Watching your kids is a full-time job, and choosing to stay at home is a difficult decision for many parents. But one dad on Reddit is calling for his wife, who is a stay-at-home (SAHM) mom to go back to work — because she doesn’t seem to actually be watching their 3-year-old son.
In the “Am I The A—hole?” subreddit, a dad wrote that he and his wife were both working full-time when their son was born, and they put their son in daycare after his wife’s maternity leave. But due to his wife losing her job at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, she became a SAHM. He wrote, “Our finances have taken a hit with only one income, but we make it work. Saving on childcare helps, but it doesn’t fully offset my wife’s previous income.” But finances are not the reason he wants his wife to go back to work.
“My wife LOVES being a SAHM,” the dad wrote. ”She’s become part of a ‘mom group’ that gets together maybe 3-4 times a week and has their kids play together. But it seems like every time they go to these things, our son gets hurt. Up until now, there hasn’t been anything beyond bumps, bruises, and scrapes. Which, I know kids get those things on a daily basis. But it just seems like every time they go to these mom group things, our son comes home with a new injury. I talked to my wife about it and she told me that it’s just kids being kids and that they are going to get bumps and bruises.”
Hmm — so far, it doesn’t seem weird. Kids do get hurt a lot, especially when they get together with their friends. And toddlers aren’t exactly known for playing nice. However, the accidents and injuries escalated to the point of having to go to the emergency room. The dad says that his wife called him from the ER last week.
“Apparently, they had gone over to one of the mom’s houses and the kids were playing outside,” he wrote. “The family has some of those power-wheel type cars and our son ended up getting hit by another kid who was driving one. His leg got cut up pretty good and needed stitches and he was pretty scraped up too, but thankfully nothing worse.”
At first, his wife said it was just an accident, and “[I]t happened so fast and she was really upset with herself,” he continued.
But the dad talked to his son about it and learned “he got dragged for a long time after the kid hit him and that mommy wasn’t there to help him and he was scared.”
So, he confronted his wife about it. “She admitted that she was inside chatting with other moms while it happened,” he said. “There were other moms outside when it happened, but my wife wasn’t out there. I was livid. I didn’t yell at her, but I definitely had some strong choice words for her. I told her that being a SAHM doesn’t mean she just has social time with other moms instead of watching our son. I told her I want to put our son back in daycare and for her to go back to work.”
He continued, “I told her I’m not going to bust my ass to support her mommy social time if she’s not going to at least make sure our son doesn’t get ran over and dragged by a runaway power wheel. She started crying and told me I am being an asshole and that she already feels guilty enough about what happened. I told her she obviously didn’t feel guilty enough to tell me the truth right away and that I feel like my trust is being questioned.”
The dad insisted that their son go back to daycare and his wife start working again. After their argument, he said she’s been “extra attentive to our son,” which he believes is her way “to try to convince me not to put him in daycare.”
Normally, it would be hard to side with a parent who is seemingly trying to dictate what their partner does, but in this case, he’s putting the health and safety of his son above everything else — which is commendable.
Reddit seems to agree. One person wrote, “Happens once… Ok, they are kids. They will fall and hurt themselves…. Part of life! Happens twice…. Ok, not a big deal…. Kids will be kids! But every f*cking time?! Sorry, but that’s bullsh*t! The past injuries weren’t so dramatic, but this one? It’s could’ve been so much worse! Stand your ground OP. No social time is worth to get your kid injured EVERY SINGLE TIME!”
“It’s not even that kids will be kids,” another person wrote. “I mean my brother got stitches because a rock bounced back after hitting the bank of a creek wrong. Stuff happens. It’s the fact this seems deliberate on the part of the other kids and what the son himself said. The rest deserves a discussion but if my child did not feel safe and told me they couldn’t trust going to the other parent because of my partner’s choices that’d be it for me. That’s ultimatum time.”
Someone else said, “NTA. 3-4 times a week and your kid is getting injured every time. That’s excessive. And I say this as a mom with a clumsy child. Honestly, the clincher is her leaving the 3 year old unattended then lying about it. She knew she was wrong for that or else she wouldn’t have lied. 100% this is just social time for mom that is putting a huge burden on you.”
It’s one thing for a mom to need social time with other moms — we all need adult communication and connection — but it’s something else entirely when she uses playdates as an excuse not to watch her child, and her kid keeps getting hurt as a result. Hopefully they will come to a solution that prioritizes their son’s safety.
Even when you’re famous, Mom Guilt is a thing, as these celebrity moms show.