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It's harder when DH is at home - Page 2

post #21 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baby_Cakes View Post
I needed to read this thread!

DH might accept a work from home job, and I'm nervous. When he is home, I feel like I do everything I usually do and more -- maybe b/c I'm cleaning up after him or expecting some level of help and/or company. I'm afraid of the stress this new situation might create. And I thought I was a terrible wife for thinking all of this!!
DH has been a telecommuter for 9 years.

It will take some getting used to...on both your parts. You cannot expect him to be "there", really, when he is at work. He will need to figure out the best balance of "at work" times if he has 100 percent flexibility on when that work is done.

If your expectation is that telecommuting means immediately more help and company for you than you get now, this is not going to work out at all. If you are willing to give him space, and teach your children and yourself how to respect that space--then to be honest I think it is one of the best family setups EVER.

There are some spouses that can't learn to respect their telecommuting partner's time or space though. And some people are not cut out to be telecommuters--either because they can't turn it off and therefore are amped up workaholics OR because they are too easily distracted OR they do get a lot of their work efficiency vibes from coworkers or that environment.

Have there been times I wish that I had the house "to myself"? Oh yes. But would I trade that for our family life now? No way. I think our kids have reaped ENORMOUS benefits from having two parents at home, with flexible time.

I have less leisure time with my spouse than most people I know. He works 7 days a week from hom. But OTOH, for the most part he can arrange to be there at daytime school functions, I can get out during the day to run errands by myself with notice, and since he and I know how to do it without distraction, I can go and "recharge" by sitting quietly with my head on his shoulder whenever I want. Now that the kids are in school all day, we often make our "date night" an afternoon.

But I can't emphasize enough how important it is to have *realistic* expectations, and how hard but absolutely vital it is to learn and show respect for workspace/time. I think too that the person transitioning to at-home working really should if at all possible talk to BTDT people. Even my DH, whose natural personality is very disciplined and efficient, struggled to adjust for a few months. And even though my children have been raised from birth to understand the rules of Daddy's office, when we got through periods of testing that space, ect. it can be quite chaotic at home.

We know many, many couples with arragements similar to ours (1 or both partners WAH). All of those who have made it work succesfully LOVE it. (though again, of COURSE sometimes you are going to get on each other's nerves, you're only human) Most of the people I know where that didn't work was because of (unintentional) lack of respect on the spouse's part and/or lack of discipline on the worker's part (I include not knowing how to structure one's time and never truly quitting working as lack of discipline).
post #22 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post

Have there been times I wish that I had the house "to myself"? Oh yes. But would I trade that for our family life now? No way. I think our kids have reaped ENORMOUS benefits from having two parents at home, with flexible time.
I can certainly identify with this.

My husband telecommutes from home too...ever since the late 80's he has been doing so.

Yes I sometimes get tired of him always being at home, yet not really being here... However there were advantages when our children were born...I could nip out to the shops while the baby slept, knowing that DH was here.

Also he has a close relationship with the children, has always been 'visible' to the children, they haven't grown up with a dad who is always out at work till late...and despite him setting strict rules about not interrupting his work, they can talk to him if they really need to.
post #23 of 52
Yep, so true! I think it's because DS1 gets very excited when DH is home and it just makes it hard for all of us. Our solution? We tag team the kids: DH takes DS1 out for some 1-1 time, and I hang with DS2, then we swap for an hour or two, and end the day all together (backyard play, supper, quiet time). It works well.

Also, because DH is away a lot, I've noticed he likes to micro-manage the kids when he's home ("here, DS1, you can do play-doh while DS2 plays with this, then we'll have a snack, which I'm putting out right now but please don't touch it until you're done with activity A...") whereas I just tend to let them set their own agendas. He says he feels guilty just "hanging" as opposed to doing something "interesting and stimulating". We're learning!
post #24 of 52
Oh, thanks for your advice!

I think my biggest concern is that I feel like he's going to be in my hair. We chatted about it for literally a minute (bc he hasn't been offered the job yet) but he was just as concerned that we were going to be in his hair. I don't want him to think that just b/c he's technically home that I'll be bugging him -- and I don't want him to bug me. I told him if he's working, he's working. I'm not going to ask him to take out the trash or kill a spider. But on the same token, if I'm trying to do something w/DD, he better not be in the way for me to trip over! He needs to stay in his office and come out for bathroom breaks, lunch, coffee. Whatever. But not be sitting around or making a mess for me to clean up.

I want him to behave the way he would if he worked outside the home. If he makes coffee in an office, would he leave splenda packets on the counter?? Or would he clean up after himself? ykwim?

I realize this might sound harsh, and I feel like a jerk for that. I love this man more than I can put into words, but I just don't want to get aggravated over little things.
post #25 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baby_Cakes View Post

I want him to behave the way he would if he worked outside the home. If he makes coffee in an office, would he leave splenda packets on the counter?? Or would he clean up after himself? ykwim?

I realize this might sound harsh, and I feel like a jerk for that. I love this man more than I can put into words, but I just don't want to get aggravated over little things.
I understand perfectly babycakes and don't think you sound harsh at all.

It is about wanting your space still...and not just physically!

The one thing I find constantly irritating about DH working from home is that he is always asking me what to have for lunch. That may sound petty to moan about, but I just don't enjoy planning dinners, (but I do of course as one just has to...) so I don't want to have to think about lunch too!! Part of me can't help thinking that if he worked at an office I wouldn't have to also work out what he is going to eat for lunch!
post #26 of 52
BC, that is part of the negotiation. Though if it's coffee, to be honest, why not get a cheap little machine with a metal carafe that he can keep in his office, along with all his supplies (hmmm...unless he likes milk in it...) That being said--there are going to be SOME days were he does get in the way. And there will be days where you annoy the crap out of him when he's trying to work too. I mean, life is just like that.

Change is hard. Realizing that you might have to share your territory is hard too. I'm not surprised that there is a little panic/overthinking here.

If your expectation is that you will not see him during the day, that's not really fair or realistic either, it's just the opposite extreme of "he'll be available whenever I want and be able to co-parent all day too". IF he is accepted to the job and survives the trial period (a lot of companies do have a trial period for noob telecommuters, because it's an adjustment and not everyone is cut out for it or has the right family support).

First things first though. Does* he have a home office? If he has to make a lot of calls, do you have an extra phone line or will there be a cell phone for his exclusive use? Are you willing to do this? Even if it's not perfect and there may be adjustment issues that first six months? Because if not, then please just axe it now---you SO do not want to be in a situation where you are *stuck* and then your resentment skyrockets. Then everything that he does is going to be an annoyance, even if they're not really annoying. (When I am in the last few weeks of pregnancy, I become EXTREMELY territorial. I don't want anyone in my space. During those times, even my very considerate, neater-than-me, expert telecommuter DH pissed me off so much by his mere presence that it took all my self control not to snarl at him every time he dared to "intrude". Have I mentioned how lucky I am that he is able to have a sense of humor about such things?) So. Seriously, if territoriality isn't something you can overcome or are willing to concede a bit...that could get real nasty really quick! Even if you are not that extreme, if you do not have coping strategies OR you guys aren't able to communicate honestly and non-hurtfully about such things, pressure/resentment can build to the danger zone really quickly, KWIM?
post #27 of 52
can you practice a bit? just try it out for a day or so? sit down, talk about what your routines would be like, and then just act it out on a weekend or a day off.

my dad and mom both work from home and while my parents only have my teenaged sister still at home, it seems to work really well for them. but they are both very disciplined people. my dad has an office, he gets up every morning at 6, puts on a tie, and "goes" to work. my mom is a bit more flexible, and still the primary parent, but their roles at home during "work" hours are pretty set. they have a big calendar up on the fridge with all appointments written out, my dad comes out of the office for lunch, and when he's done work, he changes out of his work clothes so everyone knows he's done work and ready to be "at home." i think the key to making something like this work, especially with little kids in the house, is lots of visual cues... i.e work clothes, door to the office shut... and lots of consistency, i.e a set start and stop time (which obviously can be more flexible than OOH hours... my dad often takes the afternoon off to do something, but will then work after dinner time).
post #28 of 52
Same here. I love my DH, and I miss him like crazy any time he's gone and look forward to him coming home. But then he gets home, and everything's nuts and he doesn't help make it any easier, so then I start to wonder what in the world was I thinking?
post #29 of 52
I feel the same way. I LOVE it when the kids are at school, and DP is at work. He's been working extra hours lately, but it does seem like when he's home, I actually have more to do. He wants something to eat, then the girls want something to eat. He doesn't help around the house at all. He's not really an outdoor type person(it doesn't help that we live in hot Vegas where the summers are dreadful), and sometimes I just hate being the only one to do things with the girls. I take the girls swimming, to the park, bike riding. He gets off work and is totally able to relax. This summer has really been tough. We haven't had the extra money for a bus pass(cause God know you can't walk anywhere in Vegas in July) and we've been stuck at home. Even going to the pool everyday gets a tad bit boring. They no longer offer the free movie at Regal theater which we're close to. I just want to pull my freakin hair out. When I was working I used to hate Mondays, but now it really is my favorite day.
post #30 of 52
Thanks for all these replies!!

DH has accepted the job - he's officially going to be working from home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
If your expectation is that you will not see him during the day, that's not really fair or realistic either, it's just the opposite extreme of "he'll be available whenever I want and be able to co-parent all day too".
This is a really good point. Thanks for saying it. You're 100% right -- I can't expect him to completely disappear, just like I can't expect him to be available the whole day if I want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
First things first though. Does he have a home office? If he has to make a lot of calls, do you have an extra phone line or will there be a cell phone for his exclusive use? Are you willing to do this? Even if it's not perfect and there may be adjustment issues that first six months? Because if not, then please just axe it now---you SO do not want to be in a situation where you are *stuck* and then your resentment skyrockets.
We are working on renovating a room for him to have his own office. His job is going to be giving him a laptop, paying for his cell phone, and for his internet, so we won't have to share technology, as far as that goes. I'm sure he will be on the phone a lot.

He will be in NC for job training for TWO WEEKS for this job, and that has me a little scared. I've never been the sole parent for more than 2 days let alone 2 weeks! Yikes! I have some family nearby though, so I think we'll be ok. It will help DH learn how to do the job, so it's really quite important.

I think the biggest thing is -- yes, I'm totally willing to do this. I'm completely supportive and think this is a great professional opportunity for DH. It is an awesome company, great money, some really good contacts in the business are being made. So, of course I am happy about it. I'm curious to see how this all will play out. I'm trying to go into this with eyes wide open, if you know what I mean...
post #31 of 52
OMG, me, too. It causes me twice as much work with dh home.
post #32 of 52
Yes, he makes it a million times harder. The reason? He doesn't help! Because when he stays home from work, it's because he has "the day off". So he looks at it like a vacation day where he can sit around and watch marathons Deadliest Catch all day and whatever else he wants to do. Last time DH stayed home, he went out and chipped golf balls in the back yard. Then he came in and dumped his sweaty clothes NEXT TO the hamper, took a shower and asked if I wanted to go out to lunch.

Yeah it was nice of him to think of taking me to lunch but we have a 10 week old and all that time he was enjoying himself in the back yard, I was dealing with a cranky baby who I finally got to go down for a much needed nap! There was no way I was going to risk waking him up by putting him in the car seat! He also didn't understand that "nap time" doesn't mean "break time" for me. I had to spend that time doing dishes and laundry and other housework that has been put off (which he didn't help me with at all!) It's like he has no clue what I do every day and thinks I'm on vacation all day or something.

At least when he's at work, I can put on 90210 reruns in the background instead of whatever he wants to watch.

Anyway, I love it that he has given me the opportunity to stay home with my baby, but I'm almost considering going to work at least part time at night so that he stops treating me like his personal maid. And he would also get a taste of what it's like to be home alone with the baby with no one to help!
post #33 of 52
yep im with ya. it just throws the system a little
post #34 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happiestever View Post
When there is someone else to help out I expect it.
Dh has worked at home fulltime for a few years and really, the only time it's a problem is when I get to feeling like that quote and "forget" that he actually has a job to do. It's usually near the end of a bout of really bad weather--which induces wicked migraines for me--and I'm feeling whiney and tired.

The reality is: when nobody's home, you have no hope of help--so you just DEAL... ya know? You manage. But when he's home, it's easy to expect him to pitch in and help like he does on the weekends... and now he's home, so you can fall into expecting that. So when I'm run down, I have to remind myself that he's not REALLY "home".

That being said, I can echo some of the posts here. Mine totally did have a hard time getting used to WAH. He fluttered from workaholic to not being able to "get into" working. A home office with a door and access to a bathroom where my kids wouldn't see was a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE help.

The kids manage. As long as daddy followed the rules (not just coming down whenever--just at lunch), we were fine. Now, my 6yo is much more able to handle my husband coming down for a coffee break irregularly. My 21mo can be distracted. We have a policy that we knock on his door (if we REALLY need him) and if he doesn't answer, we know he's on the phone and can't be disturbed... and we don't.

Dh is getting a little more able to manage his time to be truly flexible. Like today, he had primarily documentation to do--so he took an hour to let me call the insurance company and resolve a really complicated issue. As I type this, he's making up that hour (while both kids sleep).

We like it.
post #35 of 52
Yep, things sometimes seem more stressful with dh home -- he "walks" dd around and complains about it (even though I rarely do that with her since I'm trying to get her to crawl first), the dishes seem to pile up, etc.
post #36 of 52
this post made me seriously LOL. my hubby teaches so he has summers off. our routine gets TOTALLY out of whack. the.whole.summer.

either way, i always look forward to him being home.
post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisCat View Post
Same here! I was actually thinking this past weekend I needed to start a thread about it to see if I was the only one.

Weekends are crazy around here. The kids are all excited because daddy is home, but daddy needs some to relax because he exhausted from the work week, and I have all these expectations about things I need to get done because he's home, and we all just end up getting on each others nerves.

It's worse when we try to hang out at home. The more we get out the better. But then we get no time to relax or getting anything done around here. Funny thing is though, I look forward to them every week like somehow this one is going to be different.
Hahaha I could have written this word for word!! Yes, all this happens but I countdown to each weekend like its Christmas!
post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masel View Post
Me too sometimes. All my FB friends will be whining about Mondays and I'll be happy to have my peaceful house back.
: I deleted my FB account but I used to feel the same way. Ditto PP's - my children are super excited to have Daddy home even if he is supposed to be working and they go haywire!
post #39 of 52
I love my dh a lot but it is a lot more work when he is home. More kitchen mess, more clutter, and another person that needs things from me. I am glad when he goes back to work so I can clean the house good. DH was unemployed a few months in 2008/2009 and I thought I would go crazy!
post #40 of 52
It sounds as though the hardest situations are the ones in which the partner working from home expects the SAH to work *for* him, especially without extending similar support outside the workday. Tigerchild's posts are really positive and respectful, and I notice that Mr. Tigerchild is described in one of them as "considerate." Bet that's a huge reason your family's made it work. It has to go both ways, IMO, whether one or both partners works at home or not.
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