Husband Balks When 'Burned Out' SAHM Asks for Appreciation & Reddit Replies

Stay-at-home moms are valuable — in fact, a survey conducted by the software company Salary estimated that the work done by SAHMs is equal to $178,201 per year (and that was pre-pandemic!). But one thing that makes the often-thankless job of childcare and housework seem worth it on hard days, it is a partner’s support and appreciation — something this Reddit dad doesn’t realize.

In Reddit’s Am I The A–hole? forum, one dad wonders if he’s in the wrong for telling his wife, a SAHM of 2-year-old twins, that she should just “get on” with her job when she asked for small gestures of appreciation from him, like “Buying her favorite bar of chocolate.” Yes, you read that correctly. This woman wants a little sugar and a “thank you” and apparently that is too much for her husband.

The man explains that the two “both agreed that my wife would be a SAHM” because they have no family nearby, while the husband works. He says they “were both in agreement and my wife made it clear she wanted to enjoy seeing our kids grow up.” So…because she agreed to an arrangement before her kids were born, that means saying “Thank you” isn’t necessary? OK, sure.

“I don’t give my wife any spending limits (obviously we discuss big purchases) so she is free to buy herself things [and I make sure she has access to money.” Sir, do you expect a medal for not imposing abusive control over the family’s finances?

He also added that his wife also “takes care of everything around the house.” So, he works from home from 7 a.m.-5 p.m., then watches the kids while his wife cooks dinner. They both put the kids to bed, then his wife cleans up, keeping the house “spotless.” But here’s the kicker: his wife asked to be appreciated and he just doesn’t want to.

“Recently, she has been coming to me and saying that she feels burned out, unappreciated and taken for granted,” the dad wrote. “I asked if I could do anything to help and she said that it would be nice if I did something now and again to show that I appreciated her. E.g. buying her favorite bar of chocolate when I go to the shop or something small, just as a gesture of appreciation. I’ll admit that I didn’t do this, purely because I am not in the habit to be honest.”

After that conversation — during which he asked what he could do to help! — the couple had a “massive argument” because the SAHM was tired of being “treated like a servant.” She argued that she works 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., even on weekends, and this was his response: “I told her that I understand it’s a tough job but we both get on with our respective roles,” he wrote. “I never ask her to thank me for making money, I think that’s cringeworthy. I get on with my job because I have to provide for my family whereas she wants presents and treats for doing her job.”

He asked, “Do I need to thank her on bended knee and buy her things just for doing her job?” Later, he edited the post to admit that he relaxes on the weekends while his wife “usually does her normal routine and gets on top of the cleaning.” He said he does thank her, but understands “this may not be her love language.”

Of course, Reddit had some thoughts on this situation. One commenter wrote, “It’s really too much to ask to occasionally buy your wife a bar of chocolate or say ‘thank you’?” Another wrote, “YTA dude, buy your wife something nice and also maybe get off your butt and do the f*king dishes once in a while. She’s raising your kids, cleaning your house, and cooking for you — let that woman sit down.”

Another wrote, “Your wife is working ALL THE TIME. You get to clock off at 5 and you don’t even have to travel to work. You get the feeling of appreciation, a job well done every time you make money…Buy her a chocolate bar and some flowers then use them to knock sense into yourself!”

Finally, one commenter implored, “Please, OP, listen to her. She’s isolated, probably lonely, working a repetitive job with two tiny people who are constantly trying to destroy the house and find creative ways to hurt themselves. Think about the hours you spend watching them — imagine doing that, while also cooking and cleaning. She does that all day every day. I bet it would mean a whole lot to her for you to spend some time noticing and valuing what she does.”

Buy her a bar of chocolate, take her on a date, or treat her to a spa day — she deserves it!

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