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Dad Considers Hiring Nanny For Kids Without Wife’s Approval After She Accepts Promotion At Work

a man and woman argue in a kitchen
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Childcare is a concern for all parents unless one stays home to care for the kids full time.

For parents who both work, childcare can take the form of alternating work schedules or working a schedule of hours while the children are in school or participating in activities.

But if a couple has a working arrangement for childcare without outside help, is it reasonable for one parent to accept a job promotion that disrupts their current plan? And if they do, how much help should the other parent need?

A father overwhelmed after his wife accepted a job promotion turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit to pose a hypothetical “Would I Be The A**hole” (WIBTA) solution to his issues for public feedback.

Nannytimeaita asked:

“WIBTA If I hire a nanny to help with childcare after my wife got a new job?”

The original poster explained:

“My wife (36, female) and I (38, male) have been married for 12 years and have 3 kids (9, 6, & 4). We both work full-time with me being the primary breadwinner and earning about 3X what she does.”

“About 4 months ago, she was offered a promotion at her job. It wasn’t a big step up in pay but would be a lot more responsibility as well as being on-call 3-4 nights a week.”

“When she told me about it, she was really excited and acting like it was a huge opportunity to advance her career.”

“I was happy for her, but I told her I had some concerns about how often she would be out of the house in the evenings and/or how we would have to alter our schedules and routines due to her being on-call.”

“She assured me that being on-call wasn’t an issue and reiterated that she would be compensated for that time even if she wasn’t actually called in.”

“I told her that ultimately it was her decision, but I feel like we live comfortably already and the little extra money wouldn’t be worth the hassle it would cause in our lives.”

“She ended up taking the job and wouldn’t you know it, she ended up being called in about 50% of the time.”

“This resulted in us having to find alternate rides for our kids to do activities, cancelling plans, her leaving in the middle of dinner or family time, etc…”

“I also had to pick up a lot of slack in terms of household duties and childcare. We have never fought as much as we have been since she took this promotion but she’s convinced it’s a steppingstone to something better.”

“I floated the idea of hiring a nanny for the nights she’s on-call so that I have help in the inevitable situation where she gets called in again.”

“Simply having another person to watch the kids if I need to take one of them to an activity or play date, or to be able to make dinner easier or get other chores done.”

“She shot the idea down immediately and told me that me picking up her slack is not that big of a deal and I should be able to handle it.”

“After a 3 week stretch of her being called in 3 nights a week, I told her that I was going to start looking into nannies with or without her agreement.”

“I told her the only way I would reconsider is if she tries to get her old job back or look for a different one because her promotion is not working for me or the kids.”

“She did not take this well. She accused me of being a lazy parent and trying to buy my way out of being a father.”

“She also said that the cost of a nanny would offset any extra money her promotion is bringing in. When I told her it would actually cost more than that, she got extra pissed.”

“She has no timeframe for how long she will be in this position at work and apparently has no care for my feelings on this.”

“I’m tempted to just hire a nanny anyway because this is not sustainable for me.”

“I think this promotion has blinded her to how negatively it has impacted the rest of the family and I refuse to just ‘suck it up’ any longer.”

The OP added:

“Because so many people seem to be operating under the false assumption that my wife did 100% of the childcare and chores before her promotion, I feel the need to clarify.”

“Before her promotion, we would divide and conquer and split childcare and chores as evenly as possible. Both of us were 100% comfortable with how we had these things divided between us.”

“It’s not like I was coming home, demanding to know what was for dinner, cracking a beer, and sitting on the couch until I passed out.”

The OP summed up their situation.

“My wife got a promotion that required her to be ‘on-call’ a few nights a week and it has negatively impacted our lives.”

“I want to hire a nanny to help with childcare the nights she is on call, but she is very much against it and thinks I need to just deal with it.”

“I am thinking of hiring a nanny whether she agrees or not because this is not sustainable for me. I think I might be an a**hole if I hire a nanny without my wife agreeing.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

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

Redditors decided the OP would be the a**hole (YTA).

“I don’t understand why you need a nanny for three nights a week if you’re home.”

“The tone of this reads as you not being supportive and pushing these kinds of issues not necessarily because you actually are feeling overwhelmed (you don’t actually talk about that at all, you just say you want someone just in case one of the kids has an appointment) but because you resent her trying to advance in her career and are trying to make some kind of point about how it’s an inconvenience.”

“I might be misreading the situation but none of this sounds healthy and what she is doing doesn’t sound unreasonable. YTA unless you’re leaving out some significant stuff.” ~ kllark_ashwood

“You did not support her career advancement because it might be inconvenient to you.”

“You sound vindicated by throwing out just how correct you were that you were inconvenienced.”

“Inconvenienced seems to be defined as doing anything you didn’t have to do before and don’t want to now.”

‘Clearly your wife has been do a LOT so that you don’t have to do anything you find ‘inconvenient’.”

“You clearly value your time, career, and autonomy WAAAAY more than your wife’s.”

‘You had a ‘discussion’ which you then followed up by essentially saying you don’t care what she thinks and you’ll do whatever you want anyway because she’s either wrong or too stupid to know better and the only way to prevent this is to sacrifice her career that she has obviously worked hard at given she just got a promotion.”

“You clearly minimize her hard work resulting in a promotion in a very condescending way. I just hope you didn’t actually say to her that her pride and happiness at having her hard work recognized was ‘acting like some huge opportunity’.”

“You seem to have the impression your wife’s career is unimportant.”

“It sounds like you trucked along doing life, working and whatnot, while your wife learned how to parent, how to schedule, how to balance children and work, and how to grow in her career while you kept going just like you always had.”

“And now that she wants you to pick up some of the load she has been carrying you are equating all her sacrifices to nothing more than ‘the hired help’.”

“Yep, I came to a lot of conclusions reading your words and your wording choices. Here is one more conclusion. YTA.” ~ Low-Location363

“YTA but not for what you think you might be. Support your wife.”

“You’re sh*tting all over her new job. It’s probably not the money that’s mostly driving her.”

“You clearly believe your work is superior and there is no way she doesn’t know that.” ~ Portie_lover

“My husband does all the trucking around 3 nights per week while I work. The little ones get dragged along to the older ones’ activities, because such is their lot in life.”

“Sometimes my oldest can watch them for a bit if it’s not her activity. Sometimes we ask our neighbors to bring our son home from practice, because they are there.”

“If you’re worried about ‘taking advantage’, at the end of the season offer to take them out to dinner or send them out to dinner as a thank you. As another parent, they probably don’t mind nearly as much as you.”

“We are also both in agreement with how much of the childcare and chores he takes on, but it’s still not 50%. Just because you and your wife were in agreement before, doesn’t mean things don’t change as people advance in their careers.”

“Honestly, you sound terribly unsupportive, especially as this hasn’t been going on long and is a stepping stone for her.”

“If this had been a year long endeavor with no end in sight, I could see you revisiting the idea of ‘when is the next step because I can’t handle being the only parent a whopping 3 nights per week’.”

“But it’s not been that long, just deal with the season you’re in. YTA if you hire a nanny without your wife’s buy in.” ~ Less_Tea2063

“YTA purely because you’re belittling your wife’s successes because she doesn’t earn as much as you.”

“Also because you can’t suck it up for a few nights.” ~ Tasty_Doughnut_9226

“YTA… Your wife sounds really proud of herself, and she’s excited. Have you celebrated with her at all, or just acted like a big ol’ bag of a**hole?”

“I get it, managing your kids is hard. Suck it up.”

“Sounds like a great opportunity for the whole family to step up in a major way to support the woman who, I would venture a guess, acts as the QB of the family.”

Your two oldest play hockey, I’d guess they’re old enough to take on some of the household responsibilities. Setting/clearing the table, washing dishes, heck even playing a board game with their little sister on nights they’re home.”

“Regardless of whether or not Mom is at work, chances are that 4-year-old would be getting dragged around. But it’s not like you have to sit at practice, you’re driving to or from.”

“Why not arrange a carpool? You can tackle the nights Mom isn’t on call, another parent can tackle when she is?”

“It sounds like you want to hire the nanny so you a.) Don’t have to work as hard and b.) because you think your wife will take a demotion to avoid this/save money.”

“You’re trying to force her hand, and that’s super manipulative. It’s one thing if, say, one night a week you’d like to hire a babysitter for your 4-year-old so you can take the kids to practice and then have a little alone time.”

“But hiring a whole-a** nanny? Ridiculous.” ~ Milo-Victory2020

Is this nanny necessary or is it just retaliation because dad is being asked to step up his parenting?

Reddit thought it was the latter.

What do you think?

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.