We thankfully live in a world where women are no longer expected to stay at home and care for their children.
Indeed, there are increasingly more instances where the mother is the primary breadwinner, and the father is the stay-at-home parent, squashing antiquated ideas of parenting and gender roles.
With that in mind, however, there are many parents who view being a stay-at-home parent as a luxury.
Sadly, there are far too many people all over the world who simply need at least two incomes to support their families, and as a result neither parent can afford to stay at home with the children.
The wife of Redditor nnsnekdnd was tired of being a working mother, and expressed to him that she wanted to be a stay-at-home-mother (SAHM) instead.
A concept which the original poster (OP) wasn’t sure they could afford, leading him to explain to his wife that if she did want to become an SAHM, she would also need to undertake further responsibilities.
An agreement the OP’s wife refused to agree to.
Wondering if they were being unreasonable, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA For Telling My Wife That If She Quits Her Job I Expect Her To Cover All The Housework?”
The OP explained why his wife’s desire to become an SAHM was not as simple as she made it seem, and would require further effort on her part.
“My wife wants to quit her job.”
“She wants to be a SAHM to spend more time on with 4 year old daughter and stop leaving her at daycare centers.”
“In order for her to do that, I would have to sign for a higher paying job schedule, about 2 hours more per day and occasionally half day on Saturdays.”
“I told her that I if she quits her job then I expect her to cover all the housework.”
“I may not be splitting the chores with her, since having longer working hours is rather tiring.”
“I will will help out on weekends but during weekdays I rather rest.”
“My wife then told me she that is not a housekeeper and I am being lazy and discriminative against women.”
“I don’t really mean that, as I think it is fair that if she stops contributing to our household income she can handle all the housework.”
“I will also become the sole breadwinner and work extra hard to support the family.”
“I admit that I did not really used a nice tone while talking to my wife because I was was having conflicted thoughts on either supporting her choice or trying to talk her out of it.”
“Our household income isn’t that high to begin with and it will be difficult to be the only provider.”
“Of course, I also think that my wife has every right to want to spend more time with our daughter and it would be good for both of them.”
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
The Reddit community agreed the OP was not the a**hole for telling their wife they had to do all the housework if they wanted to be an SAHM.
Everyone agreed the OP was reasonable in his expectations and was not being sexist but practical, with many pointing out how the OP and his wife didn’t seem to be in a financial position for his wife to stop working.
“But if you have to pick up that many extra hours to support the household it sounds like you can’t afford to lose her income.”
“Being the sole breadwinner is risky too should anything happen to your job.”
“Would wife consider part time hours?”- _bubble_butt_
“In general the stay at home does more of the house work.”
“Obviously, you should still do something to help but the majority should be the stay at home.”
“Specially since you now would have to work longer.”
“Tell her you want to be the stay at home and see what arrangement she agrees too.”- spartanmax2
“Being a stay at home parent means taking care of the house while the other parent takes care of the income.”
“It’s not discrimination against women, since it would be the same logic if you were a woman working full time and she was a stay at home husband.”
“You would spend like what?”
“8 hours a day, maybe 10, bringing in money for BOTH of you to survive.”
“It would only be fair for her to do the chores for BOTH of you and put in equal work to maintain your household.”- SlayzorHunter
“Is there really any point for your wife to be a SAHM now, because, now I’m not too sure what country you’re in, your daughter should be going to school soon full time?”
“In the UK, children start reception at 5 years old?”- TumbleweedFail
“I mean, that’s part of the job of a SAHM.”
“She’s literally asking to stay at home and take care of the household.”
“You’d already be working 48-52 hours a week, which is plenty.”
“It’s more than fair to expect for her to pull her half of the weight and put in a similar amount of work.”
“She’s an a**hole because she’s pulling the ‘sexist’ card on you when all she really wants is to get out of having any work.”
“Have y’all met a four year old?”
“Currently sitting near a five year old,close enough, who could literally take care of himself.”
“As long as you watch what he’s doing, he could make his own cereal, he knows how to turn on the tv and change the channel, he can go to the bathroom by himself.”
“Y’all are underestimating their child.”
“She can do housework if she’s gonna quit her job and force her husband to work more.”
“And I’m 99% sure she’s gonna start and then complain about her workload and the fact that OP’s never home.”- burntpinecones
“When I wasn’t working my husband rarely helped out in the house and I didn’t mind.”
“He still did his share, lawn, taking out trash, dishes occasionally, household repairs, but I took on the majority since I was home all the time.”
“His job is very physically demanding and some days he can’t even stay awake through dinner.”
“So I don’t think this is unfair at all.”
“Committing to do the housework is going to be the same amount of contributing as a job is.”
“It won’t be perfect, you have to know that, not with a kid in tow.”
“But it seems fair and like a perfectly normal, easy adult thing to agree upon.”- tbarwaifu
“I would say NTA provided that you aren’t making mess you could reasonably do yourself, ie, dumping dirty clothes on the floor instead of putting things in the hamper, leaving cups around instead of putting them in the dishwasher/washing them up.”
“I work term time so during school holidays, I take on the lion’s share of the housework, which is fair to me.”
“What drives me INSANE is when he takes this as an excuse to just completely down tools and stop doing absolutely basic things.”
“Also saying that he is working while I’m sat around doing nothing.”
“Admittedly it is very rare these days, but I think as long as you set expectations beforehand and stick to them you are NTA.”- Piccolo_oso
“She sounds lazy.”
“Does she ever plan on going back to work?”
“Isn’t the child about to start school?”
“Wtf does she plan on doing all day?”- dcdiegobysea
“Wouldn’t that be the fair and acceptable trade off?”
“If all of the responsibility to maintain an income for the whole family rests on ones shoulders, the partner without a doubt should hold the responsibility of maintaining the home.”
“My fiancé and I used to function that way when only he worked.”
“When I got a part time job he helped out a little more at home and once we both worked full time we both pitched in and then we became financially stable and just got a maid.”- ShePilotsGundams
There were a select few, however, who understood why the OP’s wife might have taken offense to his suggestion.
“How did you phrase this when you told her?”
“She might very well be ok with the deal as auch but felt hurt by the way you said it and is now pushing back?”
“It reads like she felt you‘re treating her as a servant.”
“Give her the chance to choose to reward you for your hard work by making your home nice and cosy and maybe even cooking your favorite food when you come home.”
“I love to do that for my bf cause it’s just the best feeling coming home to a nice place and a home cooked meal.”
“In return he helps or even does the dishes on his own.”
“This shows respect for the work I did and allows me to rest a bit as well.”
“Try to show her respect.”
“Don’t burden her with expectations let her get to a point where she wants to spoil you and make you happy.”
“Equal respect is key!”-dovahshy13
One should always try to make sure housework is divided in an equitable manner.
However, as the OP will now have to work longer hours to provide for his family, one can’t help but wonder if it was so unreasonable for his wife to take charge of the housework.
Particularly as their daughter is no longer an infant, and will presumably be starting school quite soon.
Of course, this only begs the bigger question, which is whether or not the OP’s family is really in a position which allows his wife to stay at home.
Based on the drama caused by her suggestion, the answer would seem to be no.