There is no question that being a stay-at-home mom is a more or less thankless job. Carrying the mental, physical, and emotional load of being the primary caretaker to children 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is arguably the hardest job on the planet. So, what happens when the one person you’d expect to “get” how burned out and tired a stay-at-home parent can get doesn’t actually get it at all?
Well, he gets absolutely roasted on the internet, for starters.
A totally clueless and aloof husband aired out his concerns about his wife’s “needs” on the “Am I The A—hole?” Reddit thread and was met with much disdain.
He explained that when he and his wife got married, the couple had an agreement in place that she would stay home with the kids, and he would make the money. However, recently, his wife has been expressing concerns that she’s burned out and feels like she is taken for granted.
Having open and honest communication and actually expressing how she was feeling was apparently not part of the pre-approved arrangement because this guy was very annoyed by her feelings.
“Recently, she has been coming to me and saying that she feels burned out, unappreciated and taken for granted. I asked if I could do anything to help and she said that it would be nice if I did something now and again to show that I appreciated her. E.g. buying her favourite bar of chocolate when I go to the shop or something small, just as a gesture of appreciation. I'll admit that I didn't do this, purely because I am not in the habit to be honest,” he wrote.
While the OP said he understood where she was coming from, he clarified that the two “both get on with [their] respective roles,” and then just straight up mocked her. “I get on with my job because I have to provide for my family whereas she wants presents and treats for doing her job,” he wrote.
Is your blood boiling yet?
He then explained that he pretty much met her feelings with that cold response and (shocker!) she wasn’t receptive. “ ... now I'm wondering if I am the a—hole - looking after kids and the house is tiring and she does work hard and takes care of everything. But at the same time, do I need to thank her on bended knee and buy her things just for doing her job?”
Other Reddit users had some thoughts, quickly coming to the defense of the mother of twins.
“It sounds like she is working harder than you, but that isn't even the point. Appreciating her and showing her you love her is part of being a decent husband. If you're a robot who doesn't need appreciation, that doesn't mean she has to be too,” one user wrote.
Another responded that while the OP may note that he doesn’t “need” the kind of appreciation his wife is asking for (like a tiny piece of chocolate — HOW DARE SHE!), he certainly gets the validation he needs from his job due to being 1) a man and 2) societal norms that still think “work” is something a person does outside of being a parent.
“ ... his higher ups notice what he does, the clients and co-workers he works with thank him and recognize him. He gets raises and promotions. He makes good money so I’m sure that does culturally - he gets the social kudos we give all men who look like they do well for themselves plus the social rewards of being able to support his family well,” the user wrote.
They continued, “While his wife has no one but him acknowledge her. She gets no raises, no promotions, no one is hiring her a helper or assistant. Our culture does not reward SAHMs - it treats both SAHM and working mom’s as if they made the irresponsible decision. The only source of acknowledgement and encouragement she has is him, and even though she’s working 24/7 he can’t be bothered to offer her anything because he never asks for anything - because he didn’t need it from her.”
After over 2,000 people called this guy out for most definitely being the a—hole, he wrote a response, admitting that he gets to relax on the weekends while she is still in Mom Mode. “Ok, you can all stop tearing me a new a—hole. I get it,” he wrote. “I do get to relax at the weekend whereas my wife usually does her normal routine and gets on top of the cleaning etc. Just for the record, I do thank her for everything she does - I say thank you all the time but I understand that this may not be her love language.”
It seems like he’s starting to get it — kind of.
Who wants to find out where this woman lives and send her a giant basket of chocolate?