Division of labor is one of the biggest conflict points between parents, and with the pandemic keeping many people at home, the tension has only gotten greater for many couples.
A guy on Reddit got into one of these fights with his wife, who is a stay-at-home mother, when their children fell months behind in their virtual schoolwork. He wasn’t sure about how he handled the situation, so he went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for some input.
His post has since been removed, but before its deletion, the Original Poster (OP) asked:
“My (34m[ale]) wife (36f[emale]) and I have two children ages 12 and 14. The children have been going to virtual school this year because of the lockdown and pandemic. I work 7-3:30 everyday M-F and my wife stays at home.”
“The first 9 weeks ended with my daughter being so behind in her classes that I spent 3 days off work to help her get caught up. My son had done none of his work. They were both telling my wife that they had completed their work each day and then going off to play. I let my wife know that she needed to play an active role in make no sure they were doing class work/homework because I’m at work during school hours and can’t be there to assist.”
“I was able to get both kids caught up (tons of time spent assisting with multiple classes) and they passed the first semester, my daughter barely. Last night my daughter texts me as I’m laying in bed and tells me that she’s having issues with math and needs help. My wife was awake and sitting at the dining room table talking to her sister at the time.”
“I got up and helped my daughter and at the end of her assignment, even though she got everything correct, she received a 0%. I asked her when the assignment was due and she told me January 31st. I asked why the hell she didn’t do it sooner, and was informed that she was struggling with it and her mother was sleeping on the couch during school hours instead of helping them.”
“I have asked my wife, who I assumed would be an adult and attempt to help our children excel, if the kids have been completing their work nearly every day and she has told me yes and assured me that she is checking.”
“Both my children are MONTHS behind on schoolwork (yes I’m aware this is partially their fault and also mine for not checking up sooner) and their year ends in 2 days. My wife, when confronted about this last night, wanted to blame the school and instructors for not doing a better job an defer fault to everyone other than herself, including me.”
“I told her that she needed to grow the fu*k up and act like an adult and informed her that if our children fail this year it’s on her. This pissed her off and she and her sister both told me I’m being an a**hole.”
“I feel like I may be an a**hole simply because I could have checked up on the kids too, however I was trusting that my wife, the adult in charge during school hours, was actually being an adult.”
People on Reddit were then asked to judge who was at fault in this scenario based on the following categories:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
And they found this to be a really tough one.
“Hoo boy. This is an ESH or no a**holes, except maybe [the virus].”
“Managing virtual school is HARD. There is a reason I never considered teaching as a profession. I SUCK at it, and all I’m doing is supporting their actual teachers. (I do work full time as well but even if I weren’t, I’d still suck at supporting virtual school).”
“She’s sleeping on the couch. How is your wife coping? Is she depressed? Does she have mental health issues at all? Is she normally an involved parent?”
“Are your kids lying? That math assignment was due in January. Did she continually seek out your wife for help just the one time? Is your wife always sleeping and unavailable?”
“Have the teachers reached out at all? Have there been zero communications from the school about where the kids stand?”
“It’s a tiny bit unfair that you are blaming only your wife for this situation. Your kids aren’t that young and lied to her the first semester. The teachers either aren’t communicating or both you and your wife aren’t getting the message.”
“Basically. This entire year has been one big crap sandwich for everyone. Parents. Kids. Teachers.” —ebwoods1
“Yes, the kids are lying both to dad and mom. The wife is lying that she double checked. The comments and a re-read of the post sounds like these kids have been having issues with completing schoolwork for years, even since before [the virus], which indicates they need some more special attention with the transition to school, and is also a reflection of poor parenting that didn’t just start because of [the virus] (but probably intensified during).”
“Husband and wife agreed wife would be the one to stay on top of things. Instead, she sleeps during the day and lies to her husband about completing her duties as a mother. It sounds like there is a much, much deeper issue at hand in this family that probably requires professional attention at this point.” —eveningjellyfish1
“NTA – if my girlfriend told me she did something, I would trust that it’s done. Both kids and wife were lying. Stuff wasn’t done, why feel the need to check when your being told something is done?” —unfitforreality
“OP is YTA – for your choice of language. Being frustrated and expressing disappointment is very different than swearing and saying ‘grow up’. Have you even talked with her all year about how she is handling being stuck at home 24/7 during a pandemic with two kids?”
“That isn’t easier than working – I know because I work and get to see people and it is actually better than when we were staying home for long stretches…” —jeanakerr
Hopefully this family can figure out a better way to manage things going forward.