We took turns finishing up our degrees, staying home and
working. I started as a full-time nurse and ended up in the arrangement we had been aiming for all along: me working from home with our
eventual four children while my husband provided the insurance and steady
income in his role as a teacher.
And while neither of us ever really discussed the logistics
of what would happen, we both kind of knew that for us, the ideal family
situation meant that I would be the primary at-home parent because that's my
preference, even though we would need a little extra income. But one thing I
never would have thought to do in our childcare and family arrangement was to
ask my husband's permission to stay home with our kids.
But according to one husband, his wife did just that—and he
told her no.
Shouldn't this husband be giving his wife the courtesy to believe that she knows what's best for her, not him?
just skip over the obvious negative jab he just gave stay-at-home moms
everywhere with the fact that he thinks working outside of the home is somehow
universally "better" and focus on the really strange piece of this
story, which is that his wife actually expressed a desire to stay home—but he
claims he won't let her quit.
started asking me whether she could quit her job and stay home with the kids. I
danced around the issue, telling her things would get better," he says.
"I do wonder a lot whether I'm a bad man for pushing her to do so even
though she says she wants to stay home with the kids."
totally get where a husband could encourage his wife to keep working because he
knows that she really does want to, despite the overwhelming amount of
modern-day "mom guilt" that can accompany the decision (when it's a
true choice) to work outside of the home, but to say that he won't let her quit
because he's "terrified" she will lose her drive (no, really, he said
that) or because having a wife that works keeps "a husband on his
toes" is really doing a disservice to women everywhere.
Call me crazy, but shouldn't this husband be giving his wife
the courtesy to believe that she knows what's best for her, not him? And isn't
the definition of marriage supporting your spouse wholeheartedly, not limiting
him or her to what you think should happen?
I get that a mother's decision to work or stay home
obviously affects the whole family, but still, I think it should be ultimately
What do you think? How
much say should a partner have in the decision to work or stay home?