Please offer advice and comments: my reflection on my first year back in the paid work force - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 57 Old 02-14-2010, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,036
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have passed the one year anniversary of going back to work after having a baby and being a stay-at-home extended breastfeeding and AP mother.

And it was a hard year!

Here are my thoughts, and the problems circulating around in my brain that I want to try to improve in year two. Your thoughts, comments, and advice are welcomed and appreciated.

1. I am exhausted. I have coped with way less sleep this past year. I weigh less, too.

2. I worked part time. I worked less than 40 hours, but often more than 30 hours. Some of the time I worked from home, some of the time at the office. Flexibility is nice, especially when it comes with full benefits, and I know I am blessed. But flexibility also means a lot of juggling.

Working at home when you have a child with you is nearly impossible. I have done this WAY too many times, and it is just not a good situation. Being on a conference call with a child demanding things in the background makes me lose my train of thought and appear unprofessional.

3. Working part time doesn't really feel like part time work. It just means I get off an hour or two earlier than when I worked full time. It's really the same time commitment. There isn't much difference between 30 hours and 40 hours.

4. My laundry has not been completely done in a year. We are always out of everything.

5. Managing to put in my hours at work AND do one other thing during the day (a load of laundry or a trip to the grocery store) is a major accomplishment. Sad, but true. DH simply doesn't get this.

6. Speaking of DH...he isn't as helpful as he promised to be. Yes, he has helped and he will do things I ask, but I have to ask constantly and I have to schedule things with him really far in advance so that he can figure out how to accommodate them with his work schedule.

7. I do the bulk of all things child-related, even though DH and I both work. I'm still the default person for day care activities, drop off and pick up, doctor appointments, everything like that.

8. If our child is sick, DH assumes I'll stay home.

9. If I am sick, and we have no child care that day, DH will not stay home. It's happened, I've asked, and DH just thinks we can all suck it up until everyone is healthy.

10. DH will leave work in an emergency. Sometimes he does come through. DH also will work late some night to get off of work early to babysit if I have a meeting or something that comes up...but he'll complain...but he still does it.

11. The money after child care expenses isn't that great. It's definitely not changing our lives other than providing some security IF something else happened like a lay-off.

12. The financial benefits of working are the retirement, the security, the career advancement for future earnings, the other things like insurance.

13. When you work part time, full time workers don't see you as an equal. They think you are always off of work because you aren't there the full week, and it looks especially bad when you have to take a sick day or vacation day in addition to your unpaid time off the clock.

14. It's not a clear cut win-win. My child likes day care, but not everyday and sometimes cries and begs not to go. Other times, doesn't want to leave.

15. I'm no more sure of anything a year later.

16. My big question is how to manage things around the house (laundry, dishes, cooking, groceries, errands) and still get in my hours at work and not be exhausted to the point of falling asleep at 8 p.m. and having no energy to do any of the fun things with my kid.
That Is Nice is offline  
#2 of 57 Old 02-14-2010, 12:25 PM
 
gabry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Dutchgirl in Antwerp
Posts: 1,244
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hey there, I've followed your story a bit, and first I want to congratulate you on making it through the first year! From what it sounds like, your dh wasn't happy when you weren't working, but also isn't really supporting you now that you do work, so yeah, that makes things a lot harder.
A thought about the hours: I work 32 hours theoretically, usually end up putting in about 40 at least. However, I still have more flexibility than my co-workers and I wouldn't trade it back to 40 now. However, in your case it might be worth it to change to 40 hours, and put those in all at the office. It might mean more childcare for your dc, but it might make it easier to keep work/ home separate, and be treated more equally at the office (of course, you should already be treated equally, but you might not be able to change that attitude).
Also, if I'm not mistaken, one of the reasons you started back to work, is to gain some independence for when/if you were to decide you needed to leave. I don't know if that's completely off the table (and if it is, all the better), but otherwise I would definitely keep that in mind as one of the "benefits" of working.
On the other hand, if this last point is no longer the issue, and if the main reason you're still working is because your dh wanted you to, then you could also consider telling him something along the lines of: "Look, you wanted me to work (oh), but you still want me to do everything at home and for our child like I did before. You can't have your cake and eat it too. So, either we divide the at home work more equally, or I will need to work less outside of the home".
Anyways, I hope you find some peace in your situation.

mama to my August boys ('03 & '06) trying to figure out what to do after 5 losses
gabry is offline  
#3 of 57 Old 02-14-2010, 12:52 PM
hix
 
hix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: GA
Posts: 123
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
With the exception of #s 6-10 my situation is akin to yours. Though Dh is out of town nearly every weekend spring/summer/fall. Its been over three years and two babies since I've been able to see straight. I teach first grade full-time, co-sleep, ext. bf, and try really hard to be "present" each evening/weekend. With dd1 I even did cloth diapers.

I ABSOLUTELY, ONLY do it because dh is supportive AND we have a timely exit strategy. This is no way to live. I do not enjoy it in the least. I mearly see it as a sacrifice that I am willing to make for the bigger picture and for the short-term. If it stayed like this it will break me, heart and soul.

This is not advice, I know. I just wanted you to know of another weary momma. Pm me if you want!

hix is offline  
#4 of 57 Old 02-14-2010, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,036
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by hix View Post
With the exception of #s 6-10 my situation is akin to yours. Though Dh is out of town nearly every weekend spring/summer/fall. Its been over three years and two babies since I've been able to see straight. I teach first grade full-time, co-sleep, ext. bf, and try really hard to be "present" each evening/weekend. With dd1 I even did cloth diapers.

I ABSOLUTELY, ONLY do it because dh is supportive AND we have a timely exit strategy. This is no way to live. I do not enjoy it in the least. I mearly see it as a sacrifice that I am willing to make for the bigger picture and for the short-term. If it stayed like this it will break me, heart and soul.

This is not advice, I know. I just wanted you to know of another weary momma. Pm me if you want!
Thank you.

Yes, I totally get what you said...you summed it up: "If it stayed like this it will break me, heart and soul."

I think it is breaking me, heart and soul.

I spelled it all out for DH again, when we went out for Valentine's to a restaurant without our child (I don't know why we even bother somtimes, but DH asked me to "play ball" and so I've really been trying to in the marriage, but he shows me over and over in his actions and words that he is simply not the type of man I want to be married to anymore, and also that he probably can't and won't change) and DH just gave me a blank stare, said he had to pee, and walked away from the table to go to the bathroom, and then came back to finish his food and said nothing more about what I had said to him.

May I ask what your long term plan is? Your exit strategy?

I ask because I have found it nearly impossible to do any long term planning with DH. He just ignores me, tries to get out of it, or says we can't know the future. He's always been like this. I mean, we were married a long time before having kids mainly because DH wouldn't plan things out with me. He just wouldn't. Same with his career, and all other things. He either doesn't want to or doesn't think that way. He's not a dreamer...he's very linear, but linear means a line and it should be going somewhere, right, so even the most linear, technical thinking person should be able to carry the line into the future.

He can't, and won't for some reason. So change is hard, and there doesn't seem to be any progress or improvement.
That Is Nice is offline  
#5 of 57 Old 02-14-2010, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,036
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gabry View Post
but it might make it easier to keep work/ home separate, and be treated more equally at the office (of course, you should already be treated equally, but you might not be able to change that attitude).
Thanks.

I should say that no one treats me unfairly at work, and they have been quite accommodating, and really the job overall is a true blessing. The subject matter is interesting, the people are brilliant (really), the pay is decent for part time work, I get full benefits, the schedule is flexible, and everyone is pretty nice.

But, you know, as a part-timer due to parenting responsibilities, I can't travel so others do, I don't make all the meetings, although I try, and I can't really give it my 100% because I'm just not there enough. There is an inherent disjointed nature to my work because it is half-time.

Yes, you are right, going full time would very much solve the work issues, but might make other things worse, and I'm just not quite ready to make that leap yet...although 30 hours feels a lot like 40 hours to me, or maybe it's that 30 hours with a child feels like 40 hours when I didn't have a kid.
That Is Nice is offline  
#6 of 57 Old 02-14-2010, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,036
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gabry View Post
Also, if I'm not mistaken, one of the reasons you started back to work, is to gain some independence for when/if you were to decide you needed to leave. I don't know if that's completely off the table (and if it is, all the better), but otherwise I would definitely keep that in mind as one of the "benefits" of working.
On the other hand, if this last point is no longer the issue, and if the main reason you're still working is because your dh wanted you to, then you could also consider telling him something along the lines of: "Look, you wanted me to work (oh), but you still want me to do everything at home and for our child like I did before. You can't have your cake and eat it too. So, either we divide the at home work more equally, or I will need to work less outside of the home".
Anyways, I hope you find some peace in your situation.
Thank you.

Yes, the marriage is still questionable. That hasn't improved...much. His swearing has been reduced, somewhat, at least the frequency of it, and he hasn't broken anything in anger in a long time, so that is big progress, and he says he is making an effort.

To the second part, about my husband having his cake and eating it to, yes, I feel that is very much the case. He wants me to work, but he doesn't really think he should have to change his career at all, or, rather, he likes to say that he can't.

I have gone to him and said the very things you suggested, several times over, and he just doesn't seem capable of making those kinds of changes, permanently. He's not built that way.

If I put any expectations on him, or if something comes up unexpectedly, he sort of flips out from the stress and I hear that I am bit**y or nagging and he is the lead employee on x, y, and z projects and he has too many important things going on at work to worry about my small problems. Or I often hear "isn't that why you work part time? You figure it out. I am the lead employee on x project and I have a busy week and can't take any time off."

So, yeah, the marriage definitely needs work, if change can even happen. There is a reason I have only had one child with this man.
That Is Nice is offline  
#7 of 57 Old 02-14-2010, 01:47 PM
 
Ellien C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: in the middle ages
Posts: 5,582
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm really sorry you are going through this. I was heartened to hear about the enjoyable parts of your job. Obviously the decision to work is often motivated by money for many, many women. But I can't help feeling like is just SHOULDN'T Be! Likewise the decision NOT to be employed shouldn't be because the woman has few other choices or little skills.

To some extent, I think things should be looked at independently and than go from there. Barring what is going on with your DH (and I can really relate right now to the rock marriage part, although our issues are completely different than yours), DO YOU WANT TO be employed outside the home? Do you want that aspect of your life? Do you like bringing in money? Is that important to you? Frankly, it's REALLY important to me to have my own source of income and I'm not ashamed to say that. Do you like the props, kudos, respect etc you get from work? This is really important to me. I need that. I need something I'm in charge of, I need to feel good and competent. I like having a reason to leave the house each morning, and secret confession - I LIKE my high heels, panty-hose and business suits. I feel powerful, competent and myself.

Once you answer that first question, let's look at the others. If you do want to be employed, are the hours appropriate? Would you better with more or fewer hours? In my ideal world, I work 80% of my hours for 80% of my pay and most (or all) of my benefits. But there's no healthcare option for me at less than 40 hours a week and that's pretty important. In my ideal world though, I still working 8-9 hours a day BUT I only work 4 days a week and my kid still goes to care at least part-time on the last day. Frankly, I wasn't able to put that aspect into place, but I did negotiate a half-day every other Friday by working 8.5 hours for 9 days. That schedule is pretty good, too. But it took some creative thinking on my part.

Would a different schedule suit you better? Now lets pick some things apart. Is working at home REALLY working for you? I know WAHM seems to be everyone's ideal, but I know myself well-enough to say that I like doing home things at home and leaving work at work. I work 10-minutes from my job. My house is NOT set-up well for me to work from home. I don't have good desk space, the house is disorganized, I can't file and the office supplies keep disappearing. When I have to work, I'm MUCH happier going into the office for a few hours on the weekend than trying to do it at home.

Just keeping picking at EACH aspect. Assuming you DO like working from home, or your commute is far enough away that's it's important for you to be home - what would make that manageable? Better care for the baby? A mother's helper? NOT trying to split your time with a load of laundry?

One of my favorite threads was in Mindful home management where they asked "How often do you..... wash towels, change the sheets, mop, vacuum, dust etc." You know what? My standards are LOW on that front. So were my mom's who worked full-time while I was young. You'd be surprised at how infrequently somethings NEED to be done. Like apparently there are people who wash towels after one use because family leaves them on the floor. I hang 'em back up until they start to smell. I'm also a historical re-enactor and I KNOW we wash stuff a LOT more frequently than we used to.

Anyway, let me know if this is helpful. You might also engage a life-coach or a therapist just for few sessions to help you sort things out. I should take me own advice!

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
Ellien C is offline  
#8 of 57 Old 02-14-2010, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,036
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellien C View Post
To some extent, I think things should be looked at independently and than go from there. Barring what is going on with your DH (and I can really relate right now to the rock marriage part, although our issues are completely different than yours), DO YOU WANT TO be employed outside the home? Do you want that aspect of your life? Do you like bringing in money? Is that important to you? Frankly, it's REALLY important to me to have my own source of income and I'm not ashamed to say that.
Oh, yes. Absolutely.

I like working. I like earning my own money. I like being good in a job, and building my resume, and being able to support myself and have competance in a field.

If I didn't have a child, these questions would all be moot. I would work, and that would be that.

Heck, if I had any sort of a support system (extended family or husband or whatever), the questions would probably all be moot. I would work, and that would be that.

I never questioned working before I had a baby...well, in the context of whether to go to grad school or law school for a few years, but never in the stay-at-home wife context. To each their own, but that is not for me.
That Is Nice is offline  
#9 of 57 Old 02-14-2010, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,036
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellien C View Post
I'm really sorry you are going through this. I was heartened to hear about the enjoyable parts of your job. Obviously the decision to work is primary motivation for many, many women. But I can't help feeling like is just SHOULDN'T Be! Likewise the decision NOT to be employed shouldn't be because the woman has few other choices or little skills.
I wholeheartedly agree, especially on the last part. My husband really thinks that most SAHMs choose that role due to lack of other options, and I think that is why he can't see why on earth I would want to choose that route at some point of life and why he does not support such a choice.
That Is Nice is offline  
#10 of 57 Old 02-14-2010, 03:03 PM
 
HappyMommy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,824
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It is hard to find the positive things about working in your list. It sounds like you would prefer to SAH, and are hardly gaining much from working (except for stress!).
HappyMommy2 is offline  
#11 of 57 Old 02-14-2010, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,036
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMommy2 View Post
It is hard to find the positive things about working in your list. It sounds like you would prefer to SAH, and are hardly gaining much from working (except for stress!).
Hmmm...really?

Yes, it is a lot of stress. A LOT.

But there are positive things that I listed. My child can go to pre-school and otherwise wouldn't because we couldn't afford it if I weren't working.

Then, also retirement (big plus), insurance (another big plus), my resume doesn't sit idle and get obsolete (big plus), I'm maintaining my independence and my security and that of my child (big plus), and I make my own money (smaller issue, but still a plus).

But, yeah, it is a whole lot of stress. For sure.

I don't know. I like working. I have a career. If I didn't have a child, this wouldn't even be a question. I work unless for some reason I became disabled.

But it sort of reminds me of a conversation I overhead between a working mom and a stay-at-home mom where the stay-at-home mom said she thought it was great that the working mom had work so "firm in her heart."

I don't mean "firm in her heart" like just out of college, up and at 'em, want to launch your career and build it to great heights. That isn't "firm in your heart." That's launching a career and I spent about a decade pre-baby doing that and putting in the time and hours. I think of that as paying dues to get established in a career.

I don't know...does anyone ever really have work "firm in their heart"? Or do most people do it out of necessity, and find (hopefully) something they like and enjoy and our interested in? I mean, yeah, I chose the field I studied in college and turned into a career and I am interested in it, and enjoy parts of it, but mainly it is a job in a line of jobs in my career. I do not love it like I love my child. Working is not firm in my heart. It's a necessity. It's not a side hobby that I do because I want to do that and need a break from my kid.

And it wasn't really a choice to work or not work, which maybe is why it's so stressful. Nothing has really changed from when DH and I were DINKS (dual income no kids).

We're now just duel income with kids and I handle nearly all the kid part PLUS the job part. And that is darn hard. And wearing me out.
That Is Nice is offline  
#12 of 57 Old 02-14-2010, 04:08 PM
 
Ellien C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: in the middle ages
Posts: 5,582
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
It's a necessity. It's not a side hobby that I do because I want to do that and need a break from my kid.
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
I like working. I like earning my own money. I like being good in a job, and building my resume, and being able to support myself and have competance in a field.
I'm lost here with these 2 statements. Do you want to continue working in general? Forget about what society tells you you should want. Forget about your sunk costs in your education. Forget about what you have read is "best for children." Keep in mind that no one asks a man if he wants to continue working after he has children. What do you want?

If you do want to continue with the job, lets start there and see if we can make your life manageable. What tasks can you let go of, what can be delegated, hired out, or given to DH to sink or swim? Let's ask if this job and THIS schedule is the right one for you.

If you don't want to continue with the job let's get you an exit strategy for how long you are going to do this or what needs to be put in place to make a change.

I'm here for you sister! And either decision is A-OK. I just don't want you to feel trapped.

(I need to do something like this for my life with DH. He's very supportive and participates in shared parenting - but he has chronic anxiety and is explosive to live with.....).

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
Ellien C is offline  
#13 of 57 Old 02-14-2010, 04:19 PM
 
Ellien C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: in the middle ages
Posts: 5,582
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post

I don't know...does anyone ever really have work "firm in their heart"? Or do most people do it out of necessity, and find (hopefully) something they like and enjoy and our interested in?
I'll address this part. I feel bad that I went away to college, 1000 miles from where I grew up. I met DH in college (he lived within 100 miles of my hometown) and we live in the lovely town we went to school in. It's a low COL state and we have a great house, easy commutes etc. But both our families live somewhere else and I wish it could somehow be different. The bottom line is that neither of us are prepared at this point in our careers to move back east, nor do we really want to raise the kids there. But I feel bad and I miss my family. I do NOT feel guilty for moving away, going to college and making a life here. I can feel bad, without feeling guilty. There is a HUGE difference for me. One implies blame and the other is just sadness at circumstances.

I do NOT feel guilty for working. Men don't - why should I? Sometimes I feel bad that I miss things, the my daughter is sometimes disappointed I can't make school events but I don't feel guilty. Does that make sense? For me it was like college. I feel bad that I live so far from family, but certainly never guilty.

I also feel like we have a lot of choices. Although I make 2x what DH makes and carry our insurance, I truly feel like if we had to, we could live on his salary. It would be a VERY different life. Smaller house, no retirement, no vacations to see that family, VERY different neighborhood, but if we HAD to, we could. I'm also pretty confident that we could live off my salary alone, but DH is not convinced. Anyway, I feel like that choice is always there, but we don't have to make it right now.

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
Ellien C is offline  
#14 of 57 Old 02-14-2010, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,036
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellien C View Post
I do NOT feel guilty for working. Men don't - why should I? Sometimes I feel bad that I miss things, the my daughter is sometimes disappointed I can't make school events but I don't feel guilty. Does that make sense? For me it was like college. I feel bad that I live so far from family, but certainly never guilty.
I've never felt guilty for working. That would be absolutely silly and pointless, and misplaced.

I feel like perhaps it's not the best way, but it has always appeared it's the only way.

But I've never for one second felt guilty for it.
That Is Nice is offline  
#15 of 57 Old 02-14-2010, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,036
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellien C View Post
I'm lost here with these 2 statements. Do you want to continue working in general? Forget about what society tells you you should want. Forget about your sunk costs in your education. Forget about what you have read is "best for children." Keep in mind that no one asks a man if he wants to continue working after he has children. What do you want?

If you do want to continue with the job, lets start there and see if we can make your life manageable. What tasks can you let go of, what can be delegated, hired out, or given to DH to sink or swim? Let's ask if this job and THIS schedule is the right one for you.

If you don't want to continue with the job let's get you an exit strategy for how long you are going to do this or what needs to be put in place to make a change.
Thanks.

I don't see the statements as incompatible though. There are many things I like about working, including the work, and the pay, and the benefits, and having a career. I liked all those things before I had a baby and when this wasn't even a question.

It's not that I don't like working.

It's that having to juggle all this with a child has thrown a total wrench in my life.

It's not a new thing.

I've tried to delegate to DH to sink or swim before, many times before, and he's just not going to be a real partner. Not really.

He basically gets really stressed out if I approach him with anything and starts telling me he's the lead staff person for x, y, and z important project at work and he can't be bothered by my issues with work, and isn't that why I work part time anyway (which is 30 hours a week and isn't substantially that much less than DH).

DH assumes that I will by default always be the parent to handle all things related to sick days, school vacation, inservice days, early pick-ups, all things medical.

This is a guy who took no paternity leave, and has never been a whole lot of help. Yeah, he changed diapers, and he'll do things if I ask him to do thing, once, but not permanently.

He's just never going to move an inch on his career to accommodate mine. And he does not and has never supported the idea of one of us being a SAHP. Nope. He thinks that's for other families or a fall back for wives who have no career skills. He has said that over and over again.

Yes, he is basically having his cake and eating it to, but it makes my end of the bargain pretty stressful and exhausting.

Here's the other example. If I am sick and we have no child care that particular day, as has happened a handful of times, DH refuses to ever take off from work. He doesn't even take sick leave for himself so he just says to suck it up. He's sort of the "you had a c-section? Suck it up. How much help do you really need" sort of guy.
That Is Nice is offline  
#16 of 57 Old 02-14-2010, 07:31 PM
 
Megan73's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,503
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Obviously being a working mother isn't the problem. It's being a working mother with no support because your husband won't step up as a parent or a partner. That just sucks, mama. I like my job and work long hours but I simply couldn't do it without a husband who more than pulls his weight with our home and son.
Frankly, I think SAH would be worse - then you'd be at his economic mercy.
First, I would go to FT. It sounds like you're working just as hard and getting less respect at home and work.
Second, I think you're going to have to make a choice.
Are you going to make the current situation livable by getting the support your husband isn't giving? A nanny would cover sick days and be able to do some errands, if you can afford it. A cleaning service would help. You could also drop off laundry at the cleaners to wash and fold and dedicate some time once a week to feeding the freezer.
You say you've tried without success to lay it out for your husband but he keeps blowing you off. Are you at the point where if he doesn't change in some concrete ways (for example taking on drop off or pickup or taking turns staying home with a sick child) you'd consider leaving?

Megan, loving her sweet rainbow1284.gif boys, born Aug. 2008 and Feb. 2011, and their sister, born still March 2007 candle.gif
Megan73 is offline  
#17 of 57 Old 02-14-2010, 07:54 PM
 
Ellien C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: in the middle ages
Posts: 5,582
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
OK - everything you've spelled out about DH is really, really crummy! It would totally piss me off. I think you've articulated that what you have is unsustainable. (I feel the same way about the way we are emotionally....)

So there are some choices:
1) hire more things out - take-out, laundry, cleaning, nanny? Would working more hours make this more do-able?
2) ultimatum for DH? I'm not a fan of these because they don't work - (and mine certainly isn't capable of changing emotionally....). Either he takes on more stuff, or he hires someone to do it, or you plan for leading separate lives where you're doing it all anyway?
3) Up and quit - and THEN see how stressed he is about money. He doesn't own you.

One thing I can say is that his stress isn't necessarily your problem. Yup - it will definitely be harder if you have to leave work at a specific time for pick-up, hon. That's gonna be quite the change for you. You may have to bring kiddo home to me and go back to work or work from home. Sucks for you, but we're in this together and I can't do it alone anymore.

See - I'm not buying this crap about "I'm the lead and I'm so important." 'Cause I work with a LOT of these jokers - they are undisciplined at work and hate their home lives so they manufacture crises that keep them at work.

Just because he stresses and whines, doesn't mean you have to take that on a fix it.

For what it's worth for kid sick days - we have a babysitting/nanny service that in a pinch I could call and they'd provide an LPN. We do alternate pick-ups and drop-offs and sick days but I feel like I have that option if neither of us could cover something. I've also found that our local community centers will sometimes have care or activities for days off. DD is going to "cheer camp" from 1-4 pm tomorrow. But of course, I had to find it, sign her up for it and tell DH about it. He should be kissing my feet that I bought him 3 hours of care tomorrow. It's his turn to be home for school vacation.

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
Ellien C is offline  
#18 of 57 Old 02-14-2010, 07:57 PM
 
LynnS6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pacific NW longing for the Midwest
Posts: 12,565
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
And it wasn't really a choice to work or not work, which maybe is why it's so stressful. Nothing has really changed from when DH and I were DINKS (dual income no kids).

We're now just duel income with kids and I handle nearly all the kid part PLUS the job part. And that is darn hard. And wearing me out.
This is the heart of the problem, isn't it? This is not a viable option for a marriage.

I would ask another question -- not 'what do you get out of work' but 'what do you get out of this marriage that makes it worth while?' How much stress does the marriage add? How much work?


Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post

I don't know...does anyone ever really have work "firm in their heart"? Or do most people do it out of necessity, and find (hopefully) something they like and enjoy and our interested in?
I do. I love my job. I couldn't imagine doing anything else. Not only that, I'm not a good SAH parent. Really. It leads me into depression. Working stimulates my mind and keeps me sane. I have the same kind of admiration for SAH parents as I do for architects and surgeons: I am not capable of doing their work.

True I am the one with the benefits and the stable income so I can't just 'quit'. But part of the reason that I have the stable job and dh doesn't is because dh sacrificed to make my job possible. It was a choice we made as a couple.

Right now, you're not making any decision as couple. That's making your life very very hard. I'm sorry, because I couldn't imagine being in your shoes.

Lynnteapot2.GIF, academicreading.gif,geek.gif wife, WOHM  to T jog.gif(4/01) and M whistling.gif (5/04)
LynnS6 is offline  
#19 of 57 Old 02-14-2010, 07:57 PM
 
Ellien C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: in the middle ages
Posts: 5,582
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
He's just never going to move an inch on his career to accommodate mine. And he does not and has never supported the idea of one of us being a SAHP.
He has GOT to do one of these things if wants to be in a partnership with you. You chose to have children together. He can step up, or I say screw it and go it alone. This is no way to live!

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
Ellien C is offline  
#20 of 57 Old 02-14-2010, 11:42 PM
 
Holland73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Urban Jungle on the Bay
Posts: 2,756
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan73 View Post
Obviously being a working mother isn't the problem. It's being a working mother with no support because your husband won't step up as a parent or a partner.
Actually, I wouldn't even say it has to anything to do with being a working mother with no support.

I am a full-time working, SOLO mother with no support and my life is significantly easier than what the OP has described her life as such.

Mostly because I already know I have to do it on my own and I make the appropriate concessions for the situation. It appears that the OP is still hoping and expecting her H to help her out, which puts her in a constant place of frustration and anger.

Quote:
He can step up, or I say screw it and go it alone. This is no way to live!
I have to tell you... it is a h*** of a lot easier to go it alone than having to deal with the constant disappointment, frustration and work of being with a H, such as yours.

My suggestion, if you decide to stay in this marriage... start living your life like a single parent. Don't expect ANYTHING from him. Make the necessary adjustment to your and your dc's lives. Do only your and dc's laundry. Clean up only your and dc's messes. Grocery shop and cook only for you and your dc. Simplify, simplify, simplify.
Holland73 is online now  
#21 of 57 Old 02-14-2010, 11:49 PM
 
Holland73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Urban Jungle on the Bay
Posts: 2,756
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
I do. I love my job. I couldn't imagine doing anything else.
I know you love your job... I was one of your former students!!! You were instrumental in my understanding of syntax trees! Something I still remember and enjoy doing!
Holland73 is online now  
#22 of 57 Old 02-15-2010, 05:33 AM
 
DariusMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: I've been in the lowlands too long
Posts: 2,417
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gabry View Post
Hey there, I've followed your story a bit, and first I want to congratulate you on making it through the first year! From what it sounds like, your dh wasn't happy when you weren't working, but also isn't really supporting you now that you do work, so yeah, that makes things a lot harder.
[snip]
Also, if I'm not mistaken, one of the reasons you started back to work, is to gain some independence for when/if you were to decide you needed to leave. I don't know if that's completely off the table (and if it is, all the better), but otherwise I would definitely keep that in mind as one of the "benefits" of working.
On the other hand, if this last point is no longer the issue, and if the main reason you're still working is because your dh wanted you to, then you could also consider telling him something along the lines of: "Look, you wanted me to work (oh), but you still want me to do everything at home and for our child like I did before. You can't have your cake and eat it too. So, either we divide the at home work more equally, or I will need to work less outside of the home".
Anyways, I hope you find some peace in your situation.
I've followed your story, too. I agree with the above. How are you plans going for exiting this marriage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megan73 View Post
Obviously being a working mother isn't the problem. It's being a working mother with no support because your husband won't step up as a parent or a partner. That just sucks, mama. I like my job and work long hours but I simply couldn't do it without a husband who more than pulls his weight with our home and son.
Frankly, I think SAH would be worse - then you'd be at his economic mercy.
First, I would go to FT. It sounds like you're working just as hard and getting less respect at home and work.
Second, I think you're going to have to make a choice.
Are you going to make the current situation livable by getting the support your husband isn't giving? A nanny would cover sick days and be able to do some errands, if you can afford it. A cleaning service would help. You could also drop off laundry at the cleaners to wash and fold and dedicate some time once a week to feeding the freezer.
You say you've tried without success to lay it out for your husband but he keeps blowing you off. Are you at the point where if he doesn't change in some concrete ways (for example taking on drop off or pickup or taking turns staying home with a sick child) you'd consider leaving?
: You just can't keep doing it all, especially (if i'm remembering correctly?) with a SN child!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holland73 View Post
Actually, I wouldn't even say it has to anything to do with being a working mother with no support.

I am a full-time working, SOLO mother with no support and my life is significantly easier than what the OP has described her life as such.

Mostly because I already know I have to do it on my own and I make the appropriate concessions for the situation. It appears that the OP is still hoping and expecting her H to help her out, which puts her in a constant place of frustration and anger.



I have to tell you... it is a h*** of a lot easier to go it alone than having to deal with the constant disappointment, frustration and work of being with a H, such as yours.

My suggestion, if you decide to stay in this marriage... start living your life like a single parent. Don't expect ANYTHING from him. Make the necessary adjustment to your and your dc's lives. Do only your and dc's laundry. Clean up only your and dc's messes. Grocery shop and cook only for you and your dc. Simplify, simplify, simplify.
good advice.

I hope you can see your way clear of this situation.
DariusMom is offline  
#23 of 57 Old 02-15-2010, 06:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,036
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by DariusMom View Post
I've followed your story, too. I agree with the above. How are you plans going for exiting this marriage?
Thanks. Well, H has tamed down a little of his language and his other antics. He hasn't broken anything in a long time (a big improvement) and he uses the awful swear words less frequently. I wouldn't say he's 100% better because he's not.

I still don't really want to be married to him. Even if he's not violent and breaking things anymore, he's still not ever going to hear my voice and my concerns, and be able to really process what I am saying to him.

I think it was in a different thread, but I mentioned how at dinner the other night I talked to him about my feelings after reading a book about how the author felt it was best for women to focus on their career but best for kids (from her perspective when she was a kid of her own mother quitting work) to have a SAHP. This was Elizabeth Gilbert in the book "Committed" (the author who wrote Eat, Pray, Love...).

Anyway, that section of the book caused a lot of turmoil for me because I realize I have to work for a lot of reasons, including that I want to work, but that I don't really have a choice in the matter. The option of being a SAHM is not one that I have.

And yet I am not sure that putting my child in so much day care really is the best route for him.

In fact, I know that it's not the best for him. It's not bad. But it's not the best I could do given a better and more willing partner / provider. But DH is who he is, and I am who I am. So that caused me a lot of doubt and turmoil (not guilt...I don't feel guilty for working because it's necessary).

Anyway, I spelled this all out to DH and he just had a very blank look on his face and then he said, "I have to pee." And he went to the bathroom and when he came back he just resumed eating and didn't say anything.

This is how it is with him. I either get a non-response or he swears at me, or gets stressed and starts getting out of control and maybe breaks things, as he has in the past.

You know, maybe on some level, he realizes he's not a good provider, and that he isn't a very good partner either. Maybe he realizes the tight spot we're in and he can't process that any way other than to ignore it or start swearing. He's not good with change at all, and he doesn't like to be put on the spot.

And he thinks when I "spring" things on him like I need him to pick up our child from day care because I have a meeting for work or I ask DH to stay home with our child when he has a fever and can't go to day care, he sees this as putting him on the spot. He has said that over and over again.

I don't see those situations as putting DH on the spot. I mean if I find out on Monday that I have a meeting for work on Wednesday, that's not putting DH on the spot, but DH will say he needs more notice than that to take time off from work.

The thing is with a lot of things, like a kid having a fever and needing a parent to watch them because we can't go to daycare with a fever, that's not something I can give DH notice for.

I work. DH works. Yet he feels he needs me to give him advance notice for everything and not put him on the spot. He doesn't see that he's assuming that I will carry everything by default and he'll just step in when it's convenient for him.

Ugh. It's so irritating. I've been working on liquifying and separating our assets for two years so I can move out and move on, but it just isn't happening. A year into working, I really am no further along in my exit plan. Really, I am just more strapped for time. DH might be doing this all on purpose, I don't know.
That Is Nice is offline  
#24 of 57 Old 02-15-2010, 08:34 AM
 
Ellien C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: in the middle ages
Posts: 5,582
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
Ugh. It's so irritating. I've been working on liquifying and separating our assets for two years so I can move out and move on, but it just isn't happening. A year into working, I really am no further along in my exit plan. Really, I am just more strapped for time. DH might be doing this all on purpose, I don't know.
So, have we resolved here that you need an exit strategy? I have no advice around that (Heck, I feel like I need one myself and it's not even about money). Maybe post in the single parents forum or review some old threads?

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
Ellien C is offline  
#25 of 57 Old 02-17-2010, 09:45 AM
 
madskye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,219
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I agree that your problem is your marriage, not working or staying at home. If I recall, you weren't any more satisfied with your life when you were at SAHM. Your marriage is taking up all of your energy, in a very negative way.

Or, is it possible that you are also a very negative person? No offense, but your posts are a very long litany of how hard your life is and has always been. I know, from some of the financial threads, that you had a very difficult childhood that has left you with some security and finance issues. Have you been able to get any counseling for yourself? That might be a start and help you find some joy in the life you are living if you are not going to be able make a major change.

You can't change your husband, you can only change yourself. And honestly, your job and the division of labor doesn't sound that different than what many women deal with--it's just the lack of emotional support that makes it even more draining and impossible.
madskye is offline  
#26 of 57 Old 02-17-2010, 02:04 PM
 
almadianna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: *clicks heels* There is no place like Stockholm
Posts: 6,073
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Reading your posts I think that it is more important now that you keep working so that you are not "tied" to this marriage and you have an exit strategy.

I work and am an attached breastfeeding mother... I am tired... sometimes I wonder if I can do it or not... but I have an excellent husband. If I didnt have him I would have lost it a a while back and/or become single. to you as I cannot imagine what you are going through.

earth.gif trottin', pole dancing, Norway and Sweden lovin' , hippie.gif,WOHM Kiddos born waterbirth.jpg 12/11/06 and 08/09/08 
belly.gif with #3 puke.gif EDD:01/2013 yikes2.gif So in love loveeyes.gif with my sweet Swede 2twins.gif and my bonus-son 10/25/98 carrot.gif

 
 

almadianna is offline  
#27 of 57 Old 02-17-2010, 02:25 PM
 
DariusMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: I've been in the lowlands too long
Posts: 2,417
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by madskye View Post
I agree that your problem is your marriage, not working or staying at home. If I recall, you weren't any more satisfied with your life when you were at SAHM. Your marriage is taking up all of your energy, in a very negative way.


You can't change your husband, you can only change yourself. And honestly, your job and the division of labor doesn't sound that different than what many women deal with--it's just the lack of emotional support that makes it even more draining and impossible.
All very true.
DariusMom is offline  
#28 of 57 Old 02-18-2010, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,036
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by DariusMom View Post
All very true.
Quote:
Originally Posted by madskye View Post
I agree that your problem is your marriage, not working or staying at home. If I recall, you weren't any more satisfied with your life when you were at SAHM. Your marriage is taking up all of your energy, in a very negative way.
Anymore satisfied with your life when you were a SAHM...

Hmmm...well, I definitely wasn't as ragged, tired, lacking sleep, and I didn't have the mountains of laundry and such a disorganized and messy house.

I wasn't working so I had time for those kinds of things.

One of those things being my child. I was an excellent mother when I was a SAHM. Now? I try. But I have way less time. Working and commuting take a certain portion of the day. Just a fact.

It's not really about satisfaction as much as logistics.

And it's not really about my husband. It's about me as a mother. Yeah, it would be different with a different husband, but he's the dad and whether I'm with him or not, he's still the dad.
That Is Nice is offline  
#29 of 57 Old 02-18-2010, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,036
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by madskye View Post
Or, is it possible that you are also a very negative person? No offense, but your posts are a very long litany of how hard your life is and has always been. I know, from some of the financial threads, that you had a very difficult childhood that has left you with some security and finance issues. Have you been able to get any counseling for yourself? That might be a start and help you find some joy in the life you are living if you are not going to be able make a major change.
I'm very sorry to say this but I do take great offense at your comment.

If you have walked in life with an impoverished childhood where you were placed in foster care and removed, then neglected, and with relatives who run the spectrum of criminal, addicted to alcohol and drugs, and who ask for money and use you, then perhaps you can comment with some sort of direction for how to find joy in such a life you were born into.

If you put yourself through college, built a career, got married and tried to put all that previous life behind you WHILE still helping the people who were horrible to you and used you because you feel you need to be a good person and you believe seeing relatives in bad financial situations is heartbreaking and that you have an ethical responsibility to keep them from starving on the cold streets, then please comment and help me find joy in that situation.

And if you found that after building up your life from nothing, and trying to build up a passel of people who you finally realize don't want to help themselves and can't be helped, and you decide to have a baby but then your Asperger symptom showing husband who sort of flips out and calls you derogatory female swear words and breaks your dining room chairs from the stress of having a baby, then please comment on how to find joy in that situation.

And then, while all this is happening (circa 2008) the housing market and the world financial system basically collapses and a previously good financial situation becomes precarious and you can't sell your house to separate from a soured marriage, please tell me how to find the joy in that.

I really take offense at your suggestion I'm a negative person. I'm a person dealing with a lot of negative things and I've kept going...I'm working...I'm putting up with A LOT and I haven't cracked.

When I started seeing my therapist and outlined my life and my family, the response was one of surprise that I had turned out the way I had. My therapist said children from my background rarely pull through, which is very sad, but it shows the reality of the situation and how awful it really is.
That Is Nice is offline  
#30 of 57 Old 02-18-2010, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
That Is Nice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,036
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by madskye View Post
I agree that your problem is your marriage, not working or staying at home. If I recall, you weren't any more satisfied with your life when you were at SAHM. Your marriage is taking up all of your energy, in a very negative way.

Or, is it possible that you are also a very negative person? No offense, but your posts are a very long litany of how hard your life is and has always been. I know, from some of the financial threads, that you had a very difficult childhood that has left you with some security and finance issues. Have you been able to get any counseling for yourself? That might be a start and help you find some joy in the life you are living if you are not going to be able make a major change.

You can't change your husband, you can only change yourself. And honestly, your job and the division of labor doesn't sound that different than what many women deal with--it's just the lack of emotional support that makes it even more draining and impossible.
I posted a response to your post below, explaining some things.

I really would like to hear how you think you find joy in the situation I described. How would you, given this pair of shoes, find joy?

I have been to counseling and some of it is helpful, for coping, and some of it is just not helpful, the finding joy part. My therapist has said things like indulge yourself. Do things that you would enjoy. You deserve it. That sort of thing.

The thing is the small things, that I can afford, don't bring joy. They bring feelings of wastefulness and shallowness. One of my parents is homeless. Lives on the streets. Eats garbage. Gets beaten up, all the time. This is so hard for me. Yes, this parent did almost nothing for me as a child and I know I don't owe this parent anything, but I see a human being, a person I am related to, and I just cry and ache that the events in life have unfolded this way. I can turn my back and pretend not to see that my own parent is eating garbage and freezing in winter.

So, when I seek joy in the cheap sorts of ways (the sort of stupid and silly and meaningless ways) that my therapist recommended like going to get a massage or buying a pretty dress, I think that is $40 or $60 that could have kept my parent off the cold street for one night. I always think that way.

So, I try to find joy in either meaningful ways (like finally having a baby, which I put off for years to focus on career to stabilize myself financially and to be able to help my family who needed help) I have run into trouble because there just is no village to turn to when things get tough. My "village" is not a resource I tap. They are a drain that taps me.

I do try to find joy in simple things and cheap or free things like a good book (I read a lot) or the outdoors (also something I do a lot) because then I don't feel guilty about taking resources for silly, unimportant things that could be a real lifesaver to a family member, but obviously working and parenting constrains that greatly, and then things don't get done, and the whole operation gets worse.

It's difficult to find permanent or consistent joy with the permanent and consistent problems of the people surrounding me. One of the social service counselors I talked to said something that stayed with me. He said that it is hard for addicted people who end up homeless, but even harder for their loved ones who have to stand by and watch, who try to help them, but aren't successful in their efforts.
That Is Nice is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off