A father-of-five says he doesn’t think being a stay-at-home mum is that hard, and the reason his wife is finding it difficult is because she’s lazy.
But before you judge this dad, you may want to hear what he has to say. You see, he’s done the hard yards himself as a stay-at-home dad, so he feels he has perspective when it comes to judging his wife.
The 48-year-old man and his 48-year-old wife have been married since they were 22, and have five children – twins aged 25, a 22-year-old daughter, a 19-year-old son and a three-year-old daughter, who was a surprise.
“For majority of their lives I was the stay at home parent, I cooked, cleaned, attended games, etc,” the dad explained on reddit. “From the moment they came home from the hospital, all up until their mid teens where I deemed them old enough to stay home by themselves.
“Each time after giving birth my wife did not immediately return to work. She did stay at home for about a year so she could recuperate. I, along with hired help watched the children and took care of the house. We come from a very wealthy family, so returning to work has never been troublesome for me.”
When the couple had their ‘surprise’ daughter three years ago, the doting dad quit his job to be a stay-at-home parent. But things changed eight months ago when his wife decided she wanted to quit her job and watch their daughter as a stay-at-home mum.
“I was skeptical because she had never done it before, but she’s her mother and assumed she can handle like I did. Well she hasn’t been handling it well at all.
“Personally I think she’s lazy. And I voiced my thoughts.”
“Whenever I come home from work, the bathroom is a mess, there’s no dinner cooked, our daughter is a mess, and my wife is just watching TV. After I tidy up the house, cook dinner, (which I don’t mind, I’ve been doing it for 25+ years) and get ready for bed she complains about how being a SAHM is hard. Personally I think she’s lazy. And I voiced my thoughts.
“She tried to tell me it’s different but I told her it’s not. I was able to watch the twins with little to no difficulty, and all the way up until they were 14. I watched our third and fourth children with no hassle either. I had the house cleaned, the food ready, the kids clean, homework done, went to their games, school meetings etc. I never asked for help, and sucked it up because I was a dad. For her to have so much trouble watching a three-year-old is ridiculous.
“She’s been silent with me since that conversation, but when I came home from work the house was actually clean, food was cooked, and our daughter was clean as well. I’m starting to feel like the a**hole because maybe it’s different for women, but how can raising children be so difficult and different for us.
“I want everyone to understand that I do love my wife. But she has not been able to take care of the house or our daughter. Being a SAHP means taking care of the house and children, and she does neither. My wife claims she’s not depressed, but I can’t allow for this to continue. I’ll have to discuss with her if she would like to return to work, or if she wants for both of us to be SAHP (we have the funds to retire early).
“I feel as if she may reject this, and if she does I will put my foot down and hire help for her. She needs it more than she is willing to admit. Calling her out the way I did may have been harsh and I will apologise for that, but it did seem to have effect since she did take care of the house and our daughter.”
After thinking about the situation, the husband discussed the situation with his wife, asking her why she ‘hasn’t been doing her part’ as a stay-at-home parent.
“We argued back and forth for a while, her saying that she still needs time to adjust, I’m shaming her, it’s different for mothers. I brought up hiring help and she quickly shot this down, becoming irritated that I suggested she needed help taking care of her home and child. It felt like we were going in circles. I eventually cut her off and began to list all the dangers she had been putting out daughter in since becoming a SAHM, explaining how even though I went back to work that I come back and have to clean up after her because she hasn’t done her part, and told her I was sick of this. I apologised for calling her lazy but she then broke down crying.
“My wife admits that being a SAHM was something she didn’t think she’d be good at, but she desperately wanted to be here to raise our daughter because she wasn’t there for our other kids. She said that when I was raising the children I made it seem so easy because everything was neat, and the children were happy, and orderly. I told my wife that it’s not true, you were always with us.
“We got out some picture books and I pointed out all the times she was with us, every trip we took, the games she tried her hardest to attend, taking time off work for holidays, bedtime stories, etc. She may not have been there for everything like I was but me and the children always so her efforts. She even thought our children held resentment towards her but that couldn’t be further than the truth.
“I asked her if she was possibly going through depression but she assures me she’s not, but we decided we should attend couples therapy along with some individual therapy for her. I asked if she enjoyed being with our daughter at home and she admits that being able to spend all this time with her was refreshing and possibly the happiest she’s ever been. She promised that she’ll do her part and keep the house tidy to the best of her ability and will be more careful so that she doesn’t put her in danger anymore.
“We sat down for a while and I gave my wife some ideas she and our daughter can do together while I’m at work (go to the museum, aquarium, a picnic etc. These were things I did with our kids). But I did tell her I was still going to hire someone to help her, she attempted to say no but I shot her down. Being a SAHM is a lot harder for her than she realises. I gave her all the pros that having a help can give her. After a bit my wife was more open to the idea.
“I’m glad we were able to get this out in the open. Im still wondering if I should take some time off work before I hire someone to help my wife, that may possibly be more comfortable for her. I’ll bring this up tomorrow. Im going to plan something with our children this weekend, possibly a barbecue. I want to tell my the children how my wife’s been feeling. I know for a fact they love her, but I bet my wife would feel a lot better to see it come from them.”
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