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Pregnant Mom Balks After MIL Suggests She Quit Her High-Paying Job To Be Stay-At-Home Mom

pregnant woman working from home
Yagi-Studio/Getty Images

The decision for a parent to work outside the home is usually dependent on money.

But if a parent can afford to stay at home, are they obligated to do it?

A woman getting flak over her choice to work turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

The mom-to-be asked:

“AITA for telling my mother-in-law (MIL) I make too much to be a stay-at-home mom (SAHM)?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“I (31, female) am a manager for cyber security engineering for a big tech company. My husband is an internal medicine specialist.”

“I make over 200k a year, and he recently started making his full salary around 400k. We had our first child around 2 years ago, and I’m pregnant with our second.”

“My family is pretty open-minded about it, but my husband’s family are old fashioned, and since we are Japanese, there is a consensus from them that women who are married with children shouldn’t be working.”

“My husband is very lucky he has fewer loans than other doctors. Just over 130k, but that’s because his family paid a lot of it off already.”

“So I’ve been getting ‘hints’ from them that I should be a SAHM and leave the money-making to my husband. I don’t want to leave my job, and my company is relatively understanding.”

“I got six months off (3 months with full pay and 3 months without) for my first child and was able to keep my current position. The male members of my team are also able to take paternity leave.”

“So I don’t see why I have to leave my job. I also paid most of the bills while my husband wasn’t making much as a resident.”

“My aunt was a SAHM, and to make more income in her retirement, she babysits my son. She is also going to be looking after my youngest child when my maternity leave ends.”

“I have also been guilted by other moms (especially my husband’s coworker’s wives) since most of them who are not also doctors become SAHMs. But I don’t see why I need to.”

“My husband and I outsource all our cleaning, grocery delivery, lawn maintenance, etc… so all we do is cook. So almost all our time at home is spending time together as a family.”

“And apart from the rare occasion, we both work 9-10 hours a day with me working a bit less as I don’t have a commute. Even then we still save a lot more than if I were a SAHM.”

“But my MIL has commented how it’s not right I outsource these things because a mother shows her love by cleaning after her kids and husband.”

“My MIL recently came over, and while eating dinner, she said the food was great and complemented me, and I said my husband made the food.”

“He finished work early, and I was in a meeting with a customer. She was shocked and said it wasn’t right that my husband has to do any work after his long shift.”

“I got annoyed and said that I was working longer than him today, and she said well, then you should quit, so you don’t need to.”

“I got mad and told her I save over 12k a month after paying to outsource things I didn’t have an interest in doing anyway.”

“And with that money we can send our children to top schools and have undergrad and probably grad school paid for.”

“So it’s ridiculous to expect me to quit just because she has old-fashioned ideas that women need to be on their knees scrubbing away.”

“My MIL was offended, but my husband told her it’s already been settled, and I’m going to still be working.”

“But everyone always telling me I’m a bad mom if I don’t quit my job has me worn down.”

The OP summed up their situation.

“I might be the a**hole for telling my MIL rudely why it’s ridiculous that she wants me to quit my job.”

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 was not the a**hole (NTA).

“Youʻre not a bad mom.”

“Tell them that when they pony up the $200,000 you make annually, then youʻll be a SAHM. But until theyʻre willing to pay that amount, that they have no say so in the matter.”

“Or more politely, tell them, ‘The matter has been settled and is not up for discussion’. Then you and your husband have to agree to back that up with action.”

“Meaning if your MIL brings it up in your home again, you both ask her to leave. If you are in her home, both of you leave. Phone conversations are ended. Texts are left on read.”

“Do this with everyone; do it consistently (both you and your husband), and they eventually get the point. But it wonʻt work unless your husband is also 100% on board. NTA.” ~ Dana07620

“NTA—never make excuses for your well-thought-out plans. I’d like to suggest that you stop taking things as an insult and recognize what’s happening to your poor MIL and all those SAHM doctors’ wives.”

“They had to find meaning in cleaning up and putting everyone else’s needs and wants ahead of their own. They bought the patriarchy with their personal dreams and hopes for what they could have been.”

“Because as much as there is fake glorification in being a traditional wife, our society sh*ts on that life so hard, and there is NO social network to keep these women from being poor and without healthcare if the husband decides he wants a younger model ‘because he deserves it, he’s worked so hard’.”

“I was a SAHM for seven years only, and I gave up my career. I had to change careers because after 7 years, my skills weren’t marketable in my field.”

“I’m crushed by how much less my retirement fund is compared to my husband’s. I love my kids, but their purpose is to fly and live their own lives.”

“I have nothing but happy memories of that time, but I acknowledge I gave up too much. You are choosing not to set yourself on fire to keep your family warm.”

“In all these women’s heads, they are taking your choices as a rejection of their choices. Hopefully, this will help you be more empathetic to the confusion your MIL has with your family and future compared to her own.”

“I’m thinking she is thinking in black and white. If you’re right in how you’re living your best life, then her life choices have rendered her obsolete.”

“Try not to take things so personally; this is her life crisis, not yours.” ~ newtonianlaws

“NTA. I’m sorry you’re surrounded by women who want you to be smaller so they can feel bigger. The idea that motherly love is shown through servitude alone is just so pitifully sad.”

“But you have more to offer your family and the world than domestic service. Your expertise, your skills, talents, and wisdom are all very valuable commodities.”

“And your family sounds like you’re all doing great! Keep it up.”

“You’re teaching your kids, and your in-laws, that women can be exactly who they are in their entirety. Mom, security engineering manager, wife, daughter, friend, and bada**.” ~ External-Hamster-991

“NTA. I can’t undo what MIL did with her opinions, but I can share my experiences.”

“Even with a good marriage, I was never comfortable with the idea of completely giving up my career. When my kids were little, I worked part-time to keep our income where we needed it to buy a home and because I wanted to keep my professional chops.”

“I returned to full-time work when my youngest started school.”

“Another consideration is that I would never have to tolerate an intolerable marriage for financial reasons, and my income could support us if my husband were to become disabled.”

“I wanted to feel free to spend as I saw fit instead of being accountable to someone else for every penny. I don’t think I’d feel that freedom without some income of my own.”

“Finally, I was lonely at home. When I was home alone with my firstborn, I was terribly lonely for adult companionship.”

“When my husband got home from work, I wanted conversation and to go out; he was tired and just wanted to wind down. Working at least part-time was necessary for my own happiness, and the health of our relationship.”

“Don’t let your MIL’s cultural biases make you feel bad about your choices. She made her choices in a different context, and she seems to have forgotten that part.” ~ NeverRarelySometimes

“NTA. I imagine a lot of the comments being made against you from these other moms are stemming from a place of a bit of resentment and jealousy.”

“If you were working 12-hour days and not seeing your family at all, it may be a different story but sounds like with the extra income, you are able to outsource tasks that now allow you to spend all your non-work time with your family as well as set them up for them to be successful in the future.”

“People like myself dream of being in your position to be able to provide as much as possible for our families to where they will never have to worry about finances in a ‘survival’ capacity.” ~ EnigmaGuy

While friends and in-laws might disagree with her family’s choices, Reddit has the OP’s back.

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.