In the midst of their thriving careers and plans for a family, the Original Poster (OP) and his wife dreamt of a life where she could be a stay-at-home mom. Their aspirations seemed achievable until a global pandemic sent ripples through OP’s industry, leaving them on precarious financial ground. As free daycare beckons from his workplace and her industry booms, a tense conversation unfolds, challenging their initial agreement.
OP and his wife were in their early 30s and enjoying stable careers. Conversations about starting a family began with the wife expressing her wish to become a stay-at-home mom (SAHM). OP, expecting a promotion, believed they’d be financially stable even if she chose this path.
The Joyful News
They got pregnant and joy-filled their lives. OP had enough time to bond with their child, and his wife adapted well to her new role. Life seemed to be aligning perfectly with their dreams.
An Unexpected Storm
The pandemic struck, reshaping the global economic landscape. The company OP worked for was greatly impacted, and he was presented with a difficult choice. He could either face redundancy or accept a lower position.
Together, OP and his wife decided that job security was paramount during such unpredictable times. The hope was that once things stabilized, OP could seek a position similar to his previous one.
An Industry in Decline
Optimism turned to apprehension when it became clear that OP’s industry wouldn’t recover quickly. It seemed the economic challenges were here to stay, affecting their household income and their plans.
To maintain their lifestyle and support their family, OP had to take on additional work. The stress mounted as they tried to keep their financial situation stable amidst the industry downturn.
A Ray of Hope
A potential solution emerged: OP’s workplace offered free in-building daycare. This presented an opportunity for his wife to rejoin the workforce, especially since her industry was actively hiring. It seemed like the perfect way to balance work and family.
A Difficult Conversation
With hopes of easing their financial burdens, OP broached the idea of his wife returning to work. The conversation was tougher than anticipated. She felt he was reneging on their original agreement.
OP attempted to explain the changed circumstances, emphasizing the need for dual incomes to ensure a comfortable life for their family. He reassured her that if situations improved, they could reconsider their arrangements.
A Growing Rift
However, his words did little to ease her concerns. His wife felt betrayed, and tension grew between them. Days turned into a week without her speaking to him.
A Heavy Burden
Understanding the weight of his decision, OP accepted his role in altering their household dynamic. He wondered if he should continue on the current path, even if it meant more strain, to maintain household peace.
OP recalled his wife’s initial apprehension about starting a family. Given her childhood experiences, becoming a SAHM might have been a significant factor in her decision to become a mother.
The Heart of the Matter
The choice wasn’t just about finances; it was deeply emotional for his wife. Her identity and self-worth were intertwined with her role as a SAHM, making the situation even more complex.
OP, torn between his responsibilities and his commitment to his wife, turned to others for advice. He questioned if his actions made him insensitive and if there was a way to mend the rift.
Was Wanting His Wife To Return To Work Appropriate?
The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter.
One reader said, “If it’s not working financially, there’s not much else you can do.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote: “Your wife needs to grow up and act like an adult. It is incredibly selfish of her to act this for not only you but your child. It is not like you are changing your agreement just because you feel like it. It’s because you need to/have to.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person states, “There is no concern for your children’s safety. Her refusal is selfish as you are now picking up extra work for income she could easily supplement.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another viewpoint on the story: “It’s actually so selfish that she is ok for you to be the absent father.”