(Closed) Teacher on summer break, husband super critical

posted 8 years ago in Married Life
Post # 46
Member
3797 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

Can I add: I also feel like this constant questioning of “summers off!” is part of the reason teachers aren’t treated as professionals by many people. We, like other careers, work a lot and most teachers, like most other professionals, throw themselves into their careers. 

Post # 47
Member
434 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

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pinkshoes:  Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think giving your significant other a “to-do” list is okay unless they ask for one or you’re going out of town and have certain things that MUST be done when you’re gone (eg. ‘Go drop off our power bill’ or ‘Make sure you water the plants’). Most teachers do work over the summer, even if they don’t tutor like the OP or teach summer school like PPs. Summer is full of lesson planning, professional development (meetings, conferences, conventions, classes), working in your classroom, redoing curriculum because the standards have changed yet again, looking over the IEPs of students you’re going to have next year, randomly showing up at the school to help do things like clean or paint or move, shopping for next year’s supplies… Yeah, there’s time to relax and do nothing, as long as you don’t teach summer school and you’re not a member of a leadership team or a department chair. But the idea that teachers get the whole summer off because school isn’t in session is just plain not true.

Post # 48
Member
434 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

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MakingHerWait:  Does your Fiance give you that list or do you make it together? Because if you and your Fiance sit down together and you discuss the things that you need to get done for your job during those vacations days, and then you pick out the projects that important to get done in the house, that’s one thing. But if you need to work on a project that takes two hours a day and meet with Fred and Jill to work on a collaboration and go to a conference, and she just says “Well you’re on vacation so here’s your list. Make sure it gets done, lazy ass” then that’s something completely different. And it sounds like the latter is what’s happening to the OP.

There’s a big difference between saying to your SO “Hey look, you’ve got some time off, and XYZ projects need doing. Can you take of those things? Z isn’t as important, but X really needs to be done.” and saying “Well since you’re not doing anything productive, do XYZ and call me when you’re done with Z because I might think of something else.”

And I wouldn’t argue that teaching is inherently harder than all jobs that work year-round. I wouldn’t be a nurse or surgeon or a social worker for any money, because what they do is so hard and there are no breaks. You’re right that being passionate about your work means working long hours and doing professional development on your own time no matter the field. But so many professionals assume that all teachers sit on the couch watching TV all summer, and most really don’t.

Post # 49
Member
256 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I think your husband’s attitude with the chore list and the check-ins is overbearing and ridiculous. He needs to stop that.

That being said, I’m with the non-teachers who find it hard to swallow teachers being entitled to summers off. Most American adults work excessive hours – I don’t know anyone who actually clocks “only” 40 hours a week, and many people put in a lot of unpaid overtime throughout the year. I have worked as a social worker and therapist for the last 8 years and for the vast majority of that time, earned well under what teachers with less education and career experience made in their first 5 years as teachers. To add insult to injury, we often either don’t have benefits or they are utterly pathetic. Vacation time? What’s that? And as for emotional fatigue, I’m sorry but working with foster kids and abuse victims is about as emotionally exhausting as it gets. So sorry, but I don’t feel like teachers have some excessive entitlement to vacation time that trumps other fields with equally if not more emotionally draining work.

I agree with the PP who said Americans have an unhealthy relationship with working – I think we could all stand to work less and balance work/personal life better. But the teachers need to be realistic to understand that just because you work hard doesn’t mean other people don’t, and that your hard work is not necessarily more important or more deserving of time off to recharge than others. There are a lot of us out there working incredibly hard jobs who don’t get summers off, part-time summers, or time for professional development courses.

Post # 50
Member
84 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

This would make me really angry.  Are you planning on having children someday, OP?  If so, I bet he will not think any time you take off to care for your babies is “real work”, either.  

My SO and I have had many “changes” where one of us made a lot more money, or got up earlier, or otherwise pulled more weight at that point in time.  I was unemployed for a while and it must have sucked to see me sleep in (though I always offered to get up at the same time!)  But now my job makes me get up earlier!  Anyway, it’s a partnership and we know that. 

How many hours a week does he work?  Would it be helpful to actually show him that you’re not just at “work” from 8-4 or whatever during the year… you come home and still do more work?  

Post # 51
Member
171 posts
Blushing bee

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Nostawyn:  She gives me a list, I may add to it, or discuss with her what I will/won’t be able to get done, but she puts a list together and we go from there. I can see the original poster’s frustration with just being handed a list, but she did not comment on what if any discussion she had with her husband after that. For example, I hate painting, my Fiance doesn’t mind it, one of the tasks on her last list was to build and paint shelves for the corner. I offered to build them, then do the laundry (she typically does the laundry) if she would paint instead. I imagine in any healthey relationship this kind of negotiation should be easy. I don’t have conferences or PD when I am on vacation. But I do consult on the side, and that work doesn’t go away when I have vacations from my full time job, so it isn’t uncommon for me to schedule a conference call inbetween power washing the deck and cleaning the carpets.

I just don’t get the point of relaxing during the day while my Fiance is at work. If I have time off then why not do the chores and projects that we would need to do on nights and weekends while she is at work instead, then BOTH of us can relax at night or on the weekends. The way I see it is that if we have 60 hours worth of house work to do, and Fiance has 40 hours to put in at work then we have 100 hours of work to do that week, if she is putting in 40 hours at her job, then I should put in 40 hours at home, we can split the last 20 and have time to spend together when we get done.

Post # 52
Member
2294 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Wow, this thread makes me really sad.

OP: no matter what the situation is, it’s is incredibly degrading and inappropriate for your DH to give you a list and demand you “check in” on when those tasks are completed. The fact that your DH has the gaul to do that speaks volumes on how he views you.

I can understand that maybe he is a little bothered by the fact that he has no set “vacation” like you do, but that is life. He chose his career (what does he do anyway?) and you chose yours. Each profession has it’s own downfalls and perks, and those things shouldn’t be used against people. Like it was pointed out, you’re not actually laying around eating bon-bons. Sure, you may not be in the class teaching, but you have curriculum prep, tutouring and household tasks to keep you busy.

I am really shocked at a lot of the responses on this thread.

Whatever happened to people being happy for their spouses? I work a 8:30-4:30 job, 5 days a week. I rarely get to come home early.

My DH has his own business and works many hours. If he wants to take time off, he gets to make that call. I think it’s awesome. He takes time off to hunt, bike, whatever. I am never resentful towards him, ever. I am happy for him. When he works, he works hard, and one of the “perks” of his job is that he can make his own schedule. I SURE AS HELL do not give him a honey do list or make snide remarks. Why are people always so miserable to one another?!

The other thing I don’t get on this thread is how there is so much negativity towards teachers. Why the resentment? I honestly don’t think many people truly grasp how much work goes on outside of the classroom, how much crap teachers deal with, the politics of the job (at least in Canada). I have such respect for teachers, and many other professions…but there is such a tendancy for people to jump all over every aspect of what teachers do, without hesitation.

Post # 53
Member
1332 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I’m a teacher and my husband is a doctor, so we’ve had discussions much like you’ve had, except my husband was respectful towards me.  He is jealous that I get to stay home all the time, but we communicate about it.  We have always had an agreement that whoever is less busy, does the housework.  When he was in med school and I was in my first year of teaching, there were a few months where he was less busy and he did all the cooking and cleaning.  Well, now that I’m on break and he’s in residency, I do 100% of the cleaning and dog care (he still cooks, I really hate cooking lol), as well as whatever else needs to happen (I just took the car in to get its service, for example).  The thing is, though, he NEVER has left me a chore list!  He will say, “I need to do this, can you help me with it?” in a very respectful way.  He knows I’m not his maid and always thanks me when I clean or run an errand for him.  I think THAT’s the difference.  Respect and gratitude.  

Also, to be honest, even though we don’t officially work over the summer, there’s still work to be done!  I’ve spent probably 4 hours a day every day this week working.  Now, I realize it’s not anywhere near full time, but I’m actually NOT getting paid right now to work.  Almost every teacher I know still lesson plans and works over the summer.  

Another thing that I explain to my husband is that being a teacher is unlike many other jobs.  When we are at work, we are ON.  We are being watched by 20-40 sets of eyes AT ALL TIMES.  There is no relaxing, no down time (well, except our preps and those are jam packed with grading, phone calls, meetings, etc.), and we often work 10-12 hour days like that.  Also, I don’t know about you, but I work 10-12 hours a day, SIX days a week during the school year.

My advice is to have a conversation with your husband.  Explain what you do during the day.  If you are working on lesson plans, let him know.  If you are running errands and doing chores that you never have time to do during the school year, let him know.  Good luck!

Post # 54
Member
1811 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

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Ms.GoodEarth:  +100000! I don’t think anyone grasps the concept of (34 in my case) sets of eyes on you, calling your name repeatedly until you answer, needing you for everything, at all times. Most of my friends in other fields can work at their desks and listen to music, or shut their office door…that literally does not happen ever in a teacher’s life. During my morning prep I try to shut my classroom door and literally have a handful of 16 year olds knocking within seconds, calling my name. Yes, it’s adorable, yes I love them more than anything, but it adds a component to a job that most don’t have. Like you said, there are perks and benefits to every career, but most people underestimate the feeling of having 34 teenagers (in my case) needing you for every single breath of air they take 😉

Post # 55
Member
572 posts
Busy bee

See, I’d love it if my partner got the summer off, because then he’d take over all the cleaning and cooking and I could RELAX when I got home instead of doing chores after working all day.  Are you doing the vast majority of the cooking and cleaning?  Cause sorry, but you should be if he’s working and you’e not.  I’m not saying you need to be scrubbing the toilet every day and making gourmet meals from scratch, just basic picking things up and throwing a meal together for dinner and the once a week stuff like vaccuming etc.  I agree you should use your time off to relax, but if you stay on it, it really can’t take more than a couple of hours day unless you have kids or live in a mansion.  And that way he’ll see how your time off benefits him as well! 

I had a month off before I started my summer job last year and my SO worked full time.  He made a couple comments like that too until I completely took over the housework.  I wasn’t slaving away all day, just enough to keep things clean, maybe 2-3 hours a day?  Then I’D be the one making comments.  “Boy it’s sure nice to come home to a clean house isn’t it?”  “Isn’t that dinner delicious?  Don’t worry about the dishes baby, I’ll take care of it, you just go relax.  Isn’t it nice to have such an awesome girlfriend who takes care of you?”  Guarentee the comments will stop when he realizes how awesome it is to have someone take care of the house so you don’t have to.

Post # 56
Member
5708 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

DH is a teacher, and he still works during the summer. While I think your husband is being an ass about the way he’s going about this, I don’t think he would be out of line asking you to do things around the house.

Post # 57
Member
204 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

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dontstopbeelievin:  I think you need to explain to him that just because you are on break you are not all of the sudden supposed to report to him what you’ve done around the house. You’re not the maid. Maybe put the list on the fridge and he can check things off too.

Sit him down and explain how draining teaching is and that it’s not some cushy 8-3 job that doesn’t follow you home. He needs to stop judging the fact that you have summers off. I personally can’t enjoy the summers until about two weeks in when I’ve mentally unwound and even still there are a million things to do in adult life.

My fiancé gets to stay several months at a time very often in tropical locations for his job. We joke and I say “what a rough life!” but I drop it after that. Because he’s working really hard. I don’t lord it over him and say “but you never take ME to the beach.”

He needs to understand that guilt cannot be a facet of your relationship. He needs to be more sympathetic and stop treating you like a child.

Post # 58
Member
12340 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

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bowsergirl:  Tutoring is not a full time job so it still points to the fact that there would be a lot of free time.  And I can’t exactly infere that what else she is doing or assume that she prepping for next year.  If one needs to relax during their summers off, I would believe they are not taking on the work load of a full time job during this time off.  You’re jumping to your own conclusions a bit here, I don’t know where you got the idea that I dont respect the teaching field, all I said was that a summer off is a lot of free time, one that most other professions dont have the luxury of getting.

Post # 59
Member
3797 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

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urchin:  I agree with you 100% and you said it better than I what I had typed. I could go on and on about this, but it wouldn’t do any good, as so many people have such an amazingly wrong view of what teaching actually consists of (I’m a U.S. Bee). It’s these types of attitudes towards teachers that then filter into our thought process as a society that then leads further into our education system being seen by people as terrible. That type of thinking offends me. I work my ass off to do my best to help students learn and master skills that will be useful their entire lives. I’m sorry some think that’s so trivial. One colleague put it best- just because you went to school once doesn’t mean you understand one thing about teaching. 

Post # 60
Member
290 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Knowing the roles of a teacher, this drives me crazy for you. Teachers have no time off. When they come home from work, the job never ends. More can always be done. SO many people do not realize this. The job would be impossible without some sort of break/summer, but even then there is still work to be done but all teachers need a break for their sanity!! I’m sorry darling. I hope it gets figured out. Can’t give you advice because I don’t have a similar situation but I hope you get this figured out and I empathize with you because a teacher’s job is so well worth it but it ain’t easy!

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