Parenting is a lot of work. Stay-at-home mothers constantly highlight the struggles of raising children while maintaining a house, while their husbands think they only need to contribute a paycheck.
It’s exhausting, thankless work.
Unless, of course, you have help.
Staying Home is Easy!
One woman came to Reddit after her husband, a stay-at-home dad, claimed how easy his life is and put down mothers who can’t seem to hack it.
The Original Poster (OP) explained that her husband has it easy because she contributes, unlike the vast majority of working fathers.
She shared that it’s an ongoing problem. Her husband makes social media posts and TikTok videos saying how easy his life is and blogs about how women are just complainers if they can’t handle it.
The problem came to a head when her husband made rude comments to her friend, a stay-at-home mother whose husband doesn’t contribute. The friend mentioned how exhausted she was.
“My husband scoffed and told her “You must be doing the parent thing wrong because I am a stay-at-home parent too, but I never had problem,” she reported, adding that he also minimized her contributions by saying, “My wife barely does anything around the house, and it is so easy. Maybe I should give you a lesson or two.”
OP Points Out That She Helps a Lot
OP felt her husband’s remarks were both rude and untrue. When they were alone, she approached him.
“I pointed that he doesn’t do all the chores. I help him with at least 40%. That’s why he thinks it is easy,” she said, adding that he again dismissed her contributions. “He again argued that those chores are not significant compared to what he does.”
She Decides To Stop Helping
Since being a stay-at-home parent is so easy, and her contributions aren’t significant, OP stopped helping.
She became the traditional “working parent” who refused to help with domestic labor and child-rearing.
OP stopped making breakfast and prepping their kid’s lunches. She refused to cook dinner or help bathe the children. When the weekend rolled around, she left the house and all the cleaning to her husband.
She didn’t just stop without warning. OP made it very clear that she was stopping over his comments and that he needed to see how tough most stay-at-home parents have it.
OP’s husband was shocked that she’d follow through with these threats. He begged and pleaded for her to reconsider, but she refused, sticking to her guns and allowing him to do the full domestic load for a few weeks.
That he begged her to reconsider before the strike even started leds us to believe he knew how wrong he was, he just didn’t care.
Husband Realizes How Hard It Is
After two weeks, OP’s husband said she had proved her point. He was overwhelmed and angry and blamed OP for not being more supportive of him.
Unfortunately, his newfound understanding of how difficult managing a household with kids alone didn’t humble him. He continues to play the victim and refuses to engage with OP.
She shared that they’ve booked a therapy appointment, but she’s not sure their relationship will withstand this. Now she’s wondering if she was wrong for making him do all the work for those two weeks.
Husband is Toxic
OP’s husband got a short glimpse of reality. There was an end in sight for him, but for most stay-at-home moms, that two weeks is their entire lives.
That he lashed out in anger claiming everything was OP’s fault after his behavior caused the problem, is telling. He hates that OP was right and didn’t want to give up his misogynistic view that stay-at-home moms are complaining for no reason.
“He thought it was easy, learned it’s not, and instead of recognizing it, he pushes everything off on you,” said one user, pointing out the husband’s baffling refusal to learn the lesson.
He Asked for It
The husband literally asked for this by refusing to acknowledge OP’s contributions to the household. He was happy to indulge in a superiority complex.
“He deserved it for making out like he had it so easy. Hopefully, therapy will show him that what you did was literally the only way to make him see how much easier you were making his life,” said one user.
Smells Like Misogyny
Many pointed out that his behavior reeks of misogyny.
“Let’s not forget he has consistently shown he is more than happy to discount the work the women around him do—first it was the stay-at-home friends’, and then OP’s efforts at the home,” replied one user.
“As a SAHD, he is doing work that has historically been done by women, and he is being financially supported by a woman. He likely feels that if he isn’t doing it better than women do it, he’s being emasculated,” added another.
A third said, “He looked down on women and used his easy-more life was proof of his own superiority.”
Was OP’s Strike Wrong?
Some users said OP shouldn’t have gone as far as she did, calling her refusal to help the “nuclear option” that could destroy their marriage.
However, others were confused by that framing, saying millions of women must spend their entire lives doing what OP’s husband did for just two weeks.
“Women do it aaalll the time. They’ve had conversations about it. So I may need help understanding how it’s nuclear,” said one user, replying to someone who thought OP went too far.
Ultimately, the strike may cost OP her marriage, but that won’t be her fault. Her husband’s constant devaluing of her contributions and unhealthy attitudes toward women are the culprits.