Women have stayed home to care for their children for as long as we can remember. But what do men make of their choices? Here are 40 comments straight from the mouths of dads. So, do they like their partners being stay-at-home mothers or not?
40. “I’m more likely to lose my kids in a divorce.”
One forward-thinking dad – forward-thinking as in thinking of the future, anyway – said he wouldn’t want his spouse to be a stay-at-home mom for a simple reason. “I’m that much more likely to lose my kids in a divorce,” he wrote on reddit.
39. “I want a partner, not a dependent.”
Another dad complained that an unpaid stay-at-home wife and mother wouldn’t contribute financially, leaving him to carry the “burden of providing.” “I want a partner, not a dependent, thus I have no interest,” he wrote on reddit. One might argue that a mother provides incalculable benefits for her children, but we can discuss that later…
38. “She’s totally let herself go.”
One dad and husband told Moms.com that his wife “let herself go since becoming a stay-at-home mom. With all this time at home, you’d think she could find the time or energy to… at least put on some real clothes,” he said.
37. “I’m jealous because she’ll have a better relationship with our kids.”
In same article on Moms.com, another anonymous father worried that his wife’s stay-at-home lifestyle would affect his bond with their brood. “I’m secretly jealous because I know she’ll have a better relationship with our kids since she’s with them all day,” he admitted.
36. “Knowing my [wife] is just sitting at home, I would go crazy.”
One reddit user said he and his wife preferred to work hard, save and retire early. So, the thought of either one of them minding children all day was too much to handle. “I know I couldn’t do it. Stay at home or know my [significant other] is just sitting at home, I would go crazy,” he wrote.
35. “They get all paranoid about their children.”
Another online expert – insert eye-roll here – had supposedly observed “far too many [stay-at-home moms] become really, really annoying. In the total absence of anything stimulating, they get all paranoid about their children,” they claimed. Hmm… perhaps it’s a mother’s job to worry about her kids, at least a little bit?
34. “Being a stay-at-home mom is not inspirational.”
A reddit user believed that “being a stay-at-home mom is not inspirational.” Obviously, this person hasn’t seen the many movies, TV shows and books that revolve around female homemakers and the highs and lows they experience. No matter how dramatized these situations might be, the lifestyle is still inspiring in its own way.
33. “I need a woman who is more than a nanny and house cleaner.”
One could reduce a stay-at-home mom’s tasks to cooking, cleaning and child-minding, but that is likely to be a significant under-representation of what she does. Nevertheless, one husband wrote on reddit that he wouldn’t want his wife staying home because, as he saw it, “I need a woman who is more than a nanny and a house cleaner.”
32. “It makes me so mad seeing her spend all of my money.”
One working dad apparently had to watch his wife frivolously spend his hard-earned pay – and he didn’t like it. “She says she deserves it because she’s home with the baby all day. I never treat myself like that even though I’m the one making the money,” he told Moms.com. Treat yourself, dad.
31. “This preconceived idea that stay-at-home mothers just watch TV all day… is not the case at all.”
One defender of the stay-at-home mom stated on reddit that the pervasive image of full-time moms wasn’t fair at all. He wrote, “This preconceived idea that [they] just watch TV all day and get fat… is not the case at all.” And we think that perspective is something mothers everywhere can appreciate.
30. “I think they’re kind of parasitic.”
Oh boy – this reddit user’s “unadulterated thought” is likely to ruffle a few feathers. “I think [stay-at-home moms are] kind of parasitic to be honest,” he wrote. He went on to claim that, even if stay-at-home-moms do keep themselves busy, their husbands “subsidize” these women’s lifestyles. In addition, this apparently results in the men in question having to work more than they ought to.
29. “[It’s] risky for the stay-at-home mom.”
Considering matters from a mother’s perspective led another reddit user to question whether or not being a stay-at-home-mom is in a woman’s best interests. “What happens if the marriage doesn’t work out and the stay-at-home parent has such a large hole in their employment history? A 10-year gap in 401k savings? Don’t you see that as risky?” he asked.
28. “I don’t love this side of her.”
Meanwhile, a husband told Moms.com that his wife’s stay-at-home lifestyle completely changed her mindset. Once a career-driven woman, he saw her transform into a “trophy wife” who spent her days pampering herself and shopping. “I don’t love this side of her,” the working dad admitted.
27. “It is a very expensive hobby.”
Another husband had a harsh take on stay-at-home motherhood. In fact, he felt women didn’t deserve much credit for full-time child-rearing. “I’d have no problem with it if they recognized it as a very expensive hobby and not a fountain of wisdom or avenue for sainthood,” he wrote on reddit. Giving life to a child is a very interesting “hobby,” sir…
26. “Kids who don’t have their parents hovering over… are more independent.”
A reddit user stated that he’d “prefer [his] wife not stay at home,” as this option was better for the children. “Kids who don’t have their parents hovering over and monitoring their entire life are more independent and self-sufficient, as opposed to ones who have mom home all the time to scrutinize their lives,” he opined.
25. “My wife wants to be a stay-at-home mom and that makes me happy.”
Not all husbands have a negative outlook when it comes to an out-of-the-office spouse, though. In fact, a reddit commenter said the prospect made him “happy.” “We don’t have kids yet, but I want to be able to provide for my family so that she can do that,” he shared.
24. “How does she not have time to do things?”
As the famous proverb goes, “Man may work from sun to sun, but woman’s work is never done.” One husband who spoke to Moms.com had probably never heard that phrase, however, as his biggest issue with stay-at-home motherhood was his wife’s lack of productivity. “How does she not have time to do things? If the baby naps for two hours, what’d you do then?” he wondered.
23. “Having her not work is just a waste.”
From a purely financial perspective, this reddit commenter felt as though a woman being out of work “is just a waste.” He went on to ask, “Why not have your wife work for a few years and make some extra money and you can both retire early and have a very nice life?”
22. “I would love to be a stay-at-home dad someday.”
In contrast, another dad was more than okay with the idea of a parent ditching work to care for the kids. He wanted it to be him, in fact. “I would love to be a stay-at-home dad someday,” he admitted on reddit.
21. “I have admiration for any mother who feels their place is at home to care for their children.”
Indeed, plenty of men shower working wives and mothers with praise and respect. Take this guy from reddit, who wrote, “I have admiration for any mother who feels their place is at home to care for their children in a more complete way than they could by working a 40-hour-a-week job.” Bravo.
20. “A stay-at-home mom or wife has a terrible culture surrounding them.”
In contrast, another man wrote on reddit, “A stay-at-home mom or wife has a terrible culture surrounding them. I can’t imagine her sitting at home all day just waiting for me to come home or gossiping with her other parent and jobless friends.” Is that what women do all day?
19. “She needs to get a job or we’re not going to be able to manage.”
The financial implications seemingly rank high on the list of concerns about stay-at-home motherhood. And one dad had first-hand experience, he told Moms.com. “I haven’t said this to anyone out loud, but we can’t afford for her to stay home with the babies. She needs to get a job, or we’re not going to be able to manage,” he admitted.
18. “I honestly think that you raise better children that way.”
In his vision of the future, a reddit user happily imagined the “mother of his children” having both the ability and the desire to stay home and raise them. “I honestly think that you raise better children that way and it forms a better foundation for the kids,” he wrote.
17. “Just don’t pretend like, ‘Being a mother is one of the hardest jobs in the world.’”
Many would surely agree that motherhood is tough. However, a male redditor felt as though some stay-at-home moms overstated the difficulties that come with their positions. “Just don’t pretend like, ‘Being a mother is one of the hardest jobs in the world’ if you want to be taken seriously,’” he warned.
16. “I don’t even think the stay-at-home mom has a place in today’s society.”
The fight for women’s rights has made its way into the international spotlight in recent years. Perhaps that’s why one redditor felt as though motherhood no longer represented a viable life choice. They wrote, “I don’t even think the stay-at-home mom has a place in today’s society. They should be working, too, a real job.”
15. “I’m scared people would judge us if my wife didn’t stay at home.”
Another man and his wife both grew up and settled in an affluent community, he told Moms.com. So, one of them had to stay at home with their kids – or else they’d face the disapproval of their neighbors. “If one parent doesn’t stay home then it’s a sign your family just can’t afford it,” he said.
14. “Men are biologically more suited to the stresses of working 40 to 60 hours a week.”
With no data to corroborate his statement, this reddit user made a startling claim: women have been making “a big mistake trying to emulate men.” That’s because “men are biologically more suited to the stresses of working 40 to 60 hours a week,” thus meaning that women should hide out at home with the kids. Right…
13. “I don’t like this idea that stay-at-home moms are somehow inferior to moms who work.”
The debate as to whether motherhood is a “real job” will likely rage on into eternity. A reddit commenter chimed in to say that women who stay home aren’t inferior to moms who work. They cited their own mother as an example, saying she was never “lazy for being an involved parent.”
12. “This is what she wanted all along, so I hate hearing her complain about it.”
According to another husband who chatted with Moms.com, his wife always wanted to be a stay-at-home parent. That’s why he “hate[s] hearing her complain about it. Like, yeah, babies cry and poop and eat all day, but she said from our first date she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom.” It sounds like she might want to re-evaluate that dream, then.
11. “Both parties should be financially independent to avoid external reasons for staying together.”
Here’s an interesting reason for being against the idea of stay-at-home-moms: a belief that couples should remain financially independent of one another. That way, one reddit user wrote, they wouldn’t stay together just for the money or any other “external reasons” aside from, you know, love. “I personally feel that financial inequality in marriages really restricts complete freedom,” he stated.
10. “You just can’t win…”
Once upon a time, it was the woman’s role to stay at home – she was “selfish if [she] chose to work,” wrote a redditor. “Now, they’re selfish if they stay home instead of working,” this poster went on. And, that disparity proved one big point – women “just can’t win,” he concluded.
9. “If I work, we both work.”
Many new mothers want to stay home with their littlest ones, but this reddit user said he wouldn’t be having that. “My iron clad rule is that if I work, we both work. If she gets pregnant we are getting nannies or some au pairs,” he wrote.
8. “I was raised by nannies all my life. I think I kind of guilted my wife into staying home.”
Personal experience gave this dad pause, he told Moms.com. “I was raised by nannies all my life, and it felt like they were more of a parent to me than my own parents were.” As such, he “guilted [his] wife into staying home,” so he wouldn’t have to hire a third party to rear his own children.
7. “[It] doesn’t mean I’m doing all the work. We are just splitting up the work differently.”
Many anti-stay-at-homers think the practice leaves one spouse to do all the work. But this guy felt differently, he explained via reddit. “We are just splitting up the work differently. For some reason people don’t think of homemaking as work, and if they do they don’t really see how important it is,” he wrote.
6. “I prefer to have a girl with some intellectual curiosity, which usually is accompanied by work.”
Another interesting point of view is that stay-at-home moms lack the smarts of employed women. “I prefer to have a girl with some intellectual curiosity, which usually is accompanied by work. I wouldn’t like [her to stay at home] because I know I would have nothing meaningful to talk about with her besides how mopped the floors are,” one husband wrote.
5. “She literally never leaves the house. I’m not exaggerating.”
Regarding his wife’s life on the homefront, one husband could only express concern to Moms.com. He feared that she was depressed because she “literally never leaves the house.” Kudos to this hubby for realizing his other half might need a change.
4. “I don’t quite understand why you wouldn’t do that.”
One man pondered why couples who have the ability to keep one parent home wouldn’t. “If you’re able to shortcut [saving] and get to the point where you don’t have to work for a paycheck while in your 20s, rather than slaving away for 40 or 50 years… I don’t quite understand why you wouldn’t do that,” he wrote on reddit.
3. “If we want [nicer things], I think she’ll need to work.”
Future planning for this couple included a reality check. The girlfriend wanted to stay home when her kids were little, but she and her boyfriend also realized their envisioned lifestyle would come at a price. “If we want [nicer things] on top of a nice life for kids, I think she’ll need to work,” he wrote.
2. “She should do whatever it is that makes her happy.”
“Every compatible couple will have something that works for them, and they should devote themselves to discovering that,” wrote a seemingly enlightened reddit user and husband. As such, he came up with simple solution. “I love my wife and I want her to be happy. She should do whatever it is that makes her happy,” he concluded.
1. “If people stopped caring about other people’s business and instead about their own fulfillment, the world would be a nicer place.”
Finally, there was this man, whose reddit comment may have been the most logical and insightful of all those made about the virtues of stay-at-home motherhood. “Rolling [my] eyes to both sides of the ‘argument.’ If people stopped caring about other people’s business and instead about their own fulfillment, the world would be a nicer place,” he wrote. Hear, hear.