The world has thankfully evolved beyond the outdated conventions of how a household is expected to be run.
The husband should no longer be expected to be the sole breadwinner in a household, nor should the wife be expected to be the homebody who does all the cooking and cleaning.
Unfortunately, likely owing to being raised in these conventional homes, some men have trouble accepting that households should be run any other way.
Redditor Confused_Husband1989 was initially supportive when his wife went back to work, full time, as they were beginning to find themselves in a bit of a financial bind.
However, the original poster (OP) became increasingly frustrated when his wife started to become more and more occupied outside of their home, and wasn’t afraid to tell her as much.
Wondering if his anger was justified, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for getting upset because my wife wants 2 days off a week?”
The OP explained why they were less than pleased when their wife. decided to take on extra responsibilities outside of the house, rather than making their home a priority.
“I’m very frustrated as I write this.”
“I’ve been with my wife for 15 years.”
“We are both 33 years old and have two wonderful children, both very young.”
‘We are both professionals in our community and earn good wages but, like many people, money is often tighter than I would like.”
“When we had our first child, my wife decided to take a part time job at her workplace.”
“We had extensive conversations but agreed that the 2 days off a week would be beneficial for getting things done we otherwise would struggle with, we both work 8am-4pm.”
“With both of our children, she has taken 18 month maternity leaves and we are nearing the end of her last leave.”
“As such, money is especially tight and some things have fallen off, like household tasks, because having two kids is a bit of a lifestyle change.”
“We both agree that it would be great for her to return to work part time but got in an argument today.”
“Today she told me that she volunteered for the PTA starting in January, when she returns to work, so she can go into my son’s school on her off days.”
“This was a bit triggering for me because I feel that the days off are for her completing the tasks that we often don’t have time for. I told her that much and I feel that I was very polite in what I said.”
“I did reference household chores like laundry, dishes, vacuuming and whatnot.”
“It was not to be misogynistic but our family does happen to follow the stereotypical archaic family structure where we have a partially stay at home mom and me working full time, plus overtime occasionally.”
“The climax of this argument was my wife getting irate and telling me that I couldn’t tell her what she could do on her days off.”
“I reminded her that these were not days off but rather an agreement where she works part time but gets our family tasks done.”
“She feels that I’m being overbearing and she doesn’t want to sign up for that but she doesn’t want to return to work full time either.”
“I’m not trying to be rude or ignorant but I’m frustrated.”
“I feel that if she wants to volunteer at my son’s school and make a commitment, she should be taking extra shifts and making more money for the family.”
“Also, if she is going to stay part time, she needs to accept that family responsibility comes first.”
“Am I being an a**hole?”
“I feel like she is being selfish by wanting full control over her days off while not working full time.”
“I don’t know if I’m right or wrong here and I’m struggling to understand her perspective.”
“It’s the volunteering throughout the week at the school that was frustrating.”
“I know PTA is one hour a month.”
“It’s not the meeting.”
“It’s the assignments, volunteering and commitments she is making throughout the week.”
“Roughly 4 hours a day on her days off.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The OP received little to no sympathy from the Reddit community, who felt he was very clearly the a**hole for his behavior towards his wife.
Everyone agreed that the OP was displaying controlling and misogynistic behavior, with many going on to share how wonderful they thought it was that his wife was volunteering at their son’s school.
“Your kids are small.”
“One day they will be grown.”
“Do you think they’ll remember whether the floor was vacuumed and the windows were washed?”
“Or do you think they’ll remember that their mom was there for them?”
“Some of my best times were volunteering at my kids’ schools, and they’d tell you the same.”
“Don’t take that away from your wife and kids.”
“If you can, try to carve more time for yourself to be there for them, too.”
‘You won’t regret it.”
“Even if the baseboards are dirty.”
“They’ll just remember that you showed up.”- SingleAlfredoFemale
“Being involved in their education is something you BOTH need to make time for.”
“Being involved with the kids’ school is absolutely contributing to the family’s wellbeing, thought slightly indirectly.”
“You seem to take an incredibly narrow view of what being an involved parent means.”
“You sound more like a manager than her husband.”- Jikal“
“But, it’s not selfish for YOU to want to control what SHE does on HER day off?”
“So you want her out there making money but also doing everything at home so you don’t have to?”
“Which is it?”
“Also let’s emphasize the ‘mom’ in stay at home mom, not stay at home housekeeper.”- 14ccet1
“Kids don’t raise themselves.”
“Your wife is getting involved with their schooling and the parenting community.”
“That doesn’t exactly sound like a fun hobby or day out.”
“She’s not having bottomless mimosas during this time.”
“This is work.”
“You absolutely do not get to tell her what to do with her time off.”
“I suggest you hire a cleaner, that you both pay for.”- Low_Engineering8921
“Unfortunately for you your wife can decide what is appropriate and the main focus is children, your wife has her priorities right.”- Few-Sheepherder-6383
“Aimply because you described her conversation as ‘a bit triggering for you’.”
“Triggering refers to someone reliving a severe psychological trauma as if it’s happening all over again because of an unrelated stimulus.”
“It doesn’t mean ‘I’m a bit pissed off because my wife made a decision I don’t like’.”
“And also YTA because family tasks are family tasks, not wife tasks, and volunteering at the school is work, not leisure, and it’s good for your children’s development.”
“You could have done a load of dishes in the time it took you to post this.”- Kirstemis
“You don’t assign tasks to your wife on her days off.”
“That’s not how the world works.”
“You’re a team but you are very much not acting like one.”
“If she thinks that volunteering for PTA is a benefit to the family, that’s completely valid.”
“You’re acting like it’s something she chose to do for herself. It’s for your family.”
“Those are days off.”
“She does have control over what to do with them.”
“You certainly don’t have control over her days off.”
“But as a couple, you work together to determine what’s best for the family.”- dcm510
“What are your household chores and how do you contribute as a parent?”
“That’s what I want to know. I am seeing your wife working part-time, doing household chores, giving birth to your children, taking care of your children and trying to be involved in their education.”
“What do you do?”
“You work full-time and that’s it?”
“And you truly believe you are contributing more than her and that you have the right to manage her time?”
“Are you delusional?”-selenangel
A somewhat contrite OP later returned to admit he might have been in the wrong, though he also made a case that he wasn’t completely understood either.
“It looks like I’m the a**hole.”
“I need to reevaluate priorities and apologize to my wife.”
“I appreciate the feedback.”
“Apparently I don’t articulate myself well.”
“She works Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.”
“She has Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday off.”
“4 days off I guess but we work on things together on the weekend which is why I said 2.”
“I’m not a part time dad.”
“I do every chore she does just as she does every chore I do.”
“We work together and have a great marriage.”
“This was just a disagreement, I wasn’t trying to divorce her or murder her for the decision?”
“Not everything is a MAJOR thing.”
It is surprising, and a little worrisome, that the OP’s initial reaction to his wife’s volunteering at their sons’ school was anger, and not pride.
Pride that she is making her children her utmost priority, thus being present at their school.
Thankfully, he seems to have seen the error of his ways, and will hopefully choose his words a bit more carefully going forward.
Not to mention give his wife and children the appreciation they deserve.