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boyfriend wants to play 'mum' but i'm not sure

(9 Posts)
LoveActually Wed 16-Jul-08 15:22:43

My partner has just told me, (I'm 15 weeks pregnant) he wants to be our baby's full-time carer. At the moment this makes sense because a) I' a writer and journalist and can earn good money working from home
b) he got made redundant two years ago and the business he's been trying to set up since last summer hasn't got off the ground.
My problem is that he's been drinking a lot recently. He says its because he's depressed and he feels he would be the better of the both of us at being 'mum'. He wanted children more than I did, with his last girlfriend they tried IVF five times before giving up. Thankfully I conceived naturally after five months, I'm 38.
Thing is I'm not so sure, I kind of wanted to give up work for a few months - although the thought of it scares me. Thankfully I can work from home. Is anyone else in this situation.

Jackstini Wed 16-Jul-08 15:25:53

My dh is the major care out of the 2 of us. He works part time and I work full time, mostly from home.
You could still give up work for a few months, then dp could take over after that.
However, that is probably a year away.
Are you worried he is using being a full time Dad as an excuse for giving up on his business?
How much is he drinking and is his depression work related? He would obviously have to have this well under control or you will not want to leave your baby with him!

lalalonglegs Wed 16-Jul-08 15:35:21

I'd be worried about the drinking, tbh, and it sounds as if he is using childcare as an excuse to opt out of his business. If he did become the child's carer, I suspect you'd end up being the primary breadwinner permanently - have you talked to him about what his plans are for the family finances in the long term? Focus when you discuss this on what he will do and what his initiatives will be. His response or lack of it will tell you a lot.

missblythe Wed 16-Jul-08 15:40:08

Are you working for a magazine/paper at the moment?

If so, you'll get a year of maternity leave to decide, so you can delay making the decision until the baby is nine months old.

Then, if he's sorted out his drinking and is still keen to be baby's no.1 carer (and you're happy with that and want to go back to work) then you can do that.

No need to rush, and you don't have to make any unbreakable commitments yet.

LoveActually Wed 16-Jul-08 18:23:12

Thank you for your kind words.
I'm freelance, so the only money I'll get is the state maternity pay.
He's not happy with the amount he drinks and he's agreed to go to AA, but wants me to go with him.
I think I will have to see how that goes, he does only drink when he's feeling low. I think he feels a bit powerless at the mo. But you are all right, I need to see how these things go, but better to address it now than just after the baby is born!
At least I'm not the only woman who's the breadwinner! I didn't ever think I'd be in that situation but at least two of my friends, who also have children, have ended up being the sole earners. Their partners, like mine, have had unsuccessful attempts to set up businesses.

slug Thu 17-Jul-08 17:03:03

My husband was depressed and drinking rather heavily when he dropped the bombshell when our dd was 10 months old that he wanted to give up work. I was worried about how he would cope. But you know what? It was the best thing we ever did.

Think of the positives. This is one of the few career breaks that looks good on a CV. DH went back to work 3 weeks ago after 6 years as a SAHD and he is sure one of the reasons he got an interview was that it made him stand out from the crowd. The interviewers seemed impressed with him simply because of it. (Of course, we women are just expected to get on with it but a male?? Wonder man!! hmm )

Personally I didn't think he would last more than 6 months (I even had a bet with his mother, she thought he'd last 6 weeks) However, he persevered and now he has a simply wonderful relationship with his daughter. She has learnt that men can be nurturing, that they are capable of cooking and changing a nappy and that housework is not simply a woman's domain.

What I'm trying to say is don't dismiss it out of hand. We found it worked really well for us. DH is a happier and more contented man now than he was when I met him. The break from work stress did him the world of good and he got what so few men allow themselves to have, a real appreciation of his daughter and the work that goes into raising a child.

MsDemeanor Thu 17-Jul-08 18:13:04

Could be wonderful for you. You'd still be at home so could work and have lunch with the baby and take the afternoon off and go to the park etc You could even combine work and breastfeeding. It wouldn't have to mean you felt pushed out.
It is worth considering. Alternatively you could discuss ways to both work part time and share the childcare - ie he could find a basic job for one, two or three days a week during which you would take over with your baby. Obviously you wouldn't want him drinking to excess while he is actually looking after the baby.
And while I can totally sympathise and empathise with your worries about being pushed out of your own child's life, I do have a problem with the title of this thread to be honest. A man looking after his own child wouldn't IMO be 'playing mum', he be 'being dad'.

cory Fri 18-Jul-08 11:32:47

My db is a fulltime SAHD and it is working brilliantly. Unless his drinking problems are on a scale where you feel he wouldn't be safe or able cut down, I would go for it! It's a chance for him to get his life back on track, it makes financial sense if he is not earning much anyway and you would still be able to do flexible hours and have time with the baby.

Dh and I shared looking after dd when she was a baby and it was the best thing we've ever done.

iBundle Fri 18-Jul-08 11:36:27

i thought you meant cross dressing from the title!

I too would be worried re: drinking

how much time could you afford to take off?

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