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to not want my dh to work away?

(50 Posts)
Lorelei2 Wed 08-Mar-17 21:31:01

We need extra money at the moment because we're finishing building a house so the type of work he does (agency) brings in more if he works somewhere else rather than stays where he's at and takes a normal post = less money. So he's forced to take a contract somewhere else which would mean staying away Mon - Fri. We have 2 DCs, 5 and 2 and they're a handful. I work fulltime although it's flexi so I can work in the evening, but I'm not looking forward to the responsibility of getting them both off to bed by myself (normally we'd share bedtime 50/50) then working in the evening before going to bed alone and anxious in case one of them wakes up. I realise single parents have to do this all the time but I didn't sign up for this when I married him. One of my main worries is that he'll miss out on what's going on with the DCs during the week and come the weekend I'll resent him if he doesn't pay enough attention to them (he has a habit of sitting on his phone all the time) and our relationship will suffer. I'm not a very strong person and I'll miss him like crazy. He worked away when we were newly married but that was different. When you're childless you don't mind these things as much. It's going to be very tough and, although he'll say it's because we need to buy things such as furniture, finishing of our house, I think he'll end up with the easier end of the bargain. Of course he'll miss his kids. And maybe it's this that I can't get my head around- I would never dream of working away! How could you live with yourself if you were missing out on your children - if you did have the option of taking a lower paid job and staying at home. Anybody been in a similar position- would love any feedback. Whether you've had a DH working away or you've worked away during the week. Thanks.

scottishdiem Wed 08-Mar-17 21:48:12

My dad worked away during the week for a lot of my childhood. My relationship with him is excellent and I dont think he missed much. First steps and first words have already happened havent they? Mum and Dad spoke every night (I used to wait until Dad rang before I fell asleep). I think you need to speak to him about weekends and time together and what he does for the kids. My dad never came home and did nothing. We always had time with him.

"How could you live with yourself if you were missing out on your children" is unbelievably harsh and insensitive. How may parents are in the armed forces? etc.

Lorelei2 Wed 08-Mar-17 21:53:40

Yes I totally agree scottishdiem "How could you live with yourself if you were missing out on your children" is unbelievably harsh but he's not in the armed forces, we just want a bit extra cash and the fact is he could take a normal job right now (he has been offered the normal equivalent of his current agency job) and stay at home. Yes, it would be a significant paycut and we would have to wait til we could afford certain things but I guess his viewpoint is slightly different than mine, I believe time spent with each other and doing things together is more important than being able to afford some things. Yes, some things may be necessary to buy but we will have a roof over our heads and I am bringing in a fulltime wage. A lot of people survive on much less and I kind of think he's more into spending than I am.

dietstartsmonday Wed 08-Mar-17 21:56:37

Could he work away for a set period to help finances then settle close to home. It means you have an end in sight to doing it alone in the week but could boost your money for a bit too

Strictly1 Wed 08-Mar-17 21:59:14

I work away during the week and manage to live with myself! I'm not in the armed forces either. What it does do is make the time with my child at the weekend quality time. You seem more concerned that they are a handful and you're doing it on your own which is a valid point but don't throw emotional blackmail in there!

SanityAssassin Wed 08-Mar-17 21:59:43

Did it for 2/3 years - it destroyed our marriage -

Lorelei2 Wed 08-Mar-17 22:05:15

Yes dietstartsmonday it will only be for a short term so will have an end in sight. I think I am being unreasonable in retrospect because he thinks a lot about what we'll need in our lives and is willing to sacrifice his time with the kids to make these things happen. I think it's the worst side in me showing that I think he'll enjoy being away, having some time to himself and I'll be the one running ragged doing my job and doing the school run, make dinners, and bedtimes, not to mention homework, washing and keeping the house ticking by. I think it's just that my days will be a lot fuller and I'll be knackered whereas he'll be able to relax in his accomodation, play his computer games (which he gets immersed in) and not even realise the time passing and what's going on at home.

Lorelei2 Wed 08-Mar-17 22:09:02

Yes I understand Strictly1 but he has the option right now to take a more stable fulltime position at a lower salary and stay at home. He doesn't absolutely need to work away. He's choosing to do it so we can afford extra things until our house is finished. The money he earns will certainly go on practical things, it won't be frittered away.

Lorelei2 Wed 08-Mar-17 22:13:04

I'm so sorry to hear this SanityAssassin. Must've been an awful situation for you. My dh's not going to do it for very long so hopefully we'll not suffer too much, but it is the little things, the little nuances, that, if they don't get addressed on a daily basis, if you don't have someone there to chat to, not necessarily about anything in particular, just a little chat in the evening before bed, I'm sure it can start to eat away at the relationship.

OhTheRoses Wed 08-Mar-17 22:14:08

Hmm. My DH was out of the house 7-9.30 when the children were young. Often away Mon-Fri. There was one less to worry about when he wasn't there although to be fair I wasn't working at the time

Montane50 Wed 08-Mar-17 22:14:39

You aren't being unreasonable, but hes being realistic op. If its for a short, set time id support him (hes no doubt not thrilled with the thought of going but needs must). My dp works away and we spend 3 nights per week together, he assures me the novelty of living in a hotel soon wears off and when he comes back he loves cooking and ironing as it makes it feel normal. We skype which helps a lot x

Dragongirl10 Wed 08-Mar-17 22:18:58

Many DHs like mine have never done bedtime as home too late( 7.30), and left too early for work (6AM)

I have 2 Dcs, 16 months apart, and work PT...l have had no help from DH ever...its really not hard if you are organised, get a cleaner if finances allow, online food deliveries, write out a routine for DCs mornings and evenings, show 5yr old and stick to it.

Plan tactics for managing trigger points, ie l always showered youngest with me early in the morning, to avoid struggle in the evening with both.

Get snacks ready in the morning to give when you come home with them tired and grumpy, l used to use carrot, cucumber and sweet pepper sticks in front of TV whilst l got dinner cooked and served ( also at least they had some fresh vegetables)

Line up some films DH would not watch with you, get some girlfriends over some nights, you may not miss him at all!!

Lorelei2 Wed 08-Mar-17 22:20:57

Thank you Montane50. He is being realistic and it's my problem that I don't seem to trust his decision. I think I have issues with my parents and his parents saying he shouldn't do it because it wouldn't be fair on me and I couldn't cope with the kids on my own. I'll have to convince them it's a joint decision and it'll be fine. In a way, it might actually help with my confidence looking after them.

Lorelei2 Wed 08-Mar-17 22:24:52

Thank you Dragongirl10! Some great ideas there! So I'm guessing you never resent your dh and realise it's what works for your family, that's great. Realism and positivity

ICantFindAFreeNickName2 Wed 08-Mar-17 22:38:07

My DP often works away Mon - Fri. You will get used to it & get into a good routine, but make sure you get some down time at the weekend.
My DP's relationship with our kids is fantastic (probably better than most of their friends), they always look forward to him coming home.
TBH we probably spend more time talking to each other when he is away than we do when he is home (its too easy to slump on the sofa watching tv)

Jellybellyqueen Thu 09-Mar-17 04:43:19

montane that made me laugh - your DH likes ironing and cooking when home because it's normal? I think mine is away so much he assumes it happens as if by magic, for the most part.
OP everything you said it true with him having a comparatively easy time, and you being run ragged. Esp if you have to do some work at home in the evening, as I did. Once they get used to it, the kids won't mind,as they're still seeing him on the weekend.
How short is the contract? I don't think you need to worry much, you'll be able to cope once you have a routine, esp if there's family around in for moral support (not that you'll need it). I'd be concerned if he wanted to do this full time, or wasn't coming back for weekends, but you'll be fine in the short term smile

4sidekicksplus1 Thu 09-Mar-17 05:07:52

We were in the Middle East for 8 years and decided to come home while DH stayed for an additional 14 months. It was certainly difficult for all of us, but it was the best thing for his career and for our family! it was tough, but well worth it in the end!

Dragongirl10 Thu 09-Mar-17 07:11:53

Lorelei2...l cannot say it has always been easy but l knew who l married, a driven high achieving determined man who will always take care of us but not spend time doing the mundane daily stuff.

Personally l would rather have a hard working responsible Dh who doesn't help with childcare, but is totally trustworthy and reliable with our finances and always puts the needs of our family first.

It does sound like your DH is putting your familys financial needs first.
Of course you can cope with 2 Dcs! women often cope with far more, elderly parents, jobs, bigger families.........

Your parents are underestimating you!

Huldra Thu 09-Mar-17 07:29:36

Can you have a discussion with him about how some of those mundane jobs will be shared during the weekend. He could batch cook one meal at the weekend so there will be leftovers in the freezer for a midweek meal. Sundays you both spend an hour tidying and cleaning the house so you are not dealing with a tip on the Monday. Saturday morning the washing machine will be free for him to wash his work and iron clothes for the coming working week.

poshme Thu 09-Mar-17 07:53:31

My DH works away 4 days every week. We have 3 primary aged kids.
It's shit.

But we get through it. We have to.

And yes to- choose films to watch that you want/ invite friends over/ eat what you want. Make time for yourself.

Make sure he pulls his weight at weekends. This became an issue with us for a while- that and DH being 'fun' daddy and me being the one who has to do all the discipline. A few arguments solved that!

Good luck.

poshme Thu 09-Mar-17 07:55:13

And get a good support network- so when you need help with lifts/ watching one of the kids while you take the other to A&E...
And I don't mean family necessarily- all mine are friends. Not family.

Offer help to others whenever you can so you can call in favours.

Lorelei2 Thu 09-Mar-17 07:55:38

Thanks huldra .good tips. I'm sure it'll be fine in the end but I'm already anticipating the arguments we'll have re child discipline techniques! He's more strict than me and he'll blame me for lack of discipline through the week and he'll have to pick up the pieces at the weekend. I'm probably being too harsh but taking care of two young children who bicker with each other a lot will be tough on my own. I won't be able to say, just wait til your daddy gets home!

Lorelei2 Thu 09-Mar-17 08:10:30

The contract will be open ended Jellybellyqueen, but it could be that he can't find a normal job locally in 6 months or so so might need to stay away until something comes up which may be never. We haven't quite thought about that eventuality. Just thinking about bringing in a bit more dosh at the moment.

Lorelei2 Thu 09-Mar-17 08:12:22

Thanks for all the great tips poshme

MyBreadIsEggy Thu 09-Mar-17 08:15:37

It isn't hard - especially if it's a chance you're not used to.
My DH is in the Forces. He went to Afghanistan for 6 months when DD was 2 weeks old, and has just got back from Iraq this week where he's been for 3 months - since DS was 7 weeks old. He's always all over the place for training exercising etc.
You find your own way with the kids. It's a nightmare at first, learning how to juggle them both with only one pair of hands! Lucky for you, your DC's are a bit older than mine!
It's all about weighing up the options. What's more important? Having the extra money to get your lives sorted in the long run, or forego the money and have the extra help around the house.
Personally, I've accepted that DH is doing his job to provide a better life for us, as much as it hurts to let him go sad

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