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Struggling with work and parenting.
This is going to be a long post as I'm at my wits end, I have no one to vent to and I need outsiders opinions.
Ok, so I have a 22 month old gorgeous girl.
My husband insists I continue to work 2 days per week even though this means sending our daughter to childcare where she continues to get very ill and has had to be hospitalised 3 times in the last month due to different illnesses.
Because I only work part time I am then having to take the time off to look after her, which is now threatening my employment as I've had so much time off over the last 6 months.
This of course is taking a toll on my mental health and I am reaching breaking point knowing I am unable to work and look after our baby to my full potential.
After several discussions with my husband, he still insists I continue to work, and put our daughter in childcare.
This is simply just not working.
We are in a position where I know it isn't essential for me to work.
In his eyes if I am not contributing financially, I am not doing anything at all. He thinks I'll just sit at home all the time and do nothing (and yes, he has actually said that to me).
Yesterday, my daughter was so sick with fever she has a febrile seizure.
I called an ambulance, and I have never felt so sick in my life, my poor baby. This was the final straw for me.
How do I get through to my husband that this arrangement isn't working? And that I am contributing by being a full time mother to our gorgeous daughter? That I am not coping with working and sending her to childcare, and that it causes me horrendous anxiety?
I barely earn anything in my industry, and he earns excellent money.
I know we are financially ok, otherwise I wouldn't even consider this.
I just feel helpless, and like I am going to have to choose between my daughter or my job.
Advice/opinions would be much appreciated, I truly don't know what to do from here.
I'm sorry your husband has put you and your daughter in this position. From what you have said it appears to me to be very clear what the priorities really should be:
Your daughter's health
Your husband's wishes.
In the absence of financial pressure it the correct path seems simple, no work until it can happen without adverse effects - if in fact you then want to do it.
Do you have any idea why your husband wants you to work? Is it a case of bullying and wanting to be superior, or fright that money matters are insecure, or ? Apart from anything else I would have thought you daughter's illnesses would have given him pause to think. One cannot love a child and put them in harms way.
Choosing between a daughter and a non-essential job would seem it me from the outside to be quite straightforward.
You sound alone. Do you have anyone that could be on your side and give you support. A parent or family member?
Can I ask what you think you should do, and what could happen as a result?
Thank you so much for commenting, I was beginning to think no one would!
My husband continues to tell me that we are struggling financially so I will feel guilted into working. I know for a fact we are ok financially. He buys high priced items constantly, more than what my wage would be a week. He says its unfair that all the money earning will be put on him and that I won't be contributing financially and that's not fair to him.
I think our daughters health is priority one, and my mental health is also extremely important.
I am at breaking point after seeing my girl seizure yesterday, and he doesn't even seem phased by it. In fact tonight I spent an hour trying to put her to bed and he didn't offer help at all.
I'm truly at my wits end here. I am very close with my family, but I feel like the more I vent to them the more they dislike him. And all my friends are his friends so its hard to vent to them.
I think it would be wise to try counselling, but I truly don't think his attitude will change.
If I'm not working, I'm not contributing at all. He's actually said this.
Croix has already given you a very helpful answer. Although I’m inclined to agree with your husband on this one (sorry!) based on my experience. My mother gave up work to raise my sister and I, and to be honest it was the worst thing she could have done for her mental health. Over time her world became everything within those 4 walls and she had a constant laser focus on us. I have also seen the exact same thing happen with friends of mine. Those friends of mine who wuit work entirely also never returned when their children grew up and were fearful of returning to the workforce as they’d been out of it completely for so long. One of them is now also experiencing marital difficulties, which puts her in a very vulnerable position.
I understand that your daughter is getting sick at daycare. Unfortunately babies immune systems are immature at this age which predisposes them to infections. However, this is a necessary part of childhood and primes their immune system and will protect them later in life. I hope that I haven’t offended you, I just wanted to play devils advocate as sometimes what we want and what’s good for us aren’t always the same.
I'm sorry to hear that you are in such a difficult position. From your posts it seems finances are your husband's top proirity. He doesn't seem to get the emotional side of the situation or parenthood, for that matter.
I'd like to suggest that you try talking finances with him. But first I'd like you to create two spresdsheets.
Spreadsheet one. List all of your costs associated with going to work. Clothes, lunch, snacks, coffee, transport, childcare, hair dressing, make up, and anything else you can think of. Then compare this to your earnings and see where this puts you. If it is costing you more to go to work than you earn, this one is done. If not, identify things you can easily cut from your current spending to ensure you come out ahead by not working. Pick things that aren't necessarily important to him (so he doesn't feel he's being treated unfairly).
Second, list all the duties and responsibilities you take care of at home and give them a value. For arguements sake use your current wage. This would include things like grocery shopping, cleaning, errands, childcare, gardening, entertaining, organising your home, making travel arrangements, laundry, etc. This will enable you to demonstrate the dollar value of your contribution at home.
What do you think?
No you haven’t offended me. I understand the point you’re making. I certainly don’t plan on leaving work forever, just until my mental health improves and I am able to cope with being a Mum and working all at the same time. Maybe 6 months to a year.
The fact that his support just isn’t there is what is upsetting me the most.
Hi Summer Rose,
Thank you so much, this is a great idea. I was thinking of doing something along those lines.
It does sadden me though that I should even have to put it all in writing in the first place though.
I know it saddens you and I understand why. It seems a no- brainer for you to leave work, and your husband's reaction to you suggesting leaving work seems odd. Two things to consider.
First, some people just don't get mental health. It could be that your husband has never experienced a mental health condition and really doesn't understand what you are going through. It might help to try to educate him. I recommend all of the materials on the bb website. Have a look and maybe print some out and ask him to have a read.
Second, it could be that as a new father your husband is feeling a lot of pressure in being the family "provider". Knowing that you have a job might be helping to ease the pressure he is feeling. In other words, he might be scared to be the only one working in case something goes wrong. New dads go through a lot of changes too.
I don't know your husband, just speaking from my experience.
Just putting my view in here, and showing you that I care and will listen to what you have to say.
To me (like what Croix says) its a matter of priority, and first and foremost in anything comes family over work, as work can be changed and altered to suit you, where family cant. I would suggest always look at what your childs needs are first, because that is how our family court systems work, they will always act in the best interests of the child (something I am a strong believer of and something I know far too well in the system from experience and research). Even if this is not in line with what your husband agrees with, the courts will rule that way, so I believe you and your husband should take the same approach.
Can I ask if everything else is ok with your husband apart from this issue? it would help us get a better picture of the situation, for example if he is being more of a narcissist or merely someone that is worried about a future falling apart. The help here can be more "tailored" to your needs, and appropriate help can be suggested (example, if your husband is more the bullying type, maybe looking at solving that issue, may solve the issue of work, as well as other issues, but if he is more the worried type, maybe a more gentle "parenting" style of mediation could help better).
Either case, I think your husband has to learn that family is far more important (from what it seems so far),
I hope my input helps
Thanks again Summer Rose,
I appreciate your knowledge and advice. I am having the chat with him tonight. Hopefully we can resolve some things.
Wish me luck.