 5 hours without notice. He's been doing this job for over 10 years and says he enjoys it. He has always avoided promotion because he says management just sit in the office all day and he likes to be out and about.
We now have a little boy and he rarely sees him with the long hours and 2 hour commute. I want my husband to get promoted or get another job so that his hours reduce, he can switch to 9-5 and his salary will increase. He earns £40k, I earn £60k.
He keeps making excuses to avoid getting promoted. He says he isn't good enough but his boss told me he's tried to promote him several times in the past. My husband says I should just let him do the job he loves... am I wrong to pressure him? He's got responsibilities now!

lilwelshyrs Sun 28-Aug-16 23:33:32

I think it's sad if he doesn't get to see his DS regularly. Can you talk to him about that instead?
I also think it's a very special thing if you love your job. Not everyone can say that about what they do, so the fact that your DH does love what he does is fantastic.
Of course extra money always comes in handy, but if he's miserable then that's not a great sacrifice.
However I think you need to talk to him about maybe being more assertive over his last minute holiday cancellations and shift extensions. It's massively unfair and he's missing out on time with his son!
Would he speak to management and ask for a little leeway? They obviously like him if they keep wanting to promote him!

SandyY2K Sun 28-Aug-16 23:37:07

I don't think you're mean or wrong, but maybe this should have been discussed before you had the baby. Because it means most of the childcare is on you, which will ultimstely lead to you resenting him.

He's working unsocial hours and shift work can add another layer of stress to relationships. If he can switch hours and his salary increases, I think he's not doing so because he doesn't want to spend time with your DS, as it involves being hands on ir he has another reason to want to retain the hours he's working.

Does he want to be an active father or not? It's fine that he may not want promotion, but if he can reduce hours and take on a 9-5 shift, thrn he should do that.

Topseyt Sun 28-Aug-16 23:42:08

I think there is something to be said for remaining in a job you enjoy rather than taking a promotion you believe might not be right for you.

I do see where you are coming from, sort of. I would not pressure him about it though. It has to be his decision.

Let's say that, under pressure from you, he did take one of the promotion and did hate it. Would you not worry that he might resent you a bit?

Not everyone is hungry for promotion or ambitious for it all of the time and you can't make someone want something they simply do not.

snuffy83 Sun 28-Aug-16 23:43:04

In the early days I think he really struggled being a dad. He found it hard to make a connection and find the patience. Also, he had a pretty awful childhood so I always wondered if he resents our little boy because he is so very loved and cherished.
I just don't understand his rationale with the job. Promotion would mean more sociable hours and more money... It's a no brainier for me. The people at his level at work are all in their 20s with no kids. The older/married ones tend to get office jobs and get promoted. My husband is older than some of his colleagues by 15 years.

snuffy83 Sun 28-Aug-16 23:45:12

Thanks Topseyt, I get your point. I think I am being unfair... money aside, I just want him to spend more time with his son.

JenLindleyShitMom Sun 28-Aug-16 23:52:08

My mum worked night shifts when I was small. We saw her for about 10 minutes before she left for work in the evenings. Dad took us to childminder's/school. Childminder collected us, fed us dinner, dad collected us mum popped her head through the bathroom door when we were having our bath to say hello. Then again as we were having supper she would grab a kiss and say night night as she headed off to work. The she decided to go for promotion and had to do a course lasting a couple of years, she changed to days but locked herself away every day to study and was very stressed.

It was entirely fine. I wish I felt about anything even half as much as my mum loves her job. We don't love her any less. She provided a wonderful home and life for us along with my dad. She did have time off to spend with us and we loved it. We didn't complain about her working so much because it was normal for us. It was all we knew.

If your husband loves his job that is something so valuable I wouldn't interfere with it. He is happy with his home/work balance. I'll bet your son is happy too. Is your issue that you aren't happy doing so much childcare because he works? Or just that you think he won't have a good relationship with your son?

Topseyt Sun 28-Aug-16 23:55:59

Does he have any scope for renegotiating his hours to something more family friendly rather than having to go for a promotion he clearly isn't interested in?

He does also probably need to be a bit more assertive if they mess around with his holiday. That affects the whole family.

snuffy83 Mon 29-Aug-16 00:03:50

Thanks for the considered responses.

There's no wriggle room regarding his hours/ work pattern. It is what it is and there's no negotiation. There are however lots of other roles available and promotion is an option. Most people do one or the other but my husband insists he loves what he's doing and wants to stay.

tigermoll Mon 29-Aug-16 00:04:17

I just don't understand his rationale with the job. Promotion would mean more sociable hours and more money

You don't have to understand it, just respect his decision. He has been doing his job for ten years, and has never shown any desire to be promoted. It's unlikely that will change. £40k is a pretty good salary -- if I was earning that in a job I loved, I wouldn't change either.

In the early days I think he really struggled being a dad. He found it hard to make a connection and find the patience. Also, he had a pretty awful childhood so I always wondered if he resents our little boy because he is so very loved and cherished

This is the problem. One that won't be fixed by him changing jobs. If he really doesn't have any interest in spending more time with his family then you can't make him -- even if he worked three hours a day, one day a week, he would still find reasons to absent himself from family life. You would spend your life trying to badger him into it, and end up just as frustrated and unhappy.

And if he really does resent his own child for having the happy childhood that he was denied, then he needs serious time, effort and professional support in dealing with that. That's if he has a genuine desire to change, which he may not.

snuffy83 Mon 29-Aug-16 00:07:09

It's hard though when I'm having to be single mum and main bread winner. I don't particularly love my job but if I didn't do it everything would fall down. This evening my husband spent 50 minutes with our son, who hasn't seen him in days. He wasn't interested in his dad and kept reaching for me and having tantrums unless I took him. This doesn't go down well with my husband but what can I do?!

snuffy83 Mon 29-Aug-16 00:14:13

Sorry.. am nodding off. I'll read any further comments tomorrow. Thanks for your input... I'll give it some more thought. I think I need to shift the focus onto why he doesn't want to be home spending time with us. I really don't begrudge him a job he enjoys.

tigermoll Mon 29-Aug-16 00:15:13

Did you hope that he would change his hours when your DS came along? I'm not being snarky -- that would be a natural assumption to make, but clearly not one he shared.

what can I do?!

That is a good question. I suppose your options are:

1) Carry on as you are, accepting that your husband will play a very small role in day-to-day family life.
2) Talk to your husband, clearly lay out how you feel and what you would like to happen. Say that if things don't change, you will leave (if that is how you feel. If it's just an empty threat, don't bother).
3) Reduce your hours. Family income will drop but you will feel less stressed and resentful at being sole parent and main breadwinner.
4) Carry on as you are, but become increasingly resentful.

Sadly, I don't think you can change your DH if he has no interest in changing.

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