The following is the text from the above link. I have included my own thoughts inside the text in italics. They may sound harsh, but they are my thoughts on what I felt was a very self-centered, arrogant man’s reasons for not “allowing” his wife to choose to be a stay-at-home mom. I realize some parents do not have the option of one parent staying at home. That’s not what this is about. Please do not turn it into that.
Editor’s Note: Sean Dunbar, 32, is married with two children. He spent four years in the Marines and Navy Reserve. Here, he explains why he’s against his wife being a stay-at-home mom.
As I get older, more of my friends are telling their wives to quit their jobs and be stay-at-home moms.
Many people in our circle repeatedly ask us why my wife works when I make decent money.
I absolutely hate being asked this question so often.
No, I’m not cheap.
I’m not jealous because I can’t stay home — and I don’t think it’s the wrong thing for a woman to do.
Yes, being a stay-at-home mom has many benefits for the entire family.
But I want better for my wife.
So far, Mr. Dunbar, you’ve spoken only about yourself. “I’M getting older.” “I make decent money.” “I’m not cheap.” “I hate that question.” “I’M not jealous.” “I want better for my wife.” Really? YOU want better for HER, or deep down, is it really that you want better for YOURSELF? Honestly at this point, and I’ve only read a few sentences, I really think the issue is that you are embarrassed that your wife would consider being “just a mom.” Do you think it would make you look bad? It won’t, I promise, but what does make you look bad is centering the potential outcome of your wife’s choices and desires around yourself.
Am I a bad man for wanting this? Am I being a male chauvinist for even saying that?
The short answer is “yes.” The long answer continues below.
Women look at me as though I have some sort of insecurity for wanting my wife to work. In some ways, that’s true — I do have fears about her staying home.
What are you afraid of? The stigma it has on your family? An emptier bank account? Did you know that although your bank account will be emptier, your family’s hearts will be fuller? Think about that. You can’t take your incomes with you when you die, but your children will remember not having to be in daycare. They will remember spending time with their parents, who made the choice to stay at home, despite having fewer toys and things money can buy.
I met my wife while she was in college. She was 20 and pregnant with our daughter by her junior year.
Perhaps if your “goal” for your wife to finish college and have a career was in your forefront, you should have made better choices about getting pregnant during college. I’m speaking to both of you here. Pregnancy is preventable when you use proper birth control methods correctly. You didn’t have to have a baby in college. I’m just saying.
At the time, we had nothing.
Wrong. You had a baby.
The pregnancy was a few years after I got out of the Marines, and I was chasing my own dream to get a college diploma. My wife immediately said she was going to drop out of college to focus on work and earn a living so we could afford the baby.
Great idea. I know lots of mothers who chose this path, and they are able to provide for their families despite not having a degree. There is nothing wrong with choosing to earn a living as opposed to getting a four-year degree. Bachelor’s degrees aren’t for everyone.
I knew what college meant to my wife and her family. I told her that giving up on a real career was not an option. I dropped out of college and got a full-time night job at a maximum security prison and two part-time day jobs. I also joined the Navy reserve for the benefits.
So…it’s okay for you to drop out of college to support your family, but not her? Why? What’s the difference? Giving up on a “real” career was not an option? If you don’t think being a stay-at-home parent is a career, I suggest you try it for a week. It may not bring home a paycheck every week, but I guarantee, it is a full time job. Your insisting that your wife go to college, get a degree, and take care of her child full time (because by your arrogant tone, we all know you’re not really helping out at home), is something I don’t think you could ever handle yourself. Kudos to your wife for putting up with you along with the stress of everything else you’re burdened her with.
I have other thoughts about your joining the Navy Reserves for the benefits, but I’ll save that for another post.
While I worked hard, my wife worked harder. She worked and went to school, both full time. She graduated from East Carolina University with a 3.5 GPA, a 1-year-old child and a full-time job.
I watched what that struggle made my wife. She holds her head high and tells people how hard she work for her diploma. After college, we both started new careers.
My wife has always been an all-star at work. She would come home in the greatest mood, talking about her accomplishments. My wife was reaching for goals and achieving goals. She was truly filled with confidence and self-worth.
Oh, finally. I thought you’d never mention your’ wife’s feelings about her accomplishments. I was beginning to think that you really did think this was all about you.
Then the second pregnancy came.
My wife started getting overlooked for promotions because her employer feared her maternity leave. This crushed her and changed her whole demeanor. She was embarrassed and disappointed to be pregnant in a competitive workforce.
All of a sudden, my wife accepted her position and just stopped trying.
She’s exhausted and overwhelmed trying to keep up with her/your career, taking care of your child, and your silly demands that she do it all. I’d quit trying too. It’s obvious you still see her continuous hard work, as well as desire to stay at home, a weakness. She didn’t stop trying. She was wearing down. A person can only handle so much, you know.
She started asking me whether she could quit her job and stay home with the kids. I danced around the issue, telling her things would get better.
Better for whom? Your wife is clearly desperate for a break (since I’m assuming from your arrogant tone that you think it’s also her job to tend to all the household needs along with your list of other things YOU want her to accomplish), but you’re still only thinking of yourself. I was wrong a couple paragraphs ago.
But my wife could not wait to have the baby and be done with work.
You’re lucky that’s all she’s ready to be done with. If it were me, I’d be ready to have the baby and be done with your crap.
By the time our son was born, my own career couldn’t have been better.
Lucky you! Too bad you had to drag your poor, desperate-for-your-understanding wife through Hell so YOU could have a wonderful career. Pardon me while I allow you to pat yourself on the back for YOUR accomplishments. Lordy.
We could handle my wife not going back to work. We spent many nights talking about options for her: work from home, sell crafts — even get involved in one of those “pyramid schemes” — anything.
You mean YOU could handle your wife not going back to work. YOU felt you had worked hard enough to “allow” her to finally stay home, which, newsflash, was what she wanted all along. Please don’t think that her not working was all your idea. Your wife had that idea years ago. You just chose to ignore her pleas.
I was so afraid of my wife becoming stagnant.
Here we go again. YOU were afraid. Why were you afraid of her becoming “stagnant?” Were you afraid she’d fall into that awful stereotype that all stay-at-home moms do is sit around eating bon-bons and watching soap operas? That your friends would think less of you because your wife stayed home all day while you worked to support your family? Boo hoo. Cry me a river.
Then, she found something. For the past six months, she’s been working from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. — and she loves it. My wife picks up the kids, takes our daughter to tae kwon do and reads to them before bed.
Still sounds like a full-time job to me. Didn’t you just say you were in a place where your wife could NOT work? 7am to 4 pm is 9 hours a day, buddy. 45 hours a week that she’s “not” working.
She’s not losing time with them and is still fully involved in their lives — it’s just harder.
Another newsflash: She IS losing time with her children, contrary to what you may believe. I’m guessing that if she works at 7 am, she’s easily getting up around 4 am to start getting herself and the children ready for the day. She’s packing lunches for daycare or school, finding clothes and dressing children, preparing breakfast for 4, putting away dirty dishes, planning dinner for that evening, pouring coffee, and jetting out the door to drop off children at school before arriving to work. At 4 pm, she’s exhausted from her day of “not working,” as you said she was allowed to do before. She hurries home after tae kwon do to hurriedly prepare dinner, stuff it in some faces, and clean up before the children put on their pajamas and have story time with mom. She’s not “fully involved.” She’s driving kids to school, karate, and home again, and reading bedtime stories. That is not what fully involved means.
Most of our friends think I’m a jerk because my wife works with the job that I have.
Guess what? Most strangers think you’re a jerk too. Jerkface.
I do wonder a lot whether I’m a bad man for pushing her to do so even though she says she wants to stay home with the kids.
Stop wondering. Start believing. Your wife wants to stay at home. You can afford it. Let her follow her dreams.
I’m just terrified she’ll lose her drive.
Her drive is in taking care of her children. At home. Where she wants to be. Again, this is not about you and your feelings. It’s about her and her feelings.
The happiest times I have seen my wife (besides with the kids) is when she has achieved professionally. I don’t want her to look back and say, “I could have done ‘this’ with my degree.”
You’d rather she look back and say, “I could have done ‘this’ with the children, but I was working 45 hours a week?”
I worry if something were to happen to me, she’d have to start over at a much older age.
I’m scared my wife will feel inferior to me — and resent me.
ARE YOU SERIOUS??? She’s more likely to resent you for making her work when she had other dreams you wouldn’t let her follow.
More so, I think about our daughter. I don’t want her seeing mommy at home, thinking she needs to do the same because that’s what she grew up seeing.
Why not? There is nothing wrong with striving to be a mother. One who stays home for cuddles, playdates, music class, dance class, PTA meetings, field trips, or the stability of knowing someone will be home when school lets out.
I lay in our daughter’s bed at night, talking to her and listening to her dreams about going to Mars or being the first female president.
We don’t talk about her dreams of becoming a trophy wife or stay-at-home mom.
I imagine this is because you dance around that question and avoid it, just like you did your wife when she expressed the desire.
I don’t want to pay for our daughter’s college tuition, just to see her walk away and let a man take care of her.
Wouldn’t want her to waste all that precious money, huh?
I don’t want our daughter — or my wife — to ever be in a bad marriage and feel they are stuck because they have no experience, no options or can’t make enough money to sustain themselves.
Your wife is already in a bad marriage with no options. You refuse to give them to her.
A self-sufficient, independent professional also keeps a husband on his toes.
I respect women who find being a stay-at-home mother to be fulfilling and satisfying.
You didn’t with your wife. When did you EVER respect your wife’s desire to be a stay-at-home mother? She felt it would be fulfilling and satisfying, but you wouldn’t allow her to do that. You insisted that she work two full-time jobs, one outside of the home, and one inside the home. Admit it: you do NOT respect women who find being a stay-at-home mother satisfying, or you would have supported your wife’s dream to do so.
I just have different expectations for my wife and our daughter — what more can I say?
I. I. I. I. I.
All I’ve heard throughout this diatribe is how YOU feel. How YOU are affected. How YOU feel you’ll be looked at. How YOU want the best. How YOU this. How YOU that.
What can you say?
How about write another piece where you ask your wife the questions, and you listen to and respect her responses and write those down. I bet your eyes will be opened.