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Dad Angers Wife After She Finds Out He’s Been Eating Dinner In His Car To Avoid Her And The Kids

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Parenthood can be stressful, but in a two parent household, at least you have backup.

Maybe.

A father who was feeling the strain turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback after his solution angered his wife.

Redditor Medium_Praline_6455 asked:

“AITA for eating my supper in the car so I can eat in peace without being disturbed by my wife or our kids?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“If you think I am the a**hole after reading this, that’s fine, but I hope people will at least read the whole thing before judging me.”

“I work full time (50-60 hours a week), and my wife is a stay at home parent to our three kids. All are under five.”

“I understand that my wife is exhausted after dealing with three young kids all day Monday through Friday, but I am also exhausted when I get home. Usually she dumps them on me as soon as I walk through the door and takes off the rest of the night.”

“I’m okay with that since I do feel like it’s a fair tradeoff, but this also means that from the moment I come through the door until I go to bed I am on dad duty.”

“This would not be a problem if I had a break between when I get off work and when I get home, but I don’t. As soon as I can leave, I am running out the door of my office and rushing to gets errands done and supper picked up so I can get it home ASAP.”

“The other byproduct of this is that I don’t have time to eat until much later since the kids become my sole focus once I am in the door. Usually it’s only after the kids have gone to bed that I have time to eat, and by that time I am so tired that sometimes I just go to sleep.”

“I have mentioned this to my wife and asked for her to give me 10-15 minutes to eat once I got home and then I would happily take over for the rest of the night. That resulted in her chewing me out and telling me that she’s exhausted and needs me to take over immediately so she can get a break.”

“I felt bad for her, even though part of me feels like she’s being a bit unfair since she expects me to work all day without a real break, so I dropped it and didn’t bring it up to her again.”

“Then one night I decided to just park somewhere and eat. It worked out fine, so I started doing this most nights.”

“I did slip up a little and go over the 10-15 minutes I had allotted, and that led to my wife getting suspicious and wondering why I was getting home later than I used to get home.”

“Eventually she started checking my location and confronted me one day about my ‘affair’. She was convinced that I was cheating on her, so I came clean and admitted what was really happening.”

“She still wasn’t happy and thinks I am still the a**hole for not telling her about what I was doing. I don’t think it was the best idea, but part of me feels like she didn’t give me much of a choice.”

“I really don’t think 10-15 minutes extra to eat is too much to ask considering she has the rest of the night off.”

“I just find it hard to believe I am the a**hole.”

Redditors were asked to pass judgment by voting:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Most Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole.

“NTA I’m a [stay-at-home-mom] (sahm) so I get that your wife is tired. But it’s not fair that she’s the only one getting a break.”

“My husband and I both have days every now and then where we just need to check out at the end of the day and the other takes over, but the majority of the time once he gets home we’re both going until bedtime and split parenting duties so both of us get to relax a little.”

“10-15 minutes when you get home to unwind a bit is asking for very little.” ~ mjay129

“I agree with this. I’m not a stay at home mom but I’m on maternity leave right now and I have 3 kids (almost 4 yr old, 2 year old and 2months old).”

“As soon as my husband comes home we split duties. He’ll hang with the kids while I make dinner  feed the kids first then my husband and I’ll hang with the kids while he eats.”

“Then, I’ll eat and do the dishes while he hangs with the kids. Then, it’s shower time, I’ll take one for shower and I shower, then he takes the other to shower and he’ll shower, baby gets a bath every other day.”

“We all hang out together for a little while longer, brush the kids teeth and go to bed by 9pm.”

“The fact that OP picks up dinner every night shocked me! I read that and I thought, ‘She doesn’t even have to cook or clean the kitchen!? She has it so good’.” ~ Appeeling_Orange_83

“I read so many ATIA pages where people forget that marriage is just a compromise. They only want to make demands and have no interest in finding common ground.”

“It’s kinda sad to see people looking at stuff like taking care of the kids as a ‘his’ or ‘her’ job but rather a team effort. 🙄” ~ Arra13375

“Agreed. I’m also a SAHM and I deal with 90% of the stuff at-home.”

“He takes out the garbage and does the outside work or home repairs (contractor!) And he brings home all the money.”

“I feel it’s fair I do the majority at home.”

“The only thing I ask him to do is take the kids to the park in the evening or go for a walk and I clean the kitchen or have 30-60 mins of quiet time. We don’t do this every night, mainly weather permitting or if we have other things that need to be done.”

“I try to make sure he has his wind down time when he gets in the door, and then the kids hound him for attention. It’s nice and loving and works in our household.” ~ iwasnotoncops007

“NTA. Parenting is 24/7.”

“Earning an income is part of that, but that doesn’t mean your wife gets to check out for the rest of the evening.”

“I think a fair compromise would be you get half an hour after work to eat and get comfortable, and your wife gets a half hour to relax after that.”

“Then y’all both need to be back on the clock as a team until the kids are in bed.” ~ virobacter

“This is the perfect answer. Otherwise one of them gets ‘a break’ and the other is ‘on the clock’ 24/7.”

“They’re both working, just different jobs, and they born deserve an equal amount of off time.” ~ HelloJaneDoe

“NTA, so OP is at work all day then runs errands before going home and then not even given time for a quick dinner before children are fobbed off and she’s out the door.”

“I understand she’s with them all day and unlike other dads that bitch about even looking after their own kids, he is more than happy to take over when he gets home and be with his kids, but Jeez Louise all she has to do is let him even eat a sandwich.” ~ McNabbHl

However a small group thought ESH.

Both the OP and his wife needed to do better.

“But it also never makes sense to me when one partner works out of the home all day, the other partner works in the home all day, and then the out-of-the-house partner has to essentially fulfill a second job all night.”

“If you understand that being a SAHM is a job, which it absolutely is, how is it fair to make the spouse take on that same job as soon as s/he gets home?”

“OP, you and your wife need to consider sharing the responsibilities when you get home. You shouldn’t have to hide to get time to eat, but you also shouldn’t have to do her job all by yourself just because you’re done with your job.”

“Why aren’t you tackling these responsibilities together?” ~ SincerelyCynical

“Yeah, exactly. Both work a full time job already, why is it him then who has to take a whole a** second ‘part-time-job’ to keep the family afloat?”

“What might be valid and what they could do is that maybe the wife gets to do more of the not-children related tasks, if she just simply needs a break from her kids, like grab supper, cook, buy groceries etc…, while OP watches the kids.”

“But doing nothing when your spouse works 24/7 is AH-behaviour.” ~ SenpaiRanjid

“Parenting is a tag team effort once the working parent is home, not just one person’s problem.”

“Everybody parents. Everybody gets breaks.” ~ neobeguine

“I feel like ESH, OP for hiding eating in the car and SAHM for just refusing OP’s request without suggesting something else that could accommodate both.”

“Why not try to eat dinner all together, or alternate days or trade kids duty after a few hours in the evening?”

“OP and his wife should think of different possible solutions and work together as a team rather than play ‘tag you’re it’ with each other.” ~ Angel_Gally

“Wtf. My husband works a lot, we’ve got 4 kids ages 3-9, and I’m doing the online school bullsh*t (which f’king sucks in general, but especially with ADHD kids and like… how am I supposed to do school all day with them but also get errands run and shit?).”

“Anyway, I’m worn the f’k out once he’s home, and it’s nice to have another adult and a better kid to parent ratio. HOWEVER, he comes home, takes his boots off, takes a longa** poop (where I know he’s playing with his phone and winding down but whatever), then we SPLIT things.”

“Our policy is I work as long as he’s working. I don’t sit on my a** watching tv and letting them run wild.”

“I do what I can with the house after caring for the kids and the bills and the errands and such, and we split anything left when he’s home.”

“If the house is a mess, he knows I did a lot of errand running and the kids were terrors that day. If it’s clean and extra sh*t is done, he knows the kids were pretty good and I was able to move my focus to less important things than our kids.”

“There are days he gets home and helps make dinner because he’s early enough. There are days he eats leftovers I saved him, while I prep kids for bed.”

“There are days he comes home and I ‘tag’ him in for the kids so I can have a break from them, while I finish chores. There are also days he comes home and sees me ready to burst from stress and banishes me to our room or the office to have some time to just breathe peacefully.”

“But my point is, WE ARE A TEAM, and we handle things as a partnership until everything is done. Then, because we worked together to finish everything, we get a chance to relax together or separately, after the kids are in bed.”

“But we BOTH get to relax.”

“It’s not fair or right to expect one half of the partnership to take on everything, unless the other half is going through some sort of illness or something that renders them incapable of taking on their part.” ~ mommak2011

“ESH. This is not sustainable.”

“You asked for a reasonable accommodation and your wife wasn’t willing to compromise, then she thought you were cheating when you started coming home 20-30 min later everyday.”

“What is going on with your relationship that cheating is the first thing that comes to mind when you’re consistently later home than usual (not traffic, waiting for food since you pick up dinner).”

“Are you picking up dinner for her too or just yourself?”

“If you’ve been coming home with just dinner for yourself all this time before you started eating in your car that’s awful. If you’re bringing her extra cold take out after your dinner, that is also awful.”

“Y’all need to brainstorm actual solutions that work for both of you. As of right now you are both overworked and completely stressed out and that doesn’t bode well for your children.” ~ EquivalentTwo1

Hopefully these parents can figure out an arrangement that works for them both.

 

Amelia Mavis Christnot

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka and Metis Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. She considers herself another proud Maineiac. Her picture is from 1984 for purely Orwellian reasons.