Posted to the Subreddit r/Parenting, the mom explained her dilemma:
“My husband is a truck driver and he is gone all week. He is usually only home about 2 days a week if that. I am a stay at home mom to our 3-year-old son.
“Whenever he tries to give any input into our son I get mad. Like earlier he was saying I should look into cutting back on his fruit intake, saying he might be getting too much sugar — but he is only getting two servings a day, and he eats a fairly well-balanced diet.
“[He says] I should look into better fruits or stop [feeding them to him]. [He says] that he’s just trying to set our son up for a better life.
“I get so mad. Like, he’s never here, and when he says stuff like that I feel like he’s calling me a [bad] mom and that I’m setting him up to fail.
“How do I let him be more involved with parenting without getting upset about it?”
She went on to explain in a later comment, “I really honestly appreciate everything he does and sacrifices he makes so I can stay home with our son. My main thing is that when he does try to parent, I feel like he is saying I’m not doing a good job so he has to occasionally step in.”
She later added, “It kinda feels like he is trying to manage me and not our son.”
‘You’re feeling undermined, like he doesn’t trust you…’
One Redditor wrote, “I say be open to his suggestions. Have him offer alternatives. If you agree with his alternatives then consider implementing them. The goal isn’t about right or wrong, but to foster his involvement as a parent.”
Another user shared, “If he came home, and you started critiquing his work (‘You know, you really ought to change the way you’re cornering. I think you’re putting a lot of wear on the brakes of your rig, and instead you need to be using your gears to slow down’) I bet he would feel similar to how you feel now! Annoyed!”
They went on to say, “Right now, he is trying to be involved in decisions you have already thought through, based on your expertise amassed over many hours parenting. Don’t be afraid to be an expert in this stuff! Communicate your expertise — communicate the thinking behind the parenting decisions you have made. And if he wants to keep providing input, be open to including his perspectives if they’re evidence based.”
Another Redditor weighed in, “Parents are never going to agree on everything no matter who is around the child more or not. I understand where you are coming from and that it makes you feel like a bad mom. My suggestion is to [calmly] try and discuss why he feels this way and explain why you feel the way you do.”
One user wrote, “You’re feeling undermined, and like he doesn’t trust you to make good decisions for your child while he’s away. If he wants to be involved when he’s home, then he needs to get on the floor and play with the kid, bathe him, read to him, take him to the park, and instead of nattering at you for stupid things like how much fruit he eats. P.S. he’s wrong about the fruit.”
In the end, the original poster decided that she needs to discuss these feelings with her husband — while also working to figure out why she takes his input so personally. She also realized that she might be feeling burnt out from working so hard at home and never getting any time off.
Hopefully, this Redditor has found some peace in her home — and inspiring stay-at-home parents around the world to do so as well!
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