paying for bills looking after children / sharing responsibility with partner dad needs help!

Spidee - posted on 03/04/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I live with my partner. We have two boys. I'm fed-up. For the last 5 year i have looked after our boys while she works. I'm a professional man who up until now has made a lot of money working hard. I have an investment that returns me a wage without needing to work. However i realize that sooner or later that will end and I will need to invest a lot of time finding a new source of income. So for the last 4 years I have had to work right through the night doing just that. During the day I take care of both my boys (3,5) My partner goes off to work at 10-30 and then i get the boys fed, washed into the car and off to school (they start at 1) they have a lot of holidays and can often be sick so i have them all day. I do the household shopping and a lot of house chores. At 4 i have to leave to get them from school bring them home, give them a snack and keep them jolly. My partner comes home around 6. On Saturdays i have the eldest one all day while my partner takes the youngest to her work. Often when she goes out she will leave the eldest with me. Since we have two she struggles with the task of taking them both out together ( i find this strange )
My partner complains a lot about money. And insists I pay for half of all our bills. And a lot more. My partner offers me know support. She feels it is no big deal that 6 days of the week I am a full time dad with little more than a few hours in the day to work on making a living. She is happy to sleep while I work. And work while I take care of our family. Their have been many days weeks and months where I would work right through the night till 7AM. Sleep for 3 hours and then take care of our children. She says nothing offers nothing. If I ask her to help it causes huge arguments. I can honestly say that in 5 years i have looked after our family every day. Had them when sick, had them during holidays. She has had no more than 2-3 days off work in 5 years to do the same - and that is being over-fair. She argues that the situation is fair.
If im honest and perhaps unless i'm mad i need to be. Our relationship is awful. I feel abused used and completely un-appreciated. I love my boys and I know im blessed to spend so much time with them. I also know that if i stand my ground it will result in me having to leave. And that means i wont see the boys perhaps as much even though I have no idea how she will manage. Or worse she will just use me as a child carer so she can do what she needs to do. I guess that means their is little point leaving.
Am i being an ASS? i have had many good relationships. My last one lasted 20 years and i raised two wonderful boys 20, 19. I constantly talk to myself and feel like I'm going mad.

I want to know what people think. I feel i have been truthful. I even keep a diary to log what I do what she does so when she makes excuses at least i can be real to myself.

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Spidee - posted on 03/05/2013

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In the mornings she and the boys wake around 8:30 to 9. I wake around the same time depending on how late i worked. But generally when they wake I wake. I make coffee have breakfast (this is what i call neutral shared time) some days she needs to go out pay bills do errands and i have the eldest boy as he likes to stay home with me. So i see it that in the mornings while i fritter from my desk I'm listening tending to the boys. Daddy can you put Mario on this kind of stuff. You can't ignore your kids - at least I can't. She see's that in the mornings she has them. I think this is unfair; From 10:30 i have them on my own. Until 6. They go to school. But i have a solid comitment. Day in day out. Boys at 10:30 Shower. Dress. Feed. Pack bags. Pack lunch. Buy petrol. get the, to school. Bring them home when its closed. Have them when they are sick. She does not say to me "oh ill have Leo today you had him last time" She just lets me do it all. She walks in at 6. They finished school at 5. And by then they had a snack, clothes are off. And they are playing. Bedtime should be an hour off. And again Daddy I want my game. Shared time. I fit my work in when they are in bed. Or she is in bed. Is this fair.
No i think not. Bad dads are good-time dads. Show up Saturday when they done all they need to do. I sacrifice my health, my sleep and worse my dreams so every day they have a parent at the responsible moments. That is priceless.
She thinks we share them.
Sadly she has brain washed me and completely turned me into a Man that is used as a child carer and a taxi driver.
Worse sometimes when her work is 7 days. I do it Sundays too.

[deleted account]

No, you are NOT being an Ass, she is.

I have an investment that pays me as well, so that I get to stay home. Like you, I will probably need another income again one day, but we can do well on just dh's income so it's not a priority and I'm not working on it right now. I did work from home in the past, though, so I know a little about what you are going through.

When we work at home, people think we can just work all day while still watching the kids, which is simply NOT reality. I can't get anything done with my son home with me--and I only have ONE!!

My husband and I have a joint account--all the money that comes into the house goes into it. From there, all the bills are paid, groceries bought, ect. and we both get equal amounts of spending money for "selfish things" like morning coffee, lunches out with friends, new clothes, etc. It is split right down the middle because I take care of our son and the house, and he takes care of working outside the home. My income is nowhere near his income, so "technically" he does pay for most everything, but because it's all together, and I get an equal share, it works for us.

If we were separate, the way you guys are, I would simply tell her "look, we both work 8 hours a day. You want me to pay for half of everything, you need to be doing half the housework and child care duties as well. It is not fair for me to work 8 hours and do all of the housework and childcare, while you only have to work 8 hours. If you want me to take over sole responsibility for the household and childcare, I will, but that leaves the financial burden on your shoulders. I'm not doing both unless you are."

That's the only way to make it fair. You could try counselling with her--maybe hearing it from an outside source would make her see it more clearly?

I agree, there's not much in it for you leaving. You would see the kids less, and I know that's not what you want, and being that you are the father, there is added risk of loosing them if she chooses to keep them from you. IF you could agree to it, I have friends who have a custodial arrangement where each parent has the kid an equal amount of time. One couple divides their week by days (you have to consider school time for this one though--they each get a weekend day and 2 weekdays, they swap kids on Wednesday at practice and Saturday evening at dinner), another couple divides the year by weeks--2 weeks with mom/2 weeks with dad, and so on. That could be an option if you can't find a happy medium.

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