Woman's Husband Thinks Her Career Is Less Important— 'He Won't Ever Understand Putting Family First'

Parenting is a give-and-take, even when it's inconvenient.

dad with two kids Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash

Relationships require a certain amount of compromise, especially when a couple has kids. Balancing work and family is a high-wire act that gets even harder if parents aren’t in sync with each other.

A mom with two kids wrote to the r/parenting subreddit to ask for advice on keeping that balance in a stressful situation.

The woman’s husband thinks her career is less important and can’t ‘understand putting family first.’

She described a predicament that all parents go through at some point: She had a work commitment when one of her kids got sick.


The mom explained that she’d been a stay-at-home parent until recently when she decided to pursue the career she’s always wanted and train as a therapist. It requires her to work “in order to get enough hours to qualify” for a license.

“I’m starting to spread my wings,” she said, but her husband doesn’t seem to support her transition.

@sheisapaigeturner As a working mom of four kids I have found that the most beneficial thing I have done for my career is to work for other working moms. Working moms see each other and can help to build each other up and support one another. Being a working parent is so difficult but worth it if you work for the right people! #millennialmom #thementalload #workingmom #fairyplay #wfhmom #corporatemom ♬ original sound - Paige

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She outlined the ways she’s prioritized his career, moving across the country for “a job opportunity he really wanted” before having kids and moving back to their hometown.

“Here’s the issue,” she said. We usually get some help with childcare from my parents because my oldest is disabled and school drop-off is a nightmare,” but on this particular day, her youngest child had tonsillitis, her parents weren’t available, and she had a client scheduled, a “vulnerable young person in need of help.”

Instead of offering to stay home, her husband suggested they send both kids to school so that she could see her client and pretend that “everything’s fine and lovely.”

dad with baby on his shoulders Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash


“He won’t budge and is now saying there’s an unavoidable meeting he has to be in for tomorrow, which is the first I’m hearing of it,” the mom explained.

She shouted her very valid frustrations into the internet abyss, wondering, “Why can’t he see that this has to change and parenting is all about juggling and sacrifices and flexibility? Why is my career less important?”

'I feel angry and sad and disappointed and resigned to this feeling that he won’t ever understand putting family first,' the mom said.

In the comments, she shared more insight on the conflict at hand, saying, “It’s always been his line that the kids are my job and I ‘chose this.’”

“This is a brand new situation I’m navigating, and I already have so much of the classic mom guilt,” she said.

@sheisapaigeturner Being a working mom can feel like a lose lose situation at times. We are expected to be giving 100% of ourselves to motherhood well also maintaining a career. We are held to unrealistic expectations that working dads are not held to. We are expected to be at the bus stop and meetings. ##workingmom##wfhmom##workingmoms##corporatemom##millennialmom##womeninbusiness##successfulwomen ♬ original sound - Paige

The mom acknowledged her position as the default parent, noting, “It’s me they reach for when they’re ill or need reassurance; it’s me they want to put them to bed. I know how they like their sandwiches; I know them inside out.”

“I find myself doubting everything and feeling very lonely,” the mom admitted.  “My kids are the light of my life, but I didn’t think it would be this hard to be something other than their mother.”

@just_another_boymum Anybody else feel this? The mental load that comes with being the default parent is no joke. The feelings of resentment are real, at times totally consuming.#motherhood #mumsontiktok #momtok #motherhoodintheraw #parenthood #mumlife #mumtok #postpartum #momstruggles #defaultparent #mentalload #mumsoftiktok ♬ Creepin' - Levent Geiger

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Her predicament is unfortunately commonplace for working moms to exist: Stuck in between competing responsibilities without adequate support from their partners.  

People in the comments held space for the mom to feel her feelings while pointing out the inequities in her marriage.

One person believed her husband’s behavior was a classic case of male privilege, saying, “He’s never been inconvenienced, so he doesn’t know how to handle that and prefers not to.”

dad with daughter Osarugue Igbinoba / Unsplash


He doesn't care about your career, and he doesn't see himself as a parent,” someone else said.

Another person connected the mom’s conflict to the larger sociopolitical issues at play, saying, “This is why the income gender gap still exists.”

“Men take higher paying but less flexible roles because their wives take up the slack at home for them… His career will get better, yours will suffer.”

@miamariahcontee * Men reduce their contribution in the home by an average of 5 hours a week AFTER kids are born?! * 🫠. Haven’t finished the book yet, but already MUST recommend. @Fair Play + Unicorn Space is a must read if you are needing to find more equity in your partnership. #FairPlay #Motherhood #SheFaultParent #SingleMarriedMom ♬ original sound - Mia: “Maya”

One person offered a practical take on how to manage the seemingly impossible situation, laying out a list of short-term and long-term solutions.


They suggested exploring alternative caregivers, noting, "Sometimes, reaching out to a wider support network can provide a temporary solution.”

They suggested reevaluating their schedules, designing a back-up plan, having an in-depth conversation about dividing parental labor in a more equitable way, and going to counseling to “address ongoing issues of balance and shared responsibilities.”

They told the mom to seek out emotional support for her own mental well-being and to advocate for her career with her husband by asserting her needs and highlighting reciprocity, which they explained “Isn't about keeping score but about mutual respect and support.”


“Remember, you’re not alone, and seeking help and support is a strength, not a weakness,” they said.

overwhelmed mom holding baby while sitting in front of computer Kaspars Grinvalds / Canva Pro

Asking for extra support during a time of transition is well within the mom's rights as a parent, a worker, and a person. 

To get her needs met, she has to express them to her husband. 


If he's unwilling to meet her in the middle, she should seek support in other places so she can put herself and her professional goals first, for once.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture, and all things to do with the entertainment industry.