My husband and I are very happily married for 5 years and have a 2-year-old daughter. I'm the breadwinner while he is the primary care giver for our daughter. Our schedules work for the most part, but I really need more time to decompress. I'm a lawyer while my husband works in academic research.
Our days start by me getting up around 7 to get breakfast ready and my daughter would wake up around 7:30. I will feed her and then go take a bath together. My husband would be up by 8:30am and he will be dressed and ready by 9 as I leave. I try to finish work till 5-6 but end up usually finishing by 7:30-8pm on good days.
During this time, my husband cleans up the house, makes lunch and dinner, drops of lunch for me and runs his errands for the house. He also plays and takes care of our daughter while also teaching her both our native languages. He will get some of his work for his job that he can do remotely done when she takes her naps.
He will leave for work around 6:30. His work is walking distance from our place while mine is a drive away. Since I'm often not able to make it home, our daughter will be with either his mother, my sister or our neighbor who also has a 2-year-old. This puts additional pressure on my plate to get home quicker to relieve these people from this additional duty.
My work already required me to work twice as hard as most of my counterparts because this is such a high-pressure job with a lot of internalized sexism. I had cut my maternity leave short and come back early because my coworkers warned me about how people were eying my clients and position. Just to prove myself, I had to work even harder.
When I get home, I'm burnt out. I don't get any time to decompress really as I have to take care of my daughter as soon as I get back until her bedtime at 9. I'd then finish whatever little work I can which I had to abandon to get home in time. By 10 I'm spent and just crash in my bed and maybe get an hour to myself until I fall asleep. My husband will come back around 12-12:30am and fall asleep.
This was working but I'm spent. I can't do this anymore. If my husband quits his job, I won't have the extra pressure to rush home nor would I have to wake up early and take care of our daughter right away. I'd also be able to get at least some time to myself. His job doesn't really pay as much and mostly covers his personal expenses and a few bills which my salary can easily cover.
I pay for most of the stuff here and it's important that I am able to work at my best for that salary I had a conversation with him where he was very defensive and didn't want to quit as its fulfilling and has been his dream for a long time despite it not being practical at this point in life and well out of frustration, I called his job a hobby since it doesn't pay much and doesn't really contribute to the household.
I know it was harsh but at the end of the day it is the truth. He's not been his cheery self for a few days now and is barely talking to me. AITA
Note: There's a lot of discussion about why they don't just get a babysitter/nanny. Here's some info from OP Individual_Share_591:
I'm not asking him to give it up forever. Just until our daughter starts kindergarten.
We did hire a sitter a few times, but we had some terrible experiences, and both agreed not to for the time being.
The good daycares all have long waitlists and the other are in a bit shady area and we fear for our daughter's safety.
The only reason I say it's a hobby is because it doesn't contribute to the household. Do you know how miserably underpaid academic research is. I'd be more than happy to support it if we could make it work logistically and right now, I'm sorry but it can't work.
I would like to change my job, but children are expensive and right now I can't afford to change jobs. Moreover, I don't even have time to look for a new job.
Here's what people had to say in the comments:
YTA, if your salary can pay for so much more hire some help. Can your husband change his hours to work during the day and you guys pay for daycare? Working outside the home is important to some people. His work sounds important to him
Why did you have a kid if you don't even want to raise one?
Individual_Share_591 OP responds:
Our daughter wasn't planned. We were child free. We never wanted to be parents. We had less than 8 months to figure things out. We made a plan. It relied on a bunch of external factors like my mentor shielding me at work and us being able to find some form of help like daycare or nannies. During my maternity leave things went south and we had to make a plan on the fly.
Edit: Before you start accusing, we don't regret our daughter. We love her and wouldn't have it any other way. She may have been a surprise but she's our surprise
Many people NEED work for their own mental health, a sense of purpose. Plus OP doesn’t get to veto her husband’s life dream job, all career decisions should be made in partnership.
The thing that upsets me is that the husband is doing more than she is for their family and it seems like she's trying to dump responsibility onto her husband because of terrible decision
You are so right! She wants him to quit his job where he feels fulfilled so she can not rush to leave her job and get her own time.
I get that it’s hard being a parent, a woman in a male dominated world (or just competitive in general) and have time for yourself.
Maybe instead she can get part time nanny to come in the house and her husband can go to do his research during those hours. It can’t be all for her and deny his time/hopes/dreams/fulfillment. So short sighted.
YTA for asking him to quit and not looking at other options. Also YTA for depending on others so much instead of hiring help when you have the means.