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going back to work after having babies.

(41 Posts)
Fennel Sun 06-Sep-20 18:01:36

I've been following this series on tv and got up to the 70s -
Reminds me so much of my struggles to combine work with motherhood.
I'm not that keen on Giles Coren, but identify with the mother in the kitchen. Especially when the time came to go back to work.
I went back to work in '66, when I was pregnant with my youngest of 3. And mostly after that until 1991 when I was lucky enough to get an early retirement deal.
Looking back, I think this was the main reason for the problems with my ex, the father of my children. He couldn't cope with me seeming to be in competition with him. He wasn't basically a bad man.
Have things changed much since then? Do husbands still resent their wives working and bringing in the family income?

Mistyfluff8 Sun 13-Sep-20 19:13:09

I went back to work as a Midwife when my first child was 10 months old in 1977 .Mortgages were sky high .My in laws expected me to stay at home and according to my father in law women only went to work for pin money .I was fuming as I earnt more than his son for the rest of my life .He wouldn’t even heat a can of soup up and expected his wife to rush home at lunchtime from work to get him food .He never changed with the times .He even said why do you want a girl to go to university they will only get married and stay at home .Luckily she has got a mega well paid job Helpful husband who does over half the chores and 2lovely children soon to be joined by a puppy

sodapop Wed 09-Sep-20 17:19:48

My ex husband was notoriously mean so he was only too happy to get me back to work as soon as possible. To be fair I loved my job, we were both nurses so he worked Mon -Fri and I worked weekends. Shared chores and child care.

Fennel Wed 09-Sep-20 15:50:35

" I came up against a solid brick wall of jealous resentment."
This is similar to my experience. 1960s.
Eventually we divorced and both remarried.
My present husband was only too glad that I was working and bringing in a regular wage, as his business had many ups and downs. Both retired now.

sparklingsilver28 Wed 09-Sep-20 15:16:38

Early 1960 and recently married, I was offered an ideal job and many opportunities to progress and travel overseas on organisational affairs. And when I came up against a solid brick wall of jealous resentment. Whatever arrangements needed to be made, it was always down to me, and if struggling with a solution the response “well you do not have to work”. One day my boss said to me “you know you have a long way to go in this organisation, but you have to get rid of the encumbrance”. I thought I had hidden the difficulties well, but with his remark knew he had understood the problem. I did not get rid of the encumbrance and after 45 years, I still cannot forgive my late husband for standing in the way of my professional life.

hollysteers Wed 09-Sep-20 14:32:46

My husband was quite a bit older (early 1970s) and very well established professionally so I am glad I was able to bring the children up myself whilst keeping a toe in my insecure arts job. When I did work, one local wife said “Will your husband let you?”😳
A great father, bless him, he still believed in women’s work and the meal on the table every night...

PennyWhistle Tue 08-Sep-20 09:46:23

My own experience: before we got married, I told DH-to be that I would never be a housewife, and that I wanted a career. He was fine with this. When he/we decided to try for a baby, he volunteered to be a house husband. For us it worked brilliantly, (apart from the Victorian attitudes of several other mothers at that time). He looked after the home and our babies. I worked, paid the bills and made sure we earned enough to keep the home and family together.

Having time off for our second baby was a challenge as there was no money coming in during my time off. So I had to go back to work within weeks of her birth. But he brought her to see me every lunch time so I did not feel left out smile

Now we have both just retired, and I am the one who is struggling to work out how the washing machine works, to remember to change the sheets etc. Between us we work things out - as a team. So to answer the OP question - he has certainly never resented me working, and whatever money my career has brought belongs to us both, jointly. It is our money - not mine or his. I just happen to be the one who earned it whilst he looked after me.

Juicylucy Mon 07-Sep-20 21:16:43

I’d say things have drastically changed hence nurseries full of babies/ toddlers grans and grandpas doing there fair share of child care all in the name of both parents working. In my area with my friends neighbours and own family predominately both parents work full time.

Iam64 Mon 07-Sep-20 20:04:27

ChrisO - what's in it for you?

Chris0 Mon 07-Sep-20 19:25:50

My husband was happy for me to work part time and have pin money as long as I still cooked and cleaned etc. He would not lift a finger. Now he has found out I have a bit of savings he has gone mad and says I have ripped him off and stolen his money. He now will not pay for any repairs unless we have a big row about it. One of the windows is not working properly but he says it opens and closes so he isn't doing anything about it until it breaks completely. If I don't like it pay for it myself

Harris27 Mon 07-Sep-20 19:16:56

I have a hard working husband who did well in the early years. However due to job changes and getting older and finding himself in lower paid work he has realised now that my ‘ little job’ which has now gone full time is helping enormously and keeping us going. He doesn’t say much neither do I but he knows I’m doing my bit and will have to for a long time to come! Loved this thread.

Callistemon Mon 07-Sep-20 19:14:32

Me too I meant I was laughing too 🤣🤣🤣

Callistemon Mon 07-Sep-20 19:13:57

All men are different but I think today they still expect a well kept house, food on the table, clean and tidy kids, sex on tap and a partner earning a wage too
Me too
I was quite surprised, though, when DH and I got married, that he didn't clean the oven every week. And if I left my shoes out to be cleaned, they were still dirty the next day!
My dear Dad did.

DH does do his fair share.
And cleans my shoes now.

Chewbacca Mon 07-Sep-20 19:07:12

All men are different but I think today they still expect a well kept house, food on the table, clean and tidy kids, sex on tap and a partner earning a wage too.

No idea who wrote this but it's given me the best laugh I've had all day! grin

Scentia Mon 07-Sep-20 18:59:52

My goodness, I wish my DH resented me working and bringing in money. 😂. Apart from maternity leave I have NEVER been without work and I have done a plethora of jobs over the last 35 years.

agnurse Mon 07-Sep-20 18:56:04

I earn more than Hubby does - substantially more. But it doesn't bother him. Hubby has autism and so there are limits on what he can do. He works as a night security guard. I teach post-secondary. Hubby has always been incredibly supportive of my career. He proudly attended my master's degree convocation.

M0nica Mon 07-Sep-20 16:57:00

Both DH and I had working mothers. My going back to work and resuming a successful career was never an issue

I grew up in a home where if my mother were doing any housework when my father was home, he was helping her. I never saw my father sitting down relaxing while my mother was doing anything around the house.

All men are different but I think today they still expect a well kept house, food on the table, clean and tidy kids, sex on tap and a partner earning a wage too.

I have never met any men like this.

DH helped all he could but his work took him away from home a lot, often at short notice, and for unpredictable lengths of time, but I knew that when I married him. He nearly missed the wedding because he was stuck offshore in a tanker and they could not get into port.

Callistemon Mon 07-Sep-20 16:52:25

Maybe that's where the grandparents came in, Callistemon.

That was my point, though. We did not have family ie grandparents nearby and in fact, I didn't know of any grandparents who did the childcare on any permanent basis.

Families have always moved around - we think they didn't but in fact old censuses show us a different picture.

Fennel Mon 07-Sep-20 16:47:58

Maybe that's where the grandparents came in, Callistemon.
Before familes started to move around the country and the globe we depended a lot more on the extended family.
In my case we were living in Singapore and had live-in help.
I tried to keep up the breast feeding by dashing home every few hours.

Callistemon Mon 07-Sep-20 14:36:13

Most worked in offices or factories and were back at work within months if not quicker I think 6 weeks was the norm.

I'm curious - who did the childcare?
There were few, if any, nurseries when my DC were babies and pre-school and many young parents did not have any family near by to help. Indeed, many had OH who worked away too.

Marjgran Mon 07-Sep-20 14:35:25

The reverse, in my AC lives partners more likely to resent a non working partner helping with the bills...

Romola Mon 07-Sep-20 13:36:23

I went back to work when the children went to school. It was just as well I had a decent job in the 80s as my DH lost two jobs within 5 years and our DS and DD were teenagers. Eventually he started his own business which did well, but to begin with I was the only breadwinner, taking on extra hours and we also had a foreign student lodger.
Not an easy time, but it sort of increased the respect I got from the rest of the family.
My DD would love to stay at home with her children, and almost resents being so super-educated that she feels she has to use it!

grandtanteJE65 Mon 07-Sep-20 12:39:04

I think that our children's generation are inclined to respect each other's right to work, but amongst our grandchildren's the pendulum seems to be swinging back.

Young men, from the time they start working, quite often do resent their girl-friends working, especially if the girls earn more than they do.

Some young women are staying at home while their children are small, which is fine if this is what they really want to do and feel is best for their children. Unfortunately, no money goes into their pension funds while they are housewives and mothers and they have no income.

Getting back into employment later on will be hard.

Violence in the home seems to be on the increase too. Most of the victims are women, which doesn't make me feel confident that women are respected greatly in the over all scheme of things.

WeeMadArthur Mon 07-Sep-20 12:21:54

All men are different but I think today they still expect a well kept house, food on the table, clean and tidy kids, sex on tap and a partner earning a wage too. And that is more of a struggle for women as they have all the wifework of remembering birthdays, sorting out all school stuff etc on top of a day job. My DH is oblivious of most school stuff even though he gets a email like me as he assumes ( correctly) that I’m dealing with it. He has no idea what days DS has to wear PE kit, when homework is handed in, what days he has school dinners ( or how they are paid for) or what goes in a lunchbox ( indeed one rare Friday when I was away for a friends 50th he picked our son up from school and just dumped all the bags in the living room) They were still there two days later when I got back, including the packed lunch with the milkshake in it! Never occurred to him to clean anything, or check for homework). His attitude to anythig work related seems to be “that’ll do”. Most men should count themselves lucky that most women are picking up a lot of slack to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Sheilasue Mon 07-Sep-20 11:57:39

I went back to work as an evening office cleaner when my children were young my dh used to look after the children as they were not quite school age, in the 60s 70s you had children and stayed at home till they went to school.
Once mine started school I was offered a job as a Meal supervisor/TA at their school, which worked out well for holidays. I had to work my husband didn’t earn a fantastic wage and I have always liked to earn my own money.It was never a problem for us. We needed the money.

paddyanne Mon 07-Sep-20 11:45:56

A difference in attitudes came from a friend who canvasses for the SNP ,he has done this since Winnie Ewing stood for Hmilton in 1967 .He says that back then when a woman answered the door and he said what party he represented the usual amswer was " sorry son I'd like to support Winnie but my man says I've got to vote Labour" I dont know any woman who would do that nowadays .