It's harder when DH is at home - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-06-2010, 01:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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For some crazy reason it is harder for me to take care of kids when my husband is at home. I don't get it!

We have three kids (4, 2, and 6 months). I stay home with them, and my oldest just recently started part time preschool. When I am home alone with them, I manage ok. When my husband is home, it feels like everyone goes crazy and everyone loses their temper very easy.

Am I the only one who experiences this??

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Old 07-06-2010, 01:43 AM
 
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Not crazy at all!! I am exactly like this. My DH works from home one day a week and then can ask for other days pretty much whenever he wants. He's been into the office twice in the last three weeks and it's driving me crazy. He finally left today for a little while and I felt that I could breath again. We were back into our routines and my DS (3) and I did not have any arguing and I got everything accomplished I hoped to today.

So no... you are not alone!
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:49 AM
 
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This is how I feel as well. When there is someone else to help out I expect it. So when he just sits there waiting for me to do everything it irritates me. When we are at the park or whatever I expect him to do half of what I usually do, but instead I am still the one pushing the kids, following them making sure they don't do anything dangerous.

He usually just gets in my way to be honest. If you aren't going to help, then why are you even here?

This often leads to me being in a bad temper because I feel like I have to make up for what he doesn't do. Sometimes when I leave the kids with him while I run to the store with just the babe the house is literally turned upside down- as in furniture physically flipped over and everything pulled out of the areas and strewn about. Yikes,sorry to hijack. Your thread title just sang to me LOL
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Good to know I'm not alone in this..

It's not that he doesn't help. He does, quite a bit. It's just that when we are both with the kids, they are a lot more wound up and a lot less cooperative. And half way through the day I lose my temper and become this ugly barking parent that I resent. It's almost like.. When we are together with DH, we create this cloud of negativity that is toxic for the whole family.

I don't want it to be this way... What can I do to make it better?

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Old 07-06-2010, 11:31 AM
 
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Totally the same here. I think the reason is that dh being at work is part of our daily routine. So when he's home, by the very nature of thigns our "routine" feels off. We want to spend that time with him, so we don't do things we normally do, or in the order we normally do them, so that makes things feel off. Added to that, he really isn't a happy person just sitting around and relaxing, so if he doesn't have a project to do (with or without the kids helping) he's kind of cranky.
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:57 PM
 
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Yes, things are out of whack when DH is here. Our routine is totally interrupted!

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Old 07-06-2010, 01:31 PM
 
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Yes. And I don't think it is my husband's fault at all. But it is just that my kids go nutty when their dad is home because they are all excited. And also sometimes when he is home I feel like I can have a little time "off" too (like from cleaning and such) so it seems to throw off the routine a bit for everyone.

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Old 07-06-2010, 01:50 PM
 
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I'm glad you posted this! I feel the same way.

Wife to amazing dh, mama to dd 12/08
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:28 PM
 
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Me too. It makes me crazy.
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:38 PM
 
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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.
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:39 PM
 
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Me too sometimes. All my FB friends will be whining about Mondays and I'll be happy to have my peaceful house back.
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:19 PM
 
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Count me in! As much as I love DH and his company, and as wonderful as a husband and father he is, I prefer him at work during the week!

When he is home during the week, our whole routine goes out the window or its off. Just adding one more person throws it off esp since he might not know what it is we have to do etc.

The only exception is Tues and Thurs afternoons when he is home before 3pm. A lot of times he will pick up either dd at school depending on time he arrives. They enjoy Daddy picking them up.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:22 PM
 
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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!!

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Old 07-06-2010, 03:38 PM
 
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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!!
Bolding mine. But seriously, I expect him to help out and instead he trashes the house and the kids go nutty.

Yeah. I've been working on him doing more chores. That's going well, as previously, he did none.

Liz

Wife, and mother to a small fairy, a demolition expert, a special new someone this fall and a small dachshund.
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:40 PM
 
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:18 PM
 
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Yep, I'm on this bandwagon...mine works from home EVERYDAY. It has seriously taken some getting used to. It's not that he doesn't help, but he's also the one whose clothes never make it into the hamper, dishes sit 2 inches away from the dishwasher. Now that I'm pregnant, I seemly can't do anything myself and he is driving me nuts. It's nice to be taken care of, but on some level I think there is the thought that I seriously can't do things. He's in the process of selling all kinds of things, paying things off so he can *really* be home and not have to stress so much about money coming in...WHAT?!? Someone help me

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Old 07-07-2010, 12:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by elfimka View Post
For some crazy reason it is harder for me to take care of kids when my husband is at home. I don't get it!

We have three kids (4, 2, and 6 months). I stay home with them, and my oldest just recently started part time preschool. When I am home alone with them, I manage ok. When my husband is home, it feels like everyone goes crazy and everyone loses their temper very easy.

Am I the only one who experiences this??
I understand your sentiment. It is a little different here but I, too, feel it is harder to get things done when my husband is home.
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Old 07-07-2010, 01:01 AM
 
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Yep, I'm on this bandwagon...mine works from home EVERYDAY. It has seriously taken some getting used to. It's not that he doesn't help, but he's also the one whose clothes never make it into the hamper, dishes sit 2 inches away from the dishwasher. Now that I'm pregnant, I seemly can't do anything myself and he is driving me nuts. It's nice to be taken care of, but on some level I think there is the thought that I seriously can't do things. He's in the process of selling all kinds of things, paying things off so he can *really* be home and not have to stress so much about money coming in...WHAT?!? Someone help me
OMG! I thought I was the only one!! I was going to come back and post that that is why I'm more stressed out when he's home. It's just more to clean, pick up... etc. For example last week, I spent an hour or so really cleaning the kitchen, it was sparkling, I run out to the store and come back to a dirty shirt on the kitchen counter, plates and cups near the empty dishwasher and crumbs all over...
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Old 07-07-2010, 01:26 AM
 
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So true here. Actually I was in heaven last year when he went away for a week and left me alone with the kids. He sees his only job when he is home with the kids to be playing with them. Last night we ate on paper goods because our kitchen is being redone and he did not even put the trash in the trash can!
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:46 PM
 
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I have a hard time with this, too--total surprise, as DH and I were home a lot together Before Kid and it was fine.

Some reasons it's annoying here:
- too much negotiating during the day. I get tired of having to work out which of us is going to do which naptime and which bedtime routine with DD. Wish we had more routines worked out. But that feels so...conventional.
- he tries to help by doing extra work but it's work that helps him, not me. (WHY are you working on that project?) Our solution to that is I keep a honey-do list on the fridge of things that need fixing/doing.
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:44 PM
 
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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).
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:05 AM
 
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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.

SAHM to three
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:39 AM
 
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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!

Mommy to The Boy (August 2006) and Another Boy (November 2009)
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:44 AM
 
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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.

Carrie SAHM to Nora Caitlyn (5) and Finnley Dax (2) homebirthing, breastfeeding, babywearing, intactivist, doula mama!         
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Old 07-08-2010, 12:27 PM
 
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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!

SAHM to three
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Old 07-08-2010, 01:09 PM
 
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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?
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Old 07-08-2010, 01:49 PM
 
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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).
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Old 07-13-2010, 12:42 PM
 
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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?
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Old 07-28-2010, 03:22 PM
 
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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.
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Old 07-29-2010, 04:13 PM
 
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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.

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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...

Carrie SAHM to Nora Caitlyn (5) and Finnley Dax (2) homebirthing, breastfeeding, babywearing, intactivist, doula mama!         
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