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She Secured a Year of Maternity Leave With Her Tech Job, But When Her Husband’s Parenting Slacked, Thanksgiving Became the Ultimate Showdown.

While balancing a career and motherhood, the Original Poster (OP) faces unexpected challenges from her aspiring author husband. As she navigates a generous maternity leave and the looming decision to return to the office, tensions rise, culminating in a heated family Thanksgiving showdown.

The Tech Employee and the Aspiring Author

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OP works for a prestigious tech company, while her husband is an aspiring author. He has had some success, and they both are optimistic about his future. Their lives take a new turn when OP gets pregnant.

Negotiating Maternity Leave

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OP manages to strike a deal with her employer, getting an entire year of maternity leave. This ensures that she won’t lose her seniority or miss out on profit sharing. To maintain some details’ confidentiality, she refrains from giving all specifics.

A Month of Motherhood Bliss

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With the arrangement made with her employer, OP enjoys an uninterrupted month with her newborn. After this, she begins working from home, taking on tasks at her convenience. This workload averages around 15 hours a week.

A Couple’s New Routine

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With OP’s husband working from home, they decide he will be the primary caretaker for the baby while she works. This arrangement, seemingly perfect, allows OP to balance motherhood and her career.

Disruptions in the Plan

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About a month into their new arrangement, OP’s husband starts neglecting his responsibilities. He often disregards the baby’s needs, causing disturbances in OP’s work routine. Concerned about her professional commitments, OP communicates her concerns to him.

The Nanny Ultimatum

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To ensure she gets her required work hours undisturbed, OP threatens to hire a nanny. She plans to fund this from their “fun budget,” which covers leisure expenses. This gets her husband’s attention, and OP successfully secures her daily work hours.

A Time for Choices

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As OP’s full-time return to work looms closer, her employer offers multiple work options. Impressed with her contribution during maternity leave, they give her the choice to work from home, the office, or a mix of both.

A Decision Made

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After discussing with her husband, who suggests she work from home to assist with the baby, OP chooses to return to the office. The office environment is favorable for her, equipped with facilities for her baby’s needs.

Husband’s Resentment

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OP’s decision doesn’t sit well with her husband. He believes she’s depriving their baby and is critical of her decision. Their communication becomes more strained as they address their differing expectations.

The Financial Dilemma

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OP presents her husband with an alternative: if he gets a full-time paying job to cover nanny costs, she will work from home. He dismisses this proposal, leading to further tension between them.

The Thanksgiving Showdown

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During Thanksgiving with his family, OP’s husband vents his frustrations to his mother. She confronts OP over her decision, causing embarrassment. However, his father intervenes, drawing parallels with their past.

Past Reflections

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OP’s father-in-law recalls how his wife, OP’s mother-in-law, was a stay-at-home mom when their son was born. He implies that if OP’s husband isn’t ready to work, he should be prepared to handle responsibilities at home.

A Heated Debate

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The family gathering becomes a tense battleground, with deep-seated opinions and judgments thrown around. As voices rise, the complexities of OP and her husband’s situation become evident to all present.

Return to Reality

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Back home, the couple faces the aftermath of the Thanksgiving disagreement. They confront their emotions, with OP’s husband confessing he feels emasculated and undermined by the situation.

Emotions at Play

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As they grapple with their feelings, OP begins to question her choices. She battles guilt, feeling like she’s leaving her husband and child in the lurch. The support she expected from her partner seems to be lacking.

External Judgments

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OP’s guilt is further fueled by her mother-in-law’s opinion, which clearly doesn’t favor her. The influence of external judgments weighs heavily on her, affecting her self-worth. Amidst their arguments, OP and her husband try to find common ground.

Was The Wife’s Behavior Appropriate?

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OP posts her story online for feedback and perspective from the internet community. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.

Forum Responds

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One reader said, “Your FIL is right. This is what he signed up for if he didn’t want a job. He has to pick one. Work or childcare. He doesn’t get to just say ‘neither.’”

Another Commenter Thinks

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Another responder wrote, “Being able to stay home and work on his writing is a huge luxury, and he seems absolutely not appreciative of this chance he has.”

A Third View on The Story

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A different person stated, “He feels emasculated, so the only way he can ‘recover’ his masculinity is to force his wife into being the primary caretaker of the baby. But he doesn’t want her to quit her job because he relies on her income. He just wants her to do everything so that he can feel like a man.”

A Final Perspective on the Matter

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Another reader commented, “He wants the benefits of a stay-at-home parent without the work nor the cut in fun money. In short, he wants a sugar momma type who will bankroll his life and not bother him with the realities of parenthood.”

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