“Do you work?” is a question poised to moms that makes my blood boil. Yes, I have a job. But, also, I am a mom. It is work — and I don’t appreciate anyone acting like it isn’t. For “working mothers” (hate that term!) We all know how hard it can be to raise kids. Stay-at-home moms and working mothers alike. And while I would not be one to judge how another mom lives, one dad on Reddit is a little concerned about his wife … and I can definitely see his point. She’s a SAHM of three kids 5 and under, yet she has some pretty cushy help to the tune of $90,000 a year. It Doesn’t leave much for her to actually do Around the house
In the “Am I The A—hole?” subreddit, a concerned husband wrote about his wife, who is “stressed” all the time despite having her kids in daycare and hiring a maid.
“My wife and I have 3 kids, they’re 5 and 3 and 3. I work full time, she’s stay at home,” he wrote. “We have our kids at daycare 40 hours a week. A maid is also hired by us once a week. I work at a job that can afford this, but we’re spending ~$90k a year on these services.”
Whoa! That’s … a lot. That age does make it hard to get anything done, but you don’t have to worry about (Too If you have a maid, it will be a lot more work. What about the mom?
“My wife typically naps several hours in the day when the kids are at daycare,” the dad said. He goes on, “I see peers who have multiple kids with one parent stay at home who are able to do it with no daycare or maid. Our situation is more complicated with twins. She takes care of the wakeup, getting them ready for daycare, and dinner/pickup. We both handle dinner/ bath and bed, then I clean.”
It sounds like they split the household duties pretty evenly, and then the husband works and the wife just stays home … to nap? Is she a stay at home mom or just a housewife at this stage? I’m all for outsourcing help if you want and can afford it, but something isn’t working, because her partner isn’t happy with the arrangement.
When she isn’t napping, her husband said, she’s spending her time working out, and giving back through volunteer opportunities. Unfortunately, this hasn’t helped relieve her stress.
“A year ago, my wife started exercising with friends and meeting up with women regularly and helps out with some local orgs for a couple hours a week. (all great things),” he said. But she’s still stressed. “My wife is always stressed about something, nagging or critical to me about things not done to her preference or timing. I feel like as a stay at home mom with kids in daycare and a maid, things should be a lot more chill.”
Right. So, this husband doesn’t even really seem upset that the kids are in daycare and a maid cleans while his wife hangs out with her friends. The main point: she’s stressed and complaining about the kids and him, with seemingly very little reason. That’s got to be exhausting!
“We both recognize if I had a job that paid less, we’d have to do without daycare or a maid, and we’d survive,” he continued. “Am I being unreasonable?”
Reddit clearly had words for this mother.
“How can you be a stay at home parent if there’s no kids at home to parent?” one person said, which is a good point! “I support a part-time daycare situation to socialize the kids at a certain point (what that age is really depends on what you guys agree on), but it doesn’t sound fair that you foot the bill for her to stay home full time while also paying for full time daycare. “
“It sounds more like she is a housewife than a SAHM,” another commented. A housewife who doesn’t actually seem to do much house managing!
“What is she doing all day at home if the kids are in daycare and a maid is cleaning the house?” another wrote. “I know reddit is all about defending how stressed out SAHMs are, but if someone stays at home I think they need to be contributing to the household in some way, whether that is watching the kids or keeping up with the household (or ideally both, because who can afford to outsource everything?) “
The OP responded, “She’ll nap for 2-3 hours, have lunch, do chore like laundry and dinner prep, errands and takes the kids to doctors visits. But yeah, ¯_(ツ)_/¯.”
Huh … I’m not going to lie, I understand why this dad is frustrated. That’s a lot of money to drop just so his wife can nap, do prep work, and run a few errands. Perhaps they can compromise and let the children go to daycare. Part-time? You’d think that it would save her money and give her enough time to do other things.
A stay-at-home mom weighed in on the situation, writing, “As a SAHM myself, I usually come in guns blazing to defend other SAHMs … however, with all of this outsourcing, I honestly don’t understand why your wife would be so stressed.”
She also asked, “Could she be dealing with depression or anxiety? Do you think there are other factors, such as extended family? What are her stress factors? Because if she’s really just getting the kids dressed, napping, eating lunch, running errands, and cooking dinner… that really should not be super stressful for an average person. I would have a heart to heart with her and encourage her to at least speak with a therapist.”
The dad responded to this message, writing, “She’s very type A and was a perfectionist, and she was raised primarily by her mother. She has vivid memories of her parents letting her cry out, and that influenced how she parented. She seems very reluctant to let kids cry, even when they are just unhappy.”
Many others commented that there may be some depression or anxiety at play here, one of which OP responded, “Hmmm.” At least it’s getting him to think! Perhaps therapy or medication could help her manage her symptoms and bring more joy and peace to her day.
“My first thought was depression as well,” someone else wrote. “It sounds like she isn’t happy with some aspect of her life. I’m a SAHM with a nanny and housekeeper. I’m never napping or sitting around. I have a nanny to help bc I’m often running around with one of the kids while the other is napping. I’m very present. The fact that the three year olds are in full time daycare indicates to me that she may be incredibly burnt out or depressed and doesn’t want to be around her kids that much. How long have they been in daycare?”
Even the dad shared some insight into their life before having kids. “So it’s not like she’s spending all day on her self or hobbies, I’m actually trying to get her to do More self care” (more self care?!) “and worry less about kids,” he wrote in a comment. “Before kids, she worked full time and we both did lots of stuff outside work. Life was pretty good.”
If she has drastically changed that much since having kids, it’s definitely worth a look into postpartum depression. Postpartum depression can affect up to one in seven women. It can cause you to feel hopeless, lose joy in your life, and have a hard time connecting with your children.
Luckily, this caring dad doesn’t seem to want to control her activities; rather, he’s trying to support her and help lower her stress levels. He also seems open to therapy, so hopefully she’ll get the help she needs soon. Maybe she’ll realize she wants to go back to work or take the kids out of daycare or something else. Either way, it’s worth reaching out for help when you are this stressed — no matter how cushy your lifestyle.
Before you go, check out these wild stories about Reddit’s most horrific mother-in-laws.