It’s 2022, and more people than ever before are in agreement that artists of all kinds should be celebrated and compensated for their work.
But some people still are not on-board with the compensation part, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor FrustratedMarie was pleased when his wife not only appreciated his baking skills but also wanted him to bake for her team of coworkers more frequently.
But when it became so frequent that he would need to leave his job, the Original Poster (OP) believed he should be compensated for his time and efforts.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for charging my wife money to bake for her?”
The OP thought life was a bit hectic.
“I know it sounds horrible, but please consider my case.”
“My wife (30 Female) and I (29 Male) have been married for 5 years. We have 2 kids together (3 Female and 1 Female).”
“As you can imagine, things are quite hectic.”
But he was able to be a stay-at-home dad, often co-parenting with his sister-in-law (SIL).
“My wife has a really good job and family wealth allowing me to quit work and be a stay-at-home dad. Honestly, it is the most rewarding job there is.”
“When I do get time during the day to do some side work related to my field (WFH, when I want to, so it works really well).”
“Anyway, over time I have become more interested in baking. My sister-in-law (26 Female) introduced me to the hobby, and we bake together when we can while watching the kids.”
“(In order to help each other and have the cousins bond, we usually jointly co-parent at each others’ houses.)”
The OP’s and SIL’s baking caught his wife’s attention.
“We recently got into baking really fancy stuff like Kransekake (and we make them fancy).”
“My wife and SIL both love these cakes, and so they started sharing it with colleagues and friends.”
“Now my wife wants my SIL and I to bake them and other fancier stuff on the regular-ish.”
“My SIL is really happy to take it on, and so am I, as long as the kids come first (My SIL is confident we can manage, though she also is an optimist).”
The OP had some reservations, though.
“However, it would also mean quitting any and all part-time work on my end. As a result, I would lose my own revenue.”
“Since we are kinda doing things more than just for the family, it is only fair that we get compensated for it.”
“I brought this up to my wife and she laughed. When she realized I was not joking, she got mad.”
“She said that she is already providing everything and that I have no need for my own money anyway.”
“She said that I need to prioritize her career and professional goals over mine since she is the breadwinner.”
“Besides, she assured me that she is confident I can catch up in my field later on when our kids are older and I can return to work.”
“I told my SIL the next day (i.e. today), and while she wasn’t mad, she felt I was being insane by wanting to charge my wife.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some agreed that a baker, like any artist, should be compensated for their work.
“This isn’t even telling wife to pay, it’s telling wife that if she wants OP to bake fancy s**t for her to take to work, then those people should pay OP for his time and effort.” – Mediocre-General-654
“I’d say the same thing for a SAHM. You want me to spend hours toiling over fancy deserts to help your career? PAY UP.” – pauljaytee
“NTA. You need to set ‘baking boundaries’. Staying at home with children is a full-time job. Baking is a hobby and that your wife wants to benefit from while marginalizing what you already do.”
“You may want to stick with baking only for special occasions or milestones as clearly your wife would like you to do so at the ready while not even being compensated for it.”
“How insulting.” – roxywalker
“NTA, because your wife wants it for her work on a regular basis and after a quick google THAT’S A BLOODY BIG CAKE!”
“Baking for the kids at home, yeah, that’s parenting.”
“I would suggest you do a quick search and see what comparable quality baked goods go for and have that discussion, because if she was buying it for an event, it costs money.” – dheffe01
“I make Kransekake for my family at Christmas and special birthdays.”
“Fincky as f**k. Almond flour is expensive. It takes me an entire weekend to do one by myself, and I often f**k it up, because the dough has to be exact or it explodes all over your oven.”
“Those d**n things are delicious feats of engineering.” – helena_handbasketyyc
“It is one thing to have her occasionally bring your baked goods to the office and an entirely different thing to expect you to maintain a steady supply.”
“This is what I would call a side business and you are entitled to compensation for your work.”
“The genders do not matter here as it’s work, time, and money involved. Your wife is taking advantage of you.” – tatersprout
“Either say no and keep your part-time job, or she can compensate you for the baking services that are apparently helping her career.” – georgiajl38
“To me, it’s that she just wants OP to do this to support her. Like if she was encouraging him to make this his side gig, I’d be more sympathetic.”
“But she’s framing this as all about her and her desires, and she’s completely neglecting what OP wants. I do hope OP is able to continue to pursue his hobby on his own terms.” – Born_Ad8420
Others agreed and were worried that this was turning into an issue of financial abuse.
“NTA. If you were a woman, people would be screaming financial abuse/manipulation/red flags.”
“You’re allowed to want your own money. You’re allowed to enjoy a hobby that isn’t about your wife or using it to support her career. If she wants to gift cakes and sweets to her friends and coworkers, then she should manage it on her own or lessen/limit her requests to something more manageable.”
“You’re gonna burn out on a fun hobby if she pushes and that’s not fair.”
“It’s not fair for her to lord being the breadwinner over you, either.” – SheikahBun
“100%, this sounds exactly like borderline financial abuse.”
“And it seems OP is well integrated in the cycle, considering how off-handed seemingly large remarks are i.e. ‘no use for my own money,’ and ‘she’s the breadwinner,’ and even having to ask if this ridiculous request from her makes him an AH just to say no.” – herejusttocomment7
“She expects him to service her requests for free. Obviously, her answer will be that she gives him ‘free money,’ in that she ‘gifts’ him 10% of her salary. As if that isn’t already a paltry payment for the work he does with the house and the kids.”
“She’s essentially calling him a freeloader and so he owes her free goods as payment for her supporting him. It’s abusive behavior regardless of sex.” – BurdenedMind79
“NTA. if the genders were reversed, I would still be worried about the parent caring for the kids would be subject to financial abuse.”
“When someone tells you you don’t need any income cause they will provide for you while you stay home and do everything for the house and kids, you are at risk, in part by being pushed to do stuff like this for free.”
“Keep your income OR monetize your baking, not just with your wife, but also with caterers, restaurants, etc.” – catsass
“1. getting angry that you asked for something is weird, even if she perceives your request to be odd.”
“2. if she believes that she’s entitled to control your money and your time because of the mutual decision for you to be a sah dad, she’s wrong.”
“3. being the breadwinner doesn’t invalidate your need to have an income regardless of its size. she doesn’t get to decide whether you ‘need’ money or not, and she doesn’t get to hold her status over your head.”
“4. labor should be respected even if you’re married. I don’t see an issue with monetary compensation considering baking would give you access to less money. Why does she think it’s unreasonable for you to ask for your time and effort to be compensated? Especially as it seems like she has the money to do it?”
“NTA, but I think you need to do some serious work on boundaries and respect based on the info provided.” – ratmaschine
“You have no need for your own money? Your wife is clearly the AH here.”
“Honestly, I would just go for a straight ‘no’ here. You have a job and a career that you can keep alive, so you can more easily pick it up once your kids are older, and she’s asking you to give that up to bake cake for co-workers?”
“Even if she pays you, unless you have ambitions to make a career change to baker, that’s not a good deal.”
“NTA.” – thumpmyponcho
Though it angered his wife and bothered his sister-in-law, the subReddit totally understood why the OP would hope to be compensated.
Baking as often as his wife wanted could easily turn into a full-time small business, run out of his home while also caring for his children, and not only would he deserve to not be financially dependent on his wife, but he also would deserve to be compensated for all of that hard work, period.