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Does anyone else struggle with a work-a-holic DP?

(19 Posts)
AGnu Wed 10-Jun-15 21:04:00

DH has only just got home from work, yet again. He's supposed to work 8-6 4 days a week & 8-12 the other day. I'm utterly fed up of being expected to look after the DC all the time that should, in theory, be joint care. When he's here he's a great dad & helps around the house but when he's at work it's like we don't factor into his thinking at all. Take today, for example, I went to bed with a migraine last night, had to go out all morning & just wanted to collapse when I got home, let the DC play together & wait for DH to return. Except I couldn't do that. DS1 has ASD & has been particularly wound up recently meaning that I had to supervise their play more closely than I might normally. He flung himself off his bed & cut his forehead so that needed sorting out. Then there were tantrums because it was dinner time & not time to play in the garden, tantrums because I left the room while they were eating for a moment & didn't instantly reappear the second he demanded me... Then he started getting down from the table & going to play while he should still have been eating & threw a toy at me when I told him to go back to his food.

I have ASD. I don't cope well with being surrounded by noise all day long, as I have been every day for most of the last week. DH knows this. I phoned him at 5.30, just before the dinner-time tantrums kicked off, to ask what time he'd be home. I was told "7ish, hopefully". I called at 6.40 "soonish", 7.20 "not long"... 8pm "just going to get changed now". It's the same almost every night. I make arrangements to see friends & he swears blind that he'll make sure he leaves in time but I'm regularly having to cancel because he's late again - it's embarrassing. Last time he did it I absolutely had to be somewhere at 7 so I ended up taking the DC with me. I was kind of hoping it would be a way of pointing out to him quite how much his lateness is impacting on the rest of us but it's not changed anything.

I just hate that our lives seem to revolve around whether or not Daddy will be home before bedtime DS1 asks repeatedly throughout the day, DS2 just says "where Daddy gone?" & that I'm then expected not only to not be annoyed with him but to sit & listen to him whinge about how stressed he is every evening. I know work is busy right now, I know he's stressed but we don't just stop existing because work gets busy. Besides, he's late home even when it's not especially busy. I don't suddenly develop better coping strategies than I had when we had to ask his work for a flexi-time arrangement so he'd be around at least 1 afternoon a week for us to slot in medical appts etc. & to take the pressure off me. He does have the option of passing some of his work onto colleagues but he's got a bee in his bonnet about wanting to get everything right, not wanting to pass his stress on to other people & basically just not liking asking for help or trusting anyone to do it properly.

I've tried shouting, I've tried calmly explaining, I've tried asking what I can do to support him in getting home on time, I've tried crying... nothing seems to have any effect so I'm resorting to whinging to strangers on the inter-web! grin

wine anyone?

FluffyBumOnTheRun Fri 19-Jun-15 22:01:02

I feel for you op I really do. My dh use to work really long hours but it's eased a little. I use to wonder if he understood how hard a sahp is. Since he's had more time at home he tells me he doesn't know how I do it! (And I only have one DS 2.5). Not much help sorry, but your're not alone

4kidsandaunicorn Mon 22-Jun-15 10:46:28

How are things OP?

DH works long hours, I have come to the conclusion that I have to plan my day around him being out all hours and then anytime that he gets back early is a bonus.

It is a bit of a pain because if I want to go out on a weekday evening I need to get a babysitter...on the other hand I feel a lot less let down. It is hard work though.

Mrsfrumble Wed 24-Jun-15 00:25:20

DH is usually out of the house from 7.30 am to 7.30 pm, and he misses the children's bedtime at least once a week. His contracted hours are 8 - 5.30. He's always been like this, but it didn't seem like such a big deal before we had the DCs because I was working too and used to be out of the house for almost as long.

Like 4kids I find it a bit frustrating that I can't go out in the evenings, and somedays at 5 pm want to cry when I realise I have another 2-3 hours alone with the children (who are small and very demanding). But I'm learning to be stoical...

felkov Tue 30-Jun-15 21:33:12

I find it very hard sometimes and only have 1DC (10months). DH leaves for work at 7.30 and gets home around 6.30pm so he does take over childcare for about 30-45mins but durung that time I cook dinner so its hardly a break. I then do bath and bedtime and do all night waking so some days I just feel like a zombie.

The weekends are almost as bad as he has track training 9am-1pm on Sat and goes off trail running 7am to 2pm on Sunday. We were invited to a childrens party last Sunday which started at 2 but he was still out and didn't get there until 4pm, basically when it was finishing. It drives me mad sometimes.

strawberryshoes Tue 30-Jun-15 21:47:15

Hi AGnu

I feel your pain, DH gets up at 5.30am and gets home about 8pm (sometimes later, sometimes earlier). He is obviously tired at weekends because of these long hours. Its a stressful job, but the hours are down to his perfectionism as well as loads to do. The kids (4 and 1) are demanding, and they miss him (as do I). He is patchy about getting back for things when I need him to so I try not to agree to anything outside of weekends. I don't have ASD, but DD1 does. Its very hard some days. Especially when I have a migraine or other illness.

I don't have any family nearby, but do have good friends who I can call on in an emergency. Do you have any family or friends who you can ask to help when you are ill, or just in need of a break. I understand your eldest might not react well to this if it is unexpected, but it might be something to consider building into your week if there is someone who is able to help out.

In terms of making your husband change, I don't know if you can. It sounds like you need to try though because if you are having to shout and cry at him in frustration, then things need to change.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Tue 30-Jun-15 21:49:59

Yes, 39 weeks pregnant with a 19 month old with a broken leg and DH has worked until 10 every night for the past week. Luckily my mum was able to take some time off to help me out otherwise I wouldn't have been able to cope. He's going to an all day meeting 3 hours away on my due date!

Rinkydinkypink Fri 03-Jul-15 18:01:22

Dh leaves at 7am and is sometimes back for 7pm when he eats (the meal I've bought and cooked) then goes and does sport, running, bike ride, walking, disappears to read, watch sport etc.

I'm fed uphmm. He does help when he's here but seriously I think it would be easier if he worked away mid week. That way id not have his meals to cook or tidy up after him until the weekend. The kids would know if they were going to see him or not etc. Every bedtime I don't know if he's going to be here or not.

He's shattered which I get but honestly I think being a sahm is far harder than working long hours and I've done both! Especially when all you do is eat, wash, sleep and someone else does everything else.

My day never ends, I don't get weekends off in fact weekends are harder work! I do most night shifts and the kids are up for 6.30am and that's when I start.

careerdirectionless Sat 04-Jul-15 17:24:14

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AGnu Mon 20-Jul-15 17:11:00

I'm liking this new SAHP topic! I've posted about this in the past & always got shouted at, mainly by WOHP, for complaining when he's supporting my lifestyle. hmm We'd be worse off if I got a job & we had to pay for childcare. Even more ridiculously, the job I'm qualified for is... childcare!

It's yet to improve, although he promises he's got a big deadline coming up soon & things will calm down after that. For all of a couple of weeks probably!

YY to the weekends being more difficult. I try to take a backseat & let him do a lot of the parenting at the weekend to try & avoid DH getting away with Disney-dad syndrome but I always end up having to remind DH of the importance of sticking to their routine & that they do need to be fed at some point before 3pm for lunch & 9pm for dinner! DH is one of those people who can't just "cook dinner". He must first empty the dishwasher, then wash up anything that can't go in the dishwasher, wipe down all surfaces, check if any clothes need washing, put a wash on, check the contents of the fridge in case anything needs to be thrown out, update the shopping list, check if there are any birthdays coming up & write cards on the shopping list, remind me of events that I wrote on the calender that aren't actually happening for a few weeks but we "musn't forget", set reminders on his phone to make sure we can't forget... & he only starts all this at the time I would usually have dinner on the table! <Sigh> Really it's easier if I do everything myself but I'm loathe to end up with the family dynamic I had growing up - mother who did everything & resented it, father who seemed oblivious to this & only ever got involved in fun family activities.

BreeVDKamp Mon 20-Jul-15 17:14:29

I feel for you! DH leaves at 6am and gets back earliest 7pm mom-fri, and 3 out of 4 Saturdays is training for professional qualification out of the house all day. I can cope with it for now but definitely am keeping my eye on things and am poised to put my foot down when it gets too much - only DC is 8 weeks old at the mo so in the future I'm sure I'll need more support. Threads like this keep that in my mind!

flowers OP

Likeaninjanow Mon 20-Jul-15 17:18:21

I'm a wohp with a highly stressful job. I have a male colleague who does exactly the same job as me. We achieve the same results. I manage my workload the best I can, so I finish on time. He works late many evenings, and checks messages on holiday. I sometimes think he does it, as he prefers it to housework/kiddy stuff.

Does your husband have to work those hours? Could you maybe ask him to limit late nights to 3 per week, as a compromise?

Shodan Mon 20-Jul-15 17:44:04

My DH leaves the house at about 7pm and gets in any time between 7 and 8 pm. After he's eaten dinner (on his own, because his unpredictable arrival times scupper any thoughts I might have about eating with him), he goes back on the laptop. All evening. The rare occasions he's not on the laptop, he's snoring on the sofa.

Saturday mornings are usually golf; Saturday afternoons are moaning about how poorly he played/snoring on the sofa/'catching up' with work. When we went away a few months ago (long weekend), I told him there was to be no work, which he more-or-less complied with- apart from the times he snuck into the loo with his phone for 20 minutes at a time...

It's getting very, very dull, tbh. And I have told him so- only to be slightly pompously told that I seemed to enjoy the money all this work brought in, so shouldn't complain.

I'm lucky that ds2 is a bit older (7), so not too hard to look after. But my hobby is an evening one (I do karate 2-3 evenings a week) so I was firm with DH- either he got back in time to facilitate this, or he sorted out babysitters. If he didn't, he might find that I was 'unavailable' to look after ds2 while he went golfing.

I also pointed out, in no uncertain terms, that he was only able to do this job (which includes last-minute trips abroad) because I was his support system at home. Imagine, I said, if he had to be the one to get ds2 to school/pick him up/collect him if he was ill. Or do the grocery shopping/cooking/cleaning. Or take his own suits to the cleaners. Etc etc.

Additionally, I reminded him that ds2 misses him during the week and therefore needs 1 to 1 time with him at weekends. Fortunately for DH, ds2 also enjoys golf- so off they trot on a Sunday to do that together. Yes, it means that we don't get much family time, but I feel I can only deal with one thing at a time.

In my more miserable moments though, I have to say I sometimes wonder if we'll grow apart, simply because after work and golf, I'm getting the crumbs... I don't know. I reckon DH is kind of lucky that I'm happy on my own, doing my own thing, so I don't complain too much. But it would be nice to be given the same priority, sometimes. I do wonder if what Likeaninjanow says is right- he'd rather be doing work than be with me.

AGnu Mon 20-Jul-15 17:44:57

He doesn't have to - he's under no contractual obligation to get X amount of work done but he hates letting people down & would rather work himself up into a state & get ill from lack of sleep than tell someone the deadline won't be met. It's infuriating because anytime I mention it he says it's something he can't control & that he works slower than others & so needs to stay later to complete the same amount of work. A lot of his work is checking & correcting errors in other people's work, those people who do the work faster than him... Somehow he always ends up the victim of his own perfectionism & I actually start to feel sorry for him because he beats himself up about it! And yet he'll always manage to get home on time if he's going out somewhere... hmm

It does hurt that he's more worried about letting down people at work than letting us down by not being here or making promises he doesn't stick to.

Likeaninjanow Mon 20-Jul-15 18:07:48

Really feel for you OP ��

AGnu Tue 28-Jul-15 23:00:00

Guess who's still at work... hmm He's off for 2 weeks from tomorrow & absolutely has to finish X/Y/Z that the person standing in for him can't possibly do... <Sigh> At least the DC settled nicely tonight but I always wait for him for dinner - we've got a meal out of the freezer than we froze in portions for the DC & for us. I know in theory I could just take out enough for me & heat it up but it just feels wrong. confused I'm hungry & starting to feel a bit sick from eating too many biscuits! If we hadn't already defrosted food then I'd order a pizza. I'm very tempted to do it anyway & we can have the defrosted food for lunch tomorrow...

I'm just resigned to not seeing him until about 1am tonight. At least I'll not have to deal with this for the next 2 weeks!

NormHonal Tue 28-Jul-15 23:10:30

As a PP has said, I found it easier once I stopped planning around my DH and just got on with things. It's a bonus if he's home early.

And I would recommend to start getting into the habit of eating at night without him. Cook his at the same time as yours, and it can be reheated when he gets in. Or freeze single portions. I'm much healthier since I started doing this, and less resentful.

In my case DH's salary is such that I can tolerate it for now, although I have missed out on many yoga classes and nights out as a result.

monkeyfacegrace Tue 28-Jul-15 23:15:57

I'd rather your schedule than mine.

Dh works 6 days a week and is out 6 am till 8pm. And has literally just walked through the door tonight.

He didn't have a day off AT ALL between 18th June and 5th July.

4kidsandaunicorn Wed 29-Jul-15 07:34:47

Enjoy your 2 weeks with your DH being around OP.

I gave up ever waiting for DH to come home before eating dinner. He was a bit offended at first but doing dinner, bed and baths on an empty stomach was no good for me at all.

Will you get some time on your own while he is off?

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