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Dad Called Out After Criticizing Wife For Taking New Job That Left Him To Take Care Of Their Kids

A man lying on a bed while his son climbs on top of him.
Ekaterina Vasileva-Bagler/Getty Images

There’s no denying that being a parent and running a household is challenging.

Ideally, both parents are able to contribute equally to parental duties and household chores.

Most of the time, however, even distribution simply isn’t possible, owing to the work schedule of one or the other.

Redditor jobhateaita and his wife initially seemed to have a good arrangement when it came to raising their children and maintaining their household.

However, this changed when the original poster (OP)’s wife took a new job, which saw the OP saddled with the majority of the responsibilities.

When the OP brought up his dissatisfaction with this arrangement with his wife, she was less than sympathetic to what he said.

Wondering if he had done anything wrong, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**Hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA For telling my wife I hate her new job?”

The OP explained why he believed his wife’s new job caused a downward spiral in their home life:

“My wife (37 F[emale]) and I (38 M[ale]) have been married for 12 years and have three kids (10, 8, & 6).”

“During the pandemic, my wife’s job allowed her to switch to 100% WFH.”

“They never required her to go back to the office because her productivity actually increased, so there was no need.”

“It made things easier for us too.”

“I dropped the kids off at school/daycare in the morning, and she picked them up in the afternoon.”

“She was able to keep up with a few things around the house during the day. We saved on gas and car maintenance, etc.”

“A few months ago, she was contacted by a recruiter about a job.”

“It would be a nice step up in her career path as well as a boost in pay.”

“But there were drawbacks.”

“The company had no WFH policy and would require her to work in the office.”

“This was apparently non-negotiable.”

“It would also be a 45-minute commute for her.”

“We talked it over a lot, and I expressed my concerns about how this would impact our daily lives.”

“I told her that I don’t necessarily think that the bump in pay is worth the major changes to our daily lives.”

“Not to mention the stress that a long commute can have on people, and that could impact their mood and how they interact at home.”

“She assured me that everything would be fine and that we would adjust as a family, and soon the new routine would just become our new normal.”

“I told her that I would never tell her NOT to take the job, but I just don’t know if it is worth the changes that it is going to bring.”

“Ultimately, the decision was hers, and she accepted the new job.”

“She’s been there for about ten weeks now.”

“To say it has been an adjustment is an understatement.”

“She wakes up and leaves before the kids even get up.”

“She’ll help get a few things ready for them before she goes, but the entire morning kid routine is on me.”

“I also do both drop-off and pick-up for all the kids too.”

“Evenings have been a huge mess because I get home and try to get the kids distracted while I start dinner.”

“When my wife gets home, she is usually stressed from the drive (her commute has turned into over an hour due to construction and traffic) and takes 15 minutes for herself to calm down before eating alone.”

“Then, after dinner, she’s going to bed earlier because she has to wake up earlier.”

“I told her that I feel her new job has put an unfair amount of household and childcare duties on me and that she is being far less present in our lives when she’s home.”

“She told me that we just need to give it more time to adjust, and things will get easier.”

“I told her that ten weeks is a pretty good adjustment period, and I hate it so far.”

“She told me I’m being an unsupportive jerk, and I need to give it more time.”


The OP would later clarify, in the comments, what the arrangement was with household duties before his wife took this new job.

“The quality of meals I’m cooking for the kids is not the quality my wife previously prepared.”

“The house is not nearly as clean, laundry is more backed up, the yard is in worse shape, etc. Nothing in our lives, including our bank account, has improved with this new job.”

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
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No a**holes Here

The Reddit community was fairly divided on whether or not they felt the OP was the a**hole for telling his wife he hated her new job.

Some didn’t sympathize with either the OP or his wife, feeling they both made this situation much more complicated and unpleasant than was necessary.


“You two are talking past each other.”

“You say you wanted to come up with solutions, but you don’t suggest any actual solutions.”

“She was dismissive of your concerns and also didn’t suggest any solutions.”

“She’s making more money. Use that to outsource some of this stuff.”

“As a general matter, I don’t think it’s fair to expect that over the course of a lifetime, your spouse’s career will never require you to pick up the slack at home.”

“These things tend to shift.”

“She handled more stuff while she was WFH. Now it’s your turn.”

“If it’s unsustainable for you, then absolutely talk about solutions.”

“But ‘I hate it!’ is not a solution.”- thewineyourewith

Others felt that neither the OP nor his wife was at fault, feeling that the OP had every right to be frustrated, but his wife did the right thing by accepting a job that would further her career, though interestingly also agreeing they were both making a mountain out of a molehill.


“You are both feeling caught off guard by the new circumstances.”

“You’ll both need to learn to adapt.”

“Ten weeks is not enough time to find either of your footing in a new job/home balance.”

“After I went back to work, after 18 months of WFH, my SO was grumpy for weeks.”

“He had not realized how many of the small tasks in the house I had taken on.”

“All the laundry, not just the hanging, folding, and putting away.”

“Changing all the beds.”

“All meal prep.”

“All the evening and weekend meals.”

“Hoovering and dusting.”

“Cleaning three bathrooms every two days.”

“All childcare.”

“Cleaning up after our young people.”

“All appointments for doctors, the dentist, and attending specialist appointments for our son.”

“Anything school-related, such as sending or responding to emails, parent evenings, attending school productions.”

“Walking and caring for our two dogs.”

“Vet visits.”

“Buying and giving de-wormer and anti-flea treatments.”

“And their baths!”

“Ensuring the emotional well-being of our young people whenever they experienced a problem that they could not cope with or find a reasonable solution.”

“I just absorbed all these small things and many others because I could.”

“Your wife most likely had many routines and strategies set up to cope with WFH, child-rearing, house maintenance, and many more other things that even she might not be fully aware she implemented to take care of all those responsibilities.”

“That, in your post, you don’t seem to see.”

“You are feeling burnt out because you are experiencing a sudden increase of additional responsibilities over the last ten weeks.”

“OP, you had the best of both worlds while your wife was WFH.”

“It’s now time to make realistic choices about wrap-around childcare and other solutions to your sudden gain of parental and household responsibilities.”

“I need to ask you something.”

“Say your wife quits this job, then takes another job without such a long commute.”

“Would you still be stepping up to be a more involved parent and part of the ‘house duties’?”

“You could both be more understanding of each other’s lot.”- ofbalance


“10 weeks isn’t long enough to adjust to a big change.”

“I firmly believe life is rarely 50/50.”

“Sounds like she was picking up a hit more while she was WFH. Now you’re picking up a bit more while she’s commuting.”

‘Chances are it’ll shift again in the future.”

“Kids can watch telly or play quietly while you cook dinner.”

“Make liberal use of the slow cooker, freezer, and quick food.”

“Wife does morning and evenings at the weekend since you do it during the week.”

“Kids are old enough to help around the house.”

“Keep talking to each other. Give everyone time to settle into the new situation.”

“You’ll get there.”- anonoaw


“But here are some suggestions.”

“If you can afford it, do an after-school program.”

“Like a local boys and girls club, YMCA, or see if you have a parks & recreation program.”

“This after school all the kids are dropped off at the same location & then they can picked up at the same time.”

“Where I live, we have all three programs, and buses pick them up from school.”

“I think pre-cook everything on the weekend or pre-prep foods on the weekend, so all you have to do is throw them in oven.”

“Frozen meals are okay.”

“Cereal for dinner is ok.”

“If you can afford it, hire a babysitter who can do pick up and start meals for you.”

“Y’all have options, but y’all need to figure out how to communicate with each other.”

“My house gets heavily cleaned every other week.”

“I sweep, mop, and make sure bathrooms are sanitized every week, but heavy cleaning is done every other week.”

“Your children are at an age where they can help.”

“They can do their own laundry and put it away.”

“I was doing basic cleaning by the time I was 5.”

“I could make a grilled cheese sandwich and soup by the time I was 10 for the family.”

“Get your children to help.”

“This is a great time to start teaching basic life skills.”

“Just remember things do not need to be perfect.”- Loud_Eye_7141

As said above, raising children is difficult, especially when you do so on your own.

However, it does seem unfair that the OP should have to blame his wife’s newfound career success for his current situation.

Especially if he would have done the same should the tables have been turned.

Hopefully, with a bit more planning and civil conversations, they’ll both come to an agreement that will please both of them.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.