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Husband Wonders If He Was Wrong For Asking His Wife To Help With The Kids After He Promised To Give Her ‘Downtime’

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Man works on laptop with children playing around.

A husband is being accused of "guilt-tripping" his wife after not being able to take care of their children on his own.

Posting to the subreddit "r/AITA," a 30-something-year-old man claimed that he needed his wife's help with their children while out with family and friends, despite having promised her he would be able to handle them on his own.

He told his wife that she should 'unwind' after he left for a 2-week vacation while she watched their kids.

In his Reddit post, he explained that he and his wife Lisa have three children all under the age of five. While he works full-time, his wife is a stay-at-home mother who also runs her own Etsy shop, where she makes and sells jewelry to customers.



Some time ago, he revealed that he had been given a bonus at work, and after discussing it with his wife, they agreed that he could use the money to go on a vacation for two weeks in Hawaii. However, his vacation meant that Lisa would be home with their children, by herself, for two whole weeks.

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"When I returned, Lisa was exhausted and I initially agreed to take the kids for the afternoon so she could have some time to herself and unwind," he wrote in his post. The plan to spend some time with his children while his wife rested was quickly scrapped after he and the family were invited to a barbecue by his cousin.

He immediately told his wife that they should go, especially since he was close with his cousin and knew that some of his other childhood friends would be there. Lisa told him that she wasn't sure she wanted to even go, but he convinced her that everyone would be happy to see her there and to sweeten the deal, he also said that he would watch their kids so that she could relax and have fun.

He ended up asking his wife to help him with the children while at the BBQ.

About halfway through the barbecue, he noticed that their children were beginning to get out of control. He recalled how much they were screaming, crying, and fighting with each other despite being told to calm down multiple times.

"It was impossible to have a conversation or catch up with my cousin or friends," he complained. "I repeatedly walked over to Lisa to ask her to give me a hand with the kids, each time she declined and said I agreed to watch them and this is her downtime."

Photo: Ron Lach / Pexels

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After some more time went by of their kids running amok, the husband decided to yell across the backyard to his wife in a rude manner. "Can you please get off your [expletive] and help me out with our kids? Just once is all I'm asking for!" he screamed to his wife.

Of course, that only made Lisa angry, and she stomped over to her husband and told him that he was breaking the promise of letting her have some time to relax, especially since she didn't even want to attend the BBQ in the first place. He tried to argue that these were people he hadn't seen before and that she shouldn't be making a scene, which was a little too late since he had already done it first.

"A few people overheard us and we caught a few comments about Lisa being a lazy mom who only wanted to pawn her kids off on me/she's taking advantage of me." The comments caused Lisa to start crying before taking the car and leaving the party altogether.

Later in the night, once they were both home, he tried talking to her and explaining that their kids were having a rough day and all he wanted was her help for a little bit, but she objected and pointed out that when he was in Hawaii for two weeks, she had to wrangle them by herself with no help from him.

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Not only that, but she was also upset that he allowed other people to call her a "lazy mom" without defending her, especially since she is far from that.

In many households, women and mothers are the ones doing most of the childcare responsibilities.

According to data acquired by the Pew Research Center, among 1,807 U.S. parents with children younger than 18, in two-parent families, parenting and household responsibilities are shared more equally when both the mother and the father work full-time than when the father is employed full-time and the mother is employed part-time or not employed.

Photo: Ketut Subiyanto / Pexels

About half (54%) of parents in households where both the mother and the father work full time say that, in their family, the mother does more when it comes to managing the children’s schedules and activities; 47% also say this is the case when it comes to taking care of the children when they’re sick.

The mental load of childcare should always be something equally shared between parents, especially if one parent is doing more work most of the time compared to the other.

In this case, this man's wife simply wanted a few hours to herself, which should've been an easy promise to keep since she spent two whole weeks taking care of their children while he was on vacation. Just because his wife is a stay-at-home mother doesn't mean that she should have to be the one to watch and take care of their children at all times of the day.

The best partnerships are the ones that recognize when the other needs a rest, especially from household responsibilities and childcare.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.