DH/inlaws make me feel like @#$% for SAH - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 09-08-2010, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I have been doing the hardest job of my life for 5+ years now and can't seem to catch a break from anyone. No one--including my own DH--seems to have any appreciation, respect, or sympathy for me staying at home with my children. My DH recently got upset when I brought up the prospect of sending my child to a school that is a hybrid of traditional schooling and homeschooling because it would require me to stay home (at least part time) for another 5 or so years. I was not planning on working full time for that amount of time anyway since we have a young toddler at home now and might have another child. Anyway, my husband seems hellbent on getting me to work full time soon when we have a much more than adequate income from his (very secure) job already and, with my training, any job I get will add less money than it's worth to go back. His relatives all look down their nose at me because apparently they think I've been sitting on the couch watching soaps and eating ice cream for the past 5 years. They ask me when I'm going back to work like I've been on vacation all this time.

I've come to the end of my rope. I'm exhausted, and get nothing but complaints and disrespect from everyone. What can I do? If things don't improve soon, I may have to go back to work--as a single mom (*crying*).
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#2 of 8 Old 09-08-2010, 03:50 PM
 
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At one point, I wrote down how much time I spent working every day for a week, including time I was up at night, time I was bathing her, time I was reading to her (there was just one at the time), the bedtime routine, time I was fixing meals, time I was cleaning, time I was directly interacting with her (but not time she was, say, napping and I was using the computer, or even time she was happily playing alone and I was reading or doing something else leisurely), and I found that I work around the same number of hours my dh works, and then only because he works more than 40 hours a week. Our "free time" is at different times of the day and different days of the week, but we have about the same amount. It made a huge difference in my dh's opinion about what I was doing. If I don't do it, then we'll both have to do it after work, or we'll have to pay someone else to do it, because this stuff has to be done. He is very much on board now. Anyway, you might try that.

Now my inlaws are another story, but I can ignore them easily. I know you can't just ignore your dh's opinion on it, though, and I hope the two of you are able to find resolution.
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#3 of 8 Old 09-08-2010, 04:01 PM
 
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I'm sorry you are going through that. When you married, did you and your DH plan for you to stay home with the children until a certain age (kindergarten or something?) and then you'd return to work after that period of time or did he imagine you'd "pop out the baby" and return to work as soon as your maternity leave was up? Or was it something not discussed until/just happened after the baby was born?

I know you stay home to be your children's mother, not the housekeeper, but what is the state of the house on any random day (not the day everyone is sick with the flu--to include the dog) when your husband gets home? If it is a wreck--dishes from last night still crusted over on the counter, mud tracked through from last week, laundry backed up--I can see where they are thinking "but, what do you do all day?"

In addition to what the previous poster stated about writing down when you are actively caring for your children and home (including errand running and time spent on the phone for scheduling appointments and such), call around to different child care situations--get prices and then research what you can earn with your skill set. Factor in a work wardrobe, more mileage on the car, convenience meals, etc--and then determine if it is worth it to work. Is there any thing you can do, such as taking classes either online or in the evening when your DH is home to position yourself for a career?

(See below, but reverse: live for 2 weeks as if you WOHM--get your kids up, dressed, fed and out the door by 7:30/8 am (because you'll need to be to work at 9 and will need to have them to day care on time). Stay out of the house until 6 pm. (Go to your friend's house or whatever you like to do) Get home. Do all the chores and such between 6 pm and bedtime, when everyone is at their crankiest and lowest-energy points of the day. Then see if your DH still thinks it best for you to work. A couple times call him saying you have to work late and could he come get the kids from day care)
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#4 of 8 Old 09-08-2010, 04:09 PM
 
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I'm not a sahm, but a wohm. I don't have any real advice, but this-- I had noooo idea how difficult it is to stay at home until I tried it myself for a week. Would your husband be game to give it a try for a week? At least then he'd have firsthand knowledge of what it's like (just a bit).

Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

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#5 of 8 Old 09-09-2010, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the supportive messages and the suggestions--I'm thinking about doing at least one of them so that DH gets his head on straight.
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#6 of 8 Old 09-09-2010, 09:46 PM
 
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When talking about a sahp going back to work, what I find mind boggling is that people don't think about it realistically. Someone still have to be available to the kids before school, after school, 2 weeks in Dec, 1 week in April, and upto 2.5 months in the summer. I have yet to meet a mom who works a good paying job she enjoys with "school" hours and have it flexible enough to take time off for sick days etc. And even with this dream job you are not involved in your childs school day at all. Then when the kids are older, and having teen sex or drugs, or who knows what when parents are too busy working to pay attention, these same people then say how you aren't a good parent because you don't spend enough time with your kids. Sure any extra money is a value to the family, but al what cost to the family life?
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#7 of 8 Old 09-09-2010, 09:57 PM
 
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When DH got on me about going to work full time I started by pricing daycare, assumed that I would have the same income that I had when I left the workforce 4 years prior and found that I would bring home about $35/week. When I then subtracted new clothes, a certain amount of convenience foods, gas, etc. It would have cost us for me to go to work. I hope that you are able to figure it out.

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#8 of 8 Old 09-09-2010, 11:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeteaa View Post
When talking about a sahp going back to work, what I find mind boggling is that people don't think about it realistically. Someone still have to be available to the kids before school, after school, 2 weeks in Dec, 1 week in April, and upto 2.5 months in the summer. I have yet to meet a mom who works a good paying job she enjoys with "school" hours and have it flexible enough to take time off for sick days etc. And even with this dream job you are not involved in your childs school day at all. Then when the kids are older, and having teen sex or drugs, or who knows what when parents are too busy working to pay attention, these same people then say how you aren't a good parent because you don't spend enough time with your kids. Sure any extra money is a value to the family, but al what cost to the family life?
I agree with this, although my DH would say hire afterschool care and summer care. Done. Fixed. DH cares nothing about how long our child spends in daycare. Not his concern at all. But I do think that when kids aren't raised well, or teen pregnancy happens, or whatever, the mother is blamed more than the father.

I've been a SAHM, and now WOH.

DH was opposed to me being a SAHM, and he doesn't help much at all with balancing two careers.

MIL? She's said negative things when I was a SAHM, when I was a WOHM, and she also told me, as a WOHM not to expect any help from her.

I feel for you. I would say - dismiss if you can what your inlaws say. I know that is hard. My MIL I would dismiss but she reaffirms DH's opinions (not good) and backs him up by saying things like "well, that's what men do" when it comes to not helping around the house or with sick days, etc.

My feeling is that my DH needs a SAHM to function as a family, but he would not support one and it's probably not a good idea for me to be one given his attitude and lack of support.

I don't know what to tell you except I'd probably figure out the issue before having another baby. Good luck.

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