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SAHPs with partners with long, unpredictable work schedules? - Page 2

post #21 of 42

so, how do you not get angry?

I don't want to take over this thread, but if anyone wants to share their secret, how do you not get angry with your dh when they are never around. My dh is just finishing his first year on a new job. He spent the last 4 years in school(he worked too, so he was never around). Now, he is taking on more and more commitments too make extra money because we have been poor for so long. He will be around maybe 1 full day and one half day a week this summer. He works from 7am-10pm most days. I get angry a lot that I am alone all the time. I guess I should be grateful that dh is a hard worker and that he is motivated with work. But, I feel pissed constantly. He doesn't HAVE to work that much. He chooses to so we have more money. Any advice?
post #22 of 42
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by catinthehat View Post
I don't want to take over this thread, but if anyone wants to share their secret, how do you not get angry with your dh when they are never around. My dh is just finishing his first year on a new job. He spent the last 4 years in school(he worked too, so he was never around). Now, he is taking on more and more commitments too make extra money because we have been poor for so long. He will be around maybe 1 full day and one half day a week this summer. He works from 7am-10pm most days. I get angry a lot that I am alone all the time. I guess I should be grateful that dh is a hard worker and that he is motivated with work. But, I feel pissed constantly. He doesn't HAVE to work that much. He chooses to so we have more money. Any advice?
Not in exactly the same situation, but I do get the fleeting feelings of anger (though it has gotten much better). Definitely talk with your DH about your feelings, and why you feel that way. Did you make the decision for him to work more together? Would you rather have less money and more family time? Is this a temporary situation that will improve your family's quality of life in the long-run? All good things to ask of yourself and him. Remembering that while you are having a hard time from long hours, he probably is, too. Though I would HIGHLY suggest not comparing each other's responsibilities or getting into a "who contributes more" argument. I tend to direct my anger towards my DH's clients whom I never interact with so I don't direct my frustration at the situation at him when he finally DOES get home. Other than talking to him directly, I find having someone to talk to who is in a similar situation helps as well. I have a friend who's husband also works and she has 4.5 kids (due in October ). Also, this thread and you could always send me a PM . Good luck, I know it's hard.
post #23 of 42
I'm in the same boat. My DH runs a business and it's a very demanding job. He works on the road all week. As a result, he's totally wiped out when he's home. He also often works weekends.

I won't lie that I wasn't really angry for a long time about it. I just felt like this was not what I signed up for. I had no idea that I'd pretty much always be alone with the kids.

The only way our (well, my) situation improved was when our financial situation got better, I stopped being a martyr and hired a cleaning lady. I also put the 4 year old in an amazing full-time preschool that she loves and the 2 year old goes to a wonderful home daycare 3 days a week. And I have made the decision not to feel guilty about it. The kids like going to school and having kids to play with. I have the luxury of spending time at their schools with them which they love and I can keep them at home when they don't feel like going.

Sure, we could put that money into savings, but I would be crazy or dead from exhaustion by the time we needed to spend it--so moot point.

I also make sure I plan lots of activities with friends. I have dinner with other families several times a week, either here at home or at their houses or out at a restaurant/farmers market/concerts, etc... I'm lucky I live in a city with lots of things to do year round.

I have had to accept the situation as it is. It will not change, nor, at this point, do I really want it to. My DH is super ambitious and that's who he is. Still, I need to have my needs met. But-- they do not need to be met by him.

There was a time when financially, I just couldn't hire cleaning help or daycare, but now I can and I don't feel guilty one bit.
post #24 of 42
Originally Posted by sanguine_speed View Post
Mama, I'm going to say this gently and I know I may be VERY wrong. I just know I've seen this elsewhere.

Is it possible that your dh has some control over his work schedule? Is it possible you don't know the whole story?
It is not sustainable to work 100 hours a week including 7 days a week many weeks while leaving your young family home alone.
Is it possible that your dh chooses to work more than he really needs to?

No need to answer here, just something to think honestly about.

I have known some families where when the kids were young and the marital relationship was strained, a spouse used work as an excuse to not be home. The spouse left behind spent a lot of time justifying her hubby's work schedule, but eventually it became known that the work schedule was a little more flexible than the working spouse had made it out to be. One of the problems is that the spouse at home didn't know anything otherwise because of course she believed her working spouse that he had to work all these extra hours, and he in fact probably had convinced himself of the same. We live in an IT-heavy community, and there is a continuum when it comes to work load. I realize with the economy and nature of IT work that it's easy to believe you have to work more than perhaps you really do because the work can be never-ending. But there is a subtle but important difference between having to work more and wanting to work more.

Like I said, this may totally not apply to you at all. It's just something I've seen happen a few times and something to think about.
Uh, gently, is it possible that you never worked in IT, just were the spouse of someone who did? Cos it sounds like you have no clue what it is like to be the one that really HAS to be there and do the stuff.
post #25 of 42
post #26 of 42
My dh is in the oil fields, and he has NO control over his schedule. He works anywhere from 40 hours one week to over 100 the next. There are times that he has gone out to work at 7am...and by 8pm he is calling to say he won't make it in he has to stay at the rig..this means one of two things can happen. He will #1 either be home the next day after all work is done or #2 get stuck at that one location until the problem is fixed. On the case of # 2 there are times it will be 2-3 days of being out on a location till he is able to make it home.. as for #1 at times he is only home long enough to shower and get right back into his truck to do the next days work before he can be home for the day. On the days he only has to check 1-2 locations and there are no problems he will leave between 6-7 and is home between 6-7....However these days only happen about 50% of the month...typically he is gone 7am to 7pm.

He gets ONLY 5 days off a month and they are taken in a row when they are scheduled by the office not by dh.

Now he is always on call...so he can be called out at anytime and at least 3-4 times a month he is called out at any hour of the night...from midnight to a 3am check to go 4 hours away.

I cannot plan anything in advance, we fly by the seat of our pants....if he all of a sudden one day is in by 4 we take full advantage of it and go out to dinner and try to take the boys somewhere unexpected....I put into effect in our house that EVERY Friday night is Fun Friday...this was after months of never having dh home with us and knowing the boys needed something good to look forward to in their weeks....no matter what we do something fun and different that night...if dad is home we get to go out....but they have learned that we can't count on dad to be home, but we are thanking God he has a job.....and that because of his hard work they get to have momma at home with them and ALWAYS with them no matter what. Last year his last company laid him off and we went without lots for 10 months...they had fun yes with their dad home, but knew that momma had to work then as well. They handle it amazingly well, me I have my moments,but know that the house is mine to take care of. Even the boys will feed the dogs and help with trash because in their words "Dad will have more time with us when he does come home if we do his jobs too!"

So yeah it's hard but it's doable. I'm ready to have bean just so dh can have 9 days off of work and get some down time with the family finally after some hard times at work the last 2months.
post #27 of 42
Thread Starter 
Are you ladies still out there? We are on day 3 of DH continually working on a problem (all day + all night)... our weekend was ruined and I have had no break from parenting the kids for days and days. I hate this .
post #28 of 42
You ladies really have my admiration and respect. I couldn't do what a lot of you do. My hubby is currently gone sixty hours plus a week, and in the fall it will be worse. He's combining full time work and full time school. I'm a sahm to an eighteen month old daughter and we have a second one on the way. I spend a lot of time at home, and although I do have family and friends nearby I find myself spending a lot of time with just my little one. I'm terrified of what will happen when the new one gets here. He's going to be able to take off a couple weeks when the baby arrives (one week of family leave, unpaid, and one week of vacation which is paid). But if spring semester he doesn't do more computer classes or doesn't take less classes-whewwww. We have the weekend together, but he has to catch up on homework, not to mention sleep. It doesn't help matters that we are a one car family and live in a rural area.

I go to my sister or parents home when I'm really lonely or antsy. I take walks with the little one. I keep myself busy with housework and projects.
post #29 of 42
DH is in IT as well and it sucks. It's really nice to hear I'm not alone.

He works most days from 7am until 9pm, 10pm or even midnight. He started a new job a month or two ago and he thankfully doesn't work weekends anymore (well, I imagine there will be the occasional one).

At the moment we are seperated but working towards reconcilliation. He comes and stays the weekends with the boys and I. Last week he didn't arrive until Sat morning because he was working until midnight and then Sat morning had to go fix something before he could come round. He was meant to be coming round tonight as well but is now stuck fixing something. Hopefully he'll make it tomorrow. It kind of sucks even more that we are seperated because at least if he were living here he would be coming to bed at night and I'd get to see him for a little bit in the mornings.

I hate that he works so many hours but understand that's the way his job is. When I start feeling angry I try to remember that he is exhausted and stressed out and that it is probably harder on him than it is on me.

ETA: We do manage to chat on FB most nights after the kids have gone to bed and that helps a little bit.
post #30 of 42
I think IT jobs can be one of the most "family un-friendly" jobs out there. My exhusband used to work IT. His evil boss made him work on our 1st year wedding anniversary (which was on a Sunday! and I had a 4 month old baby) knowing we were already having marital troubles. She called me and asked me if I wanted a paid sitter for a few hours. Paid sitter?? To spend my 1st year wedding anniversary with a paid sitter for my 4 month old daughter?? Whatever.....the worst part is that his boss was a mother herself. He worked all the time and the urge to run over his crackberry with the jeep and throw it in a lake afterwards never left my mind. Seriously, even weekends, he was on call 24/7.....and his pay did not reflect all the time and effort he put in.

I am the type of person who enjoys family time and doing things together as a family.....and the thing is, when we were dating, he always had time for mini vacations, and to go backpacking, etc. It was when baby came along that he stopped wanting to be around. Not sure if he just didn`t like being a dad or that he felt he needed to try extra hard to keep his job (his boss fired people left and right and only kept the ones who kissed a$$). Either way, I think in my case it was like a previous poster mentioned....that sometimes husbands work more hours than they really need to just to be away from home.

If you can handle being a married spouse with a chronically missing husband, then I would do what others have suggested and hire help so you don`t get burned out. A 6 month old is a lot of work, and showering is a necessity, as is a little private time to keep sanity. Good luck!! I wish you the best!
post #31 of 42
Just wanted to join in the commiseration. My DH isn't currently in IT(used to be) but he has a job that demands a lot of him. Sometimes he has to work nights, sometimes he has to work days. Some weeks he works four days, other weeks six. Sometimes he has to go in extra in the evening because they have a higher flow of work or because people are missing and they have to maintain a certain level of staff at all times to fulfill the contract. *sigh* And when he works nights, life is extra terrible because then we have to tiptoe around the house all day long and it's miserable.

I do feel very isolated, and it is super frustrating to me. We moved to this area because of this job, in the middle of DH being very sick. My DH also dislikes it here, but he's been able to befriend some of his co-workers. Several evenings a week he will go out for drinks or to play racquetball or something. I don't know anyone, and besides, I have the kids, so I don't go out.

Sometimes I do feel resentful, because even when DH is around, he doesn't help. He's often annoyed by me and the kids, and is usually somewhat short tempered with us. I'd like to be more upset with him, but I know he's dealing with a lot right now(in many areas) and so I really can't bring myself to blame him for it. It's just a really unfortunate situation all around. I can't wait to be able to leave this place.
post #32 of 42
I hear you all. My dh is self employed and so works non-stop - sun up to sun down. It sucks.

Here is what I'm wondering though - why do you suppose we debate among ourselves whether or not to be angry with our spouses about working so much and it never really seems to cross our collective mind to be angry about the economic structures that force our families into these impossible situations?
post #33 of 42

trust me, I'm plenty angry at the socio-economic structures as well. Having serious job insecurities due to state budget slashing of social services programs is nerve-racking. At least IT is a pretty secure job! DH started back at work today - no clients available, so no billable hours. So he's at the beach with DD. Now how in hell are we going to pay the mortgage this month if he can't get any hours with clients? I actually work at a small local bookstore on Saturdays as my "me time" and the extra $65 a week is what gets us through the month, gas and food wise. The bookstore owners went on vacation this last week, and here I am, 3 weeks postpartum, working at the store so that we have money to get food and gas and pay some seriously overdue bills. Thankfully, I can bring DS with me and it's three blocks from home, so we don't need a babysitter for DS or DD or a car to get here, but if I hadn't worked this last week, we'd be completely SOL at this point. Trust me, the "structures" that are in place in this country for helping families postpartum suck complete @$$.

If you haven't noticed, I tend to direct my anger over DH's job hours towards other things so that I don't take it out on DH. He gets enough crap from me about everything else...
post #34 of 42
triana1326, you are in a really difficult spot. It makes me sad when I hear of mamas having to go back to work too soon. I'm glad your little one can be with you - but still it's just crazy.

I hope you didn't think I was singling you or anyone out with my comments, which were intended as an observation, not a criticism. I hope things improve for you soon.
post #35 of 42

being angry

I have to work hard at not directing my anger towards DH. I remind myself to be thankful I have a DH and that he has a job. I put my anger aside so that our time together can be as enjoyable as possible.

Now to "help me." We joined the Y. (They have financial assistence) I also trade child care with friends.

I urge all of you with absent partners to build a support system that does not include your partner.

I also stopped "waiting" for him to come home. If work came up we(kids & I) went on with our plans.
post #36 of 42
I can relate! My DH is gone 6 days a week he has a 2 hour commute, so he leaves at 5am and doesnt get home till 8pm. I have 4 kids 8, 6 (with autism...hes a handful),3, and 10 weeks. I dont have any family around or any friends. My only break is when dh comes home from work, i take a drive to the gas station. i am very burned out, mostly because it is summer and all my kids are home from school.
post #37 of 42
My husband is a partner at a law firm and works on securities transactions. One once worked for four days straight, getting no sleep. It's pretty ridiculous. I find I don't mind so much on the weekdays, I don't expect him to be home at all in the evenings and we plan our life accordingly. It really sucks when he's gone on the weekends. I feel like it's me and all the Dads giving the Moms a break at the park on the weekends.

I generally don't get mad about it. I do get lonely in the evenings, but I really like to read and I'm used to it. I get frustrated when he's not around on the weekend, or says he'll be around and spends the while time writing emails on his iPhone. Or when it's Friday night at 9 PM and he can't tell me whether he'll be around on the weekend. I feel like his work schedule makes it very hard to plan anything with friends, etc. As the kids get older, though, it gets easier in that I feel like I can handle all 3 kids in most situations now -- none of the kids run from me like they used to and they respect it when I saw it's time to leave a place.

I do envy women whose husbands are home at 6, though. But I married him and had kids with him knowing he worked a lot. It does help to find other women whose husbands work a lot. I have a friend who I'll meet up with for dinner and the park in the evenings and that's nice.
post #38 of 42
The other thing is, though, as the girls get older, they want their Dad around more. It's almost like they didn't notice he wasn't around or just accepted it. Now they ask when Daddy will be home.

The thing that does make me furious is when he tells the kids he'll be home for dinner, and then isn't and doesn't call because he's too busy. That's what makes me angriest.

I feel sad for my kids that family dinners aren't like they were in my family growing up with all of us at the table. They're a bit chaotic and they don't get the chance to hear grown ups discuss things and join in.
post #39 of 42
my dh normally only works about 50 hours a week, but he is in car sales so sometimes he can come home late, (normally by luck when i make some awesome dinner), and he can often have to go in on his off days which are during the week. It can be hard, and i worry about when ds is school aged that if we put in him public school he will really never see dh much as he works on the weekends. In this job sure you can have a saturday off, but since it is all commission and most customers want to buy on the weekends dh could miss out on half our mortgage payment for taking that saturday off. Which we have worked around since ds is still young, but dh is late to even ds bday parties and nevermind family parties, they are pretty much out for dh. He does try to make sure that he his home one full day of his off day, but like i said when ds is school aged that won't mean much for ds and dh as ds would be in school all day, (and part of the reason I am considering homeschool) but dh is not to keen on the idea...Ds has gotten used to spending one day home with dh and then sometimes we will go out as a family the other day, and there have been times where our plans were ruined b/c dh needed to go into work, i think it is hard at the beginning, but you get used to it, and you begin to adapt and realize that dh isn't always controlling the situation. It sucks, but we move on..
post #40 of 42
Oh, I can so relate to all of you. While my dh isn't in IT, he does have a job where he works 7a to 10p. He does have the weekends off but spends all his time doing other things we need done. This summer he is putting an engine in a truck we desperately need for his job(and the truck is in another town no less) so basically he has been MIA all summer. With 5 kids it has been very difficult for me. I also don't have any family or friends nearby and nowhere near enough money to hire a sitter. I have been angry with him but I also know he is busting his butt to keep our family afloat. Sometimes I think he just doesn't get what I go through though.

In a few weeks, the big kids will be in school and I also will as well. I am terrified of all of the responsibility I will have on my shoulders trying to do well in school myself and be, basically, a single mom to all these kids. It has been hard but it also makes the time we actually do get to do things as a family very special!!
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