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Is it always your responsibility to sort out the childcare?

(19 Posts)
fruitstick Wed 27-Aug-08 08:53:08

I would like to know whether our relationship is normal or whether I need to put my foot down. My husband has quite a high pressure job and I work part time in an equally high responsible (and well paid) job.

However, whenever there is a problem with childcare it is my problem. If DC is ill and can't go to nursery, I have to take time off. If I need to swap days and the nursery can't accommodate him, my husband claims he can't take time off so I just will have to tell my boss I can't do it.

Whenever I protest he simply says 'well I work full time and your don't'. It's as it my job (and contribution to the finances) means nothing.

Is it just us, or do lots of people have this problem?

oops Wed 27-Aug-08 08:57:40

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oops Wed 27-Aug-08 09:01:03

Message withdrawn

doggiesayswoof Wed 27-Aug-08 09:01:09

We take turns. Recently (before I went on mat leave) dh was off more than me if dd was ill because his job was more flexible than mine at that point.

The 'I work full time' argument is bollox. If you are p/t it's possibly even more important that you are there when you are supposed to be (ime of working part time anyway).

Acinonyx Wed 27-Aug-08 10:20:41

Always me. I'm trying to submit my PhD thesis this year and have 3 days/week childcare. Dh is good in other areas but this has been totally non-negotiable and I am really fed up with it as my deadline approaches and I am constantly losing time. My cm is about to take 2 weeks holiday and dh assures me there is no way he can take any time off to help out. So there is another 2 weeks down the toilet (I already work Saturdays and evenings).

How on earth will this work if I start lecturing? I can't just not turn up to lectures. It will really hit the fan at that point and I am planning to put my foot down. I will pick up the slack if I can rearrange my work schedule but otherwise I will be reading the riot act. At least that's the plan. Not at all confident it will work TBH.

CountessDracula Wed 27-Aug-08 10:21:44

We take turns too though now I only work 3 days I try and juggle my days if I can.

foothesnoo Wed 27-Aug-08 10:27:24

We are both full time. I insist on us taking turns if the kids are ill, but for inset days and other days which we know about in advance, I have to take the time off as DP is a teacher. I know that if I told my DP I absolutely had to be in for an important meeting, he would cover.

I have always arranged all the childcare though and if I have to go in on a day I would normally be at home I always have to sort out cover (which is easier for me than you as kids are at school so it's just finding someone to pick up for me).

liahgen Wed 27-Aug-08 10:30:12

yep, me always.

house, kids, all down to me.

I am a Doula, and when i do births, I have to organise myself so that it works. Equally when i do antenatal sessions with couples.

Dh likes the idea of me working, (we are lucky enough to be able to afford for me to not HAVE to) but doesn't really want to support me doing so.

fruitstick Wed 27-Aug-08 10:55:21

In all other areas he's very good (bathing, cooking, cleaning etc) but when it comes to working he is all 'me breadwinner' suddenly.

It doesn't help that he works in a very macho culture where everyone else has sahw and they don't seem to like their children very much. He maintains that it would look really bad if he had to ring in because of childcare (although to some extent this is an excuse).

I really do think that the whole issue surrounding flexible working / employing women would be resolved so much more effectively by changing the culture of men working, rather than giving women more rights. If my boss was less accommodating and his was more reasonable it would make the world a much better place!

quinne Wed 27-Aug-08 13:45:36

My situation was exactly the same as yours fruitstick when we were employees, despite the fact that we earned the same.
Then we both resigned and started up our own business working from home, but still all childcare arrangements are down to me, either nurseries, nannies or babysitting. It doesn't happen if I don't arrange it and if someone lets me down then I'm automatically the one who stops working.
MY DH is a very involved father. We started this new business so we could have a better work life balance and he could be near our DSs. So I think this is about as good as it gets, but its not sexual equality as predicted 30 years ago.

Elkat Wed 27-Aug-08 19:13:34

I work part time and hubby works full time. If the Childminder can't have the girls, or my parents are on holiday, then it is generally my responsibility to arrange the alternatives, but as I'm a lecturer, my hubby often has to take the time off work to look after them. I have to arrange everything though.

filthymindedvixen Wed 27-Aug-08 19:16:16

Don't even get me started on this one...dh works part time. I work part time.
Yesterday lunchtime he agreed to work today (on a day when he is supposed to be looking after children)
Guess who had to ring round every person I had ever spoken to who wasn't a known pyschopath in a 10 mile radius to see if they could look after the dc hmm

tassisssss Wed 27-Aug-08 19:18:29

i get dh to find us babysitters regularly, in fact he did so today. he asks all the older ladies at church, i hate asking in case people feel they can't say no!

bozza Wed 27-Aug-08 19:22:12

In theory whoever it is easiest for, or turns but in practice I do more. And I end up having to take days leave, whereas for him there is the possibility of working from home. It is an issue of contention, and I am put out much more both personally and workwise than he is.

oi Wed 27-Aug-08 19:25:40

no it's not. Weirdly dh is quite good at this but when he does do it, he often organises stuff that happens to be ludicrously inconvenient for me. His job is much more flexible than mine though. If it wasn't, I think the tables would be reversed. (basically we have days - I sort out Thurs and Fri in emergencies, he sorts out Mon to Wed in general). Where it all falls apart is when one of us goes away!

pointydog Wed 27-Aug-08 19:31:09

I do any sorting out of childcare if dh or I can't do it. However, dh takes off all the annual leave for sick children, I don't.

QueenMeabhOfConnaught Wed 27-Aug-08 19:31:30

We share but then we do both work f/t.

tizwas Wed 27-Aug-08 19:40:29

Fruitstick, i know exactly where you're coming from. When I worked full time in the same place as my husband, also ft, it was i who had to sort out childcare incase of unexpected illness and covering functions that we both had to attend. We had a big chat about it and I think he got how frustrating it was for me...

rubyloopy Sat 30-Aug-08 09:38:35

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