In a classic tale of shared responsibilities, a courageous woman has taken a stand and told her husband that if he wants someone to stay home with their child, he can be the one to do it. Now, she is turning to the wise and witty Reddit community to seek advice and guidance on whether she's in the wrong for her stance.
This is her story:
At 29 weeks pregnant, the original poster [OP] (30F) and her husband (29M) found themselves grappling with an unexpected dispute. They had been together for eight years, having met in college, and were married for the last two. Their bond, characterized by understanding and progressiveness, had largely remained unwavering. Although her husband hailed from a conventional background with two siblings and a stay-at-home mother, he had never displayed any strong traditionalist inclinations.
Historically, the couple had concurred on nearly all marital and parenting strategies. This harmony, however, was disrupted two days prior when discussing potential childcare plans post the baby's birth. Both worked in tech, availing impressive salaries and benefits, with the mom-to-be receiving 20 weeks of maternity leave and the dad-to-be getting 12 weeks of paternity leave. They were contemplating staggered leaves to ensure parental presence with the baby up to six months, the age at which many nearby daycare facilities would accept children.
However, the dad, after some reading, expressed his preference for one parent to stay at home for the baby's first year. When the mom probed into his earnestness and potential job resignation, he was taken aback, suggesting that "obviously" his wife should be the one at home.
Given she earned three times more than he—though it had never been a point of contention in their relationship—she questioned the practicality of surviving on just a fraction of their combined income with a new baby. He took offense, accusing her of belittling his financial contributions. The disagreement escalated, with her labeling his stand as sexist and implying that if he felt so strongly, perhaps he should be the one staying home.
After discussing the matter with both families, opinions were divided. Was the OP in the wrong for highlighting the wage disparity and suggesting daycare if her husband wasn't willing to stay at home?
In an update from August 20, 2023, the folks of Reddit declared the OP was not in the wrong. As for her, she said she and her husband are working on a resolution.
While many questioned the absence of prior discussions on childcare, the OP clarified that they had indeed settled on daycare pre-pregnancy. After noticing her husband's unusual silence after their argument, she confronted him. Suspecting family influence, she inquired and unveiled a surprising revelation.
Her husband had informally broached the topic of staggered leaves at a family dinner that the OP hadn't attended. Certain family members and notably, his elder brother, had ridiculed him with sexist taunts, given the OP's dominant financial role. His brother, notorious for his chauvinistic views, had earlier made snide remarks about her being the primary earner. Consequently, facing derision from both family and colleagues, he felt demeaned, triggering his defensive and aggressive stance towards his wife.
Acknowledging the strain, they've now resolved to explore counseling options and consider hiring a nanny. The OP's husband confessed his genuine openness to taking unpaid leaves, but his anxiety was rooted in anticipated mockery by his brother and friends. Grateful for the public insight, the OP shared that they are now on the path to resolution.
So who was wrong in this situation? Chime in below.