Man Asks If It's Wrong To Expect His Wife And Kids To Be '100% Silent' While He Works

There are more respectful avenues to take to achieve focus.

mother hugging twins and man working from home Austin Distel via Unsplash / bbernard via Shutterstock / jes2ufoto via Canva

One man took to Reddit in a now-deleted post questioning whether or not he is in the wrong for wanting "complete silence" from his family while he works.

The man explained that he finds himself easily distracted by the everyday noises his family makes while working from home.

“I need silence to work and I don’t have a home office," he wrote, explaining that "noises such as my wife talking, watching TV, kids playing from the other room" are overly distracting for him, affecting his ability to perform his duties. "I have been VERY patient with them telling more than once that I need 100% silence to focus but even if they are trying to be 'quiet' I still hear some noises (kids, walking around, making food, cleaning, etc.),” he explained.


“If I don’t have complete silence, I cannot work and therefore could lose my job,” the man wrote.

As more jobs migrated to remote work during the height of the pandemic, many employees who were used to a more structured workday in the office found it difficult to remain productive while at home. In fact, research conducted by Stanford’s Institute for Economic Policy and Research found a 10%-20% decrease in productivity for fully remote workers.

“It’s not realistic to expect full productivity while people are juggling working from home, extra family and household responsibilities, for many, and managing pervasive stress and anxiety for just about everyone,” Joshua Zerkel, head of global community for the work management platform Asana, told Fast Company. “It’s a lot, and we need to remember that we are humans and not productivity machines. That said, we can still be productive and connected. It just looks different than when we’re sitting with our coworkers at the office.”


RELATED: Why “Back To The Office” Hurts Women Far More Than Men

But just as work responsibilities didn't wane for most employees despite working from home, neither did responsibilities for stay-at-home moms, leading to clashes like the one this father experienced.

However, the man's post soon suggests not an issue with distractions, but rather a failure to agree upon a fair division of household labor.

After expressing his thoughts to his wife, the man wrote that instead of understanding his need for "100% silence," she asked him to help out around the house.


"When I wasn’t working from home she would ask me to do chores after and take care of the kids when I am obviously very tired needing to wind down and relax for the night,” he wrote. "Despite me voicing my feelings she not only has the nerve to disturb my work but also expect me to work more afterwards."

RELATED: Man Says He Doesn’t ‘Help’ His Wife Cook Or Clean Because He Does What He’s Supposed To Do As A Husband & Father

Many couples struggle to create a fair balance of household and parenting duties, with a recent Gallup poll finding that women tend to take on the lion's share of work in the home. As more people began working from home, many couples came face-to-face with this unequal division of labor. 

People in the comments were quick to take the wife’s side and mentioned how he seems to be underestimating his wife’s work. 


“Being a stay at home mum is at minimum 50% of all tasks required to run a household and raise children," one person wrote. "If you need time to relax after work, she also needs time to relax after minding the children all day.”



Ultimately, couples must work together to devise a plan that works for them and the family as a whole.

“Even if one person used to do more of a particular task, the couple must work together to devise an updated plan,” psychologist Dr. Yvonne Thomas, Ph.D. told Her Money regarding expectations about household duties for families working from home. “This should thoroughly identify and assign each household task to the partner who can realistically fit it into their schedule.” 


RELATED: Therapist Says Men Who Don't Help Out At Home Is Just A Symptom Of A Bigger Problem With The Men Themselves

Sanika Nalgirkar, M.F.A. is a writer who covers entertainment & news, lifestyle, and pop culture topics.