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Husband tells stay-at-home wife he needs an hour to himself after work. 'I have literally zero free time.' AITA?

Husband tells stay-at-home wife he needs an hour to himself after work. 'I have literally zero free time.' AITA?


"AITA for telling my wife I need an hour to myself after work?"

I (35M) work 11-hour days from 7 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday. My work is exhausting, and I'm typically constantly busy for those 11 hours, except for a half-hour lunch break.

My wife (33F) is a stay-at-home mom and takes care of our 4 and 2-year-old children; her routine is less hectic than mine. For the past four years, as soon as I got home around 6:30, I would immediately start helping with dinner (my wife and I eat a later dinner than our kids) and helping take care of the kids.

Once the kids were asleep, I had to do work from home until I went to sleep. I was okay with this, even though I was exhausted, because I understood that sacrifices had to be made. However, I am now completely burning out.

I told my wife that I feel like I need an hour to myself when I get home from work to unwind, so I am not in a permanent state of stress and exhaustion. I have literally zero free time on weekdays.

I offered to allow her a break from 7:30 to 8:30 while I put the kids to bed, but she didn't like that idea since it would involve my only time with the kids being putting them to bed, and then she would never be involved in that.

I understand her perspective, but I also can't keep continuing like this. I feel like I need an hour off to do my own thing so I don't go crazy. My wife thinks that the most important thing is me spending some time with my children, not just putting them to sleep, and that we need to make sacrifices for the next few years until they become more independent. I still haven't budged from my request since I am in a state of burnout. AITA?

Here's what the top commenters had to say:

oodlesofotters said:

So you’re working 7am to 6pm and then again from 8:30 until you go to bed? So 12-14 hours daily? If so the problem is not your wife, it’s your job.

No_Astronaut2795 said:

I mean at those ages, you do sacrifice a lot of personal time and her specific concern is that she wants you to spend time with the kids. I know it can be exhausting to parent young children, but you need to find a compromise you both can live with. Your work schedule also sounds problematic if you're working from home every night.

Specific-Garlic-1036 said:

Having a set schedule where every day is the same isn’t going to work. You need to alternate- some days get 30-60 right after work, other days you don’t. You had kids.

Missus_Aitch_99 said:

NAH. Your work schedule is not compatible with family life. And your kids will be needing you more, not less, as they get older. I think you should make a plan to switch to an eight-hour job, even if it means tightening the family budget.

TardyForDaParty said:

I think you BOTH deserve an hour break. Just because she is a stay at home mom doesn’t mean her routine isn’t hectic. What if she got an hour when you got home, and you got the hour after? Not the ahole, but you need to come to an understanding of a system that would work for the both of you!

Select-Pie6558 said:

You’re constantly busy, I believe you. But…do your co-workers hang on you? Follow you to the bathroom? Ask you to help them 800 times/day? Require your constant supervision to keep them alive and out of harm? So, less hectic? Less stress? Do you think so??? Your current situation isn’t sustainable. Time to figure out some options.

Most people felt that these parents need to have a serious discussion about work-life balance and their childcare schedule as a family. What's your advice for them?

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