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Am I being supported?

25 replies

mightnotberight · 11/04/2021 17:10

Cliff notes: live with partner and our two children (both under 3), and partner's elderly father. Partner is currently on long term sick from work and is facing the sack now (we're fighting it but it's a real possibility that he will lose his job). As it stands, I'm a SAHM who stopped working shortly after kids were born as nursery fees were not within our budget. I had plans to take advantage of free child care but that went on the back burner during the thick of the pandemic as I knew that spaces were for children of key workers and I didn't want to take up space or add any unnecessary risk to health.

Fast forward to now, I had an idea for a business I can start from home. It's a solid idea, I'm positive it could earn me a living wage and therefore allow me to continue caring for my children before and after school age, as well as bring in an income which could prove to be extra useful if partner loses his job.

Partner has said he thinks the idea is good. He started out buying materials for me to create the product and since then I have managed to secure some extra money and purchase everything else I need. I have everything down, I know what I'm doing. But during the day, I can't do anything productive.

Partner promises me daily that he will be more vigilant with DC whilst I'm in the throes of making things as I can't get up mid way. But just as I sit down to work, he loads up a game on his computer or starts doing something that means that he cannot get up on a moment's notice. It's started to feel like I'm being silly thinking I could actually make my idea work. When I tell him that I'm confused about why he's become engrossed with something when I sit down to work, he gets upset and closes his computer with a 'oh fine I won't bother then' approach. Over time, I started waiting until DC went to sleep and working until about 7am to get what I can done. Obviously it's not ideal and I get tired, and then partner says that I should get more sleep and work during the day. When I tell him I haven't been able to, he says that he will help more. Then rinse and repeat, the same stuff happens every day.

He's unwell and facing job loss. Of course he's not in the best place mentally. So I don't know what I should reasonably expect to ask for in a situation like this. Up until my business idea, the only thing I did every day was cleaning, cooking, and taking kids out for long walks. My life was not focused on anything else but keeping the house running. I feel that I could be totally wrong to expect any more than I'm getting. He does get defensive when I start to show cracks and tell him I need more, he gets upset and has mentioned a couple of times that I seem to expect the world to stop for me now that I have something I want to do. My long term plan is now to register DC for childcare and work when they are at nursery. But honestly, the process of having to drop everything so that partner can play his game has lead me to feel like I'm deluded for even thinking I can make something of myself with a business. I need to know if I'm being a diva, and what I should reasonably expect Easter Sad

OP posts:

eatsleepread · 11/04/2021 17:28

No, you are most definitely not being supported. You found a solution to your problems, and needed him to do his bit in order to make it work. Instead, he is actively working against you by refusing to step up as a parent. He is selfish and wants everything his own way.
The only way this would work is if you had a magic wand, OP Sad
You deserve so much better.


IceCreamAndCandyfloss · 11/04/2021 17:41

I’d leave, find work and put the children in childcare. Use the evenings to work on your business idea when they are asleep.


mightnotberight · 11/04/2021 17:54

Thank you for the input. I actually do think I'd rather walk away then give up my idea. In my mind the ideal scenario has been giving partner the safety net of not worrying that his wage is the be all and end all of our livelihoods. And I'm not above getting a job until my business takes off. Are there extra provisions for childcare for single people with children who are working? I haven't looked in to that and I don't know where to start. I just know that as it stands I'm only eligible for the 15 hours free.

OP posts:

DinosaurDiana · 11/04/2021 17:56

What does your partner’s DF contribute financially or to the cooking/ cleaning ?


mightnotberight · 11/04/2021 18:04

@DinosaurDiana FIL is disabled and pays towards rent with his living allowance. He doesn't cook or clean. Partner is also not well enough to cook or clean. So I still do that stuff. Admittedly I've been making some quicker meals lately to try to buy myself more time to work. I used to say DP but I honestly don't feel the "D" part at the moment so I'll probably continue saying P instead of partner.

OP posts:

DinosaurDiana · 11/04/2021 18:08

Ok, I think you've got a lot on and I think you’d be well within your rights to leave. Do you own your house, have your own bank account etc ?
Do you think he’d step up if you had ‘the chat’ ?


sweeneytoddsrazor · 11/04/2021 18:11

If he is not well enough to cook or clean is he actually well enough to look after 2 little ones?


winterchill100 · 11/04/2021 18:11

Ugh. I'm sorry you're going through this. You're the only ones be in the house actively trying to sort stuff out and get your lives on track. I think you need to have a serious convo with him where you say it's either make an effort or you're leaving. He needs to meet you half way. Re childcare - can you get child tax credits or have they stopped that and replaced completely with universal credit? When Ds was going to nursery, I had split with his dad and was solely covering nursery full time while working full time. Child tax credits & working tax credits used to pay around £131 a week which really helped.

Don't give up on your business! You can make it work - P has to step up or you need to leave him - if this doesn't make him change, nothing will and you'll be in the same situation for years to come. Ok he's ill but you're not asking for the world just the bare minimum.


UserTwice · 11/04/2021 18:14

I think you need to agree with your partner (or elderly father) that he will look after the children between x and y hours. And then shut yourself away and leave them to it.

I suspect you might be better getting an employed job and getting childcare to cover as necessary though. Making a living wage out of a wonderful business idea that you can do around the children sounds like a bit of a pipe dream. And if DP is too ill/about to lose his job, surely your family needs a more stable form of income?


mightnotberight · 11/04/2021 18:15

@sweeneytoddsrazor that's a good question and I didn't explain that all too well. The work I need to do is able to be done in the same room as P and DC. I'm able to see what's going on and step in if there's any physical exertion required but I've asked for him to break up fights, or monitor activities. Nothing at all strenuous physically.

@DinosaurDiana I don't think he would. I've had a version of 'the chat' before. He honestly just shrugs, so it's not that big a deal for him.

OP posts:

DinosaurDiana · 11/04/2021 18:19

Then you need to decide what YOU want for you and your children.
Could you afford to leave him ?
Is he doing everything that he can to try and get better ?


mightnotberight · 11/04/2021 18:28

I totally get the pipe dream perception. That's honestly where my mind keeps going too. I've been self employed in the past/ worked as a freelancer which isn't exactly the same but it's given me a good idea of what's achievable. I do think it can work. We do definitely need a stable form of income. I have a small nest egg at the moment to tide us over and I've invested some of that into my idea. I've never even considered running a business before so writing that down seems very strange .

@DinosaurDiana my honest opinion is no, he's not. Of course it's each to their own but quite frankly he has some very unhealthy habits that I sometimes despair over. I don't want to roast him though, it's just my opinion.

OP posts:

eatsleepread · 11/04/2021 18:33

He is bringing nothing to the table, OP. It's a difficult one in that he's not well, but enabling him more than you already do will burn you out completely.
I really, really feel for you. Life has dealt you a shit hand here. I would personally despair of a man who not only couldn't work, but can't raise his game as a parent to allow you to do so, yet conveniently finds the time and energy to do gaming.


sweeneytoddsrazor · 11/04/2021 18:34

But looking after 2 under 3s will involve physical activity, and if he is genuinely unable to do that then you are not going to be able to give 100% of your attention to your work. You will need to look at childcare options whether you stay with him or not. Working all night is simply not sustainable.


peboh · 11/04/2021 18:39

If you partner isn't well enough to cook/clean, what makes him well enough to look after two toddlers? I'm not trying to be pedantic, but toddlers are much harder work than basic housework.
I think this idea, whilst it might be something you really want to do just isn't feasible right now. Wether you stay with dp or not, you cannot support yourself, two children and all household costs whilst starting a business.


bakingdemon · 11/04/2021 18:47

When you're working, you need to take yourself into a different room from the kids and close the door so it's clear that you are not doing childcare. And then it's all on him to look after them.

And yes, consider if you want to carry on being a housekeeper for two men not pulling their weight.


mightnotberight · 11/04/2021 18:57

I can understand the doubt/confusion but I can hand on heart say that I'm not looking for any physical exertion on his part. I make sure they have their meals on time, nappies/potty training maintained, activities set up. I get them to sleep at night. I Hoover and tidy up toys etc. Those things are covered. Once I sit down, my hope and his promise was that if they start screaming or fighting then he will intervene. So, stand up and remove a toy or be stern if they need to stop playing dangerously. Manage screen time and replenish craft materials if they run low during a craft session. When he's engrossed in a game, he's oblivious about what's going on around him. I actually don't know how he's able to tune that stuff out. There is also a problem in that he actually should be doing more physically in order to recover, even if that's going for a short walk. I think being as sedentary as he is doesn't help his recovery but again that's my opinion. Regardless, I've asked him what he feels capable of doing and he's said he is capable of doing the things I mentioned before. He just doesn't do that when the time comes, and that's why I've started to wonder if I'm being silly for taking my idea so seriously. I still plan to find child care and see what I can achieve around that. Perhaps there's still hope there. But right now I feel upset to the point that I don't want to share success with someone that didn't want to make adjustments to help me. Which is why I'm wondering if I'm being a diva.

@eatsleepread that's exactly how I've been feeling. It's shit, to put it bluntly. If he thought it was worth doing then I'm sure he'd put his game away. I feel like he could play his game after they go to sleep. I don't understand why the priorities need to be shifted to his gaming.

OP posts:

Treacletoots · 11/04/2021 19:06

Don't give up on your idea. I turned an idea into a business that gave £20k profit in its first year with absolutely no clue about how to run a website business!

I do think though for now, you need to look to use your free childcare hours and do the work in that time.

I couldn't say whether your P was being an ass. If he genuinely can't look after the kids, physically then it's just a shit situation that's not his fault. However if, like you say, he could cope if you were on hand, provided he actually watched them and not his computer game, then he is a complete ass.

I can't say whether or not you should leave him, but if you're even asking that question, you know you probably should.


Standrewsschool · 11/04/2021 19:10

Can you negotiate a time? Ie. Ask dp to look after dc between 9-12pm and then he has free time to play his games/relax in the afternoon. Ie. Add some structure to the proceedings.


MadMadMadamMim · 11/04/2021 19:12

I'd be looking at leaving him, to be honest.

He brings nothing to the partnership and is happy for you to do everything. He's not in the slightest bit supportive - in fact he's actively sabotaging you trying to start a business by not pulling his weight in parenting.

Frankly, you'd be much better off as a single parent.

He just sounds lazy. Even if he's not well, he needs to turn the computer off and look after his kids. What does he think single mothers do?


LadyOfLittleLeisure · 11/04/2021 19:57


If he is not well enough to cook or clean is he actually well enough to look after 2 little ones?

I was thinking this

LadyOfLittleLeisure · 11/04/2021 20:00

Do you have any other family you can form a childcare bubble with before you secure nursery places?


DinosaurDiana · 11/04/2021 20:15

Is he not well enough or can he just not be arsed ?


PumpkinPie2016 · 11/04/2021 20:16

The situation sounds tough OPFlowers

Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like the current set up is going to work.

Obviously, I don't know the nature of your partner's illness and I appreciate you may not want to share. I think you need to try to look at the long term as well. Presumably, FiL is not going to get better and from the sounds of it, neither is your partner.

If you're not careful, you're going to end up as the live in carer for the both of them while also trying to earn for the family and that isn't sustainable.

As I see it, the best option would be to get childcare for the children. If they are entitled to any of the funded hours, you could use those while you build up your business? Then maybe increase their hours once you start to bring in an income?

Have a look at local childcare providers and get them on waiting lists/booked in asap.


mightnotberight · 11/04/2021 20:47

I'm already considered as the carer for both P and FIL. I absolutely agree that childcare is the best option. I really don't want to give up, I feel strongly that I can make something of myself. There was a question earlier that I neglected to answer but I am on universal credit. I wonder if I could speak to somebody about support for starting a business; perhaps there are some unexplored childcare options. I. The meantime I know it's not sustainable long term but I'll continue to do what I can at night time. Thanks everyone for helping me to put things into perspective Thanks

OP posts:
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