This is a spinoff from the thread about feminism and women's international day.
I would like to ask what is the work/home arrangement between you and your partner and was it a choice ?
For example both dh and I work. I was working part time for a while after having kids but went back full time. Dh is more ambitious than I am. He earns more money but also likes the challenge and wants to take on more senior roles. Me personally, I don't like the stress. I prefer a job that is less senior and this means also less pay. I see this as a choice though. There is nothing stopping me from going out and trying to get a higher paid and more senior role. I also know quite a lot of people who are similar. Their male partners earn more and they choose to do part time or less stressful jobs and spend more time with the kids. So when I see comparison of how men are in more senior roles and it's because of society or the system I ask is how much of this is a choice and how much is it due to gender inequality.
What is it like in your relationship ?
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09-03-2016 07:38 #1
09-03-2016 08:01 #2
Before we got married we sat down and had many conversation about what we both wanted regarding this issue. So we both knew when we fall pregnant I was going to stay home from than on in. This was our choice. This is what I wanted. This is what he wanted.
24 years later we are still very happy with this decision. There was a time I worked while he studied. It was also mutual decision. We both wanted to go back to me being a long term stay at home mum as soon as he finished his studies and went back to work.
So we have the old fashioned roles and we are happy with that.
09-03-2016 08:11 #3
I was already financially independent when I met DH then we set up our office together it was very much 50/50 and when I fell pregnant he wanted me to stay home as long as I wanted but I was certain I'd be back full time by the time DS was 6 months old, 6 years later I started back full time ( mostly) this year , I am lucky I suppose as he is supportive of anything I chose and yes we could have made more money with me working but we both preferred I stayed home with DS
09-03-2016 09:12 #4
I was the main breadwinner in our marriage for a long time. I was a very ambitious lawyer working my way up the ladder to partnership.
When I became pregnant my job fell apart. I worked my guts out through my pregnancy to the point one barrister commented at 8 months "oh I didn't even know she was expecting" when told I was having some time off shortly.
I was treated appallingly and it was assumed that I was not coming back after the baby / interested in partnership anymore.
I realised while on maternity leave it would be hell returning so I moved firms. My career essentially died at the next place as part time lawyers were largely invisible. I didn't have to be as good as the men i had to be better.
We moved interstate for DH to progress his career and give me a break. It turned out to be the best decision as he's done really well and I also have found a great flexible job that works for the family. But my career is pretty well over otherwise.
So definitely for me I've suffered for my choice of career and being a woman.
Last edited by Sonja; 09-03-2016 at 09:18.
09-03-2016 09:23 #5
I was a public servant when I met my husband. So was not really chasing a career. Just going to work and coming home. After our first I was adamant I would be going back to work. I had been in the workforce for just shy of 10 years before I fell pregnant and I had never taken sick days or holidays (unless forced over Christmas etc). I started working while still at school and all my jobs overlapped and I quite often held 2 jobs for periods of time. I worked up until I fell pregnant with our second which I took most of that pregnancy off (hyperemesis). A redundancy was offered in that time, which I took and I haven't worked since. A discussion actually came up a few days ago about me applying to work where my husband works now and we had a bit of to and fro and basically I decided I wasn't ready to go back. My kids are 6, 4, 3 and 18 months and the 4yo has special needs that are quite demanding at times emotionally and I just didn't feel like I was doing the right thing by myself, my husband or my children by going back. But absolutely my husband would have supported me either way. He likes me staying home, but not because of ego or wanting to be the breadwinner. But because he appreciates everything I do here. He also went out of his way to work out how he could get leave if I took the job and had to go away for training.
Seems like a perfect arrangement to me.
09-03-2016 09:27 #6Senior Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2015
- Northern Beaches
Sonja, depressing but reckon fairly widespread experience for professional women.
I put off children until so late I had to go to extraordinary lengths to get pregnant (many of those having had multiple ivf tries will be in that same boat). I'm now on mat leave and know already I will have uphill struggle to progress when I get back despite all the rhetoric at my work about empowering women. Ho hum
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09-03-2016 09:41 #7Senior Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2013
I'm currently the main breadwinner and have been for probably the last 10 years.
We always said that if we had kids DP would be the one to stay home as I'm more career oriented.
When I had DS I stayed home for 7 months before going back to work full time. DP then worked 3 days a week until DS was 2 and has been back full time for close to a year now. I do wish that I could have stayed home a bit longer but it wasn't to be.
I had DS late and my career was fully established so I haven't suffered any negative effects in my current role although to process any further, I will probably need to move interstate. My work is fairly understanding of the fact that I can't just drop everything and travel at a moments notice.
However, I think that I have created some restrictions on my career myself since DS was born. I've probably stayed in my current role longer than I would have before DS because I know that I've proven myself here (hence I get a lot of flexibility) and the location is extremely convenient to home. That has meant that I feel stagnated a bit but I think this is self imposed.
I'm relatively happy with the decisions we've made although if we could afford it, I'd probably work 4 days a week. I'd have to find a new job to do that and part time roles at my level are non existent.
09-03-2016 10:26 #8
My dh is the sole income earner. This was a mutual choice, as we both think it's important to have a sahp for the first years. The decision for me to be that person was based on the fact that I wasn't eligible for maternity leave and wouldn't have had a job to go back to anyway, whereas he was in a stable, permanent position.
Now, it's not financially viable for me to go back to work yet, whether that be with us both working or switching roles and dh being the sahp.
Once I do re enter the workforce, I'm hoping that the fact I'm still young and that I can fully commit to it (full time, no plan for more children in the future etc) will work in my favour.
09-03-2016 10:42 #9
I work full time and DH is a SAHD. He used to work in banking but it was very stressful for him and he was depressed. He left full time employment and started his own business which was very successful for a few years but due to government regulations, is no longer viable.
He's going to start a financial planning business this year and I'm very happy for him because I think he feels a bit lost and having identity issues, now that both kids are in childcare and one is going to school next year.
I personally wouldn't want to be a full time SAHM or even a part time. I love my job too much and I love engaging with business people and giving advice. I love spending time with my kids too, but I've been a SAHM while on maternity leave before and I was very unhappy.
Last edited by witherwings; 09-03-2016 at 14:41.
09-03-2016 11:17 #10
Currently DH works FT and I am at home. That has been a 100% autonomous decision. Both DH and I have strong feelings on the topic and this is what works best for us. I love being at home, I'm here not bc I feel pressured by society to be the 'nurturer'. Or bc Dh likes to keep me under the thumb (he sniggers at the idea SAHM's are all downtrodden spineless women when discussing me). It's important to note though, that while my choice is 100% choice, many women, both at home and at work it really isn't one. I believe I'm in the minority.
We have been in different roles though. I worked for a long time before kids. When DD was 5 months old I went back to work and DH stayed home as a SAHD.
I was in bottom management (is that the right term?) when I fell pg with my first child. I replaced a man as 2IC who basically was milking the agency and totally did not deserve his position. I was treated like I was given a favour being promoted. When I fell pg I was treated horribly by my male boss. And this was a very female-dominated trade. I know this is digressing somewhat from the OP but we are discussing our role in the work place.
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