Having patriarchal ideals is one thing, but thinking it’s okay to ask the primary breadwinner of your household to stay at home rather than leaving your own job just because she’s a woman is a whole new level of misogyny.

An internet user asked, “Am I a jerk for telling my husband if he wants someone to stay home with our baby, he can do it?”. We need to hear your thoughts on the matter.


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For context, the Original Poster (OP) is currently 29 weeks pregnant. OP’s husband (29M) and OP (30F) met in college, and have been together for 8 years, married for 2. Their relationship has always been solid, and progressive.

OP’s husband has never been much of a traditionalist despite growing up in a very stereotypical family (had 2 siblings and a stay-at-home mom, his dad worked).

“Up until recently, we’ve agreed on nearly everything (save for small things) in our marriage and how to raise kids.”, says OP.

Two Days Ago

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However, two days ago, they were talking about baby stuff, and OP’s husband started mentioning that he thought maybe one of them would stay home with the baby for a while, and not go back to work after their maternity/paternity leave is over.

They both work in tech, make good money, and have great benefits. OP gets 20 weeks of leave after the baby is born, he gets 12.

What Does OP Say

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“We were trying to decide if we should stagger our leave so someone could be home with the baby until 6 months, the age where most places near us will start daycare.”, says OP.

OP’s Husband’s Discriminating Suggestion

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OP’s husband said that he read it’s better for the baby to have a parent home for the first year. So, OP asked him (thinking nothing of it) if that’s really something he’d consider since he might have to quit his job.

What Did He Say

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He asked why he would have to quit since OP should “obviously” be the one to stay home with the baby. OP asked him if he was serious and he said yes, the mom should be the one to stay home. OP said, “How are we going to make that work on just his income?”

For context, OP makes about three times what OP’s husband does. It’s never been an issue and never mattered to OP, she just finished her masters earlier than he did (we both have them) and went into a more specialized field.

OP’s Concern

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They both make good money, but it’s OP’s job primarily that pays for the lifestyle they have. So OP asked him what they were going to do for a year on 1/4 the income with a new baby.

He got a little upset and said OP “shouldn’t even bring that up” and that he makes enough money to provide for them and OP shouldn’t “question him”.

What Did OP Say

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“I got mad and said it wasn’t realistic and it was silly for the person who made more money to quit their job, especially since he’s the one who thinks someone should be with the baby extra time (I was fine with sending the baby to daycare starting at 6 months).”, says OP.

The Fight Blew Up

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The fight blew up from there, OP is saying he’s being gender-discriminating and not considering OP’s feelings at all.

OP refused to back down and he ended up taking off after OP said he should be the stay-at-home parent if he wants one so bad, and he said he didn’t deserve to be emasculated just for suggesting OP should stay home like a “good mom”.

OP Is Confused

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“I talked to some of my family and his family about it and the answers are kind of split, so am I a jerk for bringing up the pay disparity and telling him that unless he’s the one to stay home, the baby is going to daycare?”, asks OP.

Stand Your Ground

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“Not the jerk at all. He is being stereotypical thinking that since you’re a woman your place is in the home. He’s also discriminating because he thinks the suggestion that he stays home is emasculating.

If he is so progressive that word would not have been uttered, he needs to wake up and smell the coffee.

Stand your ground. He can’t make you quit your job. So sign up for those wait-lists and good luck. Would he go to counseling? If not, go yourself. I’m concerned this is just the tip of the iceberg of his real feelings and you need to be prepared.”

It’s All So Disturbing And Gross

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“This is bizarre. It seems like he is secretly very gender-biased. Did he never show any signs of this over 8 years? It’s genuinely cruel of him to imply that you are not a good mother.

It’s also really gross to say that any mention of his salary as it pertains to paying your bills and maintaining your lifestyle for yourselves and your child is tantamount to “emasculating” him.

Just the idea of taking care of his own child and relying on his spouse’s higher salary is somehow emasculating? It’s all so disturbing and gross.”

Your Husband Is Jealous Of You

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“Not the jerk. I think deep down, he feels insecure that you make more than he does. So by pressuring you to quit your job and stay home with the baby, he will become the breadwinner and it will boost his ego.

Do not quit your job and put your family in a worse financial situation just because your husband is jealous of you and insecure.”

Smells Like Patriarchy!

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“Not the jerk. He may have tried to give up his patriarchal ideals, but he clearly hasn’t been that successful. However, he’s the one who wants a stay-at-home parent, so he’s clearly the one that should do it.”

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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.

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