I was having drinks with friends recently when the topic of parenting and having babies came up. None of us are parents or pregnant yet. But my friend’s boyfriend joked that he won’t have to learn to change a diaper because he “Won’t be the one staying home.” Everyone stopped laughing when we saw the look on his girlfriend’s face: this was clearly news to her, and not happy news. The guy insisted he was just joking, but we all know there is a grain of truth in every joke, so I’m sure that couple had a lot to talk about on the drive home. Or maybe it was one of those angry silent drives. A lot of people do not, unfortunately, discuss who will go back to work and who will stay home with the kids before they bring a newborn home from the hospital. More unfortunate is how many men still just expect their partners to leave their careers to be mothers. When was that agreed upon? Here is an open letter to men who expect their wives to be stay-at-home moms.
You’ll become distant
If you expect your partner to not work, at all, and that you will continue to work full-time, just know that the two of you will become distant. She won’t understand anything about your world and you won’t understand anything about hers. You’ll vent about your day at work, and she’ll think you’re being a big baby about it because it was nothing compared to what she went through. You’ll feel the exact same way about her day. You should try to strike some balance where you can both work and take care of the kids so you understand one another’s worlds.