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'AITA for telling my MIL I make too much money to be a stay-at-home mom?'

'AITA for telling my MIL I make too much money to be a stay-at-home mom?'


When push comes to shove, you've got to stick to your truth. even if it makes other people upset.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was wrong for telling her MIL she makes too much money to be a stay-at-home mom. She wrote:

"AITA for telling my MIL I make too much to be a SAHM?"

I (31F) 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 less 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 6 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 been also 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 h 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) and 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 then 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 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 be 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.

Redditors did not hold back.

level_5_ocelot wrote:

NTA for shutting her down. However, it is more effective to cut it off at the root “DH and I are perfectly capable of making the best choices for us and our kid, thanks” rather than answer her butting-in in a way that doesn’t necessarily make sense. If someone earns $200k and wants to be a SAHM, more power to them. It’s about the right choices for the individuals involved, not about any specific career or income.

I don’t need to know what you make, or how much you save under various scenarios. All I need to know is that you and DH agree and your family is thriving.

Helpful_Hour1984 wrote:

NTA. It's not only about the money. You spent the entirety of your adult life studying and building a career and they just expect you to give it all up for what? To do something you don't enjoy and that you can outsource for a fraction of the income you get from doing the stuff that you do like. Ridiculous. It's negating the value of your professional contribution to society.

I'm glad your husband shut that down, it means he sees you as a partner, not a bangmaid. Next step is to double down on your boundaries and shut it down every time someone tries to open the topic again.

OP responded:

I guess I justify it with the money because it’s the easiest way to understand. But really I had considered being a SAHM because of the pressure initially. When I was on maternity my mom and other people helped a lot in the beginning so I got a lot of time with my baby.

But when they left and I had healed I realized doing the cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping etc meant I was doing a lot of work and having less time with my child anyway. And I was more tired than at my job. Also I wasn’t making anything!

So it became obvious it didn’t make much sense so I’m very annoyed when people make it seem like I hadn’t considered it or it automatically means I’ll have less work or stress.

Milskidasith wrote:

You're NTA for wanting to continue working but at the same time giving the financial information out here is probably going to backfire.

The way you have described your combined income and your individual savings, you don't need your $200K; you're literally saving almost all of your money after taxes and outsourcing all your work ($144k/yr), with your husband literally having double that income and a debt you could pay down with a single year of your savings.

That rate of savings is also unquestionably enough to pay for your kids college and grad school, no "probably" about it. Nobody who isn't in your extremely, extremely well off financial bracket is going to be convinced that 600k is necessary to afford an education for your kids when 400k isn't.

It's totally fine for you to want to make a lot of money, have additional financial stability, retire early, buy luxuries, etc. and doesn't make you a bad parent to do so...but you aren't going to convince somebody it's their grad school on the line here.

OP responded:

We live in a very HCOL. We don’t live in a huge newly renovated house and the mortgage alone is almost 8k a month.

BLM_CB wrote:

NTA. The old days are old ways for a reason.

Also info: I know you said you’re Japanese but do you live in Japan or are you in a western country? All the moms shaming you? That’s not cool either.

OP responded:

We live in the US.

Croissantal wrote:

NTA. It’s your life and your choices - all these nosy, judgmental people don’t get a vote. You and your husband are the only opinions that matter and it seems like you found a system that works for your family. Also, good on your husband for backing you up against his mother’s comments, sadly the majority of in-law related stories on here don’t tend to go that way.

OP is NTA here, it sounds like she and her husband are setting necessary boundaries.

Sources: Reddit
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