One anonymous mother has caused quite a debate online after she took to Reddit’s popular ‘AITA’ (Am I The A*hole?) advice sub to ask whether she’d be a jerk for asking her husband pay her a salary to look after their kid.
The stay-at-home mother revealed she wanted a “salary” of $3,500 in return for housekeeping and childcare, plus “pocket money for fun things.”
She initially laid out the scenario, explaining how the couple has been married for 4 years and has one 1.5 year old together.
“So I feel pretty crummy even typing this out to complete strangers but here goes. My husband and I have been married for 4 years and we have a 1.5 year old together. He works and I agreed to stay at home since the birth of our son. I was earning only about 1/8 of what he was anyways, so we decided the most sensible arrangement since getting married was that I’d become a homemaker and SAHM when we had a baby.”
OP then went on to explain that because she has no income and her husband is “very frugal about nonessential spending,” she isn’t able to do some of the “normal things people in their 20s buy and do.”
“I’ve been a stay at home spouse/mom for about 3 years now and it was fine before the baby. But now there are a lot of things I want to change but don’t know how to, especially when it comes to finances which I feel like I have no power over.
“My husband earns good money but he’s very frugal about nonessential spending because he wants to be financially independent (no job, earnings from investments) at an early age. Granted he was like this when I met him but I had also had my own salary at the time to do what I wanted.”
“I’m looser with my money because I like eating out, going out with friends, going shopping, etc. All the normal things people in their 20s buy and do.”
She explains that if she ever makes purchases that add up to over $150, she has to first check in with her husband to let him know, and it makes her feel humiliated.
“Well now that I stay at home we have mini fights every time I want to buy anything over $150 (which is the limit he set that needs a “conversation”).
“This means if I go out to get clothing, makeup, brunch, little treats, etc. and the amount exceeds $150, I would need to call him beforehand and talk about what I’m buying. It feels extremely restrictive and quite frankly humiliating. He spends so little on himself that it seems like to him that I’m the one spending all the money on myself every month.”
OP’s sister is a stay-at-home mom whose husband in a sense “pays” her by giving her monthly spending money.
“I’ve been talking to my sister who’s also a SAHM and she says her and her husband have an agreement where she’s “paid” for childcare/homekeeping. Essentially she gets “paid” a few thousand every month to spend on whatever she wants because in their relationship he’s also the stingy/frugal one and she wants to have more pocket money for fun things.”
She wants to know if she’s the a*hole for wanting to request a similar financial arrangement with her own husband.
“Right now she says she gets about $3,500 a month because that’s how much it would cost them to hire an outside nanny where they live. It’s a bit cheaper where we live so I wouldn’t be asking as much, but would I be the asshole to suggest a similar arrangement with my husband so I don’t need to go groveling for money every time I want to buy myself something nonessential?”
Overwhelmingly, people on Reddit told the mom that YES, she was a total jerk.
“I think more than anything that’s too much to ask for,” wrote docfarnsworth. “You’re basically asking for a stay at home nanny’s entire salary as play money. 3.5 k a month for 12 months is over 40k. That’s absurd unless you’re very wealthy.”
“If he has trouble stomaching $150 good luck trying to get 40K out of him,” added bladesmithereen. “You are asking to be paid to take care of your own child. You’re ridiculous.”
Many pointed out that $150 “for fun things” was a lot of money indeed.
“I’m shocked that OP is acting like $150 for fun things is not a lot of money,” wrote Naay_.
“Also lets not forget her husband is literally letting her spend 149.99 dollars a day….” pointed out discrunner7. “Thats the cut off before they have a conversation. So lets say she spends 100 dollars a day, by 365 days…. let me check real oh right 36,500 dollars shes spending a year. YTA 100%”
“YTA. You want to live the life of a rich independent woman (350 for shoes!!!!). But you dont work and are a mom. Act like one”—BravoPUA
However, there were also those who believed that—specific money amounts aside—asking ‘permission’ to spend money is indicative of a pretty unfair power dynamic.
“Having conversations about those purchases is reasonable, but it sounds like she essentially has to ask permission, which clearly gives the relationship an uneven power dynamic,” wrote sr9687.
“Boy there’s a lot of misogyny flying around on this thread. It’s true she’s rich. That doesn’t mean it’s not reasonable for her to want to be able to spend money without checking in with her husband every time.
“They should negotiate a set amount of ‘fun money’ each month that they can truly afford. His desire to aggressively save doesn’t automatically trump her preference to have more money to spend. Calling it a ‘salary’ is silly, but wanting the independence isn’t. She works. She’s a mom. And plenty of moms like fancy shoes.”—Temporary_Badger
In the wise words of road-kill-skunk: “I hope he’s got a prenup!”