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Does our situation sound equal? WWYD?(17 Posts)
We've been married 5 years and together for 7. We have 2DC, one who is 2yo and another who is 6mo. I am EBF and weaning at the moment. I work from home and have cut my hours since having the 2DC but still bring in around £4000 a month net to family income. I look after the DCs 24/7 (work while they're in bed and during naps, sometimes into the early hours), I do the cooking, DH and a cleaner share the cleaning 50/50.
Two years ago, coinciding exactly with the birth of our first DC, DH left full time employment and started a business with my blessing. It was a good business idea and he was certain that it would be a huge hit. While it hasn't failed and it has made some profit, the profit does not justify the hours he spends out of the house working. Between travelling, networking, meetings and actual hard intellectual/technical graft, he can sometimes be out of the house from 8.30am until between 12-2am most days including weekends. This is all for about £30K profit a year so far. DH says that it will payoff in the future in a big way and I just have to be patient.
At first I understood. I found it hard, having a new baby, still working, being alone most of the time while DH pushed the business. I can see that it does have the potential to get bigger and to really work - I DO see it - DH sometimes comes home a bit excited about opportunities coming up that could make big money and Rome wasn't built in a day etc but I am starting to get fed up and I don't know at what point I should be putting my foot down or what I should be asking him to do.
I am now alone all day with the DCs, and working alone at night. He comes in, is exhausted and irritable, passes out and gets up the next morning and goes to work. We often turn on each other with the same old argument - him telling me that he started the business with my blessing and I've been nothing but complain ever since. Me telling him that he has to look objectively at our situation and decide whether going back to being employed is better for us rather than pursuing something for vanity. We don't have sex, we're both just too knackered. When he has some spare time, he does some cleaning and washing. Neither of us have time to socialise. But DH certainly acts like he is the war hero, the rainmaker etc, even though I would argue that I am doing the brunt of everything, albeit the less glamorous brunt.
In addition to the practical stuff and wanting to avoid drip feeding, DH owned the house we live in, and transferred it half into my name when we got married. He also owns a separate flat for which we receive some rental income each month. That and my earnings go towards paying the bills and whatever is left over on food, the kids, (we live in London) etc. DH's profit goes back into the business.
Childcare is difficult because 2yo has SN and currently does not like going with new people and would have to really "get to know" someone in a way that only someone more frequent (and paid more than we can afford) would be able to do.
We have family close by, and when I had a EMCS with DC2 I stayed with them to help me out because DH was too busy with the business to help me. 2yo found the change very hard and it was a very difficult time (new baby brother plus being in a different place) as she was not comforted by my family, even though it was the help I personally needed at the time.
DH is a successful person, had an excellent job before he decided to start his own business, is not prone to hair-brained schemes, but some days I just feel like I'm going to crack. I have started enquiring about the ins and outs and asked him to assess how viable he thinks the business is for the sustainability of our family and our family life in the longterm. This often makes I'm defensive and accuse me of not having any faith in him and then he'll tell me that I just have to be patient, all businesses lose in the first year.
How long would you give it? Do you think our situation sounds like we're putting equal amounts in? (taking into account the fact he has given me half a house in london?)
My DH is an entrepreneur and in the early days, I earned more than him and sometimes felt as you do. I earned more than him and sold up to look after the kids, but by that time, we were financially secure.
You issue is with timing. This financial vulnerability has come at a time when you require the most emotional and practical support as a family, and it's taking it's toll. We had the luxury of allowing DH the freedom to follow his dream, and luckily it is paying off.
Building a business is a long haul journey, and if it has made £30K profit early, he is doing well, especially if there is little investment.
Is your issue here money or DH's time?
If it's time, can the business hire someone to release him? This will slow down growth but build capacity for the future.
If it's money, can the business afford to release some profits, but this will affect cash flow and slow down growth.
Can Dh work part time and do business part time? This will affect the family.
I have experienced growing a company (I'm very proud of DH, hopefully you are of yours too), and growing 2 children. Both of these get less intense as they grow (not easier though), so you may need to rough it out if you can.
Time for a full and frank discussion. Being married to someone who wants to take over the world while you just want to pee in peace isn't easy.
Being married to someone who wants to take over the world while you just want to pee in peace isn't easy.
So funny and so true!!!
In my experience, resentment sets in when one person starts to make decisions by themselves that impact the whole family.
Sounds like you support the family, whilst DH supports himself/his business.
In his mind your DH is doing the right thing for the family by building up the business, but the reality is that he is putting himself and the business first and leaving you to pick up everything else. This is unlikely to be sustainable long term and I imagine it will be making you feel very resentful.
If I were you I would be thinking 'Hmmmm - I pay all the bills, do all the childcare and most of the house work, but I'm a second class citizen in this marriage. How did that happen?'
You can only resolve this by talking. You could agree a deadline beyond which the 18 hour days will stop and the business has to be capable of paying its way and contribute financially towards the family.
You could also tell him you expect him to pay 50% of the bills from now on. Put some pressure on him to pay his way.
Whatever you do, I think you are in for a rough ride.
PS - in answer to your question - no, your relationship does not sound like it is equal.
What do you do at home that works around FT child care and nets 4k a month ?
It seems to me that literally the only thing he contributes to the family is 50% of the cleaning which your cleaner could easily take over.
He doesn't pay bills, he isn't around to do any childcare....what is his purpose?
I'm not being mean, but he has two children and yet he seems to help no-one but himself.
It also sounds like you've spoken quite clearly to him and have wasted your breath.
This could (and likely will, if it's that much of a passion project that is actually earning) go on for a decade. Or the kids entire childhoods. You have to look down the road and ask yourself how you want to live. Cos I think it's unlikely he will cut down his hours for years yet.
So you have to see if you can live this life not just now, but 5/10/15 years from now.
I think you need a taste of the real world. Others can only dream of being in your easy situation.
You both earn a good wage.
You're lucky enough you get to work from home
You have children that some can't have.
Think of all the things you do have and the positives before sounding like a spoilt brat
Could you have an au pair live with you if you have space in your house? I can understand how being on your own with 2 kids most of the time is isolating and frustrating but from your post it sounds as though you support your husband in principle but are struggling with the mundane practical stuff. If you had someone good to live with you and take the pressure off so you could just go for a walk or to th gym, would that take the pressure off?
You both must be knackered with all the hours you're each putting in and with not enough time together. Don't let his business drive a wedge between you. You each need to find a way to support the other.
What sort of relationship does he have with the dc? As it sounds by the time his business is at a level he will feel it is a success his dc won't even know who he is. . .
You are at the most exhausting stage of child rearing imo with a 2 year old and 6 month old. I don't think therefore that it's the right time to make these decisions.
In a few years (which will fly by) DCs will be in nursery all/part of the day. The broken nights should be past.
I feel he should be doing more with the DCs so if he is there that is what he should be doing, and giving you a full break from them. Not cleaning. I would pay whatever it takes for nanny/ cleaners / childminders to make your life easier, it is for a few years.
There will be a decision time for his company but it is too soon, probably, for him not to feel long term resentful if he gives it up.
There is loads of time in the future for making a good income and pension etc. Just pay out what you ahve to now.
Would getting him to pay for a cleaner to do the rest of the cleaning (what is currently his share) out of the money he earns help?
The 'you have no faith in me' accusation is emotionally manipulative and unfair. It doesn't sound to me as though you are convinced he won't succeed, more that you don't think living as you do now for many years to come is worth it, no matter how the business may pay off in the future. That is a valid concern and he seems to be fobbing you off.
I am willing to bet that your husband could reduce his hours at least one day a week to allow for more family time without hurting the business.
In the end, your and his wants and expectations seem to be diverging. It is worth talking to him about how you want to live now, and in 10 years time, and see if those positions are compatible.
This is the age-old problem of being at the time of life when careers are at their most time consuming and looking after children is at it's hardest.
In a few years time, the children will be at school/nursery and the business may be bringing in a good amount of money. In the meantime, however, you sound like you are being stretched to your emotional and physical limits.
I was in a similar situation when my children were very young, and it was honestly the hardest time of my life. To have a child with SN and to be working during the night - just no. You are putting your mental health at risk here.
Looking back, I got through it but it caused a huge amount of resentment and damaged my marriage badly. It also affected my dh's relationship with the dc. I'm not quite sure what the answer is, really, but at the very least I think you should prioritise spending on help with the household and children, and rather than your dh doing half the cleaning, pay for all of that and make sure that any free time he has is spent with the dc
My DH runs his own business, and buys/rents properties as well, so he's very busy and usually stressed about one thing or another. I dont work to bring in money, I'd love to (just so I don't have to keep asking DH for money all the time when I know how hard it can be to come by. I do though work all day everyday keeping our home clean, bringing up our toddler and growing a second baby. Although pen to paper our relationship is unequal given that his is the sole breadwinner, I sometimes feel it's unequal as we all know what it takes out of you to be a mother/cleaner/cook/personal shopper/teacher etc etc etc. It's emotionally and physically draining! But we are a team. If he comes home with a new idea for the business which may or may not cost us comfort and luxuries for the family for a while and may or may not even turn out to be worthwhile if he's excited about it - I'm excited about it! I might be cringing inside but I'm behind him. If he works late 7 nights a week one week I might have a little sorry sob to myself while DS drowns my clean bathroom with soap suds, I don't complain. Nor does he complain if his shirt he particularly asked for for Monday isn't ironed because I completely forgot about it, if he comes home from a hard slog and I'm sitting frazzled surrounded by toys and washing and asking him to go pick us up a takeaway because I'm done in from the day. He probably cringes inside too but I never know it.
Maybe he needs to give a lot more at home for you to feel like equals again? You said you were 100% behind him but it sounds like he's maybe not always 100% behind you? I might be wrong just the way I read it that's all 😊 why don't you go away for a break? A family holiday or a couples retreat if you're lucky enough to have a babysitter? Insist on it if he won't take time away from the business. Get you both away from whatever's eating at you at home and you'll both come back with fresh eyes ready to jump straight back in?
Hope you sort it all out
If he's bringing in £30,000 minimum and you're bringing in £4,000 a month (!) working from home around full time child care and breast-feeding I'd look into buying outside help.
It doesn't sound like he's dossing about, sounds like he's working long hours and is as exhausted as you are.
So you own two homes in central London and have a joint annual income equivalent to £100k gross if not more? Buy some help for goodness sake. You can afford it!
(But yes what do you do part time from home that nets you £4K a month?)
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