Being a working parent comes with many challenges.
The biggest challenge often is that they don’t get to see their children nearly as often as they would like.
As a result, many working parents go to great lengths to put aside time that is strictly devoted to their children and their family and always make the most of this precious time.
Redditor Worth_Worldliness_26 and their wife were both working parents, but the schedule of the original poster (OP)’s wife often meant that she didn’t make it home in time to eat dinner with her family.
In order to change this, the OP came up with what they felt was a great solution to ensure the whole family could all enjoy dinner together at least a couple times a week.
His wife, however, was not on board with this idea one bit.
Wondering if they were in the wrong, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for wanting my wife to fix how she eats dinner?”
The OP explained how their idea to ensure more quality family time ended up putting them at odds with their wife.
“My wife works about an hour away from our home.”
“I work mostly remotely at home, so I’ve been the one to take care of our girls (6 and 8 respectively) for a few years now.”
“I drive them to school and to practices, and I usually eat lunch with them.”
“We eat dinner at 7 as a family.”
“This is non-negotiable, because the girls get home at 6 from after school activities, and we both agreed that they should sleep preferably at 9-10.”
“Dinner is usually a chance for us to sit and bond, and because my wife works from 9 to 4-5 during the weekday she usually barely sees them during the weekdays.”
“We spend a lot of time together on the weekend though.”
“Additionally, she isn’t vegan or anything, but she comes from a Buddhist family and prefers to reduce animal produce in her diet.”
“Because of this, she comes home and usually takes a lot of time to make her dinner by herself.”
“When she’s done making the food, either one or both of the girls are finished eating, or they’re almost finished eating and she has missed out on a lot of them talking about their day.”
“I’ve tried finding solutions, like cooking for her beforehand or cooking a vegetarian meal for the whole family, but she doesn’t like my cooking (even when I try to imitate her meals.)”
“So far, I’ve been texting her what she wants to make and cleaning/prepping the food for her, but sometimes she changes her mind, or she takes a while to cook anyway.”
“I’ve tried talking to her about it, but she says, ‘What do you want me to do? Starve at the dinner table?'”
“She says she wants to hear about their day too, but it’s just not feasible.”
“So I told her that for Tuesday and Thursday, I am going to make food for us as a family, and she will eat it with us.”
“She told me that I’m an a**hole, because she works hard every day, and she just wants to eat her own food, not be forced to eat mine.”
“I just think it’s important to spend time with family during the week.”
“Also, I think I’m a pretty fair cook. I’m not amazing or anything, but the girls like my food.”
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
While the Reddit community was a bit divided, they generally agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for insisting their wife join the family for dinner.
Many felt that the OP was justified in wanting the family to eat together, and their motives were admirable in finding a way, with many perplexed by their wife’s reaction and wondering if there was a bigger issue she might be dealing with.
“My first thought was why doesn’t she set up a crock pot night before or in the morning?”
“That way her preferred meal is ready to eat with the rest of the family.”
“But a second/closer read implies for some reason she doesn’t *want* to eat with you all.”
“She’s thrown up strange roadblocks that keep her away from the communal table during the week.”
“Why is that?”
“Does she eat with you all on weekends?”
“Both of you work every day.”
“She has the commute, but still.”
“NTA, but I get a strong feeling that something else is going on with your wife.”
“Good luck figuring it out.”
“I send good wishes to your family.”- GeekyStitcher
“What’s more important to her, spending time with you guys as a family or eating exactly what she wants every night?”
“She needs to compromise here.”
“You seem like you are trying everything to help, and the fact that she called you TA shows that your feelings and efforts aren’t appreciated.”
“Sorry OP!”- AdJazzlike3004
“Reverse the genders, and the answers here would be unanimously NTA.”
“If OP was the woman talking about their husband, everyone would be saying ‘uninvolved father’ and that OP has done enough to accommodate a selfish man.”
“You’ve offered so many ideas and compromises.”
“I don’t think it’s about the food.”
“I don’t think she wants to spend time with you and the kids, and you should approach that conversation with her.”- ooolalaluv
“Your wife seems determined to miss out on the one family time y’all have.”
“Mostly that just makes me sad.”- NotCreativeAtAll16
“NTA for wanting family to spend time together.”
“Seems like you have offered many ways to accomplish that,.none of which your wife likes.”
“But rather than telling her what is going to happen on Tuesday and Thursday, I think you will have an easier time compromising if you allow. her to come up with the solution since she has shot down all your suggestions.”
“If she doesnt provide any suggestions or any viable suggestions, she may be feeling overwhelmed and feel she needs the alone.time cooking/eating in order to decompress.”
“I personally think you wanting to share dinner together is a good idea and that many of your suggestions were good ones, so at.this point i think all you can do is put the ball in her court.”-Gladtobealive2020
“Has your wife ever heard of meal prepping?”
“It’s perfectly feasible for her to eat her own food and spend time with her children if she can’t lower herself to have what the family is having.”
“It’s perfectly feasible.”
“She just has to actually make the effort.”- Individual_Soft_9373
“But this not about the food.”
“Why is she avoiding family time?”
“Is she depressed?”
“Is she overwhelmed with life & doesn’t get proper downtime after her commute?”
“Maybe the solution could be she gets ‘permission’ for eg a full 30 mins as soon as she’s home to go hide in the bedroom & wind down.”
“If I cannot fully switch off & calm my brain down, I’ll be on edge all evening & wouldn’t be able to cope very well with a family dinner.”
“I’d want to avoid it too.”
“Might she have an eating disorder?”
“Eating separately could be a way to hide her lack of eating.”
“And/or ‘disliking’ food other people prepare could be because she has excessive ‘rules’ about the food she eats.”
“You are NTA for wanting family time, but it might be worth a bit of gentle compassion towards her, rather than being angry / judgmental that she’s avoiding you & her children.”- amberallday
“God forbid the man wants the family to act like one.”
“The wife is clearly not budging or so much as considering a compromise.”
“It sounds like OP is doing 90% of the parenting.”
“He’s really, really not asking for much.”
“If the roles were reversed you’d be sh*tting on OP’s spouse.”- compellinglymediocre
“If your wife gets home the same time as your kids, why can’t she cook for the whole family sometimes?”
“It seems like maybe you start cooking at 6:00 and eat at 7:00 anyway, so she could just cook for everyone and you would all eat together, and she would get to eat what she likes.”
“It kind of seems like cooking is either her way of decompressing after a long day, or she’s trying to avoid family time.”
“If it’s the former, she gets the best of both worlds; if it’s the latter, you guys need to have a talk about more than just food.”- Birdlord420
No one likes to be told what to do, making the reaction of the OP’s wife understandable to an extent.
Even so, considering all the OP wanted to do was create more family time, it’s a little surprising that the OP’s wife was so unwilling to compromise.
Or that she couldn’t endure her spouse’s cooking two meals a week.
One only hopes she tries it out at least once, and perhaps after more quality time with her children, she might change her mind.