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Man calls high-earning wife 'cruel' for returning to work in person; leaving baby.

Man calls high-earning wife 'cruel' for returning to work in person; leaving baby.


Childcare is a huge deal, especially for working parents. Some people have a lot more options than others, and this is a story about those blessed with such. Here's a new mother's post, asking the internet to weigh in on her marital dispute:

'AITA (Am I the A-hole) for not taking the option of working from home?'

Life_Detail4527 writes:

I work for a tech company. My husband is an aspiring author. He has had some success and we hope for more in the future. When I got pregnant I negotiated a full year of maternity leave with my employer. I would not lose seniority or miss out of certain aspects of profit sharing.

In return for the accommodation I made with my employer I got a month of completely uninterrupted time with my new baby. Then I started taking on tasks from home on my own schedule. On average it was 15 hours or so a week.

My husband writes at home so we decided that he would be the stay at home parent and when I was working he would care for our baby. It was a pretty good arrangement I thought. And it was for about a month. Then he would start ignoring the baby crying, or claiming that the baby wanted me. That sort of thing. It started to interfere with my deal with my boss.

I told him in no uncertain terms that if he kept interrupting me while I was working I would hire a nanny for help, but take the funds out of our fun budget. The budget that pays for dinners out, vacations, and hobbies. He got the point and I got my one to two hours of uninterrupted time every day. Until recently.

It is almost time for me to return to work full time. Once again my employer was very accommodating. They were impressed with my ability to contribute meaningfully to my group during my maternity leave.

So they offered me a choice of WFH, work in the office, or a hybrid schedule. I discussed it with my husband and he said that I should choose to WFH so I could help more with the baby. I chose to return to the office. I have access to a private room and a freezer so I can store milk. I am able to interact with my team and I enjoy the environment.

My husband is saying that I'm being cruel and that my baby needs me. I said I would WFH if he got a job to pay for the nanny so it didn't affect our budget. He said it didn't make sense. I almost said 'no sh*t Sherlock '.

He wants me to be the main breadwinner while he tries to get published, he wants to enjoy life in an expensive city, and he wants to stay home to write. Some of these desires are mutually exclusive without him stepping up and giving me time and space to earn a living.

We just saw his family for Thanksgiving and he was complaining to his mom about me choosing to leave him at home with the baby and returning to work. She started in on me for my choice. I was embarrassed until his dad spoke up and reminded her that when my husband was born she was a stay at home mom and housewife.

He said that was what my husband signed up for if he didn't want a job. It just became a big argument. Now we are home and I feel bad and he says that he feels emasculated. So we are arguing. I feel like an a-hole abandoning him and our baby. And his mom thinks I am.

What do you think? Is OP being selfish and 'cruel' by returning to the office? Or does hubby need a serious reality check?

Reddit ruled mostly NTA (not the a-hole), but with some exceptions...

SecretJealous4342 says:

NTA. You have given him options. He is the one making it difficult for you to continue funding your home.

mangogetter agrees:

My feeling is that if he'd like to be part of a household in which he contributes nothing of value, he can move back in with his folks.

OrindaSarnia explains:

I think he feels emasculated because his dad called him out and compared him to his mother being stay-at-home. They definitely need therapy though, because the husband is clearly not happy to step up in the way he said he would. I don't know what he thought would happen here...he has choices, but I think it would be to OP's benefit to have a third party in the room, helping them mediate these conversations.

And helping her husband figure out what he actually wants. A lot of new parents feel overwhelmed by a baby, I think the husband is unhappy and is just taking it out on everyone else instead of accepting the situation and making pro-active choices to make all their lives better (either accepting his role as parent, or getting a job to pay for a nanny, or getting therapy, etc)

OP is rocking her life, but she needs a husband who supports her, and she just doesn't have that right now, he's so far up his own rear end that he can't see the reality of their life clearly.

And Suspiciouscupcake23 speaks from experience:

Aspiring author here. There is no reason he can't write in his 'free time' like all the author moms do. I'm in several groups full of them. Portable keyboards to write waiting for dance class or school pickup. Sneaking in time while baby naps. Learning to write fast on your phone so you can work will monitoring kids at the same time.

Many of these women have very successful self pub and trad published books. If they can all work it out, so can he. If not, he does what many other writer moms have to do and say, now is not the time. Now I focus on the kid and write in 6 months. Or a year. Sucks, but if women can do it, male writers can too.

Radiant-Garbage-1147 sees it differently:

I can't help but to believe that if the tables were reversed and it was the husband demanding the wife stay at home Reddit would be ripping him a new one. You both need to be on the same page. It bothers me that you know what is best for you all and enforcing without your husband's willingness.

I would never feel comfortable leaving my baby home with someone who doesn't want to watch them. Soft YTA (you're the a-hole).

To which OP clapped back:

Can you please explain how offering to pay for a nanny is forcing him to stay home?

aphrahannah also has concerns:

So he is also WFH. I'm torn between ESH (everyone sucks here) and NAH (no a-holes here). As you just said to me in another comment, 'the W in WFH means WORK'. So of course he felt emasculated when his dad was taking your side and saying that he didn't have a job.

Did you stand up for him and say he did have a job? I'm going to guess not, as you were grateful to have his dad stick up for you. That situation sucked for both of you.

When you discussed the WFH/back to the office option, and he said WFH, was it an in depth conversation? Were you able to gather what his perception of that arrangement would be?

For example, him thinking it would mean you can take chunks out of your work day to play with/feed the baby? Or did he just mean you'd be home, and therefore able to see the baby at lunchtime, and have way more time at home to help by eliminating the commute? Or was it a brief conversation?

And OP clarified:

He has trouble watching the baby 90 minutes a day. How do you think he would do with me at home but unable to help for 8-10 hours a day? He expected me to continue to give him hours of time to write.

So, there it is!

This looks like a pretty plain case of 'shut up and count your blessings, bro.'

Sources: Reddit
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