My wife disagrees with hiring housekeeper to enable my return to work

By Hoang Nam   May 20, 2024 | 03:22 pm PT
Currently a stay-at-home father, I recently received a promising job offer and brought up the idea of hiring a housekeeper to my wife so that I could accept the position, but she disagreed.

At 36, I have been married since 2015. My wife is from another province, and I am originally from Hanoi. We are parents to a son and a daughter.

Our early married life, spent with my parents, was quite fulfilling. Both my wife and I had stable incomes and benefited greatly from my grandparents’ support. In 2018, I left my job to start a company with friends. Initially, the business flourished, allowing me to earn between VND40-50 million (US$1,572-$1,965) monthly.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 severely impacted our business. By early 2021, the company was losing money and ultimately dissolved, leaving me with a debt of about VND150 million. During this period, my wife launched her own company which prospered even amid the pandemic. Consequently, I began to focus on domestic responsibilities and child care.

By July 2021, I secured employment with a monthly salary of VND15 million. By the end of that year, we had purchased an apartment and moved to live independently. I began managing nearly all household chores due to my wife’s demanding schedule, even though I also faced considerable pressure at work. This arrangement initially seemed fine, as it supported her career and provided her with some rest.

We bought a car a year later to support her work further. However, as time went on, the distribution of household chores became a point of contention. Even though I was working, the expectation that I manage all home-related tasks persisted. My wife occasionally became irritable when I struggled with these responsibilities, often opting to relax or go out when she had free time, even if I was exhausted from work.

This dynamic led me to sacrifice many personal hobbies to keep our home running smoothly, which she took for granted, suggesting I should earn more if I wanted less domestic responsibility.

Recently, a former boss has reached out with an opportunity for me to manage a new manufacturing plant he plans to open. The role offers great prospects but would require a challenging initial phase, including significant time spent at the plant setting up the production line and transferring technology.

I revisited the conversation about hiring a housekeeper with my wife so I could take on this new role, but again she refused. She expressed that she and the children are accustomed to the meals I prepare and argued that the children needed someone consistently by their side for their educational needs, and even suggested I remain a stay-at-home dad permanently.

Interestingly, I’ve noticed a recent shift in my wife’s attitude. She has become more attentive, purchasing appliances like a clothes dryer and a dishwasher to ease my workload. However, the refusal to consider a housekeeper puzzles me, as it seems like a practical solution to support our family’s overall progress and my career aspirations.

What do you think? What would you do in my situation?

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