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Mom-To-Be Insists Husband Quit His Job If He Wants Someone To Stay Home With The Baby

Pregnant mother arguing with husband
Vesnaandjic/Getty Images

Redditor pregnantthw is expecting her first baby with her husband, and a recent conversation about maternity/paternity leave turned into an argument.

The fight left the Original Poster (OP) reeling and questioning her entire relationship.

Ultimately the OP went to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) for some clarity.

She asked:

“AITA for telling my husband if he wants someone to stay home with our baby, he can do it?”

She went on to explain.

“For context, I’m currently 29 weeks pregnant. My husband [29-year-old Male] and I [30-year-old Female] met in college, and have been together for 8 years, married for 2.”

“Our relationship has always been solid, and progressive.”

“My husband has never been much of a traditionalist despite growing up in a very stereotypical family (had 2 siblings and a stay at home mom, his dad worked).”

“Up until recently, we’ve agreed on nearly everything (save for small things) in our marriage and how to raise kids.”

“However, 2 days ago, we were talking about baby stuff, and my husband started mentioning that he thought maybe one of us she stay home with the baby for awhile…”

“…and not go back to work after our maternity/paternity leave is over. We both work in tech, and make good money and have great benefits.”

“I get 20 weeks of leave after the baby is born, he gets 12.”

“We were trying to decide if we should stagger our leave so someone could be home with the baby until 6 months, the age where most places near us will start daycare.”

“My husband said that he read that it’s better for the baby to have a parent home for the first year.”

“So I asked him (thinking nothing of it) if that’s really something he’d consider, since he might have to quit his job.”

“He asked why he would have to quit, since I should “obviously” be the one to stay home with the baby. I asked him if he was serious and he said Yes, the mom should be the one to stay home.”

“I said how are we going to make that work on just his income? For context, I make about three times what my husband does.”

“It’s never been an issue and never mattered to me. I just finished my masters earlier than he did (we both have them) and went into a more specialized field.”

“We both make good money, but it’s my job primarily that pays for the lifestyle we have. So I asked him what we were going to do for a year on 1/4 the income with a new baby.”

“He got a little upset and said I ‘shouldn’t even bring that up’ and that he makes good enough money to provide for us, and I shouldn’t ‘question him’.”

“I got mad and said it wasn’t realistic and it was silly for the person who made more money to quit their job.”

“Especially since he’s the one who thinks someone should be with the baby extra time (I was fine with sending the baby to daycare starting at six months).”

“The fight blew up from there, me saying he’s being sexist and not considering my feelings at all.”

“I refused to back down, and he ended up taking off after I said he should be the stay-at-home parent if he wants one so bad…”

“…and him saying he didn’t deserve to be emasculated just for suggesting I should stay home like a ‘good mom’.”

“I talked to some of my family and his family about it, and the answers are kind of split.”

“So AITA for bringing up the pay disparity and telling him that unless he’s the one to stay home, baby is going to daycare?

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:

“NTA at all. He is being sexist, thinking that since you’re a woman, your place is in the home. He’s also sexist because he thinks the suggestion that he stays home is emasculating.”

“If he is so progressive that word would not have been uttered, He needs to wake up and smell the coffee.”

“Stand your ground. He can’t make you quit your job. So sign up for those waitlists, and good luck.”

“Would he go to counseling? If not, go yourself. I’m concerned this is just the tip of the iceberg of his real feelings, and you need to be prepared.” – disney_nerd_mom

“NTA. Your logic is spot on. He’s taking the archaic, sexist, illogical, ego-driven path.”

“Try living as if he’s the only working partner for a few months. Live off of only his income to show him what type of life that would afford you.”

“It’ll be a wake-up call for him, and you’ll have some additional savings at the end.”

“I’m a little worried this is the first instance of a mask dropping and that you’ll encounter more such sexist or controlling bullsh*t in the future.” – hellinahandbasket127

“NTA. I’ll be sure to let my husband know I “emasculated” him when he was a SAHD for two years. Plus, your husband basically told you you’re a bad mom if you don’t stay home.”

“I’d be pissed at having my parenting called in question-based solely on if I stayed home.”

“Marriage counseling, STAT.” – dazedkatwoman

“Well done! You’ve used logic and sound reasoning to explain why he should be the one to stay home with the baby for the six months to the child’s first natal day.”

“It is not your fault his ego can’t stand up to logic. His emasculation is a result of this, not a thing of your doing.”

“He fell back on the training he’s had from childhood: women are the homemakers, the stay-at-homes, and the menfolk should hunt.”

“It’s just tragic IMO that you’re the better hunter so far. :D”

“NTA.” – tosser9212

“This is bizarre.”

“It seems like he is secretly very sexist. Did he never show any signs of this over eight years? It’s genuinely cruel of him to imply that you are not a good mother.”

“It’s also really gross to say that any mention of his salary as it pertains to paying your bills and maintaining your lifestyle for yourselves and your child is tantamount to “emasculating” him.”

“Just the idea of taking care of his own child and relying on his spouse’s higher salary is somehow emasculating? It’s all so disturbing and gross.” – laurasdiary

“NTA. I hope this is a blip and him not just starting to show his true colors. He’s the one who thinks the baby needs a stay-at-home parent, and he’s also the one who makes less.”

“So he’s welcome to stay home or keep working, and baby will go to daycare. But you quitting your job is not on the table, and he has no right to expect it to be.” – Outrageously_Penguin

The OP went on to update her original post.

“Update: I was reading through a ton of comments last night and got really nervous, wondering if maybe I was wrong about my husband being progressive.”

“A lot of people were asking why we didn’t talk about all this before we got pregnant and the thing is, we did!”

“We had agreed on daycare (for the people suggesting a nanny, I’ve begun looking into it but they are a really difficult to find sometimes) because we both wanted to keep our jobs that we love.”

“My husband has been acting weird and quiet since we fought, but this morning I finally sat him down and was basically like, ‘what is going on, this doesn’t seem like you’.”

“Some of the comments here got me thinking about what his family might be pressuring him to do, and so I asked about that, and a ton of stuff came out.”

“He said he brought up the staggered leave to some people in his family at dinner a couple of weeks ago (I wasn’t there).”

“And a few of them thought someone should stay home longer, and his brother laughed and made some jokes about my husband being a housewife/stay-at-home mom.”

“His brother (35, divorced!) considers himself to be a ‘man’s man’ and has a lot of sexist views, so he’s made jokes before about me being the ‘breadwinner.’”

“So after hearing this, my husband snapped a bit because some of his coworkers and his older brother have laid into him a bit about the fact that I make more money and have a better job title…”

“…calling him a “trophy husband” and other dumb stuff like that, and it made my husband feel insecure, so he lashed out a bit at me and that’s why we fought.”

“He’s admitted that he felt really bad about it, which is why he’s kind of been avoiding me.”

“We have now agreed to look into a counselor and more into a nanny service, and he has admitted that he doesn’t mind the idea of taking a few unpaid months to stay home…”

“…he’s just really worried about his brother and friends’ jokes. Thank you to everyone for helping me feel more confident to confront this. We are doing much better.”

Sometimes a vulnerable conversation is all that is needed to uncover the real truth.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)