Tuesday, 26 February 2013


In the long years when I was trying to conceive, my husband and I agreed that, after the battle was won, we'd move out of the city, to somewhere where we could buy a house with a garden, the Boy could safely play outside, and there was a good school.

I mean, it's not exactly an unusual ask.

When I actually got pregnant, I was working part time, in a job that effectively ties me to where we stay now (odd hours, including evenings and weekends, among other reasons). My husband had a part time job and some freelance work.

After I had the Boy, I went on maternity leave, and my husband lost his part time job. They were fairly hard financial times.

My husband had around three months of freelancing. I asked him a few times if he could build up his business and do it full time, but he still wanted a part time job. One of his mates offered him something - an ok job, but one with no career prospects. He took it, and works between that and his own business.

We agreed that, after Christmas, he would start looking for work elsewhere. I would leave my original job and we would move.

To this end, I took on another part time job, one that I can do from anywhere. I've also taken on some freelancing. I've been gradually picking up projects back at my original part time job, under pressure from my boss to come back. And I do the bulk of the childcare.

My situation is better, as I do really feel like I'm preparing to leave my original job, and that we'll be in reasonable financial shape when we take the plunge.

The problem is that my husband just hasn't bothered to look for anything. He refuses to tell me what sort of job he's interested in. He rejects any suggestions I make. He won't countenance any suggestions that he cut back his hours with his part time job and build up his freelancing, even though he'd rather work for himself than anyone else. He doesn't want to commute. He had agreed to phone up about a job that was in a location near my family, where we'd have free childcare, but then decided he didn't fit the job description properly, so isn't going to bother.

We're two months into the New Year and he hasn't applied for anything.I think he's maybe set up some automatic searches on job sites, and that's about it.

He said last week that we'd had a lot of upheaval over the past couple of years and maybe we should have agreed to move later. Fair enough. But then, I really, really wish he'd said this before I started the process of building up work I can do when we move.

I also can't really leave my old job yet, not unless he gets something more solid, wherever it is we're going to move to.

Meanwhile, I feel like I am running myself into the ground, trying to keep everything going. And feeling increasingly stressed about being back properly at my old job. We've been bickering more and more because I've been feeling so under pressure.

To give you an example, I looked after the Boy from 5.30 to 11.30, starting work at one of my jobs at 8. I juggled looking after the Boy and work until my mother appeared to help out. I finished at around 4.15, and used my lunch hour to do freelancing. Then I looked after the Boy and cooked, and had a hideous evening meeting that lasted an hour. I ended up crawling more or less straight into bed when I got in at 9pm, and then couldn't sleep because I felt so wound up. And then the Boy got up at 1am...

After a weekend of arguing, and finally me e-mailing him to try and get across that I cannot keep on looking after the Boy, trying to build a business, and do two other jobs, my husband has found one fucking job to apply for. One. In two months. And he hasn't actually filled in the form yet, or decided whether he wants to do it full time or apply for jobshare.

He mutters about how he has saved time by going up to the supermarket by himself (I actually quite enjoy us all going, and the Boy likes it too), or by getting up early in the morning, or about how he's going to let out a property he inherited (another argument simmering away - it's too far away for him to refurbish by himself, too small for us to move to, he's liable for tax on it while it's uninhabited, and anyway, I feel really uncomfortable about him holding an empty flat when so many people struggle for a roof over their heads. He won't sell it either).

To be fair, he does work really hard for his employer, and his existing clients. But not, apparently, at things that are going to change the situation we're in.

I know we're not in a terrible position. There are people without babies, without work. Single parents who have to work all hours to make the ends meet without someone sharing the bills. Disabled people about to get into debt because of benefit cuts. And people in other countries, and so on. I know we're lucky.

But I do feel a bit pissed off about it all.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm. I feel for you.

    Can you divvy up the household chores so that he takes a much MUCH greater load, and starts thinking that maybe working is a better idea?

    And perhaps he's feeling very insecure. Nervous about rejection. I know that can be a big barrier to going out trying to find opportunities.