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Does your partner get how tough teaching is?

(21 Posts)
joopy79 Wed 24-Jan-18 21:22:20

I can't seem to explain to my partner how much is expected from me as a teacher. He seems to think I'm doing it wrong somehow because according to him it's impossible to expect people to work so much.
So as not to drip feed, I'm an NQT (second year in a school as I did my pgce whilst being an unqualified teacher) I get to school early, work through lunch and breaks, pick up my ds, play with him (collapse on the sofa) and then do my work once ds is in bed. I asked him to give me time at the weekends but he claims that I'm putting my job before my family so I do the minimum I can in the evenings. Just to make things more fun it's a tough school, recently out if special measures but being sworn at and disrespected are a regular occurrence as well as being shouted at by parents.

Today after another day working non-stop, no food I've been shouted at for not answering my phone, he wanted to know who was picking up ds, I pick him up every day as I finish first, criticised for having the TV on in the background whilst working in the evening, but I feel it's the closest I get to relaxing. I don't know how to get through to him.

OP’s posts: |
SayNoToCarrots Wed 24-Jan-18 21:31:37

How long after your son finishes school does your partner finish work. Does this time not count as putting work before family?

I'll be honest, it does sound like you are working way too hard, but when you have just started it can be hard to figure out how to bring the workload down. I think your partner is being an unhelpful dick, however, and personally I would add up the afterschool time you spend with your son before your partner gets home and set the same amount of time aside for working at the weekend.

But I am petty like that.

GlennRheeismyfavourite Wed 24-Jan-18 21:38:25

My partner gets that it's tough but just tells me not to do so much. I don't think he understands that you can't walk into a room of expectant 18year olds knowing nothing about a topic and with no activities planned (too many negatives in that sentence!). I do a subject which requires a huge amount of reading. Just had a baby - not sure how anyone teaches with children. In the past I managed by doing 6-6 at work every day but won't be an option now. Good luck, op! I've found it helpful with my partner actually detailing what my work day involves hour by hour!

joopy79 Wed 24-Jan-18 21:40:06

I think he would just tell me to pick up ds later!

His latest suggestion is that I get home, give ds his tablet and crack on with my work.

OP’s posts: |
MsJaneAusten Wed 24-Jan-18 22:52:02

As a variant on the usual MN saying, I think you have a DP problem, not a teaching problem.

DH doesn’t completely get how challenging teaching is (he’s been amazed by the difference in steps I get on my Fitbit each day compared to him in his office job!) but he does understand (after a few firm tellings!) that my flexibility in picking the kids up during the week means I’ll need to work at the weekends. He generally takes them off somewhere for half a day each weekend so that I can plan/mark in peace. Sounds like your dp doesn’t understand that he is able to work longer hours because you’re leaving early and that he needs to pick up the slack somewhere.

Having said that, I do agree with SayNoToCarrots that you might be working too hard: try to limit your work to two evenings or one weekend day, don’t let it take over.

BlessYourCottonSocks Wed 24-Jan-18 22:57:09

My DH does understand, and is sympathetic, understanding and (occasionally) faintly indignant on my behalf.

However, I've been doing this almost 30 years now. I don't think he realised how much I did all the years he worked away from home. It's been a bit of an eye opener to him since he retired, but he does pick up pretty much all the slack. (Provided I keep my housekeeping standards fairly low. I'm not sure he understands dusting)

missmapp Wed 24-Jan-18 22:58:24

My dh gets it now but I have been teaching for 20 years and married for 19! It took a few years before he realised I wasn't making things seem harder than they were.

He now gets it completely and always takes the dc out one afternoon during the weekend so I can get work done. He also defends teachers when people have the ' home at three and 13 weeks holiday' type conversation. He knows that, in the holidays, I will return to the family and actually sit in the same room as him in the evenings . I Couldn't do the job without a supportive partner . Hope your oh understands soon. It is a hard enough job as it is !

Valerrie Wed 24-Jan-18 23:07:31

Yes, my husband gets it. He does 90% of the housework, cooks every night, packed lunches, breakfasts, school runs etc. He also helps me by going out to buy resources, laminating, photocopying, helping with my classroom and other teachery bits.

Your partner sounds like a dick.

joopy79 Thu 25-Jan-18 07:27:53

This morning woke up crying, his suggestion, get up now and do some work and then got angry that I didn't agree with him.....

OP’s posts: |
ScabbyHorse Thu 25-Jan-18 07:32:37

Sorry to hear you're feeling like this... it sounds tough. I am a TA and was thinking of doing my teacher training but as a single parent whose son doesn't see his dad at all (long story) I don't know if I could do it without support from a partner...

MsJaneAusten Thu 25-Jan-18 07:34:15

Oh sweetheart. Waking up crying is it healthy. What’s your mentor like? Can you talk to her today and make a plan to get you to half term? Then put DS into childcare for at least two days of the holidays - one to work and one to rest. And tell ‘D’P that unless he is willing to do half of the after school pick ups so that you can work later, he’s going to need to take ds out of the house for at least four hours each weekend. Bloody man.

MoneyWhatMoney Thu 25-Jan-18 07:49:15

DH is a teacher and tbh I found it hard to understand why his work was impacting our lives so much.
We've made it work by making it a team issue - we agree on times he isn't working (currently Friday evening and Sundays) but he works loads on a Saturday and I do probably more than my fair share of the housework.
He puts tea on in the evenings then starts work, I get home, Do the extras and dish up

DumbledoresApprentice Thu 25-Jan-18 08:11:58

He doesn’t sound very nice. I wouldn’t say DP fully understands but he does realise it’s a tough job. He’s self employed doing a job that is fairly antisocial too. Irregular hours, sometimes having to work from home very late at night or very early in the morning and sometimes requires very long hours. He knows what it feels like for work to seem relentless and unending. I think he doesn’t get the intensity of 100 minutes with 30 year 9s or the way being asked the same thing 20 times in one 50 minute year 7 lesson grinds away at your sanity. grin
We don’t have children though and having DC whilst being a teacher is a whole other ball-game. It’s sadly not a very family-friendly profession. My colleagues with children often really struggle with juggling it all.

MoneyWhatMoney Thu 25-Jan-18 10:26:47

Dumbledore couldn't agree more. Me and DH don't have dc yet and I can't see how our lives would work with them as it is right now. Obviously it would be easier for us as DH is the one teaching but something would have to give - either the standard of his work or family time.

Redwineistasty Sun 11-Feb-18 21:30:27

How are you getting on op?

I start my pgce in sept with 2 primary age dc at home and a dh who works on an oil rig 3on/3off.

He seems to think that it’ll be great as I’ll have weekends off.

I’m feeling nervous about it all!

Spottytop1 Sun 11-Feb-18 21:49:13

My partner gets it and like a PP does all the cooking and lots of the house chores in term time. He will admit he had no idea of the reality of teaching until he lived with me...

You DP needs to realise it is the reality of teaching and you are not doing anything 'wrong', he needs to be more supportive.

Unicorndiscoball Sun 11-Feb-18 22:59:06

Dh did his PGCE and hated every minute of teaching and never went on to do his NQT year. He trained to teach the same subject I do, so knows it inside out. He is very understanding and does the vast majority of Home stuff during term time and also has been known to bring snacks to school for my GCSE class, go to Homebase at a moments notice to pick up large plastic boxes, accompanied school trips and generally been a very good sport about the whole thing. I couldn’t do my job without him, but equally Ds attends the school I work at so I do pretty much all school runs and school stuff day to day. Works for us. DH works shifts and so gets downtime on his own during the day which i am hugely envious of. I have Ds with me every day at weekends and every single day in the school holidays, so very rarely get time in the house to myself.

PurpleDaisies Sun 11-Feb-18 23:01:25

Dh is also a teacher. That helps. smile

redwine the PGCE year is really tough because of the assignments on top of the teaching. You need to expect to be working a lot of hours in the evenings and at weekends.

Redwineistasty Sun 11-Feb-18 23:24:10

Thanks purple.... I’ve tried explaining that to dh but he doesn’t get it.

He’s generally supportive though, so I think he’ll understand more when I’m actually doing it

thebookeatinggirl Mon 12-Feb-18 08:32:25

Joopy, I agree with MsJaneAusten. Waking up crying is a sign of someone who is really stressed and overloaded. You need time to work and time to rest.

There have been times when I've been in the same boat - so stressed as I have so much work to do, but not able to do it at home without ignoring DH and the kids, which puts the burden on DH, which makes me feel guilty - no win situation. Luckily for me DH generally recognises the signs when I'm feeling overloaded and will say "Right, just go and work. Everything's fine." and he'll take over completely. He definitely gets it, but we've been together 18 years, all of which I've been teaching, so he's seen it happening. He's hugely supportive. The guilt comes from me. It's easier now the kids are older anyway.

You do need to find some way of getting him to understand what your workload is like. Does he know any of your teacher friends, who could back you up? Or would he read any of the hundreds of threads on here about how soul-destroying awful the expectations can be, and how so many teachers are leaving, so that he gets it's not you being inefficient or slow, but is normal.

I hope you've been able to take up MsAusten's idea of 2 days childcare - one work, one rest. How are you doing?

RevealTheHiddenBeach Mon 12-Feb-18 08:41:09

Is it that he wants more attention? It sounds like he's annoyed that you have work in the evenings when he is free (hence the tablet to toddler suggestion or the work when he's having a lie in suggestion). If that's the case he sounds like he is being a bit of an arse. Is he doing housework?

When I was an NQT my DH would get annoyed at the school for wanting me to do loads but he wouldn't stop me working, would just encourage me to block my time so there were work hours and relaxing hours. We don't have kids though- I take my hat off to anyone with both!!

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