I earn more than my husband. We have a son and want another child. Is it reasonable for me to want my husband to be the one who stays home while I go out to work? - Seedly

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Asked by Anonymous

Asked on 29 Nov 2018

I earn more than my husband. We have a son and want another child. Is it reasonable for me to want my husband to be the one who stays home while I go out to work?

He flat out refuses to do it, but instead wants either me to stay home, or that both of us go out to work. However I feel that having 2 kids require one of us to be home, at least for the first 3-4 years

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Yu Ming Jin
Yu Ming Jin

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Level 3. Wonderkid
Updated on 07 Jun 2019

Although in sum it seem to be beneficial for the family, I strongly advice against it as it will definitely strain the relationship. Gender roles still play a large role in the Singaporean family, and it too, is part of your husband's identity. He might feel emasculated if he is made to stay at home to take care of the children. If there is one thing that harms relationships, it is to make either spouse feel unappreciated is his/her main duty such that someone has to step in and do the job for him/her. I.e. my mum gets fustrated when my dad interferes with the way she lectures me when I was young.

Sounds like a rational choice on the surface, but in the long run, it might be pernicious if you husband does it unwillngly. Financially speaking, your husband will lose out on years of working experience if he suddenly stops his job to take care of the kids. Will be "paiseh" for him to explain why he has stopped work to take care of the young kids when he finds work again; Singaporeans care about "face" alot.

Communication is key. Perhaps, there could be a mutual compromise.

2 comments

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Question Poster

30 Nov 2018

Sigh, thanks for the perspective
Luke Ho
Luke Ho

06 Dec 2018

You got balls
Vincent Ho
Vincent Ho

()

Level 2. Rookie
Updated on 07 Jun 2019
  1. Is it about money? How much are you earning? Is it so much more money that his entire salary can be saved each month?

  2. Is it a running theme for men to work in the family? (Alpha male syndrome aka pride)

  3. Is it because yours and his friends had this situation as well? And the wife stayed home while husband is worked?

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Question Poster

30 Nov 2018

I'm earning enough to feed the family, but 2 working adults will definitely make things much more comfortable
Vincent Ho
Vincent Ho

30 Nov 2018

Do you make enough to feed and save? Having kids, i learnt that i really really need as much "disposable" money for rainy days. If your husbands concern is more skewed to pride rather than money, i'd suggest you two have a long talk to see how to work things out in the short term and long term.
Js Pan
Js Pan

()

Level 2. Rookie
Updated on 07 Jun 2019

Pretty normal for SG peeps to get some form of help for their newborn - 2 yrs old kid due to work issues.

Nothing much anyone can help you here. How much do you value $$ over your child? Would you be able to sacrifice your job to look after the child instead?

There are 3 important things to ask yourself generally anything.

  1. Why you want to do it?

  2. How you want to do?

  3. What are you prepared to give up?

Always a trade off.

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Question Poster

30 Nov 2018

Hmm, but for the first 2 years, it's not really advisable to leave my baby with a domestic helper is it?

Financially, you are right.

However, we don't live our lives based on financial factors alone. You have to consider the emotions, the cultural and social factors.

Singapore, and most countries in the world are not used to "stay at home dad" and in fact, most asian countries frown on this. Through no fault of his own, he will be laughed and gossip for being a stay at home dad while you are the breadwinner.

You have to consider the emotions and cultural difference for this. Two working parents are fine, many couples are doing that, just take time out to spend with your kids often

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Junus Eu
Junus Eu
Top Contributor

Top Contributor (Aug)

Level 8. Wizard
Answered on 20 Mar 2019

I think if, like you say, 'he flat out refuses to do it' - then forcing him to do so will definitely cause a strain in the relationship.

Even if he agrees initially, that discontentment could grow over time, which leads to further issues down the road. And while gender roles are shifting, there is definitely the risk of your husband feeling emasculated and less of the man, which would also affect his role as your husband and as his children's father. It really depends on his personality.

Consider how your husband feels, and talk it out. You would also need to think about how this affects his career path. Even though he may earn less, it does not mean that he takes lesser pride in his work.

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Bang Hong
Bang Hong

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Level 4. Prodigy
Answered on 06 Jun 2019

It is not reasonable or not reasonable for you to want to.

This is a joint decision and planning, I repeat, JOINT.

There is no outright correct or wrong or reasonable, it is always within the couple to discuss and agree upon jointly. Drill that deep in your head, apart from family interests we have to factor in the partner's feelings and well-being long term as well.

Apart from stop working, what are the other options that can explore, ie flexi hours working or say can work part time (i.e. Half of the time like say 9am to 1pm) ? Or maybe both work get someone for help, etc.

Whatever the solution might be, do consider to discuss calmly jointly, i believe you will get your answer there, and not here.

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Hi, sounds like your husband REALLY is against the idea of not working.

Probably not a idea to change him regardless of whose pay is higher or coping with family expenses. There must be an underlying belief involved.

I'm a parent too. What I do know is if anyone is UNWILLING to be home to be with the kids, the time spent there is NOT GOING TO BE OF ANY USE. Nothing is going to get done.

I've this video to share with you to give you more perspective. Good luck =)

"How you should react if your wife earns more"

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Nadine Poh
Nadine Poh

()

Level 2. Rookie
Answered on 01 Feb 2019

Is there an option for one of you to work part time?

I have many colleagues with young children who still have dual income. They get by with childcare, help from grandparents, or getting hired help. Are those not options for the both of you?

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Valery Lee
Valery Lee

()

Level 2. Rookie
Answered on 30 Nov 2018

why not? i suppose it can be done if your hubby is cool with it. i grew up with it, my dad was one and now my brother is also one. every family dynamics is different. being a house husband doesn't mean being emasculated if he is being appreciated by his wife and family for raising the kids while the wife works. if he takes pride in raising the kids and running the home well, he will be very happy when things in the family runs well (think of it like running your own company) too often, the wife gets taken for granted bc well, it's 'the woman's role' to stay home to look after the kids. most importantly, both parties must be happy with the idea and the finances risk and reward research must be done before taking the plunge. i would say it's worked out so far for both my dad and brother, so don't give up just yet reading what the other posters have said. just stay humble, open and loving! ✌

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Lee Jiahui
Lee Jiahui

()

Level 5. Genius
Answered on 30 Nov 2018

You can find some guys who want to he penguin dads but I haven't come across many.

A practical solution for you is to space the kids further apart. 6 years is about right because the elder one will be independent enough so that you don't have to sacrifice someone to stay at home, then outsource infant/childcare or nanny, or whichever arrangement. Else just forego the 2nd kid.

Earning more has various extents. The real game changer is if you earn double of your husband's, and can just explore no pay leave or part time work for 2 years temporarily. If it's just a bit more, your husband won't give it a thought because nothing is as certain, secure, stable as 2 persons working.

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Yong Kah Hwee
Yong Kah Hwee
Top Contributor

Top Contributor (Feb)

Level 6. Master
Answered on 29 Nov 2018

Lay out the facts, and have a discussion with him. If he refuses to relent, ask him what alternatives he can offer. Try to come to a compromise!

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Elsa Goh
Elsa Goh
Top Contributor

Top Contributor (Oct)

Level 5. Genius
Answered on 29 Nov 2018

Ask him to part time.

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It's reasonable, especially if your husband is already "out of the rat race".

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Lok Yang Teng
Lok Yang Teng
Top Contributor

Top Contributor (Jan)

Level 6. Master
Answered on 29 Nov 2018

It's completely reasonable. But men are still somewhat stigmatised upon for being stay-at-home dad. Maybe you can try some persuading and nudging, if all else fails then both have you will have to compromise a little in some ways.

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