Even though it’s the 21st century, there are still some dads out there who have strong opinions about whether their wives should go back to work after having kids or not. While there are of course tons of men who think that a mom should do whatever she feels is best for her and her kids, there are others who think it’s altogether better if mom just stays home and raises the kids herself.
You might be surprised how contentious of a topic this is, and how many problems it can create in a relationship. These 20 men have all shared what they really feel about their wives going back to work.
Some husbands wholeheartedly support their wives' decisions or perhaps they’re just nervous she’ll have trouble juggling everything. But there are also some hubbies who think it was an absolute mistake. From those who believe it’s putting undue hardship on the kids, harming their family’s reputation, or are annoyed their house isn’t as spick and span as usual, we bet you’ll be shocked by some of these responses.
At the end of the day, we think it’s up to mom to decide for herself if she wants to go back to work or spend more time with the kids and it’s dad’s job to be supportive. Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments!
20 She Forgot About Our Kid
Richard* admits that his wife once forgot to pick up their son from daycare because she was so busy with going back to work!
“I wouldn’t have an issue if my wife could handle everything. But she proved she couldn’t when she forgot to pick our toddler up from daycare.
Evidently, she thought I was doing it, even though I worked late that night. He had to wait over an hour past pick-up for her to remember and come to get him.
It was so embarrassing explaining to the employees that we forgot about our kid. They’re totally judging us.”
19 I Can Feel The Judgement
Landon* says that he feels people are judging his family ever since his wife went back to work because it says something about their financial situation.
“A part of me feels embarrassed that she’s back to work. I think it makes people think we need the extra income, which isn’t the case, or like I don’t work hard enough to support my family.
I know her career is important to her, but I thought having a successful family was, too.”
Have you ever felt like people are judging your family if both parents work? Let us know in the comments!
18 I Just Want To See The World
Jacques* says that he and his wife can no longer do the same things they loved now that she’s not only gone back to work but accepted an in-person position.
“My wife and I used to do freelancing, so we’d get to travel a lot, which we loved. When we had kids, we promised that we’d still travel with them. But instead of going back to working remotely, my wife decided to accept a position in-office (with the idea I can watch the kids because I work at home).
Her schedule means we have no time to travel, she has half the time with the kids, and we badly have time for each other. She hardly considered me before accepting the position.”
17 They Feel Like Burdens
Sherman* admits that he was primarily raised by babysitters and nannies, which put a strain on his relationship with his parents. Even though his wife is back at work, he’s worried that his children will start to feel like a burden, just like he did because both of his parents worked full-time.
“I’d never tell her, but I honestly don’t think it’s good or fair for the kids. I always had a babysitter after school. It made me feel distant from my parents and like I was a burden. I don’t want our kids to feel that way.”
Do you think that having both parents work full-time places an unfair burden on the kids?
16 Our Son Isn’t The Same
Laurence* says he blames his son’s behavioral problems on his wife re-entering the workforce.
“My wife went back to work after 4 years out of the workforce. She seems to be enjoying it, but our son has been acting up ever since and I’m pretty sure it’s a direct result.
He’s been overly hyper, getting into trouble at school, and disobeying orders. We’ve had to pick him up a few times because he was making a scene in class and the teacher couldn’t control him. My wife refuses to acknowledge his behavioral problems are because of all the change of her going back to work.”
15 Not Up To Cleaning Standards
Ari* is annoyed that his house is never as clean and tidy as it was when his wife stayed at home with the kids.
“I can’t stand how messy the house is nowadays. She said I’d have to pitch in more with cleaning, but since I still work more hours than her, I think it’s more responsibility.
But it’s never in the same condition as it was before she went back to work. And when you have young kids, you need to be constantly cleaning or else it’s going to look like a hurricane came through.”
14 We Needed The Money
Callum* admits that he and his wife didn’t have much of a choice over her going back to work because they desperately need a second income. He says he has a lot of guilt over it and hopes his wife doesn’t resent him.
“My wife didn’t want to go back to work so soon. She wanted more time off with the baby. But we didn’t have a choice because we have so much debt from college, we needed the second income.
I feel so guilty about it. I’m the man, I need to provide for my family not make my wife go out to work when we have a newborn. I’m worried she also sees me as a failure.”
13 In-Laws Can Be The Worst
Desmond* says he can’t stand the way his wife’s sister (and the rest of her family, too) have reacted to her wanting to go back to work right after giving birth.
“My wife loves her career, so I think it was good for her that she went back to work as early as she could after maternity leave. But what bothers me is how her family is reacting to the news.
She comes from a Republican, Blue Collar family where the norm is for the mom to stay home with the kids and dad work. Her younger sister has been a stay-at-home mom for years and always makes comments about how bad we must be doing financially for her to go back to work in less than a year.
My wife actually just likes her job, that’s it!”
12 We Almost Didn’t Make it
Cameron* says his wife was so consumed by going back to work, she failed to make sure she was taking care of herself.
“I honestly blame her work as the reason she didn’t get her PPD addressed. She was so anxious to go back to her job because she thought her boss would be harsh on her for taking time off to deliver our daughter.
And then when she was back, she made herself so stressed trying to prove herself or impress her co-workers.
She was so drained and distant for so long that our marriage didn’t survive. She only got diagnosed after I told her to see a doctor or I was moving out.”
11 She’s A Career Woman At Heart
Nathan says he adores his wife’s strong work ethic and determination to advance in his career. For their family, it was never even up for debate whether she’d go back to work or not, and it seems like it works perfectly for them.
“From our first date, my wife always maintained how important her career is for her (she’s a journalist). So it wasn’t a question of if she would or wouldn’t go back to work when the kids were old enough. It’s her passion.
And honestly, her work ethic is one of the things that I’m so attracted to. I wouldn’t love her the same way if she didn’t have this drive for her career.”
10 We Can’t Stop Arguing
Danny* admits that he and his wife have been arguing non-stop about whether she should go back to work. Now that she’s decided she’s going against her husband’s wishes, he’s not sure what that will mean for their relationship going forward.
“We’ve been arguing before the baby was born if she should go back. We don’t need the money and I’d rather her watch our son than some stranger in daycare.
But she says she doesn’t want to stay cooped up in the house all day. She starts back at work next week, and I don’t know what that’ll mean for our marriage.”
9 We’re Setting A Good Example
Bastian* hates that the standard is for women to stay home with the kids, while the men go out to work. Both he and his wife believe they’re setting a better example for their family by both of them pursuing their own careers.
“I feel like it’s pretty sexist that wives are expected to stay home and men always work, so I never wanted my wife to feel pressured to do that.
We actually think it’s a good example for the kids that we both work and make time for the family. It teaches them they can have everything they want if they work hard enough for it.”
8 The Schedule Of Nightmares
Liam* says he and his wife are constantly arguing about scheduling conflicts now that she’s back at work.
“After our fourth kid, I thought my wife would consider staying home for a few years because of how difficult scheduling the kids’ school, daycare, and activities around both of our work would be too difficult. But she insisted on going back until I couldn’t take it anymore.
But now that she’s back full time, we’re arguing even more. We can never figure out who needs to pick the kids up where. We’ve arrived to the same pick-up separately before, and then missed others altogether. We can’t have this many kids with this many things if we both have careers.”
7 Burnout Is A Real Possibility
Though Jaden* says he had no problem with his wife going back to work, what he is concerned about is that she might have too much on her plate.
“I supported my wife going back to work and had no problem with it. But what I’m worried about is that she’s going to burnout.
She’s still picking the kids up from daycare and all of their activities, cleaning the house and making all the food, plus going back to work after 2 years off. I know she’s taken on too much, but she always says she doesn’t need help when I offer. It’ll catch up to her soon, I know.”
6 She’s Doing It For Her Mom
Clayton* says he’s upset that it appears his mother-in-law influenced his wife’s decision about whether she should go back to work right after having her baby.
“My wife chose to go back to work all because her mother said she had to. She went on this feminist rant about my wife needing to challenge the patriarchy by being a working mom.
I’m fine with her wanting to go back to work, but only if she made the decision by herself, which I don’t think she did. She’s so sad every morning when she has to leave the baby all because she’s trying to appease her mom.”
5 Staying-At-Home Wasn’t For Her
Elliot* says his wife was unhappy being a stay-at-home mom, so he encouraged her to go back to the workforce.
“My wife actually tried to stay home for the first two years of my daughter’s life. But it had a really bag impact on her.
She got depressed without having her career and anxious about how hard it would be to go back. But she also felt guilty for not wanting to be with the baby all the time and how her going back could hurt our daughter.
I was the one that pushed her to go back and told her not to feel bad. She’s been doing so much health-wise better since she’s gone back.”
4 This Isn’t An Equal Division
Simon* says he feels like he’s been doing most of the housework and child-rearing ever since his wife went back to work, which has left him feeling a bit salty.
“Ever since my wife went back to work, I feel like I’m doing most of the work at home now.
I’m always the one who has to pick up and drop off the kids, get groceries, and make sure the house is clean, just because I have more flexible hours. She’s doing zero to pitch in. I just want us to split everything evenly.”
3 Staying With The Kids Is Boring
Patrick* says he 100% supports his wife’s decision to go back to work because he can’t know how bored she’d get if she had to be with the kids all day. He describes work as a sort-of break from the kids, which he definitely wouldn’t want to deprive his wife of.
“How can anyone be mad at their wife for wanting to work? I can only imagine how boring it would be to stay home with the kids all day. I mean I love my kids, but work is a nice reminder that there are other adults in the world.”
2 I Knew This Wasn’t A Good Idea
Michael* has some harsh words for his wife as he admits he doesn’t think she can handle working on top of being a mom-of-three. He admits he wasn’t even sure if having a third child was a good idea, let alone her going back to work!
“After our third child, my wife finally decides she wants to go back to work. I know I should be happy for her, but I’m actually mad because I know she’s taken on too much.
It’s always been this way with her. I thought having another baby was too much, but now she wants to get her job back, too? She’s just too fragile to handle it.”
1 Put In Some More Effort
Cedric* says that his wife often comes home extremely tired from work- so much so, he says she’s too fatigued to even play with their kids.
“I’m annoyed with how she’s been acting since she went back to work.
Half the time she’s too tired to get on the floor and play with our toddlers when she goes home. She just has a nap, gets up to cook dinner, and then it’s the kids’ bedtime when she’s done.
I wish she’d put in more of an effort to spend time with the kids, especially since they’re not used to being looked after by someone else other than mom.”
*Names have been changed.