When you decide to have children, you accept that they will throw some curveballs and that your life is no longer yours. Children require sacrifice, forcing parents to skip fun events, use up their sick days, and spend their free time caring for them.
Unfortunately, the mother is often expected to bear the brunt of the sacrifice while the father blissfully continues his life as normal.
One woman came to Reddit to determine if she was wrong in expecting her husband to share in the sacrifice.
A Sick Child
The Original Poster (OP) took to Reddit to find out who should stay home with their sick child. The child usually goes to daycare but came down with pinkeye, so she needs to stay home for at least 24 hours, depending on how quickly it clears up.
Unfortunately, no one else in the parent’s circle could watch her on such short notice, so one of them needed to stay home from work.
Who Should Stay Home?
Someone must stay home from work to care for the young girl, but which would do it?
Both had reasons for wanting to work. He doesn’t have paid time off and would have to sacrifice overtime pay if he stayed home, but his work wasn’t urgent. She works in healthcare, and this particular day was a clinic day for her, so she’d have to reschedule 13 patients if she skipped work.
She’s the primary breadwinner, and though the overtime pay would be nice, they don’t need it. In addition, she’s already taken two days off recently to care for the sick child and was willing to stay home the following day if need be because her clinic has coverage that day.
A Hint of Misogyny
OP reported that her husband just assumed she’d be the one to stay home and is upset that she even suggested otherwise. She suspects a little misogyny is at play.
“There is also an underlying element of the mother being the default parent here that I’m constantly up against,” she confirmed.
Childcare Should Be Shared Responsibility
Most Reddit users agreed that parents should split responsibility when it comes to childcare. They should decide who stays home based on all the factors OP listed, including loss of income, sick days, the complexity of work, and who previously stayed home.
A lot pointed to how her day off would affect others as a reason he should stay home.
“If OP takes off her one day at that clinic, 13 people who needed to see her and have probably already been waiting a while now have to wait LONGER to get their medical care,” said one. “Her taking this one day off is actually a much bigger problem than hubs missing out on a day of overtime,” they added.
“OP taking one day off will have a huge impact on many other people,” added another.
Husband Needs to Parent
Many users latched on to the husband’s ideas that staying home was the mom’s job, especially given she’s also the primary breadwinner.
“Your comment about him feeling like the mother is the underlying default parent is a double standard on his part,” said one user. “Apparently, he doesn’t mind the traditional concept of the husband being the underlying default breadwinner.”
“Being a parent means missing work for sick kids, I’m not sure why he would think this obvious fact does not apply to him,” declared another.
“In other words, once again, the woman is automatically assumed to be the one to do all of the childcare,” reiterated a third. “There are 2 parents, it is not unreasonable to expect the other one to take a day off to watch a sick child,” they added.
Childcare Both Parent’s Responsibility
Childcare often defaulted to the mother in the past because women weren’t allowed to work and thus became the primary parents. Now that women have involvement in the workplace, men need to step up and have equal participation at home.
Little by little, culture is changing. More and more men opt to be stay-at-home dads and realize how meaningful spending time with their kids really is.
OP’s husband needs to step up.