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Staying at home with kids can be both rewarding and exhausting. Some parents do it out of necessity, while others feel it’s their duty (and pleasure) to be present for their kids. Of course, some days are easier than others- depending on the parent’s attitude, the kids’ demeanors, and many other factors.
One stay-at-home dad asked an online community whether he was being “insensitive” around his wife’s friends when they talked about being home with the kids and he said being home with his kids was an enjoyable “cake walk.”
Should he hide the fact that he enjoys being at home with his kids just because his wife’s friends find being home challenging?
Being a Stay-at-home Dad is Super Awesome
The original poster (OP) tells his story, explaining that when he and his wife had their first baby- they agreed that she should stay home and be with the kids. However, after a while, it was clear that it was too much for his wife and they agreed to switch roles.
After having another baby, they continued with the same arrangement.
He reports that they are both doing well in their designated roles and that he asks her often about it to make sure they’re still on the same page and not resenting each other. All-in-all, he says he loves being the one to manage the children and is great at keeping up with appointments, activities, and the works.
If given a choice between going to work and being with his kids, the OP says he’d much rather be home with his kids.
The Drama at Dinner with Friends
One night, the OP and his wife were invited to dinner at one of her friend’s homes. When the conversation turned to being at home, his wife shared her experience disliking it and mentioned the arrangement that they had come up with.
Then, one mom proceeded to tease him and ask him if he was ready to go back to work. But the dad matter-of-factly stated that staying at home was easy for him and he loved it.
This surprised his wife’s friend and created a heated discussion among the women the next day. The OP’s wife was mad at him and asked why he couldn’t just lie about his love for being at home. The OP didn’t see any reason why he should have to lie just to make a few moms that hate being home feel validated.
Was He Being Insensitive?
He asked the community if he was being insensitive, and the resounding answer was no. As long as he wasn’t talking about it in a mean or condescending tone, he had every right to express his own opinion and experiences. Telling a lie wouldn’t have made him “diplomatic,” just a liar.
One user called out this ridiculousness, saying “You’re only allowed to share your experience if it validates theirs. We’re in 2023. Anything that makes people uncomfortable should be cancelled.”
Many other users pointed out that the idea that we can only express ourselves if it follows the main narrative is ridiculous. Just because many moms find staying at home to be a hard job, doesn’t mean that makes him a jerk for enjoying it (or makes it any less hard for struggling moms, either).
Overall, most people have supported the dad’s perspective, arguing that he shouldn’t have to apologize for finding his current job easier than his previous one. They point out that he’s not trying to invalidate other people’s experiences but simply sharing his own. They also note that it’s important to have honest conversations about these issues rather than pretending that everything is perfect.
Finding a Balance with Discussions
While the OP was let off the hook by the Reddit community, a continued discussion arose in the threads about the difficulties of raising kids at home.
A debate began over a comment that if he loves his kids, of course, he loves his job. However, this argument would also mean that parents who find their stay-at-home job hard don’t love their kids- which is ridiculous (of course).
Ultimately, we all have different pasts, dreams, and personalities- so there’s no reason to generalize one person’s opinions. One mom may want to stay home but finds it hard some days, while another mom or dad prefers to be at work while a daycare or nanny watches their kids. No one way is the right way.
Being a Parent is Hard No Matter Which Way you Slice It
So, who’s right in this situation? Ultimately, it’s a matter of perspective. While the dad is entitled to his opinion, he may have been more sensitive to the fact that his comments might hurt others (if he was speaking in a mean tone- we’re not sure).
Similarly, while the mom may have wanted to avoid conflict, she may have missed an opportunity to stand up for her husband’s experience. It’s important to remember that everyone’s experience is different, and there’s no one “right” way to be a stay-at-home parent or working parent. The most important thing is to communicate honestly and respectfully with each other, even if we don’t always agree.
Is being a stay-at-home parent hard sometimes? Of course. Is work hard for many? Yes. Does that mean it isn’t fulfilling and worth it? Of course not. To each their own…