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Thread: Going back PT/FT while DH/DP stays home with bub

  1. #1

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    Default Going back PT/FT while DH/DP stays home with bub

    I know it is really a specific topic but I am interested in hearing from anyone who has tried this arrangement. I plan to take around 6 months off work while slowing working back to FT, while DH takes on primary care of bub. I am worried about heaps of things - whether I will be able to leave bub (even though career is terribly important to me, both financially and personally - I really want bub - boy or girl - to know you can be a mum and a professional as well - but can you???); whether I will entirely lose my work mojo after I become a mum; whether DH will be able to handle being isolated without any support groups (I have heard mum's groups tend not to welcome blokes); whether all those rumours about men being incapable of looking after bubs the way women can are true; and so on.
    I am copping alot of flak from my mum about this decision - DH is lazy, should get a job, shouldn't sponge off me - even though she was the one who raised me to believe a woman should always try to earn enough to support herself and her children without relying on a man (the fact my dad died when mum was 36 led to that neurosis!). And I am pretty sure that sooner or later I am going to get pressure from work to come back FT because I have DH at home. I fear I will be expected to "be like a man" and work the long hours because "someone else" is looking after bub.
    What do you all think?


  2. #2

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    We did and am still doing it! There are some perils with it though, in terms of how you feel leaving for work, the man's ego (quite naturally so), our parents reaction, DH's assimilation into the maternal world. Please feel free to email me. ( DD is turning 4 in may this year)

  3. #3

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    my Uncle was primary carer of his son as my aunt is quite high up in a major international company... So that's what was best for them...

    I am going to be honest here: My Uncle attended Mothers Group & ended up having an affair with one of the other mums.
    At my cousins birthday my uncle knows all the Mums of the kids invited & my Aunt has No idea who is who & tends to feel left out.
    When my aunt is at home she has over compensated & at the age of 4 the only way my cousin could use the potty was holding Mummy's hand :shock:
    plus as they were often camping on w/ends when she was home he could only 'go to toilet on potty holding Mum's hand in back of the 4wd!!! I kid you not!?


    I know this is not the norm & quite truly they are odd...

    Just thought I'd tell ya of people I know whom have done it....

  4. #4

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    Hi Tracey, fair enough, sometimes it doesn't work out.

    DH went to the playgroups but he found, that he was a novelty to the other women at first and then they ignored him. He felt that the women were only there to b*tch about their husbands anyway!!!

    DD has thrived under the care of DH.. even though she has only been toilet trained for the last 6 months, that is basically due to DH believing that she will do it with encouragement.

    At the start I would cry driving to work because she was upset to see me leave in the mornings, and now sometimes I cry driving to work because she just waves and kisses me goodbye and then continues doing whatever she is doing.

    It is hard doing the discipline thing though, as you don't see them as often and don't want to be the meany all the time. But this and other parenting problems would occur no matter who was the primary care giver.

    There are a number of relationship issues to deal with though IYKWIM.

    Our parents have slowly come around to our way of thinking, as they have seen our daughter prosper and grow - she is a happy, funloving, and caring little girl.

  5. #5

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    Hi Magic and Barley
    Thanks for the responses - I am amazed how many variations on this story that I come across - good ones, bad ones, and ones in between. I have a client who is constantly being gossiped about by the mothers at his DD's school because they are convinced he is having an affair with his DD's friend's mum.
    Magic, I tried your profile but you have not private email but mine should if you'd like to email me.
    Do either of you think that either your DH or uncle was particularly "maternal" before taking on the role of is it something they developed?

  6. #6

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    My uncle definately never showed any overly maternal instincts...

    My Mum is 1 of 11 kids & he is the youngest, being only 11 years older than me. But I would not say he was an extremely maternal guy...

    I guess it has been learned!!!???

  7. #7

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    Hi Rory
    You should be able to email me now, I couldn't find yours 8-[ . DH is very paternal, and before DD arrival he was great with his young neices. I find that he has more patients than me too - which helps believe me!

  8. #8

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    I have been back at work for 2 months and went back when Amy was 4 mths old. DH is a full time SAHD and it is working very well. I have a well paying corporate career and I love my job. It was really hard at the start leaving Amy but it is okay now. I cherish my 'Amy' time in the afternoons and never work back late anymore. DH is doing such a fantastic job with Amy, she is very happy and well cared for. We get negative comments from family about DH not working but we don't care. They just all need to grow up and accept that tradition has changed and mums can work full time too.

  9. #9

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    Thanks for your thoughts girls. Neverplan, its interesting it didn't work for you - did you expect to be able to handle leaving the kids or did you go into it with reservations to start with? It's also interesting what you said about DH doing things differently - I'm interested in reading about the difference between fathering and mothering and how kids need both.
    Magic I'll try emailing you today!

  10. #10

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    It has been quite interesting for me to read this discussion!

    We are currently ttc #1 - and even before we started trying DH always said that he wanted to be the one who stays home with the kids. There are quite a number of reasons for us to want to do this, and I'm really hoping it works!

    First of all - financially - I earn a higher wage than he does. For our first two years of marriage neither of us worked, we spent some time studying and then moved so that I could take up my first teaching position. For the next two years we had only my wage. Things were tight, but we managed.

    Secondly - and this is almost embarrassing, but DH is a much better cook than me, and is overall far more domesticated! When he is on holidays, we eat better, and the house is cleaner than it is at any other stage, including when I have my long break over summer. DH is also more patient and much calmer than I ever am

    Thirdly - because I'm a teacher, I get far more time at home than he does. I work quite close to home, so usually leave home at 8am and I arrive back home at 4pm. DH leaves home shortly after 7am, and we are lucky to have him back by 6pm some days. Apart from the school breaks where I still have a bit of work to do, but am at home - we feel that we will get much more time together as a family this way.

    And finally - DH has a number of projects that he is working on at home that will earn us a little extra money. He gets quite frustrated that he doesn't get time to work on them now, and even though caring for a child will take up a lot of time, he will have more time to work on those then than he does now.

    I've grown up with an uncle (now deceased) who stayed home with his children whie my aunt worked - we didn't have a lot of contact, but they grew up to be two very lovely girls, and I never thought anything was odd about the situation - it's just what they did.

    Of course, at the moment I am working in a school where I am not really enjoying things, and I often think that taking a break from teaching to look after my own family would be quite appealing - and while I would take some time off, the fact is that I would desperately miss the contact with my colleagues and my students - I go very slowly but completely nuts each time I am on holidays.

    Obviously there are a few issues such as breast feeding, but I have so many different medications for different health problems that I will need to stop while pregnant, they actually reccomend that I do not breast feed for very long so that I can resume my medications as quickly as possible.

    I do realise that this is very unusual, and sincerely hope that when the time comes DH can make contact with some other men in the same position.

    BW

  11. #11

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    I'm glad to have found this discussion, Sheree I was going to email you.

    DD is now 4 & starting kindy this year, 2 full days.
    DH & I currently both work part time, sharing care 2 days for me, 1 for DH, 1 for nanna & 2 kindy days.

    Today I got offered a manager role but it would mean I would have to up my work from 3 days to 4 days a week this year & then full time next year. But can start later so I can drop off DD at school.

    The promotion is what I want but not sure if I want it now. I guess for me the thing is that I've had the time at home with DD, it might be harder for me to give it up.
    DH has said he will support me whatever I choose, I guess he looks at more money firstly, then that he will work less. He does physical work so I can understand that one.
    I told him I don't want to be coming home and having to do stuff. But how long will it last.

    I think it may be easier in my case because DD is older & pretty much independent. And also because it's kinda gradual.

    Sooo, guess I've not really got a question, or a point of view, I think I'm just rambling with what's in my mind. I've got a week to let my boss know what I want to do.

  12. #12

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    Hi Tam, just got back from holidays. What did you decide to do?
    I am trying to get my head around the fact that if I am the main bread winner it is my jobs to support the family while at the same time be the best mum I can be. And if that means I am away from bub then I will be the one that suffers, not DS/DD, if my DH is their primary carer.
    Here's hoping I can do it......[/b]

  13. #13
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    Nice to hear of others considering this ...

    We might not have a choice. DH has been out of work for almost 12 months now ... it's ridiculous ... not that he's not trying or anything though ... tonnes of applications, tonnes of turn downs. So annoying.

    So we're already living off 1 income which is hard. I really want to stay home for at least 6 months but if DH doesn't get a job soon then I won't have a choice. Though while I am on maternity leave I might look for another job (my current job is driving me crazy and I can't wait to take my ML ... whenever that may be).

    The only think I am grateful for at this stage is that with my ML I can take paid leave ... 14 weeks @ full pay or 28 weeks @ half pay, up to 12 months off total (obviously some would be without pay by then). So I figure that if I have to take full pay then I would have to go back to work when bub is about 3 months old.

    DH would love to stay home but he also knows how much I want to stay home for a while also. All our fingers and toes are crossed that something comes up soon.

  14. #14

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    I'm accepting the management position. It is coming up in July so I don't have to start 4 days until then, though I am doing extra work at the moment because it is busy.

    I am a bit of a controller at home & I'm realising that I have to let go a bit & let DH do more & be happy with it. Our work times compliment each other & we will work on him reducing his hours so he can be at home.

    I feel it can work, I also don't think I shouldn't do what I want to just cause I'm a woman & have babies. DH is supporting me too. He is good around the house & loves being with DD. And we both understand that we may not 'get ahead' in these early years, but there's a lot of time left for that. Quality of life is what's important to us.

    Baby crazy, it's a shame when you are faced with a decision like that, it's a kind of limbo land for you. Hoping it works out.

  15. #15

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    We've been doing this arrangement for the last year, it's working wonderfully for us.
    I was home with Emily for her first six months, and when I had to go back to work I found the first few weeks hard. But it got easier and now it's fine.
    DH is great at home with her, he takes wonderful care of her and it's been great for the two of them to be able to bond so well.
    When she was about 10 months he went back to work part time (Thurs and Friday) so she goes to her grandma's (who does daycare from home).
    Alot will depend on your DH's attitude as well - men who are a bit old school about their earning capacity and things like that probably wouldn't cope so well.
    But I know my DH has enjoyed the last year so much. He is dreading returning to full time work when I start maternity leave again in August. I get a year with pay this time, but maybe after that he'll stay home with TWO babies!

  16. #16

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    My partner stayed home to look after ds, he wasn't working and I would earn more than him if I did so it seemed crazy not to do it this way.

    One thing that used to drive me crazy - and still does - is that whilst he may do the childcare, he seems blind to the housework and cooking duties. I think if I have to earn the money, he should do the other half. I get really annoyed to finish up (I work from home now) to find the place a mess and no plans for dinner. If I want a decent meal for the family I have to cook it myself GGrrrrrrr.
    Maybe set gudielines for sharing of duties if and when you do go back to work.
    BTW you may decide you don't want to go back - office politics and the like get very tiresome after you have a baby! Also, you don't know what "kind" of baby you may get. I was another happy to "escape" a very colicky baby after 6 months, but now with a more settled baby I am getting a little resentful that dp gets to stay home and play.
    Keep in mind I have a rather crappy relationship with dp anyway.

    there are so many variables it can be quite hard to plan these things!!!

  17. #17

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    my DH was home for the first 2 years of two DS's existance, he raised the eldest until he was 2 and the youngest was 7 months.

    As for what we'll do with ours, who will know, will depend on when we fall pg and how many we get.

    S

  18. #18

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    Hi to everyone, it does seem it happens a bit doesn't it. Why not??

    Well my manager role has kicked in & I'm up to 4 days a week now.
    I am pressing pretty hard on DH that I don't want to come home to do work.
    Well, he'll have to do dinner every work night as I get home later. I feel that that is a main thing for me, to have dinner done. Mind you I make it easy in a sense that I do a meal planner for the week. He is happy to cook as long as he knows what to cook.

    Though, I do hope to have another baby so we'll see what happens then.
    As my work is flexible, I think I'll probably work a fair bit at home.

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