The original poster (OP) works for a tech company and was able to negotiate reduced work hours to spend more time with her baby. Her husband also works from home as an aspiring author. Although both parents are at home, the work-from-home part while taking care of a baby is causing major problems.
She Works on Smaller Assignments
When OP was pregnant she negotiated a full year of maternity leave with her employer. She wouldn’t lose seniority or miss out on certain aspects of profit sharing.
She Was Allowed More Time With Her Baby
In return for the accommodation, OP says her employer gave her one month of completely uninterrupted time with the baby. Then she takes on tasks from home on her own schedule, working on average 15 hours a week.
Her Husband Has Had Some Success as an Author
OP says her husband had some success when a self-published novel was optioned for a movie. But after the agent and lawyers took their share there was a lot less an the movie didn’t get made.
They Decided He Would Be the Stay-at-Home-Dad
They decided her husband would be the stay-at-home-parent while OP was working so he would care for the baby. OP thought this was a good arrangement.
He Suddenly Stopped Helping
OP says after about a month her husband would start ignoring the baby when she was crying, claiming that she wanted her mom.
She Can’t Work Like This
It started to interfere with her deal with her boss. She told him if he kept interrupting her while she was working she would have to hire help.
They Would Pay from Their “Fun Budget”
She told him that they would have to pay for a nanny from their fun budget, which is used to pay for dinners out, vacations and hobbies.
He understood and went back to tending to the baby while OP received one or two hours a day of uninterrupted time.
Her Maternity Leave is Over
It’s almost time for OP to return to work full-time.
Her Employer Was Happy With Her Performance
OP says her employer was impressed with her ability to contribute meaningfully to her group during her maternity leave.
They Offered Her 3 Options
Her employer offered her three options: continue working from home, work in the office or a hybrid schedule.
She Discussed With Her Husband
OP talked to her husband about the options. Her husband wants her to work from home so she can help with the baby.
She Decided to Return to the Office
OP says she has access to a private room and a freezer so she can store the milk. She can then interact with her team and she enjoys the environment.
Her Husband is Unhappy
Her husband said she’s being cruel and that her baby needs her.
She Told Him to Get a Job
OP told him she would work from home if he got a job to pay for a nanny so it doesn’t affect their budget. He said that it doesn’t make sense.
He’s Being Selfish
Her husband wants OP to be the breadwinner while he tries to get published. OP says he wants to continue enjoying life living in an expensive city while staying home and writing. OP says his desires are mutually exclusive. He can’t continue to have what he wants without stepping up and giving her time and space to earn a living.
His Parents Interfered
They saw his parents for Thanksgiving dinner and he was complaining to his mom about OP choosing to work from the office. His mother disapproved of OP’s choice but his father reminded her that she was also a stay-at-home-mom and housewife. His father said that was what the husband signed up for if he didn’t want to get a job. OP says it became a big argument.
They are Arguing Now
He says he feels emasculated and now she feels bad he is saying she’s abandoning him and the baby.
The Readers Respond
The consensus was that OP’s husband needs to step up and start earning some money or take his stay-at-home-dad work seriously.
Does He Provide Any Value?
“NTA. You have given him options. He is the one making it difficult for you to continue funding your home.”
“My feeling is that if he’d like to be part of a household in which he contributes nothing of value, he can move back in with his folks.“
Being an Author Can’t Be Full-Time
A writer responds:
“As a writer in my free time who has been doing this for 15 years and is finally getting published next fall, I’ve never had the illusion that I could do this full time. And if I’m honest, I wouldn’t want to. Lots of writers have day jobs. I like my day job because I have an enforced schedule. I have to make an effort to fit the writing in and I don’t do it every day. OP’s husband is fortunate to have a spouse that supports him. He needs to do what the rest of us do and find the pockets of time that work for him. Maybe he only gets to write while the kid naps. Maybe he has to do it while the wife is home and can take care of the baby. Like my dude, join the club.”
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