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Shared parental leave ungrateful husband

153 replies

If123 · 26/01/2024 00:09


me and my other half have decided that we will do shared parental leave. I’m am taking 5 months then finishing my leave and he will have the remaining paid 4 months as his company will top him up to full pay and I would only be on Statutory amount. It makes total sense financially to do this however when I ask my OH if he is looking forward to it he doesn’t show much enthusiasm. I would prefer he atleast pretends to be excited since I am absolutly gutted to be leaving my baby so soon. I feel he is being really ungrateful of the sacrifice I am making. 
to make thing worse I have been for a kit day with my employer today. I have spent months back and forth trying to set this day up and I finally managed. I am going in for the money to help financially support our family. I’ve come home in pieces because I feel guilty about leaving my baby she’s only 3 months. Also I had hardly any energy to make effort for her as I was physically exhausted (my job is very manual). I felt so bad for this. I had been up since 5.30am getting ready and getting out to drive to work. When I explained I was tired and needed a nap or to have a sleep my OH has a bit of a go saying that he’s tired too and he’s had the baby all day (which I get is tiring but I do on my own every day and he’s had MILs help all day) he then said how he’s tired because he had cleaned the house- which did look a lot better but I don’t know why he thinks he needs a medal for it when I did a large amount of it the evening before. 

it’s just made me feel like I am trying my best to financially help to support us and he’s thrown it in my face. He obviously does not understand how hard it is being away from her (he works from home) but I really feel like telling him to get F**ed if he thinks I’m making a load of effort again to try and help out to take the financial pressures off him when he clearly doesn’t appreciate the effort. 

AIBU to tell him that I don’t want to share my leave with him anymore if he doesn’t appreciate it and that I won’t be doing any more Kit days or forcing myself to prematurely return to work if he doesn’t appreciate my efforts. 

*the only reason I have to return is because I have to pay my contractual maternity pay back to my company if I don’t return for atleast 6 months. At the value of £3.5k to be paid in 21 days I can’t really afford to do that. So I have to try and go back for 6 months and with him taking 4 months off I could do most of this without relying on a nursery.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

614 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
SwordToFlamethrower · 26/01/2024 17:06

We live in a society that devalues women's contributions as it is!

It takes a year or more to recover from pregnancy and birth. Fact.

Op has a physically demanding job and her dh isn't going to pull his weight which means op will be left to do it all.

This will have disastrous consequences for her long term mental and physical health.

OP, this is your one, precious life and your one precious baby. Do not sacrifice yourself for work.

It doesn't matter. You matter. Your health matters and your mother - baby bond matters.

SwordToFlamethrower · 26/01/2024 17:09

Didimum · 26/01/2024 17:06

Once again ... FOR HAVING ANOTHER PREGNANCY. What do you think women do around the home or with their babies and toddlers all day that isn't done at work? And what do you think women have done historically since people began having babies? Sit around on the sofa for 12 hours a day?

Why should women be forced to work ourselves to death? Why?

And for the second time, it takes over a year to recover, mentally and physically. Just because we are forced to work, doesn't mean we should. It isn't in our best interests as women to leave our babies so soon.

We live in an absolute hell society at the moment! It drives me up the wall!

Didimum · 26/01/2024 17:16

SwordToFlamethrower · 26/01/2024 17:09

Why should women be forced to work ourselves to death? Why?

And for the second time, it takes over a year to recover, mentally and physically. Just because we are forced to work, doesn't mean we should. It isn't in our best interests as women to leave our babies so soon.

We live in an absolute hell society at the moment! It drives me up the wall!

That's your personal opinion and absolutely nothing more. It 'driving you up the wall' is irrelevant to OP's dilemma – that her partner is not meeting her needs as a parent to his child and supporting her and their financial wellbeing.

Please site a credible and evidenced reference that details why is it not safe for a woman to re-enter work under 12 months PP. And I'm afraid copying and pasting a quote that you may have made up won't cut it. Recovering from childbirth does not mean you are unfit to work or that's dangerous to work.

'Forced to work ourselves to death' – get over your dramaticism.

SouthLondonMum22 · 26/01/2024 17:32

SwordToFlamethrower · 26/01/2024 17:09

Why should women be forced to work ourselves to death? Why?

And for the second time, it takes over a year to recover, mentally and physically. Just because we are forced to work, doesn't mean we should. It isn't in our best interests as women to leave our babies so soon.

We live in an absolute hell society at the moment! It drives me up the wall!

You don't get to speak for all women though.

I went back to work at 3 months by choice. It was absolutely in my best interest, both me and baby were absolutely fine.

crazycatladie · 26/01/2024 17:35

I'd stick with your original plan. I wish I could have done this with my husband as I think it would have made him appreciate how tiring and demanding I found it being at home all day with a baby.

girlswillbegirls · 26/01/2024 18:55

ColleenDonaghy · 26/01/2024 10:29

This should be handed out in the information pack at 12 week scans.

I agree. And I think should be priority message to girls in secondary schools.

Girls perform better than boys at school and uni. But once the baby is in her arms the mantra starts:

  • You are the best at bonding/ bringing up a child
  • You will never get this time back
  • You need to reassess your priorities
  • You will always be able to catch up in your career
  • You will never regret dedicating all these years to your family

-Look what is best for your family (meaning you will facilitate him going up in his career while you slowly but surely fuck up yours)
  • You and your husband are a team (my favorite)

Fast forward x amount of years and following the evidence in MN, she is in deep shit. She never thought that illness/ cheating/ death/ mh issues would happen to her husband. This only happens to other people.

All the above gilt tripping but well meaning advice is purely bullshit but of course that is not a socially accepted opinion.

Men might not be as mature as girls in secondary school. They don't do as well academically. But they are focking good at STRATEGY. They don't let people bulshit them.
They never ever put themselves in a vulnerable position. And I am 100 per cent sure they love the children as much.

I am wondering, why is so difficult to act rationally like they do? This is our number one problem as women. We let society bulshit us.
Janedoelondon · 26/01/2024 19:09

FrangipaniBlue · 26/01/2024 10:50

I think you're projecting the fact you don't want to go back to work onto him not being enthusiastic.

I wasn't enthusiastic about going on maternity leave, I love my job and being on your own with a tiny fragile human is bloody scary!

I mean what do you want, him dancing around like the sugar plum fairy singing "yay I'm having 5 months off work to look after my child!"

Also, she's both YOUR baby, it would boil my piss if DH kept referring to DS as "his" son Hmm

Totally agree!

Fionaville · 26/01/2024 19:42

I wouldn't give my DH the leave and he would have actually enjoyed it! So, considering yours is actually moaning about it, he'd have no chance!

Vonesk · 26/01/2024 19:47

I'm confused about this set up and I would not entertain it.
My experience of ' parental leave' isn't for recreation or fun, it's to regain your strength ( tbh it took me FIVE YEARS each time )
I should as least ( as a default,) PUT YOURSELF FIRST in this situation, regardless of what other utter under their breath, or protest about your decision. Health/ Wellbeing comes first.

Tryingmybestadhd · 26/01/2024 20:13

Just tell him to go to work and stay home . Sorry maternity leave is just that , maternity to recover for almost 10 months of pregnancy and bond with the baby

JRM17 · 26/01/2024 20:16

TBH I think you should both be extremely grateful that you have this choice. I was not financially in a position to take much time off after having DS. My DH took 2wks off (normal paid holiday) and I got 10wks off then went back part time for 2 wks then was back full time at 12wks working anywhere from 10-16hrs a day (which after a difficult birth was very hard to do). So for want of a better phrase.. Suck it up buttercup life goes on.

Guitarbasher · 26/01/2024 20:27

I haven't read the whole thread and maybe this is totally beside the point and unhelpful, but can your MIL watch the baby for a few hours this weekend so the two if you can really talk things through and figure out what you both want? It doesn't help to be pointing fingers at each other (especially when you are probably sleep deprived). It doesn't matter what other people did or think you should do - you need to decide what you want to do as a couple for the next 12 months.

PeppermintMandy · 26/01/2024 20:27

Did he actually ask for any of this? Shared parental leave? You to do KIT days? It sounds like he’s not fussed but you’re pushing ahead for some reason but then getting arsey that he’s not appreciating the things he never asked/wanted you to do in the first place?

OrangeMarmaladeOnToast · 26/01/2024 21:31

It must be quite exhausting to go back to a manual job only 5 months (or less) postpartum, especially as all that IVF will have been gruelling too. I went back at 6 months with one of mine, but part time in a desk job which isn't the same physical slog. Rather than put myself through that physically I'd be looking at other options if at all possible. Is there no way you could both work part time? It ends up being more tax efficient and often you lose less than you think going to 0.8 from FT. The 5th day of the week is the worst paid.

Lakelandmumofthree · 27/01/2024 09:39

I'd talk it through with your husband. You can lose £3.5k on selling a car! Work out a plan of how you can out at less than £10 a day over 12 months. My eldest is going to university soon, you can't get this time back!!

Awittyandclevername · 27/01/2024 13:55

Is the deeper issue here that you’re starting to realise you actually just don’t want to go back to work so soon and maybe you’re just really enjoying being with your LO? That’s totally okay, and natural. It might be best to try and let go of the resentment to your husband about his lack of enthusiasm.. tbh he shouldn’t really feel like he has to behave a certain way about it. Maybe he is a bit nervous about it. I would have a kind and honest conversation about how you’re feeling… and that you’ve realised you might really like to take the full leave if that is what you want. See what he says

mandlerparr · 27/01/2024 18:10

How many of us believe that he cleaned the house when his mom was there all day? He is not acting like a person who had help all day. When you have help with your child all day, you are happy because you were able to get so much more done. Unless his mom is one of those hyper critical people that drains the energy out of you, but I am assuming OP would know that about her and would have mentioned.
This to me sounds like a man that sat on his ass all day, doing whatever he wanted, and is now trying to overcompensate by pretending to be super tired because that is how he thinks he should be after spending all day with a baby and cleaning. And if he slept the day away, he may actually feel bad because I always do feel tired if I sleep too much.
Or he is trying to punish her for making him take care of his own child.

MeridaBrave · 27/01/2024 18:22

Bearing in mind the finances, this makes a lot of sense. I don’t think it’s a problem he’s not excited, I certainly wasn’t the first time!

masterblaster · 27/01/2024 19:28

You want your husband’s ability to earn a full salary, but think he should kowtow to you. Got it.

Guitarbasher · 27/01/2024 19:32

It's one thing to make plans during pregnancy but another when the baby is actually here, with the reality of love and attachment (as well as finances). Many people change their plans during the first 12 months.

OhcantthInkofaname · 27/01/2024 19:43

My children are grown now and I am in the US. I understand your feelings. Explain to your husband exactly what you told us. Is he apprehensive about his employment status?

I feel very envious of new moms/parents in the UK. I had a total of 7 months maternity leave for 4 pregnancies.

jrc1071 · 27/01/2024 19:59

It’s not your job to tie yourself up knots worry about relieving the financial pressure off of him when he’s not willing to pick up the slack with the baby in order for you to be well rested to do it.

sounds like he wants you to go to work and stay on top of everything in the house and with the baby, and contribute financially.

My vote is extend your maternity leave and let him figure out where he can make cuts in order to meet the family budget


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Jeannie88 · 27/01/2024 20:07

Go with your heart and gut or you will resent the decision. As you're both working it's really only a few months financially to pull the belt in a bit if you need to.

He doesn't want to do it clearly and you do, no brainer! I don't think the sacrifice of more earning can compare to you wanting to look after your baby, he can still earn the same?

Have a good talk, you've given birth and want to stay at home. I took the full year, yes had to use savings to subsidise wages but wouldn't have wanted it to be any different. Take this time. Xx

Zerosleep · 27/01/2024 22:29

Just take the whole time yourself, I’m sorry and I know some will disagree but I wouldn’t be sharing my leave with my husband.

NaughtybutNice77 · 28/01/2024 07:39

I'm sure he does know you don't want fo go back to work. I'm also sure he doesn't really want to be a stay at home dad for 4 months.
Presumably you talked about this before embarking on parenthood.
Is you staying at home and him remaining at work an option?
I think you're being unfair to expect him to feel the same as you

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