Is it selfish for a stay-at-home parent to expect their working partner to help with housecleaning and baby care during the week? One mom is asking for Reddit’s advice.
The SAHM explained her quandary to Reddit’s Am I the A**hole forum writing, “My boyfriend loves his work, but he is on his feet all day and has a relatively stressful job working with teenagers at a paramilitary school. I feel privileged to be a stay at home mom, but money is very tight and this is a huge source of stress for us.”
However, now resentful of her role, “I have decided that I cannot do it all on my own anymore for my own health, and for our baby’s safety. Yesterday he made a joke about being the best dad and I snapped. I told him he can’t be a good parent without even being involved in her life. Then I said from now on he needed to dedicate an entire hour every single day to giving her his full attention and allowing me to have a break.”
However, the mom feels “guilty’ for her outburst — and for requesting a break from childcare — when her partner works 12-hour shifts four times a week and is tired in the evenings. “I’m not working or even keeping up with housekeeping tasks or cooking meals,” she wrote. “I literally ONLY take care of the baby and our dog.
The poster clarified that her partner enjoys downtime for three consecutive days per week, which he spends “locked away in his office playing video games” — an anecdote that Reddit readers didn’t ignore.
“How can he even call himself a dad when he spends no time with her whatsoever,” remarked one. “He would literally rather play video games than bond with us daughter.”
“He has 3 days off, you should at least get one,” wrote someone. “And not just him watching the baby so you can do chores in peace — where [is] YOUR video game time?”
“….As a working dad your day does not end until that kid is asleep and when he walks in the door a true good dad would immediately pick up the child and relieve his partner,” said a commenter. Someone else added, “Please demand yourself the time you deserve. It’s ok to want to relax at least a bit everyday (sleep doesn’t count).”
However, a few suggested that the mom should accept partial blame for the situation. “….Also no, you don’t get to force him to spend an hour with his kid,” they wrote. “He is supposed to spend the entire time he’s at home with his kid. You’re an [a**hole] for allowing him to slack on parenting and think an hour a day is good enough.”
“You definitely deserve a break but it’s not fair to bottle it up then explode on him,” one wrote. “….Probably not the best way to tell him you need more from him. You should have had this conversation way earlier and not when you get triggered and he has no idea what … is going on.”
Stay-at-home moms with young children are likelier than working moms (who are employed either part-time or full-time) with young children to feel stressed, sad, angry, and depressed, according to a 2012 Gallup poll which looked at more than 60,000 women in the United States. “Employed moms are about as emotionally well-off as working women who do not have children at home,” the results found.
And because the pandemic has put many parents out of work — distinctly moms, who were already carrying out most of the childcare and housekeeping — it’s important to take parents’ mental health seriously. Let’s hope this couple finds a compromise!
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